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Unconventional Wisdom from John Kominicki: Attention Jeff Bezos – The Times doesn’t know what it’s talking about!

In Business, Education, Government by Long Island IndexLeave a Comment

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Amazon is accepting proposals on where it should locate its second corporate headquarters, a mammoth $5 billion office center that, when finished, will be a third larger than the Pentagon and employ 50,000 people in “high-paying” jobs. That would make it Long Island’s largest employer overnight, topping even county government. And Stop & Shop. As you might imagine, word of the Amazon project significantly increased salivation levels among local economic development officials, who quickly agreed to meet with equally excited state officials to consider our next best move. I understand towels will be provided. There are many reasons to believe a Long Island bid would be taken seriously. Almost half the... Read More
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Unconventional Wisdom from John Kominicki: A little hubba hubba for the Nassau Hub

In Business, Education, Government, Healthcare, Legal by Long Island Index

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Nassau County’s plan to transform the acres of parking lots around the Coliseum into a hub for medical research and biotechnology is a great first step toward creating the well-paying, “knowledge industry” jobs that can transform the Long Island economy and keep young Long Islanders living here. But the County’s plan doesn’t make enough of this extraordinary opportunity: 77 acres of prime property located about 20 miles from New York City and controlled by the County and the Town of Hempstead. The plan falls far short of creating the critical mass necessary to get the job done, according to a new report from the Long Island Index, which partnered with the Regional Plan Association and HR&A Advisors. Cr... Read More
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Unconventional Wisdom from John Kominicki: The third track project proves that good things come to those who wait. For 70 years.

In Business, Government, Science & Nature by Long Island Index

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A state review board has approved the Long Island Rail Road’s long-considered third track project, a $2 billion plan that will speed service, enhance reliability and eliminate dangerous traffic crossings along a 10-mile stretch of rail between Hicksville and the Queens border. Four major lines link up with the main track there, meaning the fix will resonate across the Island’s entire rail system, boosting capacity that, for the first time, will allow New York City workers to reverse-commute to unfilled Long Island jobs, giving the region a sure economic boost. The project will also add sound buffers, improve track beds and drainage, plus modernize signals, switches and communication systems. There will be added parking ... Read More
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Unconventional Wisdom from John Kominicki: 60 years on, we’ve discovered that size, at least when it comes to housing, really matters

In Business, Government by Long Island Index

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History has anointed Bill Levitt the king of suburbia, but the crown might have as easily gone to Walter Turnbull Shirley, a Brooklyn-born song promoter and wannabe impresario who turned to selling Long Island’s pastoral charm to the masses in the late 1930s. As Shirley told the story, he smooth-talked his way into a meeting with William K. Vanderbilt II, grandson of the railroad titan and one of the largest landown... Read More
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Unconventional Wisdom from John Kominicki: After years of rethinking Route 110, it appears to be time for the shovels

In Business, Education, Government, Science & Nature by Long Island Index

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If you’ve tired of reading about projects that will break ground sometime after your last kid moves to North Carolina, here’s some good news. The towns of Babylon and Huntington are veritably skipping along on the Route 110 Plan, which, OK, isn’t actually called that and really isn’t a single comprehensive plan but rather a collection of game-changing initiatives for the area, which is sometimes called Long Island’s “business backbone” or “economic spine.” (It’s called much worse at rush hour, but let’s stay positive here.) Route 110 will take you all the way to Amityville if you want, but for the sake of this discussion, let’s focus on the stretch that heads north from about Republic ... Read More
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Unconventional Wisdom from John Kominicki: It’s All about Keeping Our Future on Track

In Business by Long Island Index

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America’s first railroad was the Baltimore & Ohio, chartered in 1827 to compete with New York’s Erie Canal in the lucrative business of shipping goods westward. Baltimore was America’s third-largest city then – with designs on getting bigger – and the new railway was celebrated with parades and fireworks and a ceremonial groundbreaking at which the 91-year-old Charles Carroll, the last living signer of the Declaration of Independence, turned over the first spade. Virtually every resident of the city owned at least one share in the new enterprise, which was wildly popular and significantly oversubscribed – even though it initially had no planned end point beyond “Ohio.” Alas, the launch of ... Read More
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Unconventional Wisdom from John Kominicki: Your Chromosomes Want to Pump You Up

In Education, Emerging Technology, Government, Healthcare, Legal, Science & Nature by Long Island Index

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Some of the most interesting genetic research being performed today – including work at our own Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and Stony Brook University – concerns telomeres, the protective caps on the ends of chromosomes, those thread-like strands that store our genetic information. Very simply put, the longer and more vibrant your telomeres, the better chance you have of avoiding the diseases and conditions t... Read More
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Unconventional Wisdom from John Kominicki: There’s a Real Buzz about the Future of Long Island

In Events, Healthcare by Long Island Index

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There’s significant medical news to report, and I’m not just talking about whether you should still floss now that it’s been revealed that the practice actually does nothing to prevent gum disease. (What did we expect? It is, after all, waxed string.) No, I’m talking about incredible research – much of it being performed right here on Long Island – that will help doctors of the near future hack the body’s nervous system and correct a host of diseases and conditions using a regimen of low-dose electrical pulses. The idea was pioneered by Kevin Tracey, president of the Feinstein Center, the medical research arm of Northwell Health. A neurosurgeon by training, Tracey has been pokin... Read More
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How Irrational Fear Is Driving L.I.’s Housing Crisis Over the Brink

In Business, Education, Government, Science & Nature by Long Island Index

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Long Islanders have vehemently opposed apartment construction over the years, fearing rental properties would increase traffic, crowd schools, raise taxes and recreate the urban blight many moved here to avoid. I know that’s not exactly a news flash, but stick with me. Forget that most of those fears were misplaced and, in some cases, just plain irrational. Renters, for example, actually pay higher per-foot taxes than home own... Read More
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Unconventional Wisdom from John Kominicki: In Global Warming, it’s Not That Tough to Keep Your Cool

In Business, Energy, Finance, Government, Science & Nature by Long Island Index

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Good news, fellow humanoids. The amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere didn’t increase in 2015, for the second year running. Bigger news: This is the first time emissions have fallen or remained flat without a giant economic meltdown of some sort. In other words, we managed to cut the spew of energy-related carbon even as we grew global manufacturing activity by a very respectable 3 percent. That’s never been done before. In fact, most experts are on the record as saying it wasn’t possible. Much of the credit goes to two countries. The first is China, where the government has promised to cut back on the use of coal-powered electrical plants – and is actually doing it. Coal still generated about 70 percen... Read More
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Unconventional Wisdom from John Kominicki: Gov. Cuomo’s Third Track Express is Wisely Asking Folks to get on Board

In Business, Government, Science & Nature by Long Island Index

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One of Samuel Goldwyn’s best lines: “It’s absolutely impossible, but it has possibilities.” The same might be said for the proposed third track of the Long Island Rail Road. First suggested more than a decade ago, the extra rails would clear a bottleneck between Hicksville and Floral Park, where five LIRR branches carrying more than 100,000 daily riders converge on the mainline. The added tracks would ease congestion, eliminate frequent delays and get more commuters out of their cars, reducing our carbon footprint. All very nice, but there’s more. The extra rails would also significantly improve west-east transit, allowing New York City workers to reverse-commute to Long Island jobs... Read More
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Unconventional Wisdom from John Kominicki

In Education, Government, Legal by Long Island Index

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We love where we live. But love hurts. More than half of Long Islanders say they’re likely to move in the next five years to find housing that is more affordable. That’s roughly 1.5 million people by my math, a potential Grapes of Wrath-quality out-migration that would destroy the local economy and bring government to its knees.... Read More