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Calendar of Events

Last Updated: October 17, 2017
 The following articles - and more - can be found in our print edition: 

Groundbreaking at CSHL

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories held a groundbreaking on Thursday, October 12th. (l-r) Professor Nicholas Tonks, COO Dill Ayres, CEO Dr. Bruce Stillman, Mr. Matthew Larson, Emma Larson, Mrs. Dianne Larson, NYS Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, Empire State Development Commissioner Howard Zemsky, Professor Adrian Krainer, and Director of Research Dr. David L. Spector.   ©Bob Giglione, 2017/CSHL

On October 12th, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo visited Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) to break ground on the new $75 million Center for Therapeutics Research. The State of New York has invested $25 million in the new center, which will support advancements already under way in breast cancer, leukemia, autism, obesity/diabetes, and lung cancer therapeutics.

The Center for Therapeutics Research will be housed in the Demerec Laboratory, which is currently being renovated to house the latest addition to the laboratory. Built in 1953, Demerec Laboratory has been home to the laboratories of four of CSHL’s eight Nobel Prize winners, and will soon welcome 30 new scientists. Funding from the state builds on the Governor’s efforts to foster a thriving biotech corridor among major institutions on Long Island. The new 26,000-square-foot laboratory, expected to open by the end of 2018

“We’re at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory today, which is hallowed ground for scientific research. You can almost feel when you walk on the grounds that you’re in a special place and great things have happened here,” said Governor Cuomo. “The potential we have on Long Island in this biomedical field and biotechnology field is, I think, unprecedented.”
CSHL President & CEO Dr. Bruce Stillman said, “With the help of Governor Cuomo, Senator Marcellino, and our public and private sectors, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory will continue to transform the way basic science research is done, searching for answers to science’s most important challenges and that will positively change the lives of children and adults suffering from disease.”

“The work that we are here to foster, to improve and increase is monumental. The future is before us and it’s bright because what the men and women researchers of this fantastic facility are doing,” said New York State Senator Carl L. Marcellino.“This place provides hope. It’s not the buildings, it’s not the cement, or the steel or the bricks and mortar we’re talking about here, it’s the people, the researchers who work in those laboratories, who do the work, who make the discoveries...it is one of the jewels of Long Island.”

CSHL Professor Adrian Krainer, whose basic research developed a drug to treat Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), was joined by the Larson family at the event. Emma Larson, a four-year-old who participated in the clinical trial for the FDA-approved drug Spinraza™, helped the governor break ground.

Founded in 1890, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory has shaped contemporary biomedical research and education with programs in cancer, neuroscience, plant biology and quantitative biology. Home to eight Nobel Prize winners, the private, not-for-profit Laboratory employs 1,100 people including 600 scientists, students and technicians. For more information, visit www.cshl.edu 

A Chat with Delia DeRiggi-Whitton

County Legislator Delia DeRiggi-Whitton (3rd from left) at the opening day soccer parade. Photo: Facebook

• Loriann Cody

Delia DeRiggi-Whitton is serving her third term as Nassau County Legislator of the 11th District, which incorporates Sands Point, Port Washington, Roslyn, Roslyn Harbor, Glen Head, Glenwood Landing, Sea Cliff and Glen Cove, and she is up for re-election this November. After 10 years as an elected official, DeRiggi is still happy to serve, “Being a legislator is my dream job.”

Before being elected to the County Legislature, DeRiggi-Whitton served two terms as a member of the Glen Cove City Council. Passionate about senior affairs, she was the Council’s liaison to the Senior Center and was a member of the City's Senior Advisory Board. DeRiggi-Whitton began the Birthday Rose celebration at Senior Day events, offering seniors a rose on their birthday, and it’s a tradition that many at the Center look forward to. She noted, “For some, the Senior Center is the only place where they get a hot meal. I really enjoy the time I spend with them, their stories are incredible.”

DeRiggi-Whitton also hosts the “Smart Seniors” program, which educates seniors on the scams that specifically target the elderly; and she has helped to get state funding for seniors who need grocery money. As a Legislator, she has actively worked on and filed legislation to keep senior tax abatement legislation in place for property tax bills.

As part of the County Legislature, DeRiggi-Whitton is a member of the Finance Committee, “Numbers are my thing.”

The County is looking at a budget deficit in 2018, and the Nassau Interim Finance Authority (NIFA) is asking for $100 million in cuts. DeRiggi-Whitton notes that the County spends close to $50 million a year in attorney fees to fight residents who grieve their property tax assessments. Negating those attorney fees would go a long way in balancing the budget. She does offer classes for residents who wish to file a property tax grievance online.

Back in August, DeRiggi-Whitton introduced legislation she hopes will help curb prescription opioid addiction and overdoses. Under the Pharmacy Opioid Notice Law, pharmacies in the county would be required to post signs warning of the dangers of opioid addiction. “This notice might seem like a small step, but it can have a big impact,”

DeRiggi-Whitton said. “In just the few moments you stand waiting at the pharmacy counter to pick up a prescription, this notice might give you pause and remind you that these prescription drugs need to be taken with care. It’s one more layer to help with the
problem.”

What’s next for the Legislator? If lucky enough to be re-elected, she’d like to move forward with capital projects that are in the works. DeRiggi-Whitton is all for transparency in government, especially in showing how the county awards contracts. She’d continue to be involved with local seniors, the homeless and youth. She’d continue to work tirelessly to improve the environment, siting theground water assessment and stream sampling program for the Crescent Beach area that was recently done. She also has positive outlook on Nassau’s future, “There are better days ahead.”

This Week's Editorial and Letters