The Long Island Index delivered both good and bad news yesterday. Its survey showed that 61 percent of Long Islanders are having problems paying their rent or mortgages. But in rolling out its ninth annual report, the Index — a data-gathering project of the Rauch Foundation — held out hope that we may finally be on the verge of a regional collaboration to create a high-tech cluster like Boston or San Diego.

That kind of breakthrough could bring an influx of high-paying jobs and prosperous new firms that could bear more of the property tax burden, so that homeowners don’t have to pay as much. And there’s a broad consensus that high-tech and biotech firms are what we need.

We already have top-flight research institutions – Stony Brook University, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research at theNorth Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System – plus institutions on the rise in research, like Hofstra University and Farmingdale State College, where the Index presented its report. Read more