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Horoscopes by PsychicDeb for October 2016

Aries – Pluto in the 10th house – a public relations project puts you in the spotlight. Your favorable reputation will be gained by bringing together opposing forces creating beauty and harmony around you. Artistic and social skills will be especially significant in your career. Number 6 is best.

Taurus – Pluto in the 9th house – this month brings more lively social interaction. Someone with an original idea wants you to help develop it. You’ll visit friends, relatives, neighbors. Be ready for an unexpected change of plans around midmonth. Your flexibility is a key issue. Play number 5 to win.

Gemini – Pluto in the 8th house – a secret meeting will help you obtain the inside story. Tread gently; don’t make waves. The person you want to see is not in an outgoing mood. Spend some time alone; you’ll need to define your real purposes and goals more clearly. Number 7 brings luck.

Cancer – Pluto in the 7th house – you’ll be in the right place at the right moment. Don’t be afraid to take the initiative where romance is concerned. Someone with a fiery personality is just waiting for the green light. A theater event provides a glamorous setting. Leo plays a key role.

Leo – Pluto in the 6th house – the employment scene takes on a festive air. You’ll relax, feel pressure ease and socialize with fellow workers. A long-distance call or e-mail from afar adds spice and intrigue. Someone romantically interested will say so. Play number 3 for best results.

Virgo – Pluto in the 5th house – a physical relationship is spot lighted. You’ll feel strongly attracted to someone who is bold, vital and dramatic in nature. Your rapport will border on the psychic – expect almost to read each others’ thoughts. Your creative power is magnified.

Libra – Pluto in the 4th house – this month’s mood is sentimental and home-loving. Beautification of your property will be helped by those who wish you well. Wishes can come true if you phrase them wisely and tactfully to key people. A relative plays an important role, so does another Libra.

Scorpio – Pluto in the 3rd house – pay special attention to time tables, schedules and details of long-range trips or plans. You’ll be able to build a foundation for the future in a practical, down-to-earth way. Aries wants to help, but may be too impatient. Number 4 is your best bet.

Sagittarius – Pluto in the 2nd house – the financial picture is more secure than you realize. An old debt will be repaid and you’ll have cash left over to help a relative or friend. A real estate investment is wise if you stick to conservative prices and values. Don’t force issues this month. Stick with number 2.

Capricorn – Pluto in the 1st house – the spotlight is on the high lunar cycle, personal appearances and success with large, innovative projects. Strive for universal appeal. If you attempt to please only close pals, you’ll lose out on a big opportunity. Wear red or bright colors this month. The lucky number is 9.

Aquarius – Pluto in the 12th house – the emphasis shifts to practical matters. Make major plans about money, ambitions, and marital status. Someone with important private information wants to share it with you but needs reassurance that you will take the facts seriously. A Capricorn figures in the picture.

Pisces – Pluto in the 11th house – the cycle is high and you’ll be able to call your own shots both in a love affair and in an original work project. Don’t allow anyone to deter you from promoting new methods or blowing your own horn. A generous person wants to help get started. The lucky number is 1.

IF YOU KNOW YOUR RISING SIGN, CONSULT THE HOROSCOPE FOR THAT SIGN AS WELL.

Psychicdeb has been a professional astrologer for over 25 yrs. Self-taught, she began her studies in astrology when she was 8 yrs. old learning what she could from her mother’s astrology magazines. As she got older and learned geometry, she searched for books on Astrology and taught herself how to construct a chart. She teaches Astrology for a nominal fee. Psychicdeb also uses the tarot to do psychic readings channeling her spirit guide Helen. Reiki is one of her obsessions. She is a Reiki Master and loves to teach others the benefits of Reiki. Namaste. You can find her at the Original Psychic Fairs on Sundays. A listing of the Fair dates can be found on her website at: www.astro-mate.org or join the Facebook page.

Bethpage Best of Long Island Nominees Announced – Voting Opens Oct. 1

Bethpage Best of Long Island

The voting period for the annual Bethpage Best of Long Island Awards Program is officially open Oct. 1!

This year there were a record number of business nominated for the Bethpage Best of L.I. program–58,499 to be exact. Of these, the top 15 nominees have advanced to the official ballot, so . . . Now’s your time to help them win!

From October 1 to December 15, voting is open for the Bethpage Best of L.I. program at BestOf.LongIslandPress.com. During this 75-day window everyone can vote for whatever local store, restaurant, business or personality they feel should hold a “Bethpage Best of L.I.” title.

There is only one place on the podium in each category… FIRST PLACE.

Whoever receives the largest number of votes in each category will be declared the “Best Of Long Island.” There is no second or third place. If applicable, a National Winner will be selected, but only if they receive the most votes in that category.

This year all voters will be required to register with their email address, which provides another way to ensure that the voting is as fair as possible.

You are allowed one vote per IP address per day for each category. These categories are in sections such as Arts & Entertainment, Food & Drink, Nightlife & Spirits, Health & Wellness, Restaurants, and many others, to make it easy to find a specific place you’re looking for.

Voting for the Bethpage Best of L.I. is a great way to support the local businesses you frequent. Long Islanders cherish the value of this annual competition and the importance of being named the “BEST of L.I.” 2017 will be distinguished by a new group of annual winners.

So don’t delay, VOTE TODAY (and every day)!

If you have any questions, email [email protected] or call (516) 962-3700. If you’re a business owner and want to see if you made the ballot, simply go to BestOf.LongIslandPress.com/voting-open.

Good luck!

Long Island Pumpkin Picking Guide 2016

pumpkin
pumpkin

By Thomas MacDonald

With the return of harvest season, Long Islanders are packing up their families and flocking to local farms to join in the annual fall tradition of pumpkin picking.

Sure, anyone can just go to the supermarket and buy a plump pumpkin. But where’s the fun in that? Going pumpkin picking means making priceless memories with hay rides, corn mazes and other farm-based fun—not to mention the fresh-baked goodies at the farm stand.

But where are the farms to go pumpkin picking on Long Island? You don’t have to ask any old jack-o-lantern. Look no further! Here are two dozen:

Benner’s Farm
Pumpkin-picking season starts Oct. 1 at Benner’s Farm. Come for the pumpkins, stay for the different workshops every Saturday and the Fall Harvest Festival on Oct. 9. 56 Gnarled Hollow Rd., Setauket. 631-689-8172 bennersfarm.com 12-4 p.m. Saturday, Sunday.

Borella’s Farm Stand
This local pick-your-own-pumpkin farm hosts a fall festival every weekend in October through Halloween with face painting, inflatable rides, a cow train, corn maze, live entertainment and much more! 485 Edgewood Avenue, St. James, 631-862-7330. borellasfarmstand.com 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, Sunday.

Brightwaters Farm
The month-long fall harvest festival runs through Oct. 30 at this farm, where there will be clowns, a strong man challenge, pumpkin pitch bean-bag toss and much more in addition to the pumpkin picking! 1624 Manatuck Blvd., Bay Shore. 631-665-5411 brightwatersfarms.com 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily.

Elwood Pumpkin and Christmas Tree Farm
Advertised as the westernmost farm on LI where pumpkins can be picked off the vine, these farmers set themselves apart from much of the competition who don’t actually grow the pumpkins they place in their fields. They offer the authentic pumpkin-picking experience. 1500 E. Jericho Tpke., Huntington. 631-368-8626 elwoodpumpkinfarm.com 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sunday and Columbus Day, 3-5 p.m. Monday-Friday.

Fairview Farm
As only farms in the Hamptons can do, besides pumpkin picking, this one has an eight-acre corn maze that offer views of the Atlantic Ocean. They also are well known for their pies. 19 Horsemill Lane, Bridgehampton. 631-537-6154 fairviewfarmatmecox.com 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Thursday-Sunday and holidays.

MORE THINGS TO DO: Long Island Fall Festivals and Fairs 2016

Finks Country Farm
The month-long fall festival at this farm runs through Oct. 30. It features an animal farm, bouncers, characters, live music, a five-acre corn maze, kiddie trains, hay rides and, yes, pick-your-own pumpkins. 6242 Middle Country Rd., Wading River. 631-886-2272 finksfarm.com 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, Sunday.

Gabrielsen Country Plant farm
Besides pumpkin picking, this farm hosts a season-long fall festival featuring a trackless train, bouncy houses, corn maze, a giant pumpkin, games, live music and more! 200 Herricks Ln., Jamesport. 631-722-3259. gabrielsenscountryfarm.com 8 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Monday-Sunday.

Garden of Eve Organic Farm and Market
Don’t just pick your own pumpkins, celebrate Pumpkinfest, with hay rides, a straw tower, pedal carts and more, every Saturday and Sunday in the month of October here at this farm! 4558 Sound Ave., Riverhead. 631-722-8777. gardenofevefarm.com 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.

Glover Farms
This pumpkin farm is opening up Oct. 1 so visitors can pick their pumpkins right off the vine! Also, you can get lost in their corn maze! 633 Victory Ave., Brookhaven. 631- 327-8559. gloverfarmsbrookhaven.com 2-6p.m. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, Sunday and Columbus Day.

Greenland Family Farm
Go for a hay ride while pumpkin picking throughout the month of October! 17155 County Road 48, Cutchogue. 631-734 5791. greenlandfamilyfarms.com 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Sunday.

Hank’s Pumpkintown
This is the Disneyland of Long Island farms. In addition to picking pumpkins, visitors can enjoy some of the many different attractions during the month-long fall festival, including hay rides, a maze park, gem mining, face painting and even a playground. 240 Montauk Hwy., Watermill. 631-726-8015 hankspumpkintown.com 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m. daily.

Harbes Family Farm
For those looking to pick their pumpkins right off the vine, visit this farm’s Jamesport location. Those who like wine tasting with their pumpkin picking should try the Mattituck location. And those who also want to go apple picking when they go pumpkin picking can do both at the Riverhead location. That’s a lot of picking! All three venues have corn mazes and other attractions. Call 631-298-0800. www.harbesfamilyfarm.com 9 a.m.-6 p.m. daily at Jamesport and Mattituck farms, weekends only at Riverhead orchard.

MORE THINGS TO DO: Long Island Oktoberfest 2016 Events

Helen’s Pumpkin Farm
This farm offers tractor as well as horse-drawn hay rides, and touts the largest pumpkin-picking fields on the North Fork. 987 Union Ave., Aquebogue. 631-722-5076 www.helensfarm.com 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Sunday.

Kaufold Country and Florist Farm
Pick your own pumpkins and check out the flowers, too. 724 Middle Country Rd., Ridge. 631-924-1265. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday.

Krupski Farms
Krupski Farms is preparing for the fall season as they begin to harvest their pumpkins ready to be picked by visiting families over the course of the coming weeks. 38030 Route 25, Peconic. 631-734-7841 Facebook.com/Krupski-Farms 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m-6 p.m. Friday-Sunday.

Lenny Bruno Farms
Aside from the great many other crops they grow, Lenny Bruno Farms has pick-your-own pumpkins this fall. 740 Wading River Rd., Manorville 631-591-3592 lennybrunofarms.com 9-6 p.m. daily.

Lewin Farms
Pick your own pumpkins—and apples, while they last—through late October. Lewin Farms encourages their patrons to call ahead to confirm the daily schedules,which can change. 812 Sound Ave., Calverton. 631-929-4327 Lewinfarm.com 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. daily, except Tuesdays.

May’s Farm Stand
Take the hay ride, wander through the corn maze, ride a pony, and get the kids’ faces painted while picking pumpkins! 6361 Route 25A, Wading River. 631-929-6654. maysfarmny.com 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Sunday.

Rottkamp’s Fox Hollow Farm
From giant pumpkins to baby pumpkins, pick them all here, all month long! 2287 Sound Ave, Baiting Hollow. 631-727-1786. www.facebook.com/Rottkamps-Fox-Hollow-Farm 10 a.m.-6 p.m. weekends.

Milk-Pail Farm and Orchard
They feature more than 60 different varieties of pumpkins ranging from mini ones to massive monstrosities that weigh over 150 pounds! You might need a forklift to pick them. All pumpkins are grown on site. They also have apple picking. 1346 Montauk Hwy., Watermill. 631-537-2565 wwww.milk-pail.com 9.30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Monday, Wednesday- Saturday. 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Sunday.

MORE THINGS TO DO: Apple Picking on Long Island 2016

Schmitt Farms
Schmitt Farms focuses on family fun, including pumpkin picking, a haunted mansion, corn mazes and more, through Oct. 30. They’ve been doing this for years and it shows. 26 Pinelawn Rd., Melville. 631-271-3276. schmittfarms.com 10 a.m-5 p.m. daily.

Schmitt’s Family Farm
Hayrides, bouncy houses, duck races, games and an animal train ride for the kids! 6 Bagatelle Rd., Dix Hills. 631-549-3276. schmittsfamilyfarms.com 8 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday.

Seven Ponds Orchard
Seven Ponds orchard is a “ You Pick Farm,” meaning everything they sell is available for their visitors to pick: berries, vegetables, apples, and, yes, even pumpkins. Alongside the pumpkin patch, Seven Ponds Orchards offers a farmers market, a toyland for the little ones, and, of hayrides. 65 Seven Ponds Rd., Watermill. 631-726-8015. Facebook.com/Seven-Ponds-Orchard 9 a.m.-6 p.m. daily.

Stakeys Pumpkin Farm
This pumpkin farm lets you pick those orange gourds straight off the vine. It also offers hay rides, bouncy houses, and much more fun. 270 West Lane, Aquebogue. 631-722-3467 www.stakeyspumpkinfarm.com 12-5 p.m. Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday.  

W&K Farm
Specializing in mostly homegrown vegetables, flowers and even home-baked goods, W&K Farm is open for business for the pumpkin-picking season. Corner of Wading River Road and South Street, Manorville. Facebook.com/WK-Farms 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Sunday.

White Post Farm
This fifth-generation farm has a month-long fall festival that runs through Oct. 30 with pumpkin picking, live shows, animals, a train ride, bouncy houses, and much more fun! They’ve been doing this for years–and it shows. 250 Old Country Rd., Melville. 631-351-9373. whitepostfarms.com 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, Sunday and Columbus Day.

Windy Acres
Along with the incredible apple selection and fresh produce, Windy Acres Farm is prepped and primed for pumpkin-picking time. It provides tractor rides for kids, and their delicious home-baked goods for everybody else. 3810 Middle Country Rd., Calverton. Facebook.com/Windy-Acres-Farm 9 a.m.-6 p.m. daily.

Do This: Long Island Concerts & Events September 29–October 5

Violent Femmes Paramount
Punk-jazz-folk warlords the Violent Femmes rock The Paramount in Huntington on Oct. 2. (Violent Femmes at Electric Lady Studios Photo by Gus Philippas/WFUV)

George Thorogood & The Destroyers
With more than four decades, over 8,000 live shows, and 15 million albums sold worldwide, George Thorogood and the Destroyers are known today as some of the most bad-to-bone performers in rock. Thorogood began his career as a solo acoustic act and was eventually joined by Jeff Simon on drums, Bill Blough on bass, Jim Suhler on rhythm guitar, and Buddy Leach on sax. Currently embarking on their Badder Than Ever tour, the band’s arsenal contains such rock classics as “Who Do You Love,” “I Drink Alone,” “One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer” and “Move It On Over.” Opening the show is Moreland & Arbuckle. Not to be missed! The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $39.50-$69.50. 8 p.m. Sept. 29.

Boyce Avenue
With more than 8 million subscribers on YouTube, this Sarasota, Fla.-based brother-trio has gained quite a following. Their strong acoustic roots, melodic rock sound, and crisp vocals draw in any crowd, especially their covers and collaborations with artists and groups including Fifth Harmony, Carly Rose Sonenclar and Bea Miller. They are set to debut songs from their brand new album Road Less Traveled, which features 11 original songs. Supporting acts include Leroy Sanchez, Nick Howard & Sam James. Postponed from May 13. The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $20-$40. 7:30 p.m. Sept. 30.

The Band Perry
Kimberly Perry and her younger brothers Neil and Reid have notched a string of hit country/pop/rock singles as The Band Perry since the Alabama natives made their self-titled debut. They include chart-toppers “If I Die Young,” “You Lie” and “All Your Life.” Get ready for an amazing performance! NYCB Theatre at Westbury, 960 Brush Hollow Rd., Westbury. venue.thetheatreatwestbury.com $49.40-$149.50. 8 p.m. Sept. 30.

Billy Mira and The Hitmen
A Vegas-style modern Americana big band (with a bit of edge), Billy Mira and the Hitmen perform hits by Elvis Presley, Tom Jones, Queen, and Stray Cats, as well as comedy bits and Billy’s celebrity impressions. The band brings rollicking fun and humor to any event, so this is bound to be an extraordinary gig of extraordinary songs and knee-slappin’ hilarity! Treme Blues and Jazz Club, 553 Main St., Islip. tremeislip.com $10. 8 p.m. Sept. 30.

Fiesta Latina!
An afternoon of family fun, including games, food and music—all with a Latin theme. Southampton Historical Museum, Rogers Mansion, 17 Meeting House Lane, Southampton. southamptonhistoricalmuseum.org Free. 1-3 p.m. Oct. 1.

MORE THINGS TO DO: Apple Picking on Long Island 2016

The Yannis Pappas Show
The hilarious, young, up-and-coming comic Yannis Pappas from Brooklyn is best known for his work on VH1’s Best Week Ever and co-anchoring the satirical news show Fusion Live. His collaborative videos with his pal Jesse Scaturro on Ditch Films is a YouTube sensation. Yes, he’s got the Greeks in his pocket—one of his best characters is Mr. Panos, a helluva Hellenic booster who owns the fictitious Baby Socrates Diner in Queens—but Pappas is hard to pigeon-hole. Another character he does is Maurica Rodriguez, a pre-op transsexual Puerto Rican from the Lower East Side looking for a husband from Westchester to help “her” complete herself. Race relations, sexual relationships, celebrity couplings, and economic uncouplings, all topics are fair game in the fertile imagination of Yannis Pappas! Get ready to laugh, laugh, laugh! Governor’s Comedy Club, 90 Division Ave., Levittown. govs.govs.com 8 p.m. Sept. 30, 7, 9:30 p.m. Oct. 1.

Bad Religion & Against Me!
The punk rock gods are surely smiling, as Bad Religion and Against Me! join forces on a tour destined to be one for the books. Bad Religion brings four decades of experience and modern masterworks such as The Dissent of Man and True North, and are hoping to finish recording their new album by the end ofthis year. Against Me! is led by singer Laura Jane Grace (who came out as transgender in 2012 and released an album about it) and has released seven successful full-lengths, their most recent being Shape Shift with Me, unveiled this month. Together, these bands deliver an unforgettable performance. Opening the show is Dave Hause. The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $25-$75. 7:30 p.m. Oct. 1.

José Feliciano
The singer-guitarist known for the ever-popular holiday ear candy “Feliz Navidad” will be rocking out on this mega-gem, as well as many more. Get ready to be wowed and sing along! Patchogue Theatre for the Performing Arts, 71 East Main St., Patchogue. patchoguetheatre.org $45. 8 p.m. Oct. 1.

Dick Fox’s Golden Boys
Comprised of Frankie Avalon and Fabian and Bobby Rydell, this band has been packing out venues since 1985. With tribute material to Elvis Presley, Bobby Darin, Rick Nelson, and Bill Haley on their repertoire, as well as original songs like “Kissin Time,” “Turn Me Loose,” “Tiger,” and “Wild One,” these three stars continue to wow crowds, and their chemistry during live performances is historically on fire! NYCB Theatre at Westbury, 960 Brush Hollow Rd., Westbury. venue.thetheatreatwestbury.com $49.50-$99.50. 8 p.m. Oct. 1.

That ‘70s Band
New York’s leading ’70s disco/funk cover band unleash energetic and powerful sets of dance music that will surely get fans up on their feet and groovin’ to the music! Donna Summer, Earth, Wind, and Fire, Kool and the Gang, and CHIC are just some of the many groups they cover. Bumpin’ horns, an ultra-tight rhythm section, and a super-talented vocal front line ensure every gig is unforgettable. These hellraisers make live music dance music again by tearing away on mind-blowing medleys that meld all the classics. Get ready to shake your groove-thang! Yow. The Space at Westbury, 250 Post Ave., Westbury. thespaceatwestbury.com $20-$30. 8 p.m. Oct. 1.

MORE THINGS TO DO: Long Island Fall Festivals and Fairs 2016

The Seeds: Pushin’ Too Hard
Using vintage footage, rare photos, memorabilia and audio, and fresh interviews with band members and associates as well as notable fans and observers, Pushin’ Too Hard relates the bizarre rage-to-riches-to-rags tale of the rock quartet who took Los Angeles by storm in the mid-60s. Screening followed by Q&A with Director Neil Norman in person. Cinema Arts Centre, 423 Park Ave. Huntington. cinemaartscentre.org $5-$12. 8 p.m. Oct. 1.

Emma Donoghue
This international best-selling author will be speaking and signing her new book The Wonder. Book Revue, 313 New York Ave., Huntington. bookrevue.com Free with purchase of book. 1 p.m. Oct. 2.

Essential Survival Guide to School
Based on the children’s book series by Barbara Park, Junie B. has been going to school for over one-and-a-half years. Who better, then, to write the book on everything you need to know? From bus rules to band-aids, carpools to cookies, Junie B. and friends deliver the definitive word on surviving and thriving in style. With a jillion tips, tricks and trip ups, Junie B. shares her hard-won expertise and shows us all how school is sometimes scary, sometimes super-fun, and always something to sing about. With music by Zina Goldrich and lyrics by Marcy Heisler, this fun afternoon of theatre is not to be missed. Adelphi University Performing Arts Center (AUPAC), Black Box Theatre, 1 South Ave., Garden City. aupac.adelphi.edu $20. 3 p.m. Oct. 2.

Tres Chicos de Chile
This not-to-be-missed artistic convergence features a reception marking the opening of a pop-up art exhibit that includes artists of the New York Contemporary Art Symposium 2016 alongside local artists working in similar concepts and mediums. Work featured in this exhibition will be the result of the artists time spent creating here in NY, on the grounds of Brookwood Hall. Exhibit runs through Nov. 1. Islip Arts Museum, 50 Irish Lane, East Islip. $5. 6 p.m. Oct. 2.

Gladys Knight
Smooth and sweet soul music will be lilting through Long Island thanks to superstar Gladys Knight, who will be performing her most famous songs, including “You’re the Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me” and “Midnight Train To Georgia.” Opening the show is Freddie Jackson. Don’t miss this living legend, performing live, in all her glory! NYCB Theatre at Westbury, 960 Brush Hollow Rd., Westbury. venue.thetheatreatwestbury.com  $65-$99.50. 7:30 p.m. Oct. 2.

Violent Femmes
Ever the folk-punk-country-jazz-Americana experimentalists and Always an Amazing live show, these Milwaukee-bred hellraisers are one of Press music critic Zack Tirana’s absolute favorites, and he’s branded them a must-see, must-dance, must-experience masterpiece. The trio is perhaps best known for anthems “Blister in the Sun” and “Add it Up,” which were both featured on Billboard‘s Top 200 List, but their arsenal spans more than three decades and includes many, many more unbelievable songs. After 16 years, they’ve dropped We Can Do Anything, which pretty much sums up the band. With bizarre tempo changes and a brand new style, it’s bound to be another absolute classic, and this gig is bound to be absolutely unforgettable. Will they play “Waiting For The Bus,” “American Music” or “Gone Daddy Gone”? Will singer Gordon Gano hop off the stage and dosey-do with Tirana? Will they close with the epic “Good Feeling”!? Only one way to find out. Presented by the best radio station in the world, WFUV, this gig is truly Not To Be Missed! Opening the show is Christopher John Campion. The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $20-$75. 8 p.m. Oct. 2.

MORE THINGS TO DO: Long Island Oktoberfest 2016 Events

Mike Massimino
What was it like, to travel up into space, and stare back down at the blue-brown orb of our precious extraordinary world, wondering whether in fact we are alone in this fascinating universe, or but one in an infinite number of curious species, all hurling around great cosmic flashes of light, ever-seeking to learn and defy the very laws of nature which define our realms? This engineer, former NASA astronaut, and Long Island native, can help answer these and any other burning questions you may be harboring about the great mystery of space, and will signing copies of his new book Spaceman: An Astronaut’s Unlikely Journey to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe. Come and be enlightened! Book Revue, 313 New York Ave., Huntington. bookrevue.com Free with purchase of book. 7 p.m. Oct. 4.

Taking Back Sunday
Long Island’s very own Taking Back Sunday is regarded as the quintessential emo band, and this gig is that special chance to catch them all up close and personal, ripping through hit after hit after hit and proving why. Come bop and sing along! Opening the show is You Blew It! Revolution Bar & Music Hall, 140 Merrick Rd., Amityville. revolutionli.com $35, $40 DOS. 7 p.m. Oct. 4.

Idiocracy
The cast and filmmakers behind this cult classic satire mark the 10th Anniversary of its release with screening nationwide, a worldwide livestream Q&A and voter registration drive. The movie depicts an impossible future in which our collective intelligence had dropped so low it threatened to destroy the world. Sound familiar? Cinema Arts Centre, 423 Park Ave. Huntington. cinemaartscentre.org $5-$12. 9:45 p.m. Oct. 4.

Circle Mirror Transformation
Adelphi University Department of Theatre presents a play about four lost New Englanders who enroll in a six-week-long community center drama class. The misfits begin to experiment with harmless games, hearts are quietly torn apart, and tiny wars of epic proportions are waged and won. Adelphi University Performing Arts Center (AUPAC), Black Box Theatre, 1 South Ave., Garden City. aupac.adelphi.edu Oct. 4-9.

Melissa Hartwing
Author of the New York Times best-selling diet book, The Whole30, will be speaking and signing copies of her latest, Food Freedom Forever: Letting Go of Bad Habits, Guilt, and Anxiety Around Food. Book Revue, 313 New York Ave., Huntington. bookrevue.com Free with purchase of book. 7 p.m. Oct. 5.

Colin Ryan
One of a kind comedic speaker Colin Ryan brings financial expertise as well as a background as an author to hold interactive discussions about ambition, money management, and career skills. Colin also provides financial literacy training and professional development to numerous organizations and institutions. Named one of the top youth money presenters in the nation, Ryan uses honesty, pop culture jokes, and powerful stories to communicate his core idea: Your ability to manage money directly affects your ability to have the life you want. Patchogue Theatre for the Performing Arts, 71 East Main St., Patchogue.  patchoguetheatre.org Free. 7:30 p.m. Oct. 5.

Brothers Osborne
Brothers Osborne is a country music duo composed of brothers T.J. and John Osborne. Once a part of a small hometown band called Deuce, these brothers have gone on to receive a Grammy nomination in the 50th annual Grammy Awards for their debut, Pawn Shop. Embarking on their “Dirt Rich Tour,” with more than 45 shows, BO will be rocking the infectious sounds of Nashville, and leaving all those in attendance with no other option but to sway the night away. Opening the show is Mickey Guyton & Tucker Beathard. The Emporium, 9 Railroad Ave., Patchogue. theemporiumny.com $30-$40. 8 p.m. Oct. 5.

-Compiled by Ellie Schoeffel, Natalie Coloprisco, Timothy Bolger & Zachary B. Tirana III

Main Art: Punk-jazz-folk warlords the Violent Femmes rock The Paramount in Huntington on Oct. 2. (Violent Femmes at Electric Lady Studios Photo by Gus Philippas/WFUV)

Inaugural Queens Beer Festival Welcomes Long Island Breweries Oct. 15 & 16

craft beer

Three Long Island craft breweries will be among more than two dozen artisan brew producers from across the region taking part in the first annual Queens Beer Festival next month in Long Island City.

Queens Beer Festival

New York is home to an exploding craft beer scene and now ranks within the top five nationally in both the number of breweries and economic impact. As for Long Island, there are more than 30 craft breweries dotting the region, and several others in the works.

Long Island’s trio joins many of the top microbreweries from throughout the five boroughs on hand the weekend of Oct. 15 and 16 in Long Island City for the inaugural Queens Beer Festival.

Attendees will have an opportunity to taste a wide selection of hand-crafted beers from breweries in Queens, along with a curated selection of brews from Long Island, Brooklyn, The Bronx and Staten Island.

RELATED: Ultimate Long Island Craft Beer & Brewery Guide

LI Breweries

The three Long Island breweries on tap for unlimited tastings at the Queens Beer Festival include: 1) Garvies Point Brewery, located in Glen Cove, serving up such contemporary craft beers as Prybil Pale Ale, Port Service Porter, White Squall and Gold Coast, the latter of which celebrates the iconic history of the Long Island Gold Coast. 2) Greenport Harbor Brewing Co., located in a restored historical firehouse in Greenport, is the brainchild of college buddies determined to make great beer right on the North Fork of LI. 3) Blue Point Brewing Co., where the owners’ passion for the collision between the art and science of brewing led to award-winning beer with a Long Island sensibility. Toasted Lager, their first beer brewed, is its flagship.

While sampling IPAs, an abundance of ales, savory lagers, and whatever else these creative brewers can come up with, revelers can enjoy views of Midtown Manhattan with live music and global food vendors representing the ethnic diversity in Queens.

What You Need To Know

The event will take place at the popular LIC Flea & Food Market, at the corner of 46th Avenue and 5th Street in Long Island City.

Tickets start at just $29 for each session. Enter the “LIPRESS” discount code at checkout for 10 percent off admission!

For more information, and to purchase tickets, visit www.QueensBeerFestival.com.

Hofstra Students: Clinton Beat Trump In Presidential Debate

Hofstra Presidential Debate
Hofstra University students packed its main dining hall to watch the historic first 2016 presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump on Sept. 26. (Long Island Press / Jaime Franchi)

By Spencer Rumsey, Jaime Franchi & Christopher Twarowski

A random sampling of Hofstra University students who watched the presidential debate on a giant projector screen inside its main dining hall Monday gave Hillary Clinton the nod for outperforming her rival, Donald Trump, during the 90-minute contest held on campus nearby.

“Trump was all over the place,” Chinenye Oguejiofor, a 20-year-old senior majoring in finance, told the Press minutes after the historic, oftentimes heated showdown. “She was strong, powerful, composed. She has her facts.”

“Donald Trump kept going on and on about different things,” explained Daniel Maldonado, a junior from Texas. “He wasn’t really answering the question. Hillary went straight to the question.”

“Hillary won by a mile!” said Kemi Anazodo, a 19-year-old freshwoman majoring in mass media studies, global studies and geography. “She knows what she is talking about, and she tells us exactly what she is going to do. I know what to expect from her presidency. Trump is an isolationist.”

Cheyenne Davis, a junior from Baltimore, agreed with Anazodo’s assessment of Trump’s foreign policy.

“He’s definitely going to create problems with different countries, and we don’t need that right now,” she said. “So Hillary is best for us.”

The first of three such presidential debates this election cycle—and a record-setting third consecutive for Hofstra—was characterized by frequently tense barbs between Democratic nominee Clinton and Republican Trump, with topics ranging from national security and race relations to the state of the economy and foreign policy (and Trump’s refusal to make public his tax returns), among others. The matchup was moderated by NBC News anchor Lester Holt.

Students packed the university’s cafeteria to view the two candidates battle it out and broke into collective applause and cheers on several occasions, most notably when student debt and criminal justice reform were discussed. They laughed loudly when Trump proclaimed he had a “much better temperament” than Clinton. She rebuked him with a comical “Whooo, okay. ” Then she followed up his assertion by saying: “A man who can be provoked by a Tweet should not have his fingers anywhere near the nuclear codes.”

Related: Clinton, Trump Spar at 1st Presidential Debate at Hofstra

On the home front, two Hofstra students, both from the Bronx, took issue with Trump’s dire description of urban conditions for African Americans like them.

“I think that African American communities have a lot of problems, but they also have a lot of promise,” said Adrie Bailey, who just graduated with a degree in finance. “I am a Democrat, but in another election I could vote for a Republican, but not Donald Trump, because he doesn’t care enough about the African American community. He doesn’t care enough about the voters whose lives are affected by the government to actually learn about the issues and to come up with concrete policy proposals or even an understanding of what those communities face. And that, to me as an African American, is an insult.”

“Just going to a black church once in this campaign season doesn’t really show you the issues,” said Courtney Moore, a senior majoring in journalism. She said she found Trump’s portrayal of her community an insult, and she took umbrage at Trump’s support of the unconstitutional “stop and frisk” police program that disproportionately targeted African American men.

“He thinks he knows the answers better than anyone else, and he really doesn’t,” said Moore. She did offer the Republican candidate some suggestions.

“I think he needs to find better advisors, since he obviously is not an African American male himself,” she said. She wanted Trump to use current statistics when talking about urban crime and not just data from when “Giuliani was mayor.” Former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani was one of Trump’s invited guests at Hofstra.

Trump’s debating style also came under criticism from this handful of students.

“I think he acted like a child,” freshman drama major Sam Kaufman told the Press shortly after the showdown, concluding that Clinton won “hands down” and came across as “more intelligent” and “more professional” than Trump—noting that she also “didn’t interrupt” moderators, as Trump had.

“I honestly think Hillary destroyed it,” observed Trey Jackson, a junior from Seattle. “Donald Trump either just evaded the question or just tried to attack Hillary. And when he tried to attack her, she usually had a better comeback. Then she went off the comeback into an actual plan.”

“She actually had real answers, and she didn’t get frustrated,” said Moore. “She was very pragmatic.”

“Secretary Clinton crushed it tonight,” added Bailey. “She really forced Trump to fight over the specifics, and he wasn’t able to convince anyone he had the specifics. He started off strong, but she really got under his skin. And I think that’s the whole point. She was trying to show America that he can’t be trusted. He doesn’t have tough enough skin to lead the country.”

Asked about her fellow millennials who reportedly tend to support Green Party candidate Jill Stein instead of Clinton or Trump, Moore doubted that Clinton’s dominating performance at the debate won any of them over.

“If you’re still with Jill Stein, you’re still going to be with Jill Stein at this point,” she said with a laugh.

And that’s an observation that Clinton, who’s trying to be the first American woman elected president, probably doesn’t want to hear.

Clinton, Trump Spar at 1st Presidential Debate at Hofstra

presidential debate Hofstra University

By Timothy Bolger and Rashed Mian

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and her Republican rival, Donald Trump, traded barbs in frequently tense exchanges when they shared a stage for the first time Monday during the presidential debate at Hofstra University.

Clinton and Trump each alternated between detailing policy proposals, attacking one another’s records and defending past mistakes during the 90-minute televised debate moderated by NBC News anchor Lester Holt. Topics ranged from the economy to national security and race relations, although the candidates occasionally side-stepped Holt and directly responded to one another as each sought to prove themselves to America’s undecided voters.

“A man who can be provoked by a tweet should not have his fingers anywhere near the nuclear codes,” Clinton said, reiterating a one-liner from her nomination acceptance speech that alluded to Trump’s frequent Twitter feuds.

Trump, who said the line was getting old, maintained that he has the better temperament to be president and questioned the quality of her credentials.

“Hillary has experience, but it’s bad experience,” Trump said.

The debate—the third for Hofstra and the first of three for the candidates this election cycle—was expected to draw ratings rivaling the Super Bowl. As it neared the end, the live studio audience disregarded Holt’s request that they not cheer. And once it was over, the campaigns for both candidates were quick to claim victory.

At no point were the differences between the two candidates more stark than when they discussed their policy plans. For example, Clinton said she backed alternatives to incarceration and doing away with minimum mandatory sentencing, among other ideas, to reverse systemic racism in the criminal justice system. Trump, on the other hand, said he would restore the controversial “stop-and-frisk” policies in New York City, which Holt noted were struck down as unconstitutional. Trump claimed that ruling would have been overturned if the city had appealed.

While the exchanges were often testy, the gloves really came off when Holt asked Trump about his tax returns. Trump, who maintained he can’t release them because he’s being audited, said he will do that “once she releases her 33,000 emails.” Clinton apologized for her role in using a private email server when she was Secretary of State and said it was a mistake, but asserted that Trump’s real reason for not releasing his tax returns is they will show that he’s neither as rich as he publicly claims, nor as charitable.


“She talked to the American people about jobs, about having prosperity that is shared across the spectrum.” – Donna Brazile, acting DNC chairwoman


For all the tit-for-tat, there were also a few moments of levity and agreement. Trump said he agrees with Clinton’s call for barring those on the no-fly list from buying guns as well as the need for child care reform. Trump sparked laughs when he alluded to a 400-lb. hacker sitting on his bed somewhere and Clinton got chuckles when she urged fact-checkers to get to work on Trump’s debate claims.

But those moments were fleeting. In a stunning denunciation, Clinton called Trump racist for challenging the citizenship of America’s first black president.

“He tried to put the whole racist birther lie to bed. But it can’t be dismissed that easily,” Clinton said. “He has really started his political activity based on this racist lie that our first black president was not an American citizen. There was absolutely no evidence for it, but he persisted—he persisted year after year because some of his supporters, people that he was trying to bring into his fold, apparently believed it or wanted to believe it.”

Trump, as Holt noted, did not cease questioning Obama’s citizenship after the president produced his birth certificate in 2011—but continued even into the presidential primary.

“He has a long record of engaging in racist behavior, and the birther lie was a very hurtful one,” Clinton said, referring to two Justice Department probes into Trump’s alleged racial discrimination in his real estate business in the ’70s.

Trump claimed it was Clinton’s camp who started digging into Obama’s past during the 2008 primary. Holt reiterated that it was him.

The debate kicked off with questions about how each candidate would move the economy further. Clinton said it was vital to build an economy that “works for everybody, not just those on top.” She would do that by investing in infrastructure, manufacturing, technological innovations and clean renewable energy.

That’s when Trump pounced, criticizing her past support for the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and her husband’s implementation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Trump contested that other nations, mainly China and Mexico, are stealing American jobs and companies.

Of China, he said: “They’re using our country as a piggy bank to rebuild” their economy.


“He was presidential but he was also tough.” – Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford)


Trump, who has made trade deals a central issue of his campaign, said his plan to reduce taxes on the wealthy would lead to more jobs.

Trump, the self-proclaimed “Law and Order” candidate, demurred when asked about what he’d do about homegrown terror. Instead he placed the blame of ISIS’ rise in the Middle East on Clinton and Obama for creating a power “vacuum” by pulling American troops out of Iraq.

Clinton shrugged off the criticism as untrue, claiming it was President George W. Bush who had agreed to the date in which troops would be pulled out, and the Iraqi government wouldn’t relent upon their insistence the American soldiers leave the country.

Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford) said afterward in the spin room at Hofstra that he was pleased with Trump’s performance, adding that he thought the billionaire looked presidential.

“To me, he conducted himself extremely well tonight,” King said. “He was presidential but he was also tough.”

Unsurprisingly, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus proclaimed Trump the winner.

“I think Donald Trump did a great job,” he said, adding that the American people want to “pick the change candidate and want to see the next president of the United States on stage, and I think that’s what they saw.”

Acting Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Donna Brazile said Clinton was effective in speaking directly to the American people.

“I thought Secretary Clinton did a fantastic job tonight,” she said. “She talked to the American people about jobs, about having prosperity that is shared across the spectrum. She talked to the American public about the future of this country.”

The debate amounted to a streamlined version of both nominating conventions in which Trump focused on the purported problems in America today, while Clinton expressed a desire to continue the success of the Obama administration.

But, at the end of the day, it’s on American voters to decide which narrative they relate to more.

Long Island First Presidential Debate Viewing Parties

presidential debate Hofstra University

Long Islanders who want to watch the first presidential debate but couldn’t get tickets to see it live at Hofstra University can meet up at more than a half dozen local viewing parties.

Republican candidate Donald Trump is scheduled to face off against his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, at 9 p.m. Monday in the first of three debates. It will be broadcast live on all the major networks as well as online.

Here are a few of the local venues hosting free Presidential Debate Viewing Parties:

Long Island Debate Viewing Party
Holiday Inn  Express, 3131 Nesconsett Hwy., Stony Brook. 7:30 p.m.

Huntington Republican Committee
VFW Post 1469, 210 West Pulaski Rd., Huntington Station. 7:30 p.m.

Debate Watch
Hofstra University, Fortunoff Theater, Monroe Lecture Center, Hempstead Tpke., Hempstead. 8 p.m.

Press Club of Long Island
Black Forest Brew Haus, 2015 New Hwy., Farmingdale. 8:30 p.m.

Hillary for New York Official Debate Watch Party
The Space at Westbury, 250 Post Ave., Westbury. 8:30 p.m.

Adelphi University, 1 South Ave., Garden City, Blogett 109 8:30 p.m.

Cinema Arts Center, 423 Park Ave., Huntington. 9 p.m.

Bay Street Theater, 1 Bay St., Sag Harbor. 9 p.m.

Silent No Longer: Brentwood Residents Detail MS-13’s “Control Through Fear”

By Kevin Deutsch ‎

Cesar Hernandez felt a bone in his cheek crack as the Brentwood gangsters pummeled his face, the sound reminding him of a “branch breaking, like a crunch.”

It was a rainy afternoon in June 2013, and Hernandez, then 16, had just been attacked by four members of one of Long Island’s most notorious MS-13 sets: The Brentwood Locos Salvatruchas, also known as B.L.S.

The reason for the “beatdown,” these gang members told him: Hernandez’s older brother had been spotted selling marijuana within MS-13’s sprawling territory. Since they’d been unable to track his brother down and retaliate for the territorial infraction, it was Cesar, they said, who’d have to pay the price.

“I didn’t get a chance to say anything to them,” Hernandez recalled Wednesday, sharing his account of the gang assault with a reporter for the first time. “They jumped me when I was walking home and… just started pounding on me.”

The blows rained down on Hernandez’s face, head, chest, arms, and ribs, leaving him with several broken bones in his face, two black eyes, and a handful of cracked ribs, he says. Hernandez was treated at a local hospital, and police took a report on the incident. The gang members responsible for the assault all ended up in jail or prison within a year, locked up on a host of weapons, drug, and assault charges unrelated to Hernandez’s case, he recalls.

But it wasn’t long before those gangsters were replaced by more aggressive members—young men who’d risen rapidly through the B.L.S. hierarchy, and were anxious to make a name for themselves in the Long Island underworld.

“They got too many [members] for the police to get rid of them completely,” Hernandez says of B.L.S., adding that the set’s members have long been involved in a small number of heroin, marijuana, and cocaine operations in Brentwood and surrounding areas. In addition, several of the gang’s leaders oversee protection rackets that extort illegal immigrants and off-the-books workers in the area. They also sell stolen cars, commit robberies, and fence stolen goods to fund their criminal enterprises, authorities and victims say.

“If you don’t pay them, they beat on you, they cut you, they come after your people,” says Wilfredo Ortiz, 43, a Brentwood cook who says his food truck was vandalized by MS-13 members after he refused to pay them protection money in 2014.

“They took away our family’s livelihood,” says Ortiz’s sister, Yvette. “They want to control people. They want to control through fear.”

“We can’t be silent about it anymore,” she adds.

Interviews this week with more than a dozen Brentwood residents who say they’ve had run-ins with B.L.S. highlight the extent to which members of MS-13 in general, and B.L.S. in particular, have ingrained themselves in the fabric of life in this community—and created a climate of fear.

Brentwood residents’ fear is for good reason. The community was ranked as having the highest concentration of gang members in the county, according to a 2012 report by the Suffolk County Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (SCCJCC). The study counted 4,103 gang members concentrated in neighborhoods with high poverty rates.

MS-13 boasts numerous sets across LI, police officials say, but nowhere are the gang’s ranks larger—or its members more brazen—than in Suffolk County, which by some estimates has been home to more than 1,000 MS-13 members over the past decade, according to a retired law enforcement official with first-hand knowledge of anti-gang operations on the Island. That’s double the number of MS-13 members the SCCJCC study tallied.

Adding to the problem in Brentwood are rival gangs such as the Bloods, Crips, and Salvadorans With Pride, whose members are locked in perpetual conflict with MS-13. Violence between the groups can break out for any number of reasons, ranging from an incident of perceived disrespect to an improper incursion onto another gang’s turf, authorities say.

B.L.S. is considered particularly dangerous because of its routine targeting not just of rival gangs, but of civilians, suspected police informants, and even its own members.

“If they think you might talk to the cops, to anybody with a badge, you’re not going to be around, believe me,” says one Brentwood 17-year-old, who spoke through a translator and asked to remain anonymous out of fear MS-13 members would harm him. “Even if you’ve been in [MS-13] for a long time, if you go against the rules or they don’t trust you…” Here, the teenager mimes cutting his neck. “That’s it.”

The issue of gang violence in Suffolk returned to the spotlight in the past two weeks when police discovered the remains of four teenagers, all of whom authorities suspect may have been victims of gang violence linked to MS-13, sources say.

The bodies of Brentwood High School students Nisa Mickens, 15, and Kayla Cuevas, 16, were badly beaten, police said. In a wooded area about two miles from the elementary school near where the girls were found, police discovered the skeletal remains of 19-year-old Oscar Acosta, who was reported missing under suspicious circumstances in May, and Miguel Moran, 15.

Police have not publicly confirmed that they suspect MS-13 is responsible for all four killings, but the retired law enforcement official with knowledge of local gangs said B.L.S. members are a focus of the probe. An active law enforcement official, also with knowledge of the probe, substantiated that information.

“This is their MO,” the retired official said of B.L.S. “They consider themselves the baddest of the bad.”

Suffolk Police Commissioner Timothy Sini has said authorities are doing “everything in their power” to solve the killings and target local gangs. They also scoured the grounds of Pilgrim State Psychiatric Center this week, which Sini called “doing our due diligence to fully investigate the area for evidence.”

The commissioner put the gangs on notice while touting his department’s enhanced patrols, increased cooperation with the FBI’s Long Island Gang Task Force and having a gang member in federal custody. The crackdown, a host of community meetings on the issue and re-energized community watches are much like the reaction to an even deadlier spate of gang violence in the community seven years ago.

“The only people in Brentwood who have something to fear are the criminals,” Sini said. “And we are going to do everything in our power to bring those accountable to justice.”

For Yvette Ortiz and other locals long accustomed to gang violence, the commissioner’s words have brought little comfort.

“I believe they’re doing everything they can” to stop B.L.S, Ortiz says of law enforcement. “But they’ve [gang members] been here a long time. It’s not going to be so easy.”

Long-Running Fight Over Downtown Development Finally Turns a Corner

By Neal Lewis 

Vacancy rates for stores in Farmingdale are down to just 3 percent. There’s a new buzz of activity with family events and after-work concerts all signaling that this downtown is on the rise. It creates an infectious energy that underpins the growing appeal of Long Island’s latest downtown developments.

For over a decade I’ve served on the Nassau County Planning Commission, and it’s remarkable how the discussions of proposed multifamily housing have evolved. The questions frequently asked today are: Is the proposed development in a downtown? Is it near transit? Is it consistent with “smart growth” Is it walkable, with stores nearby? Is it affordable?

Increasingly, proposed projects come to the commission with community support already established, because developers understand that they must address local concerns about traffic, parking, impact on schools, and street-appeal.

The change in tone is due in part to ongoing public education by entities like the Long Island Index, which has highlighted the competitive positioning of LI and the “brain drain” of college graduates leaving the Island for regions with more housing options. Credit is also due to Vision Long Island, which focuses on working with communities “from the bottom up.” This nonprofit group recognizes projects that successfully implement “smart growth” principles such as walkability, mixed-use, transit access, community collaboration, and a clear sense of place.

Both organizations have emphasized the advantages of transit-oriented downtown developments that increase density where it can be handled most efficiently and decrease pressure to build on open space that should be preserved.

There are significant environmental benefits to “smart growth” developments that reduce reliance on cars, maximize the use of infrastructure, and concentrate vitality. Sustainability is enhanced when all of that is achieved.

The greatest challenge now is to make downtown developments affordable, so that those earning more modest incomes, including recent college graduates, can live on their own on Long Island. Typically, the multifamily rental housing that is being proposed is either luxury or senior housing.

New York State requires that 10 percent of new multifamily housing be affordable, but only under certain circumstances. The requirement does not apply to rental properties, and it only applies to subdivisions when a “density bonus” incentive is sought. Even then, the developer can build the affordable units in another community or avoid the requirement altogether by paying into a fund.

A policy recently adopted by the Village of Garden City may provide a better solution. It comes in the wake of lengthy litigation and responds to a federal judicial ruling, which may signal that federal courts will no longer tolerate exclusionary zoning.

The policy requires that new multifamily subdivisions be at least 10-percent affordable. The affordable units must be built at the same time and in the same community; there is no option to pay into a fund, and the 10-percent affordable set-aside is mandatory, rather than merely incentivized.

Another solution is to revisit the minimum size of apartments as required in local codes. Smaller apartments with newly designed, space-efficient, convertible furniture could enable costs to be reduced without reducing functionality.

The demand for affordable downtown housing is clear. At the smart growth developments that are being built, there are few vacancies. The question is: Will the Long Islanders who want to live downtown be able to?

Long Islanders increasingly prefer that option for themselves and their children. A recent survey by the Long Island Index found that while 15 percent of Long Islanders currently live in an apartment, a condo or a townhouse, 29 percent said they want to live in one of those options in five years. In addition, a majority of LI residents supported raising height limits in local downtowns to build apartments—a change supported by 70 percent of residents aged 18-34. And 60 percent of the Island’s residents said the lack of affordable housing is a very or extremely serious problem.

Long Islanders want more affordable housing downtown. Although most of the new units being built are not affordable, there has been a change in tone and substance heard in planning board and town board hearings across Long Island. Many new multifamily projects have already been approved and built. This experience should pave the way for more downtown housing options in our future.

Neal Lewis, a resident of Massapequa, is executive director of the Sustainability Institute at Molloy College and a member of the Nassau County Planning Commission.

Illustration by two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Walt Handelsman

hofstra transfer day today
hofstra transfer day today