By Timothy Bolger, Rashed Mian and Christopher Twarowski
Two-term Republican Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano remained defiant Thursday following his indictment on federal corruption charges including bribery, fraud and extortion, as he addressed reporters outside the Alfonse M. D’Amato United States Courthouse in Central Islip after posting $500,000 bail. He insisted that he would not step down as the county’s highest elected official, despite a growing chorus of elected officials asking him to do so.
“America’s the greatest country in the world, and I’ll have an opportunity when, at the proper time, to present my evidence that revokes, trumps any of this nonsense that I would ever do anything that sacrifices my oath of office,” he told the throng of journalists before joining his wife Linda, who was also charged by federal prosecutors, in an awaiting black SUV.
His words were jumbled with emotion.
“This was a 25-year-old friend. He was like a sister to my wife, a brother and a sister—it’s ridiculous, but I can’t say any more,” Mangano continued, flanked by his lawyers. “I’m going to tell you this: I’m going to continue to govern. I’m going to go to work. America’s the greatest country in the world. And you’ll all have an opportunity to hear everything and decide for yourselves.
“God bless you,” he concluded.
Federal agents arrested the Manganos as well as Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto Thursday morning. They indicted the trio on a slew of conspiracy charges including bribery, wire fraud, extortion and obstruction of justice for lying to investigators about their participation in an alleged pay-to-play scheme involving a local businessman known in the 20-page indictment as “Co-Conspirator #1,” who was widely reported to be Harendra Singh, a Syosset-based restaurateur charged last year with fraud and bribing an Oyster Bay official.
All three have pleaded not guilty. They each face 20 years in prison if convicted.
Among the 13 counts against Mangano, federal investigators allege that between January 2010 and February 2015, he and Venditto received bribes and kickbacks from Singh in exchange for lucrative county contracts and the Town of Oyster Bay’s guaranteeing $20 million in bank loans in connection with Singh’s status as a town concessionaire.
In addition to hotel and travel expenses for the Manganos—ranging from exotic Caribbean trips to Turks and Caicos, St. Thomas and Florida’s Marco and Amelia islands, as well as to Niagara Falls—federal prosecutors allege those kickbacks included a more than $3,300 “ergonomic office chair;” a massage chair from Brookstone valued at more than $3,600; a $7,304 Panerai Luminor watch; new hardwood flooring in the Mangano’s bedroom; free meals; and a “no-show” job for Linda that paid her more than $450,000.
According to the federal charges, Venditto and his family members and associates were showered with free limousine rides and the use of Singh’s restaurants for fundraisers at discounted rates, as well as use of a basement conference room.
All three attempted to cover up their wrongdoing, authorities allege. Linda Mangano and Venditto have also been charged with making false statements to federal law enforcement.
Venditto’s Garden City-based attorney, Brian Griffin, made a brief statement to reporters on his client’s behalf:
“Mr. Venditto is clear that he is not guilty of these charges, and he intends to vigorously defend them,” Griffin told reporters, characterizing the allegations as “underwhelming.”
“Mr. Venditto has served the citizens of the Town of Oyster Bay for 40 years,” Griffin added. “He has done it with distinction. He has done it with diligence. And he has done it ethically. Nothing in this indictment today changes that.”
Should Mangano step down, the Nassau Legislature would have to vote on a replacement, a spokesperson for Republican Presiding Officer Norma L. Gonsalves told the Press.
Gonsalves, in a statement, said she and the legislature were “alarmed by the allegations, but must allow the legal process to play out.”
Mangano’s staunch defiance flies in the face of a growing chorus of other Long Island GOP lawmakers including state Senators Jack Martins, Carl Marcellino and Kemp Hannon who’ve been calling for both him and Venditto to resign, and local legislators to immediately begin the process of replacing them.
“The public process has to continue,” Martins told reporters at an impromptu joint press conference with Marcellino and Hannon outside Nassau Legislature headquarters in Mineola Thursday morning. Martins is in a tough race with former Nassau County Executive Tom Suozzi, a Democrat, to succeed Rep. Steve Israel (D-Dix Hills), who decided not to run again.
“The people come first,” added Marcellino, who is facing Suffolk County Water Authority Chairman Jim Gaughran, a Democrat, on the Nov. 8 ballot.
“Their alleged actions, if proven true, are a betrayal of the public trust and further shake our trust in government,” Nassau Comptroller George Maragos said in a statement. “Given the nature of the charges, it would be in the best interest of the County if both would resign in order to allow the people’s work to be conducted with unquestionable integrity.”
Maragos has recently switched his party affiliation from Republican to Democrat so he could run for Nassau County executive.
Minority Leader Kevan Abrahams (D-Freeport) said during a press conference that Democrats won’t be calling for Mangano to resign just yet. Instead, he reiterated calls for Republicans to join their colleagues in appointing an independent inspector general to oversee Nassau’s troubled contracting system.
“Today is not a good day for the Nassau County taxpayer,” Abrahams told reporters. “It’s not a good day for the institution of Nassau. It’s not a good day for the majority, minority caucus and obviously not a good day for the county executive.”
Nassau Republican Party boss Joe Mondello declined to comment late Thursday.
By Timothy Bolger, Rashed Mian & Christopher Twarowski
Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano, his wife Linda, and Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto were indicted on federal corruption charges for an alleged bribery scheme, fraud, extortion and lying to investigators.
Prosecutors unsealed the 13-count indictment shortly before the trio was scheduled to be arraigned Thursday at Central Islip federal court. Authorities allege Ed Mangano and Venditto conspired between 2010 and last year to use their power to back loans for and award contracts to a businessman, who in turn gave them kickbacks and a $450,000 no-show job for Linda. All three have pleaded not guilty.
“Sady, we’re again confronted with public officials who have allegedly abused their positions of trust, in this case, the highest-ranking elected official in Nassau County, and in the Town of Oyster Bay, for their own corrupt benefit,” Robert Capers, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, told reporters during a news conference.
Prosecutors did not identify the businessman—described in court documents as a co-conspirator—whose bribes were allegedly solicited, but he was widely reported to be Harendra Singh, the Syosset-based restaurateur charged last year with fraud and bribing an Oyster Bay official.
The county executive and town supervisor helped the co-conspirator have Oyster Bay back four loans worth a combined $20 million used to perform capital improvements to his restaurants—money used to renovate both eateries that the co-conspirator was contracted to run in town parks and his own private businesses, Capers said. The co-conspirator defaulted on the last two loans, prosecutors said.
In a separate alleged scheme, the county executive awarded the co-conspirator a $200,000 contract to provide food for the Office of Emergency Management in the two months after Sandy, authorities said.
In exchange for the loans and contract, the co-conspirator gave Linda a “no-show” job from ’10 to ’14 at one of his restaurants, paid for various hotel and travel expenses as well as a new wood floor in his bedroom, and gave him free meal, a massage chair and a Panerai Luminor watch worth $7,304, prosecutors said. The co-conspirator also gave Venditto free limousine rides, discounted catering service for campaign fundraisers and use of a conference room at one of his restaurants, authorities said.
Later, the Manganos and Venditto all made false statements to investigators looking into the scheme, prosecutors said.
All three face up to 20 years in prison, if convicted.
Earlier Thursday, Long Island Republican state Senators Jack Martins, Carl Marcellino and Kemp Hannon, outside the Nassau County Legislature in Mineola, called for Mangano and Venditto’s resignation, urging legislators and the Oyster Bay Town Board to immediately begin the process to replace them. Martins, who’s currently running for U.S. Congress, said he didn’t speak with local GOP leadership prior to the senators’ impromptu press conference, stressing that it was important government work continue “undistracted.”
Nassau Republican Party boss Joe Mondello did not return a request for comment as of press time. His counterpart, Democratic Committee Chair Jay Jacobs, issued a statement characterizing Thursday as “a sad day for Nassau County and a sad day for Ed Mangano, John Venditto and their families,” adding that if true, the allegations “represent a great widespread betrayal of the voters’ trust. Regardless of the legal outcome, there can no longer be any doubt that ‘business as usual’ in Nassau County politics and government must come to an end. The public’s demand for honest, credible and effective government requires it.”
Nassau District Attorney Madeline Singas, whose office began investigating the county’s contract awarding system after disgraced ex-State Sen. Dean Skelos, a Republican, was arrested on corruption charges, said in a statement that reform throughout the current county administration has been a long time coming.
“More than a year ago, I said that Nassau’s archaic financial and oversight practices were a recipe for corruption and I proposed comprehensive reforms that the Legislature and County Executive have stonewalled,” she said. “Today’s charges and our investigations underscore the importance of passing strict ethics and oversight reforms to protect taxpayers, and I renew my call for immediate action to drain this cesspool of corruption and restore confidence in the integrity of our government.”
Nassau Presiding Officer Norma L. Gonsalves, a Republican, in a statement, said she and the legislature were “alarmed by the allegations, but must allow the legal process to play out. In the meantime, it is our mission to ensure that the operations of County government are unaffected and that we continue to provide the services our residents expect and deserve.”
Main Art: Not Smiling Anymore: Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto (L), Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano (R), and his wife Linda (Not Pictured) were arrested Thursday, October 20, 2016 and indicted on federal corrupution charges including a bribery scheme, obstruction of justice and extortion. (Long Island Press / Christopher Twarowski)
The Weekend Riot
Johnny Costa and Bruce Weigner comprise the must-watch Weekend Riot, hailing from Philly, who aim to break the conventional pop music mold. Armed with numerous covers, as well as original hits, such as “25 Minutes” and “Remember This Night,” this duo has been wowing crowds since 2014, both in live shows and on their popular YouTube channel. They dig engaging the audience at shows, so attendees should be prepared to participate, and of course, rock out! Warming up the crowd are Vista, Kenzie Moore, Sarah Barrios, Call The Station and Jenna Rose. Revolution Bar & Music Hall, 140 Merrick Rd., Amityville. revolutionli.com $15. 5:30 p.m. Oct. 20.
This psychic medium and author will be signing copies of her new book Believe, Ask, Act: Divine Steps to Raise Your Intuition, Create Change, and Discover Happiness, and sharing her spiritual journey as a communicator to the afterlife. Get ready to be amazed, and if you have any questions about loved ones who’ve passed on, ask her. Book Revue, 313 New York Ave., Huntington. bookrevue.com Free with purchase of book. 7 p.m. Oct. 20.
This country superstar has a way of inspiring audiences and soothing listeners’ souls. Not your grandmama’s country singer, Rice blends elements of hip hop, rock, pop and electronic music to bring a refreshingly new dynamic to the classic genre. “Gonna Wanna Tonight” is his second Top 5 country radio hit after “Ready Set Roll” went platinum. This rockin’ show definitely won’t disappoint! Supporting acts include Ryan Hurd & Lacy Cavalier. The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $30-$75. 8 p.m. Oct. 20.
English rock musician Martin Barre is best known for his membership in progressive rock band Jethro Tull from 1969 through 2014, and his solo career has spawned four studio albums, with no signs of stopping. Infamous for his incredible four-minute solos at the beginning of Jethro Tull’s songs “Quatrain” and “Conundrum,” Barre continues to explore and construct “tricky complex melodies” on his acoustic guitar, which critics say are “elegant even when he is rocking hard.” His most recent album releases include Order of Play and Back to Steel, featuring more experimentation as well as remnants of his favorite techniques from Jethro Tull’s glory days. Not to be missed. YMCA Boulton Center for the Performing Arts, 37 West Main St., Bay Shore. boultoncenter.org $40-$45. 8 p.m. Oct. 20.
These Huntington hellraisers are known for melodic punk rock with shouted dual vocals from Phil Douglas and Matt Canino, incendiary guitars, and socially conscious lyrics. They officially split in 2007, but have been rocking sporadic reunion shows since ’11. Resurrecting hits like “No Matter Where We Go” and “Turn Up the Punk,” among many other local faves, this gig is destined for the books. Opening the show are Wax Phantom and Way Harsh. Revolution Bar & Music Hall, 140 Merrick Rd., Amityville. revolutionli.com $18, $20 DOS. 7:30 p.m. Oct. 21.
Break out the Converse, strap on a headband and dust off the jean jacket, because this Back to the Eighties Show will do everything short of taking you in a Delorean back to the decade when Men at Work, Flock of Seagulls and Debbie Gibson ruled the airwaves. That’s because Jessie’s Girl is more than just a cover band. They’re here to party like it’s 1989! Get ready to dance, dance, dance! The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $15-$30. 8 p.m. Oct. 21.
This guitarist, vocalist, producer and songwriter founded alternative rock band Better Than Ezra in 1988, and brings it back to New York to play their big hits, including ones from their most recent album, All Together Now. Griffin is known for his big stage personality, falsettos, inviting audience members onstage to play instruments, skilled mimicry of singers like Bruce Springsteen and Aaron Neville and interruptions of his songs with verses from popular rock ballads. Wow. YMCA Boulton Center for the Performing Arts, 37 West Main St., Bay Shore. boultoncenter.org $25-$30. 8 p.m. Oct. 21.
With strong roots in traditional folk as well as ’60s and ’70s folk-rock, this trio’s recently-released fourth album, Keepsake, debuted at No. 1 on the Folk DJ Charts in March. This is a chance to catch these talented musicians live, all up close and personal, in the intimate setting, while sipping a hot, welcoming latte. Definitely worth checking out, especially with high-octane caffeine. Our Times Coffeehouse, 38 Old Country Rd., Garden City. ourtimescoffeehouse.org $10-$15. 8 p.m. Oct. 21.
This five-piece blues band is not to be missed. At every show, they bring a special attitude and energy that is simply contagious. They cover songs from The Allman Brothers to Hank Williams, and always keep blues at the root of each tune. Blue Roots offers strong vocals, creative arranging, and top-notch instrumental delivery. This high-energy ensemble will be sure to bring a fantastic show. Treme Blues and Jazz Club, 553 Main St., Islip. tremeislip.com $10. 8 p.m. Oct. 21.
Brooklynite Young M.A. is storming the rap scene, with more than 1.8 million views of her “Brooklyn (Chiraq Freestyle)” video on YouTube. She’s been featured in Rolling Stone and as a top performer at the 2016 BET Hip Hop Awards as she makes a name for herself as a serious up-and-coming artist. Authentically exploring her life as a young Brooklyn storyteller, cultural arbiter and entertainer, Young M.A. speaks her truth as a female rapper in a delightfully raspy voice, with her most recent summer anthem “OOOUUU” gaining tremendous success, just like past hits “Body Bag” and “Karma Krys.” Also performing will be DJ Self, DJ ALLSTAR and DJ Will. The Emporium, 9 Railroad Ave., Patchogue. theemporiumny.com $20. 10 p.m. Oct. 21.
Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviata
Star tenor and director Rolando Villazón brings his unique vision to the immense and tragic love story of Violetta and Alfredo, setting Verdi’s masterpiece within the vibrant world of the circus. Olga Peretyatko, recently seen as Gilda in Paris Opera’s Rigoletto, stars as Verdi’s enthralling and heartbreaking heroine, alongside the young Brazilian tenor Atalla Ayan. This film screening will take place in the Concert Hall. Adelphi University Performing Arts Center (AUPAC), 1 South Ave., Garden City. aupac.adelphi.edu $20. 2 p.m. Oct. 22.
This is one comedian that doesn’t hold back. “The Queen of Mean,” as she’s known, is not afraid to push a few buttons in her quest to insult anyone—especially celebrities—with a pulse. Seriously, no one is safe. Get ready for some cringe-inducing jokes, spiked with an extra shot of attitude and moxie. Lampanelli has performed at the top comedy clubs in the country, and her comedy specials have aired on a number of cable TV networks, including HBO and Comedy Central. NYCB Theatre at Westbury, 960 Brush Hollow Rd., Westbury. venue.thetheatreatwestbury.com $39.50-$89. 8 p.m. Oct. 22.
Anderson, Rabin & Wakeman – An Evening of Yes Music & More
Founded in January 2016, these hellraisers bridge generations of legendary singers with vocalist John Anderson, guitarist/singer Trevor Rabin, and keyboardist Rick Wakeman, all formerly of the band Yes, the most successful prog rock group of all time. With old favorites such as classic ’80s hit “Owner of a Lonely Heart” to new songs created recently, this tour is constructed by legendary concert producer Larry Magid, bringing back past and future glory of the band after a 25-year hiatus. The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $89.50-$135. 8 p.m. Oct. 22.
This singer and actress is known for her five-decade career and as one of the most critically acclaimed Broadway performers, with nominations for seven Tony Awards, wining two, and nine Drama Desk Awards. She is known for her roles on Broadway in shows like Mack and Mabel, Song and Dance and Gypsy. Her tour will be jammed packed as she performs signature songs from some of the Broadway shows in which she has starred. Peters will dazzle the crowd and have audience members mesmerized. Patchogue Theatre for the Performing Arts, 71 East Main St., Patchogue. patchoguetheatre.org $65. 8 p.m. Oct. 22.
Music Factory Presents A Tribute Night
This trifecta of tribute bands includes Tom Sadge, a Neil Diamond tribute; Idol Kings, a Journey tribute; and Stand Bac, aka “The Real Fleetwood Mac Tribute.” Need we say more? This is surely going to be one musical smorgasbord for the books. The Space at Westbury, 250 Post Ave., Westbury. thespaceatwestbury.com $35. 8 p.m. Oct. 22.
Maniac At Large
This one-night only double-feature screens the 1980 serial killer flick Maniac and its shocking sequel, Maniac Cop 2. Director William Lustig will be on hand to discuss both films! Get ready to be terrified and amazed! Cinema Arts Centre, 423 Park Ave., Huntington. cinemaartscentre.org $18-$22. 10 p.m. Oct. 22.
Laura Lynne Jackson
This homegrown psychic medium and bestselling author will be hosting a one-night event in which she will be conducting a special reading of the audience. Jackson is one of the 19 scientifically certified psychics in the world, and has read for hundreds of different people. Her abilities have made her one of the most requested psychics by the media. This will truly be an unforgettable night! Patchogue Theatre for the Performing Arts, 71 East Main St., Patchogue. patchoguetheatre.org $45. 3 p.m. Oct. 23.
Roomful of Blues
The lightning-in-a-bottle blowout blues band that gave rise to some of genre’s greatest legends will be in full swing showcasing the jumping, swinging, rocking side of the blues with alums including Ronnie Earl and Duke Robillard. They will be joined by local blues greats Kerry Kearney, known for his soaring slide guitar leads, along with an acoustic set by this generation’s next great acoustic bluesman, Rob Europe. Suffolk Theater, 118 E. Main St., Riverhead. suffolktheater.com $39. 7 p.m. Oct. 23.
This talented actress and singer is the daughter of Bruce Willis and Demi Moore. She is well known for winning season 20 of Dancing With The Stars, with partner Valentin Chmerkovskiy. Earlier this month, she set out on her Over The Love Tour, which features a post-modern cabaret. Her set list features many classics, with hits from Billie Holiday to Amy Winehouse. Her powerhouse voice will capture the crowd, and everyone will be singing along. YMCA Boulton Center for the Performing Arts, 37 West Main St., Bay Shore. boultoncenter.org $45-$50. 7 p.m. Oct. 23.
This multi-platinum-selling band’s self-described mission to conquer the planet, one venue at a time, remains solidly on track. Put rock and roll legends Tommy Shaw, James “JY” Young, Lawrence Gowan, Todd Sucherman and Ricky Phillips together (along with the occasional surprise appearance by the original bassist Chuck Panozzo) on stage, and their power is unstoppable. When they get rolling and their freak flag is flowing, they’ll blow the roof off, with their classic rock standards like “Come Sail Away,” “Lady” and “Mr. Roboto.” NYCB Theatre at Westbury, 960 Brush Hollow Rd., Westbury. venue.thetheatreatwestbury.com $39.50-$124.50. 8 p.m. Oct. 23.
This beachy, Grammy Award-winning California acoustic pop singer/songwriter rose to fame in 2007 with popular hits “Bubbly” and “Realize,” and has won the hearts of many with her upbeat, feel-good songs. Some of her other chart-topping hits include “Try,” “I Never Told You,” “Fallin’ For You,” “Brighter Than the Sun” and “I Do.” This year, Caillat is beginning a new chapter in her life, with the release of her brand new album, The Malibu Sessions. Get ready, because this concert will sure be a breath of fresh air. Opening the show are Justin Young & High Dive Heart. The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $29.50-$69.60. 8 p.m. Oct. 23.
SEED: The Untold Story
In celebration of National Food Day comes this harrowing and heartening David vs. Goliath story about passionate seed keepers fighting against chemical seed companies. This documentary follows reluctant heroes rekindling a lost connection to our most treasured resource and revive a culture connected to seed. Guest speakers Ken Ettlinger, Steph Gaylor and Cheryl Frey Richards from Long Island Regional Seed Consortium will guide discussion following the film. Cinema Arts Centre, 423 Park Ave., Huntington. cinemaartscentre.org $10-$15. 7:30 p.m. Oct. 24.
An opening reception will be held for this 19-piece exhibit featuring local artists in a juried art contest. The words were all inspired by the North Shore of Nassau County. Talk about transcendental artistic translations! North Hempstead Town Hall is located at 220 Plandome Road in Manhasset. www.northhempsteadny.gov/btdc Free. 6 p.m. Oct.25.
Dr. Andrea Libutti
This doctor, autism specialist and local author will be signing copies of her new book Awakened by Autism: Embracing Autism, Self, And Hope for a New World. Hear her story, ask questions, and be inspired! Book Revue, 313 New York Ave., Huntington. bookrevue.com Free with purchase of book. 7 p.m. Oct. 26.
The former frontman of influential hardcore punk band Black Flag who later became an actor, writer and radio and TV show host, is taking his politically provocative spoken word show back on the road. As with any of his gigs, expect it to be spiced with rage as well as wit. He has much to discuss. The Space at Westbury, 250 Post Ave., Westbury. thespaceatwestbury.com $30-$40. 8 p.m. Oct. 26.
The Dirty Heads
Since the release of their 2008 debut album Any Port in a Storm, this five-piece has been fusing reggae and hip-hop into a unique, absolutely infectious hybrid of pure enjoyment. Expect hits off all five of their albums, and expect to be floored. You will surely need some “Oxygen” after singing along all night at this concert! Supporting acts include New Beat Fund and RDGLDGRN. The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $30-$69.50. 8 p.m. Oct. 26.
Main Art: Acoustic pop songstress Colbie Caillat brings her beachy, feel-good tunes to The Paramount on Oct. 23! (Photo: Colbie Caillat official Facebook profile)
-Compiled by Ellie Schoeffel, Natalie Coloprisco, Timothy Bolger & Zachary B. Tirana III
The 2016 presidential race between Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton has so far been characterized by so much tasteless rhetoric and classless behavior (sprinkled with the occasional made-for-TV scandals) that it’s more akin to a subpar episode of The Real Housewives than a contest for the most powerful position in the free world.
Scary, for sure—and really, really, really infuriating.
Both candidates have their fair share of things to be embarrassed about, some of which probably should disqualify them from seeking the highest office in the land, but of course, they’re not embarrassed, and will not leave the race, no matter how gruesome it gets. Instead, they’ll twist these moments into opportunities to double-down on attacks against each other.
The first presidential debate at Hofstra University on Sept. 26, moderated by NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt, became infamous for The Donald’s #TrumpSniff, as Twitter users dubbed it, his support of unconstitutional stop-and-frisk policing, and incessant interruption of Holt. Clinton, who at first didn’t seem to know how to respond to her opponent’s initial aggressiveness but eventually won points by simply letting Trump’s vitriol and nonsensical rants bury himself, simply solidified her reputation among detractors as an annoying, emotionless stereotypical politician representative of everything most people loathe about Washington and the current state of U.S. elitist bureaucracy.
The follow-up battle at Washington University in St. Louis on Oct. 8, emceed by ABC News‘ Martha Raddatz and CNN’s Anderson Cooper, went down in the books for, among other must-watch-Jerry Springer moments: Trump’s pre-game parading of women who claimed sexual abuse against former president Bill Clinton, his creepy brooding behind Hillary Clinton as she answered questions and he waited for a chance to rebut whatever she said, and his assertion that he’d arrest her if he ever won the Oval Office. Clinton, for her part, again exuded the stoic stuffiness of pretentious establishment puppet, though compared to Trump’s sniffling, snorting, huffin’ and puffin’ definitely came across as less likely to start a nuclear war—and somewhat frightened at the prospect of a special investigator digging into her deletion of tens of thousands of State Department emails, another of Trump’s if-I-became-prez promises.
Both dodged questions they didn’t feel like answering and continued to speak way past their allotted times (we recommend moderators simply turn the microphones off whenever that happens).
Tonight’s debate at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, broadcasting at 9 p.m. ET and moderated by Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace, will no doubt top the previous two showdowns in its amount of mudslinging, accusations, character assassinations, conspiracy assertions and down-and-out reality TV one-liners that have absolutely nothing to do with actual policy or future administration objectives. You know—the stuff that you’d actually hope, and expect to hear from those who’ll eventually be creating and implementing such things, aka the concrete laws of the land that will ultimately affect our family’s lives.
As a precursor to this third installment of what’s sure to be one of the most ludicrous throw-downs in presidential debate history, we thought we’d come up with a short list of the 10 topics “Hitler 2.0” and “Killary,” among other names their respective detractors call them, will most likely—and most likely not—discuss. Officially, the topics publicly stated to be addressed include: “Debt and entitlements,” “Immigration,” “Economy,” “Supreme Court,” “Foreign hot spots” and “Fitness to be President.” But you know better than that.
5 Things Donald Trump & Hillary Clinton Will Likely Discuss
Whether it’s Trump’s sexist remarks championing sexual abuse against women, or the past infidelities of Bubba, sex will most definitely be on the docket of discussion during tonight’s presidential faceoff. Why? Because this is a presidential debate, of course! No need to discuss meaningful topics or issues. Trump’s infamously vulgar “locker room” advice to recently fired NBC Today show host Billy Bush that “You can grab ’em by the p@#$y. You can do anything…”—as the two rode a bus with hot microphones to an Access Hollywood appearance in 2005—will undoubtedly be on the talking points menu for Clinton. Melania Trump’s recent description to CNN of her husband’s p@#$y line as “boy talk” (Trump was 59 years old at the time) egged on by Bush will do little to stop Clinton from resurrecting those particular money quotes. Conversely, Hillary’s husband’s sexual indiscretions with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky and model Gennifer Flowers, and his alleged improprieties with Juanita Broaddrick, Kathleen Willey and Paula Jones—who’ve accused him of rape, groping, and sexual harassment, respectively—will most certainly be on Trump’s.
Hillary Clinton’s email correspondences as Secretary of State has been a topic of both previous presidential debates, and it will most certainly be brought up tonight. Clinton, while in that position, used a private email server for official state department communications, allegedly in violation of federal procedures and laws, and allegedly including many that were classified or sensitive in nature. In all, tens of thousands of emails were routed through her personal server, including more than 30,000 which Clinton deemed personal in nature that she allegedly deleted. Trump cited these emails as grounds for him opening an investigation into her should he win the presidency. On March 16, 2016 whistleblower site WikiLeaks.com published a searchable archive for 30,322 emails & email attachments sent to and from Hillary Clinton’s private email server while she was Secretary of State, containing more than 50,500 pages of documents. The FBI, which never charged Clinton, called her use of a private server and she and her staff’s handling of official communications “extremely careless.”
3. The Russians
Clinton will stress that the aforementioned email leaks are part of a Russian conspiracy to alter the course of the presidential election in favor of Trump, that their authenticity must be questioned, and that all these documents are being supplied by Russian hackers. Trump will simply repeat that he has never met Russian President Vladimir Putin but would welcome such a meeting, should he become president.
Trump has been accused of Muslim-bashing. Beginning in the Republican primaries, he’s called for a complete ban on non-US Muslims entering the country, a Muslim database, surveillance of mosques, and got into a protracted tussle with the family of a slain US Muslim soldier. Most recently, his campaign manager described his platform as containing a so-called “Five-Point Plan to Defeat Islam.” What she probably meant was “Radical Islam,” a term Trump has consistently criticized President Obama and Hillary Clinton for refusing to utter. When the candidates were asked about Islamophobia in the second debate, Trump lamented that the Muslim community fails to weed out potential terrorists, failing to acknowledge that a friend of the Orlando nightclub shooter and the father of the recent Chelsea bombing suspect both expressed concerns to the FBI before either incident. Clinton will do her best to convince the audience she’ll protect American Muslims.
Yep. It’s come to this. Although the existence of otherworldly lifeforms has not yet been injected into the debates by either candidate, the topic has been one of interest on the web recently due to whistleblower site WikiLeaks.com’ Oct. 7 publication of hundreds of emails involving Hillary Clinton campaign chairman and former Bill Clinton chief of staff, John Podesta, known as “The Podesta Emails.” What are some of those hacked emails about? Extraterrestrials and UFOs. Since Trump is tossing the kitchen sink at this point at Hillary, Podesta’s fascination with space aliens shouldn’t be ruled out from his scorched-earth agenda.
5 Things Donald Trump & Hillary Clinton Likely Won’t Discuss
Authorization to Use Military Force, or AUMF, was first adopted in 2001—three days after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks—to give then President George W. Bush the authority to fight the terrorists responsible for the deaths of 3,000 Americans on 9/11, meaning al Qaeda. Since then, AUMF has been enforced to justify everything from drone strikes, conventional air raids, and the deployment of US Special Forces inside sovereign nations, all in the name of the 15-year “War on Terror.” A minority in Congress has advocated for repealing the 2001 AUMF in favor of new version singularly focused on the ISIS war, which would limit the president’s ability to conduct war wherever and however he or she sees fit. The responsibility to declare war falls on Congress, but lawmakers have yet to vote on the merits of the ISIS war, effectively giving President Obama cart blanche to fight ISIS and a handful of other terror groups across the Middle East and North Africa. Would the two candidates push Congress to repeal the 2001 AUMF? Our guess: probably not. But it’d be nice to hear it from their own mouths. As it stands, the War on Terror is the longest—and costliest—war in US history.
2. Climate Change
In a report released earlier this week, the United Nations warned in less than 20 years the number of people living in poverty will grow to 122 million from 35 million because of climate change. The report also noted that the already ambitious objective of eradicating hunger could prove even more difficult come 2030. “Changes will need to be made in a way that does not jeopardize the capacity of the agriculture sectors—crops, livestock, fisheries and forestry—to meet the world’s food needs.” In 2014, a coalition of retired military leaders, including former Secretary of Homeland Security, Michael Chertoff, and former Defense Secretary, Leon Panetta, released a report in which they warned of the security implications of climate change. “The nature and pace of observed climate changes—and an emerging scientific consensus on their projected consequences—pose severe risks for our national security,” they wrote. Trump has tweeted—and subsequently denied he tweeted what he tweeted—that climate change is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese. Hillary Clinton has vowed to take on climate change. Don’t bet on them actually defending their position in this debate.
It’s been three years since NSA contractor Edward Snowden revealed details of the spy agency’s widespread surveillance network. Nearly one year after the leaks, Congress passed the USA Freedom Act, which set restrictions on the NSA. Still, with emerging technologies and ubiquitous social media sites, Americans are more than ever prone to snooping—perpetrated by either government agencies or nefarious groups hoping to profit off of stolen personal information. Come 2017 Congress will have to vote whether to reauthorize Section 702 of the FISA Amendment Act, which, according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a privacy advocacy groups, has been used by the NSA to justify “mass collection of phone calls and emails by collecting huge quantities of data directly from the physical infrastructure of communications providers.” Digital privacy groups have called on Congress to simply allow Section 702 to expire at the end of 2017. Where does Clinton and Trump stand on surveillance and privacy rights? Hmmm.
The Obama administration has prosecuted more whistleblowers under the World War I-era Espionage Act than all previous presidents combined. The Obama Justice Department even tried to compel an investigative reporter with The New York Times to reveal the identity of his source in a leak case before acknowledging the reporter, James Risen, would under no circumstances burn his source. In response, Risen called Obama “the greatest enemy to press freedom in a generation.” So how would the two candidates deal with potential leaks? Trump has already pledged to weaken libel laws to make it easier to sue the press, and has repeatedly maligned the news media at his rallies and suggested the media is part and parcel of the Clinton campaign, and furthermore, associated with a secret international cabal single-handily rigging the election in the Democrat’s favor. While she was Secretary of State, Clinton forcefully condemned the leaks, saying, “we should condemn in the most clear terms the disclosure of any classified information by individuals and organizations which puts the lives of United States and partner service members and civilians at risk.” WikiLeaks, which published the trove of classified documents, has re-emerged as an adversary to Clinton, publishing hundreds of emails from her presidential campaign and the period in which she was the nation’s chief diplomat.
If you were to ask Long Islanders to rank which issues concern them the most it’d be impossible to imagine education not falling in the top-5, behind taxes, taxes and taxes, of course. Long Island parents are at the forefront of a movement committed to dismantling national Common Core standards. Education issues inspire passionate discussions because it affects countless Americans’ everyday lives. Yet there’s been no talk at previous debates about what each candidate would do to improve the education system in America. During the Democratic primary the cost of college became a major topic. Yet again, presidential candidates are not discussing secondary education either. Educators: don’t hold your breath.
Grammy Award-winning guitarist, singer and Carle Place native Steve Vai is one of 10 recording artists who will be inducted into The Long Island Music Hall of Fame (LIMHOF) next month.
Also being honored are Amagansett-based film score composer Carter Burwell, the late Queens-born producer Sandy Pearlman, and five Brooklynites, including rapper Big Daddy Kane, producer Charles Koppleman, singer Garland Jeffreys, surf rockers Santo & Johnny, saxophonist Vince Giordano and composer Jim Steinman. Westbury Music Fair will be the second local music venue to be inducted. Accepting the Harry Chapin Music Award is rocker, producer and actor Steven Van Zandt—a New Jersey resident who’s the lone non-Long Islander being inducted.
“Our inductees are just a small piece of the puzzle, but they are such an important piece because they are inspiring future generations,” said LIMHOF Executive Director Joe Janokowski, “and that’s another big piece of what we do here.”
The sixth annual induction ceremony will be held Nov. 3 at The Space at Westbury—it’s first time there. Proceeds fund the nonprofit LIMHOF’s goals to build a museum and preserve the region’s rich musical heritage by recognizing notable musicians who were born, raised or lived on LI—including Brooklyn and Queens.
Past inductees include Simon & Garfunkel, Louis Armstrong, Billy Joel, Carole King, Eddie Money, Joan Jett, Mariah Carey, The Ramones, Barbra Streisand, Run DMC and many more well-known performers.
With a substantive music career that has earned him three Grammy Awards, Vai fits right in. Since launching his career in 1978, he was voted the 10th greatest guitarist by Guitar World Magazine. He’s sold more than 15 million records.
Some of the other honorees are behind-the-scenes movers and shakers, as opposed to big-name performers.
“Legendary music executive Charles Koppelman has been instrumental in the careers of Billy Joel, Barbara Streisand, Dave Mason, Journey, Diana Ross, Cher, Michael Bolten, New Kids on The Block, Vanilla Ice, the list goes on and on,” said LIMHOF Chairman Ernie Canadeo at a news conference announcing those slated to be inducted. In fact, Koppelman’s career has spanned five decades.
Similarly not a household name but a significantly creative contributor behind-the-scenes is Burwell, a film composer who has frequently collaborated with the Coen Brothers, scoring 15 of their films. He received an Academy Award nomination for best original score for Todd Haynes’ 2015 drama, Carol.
On the hip-hop side of the music spectrum, Big Daddy Kane has had several gold albums, a Grammy Award and a No. 7 spot on MTV’s Greatest MC’s of All Time list. Kane is best known for his hit single “Ain’t No Half Steppin‘,” which ranked No. 25 on Rolling Stone’s 50 Greatest Hip-Hop Hits of All Time list.
Also being inducted is Garland Jeffreys, a trailblazing singer and songwriter whose career spans rock and roll, reggae, blues and soul. He released his first self-titled album in 1973, and has been a major uncompromising artistic presence ever since.
“I’m enjoying life right now, not tomorrow, not last month; I’m in it right now,” Garland said at the news conference.
On the classic rock side of the AM/FM dial is Santo & Johnny, a surf rock duo best known for their timeless instrumental “Sleepwalk.” It reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Pop Chart and earned a Gold Record in 1959. Covered frequently, the song has been used in countless movies, TV shows and commercials ever since.
The lone jazz player inducted this year is sax player Giordano, who specializes in jazz from the 1920s and ’30s.
“He is a Grammy-winning multi-instrumentalist who has played in New York night clubs, appeared in films such as The Cotton Club, The Aviator, Revolutionary Road and HBO’s Boardwalk Empire,” Canadeo said.
Following the initial press conference announcing the inductees last month, two more inductees have been added to the 2016 lineup. They are Jim Steinman and Sandy Pearlman.
Steinman is a Brooklyn native best known as a songwriter/producer whose records have sold more than 100 million copies. Some of his hit songs include “Total Eclipse Of The Heart” and “Paradise By The Dashboard Light.” Steinman won a Grammy Award in 1996 for the album Falling Into You, which featured Celine Dion.
Pearlman was best known as the producer, lyricist and manager for Blue Oyster Cult. Over the course of his career, he won 17 gold and platinum records. He passed away in July.
As for Westbury Music Fair—the predecessor of NYCB Theatre at Westbury, popular for its “theater in the round” style—the venue is being recognized for hosting many unforgettable star-studded musical performances over the years. The venue has housed legendary artists like Frank Sinatra, Bruce Springsteen and The Doors. Previously, the only venue so honored was My Father’s Place, which was inducted in 2010.
This year’s Harry Chapin Award is being given to Van Zandt. Aside from being one of the founding members of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band as well as an original cast member of The Sopranos, Van Zandt is a human rights activist. In addition to his career and his activism, he founded the nonprofit Rock and Roll Forever Foundation, which teaches the history of rock and its relation to American cultural history.
The ceremony will begin at 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 3. Tickets must be purchased in advance. Visit limusichalloffame.org for more info.
Many people hear about cancer on TV but never imagine the disease affecting them or their loved ones. I was the same way until it affected my family, not once, but twice.
On March 3, 2012, we learned that my mother, Frances, was diagnosed with breast cancer. Seventeen months later, my family was devastated again when my older sister, Lauren, received the same diagnosis, at 24. Their doctors were shocked to have a back-to-back mother-daughter case, and my sister was the youngest patient they had ever operated on.
“Finding out the news about my daughter was far worse than finding out the news about myself—it was shocking and unheard of,” my mother recalled. “I spent one week in a daze wishing this all was some kind of bad dream. I couldn’t eat or sleep for days and it was the hardest thing for a mother to handle.”
One in eight women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime, and it is estimated that more than 245,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed this year, according to nonprofit breast cancer foundation Susan G. Komen. New York has one of the highest breast cancer incidence rates in the nation, with more than 15,000 cases diagnosed annually.
In the last five years, Long Island has had some of the highest breast cancer rates ever. Nassau County averaged more than 1,276 annual cases, and Suffolk more than 1,311. These numbers are double, even triple, those of other counties in New York.
These statistics truly hit home for us.
My family’s tough journey began when doctors discovered a cancerous lump during my mother’s routine mammogram. At first, her treatment focused on its removal, followed by routine doctors’ appointments. Their strategy was swayed when my mother found out she had a family history of the disease and carried the breast cancer susceptibility gene, known as BRCA. This gene normally acts to restrain the growth of cells in the breast but, if mutated, cells are more likely to develop additional genetic alterations that can lead to cancer.
“Going back and forth from doctor to doctor had my head spinning, and it became the hardest when I was faced with the choice between a lumpectomy and a double mastectomy,” my mom explained. “Knowing my chances of breast cancer reoccurring, I knew that I had to choose a double mastectomy.”
Five weeks after her diagnosis, she underwent a double mastectomy. Six hours later she emerged from surgery and began a painful recovery. Following her hospital stay, she spent the next two weeks bedridden.
My family and I came together and did everything we could to help her. My father, sister, brother and I, combined, could not complete all of her daily responsibilities. Cooking, cleaning and food shopping were just some of the duties I took on, in addition to all the demands of high school.
At 17, I was a full-time nurse at the beck and call of my mother.
It took a lot from me, and was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do, but when you see a loved one in so much pain, you do whatever it takes.
Following her first surgery, my mother underwent five weeks of radiation therapy, ovary removal surgery, reconstructive breast surgery, and tattooing of her areolas.
“After the surgery, I found out that I did not need chemotherapy, but I did need to undergo five and a half weeks of radiation therapy,” she said. “After all of this, I finally received some good news: My cancer did not spread. This was the point where I realized that I would not let cancer take over my life.”
Just as my mother completed her recovery, my sister decided to get tested for the BRCA gene. The results came back positive. It was extremely upsetting, but at 24 years old, she thought her risks of breast cancer were very low. Yet, a few months later, when my mother’s doctors performed a few tests on my sister, the results stunned everyone, including the doctors: My sister was in the very early stages of breast cancer.
On August 19, 2013, my family and I entered the hospital again, this time to support my sister as she underwent a double mastectomy. We were all so nervous and upset, but she was stronger than ever. She put her positive outlook on things and reassured us that everything would be okay.
“When I first found out I had the gene, I knew I wanted to have a double mastectomy because I didn’t want to experience what my mother went through,” she said. “Unfortunately, after going for the first round of testing that the doctor requested of me, I found out that I actually did have cancer. Although I had two choices, I already knew what my decision would be.”
She came out of surgery in an excruciating amount of pain. Barley able to speak, Lauren described it as the feeling of tons of bricks weighing down on her chest. Being so young, it was harder for her to deal with the pain. Unable to lift her arms, everything became impossible for her.
I am currently 22 years old, and the thought of this happening to me is constantly on my mind.
After about two weeks, Lauren recovered, but things were still difficult for her. Like my mother, she had tissue expanders put in. These are placed where the original breasts were, and are used to expand the muscles in order to make room for implants. Getting weekly fill-ups was also required. It wasn’t a pleasant experience.
After her mastectomy, Lauren underwent reconstructive surgery. She is now doing extremely well.
“Now that all is said and done, I don’t regret anything. I knew it was the best decision,” my sister said. “It all happened so fast. One minute I was finding out my results, and the next minute I was being prepped for surgery. Everything after my surgery was a blur to me. I was in more pain than I had ever been before.
“The first week was the hardest. I wasn’t even able to feed myself,” she continued. “It wasn’t easy being bedridden and being indoors, day after day. I was going stir-crazy. Before I knew it, I was fully recovered, doing my normal, everyday things. As I look back, I realize how thankful I am to have beat this.”
My family and I are thankful for the doctors who helped us through this entire journey. My mother and sister’s breast surgeon, Dr. David Kaufman of Bethpage, and their plastic surgeon, Dr. Tommaso Addona of Long Island Plastic Surgical Group, have been more than amazing throughout this journey. Dr. Kaufman is a very compassionate and kind doctor who never makes his patients feel like just a number.
Dr. Addonna is a perfectionist. He is very compassionate and understanding, and there is no problem too big for him to solve. He describes any post-recovery problems as being “small bumps in the road” that can be fixed. He was always very calm and soothing, no matter how busy his day might be.
Cancer is devastating, but we have come a very long way. Thankfully, modern medicine allows women to have the confidence to feel whole again. Dr. Addonna gave my mother and sister their confidence back.
“We do about six surgeries per week, and in total we do about 300 breast-disease-related surgeries per year,” he said. “About 100 of those patients have undergone a double mastectomy.”
Although the prevalence rate is high, the pace of my family’s back-to-back cases was unusual, noted Dr. Addonna.
“It is pretty rare for both family members like a mother and daughter to go through this in a year’s span,” he said. “Once a gene is present, however, it is common that another family member will be operated on.”
Both Dr. Addona and Dr. Kaufman said that Lauren, at 24 years old, had been their youngest patient to undergo a double mastectomy.
Now that my mother and sister are doing well, I have myself to worry about.
I am currently 22 years old, and the thought of this happening to me is constantly on my mind. In two years, I will have the option of being tested for the BRCA gene.
With my mother, sister, cousin and aunt all possessing the gene, I am at high risk, but I try my hardest to remain positive. I have no clue what I will do if this happens to me, but it’s comforting to know that I have the support of my family, friends and amazing doctors.
My family’s story goes to show that information may be the most important weapon in the fight against cancer. A normal woman goes for her first mammogram at the age of 40. If it weren’t for my mother’s diagnosis, my sister never would’ve gotten tested at 24.
For her, not knowing could have had even more devastating results.
Main Image: Frances Coloprisco and her daughter Lauren, both breast cancer survivors. (Photo provided by Natalie Coloprisco)
Natalie Coloprisco is a professional communications major at Farmingdale State College and an editorial intern at the Long Island Press.
Even as a writer by trade who came of age in more than a couple of sketchy yet musical Queens basements myself, it is a daunting task for me to attempt to describe the average Rosedale cellar of the 1960s or ’70s. As children, we spend a lot of time imagining and padding family folklore with our youthful fantasies and romantic embellishments. And for me, there were no stories more intoxicating than those which took place in the subterranean hangouts of my uncle Peter and the others from his era who, to the dismay of the buttoned-up Greatest Generation, wanted nothing at all to do with the relentless immigrant work schedules and conservative lifestyles of their parents.
While Long Island sprouted up around him, its cheap generic plastic mall aesthetics literally begetting Green Acres, my uncle and his friends preferred to hang out underground, where they engaged psychoactive assistance, overloaded amplifiers, and stuck middle fingers in the status quo’s tight ass. They emulated and interpolated, sure, but they also wrote song after original song, building on a budding genre that would go on to define a nation. Peter would never describe himself as a revolutionary, not unless he meant it as somebody who worshipped Beatles album number seven, Revolver, but that doesn’t change the fact that every time his crew descended those stairs, every late night he and Peter Lise and whoever else from that eclectic and inebriated cast of characters populated the drum bunker beneath his parents’ living room and the Idlewild air space above, they were scrambling the narrative and pushing the limits of American culture, spitting on the utter fraudulence of Ozzie and Harriet aspirations.
Many years later, by the time I got to hanging out with my uncle Peter, he had managed to turn his entire house into the grown-up version of said subterranean culture cave. I don’t think my aunt Carole minded it one bit, as she was born to have a damn good time and his insatiable music and film fetish made for an oasis of entertainment and inspiration. My cousin Michael has never known anything but that smorgasbord of new releases, gadgets, and technology, but for me it was always a retreat compared to my more boring and bookish house. Sorry mom and dad, but Peter had hundreds of monster movies. Plus the masks to go with them. And Magic Shell! It’s almost unfathomable in the age of Netflix, but there were times when my uncle actually had more movies than just about anybody else including video stores, one of which even attempted to acquire his superior collection back in the day.
Peter did a lot of memorable things, like play Santa Claus on holidays when I was young, before telling me it was a hoax. Most importantly, he showed me how to love the music and the culture and the world around me, and exemplified the exploration of incredibly strange stuff that was ignored by the mainstream. My uncle never bought a single flick or album because someone else told him to. In fact, unless someone can correct me on this, he managed to go his entire life without ever admitting that somebody else turned him onto anything. I may never find out where he got his intel from, but I do know that Peter exposed me to bizarre indie movies like “El Topo” and “Re-Animator” long before hipster film geeks claimed such arcane discoveries as their exclusive domain.
Peter may have left his parents’ house in the ’70s, but he never abandoned the brashness of his teenage basement years.
As a third generation Italian-American, I have always struggled with having a secular, artsy existence. With not wearing slacks, going to church, or worshiping money. As if our ancestors weren’t radicals and artisans as well as thugs, workers and fascists. But thanks to people like my uncle Peter, who hustled days at Pepsi but on weekends played guitar for countless friends and audiences, I learned over the years, however indirectly, that it was OK to have a big nose and a vowel-rich last name and seek such imaginative endeavors. Even if fulfilling those dreams means surpassing the superficial rewards that our forefathers who lived through the Depression chased with irrational vigor.
While my uncle was dedicated to spelunking abstract corners of the cultural spectrum, he was also deferential to the most intensely mainstream act of all time, the Beatles. I recently poked fun at his wife Donna for having to endure the band’s extended catalog on their most recent drive back to Queens from Florida, but now I’d do just about anything to be in that back seat, speakers cranked because my uncle was increasingly deaf, listening to the same Apple Records tales he raised us on. You almost can’t bring up my uncle’s legacy without crossing Abbey Road. But I especially want to acknowledge the impossible standard—set by the most successful, perhaps the greatest modern musical act that ever existed—against which Peter held everything. A truly gifted player and perfectionist himself, he could pluck guitar strings with the best of them, no joke, including George Harrison and his idol Chet Atkins, I have no doubt, had he ever had the chance. The Fab Four were extraordinary role models to worship, but my uncle was especially devoted; while I loathe few things more than when genuine people who pass are affiliated with generic fascinations—we often see meaningless epitaphs like “World’s greatest Yankees fan”—I truly believe that Peter was as loyal a Beatles aficionado as ever existed, both as a preacher and a practitioner. I don’t personally care for their music, but thanks to him I will be spreading “Paul Is Dead” rumors and reminding the band’s fans that, long before their songs became Nike commercials, the boys from Liverpool made a habit of pissing on nuns. My uncle loved that tidbit.
Since he never shut up, I never stopped listening to Peter. Whether intentionally or just because he was in the vicinity and happened to be louder than everyone else. If you were near my uncle, you were likely drawn to hear whatever he was saying. Or singing. And if there was some kind of guitar in the mix, well, then everyone within earshot and then some was pulled into his matrix. Which could lead to some Jolson tunes, a post-Beatles Lennon overture, and always some unsavory commentary. Peter may have left his parents’ house in the ’70s, but he never abandoned the brashness of his teenage basement years. Why would he? It’s what everybody loved about him. My uncle was the critical life of countless celebrations, the foul-mouthed variable that turned every occasion into a party. That extended to his work with the wedding band. Though he sure as hell didn’t remember any of the brides or grooms whose brightest days he serenaded, I have little doubt that many of them never forgot the spark plug who brought their parties to life, and who, maybe in the process, improvised the lyrics of a cherished ethnic anthem but still sang with enough heart to impress the old-timers.
Toward the end, as he and Donna started a relationship that was very much rooted in enlivening those around them through music and entertainment, I would like to think that Peter came to some realization about the essential flare of any and all gatherings that he was. One can only hope. My uncle never became a celebrity, but for every Eric Clapton, Paul McCartney or Mark Mothersbaugh—the latter being someone I believe my uncle admired at least a little, perhaps not as much for Devo as for his segue from ’80s pop stardom to scoring hundreds of movies, which Peter always noted as we watched the credits—there is also in my mind just as importantly a Peter Belmonte. Which is to say the guy who never topped the charts, but who won innumerable hearts. Whether you remember him as a dad, a friend, an unsung guitar virtuoso, or just that nutjob at the next table with a napkin wrapped around his head impersonating Igor from “Young Frankenstein,” I hope that you remember my uncle as the unique talent he was, a cellar dweller to the core, and the purest kind of American troubadour, among the last of a dying breed, who started in the basement and rocked every ear willing to listen ’til his last note. -CF
Besides a host of haunted houses, jack-o-lanterns and trick-or-treating, Halloween season sparks loads of frightfully fun festivities across Long Island, from prize-winning costume contests to spooky parades and much more spine-tingling sensations to raise the spirits.
Fans of dark comedies will jump at the chance to see big screen resurrections of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” “Little Shop of Horrors” or a deliciously disturbing ’80s slasher flick marathon. There’s also off-beat events such as a David Bowie-themed horror experience as well as both a zombie wedding and a zombie 5K fun run. But don’t worry, there are plenty of family friendly activities as well.
Here are more than three dozen Halloween-themed events on Long Island:
This imaginative David Bowie-inspired horror experience creates a Halloween-themed tribute to the late great artist who died in January. The interactive, immersive Sci-Fi ghost story is set in the family mansion of the befallen astronaut, Major Tom. Patrons are guests at his funeral where they will meet his eccentric family who are dealing with the loss quite differently, to say the least. As the song says: “There’s a starman waiting in the sky; he’d like to come and meet us, but he’s afraid he’d blow our minds.” Islip Art Museum, 50 Irish Lane, East Islip. IslipArtMuseum.org $45. 7-10 p.m. Oct. 14-16.
Spirit of Halloween Party
Story time, goodie bags, games, line dancing, BBQ and more! Adults are free! 2746 Sound Avenue, Riverhead. 631-875-0433 spiritspromiserescue.org $25. 12-3 p.m. Oct. 16, 23, & 30.
Little Shop of Horrors
Join Seymour and Audrey Jr., the carnivorous R&B-singing hybrid Venus flytrap that gives vegetarians nightmares, in this cult-classic, dark comedy brought to life by SoLuna Studios. 659 Old Willets Path, Hauppauge. solunastudiony.com $15-$20. Through Oct. 30.
Rise of The Jack O’ Lanterns
Come see more than 5,000 hand-carved illuminated jack o’ lanterns creatively displayed on a festive walking path as Halloween-themed music fills the air. The incredible pumpkin carvings will wow you! Definitely a cut above the mediocre. Old Westbury Gardens. 71 Old Westbury Road, Old Westbury. 516-252-3392 therise.org Prices vary. 6:15-10:30 p.m. Friday-Sunday through Oct. 30.
The Artist Hanger and Fusion Project
Within the walls of one of Long Island’s scariest haunted houses, this spooky one-night-only Halloween-themed art gallery showing will also feature live performances to compliment the chilling event Matt. Visitors can purchase the art, if they dare! Guiliano’s Play Like A Pro, 1745 Express Drive North, Hauppauge. chamberofhorrorsny.com $25-$45. 8-10 p.m. Oct. 20.
Come in costume or as yourself–if that’s scarier–to watch an underworld cabaret performance of “Broadway Fright Night” as actors recreate the leading roles in Wicked, Rocky Horror Picture Show, The Phantom of the Opera, Little Shop of Horrors, among other demonic delights. The evening begins with cocktails in the palm court and winter/summer living rooms. Then the bravest guests can venture through two scary floors of the Hempstead House of Horrors. The mansion’s organ will play terrifying tunes, and a DJ has the perfect Halloween mix. Sands Point Preserve, Hempstead House, 127 Middle Neck Rd., Sands Point. sandspointpreserveconservancy.org $150. 7 p.m. Oct. 21.
rUNDEAD 5k Zombie Run
Runners start off with three belt flags that represent life lines that zombies–both the running and crawling variety–will try to steal. Only runners who cross the finish line with at least one flag “survive” to win the prizes. Of course, getting through it “alive” is a reward in itself. A fall festival with music and BBQ accompanies this unique event. Massapequa PAL Field, 510 Parkside Blvd., Massapequa. therundead.org/longisland Donations. $40-$140. 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Oct. 22.
Halloween Pinup Party
This bar, which actually is haunted (or so they say), hosts a Halloween pinup and dance party featuring twangy, spine-tingling music by The Smoking Rockets. Katie’s of Smithtown, 145 West Main St., Smithtown. katiesofsmithtown.comOct. 22.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show
This timeless over-the-top B-movie classic never goes out of style. Everyone’s favorite freaky scientist, Dr. Frank N. Furter, is back just in time for Halloween. And he’s opening the doors of his mansion just in the nick of time. The Noel S. Ruiz Theatre at CMPAC, 931 Montauk Hwy., Oakdale. tix5.centerstageticketing.com $20. Oct. 22, 28, 29, 31 and Nov. 5.
Halloween Fun Festival
Molloy’s Madison Theatre is transformed into the 4th annual Halloween Fun festival with a haunted house, scary characters who meet and greet, custom-mask making, pumpkin painting, and frights that delight. Madison Theatre at Molloy College, 1000 Hempstead Ave., Rockville Centre. madisontheatreny.org Free. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Oct. 22. Rain date: Oct. 23.
Ghost Stories and Legends of Fire Island
Bring blankets and flashlights to the lighthouse terrace and come listen to eerie tales of old haunts as you huddle around the fabled Robert Moses Lighthouse. You’ll never look at Fire Island the same way again. Come early to enjoy the additional “spooky” boat house for craft making in the art studio at a nominal cost. Fire Island Lighthouse, east of Robert Moses State Park, Field 5. fireislandlighthouse.com Free. 7 p.m. Oct. 22.
Go trick-or-treating at one of Long Island’s most popular amusement parks! This boo-tiful attraction offers pumpkin decoration, thrilling rides, loads of family fun and so much more. You know winter is coming, so what better time to come to the park before it closes for the season? Free parking and admission for the weekend, but ride prices remain the same. Adventureland Amusement Park, 2245 Route 110, Farmingdale. adventureland.us11 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 22, 23.
Knox Halloween Bash Regatta
This spook-tacular event is filled with tricks and treats for the whole family. Rowers are expected to compete in fun Halloween-theme t-shirts and costumes. Halloween decorations will adorn the tents and concession stations. Guests are welcome to bring blankets and picnics. The Knox School, 541 Long Beach Rd., St. James. knoxschool.org Free. 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Oct. 23.
Halloween Boat Burning
This annual Halloween Boat Burning is one of Long Island’s unique events. A large wooden boat is set ablaze, making the occasion LI’s largest aquatic bonfire. Live entertainment, snacks, raffles and a chance to win a new wooden boat! Talk about “fire on the water!” 88 West Avenue, West Sayville. limaritime.org $5. 5 p.m. Oct 28.
Spirits of Sag Harbor
This “haunted” walking tour of this fabled South Fork village makes stops at several locations where tour guides will share ghostly tales of what’s gone on in the not-too-distant past. If you feel a shiver up and down your spine, that’s expected. All minors must be accompanied by an adult. Pre-registration and prepayment is required. Sag Harbor Whaling & Historical Museum, 200 Main St., Sag Harbor. sagharborwhalingmuseum.org $20. 6 p.m. Oct. 28.
It’s A Halloween Party!
Great food, music, dancing and fun! Express yourself! There will be a DJ and Buffet, and prizes for the best costume! The Snapper Inn, 500 Shore Drive, Oakdale. 631-589-0248 thesnapperinn.com $40. 7 p.m. Oct 28.
Halloween Costume Party
New Life Crisis performs while revelers compete in a costume contest and dance the night away. Martha Clara Vineyards, 6025 Sound Ave., Riverhead. marthaclaravineyards.com $20-25. 7 p.m. Oct. 28.
Haunted Hangars Family Overnight
You’ve all seen the movie–now actually spend a night in the museum! Bring your own sleeping bag or air mattress. Halloween-themed events include creepy science activities, watching films in the IMAX Dome Theater, taking flashlight tours of the galleries and more. There will be pizza, bedtime snacks and a light breakfast. Cradle of Aviation Museum, Charles Lindbergh Blvd., Garden City. cradleofaviation.org $50-$65. 7:30 p.m. Oct. 28.
Halloween Scream with the B-52s
These campy party-out-of-bounds rock-n-rollers throw a Halloween-themed concert that will knock your socks off. Opening the show is Mother Feather. The Space at Westbury, 250 Post Ave., Westbury. thespaceatwestbury.com $55-$85. 8 p.m. Oct. 28.
Bats, Barnacles, & Broomsticks at the LI Aquarium
A penguin parade, face painting, author readings, a puppet show, trick or treating, and a “Pirate’s Nightmare Haunted House.” For children who come in costume the admission is 50% off if they’re accompanied by a paying adult. 431 East Main Street, Riverhead. longislandaquarium.com $23.50- $27.95. 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. Oct. 29.
Long Island’s Largest Pet Costume Contest and Parade! Judging begins at 2:30 p.m. Participants are encouraged to bring pet food donations. Harry Chapin Lakeside Theatre, Eisenhower Park Field 6, Hempstead Tpke., East Meadow. Free. 1-4 p.m. Oct. 29.
Wear your favorite costume, or choose one from a trunk full of freaky vintage apparel. There will be food, treats, crafts, dancing, and more! Way to Grow, 655 Montauk Hwy., Unit 42-51, East Patchogue. 12-3 p.m., 3-6 p.m. Oct. 29.
Day of The Dead
Mexican specialties will be served and cerveza will be flowing on the Dia de los Muertos, the holiday originating south of the border and honoring the dead. Mesita, 212 Merrick Rd., Rockville Centre. eventbrite.com $25-50. 12-4 p.m. Oct. 29.
Great Jack-o’-Lantern Spectacular Sail
The first 50 carved pumpkins will be lit with candles, placed on floats and sent sailing around Belmont Lake around dusk. In addition to the main event, there will be a kid-friendly haunted house, trick or treating, Halloween-themed arts and crafts, and other attractions. Belmont Lake State Park, Southern State Parkway, Exit 38, North Babylon. nysparks.com $8 parking, free with Empire Pass. 3-6 p.m. Oct. 29.
O El Amor
Wear your best costumes as you go crazy over these popular local phenoms, who don Lucha Libre masks while they croon love songs. Opening the show is Buttered Soul. 89 North Music Venue, 89 North Ocean Ave., Patchogue. 89northmusic.com $10-$20. 7:30 p.m. Oct. 29.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show
Probably the oddest, most off-the-wall cult film ever made, this kinky rock ‘n’ roll science fiction horror satire is everybody’s favorite late-night show. A young couple stumbles into a castle inhabited by weirdos from the planet Transylvania, including Dr. Frank N. Furter (Tim Curry), a cross-dressing mad scientist in rhinestone heels. The screening will feature an accompanying live “shadowcast” by ZEN Productions to enhance the experience. Patchogue Theatre for the Performing Arts, 71 East Main St., Patchogue. patchoguetheatre.org $15-$27. 7:30 p.m. Oct. 29.
Halloween Masquerade Ball
Open Bar, DJ, entertainment, buffet stations and more. Come in your best costumes and masks! Express yourself! What are you waiting for? This is the night to skip the light fantastic and go all out. Sea Star Ballroom, 431 East Main, Riverhead. longislandaquarium.com $65.95. 8 p.m. Oct. 29.
Halloween Costume Ball
Calling all ghosts and goblins! Come show off your most creative costumes. There will be a DJ, dancing, Halloween buffet, desserts and prizes for best costumes. Windows on the Lake, 235 Lake Shore Rd., Lake Ronkonkoma. windowsonthelake.com $59.95 8 p.m. Oct 29.
Rocky Horror Picture Show
Come for the movie, stay for the Halloween after-party and costume contest. Suffolk Theater, 118 E. Main St., Riverhead. suffolktheater.com $20. 8 p.m. Oct. 29.
DJ Dracula will be spinning the spooky tunes while costumed revelers compete for $2,000 in prizes. Talk about a bloody good time! Mulcahy’s Pub and Concert Hall, 3232 Railroad Ave., Wantagh. muls.com $30. 8 p.m. Oct. 29.
Nightmare on Main Street
DJ Jester will get the ghouls and goulettes dancing while bartenders pour specialty such as caramel apple martinis in the preamble to the annual costume contest. Library Café, 274 Main St., Farmingdale. lessings.com Free. 9 p.m. Oct. 29.
Can you stand it without screaming? It’s a fright-film fest! Four ’80s slasher flicks will unreel in one night, including “Halloween II,” “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Part 2,” “Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter” and “Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors.” That’s some bone-chilling celluloid. Admission includes Halloween party and costume contest. Cinema Arts Centre, 423 Park Ave., Huntington. agileticketing.net $35-$40. 9 p.m. Oct. 29.
Local surf rock band, Strange But Surf, gets the Halloween party started. There’s a costume contest too. Mr. Beery’s, 4019 Hempstead Tpke., Bethpage. mrbeerys.comOct. 29.
Halloween Costume Party
Smooth City & Fosbeats kick out the jams while revelers compete for $2,016 in prizes for the best costumes. The Emporium, 9 Railroad Ave., Patchogue. theemporiumny.com $15, $20 DOS. 10 p.m. Oct. 29.
This two-hour round-trip cruise to Bug Lighthouse is adorned is ghoulish decorations, a costume contest, as well as a chance to explore the decorated light house as part of the end of the cruise celebration. Adult version Saturday, family friendly version Sunday. East End Seaport Museum, 103 3rd St., Greenport. eastendseaport.org $45-$50 4-6 p.m. Oct. 29, 30.
March in costume along Lake Avenue to the St. James Gazebo where judges will reward the best creations. Line up in the parking lot of the former Capital One Bank at 12:30 p.m. at the corner of Woodlawn and Lake Avenues in St. James. Goody bags for all. You are invited back to the Deepwell’s Haunted Mansion afterward where the spirits never sleep because they’re always restless. stjameschamber.org Free. 1 p.m. Oct. 30.
4th Annual Zombie Ball
Costume contests, plus two rooms of frightful fun. In one room, you can dance until you drop dead, figuratively speaking, while you have a killer good time with an old fashioned monster mash. In the second room, enjoy the scary movie lounge and feast your eyes on some classic horror flicks after you’ve had your fill of partying with fellow ghouls. Rhythmology, 361 Union Ave., Westbury. eventbrite.com $10-15. 6 p.m. Oct 30.
Costumes and Cocktails
One hour of hors d’oeuvres, great music, dancing and dessert! The winner of the best Halloween costume will be awarded two free tickets to the Melville Marriott’s renown New Year’s Eve party. But first things first: Halloween is a celebration in itself. Woodbury Country Club, 884 Jericho Turnpike, Woodbury. woodburycc.com $60. 7 p.m. Oct 30.
The Zombie Wedding
This interactive theatrical event is in the spirit of “Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding.” Except with the walking dead on the guest list. For the first time since the zombie apocalypse, a human bride will be marrying a zombie groom. Not sure about the maid of honor or the best man. Rumors are that they’re kind of peculiar. Once the ceremony ends, the reception will bring humans and zombies together on a wild and crazy dance floor. Can you feel it? The Thriller Dance will be performed as well as several other choreographed numbers that the audience is welcome to join if they’re so inclined. Suffolk Theater, 118 E. Main St., Riverhead. suffolktheater.com $35-$45. 7 p.m. Oct. 30.
The Amityville Horror
Besides the Halloween party and costume contest, there will be goth bands in the lineup including Baron Misuraca, Night Gallery, Esoterik, Espermachine and Disorder, a Joy Division-tribute band. Revolution Bar & Music Hall, 140 Merrick Rd., Amityville. revolutionli.com $12, $15 DOS. 7 p.m. Oct. 30.
DJs and live acts from NYC play a Halloween mix. There will be a “Creepy Carn-Evil” art show, zombie makeup artists, and a $200 cash prize costume contest. Be prepared to dance the night away with other monsters, ghouls and evil spirits! Avanti, 272 Post Ave., Westbury. lihauntedhouses.com8:30 p.m. Oct 30.
-Compiled by Natalie Coloprisco and Thomas MacDonald
This California-based experimental post-hardcore quartet exploded onto the scene in 2014 with their debut Through Art We Are All Equals, and since last year they have been touring in support of their second firebomb in a row, Routine Breathing. Expect fan favorites such as “Starving for Friends” and “My Soul is Empty and Full of White Girls.” It promises to be one unforgettable performance. Opening the show is Outline In Color, Avion Roe, Champ, An Old Friend, Basilisk and The Haunting. 89 North Music Venue, 89 North Ocean Ave., Patchogue. 89northmusic.com $15-$25. 6 p.m. Oct. 13.
These metal hell-raisers hail from Illinois and are known for their aggressive, crushing style that straddles industrial, nu, and alt-metal. Think Ministry and Nine Inch Nails trading sonic death blows with Marilyn Manson and Skinny Puppy. Yeah. This gig will most definitely be loud, dark, and very, very disturbing–all the ingredients to make it one for the books. Their set will likely include new tracks from their much-hyped, yet-to-drop Blood Money Part I, rumored for later this month, as well as previous gems such as “Slipping Away” and “Now or Never.” Opening acts include Flaw, Motograter, Vibrater and Ryder. Revolution Bar & Music Hall, 140 Merrick Rd., Amityville. revolutionli.com $18-$20. 7 p.m. Oct. 13.
Shadows of Liberty
Examine the new media monopoly by corporations in America versus the public battle for truth and democracy. Featuring remarkable interviews with Amy Goodman, Danny Glover, Daniel Ellsberg, Julian Assange, Dan Rather, Janine Jackson and many more, this powerful film will entertain, inform and inspire. Not to be missed. Special Guest Janine Jackson live via Skype for Q&A. Cinema Arts Centre, 423 Park Ave., Huntington. cinemaartscentre.org $10-$15. 7:30 p.m. Oct. 13.
The Doobie Brothers
This hard-driving Grammy Award-winning American band of good old boys keeps on takin’ it to the streets and rockin’ down the highway. Just listen to the music, and no matter what’s stressing you out or keeping you up all night, it’ll be all right. Opening the show will be New York-based bluesman Mark Newman. The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $49.50-$199.50. 8 p.m. Oct. 13.
Sergio Mendes This Latin-influenced artist is best known for a series of hit albums featuring a diverse range of Brazilian, African, and American styles of music. His Brasilero earned a Grammy Award for Best World Music Album in 1992, and his latest, Magic, features a song recorded with will.i.am, and a hit single from the 2014 World Cup. Get ready to fall in love with Mendes, as he’s infamous for delivering high-octane performances that often reach “unforgettable” status. Opening the show is Sheila E. NYCB Theatre at Westbury, 960 Brush Hollow Rd., Westbury. venue.thetheatreatwestbury.com $49.50-$99.50. 8 p.m. Oct. 13.
Ice Nine Kills
This Boston-based experimental metalcore quartet is touring to promote their fourth album, Every Trick in The Book, which dropped last year. Supporting acts include Secrets, Sylar, Cover Your Tracks, Out Came The Wolves and Call It Home. Revolution Bar & Music Hall, 140 Merrick Rd., Amityville. revolutionli.com $15-$17. 6 p.m. Oct. 14.
Nichols’ latest single, the upbeat, straight-talker “Freaks Like Me,” serves as the lead track from his upcoming project, due out this year. His latest, Crickets, spawned the two multi-week hits “Yeah” and “Sunny and 75.” That’s in addition to prior chart-toppers like “Brokenheartsville,” “Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off” and “Gimmie That Girl,” and Top 10 smashes like “The Impossible,” “If Nobody Believed In You,” “What’s A Guy Gotta Do,” “Size Matters” and “I’ll Wait For You.” Get ready to groove all night long. Mulcahy’s Pub and Concert Hall, 3232 Railroad Ave., Wantagh. muls.com $30, $25 DOS. 7 p.m. Oct. 14.
Legendary drummer and co-founder of The Cure will be speaking about and signing copies of his new memoir Cured: The Tale of Two Imaginary Boys. Will he keep the beat on the nearest bookcase as Press music critic Zack Tirana breaks out an off-tempo, horribly off-key rendition of classic “Just Like Heaven” and perhaps even “Friday I’m In Love”? Only one way to find out. Just the idea of it deserves an encore in your mind. “Fascination Street,” indeed. Book Revue, 313 New York Ave., Huntington. bookrevue.com Free with purchase of book. 7 p.m. Oct. 14.
Chills-invoking lead singer Justin Furstenfeld stays true to form, wearing his heart on his sleeve and pouring a powerful spectrum of emotion onto the track list of their newest album, Sway. In a sea of over-produced and watered-down mediocrity, Blue October thrives within their lyrically driven hard-rock niche. Opening the show is Danny Malone. The Space at Westbury, 250 Post Ave., Westbury. thespaceatwestbury.com $25-$35. 8 p.m. Oct. 14.
David Bromberg Quintet
The Godfather of Americana mixes blues, bluegrass, gospel, folk, Irish fiddle tunes, pop and English drinking songs until they’re happily coexisting as they can only do on a Bromberg album. Newcomers will be introduced to an astonishing performer whose range and musical depth have delighted audiences for more than 40 years. Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center, 76 Main St., Westhampton Beach. whbpac.org $40-$60. 8 p.m. Oct. 14.
Once upon a time frenzied female fans of Engelbert Humperdinck—and no, that’s not his real name—would toss their undergarments on stage as they swooned over this permanently popular English pop star. His hits “(Please) Release Me,” “The Last Waltz,” “After the Lovin’” and “A Man Without Love” render knees weak and make hearts flutter. Why? Because the Humpler is a big hunk of a loving man, that’s why. And if there’s any doubt about his having the chops, ask those he’s sung duets with–they range from Wynonna Judd to Johnny Mathis, Gene Simmons, Willie Nelson and even Elton John. This guy gets around. Ask those who’ve bought more than 150 million of his records—63 gold and 24 platinum. Can you believe that Jimi Hendrix was once his opening act? Yeah, that must have been a mind-blowing experience for those concertgoers. And don’t forget that it was Humperdinck who influenced Elvis to don the sideburns and the flamboyant leather jumpsuits. Not bad for a young lad from Leicester born with the unassuming name, Arnold George Dorsey, who went on to become a living musical legend. NYCB Theatre at Westbury, 960 Brush Hollow Rd., Westbury. venue.thetheatreatwestbury.com $59.50-$99.50. 8 p.m. Oct. 14.
Retro Picture Show presents a special one-night-only screening of the 1982 cult classic slasher film. Producer Gary Sales and Paul “Madman Marz” Ehlers will be on hand to discuss the feature. Get ready to be terrified! But remember: it’s only a movie! Cinema Arts Centre, 423 Park Ave., Huntington. cinemaartscentre.org $9-$11. 10 p.m. Oct. 14.
Long Island Gay & Lesbian Film Festival
This annual festival presents three days of LGBTQ movies, art and music, with food and cocktail receptions included in all ticket purchases. All films are shown at the Cinema Arts Center unless otherwise listed. Opening night kicks off with a spectacular gala and showings of recent movies Women Who Kill and Hurricane Bianca. Other flicks featured in the festival include Shared Rooms, Summertime,AWOL and many more, accompanied by cocktail receptions, bagel brunches and more fun social components. Cinema Arts Centre, 423 Park Ave., Huntington. cinemaartscentre.org $75. Oct. 14-16.
The Art of Making Gardens
Award-winning horticulturist Luciano Giubbilei will speak about and sign copies of his new book The Art of Making Gardens. What goes into such a task, you may wonder? Well, soil, we suppose. Water? An ample amount of sunlight, perhaps? Surely all this and more, including a whole lotta love! But let us not speak of weeds. Marders, 120 Snake Hollow Rd., Bridgehampton. 10 a.m. Oct. 15.
Come for a fun mixture of activities including live entertainment, tall ships, top-notch artisans, pirate shows, midway rides, and the iconic oyster-eating and oyster-shucking contest. Here the world is your oyster. Theodore Roosevelt Park, 200 Central Park West, Oyster Bay. theoysterfestival.org Free (except for select activities). 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Oct. 15, 16.
Shinnecock Shamrock ***POSTPONED***
Join in the 20th annual celebration of the collaboration between Native and Irish musicians as they dance to demonstrate tolerance of community diversity and inclusion. This multicultural sonic event shares friendship, music, food and gifts to celebrate our collective universal struggles, support for our youth, and honoring our heroes. The Roe’s, 14 North Howells Point Rd., Bellport. $40 adults, $10 kids. 2-8 p.m. Oct. 15.
This is Long Island’s only music festival dedicated to our veterans, where veterans perform and all proceeds go to help other veterans. Local veteran musicians and friends will be playing, and there will surely be some joyous laughs and big smiles for all. And great music, too! The event is a fundraiser; all proceeds go to spreading awareness about veterans’ struggles and to help further Project9line’s Mission. The Emporium, 9 Railroad Ave., Patchogue. theemporiumny.com $22. 3-9 p.m. Oct. 15. $22. 3-9 p.m. Oct. 15.
Life on Mystery Island
In the late 1950s at the age of 12, Ed Faszczewski moved with his family to Plum Island, where his father was a lab supervisor at the animal disease research center. They were among the first civilian families to live on the government-owned island, located east of Orient Point. Come hear Faszczewski tell his first-hand account of life on Plum Island. Was it the origin of West Nile Virus in the region? Lyme Disease? What about the so-called “Montauk Monster”? Did that enigmatic creature escape from one of Plum Island’s mysterious labs!? Dare we say reptilinoid? East Hampton Library, 159 Main St., East Hampton. easthamptonlibrary.org Free. 5 p.m. Oct. 15.
Switchfoot & Relient K
Known for their widely popular hit “Dare You Move,” Switchfoot is touring in support of their latest, Where the Light Shines Through, featuring their road-tested, unforgettable alt-rock sound. Switchfoot has seen great success over the years, with a Grammy Award, GMA Dove Award, and 12 San Diego Music Awards. Relient K will also take the stage, and are set to feature songs off their latest drop, Air for Free. It will surely be an amazing night, with two very talented groups performing back to back. Not to be missed. The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $25.50-$53.50. 7:30 p.m. Oct. 15.
Charlie Puth This former YouTube star has made quite the name for himself with four top 40 singles in the past eight months. “We Don’t Talk Anymore,” “One Call Away,” “Marvin Gaye” and “See You Again” are just some of the ear candy the Puthler is known for. He has collaborated with talented artists like Selena Gomez, Meghan Trainor and Wiz Khalifa, and his major-label debut album Nine Track Mind spotlights his sensitive-yet-assertive singing style, which will undoubtedly be showcased throughout his upcoming tour. Dance, sing and have fun, because Puth knows how to put on a show. Opening the gig is Joel Adams. NYCB Theatre at Westbury, 960 Brush Hollow Rd., Westbury. venue.thetheatreatwestbury.com $35.00-$69.50. 7:30 p.m. Oct. 15.
This platinum-selling, Grammy Award-winning guitarist is an all-time guitar hero whose showstopping licks reflect a broad range of influences including blues, country, pop, rock, jazz, fusion and more. Not to be missed. The Space at Westbury, 250 Post Ave., Westbury. thespaceatwestbury.com $30-$40. 8 p.m. Oct. 15.
Chapin Family Reunion with a Tribute to Harry
The Chapin Family legacy includes not only Harry Chapin’s classic hits, such as “Cat’s in the Cradle,” “Taxi” and “30,000 Pounds of Bananas,” but along with Harry Chapin favorites, wonderful originals by the great Tom Chapin, Jen Chapin and The Chapin Sisters, Lily & Abigail. See the Chapins together for this night of great folk, rock and stories celebrating one of music’s most talented families. Suffolk Theater, 118 E. Main St., Riverhead. suffolktheater.com $45-$49. 8 p.m. Oct. 15.
Lucy Kaplansky is “a truly gifted performer,” says The New York Times. That may be an understatement. Blending country, folk and pop styles, she can make every song sound fresh, whether singing her own sweet originals, covering country classics by June Carter Cash and Gram Parsons, or performing pop favorites by Lennon/McCartney and Nick Lowe. She’s a rare vocal talent, for sure, and this gig is a chance to experience her all up close and personal. Wow! YMCA Boulton Center for the Performing Arts, 37 West Main St., Bay Shore. boultoncenter.org $35-$40. 8 p.m. Oct. 15.
The Bucket List featuring Tony Barca
Long Island native blues/rock singer and songwriter Tony Barca presents his newest project, called The Bucket List, a variety of uniquely arranged covers and original music backed by a killer band. With a loyal fan base known as “The Bucketheads,” this eclectic mix of original music and honest interpretations you just simply would not expect to hear has gained loyal followers at each performance, presenting a plethora of musical tones and choices to dance, jive and dream along to. Whoa. Treme Blues and Jazz Club, 553 Main St., Islip. tremeislip.com $10. 8 p.m. Oct. 15.
Jo Dee Messina
With nine No. One singles on the Billboard Country Music Chart, Jo Dee Messina has taken the genre by storm. She has been honored by the Country Music Association, and was nominated for two Grammy Awards, one of which being Best Country Collaboration for “Bring On The Rain,” with Tim Mcgraw. She is set to perform hits off her newest album, titled ME, which she refers to as her most personal album yet. Jo Dee will be sure to bring on the “Country Heat.” Bound to be one for the books. Patchogue Theatre for the Performing Arts, 71 East Main St., Patchogue. patchoguetheatre.org $35. 8 p.m. Oct. 15.
Whether you find him absolutely can’t-stop-laughing hilarious or occasionally somewhat annoying, Gottfried is an acknowledged master of his comedic craft. He is bound to leave all those in attendance of this must-see gig feeling a sordid mixture of both. That’s a good thing! It means they’ve been laughing so damn hard their gut will hurt for weeks after, which will leave them somewhat annoyed. But they’ll get over it, because laughter is the best medicine. Governor’s Comedy Club, 90 Division Ave., Levittown. govs.govs.com $25. 7, 9:30 p.m. Oct. 15.
Queens Beer Festival
Since diehard Long Islanders know that Queens and Brooklyn, no matter how much hipsters may want to deny it, are in fact a part of this Island, we couldn’t miss plugging this truly amazing gathering of craft breweries from throughout the region–including Greenport Harbor Brewing Co., Garvies Point Brewery and Blue Point Brewing Co. Sample the best craft brew IPAs, ales, lagers, pumpkins and Oktoberfests, along with many more varieties, from throughout the five boroughs, and enjoy an absolutely amazing smorgasbord of global food vendors representing all the multicultural cuisines and mouthwatering flavors in Q-Town, and dance, dance, dance with your friends and loved ones to soul-satisfying live music all weekend long! Not to be missed! LIC Flea & Food Market, at the corner of 46th Avenue and 5th Street in Long Island City. queensbeerfestival.com $29, $39, $43, $68. Noon to 6 p.m. Oct. 15 & 16.
The legendary, Grammy Award-winning singer and songwriter will be talking about and signing his new children’s picture book, Footloose. Ask him about life on the road, what it’s like being a legend, or even the stories behind his immortal songs. Or maybe just ask him to autograph one of these books for your kid or nephew or niece. Or that vinyl album you’ve been treasuring in your music collection. Book Revue, 313 New York Ave., Huntington. bookrevue.com Free with purchase of book. 1 p.m. Oct. 16.
These British rockers rose to fame in the United Kingdom during the New Wave period of the late 1970s, and continued to record successfully through the ’90s. They are known in the United States for songs like “Tempted,” “Hourglass” and “853-5937.” After disbanding twice, Squeeze released their first album since ’98, Cradle to the Grave, last year. They are back together again, and ready to put on a great show. Special guest The English Beat will also be performing. Get ready, because the British are coming! The British are coming! The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $39.50-$89.50. 8 p.m. Oct. 16.
Recently formed rock band Les Brers is made up of former members of the legendary Allman Brothers Band, led by their original drummer, Butch Trucks. Embarking on their first short U.S. tour since formation with only festival-set performances under their belt, these hellraisers plan to continue performing previous Allman Brothers Band songs (such as famous tracks from Eat a Peach, their third studio album) along with other assorted covers. Not to be missed. NYCB Theatre at Westbury, 960 Brush Hollow Rd., Westbury. venue.thetheatreatwestbury.com $39.50-$59.50. 8 p.m. Oct. 16.
Regina Calcaterra and Rosie Maloney
Authors Regina Calcaterra and Rosie Maloney will be speaking about and autographing copies of their new book, Girl Unbroken: A Sister’s Harrowing Story of Survival From the Streets of Long Island to the Farms of Idaho. Calcaterra, an attorney, is also a former aide to Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone and Gov. Andrew Cuomo. This is a rare chance to ask her in person anything you’ve ever wondered about her time at both offices, so do some research before heading down and get that recorder ready! Book Revue, 313 New York Ave., Huntington. bookrevue.com Free with purchase of book. 7 p.m. Oct. 17.
Black & White Masquerade Ball
Join the Greater Westbury Council for the Arts for its first ever Black & White Masquerade Ball honoring Beaumont Jefferson and Doug LeClaire for their contributions to the arts in Westbury. Hors d’oeuvres, music, dancing and merriment will surely be had, along with a great deal of surprise and intrigue, as well! Masks are optional, but encouraged. All proceeds benefit the Greater Westbury Council for the Arts. The Space at Westbury, 250 Post Ave., Westbury. thespaceatwestbury.com $40. 7 p.m. Oct. 18.
Peter Frampton Raw: An Acoustic Tour
The rocking great Brit guitarist Peter Frampton has kissed his golden curly locks goodbye years ago—he can wig out if he wants to, considering he co-founded Humble Pie at 18—so here he is today, still hitting the high notes that shimmer all night long. NYCB Theatre at Westbury, 960 Brush Hollow Rd., Westbury. venue.thetheatreatwestbury.com $49.50-$99.50. 7:30 p.m. Oct. 19.
Main Art: Country songstress Jo Dee Messina rocks Patchogue Theatre for the Performing Arts on Oct. 15!
-Compiled by Ellie Schoeffel, Natalie Coloprisco, Timothy Bolger & Zachary B. Tirana III with an assist from The Pharaoh.
Sparking controversy, the New York City Council recently announced that it is setting aside $100,000 to study the pros and cons of supervised injection facilities where, under the watchful eye of a health-care professional, drug users can shoot heroin using sterile equipment with naloxone nearby to treat accidental overdoses. It’s an interesting idea, and there are more than 100 such facilities in six countries, but I hate it.
Indeed, the United States is in the midst of what can only be described as one of our nation’s worst public health crises. In the face of too many heroin-related deaths and too little progress, taking a look at some novel, unconventional and even radical approaches makes sense. God knows what we are doing isn’t working, especially here on Long Island.
Still, inviting folks into a government office to fill their veins with one of most powerful narcotics on the planet feels an awful lot like we are giving up and just accepting rampant heroin use as a fait accompli. I worry about the message we’d be sending to those who are struggling with addiction, their families, those working to maintain their recovery, and at-risk young people who are often bombarded with conflicting messages about substance abuse.
While the message could be construed as one of compassion, it also smacks of quiet resignation following a half-hearted national attempt to address the crisis, and it can be misleading. There is no “safe” way to inject heroin. Each shot—supervised or unsupervised—fuels the disease and all of its biological, psychological and spiritual components. Substance use disorders are progressive in nature: the more you use and the longer you use, the harder the underlying disease can be to treat.
For many folks, the move from snorting heroin to putting a needle in your arm is monumental. Users talk about that being a pivotal point where hope disappears and the downward spiral accelerates. Substance abuse is extraordinarily complex, but whether supervised injection facilities might facilitate or hasten the shift to injecting—especially among young people—is a question worth asking.
And here’s another question: the average heroin user injects up to 15 times per day, often around the clock. Showing up at the facility for a morning shot might increase one’s knowledge and skills, but unless these places become rooming houses for users, who supervises the other 14 shots? Sure, we are fractionally reducing that daily level of risk by observing periodic injections, but training folks to be better drug users also feels insufficient and incomplete.
Putting aside the considerable public policy issues, there are also some potential legal hurdles here. Medical professionals—doctors, nurses and EMTs—working at such facilities may be placing their licenses at risk or, at the very least, multiplying their potential legal liability as they watch or help guide a syringe filled with potent heroin into a partially collapsed vein in the arm of a person who is mired in crisis.
There is no “safe” way to inject heroin. Each shot—supervised or unsupervised—fuels the disease and all of its biological, psychological and spiritual components.
And here’s another “fun” fact: Federal crack house laws make it a crime punishable by up to 20 years in prison to “knowingly open, lease, rent, use, or maintain any place…. for the purpose of manufacturing, distributing, or using any controlled substance.” Though the feds haven’t rushed to enforce federal drug law statutes in states that have legalized marijuana, this contradiction is exponentially bigger, and it may prompt a fight regardless of who moves into the White House in January.
Locally, New York City, Ithaca and other municipalities across the nation looking at supervised injection facilities will struggle with community opposition. It’s hard to imagine how that conversation would go here on Long Island, a place where NIMBYism kills virtually everything from affordable housing to group homes for the developmentally disabled. And unless you put a facility on every corner, including places where heroin runs rampant, such as Garden City, Syosset, Great Neck and Southampton, accessibility will also be an issue.
As much as I hate the idea of state-sponsored shooting galleries, I also hate the fact that people with substance use disorders are dying in droves from preventable overdoses and from a treatable disease. Suffolk County leads the state in overdose fatalities, in part because drug users often use in isolation—and nobody has taught them how to reduce the risk to their health as they walk a path that doesn’t yet include abstinence.
It’s a very hard conversation to have. In the meantime, thousands of young people in our region and across the country are getting staph infections, landing in hospitals with endocarditis and suffering other medical complications because they are sharing and re-using syringes, injecting above the heart, and don’t know how to spot the early signs of an overdose. And just wait until the new HIV and Hepatitis C diagnoses start rolling in among young people who were in diapers when red ribbons were all the rage.
Look, we know that harm reduction works. The data on syringe-exchange programs and naloxone distribution is clear: both save lives. Does taking the additional step to actually help the person inject heroin increase the public health benefits or does it let government off the hook in the search for more robust and lasting solutions to address addiction? In today’s political climate, it’s not hard to imagine conversations that invoke social Darwinism and end with: “Let’s just give ’em the heroin and be done with it.”
Conducting scientifically valid studies is never a bad idea, but I can think of 100 other ways to spend the $100,000 that New York City is devoting to this report. How about we make sure every school has an evidence-based substance abuse prevention program and offers mental health screenings to students? How about we enhance access to top-quality addiction treatment in a wide variety of settings?
How about we re-think the way we deliver treatment services and make insurance companies pay their fair share without limiting lengths of stay? How about we remove the stigma associated with medication assisted treatment (MAT) and make sure it’s accessible to everyone who needs it for as long as they need it? Suppose we create recovery centers in every community and launch job-training programs for young people? Most importantly, how about we remove the shame and stigma associated with the disease of addiction?
Some would argue that supervised injection facilities are a critical part of that equation, but I’m still left wondering if this is really the best we can do.
Dr. Jeffrey Reynolds is President/CEO of the nonprofit Family and Children’s Association (FCA), which operates two chemical dependency treatment centers and a variety of programs for at-risk youth.