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Do This: Long Island Concerts & Events December 29 – January 4

Long Island Concerts
Gypsy punk warlords Gogol Bordello invades The Space at Westbury on Dec. 29! (Photo: Cambria Harkey, Gogol Bordello official Facebook profile)

Gogol Bordello
Russia invaded the Crimean peninsula, so now these Ukrainian gypsy punk Wonderlust Kings from the Lower East Side are invading Long Island with their surreal musical debauchery, melding folk, punk and even accordian/violin/saxophone-infused dub. It’s only fair. Don’t forget to wear purple. Opening the show is Low Cut Connie. These good-time warlords are known for absolutely mind-bending shows full of positive energy and nonstop dancing. This gig is most definitely one for the books. Not to be missed! The Space at Westbury, 250 Post Ave., Westbury. thespaceatwestbury.com $35-$50. 8 p.m. Dec. 29.

Valor
These Long Island metal-hardcore hellraisers have been delivering scorching rock since their formation in 2007. They have earned a reputation for delivering powerful performances that will stick with you long after the gig. Think Sabbath and Slayer in a head-on collision with Biohazard and Pantera, zapped with a defibrillator from Sepultura. Yeah. Expect to be crushed. With All But Impossible, WestNyle and John Byrnes Band. Revolution Bar & Music Hall, 140 Merrick Rd., Amityville. revolutionli.com $12. 7 p.m. Dec. 29.

O.A.R.
These Maryland-based indie rockers who have been dishing out sonic ear candy since the mid-’90s will undoubtedly play all their hits during this two-night “XXmas Wish List” stand, including “Hey Girl,” “This Town” and “Shattered (Turn the Car Around).” Touring in support of their latest drop, XX, expect an unforgettable night of some really catchy tunes and plenty of singing along! The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $29.50- $89.50. 8 p.m. Dec. 29 & 30.

Related: 43 Fun Things To Do With Your Kids On Long Island

13th Annual Girl Scouts of Suffolk County’s Holiday Light Show
Grab your friends and family and drive through this dazzling annual holiday light extravaganza, featuring a vast array of multi-colored lights, decorations and displays guaranteed to amaze, astonish and lift the holiday spirit! Thanks, Girl Scouts of Suffolk, for lighting up our lives! Smith Point County Park, 1 William Floyd Parkway, Shirley. holidaylightshow.org $20 per car; $70 per coach and school bus. 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Dec. 29 & 30.

Melvin George
This hilarious funnyman, actor and director has taken his comedy show to Carnegie Hall, The Village Gate, and several local TV shows. He always leaves his audiences in absolute stitches. Also known for his appearances on Fox’s Comic Strip Live and HBO’s Def Comedy Jam, George is all about being uncool and not trying to fit in. For some reason that resonates with us. We don’t know why. So come prepared to laugh, uncontrollably. You know we will! The Brokerage Comedy Club, 2797 Merrick Rd., Bellmore. brokerage.govs.com $15. 8 p.m. Dec. 30.

Freestyle Explosion
Bumpin’ rhythms and slick, smooth and spitfire lyrical smorgasbords define this stellar night of grooves and tunes, bound to kick 2016, well, right in the tuckus! Dance dance dance the night away with these high-energy acts, including TKA, Noel, Trilogy, Rockell, Joe Zangie and Soave. Guaranteed: You will be compelled to raise your arms up in the air, laugh loudly, and bop hard till the early morn! You will be floored! The Emporium, 9 Railroad Ave., Patchogue. theemporiumny.com $25. 10 p.m. Dec. 30.

Related: Mary Poppins: Holiday Extravaganza at Engeman Theater Runs Through Dec. 31st

Blue Tourmaline
These blues rock-cover maestros have been mesmerizing audiences at clubs and private events across Long Island. Performing material spanning Rod Stewart to the great John Prine, Blue Tourmaline perform powerfully led by strong female vocals. Treme Blues and Jazz Club, 553 Main St., Islip. tremeislip.com $10. 8 p.m. Dec. 30.

Bush
These ’90s British rockers are out to reclaim their title of “Sonic Ear Candy Purveyors” in a big way, performing their comeback album The Sea of Memories, their first release in 20 years (its track “The Sea of Winter” topped the charts for six weeks), as well as all their popular earlier hits. Bush rose to success two decades ago, selling close to 20 million records in the US and Canada alone, and pumping out 18 consecutive Top 40 Hit Singles on the Modern and Mainstream Rock charts, including “Comedown,” “Glycerine,” “Machinehead,” “Swallowed,” “The Chemicals Between Us” and “The Sound of Winter.” True, frontman Gavin Rossdale definitely needs to have his head examined after allegedly cheating on Gwen Stefani with a look-a-like nanny (who’s is at the center of their ongoing divorce), but perhaps he’ll channel all that frustration and misplaced angst into a really show-stopping performance! There’s no beating around it: Bush is back in town. The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $54.50- $149.50. 10 p.m. Dec. 31.

Related: Long Island Wineries and Vineyards Guide

Kamran, Hooman and Sepideh
Canadian-Iranian brothers Kamran and Hooman Jafari pair up with Iranian-American pop singer Sepideh of the group Black Cats (which Kamran and Hooman were briefly part of) to sing all their collective hits, including Kamran and Hooman’s “Iran, Iran” and tracks off Sepideh’s Beauty and the Beat and No Fear. Prepare to be mesmerized! Prepare to be teleported! The Space at Westbury, 250 Post Ave., Westbury. thespaceatwestbury.com $75-$125. 8 p.m. Dec. 31.

Seal Walks
A New York State Parks’ naturalist will lead visitors on a 90-minute leisurely beach walk to an area where up to four species of seals can be observed. Along the way, there will be opportunities to see many winter birds and to explore marine biology. Dress appropriately and wear comfortable footwear. Binoculars are recommended. Bring water, too. Similar hikes are scheduled every weekend. Don’t miss out on this incredible chance to witness these extraordinary whiskered (and oh-so cute!) creatures all up-close and personal! No petting allowed, though! Theodore Roosevelt Nature Center, Jones Beach State Park Field 1, Ocean Parkway. nysparks.com $3-$4. 1:30 p.m. Jan. 1.

Seal walk

New Year’s Day Hike
What better way to ring in 2017 than by taking a brisk, invigorating walk along the beach? Those looking to sweat out their New Year’s hangovers can join one of two hikes on either end of Fire Island starting at the same time. One sets off from the Fire Island Wilderness Center at the entrance to Smith Point County Park and goes to the breach, aka New Inlet. The other begins at Robert Moses State Park Field 5 and goes to the Fire Island Lighthouse. Fire Island National Seashore, Fire Island. nps.gov Free. 10 a.m. Jan. 1.

Related: Long Island Craft Beer Guide

New Year’s Hike
Start the year off by learning about Long Island’s winter habitats with a guided nature hike. Pre-registration required. Cold Spring Harbor Fish Hatchery & Aquarium, 1660 Rte 25A, Cold Spring Harbor. www.CSHfishhatchery.org $4-$6. 11 a.m., 2 p.m. Jan. 2.

Let’s Celebrate The New Year!
With a mission of encouraging visitors to explore the maritime realm and learn about science, this special hands-on interactive event will transform children’s imaginations into a deeper understanding of geometry and its countless applications to daily life. Participants (children 2 to 12 years old; though all ages are welcome) will discover these extraordinary principles and even design their own Times Square Ball! Wow! Maritime Explorium, Port Jeff Harbor, 101 East Broadway, Port Jefferson. maritimeexplorium.org $5; members and children under 1 year of age are Free. 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. Jan. 2

Promise of Redemption
A solo side project of Shane Henderson, the voice behind Valencia, Promise of Redemption plays acoustic, ambient pop that has the extraordinary ability to not only lift people from their seats and get them groovin’ along, but also somehow lifts up their souls. With the release of Lights That Flicker Will Surely Fade and When Flowers Bloom, Henderson artfully crafts songs about love and hope that fascinate, amaze and inspire. Warming up the crowd are Triangle Shirt Factory, Self Help Me, Amboy and The Phoenix Within. Wow. Amityville Music Hall, 198 Broadway, Amityville. amityvillemusichall.net $12. 7 p.m. Jan. 4.

Jackie Cinema Arts Centre

Jackie
Starring Long Island’s own Natalie Portman, Chilean director Pablo Larraín’s Jackie transports viewers through the turmoil and tragedy of the JFK assassination and its immediate aftermath as experienced by Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy. It’s a powerful, moving, and fascinating depiction of America’s First Lady during one of its darkest hours, and Portman brings a depth to her role that is guaranteed to amaze, and enlighten. Here’s a primer before heading in: Read Jackie O: LI’s First Lady. A must-see, indeed. Cinema Arts Centre, 423 Park Ave., Huntington. cinemaartscentre.org Public: $12; Students & Seniors: $9; Children 12 & under: $5. Members: Check website. Noon, 2:20 p.m., 4:40 p.m., 7 p.m., 9:20 p.m. Through Jan. 5.

Norman Rockwell and Friends: American Illustrations from the Mort Künstler Collection
Featuring illustrations from such masters from the Golden Age of American Illustration as: Dean Cornwell, Howard Chandler Christy, Maxfield Parrish, Charles Dana Gibson, Howard Pyle, Edwin Austin Abbey, Winslow Homer, N.C. Wyeth, J.C. Leyendecker, and of course, Norman Rockwell, among others, this extraordinary exhibit highlights not only dozens of wondrous works, but underscores the significance they played in influencing the minds and shaping the beliefs of an ever-literate public. Think about how omnipresent TV, Facebook, Twitter and digital media are today (to truly grasp an understanding of this, as well as its pitfalls, Read Information Overload: Fake News in The Era of Online Propaganda & Disinformation). These works were as significant, back then. Fascinating. Heckscher Museum of Art, 2 Prime Ave., Huntington. heckscher.org Check website for price of admission. Through March 5.

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

Featured Art: Gypsy punk warlords Gogol Bordello invades The Space at Westbury on Dec. 29! (Photo: Cambria Harkey, Gogol Bordello official Facebook profile)

Carrie Fisher, Best Known as ‘Princess Leia,’ Dies After Suffering Heart Attack

Famed Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher died on Tuesday, according to reports. She was 60 years old.

Best known for her dynamic performance as Princess Leia in the intergalactic Star Wars films, Fisher suffered cardiac arrest aboard a flight on Friday.

Fisher’s death was announced by a family spokesperson in a statement to People magazine.

“She was loved by the world and she will be missed profoundly,” the statement read. “Our entire family thanks you for your thoughts and prayers.”

Fisher died at 8:55 a.m., according to the statement.

Fisher had been flying from London to Los Angeles when she suffered a heart attack. At what point of the flight she fell ill still remained unclear.

Fisher was hospitalized immediately after the flight had landed and had been placed in an intensive care unit. She remained in ICU on Sunday, when her mother, Debbie Reynolds, wrote on her Facebook account that her daughter was listed in “stable condition.”

“To all her friends and fans, I thank you all for your prayers and good wishes.”

Fisher’s co-star, Mark Hamill, who played the role of Luke Skywalker, had a short message for his followers upon hearing about his friend’s death:

Although Fisher appeared in dozens of films and TV shows, her role as Princess Leia, beginning with Star Wars: Episode IV, earned her iconic status. Fisher reprised the role to complete the trilogy and was reunited with the cast of the space epics last year in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, much to the delight of fans across the galaxy.

As news of her passing made its way across social media, fans poured in condolences. Among the tributes was the ubiquitous slogan from Star Wars: “May the force be with you.”

Other than stepping back into the iconic sci-fi universe that made her famous, Fisher had appeared in the comedy Catastrophe and was the voice of Angela in Family Guy.”

Top 10 Long Island News Stories of 2016

2016 news

Whether it’s lingering heartbreak over the presidential election result or the deaths of beloved icons such as Prince, David Bowie, Muhammad Ali or Leonard Cohen, few are sad to bid farewell to 2016.

Sure, it had its bright spots both nationally and locally. Among these: WNBA All Star, US women’s basketball captain and Syosset native Sue Bird won her fourth consecutive gold from the Rio 2016 Olympics, and two medical marijuana dispensaries opened on Long Island—providing much-needed relief for certified patients with serious conditions following a long-fought fight to legalize its use in New York State.

But these stories didn’t make the cut as the biggest local news events of the year. What follows are the top 10 Long Island stories of 2016.

10. History for Hofstra
In a showdown that drew record ratings, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton squared off in the first of three presidential debates at Hofstra University. For Hofstra, it was the third consecutive debate it had hosted in as many presidential elections, which was a first for any host. For America, it was a Rock ‘em, Sock ‘em affair in which the rivals proclaimed demonstrably different beliefs. Trump talked about instituting “stop-and-frisk” across the nation despite a court striking down the controversial police procedure as unconstitutional and nixing such trade deals as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Clinton said she’d work to build the economy from the bottom up and questioned her competitor’s temperament. Outside the debate, the atmosphere was both festive and chaotic. Nassau County police removed Green Party candidate Jill Stein from Hofstra’s grounds and made two dozen arrests as thousands along Hempstead Turnpike demonstrated for minimum wage hikes, women’s rights and climate change—a dire global issue that went unmentioned on the debate stage.

9. New Bishop in Town
While much of the media gushed over Long Island’s new bishop’s apparent basketball prowess during his introductory press conference earlier this month, Bishop John O. Barres will be judged not on his ball-handling skills but how he leads the Rockville Centre Diocese—the sixth-largest Catholic diocese in the nation, with 1.3 million baptized—through difficult times. According to the Pew Research Center, Americans are increasingly becoming less religious, with the percentage of religious “nones”—the name academics have given for those who are agnostic—comprising nearly 25 percent of the nation. Meanwhile, during that same time period (2007-2014), the number of people who identify as Christian dropped from 78 to 71 percent. Barres, 56, is replacing outgoing Bishop William Murphy, who is retiring after 15 years at the helm of the diocese. Pope Francis appointed Barres to his new position after he led the diocese in Allentown, Pa. He takes over on Jan. 31.

8. Disappointment 101
Dowling College students learned harsh life lessons in reliability when their 48-year-old alma mater in Oakdale gave three days’ notice in June that it planned to close its classroom doors forever shortly after its last graduation ceremony. The administration then led the private, nonprofit liberal arts college on a summer-long academic train wreck when it just as abruptly reversed its decision to close as it clung to hope that a buyer would bail it out. But it was the end of the line when Dowling’s oversight agency, the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, voted to withdraw accreditation for the college following a two-year review. Dowling leaders then reversed course a second time and decided to close the school, capping a decade-long downward spiral of unstable leadership, mounting debt and declining student enrollment. The college has since filed for bankruptcy and is expected to auction off its two campuses.

7. Bet on Islandia
Three years after New York State authorized Nassau and Suffolk OTBS to build mini-casinos, Islandia village did what nobody was willing to and approved construction of the first such facility on Long Island when it opens in February, barring any roadblocks. The Suffolk OTB Islandia Casino at the Marriott Hotel will have 1,000 video gaming terminals run by Buffalo-based hospitality company Delaware North. Islandia officials approved the controversial plan during a special meeting on a Friday morning in August, outraging residents, who filed a lawsuit in September to block the casino out of fear that it will increase traffic and crime. After facing identical protests and litigation to the west, Nassau Downs OTB folded its mini-casino plans and reportedly struck a revenue-sharing agreement that transferred the rights to 1,000 gaming terminals to Resorts World Casino at Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens.

6. Cablevision’s Reign Ends
European telecom giant Altice completed its $17.7 billion takeover of Cablevision in July. The enormous sale gives Altice’s American subsidiary, Altice USA, 3.1 million new subscribers, on top of the 1.5 million customers of Suddenlink Communications in St. Louis, Missouri—making it the fourth-largest cable operator in the United States. For Long Islanders, the sale also invited speculation about the fate of Newsday, the Island’s lone daily newspaper, which Cablevision owned along with amNewYork and News 12. Shortly after the deal closed, the paper announced that Patrick Dolan, president of News 12 Networks, had acquired 75-percent of Newsday Media Group, with Altice USA holding onto a 25-percent stake in the media company. Patrick Dolan is the son of Charles Dolan, the family patriarch and founder of the since-sold telecom company. The Dolan family still owns Madison Square Garden and the NBA’s Knicks and the NHL’s Rangers.

5. Jail House Rocked
Two years after taking office, Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano touted a public-private partnership to save money and close perennial budget gaps by turning inmate health care at the county jail to Florida-based Armor Correctional Health Services. Five years later, Mangano is facing prison for allegedly taking bribes from another county contractor (more on that later), the New York State Commission on Correction issued reports suggesting Armor contributed to the death of several inmates and the state attorney general sued the company for not fulfilling its contract. The company was fined $350,000 and was barred from bidding on jail contracts in New York for three years as a part of a settlement. Several other lawsuits are pending from the families of inmates who died, one of whom was an Iraq War veteran. And the county is trying to find a new company to provide inmate health care.

4. Trump Stumps
Donald Trump-mania descended on Long Island in April with a packed rally at Grumman Studios in Bethpage that attracted an estimated 12,000 supporters and hundreds who demonstrated outside. At the first of two rallies he’d hold on LI, Trump led his fans on his oft-used campaign chant: “Who’s going to pay for it?” the businessman and reality TV star asked, referring to a wall at the southern border. “Mexico!” the crowd shouted. Outside protesters condemned Trump for his hard-line position on immigration, calls to ban non-US Muslims from entering the United States and misogynistic behavior. A similar scene played out several weeks later in Patchogue, where Trump hosted a smaller yet impassioned rally at a concert venue, just blocks from the slaying of Ecuadorean immigrant Marcelo Lucero—a hate crime that revealed deep fissures in the community. Immigrant advocacy groups and religious leaders decried Trump for holding a rally so close to the site of Lucero’s murder. Trump’s outreach to Long Island may have played dividends in the election, with the GOP candidate taking the majority of the vote in Suffolk County.

3. Orlando Shooter, Victim’s LI Connection
The horrific slaying of 49 people inside a gay nightclub in Orlando this summer reverberated across the country and especially on Long Island, which is home to a large and close-knit LGBT community. That the homophobic murders of dozens of young people felt incredibly poignant for many was not the only reason LI became part of the story. As it turned out, Omar Mateen, the deranged gunman, spent his early childhood in Westbury—the same town that alleged al Qaeda propagandist Samir Khan called home before moving to North Carolina. (Khan was killed in a drone strike in Yemen.) One of the victims who survived Mateen’s massacre, Marissa Delgado, reportedly grew up in Glen Cove and later moved to Orlando. The attack on the nightclub was the worst mass shooting by a single gunman in US history. The shooting occurred on the eve of gay pride parades across the country, including on LI.

2. Body Count Rises in Brentwood
In the deadliest month in Brentwood in seven years, six victims of gang violence—mostly teenagers—were found dead there in a five-week span. Nisa Mickens, 15, and Kayla Cuevas, 16, were first found dead on Sept. 13. Days later, police unearthed the skeletal remains of 19-year-old Oscar Acosta, who was reported missing under suspicious circumstances in May, and 15-year-old Miguel Moran. All four were Brentwood High School students. Then on Oct. 13, Dewann A.S. Stacks, 34, was killed on American Boulevard. On Oct. 17, police found the body of 18-year-old Jose Pena-Hernandez, an alleged MS-13 gang member from Brentwood who was reported missing in June. Police said MS-13 involvement is suspected in some cases and sources said the gang is responsible for all six. Police said they have made arrests in a gang crackdown, but haven’t released names or charges of the suspects.

1. Tammany Island
Together, they read like the verse of a Billy Joel song. Thomas Spota, Jimmy Burke, Dean Skelos, Edward Walsh, John Venditto, Ippolito, Ed & Linda Mangano. We didn’t start the fire! What do they all have in common? Getting the attention of federal law enforcement this year, of course. Nassau County Executive Mangano, his wife, Linda, and Oyster Bay Town Supervisor Venditto all pleaded not guilty in October to an alleged bribery scheme. The county exec rebuffed calls to resign and Venditto hasn’t said if he will or not, either. Ex-Oyster Bay Planning Commissioner Fred Ippolito was sentenced in September to 2 years in prison for not reporting $2 million in income on his taxes. Ex-Suffolk County Conservative Party Chairman Ed Walsh is appealing his March fraud conviction for golfing, gambling and politicking when he was on the clock at his job as a corrections lieutenant. Expelled New York State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre) was sentenced in May to five years in prison but remains free while he appeals his conviction for extortion, fraud and soliciting bribes. Disgraced Suffolk Police Chief James Burke was sentenced last month to 46 months in prison for beating a suspect and orchestrating a cover up that resulted in several of his subordinates being charged and convicted. And Burke’s mentor, Suffolk County District Attorney Tom Spota, rebuffed calls to resign in May following reports that his top corruption prosecutor is the target of federal public corruption investigators.

Who’s next? Guess we’ll find out in 2017.

Trump’s Republican Makeover In 140 Characters Or Less

Donald Trump Child Care

By Arnold Dodge

The tweeter-in-chief, predictably, is at it again. Even after his Electoral College victory, his Twitter feed continues, his followers hungry for more. Making both domestic and foreign policy tweets in reaction to any and all criticism, he has captured the imagination of junior high school children everywhere. They, too, can someday be president if all it takes is a sentence fragment and a nasty tone.

As we await the Inauguration Day ritual, let’s imagine Trump—at that point able to communicate in tweet-style only—taking the oath of office:

@RealDonaldTrump I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will, to the best of my ability, preser-

That’s all he could tweet, folks. 140 characters is not a fake news barrier. It’s a real limitation, even for the President-elect. Tweeting?  Good or bad? Actually, neither.  You can’t blame the medium, it’s the message. Or more importantly, the messenger.

Trump’s twitter lexicon is already filled with assaults on individuals and take-downs of institutions. At times juvenile, at other times vicious, these bursts of phlegm—often crafted at 3 a.m.—are laced with racism, misogyny, xenophobia and threats to democracy. He has insulted scores of journalists, dozens of media outlets, politicians, women, union leaders, union members, the U.S. government, the CIA, immigrants, Mexicans, federal judges and celebrities. And the list goes on.

But we don’t have to take it lying down. Here’s a torrent of tweets—on Trump’s favorite topics—that we should have at the ready at 4 a.m. All it takes is vigilance on our part—and a working Twitter account—to tweet truth to power:

On authority:

@EugeneVDebs In every age it has been the tyrant, the oppressor and the exploiter who has wrapped himself in the cloak of patriotism, or religion, or both, to deceive and overawe the People.


@SamuelAdams How strangely will the Tools of a Tyrant pervert the plain Meaning of Words!

@AynRand Power-lust is a weed that grows only in the vacant lots of an abandoned mind

On women:

@MahatmaGandhi Of all the evils for which man has made himself responsible, none is so degrading, so shocking or so brutal as his abuse of the better half of humanity; the female sex

@LucreticaMott The world has never yet seen a truly great and virtuous nation because in the degradation of women the very fountains of life are poisoned at their source

@AbhijitNaskar “Man is the master of Woman” — this statement may have been a glorious fact of primitive life in the wild, but it is nothing but an obnoxious stain on the psyche of the thinking humanity

On race:

@RosaParks Racism is still with us. But it is up to us to prepare our children for what they have to meet, and hopefully, we shall overcome

@PierreBerton Racism is a refuge for the ignorant. It seeks to divide and destroy. It is the enemy of freedom, and deserves to be met head-on and stamped out

@E.B.White Prejudice is a great time saver. You can form opinions without having to get the facts.

On the “other”:

@StephenVincentBenet Remember that when you say ‘I will have none of this exile and this stranger for his face is not like my face and his speech is strange,’ you have denied America with that word

@BertrandRussell Collective fear stimulates herd instinct, and tends to produce ferocity toward those who are not regarded as members of the herd

@EmmaLazarus (given a pass on the 140-character limit, because Statue of Liberty.)
Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore,
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!

But the wisdom of poets and philosophers, people certainly tagged by Trump as “low energy,” may not be able to withstand the next wave of madness.

After launching salvos against those on his very own enemies’ list, Trump has now dumped his tweets in the global arena. Confusing, contradictory and ill-informed, his texts now confound nations.

After taking a phone call from Taiwan’s president, Trump tweeted:

 

The press jumped on the story, bewildered that the president-elect would violate a 40-year ban on official conversations with Taiwanese leaders. Wouldn’t this jeopardize the one-China policy, a compact that holds together the tense relationship between two global giants?

His surrogates—including the vice-president elect—quickly parried. They scolded the media for their over-reaction. It was just a damn congratulations call!

On cue, the boss unleashed a couple of beauties:

 

 

 

Watch out, world. There’s a new sheriff in town. And he’s a man of few words.

Trump’s abject ignorance of geo-politics and his impulsive middle-of-the-night messaging (fancying himself a global, pre-dawn tribune) portends a dangerous, maybe catastrophic, spasm in the bowels of an already tense and scary world.

What’s next? It could be this:

@realDonaldTrump So sorry about the nuclear air strike CNN. Wolf Blitzer – aka lyin’ Wolf – says 10,000 lives lost. No more than 5,000 for sure! All those interviews with survivors. Bunch of crybabies.

Improbable? Yes.

Ruled out completely? No.

We should have seen this coming. Here’s a 2013 tweet from our President-elect:

 

The Party of Lincoln may never recover.

(Featured photo credit: Michael Vadon/flickr)

Arnold Dodge, PhD, is an associate professor of education at the C.W. Post campus of Long Island University, where he serves as the chairperson of the Department of Educational Leadership and Administration. Dr. Dodge is a former teacher, principal and superintendent. In his 45th year in education, he is particularly focused on the effects of high-stakes testing on schools.

Several Suffolk Cops Charged in Burke Beating & Cover-Up Case, Docs Show

James Burke Suffolk County Police
Disgraced former Suffolk County Police Chief James Burke was arrested by federal agents Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2015 and indicted on civil rights violations and conspiracy charges. (Long Island Press)

By Timothy Bolger and Christopher Twarowski

Several Suffolk County Police Department members were indicted and pleaded guilty to unspecified charges stemming from the case against James Burke, the disgraced ex-chief who admitted to beating a suspect, recently filed court documents show.

The revelation came in a court motion filed Wednesday in state Supreme Court by Garden City-based attorney Bruce Barket, who represents Christopher Loeb, a Smithtown man that Burke beat after police arrested Loeb for stealing from Burke four years ago. Barket is trying to get Loeb’s conviction vacated since Loeb’s confession was coerced and police perjured themselves when Burke ordered subordinates to lie to cover-up the beating, according to the documents.

“Numerous other members of the Suffolk County Police Department have been indicted, and have pled guilty, to crimes committed against Loeb in connection with this incident,” Barket wrote in the motion. “Their identities have not yet been disclosed, and their files are currently sealed because the investigation is still ongoing.”

Related: Ex-Suffolk Police Chief James Burke Pleads Guilty To Beating Suspect, Coverup

A spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York declined to comment. Suffolk police distanced themselves from those involved.

“No one currently employed by the Suffolk County Police Department has pled guilty to any crimes in connection with Christopher Loeb,” Assistant Police Commissioner Justin Meyers said in a statement, indicating that the indicted officers and detectives left the force prior to their convictions.

Cited within the recent court filing are the testimonies of several Suffolk County Police Department personnel, including detectives Thomas Cottingham, Kenneth Reggensberg, Christopher Nealis, Keith Sinclair, Anthony Leto, and Police Officers Michael Kelly and Brian Draiss.

The case dates back to December 2012, when Loeb—then a 24-year-old heroin addict who was on probation for prior thefts—stole a gym bag containing pornography, sex toys, a gun belt, cigars and other items from Burke’s parked, unoccupied police-issued SUV. The next morning, police and probation officers searched Loeb’s home, arrested him for possession of brass knuckles—discovered during a prior probation search more than a month earlier—and took him to the Fourth Precinct station house, where he was handcuffed and beaten in an interrogation room. Burke took his bag back when it was found in Loeb’s home.

Wednesday’s motion, while making the case for vacating Loeb’s convictions, gives additional insight into the 2012 incident and the roles of Burke and other Suffolk officers in the attack and subsequent cover-up.

“Under the guise of a ‘probation search’ incident to arrest, police conducted a warrantless search at Christopher Loeb’s home to recover a duffel bag containing pornography and a gun belt that had been stolen from Chief of Police James Burke’s car,” it states. “During the search, police tampered with physical evidence, arranged and ‘recreated’ the evidence at the scene for crime scene photographs, and allowed Burke—the purported crime victim—unfettered access to Loeb’s home and the evidence, which Burke was permitted to remove from the scene before it was inventoried.”

Related: Retired Suffolk Police Chief James Burke Arrested, Indicted For Civil Rights Abuses & Coverup

Although Loeb was arrested in his backyard at about 9:35 a.m. on Dec. 14, 2012, the court papers continue, police and probation officers participated in a search of his home, boxing up toys, electronics, identification cards and other property that appeared to be stolen, and packing it into police cars. They concluded the search at about 11:30 a.m. and were about to leave when detectives from the Suffolk County Criminal Intelligence Section arrived inquiring about “police-related” items.

The Intelligence Detectives were told that PBA cards were recovered, according to the legal filing, and police ordered all the items seized to be returned to Loeb’s bedroom and the evidence re-arranged throughout the room in an attempt to “recreate the scene,” before being photographed. Chief Burke was “escorted” throughout the house, it continues, and allowed to tamper with and remove evidence, including all his sex toys and porn collection.

“At the precinct, where Loeb was kept for the next forty-eight hours without being arraigned, Burke and other members of the Suffolk County Police Department repeatedly punched Loeb in the head and ribs, choked him until he lost consciousness, ignored his requests for counsel, threatened to kill him, and arrest and rape his mother to extract confessions from him, and entered false information into official police logs to conceal their misconduct,” Wednesday’s court filing continue.

Subsequently, Burke congratulated those involved, even bragging to others about his attack, later stating it reminded him of his “old days” as a young police officer, and referring to detectives who were present during the assault as his “palace guards.”

Burke also summoned to his office all those who’d witnessed his assault, intent on getting everyone’s “stories straight,” states the recent court documents, and telling the witnesses “that they should agree that he merely ‘popped’ his head in to look at Loeb at the precinct, but that otherwise, nothing happened.”

Related: Ex-SCPD Chief James Burke Denied Bail in Brutality-Coverup Case

After Loeb moved to suppress the physical evidence and his statements as a result of the constitutional violations perpetrated by the police, the motion contends, “half-a-dozen police and probation officers lied under oath at the suppression hearing held before this court, but were found credible, resulting in denial of Loeb’s motions to suppress.”

“It was in this posture that Loeb pled guilty to charges that he stole and possessed Chief Burke’s gun belt and ammunition; and even then, he did so while protesting the gross violation of his constitutional rights that had gone unremedied by the court,” it adds.

Following a federal investigation into the incident, Burke was indicted in 2015, pleaded guilty in February to violating Loeb’s civil rights and conspiring to obstruct justice before he was sentenced last month to 46 months in federal prison. Loeb is nearing completion of a three-year prison sentence after he pleaded guilty in 2014 to a weapons possession charge in connection with the case.

Burke’s admission and the aforementioned indictments of other Suffolk law enforcement members, argues Barket’s motion, renders Loeb’s plea invalid and justifies vacating Loeb’s convictions.

Reports of the indictments came a week after a female escort held a news conference to allege that Burke paid her for sex during a drug-fueled Oak Beach house party in the summer of 2011. Burke’s attorney called the claims “false and slanderous.”

Do This: Long Island Concerts & Events December 22–28

long island concerts
Long Island post-hardcore hellraisers The Sleeping destroy The Paramount on Dec. 23! (Photo: The Sleeping official Facebook profile)

Sal “The Voice” Valentinetti
Long Island’s Valentinetti embodies the classy, consummate, old-school entertainer with a heart of gold image and injects it into modern American pop. Upon discovering his hidden vocal talent in his teens, Sal tried out for American Idol season 11, eventually wowing judges on season 12, where he won Heidi Klum’s golden buzzer, ultimately placing fifth in the September finale. The 21-year-old crooner will be singing classic tunes by the likes of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and the Rat Pack. Charisma, vocal prowess, and that heartwarming smile, Vaentinetti’s got it all! The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $25-$54.50. 8 p.m. Dec. 22.

Stuff
A lesbian couple seem to be going through the motions of a life together. Sure, they are supporting a mother who is grieving the loss of a spouse and getting their children to school on time, but excitement comes to town in the guise of a single tattooed mother who proves to perhaps be more temptation then the couple’s marriage can handle. Will she split them apart or drive them back to each other? Director Suzanne Guacci, star Phyllis Somerville and select cast members in attendance for this fascinating, moving film! Cinema Arts Centre, 423 Park Ave., Huntington. cinemaartscentre.org $10-$15. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 22.

Related: Mary Poppins: Holiday Extravaganza at Engeman Theater Runs Through Dec. 31st

Joe DeVito
A veteran of more than 100 TV and talk show appearances, this comic’s dead-on timing, unexpected twists and sheer flights of lunacy make him a favorite at the top comedy clubs in New York City and across the USA. His performance at the prestigious Just for Laughs Festival was rated “9.5 out of 10” by The Montreal Gazette. Be prepared to laugh, uncontrollably. Governor’s Comedy Club, 90 Division Ave., Levittown. govs.govs.com $15-$45. 6 p.m. Dec. 23.

Kenny Rogers: The Gambler’s Last Deal Christmas Hits
This Country Music Hall of Famer has charted more than 120 hits across multiple genres of music and remains one of the top-selling artists of all time. Expect a mix of classics and fan favorites, such as “The Gambler,” of course, and newer gems, spanning his more than half-century as one of America’s greatest song-storytellers. NYCB Theatre at Westbury, 960 Brush Hollow Rd., Westbury. venue.thetheatreatwestbury.com $49.50-$124.50. 8 p.m. Dec. 23.

The Sleeping
Long Island post-punk/indie rock band The Sleeping bend genres, using indie melodies interwoven with harder post-punk chords to create an abrasive and vigorous, as well as groove-oriented and stylistic sound. With multiple world tours and the release of their fourth studio album, the band’s biggest hits are “Don’t Hold Back,” “Loud & Clear,” “Listen Close” and “Dearest Mistake.” Warming up the crowd are Reggie And The Full Effect, Folly & Lux Courageous. The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $20-$40. 8 p.m. Dec. 23.

Related: Long Island Christmas Events, Parades & Tree Lightings 2016

The Joe Vicino Band
Blues Hall of Fame inductee Joe Vicino has been a cornerstone of the Long Island music scene for 25+ years. With influences like Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, and Albert King, Joe’s blues/rock style oozes with passion, and his talent for guitar work and crooning can be seen in his songs “Every Morning,” “It Hurts Me Too” and “Summertime.” Treme Blues and Jazz Club, 553 Main St., Islip. tremeislip.com $10. 8 p.m. Dec. 23.

Mean Machine
Whether it’s the most infectious rock, soul, dance or club tunes, Mean Machine provides the perfect soundtrack to the joyous celebration that is the island’s largest happy hour, with a free mega-buffet and drink specials from 7 to 9 p.m. that ensures this weekly party continues on til the early hours of the morn! Dance, dance, dance and relish in the fun, fun, fun! The Emporium, 9 Railroad Ave., Patchogue. $7 advance; $10 DOS. 7 p.m. Dec. 23.

Arash and Mansour
Iranian/Swedish singer Arash has produced many chart-topping European hits such as “Broken Angel,” “Tike Tike Kardi” and “Pure Love” and has collaborated with artists, such as Sean Paul and Rebecca. Iranian artist Mansour joins Arash with his popular Farsi lyrics and sound that led him to create hits like “Bavar Nemikardam,” “No Limit” and “Bari Bakh.” The duo have performed their Christmas show in Las Vegas, as well as other venues spreading their rock/pop combined sound. Wow. The Space at Westbury, 250 Post Ave., Westbury. thespaceatwestbury.comm $65-$100. 8 p.m. Dec. 24.

Patent Pending
Hometown pop-punk heroes are making the long drive from their native Mt. Sinai to Amityville for their latest show to remind all the emo kids to cheer up. Check out this feature on the band in the Press, when they showed up to share some light with a fan who was battling cancer: Long Island Band Gives Hope to Teen With Cancer, proving that these hometown heroes not only have mega talent, but huge hearts, too. Revolution Bar & Music Hall, 140 Merrick Rd., Amityville. revolutionli.com $15. 6 p.m. Dec. 26.

Related: Long Island Christmas Tree Farm Guide 2016

The Santa Claus Super Show
Santa and his bumbling elf, Pepper Mint Stix, are on a mission to gather all of the presents on Mrs.Claus’ special list for the good boys and girls throughout the world! Along the way, they’ll sing songs, tell stories and perform amazing magic tricks with the help of their friends Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and Frosty the Snow Man! Will Santa and Pepper Mint Stix find all of the missing presents and save the day? Only one way to find out! Join this fun, interactive holiday show filled with classic songs everyone loves, adorable puppets, fascinating magic tricks and memorable characters cherished by the whole family! All attendees will even get a chance to come on stage for a special meet and greet and photo session with Santa, Mrs. Claus and Pepper Mint Stix! Well Christmas truly came early this year! Santa reminds all not to forget your camera! What a perfect holiday treat for all families! YMCA Boulton Center for the Performing Arts, 37 West Main St., Bay Shore. $12 Reserved; $7 Reserved VIP Member Club. 11 a.m. Dec. 26 & 28.

13th Annual Girl Scouts of Suffolk County’s Holiday Light Show
Grab your fiends and family and drive through this dazzling annual holiday light extravaganza, featuring a vast array of multi-colored lights, decorations and displays guaranteed to amaze and lift the holiday spirit! Smith Point County Park, 1 William Floyd Parkway, Shirley. holidaylightshow.org $20 per car; $70 per coach and school bus. 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Dec. 27, 28, 29 & 30.

The Last Stand of 2016
Celebrate all that is glorious in rock and say “Adios!” to ’16 with some of the most passionate must-witness bands in the region! Huntington hellraisers More Than Skies join Gasoline Heart, King Neptune, Gamblers and Archibelle in a must-attend night of stellar bands that usher in 2017 with a very loud bang! This is definitely one gig for the books! Amityville Music Hall, 198 Broadway, Amityville. amityvillemusichall.net $10 advance; $12 DOS. 7 p.m. Dec. 28.

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

Featured Photo: Long Island post-hardcore hellraisers The Sleeping destroy The Paramount on Dec. 23! (Photo: The Sleeping official Facebook profile)

Escort Claims Ex-SCPD Chief Burke Paid Her For Sex At Oak Beach Drug Party

Burke Prostitute Oak Beach Gilgo
Leanna, an escort (L), tells reporters that ex-Suffolk Police Chief James Burke hired her in 2011 during a drug-fueled Oak Beach house party, with John Ray (R), a Miller Place-based attorney, during a news conference to discuss the allegations on Dec. 15, 2016. (Long Island Press / Christopher Twarowski)

By Christopher Twarowski and Timothy Bolger

A 30-year-old escort claimed Thursday that disgraced ex-Suffolk County Police Chief James Burke paid her for sex during a cocaine-fueled house party in Oak Beach five years ago.

The brunette woman held a news conference to discuss the allegations along with Miller Place-based attorney John Ray, who represents the family of Shannan Gilbert, whose disappearance from the seaside community in May 2010 led to the discovery of the Long Island Serial Killer’s nearby dumping grounds and 10 sets of human remains. Ray stated that the new information from his client implicates Burke not only in Gilbert’s demise, but also in all those victims’.

“It is the first time that a direct connection between Burke, prostitution and Oak Beach has been made,” said Ray, who represents Gilbert’s family in a lawsuit against Dr. Peter Hackett, a former Oak Beach resident and ex-police surgeon that the family has accused of causing Gilbert’s death. “This is a significant connection.”

“It certainly puts [Burke] right at the center of the pool of suspects for the death of Shannan Gilbert and the other [women],” he continued.

Burke was sentenced last month to 46 months in federal prison after he pleaded guilty to beating Christopher Loeb, a handcuffed suspect that stole his gym bag containing his gun, sex toys and porn from the ex-chief’s SUV and ordering subordinates to cover up the station house assault. Burke was documented to have had patronized sex workers, the Press has reported. After the ex-chief was indicted, federal prosecutor James Miskiewicz said in December that Burke’s porn collection was his “motivation for beating the hell out of Loeb.”

Burke’s lawyer, Joseph Conway, issued a statement Thursday deeming Ray’s claims “more as tabloid journalism than credible news. Today’s alleged witness and her attorney know full well that any credible witness and any credible information should be provided to the proper Law Enforcement officials and not done via a press conference. All of the allegations raised today are false and slanderous.

“Any claims or allegations that James Burke had any involvement in the Gilgo Beach murders is completely outrageous,” Conway’s statement continued. “Mr. Burke was not only the highest ranking Suffolk County Police Officer but also one of the most decorated officers in the history of the department. While he has admitted to his crime involving violation of civil rights and governmental obstruction, there is absolutely not one shred of evidence linking him to the Gilgo beach case. To think otherwise is preposterous.”

The female sex worker, who identified herself only as Leanne, said that she first met Burke during an Oak Beach house party in June 2011, where she saw cocaine being passed around and “observed [Burke] pull a woman by her hair to the ground,” she said in a sworn statement. Two months later, she met Burke at another party at the same house.

“We attempted to have sex together in the bathroom there, but Jimmy Burke was unable to consummate the sex act,” she said in the statement. “This made him extremely angry. He insisted upon oral sex, which was given. He then called me a whore.”

During the news conference, she told reporters that she didn’t know Burke’s identity at the parties other than that he was a high-ranking Suffolk County police official, and she went along with him because she’s a forensic science major who hoped he could help advance her career.

When Burke couldn’t perform yet again, she said, he became extremely aggressive.

“It was so aggressive that my eyes teared, not from crying,” she said, but from gag reflexes, describing the experience as dehumanizing. She said Burke then threw $300 at her. Leanne said it was the first time she was paid for sex.

She believes that she saw Joseph Brewer, the last client to hire Gilbert, at one of the parties, too. Brewer has since sold his Oak Beach home and moved away.

Leanne learned Burke’s true identity, she told reporters, from a friend after the second encounter, and again recognized him on TV after his arrest for beating Loeb. She said she later contacted police with a tip about an Oak Beach resident that she said could be a person of interest in the Long Island Serial Killer case, and told reporters that police had informed that man about her tip. That’s when she contacted Josh Zeman and Rachel Mills, filmmakers of The Killing Season, a docu-series about the LISK case that recently aired on A&E. The duo put her in touch with Ray.

Gilbert’s body was found in an Oak Beach marsh in December of 2011, several months after Leanne and Burke’s alleged encounter. County medical examiners ruled Gilbert’s cause of death inconclusive, and police said they suspect that she drowned, but her case remains an open investigation, a police spokesman said Thursday. The family had a second autopsy performed, which suggested that Gilbert may have been strangled.

Police were searching for Gilbert when they found the first of 10 sets of human remains along Ocean Parkway in the LISK case six years ago this week, in December 2010. Among those discovered were Megan Waterman, Maureen Brainard-Barnes, Amber Lynn Costello, Melissa Barthelemy—who had all advertised themselves as escorts on Craigslist and been found wrapped in burlap—the head, hands and forearm of Jessica Taylor, whose mutilated body was found in Manorville in 2003; an unidentified woman dubbed “Fire Island Jane Doe,” whose legs washed up on Blue Point Beach in 1996 and whose skull was discovered on Ocean Parkway; another unidentified woman dubbed Jane Doe No. 6, whose head, hands and right foot were matched with another torso in Manorville; a young Asian male; and the remains of another unidentified woman nicknamed Jane Doe No. 3 until recently, who was matched through DNA to a young infant, known as “Baby Doe,” also disposed of there.

Investigators have said that the victims may have been killed by two or more assailants.

Asked this month if the police any closer to naming a suspect, they declined to comment, citing the ongoing investigation.

Burke, a 30-year police department veteran, was just 14 years old when he was a witness in the murder case of John Pius, Jr., a 13-year-old from Smithtown whom classmates suffocated with rocks in 1979 for stealing a dirt bike. Following a short stint in the New York City Police Department and his time as a patrolman and undercover narcotics officer in the Suffolk County Police Department, he spent a decade as chief investigator under Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota, the former chief prosecutor in the Pius case.

Spota’s office is currently under federal investigation for corruption.

Burke was the subject of a 1995 Internal Affairs investigation that concluded allegations he “engaged in a personal, sexual relationship” with “a convicted felon known to be actively engaged in criminal conduct including the possession and sale of illegal drugs, prostitution and larceny,” “engaged in sexual acts in police vehicles while on duty and in uniform,” and “failed to safeguard his service weapon and other departmental property” were “substantiated,” according to its report.

Burke received promotions rather than discipline, however, ascending through SCPD’s ranks until he reached its top uniformed position despite his improprieties—a rise facilitated by Spota and Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, who appointed Burke police chief in 2012.

Burke has been criticized for stymieing FBI efforts to assist in the Long Island Serial Killer case—and also pulling Suffolk County detectives off the FBI’s Long Island Gang Task Force in 2012.

Leanne and Ray’s press conference Thursday came just days after another update in the Long Island Serial Killer case: that authorities had linked the torso of an unidentified woman, discovered 19 years ago in Hempstead Lake State Park and dubbed “Peaches” due to a peach tattoo with a bite taken out of it, through DNA, with the skeletal remains of Jane Doe No. 3, thus also identifying Peaches as Baby Doe’s mother.

Ray said that Leanne’s affidavit on Burke’s alleged actions on Oak Beach would enable the attorney eventually to examine Suffolk’s disgraced police chief “under oath.”

When asked why she decided to go public with her allegations now, Leanne told reporters:

“Because that could be my grave—that could have been my grave. This is bigger than me. Yeah, so what, I’m on the news… But if in some way I’m able to identify a child that doesn’t even have a name yet, or give Megan Waterman’s mom some closure, I don’t care about my name.”

Featured Photo: Leanne, an escort (L), tells reporters that ex-Suffolk Police Chief James Burke hired her in 2011 during a drug-fueled Oak Beach house party, with John Ray (R), a Miller Place-based attorney, during a news conference to discuss the allegations on Dec. 15, 2016. (Long Island Press / Christopher Twarowski)

Do This: Long Island Concerts & Events December 15–21

kate Voegele

Drowning Pool
This Texan heavy metal band constructs hell raising anthems, with their goal being to fire up crowds in impassioned sing alongs and use monstrous vocals and riffs to create a powerful sound. Incorporating classic rock anthems with brutal grooves, the band has produced hits like “Push,” “We Are the Devil,” “Tear Away” and “Bodies.” Warming up the crowd are Gemini Syndrome, 9Electric, Red Tide Rising, Despyre and In Dead Silence. Revolution Bar & Music Hall, 140 Merrick Rd., Amityville. revolutionli.com $20. 6:30 p.m. Dec. 15.

Lee DeWyze
Touring to promote his sixth album, Oil & Wate, released in February and a new single “Weight,” this indie singer/songwriter is thriving. Winner of the 9th season of American Idol, his hits include renditions of “Treat Her Like a Lady,” “Fireflies,” “Beautiful Day,” “Everybody Hurts” and “Hallelujah.” Opening the show are The Como Brothers Band and Matt Weiss. Amityville Music Hall, 198 Bwy., Amityville. $15-$50. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 15.

Ballyhoo!
Catchy tunes from this up-and-coming Maryland-based pop rock/reggae/ska quartet will bring some good vibes, including their latest hit, “Fast Times.” Mulcahys Pub and Concert Hall, 3232 Railroad Ave., Wantagh. muls.com $15, $17 DOS. 8 p.m. Dec. 15.

Blood Sweat & Tears
With a unique horn-drenched rock sound, Blood Sweat & Tears formed in New York City in 1967 and continue their decades of successful mergings of rock, pop, R&B and jazz. With multiple Grammy wins, the group has produced hits like “Roller Coaster,” “Save Our Ship,” “So Long Dixie” and “Nuclear Blues.” Their second self-titled album even beat out the Beatles’ Abbey Road for Grammy album of the year. Suffolk Theater, 118 E Main St., Riverhead. suffolktheater.com $65-$79. 8 p.m. Dec. 15.

Sal “The Voice” Valentinetti
Long Island’s own Sal “The Voice” Valentinetti embodies the classy, consummate, old school entertainer with a heart of gold image into American pop. Upon discovering his hidden vocal talent in his teens, Sal tried out for American Idol season 14 and eventually he wowed judges on Season 11 of America’s Got Talent, where he won Heidi Klum’s golden buzzer, ultimately placing fifth in the September finale. The 21-year-old crooner will be singing classic tunes by the likes of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and the Rat Pack. The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $25-$54.50. 8 p.m. Dec. 15, 16.

Holiday Spectacular on Ice
Set to beloved classic and contemporary holiday songs, and starring your favorite figure skaters, singers and dancers, this family-friendly musical celebration is literally the coolest show for all ages this season. Featuring stunning costumes, astonishing performance artistry, and dazzling production numbers, this heartfelt musical experience is the perfect gift and is sure to put you in the season’s spirit. Patchogue Theatre for the Performing Arts, 71 East Main St., Patchogue. patchoguetheatre.org $29.50-$89. Times vary, Dec. 15-Jan. 1.

Acceptance
These Seattle-based alt-rockers use catchy melodies and big choruses with an edge reminiscent of Jimmy Eat World and Anberlin. After a breakup, the band reunited last year to release, “Take You Away,” their first single in a decade and will be releasing their second studio album, Colliding By Design, in February. Expect to hear “Diagram of a Simple Man,” a track from their forthcoming album, and their prior hits, such as “So Contagious,” “In Too Far” and “Glory/Us.” Supporting acts include Shorebreak and Table Talk. Revolution Bar & Music Hall, 140 Merrick Rd., Amityville. revolutionli.com $25, $28 DOS. 7 p.m. Dec. 16.

KTFO & ACC Presents: Worlds Collide
The two best MMA promotions in the New York area, KTFO Fights (KTFO) and Aggressive Combat Championships (ACC), have joined forces to bring you Worlds Collide 1.  An absolutely stacked card of the best MMA talent, from the tri-state area, is slated for the night including multiple title fights. The Space at Westbury, 250 Post Ave., Westbury. thespaceatwestbury.com $50-$90. 8 p.m. Dec. 16.

Masters of Telecaster Featuring: Jim Weider, GE Smith & Jon Herington
It’s going to be guitar heaven in Bay Shore with a trio of famed guitarists lighting up the stage. The evening will be highlighted by the powerful rock exploits of Jim Weider, Jon Herington and GE Smith. Expect titles from Roy Buchanan, Little Richard, Steely Dan, Lee Dorsey, Bo Diddley, and Sam Cooke. YMCA Boulton Center for the Performing Arts, 37 West Main St., Bay Shore. boultoncenter.org $40-$45. 8 p.m. Dec. 16.

Colin Kane
This comic lives by the philosophy that “you can have a messed up sense of humor but still be a nice person.” Known for his in your face insult comedy and crowd work, Kane “acknowledges the line and leaps over it,” an approach that has gained him sold out shows and a dedicated fan base. Recently making his film debut opposite Kevin Hart in the comedy The Wedding Ringer, Kane is a born and bred New Yorker who is unafraid to address sex, relationships, race and anyone who is brave enough to sit in the front rows of his show. The Brokerage Comedy Club, 2797 Merrick Rd., Bellmore. brokerage.govs.com $28. 8 p.m. Dec. 16; 7:30, 10 p.m. Dec. 17.

Trapt
This California-based alt-rock quartet best known for their ’02 hit single “Headstrong” is touring in support of their seventh studio album, DNA, which dropped in August. Opening the show are Dead Superstar, Jesse Blaze Snider and Share The Burden.  Revolution Bar & Music Hall, 140 Merrick Rd., Amityville. revolutionli.com $20. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 17.

Paul Anka
Singer/songwriter Paul Anka has mixed with the greats in the music industry from Frank Sinatra to Elvis Presley and Michael Jackson, writing songs, singing, and collaborating on covers. Rising to fame in the late 1950s, some of Anka’s hits include “Lonely Boy,” “Put Your Head on My Shoulder,” “My Way,” and “This It.” Seventy-five and going strong, Anka has released an autobiography chronicling his encounters and collaborations with stars from Elizabeth Taylor to Dolly Parton, and has reworked such classics as “It’s My Life,” “Smells Like Team Spirit” and “Wonderwall.” NYCB Theatre at Westbury, 960 Brush Hollow Rd., Westbury. venue.thetheatreatwestbury.com  $69.50-$99.50. 8 p.m. Dec. 17.

The Weight
The quintet is a compilation of artists from three former rock groups: The Band, Levon Helm Band & Rick Danko Group. Jim Weider, formerly lead singer, guitarist and songwriter for The Band, will lead this talented bunch onto the stage. He’ll be joined by Randy Ciarlante, Brian Mitchell, Marty Grebband, and Albert Rogers. Opening the show is The King Harvest Horns performing The Rock of Ages Show. The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $19.50-$59.50. 8 p.m. Dec. 17.

One Tree Holiday
Fans of CW’s former hit show, One Tree Hill, will have much to appreciate this holiday season amid the nostalgia spawned by the series’ nine-season run. The evening will include love songs mixed with fan favorites from the show’s popular soundtrack. And of course, there will be holiday music.
Kate Voegele & Tyler Hilton. YMCA Boulton Center for the Performing Arts, 37 West Main St., Bay Shore. boultoncenter.org $25-$30. 8 p.m. Dec. 17.

Ace
Lead by the smooth baritone voice of The Platters alumnus Everette Hairston, Ace brings together all the elements of soul, Motown, funk, reggae and blues into a brilliant ensemble that has got something for everyone. Whether listening to one of Everett’s stories from the road, Craig’s mind blowing harmonica solos or Mark’s table side serenade, Ace brings an energy to the room that’s unmatched. Treme Blues and Jazz Club, 553 Main St., Islip. tremeislip.com $10. 8 p.m. Dec. 17.

Fabolous and Jadakiss
Brooklyn-based hip hop artist Fabolous will get the party started with his hits, including “Breathe,” “Make Me Better,” “Baby Don’t Go,” “Throw It in the Bag” and “You Be Killin’ Em.” As for Jadakiss, he’s sure to deliver old favorites such as “Knock Yourself Out” and “We Gonna Make It.” Backing the rappers will be Funk Flex. The Emporium, 9 Railroad Ave., Patchogue. theemporiumny.com $40, $50 DOS. 10 p.m. Dec. 17.

A Charlie Brown Christmas
Gather up the family and make some lasting holiday memories with the Peanuts gang and their tiny Christmas tree. NYCB Theatre at Westbury, 960 Brush Hollow Rd., Westbury. venue.thetheatreatwestbury.com $20-$25. 3 p.m. Dec. 18.

Palisades
Electronicore band Palisades combine hip-hop, EDM and rock with the goal to make each show a high energy party not to be missed. With hits like “Outcasts,” “Mind Games,” “No Chaser” and “High and Low,” they’re touring to promote their self-titled album slated to drop Jan. 20. Warming up the crowd are Sylar, Blindwish, Artwork, Trace Your Steps [CD Release], Basilisk and In Loving Memory. Amityville Music Hall, 198 Bwy., Amityville. $15. 5 p.m. Dec. 18.

Holiday Cabaret
Catch performances by some of Long Island’s theater staples. Free admission is awarded to anyone who brings a new and unwrapped toy for donation to the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program. Those without a toy for donation can purchase a ticket for $15 online or at the door, with 50-percent off ticket and concession. Half of proceeds will be donated to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Cultural Arts Playhouse, 170 Michael Dr., Syosset. $15. 7 p.m. Dec. 18.

Kings of Chaos
The line up at this crazy show includes Chester Bennington of Linkin Park, Robin Zander of Cheap Trick, Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top, Billy Duffy of The Cult, Steve Stevens of Billy Idol, Robert DeLeo of Stone Temple Pilots and Matt Sorum of Guns N’ Roses with special guest Franky Perez. The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $44.50- $124.50. 8 p.m. Dec. 18.

Leonard Cohen 1934–2016: Celebrating a Folksinger’s Life
With the passing of folk hero Leonard Cohen on Nov. 10, the public mourned the loss of a great singer and poet. This tribute comprises rare concert performances by the musical genius who touched hearts and minds alike. Bill Shelley will lead a discussion about the legendary singer, songwriter, poet, and writer known for songs “Bird on a Wire,” “The Stranger,” “Hallelujah” and “Suzanne.” Reception included in ticket price. Cinema Arts Centre, 423 Park Ave., Huntington. cinemaartscentre.org $10-$15. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 20.

Celebrate the Holidays with David Glukh Enterprises
David Glukh Enterprises presents an afternoon of Klezmer, Jazz and Holiday Classics performed on his signature piccolo trumpet accompanied by piano. Light refreshments and snacks will be served. Landmark on Main Street, 232 Main St., Port Washington. www.landmarkonmainstreet.org Free. 2 p.m. Dec. 21.

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

PangeaBed: Revolutionizing Mattresses, One Dream At A Time

PangeaBed Copper
PangeaBed cofounder Martin Regueiro proudly stands beside a PangeaBed Talalay latex copper-infused mattress in a box ready to be shipped out to a customer. (Danielle Esposito / Long Island Press)

By Danielle Esposito

“We’re a custom mattress house,” says Mike Campbell, pointing to nearly 100 employees working an 80,000-square-foot factory floor in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

Some meticulously snip threads while others swivel giant sewing machines with large spools to stitch together seams of multi-layered bedding. Still more pull quilted covers tightly across the tops of foam sheets while others oversee mechanical rollers flattening and wrapping the finished product for shipping—several of more than a dozen stops along an assembly line that produces between 800 and 900 handcrafted mattresses each day and prides itself on quality control.

“He’s going to send that one back now,” Campbell, vice president of systems and operations, whispers, as a nearby floor manager inspects a mattress, and dissatisfied with the fit of its cover, promptly sends it back up the line to be fixed. “Nothing slips by them.”

Mattresses and sleep products for dozens of companies are produced here, the newest being Long Island-based bed-in-a-box specialists PangeaBed.

It’s a tradition in pursuit of providing the best night’s sleep that dates back to the 1800s with the Simmons Bedding Company in Kenosha, Wis., through the 1930s with Bedding Discount Centers in Brooklyn—renamed Sleepy’s and relocated to Long Island in the ’70s—and up through today.

Yet what bedding giants like Sleepy’s did for the in-store mattress shopping experience then, PangeaBed strives to do for the bed-in-a-box mattress experience now—delivering high-quality mattresses directly to customers’ homes.

Where customers used to visit brick-and-mortar stores to feel the mattresses prior to purchase, modern-day, technology-savvy shoppers prefer the convenience of the online experience, reading reviews and conducting their own research prior to making their selection.

The dramatic rise of bed-in-a-box companies such as Casper, Leesa and YogaBed made longtime furniture retailers and manufacturers Joe Chadi and Martin Regueiro do a double-take.

“Joe saw what Casper was doing and was like, ‘You can do better than this, right?’ and I said, ‘Absolutely,’” recalls Regueiro, who cofounded PangeaBed with Chadi.

Growing up in the furniture business, Regueiro has harbored a passion for design and merchandising since his days helping his father run their family owned shops, which included locations in the Bronx, Astoria and Farmingdale.

“I’ve dealt with some of the best manufacturers in the world and designed products from scratch in our brick-and-mortar locations,” Regueiro says, with a smile. “I’ve built out 40-plus SKU mattress galleries for the stores that my family had, so—it’s in my blood. I feel comfortable.”


“Pangea is the supercontinent from eons past. It represents unity. It represents oneness. It represents togetherness, and the idea is that this is the one mattress company to be the answer to any sleeper type, and that’s how I’m developing the line.”


Since losing his father in 2012, Regueiro has longed to partner with someone who shares a similar Old World-style work ethic and devotion to his craft—qualities, Regueiro says, which bring out the best in him.

“It’s a different kind of man when you deal with somebody in a little bit of an older generation,” he explains. “They’re more handshake-oriented, they’re men of their word, they’re men of integrity, they’re tougher. They’re harder-edged. You have to work harder to please them. They’re not going to pat you on the back for every little thing, and I like that.”

Enter Chadi.

“I feel like Joe elevates my game,” he says. “[My father’s passing] was extremely difficult for me to deal with, and I’ve always been used to working with my father. So in a way, I look at Joe, and, I know he’s not my father, of course, but I look at him, the same generation, the same type of businessman, and I feel—at home.”

Regueiro’s excitement and genuine passion for crafting quality products is contagious.

“It’s incredibly fun designing and developing mattresses, because you deal with the fabrics and the materials and a proprietary mix for feel, and I love doing that,” he says.

Citing a commitment to create the highest-quality mattress on the market, Regueiro mixed and matched every aspect of the mattress-making process until he achieved perfection.

“From the type of glue that’s used, to the type of foam, to the type of tailoring, to the materials, to the design,” he explains. “I mean, everything from that particular welt edge to—well, you can even go back to the color—sourcing that particular pantone color for the lavender and the copper, that took time. And to manufacture the materials around that pantone color, coming up with the right pattern on the cover and the side panel, getting the right quilting on the top, figuring out the right foam to be quilted within the top.”

PangeaBed Talalay Copper
A worker meticulously stitches a PangeaBed Talalay latex copper-infused mattress along the production line within a factory in New Brunswick, New Jersey. (Danielle Esposito / Long Island Press)

Regueiro spent six months testing materials and manufacturers before he felt his mattress was ready, and it wasn’t until he discovered an extra-special component that he truly believed his bed could compete against the mega bed-in-a-box retailers.

That component? Talalay latex: a clean, natural latex foam rubber that undergoes a rigorous, multi-stage freshwater washing and testing process to ensure consistency.

“There’s all different kinds of foams that you can source,” says Regueiro. “There’s all different kinds of synthetic and hybrid foams. But at the end of the day, the best material was Talalay. It’s the cleanest process, it’s the best process. It’s natural.”

“It’s a natural material that you can tap right out of a tree,” he continues. “You pretty much whip it up and you can create beautiful, durable [latex]. It’s something that nature created and we are then adapting into a mattress. And that, I think, is the best way to go.”

Yet that wasn’t enough for Regueiro and Chadi. The PangeaBed duo wanted to raise the sleep-quality bar even higher, and so decided to create a second mattress line with another starring element: copper.

In the quest to help their customers sleep cooler, PangeaBed infuses real copper into their Talalay latex, which creates bedding that is hypoallergenic, antibacterial, and possesses amazing cooling properties.

“I wanted to have something to offer somebody who wanted something a little bit better, a little bit more,” Regueiro recalls. “And copper, when you add it in there, it actually makes [the mattress] that much cooler, it actually makes it that much cleaner, and the hypoallergenic story was something that was very important to me.”

With all of these high-quality materials, the obvious million-dollar question becomes: How do you get such a luxurious mattress into a box?

The answer resides back at the warehouse in Jersey.

Once the PangeaBed mattress goes through its multi-step construction process, a conveyor belt transports it to a special machine that compresses it into a giant pancake. The machine then rolls up the mattress like a burrito, and seals it in airtight plastic. It’s then boxed and shipped right to customers’ doors.

PangeaBed Copper Mattress
A brand new PangeaBed Talalay Copper-Infused mattress rolls off the assembly line in New Brunswick, New Jersey. (Danielle Esposito / Long Island Press)

Opening the new mattress is always fun. A special PangeaBed safety opener enables customers to slice through its outer plastic wrapping without damaging the bed. The mattress then literally grows right before their eyes, sucking up air and fully expanding into its perfectly full plush size within half an hour.

Ensuring he could deliver such a high-quality mattress via a box was extremely important to Regueiro, who prides himself on “giving that bed-in-a-box customer a traditional mattress experience that they’re not getting [from the other guys].”

“I’m looking at a traditional mattress that they’re used to getting, that quality, and then figuring out how to get it into a box,” he explains. “It’s different. It’s quality first, box second. Not the box first, and what can come out of it. It’s important to me—the durability and duration of the product, and just, the beauty of it.”

Regueiro spent a lot of time examining his competitors in order to devise a superior model.

“When you look at the cover and the materials of the other guys, it was just a solution to go into a box, this was the best [they] could do to put [it] in a box,” he explains, “and I said ‘I want to make the best and see how we can get that into a box.’

“And we did,” he adds.

Like their well-rested customers, PangeaBed’s cofounders have big dreams. Regueiro hopes to build a brand that his customers can truly appreciate, one synonymous with quality, comfort, and an unparalleled night’s sleep.

He knows he has to work for it.

“I’m not going to get their trust and loyalty unless I give them something that’s truly better, so I’ve put everything I have into something better, and my ultimate expectation, I hope,” Regueiro explains, “is that they really experience better sleep and they recognize that this is a company in it for the long term.”

Regueiro hopes to expand PangeaBed’s copper line, eventually creating dog beds, foundations, encasements, sheets, and “really create a sanitary, hypoallergenic, cooling story around the element of copper.”

PangeaBed also offers pillows.

At the end of the day, Regueiro really just wants to bring people together, and deliver truly comfortable, supportive sleep. After all, that’s why he named the company PangeaBed.

“Pangea is the supercontinent from eons past,” he says. “It represents unity. It represents oneness. It represents togetherness, and the idea is that this is the one mattress company to be the answer to any sleeper type, and that’s how I’m developing the line.”

Featured Photo: PangeaBed cofounder Martin Regueiro proudly stands beside a PangeaBed Talalay latex copper-infused mattress in a box ready to be shipped out to a customer. (Danielle Esposito / Long Island Press)

[Disclaimer: PangeaBed is a client of Long Island Press’ parent company, Morey Publishing.]

Pope Names New Bishop of Rockville Centre Diocese

Bishop John O. Barres Rockville Centre
Pope Francis named Bishop John O. Barres (L) of Allentown, Pa., to replace retiring Bishop William Murphy (R) as leader of the Rockville Centre diocese. (Long Island Press / Rashed Mian)

By Timothy Bolger, Rashed Mian & Christopher Twarowski

Pope Francis named Bishop John O. Barres of Allentown, Pa., to replace retiring Bishop William Murphy as leader of the Rockville Centre diocese, which includes 1.4 million Catholics on Long Island.

Bishop John O. Barres
Bishop John O. Barres

Archbishop Christophe Pierre, the pope’s U.S. ambassador, announced the decision Friday morning in Washington, D.C. Barres, 56, will become the fifth Bishop of Rockville Centre following a Mass of Installation at the Cathedral of Saint Agnes on Jan. 31.

“I must thank the priests and the entire people of God of the Diocese of Allentown, where I have had the great blessing of serving as bishop for the last 7 ½ years,” Barres said in a statement. “You will all always be in my heart, my memories, my prayers and my masses as I remember our days of ‘holiness and mission’ together.”

Murphy, 76, is retiring 15 years after being tapped to lead the Diocese of Rockville Centre, which ranks as the sixth-largest Catholic diocese in the nation. Under its umbrella are 133 parishes plus 1 campus parish, 57 Catholic schools, a Catholic college, and Catholic Health Services (CHS) of Long Island, which has six hospitals, three health care centers, four nursing homes, a home care and hospice network and a community-based agency for persons with special needs.

The outgoing diocesan leader has been no stranger to controversy, long criticized by child abuse watchdogs for allegedly protecting priests and clergy members accused of sexually abusing children and covering up their alleged crimes. Before his appointment by Pope John Paul II to succeed the late Bishop James T. McHugh to head the Diocese of Rockville Centre in 2001, Murphy served as Auxiliary Bishop of Boston—the epicenter of a sexual abuse scandal within the Catholic Church’s ranks ultimately exposed as a national and global crisis due to a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation by the Boston Globe (basis for the 2015 Academy Award-winning film Spotlight).

Barres, a native of Larchmont in Westchester County and graduate of Princeton, had formerly served as a priest in Wilmington, Del. and was installed as the fourth bishop of Allentown in 2009. Accompanied by Murphy at a press conference within Monsignor Kelly Parish Center adjacent to St. Agnes Cathedral in Rockville Centre on Friday, he recalled fond memories of visiting Jones Beach with his family during his childhood and watching “The Doctor” Julius Erving dominate the court at Nassau Coliseum as a member of a CYO basketball team.

Barres also stressed the importance of parishes in supporting the global mission of Pope Francis—adding that he’d even chosen Francis as his confirmation name in honor of St. Francis of Assisi.

“I have a passion for parish life and will always have the heart of a parish priest,” he said. “I am looking forward to experiencing the vibrant, welcoming, New Evangelization parishes of the diocese and reaching out together as Eucharistic Bridges of the Divine Mercy to the wonderful inactive Catholics in our midst.

“Pope Francis says that ‘Jesus Christ is the face of the Father’s Mercy—Mercy is the beating heart of the Gospel and Mercy is the Mission of the Church,'” he continued. “Our parishes are the living bridges and ‘oases’ of that Mercy, Communion and Mission to the world. In our parishes, our families are enriched by the inspired Word of God, the cosmic power of the Mass and the Eucharistic community of faith.”

“Vibrant parish life in turn inspires and equips our families to bring their Catholic faith into the neighborhood, the workplace, the public square and every inch of our global society,” added Barres.

The new bishop-designate emphasized the power families wield in transforming the world and breaking “the chains of global indifference, consumerism, superficial living,” additionally explaining Catholics’ role in helping improve lives and resolve hardships in countless predicaments across the globe:

“We live the parable of the Good Samaritan first within our own marriages and families and then to the poor family, the family living in the crucible of war, violence and persecution, the hurting family, the grieving family, the family reeling from tragedy and trauma, the family that has experienced the agony of sexual abuse and all forms of abuse including abuse by clergy, the broken family, the immigrant and refugee family separated by long distances, the family tending to members that deal with serious sickness and health issues, the family of the war veteran suffering with PTSD and the family taking care of an elderly relative with Alzheimer’s/Dementia.”

“It is my deep conviction that [Barres] will be a Bishop for all of us without exception,” said Murphy. “He has shared with me his love of youth and his care for the elderly. He has a keen sense of parish life and has a special expertise in education.”

Murphy also touted Barres’ support of the nonprofit Catholic Charities mission to help the needy, parish outreach and interfaith cooperation as the fourth Bishop of Allentown, where he worked to strengthen Catholic schools, enhance evangelization and improve the financial condition of the diocese.

Featured Photo: Pope Francis named Bishop John O. Barres (L) of Allentown, Pa., to replace retiring Bishop William Murphy (R) as leader of the Rockville Centre diocese. (Long Island Press / Rashed Mian)

hofstra transfer day today
hofstra transfer day today