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How My Mother’s Breast Cancer Diagnosis Saved My Sister’s Life

breast cancer
My mother Frances and sister Lauren, both breast cancer survivors. (Photo provided by Natalie Coloprisco)

By Natalie Coloprisco

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.

Guitar Hero: RIP Peter Belmonte, My Uncle

Peter Belmonte
My uncle, Peter Belmonte.

By Chris Faraone

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.

Peter Belmonte 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.

fara

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.

Peter Belmonte

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

Peter Belmonte

Chris Faraone is News Editor at DigBoston and author of four books including, “99 Nights with the 99%.”

Long Island Halloween Events 2016

Halloween

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:

Starman: Homecoming
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.

MORE THINGS TO DO: Long Island Halloween Haunted Houses 2016

Halloween Ball
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.com Oct. 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.

MORE THINGS TO DO: Long Island Pumpkin Picking Guide 2016

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.

Pumpkin Park
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.us 11 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.

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

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.

Barkfest
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.

Halloween Fest
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.

MORE THINGS TO DO: Long Island Oktoberfest 2016 Events

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.

Halloween Party
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.

MORE THINGS TO DO: Apple Picking on Long Island 2016

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.

Halloween Horrorthon
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.

Halloween Party
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.com Oct. 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.

Halloween Cruise
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.

Halloween Parade
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.

Monster’s Ball
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.com 8:30 p.m. Oct 30.  

-Compiled by Natalie Coloprisco and Thomas MacDonald

Do This: Long Island Concerts & Events October 13–19

Jo Dee Messina
Country songstress Jo Dee Messina rocks Patchogue Theatre for the Performing Arts on Oct. 15!

Slaves
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.

Dope
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.

MORE THINGS TO DO: Long Island Halloween Haunted Houses 2016

Joe Nichols
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.

Lol Tolhurst
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.

Blue October
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.

Engelbert Humperdinck
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.

MORE THINGS TO DO: Long Island Pumpkin Picking Guide 2016

Madman
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.

Oyster Festival
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.

vetstock

Vetstock 2016
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.

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

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.

Eric Johnson
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.

MORE THINGS TO DO: Long Island Oktoberfest 2016 Events

Lucy Kaplansky
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.

Gilbert Gottfried
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.

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

Kenny Loggins
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.

MORE THINGS TO DO: Apple Picking on Long Island 2016

Squeeze
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.

Les Brers
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. 

Supervised Injection Facilities: Is This The Best We Can Do?

Heroin

By Jeffrey L. Reynolds, Ph.D.

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.

Related: How Long Island Is Losing Its War On Heroin

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.

Here’s How We Can Build Consensus for Affordable Housing on Long Island

affordable housing Long Island

By Theresa A. Regnante

Long Island has a pressing need for housing, and the key question is: How can we address it quickly on a regional basis? There must be more varied housing options for all Long Islanders, but the challenge is to provide those choices Island-wide when zoning decisions are made locally. Hopefully, we can build a strong consensus around some key principles, which can then be adopted in enough localities for it to have a region-wide impact.

The need is clear. Too many Long Islanders are struggling with the cost of housing. According to research conducted by the nonprofit Long Island Index, “Over the last 10 years, the number of Long Islanders who say it is difficult to meet their monthly housing costs has risen steadily from 47 percent in 2004 to the current all-time high of 62 percent in 2015.”

The problem affects all ages–from seniors hoping to downsize to recent college graduates trying to live on their own. When young people are moving to the boroughs because they can’t afford LI, you know we have to do something.

The challenge is to think regionally while acting locally. Home rule is one of the Island’s great zoning traditions, but it can stand in the way of regional solutions. Enough communities will need to move in the same direction for the housing situation to change sufficiently. That’s where a consensus can now emerge. Here are three principles for regional consideration:

First, we should maintain our overall commitment to single-family homes, while offering a wider range of housing options. Long Island is renowned for its single-family homes, and we don’t want to lose that recognition. But adding more options is crucial if we are to remain competitive as a place to live and work.

LI has fewer rental properties than our suburban neighbors: 20 percent in Nassau County and 22 percent in Suffolk County, compared to 37 percent in northern New Jersey, for instance, according to the Long Island Index. And we pay more in monthly rent: $1,709 on average for a one-bedroom apartment in Nassau and $1,470 in Suffolk, compared to $1,180 in northern New Jersey.

Second, we should take advantage of the fact that the Long Island Rail Road has 124 stations because they can provide an extraordinary opportunity for transit-oriented development (aka TOD). The resulting housing will have direct access – through the LIRR and the rest of the MTA system – to the entire Greater New York City region.

Here we need to learn from our children and grandchildren, so many of whom now prefer to live in the city because they can avoid having a car. Living within walking distance of public transit, especially when it has the reach of the LIRR, makes owning a car optional and, therefore, dramatically reduces the combined cost of housing and transportation.

Third, we should make a variety of multifamily housing developments around train stations a priority and zone these areas appropriately so that developers can see the opportunities clearly.

Take our example. At the United Way of Long Island, we have a long history of building homes for those with special needs and have recently completed multifamily housing units in several downtowns. We have just finished two properties in Patchogue and Wyandanch, and we plan to complete a property in Huntington Station soon.

If local communities can zone certain properties for multifamily use, then development can progress efficiently. But if a variance is needed, you might as well bring your grandchildren and watch them grow up while the process slowly unfolds.

All too often home rule fragments decision-making on the Island, but we have the advantage of having two counties, which makes coordination relatively easy. We also have region-wide nonprofit organizations, which can play a prominent role in building the consensus that we now need.

Long Island has taken far too long to adapt to our changing housing needs, but we may be at a point where a consensus can now emerge so we can address the problem broadly enough if we implement this approach sufficiently on a local basis. The 124 LIRR stations and transit-oriented development hold the key.

Boiled down to seven letters, these three principles spell LIRR TOD. Imagine a future when thriving transit-oriented developments across Long Island’s downtowns are linked to the entire Greater New York City region while they also fuel vibrant employment and entertainment hubs that support Long Island’s tradition of single-family homes.

It can be an exciting future, if we provide the consensus to make LIRR TOD happen.

Theresa A. Regnante, a resident of Bay Shore, is president & chief executive officer of the United Way of Long Island.

Illustration by two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Walt Handelsman

Long Island Halloween Haunted Houses 2016

haunted house
haunted house

By Thomas MacDonald

Halloween is around the corner but don’t be tricked, ghosts and ghouls are offering treats to lure their next victims at haunted houses across Long Island throughout the month of October.

Destinations range in spookiness from lighthearted child-friendly fun to disturbing venues that could make even the toughest men and women cry like babies—if they dare to enter in the first place.

Be sure to check some of these two dozen haunted houses, spooky trails and related activities on Long Island this month!

Bayville Scream Park
This fun waterfront amusement park reveals its dark side with a half dozen terrifying attractions. The Cage is the parks newest addition this year. Back by popular demand are Evil in the Woods, Temple of Terror, Zombie Pirates, Bloodworth Manor Haunted Mansion and creepy clown-themed Uncle Needle’s Funhouse of Fear, which is in 3D. There will also be a Halloween Pumpkin Bounce, pumpkin patch and treats. Bayville Adventure Park, 8 Bayville Ave., Bayville. bayvillescreampark.com $10.75-$49.75. Open daily in October through Halloween, plus the weekend after.

Chamber of Horrors
This seriously scary haunted house hosts “The Trilogy of Fear” featuring the disturbing Maniac Manor, the nightmare-inducing Murderer’s Row and the terrifying Ward 9. And for the grand finale, on Halloween, those ages 18 and up who sign a waiver can experience the full contact version—meaning the ghouls can reach out and touch those that dare visit. Family days are 1-4 p.m. Oct. 23, 30. Matt Guiliano’s Play Like A Pro, 1745 Express Drive North, Hauppauge. chamberofhorrorsny.com $25-$45. Open 7-11 p.m. weekends and daily Oct. 26-31. “Kill the Lights” version 7-10 p.m. Sundays.

Darkside Haunted House
Set in an open field that adds to visitors’ feeling of dread, this movie-quality haunted house has actually been dubbed “too scary.” The attraction is kid friendly before 5 p.m., but becomes no longer suitable for those under 12 after that.
5184 Route 25A, Calverton. darksideproductions.com $7-$25. Times vary. Open most days through Oct. 31.

Enchanted Forest Trail
This one is for the kids. Those who walk the Enchanted Forest trail are encouraged to dress up for the fun tour on which they’ll meet fun and educational characters to create an amazing childhood memory of Halloween. Quogue Wildlife Refuge, 3 Old Country Rd., Quogue. quoguewildliferefuge.org/events $10. Reservations required. Call 631-653-4771 to RSVP. 12-2:30 p.m. Oct. 16, 23 and 30.

Hempstead House of Horrors
The mysterious ghosts of the former Guggenheim Estate come to life. This year, the frightful show house expands to three floors of the massive 50,000-square-foot mansion, including the subterranean dungeon. Visitors will see horrific, supernatural, spine-chilling scenes! Sands Point Reserve, 127 Middle Neck Rd., Sands Point. thesandspointpreserve.com $20-$30. 6-10 p.m. Oct. 22, 23 and 28-30.

MORE THINGS TO DO: Long Island Pumpkin Picking Guide 2016

Haunted Hendrickson’s House of Horror
Prepare to be seriously scared and don’t come alone. Nightmares will follow. Valley Stream Pool Complex, 123 West Merrick Rd., Valley Stream. vsvny.org $10. 7-11 p.m. Oct. 14, 15, 21 and 22.

Haunted Hay Barn
Starring the Headless Horseman, this is a spooky good time for ages 10 and up. There is also a “chicken walk” for the faint of heart 5 p.m. Sunday Oct. 23 and 30. Horseability at SUNY Old Westbury. horseability.org $13. 6-10 p.m. Oct. 14, 15, 21, 22, 23, 28, 29 and 30.

Haunted Playhouse
The actors of this community theater really get into character when bringing to life this unbelievably spooktacular haunted house. It’s so scary it’s not open to those under age 12 without an adult, but a kid-friendly version is available 12-4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Gateway Playhouse, 215 South Country Rd., Bellport. gatewayshauntedplayhouse.com $25-$35. Days and times vary, through Oct. 31.

Haunted Mansion
Enter…if you dare! Deepwells Farm, 2 Taylor Lane, St. James. stjameschamber.org Free. 7-10 p.m. Oct. 22, 28 and 29. 3-5 p.m. Oct. 30.

Haunted Mansion of Melville
This mansion will scare the pants off visitors. The Haunted Mansion of Melville creates an entire world built upon rich and creepy lore involving a once good doctor who went mad but his soul still resides within the mansion. Kid friendly dates available. F&W Schmitt’s Family Farm, 26 Pinelawn Rd., Melville. schmittshaunt.com $12-$32. Weekends and holidays through Oct. 31.

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

Haunted Tales and Trails
Details have yet to be announced but expect a thrill ride. Old Bethpage Village Restoration, 1303 Round Swamp Rd., Old Bethpage. obvrnassau.com Oct. 21-23, 28-30.

Haunted Trail Nights
Explore hauntingly historical buildings, creepy and ghoulishly grassy fields and the meadow of mayhem. Are you brave to take on the horrors that await you? “Not-So-Spooky Trail,” 5 p.m. Oct. 23 and the 30. Manor Farm, 210 Manor Rd., Huntington. manorfarmhauntedtrailnights.webs.com $5. Teams of 8 $10 per person. 7-10 p.m. Oct. 21, 22, 28 and 29.

Haunted Trail of Horrors
This haunted trail will make visitors run for the hills. Kid friendly version 2-4 p.m. Oct. 29. Middle Island Fire Department, 31 Arnold Dr., Middle Island. middleislandfd.org $10, kids under 5 free. 7:30-10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays Oct. 21, 22, 28 and 29.

Haunted Tunnel
This family-friendly Halloween attraction welcomes young children since it’s more fun than scary. Woodside Nursery & Garden Center, 134 E Woodside Ave., North Patchogue. woodsidenurseryandgarden.com Prices vary. 9 a.m.-6 p.m. daily through Oct. 31.

Nature’s Halloween Trail
Mashomack’s band of costumed characters changes every year, and this year is no exception. What kinds of creatures of the night await you in the woods? Bring a flashlight. Mashomack Preserve, 47 South Fourth Ferry Rd., Shelter Island. nature.org $5. 5-6:30 p.m. Oct. 29.

MORE THINGS TO DO: Long Island Oktoberfest 2016 Events

Otto the Ghost
See the animated children’s story of Otto the Ghost, who’s sort of like Long Island’s Casper the Friendly Ghost. Admission is free but donations of non-perishable food for Long Island Cares are encouraged. Hicks Nursery, 100 Jericho Tpke., Westbury. hicksnurseries.com Free. 8 a.m.-6 p.m. through Nov. 1.

Restless Souls Haunted House Complex
A new attraction for this season, this Hollywood-quality venue features the maniacal Shack of Screams, a spine-shivering attraction dubbed The Dark Colony and scariest of all, Dr. Bane’s Klownitorium in 3D. 301 West Hills Rd., Huntington Station. restlesssoulsli.com $5-$17 6-10 p.m. Friday and Saturdays, 5-9 p.m. Sundays through Oct. 30.

Rise of The Jack O’ Lanterns
Thousands of professionally hand crafted Jack O’ Lanterns arranged in Halloween displays throughout a scenic trail. These Jack O’ Lanterns are so good they’re scary! Old Westbury Gardens, 71 Old Westbury Rd., Old Westbury. therise.org Prices vary. Advanced tickets required. Weekends through Oct. 30.

Spooky Fest
The Center for Science Teaching and Learning is hosting Spooky Fest, which offers Halloween fun for the whole family. Tanglewood Preserve, 1 Tanglewood Rd., Rockville Centre. cstl.org $10-$15 6:30-9:30 p.m. Oct. 15, 21-23 and 28-30.

Spooky Walk at Camp Paquatuck
This year’s walk continues to generous cause and tradition of creating a 45-minute spook fest. Starting in 1989, it’s considered the longest running such event on Long Island. Camp Pa-Qua-Tuck, 2 Chet Swezey Rd., Center Moriches. spookywalk.com $15-$20. 7-9 p.m. Oct. 21,22, 28, and 29.

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Spooky Walk
The Zombie apocalypse has officially kicked off, the infection is spreading quick and everyone needs to run and hide! This spooky live action trail includes live music, food and more than 100 live actors. It may not be suitable for all ages. Minors are required to be accompanied by an adult but people of all ages are invited to check out the not-so-spooky walk 12-4 p.m. Oct. 30. Clark Botanic Garden, 193 I.U. Willets Rd., Albertson. clarkbotanic.org $5. 6:30-9:30 p.m. Oct. 28, 29.

Survival Horror Experiences
Instead of just walking through a haunted house unarmed, this interactive zombie-themed fictional prison gives those brave enough to enter a laser tag gun for protection from the rampaging hoard of flesh-hungry undead. Theme nights offer various iterations from creepy clowns to “dead silence” or regular old zombie apocalypse, among others. They’re also open year-round. NYZ Apocalypse, 450 Commack Rd., Deer Park. nyzapocalypse.com $34-$40. Open weekends, times vary.

The Franklin Square Horror
This one-night-only haunted house is celebrating its 20-year anniversary. The theme this year is a haunted funeral home. Upon entering the house visitors will enter the reception, then journey into the morgue where they will have to make their way through hanging dead bodies before entering the autopsy/embalming room and crematorium. The most
terrifying moment is upon entering the “wake” room with the open casket filled with haunted mourners. 1148 Norbay Street, Franklin Square. joea65.wix.com. Donations go to Autism and Cerebral Palsy Associations. 6-10 p.m. Oct. 31.

Yaphank Trail of Terror
Every year this terrifying haunted trail gets scarier. Each night the organizers will screen  a different Halloween-themed movie at 8 p.m. They also have a bounce house and a human hamster ball track. Yaphank Presbyterian Church 65 Main St., Yaphank. yaphanktrail.wixsite.com $10. 7-11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays through Oct. 29.

Do This: Long Island Concerts & Events October 6–12

Joan Baez
Legendary folk singer/songwriter Joan Baez serenades her timeless classics at NYCB Theatre at Westbury on Oct. 12. (Photo: Joan Baez Facebook profile)

Marcus King Band
The 20-year-old lead singer of his eponymous band describes their sound as “soul-influenced psychedelic Southern rock.” Hailing from Greenville, South Carolina, the group infuses the blues, Americana, folk and rock into an sonic collage of incendiary guitars, brass, organ and rhythm that is as soulful as it is absolutely lightning-electric. Touring in support of their self-titled sophomore effort, this gig is bound to be one for the books and truly not to be missed. Hot damn. YMCA Boulton Center for the Performing Arts, 37 West Main St., Bay Shore. boultoncenter.org $25-$30. 8 p.m. Oct. 6.

Jordan Rothstein
Songwriter, musician and producer Jordan Rothstein’s jazz, folk and rock talents are embodied in his powerful performances as a member of Mascot’s Distance, Magic Bean and Blue Dream. His most well-known hits include “Hey Girl,” sung by John Legend, and “The Date Song,” which he wrote for Mascot’s Distance. Rothstein uses sweet soulful chords and rhythms combined with bitter lyrics to create a Randy Newman-esque sound. Treme Blues and Jazz Club, 553 Main St., Islip. tremeislip.com Free. 8 p.m. Oct 6.

Hamptons International Film Festival
The Hamptons Film Festival was founded to celebrate independent films of all kinds. This year’s film festival shows films that express fresh voices and differing global views. It being the Hamptons, there have been some notable attendees in the past, including Kevin Bacon, Madonna, Kevin Connolly and Billy Joel—with more to come this year. Films will be shown in various locations throughout the East End. hamptonsfilmfest.org Oct. 6-10.

Janet Lee Berg
This local author will be speaking about and signing copies of her new book Rembrandt’s Shadow. Based on a true story, the book tells the tale of two women from different generations—each with their own distinct horrific memories—who find themselves at odds when forced to confront the here and now. Whoa. Book Revue, 313 New York Ave., Huntington. bookrevue.com Free with purchase of book. 7 p.m. Oct. 7.

Joseph Millar
The author of three poetry collections, with a fourth, Kingdom, due out next year, will lead a poetry reading. Musical prelude by Tom Santoriello and Friends. Event followed by Q&A, book signing and light refreshments. Walt Whitman Birthplace Association, 246 Old Walt Whitman Rd., Huntington. waltwhitman.org $10. 7 p.m. Oct. 7.

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Lyle Lovett & Robert Earl Keen
These two singer/songwriters from Texas are joining forces for a one-of-a-kind show. Lovett is known for his inspired, heart-heavy compositions that push the very boundaries of music in their transcendental interpretations of life, love, loss and so much more. Keen, a legend in his on right, will join Lovett on stage as the two swap songs on acoustic guitars. Get ready for an unforgettable night. The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $35-$85. 8 p.m. Oct. 7.

Johnny Rivers and Eric Burdon & The Animals
These two epic classic rock bands will take fans on a trip down memory lane. Johnny Rivers will play his hits, including “Secret Agent Man,” “The Seventh Son” and “Poor Side of Town.” Also performing will be Eric Burdon and The Animals, who are back on tour, so fans can relive the classic hit singles such as “Baby, Let Me Take You Home” and “House of the Rising Sun,” and enjoy so much more of their powerful repertoire as it evolved over the years, from San Francisco to New Castle. What a gig. NYCB Theatre at Westbury, 960 Brush Hollow Rd., Westbury. venue.thetheatreatwestbury.com $39.50-$99.50. 8 p.m. Oct. 7.

Weird Science, The 90’s Band and Three
Collaborating to give audiences an unforgettable night of ’80s and ’90s hits, tribute groups Weird Science, The ’90s band and Three pull out all the stops to embody the hallmarks of the decades. Weird Science plays Gen-X favorites (think early Madonna, The Breakfast Club soundtrack and more) with accompanying costumes. The ’90s band follows with hits from Alanis Morissette, Weezer and Third Eye Blind, among others. The grand finale Three is named for its three accomplished singers/musicians and pays homage to the greatest musical trios of all time: The Script, The Police, John Mayer Trio and more. Wow. The Space at Westbury, 250 Post Ave., Westbury. thespaceatwestbury.com $20-$30. 8 p.m. Oct. 7.

Graham Nash
This singer, songwriter, artist and philanthropist has made his mark not only in the music world but also in his efforts to better the whole world. His first solo record consisting of new music in 14 years, This Path Tonight, is an album of reflection and transition of a singer-songwriter whose career has spanned more than five decades and counting. Not to be missed. Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center, 76 Main St., Westhampton Beach. whbpac.org $71-$101. 8 p.m. Oct. 7.

Riot in Riverhead
Live pro wrestling arrives on the East End and the nonstop action is going to leave fans absolutely breathless. The smackdown will feature top wrestlers, such as Jerry “The King” Lawler, and many others! That’s gotta hurt! Suffolk Theater, 118 E. Main St., Riverhead. suffolktheater.com $25-$45. 8 p.m. Oct. 7.

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

Andrew “Dice” Clay
The controversial comic from Brooklyn who was once banned from MTV over his infamous “Adult Nursery Rhymes” remains popular despite his critics, claiming the title of the first comedian to sell out Madison Square Garden two nights in a row. Die-hard fans recall his starring in the cult classic film The Adventures of Ford Fairlane. New recruits to “The Dice Man” will know his autobiography The Filthy Truth, which hit stores last year. Come see why he’s still calling himself the “Undisputed Heavy Weight King of Comedy,” and get ready to laugh your tuckus off. Governor’s Comedy Club, 90 Division Ave., Levittown. govs.govs.com $55. 8 p.m. Oct. 7, 7 & 10 p.m. Oct. 8.

Joplin’s Pearl featuring Amber Ferrari
Fans will be brought to their feet with this band’s amazing instrumentals and Ferrari’s critcally acclaimed vocals. The first half of the show features covers of Pat Benatar, Prince, David Bowie, Aretha Franklin, and more. The second half is dedicated to the legendary songstress Janis Joplin, who Ferrari is said to “capture in the essence.” Fans rave about the “stage presence, heart, and vocals” of Ferrari, whose performance “brings us right back seeing Janis at Woodstock.” Patchogue Theatre for the Performing Arts, 71 East Main St., Patchogue. patchoguetheatre.org $20-$48. 8 p.m. Oct. 8.

Game Grumps
Fans this duo’s webseries on Youtube will leap at the chance to hang out with them in this live episode. These two dynamic comedians and internet personalities produce three videos per day, featuring them playing console-based video games and discussing their experiences with and opinions of the games, with ongoing hilarious commentary and competitions. Arin and Danny will be making jokes and playing games in front of a live audience, with a Q&A to follow. The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $20-$30. 8 p.m. Oct. 8

The O’Jays & The Commodores
R&B innovators The O’Jays will get the crowd dancing with their classic songs “Love Train,” “Lonely Drifter” and “Back Stabbers.” Fans can also get their Motown fix at this show with a performance by The Commodores, featuring original member and lead guitarist Thomas McClary, as they play their hits, including “Easy,” “Brick House” and “Nightshift.” NYCB Theatre at Westbury, 960 Brush Hollow Rd., Westbury. venue.thetheatreatwestbury.com $49.50-$149.50. 8 p.m. Oct. 8.

Rocking The Paradise
This show will take fans back 30 years, as tribute bands cover hits from some of the greatest rock bands of all time: Styx and Heart. Rocking The Paradise will get the crowd cheering and singing along to Styx songs, such as “Come Sail Away” and “Lorelei,” among others. Heart tribute band Vainglorious will also deliver an electrifying show featuring classic hits. There will also be a special quest appearance by the very talented acoustic duo Lennon & Katie. The Space at Westbury, 250 Post Ave., Westbury. thespaceatwestbury.com $20-$30. 8 p.m. Oct. 8.

MORE THINGS TO DO: Long Island Oktoberfest 2016 Events

Pat McGee Band
PMB, as fans dubbed them, have toured nationally for over a decade, including a stretch in which they did 98 shows in 103 days. Casual listeners will recall their 2000 singles, “Rebecca” and “Runaway.” YMCA Boulton Center for the Performing Arts, 37 West Main St., Bay Shore. boultoncenter.org $40-$45. 8 p.m. Oct. 8.

A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie
This up-and-coming Bronx rapper is known for his funkier take on the genre, as exemplified by his breakout hit, “My Shit” off his debut album, Artist, which dropped earlier this year. The Emporium, 9 Railroad Ave., Patchogue. theemporiumny.com $35. 10 p.m. Oct. 8.

Look at Us Now, Mother!
Comprised primarily of decades-worth of intimate family home movies and videos in an upwardly mobile Long Island suburb, this is the story of one determined woman’s quest to reconcile with and understand her past, which means forgiving her proud, narcissistic and formidable elderly mother, Mildred. It makes for a relentlessly honest and bitingly funny documentary about the transformation of a highly charged mother/daughter relationship by Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Gayle Kirschenbaum. Meet Gayle Kirschenbaum and Star Mildred Kirchenbaum in person during the Sunday Schmooze Brunch, Film, and Discussion, hosted by Fred Craden. Cinema Arts Centre, 423 Park Ave., Huntington. cinemaartscentre.org $10 members, $15 public. 11 a.m. Oct. 9.

Serge Diaghilev’s Les Ballets Russes
This unconventional tribute brings together works from different periods revealing an unexpected diversity of inspiration, from the heady romanticism of The Specter of the rose, the unbridled eroticism of The Afternoon of a Faun, to the tragic festivities of Petrouchka and the subtle Spanish flavor of The Three-Cornered Hat. Four essential works, bringing together the artistic elite of their day–choreographers, painters and musicians–are performed in their unsurpassable original choreography. Adelphi University Performing Arts Center (AUPAC), Black Box Theatre, 1 South Ave., Garden City. aupac.adelphi.edu $20. 2 p.m. Oct. 9.

Mike Stud
This hip-hop artist is one of the hottest upcoming musicians on the web. His debut mixtape A Toast to Tommy, was released last October, and debuted at No. 2 on the U.S. iTunes Hip-Hop Album chart. Since then, he has headlined a sold-out 20-city national tour and has racked up more than 10 Million YouTube views. His latest tour will feature hits off of his brand new album, These Days. “Say No More,” this show is a can’t miss! The Emporium, 9 Railroad Ave., Patchogue. theemporiumny.com $19, $25 DOS. 6 p.m. Oct. 9.

Newt & Callista Gingrich
Former Speaker of the House Newt and Callista Gingrich will be speaking and signing copies of their new books, Treason, and Hail to the Chief. Book Revue, 313 New York Ave., Huntington. bookrevue.com Free with purchase of book. 7 p.m. Oct. 11.

MORE THINGS TO DO: Long Island Pumpkin Picking Guide 2016

Kataklysm
With a career spanning over 20 years, these heavy metal hellraisers are known worldwide for their famous body-slamming riffs and grooves. Their 2013 album Waiting For The End To Come, was nominated for a Juno Award (Canada’s version of a Grammy), and earned them the title Metal Band of the Year. They are touring to promote their new album, Ghosts and Gods. Opening the show is Carach Angren, Khiazma, Awake In The Fire and Spectral Voices. Revolution Bar & Music Hall, 140 Merrick Rd., Amityville. revolutionli.com $12, $15 . 7 p.m. Oct. 12.

Guy Fieri
American restaurateur, author, game show host, and television personality Guy Fieri will be speaking and signing copies of his new book Family Food. The Food Network superstar and bestselling author dishes up flavorful All-American family-friendly meals for weeknights and weekends alike. Book Revue, 313 New York Ave., Huntington. bookrevue.com Free with purchase of book. 7 p.m. Oct. 12.

Joan Baez
In 2009, Joan Baez celebrated 50 years in the music industry as a popular folk singer and songwriter. Throughout her career, she has had a series of impressive accomplishments, including a Grammy Award, seven Grammy nominations, and eight gold albums. She is known for songs like “Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” and “Diamonds and Rust,” which explained her relationship with Bob Dylan. She is set to perform hits from her newest album I’d Like To Hear That Song Again, and quite frankly, you will want to hear all her songs again, and again, and again. NYCB Theatre at Westbury, 960 Brush Hollow Rd., Westbury. venue.thetheatreatwestbury.com $39.50-$150. 8 p.m. Oct. 12.

Main Art: Legendary folk singer/songwriter Joan Baez serenades her timeless classics at NYCB Theatre at Westbury on Oct. 12. (Photo: Joan Baez Facebook profile)

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

Horoscopes by PsychicDeb for October 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bethpage Best of Long Island

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Good luck!

hofstra transfer day today
hofstra transfer day today