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Who Are Long Island’s Top Realtors?

Maria Babaev
Babev has won multiple Pinnacle Awards, which are given to top commercial real estate professionals. Additionally, her team focusing on North Shore luxury properties was named the #1 Real Estate Team on Long Island in 2015 and 2017. Douglas Elliman Real Estate, 516-287-7716, 1528 Old Northern Blvd.,  Roslyn, luxurylongisland.com

Laura Cochran
A lifelong resident of Suffolk County, Cochran prides herself as being someone who is an “aggressive marketer, skillful negotiator, and fair player.” She specializes in residential properties in Miller Place, Mount Sinai, Sound Beach, Rocky Point, Selden, Coram, Port Jefferson Station, Centereach, Middle Island, Ridge, Shoreham and Wading River. Hough & Guidice Realty, 631-474-2000 ext. 129, 465 Route 25A, Miller Place, lcrealtor.com

Joyce Coletti
Coletti has been previously named among the “Top 100 Most Influential New York Real Estate Agents” by Real Estate Executive Magazine and has participated in the closing sales of more homes than any of the other 3,800 individual agents working for Douglas Elliman. She specializes in residential properties in Long Beach. Douglas Elliman Real Estate, 516-763-6150, 30A West Park Ave., Long Beach, joycecoletti.com

James Gavin
Gavin’s accolades include being named “Rookie of the Year” at his Manhasset firm in 2015, earning the title of “Rising Star Residential Agent Of The Year” by Long Island Business News in 2017, and being named to Zillow’s Best of the Best list in 2019. He sells homes in the Manhasset area. Laffey Real Estate, 631-807-0118, 116 Plandome Rd., Manhasset, Jamesgavin.laffey.com

Alex Goldenberg
Goldenberg employs the use of modern-day technology to help make the home buying and selling process an easier experience for his clients. Coach Realtors, 631-751-0303, 1099 North Country Rd., Stony Brook, homeproalex.com

Ann Hance
Hance utilizes her previous corporate experience to provide clients with top-quality confidentiality, client service, and focus. She specializes in Manhasset residential sales. Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty, 516-627-4440, 364 Plandome Rd., Manhasset, Danielgale.com

Rylan Jacka
In 2018, Jacka was the 25th highest-selling Sotheby agent nationwide. To date Jacka has sold over $1 billion worth of luxury houses. Sotheby’s International Realty, 631-324-6000, 6 Main St., East Hampton, sothebyshomes.com

Raj Jaggi
Jaggi and his team strive to provide exemplary service to their residential clients by emphasizing honesty and integrity throughout the entire process. Realty Connect USA, 516-244-5235, 175 Crossways Park Dr., Woodbury, teamrajjaggi.com

Bryan Karp
Karp has a driving ambition to help individuals looking to buy or sell homes. His hard work and dedication is reflected in his sales, as Karp sold 205 homes in 2019. Coach Realtors, 255 W Main St, Smithtown, 516-384-0571, soldbybryan.com

Matthew Korman
Korman not only sells real estate, but he also trains new real estate agents. In 2012 Korman was named to the Long Island Board of Realtors list of “Top 20 Under 40. Douglas Elliman Real Estate, 516-327-6264, 390 Franklin Ave., Franklin Square, thekormanfradeteam.elliman.com

Idalina Lopes
Lopes and her team work hard to provide high-quality service guided by innovation and information. In 2016, 2017, and 2018, Lopes’s team sold the more homes than any Douglas Elliman-affiliated realtor on Long Island. She focuses on residential properties in
Farmingville, Brookhaven,Bellport, Patchogue, Selden, Medford, Holtsville, Centereach, East Patchogue, Ronkonkoma Douglas Elliman Real Estate, 631-487-3113, 2410 N. Ocean Ave., Farmingville, thelinalopesteam.elliman.com

Peggy Moriarty
Moriarty was named one of the Best Real Estate Professionals in the country by RealTrends.com. This honor was bestowed on her for being “among the top half of 1 percent of real estate professionals in the country.” Her focus is on residential properties Cold Spring Harbor. Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty 631-692-6770, 5 Main St., Cold Spring Harbor, Danielgale.com

Barry Paley
Distinctions that Parley and his team have earned over the years include being named RealTrends.com “Best New York Team” and being nominated for Best of Long Island in the categories of “Agent” and “Team.” Keller Williams Realty, 516-503-4242, 100 Crossways Park Dr., Woodbury, barrypaley.com

Panagiota Papazaharias
Papazaharias’s self-guiding goal of wanting to leave customers satisfied with their experience is reflected on her Redfin’s page, where 202 out of 208 reviewers gave her a score of 5 out of 5 stars. Redfin, 631-876-1711, redfin.com

Alex Rubin
Residential Rubin utilizes his skills of marketing, business planning, customer service, and negotiating to get the best results for his clients. Douglas Elliman Real Estate, 212-362-9600, 30 West Park Ave., Long Beach, elliman.com

Jeff Stineback
Stineback and his team, which consists of attorneys, financing professionals, engineers, and specialists, have built a reputation of providing stellar tips and quality feedback to their customers. LRES Corporation- Signature Premier Properties, 631-627-1780, 157 East Main St., Huntington, Thelongislandhometeam.com

Lynn Song
Drher prior experiences as an analyst, Song utilizes her knowledge and research skills to help make the most of any situation. Redfin, 718-569-7160 redfin.com

Rita Tsoukaris
In 2014 and 2015, Team Rita was ranked the #1 RE/MAX Team on Long Island for homes sold. RE/MAX Integrity Leaders, 631-850-3585,
1315 Middle Country Rd., Centereach,
teamrita.com

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3 New Restaurants To Try on Long Island

Uptown Taco’s Buffalo chicken taco.

UPTOWN TACO
Taco Tuesday isn’t just limited to Tuesdays at Uptown Taco, which like each of these new restaurants, is open for curbside pickup and delivery during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Start things off with lollipop wings ($11), nachos ($13), a giant pretzel ($13), or pepita seed hummus ($6). Then continue the fun by ordering a burrito bowl (starting at $10), quesadilla ($8-$11), or, as the name heavily implies, one of their creative tacos ($5-$6.50), including Chinatown roast pork tacos, barbeque chicken tacos, gyro tacos, and Korean short-rib tacos. The restaurant offers vegan tacos that consist of cauliflower, brussel sprout, or butternut squash.  

Finally, let’s taco-bout ending your meal with a delicious dessert of churro bites served with chocolate dipping sauce ($6), tres leches cake ($6), or a mouthwatering taco sundae, with cinnamon ice cream served with chocolate syrup and whipped cream in a waffle taco ($10). 


155 Tulip Ave., Floral Park, 516-502-1456, uptowntaco.com

BUTTERMILK’S CHICKEN
Buttermilk’s Chicken brings the delicious tastes and recipes of Southern buttermilk fried chicken to Long Island. 

Get your weekly fix of chicken from a menu featuring chicken wings (starting at $6.99), chicken salad ($6.99), chicken sandwiches that can be combined with a choice of farmhouse fries or onion rings (starting at $4.99), chicken combos consisting of drum sticks, chicken breasts, chicken thighs, and/or chicken tenders, served with a choice of a side and a buttermilk biscuit or cornbread (starting at $4.99), and chicken noodle soup ($3.49).  

Some of the sides served are Southern rice, hand-whipped potatoes, sweet buttery corn, creamy coleslaw, and cornbread. Also, in case you were wondering, yes, Buttermilk’s Chicken does offer a few vegan dishes. 

93 East Main St., East Islip, 631-581-3000, facebook.com/buttermilkschicken

BOXCAR BURGERS
Boxcar Burgers is a new burger joint located at the Ronkonkoma Long Island Rail Road station that sells one-way tickets to a land of stomach satisfaction. 

Some of the freshly and locally sourced items found on the menu are hot dogs ($3.75), hamburgers ($3.50), cheeseburgers ($4.50), grilled cheese ($3.50), jalapeno poppers ($4), and black bean burgers ($7). 

An item fleeing the station but catching the eyes of patrons is the runaway burger. This burger is a burger served with melty American cheese, bacon, crunchy onion rings, and barbecue sauce on a warm, toasty bun. This item is great when combined with fresh, hand-cut fries that come in sizes of small ($1.75) and large ($2.75).  

90 Railroad Ave., Ronkonkoma, 631-615-2717, boxcarburgersli.com

Federation of Organizations Provides Calm In The Storm

CEO Barbara Faron has been with the nonprofit for 40 years.

Coronavirus has impacted many across Long Island, but that hasn’t stopped the nonprofit Federation of Organizations from its long-lasting goal of enhancing the lives of vulnerable people throughout the New York Metro area.

It helps that the West Babylon-based organization has long prioritized collaborative, innovative solutions to the routine issues that would arise before the pandemic struck — thanks in large part to consistent leadership and a seamless switch to providing services remotely, where possible.

“The mood is just calm and dealing with what we need to deal with without a lot of fanfare,” says Barbara Faron, who has been CEO of the nonprofit since 1986. “We feel like we’re stabilized, we’re doing what we have to do.”

The nonprofit, which was founded in 1972 and has more than 550 employees, provides many services, including peer advocate support for people recovering from mental and other chronic illnesses, a soup kitchen, as well as specialized supportive housing for veterans, the homeless, and people transitioning out of adult homes, hospitals, and psychiatric centers. All these services are still being provided during the pandemic.

“We were proactive and began the transition to remote working prior to any formal guidance,” says Tracy Falkner, L.M.S.W, a co-deputy chief operating officer for the group. “This made the transition to remote working a smooth process and made us ready for the shelter-in-place order.” 

While the group’s 24-hour housing facilities remain operational with on-site staff caring for the 3,000-plus residents, remote clinical services are ongoing for more than 1,100 recipients. Staffers are also running virtual activities such as Zumba, yoga, and video gaming that help people stay connected. 

Faron notes that despite this being the biggest challenge that the nonprofit has ever faced and staffers are under intense pressure, there are silver linings to be had, such as clients being more open with psychologists in telehealth therapy sessions.

“I think that it may be the fact that many of our clients are younger … so they are much more familiar with technology,” she says.

Having a strong team helps.

“We have an incredible staff that is dedicated, determined, resourceful, and enthusiastic to help people meet their needs,” says Elizabeth Galati, M.A., who was named co-deputy chief operating officer alongside Falkner in 2019.They are our greatest asset. We hear a lot about heroes during this pandemic. Our employees are heroes and are helping the most vulnerable people in our society everyday.” 

To learn more information about the Federation of Organizations visit fedoforg.org 

For more coronavirus coverage, visit longislandpress.com/coronavirus

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3 New Restaurants To Try on Long Island

The vegan pulled pork sandwich at Big Belly Que.

ROMA DI NOTTE RISTORANTE & PIZZERIA

Roma di Notte translates to “Rome at Night,” but at this restaurant, you can enjoy delicious foods all throughout the day.  

Enjoy a helping of veal served eight different ways ($18.95), a rack of lamb chop drizzled in a garlic lemon gremolata with crispy onions and mashed potatoes ($18.00), or chicken scarpariello, which is sautéed with sausage and potatoes in a lemon white wine rosemary sauce ($17.95). All are served with a side of salad or pasta.

Other offerings include various pasta dishes ($11.00 to $17.00), an assortment of seafood dishes ($17.00 to $34.00), pizza, and mouth-watering eggplant dishes ($14.00 or $16.95). 

457 County Rd. 111, Manorville, 631-281-1616, romadinotte.net

BIG BELLY QUE

After years of being a Long Island catering company, Big Belly Que has opened its first restaurant. This barbecue-oriented restaurant offers an array of foods including burgers, burritos, brisket, ribs, mac and cheese, and more.

A menu standout that’ll make your stomach ironically happy is the angry burger, a beef patty served on a toasted bun with jalapeños, pepper Jack cheese, onion rings, and a side of fries ($12.99). 

Brave souls with a big appetite can take on the burrito known as “munchie madness,” which is a self-proclaimed “mega burrito” stuffed with chicken fingers, mozzarella sticks, onion rings, and hot sauce ($10.99).

Big Belly Que also offers vegan food such as the edgy veggie, a burrito filled with vegan pulled pork (mushroom), onions, black beans, and barbecue sauce ($11.99).

863 W. Jericho Tpke., Smithtown, 631-864-3285, bigbellyq.com

BARE NAKED BOWL

Bare Naked Bowl brings a healthy yet incredibly tasteful option to the Long Island community. A major selling point for this smoothie and juice bar is the bowl menu items, which come in sizes of 12 ounces, 16 ounces, or 32 ounces. 

Be adventurous and build your own bowl with a base of green matcha, açaí, pitaya, active charcoal coconut, or chia seed pudding, and top it off with one of 16 different toppings (starting at $7.49). Then wash the bowl down with a signature smoothie like the pink passion, which is a smoothie mix of pitaya, mango, banana, and apple juice ($6.75).    

Come and enjoy, but don’t get fooled by the name, as clothes are still required.

2565 Hempstead Tpke., East Meadow, 516-390-0715, toasttab.com

For more food and drink coverage visit longislandpress.com/category/food-drink

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13 Ways To Donate To Help Fight The Coronavirus Pandemic

Suffolk County Fire, Rescue and Emergency Services Commissioner John G. Jordan, Sr. receiving donated boxes of protective masks from Lidl team members at Suffolk County Fire, Rescue & Emergency Services.

Coronavirus Rent Relief Fund 
All money raised by Frederick Joseph’s GoFundMe campaign is distributed to people who are facing financial hardship and need help paying their bills. gofundme.com

COVID-19 Emergency Fund
A donation to the Northwell Health Foundation can help support supply and personnel needs of eight Long Island hospitals. Northwell Health Foundation, 516-321-6320, give.northwell.edu

The COVID-19 Long Island Philanthropic Response Fund
Money raised by the COVID-19 Long Island Philanthropic Response Fund will be given to select nonprofits in the form of a grant. Long Island Community Foundation, 631-991-8800, info@licf.org, licf.org/giving

COVID-19 Relief for Small Businesses
Students Combat Corona, a group composed of Long Island students, started this GoFundMe fundraiser to help assist small businesses and restaurants throughout Long Island and New York City. Students Combat Corona studentscombatcorona@gmail.com, gofundme.com

Emergency Response to COVID-19
The Island Harvest Food Bank is raising money so it can keep up with the rising number of Long Islanders struggling with hunger. Island Harvest Food Bank, 516-294-8528, admin@islandharvest.org, islandharvest.org

The Give Program’s Protein Box 
With every purchase of The Give Program’s Protein Box, which includes all-natural chicken breasts, ground beef, shrimp, and New York strip steaks, a donation of $25 will be made to a gym or trainer of your choice. The Give Program support@thegiveprogram.com, thegiveprogram.org

The Harry Chapin Food Bank 
The Harry Chapin Food Bank is seeking monetary donations so it can provide food and other resources to people in need. Long Island Cares 631-582-3663, info@licares.org, interland3.donorperfect.net

Help The NY Heroes
Started by Lynbrook resident Ginamarie Isler and her fellow nursing students, the funding for this GoFundMe campaign helps Isler and her friends donate food and care packages to first responders and medical personnel. Helpthenyheroes@gmail.com, gofundme.com

Hold Fast 
Discover Long Island, the region’s official destination marketing organization, is raising funds and providing protective gear for the region’s hospitality employees through The Above and Beyond Foundation. shop.discoverlongisland.com

Hope Is Greater Than Fear 
The Salvation Army of Greater New York, which includes Salvation Army locations on Long Island, is asking for monetary donations to continue to provide food and other resources to people in need. donations@use.salvationarmy.org, give.salvationarmy.org

Operation Main Street 
The goal of this initiative is to limit the financial impact the coronavirus is having on local businesses, by helping said businesses sell more gift cards. operationmainstreet.com

Registry for Good 
In this registry, nonprofits can post a list of much-needed supplies on Walmart’s website and buyers can purchase said items for the nonprofit. walmart.com

United Together 
The United Way of Long Island is collecting monetary donations for its initiative to assist Long Islanders who are unemployed or furloughed due to the coronavirus. unitedwayli.org

Related Story: LI Agencies, Hospitals Seek Donations Amid COVID-19 Crisis

Related Story: Coronavirus Causes Blood Shortage; Donors Sought

Related Story: Interior Designers Launch Nonprofit To Help With Pandemic Response

For more coronavirus coverage visit longislandpress.com/coronavirus

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9 More Fun Things To Do While In Quarantine

No time like a pandemic to catch up on some reading. (Getty Images)

DANCE THE QUARANTINE AWAY
Does your kid have a lot of built-up energy from staying inside throughout quarantine? Dance Xtreme New York, the largest virtual dancing program on Long Island, may be able to help. This Hauppauge-based dance studio is designed with different classes catered toward children who want to dance competitively and kids who just want to have fun. Individual lessons, as well as dozens of different online group classes, are available. facebook.com/dxnydance 

VIRTUAL CHECKOUT
Public libraries are currently closed for in-person visits, but virtually they’re still open. Libraries throughout Long Island are providing online access to digital books, audiobooks, and various helpful resources. Some libraries are even hosting virtual events such as storytime. These services are accessible with your library card; and people who don’t have a library card can apply for one through their public library’s website. For these services and more visit the website of your local public library. 

POUR A GLASS
RGNY Winery in Riverhead is selling quarantine survival kits that are designed to bring the experiences and tastes of their tasting room to the safety and comfort of your home. The kits come with three different options: an RGNY Winery custom coloring book, a winemaking kit, or a wine blending kit. The kits can be ordered from the winery’s online store and range in cost from $10 to $80, are available for pickup at their Riverhead location, or can be delivered to your door. rgnywine.com

LAUGH NOWHERE
Itching to see some live comedy but stuck home due to coronavirus? Check out Nowhere Comedy Club on eventbrite.com Different comedians are doing stand-up acts remotely via Zoom with fans who are getting a few laughs without having to leave their homes. Tickets are $5 to $10, but at least there’s no two-drink minimum as you’d pay at a live comedy club.

FOR THE KIDS
The Long Island Children’s Museum’s Facebook page has been regularly posting activities, storytime, and entertainment videos, as well as information on cool virtual events that other museums across the United States are hosting. In one recent post dubbed Visit LICM At Home, staffers briefly taught some geology, showcased one of the museum’s turtles, and showed how to make musical instruments out of household items. facebook.com/LICM  

CATCHUP READING
Local libraries are offering virtual access to books, but some people prefer reading with a physical copy in their hands. If you’re one of those people, there are some local book stores across Long Island that are here to come to your rescue by delivering purchased books to your home. One such store is Huntington-based Book Revue, one of the region’s leading independent book shops. bookrevue.com  

POD BLESS AMERICA
There are thousands of different podcasts out there that cover a vast array of topics including talk shows, opinionated rants, comedy, sports, history, news, and more. One such podcast is Long Island Explained hosted by comedian Chris Roach and podcaster Steve Belanger. In the weekly podcast the duo has in-depth discussions on local legends, such as the mystery surrounding Lake Ronkonkoma. This podcast, and others, can be streamed through Spotify, the Apple Podcasts App, Google Play Music, and various other sites.  

TRAVEL FROM HOME
Escape from Long Island and travel the world in the comfort of your pajamas with Google’s Arts & Culture website. The website allows users to take virtual tours of national parks, art museums, city streets, and historical landmarks all over the world. The site also provides educational facts and activities that’ll surely be fun for the whole family. To access this service visit artsandculture.google.com

HIT THE PRESERVE
When one door closes, a virtual door opens. The Sands Point Preserve is currently temporarily closed due to the coronavirus but is now offering classes online. The virtual classes include yoga and science for young kids, meditation and Qi Gong for adults, and a science class for middle-school-aged kids called Earth Expeditions. To find out more information about the programs and their costs visit sandspointpreserveconservancy.org 

Related Story: 7 Fun Socially Distant Things To Do On Long Island

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Meat Prices Up, But Supply Fears Unwarranted on Long Island

A line of customers wait to get into Islip Meat Market on Saturday, May 2, 2020. Long Island Press photo.

Coronavirus caused a nationwide meat production crunch that sparked fears of a shortage, but Long Island retailers say the issue simply caused prices for chicken, pork, and beef to increase.

Causing the issue is the temporary closure of several major slaughterhouses nationwide that needed to be disinfected after workers were diagnosed with COVID-19. Local butchers and supermarkets say they’re monitoring the situation and urging customers not to buy meat in excess, but burgers are still easier to find than toilet paper, which remains in short supply following panic buying earlier in the pandemic. Average retail fresh chicken prices were up 5.4 percent, while beef was up 5.8 percent, and pork up 6.6 percent. 

“We are not seeing a significant impact as a result of meat plant closures,” said Stefanie Shuman, a spokeswoman for Stop and Shop, which has 50 locations on LI. “We remain in close contact with our suppliers to ensure we have product coming to our stores each day. While we have been working through a small number of plant closures, none of our suppliers have been closed for a significant period of time.”

President Donald Trump signed an executive ordering meat production plants to remain open by terming them critical infrastructure under the Defense Production Act. But critics say it’s not that simple.

“We only wish that this administration cared as much about the lives of working people as it does about meat, pork and poultry products,” said Stuart Appelbaum, the president of the Retail, Wholesale, and Department Store Union. “When poultry plants shut down, it’s for deep cleaning and to save workers’ lives. If the administration had developed meaningful safety requirements early on as they should have and still must do, this would not even have  become an issue.” 

Some remained concerned about the availability of meat. Local residents have been hoarding excess meat in their households, warned Connecticut-based supermarket Stew Leonard’s, which has two locations on LI and is concerned that supply may decrease. 

I already can’t find lots of basic groceries like canned food, produce, and toiletries,” said Mineola resident Chris Kostulias. “My local grocery store is already issuing purchase limitations like one gallon of milk per family per trip. A measure similar to that can be made for meat, too … We have to share the supply or else loads of people get nothing and some people get to buy it all.”

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said he’s been in touch with local retailers about the issue.

“It’s not in any way a crisis situation,” Bellone said. “Toilet paper remains harder to get.”

Easing the supply for consumers is the fact that there is less demand from restaurants.

“Many of our major suppliers are also supporting the foodservice industry and as that demand has decreased, they’ve been able to increase production for our stores,” said Shuman, the Stop & Shop representative. “We ask our customers to buy what they need, but leave some for their neighbors.”

With Reuters

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3 New Restaurants To Try on Long Island

Black Peppers steak quesadilla with chipotle ranch sauce.

CARIBBEAN FLAVORS

Take your taste buds on an all-exclusive first-class flight to the Caribbean with a trip to Caribbean Flavors.

Some of the savory Caribbean foods that Caribbean Flavors offers include jerk chicken ($5.99 to $12.99), curry goat ($11.99 to $14.99), kingfish ($14.99), and oxtail ($12.99 to $16.00). While in the Caribbean spirit, wash down your meal with a selection of Caribbean beverages ($2.50) or “exotic beverages” ($5.00) and enjoy a nice delicious piece of cake for dessert ($3.50).

The restaurant also has a drive-thru, so you don’t have to leave your vehicle for this virtual trip to the Caribbean, no passport required.

407A Patchogue Rd, Port Jefferson Station, 631-743-9500, caribflav.com

RIPTIDES COCKTAILS AND GRILL 

In nature riptides are known to be hazardous, but on Long Island RipTides is a place for great food and service. 

Begin a maiden voyage by ordering a helping of fried calamari ($14), crispy cauliflower ($12), or grilled steak on a skewer ($14). Then go full speed ahead from a menu offering wraps ($9), traditional fish and chips ($18), and grilled Atlantic salmon with white wine cream served with baby sweet potatoes and string beans ($24), or prepare to battle the massive burger, which is two 8-once beef patties with onion confit, a fried egg, American cheese, lettuce, tomato, and bacon ($18). 

Finish off the grand voyage  with some chocolate lava cake ($8) or enjoy “the best pint of Guinness on the South Shore”  

168 East Montauk Hwy, Lindenhurst, 631-505-3200, riptidescocktailsgrill.com

BLACK PEPPER

Superstitions say spilling salt brings bad luck, but eating at Black Pepper makes it better.  

This up-and-coming restaurant offers customers the chance to enjoy street food in a cozy environment.  

Black Pepper, which prepares its food with fresh ingredients from LI farmers’ markets, offers a variety of halal options such as fish tacos ($4.25), burrito bowls with a choice of grilled chicken, grilled steak, or gyro served with rice, black beans, pico de gallo, queso fresco, guacamole, and salsa ($6.99), mouthwatering Philly cheesesteaks ($5.99), gyros ($5.99), and nachos ($6.99). 

Vegetarian customers can rejoice as all Monday are Meatless Mondays, a time when Black Pepper offers a special vegetarian tasting menu for dinner. 

2224 Jerusalem Ave., North Merrick, 516-679-8900, blackpepper.nyc

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7 Socially Distant Long Island Easter Ideas

An Easter Bunny waves to a girl on Long Island from a safe distance. (Long Island Press photo)

HOP TO IT
Just because the Easter Bunny is social distancing, doesn’t mean Easter Bunny-shaped chocolate needs to stop. Emile’s Candies is selling an assortment of Easter chocolate goodies that can be shipped straight to your door. Chocolate assortments include; small-sized bunny-shaped chocolate ($9.95), a “chocolate happy feet bunny holding a carrot” ($5.95),one pound of foiled eggs ($18.50), and a large chocolate cross ($25.00). Curbside pick-up for orders can be done Tuesday through Saturday from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. or shipped to your house via UPS shipping, 229 Merrick Road, Oceanside, 516-766-4402, emilescandies.com

EASTER CREATIVITY
If you’re lacking creativity for what to do for your kid this Easter, The Creativity Bar has you covered. This Mineola Craft Store is currently accepting orders for custom Easter gift orders. For more information on pricing, private message The Creativity Bar on its Facebook page at facebook.com/thecreativitybar 464 Jericho Turnpike, Mineola, 516-214-4442.

DO THE WAVE
Bummed your kid can’t sit on the Easter Bunny’s lap and get a picture taken this year? Here’s the next best thing: Pay a rabbit or princess character $25 to stop by your home, wave hello from a safe distance, and leave a special goodie bag. Pixie Dust, 125 West Main St., Bay Shore, 631-647-8777.

DIY EASTER COOKIES
This Easter, while spending time social distancing at home with family, bond over a do-it-yourself cookie kit. Each kit comes with 12 cookies, two bags of homemade frosting, and two containers of sprinkles. The cookies in the kit are a random mix of different shapes that may include mini-Easter eggs, carrots, and bunnies. Free delivery and curbside pickup available. Flour Power Baked Goods, Lindenhurst, 631-897-9573, email flourpowerbyjess@gmail.com facebook.com/flourpowerbakedgoods

BUNNY DRIVE-BY
Drive up to visit the Easter Bunny. The pub will be passing out treats and photo opportunities will be available too. The Village Idiot Irish Pub, 1487 Montauk Hwy., Oakdale, 631-573-6633. 12 p.m.- 2 p.m. Apr. 11.

NO CONTACT EGG HUNT
Keep the Easter egg hunt tradition alive, but from a distance. Lucky To Live Here Reality set up a six-mile, drive-by egg hunt that stretches from Cold Spring Harbor to Centerport. Download the map here.

EASTER TO GO
Don’t want to cook this Easter? Can’t make it to grandma’s due to social distancing? Many local restaurants are offering Easter dinner to-go packages with curbside pickup. Check your local menus.

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Related Story: 7 Fun Socially Distant Things To Do On Long Island

Related Story: Take A Hike on Long Island’s Greenbelt Trails

Nassau Police Union Urges Department To Step Up Coronavirus Prevention For Cops

Nassau County Police
Nassau County Police

The union representing rank-and-file Nassau County police officers is concerned that more should be done to protect its members from catching coronavirus while on patrol.

The Nassau Police Benevolent Association (PBA) sent Nassau Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder a letter Sunday urging the department to step up its testing of officers and enact other initiatives aimed at mitigating the spread of COVID-19 among its ranks.

“We have police officers out there that have diabetes, heart conditions, respiratory problems, 9/11 illnesses, and we also have female officers that are pregnant that we have to be concerned with,” Nassau PBA President James McDermott told reporters Tuesday during a news conference at his Mineola office. “We’re in a very scary situation here, and we’re trying to limit the exposures as best we can and keep our cops safe.” 

As of Wednesday, when the county said it will start using 20,000 coronavirus tests it acquired for first responders, 127 members of the department tested positive, 184 were in quarantine, and 115 were cleared. By comparison, Suffolk County police reported 57 officers tested positive.

The 20,000 tests are done through a finger-prick, offer results in 15 minutes, and will not only check for coronavirus, but also check for antibodies to see if individuals have fully recovered from the virus. 

“If you are in contact or you have exposure and you’re wearing the proper gear that you’re given to wear you could still have an exposure,” Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder said Tuesday. “Until you’re symptomatic, we’re not gonna know. So we have to wait til you’re symptomatic, then we test you right away. Everything is centralized, it goes through our medical administration office, we schedule the appointment the next day, and we send you over to get tested.”

The PBA also requested proper training on the wearing and disposing of personal protection equipment (PPE), urged the department to update its COVID-19 protocols, and asked it to ensure the department has enough PPE. McDermott acknowledged that Nassau officials have mentioned there is a supply for first responders, but he warned that he isn’t sure if the current supply will last through the pandemic.  

“From what I’m being told by [Ryder] right now we are fine,” said McDermott. “Once police officers’ clothes get infected, they’re wearing a gown, they’re wearing a mask that’s got to come off and get thrown out and then they got to put clean stuff on. So we might have big piles of this stuff now, but it will get smaller and smaller.” 

The PBA is hoping to see protocols enacted to limit potential contact with people and mitigate exposure to prisoners who may have coronavirus. And the union seeks protocols for officers to follow when it comes to changing and cleaning uniforms when an officer makes contact with an infected individual. 

“What we look for going forward is that the police department proactively looks to eliminate all risk to our officers because it is very important that our officers don’t get contaminated,” explained McDermott.  

Ryder said the department is taking extra precautions.

“We spray our cars,” the commissioner said. “We do 50 to 60 cars a day. We have all the protective gear in the car, we put wipes in the car, sanitizer in the car, and we go to great lengths to make sure that our members are protected. We realize that there’s a concern out there, that they don’t wanna bring it home to their loved ones.”

-Adam Brownstein

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