Amanda De Lauzon

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Gavin DeGraw Surprises Fans With Performance at NYCBS Cancer Center Grand Opening

Gavin DeGraw performed at the grand opening of the New York Cancer and Blood Specialists new facility in Port Jefferson Station on Monday, Aug. 5, 2019. (Long Island Press photo)

Grammy-winning rocker Gavin DeGraw played a surprise show Monday at a ribbon-cutting ceremony marking the grand opening of the New York Cancer and Blood Specialists new facility in Port Jefferson Station.

DeGraw, who won a Grammy for his duet with Colbie Caillat on the song “We Both Know,” expressed his excitement for the new building, which makes more accessible to Long Islanders a wide range of cutting edge treatment techniques in oncology, radiation therapy, clinical trials, and personalized medicine.

“I’m excited to be here with all of you for the opening of this great building,” DeGraw told the crowd of fans surprised by the impromptu performance. “I hope to see it do great things and help so many people.”

With physicians on call for 24 hours a day and services 365 days a year, the new center has already started treating patients in their fight against cancer as well as running research clinical trials and offering second opinions to those looking for newer advances in their treatment. 

“It’s an unbelievable honor and a privilege every day to be allowed to care for these heroes that we have and see every day, that come walking into our offices,” said Dr. Jeff Vacirca, CEO and managing partner of New York Cancer & Blood Specialists. “Without the help of some really remarkable individuals we couldn’t have done such a remarkable thing and made a project like this happen. We have made a facility with great exposure to our community, with the availability of imaging, of pharmacy, of chemotherapy, of research right around the corner from all of our patients, where they can walk 20 feet and see their doctors.”

The opening was joined by multiple local officials who helped make the building come a reality. Brookhaven Councilmen Neil Foley and Kevin LaValle along with Councilwomen Jane Bonner and Valerie Cartright joined Brookhaven Town Supervisor Ed Romaine as he cut the ribbon officially opening the building to the public.

“This center is saving lives of our friends, our neighbors, and our family,” said Romaine. “So many people will use this facility in the next few years and they will walk out hopefully in remission, cured, and living a much healthier life than they were when they walked in. This is a center that is so important. 

“So many people, some of our close friends, owe their life to this institution,” he continued. “There are so many people who need healing. They can come here and get back on the road to recovery.” 

For more info visit nycancer.com

L. to R.: Valerie Cartright, Jane Bonner, Ed Romaine, and Kevin LaValle. (Long Island Press photo)

17 Viral Videos That Made Long Island Internet Famous

17. Ronkokamo


“We’ll take the train because the expressways slow, that’s where we want to go, down to Ronkokamo,” sang comedian and actor Brian Roach in his Beach Boys parody music video about his hometown, Ronkonkoma. This YouTube video has more than 118,200 views since 2017. 

16. LIRR Racist

 

This Long Island Rail Road rider’s racist rant directed at an African American woman on the train went viral on Facebook in May and now has more than 138,000 views. The rider, later identified as Edward Ruggiero of Long Beach, pleaded guilty harassment and disorderly conduct in July.

15. Tears ‘R Us

 

“I will cherish my time here for life,” said Ryan Thomas under his viral Facebook video of the last sign off at Toys ‘R Us in Lake Grove. With stores around the country closing, this employee took to Facebook to show his appreciation of his time working for the company and the video has over 158,000 views since it was posted last year.

14. The Piano Train

In May 2018, Long Island Rail Road riders broke out into song with the Billy Joel classic, Piano Man. This tweet has gained over 172,000 views since then and in the words of the twitter user who posted the original video, “This is what society should be like… peaceful, united and happy.” 

13. Massapequ-what?

Try not to cringe while watching southerners attempt to pronounce Long Island town names. This girl’s video tweeted in October 2016 now has more than 200,000 views and has inspired others to try to get their out-of-town friends to do the same. 

12. East End Postal

 

Handle with care is not the motto for the Hampton Bays Post office as a worker is seen throwing boxes without care into a truck. Many were angered over the treatment of their packages after a man posted the video to Facebook and more than 306,000 people viewed it since 2018.

11. Say What?

 

In his parody of the many different people who live on in the area, comedian Thomas Dale pokes fun at what he believes the lingo of a Long Islander sounds like. This YouTube video posted in 2012 and has more than 714,000 views. 

10. Can You Hear Me Now?

A Seaford man reached viral in 2015 when a cell phone video caught him in the act of brazenly climbing onto a Broadway stage to charge his dying iPhone in 2015. Nick Silvestri, 19, and his family were taking in Broadway’s “Hand of God” on July 2 when he crawled onto the set during the show and plugged his power-starved iPhone into an outlet that turned out to be fake. The video has been viewed more than 800,000 times.

9. Suffolk’s Anthem

 

Remember when everyone was making parody music videos about their hometown set to the tune of Jay Z’s New York State of Mind? Suffolk’s contribution to that viral trend got 923,932 views since being posted in September 2010.

8. Nassau State of Mind

 

Whether it’s because it’s a better parody of the above or that it was the first one out of the gate on Long Island in August 2010, Nassau State of Mind has more than 1.5 million views.

7. Super Dog

 

This dog plays hero to a drowning deer in the Long Island Sound and becomes viral star in the media with more than 1.6 million videos since this YouTube video exploded in July of 2017.

6. Piano Pup

 

A Long Island beagle named Buddy Mercury went viral for howling and playing the piano on YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook. His first video posted in February 2017 has more than 1.7 million views now and the dogs channel has over 52,300 subscribers.

5. Road Rage Racist

This driver in Deer Park is the definition of road rage. His discriminatory and racist comments did not go unnoticed by the Facebook user who posted it in July of 2018 with more than 2 million views.

4. Vegas Takedown

 

UFC fighter and East Meadow native Matt Serra gained more than 2.7 million views for holding down a reckless drunk man who was yelling at waiters in a Las Vegas restaurant.

3. Haunted Hillary House

Video of a bizarre Hillary Clinton-themed “haunted house” in Bellmore went viral during the 2016 presidential campaign, although viewers’ reactions depended upon whether they backed the Democratic presidential nominee or her Republican rival, Donald Trump. The video has gotten more than 3 million views in three years.

2. Trump Train Man

Long Island Rail Road worker Thomas Mundy looks presidential with his best Donald Trump impression and even bares a very identical resemblance as well. This video posted in April this year has more than 4.3 million views.

  1. Bagel Man

Five-foot-tall and full of anger this furious Long Islander takes first place with 26 million views so far this month on the original tweet. Fourty-five-year-old Chris Morgan of Bay Shore became internet famous after his angry rant about women judging him for his height while standing in a Bagel Boss. He’s slated to fight other viral video stars this fall.

That’s A Wrap for This Year’s Long Island International Film Expo

Elias Plagianos and Jackie Martling

Artists, actors, and filmmakers came together to celebrate and support up-and-comers in the industry this past week at the 22nd Annual Long Island International Film Expo (LIIFE) at the historic Bellmore Movies.

Approximately 400 films were entered and around only 180 were hand chosen to be screened. These incoming filmmakers as well as the seasoned returning attendees were offered a variety of panels, screenings and networking opportunities to help them break into the film world. 

“There are so many people who are part of this community that have helped me become who I am as a filmmaker,” said 10-year expo attendee and past winner Elias Plagianos. “You find your group and you grow with them, as I have grown as a person so has this community and festival.”

The closing ceremony was opened by singer/songwriter Sammie Rae and Reggaetón artist Los Vegas. The ceremony was joined by celebrities including the host Kevin Brown, the stand-up comedian and actor featured in the hit TV show 30 Rock for seven seasons as well as in many other films.

“We try to be a film festival that’s really very laser focused on the filmmakers,” said Debra Markowitz, director of the Nassau County Film Commission and cofounder of LIIFE. “We want them to really get to know the industry.”

Many different awards were given out such as best director, best story, best feature film, best short film, best Long Island Film, best student film, best animation, best foreign film, best web series as well as technical categories such as best cinematography, best art direction, and best lighting. 

“It meant the world to us to sit in our home town in this theatre and feel the room around us while people reacted to our film,” said the 2019 LIIFE Award for Best Feature Film, Kenneth Frank for his film Family Obligations. “As all filmmakers know, it takes an army to do what we do.”

The expo caters to a wide range of film lovers and even has a Young Filmmakers Showcase with the youngest participant this year being only 15 years old. The winner of this showcase was LIU Post student Justin Portaro for his film Kid The Moon. 

The LIIFEtime Career Achievement Honoree was John Gallagher who has spent 40 years as a director, writer producer and educator for the film industry. Writer of the cult comedy The Deli and many others he has inspired newcomers in the field to continue to create no matter the circumstances. After being in a life altering fire that put him in a wheel chair he came back to what he loves and has made eight movies since.

“I was told I had a 10 percent chance of survival and that I wasn’t able to work anymore, a month later I got out of the hospital and I directed a feature film,” said Gallagher. “When someone says you can’t do something, you do it anyways.” 

The festival returns every year in July and offers a tight networking community to emerging filmmakers. For more info visit longislandfilm.com.

New Dinosaur Exhibit Debuts at The Center for Science, Teaching and Learning in Rockville Centre

Dinosaurs! and People’s United Bank Animal Adventure, will officially open to the public on July 15 at The Center for Science, Teaching & Learning in Rockville Centre. (Courtesy CSTL Photographer: David Conn)

A much-anticipated new attraction called Dinosaurs! And Peoples United Bank Animal Adventure debuts Monday at the Center for Science, Teaching and Learning (CSTL) located in the Tanglewood Preserve in Rockville Centre.

The exhibit in CSTL’s new 3,500-square-foot WAC Lighting Hall features 20-foot-tall model dinosaurs, 17-foot-tall animatronic dinosaurs, and live animals such as emu, owls, goats, alligators, and lizards with 90 percent of these animals being rescued or permanently disabled.

“We want kids to think science is cool again,” CSTL Executive Director Ray Ann Havasy told reporters Wednesday during a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new exhibit. “I feel like we have done a good job when visitors leave wanting to know even more.”

The exhibit, which is expected to attract 150,000 visitors annually, boasts family-friendly, interactive exhibits so that children can have fun while learning.

“I want kids to learn how animals have evolved to what they are today,” said paleontologist Ryan Ridder, who helped set up the attraction and create the interactive parts of the exhibits.

The attraction will also teach kids about the animals while also giving the rescues a home.

“We want to teach people about how animals cohabit wildlife with us, especially on a place like Long Island and using animals who need a home was a great way of doing this,” said Havasy.

A PSEG sponsorship ensured that the building is the only exhibit in New York State heated and cooled by geothermal energy.

“As our kids are getting more and more into the digital world it’s important to go out, get dirty, and discover the natural world,” said Nassau County Executive Laura Curran.

CSTL’s Tanglewood Preserve headquarters is located at 1450 Tanglewood Rd., in Rockville Centre. It’s open daily 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets will be $15 for adults and $12 for children. Kids under 1 are free. For more information, visit cstl.org

Long Island Ice Cream Tour Hits The Road For Sweet Frozen Treats

Indulging in scoops, sundaes, and cones aplenty will be participants of the annual Long Island Ice Cream Tour (LIICT) taking place on Saturday. 

The tour invites lovers of the chilled treat to discover hidden gem ice cream parlors across LI, learn how homemade ice cream is made, and enjoy endless frozen desserts along with vegan options at some locations.

“This is a must-do event for Long Islanders because it supports local businesses while getting to tour unique parts of the Island and enjoy a beautiful summer day,” said Jeff Noreman, LIICT co-founder. “It’s ice cream. What could ever not be great about ice cream?”

Born in 2011, the tour blended Noreman’s knowledge and love for homemade ice cream with cofounder Derek Steen’s sense of adventure to create the tour across the Island.

The annual tour begins at 9 a.m. on July 13 and travels to nine different locally owned ice cream parlors across Suffolk and Nassau counties. 

It starts at International Delight Café in Rockville Centre, where participants can buy ice cream along with breakfast to kick off the day. The tour will then proceed to travel down Long Island and stop at many shops along the way and even the beach for a quick photo. The tour ends at Snowflake Ice Cream Shoppe in Riverhead, where participants will see a behind-the-scenes demo of ice cream being made.

So what makes this homemade ice cream better?

“When you have regular ice cream it’s created, frozen, then transported from place to place,” said Noreman. “It melts a little during this process, when they refreeze it, sometimes it crystalizes and it ends up being not as smooth and creamy. You get more flavor and it’s a much smoother ice cream when its homemade.”

Tickets cost $20.70 and registration is open on liict.org. Special deals will be available on the tour for registered participants but only if they wear the color of the year, which is yellow.

Long Island Free Outdoor Movie Nights Summer 2019

The Avengers
Jones Beach Bandshell, Field 4, Wantagh. Starts at sunset. Thursday, June 27.

Black Panther
Sunset Park, Port Washington. 8:30 p.m. Saturday, June 29. 

Jaws
Grand Beach, Long Beach. Saturday, June 29.

Wonder
Town Hall Park, Babylon. At sunset. Monday, July 1.

Kung Fu Panda
Casamento Park, 101 Muncey Rd., Bay Shore. Sunset, Monday, July 1.

Star Wars IV – A New Hope 
Southampton Arts Center, 25 Jobs Lane, Southampton. 8:30 p.m. Friday, July 5.

A Dog’s Way Home
Crab Meadow Beach Drive-In, Waterside Ave., Northport. Starts at dusk. Monday, July 8.

Incredibles
Hidden Pond Park, 660 Terry Rd., Hauppauge. Sunset, Monday, July 8.

Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax
Village Green, 361 Main Street, Farmingdale. Starts at dusk. Tuesday, July 9.

Hotel Transylvania 
Cedar Creek Park, 3340 Merrick Road, Seaford. 8:30 p.m. Tuesday July 9.

Mary Poppins Returns
Plainview-Old Bethpage Community Park, Plainview. 8 p.m. Thursday, July 11.

Christopher Robin
Jones Beach Bandshell, Field 4, Wantagh. Starts at sunset. Thursday July 11.

Hotel Transylvania 3
Harry Chapin Lakeside Theatre, Eisenhower Park, East Meadow. Sunset, Thursday, July 11.

Finding Nemo
Southampton Arts Center, 25 Jobs Lane, Southampton. 8:30 p.m. Friday, July 12.

Finding Nemo 
The East Terrace, 880 Lido Blvd, Lido Beach. 8:30 p.m. Friday, July 12.

The Incredibles 2
Heritage Park, 633 Mount Sinai-Coram Rd, Mt Sinai. 8:15 p.m. Friday July 12.

Won’t You Be My Neighbor
Sunset Park, Port Washington. 8:30 p.m. Saturday, July 13.

The Goonies
Lafayette Beach, Long Beach. Sunset, Saturday, July 13.

Casper 
Tanner Park, Babylon. At sunset. Monday, July 15.

The Greatest Showman
Islip Grange Park, 10 Broadway, Sayville. Sunset, Monday, July 15


Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse
Village Green, 361 Main Street, Farmingdale. Starts at dusk. Tuesday, July 16.

A Bugs Life
North Woodmere Park, Hungry Harbor Road, Valley Stream. 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 16.

Back to the Future
Allen Town Park, Farmingdale. 8 p.m. Thursday, July 18.

The Grinch
Jones Beach Bandshell, Field 4, Wantagh. Starts at sunset. Thursday July 18.

Goosebumps 2
Harry Chapin Lakeside Theatre, Eisenhower Park, East Meadow. Sunset, Thursday, July 18.

Singin’ in the Rain
Southampton Arts Center, 25 Jobs Lane, Southampton. 8:30 p.m. Friday, July 19.

Small Foot
South Bay Bible Church at 578 Montauk Highway, East Moriches. 8 p.m. Friday, July 19.

Singin’ in the Rain
Southampton Arts Center, 25 Jobs Lane, Southampton. 8:30 p.m. Friday, July 19.

How to Train Your Dragon 
The West Terrace, 880 Lido Blvd, Lido Beach. 8:30 p.m. Sunday, July 21.

Jurassic Park
The Great Lawn, Main St., Westhampton Beach. 7:30 p.m. Monday, July 22.

Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation
Crab meadow Beach drive-In, Waterside Ave., Northport. Starts at dusk. Monday, July 22.

Fred Claus
Holbrook Country Club, 700 Patchogue-Holbrook Rd., Holbrook. Sunset, Monday, July 22.

Small Foot
Village Green, 361 Main Street, Farmingdale. Starts at dusk. Tuesday, July 23.

How to Train Your Dragon 2
Cedar Creek Park, 3340 Merrick Road, Seaford. 8:30 p.m. Tuesday July 23.

Incredibles 2
Syosset-Woodbury Community Park, Woodbury. 8 p.m. Thursday, July 25.

Aquaman
Jones Beach Bandshell, Field 4, Wantagh. Starts at sunset. Thursday July 25.

How To Train Your Dragon: Hidden World
Harry Chapin Lakeside Theatre, Eisenhower Park, East Meadow. Sunset, Thursday, July 25.

The Incredibles 
Nickerson Beach, West Terrace, 880 Lido Blvd, Lido Beach. 8:30 p.m. Friday, July 26.

Get Out 
Southampton Arts Center, 25 Jobs Lane, Southampton. 8:30 p.m. Friday, July 27.

The Greatest Showman
Riverside Beach, Long Beach. Sunset, Friday, July 27.

Incredibles 2
Tanner Park, Babylon. At sunset. Monday, July 29.

Night at The Museum
Brookwood Hall, 50 Irish Lane, East Islip. Sunset, Monday, July 29.

A Dog’s Way Home
Village Green, 361 Main Street, Farmingdale. Starts at dusk. Tuesday, July 30.

Megamind
North Woodmere Park, Hungry Harbor Road, Valley Stream. 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 30.

Beauty & The Beast
Marjorie Post Park, Massapequa. 8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 1.

Bumblebee
Jones Beach Bandshell, Field 4, Wantagh. Starts at sunset. Thursday Aug. 1.

Instant Family
Harry Chapin Lakeside Theatre, Eisenhower Park, East Meadow. Sunset, Thursday, Aug 1.

Spider Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Southampton Arts Center, 25 Jobs Lane, Southampton. 8:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 2.

Ghostbusters
Sunset Park, Port Washington. 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 3.

Madagascar
Nickerson Beach, West Terrace, Nickerson Beach, 880 Lido Blvd, Lido Beach. 8:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 4.

Pete’s Dragon
Tanner park, Babylon. At sunset. Monday, Aug. 5.

Incredibles 2
Heckscher Park, Main street and prime Ave., Huntington. Starts at dusk. Monday, Aug. 5.

A Bug’s Life
Broadway Avenue Park, Sayville. Sunset, Monday Aug. 5.

Ralph Breaks the Internet
Village Green, 361 Main Street, Farmingdale. Starts at dusk. Tuesday, Aug. 6.

Parent Trap
Cedar Creek Park, 3340 Merrick Road, Seaford. 8:30 p.m. Tuesday Aug. 6.

Ralph Breaks the Internet
Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park and Beach, Oyster Bay. 8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 8.

Incredibles 2
Jones Beach Bandshell, Field 4, Wantagh. Starts at sunset. Thursday Aug. 8.

The Lego Movie 2
Harry Chapin Lakeside Theatre, Eisenhower Park, East Meadow. Sunset, Thursday, Aug 8.

Crazy Rich Asians
Southampton Arts Center, 25 Jobs Lane, Southampton. 8:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 9.

How to Train Your Dragon 3
Heritage Park, 633 Mount Sinai-Coram Rd, Mt Sinai. 8:15 p.m. Friday, Aug. 9.

The Goonies
Nickerson Beach, East Terrace, 880 Lido Blvd., Lido Beach. Sunset, Friday, Aug. 9.

Rocky Horror Picture Show
Grand Beach, Long Beach. Sunet, Saturday, Aug. 10.

Finding Nemo
Nickerson Beach, East Terrace, 880 Lido Blvd., Lido Beach. Sunset, Friday, July 12.

Monster Trucks
Roberto Clemente Park, Brentwood. Sunset, Aug. 12.

Incredibles 2
Village Green, 361 Main Street, Farmingdale. Starts at dusk. Tuesday, Aug. 13.

School of Rock
North Woodmere Park, Hungry Harbor Road, Valley Stream. 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 13.

Mary Poppins Returns
Jones Beach Bandshell, Field 4, Wantagh. Starts at sunset. Thursday Aug. 15.

Small Foot
Harry Chapin Lakeside Theatre, Eisenhower Park, East Meadow. Sunset, Thursday, Aug 15.

Ralph Breaks the Internet
South Bay Bible Church at 578 Montauk Highway, East Moriches. 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 16.

Black Panther
Southampton Arts Center, 25 Jobs Lane, Southampton. 8:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 16.

The Sandlot
Nickerson Beach, East Terrace, 880 Lido Blvd, Lido Beach. 8:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 18.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Peter A. Nelson Park, Oakwood Rd., Huntington Station. Starts at dusk. Monday, Aug. 19.

Bedtime Stories
Eastview Fields, Central Islip. Sunset, Aug. 19.

The Goonies
Village Green, 361 Main Street, Farmingdale. Starts at dusk. Tuesday, Aug. 20.

Lego Movie 2
Jones Beach Bandshell, Field 4, Wantagh. Starts at sunset. Thursday Aug. 22.

The Kid Who Would Be King
Harry Chapin Lakeside Theatre, Eisenhower Park, East Meadow. Sunset, Thursday, Aug 22.

Bohemian Rhapsody
Southampton Arts Center, 25 Jobs Lane, Southampton. 8:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 23.

Mary Poppins Returns
Sunset Park, Port Washington. 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 24. 

Ralph Breaks The Internet
Lincoln Beach, Long Beach. Sunset, Saturday, Aug. 24.

School of Rock
Brookwood Hall, 50 Irish Lane, East Islip. Sunset, Monday, Aug. 26.

Captain Marvel
Jones Beach Bandshell, Field 4, Wantagh. Starts at sunset. Thursday Aug. 29.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindlewald
Harry Chapin Lakeside Theatre, Eisenhower Park, East Meadow. Sunset, Thursday, Aug 29.

Jaws
Southampton Arts Center, 25 Jobs Lane, Southampton. 8:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 30

Mary Poppins Returns
South Bay Bible Church at 578 Montauk Highway, East Moriches. 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 20.

 

Purple Heart Recipient Wins Free House in Mastic

Kevin Palacios, center, is a veteran of the war in Afghanistan. (Long Island Press photo)

Tears streamed down the face of Kevin Palacios, a purple heart recipient and veteran of the war in Afghanistan, as it was announced that he was the new owner of a fully furnished mortgage-free home on Long Island.

After finding out he was a finalist in the Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation’s Purple Hearts Campaign Contest, Hauppauge manager Steve Probst announced that Palacios was the winner and introduced him to his new home in Mastic.

“I can tell you this man is deserving, and I knew it the first minute I met him,” Probst told the crowd at Brookhaven Town Hall on Tuesday.

After being wounded during two tours in Afghanistan, he came back to civilian life got a degree at Farmingdale State College. He now works with fellow veterans at a job he describes as lovable.

“When you get out of the military nobody really teaches you how to come back to this world,” said Palacios. “It’s a place that I once knew and once called home.”

To help injured veterans assimilate back into civilian life, the foundation decided they wanted to give away a house mortgage free and fully furnished. With the help of the Long Island Board of Realtors, the Interior Design Society’s Long Island Chapter, and many local businesses this three bedroom home was fully decorated, renovated and furnished for the family. 

“I’ve gone and seen a whole different side of the word and it made me mature at a different level,” said Palacios. “While it was sometimes a struggle to adapt to this life, I was lucky to graduate and get a job with people I consider family.” 

For veterans, it can be hard to ease back into civilian life, with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), injuries, and other issues they face from their experience serving on the front lines. 

“You have to get right back into it or you’re going to lose yourself,” said Palacios. 

Finishing college, getting a job, and figuring out the future are all part of this new life these veterans have to adapt to.  

“These young veterans come into my office with their eligibility certificate and say they want to go to college but, they have a lot of fear in their eyes,” said Eric Farina, director of veteran affairs at Farmingdale State College. “They have been trained to face fear and roadside bombs, all the brave things that come with military service in a combat zone but they were not prepped to go sit in an English 101 class with kids that are five years younger than them.”

Long Island has the highest concentration of veterans in New York State and the second largest in the nation. This is just a start for how they can be paid back for the selfless service they gave. 

This foundation is planning to work continuously hard to help other veterans receive the help they need through their Purple Hearts Campaign.

“You deserve this,” Probst told Palacios as he held back tears.

LI Congressional Delegation Calls on EPA To Better Protect Drinking Water

U.S. Rep. Lee Zelzin (R-Shirly) and the rest of the Long Island congressional delegation held a news conference on Tuesday, June 18, 2019. (Photo by Amanda De Lauzon)

Long Island’s congressional delegation is urging the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to strengthen public drinking water standards following a report suggesting the region has the most contaminated water in New York State.

The lawmakers also called on the EPA to provide more financial and technical support to LI’s public drinking water providers so the utilities can better handle contaminants such as 1,4 Dioxane and other emerging chemicals.

“There are millions of families across Long Island who drink this water every single day and we cannot turn our backs on them or their health and safety,” said U.S. Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-Garden City). “We need to act now and we need to act fast.”

Rice was joined at a news conference Tuesday by U.S. Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford), U.S. Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-Glen Cove), and U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley), who co-signed a letter to the EPA listing their demands.

Also joining the lawmakers was Liz Moran, environmental policy director of the New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG), which conducted the water contamination study finding LI drinking water had higher than acceptable levels of contaminants that have been linked to cancer and other medical issues.

“The public has the basic right and expectation when they turn on the tap that the water is going to be safe for them to drink, but unfortunately, here in New York and other places in the country, that basic right has been put in jeopardy,” said Moran.

While the effects on humans aren’t fully known, studies show that there could be possible negative health effects over time due to exposure to chemicals such as 1,4 Dioxane, which is found in many household products is a possible carcinogen, according to the EPA. State health officials are currently considering new water standards to regulate that and other new chemicals found in drinking water.

“These are emerging contaminants, this is not settled science yet, we know this is a problem that is going to be coming in the future that we have to be prepared for,” said Zeldin. “We are working proactively to try to get the EPA to pay more attention to what’s going on here on Long Island and to help us get funding to do the testing and treatment.”

Still awaiting a response from the EPA, this group is working hard to make the issue known and fighting to protect the water of the Long Island residents.

“We have a crisis, and a crisis deserves action and it deserves funding so that’s what we are calling for today,” said Adrienne Esposito, executive director of Citizens Campaign for the Environment.

KTUPhoria Warms Up Jones Beach Summer Concert Series

Bebe Rexha performed with The Chainsmokers at KTUphoria on Saturday, June 15, 2019. (Photo by Amanda de Lauzon)

Windy weather didn’t stop fans from enjoying 103.5’s KTUphoria on Saturday at Northwell Health Jones Beach Theater.

The annual music festival that helps usher in the amphitheater’s summer concert series brought seasoned chart-topping artists along with some hit newcomers.

“I always get nervous right before I go on stage but as soon as I start singing it goes away,” singer Ava Max said right before she opened the festival with her song “So Am I” and her hit song “Sweet but Psycho.”

The Canadian DJ duo Andrew Fedyk and Joe Depace who make up Loud Luxury played more than just their music and made sure to hype up the audience for their hit single “Body” and newer song “Love No More.” They also made sure to bring out fellow artist Bryce Vine to preview a new song together they are working on.

Ava Max performs at KTUphoria on Saturday, June 15, 2019. (Photo by Amanda de Lauzon)

Combining Latin music and pop, Becky G and her energized background dancers excited the audience next. She sung many of her hits as well as some newer ones including “Green Light Go” and her classic song “Mayores.”

After that, newer rap/pop sensation Bryce Vine performed. He came out last year with the song “Drew Barrymore,” which hit No. 16 in the US pop charts. He also sung a few of his popular songs including his new song with rapper YG called “La La Land.”

Bebe Rexha came on next and sung many of her popular songs including “I’m a Mess” and brought an 8-year-old boy named Liam on stage to dance with her during her set.

“Get lost, be happy to be alive, because who knows what tomorrow brings, but right now with you Long Island, let’s just enjoy the music,” said Bebe Rexha to the audience right before her song “Meant to Be,” which features country group Florida Georgia Line.

Becky G performs at KTUphoria on Saturday, June 15, 2019. (Photo by Amanda de Lauzon)

Next up was Latin American boy band CNCO, who brought a new twist and fun feeling to the stage with their choreographed dances as well as hit songs such as “Hey DJ” and “Se Vuelve Loca.”

English singer/songwriter, Ellie Golding came out after with her fan favorite “Love Me Like You Do,” which was featured on the soundtrack for the movie “Fifty Shades of Gray” in 2015. She also sung popular hits “Burn” and “Close to Me (with Diplo) feat. Swae Lee.”

Closing the show was the cover liner, The Chainsmokers, who are known for their mix of DJing, singing, and special effects. They played classics of theirs like “Paris,” “Who Do You Love,” “This Feeling,” and their song “Call You Mine,” which is accompanied by Bebe Rexha, who came out again to perform it.

The show ended with a bang as streamers came down from the ceiling and fire and smoke special effects shot up from the stage as they played their song “Closer,” which was No. One on the Billboard Hot 100 charts for 12 weeks in a row in 2016.

Pride on The Beach Hits Long Beach This Weekend

A rainbow flag, the gay pride symbol, flapping in the wind. (Photo by Ludovic Bertron)

Rainbow flags will be flying high for this week-long LGBT pride festival featuring events ranging from food tastings, prayer services, fun runs, beach parties, a concert on the beach.

A TASTE OF LONG BEACH
Celebrate pride month by discovering delicious food and drinks along the beach with specials at participating restaurants and bars listed at prideonthebeach.org. Long Beach. June 21-23.

KICKOFF PARTY AT JUNCTION
Kickoff pride weekend with a DJ and some quality eats! Junction Live Music Sports Grill, 20 W Park Ave., Long Beach. 7:30 p.m.-11 p.m. June 21.

PRIDE 5K RUN AND FUN RUN
Hit the scenic Long Beach boardwalk and run a timed 5K or an easier untimed course with proceeds going towards the LGBT Network. Long Beach Boardwalk at 1 Laurelton Blvd, Long Beach. 7:30 a.m.-10 a.m. June 22.

TITO’S VODKA PRIDE PET PARADE
Enjoy the second annual pride pet parade with all your furry friends! Long Beach Rec. Center Gazebo, 700 Magnolia Blvd. Long Beach. 12 p.m.-2 p.m. June 22.

TWILIGHT BEACH PARTY
Plenty of dancing in the sand along with live DJs and special VIP amenities. Beach Pass needed to attend. On the beach at 1 Long Beach Blvd., Long Beach. 3 p.m.-7 p.m. June 22.

PRIDE CABARET NIGHT
Enjoy a night of cabaret-style performances at the third annual Pride Cabaret directed by Lydia Sabosto. Located at Long Beach Public Library, 111 West Park Avenue, Long Beach. 7 p.m.-10 p.m. June 22.

PRIDE MARKET FAIR
Walk along the boardwalk filled with vendors, shops and exhibitors as you enjoy the beach view. Long Beach Boardwalk between National Blvd and Edwards Blvd, 1 National Blvd. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. June 23.

29TH ANNUAL LI PRIDE PARADE
Celebrate pride month by marching with thousands of LGBT people and supporters or grabbing a spot to view the parade and enjoy the floats, performers and marching bands. The parade begins on Broadway at Lafayette Blvd. and will proceed East on Broadway to Long Beach Blvd. 12 p.m.-2 p.m. June 23.

CONCERT ON THE BEACH
End off a day of celebration with a beachfront concert of live performances! On the beach at 1 Long Beach Blvd, Long Beach. 1 p.m.-5 p.m. June 23.

Full list of events at prideonthebeach.org Prices vary. June 21-26.