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Brianna Kovit

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Steiger Craft: Long Island’s Last Boat Builder

Steiger Craft’s 21 DV MIAMI.

Years ago, Long Island superstar Billy Joel commuted from Oyster Bay into Manhattan on a one-of-a-kind 23-foot inboard boat. It’s no surprise that, today, Steiger Craft, the company that built and sold the boat to him, sails strong as the last major boat-building operation on LI. 

When Alan Steiger founded his Bellport-based company in 1972, he wasn’t looking to sell boats to the likes of Billy Joel — he just wanted to avoid working for his family’s baking business. More interested in clams than cupcakes, Steiger knew his career would cater to the sea, not the kitchen. Alas, he found his niche in constructing fishing boats.

“We never really tried to be the biggest boat company in the world,” Steiger told The Fisherman Magazine. “We’re just trying to be the best boat company in the world for what we do.”

Originally, Steiger was building boats intended only for commercial fishermen but soon realized that he could cater to sport fishermen as well. Essentially, every fisherman wants the same thing — a boat that drifts well, has a stable platform, and can withstand some ice in the wintertime. 

Steiger’s secret? Fiberglass. A nonbiodegradable material, fiberglass hulls cannot break. It’s the reason Steiger has never needed to pay a dime in warranty. These boats have never failed. 

Steiger Craft has managed to stay at the top of its industry because, in addition to their boats’ top-of-the-line structure, they are always evolving. By the mid-1990s, the company was designing deep-V hulls that brought their inventory from boats only suitable for the shallow waters of the bay to full recreational ocean fishing capabilities. 

“We’re making changes every year to all of our boats,” Steiger told Soundings Online. “We recently changed the freeboard on the 21, 23, and 25, and now we’re changing the freeboard on the 28 and 31.”

Steiger Craft prides itself on the fact that all its construction is done by hand. In that way, this business has an old-fashioned feel. But its use of the latest materials, technologies, and engineering show that this boat maker is anything but behind.

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Hamptons Leaders Question Cuomo’s Comments on Social Distancing Violations

A woman carries her surfboard from the beach in the Hamptons.

Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman pushed back against Gov. Andrew Cuomo‘s claims of the Hamptons of being a “problem” area in regards to executing safe reopening protocols from the coronavirus shutdown.

Cuomo recently named the Hamptons and Manhattan as leading areas of reopening related violations out of about 25,000 complaints statewide. Cuomo said that many of these complaints were about unsafe interactions in restaurant and bar settings — and if such non-compliance continued, he said that he would shut down businesses again.

The Hamptons and Manhattan are both currently in phase two of the reopening plan, with Long Island entering phase three on Wednesday.

In a letter sent to Cuomo on June 15, Schneider wrote, “as Supervisor of the largest Town in the Hampton’s region, I am aware of your comments during the June 14tg COVID-19 press conference where you stated that ‘The Hamptons’ region is not enforcing compliance with the re-opening guidance.”

The Hamptons region consists of two towns and eight villages on Long Island’s South Fork; there are seven independent police departments and a similar number of ordinance departments, Schneiderman said.

“Did you mean to imply that every local jurisdiction is ignoring the state rules? At the press conference you said ‘The Hamptons’ were a problem area,” he wrote.

Southampton Town has enforced the accommodations enacted by the state including social distancing requirements, mask wearing regulations, non-essential business restrictions, and limitations on gatherings.

“Our agencies are quick to investigate complaints of non-compliance,” he wrote. “We receive concerns regarding non-compliance from Suffolk 311 as well as through our own departments. We speak regularly on conference calls with your local representatives who have never raised concerns about a pattern of non-compliance in our area or even a single concern about a business ignoring the requirements.”

Schneiderman concluded the letter asking Cuomo to forward any of the 25,000 complaints Cuomo received that pertain to Southampton Town so that local law enforcement could properly investigate them.

Long Island Farmer’s Market Guide 2020

Babylon: Babylon LIRR Parking Lot, 126 N Carll Ave., Sundays 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m. 

East Hampton: Calvary Baptist Church, 60 Spinner Ln. Fridays 9 a.m.-1 p.m. 

Farmingdale: Farmingdale Village Green, 361 Main St. Sundays 10 a.m.-3 p.m. through Nov. 22.

Hampton Bays: St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, 165 Ponquogue Ave. Saturdays 9 a.m.-1 p.m. through Sept. 1. 

Islip: Town Hall Parking Lot, 655 Main St. Saturdays 7 a.m.-12 p.m. through Nov. 21. 

Lake Grove: Smith Haven Mall. Thursdays 4 p.m.-7 p.m. through Oct. 1. 

Long Beach: Kennedy Plaza, 1 West Chester St. Wednesdays 9 a.m.-2 p.m. through Nov. 21 Saturdays 9 a.m.-2 p.m. through Nov 25. 

Malverne: Crossroads Farm, 480 Hempstead Ave. Fridays 3 p.m.-6 p.m. Saturdays 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Sundays 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Starting June 19. 

Montauk: Montauk Green, 742 Montauk Hwy. Thursdays 9 a.m.-2 p.m. through Sept. 3. 

New Cassel: First Baptist Cathedral of Westbury, 212 Garden St. Saturdays 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Starting July 11 through Oct. 31. 

Northport: At the foot of Main Street in the Cow Harbor parking lot, Saturdays 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Starting June 20 through Nov. 21. 

Old Bethpage: 140 Bethpage-Sweet Hollow Rd. Tuesdays & Thursdays 3 p.m.-6 p.m. Saturdays 10 a.m.-1 p.m. through Oct. 31. 

Patchogue: East Side of the Patchogue LIRR Parking Lot, Division Street and Ocean Avenue. Sundays 9 a.m.-2 p.m. through Nov. 8. 

Port Jefferson: Jeanne Garant Harborfront Park, 101 East Bwy. Sundays 9 a.m.-2 p.m. through Sept. 13. 

Port Washington: Town dock, Main St. at Covert St., Saturdays 8 a.m.-12 p.m. through Oct. 31. 

Rockville Centre: Long Beach Road and Sunrise Highway, railroad parking lot No. 12. Sundays 7 a.m.-12 p.m. through Nov. 22.

Rocky Point: 115 Prince Rd. Sundays 8 a.m.-1 p.m. through Nov. 24. 

Roslyn: Christopher Morley Park, 500 Searington Rd. Wednesdays 7 a.m.-1 p.m. through Nov. 25. 

Seaford: Railroad St., East End of Parking Lot of Seaford LIRR Station. Saturdays 7 a.m.-12 p.m. through Nov. 21. 

Sag Harbor: Corner of Bay St. and Burke St. Saturdays 9 a.m.-1 p.m. through Oct. 31. 

Sayville: Islip Grange, 10 Broadway Ave. Saturdays 9 a.m.-2 p.m. through Nov. 

Sea Cliff: St. Boniface Church, 145 Glen Ave. Saturdays 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Opening day TBD.

Shelter Island: Shelter Island Historical Society, 16 South Ferry Rd. Saturdays 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. through Sept. 5. 

Southampton: Agawam Park, Sundays 9 a.m.-3 p.m. through Columbus Day Weekend.

Westbury: Parking Lot, 1500 Old Country Rd. Sundays 7 a.m.-1 p.m. through Nov. 29 Thursdays 7 a.m.-1 p.m. through Nov. 30. 

Westhampton: Westhampton Beach Village Green, Mill Road and Main Street. Sundays 9 a.m.-1 p.m. through Nov. 15. 

Long Island Nonprofit Collects Masks For Navajo Nation

Teresa Peters makes homemade masks in Gallup, New Mexico. (REUTERS/Donovan Quintero)

While New York City, the proclaimed epicenter of the novel coronavirus pandemic, scrounged for aid and resources at the peak of the nation’s crisis, there was a harder-hit U.S. hot spot suffering in the shadows: Navajo Nation. 

Navajo Nation, straddling Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah, is the largest Native American reservation, with more than 175,000 residents. Indeed, it is just one of more than 300 native territories ravaged by coronavirus. Long Islanders have joined the effort to help provide these reservations with essential resources, as exemplified by the CANA Foundation, a Locust Valley-based nonprofit horse advocacy group, which organized a fundraiser to send face masks to all the native territories that need them. 

“If we had shortages, they had nothing,” says Manda Kalimian, founder of the CANA Foundation. “The native communities are in dire need. They’re always in need. They need masks and they need help during this COVID crisis.”

Native Americans live under a different social structure than many Americans. Rather than a nuclear family structure, native familial units can include many extended family members all living in the same home. When there isn’t even running water, constant handwashing let alone social distancing are no more than distant theories.

Since Native American tribes cannot collect taxes, the stay-at-home order has essentially halted their economy. They are entirely dependent on income from casinos and other enterprises to maintain their operations and well, gambling isn’t on anyone’s mind right now. 

Navajo Nation amassed a 3.4 percent coronavirus infection rate, according to the Navajo Nation Department of Health. For comparison, the infection rate across New York state is 1.9 percent.

“I would say that one-third of the population doesn’t have electricity or running water,” Dr. Sriram Shamasunder, an associate professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco told HealthDay. “That means that while ‘shelter-in-place’ may for us be an inconvenience, for many Native Americans it’s an impossibility.”

To make a donation, visit gofundme.com

Related Story: 13 Ways To Donate To Help Fight The Coronavirus Pandemic

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6 Long Island Coronavirus Hot Spot Hospitals Ease Toward New Normal After Drop in Patients

NYU Winthrop University Hospital in Mineola during the peak of the pandemic. (Photo by Adam Brownstin)

Six Long Island hospitals deemed coronavirus hot spots in April have all experienced a decline in their number of COVID-19 patients, but as the medical centers adjust to the new normal, they worry about a possible second spike in hospitalizations. 

The six hospitals that Gov. Andrew Cuomo termed coronavirus hot spots were NYU Winthrop Hospital in Mineola, North Shore University Hospital (NSUH) in Manhasset, Long Island Jewish Medical Center (LIJ) in New Hyde Park, Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center in West Islip, Stony Brook University Hospital, and St. Francis Hospital in Roslyn. 

“When a patient gets better and can leave the hospital, it’s a victory,” said Dr. Marc Adler, chief medical officer at NYU Winthrop. “It’s a personal victory for the patient, their family as well as the staff taking care of them. And it’s really just a wonderful thing to see.” 

A 14-day decline in COVID-19 hospitalizations was among the metrics required for Long Island to begin phase one of reopening from the coronavirus shutdown last week. Hospitalizations are also down statewide. LI had comprised a fifth of pandemic hospitalizations at the peak.

As of May 16, the number of coronavirus patients at NYU Winthrop was down 70 percent from its peak in early April. In one week, their number of in-patient cases decreased by 16 percent, the number of ICU patients dropped 30 percent, and the number the overall COVID positive patient admissions was down by 65 percent. In total, NYU Winthrop has discharged more than 1,500 recovered coronavirus patients and counting. 

At the peak of the coronavirus cases, Long Island hospitals compensated for the unprecedented influx of patients by bringing in outside staff. Hundreds of nurses, respiratory therapists, pharmacists, and pharmacy technicians, travelled to the region to assist the 22 hospitals fight the virus.

Stony Brook University Hospital, which reached its coronavirus peak on April 10 with 437 patients and had 101 as of May 21, has bid farewell to its outside help and does not plan to seek any more at this time, according to Dr. Kenneth Kaushansky, senior vice president for health sciences and dean of Renaissance School of Medicine at the hospital. 

“We are so thankful for their assistance,” said Carolyn Santora, chief of regulatory affairs and interim chief nursing officer for Stony Brook University Hospital. 

Northwell Health, which runs North Shore University Hospital, Long Island Jewish Medical Center, and 21 other hospitals, has also stopped the need for additional help in the hospital’s COVID-19 patient areas. 

“We’re back into our usual footprint so that’s good news,” said Dr. David Battinelli, chief medical officer of Northwell Health.

NYU Winthrop still has a number of travelling nurses on staff who have been slowly leaving and are expected to continue into June. 

A spokesman for Catholic Health Services, which runs St. Francis Hospital and Good Samaritan Hospital, said that they still have approximately 150 out-of-state health care workers assisting their hospitals. 

“Having this additional workforce is allowing us to provide our front-line staff much needed time off,” said the spokesman. 

On May 19, Cuomo announced that elective surgery could resume in Nassau County, joining Suffolk which had been given the OK three days earlier. As the hospitals catch up on previously planned procedures, new safety measures have been put in place.

According to Carol A. Gomes, chief executive officer at Stony Brook University Hospital, all staff and patients must wear masks, all patients are tested for coronavirus prior to surgery, and patients are required to self-isolate prior to surgery. All patients and staff are also screened for symptoms, all staff practice universal precautions based on guidelines issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, and all patients testing positive for COVID-19 are treated in a designated area to minimize risk from other patients. 

Doctors are hoping that their increased safety measures and constant monitoring of coronavirus patient numbers will ease the minds of people afraid to go to the hospital for necessary care. 

“We need patients to recognize that we’re doing the best we can to keep them safe and that they can’t continue to avoid the hospital when they should be going,” said Northwell’s Dr. Battinelli. 

At NYU Winthrop, there are several medical and surgical units deemed non-COVID areas so that patients may feel comfortable coming in with a non-COVID related issue. There are also non-COVID recovery areas where patients will also be treated by staff who do not interact with COVID-19 patients.

“We have regular meetings, in fact, on a daily basis that we know the census, we know every unit that’s currently being used for COVID patients, which units have non-COVID patients on them, and we follow the statistics throughout each day, seven days a week,” said Winthrop’s Dr. Adler. “So, if we see that there’s an uptick in one area or another, we’re able to reconfigure very quickly and move our staff around to accommodate it.”

Northwel’s Dr. Battinelli noted that anyone with serious symptoms should not hesitate to seek medical attention.

“We’re trying to make sure that we can help the communities of patients understand that for these types of things, for serious ailments and symptoms, your risk of staying home and addressing it on the fly is worse, way worse, than coming to the hospital,” Dr. Battinelli added.

For more coronavirus coverage, visit longislandpress.com/coronavirus

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Long Island Drive-In Movie Guide 2020

Trolls
NYCB Live, Home of The Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, East Meadow. 7 p.m. May 29-31, 4 p.m. May 30-31.

Sonic The Hedgehog
Smith Haven Mall, Lake Grove. $40, 8:45 p.m. Friday, May 29.

The Bad News Bears
Smith Haven Mall, Lake Grove. $40, 8:45 p.m. Saturday, May 30.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
Smith Haven Mall, Lake Grove. $40, 11:45 p.m. Saturday, May 30. 

Frozen
Clinton G. Martin Park, New Hyde Park. Limited to Town of North Hempstead residents. 8 p.m. Saturday May 30.

Night at the Museum
Bayville Adventure Park, Bayville. $20 per car plus $30 food and beverage minimum. 10 p.m. Saturday, May 30. 

The Mighty Ducks
Adventureland, Farmingdale. $30 per person or $100 per car. Dinner included. 8 p.m. Saturday, May 30.

Frozen
Clinton G. Martin Park, New Hyde Park. Limited to Town of North Hempstead residents. 8 p.m. Sunday, May 31.

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
Mema’s Pizzeria, 1147 Jericho Turnpike, Commack. 8 p.m. Sunday, May 31. 

Analyze This
Pietro Cucina Italiana, 404 N Country Road, Smithtown. $100, 7:30 p.m. Sunday, May 31.

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
Mema’s Pizzeria, 1147 Jericho Turnpike, Commack. 8 p.m. Monday, June 1. 

Playing with Fire
Broadway Commons, Hicksville. Limited to Town of Oyster Bay residents. Tuesday, June 2.

Solo: A Star Wars Story
TOBAY Beach, Massapequa. Limited to Town of Oyster Bay residents. Thursday, June 4.

(TO BE ANNOUNCED)
Bayville Adventure Park, Bayville. $20 per car plus $50 food and beverage minimum. Thursday, June 4. 

Cheaper by the Dozen
Adventureland, Farmingdale. $30 per person or $100 per car. Dinner included. 8 p.m. Friday, June 5.

It’s My Birthday
Cloud 9 Exoticsm 855 Conklin St. Farmingdale. $10, 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Friday, June 5.

Onward
Ellsworth Allen Park, Farmingdale. Limited to Town of Oyster Bay residents. Tuesday, June 9.

Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory
Fireman’s Field, Oyster Bay. Limited to Town of Oyster Bay residents. Thursday, June 11.

(TO BE ANNOUNCED)
20 Queens St. Syosset. Benefiting The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. $30, 7:30 p.m. Thursday, June 11. 

(TO BE ANNOUNCED)
Adventureland, Farmingdale. $30 per person or $100 per car. Dinner included. 8 p.m. Friday, June 12.

(TO BE ANNOUNCED)
Jamesport Farm Brewery, 5873 Sound Avenue, Riverhead. $30, 8:30 p.m. Sunday, June 14. 

Thor: The Dark World
Westfield Sunrise Mall, Massapequa.Limited to Town of Oyster Bay residents.  Tuesday, June 16.

E.T.
Broadway Commons, Hicksville. Limited to Town of Oyster Bay residents. Thursday, June 18.

Jumanji: The Next Level
Ellsworth Allen Park, Farmingdale: Limited to Town of Oyster Bay residents. Tuesday, June 23.

Grease
TOBAY Beach, Massapequa. Limited to Town of Oyster Bay residents. Thursday, June 25.

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

Related Story: 9 More Fun Things To Do While In Quarantine

For more entertainment coverage, visit longislandpress.com/category/entertainment

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Comedian Modi Takes New Approach To Comedy Amid Pandemic

Modi performing at The Comic Strip in Manhattan.

The doors to comedy clubs are temporarily shut due to the COVID-19 outbreak, but laughs are still coming. Comedian Mordechi Rosenfeld, originally from Woodmere and better known as Modi, doesn’t treat his time quarantined at home as a limitation. For him, it’s an inspiration.

Since 1999 when he left his position as an investment banker at Merrill Lynch to pursue comedy full time, Modi has been constantly booked for shows across the country. Like many performers right now, the stay-at-home order has forced Modi to remain home in New York City for longer than he has in the last 20 years. Without a face-to-face audience, Modi has turned to social media to fuel his creativity and engage with his followers.

“[Quarantine] definitely inspired me to use my comedic muscle in a different way,” he said. “I travel a lot and do shows and before I go on stage, I figure out what’s the joke here, about the city, about the people, about the organization or theater that hired me to do a show. Now, I’m sitting here and I’m coming up with content on my own so it’s a different comedic muscle.” 

Modi’s breakout quarantine success came from a new character he created called “Yoely.” In this character, Modi appealed to his niche Jewish following with a comedic take on a Hasidic man reacting to mainstream trends while in quarantine. 

“You have to open the synagogues,” said “Yoely” in a video directed at Gov. Andrew Cuomo. “If I have to spend one more day with my wife, I’m gonna rip out my payos.”

On Instagram, the videos include “Yoely” reacting to popular reality shows such as Love is Blind and Too Hot to Handle. One of the character’s most popular videos to date is a review of the quarantine phenomenon Tiger King. The “Yoely” videos have amassed more than 100,000 views combined. 

Scattered throughout the “Yoely” videos are what Modi called “A Joke of the Day.” By putting out at least one short new video everyday, he brings some needed relief to his audience. 

“I had one doctor tell me he looks forward to the Joke of the Day,” Modi said. “He sits down for a moment, checks, and gets back to it…it’s just a little bit of relief for people who are super in it.” 

After interacting with Instagram followers who are on the frontlines of this pandemic, Modi decided to increase his engagement with fans by joining the personalized greeting application Cameo. Before the coronavirus outbreak, Cameo was used occasionally by celebrities to wish fans a happy birthday or happy anniversary for a fee. Now, unforeseen and inconclusive hiatuses have driven performers from all walks of entertainment to the platform.

Fans can request a video from Modi with a personalized message. The app, created in 2016, connects celebrities and fans in an unprecedented way during this unprecedented time.

“I did those cameos for people asking for them for people who truly became fans. For people who, I was a part of their day,” said Modi. “They were in the hospital and part of their day was ‘When’s Modi’s joke coming out?’”

In all of Modi’s online content, he puts emphasis on the comedy not on the news. In his daily life, he tries to listen to the news sparingly so that it doesn’t slip into his work. This, in turn, makes Modi an outlet for the escape that so many need right now. 

“I believe comedians’ jobs at this time is not to sit there and pontificate what they think is happening with the virus,” said Modi. “It’s to relieve people from their thoughts.”

No action better captured this sentiment than when Modi hosted the first ever Hatzalah-Thon event to raise money for Hatzalah, an emergency ambulance corps that was hit hard by the pandemic. Hatzalah is made up of volunteers that serve mostly Jewish communities around the world.

Before the outbreak, they typically received a few calls a week whenever someone in the neighborhood got sick. When the phones started ringing off the hook because of the coronavirus, Hatzalah was not prepared. 

On May 12, Modi was virtually joined by top Jewish singers and performers to put on an exciting show for audiences and encourage them to donate. The Hatzalah-Thon raised over $15,000,000. 

“This was the first time ever that they all joined to do a telethon because they were hit so hard,” said Modi. “It was a worldwide event in the Jewish community and it was absolutely unbelievable.”

Whether it be through livestreamed events or two-minute Instagram videos, Modi is maintaining a sense of community among his followers during a time when it is most needed.

MODI can be found on Instagram @modi_live.