Long Island Press

The Long Island Press

Mangano’s Ex-Top Deputy Charged With Lying to FBI

Left: Former Cihef Deputy Nassau County Executive Rob Walker. Right: Ex-Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano and his attorney address reporters outside Central Islip federal court.

The former chief deputy Nassau County executive has been indicted on charges of allegedly lying to investigators and obstructing justice, federal authorities said Thursday.

Richard “Rob” Walker pleaded not guilty at Central Islip federal court to charges of obstruction of justice and making false statements to the FBI.

“Walker, while serving as a public official, accepted money from a contractor who was performing work for Nassau County,” said William F. Sweeney, Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge, of the FBI’s New York office. “When he found out the FBI was hot on his trail, he tried to cover up his corrupt behavior, even going so far as to attempt to convince the
contractor to lie to a grand jury.” 

After the 43-year-old former New York State Assemblyman from Hicksville allegedly took $5,000 from a county contractor in 2014 and told the contractor to lie to the grand jury about it, Walker met the contractor in a park and gave the $5,000 back, according to investigators. He later denied ever having received the money, authorities said.

Walker served as the top deputy to ex-Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano, a Republican who pleaded not guilty to a kickback scheme in which his indicted restaurateur friend allegedly gave Mangano’s wife a no-show job in exchange for county contracts.

Mangano, his wife, Linda, and ex-Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto, who also pleaded not guilty to a separate scheme, are all expected to go to trail next month.

While testifying against ex-State Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre) in a 2016 corruption trial in Manhattan federal court, Walker admitted that he was under investigation for awarding contracts to campaign contributors.

“I am ready to answer any questions that they may have,” he said at the time.

Walker left his county job when Mangano’s final term ended Dec. 31 after the ex-exec declined to seek a third term.

Judge Anne Shields ordered that he surrender his passport, not leave the state and released Walker on $200,000 bail.

Brian Griffin, Walker’s attorney, told reporters outside the courthouse: “This allegation, even as accepted at face value from what the government is saying, is not illegal conduct.”

–By Timothy Bolger and Christa Ganz

Mint Farmingdale Split-level Home Asks $539,000

This fully updated, mint condition split-level home with great curb appeal and a large backyard is listed for sale at 33 Lois Ln. in the Village of Farmingdale.

Built in 1956, the three-bedroom, two-bathroom home features an eat-in kitchen, formal dining room, den/office, a partly finished basement and central air conditioning. Outside it has an attached one-car garage, a porch and cement patio.

The property is about a mile from downtown Farmingdale, the Farmingdale Long Island Rail Road station and is nearby the Southern State Parkway. It is located in the Farmingdale School District.

The asking price is $539,000, not including the annual property taxes of $12,769.

An open house is scheduled for 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 24 at the property.

The real estate agent listed for the property is John Geldert of Century 21 American Homes. He can be reached at 516-293-2323.

‘Gnome’ Village Found in Bellmore’s Mill Pond Park

Some of the gnome and fairy homes spotted in Mill Pond Park in Bellmore recently. (Photos by Blythe Worster)

A family made an unusual discovery while strolling Tuesday through Mill Pond Park in Bellmore: They stumbled upon what appeared to be a miniature village of fairies and gnomes in the woods.

The figurines, carefully placed at the base of several trees in the park, were made to look as though the mythological creatures have taken up residence beside the pond — much to the surprise of local residents who happened upon the scene.

“We were walking down the west path and passed an older gentleman who asked us of we’d seen any fairies or gnomes around,” said Blythe Worster, 40, a teacher and married mother of two from Bellmore. “We said ‘no,’ as we had just started making our way around the pond. He told us there were lots to look for.”

Upon hearing that, her 5-year-old daughter excitedly peddled away on her scooter down the path, when they happened upon what looked like Tinkerbell’s house, Worster said.

“She was so excited to see the display,” Wortser said, adding, “Then lifted her head and saw the largest collection of little figures and was just in awe.”

The displays also included figurines of dinosaurs, owls and frogs. Andy Kuzma, the man who created the displays, said he “just something special [for] the adventure at the pond [for] adults and kids.”

And the Worsters — and likely lots of other families with young children —are planning on taking a lot more walks through Mill Pond to visit the gnomes and fairies.

“She asked if we could go to Mill Pond every day,” Blythe said.

Who Serves The Best Breakfast on Long Island?

February is National Hot Breakfast Month, which begs the question: Where is the best place on Long Island to order up a delicious plateful of that most-important first meal of the day?

Press readers voted C.J.’s Coffee Shop the Best Breakfast on Long Island in the 2017 Bethpage Best of Long Island contest. C.J.’s also earned the title of Best Pancakes on Long Island in the competition, while IHOP was the national winner in that category. For those who prefer brunch, Mercato Kitchen & Cocktails won Best Brunch on Long Island.

C.J.’s Coffee Shop, a family owned and operated business, offers a wide range of breakfast items to choose from and a made-to-order policy, so you will enjoy every bite of your breakfast, whether you opted for one of their Best-on-Long-Island pancakes, egg or French toast masterpieces. And since they also won Best Cup of Coffee on Long Island, you’ll have everything you need to start your day off right!

The best pancake winner in the national category, IHOP, makes flapjacks the way they were meant to be made: soft, fluffy, and delicious! From Stuffed Crepes to German-Style to Smiley-Face and Silver Dollar, IHOP has dozens of choices to choose from and an accompanying breakfast menu that can easily make a solo flapjack into an eggs-and-sausage team player! The best part: They serve pancakes All Day Long, so you can feast on some pancakes for dinner, too!

As for brunch lovers, Mercato Kitchen & Cocktails is the place to go. From cinnamon French toast and chocolate-chip pancakes to brunch burgers and veggie avocado salads, Mercato Kitchen & Cocktails offers everything you’ll need to have the Best Brunch on Long Island!

To find all the other 2017 Best of Long Island contest winners, visit bestoflongisland.com Winners of the 2018 contest will be announced in February. Nominate your favorite businesses and people in the 2019 Best of Long Island program starting Jan. 1.

C.J.’s Coffee Shop is located at 225 N. Long Beach Rd. in Rockville Centre. They can be reached at 516-766-9107 or cjscoffeeshop.com.

Mercato Kitchen & Cocktails is located at 4958 Merrick Rd. in Massapequa Park. They can be reached at 516-308-3582 or mercatokitchen.com.

IHOP has multiple locations. They can be found at ihop.com.

Nonprofit Gives Young Women Crash Course in Media Savvy

Long Island Girl Talk
Long Island Girl Talk empowers young women with leadership skills. (Photo Credit Kelly-Ann Rivera, Director of Production, Long Island Girl Talk)

Much has been written about the media’s negative impact on how young women see themselves, but one group of nonprofit visionaries is taking action by giving girls the skills to recast themselves.

The organizers of Long Island Girl Talk (LIGT) meet with Long Island middle school and high school-aged girls once a month to provide workshops that teach them how to film episodes of their own local cable TV show.

“LIGT is about more than teaching girls how to produce their own media,” said Marcia McNair, a Nassau Community College journalism professor who’s the executive director and founder of the group. “It’s about creating a generation of more thoughtful consumers of media. We want our girls to think twice about their viewing choices, recognize stereotypes, and use social media more responsibly both in terms of what they post and read.”

McNair and her team train students in male-dominated technical roles, such as camera, sound, and graphic work. They are also educated on social issues that affect them both as women and LI residents. The goal is to boost their self-esteem by allowing them to create their own media presence that celebrates the average girl. The work they do has the added benefit of helping the girls develop leadership skills.

Seven in 10 girls “believe that they are not good enough or don’t measure up in some way, including their looks, performance in school, and relationships with friends and family members,” according to dosomething.org.

Having a hand in producing media instead of just consuming it has helped young girls who are struggling with their sense of self-worth and personal empowerment.

“It’s been an opportunity of a lifetime,” says Kelly-Ann Rivera, LIGT’s director of production.

Tune in to Long Island Girl Talk on Cablevision Ch. 115 at 6 p.m. Saturdays, on Verizon Ch. 40 at 12 p.m. Mondays and 6:30 p.m. Thursdays and on YouTube. They will also be hosting their First Annual Girls Empowerment Conference at Roosevelt Public Library 9 a.m.-3 p.m. March 17. For more information, visit longislandgirltalk.org

Remodeled Dix Hills Colonial Asks $469,000

This recently renovated Colonial set on a half an acre with low, low taxes and perfect for a first-time home buyer is listed for sale at 268 Deforest Rd. in Dix Hills.

Also fit for someone looking to downsize, this three-bedroom, two-bathroom house comes complete with energy efficient appliances, including an Energy Star stove, dishwasher and refrigerator.

The home comes equipped with a kitchen, formal dining room, living room, full basement with an outside entrance and central air conditioning. Outside it has an enclosed porch and a detached one-car garage.

The property is a short walk to Dix Hills Park and Deforest Nature Park. It’s about two miles from three different Long Island Rail Road stations and is nearby downtown Huntington and Northport. It’s located in the highly regarded Half Hollow Hills School District.

The asking price is $469,000, not including the annual property taxes of $4,228.

The real estate agent listed for the property is Bobbi Feigenbaum of Signature Premier Properties. She can be reached at 631-673-3900.

Web Series Spotlights Extraordinary Jewish Woman

A Long Island entrepreneur this week launched “Extraordinary Jewish Woman,” a free online interview series that aims to spotlight how to live a purpose-filled passionate life rooted in Jewish values.

Starting on Monday, Risa Borsykowsky is releasing 21 video interviews — one per day for 21 days — that will remain online for a limited time only. Subjects include Author Faye Kellerman, Professor Phyllis Chesler and Vicki Schneps, the co-publisher of the Long Island Press.

“My vision is to inspire Jewish women by learning the attitudes and behaviors of successful Jewish women and the role that Jewish values play in their lives,” said Borsykowsky, who also runs the online Judaica gift shop jewishgiftplace.com. “This interview series will explore how these women followed their hearts into a vocation that they are passionate about, while staying grounded and helping others.”

Borsykowsky recently helped raise more than $10,000 for the Holocaust Resource Center by donating proceeds from sales of a special menorah based on a sculpture that commemorates a Holocaust hero, Janusz Korczak.

That project inspired her to launch the interview series to highlight contributions that Jewish people make in the world.

Each video goes live at 8 a.m. Viewers can register to watch the videos at extraordinaryjewishwomen.com

Code Red: Rock The Color Red All Month Long

‘Tis the season for the shade that symbolizes energy, passion, and action. Check out some of the sultry and sweet beauty finds we found for the lips, eyes, skin, and nails that represent this universal color that is all about love, romance and power.

For flawless skin try Morganna’s Brew Exfoliator. The foam cleanser is ultra-gentle and made with all natural ingredients — aloe vera, lavender, chamomile and dandelion extract, vitamin. E, sea salt and sandalwood oil, $19.99 at morgannasalchemy.com.

A roll-on perfume made from certified-organic essential oils. Goddess Garden Amber Fire offers a resiny floral and sweet citrus scent with notes of red mandarin, neroli and vetiver, $14.99 at goddessgarden.com

You’ll be smelling like roses with the Kocostar Rose Flower Mask Sheet: The Most Romantic Sheet Mask. The mask consists of 12 individual petals made from rejuvenating petals of Tencel ® fibers from the eucalyptus tree. Made from rose flower extract, which adds moisture and nourishment to the skin, $6.50 at kocostar.com

Put your skin to work while you sleep. Apply Dermelect Beautone Enlightening Facial Brightener Serum before bed. The serum lightens any skin discolorations sans any hydroquinone. $45 at dermelect.com

Goodbye, dead skin. Hello, smooth and silky. European Wax Center Reveal Me Body Exfoliating Gel eliminates dry and dull skin, accelerates cell renewal and prevents ingrown hairs. $39.50 at waxcenter.com

Dip into Pretty Nail Polish is free of chemicals including, toulene, DBP, formaldehyde, formaldehyde resin, and camphor. The polish that comes in two shades of red vegan friendly and cruelty-free, $6 at dipintopretty.com

Feeling fierce and edgy? Try The Caitlin Shadow, named after the LA-based makeup artist who created it. Deck of Scarlet’s $12 at deckofscarlet.com.

Look like you are blushing (even if you are not)! Revlon Insta-BlushTM Stick in Berry Kissis a cream-to-powder formula offers a pop of color whenever you need it. $10.99 at revlon.com

Lip Pencil by Osmosis is perfect not only as a lip liner but works great as a matte lip color worn all over the lips, or a base for a lip gloss. Gluton-free and vegan, $18 at osmosisskincare.com

Kiss your sweetie all day long with Oribe Lip Lust Creme Lipstick in Ruby Red. The lipstick contains ingredients including white lily, which moisturizes and gives lips a plump appearance, and myrrh extract, which contains anti-aging components, $42 at oribe.com.

Long Island Concerts & Events February 19-22

This film takes viewers to police agencies across the country and features interviews with command staff, line officers, city officials, family members and the public to show how the lives of entire communities are affected by the profound loss of our officers. Patchogue Theatre for the Performing Arts, 71 East Main St., Patchogue. patchoguetheatre.org Free. 7 p.m. Feb. 19.

Strong Island
The forces of family, grief, and racial injustice converge in this powerful documentary exploring the murder of filmmaker Yance Ford’s brother. Discussion moderated with Renee Ortiz, Director of The Center for Social Justice and Human Understanding at Suffolk Community College. With Oscar-nominated Director Yance Ford in person! Cinema Arts Centre, 423 Park Ave., Huntington. cinemaartscentre.org Free with online RSVP. 7:30 p.m. Feb. 19.

A fascinating retelling of the classic tale told in a way you’ve never seen before. An original pop jukebox musical filled with all of your favorite characters. YMCA Boulton Center for the Performing Arts, 37 West Main St., Bay Shore. boultoncenter.org $12. 11 a.m. Feb. 20.

Dudley Music
This hip hop recording artist, producer, and Jazz musician plays saxophone, keys, guitar, drums, flute, and clarinet. Treme Blues and Jazz Club, 553 Main St., Islip. tremeislip.com Free. 7 p.m. Feb. 21.

The Wizard of Oz
Based on the classic Hollywood film and celebrated children’s story, this fast-paced wizard of Oz will transport you from Kansas to OZ , and back again! YMCA Boulton Center for the Performing Arts, 37 West Main St., Bay Shore. boultoncenter.org $12. 11 a.m. Feb. 22.

Home in Heart of Bayville Asks $359,000

This Cape with all the charm of a quaint cottage, a wonderful opportunity to buy in a unique beach community, is listed for sale at 31 Jackson Ave. in the Village of Bayville.

Built in 1923, this three-bedroom, one-bathroom home is a fixer upper perfect for a do-it-yourselfer or someone looking to hire a contractor and decorator to put their stamp on it. It’s located in the narrowest part of the village, with the Long Island Sound a block to the north and Mill Neck Creek a block to the south.

The house comes equipped with an eat-in kitchen, formal finding room, den, attic storage on the third floor and an unfinished basement. Outside it has an enclosed front porch and a rear deck.

The property is located near Soundside Beach Park, West Harbor Beach Memorial Park and within walking distance of downtown Bayville shops and restaurants. It’s about three miles from the Long Island Rail Road station in downtown Oyster Bay. And it’s within the highly ranked Locust Valley School District.

The asking price is $359,000, not including the annual property taxes of $10,022.

The real estate agent listed for the property is Pamela DeNatale of Lee J. Smith Associates. She can be reached at 516-628-2600.