Long Island Press

The Long Island Press

New Interactive Map Shows Where Long Island Has Multifamily Housing

By Ann Golob and Steven Romalewski

Long Island makes planning decisions locally but competes for business regionally, and it’s currently losing out because it lacks sufficient housing options, especially for young Long Islanders who are leaving the area in dramatic numbers. A key step in tackling the problem is to understand where multifamily housing exists (or is absent), an understanding local officials have never had on an Island-wide basis.

But that information is now available to Long Islanders in the form of an online interactive map. It’s the first time that data on multifamily housing locations have been collected comprehensively, not only for existing housing but for new projects that are “in the pipeline.”

Long Islanders can find answers that were previously unavailable to basic questions about multifamily housing. If you or a member of your family, for instance, wanted to move to an apartment, how far would you have to go and what would your best options be? If you wanted to live in an apartment near a train station, how many choices would you have within a certain distance? If you had a particular train station in mind, what would be your choices?

The map gives Long Islanders an easy-to-use online tool to search for multifamily housing locations—built or underway—in any community in Nassau or Suffolk counties. It not only assists individuals in exploring their own options but allows local planners to understand what’s available in their communities or nearby, and, if they’re interested, broadly view the total multifamily housing stock on Long Island.

It covers every building with three or more attached residential units and includes both rentals and owner-occupied buildings such as co-ops and condominiums. It shows 1,456 rental buildings and 882 co-ops and condos and identifies 113 projects in the pipeline—proposed or under construction.

The map was commissioned by the Long Island Index, a project of the Rauch Foundation, and developed by the Center for Urban Research at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. When searched by village or hamlet, the map reveals the number of multifamily properties and units, plus a list of local developments. For each housing location, it provides such details as the decade in which it was built, the number of units, and whether the property is subsidized or market rate. It also illuminates trends.

One of those trends is that multifamily housing used to be built closer to train stations. It’s now built farther away from downtowns, where it’s easier to find available parcels and get needed zoning approvals.

Before the 1960s as much as 50 percent of rental housing on Long Island was built near train stations, but that number dropped steadily from the 1970s to 2000. Now only 30 percent of Long Island’s existing rental units in apartment buildings are within a half-mile of a train station.

Since 2000, the number of rental units near train stations has increased, but that appears to be a temporary change: the percentage of planned rental units near train stations has fallen again. Only 27 percent of the proposed rental apartments in Long Island’s pipeline are within a half-mile of a station.

The map underscores the need to think regionally about increasing Long Island’s housing options, even as the decisions are made locally. For the first time, Long Islanders have a handy tool that illuminates the needs, the opportunities, and the challenges across both counties. Now every community can consider all their options when it comes to finding affordable housing.

Ann Golob is Director of the Long Island Index; Steven Romalewski is Director of the Mapping Service at the Center for Urban Research at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.

Do This: Long Island Concert & Events May 19–25

Renowned psychic Kim Russo will be at The Boulton Center in Bay Shore this week.

Cheech Marin
The great comic actor who made up half of the countercultural comedy duo Cheech and Chong has got a lot of spirit. To prove it, he will host a bottle signing to promote his new artisanal Mexican liquor, Tres Papalote Mezcal, distilled from wild agave. His goal, such as it is, is to overthrow “the tyranny of tequila.” As he says himself in a spoofy new promo, “We have moved beyond beer pong!” Bottoms up, compadres! Bottle Bargains, 1033 Fort Salonga Rd., Northport. trespapalotemezcal.com Free with purchase of bottle. 12-2 p.m. May 19.

Julie Lyon and The Jack DeSalvo Trio
This special performance celebrates Lyon’s new album, Moonflower, which follows up on her prior self-titled debut solo album. The sophomore effort features new original songs written by composer Matt Lavelle. Performing with Lyon at this special concert will be The Jack DeSalvo Trio, called “masterful” by Wire magazine. The Space at Westbury, 250 Post Ave., Westbury. thespaceatwestbury.com $10. 8 p.m. May 19.

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All That Remains
Heavy metal band All That Remains combines dual guitar harmonies, crushing riffs, double bass drum patterns, singing, screaming and growling to present themes such as relationships, personal struggles, society and hope. Though their lineup has changed several times, the band remains true to its original vision. Their catchy songs and polished production mingle with an ample supply of aggression and heaviness to gratify all kinds of metal heads. Warming up the crowd will be Patterns Of Decay, As Days Fade and Adiron. Revolution Bar and Music Hall, 140 Merrick Rd., Amityville. revolutionli.com $20, $25 DOS. 7 p.m. May 20.

The Levins
Last year, this contemporary folk duo released their first album, the award-winning Trust, which was ranked in the top 10 on Folk Radio and in the top 20 in the Roots chart. It was also awarded Best CD of 2015 in the Acoustic Ensemble category by the Indie Acoustic Project. The Levins’ hit song, “I Am Here,” has also won many awards, including the 2016 Empower Award at the 2016 Posi Music Guitar Festival. Our Times Coffeehouse, 38 Old Country Rd., Garden City. ourtimescoffeehouse.org $15. 8 p.m. May 20.

Jim Jefferies
This outrageously entertaining Australian actor, writer and stand-up comedian is bringing us his darkest comedy to illuminate our nights and brighten our dreary lives. Jefferies, most recognized from his television show Legit, does not have any boundaries in his stand-up. His brutally honest approach on social issues is refreshing, whether you agree with him or not, and he certainly doesn’t run from the truth. By the way, don’t ask him to sing. The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $29.50-$69.50. 8 p.m., 10:30 p.m. May 20.

Rick Ross
Powerhouse Miami rapper Rick Ross, known for his impressive 300-pound heavily tattooed stature, has been in the spotlight in the world of rap ever since the release of his debut single “Hustlin’” in 2006. Before his hit single led to a bidding war between Diddy, Jay-Z and the Inc., Ross grew up in a poor northern suburb of Miami, where he formed the group Carol City Cartel, which had brief stints at record labels and took inspiration from Luther Campbell and Notorious B.I.G. Jay-Z eventually signed Ross into a multi-million dollar deal, and Ross went on to release multiple chart toppers and gold status anthems such as Trilla, Deeper Than Rap, and God Forgives, I Don’t. Ross’s later hits became more star studded, with Jay-Z, Young Jeezy, Future, Chris Brown, and Nas appearing in tracks, affirming his prominent status in the world of rap. Ross’s most recent albums and tracks, Mastermind, Black Dollar, and Black Market will be featured on his tour. He’ll be performing with Funkmaster Flex. The Emporium, 9 Railroad Ave., Patchogue. theemporiumny.com $30, $45 DOS. 10 p.m. May 21.

Sheep Shearing Festival
This unique festival features an educational talk with Tabbithia Haubol of the Long Island Livestock Co., a walk on the nature trail with the Seatuck Environmental Association, tours of the historic Sherwood Jayne house, story time provided by the Emma Clark Library, as well as spinning, quilting, knitting, weaving and felting demonstrations. Don’t be sheepish about going. You’ll have fun and learn something, too. We’re not pulling wool over your eyes. Music by Sampawams Creek. Refreshments will be served. Sherwood Jayne Farm, 55 Old Post Rd., East Setauket. $5. 12:30-3:30 p.m. May 22.

The Zombies & Felix Cavaliere’s Rascals
The Zombies emerged from the UK music scene in the ‘60s with a distinctive psychedelic style that blended classical nuances with jazz touches and progressive rock and roll. They could have rested on their artistic achievements alone—”Time of the Season” for one, “Odessey & Oracle” for another—but they’re out touring, recording new music, and their playing and singing is as good as ever. As the Zombies say, in their breathless way, “She’s not there”—and they should know because “nobody told them about her.” NYCB Theatre at Westbury, 960 Brush Hollow Rd., Westbury. venue.thetheatreatwestbury.com $44.50-$124.50. 7 p.m. May 22.

Andrew Dice Clay
The controversial comic from Brooklyn who was once banned from MTV over his infamous “adult nursery rhymes” remains as popular as ever–if not more so–despite his naysayers who just don’t get him and maybe never will. Say what they will, Dice can rightfully claim the title of the first comedian to sell out Madison Square Garden two nights in a row. Die-hard fans recall his starring in the cult classic film The Adventures of Ford Fairlane. New recruits to “The Dice Man” will know his autobiography, The Filthy Truth. Come see why he’s still calling himself the “Undisputed Heavy Weight King of Comedy.” The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $39.50-$99.50. 8 p.m. May 21, May 22.

Kim Russo
The star of The Haunting of… and Long Island native will be speaking and signing her new book, The Happy Medium: Life Lessons from the Other Side. Book Revue, 313 New York Ave., Huntington. bookrevue.com Free with purchase of book. 7 p.m. May 24.

Colliding Dreams
Recounting the dramatic history of one of the most controversial political ideologies of the modern era that led to the modern State of Israel, “Colliding Dreams” is an urgently relevant new documentary that takes a multi-perspective look at how Zionism has evolved by allowing all sides to talk passionately, freely and honestly. Screening includes a Q&A with director Oren Rudavsky. Cinema Arts Centre, 423 Park Ave., Huntington. cinemaartscentre.org $10 members, $15 public. 7:30 p.m. May 24.

The Devassy Project
Trombonist Joey Devassy is the co-director of the Interplay Jazz Orchestra with trumpeter Gary Henderson. The big band has the distinction of being the only large ensemble of its kind on Long Island that still writes and performs original music. Starting as a Hofstra alumni band, the Interplay Jazz Orchestra has performed at many jazz festivals and universities. You can catch the 17-piece IJO for two shows on May 22nd at Treme. Three days later, Devassy returns with his pet project. Like Devassy, the band members can be heard performing with some of the best big bands in the world like The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra and The Birdland Big Band. Treme, the Blues and Jazz Club, 553 Main St., Islip. Tremeislip.com Free. 8 p.m. May 25.

-Compiled by Leo Capobianco, Ellie Schoeffel, Jonah Loskove and Timothy Bolger

11 Questions With Comic Jim Jefferies

Jim Jefferies (Photo by John Shearer)
Jim Jefferies (Photo by John Shearer)

By Leo Capobianco

Australian comedian Jim Jefferies is internationally known for his funny twist on trending topics, insult style of humor and his short-live TV series, Legit, which lasted two seasons on FX. His seventh comedy special, FreeDumb, is slated to debut on Nextflix July 1 and in the run up to that release, he’s taken his act back on the road, stopping at The Paramount in Huntington Friday, May 20. In advance of that show, Jefferies talked with the Press about why he’ll never sing again, his love of hate mail and how crushed he was when Legit was canceled.

Long Island Press: What is your first memory with comedy?

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Jim Jefferies: Probably with stand-up. Probably with Eddie Murphy’s Delirious was my first movie. But with comedy comedy, I was a big Richard Pryor fan before I even knew he was a stand-up comedian, I used to watch all of his movies. I didn’t even know he did stand up until I was about 18. I used to watch movies like the The Toy and Brewster’s Millions and that type of stuff when I was a kid. Stir Crazy was another big film in my house. But stand-up was the very first thing I watched and that was Eddie Murphy’s Delirious. I was about 5 when I watched delirious, I was very young to be watching all of that stuff.

LIP: When did you decide to pursue comedy? Was there a specific event in your life that made you decide that this is what you want to do for a career?

JJ: I wanted to be a comedian probably since the age of maybe 13 or 14. I was really thinking that’s what I wanted to do. Growing up in Australia, there wasn’t a lot of comedy clubs and there weren’t a lot of comedians. I didn’t even know how to get started. So I went to university and studied musical theater. I was singing a lot at university and I got nodules on my vocal cords and they basically said, “you’ll never sing again.” I was genuinely upset about it but then I figured that this was a good excuse to start my stand-up career. I was about 23, no, 22 when I did that. So I went off and became a stand-up comedian. I’ve gotten some university out of the way to appease my parents. I don’t think I had the freedom to just do that straight out of high school, you know? Or the confidence—I’m not going to blame my parents—the confidence to do that was definitely a thing.

LIP: In your acts you address a lot of hot-button issues like gun-control, personal rights and things of that nature. Has it ever gotten you into trouble?

JJ: Only in the sense that sometimes the things I say up there, like my opinions, can be proven incorrect. There are always statistics that prove each point or each side. But, you can always give a statistic that makes your side sound better than their side. So it hasn’t really backfired in the sense that someone has yelled something out that makes me look stupid or something. But, I get a lot of heckling. I find that the hate mail is good because people are watching and there is a conversation happening and it’s making a lot of people angry. I realized a long time ago in stand-up that you don’t have to have a fan-base, you don’t have to entertain 89 percent of the population. In America you don’t even have a fan-base of one or two percent. Even if you turn on less than one or two percent of the public you can have a very good career. That’s all you need. You don’t want to be a global mess, boring kind of thing. You want a big cult. A cult means you’re playing to people that are like you. You know, I’m not like 89 percent of the population. I’m a one or two percenter myself. I just want to have people like me watching me. People that like to hear what I’ve got to say. So if I’m pissing off say, half the population, the other half don’t really give a shit either way and they don’t really think anything of it, that’s really cool for me.

LIP: What was your best day in comedy? Is there a specific time that you feel was the highlight of your career so far?

JJ: You could say Carnegie Hall was a good day. The day of my first HBO special was a pretty good day. But I think the best day I ever had in comedy was when I played the Beacon Theater last year in New York. It’s only like a 3,000-seat theater. It just felt like it was a really hard theater to get and the audience was so happy when I walked out. I remember that the first ever gig I ever did in America was supporting Denis Leary at the Beacon Theater where I did a bit for five minutes. So as far as theaters go I really admire it. It was an achievement that I actually reached. So that was my best day in comedy.

LIP: So would you say that was the moment where you felt like you’ve “made it?” Like you felt that you finally established yourself as a comedian?

JJ: Well, you never think you’ve made it, you know? But there was one day that I took an extra moment to smell the roses.

LIP: So, what was your worst day?

JJ: Probably when Legit was cancelled. Actually, that was the worst day by a mile. I produced a TV show that I enjoyed, it was a TV show that I really wanted to make. Everything came together just how I envisioned it. Sometimes even when you give it your best it’s still not good enough. Someone in an office somewhere will deem whether something is good enough. I’ll say without a doubt that it was good enough, I did deserve more seasons. I think the people who canceled it were wrong. I think now if you look on any web page, Metacritic, IMDB, Rotten Tomatoes, or whatever, you’ll see that it’s a highly rated show. People do like it, it was just never given enough time. It also never was advertised properly. Now that it’s on Netflix people are watching it and enjoying it. When it was cancelled it was heartbreaking. I just put so much work into it.

LIP: Are there any added pressures on your personal life as a result of your work? Is it hard being known as the funny guy?

JJ: The only added pressure on my personal life is the fact that I am constantly on the road. I’m away so much and that puts strain on a relationship of course. And also, I talk about my personal life on stage so you can upset people. To my girlfriend and my kid that I talk so much about on stage I always say to them, “Look, we live in a nice house, we drive nice cars, and the jokes have to come from somewhere and you guys are sitting at home. You just have to put up with it.” They actually reap the benefits. The people I feel sorry for are my parents that I tell jokes about or my brothers and sisters. They don’t get any of the money. I feel bad for them because they get picked on a lot on stage.

LIP: Do you have any advice for young comedians?

JJ: The secret to comedy is to write as much material as possible. Never rest on the 20 minutes that you’ve honed and skilled. There is an old-school theory in comedy that you need to hone and master joking. In my opinion, as soon as you get bored of a joke get rid of it. If you’re just going through the motions, get rid of it. And as soon as your record something, never say it again. That’s the secret, quantity. People want to see new stuff from me all the time. To become prolific don’t rest on the 20 minutes that you’ve written.

LIP: Are there any misperceptions people have about your work that you would like to clear up?

JJ: Yea, I think people think I’m a raving misogynist…I don’t think I am. That’s like someone saying, “People think I’m a racist but I’m not one” and then going into some racist chant. No but, I don’t think I’m really that bad. I don’t think I’m any worse than female comics that make jokes about their husbands or one that standing heavily guarded with a little dick. I don’t think I’m any worse than that. I’d like to think that in my actual life that I’m pretty respectful toward women and I’ve worked with many women. I don’t think I’m a misogynist. Now in saying that maybe I shouldn’t be saying so many misogynistic jokes and that I deserve some of the backlash that I get…For some reason it seems to me that the one people don’t remember is that I’m joking. With anything else people think I’m joking but when it comes to this they think I’m serious.

LIP: Are there any new TV shows/movies/etc in the works that we should be looking out for?

JJ: I got two scripts out at the moment at two different networks. I can’t really say anything about them. But, one is a live-action show where we do interviews and stuff like that. And the other show is a sitcom. Hopefully one of them will get the go-ahead. But I’m on No. five or six script development and only one of them has gone to series. I’m not optimistic. It’s a very hard road to get something going. It’s like winning the lottery five times in a row. You get the script, then you get the pilot, then you get the series, then you got to get the second season. Once you get to the third season, it turns into something that you get entrenched in and you can keep going. But, it’s a long road before any of these projects are being aired. I’d like to say that I’m optimistic but I’m not. But, I’m working on two things I’ll tell you that.

LIP: You talked about how you looked up to Eddie Murphy and Richard Pryor earlier. Are there any other people you looked up to?

JJ: George Carlin is my favorite comedian. But I didn’t get into him until I was in my 20s. It wasn’t like here in America where there is HBO specials and of this great stuff. In Australia, my only exposure to George Carlin as a teenager was when he played Rufus in Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure. If there is anyone I could emulate it’s him and I’ve had to stop watching him because I would copy him if I watched too much. It’s gotten to the stage where I like the guy so much I can’t watch any of him.

Funnyman Jim Jefferies will be cracking up The Paramount in Huntington on Friday, May 20. For tickets and more information, check out paramountny.com!

Obama’s Transgender Student Directive a ‘Huge Victory’

Obama transgender student restroom directive

By Rashed Mian and Jaime Franchi

The Obama administration on Friday issued a directive to all public schools in the nation proclaiming that transgender students must be allowed to use restrooms consistent with their gender identity.

The joint declaration by the Department of Education and Department of Justice cannot be enforced by law, but school districts could lose federal funds if they’re found to be discriminating against students based on their gender. The directive makes it clear that the administration sees transgender inclusion as a basic civil rights issue—and as such, officials could be held accountable if transgender students’ rights are denied.

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On Long Island, the White House’s directive, which also includes school locker rooms, was dubbed a “huge victory” by one of the leading gay and transgender rights groups in the region.

“This is a huge step forward for the transgender community, especially the transgender youth who are attending our schools,” Robert Vitelli, chief operating officer of LI-based LGBT Network, told the Press.

The news comes amid a growing debate over transgender rights spurred by a politically charged law passed in North Carolina earlier this year prohibiting transgender people from using restrooms that don’t align with their gender given at birth. Civil liberties groups have slammed the law as hateful and U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said the law was nothing more than “state-sponsored discrimination.” Supporters of the law have claimed their decision is based on public safety and not anything nefarious.

In response to controversy, a host of businesses either moving to North Carolina or with plans to expand there have decided not to move forward, and a handful of entertainers cancelled concerts in the Tar Heel State. President Obama has called for the law to be repealed, but North Carolina’s Republican governor was unmoved. Their bitter disagreement will now play out in court after both the DOJ and North Carolina filed counter-lawsuits over the issue.

The federal government’s directive comes nearly a year after the New York State Department of Education issued its own guidelines last year to educate administrators about transgender rights. Vitelli said it was significant that the federal government was following up on what the state has already done. He cited startling statistics that show harassment of LGBT students is remarkably high.

More than one-third of LGBT students report being harassed, he said, and more than 50-percent of transgender youth will attempt suicide at least once by the age of 20. If a transgender student is fortunate enough to receive support from family and friends, the likelihood of them attempting suicide drops considerably, Vitelli noted.

For Michael Hynes, superintendent of schools at Patchogue-Medford School District, inclusivity is paramount. Hynes, a vocal critic of federal government overreach into the public school system, welcomed the directive.

“No student should ever have to go through the experience of feeling like they don’t belong at school…or in life for that matter,” Hynes told the Press.

Hynes noted that the new federal guidelines provide administrations, teachers and parents the tools they need to “protect transgender students from any harassment and to identify and address policies school districts have in place.”

Ryan Cassata knows first-hand what it’s like for school staffers to tell him which bathroom he could use. At 14, Cassata, a singer-songwriter from Bay Shore, came out as transgender on Larry King Live.

“When I was in high school, the staff was very confused about which bathroom I should use,” he told the Press. Cassata wasn’t permitted to use either the boys or girls bathroom at Bay Shore High School. The confusion also extended to gym class.

Cassata said he had to “fight” just to be able to use the nurse’s bathroom. Now 22, Cassata believes the wheels of change are churning in the right direction.

“Some of the staff didn’t know how to handle transgender students,” Cassata said. “Today, that changes. That changes for the entire country.

“It brings me the greatest pleasure to hear about what the Obama administration has done for the transgender community,” Cassata continued. “This is a step in the right direction, a step toward equality, a step toward transgender people feeling more comfortable at school, a step toward transgender people not committing suicide because of the oppression.”

At the collegiate level, Stony Brook University Dean of Students Tim Ecklund said the college is already in the process of transitioning its student activity building restrooms to all-gender, which would be a first among SUNY colleges.

Ecklund also noted that all-gender restrooms will be installed in all newly constructed buildings on campus.

“Our transgender students, like all of our student body, are very important to us,” Ecklund told the Press. “We want to offer them the best possible experience at Stony Brook and will do our best to support them in any we can.”

The new directives comes a little more than a week after the New York State Assembly once against voted in favor of an anti-discrimination bill that would protect transgender people looking for housing, employment or education. The legislation, however, has for years stalled in the state Senate and is likely to fall short again this legislative session.

Suffolk DA Tom Spota Rebuffs County Exec Bellone’s Calls to Resign

Thomas Spota
Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota during a press conference in July 2012. (Long Island Press)

By Rashed Mian and Spencer Rumsey

Standing on the steps of Suffolk County District Attorney Tom Spota’s office in Smithtown on Thursday, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone called on Spota to resign so the “culture of corruption” in Suffolk could be swept out.

Bellone’s demand comes after weeks, if not months, of rumors circulating through the county that the district attorney would resign while calls for his resignation have only grown louder in the Suffolk Legislature. So far, Spota has insisted he will remain in office.

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On Thursday Bellone came armed with a letter he intended to hand-deliver to the district attorney, excoriating the district attorney for alleged improprieties that he said have mired Suffolk in a string of political scandals. Chief among them is Spota’s former investigator, ex-Suffolk Police Chief James Burke, who recently pleaded guilty to beating up a suspect in custody and trying to cover it up.

“For refusing to cooperate and work with federal law enforcement to prosecute crime in this county, for refusing and blocking federal law enforcement from working on the Gilgo Beach serial murder case, for allowing violent criminals to go free to protect political friends, for lying about Jim Burke and for conspiring to conceal his past…for violating your sacred oath and for using your position as the top law enforcement officer of this county, Tom Spota, you must resign from this office,” Bellone declared.

The county executive warned the county district attorney that if he does not quit before his term expires, he’d request that Gov. Andrew Cuomo use the power of his office to remove him.

Bellone intended to deliver a formal letter officially requesting Spota’s resignation to the district attorney but Spota was not available to accept it, Bellone’s spokeswoman said. No reason was given for Spota’s unavailability at the time.

Earlier this week three Republican members of the county legislature held a press conference in Riverhead to demand that both Bellone and Spota resign. Legis. Robert Trotta (R-Fort Salonga), Legis. Tom Cilmi (R-Bay Shore) and Legis. Kevin McCaffrey (R-Lindenhurst) said the county’s level of corruption was untenable.

“The people of Suffolk County have had enough of the corruption from County Executive Bellone and District Attorney Spota,” said McCaffrey, the minority leader of the Suffolk County Legislature, in a press statement. “It is time to restore trust in our government and for Bellone and Spota to step down.”

Spota, a Republican-turned-Democrat, was resoundingly first elected district attorney in 2001 following the divisive tenure of his three-term predecessor, DA James Catterson. In 2011 Spota drew scrutiny by forcing then-county executive Steve Levy, a Democrat-turned-Republican, to turn over his $4.1-million campaign war chest to the district attorney’s office and drop out of his re-election race. Spota never filed charges against the incumbent. Levy’s sole challenger was Bellone, then the Democratic supervisor of Babylon.

But Spota has since come under fire amid several high-profile investigations of close confidants in his office. Besides the scandal involving his protege, Burke, it has also emerged that Spota’s top corruption prosecutor, Christopher McPartland, is at the center of a federal grand jury probe, according to Newsday.

And it doesn’t stop here.

Spota was also identified in court documents in the federal fraud case against Suffolk County Conservative Party Chairman Ed Walsh as allegedly quashing several attempts by Suffolk County Sheriff Vincent DeMarco to investigate Walsh, who was then a correction lieutenant in his department. The powerful political leader was eventually convicted of theft and fraud for conducting political activity and golfing when he was supposed to be at work in Riverhead.

DeMarco could credit Walsh’s political acumen for getting him elected sheriff, but he testified against his party boss at Walsh’s trial earlier this year. Last week, DeMarco also called upon Spota to resign.

Shortly after Bellone’s press conference, Spota held one of his own in his Hauppauge office and shot back at the county executive.

“As for Mr. Bellone, his call for my resignation is not based on anything but a personal vendetta against me, for investigating and prosecuting people that he’s close to,” Spota told reporters. “I’ve never said it before, but I will say it now, the county executive has made and did make in the past multiple personal pleas to me in the presence of other prosecutors not to investigate or prosecute people that he was close to.”

In a follow-up press conference, Bellone called Spota’s allegations “nonsense.”

“This is not Steve Bellone against Tom Spota,” the county executive told reporters. “Justice needs to be restored to this county.”

In his earlier remarks Thursday, Bellone criticized the political process that led to Spota’s re-election. The district attorney was repeatedly cross-endorsed by Democrats, Republicans and the Conservative Party as well as the Independence Party.

“Every time that happened we were supporting the corruption and the abuse that has happened in this office and that cannot go on,” Bellone said. “This must end. This culture of corruption, which perverts this government, which destroys lives, which undermines justice, cannot be allowed to continue. It must be swept out, and that means it matters who the next district attorney of this county will be and that there is a process in place to ensure that the people will get to decide that, not political leaders in a back room.”

Bellone acknowledged that Spota once had his full support. That time has passed.

“I believed he was the man that was taking on corruption and would end corruption and political persecution and prosecution in this county,” Bellone said. “And it has now become clear that was simply a reshuffling of the deck chairs and that the culture of corruption that has clearly existed now in this county and in law enforcement for decades has continued unabated and has only worsened.”

Do This: Long Island Concert & Events May 12–18

Iris DeMent
Iris DeMent

Iris DeMent & Loudon Wainwright III
Two great artists, one great night of music. A unique voice in folk, Iris DeMent is known for her sweet tone and thought-provoking lyrics. Her latest album, The Trackless Woods, touches on humanity and the range of feelings we experience throughout our lives. It draws inspiration from one of Russia’s greatest poets, Anna Akhmatova. DeMent will share the stage with the wonderfully talented, Grammy-Award-winning Loudon Wainwright III. He’s a national treasure. The Space at Westbury, 250 Post Ave., Westbury. thespaceatwestbury.com $35-$50. 8 p.m. May 12.

Louie Anderson
Known as of Comedy Central’s top 100 comedians of all time, as well as from his appearances in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Coming to America, Louie Anderson is described as a “nimble on his feet comedian with a Fred Astaire-like approach.” Anderson created Fox’s Life With Louie as well as CBS’s The Louie Show to showcase his comedic genius. His stints hosting Family Feud and his appearances on The Tonight Show have added to his fame. Not one to hammer points home, Anderson uses clever “weave-backs” like a dancer doing the two-step. His comic timing leaves audiences in hysterics. Suffolk Theater, 118 East Main St., Riverhead. suffolktheater.com $49-$60. 8 p.m. May 12.

The Man With All the Luck
This new play tells the story of two old friends, one in Los Angeles and one on Long Island, who reunite after many years. One has become hugely successful, while the other leads a more sedate, but happy life far from the spotlight. How much of someone’s achievement is the result of talent and hard work or, at least in this mystical story, furthered along by making an auspicious deal with a psychic fortune teller? Can luck be traded like a commodity? That is the question. Debbie Starker directs Cathy Clyne, Kevin Clyne, Lara Hunter, Rich Jimenez and Karin Weibert in this staged reading of the play by Claude Solnik. Wine and cheese reception to follow. Theater294, 294 Famingdale Rd., East Farmingdale. manwithalltheluck.brownpapertickets.com $13. 8 p.m. May 13.

Abba the Concert
You won’t be getting ABBA, of course, but you’ll be getting the next best thing. The Swedish top pop group dazzled fans for decades, selling more than 370 million units worldwide and reaching the pinnacle of music stardom in 2010, when it was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. But the cover band won’t disappoint. Get ready for such hits as “Mamma Mia,” “SOS,” “Money, Money, Money,” and of course, “Dancing Queen.” NYCB Theatre at Westbury, 960 Brush Hollow Rd., Westbury. venue.thetheatreatwestbury.com $30-$99.50. 8 p.m. May 13.

Since embarking on their music career in 1971, this English rock band has racked up the accolades, winning eight gold records, one platinum and one double platinum. Foghat continues to pump out great new music with the release of their newest album, Under the Influence, dropping this June. They’ll play their hits including “Slow Ride,” “Live,” “Drivin’ Wheel,” “Last Train Home,” “Born for the Road” and “495 Boogie.” Known for their use of the electric slide guitar, the band still plays their classics interwoven with their latest, providing a creative mix of old and new. Opening the show is Vixen, Earl & The Agitators and Randy Jackson of Zebra. Revolution Bar and Music Hall, 140 Merrick Rd., Amityville. revolutionli.com $30, $35 DOS. 7 p.m. May 13.

This distinctive English prog rock band will perform their great hits, including “Part of the Union” and “Lay Down.” Not bad for a talented bunch of blokes who started out in 1964 as a bluegrass group. YMCA Boulton Center for the Performing Arts, 37 West Main St., Bay Shore. boultoncenter.org $40-$45. 8 p.m. May 13.

The Fresh Kids of Bel-Air
Now, this is a story all about how the ’90s got flipped-flopped-and-turned-upside-down and then some. They’d like to take the stage for a night, so just sit right there, and they’ll tell you how they became the Fresh Kids of Bel-Air. Break out the Starter jackets and your pump sneakers for this “I Love the ’90s” show. That decade had its moments, didn’t it? With special guest, Dee Wiz. The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $15-$30. 8 p.m. May 14.

Dark Star Orchestra
Grateful Dead historians and enthusiasts make up this ensemble, offering tributes to Jerry Garcia circa the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s. Sure to entice Dead Heads, young and not so young. Many of their set lists are designed to emulate that past Grateful Dead shows, allowing fans to dip vividly into their cosmic memory banks and relive the essence of the experience. The Space at Westbury, 250 Post Ave., Westbury. thespaceatwestbury.com $35-$50. 8 p.m. May 14.

Clint Black
This singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer and actor is first and foremost  a chart topper in the country music industry. His breakthrough album “Killin’ Time” led to more success with his following hits like “Untanglin’ My Mind”, “Like the Rain” and “Halfway Up” holding top spots in the charts. With his experience in both songwriting, singing and performing, Black is a truly multi-talented musician. His creations are his own, although he honors his roots. He carries on the legacies of Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson, and does them proud.  Patchogue Theatre for the Performing Arts, 71 East Main St., Patchogue. patchoguetheatre.org $45-$65. 8 p.m. May 14.

Melissa Manchester
In her first Long Island performance since the release of her new album You Gotta Love the Life, Melissa Manchester will take us on a musical journey celebrating 40 years of making music “through the eyes of love,” which as it happens is the name of one of her greatest hits! Adelphi University Performing Arts Center, 1 South Ave., Garden City. adelphi.edu $40-$45. 8 p.m. May 14.

10th Annual First Exposure Student Film Festival
This hour-long exhibition presents the “best of the best” high school short narrative, documentary, and animated films from the Long Island Media Arts Showcase at Five Towns College in Dix Hills. Hundreds of young filmmakers compete, but only a handful make the final cut. The curators come from the Suffolk County Film Commission. Past Long Islanders who’ve made a name for themselves include Hal Hartley (“Henry Fool,” “The Unbelievable Truth”), Fred Carpenter (“The Blue Lizard”), Michael Cuesta (“L.I.E.”, TV’s Homeland), and Alexandra Brodsky (“Bittersweet Place”). Maybe the next generation is ready to roll right here. See for yourself. Cinema Arts Centre, 423 Park Ave., Huntington. cinemaartscentre.org Free. 2 p.m. May 15.

Patricia M. McClure
In her new book, “Losing a Hero to Alzheimer’s,” this author shares her experience as her mother’s caregiver. Thanks to her heartfelt prose, readers will learn how to identify the stages of Alzheimer’s in their loved ones and how best to respond with compassion and care. Barnes & Noble, 4000 East Jericho Tpke., East Northport. Free. 2 p.m. May 15.

Lamb of God
Virginian heavy metal band Lamb of God is known for playing a significant role in the New Wave Heavy Metal Band Movement, as well as being part of the Metallica Tour and receiving several Grammy nominations. Featured in the acclaimed documentary, “As the Palaces Burn,” the band has a style that has been described as “thrash metal with metalcore elements.” Their most famous hits include “512,” “Still Echoes,” and all of the songs from their most acclaimed album “Wrath.” Opening the show is Clutch and Corrosion of Conformity. The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $25-$60. 7 p.m. May 17.

Jason Haber
This author is a real estate entrepreneur who will be speaking and signing copies of his new book, The Business of Good, which tells the story behind social entrepreneurship as told by the individuals compelled to create real change in the world–not just start up another business. BOOK REVUE, 313 New York Ave., Huntington. bookrevue.com Free with purchase of book. 7 p.m. May 18.

Hollywood Undead
Their use of pseudonyms and hockey-goalie-like horror masks lends an awesome aura to performances by this unique LA-based rap/rock band, The Hollywood Undead. With 3 million records sold worldwide, the band promises to push the genre to new frontiers, following their most recent release, Day of the Dead, last year. Their most well-known songs include “We Are”, “Unusual Suspects” and “Dead Bite,” with much more vibrant verbal velocity still to come. The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $18-$50. 8 p.m. May 18.

-Compiled by Ellie Schoeffel and Timothy Bolger

Threat to Our Water Quality Demands Action

Illustration by Walt Handelsman

By Richard Amper

Long Island is facing its greatest economic and environmental challenge ever. The quality of the source of our drinking water and surface water has declined precipitously. We’re seeing it everywhere. Beaches are closing. So are shellfish beds. Hundreds of thousands of fish have been killed. Turtles, too. Why?

The answer is nitrogen contamination. It comes from wastewater (sewage) and fertilizers. It has increased 200 percent in just the last 20 years. It creates harmful algae blooms that kill off marine life and destroy salt marches. This, in turn, increases the extent of storm surge during severe weather events.

How could this situation have happened and what are we going to do?

Long Island has the first federally designated Sole Source Aquifer, meaning that all of our water comes from beneath our feet. Human activity on the surface contaminates the groundwater below, which is contained in a network of aquifers and on which we depend for all of our water. Alas, Long Island has not been planned very well, and building on environmentally sensitive land as well as improperly managing waste water have taken their toll.

In addition to nitrogen run-off, the contaminants include pesticides and herbicides, toxic chemicals and, now, unused pharmaceutical drugs that we were once encouraged to flush down the toilet. Of course, that was before we learned that these excess prescriptions were also going into our groundwater.

At every level of government there is growing recognition that the groundwater crisis must be addressed. Federal, state, county, town and village governments are all concerned and interested. And the public is squarely behind taking action. A recently conducted poll by The Nature Conservancy says that two-thirds of Long Islanders agree that we must reverse declining water quality.

In Nassau County, 40 percent of the wastewater is routed to the Bay Park Sewage Treatment Plant, which was severely damaged during Hurricane Sandy. Restoration of the plant with improved nitrogen reduction technology is underway. But the full protection of our bays and harbors will require the construction of an ocean outfall pipe to take the treated waste water at least two miles out into the Atlantic for better disposal. Nitrogen reduction is being accomplished on the North Shore with observable success, but salt-water intrusion and other challenges remain there.

In Suffolk, some 360,000 homes have individual cesspools or septic systems that discharge nitrogen directly into our groundwater. A plan to replace these antiquated systems with new nitrogen-reducing systems is getting underway, including a component for government to subsidize the cost to homeowners. One proposal in Suffolk calls for a slight increase in the cost of public water through the imposition of a dollar fee on every thousand gallons of water used. Currently, Long Islanders are paying less for water than 95 percent of the rest of the country. Local environmentalists are calling for a public referendum so that taxpayers can vote on how best to pay for the new systems that will reduce nitrogen by nearly 90 percent.

On the East End, voters will be asked to approve both extension and expansion of its 17-year–old Community Preservation Fund, which has generated more than $1 billion from a 2-percent real estate transfer tax. They will decide whether or not to extend the program and whether to add wastewater management to the open space and farmland preservation components of this successful program. East Enders are particularly opposed to the construction of sewage treatment plants because they’ve seen such plants lead to high-density development, which they dislike.

Another source of nitrogen are fertilizers used on agricultural land and in landscaping. The agriculture lobby has long fought any limitation on fertilizers and pesticides—even now when organic farming and the wine industry have dramatically reduced nitrogen and pesticide use. Long Island agriculture has changed to the point where food represents only 20 percent of local farm products. In recent years, nitrogen-demanding sod and ornamental shrubbery have grown dramatically.

Meanwhile, landscapers and manufacturers of lawn fertilizers have been telling government officials that they can reduce nitrogen content very little while still maintaining emerald green lawns. Frankly, the peril represented by nitrogen in fertilizers may doom certain farm crops and traditional suburban lawns.

The threat of declining water quality is causing a growing commitment to nitrogen reduction with both immediate and long-term results. The Long Island Nitrogen Action Plan, being developed by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation in partnership with the Long Island Regional Planning Commission, is already underway. It will identify all of the Island’s watersheds, measure current nitrogen loading for each one, and draft regulations on permissible nitrogen levels that are appropriate to each watershed.

Long Islanders are increasingly realizing that when it comes to protecting the quality of our water, failure is not an option.

Richard Amper is executive director of the Long Island Pine Barrens Society,
a non-profit environmental education and advocacy organization.


Do This: Long Island Concert & Events May 5–11

Chris Isaak
Chris Isaak

Chris Isaak
Best known for his 1991 smash hit “Wicked Game” and the video that cemented supermodel Helena Christiansen into the hearts and minds of adolescent boys for all eternity, Chris Isaak is a multi-talented rockabilly crooner and television personality whose understated voice and smooth guitar has been featured in multiple films including True Romance, Blue Velvet and Married to the Mob. This cooler than cool, sexier than sexy musician has a stage presence that drips charisma and a masterful command of his one-of-a-kind Gibson guitar, which has his name inlaid across its body, but it’s that voice that will bring Long Islanders to see him live. NYCB Theatre at Westbury, 960 Brush Hollow Rd., Westbury. venue.thetheatreatwestbury.com $49.50-$99.50. 7:30 p.m. May 5.

British rock group Bush is out to reclaim its fame performing their comeback album The Sea of Memories, their first release in 20 years (its main song “The Sea of Winter” topped charts for 6 weeks). Bush rose to success in the ‘90s selling close to 20 million records in the US and Canada alone, and pumping out 18 consecutive Top 40 Hit Singles on the Modern and Mainstream Rock charts, including “Comedown,” “Glycerine,” “Machinehead,” “Swallowed,” “The Chemicals Between Us” and “The Sound of Winter”. The comeback is not stopping anytime soon, and with a new album in the works, Rolling Stone predicts the continuation of Bush’s “vital viva-la-grunge manifesto.” Opening the show is The Dose. The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $29.50-$79.50. 8 p.m. May 5.

Mick Foley
Showcasing his trademark blend of wildness and warmth while combining the humor WWE fans loved from his books and in-ring “promos” with the intensity of his most famous matches, this event is uproariously funny, simply surreal and surprisingly sensitive. The Brokerage Comedy Club, 2797 Merrick Rd., Bellmore. brokerage.govs.com $17-$32. 8 p.m. May 5.

Thompson Square
With a third album coming out later this year, country duo Keifer and Shawna Thompson are in their prime. After the success of their chart topping hits “Are You Gonna Kiss Me Or Not,” “If I Didn’t Have You” and “Everything I Shouldn’t Be Thinking About,” they took time off for some studio collaborations and came back to the tune of over 30 award nominations. Their barefaced, gutsy and emotional sound plus the personal atmosphere they construct with audiences make them concert favorites. The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $29.50-$74.50. 8 p.m. May 6.

David Bromberg Quintet
The Godfather of Americana mixes blues, bluegrass, gospel, folk, Irish fiddle tunes, pop and English drinking songs until they’re happily coexisting as they can only on a Bromberg album. Newcomers will be introduced to an astonishing performer whose range and musical depth have delighted audiences for more than 40 years. The Space at Westbury, 250 Post Ave., Westbury. thespaceatwestbury.com $40-$60. 8 p.m. May 6.

Generation Axe
Called a gathering of five “fiercely talented” guitar players, this tour experience incorporates a variety of collaborations between the five players and weaves in various individual hits with a few lesser known gems and on-the-spot riffs thrown in. With legendary guitar players who are enough of a privilege to view on their own, the combination is lethal. This dynamic group includes 3 time Grammy winner Steve Vai (who is also a native Long-Islander), Zakk Wylde (former guitarist for Ozzy Osbourne), Yngwie Malmsteen (famous for his neo classical playing style in heavy metal), Nuno Bettencourt (lead guitarist of Extreme with his own guitar line), and Tosin Abasi (founder of the band Animals As Leaders). NYCB Theatre at Westbury, 960 Brush Hollow Rd., Westbury. venue.thetheatreatwestbury.com $40-$69.50. 8 p.m. May 6.

Bike-to-Work Fashion Parade
Car-less Long Island, alternative transportation advocacy organization, invites cyclists to dress up their bikes for this parade that will follow a 6.5-mile loop beginning and ending at Hofstra University. There will be a festival with prizes for the best costumes and bikes at the end of the parade. Hofstra University, Hempstead Tpke., Hempstead. Car-LessLI.org/parade Free. 9 a.m. May 7.

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Nile Rodgers
Legendary guitarist, musician and producer Nile Rodgers has worked with the likes of David Bowie, Madonna, Pharrell Williams, Avicii, Lady Gaga and a co-founding member of the band Chic which was one of the most successful groups of the disco era. A Grammy winner, Rodgers’s stamp is on countless hits, including “We Are Family” by Sister Sledge and “Get Lucky” by Daft Punk feat. Pharrell, and plans to share his expertise with a few lucky individuals at a Master Class talking songwriting, guitar playing and the music industry with a Q and A to follow. Suffolk Theater, 118 East Main St., Riverhead. suffolktheater.com $25-$50. 3 p.m. May 7

Fans of fun, wild and hardcore metal and punk will dig Beartooth’s emphasis on catchy choruses and punk evident in their debut EP, Sick alone, which was followed by their first album Disgusting  in June 2014. This relatively new band plans to pump out a third album next month. Warming up the crowd will be Stray From The Path, My Ticket Home and Former. The Emporium, 9 Railroad Ave., Patchogue. theemporiumny.com $16. 5 p.m. May 7.

This heavy metal band is a pioneer of the urban metal scene and has been cited by Nine Inch Nails and Demon Hunter as musical inspiration. Known for their brutal hardcore punk sound, Prong has released 8 studio albums, disbanded and reformed, and by now are veterans in their craft. Combining thrash, New York hardcore influences, and industrial overtones, Prong creates a unique sound. Supporting acts include Magus Beast, The Hard Way, Black Dawn and One More Breath. Revolution Bar and Music Hall, 140 Merrick Rd., Amityville. revolutionli.com $17, $20 DOS. 7:30 p.m. May 7.

The Fab Faux
Take five of the hardest-working musicians in NYC and give them the artistic freedom to explore the Beatles’ musical magic in a way you never imagined possible, and you’ll begin to discover what makes the Fab Faux’s shows so astounding.  These guys will be accompanied by the four-piece Hogshead Horns and Crème Tangerine Strings perform studio masterpieces and songs never performed live by the Beatles. They may be the walrus but all you need is love. The Space at Westbury, 250 Post Ave., Westbury. thespaceatwestbury.com $59-$89. 8 p.m. May 7.

The Weight
Original member of beloved American group The Band Jim Weider and member of the second incarnation Randy Ciarlante come together with talented musicians Brian Mitchell, Marty Grebb and Albert Rogers to bring back the timeless music of The Band through their current group, The Weight. Said to bring back memories of Woodstock and the ‘70s, this band puts on a dynamic performance in bringing back legendary music while showcasing their own talent as a group. The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $20-$49.50. 8 p.m. May 7.

The Whispers
The famed R&B band began its legendary career in ‘63, capturing the hearts and minds of music fans across the country while producing timeless romantic hits. They were such a force for years that the band’s self-titled 1980 album went platinum, cementing their place in history among R&B greats. Now they’re back and ready to serenade Long Island with their smooth sounds. With opening act The Manhattans & Regina Belle. NYCB Theatre at Westbury, 960 Brush Hollow Rd., Westbury. venue.thetheatreatwestbury.com $49.50-$99.50. 8 p.m. May 7.

The Summer of Love Concert Experience
This convert has audiences reliving the memories and celebrating the songs of the Woodstock generation, including the music of The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, Jefferson Airplane, The Mamas & the Papas, Creedence Clearwater Revival and more. All arrangements are played live and note-for-note by the highest caliber of musicians, including former Styx member and guitarist Glen Burtnik. The beautiful sounds of the Summer of Love will feature a horn section, rhythm section, back-up vocalists, string section, keyboardists, guitarists and more, supported by the most amazing light show production in Rock and Roll history. Patchogue Theatre for the Performing Arts, 71 East Main St., Patchogue. patchoguetheatre.org $27-$57. 8 p.m. May 7.

Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo
Creating a rocking and intimate atmosphere with entertaining interactions, four time Grammy winner and classically trained singer Pat Benatar and her husband, songwriter, producer, arranger and musician, Neil “Spyder” Giraldo create a unique sound through Giraldo’s innovative vision and Benatar’s incredible voice. The chemistry of Benatar—whose hits include “Hit Me With Your Best Shot”, “Love is a Battlefield,” “We Belong”, and “Invincible” —and multi-instrumentalist Giraldo has captivated music lovers for three decades and still selling out concerts, weaving rock ‘n’ roll, wit and banter together seamlessly. The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $40-$79.50. 8 p.m. May10.

Arlo Guthrie
The folk singer Arlo Guthrie celebrates the 50th anniversary of the little littering infraction that inspired the iconic song, “Alice’s Restaurant Massacre.” The tune has become a Thanksgiving holiday anthem to families across the globe, and it all originates from Guthrie’s experience in Massachusetts on Thanksgiving in ‘65.  Landmark on Main Street, 232 Main St., Port Washington. landmarkonmainstreet.org $77-$107. 8 p.m. May 10.

Bullet for My Valentine
This Welsh metal band is making a triumphant return to the stage with their fifth record, Venom, which topped charts around the world. With style inspired by Metallica and Guns n’ Roses, mixed with Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan as songwriting inspirations, BFMV is known for feeding off the crowd’s energy and giving concerts their all. Opening the show is Asking Alexandria and Cane Hill. The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $25-$55. 7:30 p.m. May 11.

-Compiled by Ellie Schoeffel and Timothy Bolger

Single-Engine Plane Crashes In Syosset, 3 Dead

Syosset Plane Crash

By Christopher Twarowski, Rashed Mian and Michael Conforti

A single-engine plane crashed in Syosset Tuesday afternoon, killing its three occupants, sending nearby school children and faculty scrambling for cover, and drawing local first responders to the scene in and around Cold Spring Road. Students reported hearing a loud explosion and seeing debris falling from the sky in the vicinity of Syosset High School and South Woods Middle School.

College Match Quiz

The FAA confirmed the aircraft as a Beech BE35, which crashed at 3:39 p.m. on its way to Robertson Field in Plainville, CT from Myrtle Beach, SC.

A Nassau County police spokesperson at the scene described a large debris field and potential damage to nearby homes. Police and county officials did not elaborate on a probable cause of the accident.

The Syosset School District sent an automated message around 4 p.m. informing parents that an incident had occurred at approximately 3:40 p.m. and that police were requesting South Woods Middle School, Berry Hill Elementary School and Syosset High School personnel and children to remain indoors and that parents delay coming to the school until further notice.

Syosset Fire Department was searching the area and recovering and securing debris. Adjacent roads to the crash site were closed.

Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano, on the scene, called the accident “tragic,” confirming that all three passengers had been killed, and that the pilot of the doomed craft had sent out a “mayday” that was received at Republic Airport in Farmingdale.

He added that the aircraft could hold up to seven passengers.

Lisa DeVito, who lives on Cold Spring Road, told the Press at the scene that she heard a “buzz like a zzzzz—and then boom!

“But it didn’t sound like an explosion,” she added, rather it “sounded like they dropped a tree trunk.”

DeVito said she observed what appeared to be a dead body in the middle of a street adjacent to her home, but did not see any debris nearby.

Jeanine DeStefani, another nearby resident, said she received calls from her two children asking whether she was okay. Her seventh-grader, who attends South Woods Middle School, was at lacrosse practice when the incident occurred and told her he saw debris falling from the sky.

“They heard a pop,” she said.

The FAA will investigate the crash and the National Transportation Safety Board will determine the probable cause, said the agency.

Horoscopes By PsychicDeb for May 2016


By PsychicDeb

Aries – your ruling planet in your 9th house – subtle tactics are called for. You’ll enjoy a slower pace, more relaxed attitude and social time with familiar faces. The ability to cooperate with a group brings rewards including an assurance of greater security in the future. Food and cooking play an important role.

Taurus – your ruling planet in your 1st house – a more entertaining month is on the agenda. You will hear from someone of the opposite sex with a charming and easy going manner. Be prepared for changing plans at the last moment for spontaneous adventure. Writing, teaching, lecturing could figure prominently.

Gemini – your ruling planet in your 12th house – the urge for peace and quiet prevails. If quarrelsome persons are in your environment, you’ll have the power to settle issues in a gracious, tactful manner. Artistic abilities are highlighted. A special interest in decorating your home or office will be productive.

Cancer – Saturn in your 6th house – don’t believe everything you hear. Your sense of security could be shaken by a rumor that turns out to be completely false. Withdraw from an active social life to get to know your own self. You can benefit from real estate and home affairs. The lucky number is 7.

Leo – your ruling planet in your 10th house – the focus is on long-range projects and career goals. Evaluate your need for further training, a wider sphere of influence. Someone who limited your activities in the past is fading from the picture. Soon you can push forward more confidently. Contact an Aries.

Virgo – your ruling planet in your 9th house – people you meet this month are likely to be travel-minded and full of advice and aspiration. An upbeat optimistic mood prevails. You’ll be popular with a yen to go places and do things. Your sense of humor will come in handy. Your lucky number is 3.

Libra – your ruling planet in your 8th house – a stubborn associate is ready to back down, make peace and settle financial differences. You’ll have the upper hand if you remain peaceful and conciliatory. Beautification of your environment is also on the agenda; even a bouquet of flowers will help. Another Libra is in the picture.

Scorpio – your ruling planet in your 10th house – you can profitably pool resources with one who shares your idea of home and family life. Love of beauty, luxury and harmony are motivating forces. You’ll attract a better domestic situation through generosity of spirit. Gift-giving is on your mind.

Sagittarius – your ruling planet in your 2nd house – a family member insists you take time out to relax and mend fences. Don’t be afraid to turn to a parent or parental figure for answers – especially where your profession or career is concerned. A more creative pattern is needed; let your magnetism soar. Your lucky number is 2.

Capricorn – your ruling planet in your 12th house – you’ll project yourself in a glamorous way, but could actually feel alone and aloof. The time is ripe for creative self-expression. Tackle a project that has been hanging fire for some time. You’ll get to know yourself better in the process. A Pisces figures prominently.

Aquarius – Uranus in your 3rd house – the freedom urge dominates the scenario this month. You’ll resist being tied-down by schedules, time clocks or bosses. The accent is on talents, value systems and new ways to utilize assets. The purchase of stylish attire helps you “dress for success.” You’ll win with number 3.

Pisces – Neptune in your 3rd house – a physical relationship grows more intense. You can transform a situation that was headed in the wrong direction. The key is to exchange ideas as well as kisses. Discover the story behind the story – don’t be content with surface indications. Your lucky number is 5.


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