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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.

Bush
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

Beartooth
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.

Prong
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.

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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

Horoscopes

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.

IF YOU KNOW YOUR RISING SIGN, CONSULT THE HOROSCOPE FOR THAT SIGN AS WELL.

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

Progressives Should Be Pleased By What Bernie Sanders Has Done So Far

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders on the campaign trail for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination.

By David Sprintzen

Given the completely unpredictable nature of the current political campaign, it is probably somewhat of a fool’s errand to offer the following comments, but I’ll offer them nonetheless. U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders’ losing four of five Eastern primaries on Tuesday makes it almost certain that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic presidential candidate.

Having said that, from the perspective of one who shares practically all of the views expressed by Sen. Sanders (I-VT)—and thus, obviously, would love to see him elected president—I believe his total results are the best that progressives like myself could hope for. Let me briefly suggest why, knowing that there is much more that needs to be said on these matters.

I sincerely doubt that Sanders could have been elected. I know that polls say differently, but I think they completely fail to take into consideration the kind of withering attack that he would face not only from Republicans, but from the mega-rich and the media, both from the mainstream and from the radical right of Talk Radio.

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Sanders’ campaign has laid the groundwork for the mobilization of the kind of revolution that he has called for. That is not something that can be done overnight, but will take time and expanded organizing. He has given public “mainstream” political legitimacy to the ideas of Occupy Wall Street—which they were incapable, and even uninterested, in doing. And he has mobilized vast numbers of previously “silent” citizens—particularly Millenials—who can now, hopefully, be brought into the continuing national progressive network of organizations such as MoveOn, US Action, National People’s Action, the Alliance for a Just Society, Citizen Action, the Working Families Party, Planned Parenthood, the Sierra Club, etc. These groups offer the opportunity to move the Democratic Party—and the country—in a far more progressive direction.

Sanders’ campaign has already moved the Democratic Party, and its presumptive nominee, to the left. Clearly, one cannot expect Clinton to stay there without sustained pressure from this newly mobilized left—given her history and the Obama administration’s neo-liberal policies—but the groundwork and mobilization to do that is now possible.

Donald Trump’s garnering the Republican nomination offers both probably the weakest possible opponent to a Democratic victory, and one whom I believe is surprisingly less dangerous than would be a U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), or Gov. John Kasich (R-Ohio) as a nominee. No doubt that last remark calls for an explanation that I cannot provide here. Simply let me assert that, terrible as Trump obviously is, he is less beholden to and captured by the full neo-liberal program of the Republican Establishment than they are.

Thus, the election of New York’s former Democratic U.S. Senator is the more likely scenario. And, with all Clinton’s liabilities (see below), she will be presenting a reasonable corporate liberal agenda, including probably a few new U.S. Supreme Court justices. And hopefully, contributing to the election of a Democratic Senate with an enhanced progressive majority, plus a reasonable increase in Democratic representation in the House.

But the major work will still be to build the national progressive movement state-by-state, while maintaining pressure on a Clinton administration. And if the Republican convention degenerates into a political brawl, so much the better for discrediting the radical right, and weakening its hold on what was once actually a conservative party.

Having said all this, progressives, whatever their proclivities, will have to actively support Clinton’s campaign, whatever their misgivings, while building on Sanders’ momentum. This is certainly not the best of all worlds, but it’s the one we live in, and we must make our choices as effective as possible. There will be only two significant alternatives before us, and no outcome is foreordained, especially in a country in which either party begins any national election probably with more than 40 percent of the electorate committed in advance to vote for their candidate. And the possible election of a Republican is not something to take lightly.

As for the politics of Clinton and President Barack Obama, let me share my personal abridgment of insightful comments by former White House counselor to President Bill Clinton and a two-time Democratic nominee for governor of Connecticut, Bill Curry, in his widely shared March 9 Salon piece “It should be over for Hillary: Party elites and MSNBC can’t prop her up after Bernie’s Michigan miracle,” which he offered immediately after Sanders’ remarkable victory in Michigan. I excerpt them with extensive personal modifications for which he is in no way responsible:

“The fault lines of the new politics are not cultural issues like guns, abortion and same-sex marriage that divide the Democratic and Republican bases. They are issues of political reform and economic justice that divide both parties’ elites from both parties’ bases, and the American people from their government. On these issues we find the elites of both parties shockingly alike. Among them: global trade; financial deregulation and non-prosecution of financial crimes; (attacks on) the social safety net including Social Security, Medicare, a living wage and health care for all; above all, (being quite comfortable with) the ‘soft corruption’ of pay-to-play politics.

“There’s a name for the bipartisan consensus of party elites: neo-liberalism. It is an inconvenient name for many reasons, but mostly because it seems odd that the worldview of the Republican elite would be an ideology with the root word ‘liberal’ in its name but it is true, nonetheless. And may even shed a little light on the open, bitter breach between GOP elites and the party base. Democrats stayed loyal longer to their elites for two reasons. One is their love of two very talented politicians, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, whose charm and verbal dexterity masked deep differences with the base. The other is their fear of Republicans.

“I often talk to Democrats who don’t know Obama chose not to raise the minimum wage as president even though he had the votes for it; that he was willing to cut Medicare and Social Security and chose not to prosecute Wall Street crimes or pursue ethics reforms in government. They don’t know he dropped the public option or the aid he promised homeowners victimized by mortgage lenders. They don’t know and don’t want to know. Their affection for Bill and Barack—and their fear of Republicans—run too deep.

“Hillary Clinton has neither their deft personal touch nor protean verbal skills. …Voters sense she’s just moving pawns on a chess board in part because she can never explain her change of heart and often doesn’t even try. She switched horses on global trade in a blog post, on the Keystone pipeline at a grammar school event. In a recent debate she left fracking to the GOP governors who covered themselves in glory on Obamacare, as if it were a states’ rights issue. With her Super PAC (and hers and Bill’s breathtaking haul of $153 million in mostly corporate speaking fees), she is the living avatar of pay-to-play politics.

“She remains woefully out of touch with the public mood in other ways.… Clinton has been helped in her quest by her party, by big business, and by top-down endorsements from progressive lobbies many of which broke members’ hearts to deliver them. But no one’s helped her more than the media. I know full well this hasn’t always been true for the Clintons and I also know not all the help is intentional. But the media helps her, primarily by promoting the ‘conventional neo-liberal economic wisdom’ that both she and they share.”

[Read Curry’s complete Salon commentary HERE]

Let me conclude with a few brief comments on neo-liberalism.

Neo-liberalism is clearly a set of policies essentially promoted by the corporate sector, particularly those involved with financial services. It constitutes a systematic attack on the positive role of government in regulating, coordinating and directing economic activity, while seeking to redress the tendency of unregulated capitalism to create vast economic and political inequalities. It promotes unbridled free market capitalism, prioritizing the consumer over the citizen, thus undermining democratic self-government and the collective well being of the people. Its inevitable result, as should finally be quite evident, is extraordinary wealth for the few, and increasing impoverishment for the rest. It must be exposed for what it is, and ultimately defeated.

David Sprintzen is professor emeritus of philosophy at Long Island University and founder and former co-chair of the Long Island Progressive Coalition, where he continues to serve as a member of the board of directors.

When Abortion Was Illegal Here’s What Happened in Trump’s Old Neighborhood

Donald Trump
Donald Trump speaks at Grumman Studios in Bethpage on Wednesday, April 6, 2016 (Long Island Press photo)

By Pat Falk

Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump’s shifting position on abortion can be seen as pandering, a changing sensibility, or the kind of flippancy that characterizes so much of his rhetoric. It doesn’t really matter. The problem is that focusing on his inconsistency distracts us from the heart of the abortion controversy, which is what happens to women when abortion is denied.

When there is no safe and legal abortion, women are often forced into “backstreet” abortions. Doctors or other abortion providers in those cases—either inept or fearful of legal consequences—may be compelled to act in unprofessional ways. We have scores of examples from the past that show the sheer horror of what could happen.

Here is one story that hits close to home, Trump’s and mine.

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In 1962, a few blocks from where both Trump and I grew up in Jamaica Estates, a 19-year-old college sophomore, Barbara Lofrumento, died during an abortion. The doctor, Harvey Lothringer, cut her up and ground the pieces in a garbage disposal. Barbara’s mother, who had been waiting in an adjacent room for hours, was sent home.

“Everything will be fine,” Dr. Lothringer told her. “Barbara’s resting. I’m giving her oxygen, just as a precaution.”

It would be days before Barbara’s parents alerted the police. They were scared—they were doing something illegal. Meanwhile, Dr. Lothringer and his assistant/girlfriend Theresa Carillo had left the country, but not before arranging for a plumbing service to come to his house to flush out his system. When Roto-Rooter eventually showed up two days later, they found an overflowing sewer, the pipes clogged with Barbara’s gruesome remains.

This is the epicenter of an atrocity that radiated outward to a shocked public, sinking deeply into the psyche of a generation.

Harvey Lothringer was my doctor, my family doctor. I had been on that same table for an extensive examination a few days before Barbara died. My father was also Dr. Lothringer’s initial defense attorney. At 11-years-old, I was my father’s helper, cutting out articles and photos from a sea of newspapers. I would stare at Barbara’s photo: her head turned to the side, raised slightly, her dark, curly hair cut short, framing her face. Her smile seemed forced, her eyes sad.

That photo—with her image intact—etched itself into my consciousness in stark contrast to her fragmentation. If I could just piece together the story, tape up the fragments, I could put her back together. I could staunch some of the unbelievable horror. At the very least, I might begin to understand.

These images have haunted me for decades. It took me months, for example, to agree to surgery for early stage lung cancer a few years ago. I was that terrified of doctors wielding knives.

It’s been this way for others. New York State Assemb. Deborah Glick (D-Manhattan) was also a vulnerable 11-year-old in Queens when she first heard the news. When we talked at her Union Square office recently, she told me that the story had “seared itself” into her memory. Finally, in January of 2014, she brought the personal directly into the political as she recounted on the Assembly floor what had happened to Barbara and argued for a provision to update New York’s Women’s Equality Act.

Also traumatized were Barbara’s classmates at the College of New Rochelle, especially Janice Decker, a writer now residing on the West Coast. Like Glick and countless others, she was instructed “not to talk about it.” A few weeks after Barbara’s murder, Decker was raped. Finding herself pregnant, Decker thought, “No legal abortion available. What now? Barbara had been erased with finality. Her death and the ensuing silence was proof that no one would help me.”

So, let’s stop playing games, hopscotching “positions” on the issue of reproductive rights, as Donald Trump is trying to do as he leads the race for the Republican presidential nomination.  Let’s talk about how women are being forced into backstreet abortions across the country.  Let’s acknowledge the insidious effects on us all.

Even now, when access to abortion is a constitutional right, “87 percent of the counties in the U.S. have no abortion providers,” points out former Boston Globe journalist Eileen McNamara, professor at Brandeis University. Increasing numbers of state legislatures, she warns, are making it difficult for clinics to operate.

“Where,” she asks, “will women go?”

Let us hope it will be to a place of safety.

Pat Falk is professor emeritus at Nassau Community College in Garden City, NY.  Author of four previous books, she is currently completing the memoir, The Story of Barbara: Memory of a Botched Abortion.

Do This: Long Island Concert & Events April 28–May 4

Robby Krieger The Paramount Huntington
Legendary Doors guitarist Robby Krieger rocked The Paramount in Huntington Tuesday, April 7, 2015 alongside his son Waylon, who filled in on vocals. (Christopher Twarowski/Long Island Press)

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From “the Rock and Roll Capital of the World,” comes this Cleveland-based industrial rock quintet who will play their ’90s hits, including “Hey Man Nice Shot” and “Take a Picture,” while they tour to promote their seventh studio album, Crazy Eyes, which dropped earlier this month. Warming up the crowd will be Orgy, Vampires Everywhere, Death Valley High and Lubricoma. Revolution Bar and Music Hall, 140 Merrick Rd., Amityville. revolutionli.com $25. 6:30 p.m. April 28.

Kansas
With more than 40 years of revolutionary rock n’ roll success, Kansas stores more hardware on their wall than Home Depot with eight gold albums, three sextuple-Platinum albums, one Platinum live album and a million-selling gold single. Their inescapable hits like “Dust in the Wind” and “Carry On Wayward Son” blare through radio waves daily, solidifying Kansas’ undeniable staying power. Opening the show is The Edgar Winter Band, and he’s no slouch, either. Together, you can plan on rocking your socks off. NYCB Theatre at Westbury, 960 Brush Hollow Rd., Westbury. venue.thetheatreatwestbury.com $39.50-$79.50. 8 p.m. April 28.

Gnarly Karma
Hailing from Huntington is this up-and-coming lyrical jam band playing DMB-esque ditties. Opening the show will be Nectar & The Gray. The Space at Westbury, 250 Post Ave., Westbury. thespaceatwestbury.com $10. 8 p.m. April 28.

Kissed By a Prince
Dawnette Darden, Marvin Joshua, Mike Maz, Kevin Santacruz and Joe Haines take the stage for an evening celebrating the life and music of the late great Prince. The rain will be plainly purple, whether inside or out. The Stephen Talkhouse, 161 Main St., Amagansett. stephentalkhouse.com $10. 8 p.m. April 28.

The Congressman
Exploring the meaning of patriotism is this independent film written and co-directed by Robert Mrazek, a former Long Island Congressman. It takes one to know one, doesn’t it? He’s crafted an inspiring story about a group of people living in an island off the coast of Maine who band together to do what must be done to save their way of life. Preceding the screening will be a Q&A with Mrazek and Treat Williams, who stars as the Representative spiraling out of control in the film until he finds his life’s purpose. Cinema Arts Centre, 423 Park Ave., Huntington. cinemaartscentre.org $15 members, $20 public. 7 p.m. April 29.

Robby Krieger
One of Rolling Stone‘s 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time, songwriter and guitar-maestro Robby Krieger comes to Long Island to awe, entertain and strum. This former Doors musician is credited with co-writing some of the most iconic tunes of all time, including “Light My Fire,” “Love Me Two Times” and “Love Her Madly.” Break on through to the Paramount to catch this amazing performance.  Opening the show is Mountain’s Leslie West, who makes a Gibson look like a ukelele in his hands when he bends the strings. The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $19.50-$59.50. 8 p.m. April 29.

Martin Short
Moviegoers of a certain age might recall this Canadian comic and SNL alum’s role as Ned Nederlander in the 1986 classic, Three Amigos! Members of the Netflix generation may recognize him from his many cameos, including one of his latest as Dr. Grant in Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. If fans are lucky, Jiminy Glick will also make an appearance. Be warned: you may bust a gut because you’ll be laughing so hard it will hurt. NYCB Theatre at Westbury, 960 Brush Hollow Rd., Westbury. venue.thetheatreatwestbury.com $54.50-$84.50. 8 p.m. April 29.

Gospel Health Fest
Come to see and hear some of the nation’s best gospel choirs, dance ministries and musical groups. Stay for health testimonials, screenings and pressentations. Refreshments will be served. Suffolk County Community College, Ammerman Campus, 533 College Rd., Selden. suffolkcountyny.gov Free. 3 p.m. April 30.

Howard Massey
You want to know what goes on behind stage? How about an inside look at the exploits of the greatest living band in the world? This journalist and author will be speaking and signing copies of his new book, Roadie, a tale of rock and roll redemption inspired by The Rolling Stones. Book Revue, 313 New York Ave., Huntington. bookrevue.com Price of book. 7 p.m. April 30.

Kool & the Gang
This Jersey City-based R&B group with disco roots will take fans on a trip down memory lane when they belt out hits such as “Jungle Boogie,” “Funky Stuff,” “Celebration” and “Hollywood Swinging.” Supporting acts include Morris Day and The Time. NYCB Theatre at Westbury, 960 Brush Hollow Rd., Westbury. venue.thetheatreatwestbury.com $49.50-$99.50. 8 p.m. April 30.

Slam Allen
Masterfully blending blues and soul is this upstate Monticello-based saltan of the six string who channels the spirits of B.B. King, Otis Redding and James Brown. That’s a soulfoul combination that can’t be beat. Saturday night will be rocking with spirit. Treme Blues and Jazz Club, 553 Main St., Islip. tremeislip.com $20. 8 p.m. April 30.

Chubby Checker
His ’60s classics topped the Billboard charts and got the nation on the dance floor. And even today, they inspire jubilant gyrations whenever they’re played. Twist your hips and shake it, don’t break it, as you join a new generation of fans of the great Chubby Checker. All you got to do is move your feet, and the rest will follow. Suffolk Theater, 118 East Main St., Riverhead. suffolktheater.com $60. 8 p.m. April 30.

Long Island Marathon
Festivities kick off Friday, April 29, with a fitness expo at the Mitchell Athletic Complex in a the weekend-long run-up to Sunday’s 26-mile race, half-marathon and 10k. A 5k, 1-mile run and Kids Fun Run are scheduled for Saturday and a festival follows the marathon on Sunday. Charles Lindbergh Blvd., Uniondale. run-li.com 8 a.m. May 1.

Christine Reilly
This talented author will discuss and sign copies of her debut novel, Sunday’s on the Phone to Monday, billed as a music-infused family saga, whose title is a nod to the Beatles’ “Lady Madonna.” Glen Cove Public Library, 246 Glen St., Glen Cove. Free. 1 p.m. May 1.

Under the Streetlamp
Bringing classic rock ‘n’ roll and Doo-Wop songs to life with their lively performances is this national touring quartet taking audiences back to the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s. NYCB Theatre at Westbury, 960 Brush Hollow Rd., Westbury. venue.thetheatreatwestbury.com  $39.50-$54.50. 7 p.m. May 1.

The First Grader
This inspiring documentary tells the true story of an 84-year-old Kenyan villager and ex Mau Mau freedom fighter who fights for his right to go to school for the first time to get the education he could never afford. Larry Hohler, founder of Hope Children’s Home, will discuss the film. Handmade crafts from Kenya will be available for purchase. Cinema Arts Centre, 423 Park Ave., Huntington. cinemaartscentre.org $10 members, $15 public. 7 p.m. May 4.

 

Long Island Olympic Hopefuls Vie for Chance to Compete in Rio

By Nick Pasco

Several Long Islanders are among hundreds of American athletes trying to qualify for Team USA with the goal of competing on the world stage during the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics this August.

The only athlete who made the cut by February was Bora Gulari, a skipper on the U.S. Olympic Sailing Team who’s formerly from Long Island and now living in Detroit. Syosset native, WNBA all star and three-time gold medalist Sue Bird is expected to make the US women’s basketball team once the roster is finalized. Other locals facing Olympic trials on the road to Rio include 2012 Olympic racewalker Maria Michta-Coffey of Farmingville, boxer Cam Awesome of Uniondale as well as soccer players Crystal Dunn of Rockville Centre and Allie Long of Huntington.

“I’m definitely excited, and proud to represent my country,” said Gulari, 40, who will be competing in the two-person mixed multihull event with his teammate, Louisa Chafee, daughter of ex-Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee, on their Nacra 17, a high-speed catamaran. “I feel like the hard work has just begun.”

Team USA is expected to send more than 500 athletes to compete in Brazil from Aug. 5-21, but the U.S. Olympic Committee won’t confirm the final list of names until July 18. About 100 competitors have made the cut so far, with three months left to qualify.

Bird, the 35-year-old point guard for the Seattle Storm, believes Rio will be her last Olympic games. She’s aiming to bring home her fourth consecutive gold medal, which would cement her status as one of the best women’s basketball players of all time.

“I’m at the end of my career,” Bird told NBC Sports. “This is more than likely going to be my last Olympics. When you get older, you start looking back on your career more, and you want to leave some sort of legacy, and to be a fourth time Olympic gold medalist wouldn’t be so bad.”

But unlike most of her fellow local Olympic hopefuls who have to qualify in their respective sports, a committee decides if Bird goes to Rio. Waiting for a decision by the head U.S. Women’s National Team coach are soccer players Dunn, a 23-year-old attacker for the Washington Spirit who’s become among the top scorers on the USWNT, and Long, a 28-year-old midfielder for the Portland Thorns who’s also under consideration for the 18-player roster that the US women’s soccer team will send to the Olympics.

From left: US Women's National Team soccer players Allie Long and Crystal Dunn.
From left: US Women’s National Team soccer players Allie Long and Crystal Dunn.

For the rest of the pack of local Olympic hopefuls, the grind to getting to Rio is tricky. After a long road back from a suspension for failing to give the anti-doping committee his whereabouts in 2012, Awesome, the 27-year-old boxer, has two more chances at joining Team USA. He has to finish in the top 3 either May 13-22 in Bulgaria or June 14-26 in Azerbaijan.

“They say everything happens for a reason,” said Awesome, who became a vegan and changed his name from Lenroy Thompson as a part of his “rebirth” following his suspension. “I disagree with that. I believe things happen, and you, being a person trying to be optimistic, need to make it seem better for yourself.”

Michta-Coffey, the 29-year-old racewalker hoping to make her second trip to the Olympics, will represent Team USA Track & Field in the World Race Walk Team Championships on May 7 and 8 in Rome.

“I am stronger, faster and wiser this time around,” Michta-Coffey wrote on her website, where she documents her training. “I have new goals and new aspirations. It’s not just about making it this time, it’s about how well I can place against my international competitors. To achieve this, I have decided to take my training and recovery to another level.”

A few other athletes with local ties had their Olympic dreams already dashed. Austin Meyer, a 25-year-old rower born in Rockville Centre and living in Boston, missed his shot at going to Rio when he came in second this weekend in the US Olympic trials. Danny Caparelli of Floral Park and Divine Jackson of Hempstead tried to get the US handball team to qualify for the Olympics, but will have to try again in four years.

So will LI’s youngest Olympic hopeful, 14-year-old Estee Ackerman of West Hempstead, who was trying to make the US table tennis team, but chose her faith over the competition. She lost the first two of her matches in the qualifiers and chose not to compete on the final day because she is Jewish Orthodox, and the match fell on Shabbat, the day of rest in her religion.

“I know my decision was the right one, because in life I will always keep Judaism as my No. One priority,” Ackerman told Jewish Business News. “I was disappointed. I love playing on such a big stage and beautiful crowds that come to watch, but as much as I love table tennis, not playing on Shabbos is a greater reward.”

(Photo credit: Cam Awesome/Trappfotos; Bora Gulari/US Sailing Team Sperry via Will Ricketson)

-With additional reporting by Ellie Schoeffel and Timothy Bolger

Concussion Issue Hasn’t Slowed Down Long Island’s Interest in Youth Football

By Nick Pasco

A federal appeals court this week approved a nearly $1 billion settlement in a class-action lawsuit thousands of retired professional football players filed against the National Football League, a ruling that came one month after an NFL executive admitted a link between a devastating brain disease and repeated blows to the head.

The court said the settlement was imperfect but fair, overruling a challenge by some players who argued that the deal didn’t cover potential victims of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), which some researchers say is caused by concussions. Yet despite the debate over the safety of football regularly making national headlines, parents on Long Island are increasingly allowing their children to playing at the introductory level.

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“Of course, concussions and CTE is a serious deal,” said Benjamin Carey, president of the Long Island Youth Football Association (LIYFA) and vice president of the Northport Youth Football Club, who’s seen record enrollment over the past four years. “But the media blows it way out of proportion.”

He said the LIYFA has seen a 4-percent increase in enrollment in 2013, a 15-percent increase in 2014, another 4-percent increase in 2015 and the group is projecting another increase this year.

That’s because, Carey believes, parents are not unaware of the health risks but they appreciate football’s positives—“the life lessons the sport teaches”—such as promoting teamwork and helping kids overcome their fears. To mitigate health concerns, his organization, in partnership with the NFL, has implemented a “heads-up football culture,” he said, which “teaches kids the proper way to tackle, and also teaches coaches signs of concussions, and when it is necessary to pull a kid out of a game.”

He cites a study conducted by Datalys Institute on behalf of Pop Warner Little Scholars, Inc., a nonprofit organization that provides youth football in 42 states for children from ages 5 to 16 years old, that found “in youth football there is an absence of catastrophic head and neck injuries and disruptive joint injuries found at higher levels.” The study suggests that youth football has fewer injuries than soccer, bicycling or skateboarding.

“At the pro level, of course, it’s a dangerous game,” Carey conceded. “They know what they’re signing up for, and they get paid a lot of money to play this game. At the youth level, we are teaching these kids how to play the game the right way, and I am hoping to continue to spread this message across the Island to other clubs.”

Dr. Karl Friedman, a consulting physician who’s worked for 30 years with the Nassau County Safety Committee, which advises the county’s Athletic Association on its high school football rules, first wrote the concussion guidelines in 1990 and later revised them in the mid 2000s. He’s also a school doctor at five Nassau school districts as well as a high school football official. He cautioned against a rush to judgement on the concussion issue.

“There needs to be more research done before we jump to conclusions like we know everything about CTE,” Friedman said. “You look at ex-players like Troy Aikman, Boomer Esiason and Phil Simms—all who had multiple major concussions and yet all three you see and hear on Sunday broadcasting games. None seem to have any effects of CTE; Aikman is one of the smartest announcers out there.”

Friedman is aware of the sport’s dark side, too.

“Then you look at the tragedy with Junior Seau, and it just does not match up,” said Friedman, referring to Seau, the NFL All Pro who committed suicide in 2012 by shooting himself in the chest. The former linebacker had his brain donated to science, and researchers at the National Institutes of Health subsequently confirmed that it tested positive for CTE.

“How could there be so many extremes between the two?” asked Friedman. “This is why we need to continue to do more research and find out more.”

At present, Friedman believes that high school football has responded well to the concerns raised.

“With the numerous rule changes and limiting the practices on how much you can hit, you can see the intent to make the game safer,” he said.

Friedman has experience on the national level with the National Federation of High School Sports Medicine Advisory, where the concussion topic is not ignored.

“Everyone is aware of the issue,” he said. “And they are doing all they can with what they have to adjust and make the game safer. Still we need to learn more about the disease in order to continue to make strides.”

But there’s only so much doctors, referees and coaches can do to prevent injuries, considering the violent nature of the sport. In 2014, Tom Cutinella, a 16-year-old Shoreham-Wading River High School football player, died of traumatic brain injury after a John Glen High School defender hit Cutinella with an illegal helmet-to-helmet tackle. Cutinella was one of three high school football players in the nation to die in a one-week time-span.

The death sparked changes in local high school football, including stiffer penalties for helmet-to-helmet hits, pre-game safety announcements and new safety coaches. Cutinella’s parents are also speaking out to change the culture of celebrating hard hits.

“What made me say that the culture of football is wrong, having watched my son’s death live and first hand, was watching it on video,” Cutinella’s father, Frank, told ABC News. “The [John Glenn] player fist pumps like he had just done something good. I could hear some of their fans cheering. … You can check every rulebook out there from youth leagues to the NFL, and every one states you can’t lead with the crown of your helmet, or target another player, and five referees missed that play. It wouldn’t have brought my son back to life, but no flag was thrown.”

Despite the changes aimed at making high school football safer, some parents remain reluctant to let their kids play football.

“When you wrap players with protective padding and scream at them to perform for their team, they are going to throw their entire heart and soul into moving the ball down the field,” said Stefanie Baranek, a mother of three from East Islip. “Their fear of injury is minimized by the protective gear. Right up until they see stars and have a headache and/or nausea for days. Then it’s too late.”

If a player is fortunate enough to get back on their feet, there’s a good chance they’d head straight to a local hospital. In 2010, a Centers for Disease Control official testified before the Subcommittee on Health Committee on Energy and Commerce in the U.S. House of Representatives that emergency rooms treat an estimated 135,000 sports-and-recreation related traumatic brain injuries each year among children ages 5 to 18. No sport was singled out.

Despite injury concerns, local athletes seem satisfied with procedures meant to limit the risk of serious head injuries. Jack Brown, a junior varsity coach at Seaford High School, supports the rule that a player who’s had a concussion during a game can’t take the field, let alone practice with the team, until he’s been cleared by a qualified medical authority.

“I believe we’re taking the right steps to prevent more concussions in the future with our protocols before a student athlete can return to play,” he said.

Do This: Long Island Concert & Events April 21–27

Olivia Newton-John
Olivia Newton-John

F-14 Tomcat Tribute & Reunion
Grumman alumni will get together for dinner and a panel discussion to commemorate the most memorable aircraft built on Long Island besides the Apollo Lunar Module. For the uninitiated, the supersonic F-14 Tomcat was a U.S. Navy fighter jet designed to combat Russian MiGs during the Cold War and immortalized in the 1980s classic Tom Cruise movie “Top Gun” until it was retired a decade ago to make way for the F-18 Super Hornet. Speakers include former F-14 pilots, instructors and designers. Cradle of Aviation Museum, Charles Lindbergh Blvd., Garden City. cradleofaviation.org $100. 4 p.m. April. 21.

How to Let Go of the World and Love All The Things Climate Can’t Change
The latest feature film from Josh Fox, the Oscar-nominated investigative documentary filmmaker who exposed in Gasland how fracking can turn tap water flammable, goes globetrotting to show how it may be too late to reverse some of the worst consequences of climate change. And so he asks, what is so deep within us that no calamity can take it away? He went to 12 countries on six continents to find out. Guest speaker includes Matthew Kearns, an offshore wind energy activist from Long Island. Cinema Arts Centre, 423 Park Ave., Huntington. cinemaartscentre.org $7 members, $12 public. 7:30 p.m. April 21.

Olivia Newton-John
Four-time Grammy award winning Australian pop star Olivia Newton-John, who starred as Sandy in Grease and became one of the world’s best-selling music artists of all time, is coming to Long Island. This top pop star doesn’t tour as often as she used to when her songs were tearing up the charts week after week after week. So “Come on Over” and “Don’t Stop Believin'”! The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $38.50-$99.50. 8 p.m. April 21.

Upright Man
This band is bringing their special style of alternative rock all over the New York area. They just released their first single off their new album and will be giving away the full album at their shows as they prepare to release a four-song EP next month. The Space at Westbury, 250 Post Ave., Westbury. thespaceatwestbury.com $10. 8 p.m. April 21.

Sponge
This Detroit-based post-grunge quintet will play their ’90s hits, including “Plowed,” “Molly” and “Wax Ecstatic.” Warming up the crowd will be NFU, Sharks In The Shallows, Floodwire and For The Kill. Revolution Bar and Music Hall, 140 Merrick Rd., Amityville. revolutionli.com $18, $20 DOS. 7 p.m. April 22.

Mike Epps
This stand-up comedian, actor, rapper and producer from Indiana has generated a huge amount of buzz since his big-screen breakthrough as Day-Day Jones in “Next Friday.” His HBO comedy special, “Inappropriate Behavior,” was one of the network’s top-rated, hour-long specials of 2005. He hasn’t slowed down for a moment. He had a starring role in HBO’s bio-pic about the legendary singer, Bessie Smith. These days, he’s taking his hilarious show on the road. NYCB Theatre at Westbury, 960 Brush Hollow Rd., Westbury. venue.thetheatreatwestbury.com  $49.50-$69.50. 8 p.m. April 22.

Mike DelGuidice & Big Shot
This is the only Billy Joel tribute band featuring musicians, namely Mike DelGuidice, who have actually shared a stage with the most famous Long Island pop star, The Piano Man, himself. Big Shot schedules tour dates around Billy Joel’s monthly Madison Square Garden concerts. A true fan, DelGuidice guarantees a proper homage to his idol—and the performances are absolutely stellar!  The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $20-$40. 8 p.m. April 22.

Parmalee
Long Island country rock fans who appreciate gritty, down-to-Earth, small-town music with a big heart will no doubt take a liking to this band. Parmalee has shown an authentic resilience that we New Yorkers appreciate—and earning the support of fans along the way. Mulcahy’s Pub & Concert Hall. 3232 Railroad Ave., Wantagh. Muls.com $25, $27 DOS. 8 p.m. April 22.

NY Guitar Show & Exposition
The show features new, vintage and used instruments and amps, local dealers/music stores, retailers, custom builders and major manufacturers, including Taylor Guitars, D’Addario & Company strings and Gbase.com, a vintage equipment exchange. Freeport Recreation Center, 130 East Merrick Rd., Freeport. nyguitarexpo.com $10. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. April 23, 24.

Social Justice/Diversity Summit
The Social Justice/Diversity Summit is a forum to raise awareness on a broad range of social justice issues such as Environmental Justice, Health Disparities, Homelessness, Immigration, LGBTQ, Race, Housing Discrimination, Educational Disparities, Mental Health, Criminal Justice, and Food Justice/Food Security. Guest speakers include Bernice Sims, author of Detour Before Midnight, an account of the infamous Neshoba County, Mississippi murders of three civil-rights workers; Elaine Gross, president of ERASE Racism, a Long Island-based, nationally acclaimed organization known for its cutting-edge work on institutional and structural racism; Rev. Dr. Alfonso Wyatt, author, mentor and founder of Strategic Destiny: Designing Futures Through Faith and Facts; and Marge Rogatz, a life-long champion for social equity, justice and the rights of the homeless. Campus Center Ballroom, Farmingdale State College, 2350 Broadhollow Rd., Farmingdale. Free and open to the public. 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m., April 23.

Tom Papa
Comedian, actor, writer, producer, television/radio host, New Jersey’s own Tom Papa is guaranteed to make you laugh. After being hand-picked by Jerry Seinfeld to perform on his tour back in 1993, Papa has not looked back. Most recently he hosted his popular Sirius/XM radio show “Come to Papa,” among many other credits. Papa has a ton of material in his repartee. Governor’s Comedy Club, 90 Division Ave., Levittown. govs.govs.com $30. 8 p.m. April 22, 7 p.m. & 9:30 p.m. April 23.

“Rockin’ Fights 23” 
After winning a unanimous decision against Will Rosinsky on the Daniel Jacobs Vs Peter Quillin WBA World Middleweight Title Card at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, 26-year-old Local 66 Union worker and Long Island’s own Joe “the Beast” Smith Jr. is back, taking his impressive 20-1 record including 16 wins on knockouts against the 16-4 Fabiano Pena at the “Rockin Fights 23” Card. Boxing doesn’t get better than this. The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $50-$200. 7:30 p.m. April 23.

Brit Floyd
With a spectacular light show and out-of-this-world stage production, Brit Floyd calls this trip their “Space & Time” tour, a fitting name for this leg of the amazing journey launched by Pink Floyd itself and now followed dutifully by this great tribute act. From The Dark Side of the Moon to The Wall and, the latest, The Endless River, they’ll dip into five decades of Floyd’s best-selling albums to recreate an interstellar night of stunning performances. The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $25-$74.50. 8 p.m. April 24.

Kara Thomas
This author and Long Island native will be speaking and signing her new book, The Darkest Corners. Under the pen name, Kara Taylor, she wrote the Prep School Confidential series for St. Martin’s Press. She’s a talented story-teller, no doubt about it. Book Revue, 313 New York Ave., Huntington. bookrevue.com Price of book. 7 p.m. April 26.

The Gipsy Kings
Since 1978 the Gipsy Kings have been playing their Catalan rumba and salsa-style music on a world stage. They know how to get a party started no matter where they go. Their music has been described as “Spanish flamenco and gypsy rhapsody meet salsa funk.” The Gipsy Kings are a must-see for people who want to dance to the light fantastic. It’s always good to bust out the moves, especially on a weeknight. The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $45-$99. 8 p.m. April 26.

-Compiled by Nick Pasco and Timothy Bolger

Voters to Decide Replacement for Skelos Seat

Todd Kaminsky, Chris McGrath and Lawrence Seth Hirsh
From left: Todd Kaminsky, Chris McGrath and Lawrence Seth Hirsh

By Jamie Franchi, Rashed Mian and Timothy Bolger

Southwestern Nassau County voters have a fresh choice of New York State Senate candidates for the first time in three decades during a special election Tuesday to replace their disgraced former senator.

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Freshman State Assemb. Todd Kaminsky (D-Long Beach), Republican attorney Christopher McGrath of Hewlett and Lawrence Seth Hirsh, an accountant from Valley Stream running on the Green Party line, are vying for the seat held for 30 years by Dean Skelos, the ex-State Senate Republican majority leader from Rockville Centre, until he was expelled from office upon his conviction on federal corruption charges in December. The election is the same day as New York’s Republican and Democratic presidential primaries, which is expected to impact turnout.

“I think it’s going to be a close race,” Nassau County Democratic Chairman Jay Jacobs said. “I think we’ll either win by a couple or lose by a couple, and the determining factor will be not just the presidential primary turnout but also the drop off—meaning how many people come out to vote for president but choose not to vote in the State Senate special election. I think that’s going to be the deciding factor.”

Skelos’ and his son Adam’s conviction, which they are appealing, has catapulted ethics reform to the chief issue in the race. But, this being Long Island, education funding also is among the top issues the candidates are debating. The result of the race could help sway the balance of power in the State Senate, which is in GOP control with the help of six breakaway Democrats.

Kaminsky, a former federal prosecutor, backs banning outside income for lawmakers. McGrath, a first-time candidate, proposed setting eight-year term limits for state elected officials. Hirsh, who unsuccessfully ran for a Nassau County legislative seat last year, called for publicly financed elections. All three support stripping pensions from elected officials convicted of corruption.

Public education advocates have accused McGrath of supporting the expansion of charter schools, which the critics say siphons money from public schools. They point to New Yorkers for a Balanced Albany, a pro-charter school political action committee, funding anti-Kaminsky campaign ads in the run up to the special election.

“Now he’s indebted to them,” said Jeannette Deutermann, an anti-Common Core activist, said, referring to McGrath. “What do you think’s going to happen when he gets into office?”

McGrath denies the allegations.

“I have not taken one dime from charter schools,” McGrath said. “I will never give one dime to charter schools at the expense of public schools.”

McGrath counters that if Kaminsky wins, he would help return the State Senate to a Democratic majority for the first time since 2009, when the legislature approved the controversial MTA Payroll Tax.

“If I lose this race, the balance of power will shift,” McGrath said. “The Senate should be maintained by Republican control.”

Regardless, the winner of the special election will only serve the remaining eight-and-a-half months of Skelos’ term and will be up for re-election in November. The current state legislative session ends in June, leaving the winner just two months to negotiate legislation, not including any special legislative sessions that may be called in the second half of the year.

The ninth State Senate district includes the southwest corner of Nassau from Elmont and West Hempstead to the North, Rockville Centre and Island Park to the east, the New York City line to the west and all of Long Beach Island to the south.