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The Long Island Press

Brooklyn Found to Be Part of Long Island; Flatbush Home Values Plummet!

Illustration by Jon Moreno
Illustration by Jon Moreno

[dropcap]F[/dropcap]rom DUMBO to Coney Island, shock and disbelief gripped residents of Brooklyn when surveyors confirmed that Brooklyn was actually part of a very long island known as, well, Long Island.

“No doubt about it,” said Chief Surveyor Eudora Fletcher, “Brooklyn is really the western end of an island, 118-miles long, that juts out into the Atlantic.”

The survey was on everyone’s mind at a local bar in Cobble Hill.

“I didn’t spend all this money moving to Brooklyn just to live on Long Island,” said one clearly annoyed patron. “They shudda told me where the house was located before I bought it.”

“Look,” said another Brooklynite, “my 11201 ZIP Code has got real status. What will people think when they find out it’s on Long Island?”

Two men wearing dark suits, obviously visitors, sat quietly in a booth across from the bar.

“Where youse guys from?” asked a local resident, noticing the strangers.

“Yaphank,” one man replied.

“You’re kidding. There’s a place named Yaphank?” said the guy at the bar.

“It’s on Long Island,” the man said.

“So whatta you guys doing in Brooklyn?”

“We’re theft consultants.”

“Theft consultants?”

“Yes, sir. You people stole the Islanders out from under our noses, and you’ve got Long Island worried. We’ve been hired to find out what Brooklyn is going to steal next.”

“This is a joke, right?”

“Nope. We’ve even heard talk about building a wall across the whole island. Or taking over Queens as a de-militarized buffer zone.”

“Jeez. What do the other boroughs think about all this?”

“Well, Queens is nervous, of course. The Bronx isn’t worried—they’re sure the Yankees are too classy to ever move to Brooklyn. And, as usual, nobody really knows what they think in Staten Island,” said the consultant.

“And Manhattan?”

“Most people in Manhattan can’t even find Long Island on a map,” he laughed. “The only the people who know where Long Island is have houses in the Hamptons.”

“Listen,” said the guy at the bar, “Brooklyn is nuts about sports. And we didn’t just nab the Islanders, we got the Nets, too. You gotta problem with that?”

The Long Islander shrugged. “What’s done is done. But Long Island accounts for a lot more interesting people than just athletes.”

“Yeah, like who?”

“LL Cool J’s from Long Island.”

“O.K. But Jay-Z’s a Brooklyn boy.”

“Alec Baldwin’s from Massapequa.”

“Eddie Murphy comes from Bushwick.”

“How about Jackie Kennedy?”

“Classy, but we got Ruth Bader Ginsburg.”

“Long Island’s Billy Crystal.”

“Brooklyn’s Woody Allen.”

“Rodney Dangerfield came from Babylon.”

“Brooklyn’s got Bob Guccione.”

“But you have to admit that Long Island’s way ahead when it comes to corrupt police officials.”

“On the other hand, Bugsy Siegel and Al Capone were both born in Brooklyn.”

“Fair enough. But who’ve you got to match our Bill O’Reilly?”

“Hmmm. How about Curly from the Three Stooges?”

The man from Yaphank called out to the bartender: “A glass of Brickhouse Red from Patchogue for our friend at the bar, please.”

The guy at the bar laughed, “And two Brooklyn Lagers for my buddies in the booth.” He came over and sat down.

The Long Islanders smiled. “So tell us, do you have anything worse than the LIE?”

“What?! You guys have never been on the BQE?”

The bartender brought over their beers.

“So,” asked the guy from Brooklyn, “seeing as we share an island and all, do you think Long Island and Brooklyn will ever understand each other?”

“Well,” said one of the Yaphankers, “we could run a ‘Know Your Neighbors’ event, so Brooklyn could find out what’s happening in foreign places like Mineola and Hicksville.”

“And even Suffolk County,” said the other consultant. “You think Brooklyn people would be interested?””

“Not a chance in hell.”

They raised their glasses.

The Long Island Press: A 10 Year Retrospective

Long Island Press Ten Year Retrospective
Long Island Press Ten Year Retrospective

Long Island Press 10 Year Retrospective

Letter From The Editor - Long Island Press

For the past decade we have strived to keep you informed about the most important issues and happenings affecting the nearly 3 million of us who call this Island home. For the past decade we’ve kept you entertained, with comprehensive arts and culture features, music reviews, profiles and an event listings section unrivaled in its scope and breadth. For the past decade we’ve educated you through in-depth reporting, leave-no-stone-unturned news coverage and eye-opening, revelatory investigative pieces on everything from politics and the environment to business and government.

For the past decade, we’ve told your collective story, Long Island, and have been blessed to do so.

As you might know, the Press began as a bi-weekly newspaper called The New Island Ear in 2002, when The Morey Organization (TMO), then owners of pioneering alternative rock station 92.7 WDRE/WLIR-FM, purchased the bi-weekly music publication, the Island Ear.

Taking our name from the daily Long Island Press, which published for 156 years before shutting its doors in 1977, we re-launched as an alternative newsweekly in January 2003 under the direction of Publisher Jed Morey and the guidance of Editor-in-Chief Robbie Woliver and took the Island by storm.

We ran a freight train through local news, politics, government, you name it. Fueled by an insatiable thirst for the truth and having a complete and total blast along the way, we put our own stamp on what the Island and its residents deserved to know; no longer were they held captive by the singular monopolistic take presented by our lone daily Newsday and News12.

We focused a light on many underreported topics and analyzed many already-reported subjects through a new, unique and independent set of lenses, refusing to take things at face value and always aggressively, yet patiently, pursuing the truth behind every person, institution and issue.

We brought our own style of journalism to Long Island, one that bled heart.

We’ve done a lot of damage, exposed a lot of misdeeds and held a great many public and private officials accountable for their action—or inactions. We’ve influenced the way this island thinks about some things and unquestionably opened people’s eyes about others. We’ve made an impact on issues of public policy and matters of public concern, from our neglected sewage treatment plants and how to address the Island’s ongoing heroin epidemic to corruption within our police departments and among our elected officials. We’ve sparked dialogue among taxpayers and lawmakers alike, doing our best to keep the latter honest.

Since 2003 we’ve been disrupting the status quo, shaking things up, raising hell, and having a whole lot of fun in the process. We have been a positive force for change on this Island and the region—and both are better off because of it.

That freight train continues to roll on, and next week will take the shape of a larger, more-encompassing monthly magazine. A different format, perhaps, but still furiously adhering to the same principles, spirit and commitment to quality upon which we have built and solidified our reputation over the past 10 years. I promise you that.

I joined the Press in 2002 as an editorial assistant for the about-to-be-launched New Island Ear. I was among its first hires and despite a roughly three-year hiatus to Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and The Washington Post, I stand as the last one remaining from the original edit crew: Woliver, Bill Jensen, Michael Patrick Nelson and Lauren E. Hill. Edith Updike, Kenny Herzog, Brendan Manley, Tim Bolger and an army of others joined the ranks shortly afterwards and helped shape who I am today as a person and a journalist.

Armed with curiosity, imagination and the omnipresent spirit of Johnny Cash, I was set loose; learning primarily by doing and writing for every section of the paper in the process—though more and more drawn to those stories that required digging. Countless are the tales from the battlefield.

I’ll never forget the time Jon Sasala and I, acting on a tip, ended up in protected wetlands behind a Suffolk County trailer park infested with feral cats to discover a literal mountain of undelivered Newsday products that’d been dumped. Or staking out recycling drops, utilizing a homemade anti-fraud tool my father fashioned for me out of a broomstick, and going undercover inside a junkyard to catch those in the act—just a few scenes from what became a nearly 20-part investigative series into the daily paper’s gross circulation fraud, possibly the largest in newspaper publishing history.

I’ll never forget the time a sewage worker threatened to cut me up into little pieces and stuff my dismembered body down the sewage pipes of the deepest bowels of Cedar Creek sewage treatment plant (this conversation taking place while in the plant). The scar I later received as my head was ripped open by a rusty sewage pipe thanks to the negligence of Nassau County officials and their disregard for state and federal health and safety laws is another permanent reminder. Or the time a billionaire called to try and get me fired. Or when a top police official reamed me out in an attempt to kill a massive exposé.

I could write volumes—the near-daily walks to the Gorm with Nelson and Jensen, the countless hours honing pieces with Woliver and Updike, the eternal debate about lunch, the endless days, nights and weekends hunting down stories with Bolger, Spencer Rumsey, Jaclyn Gallucci, Rashed Mian and so many others—as could all the people behind the bylines at the Press.

We could have gone many different routes with this very special issue. For our fifth year anniversary, for example, we reprinted 6,000 words of past ledes. Something so monumental and celebratory as 10 years of entertaining, 10 years of informing, 10 years of truth-telling, 10 years of shining a light on some pretty dark places, and, I’d argue, 10 years of inspiring (especially in this ever-changing mediascape)—warranted something more.

We felt it only fitting, therefore, to have many of those who made this newspaper what it was and what it now is share the Press’ history in their own words and voices.

Throughout these pages you will hear from many people who worked so hard to bring you years of Long Island stories, people who strove for perfection down to the last comma or ellipsis, people who cared enough to raise their hand and say, “No, everything is not okay!” who spoke out of turn, stood up and tried to do something about it, each in their own special way.

People who have feasted on the Press’ legendary lunches.

For some of you this issue will be a re-introduction to some writers, editors and former interns from years past, a reminder of all the stories we’ve told along our beautifully impossible journey. For others it’ll be a warm first encounter. (Sadly, former Press columnist, “Long Island Lolita” Amy Fisher did not respond to our request for a contribution.)

Consider this issue not merely a grand celebration (which it is), but a love note and a sincere thank you. Thanks for welcoming us into your thoughts, whether or not you agreed with what we told you. Thanks for listening.

Thanks for reading. Thanks for caring.

Sincerely,
Christopher Twarowski
Editor in Chief

Top Image: Original Crew – Editor-in-Chief Robbie Woliver, Staff Writer Lauren E. Hill, Managing Editor Bill Jensen, Arts and Listings Editor Michael Nelson and Editorial Assistant Christopher Twarowski jazz it up at the press’ old Garden City headquarters.

The Long Island Press Has Gone Monthly. Here’s Why.

Long Island Press

Long Island PressSince the days of WLIR and WDRE, breaking new ground is in our DNA. It’s who we are, so it’s what we do. So while it may look as though the Long Island Press is downshifting, in reality we are moving forward full throttle.

Click here to read the full “The Press Is Going Monthly. Here’s Why.” on JedMorey.com.

Staff Picks: January, 2013

Long Island Press - Staff Picks January 2013

Long Island Press - Staff Picks January 2013

RASHED’S PICK

Jack Reacher’s RulesDon’t let Tom Cruise’s role as crime-busting Jack Reacher fool you. The fictional former military officer is as tough as it gets and this book explains why. Reacher’s “Rules of Coffee” are a must-read!

JACLYN’S PICK

Andy Warhol Campbell’s Tomato Soup Limited Edition: The soup tastes the same, but these limited-edition, Warhol-inspired cans are way better. They come in four styles, are available at Target stores and each come with a nugget of wisdom from the pop art icon. Get them while you can—their 15 minutes are almost up!

CHRIS’ PICK

Wiretap Crash’s Hand Over Fist EP: Wiretap Crash is a kick-ass post-hardcore band from LI that’s best experienced live. A super-group of sorts—with former members of Mind Over Matter, The Movielife and Dearly Departed, among others—this EP, Hand Over Fist, their only release to date, is the perfect introduction.

SPENCER’S PICK

Hallucinations by Oliver Sachs: Are the pink elephants real? They are if you think so. In Hallucinations, the brilliant professor of neurology, Oliver Sachs, shows how substantial our curious apparitions can be, and what their appearance says about the brain and its grip on reality. He says hallucinating is a vital part of the human condition. Come along as this wise guide explores the far reaches of our minds.

The Rundown – January, 2013

The Rundown - January, 2013
Palmer Vineyards in Aquebogue has come up with a line of beverages that screams Long Island—495 Wines

495-wine

1. SIP 495 WINE

Chardonnay, merlot… Pick your exit. Palmer Vineyards in Aquebogue has come up with a line of beverages that screams Long Island—495 Wines. They all come with an Interstate 495 label that, depending on how your commute went, will make you either smile or swear as you savor the bouquet.

2. VISIT DAMNYOUAUTOCORRECT.COM

Smart phones are great, most of the time. But if you’ve ever sent a quick email or text message, only to have it butchered by autocorrect, then the hilarious, sometimes vulgar, miscommunications compiled here are a must-read.

desktop-dumpster3. GET A DESKTOP DUMPSTER

It’s January, a time for making New Year’s resolutions you probably won’t keep come February. If yours is to get organized, this mini dumpster from SteelPlant.net will do the trick, and look awesome holding your pens, scissors, mini liquor bottles, or whatever else you keep in your desk. Hey, we’re not judging.

4. SEE BLANCANIEVES

Director Pablo Berger’s fairy tale/drama remake of Snow White set in 1920s Seville tells the tale of Carmen, her evil stepmother and a band of roving, bullfighting dwarves. Need we say more? The movie hits theaters Jan. 18.

5. DOWNLOAD GOOGLE MAPS

If you have an iPhone, don’t risk your safety using Apple Maps any longer. To avoid ending up in a desert with no water or dangling off a cliff, download the new Google Maps app for iPhone. It’s free and it just might save your life, literally.

2013AuthorsRockstars_BLAD.indd6. BUY AN “AUTHORS ARE MY ROCK STARS” WALL CALENDAR

From William Shakespeare to Mark Twain to Jack Kerouac to Maya Angelou, this wall calendar features insightful quotes and photos of authors with that rock-star edge. Get it at Amazon.com.

7. TOAST POE

An unknown visitor—or visitors—known as the mysterious “Poe Toaster” has celebrated Edgar Allan Poe’s birthday every year since 1949 in the early morning hours of Jan. 19 by leaving a bottle of cognac and three roses at Poe’s grave in Baltimore. But the Poe Toaster has been MIA for the past few years… Hint, hint.

MTV-true-life

8. AUDITION FOR MTV’S TRUE LIFE

Casting calls are open for Furries (people who dress up in animal fur suits); Drunkorexics (those who skip meals to save calories for alcohol); Re-sex-changers (those who have undergone gender reassignment surgery, then changed their minds)—and many others. Visit MTV.com for details.

storage-wars-new-york

9. TIVO STORAGE WARS NEW YORK

A&E’s spin-off comes to our stomping grounds in 2013, and follows a group of modern-day treasure hunters on their journeys every Tuesday at 10 p.m. beginning Jan. 1.

new-york-stargazing-permit

10. GET A STARGAZING PERMIT

A $30 stargazing permit from New York State Parks allows you entry after sunset to six LI parks—Hither Hills, Jones Beach, Montauk Point, Robert Moses, Wildwood and Sunken Meadow—to observe the skies above. Card-carrying stargazers are limited to the parking lots, so running into the ocean naked at 3 a.m. will still get you kicked out and/or arrested.

The Number – January, 2013

Long Island - The Number - Jan. 13

[colored_box color=”blue”]

7.1%

The Nassau & Suffolk County unemployment rate as of November 2012, according to the New York State Department of Labor, up from a rate of 6.8 percent in November 2011.

[/colored_box]

The Photo – January, 2013

India Gang Rape

An Indian protester holds a placard during one of many protests sparked by the Dec. 26 gang rape of a young woman who was thrown from a moving bus in New Delhi, India. The 23-year-old medical student, who was raped for nearly an hour, was flown to a Singapore hospital, where she died three days later from severe internal injuries. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)

The Target – January 2013

Long Island - The Target

Long Island Press - The Target-January 2013

WESTBORO BAPTIST CHURCH PETITION

BULL’S EYE A petition is posted on WhiteHouse.gov to legally recognize the Westboro Baptist Church, known for its extremist ideologies against homosexuals, Jews and even their fellow Christians, as a hate group. With hundreds of thousands of cyber signatures so far, it’s the most popular petition ever posted since the Obama administration launched the site last year. Amen to that.

TRUMP ON THE OCEAN

BULL’S EYE After five years of arguing over a basement, Donald Trump’s massive on-again off-again luxury restaurant and catering facility that would have eaten up 86,000 square feet of Jones Beach with a two-story building, formal terraces, etc., is off again, after waves from super storm Sandy flooded the site. The risk of the same thing happening again sends the billionaire packing—back to his Manhattan penthouse. #1PercentProblems

THE EPA 

PARTIAL SCORE Lisa Jackson steps down as administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, issuing a statement that she is confident “the ship is sailing in the right direction” but doesn’t mention any reason for her decision. Hey, maybe she got a job on the board of directors over at Monsanto. It wouldn’t be the first time the agency charged with protecting the environment and the corporate giant set on destroying it swapped employees! We wish we were kidding.

THE FDA

OFF TARGET A genetically modified salmon mutated to grow twice as fast as natural salmon is on course to become the first GM animal in the world declared safe to eat, after the Food & Drug Administration gives it the OK, meaning mass production of the fish is just around the corner. So, the FDA, whose current deputy commissioner for foods is a former vice president of GM food giant Monsanto, has backed a mutant fish that will make the industry millions? Shocker!

BOTOX

OFF TARGET Botox users are warned that doses of the drug received by nearly 400 medical centers in the U.S. are unapproved and from foreign sources, putting patients at risk. But what those risks are is still unclear. We’re sure it’s just the government overreacting. Injecting paralysis-inducing neurotoxins between your eyes—what could go wrong!?

SNAPCHAT

PARTIAL SCORE Sexting app Snapchat, which allows users to send videos that last only for a specified amount of time before spontaneously combusting, is outsmarted by the techies at BuzzFeed, who detail exactly how to get those files back permanently after they supposedly disappear… And the publicists of B-list celebs around the world get a belated holiday bonus this year.

Letters – January 2013 – Readers React To Us Going Monthly

Letters to the Long Island Press - January 2013

Good luck on going to a monthly publication. I hope that I can get four times the following articles: Sound Smart at a Party, Letters, The Target, The Photo, The Pink Slip, The Quote, The Equation, The Rundown, The Book, The B-list B-day, Jerry’s Ink, Crosswords and Sudoku. I’ll miss the Press every week, but I’ll survive. Keep up the good work. –Lee Blumberg, Levittown

Changing your publishing schedule from 52 weekly issues to only 12 monthly copies means that every year there will be 40 (52 minus 12) murderers, rapists, serial killers, mass murderers, pedophiles, Ponzi thieves, crooked politicians, and dozens of other assorted miscreants who will not get “fired” by your public service “Pink Slips”—a loss to us all. –Richard Siegelman

Greatly looking forward to the next chapter in the evolution of LI Press— and Jed Morey! –Doris Meadows

Jed, Since the days you sat in my class, you were creative, never afraid, and knew there were no sacred cows anywhere. I am not surprised about the change…it’s the only way to grow! And I am certainly not surprised that you are leading this change. Go right on and continue to impress your audience. –Rev. Allan B. Ramirez

I love reading your newspaper. Been a fan since the beginning. Your paper is well written and is so much better than Newsday. Good luck with the monthly edition. I’m going to miss my weekly crossword puzzle in your newspaper. —Sue

Now, if you could just bring back WLIR Radio, I’d be really happy!!!! –Jim Perrone

I’m going to agree with Jim Perrone about WLIR — sorely missed! Otherwise, well said, Jed. Good luck with the monthly. –Frank Pomata

Good luck with the new format. The weekly issue will be missed, but it should be interesting to see how the refurbished monthly edition turns out. I hope it will have more than one major article per month. –Michael Cafaro

ON FACEBOOK

Lillian Alzheimer Taylor Disappointed to hear this although I do understand your reasoning. PS, the LIP is the only newspaper I enjoy reading and trust to bring me real news that matters to me. Thank you for that.

Eddie Muro Going from weekly to monthly….at a time when Long Island needs another daily! I guess we’ll just be stuck with Dolan’s mouth piece.

Ed Gerbe I guess 12 per year beats zero. Taking a page from the Long Island Catholic?

David Lynch Will miss the weekly.

VIA TWITTER

@jcairo Monthly like a period. (disgruntled ex-employee)

@Mike93434086 As always, I will look forward to “Off the Reservation,” The Target/Equation & your cover stor(ies)…

@maura the Long Island Press is going monthly. curious to see how this move turns out.

@inthefade I think this is a strong, good move. Online still stays current, monthly print can be more meaty.