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Who Makes The Best Veggie Burger on Long Island?

veggie burger
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Meat lovers aren’t the only foodies that enjoy a delicious burger. Veggie burgers are the perfect substitute for anyone hungry for a burger, but who makes the best veggie burger on Long Island?

Long Islanders voted Batata Cafe the Best Veggie Burger on Long Island in the 2021 Bethpage Best of Long Island contest!

Who said healthy food isn’t tasty? If you visit Batata Cafe in Northport, you’ll be happy to find a menu full of options that aren’t just good for you, they’re also quite delicious.

Batata Cafe is considered the place for all your vegan and vegetarian needs in Suffolk. Its extensive menu of breakfast, lunch and dinner includes freshly baked muffins, hearty soups, ACAI bowls and vegan ice creams. But a fan favorites is the Veggie Burger, made with chunky vegetable patty, tomato, avocado, alfalfa sprouts and house-made chipotle mayo. The cafe prides itself on preparing meals specifically for its guests and providing many plant-based and gluten free menu items, with ingredients like free range, antibiotic free chicken and organic, soy free eggs.

Be sure to check out its website to see the full menu!

The national winner of the 2021 Bethpage Best of Long Island veggie burger category was Bareburger, which specializes in using organic, fresh ingredients in all of its dishes in order to ensure that every customer receives an absolutely delicious meal bursting with flavor.

Its produce is free of GMOs and pesticides, its breads are all-natural, and its sauces are gluten-free. One of Bareburger’s famous menu items is its veggie burger, a great option for vegetarians who still crave the taste of a traditional burger now and then, and for those who would like to try this spin on an iconic, American dish. Who knew eating healthy could be this enjoyable?!

Batata Cafe is located at 847 Fort Salonga Rd. in Northport. It can be reached at 631-754-4439 or batatacafe.com

Bareburger has multiple locations that can be found at bareburger.com

To find all the other 2021 Bethpage Best of Long Island contest winners, visit bestoflongisland.com Vote for your favorite businesses and people in the 2022 Bethpage Best of Long Island program through Dec. 15.

To read more Best of Long Island Spotlights, visit longislandpress.com/category/boli-spotlight

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Disability Care Homes Struggle to Maintain Staff Amid Budget Cuts

Rise Life Services, based in Riverhead, operates programs that fulfill the lives of the people they serve. (Courtesy Rise Life Services)

By Jennifer Corr

Group homes run by disability care agencies across Long Island are tasked with providing a good quality of life for people who need support in their daily lives.

But impeding that mission to provide a good quality of life, full of activities and socialization, is a lack of funding from the state. Charles Evdos, the executive director of the agency Rise Life Services, based in Riverhead, said that budget cuts — 16.2 percent in 2020 and 23 percent in 2021, followed by a decade of lack of Cost of Living Adjustments (COLA) — make it difficult to maintain and incentivize staff.

“The current staffing crisis has also resulted in East End Disability Associates operating its programs at minimum capacity, deploying senior staff to cover direct support professional shifts, postponing planned development, and discontinuing some programs that we have provided to families since 1993,” said Lisa Meyer Fertal, the chief executive officer of East End Disability Associates, in a letter sent to family, friends, and business associates. East End Disability Associates operates seven group homes on the East End of Long Island. 

And it does not help that budget cuts, along with the lack of COLA, are not taken into consideration by the state as it continues to implement mandates such as requirements for filling positions or having a certain amount of staff to watch the group homes. 

“The problem you have now, with all these mandates and cuts, 80 percent of our budget is salaries,” Evdos said. “The problem is, we want to raise the direct care workers to $20 an hour. The state doesn’t give us the money to do that. Basically, agencies on Long Island are paying anywhere from $14.50 to maybe $16.00. Agencies can’t afford to pay the $20 an hour.” 

What happens, Evdos added, is that staff members realize they can work a job at Lowe’s Home Improvement or McDonald’s for an easier job that will get them more money. In fact, according to a study from New York Disability Advocates, 39.2 percent of agencies reported that they were unable to open programs due to staffing shortages. Agencies also reported a 93.16 decrease in job applications. 

Fertal stated in the above letter that East End Disability Services had two group homes in the developmental phase that were ready to provide a lifetime home for 12 individuals living with their families. But while the homes were ready for occupancy, the agency could not operate the homes due to an insufficient amount of staff.

This shortage could be exacerbated if the state mandates that workers within this industry must be vaccinated. Currently there is no requirement, but 10 employees told Evdos that if they were required to be vaccinated to continue their employment at the agency, they would resign. 

“Our staff are working 24/7 and they’re burning out,” Evdos said. “That’s a problem.” 

Agencies such as Rise Life could also lose money whenever an individual spends the night away from the group home at say, their parents’ house, or if the individual has to go to the hospital. 

“What happens sometimes is, some of our individuals need hospitalization and care, and even though we have the staff, and the expense there, they take the money away from us,” Evdos said. “When you look at our budget, 80 percent of our budget goes to salaries. So there’s not much room for cost savings. You have to pay rent, you have to pay insurance, you have to pay whatever. It’s a problem.” 

There is no room for cuts when direct care workers are dealing with people’s lives, Evdos said. These employees are required to meet certain criteria and to be trained to work with individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities. But their pay does not reflect the work they do. 

“The state needs to come to the plate,” Evdos said. 

State Sen. John Mannion, the chair of the Senate Standing Committee on Disabilities, did lead a public hearing on Sept. 14 in Albany to evaluate the current workforce challenges within the system that supports New Yorkers who have intellectual and developmental disabilities. 

“This hearing is significant action,” Mannion said during the hearing introduction. “It is a manifestation of a very real crisis that is taking place in communities in New York. There are simply not enough caring and compassionate New Yorkers who are pursuing employment working with the disabled.” 

Low pay is clearly one of the factors behind this workforce shortage, Mannion said. But low pay is not the only reason, as the state needs to fund the recruitment of more clinical staff, such as nurses and mental health professionals. 

“We need to work with community colleges,” Mannion said. “We need to fund tuition credits and mentorships. We need to have a strategy that brings together job seekers with these challenging but rewarding and fulfilling positions.” 

Currently, predominantly women of color, make up most of the workforce in disability care across the state, Mannion said. At Rise Life, Evdos said, more than half of the employees are Black or Hispanic.

“They talk about fair wages and helping the minorities, and they’re not helping the minorities,” Evdos said. “Living on Long Island is very expensive. A lot of our employees work three or four jobs just to make ends meet.” 

To address the crisis, Mannion said, the committee has rejected the cuts proposed in the budget and also secured the first COLA in over a decade. 

“This is long overdue,” Mannion said. “No employee anywhere should go without a raise and people who provide this service certainly deserve one. Our front-line healthcare heroes, particularly those who we entrust with our vulnerable, deserve to be valued. They deserve better pay.” 

But these victories are not enough, Mannion added, as they must serve as a launch pad for additional increase in salary for direct support professionals. 

The state did just receive $700 million from the federal government, with $550 million of those monies allocated towards this workforce shortage. “It will provide for things like longevity bonuses and hazard pay,” Mannion said. 

During the hearing, he called on the state to match the federal investment and include $500 million in the next budget to “begin moving the needle on this crisis.”

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Enormous, Elaborately Elegant Oyster Bay Cove Estate Asks $3.4M

oyster bay cove

A grand, colonial mansion on an expansive, 2.5-acre estate is listed for sale at 16 Forest Ct. in Oyster Bay Cove.

This enormous property has loads of luxurious amenities, including an inground swimming pool and pool house, a wine cellar, tennis and basketball courts, a 3-hole putting green and range, and a large outdoor seating area with an outdoor fireplace.

Built in 1888, the home itself is elaborately elegant with many classic architectural details inside and out. The first floor boasts an entry foyer with a grand staircase, a sun-drenched, formal living room with a fireplace, a formal dining room with a fireplace and large windows, and a gourmet, eat-in kitchen with doors that lead to a private backyard patio.

The house has a total of five bedrooms, five full bathrooms, and two half bathrooms. The second floor hosts the master suite, two additional bedrooms, and laundry room. On the third floor, there is another bedroom, full bathroom, and den/office. The full, finished basement houses the den/playroom and the wine cellar.

The home is nestled in a gated community, the Tall Oaks development, surrounded by well-kept landscaping. It is located in the Cold Spring Harbor School District.

The asking price is $3,499,000, not including the annual property tax of $43,616.

The real estate agents listed for the property are Angela Dooley and Nicholas Colombos, of Compass Greater NY LLC, who can be reached at 516-517-4751.

For more real estate news, visit longislandpress.com/category/real-estate.

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Westbury Arts Savors Long Island Food And Wines

westbury
Diane Cavallaro and Westbury Mayor Peter Cavallaro. (Photo by Ed Shin)

Nearly 100 people enjoyed local wines and good food at “A Taste of Long Island,” a fundraiser held at the Maria SS Dell Assunta Society benefitting Westbury Arts.

A committee of Westbury Arts members planned the menu for the evening. “We tried to resource as much locally as possible,” says committee member Maureen Baranov.

Then Sia Zarisfi, buyer and market manager for Total Wines, selected the wines that would pair well with their choices. At the tasting, Zarisfi provided information about the wines that could be appreciated by neophytes and sophisticated wine drinkers alike.

In the kitchen that night prepping the food were Baranov and Anne and Chuck Albano, and Edith Joseph helped out earlier with advance-prep. A cadre of students from Westbury High School — all members of the Naval ROTC class there — served the food. Ninth grader Sebastian Bonilla loved the experience and looks forward to getting a ribbon for volunteering. Wine pourers Gloria Rosenau and Judy Stone went from table to table throughout the night. The tables were decorated with flowering plants donated by Hicks Nurseries.

“This event brings together many elements of the community,” says board member Stan Turetsky, a long-time Westbury resident and Westbury Arts board member. Sara and Brendan Conlon, who moved to the community just three months ago, said they were eager to be more involved in the community. Sara was immediately recruited for the Westbury Volunteer Corps.

Nyrekia White, a Westbury resident since 2004, was happy to support Westbury Arts for what it has provided for her 13-year-old daughter Joslyn, who attended the program’s art camp for four years. “It’s important that she has a safe space to express herself,” says Nyrekia.

Westbury Arts president Julie Lyon says the event exceed their fundraising goals. “We are so delighted with all the support this wonderful community provides.”

Westbury Arts is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that delivers arts and cultural programs that connect, educate, and inspire our community. 

Westbury Arts President Julie Lyon. (Photo by Ed Shin)
Anne Albano and Chuck Albano. (Photo by Ed Shin)
Honorable Thomas Liotti and Wendy Liotti. (Photo by Ed Shin)
Wine Sommelier Sia Zarisfi. (Photo by Ed Shin)
Chuck Albano and Anne Albano prepping food for the event. (Photo by Ed Shin)
Students from the Naval ROTC Class from Westbury High School volunteered to serve food. (Photo by Ed Shin)
Bill Lorusso. (Photo by Ed Shin)
Tom Cabrera. (Photo by Ed Shin)
Rosalba Henao, Adriana Devers, Nyrekia White, Johanna Warner, Keith Hernandez, Denise Brantley, and Reginald Brantley. (Photo by Ed Shin)
Glen Ullo and Lina Ullo. (Photo by Ed Shin)
Connie Ambrosio-Locascio, Lyn Dobrin, and Jael Ferguson. (Photo by Ed Shin)
Beaumont Jefferson and Lynne Poole. (Photo by Ed Shin)
Butternut squash soup. (Photo by Ed Shin)
Roasted vegetables in olive oil and Focaccia. (Photo by Ed Shin)
Duck breast with Cherry Reduction. (Photo by Ed Shin)

For more scene & seen event photos visit longislandpress.com/category/scene-seen.

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Catholic Health Good Samaritan Hospital Geriatric Fracture Program Achieves Recertification at the Highest Level

Good Samaritan Hospital, a member of Catholic Health, was awarded recertification of the Geriatric Fracture Care program by The International Geriatric Fracture Society (IGFS).

In achieving this recognition, the program has been recertified at the highest level available, Premier Level status, through the IGFS CORE Certification Program. The program joins a small number of leading fracture care programs in the United States that have achieved recertification through this designation. 

The CORE Certification Program is a global quality improvement initiative designed to recognize the achievements of programs that exceed outcome benchmarks in the management of geriatric fractures. In receiving this recognition, the hospital’s team of dedicated professionals have illustrated their ability to achieve sustained outcomes that outperform the clinical quality and performance improvement benchmarks, as identified by the IGFS, over the past two years.

The implementation of focused clinical practice guidelines and the commitment to implement processes to monitor compliance with those guidelines and linkage to quality care has been quite successful,” said Daniel Mendelson, M.D., president of the IGFS from Highland Hospital in Rochester. “It illustrates one of our core principles of engaging a multidisciplinary team to drive improved outcomes for this patient population.”

“Good Samaritan’s commitment to its patients has remained steadfast, even during the pandemic,” said President Ruth E. Hennessey. “We have focused on patient experience and developing better access to our clinical services, including post-op visits directly to skilled nursing facilities for better overall coordination of care. Our ‘No Place Like Home’ program has enabled more patients to discharge home with a coordinated program to track their progress, which was critically important during the pandemic.”

-Catholic Health Good Samaritan Hospital

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OpEd: Infrastructure Bill to Give Transit a Historic, Transformative Boost

infrastructure bill
“Now it’s time to look to the future of mass transit," says MTA Acting Chair and CEO Janno Lieber. (Marc A. Hermann/MTA)

By Janno Lieber, Acting MTA Chair and CEO

With the latest infrastructure bill now under debate in Washington, D.C., we have a once-in-a-generation chance to invest in the future of mass transit. This vital legislation, championed by President Joe Biden, will help to improve the lives of millions of people, not just in the metropolitan region but also across the country. 

The $1.2 trillion plan includes $550 billion for public transit, bridges, and highways, with more than $10 billion potentially headed for the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA). The money would give our historic 2020-2024 Capital Program a major boost on top of the $15 billion in capital funding congestion pricing is expected to generate. Until then, we need every penny we can get from the federal government to support our ambitious plans to revitalize the MTA. 

Money from the infrastructure bill is different than the hard-fought $14 billion in federal Covid-19 relief funds that Congress allocated to help the MTA keep the lights on and the trains running after the pandemic devastated our finances. Instead, the infrastructure funds would be used for just that: long-term improvements and modernization projects for the subway, bus, and commuter rail systems.

Delaying action on the bill could jeopardize long-planned upgrades that would create new jobs and advance climate goals, like zero-emissions buses, new signals on six subway lines, and accessibility projects at dozens of stations – not to mention transformative mega projects like Second Avenue Subway Phase 2 and Metro North Penn Station Access.  

These upgrades are only becoming more important as customers return to the system. Already, we’re back to regularly serving more than 3 million riders a day on just the subways, and more than 5 million including buses and the commuter railroads. The best incentive we can offer additional riders to come back and drive these numbers even higher is a seamless and modern travel experience, which requires real investment on the federal level. 

Led by U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, our partners in Washington have already done so much to keep mass transit alive during the pandemic. But now it’s time to look to the future of mass transit and its short-term and long-term importance to the region’s revival and survival. By passing the infrastructure bill, Congress could give the MTA’s indispensable system new momentum as we carry millions back to work, school, entertainment venues, and everything else that New York has to offer.

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10 Most Unique Gift Shops on Long Island

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10 Most Unique Gift Shops on Long Island

Charles Krypell Fine Jewelry
25 Northern Blvd., Greenvale
Jewelry — Seventy percent of the store’s stock is Charles’ designs, while the rest are other jewelry brands of his choosing.

Di Angela Leather
140 Main St., Greenport
Leather goods — Whether it’s handbags, jewelry, shoes, jackets, accessories or briefcases that are sought, if it’s made of leather, this shop has it.

Dolphin Bookshop
299 Main St., Port Washington
Books — This independently owned bookstore’s shelves are filled with the gift of knowledge, plus it hosts book signings, for those looking to get their book personalized before wrapping it.

Hitch
37 E Main St., Babylon
Personal and home accessories — Launched as a mobile shop operating out of a camper at live events, this unique store debuted its fixed location supporting more than 70 local artisans to offer an array of unique handmade goods.

Land of Oohs & Oz
155 Main St., Farmingdale
Toys — In addition to an array of toys new and retro, this shop also is well stocked in comic books, models, collectibles, and antiques.

Paper Doll Vintage Boutique
23 Main St., Sayville
Women’s attire — This one-of-a-kind vintage boutique and curiosity shoppe specializes in unique finds. It also offers vintage and retro mystery boxes, for those who like a surprise.

St. James General Store
516 Moriches Rd., St. James
General — In keeping with its history, the store preserves the experience of shopping in an 1800s general store, upgraded to offer modern patrons an expertly curated selection of fine gifts, books, toys, food, and confections.

The Giftologist
37 S. Park Ave., Rockville Centre
Home and personal accessories — This shop has the art of gift giving down to a science, with its ecletic collection of accessories, clothing, personalized engraving and more.

Willis Hobbies
300 Willis Ave., Mineola
Hobby — This sprawling hobby shop boasts an expansive selection of fun, including radio-controlled cars, boats, and aircraft, model trains, slot cars, rockets, drones, and more.

Willy Nilly Trading Company
153 W. Main St., Bay Shore
Personal and home accessories — From hard-to-find items to popular merchandise, this inviting shop caters to eclectic tastes with its ever-changing selection.

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The Long Island Holiday Gift Guide 2021

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Not sure what to get your special friend, colleague or loved one? Give the gift that keeps on giving this season by shopping locally!

When you shop local, you’re making a positive difference by helping small businesses and entrepreneurs thrive and thus the community at large. A lot of heart goes into locally made products, too, which makes gifting these items that much more special.

Need suggestions? We got you covered.

Nuna Knits

Warm up this holiday season with Nuna Knits. Farm meets fashion with the manufacturing of responsibly harvested and local yarns and products including knitted socks and garments. Specialty items include felted soaps. 50 East Main Street, Riverhead. nunaknits.com $28-$300.

Hamptons Hand Poured

What’s better than a home that smells like your favorite place on Long Island? Hamptons Handpoured creates hand-poured soy candles. Each candle is inspired by a different village on the East End. hamptonshandpoured.com

Miss Amy’s Preserves


Fresh fruit preserves and honey made from local bee pollen is supposed to reduce your allergy symptoms and you can get it here, along with fresh fruit preserves, tapenades, mustard, and hot pepper spread, among homemade delights. Blue Point, missamy.com. $8-$28

Divine Self Rituals


The team at Divine Self Rituals creates homemade products using ingredients that draw on herbalism and holistic alternative practices that mitigate allergies. Divine Self Rituals, 145 Maple Ave., Rockville Centre, divineselfrituals.com $5-$60.

Christina’s World

It’s always fun to get a Christmas ornament as a gift, but spicing up the idea is Christina’s World, which locally makes beautiful glass ornaments, such as unique limited edition Santas in Christina’s line, like the Fur Hat Santa, trimmed with real maribu, the Button Santa, from a forties button cover, and Windswept Santa, from a Russian paper mache ornament. 890 Lincoln Avenue Bohemia, christinasworld.com/wp/ $6.50-$85.

Barrier Brewing Co.


Shopping for a craft beer snob? The folks at Barrier Brewing Co. consistently wow even the most discerning of beer drinkers with their creative concoctions, which are frequently rotated. They also offer plenty of swag to choose from. 3001 New St a2, Oceanside, barrierbrewing.com $2-$40.

Long Island Wine

From Bedell Cellars to Wölffer Estate, there are dozens of local vineyards offering an impressively lengthy list of vintages and vino varieties. Show your love by driving out east for a bottle or case, or just head over to your local wine shop and make like you drove hours for the perfect gift. liwines.com Prices vary.

Dog Treats

Don’t forget your four-legged friend! Barkfield Road has homemade dog treats and toys to put in your pup’s stocking this season. 3 Hewitt Sq., East Northport. barkfieldroad.com Prices vary.

Cozy Cocoon Swaddle

Not sure what to get that person on your list with a new bundle of joy? Try handmade swaddle blankets and wraps for newborns in sweet styles such as “Baby Bee,” “Baby Business” and “Big-Shot Baby.” 2475 Charles Ct., North Bellmore. cozycocoon.com $24.95-$49.95.

Charles Krypell Fine Jewelry

The Krypell team’s hands-on experience behind the scenes of their 45-year-old jewelry design and manufacturing firm has allowed them to fine-tune their message, product mix, and customer interaction to a level not attainable by the traditional jewelry store startup. 25 Northern Blvd, Greenvale, charleskrypell.com $75-$1 million.

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Long Island Home Builders Care Donates Playhouse to NIS

long island homebuilders
Maureen Rockwood (NIS), Jay Silverstein (NISCDD), Rabab Zia (H2M), Salmah Nashurdeem (H2M), Steve Pfenning (84 Lumber), Mark Steininger (84 Lumber), Clark Mason (Alside), Keith McNamara (Alside), Susan Cali (NIS). (Courtesy NIS)

On Nov. 10, the New Interdisciplinary School (NIS) in Yaphank held a ribbon cutting to celebrate the new playhouse that was delivered to its school last month.

Long Island Home Builders Care, Inc. worked with a team of professionals to have this custom-made playhouse designed and built for the New Interdisciplinary School. The house was revealed at the Long Island Builders Home, Trade & Remodeling Expo on Oct. 21 at the Hyatt Regency in Hauppauge.

Keith McNamara and Melissa Lisena from Alside, Steven Pfennig and Mark Steininger from 84 Lumber, and Rabab Zia and Salmah Nashurdeen with H2M Architects + Engineers were part of the committee that worked on this house, alongside NIS staff members, Maureen Rockwood, the director of education, curriculum and instruction, and Susan Cali, director of development and administration. Lois Fricke and the staff at Long Island Home Builders Care, Inc. had this house, as well as those going to other recipients, in part of their efforts and dedication to ensuring no child is left out due to a disability.

“We are very grateful for the creativity, dedication, and hard work that went into building this playhouse for NIS,” Cali said. “The team was able to tailor the house to meet the specific needs of our student population, and added their creative touches and expertise into making it a complete masterpiece. The Covid-19 pandemic created an unforeseen obstacle in their ability to remain on their original schedule, but they worked together despite the hurdle and were able to see the fruits of their labor come to fruition.”

NIS, a preschool serving nearly 400 students, more than half of them with special needs, is a nonprofit early childhood learning center that relies on the generosity of its donors to enhance all of the programs and services it provides to its students and their families. The school’s commitment is to provide therapeutic and educational services in a nurturing environment with the highest standard of expertise. When approached by Lois Fricke of Long Island Home Builders Care regarding their interest in having a playhouse built for their students, they jumped at the opportunity. The house far surpassed their expectations.

“Our students with and without special needs will be engaged and entertained while fine tuning their fine motor skills with Legos and puzzles, receiving sensory input and building tactile awareness with the textured mini mats, and enhancing their social and language development through imaginative play,” Cali said. “Melissa Lisena, the talented mural artist, tried to match the style of our donated sensory hallway in her artwork and there was even thought put behind the window selection, which creates rainbows when the sun shines through it. No stone was left unturned.”

For more information on NIS, please follow them on social media, visit their webpage at www.niskids.org or contact Susan Cali, Director of Development, at 631-924-5583, ext. 128 or via email at SusanC2@niskids.org.

For more scene & seen event photos visit longislandpress.com/category/scene-seen.

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Long Island Nets Return to Nassau Coliseum for Opening Week

long island nets

The Long Island Nets return to Nassau Coliseum for the first time since 2020 on Wednesday, Nov. 10 and Friday, Nov. 12. The Nets, the NBA G League affiliate of the Brooklyn Nets, will play against the Capital City Go-Go for the team’s first two home games of the season. 

The Nets will dedicate Wednesday’s game to Long Island’s frontline workers who helped lead the community through the early days of the pandemic and have continued to serve. This includes doctors, nurses, first responders, and other essential workers. Throughout the evening, the Nets will distribute authentic signed team jerseys in an on-court presentation to thank the local heroes.

“The Long Island Nets are proud to return to the Coliseum by honoring Long Island’s frontline workers,” said Alton Byrd, vice president of Growth Properties at BSE Global, parent company of the Long Island Nets. “These individuals are the embodiment of selflessness, and we applaud their dedication and service that has enabled the return of Long Island basketball.” 

Some of the frontline workers who will be honored are: 

Layla Qaabidh, a triage nurse at NewYork-Presbyterian Lawrence Hospital, who worked in the facility’s emergency department.

Dr. Selena Gilles, associate dean at New York University Rory Meyers College of Nursing, who administered vaccinations to vulnerable communities in the spring. 

Jose Perpignan Jr., a New York City travel nurse who distributed personal protective equipment (PPE), offered grocery shopping and pharmacy pick-up for community members, while also working 12-hour nursing shifts. In April 2020, he also led a virtual town hall to demand healthcare access for underserved communities and PPE for healthcare workers.

At Friday’s game, the first 2,000 fans to arrive will receive a limited-edition Julius “Dr. J” Erving as Marvel’s Black Panther bobblehead.

Doors for both games open at 6 p.m. and both games start at 7 p.m. Fans are encouraged to wear blue to commemorate the LI Nets’ return to the Coliseum. Ten attendees of Wednesday and Friday’s games will be randomly selected to receive signed LI Nets apparel. Plus, at each game the first 200 children to visit the North End Zone during halftime will receive assorted LI Nets merchandise and an autograph and photo with the team’s mascot, Dale the Eagle.  

Individual tickets for the 2021-22 NBA G League season are on sale now and can be purchased online at longislandnets.com and Ticketmaster.com.

Fans who are unable to attend LI Nets Opening Week at Nassau Coliseum can watch Wednesday’s game on ESPN+. Friday’s game will air on the YES Network app and online at NBAGLeague.com.