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What is The Best Greek Restaurant on Long Island?

Greek cuisine is so much more than gyros, olives and feta, but when the craving strikes, what is the best Greek restaurant on Long Island?

Long Islanders voted Athenian the Greek Taverna the Best Greek Restaurant on Long Island in the 2021 Bethpage Best of Long Island contest!

If you’re looking for a Greek meal cooked “Yiayia’s way,” (grandma’s way) — look no further than Athenian Greek Taverna. As one of Commack’s premier restaurants, Athenian is the place to find the most delectable traditional Greek fare, whether it’s for lunch, dinner or catering.

Since Athenian’s opening, Greek-American brothers John and Chef Alex Homenides have offered guests a chance to taste time-tested family recipes, using fresh and authentic ingredients delivered daily. Their menu has a variety of options for you to pick and choose from, including sandwiches and gyros, a kebab corner for flame roasted and skewered meats, a fillet bar stacked with fish options, and much more.

They also have Yiayia’s classics, of course, with options like fresh eggplant dish and spanakopita (traditional Greek spinach pie). When you go Greek, go here!

Athenian Greek Taverna is located at 2188 Jericho Tpke. in Commack. It can be reached at 631-499-7660 or atheniangreektaverna.com

To find all the other 2021 Bethpage Best of Long Island contest winners, visit bestoflongisland.com Voting has now ended in the 2022 Bethpage Best of Long Island contest and winners will be announced soon. Nominate your favorite businesses and people in the 2023 contest through Aug. 15.

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

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How to Make Your New Year’s Resolutions Last Past January

resolutions
Getty Images

By Bernadette Starzee

Most New Year’s resolutions center around health, with people vowing to eat healthier foods, lose weight, increase activity, or quit smoking once the Times Square Ball drops. But by the second week of February, 80 percent of New Year’s resolutions have gone by the wayside. We asked fitness, nutrition, and mental health experts for tips on how to make resolutions stick. 

Set small, realistic goals and celebrate small wins  

Rather than saying you want to lose 50 pounds or run a marathon, break your goals down into specific, short-term steps, said Marianne Barfield, a Long Island-based national coach for WW (formerly Weight Watchers), which guides customers to be more aware of their food choices and empowers them to choose healthier options. 

“When your goal encompasses smaller steps with a shorter time frame to the reward, you’re more likely to stick to it,” she said. “You can bring all those steps together to create habits, and the powerful thing about habits is that once they’re established, they’re likely to continue even after motivation, interest and rewards have been reduced.”

Northport resident and former New York Daily News Golden Gloves Champion Alexander Garcia is a personal coach who founded AGT, which uses boxing-inspired training techniques to help people become the strongest version of themselves. Garcia also advises clients to take small steps and stick to them. 

“Start by making a decision to train for 20 or 30 minutes a day, or every other day,” he said. “Or if you want to cut out sugar, commit to reducing portions or changing your sugar source to a healthier, less caloric option.”

And be sure to celebrate the small victories. 

“If you didn’t feel like going to the gym, but you did, that’s a win,” Garcia said. “If you wanted to have a cookie, but you didn’t, that’s a win. Focus on the small wins and they start adding up. It’s not just about the destination: Enjoy the journey.”

Make a commitment and believe you can do it 

Life shouldn’t be about restrictions or deprivation, according to Barfield, who advised, “Think of what can be added to your life by creating healthier habits.” 

Once you establish your goals, “the biggest piece of advice I can give is to make a decision that you will get it done at all costs, even if it means you have to sacrifice the habits you currently have,” Garcia said. “It’s 100% possible; the biggest problem I see is a lack of commitment and failure to believe it can actually happen.”

That’s where coaches like Garcia come in — to help people get into and stay in the right mindset to hold themselves accountable.

“I tell my clients that staying on the couch and eating fast food may be things you feel like doing, but it’s not good for you,” he said. “Don’t stay in your comfort zone; chase what’s not in your comfort zone, but in a healthy and safe way. When you leave your comfort zone, that’s when growth happens.”

It’s important to not think of it as a diet, but as a lifestyle change; there’s no beginning and end. 

“You have to make a decision every day to be a better you than you were yesterday, and that you’re going to leave your old habits behind to be the best self you can be,” he said. “Look at what you’re eating and think, ‘Is it helping me to get closer to where I want to go?’” 

Set yourself up for success 

If you’re starting on New Year’s Day, prepare in advance to get off to a good start, such as shopping for healthy food, having healthy food prepared and readily available, and getting items like potato chips and cookies out of your pantry. People who want to stop smoking can prepare for a couple of weeks in advance by adjusting some habits.  

“For instance, if you always smoke in the car or when you are drinking coffee, try not smoking in the car or with coffee for two weeks to break those associations,” said Patricia Folan, R.N., director of the clinical program at the Northwell Health Center for Tobacco Control in Great Neck. 

“It will make it easier on the day that you do quit, because you won’t have those triggers. Also, change your brand of cigarettes for the two weeks to something you don’t like as much, so the association won’t be as pleasant (don’t switch to menthol, though, which may be more difficult to quit).” The Center for Tobacco Control provides medications including nicotine patches, gum, and lozenges, which control withdrawal symptoms while people are in the process of quitting.  

Be patient and forgiving of yourself 

It’s important to stay committed and to hold yourself accountable, but you must also be gentle with yourself when you slip up, said Lisa Langer, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist and consultant in meditation and mindfulness at the Katz Institute for Women’s Health/Center for Wellness and Integrative Medicine in Roslyn and author of the book Deeper into Mindfulness.

“It takes three weeks to change a habit and two to three months for it to become automatic,” Langer said. “Stay conscious of your goals, but be compassionate and patient with yourself when you fall. It’s so easy to get angry when we’re struggling to change a habit, but instead of throwing the baby out with the bath water, get back on it tomorrow without being so self-critical.” 

Get support

Having the support of professionals and peers can help you stay on track. Organizations like WW and the Center for Tobacco Control provide evidence-based programs that include support groups to help people change bad habits and stay the course over time. In addition, Langer said, apps like MyPlate Calorie Counter by LiveStrong, MyFitnessPal, and WW, which allow people to log meals and exercise, “help you stay conscious of your goals and can help keep you on track.”  

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NY Islanders Team Up With Guide Dog Foundation to Raise Third Puppy, Monte

guide dog foundation
Monte is a black Labrador retriever that the New York Islanders are sponsoring to become a guide dog. (Courtesy @nyislespup on Instagram)

By Sheyla Torres 

The New York Islanders Hockey Club will be raising their third dog for the Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind, Inc. Puppy with a Purpose program. The foundation trains puppies to become guides and service dogs to those who need them. 

This year’s puppy is Monte, a black Labrador retriever that the team presented in their Pucks and Paws Calendar this season. In past years, the Islanders have also raised a puppy named Radar and another named Tori, both names inspired by past Islanders leaders. Both puppies have undergone training and have become guide dogs. 

Back in 2018, the Islanders announced that Radar would be their sponsored pup. After his training, Radar was placed as a guide dog for blind Paralympian swimmer Anastasia Pagonis. The following year the Islanders raised Tori, who was placed with Chris Roberto, a retired U.S. Navy Veteran and New York City Fire Department Lieutenant. 

Fans voted to name the puppy Monte, which pays tribute to the Islander’s new home, the UBS Arena. The new arena is in Belmont Park, which has been the Islanders’ new home since November. 

The Islanders have also dedicated the profits from their fifth Pucks and Paws Calendar to the Guide Dog Foundation; the calendar is supported by Canidae pet food. Calendars are sold online and at the Islanders’ Pro Shop at the UBS Arena. 

Much of the support the Foundation receives on Long Island comes from its partnership with the Islanders. Last year (2021) was the 75th anniversary of the Guide Dog Foundation, which continues to work hard to provide assistance dogs to those who need them, at no cost. According to the Guide Dog Foundation’s official website, the cost to train and place dogs as assistance dogs is $50,000.

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New York Redistricting Enters Home Stretch

new york redistricting

As 2021 ends, New York State’s Independent State Redistricting Commission (IRC) has scheduled a Jan. 3 meeting for a possible vote to send the final state election districts map proposal and reports to the legislature. The final deadline for the Commission to adopt its initial plans is Jan. 15.

The map will affect fair and equal political representation for New Yorkers in the next decade. The stakes are high: the new congressional and state legislative district boundaries will be in place for elections next year and through the decade.

Local jurisdictions will be undertaking a similar line drawing for the 2023 elections. And work to avert New York losing another congressional district in the 2030 Census will need to start in earnest.

This year’s congressional and state legislative redistricting process is governed by a New York State constitutional amendment enacted in 2014.  To make redistricting somewhat more independent of the state legislature, the amendment created the IRC and set out objective criteria. Those criteria include equality of population, fair minority districts, compact and contiguous districts, and “communities of interest” considerations.

Since the summer, the IRC, a ten-member board appointed mostly by state legislative leaders, has held hearings throughout the state seeking public input on how to draw new congressional and state lines.

If the IRC agrees on its plans, they go to the State Legislature. If the State Legislature votes to accept them and the Governor approves, the lines are set. If, however, the Legislature rejects the IRC maps, the Commission has until late February to give the Legislature a new set of plans.   The State Legislature also could take up its own redistricting if the IRC sends it no plans or if the Legislature rejects both first and second-round IRC maps.

The Democratic and Republican commission members released separate statements late on December 23 indicating that they were unlikely to agree on congressional or state legislative maps, making it more likely that the Legislature will draw its own maps unless the IRC can agree before its deadlines.

Timing is important. Candidate petitioning for the Spring 2022 primary is expected to get underway around March 1. New district lines need to be finalized before petitioning gets underway.

Meanwhile, as new congressional and state legislative lines are set in place, New York City and most counties, cities, and towns with local legislatures will also have to redraw their districts for the 2023 elections.

In New York City, Mayor-elect Eric Adams, Speaker-designate Adrienne Adams, and Minority Leader-designate Joe Borelli will appoint a 15-member City Council redistricting commission that is tasked with redrawing Council district lines by December 2022.

Even though New York State gained more in population between 2010 and 2020 (adding more than 800,000 persons) its gains were edged out by other states’ census counts. As a result, New York lost one congressional district.

New population estimates from the Census Bureau reveal a potentially more negative recent trend: between July 2020 and July 2021 New York State’s population dropped by 1.5% (or by more than 350,000 persons). New York has a major challenge ahead to make sure every resident is counted in the 2030 Census. Planning for a full and fair count must start now.

Jeffrey M. Wice is an Adjunct Professor/Senior Fellow at New York Law School and an expert on redistricting.

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Leo Liebowitz, Getty Realty Corp. Co-founder, Dies at 94

getty realty
Former Getty Realty Co. Chairman and Co-Founder Leo Liebowitz and George H.W. Bush. (Courtesy Rob Liebowitz)

By Sheyla Torres 

Former Chairman and Co-founder of Getty Realty Corp. Leo Liebowitz died on Dec. 12 at the age of 94 from complications of Covid-19. He was born in Bay Ridge Brooklyn on Sept. 28, 1927.

Liebowitz began his work career as a mechanic for the City of New York. He later moved on to leasing gas stations and by 1985 had purchased many of Getty Oil Company’s holdings.

Liebowitz was the co-founder of the company which started off with a few portfolio listings and has grown over time. Now the company has more than 1,000 properties which they either own or lease. Getty Realty Corp. specializes in the acquisition, ownership, leasing, financing, and redevelopment of nonresidential properties. 

In February he announced his retirement, after 60 years of developing Getty Realty Corp. He was the company’s chief executive officer from 1985 until 2010. He was also its president, from 1971 until 2004.

Liebowitz was also president of the Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers of America from 1995 to 1997. He won the organization’s Distinguished Marketer Award in 2000. The award is given to members who contribute to the betterment of the petroleum industry.

In 2000 he was also awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor which is given to commemorate those who immigrated to the United States during the Ellis Island era. He was also on the regional advisory board of Chemical bank, now JP Morgan Chase.

In his personal life, he was a boatsman. and his love of being on the water developed into a lifelong pastime, which he shared with his family and beloved dogs.

Liebowitz is survived by his wife, his brother, six children, 18 grandchildren, and 15 great-grandchildren.

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Long Island Press Seeking Interns for 2022

The Long Island Press is seeking interns to work in the editorial department of the region’s premier news and lifestyle publication covering Nassau and Suffolk counties.

The Press, which has a history dating back two centuries, has earned hundreds of honors from local, New York State, and national journalism organizations for its editorial excellence.

The Press is owned by Bayside-based Schneps Media, one of the largest local news chains in New York State with more than 70 newspapers and websites across LI, New York City, Westchester, and Philadelphia. Sister publications include the Queens Courier, The Brooklyn Paper, The Bronx Times, and many more.

Interns at the Press will get hands-on newsroom experience working with seasoned professionals. They will research, report, and write news and feature stories to be published in the monthly print edition as well as on the daily website. Prior Press interns have gone on to write for The New York Daily News, Newsday, and The New York Times.

Spring internships are available from late January through April, summer internships run from May to August, and fall internships are open September to December. Applicants should be college students majoring in English, journalism, or communications. Experience writing for a school newspaper is encouraged, but not required.

Applicants can email their resume, cover letter, and writing samples to Editor-In-Chief Timothy Bolger at tbolger@longislandpress.com

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2023 Best of Long Island Contest Nominations Now Being Accepted

Those looking to nominate their favorite local businesses and people in the coveted 2023 Bethpage Best of Long Island contest need to submit nominees by August 31.

The competition is fierce, as evident by the tens of thousands of nominations made in last year’s contest. Nominations are made by visiting bestof.longislandpress.com, clicking the “Nominate Now” button and entering the name and contact information for the local business or person you want to enter into the contest.

Once the nomination period closes, the top nominees will be advanced to the official ballot. The voting period runs from Oct. 1 through Dec. 15. Each of the dozens of categories will have one local winner and, where applicable, one national winner. The winners of the 2022 contest will be announced early next year.

Sponsored by Bethpage Federal Credit Union, the 18th annual Bethpage Best of Long Island competition has grown into the largest business awards program in the history of LI.

The contest offers participants a chance to nominate and vote on businesses in dozens of subcategories within each category, ranging from restaurants to automotive and everything in between.

Good luck!

To find all the other Bethpage Best of Long Island contest winners, visit bestoflongisland.com 

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

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Top 21 Long Island News Stories of 2021

Getty Images

LI ROLE IN CAPITOL RIOT

A mob of supporters of former U.S. President Donald Trump fight with members of law enforcement at a door they broke open as they storm the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, U.S., Jan. 6, 2021. REUTERS/Leah Millis/File Photo/File Photo

At least four people with Long Island ties have been accused of participating in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol that left five dead, including a police officer, while storming the building while Congress was voting to certify President Joe Biden’s electoral college win over former President Donald Trump.

LI DUO ACCUSED OF HELPING EPSTEIN

L: U.S. financier Jeffrey Epstein appears in a photograph taken for the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services’ sex offender registry March 28, 2017 and obtained by Reuters July 10, 2019. New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services/Handout via REUTERS. R: FILE PHOTO: Little St. James Island, one of the properties of financier Jeffrey Epstein, is seen in an aerial view near Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands July 21, 2019. REUTERS/Marco Bello

Two Long Islanders who are the executors of convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein’s $634 million estate used a New York-based immigration attorney while forcing marriages on some of the late financier’s alleged international sex trafficking ring victims, federal authorities alleged in February, calling the duo “indispensable captains” in the criminal enterprise.

RECREATIONAL POT LEGALIZED

recreational marijuana
An employee holds a jar of marijuana on sale at the Greenstone Provisions after it became legal in the state to sell recreational marijuana to customers over 21 years old in Ann Arbor, Michigan, U.S., December 3, 2019. Picture taken December 3, 2019. REUTERS/Matthew Hatcher

State lawmakers legalized in March the growing, consuming, and possession of recreational marijuana possession, but gave towns, villages, and cities until New Year’s Eve to opt out of allowing sales. More than 80% of Long Island localities opted out of allowing pot shops or cannabis cafes in their communities.

SINGAS TAPPED FOR NY’S TOP COURT

Singas
Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas. (Rashed Mian/Long Island Press)

In May, then-Gov. Andrew Cuomo nominated then-Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas to fill a vacancy on the New York State Court of Appeals. The state Senate confirmed her appointment in June.

LANDMARK OPIOID TRIAL opioid epidemic

June marked the start of a five-month-long trial in which Nassau and Suffolk counties and New York Attorney General Letitia James sued drug manufacturers, marking the first time governments’ claims over the nationwide opioid crisis have gone before a jury. Most defendants settled except Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, which a jury found liable.

WANTAGH OLYMPIAN BRINGS HOME SILVER

olympics
Jul 28, 2021; Tokyo, Japan; Andrew Capobianco and Michael Hixon (USA) pose with their silver medals after the men’s 3m springboard synchronized diving competition during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Summer Games at Tokyo Aquatics Centre. Mandatory Credit: Grace Hollars-USA TODAY Sports

A diver from Wantagh earned a silver medal in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics’ men’s 3-meter synchronized springboard event in July. Andrew Capobianco, 21, and his diving partner Michael Hixon, 27, placed second for Team USA behind China’s gold medalists Wang Zongyuan and Xie Siyi.

BARNEY THE BULL

barney the bull
Barney the Bull is headed to a farm in New Jersey to live out his days. Courtesy Suffolk SPCA.

Also in July, Barney the Bull captured Long Island’s attention when it was on the loose in the eastern Suffolk for two months before being captured in September.

CORRUPTION GONE WILD

Spota
File Photo: Ex-Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota

This year proved to be a banner year for public officials being arrested, convicted, sentenced, or censured for wrongdoing. Various Nassau and Suffolk police officers and NYPD cops from LI faced charges for dealing drugs, kickback schemes, and trying to hire a hitman. Numerous village court justices were sanctioned by the state for various misdeeds. And a former deputy Nassau executive and the ex-Suffolk DA were sentenced to federal prison, along with the latter’s former corruption bureau chief.

IDA FLOODS

flooding
Cars navigate a flooded highway, as local media reported the remnants of Tropical Storm Ida bringing drenching rain and the threat of flash floods and tornadoes to parts of the northern mid-Atlantic, in the Queens borough of New York City, U.S., September 2, 2021. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Tropical Depression Ida, the overnight storm that produced record inches of rainfall in parts of the North Shore, where about three inches of rain fell in a one-hour timeframe — and five inches total — in September.

CUOMO SCANDAL

justice department
A farewell speech by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is broadcast live on a screen in Times Square on his final day in office in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., August 23, 2021. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

Multiple LI ties emerged from the biggest story of the year in New York State: Disgraced ex-Gov. Andrew Cuomo resigning in September after being accused of sexually harassing 11 women. The former governor’s self-imposed exile from Albany has reportedly been spent living with a friend in the Hamptons. In addition, CNN fired his brother, former Cuomo Prime Time host and Southampton resident Chris Cuomo, after the State Attorney General’s office revealed documentation showing the broadcaster used his sources to help his brother counter news coverage of the scandal. The ex-governor is facing a charge in Albany court stemming from one accuser, but Nassau County prosecutors declined to press charges from another.

GABBY PETITO TRAGEDY

gabby petito
Gabby Petito and her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie. (YouTube)

Gabby Petito, a 22-year-old Blue Point native, set out on a cross-country trip with her fiance this summer, documenting the journey in what she called the start of their nomadic “van life” together — but was later found dead in Wyoming after her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, returned home to Florida without her. Petito’s death was ruled a homicide, Laundrie later died by suicide, and Gabby’s family launched a nonprofit in Gabby’s name to help families of other missing persons.

HEALTHCARE VAX MANDATE FIRINGS

second shot
A healthcare clinician prepares a dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine for Covid-19 for a commuter during the opening of MTA’s public vaccination program at the 179th Street subway station in the Queens borough of New York City, New York, U.S., May 12, 2021. (REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton)

Northwell Health terminated 1,400 staffers for failing to get the Covid-19 vaccine by the state-mandated deadline of Sept. 27, the state’s largest medical group confirmed. The terminations make up nearly 2% of the New Hyde Park-based nonprofit’s work force, which now stands at 76,000 employees across 23 hospitals across Long Island, New York City and Westchester. Few other LI hospitals disclosed how many they terminated.

ALEC BALDWIN SHOOTING

baldwin
Actor Alec Baldwin leaves court in the Manhattan, January 23, 2019. (REUTERS/Carlo Allegri)

Actor Alec Baldwin, a Massapequa native, fired a prop gun on a movie set in New Mexico in October, killing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and wounding director Joel Souza, authorities said. The incident occurred on the set of independent feature film Rust, and triggered a drive in Hollywood to stop using real guns on movie sets.

FETTY WAP DRUG RING BUST

Fetty Wap (L) performs with Fall Out Boy during the second night of the 2015 iHeartRadio Music Festival at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada September 19, 2015. REUTERS/Steve Marcus

Three Long Island men were among six suspects, including Grammy-nominated rapper Fetty Wap and a New Jersey corrections officer, arrested for allegedly trafficking more than 100 kilos of cocaine, heroin, fentanyl, and crack cocaine across Long Island and New Jersey, federal prosecutors said in October.

RED WAVE BRINGS POLITICAL SEA CHANGE

curran
Bruce Blakeman declares victory in the race for Nassau County Executive on Nov. 2, 2021. (Photo by Bruce Adler)

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran and Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy Sini— both first-term Democrats — vacated office on Dec. 31 to Republicans Bruce Blakeman and Ray Tierney, respectively following election defeats. Republican Anne Donnelly, a longtime county prosecutor, won the open race for Nassau District Attorney over State Sen. Todd Kaminsky (D-Long Beach). Adding to the drubbing was the fact that Republicans also flipped control of the Suffolk Legislature from Democratic hands for the first time in 16 years.

UBS ARENA DEBUTS

islanders owner
UBS Arena (Photo courtesy of the New York Islanders)

UBS Arena’s doors open to the NHL on Nov. 20, giving fans a first glimpse at the 18,000-seat, $1.1 billion venue that is strictly dedicated to the Islanders — something the franchise has not experienced since the opening of Nassau Coliseum 50 years ago.

UNPRECEDENTED TORNADOES 

tornadoes
Some Levittown residents’ homes were damages in the tornado. (Courtesy Laura Stone Cody via Facebook)

Six tornadoes touched down on Long Island on Nov. 13, the most ever recorded in one day, according to the National Weather Service. Tornadoes left a trail of destruction in North Bellport, from Hampton Bays to North Sea, from Woodmere to Levittown, East Islip to Oakdale, Shirley to Manorville, and Remsenburg to Westhampton. The most powerful was the Manorville tornado, which was confirmed as an EF1 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale that ranks tornado strength, with 110 mph winds, while the other five were ranked as an EF0, the weakest on the scale, with estimated 85 mph winds each.

FIMP FINALLY UNDERWAY

A dredge crew pumps sand onto a Fire Island Beach in 2013.

Workers finally started this month a long-stalled $1.7 billion federal project to mitigate storm damage from the South Fork to Fire Island, more than a half century after the idea was proposed. Officials recently applauded the start of the Fire Island Inlet to Montauk Point Project, known as FIMP for short, as crews prepared for the arrival of a dredge ship that will pump sand from the bottom of the ocean onto nearby beaches in the first of 11 contracts in the plan, which will also raise up to 4,400 structures.

NEW SCPD COMMISH

Suffolk County Police Commissioner Rodney Harrison reviews a crime scene on Ocean Parkway on Dc. 31, 2021. (SCPD photo)

Suffolk County lawmakers confirmed Dec. 21 that retiring NYPD Chief of Department Rodney Harrison will be the first Black commissioner of the Suffolk County Police Department. One of his first acts was to pledge to bring a fresh set of eyes to the unsolved Gilgo Beach serial murder case.

COVID-19 RESURGENCE

covid positivity
A man is tested for Covid-19 at a mobile testing unit, as pedestrians make their way in the sidewalk during the spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant in Manhattan, New York, U.S., December 8, 2021. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

Long Island, New York State, the nation and the world are once again seeing record numbers of coronavirus cases diagnosed each day as the pandemic regains steam with the new omicron variant, winter weather in which the virus thrives, and intimate holiday gatherings that help it spread. At least this time around, much of the population is vaccinated, so the hospitalization rate is not as high as earlier waves. But with experts forecasting a blizzard of cases nationwide, we’re not out of the woods yet.

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What is The Best Dessert Place on Long Island?

dessert
dessert

There’s always room for dessert. And thankfully, local restaurants have been very creative with their dessert menus. But what is the best dessert place on Long Island?

Long Islanders voted Front Street Bakery the Best Dessert Place on Long Island in the 2021 Bethpage Best of Long Island contest!

Red velvet, carrot, cheesecake “to die for” and a “fabulous Seven Layer Cake” are all mentioned in hundreds of customer reviews of this third-generation enterprise. The bake shop is housed elegantly behind a cement block facade with European cafe-style architecture.

A dentil with triangular pediment and pineapple finial, along with black and white striped awnings and green and gold-lettered signage make it seem authentic. Once inside you’ll want to see the Danish crumb cake and dot cookies – kids get a free one and you can order these in any color- everyone talks about.

Customers talk incessantly about these online and you won’t click around long to read about sensational cakes decorated with such finesse that they’re almost too pretty to eat but of course you will and and savor every bite.

Front Street Bakery is located at 51 Front St. in Rockville Centre. It can be reached at 516-766-1199 or frontstreetbakery.com

To find all the other 2021 Bethpage Best of Long Island contest winners, visit bestoflongisland.com Voting has now ended in the 2022 Bethpage Best of Long Island contest. Nominate your favorite businesses and people in the 2023 contest starting Jan. 1.

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

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AG James Asks Consumers to Report Price Gouging of At-home Covid Tests

at-home covid tests
A hand-written sign reading "No Covid Tests" is attached to the door of a pharmacy. (REUTERS/Brian Snyder)

By Nelson A. King

New York Attorney General Letitia James last week issued a consumer alert to New Yorkers concerning potential price gouging of over-the-counter Covid-19 testing products for at-home use, as well as other in-demand essential products.

The Dec. 21 alert came in light of a surge of COVID-19 cases due to the Omicron variant, which has resulted in the rise of New Yorkers seeking to use at-home testing kits before gathering with friends and loved ones for the holidays.

“As New York sees an exponential rise in COVID-19 cases, more and more New Yorkers are looking for at-home tests and other tools in the fight against the coronavirus,” said Attorney General James.

“If New Yorkers see exorbitant price increases on testing kits or other goods vital and necessary for health, safety and welfare, they are encouraged to report it my office immediately,” she added. “And fraudsters are on notice that if they attempt to price gouge during this new surge, we will not hesitate to take action.”

The Office of Attorney General (OAG) has received complaints of COVID-19 testing products being sold at double or triple its retail price.

James said a standard BinaxNOW brand test kit at a New York store, like Walgreens, costs about between $14 and $25 for a package of two tests.

“However, there has been alleged reports of the same products being unlawfully sold for more than $40 and up to $70 per package,” she said.

James said New York law prohibits merchants from taking unfair advantage of consumers by selling goods or services that are vital to their health, safety, or welfare for an “unconscionably excessive” price.

“An excessive price would be represented by a gross disparity between the price of the product immediately prior to and after such an occurrence,” she said, stating that, last year, a law was passed that substantially strengthened her ability to bring charges against individuals and entities violating New York state’s price gouging statute, as they sought to excessively increase prices on essential goods and services during pandemics or other emergencies.

James said the action is the latest in her efforts to protect consumers from fraudulent conducts and deceptive practices.

In addition to sending more than 1,900 cease and desist letters to merchants since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the OAG also stopped three third-party sellers that used Amazon to price gouge on hand sanitizers and disinfectants, and sued a major egg distributor for exorbitantly raising the price of eggs that resulted in James securing 1.2 million eggs to help feed needy New Yorkers.

James said her office continues to monitor entities across the state for deceptive practices and price gouging schemes.

Any New Yorker who is aware of or believes that they have been the victim of price gouging is encouraged to file a complaint online or call 800-771-7755.

This story first appeared on CaribbeanLife.com.

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