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Ex-Suffolk Police Chief James Burke Pleads Guilty To Beating Suspect, Coverup

James Burke Suffolk County Police
Disgraced former Suffolk County Police Chief James Burke was arrested by federal agents Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2015 and indicted on civil rights violations and conspiracy charges. (Long Island Press)

By Rashed Mian and Christopher Twarowski

Disgraced ex-Suffolk County Police Chief James Burke pleaded guilty to federal civil rights violations and conspiracy charges Friday for beating a suspect and ordering police to cover it up.

Burke was arrested in December 2015 on allegations by federal prosecutors that he had beaten Smithtown resident Christopher Loeb while in police custody two years earlier and coerced police officials who had witnessed the beating to lie to investigators about what they’d seen.

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Appearing clean shaven, without his trademark mustache, in a dull green prison jumpsuit, Burke told U.S. District Court Judge Leonard Wexler in Federal District Court in Central Islip that he “willfully used force and slapped and hit the individual” causing bodily harm.

“I plead guilty, your honor,” an emotionless Burke said before a packed courtroom.

Government prosecutors said Friday had Burke’s case gone to trial it would have included 11 officers who would testify to the beating, with several also testifying to the cover up. Prosecutors also stated they are seeking 51 months of prison for Burke, who has no right to appeal that length unless Wexler approves additional time for the former police chief.

Burke, who had originally denied the charges, had been held without bail since his arrest, with Wexler deeming him a danger to the community.

Robert Capers, US Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, in a statement, chided Burke for violating “his oath and responsibilities as a law enforcement officer by exacting personal vengeance, assaulting a handcuffed suspect, and abusing his authority.”

Federal investigators had long since alleged that Burke had assaulted and threatened to kill then-24-year-old Loeb while in police custody at the Fourth Precinct station house on Dec. 12, 2012. Loeb had stolen a duffel bag from Burke’s SUV that contained sex toys, pornography, Burke’s gun and ammunition belt, among other items.

Investigators had also alleged Burke forced police present during the beating to lie to federal investigators.

While Loeb was shackled in an interrogation room, Burke punched and kicked him, grabbing him by the ears, shaking him and declaring: “You want to steal from me?” according to court documents. He also threatened to give Loeb, a heroin addict, a “hot shot”—slang for a lethal overdose of the drug.

Prosecutor James Miskiewicz said in December Burke’s porn was his “motivation for beating the hell out of Loeb.”

Burke had retired in October amid reports of a federal investigation into the incident, enjoying an annual salary of more than $230,000 until then, along with a retirement payout of more than $430,000.

Outside the courthouse, Loeb’s attorney Bruce Barket, who is representing him in a civil case regarding the assault, told reporters his client “feels vindicated by this,” explaining that Loeb “was treated with scorn for a number of years.”

Burke’s admission “essentially proves our case,” he added.

Also after the proceeding, one of Burke’s attorneys, Nancy Bartling, read a letter from Burke that says his guilty plea “reflects his deep desire to accept responsibility for his actions.”

“[Burke] acknowledges his lack of judgement and failure in leadership,” she continued. “Under no circumstances will Mr. Burke be cooperating with the U.S. Attorney’s Office [or] the Suffolk County Police Department in any way.”

“It’s a sad day for him, it’s a tough day for him,” added Burke’s other attorney, Joseph Conway, also suggesting that other officers involved in the conspiracy have either pleaded guilty or will do so soon.

Nellin McIntosh, spokeswoman for the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, said she had no comment when asked about Conway’s statement.

However, Capers, the US Attorney, said the investigation is ongoing, adding “we will seek to hold accountable anyone who violates another’s civil rights or attempts to obstruct justice.”

Following Burke’s indictment in December, Capers left open the possibility of further arrests.

“Stay tuned,” he told reporters.

Suspicious Legacy

Burke was just 14 years old when he took the stand as a witness for then-prosecutor, current Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota in one of the county’s most heinous and well-publicized crimes—the murder of 13-year-old John Pius, Jr., of Smithtown, whose lifeless body was discovered beaten and suffocated with rocks stuffed down his throat.

Burke’s testimony helped convict four local teenagers for the slaying; one was later overturned.

Following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, Burke spent a year as a New York City police officer in 1985 before joining the Suffolk County Police in 1986 at 21, first as a patrolman in North Amityville and later as an undercover narcotics officer. He later spent a decade in the Suffolk district attorney’s office as chief investigator under Spota.

Despite his meteoric ascent up the Suffolk County Police Department’s ladder, however—capped with his appointment as police chief in 2012 by Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone—Burke has never been a stranger to controversy.

The 30-year SCPD veteran was the subject of an Internal Affairs investigation in 1995 that concluded allegations he “engaged in a personal, sexual relationship” with “a convicted felon known to be actively engaged in criminal conduct including the possession and sale of illegal drugs, prostitution and larceny,” “engaged in sexual acts in police vehicles while on duty and in uniform,” and “failed to safeguard his service weapon and other departmental property” were “substantiated,” according to its report, first obtained by Newsday.

Burke also came under fire in 2012, the same year as his crowning as police chief by Bellone, for his perplexing disbandment of the highly successful Suffolk County Police Department component of the FBI’s joint Long Island Gang Task Force—its dissolution the subject of a Press cover story “Turf War: Is SCPD Playing Politics By Leaving FBI’s LI Gang Task Force?

Yet instead of discipline, Burke repeatedly received promotions, with Bellone and Spota facilitating his rise through the ranks.

Do This: Long Island Concerts & Events February 25 – March 2

The B-52s are playing in the Hamptons this week.

Designing Atari’s Coin-op Machines
Raiford Guins, associate professor of Culture and Technology at Stony Brook University, will give a talk on “Designing Atari’s Coin-op Machines, 1972-1979” followed by a signing of his book Game After: A Cultural Study of Video Game Afterlife. Afterward, enjoy the Arcade Age exhibit and play over 50 classic arcade games! Cradle of Aviation Museum, Charles Lindbergh Blvd., Garden City. cradleofaviation.org $10. 7 p.m. February 25.

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67th Annual Hofstra Shakespeare Festival
Adapted and directed by Jean Dobie Giebel, experience The Great Bard’s timeless tragedy in all it’s intrigue and glory, as Hofstra University’s Department of Drama and Dance breathe fresh, new life into Hamlet’s torturous quest for revenge in “The Play’s The Thing: A One-Hour Hamlet”! Hofstra University, Hempstead. Fortunoff Theater, Monroe Lecture Center. Tickets: HofstraTickets.com. $10 – $12. 8 p.m. February 25. Special performance with The Hofstra Collegium Musicum titled “Hofstra Shakespeare Festival Musicale: Love Is Merely A Madness,” directed by Christopher Morrongiello and featuring songs from “Shakespeare’s Time on the Most Vexing of All Maladies.” 2 p.m. February 27. Laugh till your britches hurt during “As You Like It,” one of Shakespeare’s greatest comedies, directed by Kara-Lynn Vaeni. Hofstra University Black Box Theater, New Academics Building. $10 – $12. 8 p.m. February 26 & 27. 2 p.m. February 28.

Dennis DeYoung: The Music of Styx
Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto! We’re still not sure what that means—but who cares?!? Dennis DeYoung, the founding member of Styx, will perform (we can only hope) hits like “Mr. Roboto” and “Come Sail Away” (a six-minute adrenaline-filled work of musical genius) and several other blasts-from-the-past that made the progressive rock band from Chicago a nationwide sensation. The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $35-$79.50. 8 p.m. February 25.

Dave Mason, Leon Russell
One of the living legends of English rock, Dave Mason has collaborated with a host of artists over his storied career, from Jimi Hendrix to Michael Jackson. This time, he’s joining forces with the time-tested American original, Leon Russell. NYCB Theatre at Westbury, 960 Brush Hollow Rd., Westbury. venue.thetheatreatwestbury.com $39.50-$74.50. 8 p.m. February 25.

Bone Thugs-N-Harmony
This hip-hop/rap group burst out of Cleveland in the mid-’90s, with their breakout hit single “Thuggish Ruggish Bone” gaining them enough of a following to continue releasing a smattering of albums and EPs, including Grammy winning song, “Tha Crossroads.” Consisting of rappers Bizzy Bone, Wish Bone, Layzie Bone, Krayzie Bone and Flesh-n-Bone, this group has been commended by many for their unique sense of melody and dynamic stage presence. Now, they’re taking the stage again for the 20th Anniversary of “Tha Crossroads.” The Emporium, 9 Railroad Ave., Patchogue. theemporiumny.com $30. 9 p.m. February 25.

Trapt
This California-based alt-rock quartet is touring in advance of the release of their seventh studio album, DNA, which is slated to drop this year. Opening the show are J. Rad, Lubricoma, Inherit The Earth and Cracked Alice. Revolution Bar and Music Hall, 140 Merrick Rd., Amityville. clubloaded.com/events $20. 7:30 p.m. February 26.

Wave: A True Story In Hip Hop
Join the legendary creator of the famous “wave” dance move, Mr. Wave himself, for a documentary about his incredible life and a chance to learn the moves from the master himself. Mr. Wave will demonstrate his moves and teach audience members how to dance the wave. DJ Kool Herc, regarded as the father of hip hop, will be spinning tunes for the dance party to continue into the night! Cinema Arts Centre, 423 Park Ave., Huntington. cinemaartscentre.org $10 members, $15 public. 7:30 p.m. February 26.

The B-52s
B-52s fans can anticipate a transformation of the concert space into the bonafide Loveshack when this fantastically quirky and over-the-top new wave band take the stage. Iconic for the famed beehive hairdo and funky tunes like “Rock Lobster,” “Private Idaho” and “Roam,” the B-52s will make the whole dance floor shimmy and shake! One thing is for certain: Audiences are in for a fun, fun, fun night in celebration of longtime keyboard player, guitarist, bandmate, and B-52s brother, Paul Gordon, who recently joined that great, celestial musical jamboree up in heaven. Opening the show is Strange But Surf. The Space at Westbury, 250 Post Ave, Westbury. thespaceatwestbury.com $55-$85. 8 p.m. February 26.

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Grateful Overkill
Uniting in a tribute concert to the Grateful Dead are these two groups, Reckoning and Half-Step. Reckoning originated on Long Island in 1990, capturing the spirit and emotion of Grateful Dead songs by creating a new take on classic tracks through innovative techniques and improv. Each of their shows is unique. In contrast, Half-Step consists of dedicated students and fans of the Grateful Dead, attempting to capture the spirit and emulate the original band’s music. Jerry would be proud, indeed! The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $20-$65. 8 p.m. February 26.

The Lone Bellow
Playing what they call “Brooklyn Country Music,” the Lone Bellow are a group of transplanted Southerners who deliver a passionate, soulful, acoustic-based alternative rock Americana. The band includes lead singer and songwriter Zach Williams, singer and mandolin player Kanene Dohehey Pipkin, and singer/guitarist Brian Elmquist. You’ve heard them on WFUV for months, now it’s time to experience them live! YMCA Boulton Center for the Performing Arts, 37 West Main St., Bay Shore. boultoncenter.org $40-$45. 8 p.m. February 26.

Pam Betti Band
This eponymous band’s lead singer, who was recently inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame, is backed by veteran guitarist and sound sculptor, John Haseth, soulful drummer Sal DeVitto and amazing bassist Robert Jack. Imagine all that is transcendental in aural reverberations, singing and shining and beckoning your soul through the enigmatic auditory receptors within the back of your mind. Yes, redemption is here, dear dream lovers. Come and rejoice! Treme Blues and Jazz Club, 553 Main St., Islip. tremeislip.com $10. 8 p.m. February 26.

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Nick DiPaolo
In this day of watered-down comedy, Nick Di Paolo’s brutally honest performances remind us of what great stand-up should be: funny, socially relevant and a little bit reckless. Nick began his career in his hometown of Boston and two years later, made the jump to New York, where he found his seething, sarcastic style was welcomed with open arms by audiences at such clubs as Catch a Rising Star, Caroline’s, and The Comedy Cellar. It was at clubs like these where he honed his uncompromising point of view, which makes him not only a club favorite, but a true “comic’s comic.” You are quite simply going to laugh your tuckus off lol! The Brokerage Comedy Club, 2797 Merrick Rd., Bellmore. brokerage.govs.com $25. Various times, February 26, 27.

Hops and Props Craft Beer Festival 2016
This 100-percent draft-only craft beer festival features some of the finest suds from some of the best breweries in the United States and beyond. Many styles of beer are featured. Enjoy generous, heaping samples of liquid-chee-soaked Philly Cheesesteaks, weighty empanadas, crispy bacon, juicy ribs, never-ending nachos, sumptuous desserts and so much more to accompany these soothing heal-alls! Cradle of Aviation Museum, Charles Lindbergh Blvd., Garden City. cradleofaviation.org $20-$95. 12, 6 p.m. February 27.

Joe Lynn Turner
This New Jersey-born prog-rocker, who’s fronted Rainbow, Mother’s Army, Hugh Turner Project, Sunstorm and so many others, is touring solo. Opening the show are Trainwreck, Stryctnyne, Trendkill, and Tang. Come experience rock and roll the way it’s supposed to be: raw, deafening, and bone-shaking to the core! Come and be saved! Revolution Bar and Music Hall, 140 Merrick Rd., Amityville. clubloaded.com/events $18, $20 DOS. 7 p.m. February 27.

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 crooner to date, 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—with spot-on performances and personalized, in-concert moments so Billy, you’d swear it was really him up there! Opening the show is Kodiak. The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $20-$40. 8 p.m. February 27.

I Love the 90s!
Break out the MC Hammer pants, dust off the Starter jackets, and pump up your sneakers, because the ’90s are coming back to the stage on LI! Performing will be Salt N Pepa, Kid N Play, Coolio, Tone Loc, Rob Base, and Color Me Badd! Yes, yes, and yesss! Sorry, Vanilla Ice couldn’t make it (he sorta went hardcore anyway, after his you-know-what hit; not to say there’s anything wrong with hardcore, though, it’s just not the right fit for this particular bill). NYCB Theatre at Westbury, 960 Brush Hollow Rd., Westbury. venue.thetheatreatwestbury.com $69.50-$129.50. 8 p.m. February 27.

Marc Broussard
In 2004, Marc Broussard, then a precocious 22-year-old singer/songwriter, released his major-label debut. He called it Carencro, after the Louisiana town where he was born and raised, and its thematic centerpiece was a hickory-smoked slab of Bayou soul called “Home.” Now, a decade after his critical breakthrough, Broussard has come full circle with A Life Worth Living, his sixth studio album, a celebration of what home means to him, starting with his wife and kids, the street he’s lived on his entire life, surrounded by loved ones, and all the minutiae of everyday life that he has come to treasure so dearly. Wow. YMCA Boulton Center for the Performing Arts, 37 West Main St., Bay Shore.boultoncenter.org $35-$40. 8 p.m. February 27.

A$AP Ferg
Native New Yorker and hip-hop artist, A$AP Ferg began his career in the hip-hop collective A$AP Mob when pushed to rap more by high school friend (and fellow collective member) A$AP Rocky. His debut single, “Work,” released in 2012, quickly gained more than 2 million views, and was remixed by A$AP Rocky, Schoolboy Q, Trinidad James, and French Montana. Soon after, he released his debut album Trap Lord, and its success prompted the making of his next studio album, Always Strive and Prosper, set to drop this year. With Funk Flex and Fotsbeats. The Emporium, 9 Railroad Ave., Patchogue. theemporiumny.com $20, $30 DOS. 10 p.m. February 27.

Jack Hanna’s Into The Wild Live!
The host of TV’s Jack Hanna’s Into the Wild is considered America’s favorite zookeeper. Jungle Jack and his family explore the far corners of the globe and discover amazing animals and cultures. His live show features many of his favorite animal friends, fascinating and humorous stories, and footage from his adventures around the world. NYCB Theatre at Westbury, 960 Brush Hollow Rd., Westbury. venue.thetheatreatwestbury.com $29.50-$49.50. 3 p.m. February 28.

Laura Prepon and Elizabeth Troy
Laura Prepon, star of Orange Is the New Black, and integrative nutritionist Elizabeth Troy, will be speaking and signing their new book The Stash Plan: Your 21-Day Guide to Shred Weight, Feel Great, and Take Charge of Your Health. Book Revue, 313 New York Ave., Huntington. bookrevue.com Price of book. 7 p.m. March 1.

Geoff Tate’s Operation: Mindcrime
Heavy metal singer and musician Geoff Tate got his start in the band Queensrÿche, whose success inflated in the ’80s, and led to the sale of over 20 million albums worldwide. After conflicts in the band, it was renamed Operation: Mindcrime in 2014, and released its debut album, The Key, last year. Inspired by international intrigue, political corruption and greed, this new album begins a new era for Tate. He’ll be performing a Suite of Operation: Mindcrime, plus classic hits. The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $15-$35. 8 p.m. March 2.

-Compiled by Ellie Schoeffel & Timothy Bolger

Exclusive: Unauthorized Look at First Draft of Trump’s Inaugural Address!

Donald Trump Muslim Ban

By Arnold Dodge

“Stupidity combined with arrogance and a huge ego will get you a long way.”

-Chris Lowe

Fresh off his stunning triumph in South Carolina and heading into the Nevada caucuses with his ego on steroids, Donald Trump is planning to run the table and knock all those losers out of his way to the White House. Thinking ahead like the great executive he claims to be, he’s already got his people working on his inaugural address and we’ve obtained an exclusive look at an early draft.

He plans on delivering a barn burner that will levitate the citizens to places they’ve never been before.

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Trump has ordered his handlers to produce a speech that fits his style yet sounds presidential. Key phrases and quotes from previous presidents have been forwarded to his trailer, the one he uses while on the road (flown in by helicopter for photo ops). He responds to each item and his ghost writers weave his responses together to create the inaugural address of a lifetime.

Inside sources have revealed the work in progress, including the original material and Trump’s reactions.

Maya Angelou read a poem before President Obama’s inauguration, which included these lines:


“Freedom shines. A loud bell tolls the moment. We are astride a wondrous day.”


 

Trump favors inviting Ted Nugent to share some of his thoughts, including: I have busted more hippies’ noses than all the narcs in the free world.”

From President John F. Kennedy’s stirring command: “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.

Trump’s reply: “Asking is for low energy people. Just take it.”

President Franklin D. Roosevelt consoled an anxious America: “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

Trump’s version: “Fear is a great motivator. All my employees are afraid of me, and I’m a billionaire. The only thing to fear is not having a pair.”

During the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln delivered his Gettysburg address: “Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”

Trump interpreted it this way: “Fourteen months and five days ago I wasn’t even a politician. Now I’m the kick-ass president. Lincoln, who I knew personally, had some great lines. All men are created equal. The women? They love me.”

President Woodrow Wilson defended the Bill of Rights: “I can imagine no greater disservice to the country than to establish a system of censorship that would deny to the people of a free republic like our own their indisputable right to criticize their own public officials. While exercising the great powers of the office I hold, I would regret in a crisis like the one through which we are now passing to lose the benefit of patriotic and intelligent criticism.

Trump’s interpretation: “Whatever.”

President Ronald Reagan enunciated his conservative principles this way: “Government is not the solution to our problems, government is the problem.”

Trump’s response: “I’ll tell you what the problem is: China is ripping us off. Mexico and Japan are robbing us blind.”

President Bill Clinton explained what went on in the Oval Office: “I did not have sex with that woman . . .”

Trump would put it this way: “I did have sex with that woman.”

In President James Monroe’s inaugural address, he said: “It is by a thorough knowledge of the whole subject that [people] are enabled to judge correctly of the past and to give a proper direction to the future.”

Trump’s promise: “You’d better believe my nominee for the Supreme Court will judge correctly. If not, I’ll fire him.”

President Martin Van Buren emphasized humility: “All the lessons of history and experience must be lost upon us if we are content to trust alone to the peculiar advantages we happen to possess.”

Trump exuded: “I built a beautiful business. No debt and amazing cash flow. I am content that I know everything. Trust me.”

President James K. Polk proclaimed: “Well may the boldest fear and the wisest tremble when incurring responsibilities on which may depend our country’s peace and prosperity, and in some degree the hopes and happiness of the whole human family.”

Trump would tell the nation: “People fear and tremble when they see me coming. That’s the kind of leader who will make this country great again for the whole human family, minus the immigrants.”

On behalf of working people, President Benjamin Harrison said: “I pity the man who wants a coat so cheap that the man or woman who produces the cloth will starve in the process.”

Trump responded: “Listen, starvation is a way of life for some people.”

President Woodrow Wilson counseled patience: “One cool judgment is worth a thousand hasty counsels. The thing to be supplied is light, not heat.”

Trump put it this way: “I’ve made thousands and thousands and thousands of impulsive decisions. I win every time. My secret? Keep people in the dark and turn up the heat.”

President Lyndon B. Johnson focused on American values: “If we succeed, it will not be because of what we have, but it will be because of what we are; not because of what we own, but, rather because of what we believe.”

Trump expressed his values this way: “I’m worth $9 billion. I will be converting the White House into what will be the most magnificent Trump Tower in the world. Melania is already redesigning the interior. Wrap your burritos around that, Mexico.”

President James Madison defended the free flow of information: “Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.”

Trump defended his own power: “I beat the governors. I even beat the senators. Now they’re bellyaching. I’m the one armed with power now. You’re gonna love me as your president. Case closed.”

Arnold Dodge, PhD, is an associate professor of education at the C.W. Post campus of Long Island University, where he serves as the Chairperson of the Department of Educational Leadership and Administration. Dr. Dodge is a former teacher, principal and superintendent. In his forty-fifth year in education, Dr. Dodge is particularly focused on the effects of high-stakes testing on schools.

10 WTF Things About Long Island

Long Island

Beyond the obvious issues that everyone complains about–taxes, traffic, cost of living, the way we tawk–there are some seriously twisted things about this place we call home. Here are a few we take for granted that boggle the minds of interlopers who happen upon our fair Island.

Robert Moses

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1. Robert Moses was a racist. If you’re from Long Island you’re familiar with this little nugget of history. When the parkways were designed on Long Island, the underpasses were constructed with low clearances so buses couldn’t pass under them. In the master planner’s mind, buses were for minorities. In the minds of the people who approved these plans, minorities = Democrats. And the rest is history. So while we still have the Long Island Expressway (gasp!) the parkways have ingloriously preserved this piece of our racist history. But here’s the deal: If you’re from Long Island and don’t know this already and insist on driving a too-big-for-the-bridges truck on the parkways, you might be better off moving to New Jersey and attempting to navigate the insane jug-handle exits they built to confuse everyone else on the planet not from the Garden State.

 

 

2. All Things Lohan. Most celebrities, and hopefully their families, hit the Big Apple or Hollywood and gradually lose their Long Island identity. A few hang around, like Billy Joel, Alan Alda and Nelson DeMille. And we’re cool with that. Others like Billy Crystal, Howard Stern, Jerry Seinfeld and Jim Brown moved on. They don’t deny their Long Island roots; they just got on with their lives and moved to places celebrities move, wherever that is. Not the Lohan family. They’re hanging around doing their level best to constantly remind people that they’re Long Islanders. The one who’s actually famous doesn’t live here, but the ones that want to be famous do. And, honestly, it’s kind of a nightmare. Our sincere apologies.

Montauk Lighthouse

3. Montauk Highway in July. Who’s up for a road trip? There’s nothing quite like a scenic drive down Long Island’s historic thoroughfare, meandering through quaint South Fork villages on your way to the iconic Montauk Lighthouse. Such a journey is best made any time of the year that’s not summer. Try doing this between June and September and you’ll have to set aside a solid four hours in bumper-to-bumper traffic. (Here we go again complaining about traffic.)

Long Island Strip Malls

4. Strip Malls. What’s with our beautiful Island and strip malls, anyway? Seriously, we’re dying to know. These ubiquitous shopping centers are usually replete with a nail salon, deli, a store where everything is a dollar, cell phone shop, pizza parlor, a tailor and (if we’re lucky) an OTB! Yes! Since us web-savvy Long Islanders learned to master the art of online shopping, stretches of Sunrise Highway now look like a post-apocalyptic scene from a sci-fi movie. And yet, the only thing Long Island seems to build (i.e. the only thing zoning boards are capable of approving) are strip malls.

 

 

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5. Segregation. Long Islanders know the folklore well. Brothers William and Alfred Levitt established a planned community called Levittown, which is widely acknowledged as the birthplace of modern suburbia. Affordable loans with no down payment were offered to applicants, in particular G.I.s returning from World War II, and the community was an instant success. But there was a catch: Only Caucasian families were allowed to apply. Though this exclusion was rarely so public as this, most Long Island communities developed organically in a similar fashion. The result is the most diversely populated, segregated community in America. Fancy that. It’s a sad legacy that persists today. No wonder the KKK has been on a recruitment drive here. Come to think of it, maybe President Trump will name Long Island America’s new capital. He’d fit right in. But we’d definitely high tail it out of here. We hear Canada is nice.

Cheese Fries

6. Cheese Fries at 2 a.m. It’s a rite of passage. We love diners more than special agent Dale Cooper from Twin Peaks. Any establishment that moves effortlessly from chocolate chip pancakes to prime rib no matter the time of day is worthy of a Michelin Star in our books. But you haven’t lived until you’ve gorged on the Long Island delicacy that is cheese fries—with gravy!—at 2 a.m. The scene is as gory as the dish. Five or six grown adults stuffed into a four-person booth ordering two, no three, plates of cheese fries. Surely, it’s the cure to the common hangover. It must be! “This is a good idea,” you’ll say to one another as the waiter clears a path on the crowded table and slides three orders of coronary sludgery toward the napkin dispenser. You won’t be needing those napkins, anyway. That’s what sleeves are for.

LIPA-crews
LIPA crews working to restore power after Superstorm Sandy. (Rashed Mian/Long Island Press)

7. Above-Ground Power Lines. Many Long Islanders came in close contact with out-of-state power crews in the days following Hurricane Sandy. We invited them into our candlelit homes, offered them stovetop-warmed coffee and listened as they spun yarns of restoring power throughout the nation. We listened in horror and amazement as they marveled over our antiquated above-ground utility wires fastened to poles that haven’t been used in industrialized nations for decades. “It’s not like this in other places?” we wondered aloud to these fearless power generators. “No, ma’am. We’ve only ever heard of grids like this. It’s like traveling back in time. But we’re much obliged for your hospitality.” And like that, they were gone. Yet, the delicate power lines persist, forcing us to huddle in prayer before every storm, pleading with our almighty savior that those precarious wooden poles dotting our neighborhoods withstand Mother Nature’s wrath one more time.

Great Neck Plaza
Photo credit: Village of Great Neck Plaza

8. The land of a million municipalities. Great Neck. Great Neck Estates. Great Neck Plaza. Great Neck Gardens. Great Neck Manor. Kings Point Police Department. Kensington Police Department. Great Neck Estates Police Department. Great Neck North Schools. Great Neck South Schools. Seven zip codes. Three fire departments. Hamlets, villages, police departments. Whew! This is just one peninsula on Long Island we’re talking about. We have about 40,000 more municipal and educational entities and districts to cover, but that’s for another listicle—or perhaps a months-long investigation that will shock you to the core! Apparently we won’t be satisfied until we have one mayor, police officer, councilperson, teacher and firefighter per person. Cronyism? Not here. Noooo way.

Patchogue Downtown
Artists rendering of the Tritec Redevelopment in Patchogue.
College Match Quiz

9. No Vacancy, Because No Rentals. In spite of some of the crazy things you’ve just read about our rather ridiculous Island, people really do want to live here. High employment, great schools, incredible beaches… We’ve got some pretty enviable stuff. One thing we don’t have, however, is enough rental housing. There are a couple of reasons for this, but the biggest one happens to be political. When Long Island was formed into the cozy, tax-gouging land of opportunity it is today, the planners had a similar vision. (See No. 1, 5 and 8 above.) The political architects of our suburban paradise were mostly Republicans who believed in a very simple equation: Apartments = Colored People = Democrats. So when you add it all up—low bridges to prevent mass transit, housing specifically designed for white people, and hundreds of municipalities that control local zoning laws—the result is 3 million people living mostly in single-family houses.

New York Islanders sale
New York Islanders John Tavares shoots against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday, May 11, 2013. (Photo by Joe Nuzzo)

10. Our Sports Teams can’t wait to get the f— out of here. The Nets were on Long Island, briefly. If we can claim Queens for the purpose of this argument, then we had possession of the New York Jets as well for a bit. Even if the Queens connection is too much of a stretch, at least the Jets practiced at Hofstra University until recently. The Islanders, well, we all know what happened there. The bottom line is that our football teams play in New Jersey, our baseball, basketball, and now our hockey teams all belong to the boroughs. It’s given us quite the complex, actually. If the Long Island Ducks ever leave, we’ll all need therapy.

The Walking Dead Mid-season Premier Fails to Impress

The Walking Dead
AMC's 'The Walking Dead' (Photo credit: AMC/Facebook)

By Lissa Harris

Because I have loved The Walking Dead for five and a half seasons, I’ll start with the good.

Daryl and his bazooka are awesome. His character continues to be the greasiest bad ass on the planet and the moment he took out Negan’s bikers with a missile was a rallying point for all who watched. In fact, the scene leading up to Bazooka Daryl was intense and emotional.

It was the deeply thoughtful and action-packed scenes we’ve gotten used to seeing the last five seasons. The first episode of the mid-season finale was off to a good start. But it was all downhill from there.

Episode 9, “No Way Out,” picked up right where they left off back in late November. Rick and other residents had covered themselves with walker guts and were attempting to escape among the thousands of walking dead unnoticed. We saw this before in season one, in the Episode 2, “Guts,” when the characters must find a way to escape an overrun Atlanta. In this season’s mid-finale, “Start to Finish,” Rick recalls this successful strategy and suggests it to the remaining residents of Alexandria.

Of course, they are disgusted but agree to go along. We leave them as they are exiting the house to walk among the dead. Then the camera focuses on Jesse’s very fragile son, Sam. He looks terrified and calls out, “Mom?” End of scene.

We were left to wonder, for almost three months, what was about to happen to them now that they’ve been discovered. But Sam’s slip-up apparently had no effect because it’s never mentioned in the mid-season premier. Wait, what? That, my friends, is what’s known as “lazy writing.”

“Start to Finish” also gave us a climax of sorts on the characters’ opposing philosophies, which I wrote about in November. This discussion was communicated most beautifully in Episode 4, “Here’s Not Here.” The episode highlighted Morgan’s transformation from insanity to peacefulness via the help of a man who believed that people could live in this savage world and still hold onto their humanity.

It was this debate that seemed to drive the entire first half of season six. In “No Way Out” we got the answer: If we all work together, we can achieve a new civilization and a society worth fighting for.

But isn’t that what all the nearby gangs think? I’m sure the Wolves believe that by working together they are achieving an ideal society, same as Negan’s gang, judging from the first scene of the episode. These gangs don’t believe in everyman for himself, they work together for their own version of the “common good.”

Our heroes are only realizing this now, and express it with the cheesiest of dialogue. In Gabriel’s epiphany, he states: “God will save Alexandria because God has given us the courage to save it ourselves.”

Cut to a scene that slices through the edits as quickly as our heroes slice through walkers. A cute trick but not enough.

Rick’s big moment comes in his monologue at the end. A touching moment until he declares to an unconscious Carl that he wants to show him “this brand new world” that Deanna showed him. I would have been more engaged if I knew exactly what that vision entailed. It’s still relatively unclear what Deanna had planned other than to build more walls and a school.

I would have been more impressed if Rick had decided he was going to travel the world lighting lakes on fire in an effort to eliminate the entire walker species once and for all. And then create an International Public Health Policy on how to dispose of the newly dead.

I’ve never been a viewer impressed with blood, violence or shock alone. Pair that blood, violence and shock with serious plot and character development, and a commentary on the human condition that makes me rethink my very existence and you have me hooked for life. The Walking Dead used to give that to me.

Yes, one could argue that we have become desensitized to violence, but a good writer would anticipate that and continue to up the game in smart ways. That’s what Vince Gilligan did with Breaking Bad.

I could forgive Greg Nicotero for being distracted by his work on Fear the Walking Dead, the series prequel. But that show is lackluster as well. Maybe they should let Scott Gimple, who wrote “Here’s Not Here,” re-write the remainder of the season’s episodes.

I don’t know. But I don’t like where this season is headed. Bad dialogue and cheesy emotion are not what I’ve come to expect from one of my favorite shows. My only hope is that Carl’s physical deformity will prevent him from wearing that stupid hat in future episodes.

There were some quality moments: Denise’s terror as she realizes she has no choice but to partner with the Wolf gang member and Abraham and Sasha’s tension right before they are saved by Daryl. But overall, there was nothing stellar in this week’s mid-season premier.

Do This: Long Island Concerts & Events February 18 – 24

Sizzling Serbian siren-songstress (we dare you to try and say that five times fast) Ana Popovic will be melting the hearts of blues fans September 14 at The Boulton Center for the Performing Arts in Bay Shore.

Sofus
This New York City jam band blends enchanting melodies, fat bass lines, and funky grooves to create an irresistibly danceable new sound. The band consists of Mike “Merlin” O’Donnell on guitar and vocals, Mike Mirino on bass, Matt “Papa” Clements on keyboard, and vocals and Kurt Sommer on drums. Every show is refreshingly unique and satisfyingly mind-altering! The Space at Westbury, 250 Post Ave, Westbury. thespaceatwestbury.com $10. 8 p.m. February 18.

How to become a travel agent

Puddle Of Mudd
This Kansas City-based ’90s alt-rock quartet will play their hits, including “Blurry,” “Psycho” and “She Hates Me.” Opening the show are Killcode, Blue Movie, For The Kill, What They Died For and After Augustine. Revolution Bar and Music Hall, 140 Merrick Rd., Amityville. clubloaded.com/events $20, $25 DOS. 7:30 p.m. February 19.

Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes
Long regarded as the Godfather of the Jersey Shore Sound, John Lyon, better known by his stage name, Southside Johnny, is an American original. Growing up in Ocean Grove and graduating from Neptune High, he followed in Bruce Springsteen’s shoes running down the boardwalk, hitting the high notes and laying it low with that bluesy soulfulness that only he can croon. It helped that Steven Van Zandt, the Boss’ compadre, penned Southside Johnny’s signature song, “I Don’t Want to Go Home.” And yes, that’s Southside and the Jukes performing as a bar band at the frat party in that action-packed classic Adventures in Babysitting. The guy’s been doing it right and working his ass off, and we’re lucky to have him around keeping it real. Opening the show will be the Legendary saxophone player Phil Kenzie will warm the crowd up with his S.O.S.S. show—the “Save Our Sax Solo”—taking fans on a musical journey through the history of the rock and roll sax solo from The Beatles to The Eagles. The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $14.50-$49.50. 8 p.m. February 19.

Ana Popovic
This award-winning, hard-touring guitar slinger blends smoking electric funk and slide guitar, jazzy instrumentals and a tight blues groove with soulful, feminine vocals. Add to the mix her incredible stage presence, all of which makes her an irresistible force in the world of contemporary blues music. YMCA Boulton Center for the Performing Arts, 37 West Main St., Bay Shore. boultoncenter.org $30-$35. 8 p.m. February 19.

Long Island Winterfest
Miles to Dayton, Toby Walker and Andrew Fortier will be performing. Miles to Dayton’s music happens at a personal level, their message of love blending elements of folk, rock, classical, and funk into an irresistible invitation. Walker blends the styles of blues, ragtime, country, bluegrass, rock and old time jazz into his own unique style.  Fortier’s newest record Your Smile Convinced The World, is filled with personal, heartfelt songs, words put to music that reflect a life in progress, his urgent voice and gorgeous melodies punctuating each and every tune. Suffolk Theater, 118 East Main St., Riverhead. suffolktheater.com $20, $25 DOS. 8 p.m. February 19.

Cathy Kreger and Kirsten Maxwell
Two of Long Island’s own leading ladies of folk present a double feature. Maxwell just released her debut album Crimson, a compilation of 11 original songs about love and longing. Kreger’s melodic voice and guitar have earned her a place on stage with world-class acts, including Bonnie Raitt, David Bromberg, the Band, Patti Larkin, Maria Muldaur, Taj Mahal and Aztec Two-Step. Our Times Coffeehouse, 38 Old Country Rd., Garden City. ourtimescoffeehouse.org $15. 8 p.m. February 19.

Genoa City Conversations
Celebrating more than 40 years of The Young And The Restless. NYCB Theatre at Westbury, 960 Brush Hollow Rd., Westbury. venue.thetheatreatwestbury.com $49.50-$149.50. 1 p.m. February 20.

The Fab Four
“Rocky Raccoon,” “Blackbird,” “Helter Skelter,” “Octopus’s Garden” and so many more—these “Fabulous” mop-tops pay a moving, sonic tribute to all that is phenomenal and extraordinary about the genuine, legendary group. Come and dance. Sing along! We love you Ringo! The Ultimate Tribute to The Beatles. The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $20-$65. 8 p.m. February 20.

Richard Marx
Singer, songwriter, musician and producer Richard Marx has made history with a string of indelible hits that span both radio-ready rock tunes like “Don’t Mean Nothing” and “Should’ve Known Better,” and stirring romantic ballads like “Hold Onto The Nights” and “Right Here Waiting.” The Chicago native has sold more than 30 million albums and scored a total of 14 No. 1 singles. He is the only male solo artist to have his first seven singles reach the Top 5 on the Billboard charts. Quite simply, Marx has created the soundtrack to the most memorable moments in people’s lives. YMCA Boulton Center for the Performing Arts, 37 West Main St., Bay Shore. boultoncenter.org $55-$60. 8 p.m. February 20.

ACE
Lead by the smooth baritone voice of The Platters alumnus Everette Hairston, ACE brings together all the elements of soul, Motown, funk, reggae and blues into a brilliant ensemble that has got something for everyone. Whether listening to one of Everett’s stories from the road, Craig’s mind blowing harmonica solos or Mark’s table side serenade, ACE brings an energy to the room that’s unmatched. Treme Blues and Jazz Club, 553 Main St., Islip. tremeislip.com $10. 8 p.m. February 20.

Fabolous
This Brooklyn-based hip hop artist will get the party started with his hits, including “Breathe,” “Make Me Better,” “Baby Don’t Go,” “Throw It in the Bag” and “You Be Killin’ Em.” He’ll be performing with Funk Flex. The Emporium, 9 Railroad Ave., Patchogue. theemporiumny.com $27, $40 DOS. 10 p.m. February 20.

Whitmanland
A closing reception will be held for this exhibit, showcasing the historic Long Island environs of generations of the Whitman family, who first settled here in mid-17th century. It features the Birthplace, 21 related sites, a 1730 deed, a letter from Whitman’s sister, a farm bell, 10 historic artifacts, paintings and photos that depict the evolution of the birthplace. Rejoice in the transcendental syllabic supremacy of the legendary bard! Learn about Long Island’s role in helping forge his timeless poems and songs! Meet a descendant of the Whitman family! Sing sing sing-sing sing! Walt Whitman Birthplace Association, 246 Old Walt Whitman Rd., Huntington. waltwhitman.org Free. 2 p.m. February 21.

Exploring Art… Making Memories
With the understanding that artistic experiences stimulate new pathways of learning, expression, and memories, the museum is offering a unique program for individuals living with dementia and their care partners. Specially trained professionals will lead an interactive tour of selected works and encourage group discussion. Light refreshments will be served. Registration is required. Space is limited. Heckscher Museum of Art, 2 Prime Ave., Huntington. heckscher.org $10. 1 p.m. February 22. hhah

Fara Augustover
This author and Long Island native will speak and sign her new children’s book Harmony Hears a Hoot, a about a young owl name Harmony who relates to kids with and without hearing loss and teaches tolerance with her adventures! Follow Harmony on her first day of school as she meets new friends, enjoys her classes, and teaches everyone what it’s like to have something unique about themselves. Book Revue, 313 New York Ave., Huntington. bookrevue.com Price of book. 7 p.m. February 23.

You Got To Have Soul: 1960s-1980s
Join host Bill Shelley in celebration of Black History Month with an evening of classic Soul Music including the influences of rhythm and blues, gospel, jazz, funk, free-form poetry and more! Some of the greats who will be showcased will be Ike and Tina Turner, Otis Redding, Gladys Knight, Sam and Dave, Curtis Mayfield, Ray Charles, Roberta Flack, Al Green, The 5th Dimension, Ronnie Spector and many more. Cinema Arts Centre, 423 Park Ave., Huntington. cinemaartscentre.org $10 members, $15 public. 7:30 p.m. February 23.

Adam Lambert
This American Idol star has been wowing crowds around the globe via his vocal collaboration with Queen—filling in for, and keeping the memory alive, yet never replacing, the legendary Freddie Mercury (Lambert’s own personal idol)—and this local, intimate performance is that all-too-rare chance to see the singer all up close and personal! Yes, Lambert most definitely hits all the high notes. Warming up the crowd will be Alex Newell. The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $35-$85. 8 p.m. February 23.

Op-Ed: Give Millennials Housing Options They Need to Stay Here

(Illustration courtesy of Rauch Foundation/Walt Handlesman)

By Nancy Rauch Douzinas

Long Islanders want more housing options, and the economic growth of the region requires them. The good news is that two recent studies by the Long Island Index, a project of the Rauch Foundation, highlight the specific challenge and reveal a way to overcome it.

Two dramatic shifts in housing needs have emerged that necessitate change. The first is that an increasing number of Long Islanders are looking for alternatives to the traditional single-family home for which Long Island is world-renowned. The second is that without those choices young people are leaving Long Island at an alarming rate, and the trend is projected to increase.

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In December the Long Island Index released a public opinion survey that explored attitudes about housing among residents of Long Island and compared their views with those of other nearby suburbs. The report containing those results revealed that, for Long Islanders, concerns about paying their monthly housing costs have reached an all-time high: 62 percent of Long Island residents say that it is somewhat or very difficult to pay their rent or mortgage compared to 52 percent of residents in New Jersey suburbs and 58 percent of those in the northern suburbs of New York and Connecticut. In addition, 35 percent of Long Islanders aged 18 to 34 say they’re living with their parents or a relative.

According to the survey, 72 percent of Long Islanders rate young people leaving as a very or extremely serious problem compared to 44 percent of suburban New Jersey residents and 50 percent of those in the northern suburbs of New York and Connecticut.

Along with those worries, the report highlighted two trends that are quite dramatic: first, a sea change is occurring in the housing options that Long Islanders prefer; second, the vast majority of Long Island’s young people say they are likely to leave because of our housing costs here.

At present 15 percent of Long Islanders live in an apartment, a condominium or a townhouse, but in five years 29 percent say they want to live in one of those options. In addition, 69 percent of Long Island residents aged 18 to 34 claim they are somewhat or very likely to leave Long Island in the next five years. That finding is all the more striking, given that our population in that same age group has already dropped 16 percent from 1990 to 2014.

The most recent Long Island Index report, issued earlier this month, explores the challenge further and proposes ways to address it that match Long Islanders’ stated preferences. This report was conducted by the Regional Plan Association and HR&A Advisors. It found an enormous gap between the multifamily housing planned and needed on Long Island.

In the next 15 years 94,000 housing units would be needed, and, given changing housing preferences, 72,000 of those units should be in “walkable” mixed-use areas.

Fortunately, the report includes three cases studies that demonstrate that modest changes in zoning regulations could allow enough housing to eliminate the gap. The case studies focus on the Village of Babylon, the Hamlet of Hicksville and the Village of Valley Stream.


35 percent of Long Islanders aged 18 to 34 say they’re living with their parents or a relative


In Valley Stream, for instance, a series of feasible zoning changes—such as establishing a minimum unit size of 850 square feet, increasing maximum lot coverage to 60 percent, and increasing the maximum building height from three stories to four stories—could create almost 800 new, more affordable, multifamily, housing units in the downtown.

Such zoning modifications are consistent with the future that Long Islanders want. According to the Long Island Index public opinion survey, there is broad support for making local downtowns more residential, and a majority of Long Island residents support raising height limits in local downtowns to allow the addition of apartments.

Long Island’s housing outlook can be bright if we address collectively this growing need for multifamily housing and we take the relatively conservative steps of opening up our downtown areas—especially those with Long Island Rail Road stations—to more multifamily housing. By concentrating that housing downtown and ensuring that it offers a range of housing types and costs, we will increase economic activity on Long Island and provide Long Islanders with the residential options that they say they want and need.

Nancy Rauch Douzinas is president of the Rauch Foundation.

Nassau Exec Ed Mangano Blames Hacker For Sexting Scandal

Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano
Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano

By Timothy Bolger and Christopher Twarowski

Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano said investigators are looking for a hacker that he said created sexually explicit text messages sent from his cell phone to several women.

WCBS-TV New York reported Saturday night that they obtained copies of the sexts, but Mangano later said a hacker had used his cell phone number to fake the messages. Hours after the report aired, police issued a news release early Sunday morning saying Mangano requested a probe into what authorities described as a “spoofing attack” 10 days ago.

“I am outraged at this smear attempt and will take legal action against the sick individual who has sought to assassinate my character and hurt my family,” the married Bethpage Republican said in a statement. “While elected officials are used to being confronted with falsehoods, whoever fabricated this outrageous social media attack committed a crime.”

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The New York Daily News posed the question: “Is he the suburban Carlos Danger?” That was the pseudonym used by disgraced ex-U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-Queens), who resigned in 2011 after being caught sexting women and claiming he was a hacking victim before later coming clean.

CBS didn’t name any of the women who received the messages, but police identified one of them as Karin Caro, founder of Blue Chip Marketing, a local public relations consulting firm. Police said that Mangano first learned of the situation from Caro, who investigators also described as a victim, after one of the messages was publicly shared on her Twitter page.

“Caro has stated that she never had such communication with the County Executive nor does she have his cell phone number,” police said in the news release. “Both parties have no record of such text or tweet.”

CBS reported that some of the sexts were too explicit to report. But they did broadcast some of the messages, including one in which the county exec appears to tell a woman: “I miss being alone with you.”

In another, the woman wrote: “I want you to (blank) my brains out even if it’s in my car again,” according to CBS, which said Mangano’s apparent reply was: “Sorry left early. Something came up.”

“This is totally fabricated,” Mangano tells the Press on Valentine’s Day. “It’s a lie. I’ve made a complaint with the police department.

“This is absolutely outrageous,” he continues. “It’s ridiculous. It’s so hurtful.”

Intelligence Unit and Electronics Squad detectives are continuing the investigation.

Do This: Long Island Concerts & Events February 11 – 17

For Today
This Iowa-based Christian metalcore band is touring to promote their sixth album, Wake, which was released in October. Warming up the crowd will be Like Moths To Flames, Phineas, Vanna, My Kingdom and I Awake. Revolution Bar and Music Hall, 140 Merrick Rd., Amityville. clubloaded.com/events $17, $19 DOS. 6 p.m. February 11.

B Side Bandits
This Long Island-originated band is playing their original Rock Rhythm and Blues style. The music is a wide range of styles and audience engagement is one of their specialties. They appeal to all ages which guarantees for an exciting performance. The Space at Westbury, 250 Post Ave, Westbury. thespaceatwestbury.com $10. 8 p.m. February 11.

Foreigner
With 10 multi-platinum albums and 16 Top 30 hits, Foreigner is universally hailed as one of the most popular rock acts in the world, for damn good reason. With a formidable musical arsenal that continues to propel sold-out tours and album sales, now exceeding 75 million, the band is responsible for some of rock and roll’s most enduring anthems, including “Juke Box Hero,” “Feels Like The First Time,” “Urgent,” “Head Games,” “Say You Will,” “Cold as Ice,” “Hot Blooded,” and the worldwide #1 hit, “I Want To Know What Love Is.” With more than 30 years of musical glory under their belt, Foreigner continues to rock the charts, show after show and hit after hit. Recently, Foreigner released The Best of Foreigner & More, a new, high-definition live recording celebrating the band’s most successful album of all time. NYCB Theatre at Westbury, 960 Brush Hollow Rd., Westbury. venue.thetheatreatwestbury.com $49.50. 8 p.m. February 11.

Jackie Greene (Photo credit: Leigh Esposito)
Jackie Greene (Photo credit: Leigh Esposito/Facebook)

Jackie Greene
Back to Birth – Greene’s seventh album and his Yep Roc Records debut – is more than worthy of some serious attention. The 11-song set showcases the multitalented artist’s uncanny knack for synthesizing his deep affinity for American roots styles into timeless, personally-charged music. Armed with a persuasive voice, a vivid songwriting skill and an instinctive mastery of several instruments, Greene has carved out a unique musical niche, and the album marks another creative landmark in his already compelling body of work. YMCA Boulton Center for the Performing Arts, 37 West Main St., Bay Shore. boultoncenter.org $35-$40. 8 p.m. February 11.

The Art Collectors
An opening reception will be held for this exhibition that includes selected prints from the
collection of Richard Gerrig and Timothy Peterson. In addition to the​ ​private collection on display, there will be original prints by artists whose work is often shown at Gallery NorthGallery North, 90 North Country Rd., Setauket. gallerynorth.or​g Free. 5​-7 p.m. February 12.

Joe Nichols
Nichols’ latest single, the upbeat, straight-talker “Freaks Like Me,” serves as the lead track from his upcoming project, due out in 2016. His latest album, Crickets, spawned the two multi-week hits “Yeah” and  “Sunny and 75.” That’s in addition to prior chart-toppers like “Brokenheartsville,” “Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off” and “Gimmie That Girl,” and Top 10 smashes like “The Impossible,” “If Nobody Believed In You,” “What’s A Guy Gotta Do,” “Size Matters” and “I’ll Wait For You.” Mulcahy’s Pub and Concert Hall, 3232 Railroad Ave., Wantagh. muls.com $30, $35 DOS. 8 p.m. February 12.

The Beach Boys
Get lost in rock ‘n’ roll and drift away as the seminal Beach Boys free their souls with timeless hits such as “Kokomo,” “Surfin’ Usa” and “I Get Around.” The legendary group has been pouring their youthful hearts out with these classic titles since the 1960s, inspiring past and present generations onward. By the end of the night, it will be abundantly clear that surfing is and has always been the best transportation of choice. NYCB Theatre at Westbury, 960 Brush Hollow Rd., Westbury. venue.thetheatreatwestbury.com $49.50-$59.50. 8 p.m. February 12.

Sinatra Love Songs: A Big Band Valentine
Celebrate Valentines Day with Frank Sinatra’s Love Songs with the 19 piece New Millennium Big Band. Dance the night away with your Valentine in this elegant evening of dining, dancing and swing! Suffolk Theater, 118 East Main St., Riverhead. suffolktheater.com $35-$39. 8 p.m. February 12.

Chippendales
Starting in 1979 the first all-male stripping troupe, the Chippendales is guaranteed to give you the best male entertainment around. The Chippendales is seen by millions of people annually, but thanks to their “Break The Rules Tour 2016,” fans don’t have to travel to Las Vegas to see them live. The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $25-$75. 9 p.m. February 12.

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Winterfest
Arts and crafts, a model train show, a Frozen-themed puppet show, raffles and more. Levittown Hall, 201 Levittown Parkway, Levittown. 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m. February 13.

3rd Annual Louder Than Love Valentine’s Concert
Love will be in the air and the soundwaves at this Valentine’s Day Eve concert, here to help couples get in the mood. Perofrming will be Louder Than Love, TKA, Taylor Dayne, Veronica, Shannon, George Lamond, Rockell, Cece Peniston, Robin S., Sweet Sensation, Soave NYCB Theatre at Westbury, 960 Brush Hollow Rd., Westbury. venue.thetheatreatwestbury.com $49.50-$69.50. 8 p.m. February 13.

Frank Latorre And The Kingbees Blues Band
The four-time winner of the LIBS Memphis Blues Challenge and lead by their Grammy Award winning Harmonica player, Frank Lattore being an accomplished artist and song writer and the Kingbees have been playing their style of Blues since 1989 and are sure to please a crowd dying to hear some of the Blues. Treme Blues and Jazz Club, 553 Main St., Islip. tremeislip.com $10. 8 p.m. February 13.

Noam Pikelny of Punch Brothers
This is the preeminent banjoist of his generation, the greatest color-blind banjoist of all-time, who was hailed by the Chicago Tribune as the “pros’ top banjo picker.” Noam is a founding member of Punch Brothers, a string ensemble which The Boston Globe calls “a virtuosic revelation” and The New Yorker describes as “wide-ranging and restlessly imaginative.” Finally freed from the shackles of his brilliant musical friends, the banjoist debuts a bonafide solo show, previewing new original music slated for a fall 2016 release. YMCA Boulton Center for the Performing Arts, 37 West Main St., Bay Shore. boultoncenter.org $25-$30. 8 p.m. February 13.

Jim Breuer
Valley Stream-native and Press favorite Jim Breuer returns to his roots on LI to perform his signature hilarious stand-up. Expect to see spot-on impressions of the rock legends he loves, including James Hetfield of Metallica and ACDC’s Angus Young. Prepare to be schooled by the ultimate “marriage warrior” and, if we’re lucky, his notorious Saturday Night Live character, Goat Boy, just might make an appearance. No matter what he throws at the audience, they are in for the time if their lives. The day after he hosts three shows, the funnyman will also host a special Valentine’s Day comedy show, “Love, Laughter & Funyuns!” The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $19.50-$100. 5, 7:30 and 10 p.m. February 13, 7:30 p.m. February 14.

Reggae Snowsplash
Noah’s Arc, the self-described “Suburbaclot Sons of Patchogue,” headline this event with a bunch of infectious originals and a couple of covers that draw from styles including: Reggae, Ska, Dub, Rocksteady and Dancehall. Also performing will be Ros Droppa, Soul Junkines and Konekt Band. 89 North Ocean Ave., Patchogue. 89northmusic.com $10. 5 p.m. February 4.

Masters of Illusion
Levitating women, appearances and vanishes, escapes, comedy magic, sleight of hand and beautiful dancers are among the magical experiences that will have audiences not believing their own eyes. At one point, the entire audience participates in a mind-boggling illusion and some lucky individuals even get picked to assist with illusions on stage! The phenomenon is born from the multi-award winning television series of the same name on the CW Network. NYCB Theatre at Westbury, 960 Brush Hollow Rd., Westbury. venue.thetheatreatwestbury.com $39.50. 7 p.m. February 14.

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Matt Burke
Sarcastic, cynical, mourning our cultural devolution, devoutly contrarian, this comic spins a cranky, dark and critical web for the dwindling intellect of America. Though it is evident that the constraints of domestic life are beginning to asphyxiate him, Matt Burke clings to a thread of dignity and the media’s dubbing him heir to the throne of the great thinkers of the trade. In a career that has spanned the heights of decadence and moments of tender self-examination, Burke’s sacrifice and reverence for his craft have consistently set him apart from the fray as he awaits his opportunity to sell out. Governor’s Comedy Club, 90 Division Ave., Levittown. govs.govs.com $15-$50. 7 p.m. February 14.

Teresa Giudice

Teresa Giudice
The star of The Real Housewives of New Jersey and three-time New York Times bestselling author will be signing her new book, Turning The Tables: From Housewife, to Inmate, and Back Again. In her very first tell-all memoir, Teresa comes clean on all things Giudice: growing up as an Italian-American, meeting the love of her life and starting a family, dealing with chaos and catfights on national television, and eventually, coming to terms with the reality of life in prison. Featuring never-before-seen scans of her prison diary, Turning the Tables captures some of the most memorable moments of her prison stay, including the cringe-inducing fist fights she witnessed, the awkward conundrum of being trapped when a fellow inmate had a…guest…over, and the strength she found while confined between four concrete walls. Book Revue, 313 New York Ave., Huntington. bookrevue.com Price of book. 7 p.m. February 16.

Aaron Carter
Since he was just 7 years old Aaron Carter has been a household name worldwide.  Starting in the late 1990’s Carter became a pop superstar when his second album “Aaron’s Party” sold 3 million copies in the United States. Now 28 years old, Carter is aiming towards more of a pop hip-hop type of style which is sure to get the party rocking wherever he performs.  Opening the show is Robbie Rosen, The Como Brothers Band, Sarah Barrios and Morell Brown. Revolution Bar and Music Hall, 140 Merrick Rd., Amityville. clubloaded.com/events $20-$70. 6:30 p.m. February 17.

-Compiled by Nick Pasco and Timothy Bolger

Horoscopes by PsychicDeb for February 2016

Aries – Ruling planet in 8th house – be creative, move furniture or add touches of pictures or flowers to beautify your environment. Your taste for luxury and fine foods will be accented. A parent or parental figure wants to help you in a project.

Taurus – Ruling planet in 9th house – pay debts, bills and make a clean sweep of financial obstacles. The key is to look at the big picture, finding a new source of back-up cash. Someone with a daring competitive manner will show you the way – be receptive. Former burdens are no longer yours to carry.

Gemini – Ruling planet in 9th house – the accent is on success, prestige and an intense love relationship. You’ll gain through association including more material resources. Someone, to whom you are attracted to, is on the way up and will reveal strong ambitions. A Capricorn figures in the picture.

Cancer – Ruling planet in 12th house – pay attention to new technologies and work methods. A complete change of pace is on the agenda including a fascinating change of scenery. A meeting of minds may be needed to foster cooperation. You’ll work beside someone who stimulates romantic fancies and dreams.

Leo – Ruling planet in 7th house – make adjustments in partnership matters. Sentiment will surge to the forefront but shouldn’t be allowed to rule the situation. Someone with a stubborn manner and distinctive voice figures prominently.

Virgo – Ruling planet in 6th house – a nostalgic journey is on the agenda. Feelings will be uppermost greatly influencing where you go and what you do. Old friends, neighbors and distant relatives will welcome you warmly. Belief systems, historical facts and family genealogy are accented.

Libra – Ruling planet in 4th house – emotions run high this month as the lunar cycle sweeps upwards. You’ll be in the right place at the right time and will have positive support from a family member who believes in you. Be gentle with those near and dear.

Scorpio – Ruling planet in 3rd house – your personal body image is in the spotlight. Your sense of style and fashion is heightened. Others will put you on their best dress list. Travel, parties and popularity could draw you away from more routine pursuits. Have fun. Your lucky number is 3.

Sagittarius – Ruling planet in 10th house – work with the materials at hand. A career project gains from a steady pace and willingness to learn the rules before you break them. Be practical, shrewd and willing to learn through former mistakes. A person in authority has eyes on you. Your lucky number is 4.

Capricorn – Ruling planet in 12th house – remember, no one is perfect. Get the inside story before you sign a mutual agreement. You’re looking for someone to idolize but could be fooled by your own high expectations. Play the waiting game where legal or marital matters are concerned.

Aquarius – Ruling planet in the 3rd house – develop a creative project in private. You’ll have unique ideas and can work best alone or with someone who encourages your originality. Strong bonds of love are felt. This person wants only the best for you and will be generous with all your requests.

Pisces – Ruling planet in 1st house – a high powered romance is on the agenda. Intense feelings and long-range plans are involved. An attraction is strongly physical. Daring new attitudes will make love more exciting. You’ll share secrets and psychic awareness with your loved one. Your lucky number is 1.

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