Zack Tirana

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Chris Cuomo Balks at Being Called ‘Fredo’ on Shelter Island

CNN journalist Chris Cuomo at the 2016 Democratic National Convention (Chris Coons photo)

CNN is standing by anchor Chris Cuomo after a video surfaced showing him arguing with a man that the newsman said called Cuomo “Fredo” during a confrontation on Shelter Island on Sunday.

Cuomo, the younger brother of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, is heard in the video saying that being called Fredo — as in Fredo Corleone, the incompetent son of mafia don Vito Corleone in The Godfather — is “the N-word” for Italians. Debate over whether being called Fredo is in fact racist spread like wildfire Monday.

“Chris Cuomo defended himself when he was verbally attacked with the use of an ethnic slur in an orchestrated setup,” CNN spokesman Matt Dornic posted on Twitter. “We completely support him.”

Video of the confrontation — in which Cuomo threatens to throw the man down a flight of stairs — at a Shelter Island bar was viewed nearly 5 million times since being posted Monday night on a right-leaning YouTube channel called THAT’S THE POINT with Brandon.

President Donald Trump weighed in on the video, calling Cuomo “nuts,” while Trump ally and Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity said Cuomo deserves an apology. Italian-Americans widely panned the idea of Fredo being a slur, according to The Washington Post.

And The New York Post reported that Cuomo once referred to himself as Fredo in a radio interview.

Bagel Guy To Fight Other Viral Video Stars

Somebody give this man a bagel.

The man who was infamously tackled while heckling customers at Bagel Boss in Bay Shore last week isn’t going away without a fight.

TMZ reports that Chris Morgan, dubbed “Bagel Guy” by the internet, inked a deal with fighting promoter Damon Feldman to box another viral video star at the Showboat Hotel in Atlantic City on Sept. 7. Feldman said Morgan may fight Antoine “Hide Yo Kids, Hide Yo Wives” Dodson.

“If he thinks he’s gonna win, fuggedaboutit,” Morgan told TMZ.

While it’s a good thing that Morgan is channeling his rage for women who think he’s too short to date that he was ranting about in the bagel shop, he’s going to have to back up his tough talk better than he did when he was tackled in the video.

The Twitter video of Bagel Guy ranting and getting beat down has been viewed more than 25 million times since it was posted a week ago.

Bay Shore Bagel Boss Rant Video Goes Viral

Somebody give this man a bagel.

A video of a man who apparently hadn’t had his coffee yet throwing a hissy fit at Bagel Boss in Bay Shore and getting tackled by another man Wednesday morning has gone viral.

The 45-second video that has made Long Island today’s internet punchline picks up mid-rant, with the man spouting off about how women on dating websites make fun of him for being five feet tall. 

“Everywhere I go I get the same f***ing smirk with the biting lip,” the unidentified man said in the video viewed more than 11 million times as of this post since the clip was posted on Twitter at 9 a.m. Wednesday.

As his rage intensifies, he challenges a man on line behind him to attack him. The second man does as he’s told and tackles the star of the video onto the floor in front of a crowd of gawking onlookers wondering aloud how their trip to the friendly local bagel shop for breakfast had gone so horribly wrong.

Although the guy raging about women in the video is clearly an idiot in need of an attitude adjustment, it surely isn’t the first time someone has lost their temper waiting on the ridiculously long lines at Bagel Boss. Have you been there lately for an egg everything with scallion cream cheese on a Sunday morning? Wear comfortable shoes and make sure your phone’s charged. It’s gonna be a while.

 

 

The Pixies Rock The Space at Westbury

pixies space at westbury
Seminal alt-rock band the Pixies delivered a powerful set at The Space at Westbury on Friday, Sept. 22, 2017 that included newer hits and cult favorites spanning their decades-long career as one of rock's most dynamic and influential hellraisers. (Photo by Christopher Twarowski)

Seminal alt-rock band the Pixies leveled The Space at Westbury on Sept. 22, delivering a seismic barrage of songs spanning their collective two-decade career as one of rock’s most dynamic and influential groups, and proving to all those in attendance and/or reading this post that although most of the music on the radio nowadays may completely suck, rock is not dead.

The Friday night gig also featured an impressive performance by opener Sunflower Bean—a power trio whose guitarist/vocalist Nick Kivlen and drummer Jacob Faber hail from Long Island. Bassist/model Julia Cumming shares vocals with Kivlen, and the band rifled through several tracks, including a handful from their 2016 full-length debut Human Ceremony—among them WFUV staple “Easier Said.”

The Pixies—drummer David Lovering, guitarist Joey Santiago, singer/guitarist Black Francis, and bassist Paz Lenchantin (who replaced Kim Shattuck, who replaced original member Kim Deal)—played for about two hours, delivering a nonstop set packed with classic fan faves and newer numbers, even sprinkling in deeper cuts such as “Havelina” from 1990’s Bossanova and “Motorway to Roswell” off ’91’s Trompe le Monde.

The Westbury stop was one a handful left in the Northeast before the band continued on throughout the Midwest and Western United States—with more than a dozen sold-out gigs in Missouri, Illinois, Minnesota, Colorado, Oregon, Washington and California—supporting 2016’s Head Carrier, their latest drop and sixth studio album.

The Pixies deliver a brand of rock that’s tough to define. There’s some surf guitar in there. There’s their legendary quiet-loud dichotomy admittedly and shamelessly ripped off by more popular bands, including Nirvana. There’s folk, some psych, country, and straight-up punk, for sure.

Francis’ vocals range from long, gorgeously sustained notes to blood-curling screams—most of the time, the latter. Santiago punctuates and obliterates, Lovering runs the spectrum, and the bass pulsates beneath and throughout it all like some cosmic ice dragon lurking just below the surface of a frozen lake, every now and again breaking through and melting ancient walls of magic winter (Game of Thrones reference, yes).

Their tunes’ subject matter spans the Biblical to the extraterrestrial, and many pertain to darker elements of life—putting it mildly. The Pixies are wacky, freaky, and no-nonsense live.

Related Story: 11 Questions With Pixies Guitarist Joey Santiago

pixies space at westbury
Seminal alt-rock band the Pixies delivered a powerful set at The Space at Westbury on Friday, Sept. 22, 2017 that included newer hits and cult favorites spanning their decades-long career as one of rock’s most dynamic and influential hellraisers. ( Photo by Christopher Twarowski )

They began their assault with “Wave of Mutilation” off Doolittle, a crushing chronicling of Japanese businessmen’s murder-suicides in the 1980s.

Lightning bolt Jesus and Mary Chain cover “Head On” was somewhere here at the top of their set list, too; because of pit stops at the venue’s various bars, forgive the disorderly and/or incomplete list of songs in this review. (It’s a rock show; get over it.) What’s certain is that by this time, a ton of people in the room were already singing and grooving along, and this would continue pretty much the entire night.

Immersed in kaleidoscopic lights and occasional smokescreens, the band ripped through stellar versions of Doolittle’s “Monkey Gone To Heaven,” “Debaser,” “Dead,” “Tame,” “Crackity Jones,” “Hey” and “Gouge Away”—all cult favorites. They also killed “U-Mass” and the aforementioned “Motorway to Roswell” off Trompe le Monde.

The mass sing-a-long grew louder, with fans in full-on dance mode during Bossanova’s “Velouria,” and some swaying during the dreamy, trance-like, and absolutely gorgeous “Havelina,” one of my personal favorites that I’ve never experienced live until this gig.

The band played “Snakes” off 2014’s Indie Cindy, and Head Carrier’s “Baal’s Back” and “Um Chagga Lagga,” and was that Neil Young’s “Winterlong”!?

Somewhere in here the Pixies unleashed “Caribou,” “Vamos” and “The Holiday Song” from their ’87 debut LP Come On Pilgrim, and the place naturally went wild in response.

There was also plenty of crowd chorus and jiving action during “Cactus” and, of course, perhaps their most infamous track “Where Is My Mind?” off 1988’s Surfer Rosa—the latter, if I remember correctly, highlighted by some chaos upfront in the pit, as bouncers promptly removed three seemingly inebriated women who had some type of altercation, one visibly distraught with makeup streaking down her face from either tears or a beer wash (or a mixture of both) as she pushed past onlookers after the crowd pointed her out to security.

Really wouldn’t be a Pixies gig without at least a little chaos.

pixies space at westbury
The Pixies’ (L-R) Joey Santiago, Black Francis, Paz Lenchantin and David Lovering thank fans following a monster set at their Sept. 22, 2017 house-raising gig at The Space at Westbury. (Photo by Christopher Twarowski )

After the set, the house erupted in absolutely deafening cheers and applause, and Francis, Santiago, Lovering and Lenchantin left their gear, and side-by-side, stood center stage, waving. They disappeared as a dense white smoke-fog rolled out, cloaking the entire stage and obscuring everything.

pixies space at westbury
Smoke enveloped the Pixies during their encore performance of “Into The White” at The Space at Westbury on Sept. 22, 2017. (Photo by Christopher Twarowski )

A thick, pulsating bass line soon emanated from behind the haze, above it Lenchantin’s voice. The crowd exploded as backlights illuminated the shadowy silhouettes of the band as they collapsed into old-school B-side “Into The White” as an encore.

The billowing smoke lingered for a while afterward as the house lights came on and most of the audience made for the exits, dissipating just long enough for a roadie to hook me up with one of Black Francis’ guitar picks.

One hell of a show. All hail the Pixies.

For tickets, a calendar of upcoming gigs, and more information about The Space at Westbury, visit thespaceatwestbury.com.

2017 New York Guitar Show & Expo Rocks Freeport This Weekend

2017 New York Guitar Show Expo Freeport

The largest guitar show in the New York metropolitan area is coming to Freeport, Long Island on April 22 & 23 and promises to be an absolutely unforgettable experience for musicians, artists and music lovers of all ages.

The renowned New York Guitar Show & Exposition, now in its sixth year, transforms the Freeport Recreation Center Saturday and Sunday into an endless smorgasbord of guitars of all shapes and sizes, amplifiers, workshops, related sound gear and equipment, and more. It’s also a multimedia networking celebration unrivaled in the region, melding together an eclectic mix of music industry movers and shakers, so-called “gear heads,” musicians, collectors, fans and consumers.

The expo features 10,000 square feet of showcase space and an endless amount of guitar and music-related activities. Sponsors include Taylor Guitars, Homestead Amps, D’Addario & Co., Premier Guitar, and Gbase.com. More than 50 exhibitors from across the region and country will be on hand, ranging from the aforementioned to such guitar and music shops and guitar effects-related gurus as Agape Guitars, Dimo Guitars and Electro-Harmonix to Guitar Center, Michael’s Music and Roland Corp. “The Gibson Bus” will also be rolling into Freeport, with a ton of amazing Gibson guitars, gear and workshops for attendees to check out and participate in.

The renowned Las Paul Exhibit is also back this year, featuring the guitar legend’s own personal guitars and giving attendees the opportunity to plug in and play—along with his amps, gizmos, gadgets and other inventions!

There will be a “Private Amp Room” featuring sole sponsor of the expo’s amp room this year, Homestead Amps, with plenty of models for attendees to drool over and jam out on.

Taylor Guitars will also be at this extraordinary six-string smorgasbord, giving away a guitar both days of the show, including a GS Mini Bass!

Afterwards, attendees, as well as members of the public, will have the chance to rock out at an absolutely insane post-expo open mic and jam on Saturday, April 22 at EB Elliot’s in Freeport. (Contact 516-435-8382 for more information and to join in on making some noise.) This hands-on spectacular will be led by the Rich Johnson Band, with Long Island blues and guitar legend Jim Moran, Grammy Award-winning drummer Rick Shutter, and bassist Pete Puelo. The jam kicks off around 7 p.m., and rocks till about 10:30 p.m. It’s a chance for exhibitors—many of whom world-class players themselves—to unwind and let loose after a full day in their respective booths.

The Sixth Annual New York Guitar Expo rocks the Freeport Recreation Center, located at 130 East Merrick Road, in Freeport, NY on April 22 & 23. For more information, call 516-435-8382, visit nyguitarexpo.com or contact: Rich@nyguitarexpo.com.

Bone Marrow Drive & Fundraiser To Support Sarina Vito, 18, Battling Leukemia

Sarina Vito Elwood Bone Marrow Leukemia
The Elwood community is hosting the #SarinaStrong Bone Marrow Registry Drive & Fundraiser for Sarina Vito, 18, who is battling AML leukemia, at John Glenn High School in Elwood, on April 25, 2017. (Photo: #SarinaStrong GoFundMe page)

On March 13th, Sarina Vito, an 18-year-old from Elwood, was preparing to spend a weekend away with her mother at her very first orientation as an incoming fall freshman at High Point University in North Carolina.

Instead, the John Glenn High School senior’s entire world was flipped upside down by a devastating phone call: Sarina was diagnosed with acute myeloid (AML) leukemia—a cancer characterized by the production of a large number of abnormal white blood cells in the bone marrow.

Sarina was immediately admitted into the Cohen Children’s Medical Center, where she will require a lifesaving bone marrow/stem cell transplant after her third round of chemotherapy. She will also have to undergo fertility treatments in order to be able to have children of her own.

To help Sarina find her donor match as well as raise awareness and much-needed funds for not just her and her family’s battle with this disease, but also for childhood cancer foundations, her family, friends and the Elwood community are holding a bone marrow drive and fundraiser at John Glenn High School on Tuesday, April 25, from 4 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. (Scroll down for official flier.)

This Bone Marrow Registry Drive & Sarina’s Strands of Strength Ponytail Drive will include bone-marrow test swabbing provided by Be The Match Foundation, a bake sale, a raffle with prizes, vendor tables, music by Tony Bruno, and hair extensions by Cactus Salons. Among its proud supporters: Be The Match Foundation, Mondays at Racine, Hair We Share and Cactus Salon.

The Sarina Strong Fund also has a GoFundMe Page collecting donations.

Although Sarina will be missing many things that she worked very hard for, this event will help her and her family in many other ways. As the organizers of this benefit understand, no family should have to suffer the devastating emotional, mental and financial strains a disease such as AML leukemia causes them, especially not alone.

Consider this post an open invitation for local businesses and members of the Long Island community to contribute and lend support by donating baskets, gift certificates, services, raffle prizes, food and/or refreshments, become a sponsor with monetary donations, or simply help spread the word—that’s why a special hashtag #SarinaStrong has been created to help raise awareness across social media; spread it far and wide!

Sarina and her family thank you in advance: Together, we can do this!

The #SarinaStrong Bone Marrow Registry Drive & Sarina’s Strands of Strength Ponytail Drive takes place Tuesday, April 25, 2017, from 4 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Elwood-John H. Glenn High School, located at 478 Elwood Rd., in Elwood, NY 11731.

Donations can be dropped off at any Cactus Salon or picked up by one of the committee members on or before April 22, 2017. To mail donations, please send to: #SarinaStrong C/O Cactus Group Holdings, 100 E. Jeffryn Blvd., Suite H, Deer Park, NY 11729. Attn: Karen Vito Please email sarinastrong@gmail.com for additional information.

Featured Photo: The Elwood Community is hosting the #SarinaStrong Bone Marrow Registry Drive & Fundraiser for Sarina Vito, 18, who is battling AML leukemia, at John Glenn High School in Elwood, on April 25, 2017. (Photo: #SarinaStrong GoFundMe page)

Sarina Vito Elwood Bone Marrow Leukemia

Dave Davies of The Kinks Invades Suffolk Theater

Dave Davies The Kinks
Dave Davies, legendary guitarist for The Kinks, rocks Suffolk Theater in Riverhead on April 22! (Photo: Robert Loerzel via Dave Davies official Facebook profile)

Fueled by two brothers sharing a penchant for messy power chords and infectious melodies, English rockers The Kinks’ explosive, raw style and catchy tunes embody the spirit and dirty, jagged riffs that would inspire punk and heavy metal and revolutionize rock and roll.

Formed in 1964, with a foundation in late ’50s R&B, brothers Ray and Dave Davies, Pete Quaife and Mick Avory branded their own form of traditional rock by tossing out the rule books and simply having fun. In turn, they influenced generations of bands and musicians and helped spawn the raw, visceral sounds of such musical deviants as the Ramones and Clash, Van Halen, Blur, Oasis, Green Day, Nirvana, and countless others.

Their 1964 chart-topping single “You Really Got Me”—immediately recognizable by its quick succession of dissonant, choppy chords—led the charge. Described as “a love song for street kids” by the tune’s architect, The Kinks’ lead guitarist Dave Davies, the song dismantled the myth that only seasoned, well-trained musicians could achieve stardom and radio play, and went on to inspire legions throughout the decades to pick up a guitar and launch their own sonic revolutions—its simple structure and rough sound serving as the blueprint. It was aided by Davies’ slashing the amp cone with a razor blade.

The Kinks became infamous components of the late wave of the British Invasion and recorded more than two dozen albums since their formation—at the center of it all resides the imaginative guitar work and craftsmanship of Dave Davies, who will be ripping through an unforgettable set of Kinks classics as well as his own solo efforts at Suffolk Theater in Riverhead on Saturday, April 22.

Even if you don’t blatantly identify yourself as a fan, you know the songs: Besides “You Really Got Me,” the group’s ear candy arsenal includes “Tired of Waiting for You,” “All Day & All of the Night,” “Picture Book,” “Lola,” “Victoria,” and dozens of others. And don’t ever forget Dave Davies’ melancholy masterpiece, “Death of a Clown.”

In 2003, Dave Davies was ranked 91st in Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time,” and for damn good reason. Do not miss out on this phenomenal chance to experience this Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and the supreme glory that is The Kinks in this extraordinary and intimate venue!

Repeat: Don’t miss this gig!

Featured Photo: Dave Davies, legendary guitarist for The Kinks, rocks Suffolk Theater in Riverhead on April 22! (Photo: Robert Loerzel via Dave Davies official Facebook profile)

Dave Davies, lead guitarist for the legendary band The Kinks will be destroying Suffolk Theater, located at 118 East Main Street in Riverhead, on Saturday, April 22. Tickets are $49, $60 & $65. For more information about this amazing show and to purchase tickets, visit suffolktheater.com!

Watch Harlem Globetrotters Make Trick Shot from Nassau Coliseum Roof

Harlem Globetrotterrs
The Harlem Globetrotterrs's star player, Flight Time, makes a trick shot from the roof of Nassau Coliseum.

The Harlem Globetrotters just couldn’t wait to show off their tricks at the newly renovated Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

One of the team’s star players, Herbert “Flight Time” Lang, made a shot from 75 feet up on the Uniondale arena’s roof tossing it over its new metallic façade—then did it again backwards. Swoosh! There was nothing but net.

“This is the long distance shot from Long Island,” the bedazzling b-ball-handler extraordinaire said while showboating in a video of the back-to-back trick shots that the team posted Tuesday on YouTube.

Fans of NBC’s The Amazing Race may recognize Flight Time from seasons 15, 18 and 24 of the reality show competition. He came in second place—just short of wining the $1 million prize—his second time around.

This weekend marks the first time the Harlem Globetrotters will play Nassau Coliseum since December 2014, before it closed for extensive renovations. The arena reopened last week.

The Harlem Globetrotters are playing at NYCB Live, home of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, at 7 p.m. Friday, April 14. Tickets range in price from $22 to $158. The arena is located at 1255 Hempstead Tpke. in Uniondale. For more information, visit nycblive.com

Guitar Legend Jorma Kaukonen Combats Autism With Music At The Space At Westbury

Jorma Kaukonen

Melding pure, unrefined passion, joy, unquantifiable heartbreak and unimaginable loss into transcendental musical tapestries that amaze and inspire is just one characteristic of the blues.

Another is the extraordinary ability among true blues players to somehow translate all of this, while adding their own personalities via unforgettable notes, into licks and chords that tug at your heartstrings and simply do not let go, conjuring a whirlwind of visions and memories and that unidentifiable something that resides deep, deep within your very being and immediately transforming this all into raw and visceral emotions as varied and colorful as a collapsing rainbow, the hot amplifier an electric, aural prism.

The torturous beauty of the blues also possesses that magical ability to soothe the soul, erasing pain and worry, and like some melodic magnet, draw those feet out from beneath listeners’ tables or seats, and out onto the floor of the gig’s venue, to express themselves in the only ways they truly know how—tapping and kicking and leaping and dancing along.

Jorma Kaukonen is a blues-folk-rock master, and his guitar might as well be his second mouth, because the blizzard of tones and notes and colors that jump from those frets, traveling through its cable and materialize like lightning out of his amp to explode across our synapses speak in some universal tongue that resonates with all who hear them.

Whether it’s the eternal sonic tattoos he’s etched with Hot Tuna, Jefferson Airplane, or his own legendary works, the man is a virtuoso, and his gig at The Space at Westbury on April 13 is not just a must-attend show due to all the aforementioned, it’s also a not-to-be-missed show because of its additionally extraordinary purpose.

This intimate evening with such a phenomenal blues-folk-rock guitar god will benefit nonprofit Long Island Autism Communities! Besides the mind-bending music, there will be live auctions featuring autographed items donated by Jorma Kaukonen himself—including an autographed guitar and weekend at his family’s renowned Fur Peach Ranch!

Kaukonen will also be sharing personal stories from his legendary career!

This exclusive event combining the blues and a fantastic cause exemplifies the true spirit of music, and in utilizing his many gifts to help so many others, this true legend elevates the art form and helps spread its very essence and meaning. Come and enjoy the tunes and lend your support to this all-important cause!

Jorma Kaukonen rocks The Space at Westbury with a transcendental night of music to benefit Long Island Autism Communities on April 13! Doors: 7 p.m. / Show: 8 p.m. For more information about the gig, tickets, and how to help the cause, visit thespaceatwestbury.com and licommunity.org

U.S. Rep. Rice & Nassau Legis. Walker Join Gastroenterology Associates In Raising Colorectal Cancer Awareness

Gastroenterology Associates
U.S. Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-Garden City) (far left) and Nassau Legis. Rose Walker (R-Hicksville) (far right) join staff and patients of Gastroenterology Associates and the Long Island Center for Digestive Health (LICDH) during its grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony at its new Uniondale headquarters on March 6, 2017 to help stress the importance of colorectal cancer screenings during National Colon Cancer Awareness Month.

U.S. Rep. Kathleen Rice and Nassau County Legis. Rose Walker joined doctors, staff, and patients of Gastroenterology Associates, one of the largest gastroenterology practices on Long Island, in helping raise awareness about colorectal cancer at the grand opening of its recently relocated offices and outpatient facility, the Long Island Center for Digestive Health, in Uniondale.

March is National Colon Cancer Awareness Month, and the March 6 educational event and ribbon-cutting highlighted the importance of colon cancer aka colorectal cancer screening in the battle against this highly preventable disease, which claims more than 50,000 lives each year and remains the third-most common cancer in the United States and second-leading cause of cancer death.

Several patients of Gastroenterology Associates and the Long Island Center for Digestive Health shared their personal stories of survival, with each advocating for screening. Both Legis. Walker and Rep. Rice spoke briefly as well.

“I was honored an proud to attend the ribbon cutting for Gastroenterology Associates’ new headquarters—a beautiful, spacious facility with a kind, caring staff who goes out of their way to make their patients comfortable,” Legis. Walker told the Press about the experience, explaining that for her, raising awareness about colorectal cancer is personal. “It is always a pleasure to attend all the ribbon cuttings and events I am invited to, but some have a special significance.

“In 2012, I was diagnosed with Stage 3 Colorectal Cancer,” she continued. “Thanks to the love and support of my family, friends and co-workers and the excellent care of my entire medical team, all affiliated with Winthrop Hospital, I am blessed to say I am now cancer-free. I am one of the lucky ones, and I feel that I have been given the opportunity to give back—to reach out to others and share the importance of screenings.”

“I’m grateful to Dr. [Leonard B.] Stein and Dr. [Robert S.] Bartolomeo for inviting me to tour their new facility as we commemorate Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month and highlight the dangers of this disease and the potentially life-saving value of regular screenings,” Rep. Rice told the Press regarding the event.

“We know that colorectal cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer among men and women combined–this year alone, more than 135,000 people will be diagnosed and more than 50,000 will die from it,” she continued. “We also know that this is one of the most highly preventable forms of cancer–the CDC estimates that we could prevent 60 percent of all colorectal cancer deaths if all adults over age 50 were regularly screened, but just one-in-three adults between age 50 and 75 are up to date on recommended screenings.

“That has to change,” she added.

Congresswoman Rice, the U.S. Representative for New York’s 4th congressional district, has long been a proponent of increasing accessibility and affordability to these life-saving preventive screenings. She is currently a cosponsor of bipartisan legislation, titled the “Removing Barriers to Colorectal Screening Act of 2017,” which would direct Medicare not to charge co-pays for colon cancer screenings that result in the discovery and removal of polyps.

Currently, under the Affordable Care Act, Medicare and private insurers aren’t supposed to charge for co-pays for such screenings, including colonoscopies, explains her office. If a patient undergoes a screening and a polyp is detected and removed, however, the procedure gets reclassified as “Therapeutic” and not simply a screening, and they can be charged a co-pay.

This bill would eliminate that possibility, ensuring that patients can’t be charged for these important screenings, whether a polyp is found and extracted or not.

Rice, a Democrat who was elected to Congress in 2014 and previously served three terms as Nassau County District Attorney where she received national acclaim for her efforts combatting drunk driving, also cosponsored this bill in the last congressional session, and also cosponsored a resolution designating March 2017 as National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month in both sessions.

Health experts advocate for regular colorectal cancer screenings for those 50 and over, stressing such preventive procedures can identify polyps before they become cancerous—though some are discouraged when there’s a chance its result could cost money, explains Rice’s office.

Thus, these legislative initiatives would remove dissuading financial barriers and actually help save lives.

Gastroenterology Associates is a renowned private group gastroenterology practice in Uniondale, NY specializing in high-quality digestive healthcare for patients experiencing a wide range of disorders. Long Island Center for Digestive Health (LICDH) is a distinguished non-hospital outpatient facility providing advanced diagnostic testing and procedures including upper endoscopy, colonoscopy, and more.

Gastroenterology Associates’ new headquarters in Uniondale boasts ground-floor access for patients, plentiful parking, and is conveniently situated near Meadowbrook Parkway, Stewart Avenue and Hempstead Turnpike. LICDH, which shares the premises, is a New York State-licensed ambulatory endoscopy center that has been awarded a Certificate of Recognition from the American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy and is accredited by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care.

This is the second consecutive year Rep. Rice has joined Gastroenterology Associates and LICDH’s staff in publicly raising awareness during Colorectal Awareness Month about the preventable disease and the significance of screening—and she vows to continue this all-important quest in Congress.

“We need to keep raising awareness and educating the public, like we did [at Gastroenterology Associates] and will continue doing all month,” Congresswoman Rice told the Press. “And we need to make screenings more affordable so that no one can be denied or discouraged from getting a procedure that could save their life.

“I’ve cosponsored bipartisan legislation that would help eliminate copays for colon cancer screenings, and I’m going to keep working to get it passed,” she added.

Legis. Walker, a Republican, further emphasized the value of colorectal cancer screening and raising awareness, explaining it could quite literally mean the difference between life and death.

“Yes, colorectal cancer is a deadly disease, yet highly preventable,” she said. “If I had gone for screening, perhaps I would not have had to go through all I did—chemo, radiation, surgery, then more chemo and more surgery—so I need to speak out to others, share my story, thank those who saved my life, and hopefully encourage everyone to follow the advice of specialists, because prevention is our first line of defense.”

Featured Photo: U.S. Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-Garden City) (far left) and Nassau Legis. Rose Walker (R-Hicksville) (far right) join staff and patients of Gastroenterology Associates and the Long Island Center for Digestive Health (LICDH) during its grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony at its new Uniondale headquarters on March 6, 2017 to help stress the importance of colorectal cancer screenings during National Colon Cancer Awareness Month.

Gastroenterology Associates is located at 106 Charles Lindbergh Blvd., Suite B, Mitchel Field, in Uniondale, NY 11553. Long Island Center for Digestive Health shares the premises, and is located in Suite C. To talk with staff or schedule an appointment, call 516-248-3737 or 516-794-1868, respectively, or visit ligastrohealth.com.

Gastroenterology Associates is a client of Morey Publishing, the parent company of the Long Island Press.