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Category: news

Sheri Miller Goldberg, The Queen of the Scene, by Neil Miller ,The New York Extra/TheNYExtra.com, Editing by Toni Hoyos

Sheri’s Scene joins fans, musicians, and club owners in one happy family.

07/02/2020 Sheri Miller Goldberg, in front of KJ Farrells, Bellmore NY Neil Miller The New York Extra/TheNYExtra.com copyright 2020

It’s the weekend, and you want music, but don’t know who’s playing? The answer? Sheri’s Scene! For over 7 years Sheri has crafted an on line entity, bringing music lovers what they need, giving musicians and bands an outlet to reach out to those fans, and a forum for venue owners to promote their places.

What started as a dare between friends to post a list on line of music events, has now grown into a force of 7500 members, and growing.

Interviewing Sheri was a pleasure, since we have known each other for over 5 years, and spent a lot of that time in the company of mutual friends at music clubs. Unpretentious in what she does in the Scene , Sheri is proud of her work, not only in bringing people to the music, but bringing people together to make friends.

07/02/2020 Sheri Miller Goldberg on the patio at KJ Farrells, Neil Miller The New York Extra/TheNYExtra.com
Neil Miller interviews Sherri today 07/02/2020

Sheri also helps to promote various benefit events and concerts, and seems to know everyone, everywhere. Be it at KJ Farrells, her “home base” for over 10 years ,or 317 in Farmingdale, 89 North in Patchogue, Napper Tandys in Smithtown, or the new, My Father’s Place in Roslyn, Sherri’s influence in the Long Island Music Scene is an important and beneficial one.

During the current crisis, Sheri has advocated for the small restaurant owner, the small club owner and social issues concerning all Long Islanders. To sum it up? Don’t know what to do? Ask Sheri”s Scene!

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Jack Pokress celebrates his 100th Birthday, by Neil Miller The New York Extra/TheNYExtra.com

Last weekend,Jackson Pokress turned 100 years old. A milestone very few people reach was celebrated with family, friends, and of course The North Massapequa Fire Department. A parade from many local fire houses went down the street where Jack lives, and neighbors and local political people also joined in the event. Please see the attached gallery of photographs and video to join in the fun of that day!

Jackson B. Pokress, commonly called Jack, was born in Manhattan on June 27, 1920 to Lillian Jackson Pokress and Morris Pokress.  He graduated from the prestigious Stuyvesant High School in 1938 and New York University in January, 1942.  Soon after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor Jack enlisted in the U.S. Army and after completing Basic Training he asked to be assigned to the Signal Corps so he could use his photographic talents as a combat cameraman.  The Army detailed him to the Army Pictorial Center in Astoria, Queens to train as a motion picture cameraman.  Upon completion of that training he was sent to the China-Burma-India Theater and transferred to the jungle fighting unit Merrill’s Marauders where he documented the Marauders campaign through Burma to expel the Japanese army which had overrun the country.  He was honorably discharged in November, 1945.  During his time in the Army he became friends with boxing heavyweight champion Joe Louis.  
In 1947 he married his wife, Wilma, and raised two sons, Robert and David.  Wilma died in 2001.  During the post war years he produced and photographed several feature motion pictures.  Some of those movies are still available today on Youtube and the internet.  Wheels of Steel was made for the Pennsylvania Rail Road.  Other classics were You’re In the Ring, about boxing and starring his army buddy Joe Louis and Lipstick and Dynamite about lady wrestling starring the lady wrestling icons of the era.  That movie was remade in the early 2000s for general theatrical release updating the lives of the women who starred in the 1949 version.  A movie of personal significance was made about the North Massapequa Fire Dept. titled When Seconds Count.  Jack joined the fire department in March 1956 and is still an active member today after sixty-four years.
The North Massapequa Fire Department  is a major part of the Pokress family life.  He was involved in just about every facet of the fire service but his passion was rescue-first aid.  The fire department had a competition rescue team, The Witch Doktors (yes, with a K). They were prolific winners on the competition circuit nationally and won the New York State Championship five times with Jack as Co-Captain.  He was also a founding member of the department’s drum and bugle corps which won the New York State championship in only its second year of existence.  That corps was also a prolific winner in parades around the state and Long Island.  He served three five-year terms as a fire commissioner and fifteen years as the fire district secretary.  In 1981 he was elected president of the Association of Fire Districts of Long Island.  He was also a driving force in the creation of the LOSAP (Length of Service Award Program) program to provide pensions to volunteer firefighters in New York State and retain members.
Jack took up photography in his teens when his father bought him a Speed Graphic camera.  His passion for photography never waned and has been his profession his entire adult life.  He was the owner, publisher and editor of The Observer newspapers, a chain of weeklies that served the south shore of Nassau County.  He also served on the staff of Congressman Peter King.  
Besides his sons he has three grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.  

Jack Pokress celebrates his 100th Birthday, by Neil Miller The New York Extra/TheNYExtra.com

Last weekend,Jackson Pokress turned 100 years old. A milestone very few people reach was celebrated with family, friends, and of course The North Massapequa Fire Department. A parade from many local fire houses went down the street where Jack lives, and neighbors and local political people also joined in the event. Please see the attached gallery of photographs and video to join in the fun of that day!

Jackson B. Pokress, commonly called Jack, was born in Manhattan on June 27, 1920 to Lillian Jackson Pokress and Morris Pokress.  He graduated from the prestigious Stuyvesant High School in 1938 and New York University in January, 1942.  Soon after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor Jack enlisted in the U.S. Army and after completing Basic Training he asked to be assigned to the Signal Corps so he could use his photographic talents as a combat cameraman.  The Army detailed him to the Army Pictorial Center in Astoria, Queens to train as a motion picture cameraman.  Upon completion of that training he was sent to the China-Burma-India Theater and transferred to the jungle fighting unit Merrill’s Marauders where he documented the Marauders campaign through Burma to expel the Japanese army which had overrun the country.  He was honorably discharged in November, 1945.  During his time in the Army he became friends with boxing heavyweight champion Joe Louis.  
In 1947 he married his wife, Wilma, and raised two sons, Robert and David.  Wilma died in 2001.  During the post war years he produced and photographed several feature motion pictures.  Some of those movies are still available today on Youtube and the internet.  Wheels of Steel was made for the Pennsylvania Rail Road.  Other classics were You’re In the Ring, about boxing and starring his army buddy Joe Louis and Lipstick and Dynamite about lady wrestling starring the lady wrestling icons of the era.  That movie was remade in the early 2000s for general theatrical release updating the lives of the women who starred in the 1949 version.  A movie of personal significance was made about the North Massapequa Fire Dept. titled When Seconds Count.  Jack joined the fire department in March 1956 and is still an active member today after sixty-four years.
The North Massapequa Fire Department  is a major part of the Pokress family life.  He was involved in just about every facet of the fire service but his passion was rescue-first aid.  The fire department had a competition rescue team, The Witch Doktors (yes, with a K). They were prolific winners on the competition circuit nationally and won the New York State Championship five times with Jack as Co-Captain.  He was also a founding member of the department’s drum and bugle corps which won the New York State championship in only its second year of existence.  That corps was also a prolific winner in parades around the state and Long Island.  He served three five-year terms as a fire commissioner and fifteen years as the fire district secretary.  In 1981 he was elected president of the Association of Fire Districts of Long Island.  He was also a driving force in the creation of the LOSAP (Length of Service Award Program) program to provide pensions to volunteer firefighters in New York State and retain members.
Jack took up photography in his teens when his father bought him a Speed Graphic camera.  His passion for photography never waned and has been his profession his entire adult life.  He was the owner, publisher and editor of The Observer newspapers, a chain of weeklies that served the south shore of Nassau County.  He also served on the staff of Congressman Peter King.  
Besides his sons he has three grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.  

Nassau Legislature Joins with NCPD and NYPD to Unveil Community Initiative in Support of Law enforcement New Hyde Park, NY -July 1st ,2020. As the Nassau County Police Department and thousands of NYPD officers living on Long Island continue to battle an anti-police sentiment coupled with calls to “defund the police,” the Nassau County Legislature joined with local community members and law enforcement officials to unveil a countywide Blue Ribbon Campaign to show our support for our hardworking police officers. The campaign, spearheaded by New Hyde Park resident Diane Bentivegna, encourages residents and businesses to display a blue ribbon on their home or business to show their support for the men and women in law enforcement. The ribbons can be displayed on trees, poles, railings, or wherever people can see them. On South 14th Street in New Hyde Park where Diane lives, 43 houses have put up a blue ribbon. As Nassau County Police drive by, they will see that they are appreciated for the good work they do in keeping Nassau residents safe. The same for retired police officers, and the many New York City police officers that live in Nassau County with their families. On July 1st, members of the Majority Caucus of the Nassau County Legislature joined with local New Hyde Park residents and members of Nassau County law enforcement and New York City law enforcement to unveil this Blue Ribbon campaign. “Thank you to the Nassau County Police. You are always there when needed, even when a situation is potentially dangerous or life threatening,” Nassau County Legislature Presiding Officer Richard Nicolello said. “Thank you for protecting the families of Nassau County residents. Thank you for protecting our children and keeping us safe. This campaign is a way for residents to show their appreciation for the work officers do every day, and to say that they stand behind them and support them.” “Here in Nassau County we’re dealing with multiple issues: gang violence, the opioid crisis, the possibility of school shootings, counterterrorism, and more, “Nassau County PBA President James McDermott said. “We also offer service-oriented policing to our residents, where if you call 911 you get a police officer to help with whatever problem you have. Our officers in Nassau County reflect the very best of our communities and are dedicated to protecting and serving. We appreciate what this blue ribbon means, and we appreciate the support from the residents.” “In my 27 years as a police officer, this is the most difficult time I’ve ever seen,” Patrick Hendry, Treasurer of the New York City PBA said. “We know the people in the neighborhoods support us, but you don’t see that part of the story on the news. This is a great initiative and I encourage everyone to tie your blue ribbons and show your support.” Credit The Nassau County Legislature

The Town Of Oyster Bay opens its drive in concert series at Tobay Beach, by Neil Miller The New York Extra/The NYExtra.com

July 1st was another of new happenings on Long Island as we all adapt to post Covid -19 life. Instead of summer music where friends gather close together, tonight in Tobay Beach on Ocean Parkway, music was observed with social distancing.

The early threat of rain came and went , The Fast Lane, an Eagles tribute band, entertained the crowd. TOB supervisor, Joe Saladino thanked the citizens for coming out to enjoy this first of many Tobay Beach fun nights.

CollectibleXChange Is Transforming The Collectible Deal

By Jeff Moeller, The New York Extra/TheNYExtra.com

For more than 30 years, Brandon Steiner has been in the collectible business and he understands how timing and fate can be everything.

When the COVID pandemic hit in mid-March and started to quickly extend its deadly tentacles into the world of business, Steiner’s budding collectibleXchange.com, launched in December, began to feel the squeeze.

“We were starting to get some business and then it hit.” stated Steiner, whose former company Steiner Sports transformed the sports memorabilia landscape and dominated the industry for over 30 years. “Like any other business, it hit us. I had to furlough some people.”

That was then, and this is now.  

Over the past two-plus months, Steiner’s business took an abrupt U-turn and it is in full gear. His website, which creates a community of buyers and sellers and allow them to set their own prices on unique memorabilia, has topped the 60,000 mark and continues to soar. Steiner and his team of experts will verify and/or authenticate as well as determine the value of your collectibles.

His business seized the moment.

“It started at the end of April, and it has been a complete 360,” boomed Steiner. “It’s been crazy and our office has been packed. The increased activity has been holiday-like! People are calling and posting daily as they clean out their closets, garages and basements.

“There has been a huge uptick in the buying and selling of collectibles and many of the memorabilia has been vintage. By the end of August, we could have over 200,00 items.”

Aside from the usual deluge of baseball and football items, Steiner noticed a surge in Michael Jordan and Chicago Bulls-related items after ESPN’s “The Last Dance” series that depicted their era. Due to the pandemic, the series garnered higher ratings than anticipated.

“During and after the series, we saw a rise in Michael Jordan items,” said Steiner. “We also saw a big jump in Dennis Rodman merchandise as well as Charles Barkley. Rodman and Scott Pippen have been a hit from one great team. We can thank ESPN for that.”

Steiner also cited a hiked interest among teenagers for vintage memorabilia from the 1960s and 70s, as well as a spike in baseball cards. Along with buying and selling, his business also has been drawing interest in appraising.

“Older people may forget what they have, and they have found things while leaning and clearing things,” he said. “We are getting inquiries about what some thing is worth.”

His site has the uniqueness of involving the collegiate and professional athlete.

“CollectibleXchange is creating a platform for the players where they will be making most of the money,” said Steiner. “Former and current players, as well as the future pros now playing in college can come to us and we will guide them.

“CollectibleXchange will be the safe place to go to sell and buy collectibles. Athletes will also be able to sell directly to the collector at a price they determine without a huge mark-up.”

Steiner is exploring the possibilities of delving into the UFC, WWE, and even into the overseas markets of cricket and soccer. His optimism has been heightened with the apparent return of baseball.

“People don’t understand how powerful (baseball) is,” Steiner said. “(Baseball) is a sport that goes solo during the summer and you can add up all of the numbers that it generates. It’s a pretty explosive sport. Once it gets back up and going, it can be a great up tick.”

Steiner has been exuberant about the current higher profile, but his history in the business tempers his temporary enthusiasm.

“This is something unique and different,” he stressed. “These are items that can go up in value over time. It’s a process. People are buying from each other in a safe way.”

For more information, check out collectibleXchange.com

Breaking News, Protest in Wantagh gets nasty as protesters and homeowners argue,by Neil Miller The New York Extra/TheNYExtra.com

A march that started out at the LIRR Wantagh train station and went thru residential streets got testy, as marches and homeowners exchanged heated words. No arrest were made, and no one hurt

Local Long Island News, The Bellmore car show lives despite covid-19, by Neil Miller The New York Extra/TheNYExtra.com

Every Friday nite from 6pm thru 10 pm ,spring to fall, the town of Bellmore,NY on the South Shore of Nassau County, hosts a car show. The show draws motorheads from all over the island, and it takes place in the LIRR parking lot between Bellmore Ave and Bedford Ave. Event goers this Friday observed social distancing and wore masks, so it’s a save place to bring your family! Here’S a few photos from last night.

Frank Martucci stands by his 58 Olds know as the “Bugmobile” Neil Miller The New York Extra/TheNYExtra.com copyright 2020
Frank Martucci’s 58 Oldsmobile on display at The Bellmore Car Show 06/19/2020 Neil Miller The New York Extra/TheNYExtra.com copyright 2020
Rich Amato sits in his 42 Willys US Army Jeep at The Bellmore Car Show 06/19/2020 Neil Miller The New York Extra/TheNYExtra.com copyright 2020

Be careful what you ask for, A State of Chaos without Police, by Neil Miller/The New York Extra/TheNYExtra.com

The nation is gripped in the throes of protests from the disaster of police killings of people of color. Throughout the country, and yes, the world, protesters demand change.

file photo / protest in Plainview NY Neil Miller/The New York Extra/TheNYExtra.com copyright 2020

The list is long and varied depending on the source, but one demand is constant, the redesign of police departments as we know it today.

Without a doubt, the few very bad apples of policing are truly dangerous people. Likewise, some protesters and criminals are also very dangerous people. However, the vast majority on either side strive to live within the guidelines of the law. Police are faced with enormous demands to their sanity and well being every day.

Perhaps the answer to these senseless acts of violence is to have a National Protocol installed on a local level for police on the street. This would involve routine and reoccurring inspection of officers, including updated interviews, psychological testing, record review of complaints, and their social media accounts. This could determine who is and who is not fit for employment in sensitive areas.

However, the idea of defunding police departments and replacing them with community based patrols is a hazard, and misleading to the public on many issues. How would community members, without training and knowledge of tactics and weapons deal with murderers, rapists, arsonists, gangs, organized crime, the mentally ill and terrorists?

The idea is somewhat like the inmates controlling the asylum. Furthermore, there is no clear path of how monies taken from defunding police would truly get to the people in need, instead of go- betweens. Certainly, people of color need better access to quality health care, schools, and a more just social system.

Both parties in this situation need to respect each other. Police need to have a better means to deal with communities in danger, and those communities need to trust and respect the cops so that all can learn from this current debacle.

Sadly, there’s little common sense being said, but a lot of hot rhetoric. If we cant love and respect each other, then we need to have the means so that we can all deal with each other with cooler heads.

Taken to the extreme, if police are pulled off the streets, or greatly reduced in manpower and resources, the next possibility is a constant presence of state police and National Guard. Conceivably, though very unlikely, the military might be brought into play. So folks, then we are talking about a police state to make sure the wheels of civilization as we know continue to roll. Is that what we really want? I think not. It’s time to come to the table with real, workable ideas that respect both sides, and insures the progress of the American Way of Life, before it blows up in our faces.

Sports Media Must Take A Serious Look In the Mirror, by George Willis, The New York Extra/The NYExtra.com

We have spent weeks watching and listening to our nation and the world march in protest against what happened to George Floyd and the social injustices that have plagued our communities and specifically African-Americans.

Politicians, activists, athletes, educators, protesters, and counter protesters have been scrutinized, terrorized and jailed for their efforts and opinions on what is needed to bring about change.

The media with its cameras, microphones and on-air commentators have followed the different narratives and ramifications. Even our sports pages–normally shielded from political and social unrest–have been forced to join the discussion as they chronicle the actions and tweets from athletes, coaches and professional sports organizations, concerning #BlackLivesMatter.

The Red Sox, the Yankees, the Giants, the Knicks, Drew Brees, Kyrie Irving and LeBron James have had their actions and words dissected for their level of sincerity and plausible action.   Now it’s time for those asking the questions to be scrutinized, too.

Our sports departments at newspapers and major sports on-line websites around the country need to take this opportunity to check themselves and make a change.  Editors and those in charge of hiring need to take a timeout and ask themselves whether they’re going to be part of the problem or part of the solution.  Right now, the lack of diversity–real diversity—in sports journalism is appalling and getting worse.

I say this after completing a 23-year run as a general sports columnist at the New York Post. I have been a sports writer for 37 years since earning a diploma at New Mexico State University.   I have been the first black sports writer and the first black beat reporter at a few different stops along the way and had hoped our sports world would be covered by a more diverse media by now.  By that I mean more women and more people of color and varied backgrounds.

Instead, today’s sports staffs on daily print and on-line are largely all white males, charged with dictating the news and coverage of athletes of multiple racial and ethnic backgrounds.

This is not about on-air television talent where the heavy presence of retired African-American athletes turned broadcasters offers a smokescreen of racial balance.  True diversity goes beyond those you see on pregame shows.  I’m talking about producers, columnists, beat writers and insiders, those that create the stories that are talked about on television and talk radio.

I can add to the chorus about how what happened to Floyd sickened me.  I can speak to being barred from playing in a coaches golf outing at a country club in Tennessee because I was black and about how a group of policemen swarmed me and my Cuban-American friend in the car I was driving in New Jersey and ordered us out because we “matched the description” of someone who committed an armed robbery.

I also grew up knowing good cops and detectives, who were admired and respected for the way they protected and served. I also think restoring Police Athletic Leagues around the country is one step in the right direction.

Having more diversity in sports journalism is important, too.  The fallacy of being impartial observers has allowed the sports media to bury its collective head to anything not involving a ball.  That can’t happen anymore.  Opinions matter, websites matter, those who write words and shape stories matter.

According to a 2016 ASNE Diversity Survey, the percentage of minorities in the overall workforce at daily print and on-line organizations was 17 percent, 5.3 percent of which were listed as black.  It’s only gotten worse with fewer newspapers and fewer jobs.

Diversity in those who cover sports at its basic levels matters now more than ever because athletes male and female are no longer going to shut up and play.   They’re going to be black, brown, and gay and utilize various platforms to be outspoken about what they see and feel.  They’ve gone beyond talking about the next game and trusting the process.  They won’t be kept in their place.  Those who cover them will need to understand them, not just quote them.

The plea here is for publishers, sports editors, managing editors and those that hire and fire to do better; to look harder for diverse talent; and to care about what your staff looks like.  Editors also need to challenge their writers to think beyond the final score and learn who they’re actually writing about.  If not, then you’re part of the problem and not part of the solution.

George Willis spent 23 years as a sports columnist at the New York Post after working previously at the New York Times, Newsday and The Memphis Commercial Appeal. He is the author of the “The Bite Fight: Tyson, Holyfield and the Night That Changed Boxing Forever,” and co-author of the NY Times Best Seller “Unnecessary Roughness: Inside the Trial and Final Days of Aaron Hernandez.”