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Southampton 'drive-in' concert sparks anger

Town in hot water over Chainsmokers concert

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo listed issues investigators will probe: Why Southampton Town issued the concert's permit. "What the promoters thought they were doing." "How the event as it was going on was allowed to get out of control." "Why the local law enforcement didn't do anything when they saw that they had an event that was out of control and all the rules were being violated."

"It was a gross violation of common sense," Cuomo said. "It was grossly disrespectful to fellow New Yorkers."

State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker sent a formal letter of inquiry to Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman as part of an investigation into the concert, headlined by the pop duo The Chainsmokers.

Schneiderman, who also performed, said he hasn't seen the letter but acknowledged "aspects of the event violated the permit" and the concert's organizers "are being cited."

"They opened up a VIP area that was not part of the concert" approved by the town, he said Monday. "We would never have approved a gathering area."

The number of new positives today, reported as of 3 p.m.: 42 in Nassau, 57 in Suffolk, 198 in New York City and 534 statewide.

The chart above shows the number of new coronavirus cases confirmed each day in Nassau and Suffolk. Search a map and view charts showing the latest local trends in testing, hospitalizations, deaths and more.

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Parents explore home-schooling kids for fall

With questions swirling about what school will look like on Long Island, educators working outside schools described surging interest from parents seeking alternatives for their children's education as the pandemic continues.

Fears about the safety of in-person instruction, dissatisfaction with distance learning and concerns kids are falling behind are fueling the demand, the directors of tutoring and after-school programs said. Educators said they've seen a spike in inquiries from parents considering home-schooling their children, although it's too soon to know whether a drop in school enrollment will follow.

"Everybody's looking for alternatives," said Jo-Ann Annunziato, director of Long Island Tutoring Service in North Massapequa.

"A lot of kids struggled with remote learning, and I think a lot of parents struggled with it as well," she said. "People just don't want to go back and do that again."

While a decision from the governor on schools is expected in the first week of August, businesses like Annunziato's are bulking up services to accommodate a possible influx of new customers, whether remote learning returns or not.

Forming a 'quaranteam' in an isolating time

For the past four months, Amy McCormick and Andrea Anderson have formed a bubble between their two Hauppauge families. A "quaranteam."

Each family has been strictly isolating — working entirely from home and having their groceries delivered. For their sanity, they say, they joined forces so that they could socialize without having to worry about exposing each other to the coronavirus.

"We started doing it because we wanted to avoid getting sick," says Anderson, 61, a retired teacher who has two daughters living with her, Rebecca, 25, and Jade, 18. "We watch movies, we will take walks together. When it was my daughter's birthday, they came over. That made it a lot easier that we had a 'buddy' family."

Long Islanders span the spectrum when it comes to isolating themselves from others socially, from completely avoiding having people in their homes beyond each other, to other families that are socializing but limiting their exposure by being choosy about who they will meet up with and where.

The McCormick and Anderson families felt comfortable with each other because they have a level of trust. The families' bubble just burst, however, when Rebecca, who is entering her fourth year of medical school, had to return to in-person instruction at the Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University.

Shelter Island's odd summer: Real estate booms as tourism hurts

It's been a tough summer in paradise.

The real estate market on Shelter Island has been hotter than ever, but there's been hardly anything in it for residents and businesses in the sylvan retreat nestled in the blue waters between the North and South Forks.

Brokers selling in the two communities — Shelter Island and Shelter Island Heights — say sales are way up, higher than they have been in decades. And many renters have signed multimonth leases through at least the end of the year.

But though real estate is booming, the bulk of summer sales for local businesses has always been the tourists, who pack onto the ferries to spend a summer day in town, which normally has plenty of fun events to keep visitors entertained.

"We're doing half the business we did before," says Gregory Ofrias, part owner of the Shelter Island Heights Pharmacy, which has a small luncheonette on site, now relegated to takeout.

More to know

Newsday's Tom Brune breaks down the House and Senate proposals for the next round of coronavirus relief.

President Donald Trump again pushed unproven claims that hydroxychloroquine is an effective treatment for COVID-19.

There are now 34 states on New York's 14-day mandatory self-quarantine list, Cuomo said, with the additions of Illinois, Kentucky and Minnesota, along with Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. And a major event for New York's best high school musicians has been canceled. 

The Yankees left Philadelphia with the same 2-1 record they arrived with. Sports columnist David Lennon asks if the Marlins' outbreak "wasn’t enough to push the pause button on the entire league, what is?"

News for you

Attention! Uncle Sam wants you — to visit the Museum of American Armor at Old Bethpage Village Restoration. Officials announced it will reopen to visitors Friday with a slew of pandemic protocols in place. The imagery is inspired.

It's hot this week. Might we suggest Long Island hotels with outdoor pools?

A bigger question: Is it safe to travel these days? Register for Newsday's free virtual event, coming to a small screen near you Wednesday at noon.

"You know those places in Aruba where you can eat and put your feet in the sand?" Here's one much closer, in Bayville.

Plus: A legendary LI pastry shop has reopened in a new spot: a defunct deli on Main Street in Port Washington. Its signature item: "meltaway" coffee cake.

Commentary

Wearing a mask is crucial, responsible. Requiring masks and distancing does impair our freedom, Zachary Murdock of Cold Spring Harbor writes in a reader letter. "So do highway speed limits and stop lights. So do requirements that football, lacrosse and hockey players wear helmets. So do regulations against sales of contaminated food."

Murdock says "we hear otherwise reasonable citizens complain that mask and distancing requirements must be resisted in the name of 'freedom.' To me, that's dangerous nonsense."

In her letter, Carolyn Faggioni of Bellmore declares, "If mask wearing saves even one life, it’s worth it." And Marie Brown of Baldwin explains why she fears "New York will eventually find itself in trouble again with the coronavirus."

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