David Jakubonis, left, accosts Rep. Lee Zeldin, right, the Republican candidate...

David Jakubonis, left, accosts Rep. Lee Zeldin, right, the Republican candidate for governor, at an event in Perinton, New York. Credit: AP

Daily Point

Zeldin’s help message for vet who accosted him

After Rep. Lee Zeldin was accosted last week by an admittedly inebriated Army veteran struggling with emotional issues and brandishing a self-defense weapon, the quick release of 43-year-old defendant David Jakubonis prodded new debate over New York’s bail laws and enforcement.

But while looking to drive that debate, Zeldin (R-Shirley) added that he recognizes Jakubonis and others who exhibit similar behavior require specific help.

On Thursday, in a video news conference again primarily focused on calls for tougher crime measures, Zeldin defended local law enforcement’s handling of this case and once again attacked such recent legal reforms as those that keep judges from choosing to set pretrial bail in all but the most violent felony cases.

In that context, the candidate argued that there are times when having the accused in custody can allow outside addiction and mental-health services to be offered. Zeldin acknowledged reports of Jakubonis’ problems as a veteran, with an alcohol problem.

When a person is in custody, he said, “Maybe a law enforcement officer is able to connect them with experts, with individuals, with groups inside a community who can assist. Maybe you can help make an appointment for that person to get assistance.”

Responding to criticism that Zeldin has used the incident strictly as a springboard to hammer home his bail reform message, he told The Point that he has spoken publicly several times about the need for mental health treatment for people like Jakubonis.

In many cases, especially where a judge hasn’t discretion to hold someone, people are not helped as a result, he said on Fox News and then in his news conference this week.

Zeldin cited services available in Monroe County where the alleged assault occurred and where Jakubonis lives. “I think that it’s important for Mr. Jakubonis, for his attorney, for anyone speaking with him, to make an outreach with the Monroe County Veterans Services agency,” Zeldin said. “These are veterans, they are passionate about what they do,” and have a good reputation, he said.

Zeldin notes that as a state legislator nearly a decade ago he sponsored the Joseph P. Dwyer Peer Support Program named after a decorated Iraq War veteran from Mt. Sinai whose death at 31 was traced to post-traumatic stress disorder. The program, based on a model of anonymous, confidential peer support, should be made accessible nationwide, said Zeldin, himself a U.S. Army veteran of the Iraq War.

Help should be available, he said, to all those who “have the mental wounds of war.”

— Dan Janison @Danjanison

Data Point

Chill out LI, it's been hotter before

​​Despite the heat warnings across the country last week, the temperature on Long Island did not break any historical records. With a weekly average maximum temperature of 89.14 degrees, it came up short of Long Island’s hottest July week in 2013 where the average maximum was 92.71. July’s record hottest day was set on July 3, 1966, with a peak of 104.

Even though we have yet to break any July records this year, data from the National Weather Service shows that on average July temperatures from the 2010-19 decade are 3.7 degrees higher than the 1970s. Overall, average monthly temperatures across the board are higher ranging from 0.14 up to 3.7 degrees when comparing the average of the 1970s with the 2010s.

This July’s peak temperature average of 85.11 is ranked sixth-hottest July since 1965, with 1999 taking the cake at 87.9.

Additionally, 52% of daily peak records on Long Island were set since 2000. Long Island has broken eight records this year so far but with five months left, it’s possible we might set more records. The year 1991 still holds the most records with 18 total but 2017 comes in second with 17 records.

Despite the return of sticky weather this weekend, the good news is Long Islanders have some cooler temperatures to look forward to. Historically, August tends to be slightly cooler than July with peak temperatures lower by an average of 1 degree, and there have only been two days in August that have hit 100 compared with five occasions in July.

— Kai Teoh @jkteoh

Pencil Point

The winner

Credit: Creators.com/Gary Markstein

For more cartoons, visit www.newsday.com/nationalcartoons

Puzzle Point

In the news

Welcome to this week’s news quiz. As usual, provide the answer for each clue, one letter per blank. The first letter of each answer, taken in order, spells the name of the iconic singer/activist who said this after making a surprise concert appearance: “No, I’ve never been nervous about being in front of an audience. But I want it to be good, y’know, and I wasn’t sure that I could be. But I didn’t sound too bad tonight …”

A link to the answers appears below.

_ _ _ _ _ _     _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _   A new museum dedicated to this pioneering baseball great was unveiled in Manhattan, with memorabilia from his playing days in New York, among other places.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _   The Suffolk County Legislature voted to do this to County Executive Steve Bellone’s veto of a bill to kill public campaign financing.

_ _ _ _ _ _     _ _ _ _   TV legend and sitcom trailblazer who turned 100 years old this week.

_ _ _ _ _ _     _ _ _ _ _   Jared Kushner alleges in an upcoming memoir that former White House chief of staff John Kelly was a bully who shoved this person after a volatile White House meeting.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _   Dozens of people in the Japanese city of Yamaguchi have been attacked in July by these animals, who are targeting children and the elderly.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _   The Federal Reserve raised its bench mark interest rate by three-quarters of a point in its latest attempt to slow this.

_ _ _ _ _   A U.S. District Court heard arguments in this state’s challenge to the Obamacare requirement that HIV preventive medication be fully covered by insurance.

_ _ _   Beloved animal that was controversially classified as an “invasive alien species” by the Polish Academy of Sciences.

_ _ _     _ _     _ _ _ _     _ _ _ _     _ _ _ _     _ _ _ _   Rock singer Pat Benatar said she would no longer perform this famous song because of its gun-referencing lyrics.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _     _ _ _ _ _   Political alliance that agreed to reduce consumption of natural gas this winter to protect itself against further supply cuts by Russia.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _   Ground staff of this European airline staged a one-day strike that resulted in more than 1,000 canceled flights as part of a pay dispute.

_ _ _ _   A big spotted cat seen in Islip Town and finally captured, originally thought to be a bobcat, is instead most likely the Eurasian species of this animal.

Click here for the answers to the clued words and to the identity of the mystery singer/activist.

— Michael Dobie @mwdobie

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