90, died June 3, 2018 at her home. A lifelong Bayonne resident, the daughter of the late Bertha Karkut Roblesky Gorczyca and Charles Roblesky, she retired from Western Electric Company, Kearny NJ. Wife of the late William Papalski. Mother of Thomas, Richard, Raymond (Eazy Ray), Michael and the late William (Roll) Papalski. Grandmother of Michael, Wayne, Adam, Melissa and Amy. Great-grandmother of Noella, Thomas, Avery and Ava. In lieu of flowers please make donations to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN. 38101. Funeral arrangements by SWEENEY Funeral Home, 857 John F. Kennedy Blvd.
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Metro StationMiley’s freaky brother Trace fronts these synthpop scenesters, perhaps most well-known for their Billboard Top 10 hit “Shake It,” as well as for their truly unique fashion sense. Currently touring in support of their second studio full-length, Savior, with an other drop expected in the not-so-distant future, expect a barrage of new numbers, as well as some truly extraordinary outfits! And expect to be absolutely floored, of course. Warming up the crowd are Palaye Royale, The Strive, Megaweapon, and The Haunting. Revolution Bar & Music Hall, 140 Merrick Rd., Amityville. revolutionli.com $18, $20 DOS. 6 p.m. Nov. 3. Story of JudasThis cinematic salvation of Biblical proportions documents the final days of Jesus from the perspective of his once-closest disciple-turned-traitor, Judas Iscariot, as they are swept up in political tumult amid tensions between the Jews and the Romans over the escalating popularity of the man who claims to be the Son of God. At the screening will be director Rabah Ameur-Zaïmeche, who plays Judas in the movie. Oh blessed be, indeed. Cinema Arts Centre, 423 Park Ave., Huntington. cinemaartscentre.org $10-$15. 7:30 p.m. Nov. 3. Long Island Music Hall of Fame Induction Awards GalaDedicated to appreciating and preserving Long Island’s musical heritage, this society holds an induction awards ceremony annually to recognize music industry leaders and exemplary music educators with Long Island roots. With exhibits describing the accomplishments of past renowned inductees (including George Gershwin, Louis Armstrong, Neil Diamond, and Aaron Copland, among others), the night also includes cocktails, and of course, wonderful music. This year’s inductees will include Grammy winning record producer Jim Steinman, artist manager/songwriter Sandy Pearlman, hip hop artist Big Daddy Kane, guitar hero Steve Vai, jazz bandleader Vince Giordano, and many more. [Read: Rocker Steve Vai Among Long Island Music Hall of Fame 2016 Inductees] The Space at Westbury, 250 Post Ave., Westbury. thespaceatwestbury.com $75-$250. 8:30 p.m. Nov. 3.Robert Klein and Rita RudnerBroadway, television, stand-up comedy and film, Robert Klein does it all. Being nominated for two Grammy Awards and a Tony, he is always pushing himself to do more, appearing in How To Lose A Guy in 10 Days and The Back-Up Plan, his own HBO specials, and Robert Klein: Unfair and Unbalanced, which is now out on DVD. Also performing will be the hilarious Rita Rudner. Get ready to laugh, really, really, really hard. NYCB Theatre at Westbury, 960 Brush Hollow Rd., Westbury. venue.thetheatreatwestbury.com $29.50-$69.50. 8 p.m. Nov. 3.Steve Miller Band Take our word for it: You know every single lyric to every single Steve Miller Band song, ever, which makes seeing them at a live show such a fun experience that is most definitely not to be missed. “Fly Like an Eagle” down to see him this weekend because “Time keeps on slippin’, slippin’, slippin’ into the future” and you might miss your chance to see the guy some call the “Gangster of Love” (but whom others simply refer to as “Maurice”). [Read: Abracadabra: Steve Miller Band To Rock Huntington’s Paramount Nov. 2nd & 3rd] One thing’s for sure: Before they “take your money and run,” you will have the time of your life. The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $59.50- $159.50. 8 p.m. Nov. 3.Tara ClancyThis author will be speaking about and signing copies of her new book The Clancys of Queens, an electric, one-of-a-kind memoir. In this laugh-out-loud narrative, Tara brings readers into the world of her unusual upbringing as she navigates her way amongst the blue collars and the blue bloods. Come down and ask her about her inspiration, your favorite passages, or just some priceless advice on how to write your own memoir. Book Revue, 313 New York Ave., Huntington. bookrevue.com Free with purchase of book. 7 p.m. Nov. 4.Walking with Whitman: Poetry in PerformanceThis event strives to bring attention to poetry in Huntington and the rest of Long Island. It is hosted by George Wallace and features a musical prelude by Tom Santioriello and friends, followed by a poetry reading by Grace Cavalieri, an accomplished author and writer. Do not miss this chance to be inspired yet again by the magical musings of The Good Grey Poet, who transformed the the written word forever, and whose extraordinary gift has the transcendental power to illuminate the divine beauty of all living things in just a few mere syllables. Oh, sing the body electric! [Read: Walt Whitman’s Long Island Roots] Walt Whitman Birthplace, 246 Old Walt Whitman Rd., Huntington Station. waltwhitman.org $10. 7:30 p.m. Nov. 4.Samantha FishBlues singer/songwriter and guitarist Samantha Fish has released albums Live Bait, Girls with Guitars (with Casi Taylor and Dani Wilde), Black Wind Howlin, and Wild Heart with increasing rock influences. With hits like “Gone for Good,” “Shake Em’ Down,” and “I Put a Spell on You,” Fish has gained two bandmates, and brings her energetic high-heeled, red-haired presence to stages, citing Tom Petty and Sheryl Crow as crucial influences to her sound. Get ready to be wowed. YMCA Boulton Center for the Performing Arts, 37 West Main St., Bay Shore. boultoncenter.org $25-$30. 8 p.m. Nov. 4.Cheech & ChongThis Grammy Award-winning comedy duo are among the most well-known comedians of all time. They began their reign in 1970 and went on to produce six gold comedy albums, including the hit Los Cochions. They have also starred in eight different films, including their most famous, Up In Smoke, which was the highest-grossing comedy of 1978. In 2008, they reunited after almost 25 years, and set out on a countrywide tour. This year, they embarked on their Up In Smoke tour, which has spanned from Hawaii to New Jersey. As they come to New York, they will bring uncontrollable laughter to the audience with their stand-up comedy, song parodies, and costume character sketches. Opening the show is Shelby Chong. The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $39.50-$89.50. 8 p.m. Nov. 4.Fight Night: USA Boxing – NY Metro ChampionshipsLive boxing returns to The East End! And we’re goin’ big! Overseen by the United States Olympic Committee, USA Boxing is the National Governing Body for Olympic Style Boxing in the US! And these are the NY Metro Championships. Expect some fierce hand-to-hand battles, some leveling left hooks, and some phenomenal efforts by all combatants in the ring! Lineup to be announced. Suffolk Theater, 118 E. Main St., Riverhead. suffolktheater.com $25-$49. 8 p.m. Nov. 4.Brian ReganStand-up comedy legend Brian Regan is known for his observational, self-deprecating, and sarcastic humor, which uses everyday experiences, like visits to the optometrist, shipping packages with UPS, and constant childhood references, to build a clean, off-center, and hysterical performance. With a fan base crossing age groups and a performance described as “big enough for everyone,” Regan uses sophisticated writing, physicality, and relatable material to sell out acclaimed venues, such as Radio City Music Hall, and leave the audiences absolutely in stitches! Hysterical! NYCB Theatre at Westbury, 960 Brush Hollow Rd., Westbury. venue.thetheatreatwestbury.com $57.50-$62.50. 8 p.m. Nov. 4.Indigo GirlsEmbrace the color somewhere between blue and purple on a wavelength with the captivating capability of expressing absolute sheer jubilation transposed with the infectious haunting of beauty-sadness. Whoa. Yeah. Dynamic duo Amy Ray and Emily Saliers sing folk rock songs like nobody’s business. The two, who have known each other through thick and thin since elementary school, are back at it again. Listen to contrasting harmonious voices against the sound of strumming guitars, making the night one with their powerful duo’s delivery. The acoustic-driven numbers will expose these musicians’ own journey of life at large, and surely inspire all those in attendance. Rejoice! Opening the show is Becky Warren. The Space at Westbury, 250 Post Ave., Westbury. thespaceatwestbury.com $39.50-$65. 8 p.m. Nov. 4.Jake JohannsenThis David Letterman favorite has appeared on The Late Show over 40 times, as well as having starred in his own HBO comedy special This’ll Take About An Hour. Voted Best Male Comedian at the American Comedy Awards, and the original pick for the role of George Costanza in Seinfeld, Johanssen conjures up imagery reminiscent of Gary Larson’s comic strip Far Side, spending time on subjects ranging from his toaster to the conviction that extraterrestrials are living among us, working against us. Expect to laugh, uncontrollably. Governor’s Comedy Club, 90 Division Ave., Levittown. govs.govs.com $25. 8 p.m. Nov. 4; 7, 9:30 p.m. Nov. 5.The Okee Dokee BrothersThese Grammy Award and two-time Parents’ Choice Award winners have garnered praise from the likes of NPR’s All Things Considered and USA Today, and have been called “two of family music’s best songwriters.” Justin Lansing and Joe Mailander have been exploring the outdoors together since they were kids. Their latest album, Saddle Up, released in May 2016, is a joyous adventure through the American West. Adelphi University Performing Arts Center (AUPAC), Concert Hall, 1 South Ave., Garden City. aupac.adelphi.edu $20. 2 p.m. Nov. 5Passage: Paintings of Urban LifeOh, how art possesses that immortal power to wipe away the facade of everyday, daily life to expose the true vastness and divinity of this realm. This opening reception and exhibit features oil paintings by artist Manu Saluja, whose creations depict fleeting moments from her commute to and from Manhattan. These sublime translations interpret the claustrophobic crowds, corroded steel, and soiled walls she encounters each day in New York City’s subway system. Rather than make the work feel forlorn, she chooses to paint the beauty and resilience she sees in these ordinary moments and objects, with visual excitement! Prepare to be inspired! Runs through Dec. 6. Hersh Fine Art at the Long Island Academy of Fine Art, 14A Glen St., Glen Cove. www.hershfineart.com Free. 6 p.m. Nov. 5. MORE THINGS TO DO: Long Island Pumpkin Picking Guide 2016Wild ‘ N Out Live Comedy ShowBringing visceral, cutting, hip-hop-edged comedy to the center stage, Nick Cannon presides in glorious hilarity over this unique melding of rap battle-meets-comedy smorgasbord, which has produced stars from Kevin Hart to JB Smooth. Completely improv, this live version of the top-rated show that has just experienced three record-breaking seasons is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and surely not to be missed! After party featuring Cannon ‘s live DJ set, The Wild N’ Out Cast & The Fly Girls. The Emporium, 9 Railroad Ave., Patchogue. theemporiumny.com $30. 7 p.m. Nov. 5.Wayne BradyThis Emmy Award-winning actor, singer, and comedian is best known for his role on Whose Line Is It Anyway?, and as host of Don’t Forget the Lyrics and Let’s Make a Deal. Brady has also performed on the Tony Award-winning musical Kinky Boots on Broadway. As he takes a break from his TV/Broadway career, he is embarking on this extraordinary tour, which will feature all of his amazing talents, among these: singing, dancing, comedy, acting, and improvisation. Brady’s one-man show will captivate the audience with an array of his talents. He will even be taking suggestions from the audience. Get ready to laugh until your stomach hurts! Tilles Center for the Performing Arts, LIU Post, 720 Northern Blvd., Brookville. tillescenter.org $45-$65. 8 p.m. Nov. 5.Aztec Two Step and Brewer & ShipleyFirst up is folk-rock duo Aztec Two Step, best known for their 1970s hits “Highway Song” and “Cosmos Lady.” With a career spanning more than four decades, a New York Music Award under their collective belt, and appearances on TV shows, they’ll be performing alongside fellow folk-rock duo Brewer & Shipley. Still as passionate as ever, this duo continues to perfectly blend guitars and vocals and perform for audiences more than 40 years after their trademark vocal harmonies, which carved a unique position in America’s soundboard. Be prepared to travel back to the future, and get ready to rock out! YMCA Boulton Center for the Performing Arts, 37 West Main St., Bay Shore. boultoncenter.org $50-$55. 8 p.m. Nov. 5.Darcy Novick Presents 14th LI Comedy FestThis year’s Comedy Fest includes some of the most talented comedians in the game. First up is Richie Minervini, known for his clean jokes and quick wit. Next is John Pizzi, a virtual ventriloquist seen on America’s Got Talent and also known for opening for “Weird” Al Yankovic. Next is Chris Roach, the unique and self-deprecating comedian best known for his shows at The Borgata in Atlantic City, and appearances on Comedy Central and The Michael J. Fox Show. Bob Dibuono is a sarcastic cut-up who has a gift for impersonations. He has been seen on Last Comic Standing and on MTV, and even appeared as Donald Trump on The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore. Last up is Tugboat Manny, who will keep everyone laughing with his one-two-punch style! Five comedians in one night! Get ready to LOL! Wow! NYCB Theatre at Westbury, 960 Brush Hollow Rd., Westbury. venue.thetheatreatwestbury.com $35- $49. 8 p.m. Nov. 5.Big GiganticBig Gigantic is an instrumental livetronica, hip-hop and jazz musical group who combine electronic beats with live saxophone and drum instrumentation to bringing magical vibes to the audience via truly unforgettable performances. Set to perform hits off of their newest album Brighter Future, be prepared to be wowed! Some of their songs include collaborations with popular artists Waka Flocka Flame, Logic, and Rozes. Colorful lights, smoke, lasers, and effects will capture the audience as they ripple like waves above The Mountler’s packed dancefloor and shower all in their kaleidoscopic daydream waterfalls of sonic, blissful joy. Damn. This show is a can’t miss! Supporting acts include Illenium and Codd Dubz. The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $25- $66. 9 p.m. Nov. 5.1848 ElectionTired of the presidential campaign? Really? Visitors to this event can experience speeches, rallies, songs and victory celebrations to see how candidates stumped 168 years ago, way before emails and alleged Russian hackers and Billy Bush. Cast your vote for the following Free Soil Party candidate Martin Van Buren, Democrat Lewis Cass or Whig Party candidate Zachary Taylor! Old Bethpage Village Restoration, 1303 Round Swamp Rd., Old Bethpage. www.nassaucountyny.gov/parks. $10 adults, $7 kids. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Nov. 5, 6.Budd Burton MossMeet legendary Hollywood talent agent, author, and producer Budd Burton Moss for an in-depth discussion and multi-media presentation about his extraordinary life, career and friends, including Sidney Poitier, Rita Hayworth, Larry King and many more. Come on down and ask him about his adventures through Tinsel Town, what it was like being such a mover and shaker, and show him some of your extraordinary talents, too! Will he sign on to represent you? Unlikely. Will he work his magic to get you up on the silver screen alongside Anna Torv, in some absolutely mind-blowing, Fringe followup? Absolutely not. Will you be inspired, regardless?! Most definitely! Cinema Arts Centre, 423 Park Ave., Huntington. cinemaartscentre.org $10-$15. 6 p.m. Nov. 6.Interplay Jazz OrchestraCatch the only local 17-piece big band that plays all original compositions written by its members. A live performance is simply a must as the band weaves its magical chemistry to entertain audiences with swinging interludes of pure rhythmic madness to the off-beat tempo of brass lightning drenched in infectious groove. Yes, you need to experience this. Treme Blues and Jazz Club, 553 Main St., Islip. tremeislip.com Free. 7 p.m. Nov. 6.Chef Guy ReugeThis chef and owner of Mirabelle and Sandbar restaurants will be speaking and signing copies of his new book A Chef’s Odyssey. Perhaps he’ll share some of his secret recipes with you? Perhaps you’ll share some of yours with him? Regardless, this event will undoubtedly make all those in attendance exceptionally hungry, so consider heading down the block beforehand for some delicious cold-chee pizza slices at Lil Vincent’s, or hit up any of The Huntler’s extraordinary Greek spots! Yowzler, indeed! Book Revue, 313 New York Ave., Huntington. bookrevue.com Free with purchase of book. 7 p.m. Nov. 7David Brooks: What to Expect “Tomorrow”– The Presidential ElectionSpend election eve with acclaimed columnist David Brooks of The New York Times. He has a gift for bringing audiences face-to-face with the spirit of our times through humor, insight and quiet passion. Adelphi University, Thomas Dixon Lovely Ballroom of the Ruth S. Harley University Center, 1 South Ave., Garden City. aupac.adelphi.edu Free but tickets are required. 7 p.m. Nov. 7Such GoldThese punk rockers from band from Rochester are best known for t2012’s Misadventures, which charted a No. 6 on the Billboard Heatseekers chart. Their newest, The New Sidewalk, is a bit different from their previous two albums, as it includes pummeling drumbeats and punchy guitar tones. Opening the show is Pkew Pkew Pkew. Amityville Music Hall, 198 Broadway, Amityville. $12. 7 p.m. Nov. 7.The American SideFollowing a mysterious suicide at Niagara Falls, a low-rent detective unravels a conspiracy to build a revolutionary invention by Nikola Tesla. Filmmaker Jenna Ricker and lead actor and co-writer Greg Stuhr will appear in person at the screening. Come be enlightened. Cinema Arts Centre, 423 Park Ave., Huntington. cinemaartscentre.org $10-$15. 7:30 p.m. Nov. 7.Black Rebel Motorcycle Club & Death from Above 1979Black Rebel Motorcycle Club is a three-piece with more than seven studio albums under their belt, just in the past decade and a half. Some of their most popular songs include “Spread Your Love,” “Ain’t No Easy Way” and “Love Burns.” Another, “Done All Wrong,” appeared on the 2009 film soundtrack The Twilight Saga: New Moon. Death from Above 1979 is a rock duo formed in 2001. After breaking up and getting back together again, they won a VideoFact Award at the MuchMusic Video Awards, and also appeared on the Late Night with Conan O’Brien show, where they performed their hit single “Romantic Rights.” Also performing will be Deap Vally. Not to be missed. The Paramount, 370 New York Ave., Huntington. paramountny.com $25-$50. 8 p.m. Nov. 9.Gold Coast International Film FestivalThis exciting week of films, parties, filmmaker Q&As and glamour brings together residents, students, teachers, tourists and professionals to celebrate cinema on the North Shore of Nassau County. Filmmakers and special guests scheduled to attend include: renowned photographer Harry Benson, Matthew Miele (Harry Benson: Shoot First), Lawrence Smith (Mad Riot Entertainment), Dani Menkin (On the Map), Scott Rosenbaum (Sidemen: Long Road to Glory), Scott Sharrard, touring guitarist and musical director for The Gregg Allman Band, basketball superstar Tal Brody, Kate Keckler Dandel (Gold Balls), Brett Berns and Bob Sarles (Bang! The Bert Berns Story), Charlene Fiske (The Founders), Ferne Pearlstein (The Last Laugh), Amir Kishon, son of renowned Israeli satirist Ephraim Kishon, legendary Hollywood agent, Budd Burton Moss, plus many, many more. Runs through Nov. 15. Prices, venues vary. goldcoastfilmfestival.org Nov. 9-15.Main Art: Blues singer and guitarist Samantha Fish rocks YMCA Boulton Center for the Performing Arts on Nov. 4! (Photo: samanthafish.com)-Compiled by Ellie Schoeffel, Natalie Coloprisco, Timothy Bolger & Zachary B. Tirana III
… Magistrate refuses to obligeCity Magistrate Judy Latchman on Tuesday refused the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) request to commit Regan “Grey Boy” Rodrigues to stand trial in the High Court for the murder of Courtney Crum Ewing.Magistrate Latchman on Monday threw out the case due to insufficient evidence and one day after the Office of the DPP, through Special Prosecutor Nigel Hughes, made the request to have her commit Rodrigues to stand trial in the High Court. However, the Magistrate stood her ground and informed Hughes that her court will not bow since she had already discharged the case. One of the roles of the DPP is to ensure that no citizen is charged unjustly. However, according to legal minds, this very instance is a clear violation of that role and further deteriorates the public confidence in the office of the DPP. It is noted that while the DPP has the power to order a Magistrate to commit a case to stand trial in the High Court, she must be able to provide extraordinary grounds for doing so. However, requesting a Magistrate to commit someone who has already been cleared by the courts is a clear violation of that person’s right to a fair trial, according to a senior attorney. On Monday, Rodrigues was set free for a second time after the prosecution failed to provide sufficient evidence to link him to the murder of political activist Courtney Crum-Ewing.In making her ruling, the Magistrate considered all of the facts presented to her. She highlighted evidence given by Crime Scene Analyst, Delicia Brown, whose submission to the court revealed that the .32 pistol and five .32 bullets found at the accused’s home was indeed the said gun used in the execution of Crum-Ewing.However, she stated that no actual evidence was presented to the court to prove that Rodrigues pulled the trigger, thus committing the heinous act, even though 14 witness statements alleged such. She also alluded to the facts that the oral statements given by Rodrigues during the course of the investigation did not implicate him in the killing, and as such he had no case to answer to.Upon hearing the decision, Rodrigues burst into tears and as he was being led back into the lock-ups, he screamed, “Freedom! Freedom!”Crum-Ewing was gunned down on March 10, 2015, as he was urging residents of Diamond, East Bank Demerara, to cast their ballots in the May 2015 General elections. Months after, Rodrigues was arrested and charged with the murder but was freed in September 2016.However, in April 2017, he was re-arrested after the DPP ordered that the case be reopened. According to the DPP, “The sole purpose of this remit is to take further evidence from Police witnesses and to rule on the voluntariness of all oral statements of the accused.”
…by violating confidentiality of Cabinet meetingsA few days ago, several Ministers of the former Government were questioned by the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) in what has been described as the Pradoville probe. Could this course of action have established a precedent for successive Governments?The former PPP Government Ministers making their way into SOCU Headquarters and being led by their Attorney, Anil NandlallFormer Attorney General Anil Nandlall certainly thinks so. According to Nandlall, in his recent writings, the sacrosanct nature of cabinet meetings dates back many years, and is in place across several countries.“This week, SOCU has done that which may be unprecedented in the history of the Commonwealth: its officers grilled a number of members of the Cabinet of Guyana of 2010 in relation to policies discussed and decisions taken at a Cabinet meeting held during that year.”Nandlall cited several cases, including Conway V Rimmer and the text Cabinet responsibility to legislature (India) by G. C. Malhotra, to make the point that cabinet must be insulated from undue interference. He also cited Australia, explaining that when a government changes, the minutes of cabinet meetings are archived for 25 years.“Cabinet is created by Article 106 (1) of the Constitution, which prescribes its composition to be the President, the Prime Minister, Vice Presidents, and such other Ministers as may be appointed to it by the President. Its functions are, ‘to aid and advise the President in the general direction and control of the Government of Guyana, and shall be collectively responsible therefore to Parliament,” Nandlall stated, quoting from Article 106 (2) of the Constitution.According to Nandlall, SOCU has breached this principle. He revealed that when the former Ministers were questioned last week, SOCU officers had in their possession minutes from cabinet meetings dating back to 2010. And it was based on those minutes that they were questioned.“By so doing, wittingly or unwittingly, a dangerous precedent has been set, with no lines drawn. It is now open to every future Government of this country to launch Police investigations in respect of policies and decisions collectively made by past Presidents and their Cabinet,” Nandlall said.“This must be ominous for this Government, as it has engaged in so many transactions that can easily be the subject of Police investigations. This can only lead to greater political acrimony and deeper cleavages in an already divided society. What is certain is an appointment to Cabinet has now become hazardous,” Nandlall explained.QuestionedOn Wednesday morning, former Public Works Minister Robeson Benn and former Labour Minister Manzoor Nadir found themselves the latest to be questioned at SOCU’s headquarters.The duo was represented by former Education Minister Priya Manickchand, who disclosed that she, too, was called in for questioning regarding the matter on Tuesday.Speaking to media operatives after being questioned, Benn revealed that he explained to the SOCU investigators that during the period surrounding the sale of the lands, a Minister had been murdered, and so Government did what “needed to be done” at the time.He was referring to the assassination of former Agriculture Minister Satyadeo Sawh, his family and security personnel. Sawh and two of his siblings were gunned down in April 2006, shortly after they had returned to the Minister’s La Bonne Intention (LBI), East Coast Demerara home.Benn, who does not own property at the Sparendaam location, told media reporters that the overriding issue had to do with the stability of the country, to make sure that the President (Bharrat Jagdeo) and other members of the Cabinet get a home in a secure and safe environment away from criminal activities.Last year March, former President Bharrat Jagdeo and former Head of the Presidential Secretariat, Dr Roger Luncheon, were arrested, while several other former Government Ministers under the PPP Administration were detained by SOCU officials who were probing misappropriation of State assets.The arrest and detention was in connection with an ongoing probe into the acquisition of lands at “Pradoville 2”, among other things. Days after that, President David Granger declared that the former Guyanese Leader should not have been treated the way he was.In the past, SOCU has detained several former prominent Government officials in regard to their connection with the Pradoville 2 scheme. The reason these persons are being questioned is because they purchased property at the Sparendaam seawall area.The current Administration contends that the transaction is a criminal act because of the belief that the land was sold below market value. However, the PPP has argued that subsidised housing has always been part of the legacy of the PPP, and that countless Guyanese have benefited from lands sold below market value.
Upendra Chivukula had already enjoyed a string of political successes in 2014 when he decided to challenge three fellow Democrats for the New Jersey House seat that became vacant when former Rep. Rush D. Holt Jr. decided not to run for re-election.Chivukula, 67, had been the deputy mayor and mayor of Franklin Township, a sprawling suburb near New Brunswick with a fast-growing Indian population. In 2001 he won a seat in the Assembly, becoming the first Indian-American elected to the state Legislature.Still, naysayers predicted that he would never get close to 10 percent of the vote.“But I got 22 percent,” Chivukula said. He did not win, but he shook up the political establishment in the central part of the state.“People woke up,” he said. “They said, ‘Oh my God, We have to pay attention to the Indian-American community. If they come together, they can make a big difference.’”A new generation of South Asians is flexing its political muscle across New Jersey — working on campaigns, developing political strategies behind the scenes and being elected to office.“I think there has been an awakening and a lot of it has to do with this transition from the immigrant mentality to the first- and second-generation mentality,” said Rajiv Parikh, a partner at Genova Burns, a law firm in Newark. He is also general counsel for New Jersey Democratic State Committee.“Folks like myself who grew up here understand the importance of government and making sure that your voice is heard,” he said. “If you don’t go and do the work, you’re not going to effectuate change for yourself.”The political awakening among South Asians has attracted mostly young professionals who come from families that immigrated to New Jersey’s suburbs from India, Pakistan, Nepal and Sri Lanka, among other countries, and were raised and educated here. Patrick Murray, the director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute, said the rise of South Asians is part of a natural progression.“As they’ve become part of the fabric here in New Jersey we see this community kind of realizing the next step is to really become part of the political culture.”In Hoboken, Councilman Ravi Bhalla, a Democrat, is running for mayor with the support of the current mayor, Dawn Zimmer. In Denville, Rupande Mehta is running for Town Council.Indian American Raj Mukherji takes oath of the General Assembly of the State of New Jersey at the War Memorial in Trenton, United States of America on Tuesday. Photo: IANSState Assemblyman Raj Mukherji, a Democrat, represents Hudson County. Virbhadra Patel, also a Democrat, serves on the Woodbridge Township Council. Ayesha Hamilton, another Democrat, is a councilwoman in West Windsor. And Assad Akhter, a Democrat, is a freeholder in Passaic County.And in what has emerged as one of the most contested Senate races in the Nov. 7 election, the longtime incumbent Jennifer Beck, a Republican from Monmouth County, is trying to fend off a robust challenge from Vin Gopal, the former chairman of the Monmouth County Democratic Committee and a volunteer firefighter.“This is seen as the top Democratic opportunity to pick off a Republican in the Senate this year,” Murray said.The rising political profile of South Asians, who tend to vote Democratic, has made them an increasingly sought-after voting bloc. Philip D. Murphy, the Democratic candidate for governor, made a campaign visit to a construction site in Robbinsville, New Jersey, for what is being promoted as one of the world’s largest Hindu temples.And the New Jersey Democratic Committee has a South Asian caucus, launched in 2013.“It was a recognition that the South Asian community in New Jersey is a force — a force that cannot be lumped in with Asians in general,” said Parikh, the lawyer for the New Jersey Democratic State Committee.The number of South Asians in the state has grown dramatically in recent decades. In 1970, there were fewer than 50,000 Asians in New Jersey, according to state data. By 2010, there were more than 725,000.Some local campaigns have had success getting high voter turnout among South Asians, according to Khyati Joshi, a professor at Fairleigh Dickinson University, who is a co-chairman of the state’s South Asian Caucus. She saw firsthand how important South Asian voters were in 2015 during a campaign for her husband, John Bartlett, a Passaic County freeholder.Bartlett faced a tough re-election fight because it was a low turnout year, without a presidential or gubernatorial race to draw voters. The South Asian Caucus microtargeted voters with South Asian last names. Caucus members who spoke Gujarati or Bengali worked the phones.“I remember giving one list of about 180 voters to this one woman, because she’s like, ‘I know practically every one of them and we’ll take care of it,’” Joshi said. “We saw over 60 percent and 70 percent turnout among those lists.”At an upscale Asian restaurant in New Brunswick last month, about 100 South Asians gathered for the launch of a group called Inspiring South Asian American Women, which is working to attract and cultivate South Asian women interested in politics.“After the presidential election last year, a group of South Asians came together just to talk about what was going on politically in the country and in the state,” said Kiran Gill, the group’s president.“There isn’t necessarily a pipeline of South Asian American women that are interested in running for office, and if they are, they don’t necessarily have ready access to resources, tools and role models,” said Gill, an environmental engineer.On the national stage, South Asian leaders — like Kamala Harris, a Democratic senator from California; Nikki R. Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and a Republican; and former Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, a Republican — have become familiar names.It is a marked difference from half a century ago. President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1965, and Indians started arriving in large numbers to study.Chivukula came from India in 1974 and earned a master’s degree in electrical engineering at City College. He worked a series of jobs in New Jersey, designing control room simulators for nuclear power plants and software for sewage treatment plants.In the mid-1980s, when he worked as an engineer at AT&T, he observed low political engagement in the Indian-American community. “I said we have to change that,” he said.He started meeting with state legislators to seek opportunities for women-owned businesses and bring skilled immigrant labor to the state. He also wanted lawmakers to address hate crimes. In the late 1980s, a group calling itself the “dotbusters” — a reference to the mark married Hindu women wear on their foreheads — assaulted an Indian doctor and killed another Indian-American in Jersey City.Chivukula joined the Democratic Party in Somerset County and started raising money and helping candidates win seats.“A lot of businesses need permission from the townships. By having a seat at the table, you can make some changes,” said Chivukula, who is a member of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities and raises money for Republican and Democratic candidates in New Jersey and beyond.In Middlesex County, Shanti Narra, a freeholder, is rallying behind fellow South Asians to have a voice in their communities, including fighting discrimination.Several South Asian Muslim groups have encountered resistance when they have tried to get permits to build mosques. Bernards Township was ordered by the Department of Justice to pay $3.2 million to the Islamic Society of Basking Ridge and undergo religious freedom training after it attempted to stop the group’s plans for a mosque.But Narra says she encourages South Asians to reach beyond their communities.“Whether it’s the Hispanic community, whether it’s the African-American community, the East Asian community, we have to come together,” Narra said. “And, don’t let people try to tell us there’s not enough of the pie.“You can always make a bigger pie.”© 2017 New York Times Related Items