Long Island’s top public companies and executives

Henry Schein Inc. ranks first on a list created for Newsday by S&P Capital IQ comparing LI’s top public companies by sales. Cablevision, Systemax, Pall Corp. and MSC Industrial Direct round out the top five. Among the top-paid employees at LI’s public companies were executives at Cablevision, Hain Celestial Group and New York Community Bancorp.

Ed Betz

Getty Images/Andrew Burton

Winningest sports cities

The winningest cities in sports

How successful is New York compared with other cities in the six major pro team sports in the United States? Compare the 57 cities in the U.S. and Canada based on completed seasons from 2013 going forward in the MLB, MLS, NBA, NFL, NHL and WNBA. Records in both the regular season and playoffs.


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Fourth of July weekend at Jones Beach 2015

Long Islanders share their favorite pictures from Fourth of July weekend at Jones Beach via Instagram #ndJuly4th.

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Long Island’s Extraordinary Seniors 2015


This year’s Extraordinary Seniors are all C students.

Not from an academic standpoint — their grades are as upstanding as the students are creative, compassionate and conscientious.

All 12 of them — selected from dozens of nominations submitted by guidance counselors, principals and teachers across Nassau and Suffolk counties — are motivated to learn more and blaze trails for fellow schoolmates, future high schoolers, veterans and people they may never meet. Their altruism is good for those on the receiving end in particular, and the world they are about to go into in general.

Read their full stories here.

Bobby Menges: Cancer-free, sound of limb, deeply changed

More about Bobby

Bobby Menges was 5 years old the first time doctors diagnosed him with neuroblastoma, a rare and potentially lethal cancer. He was 9 the second time.

In between the cancer bouts, he broke a leg so badly that his femur stopped growing. Treatment involved re-breaking the leg and would not have been out of place in a medieval dungeon: “They stuck metal pins in the bones, and every day I’d turn the little knobs on the contraption to pull the bones apart a little bit,” he recalled.

Menges, now 17, is cancer-free, sound of limb and deeply changed by what he went through.

“It changed my mentality,” he said. “I don’t like to let days go by when I’m unproductive. I feel like I always have to be doing something because I understand that life is short and you have to use everything up.”

Read more.

Official: Vivian Utti is going to be somebody

More about Vivian

Vivian Utti is quite familiar with the concept and application of paying it forward. The proof is in her dedication to serving her fellow students at Elmont Memorial High School and those in her surrounding community of Valley Stream.

Utti, 17, logged more than 100 hours of community service this year as a Key Club member doing food drives around Elmont, volunteered to work in soup kitchens with the Leo Club of Valley Stream — a youth extension of the service organization Lions Club, and tutored students in math and SAT prep.

She is editor-in-chief of the school paper, The Elmont Phoenix, and as president of the Future Business Leaders of America, she helped her team secure second place in business presentation at a state competition.

Read more.

David Wolmark excels despite setback

More about David

David Wolmark had always challenged himself academically, but when a serious hiking accident had him laid up in bed for most of his junior year, he excelled in and out of the classroom.

In the summer of 2013, Wolmark was leading an expedition through the boundary waters of Minnesota with the Boy Scouts of America. As an Eagle Scout he was an experienced hiker, but during that trek he slipped on rough terrain and fell hip-first into a rock. Not wanting to abandon his crew, Wolmark continued on the trail, using canoe oars as crutches. After hiking in pain for 13 miles back to the base camp, he had emergency surgery to repair his left femoral neck, the uppermost part of the thigh bone.

“My life was turned upside down,” said Wolmark, 17, of Port Washington.

Read more.

Colleen Flynn’s determination born of tragedy

More about Colleen

Colleen Flynn has a dream and a dream school, and she’s not giving up on either one.

Flynn was accepted at 17 high-ranking colleges but not her top choice — the University of Pennsylvania. Undeterred, she turned down all 17 offers and plans to reapply to UPenn after studying at Suffolk County Community College for six months.

“It’s about the right fit,” she said. “I’m very stubborn and I’m also very frugal, so I don’t want to invest in a college where I know I’m not going to be happy and it’s going to be too much of a financial burden for my family and myself.”

Flynn’s determination was born of tragedy. When she was 13, her mother, Maureen, was diagnosed with triple negative inflammatory breast cancer and later died. Accompanying her mother to Boston for clinical trials, Flynn, a resident of Commack, became fascinated by science but also inspired by young cancer patients.

Read more.

Nicholas Vinberg has ‘strong calling’ to serve

More about Nicholas

Nicholas Vinberg took a rare day off from school two years ago — on May 24, 2013, to be exact.

The date marked the funeral for Jonathan Kaloust, 23, a Massapequa alum and Navy SEAL who was killed when his Humvee overturned during a training accident in Kentucky.

Vinberg, a patriotic teen from Massapequa Park with a self-proclaimed “strong calling” to serve the United States, wanted to honor the late SEAL in his own way despite never having met Kaloust or his family. He walked to town holding an American flag and stood for five hours across the street from the service at the Massapequa Funeral Home.

“My heart was broken, so I asked my mom if I could take off from school and she didn’t think twice,” Vinberg, 18, said. “Whenever I hold a flag, I’m doing it for all the people who are giving their lives.”

Read more.

La-Niyah Ortiz, legally blind, advocates for herself

More about La-Niyah

La-Niyah Ortiz wasn’t the only one who was nervous on her first day at Bay Shore High School.

Ortiz is legally blind and spent most of her education in specialized settings that were well-equipped to accommodate her. Ortiz, 18, is a twin who was born prematurely. She was diagnosed with retinopathy of prematurity, abnormal blood vessel development in the retina of the eye. It occurs in infants who are born too early and is a degenerative condition. She also has nystagmus, rapid involuntary movement of the eyes.

As she entered her senior year, educators agreed to send Ortiz, of Bay Shore, to public school, where she would have to learn to be more independent and advocate for herself. She was unsure about the change.

Read more.

Josh Landsberg gives up pizza to cope with disease

More about Josh

Josh Landsberg wasn’t prepared to give up the pizza and hero sandwiches that had long been a staple of his diet, fueling the four-sport athlete and scholar after rigorous workouts and study sessions.

But that’s exactly what he had to do after he was diagnosed with celiac disease in the 10th grade.

The hereditary autoimmune disorder is what had long made him have difficulty processing gluten, a protein found in rye, barley, wheat, couscous and other grains and starches. Though it was tough for him to adjust to a new diet, he told friends not to worry, that there were people in the world with far greater burdens.

Read more.

Brianna Cea’s DNA: Military, patriotism, public service

More about Brianna

Inspiration was close at hand when Brianna Cea needed an idea worthy of a Girl Scout Gold Award. Thoughts of the military, patriotism and public service came to mind, probably because they’re in her DNA.

Cea, 17, is a chief petty officer in the United States Naval Cadet Corps at Ward Melville High School in East Setauket.

Her father, Brian, is a New York police sergeant who served in the Air Force and Army Reserves. He is also a descendant of Josiah Bartlett, a physician, Revolutionary War patriot and New Hampshire governor who was a signer of the Declaration of Independence.

The Gold Award is the Girl Scout’s highest honor. To earn hers, Cea, of East Setauket, completed a twofold project — the Operation Sisterhood campaign to bring more awareness to the roles of women in the military, and the Patriot League club, which promotes dedication to those who serve their country.

Read more.

Kilian Duclay sails ahead by helping veterans

More about Kilian

Kilian Duclay knows well the power of the sea. It has a hold over him that he wants others to feel, too.

Duclay, a student at Walt Whitman High School in Huntington Station, has spent the past two years introducing military veterans to his family’s pastime, sailing on Oyster Bay, as a form of therapy.

“It clears my mind,” Duclay, 18, said of sailing. “I don’t think of anything. That’s a reason why we decided to bring veterans, PTSD-suffering veterans. If it’s therapeutic for us, it must be therapeutic for them.”

Read more.

Unpretentious Jennifer McDermott does it all

More about Jennifer

Jennifer McDermott has the skepticism of a scientist, so when she learned she was accepted to the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology, naturally she spent an entire day thinking it was a mistake.

On March 14, the unofficial holiday celebrating the mathematical constant Pi, the university released its admission decisions on a special website. When McDermott logged on and saw she had made the cut, the computer crashed and she was unable to go back to confirm her acceptance.

“I didn’t believe it at all,” she recalled. “My mom started crying. Everyone was celebrating, but I really didn’t believe it. I didn’t tell anyone. I didn’t post anything on Twitter or anything. I was just so nervous,” said McDermott, 18, of Shirley.

Read more.

Diana Guzman strives for multicultural interaction

More about Diana

Diana Guzman has a strategy for the new-kid jitters: She literally joins the club.

Guzman arrived from the Dominican Republic three years ago. To combat the unease she felt from being in a new environment, one of the first things she did when she got to Central Islip High School was join the Multicultural Club. It worked so well for her that she encourages other immigrant schoolmates to do the same.

“They were trying to raise awareness of the different cultures since we live in such a diverse place,” Guzman, 19, said of the club’s members.

She enjoyed the multicultural interaction in the club so much that she started bringing some of her own ideas to the table.

Read more.

Yaakov Kaminetsky achieves ‘for the greater good’

More about Yaakov

Yaakov Kaminetsky remembers his first meeting four years ago with a young boy he volunteered to tutor, because he found himself at gunpoint — Nerf gunpoint, that is.

Kaminetsky was a freshman at Davis Renov Stahler Yeshiva High School for Boys in Woodmere when he began working with Moshe, a fourth-grader with attention-deficit disorder. Moshe, with his finger on the trigger, jokingly told Kaminetsky that there would be no homework done that evening.

Eventually, the persistent Kaminetsky was successful in getting Moshe into his chair to work. Kaminetsky arrived at Moshe’s house every week for two-hour sessions, part of the required 120 hours of community service he needed to graduate.

Read more.

Headed to the Hamptons – amNY

'You're so burnt out ... It's just a blur'


Victor Centeno, 24, and Jessica Hindman, 27

• Work and rent in Montauk

• Price: $26,000 split between four roommates

• Come for: The experience

Centeno and Hindman found Montauk from their own corners of the world. Centeno is from Puerto Rico and heard about Montauk from his older brother, who started working there summers before him. Hindman grew up in Kansas City, Missouri — though her mother and grandmother now live in Massapequa — and knew about Montauk from relatives who live there. She used to spend summers with them.

They both came to Montauk because the opportunity to make money was too good to pass up — they modestly estimated the average summer earning potential in the serving industry is between $10,000 and $20,000 — and the lifestyle is something of an adrenaline rush.

By the end of the season, you’re so burnt out…it’s all just a blur.”

Hindman, who works six days a week serving at The Sloppy Tuna, a bar in Montauk, and then supplements that as a cocktail waitress three nights a week at Ruschmeyer’s, another bar in town, said working at a hip Hamptons bar is like “controlled chaos” — and it fosters a strong bond.

“Everyone knows what they’re dealing with,” she said. “The people you’re serving are a little bit entitled, and they come out here and act … like not how you’d think a normal person would act.”

She recalls one summer when she feared a customer was going to walk out on $2,000 bill at Ruschmeyer’s. She couldn’t find him. His friends were rowdy. They knocked over a table and broke some bottles. In the end, he came back but demanded the broken bottles be refunded. He was obliged. “He said, ‘I’m glad you did this because I’m a podiatrist.'”

“By the end of the season, you’re so burnt out…it’s all just a blur,” she said. “But even with the craziness that at times can be deterring and overwhelming, it’s also what makes Montauk fun.”

Centeno, a bar-back at The Sloppy Tuna, said as soon as he came to Montauk, he was hooked by the diversity he found and the welcoming nature of everyone he met in the service industry. “When I first came here, I found it very interesting,” he said. “There are a lot of cultures around, people from all over the world — Irish, German, Latinos, Puerto Ricans, Dominicans. It’s interesting to see how everything comes together in this little town.”

This season, the couple, who started dating last summer, are renting a house in Montauk’s Camp Hero with two co-workers from “the tuna.” They both plan to work through October, when the tourist season dies down, and then they may travel before settling down together somewhere. Centeno said they’d like to experience other places in the world, but they’d always be happy to come back.

Jessica Hindman’s Hamptons

'... we have a choice of like three places'


Matt Flachsenhaar, 27, Astoria

• Writer, producer at events marketing company

• Renting just outside Southampton Village

• Price: $5,400 for a week

• How to afford it: Bypass the glitzy areas for the woodsy ones

• Comes for: The convenience

Not many people list “makes fiscal sense” and “convenient” as reasons to choose the Hamptons as a vacation spot (at least not if they’ve seen how high the nightly rates can get and how Friday evening traffic can turn the two-hour trip from Manhattan into four). But it works out for Flachsenhaar and his friends — 12 to 14 of them — who find a long weekend to go away together each summer.

“With the size of our group and the length of visit, we’re really restricted on the rentals that are open to us,” he said. “We have a choice of like three places. It’s almost decided for us.”

Flachsenhaar used the website HomeAway to find the listing. He started searching in February and had to book by March for a weekend in late August. The five-bedroom house sits on more than 4 acres of property adjacent to a nature preserve with a pool, hot tub, 50-yard sports field, beach volleyball court, basketball and horseshoe courts.

With the size of our group and the length of our visit, we’re really restricted on the rentals that are open to us. We have a choice of like three places.”

Last year, they stayed in Hampton Bays. Flachsenhaar said he’s found that if you bypass the high-priced villages and go off-the-beaten path, you can find a good price.

“It works out to $115 per person per night,” he said. “It’s actually really reasonable if you look at it like that.”

Flachsenhaar is the organizer of the group, which includes his girlfriend, some couples that they know, one friend from high school, one from college, one from work and others who came into the group from one of those avenues. He said the first time they did a weekend away last year, he was nervous about bringing different social groups together — they’d have to figure out sleeping arrangements, share bathrooms and food, and generally get along — but Flachsenhaar said it was such a good weekend, they promised they would do it again.

“It’s a good group to go with,” he said, adding that everyone is around his age. “We have a lot of fun but we’re not a bunch of stupid drunk kids.”

Matt Flachsenhaar’s Hamptons


There's a 'wacky sense of camaraderie'


Frank Michielli, 24, Brooklyn

• Law student

• Works part-time in Montauk

• Price: Free

• How to afford it: Pay your dues

• Comes for: First the money, then the camaraderie

Michielli will get to the Hamptons this summer, he’s just not sure how. He’ll fit it in somewhere between the end of the semester at Brooklyn Law School, a summer internship in the New York City criminal justice system, and the start of classes again in the fall.

But he’ll make it happen, he said, even if he has to sleep on someone’s floor while he’s there. Montauk is a “magical” place for the 24-year-old, who started working in restaurants there in the summer of 2010.

He said he’s worked in nearly every position at various bars and restaurants, including East by Northeast, Harvest on Fort Pond and Salivar’s. Michielli said he was 19 when he first started, working six or seven nights a week, living out of a “rundown motel,” and loving every minute.

You’re in the ‘in’ crowd…If you have a night out in Montauk, you go out and feel like a celebrity.”

“The cash out there is insane,” he said, adding that as he moved up the ranks of the service industry, he could easily earn more than $600 on a weeknight.

But it’s the “wacky sense of camaraderie” formed among servers that keeps him coming back. Many of them work together all night, party together until morning and then hit the beach before their shifts the next day.

“You’re in the ‘in’ crowd,” he said. “If you have a night out in Montauk, you go out and feel like a celebrity.”

Over the years, Michielli said he’s paid his dues, so he knows he can find part-time work and a place to crash when he gets there in August.

Michielli said his final day in Montauk last summer, when he stopped at Salivar’s before leaving for the season, epitomized his feelings for the place. “I shook hands with more people in that bar than I ever have in the hometown where I’ve lived for 25 years,” he said.

Frank Michielli’s Hamptons

'I don't want to miss any of the good days...'


LuAnn de Lesseps, 50, Manhattan

• Reality TV star, designer and former model

• Owns a waterfront cottage in Sag Harbor

• Price: $3.1M

• Comes for: The home she always wanted

De Lesseps feels truly at home in the Hamptons. The star of Bravo’s “Real Housewives of New York” owned a six-bedroom mansion in Bridgehampton for 18 years before moving into a more modest three-bedroom cottage in Sag Harbor last year.

“I come here as often as possible,” she said, driving out on a Thursday and returning to Manhattan on a Monday.

She’s quickly adapted to life a little farther east. She said she enjoys walking into town; getting to know her neighbors (in Bridgehampton, her neighbor Whitney Fairchild was more than 3 acres away; now, her neighbor Jay McInerney can be reached in a few steps); and taking advantage of her perch overlooking Upper Sag Harbor Cove. De Lesseps bought a boat to keep at her personal dock and uses it regularly to take trips to Sunset Beach and Salt restaurant on Shelter Island, she said.

In fact, most of her days in Sag Harbor revolve around the water. She wakes up and takes her coffee while watching the ducks go by on the bay and swims daily, she said.

There is nowhere in the world — and I’ve been everywhere — as beautiful as the Hamptons.”

In the fall, she’s planning to renovate the house — a captain’s cottage built in 1835 — to add a new master bedroom on the second floor, but she says she’ll delay it as long as possible.

“I don’t want to miss any of the good days out here,” she said.

Although de Lesseps loves to host parties and pops up in nightlife photos from Hamptons hot spots each summer, the Countess — her ex-husband is a French count — said she loves all of the East End for its beauty, its history and its simplicity.

“There is nowhere in the world — and I’ve been everywhere — as beautiful as the Hamptons,” she said. “Nowhere else can you get all this and be so close to the city.”

LuAnn de Lesseps’ Hamptons

'I'm so into the solitude'


Harry Spero, 65, Manhattan

• Advertising executive

• Rents in East Quogue

• Price: Undisclosed

• How to afford it: It just fits into the lifestyle

• Comes for: The quiet

In the 35 years Spero has been summering in the Hamptons, he’s done it all, seen it all. He’s partied at the hot spots, he’s sunned at the beaches, he’s seen and been seen.

“We were in our 20s, we were silly and crazy and just having as much fun as we possibly could,” he said of the first summers he and his wife, Norine, spent out east. Now, it’s completely different, he said. They just bring books and music and rarely even go to the beach.

We have a lot of friends, who own or rent, who we never see just because I’m so into the solitude of being at that house.”

They go for the peace and quiet — “for the express reason of chillin’.”

The Speros, who otherwise live in Manhattan, have rented all over the East End but have returned to the same four-bedroom East Quogue house for the past five years. The wood-shingled home features a big backyard and pool, Spero said, and complete privacy from neighbors. It’s within walking distance of the ocean. They always rent, he said, despite the fact that by now, “we probably could have bought two or three houses.”

Responsibility is the last thing Spero has on his mind when he leaves Manhattan every Thursday night of the summer. After the weekend, he begrudgingly returns to the city Monday morning.

Spero lists “listening to the pool and the ocean,” as his favorite Hamptons activity. Visits out east also gives the full-time advertising executive time for his part-time hobby — writing and playing music. “We have a lot of friends, who own or rent, who we never see just because I’m so into the solitude of being at that house…It’s the only time I get that,” he said, adding that they’ve even declined summer wedding invitations.

Harry Spero’s Hamptons

'It was like being in a different world'


Therése Palmiotto, 33, Merrick

• Insurance underwriter

• Rents in Montauk

• Price: Starts at $3,500 per week

• How to afford it: Rental cost split in lieu of holiday gifts

• Comes for: Family

When Palmiotto married into her husband’s family, she married into Montauk.

“I grew up on Long Island and I had never been to Montauk,” she said, but when she started dating her future husband, she continually heard about their big Montauk family trips. “That was the big thing, we’re gonna go to Montauk. I finally got the invite after dating for a few years.”

She was instantly hooked. “It was like being in a different world. You got to go on a really awesome vacation and you never leave the island. You never cross a bridge.”

James Palmiotto, her husband, has come to Montauk with his family every summer for the last 28 years. This summer, about 50 members of his extended family are expected in town for a reunion.

Therése, James and their 2-year-old son Dominick will spend the week at a three-bedroom house within walking distance of Ditch Plains Beach, which the family will share with two other couples. The couples split the cost of the summer rental in lieu of Christmas gifts.

It was like being in a different world. You got to go on a really awesome vacation and you never leave the island.”

Therése Palmiotto said they like to spend their days at the beach, walking around town, and having family dinner together each night. Often, they have fresh vegetables for dinner from James’ uncle — who lives year-round on a house on Lake Montauk — and seafood if anyone caught something in the water that day. After dinner, they sit on the deck and watch the sun set over the lake.

“Montauk affords you that type of atmosphere,” she said.

Therése Palmiotto’s Hamptons

'... avoid looking at the mansions'


Tom Fried, 51, Norwalk, Conn.

• Japanese teacher

• Visits his parents in Sag Harbor

• Price: Free

• How to afford it: Family ties

• Comes for: The nostalgia

Fried has witnessed Sag Harbor evolve from the quiet, historic “Un-Hampton” to a glamorous stamping ground, where celebrities like Billy Joel and Bono might be dining at the table next to him. He prefers the Sag Harbor he fell in love with back in 1986, when his parents first bought their three-bedroom home on Eastville Road for about $175,000, he said.

“It was just kind of laid back then,” he said, recalling that his mother’s family, who had vacationed there since the 1940s, advised them, “Buy now, there won’t be any buildable land out there one day.”

Everywhere you go in Sag Harbor there’s a gem — if you avoid looking at the mansions.”

Fried said it sometimes feels like that day has come, as one after another, small cottages are torn down and rebuilt as mansions. “It’s shocking what they can do with just a little space,” he said.

But still, he said, “everywhere you go in Sag Harbor there’s a gem — if you avoid looking at the mansions.” He loves the Sag Harbor Variety Store, Bay Street Theater and Conca d’Oro pizzeria on Main Street — where he eats when he’s visiting his father after a walk on Haven’s Beach.

He makes the trip to see his dad, Robert, 83, about once a month. He’ll often take the Metro-North from Norwalk to Penn Station and then the bus to Sag Harbor. Especially after a long week at work, Tom Fried said he even enjoys the 2-3 hours he spends on the bus as a chance to unwind and start the weekend. “By the time you get out to the fields of Riverhead it’s just open space,” he said. “The light on Long Island is just so much brighter.”

Even as Sag Harbor has changed, Fried still cherishes his time there, he said. The beauty of the area is that “there’s a niche for every age group. Everybody has their spot — even me, even my 80-year-old dad. It’s just a friendly village.”

Tom Fried’s Hamptons