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Hamptons Teen: CALL ME OLD-FASHIONED, but I’m Just a DAD
I have become increasingly aware and worried about the relaxed attitude of illicit drug use among teens in the Hamptons and beyond. But what are our teenagers to think? They see a more relaxed and accepting attitude regarding the use of marijuana due to the reduction of legal penalties and the sale of marijuana for recreational use in multiple states. This is in the news and has become a part of their realities.Happy Group Of People
What our teenagers do not realize is the increased documentation about the effects of marijuana on the teenage brain. We know that the development of the brain is very fluid until or between the ages of 21-25 years old. The way in which the brain is wired is open to impact by this and other drugs. I am not a prude nor am I unaware of the opportunities, interest, curiosity and pressure to smoke weed. A lot of us did it when we were young. But this isn’t our father’s (and mother’s) weed no more. Things like the juicy fruit strain are a lot different to what was being smoked back in the day. The THC (active ingredient that produces the high) content is many times more concentrated in today’s marijuana than in the weed our generation smoked. Many ‘brands’ of weed are genetically improved to the form of designer status. I’ve also recently heard that there are different ways that you can smoke weed these days, like through a helix pipe for example. Apparently it’s a cool thing to do. Consenting adults should have the option of doing whatever they want to do but it is imperative to fully inform our teenagers of the risks inherent in smoking pot. If you want to know more on marijuana from a dispensary with the opportunity to see their deals as well, you can Get info here from Rocky Mountain Blaze, who list all their pricing for you to get an idea of. I’m not saying weed is a completely bad thing. As I said, a lot of us used to smoke weed as teens and obviously there are many reported health benefits of smoking weed if it’s done responsibly. It is also doing good things for the economy; there are many new cannabis jobs saturating the employment market and it is raising millions of dollars in tax.
I have the same concerns about smoking cigarettes and underage drinking that I have towards smoking weed and I feel to some extent, these are a more insidious and risky behavior that is impacting our teenagers. I cannot tell you what is the percentage of teenagers smoking and drinking but I feel it is over 50% of the population. Maybe I’m old-fashioned but if you were to ask both of my daughters (18 and 25), I still harp on the need to show restraint and to use some forward thinking concerning their future plans and how use and abuse can derail their goals. Believe me, they get tired of ‘the talk’ but I continue just the same. Am I being successful… I don’t know but I hope so. They lead their own lives, much of the time out of my view but I do what I do anyways because I must! I have no illusions, I can’t protect them all the time, nor should I or will I try. I will tell them the real deal, give them the tools to make good decisions and pray for the best.
EVERYONE has my permission to warn me if they think my child’s behavior is a risk to them and I do not care if they don’t like it. If your kids have come to my house, they may have heard some rendition of ‘the talk’ as a natural inclination of mine to be protective and proactive towards the friends of my children. My kids have probably warned them to expect it sometimes. AGAIN, I don’t care. I will not preach or teach but this is a part of the way we conduct business in our home. I will not stop!
Now don’t get me wrong, I remember being a teenager and doing LOTS OF STUFF. I will not be a hypocrite and tell them to ‘do as I say and not as I do’. But the risks of life long impacts secondary to social media and ‘selfies’ of illicit behavior that can follow them FOREVER…there are no do-overs anymore. Society can be very unforgiving. We did not have to face these risks. Remember, the definition of a teenager is filled with doing DUMB THINGS. But it is this risk taking and feelings of invincibility that makes them so powerful and dynamic. It will be hard to convince them of the dangers because they LIKE danger!
One more trend that I am seeing; the use of illegal performance enhancing drugs (PED’s). The use of Human Growth Hormone and steroids among teenage athletes has increased exponentially. Kids want to look better and perform better and they are getting access to and using these drugs more and more. The lifelong effects of these PED’s and the health impacts are so pronounced and damaging that it is imperative that parents and adults of teenage athletes inform them of the risks. Encourage your school teams to educate their athletes of the dangers and make it part of their athletic curriculum.
From me to you….JUST BEING A DAD

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Happenings in the Hamptons Memorial Day Weekend

New restaurants and Happenings for Memorial Day weekend in the Hamptons.

Montauk, Swallow East, Zum Scheideman Montauk , Navy Beach and Scarpette Beach are all reopening this weekend.

The Surf Lodge will be Happening this weekend with Parson James on Saturday, May 26 and Jessie J on Sunday, May 27th.

Gurney’s will be debuting a new look at the Beach club this Memorial Day weekend. Friday, May 25th, Craft cocktails and live music at the Regent Firepit , DJ Stef Nava will be spinning tunes. Saturday, May 26th, workout with Rumble Boxing, and on Sunday, Lobsterbake and Live Music.

 “The Ryan Show / TRS” of the season featuring 90’s rapper Royal Flush, local and NYC hip hop artists performing live as well. The show is taking place on  Friday May 25th at 10:00 PM, $10 entry fee.
Venue: Old Stove Pub 3516 Montauk Hwy, Sagaponack, New York
Creator Ryan Verneuille started The Ryan Show as a podcast while he was working the 9-5 grind back in the Hamptons in 2015. After finding a unique format and successfully monetizing the show through a live broadcast Ryan partnered up with Grammy award winning rapper Mr. Cheeks. He discovered Ryan after a show exposing Valerie Smith  who made a name for herself by voicing some racist remarks in front of the town of Southampton. The Ryan Show  following has grown  in NYC and they have continued their movement to preserve free speech, and “make hip hop great again”.
Ryan is very excited to bring this  brand that they created back out to their hometown. A cool movement that is trending-up in NYC and this journey has just begun. Read more about what others are saying about The Ryan Show

Boxing Class Saturday, May 26thtake a boxing class – with proffessional trainer Steven Frank, former Olympian and Super Middle-Weight World Champion. Learn the boxing fundamentals in this class that teaches proper boxing stance,  defense & footwork, punch combinations, and movement tactics such as creating angles. This high-paced total-body workout is 1hour and will get your heart rate up as you learn the basics of boxing. You will work in pairs moving through different circuits so it’s always encouraged to bring a friend! for more information click here: 

Sunday, May 27th 5-8pm * Evening of Wine & Roses 2018 * Southampton Cultural Center’s 3rd Annual Gala

Memorial Day Parade, Sag Harbor * May 28th 9am

Restaurant & Community News

Montauk: Hooked takes over South Etna in Montauk, specializing in Lobster Rolls and will be open year-round.  High end Eleven Madison Park restaurant returns for season 2 in the Hamptons as a pop-up in Amagansett, special preferential treatment to American Express card holders. Moby’s returns but not in their spot, that spot is being rented to Eleven Madison Park,

East Hampton: Moby’s will open up shop at East Hampton Point this summer and rumor has it that it will be a HOT SPOT this summer.  The Service Station closed earlier this year and the Quiet Clam opened its doors a few weeks ago. Do you remember when it was the quiet clam before it was Nicols.

High End Japanese Restaurant Shuko in Greenwich Village, is returning this season from July 6 – Aug. 31, Highway Restaurant & Bar, 290 Montauk Highway in Wainscott, NY.

Il Mulino the High end Italian Restaurant is opening a Hamptons location in Wainscott, it was previously Osteria Salina.

Sag Harbor has many changes and many new additions. Faherty Brand, Love Shack Fancy and Haven are new additions to Main Street. Calypso and Breezin Up are out.

Satori has a brand new look and new ownership. Sag Pizza bought Conco dora and will be opening soon, Urban Zen and Tutto Il Giorno took over the Muse space on Main Street. Sen went through a major renovation and will be reopening at the end of June. Grindstone Donuts added some fun new donuts to its menu and they will be adding Ice cream to their list of items offered, Back Page and le Bilboquet have reopened. Le Bilboquet tells me that things will be very different this summer and there will not be a repeat of last year with potential customers being turned away at the door.

 Bridgehampton, The farmers market at the Hayground School will not be reopening this year.  L & W Market, a storefront for local produce and products and prepared food, is an offshoot of Almond Restaurant next door, 2493 Montauk Highway.

Southampton: Maison Vivienne, a new country inn and French restaurant opens on Main Street, Jue Lan Club restaurant on Em Street in Southampton reopens this week until September.

Everyone is always asking about the Nitelife in the Hamptons, Hamptons Curbed put together a guide to nightlife in the Hamptons this summer. Read more here.

 

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Home Energy Assistance Program is back for 2017-18
HEAP is a federally funded program that assists low-income New Yorkers with the cost of heating their homes. HEAP also offers an emergency benefit for households in a heat or heat-related energy emergency. Nearly 1.5 Million Households Received Assistance Last Winter
Households that need help paying their heating bills are able to apply for assistance from the Home Energy Assistance Program. The program provides financial assistance to help low-income and elderly New Yorkers keep their homes warm in the winter months and cool in the summer months, businesses aren’t in need of this Assistance Program due to being able to possibly achieve decreased utility bills thanks to being able to switch to Business Gas packages for example.
heapgrid“The Home Energy Assistance Program is vital to helping struggling households afford the costs of heating their homes during the cold New York winters,” Governor Cuomo said. “It provides some much-needed relief, especially for low-income working families, as well as senior citizens on a fixed income. I encourage anyone in need of this assistance to apply before the coldest weather sets in.” With this being said, it is not only residents in New York that can find ways to lower their energy bills. It could be as simple as checking out these Pulse Power plans, for example, in the hopes of finding lower energy rates. This could help households save money too!

The Home Energy Assistance Program is funded by the federal government and is overseen by the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance. Eligible households can receive a one-time benefit depending upon income, household size and heating source. For the 2017-18 season, a household of four can earn up to $53,484, or $4,457 a month, and still qualify for assistance.

Regular Benefit
Regular benefit component assists households that pay a high proportion of household income for energy.

Emergency Benefit
The Emergency benefit component assists qualifying low-income New Yorkers who are facing a heat or heat related energy emergency and do not have resources above the established limits. If you have an emergency, contact your local department of social services office.

Heating Equipment Repair or Replacement
The Heating Equipment Repair and Replacement benefit component help eligible low-income homeowners repair or replace primary heating equipment necessary to keep the home’s primary heating source functional. Alternatively, you can use Buric Heating and Air Conditioning for your furnace repair if you are not able to get this primary assistance for your home.

Cooling Assistance
The Cooling Assistance component provides for cooling assistance services to HEAP eligible households that include an individual with a documented medical condition that is exacerbated by heat. Because the amount of funding is very limited, cooling assistance services will be provided on a first come, first served basis.

Income Guidelines
HEAP Gross Monthly Income Guidelines

Questions regarding the HEAP program should be directed to your local department of social services office or the OTDA Hotline at 1-800-342-3009.

Minerva Perez is named Executive Director of OLA of Eastern Long Island

OLA (Organización Latino-Americana) was founded in 2002 as a nonprofit agency committed to promoting social, economic, cultural, and educational development within Long Island’s East End Latino and Hispanic communities.
Through its own programming initiatives and ongoing local collaborations, OLA strives to empower, inform and celebrate our varied Latino and Hispanic communities while building bridges within the larger East End community that help to foster understanding and harmony.
Programs and events have included:
• The Annual OLA Film Festival, in partnership with the Parrish Museum, now in its 13th year • English as a Second Language and Computer Classes for Spanish Speakers
• Arts Education for children
• Leadership workshops for adults
• Educational Forums focused on safety, health, fiscal and legal interests

Medical billing fraud usually begins with a letter. Today I brought the mail in as usual, but unexpectedly Kurt opened up what was soon discovered to be a bill from a medical provider that we used. Kurt as usual handed the bill over to me and said “what is this, you take care of this.” He does not keep track of these things and as in most families I (the wife) am the record keeper and bill payer. I reviewed the bill and was SURPRISED to see that I was being charged for the entire procedure, even though I was informed that our Health Insurance company would be responsible for the claim. I immediately called the service provider to inquire why I was receiving this bill and I was told by the medical provider that our health insurance company indicated that we had not met our deductible. I told the medical provider that we do not have a deductible and that prior to the procedure being done we were informed by the medical provider that they accepted our insurance and a copay was requested and paid. The medical provider indicated that they were an In-network provider, thus the acceptance of the co-payment.
Kurt and I were outraged by getting a SURPRISE bill because we were told that this was an in-network procedure. Outrage then turned to action. I am fortunate and so are you, my readers, because one of Kurt’s areas of expertise is executive level preparation and training to detect fraudulent medical billing practices. Kurt is trained to implement complaints, appeals and grievance procedures with medical insurance companies, including HMO’s ,MCO’s and other managed long term care plans (MLTC). shutterstock_306283364
These are the 10 steps that have been taken to date to resolve this issue of what we consider to be fraudulent medical billing.
1. Call the Medical Provider and dispute the bill (claim).
2. Call your health insurance provider complaint department:
• Their purpose is to try to resolve any complaints you have with both in-network and out-of-network providers. You as the consumer have a right to make a formal complaint and to request an appeal of any medical bill that you feel misrepresents any procedure that was done, including overbilling or any allegation of fraudulent billing. Kurt recommends that you formally request of the complaint/grievance representative that they document this encounter as a formal complaint/grievance.
3. Ask for the Complaint/Grievance Representative’s employee identification number. You have to be able to document the person, date and time you logged your complaint.
4. Clearly inform the complaint/grievance representative of your allegation of fraud and or problematic billing.
5. Documentation becomes more complete if you include these simple steps:
• Always try to complete documentation requirements by answering the following questions: Who, What, When, Where, How and Why, (the why is often the most difficult and most subjective). If you prepare your documentation to answer those questions you can be confident that 95% of your documentation requirements will be accurate and fulfilled.
6. Get the reference number for your complaint.
7. There are different levels of grievance complaints that you can request from Standard to Emergency Expedited levels. The health insurance carrier is required to respond in a specific time frame based upon the level of complaint that you have made. Anywhere between 45 days to as little as 24 hours of turn around time back to the consumer.
8. The Health Insurance carrier may recommend that you to follow the ‘Information for Members in New York Insurance Plans: Emergency Services and Surprise Bills’
Click on link for steps to follow: Info_ Mem_NY_InsurancePlans_EmergencyServices_SurpriseBills
9. DON’T PAY THE BILL! If you feel you have been fraudulently billed or have been surprised by a bill
10. ACT IMMEDIATELY, DO NOT WAIT!

Our next steps; we are going to follow the Emergency Services and Surprise Bills protocol. We may choose to contact the NYS Attorney General Office to inform them of our allegation of Medical Billing Fraud if we need to take that step. This will be contingent on whether or not this SURPRISE bill is resolved appropriately. Stay tuned!

Special thanks to Kurt H. Leggard, R.N. who helped co-write this article. Kurt is a Registered Nurse, Consultant and a specialist in Long Tem Care, Medicaid Services and Heath Care Grievances, Complaints and Appeals.

New York State Department of Health Medical Fraud Link: www.health.ny.gov