New Executive Director joins LINCS

The Long Island Network of Community Services, Inc., is happy to announce its new Executive Director, Peter W. Solaski.

Mr. Solaski joins us from SPD Control Systems Corp, based in Stony Brook, NY, where he was the Chief Technology Officer for the past 10 years. SPD is an engineering firm focused on intelligent electronics for energy efficiency. Previously Peter served as the Vice President of Fixed Income Databases, managing a technical development team of 120, for Thomson Reuters, based in both Hauppauge, NY and Stamford, CT.

Mr. Solaski holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and a Master’s in Technological Systems Management from Stony Brook University. The board believes Peter’s unique technical perspective will help further LINCSs’ mission to prevent, monitor and lessen the effects of bias crimes, hate related harassment and discrimination. Retired CEO, Dr. Gail Barouh, said “The evolving nature of the Internet and social media have created powerful tools which have unfortunately led to new ways for bullying, discrimination, and hate to foster. Peter will bring new perspective on these issues.”

Meet the LINCS New Board Chair

The Long Island Network of Community Services, Inc., is happy to announce that its new Chairman of the Board is Thomas B. DiMicelli.

Thomas B. DiMicelli is an Executive Vice President at JLL’s Brokerage Group and has been with them since January 2011. Mr. DiMicelli is a 34-year expert in the Long Island commercial real estate market, who graduated from Rutgers College with a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Communications. He has successfully negotiated hundreds of sale and lease transactions for local, national and Fortune 500 companies as well as investors and owners. His clients have included distinguished firms such as Time Equities, Inc., The Luxottica Group, Maurice Villency, Inc. and Restaurant Depot. Mr. DiMicelli also has the distinction of being the only broker in history to receive Long Island’s “Most Ingenious Deal of the Year Award” three times.

Mr. DiMicelli joined the LINCS board in 2014 and has served with honesty and integrity. Retired CEO, Dr. Gail Barouh, PhD, said, “Thomas has been an integral Board Member and will bring much to the table as Board Chair to facilitate LINCS in its mission to prevent, monitor and lessen the effects of bias crimes, hate related harassment and discrimination.”

LINCS celebrates International Women’s Day 2018

March 8th 2018 marks International Women’s Day, a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. International Women’s Day has been observed since the early 1900’s, and has continued to be celebrated over 100 years. This year’s theme is “#PressforProgress”.

According to, “International Women’s Day is a collective day of global celebration and a call for gender parity.”

Dr. Gail Barouh, PhD reflected, “International Women’s Day is a big step worldwide for all women to be acknowledged, appreciated and respected for the many contributions they make in their societies.”

LINCS working to expand programs

LINCS is dedicated to preventing and addressing discrimination, harassment, violence, and bullying in Long Island’s communities through the BiasHELP program. BiasHELP has developed an outstanding reputation for crafting a comprehensive response to community and school-based violence, particularly as it relates to young people. Collaborations with schools, community-based organizations, faith-based agencies, and local/state government units have been a cornerstone of all our projects as we work locally to reduce the incidence of harassment and violence in all its forms. Our dynamic, culturally competent staff provides an extensive repertoire of professional training programs designed for a wide variety of target audiences. A primary focus for BiasHELP in the coming year is to continue working with schools in implementation of programming related to the Dignity for All Students Act and the evidenced-based bullying prevention program, OLWEUS.

LINCS is in the process of seeking additional funding from the New York State Senate in order to expand our programs to reach more people. In the past 6 months BiasHELP has successfully delivered 11 educational programs with several schools. The requested funding will provide us with additional resources to ensure these valuable services reach youth-serving organizations in need of assistance. Funds will specifically support implementation of bullying, violence prevention, and anger management training and programming targeted to the needs of the following venues, all of which have requested services to date: Suffolk Community College; Bay Shore School District; Mercy Ministries; Suffolk County Police Department; and Commack School District.

LINCS, former CEO, Gail Barouh, PhD, “This additional funding will allow the agency to continue our critical work in reducing youth violence, bullying/cyberbullying behaviors and addressing drug and alcohol use in our community’s schools and youth-serving agencies.”

New York State’s continued support and commitment is a key component of our work with schools and community-based organizations as we engage in these efforts to meet the complex needs of Suffolk County youth and reduce the incidences of community and school based violence.

LGBTQ individuals feel less safe in recent years

In spite of all the changes in the laws to protect the LGBTQ community’s rights in the last 5 years, two surveys in USA Today tell a different story.  According to the interviews and surveys tolerance for LGBTQ individuals has eroded in all areas over the last two years.  Individuals feel less safe and public support to pull back anti-discrimination laws protecting LGBTQ individuals are being challenged or overturned.  “Moving backwards on rights for the LGBTQ community is unacceptable” said Gail Barouh, PhD, LINCS Managing Director.

United We Stand Against Bullying

LIAAC and LINCS employees teamed up to show their support for National Bullying Prevention Month by wearing orange. Gail Barouh, CEO LINCS, said “It was encouraging seeing employees of both LIAAC and LINCS come together to support Unity Day and it’s message against bullying. LINCS is proud to provide several Anti-Bullying initiatives through their BiasHELP program.”


Governor Cuomo Announced a Series of New Actions to Combat the Fentanyl Crisis

Governor Cuomo announced a series of new actions to combat the fentanyl crisis on September 28, 2017 in Farmingdale, NY. The Governor is advancing legislation to add 11 fentanyl types to the state controlled substance list, allowing law enforcement to go after those who manufacture and sell these drugs. The Governor also wants to stop insurers from placing arbitrary limits on the number of naloxone doses covered by insurance. Naloxone is used to reverse the effects of overdoses, and as Fentanyl is 50 times as powerful as heroin, more doses are required.

LINCS was invited to attend the announcement and sent Loida Santos, Director of Agency Programs, to represent the agency. Managing Director, Gail Barouh said, “I felt it was very important for our agency to show our support for this announcement, the deaths from overdoses in Suffolk County have reached epidemic levels.”


National Bullying Prevention Month

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in a 2016 national survey, 20% of high school students reported being bullied on school property in the 12 months preceding the survey. An estimated 16% of high school students reported in 2016 that they were bullied electronically in the 12 months before the survey.

Bullying is a form of youth violence; the CDC defines bullying as any unwanted aggressive behavior that involves an unbalance of power and is repeated multiple times. Bullying can also occur through any electronic device. The LGBT community has seen an increase of bullying, assaults and harassment in 2016.

LGBT bullying statistics show they suffer from more cyberbullying. According to GLSEN and

  • 42 % of LGBT youth have experienced cyberbullying
  • 25 % more than once
  • 35 % receive online threats
  • 58 % say something bad is said to them or about them online.
  • 33 % report sexual harassment online, which is four times higher than the experience of other students.
  • Cyberbullying of LGBT youths is three times higher than other student’s experience.
  • 27 % of LGBT youth do not feel safe online.
  • 20 % report receiving harassing text messages from other students.

In recognition of Bullying Prevention Month, the Long Island Network of Community Services will be working with several school districts on Long Island providing workshops on preventing /reducing the incidences of bullying/cyberbullying.