Articles by

Barbaraellen Koch

10/31/13 7:58pm

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Kids lined up behind a Jamesport firetruck today

BamBam and an Evil Princess were just some of the costumes kids were wearing at the Jamesport Fire Department’s station today as they enjoyed the Halloween festivities.

About two dozen children, ranging from 10 months to about 10 years old, lined up behind a fire truck with the sirens blaring as they walked across Main Road ro the George G. Young Community Center. Treated with orange gatorade, chips, cheetos and hot dogs, the kids also got to see a 30-minute magic show.

The fire department has held the annual tradition since 1995, according to former Fire Chief Howie Waldman.

10/31/13 4:00pm

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Witches were the theme Thursday at the Riverhead Town Senior Center in Aquebogue on Halloween.

Riverhead Town Senior Center site manager Debbie Schwarz presided over the Halloween costume contest at the Riverhead Town Senior Center in Aquebogue Friday morning. Of the 14 women and one brave man, there were seven variations on the witch theme.

In the end Julie Nava, 63, of Riverhead beat the odds and won hands down with her belly dancer costume.

10/19/13 12:00pm

BARBARALLEN KOCH PHOTO | Andy Warhol’s Souper Dress, courtesy of Woodward Gallery, is paired with a 19th-century dress from the historical society’s permanent collection, at the entry to the exhibit.

The Suffolk County Historical Society opened its new exhibit, ‘Back to the Future: Contemporary Artists Consider the Permanent Collection’ Friday evening.

The show features 11 contemporary painters, sculptors and a photographer, all of whom have created new works for this exhibit. The works utilize themes or materials that echo the older, antique nature of most of the items in the society’s permanent collection. As stated in the society’s newsletter: “the exhibit’s featured work focuses not on copying the past but rather considers history as fluid, something that is constantly in dialogue with the present and future.”

The exhibit was curated by Mary Lou Cohalan with assistance by Martina Camarola.

“Exhibiting the antique pieces from our collection alongside these contemporary works is a thought provoking way to view history,” said executive director Kathy Curran. ”It places our objects in another context that brings history to life.”

Funding for the exhibit is provided by Heart for Art and a special grant from the Suffolk County Office of Cultural Affairs to encourage collaborations among nonprofit agencies on Long Island. The exhibit will run through Nov. 23.

The artists in the exhibit are: Cara Barer, Rob Carter, Juddith Condon, Elizabeth Duffy, Katherine Frey, Susan Hoeltzel, Keith Long, Judy Richardson, Donna Sharrett, Karen Shaw and Andy Warhol.

09/20/13 3:54pm
BARBARAELLEN KOCH CAPTION | Demitri Hampton's mother, Juanita Trent, sits on a bench dedicated to her son, who was killed earlier this year.

BARBARAELLEN KOCH CAPTION | Demitri Hampton’s mother, Juanita Trent, sits on a bench dedicated to her son, who was killed earlier this year.

“This is bittersweet, such an honor. Such an honor.”

So said the mother of murdered Riverhead High School grad Demitri Hampton, who was a Suffolk County Community College student when he was shot and killed at the end of January inside his Flanders home during a break-in. He would have been 22.

Juanita Trent as well as Hampton’s siblings, some friends and members of the Black Male Network gathered at the Riverhead campus today – Demitri’s birthday – to dedicate a pair of lasting memorials to him in front of the popular Peconic Building.

Frances Acevedo, 22, of Mastic, now a student at St. Joseph’s College, had initiated the dedication plan by asking school officials to give Mr. Hampton an honorary degree, however after speaking with administration, it was determined that creating a lasting impression would be a better route.

Related column: ‘Demitri Hampton was the best kind of person’

In addition to a bench with a plaque –  facing the field where Mr. Hampton enjoyed playing flag football in the fall – the group had planted a Magnolia tree to memorialize the beautify of a life lost too soon.

“We celebrate the space and time between his birth and his passing,” said Prof. James Banks, college-wide coordinator of multi-cultural affairs and founder of the Black Male Network. “The senseless endings of African American lives must  not go unnoticed. Acknowledge the tragic loss of our loved one, friend and student.”

Those in attendance on Friday donned t-shirts with a stylistic graphic black and white design of him sporting a red bow tie on the front and on the back the slogan ‘D.Q.H. 9/20/91-1/27/13 Forever in Our Hearts.’

No arrests have been made in relation to Hampton’s death.

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | A ceremony was held on Friday, Demitri Hampton's birthday, to honor his memory.

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | A ceremony was held on Friday, Demitri Hampton’s birthday, to honor his memory.

09/18/13 2:00pm

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Young performers rehearse a number from ‘Grease,’ part of Riverhead Faculty and Community Theatre’s musical revue ‘Next Stop: Broadway.’

Riverhead Faculty and Community Theatre will present its musical revue ‘Next Stop: Broadway,’ from Sept. 20-22 at Vail-Leavitt Music Hall.

RFCT’s second youth musical, has a cast of 60 actors, ages 8 to 16, and chronicles the train ride of a starlet and another passenger heading to Manhattan with dreams of performing on Broadway.

09/09/13 12:30pm
First day of SChool in Riverhead

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Teacher Emily Chizever comforts a tearful kindergartner, Charlee Koke, on the first day of school Monday.

Longtime Riley Avenue Elementary School principal David Enos walked up and down the school’s new sidewalks with security guard Tom Crabb, directing parents and children to the school’s newly built drop-off area Monday morning.

Under a bright blue and nearly cloudless sky, Mr. Enos waved and yelled “Happy New Year!” to the arriving students.

He’s headed the school since the mid-1990s, but greets each year as if if were his first.

This year, some 600 students, from kindergarteners to the fourth grade are enrolled at the school in Calverton.

“I’m so excited because the kids are arriving to a brand new fabulous upgraded renovated school, Mr. Enos said, in reference to construction work that was completed this summer and came as part of a $78.3 million construction bond. ”The reconfigured parking lot and separate drop-off area for parents is an improvement for safety. The parents and buses no longer intersect.”

“Wow look at that. A new library!” one student said to a classmate while walking past the school’s new cafeteria/gym, library and computer lab.

09/03/13 12:00pm

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | The new exterior to Riley Avenue School in Calverton.

Students returning to Riverhead elementary schools this fall will notice some major upgrades. Work began this summer on various projects after voters approved a $78.3 million proposition in 2011 for infrastructure upgrades and improvements at Riverhead schools.

The upgrades feature new upgrades at all district schools.

The slideshow below shows some the improvements at the elementary schools.

07/03/13 3:08pm

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Summer Recreation camp directors Rosie Horton and Kyle Stephenson with the children and counselors in the George G. Young Community Center this week.

The ‘Olympics’ arrived in Jamesport Wednesday.

Instead of swimming and gymnastics, there was a water cup relay, bocce ball, soccer polo and a game called Madagascar — a hula hoop team-building race.

The Town of Riverhead Recreation Department’s first summer camp kicked off Monday with about 200 children in grades first through sixth registered for the program.

Kyle Stephenson of Jamesport, 26, has been the camp director for grades four to six at the George G. Young Community Center in Jamesport for the past five summers.

He described the summer camp program as “the ultimate way for kids to pass their time in the summer because of all the diversions you can imagine.”

Mr. Stephenson is joined this year by camp director Rosie Horton, 23, of Manorville who oversees the kids from first to third grade. Mr. Stephenson and Ms. Horton are both substitute teachers in Riverhead.

The camps also take place at the Pulaski Street Elementary School in Riverhead and Henry Pfeifer Community Center in Calverton.

The camps feature a four-week session and a three-week session from 8:45 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Monday through Friday. Parents can leave their children earlier for a supervised drop-off at 7:30 a.m. in Jamesport and Riverhead for an extra fee.