Articles by

Barbaraellen Koch

11/21/13 1:06pm
BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO Ian Byrne of Baiting Hollow as Max Prince (left), Johnny Tumminello of Jamesport as Lucas Brickman (center) and Danielle Allen of Riverhead as Carol Wyman in Act I Scene I of Neil's Simon's 'Laughter on the 23rd Floor'.

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO Ian Byrne of Baiting Hollow as Max Prince (left), Johnny Tumminello of Jamesport as Lucas Brickman (center) and Danielle Allen of Riverhead as Carol Wyman in Act I Scene I of Neil’s Simon’s ‘Laughter on the 23rd Floor’.

The McGann-Mercy Theatre Company kicks off its production of ‘Laughter on the 23rd Floor’ tonight at 7:30 p.m., the first of three performances of the Neil Simon play.

The play is inspired by Mr. Simon’s early career working as a junior copywriter for a variety show in the 1950s.

The play will run from Thursday, Nov. 21st through Saturday, Nov. 23rd in the school auditorium, the show starts at 7:30 pm. Tickets are $8 per person and are sold at the door. For more information on Laughter on the 23rd Floor, call 631.727.5900, ext. 310.

Click through the slideshow to see some pictures from the play’s rehearsal.

11/16/13 10:00am

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | East End Arts gallery director helps customer Craig Rosenberg pick out a wool scarf for a friend Friday morning on the first day the boutique was open. Scarf is made by Elizabeth Palmer-Buchtman of Pawling New York.

Handmade ornaments, one-of-a-kind jewelry and unique knits and crafts will be among the gifts on display at the East End Arts’ Annual Holiday Gift Boutique. An opening reception will be held today from noon to 5 p.m. in the East End Arts Gallery in Riverhead.

The event is free, open to the public and refreshments will be served.

The gallery will feature a large selection of hand-crafted heirloom ornaments. There are art-ful gifts at a wide variety of prices. All the items in the boutqie are unique creations by East End Arts member-artists. This year, 45 local artists are participating.

Guests can meet the artists at today’s reception. The boutique runs through Dec. 22. For more information, click here.

11/12/13 11:01am
BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Segulls fight for real estate space along the Peconic River Tuesday.

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Segulls fight for real estate space along the Peconic River Tuesday.

The Riverhead area and much of eastern Long Island saw the season’s first dusting of snow Tuesday morning.

According to the National Weather Service, a cold front that swept through the area in the early morning hours resulted in a mix of rain and snow — and eventually just snow — falling over the region.

The snow persisted through the morning commute, from about 6 a.m., and tapered off about 10 a.m.

(Read more below.)

And while Nov. 12 might seem like an early date for snow, with the official start of winter still 40 days away, recent years have seen even earlier first snowfalls.

Nov. 8, 2011, marked a messy commute for Long Island motorists as well, with sleet and snow flurries falling over the area.

That figure was bested by an Oct. 29, 2011 nor’easter, which resulted in a significant amount of snowfall and a rare “white Halloween” two days later.

11/11/13 1:43pm
American Legion commander Mike Pankowski and Ladies Auxillary vice president Darlene Folkes place the wreaths at the War Memorial Monday morning.

BARBARELLEN KOCH PHOTO | American Legion commander Mike Pankowski and Ladies Auxillary vice president Darlene Folkes place the wreaths at the War Memorial ceremonies Monday morning.

The town’s Veterans Day ceremony was held Monday at 11 a.m. at the War Memorial on the grounds of the Suffolk County Historical Society.

The memorial was first erected in front of the former historical society building at the northwest corner of Main Street and Griffing Avenue and dedicated by Col. Theodore Roosevelt of Oyster Bay in 1920. (Son of Teddy Roosevelt.) Several thousand people attended the 1920 event.

The memorial, made of a granite block, features a bronze plaque that lists the names of 306 men from the Town of Riverhead who served in World War I.

The memorial was moved in 1926 to the current historical society building from its previous location on Griffing Avenue.

Councilman John Dunleavy was the keynote speaker for Mondays ceremony.

Below is a transcript of his speech:

Reverend Clergy, gold star parents and loved ones, honored guests, ladies and gentlemen and my fellow veterans of our country,

Today marks the 94th year that we Americans gather together to commemorate and celebrate – all heroes – past and present, who have worn the uniform of our great country. For it was in 1919, exactly 94 years ago that President Woodrow Wilson, the Senate and Congress set aside this date as a thankful nation pays honored homage to all veterans of all branches of our military … the Army, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard and my branch – the U.S. Navy.

This day was not set aside as a “Bargain Day” for shopping centers …. but was set aside for keeping our part of the “Bargain” …. Offering humble salute and thanks to all those who served – whether serving in war or serving in peace.

While each American has the hard earned freedom to commemorate and celebrate Veterans Day each in their own way …. we must never, ever forget the soldiers, airmen, marines and sailors who make that freedom possible. It is our duty, our mission to honor our veterans, who honored us with their service – their sacrifice.

I join with you in thanking the good Lord everyday that since 1776, young men and women have always stepped forward in service to our country. From the War of Independence through World Wars I and II, Korea, Vietnam and in the troubled war torn Middle East, America is blessed with the very best.

In drafting and preparing my remarks for today, Veterans Day, I was continually drawn to the words of Lincoln …. next Tuesday, November 19th, just 8 days from today, will mark the 150th Anniversary of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. Lincoln’s words from that cold, cloudy day exactly 150 years ago reach out and touch us today …. permit me to paraphrase Lincoln at Gettysburg by saying …. ‘It is for us the living to be dedicated here to the unfinished work of all veterans’.

In closing, I offer this …. if the great George Washington did not fear to kneel in the snow at Valley Forge to pray for his troops and the future of America …. we must then not fear to kneel in the comfort of today and humbly ask again that …. God Bless America and may God Bless all who have worn the uniform.

Thank you.

John Dunleavy

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.