08/19/14 4:00pm
LIRR

LIRR riders board an eastbound train out of Riverhead last summer. (Credit: Steve Rossin, file)

Due to construction projects and track repairs, buses will be replacing Long Island Rail Road trains running between Ronkonkoma and Greenport beginning Sept. 2 and ending Nov. 16, the MTA announced.

The buses will replace four weekday trains — two eastbound and two westbound — between the two train stops while ties are replaced and grade crossings are restored.  (more…)

08/19/14 10:20am
This hydrant on E. Main Street will be painted soon. (Credit: Claire Leaden)

This hydrant on E. Main Street will be painted soon. (Credit: Claire Leaden)

Fire hydrants are a prime example of functionality over aesthetics. They’ll get you water in an emergency, but no one’s ever insisted they have to look good doing it.

Still, the folks at East End Arts believe it wouldn’t hurt to try. (more…)

08/04/14 10:00am
A screen shot of the music video created to honor a Peconic Landing employee. (Credit: Youtube)

A screen shot of the music video created to honor a Peconic Landing employee. (Credit: Youtube)

Patricia Lutzky of Peconic Landing was recently awarded LeadingAge New York’s “Professional of the Year” award, and staff members and residents couldn’t be more pleased.

In fact, to show their sheer delight with Ms. Lutzky’s win, everyone at the retirement community came together to create a congratulatory video to the Pharrell Williams’ pop hit “Happy.” (more…)

07/29/14 2:48pm
The Suffolk County Community College Culinary Arts Knowledge Bowl team consists of: (from left) faculty advisor Andrea Glick, Lynn Bohlen, Vincent Sperling, team captain Satoko Matthews, Lillian Senior and team manager Sherry Mazze. (Credit: SCCC courtesy)

The Suffolk County Community College Culinary Arts Knowledge Bowl team consists of: (from left) faculty advisor Andrea Glick, Lynn Bohlen, Vincent Sperling, team captain Satoko Matthews, Lillian Senior and team manager Sherry Mazze. (Credit: SCCC courtesy)

There’s more to cooking than just following a recipe or throwing some ingredients into a pot. In fact, even budding chefs need to be aware of numerous technical terms and procedures.

The Suffolk County Community College’s Culinary Team was tested on many of those facts at the American Culinary Federation’s National Culinary Knowledge Bowl.  (more…)

07/28/14 8:00am
Long Island Council of Churches office manager Carolyn Gumbs and volunteer MIchael Lacy of Shinnecock Reservation in Southampton preparing side dishes for the annual Migrants Dinner last November. (Credit: File)

Long Island Council of Churches office manager Carolyn Gumbs and volunteer MIchael Lacy of Shinnecock Reservation in Southampton preparing side dishes for the annual Migrants Dinner last November. (Credit: File)

The Long Island Council of Churches recently receive a $50,000 grant from the Walmart Foundation for Hunger Relief and is planning to use half of the funds to purchase food for its pantry in Riverhead.

(more…)

07/27/14 8:00am
Young Farmers Camp coordinator Lucy Senesac plants seeds with Rudy Bruer, 10, of Mattituck and Julia Galasso, 12, of Westhampton. (Credit: Katharine Schroeder)

Young Farmers Camp coordinator Lucy Senesac plants seeds with Rudy Bruer, 10, of Mattituck and Julia Galasso, 12, of Westhampton. (Credit: Katharine Schroeder)

“Eat your vegetables.”

The phrase may generate a certain queasy feeling in your stomach and an innate desire to defy your mother. Uttered sternly by countless moms over the years to kids of all ages, it’s easy to remember that nothing seemed worse than swallowing the last (or first) bite of broccoli or brussels sprouts.

Lucy Senesac of Sang Lee Farms, however, is determined to change that healthy-eating stereotype.

Sang Lee Farms in Peconic is running a Young Farmer’s Camp for 7- to 12-year-olds on Wednesdays through Aug. 13. Ms. Senesac began working at Sang Lee about four years ago and became eager to share her knowledge with kids.

“I wanted to do something to basically teach other people because I’ve learned so much here,” she explained. “And I’ve just found that it’s so important to learn where your food comes from. It affects so much.”KATHARINE SCHROEDER PHOTOVegetables grow in raised beds.

Ms. Senesac eventually wants to offer classes on healthy and organic eating for adults, but for now she’s starting with kids. This is the first year for the camp, which runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. with plenty of fun activities and learning opportunities. Nine children are currently enrolled.

“I wanted to share my passion for good food and eating well with the kids out here because it’s such a great community and there’s so much farming. They just need to be a part of it,” she said.

Camp is complete with hay bales, a chalkboard and garden beds just for the kids. Every week the campers plant and learn about the “vegetables of the week.” In the mornings, they recap what they learned the week before and look to see if anything has sprouted.

Next, Ms. Senesac takes them around Sang Lee to learn about the new vegetables of the week and then they go over an educational topic of the week.

The first week’s topic was “what organic means” the second week’s was bees.

07/24/14 2:00pm
LI Cares started offering free breakfast for kids under age 18 through the end of August. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

LI Cares started offering free breakfast for kids under age 18 through the end of August. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

A 2010 study by food bank L.I. Cares showed that 39 percent of the 283,700 Long Islanders who receive emergency food each year are children under 18 years of age.

So when school goes out for the summer — leaving many kids who receive free and reduced lunches at school without a source of nutrition — hunger assistance organizations such as L.I. Cares and Long Island Harvest find themselves trying to fill in the gaps for families.

With that in mind, L.I. Cares launched a new site for anyone under age 18 in need of a morning meal, opening an open site location in Stotzky Park from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. every weekday.

“I chose it because I live in Riverhead, and to my knowledge it’s a popular park,” Child Nutrition Program Specialist Kerry Tooker explained.

An “open site” food location means that any child 18 and under can receive food there, no prior enrollment necessary.

The Summer Food Service Program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and works with food banks to provide free and nutritious meals for children in low-income areas.

In Riverhead School District, 2,145 students out of the total student population of 5,100 qualify for free lunch and 300 qualify for reduced lunch, according to the District’s Chief Information Officer Chris Amato.

Though the meal changes daily, it always includes some type of fruit, a grain like a bagel, muffin or cereal bar, and a choice of milk or chocolate milk. The program started on July 7, and is offered through Aug. 29

Turnout was a little sporadic to start, Ms. Tooker said, varying anywhere from 19 kids to only one, one day.

Though the attendance numbers have picked up in the last week, staying well in the teens every day, Ms. Tooker said that public transportation to the park would be helpful. Currently, no buses run directly to Stotzky.

On Friday afternoons only, free lunch is given out from 12 to 1 p.m. at Ammann Riverfront Park in Riverhead. It is an open feeding site as well, coordinated by L.I. Cares in partnership with Lighthouse Mission of Patchogue.

For the last two years Riverhead Public Library was an open site for the Summer Food Service Program, working with hunger-relief organization Island Harvest, but this year they will not be. During the first year of the program they served 1,068 meals over 39 days.

“When I found out that Stotzky Park was going to be a location for L.I. Cares and that Island Harvest was going to have a site at Flanders Community Center, I thought it would just be duplicating services to have it at the library too,” said head of children’s services Laurie Harrison, who worked with Island Harvest the past two years.

“With resources so scarce, I thought, why drain each others’ resources? But we’ve offered to be a site again next year, so that’s in the works.”