02/06/14 12:00pm

Aela Bailey is a third-grade student at Aquebogue Elementary School.

The Jamesport Meeting House is extremely pleased to announce that the 2014 season will begin with a performance by the Cassatt String Quartet on March 1 at 7:30 p.m. The program will feature the Dmitri Shostakovich Quartet No. 8, the Maurice Ravel String Quartet and Antonin Dvorak’s Cypresses. (more…)

02/04/12 12:00pm

Congratulations to Aquebogue School’s students of the week for January. Kindergarten: Daniel Roman-Pablo, Megan Kenny, Makayla Pinckney, Anna Lagnena, Olivia Mills, Jacob Griffiths, Michael Lodi, Andy Morales-Llamas, Alexander Niewiadomski, Ava Meras, Conrad Hoenig. First grade: Jacob Wald, Jacob Krawczyk, Evelin Elizalde, Joseph Minnick, Adolfo Jeronimo, Adonay Leon, Wilmer Salazar-Salazar, Ryan Scharpf, Kailyn Frank, Jayden Kayte, Chelsea Antonio, Joshua Cardenas-Castaneda, Jayden Labial, Kevin Zheng, Mishell Garcia, Freddy Espana, Abigail Heck, Riley Oak, Kyle Ruschin. Second grade: Monica Silva, Alfredo Chitay, Brianna Curtis, Carolina Marin, Jack Bazarewski, Curtis Spruill, Mahogony Parker, Kaitlyn Gomez, Wilfredo Bonilla-Padilla, Owen Sandoval, Daniel Squires, Ginaya Ferebee, TayShaun Hawkins, Shaiesha Pittman-Cobb, Jacob Stamile, Donna Valdez-Alejandro, De’Vaughn Latney, Katy Donohue, Tiajah Brown, Dayana Cabrera-Pacho. Third grade: Kate Foley, Nicholas Belvedere, Nathaniel Bollermann, Ashley Colagrande, Amber Wald, Kiernan O’Connell, Anthony DeLisa, Evan Maaiki, Julia Jackson. Fourth grade: Casey Dunbar, Lauren Kenny, Jonathan Pablo-Perez, Gage Milowski, Zachary White, Amanda Lewin, Matthew Pittman, Taylor Normandin, Tucker Woychuk, Juliana Gallo, Denis Calle-Ortega, Quintel Mason, Robbie Miller, Jade Escobar.

Calling all writers! The Spiritual Renewal Center at First Parish Church has a writer’s page on their website at spirit-renewal.com. Each month they publish writing samples on their website and send them to all their email recipients! If you would like to submit prose or poetry for their writer’s page, send your submission to Lisa at gardens333@optonline.net.

First Parish Church is continuing to collect canned, jarred and boxed food to fill our community’s food pantries. If you’d like to help out, you can drop off your food items at the church on Sundays between 10:30 a.m. and noon. There will be baskets set up inside the foyer located on the east side entrance of the church for the collection. For more information, call Pastor Dianne Rodriguez at 631-608-3827 or email her at Blackswan57@aol.com.

Wednesday nights at the Grange have begun again during the month of February. The series is about organic horticulture made simple for beginners and established gardeners. All lectures, hosted by Jeff Frank of The Nature Lyceum (thenaturelyceum.org), are held at the Grange on Sound Avenue and Church Lane in Northville. Doors open at 6 p.m. Shows/lectures start promptly at 6:30 p.m. and end at 8:30 p.m. For more information, call Jeff at 631-288-8528 or email him at jtf4647@aol.com.

There may be a few tickets still available for the Brady Rymer concert on Saturday, Feb. 11, at 11 a.m. at the Jamesport Meeting House. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for children and free for ages 2 and under. Inquire at Duffy’s Deli or call Pat at 909-3744 for more information.

Call Living Water Church at 722-4969 to reserve tickets for their Valentine’s dinner dance on Saturday, Feb. 11, at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $35 per person or $60 per couple. All donations go to support the youth program.

Thank you for the encouragement and prayers for Johanna. It does help! As we give her time to heal, we thank God for each new day. Have a beautiful week!

01/29/12 12:00pm

A special concert is scheduled for the “Music at the Meeting House” series at the Jamesport Meeting House. On Saturday, Feb. 11, at 11 a.m. Grammy-nominated musician Brady Rymer (bradyrymer.com) will perform pop, rock and country hits with a family-friendly flair. As the New York Times wrote, “his music has a rock ‘n’ roll heart.” Rymer’s performances deliver a happy, rollicking back porch vibe that gets everyone up and dancing and smiling from ear to ear. This is awesome music you won’t want to miss. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for children and free for 2 and under. This concert will sell out very quickly! Tickets can be purchased at Duffy’s Deli. Call Pat at 909-3744 for more info.

Living Water Church is hosting a Valentine’s dinner dance on Saturday, Feb. 11, at 6:30 p.m. Open to couples and singles alike it includes ballroom dance instruction, demonstrations and a full-course dinner. Tickets are $35 per person or $60 per couple. Call 722-4969 for more information or to purchase tickets. The funds raised from this event help support Living Water’s Youth Program.

I have a suggestion for couples with young families. My suggestion is take the kids to the Brady Rymer concert at the Meeting House on the morning of Feb. 11 and then go on a fun date at the Valentine’s dinner dance at Living Water Church! All in all it is time well spent and the donations go to support local nonprofit organizations.

Best wishes for a very happy birthday on Feb. 3 to Brian Sinclair, with love from your family and friends!
I mentioned to you last month that our wonderful friend, Amanda Frank, got engaged to Josh Palmeri during Living Water Church’s Christmas show. Amanda has been my daughter’s aide for the last three years and she is such a big part of our family. In the midst of wedding preparations, Amanda and Josh have been planning a mission trip to Uganda. The trip is sponsored by Timothy Hill Children’s Ranch in Riverhead. The Ranch has partnered with Patchogue Church of Christ to send young people from the East End to serve the needs of children in Uganda. Amanda and Josh will be helping to construct farm buildings to house chickens to feed the children, a medical clinic to provide health care and plumbing for some of the homes in the Uganda area. If you have the means to donate, please send a check to Patchogue Church of Christ, P.O. Box 548, Patchogue, NY 11772 and put Uganda-Amanda and Josh in the memo line. The world gets smaller when we extend a hand from home!

01/20/12 2:11pm

Congratulations to Jamesport resident Ava Robinson on her awarding-winning dolls. She says, “The guys have their Super Bowl Sunday, but I had my own ‘Super Doll Sunday’ at the annual Patchogue Doll Fanciers Club show and sale at the Sheraton in Hauppauge. I didn’t need a car to get home; I flew on a cloud!” Ava won five first-place ribbons, four second-place and one third-place. The dolls were entered in many categories, a few of them competing against each other in the same category. Her all-original composition doll, Shirley Temple, was a hit with show-goers. Also winning a blue ribbon was an all-original Toni Permanent Wave doll, complete with end papers and curlers. A Women’s Army Air Corps doll also took a blue ribbon, complete with uniform hat and insignia and a leather shoulder bag.

Ava has an extensive doll collection with wardrobe from the 1940s and 1950s. She was especially excited to compete this year because she missed the show last year due to illness. Considering Ava’s award-winning success, her mom has always said, “Better things come to those who wait.” Well, Ava, your persistence and patience certainly paid off. Congratulations on your achievements.

Head on over to the Rockin’ for the Homeless benefit concert on Saturday, Jan. 28, from 6 to 10 p.m. at the Polish Hall in Riverhead. Sponsored by John’s Place Mattituck, it will feature four great bands. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 per person through Jan. 27; $35 at the door. For tickets and more information, call 298-4145, ext. 2, or visit rockinforthehomeless.org.

Best wishes for a very happy 10th birthday to Zachary White on Jan. 29 from your mom and your entire family. Double digits are really cool, Zachary. Happy birthday!

A special concert is scheduled for the “Music at the Meeting House” series at the Jamesport Meeting House. On Saturday, Feb. 11, at 11 a.m. Brady Rymer will perform pop, rock and country hits with a family-friendly flair. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for children, and free for ages 2 and under. This concert will sell out very quickly. Tickets can be purchased at Duffy’s Deli. Call Pat at 909-3744 for more info.

I am writing this column with a beautiful view of the Long Island Sound. It is the view from Johanna’s room in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Stony Brook Hospital. Johanna needed emergency brain surgery last Friday. Thankfully she is recovering nicely and will be home with Taffy by the time you read this! I want to send a special thank-you to Bill Van Helmond for plowing the driveway last Saturday. Bill, your generosity took pressure off us and enabled my husband to easily get up to the hospital. Thank you!

01/18/12 3:00am

First Parish Church, UCC is continuing to collect food for our local food pantries. They need canned, jarred and boxed goods. Those who would like to help out are asked to drop off their donations at the church on Sundays between 10:30 a.m. and noon. Baskets and/or boxes will be set up inside the foyer located at the east side entrance of the church to collect your goods. Please give what you can during these months and help fill the pantries in our community. Tell a friend and pass the word around. For more information, call Pastor Dianne Rodriguez at 516-673-1231 or email her at blackswan57@aol.com.

As I mentioned last week, the “Rockin’ for the Homeless” fundraiser will take place Saturday, Jan. 28, from 6 to 10 p.m. at the Polish Hall in Riverhead. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Sponsored by John’s Place Mattituck the event will feature Gene Casey and the Lone Sharks, Who Are Those Guys, Rattlesnake Dawn and Boot Scoot Boogie. WLNG’s Lisa Dabrowski will emcee. Tickets are $25 per person through Jan. 27, $35 at the door, and can be purchased at Barth’s Pharmacy in both Riverhead and Mattituck, Polish Hall and the Mattituck Presbyterian Church office. For tickets and more information, call 298-4145, ext. 2, or visit rockinforthehomeless.org. This is a great way to be a good neighbor.

Last week there was a beautiful article in the News-Review about the difficulties faced by parents of medically fragile children. The article featured Angela’s House, an organization that provides two smaller houses on Long Island specially designed with 24-hour nursing care to accommodate the children’s complex medical and physical needs. Angela’s House also facilitates provisions for families like ours who have medically fragile kids living at home. Without their support we would not be able to provide for Johanna’s special needs in our home.

If you haven’t read the article from last week, please do so today. Also, please consider making a donation at angelashouse.org, by mail to Angela’s House, P.O. Box 5052, Hauppauge, NY 11788, call Bob Policastro at 631-979-2620 or email BPolicastro@angelashouse.org. Thank you in advance for any assistance you can offer.

My college kids are back to school — two in Ohio and one in Gaming, Austria. MaryAngela is having the adventure of a lifetime studying abroad for the semester. We wish them well and can’t wait to see them in May!

01/08/12 4:44am

A very happy New Year to all of you! I hope your holidays were wonderful!

Congratulations to the Aquebogue students of the month for December! They are: Kindergarten: Dylan Sandoval, Samantha Mills, Jackson Frend, Kevin Dubon Salan, Andy Mardice, Loudon Krumbiegel, Isabella Cucchi, Megan Kenny, Wesley Keating. First grade: Maria Mendez, Deu’Boyce Robinson, Jeremy Carey, Ismeri Morales-Rojas, Timothy Wooten, Roni Palma, Casey Zahra, Bonnie Harris, Jace Pesce, Joseph McCormack, Yamileth Estrada, Thomas Gallo, Jayden Braxton, Austin Koke. Second grade: Alicia Ramos, Jose Castro-Torres, Sofia DeMasi, Alexa Reeve, Emani Womack, Catherine Cruz, Catherine Renshaw, Jessika Francisco, Imonie Ramos, Johnathan Timpone, Serenity Lopez, James Ryan, Alexandra Goodale, Aqsa Majid, Brodie Mato, Princesa Jeronimo. Third grade: Julian Cortez, William Lopez, Angelica Salasar, Gavin Cucchi, Alexa Slasinski, Nicholas Belvedere, Brandon Riccio, Kate Foley. Fourth grade: Anna Marie Crotty, David Squires, Megan Kielbasa, Maria Andres, Joseph Brown, Steven McDonald, Sophia Lemus, Kevyn Bonilla, Ryan Seebeck, Anayeli Ortiz.

John and Barbara Anderson of Jamesport are celebrating their 35th wedding anniversary on lucky Friday the 13th! John and Barbara, all of your friends and family, and all of us, wish you a very happy 55th wedding anniversary! You both are a true inspiration to us all!

Even though the weather has been lovely, winter always promises cold days ahead. At this time of year especially, we should support the organizations that care for the homeless. Just around the corner is a benefit for East End Homeless Outreach. Called “Rockin’ for the Homeless,” the event will take place Saturday, Jan. 28, from 6-10 p.m. (doors open at 5:30 p.m.) at Polish Hall in Riverhead. Sponsored by John’s Place Mattituck, it will feature Gene Casey and the Lone Sharks, Who Are Those Guys, Rattlesnake Dawn and Boot Scoot Boogie. The emcee for the evening is special guest and WLNG’s own Lisa Dabrowski. Tickets are $25 per person until Jan. 27 and $35 at the door. Tickets can be purchased at Barth’s Pharmacy in Riverhead and Mattituck, Polish Hall and the Mattituck Presbyterian Church office. For tickets and more information call 298-4145, ext. 2, or visit rockinforthehomeless.org. This is a simple and fun way to be a good neighbor!

We celebrate the Christmas season with friends and family all the way through till “Little Christmas,” the Feast of the Epiphany, so we closed our Christmas season just last weekend by sharing a meal with some special friends. Thanks for all the emails and seasons greetings from you, our wonderful neighbors and members of our community! A special thanks to Bill Van Helman and his Christmas offering of snow plowing our driveway. Bill offered to assist us so that we can be sure we are able to get Johanna out easily and so that all of her therapists and teachers can get into the house easily. Call me when it snows and I will give you Bill’s number. All I have to say is “Let it snow!”

12/17/11 3:30pm

We attended Living Water Church’s wonderful Christmas show this past weekend and it was truly stunning. The performances were professionally done, with so much talent and grace. The choral productions were lively and melodic, a combination of old, favorite Christmas carols and contemporary songs reflecting on the “reason for the Christmas season.” The drama was witty and light, the dance numbers were beautifully choreographed and the precision of the dancers was just amazing. Of course, our favorite performer, Amanda Frank, led many of the dances.

Amanda and her family have been friends with our family for about 12 years, three-and-a-half of which Amanda has been a personal aide to my daughter Johanna. Amanda is a warm and wonderful young lady who is very talented. She had a significant role in the Christmas production this year but her starring role happened at the Sunday matinee performance, which ended with a beautiful rendition of “White Christmas.” True to the movie’s script, Josh Palmeri, Amanda’s boyfriend, got down on one knee and proposed to her in front of the entire sold-out show! Of course Amanda said “yes!”

Congratulations to LWC on another year of fine performances. We also extend our sincere, heartfelt and very ecstatic congratulations to Amanda and Josh on their engagement. May God continue to bless all of you!

I want to remind you that there will be no paper Dec. 29. The Times/Review office will be closed for the holidays Dec. 26-30 to give the staff time to celebrate the season with friends and family. My next column will be for the Jan. 12 issue. Please send me your announcements by Jan. 9 to be printed in that issue. There are lots of good things coming ahead for all of us in 2012 and I want to hear about it!

It isn’t often that Hanukkah and Christmas fall in the same week. I think it is quite special. Both traditions are celebrations of the triumph of light over the darkness. I wish you light in the darkness. Happy Hanukkah, merry Christmas and happy New Year to all!

12/10/11 12:29pm

Congratulations to the Aquebogue students of the week for November: Kindergarten — Victoria Daychouk, Griffin Sumwalt, Willy Barrios, Reese Wirth, Victoria Salazar, Joshua Soler, Matteo Mosciatti, Gisselle Morales-Llamas, Alexandra Hoverkamp, Autumn Montgomery, Cambria Palomino, Ja’Dah Williams. 1st grade — Travis Hansen, Rigoberto Nicolas, Colin Maaiki, Mishell Garcia, Cesar Dubon, Justin Caraballo Torres, Courtney Reynolds, Michael Gagliano, Aidan Eslin, Jayden Gilliam, Shannah Calle, Christian Aguilar, Charles Liles, Tara Galka, Janeiah Evans, Erick Agustin, Adolfo Jeronimo, Daneijha Corey-Farmer. 2nd grade — Nelsis Guevara-Cuesta, Maria Vergara, Jaxson Rubio, Jayden Binkis, Zyaire Hartfield, Katy Paredes, Ryan Allen, Samuel Lemus, Ellie Schultz, Ariana Hubbard, Riley Dunbar, Hannah Witt, Sophia Haupt, Giovanna Maffetone, Patrick Rowland, Olwin Mayen, Randy Cabrera-Milian, Savannah McDonald. 3rd grade — Olivia Niewiadomski, Joshua Carey, Jocelyn Podlas, Skyler Yuengling, Megan Card-Gimipelman, William Green, Deanna Wirth, Erica Bilski. 4th grade — Christian Mato, Abigail Morreale, Shannon Doyle, Kaylen Lockhart, Benjamin Payton, Katherine Goodale, Haylie Tierney, Joseph Brown, Liam Drobny, Julianna Veliz, Jose Alvarado, Kellie Estes, Grace Kaelin, and Katelin Adamson.

Celebrate the season at the Jamesport Meeting House with “Carols and Cookies” Friday, Dec. 16, at 6:30 p.m. The East End Arts chorus, conducted by Ann Webb, will perform seasonal selections and lead attendees in a singalong of popular carols. Barbara Bixby will play piano. Afterward, share some cookies and mulled cider in the Lecture Room. Suggested $5 donation for adults. All children are welcome.

The opening performance of Living Water Full Gospel Church’s Christmas show, “The Wonder of Christmas,” is tonight. I heard that tickets are selling out quickly for some of the performances. The show is a wonderful way to get into the spirit of Christmas, with performances of traditional Christmas tunes and seasonal gospel hits. Call today to reserve your tickets. Performances are Thursday-Saturday, Dec. 15-17, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, the 18th, at 3 p.m. For tickets and information, call 631-722-4969, ext. 204, or email info@lwfgc.org.

Congratulations to 2005 RHS graduate Danielle Hein, who just received her “white coat” in a special ceremony at Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. This ceremony is an initiation into its residency program. The white coat was presented by Dr. Andresen of Mattituck-Laurel Veterinary Hospital. Danielle used to work for Dr. Andresen, milking his goats and helping out with his animals. It was during that time she decided she wanted to become a veterinarian. Danielle will graduate in 2013. Congratulations, Danielle, from all your family and friends!

We are busy decorating our house for Christmas. The college kids will all be home by the weekend in time to celebrate my birthday! We are all going to New York City to see the tree and share a meal. Then Johanna, her sisters and I will stay at Ronald McDonald House to prepare for some testing at NYU. I wish you much peace in the week ahead.