Articles by

Elizabeth Taggart

02/04/12 12:00pm

Congratulations to all Shoreham-Wading River “Big Blue” Giants fans. The Super Bowl this year proved to be one exciting game that had two talented and evenly matched teams locking horns and helmets to prove who was the best in the land. I’m sure the schools will be full of “Big Blue” shirts, hats and jerseys as we commemorate our favorite players.

We still can’t believe that the weather has been so mild. Knock on wood that we won’t be hammered with one snowstorm after another. Just mixtures of sunshine and breezes have been a welcome change of pace.
Good luck to Ray Vosilla of Fire Company No. 3 in Shoreham. Ray is a soon-to-be-retired member of the community who has what we call a “bucket list” of things he’d still like to experience. Retirement is a time when people think about those things, the things they never got to do, never got to taste, never got to experience, see or have. Ray, may we see your name and your work in print real soon. Keep us posted.

‘New York State Regents Reform Agenda and Lifelong Learning: Friends or Foes?” is the topic of the next Shoreham-Wading River School District Community Forum, with the superintendent of schools and Board of Education. The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 28, is another in Wading River Elementary School’s all purpose gym. There is always an open invitation for all SWR community members to attend.

Have fun next week as you remember with flowers, chocolate and prose the person who adds that special spice to your life. What would we do without the people we love to share our lives with? You can have the world at your fingertips, but without sharing it with someone special, what meaning does life hold?

If you have any Shoreham or Wading River announcements or points of interest to share, send it along. I’m just a click of the mouse away.

Be well, start compiling your own bucket list, tell that certain someone that you can’t imagine your life without them and give a shout out to “Big Blue.” And have a good week until we meet here again.

01/29/12 12:00pm

Arnie Hansen, a familiar name and face in the North Shore Sun, was January’s featured artist at North Shore Public Library in Shoreham. In his first solo work exhibition, 14 compositions were on display, 10 collages and four photos. I couldn’t help but be impressed by the scope of his imaginative output.

The collages, in particular, begged for a closer inspection to be fully appreciated. They were variously described as whimsical, psychedelic, striking, colorful and professional — my sentiments exactly.

Since I’ve known Arnie from his six-year stint as a fellow correspondent for the North Shore Sun and a resident of Leisure Village in Ridge, I called to compliment him on his imaginative creations. I asked him how long he’s been involved in art and was impressed to find that he was a graduate of the Pratt Institute (with a B.A. in advertising), and started as a copywriter, went on to become a vice president, account supervisor, then advertising manager of Panasonic, and finally, as creative director/partner of Hansen, Nigro & Wulforst Inc.

When I asked how it all started, he said, “I got straight A’s in figure drawing in college and always had a passion for the arts. What goes around comes around.” When asked what’s next, he replied, “I’m working my buns off trying to finish my autobiography, titled ‘Around the World in 80 Years’ with the subtitle ‘The true life story of a creative director in his own words and pictures.’ ”

When we ended our conversation he signed off in his usual signature phrase, “Keep smiling.” I remember seeing those words on the bottom of every column and they were even better to hear now. It’s a good philosophy and you always end on a happy note.

01/20/12 3:35pm

As you pass by Shoreham Fire Company No. 3 (Rocky Point Fire District), you’ll see a number displayed for the total number of alarms responded to in 2011: 2,043. All of those were professional responses to emergencies that you and I have encountered. That’s a lot of help to a lot of people in need provided by a lot of men and women who make it a point to be there for you. When it comes to being there for them when they need funds to support their all-volunteer organization, can you and I say thank you with monetary aid?

A Wading River Civic meeting will be held Thursday, Jan. 26, at Wading River Congregational Church at 7:30 p.m. The preliminary plan for the Route 25A study in Wading River will be discussed. All are welcome. Refreshments will be served. For further information, call 866-1014.

If that topic interests you but you cannot make the Jan. 26 meeting, you may attend the Wading River public workshop on Saturday, Feb. 4, from 10 a.m. to noon at St. John the Baptist R.C. Church, 1488 North Country Road, Wading River, where Supervisor Sean Walter will talk about Riverhead Town’s comprehensive plan focusing on the Route 25A corridor between the Riverhead/Brookhaven town line and Hulse Landing Road. All Wading River residents, business owners, merchants and community groups are invited to share thoughts and ideas about the plan’s preliminary strategies and zoning recommendations. Call 929-4339.

PLI. It may sound like the last three letters of a new radio station that will reach a targeted age group via the airwaves. There is a targeted audience in mind, but it is just for the parents in the community. Parent Leadership Initiative is “a community-based program designed to prepare parents from diverse backgrounds to take on leadership roles and become advocates in addressing the needs of their children and families.”

Sponsored by the Child Care Council of Suffolk, this Brookhaven Town program aims to make a real difference in the health, happiness and success of the children in our community. There is no cost for this program and free child care and dinner are provided. This information comes from Shoreham-Wading River High School, which has an interest in creating a “caring community for children.” For more information on how to become involved, contact Allison Maccarello at 632-456-1990.

If you have any announcements to share with the community, please email me at the above address.

01/17/12 2:00am

Let’s hope the sudden dip in the temperature won’t bring that four-letter word that makes commuting so treacherous and difficult. I know January and February are typically snow months and that the kids are probably aching for a day off but, personally, I could use just a little more time of moderate weather in which we don’t have to shovel our way to civilization, it doesn’t take hours to return home and the wipers don’t become a permanent part of the windshield.

Thank you, Martin Luther King Jr., for the exemplary life you lived, for your gentle philosophy and for your powerful influence that absolutely changed American history. The nation has forever marked Jan. 16 as a day to celebrate equality for all races.

I heard from Cathy Heller, who told me her husband, Bruce, is celebrating his 50th birthday Thursday, Jan. 19. Bruce, your family wishes you a very happy birthday and hopes you have a very special day. You are sent much love from your wife, Cathy, and your children, Brett and Paige. May your celebration this year be particularly memorable.

Gail Longo was also kind enough to send news from Lisa Wild, president of the Shoreham-Wading River High School PTA. Jan. 31 is the deadline to submit applications for the Stanley Marcus Award, which is given to a high school junior or senior “who best exemplifies the humanitarian principles of Stanley Marcus,” who passed away in 1977 while serving as third vice president of the New York State Congress of Parents and Teachers. He was known for his humanitarianism and dedication to youth through zealous volunteer community service. SWR High School believes that since the PTA is a volunteer organization, it would be fitting that service by a youth should be rewarded. For more details or for an application visit, email the high school at, “like” us on Facebook at “SWR HIGH SCHOOL PTSA” or visit Also, the next meeting of the PTSA will be Feb. 1 at 7 p.m. in the high school library.

If you have some news or announcements you would like to share with the SWR community, I’m just a click of the mouse away.

Enjoy the best that January has to offer, make a change happen in your life that will have a positive effect and we’ll meet here again next week.

01/08/12 4:44am

I feel like Arnold Horshack in that television show about a teacher hired to the high school from which he graduated when I say, “Welcome Back.” I trust that your holidays were special, with all your holy and festive traditions among those beautiful decorations.

Welcome to 2012, the official end of the Mayan calendar. Perhaps the Mayans knew that the earth wouldn’t necessarily run out of time, but just run out of trees. Who’s to say that the Mayans weren’t aware of the entire planet’s need to “go green” and that the need for paper reminders wouldn’t exist?

We have to have paper. Without paper, well, we wouldn’t be able to meet here in these pages.

I apologize that I received information after the last column that is now outdated. But I do have current information for you.

Shoreham-Wading River Central School District’s board and superintendent are hosting Part 2 of “Paying for Public Education: Budgets, Unfunded Mandates, Economic Conditions (Incomes and Taxes) at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 12, at the Prodell Middle School library. Your participation is welcome and encouraged.

Thursday and Friday, Jan. 12 and 13, are the last days to register your 5-year-old for kindergarten. You must show proof of residency (see the school website for requirements), have completed registration forms, and provide your child’s birth certificate (original and copy) and immunization records signed by the physician. Your child does not need to be present for registration and you can obtain the registration packet at the high school or online at In previous years you needed to come to Briarcliff School, but this year registration will be held at the district office between 8 and 11:30 a.m.

Suzanne Christensen, junior class adviser at Shoreham-Wading River High School, has sent out a letter to junior class parents saying that in the coming weeks we should be hearing about activity for the junior class prom. In the past, much of the work was handled by the parents, but Ms. Christensen states that this has caused missed opportunities for student growth. She wants to hear suggestions for the auction from anyone who has been involved previously. If you want to help with the centerpieces for the prom, she would like to hear from you as well. Contact her at

I really missed you. It was nice having time off for a bit (Thank you, Times/Review), but it’s nice to be able to share news and announcements with you again. After all, you’re the best. (And you heard it here, appearing in print on paper that you can feel, see and share with someone else.)

12/17/11 3:31pm

I must inform you all that this is the last Shoreham-Wading River column for a bit. The columnists are given two weeks off, so we will return to these pages for the Jan. 12 issue. If you have something that you would like to share with the SWR community in and around the Jan. 12 date, please have the information to me by Sunday, Jan. 8.

I must also tell you that it has been a pleasure to write about you in this space. I thank every one of you who has contacted me in 2011 to share your news. I’ve gotten messages thanking me for the things I’ve written. “Thanks for the plug” and “You did a nice job on that” go a long way. It would be a lonely road without your input.

As you go into the holiday homestretch, be aware of a few things that are dangerous this time of year. Christmas trees catching fire are a biggie. The Brookhaven Town Office of Emergency Management sent me a few tips to make you wiser: Disconnect lighting before bedtime or when you’re away from the house. Get rid of the tree when it starts dropping needles. Do not run wiring for trees or other indoor displays under rugs and carpets. Never leave a candle unattended; nearly 40 percent of all fires occur after candles are left unsupervised or inadequately controlled. Don’t place them near a family pet. Use clips, not nails, to hang lights so the cords don’t get damaged. Keep decorations away from the windows and doors. When you’re cooking, don’t leave the stove unattended; unattended cooking is the leading cause of all fires in the U.S. Also, test your fire alarms.

Thank you to the Wading River Fire Department whose members toured Wading River Sunday with Santa Claus riding in the fire engine. The emergency vehicles led the train, announcing to everyone that the big fella was in their neighborhood. I must say that everyone in the house drops what they’re doing and runs to see like little kids. It’s so exciting when Santa Claus comes to town. All of Shoreham celebrated Santa’s arrival Saturday, when the Rocky Point Fire Department took him on a visit to that area. It’s an exciting tradition in these parts and it sets a child’s (and a parent’s) heart a-flutter. Thanks to all who were involved in this effort of cheer.

Have a wonderful holiday season and until we meet here in this space, be well, be smart, be careful, generous and happy. Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and Happy New Year.

12/09/11 2:03pm

Throughout the school year, Shoreham-Wading River Superintendent Dr. Steven Cohen and the Board of Education hold community forums for the public. The next is at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 15, at the Prodell Middle School. It will be on “Paying for Public Education: Budgets, Unfunded Mandates and Economic Conditions (Incomes and Taxes), Part 1.”

Happy birthday to Serafina Gohar, who turned 15 on Dec. 11. Fina is one of the smartest and most impressive young people I know. She was surrounded by love when Sarah, Chris, Tommy, Ann, Taylor, Meghan and Gerard attended her party. We know you had a nice day and we wish you nothing but happy birthdays for all your years to come. And happy birthday to one of Wading River’s hardest working young ladies: My daughter Janet will turn 26 on Dec. 17. You have made your dad and me so proud; we wish you much success in your future.

There is a goodwill event under way right now that will make you proud if you get a chance to witness it. The Wading River Fire Department is running a “Stuff-A-Bus” campaign to replenish the area food pantries that struggle to keep supplies on their shelves. The goal is to stock the bus from floor to ceiling and side to side. From now until New Year’s Eve you may bring supplies to the good folks at the fire department on North Country Road or see them outside King Kullen as they hand out lists of nonperishable items. It feels so good to be part of this huge goodwill effort that helps so many people.

The word is out. If you want to witness something else that will leave you with a sense of pride, did you know that Shoreham-Wading River’s Got Talent? On Friday, Jan. 6, at 7 p.m. at the Shoreham-Wading River High School auditorium you can see “the stars come out” when you experience the high school kids singing, dancing, performing and more. The contest is open to the public and you can buy tickets at the door for $10. Proceeds will benefit the SWR High School PTSA arts and education program for students. The sponsors are WALK 97.5, the PTSA, everychild.onevoice and IdolMaker USA.

The sky is so beautiful this time of year as you stand out in the crisp, cold air. Maybe you’ll gaze up and be grateful as you recall all the people who make you proud.

Until we meet in this space next week, be well.

12/07/11 1:40am

We’re deep within the Christmas season and have begun shopping for gifts and thinking about doing special things for special people.

Little Flower Children’s Services of Wading River is currently conducting its annual toy and gift drive. Visit to download their wish list or to make a donation so that you can make the holidays a little brighter for a child in their care. For more information or to schedule a delivery, call 929-6200, ext. 1171, or email The entire Little Flower family thanks you for your continued generosity and compassion.

For a much needed gift that won’t cost you a dime, consider this: The Miller Avenue PTO is trying to obtain two grants from the Clorox and Pepsi companies for $50K each for a new playground at the school and they need your help. The school that receives the most votes will receive the grants. Children are also eligible to vote. The school cannot win the money unless each of us helps out by voting each day through Dec. 9. To vote on the Pepsi website visit pepsi. com. To vote on the Clorox website visit or text the message clorox3946 to 44144 (one vote per day). I did it and it works!

Those voting at the Clorox website must register their email address. After you register, click the “Log In” tab and enter your email address and password. Hit the “Play” category, type in keyword “Miller Avenue,” locate the school and vote. One click a day could make the difference between the playground they currently have and a brand-new one. Wouldn’t that be a great idea for a great Christmas gift at a great price?

Shoreham-Wading River High School’s music department presented their holiday gift to the community — their 2011 fall concert. Steven Fayette’s Symphony Orchestra performed Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Toccata and Fugue in D Minor,” arranged by Victor Lopez; Franz Schubert’s “Ave Maria,” arranged by David Kerr; and John Williams’ “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.” Dennis Creighton’s High School Concert Choir, accompanied by Sandy Fayette on piano, performed Lilly Allen’s “Chinese,” arranged by Rachel Santesso (with solo performances by Kerri Beacon, Laura Lee, Rachel Hunter and Amelia Valdes); “Three Madrigals” by Emma Lou Diemer; W.A. Mozart’s “Lacrymosa from Requiem”; Karl Jenkins’ “Adiemus: Songs of Sanctuary”, with flute and percussion solos by Michelle Wern and Victoria Creta; “Soon-Ah Will Be Done” by William Dawson; and “God Bless the Child” by A.Herzog Jr./B. Holiday, with soloists Taylor Burgess and Victoria Creta. David Minelli’s Concert Band presented the songs “Summer Dances” by Brian Balmages, “Seize the Day” by Patrick J. Burns, “Nilesdance” by David R. Holsinger and “Hail to the Spirit of Liberty” march by John Philip Sousa, adapted by H.R. Gore. Your direction, accompaniment and performance was extraordinarily beautiful and all who attended thank you for your gift.

Whether you’ll be giving a gift to a special little someone, making it possible for a special someone to play on a new playground, or you gave a gift from the gifts that God gave you, you deserve to be thanked.

Be well until we meet here again next week.