06/28/14 12:00pm
LeRoy Heyliger, grandfather of Mattituck Junior High student Justin McKinney, reads his grandson's poem "I am" as the event's organizer, Susan Dingle, holds Justin's artwork.

LeRoy Heyliger, grandfather of Mattituck eight-grader Justin McKinney, reads his grandson’s poem “I am” as Poetry Street organizer, Susan Dingle, holds Justin’s artwork. (Credit: Jennifer Gustavson)

When Joseph Milbauer saw an opportunity to snag the top spot to perform at Poetry Street, an open mic session held last Sunday at Blue Duck Bakery and Cafe in Riverhead, he quickly jotted his name down.

This would be the first time Mr. Milbauer, 24, would read his poetry in public.

“I signed up on the list first because I didn’t think I would have to follow anyone,” the Riverhead resident said before reading his poem, “Round One,” a personal tale about his dark past and how he overcame a “year of screw-ups.”

But Mr. Milbauer was actually the second person to read. Not only that, he ended up having to follow poet and community advocate Robert “Bubbie” Brown of Riverside, who kicked off the event and then gave two encores.

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06/28/14 5:00am
(Credit: Jennifer Gustavson)

Riverhead school board vice president Greg Meyer honoring Ann Cotten-DeGrasse Tuesday night. (Credit: Jennifer Gustavson)

Ann Cotten-DeGrasse was congratulated Tuesday night for six years of service on the board. She was hired as a business teacher by the district in 1966 and served as president for the Riverhead Central Faculty Association before retiring in 1997.

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06/25/14 6:16pm
(Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

Terri Nirrengarten, left, protesting against the Riverhead School District’s decision to fire second-grade teacher Jutta Mariotti. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch photos)

Three parents and their children gathered in the front of the Riverhead School District’s administration office Wednesday afternoon to protest the firing of Riley Avenue Elementary School teacher Jutta Mariotti.

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06/25/14 10:00am
Jeff “Doc” Greenberger, a longtime Latin teacher at Riverhead High School. (Credit: Katharine Schroeder file)

Jeff “Doc” Greenberger, a longtime Latin teacher at Riverhead High School. (Credit: Katharine Schroeder file)

A group of parents have submitted a petition to the Riverhead school board asking the district’s administration to allow the current Latin teachers to teach more sections instead of hiring an additional teacher.

During the school board’s meeting Tuesday, parent Sarah Bowe submitted a copy of an online petition signed by over 100 people asking the district to reconsider hiring a new Latin teacher and allow the program’s current teachers, Jeff ‘Doc’ Greenberger and Lorene Custer, to teach more sections.

“Many students enroll in Latin with the specific intention of being taught by Ms. Custer and Dr. Greenberger and they all deserve that opportunity,” Ms. Bowe said.

The petition states, in part: “We ask that, if at all possible, the district find a way to allow the existing teachers to teach any additional sections that need to be added.  Should that not be possible, we ask that any expansion of the Latin program be undertaken with the full cooperation of the existing teachers, so as to ensure the continued integrity of the program.”

Through Wednesday morning, it had gathered 118 online signatures.

When asked by a parent if the Latin teachers, who are married, were given the opportunity to teach the additional sections, school board president Ann Cotten-DeGrasse said, “It is a contractual matter.”

Assistant superintendent David Wicks said both teachers are on the hiring committee and were also asked to let the district know if they knew of anybody suitable for the position.

06/20/14 10:00am
Robert ‘Bubbie’ Brown will lead a poetry session with a Juneteenth theme at Blue Duck Bakery in Riverhead this Sunday. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

Robert ‘Bubbie’ Brown will lead a poetry session with a Juneteenth theme at Blue Duck Bakery in Riverhead this Sunday. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

Poets, storytellers and comedians — lend them your ears.

Folks of all ages who are fans of the spoken word will be welcomed to Blue Duck Bakery & Cafe in downtown Riverhead Sunday to participate in Poetry Street — a summer series of open mic sessions.

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