06/27/15 8:00am
The Grove, built in 1850, is one of seven houses featured in Saturday's 'Historic Gems of New Suffolk' house tour, an event organized by the New Suffolk Waterfront Fund. (Credit: Jon Schusteritsch courtesy photo)

The Grove, built in 1850, is one of seven houses featured in Saturday’s ‘Historic Gems of New Suffolk’ house tour, an event organized by the New Suffolk Waterfront Fund. (Credit: Jon Schusteritsch courtesy photo)

Long before the fictional Jay Gatsby discovered Long Island’s charms, droves of Victorian-era visitors spent summers enjoying the tranquility of New Suffolk.

Since then, more than 100 years have passed — but many of the hamlet’s picturesque 19th-century homes remain. And at the end of the month, the public is invited to tour seven of them.

(more…)

06/21/15 7:00am
Raw milk at Ty Llwyd Farm in Northville costs $6 a half-gallon. (Credit: Jen Nuzzo, file)

Raw milk at Ty Llwyd Farm in Northville costs $6 a half-gallon. (Credit: Jen Nuzzo, file)

Last week, when my coworker posted a picture to Facebook of a bottle of raw milk she had just purchased from Ty Llwyd Farm in Northville, I was intrigued — and a little unnerved.

After all, Louis Pasteur, who discovered the principles of pasteurization in the 19th century, was revered in my elementary school science classes. It was there that I learned how lucky I was that Pasteur had figured out how to prevent dangerous bacteria from contaminating the chocolate milk I loved so much. Why would anyone choose to seemingly go back in time and drink it raw? And is the practice dangerous? (more…)

06/20/15 5:42pm
Claudia Zacharewicz of Jamesport is crowned Polish Town Queen by event co-chair Marianne Trubish Saturday. (Credit: Rachel Young)

Claudia Zacharewicz of Jamesport is crowned Polish Town Queen by event co-chair Marianne Trubish Saturday. (Credit: Rachel Young photos)

Polish Town has a new queen.

Claudia Zacharewicz, 17, of Jamesport was crowned this year’s Polish Town Queen during a Saturday afternoon ceremony at Baiting Hollow’s Cooperage Inn. An incoming senior at Riverhead High School, Claudia was one of six girls to compete in the 2015 contest, which has been sponsored by the Polish Town Civic Association since 1976.  (more…)

06/20/15 3:27pm
Riverhead Town Supervisor Sean Walter is joined by Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, left, as he discusses water quality issues Saturday in Riverhead. (Credit: Rachel Young)

Riverhead Town Supervisor Sean Walter is joined by Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, left, as he discusses water quality issues Saturday in Riverhead. (Credit: Rachel Young)

Their backs facing the mouth of the Peconic River, town and county officials gathered outdoors Saturday for a press conference at the Riverhead Yacht Club, where they called upon the federal government to provide financial assistance to help address water quality issues in the wake of two fish kills.  (more…)

06/14/15 5:59am
(Credit: Caroline, Flickr)

(Credit: Caroline, Flickr)

A new bill passed unanimously last week by the Suffolk County Legislature will help keep kids healthy by blocking the sale of toys containing potentially unsafe levels of lead and other chemicals linked to serious health conditions.

The Toxin Free Toys Act aims to protect children from toys that contain “potentially unsafe levels of six hazardous chemicals” and known carcinogens, according to a press release. If the proposal is signed into law by Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone, the county Department of Health will begin notifying retailers in January. Beginning December 2016, inspectors would conduct random checks for unsafe toys at stores using an X-ray fluorescence analyzer, which evaluates the items’ chemical composition.

“As a mother, I am outraged that children’s toys contain these toxic chemicals that can cause cancer, learning and developmental disabilities and respiratory, cardiovascular and gastrointestinal disorders,” said county Legislator Kara Hahn (D-Setauket), who sponsored the bill.

Similar anti-toxin measures were recently signed into law in Albany and Westchester counties.

Under the proposal, toys sold in Suffolk County would only be allowed to contain strictly regulated amounts of antimony, arsenic, cadmium, cobalt, lead and mercury.

“I certainly wouldn’t want to give anything bad or toxic to a child,” said Kathy Halliwell, owner of Goldsmith’s Toys and Electronics in Greenport. “We carry all quality toys here.”

Suffolk County’s initiative was introduced in response to a report issued by the New York League of Conservation Voters and Clean & Healthy New York that found “several products” containing toxic components on Long Island store shelves.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, lead paint was banned by the United States in 1978 but is still widely used by other countries in manufacturing toys. Because lead is odorless and invisible to the naked eye, young children can inadvertently expose themselves to it when they put toys that contain lead in their mouths.

While the use of lead paint is prohibited, the use of lead in plastic toys hasn’t been banned in the U.S. According to the CDC, lead softens plastic and makes it more flexible.

Only a certified laboratory can accurately test a toy for lead, the CDC said, and a blood test is the only way a child’s lead levels can be measured.

For a list of recalled toys, visit cpsc.gov.

Have a health column idea or question for Rachel Young? Email her at ryoung@timesreview.com

06/13/15 2:30pm
A 1964 photo depicting the grand opening of the former Montgomery Ward Catalog Store in downtown Riverhead. (Credit: Suffolk County Historical Society)

A 1964 photo depicting the grand opening of the former Montgomery Ward Catalog Store in downtown Riverhead. (Credit: Suffolk County Historical Society)

Vines & Hops occupies the space today, but more than 50 years ago, 127 East Main St. in Riverhead became home to Montgomery Ward’s Catalog Store, which opened in 1964 to a “huge crowd of local shoppers,” the Suffolk County Historical Society said this week. (more…)

06/07/15 5:58am
Aside from being delicious, strawberries are packed with antioxidants and vitamin C. What's not to love? (Credit: Katharine Schroeder)

Aside from being delicious, strawberries are packed with antioxidants and vitamin C. What’s not to love? (Credit: Katharine Schroeder)

“Popeye” character J. Wellington Wimpy famously promised that he’d “gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today,” but I’d rather have a cup of fresh strawberries. And, like Wimpy, I want them right now.

Aside from being delicious, strawberries are fat-free, rich in dietary fiber and packed with vitamin C and antioxidants. Combined, these attributes make my favorite fruit “nutritional jewels,” said dietitian Lara McNeil of East End Nutrition in Riverhead.  (more…)