04/26/15 7:00am

About a year ago, prospective customers kept walking into Shelly Scoggin’s Greenport health store, The Market, asking for obscure supplements they had heard Dr. Mehmet Oz endorse as weight-loss breakthroughs on his eponymous CBS television show. They were looking for items like white kidney bean extract and African mango seed.  (more…)

04/23/15 10:00am
Michelangelo's manager Felipe Rodriguez's wife, Sofia, their son, Felipe, 5, and their daughter, Valentina, 3, attended a Tuesday evening fundraiser benefiting Mr. Rodriguez, who has a rare form of lymphoma. (Credit: Rachel Young)

Michelangelo’s manager Felipe Rodriguez’s wife, Sofia, their son, Felipe, 5, and their daughter, Valentina, 3, attended a Tuesday evening fundraiser benefiting Mr. Rodriguez, who was recently diagnosed with a rare form of lymphoma. (Credit: Rachel Young)

More than $10,000 was raised during a fundraiser at Michelangelo’s Pizzeria in Mattituck Tuesday evening for the restaurant’s manager, Felipe Rodriguez of Wantagh, who was recently diagnosed with a rare form of lymphoma and is now unable to work. An additional $9,000 has been raised in an online fundraiser.

“I support my crew,” said Michelangelo’s owner Frank DiStefano, who added that a total of $10,400 was raised through ticket sales and donations from local organizations. “If someone’s down, we want to help.”  (more…)

04/19/15 8:00am
A fundraiser to benefit Michelangelo's Pizzeria manager Felipe Rodriguez, who was recently diagnosed with liver cancer, will be held Tuesday, April 21. (Credit: Rachel Young)

A fundraiser to benefit Michelangelo’s Pizzeria manager Felipe Rodriguez, who was recently diagnosed with liver cancer, will be held Tuesday, April 21. (Credit: Rachel Young)

If you’ve ever stopped by Michelangelo’s Pizzeria in Mattituck for a soda and a slice, chances are good you’ve seen Felipe Rodriguez, the restaurant’s smiling, suit-wearing manager. (more…)

04/19/15 7:00am
Witch hazel on the shelf at Target in Riverhead (Credit: Rachel Young)

Witch hazel on the shelf at Target in Riverhead (Credit: Rachel Young)

Strange in name but benign in use, witch hazel is a natural astringent with powers that go far beyond minimizing pores.

Consider Native Americans, who for centuries have used the herbal remedy for a variety of medicinal purposes. According to a 2012 article in The Atlantic, the Iroquois brewed it as a tea to treat dysentery, colds and coughs and the Osage used witch hazel bark to treat skin ulcers and sores. The Mohegans reportedly even showed English settlers how to find underground water using Y-shaped witch hazel sticks.

Today, witch hazel is used primarily as an all-natural facial toner and topical solution that relieves irritation from scrapes, minor cuts and insect bites. But the extract from this remarkable plant can seemingly do it all. And it’s inexpensive, at roughly $5 for a 16-ounce bottle. You’ll find it in nearly any drugstore.

According to the website Natural Living Ideas, witch hazel can be used to:

 Treat hemorrhoids. In fact, it’s a common ingredient in commercial creams like Preparation H. Mix a small solution of witch hazel with aloe vera gel and apply it to affected areas. The same solution can also be used to help relieve sunburn.

Stop bleeding. Witch hazel contains tannins, which, in addition to having astringent properties, are thought to help stop minor bleeding caused by cuts and scrapes.

Dry up swimmer’s ear. Use an eyedropper to insert several drops of witch hazel into each ear to dry up pus and break up wax and other ear-clogging debris. Allow ears to drain, then gently use a cotton swab to clean the area.

Decrease under-eye puffiness. Didn’t get enough sleep last night? Use a cotton swab to apply witch hazel on and around the eye area. It will act as a natural anti-inflammatory. Just be careful to avoid actually getting any of the solution in your eyes.

Shrink varicose veins. To temporarily relieve swelling and pain, soak a washcloth in witch hazel and place it over the affected area.

IN BLOOM

How’s this for trickery? Witch hazel trees bloom in winter, when almost everything else is still dormant. And you can easily plant your own.

Arnold's Promise witch hazel tree at the Peconic River Herb Farm about 15 years old. It blooms in late winter. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

“It’s native to our area so it’s quite easy to grow,” said Christina Spindler, owner of the Peconic River Herb Farm in Calverton, where a 12-foot witch hazel tree grows (see photo, left).

Ms. Spindler doesn’t use the tree for medicinal purposes, but companies like Dickinson’s Original Witch Hazel have been doing so since 1866. According to dickinsonusa.com, the witch hazel solution is extracted from the tree’s twigs and bark. The company then recycles the processed witch hazel chips into biodegradable mulch, making it a truly “green” business.

Caption: Arnold’s Promise witch hazel tree at the Peconic River Herb Farm about 15 years old. It blooms in late winter. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

04/18/15 12:00pm
Suffolk County historian Peter Fox Cohalan (left) dedicates the Suffolk County Historical Society's new gallery to Noel Gish (right) Thursday. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

Suffolk County historian Peter Fox Cohalan (left) dedicates the Suffolk County Historical Society’s new gallery to Noel Gish (right) Thursday. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

Less than a year ago, the Suffolk County Historical Society’s east wing was “nothing but a big closet,” said Bob Barauskas, president of the Riverhead organization’s board of trustees.

Not anymore. On Thursday evening, the newly restored former storage room was dedicated as the Noel J. Gish Sr. Gallery during a ceremony attended by nearly 125 people. (more…)

04/18/15 10:00am
Thirty West Main Street. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

Thirty West Main Street. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

The Riverhead Chamber of Commerce is relocating its headquarters to Thirty West Main, the newly renovated shared workspace complex co-owned by commercial real estate broker Georgia Malone. It has a June 1 move-in date.

“We knew about Thirty West Main because Ms. Malone invited us to her ribbon-cutting facility, where we were able to tour the facility,” chamber president Brian Curtin said. “It was the only place we visited when looking for a new place to call home.”  (more…)

04/04/15 5:00pm
Members (counter-clockwise, from left) Sissy Zosimo, Diann Scott, Joanne Zosimo, Darlene Faith, Marie Donovan and Thelma Booker pose for a photo Saturday at the Madison Street Moose lodge. (Credit: Rachel Young)

Members (counter-clockwise, from left) Sissy Zosimo, Diann Scott, Joanne Zosimo, Darlene Faith, Marie Donovan and Thelma Booker pose for a photo Saturday at the Madison Street Moose lodge. (Credit: Rachel Young)

Deborah Boschetti, senior regent of the Riverhead chapter of the Women of the Moose, barely had a second to spare last Saturday as she prepared for the organization’s 60th anniversary celebration later that night.

“I still have to get changed,” the Laurel resident said apologetically as she spooned balsamic vinaigrette onto individual bowls of salad at the Madison Street moose lodge. “Can you excuse me for a minute?”  (more…)

04/04/15 12:00pm
The old red mill in Riverhead. (Credit: Courtesy)

The old red mill in Riverhead. (Credit: Suffolk County Historical Society)

Did you know historians believe Riverhead to be home to the first saw mill ever erected on Long Island?

Around 1659, when Riverhead was still part of Southold Town, John Tucker received permission from local authorities to build the Little Red Mill, according to the Suffolk County Historical Society(more…)