02/03/14 9:22pm
COURTESY PHOTO | Family said Barbara Tocci helped others without asking for anything in return.

COURTESY PHOTO | Family said Barbara Tocci helped others without asking for anything in return.

Other than a few birthdays I don’t have much news this week. Since Jan. 16 our community has been in mourning and many have been walking around in kind of a daze. That is the day when we lost Barbara Tocci in a horrific motor vehicle accident on Route 24, aka Flanders Road.

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02/04/12 12:00pm

Howdy, y’all. How was your week? Mine was pretty good. The Super Bowl is over and NASCAR racing season starts soon. In my book that means spring is in the air! My friend and I were talking the other day about the really mild winter we’ve had so far. She’s thinking it’s going to be a really raw March. I’m going with a little bit of optimism and hoping Mother Nature will spare us this year. Let’s all cross our fingers.

Here’s some news from the Flanders, Riverside, Northampton Community Association. Their meeting on Monday, Feb. 13, will be held at the David Crohan Community Center at 7 p.m. Topics of discussion will include the revised plan for the River Catwalk Project and the latest info on the 72H Properties — affordable homes slated to be built in Flanders by the Southampton Town Housing Authority. FRNCA’s membership drive is also in full swing. Interested residents can log on to their website at southamptonwest.com or call Laura Smith at 631-766-8400 for an application.

Also being discussed is the $1,000 FRNCA Scholarship Award given to a graduating senior or college student who has distinguished themselves as a well-rounded individual and has received acceptance into an institution to continue their education. The scholarship application can be downloaded from FRNCA’s website or call Laura Smith at the number above. Applications, due by April 15, 2012, must be typed or written very clearly and mailed to FRNCA, P.O. Box 602, Flanders, NY 11901.

Belated happy birthday to my friend Tia Robinson, who celebrated Feb. 6, from your children, Krista and Christopher, and all your family and friends. I hope your day was extra special.

Happy birthday to former resident and good friend Krissy Foulkes, who will celebrate her 20th on Feb. 12. We hope you have a fantastic day. Happy 17th birthday to my son Michael, who celebrates Feb. 15, from me, Dad, Thomas and Kaitlyn. I hope you have a terrific day. Wow, 17 already! Where did the time go?

That’s all for this week, friends and neighbors. I’m a little slow with the news. Don’t forget to call or email me with any news you’d like to share with the community. That’s what this column is for.

Have a wonderful and hopefully warm weekend and please drive safely. Talking or texting while driving is dangerous to yourself and everyone else on the road. Be a courteous and responsible driver and put the phone away while you’re driving.

Thanks for reading and I hope to hear from you soon.

01/29/12 12:00pm

Hello, friends and neighbors. By now I’m sure most of you heard about that terrible accident on Route 24 and Longneck Boulevard last Friday night. I hope all involved weren’t hurt too badly. I can’t speak for everyone but I bet most of us have the same feelings about Flanders Road. It’s a nightmare! Maybe we should all write our congressman and demand that the state take some course of action before things get worse.

I’d like to take a moment to thank Flanders Fire Department and the Flanders-Northampton Volunteer Ambulance for their prompt response to the accident and all that they do. Not long after the volunteers were finished with that scene, the department was called out again, this time to stand by at Southampton Fire Department because Southampton was assisting Water Mill Fire Department in a major house fire. Again, thank you for all you do.

The next meeting of the Friends of the Big Duck will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 7, at 7 p.m. at the David W. Crohan Community Center. They are holding their elections at this time and all positions are open. Please make every effort to attend so that you may vote.

Flanders Little League will hold their next registration Wednesday, Feb. 8, at 7 p.m., at the David W. Crohan Community Center. Volunteers are needed to coach or just help out. Contact Wayne Ford at 745-9060 or email him at wayneford_greenwood@yahoo.com for any questions you may have regarding sign-ups.

Registration is still open for the Town of Southampton Youth Bureau’s 10th annual Basketball Tournament on Friday, March 2. Games will start at 7:30 p.m. and conclude at 10:30 p.m. Registration starts at 6 p.m. and ends at 7 p.m. sharp. This event is open to girls and boys in grades 6-12. Preregistration by Friday, Feb. 24, is $15 per team, or $30 per team at the door. Proof of age — such as school ID, report card or class schedule — is required. Fee includes admission, prizes and refreshments. Transportation is available for $2 round trip. For more information regarding this and other upcoming events call the Youth Bureau at 702-2425 or visit southamptontownny.gov/youthbureau.

That’s all for this week. I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend. Take care, slow down and put those cellphones down. Call or email with any news you’d like to share.

01/20/12 2:08pm

Welcome to ‘real’ winter. How did you like the snow? I didn’t like it at all. I guess my only option is to move south, but I can’t because I like it here too much. I really do love Long Island. My family is here and I can’t leave them just because I get a little shivery in the winters, which seem to get longer every year. On the plus side, only 55 more days until spring. Whoo-hoo!

Don’t forget to sign up your little sluggers at the next Flanders Little League registration on Feb. 8 at 7 p.m. at the David Crohan Community Center. Volunteers are also needed to coach or just help out. Call Wayne Ford at 745-9060 or email him at wayneford_greenwood@yahoo.com for more info.

Flanders Fire Department and the Flanders, Riverside and Northampton Community Association blood drive committee, along with Legislator Fred Thiele’s office, would like to acknowledge everyone involved in making their recent blood drive more successful than the last: Neil Young, who once again donated his voice and time for the public service announcement that aired on WLNG 92.1 FM; Meetinghouse Deli in Aquebogue for supplying the hero; and fire department members Joey C., JJ, Nicole, Dos and Scott, who donated their time. Thank you. But the biggest thank-you goes out to all the donors who gave both their time and blood to help save lives.

This next bit of info comes a bit early but your teenage children might want to start practicing. The Town of Southampton Youth Bureau is sponsoring its 10th annual basketball tournament Friday, March 2. Registration begins at 6 p.m. and ends 7 sharp. Games will run from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. This event is open to girls and boys in grades 6-12. Preregistration is $15 per team by Friday, Feb. 24; $30 per team at the door. Proof of age (school ID, report card or class schedule) is required. Fee includes admission, prizes and refreshments. Transportation is available for $2 round trip. For more information call 702-2425 or visit southamptontownny.gov/youthbureau.

Happy birthday to my brother Mike Zaleski, who celebrates Jan. 26, from all of us here, your wife, Kim, your son, Ryan, and all your family an friends. I hope you have a great day.

Well, that’s all for this week. I hope everyone enjoys their weekend and that there’ll be no more snow in the forecast, just sunny days and warm temperatures. That’s all I need. Wait, I also need to hear from those in our community who have any news they would like to share. So, if you’re celebrating a birthday, anniversary or just something good that happened in your life, give me a call or send me an email. I’d love to hear from you. Thanks everyone for reading.

Take care and please drive safe. Remember, no talking or texting while driving. Let’s go, Giants!

01/16/12 2:00am

Welcome to halfway through January, friends and neighbors. I know I shouldn’t complain because it hasn’t been that cold but I’m tired of being as cold as I am. Here’s a warm thought to carry you through the rest of January and February: Only 64 more days until spring! I can’t wait for the warmer weather to arrive. I’ll be the first one out dancing in the streets when I wake up and hear that it’s going to be over 65 degrees.

Speaking of dancing, I guess I should start doing more of that in my living room or start walking since I already blew my first New Year’s “Rules to Live By.” Yes, I’ll admit it, I had chocolate for dinner last Saturday night and for breakfast Sunday morning. Rest assured, I do not let my kids eat like that. I cook very healthy dinners and always have fresh fruit, yogurts, whole grain breads, fresh eggs, etc., in the house but if I have some chocolate hidden I’m eating that. A local store had Cadbury bars on sale and I just couldn’t resist. I’m not giving up though. I’ll just finish this last one I’m having for breakfast (Monday) then I’m done. Keep your fingers crossed.

Congratulations to Sally Oliver and Darryl Atkinson, who were engaged on Christmas. Sally’s mom, Barbara Oliver, her Aunt Vicki and all the family are very happy and excited for them. Best wishes to you both.

Debbie and Jim Peterson are proud parents of their boys, and for good reason. Jason attained the rank of Eagle Scout in November. For his project he built six benches and placed them along a walking trail at the Brookhaven Firefighters Museum in Ridge. Justin earned the rank of Eagle Scout in January. For his project he beautified the maintenance entrance at Calverton National Cemetery by adding plantings and a fence. And James Peterson has been named to the dean’s list at Stony Brook University. Congratulations! Kudos to Mom and Dad for raising such wonderful young men.

Happy birthday to Fran Cobb on Jan. 23 from your family and all the crew — me, Laurie, Karen and Renee. We hope you have a great day and we hope you enjoy your birthday weekend. Get ready, girlfriend, we are going out!

Registration for Flanders Little League will be held Wednesday, Feb. 8, at 7 p.m. at the David Crohan Community Center. Volunteers are also needed to coach or just help out. Please call Wayne Ford at 745-9060 or email him at wayneford_greenwood@yahoo.com for any questions you may have.

Thanks, everyone, for all the information this week. I look forward to hearing from more of you soon. Take care, drive safe and slow down! You’ll get to where you’re going … and in one piece. No talking or texting while driving either. Have a great weekend.

01/10/12 3:00am

Happy Thursday, friends and neighbors. Welcome to 2012 and welcome back to the Flanders column. I had a nice little break but now it’s back to the reporting grind. I hope everyone enjoyed their holiday and any time off they may have had. If you went somewhere, I hope it was someplace warm and sunny. We’ve had some pretty nice days here lately. I can’t complain much about the weather, mainly because last Saturday was 60 degrees. It’s those 20-degree nights and 40-degree days that really get to me.

Congratulations to the following Flanders Northampton Volunteer Ambulance outgoing officers for their dedicated service to FNVA and the community: Bridget Hintze, president; Alfred Lopez. board member; and Andy Kraskewicz, chief.

Riverhead High School’s Art Club/Ceramics Class is trying to raise funds for a Raku Firing Workshop to be held in the spring. In the past few months they’ve had bulb sales and started a letter-writing campaign but are still quite a bit away from their goal. I know it’s tough this time of year, but if you can help in any way, the students would truly appreciate it. The workshop, which is very educational, is not covered in the school budget and is something the students who are studying ceramics should see firsthand. If you’d like to help, monetary donations in any amount can be sent to the RHS Art Club, 700 Harrison Ave., Riverhead, NY 11901. In the comments column please write “Raku Firing Workshop.” For more information about the Raku firing process, visit lynndeestudios.com/rakuart.htm. Check it out, it’s very interesting. I sometimes wish I was in school again so that I could participate in the classes and workshops that are now offered.

Happy 19th birthday to my firstborn, Thomas, who celebrates on Jan. 18, from me, Dad, Michael, Kaitlyn and all your family and friends. We love you and hope you have a great day. I can’t believe 19 years have passed since the moment I first laid eyes on you at 6:04 a.m. Monday, Jan. 18, 1993. You’re a great son and I’m very blessed to have you.

Well, that is all for this week. I know we are all still a bit shell-shocked from the holidays. With the small break in the column I’m guessing most of you forgot I’d be back this week. If you have any news you’d like to share, give me a shout or send me an email.

Please remember to drive safely and slowly. If you must pick up that cellphone call or text, please pull over first. Talking or texting on a cellphone while driving is a big no-no. You may think you can handle it but this kind of multitasking has disastrous results.

Oh, and don’t forget, only 70 more days until spring!

12/19/11 3:10pm

Well, this is it, friends and neighbors, the very last column of 2011. What a great year. I’ve made a bunch of new friends this year by writing this column and I appreciate those of you who sent me news or read what I had to say. I love seeing people out and about who tell me they read the column every week. It’s a good feeling but it also puts a little bit of pressure on me to keep it interesting and fun.

That’s not a problem this week though, I have some news from Phillips Avenue Elementary School, which held its first-ever Family Holiday Night on Dec. 16. More than 350 people attended the event. There were three holiday stations where guests could watch “Frosty the Snowman,” make a craft (thanks to Theresa Curry) or decorate cupcakes (thanks to Patti Horton for the all the supplies and cupcakes). Raffles for a girl’s bicycle and a boy’s bicycle, both with helmets, were donated by Flanders Little League and Fischer Landscaping, respectively. The winners were Kaylah Swann and Aiden Roche. Joyce Anderson won the 50/50 raffle. Thank you to everyone who helped organize or volunteered their time to make this a wonderful evening for all, especially Dr. Hudson, who wore his “I’ll do it” T-shirt, and Principal Rogers, who helped coordinate the event. Also, special thanks to the custodians for setting up/cleaning up and to Ginny and Lily in the office for all their help.

Phillips is hosting a warm winter apparel drive. Gently used or new coats will be collected at the school throughout the cold weather months. New hats and gloves are also being accepted. Please send in your items with your child if he/she attends the school. Those whose children don’t attend Phillips can drop off donations at the school. All donations are greatly appreciated.

Happy 4th birthday to Ethan Linker, who celebrates Dec. 28. Mommy, Daddy, Grandma, Pop-Pop and all your family love you very much and hope you had a wonderful time at your party on Dec. 17.

I attended a holiday party with some former co-workers from the county on Dec. 8. Thank you to Trudy McKillop for inviting me. I had a wonderful time catching up with Maureen, Helen, Ceil, Paul and everyone else who I saw every day for two summers back when I was in high school. Everyone looked fabulous and most remembered me. Great times with great people.

You know how some people make resolutions every New Year and usually give up on these resolutions within the first week? Well, this year I’m going to call them “rules to live by” and see how that goes. Some “rules” that I will try to follow are: Rule 1: I will not talk “smack” about anyone. Rule 2: I will not get involved in other people’s business or life unless asked. That shouldn’t be too hard, right? Rule 3: I’m not going to preach to people who don’t want my opinion. My kids are not included. I’m going to preach to them until they are 40. Rule 4: I’m going to stop eating fudge or anything else with the word “chocolate” in it for breakfast — unless it’s a chocolate croissant, in which case that’s OK because of the word croissant, which is a better word than doughnut. My last but most important rule: I will not talk on the phone or text while driving, a rule all should follow year-round.

Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all those near and far who read my column. I hope your days are merry and bright and I hope 2012 is an awesome year with no worries and hassles — just happiness, health, joy and maybe a winning lottery ticket for each of you.

Take care, email me with any news you have for January and please don’t drink and drive. See you next year.

Flandersnews@aol.com

12/06/11 11:40am

Happy Dec. 8, friends and neighbors. Can you believe 2011 is almost over? Twenty-three more days and it’ll be 2012. I know a few people who have had a pretty hard year who are ready to say goodbye to 2011. I guess I’m about ready to start a new chapter in my life, too. It’s always exciting to have something to look forward to and this coming year should be pretty exciting for me and my family.

I received a call from a LIPA lineman who reads the column every week. Jim thanked me for writing the little reminders to slow down, put the cell phones down and drive safely on our area roadways, especially Route 24 (Flanders Road), which has seen such an increase in traffic in the last month or so. LIPA is doing some work on Flanders Road for the next couple of weeks so on behalf of my new friend, I’m asking everyone to please drive slowly through the area so that the workers remain safe. Thanks for the call, Jim, and for reading the column.

Did you attend the Big Duck Holiday lighting? I heard it went very well. I also heard a special guest showed up on a fire truck to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas. Thank you to everyone who made the event possible. Don’t forget, the Friends of the Big Duck meet on the first Tuesday of every month at the David W. Crohan Community Center at 7 p.m.

My inbox and phone were really quiet this weekend. I guess everyone is out and about shopping or picking out their Christmas tree. I saw a lot of cars this weekend with trees strapped to the roof. I understand we’re all busy but please, friends and neighbors, I really need your help with the column and can’t do it all by myself. My life just isn’t that interesting to fill up this space every week. I’m hoping someone from either the Little League or one of the community organizations will put me on their list for updates regarding upcoming events. If you’re on the board of any of these groups, please make it a priority to email or call me with weekly/monthly updates.

’Tis the season for illnesses so to keep your children and yourself safe, the first rule of thumb should be frequent handwashing for everyone. Washing your hands with warm water and soap will keep those germs from getting into you. Also remember to eat right, with the focus on vegetables and fruits, drink lots of water to keep your system clean and get plenty of sleep. With the holidays approaching and all the kissing and hugging, the chance of catching a cold is greater than other times of the year. If you haven’t gotten a flu shot it’s not too late. Most doctor’s offices and pharmacies have the shot or the mist available and recommend that you get one. Call your doctor or pediatrician today to schedule an appointment.

Well, that is all for this week. I’m hoping to hear from all of you real soon with any news you’d like to share with the community. My contact information is above. Drive safely and slow down.

FlandersNews@aol.com