09/20/14 11:00am
09/20/2014 11:00 AM
 Alfonso Triggiani of Westhampton Beach teaching the 'Electric Slide' to joint replacement patients. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

Alfonso Triggiani of Westhampton Beach teaching the ‘Electric Slide’ to joint replacement patients. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

Though one day they didn’t think it would be possible, they danced the afternoon away on Friday afternoon.

Peconic Bay Medical Center hosted its 10th annual joint replacement reunion barbecue and dance, a yearly gathering of individuals who have had surgery that gives patients mobility they didn’t have at one time.

Friday’s dance at East Wind in Wading River brought close to 500 individuals who have received hip and knee replacements for dance lessons from Alfonso Triggiani, the host of TV’s “Touch Dancing,” which has been on air since 1990.

According to PBMC’s Director of Rehabilitation Paul Furbeck, 2014 has been a banner year for the hospital’s joint replacement program, with close to 1,000 operations done so far. In total, PBMC has completed around 4,000 joint replacements.

Ninety-six-year-old Betty Negro of Riverhead said she has been one of those patients. After getting her hip replaced originally 15 years ago, she had it repaired at PBMC in 2011 and said it’s been “great” since.

Betty Negro, who had her hip repaired at PBMC in 2011, with PBMC Health president and CEO Andy Mitchell. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

Betty Negro, who had her hip repaired at PBMC in 2011, with PBMC Health president and CEO Andy Mitchell. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

Close to 500 joint replacement patients showed up to the 10th annual reunion dance and barbecue on Friday. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

Close to 500 joint replacement patients showed up to the 10th annual reunion dance and barbecue on Friday. (Courtesy photo: Jim Lennon/PBMC )

09/19/14 1:41pm
09/19/2014 1:41 PM
Howard Meinke of Laurel, shown in a headshot that appeared with his guest columns in The Suffolk Times, died Thursday night.

Howard Meinke of Laurel, shown in a headshot that appeared with his occasional guest columns in The Suffolk Times and News-Review, died Thursday night.

The North Fork is a better place today thanks to the work of Howard Meinke, fellow environmental advocates and colleagues say.

He was a tenacious champion for the environment and for the quality of life issues affecting his neighbors. He always educated himself on the problems the North Fork faced before backing a solution.

Pine Barrens Society executive director Richard Amper said the North Fork might have become developed like Brookhaven Town had Mr. Meinke not been around.

“The problem with Brookhaven was that they didn’t have Howard Meinke,” Mr. Amper said. ”I don’t believe [the North Fork] would be the wonderful place that it is without him. He is the model, the consummate community advocate and I don’t know what we’re going to do without him.” (more…)

09/18/14 2:00pm
09/18/2014 2:00 PM
Deer in the backyard of a Southold home. (Credit: Katharine Schroeder, file)

Deer in the backyard of a Southold home. (Credit: Katharine Schroeder, file)

Several farmers who were previously unable to receive deer damage permits to hunt on their property offseason now have the green light to do so.

Arising as an unintended consequence from a lawsuit aimed at a controversial deer cull, a state Supreme Court judge put a halt to new DDPs this March but temporarily lifted the order against the state Department of Environmental Conservation last week.  (more…)

09/17/14 3:09pm
09/17/2014 3:09 PM
The view from Route 105 bridge at Indian Island golf course as the Peconic River leads into the Bay. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch, file)

The view from Route 105 bridge at Indian Island golf course as the Peconic River leads into the Bay. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch, file)

County legislators voted overwhelmingly last week to let Suffolk voters decide the fate of a plan that would eventually replenish the Drinking Water Protection Program, which has so far been tapped twice for money to balance the county budget. If approved by voters, the plan would also allow the county to continue dipping into that program for several more years.  (more…)

09/12/14 8:00am
09/12/2014 8:00 AM
A buffalo calf feeds at North Quarter Farm in Riverhead Tuesday. Owner Ed Tuccio said the dry summer season decreased the newborn mortality rate. (Credit: Carrie Miller)

A buffalo calf feeds at North Quarter Farm in Riverhead Tuesday. Owner Ed Tuccio said the dry summer season decreased the newborn mortality rate. (Credit: Carrie Miller)

The dog days of summer weren’t very dogged this year, at least not in terms of 90-plus degree days. That, combined with a lack of rain, created some ideal conditions for local produce and livestock farmers.

“Overall it has been tremendous for growing,” said Joe Gergela, executive director of the Long Island Farm Bureau. “The quality of produce and fruit is unbelievable, actually. Just really magnificent crops.”  (more…)

09/11/14 2:00pm
09/11/2014 2:00 PM
Jaclyn Van Bourgondien examined hops at Farm to pint in Peconic. (Credit: Vera Chinese)

Jaclyn Van Bourgondien examined hops at Farm to Pint in Peconic. (Credit: Vera Chinese)

Hops farming, once prolific in New York State, has been making a comeback on the East End as farmers like Jaclyn Van Bourgondien and Andrew Tralka experiment with growing the ingredient, which is necessary to offset the sweetness of malt sugars in beer.  (more…)

09/06/14 12:00pm
09/06/2014 12:00 PM
Credit: Clip art/Microsoft Images

Credit: Clip art/Microsoft Images

It’s a constant struggle during the teenage years. The kids fall asleep late at night, then struggle to wake up hours later, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, with minimal time to catch the bus.

Experts agree that it might be time to allow teenagers more time to sleep.  (more…)