Each each on Jan. 1 thousands of Americans embark on a mission to improve their lives and the lives of those around. The popular tradition of making a New Year’s resolution is alive and well today on the North Fork.
Check out what some of the locals are aiming to accomplish in 2014:
CYNDI MURRAY PHOTO | Chipper the dog resting at North Fork Animal Welfare League’s shelter in Calverton. The paralyzed animal was rescued about two weeks ago.
An abandoned, paralyzed dog recently found wandering the streets around town is being nursed back to health at North Fork Animal Welfare League’s shelter in Calverton.
A father and son found the 10-year-old border collie about two weeks ago shivering, emaciated and struggling to move due to a spinal injury that left his back legs paralyzed. They then wrapped the dog, now named Chipper, in a blanket and took him to the animal shelter.
Although the veterinarians there aren’t able to determine how long Chipper has been paralyzed, they believe he was someone’s pet because he’s sociable and neutered.
Gillian Wood, NFAWL’s executive director, said Chipper is able to move around using his front legs. Dragging his belly on the floor, the dog can drink from a water bowl, fetch treats and greet visitors. Unlike other dogs with similar injuries, she said Chipper is able to control his bowels.
“It’s hard to believe someone would just leave him,” Ms. Wood said. “He is a pretty special guy.”
In order to help Chipper with his recovery, NFAWL volunteer Scott Kessler has modified the shelter’s small rolling cart to help the dog move around. As Chipper continues to get healthier, Ms. Woods said her group hopes to find him a loving home.
“He doesn’t have a mean bone in his body,” she said. “He is as sweet as could be. That’s why we named him Chipper.”
JENNIFER GUSTAVSON PHOTOS | The Riverhead BID’s 14th annual holiday bonfire was held Saturday.
There were two new additions to this year’s 14th annual Holiday bonfire held in downtown Riverhead Saturday night: floating fire pits and snow.
Riverhead BID president Ray Pickersgill said he believes Saturday night’s bonfire was the first time in the annual event’s history that it snowed. The BID also tested floating firepits in the Peconic River and is considering purchasing dozens more for future events, he said.
Santa arrived by boat shortly after nightfall and later settled into a gingerbread house where kids waited on line eager to tell him how good they’ve been this year.
The bonfire — sponsored by the downtown Business Improvement District’s management association, Suffolk County National Bank and Blue Duck Bakery — featured free hot chocolate with whipped cream and cookies. The event was the brainchild of former councilman Ed Densieski.
Mr. Pickergill said Saturday bonfire was dedicated to the memory of Loretta Trojanowski, who died in August.
BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | The Big Duck all lit up for the holidays.
Suffolk County Legislator Jay Schneiderman quizzed the crowd at the 25th annual Big Duck lighting ceremony Thursday evening in Flanders. He discovered that the couple hundred people in attendance came from all around the East End, from the North and South Forks out to Nassau County — there was even a family from Switzerland.
For the 10th consecutive year, the Riverhead Middle School Show Choir, under the direction of Nadine Greenberg, sang holiday songs with “ducky” twists on the words such as “Have a Wacky Quacky Big Duck” to the tune of “Have a Holly Jolly Christmas.”
The Flanders Fire Department, with Chief Todd Ryan, escorted Santa Claus to the Big Duck Ranch via fire truck, sirens blaring, where he flicked the switch on the lights with the help of a group of children and then stayed around to listen to Christmas wishes.
See below for more photos from Katharine Schroeder.
The Riverhead Lions Club held its annual Christmas parade on Sunday in downtown Riverhead. Hundreds of people lined Main Street as the marchers made their way from Osborn Avenue to the Peconic riverfront.
Riverhead VFW members, local scout troops and the Riverhead High School band led the way, followed by dozens of firetrucks, local dignitaries and, of course, Santa Clause with Mrs. Claus.
Following tradition, Riverhead Supervisor Sean Walter presented Santa with a key to Riverhead.
The key allows Santa Christmas Eve access to houses without fireplaces.
BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Culinary students Kristina Caschetta (left) Anastasia DeRosa (center) and Alexa Cimino with the carved up roasted turkeys that were prepared for the Dominican Sisters Wednesday morning.
Suffolk County Community College’s Culinary School in downtown Riverhead partnered for the fourth year with the Dominican Sisters Family Health Service to cook and prepare about 140 dinners for long-term patients and home-bound seniors of the Dominican Sisters of Hampton Bays.
Local businesses on the North and South Forks teamed up to raise money for the feast.
Chef instructor Vinny Winn worked with about 40 students and high school volunteers in the culinary’s kitchen to prepare the meal. They cooked 15 turkeys weighing 15 pounds each, 100 pounds each of mashed and sweet potatoes, seven gallons of gravy and 20 pounds of stuffing. There were also rolls, cranberry sauce and 24 apple pies and 24 pumpkin pies.
Local elementary schools students made and decorated trays for the meals.
CARRIE MILLER PHOTO
About two dozen educators as well as students took to a podium at Tuesday night’s Common Core forum in Manorville to, for the most part, poke holes in the state’s rollout of the Common Core State Standards Initiative.
Click on the video below to see what they, and state education commissioner John King, had to say.
ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTO | Ryan Hubbard holds the football after scoring a remarkable 84-yard touchdown on a punt return.
In a thrilling, last-second victory, the Riverhead football team won its second straight Division II county championship Friday night by defeating East Islip, 20-14. The Blue Waves got a three-touchdown game from Ryan Hubbard, who scored on offense, defense and special teams.
His 84-yard punt return for a touchdown won the game. Click here for a full recap. And click below for more photos from the championship game.