02/21/14 6:00am
02/21/2014 6:00 AM
Wading River resident Jody Mitchell recently published "Angels & Ogres," a book of poems. (Screenshot taken by Jennifer Gustavson)

Wading River resident Jody Mitchell recently published “Angels & Ogres,” a book of poems. (Screenshot taken by Jennifer Gustavson)

It won’t surprise anyone that we’ve exceeded the expected 25 inches of snow this winter. So far we’re up to 55 inches and winter isn’t over yet. I’m sure the ice and snow will diminish if we all just close our eyes and think SPRING.

(more…)

01/29/12 12:00pm
01/29/2012 12:00 PM

Arnie Hansen, a familiar name and face in the North Shore Sun, was January’s featured artist at North Shore Public Library in Shoreham. In his first solo work exhibition, 14 compositions were on display, 10 collages and four photos. I couldn’t help but be impressed by the scope of his imaginative output.

The collages, in particular, begged for a closer inspection to be fully appreciated. They were variously described as whimsical, psychedelic, striking, colorful and professional — my sentiments exactly.

Since I’ve known Arnie from his six-year stint as a fellow correspondent for the North Shore Sun and a resident of Leisure Village in Ridge, I called to compliment him on his imaginative creations. I asked him how long he’s been involved in art and was impressed to find that he was a graduate of the Pratt Institute (with a B.A. in advertising), and started as a copywriter, went on to become a vice president, account supervisor, then advertising manager of Panasonic, and finally, as creative director/partner of Hansen, Nigro & Wulforst Inc.

When I asked how it all started, he said, “I got straight A’s in figure drawing in college and always had a passion for the arts. What goes around comes around.” When asked what’s next, he replied, “I’m working my buns off trying to finish my autobiography, titled ‘Around the World in 80 Years’ with the subtitle ‘The true life story of a creative director in his own words and pictures.’ ”

When we ended our conversation he signed off in his usual signature phrase, “Keep smiling.” I remember seeing those words on the bottom of every column and they were even better to hear now. It’s a good philosophy and you always end on a happy note.

01/18/12 3:00am
01/18/2012 3:00 AM

First Parish Church, UCC is continuing to collect food for our local food pantries. They need canned, jarred and boxed goods. Those who would like to help out are asked to drop off their donations at the church on Sundays between 10:30 a.m. and noon. Baskets and/or boxes will be set up inside the foyer located at the east side entrance of the church to collect your goods. Please give what you can during these months and help fill the pantries in our community. Tell a friend and pass the word around. For more information, call Pastor Dianne Rodriguez at 516-673-1231 or email her at blackswan57@aol.com.

As I mentioned last week, the “Rockin’ for the Homeless” fundraiser will take place Saturday, Jan. 28, from 6 to 10 p.m. at the Polish Hall in Riverhead. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Sponsored by John’s Place Mattituck the event will feature Gene Casey and the Lone Sharks, Who Are Those Guys, Rattlesnake Dawn and Boot Scoot Boogie. WLNG’s Lisa Dabrowski will emcee. Tickets are $25 per person through Jan. 27, $35 at the door, and can be purchased at Barth’s Pharmacy in both Riverhead and Mattituck, Polish Hall and the Mattituck Presbyterian Church office. For tickets and more information, call 298-4145, ext. 2, or visit rockinforthehomeless.org. This is a great way to be a good neighbor.

Last week there was a beautiful article in the News-Review about the difficulties faced by parents of medically fragile children. The article featured Angela’s House, an organization that provides two smaller houses on Long Island specially designed with 24-hour nursing care to accommodate the children’s complex medical and physical needs. Angela’s House also facilitates provisions for families like ours who have medically fragile kids living at home. Without their support we would not be able to provide for Johanna’s special needs in our home.

If you haven’t read the article from last week, please do so today. Also, please consider making a donation at angelashouse.org, by mail to Angela’s House, P.O. Box 5052, Hauppauge, NY 11788, call Bob Policastro at 631-979-2620 or email BPolicastro@angelashouse.org. Thank you in advance for any assistance you can offer.

My college kids are back to school — two in Ohio and one in Gaming, Austria. MaryAngela is having the adventure of a lifetime studying abroad for the semester. We wish them well and can’t wait to see them in May!

01/17/12 5:15am
01/17/2012 5:15 AM

The things children do that will take you by surprise. Christopher Kenter, a fifth-grader at Pulaski Street School, worked diligently during the Christmas and New Year’s holidays doing odd jobs at his dad’s office and around the house and raised $500 to help the children at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Chris’ parents, Connie and Dennis, are very proud of him. What a great way to start off the New Year.

The students in rooms 218 and 219 at Pulaski Street Elementary School once again organized “The Giving Tree” during the month of December. Plenty of hats, gloves, scarves and mittens were donated and hung on the tree with lots of love and compassion. The classes would like to thank the students, parents and staff for their contributions. A special thank-you goes to the Glenwood Lassies, who, once again, generously knitted, crocheted and purchased numerous items for the tree. It’s a great partnership working with the Lassies. Thanks to all those who cared, many families will be warmer this winter.

The Verizon Telecom Pioneers, Aquebogue Life Member Club, has been very busy delivering nonperishable food items to two local food pantries; toiletries and gifts to a women’s substance-recovery home; and cookies, candies and gifts to two local adult homes. This hardworking group of retirees is committed to serving those in need and also works on many other community service projects throughout the year.

The Riverhead Middle School Middle Masques will present its musical production “Grease Jr., Go Greased Lightning” Friday, Jan. 20 and 27, at 7 p.m. and Saturday, Jan. 21 and 28, at 2 p.m. Tickets can be purchased in advance for $8 by calling Pat Skura at 369-6767, or at the door for $10. It is well worth it as the students always do a phenomenal job. Pat Skura and Ed Tholl are quite a team, and with the costumes, props and music you’ll feel as if you’re watching a Broadway show. Order yours today!

Happy birthday to Adam Bugdin (who turns 12), Marissa Kess, Sarah Paulos, Frances Friszolowski, Becky Hubbard and Barry Palmer (who turns 60), Jan. 19; Tim Griffing Jr., George Atkinson, Pearl Trent and Natausha Magee, Jan. 20; Bryan Krajewski, Sean Rachubka and Louise Meyer, Jan. 21; Bill Hubbard, Pat Gadzinski, Michael Young, Andrew Pekar and Sebastian Hulse (who turns 5), Jan. 23; and Amy (Wooten) Guecha and Laurie Downs, Jan. 25. Hope your day is extra special.

Get well wishes to Mary Dabrowski, Georgiana Danowski and Nina Campbell.

The cold weather is here and it’s nice to bundle up but I’m sure the children would like to see some white stuff. For me, however, the cold weather is enough for now.

01/17/12 2:00am

Let’s hope the sudden dip in the temperature won’t bring that four-letter word that makes commuting so treacherous and difficult. I know January and February are typically snow months and that the kids are probably aching for a day off but, personally, I could use just a little more time of moderate weather in which we don’t have to shovel our way to civilization, it doesn’t take hours to return home and the wipers don’t become a permanent part of the windshield.

Thank you, Martin Luther King Jr., for the exemplary life you lived, for your gentle philosophy and for your powerful influence that absolutely changed American history. The nation has forever marked Jan. 16 as a day to celebrate equality for all races.

I heard from Cathy Heller, who told me her husband, Bruce, is celebrating his 50th birthday Thursday, Jan. 19. Bruce, your family wishes you a very happy birthday and hopes you have a very special day. You are sent much love from your wife, Cathy, and your children, Brett and Paige. May your celebration this year be particularly memorable.

Gail Longo was also kind enough to send news from Lisa Wild, president of the Shoreham-Wading River High School PTA. Jan. 31 is the deadline to submit applications for the Stanley Marcus Award, which is given to a high school junior or senior “who best exemplifies the humanitarian principles of Stanley Marcus,” who passed away in 1977 while serving as third vice president of the New York State Congress of Parents and Teachers. He was known for his humanitarianism and dedication to youth through zealous volunteer community service. SWR High School believes that since the PTA is a volunteer organization, it would be fitting that service by a youth should be rewarded. For more details or for an application visit nyspta.org/awards/youthhumanitarianaward.cfm, email the high school at swrhsptsa@gmail.com, “like” us on Facebook at “SWR HIGH SCHOOL PTSA” or visit swrhsptsa.wikispaces.com. Also, the next meeting of the PTSA will be Feb. 1 at 7 p.m. in the high school library.

If you have some news or announcements you would like to share with the SWR community, I’m just a click of the mouse away.

Enjoy the best that January has to offer, make a change happen in your life that will have a positive effect and we’ll meet here again next week.

01/08/12 4:44am
01/08/2012 4:44 AM

I feel like Arnold Horshack in that television show about a teacher hired to the high school from which he graduated when I say, “Welcome Back.” I trust that your holidays were special, with all your holy and festive traditions among those beautiful decorations.

Welcome to 2012, the official end of the Mayan calendar. Perhaps the Mayans knew that the earth wouldn’t necessarily run out of time, but just run out of trees. Who’s to say that the Mayans weren’t aware of the entire planet’s need to “go green” and that the need for paper reminders wouldn’t exist?

We have to have paper. Without paper, well, we wouldn’t be able to meet here in these pages.

I apologize that I received information after the last column that is now outdated. But I do have current information for you.

Shoreham-Wading River Central School District’s board and superintendent are hosting Part 2 of “Paying for Public Education: Budgets, Unfunded Mandates, Economic Conditions (Incomes and Taxes) at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 12, at the Prodell Middle School library. Your participation is welcome and encouraged.

Thursday and Friday, Jan. 12 and 13, are the last days to register your 5-year-old for kindergarten. You must show proof of residency (see the school website for requirements), have completed registration forms, and provide your child’s birth certificate (original and copy) and immunization records signed by the physician. Your child does not need to be present for registration and you can obtain the registration packet at the high school or online at swrschools.org. In previous years you needed to come to Briarcliff School, but this year registration will be held at the district office between 8 and 11:30 a.m.

Suzanne Christensen, junior class adviser at Shoreham-Wading River High School, has sent out a letter to junior class parents saying that in the coming weeks we should be hearing about activity for the junior class prom. In the past, much of the work was handled by the parents, but Ms. Christensen states that this has caused missed opportunities for student growth. She wants to hear suggestions for the auction from anyone who has been involved previously. If you want to help with the centerpieces for the prom, she would like to hear from you as well. Contact her at SChristensen@swr.k12.ny.us.

I really missed you. It was nice having time off for a bit (Thank you, Times/Review), but it’s nice to be able to share news and announcements with you again. After all, you’re the best. (And you heard it here, appearing in print on paper that you can feel, see and share with someone else.)

11/25/11 3:06pm
11/25/2011 3:06 PM

I hope everyone enjoyed their holiday. Mine was very nice. I love cooking and I love to see my kids eat. I know it’s a good meal when there is no conversation for the first 10 minutes other than “pass the ____.” I’d like to send a special thank-you to Trudy McKillop for the awesome apple pie she sent over and to Karen Lucadamo for the rice pudding. I’ve been eating both desserts since last Thursday. Yes, I’m a dessert person and if it’s in the house, that’s all I’ll eat.

I stopped by to see my friend Charlotte Nelson and while there she informed me that the names of the winners for her annual Halloween costume contest were wrong. The correct names are Nyjel Langhorne and Kody Benkov. Sorry, boys. Congratulations!

The Christmas Holiday Fair, sponsored by Flanders Seniors, will be held on Saturday Dec. 3, from 10 to 3 p.m. at the David W. Crohan Community Center on Flanders Road. All are invited to stop down and do a bit of shopping.

The family of Kristie Jeski would like to thank the more than 300 people who attended Kristie’s “Celebration of Life” on Nov. 19. They would also like to thank the Flanders Fire Department, the Flanders-Northampton Ambulance Corps, and Meetinghouse Deli in Aquebogue, especially Louie and Charlane Evers, for all their help during the most difficult time in a parent’s life. Losing a child is never easy and is something no one should endure, but the support and love of the community surrounding you make it a little more bearable. Kristie was a great kid and will be missed terribly by all those who knew and loved her. We love you, Steve and Trisha, and are here for you.

Congratulations to James Marin on winning the third grade “Math Bee” at Phillips Avenue School. Way to go, James!

Belated happy 8th birthday to Chase Wanat, who celebrated Nov. 21, from Mom, Dad, and all your family and friends. Chase got a puppy for his birthday and is very excited about it. I heard all about it during a recent visit and saw lots of pictures. I hope you had a very special day.

Happy birthday to Chase’s dad, John Wanat, who celebrated Nov. 24, from your wife, Tracy, Chase, Shawn, Christie and all your family and friends. Tracy cooked him a turkey dinner to celebrate his special day.

Well, that’s all for this week. I hope everyone enjoys their weekend and I hope to see some more Christmas decorations up. If you know of a house that’s decorated extra special, please drop me a line or give me a call so I can share. Be safe out there on the roads. Flanders Road seems exceptionally busy lately. Sometimes it takes me 10 minutes just to pull out of my neighborhood. Don’t forget to put your cell phones down and concentrate on the task at hand. Take care.

11/22/11 2:13am
11/22/2011 2:13 AM

I don’t know what your personal preference is in our schedule of holidays. There are so many, each of them important for their own distinct reason. But what I can honestly admit is that my favorite holiday is Thanksgiving. It is not a gift-giving holiday, but is simply about gathering with family and friends around an elaborate meal and truly being grateful.

I’m also not afraid to admit to the world that my favorite part of Thanksgiving is holding the hand of the person next to me and stating out loud what I am thankful for. Usually I speak about being surrounded by those I love, having health and wisdom and enough to get by on, but this year brought with it an extra something to be grateful for: a job.

So many I know have lost their jobs. I can personally attest to the difficulty they are having because I used to be one of them. Unemployment benefits carry you in a bare-bones manner, but when the funds run their course and the safety net is gone, the fall is not only painful, but hard to forget.

You can speak to anyone who runs a food pantry or runs the outreach at their church and they will tell you that their shelves are bare. More and more families are showing up asking for food to help them get by. Keeping shelves stocked has been the challenge for 2011. I applaud those in the community who are conscious of this and help. They are always working to provide for those in need.

On Thanksgiving morning, some of us won’t be in the kitchen preparing the bird to go in the oven. Let’s tip our hats to all those really healthy people participating in the Thanksgiving Foot Races run by Shoreham-Wading River Community Programs. We hope you have a beautiful experience on a beautiful day. Miller Avenue is definitely a community hot spot every year on Thanksgiving morning, with hundreds of runners/walkers participating in this annual event.

Happy birthday to my wonderful husband, Vinnie, who will celebrate on Nov. 27. I’m so grateful for you, honey, and for our paths crossing.

Let’s hope that you can name all the things and people in your life that you are thankful for and that gratefulness isn’t a feeling you have just once a year.

Have a blessed, warm and wonderful Thanksgiving and be well until we meet here again next week.

etag5@optonline.net