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

11/16/11 2:00am
11/16/2011 2:00 AM

Caroline and Frank Stepnoski recently visited their son Robert and his wife, Lori, and granddaughter Amelia at their new home in Austin, Texas. While there they toured the University of Texas School of Architecture, where Robert works as a senior systems administrator. They also visited the Alamo and River Walk in San Antonio. On their return to Austin they stopped in Cibolo to see Chuck and Kathy (Tuthill) Faulk and their three children, Daniel, Thomas and Rachel. Caroline and Frank enjoyed every minute of their trip and can’t wait to see their family again.

The Woman’s Club of Riverhead will turn l00 years old in 2012. For many years the club has awarded annual scholarships in the arts, music, education and science. One of their main goals is to locate as many of these winners as possible so that they can catch up with them on where they’re living and their achievements. If you know the whereabouts of any winners please call Doris Scuder at 727-0345 or write to 150 Prospect Place, Riverhead, NY 11901.

The Teen Department at Riverhead Free Library is collecting food and clean bedding for both the Kent and Riverhead animal shelters for the month of November. That will surely get some tails wagging. Our furry friends need to be loved so please help this great, worthwhile program.

Riverhead United Methodist Church will be having its annual holiday bazaar on Saturday, Nov. 19, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. There will be jewelry, baked goods, a white elephant table, a collectibles corner and a silent auction. Soup and sandwiches will be available for purchase beginning at 11 a.m. Admission is free so stop by the Parish Hall and say hello to the members who will be working and also to Jeanine Zeltman, church secretary. Hope to see you there.

Living Water Full Gospel Church in Riverhead invites all to join them for “Desserts and Testimonies” on Thanksgiving eve, Wednesday, Nov. 23, at 7 p.m. Bring your favorite Thanksgiving dessert to share and celebrate the holiday together. For more information, call 722-4969 or visit lwfgc.org.

LWFGC also presents “A Night in Bethlehem,” a 60-minute interactive experience of Bethlehem and the Christmas Story on Sunday, Nov. 27, from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. While there you can visit Santa Claus’ North Pole living room and have a free picture taken. This event is free for the whole family. For more information call 722-4969 or visit their website mentioned above.

Belated happy 12th birthday to Autumn Worth, a sixth-grader at Pulaski Street School, who celebrated Nov. 10.
Happy birthday to Danny Lorenz, who turns 30, on Nov. 17; Christopher Chew (who turns 10), Ann Slavonik, Bob Ball, Butch Taylor, Ray Kwasna and my daughter Kim (who turns 26), Nov. 18; Joe Colontuoni, Shawn Rosko and June Stevenson, Nov. 19; Brice Schoener, Marianne Krupski and Mary Allen, Nov. 21; and Katie Bogdanski, Conrad Dabrowski and Michael Schoener, Nov. 23. Hope your day is extra special.

Happy anniversary to Debbie and Warren Fischer on Nov. 21. Be sure to celebrate.

The News-Review office will be closed on Thanksgiving, Nov. 24, and Friday, Nov. 25. That said there will be an early deadline for next week’s issue, which will be published Wednesday, Nov. 23. Any news/information you’d like to share with the community needs to get to me by 8 o’clock tonight. Thanks in advance!

jberezny@optonline.net

11/14/11 1:00am
11/14/2011 1:00 AM

The holidays will be here before you know it. I can almost smell the stuffed turkey in the oven and the creamed potatoes and gravy on the stove. The leaves have turned their most brilliant color, on display for us to admire, and families are looking forward to spending time together.

Since the offices of Times/Review are closed on Thursday, Nov. 24, the paper will have an early deadline. If anyone has SWR news to share for the next issue, please email me by tonight, Thursday, Nov. 17.

Happy birthday to my nephew Frank, who celebrates on Nov. 17; to my son, James, who will turn 27 on Nov. 18; and to Ron Pepino, who will celebrate on Nov. 22. Ron spent much of his early life in Wading River and now has a Ph.D. in atomic physics.

Wading River resident Larry Pepino has something more to be proud of besides his youngest son, Ron. His oldest son, Chris, is an award-winning filmmaker and has a new prize-winning documentary that will be shown to audiences in New York at noon on Nov. 19 and 20 at the Hamptons Take 2 Documentary Film Festival in East Hampton. “Inside the Perfect Circle: The Odyssey of Joel Thome” is described as a unique documentary that charts the journey of a brilliant composer after he suffered a debilitating stroke. Through music therapy, the conductor/composer is able to reclaim his mental and physical capabilities. Among the movie’s recent awards are: Audience Award and most inspirational documentary from the 2011 DocMiami International Film Festival and best short documentary film from the New Jersey Film Festival.

The star of the film, Joel Thome, performer Martha Mook of the Scorchio Quartet and producer/director Chris Pepino will be present for a question-and-answer session after the East Hampton showings. For more information on Joel Thome, go to insidetheperfectcircle.com.

Enjoy the beauty of the trees before the leaves drop, and be well until we meet here again next week.

Etag5@optonline.net

11/13/11 4:18pm
11/13/2011 4:18 PM

Riley Avenue Elementary School held its annual Halloween parade and, as usual, it was great. The kindergartners, first- and second-graders marched about in their spooky and fun costumes while students in the third and fourth grades participated in a walkathon in the back field and raised over $9,000 for the Trinca family. What a great job these kids did. Congratulations to each of you.

The morning program at Riley is holding its 12th annual Thanksgiving food drive. If you would like to help feed local families in need you can do so by dropping off donations of canned or dried goods — gravy, stuffing, cranberry sauce, etc. Grocery store gift cards are also welcome to help purchase turkeys. I know times are very hard but a little extra here and there is so much appreciated.

Photo makeup day is Friday, Nov. 18, for those students who missed out the first time. The highly anticipated Thanksgiving break will start Nov. 23, with the children returning to school Monday the 28th. Have some fun, sleep late and maybe cook a turkey.

Riley continues to emphasize the importance of hand washing and covering coughs and sneezes to help minimize germs being spread at the school. That said, student attendance has been good. Keep up the good work!

Happy birthday to Betty Fox at Dr. Bach’s office who celebrated on Nov. 16. All your family and friends — especially the little ones — and everyone here at Dr. Bach’s wish you a very happy birthday, Betty.

The Leonid meteor showers will take place after midnight tonight, Thursday. This is a great show to see but this year seems it will be a little weaker than those in the past. The best time for viewing is a few hours before dawn. Look toward the northeast skies and see what you can find.

There is an early deadline for my column for the Thanksgiving (Nov. 24) issue. If you have any news for me, please get it to me by tonight, Nov. 17, so that I can send it in by Friday morning. Thanks!

The local scallops are here and they are so good. It looks like they’re less abundant this year so get yours while you can. Don’t be afraid to freeze them. We do it all the time and are able to cook them well into the winter. Don’t wash them, just put them in a freezer bag and you’ll be good to go.

Till next week, enjoy whatever weather Mother Nature decides to give us. It surely has been different each week. Take care, be safe and I shall talk to you next time. Bye.

cpcolumncal@aol.com