10/12/11 3:00am
10/12/2011 3:00 AM

I hope everyone enjoyed their weekend. If you had to go out on our area roads I hope you arrived at your destination within a reasonable amount of time and safely (too many accidents lately). That was some traffic, huh? Crazy. I guess it’s good for the economy because I saw a lot of people at the fairs, shows and farm stands buying this and that. The weather was phenomenal, which was a giant plus. I skipped the fair this time and went to the beach on Sunday. The water was a little chilly but the sun sure felt good. I absolutely hate winter so I’m going to soak up as much sun and warmth as I can while it lasts.

The Friends of the Big Duck held a successful Antique Car Show this past Sunday at Big Duck Ranch. Thanks to all who brought their autos to show off, the spectators who attended and the board of The Friends of the Big Duck for their time and effort putting together events for the community.

David Flynn and Dana Columbus invite all Riverhead alumni to celebrate life and friendships at a “Reunion of Friends” event on Friday, Oct. 14, at 7 p.m. at Diggers. Spread the word. Bring money for your own food and drinks and don’t forget to wear your dancing shoes! Hope to see you there.

Denise Lucas (wife of “Mr. Luke” at Phillips Avenue School) is on a mission. She’s going to — I say “going” and not “hoping” because when this girl puts her mind to something it gets done! — build a new home for the Riverhead Town Animal Shelter. A fundraiser will be held Saturday, Oct. 15, from 5 to 9 p.m. at The Birchwood restaurant. Tickets are still available and are $38 per person. There will be raffles, prizes, a band, a cash bar and a full buffet. For more information and tickets, call Denise at 516-768-7467. Hope to see you there, too.

Congratulations to the Riverhead Blue Waves varsity football team on another win last week. Great job, boys! Keep up the great work.

This is a very short week for news. I guess everyone was out and about and too busy to contact me. That’s OK, I understand. It was just too nice to be inside. I’d like to hear more from the community though, so how about sitting down right now and emailing me with any news you’d like to share with our friends and neighbors? Is there a birthday coming up? An anniversary? How about a special achievement? Drop me a quick note and let me know so I can get the word out. Please drive safely and please do not text and drive. Have a great weekend everyone.

10/04/11 3:00pm
10/04/2011 3:00 PM

Happy October, friends and neighbors! I can’t say I’m happy about it because I’m a summer type of person but fall does have its advantages. For example, this weekend I made a pot of chili, a tray of stuffed cabbage and a roasted chicken. It’s hard to cook like that during the summer because I’d rather be outside in the sun and it’s just too hot to cook in the house. If I can’t live in a tropical climate year round and be outside in my bathing suit I might as well do something else I love. My kids don’t mind too much either. In fact, they even thanked me for cooking inside and not grilling. Ah, the little things in life.

The Friends of the Big Duck are hosting its third annual Autumn Antique Auto Show at the Big Duck Ranch on Sunday, Oct. 9, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (rain date: Oct. 16). Classic cars and trucks 25 years and older will be proudly displayed by their owners on the grounds of the 37 1/2-acre park. One highlight of this year’s show is the original James Bond OO7 Underwater Lotus Esprit from the 1977 movie “The Spy Who Loved Me.” Festivities will include raffles and an opportunity to vote for the People’s Choice Awards, which will be given to the most popular show entries at the end of the day. There will also be oldies music by Vinnie V. Vehicle owners may enter their vehicle in the show for only $20. Admission for spectators is $5; children are free when accompanied by an adult. For an application to show your classic car or truck, visit bigduck.org. There are also a limited number of non-food vendor spots available, which cost $40 each. For information, contact event chair Neil Young at 631-284-3737 or [email protected]

Hey, kids (and kids at heart), the annual pumpkin- and vegetable-decorating/carving contest at the Riverhead Country Fair wants your entry! Bring it to the south end of the East End Arts property at 133 East Main St. on Sunday, Oct. 9, between 7 and 9 a.m. The fair is from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. One entry per person, ages 4 to adult, will be accepted. For contest rules or more information, call 722-3873, email [email protected], or visit riverheadcountryfair.com.

School has been in session for about a month now and I’m still seeing very impatient drivers behind the buses. I’ve even noticed a few running the lights. This is extremely dangerous and illegal. Please be patient! Slow down and show some consideration for the students.

Thanks for reading this week and thanks to all who emailed me with news to share. Have a wonderful weekend. Enjoy the fall activities around the community, don’t forget to put your cell phones down and don’t text while driving. No phone call is as important as the task at hand. If you must take/make a call, please pull over to do so. See you around the neighborhood.

09/21/11 12:58pm
09/21/2011 12:58 PM

Hello, friends and neighbors. I’m not liking this cooler weather, are you? Actually, I don’t mind the cooler weather at night but during the day, no way! I wish it could stay summer for 11 months out of the year. I think winter should only occur in December for the holidays — snow for Christmas and then 80 degrees the rest of the year. My perfect weather calendar.

With the cooler weather comes the festivals and events that only fall on eastern Long Island can bring. This Saturday is the Bluegrass Festival at the Big Duck Ranch starting at noon. Joining them again this year will be Caroline Doctorow and the Steamrollers; Boot Scoot Boogie, featuring Shai Yeomans and her winning song entry, “Ode to the Big Duck”; Ron Rothman; Job Potter and more! Food and beverages will be available for purchase and a selection of vendors will be offering crafts, jewelry and other fine items. Donation is $10 for adults and $5 for children and seniors. Everyone is invited. Bring a friend!

Flanders Fire Department is hosting an open house Sunday, Sept. 25, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. There will be live fire and rescue demonstrations, a fire prevention trailer and raffles. All are invited to attend. Stop on down and meet our local volunteers and don’t forget to say “thank you” for being there for us.

RHS’s Class of 1961 held its 50th reunion this past weekend and I can tell you they all had a wonderful time. Friday night saw a meet-and-greet at Digger’s in Riverhead. On Saturday alums went to the “old” high school (now Pulaski Street School) for a tour and photo op, where they reminisced about all the good times they had. Saturday’s event at Calverton Links/Eagles Landing went off without a hitch and they had a blast.

Thanks to Starr for organizing the event. I know my dad, a graduate, had a great time. I’ll admit it was a little weird hanging out with my dad and his buddies at Digger’s Friday but, then again, it was kind of neat. Many of them told me they read my column every week so I’d like to send a shout-out to all the members of the Class of 1961 who now know me as “Jimmy’s daughter who writes the column.”

Congratulations to Gregg and Linda Wallace, both teachers in the Riverhead School District, on the birth of their son Shane Samuel Wallace, who was born Aug. 30 weighing a whopping 9-plus pounds. Baby Shane and his mom are doing very well. Congratulations to the entire family, especially big brother Camden, who adores his baby brother. I adore him, too. I was able to hold him twice and each time was heaven. It’s been way too long since I held a little baby like that and I really enjoyed my “baby fix.”

That is all for this week. I hope everyone enjoys their weekend. Drive safely and don’t text while driving. It’s just way too dangerous. Pull over if it can’t wait. I have an idea! Let’s pretend it’s the ’80s, when if you wanted to talk to someone you had to call them at home and wait for them to call you back if they weren’t there. Remember those days? Call or email me with any news you’d like to share. Take care.

09/12/11 4:47pm
09/12/2011 4:47 PM

What a gorgeous Sunday morning for Flanders Fire Department’s 9/11 Memorial Service and Dedication. The sun was out and the air was cool — kind of like that morning 10 years ago. I attended the ceremony for a short while then scooted over to the flapjack fundraiser at Applebee’s for Michael Hubbard, where I presented his mother, Nancy, with money raised by the RHS Class of 1986, which held its reunion last month. Thanks to the FFD for going through the process of obtaining two pieces of the twin towers for the new memorial at Flanders Memorial Park and thanks to all who helped out by attending Michael’s fundraiser. Yes, it was an emotional day but it was also a good day.

This year’s Blue Grass Music Festival at the Big Duck Ranch will be held Sept. 24. The rain date is Sept. 25. The fun starts at noon and continues through 5 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for children and seniors; children 5 and under are free. Please visit bigduck.org for a list of performers.

The Southampton Youth Bureau is now accepting registrations for Act TWO’s 2011 fall session. Act TWO is a drama group of teens who perform, write screenplays and use improvisation for the purpose of teaching peers and others in the community about issues teens face every day. It is open to any Southampton Town resident in grades 8 through 12 and meets every Thursday from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Hampton Bays Community Center. For more information or to register, call the Youth Bureau at 702-2421 or log on to southamptontownny.gov/youthbureau.

The Flanders Northampton Volunteer Ambulance Co. would like to thank everyone who donated at their annual traffic circle fundraiser held on Labor Day weekend. Thank you to the volunteers for all that you do for our community.

RHS’s Class of 1961 will hold its 50th reunion Saturday, Sept. 17, at Calverton Links. For more information, call Starr Ryder at 284-3650.

Happy 12th birthday today, Sept. 15, to Ryan Shea from your mom, dad, your brothers, Luke, Tyler and Spencer, and all your family and friends. Happy birthday also to my friend Debbie Setek Fleming, who celebrates Sept. 16, from Kenny, your son, Christopher, and all your family and friends. Good wishes also go to Becca Edwards, who celebrates Sept. 17, from your mom and brothers, Josh and Tim, and last, but not least, to my nephew and my boogaloo, James Zaleski III, who celebrates his 7th on Sept. 17. Ta-Ta loves you!

Well, that is all for this week friends and neighbors. School’s open so please drive safely. There are many little ones, and a bunch of sleepy-headed bigger ones, waiting for their school bus each morning and bolting off the bus in the afternoon. Please have patience if you’re behind a school bus and please don’t pass them. Not only is it illegal, it’s very dangerous. Call or email me with any news you’d like to share. Enjoy your weekend.

09/05/11 2:49pm
09/05/2011 2:49 PM

Hello, friends and neighbors. This column is going to be a very short one. Not much in the news department, probably due to the fact that we’re all still cleaning up after last week’s mess of a storm or we’re all getting things together for the start of a new school year. I’m guessing it’s a little bit of both since that’s what I’m doing. It’s been hectic.

Do you remember where you were Sept. 11, 2001? I was thinking about this the other day and I realized that my younger nieces and nephews never had the opportunity to see the Twin Towers, either up close or from a distance. I thought about all the people who died that day and all the lives that it changed for those left behind. I thought about my children, who experienced it through television, and am saddened that they had to see the horror of that day. Please remember to observe a moment of silence on Sunday, Sept. 11, for all those who perished that day.

Because of the storm, the annual election of officers for the Bay View Pines Civic and Taxpayers Association is rescheduled for the next general meeting, which will be held Friday, Sept. 9, at 7 p.m., at the David W. Crohan Community Center, 655 Flanders Road. Paid members are encouraged to cast a ballot for their household. Absentee ballots are not permitted. The evening is also a Candidates Night. All of the candidates running for Southampton Town Council have been invited to speak. Candidates for Town Trustees are scheduled for Oct. 7. The meeting is open to the public.

The Big Duck has some upcoming events. Make sure you check the website, bigduck.org, for up-to-date information. I cannot wait for the Music Festival on Sept. 24. I’ll be there with my dancing shoes on!

I told you this week was a short one. I hope everyone enjoyed their holiday weekend and I hope all the kids had a wonderful first week of school. Although I hate to see the summer end, having a day off with no one home is a beautiful thing, even if it is only for a couple of hours. Enjoy your weekend and the weather while it’s still gorgeous out.

08/30/11 4:32pm
08/30/2011 4:32 PM

So, it’s finally over — the RHS Class of 1986 25-year reunion, that is. After months of planning our big night was almost thwarted by some chick named “Irene,” who decided to come to Long Island and cause a commotion. Well, Riverhead alumni are not ones to be pushed around. We decided to go ahead and have it. Mother Nature must have agreed since it didn’t really start to get nasty until after 10:30 p.m. Thanks to Tony at Eagles Landing in Calverton for being so flexible and understanding. It was beautiful and the food and staff were fabulous. Thanks to John Graziano, Maryann (Rausch) Matlak, Tracy (Ambrose) Wanat, Chrissy (Smith) Slee, and Debbie (Setek) Fleming for all their hard work planning the event. It was a pleasure to work with all of you and I cannot wait until the next one.

I have always said our class is the best. A 50/50 raffle was held with all the proceeds to benefit Michael Hubbard, and we raised over $500! John and Diane Graziano won $250, which they promptly donated back to Michael’s mom, Nancy, to use however she needs to help care for her son. Most of the classmates who pre-paid but couldn’t make it donated their payments to Michael. When we close out our books we’ll have more to give. Michael and Nancy, we’re all praying for you both and sending healing thoughts and love your way.

Michael’s aunt Fran is hosting a yard sale for the family this weekend at her home at 81 Rabbit Run in Riverhead. If you have a gently used item to donate, call her at 369-9076. If you’re a yard-saler, stop down and check out the wares — something for everyone.

Flanders Northampton Volunteer Ambulance thanks those who donated to their annual fund drive. It’s important that we, as a community, support them. Thank you to the volunteers who were on standby answering calls this past weekend. We had many trees down and wires across the road and they were out protecting and helping the residents. Hats off to you all!

The next general meeting of the Friends of the Big Duck is Tuesday, Sept. 6, at the David W. Crohan Community Center at 7 p.m. All are welcome. Come join them and bring a new “Friend.” Upcoming events include the Music Festival, Sept. 24, and the Classic Car Show, Oct. 9.

Belated happy 12th birthday to Steven Harrison, who celebrated Aug. 20. His mom and dad, who love him to pieces, took him to Florida and on the Disney Dream Cruise. They had a fabulous time. Thanks to Robert Harrison for taking good care of their puppies while they were away.

Happy birthday to my classmate Shelley Langhorne-Robinson, who celebrated on Aug. 26, and happy anniversary to Tom and Betty Langhorne on Aug. 28. All your family and friends hope you had a wonderful day!

Birthday wishes also go to another classmate, Lewis Loatmann, who celebrated on Aug. 27, from all of your family and friends. Sorry it had to storm on your birthday but when was the last time your classmates sang happy birthday to you? Hope you had a great day!

In last week’s column I wished Charles and Diane Bennett a happy anniversary, but I got the number of years wrong. They’ve been married 36 years, not 26. Sorry!

The Times/Review office will be closed Monday in observance of Labor Day, so my column has to be sent in by tomorrow morning, Sept. 2. If you have anything you’d like to share with the community, please give me a call or email me as soon as possible. Enjoy the last weekend of summer 2011 and please remember to drive safely and to put those cell phones down.

08/23/11 4:41am
08/23/2011 4:41 AM

Summer is winding down, friends and neighbors. I’m very sorry to see this one go, and not just because I love summer and all that goes with it. At the pediatric office where I work we are in the process of switching over to Electronic Medical Records and starting Labor Day weekend we “go live” with the new system. Training is going well but it’ll be a big change from the paper charts that we’re used to. EMR is being implemented throughout the state and once we are up and running it’ll be much easier for all of us, parents and office alike, to care for your children.

A 25th reunion for Riverhead High School’s Class of 1986 will be held at Calverton Links/Eagles Landing this Saturday, Aug. 27, at 6 p.m. On Friday, all will meet at 7 p.m. at Digger’s in Riverhead for an “ice breaker” get-together. Under- and upperclassmen are also invited to attend. If you’re not doing anything tomorrow, stop by and see some friends from years past. I know it’s late in the game but we would like for everyone to be able to attend the reunion Saturday. If you haven’t responded, give me a call at the number above or John Graziano at 631-335-2035 to get on the list. It’s going to be awesome!

Belated happy 13th birthday to Kim Lennon, who celebrated Aug. 11. Her dad, Kevin, and sister, Nicole, threw a barbecue last Saturday in her honor for all her family, friends and neighbors. They lucked out with the weather and everyone had a great day, which lasted into the wee hours of the morning. Special thanks go to her Aunt Kathy for all the help before, during and after the party. I hope you had a wonderful day, Kim. You’re finally a teenager. Enjoy!
Wishes for a belated happy birthday also go to my classmate and friend John Graziano, who celebrated on Aug. 20, from your wife, Diane, and your girls, Amanda, Ashley, Angelina, and all your family and friends. We hope you had a fabulous day!

Happy anniversary to Charles and Diane Bennett, who celebrated 26 years of marriage Aug. 23, from your family and friends. Mr. Bennett is so thoughtful. He calls me every year asking me to write “happy anniversary” to his wife. Congratulations and much happiness to you both.

Condolences to the family of Louis Lucas of Flanders, who passed away Aug. 14, from all of us in the neighborhood. Mr. Lucas was a great guy and he will be missed by all who knew him.

Prayers and healing thoughts are being sent to Michael Hubbard, who should be getting ready to return to school but instead is still in Stony Brook Hospital recovering from burns and injuries sustained back in May while refilling a gel candle. To his mom, Nancy: You’re not alone. We are here for you and right beside you in spirit. If you’d like to help Michael and his mom, there is a flapjack fundraiser being held at Applebee’s in Riverhead on Sunday, Sept. 11, from 8 to 10 a.m. Tickets will not be available at the door so please call Michael’s Aunt Fran at 369-9076 for yours.
Well, that’s all for this week. Enjoy what’s left of summer 2011. Get your fill of the fresh vegetables and fruits that are offered by our local farmers and make sure you get out to the beach or ocean at least once. Take care, have a beautiful weekend and please remember not to talk or text while driving.

08/15/11 3:54pm
08/15/2011 3:54 PM

Hi, neighbors. Are you and your kids ready for school? I am only shopping for two this year since my oldest graduated. This is a very strange feeling for me since I’ve been shopping for three for so long. I don’t need to buy the crayons and whatnot anymore; however, the cost of clothing and shoes is surely making up for those supplies. Those were the days, when their one pair of sneakers didn’t cost more than two pairs of mine.

That was some storm last Sunday, huh? I was without power for about two hours because a transformer blew on Flanders Road. Does anyone know how much rain we had? I always think to myself when it’s raining, “I need to get a rain gauge,” but then forget all about it once the sun comes out again. If you have a rain gauge, shoot me an email or give me a call with the total and your location.

Michael Hubbard, who recently had a birthday, is still in Stony Brook Hospital recovering from injuries he suffered back in May. To help offset the costs of his mom being there around the clock, and for anything Michael may need now and in the future, Applebee’s in Riverhead will be hosting a flapjack breakfast fundraiser on Sunday, Sept. 11, from 8 to 10 a.m. Tickets are $10 each and include flapjacks, sausage, scrambled eggs and a beverage. Tickets will not be sold at the door! To get yours, call Michael’s aunt Fran at 369-9076. To follow Michael’s recovery, check out his page at caringbridge.org.

Goodbye and good luck to Brie Gillian and Corrine Matlak, two beautiful girls I’ve known since their birth, who are embarking on the next chapter of their life — college. You girls make your family and friends so proud. Be safe, be smart and enjoy your first year away.

Are my fellow classmates from RHS Class of 1986 ready? I hope so because our 25-year reunion is just a week away — Aug. 27, at Calverton Links/Eagles Landing from 6 to 11 p.m.; $75 per person. If you’ve changed your mind and would like to go it’s not too late. Call me or John Graziano (631-335-2035 ) as soon as possible.

I had the opportunity to see a good friend from St. John’s this past weekend. Lisa Cheeseman-Batt was out on the island visiting family and, thanks to Facebook, we’ve reconnected. When she told me she was going to be visiting her brother and for me to stop by, I jumped at the chance. I hadn’t seen her in 29 years. Honestly, she looks exactly the same — beautiful as ever. It was a great visit. Thanks to Facebook and the Internet I’ve reconnected with a lot of old friends and can’t wait to see more of you in the future.

Well, that is all for this week. I really hope to hear from more of you this week. Please remember to drive safely and put those cell phones down. Enjoy your weekend. Take care.

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