Authors Posts by Heidi Sutton

Heidi Sutton

Heidi Sutton


The Northport Chamber of Commerce hosted a ribbon cutting to mark the official grand re-opening of The Firefly Artists art gallery at its new larger location at 162 Main St. in Northport on Oct. 17. 

The celebration was attended by chamber President Jim Izzo, Northport town trustees Mercy Smith and Tom Kehoe, Huntington Supervisor Chad Lupinacci, Firefly artists, members of the community, friends and family. The event also kicked off the gallery’s fall exhibit, Autumn Works, featuring the work of the Firefly artists, on view through Nov. 30. 

“Northport is a wonderful community, and it is a privilege to get to work with so many wonderful local artists and other businesses right here on Main Street,” said Katheryn Laible, a Firefly artist who recently became one of the group’s managing partners, in a press release. 

For more information, call 631-651-5545 or visit

Brookhaven Town Supervisor Ed Romaine with Pam Green, executive director of Kent Animal Shelter and her dog, Frodo. Photo courtesy of Kent Animal Shelter

Brookhaven Town Supervisor Ed Romaine (R) awarded a proclamation to Kent Animal Shelter on Oct. 15 citing its 50 years of dedicated work for the betterment of animal welfare. 

Long recognized for being a small shelter doing monumental work, the Kent Animal Shelter has operated since its incorporation in 1969 as an organization dedicated to helping homeless animals. Since its beginning in its humble space along the scenic Peconic River in Calverton, the shelter has given refuge to over 35,000 homeless animals. 

A humane bedrock in East End communities, it gradually extended its reach throughout Long Island and the tri-state area and now rescues and rehabilitates abandoned, abused and homeless animals throughout the U.S. and neighboring countries especially during crisis situations. 

Programs include rescue, adoption, low-cost spay/neuter and humane education. To date, over 50,000 animals have been spayed or neutered to help control animal overpopulation. Over the years, plans to expand the shelter have been blocked by town and government regulatory agencies due to zoning and restrictions within the Pine Barrens. 

“Our efforts will not be thwarted, and the shelter fully intends to rebuild its facility on its current footprint. We are grateful to Ed Romaine and the Town of Brookhaven for recognizing and always supporting the vital efforts of the shelter to make a difference in the lives of companion animals,” said Pam Green, executive director at Kent. 

Kent Animal Shelter is a 501(c)(3) organization, no-kill that operates solely on the generosity of individuals and foundations. For more information, call 631-727-5731 or visit

The Northport Chamber of Commerce hosts a day of fun at Northport Village Park on Nov. 3 (rescheduled from Oct. 27) featuring hayrides, music, pumpkin patch, petting zoo, costume contest and refreshments. File photo by Victoria Espinoza

Dear Readers,

Happy Halloween! We’ve rounded up some of the best Halloween events on the North Shore for families with young children. From a Halloween Festival at the picturesque Stony Brook Village Center, to a spooktacular costume parade down Lake Avenue in St. James, to trick-or-treating inside the Smith Haven Mall and a variety of trunk-or-treats, there are plenty of choices this season.

Haunted Garden

Sachem Public Library, 150 Holbrook Road, Holbrook presents The Legend of Sleepy Hollow from Oct. 25 to 30 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. The legend lives on as the Headless Horseman rises each night in the library’s Haunted Garden! Come for a scare and a snack and hold onto your head! Weather permitting. Free. Call 588-5024.

Family Fun Day

The Long Island Museum, 1200 Route 25A, Stony Brook hosts a Family Fun Day on Oct. 27 from noon to 4 p.m. Come in costume and enjoy pumpkin painting, trick or treating, crafts and a special family performance by the magic of Amore. Free. Call 751-0066.

Halloween Festival

Heritage Trust invites the community to its annual Halloween Festival at the Heritage Center, 633 Mount Sinai-Coram Road, Mount Sinai on Oct. 26. The event will run in two sessions, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 3 p.m. Have fun with pumpkin picking and decorating, unlimited game playing, fun raffles, prizes and much more. Registration is $10 and required for all participants (no walk-ins, parents and guardians are not required to register). Each registrant will receive a snack and beverage along with a goodie bag and pumpkin to decorate and take home. Don’t forget to wear your costumes! Call 509-0882 or visit

Haunted Hatchery

Calling all ghosts and goblins! Cold Spring Harbor Fish Hatchery, 1660 Route 25A, Cold Spring Harbor invites the community to join them for a not so scary Haunted Hatchery on Oct. 26 from 2 to 5 p.m. Receive a treat as you trick or treat. Wear a costume and have fun! Admission is $6 adults, $5 seniors and children ages 3 to 12. Call 516-692-6768.

Boo Bash Family Fun Day

Smith Haven Mall, Moriches Road, Lake Grove will host a Boo Bash Family Fun Day in Center Court on Oct. 26 from noon to 3 p.m. Come in costume and enjoy an afternoon filled with crafts, activities, goodies, giveaways,  spooktacular fun and surprises with Vampirina. Call 724-8066.

Halloween Festival at SCCC

Join Suffolk County Community College, 533 College Road, Selden for its 33rs annual Halloween Festival on Oct. 26 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Babylon Student Center. Enjoy entertainment, carnival booths, crafts and lots more. Free. Call 451-4376.

Halloween at Wardenclyffe

New! Join the Tesla Center at Wardenclyffe, Shoreham for a supercharged Halloween celebration on Oct. 26 from 4 to 7 p.m. Featuring the wonders of Nikola Tesla, the master of technology and wizard of electricity. Enjoy a Monster Mash robotics competition, a Halloween Tech Parade, storytelling, activities, entertainment, food, vendors and more. Tickets are $15 adults, $13 seniors/students, $5 ages 5 to 12, free for ages 4 and under. To purchase, visit

Haunted Wail-ing Booseum

The Whaling Museum, 301 Main St., Cold Spring Harbor hosts its biggest event, Haunted Wail-ing Booseum, on Oct. 27 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. with spooky (and not so scary) games, creepy crafts and lots of fun activities. See live critters in Dr. Gellerman’s Spooky Zoo and make your way through the mysterious museum maze! Admission is $15 child, $6 adults. Call 367-3418.

Halloween Hayride

he Northport Chamber of Commerce hosts a day of fun at Northport Village Park, 1 Bayview Ave., Northport on Nov. 3 (rescheduled from Oct. 27) from noon to 4 p.m. featuring hayrides, music, pumpkin patch, petting zoo, costume contest and refreshments. Call 754-3905 or visit  

Port Jeff Village Harvest Fest

Port Jefferson Village presents its 10th annual Harvest Fest throughout the village on Oct. 27 from noon to 5 p.m. Attractions will include a Chowder Crawl, costumed dog parade, Scarecrow Alley, marshmallow roasting, haunted walking tour, farmers market, festive harvest crafts, live music and woodcarving.Call 473-4724 or visit

Spooktacular Parade

The Community Association of Greater St. James will present a Spooktacular Parade on Oct. 27 from 1 to 4 p.m. Little ghosts and goblins should gather at Lake and Woodlawn avenues in St. James by noon for a contest, prizes and fun!

Trick or Treat at the Heckscher

The Heckscher Museum of Art, 2 Prime Ave., Huntington offers free museum admission for children in costume and their families from Oct. 30 to Nov. 3 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Make an art activity at the Create Your Own Activity Station, pose with spooktacular props at the Selfie Station, make a magical digital action painting and explore the museum’s exhibits. Call 351-3250.

Safe Trick-or-Treating

Join the Smith Haven Mall in Lake Grove for a spooktacular, safe trick-or-treating environment for all of your little ghouls and goblins on Halloween Day, Oct. 31 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at participating retailers. **Participating stores will have an orange pumpkin displayed in their window. Call 724-8066.

Halloween Festival

The Ward Melville Heritage Organization hosts its annual Halloween Festival at the Stony Brook Village Center, 111 Main St., Stony Brook on Oct. 31 from 2 to 5 p.m. Trick or treat in the shops and restaurants, take part in a costume parade, and enjoy games galore. Free. Call 751-2244.

Halloween Costume Parade

The Town of Huntington will present its annual children’s Halloween Costume Parade starting at Gerard Street in Huntington Village on Oct. 31 from 4 to 5 p.m. Children of all ages (and their parents or guardians) are welcome to dress in costume and walk in the parade. Parade route will move east down Gerard Street and south down Wall Street, ending where Wall Street meets Main Street. Village merchants will pass out candy to trick or treater’s. For info, call 351-3112.

Trunk-or-Treat events

Kids Clubhouse of Suffolk at Cornerstone Bible Church, 324 Jayne Blvd., Port Jefferson Station invites you to wear your costume and join them as they go from trunk to trunk for a fun, safe, family event on Oct. 31 from 3 to 5 p.m. Enjoy music, games and peanut-free treats. Call 675-1615.

Lake Ronkonkoma United Methodist Church, 792 Hawkins Ave., Lake Grove welcomes all families to celebrate Halloween at its 3rd annual Trunk-or-Treat on Oct. 26 from noon to 2 p.m. Children will trick or treat for candy and other goodies in the church’s parking lot where cars will be decorated with festive themes. Complimentary refreshments will be served. Call 588-5856.

Join the Commack United Methodist Church, 486 Townline Road, Commack for a Trunk-N-Treat event on Oct. 26 from 3 to 5 p.m. Rain date is Oct. 27. Questions? Call 499-7310.

Three Village Church, 322 Route 25A in East Setauket, hosts a Trunk or Treat event on Oct. 31 from 6 to 8 p.m. with trick or treating at decorated car trunks, a bounce house, crafts, games and more! Call 941-3670.

*All number in 631 area code unless noted.

The Staller Center for the Arts presents Ensemble Español in Flamenco Passion for Hispanic Heritage Month on Oct. 26. Photo by Dean Paul


Come see Spanish culture come alive at Stony Brook University’s Staller Center for the Arts, 100 Nicolls Road, Stony Brook on Oct. 26 at 8 p.m. with Ensemble Español, the premier Spanish dance company in the United States. With 40 dancers, singers and musicians, Ensemble Español fills Staller Center’s Main Stage with a magnificent mosaic of world cultures – Latin, North and South America, Asia, Middle East, and Europe. Tickets are $48. To order, call 632-2787 or visit

 Photo by Dean Paul

By Marvin Hazan


Marvin Hazan of Setauket submitted this unique photo of a sulphur shelf mushroom, aka Chicken of the Woods, which perfectly captures the season’s colors. He writes, ‘I took this shot of a magnificent fungus growing out of a recently removed tree on my property.

Send your Photo of the Week to


Photo from Gurwin

Fountaingate Gardens, the proposed Life Plan Community (also known as a Continuing Care Retirement Community) sponsored by Gurwin in Commack, recently revealed its plans to begin construction on the 129-apartment community in spring 2020. 

The announcement came at an exclusive luncheon event for members of the Fountaingate Gardens Founders Club, early adopters of the community and the lifestyle concept it will provide. So far, more than 75 individuals and couples have chosen their new homes and secured preconstruction pricing by placing a deposit on their future residence of choice.

“We’re here to celebrate that Fountaingate Gardens will be a reality in just a few months, as we are ready to break ground this coming spring,” said Herbert H. Friedman, founding executive vice president and former CEO of Gurwin, who is now consulting on the Fountaingate Gardens project.  “We’ve been listening to the Founders Club members, further developing our plans, and now it is all about to come to fruition.” 

The celebration took place on Sept. 24 at The Hamlet Golf & Country Club in Commack, directly across the street from the future site of the community. Fountaingate Gardens’ newest site plan, floor plans and community renderings were shared with the Founders Club members before being released to the public.

“It was wonderful to see the updated renderings and hear a little more about what our new community at Fountaingate Gardens will look like,” said one Founders Club member who attended the lunch with her husband.  “We’ve been interested since the day we learned about it; we can’t wait to move in!”

According to a press release, when built, Fountaingate Gardens will provide residents a well-connected, wellness-focused active lifestyle alongside an array of new independent living apartment homes. Its status as a Life Plan Community, an uncommon living concept in the area, will also provide residents long-term peace of mind and financial security.

Pictured above, the Fountaingate Gardens team with a rendering of the new retirement community.

For more information, visit

Photo from Gurwin

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This week’s shelter pet is Sally, a 1½-year-old heeler mix rescued by Kent Animal Shelter from Texas, where sadly many dogs are euthanized. Sally is one of the lucky ones and is very grateful to have a second chance at life! She is eager to please and loves to go for walks with our volunteers. All she needs is a new home. Come on down to visit her!

Sally comes spayed, microchipped and up to date on her vaccines. 

Kent Animal Shelter is located at 2259 River Road in Calverton. The adoption center is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information on Sally and other adoptable pets at Kent, call 631-727-5731 or visit

Angelina Jolie returns as the horned antagonist in the Maleficent sequel.

By Heidi Sutton

It’s been five years since Disney brought us the fairy tale Maleficent, a twist on the story of Sleeping Beauty where the focus is not on Aurora who falls into a deep sleep after pricking her finger on a spindle but on the evil fairy who put a curse on the princess in the first place.

Now its darker sequel, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil hits local theaters and does not disappoint. King Stefan is dead and Aurora has been raised by her fairy godmother Maleficent in the Moors, a magical place filled with strange and mythical creatures. Humans and fairies live separate but in peace.

Aurora meets her future mother-in-law in a scene from Maleficent 2.

When Aurora becomes engaged to Prince Phillip, his parents, King John and Queen Ingrith of the Kingdom of Ulstead, invite Aurora and Maleficent to the castle for dinner. It is there that we discover the queen’s true intentions — to frame Maleficent for the murder of the king in order to have cause to declare war on the Moorfolk with devastating consequences.

Fans of the first film will be pleased to know that much of the original cast is back, with the exception of Brenton Thwaites who played Prince Phillip in the first film. Angelina Jolie is back as Maleficent complete with horns, wings and cheek prosthetics; Elle Fanning is the sweet Aurora; Sam Riley returns as Diaval, Maleficent’s loyal servant and pet raven; while Imelda Staunton, Juno Temple and Lesley Manville reprise their roles as pixies Knotgrass, Thistlewit and Flittle.

Newcomers include the handsome Harris Dickinson as Aurora’s prince, Robert Lindsay as King John, Chiwetel Ejiofor as Conall the Dark Fey and the incredible Michelle Pfeiffer as the villainous Queen Ingrith, aka Aurora’s future mother-in-law from hell.

A scene from Maleficent 2

It’s hard to figure out who director Joachim Ronning’s target audience is. On the one hand, the film is at times very violent, with an intense war scene between the humans and an army of dark fey, an attempted extermination of the Moorfolk in the palace’s church of all places and the sacrifice of one of the film’s most beloved characters. On the flip side, many of the Moors’ inhabitants are borderline silly with big eyes and cute voices and seemed geared toward children.

With a budget of $180 million, the film is visually stunning with special mention to the  scene where an injured Maleficent is rescued by her own kind and given a winged tour of a secret world where the dark fey eek out an existence away from humans. (I predict a new ride at Disney World.) 

In the end, the wedding of Aurora and Phillip serves as a union of the Kingdom of Ulstead and the Moors and a timely lesson against fear, bigotry, racism and intolerance and that makes it worth a view.

Rated PG, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil is now playing in local theaters

Photos courtesy of Disney Studios


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Stephen Bello

Bello appointed Executive Director

Northwell Health has appointed Stephen Bello as the new executive director of its Eastern region, which includes Glen Cove Hospital, Plainview Hospital, Syosset Hospital, South Oaks Hospital in Amityville, Huntington Hospital, Southside Hospital in Bay Shore, Mather Hospital in Port Jefferson and Peconic Bay Medical Center in Riverhead along with ambulatory care centers. 

“Northwell Health’s Eastern region has seen a great deal of growth in recent years and I look forward to bringing more new services and programs to Eastern Nassau County and Suffolk County,” said Bello. 

Photo from Northwell Health

GoHealth Urgent Care, together with its partner Northwell Health, recently opened a new Northwell Health-GoHealth Urgent Care center to serve the communities of Huntington and Centerport. Located at 241 East Main Street in Huntington, next to the Huntington Crescent Club, the new center offers convenient services such as onsite laboratory and X-rays, electronic medical record integration with Northwell Health, with day/walk-in visits and short wait times, extended hours and are open on weekends and holidays.

“We’re excited that the Huntington and Centerport communities will have another Northwell Health-GoHealth Urgent care center right in their neighborhood,” said Sarah Arora, New York market president. “Our centers provide unmatched customer experience and top-quality urgent care, allowing patients to stay within the Northwell Health network they already know and trust.”

“Northwell Health’s partnership with GoHealth Urgent Care will continue to provide patients with a more personalized and innovative urgent care experience,” said Adam Boll, executive director of Joint Venture Operations at Northwell Health. Call 631-812-2873 for more information.