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Whether you’re a fitness junkie, busy parent, sleep-deprived student or diehard sweet tooth, peanut butter is an ingredient that sticks for all of life’s moments. With a healthy boost of protein and energy, peanut butter is perfect as a reliable family meal. Try these delicious winning recipes from Southern Peanut Growers’ 2016 annual PB My Way recipe contest.

Veggie Sammies with Peanut Butter Satay Sauce

Grand Prize Winner: Take lunchtime to a new level by smothering your sandwich with a savory PB satay sauce. Save the extra sauce for a healthy veggie dip at snack time. Recipe courtesy of Ben M., San Francisco, California

Veggie Sammies with Peanut Butter Satay Sauce
Veggie Sammies with Peanut Butter Satay Sauce

YIELD: Serves 2


4 tablespoons creamy peanut butter

3 tablespoons lime juice

2 tablespoons water

4 teaspoons hoisin sauce

2 teaspoons soy sauce

2 teaspoons sriracha sauce

2 French baguette rolls (6 inches each)

1/2 cup sliced cucumber

1/2 cup sliced white onion 1

/2 cup sliced red bell pepper

1/2 cup sliced purple cabbage

1/2 cup fresh cilantro

DIRECTIONS: In small bowl, combine peanut butter, lime juice, water, hoisin sauce, soy sauce and sriracha sauce. Mix well. Spread sauce on both sides of bread; then layer with cucumber, onion and bell pepper. Top with cabbage and cilantro leaves.

Peanut Apple Chicken Curry

Family-tested Winner: A grown-up twist on the classic peanut butter and apple pairing, this new take on a traditional Indian dish is a total palate pleaser. It’s easy enough for a weekday meal that the family is sure to love. Recipe courtesy of Jess A., Berkeley, California

Peanut Apple Chicken Curry
Peanut Apple Chicken Curry

YIELD: Serves: 4



1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons curry powder

1/4 cup scallions, chopped

1 cup creamy peanut butter

2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar

1 3/4 cups apple juice

1 3/4 cups coconut milk

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)


2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 small yellow onion, chopped

1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch strips

1 medium apple, peeled, cored and chopped

salt, to taste pepper, to taste

cooked rice (optional)

DIRECTIONS: To make sauce: In medium to large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic, curry powder and scallions. Saute 1 minute. Add peanut butter, vinegar, apple juice, coconut milk, brown sugar and cayenne pepper. Bring to simmer, reduce heat and cook over low heat, stirring frequently, about 10 to 15 minutes. Meanwhile, in large skillet, heat oil. Add onion and stir fry about 2 to 3 minutes until onions start to become opaque. Add chicken and apples, and stir until chicken is cooked completely. Add peanut sauce and cook until heated evenly, about 2 to 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve warm over rice, if desired.

Source: Southern Peanut Growers

Ivan Bozovic. Photo courtesy of BNL

By Daniel Dunaief

How long and how much work does it take to defy conventional wisdom? Often, the prevailing belief about anything has backers who support the idea and aren’t eager to change or replace what they know with something new.

Recognizing this, Ivan Bozovic, the Oxide Molecular Beam Epitaxy (MBE) group leader at Brookhaven National Laboratory, checked and rechecked his work, spending close to a decade for parts of it, repeating his steps and checking the accuracy of his data points to make sure his case, which flew in the face of what so many others believed, was airtight.

Engineers, researchers and corporations have known about so-called high-temperature superconductivity for over a century. Using objects called cuprates, which are oxides of copper, researchers have created substances that can conduct electricity with close to no resistance at temperatures that are well above the requirements for most superconductivity.

While the name high-temperature superconductivity might suggest materials that allow the passage of energy through them in a sauna, the reality is far from it, with the temperatures coming in closer to negative 163 degrees Fahrenheit. While cold by everyday standards, that is still well above the record critical temperature before cuprates, which stood at – 418 degrees F.

Up until Bozovic’s study, which was recently published in Nature, scientists believed superconductivity in these cuprates occurred because of the strength of electron pairing. Carefully and in great detail, Bozovic demonstrated that the key factor in leading to this important property was the density of electron pairs, which are negatively charged particles.

Other scientists suggested Bozovic’s study was an important result that flew against the prevailing explanation for a phenomenon that holds promise for basic science and, perhaps one day, for the transmission of energy in the future.

Bozovic’s study “shows that [the] standard picture fails quite astonishingly in copper oxides that show high temperature superconductivity,” Davor Pavuna, a professor at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology at Lausanne, explained in an email. “We are only begining to grasp how dramatic” this latest discovery is.

Pavuna described how he was recently at an event in Corsica, France and that his colleagues believed “this is a clear signal that we will have to develop much more advanced theoretical framework for cooperative phenomena, like superconductivity.”

Bozovic’s work and his latest result “show that our physics understanding and models require some new physics framework,” Pavuna said.

Bozovic and his colleagues studied over 2,150 samples. He explained that cuprates are complex for standards of condensed matter physics because some of them have 20 to 50 atoms in unit cells. That means that when engineers synthesize them, cuprates can have a mixture of unwanted secondary phases that could “spoil the experiment.”

Ivan Bozovic with his granddaughter Vivien at Vivien’s first birthday party last year in California. PhotoPhoto by Julie Hopkins,
Ivan Bozovic with his granddaughter Vivien at Vivien’s first birthday party last year in California. Photo by Julie Hopkins,

The number of samples necessary to demonstrate this property is a matter of personal standards, Bozovic suggested. He made sure he kept “checking and double checking and triple checking to be sure that what we had closed all the loopholes,” Bozovic said. He wanted “no possibility of an alternative explanation.”

The way Bozovic and his colleagues approached the problem was to start with a cuprate composition. They then replaced one atom at a time by another, which provided a series of samples that were almost identical, but slightly different in chemical composition. He was able to show how the critical temperature changes with electron density in small increments.

“What’s really impressive here is [Bozovic’s] ability to use a molecular beam epitaxy system — that he designed — to place single atomic layers on to a substrate, layer by layer,” James Misewich, the associate lab director for Energy & Photon Sciences at BNL explained in an email.

Bozovic’s work is “an exciting finding that could have wide-ranging impacts on how we identify, design, and build new superconducting materials,” continued Misewich.

As with other science, Bozovic said the answer to one question leads to a series of follow up questions, which include why do small pairs of electrons form in cuprates and not in anything else.

A resident of Mount Sinai, Bozovic lives with his wife Natasha, who is a mathematician. The couple has two daughters, Dolores, a professor of Physics and Astronomy at UCLA and Marijeta, an assistant professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures at Yale, where Bozovic is an adjunct professor of Applied Physics.

Born and raised in the former Yugoslavia, Bozovic is the son of two medical doctors. His father, Bosislav Bozovic, was twice nominated for the Nobel Prize for his work on the relation between cancer and the immune system. He was also a major general in the medical corp and the head of the Medical Division of the National Academy of Sciences.

His mother, Sasha Bozovic, wrote a best-selling memoir, devoted to a daughter she lost in World War II. His mother was also a colonel in the medical corps who worked in the army until she retired as the highest ranking woman in the army. “I had some big shoes to fill,” Bozovic acknowledges.

As a teenager, Bozovic played the lead guitar in a rock band. Nowadays, he strums nursery rhymes for his granddaughter Vivien using FaceTime.

A scientist who suggests a sense of humor is extremely important, especially in a field that can include disappointments and setbacks, Bozovic jokes that he speaks “zero” languages, a conclusion he reached after listening to an online description he gave of his recent work. In reality, he can read about four languages, although he has studied more.

As for his work, Bozovic is looking forward to discussing his recent results with theorists like Gabriel Kotliar, a Rutgers Professor of Physics and Astronomy who has a part time position at BNL. Kotliar is leading a new materials theory center at BNL.

“I hope that we’ve given them new pointers about where to look and what to calculate,” Bozovic said. “I’m pretty optimistic that there will be feedback from them.”

By Linda Toga

THE FACTS: As part of their Medicaid planning, over 10 years ago my parents transferred their house to my brother Joe. They did not put my name on the deed because I had filed for bankruptcy. However, the understanding was that at some point after their deaths, Joe would sell the house and give me half of the net proceeds. My parents died two years ago without ever applying for Medicaid. Joe did not try to sell the house because he said the housing market was soft. Instead, he rented the house to a friend. Unfortunately, Joe and I did not have a good relationship, and he recently died without having sold the house. His will provides that his entire estate, including the house, passes to his wife and son.

THE QUESTION: Can I contest Joe’s will to get my share of the proceeds from the eventual sale of my parents’ house?

THE ANSWER: The short answer to your question is “No.” You cannot contest the probate of Joe’s will because you lack standing. The only people in a position to contest a will are those people in line to inherit under the intestacy statute. In other words, only those people who would inherit if there was no will have standing to contest the probate of a will. Under the intestacy statute, spouses, children and parents of the decedent have priority over siblings. Since Joe was married at the time of his death and had a child, they would inherit his entire estate even if he died without a will. Since you are not in line to inherit, you cannot contest Joe’s will.

However, you may be able to approach this from a different perspective. If you have evidence that your parents’ intent was that you receive a share of the proceeds from the sale of their house, and that they transferred it to Joe alone because of your bankruptcy, you may be able to claim an interest in the house under the theory of a constructive trust. You would not be contesting the probate of Joe’s will but, instead, trying to show that the transfer of the house to Joe was not an outright gift.

If you can show that your parents transferred the house to Joe with the expectation that he hold an interest in the house in trust for your benefit in the future, you may be able to recover from Joe’s estate the value of your share of the house.

If your parent’s plan was that the house be sold after their deaths and the proceeds split between you and Joe, they should have transferred the house into an irrevocable trust, rather than outright to Joe. Such a trust would have addressed your parents’ concerns about Medicaid without creating the problem you now face. Language could have been included in the trust to address your bankruptcy and protect your share of the proceeds from your creditors. An experienced estate planning attorney could have easily insured that your parents’ wishes were honored and that both you and Joe benefited from the sale of their house.

Linda M. Toga, Esq. provides legal services in the areas of estate planning, probate and estate administration, real estate, small business service and litigation from her East Setauket office.

Photo courtesy of WMHO

Blast from the Past: Where was this store in the 1940s and what is it today? Email your answers to To see more wonderful vintage photographs like this, visit The Ward Melville Heritage Organization’s ongoing exhibit, It Takes a Team to Build a Village, at The WMHO’s Educational & Cultural Center, 97P Main Street, Stony Brook. For more information, call 631-751-2244.

clancysLast week’s photo: This photo was taken in the early 1950s during a festival at the Stony Brook Village Center. Photo courtesy of The WMHO

We should dedicate 33 percent of our lives to sleep to improve brain health. Stock photo

By David Dunaief, M.D.

The brain is the most important and complex organ, yet what we know about the brain is inverse to its prominence. In other words, our knowledge only scratches the surface. While other organs can be transplanted readily, it is the one organ that can’t, at least not yet.

The brain also has something called the blood-brain barrier. This is an added layer of small, densely packed cells, or capillaries, that filter what substances from the blood they allow to pass through from the rest of the body (1). This is good, since it protects the brain from foreign substances; however, on the downside, it also makes it harder to treat, because many drugs and procedures have difficulty penetrating the blood-brain barrier.

Unfortunately, there are many things that negatively impact the brain, including certain drugs, head injuries and lifestyle choices. There are also numerous disorders and diseases that affect the brain, including neurological (dementia, Parkinson’s, stroke), infectious (meningitis), rheumatologic (lupus and rheumatoid arthritis), cancer (primary and secondary tumors), psychiatric mood disorders (depression, anxiety, schizophrenia), diabetes and heart disease.

These varied diseases tend to have three signs and symptoms in common: they either cause an alteration in mental status — cognitive decline, weakness or change in mood – or a combination of these.

Probably our greatest fear regarding the brain is cognitive decline. We have to ask ourselves if we are predestined to this decline, either because of the aging process alone or because of a family history, or if there is a third option, a way to alter this course. Dementia, whether mild or full-blown Alzheimer’s, is cruel; it robs us of functioning. We should be concerned about Alzheimer’s because 5.2 million Americans have the disease, and it is on the rise, especially since the population is aging (2).

Fortunately, there are several studies that show we may be able to choose the third option and prevent cognitive decline by altering modifiable risk factors. They involve rather simple lifestyle changes: sleep, exercise and possibly omega-3s. Let’s look at the evidence.

The impact of clutter

The lack of control over our mental capabilities as we age is what frightens us the most since we see friends, colleagues and relatives negatively affected by it. Those who are in their 20s seem to be much sharper and quicker. But are they really?

In a recent study, German researchers found that educated older people tend to have a larger mental database of words and phrases to pull from since they have been around longer and have more experience (3). When this is factored into the equation, the difference in terms of age-related cognitive decline becomes negligible. This study involved data mining and creating simulations. It showed that mental slowing may be at least partially related to the amount of clutter or data that we accumulate over the years. The more you know, the harder it becomes to come up with a simple answer to something. We may need a reboot just like a computer. This may be possible through sleep and exercise and omega-3s.


I have heard people argue that sleep gets in the way of life. Why should we have to dedicate 33 percent of our lives to sleep? There are several good reasons. One involves clearing the mind, and another involves improving our economic outlook.

For the former, a study shows that sleep may help the brain remove waste, such as those all-too-dangerous beta-amyloid plaques (4). When we have excessive plaque buildup in the brain, it may be a sign of Alzheimer’s. This study was done in mice. When mice were sleeping, the interstitial space (the space between brain gyri, or structures) would increase by as much as 60 percent.

This allowed the lymphatic system, with its cerebrospinal fluid, to clear out plaques, toxins and other waste that had developed during waking hours. With the enlargement of the interstitial space during sleep, waste removal was quicker and more thorough because cerebrospinal fluid could reach much further into the spaces. When the mice were anesthetized, a similar effect was seen as with sleeping.

In a published follow-up study, the authors found that sleep position had an impact on glymphatic transport in rodents. Sleeping in a lateral position, or on their sides, was more effective at clearing waste than prone or supine positions. Of course, the authors note that for rodents a prone position is similar to their awake positions. It would be most like a human sleeping while sitting upright (5).

In another study, done in Australia, results showed that sleep deprivation may have been responsible for an almost 1 percent decline in gross domestic product for the country (6). The reason is obvious: People are not as productive at work when they don’t get enough sleep. Their attitude tends to be more irritable, and concentration may be affected. We may be able to turn on and off sleepiness on an acute, or short-term, basis, depending on the environment, but it’s not as if we can do this continually.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an average of 4 percent of Americans report having fallen asleep in the past month behind the wheel of a car (7). I hope this hammers home the importance of sleep.


How can I exercise, when I can’t even get enough sleep? Well there is a study that just may inspire you to exercise.

In the study, which involved rats, those that were not allowed to exercise were found to have rewired neurons in the area of their medulla, the part of the brain involved in breathing and other involuntary activities. There was more sympathetic (excitatory) stimulus that could lead to increased risk of heart disease (8). In those rats that were allowed to exercise regularly, there was no unusual wiring, and sympathetic stimuli remained constant. This may imply that being sedentary has negative effects on both the brain and the heart.

This is intriguing since we used to think that our brain’s plasticity, or ability to grow and connect neurons, was finite and stopped after adolescence. This study’s implication is that a lack of exercise causes unwanted new connections. Of course, these results were done in rats and need to be studied in humans before we can make any definitive suggestions.

Omega-3 fatty acids

In the Women’s Health Initiative Memory Study of Magnetic Resonance Imaging Study, results showed that those postmenopausal women who were in the highest quartile of omega-3 fatty acids had significantly greater brain volume and hippocampal volume than those in the lowest quartile (9). The hippocampus is involved in memory and cognitive function.

Specifically, the researchers looked at the level of omega-3 fatty acids, called eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid, in red blood cell membranes. The source of the omega-3 fatty acids could either have been from fish or supplementation. This was not delineated. The researchers suggest eating fish high in these substances, such as salmon and sardines, since it may not even be the omega-3s that are playing a role but some other substances in the fish. It’s never too late to improve brain function. You can still be sharp at a ripe old age. Although we have a lot to learn about the functioning of the brain, we know that there are relatively simple ways we can positively influence it.

References: (1) (2) (3) Top Cogn Sci. 2014 Jan.;6:5-42. (4) Science. 2013 Oct. 18;342:373-377. (5) J Neurosci. 2015 Aug 5;35(31):11034-11044. (6) Sleep. 2006 Mar.;29:299-305. (7) (8)J Comp Neurol. 2014 Feb. 15;522:499-513. (9) Neurology. 2014;82:435-442. Dr. Dunaief is a speaker, author and local lifestyle medicine physician focusing on the integration of medicine, nutrition, fitness and stress management.

By Ernestine Franco

Find your new best friend at the 5th annual Sound Beach Civic Association Pet Adopt-A-Thon on Saturday, Sept. 24 in the Hartlin Inn parking lot, 30 New York Ave., Sound Beach (across from the Post Office) from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Eleven animal rescue groups from Suffolk County will be on hand to show off their lovable, adoptable pets including The Adoption Center, Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons, Compassionate Action, Volunteers for Animal Welfare, Grateful Greyhounds, Happy Tails Dog Rescue, Last Chance Animal Rescue, Long Island Bulldog Rescue, New York State Retriever Rescue, Sav-A-Pet and the Town of Brookhaven Animal Shelter. Adoption fees will vary by group.

Saving one animal will not change the world, but for that one animal the world will change forever.

Created and run mostly by volunteers, many of these groups take unwanted, abandoned, abused or stray animals into their homes and care for them — training them, playing with them, handling medical issues and solving behavioral problems — until a suitable permanent home can be found.

“Last year twelve ‘furever’ friends found new, loving homes at this event,” Bea Ruberto, president of the Civic Association, said, “and we’re looking to do even better this year. We hope a lot of people will stop by to meet their new best friend.”

The New York State Retriever Rescue will be bringing Alice and Trixie whose owner recently died. Happy-go-lucky dogs who love other dogs but have never been around cats, they just need someone to love them again. The group will also be bringing Buck Hope, a 9-year-old lab who is described as being kind of goofy and loves to swim, and Elsa, a 10-year-old very sweet lab mix who is a big mush of a girl and loves both dogs and cats.

Happy Tails Dog Rescue will be showcasing Georgie and Porgie, two yorkie mixes, and Nana, a 3-month-old female plott hound/lab mix in hopes that they will find loving homes.

Last Chance Animal Rescue, which has participated in this event every year, is bringing Dutchess, a 3-year-old female pibble who is crate trained, house trained and loves dogs (no cats please). They will also be offering Madilynn, a tortoise shell cat, who has been with the group for six months. Her first birthday has come and gone and no forever family has picked her. She is great with other cats and dogs and people of all ages and loves to play and snuggle. What more could you ask for?

Nadia, a young gray and white shorthaired cat, will also be there, courtesy of Last Chance, and would love to find her home soon. She’s kid tested, cat tested and dog tested and ready to start a new life.

Sav-A-Pet will be featuring three cats this year — a pure white beauty named Valke, an 11-year-old diabetic female who just needs some tender loving care, and Miracle and Angel, two pastel calico kittens who had a rough start in life.

The Adopt-A-Thon will also offer information on responsible pet care, face painting for the kids, live music by Gina Mingoia and Sal Martone along with a raffle auction and 50/50 with all the proceeds going to the participating animal welfare groups.

Raffle prizes include a one-year subscription to Times Beacon Record Newspapers, brass candlesticks, Christmas baskets, Dr. Who memorabilia, electric wine opener with a bottle of wine, fall harvest baskets, granite and marble cutting boards, handbag with scarves and gloves, handmade blanket and pillow, hand-painted wine glass, home and kitchen baskets, Italian cheese-making kit with a bottle of wine, Lenox bowl, pet gift basket, Sky Zone passes, spa baskets, a framed silver record signed by Christina Aguilera, Clint Black, EVE 6, and Tyrese, Theatre Three tickets and much more.

Echo Pharmacy will provide some free give-aways, and Miller Place Animal Hospital will be offering a free exam for any newly adopted pet. So, whether you want to help the great work the animal welfare groups do or are looking to adopt your new best friend, stop by for a great family-friendly event.

Above, one of the many scarecrows that greeted visitors at the Stony Brook Village Center last year. File photo by Giselle Barkley
A sparkly (and flexible) witch greets visitors to the Stony Brook Village Center in a previous year. File photo
A sparkly (and flexible) witch greets visitors to the Stony Brook Village Center in a previous year. File photo

One of the North Shore’s most popular holiday events is now underway at the Stony Brook Village Center, the Ward Melville Heritage Organization’s annual Scarecrow Competition. This will be the 26th year the spooky, silly and scary six-foot creations will adorn the pathways of picturesque Stony Brook Village Center for visitors to enjoy and vote in their favorite! Voting ballots will be available in all Village Center shops and eateries or at the WMHO office.

Categories are Professional, Adult/Family and Children’s. Registration deadline will be Sept. 30 and there is an entry fee of $15. Winners will receive cash prizes awarded at WMHO’s Annual Halloween Festival, beginning at 2 p.m. on Oct. 31. Suffolk Center for Speech is the main event sponsor for the festival and competition. For full information on this and other Stony Brook Village events, call 631-751-2244 or visit

From left, Vanessa Molinelli, Jennifer Dzvonar, Joan Nickeson, Donna Boeckel and Lisa Molinelli from the North Brookhaven Chamber of Commerce. Photo from Jen Dzvonar

By Rebecca Anzel

Community members young and old will enjoy good old-fashioned family fun at the North Brookhaven Chamber of Commerce’s first ever Family Fun Day on Saturday, Sept. 17 at Buttercup’s Dairy, 285 Boyle Road in Terryville (at the corner of Old Town Road). From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., attendees of the free event will enjoy live music, a petting zoo, an apple pie baking contest, a chili cook-off, a scarecrow contest, selfie stations and more. Admission is free and there is no rain date.

An opportunity for community members to learn more about their local businesses, Family Fun Day will feature representatives from Old Town Blooms, Cumsewogue Historical Society, Stony Brook University, Bass Electric, Great Clips, People’s United Bank, Masone Natural Healing, Home Performance Technologies, R & B Electrical (Solar), Kiddie Academy, Port Jeff Bowl, Comsewogue Public Library, TFCU, Renewal by Anderson, Little Flower Children’s Services, Gutter Helmet, Coach Realtors, Everlasting Memories in Time, Kitchen Magic, PJS/Terryville Civic, Bethpage Federal Credit Union, Habitat for Humanity and Brian Yonks Chiropractic.

“It’s really an exciting event that’s going to bring local businesses and the community together,” chamber board of directors President Jennifer Dzvonar said. “Local businesses are the backbone of the community. Why not bring the community to meet them?”

Dzvonar said she is most excited for the scarecrow contest, where families are encouraged to work together to create a unique scarecrow at home and bring it to the event to be displayed. The top submissions will receive ribbons.

To further celebrate the importance of family, the event committee asked children ages 10 and under to write essays about what family fun means to them to enter into the Little Miss and Mister of Terryville contest. The winners will receive a crown, sash and flowers the day of the event. And the apple pie baking contest, Dzvonar said, will allow members of the community to bond over the delicious fall-time dessert. “The woman next door might make the best apple pie, but you’d never know it! These contests are a fun way to get to know your neighbors better.”

Planning for the event has been underway since last November, and committee member Craig den Hartog said everyone involved is “excited to just get it started.” He is going to be on hand to help set up tents and direct traffic. A volunteer with Old Town Blooms, den Hartog will also be sharing information about the community beautification project, which has planted over 20,000 daffodils in the area over the last seven years. “The fact that our event benefits the community is the most important part,” den Hartog said.

Family Fun Day was inspired in part by similar events in surrounding towns. Rich Smith, whose family owns Buttercup Dairy, said he thought Terryville should have an event to celebrate the town, like St. James does, and members of the Chamber of Commerce agreed. den Hartog and Dzvonar both said the dairy was the perfect spot to host the event. Buttercup Dairy is the main focal point for those who live in the area and is Terryville’s longest operating business. “This event is a good way to give back to the community,” Smith said. “I’m looking forward to seeing the families that will turn out for the old-fashioned fun [the committee] is planning.”

According to Dzvonar, organizing Family Fun Day was a group effort. It was “every facet of the community who pulled together and worked together to create such a great event,” she said, adding that the North Brookhaven Chamber of Commerce is hoping to make the event an annual affair hosted in each of its seven towns. “This year, we’re concentrating on Terryville. Next year, we might be in Mount Sinai, Wading River or we might be in Terryville again,” she said.

For more information, call 631-821-1313 or visit

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The Hercules figurehead from the USS Ohio in Stony Brook. Photo by Heidi Sutton

By Ernestine Franco

The heroes of Greek and Roman legends are long gone, but they are still an echo in our collective mythic memories.

Hercules was the Roman name of the greatest hero of Greek mythology — Heracles. Like most authentic heroes, Hercules had a god as one of his parents, being the son of the supreme deity Zeus and the mortal Alcmene. Zeus’ queen Hera was jealous of Hercules and was determined to make trouble for him by making him lose his mind. In a confused and angry state, he killed his own wife and children.

The story goes that when he awoke from his “temporary insanity,” Hercules was shocked and upset by what he’d done. He prayed to the god Apollo, also a son of Zeus. As part of his punishment, Hercules had to perform 12 labors including slaying the Nemean lion — feats so difficult that they seemed impossible. Fortunately, Hercules had the help of some sympathetic deities. By the end of these labors, Hercules was, without a doubt, Greece’s greatest hero.hercules-1 His struggles made him the perfect embodiment of an idea the Greeks called pathos, the experience of virtuous struggle and suffering that would lead to fame and, in Hercules’ case, immortality.

There have been many reincarnations of Hercules. To name just a few: Agatha Christie’s detective Hercule Poirot; the 1997 animated Disney movie “Hercules”; the TV show “Hercules,” which ran from 1995 to 1999; and a 1970 B film “Hercules in New York.” There is even an adjective, herculean, that embodies all the positive aspects of this hero.

But before all these, there was the 19th-century figurehead Hercules of the USS Ohio. Built between 1817 and 1820, she was the first ship built at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. The Ohio served in the Mediterranean, sailed the Pacific and landed troops on the shores of Vera Cruz during the war with Mexico in 1847. By 1884 the Ohio was decommissioned, sold for scrap and moored in Greenport. She broke free of her mooring during a storm and sunk a short distance off shore. Resting in a mere 20 feet of water, part of the ship was above sea level. The exposed parts of the Ohio were burned and the rest abandoned. Luckily this piece of folk art was stripped off the ship before her end.

The figurehead of Hercules, wrapped in the skin of the Nemean lion, was carved out of a single piece of cedar at a cost $1,500. At one point it was sold for a mere $10 at an auction. It was again sold for $15 by the then owner of the Canoe Place Inn in Hampton Bays where it remained for decades. Eventually the figurehead was acquired by Ward Melville in 1954 who deeded it to The Ward Melville Heritage Organization for preservation.

As if this isn’t already an amazing enough piece of history, the pavilion also has a whaleboat used on Charles Hall’s final arctic expedition. The Hercules Pavilion is located along Main Street in Stony Brook Village, across from the Village Green, near the anchor of the USS Ohio.

For more information, call 631-751-2244 or visit

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Unfortunately, dogs don’t consult the ‘Field Guide to North American Mushrooms’ before choosing which to eat and which to leave alone.

By Matthew Kearns, DVM

After a hot, dry August, we’re starting to get some late summer/early fall rain, and the rain brings the mushrooms. Some wild mushrooms are edible (and quite tasty); however, some can be downright toxic. Both classes of wild mushrooms grow right in our backyards and flourish at this time of year.

Names like toadstool, death cap and destroying angel make me want to make sure I don’t eat the wrong type. Unfortunately, dogs don’t consult the “Field Guide to North American Mushrooms” before choosing which to eat and which to leave alone.

The most common toxic genera of mushrooms are Amanita, Galerina and Lepiota. These genera carry a specific toxin called cyclopeptides. Cyclopeptides interfere with the nucleic acids RNA and DNA transcriptase, and these compounds are integral for cell replication. Therefore, cyclopeptides affect organ systems that have a large cell turnover (the GI system, liver and a portion of the kidneys). Other toxic mushrooms can affect the central nervous system, but they are not as common in this part of the country.

Above, the destroying angel mushroom is toxic to dogs.
Above, the destroying angel mushroom is toxic to dogs.

The initial symptoms usually start within 6 to 12 hours of exposure and affect the gastrointestinal tract, causing serious vomiting and diarrhea. The diarrhea many times becomes bloody, but dehydration secondary to vomiting and diarrhea is a bigger concern than blood in the stool. If untreated, the dehydration alone can lead to shock and organ dysfunction.

If the patient recovers from the initial GI signs, they can still develop liver and kidney dysfunction. If the exposure is small (this depends not only on the amount of mushrooms eaten but also the size/weight of the dog), the patient can make a complete recovery over a period of weeks to months. However, if the exposure is large, this can lead to complete liver or kidney failure.

Initial treatment involves hospitalization for decontamination and supportive care. In severe cases it is recommended to lavage (or pump) the stomach in conjunction with activated charcoal (to prevent further absorption) and IV fluids.

When I still worked emergency full time and we had a known or suspect mushroom toxicity, as long as we were able to control the vomiting, administer activated charcoal and support with IV fluids, the patients were discharged without any long-term damage.

How do we prevent mushroom exposure? Mushrooms are fungi and grow better under certain conditions. Some mushrooms require low amounts of light, but many do not. All mushrooms need a lot of moisture and decaying plant material. Therefore, making sure there is adequate drainage and removing any leaves, branches and other debris on a regular basis can reduce the amount of mushrooms grown.

Also, reduce watering (if you water regularly) to portions of your lawn prone to mushrooms. If you see mushrooms, remove them immediately at the base to prevent the aeration of spores. Then use a sharp shovel in an “up and away” fashion to remove the soil. If you can’t do that, use a garden rake or hoe to aerate that area and provide better drainage.

If you know that your dog has eaten mushrooms, bring him or her to your veterinarian immediately and follow their instructions. If your vet recommends hospitalization, IV fluids, inducing emesis (vomiting) and activated charcoal, then follow their instructions. Although it may be a little more expensive, it is better to be more aggressive early than to play catchup later. Also, treat your yard. Remember, “An ounce of prevention …”

Dr. Kearns practices veterinary medicine from his Port Jefferson office.