Authors Posts by Heidi Sutton

Heidi Sutton

Heidi Sutton
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MEET MR. SMITHERS!

This week’s shelter pet is Mr. Smithers, an extremely friendly and affectionate senior cat currently up for adoption at the Smithtown Animal Shelter. 

At 10 years old, Mr. Smithers is certainly not the shy or quiet type. This little chatterbox will let you know when he is in need of some more TLC or attention. If the occasional meow doesn’t do the trick, this dapper gentleman will cuddle up to you with a nudge to ask for more attention. He has a hyperthyroid condition that requires a little extra care, but this is easily managed with daily medications. Mr. Smithers would make a wonderful addition to any family!

If you are interested in meeting Mr. Smithers, please fill out an adoption application online at www.townofsmithtownanimalshelter.com.

The Smithtown Animal & Adoption Shelter is located at 410 Middle Country Road, Smithtown. For more information, call 631-360-7575.

Pictured above, from left, Paige Hubbard, office manager; Councilman Neil Foley; Dr. Rohit Reejsinghani; Councilman Timothy Hubbard; Catrina Grefe, NP; Dr. Vishnu Seodat; Councilwoman Jodi Giglio; Councilwoman Catherine Kent; Tina Toulon, physician liaison for NYCBS; and Amanda Brown, medical assistant. Photo courtesy of New York Health

New York Health (NYHealth) recently announced the addition of family physician Dr. Vishnudat Seodat. To celebrate the opening of his two new offices — at 6144 Route 25A, Suite 19 in Wading River and 32645 Main Road, Suite 7-8 in Cutchogue — a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held at the Wading River location on June 25. 

The event was attended by the Executive Director of New York Health, Dr. Rohit Reejsinghani; Brookhaven Town Councilman Neil Foley: Riverhead Town Councilmembers Catherine Kent, Jodi Giglio and Timothy Hubbard; and members of the staff and community.

Dr. Vishnudat is presented with a Certificate of Congratulations from the Town of Riverhead. Photo courtesy of New York Health

“At the end of the day, New York Health is really about patient care and having the basis of a large group of patients with such a great practitioner in this area really compliments our group very well so we are very happy to have Dr. Seodat on board and we think this is going to be a successful operation moving forward,” said Dr. Reejsinghani.

“As a child, I developed pneumonia which led to a house call from my family physician. The physician did not accept payment from my family for the appointment due to my less fortunate financial living conditions at the time,” said Dr. Seodat. Inspired by the physician’s compassion, Dr. Seodat navigated his life so that he could become a doctor for everyone. “My journey began as a nurse and a pharmacist dispenser before traveling to New York to earn my degree in medicine.”

Working alongside him for the past two years is Adult-Geri Nurse Practitioner, Catrina Grefe, MS, RN-BC, AGNP-C. “Patients can feel confident with me as their practitioner, and I am eager to deliver high-quality care to patients on the East End,” she said.

“Supervisor Yvette Aguiar of the Town of Riverhead together with the entire town board extend their best wishes for success to New York Health Family Medicine … on the opening of your new practice in Wading River. We look forward to having your quality of business in our town and wish you great success,” said Councilman Hubbard before presenting Dr. Seodat with a Certificate of Congratulations.  

“This ribbon cutting ceremony, in my mind, signifies not only the clearing of a barrier but to open a new door and the birth of a new venture with New York Health,” said Dr. Seodat. “It offers an opportunity to expand medical care … to the East End of Long Island. I am thrilled to be given the opportunity to partner with this multidisciplinary group and I hope to set the standard for family practice and primary care in this community and many other communities on Long Island.”

To make an appointment with Dr. Seodat or Catrina Grefe, please call ​631-758-7003.

The King Kullen in St. James. File photo by Phil Corso

Stop & Shop’s long-pending acquisition of King Kullen is no more. The announcement was made on June 10.

The two chains, along with Stop & Shop parent Ahold Delhaize USA, said they have mutually decided to terminate the deal because of “significant, unforeseen changes in the marketplace that have emerged since the agreement was signed in December 2018, largely driven by the COVID-19 pandemic.” 

“Both companies have put forth an incredible amount of effort to work through unanticipated challenges that have arisen, and we regret that we’re not able to move forward,” Stop & Shop President Gordon Reid said in a statement. 

“King Kullen has a strong legacy on the island, and we wish them continued success. Stop & Shop remains committed to the Long Island community, to serving our customers in the market well, and to investing in our associates and our stores in Nassau and Suffolk counties,” he said.

At the time of the acquisition deal, there were 32 King Kullen supermarkets, but three underperforming locations were closed last year including Mount Sinai on June 20 and Ronkonkoma on Aug. 22. The remaining supermarkets include St. James, Huntington, Wading River, Middle Island and Manorville. The company also has five Wild by Nature stores on Long Island including Setauket and Huntington.

“We look forward to continuing to focus on what we do best: serving our great customers across Long Island and supporting our hard-working store associates,” said Brian Cullen, co-president of King Kullen. “We are enthusiastic about the future and well-positioned to serve Nassau and Suffolk counties for many years to come. In short, we are here for the long term.”

Clam Chowder

MEET CLAM CHOWDER AND MINESTRONE!

This week’s shelter pets are Clam Chowder and Minestrone (right),  a pair of 11-month-old domestic shorthair brothers who would love to be adopted together. 

Minestrone

Both kitties were originally adopted from the Smithtown Animal Shelter this past December, however they sadly were brought back after experiencing some issues with the dog in the house. These little guys are hoping for another chance at finding a furever home with a loving family. 

Both Clam Chowder and Minestrone are quiet and full of love. They would do well in a calm home, and they get along well with other cats and with children. 

If you are interested in meeting this pair, please fill out an adoption application online at www.townofsmithtownanimalshelter.com.

The Smithtown Animal & Adoption Shelter is located at 410 Middle Country Road, Smithtown. For more information, call 631-360-7575.

 

Somber day marked with wreath-laying event

By Heidi Sutton

In Setauket, Memorial Day is usually marked with a parade from Main Street to Route 25A followed by a remembrance ceremony, but these are not usual times.

For the first time in recent years the parade was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Instead, Veterans of Foreign War Post 3054, which hosts the Three Village Memorial Day Parade each year, decided to hold a brief wreath-laying ceremony at Setauket Veterans Memorial Park to memorialize those who have given the ultimate sacrifice in service to their country.

The park’s monument honors members of the community who perished in World War I, World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War.

 “As long as two comrades survive — so long will the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States render tribute to our heroic dead,” said Post Commander Jay Veronko, who led the 10-minute remembrance event.

“On this day, forever consecrated to our heroic dead, we are assembled once again to express sincere reverence. This monument represents the resting places of many departed comrades who served in all wars. Wherever the body of a comrade lies there the ground is hallowed,” Veronko recited. 

As in years past there was the traditional rifle salute, a prayer, the playing of taps and rousing renditions of our country’s national anthem and “God Bless America” by Arleen Gargiulo of Setauket, albeit with face masks while adhering to strict social distancing measures.

Kellen McDermott of Cub Scout Pack 18, Beverly C. Tyler representing the Three Village Historical Society, and Tim Still and Jack Cassidy from VFW Post 3054 presented wreaths.

“Our presence here is in solemn commemoration of all these men — an expression of our tribute to their devotion to duty, to their courage and patriotism. By their services on land, on sea and in the air, they have made us their debtors, for the flag of our nation still flies over a land of free people,” Veronko said.

The Post also paid their respects to their departed comrades Edward Arndt and Walter Denzler Sr. and “a solemn tribute to all comrades wherever they may rest.” The group also laid wreaths at the Setauket Village Green Memorial and the Stony Brook Village Memorial. 

Veronko thanked the participants for coming. “Hopefully next year we can have a parade,” he said.

Photos by Heidi Sutton

The Rocky Point Drive-In sign in 1988, the year it closed. Photo courtesy of Cinema Treasures

There were once things called cassettes. Those were discarded in favor of CDs, but now there’s nothing of music but bits of stored data on a computer. Actually, maybe not. Maybe your music is stored in a cloud, a server bank thousands of miles away from where you even live.

But still, people are buying vinyl records again. There’s a certain quality to them you won’t get with digitized music, people say. Not only that, it simply feels different, like one is feeling the rough memories of the music artist. 

It goes to say that there is a certain quality to things gone past that goes beyond nostalgia. In today’s crisis, it may be best to look for the things we once thought defunct to perhaps help us and our local businesses combat the economic impacts of COVID-19 in unique ways. While Suffolk County begins the reopening process this week, businesses must think about the greater good, and look for unique ways to service customers without potentially causing an uptick in cases.

We’re not the only folks to recognize the possibilities presented by drive-in movies. We have heard leaders in multiple North Shore communities mention the possibility of setting up some kind of in-car theater experience. What it takes is space, and that’s the main issue. Places like Stony Brook University may be tricky because of all the coronavirus-related activity going on there. Landlords with strip malls or other large parking lots should start considering the possibility to help out their tenants. Imagine people being able to order food that then gets delivered to cars while they’re watching a movie right there in the parking lot.

Above, an ad placed in the Port Jefferson Record in 1961 announcing the drive-in’s grand opening

There’s one noticeable location right on the North Shore that is almost too perfect a spot. The former Rocky Point Drive-In on Route 25A may be too apt a name for what’s now an overgrown property. It’s owned by Heidenberg Properties Group, a national company that wanted to put a big box store there before local communities and governments came out against it. Maybe it’s time for the property owner to think of something else for that location, and we feel the community would embrace the return of a local landmark.

Summer on Long Island might be drier than any in living memory. Beaches might very well be restricted. Parks and sports fields and courts may be similarly closed. The annual summer concert series, hosted by Suffolk County legislators along with civic leaders in various locations across the North Shore, may very well not happen this year. 

It’s going to take ingenuity to fill the summer with something other than backyard escapades and hours spent couch surfing. 

Some places, such as Port Jefferson Village and the Smith Haven Mall in Lake Grove, are opening up some space for farmers markets, though the one at the mall has found unique success by having people stay in their cars and roll up to each individual stall along a line. 

We encourage more of our shopping centers to embrace outdoor dining experiences. Even as Long Island inches closer to starting the reopening process, many will find people may still be anxious of eating inside enclosed dining areas. 

But with that there has to be restriction and conscientiousness. On Memorial Day, downtown Port Jefferson was packed with a slew of people, many not wearing face coverings or practicing much social distancing. 

While we begin the reopening process this week, we should remember the worst-case scenario is a second wave of the virus that could force businesses to shut down all over again. Our local business owners are smart, and we’re sure they will think of unique ways to facilitate customers while keeping the virus from spreading once again.

Photo courtesy of Sweetbriar Nature Center
Photo courtesy of Sweetbriar Nature Center

Learn about wildlife and interact live with an educator each week on the Sweetbriar Nature Center Facebook page every Thursday at 2:30 p.m. The staff will share a different animal with you along – a baby bird, rabbit, opossum – with a story or a talk.

Donations are greatly appreciated for the over 100 resident  animals that are currently being cared for at the center. Items from Sweetbriar’s wish list (www.sweetbriarnc.org) may be dropped off a the center’s front door and monetary donations may be made directly during the Facebook live program. Sweetbriar Nature Center is located at 62 Eckernkamp Drive in Smithtown. For more information, call 631-979-6344.

Dr. Brooke Bateman Photo from WMHO

Senior scientist at the National Audubon Society, Dr. Brooke Bateman, will offer “Virtual Birding” on Wednesday, May 27 from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. via Zoom as part of Ward Melville Heritage Organization’s (WMHO) Master Class Series.

Dr. Bateman’s first summer job as a teenager was aboard WMHO’s “Discovery” pontoon boat cruises where she would see snowy egrets, night herons and osprey along Stony Brook Harbor into West Meadow Creek. During this session she will explore spring migration of birds from the Arctic to Long Island, the beauty and science of many species of birds across the world, as well as her invention, “Climate Watch,” a tool to monitor and combat the effects of climate change on birds.

In her role at the Audubon Society she has led a team of scientists in developing the 2019 Birds and Climate Change Report. She is also the Director of Climate Watch, where she works with community volunteers to understand how climate change currently affects birds in North America. Her research focus is on spatial ecology and conservation, emphasizing the effect that extreme weather events and climate change have on biodiversity.

To register for this free event please email [email protected] or call 631-751-2244.

MEET PEGGY!

This week’s shelter pet is Peggy, an adorable seven-month-old female domestic shorthair who is patiently waiting at the Smithtown Animal Shelter for her furever home. Here’s her story:

Peggy came to the shelter as part of the Trap-Neuter-Release program, and she instantly started looking for affection. Peggy is gentle, and sometimes can be a little shy, but she loves to be loved by people! She’s great with children, and would do well in a home with other feline friends. In the past, Peggy had to deal with a ruptured ear drum, but she has since improved her condition and is now feeling much better and happier. She has learned to come out of her shell recently, and she would love the opportunity to socialize and make new friends! Her perfect home would be a quiet place where she can cuddle, lounge around, and play all day.

*Due to the health risk presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, there will be limited public access to the shelter. If you are interested in meeting Peggy please fill out an adoption application online at www.townofsmithtownanimalshelter.com.

The Smithtown Animal & Adoption Shelter is located at 410 Middle Country Road, Smithtown. For more information, call 631-360-7575.

SHOP LOCAL: The Port Jefferson Farmer’s Market is officially open for the season! Over 25 vendors gathered at a temporary spot at the Mariners Way/Gap parking lot located off Arden Place on May 10 and will be open every Sunday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. through Nov. 15. Purchase local produce, jams, pickles, olives, soaps, plants and much more.

Participating vendors include:

Sweets by Amy

AB Fresh Food

Natural Hounds LLC

Bee Natural Body Care

Arlotta Food Studio

Maryhaven Center of Hope

Turmeric Store

Laurel’s Butter

Beaverdam Organic Farms

Priscillas Farm

Malik Farms LLC

JoAnns Desserts Inc.

Quality Parks

Condzella Farm

The Ferm Kombucha

Twin Stills Moonshine

Mecox Bay Dairy

Pickle Packin’ Papa

Terra Nut

The Spice Cabinet

Modern Primal Soap

Naela’s Organics

Beewitched Bee

Knot of this World

The Perfect Pickle

Sweet Melissa Dip

Foundation for Wellness Professionals

For more information, call 631-473-4724 or visit www.portjeff.com.

All photos by Kyle Barr