Authors Posts by Heidi Sutton

Heidi Sutton

Heidi Sutton
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Increasing fiber may reduce risk

By David Dunaief, M.D.

Dr. David Dunaief

Many patients say they have been diagnosed with diverticulitis, but this is a misnomer. Diverticulitis is actually a consequence of diverticular disease, or diverticulosis. Diverticulosis is one of the most common maladies that affects us as we age. For instance, 35 percent of U.S. 50-year-olds are affected and, for those over the age of 60, approximately 58 percent are affected (1). Many will never experience symptoms.

The good news is that it is potentially preventable through modest lifestyle changes. My goal in writing this article is twofold: to explain simple ways to reduce your risk, while also debunking a myth that is pervasive — that fiber, or more specifically nuts and seeds, exacerbates the disease.

What is diverticular disease? 

Diverticular disease is a weakening of the lumen, or wall of the colon, resulting in the formation of pouches or out-pocketing referred to as diverticula. The cause of diverticula may be attributable to pressure from constipation. Its mildest form, diverticulosis may be asymptomatic. 

Symptoms of diverticular disease may include fever and abdominal pain, predominantly in the left lower quadrant in Western countries, or the right lower quadrant in Asian countries. It may need to be treated with antibiotics.

Diverticulitis affects 10 to 25 percent of those with diverticulosis. Diverticulitis is inflammation and infection, which may lead to a perforation of the bowel wall. If a rupture occurs, emergency surgery may be required.

Unfortunately, the incidence of diverticulitis is growing. As of 2010, about 200,000 are hospitalized for acute diverticulitis each year, and roughly 70,000 are hospitalized for diverticular bleeding (2).

How to prevent diverticular disease

There are a number of modifiable risk factors, including fiber intake, weight and physical activity, to prevent diverticular disease.

In terms of fiber, there was a prospective (forward-looking) study published online in the British Medical Journal that extolled the value of fiber in reducing the risk of diverticular disease (3). This was part of the EPIC trial, involving over 47,000 people living in Scotland and England. The study showed a 31 percent reduction in risk in those who were vegetarian. 

But more intriguing, participants who had the highest fiber intake saw a 41 percent reduction in diverticular disease. Those participants in the highest fiber group consumed >25.5 grams per day for women and >26.1 grams per day for men, whereas those in the lowest group consumed less than 14 grams per day. Though the difference in fiber between the two groups was small, the reduction in risk was substantial. 

Another study, which analyzed data from the Million Women Study, a large-scale, population-based prospective UK study of middle-aged women, confirmed the correlation between fiber intake and diverticular disease, and further analyzed the impact of different sources of fiber (4). The authors’ findings were that reduction in the risk of diverticular disease was greatest with high intake of cereal and fruit fiber.

Most Americans get about 16 grams of fiber per day. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommends daily fiber intake for those <50 years old of 25-26 grams for women and 31-38 grams for men (5). Interestingly, their recommendations are lower for those who are over 50 years old.

Can you imagine what the effect is when people get at least 40 grams of fiber per day? This is what I recommend for my patients. Some foods that contain the most fiber include nuts, seeds, beans and legumes. In a study in 2009, specifically those men who consumed the most nuts and popcorn saw a protective effect from diverticulitis (6).

Obesity plays a role, as well. In the large, prospective male Health Professionals Follow-up Study, body mass index played a significant role, as did waist circumference (7). Those who were obese (BMI >30 kg/m²) had a 78 percent increased risk of diverticulitis and a greater than threefold increased risk of a diverticular bleed compared to those who had a BMI in the normal range of <21 kg/m². For those whose waist circumference was in the highest group, they had a 56 percent increase risk of diverticulitis and a 96 percent increase risk of diverticular bleed. Thus, obesity puts patients at a much higher risk of the complications of diverticulosis.

Physical activity is also important for reducing the risk of diverticular disease, although the exact mechanism is not yet understood. Regardless, the results are impressive. In a large prospective study, those with the greatest amount of exercise were 37 percent less likely to have diverticular disease compared to those with the least amount (8). Jogging and running seemed to have the most benefit. When the authors combined exercise with fiber intake, there was a dramatic 256 percent reduction in risk of this disease. 

Thus, preventing diverticular disease is based mostly on lifestyle modifications through diet and exercise.

References:

(1) www.niddk.nih.gov. (2) Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2016; 14(1):96–103.e1. (3) BMJ. 2011; 343: d4131. (4) Gut. 2014 Sep; 63(9): 1450–1456. (5) Am J Lifestyle Med. 2017 Jan-Feb; 11(1): 80–85. (6) AMA 2008; 300: 907-914. (7) Gastroenterology. 2009;136(1):115. (8) Gut. 1995;36(2):276.  

Dr. Dunaief is a speaker, author and local lifestyle medicine physician focusing on the integration of medicine, nutrition, fitness and stress management. For further information, visit www.medicalcompassmd.com.   

The George Washington portrait. Image from Vanderbilt Museum

CENTERPORT: The Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum is displaying two artifacts in honor of Presidents Day, Feb. 17 – an oil portrait of George Washington and a letter to the mayor of New York City from Abraham Lincoln. The pieces are on view in the main hallway of the Vanderbilt Museum Nursery Wing through the end of February.

President Lincoln wrote the letter to Fernando Wood, then mayor of New York City, just after the start of the Civil War on May 4, 1861. Wood (1812-1881), who built a successful shipping enterprise in New York City, served several terms in Congress and was mayor of New York for two terms, 1854-58 and 1860-62.

The letter was in response to a letter Wood wrote to Lincoln shortly after the Fort Sumter attack, offering him whatever military services he, as mayor, could provide. Lincoln’s reply to Wood was in gratitude for his offer of assistance.

The Vanderbilt Museum Curatorial Department has no record of how this letter came to be in William Vanderbilt II’s possession. Originally, it may have been the property of his great-grandfather, Cornelius Vanderbilt, who was an acquaintance of Wood, and could have been passed down through the Vanderbilt family.

The Vanderbilt’s framed oil portrait of George Washington, though unsigned and undated, was believed to have been painted by Gilbert Stuart (1755-1828), widely considered one of America’s foremost portrait artists. 

Stuart produced portraits of more than 1,000 people, including the first six presidents of the United States. He painted a number of Washington portraits. The most celebrated is known as the “Lansdowne” portrait (1796), and one large-scale version of it hangs in the East Room of the White House. 

Stuart’s best-known work is an unfinished portrait of Washington begun in 1796 and sometimes called “The Athenaeum.” This image of Washington’s head and shoulders is a familiar one to Americans — it has appeared for more than a century on the U.S. one-dollar bill.

The Vanderbilt’s Washington portrait, found in the basement of the Suffolk County Welfare Department Home in Yaphank, was restored and presented to the Vanderbilt Museum in 1951. While the artist did not sign the work, a specialist reported that year that the painting was an authentic Gilbert Stuart.

In 1981, however, two curators from the Metropolitan Museum of Art studied the portrait and advised the board of trustees that the work was not created by Stuart. As a result, the portrait, oil on panel and measuring 21.25 by 33.5 inches, is described in the archival records as “After Gilbert Stuart.” The curators’ closest estimate was that the painting was made sometime in the 1800s.

The Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum is located at 180 Little Neck Road in Centerport. Winter hours for the museum, mansion and grounds are Saturdays and Sundays from 11:15 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Tuesdays from noon to 4 p.m. with special winter recess hours from Feb. 17 to 21 from 11:15 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, call 631-854-5579 or visit www.vanderbiltmuseum.org.

Photo courtesy of WMHO

Here are some fun and educational ways for your kids to enjoy winter break:

Benner’s Farm

Ever wonder what it’s like to be on a real working farm in the winter? Kids ages 7 to 14 can enjoy winter break at Benner’s Farm, 56 Gnarled Hollow Road, E. Setauket on Feb. 17 and 18 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Learn how to make maple syrup, help care for the animals and more. Snacks provided. Bring lunch. $60 per day, $100 for both days. To register, call 631-689-8172 or visit www.bennersfarm.com.

Cold Spring Harbor Fish Hatchery

Cold Spring Harbor Fish Hatchery, 1660 Route 25A, Cold Spring Harbor will hold several winter break events from Feb. 17 to 21 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Make snow that won’t melt, make homemade ice cream and create slippery, sticky slime. Admission is $7 adults, $6 seniors, $5 kids ages 3 to 12. Call 516-692-6768.

Huntington Historical Society

Kids in grades 1 to 6 can join the Huntington Historical Society at the Conklin Barn, 2 High St., Huntington for a variety of hands-on history activities, including learning traditional weaving techniques and Presidents Day-themed crafts, games and activities on Feb. 17 and 18 from 9:30 a.m. to noon. Campers will go home with a piece of their very own hand-woven fabric. Fee is $35 per day. Call 631-427-7045.

Smithtown Historical Society 

Enjoy February break with the Smithtown Historical Society,  239 E. Main St., Smithtown from Feb. 18 to 21 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Enjoy a different theme each day including Kaleidoscope Fun, Mid Week Mardi Gras, Snow Day and National Biscuit Day. Fee is $30 per day. To register, call 631-265-6768.

Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum

From Feb. 17 to 20 from 10 a.m. to noon children in grades K through 3 can take part in several workshops at the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum’s Learning Center, 180 Little Neck Road, Centerport. Participants will take tours of the museum’s collections and then create a related craft including an owl diorama, animal portrait and a mixed-media deep-sea collage. $20 per child. To register, call 631-843-5539.

Ward Melville Heritage Organization

On Feb. 18 to 20 from 10 to 11:30 a.m., the WMHO’s Educational & Cultural Center, 97P Main St., Stony Brook hosts a Puppet Making workshop for ages 6 to 11 with acclaimed artist Liz Joyce ($100 for all three days) and Music Mornings with Johnny Cuomo for ages 3 to 5 ($85 for all three days, $30 per day). To register, call 631-751-2244.

By Heidi Sutton

In perfect timing with winter break, DreamWork’s “Shrek Jr.” along with all its fairy-tale creatures have taken up residence at the Smithtown Center for the Performing Arts in Smithtown. The fun musical runs through March 1. 

Based on the popular 2001 animated film and picture book by William Steig, the show is an edited version of the Tony award-winning Broadway musical but still features many of the beloved scenes and songs we have come to love. 

With book and lyrics by David Lindsay-Abaire and music by Jeanine Tesori, it tells the story of how a “little ogre came to live in the swamp with a beautiful princess and his best friend, and a gingerbread man, and a very handsome puppet, and an elf, and a fairy godmother, and a witch, and a crossdressin’ wolf and three pigs!” In short, if you are a fan of classic fairy tales, you’ll love this show.

It’s Shrek’s 7th birthday and, as with all ogres, his parents tell him he must move out and find his own place to live. (“Watch out for men with pitchforks!”) Shrek settles into a swamp far, far away and life is good until all of the fairy-tale creatures in the kingdom of Duloc are exiled to his land by order of Lord Farquaad, the ruthless ruler of Duloc.

In order to get his land back, Shrek strikes a deal with Farquaad to rescue Princess Fiona from a tower guarded by a fire-breathing dragon and bring her back to be Farquaad’s queen. Along with the wisecracking Donkey, the ogre embarks on a journey to save the fair maiden and learns valuable lessons, including what makes us special is what makes us strong.

Directed and choreographed by Tommy Ranieri, the talented young cast of 23 embraces this 2½-hour large-scale production and leaves us wanting more. Lead actors Hunter Pszybylski, Leah Kelly and Luke Ferrari shine in their roles as Shrek, Fiona and Donkey; and Luke Hampson steals the show as the tiny terror Lord Farquaad. 

As with all musicals, the songs are the heart of the show, and what wonderful songs they are from the opening group number, “Big Bright Beautiful World”; to Pszybyiski’s beautiful solo “Who I’d Be”; Kelly’s “Morning Person” complete with tap and Irish step dancing; to the finale “This Is Our Story”; and a rousing rendition of Smash Mouth’s “I’m a Believer” to send us on our way.

The multiple costumes of fairy-tale characters, designed by Chakira Doherty, cut no corners and wait until you see the dragon! The elaborate sets by Tim Golebiewski, makeup and special effects tie the entire production together nicely.

SPAC has presented a wonderful opportunity for young adults to hone their craft. This is their story — let them share it with you. Meet Shrek, Fiona and Donkey in the lobby after the show for photos and autographs.

Smithtown Center for the Performing Arts, 2 E. Main St., Smithtown presents “Shrek The Musical Jr.” through March 1. Performances are held on Saturdays and Sundays at various times and Feb. 17 to 21 at 1 p.m. for Presidents Week break. Children’s theater continues with “Moana Jr.” from April 10 to 19. All seats are $18. For further information or to order tickets, call 631-724-3700 or visit www.smithtownpac.org.

For more photos from the show, visit www.tbrnewsmedia.com.

Photos by Courtney Braun/ SPAC

Photo from Northwell Health

Huntington Hospital has achieved a prestigious four-star rating from the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services in its annual 2020 hospital rankings, its comprehensive quality measurement report released on Jan. 30.

CMS hospital rankings of more than 4,000 Medicare-certified facilities nationwide take into account over 50 performance measures that analyze health care outcomes such as readmission rates, patient experience, safety and quality of care. CMS’ hospital rankings are considered among the best hospital report cards to help inform where to receive medical care.

Huntington Hospital’s CMS rating follows its recognition as New York State’s highest-ranked community hospital by U.S. News & World Report in its 2019-20 Best Hospital list.

“From redesigning our Center for Mothers & Babies to include all private rooms for a better patient experience to consistently setting and meeting high benchmarks for health care quality, we at Huntington Hospital take our patients’ needs to heart as we thoughtfully provide them with world-class care,” said Dr. Nick Fitterman, executive director of Huntington Hospital. 

“We are always looking at ways to not only provide the necessary health care that our Suffolk County residents require, but to go above and beyond to give them the best medical care available,” he added.

Huntington Hospital nurses have received the highest nursing honor – Magnet designation – a Long Island record four times in a row.  The hospital’s orthopedics program has also been consistently been ranked by the Joint Commission with the gold seal of approval for its hip and knee replacements and was among the top 1 percent nationally in orthopedics, according to U.S. News. 

Huntington Hospital has also been designated as a Center of Excellence in Minimally Invasive Gynecology and a Center of Excellence in Robotic Surgery by the Surgical Review Corporation.

For more information about Huntington Hospital, go to www.huntington.northwell.edu or call 631-351-2000.

Carol Gomes. Photo from SBU

Carol A. Gomes has been appointed chief executive officer of Stony Brook University Hospital. The announcement was made on Feb. 4. Gomes has been serving as chief operating officer for SBUH for the past six years and recently took on additional responsibilities as interim chief executive officer. 

A recognized authority in the health care industry, with more than 35 years of experience, Gomes has served a majority of that time at Stony Brook University Hospital. 

 “In every position Carol has held at Stony Brook University Hospital, she has led with passion for transformative health care and championed delivering the highest quality of care to our patients,” said SBU Interim President Michael Bernstein.

 “This is an exciting time for Stony Brook Medicine as our upward trajectory continues into the future in terms of health system growth, reputation, quality outcomes and embracing a talented team of professionals delivering extraordinary and cutting-edge care,” said Gomes. “It is an honor and privilege to be part of this dynamic team.”

Photo from NYCBS

New York Cancer & Blood Specialists opened its newest cancer care center at 750 Old Country Road, Riverhead on Jan. 20.

The new center offers cutting-edge medical technology and equipment including advanced PET/CT scans and state-of-the-art radiation therapy, clinical trials and an on-site pharmacy where patients can pick up their medication after visiting their doctor and process laboratory tests.

“Through 40 years of treating and actually listening to our patients, we understand their needs and what they want -— top-quality treatment, and compassionate services 24 hours a day,” said Dr. Jeffrey Vacirca, CEO of NYCBS. “As a comprehensive oncology center, we want our patients to have what they need when they need it, and closer to home — now we can do it, all under one roof in Riverhead.”

The center also offers a wellness program staffed by nurse educators, psychologists and other experts ready to provide nutritional, emotional, financial and psychological guidance for any NYCBS patient. 

“This is a proud moment for those dedicated to comprehensive cancer care,” Vacirca added. “We offer appointments to patients within 24 hours of their diagnosis. We’ve grown, and so has our ability to treat those in need. Tomorrow brings hope … and together … we’re conquering cancer together.”

For more information, call 631-751-3000, or visit www.nycancer.com.

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By Heidi Sutton

Chocolate, roses, heart-shaped notes — what’s not to like about Valentine’s Day? This sweet celebration, which happens every year on February 14, is all about spreading the love. Still don’t have plans for this special day? Check out these 14 events happening right in our own backyard.

1. Paint Night at Muse 

Muse Paintbar, 134 Main St., Harbor Square Mall, Port Jefferson will host a Paint Night from 7:30 to 10 p.m. Painting of the night will be ‘Lover’s Notch.’ $35 per person. Call 631-938-7800 to reserve your spot.

2. Williams Honor in concert

Join the Northport Arts Coalition for its Starlight Coffeehouse concert featuring Williams Honor at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, 270 Main St., Northport at 7:30 p.m. Comprised of singer/songwriter Reagan Richards and songwriter/producer Gordon Brown, the group is the Jersey Shore’s first ever country duo. Doors open and open mic sign up is at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance at www.northportarts.org, $20 at the door.

3. Beatles love songs

The Smithtown Center for the Performing Arts, 2 E. Main St., Smithtown welcomes The Cast of Beatlemania in concert at 8 p.m. Enjoy the most famous love songs written by the Beatles. Bring a date for this beautiful Valentine’s Day performance. Tickets are $50. Call 631-724-3700 or visit www.smithtownpac.org to order.

4. An evening of jazz

The Jazz Loft, 275 Christian Avenue in Stony Brook presents “Here’s to the Ladies!” featuring The Jazz Loft All Stars, with Ray Anderson, on trombone; Tom Manuel on cornet/vocals; Peter Coco on bass; Steve Salerno on guitar; and Chris Smith on drums. Two performances will be held – one at 6 p.m. and another at 8:30 p.m. The venue will supply the live jazz music, champagne and chocolate. You supply the romance. Tickets are $40 for adults, $35 for seniors, and $30 for students. To order, call 631-751-1895 or visit www.thejazzloft.org.

Photo from CAC

5. ‘Casablanca’ at the CAC

Of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world, she walks into mine. The Cinema Arts Centre, 423 Park Ave., Huntington invites all lovebirds and lonelyhearts to spend Valentine’s Day with them revisiting a classic, “Casablanca,” at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 per person, $15 members and includes a reception with champagne and chocolate-covered sweets. Call 631-423-7610 or visit www.cinemaartscentre.org to order.

6. WinterTide concert 

The Port Jefferson Village Center, 101-A E. Broadway, Port Jefferson presents a groovy Valentine’s Day concert with the Grand Folk Railroad from 7:30 to 9 p.m. as part of its WinterTide series. Free. Questions? Call 473-5220 or visit www.gpjac.org.

7. Grounds and Sounds concert

Grounds and Sounds Cafe, UUFSB, 380 Nicolls Road, East Setauket hosts a concert featuring Martin Swinger at 8 p.m. With a three octave vocal range and a talent for writing award-winning songs, Swinger is a veteran of 40 years of performing award-winning original songs, traditional and contemporary Americana music as well as swing and jazz standards. Tickets are $15 per person, available in advance at www.groundsandsounds.org or at the door. For more information, call 631-751-0297.

8. An evening with Sal ‘The Voice’

The Suffolk Theater, 118 E. Main St., Riverhead presents an evening of wine, song, and the flawless vocals of Sal “The Voice” Valentinetti at 8 p.m. Influenced by the classic crooner sounds of Dean Martin, Tony Bennett and Frank Sinatra, Valentinetti took the nation by storm on America’s Got Talent. Tickets are $65 per person. To order, call 727-4343 or visit www.suffolktheater.com.

Photo by Michael DeCristofaro

9. ‘Million Dollar Quartet’

Catch the 8 p.m. performance of “Million Dollar Quartet” at the John W. Engeman Theater, 250 Main St., Northport. The popular show, now extended to March 8, features a treasure trove of hits from Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Elvis Presley including  “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Fever,” “Walk The Line,” “Hound Dog,” “Who Do You Love?” and “Great Balls of Fire.” Tickets are $75 per person. To order, call 631-261-2900 or visit www.engemantheater.com.

10. Valentine Challenge 

Harmony Vineyards, 169 Harborview Road, Head of the Harbor presents a Valentine Challenge at 8 p.m. Lovers, friends and wine drinkers are invited to join them for a fun night of trivia, charades, puzzles and a whole lot more! No more than 4 to a group. Winners will receive a bottle of wine and a gift card. Photo booth and surprises! Free admission. Email Nita@harmonyvineyards.com or call 631-291-9900 to sign up!

11. HeARTS for ART

Fall in love with art at the HeARTS for ART Valentine’s Day event at the Heckscher Museum, 2 Prime Ave., Huntington from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pick up a heart and explore the art in the Museum. Fall in love with a piece of art! If you like, decorate your heart however you wish — write your name, the name of the artwork or artist, or describe what made you fall in love. Snap a photo of your heart placed beneath your artwork crush, post it to your favorite social media site, and make sure to tag with #heckschermuseum and #heartsforart. The Museum will repost select photos on social media! Free with museum admission. Call 631-351-3250.

12. Comedy with Ron White

Comedian Ron “Tater Salad” White, who first rose to fame as the cigar-smoking, scotch-drinking funnyman from the Blue Collar Comedy Tour phenomenon, heads to the Paramount, 370 New York Huntington at 7 p.m. Over the past 15 years, White has been one of the top grossing stand up comedians on tour in the country. For ticket information, call 631-673-7300 or visit www.paramountny.com.

13. Valentine dinner dance

Time to put on your dancing shoes! East Wind Long Island, 5720 Route 25A, Wading River presents a Be My Valentine Dinner Dance in the Grand Ballroom from 7 to 11 p.m. Enjoy a four hour premium open bar, live DJ music and a four course dinner including heart shaped ravioli and surf and turf. $69.95 per person for table for two seating. For reservations, call 631-929-6585.

14. Tribute to Buddy Holly 

The Bellport Playhouse, 215 S. Country Road,  Bellport presents “Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story” at 8 p.m. featuring over 20 of buddy holly’s greatest hits including “That’ll Be The Day,” ‘Peggy Sue’, ‘Everyday’, ‘Oh Boy’, ‘Not Fade Away’, ‘Rave On’ and ‘Raining In My Heart’, plus Ritchie Valens’ ‘La Bamba’ and the Big Bopper’s ‘Chantilly Lace’. For tickets, call 631-286-1133 or visit www.thegateway.org.

 

Chloe

MEET CHLOE!

This week’s shelter pet is Chloe, a 4-year-old female domestic shorthair mix at the Smithtown Animal Shelter. 

Chloe is a special girl with special needs. She suffers from a seizure disorder that is easily managed by two separate medications and biannual blood work. Her ideal furever home is a caring, low-stress environment where she can bask in the sunlight, take in the occasional cat nap and purr through endless petting. 

Chloe is wonderful around other cats and children and would make a great addition to a loving family.

The Smithtown Animal & Adoption Shelter is located at 410 Middle Country Road, Smithtown. Walk-in hours are currently Monday to Friday,  8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Saturday from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and Sundays by appointment only. For more information, call 631-360-7575

A crowd of several hundred spectators booed and groaned as Suffolk County’s most famous weatherman’s prognostication was read at the Holtsville Ecology Site on Feb. 2, Groundhog Day. At 7:25 a.m., Brookhaven Town Councilman Neil Foley announced Holtsville Hal, the groundhog, had seen his shadow when he awoke Sunday morning, meaning six more weeks of winter for residents in the Town of Brookhaven.

While Nassau County’s fellow woodchuck, Malverne Mel, agreed with Hal, neither Staten Island Chuck, upstate’s Dunkirk Dave or Pennsylvania’s Punxsutawney Phil, saw their shadows.

According to the peculiar Pennsylvania Dutch tradition, if a groundhog sees its shadow after emerging from his burrow on Groundhog Day, there will be six more weeks of winter weather; if not, spring should arrive early. 

Superintendent of Highways Dan Losquadro, who was not able to attend the event this year, issued a statement on Monday. “I’m always hopeful Holtsville Hal will not see his shadow and assist with my snow removal budget,” he said. “However, if Hal’s prediction proves to be correct, the Brookhaven Highway Department remains ready to handle whatever Mother Nature decides to send our way.”

After the event, festivalgoers were treated to bagels and hot chocolate and were able to visit the 100 animals that call the Ecology Site home including deer, horses, goats, llamas, hawks, a black bear and buffalo.

“I want to thank everyone who took the time to come out and take part in this fun, annual tradition, including Councilman Neil Foley, who was the honorary Mayor for the Day, as well as the Holtsville Fire Department, 7-Eleven, Bagel Lovers, WBLI and Max 103.1 FM,” said Losquadro.

All photos by Kristen D’Andrea/ Town of Brookhaven Highway Dept.