Authors Posts by Jim Hastings

Jim Hastings


Daylight Saving Time may be going away for good

On Tuesday March 15, the U.S. Senate passed legislation that would make daylight saving time permanent. That doesn’t mean it’s a done deal. The House of Representatives still has to meet and agree to pass the bill before it can go to President Joe Biden to sign. Also, it wouldn’t go into effect until 2023.

Be that as it may, we here at TBR News Media thought it would be interesting to see how people felt about the news, so we headed out to the streets of Port Jefferson on a sunny Friday afternoon to see what local passersby thought of the prospect of never having to move their clocks forward and back each year.

Here’s what they had to say:

Samantha Falese, West Islip 

“I love the sunshine. I’m a morning person, so when I get up, it might be a little bit darker, but I like the idea of coming home knowing it’s light out because I work about an hour away.”




Rachel Guglielmo, Port Jefferson 

“I’m looking forward to it staying like this. I like getting out of work and being in the sunlight instead of leaving work and it being all dark out and making me feel like my day is all over. I’m more motivated when it’s light out.”




Connie Poulos, Selden 

“I’m happy about it. If it’s like, so that it doesn’t get dark at 4 o’clock, that would be nice. I’m looking forward to more sunlight.”





Gwen Coady with grandson Jack, Saint James 

“My husband does construction. If he works later in the summer, it stinks. If it’s daylight, he keeps on working. The other way, he keeps more of a schedule. But I do like the daylight savings because I love to be outside.”




Allison Marin, Port Jefferson 

“I think I like the changing back and forth because it kind of gives you something to look forward to that day — when you know you’re getting the hour back. I don’t love losing it necessarily, but when you get the hour back, you kind of feel like you won. You know? Like you want to do something big with your hour. You have to make it worth something. I think it’s kind of fun.”



Stephen Malusa, Selden 

“I like it. Finally get rid of that nonsense. Changing back and forth is just an annoyance.”


Local gas pump showing the surging price of gasoline.

The skyrocketing price of gas has hit record highs here on Long Island and across the entire United States. TBR News Media took to the streets of Port Jefferson and Setauket to find out how local residents were feeling about it all.

Photo by Jim Hastings

Crista Davis, Mount Sinai

“We’re pretty local, thankfully. I don’t have a far commute, but if I did, that’s something that would surely affect other aspects of my life. I’m fortunate that I live close to everything, but I feel bad for people who have no choice.”




Photo by Jim Hastings

Kenny Dorsa, Selden

“We’re pretty local, thankfully. I don’t have a far commute, but if I did, that’s something that would surely affect other aspects of my life. I’m fortunate that I live close to everything, but I feel bad for people who have no choice.”




Photo by Jim Hastings

Mitch Steinberg, Huntington

“It’s definitely going to make us consider our finances. Conserve a little bit. But we still have to drive to work and do the things we have to do.”





Photo by Jim Hastings

Abby Buller, Port Jefferson Station

Owner of Village Boutique, Port Jefferson

“From my business point of view, all of my wholesalers are complaining about their cost rising and having to pay more to employees. So, the higher cost of employees, gas, oil, freight. If I hear anything more about the cost of freight. When my wholesaler increases my cost of $7 an item, I have no choice. I have to pass that $7 on. I used to live in Queens and drive to Port Jefferson every day. I thank God I don’t have to do that, because that would have been, at these prices, a decision to close this store. 


Photo by Jim Hastings

Walter Martinez, Shirley

“I pay now double what I was paying last year, but I don’t blame it on the president and I don’t blame it on the government. Everything is just going up. And now with this war thing it’s just getting worse. It is what it is. You just gotta stand by and hope for the best. You know, we gotta pay the price. I do regret that I didn’t go for an electric car before.”









After two years of cancellations due to the COVID-19 pandemic, folks young and old were finally able to enjoy their beloved St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Hosted by the Friends of St. Patrick, the 70-year-old tradition returned to the streets of Miller Place and Rocky Point where a sea of green made of marching band members, bagpipers, local fire departments, public figures, vintage cars and more flowed past waves of revellers.  

Michael Faughnan stands outside the AOH Div. 9 hall where he gives free bagpipe lessons. Photo by Jim Hastings

Come one, come all to the Ancient Order of Hibernians Div. 9 hall at 172 North Country Road in Mount Sinai. People from around the area are being treated each Sunday to free lessons in the centuries-old art of playing the bagpipes by prominent local piper Michael Faughnan.

It all began in the Fall of 2021 when the famed New York Metro pipe band founding member and instructor for the Nassau County Police Emerald Society Pipe Band contacted Div. 9’s Dan Sharkey and Brian Nealis to gauge their interest in an instructional program. 

“I wanted to give back, so I reached out to the Hibernians in Mount Sinai where I live and told them that with COVID and all the activities I’m involved in being on pause, if there’s any interest in learning to play, then to let me know,” Faughnan said. “Dan Sharkey and Brian Nealis have their finger on the pulse there and the organization wants to give back to the community. That’s why I wanted to help.” 

For many, a check off their bucket list

Whether they were first-timers, second-timers, or old-timers, attendees at this Sunday’s lesson all came for a common reason: To learn a bit about the instrument that’s been calling to them for years. As they gathered around the table with practice pipes known as chanters in hand, Faughnan began to teach them. He showed them how to properly hold the instrument, where to place their fingers and how to blow. First in unison, then solo, then in pairs. 

Long-time Hibernians, Mike Lane from Miller Place and Mike Drennan of Selden always had an interest in bagpipes. “We’d been involved in going to the parades for years,” said Lane, who had been taking the class since the beginning. “It was kind of a bucket list thing to try. And then Mike Faughnan got in touch with us.”

Drennan said this was his first time holding the chanter. He laughed when relaying what his daughter had said to him: “Dad, I love you, but I don’t think you can do it.” Drennan’s reply? “Challenge accepted.”

Teacher and jazz musician Charlie Buonasera takes up his chanter. Photo by Jim Hastings

Charlie Buonasera, a jazz musician from Coram who teaches in the Bronx, had been given a chanter years earlier while bartending at an Irish pub during college but never actually attempted to play it until he saw the flyer. “I have this chanter sitting here so why not?” he said. “It’s been fun so far. It’s just something I wanted to pick up, to show off maybe.”

“It takes over a year working on the practice chanter to learn the finger work needed to play music before actually starting to work on the bagpipes,” said Tom Lamb, a piper who started coming to the meetings to strengthen his fundamentals. “It’s very encouraging to see the progress being made with people who are just starting to learn. We have a few people already starting on the bagpipe, which is not a cheap instrument to buy.”

Lamb said that bagpipes are an expensive hobby. Each instrument costs between $1,000 and $3,000. The rest of the uniform, including a kilt, can run up to $1,500.

The goal for many in the group is to get to a level where they can perform during next year’s St. Patrick’s Day season, but for others it’s a chance to experience something they’d always thought about.

Larry Fischer from Miller Place started a few weeks ago after noticing the ad at his firehouse. “I always thought I’d like to learn to play the bagpipes,” he said. “Everybody kind of laughed at me, but I saw the ad and I came down.”

Librarian Kerry Crovello gets fingers-on instruction from Michael Faughnan. Photo by Jim Hastings

“I love the bagpipes and always watched the parades,” said Toni Kaste, a fiddle player from Eastport. “It was on my bucket list of things to do.”

“I always wanted to play,” said Kerry Crovello, a librarian from Port Jefferson. “I’d been to Ireland — and can’t wait to go back. I had a friend from years ago who built his own bagpipes and it always stuck in my mind. And then I saw the flyer.”

Dan Cavanaugh from East Setauket came because of his grandson. “I wanted to keep up,” he said. “He decided to try and learn the bagpipes — something I’d thought about for years. So, it spurred me to go try and learn.” 

Who are the AOH?

The Ancient Order of Hibernians is America’s oldest Irish Catholic fraternal organization. It was founded in 1836 to help Irish immigrants arriving in the U.S. It has divisions all over the country and continues to support and promote Irish culture through civic participation in charitable causes.

Div. 9’s Mike Lane, on right, shows his fellow Hibernian Mike Drennan where to place his fingers on the chanter. Photo by Jim Hastings

Ancient Order of Hibernians Division 9 Port Jefferson NY, its official name, is a smaller group than others by comparison, but according to Faughnan, their heart is just as big. He hopes that with programs like his and others, their outlet can grow and they can build on their mission to continue doing good while supporting Irish culture.

According to Faughnan, his Sunday sessions aren’t so much a class but more of a club. So, if you want to join the club, send an email to [email protected], or call Dan Sharkey at 631-922-0151.

Spotlight on Michael Faughnan

The 61-year-old father of 3 from Mount Sinai has spent his life playing the bagpipes — casually and competitively. He ran a program in Babylon at the Ancient Order of Hibernians for over 20 years with the Saffron Kilts Pipe Band, which had over 100 players in the organization and competed all over the world and performed at many high-profile events and venues, including at the White House. 

Faughnan took a step back from performing after having his children. In 2010, his students started a band in New York City called New York Metro Pipe Band. He soon joined in as a founding member without the pressure of being the pipe major. They were joined by top tier bagpipers from all around the area and eventually traveled to Scotland where they won the world championship. They’ve been consistent winners at contests in the U.S., Canada and Scotland. 

Michael Faughnan demonstrates the proper finger and blowing techniques on his bagpipe practice chanter. Photo by Jim Hastings

At 8 years old, Faughnan and his siblings were introduced to the bagpipes by world champion Scottish bagpiper Stewart Robertson, whom his parents knew, and their lives were changed forever.

“We were kids. We didn’t know any better,” he said in reference to playing the pipes during his childhood. “We went with the flow and enjoyed the journey and thought it was normal until you looked back and realized there weren’t a lot of other kids doing that. We traveled, competed, experienced success and got in front of people to entertain, building confidence at every step — all traits that help out in every aspect of life.” 

“It’s gotten me everywhere — playing the bagpipe and being good at it,” said Faughnan. “It got me a scholarship to Iona College where I was pipe major from 1978-1982. I got my career as an investment banker through playing the bagpipes.”

It also gave him the chance to record music in the studio, both with his band on their own albums, and as a studio musician for such famed artists as Van Morrison, Sting, Clannad and The Chieftains. To challenge himself, Faughnan joined a high-end band in Ireland. Working remotely in investment banking allows him to travel back and forth regularly. “I’ve been practicing with the band 2 or 3 times a week every other month for the last year just to compete this summer in the tournaments in Ireland and Scotland.”

Faughnan is involved with many bands in the New York tri state area. “They’ll hire me as a coach to come in and work on different things to help them sound better, to play in unison and to grow as musicians,” he said. “While not every band has the same musical expertise, it’s great to see them out there. They’re doing it because of their passion.”

He’s also busy playing and rehearsing with New York Metro Pipe Band in preparation for competing in Montreal at the North American Championships; the World Championships in Glasgow, Scotland; and the All-Irelands in Dublin. They will be performing on the Fox & Friends morning program on Saint Patrick’s Day. Faughnan himself can be found playing solo on March 19 at Peconic County Brewing in Riverhead at 3 p.m. and Port Bistro & Pub in Port Jefferson at 5 p.m.

Photo from Pixabay

By Jim Hastings

The recent invasion of Ukraine by Russia sent shockwaves around the world. The images of troops, tanks and bombed-out buildings have left many feeling enraged, frustrated and helpless. TBR News Media took to the streets of Port Jefferson and Stony Brook Village to get local residents’ perspectives on the situation. 


Photo by Jim Hastings

Debra Saparito, Mount Sinai

“It’s going to affect us as a country, because we can’t have someone just bow to another. We allow that to happen in one portion of the world, then everybody’s going to think, ‘Well, we can do that too.’ We have to step up as a world, whether they’re part of NATO or not. We have to do what’s right for the people. After what we’ve been through in the world in the last two or three years, we have to humble ourselves and look at each other as people.”



Brian Israel, Setauket

Photo by Jim Hastings

“It’s unbelievable that a sovereign country can be attacked, really, with no real consequences. Understanding that, you know, any military action could cause a larger conflict, but it’s just unbelievable that it was allowed to get this far.”







Photo by Jim Hastings

Kathryn Schoemmel, Setauket

“It’s scary. I have a family member over there. She’s still in Ukraine. She’s hoping she has a home to go back to.”

Pictured with husband Leon.






Photo by Jim Hastings

Ernesto Cruz, Coram

“It’s pretty senseless. It just seems like there’s no real reason to be doing this. We’re getting to a stage where, through social networking and all that, the world’s becoming that much more interconnected and it’s like, we can feel each other’s pain. It’s no longer what the government tells us or what the news tells us. We can see what each person is feeling, truly, through their words and their actions.”




Photo by Jim Hastings

Clara Rosenzweig, Poquott

“I definitely feel horrible for the people going through it. I think it’s completely unnecessary what’s happening over there and I hope that everything gets resolved.”