Authors Posts by TBR Staff

TBR Staff

TBR Staff
TBR News Media covers everything happening on the North Shore of Suffolk County from Cold Spring Harbor to Wading River.

File photo by Steve Silverman

The best part of the holiday season can be celebrating with family members and friends. Often alcohol can be part of these events, and if a person doesn’t drink responsibly, their actions can lead to dangers on the road.

If drinking is part of the festivities or ingesting any other substances that can impair the senses, a plan of action is needed before the partying begins. There is no excuse for driving under the influence.

For decades, we have been familiar with sage advice such as having a designated driver, planning to sleep over at the home where the party takes place or calling a taxi. Of course, sometimes the designated driver decides to join in on the fun or it turns out there is no room to sleep at the house. In many areas, especially in our towns, there aren’t many taxi services. Just a few years ago, scenarios such as the ones mentioned could spell danger if a person under the influence decided to get into the driver’s seat because they just wanted to go home.

Nowadays, there is no excuse for driving under the influence of any substance with phone apps to order car services such as Uber or Lyft providing another way to stay safe on the roads.

According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, better known as MADD, there are more than 300,000 drinking and driving incidents a day in this country. According to the grassroots organization, in 2019 this reckless form of driving led to 10,142 deaths that year, which breaks down to almost 28 people killed a day. There are also 300,000 injuries a year due to drinking and driving, according to MADD.

All of these deaths and injuries could have been avoided if the drivers who caused them had a plan before drinking. And, let’s not forget, everyone can play a part in keeping impaired drivers off the road. When hosting a party, make arrangements for your guests who will be indulging themselves. Keep in mind the Suffolk County Social Host Law, which is primarily intended to deter underage drinking parties or gatherings where adults knowingly allow minors to drink alcohol or alcoholic beverages.

The holiday season is a time for celebrating the accomplishments of the past year and the promises of a new year. Let’s keep the roads in our communities safe to enjoy during the next few weeks and all year long.

Director & Conductor Eric Stewart

By Martina Matkovic

The Long Island Symphonic Choral Association (LISCA) and Island Chamber Players present a holiday concert of music from the baroque period on Saturday, Dec. 11 at 8 p.m.

A lovely venue, the Three Village Church, 322 Main St., Setauket, will host this exciting program which features works by Bach, Charpentier and well-known selections from Handel’s Messiah. Eric Stewart, director and conductor of both groups, will take the baton.

Singers love to sing. The hiatus from that beloved activity imposed upon the  members of the chorus has been a hardship for the performers as well as the audience. LISCA is back this holiday season, but reconfigured to chamber size for continued safety consideration. 

This March, 2022  LISCA is planning and hoping  to return to its’ full  complement of singers for a  seasonal concert.

On Dec. 11 the singers will be joined by the newly formed Island Chamber Players comprised of superb instrumentalists, including some from the graduate music program at Stony Brook University that have accompanied the chorus in past performances.  

Proof of vaccination and mask-wearing by all quests and performers will be required as recommended by the CDC and American Choral Directors Association.

Tickets costs will be $20 for general admission and $15 for seniors, available at the door or at Students are free. Live streaming of the concert will be available at no fee at For further information, please call 631-751-2743.

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Hyatt Regency Long Island. Photo from Hyatt website

Suffolk County Police Homicide Squad detectives are investigating the death of a Hauppauge hotel employee who died after falling from a window at the hotel Dec. 4.

David Lerner, an employee of the Hyatt Regency Long Island, located at 1717 Motor Parkway, was at work when he fell from an upper floor window to the ground at approximately 7:30 p.m., according to SCPD.

Lerner, 41, of Holbrook, was transported to Stony Brook University Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating.

Detectives are asking anyone with information on the incident to call the Homicide Squad at 631-852-6392.

Photo by Fred Drewes


Fred Drewes snapped this most unusual photo in early November of a female praying mantis with Mount Sinai Harbor in the background.

He writes, “I spotted the praying mantis on the railing of my deck. The mantis seemed to linger, perhaps chilled by the early morning coolness. The Fisher Price worker has been part of my ‘stuff’ reminding me of my adult children’s favorites toys  of 40 or so years ago. On a whim, I placed the worker on the rail next to the mantis and took this photograph. Much to my surprise the mantis seemed to ‘chat’ for a while before taking off to look for a proper mate.”
Send your Photo of the Week to [email protected]

Jefferson Ferry

Part one of three

Over its 20 years in existence, Jefferson’s Ferry has been home to a significant number of accomplished and creative older adults who have been groundbreakers, innovators, educators and artists. All were original thinkers with a desire to do something that hadn’t been done before, and many of these residents wrote books about their work, which can be found in the Jefferson’s Ferry library collection.

Gerhart Friedlander

Gerhart Friedlander and Barbara Strongin: scientist and activist   

Gerhart Friedlander and his wife, Barbara Strongin, were among the first residents of Jefferson’s Ferry when it opened in 2001. He was a nuclear chemist who emigrated to the United States in 1936 from Munich, Germany, when the Nazis forbade Jews from attending university. Friedlander studied at the University of California, Berkeley, receiving his doctorate in 1942. After gaining American citizenship in 1943, he was recruited to work on the Manhattan Project at Los Alamos, New Mexico. He later worked at Brookhaven National Laboratory for more than 30 years, conducting groundbreaking research on how high-energy particles trigger nuclear reactions. Friedlander also co-authored the textbook “Nuclear and Radiochemistry,” considered a classic in its field, with Manhattan Project colleague Joseph W. Kennedy. The book has been translated into 18 languages, and over the years, was updated twice with other co-authors. He received honorary degrees from many universities and countries and was an active elected member of the National Academy of Sciences.

Friedlander died in 2009 at the age of 93. 

Barbara Strongin

Strongin has spent her adult life dedicated to improving the lives of women and girls on Long Island. She met her husband when he was the chair of the board and she was the chief executive officer of Planned Parenthood of Suffolk County. They both received the Family Planning Advocates of New York State award. One of three founding members of the Women’s Fund of Long Island, Strongin was also an adviser and contributor to the Herstory Writers Workshop. She has co-authored curricula and articles on the Jewish perspective of human sexuality and has been honored by the New York Civil Liberties Union (Suffolk County Chapter) and Family Planning Advocates of New York State. Also, she won in 2011 the Good Neighbor award from The Village Times Herald.

Strongin and Friedlander jointly received the Allard K. Lowenstein Memorial Award from the American Jewish Congress, Long Island Chapter, and were recognized by Newsday as “Long Islanders of the Century: Everyday Heroes.” 

Strongin continues to reside in her independent living cottage at Jefferson’s Ferry. 

Joyce Edward: author, advocate, activist

Joyce Edward enjoyed a long career as a respected and influential social worker psychoanalyst, teacher, writer and activist. The co-editor and co-author of several books showing the value of psychoanalytic theory in social work practice as well as in the analytic consulting room, she also authored a book on her own, “The Sibling Relationship.”

Joyce Edward

Edward holds a Master of Social Work from Case Western Reserve University and earned post-master’s certificates in psychoanalysis and psychotherapy.

“Therapists seek to help a patient understand what’s in their way, what’s keeping them from a congenial marriage, for example, or from exploring career options,” she said. “A therapist is a partner in the work. We do not tell you what to do but help identify what may be blocking you and what you can do for yourself to move past these obstacles.”

Edward attended Antioch College in Ohio, attracted by its then unusual work study program. With the intention of becoming an advertising copywriter, Edward was placed in a salesclerk position at Macy’s as part of her work experience. She was uncomfortable in the post and quickly realigned her course, gravitating toward social work after helping Southerners who were recruited to come to work in a bomber plant up North find housing during World War II. At home she was exposed to acts of kindness, generosity and caring for those less fortunate.

“My aunt, who was a social worker during the Depression, would say of the people she helped, ‘They are just people like us.’ At Antioch, there was an emphasis on helping others. For example, as students we helped integrate a barbershop and the local movie theater.”

Edward did not intend being a practicing analyst. Balancing motherhood and career, she first volunteered at a newly founded small private school for emotionally disturbed children. As the school grew, so did her role.

“It was a major and central working part of my life for 13 years and exposed me to psychoanalytic training,” she said. “As the social worker on the clinical team, I wanted more than a handmaiden role. I questioned the prevailing theory at the time that the cause of autism in children was ‘refrigerator parents’ who were cold and did not connect with their children. I saw the ‘coldness,’ when it was observed, as frequently being the result of living with an autistic child, whose needs are tremendous and time consuming. I realized that I had to get more training to gain prestige and acceptance of my ideas, so I enrolled in an analytic training course of study.”

Upon publishing an article on her thoughts and observations, Edward was asked to write a book on the subject. She wrote “Separation-Individuation” collaboratively with two colleagues, with each contributor writing several chapters. The book was well received and provided the basis for greater discussion and ideas about the developmental process that led to subsequent studies, articles and books.

After 13 years at the school, Edward took a position in the Freeport Public Schools in a program funded by Democratic President Lyndon Johnson’s “war on poverty.” When the funding for this program ceased, she opened a small private practice and continued with this until she retired. During these years she also taught in the schools of social work at Adelphi University, Hunter College and Smith College as well as in two analytic training programs.

With the introduction of managed care into the mental health system, Edward and her colleagues founded the National Coalition of Mental Health Professionals & Consumers. The organization sought to restore privacy and to return to the clinician treating a patient their decision-making role.

Edward has lived in an independent living apartment at Jefferson’s Ferry for more than 14 years. Over that time, she has served on the residents council and the health committee, the social activities committee, the education committee as well as others. Through Stony Brook University’s OLLI program, she enjoys courses via Zoom, which currently include a political discussion newsroom, a music course with essayist David Bouchier and a class on the work of Leonard Bernstein.

An avid reader, she participates in book club discussions, one at the Emma S. Clark Memorial Library and the other at Jefferson’s Ferry. Recent reads include “Hamnet” by Maggie O’Farrell, “White Teeth” by Zadie Smith and works by Edith Wharton, George Eliot, George Packer and Anne Applebaum.

According to Edward, the best thing about Jefferson’s Ferry is the people, the residents and the staff — there are many interesting, knowledgeable and accomplished people. “More importantly is the understanding and support that we offer each other,” she said. “The residents have an appreciation of each other gained through our ages and experiences and have come to recognize what’s important in life.”

Linda Kolakowski is vice president of Residential Life at Jefferson’s Ferry Life Plan Community in South Setauket.

Ginger Cookies

Showstopping Cookies with a Crunch

( Sweet treats are a favorite food, especially when they have a unique or unusual twist that makes them stand out from the crowd. When a dessert isn’t the classic chocolate or vanilla flavor, it can pique eaters’ interest. Cupcakes, macaroons and even pies have some intense flavors, however, it’s hard to top the delightful taste of these Fresh Ginger Cookies.

They are sweet and sugary with the perfect amount of ginger. Baked until golden brown, this dessert is a showstopper for family events and celebrations alike. Even the little ones will love to munch on this sweet treat with fresh, appealing flavor.

From parties to picnics, these cookies can be a hit. They are simple to make, don’t take much time to bake and are unique enough to bring along to nearly any occasion. With ground and fresh ginger, these cookies are equally as appetizing as they are satisfying and sure to turn heads in the kitchen.

Fresh Ginger Cookies

Yield: Serves 24


2  cups flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup salted butter, softened

1 cup, plus 3 tablespoons, sugar, divided

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 egg

1/4 cup grated fresh ginger


Heat oven to 350 F. In medium bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, ground ginger, cinnamon and salt. Set aside. In stand mixer, beat butter, 1 cup sugar and brown sugar until fluffy. Add egg and fresh ginger; beat until combined. Gradually add dry ingredients to mixer until combined. In small bowl, add remaining sugar. Using spoon, portion out dough, roll into balls then roll in sugar. Arrange balls on baking sheet at least 1 inch apart. Bake 14 minutes, or until edges are golden brown. Transfer cookies to cooling rack and cool completely

See video here.

Find more sweet treat recipes at

If you made this recipe at home, use #MyCulinaryConnection on your favorite social network to share your work.


METRO photo

Poinsettias and their rich red, white or variegated color schemes are the ideal backdrop for Christmas celebrations. In fact, poinsettias are among the most popular decorative flowers during the holiday season. According to the 2013 USDA Floriculture Statistics report, poinsettias accounted for about one-quarter (23 percent) of all flowering potted plant sales that year. Roughly 34 million poinsettia plants are sold in a given season.

Indigenous to Central America, the plant was introduced to North America in the 1820s when Joel Roberts Poinsett, the first United States Minister to Mexico, brought the red-and-green plant back with him from a trip abroad. While millions of poinsettias will be purchased for the holiday season, many mistakenly think their utility ends once New Year’s Day has come and gone. But with proper care poinsettia plants can continue to thrive and bring warmth and beauty to a home long after the holiday decorations have been tucked away.

• Choose a hearty plant. Experts with the University of Vermont Extension Department of Plant and Soil Science say that many people mistake the plant’s leaves for its flowers. The red, white or pink bracts are actually modified leaves. The flowers of the plant are the yellow clustered buds in the center called “cyathia.” Choose poinsettia plants that have buds which are, ideally, not yet open.

• Keep the temperature consistent. Poinsettias prefer a room temperature between 60 and 68 F during the day and 10 degrees cooler at night. Humidity levels between 20 and 50 percent are ideal. Group plants on water-filled trays full of pebbles to help increase humidity levels.

• Place near sunlight. The United Kingdom-based Perrywood floral company advises placing poinsettia plants near a bright windowsill but not in direct sunlight. Do not let a poinsettia touch cold window panes. • Avoid drafts. The plants are sensitive to drafts and changes in temperature. So it’s best to keep poinsettias away from drafty doors, windows, radiators, or fireplaces.

• Don’t drown the roots. Wait until the surface of the compost dries out before watering the plant anew. Also, the decorative foil wrapper that covers pots can trap water and lead to root rot. Remove it or poke holes in the bottom to allow for drainage.

• Cut back plants. Come mid-March, cut back the plant by half to encourage new shoots, suggests the University of Illinois Extension. The plants also can be placed outside in the spring after the risk of frost has passed. Bring poinsettias back in around mid-September to early October to force them to bloom again.

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METRO photo

Giving to charity is a selfless endeavor that’s vital to the survival of countless nonprofit organizations across the globe. Without the generosity of donors, many charitable organizations would cease to exist, leaving the people they help vulnerable to illness and financial hardship. Fraud may be the furthest thing from donors’ minds, but it’s something charitable individuals must be aware of as they consider donating to charity.

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, charity fraud increases during the holiday season, when many people embrace the spirit of giving and seek to made end-of-year tax deductible gifts to their favorite charities. The FBI also warns that charity scams are common after disasters or tragedies, including pandemics. In fact, the Federal Trade Commission noted in September 2020 that Americans had lost more than $145 million to charity fraud related to the coronavirus in the first six months of the pandemic.

One measure all prospective donors should take is to learn the signs of charitable fraud. Many charity scams target seniors, but no one is entirely safe from charity fraud. AARP® notes that the following are some warning signs of charity fraud.

• Pressure to give: Reputable charities do not pressure prospective donors into giving. A strong, trustworthy charity will accept donations whenever donors choose to make them. Legitimate operations like the American Red Cross may heighten their solicitations after natural disasters, but such groups still will not try to pressure people into donating.

• Thanking donors for donations they don’t recall making: AARP® notes that some charitable fraud perpetrators will try to convince potential victims they have already given to a cause. This is done in an effort to lower potential victims’ resistance, giving them a false sense of security and the impression that a fraudulent operation is legitimate. If donors don’t recall donating to a specific charity, chances are strong they didn’t make such a donation and that the message of gratitude is merely a fishing expedition intended to reel in new victims.

• Requests for cash, gift cards or wire transfers: Cash, gifts and wire transfers are difficult to trace, which makes it easier for perpetrators of fraud to escape the authorities. Reputable charities will welcome donations made by personal check or credit card.

Perpetrators of charitable fraud prey on the vulnerability of well-meaning donors who simply want to support a good cause. Learning to spot signs of charitable fraud can provide an added measure of protection against the criminals behind such operations.

A Sweet Sauce to Savor

( There are few things better than festive holiday celebrations. Everyone is gathered around the table, ready to eat and enjoy the company. The atmosphere is joyful, the decorations are beautiful and the food is absolute perfection.

From warm casseroles to hearty proteins, most spreads are made of an array of colors with mouthwatering sides and desserts. However, there are some dishes the holidays just can’t happen without. One is a classic, traditional Sweet Cranberry Sauce. It’s popping with color and texture. Plus, it makes everything it tops taste just a little bit better.

This sauce is perfect for nearly any holiday celebration but is also a sweet treat that can be served over vanilla ice cream for dessert. It’s fruity with a hint of citrus and flavorful with a dash of ground cinnamon and a bit of ginger.

This recipe works well into the holiday season. It’s a timeless dish but with a fresh and tangy twist that’s perfect for both gatherings with many guests or simple nights at home with those leftovers you just can’t resist.

Find more recipes perfect for celebrating the holidays at

If you made this recipe at home, use #MyCulinaryConnection on your favorite social network to share your work.

Sweet Cranberry Sauce

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

Servings: 8


12 ounces cranberries

1 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup orange juice

1/2 cup water

1 1/2 tablespoons ginger paste

1/8 tablespoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons orange zest

vanilla ice cream (optional)


In large skillet over medium heat, combine cranberries, sugar, orange juice, water, ginger paste, salt, ground cinnamon and orange zest.

Bring to simmer. Stir until thickened to desired consistency, 15 minutes.

Cool 30 minutes. Transfer to bowl. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes. Serve alone or over vanilla ice cream, if desired.

Watch video here.