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By David Dunaief, M.D.

Dr. David Dunaief

Obesity is an ongoing struggle for many in the United States. If you, like many, are struggling to shed those extra “COVID-era pounds,” I’m sure you can relate.

Obesity is defined as a BMI (body mass index) of >30 kg/m2. More importantly, obesity can also be defined by excess body fat, which is more important than BMI.

While the medical community has known for some time that excess body fat contributes to poor health outcomes, it became especially visible during the first few rounds of COVID-19.

In the U.S., poor COVID-19 outcomes have been associated with obesity. In a study involving 5700 COVID-19 patients hospitalized in the New York City area, 41.7 percent were obese. The most common comorbidities contributing to hospitalization were obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes (1). In other words, obesity contributed to more severe symptoms.

In a study in China, results showed that those who were overweight were 86 percent more likely to have severe COVID-19 pneumonia, and that percentage increases to 142 percent when patients qualify as obese (2).

And though age is a risk factor for COVID-19, among those younger than 60 and obese, there is a two-times increased risk of being admitted to the hospital, according to a 3,615-patient study at NYU Langone Health (3).

While these studies were on early variants of COVID, the attention and wide-ranging research provide us with an interesting series of studies in how excess weight might impact progression of other acute respiratory diseases.

Why is the risk for severe COVID-19 higher with obesity? 

According to the prevailing theory, obesity may interfere with mechanical aspects of breathing, thus increasing airway resistance and making gas in exchange more difficult in the lung. It may also impede lung volume by exerting pressure on the lungs and may involve weaker muscles necessary for respiration (4).

Why does excess fat affect health outcomes? 

First, some who have elevated BMI may not have a significant amount of fat; they may have more innate muscle, instead. These people are not necessarily athletes. It’s just how they were genetically put together.

More than 25 percent of my patient population is “solidly built,” which means they have greater muscle mass, but also too much excess fat. Visceral fat, which is wrapped around the organs, including the lungs, is the most important.

Fat cells have adipokines, specific cell communicators that “talk” with other fat cells but also other systems such as the brain, immune system, muscles, and liver. Adipokines can be mediators of both inflammation and insulin resistance (5). It’s the inflammation among obese patients that could be the exacerbating factor for hospitalizations and severe illness, according to the author of a 4000-patient COVID-19 study (6). 

How can you reduce inflammation and lose excess fat?

In a randomized controlled trial with 75 participants comparing a plant-based diet to a control diet, there was a greater than 14 lbs. weight reduction and roughly 10 lbs. fat reduction over a 14-week period (7). Of the weight lost, about 70 percent was excess fat. Remember, excess body fat, through adipokines, may be inflammatory and increase the risk of severe disease. 

Weight reduction with a plant-based approach may be results of dietary fiber increases and dietary fat reductions with plant-based diets, according to Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) (8). You also want a diet that has been shown to reduce inflammation.

We published a study involving 16 patients from my clinical practice in 2020. It shows that those who ate a whole food plant-based LIFE (low inflammatory foods everyday) diet over a seven-day period had a significant decrease in inflammation measured by hsCRP (high sensitivity c-reactive protein). This occurred in those who completely changed their diets to the LIFE diet, but also occurred in those who simply added a daily greens-and-fruit-based smoothie to their existing diet (9).

In my practice, I have seen many patients lose substantial amounts of weight over a short period. More importantly, they also lost body fat. For instance, a 70-year-old male lost 19 lbs. of weight and 12 lbs. of body fat over a six-week period. His inflammation, which was very high to start, dropped substantially to the border of optimal levels. This patient and many others have seen tandem reductions in both weight and inflammation. To boot, this was a cardiac patient whose cardiologist had considered a stent, but later said he did not need it after reducing his inflammation.

The most recent health crisis shone a spotlight on the importance of losing excess fat. It’s not just about COVID-19 or other respiratory disease severity, although those are concerning. It’s also about excess fat’s significant known contributions to many other chronic diseases, like cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.


(1) JAMA. online April 22, 2020. (2) Clin Med (Lond). 2020 Jul; 20(4): e109–e113. (3) Clin Infect Dis. 2020 Jul 28;71(15):896-897. (4) Chron. Respir. Dis. 5, 233–242 (2008). (5) Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2013; 4:71. (6) (7) Nutr Diabetes. 2018; 8: 58. (8) Inter Journal of Disease Reversal and Prevention 2019;1:1. (9) Amer J Lifestyle Med. 2022;16(6):753-764.

Dr. David 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 or consult your personal physician.

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By Shannon L. Malone, Esq.

Shannon L. Malone, Esq.

Members of the community have been inquiring about how the courts have dealt with their calendars for personal injury cases caused mainly by motor vehicle accidents during more recent variants of COVID-19. Clients are naturally concerned about their health and the progress of their personal injury cases. 

Moreover, people who have gotten into various types of accidents while last year’s Omicron variant was raging wonder if they, or we, should be doing anything different. Finally, with the recent uptick in COVID-19 reported by the media, we are receiving additional inquiries of this nature over the summer. 

Just ‘how open’ were the courts before the Omicron variant became widespread?

Before the Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus became prevalent, the courts in Suffolk County and throughout the state were beginning to “open up” and conduct “in person” appearances for conferences and other matters. 

Trials started when these appearances became more commonplace and seemingly conducted without danger to the court personnel, litigants, and lawyers. First, the court scheduled criminal trials in cases with incarcerated defendants, and then serious felony trials began in the fall of 2021. 

Next, the court started trying civil cases as a backlog of personal injury accident trials had developed. The judges throughout the state were encouraged to reduce the backlog, as it is well known that personal injury cases arising out of car accidents, slip and fall incidents, and medical malpractice usually settle only when a trial is about to begin. Therefore, the need to schedule trials became essential. 

What happened to trials that were scheduled before the Omicron variant became widespread? 

Just as civil trials for personal injury cases were beginning to be held with little or no noticeable spread of the virus, by the end of 2021, the Omicron variant hit New York State and most of the country. 

Several personal injury trials had been completed by jury verdict or settlement in Suffolk County; however, as 2022 began, the Omicron variant caused a pause in starting most civil personal injury trials. While a few such cases proceeded to trial while Omicron was spreading, the cases that involved several parties, such as multi-car accident matters, were postponed until the variant subsided.

What is the status of personal injury cases as of the Summer of 2023? 

Despite the emergence of the apparent new strain of COVID-19, the entire country clearly is enduring its spread. Whether it is a result of the vaccines, people developing immunity, or the availability of medications, most cases seem to be relatively mild. As a result, the courts are operating as they were in 2019, and trials are proceeding in virtually all personal injury cases. 

Needless to say, if you have a case pending or were involved in an accident that caused personal injury, be sure to keep in touch with your lawyer or consult with an attorney if you haven’t done so already, as no one can predict how new variants of the virus will evolve. 

According to epidemiologist Nathan Grubaugh of Yale University, “Delta was never going to be the last variant—and Omicron is not going to be the last one, as long as there is a COVID-19 outbreak somewhere in the world, there is going to be something new that emerges.” 

Shannon L. Malone, Esq. is an Associate Attorney at Glynn Mercep Purcell and Morrison LLP in Setauket. She graduated from Touro Law, where she wrote and served as an editor of the Touro Law Review. Ms. Malone is a proud Stony Brook University alumna.

Paint Port Pink, Mather Hospital’s annual month-long breast cancer community awareness outreach, kicks off Sunday, October 1 with the lighting of pink lights by community partners in Port Jefferson, Port Jefferson Station, and surrounding communities. Paint Port Pink’s goal is to raise awareness about breast cancer, encourage annual mammograms, and bring the community together to fight this disease.

Lamp posts along Main Street in Port Jefferson will glow with pink lights, along with the Theatre Three marquee and many store windows. Many related events will be held throughout the month.

“Pints for Pink,” hosted by Po’Boy Brewery, 200 Wilson Street in Port Jefferson, returns on Thursday, Oct. 5 to celebrate the survivors and educate the community. Attendees can sample craft beers and ciders while receiving health information. The $25 fee includes registration for the 2024 Northwell Health Walk at Port Jefferson. Proceeds support the 2024 Walk for the benefit of the Fortunato Breast Health Center at Mather Hospital. Register at

Decorate your business window for a chance to win tickets to a 2024 concert at Jones Beach. Send photos of your window by Sunday, October 15 to [email protected]. 

The EmpowerHER: Navigating Women’s Wellness symposium on Thursday, Oct. 19 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Port Jefferson Village Center, 101 East Broadway, Port Jefferson features a panel of Mather physicians discussing different aspects of women’s health and well being. Co-sponsored by Decision Women in Commerce and Professions, the $20 admission fee includes the symposium, a buffet dinner, a glass of wine and registration for the 2024 Northwell Health Walk at Port Jefferson. Register at

Friday, October 20 is Wear Pink Day/National Mammography Day and everyone — including your pets — are encouraged to get their pink on. Post photos on social media with #paintportpink and send them to [email protected] to be posted on the hospital’s Facebook page.

You could win a $100 gift card for best pumpkin.
Photo from Mather Hospital

The ever popular “Pink Your Pumpkin” contest returns and encourages everyone to get creative with their pumpkins for a cause. Photos should be emailed to [email protected] by Tuesday,  Oct. 24 and posted on social media with #paintportpink. The winner will receive a $100 gift card.

A full calendar of events and a list of Paint Port Pink community partners offering promotions to benefit The Fortunato Breast Health Center is available at Call 631-476-2723.

Paint Port Pink is sponsored by Decision Women in Commerce and Professions, Riverhead Toyota, Lippencott Financial Group, New York Cancer & Blood Specialists, Precision Lawn Irrigation, Po’ Boy Brewery and Tuscany Gourmet Market.

Five things everyone should know about breast health

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in the U.S., except for skin cancers, representing about 30 percent (or one in three) of all new female cancers each year. Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths for women in the U.S. after lung cancer, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS). Every two minutes someone is newly diagnosed with invasive breast cancer according to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Only one in three women over 40 have an annual mammogram.

“It is important to maintain breast health and the easiest way to do that is to obtain your annual screening mammogram,” said Lan Chan, MD, radiologist at Mather Hospital’s Fortunato Breast Health Center. “You should not ignore your breasts just because there is no family history of breast cancer. In fact, three out of four women diagnosed with breast cancer have no family history of breast cancer.”

According to Dr. Chan, five things everyone should know about breast health are:

1. Major health organizations including the American Cancer Society, American College of Radiology and Society of Breast Imaging recommend starting screening mammography at age 40. 

The ACS reports that the chance of a woman having invasive breast cancer in her life is about one in eight. That is why increased awareness, education and early detection are important parts of breast health care. A mammogram can reveal a tumor as much as two years before you or your healthcare professional can feel it. That’s why it’s important to schedule your mammogram. 

2. Obesity has been linked to breast cancer. Maintaining a healthy weight can decrease the risk of breast cancer. 

Having more fat tissue can increase your chance of getting breast cancer by raising estrogen levels, according to the ACS. Also, women who are overweight tend to have higher levels of insulin, which have been linked to some cancers, including breast cancer.

3. Breastfeeding has health benefits for mothers. It has been shown that breastfeeding decreases the risk of breast cancer. Many studies suggest that breastfeeding for a year or more slightly reduces a woman’s overall risk of breast cancer, with longer duration associated with greater reduction, according to the ACS.

4. Women at high risk for breast cancer can obtain supplementary screening MRI as another form of imaging to detect breast cancer. 

5. Men should not ignore lumps on their chest. Men can also develop breast cancer.

The ACS notes that while breast cancer occurs mainly in women, men can get it, too. Men have breast tissue and can develop breast cancer. Cells in nearly any part of the body can become cancer and can spread to other areas. The American Cancer Society estimates for men in the United States for 2023 about 2,800 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed and about 530 men will die from breast cancer

Schedule a mammogram

The Fortunato Breast Health Center at Mather Hospital, 75 North Country Road, Port Jefferson uses state-of-the-art breast imaging technology in a warm and assuring environment with a commitment to giving you personalized breast healthcare. 

Their staff of professionals provides 3D mammograms and offers individualized follow-up care, education for patients, families, and the community, as well as breast cancer support groups. 

Their Breast Center radiologists are specialists who only read breast imaging studies and look back as far as possible at your history of breast images for any subtle changes or abnormalities to provide the most accurate reading.

The Breast Health Center has also partnered with the Suffolk Cancer Services Program (CSP) to provide free breast cancer screenings to individuals who qualify. The CSP provides breast cancer screenings to women age 40 and older without health insurance in Suffolk. If any follow-up testing is needed, the CSP will provide those tests too. If cancer is found, CSP will help enroll people who are eligible in the NYS Medicaid Cancer Treatment Program for full Medicaid coverage during treatment. 

To find out if you are eligible for free screenings or to schedule your annual mammogram, call 631-476-2771. 


The two recently acquired books are on display at the Three Village Historical Society headquarters for a limited time. Photo by Kimberly Phyfe, Development Coordinator at the TVHS

By Scott Ferrara

There’s no doubt that Long Island played a major role in the success of the American Revolution. In fact, Setauket was home to numerous people who comprised a network of clandestine intelligence operatives known as the Culper Spy Ring. 

One of those Setauket spies was Abraham Woodhull (1750-1826). Woodhull, known for his alias Samuel Culper Sr., resided in British-Occupied Setauket during the war and used invisible ink to send encoded messages of enemy troop movement to General George Washington. 

Unfortunately, few artifacts and personal belongings of Woodhull’s survived, both through the passage of time as well as the 1931 fire that razed his former home. 

On July 26th, 2023, the Three Village Historical Society (TVHS) acquired two books at auction that belonged to the Woodhull family, one of the books bearing Abraham Woodhull’s signature. These books hold promise as a cultural resource for the community, and for their research potential of Three Village history and the history of our nation. 

The third page of The Rise and Progress of Religion in the Soul by Phillip Doddridge contains Abraham Woodhull’s signature. Photo by Kimberly Phyfe, Development Coordinator at the TVHS

The first book, The Rise and Progress of Religion in the Soul by Phillip Doddridge, was signed by Abraham Woodhull prior to both the American Revolution (1775-1784) and activities of the Culper Spy Ring (1778-1783). Abraham wrote his name on the first page of the book as well as a brief description of where he was at the time, Newfoundland. 

We know he was only 23 years old at the time, had not yet married or taken over the family farm and estate. His youthful decisions had found him aboard the ship the Dolphin during a very tense moment in American history. After all, Abraham had conveniently provided us the date of his travel, Aug. 27, 1773. 

This date provides clues as to the social environment Abraham was reading this book in. August of 1773 was a very tense summer in our nation’s history. Only three months earlier, in May of 1773, King George signed into effect the Tea Act which undercut colonial merchants, who had been prospering in maritime trade, and increased the power and influence of the British East India Company. This discriminatory act angered American colonists and sparked resentment that would eventually lead to war. 

These tensions would eventually boil over in December of that same year when the Sons of Liberty threw bricks of tea into the Boston harbor in an act of protest and defiance of the British King; an event known today as the Boston Tea Party. What was Abraham doing so far away from home during such a kinetic social time? Who or what was in Newfoundland that would draw him away from his family? These, among many more questions, have yet to be answered. 

Abraham, later in life, gifted this book to his second wife, Lidia, shortly before Christmas in their wedding year of 1824. We know this because she had inscribed her name and a brief note on the page following her husband’s earlier signature. Abraham passed away two years later.

The book moved through many hands over time until the departure of its most recent owner in Islip last year. The book, along with the rest of their estate, was inventoried and listed at private auction where it was identified by friends of the TVHS.

The inside cover of The Holy War by John Bunyan bears the signatures of Charity and William Woodhull. Photo by Kimberly Phyfe, Development Coordinator at the TVHS

A second book was also included in the auction lot. This book bears the signatures of Charity Woodhull and William Woodhull, likely niece and nephew of the patriot spy, Abraham. This book is titled The Holy War by John Bunyan (1682). The Holy War is a fiction book with Christian themes that tells the story of a mighty king who is overthrown by evil rebels and must fight to reclaim his throne. 

The acquisition of these books is exciting for the Three Village community. The TVHS can now appropriately curate them, while making these artifacts accessible to scholars. In fact, these books have incredible research potential both historically and genealogically.

The Three Village Historical Society is currently exhibiting the Woodhull books for a limited time. These books can be viewed at TVHS headquarters located at 93 N Country Road in East Setauket.

Guests are welcomed to visit to book a docent- or self-guided tour of the historical society’s museum or a walking tour throughout the Three Village community (operated by Tri-Spy Tours). The TVHS’s Spies! exhibit also features interactive software, hands-on learning activities, and the original Abraham Woodhull costume worn by actor Jamie Bell in the TURN: Washington’s spies television series. The society also welcomes researchers who wish to study their  collections for academic or independent research projects. 

Acknowledgments: Acquisition of these historical items would not have been possible without the combined efforts of the Three Village Historical Society’s staff and trustees. Specifically, the Collections Committee comprised of Christina Tortora Ph.D., Brian Bennett and Judi Wallace, as well as Brookhaven Town Historian Barbara Russell, Three Village Historian Beverly C. Tyler, the Society’s director Mari Irizarry, and President of the Board of Trustees, Jeff Schnee.

Author Scott Ferrara is the Exhibits & Collections Coordinator at the Three Village Historical Society.


This week’s featured shelter pet is Jitterbug, a white and tan female terrier mix currently up for adoption at the Smithtown Animal Shelter. 

Approximately three years old, sweet Jitterbug is a Southern Belle who was adopted from Florida and then surrendered to the shelter on Sept. 16 due to a penchant for escape. 

Jitterbug is a social butterfly who loves to meet new people. This young lady is spirited and full of boundless energy. She needs help with some manners, but is otherwise a delightful young girl.

If you would like to meet Jitterbug, please call ahead to schedule an hour to properly interact with her in a domestic setting.

The Smithtown Animal and Adoption Shelter is located at 410 Middle Country Road, Smithtown. Visitor hours are currently Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (Sundays and Wednesday evenings by appointment only). For more information, call 631-360-7575 or visit

Alexander Zamolodchikov Photo by John Griffin/SBU

By Daniel Dunaief

Alexander Zamolodchikov Photo by John Griffin/SBU

Stony Brook University might need to rename a wing of the C.N. Yang Institute for Theoretical Physics the Breakthrough Prize alley. That’s because theoretical physicist Alexander Zamolodchikov recently shared a $3 million prize in fundamental physics, matching a similar honor his neighbor on the floor and in the department, Peter van Nieuwenhuizen, earned in 2019.

Zamolodchikov shared this year’s award with University of Oxford Professor John Cardy for their contributions to quantum field theories which describe particle physics as well as magnetism, superconducting materials and the information content of black holes.

“I’m not working for prizes, but it’s kind of encouraging that other people think that my contribution is significant,” said the Russian-born Zamolodchikov, who joined Stony Brook in 2016 and had previously worked at Rutgers for 26 years, where he co-founded the High Energy Theory Center.

While Zamolodchikov was pleased to win the award and was understated in his response, his colleagues sang his praises.

Zamolodchikov is “one of the most accomplished theoretical physicists worldwide,” George Sterman, Director of the C.N. Yang Institute for Theoretical Physics and Distinguished Professor at Stony Brook University’s Department of Physics and Astronomy, said in a statement. “He has made groundbreaking advances, with enormous impact in many physics fields, such as condensed matter physics, quantum statistical physics and high energy physics, including our understanding of fundamental matter and forces.”

Sterman added that Zamolodchikov’s insights have influenced the way theoretical physicists think about foundational concepts.

“Having such a giant in your institute is always great,” said van Nieuwenhuizen, who said the two Breakthrough Prize winners sometimes discuss physics problems together, although their fields differ.

Founded by Sergey Brin, Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg, Julia and Yuri Milner and Anne Wojcicki, the Breakthrough Prizes are referred to as the “Oscars of science.”

A scientific throwback

Zamolodchikov has a “very pleasant personality” and couldn’t be a better neighbor in a corridor in which five of the offices house distinguished professors, van Nieuwenhuizen said.

Van Nieuwenhuizen, who was a deputy for C.N. Yang for six years, said the two of them often discussed whether to continue to build a theoretical physics department or to branch out into applied physics.

The direction for the department “wasn’t so obvious at the time” but the institute members decided to continue to build a fundamental physics group, which attracted the “right people. In hindsight, it was the right decision,” van Nieuwenhuizen added.

In some of his lectures and discussions, Zamolodchikov, who often pushes his glasses up on his forehead, works with equations he writes on a blackboard with chalk.

He suggested that many in the audience prefer the slow pace of the blackboard and he uses it when appropriate, including in class lectures. Having grown up in pre-computer times, he considers the blackboard his “friend.” 

“He’s a throwback,” said van Nieuwenhuizen. “I happen to think that is the best way of teaching.”

Thinking about eating bread

Zamolodchikov said he often gives his work considerable thought, which he believes many scientists do consciously and subconsciously, wherever they are and what they are doing.

When his daughter Dasha was about four years old, she asked him what he was thinking about all the time. He joked that he was contemplating “how to consume more white bread.”

Even today, Dasha, who conducts biological research, asks if he is “still thinking about white bread.”

Family commitment to physics

When Zamolodchikov’s father Boris returned from World War II, the Soviet Union built a physics institute in his town of Dubna.

His father had an “exceptional understanding” of some parts of physics, such as electromagnetic theory and he would talk in their house about science. Boris Zamolodchikov was chief engineer of a laboratory that was working on the first cyclotron.

“He convinced us that physics was something to devote the life to,” Zamolodchikov explained.

Zamolodchikov (who goes by the name “Sasha”) and his late twin brother Alexei (who was known as Alyosha) looked strikingly similar, but were never sure whether they were fraternal or identical twins. The twins collaborated on research in physics until Alexei died in 2007.

Zamolodchikov and his brother understood each other incredibly well. One of them would share a thought in a few words and the other would understand the idea and concept quickly.

“It was some sort of magic,” said Zamolodchikov. “I miss him greatly.”

Indeed, even recently, Zamolodchikov has been working to solve a problem. He recalls that his brother told him he knew how to solve it, but the Stony Brook Distinguished Professor forgot to ask him about the details.

When Zamolodchikov, who thinks of his twin brother every day, learned he had won the prize, he said he feels “like I share this honor with him.”

Description of his work

In explaining his work, Zamalodchikov suggests that quantum field theory, which was questioned for some time before the mid-1970’s, has been used to describe subatomic physics.

On a general level, quantum field theory helps explain nature in terms of degrees of freedom.

“I was trying to solve simplified versions of these field theories,” said Zamolodchikov. He provided insights into what quantum field theory can describe and what kind of physical behavior would never come from quantum field theory.

His work shed light on phase transitions, from liquids to gases. He was able to find a solution through quantum field theory that had a direct application in explaining phase transition.

Experimentalists did the experiment and found the signature he expected.

“When I make a prediction about the behavior in phase transition and they do the experiment and find it exactly as my prediction, it’s remarkable,” he said. “My prediction involves an exceptionally complicated but beautiful mathematical structure.”

Lenny Bruno Farms, 740 Wading River Road, Manorvile invites you to “The Great Pumpkin Palooza,” an engaging agritourism event celebrating Fall’s essence, on September 30 and October 1, October 7, 8, and 9, October 14 and 15, and October 21 and 22 from 10 am to 5 pm.

The Great Pumpkin Palooza” welcomes visitors to experience the beauty of the autumn season and enjoy a range of activities, including pumpkin picking, sunflower picking, a family-friendly spooky corn maze, live music performances, a corn hole tournament hosted by Westhampton Beach Brewery, jumbo garden games, a kid-friendly play patch with a mini hay maze, tractor pedal cars, and more, as well as the opportunity to get unique charcoal portraits, participate in an Oktoberfest pop-up, as well as pumpkin pie eating contests.

To join in the festivities, there is an admission fee of $10. Children aged 2 and under enter for free, ensuring an inclusive experience for families. These comprehensive event weekends promise an array of activities to celebrate the autumn season, making it a captivating and affordable choice for individuals and groups alike. In addition, there are educational hayrides led by Dominic Bruno, offering insights into sustainable farming practices for a nominal fee of $5. Additionally, “The Great Pumpkin Palooza” will offer an array of options from food trucks and showcase local artisan vendors with a variety of food and goods available for purchase. Children’s activity vendors will also be present, offering experiences such as face painting, fairy hair, candle crafting, and more, ensuring a truly immersive and memorable event for visitors of all ages.

Dominick Bruno, owner of Lenny Bruno Farms, shared his enthusiasm for the event, saying, “We’re thrilled to invite families to our farm for ‘The Great Pumpkin Palooza.’ This event series captures the heart of the harvest season and offers a chance for visitors to connect with the land, the produce, and the community.”

The event will also feature local nonprofit animal rescues on certain dates, providing an opportunity for attendees to meet and potentially adopt rescue animals.

The festival weekends showcase Lenny Bruno Farms’ dedication to sustainable farming practices and the farm stand offers visitors the chance to buy hand-picked produce, including peppers, tomatoes, eggplants, and more, while interacting with the farmers and gaining insights into the farm’s operations.

For more information and a full line-up of events,  call 631-591-3592 or visit

Tender Years Treasury. Photo from Town of Smithtown

The Smithtown Senior Citizens and Recreation Departments are actively seeking crafters to book tables and showcase their offerings at the annual Tender Years Treasury event. The special shopping experience for children to purchase affordable, handcrafted holiday gifts for their families will be held on Saturday, December 2nd from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.  at the Eugene Cannataro Senior Citizens Center located at 420 Middle Country Road in Smithtown. Senior crafters can reserve a table at no cost to them through the Smithtown Senior Citizens Department or by calling 631-360-7616.

“This event is always so well received by the community. We have so many incredibly gifted senior residents, all of whom are remarkably talented at making hand-crafted gift items. I had the pleasure of speaking with a few of our center’s quilters last week. The quality in craftsmanship leaves you speechless. I can’t wait to see who participates this year… The Tender Years Treasury gives kids the chance to shop for family and friends using their own allowance money, without ruining the surprise. The lesson in independence, combined with multiple generations of Smithtown community members, all coming together to keep the magic of the holiday season an everlasting tradition, makes this event truly unique and beloved by all,” said Supervisor Ed Wehrheim.

The Tender Years Treasury is an award-winning program for children, hosted by the Smithtown Senior Citizens Department and the Recreation Department with support from the Youth Bureau. Senior residents within the Town of Smithtown create handmade items, which are available for purchase, and must be priced at $5 and under. The Youth Bureau’s volunteer students chaperone young gifters through the shopping experience, so they may choose holiday gifts for family and friends, without ruining the surprise. Popular handcrafted gift items may include jewelry, scarves, hats, wreaths, ornaments, pot holders, key chains, etc. There is no charge for crafters tables, and all monies collected belong to the crafter.

To Reserve a Craft Table:

For questions or more information about booking a craft table for the Tender Years Treasury, call Patty or Mae at the Senior Citizens Department at (631)360-7616.

  • ●  Participating crafters must be Smithtown residents and a senior citizen (60 years of age and older.)
  • ●  All proceeds from the sale of goods belong to the seller.
  • ●  All items on the selling floor must be priced at $5 or less.
  • ●  There is no charge for tables.

    The Smithtown Senior Citizens Department located at 420 Middle Country Road, Smithtown

This year marks the 50th anniversary of The Exorcist and Fathom Events is bringing it back to select theaters nationwide in the form of the Extended Director’s Cut as part of Fathom’s annual Fright Fest lineup. The film hits theaters on Sunday, Oct. 1 and Wednesday, Oct. 4.

A ‘possessed’ Linda Blair in a scene from the film.

Leading into each screening is an all-new exclusive tribute to legendary director William Friedkin—who passed away on August 7 at the age of 87—hosted by film historian Ben Mankiewicz.

In the film that tops IMDb’s list of the 101 Scariest Horror Movies EVER, “The Exorcist” stars genre icon Linda Blair as Regan MacNeil, a preteen girl who’s increasingly disturbing behavior soon gives way to demonic possession. 

Max Von Sydow and Jason Miller also star, as the priests enlisted to save young Regan from the ultimate evil. The film fields an impressive ensemble that boasts Ellen Burstyn, Lee J. Cobb, and Mercedes McCambridge, and was the recipient of two Academy Awards® for Best Adapted Screenplay for scribe William Peter Blatty, as well as Best Sound.

The limited engagement puts the spotlight on William Friedkin’s Extended Director’s Cut, sourced from the Original 1973 Cut Camera Negative with newly restored and remastered picture and sound in stunning 4k. 

The version is packed with footage previously unseen in the theatrical edition, including an alternate ending. Plus, all screenings will include a trip through the iconic landmarks that helped bring the shocker to life in The Exorcist Locations: Georgetown Then And Now. The piece features appearances by Friedkin, Blatty, Blair, and the film’s cinematographer Owen Roizman.

Locally, the film will be screened at AMC Loews Stony Brook 17, Island 16 Cinema de Lux in Holtsville, Regal UA Farmingdale and Showcase Cinema de Lux in Farmingdale on Oct. 1 at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. and on Oct. 4 at 7 p.m. To order tickets in advance, visit

See trailer here.

METRO photo

The Port Jefferson Rotary Club and “Call Brian” Senior Services will sponsor a Friends of the Pantry Fall Food Drive in front of the Open Cupboard Pantry at Infant Jesus Church, 110 Hawkins St., Port Jefferson on Sunday, Oct. 1 from 9 a.m. to noon.

Currently the pantry is in extreme need of juice, pancake mix (complete), pancake syrup, macaroni & cheese, pasta, pasta sauce, canned tuna, canned chicken ketchup, mayonnaise, mustard, Maseca flour, cooking oil, Chef Boyardee meals, cereal, jelly, hot chocolate, evaporated milk, almond milk, coffee, canned fruit and canned mixed vegetables.

They are also in need of personal care items such as shampoo, conditioner, size 6 diapers, feminine products, baby wipes, soap, toothbrushes and toothpaste. Grocery store gift cards and cash also accepted. For more information, call 631-938-6464.