Arts & Entertainment

MEET ROSEY!

This week’s shelter pet is Rosey, a 6 year old grey beauty at the Smithtown Animal Shelter. 

Rosey was left behind when her dad moved. She can be sweet or spicy depending on her mood. She loves to get and give affection, until she doesn’t. 

Rosey has anxiety when she is around other animals and will groom herself naked. She would be best suited for a quiet home where she can be the only pet and the sole recipient of your love. She comes spayed, microchipped and is up to date on her vaccines.

If you are interested in meeting Rosey, please call ahead to schedule an hour to properly interact with her in the shelter’s Meet and Greet Room. 

The Smithtown Animal & Adoption Shelter is located at 410 Middle Country Road, Smithtown. Shelter operating hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the week, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on the weekend. For more information, please call 631-360-7575 or visit www.smithtownanimalshelter.com.

Stay indoors during a winter storm warning. METRO photo
Leg. Nick Caracappa

The winter season is upon us, and with a 70 percent chance of 1 to 3 inches of snow on Monday night, Jan. 25 into Tuesday, Suffolk County Legislator Nick Caracappa would like to offer residents helpful tips and websites in preparation for extreme cold weather and winter storms.

“It is important to take simple precautionary measures to keep your family safe and protect your home, pets and personal property during the brutal winter months,” said Legislator Caracappa.

The following information is provided courtesy of https://www.ready.gov/

Winter storms create a higher risk of car accidents, hypothermia, frostbite, carbon monoxide poisoning, and heart attacks from overexertion. Winter storms including blizzards can bring extreme cold, freezing rain, snow, ice and high winds.

A winter storm can:

  • Last a few hours or several days.
  • Cut off heat, power and communication services.
  • Put older adults, children and sick individuals at greater risk.

IF YOU ARE UNDER A WINTER STORM WARNING, FIND SHELTER RIGHT AWAY

  • Stay off roads.
  • Stay indoors and dress warmly.
    • If you need to spend time in a public indoor space in order to stay safe from the cold, follow CDC precautions to protect yourself and others from COVID-19: wear a mask and maintain a distance of at least six feet between yourself and those who are not a part of your household. Masks should not be worn by children under two years of age, those who have trouble breathing, and those who are unable to remove them on their own.
  • Prepare for power outages.
  • Use generators outside only and away from windows.
  • Listen for emergency information and alerts.
  • Look for signs of hypothermia and frostbite.
  • Check on neighbors while following the latest guidelinesfrom the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on maintaining social and physical distancing. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html. Consider connecting with family and friends by telephone, e-mail, text messages, video chat, and social media. If you must visit in person, wear a mask and maintain a distance of at least six feet from them.

 

HOW TO STAY SAFE WHEN A WINTER STORM THREATENS:

Prepare NOW

  • Know your area’s risk for winter storms. Extreme winter weather can leave communities without utilities or other services for long periods of time.
  • Prepare your home to keep out the cold with insulation, caulking and weather stripping. Learn how to keep pipes from freezing. Install and test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors with battery backups.
  • Know your winter weather terms. https://www.weather.gov/bgm/WinterTerms
  • Pay attention to weather reports and warnings of freezing weather and winter storms.
  • Sign up for your community’s warning system. The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radioalso provide emergency alerts. Sign up for email updates about coronavirus from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) here: https://www.cdc.gov/Other/emailupdates/.
  • Gather supplies in case you need to stay home for several days without power. Keep in mind each person’s specific needs, including medication. Remember the needs of your pets. Have extra batteries for radios and flashlights.  If you are able to, set aside items like soap, hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol, disinfecting wipes, and general household cleaning supplies that you can use to disinfect surfaces you touch regularly.
  • Create an emergency supply kit for your car. Include jumper cables, sand, a flashlight, warm clothes, blankets, bottled water and non-perishable snacks. Keep a full tank of gas.
    • Remember that not everyone can afford to respond by stocking up on necessities. For those who can afford it, making essential purchases and slowly building up supplies in advance will allow for longer time periods between shopping trips. This helps to protect those who are unable to procure essentials in advance of the pandemic and must shop more frequently. Being prepared allows you to avoid unnecessary excursions and to address minor medical issues at home, alleviating the burden on urgent care centers and hospitals.

 

  • Learn the signs of, and basic treatments for, frostbite and hypothermia.
    • If you are sick and need medical attention, contact your healthcare provider for further care instructions and shelter in place, if possible. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 9-1-1 and let the operator know if you have, or think you might have, COVID-19. If possible, put on a mask before help arrives.

Learn the symptoms of COVID-19 https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html

Frostbite causes loss of feeling and color around the face, fingers and toes.

    • Signs: Numbness, white or grayish-yellow skin, firm or waxy skin.
    • Actions: Go to a warm room. Soak in warm water. Use body heat to warm. Do not massage or use a heating pad.
  • Hypothermia is an unusually low body temperature. A temperature below 95 degrees is an emergency.
    • Signs: Shivering, exhaustion, confusion, fumbling hands, memory loss, slurred speech or drowsiness.
    • Actions: Go to a warm room. Warm the center of the body first—chest, neck, head and groin. Keep dry and wrapped up in warm blankets, including the head and neck.

 

Survive DURING

  • Stay off roads if at all possible. If trapped in your car, then stay inside.
  • Limit your time outside. If you need to go outside, then wear layers of warm clothing. Watch for signs of frostbite and hypothermia.
    • Be sure to have several clean masks to use in case your mask becomes wet or damp from snow. Cloth masks should not be worn when they become damp or wet. Be sure to wash your mask regularly.
  • Avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Only use generators and grills outdoors and away from windows. Never heat your home with a gas stovetop or oven.
  • Reduce the risk of a heart attack by avoiding overexertion when shoveling snow and walking in the snow.
    • Masks may make it difficult to breathe, especially for those who engage in high intensity activities, like shoveling. If you are unable to wear a mask, maintain a distance of at least six feet between yourself and those who are not part of your household.
  • Watch for signs of frostbite and hypothermia and begin treatment right away.
  • If it is safe to do so, check on neighbors while following the latest guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on maintaining social and physical distancing. Consider connecting with family and friends by telephone, e-mail, text messages, video chat, and social media. If you must visit in person, wear a mask and maintain a distance of at least six feet from them. Masks should not be worn by children under two years of age, those who have trouble breathing, and those who are unable to remove them on their own.

Be Safe AFTER

  • Frostbite causes loss of feeling and color around the face, fingers, and toes.
    • Signs: Numbness, white or grayish-yellow skin, and firm or waxy skin.
    • Actions: Go to a warm room. Soak in warm water. Use body heat to warm. Do not massage or use a heating pad.
  • Hypothermia is an unusually low body temperature. A temperature below 95 degrees is an emergency.
    • Signs: Shivering, exhaustion, confusion, fumbling hands, memory loss, slurred speech, and drowsiness.
    • Actions: Go to a warm room. Warm the center of the body first—chest, neck, head, and groin. Keep dry and wrapped up in warm blankets, including the head and neck.
  • If you are sick and need medical attention, contact your healthcare provider for further care instructions and shelter in place, if possible. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 9-1-1 and let the operator know if you have, or think you might have, COVID-19. If possible, put on a mask before help arrives.
  • Engage virtually with your community through video and phone calls. Know that it’s normal to feel anxious or stressed. Take care of your body and talk to someone if you are feeling upset. Many people may already feel fear and anxiety about the coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19). The threat of a winter storm can add additional stress. Follow CDC guidance for managing stress during a traumatic event and managing stress during COVID-19.
  • It is important to help our first responders by removing snow around fire hydrants.

For more safety and health-related guidelines, visit https://www.cdc.gov/.

Beverly C. Tyler and Donna Smith at the grave of Culper Spy Abraham Woodhull. Photo by Heidi Sutton

The Three Village Historical Society presents a virtual lecture via Zoom titled SPIES!  How a Group of Long Island Patriots helped George Washington Win the Revolution on Monday, Jan. 25 at 7 p.m. Join historian Bev Tyler and educator Donna Smith as they guide you through the Society’s SPIES! exhibit and bring to life the dramatic stories of Long Island’s Culper Spy Ring through photographs, maps and original documents. A Q&A will follow. $5 suggested donation. Free for TVHS members. To register, visit www.tvhs.org.

Photo by Gerard Romano

A NAUTICAL SCENE

Gerard Romano of Port Jefferson Station snapped this photo in the Village of Port Jefferson on Jan. 15. He writes, ‘As I took a walk for a bit of fresh air along the Danford Hotel pier the seagulls were bracing themselves against the stiff breeze. I used my 18-200mm lens to frame one with the Stony Brook University research vessel Seawolf as a bokeh backdrop.’

A scene from 'The Maltese Falcon'. Photo courtesy of Fathom Events

‘The Maltese Falcon’

In celebration of its 80th anniversary, “The Maltese Falcon” will be screened on Sunday, Jan. 24 at AMC Stony Brook 17 at 3 and 7 p.m., and Farmingdale Multiplex and Island 16 Cinema De Lux in Holtsville at 3 p.m. and on Jan. 27 at Island Cinema De Lux at 7 p.m., courtesy of Fathom Events and TCM Big Screen Classics. Academy Award® winner Humphrey Bogart stars as tough private detective Sam Spade in the classic, convoluted story of Spade’s involvement with a deadly band of international thieves who will lie, double cross and murder to obtain a small, jewel-encrusted statue known as The Maltese Falcon. For advance tickets, visit www.fathomevents.com.

By Barbara Beltrami

I don’t know what the time between this writing and its publication will bring, and given recent events, I’m worried. However, my stubborn faith in our democracy and Constitution and a resolution to celebrate the Inauguration and all it stands for inspires this column bearing recipes from a few government sources. Most famous and ubiquitously published is the Navy Bean Soup served in one of the Senate restaurants. Then there’s the late Representative John Lewis’s recipe for Barbecued Chicken and White House Chef (1966-1987) Henry Haller’s popular Cooked Vegetable Salad. 

Senate Navy Bean Soup

YIELD: Makes 8 servings

INGREDIENTS: 

1 pound dried navy beans, picked over

1 pound ham, with bone

2 potatoes, peeled and quartered

Salt 

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 large onion, chopped

1 celery rib, chopped 

2 garlic cloves chopped

1/4 cup fresh chopped flat leaf parsley

Freshly ground pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS: 

Put beans in large pot with 3 times their volume in water and put in a cool place to soak overnight. Drain and transfer to a large Dutch oven; add 10 cups water and ham; bring to simmer over medium heat, then reduce heat to low and cook 1 1/2 hours, until beans are tender. Transfer ham to cutting board to cool, then remove bone, cut meat into bite-size pieces and return to pot. 

Meanwhile place potatoes in a saucepan, cover with salted water, bring to boil over medium-high heat, then reduce to simmer and cook until potatoes are fork tender, about 25 minutes; drain, mash and add to beans and ham and stir to combine thoroughly. In large skillet, melt butter over medium heat and add onion, celery, garlic and parsley; season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are translucent; add to bean mixture and cook over low heat, adding water if needed, season with salt and pepper and cook one hour. Serve hot with a crispy, crunchy salad.

Rep. John Lewis’s Barbecued Chicken

YIELD: Makes 4 servings

INGREDIENTS: 

2 cups ketchup

1 teaspoon prepared mustard

1 to 2 tablespoons Tabasco or other hot sauce

Pinch cayenne pepper

Pinch black pepper

1 onion, finely chopped

1 frying chicken, cut up or equivalent chicken pieces

DIRECTIONS: 

Preheat oven to 350 F. In a medium bowl, combine ketchup, mustard, hot sauce, cayenne, pepper and onion. Put chicken parts in greased 9 x 13” baking pan; spread sauce over chicken; bake for one hour, basting chicken with juices halfway through. Serve hot or warm with rice, potato salad or sweet potatoes and a green salad.

White House Chef Henry Haller’s Vegetable Salad

Chef Henry Haller

 

YIELD: Makes 4 servings

INGREDIENTS: 

2 cups tiny green peas, cooked, drained, cooled

2 cups diced carrots, cooked, drained, cooled

2 cups diced celery

1 cup peeled and cored diced apple

Salt and pepper to taste

3/4 cup mayonnaise

DIRECTIONS: 

In large bowl combine vegetables with celery and apple, salt and pepper. Add mayonnaise and toss lightly with a fork. Serve with soft rolls and butter.

Sleep clears toxins from the brain. METRO photo
Exercise and sleep are crucial to clearing the clutter

By David Dunaief, M.D.

Dr. David Dunaief

Considering the importance of our brain to our functioning, it’s startling how little we know about it. 

We do know that certain drugs, head injuries and lifestyle choices negatively impact the brain. There are also numerous disorders and diseases that affect the brain, including neurological (dementia, Parkinson’s, stroke), infectious (meningitis), rheumatologic (lupus and rheumatoid arthritis), cancer (primary and secondary tumors), psychiatric mood disorders (depression, anxiety, schizophrenia), diabetes and heart disease.

Although these diseases vary widely, they generally have three signs and symptoms in common: they either cause altered mental status, physical weakness or change in mood — or a combination of these.

Probably our greatest fear regarding the brain is a loss of cognition. Fortunately, there are several studies that show we may be able to prevent cognitive decline by altering modifiable risk factors. They involve rather simple lifestyle changes: sleep, exercise and possibly omega-3s.

Let’s look at the evidence.

Clutter slows us down as we age

The lack of control over our mental capabilities as we age frightens many of us. Those who are in their 20s seem to be much sharper and quicker. But are they really?

In a study, German researchers found that educated older people tend to have a larger mental database of words and phrases to pull from since they have been around longer and have more experience (1). When this is factored into the equation, the difference in terms of age-related cognitive decline becomes negligible.

This study involved data mining and creating simulations. It showed that mental slowing may be at least partially related to the amount of clutter or data that we accumulate over the years. The more you know, the harder it becomes to come up with a simple answer to something. We may need a reboot just like a computer. This may be possible through sleep, exercise and omega-3s.

Get enough sleep

Why should we dedicate 33 percent of our lives to sleep? There are several good reasons. One involves clearing the mind, and another involves improving our economic outlook.

For the former, a study done in mice shows that sleep may help the brain remove waste, such as those all-too-dangerous beta-amyloid plaques (2). When we have excessive plaque buildup in the brain, it may be a sign of Alzheimer’s. When mice were sleeping, the interstitial space (the space between brain gyri, or structures) increased by as much as 60 percent.

This allowed the lymphatic system, with its cerebrospinal fluid, to clear out plaques, toxins and other waste that had developed during waking hours. With the enlargement of the interstitial space during sleep, waste removal was quicker and more thorough, because cerebrospinal fluid could reach much farther into the spaces. A similar effect was seen when the mice were anesthetized.

In another study, done in Australia, results showed that sleep deprivation may have been responsible for an almost one percent decline in gross domestic product for the country (3). The reason? People are not as productive at work when they don’t get enough sleep. They tend to be more irritable, and concentration may be affected. We may be able to turn on and off sleepiness on short-term basis, depending on the environment, but we can’t do this continually.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, four percent of Americans reported having fallen asleep in the past 30 days behind the wheel of a car (4). And “drowsy driving” led to 83,000 crashes in a four-year period ending in 2009, according to The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Prioritize exercise

How can I exercise, when I can’t even get enough sleep? Well there is a study that just may inspire you.

In the study, which involved rats, those that were not allowed to exercise were found to have rewired neurons in the area of their medulla, the part of the brain involved in breathing and other involuntary activities. There was more sympathetic (excitatory) stimulus that could lead to increased risk of heart disease (5). In rats allowed to exercise regularly, there was no unusual wiring, and sympathetic stimuli remained constant. This may imply that being sedentary has negative effects on both the brain and the heart.

This is intriguing since we used to think that our brain’s plasticity, or ability to grow and connect neurons, was finite and stopped after adolescence. This study’s implication is that a lack of exercise causes unwanted new connections. Human studies should be done to confirm this impact.

Consume omega-3 fatty acids

In the Women’s Health Initiative Memory Study of Magnetic Resonance Imaging Study, results showed that those postmenopausal women who were in the highest quartile of omega-3 fatty acids had significantly greater brain volume and hippocampal volume than those in the lowest quartile (6). The hippocampus is involved in memory and cognitive function.

Specifically, the researchers looked at the levels of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) in red blood cell membranes. The source of the omega-3 fatty acids could either have been from fish or supplementation.

It’s never too late to improve brain function. Although we have a lot to learn about the functioning of the brain, we know that there are relatively simple ways we can positively influence it.

References:

(1) Top Cogn Sci. 2014 Jan.;6:5-42. (2) Science. 2013 Oct. 18;342:373-377. (3) Sleep. 2006 Mar.;29:299-305. (4) cdc.gov. (5) J Comp Neurol. 2014 Feb. 15;522:499-513. (6) Neurology. 2014;82:435-442.

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 www.medicalcompassmd.com. 

Stock photo

Theatre Three Food Drive

Theatre Three, 412 Main St., Port Jefferson kicks off the new year with a Theatre Three Cares food and personal care items drive to benefit the Open Cupboard food pantry at Infant Jesus Church on Saturday, Jan. 23 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Food items needed include Mac & cheese, canned pasta, peanut butter, jelly, coffee, sugar, flour, mustard, mayonnaise, ketchup, cooking oil, oatmeal, cereal, black and red beans, boxed milk, juice, canned fruit, healthy snacks, fresh chicken and ground beef and hot dogs.

Personal care items needed include shampoo, conditioner, soap, baby shampoo, baby wipes, deoderant, toothbrushes and toothpaste. 

Donations will be collected in the back of the theater on the south side of the building. They are also accepting donations of grocery store gift cards and cash to purchase whatever else is needed. If you prefer, you can remain in your vehicle for a contact-free drop off. For more information, call Brian at 631-938-6464.

Dr. Christopher Vakoc. Photo from CSHL

On January 23, the Christina Renna Foundation (CRF), together with Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, will host a free virtual celebration and sarcoma update to mark their 14th Annual Angel’s Wish Gala. Join us in celebrating 14 years of funding cutting edge research into rare pediatric cancer.

The gala will honor Christopher Vakoc, MD., Ph.D., Professor, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, 2020 CRF Research Award recipient for the Sarcoma Research Project

The Christina Renna Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public charity supporting children’s cancer research and furthering awareness and education through the support of cancer groups and outreach programs for the direct support of those in need. Funds raised through this event will go to continued research into rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS), a rare and often fatal form of pediatric cancer. In total, CRF has donated over $350,000 to research at CSHL. For more information, please visit: www.crf4acure.org

What: CRF Angel’s Wish Virtual Gala and Sarcoma Research Update

When: January 23, 2021 – 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.

RSVP: https://www.cshl.edu/mc-events/crf-angels-wish-virtual-gala-and-sarcoma-research-update/

Holtsville Hal’s handler, Greg Drossel, introduces Hal to the crowd during a previous celebration. Photo from Town of Brookhaven

Six more weeks of winter or an early spring? On Tuesday, Feb. 2, Town of Brookhaven Superintendent Daniel P. Losquadro will announce Holtsville Hal’s famous forecast in a virtual ceremony to stream live on Facebook from the Holtsville Ecology Site.

According to tradition, if a groundhog sees its shadow after stirring from hibernation on Groundhog Day, there will be six more weeks of winter weather; if not, spring should arrive early. Hal’s forecast will be revealed at approximately 7:25 a.m. 

“Our annual Groundhog Day celebration is an enjoyable tradition for many local families,” Superintendent Losquadro said. “While we are disheartened that we will not be able to open the ceremony to members of the public this year due to potential COVID risks, families will still be able to see Holtsville Hal and learn of his prognostication.”

The online ceremony, which will begin at 7:15 a.m., can be viewed at Facebook.com/brookhavenwildlifecenter and Facebook.com/danlosquadrohwysuperintendent. It will also be viewable on the Town of Brookhaven website, www.BrookhavenNY.gov/896/Groundhog-Day, throughout the day for those who miss the live stream.