Author Janet Werner, left, and artist Kyle Horne display their finished book, ‘A Pear in an Apple Tree: A Journey with Multiple Sclerosis.’ Photo courtesy Kyle Horne

One of TBR News Media’s very own recently embarked on a life-changing collaboration with a former educator. 

Kyle Horne, a local artist and frequent contributor of political cartoons and editorial illustrations to our newspapers, has partnered with his former teacher, Janet Werner, to create a book about multiple sclerosis. Together, they tell a moving story of overcoming adversity, revealing a powerful, enduring bond between a student and teacher.

A journey with MS

Werner was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, commonly known as MS, in 1986. At the onset of her symptoms, she recalled a feeling of numbness in her legs and overwhelming fatigue.

“I actually took off for two weeks from work that first year and just slept,” she said. “I got an MRI at the time, and it showed plaque in the brain, which is white lesions. Depending upon where these white lesions are seen in the brain, it could affect your mobility, cognition and eyesight.”

As the years advanced, Werner’s symptoms gradually progressed. During a startling incident one morning, she temporarily lost her eyesight and hearing completely. “What seemed like hours was about 20 minutes,” she said. “I was terrified because it had never happened before.”

Nearly four decades after her initial diagnosis, Werner explained she is “doing pretty well” despite the heightening symptoms with each passing year. She said managing the symptoms requires plenty of rest and an upbeat mentality.

With husband Ernest, “we try to get some exercise, eat correctly and just keep a positive frame of mind,” she said. “Of course, life is very stressful but we try to be positive.”

‘A Pear in an Apple Tree’

Over several years, Werner wrote “A Pear in an Apple Tree: A Journey with Multiple Sclerosis,” saying she was motivated to write the book for various reasons. 

Among them, she noted a lack of public understanding surrounding MS and its symptoms. She also wanted to share her story with those experiencing MS, preparing them for the path ahead and informing them that they are not alone.

“Sometimes with any challenge in your life, you feel like you’re the only one who has this specific condition or challenge, whether it’s MS or cancer and you kind of hide away from the rest of the world,” she said. “That’s not good to do that. I wanted the ‘MSers’ to feel that we’re in this together.”

Werner recalled the moment that gave the book its name. She said she was eating dinner with her husband, struggling with her symptoms that day, when she blurted out, “I feel like a pear in an apple tree, kind of out of place.”

Despite the numerous challenges through the years, Werner said she wrote the book to let others know they have a place with an MS community that also understands their struggles.

A dynamic team

‘You have to educate yourself about the disease and how it affects your body. And then learn to adapt.’

— Janet Werner

The collaboration between Werner and Horne has been decades in the making. A graduate of Deer Park High School, Horne was her student and a member of the school’s Students Against Destructive Decisions Club, which Werner had advised.

“He would invite me to some of his book signings and art shows, and we kept in close contact over the years,” she said. “When I was doing this book, I immediately thought of him because I loved his artwork.”

Horne described the early stages of preparing the book with his former teacher. He was eager to sign onto the project. 

“She came to me with this idea for a book dealing with MS and how it affects her,” Horne said. Although managing symptoms “can be difficult, those challenges have been very helpful in developing her into the person she is today.”

Along with the cover and back cover, Horne prepared several illustrations throughout the book, tying into the themes of each of its chapters. Together, Werner and Horne developed the characters of Ned and Nancy Neuron.

Through the illustrations he prepared for the book, Horne said he learned much about Werner and her experiences with MS, describing a sense of growth and mutual understanding forged throughout their creative journey together.

“I don’t have MS, but I’m able to sympathize more with Janet and the struggles that she’s had,” the artist said. “She has a very strong spirit when it comes to this.”

An optimistic future

Following the success of their first collaboration, Werner and Horne are already working on the next project, a coloring book that adds an interactive component to the story of Ned and Nancy Neuron.

Werner said she remains “very hopeful” that researchers will soon discover a cure for MS. Analyzing the scope of scientific investigation into the condition, she said there is considerable overlap between ongoing MS research and similar autoimmune diseases.

“Research that’s being conducted for, say, AIDS or lupus is also being conducted for MS,” she said. “Stony Brook [University] has an MS center, and their research is going on at a rapid rate. So I am so hopeful.”

Despite the decades she has spent with MS, Werner shares a message of resolve in the face of hardship.

“I think you have to keep fighting,” she said. “You cannot give up. If you’re faced with a challenge, you have to educate yourself about the disease and how it affects your body. And then learn to adapt.”

Horne said the collaboration with Werner has been a personal experience as well. Learning about MS, he said, has informed his outlook on his own life.

“I have a condition known as ulcerative colitis, also known as Crohn’s disease,” Horne said. “Understanding the perspective of another chronic illness, and from a different person, has come to help with my own process and working through my own things.”

He added, “When it comes to something like this it can be very scary at times, but it also can be very rewarding knowing the perseverance of getting through a struggle like that.”

To learn more about MS, visit To purchase “A Pear in an Apple Tree,” visit

CUTENESS OVERLOAD Benner's Farm hosts three Bunny Blast workshops on April 1.

Free Planetarium show

Suffolk County Vanderbilt Planetarium, 180 Little Neck Road, Centerport presents a Thankful Thursday event on March 30 at 7 p.m. Enjoy a FREE family-friendly planetarium show, STARS: The Powerhouses of the Universe narrated by Mark Hamill, and then look through a telescope at the night sky (weather permitting). Register at

Bunny Blast workshop

Benner’s Farm, 56 Gnarled Hollow Road, East Setauket hosts a Bunny Blast workshop for children ages 3 to 10 on April 1 from 10 a.m. to noon, 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. and again from 3 to 5 p.m. Children will get to see some of the farm’s new baby bunnies, learn about the care and feeding of rabbits, make a bunny craft, tour the farm, and more! $40 per child. To register, call 631-689-8172 or visit

Open Play at the Explorium

Join the Long Island Explorium, 101 East Broadway, Port Jefferson for Open Play during Spring Break on April 1 to 10 from 1 to 5 p.m. with hands-on activities, crafts, and more. Admission is $5 per person.

Edna the Egg

Spring is here! Come join the Suffolk County Farm, 350 Yaphank Ave., Yaphank on  an adventure with Edna the Egg on April 2 from 10 to 11 a.m. Learn what is happening inside her egg until she emerges to a baby chick. Children will enjoy a short story by author Kim Feliciano and get to observe the chickens who live on the farm as well as a wagon ride. Craft included as well. Great for ages 3 to 8. $15 per child. Registration required. Call 631-852-4600 for more information. 

Spring Discovery Days

Sweetbriar Nature Center, 62 Eckernkamp Drive, Smithtown offers daily natural science programs for children ages 6 to 11 over the school breaks for elementary school children from April 3 to April 7 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Each day will be a different natural science theme chock-filled with fun hands-on activities, interaction with wildlife, crafts, games, and much more. Parents can register their child/children for one day, two days, three days, four days, or the entire week. Visit or call 631-979-6344. 

Family Drop-in Day

The Long Island Museum, 1200 Route 25A, Stony Brook welcomes families to drop by to stroll the museum grounds and visit the Art Museum on the hill on April 4 between 1 and 3 p.m. Create like Romare Bearden and make your own collage! Take inspiration from the galleries or use your own imagination to design a work of paper-art. Materials are supplied by the museum at no charge. Free admission. For more information, call 631-751-0066.

Environmental Explorations

The Whaling Museum, 301 Main St., Cold Spring Harbor and the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum, 180 Little Neck Road Centerport have partnered to offer a fun, intriguing joint program, Environmental Exploration, on April 5 and 6, for children in grades 1 to 5.

On April 5, explore the Vanderbilt Museum’s natural history collections and learn how global warming affects the planet’s ecosystems. Use a 3D-printed coral polyp to demonstrate coral bleaching, examine preserved marine life, and make a shark tooth necklace.

On April 6, roll up your sleeves at The Whaling Museum and explore how to help keep Long Island Sound clean! Discover the dangerous effects of oil spills and water run-off through an educator-led watershed model demonstration. Decorate your own fabric tote bag to reuse again and again. $40 per child for two-day workshop, $30 members.To register, visit

Who’s Hatching?

Sunken Meadow State Park, Sunken Meadow Parkway, Kings Park hosts a Tiny Tots program titled Who’s Hatching? on April 6 from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Children ages 3 to 5 and their parents will connect with nature through short walks, animal visitors, and crafts. $4 per child. To register, visit Questions? call 631-269-4333.


‘Finding Nemo Jr.

The Smithtown Performing Arts Center, 2 E. Main St., Smithtown presents Finding Nemo Jr. daily from April 1 to 8. Marlin, an anxious and over-protective clownfish, lives in the Great Barrier Reef with his kid Nemo, who longs to explore the world beyond their anemone home. Featuring memorable songs such as “Just Keep Swimming,” “Fish Are Friends Not Food,” and “Go With the Flow,” Finding Nemo Jr. brings a vibrant underwater world to life on stage in a story full of family, friendship, and adventure. All seats are $25. To order, call 800-595-4849 or visit

‘Seussical the Musical’

The John W. Engeman Theater, 250 Main St., Northport presents Seussical the Musical from April 1 to 30. “Oh the Thinks You Can Think!” Dive into the colorful world of Dr. Seuss as The Cat in the Hat tells the story of Horton, an elephant who sets off to save a speck of dust containing The Whos from destruction. All seats are $20. To order, call 631-261-2900 or visit

‘The Adventures of Peter Rabbit’

Theatre Three, 412 Main St., Port Jefferson kicks off spring with The Adventures of Peter Rabbit from April 5 to 29 with a sensory sensitive performance on April 16 at 11 a.m. Join Peter, Flopsy, Mopsy, Cotton-Tail, Mrs. Rabbit, Benjamin Bunny and the McGregors in this delightful adaption suggested by the characters created by Beatrix Potter, a Theatre Three tradition for spring break. All seats are $10. To order, call 631-928-9100 or visit


‘All Dogs Go To Heaven’

The Cinema Arts Centre, 423 Park Ave., Huntington continues its Cinema for Kids! Series with a screening of All Dogs Go To Heaven on April 2 at noon. In this animated feature, a canine angel, Charlie, sneaks back to earth from heaven but ends up befriending an orphan girl who can speak to animals. In the process, Charlie learns that friendship is the most heavenly gift of all. Rated G. Tickets are $12, $5 children 12 and under. Visit


Participants at Benner's Farm egg hunt in 2022. File photo by Rita J. Egan

By Heidi Sutton

Looking for Easter Egg Hunts on the North Shore? Here is a list of events for the next two weeks so grab your baskets and camera and hippity hop over to these fun springtime celebrations.

Cold Spring Harbor

Cold Spring Harbor Fish Hatchery, 1660 Route 25A, Cold Spring Harbor will host egg hunts on April 1, 2, 6, 7 and 8 in 20 minute sessions from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. for children up to the age of 6 years old. Tickets are $12 per participating child, $5 “helper siblings” ages 7 to 12, $6 seniors, and $7 adults. To register, visit 516-692-6768 


Burr Winkle Park, Harvest Lane, Commack hosts a free egg hunt with over 4,000 eggs on April 8 from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. with games, prizes, special golden eggs and a free photo of your child with the Easter Bunny. Register at 631-486-3811

East Northport

Seasonal ‘Scapes LI, 638 Larkfield Road, East Northport is hosting an egg hunt, craft and petting zoo for children ages 2 to 12 on April 2 from noon to 3 p.m. with a visit from the Easter Bunny. Each child will receive a basket as well. $10 per child. 631-888-3655

East Setauket

Benner’s Farm, 56 Gnarled Hollow Road, East Setauket invites the community to their annual Easter Egg Hunt Weekend on April 8 and 9 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. There will be craft vendors, baby bunnies and chicks to hold, baby goats and sheep to see and pet, many other barnyard animals to visit with and feed, an egg hunt in the fields every half hour from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. (book your time slot online), pictures with the Spring Bunny and more! This is a ticketed event only. Tickets are $12 per person and are sold only online. No tickets will be sold at the door. Visit 631-689-8172


Elwood Park, 305 Cuba Hill Road, Elwood will host an Easter Egg Hunt, on April 1. Sponsored by the Town of Huntington and Suffolk County Second Precinct police, the hunt will start at 9 a.m. for children ages 3-4; 10 a.m. for those who are 5-6, and 11 a.m. for  children ages 7-8. The event is free but registration is required by visiting under special events.


Head to the Village Green, 361 Main St., Farmingdale for an Easter egg hunt on April 1 for ages 11 and under at 11 a.m. All are welcome to meet the Easter Bunny at the gazebo and have pictures taken. Free. Sponsored by the Farmingdale Village Cultural Arts Committee.


Join the Farmingville Historical Society for an Easter Egg Trail Hunt on April 1 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Embark on an Easter Egg  Hunt through the Farmingville Hills County Park Trails, 501 Horseblock Road, Farmingville. At the last stop in the 1850 historic schoolhouse, kids can recycle their plastic eggs in exchange for a special gift and take a picture with the Easter Bunny. $15 per child. Preregister at

Miller Place

The Miller Place–Mount Sinai Historical Society will host two egg hunts with games and bunny photos on April 2 with the first hunt from 1  p.m. to 2 p.m. for ages 0 to 4 and the second from 2:30 to 3:30 for children ages 5 to 8. $5 per child. Advance registration is required through Eventbrite (


The Village of Northport will hold its annual Easter Egg Hunt on April 9 at Northport Village Park at 1 p.m. Sponsored by the Northport/Centerport Lions Club. 516-380-6444

Port Jefferson

Join the Greater Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce for an Easter Parade and Egg Hunt in the Village of Port Jefferson on April 9 at noon. Enjoy an old-fashioned “Easter Bonnet” walking parade from Theatre Three to the Port Jefferson Village Center (all are welcome to wear their Easter best and march) followed by an Easter Egg Hunt on Harborfront Park’s Great Lawn at 12:15 p.m. for children ages 2 to 8. 631-473-1414

Rocky Point

Joseph A. Edgar Intermediate School, 525 Route 25A, Rocky Point will host its annual Easter Egg Hunt for children ages 6 and under on April 1 at 11:30 a.m. with free Easter candy for all participants. Sponsored by the Rocky Point Lions Club. 631-744-1600

St. James

St. James Chamber of Commerce presents a free Spring Egg Hunt at Deepwells Farm Parking Field, Route 25A and Moriches Road, St. James on April 1 at 1 p.m. for children 1 to 10 years of age with prizes and fun galore plus pictures with the Easter Bunny. Event will be canceled  if rain or inclement weather. 631-584-8510


Caroline Church of Brookhaven, 1 Dyke Road, Setauket will host a free community Easter Egg Hunt with the Easter Bunny on April 8 at 10 a.m.  631-751-3541.


Join the Smithtown Historical Society, 239 East Main St., Smithtown for Egg Hunts on April 8 at 10:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Enjoy refreshments, hanging out with the farm animals, and a special guest appearance from the Easter Bunny in between hunts. Event runs through 1 p.m. Admission to the farm is $5 per person via Eventbrite. 631-265-6768.

Wading River

No egg hunt here but The Shoppes at East Wind, 5768 Route 25A, Wading River will host an Easter Celebration on April 1, 2 and 8 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. with craft vendors, bounce house, a visit with the Easter Bunny and more. $10 per child in advance, $15 on day of; adults free.

SUNDAY STREET CONCERT The Kennedys return to the Long Island Museum for a concert on April 2. Photo by Michael Stahl
Thursday March 30

Avalon Astronomy Night

Avalon Nature Preserve hosts an Astronomy Night at its Skylab off Shep Jones Lane, Stony Brook from 8 to 10 p.m. Take part in a live observing session (weather permitting) focusing on Venus, Mars, the Moon and various deep sky objects. Free. Pre-registration is not required. For more information, call 631-689-0619.

Friday March 31

Wintertide concert

The Wintertide concert series concludes at the Port Jefferson Village Center, 101A E. Broadway, Port Jefferson with a concert by Coppers & Brass, Hallockville musicians performing springtime tunes, from 7 to 8 p.m in the Sail Loft Room on the third floor. $5 donation at the door. Questions? Call 631-473-4778.

Robert Hansen heads to T3

Psychic medium, author and lecturer Robert E. Hansen returns to Theatre Three, 412 Main St., Port Jefferson on Friday, March 31 at 7 p.m. Join Hansen as he takes you on a journey through the other side of the veil. Messages of love will be randomly demonstrated to the audience. Tickets are $35 per person. To order, call 631-928-9100 or visit

Friday Night Face-Off

Friday Night Face Off, Long Island’s longest running Improv Comedy Show, returns to Theatre Three’s Second Stage, 412 Main St., Port Jefferson tonight at 10:30 p.m. Using audience suggestions, FNFO pits two teams of improvisers against each other in an all-out championship! Recommended for ages 16 and up, due to adult content. Tickets are $15 at the door – cash only. Call 631-928-9100 or visit

Saturday April 1

Birdwatch-Architecture Tours

Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum, 180 Little Neck Road, Centerport will offer an early morning Birdwatch and Architecture Tour with the Vanderbilt’s director of curatorial affairs at 8 a.m. Participants will enjoy the unique opportunity to view the Vanderbilt estate in the early dawn hours, when the grounds are still closed but the birds are active. Sturdy hiking footwear is strongly suggested. Participants are asked to bring their own binoculars. Tickets are $12 at

Spring Craft & Gift Fair

Spring shopping time is here! Newfield High School, 145 Marshall Drive Selden hosts a Spring Craft & Gift Fair from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The indoor event will benefit the Newfield High School Leaders Club. Free admission. For more info, call 631-846-1459.

Historic North Fork Tales

Hallockville Museum Farm, 6038 Sound Ave., Riverhead presents Historic North Fork Tales: Food Sovereignty, Food Sustainability, and Cultural Sustainability from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Josephine Smith, noted educator from the Shinnecock Nation, will discuss food sustainability and food sovereignty along with Native American arts, crafts, and historic food preparation. This class will include a food demonstration. Tickets are $30, $20 members at

Whaleboat Chats

The Whaling Museum & Education Center, 301 Main St., Cold Spring Harbor hosts a Whale Boat Chat surrounding the star of the museum’s permanent collection, the 19th century whaleboat Daisy, today at 11:30 a.m. and again at 12:30  p.m. as well as April 5 at 12:30 pm. These educator-led gallery talks will share the story of whaling on Long Island and in Cold Spring Harbor specifically. Visitors will learn that people have been hunting whales here on Long Island for thousands of years. Free with admission to the museum of $6 adults, $5 children and seniors. Call 631-367-3418.

All Souls Concert

All Souls Church, 61 Main Street, Stony Brook, hosts a Saturdays at Six concert featuring  The Voyageur Reed Quintet, a group of music graduate students from Stony Brook and Rutgers University, at 6 p.m. Their repertoire includes 21st century works with a strong emphasis on rhythmic patterns and grooves as well as arrangements of classical pieces. Free. Call 631-655-7798 for more information.

An Evening of Comedy

Theatre Three, 412 Main St.. Port Jefferson presents Chris Roach Live!, a special Comedy Show and TV Pilot premiere featuring comedians Chris Road and Chris Monty at 8 p.m. Don’t miss a night of laughter and fun with two of the top comedians plus the premiere screening of Chris Roach’s new TV pilot, Jiggle the Handle! Tickets are $45. To order, call 631-928-9100 or visit

Sunday April 2

Intro to Wilderness Survival

Join the staff at Caumsett State Historic Park Preserve, 25 Lloyd Harbor Road, Huntington for an Introduction to Wilderness Survival program from 9:45 a.m. to noon. In this hands-on program geared for the average adult, learn how to find food, start a fire, and build a shelter. Approximately 1 mile. For reasons of safety, no children under 18 years old of age will be permitted to attend. $4 per person. Reservations are required by calling 631-423–1770.

Port Jefferson Farmers Market

The Port Jefferson Winter Farmers Market will be held at the Port Jefferson Village Center, 101-A E. Broadway, Port Jefferson every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. through April 30. Featuring over 20 vendors. Call 631-473-4778.

Toby Tobias Ensemble in concert

The Long Island Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame, 97 Main St., Stony Brook will host a concert by the Toby Tobias Ensemble from 3 to 4 p.m. Free with admission to the museum. For more information, call 631-689-5888 or visit

Sunday Street Concert

The Kennedys return to the Long Island Museum for a WUSB Sunday Street concert in the Carriage Museum’s Gillespie Room at 5 p.m. You can expect the usual musical brilliance of an early evening with Pete and Maura as well as songs from a new studio album of original songs. Advance sale tickets are $25 at Tickets at the door (if available) are $30 cash only.

Rock ‘N’ Roll at the Vanderbilt

The popular Long Island band “History of Rock n Roll” will be performing in the Vanderbilt Museum’s Reichert Planetarium theater, 180 Little Neck Road, Centerport at 6 p.m. The band takes the audience on a 90-minute, multi-media musical journey from the inception of Rock ‘n’ Roll from Elvis Presley and The Beatles to the sounds of Disco and Billy Joel with planetarium special effects for an unforgettable evening. Tickets online at are $30 adults, $25 members, $25 children 15 and under; at the door $35 adults, $25 members, $30 children 15 and under. 

A Night of Trivia

In honor of the 370th anniversary of Huntington’s founding on April 2, 1653, the Whaling Museum of Cold Spring Harbor will hosta special Trivia Night about All Things Huntington at 7 p.m. Questions will be about local history, nature, stores, beaches, celebrities, streets, and more within the Town, from Cold Spring Harbor to Northport to Dix Hills. Prizes for top winners! $10 per participant. Visit to register.

Monday April 3

Movie Trivia Night at the CAC

Join the Cinema Arts Centre, 423 Park Ave., Huntington for a Movie Trivia Night at 8 p.m. Try to answer 50 questions based all around film, actors and actresses, awards, and everything else associated with the world of film. Challenge like-minded film fans in a battle of wits for cash and other prizes. You can form teams, so bring some friends and work together. Feel free to come alone and play solo as well! Hosted by Dan French. Tickets are $10 per person, $7 members at

Tuesday April 4

An evening of Swing Dance

Swing Dance Long Island, a non-profit social dance club, holds weekly dances every Tuesday evening at the  Huntington Moose Lodge, 631 Pulaski Rd. Greenlawn with beginner swing lessons at 7:30 p.m. and dancing from 8 to 10:30 p.m. Singles and beginners are welcome.  No partner necessary. Admission is $15-DJ night,  $20-band night on the third Tuesday of the month. Call 516-521-1410.

The Great American Jazz Songbook

John W. Engeman Theater, 250 Main St., Northport continues its Special Events series with a concert celebrating the Great American Jazz Songbook at 8 p.m. Join Ken Kresge, Eric Haft and Marcus McLaurine with special guest artist Jerry Weldon as they take you on a musical journey through the history of America’s greatest jazz songs. Music from Gershwin and Porter, to Broadway and beyond. Tickets are $45 per person. To order, call 631-261-2900 or visit

Wednesday April 5

Whaleboat Chat

See April 1 listing.

Thursday April 6

An Evening of Jazz

The Jazz Loft, 275 Christian Ave., Stony Brook presents a concert by The Jazz Loft Big Band, a 26-piece Jazz Orchestra directed by Jazz Loft Director Tom Manuel, titled Stan Kenton’s Cuban Fire Suite tonight, April 7 and 8 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $40 adults, $35 seniors, $30 students, $25 children at For more info call 631-751-1895. 

[email protected] Photo by Steven Uihlein/Theatre Three

[email protected]

Theatre Three, 412 Main Street, Port Jefferson, presents Pride @ Prejudice from April 7 through May 6. Watch Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy fall in love all over again — this time filtered through the world of the internet. Modern voices interject and build on this classic love story in the form of blog posts, chat room discussions, quotes from film adaptations, and even letters from Ms. Austen herself to create a delightfully postmodern view of 19th century England. Five actors play nearly two dozen roles in this hilarious and moving homage to Jane Austen’s most beloved novel, Pride and Prejudice. Tickets are $35 adults, $28 seniors and students, $20 children ages 5 and up. To order, call 631-928-9100 or visit

‘The Scarlet Pimpernel’

The swashbuckling musical adventure The Scarlet Pimpernel heads to the John W. Engeman Theater, 250 Main St., Northport from March 16 to April 30. Percy Blakeney, a proper Englishman, takes on a sword fighting and dashing double identity as The Scarlet Pimpernel to save French citizens from the blood-hungry guillotine. His exploits soon become the talk of Paris, however, the fanatical Agent Chauvelin will stop at nothing to catch the Pimpernel and send him to the guillotine. With a rousing and passionate score by Frank Wildhorn,  The Scarlet Pimpernel is a thrilling musical! For ticket info, call 631-261-2900 or visit 

‘The Comedy of Errors’

The Theatre at Suffolk County Community College, Ammerman campus, 533 College Road, Selden presents a production of The Comedy of Errors by William Shakespeare in the Shea Theatre in the Islip Arts Building on April 13, 14, 15, 20, 21 and 22 at 7:30 p.m. and April 16 and 23 at 2 p.m. Mature content. General admission is $15. For tickets, call 631-451-4163. 

‘(Mostly) True Things’

The Performing Arts Studio, 224 E. Main St, Port Jefferson presents (Mostly) True Stories With A Twist “A Rough Start,” a game wrapped in a storytelling show that features true stories, with a twist, on April 15 at 7 p.m. This show features 4 true stories but 3 of them include subtle little lies. In the second act, the audience questions the storytellers, then votes for the person they think told it straight. Winners get a tote bag, and the whole truth about each story is shared before the end of the evening. It is a combination of comedy, heart and community that is truly a unique experience. Hosted by Jude Treder-Wolff, performers will include Nina Lesiga and David Lawson. Tickets are $15 online at Eventbrite or $20 at the door (cash only). Visit 


‘Concert for George’

The Cinema Arts Centre, 423 Park Ave., Huntington invites the community to celebrate the 80th birthday of George Harrison with a screening of Concert for George on April 3 at 7:30 p.m. featuring an exclusive introduction from Olivia and Dhani Harrison. On November 29, 2002, one year after the passing of George Harrison, Olivia Harrison and longtime friend Eric Clapton organized a performance tribute in his honor. Held at London’s Royal Albert Hall, the momentous evening featured George’s songs, and music he loved, performed by a lineup that included Clapton, Joe Brown, Dhani Harrison, Jools Holland, Jeff Lynne, Paul McCartney, Monty Python, Tom Petty, Billy Preston, Ravi and Anoushka Shankar, Ringo Starr and many more. Tickets are $15, $10 members. To order, visit

‘Autism Paints’

Cinema Arts Centre, 423 Park Ave., Huntington will screen the premiere of Autism Paints, a documentary by filmmaker David Stagnari about the formation of The Spirit of Huntington by Erich Preis. on April 2 at 2 p.m. Followed by a panel discussion and reception. Tickets are $12 adults, $10 seniors and students, $5 children 12 and under at

The Suffolk County Police Department Impound Section will hold an auction on April 1 at 9 a.m. at the Suffolk County Police Department Impound Facility, located at 100 Old Country Road in Westhampton. The auction begins at 9 a.m. and will be held rain or shine. There will be a preview of the vehicles on March 30 and March 31 between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. at the impound yard. Vehicles will also be available for preview one hour prior to the start of the auction. 

Approximately 120 lots will be auctioned off including sedans, SUVs, and motorcycles. All vehicles will start with a minimum bid of $300 and are sold as-is. For a full list of vehicles, registration information and terms and conditions for the auction, visit under Precinct and Specialized Units, click Impound Section followed by Upcoming Auctions and Events or click here.

Mount Sinai senior attack Taylor Cline broke the ice for the Mustangs when her shot on goal split the pipes two minutes in, followed up with a goal from teammate Alexa Spallina at the 16-minute mark. Then Cline stretched the net again, putting the Mustangs out front 3-0.

Comsewogue answered back, however, as senior midfielder Gabby Constant scored twice in three minutes, followed by freshman attack Gianna McNulty’s shot on goal assisted by Jackie Riviezzo, tying the game at 3-3 with just under eight minutes left in the half. 

Spallina scored again, capped with a pair of goals by senior Lea Flobeck to lead it 6-3. The Warriors fought their way back to make it a one-score game when McNulty’s shot once again found its mark with just under seven minutes left in this Div. II matchup on Monday, March 27.

Spallina would score the insurance goal, firing at the cage while falling to seal the deal for the Mustangs, who won 8-6. Mount Sinai goalie Sara Flobeck had six saves in net.

Both teams are back in action this Friday, March 31, when the Mustangs host Bayport-Blue Point at 4:30 p.m. and the Warriors host Shoreham-Wading River at 5 p.m.

— Photos by Bill Landon

Newfield High School held an induction ceremony for 18 new members of its National Art Honor Society. The purpose of this organization at Newfield High School is to inspire and recognize students who have shown outstanding ability in art and support students’ creative abilities and talents. 

The Art Honor Society advised by Sal Berretta, besides supporting its membership, looks to promote the love of the arts in the greater Newfield High School student body. 

“Our goal is to foster excellence and a dedicated spirit among our Art Honor Society members as well as bringing awareness of art to our community, our high school and other areas of the school curriculum,” said Scott Graviano, principal of Newfield High School. “Welcome to our new inductees, and we are confident our existing members will give them support and resources to thrive.”

During the ceremony, guest speaker Shay Steuart, a senior at SUNY New Paltz majoring in Art Education and Art History and minoring in Evolutionary Studies and Social Justice Educational Studies, spoke to the Art Honor Society members. 

She is a visual artist, primarily working in acrylic and oil paint and just finished her student teaching at New Lane Elementary School. She will begin student teaching at Newfield High School.

New inductees include the following:

  • Shariq Ahmad
  • Tahsina Akbar
  • Anjali Alexis
  • Mya Barry
  • Faith Burns
  • Devi Das
  • Vicky Das
  • Abigail Daniels
  • Phenisha Dulnuun
  • James Keenan
  • Payton Martin
  • Jessica Mcllree
  • Amtul Naqvi
  • Daiana Ramirez
  • Samantha Sayers
  • Caralena Schwartz
  • Ella Sharrock
  • Isabella Warner 

For more information regarding the Middle Country Central School District and its students’ many achievements, please visit the District’s website:

This concept rendering is a vision for what a revitalized Stony Brook Baseball and Softball Complex could be. Image from SBU

Stony Brook University and its athletics programs will benefit from a $2.5 million gift in the form of a 1:1 matching challenge — designated to strengthen Stony Brook Baseball and Softball, cornerstones of the university’s athletics department. The announcement was made in a press release on March 27.

The same family also provided an additional $500,000 in support for the Stony Brook basketball program and their individual athletes’ and programmatic needs, including academic incentive awards for student-athletes, team travel and meal costs, and recruiting.

The gift inspired Stony Brook star and former Major League Baseball pitcher Joe Nathan ’97, the first player from Stony Brook to reach the major leagues and one of the most successful closers in MLB history, to make a lead gift to aid in the effort to revitalize Stony Brook’s baseball and softball complex. In making this gift, Nathan is renewing his support of the facility; his 2008 contribution led to the initial construction of Joe Nathan Field.

“This is an exciting moment for Stony Brook Baseball and Softball. When I first learned of this incredible matching gift, I was moved by this family’s generosity and passion for the program that has meant so much to me,” says Nathan. “Their gift has the potential to transform the future of Joe Nathan Field and University Field, and I am so thankful for their investment in our student-athletes.”

“With that in mind, it is an honor to make a lead gift to the project and support the vision of a state-of-the-art facility for Stony Brook Baseball and Softball. My family and I are thrilled to be the first, of what we hope are many, donors to take advantage of this $2.5 million matching fund and help make a lasting impact on Stony Brook Baseball and Softball,” he says.

Stony Brook Athletics will now set out to raise the entire $2.5 million matched amount, in order to generate a total investment of $5 million into revitalizing the baseball and softball complex. Additionally, as the Stony Brook community prepares for its upcoming Giving Day on Wednesday, March 29, Stony Brook Athletics will utilize $50,000 of the challenge funds as a Giving Day matching opportunity, allowing members of the community to make gifts of any size and be matched dollar-for-dollar.

“I am beyond grateful for the generosity and trust that has been bestowed upon our program. It has been 11 years since Stony Brook made history by reaching the College World Series, and these transformational gifts provide an opportunity to elevate our baseball and softball complex to a standard that our student-athletes deserve,” says Shawn Heilbron, director of athletics.

“This revitalization project is about more than just beautifying our campus and updating our facilities; it will help us recruit the best and brightest student-athletes,” he says. “At a time when national interest in college baseball and softball has never been higher, our goal is to compete on the national stage.”

There is no denying the significant impact that leadership gifts, like this one, play in laying the foundation for the university’s continued growth and progress. With Giving Day 2023 around the corner, matching gifts, like Nathan’s, underscore how the collective impact of Stony Brook’s growing community of alumni, students, faculty and friends is advancing the university’s priorities and helping it reach its potential.

“This anonymous gift has already done more than address the immediate needs of our university community,” says Justin Fincher, vice president for advancement and executive director of the Stony Brook Foundation. “It’s created a ripple effect by inspiring others to think about how they can play a role in Stony Brook’s future.”

The matching gift stemmed from a total $5.5 million contribution from the same anonymous donor family. The $5.5 million included support to the Stony Brook basketball program noted above as well as additional support for the Stony Brook Children’s Hospital Pediatric Emergency Department Expansion Fund.

Feeling inspired? To learn more about how you can #HoldDoorsOpen and support the next generation of Seawolves this Giving Day, visit 

A year ago, Vladimir Putin waged an unprovoked war against Ukraine. Today, he leads an army that is poorly trained, ill-equipped and increasingly resentful of his command. Pixabay photo

The Russo-Ukrainian War has become the largest European conflict since World War II, which ended in 1945. 

A year after the Russian invasion, and with his nation fighting for its survival, Ukraine’s leader President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has told the world his forces would continue their efforts.

The year of bloodshed

At first, the international community believed the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv had no chance of holding out against a well-coordinated Russian assault. Yet the capital city remains in Ukrainian hands.

Some cities in Ukraine now resemble the World War II-ruined cities of Berlin, Dresden and Warsaw, buried in rubble.

At some points in the war, Zelenskyy has warned against the potential collapse of his lines as Russian assaults have been levied against his army. The president of Russia, Vladimir Putin, has relied on the costly strategy of attrition against the Ukrainians, even as his army has endured as many as 200,000 casualties. 

During this year of fighting, Ukraine, with a smaller army, has relied on Cold War-era planes, helicopters, guns and tanks yet has thwarted Russian movement.

With European allies like Germany deploying Leopard tanks, the key to Ukrainian survival has rested in the constant supply of weapons from the coalition that the United States has created. 

The war has demonstrated the might of American weaponry, which has stymied the Russians. Through the proximity of American bases in Poland and Germany, American forces have also trained Ukrainian noncommissioned officers to lead their soldiers better.

This expertise has also aided Ukrainian military officials, who have learned to mobilize Patriot air defense systems, Abrams tanks and artillery guns. Although the Biden administration has continually downplayed the deployment of fighter planes for the Ukrainians, reports indicate that training has already commenced for some of their pilots.  

A disconnected dictator

Putin, meanwhile, continually targets civilian populations of Ukraine’s major cities and towns, causing death and destruction with hypersonic missiles that are almost impossible to shoot down. 

On the world stage, the Russian army has no clear path to victory. Some of Putin’s soldiers have even sent videos to their families and the press, revealing how poorly equipped and trained they are to meet the Ukrainians on the battlefield.  

Some Russians have openly criticized the government for mishandling the invasion effort. Putin’s government has lost much credibility along the way. 

During the early days of the war, the Russian dictator said his goal was to rid Ukraine of its “Nazi” elements that influenced the government in Kyiv. During a recent G20 Summit in New Delhi, Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov was met with laughter when he said, “The war, which we are trying to stop, which was launched against us using Ukrainian people.” 

These confused comments suggest an increasingly disconnected Putin regime, a Kremlin that has lost the global public relations battle to justify the war.

Resentment against the regime

Domestic instability has been a primary concern when looking at the Russian regime under Putin. The dictator is in constant fear over his own security, increasingly suspicious that he will be deposed.  

The Wagner Group, a Russian paramilitary organization that has spearheaded much of the fighting, has had several public differences in how this war was being carried out under Putin’s directives. Some believe that Putin views the Wagner Group as a threat to his own rule.  

It is estimated that the Wagner Group has lost over 30,000 mercenaries, with about 9,000 fighters killed in action, U.S. officials said last month. Putin’s forces quickly surpassed the 15,000 Russians killed during the Soviet War in Afghanistan from 1979-89.

There is rising distress within the Russian population over the many soldiers who will not return alive. It has not helped Putin’s cause that his armies receive little training before being shipped off to the Ukrainian front against a battle-hardened foe. 

Through the startling number of casualties, deficiencies in Russian hardware and a total lack of leadership, Putin has repeatedly stated that nuclear weapons remain on the table.

All signs point to a defeated and embarrassed former world power. At every turn, Putin has refused to believe the Ukrainians could mount a capable resistance. One year later, Ukraine continues to push for victory.

Rich Acritelli is a history teacher at Rocky Point High School and adjunct professor at Suffolk County Community College. Written in conjunction with members of the high school’s History Honor Society.

Pictured above, New York State Sen. Dean Murray (R-East Patchogue), left of poster, and state Assemblywoman Jodi Giglio (R-Riverhead), right of poster, along with Republican state legislators. Photo by New York State Senate Photography

This past week in Albany, New York State Sen. Dean Murray (R-Patchogue) and state Assemblywoman Jodi Giglio (R-Riverhead) joined with Republican colleagues from the state Senate and Assembly at a press conference calling for the crackdown on improper and deceptive packaging practices for edible products with THC infusions. 

The lawmakers said there has been a dramatic increase in cases of children mistaking these products for regular candies and snack foods, with dangerous and sometimes deadly results. 

Murray and Giglio have introduced legislation that would target this practice, mandating that THC-infused edibles on the market are marked and packaged plainly and increasing penalties for violators.