Events

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Get ready to lose an hour of sleep, but gain an extra hour of daylight! Daylight Saving Time begins at 2 a.m. on Sunday, March 8. That’s when you’ll move your clocks forward by one hour.

The event is also a good time to change the batteries in your smoke detectors.

Daylight Saving Time ends Nov. 1 when we’ll move our clocks back an hour and lose an hour of daylight

Did you know?

Most parts of North America will begin Daylight Saving Time on March 8, 2020, at 2:00 a.m., respective to their time zones. In the European Union, “Summer Time” begins at 1:00 a.m. on the last Sunday in March, which this year will be March 29. The change is made at the same absolute time across all time zones respective to Greenwich Mean Time, which also is known as Universal Time.

One reason DST is still practiced in many areas of the world is to push an hour of daylight from the morning to the evening and make better use of this daylight. There are various origin stories linked to DST, including one that involves Benjamin Franklin. DST also has been touted as a way to save resources during times of war or as a means to helping farmers be more prosperous.

However, despite the many proclaimed benefits of DST, there are many detractors who insist that there are no perceived benefits. Some of these DST naysayers say switching the clocks twice a year can negatively affect the body’s natural circadian rhythm. Various efforts both domestically and abroad have been instituted to abolish DST, but as of 2020, it remains on the calendar.

 

Photo from Vanderbilt Museum

The Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum, 180 Little Neck Road, Centerport will host its third annual Gardeners Showcase during spring and summer 2020. The museum invites local nurseries and garden designers to show off their skills and creativity in one of the gardens that grace the 43-acre waterfront estate, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Spots are still available for this year’s showcase, and will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Participants, in return for their effort and contribution, will receive:

 • Signage that identifies their business, at each garden showcase site. This signage will be viewed by the more than 100,000 anticipated Vanderbilt visitors during the spring, summer and fall.

  Recognition on the Vanderbilt website and publicity on its social-media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram).

• Publicity through news releases sent to regional media.

• A one-year Associate Membership to the Vanderbilt Museum.

 To secure a spot in this year’s Gardeners Showcase, or to obtain more information, please contact Jim Munson, the Vanderbilt Museum’s operations supervisor, at 631-379-2237 or at [email protected]

Jim Girvan, this year’s grand marshal, in his Kings Park home Photo by Rita J. Egan

Kings Park resident Jim Girvan was thrilled when he heard he would be this year’s grand marshal in the hamlet’s St. Patrick’s Day parade.

A scene from the 2019 Kings Park St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Photo by Rita J. Egan

“As a Scout in parades, I never thought I would be a grand marshal,” he said, adding that when he was a kid, he would march in fire department parades.

Kevin Johnston, chair of the parade committee, said Girvan was the perfect choice for grand marshal. He remembered Girvan saying that when he was younger, he wanted a place where he had friends, a job and a town, and he found that in Kings Park.

“He epitomizes what we consider Kings Parkers,” Johnston said.

The committee chair described this year’s grand marshal as a delight to be around.

“It’s that Irish smile of his that is just beaming,” Johnston said. “He has a very welcoming and endearing smile and that’s what kind of brings people in.”

The 88-year-old Girvan has a deep connection with Ireland. His father, John Girvan, was raised there, and while his mother Mary McGuckin was born in Scotland, she was of Irish descent.

It’s Kings Park though where Girvan has established deep roots.

His father worked in a naval yard in Staten Island, and as a semiprofessional soccer player, would travel out to Kings Park to entertain patients at the psychiatric hospital. Girvan said when his father broke his leg and lost his job at the naval yard, he was offered a position as a kitchen helper at the hospital and worked his way up to head cook.

That move was a fateful one for Girvan, who has lived in Kings Park most of his life except for two years when he was a nurse in Philadelphia. He and his wife have also raised six children in the hamlet.

After graduating from St. Joseph’s R.C. Church’s grammar school, he said he received a scholastic scholarship to Bishop Loughlin High School in Brooklyn. Girvan said he attended the school for two years until he asked his father if he could go to Kings Park High School. The grand marshal said he loved playing basketball, but couldn’t participate while commuting to the city to attend school, sometimes not returning home until 8 p.m.

He would go on to not only graduate from Kings Park High School but to also be part of the basketball team that won the 1950 Suffolk County Championship, the first time the school won a county title in the sport.

“He epitomizes what we consider Kings Parkers.”

— Kevin Johnston

Girvan went into nursing and worked at the Kings Park Psychiatric Center and then Northport Veterans Hospital. He said he was drafted by the army in 1966 but then was commissioned by the navy to work as a nurse in Philadelphia Naval Hospital, where he supervised the Acute PTSD Admissions Unit.

After two years living in New Jersey with his wife and children, and commuting to the Pennsylvania hospital, Girvan  and family returned to Kings Park. Through the decades the grand marshal has been involved in the Knights of Columbus, Ancient Order of Hibernians, the Kings Park Fire Department and Ambulance Committee and more. To this day, he is an usher at St. Joseph’s R.C. Church.

When it comes to Kings Park, Girvan realizes there has been a lot of development through the years, but he said when it comes to charm, it’s stayed the same.

“We didn’t change that much, believe it or not,” he said. “The town is pretty much the same.”

He and wife Irene, known by her nickname Rene, said they remember when the Northern Parkway ended in Nassau County and Smithtown was filled with farms. They also still call Commack “Comac” as many longtime residents do, the original spelling and pronunciation of the neighboring hamlet.

Girvan has marched in the Kings Park parade before with the Ancient Order of Hibernians, but this year will be special, he said. He and his wife said friends and family are coming from all over to see him lead the parade, including Texas, Maryland and Florida, and many will also walk with him. A good friend from San Antonio recently came up to surprise him for the Grand Marshal Ball that was held back in January.

“The Girvan family feels very good about it, and it will be in our hearts forever this day,” Girvan said.

Johnston said this year the parade will feature more than 20 bands, 15 of which will be bagpipes, as well as more than 10 fire departments and several local businesses.

The Kings Park 10th annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade kicks off at noon Saturday, March 7, rain or shine. It begins at the corner of Lou Avenue and Pulaski Road, continues down Main Street and turns onto Church Street and ends down Old Dock Road at William T. Rogers Middle School.

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Visit participating restaurants throughout the Village of Port Jefferson for a taste of the green during the Luck of Irish Breakfast Crawl on Saturday, March 14 from 9 a.m. to noon.

This year’s theme is ‘Luck of the Irish’ and each local purveyors (17 participating locations) will provide food and/or drinks to a taste of Ireland! Come  enjoy Bangers, Irish Tea, Rashers, and more and shop at the local retailers for special offers/discounts! Look out for the large shamrocks displayed on their window. *Provided by the Port Jefferson Retailers Association*

Rain date is March 21. Tickets are $30. TICKET PICK-UPS are at the Port Jefferson Chamber Office, 118 West Broadway, Port Jefferson.

Hours for pick-up: Monday – Friday 10:30am – 5pm

**Each ticket holder is allowed one tasting per participating purveyor and will need to get their ticket stamped at each stop they visit.**

To purchase, call 631-473-1414 or email: [email protected]

Sponsored by Pro-Port Restaurant Group and the Port Jefferson Chamber of Commerce.

 

 

Barry Sonnenfeld. Photo from CAC

Join film director Barry Sonnenfeld (“Get Shorty,” “The Addams Family,” “Men in Black Trilogy”) for a lively evening at the Cinema Arts Centre, 423 Park Ave., Huntington featuring film clips from some of his most beloved works and a discussion of his new book, “Barry Sonnenfeld, Call Your Mother: Memoirs of a Neurotic Filmmaker” at 7:30 p.m. Tickets, which are $50, $45 members, include a reception and a copy of Sonnenfeld’s new book. Visit www.cinemaartscentre.org.

Chloe Bucher

By Melissa Arnold

Like most high schoolers, 16-year-old Chloe Bucher has a lot going on. The Ward Melville High School junior is balancing schoolwork, two jobs, a social life and extracurriculars while also pondering big questions about her future.

In the midst of all that, Bucher has never stopped thinking about others, particularly people with disabilities and special needs. Since she was an eighth grader at Paul J. Gelinas Junior High School in E. Setauket, Bucher has been a part of a Buddies Program that builds friendships and support for special needs students through games, crafts, parties and other activities. 

When she arrived at Ward Melville in 9th grade, Bucher was one of several students who petitioned to launch a similar program for the high school.

“People assume a lot of things when you have special needs — they might think ‘oh, they’re just dumb.’ But it’s not like that at all,” Bucher said in a recent interview. “The Buddies Program in middle school was amazing, and we wanted to keep the inclusivity going. It’s a lot of work to accommodate each person’s individual needs and skills, but it’s so worth it.”

Last week, as local students had a week-long recess, Bucher was hard at work on her latest project — Come Support and Change Lives — a fundraiser to benefit the special needs community on Long Island.

On Saturday, March 7 beginning at 7 p.m., Bucher is hosting an evening of appetizers, drinks, raffle baskets and entertainment at the charming Bates House, nestled in Setauket’s Frank Melville Memorial Park.

Proceeds from the event will support the Developmental Disabilities Institute (DDI), Long Island’s leading provider of educational, vocational, day program and residential services for more than 1500 children and adults living with autism and other developmental disabilities. The organization was founded in 1961 and has since grown into an energetic, multi-site nonprofit agency.

“I really wanted to broaden the spectrum of who I was helping,” Bucher said. “A family friend has a son with autism who benefited from DDI, and I know they do so much for the community. They’re a great team.”

Jean Smith, director of development at DDI, said that the organization is thrilled to partner with Bucher.

“It is wonderful to see that there are young people in our local community like Chloe, who are passionate about enhancing the lives of individuals with autism and go above and beyond to show their support,” said Smith. “On behalf of the individuals DDI serves, I would like to thank and commend Chloe for her kindness and generosity.”

Bucher is still unsure about what she wants to do after graduation, but is leaning toward becoming an educator. 

“The kids that I work with make me want to do this for a lifetime,” she said.

The Bates House is located at 1 Bates Road in Setauket. Tickets to the event are $50 per person. To purchase, contact Chloe Bucher at 631-521-1478 or by email at [email protected] To learn more about DDI, visit www.DDINY.org. 

The staff at Play Groups School

By Donna Newman

There’s something unique about a preschool that is still serving children on the North Shore of Long Island three quarters of a century after its founding. Through the years, Play Groups School became a family tradition for many in the area, with two or more generations counted among the school’s “graduates.”

On Saturday, Feb. 29, Play Groups School will celebrate 75 years of offering generations of students their first school experience with a Gala at The Old Field Club in Setauket. Invitations were sent to all those for whom contact information was available, including former teachers, former students and their parents. More than 110 people plan to attend.

The Play Groups saga began in 1944 when a group of parents decided to organize a “play group” where their children could learn through play with their peers. According to Brookhaven Town Historian Barbara Russell, whose brother was a member of the group in 1949, the children met at a small cottage near the Old Field Club. Perhaps that is why it was called the Old Field Nursery School in the early days. The first teachers were Dora Underwood of Port Jefferson and Joan Cockshutt of Setauket.

Play Groups was formally organized in 1974 when it was awarded an Absolute Charter by the New York State Department of Education and granted not-for-profit status from the IRS via a 501(c)(3) determination letter.

By 1986 the school was moved to its current location on Old Post Road in East Setauket, a building designed specifically for preschoolers. The school earned licensing by the New York State Office of Children and Family Services in 1992, and accreditation by the NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children) in 1997. 

Play Groups Director Maddy Friedman has been at the helm for the last three decades, during which she has introduced many new ideas and concepts that keep the school continually evolving as times change. Yet, she says. the original focus remains unchanged.

“It has been my honor and privilege to lead Play Groups School these many years,” said Friedman. “While striving to stay abreast of current research and best practices, some things  have remained constant throughout. For young children play is essential for learning. It’s the way to develop creativity, curiosity, problem solving, social and emotional skills – and a lifelong love of learning. Our highly trained staff embrace this philosophy; they are at the core of our longevity and success. Our parents bring their time and talents to the classrooms and to the board.”

Friedman went on to describe one of her favorite innovations – one she feels is an extraordinary addition to the Play Groups program. “Acknowledging young children’s fascination with the natural world, nine years ago we added an  Outdoor Classroom to our facility,” said Friedman. “Through a collaborative effort, we created a space to encourage this relationship and engender a sense of stewardship the children will carry with them throughout their lives.”

Much more than a school, Play Groups is a family. 

Now retired Play Groups Business Manager Kathy Rademacher spent more than 25 years working at the school. She spoke of the deep, long-term relationships formed between Friedman and so many of her students and their families. “Play Groups played such an enormous role in my family’s story,” Rademacher said. “My son attended the preschool for three years, later completed his Eagle Scout project at the school, and worked at the summer camp as a lifeguard and counselor. Now, my son and his beloved – they met in the “Raccoon Room” in 1992 – are making wedding plans!” 

There are many stories of lasting friendships created at Play Groups School and Friedman expressed her pleasure and gratitude about that.

“It has been my personal joy to develop relationships with the children and their families over the years,” said Friedman. “Many staff members (both school and camp) were parents or students here at Play Groups. We so appreciate the trust that families have placed in us.”

School board members Sarah Russell Funt and Heather Snyder Ippolito are creating a walk down Memory Lane for the Gala. Funt is preparing a slideshow of photos taken over the past 75 years. Her husband Jared is a Play Groups alum and all their children have been, are, or will be Play Groups students as well. 

Ippolito is creating a display of memorabilia gathered over the years. A new member of the Play Groups family, she and husband Chris look forward to beginning the tradition for their family.

At the heart of the Play Groups tradition lies a goal common to both parents and staff, said Friedman. “We all share great respect for this magical time in a young child’s life and we work to make these preschool years full of memories to treasure.”

Photos courtesy of Play Groups School

From left, chamber members Jane Taylor, Carmine Inserra and John Tsunis; owners Kevin Ma and Tim Cheung; Councilwoman Valerie Cartright; and chamber members Jamie Ladone and Rob Taylor. Photo from TV Chamber of Commerce

Grand opening 

Members of the Three Village Chamber of Commerce and Councilwoman Valerie Cartright welcomed owners Tim Cheung and Kevin Ma of Sei Ramen to the community during a grand-opening celebration on Feb. 12. Located in the Wild by Nature Plaza at 244 Route 25A in Setauket, the Japanese restaurant is known for its traditional Ramen authentic recipes. For more information, call 631-675-0808 or visit www.seiramen.com.

 

 

'At the Gallery' by Ludovico Abejar

Celebrate the exceptional talent of Long Island artists at the Annual Invitational Exhibition at the Atelier at Flowerfield, 2 Flowerfield, Suite 15, St. James. The juried show runs from March 5 to April 30.

Exhibiting artists  include Ludovico Abejar,  Lucia Alberti,  Ross Barbera, Marta Baumiller, Marlene Bezich, Nariman Boyle, Al Candia Kenneth Cerreta, Anthony Davis ,Paul Edelson, Dan Fusco, Shelley Holtzman, Frances Ianarella, David Jaycox, Jr Laurence Johnston, Liz Jorg Masi, Raymond McGraime, Jane McGraw-Teubner, Fred Mendelsohn, Joseph Miller, Annette Napolitano, Meriel Pitarka, Irene Ruddock, Oscar Santiago, Lori Scarlatos, Ilene Silberstein, Rosario Stine-Barry, Judy Stone, Angela Stratton, and Helena Weber.

Meet the artists at an opening reception on Thursday, March 5 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

For more information, call 632-250-9009 or visit www.atelierflowerfield.org.

Huntington Town Clerk Andrew Raia (R)officiated over the Valentine’s Day Marriage Ceremony Marathon that took place in Huntington Town Hall Feb. 14. Photo from Town of Huntington

One Huntington official carried on a town and family tradition Valentine’s Day.

Tiffany and Luke LeGrow, above, renew their vows as their children Shane and Blakley look on. Photo from Town of Huntington

Huntington Town Clerk Andrew Raia (R)officiated over the Valentine’s Day Marriage Ceremony Marathon that took place in Huntington Town Hall Feb. 14. The event was first initiated by his mother, former Town Clerk Jo-Ann Raia, in 1995. It was an event the new town clerk was pleased to continue.

“I am thrilled to be continuing on the tradition established by my predecessor, Jo-Ann Raia, of hosting multiple wedding and renewal of vows ceremonies on Valentine’s Day here in Town Hall,” he said. “This event has always been received enthusiastically by the couples that have participated, and it was a privilege and a pleasure for me to unite these couples and to share in their happiness on this very special day.”

Raia performed eight wedding ceremonies and one vow renewal during the marathon. Among the couples were Victoria Espinoza and Alex Petroski. A few years ago, the couple met while working at TBR News Media. Espinoza went on to become the editor of The Times of Huntington & Northport and The Times of Smithtown before she left the media group in 2017, and Petroski was the managing editor and editor of The Port Times Record and The Village Beacon Record before he left at the end of 2018. Jo-Ann Raia remembered Espinoza covering the event in the past.

“I am very proud of the way the new town clerk, Andrew Raia, planned his first Valentine’s Day Marriage Marathon, and I am pleased to see my tradition of 25 years continued,” Jo-Ann Raia said. “In fact, Victoria and Alex Petroski met at The Times of Huntington newspaper, and Victoria covered for the Times Beacon Record several years of my Valentine’s Day Marriage Marathon, and I’m excited they took the opportunity of getting married at Town Hall.”

Couples were able to bring family and friends along for support and 31 local merchants consisting of bakeries, restaurants, florists, supermarkets/food stores, pharmacies, gift shops, candy stores, a salon and spa donated items for this year’s celebration.