Elisa Hendrey of Sound Beach captured this image of the Grand Republic Ferry engulfed in a thick fog at Port Jefferson Harbor on January 25, a result of the unusually warm air temperature of 57 degrees reacting to the colder water

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Photo by John Dielman


John Dielman of East Setauket recently captured this incredible birds-eye view of the Old Field Point Lighthouse using a drone. 

The  154-year-old building overlooking the Long Island Sound is one of 36 properties in New York and the only one on Long island to be nominated to the State and National Registers of Historic Places in 2023. Governor Kathy Hochul made the announcement on Dec 29. 

“Identifying these resources and adding them to our historic registers expands our ongoing understanding of our shared history and are important reminders of the innovation, passion, and lived experiences of New Yorkers who came before us,” said Hochul. 

Originally fueled by oil, the 50-foot tall light station is now unmanned and relies on electricity, but remains an active lighthouse and also serves as the Old Field Village Hall on the first floor.

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Downtown Port Jefferson was ready for Santa as the shops and businesses of the village continued a popular tradition this holiday season. 

— Photos by Bill Landon

The winners of the 2023 Annual Gurwin Photo Contest were revealed at an evening awards presentation recently at a gallery-style cocktail reception hosted by the contest’s new partner, the Commack Public Library. Winning photos will remain on display in the Library’s new gallery through the end of the year.

Thirty-two winning selections were revealed, as the amateur photographers and their guests received their award prizes and trophies and got a first glimpse of their beautifully mounted and professionally framed photographs on display in the Library’s lower level gallery. Following the month-long residence in the Library, the stunning photos will be featured in the Tiffen Gallery at Gurwin Jewish Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Commack for the enjoyment of the community’s 460 long- and short-term residents, staff and visitors.

“This year marks the 30th anniversary of our renowned Gurwin Photo Contest,” said Stuart B. Almer, President and Chief Executive Officer of Gurwin Healthcare System. “Each year we are so very impressed by the incredible work of the talented members of our community and grateful for the support they show our Center, and in turn, the residents in our care.”

Selections the 2023 winning photos were conducted by Tony Lopez of East End Film & Digital Corporation, and Chris Appoldt of Chris Appoldt Photography, as well as new judge Chris Geminski of the Tiffen Company, long-time sponsor of the Gurwin Photo Contest. The three experts chose the “best of the best” from among hundreds of entries in the annual contest. 

Best-in-Show went to perennial winner Donna Crinnian of Huntington for her photo “Somewhere in India” and Best-In-Show Runner-Up went to Eric Lohse of Connecticut for “Fishing the Farmington.” Grand Prize and Honorable Mention (HM) awards were awarded in each of 12 categories, as well as a Resident/Staff Selection award for photos selected through a vote by the residents and employees of Gurwin Jewish Nursing & Rehabilitation Center.

Action/Sports: Grand Prize “Surfer Girl” by Frank DiBenedetto; HM “To the Crease” by Mike DiRenzo

Altered/Enhanced: Grand Prize “Dahlias in a Vase” by Carol Goldstein; HM “A Pair of Pairs” by Marc F. Alter

Children: Grand Prize “One Dog, Two Bites” by Robert V. Guido; HM “Run with the Sun” by Robert Oliva

Landscape: Grand Prize “Kentucky Sunset” by Carol Goldstein; HM “Peaks and Valleys” by Molly Werfel

Long Island/New York: Grand Prize “Dumbo” by Stuart Greenberg; HM “Independence Day” by Alan Sloyer 

Nature: Grand Prize “Elakala Falls”by Carol Milazzo-DiRenzo; HM “Woodland Path” by Marc F. Alter

People: Grand Prize “Sweet Moments” by Michelle Nickerson; HM “The Hat Maker” by Herb Knopp

Pets: Grand Prize “Winnie” by Peter Stango; HM “Sitting on the Dock” by Leslie Bannon

Still Life: Grand Prize “Vase of Flowers’ by Harold Naideau; HM “Thru the Window” by Herb Knopp

Student: Grand Prize “Wonder Wheel” by Tiffany Yung; HM “Dream Chaser” by Noah Gorlewski

Travel: Grand Prize “Seen Better Days” by Herb Knopp; HM “Bass Harbor Lighthouse” by Carol Milazzo-DiRenzo

Wildlife: Grand Prize “Osprey at Play” by Sandy Sommer; HM “Mama and Her Cub” by Nancy Panicucci-Roma

Resident/Staff Selections: “Purrrfectly Tweak” by Jill Fanuzzi; “Lola” by Dorian Froelich; “Cardinal on Fence” by Meryl Lorenzo; “Summer Time” by Janet Pieper; “Visions of Sugarplums” by Katie Scherer; “Scarlet Macaw” by Frank Silverman

The 31st annual Gurwin Photo Contest will open for submissions on February 15, 2024. Information on the contest can be found at

From sorrow to celebration, Tesla Science Center hosts an evening of festive cheer

The Tesla Science Center at Wardenclyffe hosts its annual Holiday Lighting event on Saturday, Dec. 2, less than two weeks after a devastating fire broke out on the property. Photo by Bill Landon

The resilience of the Tesla Science Center at Wardenclyffe, an international treasure located in Shoreham, was on full display Saturday evening, Dec. 2, during its annual Holiday Lighting event.

The festivities occurred less than two weeks after a disastrous structure fire caused extensive damage to the historical building on-site. [See story, “Devastating fire engulfs Tesla Science Center in Shoreham,” Dec. 1, TBR News Media.]

There were arts and crafts activities, a snowmaking machine, a science exhibit and hot chocolate for all those attending. Marc Alessi, TSCW executive director, recognized the first responders who were just a minute away when the flames broke loose on Tuesday, Nov. 21. Local elected officials addressed the crowd, vowing to help in the historic site’s reconstruction efforts.

Alessi quipped that the fire engine sirens were no cause for alarm as the Shoreham Fire Department escorted Santa Claus, who was then swamped by the children in attendance.

Those looking to help in Wardenclyffe’s rise from the ashes can visit

Shoreham-Wading River senior Alex Makarewicz battles his way to the rim in a road game against Centereach. Photo by Bill Landon

The Cougars of Centereach opened their season when they hosted the Shoreham-Wading River Wildcats (0-2) where both teams looked to put a “W” in the win column in a nonleague matchup Tuesday night Dec. 5.

Shoreham-Wading River had lost to Smithtown Christian and Hampton Bays to begin their season. Although the Wildcats had a 10-point advantage in the final minute of play, the Cougars closed the gap in the timeout-riddled final 20 seconds, where Shoreham escaped with a 42-38 victory.

Centereach retakes the court Dec. 9 when they host their crosstown rival Newfield before league play begins Dec. 12.

The win lifts the Wildcats to 1-2 with two more nonleague matchups before they hit the road to take on Port Jefferson to begin league play Dec. 21.

— Photos by Bill Landon