Village Beacon Record

Image from ‘Seasons of Change on Henry’s Farm’. Photo credit: Ines Sommer

Throughout this summer, Huntington’s Cinema Arts Centre has been offering free pop-up film screenings around Long Island in order to bring attention to local agriculture. Presented in partnership with Suffolk County Department of Economic Development & Planning, the local economic development initiative, Choose LI, the Cinema’s new ‘LI AgriCULTURE’ series has offered a unique look at farming on Long Island.

This October, the Cinema Arts Centre is partnering with Fink’s Country Farm, a family-owned and operated farm in Wading River, for a free day of fun and a screening of the independent documentary film, ‘Seasons of Change on Henry’s Farm.’

Image from ‘Seasons of Change on Henry’s Farm’. Photo credit: Ines Sommer

The LI AgriCULTURE series engages the local community in Long Island’s rich landscape of sustainable food production through the power of documentary film, helping to foster pride in our shared agricultural and aquacultural heritage, and inspiring Long Islanders to choose more local foods. Presenting dynamic documentary screening and discussion programs, virtually and in a variety of locations, this program will connect audiences to local food producers and encourage and empower the community to include more locally and sustainably produced foods in their daily diets. Learn more at: https://cinemaartscentre.org/li_agriculture/

The October event of the LI AgriCULTURE series will take place on Friday, October 1st at Fink’s Country Farm in Wading River. The program will be presented in partnership with Fink’s Farm, and planned with guidance from the Suffolk County Department of Economic Development & PlanningChoose LI, and Peconic Land Trust. The free program will feature a day of fun including a petting zoo, hay rides, a corn maze, pumpkin picking, food and refreshments, a discussion with a panel of experts, and a screening of the independent farming documentary, Seasons of Change on Henry’s Farm.

Seasons of Change on Henry’s Farm: Surrounded by GMO-heavy industrial farms in Central Illinois, for a quarter-century Henry Brockman has successfully operated a small family vegetable farm based on principles of organic cultivation and biodiversity. But farming takes a toll on his aging body and Henry dreams of scaling back. While his former apprentices run the farm, Henry spends a “fallow year” with his wife Hiroko in Japan. But things don’t turn out as planned, and Henry must grapple with the future of farming in a changing climate on personal, generational, and global levels.

This program is made possible with support from the Long Island Community Foundation.

“The Cinema Arts Centre has always used the power of film to educate, inspire, and mobilize the Long Island community,” says David M. Okorn, executive director of the Long Island Community Foundation. “We are proud to support this film initiative that will connect residents to Long Island farms and fisheries and help them understand the importance of locally-grown food.”

Event Information:

Date: Friday, October 1st 4:00 – 9:00 PM (A rain date is scheduled for October 7th)

Location: Fink’s Farm, 6242 Middle Country Road, Wading River, New York 11792

Fees: FREE to attend. Attendees are encouraged to RSVP on the Cinema Arts Centre website: www.cinemaartscentre.org. Or by visiting the event page: https://bit.ly/SeasonsofChange

Schedule:

4:00 – Pumpkin picking, hayrides, corn maze, animatronic chicken show, animal feedings, food, and tabling with local organizations

7:00 – Screening of the documentary film ‘Seasons of Change on Henry’s Farm’

8:00 – A panel discussion with local experts

Holly Signoretti picks out a book at the Book Revue in Huntington village. Photo by Kimberly Brown

People are continuously told that change is inevitable but sometimes those changes can hit a human right in the heart, especially if it involves a goodbye.

Many residents along the North Shore of Suffolk County and surrounding areas were saddened to hear of the closing of Book Revue in Huntington Sept. 10. After more than 40 years of being the go-to place for book lovers, like many other businesses, the owner struggled during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The store had to shut down for three months during the pandemic, and once the owner reopened the doors, the Book Revue struggled to get back on its feet.

Despite talking with the building landlord to come to a compromise, in the end the back rent was impossible to pay back, and it was initially announced last month that the store would close Sept. 30.

With inventory starting to thin out, the store was closed Sept. 9 for employees to organize the shelves, and on Sept. 10 people were invited to come in and take books for free. By the afternoon, the store was cleaned out and Book Revue doors were closed for business permanently.

Its owner Richard Klein posted on Facebook that while the store was now closed to the public, he would be in touch soon. Customers hope so.

Not only was Book Revue the place to go to pick up some literature, but it was also a social center. Many residents remember going to the store as a child or a parent to enjoy Toddler Time with stories, live music and dancing. There were groups to discuss favorite reads, and celebrity book signings with authors such as Alan Alda, Hillary Clinton, Whoopi Goldberg, Clinton Kelly and more.

The store also offered a diverse selection of books with extensive arts and music sections as well as a section dedicated to local subjects written by Long Island authors. 

More than a place to shop or socialize, the Book Revue also drew people to Huntington village. When people come to shop at an iconic store, they usually will stay a while in the area and stop by other shops or get a bite to eat. The closing of such a business could lead to a domino effect in the village.

Our communities need more independent book stores like this former Huntington staple, ones that flourish and elevate the quality of life in a village. It’s a shame that the landlord and Klein couldn’t come to an agreement. However, the community will be forever grateful to Richard and his brother Bob, who retired from the business earlier last year, for their service to the community and providing years of happiness to Long Islanders.

Here’s hoping that another vibrant business that hosts events will come into the building to keep one of our bustling villages alive with the excitement Book Revue once did.

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Rocky Point Middle School Principal James Moeller addresses an outside class at RPMS. Photo from RPSD

Rocky Point Middle School students returned to school with an enhanced educational locale — an outdoor classroom. 

An idea that came about several years ago, it was finally completed and gifted by the Rocky Point PTA to the Middle School.

“Outdoor classrooms just became a thing quite a few years ago,” said Kristine Susmin, former president of the PTA. “Realizing how much the kids actually learn outside, how much they enjoy being outside is really what started the whole thing.”

The space is a new addition that highlights the advantages of outdoor learning and access to nature, both known to increase student enthusiasm and as being beneficial to social, emotional and physical health. It just so happened the COVID-19 pandemic began in the midst of planning it. 

Assistant principal Dawn Meyers said the new classroom is located in the perfect spot. Located outside the school, the district added a cement slab for the 15 new desks to be placed upon. An outdoor whiteboard hangs on the side of the building.

The tabletops are versatile and turns into benches that can seat up to 30 students in a socially distanced manner. 

Meyers said that the final touches were finished the Thursday before school started, and that was all new landscaping, while a container will eventually be moved for a secure barrier, so people won’t be able to travel from the parking lot to the space.

To reserve the room, teachers must fill out a Google Calendar request. While it’s located outside the middle school, Meyers said it’s open to classes at the high school, too.

“The feedback has been great,” she said. “Right now, they’re fighting over it. Teachers are constantly calling me up saying, ‘Can I use the classroom?’ So, it’s been really great.”

Photo from RPSD

Meyer and Susmin both agreed that it took a community to get the classroom together and ready for the first day of school. 

“If it wasn’t for the parents and the teachers and everybody that donated to the PTA, this project would never have been able to be funded by us,” she said. “We’re all so grateful.”

A ribbon-cutting took place the first week of classes to celebrate the new, unique learning environment.

The Thompson House sustained flooding in East Setauket. Photo from WMHO

With Hurricane Ida taking lives and causing destruction from Louisiana to New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, some scientists see longer term patterns reflected in the power and destruction of this storm.

Kevin Reed, associate professor at the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences at Stony Brook University, said a group of experts on the topic are working on research related to the climate impacts on Ida. No specific timeline is set for such an analysis, which would be similar to what the World Weather Attribution initiative is doing.

“It’s more and more clear that there’s some connection” between a warmer climate and more severe storms,” Reed said. The sooner scientists can make that link, the “more impactful and useful” any such statements or determinations could be.

While Reed hasn’t done any formal research yet on Ida, he has considered some of the specific aspects of this storm.

Rainfall rates of over 3 inches per hour, which set a record in Central Park, are “what you would expect in terms of climate impact.”

Previous modeling work indicates that increasing global temperatures raise the likelihood of extreme rainfall.

Reed hopes researchers can build methodologies and refine their approaches to apply what they know about climate to severe weather events like Ida, which command attention as they approach, once they make landfall and, in their aftermath, as cities and states rebuild.

What’s clear from some of the work he’s done is that “climate change is not a long-off problem, it’s already changing storms” in terms of the amount and intensity of rainfall.

The recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report emphasized that climate change is increasing the rainfall from storms.

Reed suggested it would help in terms of prevention and planning to develop ways to refine the understanding of the link between climate change and storms.

Researchers should “produce this type of information, almost at the same frequency as weather forecasts.”

Larger storms have become a topic on people’s minds in part because disruptive weather events like hurricanes Ida (2021), Laura (2020), Dorian (2019), Florence (2018), Harvey (2017) and Matthew (2016) seem to happen so much more frequently.

Scientists are continuing to try to “quantify the impact” of how the characteristics of an event might have changed because of a warmer climate, Reed said.

Research has been evolving to address society’s most pressing and urgent questions.

Indeed, climate change can and likely has contributed to heavier snowfall events, despite the broader trend towards warmer temperatures.

Some scientists have linked the melting of Arctic ice to the weakening of the polar vortex, enabling colder air to come south toward the continental United States and, in particular, the Eastern Seaboard.

The impacts from climate change are “going to get larger and more significant,” Reed said. “We have an opportunity to mitigate that. If we reduce our emissions the world will warm by half a degree to a degree. That still is offsetting potentially disastrous impacts of going beyond that.”

Recognizing the impact of climate change is a necessary step in reducing the likelihood of future extreme and variable weather events.

The kind of changes necessary for a sustainable future “takes leadership at the national and international level,” Reed said.

METRO photo

By Daniel Dunaief

Daniel Dunaief

Joe, the gentleman at the supermarket register, asked me the routine questions.

“Did you find everything okay?”

“Do you have a rewards number?”

I nodded and typed in my cell phone number.

At the end of the order, I carefully watched the total, waiting for the moment he asked me whether I wanted to donate a dollar or round up my total.

Instead, it looked like the cost declined, even after applying all the discounts. In order to be sure, I had to remove my glasses, which allow me to see at a distance, but not to read.

Yes, the total decreased by 5%. Just as I was about to thank him, I went slack jawed behind my mask. Staring closely at the total in the register, I realized he had given me the senior discount.

I pondered what to do. I could tell him I’m not a senior. Then again, maybe anyone over 35 was a senior. Okay, fine, 40. Alright, 50. 

Anyway, I thanked him for ringing me up, told him to stay safe and headed to the car, where I promptly checked the age for a senior discount at my supermarket. Yup, just as I suspected. He gave me the discount well before I was eligible.

As I loaded the groceries in the car, I wondered whether this was a freakout mid-life crisis moment. Maybe this was the universe’s way, through Joe, of reminding me that I’m not a kid anymore.

Then again, I thought, steadying myself behind the wheel, maybe Joe had just typed that senior discount button by mistake. Maybe he felt generous or, perhaps, he was giving everyone a senior discount, just to stick it to his bosses. 

I have an image of myself that doesn’t align with what other people see, or even what I notice in the mirror. Somewhere along the lines, my brain imagined that the younger, fresher, more energetic version of me continued to type on my computer, yell at the TV when the Yankees lost, and maneuver through my life.

My body, and the unwelcome hair that seems to wave from my ears, has offered reminders about the passage of time. Recently, my son, who is still waiting for his freshman year to start in earnest after New Orleans recovers from Hurricane Ida, asked me if I wanted to have a catch.

Excited for some father-son bonding that doesn’t involve electronics, I readily agreed. Besides, it’s been a few years since he asked. I am no longer his coach and he has numerous athletic friends and former teammates who can launch balls across a field.

The first few throws felt comfortable, as my fingers reached for the familiar seams and tossed the ball back at his chest.

“Okay, move back,” he instructed.

A few throws later, he asked me to move back again.

“Wait, what?” my arm begged, to a brain that tried to hit the mute button on muscles, tendons, bones and rotator cuffs begging me to stop engaging in such unaccustomed activity.

Pretty soon, he was throwing lasers from the next county and I was trying to figure out if I could strap the ball to a nearby bird to return it to him.

Instead, I ran 20 steps, rotated my hips and snapped my shoulders in an effort to minimize the strain on my arm.

“Good idea,” he yelled. “You should soft toss it back to me.”

Soft toss? That was one of my hardest throws!

Two days later, we repeated the same routine. The second time, my arm instantly hurt. I might imagine that I’m 25 or even 35, just as I might imagine I can fly.

I can enjoy some consolation: the senior discount saved me enough money to buy an ice pack for my throbbing shoulder.

METRO dinner

By Leah S. Dunaief

Leah Dunaief

Here are some ways to spice up our lives. I’ve done this all my adult cooking life, and I recommend the concept. I have added store-bought sauces to otherwise bland foods, like eggs, chicken and some fish. Please read on as I explain. 

How did I happen upon this technique, you might wonder? It was a solution born of desperation over 50 years ago. I was to be married in two weeks, and my roommate at the time asked me what I was going to cook for my new husband the first night. Cook? I only knew how to boil water. It hadn’t occurred to me, although tradition at the time had it, that I was to be the cook in this pairing. 

When I panicked, she calmed me down by asking what my fiancé’s favorite meal was. “Breaded veal cutlet,” I remembered, and for the next 10 days, at dinner, she tutored me on the fine art of making that, along with a salad of greens with store-bought dressing, and spaghetti with some bottled red sauce. I then sailed into marriage prepared and duly impressed my groom with my culinary skills. 

Soon enough, we came to the menu for the second night. Again panic. I had to sit down and figure this one out. I was working and didn’t have time to digest the thick book, “Joy of Cooking,” that some kind soul had given us as a wedding present — at least not yet. Prepared foods for takeout were not invented. There were Swanson frozen dinners, but that suggested I was really inadequate.

What to do?

I thought about how I had made that first meal. I used bottled dressing to flavor the salad and also bottled sauce for the spaghetti. I wondered what other sauces might be available on the supermarket shelves. That’s when I found duck sauce. Reading the label, I saw their suggested uses; one was with chicken. Inspired, I rushed to buy a whole chicken that I brought back to our new apartment, poured all the duck sauce over it, and popped it into the oven at 375 degrees as instructed by the amused man behind the supermarket meat counter. I kept checking it, and when it looked like it was done, I served it, along with more salad.

“Wow!” my new husband exclaimed. “I didn’t know you could cook!” I was launched.

I will confess to having learned a few more things about cooking since then, including how to read a recipe, but my affection for bottled sauces continues to this day. To further my repertoire, I have gleaned the following information from a consumer publication called, “Bottom Line,” that has proven its value sufficiently to earn my ongoing subscription dollars. The article, written by Jay Weinstein, a member of the Institute of Culinary Education, is headlined, “Make Mundane Meals Instantly Exotic, with these international bottled sauces,” offers nine suggestions, and pretty much all of them appeal to me.

First, there are some Asian possibilities: banana sauce, “the ketchup of the Philippines, … usually sweet, with subtle tropical flavors,” good on any foods from omelets to whatever comes off the grill. Anther is gochujang, a dark red paste made of red chili peppers, rice powder and fermented soy beans — tangy, spicy, salty & slightly fruity — good added to eggs, noodles, dumplings or ham. Then there is kecap manis, “an excellent marinade or glaze for meat, seafood or vegetables.” Oyster sauce will add “an unmistakable Asian flavor” and will transform hamburger. Ponzu is tangy and bright and offers “a lively citrus note” to dishes. Thai peanut sauce is a particular favorite of mine. It is a good marinade, and I happen to like it on noodles. 

Then there are what the author classifies as European Sauces: aioli, “a Mediterranean mayonnaise with garlic … drizzled over vegetables or seafood”; ajvar (pronounced “aye-var”) of “roasted sweet red peppers, eggplant and … tomato.” Use atop baked potato, meatloaf and pasta or for potato salad; and Maggi seasoning, for noodles or roast chicken “or mix a little into soup.”

There are lots more, but I think I should stop. While I probably have incurred the wrath of gourmet cooks, who make everything from scratch, perhaps I have helped some new brides … or grooms.

From left, Iris and Cayla Rosenhagen with participants of the Beach Bucket Brigade. Photo by Raina Angelier

By Cayla Rosenhagen

Cayla Rosenhagen

Smiles abounded on Cedar Beach in Mount Sinai during the Children’s Bird Walk and Beach Clean-Up on August 21st. Run by me and my sister through our education program, Beach Bucket Brigade, the event brought 20 children aged 4 to 12 and their families together to participate in fun, nature-themed activities. 

To kick off the program, we gathered on the beach to play ‘Sparrow Says,’ and read a book about our incredible avian life here on Long Island. Soon after, participants took to the paved nature trail to learn about and observe these birds in their natural surroundings. The children were delighted to see and hear mockingbirds, sparrows, catbirds, Mourning Doves, and cardinals.

Litter poses an immense danger to these birds as well as other local wildlife. Animals can get tangled up in it, or even ingest it, leading to heartbreaking outcomes. 

After observing such an abundance of wildlife, the families were motivated to do something to protect them, and so began the beach clean-up. Equipped with gloves and beach buckets to collect litter, we scoured the beach. We found a variety of improperly disposed-of waste including throw-away plastic utensils and straws, fishing lines, and lots of cigarettes.

At the end of the clean-up, we thanked the families for volunteering their time and told them they were heroes for doing their part to protect our environment. As a token of our gratitude, we gave the families eco-friendly souvenirs to take home with them.

The event was a great success. We collected an enormous amount of litter, all the while giving kids and their families an educational, entertaining, and fun-filled day to remember. Our hope is that by observing the wonder of nature firsthand, the younger generation will gain an even better appreciation and respect for it.

To keep an eye out for our upcoming programs, please follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/BeachBucketBrigade.

Cayla Rosenhagen is a local high school student who enjoys capturing the unique charm of the community through photography and journalism. She serves on the board of directors for the Four Harbors Audubon Society and Brookhaven’s Youth Board, and is the founder and coordinator of Beach Bucket Brigade, a community outreach program dedicated to environmental awareness, engagement, and education. She is also an avid birder, hiker, and artist who is concurrently enrolled in college, pursuing a degree in teaching.

Photo by Julianne Mosher

The 12th annual Village Cup Regatta, a friendly competition between Mather Hospital and the Village of Port Jefferson, set sail Saturday on the Long Island Sound all for a good cause.

Presented by the Port Jefferson Yacht Club, the Regatta raised funds for Mather’s Palliative Medicine Program and the Lustgarten Foundation, which funds pancreatic cancer research. 

During the event, held on Sept. 11, the Regatta honored all those who perished in the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the first responders who answered the call, while members of the hospital and village helped crew boats. The race had three classes based on boat size, and this year, the village won. $104,000 was raised and divided between both the Palliative Medicine Program and the Lustgarten Foundation.

Actor, director and local resident Ralph Macchio was again community ambassador for the event. 

Macchio has helped to publicize the important work of the two programs funded by the Regatta for the last nine years. Macchio’s wife, Phyllis, is a nurse practitioner in Mather’s Palliative Medicine Program.

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Photo by Kimberly Brown

To commemorate the 20th anniversary of 9/11 and give remembrance to those whose lives were taken by the tragic events, Rocky Point High School welcomed veterans and survivors of the attack to speak to the senior class early Tuesday morning.

Students and teachers filled the auditorium as members from the Rocky Point VFW and Suffolk County Police Department were brought in to share their stories. 

The students they spoke to were not alive when 9/11 happened, which is why Social Studies teacher Rich Acritelli, who led the event, believed having an assembly on the matter was dire. 

“The big thing with this assembly is so we don’t forget,” Acritelli said. “It’s that there’s always that sense of respect towards the people that were lost and for the family members.”

Photo by Kimberly Brown

Guest speaker ESU officer Owen McCaffrey reflected on what it meant to be an American, and how helpful people were to each other during that tragic time. 

“Everyone was an American citizen,” McCaffrey said. “It didn’t matter what you looked like, the color of your skin or how you were dressed — everyone was working together because we were all American citizens.”

Suffolk County Acting Police Commissioner, Stuart Cameron recalled what it was like for the SCPD after the attacks had taken place, noting that the New York City Police Department even reached out to them for help. 

The SCPD sent out hundreds of officers to Ground Zero. 

“The most difficult aspect was that my phone was ringing off the hook with members of our department volunteering to go help their brother officers in New York City,” Cameron said.

Unfortunately, many of the officers who volunteered to help later passed due to medical complications, mostly being cancer related. 

“9/11 is not one day,” Cameron said. “It’s the days, weeks and months after it. You know the saying, ‘it’s the gift that keeps on giving,’ well 9/11 is the event that keeps on taking. It truly has taken away some of our greatest heroes.”

Photo by Kimberly Brown

Another guest speaker, Phil Alverez, whose brother, former NYPD detective, Luis Alverez passed from complications of cancer from working on Ground Zero. 

Phil said Luis wasn’t interested in people knowing his name, rather, he wanted people to know the message, which was to get victims and first responders assistance for the damaging health effects Ground Zero caused. 

“I was fortunate to have Luis around 15 years after the attacks, even though he was dealing with stage four cancer,” he said. “I got to hold him and hug him and tell him that I love him, and at the end of his life, I got to say goodbye to him — 3,000 families that day didn’t.”

Northport midfielder Ricky Corbett with a header at home against Newfield Sept 14. Bill Landon photo

The Newfield Wolverines looked for that first win of this early season in a League II road game against the Northport Tigers when senior co-captain Oscar Moreno broke the ice to put the Wolverines out front 1-0 with 10 minutes remaining in the opening half. 

Northport senior midfielder Justin Besosa made it a new game midway through the second half to even the score. Both teams unable to break the tie finished the game in a draw. 

Newfield senior goal keep Carter Rothwell had twelve saves in net where Northport’s goalie Tommy Pace stopped five.

Newfield at 0-1-1 will retake the field in a home game against Bay Shore Sept 17. Northport also at 0-1-1, 2-1-1 overall, will face Walt Whitman in a road game Sept 18. Game times are 5:15 p.m. and 8 a.m., respectively.