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By Dan Woulfin

Artists, dancers, musicians and art enthusiasts from across Long Island gathered at Northport Village’s waterfront park for the Northport Art Coalition’s annual Art in the Park Festival on Saturday, July 11.

Festivalgoers browsed artist wares, watched performances from the Inner Spirit yoga center and dance and fitness center, and listened to local musicians. Children also had a chance to create their own paintings at a special workshop area.

Photos by Bob Savage

Port Jefferson was decked out in red, white and blue on Saturday for the village’s annual July 4th parade.

Residents from Connecticut to Middle Island came out to enjoy the festivities and see the fire trucks, listen to the bagpipes and salute local veterans.

Change is in the air at Northport-East Northport schools.

School board Trustee Andrew Rapiejko, a five-year incumbent who served as vice president, was sworn in as the board’s president at its reorganizational meeting on Wednesday, following a nomination by President Julia Binger and an 8-1 vote. Trustee Regina Pisacani was the lone vote against the appointment.

Newly re-elected Trustee David Badanes was nominated and voted vice president of the board — but not without an unsuccessful attempt by Pisacani to nominate newcomer Trustee David Stein to the slot. Her motion to do so failed to gain support, and Badanes was unanimously appointed.

The July 1 meeting was the district’s first with new Superintendent Robert Banzer at the helm. Banzer, along with Stein, recently re-elected Trustee Tammie Topel, Badanes, District Clerk Beth Nystrom and new audit committee member Edward Kevorkian were all officially sworn in.

In his remarks to the community, Rapiejko called it a “critical year” for the district, and pointedly addressed what he called a divide on the board.

“The elephant in the room is this split on the board,” he said

While the board typically votes unanimously on most items, Rapiejko said in a Thursday phone interview that the community perceives a divide on the school board. Those differences among board members have given rise to tensions that began under the administration of former Superintendent Marylou McDermott, he said.

“The former superintendent is out of the equation now,” he said in his speech on Wednesday. “And I’m looking forward and to move on. I think we have to move forward and it’s critical we do that.”

He urged the school community to respect each other and said it is the board’s responsibility to set that tone of respect. In a phone interview, he said he was heartened that his appointment earned almost unanimous support, which hasn’t been the norm at reorganizational meetings in recent years past.

“We can disagree, we can have very strong opinions, but there’s a way to do it and a way to do it respectfully.”

Huntington Town honored the Chapin family with a proclamation and the unveiling of the Chapin Rainbow Stage sign before a two-hour long concert on Monday, June 29. The concert, which was rescheduled because of inclement weather Saturday night, when Sandy Chapin was honored by the Huntington Arts Council, featured performances by Tom Chapin, Steve Chapin, The Chapin Sisters and the Jen Chapin Trio before a finale featuring all the members of the family.

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Port Jefferson school district held its 57th annual senior prom on Monday night. Parents had worked tirelessly to transform Earl L. Vandermeulen High School into Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory for the event, secretly painting sets and making dummies to surprise the Class of 2015.

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More than 400 Newfield High School students received their diplomas on Saturday, June 27, at the school’s annual commencement ceremony.

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The rain couldn’t put a damper on the Harborfields Tornadoes last weekend, as the Class of 2015 celebrated the 56th annual commencement on Saturday, June 27.

Gowns of green and white could be spotted, and seniors were greeted with cheers from the stands and triumphant sounds delivered by the high school band.

Salutatorian Jamie Letourneau, Class President Katherine Ryan and Valedictorian Eli Slamowitz spoke fondly of their classmates and provided words of encouragement for the future.

The ceremony also featured speeches by Superintendent Diana Todaro, Principal Rory Manning and English teacher Kristen Gavin.

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On Sunday, June 14, Cold Spring Harbor High School held its 52nd commencement honoring the Class of 2015.

High School Principal Jay Matuk congratulated the class, and following tradition at the school district, there were three reflection speakers this year: David May, Gabrielle Bailenson and Allison Grey. The ceremony also featured a performance by senior Christine Collins, who joined the wind ensemble on the flute. Senior Emily Gallagher led the audience in the national anthem.

Commencement also featured comments from Superintendent Judith A. Wilansky and school board President Anthony Paolano.

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The Class of 2015 celebrated their graduation in Port Jefferson on Friday, remembering their pasts as they looked toward their bright futures.

The Rad Trads opened the 50th Huntington Summer Arts Festival with a bang on Friday, June 26. This New York-based ensemble energetically played their diverse and brassy repertoire ranging from New Orleans second line to Chicago and delta blues, R&B and rock ’n’ roll. For their finale, they moved off the stage, playing among a clapping and happy audience.