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06/30/15 1:00am

From left, the Rev. Nathaniel Heyward and Valerie Shelby of the Clinton Memorial AME Zion Church in Greenport at Monday’s vigil. (Credit: Jen Nuzzo video and photos)

As Valerie Shelby looked at a crowd of about 200 people in Greenport Monday night, she asked the group to name flowers.

After several different flowers were called out, Ms. Shelby started listing each color.

“Don’t you see?” she asked. “Together, they make a beautiful bouquet. We have to stop fighting each other.”

Ms. Shelby and Loretta Hatzel-Geraci, both of the Southold Town Anti-Bias Task Force, organized Monday’s candlelight vigil to express solidarity with the nine black victims killed by a white gunman June 17 at a church in Charleston, S.C.  (more…)

06/29/15 12:00pm
Clinton Memorial AME Zion Church in Greenport. (Credit: Paul Squire)

Clinton Memorial AME Zion Church in Greenport. (Credit: Paul Squire)

There will be a candlelight vigil held tonight, June 29, in Greenport to express solidarity with the victims killed June 17 in a Charleston church.

The vigil will start at 7 p.m. in the Clinton Memorial AME Zion Church, located at 614 Third St. in Greenport, and participants will then walk to the nearby Third Street Park.

All are invited to attend. Members of the faith community will be present, as well as poets that participate in Poetry Street, an open mic poetry session held at Blue Duck Bakery and Cafe in Riverhead.

[Related: Local church leaders react to Charleston shooting]

06/25/15 5:45am
Resident Cathy Simicich asks town principal planner Mark Terry about affordable housing at Wednesday's Mattituck-Laurel Civic Association meeting. (Credit: Jen Nuzzo)

Resident Cathy Simicich asks town principal planner Mark Terry (standing) a question about affordable housing at Wednesday’s Mattituck-Laurel Civic Association meeting. (Credit: Jen Nuzzo)

Zoning and environmental experts gave presentations about how land use policies affect Southold Town at the Mattituck-Laurel Civic Association’s meeting Wednesday night.

But, instead, some people in the audience just wanted to talk about the retail and affordable apartment project proposed for the wooded area across the street from the vacant Capital One building on Main Road.

(more…)

06/24/15 6:00am
(Credit: Daniel Goldfarb)

Jenn Wissemann will take over as principal at Oysterponds Elementary School next month. (Credit: Daniel Goldfarb)

Jenn Wissemann feels like she’s come full circle.

Fifteen years ago, she began working as a student teacher at Oysterponds Elementary School District in Orient.

Next month, she’ll become the school’s principal.

Ms. Wissemann said she won’t be isolated to the main office and described her position as a “teaching principal,” meaning she’ll continue to work as the school’s science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) instructor.

“I love being in the classroom and teaching kids,” she said. “In a building this small, [having a teaching principal is] something that can be done … I feel it’s really the best of both worlds.”

(more…)

06/23/15 5:40pm
(Photo by Stephen Melkisethian/flickr)

All the across the country, people are mourning and holding vigils like this one in Washington, D.C. A local vigil is planned for Monday in Greenport. (Photo by Stephen Melkisethian/flickr)

Lela Heyward received a phone call at midnight last Wednesday from her hometown of Charleston, S.C. She couldn’t believe the news.

Although her nephew didn’t belong to Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, he knew many people there and had just paid a visit the week before.

He called to say there had been a mass shooting at the historic black church and that he was devastated. The church’s pastor was among the dead.

Ms. Heyward, whose husband, the Rev. Nathaniel Heyward, is pastor at Clinton Memorial AME Zion Church in Greenport, said that although she grew up with segregation and left Charleston after high school in 1961, her hometown and its Baptist church have never left her heart.

“I went through the struggles — I had to go out the back door, drink from a separate water fountain and sit at the back of the bus,” she said Monday. “I never felt threatened in church. I always thought of it as a safe place. I’m really hurt and can’t believe it.”

(more…)

Mattituck High School students (from left) Adrianna Lawson, Sarah Pfennig and Emma Leaden were honored for their work in the New York State Art Teachers Association’s Portfolio Project contest. (Credit: Jen Nuzzo)

Mattituck High School students (from left) Adrianna Lawson, Sarah Pfennig and Emma Leaden were honored for their work in the New York State Art Teachers Association’s Portfolio Project contest. (Credit: Jen Nuzzo)

Art teacher Dina Rose’s students have earned top awards in art competitions during her 10-year tenure at Mattituck High School.

But this year is even more memorable for Ms. Rose since three of her current students — seniors Sarah Pfennig, Emma Leaden and Adrianna Lawson — recently swept the annual New York State Art Teachers Association’s Portfolio Project contest.

Mattituck’s division included schools across Suffolk County. For the first time in the school’s history, students took home first-, second- and third-place awards in the competition.

(more…)

06/19/15 3:14pm
Joan Frisicano at Tuesdays' Oysterponds school board meeting. (Credit: Jen Nuzzo)

Joan Frisicano at Tuesdays’ Oysterponds school board meeting. (Credit: Jen Nuzzo)

For the second time in three years, Joan Frisicano is saying goodbye to Oysterponds Elementary School in Orient.

Ms. Frisicano, the district’s former superintendent, has served as the school’s interim principal since the 2013-14 school year while the pre-K through sixth-grade district searched for a permanent replacement after Françoise Wittenburg resigned.

The school’s STEM teacher, Jennifer Wissemann, has been appointed as the new principal and starts her new role July 1.

(more…)

06/18/15 5:55am
From left, Southold High School treasurer Zach Elillis, vice president Thomas Messana, secretary Jack Dunne, and president Christopher Buono in a photo booth picture taken at a semi-formal dance that included seniors from neighboring districts.

From left, Southold High School treasurer Zach Elillis, vice president Thomas Messana, secretary Jack Dunne, and president Christopher Buono in a photo booth picture taken at a semi-formal dance that included seniors from neighboring districts. (Credit: Christopher Buono courtesy photos)

Following the success of the annual semi-formal dance at Southold High School, to which seniors from Mattituck and Greenport were invited, local students and school officials hope to organize more events next year that include teenagers from all North Fork districts.

(more…)

06/15/15 9:11pm
(Credit: File)

Robert Beodeker. (Credit: Times Review file photo)

The Aquebogue man charged over two years ago with driving under the influence of crystal meth after he was involved in a double-fatal crash in Nassau County was sentenced to four to 12 years in prison on Monday, according to a press release issued by acting Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas.

(more…)

06/12/15 5:59am
From left, Walter Dawydiak, director of the Suffolk County Health Department Division Of Environmental Quality; Dr. Alison Branco, director of the Peconic Estuary Program; Dr. Christopher Gobler, biologist at Stony Brook University; and Adrienne Esposito, executive director of Citizens Campaign for the Environment at Thursday's meeting in Hauppauge. The panel discussed water quality issues. (Credit: Jen Nuzzo)

From right, Walter Dawydiak, Dr. Alison Branco, Dr. Christopher Gobler and Adrienne Esposito. The panel discussed water quality issues Thursday in Hauppauge. (Credit: Jen Nuzzo)

County lawmakers, scientists and environmentalists acknowledge nitrogen overloading in local waterways is the biggest contributor to the recent die-off of fish and turtles.

They also agree aging septic tanks and failing cesspool systems are mostly to blame for brown and red tides in the Peconic Estuary, as well as toxic blue-green algae at Lake Marratooka in Mattituck.

The public’s reliance of fertilizers is a problem, too, experts say.

In an effort to address the recent fish kill in Riverhead that some experts have described as unprecedented, Legislator Dr. William Spencer (D-Centerport), chairman of the Suffolk County Health Committee, assembled a panel discussion at Thursday’s health committee meeting in Hauppauge.

(more…)