Next in our series is Mattituck’s top students. Read more about Courtney Murphy and Christian Van Cleef, the Class of 2015’s Valedictorian and Salutatorian, below. 





GPA: 101.2450 (weighted), 99.0980 (unweighted)

College plans: Villanova University

Major: business

Team player: Courtney played varsity soccer, varsity basketball, travel soccer and summer league soccer and basketball. She earned several honors including All League Soccer, Academic All County Soccer, All League Basketball and Academic All County Basketball. She also won several sports awards, including For the Love of the Game Booster Club Award, New York State Public High School Athletic Association Scholar Athlete Award and Suffolk Zone Award.

All business: Courtney earned third- and fifth-place awards in the Distributive Education Club of America’s regional competition. She was named an Advanced Placement Scholar With Distinction and Student of the Month for history and foreign language. She won a New York State Scholarship for Academic Excellence first-place award and is a Rube Goldberg contest winner. She also landed on the High Honor Roll every quarter since seventh grade.

Giving back: Courtney participated in several community groups, including serving as president of the Leo Club, and she volunteered for Maureen’s Haven, the Mattituck Lions Club Strawberry Festival, Relay for Life and Letters to Soldiers. She was also a tutor for Spanish, algebra and trigonometry.

Parting words: “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my high school career and my experiences at Mattituck have surely helped shape me as a person. So many great memories have been created here and I’m thankful for having grown up in such a wonderful community.”




GPA: 99.09 (weighted), 97.69 (unweighted)

College plans: Brandeis University

Major: international relations/philosophy

Helping hands: Daniel volunteered for San Simeon by the Sound and the China Conservation and Research Center. He also helped with a fundraising effort at North Fork Reform Synagogue in Cutchogue.

Team player: As a varsity soccer player, Daniel earned several honors, including this year’s state championships and the Scholar Athlete Award. He also played with Mattituck Alliance and the Brookhaven Summer Soccer League.

A little bit of everything: Daniel was president of the World Language Club and participated in several groups: the Leo Club, student council, executive student council, Math League, National Honor Society and DECA.

Internships: During high school, Daniel held internships at Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business, Good News Planet and Copal Partners-London (Copal Amba).

Parting words: “I’m glad I at least had the foresight to learn out of passion rather than out of necessity, but whether that’ll be valuable to me or not depends on what’s yet to come. I’ve learned to be less rigid as a person and to take greater and more frequent risks. I believe that you learn more from what you do poorly in high school than what you do well. I hope that I learn no lesson in vain.”

07/01/15 9:16am

An early morning string of thunderstorm toppled trees and knocked out power for more than 300 customers in Southold Town Wednesday morning. Greenport Village also reported outages due to the storm.

According to a PSEG outage map, about 274 customers in Mattituck and a couple dozen more in Southold remained without power due to the storm as of 8:30 a.m. Greenport Village Mayor George Hubbard said a couple hundred homes lost power for about 50 minutes during the storm.

“Now everyone should have the power back on,” he said.

In nearby Riverhead and Flanders, more than 3,000 residents in total lost power.

The National Weather Service had issued a severe thunderstorm warning at 6:18 a.m. A weather station at East Moriches clocked wind gusts at 53 mph, said meteorologist Faye Barthold.

Southold police said no one was injured during the storm, though there were several calls for downed trees and wires. Highway Superintendent Vincent Orlando couldn’t be immediately reached for comment.



06/30/15 2:01pm
Cyclists ride along Main Road in Southold. (Credit: Joseph Pinciaro)

Cyclists ride along Main Road in Cutchogue as part of Tour de Cure earlier this month. (Credit: Joseph Pinciaro)

Southold Town Supervisor Scott Russell said the influx of charity bike tours, races and marathons asking to use local roadways has made it too difficult to enforce town code and ensure the safety of participants — and drivers — in the events.

There’s a simple solution, he said: Ban them. (more…)

06/29/15 2:33pm

A Greenport man with nine prior suspensions on his license was arrested Sunday afternoon after he tried to hide from police in a bathroom, according to a Southold Town police report.

Authorities said police spotted 56-year-old Alfred Welch violating traffic law on Route 48 about 3:15 p.m. and attempted to pull him over. Mr. Welch ran from the vehicle, police said, and into his home’s basement to hide from the police officer.

Mr. Welch was eventually found in the first-floor bathroom of the house and was taken into custody. Authorities learned that in addition to his suspensions, his registration was also suspended and his vehicle had a forged inspection sticker.

Mr. Welch was charged with aggravated unlicensed driving, a misdemeanor, as well as other traffic law violations, according to a news release.

06/28/15 2:00pm
(Credit: Paul Squire)

These bowls were carved from a fallen elm tree by Greenport resident George Agnew. (Credit: Paul Squire)

In the center of Greenport’s Third Street Park sits a roughly waist-high stump that is several feet wide. A historic elm tree used to stand there before it was torn down by storms over the course of several years and ultimately cut down by the village due to safety concerns in 2012.

A plan to use the wood from the tree for artwork has been “on the back burner” for years, said former mayor David Nyce, who serves on the village’s tree committee.

Now, that long-overdue art project is up and running again. (more…)

06/26/15 5:36pm
(Credit: Raúl Hernández González, flickr)

(Credit: Raúl Hernández González, flickr)

During pregnancy, what’s safe – or not?

The minute a woman announces her pregnancy, she’s seemingly bombarded with conflicting information about things she should no longer eat, drink or do.

Whether it’s being told to stop eating ham sandwiches for lunch or to take an extended break from coloring her hair, the list of pregnancy “don’ts” can seem overwhelming. But is some of the advice misguided?

We asked Heather Findletar, a midwife with Stony Brook University Medical Center’s OB-GYN department, to help clear up some of the confusion.


Congratulations, ladies! If you have cats, someone else is going to have to perform this chore for the next nine months.

“Women who are pregnant should stay away from cat litter,” Ms. Findletar said. “It causes toxoplasmosis, which is a parasitic disease you can get from a cat’s feces.”

Ms. Findletar added that pregnant women should wear gloves while gardening in case a cat has defecated in the area.


If you religiously color your strands every six weeks, don’t worry: It’s safe for pregnant women. Just wait until you’re out of your first trimester, Ms. Findletar said, to avoid potentially affecting the neural development of the fetus.

“Back in the day, products weren’t really regulated by the Food and Drug Administration,” she explained. “Most products that used to have heavy lye in them don’t anymore.”


It’s fine to eat cooked fish like salmon, tilapia or halibut, but certain sea creatures should be avoided during pregnancy. These include tuna, which Ms. Findletar said contains an unsafe amount of mercury, and sushi.

“Pregnant women shouldn’t eat raw fish because they could get a bad fish and get parasites from it,” she said.

Swordfish, shark and king mackerel also aren’t recommended. As for deli meat, Ms. Findletar said it’s generally OK to consume. Some medical professionals advise against eating products containing nitrates, like ham, salami and hot dogs, because they can cause some pregnant women to retain water, she said.

“Another concern is cross-contamination,” Ms. Findletar said. “I wouldn’t go to a deli where you don’t know their sanitation habits.”


Drinking during your pregnancy isn’t advised, but some health care professionals, including Ms. Findletar, aren’t opposed to women with low-risk pregnancies drinking a four-ounce glass of wine when they’re in early labor.   

“When a woman is about to give birth, wine can act as a relaxant, allowing her body to go into natural labor,” she said.

Ms. Findletar said it’s important to remember that nobody knows exactly how much alcohol causes fetal alcohol syndrome.

Have a health column question or idea for Rachel Young? Email her at

06/26/15 2:48pm
(Credit: Katharine Schroeder, file)

(Credit: Katharine Schroeder, file)

Should a volunteer who spends weeks each year helping to set up Greenport events be compensated? Or would that open the door for other volunteers across the Village to get paid?

That was the question at the heart of a split vote decision at the Greenport Village Board meeting Thursday night.

In a 3-2 vote, the board rejected a motion proposed by Trustee Doug Roberts to pay longtime ‘Dances in the Park’ volunteer Diane Mulvaney $1,200 to fill a new events coordinator position created for the weekly event.  (more…)

06/26/15 5:58am
The hit HBO series ‘Girls’ filmed in Greenport Village in 2013. (Credit: Cyndi Murray, file)

The hit HBO series ‘Girls’ filmed in Greenport Village in 2013. (Credit: Cyndi Murray, file)

Want to shoot a movie scene in Greenport Village? You’ll need a permit for that now.

The Village Board unanimously passed a new local law at its meeting Thursday night that requires photo and film shoots to obtain a permit from Village Hall at least 15 days in advance before coming to Greenport.

Each permit will cost $500 and must be approved by the Village Board, according to the law. (more…)