05/13/17 6:00am
05/13/2017 6:00 AM

Most of life is going about the mundane business of living. In our everyday, the vast majority of tasks and time are directed to maintaining existence. We cook to eat, to stay alive. We wash to stay clean, to stay healthy. We work to earn money to feed, clothe, house ourselves. We drive to work to etc., etc.

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02/24/15 12:00pm
02/24/2015 12:00 PM

Poetry at Poquatuck, an annual event of poetry readings, a pop-up gallery and “poetic pairings,” is set for 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 28, at Orient’s historic Poquatuck Hall.

The evening will feature readings by poets Miranda Beeson, David Berson, Vivian Eyre, Suffolk Times columnist Pierre Gazarian, Billy Hands, Jason Hefter and Yvonne Lieblein, as well as Suffolk County poet laureate Pramila Venkaetswaran and former county poets laureate Tammy Nuzzo-Morgan and Ed Steve.

Artists will include Emily Bosworth, Morgan Gildersleeve, Gail Horton, Kristian Iglesias, Holly Mastrangelo, Estefany Molina, Cindy Pease Roe, Nadira Vlaun, William Steeple Davis artist-in-residence Sarah Prescott and former Steeple Davis artist Alan Bull.
Each poet has been paired with an artist and each reading will include one poem inspired by a work by the poet’s corresponding artist.

Admission is $10 at the door. Guests are welcome to provide their own beverages. Proceeds benefit Poquatuck Hall’s preservation efforts.

02/28/14 1:00pm
02/28/2014 1:00 PM
Poquatuck Hall in Orient will be the site for a forum on wastewater issues next month.

Poquatuck Hall in Orient (Credit: File)

‘Poetry @ Poquatuck,’ an annual celebration of poetry and art, begins at 7 p.m. Saturday, March 1, at Poquatuck Hall in Orient. The evening will feature readings and a pop-up gallery as well as pairings of artists and poets intended to result in poems inspired by art.

Participating artists are Megan Barron, Gail Horton, Kristian Iglesias, Holly Mastrangelo, Estefany Molina, Cindy Pease Roe, Rita Rooney and Nadira Vlaun. Poets are David Berson, Miranda Beeson, Vivian Eyre, Billy Hands, Jason Hefter and Yvonne Lieblein. Suffolk County poet laureate Pramila Venkaetswaran and former poets laureate Tammy Nuzzo-Morgan and Ed Stever will be special guests.

Guests may provide their own beverages and are invited to bring an appetizer or dessert for the after-party. Admission is $10; proceeds benefit Poquatuck Hall. Contact Ms. Lieblein at [email protected].

11/15/13 12:00pm
11/15/2013 12:00 PM
BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO | A view of Peconic Bay from Mattituck Beach.

BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO | A view of Peconic Bay from Mattituck Beach.

Two short films focused on environmental conservation, both shot locally, will be screened at Poquatuck Hall in Orient this month.

This Saturday, Orient couple Margaret Nussbaum and Jim Steech will show their film, “The Orchard.”

Directed by Ms. Nussbaum and written by Mr. Steech, it tells the fictional story of a mother and child struggling to survive in a world decimated by climate change. The plot heats up when they accidentally trespass on a property known as “The Orchard” and discovery a mystery.

This is the couple’s sixth film project and Ms. Nussbaum’s first time directing. In September, the film was named a semifinalist at the Moondance International Film Festival in Connecticut. The festival is a venue for independent films that help spark social and environmental change, which is consistent with the key message of ‘The Orchard,’ Ms. Nussbaum said.

“Being respectful of where we live and how lucky we are to live out here is the primary reason for doing the film,” she said. ““Every day you hear more and more stories about sea levels rising and catastrophic weather events and so many of people worldwide are suffering, I just wanted to tell a story that makes people think about it and what they can do in small ways to protect the environment.”

Preserving the natural beauty of the North Fork in particular was a major inspiration behind the 24-minute film, Ms. Nussbaum said. The film was shot exclusively in Orient over the course of a year and stars only local actors.

“This is our way of giving back to the community,” Ms. Nussbaum said. “This is for locals by locals.”

“The Orchard” will be shown Saturday, Nov. 16, at 5 p.m. at Poquatuck Hall. A suggested donation of $10 per person will benefit the Oysterponds Historical Society. Refreshments will be served.

The following Sunday, Nov. 24, Emmy-award winning filmmaker Greta Schiller of Southold will debut her 12th documentary, which focuses on a small group of East Marion residents and their seven-year endeavor to restore Marion Lake.

“The Marion Lake Story: Defeating the Mighty Phragmite” tells the story of the complete degradation — and eventual restoration — of an 18-acre lake on Bay Avenue. The water body is a crucial habitat for migrating birds, rare turtles and other flora and fauna but is being choked by the invasive reed Australis Phragmite.

In 2007, watching with growing alarm as the lake she grew up on gradually disappeared, East Marion resident Lori Luscher took it upon herself to save the lake and spearhead the Marion Lake Restoration Committee.

Persistent in her fight, Ms. Luscher has been called East Marion’s own Erin Brockovich. For her tireless work in releasing Marion Lake from this decades long ecological stranglehold, The Suffolk Times named Ms. Luscher Civic Person of the Year in 2008.

The film documents the group’s ongoing effort to restore the lake, from the first fundraiser in 2008 to the first blooms of replanted native plants and the challenges along the way.

“So many environmental films are doom and gloom but this shows the positive impact the actions of a small group of people can have,” Ms. Schiller said. “My hope is that it inspires community service. There is so much you can do in your own backyard to make yourself more wildlife-friendly — and you’ll get to know your neighbor in a different light. I really think it’s an inspirational story.”

“The Marion Lake Story: Defeating the Mighty Phragmite” will be shown Sunday, Nov. 24, at 2 p.m., also at Poquatuck Hall.

Admission to the screening, a fundraiser to help pay for aspects of final production on the film, is $25 per person. Guests can also pay $45 and receive a copy of the DVD. Children will be admitted free. Tickets can be purchased online at jezebel.org.

[email protected]

06/18/13 2:30pm
06/18/2013 2:30 PM
KATHARINE SCHROEDER PHOTO | Oysterponds school board president Dorothy-Dean Thomas will be attending tonight's candidate forum in Orient. Her challenger, Betsy Dzenkowski, has declined the invitation.

KATHARINE SCHROEDER PHOTO | Oysterponds school board president Dorothy-Dean Thomas will be attending tonight’s candidate forum in Orient. Her challenger, Betsy Dzenkowski, has declined the invitation.

There will be an Oysterponds school board candidate forum tonight in Orient, but only incumbent Dorothy-Dean Thomas will be in attendance.

Civic officials said candidate Betsy Dzenkowski has declined the invitation due to a scheduling conflict.

Ms. Dzenkowski is an East Marion resident who hasn’t actively campaigned. She and Ms. Thomas tied for one of three seats at the May 21 election, with 157 votes each.

Ms. Thomas is the current school board president and lives in Orient. Civic officials said she has agreed to attend tonight’s 7 p.m. forum at Poquatuck Hall to answer questions. All Orient and East Marion residents are invited to attend.

The June 25 runoff election between Ms. Thomas and Ms. Dzenkowski will take place at the elementary school between 3 to 9 p.m.

Check back next Tuesday night for live election results.

[email protected]

04/29/13 8:00am
04/29/2013 8:00 AM

Environmental groups from both sides of Long Island Sound will host a public meeting on protecting Plum Island’s undeveloped areas in Orient tonight.

The Group for the East End and the Save the Sound organization from Connecticut will be joined by Congressman Tim Bishop at Poquatuck Hall on Skippers Lane for the session from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

The fate of the 840-acre island off the North Fork’s eastern tip has been in question for several years as federal authorities consider the construction of a replacement animal disease research facility in Manhattan, Kan. That project, which Congress has yet to fully fund, calls for closing the Plum Island lab and selling the property.

The public forum comes just one week before Southold Town will hold a public hearing on the proposal would divide Plum Island into three zoning districts.

[email protected]

04/23/13 12:00pm
04/23/2013 12:00 PM

Environmental groups from both sides of Long Island Sound will host a public meeting in Orient on Monday, April 29 on protecting Plum Island’s undeveloped areas.

The Group for the East End and the Save the Sound organization from Connecticut will be joined by Congressman Tim Bishop at Poquatuck Hall on Skippers Lane for the session from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

The fate of the 840-acre island off the North Fork’s eastern tip has been in question for several years as federal authorities consider the construction of a replacement animal disease research facility in Manhattan, Kan. That project, which Congress has yet to fully fund, calls for closing the Plum Island lab and selling the property.

Southold Town is drafting new zoning which would limit the island’s future use to that of a research facility.

In announcing the meeting the two environmental groups said, “We’ll be sharing information and ideas about efforts to protect this rare habitat gem.”

[email protected]

04/05/13 2:00pm
04/05/2013 2:00 PM

COURTESY PHOTO | Anne MacKay served as president of Oysterponds Community Activities.

Anyone who knew Anne MacKay knew she was a woman of action. Into her 80s Ms. MacKay wrote books of poetry, sailed, gardened, directed theater, served as president of Oysterponds Community Activities and even made her own instruments. Though she passed away last April at the age of 84, her presence can still be felt in her Orient community.

Her passion for music inspired the annual song swap at Poquatuck Hall. This year’s event is dedicated to Ms. MacKay, who co-organized the event with local musician and fellow community activist Gideon D’Arcangelo.

The program got its start in 2009 as a fundraiser for the hall’s upkeep and the OCA fund. Organizing the first song swap was a challenge, Mr. D’Arcangelo recalled.

“I was relatively new to the community and didn’t know many people,” he said. “When I first proposed the idea to the Oysterponds Community Activities board they told me I had to talk to Anne MacKay. There wasn’t even a moment’s hesitation. They said, ‘You have to talk to Anne because that’s what Anne’s all about.’ ”

When formulating the idea for the song swap the two became fast friends, bonding over their shared love of music. “She was a very strong woman and I was so happy to get to know her,” Mr. D’Arcangelo said. He described Ms. MacKay as a “wealth of knowledge.”

“She went down to the Greenport library to pick up a book on how to build instruments and taught herself how to make a dulcimer,” Mr. D’Arcangelo said.

Now in its fourth year, the song swap was set up to create a home for area musicians to share songs and stories with friends and neighbors.

“What I love about Orient is the strong close-knit community,” Mr. D’Arcangelo said. “Song swap is just part of that knitting. It brings the community together through music. It’s a very warm, welcoming evening.”

A singer and guitarist himself, Mr. D’Arcangelo began his music career more than 20 years ago under the guidance of famous music folklorist Alan Lomax. During their friendship, Ms. MacKay and Mr. D’Arcangelo collaborated on many community events, including the sea shanties program for the Oysterponds Historical Society. In her honor, Mr. D’Arcangelo will perform songs from that program during this year’s song swap.

Most of the musicians who participated last year will be back, and the program welcomes performers of all skill levels. Veteran singer-songwriter Nancy Baxter and fi ddler Helen Hooke are in the lineup along with several of the North Fork’s next generation of musicians, including 10-year-old Anna Claude Manning and 11-year-old Gideon Burnes Heath.

Ms. MacKay’s relatives Mary Dorman and Andy Dorman will also be taking the stage along with many others.

The fourth annual Anne MacKay Song Swap will take place at Poquatuck Hall, 1160 Skipper’s Lane in Orient, on Saturday, April 6 at 7 p.m.

Tickets are $10 at the door. Baked goods will be offered for sale.

All proceeds will go to Oysterponds Community Activities to maintain the historic hall. Audience members are invited to sing along or just sit back and enjoy the show.

[email protected]

04/30/12 7:00am
04/30/2012 7:00 AM

GIANNA VOLPE PHOTO | 10-year-old Gideon Burnes Heath entertains the audience at Poquatuck Hall in Orient Saturday evening with his cover of Coldplay's "The Scientist."

Some strummed guitars and others wielded banjos for a packed house at Poquatuck Hall in Orient Saturday. Even 10-year-old Gideon Burnes Heath participated in the evening of song and music, playing Coldplay’s “The Scientist” from behind the hall’s grand piano in front of an audience of more than 100 people.

Called a “Song Swap,” the duel-purpose event was aimed to entertain and raise money for renovations to historic Poquatuck Hall.

The Song Swap is the third of its kind, organized and emceed by Gideon D’Arcangelo.

“I like to think of Poquatuck Hall like our living room in Orient,” Mr. D’Arcangelo said during the event’s introduction. It’s a space where we can all come together and do this sort of thing.”

Poquatuck Hall was built in the 19th century to provide Orient with a town hall and entertainment center, which is still does today.

Money made from the first Song Swap raised funds to rip out the linoleum flooring to reveal and refinish the original hard wood beneath it. This year’s profits will go toward replacing an old oil furnace in the basement with a higher efficiency gas furnace.