Community Columns

Cutchogue News: Remembering two ‘stewards of the land’

Our community is saddened by the loss of two exceptional stewards of the land. Howard Meinke was devoted to protecting and nurturing the land. His oversight of the North Fork Environmental Council and his thought-provoking questions helped guide Southold’s development and evolution for the better. Our condolences to his wife, Margaret, and their children. 

KK Haspel was a beautiful free spirit, dedicated to nurturing the soil. An advocate for biodynamic growing methods and dedicated to educating others, she was instrumental in establishing the school garden at Cutchogue East, as well as a program that brings produce from the Southold Elementary School garden to the cafeteria. Our condolences to her husband, Ira, and their family.

A Day in the Life of the Peconic Estuary gave Mattituck High School AP biology teacher Janine Ruland an opportunity to help her students better appreciate Long Island’s river and its estuary ecosystems. Bringing together over 1,000 students from 27 districts, the program used hands-on techniques to help students see the bigger picture through shared data and analysis. The day was sponsored by several environmental organizations in partnership with many agencies and school districts, including Mattituck-Cutchogue UFSD.

The Cutchogue New Suffolk Historical Council’s 4th Annual Antique Car Show on the Village Green will bring you “Back in Time before ’49,” on Sunday, Oct. 19. Festivities begin at 9 a.m., with house tours from noon to 3 p.m. (free with admission). Admission is $6.

A family nature scavenger hunt will be held Saturday, Oct. 25, at Downs Farm Preserve, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., with the last hunt at 1:30. Scavenger hunts will be offered at various levels for children up to age 12. The event is co-sponsored by The Southold Mothers’ Club, Group for the East End, Lyrical Children and Macaroni Kid.

In honor of Fire Prevention Week, Cutchogue Fire Department members visited elementary school students to teach fire safety. Former CFD member Timothy Smith was honored recently by Panama City Beach, Fla., officials for his part in a heroic rescue that saved the life of an elderly woman.

For more than 66 years, William Midgley Jr., who died Sept. 26, “exhibited the true spirit of a Volunteer Fireman.” Our heartfelt condolences to the Midgley family.

The roots that Ryan Hygom, Chris Serrano, Bobby Sayer and Eric Schait formed as elementary school children were nurtured during high school and grew into lifetime friendships. Ryan, a safety engineer, is living in Medford. Chris and Bobby earned their mechanical engineering degrees at the same university and moved to Connecticut after being hired by the same company. Eric became an actuary. The four friends remain close and take an annual vacation together.

Congratulations to Scott and Kathy Hygom on being blessed with their first grandchild, born to their daughter, Lauren, and her longtime boyfriend.

Leah Friedman, writer, artist and Shelter Island resident, will lead Congregation Tifereth Israel’s “Judaism and Art” program Sunday, Nov. 2, at 2 p.m., with readings from her new book, “Essie Finkelstein: Monologues for an Actress,” about a 97-year-old woman and her sorrow, joy, pain and laughter.

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Contact Cutchogue-New Suffolk columnist Barbara Sheryll at [email protected] or 734-5242.