Editorial: Our favorite stories of 2022

As we look back on the year behind us, we reflect back on the stories that made headlines and moved us in 2022.

We asked our staff members to weigh in on stories we published that resonated with them this year. It’s a collection of heartwarming features and important reports that made a difference.

Steve Wick.

“​​A story that begins, ‘If anyone has astronomy in their blood, it’s Anne Spooner’ is a story that would pull in any reader of The Suffolk Times. The story we published in July was one of those stories. Brianne Ledda’s article told the story of a group of Southold advocates who are passionate about preserving the night sky from light pollution through the North Fork Dark Sky Coalition. They want to see the stars and the Milky Way on clear nights. They see this as one of the great privileges of living on the North Fork and not in a densely packed community farther west on Long Island or in New York City. It told how a small group of dedicated people can highlight a problem and work to address it and was one of the very best we published last year.” 

— Steve Wick, executive editor 

Cerria Orientale Torres

“I loved learning about the ways we can help with light pollution in the piece on dark skies by Brianne Ledda. As a kid growing up on Main Bayview Road in Southold, I was aware of the Custer Institute and what they offered, but more impactful was what I could see laying in my own backyard. I was aware then that we were lucky to have that view and that it was due to where we lived. My hope is that from learning more we can protect what we see so that our children and their children can continue to be in awe for generations to come.” 

— Cerria Orientale Torres, sales and production manager

Flora Cannon

“One of my favorite stories was about a man named Chris Schwenker, who cycled from San Francisco back home to Jamesport. The journey took Mr. Schwenker 59 days to complete and covered 3,873 miles.

He raised $12,000 for the DIRT Dad Fund, which is a nonprofit organization that helps less fortunate dads that are experiencing financial hardships and face various life challenges. I found this story very inspiring!” 

— Flora Cannon, graphic designer

Tara Smith

“Joe Werkmeister told a beautiful story about organ donation and legacies in his September News-Review feature on Karen Crowell, the woman who received Thomas Cutinella’s heart in 2014 and, against many odds, became a mother last spring.

What the Cutinella family has been through is heart wrenching and unimaginable, but the way they’ve carried his legacy forward and extended their warmth, love and support to the woman that carries his heart beating forward was a truly touching story with an important reminder: Sign up to be an organ donor! It isn’t something you likely think about often, but signing up means the possibility of one day saving a life, even if that means the end of your own.” 

— Tara Smith, digital content director

Victoria Caruso

“One of my favorite stories this year comes from northforker’s food issue, where Tara Smith writes about the growing problem of food insecurity, an issue that impacts families across the North Fork.

This is an incredibly important and well-reported story that demonstrates how poverty is a social determinant of health and highlights what is being done and still needs to be done to address this issue in our communities.” 

— Victoria Caruso, staff writer

Tina Contento

“Bob Liepa wrote an amazing tribute to a special man: Ron McEvoy. I had known Ron as a teacher, colleague and friend and Bob told his story perfectly.

We all knew how much fun Ron was as a person, a talented educator and how he was able to touch so many lives. After reading that story, we all remembered what a truly special man he was.” 

Tina Contento, senior advertising account executive

Andrew Olsen

“One of my favorite stories of the year was our cover story on the workforce housing crisis by Brianne Ledda. Accelerated by the pandemic, housing costs are now untouchable for most regular people.

We see this firsthand in our schools, fire departments and in many of the neighborhoods where housing has skyrocketed. Brianne’s piece told the human side of this vital issue facing our community.” 

— Andrew Olsen, publisher

Christine Kelly-Smimmo

“An article that I enjoyed was ‘Anatomy of a Cocktail,’ in the August 2022 issue of northforker. As a designer, I was first drawn to the photography and use of The Halyard glass wall in the piece. As a fan of trying the signature cocktail from a mixologist at a good restaurant or bar, I was impressed with the life story of Mishi Torgove and learning of his magic creating a craft cocktail.

He also tapped in on the history of cocktails and the calculus involved. The story had me appreciating even more what goes in the glass. I’m planning on going to The Halyard to meet Mishi and order one of his specialties!” 

— Christine Kelly-Smimmo, staff artist

Melissa Azofeifa

“The story about Peconic Landing’s ukulele club is my staff pick of the year because it was a reminder that it’s never too late to follow your passions and do what you love.

It’s impressive that they won first place at the Mattituck Strawberry Festival, although when you listen to the video attached to the article, you see how talented the club members are. The joy the club members transmit is infectious.” ­

— Melissa Azofeifa, staff writer