SoutholdLOCAL http://southoldlocal.com Southold news, events, police, sports Sat, 29 Apr 2017 13:21:07 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.7.4 77146307 Orient Congregational Church to celebrate 300th anniversary with a photo contest http://southoldlocal.com/2017/04/29/orient-congregational-church-celebrate-300th-anniversary-photo-contest/ Sat, 29 Apr 2017 13:21:07 +0000 http://southoldlocal.com/?p=94320 The Orient Congregational Church is holding a photo contest for young shutterbugs to help commemorate its 300th anniversary. ]]>

If you were 300 years old, what would you do to celebrate? Well, the Orient Congregational Church is holding a photo contest for young shutterbugs to help commemorate its 300th anniversary.

The theme of the photo contest is “kindness.” It’s open to all elementary school children from Orient’s Oysterponds School to Cutchogue Elementary and Mattituck Junior High School children. Kids in grades K through eight are encouraged to participate.

The contest starts May 1 and ends June 30 giving the kids plenty of time to take photos and get them to the church on time. All the contest’s rules and an application form can be found online. Look for the photo contest button near the top of the page.

Winners will be announced a week prior to the start of the August 11 celebration weekend. Winners and all photos submitted will be viewed under the tent of the social which occurs Friday, August 11. The top prize is $250, second prize is $150 and third prize is $100. Get clicking kids!

And, always be kind.

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Greenport’s second annual ‘Mom-A-Thon’ set for May 13,14 http://southoldlocal.com/2017/04/29/greenports-second-annual-mom-thon-set-may-1314/ Sat, 29 Apr 2017 13:19:48 +0000 http://southoldlocal.com/?p=94314 Spend a special day in Greenport Village with mom during the Mom-A-Thon sidewalk sale and raffle.]]>

Greenport’s historic maritime village is opening its sidewalks for a sidewalk sale and raffle Mother’s Day weekend. The Greenport BID is holding its second annual Mom-A-Thon in honor of moms. The fair will run from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 13 and 14.

Customers purchasing $10 or more in local shops will be eligible to enter the raffle. Baskets of goodies donated by the local merchants will be raffled off to lucky shoppers at the end of each day. Winners do not have to be present at the raffle which will be drawn at 5 p.m. sharp.

For more information, please visit Greenport’s website or click here to email.

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In the Kitchen: Sharpen your knife skills for this spinach, feta and sun-dried tomato turkey roulade http://southoldlocal.com/2017/04/29/kitchen-sharpen-knife-skills-spinach-feta-sun-dried-tomato-turkey-roulade/ Sat, 29 Apr 2017 12:55:04 +0000 http://southoldlocal.com/?p=94297 Chef Kayleigh is back and she's whipped up a recipe for a rolled, stuffed boneless turkey breast that looks as good as it tastes. ]]>

It’s been a long winter and I have had the glorious pleasure of becoming a mom. I spent my winter trying to figure out my new life — and that did not include kitchen experimenting and food tasting travels.

in the kitchen

Now that life has finally begun to include a full night’s sleep and spring has sprung, I’ve decided to return to my blog duties here at the Local. (Okay, so spring has been sprung for almost a month now but I’m still trying to catch up with the rest of the world.) Please bear with me as my skills have become a little rusty and writing has now become a reason to escape mom life for a small amount of time.

During my whirlwind of a winter, I actually had some time to cook up something delicious — spinach, feta and sun-dried tomato stuffed turkey breast. It was simple, delicious and I was lucky enough to have all of the ingredients on hand.

There is a bit of knife skill involved when it comes to butterflying the meat but nothing to intimidate those who’ve just begun sharpening their knife skills. I find this technique easier to understand if explained visually. Here is a perfect example of how to butterfly and pound out a chicken breast from Good Housekeeping. The same technique can be used on a turkey breast for the recipe I am going to share with you. If this is your first time butterflying a piece of meat, I encourage you to take your time and use the pounding technique to compensate for any imperfections.

Spinach, Feta and Sun-Dried Tomato Turkey Roulade

Ingredients

Photo: Kayleigh Baig

3 lb. turkey breast
1 cup baby spinach
1/4 cup feta cheese
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes
1/2 shredded mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt
Fresh ground black pepper
1/2 cup chicken stock or water

• Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Butterfly the turkey breast and pound out until it is less than a half an inch thick and as even in thickness as possible.
• Combine the remaining ingredients, except for the chicken stock/water, in a food processor. Pulse until ingredients are combined but still a little chunky, like a pesto. Spread the mixture onto one side of the butterflied turkey breast. Roll the turkey breast into a log. If one side is thinner than the other start with that side, keeping the thicker end on the outside. Secure with toothpicks. Some of the stuffing might come out, but this is okay.
• Heat a cast iron skillet or oven safe frying pan on medium heat. Once heated add a tablespoon of olive oil. Sear the outside of the turkey roulade until golden brown. Once all sides are seared add the chicken stock or water to the skillet then place the skillet with the roulade directly into the preheated oven. Bake for approximately 45-55 minutes or until the center reaches 160 degrees. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for at least 15 minutes. Remove any toothpicks used for securing, slice into rounds and serve with pan drippings.

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Adam Gatz, 92 http://southoldlocal.com/2017/04/28/adam-gatz-92/ Fri, 28 Apr 2017 19:50:56 +0000 http://southoldlocal.com/?p=94295 Adam Gatz of Riverhead died at the Kanas Center for Hospice Care in Quiogue on April 26, 2017. He was 92 years old.

He was born on June 24, 1924 in Riverhead to Joseph Gatz and Lenora Wisniewski.

He was a potato farmer at Turnpike Acres in Riverhead.

Predeceased by his wife Cornelia in 2007, he is survived by his daughters Susan Kowalski, Pamela Gatz and Patricia Kasold, his son William Gatz, his brothers Walter and George, his sister Eleanor, his grandchildren Adam Kasold and Amanda, Emily and Claire Gatz and his great-grandchild Aubrey Kasold.

The family will receive visitors on Friday, April 28 from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. at the Tuthill-Mangano Funeral Home A funeral service is scheduled at 9 a.m. at St. John the Evangelist R.C. Church with Rev. Lawrence Dunklee officiating. Interment will follow in St. John’s Cemetery.

Memorial donations may be made to East End Hospice, P.O. Box 1040, Westhampton Beach, NY 11978-7048

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A defining moment for Southold’s agricultural industry http://southoldlocal.com/2017/04/28/southolds-adopts-new-code-definitions-agriculture/ Fri, 28 Apr 2017 19:06:09 +0000 http://southoldlocal.com/?p=94299 The Southold Town Board adopted tweaked existing definitions and adopted a dozen more pertaining to agriculture in the town, which accounts for nearly 25 percent of Suffolk County's farmland.]]>

Southold Town has armed itself with a new set of definitions for regulating, protecting and advancing the many expressions of the agricultural industry on the North Fork.

The definitions adopted by the town board this week were the product of more than five years of effort by the Southold agricultural advisory committee, whose members aimed to tackle the complex task of defining the very essence of agriculture. The complexity of their chore was compounded by the vast changes in the industry and the evolving types of agriculture now found across the town.

Agriculture on the North Fork has long encompassed more than growing potatoes and cauliflower. Nursery crops and sod, wine grapes and more recently hops, have taken their place alongside traditional field crops. Greenhouse growing, aquaculture and mariculture are now important segments of the industry. This evolution of agriculture was not reflected in an outdated town code. The agricultural advisory committee, chaired by Chris Baiz, set out to rectify that and drafted new definitions in an effort to modernize the zoning code.

It was very much a moving target, as Baiz admits.

Even he took to the podium in the town hall meeting room to suggest changes to the draft the committee he chairs presented for public hearing. Other members of the committee did likewise.

At an April 11 hearing on the proposed code changes, Baiz and others, including a representative of the Long Island Farm Bureau, raised concerns over the phrase “from a single farm operation” as part of the definitions of “agricultural processing,” “agricultural processing building,” and “on farm direct marketing building.”

“I forgot the word ‘primarily,’” Baiz told the board during the hearing.

They worry that farmers will not be allowed to bring any products in from other local farms for processing or sale.

Jessica Anson, the public policy director for the Long Island Farm Bureau called the phrase “overly restrictive language.”

“This does not correlate to current agricultural practices,” she said during the April 11 hearing. She too asked for the word “primarily” to be inserted before the phrase “from a single farm operation.”

Anson also said the code presented for public hearing was not the last draft seen by the ag advisory committee.

The supervisor said she was mistaken. No changes had been made to the draft that came out of the committee, he told her.

Russell also said the new code is not more restrictive; it is adding processing as a use, which is currently not allowed except for wineries, he said. The town is trying to prevent processing facilities that are not growing products on site, but are merely processing facilities, Russell said.

Southold shellfish farmer Karen Rivara said at the hearing that she too is concerned about the “single farm” provision, since shellfish growers can’t have a farm stand on their underwater farmland. “Many sell their products at farm stands operated by other farmers.

“We all share concern of someone bringing product from outside of town and saying it’s local,” Rivara said.

Another provision that drew concern from small farm operators at the public hearing was the definition of “bona fide farm operation.”

For a farm operation to qualify as a “bona fide” farm operation on a parcel of land smaller than seven acres, it must have annual average gross sales value of $50,000 or more or must have been issued a farm stand operator permit. Larger farms only must have annual average gross sales value of $10,000 or more.

Beekeeper Laura Clarry of Blossom Meadow Farm told the board she bought a two-acre parcel in 2015.

“Land is so expensive. All farming and farmers should be embraced. The financial threshold should be $10,000 for all size farms,” she said during the hearing.

The supervisor said those values are set by the state Agriculture and Markets department.

“Ag and Markets really doesn’t understand how we operate down here and the high cost of land here,” Chris Baiz chimed in.

The new code provisions tweak the definition of agriculture — to include aquaculture and mariculture — and define: agricultural production building, agricultural processing, agricultural processing building, processed agricultural product, on farm operation direct marketing, on farm direct marketing building, farm operation, bona fide farm operation, aquaculture, mariculture, farmhouse and roadside stand.

After some discussion at Tuesday’s work session, board members were inclined to move forward and Baiz agreed.

“This has been a very long collaborative process to better identify what is agriculture in the Town of Southold,” Baiz said from the podium that evening. “In our zoning code we have over 210 definitions. Only three of those deal with agriculture — something that represents one-third of the town’s land mass,” he said.

“We’re beyond the point of discussion,” Baiz added. “We’re 98 percent where we want to be. I urge you all to support this.”

The code revision passed unanimously.

“First and foremost, I hope everybody appreciates the difficulty this board has trying to develop consensus on this legislation when there does not seem to be a clear consensus on the legislation as proposed from the agricultural community,” the supervisor said before casting his vote in favor to adopt.

“Ultimately we have a lot of work to do,” Russell said. “It’s difficult to think that all of agriculture can be brought under one umbrella definition. There are so many different segments of the industry, each with different needs. I’ll vote to adopt and I think we need to sit down and add a whole lot more. The industry much more diverse than 13 or 14 definitions can capture.”

The town will next turn its attention to agricultural use regulations, putting to work the definitions devised by the ag advisory committee and adopted by the board this week. The committee has already begun working on the use regulations.

“The people in this industry today are basically your gene pool for the future,“ Baiz said Tuesday night. “If you want to have agriculture as a major land use in the town, having the code helps develop business plans to help agriculture move forward.”

Nearly 25 percent of the farmland in Suffolk County is located in Southold, which is second only to Riverhead (with 39 percent), according to the Suffolk County Agricultural and Farmland Protection Plan completed in 2015. Southold has more than 9,600 acres of farmland, 44.6 percent of which is protected. Twenty-eight percent of the land in Southold is in agriculture, according to the county plan.

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Southold blows past McGann-Mercy, 6-0 http://southoldlocal.com/2017/04/27/southold-blows-past-mcgann-mercy-6-0/ Fri, 28 Apr 2017 01:10:03 +0000 http://southoldlocal.com/?p=94241 McGann-Mercy wanted payback after a one-run loss April 5, but Southold had other ideas. Photo gallery by George Faella]]>

McGann-Mercy wanted a little payback today following their one-run loss to Southold on April 5. Their ace, Sarah Penny, was on the mound ready to throw some heat, but Southold had other ideas. Their bats were hot and they had a 1-0 lead after one inning.

The Southold defense came to play too, as did their ace Ashley Hilary, who was in the zone with her pitching. Southold chased Penny by the third inning, after adding another two runs to bring the score to 3-0. Penny was replaced by Izzy Sorgi. It wasn’t much better, as Southold managed another three runs to make it 6-0 on some fancy hitting by Kathleen Tuthill and Hannah Sutton. McGann-Mercy tried to mount a comeback in the top of the seventh, but was shut down by Southold. Final score: 6-0.

Southold plays at home on Saturday at 12 noon against Center Moriches.

McGann-Mercy next plays Shelter Island at home on Saturday at 11 a.m.

SoutholdLOCAL photos by George Faella

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OLA of Eastern Long Island contrata a una nueva Coordinadora de Compromiso Civico http://southoldlocal.com/2017/04/27/ola-eastern-long-island-contrata-una-nueva-coordinadora-de-compromiso-civico/ Fri, 28 Apr 2017 00:39:15 +0000 http://southoldlocal.com/?p=94237 OLA of Eastern Long Island contrata a una nueva Coordinadora de Compromiso Civico _ OLA of Eastern Long Island, una organizacin sin nimo de lucro fundada en el 2002 que promueve el desarrollo econmico, social, cultural y educativo de la comunidad Latina en el East End, anunci esta semana la contratacin de Gabriela Cabrera como […]]]>

OLA of Eastern Long Island contrata a una nueva Coordinadora de Compromiso Civico _

OLA of Eastern Long Island, una organizacin sin nimo de lucro fundada en el 2002 que promueve el desarrollo econmico, social, cultural y educativo de la comunidad Latina en el East End, anunci esta semana la contratacin de Gabriela Cabrera como su coordinadora de compromiso cvico.

La meta es expandir el importante trabajo no partidario que busca educar, energizar y activar a los votantes latinos del East End, dijo Minerva Perez, la directora ejecutiva de OLA. Ella seal tambin que se enfocaran en las elecciones hper locales, desde las juntas escolares y de ayuntamientos hasta el congreso.

La nueva coordinadora de compromiso cvico, cuyo objetivo es motivar a que la gente vote, se enfocara en la comunidad latina.

Ahora mismo los latinos como grupo estn sub representados, dijo Cabrera. Necesitamos tomar los pasos adecuados para que ellos se involucren a nivel local y aprendan a votar, explic ella.

Llegar a contactar con votantes latinos que ya estn registrados es una de las prioridades inmediatas, especialmente teniendo en cuenta las elecciones de las juntas escolares locales del prximo 16 de mayo.

No s de ninguna organizacin [local] que enfoque su atencin en motivar e informar a la gente sobre las elecciones hper locales, dijo Prez quien en el pasado trabaj brevemente en una campaa poltica del ayuntamiento de Southampton y que conoce de cerca lo difcil que es hacer que la gente vote en elecciones locales.

La organizacin empezar por educar a la gente mediante volantes sobre Como Votar que sern distribuidos en espaol e ingls y que se encargarn de explicar todos los pasos del proceso de registracin y voto y proveern una lista de las candidaturas que estn abiertas en cada distrito. La entidad tambin busca atraer y movilizar voluntarios que puedan ayudarles en sus esfuerzos de llamar y educar a los votantes latinos que ya estn registrados.

Para lograr implementar las metas de OLA, Cabrera ha empezado a recibir varios cursos de entrenamiento especializado de parte de organizaciones no partidarias como New York Civic Engagement Table y New York Immigration Coalition, que la ayudaran a reforzar sus capacidades de extensin comunitaria y compromiso mediante las ultimas tcnicas y metodologas.

Hay mucho trabajo por hacer y estoy aprendiendo a como contactarme con los votantes Latinos de la manera adecuada. Tenemos que empoderar a nuestra gente y estamos aqu para ayudar, dijo Cabrera.

Segn un reporte de 2016 del Pew Research Center, el Primer Distrito del Congreso, que se extiende desde Smithtown hasta la punta de los llamados twin forks, tiene alrededor de 40,000 latinos que son ciudadanos americanos y que serian elegibles para votar. Esto representa ms de un 13 por ciento del nmero total de votantes del distritoy sobre un 44 por ciento de la poblacin latina total que est viviendo en este momento en el Primer DC.

A pesar del nmero record de votantes latinos elegibles en todo el pas, data del Bureau de Censo de 2012 sobre las elecciones generales revela que el impacto de estos en el sistema electoral ha sido modesto debido a la baja tasa de participacin en las votaciones, un problema que se ve exacerbado durante las elecciones locales, cuando esto se vuelve ms bien una regla y no una excepcin en todos los diferentes bloques de votantes.

OLA ha mandado cuestionarios a todos los candidatos de las diferentes juntas escolares del South Fork y divulgara las respuestas, incluso cuando no reciban ninguna, para que la gente que est votando tenga ms informacin sobre los diferentes candidatos.

Perez explico lo importante que es no solo motivar a los latinos que voten, pero tambin que entiendan quien se estn lanzando como candidatos y lo que estn representado. Ella tambin explico que los votantes latinos deben hacer que sus voces sean escuchas y hacer que se involucren de forma civica es la manera de hacerlo.

La posicin de coordinadora de compromiso cvico es a tiempo parcial y ha sido financiada de forma privada.

_Desde Bronx hasta el East End_

Cabrera naci y se crio en el Sur del Bronx. Hija de inmigrantes ecuatorianos, ella es la primera de su familia que va a la universidad. Se gradu de la Universidad de Stony Brook con un titulo en Literatura Espaola. En el 2007 se mudo al East End cuando conoci a su marido. Cabrera, que es madre orgullosa de dos hijos, un nio y una nia, ha estado siempre activa en su comunidad.

Siempre he intentado ayudar a la gente, dijo ella.

Actualmente ella es defensora familiar en la escuelita de Bridgehampton Head Start. Cabrera dijo que darle voz a los que no la tienen ha sido siempre su pasin. Y aunque su nuevo puesto de trabajo como coordinadora de compromiso cvico de OLA la llevara a un territorio nuevo e inexplorado, ella est segura e inspirada a que lograra sus objetivos.

Al principio me senta intimidada. Pasare de trabajar con familias de forma individual a abarcar grupos enteros de gente para las elecciones de los colegios, pero al final lo que importa es que la comunidad me conoce y sabe por lo que lucho y lo que represento, explico Cabrera.

Cabrera fue referida a OLA por Leah Oppenheimer, la directora de compromiso comunitario del Museo de los Nios del East End.

Gaby es una persona encantadora y eso es precisamente lo que necesitamos, dijo Oppenheimer.

Su nuevo trabajo va a ayudar a cambiar la percepcin de este bloque de votantes. La gente piensa que los latinos no votan, pero la realidad es muy diferente, dijo la coordinadora.

Los latinos han sido socios silenciosos aqu y necesitan alzar su voz, dijo ella.
Antes de ser defensora familiar, Cabrera trabajo como asistente de maestra, donde vio de cerca la necesidad de los padres latinos.

Ellos no podan comunicarse de forma apropiada con los profesores y profesoras de sus hijos y era obvio que necesitaban una gua. Fue entonces que decid volverme defensora familiar, explico Cabrera.

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Town of Southold bike swap and safety rodeo set for May 13 http://southoldlocal.com/2017/04/27/town-southold-bike-swap-safety-rodeo-may-13/ Thu, 27 Apr 2017 23:54:52 +0000 http://southoldlocal.com/?p=94146 Want to swap a bike for a bigger one? Have one that no one else uses anymore? This bike swap is just the ticket for you.]]>

Have you outgrown your bicycle? Do you have a bike that you no longer need and could donate? The Town of Southold bike swap and safety rodeo will make it easy to solve both those problems.

The town’s Youth Bureau is sponsoring a bike swap and bike rodeo on May 13 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Southold Recreation Center in Peconic. The Southold Police Department will be on hand to run the bike rodeo — make sure you have a helmet in order to compete in the rodeo. 

A technician from Countrytime Cycle in Mattituck will be on hand to check bikes for safety and functionality.

All bikes not swapped will be donated to CAST for a child who doesn’t have one.

Call 631-765-8251 for more information.

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Latino advocacy group hires civic engagement coordinator http://southoldlocal.com/2017/04/27/latino-advocacy-group-hires-civic-engagement-coordinator/ Thu, 27 Apr 2017 23:42:41 +0000 http://southoldlocal.com/?p=94232 OLA of Eastern Long Island has hired a civic engagement coordinator whose main focus will be to motivate Latinos to register and vote.]]>

OLA of Eastern Long Island, a non-profit organization founded in 2002 that promotes the social, economic, cultural and educational development of the Latino community on the East End announced the hiring of Gabriela Cabrera this week as its civic engagement coordinator.

The goal is to “expand on important non-partisan work that will educate, energize and activate East End Latino voters,” said Minerva Perez, OLA’s executive director. She also said that they will focus on hyper-local elections, from school boards and village boards up to the congressional level.

The new civic engagement coordinator, whose main focus will be to motivate people to vote, will target the Latino community.

“Right now Latinos as a group is underrepresented,” said Cabrera. “We need to take the right steps so they can engage at the local level and learn how to vote,” she said.
Reaching already registered Latino Voters is one of the top immediate priorities, especially with the upcoming School Board Elections on May 16.

“I am not aware of any [local] organization out there that is focusing their attention on motivating and informing people about hyper local elections,” said Perez who in the past worked briefly on a Southampton Town Board campaign and knows from personal experience how difficult it is getting people to vote locally.

They will start by educating people through “How to Vote” posts in English and Spanish that will address all steps of the registration and voting process and provide a list of open seats in each district. The organization is also looking to enlist and mobilize volunteers that can help their efforts by calling and educating registered Latino voters.

In order to implement OLA’s goals, Cabrera has started to receive several specialized training courses through non-profit organizations such as the New York Civic Engagement Table and New York Immigration Coalition, that will help her strengthen her outreach capacities by teaching her the latest methodologies and techniques.

“There is a lot of work to do and I’m learning how to get in contact with Latino voters the right way. We have to empower people and we’re here to help,” Cabrera said.

According to a 2016 Pew Research Center report, the First Congressional District, which extends from Smithtown to the tips of the twin forks, has more than 40,000 Latinos who are U.S. citizens and eligible to vote. That represents more than 13 percent of total voters in the district — and about 44 percent of the total Latino population currently living in the First CD.

Despite the record number of eligible Latino voters throughout the country, Census Bureau data from the 2012 general election show that their impact in the electoral system has been modest due to the low turnout rate, a problem that is exacerbated during local elections, when low participation is generally the rule and not the exception across all groups.

OLA has sent questionnaires to all School Board candidates on the South Fork and will share what they learn, even if they don’t get any response from them so people voting have more information on the different candidates.

Perez explained that it is important not only to motivate Latinos to vote, but also understand who is a candidate and what they stand for. She said Latino voters have to make their voices heard and having them engage civically is the way to go.

The civic engagement coordinator is a part-time, privately funded position.

From the Bronx to the East End
Cabrera was born and raised in the South Bronx. The daughter of Ecuadorean immigrants, she was the first in her family to go to college. She graduated from Stony Brook University with a degree in Spanish Literature. In 2007 she moved to the East End when she met her husband. A proud mother of two children, Cabrera has always been active in her community.

“I’ve always tried to help people,” she said.

Currently a family advocate at Bridgehampton Head Start, Cabrera says that giving voice to the voiceless has always been her passion. And although her new position as OLA’s civic engagement coordinator will take her unto new and uncharted territory, she is confident and inspired to make it work.

“I was intimidated at first. I will go from working with individual families to reaching out to whole groups of people for school board elections, but the bottom line is that the community knows me and they know what I stand for,” she said.

Cabrera was referred to OLA by Leah Oppenheimer, the director of community outreach at The Children’s Museum of The East End.

“Gaby is a very engaging person and that’s exactly what we need,” Oppenheimer said.

“Her new job is going to help change the perception of this voting bloc. People think Latinos don’t vote. The reality is quite different,” she said.

“Latinos are a quiet partner out here and they need to have a voice,” Oppenheimer said.

Prior to being an advocate, Cabrera was a teaching assistant, where she says she saw the need of Latino parents.

“They couldn’t communicate properly with their children’s teachers and needed guidance. It is then that I decided to become an advocate,” Cabrera said.

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Greenport Idol competition takes its final bow next month http://southoldlocal.com/2017/04/27/greenport-idol-competition-takes-final-bow-next-month/ Thu, 27 Apr 2017 12:21:23 +0000 http://southoldlocal.com/?p=94123 The Greenport Teachers Association will hold its final Greenport Idol next month.]]>

If you love to sing on stage in front of a wildly cheering crowd and if you’re a Greenport student, alumni, or faculty member (past or present), here’s your final chance to participate in the Greenport Idol competition.

On May 12 Greenport will say farewell to Greenport Idol. Guidance counselor Brandi Hopkins, who is helping to organize the event, says that the show has been held on and off since its inception and times are changing. “Even the real American Idol isn’t on anymore,” she says. “Maybe in the future we’ll do another kind of competition — maybe Greenport Voice or something like that.”

The original Greenport Idol was held in 2005 in memory of Dr. Dennis Claire, a beloved English teacher who died suddenly in May, 2004. Claire taught for 25 years at the school; Hopkins speaks fondly of him, saying that he was a mentor to many of the faculty that are still working at the school.

“He meant a lot to the community, to the teachers, students and staff at the school,” she said. “We wanted to bring Idol back one more time to give thanks and a nod to Dr. Claire.”

“We’d like to have a new generation be able to understand who he was and what he did,” added special education teacher Mike Sage, who is also helping organize this year’s show.

Dr. Claire visits a sixth grade class in 1999. Photo: Katharine Schroeder

Claire was well known for his creative and enthusiastic teaching, his humor and his dedication to the school. Although he taught in the upper grades, he would often visit elementary classrooms, dressing up and telling stories to the younger kids. 

This final Greenport Idol will also hold a tribute to Gary Lillis, a former science teacher at the school who recently passed away.

Hopkins would like to make this send-off Idol the biggest ever and encourages alumni, faculty and students to participate.

Solo acts, bands and groups are all invited to perform. For information or to sign up, email Brandi Hopkins at hopkins@gufsd.org. Students can sign up at the guidance office or room 318.

Greenport Idol will be held on May 12 at 7:30 p.m. in the auditorium. The event is run by the Greenport Teachers Association and all money raised goes toward scholarships.

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