Listen! “Ungoverned” with Joan Cergol

"Ungoverned" podcast logo provided by Joan Cergol

Logo provided by Joan Cergol

I love what Joan Cergol is doing! Check out her new podcast, UnGoverned. You can find it on platforms like Spotify and Apple Podcasts. I like to just head over to her website, www.joancergol.com.

Grateful to Have Met Her

I first met Joan in 2002, when she left the private sector to work for The Town of Huntington. I was with the nonprofit Vision Huntington, which, at the time was rapidly becoming Vision Long Island.

Our organization had engaged with the Town in a novel concept, “The Smart Growth Steering Committee,” which brought various department heads around a table monthly, together with diverse local stakeholders ranging from the local chamber and BID, to environmental leaders, to housing folks, to youth and community development interests, historical societies, and more.

Some got frustrated that this group didn’t “DO” many things, but I thought what was happening was even more important. People were regularly talking to each other across party, department, and interest, building understanding and relationships…and people WERE doing things with each other and the ideas they shared, just not generally as a group…and we did do some turnkey things as a group…

Anyway, what I soon learned was that anytime anything really good and sensible got done with the Town, Joan Cergol seemed to be there. I was never sure what her party was, but her boss seemed to be then-Republican Supervisor Frank Petrone, who had been campaigning with then-Councilman Steve Israel on the slogan of “Worst to First,” touting their bond rating achievements and the power of bipartisan collaboration.

People Over Party

I recently found out that Joan was actually something of a kindred spirit, having been unaffiliated with any political party (as I have been for life) until she became a Democrat in 2008. Whether or what party Joan was a part of didn’t really matter to me. What I appreciated was the way she seemed to listen, to connect with folks, and to offer the best she could in terms of good solutions.

Eventually, as a Democrat, Joan was elected to the Huntington Town Council where she served for six years. In that, she never lost her independent-minded spirit, nor her thoughtful, inclusive approach to solving government and community problems.

She just liked working in service to the people of the Town.

A New Way to Serve

In 2023, Joan decided to stop running and to serve in a very different way. She is now applying her smart charisma to craft a sweet, thoughtful podcast that she describes as “snackable stories from a recovering politician.” Hopefully, she says, it won’t be too much about politics!

She is missed by many in the Town. It’s nice to see she’s found this new way to engage. It’s an enriching and entertaining listen that I look forward to watching develop. Check it out!

You can also read a recent article about Joan and her podast in this Huntington Now article by Layne Groom.

Photo of Joan Cergol at her podcast desk
Photo of Joan Cergol provided by Joan Cergol

Repair Café South Huntington!

Repair Café Flyer

The Repair Café is Coming to South Huntington

The Repair Cafe is about repairing broke items together. It’s a great place to get advice, learn a thing or two, and be inspired! There are no guarantees, but a promise to try. Many find the experience itself worth the effort. Folks involved are excited to announce that the next one will be held:

When: Saturday, March 16, 2024 from 1-4pm
Where: South Huntington Public Library, 145 Pidgeon Hill Rd, Huntington Station
Want to Help or Learn More? Email starflexp@aol.com
 

Want to Help?

Are you handy? With machines? Electronics? A needle and thread, perhaps?

Would you share this knowledge with others? Just want to keep folks from throwing good things into landfills, maybe help them save a few dollars?  Come with your kids and teach them? Just come to learn and make new friends?

Get involved in The Repair Café!

Learn More!

Check out The Repair Café Long Island on Facebook.

Just scroll through the images there and look at these folks helping each other and learning so much together.

Oh my goodness!

For years now, Laurie Farber of Starflower Experiences has made it part of her mission to help people fix things rather than just throw them out. First efforts in Wyandanch were successful. Then they built on the idea. The concept survived COVID. A natural partner, libraries, LOVE it when she brings her can-do TLC to their spaces. They’ve been to South Huntington before, as well as the Harborfields Library in Greenlawn, Comsewogue in Port Jefferson Station, Copaigue, Lindenhurst, more!
 

She’s got calls coming in for this program Island-wide. Anyone willing to help her answer them is greatly appreciated!

Laurie Explains

You don’t have to be super mechanical. Everybody can teach or help with something.

Said Laurie: “The more volunteers, the faster folks can get things repaired. People need to be able to bring their own tools. We get a lot of TVs and lamps and small electronics. We also could use people who are good with furniture, clothing/textiles (with sewing machine), more people for jewelry, anyone for watches and clocks, and other miscellaneous things (last time we had an ironing board, bicycle, a small statue that needed to be glued back together…).

We could also make space for a mental health person who would take time to listen to folks who just have a need to talk, or anyone who can do massage (sure, we can ‘fix’ people, too!).

Anyone who’d like to do some small DIY demos like how to sew on a button, darn a sock, rewire a lamp… Join us!

Get Involved!

We imagine The Repair Café  would be an EXCELLENT service project for Scouts, and really anyone who wants to promote the fine art of giving things a second chance at life, and to help make the world little thriftier and more self-reliant.

The best way to get in touch is through the Repair Cafe Long Island Facebook Page. You may also contact Laurie at starflexp@aol.com to learn more!!!

Photos of Repair Cafe’s across Long Island. Photo Credit: Laurie Farber.

Catching Up With Jose: “Community” at Spotlight, Environmentally Conscious Public Art

Jose Tutiven and Bri Sanders at the Upsculpt Ribbon Cutting of "Lobster Buoy Boy" in Huntington early this month.

We’ve mentioned Jose Tutiven before. His reputation preceded him by 20 miles as he has earned the appreciation of folks Island-wide. His company, Colored Colors, “empowers unity amongst creatives…fosters long term relationships between the community of creatives and local business…[and]…serves as the platform to instill the mentality of artistry, commerce and community.”

Continue reading

2023 Smart Growth Summit

For more than 25 years, Vision Long Island has made a huge difference in our communities, connecting great people and generally helping all sorts of folks wrap their heads around the challenges and opportunities to improve our built environment on LI. Their 2023 Smart Growth Summit is happening Friday, December 1, 2023 from 8am-4pm.
 
It will feature over 1,000 local community, business and government, downtown revitalization and community development leaders. There will be nearly 20 workshops, 100 speakers, a trade show, and a concurrent Youth Summit. The breakfast “State of the Towns and Villages” session and luncheon alone are worth the program price. 
 
This is a great way to get an in depth, inside scoop on important local issues, including infrastructure, redevelopment, energy, human needs, small business, walkability, transportation and many others.
 
The LI Smart Growth movement generally attracts great people who care about the future of our communities. For an idea of the quality of folks who attend, check out these in-depth interviews hosted by Eric Alexander featuring a broad range of local leaders. You can also check out Vision’s YouTube channel to see important discussions they’ve hosted in the past, as well as people, projects and policies that they have highlighted. 
 
It’s really valuable stuff. Best to come check out what they’re talking about now!
 
Check out their website for details and get on their email list!

Repair Café Needs YOU!!!

Repair Café Flyer

The Repair Café Needs You!

Are you handy? With machines? Electronics? A needle and thread, perhaps?

Would you share this knowledge with others? Just want to keep folks from throwing good things into landfills, maybe help them save a few dollars?  Come with your kids and teach them? Just come to learn and make new friends?

Get involved in The Repair Café!

About the Repair Café

Check out The Repair Café Long Island on Facebook.

Just scroll through the images there and look at these folks helping each other and learning so much together.

Oh my goodness!

For years now, Laurie Farber of Starflower Experiences has made it part of her mission to help people fix things rather than just throw them out. First efforts in Wyandanch were successful. Then they built on the idea. The concept survived COVID. A natural partner, libraries, LOVE it when she brings her can-do TLC to their spaces. They’ve been to South Huntington, the Harborfields Library in Greenlawn, Comsewogue in Port Jefferson Station, Copaigue, Lindenhurst, more!
 

She’s got calls coming in for this program Island-wide. Anyone willing to help her answer them is greatly appreciated!

Laurie Explains

You don’t have to be super mechanical. Everybody can teach or help with something.

Said Laurie: “The more volunteers, the faster folks can get things repaired. People need to be able to bring their own tools. We get a lot of TVs and lamps and small electronics. We also could use people who are good with furniture, clothing/textiles (with sewing machine), more people for jewelry, anyone for watches and clocks, and other miscellaneous things (last time we had an ironing board, bicycle, a small statue that needed to be glued back together…).

We could also make space for a mental health person who would take time to listen to folks who just have a need to talk, or anyone who can do massage (sure, we can ‘fix’ people, too!).

Anyone who’d like to do some small DIY demos like how to sew on a button, darn a sock, rewire a lamp… we may need someone to act as “host” in watching and replenishing the coffee, cookies, etc. Anyone who wants to bake cookies or banana bread or small things that don’t require silverware or plates or who’d like to donate a basket of apples is also welcome.

Get Involved!

We imagine The Repair Café  would be an EXCELLENT service project for Scouts, and really anyone who wants to promote the fine art of giving things a second chance at life, and to help make the world little thriftier and more self-reliant.

The best way to get in touch is through the Repair Cafe Long Island Facebook Page. You may also contact Laurie at starflexp@aol.com to learn more!!!

Photos of Repair Cafe’s across Long Island. Photo Credit: Laurie Farber.

Firefly Lights! Gratitude, Veterans, Holiday Prep!!!

The Firefly Artists Logo

Thank you for making us the 2022 Best Art Gallery on Long Island and for all you do to support local art and artists. We’re pleased to learn we’ve been nominated again — Thanks! It means a lot!!!

Vote for us here every day through December 15th!!!

In this update:
– GRATEFULLY GETTING READY – Our FIreflies are creating and planning all sorts of wonderful things!
– HONORING OUR VETERANS we are pleased to host “Ink Stories: Symbols and Service.” 
– KIRK LARSEN will be hosting a special exhibition in our Darcy Arts Center
– DID YOU HEAR THE NEWS? We are excited!!!

There are so many people to thank, so much to organize, so much now to do! We’re so busy, I didn’t even have time to find my own picture of a wreath for this post. Thank you Milada Vigerove and Unsplash!
There are so many people to thank, so much to organize, so much now to do! We’re so busy, I didn’t even have time to find my own picture of a wreath for this post. This one is beautiful! Thank you Milada Vigerove and Unsplash!

GRATEFULLY Flying Into the Holiday Season!!!

 
As we race from the excitement of last summer straight into the holidays, the first thing we have to say is THANK YOU!   

 

Thank you to all who have supported our transition! Our future is bright because of our amazing community. We would no longer exist if not for you. Thank you for helping keep the Firefly Light Shining!!!
 
Our Fireflies are making like busy elves, crafting all sorts of things for the holiday season. Once again we will offer our popular “100 works at $100,” as well as a $50 and under table where you can come find something modestly priced, and uniquely handcrafted by our talented artists for everyone on your list. 
 
If you want to commission something special, ask now! Many of our artists would love to create that special gift for you. 
 
Many Fireflies will be hosting trunk shows and demonstrations throughout the holiday season. Stay tuned for details. They’re so much fun!!!
 
…and now...NOW…we hear we are receiving a MAJOR AWARD set to light up our whole beautiful, slightly wacky village! 
Do you already know what we’re talking about? Find out below!!!
Images of Ink Stories: Symbols of Service on loan from the Northport-East Northport Public Library to The Firefly Artists.

Special Exhibition: “Ink Stories: Symbols and Service”

 

Thank you to all who served.

In honor of Veterans’ Day, we are hosting “Ink Stories: Symbols of Service”

This is an amazing project assembled in 2019 by Librarian Kathryn Heaviside of the Northport-East Northport Public library to share Veteran’s stories and experiences through photographic representations of their tattoos.

The show will be on view at The Firefly Artists 11/4-11/13.  

Here’s an article on the show in the TBR News Media from back when it was put together in 2019.

 
Image of landscape painting postcard by Firefly Kirk Larsen
Image by Firefly Kirk Larsen

Special Exhibition: “Take Me Home: Oils Watercolors & More by Kirk Larsen

 

We are pleased to announce that Firefly Kirk Larsen will be holding a solo show of works in our “Darcy Arts Center”
 
Kirk’s an internationally known Plein Air painter (painting outdoors in Natural light) and one of America’s foremost Marine Artists. His landscape, seascape and nautical images grace the walls of homes throughout the area, globally and in museums reflecting his passion for discovering new places, seeing the commonplace with fresh eyes, the water, the environment and sailing.

Learn more at kirklarsenfineart.com and by following @kirklarsenart on Instagram and Facebook

The show will be on view November 15-30
Opening Reception: Tues 11/15 from 6-9pm
Closing Reception and Mini Auction: 11/30 from 5:30-8:30pm

All works are for sale.
Photo of a photo by Firefly Jennifer Lau of the Northport Hardware Company

The Leg Lamp Returns! We are so Psyched (and a Little Overwhelmed!) to Receive this Major Award

 

Fundamentally, the Firefly is the best because it has the best community ever.

Thanks to our community—starting with folks at Firefly’s core and spilling out into the streets, across LI and beyond — we are privileged to be racing from our wild adventures last summer into all that it means to host forty small businesses on Main Street during the holiday season.

Now! Now we hear from diverse corners that Northport is bestowing upon us “A Major Award”…

All kidding aside, this event is really much bigger than us…a very special torch folks are coming together to help us light as part of a very special Small Business Saturday Northport tradition…

They then had a wonderful pop-up/trunk show together in our Darcy Arts Center. In addition to showcasing their wares, Michele also raised money for the Lighthouse selling cards made of Jan’s beautiful painting. It was a lovely day!

We've Been Nominated! Best of LI 2023 Logo

We’ve Been Nominated! Again!!!

Not only have we been nominated, but we are more sure than ever that our Fireflies are THE BEST!!!

We are thrilled to have been nominated for “LI’s Best Gallery” in the annual “Bethpage Best of LI” contest. If it was you who nominated us, THANK YOU! If you’re one of the many who’s votes made us Best of LI 2022, THANK YOU!!!

You can vote for us – and other great local treasures – EVERY DAY between now and December 15th!

Please vote often and help spread the word! Thanks!!!

Here’s the link To VOTE for The Firefly Artists

Photo of The Firefly Artists, 90 Main St., Northport

About the Firefly Artists

 

Come to our beautiful new location, The Old Hardware Store at 90 Main Street, in Northport!

***NEW HOURS***
Mon-Wed 11am-6pm  
Thurs-Sat 11am-9pm  
Sun 11am-5pm

We were established in 2011 to create a gallery setting for local artists. The goal was to create a space where artists could meet, collaborate, and sell their beautiful creations.

Over more than a decade, The Firefly Artists has had the great privilege to display a stunning variety of work by hundreds of Long Island creators through our Main Street locations and pop-up galleries. We boast extraordinary talent, while maintaining a very down to earth and supportive atmosphere that is unique to Long Island.

In 2020 we expanded our offerings to create the Darcy Arts Center, featuring special exhibitions and classes in addition to the rich selection of works by our resident artists. While we are adjusting to our new space, we are thrilled to be able to continue these expanded offerings, right in the center of everything! 

Come see, and bring home that perfect thing to brighten your world or someone else’s!

Follow us on Facebook and Instagram, and check our website for all the latest updates!

Thank you for your support!

 

Moonjumpers Partner with Six Harbors Brewery to Serve Little Shelter and Angels of Warriors

Monnjumpers Mash Pale Ale Beercan Lable

The Moonjumpers have partnered with Six Harbors Brewery on a new craft beer, The label, shown above, was designed by Emma DeDora. She’s a cousin of Six Harbors Co-Owner Karen Heuwetter. Featured among the dogs is Moonjumper Co-Founder Rob Benson’s dear friend Cliff, who is himself a rescue from the Little Shelter.

Event Alert: Moonjumpers Charitable Foundation Partners with Six Harbors Brewery to Make Good Times Great Times by Serving the Little Shelter and Angels of Warriors​

A driving idea, from the very founding of the Moonjumpers Charitable Foundation is that a good time becomes a great time when people come together to help others. For more than ten years now, the Moonjumpers have served “children, families, war veterans and charitable and not-for-profit organizations through financial assistance and the purchase of products or equipment so as to aid in creating a better quality of life for those in need.”

Their merry endeavor includes a theme song, a dog named Cliff, and a passion for good fellowship and community partnerships. They tend to have a really good time even when they’re simply offering a financial donation or providing a direct service, such as rolling up their sleeves to help associates serve veterans or spearheading a coat drive to support the community served by a local youth organization.

They like it best, though, when they can really make a party of it. It’s been tough these last few years, but they are on it and hope you will join them in a really cool partnership with Six Harbors Brewing Company:

What: Stop on in for the unveiling of a new beer and beer can design for this “Moonjumpers Mash Pale Hale” to be available at Six Harbors Brewing Company.
 
Benefitting: A portion of proceeds from the sale of this beer will be donated to Little Shelter Animal Rescue & Adoption.
 
When: May 19, 2022, from 5-8pm.
 
What: Moonjumpers and friends are among sponsors of this event. Ten North Shore Breweries will offer samples of their beverages from 1-4pm. Ticket holders will receive a commemorative glass and enjoy music from a steel drum band, delicious food, vendors, and fun activities.
 
Benefitting: Proceeds from the event will be donated to Angels of Warriors, which serves local female veterans in need. In addition, a portion of proceeds from all sales of the Moonjumpers Mash Pale Ale will be donated to Little Shelter Animal Rescue & Adoption.
 
When: Saturday, June 11, 2022 (rain date Saturday, June 25, 2022).
 
To Register: General admission, VIP tickets and more information are available here.
 

Both events will be held at Six Harbors Brewing Company, 243 New York Avenue, Huntington

Fun Stuff!!!

Never Forget: Costantino “Gus” Scutari

Photo of Gus with Eagle Scouts from Syosset Troop 205 by Katheryn Laible

Speaking of Veteran Testimonials…we remain eternally grateful for getting to document this one. Over and again we read it, realizing something new each time. We miss you, Gus.

There will be more about Gus when the website launches. We also look forward to being able to once again share a timeless and invaluable piece by another favorite veteran, Dave Vollmer, Lt Col USAF (ret,), PhD, on what it means to be a good leader.

The Summit is Coming! We Get to GO!

Can’t say it enough: These in-depth interviews hosted by Eric Alexander featuring a broad range of local leaders are fantastic. Learn and get inspired by these amazing Long Island community members….We do!

Honestly, like they always seem to, the good folks of Vision Long Island have done an incredible job of turning the challenges of the COVID-19 era into new opportunities to highlight people making a huge difference in our communities, and generally helping those folks wrap their heads around the challenges and opportunities of today.

Still. We’ve REALLY missed being able to see these folks in person. We are so excited that the Smart Growth Summit is being held November 17-19, 2021 and will have an in-person component on the final day!

 

Check out their website for details and get on their email list!