NOLE Cafe Ribbon Cutting Ceremony 445

We stopped by Nole Cafe this Tuesday January 15th for their official Ribbon Cutting Ceremony.  But this was no ordinary ribbon cutting! Tonight also kicked off the Greater Patchogue Weight Loss Challenge event, with the first official weigh-in occurring during the festivities.  Brought to you by Nole Cafe, the Greater Patchogue Chamber, and their Patchogue Young Professionals group, contestants will embark on an eight week personal fitness challenge with the support of the community and sponsors along the way.  For more of the rules and information, check our previous article on the contest.

Town officials, business owners, and members of the community all came down to pledge their charity of choice and mark their official starting weight for the challenge.  There are approximately 20 people competing, including notable contestants such as Mayor Paul Pontieri, Chamber President David Kennedy, Harbor Crab Owner Mark Miller, Perabell Owner Scottie Campbell, and many others.   Local health-conscious businesses such as Orange Theory Fitness and Cryology were also there to speak with contestants and show off their services, including a portable cryo-therapy display. Nole also provided some of its healthy juices and snacks to sample.  The event was well attended and had several media outlets covering the action.  Verizon Fios TV was on hand to interview cafe owners Makenzie Miller and Bob Venero, as well as Mayor Pontieri for an upcoming show.

During the pre-weigh-in festivities, we caught up with the Mayor as he sipped on some of the complimentary Carrotini Juices. “This is a great thing for the community, we are excited to be a part of it.  But as for the dieting part, not as excited for that!” he joked.  Councilman Foley, who was already a big fan of the cafe, was a last-minute entry.  After his weigh-in he told us “I had to get in on the contest. I come here for lunch all the time, their tuna is off the charts!”  Finally, following a small speech by the Councilman and Mayor, Miss Miller cut the ribbon and made it official!

We were honored to help welcome Nole Cafe to Main Street, be sure to check out our pictures from the event below, or visit Nole’s business profile page here at Patchogue Today.


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Coding and Makerspace at South Country School 76

Coding and Makerspace at the Verne W. Critz Library

 South Country Central School District libraries are no longer a place to just hear a story and select a book. The district’s librarians have been teaching crucial technology skills that will help prepare students for the 21st Century workplace. Verne W. Critz librarian Lynn Cullen explained that in addition to lessons in research, students are now learning basic coding skills and are inventing and creating in Makerspace labs.

At Verne W. Critz Elementary School, students are afforded the opportunity for hands-on activities that require critical thinking skills, problem-solving and collaborative team work. Ms. Cullen, along with the support of Principal Mandy Mazziotti, have furnished the library with engaging products such as PowerClix, Brix, K’nex, Keva, Squigz and IO blocks. The library will soon introduce modular robotics called Cubelets.

During a recent trip to the library, second grade students collaborated to design an incline plane with Keva wood planks, which allowed a ball to travel without falling off-course. Not only did the students use teamwork to design their course, they utilized science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics principles to acquire their results.

Verne W. Critz Elementary School students worked in the school library with Keva wood planks and used STEAM principles


Photo courtesy of the South Country Central School District

Town Receives Tree City Growth Award 46

Brookhaven Town Receives Tree City Growth Award from Arbor Day Foundation

Town has earned Tree City Designation for Four Consecutive Years

Farmingville, NY – Brookhaven Town has for the fourth consecutive year been designated a “Tree City USA” by the National Arbor Day Foundation, and in recognition of its ongoing successful tree programs, the Town has this year also earned the “Tree City Growth Award.” Brookhaven spends over $1.4 million per year on community forestry programs. Pictured left to right are New York State DEC Supervising Forester John D. Wernet; Councilman Kevin LaValle; Councilwoman Valerie M. Cartright; Councilwoman Jane Bonner; Supervisor Ed Romaine; Councilman Dan Panico; Councilman Neil Foley; Councilman Michael Loguercio; and Town Clerk Donna Lent.

Supervisor Romaine said, “I am proud to have the Town recognized as a Tree City USA. We have given away and planted thousands of trees and strictly controlled the clearing of trees across Brookhaven to help protect and preserve the environment. I thank the Arbor Day Foundation for honoring the Town and all the residents who have followed our lead to make Brookhaven a greener place to live.”

Superintendent of Highways Dan Losquadro said, “The preservation of healthy trees is a priority of the Brookhaven Highway Department. In instances when trees were planted too close to the Town Right-Of-Way (ROW) and roots were growing into the roadway, we remove the trees and replace them with street-friendly trees, planted the appropriate distance from the road.”

Tree City USA is a nationwide movement that provides the framework necessary for communities to manage and expand their public trees. According to the Arbor Day Foundation, benefits of a Tree City USA program include:

  • Reduce costs for energy, stormwater management, and erosion control
  • Cut energy consumption by up to 25%
  • Boost property values across your community
  • Build stronger ties to your neighborhood and community

Growth Award

The Tree City USA Growth Award is awarded by the Arbor Day Foundation to recognize higher levels of tree care by participating Tree City USA communities. The Growth Award highlights innovative programs and projects as well as increased commitment of resources for urban forestry. It also provides an opportunity to share new ideas and successes across the country. More information about the Arbor Day Foundation can be found at

Growth Awards are given to communities that have earned the Tree City designation for at least two consecutive years and:

  • Engage in education and public relations programs on the importance of planting trees in their community, and
  • Create partnerships with utilities, Green Industry Partners or other organizations
 Photo Courtesy of Town of Brookhaven

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