‘Forget Me Not’: Documentary Shines Light On Family’s Fight For Inclusion In Education

On May 3, 2016 in a New York City delivery room, moments before Hilda Bernier held her son, Emilio, for the first time, her husband, Olivier, stood by with his camera — not realizing it was still rolling.

And while it did, it captured footage that took him a year to watch.

In it, the doctor says to the couple, “Hey guys, congratulations.”

“Thank you,” Mr. Bernier replies.

“You have a beautiful baby boy, nice and vigorous breathing by himself,” the doctor continues, before adding, “A couple things we noticed.”

He points out the infant’s slightly up-slanted eyes, widened toes and the crease on his palms — subtle findings that pointed toward Down syndrome.

“Oh, no,” Ms. Bernier laments, off screen, from her hospital bed.

“I’m sorry to say this, but I think it’s important we tell you right away, even if we’re not sure,” the doctor says, “just so you guys … you guys know.”

In an instant, the couple’s lives changed in ways they couldn’t begin to fathom — in ways only even seen by other parents of children with disabilities. But through his film, “Forget Me Not” — which opened the Human Rights Watch Film Festival on Wednesday, May 19, and follows the stories of families like his own, including the Killorans of Remsenburg — Mr. Bernier seeks to remedy that.

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Temple Adas Israel Breaks Ground On Synagogue Renovation

In Judaism, the holiday Shavuot celebrates the Israelites receiving the Torah after trekking for seven weeks through the desert — an arduous journey from Egypt to Mount Sinai, as the tale goes.

And so, it was only appropriate, and complete happenstance, that the groundbreaking ceremony for Temple Adas Israel’s renovation — a project decades in the making — fell on the same day this year.

Dozens of congregants gathered under a tent outside of the Sag Harbor temple on Sunday morning — many for the first time since COVID-19 landed on the East End — to commemorate the start of a new era for the oldest synagogue on Long Island, standing since 1898 as a symbol of resilience, but now much in need of a renovation.

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East End Addiction Treatment Reaches Fever Pitch During COVID-19 Pandemic

On Mother’s Day Eve, a steady rain drizzled down on dozens of candles as, one by one, they sparked to life — lit and held by friends and family left behind by victims of addiction.

Huddled under umbrellas, they came together in Good Ground Park in Hampton Bays, some opting to speak to the group while other remained quiet, somber and reflective — but all with the common goal of remembrance.

With the exception of last May, the candlelight vigil has been organized annually by the Southampton Town Addiction and Recovery Committee, which honored local lives lost to COVID-19 on Saturday night, as well as overdose deaths — a statistic that had seen dramatic improvement in recent years, until the pandemic hit.

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Reflecting On The ‘Why’: Father Alex Karloutsos Retires

On Monday morning, Father Alex Karloutsos answered the phone in a reflective mood. It was his first day without his official title as vicar general of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America — and, not to mention, his 51st wedding anniversary.

This deliberately chosen date, May 3, set the stage for the priest’s new batch of priorities, which include spending more time with his wife, Xanthi, their three children and nine grandchildren, and continuing to lead the Dormition of the Virgin Mary Greek Orthodox Church in Shinnecock Hills.

All the while, he carries on in his pursuit of “why” — the question that has given him purpose, substance and meaning for much of his life, he said.

And, yet, he still doesn’t have his answer.

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The Horizon Is Not A Straight Line: Artist Karin Waisman Finds New Meaning

When Karin Waisman contemplated the sentence, “The horizon is not a straight line,” two years ago, it held different meaning.

It referred to an open-ended future, an uncertain life full of twists and turns. In her own, that has included earning her architecture degree in her native Argentina and, in an effort to follow her passion, moving to the United States to study art at Cornell University — intending only to stay in New York for a few years.

That was almost three decades ago.

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Lola, Beacon, Otto And Atticus: Sag Harbor Arts Community Embraces New Puppies

There are four new faces in town — puppy faces, that is.

First is Lola, a 3-month-old mini bernedoodle whose sass and sweetness match her name. Then, there’s Beacon, a defiant, 16-week-old cockapoo who loves attention and will stop at nothing to get it.

Otto, a mini Australian shepherd, is charming, smart and fearless at nearly 3 months old, consistently making eye contact under his expressive brows. And rounding out the quartet, also 3 months old, is Atticus, a confident, mostly chill mini bernedoodle with an adorable shock of white hair on top of his head.

And coincidentally, at almost exactly the same time, all four pups landed in the homes of prominent Sag Harbor arts figures, who just so happen to be friends.

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The Man Behind The Van: A Look Inside The Interlibrary Loan System

Tyrell Jasper closes his eyes, leaning back in the driver’s seat as an audio book plays softly in the background. The North Ferry rumbles beneath him, somewhere between Shelter Island and Greenport, a crisp sea breeze swirling around his unmistakable, bright blue van.

Along its side, the wrap reads, “Public Libraries of Suffolk County” — hinting at the service the vehicle and Mr. Jasper, senior driver for the Suffolk Cooperative Library System, provide. But for many who don’t know him, his job remains a mystery, as do the inner-workings of the interlibrary loan system.

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Calling ‘Mr. Apology’: Confessional Phone Line Inspires New Wondery Podcast

The bar was dark, long and narrow, soul music blasting from a back room sectioned off by shabby, velvet curtains — parted just enough to see revelers dancing in the shadows.

It was November 1980 in the heart of Tribeca, and there was an aliveness to the place, a buzzing energy swirling around 24-year-old artist Marissa Waichunas, who had fully embraced the rising era of promiscuous feminism and all that it entailed. She had no intention of meeting someone to date, or to marry, that night, let alone a fellow artist.

But then she locked eyes with Allan Bridge.

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East End Hospice Reflects On Kanas Center’s Five-Year Anniversary

Clorinda Bonaccorso watched her sister’s face as the hospital palliative team delivered the grim prognosis. Joanne Seguino’s stage four lung cancer, which had metastasized to her liver, was not responding to chemotherapy in the way that they had hoped — and she had two options.

The first was to continue treatment, which would confine her to bed and give her a maximum of five months to live. The second was to let the disease run its course.

Ms. Seguino locked eyes with Ms. Bonaccorso. “You know what to do,” she said.

“I saw the doctor in charge, and I said, ‘My sister wants to go to hospice — East End Hospice, Kanas Center, no other,’” Ms. Bonaccorso recalled. “When she got there, they were remarkable.”

She paused. “They were just remarkable — again.”

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‘The Hamptons: No Vacancy’: Severity Of East End Affordable Housing Crisis Hits Fever Pitch

With just six weeks until May, Scott Bluedorn is stressed. He is drained. He is worried, bitter, anxious.

The 34-year-old artist has exhausted nearly all of his contacts. He has pleaded on social media. He is exploring alternative options.

And, yet, the East End native is hopeful that, come summer, he and his fiancée, 24-year-old Rowan Hausman, will not be homeless.

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