Author Archives: Ron Belmont

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Column: An exciting spring in Harrison

On Saturday, May 9, World War II heroes of the Hudson Valley were honored with a special celebration. I would like to take this time to recognize West Harrison resident Charles Demicco. Mr. Demicco served in the military during World War II. He recently gathered with other regional honorees and traveled to the Westchester County Airport to board the Hudson Valley Honor Flight. From the airport, they flew to Washington D.C., and spent the day at the National World War II Memorial. I would like to acknowledge Mr. Demicco and the group. It is an honor to pay tribute to these men and to thank them for their commitment to our country.

The Harrison Public Library is making great progress and the library renovation is tracking on schedule. The new front entrance is framed and is waiting for the aluminum and glass enclosure to be installed. All new mechanical, plumbing, fire suppression and electrical systems are completed. The interior is in the finishing stages, lighting, carpet millwork, bathrooms and finish painting are being completed. The next step is installation of the audio visual and telecom wiring and equipment. New furniture has been ordered and expected delivery is in late June. The transformation is sure to be impressive and I’m eagerly awaiting the finished product.

Last week, I had the honor of attending this year’s Westchester Government Relations Legislative Breakfast, hosted by the UJA-Federation of New York and Westchester Jewish Council, at the Jewish Community Center of Harrison. The Council fosters communication among Jewish organizations and cultivates relationships with other ethnic groups, elected officials and the community at-large. New York State Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul gave a very informative presentation on the economic state of Westchester County as well as issues surrounding anti-Semitic hate crimes.

Once again, I had the pleasure of firing off the starting gun at this year’s Spring Sprint 5K Walk/Run hosted by St. Vincent’s Hospital on Saturday, May 9. It was a great event and hundreds of participants came out to support the hospital. Proceeds will be used to benefit the mental health and chemical dependency programs offered at St. Vincent’s. There was a great showing and I encourage anyone who is interested in supporting these very important programs to join in next year.

A press conference was held this week, at Westchester Country Club, to announce the 2015 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship taking place at Westchester C.C. from June 9 to June 14. On behalf of the residents of the Town/Village of Harrison, I welcomed the tournament to our community. The 2015 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship promises to be an exciting event and it is an honor to have this prestigious golf tournament take place in Harrison. The PGA and LPGA have earned the reputation of being premiere organizations in the world of professional golf, and I am delighted to welcome them to town.

In closing, I would like to take this time to recognize the first graders at Samuel J. Preston Elementary School. Their presentation, at this year’s Spring Concert, was very entertaining and it was with great pleasure that I had the opportunity to see them perform. There was exceptional talent all around and the students, teachers and Musical Director Kathryn Tvenge should be commended for their commitment and dedication. Everyone did a fantastic job and I am glad that I was able to attend this exciting event.

The next “Lunch with the Mayor” is on Friday, May 15 and I will be at 273 Kitchen located at 273 Halstead Ave. On May 22, I will be at Lago, located at 97 Lake St., in West Harrison. I will be at these locations from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. and look forward to meeting with residents and talking about issues facing
our community.

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Column: Celebrating a student-athlete and cuisine

I would like to take this time to recognize the Harrison Fire Department on their very successful open house. Recently, the department hosted this event and I was happy to see many friends and familiar faces enjoying the tours and exhibits. Special ‘hands-on’ learning displays taught children important safety guidelines in preventing fires or evacuating buildings in the event of a fire. It was a very informative presentation and all those in attendance learned about the requirements and rewards that come with being a firefighter.

The Westchester County Business Council recently hosted a symposium and this year I had the honor of being selected as one of the panelists for the event. I was joined by leaders in government, business and real estate, and topics focused on suggestions for positioning the county for sustained economic growth. Panelists discussed ways to increase regional job expansion and business development in an effort to enhance economic opportunity for all Westchester County residents.

On Sunday, May 3, I had the pleasure of sampling our local chefs’ specialties at the Friends of the Public Library fundraiser, “A Taste of Harrison.” It was a very successful affair, as more than 100 people came out to support this very worthwhile event. All proceeds will be used by the Friends of the Public Library, a not for profit organization, to support the Harrison Public Library. Thank you to all volunteers and attendees. I would also like to express my gratitude to all the participating restaurants for their generous contributions. A special thank you also goes to Joe Marcone for driving the van, allowing for easy and convenient transportation to the participating venues.

On Monday, May 11 from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Harrison High School, the Town/Village of Harrison will be co-sponsoring a community forum with the Harrison High School PTA, the Harrison Youth Council and Innovative Health Systems, Inc. This important forum, “Prescription Drugs and Heroin: What Our Community Needs to Know” is sure to be a very informative presentation. Several panelists will be offering updated information and prevention strategies. For more information, contact Harrison Youth Council at 835-7500 or Naomi Pollock at npollock@harrisonyouth.org.

One-on-one,45-minute computer help sessions will be available at the West Harrison Library every Tuesday afternoon at 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. in May and June. Topics covered in the sessions include email, internet searching, Microsoft Office, downloading ebooks and audiobooks, Google Drive and how to search Ancestry.com.

Last weekend, the Harrison-Rye boy’s varsity baseball game was held as a memorial tribute to Andrew Gurgitano, a former student and baseball player who tragically passed away last year. Although Harrison lost to Rye, 3-2, the game was a wonderful example of compassion and sportsmanship. More than 1,000 spectators attended and donations were collected for the Gurgitano Scholarship Foundation. It was an honor to witness the outpouring of support from both communities.

The next “Lunch with the Mayor” is on Friday, May 8 and I will be at Halstead Avenue Taqueria located at 261 Halstead Ave., in Harrison. On Friday, May 15, I will be at 273 Kitchen located at 273 Halstead Ave. I will be at these locations from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. and look forward to meeting with residents and talking about issues facing our community.

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Column: Springtime events throughout the community

Last week, I had the pleasure of attending County Executive Rob Astorino’s State of the County Address. The county executive remains optimistic that Westchester County is heading in the right direction. He pledged not to raise property taxes and restated his goal of balancing needs versus wants. He also expressed his confidence in the county’s response to the settlement with HUD. His message reflected Westchester’s improved economy and outlined plans to repair local infrastructure that has deteriorated due to several harsh winters.

The annual Little League opening ceremony and parade took place last week and it was wonderful sharing the honor of throwing the first pitch of the season with Councilman Joe Canella. Scores of onlookers were in attendance as more than 90 Little League teams and their coaches paraded through town. The Harrison High School Marching Band was on hand to serenade the crowd. I would like to take this time to recognize the high school band’s music director, Charlie Briem, for his years of dedicated service to the school and to our community. After the parade, a celebration of the evening’s events culminated in a barbeque. Once again, it was great to be part of this wonderful annual kickoff event.

I would like to take this time to recognize Rabbi Eytan Hammerman and the Jewish Community Center, JCC, of Harrison. Recently, the JCC hosted the official dedication of the Lee Javitch Sanctuary and the installation of Rabbi Hammerman as the sixth rabbi of the JCC. It was an honor to join in the commemorative event, paying tribute to the rabbi and the JCC. Rabbi Hammerman leads his congregation with passion and commitment. He is also well known to the broader faith community of Harrison, having joined with other clergy members to lend support when needed. Congratulations JCC, Rabbi Hammerman and all those involved in these celebratory events.

The Harrison Youth Council, Harrison Public Library Foundation and Harrison’s Children’s Center are participating in this year’s United Way Give Local campaign from May 5 at noon to May 6 at noon. “Give Local Westchester & Putnam” is a 24-hour online giving event designed to raise as much money as possible for local nonprofits in a single day. This communitywide event celebrates the spirit of giving, and the collective effort it takes to strengthen our community, by raising critical funds for local nonprofits. This event is open to the public and anyone can make a secure donation ($10 minimum) at givelocalwp.org.

Children ages 5 to 12, and their parents, are cordially invited to a Royal Tea Party in honor of Mother’s Day. The party will begin at 4 p.m. at the West Harrison Branch Library on Wednesday, May 6. Guests are invited to wear their royal finery and to enjoy crafts and refreshments.

It was an honor to attend this year’s Field of Honor Ceremony at Harrison High School. The Field of Honor project gives our community the opportunity to recognize a veteran, or current member of the armed forces, by purchasing a flag which is then placed in a designated area on the high school lawn. It was a moving tribute and I was glad I was able to attend.

In closing, I would like to recognize all those who participated in this year’s American Cancer Society Relay for Life. Relay for Life is a community event where everyone can participate in the fight against cancer. Teams of supporters gather overnight, at a local high school, and take turns walking or running around a track or path. Each team is asked to have a representative on the track, at all times, during the event. Congratulations to the teams participating at Harrison High School. Forty-four teams, with 380 participants, raised over $73,000. This commitment, to helping in the fight against cancer, inspires all of us to make a difference.

The next “Lunch with the Mayor” is on Friday, May 8 and I will be at Halstead Avenue Taqueria located at 261 Halstead Ave., in Harrison. On Friday, May 15, I will be at 273 Kitchen located at 273 Halstead Ave. I will be at these locations from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. and look forward to meeting with residents and talking about issues facing our community.

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Column: Warmer weather brings outdoor activities

Judging by the number of volunteers for this year’s Spruce Up Weekend, it is easy to see that the Town of Harrison is committed to maintaining an attractive community. Residents expect the town board to work hard in insuring that this objective is achieved. I am happy to report that, through cooperation and team work, volunteers and town personnel removed debris and discarded items, tidied up some of our parks and roadways and cleared neighborhood catch basins. Thank you to all those who participated in keeping Harrison looking its best.

On a related note, as we get ready for warmer weather and outdoor activities, I encourage all residents to do their part in keeping Harrison a clean and beautiful community. Taking care of our surroundings doesn’t need to be overwhelming. There are many ways to do your part in preserving a healthy environment. Some easy suggestions include the proper disposal of household hazardous waste (this information can be found on our town’s website in the Department of Public Works Guide to Recycling and Solid Waste Disposal), reduce reliance on plastics (for example shopping bags and water bottles) and donate books to libraries or schools. We can all do our part to preserve the planet.

Annual spring events are underway in Harrison. On Friday, April 24, Harrison’s Little League will have its opening parade and ceremonies at Harrison Avenue School. It’s always a fun event so come out and support our athletes. On Sunday, April 26, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Harrison Fire Department will be hosting its annual open house.

The Interfaith Congregational Laymen’s Committee of Harrison, ICLC, is presenting a panel discussion with members of the Harrison religious community. This year’s program, “How Do We Deal With This World Today-Looking for Hope” will be held on Thursday, April 30 at 7:30 p.m. at the West Harrison Senior Center (Leo Mintzer Center), located at 251 Underhill Ave., in West Harrison. All are welcome. Refreshments will be served. For more information, call Lola Geiger at 939-7066.

Be sure to mark your calendar for this year’s Japanese Festival. On Sunday, May 17, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Harrison’s Japanese community will be hosting a Harrison-Japan Spring Festival in Ma Riis Park and the Sollazzo Center. If it rains, the event will take place in the Veterans Building. Traditional Japanese performances, including a tea ceremony, Japanese drums and dance, will be featured along with Japanese games, food and beverages. There will also be a raffle and profits will benefit the Harrison Recreation Center, Westchester County and the victims of Japan’s earthquake. I hope to see many friends and familiar faces supporting this very worthwhile event. For more information, visit thematsuri.org.

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Column: Harrison students can move to the beat

Congratulations to the Harrison High School students for their performances last weekend at the 2015 Heritage Festival in D.C. One hundred and eighty Harrison students competed nationally in music, dance and auxiliary teams and achieved the following awards: Marching Band, Gold, Percussion Ensemble, Gold, Dance Ensemble, Gold, Concert Band, Silver, Orchestra, Silver, Color Guard, Silver, Majorettes, Silver and Chorus, Bronze. In addition, the following awards were also received by Harrison students: Maestro Award to Sydney Reingold for Outstanding (Dance) Soloist, Adjudicator Award for Dance Ensemble, Sweepstakes Award for Outstanding Instrumental Program and Adjudicator Award for Percussion Ensemble. The final award of the evening, for outstanding overall performance, was awarded to the Harrison High School Performing Arts Department, the school with the highest overall points. It is a pleasure to recognize these talented students and staff for this very prestigious accomplishment.

Congratulations are also in order for Keio Academy and this year’s wonderful Cherry Blossom Reception. It was an honor to attend this beautiful event filled with warm conversation and a delicious array of Japanese cuisine. The school’s Brass Band and Chorus Club provided guests with exceptional entertainment. I would like to congratulate Keio Academy on its long standing presence in Harrison. In addition to being a school of excellence, the students and their families bring culture to our community and I appreciate all their contributions.

The Jewish Community Center of Harrison invites all town/village residents to join in celebrating their renewed sanctuary and the installation of Rabbi Hammerman with a parade.  On Sunday, April 26 at 10 a.m., the parade will step off across from LMK Middle School, near Ramapo Trail. All are welcome.

Summer will soon be here and our Recreation Department has posted the 2015 fee schedule on the town website. There is an early purchase discount rate of $25 if the pool package purchase is made before May 7. I encourage you all to visit the site and sign up for the variety of programs offered this year.

It’s not too early to save the date for this year’s “A Taste of Harrison.” On Sunday, May 3, from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., The Friends of the Harrison Public Library will be sponsoring this event to benefit the library. At your own pace, visit restaurants, in any order, and enjoy a delicious sample of the chef’s specialties. Many of the downtown Harrison restaurants are participating. Participants are asked to purchase a special wristband. Adults, $20 in advance /$25 day of event; children under age 12,  $10 in advance/$15 day of event. To order wristbands or to find out more about the event, please call Albina 835-4575, Angela 835-2429 or Connie 315-1922. There will be ample parking in the commuter parking lots and I am arranging for the senior transport minivan to be available.

In closing, I would like to bring your attention to an issue that has come up lately. Spring is upon us and dog owners may be walking their pets more frequently in and around our neighborhoods. In an effort to be courteous, dog walkers should carry disposable waste bags and clean up after their pets. Used dog waste bags should not be left in neighbor’s trash cans or recycling bins and should not be thrown into the storm drains on our streets and roadways. Proper disposal of dog waste is a must and every dog owner should participate.

The next “Lunch with the Mayor” is on Friday, April 17 and I will be at  Great Wall located at 25 Taylor Square in West Harrison. I will be at this location from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. and look forward to meeting with residents and talking about issues facing
our community.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Column: Women leading the way in Harrison

As I open this column, I hope everyone had a healthy and happy Easter and Passover and enjoyed time with family and friends. As I share these thoughts, the sun is shining and we are out of 30-degree temperature readings. I hope that the harsh weather is finally behind us. It’s been a challenging winter but I expect spring cleanup to proceed on schedule.

Be sure to mark your calendars for Westchester County’s mobile shredder. This year, the shredder will be in Harrison on Saturday, April 25 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., in the MTA lot at the corner of Harrison and Halstead avenues. Harrison residents may bring up to four file size (10”x12”x15”) boxes of confidential personal papers for shredding. Please remove all binder clips and covers. Papers from businesses, institutions or commercial enterprises are not acceptable and will be rejected, as will any junk mail, magazines and newspapers.

I would like to take this opportunity to commend Manhattanville College and their exceptional lecture series. I was honored to attend the recent lecture featuring Arianna Huffington, founder of the Huntington Post. I look forward to attending the remaining lectures and encourage all residents to attend this unique and highly informative cultural program in our community.

Congratulations to former resident Kathleen Bonistall, founder and vice chairwoman of PEACE OUT side Campus and resident Karen Magee, president of the New York State United Teachers union. Both women were recently recognized as a 2015 Women’s History Honoree by the Greater New York Chamber of Commerce. Bonistall was honored for her work in educating high school and college students on matters of safety and social responsibility. Magee was honored for her representation of more than 600,000 public school education professionals. It was a privilege to attend the awards celebration and I enjoyed learning about all the honorees and their incredible contributions to our state and local communities.

The annual appeal for the Eugene J. Feeley Harrison High School Student Aid Fund has been mailed to the community. For more than 65 years, “The Feeley Fund” has assisted select Harrison High School graduates in attending college. Since 1947, more than 1,000 students have received loans or grants in support of their post high school education and training. The Feeley Fund is asking our community to share their confidence in the future of our Harrison youth. To respond to their request, send contributions to The Feeley Fund, 255 Union Ave., Harrison, N.Y. 10528. For additional information, please call Lola Geiger at 939-7066.

Currently, Harrison Town Hall is the new location for the library’s Brown Bag Cinema. Library staff will be presenting “Wild,” starring Academy Award winner Reese Witherspoon on April 17 at noon. On May 15 at noon, “Still Alice,” starring Academy Award winner Julianne Moore will be featured. The program is free and all are welcome. For more information, call 948-2092 or see harrisonpl.org.

The next “Lunch with the Mayor” is on Friday, April 17
and I will be at Great Wall located at 25 Taylor Square in West Harrison. I will be at this location from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. and look forward to meeting with residents and talking about issues facing our community.

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Column: No more grass clippings

On March 17, I had the pleasure of joining the Harrison High School band as they marched in New York City’s annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade. The temperature was brisk but the enthusiasm of parade participants and viewers made the atmosphere warm and welcoming. Marchers and spectators lined the streets as political leaders, civic associations, schools, marching bands and cultural associations took part in this year’s celebration. The parade does a great job of showcasing pride in our New York metropolitan community. As onlookers cheered, our high school students added to this sentiment and did a wonderful job. I was very proud of them and they should be commended for their commitment and talent.

Recently, residents received a letter from our commissioner of public works regarding organic yard waste. Under a directive from the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, Harrison is no longer permitted to accept and process grass clippings. Town personnel will no longer collect grass clippings, either in piles or bags, placed curbside. It is suggested that mowing equipment be retrofitted, adding blades that will efficiently mulch the grass as it is mowed, leaving the mulch to naturally fertilize the lawn. For more information on this issue, and on mulching, please visit our website at
harrison-ny.gov.

On Saturday, March 28,from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., with a rain date of Sunday, March 29 at 1 p.m., the Harrison Recreation Department will be hosting a fun-filled day that includes rides, an Easter egg hunt and visits with the Easter bunny. I encourage all families to visit the West Harrison Pool Complex, with their baskets, for what I’m sure will be a very exciting event. For more information, please call 949-5265 (Mintzer Center) or 670-3179 (Sollazzo Center).

The Harrison Public Library is pleased to announce that it is the recipient of a grant for “Bridging Cultures: Muslim Voices,” a reading and discussion program for children ages 5 to 12, made possible in partnership with the New York Council for the Humanities. The program is free of charge and will be conducted at the West Harrison branch from April 8 to April 28. Participation will be open for all interested area public, private and home-schooled students. A multi-media approach will be used and it will include audio, video clips, displays, food and special features along with book discussions. Registration will begin soon, with limited space available. For more information, contact Bonnie Tjomstol 835-0324.

In closing, please take note of the sanitation schedule change for the week of March 30: Friday, April 3, 2015 is a holiday and town offices will be closed. Garbage and/or recycling normally collected on Thursday, April 2 will be collected on Wednesday April 1. Garbage and/or recycling normally collected on Friday, April 3 will be collected on Thursday, April 2. There will be no bulk trash collection on Wednesday, April 1.

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Column: Money for the court, new faces for the town

I am happy to report that, after a lengthy application process, the Harrison Town Court has been awarded another grant from the Judicial Court Assistance Program, JCAP. JCAP was established to help provide our state’s town and village courts with resources and equipment needed to fulfill their critical role in our justice system. The funds will be used for various upgrades to the court clerk’s office and the courtroom. Purchases may include installation of security cameras, bulletproof reinforcement of the judges’ bench as well as other security enhancements deemed fit by the court clerk and the town justices.

Congratulations to the Harrison Recreation Swim Team. They recently had their awards dinner at the Senior Citizen Annex Building in West Harrison and celebrated the teams 29th season. This year, the team numbers grew to more than100 swimmers, up from the usual 80 participants. They took eighth place in the Westchester Fairfield Swim League Championship Meet, held on Sunday, March 1 at the Mark Twain Middle School in Yonkers. Many of the Harrison swimmers competed in the finals, which consist of top 16 swimmers from the league. Each of the top swimmers received medals in their individual and relay events.

The Harrison Youth Council has expanded its organization and appointed two additional staff members. Naomi Pollock is now the program director of the agency and Erin Upton is a family and youth counselor. Dr. Pollock brings a wealth of experience to the position.  Previously, she was project director and supervisor for Child Guidance Resource Centers in the Philadelphia area. In this position, she was clinical supervisor and administrative manager of family therapists. She also launched a unit specializing in the ASD population. Erin Upton joined Harrison Youth Council in February. Previously, she was a social worker for Cortlandt Healthcare, where she was responsible for short and long term residents, providing emotional support and counseling to both the residents and their families. Prior to that, she worked as an elementary school social worker at YES Community Counseling Center, located in Massapequa, N.Y., where she educated children on alcohol and drug abuse prevention, identified appropriate referrals and community resources to students and their families, and provided individual and family group counseling. In addition, she created and implemented a bullying prevention program for elementary school students. Dr. Pollock can be reached at npollock@harrisonyouth.org  and Ms. Upton’s email is eupton@harrisonyouth.org.  Both can be reached at the Harrison Youth Council’s office at 835-7500.

Recently, I had the pleasure of attending the Pet Rescue Gala. This organization, located in Harrison, serves the needs of abandoned and neglected dogs and cats. The animals are fostered by volunteers, provided with veterinary care and placed in permanent homes.  Pet Rescue also has a spay/neuter program. The gala was a lovely event with wonderful food and warm conversation. Congratulations to the volunteers and staff for creating a top-shelf event for this very worthwhile establishment.

In closing, I would like to congratulate all those involved with the Harrison High School Footlight Players performance of “Damn Yankees.” I was able to catch a performance and the production value in everything from the music to the choreography was outstanding. The energetic cast complemented the brilliant music and the talent was enjoyed by everyone. Hard work and dedication showed through in each performance and the entire cast and crew should be commended.

The next “Lunch with the Mayor” is on Friday, March 13 and I will be at Silver Lake Pizza, located at 79 Lake St., in West Harrison. I will be at this location from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. and look forward to meeting with residents and talking about issues facing our community.

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Column: Join me in the water

As many of you know, it has been a very difficult and sad time for the Town of Harrison. Through these dark days, I was deeply moved by the expression of love, friendship and faith I witnessed among those grieving for the Hochman family. I am very proud of the way our entire town came out to support each other. We are fortunate to have a close knit community and we will continue to gather strength from each other as we look to the future with renewed hope.

The JCC of Harrison will be hosting its third annual Holocaust Exhibit in March. From March 24 through April 17 visitors will be able to step back in time and experience a part of the past. The exhibit uses visuals, props and stories to provide information suitable for all ages. This unique display does a wonderful job of fostering a deeper understanding of the Holocaust. I had the honor of being invited to tour the exhibit last year. I was moved by the unique presentation and was impressed by the attention to detail. On Wednesday, March 25, the JCC will be hosting Harrison Community Day and inviting members of the community to visit the exhibit, no appointment necessary. I encourage all residents to stop in and learn more about this unforgettable part of history.

Thursday, March 5, is the opening night for the Harrison High School Footlight Players presentation of “Damn Yankees.” Performances run through Sunday, March 8, at Harrison’s Performing Arts Center in the high school. I encourage everyone to attend what I’m sure will be a very exciting show.

On Saturday, March 7, I will, once again, be participating in the annual Leprechaun Leap. In the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day, I will be joining other swimmers by taking a leap into the Long Island Sound. This fundraiser, held at Orienta Beach Club, supports the South East Consortium, a local organization dedicated to providing therapeutic recreation programs to children and adults with disabilities and special needs. For more information, call 698-5232.

On Sunday, March 1, I had the pleasure of attending the opening reception, in Town Hall, for Youth Art Month. This year, Harrison’s talented students have exhibited works of art that include an array of mediums. The selected works showcase mixed media, paint, acrylic on board, graphite on paper, and water colors, to name a few. Students from our public school system, as well as from the School of the Holy Child, are participating in this year’s exhibit and should be commended for their extraordinary achievements. This event would not be possible without the commitment of the Harrison Council for the Arts and the dedication of devoted teachers. The next time you visit Town Hall, please take some time to enjoy the beautiful exhibits placed in the foyer and hanging on the walls throughout the building.

The next “Lunch with the Mayor” is on Friday, March 6, and I will be at TNT Luncheonette located at 244 Harrison Ave., in downtown Harrison. On Friday, March 13, I will be at Silver Lake Pizza located at 79 Lake St., in West Harrison. I will be at these locations from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. and look forward to meeting with residents and talking about issues facing our community.

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Column: How the town battles the snow

It appears that this winter season may bring repeated snowstorms with significant accumulations. I would like to bring your attention to a general description of how our Department of Public Works removes snow from our municipal roadways. Winter weather can be challenging for everyone. Our goal is to maintain safety for motorists and residents. DPW crews work diligently to keep essential traffic moving while returning all streets to safe and passable conditions.

When snowfall begins, crews are deployed to salt the main roads. This enables traffic to keep moving and prevents the snow from sticking to the roadway. Plowing begins when accumulations reach approximately two inches. DPW attempts to plow curb to curb during each storm. Once snow fall begins to diminish, crews begin post-storm salt application. Please remember that home owners or occupants are responsible for keeping sidewalks, in front of or adjacent to their building, free from snow and ice. It’s hazardous for pedestrians to walk into the street in an effort to avoid a snow covered sidewalk. For that reason, your cooperation is essential in keeping pedestrians safe as they use public walkways.

As you can imagine, plowing and salting our local streets can be a challenge. It involves coordinating crews and route supervisors who oversee plowing activities and support personnel. These tasks often take a significant amount of time to execute and are performed during severe weather conditions. Please do your best to remove your car from the street, shovel your sidewalk, avoid shoveling snow into the roadway and clear fire hydrants. Your patience and cooperation is critical and is greatly appreciated.

As a reminder, please note the following February sanitation schedule change: Monday, Feb. 16, is a holiday. Garbage and/or recycling normally collected on Monday, Feb. 16, will be collected on Tuesday, Feb. 17. Garbage and/or recycling normally collected on Tuesday, Feb. 17, will be collected on Wednesday, Feb. 18. There will be no bulk trash collection on Wednesday, Feb.18. Bulk trash collection will resume on Wednesday, Feb. 25.

It’s time, once again, for the Town/Village of Harrison’s annual “Art of the Young Child” exhibit. This is the 35th year that Harrison’s Council of the Arts has sponsored this program which features artwork from our community’s public and private school students. The opening reception will be held on Sunday, March 1, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. in Town Hall.

My office has recently been notified by Yellowbook that they will be delivering their phone book to Westchester residents beginning in April. Residents, who no longer want to receive the directory, can opt-out by visiting yellowpagesoptout.com. Should you need any additional information, please call 1-800-929-3556.

I would like to take this time to recognize the Harrison High School Boy’s and Girl’s Varity Basketball teams. Both teams participated in the Dapper McDonald Basketball Classic last weekend. Congratulations to the girls team for their second place finish and to the boys team for their first place finish. You should all be very proud of this impressive achievement.

In closing, the next “Lunch with the Mayor” is on Friday, Feb. 13 and I will be at Harrison Pizza located at 248 Halstead Ave., in downtown Harrison. On Friday, Feb. 20 I will be at Aria located at 385 Halstead Ave, in downtown Harrison. I will be at these locations from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. and look forward to meeting with residents and talking about issues facing our community.