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The Renaissance Westchester, one of the two hotels in Harrison that would have been affected by a recently-nixed bed tax. Gov. Andrew Cuomo vetoed a bill that would have imposed the 3 percent hotel occupancy tax on patrons in some Westchester municipalities. 
Photo courtesy Marriott.com

Cuomo vetoes hotel tax, upsets local officials

By ANGELA JORDAN
After finally passing through the New York State Legislature, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, on Dec. 28, vetoed legislation that would have imposed a 3 percent hotel occupancy tax on patrons of the two hotels in Harrison.

In addition to the town/village of Harrison, Cuomo, a Democrat, vetoed requests for a hotel occupancy tax, also known as a “bed tax,” from other Westchester towns and villages including the village of North Castle, Tuckahoe, Greenburgh, Mamaroneck and Port Chester. glance

In his veto message, Cuomo said that so far, the state Legislature has only advanced hotel occupancy tax bills like this for counties and cities, the village of Rye Brook being a special circumstance in 2011.

In Westchester, cities such as Rye, New Rochelle, White Plains, Peekskill, and Yonkers have the authority from the state to implement the tax.

“If there is to be policy change on this issue, it should be done pursuant to a comprehensive and determinate statewide policy as advanced by the legislature,” Cuomo wrote in the message.
“If the legislature sets such a policy, I will commit to reconsidering this issue.”

According to state Assemblyman David Buchwald, a White Plains Democrat, the veto was disappointing to many state and local elected officials, who were hoping that if this bill was passed, it could alleviate some of the property tax burdens felt by local residents.

“The local [Harrison] town board was unanimous about seeking this legislation,” Buchwald said. “The state Assembly passed this bill for three straight years, and this time the Senate passed it, too.”

He also said he didn’t see why Cuomo couldn’t have called for a comprehensive, statewide policy to be established for bed taxes while allowing these municipalities to impose the tax right now.

“Wanting to establish a more uniform framework is fine,” Buchwald said. “But that doesn’t explain why a community like Harrison shouldn’t be able to provide property tax relief by these means.”

Harrison Councilman Steve Malfitano, a Republican and former mayor of Harrison, described the veto as “terrible and short sighted,” and feels that towns and villages in New York shouldn’t be treated any differently than cities and counties on this issue.

The Renaissance Westchester, one of the two hotels in Harrison that would have been affected by a recently-nixed bed tax. Gov. Andrew Cuomo vetoed a bill that would have imposed the 3 percent hotel occupancy tax on patrons in some Westchester municipalities.  Photo courtesy Marriott.com

The Renaissance Westchester, one of the two hotels in Harrison that would have been affected by a recently-nixed bed tax. Gov. Andrew Cuomo vetoed a bill that would have imposed the 3 percent hotel occupancy tax on patrons in some Westchester municipalities.
Photo courtesy Marriott.com

“Why is it that Harrison residents should be given different treatment than residents of cities like New York or Rye?” Malfitano asked. “If you travel to many other cities and states, there will be a hotel occupancy tax.”

The bill was strongly opposed by members of the Westchester Hotel Association. Dan Conte, the president of the trade group and manager of the Westchester Marriott in Tarrytown, penned a letter to Cuomo on Dec. 16 urging the governor not to pass the bill.

Conte wrote that hotels in Westchester County already face a 3 percent Room Occupancy Tax from the county, in addition to state and county sales taxes. He said that by allowing these bills to pass in Westchester, the total tax on hotel rooms would increase from 11 percent to 14 percent.

“Our business relies heavily on annual bookings of large blocks of rooms by the businesses whose corporate travel planners could easily shift their hotel choices to adjacent markets in northern New Jersey and Fairfield County, Conn.,” he wrote in the letter. “All would be hurt as well as the local economy which benefits from the visitors they attract.”

However, this now means that the impetus to provide tax revenue remains on property owners in Harrison. According to Malfitano, Harrison could have potentially gained anywhere from $300,000 to $500,000 in non-property tax revenue from the bed tax.

The tax on hotel occupants is considered an attractive option by elected officials as a means of generating revenue outside of the property tax; further, that revenue comes largely from non-residents.

State Sen. George Latimer, a Rye Democrat who sponsored the bill along with Buchwald, said, “All these governments are under a tax cap, and so these communities have no relief from pension costs, fire, police, sanitation. So far there’s no plan to give them more state aid, so eventually something’s got to give.”

Conte could not be reached for comment as of press time.

CONTACT: angela@hometwn.com

 
LETTER

Letter: Rosenblum is the arrogant one

 

 

To the Editor,

Mayor Norman Rosenblum’s letter to the editor on Jan. 1, “Political arrogance in the ‘friendly village,”’  disturbed me.

As a resident, I have attended numerous village of Mamaroneck meetings where the mayor is arrogant, completely controls the agenda, limits the ability for attendees to speak, and is rude to the public. This is disrespectful and not particularly friendly nor accommodating behavior from an elected official.

Rosenblum is disturbed that he cannot manipulate the three intelligent trustees who will certainly come up with a reasonable solution to the parking meter dilemma if trusted to do so. The democratic process is working in the “friendly village.” I suggest we support the three competent trustees, Leon Potok, Illissa Miller and David Finch, to make an educated decision that will be economically feasible and acceptable to the public.

 

Gloria Goldstein,

Mamaroneck 

 
LETTER

Letter: Give PE in our schools a chance

To the Editor,

It’s a new year, and with it often comes New Year’s resolutions. Many adults resolve to exercise more, be healthier, and really commit to it this time!

What about our kids? I hope they also want to exercise more, focus on healthier habits, and be motivated to continue it into adulthood. PE in school and youth athletics are critical, and we have some phenomenal PE teachers in our school district with an engaging curriculum. However, the PE instructional spaces at Mamaroneck High School are nowhere near on par and haven’t been updated as far as anyone can remember.

Locker rooms go unused because the lockers are rusted and won’t secure belongings. Plumbing and electrical installations are antiquated and ventilation is poor. Not where I imagine my kids getting hooked on lifelong fitness. And not particularly safe, either.

Our town prioritizes youth sports, which I think is a positive thing. We have improved fields, worked to expand field space, and schedule teams so as to maximize the number of kids who can play. However, when those young athletes grow up and want to compete at the high school level, we offer them a weight room with exposed pipes that leak. We have them leave their sports bags and equipment in the hallways, because nothing fits into the existing (broken, rusty) lockers. There are no showers available (or even running water) and no changing or meeting space for female athletic teams.

The plan that the district has proposed reconfigures unused space so that PE instruction can expand. Infrastructure is replaced so that our kids are safe and so is their gear. Health and wellness becomes the focus and the facilities will reflect how we feel about supporting our young athletes.

Please educate yourself on this issue, and then vote YES to the bond vote on Tuesday, Jan. 12 at your local elementary school. Your kids will thank you.

 

Lisa Sommer,

Larchmont

The horses on the Playland carousel were painted by hand, with no two alike, by the park’s resident artist.

A Playland worker’s wild ride

Larry McGowan retired from Playland last year but his love for the amusement park and his passion for music have made for a most interesting life. Photo courtesy Rat Race Choir

Larry McGowan retired from Playland last year but his love for the amusement park and his passion for music have made for a most interesting life. Photo courtesy Rat Race Choir

By CHRIS EBERHART
While sitting on the Playland carousel, a 5-year-old boy watched his alcoholic father stagger off into the parking lot, get into his car and drive away.

That was a typical day at the amusement park during Larry McGowan’s childhood. Until he was 13, he went to Playland with his father during the summer from Wednesday to Sunday. They’d ride the carousel together two or three times until his father drowned the afternoon in beer.

“If I ever did a movie about my life, it’d be me on the carousel waving to my father, and my father listening to music until he went to the beer stand,” McGowan, now 64, said. “He’d have a few beers and disappear. I’d be on the carousel, and I would just stay there. He’d drink and ride some rides and get in the car and go home… He’d pass out on the couch, and my mother had to take a bus to get me.”

But McGowan wasn’t resentful of his father’s absence. He was content as long as the carousel continued its circular path, the horses bobbing up and down, and the organ playing its iconic tune.

And that’s how, McGowan said, he learned to play the piano; that’s how he developed his ear for music; and that’s how the carousel essentially became McGowan’s first music teacher.

Larry McGowan’s skill and precision can be seen throughout the park, in everything from the painted display signs to the caterpillar ride. File photo

Larry McGowan’s skill and precision can be seen throughout the park, in everything from the painted display signs to the caterpillar ride. File photo

“If you make a noise, I can say it’s this note or that note. It’s a gift,” he said. “And I think I developed it as a kid while sitting on the carousel going round and round and round for hours and just listening to the tunes. Then I’d go home and noodle it out on the piano before I even knew how to play.”

Although McGowan’s first keyboard was a hand-me-down from his sister—he didn’t have formal piano lessons until he was 9 years old—it didn’t take long for him to learn to play as well as a child prodigy.

His first performances were at Catholic Mass at Stations of the Cross and Benedictions of the Blessed Sacrament in his local White Plains parish. McGowan’s religious upbringing was strong; he went to Mass every Sunday and he was taught in a Catholic parochial school his whole life.

Thus, McGowan’s teenage years brought about a crossroads.

At age 13, he played the organ in front of the pope at the noon Mass during the 1964 World’s Fair in New York City. Not long after, his father bought him his first Wurlitzer piano. But at the same time, the Catholic faith tugged on his shirt sleeves, and he was forced to decide which career path to follow: music or the priesthood.

The horses on the Playland carousel were painted by hand, with no two alike, by the park’s resident artist.

The horses on the Playland carousel were painted by hand, with no two alike, by the park’s resident artist.

He joined the Carmelite Friars seminary, but his visit lasted only about six months.

“I used to play in the chapel when I thought no one was looking,” McGowan said. “I used to wear all these flashy things, and when [the priests] found me playing, they said, ‘This is not your calling. No, no. Showbiz is calling you.’”

Three years later, in 1967, he joined the Dunwoodie Seminary in Yonkers, but again stayed only six months.

“I thought [the priesthood] was going to be a way of life for me,” McGowan said. “I decided it wasn’t for me if I was going to be an entertainer. There was no drinking. No womanizing. No cursing. All the things
wrong with me that God is trying to fix.”

As much as he learned that the priesthood wasn’t for him, showbiz was.

And his musical career started in 1968 with Rat Race Choir, a progressive rock band that had a cult-like following on Long Island and the metropolitan area from the late ‘60s to the early ‘80s.

The group began as a bunch of teenagers in their White Plains homes. McGowan said he remembers practicing in his mother’s living room and performing in a number of Westchester venues and Long Island rock music clubs.

“It was a free-spirited time in my life,” McGowan said. “It was all geared around music and the band.”

It has been roughly 100 years since the carousel began operating. The amusement park ride has been a love of Larry McGowan’s ever since he joined Playland as a maintenance worker 35 years ago. Photos/Will Thomas

It has been roughly 100 years since the carousel began operating. The amusement park ride has been a love of Larry McGowan’s ever since he joined Playland as a maintenance worker 35 years ago. Photos/Will Thomas

But McGowan’s fast-paced world crashed and burned in 1979.

An internal strife with the band’s new management forced McGowan out of Rat Race Choir. The band was beginning to play in larger venues and clubs where sex and drugs were rampant.

McGowan didn’t like this new direction, and said he left Rat Race Choir with a bad taste in his mouth and most of his equipment either stolen or returned damaged.

After that, things only got worse.

On Halloween 1979, his mother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

She was his only parent, literally and figuratively; he had lost his father shortly after the World’s Fair in 1964 to cirrhosis of the liver and lung cancer.

She died that Christmas Eve, sending the 28-year-old spiraling down a black hole.

“I took the Bible and threw it across the room,” McGowan said, “and pointed my finger at the sky and [cursed]. ‘You took my mother away while I’m supposed to be celebrating Jesus.’”

The death of his mother flung McGowan, now an orphan, into a five-year-long “bender.”

He played gigs all over, including legendary nightclubs like Danceteria and Studio 54 until four or five in the morning. He attended party after party, met a slew of musicians and crashed in strangers’ homes.

“I don’t know what else to call it. I just let go,” he said. “It wasn’t just drinking. It was drugs, it was drinking, it was eating, it was having sex with all these theater people… I walked the borderline of excess of all the vices.”

McGowan was speeding 100 mph straight into a brick wall, when a Bible seminar at Madison Square Garden in New York City may have saved his life.

McGowan said he went to the seminar because he felt a need to reconnect with his faith, but was disgusted by the hypocrisy of priests in the Catholic Church who were involved in sex scandals. During the seminar, he heard about Clinton Utterbach of the Redeeming Love Christian Center and joined his church two weeks later.

“He saved me,” McGowan said of Utterbach. “He opened up my head and poured in all the biblical truths that I needed.”

With the Redeeming Love Christian Center, a born-again Christian church in Nanuet, N.Y., McGowan, then in his early 30s, found a new home. He sang in the choir and played the organ and the piano.

Life slowed down and started to brighten, and his Playland career then took off.

An employee at the amusement park, McGowan was the caretaker for the carousel’s organ. That was his baby, as he called it. He knew everything about the organ, and year after year, he made repairs to keep it up and running. For 35 years, McGowan made the 100-year-old carousel sing.

He made the rest of the park come alive by creating unique bright signs and hand-painted rides. He became Playland’s artist, and his job became that of a historic preservationist.

McGowan was given creative freedom to paint the rides and signs however he saw fit. Instead of painting the caterpillar ride the standard green, McGowan painted it blue with designs to make it pop. He used his artistic touch on the carousel too; all 66 horses on the ride were painted by hand, and no two were painted alike.

“And don’t you know, the ridership went way up,” McGowan said.

Larry McGowan, left, with his Rat Race Choir bandmates. Photo courtesy Rat Race Choir

Larry McGowan, left, with his Rat Race Choir bandmates. Photo courtesy Rat Race Choir

Tim Cronin, CSEA union leader, said the park was more to McGowan than just a job; it was a passion.

“The park is part of Larry, and Larry is part of the park,” Cronin said. “He loved it and it loved him back. He did everything in the park. He’d take apart all the rides and put them back together. He was the only one trusted to paint the [carousel] horses because he knew the historical way that they had to be painted.”

Playland was, once again, a major part of McGowan’s life, just as it had been when he was a child.

McGowan rejoined the Rat Race Choir in 2009 and took part in performances at Mamaroneck’s Emelin Theatre, among other venues in 2010. But it wasn’t all smiles from then on, as McGowan survived a detached retina, a car accident that caused deep vein thrombosis in his left leg, kidney stones, and a DWI arrest and rehab
in 2010.

McGowan smirked as he recalled the judge who oversaw his DWI case.

“He looked at my record and said, ‘Mr. McGowan, you have a very colorful background.’”

From that point on, McGowan says he has been clean. He retired from his job at Playland in July this year, accepting a retirement package; and he is waiting to see if Standard Amusements, Playland’s new operator, will offer him a contract to stay and continue his work as a historical preservationist.

In the meantime, he’s doing some work with a Sony music production company, helping to cut and edit tracks.

McGowan still lives in the same area near Bryant Avenue in White Plains where he grew up and where his band first began. But there’s one thing now void in his life: Playland, and he is yet to find something to replace it.

“Driving by in the early morning when the park is quiet, and I think there’s no real cause or reason to be here anymore,” McGowan said of the place he used to call home. “It’s such a big chunk of my life and now I have to find something else to take its place.”

Take your pick at beets and other seasonal produce at Mamaroneck’s Winter Farmers Market.

Biggest Mamaroneck winter farmers market opens

 

 

Take your pick at beets and other seasonal produce at Mamaroneck’s Winter Farmers Market.

Take your pick at beets and other seasonal produce at Mamaroneck’s Winter Farmers Market.

Ring in the new year in a sea of green goodness at Mamaroneck’s indoor farmers market, open through April.

Ring in the new year in a sea of green goodness at Mamaroneck’s indoor farmers market, open through April.

By NICOLE REED
On the heels of a bustling summer season at the Larchmont Farmers Market, many beloved Larchmont vendors are excited to pack up and move their goods to the Mamaroneck Winter Farmers Market. The indoor Mamaroneck market opens on Saturday, Jan. 2 at St. Thomas Episcopal Church, 168 W. Boston Post Road. Market hours are 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. 

The delicious staples of Mamaroneck will return, including local produce, fresh fish, pasture-raised meat, eggs, artisanal breads, baked goods, pickles, hummus, prepared foods to go and savory yogurt. Several new vendors will join the market this year, including Asian Farmer offering Chinese-style dumplings, GoGo Pops, which are healthy prepared foods and ice pops, Natural Contents Kitchen, which consists of seasonal foods and baked goods, and The Cheese Guy, who offers handcrafted cheeses. In February, renowned Lani’s Farm will begin selling their unique produce varieties in Mamaroneck, too. Their popular hot sampling station will be an inviting addition.

“A winter market is a special event, as it keeps people connected to eating locally year-round,” said Danielle Gaebel, co-founder of the Natural Contents Kitchen. “We just had a wonderful first year in Larchmont. Now we’re looking forward to continuing to see our Larchmont customers over the winter in neighboring Mamaroneck.”

Every vendor has a story that has led them to the farmers market.

The Cheese Guy, also known as Brent Delman, makes a wide selection of cheeses that are artisanal, vegetarian and kosher. He began his craft on the island of Sardinia, Italy, where he learned the traditional Italian methods of cheese making, using the island’s high quality ingredients. Years later, Delman perfected his work at the Vermont Institute for Artisan Cheese, where he made lifelong connections with local dairy farmers. Today, all of The Cheese Guy’s products at the Mamaroneck Winter Farmers Market start with milk from Vermont and New York state dairy farms. Vermont is also home to Delman’s cheese-making kitchen, where he produces goods about twice a month. His crew includes a rabbi who oversees the sanitization of the kitchen to ensure all kosher requirements are met. Once approved, Delman and his team begin creating everything from brie to Parmesan, with many worldly influences in between. farmers-market-2

As of press time, the confirmed weekly vendors for the Mamaroneck Winter Farmers Market include Asian Farmer; The Cheese Guy, Dr. Pickle, Gaia’s Breath Farm, Go-Go Pops, Kiernan Farm (pasture-raised meats), Meredith’s Bread, Natural Contents Kitchen, Orchards of Concklin, Orwasher’s Bakery, Pie Lady & Son, Sohha Savory Yogurt, Stone & Thistle (pasture-raised meats), Taiim Mobile Shack and Wave Hill Breads. In February, Lani’s Farm will begin.

The rotating day vendors are: Arlotta Food Studio, Bombay Emerald Chutney Company, Chirstiane’s Backstube, Kontoulis Family Olive Oil, MOMO Dressing, Robinson & Co. Catering (British specialties), Simple Eats with Chef T and Trotta Foods. The market will also host regular events, such as live music and kids activities.

Stay tuned to the Mamaroneck market webpage at DowntoEarthMarkets.com for vendor updates, as well as the weekly event calendar.

Forliano

Column: Thomas Pell: Lost hero

A portrait of Thomas Pell, First Lord of the manor of Pelham. (Privately by Robert T. Pell, 1962) Photo courtesy Richard Forliano

A portrait of Thomas Pell, First Lord of the manor of Pelham. (Privately by Robert T. Pell, 1962) Photo courtesy Richard Forliano

This is the sixth in a series of articles on the Colonial and revolutionary history of Eastchester. 

History is often unkind to people who should be ranked among the heroes of America. The obscurity of reliable records can doom these figures to relative oblivion. The complexity of the era in which they live or the failure to identify with a ruling elite can also obscure their importance. Thomas Pell is such a person. Today, the amazing life of Thomas Pell would make a great story for a best-selling historical novel or a gripping subject for a made-for-TV mini-series.

Who was Thomas Pell? He was born the second son of a prominent Englishman. Orphaned at age 4, he was raised by caring stepparents. As a very young man, he held a minor position in the court of King Charles I but was forced to leave the country on account of an indiscretion with a lady-in-waiting to the queen. Pell volunteered in the Netherlands to help that country fight for its independence against Spain. There, he mastered enough of the medical practices of the day to be considered a surgeon. By 1637, 24-year-old Pell had crossed the Atlantic and was found practicing his surgical skills in the bloody Pequot War on the side of the Puritans in nearby Connecticut.

As he amputated limbs and bandaged wounds, he witnessed firsthand the horrors of the savage combat between the Native Americans and Europeans. There is good reason to believe that Pell heard the screams and smelled the burning flesh of the 600 old men, women and children who were burned alive in their stockade by Puritan militia as he tended to the wounded aboard a nearby ship.

A few years after the war was over, Pell moved to New Haven, Conn., practicing his surgical skills and investing in real estate and shipping. He soon became a wealthy man. In 1647, 35-year-old Pell married the widow Lucy Brewster and began to relocate to Fairfield, Conn. Also in that year, Pell had his first brush with Peter Stuyvesant, the newly-arrived Dutch governor of New Netherlands. One of his vessels filled with beaver skins was halted in the East River by Dutch authorities under Stuyvesant’s command and the cargo of valuable skins confiscated.

By 1653, Pell began to sell substantial holdings in New Haven and bought a permanent home in Fairfield. Fairfield, located at the edge of the Puritan wilderness, bordered the Dutch territory of New Netherlands and the remnants of the Lenape tribes that had been decimated by a recent conflict known as Kieft’s War. That very same year, an abortive plan to invade New Netherlands by Puritan invasion enthusiasts from Fairfield had been scrapped, but Pell thought of a more subtle way of gaining control over unsettled lands controlled by the Dutch.

His plan was both simple but ingenious. He would purchase a huge tract of disputed lands from five Lenape chiefs. By gaining dominion over the lands that later in the 17th century became lower Westchester County, the English could block any further movement of Dutch settlers, at least along the shore of the Long Island Sound westward to the Hutchinson River. Pell developed considerable knowledge of dealing with Native Americans both from firsthand experience and hearing about needless hostilities that led not only to the massacre of Anne Hutchinson and her party, but also the near extinction of the Dutch settlement a decade before.

On June 27, 1654, Pell met with five Lenape sachems to buy all of what is currently known as the eastern half of the Bronx and a portion of eastern Westchester County. To prevent any uprisings that might arise over the land purchased, the sachems agreed to send a delegation every spring to the exact spot where the treaty was signed to mark the boundaries of the land that had been purchased. At yearly meetings at the oak tree where the treaty was signed, the sachems and Pell traced the exact boundaries of the treaty.

This treaty was significant. While sporadic outbreaks of violence broke out in other places, no hostilities every broke out in the 9,000 acres purchased by Pell. An interesting aside is that one of the sachems who signed the treaty, named Wampage or John White, is alleged to have signed his name as “Anhooke,” and claimed to be the person who killed Anne Hutchinson. While this story is recounted frequently, there is no clear documentation to prove the validity of that claim.

A year after signing the treaty, Thomas Pell gathered 15 men to settle the village of Westchester on land he had purchased. It was no coincidence that war had broken out in Europe between England and Holland. When Peter Stuyvesant learned about this intrusion, he ordered the settlers of Westchester to leave. Conflict persisted for almost two years and was finally resolved when the settlers of Westchester signed an oath of allegiance to the monarchs of Holland.

The town of Westchester, now a section of the Bronx, while ostentatiously under Dutch control, remained more or less an English settlement with British customs and language, its own militia, and continuance of good relations with Native Americans, thanks to Thomas Pell. Pell would get one last chance to establish an English settlement when on June 24, 1664, he granted a deed to 10 Puritan farm families from Fairfield, Conn., that would become Eastchester.

Thomas Pell was a 17th century swashbuckling adventurer who overcame overwhelming odds to become a major player in the history of lower Westchester County and the Bronx. The treaty that he signed in 1654 was very unusual in that it insured peaceful relations with the area’s Native Americans. His sale in 1664 of 6,000 acres to fellow townspeople from Fairfield, Conn., marked the beginnings of the town of Eastchester.

 

Many thanks to Blake Bell, Pelham town historian, and Lloyd Ulton, Bronx County
historian, for their pioneering research and writing from
which much of the material in this article is taken.

In the next article in 2016, the story of the founding of Eastchester will be told.

Please contact us at historian@eastchester-historicalsociety.org about any comments or questions
you might have about  this column.

 

 

 
LETTER

Letter: Political arrogance in the ‘friendly village’

 

 

To the Editor,

The village of Mamaroneck Board of Trustees received the initial recommendations by their appointed Ad Hoc Parking Commission. The commission’s chair, Maria DeRose, and committee member John Farris, noted that the recommendations are based upon a consensus of the committee and a poll of 500 responses, as well as personal visits to Mamaroneck Avenue merchants, where the majority of those who responded are either in favor of single-space meters or no change on Mamaroneck Avenue.

The following in part was presented to the board of trustees at its Dec. 21 meeting.

The village should develop and implement a plan to:

Install multi-space parking meters at certain off-street lots to include:

Hunter Tier Parking Deck
Phillips Park Road (adjacent to the Heithaus Walkway)
East Prospect Lot (across from House of Honda)
Spencer Lot
Emelin Theatre Lot

Establish a pilot program to test single-space “smart” parking meters on Mamaroneck Avenue.

The majority members of the Board of Trustees chose to ignore their appointed committee and the response of merchants and residents by passing a resolution to install multi-space meters along with the single-space meters on the avenue.

Led by Trustee Leon Potok, with support of trustees Illissa Miller and David Finch, all Democrats, they make a mockery of the intent of the Ad Hoc Parking Committee by continuing Potok’s original quest to have all multi-space meters on Mamaroneck Avenue and potential license plate readers and limited time in the village.

I believe, along with Deputy Mayor Louis Santoro, that this is a formula for economic and community development disaster at the expense of the residents, merchants, visitors and shoppers in the village. This blind support by Potok, Miller and Finch flies in the face of facts that many communities are reversing the use of multi-space meters in favor of single-space meters.

This certainly will tarnish the image of a “friendly village” to one that many will choose to shop and dine elsewhere. The obvious impact on seniors, drivers with small children, the disabled and weather factors clearly demand the support of the parking committee recommendations to help assure the continued viability of the “friendly village” as the prime destination it has become and should continue to be.

The democratic process avails all who live, work and visit the “friendly village” of Mamaroneck to contact the three trustees Potok, Finch and Miller—lpotok@vomny.org, imiller@vomny.org and dfinch@vomny.org, respectively—to support the recommendations of their own ad hoc committee and the best interests of the continued vibrancy of the village of Mamaroneck.

 

Norman Rosenblum,

Village of Mamaroneck mayor

OP/ED

OP/ED: Saving the next generation

 

 

By Dr. Gary Blick
More than a decade ago, I came into contact with the plight of a young HIV-positive Zimbabwean couple who tried desperately to conceive their first child. Tragically, they lost their HIV-positive firstborn who died shortly after birth. But it was more than 30 years ago when I decided to enter the field of HIV/AIDS research and treatment here in the United States. I was emotionally devastated by the amount of victims that this disease claimed in the early years of its arrival, as well as the indifference of politicians toward the most affected communities at the time.

Today, however, a different battle is being waged. Not between politicians and citizens and certainly not by an unknown disease of disputed origins. No, today we are more aware of the HIV/AIDS virus as well as the politico-social atmospheres that lend to its unfortunate and continued spread.

In the United States, just as in countries such as Zimbabwe—where my organization, World Health Clinicians, WHC, runs an entirely unique, health care provider-based HIV awareness and treatment initiative entitled BEAT AIDS Project Zimbabwe, BAPZ—we are not only witnessing a steady decline in certain numbers of HIV infection rates, but also a rapid increase of infections in demographics of youth aged 13 to 34.

Certain factors lend themselves to stigmatize different groups in each geographic location, such as men, health care workers and commercial sex workers in Zimbabwe, or individuals within the African-American, Latino and young gay or bisexual men—known as MSM—communities here in the U.S. But education is key to reducing the HIV/AIDS stigma, increasing awareness and decreasing the number of infections in any community, and that is one of the underlying goals of our outreach as we work to save the next generations here in the U.S. and abroad.

One dramatic and alarming difference in the response to HIV/AIDS in Zimbabwe compared with the U.S. has to do with those “lost to follow-up,” LTFU. In the U.S., a “developed” nation with the financial ability and structure to treat all Americans with HIV/AIDS, 1 million people have tested HIV-positive, but 50 percent of them, approximately 500,000 people, have been LTFU, with stigma being a strong contributing factor. In Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, a town in a “developing” nation where BAPZ and the Zimbabwean Ministry of Health and Child Care, MoHCC, partner to perform HIV/AIDS outreach in the municipality and surrounding rural villages, the LTFU rate is 0.26 percent.

BEAT AIDS Project Zimbabwe is continuously helping local communities and revolutionizing the way that HIV/AIDS treatment is delivered throughout Zimbabwe, a country where 13.7 percent of the adult population—about 1.1 million people—is infected with the disease. We have even brought our popular anti-stigma and testing initiative, HIV Equal, to test and photograph local villagers. In June 2015, we opened our first state-of-the-art HIV specialty clinic in the township of Mkhosana, located in Victoria Falls, where we centralized our efforts to provide care to the nearly 22,000 people who fall within our jurisdiction.

Between 2011 and 2015, World AIDS Day had the theme “Getting to zero: Zero new HIV infections. Zero discrimination. Zero AIDS-related deaths.” UNAIDS has set a 2030 goal of eradicating HIV around the globe via “90-90-90,” meaning by 2020, 90 percent of individuals will be getting tested for HIV, 90 percent of those who test positive will be started on HIV medications, and 90 percent of those HIV-positive individuals will have undetectable viral loads, which prevents transmission by 96 percent.

Through our continued efforts in Zimbabwe, we not only hope to stem the spread of HIV infection from mother to child, we also hope to provide the next generation with awareness, testing and linkage-to-care services that will help to reduce, if not eventually eradicate, the impact of HIV/AIDS on local communities there while also continuing our important work in the U.S.

 

Dr. Gary Blick is the co-founder and chief medical officer of the Norwalk, Conn.-based nonprofit humanitarian organization World Health Clinicians, whcccc.org, which provides awareness, treatment and prevention initiatives across the U.S. and Zimbabwe. 

 
OP/ED

Op-Ed: Not surprised by Trump’s success

By CLIFFORD JACKSON

It is no surprise that Donald Trump is getting support from millions of whites across this country. It is also not surprising that he is doing so well in the polls, leading as the potential Republican nominee for president.

America has a racist and criminal history that is manifesting itself clearly today. Trump represents “Joe America,” who has been racist and brutal from the very beginning.

It is insane when you analyze and cogitate about this country’s history. The United States declared war on Mexico when it initiated the confrontation at the Rio Grande. It stole half of Mexico, literally killing, raping and beating the Mexicans into submission. Texas, California, New Mexico, Utah and part of Colorado used to be Mexico. Manifest Destiny sanctioned this barbaric behavior, saying that “it was divine providence that allowed the superior Anglo-Saxon race to subjugate inferior peoples.”

That is what Trump epitomizes and represents. He is the progeny of centuries of a pseudo-sense of white superiority and entitlement. That is exemplified in all of the laws and policies in this society that have provided for slavery, more than a century of legalized apartheid, and the destruction of Native Americans’ culture, attempting to make them white and Christianized, and displacing them to reservations where they have had one of the highest suicide rates in the country.

Trump has said “blacks kill whites at a very high rate in this country.” Many whites believe that, but like many other things in America, it is based on a lie. Eighty-five percent of whites in this country are killed by other whites, according to the FBI and the U.S. Justice Department statistics. Even though white violent crime is the highest in this country among all industrial nations, Trump and his supporters will call that “liberal nonsense.” These are the same people that call African-Americans and the poor “lazy.” These are also the same people that when confronting the racism, ignorance and prefabrications of this society, will respond by being “politically correct,” which is nothing but a euphemism to try and ensconce the racist and very ugly and brutal history of this country.

Trump’s recent proposition to ban all Muslims from entering this country is very similar to Adolf Hitler and the nascent stages of the Third Reich. What Hitler did starting in the 1920s was initiate a form of German nationalism that excluded people of Slavic, Judaic and non-German descent. It led the National Socialist Party to take over the Reichstag and for him to become chancellor in 1933.

Both Hitler and Trump, especially with what Trump has been espousing, were, and are, in the forefront of white nationalism. Trump and his ilk ignore the fact that the United States has invaded, occupied or bombed 16 Muslim states since 1980—including Iraq, Iran, Yemen and Kosovo—but Trump’s supporters and their primitive way of thinking will call that “victimization.”

These people live in Mahopac, Bensonhurst and certainly are represented here in Larchmont. Like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “This is a sick and racist society.”

Clifford Jackson is a  resident of Larchmont. The views expressed are his.

 
This snowflake was created by young artists during the two-day event, “A Dickens of A Weekend,” at The Wainwright House in Rye.

‘A Dickens of a Weekend’

At Wainwright House, the festivities included a marionette performance by Kim Profaci and her class of puppeteers who have worked diligently with writer Maureen Amaturo to create the story for this show. The weekend events also included an opportunity to learn Victorian folk dancing with live music. And on Saturday, Dec. 5, Wainwright received the students from The Mannes College The New School for Music with artistic director Pavlina Dokovska. (Submitted)