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WGO

What’s going on in Eastchester

Eastchester Public Library 

Summer Reading Games

Registration is now open for Children’s Summer Reading Games. This year’s theme is “Every Hero Has a Story.” Participants are eligible to win prizes based on how many books they read this summer.

Registration for Summer Reading Games is open to all, regardless of residency or library card status. You may register in-person or online. Please note that for your child’s reading totals to count toward our end-of-summer raffles, they must visit the library and fill out their raffle tickets in person.

The library will also offer a number of activities for children participating in the reading games, including concerts, animal demonstrations and craft activities. Online pre-registration is required for these activities through the website, and begins one week before the activity at 9 a.m. Most activities are open to all; a select few are limited to Eastchester and Tuckahoe cardholders. Visit eastchesterlibrary.org for more information.

Teen Summer Reading Game

For those entering grades six and up. The theme is “UNMASK!” Registration is now open and will continue through the end of the game on Wednesday, Aug. 12. Each book you read this summer will earn you one raffle ticket for prizes, including brand new books, at the end of the summer. You will also be able to earn up to one prize a day by answering our daily trivia question at the Reference Desk. For a complete list of our teen reading events, visit eastchesterlibrary.org and click on the “Events” tab, or stop by the Reference Desk to pick up a brochure. Registration for all events is online.

Free technology lessons

If you need help accessing the library’s digital collections, call the Reference Desk at 721-8103 to make an appointment for a free one-on-one technology lesson.

Summer Mystery Club

On Wednesday, Aug. 5, the EPL Mystery Club will discuss Jim Kelly’s “Nightrise: A Philip Dryden Mystery.” Copies are now available at the Circulation Desk. The Mystery Club is open to all and new members are always welcome. Meetings begin at 2:30 p.m. For more information, call the library at 793-5055.

Tuckahoe Public Library

For the kids

Registration is required for all programs.

LEGOS in the Library: Come to the library and create a masterpiece to display. Open to ages 5 to 10. Friday, July 31 at 4 p.m.

Superhero Crafts: Make your own superhero costume this summer during the rest of this three-part craft program. Open to ages 5 to10. Tuesday, Aug. 4 at 4 p.m. Registration is required. Call 961-2121 or visit tuckahoelibrary.org.

Bronxville Women’s Club

Happy Holiday Hour

On Friday, Aug. 7 at 7 p.m., the Bronxville Women’s Club will host a preview showing of the new musical, “Happy Holiday Hour” at The Bronxville Women’s Club. The musical welcomes audience participation and is being prepared for the Norwegian Cruise Lines’ winter production. The audience will party like wacky elves as they enjoy six delicious cocktails and an uproarious holiday extravaganza.

The show features 20 beloved holiday favorites with a twist—such as “We Need A Little Cocktail” and “The 12 Drinks of Christmas.” “Holiday Happy Hour” will have guests jingling their bells and making their way under the mistletoe in this rollicking new interactive show starring an amazing cast of Broadway favorites, including Dominic Sheahan-Stahl from “Xanadu,” Matt Ban from “Rock Of Ages,” Kate Morgan Chadwick from “Grease” and Sarah Nathan from “Bring It On,” and directed by Holly-Anne Palmer of “Jersey Boys” and “700 Sundays.”

Advance reservations are strongly encouraged as seating is limited. Light fare will accompany the musical. Reservations are $10 for BWC members; $20 for non-members. Reservations may be made by calling the BWC at 337-3252 and/or mailing checks made out to the Bronxville Women’s Club, 135 Midland Ave., Bronxville, N.Y. 10708.

Blood donation opportunities

Eligible donors are encouraged to choose their day to make a difference. Donors of all blood types—especially types O negative, A negative, and B negative—are needed.

Date to donate blood:

Thursday, Aug. 13, 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., American Legion Hall, 40 Bell Road in Scarsdale.

How to donate blood:

Download the American Red Cross Blood Donor app, visit redcrossblood.org, or call 1-800-RED CROSS (733-2767) to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card, driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17, 16 with parental consent in some states, weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements. For more information, visit redcross.org or on Twitter at @RedCross.

Buy a brick to help Pet Rescue

A walkway of personalized, engraved red bricks will soon lead to the front door of Pet Rescue’s new home in Harrison.

Purchase a brick and add the inscription of your choice to honor, remember or celebrate a special pet or person or to express support for Pet Rescue. Your words will create a lasting memorial that will greet visitors to Pet Rescue for years to come.

This path will be a reminder of the generosity and love for Pet Rescue’s rescues. The path will also fund upcoming renovations to Pet Rescue’s home and further their mission to save helpless animals and find them safe, loving homes.

The size and cost of bricks are:

4″x8″ brick can be inscribed with up to 3 lines/18 characters per line at $150.

8″x8″ brick can be inscribed with up to 6 lines/18 characters per line at $300.

Array of four 8″x8″ bricks can be inscribed with up to 12 lines/36 characters per line at $1,000.

Payment can be by PayPal, or you can mail a check to Pet Rescue, P.O. Box 393, Larchmont, N.Y. 10538.

Pet Rescue is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. Your donation is tax deductible as allowed by law. Proceeds will go to Pet Rescue’s Building Fund.

For more information on how to place an order, send an email to petrescuebricks@gmail.com or visit ny-petrescue.org.

Deadline for our What’s Going On section is every Thursday at noon. Though space is not guaranteed, we will do our best to accommodate your listing. Please send all items to news@hometwn.com.

 
WGO

What’s going on in Harrison

The Harrison Public Library will be closed for renovations and is scheduled to reopen on Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015. Visit harrisonpl.org for updates and more information.

English conversation group

Non-native English speakers can practice their English and make new friends in an informal, volunteer-led setting and learn about the Harrison library, too. No registration necessary. Group meets Mondays from 11 a.m. to noon at Uncle Henry’s Bar and Grill, 309 Halstead Ave.

Wiggle and Giggle

With Dawny Dew. Tuesdays, two 30-minute sessions from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Songs, puppets, music, laughs and more, for ages 6 months to 5. Sponsored by the Friends of the Harrison Public Library. Meets at the Harrison Jewish Community Center, 130 Union Ave.

Laptime for Babies

Songs and fingerplays with Miss Claudia. This 20-minute program is specifically designed for non-walkers. Caregiver participation is required. Meets Wednesdays at 11 a.m. at the Harrison Senior Center, 216 Halstead Ave.

Movers and Shakers

Meets Wednesdays at 10 a.m. for 30 minutes of songs, rhymes, finger plays, dancing and fun. For ages 1 to 3. At the Harrison Senior Center, 216 Halstead Ave.

West Harrison library events

Story Time

Great stories, music and fun for ages 1 to 5. No registration necessary, bring your friends. Mondays at 10:30 a.m. for 30 minutes.

Open Play Time

Come into the library and meet other parents, grandparents, caregivers and children. Open for children ages 1 to 5. Make new friends, play, read and have fun with some special toys. Meets Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to noon.

Mother Goose Time

Songs, dancing and fun for the little ones ages 3 and under. Thursdays from 10:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Teens Reading Club

Running every Thursday until Aug. 6 at 2:30 p.m. for one hour. Contact the library at 948-2092 for more information.

Summer Concert Series

Harrison’s day campers get their turn on Wednesday, Aug. 5 at Ma Riis Park, and again on Thursday, Aug. 6 at the West Harrison Village Green. The second time around, Marty Carpenito & Syline and Frank Trapani will follow at 7:30 p.m.

Call the Harrison recreation hotline at 670-3039 for more information. All concerts start at 7 p.m. unless stated otherwise.

Harrison Recreation

Download brochu-res and applications for all recreation programs, unless stated otherwise, at harrison-ny.gov. For more information, questions, suggestions and/or comments, email recreation@harrison-ny.gov.

Soccer camp

Learn the basics skills of soccer and play games while enjoying a quick dip in the pool.

At Bernie Guagnini Park on Webster and Adelphi avenues. For boys and girls, grades one through seven. Meeting Monday to Friday, Aug. 10 to 14, 9 a.m. to noon. Cost: $100, payable to Town/Village of Harrison.

Boys’ lacrosse camp

Learn the fundamentals of lacrosse. This camp is great for beginners or players interested in improving their skills. Participants will be instructed by Harrison varsity lacrosse coaches and players. At West Harrison Park. For boys in first to 10th grade. Will meet Monday to Thursday, Aug. 10 to 14. For grades one to four, time will be 9 a.m. to noon, for $150. For grades five to 10, time will be 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., for $250. For more league information, to pay and/or register, visit harrisonyouthlacrosse.com.

Event rentals

Available at both the West Harrison Senior Annex and the Veteran’s Memorial Building in downtown Harrison, the building rental fee for events is $450 for 5 hours with a $300 security deposit. Add on additional space at either center for $100 plus an additional $100 security deposit. For questions and available dates call 670-3035. To rent the facility, you must have a 2015 Harrison resident identification card.

Swim camp

Come and enjoy a fun-filled week of aquatics at Ron Belmont Pool Complex from Aug. 10 through Aug. 14 from 9 a.m. to noon. Open to kids entering first through third grade. Instructions will include stroke development and water safety skills, water games, aquatic related art projects and free swimming. Classes cost $150, checks can be made payable to the Town/Village of Harrison.

Volunteer opportunities

The Harrison Recreation Department has many opportunities for high school students through senior citizens to volunteer with youth programs and senior programs. For more information, call 670-3035.

Harrison Senior Center

Harrison has two very active senior citizen clubs sponsored by the Recreation Department.

The West Harrison Group meets on Thursdays from noon to 3 p.m. at the Leo Mintzer Senior Annex Building, located at 251 Underhill Ave., to discuss items of interest, play bingo and discuss activities coming up in the near future.

The Downtown Group meets every Friday from noon to 3 p.m. at the Veterans Memorial Building, located at 210 Halstead Ave.

The membership fee for both groups is $24 per year and refreshments are served at gatherings.

There is also a drop-in center at the Harrison Community Center, at 216 Halstead Ave., Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. where you may enjoy television, cards and socializing.  Come by the Tuesday exercise
classes from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the community center.

For more information on recreation and social activities, call the Senior Citizen Center at 670-3000 ext. 3172.

Deadline for our What’s Going On section is every Thursday at noon. Though space is not guaranteed, we will do our best to accommodate your listing. Please send all items to news@hometwn.com.

 
WGO

What’s going on in Rye

 

Estate planning for seniors

Pat Micek, Esq. of McMillan, Constabile, Maker & Perone, LLP, will address estate planning for seniors at the Rye Free Reading Room on Saturday, Aug. 1 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.  The talk will include protecting your assets for your family, rather than losing them to a nursing home, and a Q&A period in plain language with no legalese.

For more information, visit ryelibrary.org
or call 231-3161.

Photography exhibit

World traveler Barbara Paul will display photographs of masked dancing she has witnessed in Africa and Asia at the Rye Free Reading Room from Aug. 5 to 29.  The unique exhibit highlights the animal-masked dancers at Festima in Burkina Faso and includes photographs of fascinating rituals and ceremonies in many other African and Asian countries. For more information, go to ryelibrary.org or call 231-3161.

Storytelling Guild

The Rye Storytellers’ Guild meets at the Rye Free Reading Room one Tuesday evening a month at 6 p.m. to share traditional and personal tales and trade tips on storytelling techniques. On Aug. 4, the group will tell humorous stories to celebrate the birth of Rye native, Ogden Nash, on Aug. 19, 1902. Listeners, as well as tellers, are always welcome to join the Guild members at their meetings. To learn more, contact Angela at Booksamc@aol.com.

Bilingual Storytime

Bilingual Birdies, a foreign language and live music program, will be back at the library to present a blast of culture, music and stories in Spanish. All family members will enjoy learning songs and rhymes en Español on Saturday, Aug. 1 at 11 a.m. for 30 minutes.

Teen Animation Workshop

The Rye Free Reading Room invites teens to register for a three-part Teen Animation Workshop taught by Westchester artist Susan Darwin from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Thursdays, Aug. 6, 13 and 20. The sessions will include an overview of animation and instruction in the medium of cut-up magazines and images to create “Monty Python-esque” films.

Participants may bring their own images—photos, magazines, posters and newspapers—ready to cut up or select from a supply of images brought by the instructor. Everything else will be provided, but teens should bring a smartphone or digital camera to test out their animations. To get the most out of the workshop, it is necessary to attend all three sessions. Space is limited. Please pre-register via the event description at ryelibrary.org. This series is sponsored by the Auxiliary Board of the Rye Free Reading Room.

Science Fun Club at the Rye library

Science teacher Johnda Ferrari is conducting a Summer Science Fun Club for children entering third through fifth grade at the Rye Free Reading Room. On Fridays, Aug. 7, 14, 21 and 28, the Westchester Children’s Museum will be at the library to conduct its own series of science programs. All the sessions begin at 4 p.m. and last approximately an hour. Some of the topics planned include bird and insect life, magnetism, a look inside the Earth, sharks, DNA and robotic bugs. All combine to present learning in a fun way and feature hands-on activities like experiments, games and crafts. Visit ryelibrary.org for specific information about each session and to sign up. Pre-registration is required and opens a week in advance of the program.

Playland Park

Milt Gerver Big Band Orchestra

See The Milt Gerver Orchestra and vocalists perform on Friday, Aug. 7 from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on the boardwalk. Come out to listen, dance and swing. Enter via the poolside parking entrance.

International Friendship Day

On Sunday, Aug. 2, celebrate Friendship Day with a $15 admission fee all day. Get a free friendship bracelet while supplies last. This admission price cannot be combined with other offers and coupons are not valid.

Parking fees apply. For more information, visit ryeplayland.org or call 813-7010.

Wainwright House

The Yoga Training Academy offers two summer certifications:

– July 31 to Aug. 2 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.: Yin Yoga

Led by Corina Benner. Students will learn which tissues are being targeted, the physiological benefits of yoga and the subtle effects that contribute to the all-over good feeling the practice creates. Students will deeply investigate more than 25 Yin poses, as well as energy channels and emotional balancing. Upon completion, students will be able to field questions with confidence and true clarity. Fee: $450 for members; $500 for non-members.

— Aug. 13 to Aug. 16: Prenatal Yoga Teacher Training

Led by Sue Elkind. Also open to certified yoga teachers. Students will learn how to support women during their journey into motherhood both physically and emotionally. The training will provide essential techniques such as structuring and sequencing, asana modifications by trimester, key restorative postures, as well as alignment and anatomy. Fee: $600 for members; $650 for non-members.

For more information, call Carol Craig at 967-6080 or visit and register at wainwright.org.

Blood donation opportunities

Eligible donors are encouraged to choose their day to make a difference. Donors of all blood types—especially types O negative, A negative, and B negative—are needed.

Dates to donate blood:

Saturday, Aug. 1 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., YMCA, 21 Locust Ave., in Rye.

How to donate blood:

Download the American Red Cross Blood Donor app, visit redcrossblood.org, or call 1-800-RED CROSS (733-2767) to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card, driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17,16 with parental consent in some states, weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements. For more information, visit redcross.org or on Twitter at @RedCross.

Deadline for our What’s Going On section is every Thursday at noon. Though space is not guaranteed, we will do our best to accommodate your listing. Please send all items to news@hometwn.com.

 
ma1

Former mayoral candidate faces ethics review

Former Village of Mamaroneck Trustee Andres Bermudez-Hallstrom, a Democrat, has filed an ethics complaint against Clark Neuringer, a member of the village’s Harbor and Coastal Zone Management Commission, for his involvement with a property at 115 Hoyt Ave., pictured. Photo/Jackson Chen

Former Village of Mamaroneck Trustee Andres Bermudez-Hallstrom, a Democrat, has filed an ethics complaint against Clark Neuringer, a member of the village’s Harbor and Coastal Zone Management Commission, for his involvement with a property at 115 Hoyt Ave., pictured. Photo/Jackson Chen

By JACKSON CHEN
An ethics complaint regarding a potential conflict of interest was filed against one of the Village of Mamaroneck’s harbor coastal commissioners on July 15. 

According to the ethics complaint, Clark Neuringer of the village’s Harbor and Coastal Zone Management Commission, HCZMC, may have violated the village’s code of ethics on several accounts. The complaint, which was submitted by Andres Bermudez-Hallstrom, a former Democratic trustee and attorney, seeks to remove Neuringer from his position as a HCZMC commissioner and charge the maximum amount of allowable fines.

Neuringer, who has served on the village’s various land use boards for more than three decades and was a Democratic mayoral candidate in 2013, said Bermudez-Hallstrom’s claims were farfetched and egregiously incorrect.

The complaint details that Neuringer, as a commissioner and resident of the village, was heavily involved in discussions regarding the impactful transit-oriented development legislation, TOD. The TOD law that was passed in November of last year aimed to rehabilitate the neglected areas near the Metro-North train station with the hopes of redeveloping much of the area. During village board discussions, the TOD legislation was referred to the HCZMC for its analysis on the impact of the legislation on all matters coastal in
the village.

Although Neuringer’s duties as a commissioner involved discussing TOD matters, the complaint said that Neuringer had a client with property located at 115 Hoyt Ave., which was deemed in-zone of the areas affected by the TOD law.

However, Neuringer said that his client, Bullseye Glass, was simply a tenant at the 115 Hoyt Ave. location and had no connection in terms of a personal financial benefit.

In an attempt to connect the dots between the tenant and the 115 Hoyt Ave. property, Bermudez-Hallstrom claims that Neuringer never disclosed in his Annual Disclosures—where all of the village’s board and commission members must disclose any conflicts or potential conflicts of interest regarding their professional work—that Bullseye Glass was a client of his. Instead, Neuringer listed 115 Hoyt LLC, the limited-liability company of the property, and Anthony Catanese, the property’s managing agent, as clients in his required yearly disclosure submissions to the village’s Ethics Board.

Bermudez-Hallstrom’s complaint states that Neuringer was working for both the 115 Hoyt Ave. property and the property owner under the guise of doing work for Bullseye Glass. After labeling 115 Hoyt as one of Neuringer’s clients, the complaint states that he should have recused himself from anything TOD related because one of his clients and their property would be affected by the TOD law.

However, Neuringer said that he completed a 7,800-square-foot renovation of a vacant warehouse space for Bullseye in mid-2013, before the TOD discussions came before the HCZMC. Those commission discussions took place in 2014. He also added that he completed a storefront for 115 Hoyt LLC in early 2013 as a one-time job where he had no personal relationship after the work was finished.

Neuringer stressed that since both projects with Bullseye Glass and 115 Hoyt LLC occurred prior to the HCZMC’s discussions of TOD, there was no feasible connection that would suggest financial gain for either of his clients or himself.

Still, Bermudez-Hallstrom said Neuringer’s actions were a violation of the village’s code of ethics, specifically where it states that board members are “prohibited from using his position or taking any discretionary action which he knows or has reason to know may result in a personal financial benefit to a customer, client or board member in question.”

In response, Neuringer, who had yet to receive the ethics notification, said, “I’ll get whatever paperwork and we will deal with it vigorously. In my estimation, we will expose Mr. Hallstrom for the fraud he is.”

Neuringer added that he will be represented by his lawyer in dealing with the ethics complaint.

While Bermudez-Hallstrom’s complaint has been filed with the village, the Board of Ethics has yet to set a meeting date to discuss this case.

Charles Mitchell, chairman of the Board of Ethics, could not be reached for comment as of press time.

CONTACT: jackson@hometwn.com

 
starbucks5

Tuckahoe residents sign petition, call for fast food ban

Starbucks, pictured, and Carvel are the only franchises currently in Tuckahoe. Yet, in light of Subway forthcoming entrance in to the village’s marketplace, local residents signed a petition urging the Board of Trustees to amend the zoning code to ban future fast food restaurants.  File photo

Starbucks, pictured, and Carvel are the only franchises currently in Tuckahoe. Yet, in light of Subway forthcoming entrance in to the village’s marketplace, local residents signed a petition urging the Board of Trustees to amend the zoning code to ban future fast food restaurants. File photo

By CHRIS EBERHART
In reaction to Subway’s impending entrance into Tuckahoe, village residents circulated petitions urging the village’s Board of Trustees to amend its zoning code to ban similar fast food shops and chain restaurants from joining the sub shop in the village.

The Subway project is currently at the tail end of the planning process. Developers were able to find two more parking spots, giving them four in total, which brings the sub shop up to code and does away with the need for a variance. And with only the architectural design approval from the Planning Board pending, Subway is all but certain to join Tuckahoe’s Main Street landscape.

So while it’s too late to stop Subway from becoming part of the village, residents are turning their attention to future fast food shops and chain restaurants that may want to open their doors in the community.

During the July 13 village board meeting, Tuckahoe resident Albert Stern, who has been against Subway since its inception in late March, handed the village trustees petitions with more than 200 signatures urging the board to amend the zoning code to ban Subway-like restaurants in Tuckahoe.

The neighboring communities of Eastchester and Bronxville already have a ban in place, with Eastchester recently amending its zoning code in March 2013 to include what it defines as fast food and chain restaurants.

Margaret Uhle, head of Eastchester’s Building Department, said the town eliminated the definitions that were “believed to be imprecise and outdated,” such as cafeterias, full-service, carry-out, fast food restaurants and retail cafés, and developed new definitions that better describe the types of restaurants that the town wanted to prohibit.

According to the town’s zoning code, the prohibited food establishments were labeled “formula fast food and formula quick casual restaurants” and “formula fast casual/quick casual restaurants” and “share a common name, trademark, or logo with seven or more other restaurants in the area, region or country,” such as a Burger King or  McDonald’s.

While McDonald’s and Burger King-type food establishments were prohibited by the Town of Eastchester, a full-service chain or franchise restaurant like an Applebee’s or a Buffalo Wild Wings, where customers sit down, are served by wait staff and order from a menu, are permitted.

Petitioners in Tuckahoe want to see a similar ban happen in the village.

Stern said there are concerns that areas in Tuckahoe, specifically mentioning a proposed restaurant that would accompany a Marbledale Road Marriott hotel currently in front of the Planning Board, will turn into a “fast food alley.”

“A lot of these corporations can go buy this land and buy these buildings because this is a very suitable place for fast food-type restaurants,” Stern said. “So there’s more than just what meets the eye here.”

Tuckahoe Mayor Steve Ecklond, a Republican, said he isn’t concerned about a “fast food alley” because there aren’t a lot of open spaces left in the village.

“It’s not happening,” Ecklond said. “If we had empty land, I’d be more concerned. But the hotel would occupy the last open land on Marbledale [Road], and everything else in the village is built on.”

But the mayor and Board of Trustees aren’t dismissing the petitions and the call to amend the zoning code.

“We’re already working on it,” Ecklond said. “But banning fast food restaurants is too generic of a request. What is a fast food restaurant? We need to change the definitions in our zoning code. The ones that are already in existence are so bland and generic because [the zoning code] was adopted 50 years ago or more.”

He said Tuckahoe will follow in Eastchester’s footsteps to establish a ban on fast foods by first deciding which food establishments exist and then deciding which should stay and which should go. Then there needs to be a public hearing before being adopted as a local law. In total, the process of amending the zoning code took Eastchester a year.

As a way to tackle this and other pending issues in the village, Ecklond said the village trustees will meet with Tuckahoe Village Administrator David Burke once a month in a public forum to discuss one topic per month. This will be one of the topics discussed in the coming months.

CONTACT: christopher@hometwn.com

 
Katy Keohane Glassberg, the former vice president of the Rye City School District Board of Education, has succeeded longtime board president Laura Slack, who retired at the end of the 2014-2015 school year. 
Contributed photo

Keohane Glassberg takes over as Rye school board president

Katy Keohane Glassberg, the former vice president of the Rye City School District Board of Education, has succeeded longtime board president Laura Slack, who retired at the end of the 2014-2015 school year.  Contributed photo

Katy Keohane Glassberg, the former vice president of the Rye City School District Board of Education, has succeeded longtime board president Laura Slack, who retired at the end of the 2014-2015 school year.
Contributed photo

By CHRIS EBERHART
Katy Keohane Glassberg  will move over one seat on the dais during Rye City Board of Education meetings as the former vice president succeeds recently-retired board president Laura Slack, who stepped down following the end of the 2014-2015 school year after nine years on the board. 

“The school district is in excellent hands with Katy Glassberg at the helm,” Slack told the Review this week. “She has excellent judgment, is intelligent, a great communicator and a dedicated, hard worker. The district and the community are fortunate to have her leading the school board.”

Keohane Glassberg, 47, is a retired litigation attorney in her professional life and is entering her sixth year on the school board. During her time on the board, Glassberg served as the vice president for the past three years, chaired the Policy, Facilities, and Health and Safety committees, served on the Management and Curriculum councils and served on the Technology, K-12 Science, Civility Initiative and Safe Routes to Schools committees.

“I’m gratified in the confidence that my board members had in me to elect me president,” Keohane Glassberg said regarding the unanimous vote of her colleagues. “And I was lucky to serve as Laura [Slack’s] vice president for these past three years. Laura [Slack] is incredible, and I’ve had great training in being a board officer.”

Keohane Glassberg, whose first meeting as school board president was on July 1, said the school district is currently in a good place after finalizing collective bargaining agreements with two unions—the Rye Administrator Association and the Rye Teachers Association-Secretarial, Clerical, School Nurse and Computer Aide Unit—and passing the school budget by more than 70 percent of the vote.

But looming is the possibility of a zero percent tax levy cap for New York state schools, which means school districts wouldn’t be able to increase their budgets in order to remain under the state-mandated tax cap.

According to a recent report by the New York State Educational Conference Board, a coalition of seven leading statewide education organizations representing parents, teachers, administrators and school boards, the state-mandated tax cap levy increase would be zero for the 2016-2017 school year, based on the first four months of the consumer price index and projections by the state Division of the Budget.

“My number one goal is the same as everyone else’s on the board and that is to ensure Rye schools continue to be as vigorous and excellent as Rye is known for,” Keohane Glassberg said. “And that’s been difficult with the tax cap and the unfunded mandates. And the possibility of a zero percent tax cap is worrying. It has all the districts worrying.”

Looking toward the 2015-2016 school year and beyond, Keohane Glassberg said her focus will be to continue the school district’s efforts in the areas of technology and communication with the community.

Last year, the school district experienced denial of service attacks, which are malicious attempts to make a server or a network resource unavailable to users by temporarily interrupting or suspending the services of a host connected to the internet. To fix the problem, Keohane Glassberg said the school board hired Edu Tek to manage the network and make upgrades to the security over the summer.

Keohane Glassberg has been a Rye resident for 20 years. She has one child in the schools and another who graduated from Rye High School in 2015.

Also assuming a new role on the Board of Education is Chris Repetto, who was elected vice president for the upcoming school year. Repetto, 48, said being elected to the position by the other school board trustees is “an honor, privilege and great responsibility.”

“We have an extremely well-balanced, unified and cooperative team in place, and I am deeply appreciative of their faith in me,” he said.

CONTACT: christopher@hometwn.com 

 

 

 

The Village of Mamaroneck’s Harbor and Coastal Zone Management Commission has submitted its version of an updated waterfront development document to go up against a previous iteration created by a consulting firm. File photo

HCZMC submits LWRP update

The Village of Mamaroneck’s Harbor and Coastal Zone Management Commission has submitted its version of an updated waterfront development document to go up against a previous iteration created by a consulting firm. File photo

The Village of Mamaroneck’s Harbor and Coastal Zone Management Commission has submitted its version of an updated waterfront development document to go up against a previous iteration created by a consulting firm. File photo

By JACKSON CHEN
The Village of Mamaroneck’s Harbor and Coastal Zone Management Commission has submitted its version of the village’s all-encompassing document that guides coastline developments and environmental preservation. The commission’s version, which is already receiving criticism, will be considered by the state, in parallel to a previous version constructed by consultants commissioned by the village. 

The major guiding document, known as the Local Waterfront Revitalization Program, LWRP, was first adopted by the village in 1984. More than three decades ago, the LWRP was created by several residents, but now requires an update due to the modernization of the village and a deadline set by the New York State Department of State. The village was expected to have set in place a new LWRP by the end of 2014, but was granted a flexible extension because its process is nearly complete, according to Village Manager Richard Slingerland.

“The current LWRP has served us well for 30 years,” said Cindy Goldstein, chairwoman of the harbor coastal commission. “What we need to focus on now is what does the current document not provide for moving into the future.”

According to Slingerland, the version created by the commission was submitted earlier this month and is currently being reviewed by Charles McCaffrey, who worked on the LWRP in 1984, and Lester Steinman, the village’s land use attorney. Even with a large group of volunteers assisting, Goldstein said that the commission’s LWRP still had areas that required more study, including a “proper boots on the ground inventory of our village and the natural topography.”

In their efforts to form an updated LWRP, the harbor coastal commission worked with a constantly-evolving working group that included a total of 36 residents. Beginning in January 2015, Goldstein held 12 public meetings where the working groups tackled each of the original 44 policies one by one to update their language.

”The LWRP update is really unusual because it’s really driven by the community,” Goldstein said, comparing it to the standard law making process involving legislators. “This is really a community document.”

However, former village Trustee Andres Bermudez-Hallstrom, a Democrat, said he felt there were certain residents involved in the working groups that may have had a conflict of interest with the LWRP. Of the 36 residents who were part of the working groups, Bermudez-Hallstrom said that 11 of them were involved in some type of land-use lawsuits in the village, which potentially poses a conflict of interest with writing the LWRP.

After hearing Bermudez-Hallstrom’s comments on the harbor coastal commission’s draft, Goldstein said they “violate the spirit of this village and the spirit of volunteerism,” and added that he was never present at a meeting.

Still, the former trustee felt the language within the commission’s draft was a double-edged sword, in that certain parts were heavily targeting certain areas, while other portions remained too vague
and could be loosely interpreted to stop any future development projects.

“It’ll set a terrible precedent and it sets itself up for decades of never-ending land use lawsuits,” Bermudez Hallstrom said of the commission’s LWRP redraft.

Instead, the former trustee was in favor of the LWRP rewrite that was completed in December 2014 by BFJ Planning, a New York City-based consulting firm. In contrast to the HCZMC’s free of charge iteration that updated the 44 original policies, BFJ’s draft cost the village more than $50,000 and included only 13 policies.

Mayor Norman Rosenblum, a Republican, similarly disagreed with the commission’s write-up because of some glaring changes, including not whittling down the number of policies to 13, like the BFJ draft. The mayor added that the commission was instructed to bring the document up to state standards instead of simply rewriting the original policies.

According to Rosenblum, the commission’s LWRP will be sent up to the state department, but the village has made clear that it wasn’t submitted by the Board of Trustees.

The mayor said the commission’s LWRP would be subject to changes and input from the public during hearings he expects to start in September.

CONTACT: jackson@hometwn.com

 
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Rye BOE approves two contract agreements

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By CHRIS EBERHART
The Rye City Board of Education approved memorandums of agreement with two unions, including a precedent-setting agreement with school district administrators, who agreed to give up their salary schedule as a cost-saving measure and move toward merit-based raises instead of automatic pay increases.

The agreement with the Rye City Administrator Association was one of two agreements, along with the Rye Teachers Association-Secretarial, Clerical, School Nurse and Computer Aide Unit, that was approved by the Board of Education during its June 30 meeting. Both agreements will run through 2018.

In the agreement with the administrators, a contract that expired on June 30, 2015, they agreed to forfeit their salary schedule, which outlined the salary ranges for each administrator position depending on how long they held the position in perpetuity in exchange for smaller raises each year of the contract and a merit-based pay increase.

During the 2015-2016 school year, the 13 members of the administrators’ union will receive a 2 percent pay increase. Wages will increase again in 2016-2017 by 1 percent and in 2017-2018 by 1.5 percent, with an additional 0.5 percent merit increase each year. That merit increase will depend on performance criteria that have on be mutually agreed to by May 31, 2016. Newly-elected Board of Education President Katy Keohane Glassberg, who took over the position on July 1, said the administrators giving up their salary schedule showed “remarkable leadership.”

“The salary schedule was set up before the tax cap and was almost impossible to meet in a tax cap environment,” Keohane Glassberg said. “This model is more sustainable and will have a substantial saving for the school district.”

The board president was unable to provide an estimate of how much those savings would entail.

As part of the agreement with the administrators, Rye High School Principal Patricia Taylor will receive a $4,982 wage increase to bump her annual salary to $185,267, and Osborn School Principal Angela Garcia will receive a $1,119 increase to $160,453 annually. Both Taylor and Garcia will receive an additional, one-time payment of $12,430 and $2,238, respectively. Base-wage increases for Taylor and Garcia will take effect before the increase of 2 percent in 2015-2016.

Glassberg said the salary adjustments bring the principals’ salaries to that of principals in neighboring school districts.

During the same Board of Education meeting on June 30, the board passed a memorandum of agreement with the 38-member Rye Teachers Association-Secretarial, Clerical, School Nurse and Computer Aide Unit, which had been without a new contract since June 30, 2013.

The clerical union will receive an increase of 1 percent for the 2014-2015 school year with retroactive pay from Jan. 1, 2015, an increase of 1.5 percent during the 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 school years and an increase of 0.75 percent during the 2017-2018 school year.

In exchange, pay step movement, which is based on an employee’ s number of years in the school district, is frozen during the 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 school years and members will contribute 15 percent into their health benefits from 2013-2014 to 2017-2018.

CONTACT: christopher@hometwn.com

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The United Hospital 15-acre property, inclusive of the now defunct hospital and a staff residential housing facility, would have to be torn down to accommodate for the large-scale, mixed-use development project being proposed near the Rye border. Photo/Jackson Chen

United Hospital plan gains traction

The United Hospital 15-acre property, inclusive of the now defunct hospital and a staff residential housing facility, would have to be torn down to accommodate for the large-scale, mixed-use development project being proposed near the Rye border. Photo/Jackson Chen

The United Hospital 15-acre property, inclusive of the now defunct hospital and a staff residential housing facility, would have to be torn down to accommodate for the large-scale, mixed-use development project being proposed near the Rye border. Photo/Jackson Chen

By JACKSON CHEN
The Village of Port Chester has opened the gates for public comments as it has deemed the lofty redevelopment proposal for the long-abandoned United Hospital lot and its draft environmental impact statement as complete. 

The proposal for the site at 999 High St., off of Boston Post Road, calls for a roughly $300-million development project that would create 730 residential units, parking structures, retail and office space as well as a 138-room hotel. The 15-acre redevelopment project is being tackled by Starwood Capital Group, a Connecticut-based investment firm. Considering the scale of the project, Port Chester is reviewing the many environmental impacts that would result from the development, including traffic congestion, stress on school enrollment and overall infrastructure concerns.

According to Port Chester Mayor Dennis Pilla, a Democrat, the village board met with attorneys in executive session during its July 20 meeting for legal advice, before deeming the proposal’s Draft Environmental Impact Statement, DEIS, complete. Pilla said that deeming the project’s DEIS complete would trigger the public review process.

After the required comment period and if fully approved, the development would allow for 500 units of one-bedroom and two-bedroom housing units that are aimed at a younger generation without children, according to the proposal. As for interested residents with families, the proposal also calls for 230 age-restricted units, a number which was set to limit the impact on the village’s school system.

The Village of Port Chester is reviewing the environmental impact of a proposed 15-acre development on the defunct United Hospital lot off of Boston Post Road. File photo

The Village of Port Chester is reviewing the environmental impact of a proposed 15-acre development on the defunct United Hospital lot off of Boston Post Road. File photo

When reviewing the proposal, village staff worked with AKRF, a White Plains-based planning consultant firm, alongside traffic consultants and a legal team, according to Port Chester Trustee Saverio Terenzi, a Republican.

“While people miss the hospital, it’s become an eyesore quite frankly,” Pilla said of United Hospital, which closed its doors in 2005. “Having a new development in our village that is attractive and draws people in, it’s going to have community services that will benefit our community and the surrounding communities.”

While the United Hospital redevelopment plan is being tackled by the village, its large scope and proximity is expected to impact nearby communities. The property sits near the City of Rye border.

According to Rye City Mayor Joe Sack, a Republican, he testified in front of Port Chester’s board approximately one year ago when the project proposal first surfaced. Much like the concerns he voiced last year, Sack still holds concerns of increased traffic congestion issues on Boston Post Road and the possibility of hampering stormwater mitigation.

“The concern is that things will get worse,” Sack said of the potential for increased traffic. “It’s already pretty congested over there with Whole Foods and the other stores in the [Kohl’s] shopping center,” which sits across the street from the hospital property.

Sack added that after appearing before the village board last year, he and city staff met with the Starwood attorneys to clarify the city’s concerns. However, the mayor added that he hasn’t had any follow-up meetings or feedback recently, but city staff is keeping tabs on the project.

“We want to be able to have input,” Sack said, adding his main concern was the project’s impact on Rye. “I think it remains to be seen how much of our recommendations or suggestions will be accepted.”

Pilla, who took office as mayor in March,  said that the village has been informing the city of every milestone progression of the development. He added that on July 20, Rye City Attorney Kristen Wilson asked the village board to extend the public comment period into September to allow time for people who are away on vacation, but that an extension for the public was the village’s intention anyways.

“I’m pushing  this in a way where we do more than the minimum required from public participation,” Pilla said. “We’re going to hear from the public early and often, including the City of Rye.”

In the past, a development proposal for the construction of a Home Depot in Port Chester drew similar concern from Rye. The Home Depot currently stands at 150 Midland Ave., also near the city’s municipal border. When the village approved the project in 1994, Rye and a residential committee called the Rye Citizens Committee sued Port Chester, claiming there weren’t enough environmental impact studies done on the project. Eventually, the Home Depot was constructed after the Westchester County Supreme Court ruled in favor of the development and its second approval process.

When dealing with the United Hospital redevelopment, Terenzi said he doesn’t think the project will have much impact on Rye’s traffic patterns. The trustee added that most people will be using the nearby highways like the I-95 and I-287, leaving little impact on Rye.

The village has scheduled its first public hearing on the large-scale development project for Aug. 27, but is expecting the comment period to extend into late September. Pilla added that even after the public comment portions, the village board will hold public workshop sessions that will tackle specific concerns like parking, school impact and financial changes.

CONTACT: jackson@hometwn.com

 
2015-ELECTION-SQUARE

Just-Michael raises $61K in county campaign

New Rochelle’s Haina Just-Michael, left, the Democratic challenger to Westchester County Legislator Sheila Marcotte, is off to a strong start having already collected $61,000 in campaign contributions. File photos

New Rochelle’s Haina Just-Michael, left, the Democratic challenger to Westchester County Legislator Sheila Marcotte, is off to a strong start having already collected $61,000 in campaign contributions. File photos

By CHRIS EBERHART
Campaign finance reports for all of this year’s political candidates were required to be filed on July 15, and through July, Westchester County Legislator candidate Haina Just-Michael, a New Rochelle Democrat, had raised a whopping $61,000.

By contrast, Just-Michael’s opponent, incumbent Sheila Marcotte, an Eastchester Republican, had only generated $7,898 in financing. The two candidates are battling for the county’s 10th legislative district seat, which includes Eastchester, Tuckahoe and parts of New Rochelle.

Just-Michael’s fundraising is a combination of donations from supporters, friends and family. And her significant war chest does include a combined $30,000 donation from her husband and father.

“It always feels good to get a thumbs up, however it comes,” Just-Michael said. “In general, people are excited, and the momentum naturally happened. They want a different representative in District 10, and a lot of people are saying, ‘I want to do what I can,’ and they did. I’m so surprised and grateful.”

Arnold Linhardt, a Democratic political strategist, said the $61,000 that Just-Michael raised is a good showing for a challenger and will help because it gives her a solid foundation to draw from, but the difference “doesn’t mean it’s the end of Sheila [Marcotte].”  “Sheila [Marcotte] has shown in the past that she can put money together quickly, and
I have no doubt she’s going to do it again,” Lindhardt said. “So, I wouldn’t read too much into it.”

Historically, Marcotte has had trouble financially outpacing her Democratic opponents, although the disparity has never been as a stark as this year’s race. Nonetheless, Marcotte has always been able to persevere and pull out close victories in each of her previous two county elections.

In 2011, during Marcotte’s run at her first full, two-year term on the Westchester County Board of Legislators against former Tuckahoe Mayor John Fitzpatrick, a Democrat, she raised $10,872 through July to Fitzpatrick’s $12,012. And at this time in 2013, during Marcotte’s last re-election to the District 10 seat, Marcotte raised $3,984 while her opponent Mary Jo Jacobs, a New Rochelle Democrat, raised $10,557.

Marcotte has held the District 10 seat since 2010, when she defeated Greg Varian, a New Rochelle Democrat, in a special election to replace Vito Pinto, a Republican, who was tabbed by County Executive Rob Astorino, a Republican, to head the county’s Veterans Service Agency.

The next two elections— 2011 and 2013—have been close, and Linhardt expects the same this year. With no national or state elections, the strategist expects a low voter turnout, meaning the race will come down to who does a better job of grassroots campaigning to make their name known to voters. That’s where Just-Michael’s $61,000 will help her, he said.

“Sheila [Marcotte] is the incumbent; she’s starting with higher name recognition. So, she doesn’t have to introduce herself to the voters, unlike Haina [Just-Michael],” Lindhardt said. “As the challenger, [Just-Michael] has to persuade voters why they shouldn’t vote for the incumbent, and you need a lot of money for that.”

Marcotte believes she’s the underdog going into the election season, but, as in years past, she said she’ll have enough money to fund her campaign and will again focus her campaign on her record of keeping the county property tax levy flat.

“Both candidates will have the necessary resources to run their campaigns, and I look forward to bringing my campaign to our wonderful neighbors in Eastchester, Tuckahoe and New Rochelle,” Marcotte said. “But I’m proud to run on my record.

Marcotte pointed to her work as the chairwoman of the Budget and Appropriations Committee, ensuring fiscal discipline and holding the county property tax levy flat for the past five years.

Ultimately, Linhardt, who has donated to Just-Michael’s campaign, said the race will come down to two areas that each candidate has to “lose closer in.”

For Just-Michael, he said the unincorporated Town of Eastchester, considered a Republican stronghold, is pivotal. And for Marcotte, it’s the North End of New Rochelle, which is largely comprised of Democrats.

According to Linhardt, Marcotte’s defeat of Jacobs in 2013 was largely due to New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson, who challenged Astorino for the county executive seat, poor showing in the North End of New Rochelle.

The next Westchester County Board of Elections filing date for campaign finances is Oct. 2. Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 3.

CONTACT: christopher@hometwn.com