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Dave Chemela, founder of Rat Race Choir, entertains in the band’s 47th year of rock and roll. The group performed on the Village Green in West Harrison on July 16.

Summer Concert Series heats up

Dave Chemela, founder of Rat Race Choir, entertains in the band’s 47th year of rock and roll. The group performed on the Village Green in West Harrison on July 16.

Dave Chemela, founder of Rat Race Choir, entertains in the band’s 47th year of rock and roll. The group performed on the Village Green in West Harrison on July 16.

Harrison’s Summer Concert Series was in full swing on Thursday, July 16 as a crowd came out to the Village Green in West Harrison to see Rat Race Choir perform.

Rat Race Choir is a New York-based progressive rock/fusion band which has been around since 1968. This month marks the 47th year of existence for the group.

The town’s concert series features music from various artists and runs every Wednesday and Thursday of July and August. The series kicked off on Saturday, July 4 with a performance by ‘50s, ‘60s and ‘70s rock band The Wanderers and will run through Thursday, Aug. 20 with a performance by southern rock band Sundown. The next concert in the series will be held between the street corners of Thatcher and Halstead avenues on Wednesday, July 29 and will feature Led Zeppelin tribute duo Jackie DiMaggio and Christopher Maccio.

All concerts begin at 7:45 p.m. unless stated otherwise and locations alternate between the West Harrison Village Green and Ma Riis Park, across from the municipal building on Heineman Place, with occasional street concerts held between Thatcher and Halstead avenues. For more information on the concert series, visit harrison-ny.gov.

-Harrison Review Staff

The Rye City Council recently established the city’s very first historic district in the downtown area, allowing tax exemptions for century-old properties. Photo/Jackson Chen

Rye creates first historic distric downtown

The Rye City Council recently established the city’s very first historic district in the downtown area, allowing tax exemptions for century-old properties. Photo/Jackson Chen

The Rye City Council recently established the city’s very first historic district in the downtown area, allowing tax exemptions for century-old properties. Photo/Jackson Chen

By JACKSON CHEN
History was just made and soon will be preserved as the Rye City Council has established the first historic district in the heart of downtown Rye. 

As a result of the city’s Landmarks Advisory Committee’s request, the council voted in favor of designating a large chunk of the city’s downtown area as a historic district during its July 8 meeting. But the creation of the district comes with certain amendments.

The idea of creating a historic district, which was first tackled by the council in April, allows certain properties to be deemed historic and finally able to take advantage of the lenient tax-exempt language that was added into the city code in December 2013.

“We’re out to preserve the historic character of this community,” said Maurio Sax, a member of the landmarks committee. “We’re bringing democracy to the neighborhoods…people have a say in what their neighborhoods are going to look like.”

The 2013 amendment, adopted under the former administration of Rye City Mayor Douglas French, a Republican, created a local law that provided historic property owners a 100 percent tax exemption for the first five years for any alterations or rehabilitations to their property. Generally, if any improvement work was done on a property, the property tax values would scale accordingly. With the new law in place, historic properties would only have to pay the full amount of property taxes after 10 years—0 percent for the first five years and then an additional 20 percent annually over the remaining five years—according to the code.

After a few months of council discussions and a historic district now in place, owners of certain properties within the downtown area could start claiming tax exemptions if they chose to renovate or repair their existing structures.

In making some amendments to the district before its vote, the council decided to include a stipulation that buildings within the historic district would only be able to claim tax exemptions if they were at least 100 years old.

Additionally, Republican Rye City Deputy Mayor Laura Brett, who also serves as the liaison to the Landmarks Advisory Committee, proposed to limit the outline of the historic district to exclude Locust Avenue. For the historic district’s purposes, the council was only interested in providing tax exemptions to properties with historic significance that were close to the city’s downtown.

“If we exclude Locust from this…we just exclude a small portion of the district where it doesn’t really contribute to the character of the downtown,” Brett said.

As for the properties that have yet to surpass a century’s time, Jack Zahringer, chairman of the landmarks committee, said they could claim tax exemptions for the structural improvements by going through an approvals process.

Zahringer added the properties under 100 years of age would require a proposal from the landmarks committee and eventually approval from the City Council. However, according to the committee’s survey, more than 51 buildings in the downtown district already meet the 100-year stipulation.

“Basically you walk up and down Purchase Street, we want to save most of everything,” Zahringer said, describing properties like the iconic T.D.’s Rye Smoke Shop and the Weichert Realtors building on the corner of Purchase Street and Theodore Fremd Avenue.

According to Zahringer, the genesis of the historic district proposal began with the troubling financial future of the smoke shop. After years of economic hardships, the 90-year-old store on the corner of Purchase Street and Elm Place was ready to go out of business. In response to the shop’s struggles, the committee looked for ways to make ends meet for iconic properties in the downtown area.

While looking for solutions, the committee found similar legislation that was passed in Ithaca, N.Y., approximately 10 years ago. Ithaca’s iteration served as an example for Rye’s own historic district laws by providing a model of tax exemptions.

Zahringer said even with a decade of Ithaca’s historic district exemptions on the books, he estimated that about 10 properties claimed tax exemptions.

In bringing a historic district to Rye, Brett said the law would provide “a really good blueprint for how communities and neighborhoods can move forward in terms of defining what a historic building is within a proposed district.”

While Zahringer and the committee’s survey included more than 50 properties that are over 100 years old, he said that he expects to see maybe one application a year for a historic property looking for tax exemptions.

CONTACT: jackson@hometwn.com

 
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What’s going on in New Rochelle

New Rochelle Library 

The library’s website has a full listing of free programs, dates and times for all ages this summer at nrpl.org. Programs for infants to teens are being held both at the main library and at the Huguenot Children’s Library. These free programs are made possible by the Friends of the Library and the New Rochelle Public Library Foundation.

For the little ones

All programs are on a drop-in basis, first come, first served.

Bouncing Babies: a Mother Goose program of songs, music, movement and a story for children six to 24 months. Thursdays, through Aug. 13,  9:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. in the Children’s Room of the main library; 11:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. at HCL.

Let’s Pretend: Introduces theater through games, songs, nursery rhymes, and an on-stage experience with Nora Maher for children ages 3 to 5. Thursdays, through to Aug. 13, 10:15 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the main library; 12:30 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. at HCL.

3, 4 & 5s: Includes stories, songs and a take-home craft. Mondays, July 6 to Aug. 10, 10 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. at the main library for ages 3 to 5. Sessions at HCL will be on Tuesdays, through Aug. 11, 10 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.

Preschool Fun & Fitness: Children ages 2 to 5 and their parent, grandparent or caregiver are invited to join the health and fitness team from Montefiore New Rochelle Hospital’s Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Services for a fun-filled hour of movement, games and healthy eating and lifestyle tips. Mondays, through Aug. 10, 1 p.m. to 2 p.m., in the main library Meeting Room. Registration is required. Please call Ruben or Nicolas at the WIC office at 637-1677.

Bedtime Stories: for ages 3 to 5 years. Pajamas and stuffed animals are encouraged. Thursdays, through Aug. 13, from 6:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the main library.

For bigger kids

Designed to encourage participation in the Summer Reading Game, the programs offer great educational experiences through the summer. Admission to the programs is on a first-come, first-served basis, beginning 15 minutes before the start of each program. This year’s slate of free program includes experiments in Cooking and Science, Calligraphy, Mexican dance classes with Calpulli Mexican Dance Company and Bricks 4 Kidz® workshops.

Wednesday matinees at 2 p.m. in the Ossie Davis Theater will offer films of amazing adventures alternating with live science shows.

Summer Fun of the Patio at HCL will run Mondays to Fridays through Aug. 21, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. This is a free drop-in program providing good old-fashioned summertime fun, including ping pong, arts and crafts, games and outside activities that are supervised by experienced, enthusiastic adults and teens. Children must be accompanied by a parent or adult caregiver. The Summer Fun program does not take place during rainy weather. For details on all these activities, visit nrpl.org.

For teens

Healthy cooking workshops, gamers tournaments, yoga journaling and weekly movies are a few of the great programs teens can choose from this summer at the New Rochelle Public Library.

Craft Lab, Random Fandom, Gamer Clash!, Super Science Thursdays, and  Movie Madness, all under the supervision of Teen Librarian Ken Petrilli, will take place on a drop-in basis in the Teen Room or Teen Conference Room on the second floor.

The third annual Summer Writers Workshops, which meet three mornings or three afternoons a week and are conducted by New Rochelle High School students, will be held in the Teen Conference Room.

In the library’s Meeting Room, Cook like an Iron-rich Chef, Tweens Yoga Journaling and Mexican dance classes will be led by professional instructors, on a first-come, first-served basis. The Calpulli Dance Company instructors will lead these classes over seven weeks, with a culminating performance by students and Calpulli dancers on Saturday, Aug. 22 at 4 p.m. To register, contact the Community Relations office at 632-8254 for more information.

International Music and Dance

The International Music and Dance series continues with Arabian Dance by Aszmara, with music of Armenia, Turkey and Egypt on Tuesday, July 28. On Tuesday, Aug. 4, the crowd-pleasing Bokandeye Troupe, directed by Anthony Wooden, closes the 2014 series with African dance to djembe drumming. The cultural traditions of African villages come alive as the troupe’s multigenerational dancers perform in authentic costume.

Seating for the free programs is on a first-come, first-served basis, to the capacity of the Ossie Davis Theater. Doors open at 6:45 pm. For more information, visit nrpl.org.

Family film

On Monday, July 27, “The Moon Spinners,” a mystery thriller, will be screened in the Ossie Davis Theater at 6:30 p.m. Suitable for all ages. Running time: 118 minutes.

Adventures in Gardening

For ages 6 to 12. On Tuesday, July 28, from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., The ABC Garden off the Children’s Room at the main library will become a bountiful vegetable, flower and herb garden with the help of the junior gardeners enrolled in this 6-week workshop. Teachers Jean Marie Healy and Naomi Tower will guide the planting and other wonderful related activities. Registration will take place during the first class on a first-come, first-served basis in the Meeting Room.

Lunchtime Yoga

For adults. On Thursday, July 30 at 12:30 p.m. in the Meeting Room. Conquer stress and fatigue, return to work with renewed energy and focus, with a gentle yet invigorating 30-minute session of yoga with Nora LeMorin. No need to change clothing or lie on a mat. Free. Made possible by the Friends of the Library and participants’ donations.

Brown Bag Book Club

For adults. On Wednesday, Aug. 5, from noon to 1:30 p.m. Bring your lunch and join in the librarian-led discussion of great books in the second floor Conference Room. Please register with librarian Kofi Addo-Nkum at 806-6543.

Upcoming book sale

The Friends Big Book Sale will take place on Friday, Aug. 8 at the main library from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the first floor’s lobby. For all ages.

Lighted Boat Parade

A parade of boats will pass Hudson Park and Neptune Park between the hours of 8:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 25. Participants will light their vessels in as many festive lights as safely possible and parade through New Rochelle Harbor. Come show your appreciation and cheer loudly for the most impressive display. Boats from all surrounding marinas are welcome to join. If you wish to participate, please email sgugliar@newrochelleny.com or send a fax to 235-8268 prior to 3 p.m. on Friday, July 24. In the event of inclement weather, please contact Captain Sal at 235-6930 or (917) 559-2827.

BID Music on the Green

Zero 360 will perform on Thursday, July 30 at 7 p.m. on the New Rochelle Public Library Green, located at 1 Library Plaza. Zero 360 is a contemporary, multi-ethnic variety show/dance band that performs Motown classics, soul, R&B, funk, old school disco, dance and rock.

Gather up friends, family, a picnic and settle in on the Library Green for great music, good times, and summer breezes. The popular outdoor concerts, in the heart of downtown New Rochelle, are made possible by the New Rochelle Downtown Business Improvement District in cooperation with the New Rochelle Parks and Recreation and the New Rochelle Public Library. In the event of rain, the concert moves indoors to the Ossie Davis Theater of the New Rochelle Public Library, on a first-come, first-served basis to the capacity of the 138-seat theater, beginning at 6:45 p.m. Call 632-8254 for weather updates after 4 p.m. the day of the concert.

 

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.

 
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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.

Storytime and Craft

One of our Learning Ambassadors from Eastchester High School will lead a storytime and craft activity for ages 3 to 5 on Monday, July 27, from 2 p.m. for 45 minutes. Online pre-registration is required. Contact Jonathan Heifetz at 721-8105 or jheifetz@wlsmail.org.

Teen Phenomenon Show with mentalist Amore

This one-of-a-kind performance will make the audience the star of the show. On Wednesday, July 29, from 7 p.m. to 8:15 p.m., Amore utilizes the audience throughout the performance for astounding demonstrations of the mind and body incorporating psychology and parapsychology, body language, the power of suggestion, handwriting analysis and misdirection. Predict lottery numbers, foresee the future, read minds, see a demonstration of a lie detector, sightless vision and more. Experience this show and you will believe. For sixth-graders and up. Pre-registration is suggested. Register at eastchesterlibrary.org. Contact Elizabeth at 721-8102 or eportillo@wlsmail.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 (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.

Reading Buddies: Do you need some help keeping up with your summer reading? Make an appointment to read with Learning Ambassadors Renz & Morgan. Tuesday, July 28 at 2 p.m.

Babytime Storytime: Join Miss Ellen for stories & songs for babies. Open to ages birth to 2. Thursday, July 30 at 11 a.m.

Computer Buddies: Do you like to play games online? Need someone to play with? Looking for a research buddy? Sign up for a time slot with a Learning Ambassador. Thursday, July 30 at 1 p.m.

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.

Preschool Storytime: Join Miss Ellen for stories and songs for preschoolers. Open to ages 2 to 6. Friday, July 31 at 11 a.m.

Superhero Crafts: Make your own superhero costume this summer during the rest of this three-part craft program. Open to ages 5 to 10.
Tuesday, Aug. 4 at 4 p.m. Registration is required. Call 961-2121 or visit tuckahoelibrary.org.

Teen Flying Paper Challenge

What makes a paper airplane fly? Figure it out on Wednesday, July 29 at 4:30 p.m.

Try some chocolate

Maria Valente of Chocolations in Mamaroneck hosts a chocolate tasting for adults on Wednesday, July 29 at 7 p.m.

Bronxville Public Library

Mahjong

Become an expert player in mahjong, the Chinese game of skill and luck. Geared toward helping beginners and amateurs learn the basic rules and strategies of the game. Master a social, competitive game that requires practice, strategy and a little bit of luck. Taught by Regina Klenosky, a player and teacher for decades. On Monday, July 27, from 11 a.m. to noon. For more information and to register, call 337-7680 ext. 24 or email bronxvillelibrary@gmail.com.

Mr. Kurt concert for kids

Clap, slap, shake, spin, stomp and sing along with Mr. Kurt. Time flies as Mr. Kurt sings songs and tells stories with his guitar, ukulele, slide whistle and other musically silly instruments on Tuesday, July 28 at 7 p.m. for one hour.

Teen Superhero Trivia

Do you think you know everything about superheroes and villains? Can you stump the librarian? Test your knowledge at Superhero Trivia on Wednesday, July 29 from 3:30 p.m. for one hour. For grades five and up.

Superhero Picture Frames

Decorate wooden frames with comics and pose for a photo at our Superhero Photo Station. This activity is for children ages 3 and up. On Thursday, July 30, from 3:30 p.m. for one hour. Registration required at bronxvillelibrary.org.

DIY Pom-Pom Shooters

Calling all teens: the library needs you to save it from villains. Drop in the Teen Room on Friday, July 31 from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. and make your very own Pom-Pom shooter to help save the day. All materials and directions will be provided. For grades five and up. No registration required.

The Nature Preserve

The Bronxville-Eastchester-Tuckahoe Nat-ure Preserve is a lush property located on the corner of Archer Place and Crawford Street. The land is located at the point where the borders of the Town of Eastchester and its two villages, Bronxville and Tuckahoe meet. The Nature Preserve Steering Committee invites you to visit and enjoy nature in the midst of Eastchester’s busy township. Tax-deductible contributions to maintain the property can be made to: The Nature Preserve/Village of Bronxville, P.O. Box 325, Bronxville, NY 10708.

Eastchester events

Summer Concert Series

Sponsored by the Eastchester/Tuckahoe Chamber of Commerce. The series, which was originally scheduled to start in July, has been postponed to August due to rain. A new date will be announced soon.

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.

 
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What’s going on in Mamaroneck

Mamaroneck Public Library

Intro to Shelfari

Learn how to use this social network for book lovers. Created by Amazon.com, Shelfari allows  readers to create a “virtual bookshelf” of titles they have read and want to read to review and even share with family and friends. Come to our Tech Lab and learn how to use this fun tool on Thursday, July 30 from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. for free. Registration is required, please call 630-5888 to save a spot.

Required Reads Roundtable for Teens

You’ve read your school’s required summer reading books, now what? How are you supposed to remember them by September? Join us in the Mamaroneck Teen Library on select Tuesdays at 4:30 p.m. for one hour for casual conversation followed by discussion, analysis and assignment help.

Dates: August 11 for Middle School Summer Reading Books Review; July 28 and Aug. 25 for High School Summer Reading Books Review.

Call 698-1250 for titles from the Rye Neck Middle and High Schools, Hommocks Middle School and Mamaroneck High School lists. Walk-ins welcome. Light refreshments provided. Come to one or both sessions.

Library book sale

In the Booksale Room, Lower Level. On Saturday, Aug. 1 all day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Everything is 50 percent off. To volunteer at the book sale, contact John Hofstetter at 698-4789.

Larchmont Public Library

War and Remembrance in Film

“Waterloo” will be screened on  Wednesday, July 29 at 2:30 p.m. in the Village Center.  Librarian Jane Axelrod introduces this 1970 blockbuster film starring Rod Steiger, Christopher Plummer, Orson Welles and an all-star cast. This film ties in with our Summer Reading Challenge: War and Remembrance. Rated G. Running time: 134 minutes.

Heroes Movie Matinee

“The Incredibles.” Appropriate for ages 7 and up. Wednesday, July 29, at 3:30 p.m. Come hear about a family of undercover superheroes who are forced into action to save the world. Running time: 115 minutes.

A Visit with a Local Bus Driver

Part of the Community Heroes Series. For ages 3 and 4. Thursday, July 30 at 2:15 p.m. Hear a very famous bus story—there’s a pigeon in it—and find out all about a day in the life of a bus driver. Then, create your own edible school buses. Online registration required at larchmontlibrary.org.

Straw, Sticks and Bricks

Part of the Super Science Series. For ages 8 to 11. Thursday, July 30 at 4 p.m. In this science-based approach to the classic children’s folktale “The Three Little Pigs,” students work through the design and building process to create houses of straw, sticks and bricks. The creativity and fun begins as they make their hypothesis and actually test which of the buildings can withstand the huff and puff of the big, bad wolf: a hair dryer. Team building and process thinking skills are encouraged in this wonderful new look at what the three little pigs can teach us! Online registration required at larchmontlibrary.org. Presented by the Westchester Children’s Museum.

Managing chronic health conditions

Learn how to manage chronic health conditions on Thursdays, July 30 and Aug. 6 from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Village Center. Do you have a chronic condition or care for someone who does? Registering for these classes will empower you to better manage chronic health conditions such as high blood pressure and you’ll learn how to communicate more effectively with healthcare professionals. You’ll also learn healthcare cost-savings techniques by avoiding trips to doctors and hospitals and learn to enjoy an enhanced quality of life. Classes are open to residents of Westchester County who are 55 and up. Registration is required. For information and to register, contact Rebecca Bent at 813-6263 or email rqbe@westchestergov.com.

Project Linus Knitting &
Crochet Group

Group meets every Tuesday from 10 a.m. until noon in the Upper Level Teen Area. Join this knitting/crochet group and use your talents for a good cause. The group has created and donated several blankets to Sound Shore Hospital for the benefit of local children. No registration required. This group does not meet when the library is closed for Tuesday holidays.

‘Morocco to Turkey:
A Photographic Journey’

On display through Aug. 28. The Oresman Gallery at the Larchmont Public Library is pleased to announce a new exhibit of photography by local filmmaker and photographer Grannell Knox. The exhibit is free and open to the public. For more information about Grannell Knox, visit grannellknox.com.

LMCTV

Internship program

LMCTV is offering an internship program for interested and qualified students from neighboring area schools. The program includes training in field and studio television production, development of documentary video and news projects. The program provides training in Final Cut Pro, and creates promotional clips for series shows, station promos and public service announcements. Interns can learn hands-on production techniques by assisting with the production of existing shows.

‘The Local Live!’

Tune in to LMCTV’s hyperlocal, interactive news show Thursday nights at 7:30 p.m. on Cablevision Channel 75, Verizon Channel 36. During the show, join the discussion. Call 381-0150, email thelocallive@lmctv.org or tweet @thelocallive.

At Home on the Sound

Be Sure Your Medications
Aren’t Clashing

Thanks to At Home on the Sound, Dr. Lilit Smith, pharmacist at Greenwich Hospital, will present a free, useful program on how and why drugs interact. On Tuesday, July 28, she will offer guidance on how to avoid adverse reactions between medications, drugs and food. Common prescriptions such as Coumadin, as well as over-the-counter drugs like Tylenol will be discussed. Bring your questions for Dr. Smith, who has been a pharmacist at several hospitals in Connecticut. Refreshments served at 3:30 p.m.; program begins at 4 p.m. at the Larchmont Avenue Church, 60 Forest Park Ave. Enter by the door at Wendt Avenue.

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:

Wednesday, July 29 from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m., Columbia Engine and Hose Company 2, 601 N Barry Ave., Mamaroneck.

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.

 
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What’s going on in Harrison

Harrison library events 

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.

West Harrison library events

Mommy & Me Yoga

Come and participate in a special yoga class with your baby. Mats and blankets will be provided or you may bring your own. For babies under 12 months and their mother or caregiver. In the Children’s Room. Open to all. On Tuesday, July 28, from 11 a.m. to noon. Call 948-2092 to sign up or for more information.

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.

Train Time

Choo-Choo! Come and play with Thomas and friends using sets of toy trains for everyone to enjoy on Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to noon.

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.

Crochet and knitting class

Come anytime between 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. on Saturdays to knit and/or crochet, meet new friends, share your skills and knowledge and have a good time. No registration needed, walk-ins are welcome. Bring hooks, needles and yarn or practice with ours. Call 948-2092 for more information.

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.

Mahjong class

Learn mahjong at the West Harrison Library every Wednesday afternoon from 1:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. Classes for beginners and people who need to refresh their skills. For more information, visit the library or call 948-2092.

Summer Concert Series

Jackie DiMaggio and Christopher Macchio are leading a party on Halstead Avenue and First Street on Wednesday, July 29.

On Thursday, July 30, Hindenburg, a Led Zeppelin tribute, will have a concert on the West Harrison Village Green.

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

Harrison Recreation

TGA Golf Camp

There’s still time to learn how to play golf with Coach Paul over the summer. All equipment is provided. Program is on Wednesdays through Aug. 19 from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Veteran’s Memorial Park, located at 100 Crystal St. Price is $329. Registration is done online at playtga.com/southernwestchester. For questions call Sean Rivera at 685-1961 or email srivera@playtga.com.

Lap swimming

Enjoy swimming laps at the Brentwood Pool during the weekday mornings and evenings until Aug. 17 from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. and from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Must have a 2015 Harrison recreation ID card or a senior ID card to participate.

US Sports Institute

Camp and classes for boys and girls of all abilities ages 3 through 14. There are day and evening classes, plus full days and half days. The full schedule and specific programs can be found online at USsportsinstitute.com or call 866-345-BALL (345-2255). All registration is done online.

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 per 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.

Summer baseball camp

For kids entering grades K to seven in the fall. Served by the outstanding leadership of longtime 21CS camp director and NCAA assistant coach Josh Cuozzo, the camp program promises to be a child-centered baseball experience that seeks to maximize the development of players’ skills and knowledge of the game.

Open to kids entering grades K through 7 in the fall. Camp meets Monday through Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the West Harrison Park Turf, Aug. 10 to Aug. 13, rain date is Friday, Aug. 14. Camp fee is $315, available discounts can lower price to $245. Discounts apply for siblings, children who have attended a 21CS camp or clinic in 2014 and multi-week campers who have attended other nearby 21CS camps during the summer of 2015. To register or for additional camp details, visit 21CSonline.com. All registration occurs online.

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.

South East Consortium

The Harrison Recreation Department is a member of the South East Consortium for Special Services, Inc., a nonprofit organization that provides year-round therapeutic recreation programs for children and adults with disabilities. South East offers a variety of programs and activities designed to develop physical, social, cognitive and emotional skills. These programs and services are open to all residents in the member communities. Children and adults are also allowed to participate in the regular recreation programs if some accommodations are made in cooperation with SEC on a case-by-case basis. For more information regarding inclusion programs, contact the SEC at 698-5232 or visit secrec.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:

Wednesday, July 29, 3 p.m. to 8 p.m., Columbia Engine and Hose Company 2, 601 N Barry Ave., Mamaroneck.

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.

 
WGO

What’s going on in Rye

Rye Free Reading Room events

Family Fun Nights at the Library

The Rye Free Reading Room has planned a series of Family Fun Nights for children age 5 and up and their grown-ups on Thursday evenings at 6 p.m. throughout the summer. All pertain to the Summer Reading Program’s theme “Every Hero Has a Story” and feature presentations, films and entertainment with a superhero focus.

On July 30, pop artist Michael Albert leads a workshop that will have children creating super-ific collages to decorate their own super lairs. Pre-registration begins on July 23.

Animal Embassy brings in live “Heroes of the Animal Kingdom” on Aug. 6 and explains how animals benefit from each other. One example is the burrow a tortoise makes that becomes home for many other animals and insects. Pre-registration begins on July 30.

For more information about these programs, visit ryelibrary.org.

Yoga Storytime

Master Storytime Yoga teacher Elisha Simpson will take children on a journey of exploration through body and word on July 25 at 11 a.m. as she accompanies folktales from around the world with yoga exercises to give audience members a way to connect and discover their inner world of creativity, body and imagination. Following the stories, there will be a simple related craft. Visit ryelibrary.org or call 231-3162 for more information.

Insects and butterflies

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 Friday, July 31 at 4 p.m. This session will focus on insects and butterflies. Visit ryelibrary.org for more information and to sign up. Pre-registration is required and opens on Friday, July 24, one week before the program.

Rockin’ Readers Book chats

The Rye Free Reading Room invites students entering second and third grade to read and talk about “Ivan: The Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla” by Katherine Applegate on Saturday, July 25. The next book on the list is “Tuesday Tucks Me In: The Loyal Bond Between a Soldier and His Service Dog” by Luis Carlos Montalvan, which will be discussed on Saturday, Aug. 22.

The Rockin’ Readers Book Chats, led by the children’s librarian, begins at 3 p.m. and includes a discussion, games and refreshments. To participate, sign up online at ryelibrary.org. Go to Programs and Events, choose the event and click on the “Register” button. Then pick up copies of the books in the Children’s Room. For more information, call 231-3162.

Spin-A-Yarn

An open to the public needle work and fabric arts get-together on Tuesdays from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Bring your own project and supplies and work and chat.

Wiggle, Giggle Time

Music and movement for ages 18 months to 4 on Wednesdays and Fridays at 9:30 a.m., 10:15 a.m. and 11 a.m. for 20 minutes in the Meeting Room. Participation from parents and caregivers is encouraged. As space is limited, you may attend one session per day. Doors close five minutes after the program begins to avoid interruptions. Call the Children’s Reference Desk at 231-3162 for more information.

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.

Estate planning for seniors

Pat Micek, Esq., of McMillan, Constabile, Maker & Perone, LLP, will address estate planning for seniors 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 in plain language with no legalese. For more information, visit ryelibrary.org or call 231-3161.

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 needed 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.

Playland Park

Milt Gerver Big Band Orchestra

See The Milt Gerver Orchestra and vocalists perform on Fridays, July 24 and 31 and 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.

Read Wildlife Sanctuary

On Saturday, July 25, children ages 9 and up can learn to use a compass to find their way. Orienteering for children will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Call 967-8720 for more information.

International Friendship Day

On Sunday, Aug. 2, celebrate Friendship Day with Playland 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.

Wine tasting and synagogue tour 

Join Congregation Emanu-El of Westchester for a summer whites wine tasting conducted by the experts from Westchester Wine Warehouse on Thursday, July 30 at 7 p.m.

Stay for wine and cheese, tour the synagogue with Rabbi Howard Goldsmith, ask questions and get to know current congregants in a relaxing social atmosphere. This event is geared for prospective members and friends. Babysitting services are available upon request. The synagogue is located at 2125 Westchester Ave. East in Rye. To RSVP, email alevitt@congregationemanuel.org, or call 967-4382 ext. 11.

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.

RENDERING

4 stories to replace 3 Jalapeños

If approved, the development project for the 3 Jalapeños lot would transform the property into a  four-story, mixed-use building with 21 residential units and retail space on the ground floor.  Rendering courtesy Comstock Residential Contracting

If approved, the development project for the 3 Jalapeños lot would transform the property into a
four-story, mixed-use building with 21 residential units and retail space on the ground floor.
Rendering courtesy Comstock Residential Contracting

By JACKSON CHEN
The long-dilapidated 3 Jalapeños building on Mamaroneck Avenue is making steps toward improvement as its site plan goes through the Village of Mamaroneck’s lengthy approval process. 

The site plan, which was designed by the project architect Gregg DeAngelis, went in front of the village’s Planning Board for the third time on July 8. The board, which is serving as the lead agency for the project, has provided several suggestions to both DeAngelis and Paul Noto, the attorney representing the owners of the property, Comstock Residential Contracting, LLC.

With some adjustments stemming from the Planning Board meetings, the 20,000-square-foot development proposal is for a mixed-use, four-story building with retail space on the ground floor and 21 residential units on the top three floors. According to the proposal, the units will be split up into nine one-bedroom units and 12 two-bedroom units, with 33 parking spaces. Within the 33 spots, nine of them are designated parking spots for the nearly 3,000-square-foot retail space.

During the July 8 meeting, the Planning Board focused mostly on the project’s parking configuration, which details nine spaces for the retail portion and the remaining 21 for residential use.

“We’re still not happy with the parking plan,” said Stewart Sterk, chairman of the Planning Board, who felt there was a surplus of parking spaces for the proposal. Sterk added that he preferred a reduction of retail space or a reconfiguring of the unit spaces, rather than to impact the aesthetics of the plaza-style front of the building.

While the board continues to scrutinize several aspects of the project, they are mostly in favor of the development plan that also calls for the demolition of the decaying one-story building, which sits as the former home of Mexican restaurant, 3 Jalapeños. The defunct restaurant has stagnantly sat out of business for years after severe flood damage from Tropical Storm Irene in 2011.

The clashing, faded greens and reds of the building, located at 690 Mamaroneck Ave., greet many residents as they enter the village’s bustling downtown area. Serving as a reminder of the several instances of urban blight in the Washingtonville neighborhood of the village, the board aimed to improve this area with its recent passage of transit-oriented development, TOD, legislation. Passed in November 2014, the TOD aimed to rehabilitate the neglected areas near the Metro-North train station with redevelopment.

However, the TOD legislation was strongly opposed by some nearby residents for fear of worsening flood conditions. However, since its original iteration, the development proposal for the 3 Jalapeños lot would improve its storm water conditions compared to the current barren site, according to Noto.

Noto said the project will retain a lot of the incoming storm water and even reuse the water for irrigation. According to DeAngelis, the impervious surface of the lot would be reduced by 15 percent compared to the current abandoned lot.

Proposed as the first major development within the newly-defined TOD area, Noto said the finished project would really enhance the area with a mixed-use building. “I think it’s exactly what the trustees had envisioned when they developed the TOD zone,” Noto said.

In continuing the review process, the development proposal will go before the village’s Harbor and Coastal Zone Management Commission on July 15 for a preliminary review. Noto said there’s a possibility that the applicant will be back to the Planning Board by the end of July, and if not, it would be during meetings in September.

CONTACT: jackson@hometwn.com

 
HAMPSHIRE1

Hampshire submits third development proposal

HAMPSHIRE1

Hampshire Country Club has submitted a third development proposal for 105 residential units. This time, however, the proposal is removed from the Marine Recreation Zone portion of the club.Photo/Jackson Chen

By JACKSON CHEN
After the Village of Mamaroneck Board of Trustees declined to consider two contentious development plans from Hampshire Country Club, the club has submitted a third, more zoning-compliant, plan.

The county club, located at 1025 Cove Road, proposed a new development plan that includes the construction of 105 residential units split up into 44 single-family residences and 61 townhouses.

The plan, which was submitted on June 26, was before the village’s Planning Board on July 8 as a preliminary project proposal. Still, the introductory meeting caught the attention of several residents who voiced their concerns about density and flooding.

A sharp contrast with the club’s most recent proposal shows that the construction of the 105-unit complex would fall under the R-20 zone of the village, which is considered a one-family residential district, according to village code. Hampshire’s 106-acre property is largely located within the R-20 zone, but also has 4.4 acres in the village’s Marine Recreation Zone.

In the past, the club’s condominium developments were designed for the 4.4-acre area within the  marine zone, which is strictly limited to waterfront recreational activities and prohibits the construction of residential structures.

When the club submitted its previous development proposals, nearby residents led by Celia Felsher, president of the Mamaroneck Coastal Environment Coalition, openly voiced their disapproval of the zoning violation and potential environmental concerns the club would create.

When Hampshire submitted its original 121-unit development plan to the village, the Board of Trustees denied the club’s request in February 2014, and subsequently denied Hampshire’s revised plan of 96 units in June 2014.

As a result of Hampshire’s two previous proposals being shot down, the club filed a $55 million lawsuit against the village for what it alleges as “unlawful, discriminatory, capricious and vexatious conduct” in dealing with their prior development plans.

After scrapping the prior plans, Hampshire’s more recent development proposal was constructed with the assistance of Zarin and Steinmetz, a White Plains-based law firm, and engineers from VHB, a civil engineering consulting firm also in White Plains, to meet the village’s zoning stipulations, according to Thomas Nappi, Hampshire’s senior project manager.

“We were encouraged to submit a zoning-compliant plan and that’s what we’ve done,” Nappi said. “This plan includes only development where the zoning permits it.”

Nappi added that the approvals process where the plan moves through the village’s various land use boards is expected to last up to two years, but that the club would remain fully operational.

In terms of a response from the coalition, Nappi said, “I don’t know what to expect; we took their concerns under great consideration when we developed this new plan.”

When reviewing the new proposal, Felsher still contested that the condominiums were not right for the village. She added that the issues span from traffic congestion and exacerbating flooding concerns to acquiring a large amount of special permits to allow for construction.

When beginning the lengthy review process, the Planning Board made the motion to serve as the lead agency for approving the development plan during its July 8 meeting, alongside referring the proposal to the Westchester County Planning Board for additional review.

CONTACT: jackson@hometwn.com

 
The Rye City Council has established the city’s very first historic district in the downtown area, allowing tax exemptions for century-old properties. Photo/Jackson Chen

City creates first historic distric downtown

The Rye City Council has established the city’s very first historic district in the downtown area, allowing tax exemptions for century-old properties. Photo/Jackson Chen

The Rye City Council has established the city’s very first historic district in the downtown area, allowing tax exemptions for century-old properties. Photo/Jackson Chen

By JACKSON CHEN
History was just made and soon will be preserved as the Rye City Council has established the first historic district in the heart of downtown Rye. 

As a result of the city’s Landmarks Advisory Committee’s request, the council voted in favor of designating a large chunk of the city’s downtown area as a historic district during its July 8 meeting. But the creation of the district comes with certain amendments.

The idea of creating a historic district, which was first tackled by the council in April, allows certain properties to be deemed historic and finally able to take advantage of the lenient tax-exempt language that was added into the city code in December 2013.

“We’re out to preserve the historic character of this community,” said Maurio Sax, a member of the landmarks committee. “We’re bringing democracy to the neighborhoods…people have a say in what their neighborhoods are going to look like.”

The 2013 amendment, adopted under the former administration of Mayor Douglas French, a Republican, created a local law that provided historic property owners a 100 percent tax exemption for the first five years for any alterations or rehabilitations to their property. Generally, if any improvement work was done on a property, the property tax values would scale accordingly. With the new law in place, historic properties would only have to pay the full amount of property taxes after 10 years—0 percent for the first five years and then an additional 20 percent annually over the remaining five years—according to the code.

After a few months of council discussions and a historic district now in place, owners of certain properties within the downtown area could start claiming tax exemptions if they chose to renovate or repair their existing structures.

In making some amendments to the district before its vote, the council decided to include a stipulation that buildings within the historic district would only be able to claim tax exemptions if they were at least 100 years old.

Additionally, Republican Deputy Mayor Laura Brett, who also serves as the liaison to the Landmarks Advisory Committee, proposed to limit the outline of the historic district to exclude Locust Avenue. For the historic district’s purposes, the council was only interested in providing tax exemptions to properties with historic significance that were close to the city’s downtown.

“If we exclude Locust from this…we just exclude a small portion of the district where it doesn’t really contribute to the character of the downtown,” Brett said.

As for the properties that have yet to surpass a century’s time, Jack Zahringer, chairman of the landmarks committee, said they could claim tax exemptions for the structural improvements by going through an approvals process.

Zahringer added the properties under 100 years of age would require a proposal from the landmarks committee and eventually approval from the City Council. However, according to the committee’s survey, more than 51 buildings in the downtown district already meet the 100-year stipulation.

“Basically you walk up and down Purchase Street, we want to save most of everything,” Zahringer said, describing properties like the iconic T.D.’s Rye Smoke Shop and the Weichert Realtors building on the corner of Purchase Street and Theodore Fremd Avenue.

According to Zahringer, the genesis of the historic district proposal began with the troubling financial future of the smoke shop. After years of economic hardships, the 90-year-old store on the corner of Purchase Street and Elm Place was ready to go out of business. In response to the shop’s struggles, the committee looked for ways to make ends meet for iconic properties in the downtown area.

While looking for solutions, the committee found similar legislation that was passed in Ithaca, N.Y., approximately 10 years ago. Ithaca’s iteration served as an example for Rye’s own historic district laws by providing a model of tax exemptions.

Zahringer said even with a decade of Ithaca’s historic district exemptions on the books, he estimated that about 10 properties claimed tax exemptions.

In bringing a historic district to Rye, Brett said the law would provide “a really good blueprint for how communities and neighborhoods can move forward in terms of defining what a historic building is within a proposed district.”

While Zahringer and the committee’s survey included more than 50 properties that are over 100 years old, he said that he expects to see maybe one application a year for a historic property looking for tax exemptions.

CONTACT: jackson@hometwn.com