Author Archives: news

The City of New Rochelle was reauthorized this year to implement a 3 percent hotel occupancy tax on patrons. As a result, the city collects approximately $300,000 annually in tax from its area hotels like the Radisson, pictured. Photo courtesy radisson.com

Legislature re-ups hotel tax; boutique inn in the works

The City of New Rochelle was reauthorized this year to implement a 3 percent hotel occupancy tax on patrons. As a result, the city collects approximately $300,000 annually in tax from its area hotels like the Radisson, pictured. Photo courtesy radisson.com

The City of New Rochelle was reauthorized this year to implement a 3 percent hotel occupancy tax on patrons. As a result, the city collects approximately $300,000 annually in tax from its area hotels like the Radisson, pictured. Photo courtesy radisson.com

By CHRIS EBERHART
In a stunning, last-minute change of heart, the New York state Senate passed hotel occupancy tax bills for six Westchester communities, including several towns and villages, after years of unsuccessfully trying to petition the state for the tax.

The Westchester municipalities that already had the hotel tax in place, including New Rochelle, which secured the tax back in 2009, were reauthorized by the state. The authorization has a sunset clause requiring communities to reapply for the tax every
three years.

Historically, the hotel occupancy tax bills, which impose a 3 percent charge on hotel occupants within a municipality’s borders on top of a 3 percent Westchester County hotel tax that is already in place, passed in the Democratic-led state Assembly but were repeatedly shot down by the Republican-controlled Senate because of a reluctance to institute a new tax.

But during this legislative session, under the new leadership of Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, a Bronx Democrat, and Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan, a Huntington Republican, the Senate changed its longstanding policy and passed a number of new taxes, including a hotel occupancy tax for Westchester communities and three upstate counties.

State Assemblywoman Amy Paulin, a Scarsdale Democrat, said the hotel tax approvals for county governments opened the door for the possibility of a hotel tax in the local Westchester municipalities.

A group of four Democratic Assemblymembers—Paulin, Steve Otis, of Rye, Tom Abinanti, of Greenburgh, and David Buchwald, of White Plains—pushed Heastie to intervene on their behalf and urge the Senate to pass
the bills.

“There was drama all day,” Paulin said. “It was late in the legislative session—I’d say around 10 [p.m.] or so—when we found out the bills passed the Senate. It’s hard to know what changed their minds, but I know a lot of calls were made. A lot of pressure was put on the leaders.”

When asked if the change in regimes from former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, a Manhattan Democrat, and Dean Skelos, a Rockville Centre Republican, to Heastie and Flanagan had anything to do with the bills passing, Paulin said, “There’s no question.”

Cities such as New Rochelle, Rye, White Plains and the Village of Rye Brook are among the other municipalities in Westchester that already impose the tax on hotel patrons.

In 2011, Rye Brook set the precedent as the only non-city to secure the tax. White Plains, New Rochelle and Rye annually collect approximately $1 million, $300,000 and $150,000 annually in hotel taxes, respectively, while Rye Brook collects approximately $630,000 annually.

New Rochelle has two hotels within its city limits: the Residence Inn Marriott on LeCount Place and the Radisson at 1 Radisson Plaza, with plans in the works for a third.

New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson, a Democrat, said a new Vib Hotel, which is Best Western’s boutique brand, is “likely coming to downtown New Rochelle” on Church Street. Bramson said the hotel would be an eight-story structure with 80 rooms and could generate “tens of thousands of dollars” in hotel taxes to the city.

“This [is] an enormously positive addition to the downtown,” Bramson said, “and an indicator that the development community and investors see great opportunity in our downtown.”

CONTACT: christopher@hometwn.com

 
The Rye City Council is revisiting a rezoning proposal for the property at 120 Old Post Road, after receiving the Planning Commission’s recommendations. File photo

Old Post Road rezoning revisited by council

The Rye City Council is revisiting a rezoning proposal for the property at 120 Old Post Road, after receiving the Planning Commission’s recommendations. File photo

The Rye City Council is revisiting a rezoning proposal for the property at 120 Old Post Road, after receiving the Planning Commission’s recommendations. File photo

By JACKSON CHEN
A proposed development project for 120 Old Post Road is being presented to the Rye City Council again after it received recommendations from the city’s Planning Commission.

The project, which aims to create a 135-unit, age-restricted, four-story housing complex, is seeking a zoning change from the council in order to move forward. The 120 Old Post Road lot is currently located within the B-4 zone that restricts properties to office building use. However, the three-story office building currently at the site has remained vacant and has continued to depreciate in market value since 2009, according to Jonathan Kraut, the attorney representing the project applicant and current owner, Old Post Road Associates.

“We’ve continued efforts to use or rent the property as it’s presently configured and the prospects have just not been forthcoming,” Kraut said. “It’s not a building that lends itself to multi-tenant use and a single-tenant use is just not happening.”

In a proposal that aims to maximize the potential of the site, Kraut proposed the creation of a RA-6 zone, which allows for active senior residential housing, and a rezoning of the 120 Old Post Road property.

The City Council, acting as the lead agency that determines the project’s environmental review, had several questions regarding an indirect impact on the city’s schools, the opportunity for a percentage of units to be considered affordable housing and the visual impacts of a new structure. While there are no current plans included in the proposal for affordable housing, the council asked Kraut to return with an opinion of the project accommodating a 10 percent portion of the residential units that would be deemed affordable housing.

Otherwise, one of the major concerns from the council was the increase in traffic since there would be an influx of residents in that area compared to the currently empty office building.

However, this isn’t the first time the applicant has requested a zoning change from the council. Kraut and other representatives of the project appeared before the council in October 2014, and they were ultimately deferred to the Planning Commission for its recommendations.

The commission submitted advisory opinions to the council on May 5, giving its recommendations on zoning standards ranging from the use of the property to the suggested amount and type of parking availability.

According to the commission’s recommendations, the land use board was in favor of age-restricted and multi-family use units. Many neighboring communities such as Rye Brook and Harrison have already amended their office space zones to be retooled for residential use. Additionally, the commission recommended there be a parking requirement of 1.5 spaces per unit, if the proposal remains at the one and two-bedroom unit configuration. Even with the commission’s detailed recommendations, the council had many questions of its own that are expected to be answered by the project’s team.

The 120 Old Post Road project will be in front of the council again during its Aug. 5 meeting.

CONTACT: jackson@hometwn.com

 
Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino will now be required to submit his annual budget a month earlier after a public referendum on Election Day approved pushing the timeline back. File photo

Astorino suffers setback in housing bout

Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino suffered a blow in his fight against HUD over affordable housing.  File Photo

Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino suffered a blow in his fight against HUD over affordable housing. File Photo

By CHRIS EBERHART
Recent momentum for Republican Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino in his fight against the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development over affordable housing came to a screeching halt during a U.S. Supreme Court decision made in late June. 

On June 25, the court made a ruling on a Texas affordable housing case in a 5-4 decision in favor of HUD and disparate impact, which says housing discrimination doesn’t have to be intentional in order to be illegal, which will set a precedent for future affordable housing cases, such as Westchester County’s case.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, who wrote the opinion of the court, said disparate impact claims are consistent with the central purpose of the Fair Housing Act which outlawed the refusal to sell or rent a dwelling to any person based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin.

“[Law]suits targeting unlawful zoning laws and other housing restrictions that unfairly exclude minorities from certain neighborhoods without sufficient justification are at the heartland of disparate-impact liability,” Kennedy wrote. “Recognition of disparate-impact liability under the Fair Housing Act plays an important role in uncovering discriminatory intent.”

Charles McNally, an HUD spokesperson, said, “Today is another important step in the long march toward fulfilling one of our nation’s founding ideals: equal opportunity for all Americans.”

“The Supreme Court has made it clear that HUD can continue to use this critical tool to eliminate the unfair barriers that have deferred and derailed too many dreams,” McNally said. “Working with our partners on the ground, we will continue to do all we can to build a housing market that treats all Americans with basic dignity and respect.”

Although the Supreme Court case was about the final appeal of a Texas court case—Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project, a Dallas-based group advocating integrated housing—the impact will be felt in Westchester.

In Westchester County, a 2009 affordable housing settlement between former County Executive Andy Spano, a Democrat, and HUD, required the county to build 750 units over a seven-year period, complete an analysis of impediments—a review of the barriers that prevent affordable housing—and promote fair housing practices.

The analysis of impediments includes two analyses, both completed by federal housing monitor Jim Johnson who was appointed to oversee the implementation of the settlement, that rely on disparate impact to show evidence of exclusionary zoning in Westchester municipalities based on socio-economic factors and race, respectively. Under the Berenson analysis, seven municipalities in the county were deemed to have exclusionary zoning. Under the Huntington analysis, six municipalities were identified.

Since taking over the county executive position in 2010, Astorino has repeatedly denied the existence of exclusionary zoning in Westchester and has been at odds with HUD over the implementation of the affordable housing settlement. To date, the county has passed a source of income legislation and is on pace to fulfill the 750-unit mark on time. But the one sticking point that has remained is HUD’s unwillingness to accept any of the eight analyses of impediments submitted by the Astorino administration.

The standoff resulted in approximately $23 million worth of withheld federal grant money from the county for 2011 to 2014 that goes toward building affordable housing and revitalizing neighborhoods that are not in compliance with the settlement.

And prior to last month’s ruling, Astorino had been gaining momentum over the past nine months in this legal battle with HUD.

In a decision made on Nov. 3, 2014, U.S. District Judge Richard Leon said plaintiffs in affordable housing cases must show that racial segregation within zoning laws was intentional and arguments in favor of the contrary “appear to be nothing more than wishful thinking on steroids.”

“This is yet another example of an administrative agency trying desperately to write into law that which Congress never intended to sanction,” Leon wrote in his decision against disparate impact. “It is nothing less than an artful misinterpretation of Congress’s intent.”

Next came Westchester’s victory in its attempt to recover the withheld grant money.

On Feb. 18, 2015, a federal appeals court overturned a lower court’s decision stating that HUD’s rejections of the county’s analyses of possible zoning discrimination in its municipalities and subsequent withholding of grant money for fair housing are not subject to judicial review.

The ruling allows the county and Astorino to pursue its case to recapture $752,844 in 2011 federal grant money, which is what hasn’t been re-allocated of the $7.4 million from the 2011 community development block grant funding that was administered to the county by HUD.

In March, the county’s existing lawsuit was amended to include the $16 million in grant money already lost from fiscal years 2012, 2013 and 2014.

But after the June court decision to uphold disparate impact, the job of county attorneys became that much more difficult.

CONTACT: christopher@hometwn.com

 
New Rochelle’s Jake Gallin, 13, was recently recognized for his work on behalf of military families. Contributed photo

Local teen named one of top youth volunteers

New Rochelle’s Jake Gallin, 13, was recently recognized for his work on behalf of military families. Contributed photo

New Rochelle’s Jake Gallin, 13, was recently recognized for his work on behalf of military families. Contributed photo

State Sen. Andrea Stewart-Cousins, the Senate Democratic leader, recognized Jake Gallin, 13, of New Rochelle for being named as one of America’s top 10 youth volunteers by the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards for his volunteer work on behalf of military families.

Gallin was nominated by Volunteer New York and selected by the Prudential Foundation as a National Honoree from a field of more than 33,000 youth volunteers from across the country.

“Jake Gallin’s efforts to recognize the sacrifices made by military families, whether they have a loved one serving in the military currently, or have lost a family member who made the ultimate sacrifice, is exemplary” said Stewart-Cousins. “He continues to volunteer his time, to raise money and awareness with his ‘Stars for Cars’ initiative, and as a result, he has received well-deserved national, and now state recognition.”

The seventh grader at the Albert Leonard Middle School in New Rochelle created “Stars for Cars,” a fundraising and outreach initiative for military families. Gallin has raised more than $19,000 for the United Service Organization, USO, by selling star-shaped magnets for cars that honor military families at starsforcars.org.

Gallin thanked Stewart-Co-
usins for the honor. “It was great—a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I was so glad to be there, to take part in it. I’m so grateful,” he said.

Gallin’s parents, Ally and Tom, accompanied him. Mr. Gallin said, “It’s another milestone for Jake and another platform for Jake to get his message out.”

Gallin’s inspiration for the initiative occurred in 2011, when he was 8 years old. He was watching a TV talk show, and heard First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden, the vice president’s wife, talking about the needs of military families. Teresa Arciola of Elmsford, a Gold Star mother who lost her son, Michael, in Iraq in 2005, was also on the program.

Gallin will tell you that Obama reminded the audience that 1 percent of our country is protecting the other 99 percent. He took it to heart, and started “Stars for Cars” to raise awareness for the sacrifices military families make here at home while a loved one is serving in the military, a Blue Star family, or is lost while serving in the military, a Gold Star family.

Gallin has also reached out to schools across New York state to make the “3 Holidays Announcements,” on Memorial Day, Veterans Day and Sept. 11, also known as Patriot Day.

The message is, “We take this time to remember our ‘Blue and Gold Star’ military families and thank them for their sacrifice and generosity, and we want them to know that we are part of their community.”

More than 100 schools and districts in New York have signed on to make these public announcements. Stewart-Cousins delivered the Veteran’s Day announcement with Gallin at his school last November.

Gallin plans to donate the personal award of $5,000 to Volunteer New York and another $5,000 grant he also got from the Prudential Foundation to the USO.

The Prudential Spirit of Community awards is a national youth recognition program sponsored by Prudential Financial in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals. (Submitted)

 
Day campers from Beth El Synagogue Center offer up some peach salsa to patrons at the New Rochelle Farmers Market.

City cooks up fresh food at farmers market

New Rochelle Mayor Mayor Noam Bramson, Frankie Rowland of Down to Earth Markets, and community advocates cut the ribbon to celebrate market season.

New Rochelle Mayor Mayor Noam Bramson, Frankie Rowland of Down to Earth Markets, and community advocates cut the ribbon to celebrate market season.

By NICOLE REED
A firetruck pulled up to the New Rochelle Farmers Market on North Avenue on Friday, July 17. The men hopped off and surveyed the scene. Instead of fighting a fire, New Rochelle’s bravest were there to buy fresh fruit and vegetables for the firehouse. As one of the firefighters explained, “It used to be stereotypical that the guys ate bad food, but that’s changed. It’s a younger generation in the firehouse and these guys are health conscious. Now we’re eating healthy and staying healthy. Everything here is always fresh. It’s great that the farmers market is in our backyard.” 

Day campers from Beth El Synagogue Center offer up some peach salsa to patrons at the New Rochelle Farmers Market.

Day campers from Beth El Synagogue Center offer up some peach salsa to patrons at the New Rochelle Farmers Market.

 

The vendors and customers who stopped by the farmer’s market that Friday were accompanied by New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson and community advocates for a ribbon cutting ceremony.

Vendors featured at the market include Alex’s Tomato Farm, Dagele Brothers Produce, Meredith’s Country Bakery and the most recent addition: The Cheese Guy. The farmers are from New York state and sell non-GMO produce. The market’s baker brings savory breads and sweet treats to the table, including a line of gluten-free products.

Last Friday, The Cheese Guy, Brent Delman, debuted his goods at the market. According to Delman, he is one of only about a dozen kosher cheese makers in the United States.

Delman, raised in an Italian area outside of Cleveland, Ohio, grew up with a love for cheeses and spent years using his marketing skills to promote specialty food companies. Along the way, his esteem for tradition grew.

“As I got older, tradition became more important to me, from the tradition of handmade cheese to the tradition of keeping a kosher home,” he said.

Then he went to the island of Sardinia in Italy.

“A lot of things came together for me there,” he said. “I love sheep milk cheeses. On Sardinia, their sheep graze in the fields and eat naturally. I learned how to make a sheep milk cheese in this setting.”

When Delman traveled to Italy, he met a farmer whose knowledge was invaluable to The Cheese Guy. When crafting cheese, makers use rennet, a mix of enzymes added to milk to catalyze the curding process. As is custom, the rennet comes from the lining of a calf’s stomach. This method, however, does not meet kosher requirements. The farmer Delman met in Sardinia was willing to use a microbial culture as a replacement for the animal-based rennet.

“Then I was able to use traditional methods and my cheeses could become kosher,” Delman said.

Brent Delman, also known as The Cheese Guy, offers customers samples. Photos/Nicole Reed

Brent Delman, also known as The Cheese Guy, offers customers samples. Photos/Nicole Reed

Vendors at the New Rochelle Farmers Market range in age, and include campers from the Beth El Synagogue Center, also known as the Stars and the Astros, who use inspiration from the farmers’ produce to create a fresh recipe for customers. Recently, they have been offering tastes of homemade peach salsa, and will be cooking up culinary creations from 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. now through Friday, Aug. 14.

The New Rochelle Farmers Market, located on North Avenue at Huguenot Park, in front of New Rochelle High School, is managed by Down to Earth Farmers Markets and is open every Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. through Nov. 20.

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

 
WGO

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.

 
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.

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.

 
WGO

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.