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WGO

What’s going on in Mamaroneck 12-11-2015

Mamaroneck Public Library

Visit mamaronecklibrary.org for more information on events and programs.

All ages story and craft hour

On Saturdays from 11 a.m. to noon in the Children’s Room on the second floor. No registration required. There will be stories that will appeal to kids of all ages and their caregivers, and a craft simple enough for the little kids and creative enough for the big kids.

De-stress and self-express

This activity, held on Monday, Dec. 14 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Community Room in the lower level, involves coloring for adults ages 18 and older. The library will provide music and calming adult coloring books with intricate designs. Refreshments will also be served.

Teacher in the library

On Mondays and Wednesdays from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. through Dec. 21. Need homework help? Come visit the teacher in the library in the Homework Room on the second floor. For children in kindergarten through grade five.

Information session: ‘Do You Need Health Insurance?’

Make an appointment with a one-on-one information session with a Westchester County health department navigator, who will be in the library’s Tech Room on Wednesdays from 3:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Representatives will answer questions about health insurance-related topics, including essential plans, Medicaid, Child Health Plus and health coverage for business owners’ employees. Clients should be prepared with their Social Security numbers, documents for legal immigrants, birth dates, employer and income information and insurance policy numbers. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call the Westchester County Department of Health at 813-5192. Appointments are available in English and in Spanish.

Free math study help

On Wednesdays from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the Teen Room on the lower level. Arithmetic got you down? Need some help with homework or maybe just a refresher? Former high school math teacher Lynne Prior will be on hand to answer any questions you may have about middle and high school math.

English conversation group

On Wednesdays from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the Historical Society Room on the first floor. Make friends as you practice speaking English. Registration is suggested but not necessary. Contact the Adult Reference Desk or call 630-5887 for more information.

Crafternoons

On Thursday, Dec. 17 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the Community Room. Calling all yarn crafters. Come join library staff and friends who, like yourself, love to create beautiful things. Bring your current projects to work on, ideas to explore, and your best teaching skills so all can learn from and with each other.

Larchmont Public Library

The library will be closed for construction until the summer of 2016. Existing shelves will be moved to the Village Center and the Burchell Children’s Room will remain open. For more information about the library’s relocation, call the Reference Desk at 834-2281 ext. 3, email larchmontlibrary@hotmail.com, or visit larchmontlibrary.org.

‘A Christmas Carol’ reading

On Monday, Dec. 14 from 7 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. in the Michael P. Coords Activity Room. No registration required. Librarian Frank Connelly reads the timeless classic by Charles Dickens, “A Christmas Carol,” in what has become an annual tradition at the Larchmont Public Library. No holiday season can be complete without attending this performance.

Itty Bitty Babies

On Thursday, Dec. 17 from 11:30 a.m. to noon. For babies newborn to 5 months. Online registration required. Join us for nursery rhymes, songs, cuddles and books appropriate for the youngest of the young. Learn how to introduce your child to words and language by incorporating songs into all your routines such as bath time, diaper changes, getting into the car seat and naptime. Please bring a small blanket to lay your child on.

Stories for Mad Scientists:
Long Winter Naps

On Thursday, Dec. 17 from 4 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. For ages 5 to 7. A free ticket is required to attend this event. Tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis beginning at 3:30 p.m. on the day of the program.

Ready for a long winter’s nap? Come hear stories about bears that sleep all winter long. In this month’s “Stories for Mad Scientists,” learn about hibernation, perform an experiment that demonstrates how blubber and fat keep animals warm, and make your own little bear cave.

Rhythm and Rhyme for Babies

On Friday, Dec. 18 from 10:45 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. For ages 6 months to 17 months. Join in for an early literacy enhanced storytime with books, music, rhymes, cuddles and fun. Online registration is required and is limited to Larchmont library cardholders.

Village of Mamaroneck Committee for the Environment

New textiles recycling program

Got tattered towels, torn trousers, faded drapes, shabby shoes, old handbags, stained shirts, or socks with holes in them, all too grubby to donate to a charity? Don’t toss them in the trash. Drop them off in the Village of Mamaroneck’s new textiles recycling bin located in the parking lot of Toy Box at 300 W. Boston Post Road across from the West Basin. They’ll be transformed into useful products, lower our waste disposal costs and help the environment.

Village board and commission
volunteers needed

The Village Board of Trustees is requesting residents to volunteer for the boards and commissions. Boards, committees and commissions with openings are: Board of Architectural Review; Board of Traffic Commissioners; Budget Committee; Committee for the Environment; Arts Council; and Flood Mitigation Advisory Committee.

The village board is looking for people with interest in community service, and seek to expand the pool of volunteers and include people who have not volunteered before. Please send an email with a copy of your resume stating which board or committee you would like to serve on to clerktreasurer@vomny.org.

Community Resource Center

Winter coat drive

The CRC will be holding a winter coat drive for companies or families to drop off gently-used coats, especially those of youth sizes. Coats may be dropped off at 134 Center Ave. in Mamaroneck. For more information about the winter coat drive, call 835-1512.

Westchester Chorale

Messiah sing-along

On Saturday, Dec. 19 at 4 p.m. at Larchmont Avenue Church, 60 Forest Park Ave.

Who’s singing? You are, if you wish! Your $10 admission buys you a delightful holiday afternoon of singing with up to 400 fellow music lovers, as you perform together some of the most thrilling and beloved choruses ever composed: the Christmas portion and Hallelujah Chorus of “Handel’s Messiah.” It’s your ticket, too, for refreshments and the use of a rental score, although you may want to bring your own cherished, well-worn copy. For further information, visit WestchesterChorale.org or call 309-0279.

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

 
WGO

What’s going on in Harrison 12-11-2015

Harrison Public Library

Visit harrisonpl.org/events/harrison for more information on events and programs at the Halperin building, and harrisonpl.org/events/west-harrison for information on happenings at the West Harrison branch.

Cookie decorating for kids

On Saturday, Dec. 12 from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the West Harrison branch. This will be one of two sessions, the second taking place on Tuesday, Dec. 22 from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Both programs are open to children ages 4 to 9 and will take place in the Children’s Room. Children under 7 must be accompanied by an adult during the program. Children will decorate several holiday cookies with frosting, sprinkles, candy and many other goodies to take home or give as gifts. Registration is required to attend either session. Register online or call the library at 948-2092. Space is limited, so register now for some winter fun.

Classical Concerts: The Holidays

On Sunday, Dec. 13 from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Halperin building. This is the second part in the “Masters & Miniatures” classical music series presented by Vadim Ghin Music. Musicians include: Philip Wharton on violin; Steve Masi on piano; and Diana Petrella on clarinet.

Ghin studied and taught at Julliard School at New York University. Ghin authored an intermediate level piano instruction CD-ROM method which garnered acclaim from The Wall Street Journal, Clavier Magazine and American
Music Teacher Magazine
, among many others. He is the founder of Vadim Ghin Music, a nonprofit organization that provides free music education for its students.

Rohman Holidays: Paris and Beyond

On Monday, Dec. 14 from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. at the Halperin building. Imagine a series of one-day car trips north, west, south and east out of Paris. Discover what treasures are to be seen in “Paris and Beyond” in this month’s travel talk.

Your travel guide, Joy Rohman, a photographer and world traveler, has visited the seven continents and and more than 50 countries, spending almost one month in each destination. She works as a specialist counselor with American Express Travel since 1973. Rohman is recognized by Travel & Leisure magazine as one of the “125 Ultimate Travel Experts in America.”

Computer help for senior citizens

On Monday, Dec. 14 from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Halperin building. High school students will instruct senior citizens for community service. Learn the basics of the Internet, email, Word, photo saving and more—bring your questions. You can sign up online or by calling the library at 835-0324, or you can just show up.

Conversation Partners–Spanish

On Tuesday, Dec. 15 from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the West Harrison branch. Practice speaking Spanish with a patron volunteer. Registration is required online, or call the library at 948-2092. For adults.

Crochet and knitting class

On Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the West Harrison branch. Want to learn how to knit or crochet a simple scarf? Join the class. Bring hooks, needles and yarn or practice with materials provided by the library. Walk-ins are welcome.
No registration needed. Call 948-2092 for
more information.

Harrison Recreation

ID renewals

2016 ID cards and pool passes are now available as 2015
issues expire on Dec. 31. Please bring a picture ID and current utility bill with you when signing up at 1 Heineman Place in Harrison. Children will need a copy of a progress report or report card to receive their pass. Call
the Recreation Department at 670-3035 for
more information.

Write letters to Santa

Children of all ages who are residents of Harrison will have the opportunity to write letters to Santa from now until Friday, Dec. 18. All letters should include each child’s name and home address and should be addressed to the North Pole. Letters should be dropped off at the mailbox at the Sollazzo Center, located at 270 Harrison Ave., the Recreation Department at Town Hall located at 1 Heineman Place, or the Leo Mintzer Center located at 251 Underhill Ave. in West Harrison.

January basketball clinic registration

Registration ends on Thursday, Dec. 17 for a free basketball clinic starting Wednesday, Jan. 6 at the Sollazzo Center from 3:30 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. Children in second grade will develop the basics of basketball. Youth basketballs and nets will be provided for indoor play in this four-week clinic.

Floor hockey

This free, four-week-long activity will begin on Tuesday, Jan. 26 from 3:30 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. and is appropriate for children in first through fifth grades. Children in first and second grades will play on Tuesdays at the Sollazzo Center; children in second and third grades will play on Tuesdays at the Leo Mintzer Center; children in third, fourth and fifth grades will play on Wednesdays at the Sollazzo Center; and children in fourth and fifth grades will play on Wednesdays at the Leo Mintzer Center. New teams will be formed each week and children will learn general floor hockey skills and the rules of the game. Registration is underway. For more information or to register, call 670-3035.

February mini day camp registration

Sign your child up for a mini day camp that will be held Monday, Feb. 14 through Friday, Feb. 19 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Sollazzo Center. It will be a fun-filled week of day camp including arts and crafts, sports, games and special events during the winter recess. For grades one through four. Fee is $185 payable to the Town/Village of Harrison. Registration is ongoing.

Scarsdale Medical Group

Weight loss program and education sessions

Scarsdale Medical Group’s winter weight loss program and education sessions will begin in January. Facilitated by Scarsdale’s Nutrition Center, our team of experts will provide guidance during your weight loss journey.

The 10-week program will offer participants weekly weigh-ins, food and activity tracking logs, assistance in setting attainable goals, and a series of education topics that include: strategic snacking tips; dining out without disaster; emotional eating; savvy supermarket shopping; and essentials of an effective weight loss plan.

Day, evening and weekend sessions are available. The cost of the program is $250 and
online pre-registration is required. Spaces are limited. For more information or to reserve your
spot, please visit scarsdalemedical.com/nutrition or call 723-8100.

Westchester Philharmonic 

‘Winter Pops’

The Westchester Philharmonic presents “Winter Pops,” an annual holiday concert conducted by Ted Sperling, on Sunday, Dec. 20 at 3 p.m. in the Concert Hall at the Performing Arts Center at Purchase College. The concert will feature musical selections sung by Ashley Brown accompanied by an orchestra and pianist Joe Mohan. The program will include American songbook standards and holiday favorites. The event will be followed by a Pops After Party, which includes mingling with performers, hors d’oeuvres and a wine tasting. Tickets are $22 per person with a “Pops” ticket purchase. For more information or to purchase tickets, call the box office at 682- 3707 ext. 10 or visit westchesterphil.org.

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

 
WGO

What’s going on in Rye 12-11-2015

Frank Sinatra sings

Actor, singer and storyteller Lou Del Bianco will share his favorite songs from legendary singer Frank Sinatra on Saturday, Dec. 12 from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. in the Meeting Room. Come listen to some of the best tunes from the American songbook, including “Fly Me to the Moon” and “New York, New York.” Lou Del Bianco has performed all over the country, and his music video “A Little Bit Clumsy” is currently playing on the Learning Channel. He has traveled the Northeast as an artist in residence for 17 years and performed in San Diego at the International Reading Association’s annual convention.

Computer workshop

This computer workshop, held on Thursday, Dec. 17 from 10 a.m. to noon in the Raho Technology Center, will help participants navigate the new Internet browser installed on Windows 10 called Edge. Edge has a number of new features and a new appearance. Participants with a Windows 10-capable
laptop are welcome to bring their laptops with a fully-charged battery to work on. This workshop is taught by Mike Negrelli who has worked for IBM for 37 years. This workshop will operate on a first-come, first-served basis, and no advanced registration is required. For more information, call 967-0480.

Current Events Book Group

The Current Events Book Group will discuss Ari Shavit’s book “My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel” on Thursday, Dec. 17 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Ogden Nash Room. Shavit is a fervently patriotic Israeli with an abiding love for his nation’s history, and his brutally honest portrait of his homeland’s past and present dilemmas is especially poignant. The book group discussion will be moderated by John Dolan. This book club is free and open to the public. Reservations for this discussion are not required.

I-Read-A-Latte Tween Book Club

This Tween Book Club will discuss Karen Foxlee’s book “Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy” on Saturday, Dec. 19 from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the Ogden Nash Room. This book club is appropriate for students in grades five and six. Participants will discuss the book and enjoy snacks. The book is available to borrow at the library. Online registration for this event is suggested. For more information or to register online, visit reference@ryelibrary.org or call 967-0480.

Wainwright House

Conscious dance series

The last part of this five-part workshop will take place on Saturday, Dec. 12 from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. This workshop, taught by Cory Ethridge, will focus on the Nia technique, which is the art of movement, and combines energy styles from martial arts, dance and healing arts. This workshop will help participants get more in touch with their spines so they can increase mobility and stability. Participants are encouraged to wear comfortable exercise clothes during this workshop. Shoes are not required, and this workshop can be modified for participants with special needs. Individual workshop fees are $30 for Wainwright members and $33 for non-members. For more information or to register for the workshop, call 967-6080 or email registrar@wainwright.org.

Native American spirituality series

The last part of this four-part series, facilitated by Susan Wright, will be a two-part workshop and will take place on Saturday, Dec. 19. The first workshop will be from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., and the second workshop will be from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Both workshops will focus on working with the earth. The first workshop will allow participants to offer prayers to Mother Earth, and will open the space to the spirits of power animals to share their special abilities. The second workshop will focus on more advanced techniques about the sacredness of rocks, the earth and the spirit of animals. Participants will learn how to be more grounded and stable and think in more long-term, sustainable ways. Individual workshops on Dec. 19 cost $35 for Wainwright members and $40 for non-members and both workshops on Dec. 19 cost $60 for Wainwright members and $70 for non-members. For more information or to register for the workshop, call 967-6080 or email registrar@wainwright.org.

Winter Solstice celebration

Join the Wainwright House for a Winter Solstice celebration on Sunday, Dec. 20 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Wainwright House, located at 260 Stuyvesant Ave. in Rye. The evening will consist of a fire ceremony and drumming by Susan Wright. This evening will celebrate the ritual of the solstice and the connection to the sun. This event is free and open to the public, with a suggested donation of $10 per person. For more information, call 967-6080 or email registrar@wainwright.org.

 Rye Recreation 

Pancakes with Santa

Participants can enjoy a hot buffet breakfast and have their picture taken with Santa on Saturday, Dec. 12 at 10 a.m. at the Damiano Recreation Center. This event cost $15 per registrant with an additional $2 for non-Rye residents. Parents should also supply gifts for their child for Santa to distribute, valued under $20. Advanced registration for this event is required. For more information or to register for the event, call 967-2535.

Dear Santa

Children will be able to write letters to Santa until Sunday, Dec. 13, to be delivered to the North Pole via reindeer express. Letters with return addresses included can be dropped off in the mailbox at Rye Recreation, on the corner of Elm Place  and Purchase Street. Stamps are not necessary.

Rye Arts Center

Holiday concert and sing-along

Come hear a variety of traditional holiday favorites performed by music faculty and friends on Sunday, Dec. 13 at 3 p.m. This community event is free and open to the public. Hot chocolate and cookies will be served.

Rye TV

‘Sidewalks and Roads’

Kent Iarocci has a telecast, “Sidewalks and Roads,” on ryetv.org and it is an informative work. Visit the website for schedule listings and more information.

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.

 
Miller’s toy store in Mamaroneck utilizes a human feel to its service that keeps customers coming back, according to its owner Taka Andrews. Photos/Andrew Dapolite

Small businesses fight for relevance

Miller’s toy store in Mamaroneck utilizes a human feel to its service that keeps customers coming back, according to its owner Taka Andrews. Photos/Andrew Dapolite

Miller’s toy store in Mamaroneck utilizes a human feel to its service that keeps customers coming back, according to its owner Taka Andrews. Photos/Andrew Dapolite

Arcade Booksellers, one of several small businesses located on Purchase Street in Rye, has been in business for 33 years but has seen the consumer market shrink with the continual surge of online retail.

Arcade Booksellers, one of several small businesses located on Purchase Street in Rye, has been in business for 33 years but has seen the consumer market shrink with the continual surge of online retail.

By KILEY STEVENS
As holiday consumers increasingly turn to online shopping, local businesses are doubling down on what they do best: customer service, unique offerings and a sense of community in an attempt to stay relevant in the marketplace. 

In a recent survey conducted by the National Retail Federation, NRF, the average consumer says that nearly half of their shopping for this holiday season will be conducted on the Internet. And with the continuing strength of Black Friday and the emergence of Cyber Monday, the online buying spree, which celebrated its 10th anniversary this year, small businesses are finding it increasingly difficult to keep pace.

Taka Andrews, owner of Miller’s toy store in Mamaroneck, gives his customers what the online market can’t: that touch of personalized service. The family-operated toy store, which has been in Mamaroneck since 1948, doesn’t sell its products online and Andrews said there’s much more than just profits at stake.

“It’s important because local businesses support the local communities, and are integral in creating communities,” the business owner said. “To have a true sense of community, you need places to shop and retailers that support those communities to create a pleasant circle.”

Evidence suggests, however, that local communities are instead turning more and more to the Internet for conducting their shopping, instead of shopping locally.

According to another NRF survey, nearly 102 million people said they shopped in stores over the Thanksgiving weekend, while more than 103 million say they shopped online.

Such numbers threaten any small business, especially those that can’t seem to compete with online retail prices.

Patrick Corcoran, owner of Arcade Books in Rye, says websites like Amazon have made selling books a much harder task than it used to be. Corcoran’s bookstore, which has been in Rye for 33 years, offers 20 percent off all hardcover New York Times bestseller books. “Even that is not competing with Amazon,” Corcoran said.
In an age where online giants, like Amazon, have managed to push chain bookstores like Borders out of business, it’s a small miracle that independent bookstores like Arcade can stay afloat.

To be successful, Corcoran says he must stay relevant. “You need to have what the people want, or be able to get it,” Corcoran said. “So if somebody comes in for something that I should have, I can usually have it for them the next day.” Even Amazon’s Prime program, which offers two-day free shipping on most items with membership, can’t compete with that.

Andrews, too, recognizes that a large factor in decreased local patronage may be that consumers have become increasingly comfortable with shopping online, more at ease with technology and less afraid of fraud or identity theft.

“There’s a younger generation of customers who perhaps were raised with the Internet,” he said. “That sense of loyalty to local businesses has waned.”

Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, a Republican, tried to lend a hand with a press conference on Nov. 25 to implore county residents to shop locally at Value Drugs, a family-owned and operated store in Eastchester, among other locations. Astorino encouraged shoppers to get out and take a photo of their favorite store in Westchester, and then post it to social media, using #ShopLocal, to inspire other residents to shop locally.

Though Will Humphries, managing partner of Value Drugs, admits that staying competitive each year becomes increasingly difficult, he believes customers are trying more and more to shop local and that all six of the Value Drugs stores in Westchester, Long Island and New York City will have a positive holiday season.

“Especially in a community like Eastchester, where people feel a community and home spirit, they do their best,” Humphries said.

As far as the future of small businesses is concerned, Andrews believes it’s up to the consumer.

“We’ll eventually all be shopping only online if consumers don’t see the value of their communities,” Andrews said. Included in those communities, he adds, are families, schools, merchants and more. “Saving a few dollars online on everything you buy will certainly spell the end of that,” he said.

Contact: kiley@hometwn.com

 
A child makes a friend at the petting zoo at Mistletoe Magic on Sunday, Nov. 29.

Mistletoe Magic gives Rye some holiday cheer

local-summitw

Local Summit focuses on village development

New World Realty Advisors, LLC representatives Thomas Nappi, left, and Daniel Pfeffer describe the current development plan for Hampshire Country Club at the Local Summit’s breakfast program on Nov. 17.  Photo/John Gitlitz

New World Realty Advisors, LLC representatives Thomas Nappi, left, and Daniel Pfeffer describe the current development plan for Hampshire Country Club at the Local Summit’s breakfast program on Nov. 17.
Photo/John Gitlitz

By Linnet Tse
Addressing a packed room at the Local Summit’s breakfast program in Mamaroneck on Nov. 17 were representatives from the Village of Mamaroneck and from New World Realty Advisors, LLC, the organization responsible for managing the redevelopment of Hampshire Country Club. Village Manager Richard Slingerland, accompanied by Bob Galvin, village planner, and Greg Cutler, assistant village planner, provided an overview of the development projects currently underway in the Village of Mamaroneck, including Hampshire Country Club. Daniel Pfeffer and Thomas Nappi, from New World Realty Advisors, LLC, provided details on their current plan to redevelop Hampshire.

While the proposed redevelopment of Hampshire has received a lot of attention due in part to the opposition by certain community groups, few audience members were aware of the other potentially influential development projects currently underway in the Village of Mamaroneck.

First, Slingerland reviewed recently-implemented zoning amendments intended to encourage development consistent with the village’s comprehensive plan update adopted in February 2012. The main amendments include Transit-Oriented Development and Library Lane. The Transit-Oriented Development, TOD, change was passed in November 2014, and was created  to revitalize the area on Mamaroneck Avenue west of the train tracks. TODs aim to create mixed-use residential and commercial space near active train stations and promote reduced reliance on personal automobiles and are currently in effect in Bronxville, Mount Kisco, Pelham and Scarsdale.

Library Lane is a proposal to rezone the west side of Library Lane from C-1 (general commercial) to C-2 (downtown commercial), consistent with the east side of the road. Five properties on the west side of Library Lane would be affected, but the impact is expected to be minimal.

The current Hampshire proposal calls for eliminating the golf course, and adding 44 single-family homes and 61 townhouses scattered throughout the 116-acre property, most of which lies in the Village of Mamaroneck; however, Dan Pfeffer explained that New World Realty Advisors’, NWRA, plans for Hampshire began differently.

Hampshire closed its doors because of financial problems in December 2009, and was sold to NWRA in June 2010 for $12.1 million. Pfeffer was quoted in a Larchmont Gazette article published in  June 2010 saying there were no immediate plans to turn the club into a housing development; instead it was being used for Mamaroneck High School’s golf team and charitable events.

Pfeffer said that after purchasing the club, NWRA planned on creating a “Country Club Community” that preserved the golf course, turning the area where the current clubhouse is located into condominium housing and giving up their development rights to the remaining land by putting it in a land trust. However, this plan would have required a zoning change as the current clubhouse—the site of the proposed condominiums—is located in a protected marine zone that does not permit development. This controversial plan sparked opposition from neighbors concerned about any development in the environmentally-sensitive and flood-prone area. According to Pfeffer, when this original rezoning plan was submitted to the Village of Mamaroneck Board of Trustees in February 2014, it was immedi-
ately rejected.

Following the initial rejection, NWRA revised its plans based on community feedback, reducing the proposed condominium units by 25 percent to 96 units. However, the plan was rejected again with no discussion.summit2

Hampshire submitted the current plan to the Village of Mamaroneck in June 2015. The plan did not require any zoning changes, and instead proposed that single-family homes be scattered throughout the current golf course. Pfeffer noted that, in keeping with FEMA regulations, homes would be built above the predicted floodplain, and although the golf course would be destroyed, the clubhouse, swimming pool and tennis courts would be preserved.

Following the recent Local Summit meeting, the Village of Mamaroneck’s Planning Board approved the Scope for an Environmental Impact Statement, EIS, process for the Hampshire redevelopment project, requiring Hampshire to prepare a draft EIS to be circulated, reviewed, edited and supplemented into a final copy. Upon completion of SEQRA, the site plan will be adjusted and finalized, a process that Slingerland estimates to last from one to two years based on the average amount of time that SEQRA reviews usually take. A $55 million lawsuit by the club against the village over the process of rejecting their rezoning proposal remains in progress.

Forliano

Column: Eastchester beginnings and the first Noel

The 1835 One-Room School House, run by the Eastchester Historical Society, where the annual Victorian Christmas Party will be held on the afternoon of Dec. 12. Photo courtesy Richard Forliano

The 1835 One-Room School House, run by the Eastchester Historical Society, where the annual Victorian Christmas Party will be held on the afternoon of Dec. 12. Photo courtesy Richard Forliano

Centuries ago, deeply-religious Protestants started Eastchester. However, the celebration of Christmas did not take place in this town until many years later. This is the story of how Christmas came to Eastchester.

The Town of Eastchester began in 1664 when Phillip Pinckney and 10 Puritan farm families from Fairfield, Conn., bought Eastchester from Thomas Pell, a land merchant and the future lord of Pelham Manor. The Puritans both in Britain, and even more so in the New England colonies, practiced an austere religion without what they considered to be the corrupt and ostentatious practices of the Catholic and Episcopal churches. Strict rules and harsh punishment outlawed sinful practices. Singing and dancing were discouraged. The practice of celebrating Christmas was forbidden.

The 10 Puritan farm families were hard-working and high-minded individuals who set the foundation for the present Town of Eastchester. A very important document called the Eastchester Covenant was signed a year after the first families moved in. A covenant is an agreement between people made in the sight of God. The covenant stated what kind of community Eastchester would be and what type of government the town would have. It was clearly stated that the men of Eastchester would run their own affairs by holding town meetings every other week “for one hour to talk about good things.” Town board meetings continue to this day to run the affairs of Eastchester.

The founders of the town made old Eastchester appear like a New England town. The town government supported the minister, educated the children so that they could read the Bible, and, to use the exact words of the covenant, “keep and maintain Christian love and civil honesty.” Overseers were set up to help the poor, orphans, widows and people in need. The ministers made sure that men did not mistreat their wives. One-room schoolhouses dotted
the landscape.

The Eastchester Covenant in many ways is like the Mayflower Compact of Westchester County. However, as time passed, the Puritan character of Eastchester began to wane. Here, there was never any witchcraft hysteria similar to what swept over Salem, Mass., in 1692. The practice of public whippings for crimes committed was abolished in 1754 at the start of the French and Indian War.

Also at the beginning of the 18th century, the inhabitants of Eastchester began to celebrate Christmas. St. Paul’s Church, the site where Eastchester began in 1664, was made an Episcopal Church by an act of the Anglican king. The priest who was sent to take over the church did not ostracize the Puritans who founded the church, but instead shared the church with them. Christmas was an important holiday to Episcopal Anglicans outside of Britain. Thirty-eight years after the founding of the town, deeply-religious Christians of this town started to practice Christmas at their Sunday services.

The spirit of holidays lives on as the Eastchester Historical Society keeps the rich historic traditions of the town alive. The most important tradition comes from the Eastchester covenant that the citizens of Eastchester should “keep and maintain Christian love and civil honesty.” Put simply in 21st century language, the covenant states that this town will be dedicated to the principles of compassion, integrity, co-operation and generosity.

 

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

 
LETTER

Letter: Vote Winter for fire district commissioner

 

 

To the Editor, 

Years of reform at the Eastchester Fire District, EFD, are on the line in the upcoming election. Please vote on Tuesday, Dec. 8 from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. and encourage your friends and neighbors to vote for Dennis Winter for EFD commissioner.

Winter has been a tireless advocate for the public. He has worked to manage responsibly the $16.5 million EFD budget funded by a tax levy, making this is a critical election. In the past, Winter and Chief Grogan had discovered thousands of improperly-spent tax dollars. Following this discovery, the Eastchester fire board placed the former EFD treasurer on paid administrative leave, during which she collected a salary from the Greenburgh schools. The EFD has had to spend more than $15,000 in legal fees to defend successfully itself and its commissioners from four matters brought on by the former treasurer, who happens to be Winter’s opponent in this contested race.

While Winter’s opponent is justly proud that a family member is an EFD firefighter, that is not a qualifier for candidacy. The Eastchester fire board needs to be absent of any conflicts of interest, especially when negotiating union contracts with the paid firefighters.

For access to public documents regarding this election’s candidates, visit publicsearchpro.com and bronxville.org.

 

Mary Neagle Smith, 

Bronxville 

LETTER

Letter: Keep Winter on fire board

 

 

To the Editor,

On Dec. 8, Dennis Winter will be running for re-election to the Town of Eastchester Board of Fire Commissioners. Winter has served as the board’s chairman for the last three years and, under his leadership, the board has achieved many significant accomplishments, including:

Achieving accountability and transparency to the district taxpayers.

Creating an impartial Board of Fire District Commissioners with no alliances to current or former fire district employees.

The adoption of a 2016 budget with no increase to the current $16.5 million property tax levy.

The reduction of the fire district’s property tax levy in 2015.

Completing critical revitalizations of two aging district firehouses.

Increasing the district’s Insurance Service Office rating that places the fire district within the top 2 percent of fire departments nationwide. This rating can result in lower insurance premiums for homeowners within the Eastchester Fire District.

Restructuring of the district’s administrative office including an appointment of a new treasurer and auditor.

The fire district election is especially important this year. Winter’s opponent, Cara Piliero, is the same former district treasurer whom the board placed on administrative leave in 2013 after an internal audit uncovered accounting irregularities. The board’s investigation found that Piliero:

billed health insurance premiums to some but not all of the retired firefighters required to pay such premiums, costing the fire district an estimated $800,000 in uncollected premiums;

failed to bill two fire commissioners (who had previously been firefighters) for their percentage of health insurance costs; and

overpaid one retired firefighter $235,200 in disability payments over 13 years.

Also, computer accounting records were improperly maintained. The new treasurer took over the department general ledger with a $30 million deficit incorrectly recorded. As treasurer on administrative leave, the fire district was paying Piliero’s benefits and salary. The board subsequently found out she was also employed at the Greenburgh school district collecting a second paycheck, and did not inform the fire district or the Greenburgh school district that she was simultaneously collecting a full-time salary from both entities.

Despite this alarming history, Piliero now seeks election to the Eastchester Board of Fire Commissioners, the very district she has instituted several legal actions against which have been dismissed or withdrawn at the cost to taxpayers of $16,000 in legal fees.

Winter’s volunteerism to the district has been invaluable and greatly appreciated by his fellow commissioner and the citizens of the Town of Eastchester.

Your vote matters and is crucial to this year’s election, so please get out and vote for Dennis Winter on Dec. 8.

 

Jerry Napolitano,

Eastchester fire commissioner

WGO

What’s going on in Mamaroneck 12-4-2015

Mamaroneck Public Library

Holiday arts and crafts fair

Come support local artisans and crafters this holiday season at the annual holiday arts and crafts fair on Sunday, Dec. 5 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the lower level. The sale is presented by the Village of Mamaroneck Arts Council and the Mamaroneck Public Library. To sign up for a free table, contact the Village of Mamaroneck Arts Council at vomartscouncil@gmail.com.

Information session: ‘Do You Need Health Insurance?’

Make an appointment with a one-on-one information session with a Westchester County Health Department Navigator, who will be in the library’s Tech Room on Wednesday, Dec. 9 from 3:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Representatives will answer questions about health insurance-related topics, including Essential Plans, Medicaid, Child Health Plus and health coverage for business owners’ employees. Clients should be prepared with their Social Security numbers, documents for legal immigrants, birth dates, employer and income information and insurance policy numbers. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 813-5192. Appointments are available in English and in Spanish.

De-stress and self-express

This activity, held on Monday, Dec. 14 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Community Room in the lower level, involves coloring for adults ages 18 and older. The library will provide music and calming adult coloring books with intricate designs. Refreshments will also be served.

Larchmont Public Library

The library will be closed for construction beginning Tuesday, Dec. 8. Existing shelves will be moved to the Village Center and the Burchell Children’s Room will remain open. The library will reopen during the summer of 2016. For more information about the library’s relocation, call the Reference Desk at 834-2281 ext. 3 or email larchmontlibrary@hotmail.com.

Drop-in craft: water bottle penguins

This drop-in program appropriate for children ages 3 and up, will take place on Saturday, Dec. 5. Children will be able to create penguins out of water bottles in no longer than 15 minutes. No registration is required for this program.

Author discussion

Join Jon Birger, author of “Date O-nomics: How Dating Became a Lopsided Numbers Game,” as he reads from his book on Sunday, Dec. 6 at 4 p.m. in the Village Center, with refreshments served at 3:30 p.m. Using a combination of demographics, game theory and number crunching, Birger, a financial and tech journalist, explains America’s current dating and marriage market. The reading is free and open to the public with no reservations required.

Gingerbread houses

Children will be able to decorate a gingerbread house on Monday, Dec. 7 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the Michael P. Coords Activity Room. This program is appropriate for children in grades six and up. Online registration is required at larchmontlibrary.org/sign-up-for-gingerbreadhouses/.

Full steam ahead: explosive science

This new program series highlights the basic principles behind science, technology, engineering, arts and math, and will hold its next series on Tuesday, Dec. 8 at 3:30 p.m. The program is appropriate for children ages 3 and 4 and will involve using chemistry to blow up a balloon and make spaghetti dance. A free ticket is required to attend this event. Tickets will be given out a half hour before the program begins on a first-come, first-served basis.

Stories and crafts: snow and snowmen

Warm up with snowy stories on Thursday, Dec. 10 from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. The program will be followed by a puffy-paint snowman craft activity. This event is appropriate for children ages 5 to 7. A free ticket is required to attend this event. Tickets will be given out a half hour before the program begins on a first-come, first-served basis.

Storytime: ‘Things That Go’

This program, which will take place on Saturday, Dec. 12 from 11 a.m. until noon, will feature stories and songs about different modes of
transportation, and will be followed by a period of free play with toy cars and trucks. This program is appropriate for children of all ages. A free ticket is required to attend this event. Tickets will be given out a half hour before the program begins on a first-come, first-served basis.

Woman’s Club of Larchmont

Book and author luncheon

The Woman’s Club of Larchmont will be holding their holiday book and author luncheon on Friday, Dec. 11 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Orienta Beach Club located at 1054 Walton Ave. in Mamaroneck. The luncheon will feature talks by three authors, Dr. Jacueline Horner Plumez, Elizabeth Bradley and Judith Summerfield. The luncheon is open to the public and is open to all. Books will be available for purchase and signing. Tickets to the event are $45 each and reservations must be made by Dec. 5. For more information or to make a reservation, call Dorothy Rainier at 834-0507.

Larchmont Temple

Vodka and latkes: the sequel

A night full of food, cocktails, music and friends will be held on Saturday, Dec. 5 at 7:30 p.m. in the Social Hall of the Larchmont Temple, located at 75 Larchmont Ave. in Larchmont. Tickets to the event are $60 per person and can be bought online at brownpapertickets.com/event/2462692.

Six13 in concert

This holiday concert will be held on Sunday, Dec. 6 at 4 p.m. in the Garden Room of the Larchmont Temple and will include crafts, treats and candle lighting. The concert is free and open the public. Participants are encouraged to bring canned goods to donate to the temple’s “Feeding Our Neighbor: An Interfaith Response” initiative.

 

Girl Scouts of Larchmont-Mamaroneck 

Holiday gift and craft fair

The Girl Scouts of Larchmont-Mamaroneck will be holding their annual holiday gift and craft fair on Sunday, Dec. 6 from noon to 4 p.m. at the Larchmont Girl Scout House, located at 90 Harmon Drive. Items sold by local vendors will include jewelry, hostess gifts and knitted wear. Additionally, Girl Scout troops will be selling handmade gifts and crafts. Refreshments and baked goods will be available for purchase as well as ingredients for s’mores. The fair is free and open to the public.

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.