Author Archives: news

OP/ED

Ope/Ed: Alert, conscious expose historical negligence

 

By Luis Quiros
“In my past, the combination of luxury and a lot of white people never failed to make me feel invisible” are words from my book, “An Other’s Mind.” Though referring to instances throughout my childhood growing up as a Puerto Rican in New York City, the aftermath of my lived experience under those conditions now in the late part of my adulthood still resonates—ignorance remains this nation’s dominant characteristic.

As my intimate friend Dr. John Hope Franklin often verified, the Reconstruction Era has yet to end. My perspective is this nation has yet to deal with slavery and racial-divisive symbols don’t just come down.

Why then would a white person deny her roots and orchestrate a black identity? Rachel Dolezal exposes the myth of the level playing fields and a “post-racial era.” In fact, the Birmingham, Ala., bombing in 1963 that killed four teenagers in a church and the Emanuel AME massacre in Charleston, S.C., did not lower the Confederate flag any more than it exposed the United States. The attack in Charleston reveals our interconnectedness of the trauma imposed on others.

Intelligent people, concerning the effects of slavery, would not have people of color profiled as shooters and immediately called terrorists, while white people are only labeled mentally ill. The white pilot who flew the plane into the French Alps killing more than 150 people was labeled mentally disturbed. However, the three gunmen who stormed the Paris offices of a French satirical magazine, killing 12, were immediately labeled terrorists.

In 2014, in a place of luxury overlooking the Hudson River with a “progressive” and white audience, a Puerto Rican keynote speaker addressed more than 100 attendees. One white man turned his back on the speaker. For me, that moment was a flashback to first grade—being ignored, denied my language and being made to feel that my history was not worthy of being taught. Too often demonized: our version of a swastika; a burning cross; a Confederate flag; the permanency of our intellectual genocides. Cornell West defines these gestures as the “niggerization of America”—a person of color can never truly earn a place of honor to say what is on his or her mind.

When the New York Police Department turned its back on the mayor in protest, they were not reprimanded. I reacted by addressing this rude gesture and was told to apologize and faced consequences. Yet, on June 28, New York’s highest court ruled unanimously that going on a profanity-laden rant during an encounter with police did not constitute disorderly conduct. Richard Gonzalez, not surprisingly, was sentenced to three-and-a-half to seven years for this “disorderly conduct.” Such racist views have landed tens of thousands of New Yorkers in jail over the last decade. According to the New York Law Journal, the interaction, while not pleasant, is totally legal.

When I hear the words “report suspicious activities,” chills run down my spine. Less than two years ago I was arrested in front of my house and was told I looked suspicious. I was also asked why was I “near a school.” We are suspicious by default.

Brian Williams, a white man who should have been fired for his actions, reminds me of Dr. Franklin’s wisdom once again, “We do not have the right to fail.” There is an immeasurable difference between “Black Lives Matter” and “All Lives Matter.” There is a lived experience to one who has often been denied a value of being whole, worthy and trustworthy.

Bree Newsome and others like her may scale flagpoles to bring down the Confederate flag; I simply will continue to expose the hypocrites who have signed the confederate gentlemen’s agreement in their heart, while holding positions of power and influence that are perceived as being contrary to their heart.

To correct your ideologies, start by at least paying attention. Spell and say our names correctly and know that we are very visible and highly educated, in every language and color.

My mother taught me “not to believe in gravity” so I could land where and when I wanted–making choices not as a given like the status quo or the culture of this nation, which she knew was deeply rooted in racism and capitalism. Those in power create an unquestioned gentleman’s agreement dictating who the experts are, who is rude, violent, and who should remain invisible.

 

Luis Quiros is a resident of  Mamaroneck. The views expressed are his.

 
LETTER

Letter: Reader: Fourth of July is a fraud

To the Editor,

Frederick Douglass said, “What, to the American slave, is your Fourth of July? A day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice, cruelty and false Christianity that he is the constant victim. Your constitution is predicated on a lie, your echoes of ‘freedom’ hollow mockery, the meaning of your Bible is trampled on every day with the evils that you commit that would disgrace a nation of savages.”

David Walker in his appeal of 1829 said, “The white man’s Christianity is a more violent and criminal enterprise than were the Romans or the Greeks when they enslaved the Helots.”

That tradition of a violent and perverse form of Christianity has always befallen members of the black church. The recent slaughter in South Carolina is a continuation of this evil part of the American landscape.

Thousands of black Christians have been slaughtered by whites throughout the history of this country. Many times, like the barbaric and horrific event at the church in South Carolina, the victims have been bombed, mutilated and killed in a house of worship by so-called white Christians. These acts that have continued invariably after slavery, show how criminal U.S. history is, and how hollow the Fourth of July truly is.

Hundreds of black churches after slavery have been burned to the ground as recently as several years ago. Indeed, from WWII to the murder of those four young black girls at the 16th Street Baptist Church, there were at least 50 bombing acts of domestic terrorism in Birmingham (“Bombingham”), Ala. In many instances, the bombings were of black churches by whites.

The racist, brutal and uncivilized nature of the United States has not changed with this act and many other acts that are going on around the country, in which the New York Police Department and sometimes law enforcement has been the perpetrator.

The proliferation of white supremacist organizations such as Christian Identity, the skinheads, neo-Nazi groups and the Ku Klux Klan has imbued the racism and hate that is rampant across this country and led to this barbaric incident in South Carolina. The Confederate flag, a symbol not only of slavery but white supremacy, has also inspired this type of hatred which has reached its apex with the election of the nation’s first black president. The nine members of that South Carolina church who were killed, had family members who epitomized the real meaning of Christianity when they forgave the racist barbarian who committed this evil act.

Those Christians who will be indulging, self-promoting and celebrating the false meaning of this holiday should look at the real meaning of their Christianity, and realize how much of a travesty this holiday is with its history of death and destruction.

As Douglass said during his July 4 speech, “Compared with every other country on this earth as far as barbarism, violence and denial of freedom and destruction of family, the U.S. is without rival in its perfidious and inhumane treatment of black people in America.”

The celebration of the Fourth of July is the ultimate slap in the face to African-Americans and indigenous peoples.

 

Clifford Jackson,

Larchmont 

 
WGO

What’s going on in Mamaroneck

LMC-TV

Teen summer filmmaking workshops

LMC-TV’s summer filmmaking workshops are an opportunity to learn hands-on filmmaking skills, from cinematography to scriptwriting to computer video editing. This program is geared for teens 13 and older. Participants will collectively conceive of, write a script for, shoot, direct and edit a short dramatic film using high definition video equipment, editing and scriptwriting software. Participants can attend one week of workshops for $400 per week or all three for $1,100. Sibling and dual workshop discounts are available. Workshops will be held Monday through Friday, beginning on July 20 and ending on Aug. 7 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Internship program

LMC-TV 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 LMC-TV’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.

Mamaroneck Public Library

Storytimes

Babytime: Books, rhythms, and rhymes for 6 to 24 months old with a caregiver on Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m. for 30 minutes in the Program Room, Lower Level. In-person registration begins at 10 a.m., and call-ins are accepted after 2 p.m. at 630-5894.

Stories, Songs and Puppets: For children ages 3 to 5 and their siblings and caregivers on Tuesdays at 11:15 a.m. for 30 minutes in the Program Room, Lower Level.

Toddler Time: Picture book stories, songs and games appropriate for 18 to 36 months. Caregivers are expected to attend and their participation is an important element of the program. Program will be held on Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m. for 30 minutes in the Program Room, Lower Level.

Picnic Stories in the Park: For kids of all ages on Tuesdays at noon for one hour in the Children’s Room, second floor. Pack a picnic and meet in at the library for a lazy hour of stories in the sun. Cold drinks will be provided. No registration required.

Bedtime Stories: For kids of all ages on Wednesdays at 6:45 p.m. for one hour in the Children’s Room, second floor. Pajamas, pillows and stuffed animals are welcome. No registration required.

Photography exhibit

Mamaroneck High School graduate and resident Kyla Ann Seleno has had a lifelong love of art and photography. She has studied at New England College, School of Visual Arts and Pratt Institute in NYC. In addition to her photographs, Kyla is an accomplished painter and visual artist. She has been awarded a number of accolades and has been commissioned to photograph various events and celebrations. She founded the Tree Flame Project, an inspirational and international movement of self-awareness and acceptance through art. Her work will be on display through Aug. 9 in the Warner Gallery.

Larchmont Public Library

Bossy Frog Band Concert

On Tuesday, July 21 at 11 a.m., the Bossy Frog Band will provide a concert for infants to children 4 years old. Jeffrey Friedberg from The Bossy Frog Band is an award-winning children’s musician and a board-certified music therapist. He has released eight albums of music for children and families, his last winning a Parents’ Choice Award. Children will love experiencing the joy of making music in this interactive program filled with singing, moving, banjo, guitar and more. Tickets are required, free of charge. Exceptions cannot be made due to space. Tickets are available beginning at 9:15 a.m. on the day of the event and are on a first-come first-served basis.

Amazing Bugs Around Us

Sheldrake Nature Center presents “Amazing Bugs Around Us” on Tuesday, July 21 from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. for children ages 6 to 8. An extension of “Blossoms, Bees and Butterflies,” this program will expand beyond the plant-insect relationship to explore other insects and arthropods. Children will examine specimens, living and non-living, of these intriguing animals.  The event will include a visit to the garden to see what new flowers and insects have appeared since the previous visit. This program is made possible by the Westchester Library System’s Unlimited Possibilities Mini-Grant for Environmental Sustainability.

‘The Killers’

Rob Goldstone Presents “The Killers” on Wednesday, July 22 at 2:30 p.m. Goldstone presents this 1946 film noir classic starring Burt Lancaster, Ava Gardner and Edmund O’Brien, based on the novel by Ernest Hemingway. Not rated. Running time: 103 minutes.

Heroes Movie Matinee

“Despicable Me 2” will be screened on Wednesday, July 22 at 3:30 p.m. The film is appropriate for children ages 6 and up. Universal Pictures presents this sequel to the wildly successful 2010 animated picture following Gru, the ex-scheming evildoer-turned-parental figure. Rated PG. Running time: 98 minutes.

Mummies and more

Super Science Series “Ancient Egypt: Mummies and More” on Thursday, July 23 at 4 p.m. for children ages 8 to 11. The event will be a fun and engaging introduction to Ancient Egypt culture and customs. An “egyptologist” will help students explore ancient times complete with artifacts, papyrus, hieroglyphs, cartouche, sarcophagi, paintings and King Tut trivia. Students will also have a chance to stamp their names using the hieroglyphic alphabet and quiz each other on other words they’ve created. This program is history, geography, language, science, art and culture rolled into a one-hour-long experience. Presented by the Westchester Children’s Museum.

Cartooning with Mike Teator

Learn to draw superheroes like Spider-Man, Iron Man, Captain America, Thor and the Hulk on Mondays, July 20 and 27 at 4:15 p.m. for children ages 8 to 11. Children will be able to create their own superhero from their own imagination. This program is sponsored by the Friends of the Larchmont Library. Online registration is required by visiting larchmontlibrary.org.

Three Minute Science

Stock up on your books and come do a science experiment with  Library Ambassador Rayaan Ba on Mondays, July 20 and 27 anytime between 3:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. for children ages 5 and up. No registration required.

Managing chronic health conditions

Learn how to manage chronic health conditions on Thursdays, July 23 and 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 health care professionals. You’ll also realize health care cost savings 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.

Five-hour prelicensing classes

Formula One Driving School, located at 584 Mamaroneck Ave. in Mamaroneck, has the following five-hour-long prelicensing classes scheduled:

Saturday, July 18 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Wednesday, July 22 from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday, July 25 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Wednesday, July 29 from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m; Saturday, Aug. 1 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Sunday, Aug. 2 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

This class is required by New York State for new drivers before they can take their road test. Call 381-4500 or visit formulaonedrivingschool.com to register for a class or for other services and for upcoming Insurance Reduction/Point Reduction Class dates.

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.

Read-to-Me: This game is for younger children who are not yet reading independently, ages 2 to 5. Registration continues through Friday, Aug. 14.

Summer Reading Game: The most popular game, for children entering grades K to five who are reading independently. Registration continues through Monday, Aug. 10.

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

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

Teen summer reading game

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

Bronxville Public Library 

Sciencetellers: Superheroes

This summer, come on an epic, laughter-filled journey that proves superheroes really do exist. Throughout the tale, volunteers from the audience help conduct exciting experiments that make the characters’ superpowers and heroic deeds come to life. See how science can make the ordinary extraordinary. Tuesday, July 21 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Social Needlers

Join the Social Needlers for a knitting and crochet hour every Wednesday from 11 a.m. to noon. Chat and socialize while making beautiful items which will be donated to the Visiting Nurse Serivice of New York. For more information, call 337-7680 or email cutchel@wlsmail.org.

Real Heroes Obstacle Course

See if you have what it takes to get through an obstacle course just like our real life military superheroes. Registration required. Open to grades five and up. Wednesday, July 22 from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Visit bronxvillelibrary.org/events to sign up.

Superhero Sock Puppets

Add capes, masks and more to socks at this fun craft project. Open to ages 5 and up. Registration required. Thursday, July 23 from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Visit bronxvillelibrary.org/events to sign up.

Family Film Friday

The next film is “Sky High” screening on July 24 from 3:30 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. The following week, “Underdog” will be screened on July 31 from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.

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 and Morgan. Tuesdays, July 21 and 28 at 2 p.m.

Babytime Storytime: Join Miss Ellen for stories and songs for babies. Open to ages birth to 2. Thursdays, July 23 and 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. Thursdays, July 23 and 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. Fridays, July 24 and 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. Tuesdays, July 21 and Aug. 4 at 4 p.m. Registration is required. Call 961-2121 or visit tuckahoelibrary.org.

Puzzle Time: Come play with puzzles and share a story. Open to ages 3 to 6. Friday, July 24 at 3:30 p.m.

Teen Anime Club

Meeting on Monday, July 20 at 4 p.m. Contact the library for more information.

Knit & Crochet Group

Every Wednesday night at 7 p.m. Register by calling 961-2121.

Free entertainment workshops

Learn how to download free music using Freegal on Monday, July 20 at 6:30 p.m.

Learn how to download free magazines using Flipster on Thursday, July 23 at 1 p.m.

Eastchester events

Calling all golfers

Kevin Chin Golf is teaming up with award-winning instructor Mark Evershed for the following events:

A seminar and presentation with Q&A by Evershed on Friday, July 24 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Lake Isle Country Club.

Play nine holes with Chin and nine holes with Evershed on Sunday, July 26 at 3:45 p.m. at Lake Isle Country Club.

PGA and Lake Isle members receive a 10 percent discount, and Chin’s personal students receive a 15 percent discount. Contact Chin for more info: KevinChinGolf.com, 260-9459, or KevinChinGolf@gmail.com.

Bronxville events

Farmers market

Check out the Bronxville Farmers’ Market every Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Stone Place at Paxton Avenue, rain or shine. Visit bronxvillefarmersmarket.com for more information.

Free outdoor concert series

The Bronxville Chamber of Commerce announces the return of the monthly Bronxville Free Outdoor Summer Concert Series running through September, located on the streets of Bronxville. Attendees can enjoy live music plus dining and dancing in the street, which is closed off to vehicular traffic for the occasion. The entertainment is free, and food from Bronxville eateries is available for purchase. Each concert features a live band playing familiar cover tunes of primarily classic rock. Concert locations alternate between Parkway Road and Park Place. July’s lineup: Plan B at Park Place on Thursday, July 23 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Sylvan Learning Center

Let Sylvan Learning Center help avoid summer learning loss with personalized tutoring (grades pre-K to 12), new STEM classes, robotics and coding (grades 1 to 8), and academic camps in reading, math, writing, and study skills (grades pre-K to 9). Call 237-4396 or visit sylvanlearning.com/bronxville for more information. Located at 850 Bronx River Road in Bronxville.

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

 
WGO

What’s going on in Harrison

The Harrison Public Library will be closed for renovations until July 2015.

English conversation group 

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

West Harrison library events

Story Time

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

Train Time

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

Open play time

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

Mother Goose Time

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

Crochet and knitting club

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

Teens Reading Club

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

Mahjong class

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

Summer Concert Series

On Wednesday, July 22, check out Club Dennis (of the Dennis “Dion” Nardone Show) for a street party on the Harrison and Halstead avenues at 6:30 p.m.

Alive N’ Kickin,’ a gold record party band, has their turn on Thursday, July 23, on the West Harrison Village Green.

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

Harrison Recreation

Lap swimming

Enjoy swimming laps at the Brentwood Pool during the weekday mornings and evenings from June 29 until Aug. 17, from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., and from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Must have a 2015 Harrison recreation ID card or a senior ID card to participate.

US Sports Institute

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

Event rentals

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

Swim camp

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

Summer baseball camp

For kids entering grades K to 7 in the fall. Served by the outstanding leadership of longtime 21CS camp director and NCAA assistant coach Josh Cuozzo, the camp program promises to be a child-centered baseball experience that seeks to maximize the development of players’ skills and knowledge of the game. Open to kids entering grades K through 7 in the fall. Camp meets Monday through Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the West Harrison Park Turf. Camp fee is $315, available discounts can lower price to $245. Discounts apply for siblings, children who have attended a 21CS camp or clinic in 2014 and multi-week campers who have attended other nearby 21CS camps during the summer of 2015. To register or for additional camp details, visit 21CSonline.com. All registration occurs online.

Volunteer opportunities

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

South East Consortium

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

Buy a brick to help Pet Rescue build its forever home

A walkway of personalized, engraved red bricks will soon lead to the front door of Pet Rescue’s new home in Harrison. Purchase a brick and add the inscription of your choice to honor, remember or celebrate a special pet or person or to express support for Pet Rescue. Your words will create a lasting memorial that will greet visitors to Pet Rescue for years to come.

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

The size and cost of bricks are:

• 4” x 8” brick can be inscribed with up to 3 lines/18 characters per line at $150.

• 8” x 8” brick can be inscribed with up to 6 lines/18 characters per line at $300.

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

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

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

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

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

 
WGO

What’s going on in Rye

Story Time

Nursery rhymes, son-gs and fingerplays, “Granny Jean” Klein, well-versed in early childhood development, introduces babies and toddlers to playful rhymes, songs and puppetry. Parents and caregivers participate with the children and are encouraged to continue the activities at home. Because the program is often a child’s first experience in an audience setting, it is important that adults strive to arrive on time and actively help children focus on the presentation. Open to 6 months to 3-and-a-half-year-olds. Meets Mondays at 10 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. for 20-minute sessions.

Calligraphy for teens

Rye Free Reading Room will hold calligraphy workshops for teens every Monday at 4 p.m., running until July 27. Workshops will be held in the Meeting Room and snacks and supplies will be provided. For more information or to register for the class, call 231-3172.

Yoga for kids

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

Science Fun Club

Science teacher Johnda Ferrari is conducting a summer Science Fun Club for children entering third through fifth grade at the Rye Free Reading Room on Fridays, July 17, 24 and 31. The hour-long programs, starting at 4 p.m., will focus on such topics as ocean, bird and insect life and magnetism, and will present learning in a fun way and include hands-on activities like experiments, games and crafts. Visit ryelibrary.org for specific information about each session and to sign up. Pre-registration is required and opens a week in advance of the program.

Torn paper painting workshop

Join fellow art lovers to try your hand at torn paper painting for a two-session workshop at the Rye Free Reading Room on Saturdays, July 18 and 25 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Torn paper is an unconventional collage technique that is fun, creative and sure to produce beautiful results, even for the person with little or no art experience. The first session will be devoted to preparing papers of all types to be included in your painting. The next week, you will learn how to use the papers to create an art piece. Visit ryelibrary.org or call 231-3161 for more information.

Spin-A-Yarn

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

Wiggle, Giggle Time

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

For the Love of Dogs

Meet and greet some adorable canine friends who are up for adoption through For the Love of Dogs rescue center on Thursday, July 23 at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Meet and interact with the canines and ask questions of the rescue center staff and volunteers. Applications for adoption will be available.

Poetry group

Read and share your thoughts about contemporary poems with fellow poetry lovers in lively monthly discussions led by Michael Alcee on Thursday, July 23 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Ogden Nash Room.

Rye Arts Center

Summer program registration

Keeping kids’ creativity flowing is key to summer fun. Look no further than The Rye Arts Center, RAC, to find the perfect summer program or class for your child. There is a broad range of weekly as well as summer-long programs for kids ages 4 through teen and adults. RAC will provide complete flexibility to keep a child of any age, ability and interest busy with creative fun. Programs begin June 29 and can be combined for a half or full day, by the week or multiple weeks to suit everyone’s schedule.

Also new is the RAC’s Makerspace classes which feature both high-tech and high-touch fun in designing, creating and making. Classes include coding, Minecraft 3-D design and printing, filmmaking, LittleBits, MakeyMakey, Scratch animation, circuitry, Arduino, electronics and creative building.

Musical theater workshop weeks will feature opportunities to perform stage favorites “Willy Wonka” and “Little Shop of Horrors.” For tweens, fresh air and fine arts will be offered with the RAC’s new plein-air painting class for ages 11 to 14.

Rounding out the RAC’s summer offerings are workshops in traditional fine arts including painting, drawing, cartooning, ceramics, digital photography, writers’ workshops, vocal pop workshops and music instruction. For young artists ages 4 to 10, the RAC offers a three-hour-long creative arts immersion morning program.

The summer guide can be found online at ryeartscenter.org. For questions, call 967-0700 or stop in at the main office located at 51 Milton Road, Rye.

Rye Nature Center

Summer camp

The Rye Nature Center offers an adventurous and educational summer program for children aged 3-and-a-half to 15 years old. Set on 47 acres of forest and trails, the camp creates an ideal setting for children to enjoy the outdoors. The Nature Center offers a hands-on approach to scientific inquiry and gives young naturalists the chance to encounter animals both in the museum and on the property. Registration for summer camp 2015 is now open. For more information, call 967-5150 or email allisonbedosky@ryenaturecenter.org.

Golf tournament in Greenwich

The 26th Annual George J. Kirby Memorial Golf Tournament will be held Monday, July 20 at 11:30 a.m. at the Griffith E. Harris (The Griff) Golf Course in Greenwich, Conn. The participation fee is $175, which includes the cost of the tournament and a following dinner hosted by Kelly’s at the Rye Recreation Park.

More than 300 Rye senior citizens are able to participate in cultural, educational and health programs plus seasonal luncheon events every year thanks to generous local business and individual sponsorships. Become a lead sponsor by donating a check in the amount of $150 or more. Checks should be made payable to Rye Senior Citizens and can be sent to: Jerry McGuire, 411 Midland Ave., Rye, NY 10580.

For more information about event sponsorship or golf and dinner reservations, contact Jerry McGuire at 490-8641.

RyeTV telecast

Kent Iarocci has a telecast titled “Square?” His telecast is on RyeTV. It is educational, environmental and recreational. Visit ryetv.org for a schedule of upcoming programs.

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.

 
Rye-City-Hall-8

City pays another $20K in Holmes case

The City of Rye lost another $20,000 when its insurance carrier, Travelers, decided to settle a second letter of demand that stemmed from criminal actions of John Holmes, pictured, a former auxiliary police officer. File photo

The City of Rye lost another $20,000 when its insurance carrier, Travelers, decided to settle a second letter of demand that stemmed from criminal actions of John Holmes, pictured, a former auxiliary police officer. File photo

By JACKSON CHEN
The City of Rye will fork over another $20,000 as its insurance carrier has settled a second civil rights letter of demand involving an unlawful traffic stop by a former Rye auxiliary police officer.

The latest letter of demand was a direct result of an incident on June 20, 2014, when John “Jack” Holmes unlawfully pulled over an individual in Saratoga, N.Y. With no actual police authority and not on the city’s police force at the time, Holmes still identified himself as Detective Jack Holmes of Westchester County when he pulled over a vehicle that belonged to John Turi, a public defender for Rensselaer County.

Turi, represented by the attorneys of the Law Offices of Kurt Mausert, filed a letter of demand for $20,000 with the City of Rye and its police department for allegedly violating his first, fourth and 14th amendment rights. The case was automatically overtaken by the city’s insurance company, Travelers, and settled in late May.

Shortly following Turi’s settlement, a passenger in his vehicle, Anthony Rogers, also filed a letter of demand for $20,000 against the city in early June, according to records obtained by the Review.

Also represented by Mausert, the letter of demand for the passenger said “Rogers was subjected to the same illegal seizure and detention that Mr. Turi suffered and should be entitled to the same damages.”
According to Mausert, the city’s insurance company agreed to again settle the matter to his client’s satisfaction approximately three weeks ago.

Rogers’ letter of demand said that Holmes approached the vehicle on the passenger side. Rogers, who is an African-American, said in the letter that there may have been “racial motivation on behalf of Mr. Holmes” because Holmes’ demeanor and facial expressions were directed towards Rogers.

As for the quick decision on a settlement, Mayor Joe Sack, a Republican, said that Travelers’ decision wasn’t done with the consent of the city.

“I don’t see how the actions of this person make the City of Rye liable,” Sack said. “This insurance company decided to settle the case on their own.”

Sack added that he wouldn’t have paid any money on a claim he didn’t think was legitimate. Holmes, now a resident of Port Chester, had an extensive history with Rye, but has since been kept at arm’s length. As a result of his criminal charges stemming from the Saratoga incident, Holmes pleaded to undergo anger management counseling and not apply for an auxiliary police position with the city for one year.

On top of these civil rights violations in Saratoga, Holmes also was involved in a similar incident at the Rye Ridge Shopping Center in Rye Brook in October 2010. According to police, Holmes allegedly harassed a female motorist in the shopping center’s parking lot by overextending his authority as an auxiliary police officer for the city.

Holmes was also arrested in 2013 for submitting a falsified letter to secure a police uniform contract with the city’s police department that would benefit his own company, New England Sportswear, which is located in White Plains.

Despite a history of reckless behavior, Holmes was reinstated to the city’s auxiliary force in March 2014 after his suspension for falsifying records to secure the uniform bid was lifted. While Rye Police Lt. Robert Falk, who was serving as an interim police commissioner at the time, was fine with Holmes being reappointed to the force again, the Rye City Council condemned the decision.

Ultimately, Holmes was asked to resign from his auxiliary position in June 2014.

City Attorney Kristen Wilson and representatives of Travelers could not be reached for comment, as of press time.

CONTACT: jackson@hometwn.com

 
DSC_0428

NRHS seniors graduate, honor WWII veteran

WWII veteran William Moye, who turned 100 this year, left New Rochelle High School early to serve in the war. This year, he was presented with an honorary diploma.

WWII veteran William Moye, who turned 100 this year, left New Rochelle High School early to serve in the war. This year, he was presented with an honorary diploma.

McKenna Field behind New Rochelle High School was lined with attendees shoulder-to-shoulder on June 25 to watch the graduating Class of 2015 receive their diplomas.

Straddling the 50-yard line, the seniors sat in foldout chairs wearing their purple and white gowns and listened to a list of guest speakers that included New Rochelle High School Principal Reginald Richardson, Class Valedictorian David Schwartz and Class President Heather Manley.

“I will miss seeing you in the hallways, on the stage, competing in games, studying in the library or not studying,”
Richardson said during his commencement address. “Every graduating class has a personality; boy did 2015 ever have a personality. You were not the shy and quiet class…I will miss the great times we’ve had together.”

During the ceremony, Richardson also presented a diploma to someone who attended New Rochelle High School decades ago.

WWII veteran William Moye, 100, who left New Rochelle High School early to serve in the war, was presented with an honorary diploma. Moye received a standing ovation.

“This is the proudest day of my life,” the WWII veteran said.

The ovation lasted for several minutes before simmering down. Then it was the seniors’ turn to receive their diplomas. One by one they were called, shook hands with their principal and accepted their diploma that will catapult them into the next stage of their lives.

-Reporting by Chris Eberhart

Harrison-hotel2

State passes hotel tax for Harrison

The Town/Village of Harrison recently received word that its request for authorization to implement a hotel tax has passed through the New York Legislature. Harrison had failed repeatedly to try to gain such authorization for its two hotels. Mayor Ron Belmont said, according to estimates, Harrison could see an excess of $200,000 in additional revenue per year from the Hyatt House and Renaissance Westchester Hotel, pictured. Photo courtesy marriott.com

The Town/Village of Harrison recently received word that its request for authorization to implement a hotel tax has passed through the New York Legislature. Harrison had failed repeatedly to try to gain such authorization for its two hotels. Mayor Ron Belmont said, according to estimates, Harrison could see an excess of $200,000 in additional revenue per year from the Hyatt House and Renaissance Westchester Hotel, pictured. Photo courtesy marriott.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 the Town/Village of Harrison, after years of unsuccessfully trying to petition the state for the tax.

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’s already in place, passed in the Democratic-led state Assembly but was repeatedly shot down by the Republican-controlled state 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 the Westchester communities and three upstate counties.

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

“Under the old leadership, I don’t think these bills pass,” Paulin said. “This was the window of opportunity, and if we didn’t get it done now, we don’t know if we’d ever get it done.”

But the Republicans in the Senate was just one of the roadblocks.

Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who has been against a hotel occupancy tax for the same reason as the Senate, still has to sign the bill into law, and then the local municipalities have to vote to pass the authorization. All the state bills do is allow the local municipalities to establish the hotel occupancy tax. Locally, the municipality still has to follow the steps of establishing a new law.

With two hotels in Harrison, the Renaissance Westchester Hotel and Hyatt House, Mayor Ron Belmont, a Republican, said he is hoping to see in excess of $200,000 in annual revenue from the hotel tax.

“Anytime we get to add some relief to our property owners it’s a relief for
everyone,” Belmont said.

Cities such as White Plains, New Rochelle, Rye 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, $280,000 and $150,000 annually in hotel taxes, respectively, while Rye Brook collects approximately $630,000 annually.

The authorization has a sunset clause requiring communities to reapply for the tax every three years.

-with reporting by James Pero

CONTACT: christopher@hometwn.com

 

 

Untitled-1

Mayor, deputy mayor seek re-election

Coming as no surprise, the incumbent mayor, Norman Rosenblum, left, and the incumbent deputy mayor, Lou Santoro, announced their re-election campaign recently. Photos courtesy Lou Santoro

Coming as no surprise, the incumbent mayor, Norman Rosenblum, left, and the incumbent deputy mayor, Lou Santoro, announced their re-election campaign recently. Photos courtesy Lou Santoro

By JACKSON CHEN
Familiar faces will appear on the Village of Mamaroneck’s Republican ticket in this year’s Board of Trustees election. 

Mayor Norman Rosenblum, 72, and Trustee Lou Santoro, 57, both Republicans, will each be seeking their fourth term as mayor and trustee, respectively.

Rosenblum said the duo is running in 2015 for the same reasons they ran together the first time in 2009. “We didn’t like where the Village of Mamaroneck was when it first started,” the mayor said of his motivation.

Rosenblum added that since taking elected office, the village is now very successful and has been highly rated several times by unbiased national groups, including “CNN Money” and Movoto, a popular real estate website.

“The reason you want to run again, quite honestly, is the positive feedback we get from people,” Rosenblum said. “It’s unbelievable and you keep getting reinforced.”

For the three-term mayor, one of the most impactful changes in the village includes the noticeable amount of development throughout. “There’s a tremendous amount of development that’s going on and we’re doing it very successfully [with] a real key, which I believe is maintaining the character and quality of life in the Village of Mamaroneck,” Rosenblum said.

The mayor added that “any community that doesn’t continue to develop will die from atrophy.”

While new businesses and structures are steadily being constructed, Rosenblum and Santoro, who also serves as deputy mayor, said there’s still some unfinished business that they’d like to see through, and therefore have a desire to continue to serve the village.

Like many municipalities, the village is facing the countywide issue of an extremely worn sewer infrastructure system. According to Rosenblum, the village is always planning ahead on water-related issues by creating a flood mitigation plan, developing a comprehensive infrastructure plan and working with FEMA.

Besides dealing with a failing sewer infrastructure, the mayor and deputy mayor had a hand in pushing forward a large piece of development-friendly legislation, commonly referred to as the transit oriented development, or TOD. The controversial law was aimed at capitalizing on development prospects for areas next to the Metro-North train station in Mamaroneck, but caught the ire of some local residents and their concerns over the potential for increasing flood issues in the area.

Adding onto their three terms of experience in handling village business, both Rosenblum and Santoro have consistently acquired the endorsements of the Republican, Conservative and Independence parties in every election, including the current election season.

Santoro attributes the pair’s success and popularity to being more accessible and hands-on than their counterparts.

“We’re out walking the streets,” Santoro said. “No matter where we go—the gym, restaurants, down by the harbor—people see us and know us.”

In terms of their challengers, Rosenblum said the anti-development sentiments and possibility for conflicts of interests would give the incumbents an advantage. Democratic mayoral candidate Dan Natchez, president of Shore Acres Property Owners Association and a former village trustee, is headlining a ticket that also includes trustee candidate Thomas Burt, a Democratic district leader with experience in class action lawsuits.

The mayor serves a two-year term and is paid an annual stipend of $8,427, while village board trustees also serve two-year terms and are paid $4,590 annually. Election Day is set for Tuesday, Nov. 3.

CONTACT: jackson@hometwn.com