Author Archives: news

Save the Sound, a non-profit organization that cleans and protects the Long Island Sound, issued 
a notice of intent to sue Westchester County due to ongoing sanitary overflows. 
Photo courtesy Save the Sound

Non-profit looks to sue county

Save the Sound, a non-profit organization that cleans and protects the Long Island Sound, issued  a notice of intent to sue Westchester County due to ongoing sanitary overflows.  Photo courtesy Save the Sound

Save the Sound, a non-profit organization that cleans and protects the Long Island Sound, issued
a notice of intent to sue Westchester County due to ongoing sanitary overflows.
Photo courtesy Save the Sound

By JACKSON CHEN
A non-profit environmental organization has filed a notice of intent to sue Westchester County for ongoing violations of leaking sewer pipes and frequent overflows in early June. 

The legal notice, filed by Save the Sound, a New Haven, Conn., and Mamaroneck-based organization that works to restore and protect the Long Island Sound, gives the county 60 days to remediate several water impairment issues the organization has noted over the years.

“For over a decade, state, county and municipal officials have failed to effectively address sewer overflows and leaking sewer pipes in Westchester County,” said Roger Reynolds, legal director of Save the Sound. “Without an action like this, we’re unlikely to see meaningful progress.”

According to Save the Sound’s notice, the county has allegedly discharged “partially treated sewage” on Dec. 9 and 10, 2014 from a sanitary sewer overflow control facility in the New Rochelle sewer district, which violates a permit the county received for the Clean Water Act.

Adding onto the alleged illegal discharge, the organization’s notice said that Westchester County has failed to enforce the County Sewer Act, which limits levels of flow from the municipalities in the New Rochelle, Mamaroneck, Blind Brook and Port Chester sanitary sewer districts.

As for their third reason, the notice of intent to sue alleges that the county also failed to implement state-mandated flow reduction requirements within the impacted municipalities. While there are only four sewer districts named in the notice, the combined facilities serve most of the lower Westchester communities, including New Rochelle, Harrison, White Plains and the Town of Mamaroneck.

“The county and the municipalities have known since at least 2003 that much more is needed to be done to fix these problems and the actions taken so far have been woefully inadequate,” Reynolds said.

When reached for comment this week, Phil Oliva, a spokesman for Republican County Executive Rob Astorino, told the Review, “We will review the documents being submitted and the other regulatory items that are pertinent to this action.”

In December 2014, the Village of Mamaroneck, which is one of the listed communities in the notice, attempted to address the overflow issues by repairing deteriorating sewer mains and conducting home inspections on illegal hookups that contribute to the overflow problem.

Further inland than Mamaroneck, the Village of Bronxville hired consultants to assist them in cleaning out and video monitoring approximately 39,000 feet of sewer main in May 2014. And higher up in the governmental hierarchy, New York recently announced a $200 million program that was created to help municipalities fund any capital projects that would improve water quality infrastructure projects as part of the 2015-2016 state budget.

Despite the effort that has been put in by the county and the individual municipalities, the sanitary sewage overflow continues and the crumbling infrastructure problem persists throughout.

According to Save the Sou-
nd’s water quality testing in 2014, several areas within the Mamaroneck Harbor and Hutchinson River showed sam-ples with failing levels of fecal contamination over a testing period of several days. The continuing issue of poor water quality and overflow issues was what led Save the Sound to present the county with legal action.

In the past, the county has been served with numerous consent orders from the state Department of Environmental Conservation, which seems to be the extent of the legal action taken to address water concerns, according to Reynolds.

However, Reynolds said those orders have not been enough and the county has had no activity in improving conditions in the last 10 years.

The DEC could not be reached for comment, as of press time.

CONTACT: jackson@hometwn.com

 
Enoch Sarkodie, 29, is suspected of scamming a 90-year-old Harrison woman out of $23,000. Photo courtesy Harrison Police Department

Harrison police arrest Georgia man

Enoch Sarkodie, 29, is suspected of scamming a 90-year-old Harrison woman out of $23,000. Photo courtesy Harrison Police Department

Enoch Sarkodie, 29, is suspected of scamming a 90-year-old Harrison woman out of $23,000. Photo courtesy Harrison Police Department

On Tuesday, June 16, Harrison police traveled down to Georgia to arrest Enoch Sarkodie—a Marietta, Ga., resident—in connection with an elaborate phone scam responsible for defrauding  a 90-year-old Harrison resident out of $23,000.

According to Harrison Police Chief Anthony Marraccini, the suspect, while posing as an attorney, was able to convince the victim that her granddaughter was involved in a serious accident and in need of money for legal fees.

Sarkodie, posing as attorney “Mark Freedman,” then convinced the victim to send the money, after enlisting
the help of a female accomplice who posed as the victim’s granddaughter.

The arrest comes on the heels of a two-month long investigation in which police identified Sarkodie as the main suspect in the crime. According to Marraccini, the details of the how police identified Sarkodie as the suspect, have been kept under wraps as to not comprise police techniques.

“It was thorough and diligent police work, naturally with the help of technology,” Marraccini said.

Whether or not the suspect is responsible for other scams in Harrison or elsewhere remains undetermined as the investigation remains ongoing.

Sarkodie was arraigned Tuesday, June, 16 on charges of grand larceny, a felony which can carry a sentence of up to seven years in state prison in accordance with the amount stolen.

-Reporting by James Pero

The new Chatsworth Antiques held its grand opening on May 9. Photo courtesy Joan Meehan

Mamaroneck antique store starts new life

Co-owners John De Giacomo and Joan Meehan in front of one of their grand pianos.

Co-owners John De Giacomo and Joan Meehan in front of one of their grand pianos.

By JAMES PERO
The words “new” and “antique” are almost always at odds, but for Chatsworth Antiques and Consignments, a near century-old Mamaroneck antique furniture dealer, it is a new beginning of sorts.

In May 2015, Chatsworth said goodbye to not only its lifelong four-floor Mamaroneck Avenue storefront, which had been home base to the business since the 1930s, but also to the Lightbody family—the establishment’s original owners who sold the business after new generations of the family showed little interest in taking the reins.

Fortunately for fans of the antique dealers, though both the original owners and headquarters are history, the familiar Chatsworth name remains, albeit with a new storefront and somewhat new faces.

The new Chatsworth Antiques held its grand opening on May 9. Photo courtesy Joan Meehan

The new Chatsworth Antiques held its grand opening on May 9. Photo courtesy Joan Meehan

“I was basically the right hand man there for 25 years,” said John De Giacomo, co-owner of Chatsworth’s newest iteration, under the same name, which opened its doors on May 9. “With [Sam Lightbody’s] blessing he gave me the name and the trucks, so basically the history has kind of funneled into [Ogden Avenue].”

Though Chatsworth’s history is still mostly intact—De Giacomo is even an extended relative of the Lightbody family—the new retail space on Ogden Avenue in the Washingtonville area of Mamaroneck, and the subsequent transition, has brought with it a host of new factors for both the owners and customers alike.

“In our old place we were able to buy whatever we wanted and let it sit for months and months,” De Giacomo said. “But with a smaller place we don’t have that luxury.”

The wood paneling used as a backdrop for Chatsworth Antiques’ wares was designed by Joan Meehan and was built using 65 repurposed pallets. Photos/James Pero

The wood paneling used as a backdrop for Chatsworth Antiques’ wares was designed by Joan Meehan and was built using 65 repurposed pallets. Photos/James Pero

According to De Giacomo, the new storefront, despite its lofty ceilings and open floor plan, is about a third of the size of the former 17,000 foot location on Mamaroneck Avenue. Such space constraints have forced both he and fellow co-owner Joan Meehan who has been involved with Chatsworth for about 8 years off and on, to purchase less items and also turn over stock faster—changes which Meehan thinks customers may benefit from.

“It’s good for the customers,” she said. “Because stock keeps changing, any time they come in, it’ll be different, they’ll see new things.”

But even amidst all the change, both De Giacomo and Meehan have had time to reflect on days of Chatsworth past—particularly the old location. Now, in the open air of their new space, the duo recalls Mamaroneck Avenue with a distinct mixture of both nostalgia and relief.

“The old Chatsworth was a fun place to visit and shop because of the history of it,” De Giacomo said. “But working there was a real pain.”

Though Chatsworth Antiques specializes in furniture, they also buy more delicate items like fine china, pictured.

Though Chatsworth Antiques specializes in furniture, they also buy more delicate items like fine china, pictured.

With mounds of antiques packed tightly into its four floors, the Mamaroneck Avenue storefront was a labyrinth of vintage and like-new goods, some of which could sit there for years at a time.

“It’s a double-edged sword having that much room because you could get anything you wanted,” Meehan said.  “But then if it didn’t sell you could just push it in the corner and not worry about it.”

But overcrowded stock wasn’t the only obstacle at the Mamaroneck Avenue location.  According to De Giacomo, the four flights of stairs ended up being nothing short of hurdles in the dead summer heat—since lack of insulation and the age of the building prevented the installation of air conditioning.

“If I was all the way down in the basement, and somebody needed a price for something in the attic, that would be four flights up to get a price,” De Giacomo said. “You [did] that in 110 degree heat in the middle of August.”

Now that the owners are settled in, the change of scenery has been a welcome addition to Chatsworth, because even away from the traffic of Mamaroneck Avenue, newcomers and longtime clients alike are still making the pilgrimage.

Chatsworth has done away with the clutter of their old Mamaroneck Avenue outlet in favor of a more organized and open layout on Ogden Avenue.

Chatsworth has done away with the clutter of their old Mamaroneck Avenue outlet in favor of a more organized and open layout on Ogden Avenue.

“We were lucky when we were on the avenue, De Giacomo said, “But even when we’re here, we’re a destination point.”

Meehan added, “When people leave their house they know they’re coming here.”

CONTACT: james@hometwn.com

 
Rod Mergardt was hired by the Rye School District on June 16 to serve as the interim athletic director.
Contributed Photo

Rye hires interim athletic director

Rod Mergardt was hired by the Rye School District on June 16 to serve as the interim athletic director. Contributed Photo

Rod Mergardt was hired by the Rye School District on June 16 to serve as the interim athletic director.
Contributed Photo

By CHRIS EBERHART
Rod Mergardt will take over as the interim athletic director for the Rye School District as school officials continue their search for a permanent replacement for Rob Castagna, who just left Rye at the end of the school year to join the Byram Hills school district. 

The announcement was made during the June 16 Board of Education meeting. Mergardt will make $150,000 and is only expected to remain in the position for one year.

Although Mergardt officially retired in 1996 after having spent time in the Bedford Central School District as a physical education teacher, coach and ultimately becoming the district’s athletic director, he’s continued to work in the field as an interim athletic director. His most recent stop was Tuckahoe but, he also spent time in Ridgefield, Tarrytown, Byram Hills and Mamaroneck before that in addition to having served as an adjunct professor of sport law at Manhattanville College and supervisor of undergraduate physical education student teachers at SUNY Cortland.

“I’m at the age and point in my career where I don’t go looking for jobs,” Mergardt said. “But the situation in Rye was looking pretty doggone attractive…I’ve known Rye for many years. I have five of my former students on the staff, and I ran a beach club in Rye early in my career. So there are no surprises.”

Mergardt praised the job of his predecessor and said his job is “not to screw up the good things that Rob [Castagna] did” and either train an internal candidate to be the next athletic director or be part of the recruiting process.

Mergardt received his bachelor’s in physical education from SUNY Cortland, a master’s degree in physical education from the University of Bridgeport and was certified as an athletic administrator by NYU.

Rye City Schools Superintendent Dr. Frank Alvarez said, “In his 52 years in public education, Rod Mergardt has 34 years of experience in the field of athletic administration. He comes to us with glowing references from both parents and administrators with whom he has worked in the past. We are certain that he will be a terrific interim athletic director for the Rye City School District as we continue our search for a permanent athletic director.”

But Megardt’s last stop ended in unceremonious fashion.

In early September 2014, Mergardt resigned from his job in Tuckahoe after being caught up in a controversy involving the high school football team.

Parents, coaches and players in that community criticized Mergardt for mishandling the preparation for the upcoming football season in what many described as a coup attempt to remove longtime football coach John D’Arco from his position.

As of early July 2014, there were concerns that Tuckahoe wouldn’t have enough players to field a team. But D’Arco told the Review in a previous interview that he had enough players by the week of July 22 and he relayed that message to Mergardt along with a list of equipment that he’d have to order, mainly footballs, mouth guards and first aid equipment.

But Mergardt failed to order the equipment until early September, already weeks into the season. He never told anyone why.

The situation came to a head during an Aug. 25, 2014 Tuckahoe Board of Education meeting, when coaches, parents, and current and past players vocally attacked the school board, superintendent and Mergardt. Mergardt resigned a week later citing family reasons.

Mergardt didn’t go into details about what happened in Tuckahoe other than to say he was on the same page with Superintendent Dr. Barbara Nuzzi but wasn’t on the same page with “the decision makers.”

“Some of my recommendations weren’t deemed acceptable,” Mergardt said. “But I feel like I left on good terms with a lot of people there.”

Rye City School District Board of Education President Laura Slack said she’s aware of the incident in Tuckahoe but feels confident in the hiring.

“We met Mr. Mergardt at the Board of Education meeting [on June 16] and we found him very impressive and thought he was fantastic with the student athletes he interacted with that night,” Slack said.

Mergardt will officially assume the position on July 1.

CONTACT: christopher@hometwn.com

 
WGO

What’s Going on in Eastchester 6-26-2015

Eastchester Public Library 

Read-To-Me Kickoff Party

On Tuesday, June 30, at 11 a.m., join musician Jeffrey Friedberg and the Bossy Frog Band for a fun-filled music concert to kick off this summer’s Read-to-Me game. Online pre-registration is required, and will begin on Tuesday, June 23 at 9 a.m. For Read-to-Me game participants only. Please register for each attendee including parents/caregivers. For more information, contact Teresa Chang at 721-8105.

Family Film Frenzy series returns

The Family Film Frenzy returns this summer at various Westchester parks. Parks will open at 7 p.m. for after-hours swimming, picnicking and relaxing. The movie will begin at sundown. Bring your own picnic or purchase food at the concession stand. For seating, bring blankets and chairs. Admission is $5 per person, free for children under 5. Admission includes the movie only. A Westchester County Park Pass is not required for admission. Admission wristbands will go on sale the day of the event at each location and will be sold on a first-come, first-serve basis while supplies last.

Dates, movies and locations are: July 8, “Box Trolls” (rated PG) at The Brook at
Tibbetts Brook Park in Yonkers; July 15, “Dolphin Tale 2” (rated PG) at Glen Island Beach in New Rochelle; July 22, “Big Hero 6” (rated PG) at Saxon Woods Pool in White Plains; and July 29, “Annie” (rated PG) at Willson’s Waves Pool in Mount Vernon.

Please note that swimming is only permitted until dark, and all food and cooler guidelines for regular pool hours apply.

For more information, visit parks.westchestergov.com or call 864-PARK (7275).

STEM summer camp for girls

Girls Inc. of Westchester is now accepting applications for their summer science camp, SmarTech. This year’s camp is two weeks long, from Monday, July 27 through Friday, Aug. 8, at Purchase College, SUNY. The camp runs Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Applications will be accepted for girls entering seventh and eighth grade. Girls applying must be able to commit to attending camp for the full two weeks.

In SmarTech, girls will learn about environmental science, computer coding, and other STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields, they will have the chance to experience college life and academics on Purchase College’s campus and they will meet women with amazing careers in STEM fields who are changing the world.
Because Girls Inc. runs on contributions, a suggested donation is $250 per participator per week, but Girls Inc. is flexible. Partial or full financial aid is available to families who are unable to afford the full fee.

For more information, contact Girls Inc.’s office at 419-0764, visit girlsincwestchester.org or email camp director Tara Penny at tpenny@girlsincwestchester.org.

Meals on Wheels 10708 concert

The internationally-renowned Bargemusic chamber group will be performing in the Church of St. Joseph, located at 15 Cedar St. in Bronxville, on Sunday, June 28 at 2:30 p.m. The concert is a fundraising benefit for Meals on Wheels 10708, Inc., a food delivery service for local seniors. Works by Pachelbel, Chopin, Beethoven and Mendelssohn will be presented.

Concert admission is $25 for the general public and $20 for seniors and students. Tickets may be purchased at the door. All proceeds will support Meals on Wheels. Additionally, raffle tickets will be sold for gift certificates donated by local merchants. Come enjoy the music and maybe win a wonderful prize at this very special event for a very special cause. Call 787-3027 for more information.

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.

Blood donation opportunities

The American Red Cross urges eligible donors to give blood during the weeks surrounding Independence Day to help ensure a sufficient blood supply now and throughout the summer.

Many summer activities, such as vacations and travel, cause frequent blood donors to be less available to give during the summer. However, hospital patients still depend on volunteer donors to receive lifesaving transfusions–the need for blood does not get a vacation.

To encourage more people to donate around Independence Day, all those who come out to donate blood from July 2 through 6 will receive a Red Cross embroidered hat, while supplies last.

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

Other dates to donate blood in Westchester:

Saturday, July 11 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at American Legion Post 1009, 235 Veterans Road, Yorktown Heights.

Tuesday, July 14 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Greenburgh Public Library, 300 Tarrytown Road, Elmsford.

How to donate blood:

Download the American Red Cross Blood Donor app, visit redcrossblood.org, or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients.

A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters, supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood, teaches skills that save lives, provides international humanitarian aid and supports military members and their families. It is a non-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, visit redcross.org or on Twitter at @RedCross.

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

 
WGO

What’s Going on in Mamaroneck 6-26-2015

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 towards 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.

Workshop 1: Filmmaking

Monday, June 29 to Friday, July 17

Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Workshop 2: Filmmaking

Monday, July 20 to Friday, Aug. 7

Monday through Friday, 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. Our program includes training in field and studio television production, development of documentary video and news projects. We also provide training in Final Cut Pro, and create 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 hyper-local, 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
holds free practice tests

 Summit’s free practice tests expose students to standardized testing under realistic conditions before the real SAT or ACT on Saturday, July 11 from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the Community Room. Summit will score the test and provide a detailed analysis and score report to each student within ten days. The score analysis will pinpoint each student’s strengths and areas in need of improvement.

To register for a practice test, visit mytutor.com/practicetest or call a Summit program director at 1-800-MYTUTOR (698-8867). If you are unable to attend a practice test in your community, contact the Summit office at 1-800-698-8867 for further assistance.

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.

Free driving permit practice test

Afraid you will not pass the New York State Permit Test on your first try? There is no better way to get prepared than taking a free sample New York Permit Practice Test online. You will be surprised how close it is to the real exam and while practicing, you will polish your knowledge of basic road rules and traffic signs in New York. You’ll be asked to answer 40 questions with four response options to select from. Isn’t that the perfect way to study? Need to practice more? No problem. Just re-take this New York DMV Permit Practice Test as many times as you feel necessary. It is absolutely free of charge and the questions are randomized each time, to secure your knowledge. For more information, visit mmrpl.driving-tests.org.

Mamaroneck Artists Guild

The Mamaroneck Artists Guild Gallery welcomes summer with a new exhibition called “Color! Color! Color!” continuing through Saturday, July 11.

The exciting group exhibition features works bursting with colorful imagery in a variety of media: photography, oils, acrylics, printmaking, mixed media, fiber and jewelry. All works are affordably priced for sale.

Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free. Meet the artists at the opening reception on Saturday, June 27, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Established in 1953 by seven local artists, the Mamaroneck Artists Guild is the oldest artist cooperative maintaining its own gallery in Westchester County. For more information, contact gallery director Suzanne Montresor at 834-1117 or mag2120@verizon.net. You can also visit mamaroneckartistsguild.org.

Village seeks ad-hoc parking committee volunteers

The Village of Mamaroneck Board of Trustees is seeking volunteers to serve on the Ad-Hoc Parking Advisory Committee to review and advise on alternative policies and regulations in the central business district.

The committee will consider changes under consideration, including the following:

Implementing Pay-by-Space vs. Pay-by-Plate

Upgrading technology on Mamaroneck Avenue

Extending meter hours

Setting meter rates by time of day and/or length of stay on Mamaroneck Avenue

Upgrading technology for parking lots and on-street spaces elsewhere in the CBD.

The Parking Advisory Committee will be composed of residents, representatives of the Chamber of Commerce, business owners and members of Village volunteer committees.

Residents and business owners interested in serving on the committee should submit their resume as soon as possible to the clerk-treasurer’s office, clerktreasurer@vomny.org, and to the board,  mayorandboard@vomny.org.

STEM summer camp for girls

Girls Inc. of Westchester is now accepting applications for their summer science camp, SmarTech. This year’s camp is two weeks, from Monday, July 27 through Friday, Aug. 8, at Purchase College, SUNY, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Applications will be accepted for girls entering seventh and eighth grade. Girls applying must be able to commit to attending camp for the full two weeks.

Girls will learn about environmental science, computer coding, and other STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields, will have the chance to experience college life and academics on Purchase College’s campus and will meet women with amazing careers in STEM fields who are changing the world.

Partial and full financial aid available to families who are unable to afford the full fee. As Girls Inc. runs on contributions, a suggested donation per participant is $250 per week, but Girls Inc. is flexible.

If you have any more questions or want to register your girl, please feel free to contact their office at 419-0764. You can also visit girlsincwestchester.org, or email camp director Tara Penny at tpenny@girlsincwestchester.org.

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

 
WGO

What’s Going on in Harrison 6-26-2015

Harrison library events

 

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

English conversation group

Let’s speak English, non-native speakers. Practice your English and make new friends in an informal, volunteer-led setting and learn about the Harrison library too. There is no need to register or sign up. Group meets on Mondays from 11 a.m. to noon at Uncle Henry’s Bar and Grill, 309 Halstead Ave.

West Harrison library events

Computer help

This program is a one-on-one, 45 minute session on every Tuesday in June, designed to help with computer-related topics such as email, internet searching, Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Publisher, Power Point), download e-books and audiobooks, Google Drive and Ancestry.com. To sign up, call 948-2092.

Story time

Great stories, music and fun for ages 1 to 5. No registration necessary, bring your friends. Mondays from 10:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Train Time

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

Mother Goose Time

Songs, dancing and fun for the little ones ages 3 and under. Thursday 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. Bring hooks, needles and yarn or practice with ours. Walk-ins are welcome. Saturdays 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Story time and craft

Listen to stories and create a fun craft with Manhattanville volunteers. Program for ages
3 to 5 on Saturdays from 10:30 a.m. to noon.

Harrison Recreation

Pre-team swimming

Come and develop your child’s swimming skills in preparation of joining the Harrison recreation winter or summer swim team. This program meets on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3:45 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. at the Ron Belmont Pool Complex.

Age: 7 and up

Dates: June 30 to July 30

Days: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday

Registration: May 11 to June 12

Check Payable: Town/Village of Harrison

Fee: $150

Lap swimming

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

Date: Weekdays from June 29 until Aug. 14

Time: 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Junior Soccer League

The Harrison Junior Soccer League is open to boys and girls in grades kindergarten through eighth grade. Every child will be assigned to a team through a draft process. Games will start in early September and end in early November. Games will be played at West Harrison Park, Louis M. Klein Middle School and Purchase Elementary School. Teams will be determined by the middle of August. Kindergarten Kickers/1st Grade Division will be determined in September.

Locations: LMK, Purchase, West Harrison Park

Grades: Kindergarten through eighth grade

Registration: Ends Thursday, June 4

Cost: $55

Payable to: Town/Village of Harrison.
All applications after June 4 will be $75.

Youth football camp

The Harrison varsity football program will be conducting a non-contact youth football camp for kids entering grades 3 through 8 during the 2015-2016 school year. The camp will take place on June 27 and run through June 29 from 1 p.m. through 3 p.m. at Harrison High School.

Camp instructors are the Harrison High School varsity football staff and players. Players will be divided by age for appropriate instruction. All positions will be coached and taught so this is a camp for every boy, regardless of position. For more information, call 949-5265, 670-3179 or visit harrison-ny.gov.

Summer camp

Four-day camps offering numerous sports, arts and crafts, swimming, music and weekly special events. Grades 1 through 8 are eligible to apply. Registration fee is $475, $250 for a second child and $175 for third and subsequent children. Please make check payable to Town/Village of Harrison. If all spots are filled, campers will be placed on a wait list with no guarantee of a spot. Late fee is $50 per child after May 7 and $100 after June 18. Camp starts on June 29 and runs through Aug. 7.

US Sports Institute

Camp and classes are for boys and girls of all abilities, ages 3 through 14. There are daytime and evening classes, plus full day and half day. The full schedule and specific programs can be found online at USsportsinstitute.com or call 866-345-BALL. 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 resident identification card.

STEM summer camp for girls

Girls Inc. of Westchester is now accepting applications for their summer science camp, SmarTech. This year’s camp is two weeks long, from Monday, July 27 through Friday, Aug. 8, at Purchase College, SUNY. The camp runs Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Applications will be accepted for girls entering seventh and eighth grade. Girls applying must be able to commit to attending camp for the full two weeks.

In SmarTech, girls will learn about environmental science, computer coding, and other STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields, they will have the chance to experience college life and academics on Purchase College’s campus, and they will meet women with amazing careers in STEM fields who are changing the world. Because Girls Inc. runs on contributions, a suggested donation is $250 per participator per week, but Girls Inc. is flexible. Partial or full financial aid is available to families who are unable to afford the full fee.

For more information, contact Girls’ Inc.’s office at 419-0764, visit girlsincwestchester.org or email camp director Tara Penny at tpenny@girlsincwestchester.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.

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 6-26-2015

Rye Library Events

Celebrating our nation’s 239th birthday

Leaders of Tomorrow and the Rye Free Reading Room present selected speeches and the reading of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, at 10 a.m. in the Reading Room. You could even meet Betsy Ross and learn about her role in making one of the country’s first flags. This will be followed by patriotic singing and the unfurling of the  American Legion’s historic American flag on the Village Green. Special thanks to Rye Recreation Department. For more information, email rye1904@yahoo.com.

Story Time

Nursery rhymes, songs 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 at the library 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. Program is open to six month to three-and-a-half years. Mondays at 10 a.m. for 20 minutes.

 

Calligraphy at Rye Free Reading Room

Rye Free Reading Room will hold calligraphy workshops for teens every Monday at 4 p.m. beginning July 6 and 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.

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. With a broad range of weekly as well as summer-long programs for kids ages four 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, film making, 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 on offer with the RAC’s new plein-air painting class for ages 11 to 14.

Rounding out the RAC’s summer offerings are 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, our camp creates an ideal setting for children to enjoy the outdoors. We offer a hands-on approach to scientific inquiry and give our 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.

STEM summer camp for girls

Girls Inc. of Westchester is now accepting applications for their summer science camp, SmarTech. This year’s camp is two weeks long, from July 27 through Aug. 8, at Purchase College, SUNY. The camp runs Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Applications will be accepted for girls entering seventh and eighth grade. Girls applying must be able to commit to attending camp for the full two weeks.

In SmarTech, girls will learn about environmental science, computer coding, and other STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields, they will have the chance to experience college life and academics on Purchase College’s campus and they will meet women with amazing careers in STEM fields who are changing the world. Because Girls Inc. runs on contributions, a suggested donation is $250 per participator per week, but Girls Inc. is flexible. Partial or full financial aid is available to families who are unable to afford the full fee.

For more information, contact Girls’ Inc.’s office at 419-0764, visit girlsincwestchester.org or email camp director Tara Penny at tpenny@girlsincwestchester.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.

Rye Youth Soccer fall 2015 registration

Rye Youth Soccer will now be accepting online applications for fall intramural teams for coaches, as well as girls and boys grades K through 5. The season will begin on Saturday, Sept. 19 and runs until Saturday, Nov. 14. Complete details on dates and times of the program can be found Rye Youth Soccer’s website, ryeyouthsoccer.org, under the “Intramural” link on the left side of the home page. For more information,  contact registrar Patti Adimari, at pattirys@optonline.net or 967-5273. Scholarships are available upon request.

 

Jay Heritage Center

Mary Rutherfurd Jay exhibition

Mary Rutherfurd Jay (1872-1953) was a descendant of American Founding Father John Jay. She was also one of America’s earliest landscape architects and a vocal advocate of horticultural education and careers for women. Join us for this new exhibit which illuminates her career and volunteer service during World War I. See photos of her garden commissions that have been digitized for the very first time from hand colored glass lantern slides of the early 1900s. Open to the public through Sept. 27 for free.  For more information and hours, call 698-9275 or visit jaycenter.org. Located at 210 Boston Post Road in Rye.

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.

 
vote-2015

Marcotte preps for another fight

marcotteBy CHRIS EBERHART
The race for the county’s District 10 legislative seat between Westchester County Legislator Sheila Marcotte, an Eastchester Republican, and Democratic challenger Haina Just-Michael, of New Rochelle, is expected to be one of the closest legislator races this election season.

In Marcotte’s previous county legislator race in 2013 against a New Rochelle Democrat, Mary Jo Jacobs, Marcotte claimed landslide victories in her hometown of Tuckahoe and Eastchester but struggled in the New Rochelle portion of the district, which holds a near 3 to 1 Democratic registration advantage and has been the home of this year’s opponent for the past 23 years.

Just-Michael’s roots run deep in New Rochelle having been involved in a handful of city volunteer positions on the board of Holocaust and Human Rights Education Center, the Interreligious Council of New Rochelle and, most notably, for the last seven years as a trustee for the New Rochelle Library Board, including what is about to be her second year as the president, among other positions.

Last year under Just-Michael’s leadership, the New Rochelle Public Library instituted an e-cigarette ban in the library, which Westchester implemented this month for county work places. And in April of this year, Just-Michael, 56, played a major role in the repeal of the MTA payroll tax for New York public libraries, a tax which went into effect in 2009. Just-Michael’s efforts are expected to save the New Rochelle Public Library approximately $10,000 a year.

“Questions came up, and we addressed them right away,” Just-Michael said. “These are policy issues, and you have to stay ahead of the curve…And I think New Rochelle can set an example for the county in a lot of ways.”

Marcotte, 50, who won the county seat in 2010 and served as the chairwoman of the Board of Legislators’ Budget and Appropriations Committee this past year, said she isn’t daunted by the decided voter disadvantage she is facing in New Rochelle, having beaten those odds before. Marcotte said she will do what she’s always done; rely on her record of keeping the tax levy increase flat.

“I’m aware I’m the underdog,” Marcotte said. “All I can do is campaign on my record, as I have in the past, and let the residents decide in November.”

Just-Michael, who owns her own public relations firm, said she attended a couple of Westchester County Board of Legislators meetings and can “already see gaps.”

“Things that you might think have already been taken care of, haven’t been,” said Just-Michael, specifically mentioning the need for increased aid to social services, taking legislative measures against bullying on college campuses and focusing more on environmental sustainability—such as a countywide plastic bag ban and more bike lanes and bike racks.

“I think social services, anti-bullying and environmental issues are big deals and that can trickle down from the county,” she said. “I feel like I’ve done a lot for the community here as a volunteer, and I felt like it’s time to take it to the next level.”

But Marcotte said of all the issues, taxes are the No. 1 concern for voters, followed by economic development, improving infrastructure and protecting local zoning in the county’s fight against the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development over affordable housing.

“When I go door to door asking voters to rehire me, I ask people what is most important to them, and across the board they say ‘taxes,’” Marcotte said. “‘What have you done for my taxes recently?’ And I can say I’ve kept the tax levy flat for the past five years.”

Marcotte, who spent time on the Tuckahoe Board of Trustees and Eastchester Town Council before becoming a county legislator, said she’s particularly proud of being part of the bipartisan coalition on the Board of Legislators, which includes seven Republicans and two Democrats Mike Kaplowitz, of Yorktown, and Virginia Perez, of Yonkers, that formed at the end of 2013 to help pass the 2014 county budget and most recently
the 2015 county budget, which is the fifth consecutive year the county tax level has remained flat.

But the zero percent tax levy increase in the 2015 county budget that Marcotte touted included borrowing to cover $15 million in pension costs and $5 million in tax certioraris that Just-Michael criticized, as did many Democrats on the county board during the budget vote. Just-Michael said she’s confident she can use her experience serving on the library’s budget committee to find areas where the county can save.

“I don’t understand how you can claim there are no tax raises but leave the burden to local municipalities,” Just-Michael said. “I think we’re borrowing our future…We would never keep our lights on at home by putting it on a credit card, yet that’s exactly what’s being done. That really disturbs me.”

Marcotte took over the District 10 seat in 2010 after defeating Greg Varian, a New Rochelle Democrat, in a special election to replace Republican Vito Pinto, who was tabbed by Republican County Executive Rob Astorino to head the county’s Veterans Service Agency. Marcotte followed that up with a 2011 win over former Tuckahoe Mayor John Fitzpatrick, a Democrat.

Just-Michael worked against Marcotte on both Varian’s and Jacobs’ campaigns as well as New Rochelle Democratic Mayor Noam Bramson’s unsuccessful campaign for county executive against Astorino in 2013.

Legislators are elected to serve two-year terms. Election Day is Nov. 3.

CONTACT: christopher@hometwn.com 

 
The 100 Pondfield Road project that would turn a vacant warehouse into a luxury condominium is in serious doubt after Planning Board criticism and a recent lawsuit against the village regarding a different, but similar, development on Kensington Road. Photo courtesy Google Maps

100 Pondfield development a go

By CHRIS EBERHART
A reduction in the size and scope of the 100 Pondfield Road development, which was in serious doubt as of late February, may have saved the project.

Originally, the Yonkers-based developer Pondfield Court, LLC, wanted to redevelop the old Morgan Manhattan storage facility, which is a vacant, landlocked warehouse behind CVS on Pondfield Road, into a four-story, 11-unit luxury condominium. But members of the Bronxville Planning Board raised concerns about fire and pedestrian safety, traffic and the number of variances.

After months of back and forth between the developer’s attorney Michael Zarin and the Planning Board, Pondfield Court, LLC, proposed a scaled-down version of the plan in March that dropped the number of floors from four to three. Doing so put the project in line with the floors of the current building. The number of units will remain the same, but the construct of the rooms inside was altered to fit into the new confines of the project.

As a result, the new, three-story proposal was granted a conditional negative declaration under the New York State Environmental and Quality Review Act, SEQR, by the Bronxville Planning Board in a unanimous vote on June 10. The negative declaration states that the project will not have any significant adverse impact on the environment.

After the meeting, Planning Board Chairman Eric Blessing said the reduction from four floors to three kept the building in its current dimensions and played a major role in the board’s approval of the negative declaration.

The Planning Board included a condition that gives Bronxville residents a 30-day window to object to the project. If there are no objections to the project, it will move forward to the next stage of the planning process.

The oddity of the property has created a riddle that’s been difficult for developers and Planning Board members to solve.

The building at 100 Pondfield Road is a landlocked warehouse offset from the street and only accessible by a narrow alley from Pondfield Road that no property owner has exclusive rights to. There’s an easement in place that allows Pondfield Court and its neighbor—Topps Bakery,  located at 106 Pondfield Road, which sits in front of the 100 Pondfield Road property—to share the alley.

Pondfield Court bought the property in March 2011 from the previous developer Steven Green for $1.2 million.

Green, a millionaire real estate developer, suffered permanent neurological damage after being struck by a car in a hit-and-run incident outside of a nightclub in New York City in 2007 before spending time in prison for Social Security fraud and failing to file income tax returns.

Green had initially proposed to turn the warehouse into luxury apartments and office space with an 18-car garage and rooftop pool and was conditionally granted variances in 2006, but he was unable to proceed with the project after the accident.

“The process has been arduous for everyone,” Blessing said. “But it’s moving along.”

CONTACT: christopher@hometwn.com