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OP/ED

OP/ED: Warren Ross was very much a ‘class act’

 

 

By Peter Lane
I was unfortunately unable to attend the recent memorial service for the late former Democratic Rye City Mayor Warren Ross.  I do, however, want to take an opportunity to share some political and personal recollections of Warren; a thoughtful, highly intelligent man (he was, in fact, brilliant in his modest and unassuming way) of great integrity who I considered to be very much a “class act.”

I was the Republican Party chairman when Warren was first elected to the Rye City Council in 1985 and then as mayor in 1989. While I never believed politics should become “personal,” I consider it to be a “contact sport” and I never shied away from exchanging “political hits” when I thought it appropriate. (One of my favorite political quotes is from the late, long-time political commentator, Jack W. Germond, who was fond of reminding us that “politics ain’t beanbag.” This translates to the real world guidelines that politics is not for the “thin skinned” and we who participate in it are supposed to be grown-ups.)

While I’ve always believed that I have never crossed the line from the “political” to the “personal” (and I have Obama-like faith in my political judgment), I am aware that we all have different sensibilities. Thus, my pragmatic guidelines, and assumptions, notwithstanding, I always hope that the subject of any of my particular comments won’t feel himself or herself to have been victimized by a never intended ad hominem attack.

All of this sets the stage for my anecdote about Warren. My good friend, judicial role model and mentor—his feel for the pulse of our city on this very pro-active, “hands-on” bench was unerring—Tom DeCaro was due to retire as the Rye City judge at the end of 1991. That was a position that had long been my professional goal and the one that I very much hoped to be appointed to after Tom stepped down.  According to our City Charter, the appointment is made by the mayor with the approval of the City Council. I was, however, early in Warren’s term as mayor still the Republican chairman, so it fell to me to engage with him politically. I did that in a series of “shot for shot” exchanges in one of Rye’s then weekly newspapers. I wore only the chair’s “hat” and my political gusto was unrestrained by my ambition to don the local judge’s robe in January 1992. I could only hope that Warren would follow the same guidelines that I did and would not be a political “grudge holder” when the time for the appointment arose.

At some point, shortly after our local version of political “point-counterpoint” had ended, I resigned as the Republican chairman, although I remained a member of the Rye City Republican Committee. This turned out not to be the wisest political move that I ever made since as chairman it would have been easier to protect my “flank” against other lawyers from my party who also coveted the soon to be open judgeship.

Late in 1991, Warren diligently began personally interviewing those of us who sought to be considered for the appointment as the next Rye City judge. (My best recollection was that there were some four or five candidates, so it could not have been an easy or brief task for him.) When my turn came, I made the best possible affirmative case that I could for my appointment and then answered his questions. He asked some thoughtful ones, including how I might interact with the community for its betterment in an extra-curricular (i.e. outside the courtroom) fashion.  Fortunately, I had given that some prior thought and shared with him my intent to partner with the middle school and speak with the students about the fact that they were entering an age bracket where the legal consequences of some actions that might merely have resulted in a summons to the principal’s office in elementary school were about to become potentially serious. That must have resonated with him in a favorable way since he made mention of it when he announced my appointment to the press.

What we did not do was to allude to our past political exchanges. That would have been extremely inappropriate (not to mention incredibly stupid on my part).

What Warren was well able to do was to put those exchanges (and my role as a former political adversary) in perspective and to treat those considerations as irrelevant to the task at hand. He appointed the person who he thought would be best for the job to the bench, period. I have been in politics long enough to know that not everyone in his position would have done the same thing. He started me on what was to become a highly gratifying and fulfilling 18-year career as a judge. I will remain forever grateful to him for having the willingness and the strength of character to do that.

 

Peter Lane is a retired Rye City Court judge and current executive director of the Rye City Republican Committee. The views expressed are his. 

 
WGO

Letter: MBYC signs serve a purpose

 

 

To the Editor,

I am writing in response to the recent letter in the Mamaroneck Review “Barry Avenue signs are mean-spirited” letter.

Unlike the author of that letter, I actually live in the Village of Mamaroneck, pay village taxes and attend many village meetings where the owners of Mamaroneck Beach and Yacht Club, MBYC, and their team of lawyers have attempted for many years to steamroll over local interests and concerns in order to accept their unreasonable development plans.

Last week’s letter stated that these signs “violate the spirit of free speech.” One important fact that was omitted in the letter was what these signs say.

I, like many residents in the Shore Acres community, have placed signs on our lawns that say “No Condos On Our Creek.” We are using our right of free speech to express our opinions and concerns about MBYC building two condominium buildings so close to Otter Creek, which is a state environmentally protected preserve.

And yes, they are condominiums, as defined as “a building or complex of buildings containing a number of apartments.” Their ownership, rental ability, and seasonality is immaterial when a 3.5-story residential building is erected in a zone that does not allow residential construction and which is so close to an area of natural beauty.

Finally, over the last few weeks, our signs have been removed overnight from our properties on four occasions. Each time we have reported this trespass and theft to the police, who continue to investigate these crimes of larceny. Removing these signs is the true violation of free speech in our community.

The police are still investigating, but it does not take too much imagination to guess who would be most interested in these signs not being around.

And one more thing, we also have “No Condos On Our Creek” car magnets if anyone would like one.

 

Nina Rubin,

Mamaroneck

WGO

What’s going on in Rye 6-19-2015

Teen gaming

The Rye Free Reading Room invites teens to play videogames the first and third Friday of the month. Play all our Wii games on the big screen. Some of our new games include Sonic and the Secret Rings, Mario Party 8, Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Winter Games, Red Steel 2, Dance on Broadway, Trauma Team and PES 2010: Pro Evolution Soccer. Snacks will be provided.

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 from 10 a.m. to 10:20 a.m., 20 minutes.

Teacher in the library

Got homework? Drop by the library on weekdays, Monday through Thursday from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. Rye teachers offer after school homework help to students attending local public and private elementary schools in the Rye area. This is a free program, sponsored by the Auxiliary Board of the Rye Free Reading Room, Woman’s Club of Rye/Children’s Philanthropy Section and the PTO of Rye schools.

Rye Arts Center

Summer program registration

Keeping kids’ creativity flowing is key to summer fun. Look no further than The Rye Arts Center 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, The Rye Arts Center, RAC, provides 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 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, please call 967-5150 or email allisonbedosky@ryenaturecenter.org.

Wainwright House

Sound vibrations for healing
and balance

This bi-weekly class led by Marianne Denniston at the Wainwright House, will bring people together, relieve stress and nervous tension, and reduce impatience and restlessness. Using the resonance of Tibetan Signing Bowls, you will restore chakra strength, equilibrium, establish a refined, positive flow throughout your cellular body and increase spiritual awareness. Each class is $20 for members and $22 for non-members. The last class will be held on June 25 from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Register by visiting wainwright.org.

Fundamentals of Tai Chi

Robert Corrado will teach the fundamentals of Tai Chi on Mondays from 11 a.m. to noon and Thursdays 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. on an on-going basis. Those interested may start anytime and classes can be prorated. Tai Chi is beneficial to people of all ages and fitness levels. Increase your flexibility and balance, reduce stress by increasing your sensation of relaxation, increase vitality and longevity. For more information, visit wainwright.org.

Learn the art of tea leaf reading

Enjoy a meditative cup of tea and light pastries and learn the art of Tasseography with Joan Carra, spiritual counselor, psychic and medium.  This ancient divination has roots from all over the world. Let the patterns of the tea leaves or coffee grinds stimulate your subconscious for intuitive messages. Even wear ear your spring hat for a tea party.  $32 for Wainwright members and $35 for non members, includes light refreshments. Coffee is available for non-tea drinkers.  Sunday, June 28 from 12 noon to 2 p.m. To register, please visit wainwright.org. Located at 260 Stuyvesant Ave., Rye. Call 967-6080.

Cerebral Palsy of Westchester’s Annual Golf Classic

On Tuesday, June 23, Cerebral Palsy of Westchester will host their 14th annual golf classic at Quaker Ridge Golf Club in Scarsdale. Corporate sponsors and individual players will enjoy a day of golf and have a shot at the Hole-In-One and other competitions. After the tournament, participants will take part in the evening’s festivities which include dinner, a silent auction, raffle and a presentation of the tournament winners.

Where: Quaker Ridge Golf Club,

146 Griffen Ave., Scarsdale.

Registration: 10 a.m.

Shotgun start:12:30 p.m.

For more information or to participate, contact Joan Colangelo, director of development and public relations, at 937-3800 ext. 215 or joan.colangelo@cpwestchester.org. You can also visit cpwestchester.org.

Learn the history of craft brewing 

Calling all devotees of craft brews to the Square House Museum. On Saturday, June 27, at 7 p.m., the Rye Historical Society will host a fascinating program about the long history of craft brewing in America.

On hand will be Scott Ryan and Ronald McKechnie, founders of Six Degrees of Separation, a brewery and restaurant being built on the shores of the Hudson River at Westerly Marina in Ossining, N.Y. Brew master McKechnie is a graduate of the Master Brewers program at the University of California at Davis.

Attendees will learn about an incredible variety of beer recipes, including some that have come down the ages from founding father and third US President Thomas Jefferson. The program will include beer tasting and a raffle to win a beer making kit.

Tickets are $25 for members, and $35 for non-members. Reservations are recommended as space is limited and can be made by calling 967-7588. Attendees must be 21 or older.

The Square House Museum is located at 1 Purchase St. in Rye. Hours of operation are Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
For more information, call the Rye Historical Society at 967-7588 or visit ryehistory.org.

 

WGO

What’s going on in Mamaroneck 6-19-2015

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

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.

Cerebral Palsy of Westchester’s Annual Golf Classic

On Tuesday, June 23, Cerebral Palsy of Westchester will host their 14th annual golf classic at Quaker Ridge Golf Club in Scarsdale. Corporate sponsors and individual players will enjoy a day of golf and have a shot at the
Hole-In-One and other competitions. After the tournament, participants will take part in the evening’s festivities which include dinner, a silent auction, raffle and a presentation of the tournament winners.

Where:
Quaker Ridge Golf Club,
146 Griffen Ave., Scarsdale.

Registration: 10 a.m.

Shotgun start:12:30 p.m.

For more information or to participate, contact Joan Colangelo, director of development and public relations, at 937-3800 ext. 215 or joan.colangelo@cpwestchester.org. You can also
visit cpwestchester.org.

Mamaroneck Artists Guild

The Mamaroneck Artists Guild Gallery welcomes summer with a new exhibition called “Color! Color! Color!” opening on Wednesday, June 24, and 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.

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. Accepting applications from rising seventh and eighth grade girls.

About Girls Inc. SmarTech:

• July 27 to Aug. 8,

Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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

• Rising seventh and eighth grade girls

• Must be able to commit to the full two weeks

• 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 participator is $250 per week, but Girls Inc. is flexible.

If you have any more questions or want to register your daughter, 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.

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.

We look forward to vigorous discussion and a transparent process for reaching resolution on changes under consideration. We encourage you to stay informed and engaged, and to consider volunteering for the committee.

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

 
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What’s going on in Eastchester 6-19-2015

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.

Bronxville Public Library

Electronic instruction

On Tuesdays and Thursdays, at 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m., we are offering free instruction in internet access and Microsoft Office software. Call the reference desk at 337-7680 for more information and to register. You can also get instruction online at learningexpresshub.com.

Tuckahoe Senior Center

The Tuckahoe senior citizens is an active
vital community made up of men and women, 55 years of age and older, who gather Tuesdays and Thursdays from September through July at Father Fata Hall at the Assumption Church in Tuckahoe. Members enjoy a wide range of activities including weekly exercise, tai chi, bingo, cards and games, as well as presentations on topics of particular interest: health, legal issues, history, music, culture, food, crafts, politics, art, literature, film, dancing and more.

All of these programs are included in the $20 annual membership fee. Seniors also enjoy monthly luncheons and day trips for an additional fee.

Operating in Westchester County for almost 45 years, the senior center primarily serves those residents in the 10707, 10708 and 10709 zip codes. However, membership is open to all who consider Tuckahoe and Eastchester their community, including some who live nearby in adjacent areas of Yonkers, Mount Vernon and Scarsdale.

Referrals to important services for older adults are provided by a professional director, who has a growing list of trusted partners around Southern Westchester that who can help our member’s age in place where appropriate, as well as discussing other needs as necessary.

The Tuckahoe Senior Center’s operations are overseen by the Senior Citizens Council, a community-based organization established in 1970 to provide professionally run programs and services for elderly residents of Eastchester, Tuckahoe and Bronxville.

The Chapel School 

Kids ‘R’ Cookin’ Camp

This summer, The Chapel School Explorer Camp is excited to present two options for your budding chef. The Kids ‘R’ Cookin’ Camp is for budding chefs who are aged seven to 12 and runs from July 6 through July 10, 9 a.m. until noon.  We are excited to bring the professionals from Kids ‘R’ Cookin’ to our explorer program this summer. Students will have a unique opportunity to express their love of cooking while having lots of fun exploring a variety of foods to prepare and cook. Some items might include stuffed French toast, enchiladas, fruit pies, fresh spaghetti and meatballs. Your child will learn basic food safety, utensil use and the fundamentals of cooking fresh, healthy and
delicious recipes.

Baking with Mrs. Price

This camp is for budding bakers aged 9 through 12. It will run from July 20 through July 24, 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. Campers will bake easy desserts and breads that will have their friends thinking they slaved in the kitchen for hours. They will learn to make delicious baked treats including Linzer (jam) tarts, bagels, chocolate walnut coffee (decaf), muffins and more.

Everest VBS

A summer kids event called Everest VBS will be hosted at Village Lutheran Church from July 13 to July 17, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. At Everest, kids discover what it means to hold on to God’s mighty power in everyday life. Kids participate in memorable Bible-learning activities, sing catchy songs, play teamwork-building games, make and dig into yummy treats, experience one-of-a-kind Bible adventures, collect Bible memory buddies to remind them of God’s love, and test out sciency-fun gizmos they’ll take home and play with all summer long. Plus, kids will learn to look for evidence of God all around them through something called God sightings. Each day concludes with a summit celebration that gets everyone involved in living what they’ve learned.  Kids at Everest VBS will join an international mission effort to provide Thai-language children’s Bibles to kids in Thailand. Everest is for kids from kindergarten to fifth grade and will run from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm each day. For more information, call Mimi Blanco 337-3202, extension 1026. The  suggested registration fee is $20 ($30 per family).  Village Lutheran Church and The Chapel School are located at 172 White  Plains Road in Bronxville. For more information about The Chapel School  and its programs, call 337-3202 or visit thechapelschool.org.

The Bronxville Pops Concert Band 

The Bronxville Pops Concert Band announces its 41st Concert Series. The series will be held on Wednesday evenings on July 8, July 15, July 22 and July 29 at 8 p.m. on The Great Lawn in Front of The Bronxville High School, located on Pondfield Road and Midland Avenue in Bronxville. Spend a delightful evening under the stars. Bring a blanket, a chair, and some wine and cheese as you enjoy an American tradition. For more information, email thebronxvillepops@gmail.com.

Westchester Italian Culture Center hosts lecture and cooking class

The Westchester Italian Culture Center will be hosting a cooking class for children followed by a lecture for adults on Wednesday, June 24.

The cooking class, starting at 2 p.m., will teach children and adults how to make dough for thin and thick crust pizza and focaccias with their choice of fresh and tasty toppings. The class is appropriate for all ages and will last one to two hours.

Following the class, the Culture Center will host a lecture starting at 6:30 p.m. The lecture, “Michelangelo: Aesthetics and Sculpture,” will analyze the second half of Michelangelo’s career and will serve as a follow-up to the previous lecture “Technique and Vision: The Development of the Michelangelo Style.”

Early registration for both events is suggested and advanced registration and payment is required. Children’s fee is $30 for members, $40 for non-members. Parent and children’s fee is $45 for members, $55 for non-members. The fee for each additional person is $30 for members, $40 for non-members.

For more information, contact the Westchester Italian Cultural Center at 771-8700, or visit wiccny.org. The Westchester Italian Cultural Center is located at 1 Generoso Pope Place
in Tuckahoe.

Cerebral Palsy of Westchester’s Annual Golf Classic

On Tuesday, June 23, Cerebral Palsy of Westchester will host their 14th annual golf classic at Quaker Ridge Golf Club in Scarsdale. Corporate sponsors and individual players will enjoy a day of golf and have a shot at the
Hole-In-One and other competitions. After the tournament, participants will take part in the
evening’s festivities which include dinner, a silent auction, raffle and a presentation of
the tournament winners.

Where:
Quaker Ridge Golf Club,
146 Griffen Ave., Scarsdale.

Registration: 10 a.m.

Shotgun start:12:30 p.m.

For more information or to participate, contact Joan Colangelo, director of development and public relations, at 937-3800 ext. 215 or joan.colangelo@cpwestchester.org. You can also
visit cpwestchester.org.

Hartsdale

Celebrate Irish heritage at
Ridge Road Park

A day-long salute to the traditions of Ireland is in store at the annual Irish Heritage Day Celebration on Sunday, June 28 from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., at Ridge Road Park in Hartsdale. There will aslo be Mass beginning at noon on the stage. The event is part of a series of cultural heritage festivals held in a variety of county parks on weekends throughout the summer.

Entertainment includes the Tara Gold Band, Ian Gallagher, the McLean Avenue Band, a bagpipe band performance and the Deirdre O’Mara School of Irish Dancers.

There will be many vendors on site where festival-goers can shop for arts, crafts, jewelry, clothing and more. Activities for children include games and Westchester County’s fitness center-on-wheels, the Fit-Mobile.

Admission is $5 per adult. Children under 14 are admitted free. Parking is free. Seating is informal so bring blankets or chairs for seating on the lawn. The festival will be held rain or shine. No coolers will be allowed.

For more information, call 439-5773 or go to aiawestchester.com. You can also visit parks.westchestergov.com or call 864-PARK (7275).

The event is sponsored by Westchester County Parks and the American-Irish Association of Westchester County.

Deadline for our What’s Going On section is every Wednesday 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 New Rochelle 6-19-2015

New Rochelle Public Library

Homework help

Homework help is available at the library for elementary and middle school students. Children in grades kindergarten through grade 5 can drop-in to the Children’s Room on the first floor and students in grades 6 through 8 can visit the Young Adult area on the second floor for help on the following days:

Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays: 3 p.m. and 7:40 p.m.

Wednesdays: 3 p.m. and 5:40 p.m.

This is a collaboration among the New Rochelle Public Library, New Rochelle Youth Bureau and Monroe College.

Free Medicare counseling

Whether you’re about to enroll in Medicare or are a current Medicare recipient, you can get help with your benefits and coverage questions at the Senior Benefits Information Center at The New Rochelle Public Library, Fridays at 10 a.m., except holidays. No appointment necessary.

Meet with trained counselors to get more information about:

• Medicare Part A (in-patient) and Part B (out-patient) coverage

• Part D prescription drug coverage

• Medicare Advantage plans, with or without drug coverage

• Medicare Savings plans, extra help and EPIC for seniors with more limited incomes.

Some assistance is also available for those who are looking for other financial benefit programs, such as HEAP, Home Energy Assistance Program, and food stamps. If you can’t visit the library in person, you can leave a message on the SBIC helpline at 231-3260 with your name, number, and whether your interest is in Medicare services or other benefits, and a counselor will return your call within two business days. You can ask your question online by emailing SBIC@wlsmail.org

For a listing of all 10 SBIC centers, please visit westchesterlibraries.org/senior-benefits-information-centers, which includes information for clients in Spanish.

New Rochelle Recreation Department

Canteen

Designed for those 16 years old and older on Friday nights emphasizing socialization with a dual emphasis on independence and cooperation through involvement in the community. The program includes special events, games, life skill development with participant input encouraging the direction of the program. Door-to-door transportation is available. Program meets at the Hugh A. Doyle Senior Center. For more information, contact Nina Shawn
Gainor at 654-2116.

Full-day summer camp

This is a full-day camp program featuring sessions in arts and crafts, group games, sports instruction, music, performing arts and character building. Campwide special events and themed days are scheduled throughout the season. Lunch and snacks will be provided through the Youth Nutrition Program. Early drop-off for a limited number of campers is available on a first-come, first-served basis for an additional cost of $165. Camp runs Monday, July 6 through Friday, Aug. 14 from 9:30 a.m. through 3:30 p.m. at two locations: William B. Ward Elementary School and Jefferson Elementary School. Different options are available at each camp. For more information, contact Nina Shawn Gainor at 654-2116.

Youth swimming classes

This program is an excellent introduction to swimming. It is designed to be intense and improve swimming skills fast and effectively over two-day sessions. Children ages 6 through 12 are welcome. The student to instructor ratio is 1:5 for beginners or 1:7 for higher levels. These classes are 45 minutes long and designed to allow children to progress at their own rate. Program is open to New Rochelle residents only for a fee of $100 per person per session. For more information, visit newrochelleny.com.

Date: Saturdays and Sundays,

July 12 through Aug. 3

Session I: 10 a.m to 10:45 a.m.

Session II: 11 a.m to 11:45 a.m.

Location: Lincoln Pool

The New Rochelle BID 

Farmers Market

The New Rochelle Downtown BID Farmers Market runs every Saturday through Oct. 31 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., rain or shine on the
Library Green.

Located next to the New Rochelle Public Library on Huguenot Street between Memorial Highway and Lawton Street, the market features more than 25 weekly and guest vendors.

Downtown’s market is unique, conceived as both a weekly farmers market as well as a community celebration for the entire family. It hosts a large variety of locally grown and harvested food products—from fish freshly caught that morning to produce still warm from the fields, as well as artisanal products such freshly baked desserts to micro brewed beers. The market’s popular Ready Set Sharp will return to keep a sharp edge on all our knives as will the New Rochelle Artisans and live cooking demonstrations by Cookin’ with Sonia.

Buy a brick to help Pet Rescue

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 an enduring reminder of the generosity and love our friends have for our rescues and will fund upcoming renovations to our home and further our mission to save helpless animals and find them safe, loving homes.

4”x8” brick can be inscribed with up to
3 lines/18 characters per line at $150.

8”x8” brick can be inscribed with up to 6 lines/18 characters per line at $300.

Array of four 8”x8” 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.

Kensico Dam Plaza

Celebrate African-American heritage

Experience the richness of African-American culture at the 31st annual African-American Heritage Festival on Sunday, June 28 from noon to 7 p.m. at Kensico Dam Plaza in Valhalla.

This year’s theme is “Celebrating Black Men Making a Positive Impact.”

The day’s events include entertainment by musical groups and dancers, along with drama and poetry readings, health and educational exhibits and activities for children. Visitors will also be able to browse the many wares of vendors who will be on hand selling traditional arts and crafts and countless types of ethnic foods. Interested vendors for this event should call 378-3283 and leave a message.

Bring a folding chair or blanket and enjoy the June weather. Admission and parking are free. Kensico Dam Plaza is located at the north end of the Bronx River Parkway in Valhalla. Please be advised that the Bronx River Parkway will be closed for Bicycle Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. between Scarsdale Road in Yonkers and the Westchester County Center in White Plains. The park can be accessed via Route 22, from the north or south.

The event is sponsored by Westchester County Parks, Friends of Westchester County Parks, Inc. and the Coalition of African-American Organizations. For more information, visit westchestergov.com/parks or call 864-PARK (7275).

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

 
A Rye Golf Club employee reseeds the course’s greens after turf damage has rendered them unplayable. Club officials are unsure as to the source of the problem.

Golf club: Greens unplayable

 

The 17th green is just one of the many portions of Rye Golf Club’s course that has been experiencing heavy turf loss issues to the point of being unplayable. The issue began around Memorial Day weekend and the source still remains unknown. Photos/Jackson Chen

The 17th green is just one of the many portions of Rye Golf Club’s course that has been experiencing heavy turf loss issues to the point of being unplayable. The issue began around Memorial Day weekend and the source still remains unknown. Photos/Jackson Chen

By JACKSON CHEN
The Rye Golf Club’s greens have been closed off until further notice as the staff has been tackling a turf degradation problem that has left areas unplayable. 

Jim Buonaiuto, the golf club general manager, said that at its worst, anywhere from 30 to 70 percent of the course’s greens were compromised and unplayable. The issue of playability of the course first became evident around Memorial Day weekend, but proceeded to get progressively worse, according to Buonauito. With such conditions and no signs of improvements for the greens, the golf club made the decision to close off the greens indefinitely on June 1. The rest of the course is playable and in excellent condition, Buonauito said.

Leon Sculti, chairman of the Rye Golf Club Commission, said there were email alerts from the staff towards the end of May that brought the turf loss issue to the commission’s forefront.

“The first email talked about growth regulars and extremely cold and dry weather…that was one possible cause of some of the conditions we’re seeing on the course,” Sculti said.

“Since that time, our GM and our super have come up with another possible cause for the condition of the course and it involves the possible contamination of an agent that has been sprayed onto the green.”

In tackling the initial growing problem of blighting greens, the golf club mowed temporary greens into the fairway to allow members to continue playing. While parts of the course remain open for play, the Band-Aid approach of mowing in temporary greens shortens the games for members. With the temporary greens acting as a buffer, the golf club decided to entirely close off the greens sections of the course on June 1 and focus on a recovery effort since the problem continued developing.

“Because we have temporary greens and the majority of members will not want to play on those conditions, we’re most likely going to experience a loss in golf cart fees, guest fees and potentially golf outing fees,” Buonaiuto said, adding that it’s too early to put a number on how much revenue the club could lose.

Sculti said the members have been more than understanding and patient as club officials try to figure out what’s going on. Sculti added that the hopes to get more information out to the members as it becomes available.

For now, Buonaiuto said the golf club is currently aerating and over-seeding the greens, approaches and collars to combat the rapid turf loss.

“It is important to alleviate the greens of stress from foot traffic during this time so that the roots can strengthen and healthy grass can develop on the surface,” Buonaiuto said, adding that the club is looking to reopen the course as soon as possible, although such a time frame is unknown at the moment.

In assisting the golf club with identifying its mysterious turf issue, a consultant from the University of Rhode Island visited the golf course for an assessment in the middle of May, Buonauito said. According to the club’s head groundskeeper, Chip Lafferty, the first consultant, Dr. Nathaniel Mitkowski, was shocked at the amount of turf loss within a 10-day period. Lafferty added that Mitkowski’s initial guess was that there was a contaminant in one of the spray products that is frequently used on the greens.

As reported in Golf Club Industry Magazine, a popular fungicide sprayed on courses, ArmorTech Alt 70, has been recalled and production has halted after six courses were reported to be damaged. The company’s manufacturer, TKI NovaSource, is in the process of testing and investigating to see if there was a problem, according to the magazine.

When asked if Rye Golf Club uses the fungicide Alt 70, Buonaiuto declined to comment.

 A Rye Golf Club employee reseeds the course’s greens after turf damage has rendered them unplayable. Club officials are unsure as to the source of the problem.


A Rye Golf Club employee reseeds the course’s greens after turf damage has rendered them unplayable. Club officials are unsure as to the source of the problem.

On June 3, the golf commission has since hired two additional consultants, Steve McDonald from Turfgrass Disease Solutions and Dr. John Inguagiato from the University of Connecticut.

Buonaiuto said that at the request of a golf club superintendent from another nearby golf course, Dr. Brandon Horvath of the University of Tennessee, another golf turf consultant, visited the club’s greens. The general manager added that the club has been in communication with other golf courses that are having similar issues.

Buonaiuto said that each consultant was asked to investigate every possible cause of the turf loss issue, but as of press time, no definite causes have been identified. In terms of pricing, the general manager said that each consultant is going to cost around $3,000 for consultation fees, but that there would be additional laboratory costs for further diagnostic testing.

As for the cost of any eventual repairs, Buonaiuto was unsure since any repair process was still unknown.

In early July, David Oatis, USGA Northeast regional director, will be visiting the golf course to assess the current situation and offer his advice, according to Sculti.

CONTACT: jackson@hometwn.com

 
vote-2015

Dems to run Natchez, Burt

By JACKSON CHEN
In hopes of capturing an even larger majority on the Village of Mamaroneck’s Board of Trustees, and with an eye on the mayor’s seat, the nominating body of the village’s Democratic Committee has picked its slate.

After months of deliberation, the village Democrats, on June 5, nominated Dan Natchez as their candidate for mayor and Thomas Burt for a trustee seat.

Natchez, 70, who prematurely announced his interest in seeking the Democratic Party’s nomination late last month, has been a lifelong resident of the village. Most nights, Natchez can be found in the village’s municipal building on Mt. Pleasant Avenue, where he frequently approaches the podium to offer his thoughts and comments during various board meetings.

Since Natchez is often vocal about his opinions towards the board during meetings, he said that he wants to change the direction that the village is going in.

“I think you have a board that is being run in a manner that does not invite participation, does not invite consensus,” Natchez said, adding that the village rarely uses the high number of volunteers who offer a different insight and knowledge base.

According to Elizabeth Saenger, chairwoman of the Democratic nominating committee, Natchez was very well qualified and passionately eager to be mayor. Besides following current village issues, Natchez runs his own maritime environmental consulting company and was a former trustee and deputy mayor for six years in the late 1970s.

“We’re delighted and honored that they have confidence to nominate us for the position of mayor,” Natchez said of receiving the nomination alongside Burt. “The response to date has been overwhelmingly encouraging.”

As for Burt, his name remained mostly a rumor until the party’s announcement on June 5. Burt, who has handled several large-scale class action lawsuits with his firm Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman and Herz, LLP, is also equally involved in local quality of life issues and matters regarding the school district, according to Saenger. Despite Burt’s lack of experience in the village’s local government, he is currently a Democratic district leader, and has “shown great initiative in familiarizing himself with numerous issues in the village and in the school district as they arise,” the chairwoman said.

Saenger added that the Democrats are in the process of circulating petitions for their candidates, to eventually turn them into the Westchester County Board of Elections
by July 13.

Burt could not be reached for comment as of press time.

CONTACT: jackson@hometwn.com

 
vote-2015

Ex-mayor to primary Belmont

By JOHN BRANDI
Things in Harrison just heated up with news that former Mayor Philip Marraccini is back and is intent on taking on the party establishment.

Marraccini said he plans on challenging incumbent Mayor Ron Belmont in a primary for the Republican line.

Marraccini, who once served as the town’s Republican mayor for two terms from 1994 to 1998, has told the Review that he is currently gathering signatures from residents in order to qualify to appear on a primary ballot and to build a base of support ahead of the general election. He has already been endorsed by the Independence Party.

The name Marraccini is a familiar one in Harrison circles.

Phil’s brother, Anthony Marraccini, is the Harrison police chief and his sister, Nina, runs the Harrison Food Pantry, an organization that serves low-income families in the area through food donations.

The former mayor, a registered Republican, said he was approached by a number of residents fed up with the current administration and that’s what inspired Marraccini,
64, to take another crack at public office.

“[Residents] see high taxes, a reduction in services and a lack of transparency on the town board,” he said. “Harrison was a community that at one time was at the forefront, now it lags behind Rye, Mamaroneck
and even Port Chester.”

For Marraccini, this isn’t his first attempt at a political comeback, as he unsuccessfully ran for a town justice position back in 2007.

Bob Amelio, chairman of the Harrison Republican Committee, said Marraccini has a right to do whatever he wants, but that doesn’t change the fact that town Republicans have their own slate in place ahead of the election.

When the Republican Party announced its ticket for November in a press release last week, the party made it a point to tell registered Republicans “not to be confused by other GOP candidates seeking [voter] signature[s].”

Meanwhile, the mayoral candidate took issue with that stating that it claims that the slate the party backed represents the official candidates for the Harrison GOP.

Marraccini said official candidates by a party are chosen after the primary results, adding that the primary process is the mechanism for selecting authorized party candidates.

When asked about Marraccini’s efforts to unseat the mayor, Belmont declined comment.

Since his days running the town, Marraccini has been a private practice attorney and has worked in the aviation field, as general counsel and as executive vice president of operations for Connecticut-based CitationAir.

A resident of Harrison since childhood, the former mayor is dissatisfied with the town board’s lack of vision. He said there’s a lack of concern for overdevelopment of the downtown area, particularly too many proposed housing projects, like the 143-unit Avalon Harrison planned alongside the Metro-North train station, which contribute to a strain on the area’s schools and municipal services.

“[All] you have to do is walk down the street on Halstead Avenue in the evening to see that our town is in a state of decay,” Marraccini said.

He said it’s time for a supervisor to have “high-level business experience” to take over management and daily operations of the town to reverse its current course.

“There’s a lack of creativity and vision by the mayor and the board, and I can bring that creativity, vision and accountability back to the people of Harrison,” he said.

Marraccini said, if elected, he wants to take a more business-like approach to the town and he would re-energize the chamber of commerce for the Silver Lake area. He said the new momentum behind the association would spur business improvements and create additional parking opportunities. He said he’d also create a financial advisory committee to assist in long range financial planning, a nod to the past as this was a pet project under his former administration.

“[To] look at further ways to control expenses and improve town facilities and streamline process management within different departments [in the municipal building],” Marraccini said.

The former mayor is also critical of the town board’s tendency to excessively bond for projects, citing a recent Town Council meeting to bond for a tree replacement program. He said it’s like betting against your credit card to pay for the gardener. Marraccini said it’s time fiscal responsibility and commonsense prevail.

“I think the voters are tired of the excessive bonding that has mortgaged our children’s futures,” he said.

Marraccini said he is comfortable in a bipartisan fashion, something not seen in the town in recent years due to the GOP’s full control of the Town Council.

Still, Marraccini said he was proud to have a business approach which brought MasterCard to the Platinum Mile under his administration, instead of the company moving to White Plains. At one time, corporations on the Platinum Mile made up 60 percent of the town’s tax base.

The candidate also said he proposed certain plans, like recreational opportunities at no cost to the residents that could be shared between the town and schools and a comprehensive infrastructure list, but most evaporated following the next administration.

Marraccini received his masters of business administration in finance from Pace University and a law degree from Fordham University. He lives in town with his wife Jane, who teaches at Parsons Memorial Elementary. Together they have three daughters, Toni, Maggie and Christi.

CONTACT: johnb@hometwn.com

 
Sheila Marcotte fended off another challenge from a New Rochelle Democrat and secured a third term on the Westchester County Board of Legislators. 
File photo

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