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LETTER

Letter: Thank you to The Community Fund

 

 

To the Editor,

The Senior Citizens Council would like to wholeheartedly thank The Community Fund of Bronxville, Eastchester and Tuckahoe for its continued generous support of Bronxville and Tuckahoe senior citizens.

We know that the best way to keep our many seniors healthy and vigorous and engaged in the community is to provide regular activities that promote socialization, physical exercise and intellectual stimulation. The Community Fund has long recognized this need, and over this past year has helped fund programs including bridge, tai chi and exercise for our Bronxville and Tuckahoe senior citizens. These wonderful programs have been very popular—serving more than 500 seniors at our two centers—and they have attracted new members to both centers. The success of these programs is due in large measure to the loyal support of The Community Fund.

During this holiday season, please give generously to The Community Fund’s annual drive so that vital programs like ours can continue to serve the needs of the community we love. Contributions may be made online at thecommunityfund.org or by calling 337-8808.

 

Barbara Dimpel,
Senior Citizens Council

Karla Hay Diserens,
Bronxville Senior Citizens

 

Jennifer Vetromile,
Tuckahoe Senior Citizens

 

Bill Goodenough of The American Legion Post 90 addresses the crowd on Veterans Day.

Mamaroneck pays tribute to veterans

Peter Parente presents the New Rochelle Police Department with a flag.

New Rochelle honors local veterans

The City of New Rochelle held a Veterans Day ceremony on the morning of Nov. 11 in downtown New Rochelle. Veterans and residents alike gathered at Memorial Plaza, where Memorial Highway and Main Street meet, to reflect on their experiences and to pay respect to the men and women who have served their country.

The ceremony was sponsored by the United Veterans Memorial and Patriotic Association, with a special honor to New Rochelle’s police and fire departments. Peter Parente, commander of VFW Post 439 and president of the United Veterans Memorial and Patriotic Association of New Rochelle, was the master of ceremonies. The New Rochelle High School Band provided the music for the event.

Forliano

Column: Anne Hutchinson’s story comes to an end

A depiction of the death of Anne Hutchinson and some of her family. Photo courtesy Richard Forliano

A depiction of the death of Anne Hutchinson and some of her family. Photo courtesy Richard Forliano

With George Pietarinen, author of “Anne Hutchinson,  A Puritan Woman of Courage.”
This is the fourth in a series of articles on the Colonial and Revolutionary History of Eastchester.

The dominance of religious belief in 17th century America is very difficult for people today to comprehend. Patricia Bonomi, a prominent historian of that period, stresses that at this time, “In city, village and countryside, the idiom of religion penetrated all discourse, underlay all thought, marked all observances, and gave meaning to every public and private crisis.” A person’s faith “gave a tone to everything they did in their collective and communal capacity.”

Especially in colonial New England, religion ruled. From its very inception, the Massachusetts Bay Colony was torn apart by the disarray within the Puritan establishment. Individuals like Anne Hutchinson, Thomas Hooker and Roger Williams gained their followings because of the lack of trained ministers, leading to intense debate and dissension.

Anne Hutchinson was only a resident in Puritan Boston for four years when she was put on trial for heresy. After a disruptive trial, Hutchinson and some members of her family were banished from the Massachusetts Bay into the Puritan wilderness. Anne had been excommunicated from the church, and was cast into eternal damnation. During a six-day-long April snowstorm, Anne and her children made the long and arduous journey to join her husband in Rhode Island.

In Rhode Island, Roger Williams established a colony that served as a refuge for people persecuted for their religious beliefs. There was a saying that if a person was too good for Massachusetts, he went to Connecticut; if he was too bad, he went to Rhode Island. Thus, Rhode Island was referred to as the Isle of Errors.

Initially, her stay in Rhode Island starting in 1638 added to her sadness. Ten months after her banishment, she suffered a terrible miscarriage. The governor of Massachusetts Bay, John Winthrop, saw this tragedy as divine retribution, validating her exile. But Winthrop still wanted Anne to recant and sent three emissaries to Rhode Island to exact a confession. Anne’s reply was swift and decisive. She referred to the church of Boston as “the whore and strumpet of Boston, but no church of Christ.”

It is said that Anne preached more in Rhode Island than she had in Boston. And then, tragedy struck again. The great love of her life, her husband Will Hutchinson, passed away. Will, who always stood by his wife, declared, “I do think of her as dear saint and servant of God.”

Anne was now in a precarious position. She feared that Massachusetts would take over Rhode Island and persecute her anew. Her last recorded revelation was that the Lord had prepared a city of refuge in what is today the Bronx in New York City, then called New Amsterdam. Within eight years, she had left England, then Boston, and now without her beloved husband to support her, Anne and her family were on the move again.

William Kieft, the Dutch governor of New Netherland whose jurisdiction she fell under, had a contentious relationship with the Native Americans in this area. He orchestrated vicious attacks on local tribes that precipitated Kieft’s War that raged from 1643 to 1645. When Hutchinson and her party showed up in Kieft’s domain, he placed them in a no man’s land at the height of the troubles. Less than a year after her arrival, the 52-year-old woman, six of her children and nine others perished in a Native American attack.

After the burning of her house, only her 9-year-old daughter, Susanna, survived. She lived as a prisoner of the Lenape Native American tribe for a number of years. The Dutch government negotiated for her release and she reluctantly agreed to return to her family. Susanna had forgotten her own language and all her friends. Later, Susanna married John Cole, moved to Rhode Island, had 11 children, and lived to the age of 80. In addition to Susanna, Anne Hutchinson was survived by five children who had remained behind. Eventually there were more than 30 grandchildren.

One of the sons who remained in Boston sired a line of powerful political figures including Thomas Hutchinson, royal governor of Massachusetts, during the outbreak of the American Revolution. Presidents across the political spectrum can trace their lineage back to Anne: FDR was a sixth-great grandson. George H. Bush is a ninth great grand-grandson, and George W. Bush a 10th great-grandson.

The exact location of Anne’s settlement is in dispute. Based on the records of the Town of Eastchester and other historical accounts, Anne lived on the west side of the Hutchinson River in the vicinity of Co-op City. And her legacy lives on.

Her memory survives not simply because a river, parkway and three elementary schools bear her name, or because Eastchester was settled at the site of her house. Her courageous resistance to unjust authority and unmatched brilliance in defending her beliefs despite dire consequences place Anne Hutchinson at the forefront of great women in American history.

 

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

 
LETTER

Letter: Library workers have right to unionize

 

 

To the Editor,

I write as a patron and supporter of the Mamaroneck library. I was proud to have served on a bipartisan Village of Mamaroneck Board of Trustees that voted to support a $13.5 million bond that renovated and expanded our beautiful library. I have always been impressed with the professionalism and commitment of the library’s staff.

I was surprised to read in the Nov. 13 edition of the Review that the library board of trustees doesn’t intend to immediately allow their workers to unionize. My understanding is that more than 80 percent of the library’s staff have signed card checks that request their right to join a union be recognized by their employer. The library can waive the right to a formal election if 50 percent of the workers sign card checks, and the workers have more than exceeded that threshold. The library administration seems to be trying to force a ballot, which is an unnecessary step that delays the process and promotes fear and acrimony between the workers and the administration.

I am a lifetime union member, shop steward, and have worked to try to organize nonunion workers in my trade. It has been my experience that employers who don’t recognize card checks are actively trying to deny their workers the right to organize. I don’t think that is the case in Mamaroneck, but I am also sure that most people who volunteer for local boards don’t have enough experience in this area to know what should be the fair and normal course of events.

Income inequality in our country has grown in almost direct proportion to the decrease in union membership. As a community, we should support the rights of workers to receive a fair day’s pay for a fair days work. All other municipal employees in our area have been unionized for decades; our hard-working library workers deserve those same rights. I hope the good people who serve on our library board, whose commitment and hard work I respect, will take a cooperative and collaborative attitude toward their employees. The patrons of the library and the residents of Mamaroneck will support both sides coming quickly to a reasonable agreement.

 

Tom Murphy,

Mamaroneck Town councilman

LETTER

Letter: Thanksgiving and Native Americans

To the Editor,

Thanksgiving, like most holidays, is marked by a frenetic pace of commercialism. Indeed, it is a prelude in this country to Black Friday and the insane push by corporate America to buy and consume.

Like Christmas, its original meaning has been lost and perverted with this deluge of consumption and indulgence that was exemplified by the death of someone at a Walmart several years ago who was trampled by other patrons in this rush to purchase. However, little has been said or written about the true origins of this holiday that is predicated on a lie and actually had a genesis of mayhem and murder.

The first Thanksgiving was in 1620 when the Pilgrims, in what is now Groton, Conn., were supposed to be engaged in prayer and celebrating the Native Americans’ period of harvest, which had saved the Pilgrims from starvation during the winter of 1619–1620 when they landed on Plymouth Rock. The Native Americans fed them maize, potatoes and other types of agricultural crops. They were repaid by the Pilgrims when 700 Pequot men, women and children were murdered and burned alive by the Pilgrims and their harvest was destroyed.

This atrocity was replicated over and over by the Pilgrims and the Puritans in their treatment of Native Americans. Thanksgiving was defined by the “Churches of Manhattan” as a “celebration of victory over the heathen Indian savages.” These savage and barbaric acts continued for the next two centuries by the English, Dutch and their progeny, the Americans. It continued when President Lincoln declared Thanksgiving on two days, the first being the anniversary of the victory at Gettysburg in August 1863 and the second being the last Thursday of November.

The Algonquian native tribes who lived throughout New England and resided in what is now Larchmont and Mamaroneck have declared—like their fellow Native American tribes—Thanksgiving as “an official day of mourning.” That was declared in a proclamation in 1970.

Unfortunately, today and on Nov. 26, the indulgence of food, alcohol and the ongoing perversion of the meaning of this holiday continues. The celebration of Thanksgiving to Native Americans is like for those who are Jewish: Germans celebrating the Holocaust.

 

Clifford Jackson,

Larchmont

One eager participant in the pumpkin roll and broomstick race takes her turn on the obstacle course at the elementary school’s Halloween festival.

Daniel Warren has some Halloween fun

A demonstration by Jean Claude Lanchais, executive director of the Hive Living Room + Bar restaurant at The Renaissance Hotel.

CPW holds annual fundraising event

On Monday, Nov. 9, Cerebral Palsy of Westchester held its annual Taste of Westchester food and wine tasting event at The Renaissance Hotel in Harrison. The event showcased more than 20 of the area’s finest restaurants and chefs. The evening also included a cooking demonstration from Hive Living Room + Bar as well as a wine and food pairing by Aries Wines & Spirits. All of the proceeds benefit CPW’s mission to ensure that children and adults with disabilities receive needed services and enjoy activities regardless of the level of their abilities.

LETTER

Letter: Re: Latona’s open letter to library board of trustees

 

 

To the Editor,

Last week, you printed an open letter to the Mamaroneck library Board of Trustees that asked questions I would like to respond to on behalf of the Mamaroneck Public Library Board of Trustees.

First, the library has always welcomed community input and involvement. In fact, these very values are what drove each of our trustees to serve the library in the first place.

Our meeting on Oct. 28 followed the printed agenda that caused the board to go into executive session to discuss legal matters immediately after opening the meeting. As with all boards, these executive sessions are confidential and closed to the public. However, the board informed the audience that they were welcome to stay and that the board would soon be returning to continue and complete the rest of the meeting.

At that point, a member of the audience stood up and asked to be heard by the board before it moved into the scheduled executive session. This individual indicated that she was an employee and that she was selected by others present to make a statement to the board regarding unionization. A letter was also handed out to the trustees. The board welcomed the comments and provided the speaker with a full opportunity to be heard. When the designated speaker concluded her comments, she thanked the board, and no one else requested to speak. The board then continued into executive session as originally planned. Nobody else asked to speak to the board that night, and certainly, no person was refused an opportunity to speak.

Second, the letter you printed stated that the staff voted to join a union and asked if we would support their vote. In fact, even though a union has filed a Petition for Certification at the N.Y.S. Public Employment Relations Board, PERB, no union election has taken place. No union has yet been certified as a bargaining representative for any library employee.

The board’s response to the union petition has been simple and straightforward. The board supports the employees’ legal rights to organize and seek union representation; however, the board wants to make sure that each and every affected employee is afforded another fundamental right: the right to participate in a proper and fair election administered by PERB. Ensuring that each affected staff member has a full opportunity to understand all of the issues and to vote in a union election is an essential right that we are committed to upholding on our employees’ behalf. The board would, of course, respect the outcome of any such union election.

I have been a lifelong resident of Mamaroneck, and together with my wife, our three children and their families, we have a deep connection and appreciation for all that the library does.

As trustees, we are charged to act in the best interests of the entire Mamaroneck Public Library community. Please be assured that we continue to do so.

 

Len Tallevi,

President of the Mamaroneck Public Library Board of Trustees

LETTER

Letter: Gramatan Village and The Community Fund

 

 

To the Editor,

With the holiday season quickly approaching, our thoughts turn to family, friends and giving thanks for all we have. It is also the time when we consider the needs of others and how we can help.

The Community Fund of Bronxville, Eastchester and Tuckahoe has been meeting the community’s needs for more than 95 years. Gramatan Village is a grateful beneficiary of the fund’s support. Gramatan supports aging in the community with a network of volunteers, experts, professional referrals and peer connections that enable our members to remain in the community they love.

Nearly half of our services are provided to individuals of moderate means. Our experience has shown that these members often live alone and have little or no support or family members nearby. The Community Fund ensures that Gramatan Village helps our elderly neighbors access the services they need.

I encourage members of the community to contribute generously to The Community Fund’s Annual Appeal. Contributions can be made on The Community Fund website, thecommunityfund.org, or by phone at 337-8808.

 

Julie Dalton,

Executive Director of Gramatan Village, Bronxville