Author Archives: news

From left, Kiera, 13, Declan 7, Henry, 11, and Patrick, 10, present their final masterpieces on the window display of Candy Rox: a ghost and a minion from the recent 3-D animated film “Minions.”

Rye paints Purchase Street for Halloween

Violet Mallory, left, and Pauline Plummer attempt to scare the crowd at New Rochelle’s Hugh Doyle Senior Center during the Halloween Luncheon on the afternoon of Oct. 30.

Senior center enjoys Halloween festivities

On Friday, Oct. 30 members of the community met on the Hugh Doyle Senior Center for a Halloween Luncheon and parade. Seniors from New Rochelle took the opportunity to dress up in their best Halloween-themed costumes.

Mara Rupners

Column: The legend lives on: Dizzie Gillespie

 

 

By MARA RUPNERS
Musicians may pass away, in the physical sense, but they never really leave us. Their legacy lives on in the music they wrote, in their recordings, and in the musicians they played with, trained and inspired.

Such is the case with Dizzie Gillespie, who would have celebrated his 98th birthday on Oct. 21. At the age of 12, Gillespie, the youngest of nine children, taught himself how to play trombone and trumpet, and the rest, as they say, is history. He traveled the world, jammed with all the greats, made numerous recordings, and is remembered today as an elder statesman of jazz, one of the most influential jazz trumpet players of all time.

In 1977, Gillespie was playing impromptu gigs throughout the Caribbean with saxophonist Stan Getz, and landed in Cuba. In Havana, he met a local man, Arturo Sandoval, who offered to show him around the city. Later that night, Sandoval, a trumpet player himself who idolized Gillespie, managed to play for the jazzman—and blew him away.

So began a lifelong friendship and musical collaboration, a story of jazz, travel and musical innovation. Gillespie was key to helping Sandoval gain political asylum in 1990; to this day, Sandoval lives here in the U.S. He continues to tour, and has evolved into one of the world’s most acknowledged guardians of jazz trumpet and flugelhorn, as well as a renowned classical artist, pianist and composer. And when he takes the stage, you can be sure that the legendary Dizzie Gillespie is right there with him.

Be a part of their story. Arturo Sandoval will perform for one night only on Saturday, Nov. 7 at 8 p.m. at The Performing Arts Center at Purchase College. Tickets are $45, $50 and $60, and good seats are still available.

 

Mara Rupners is the director of marketing at The  Performing Arts Center.
The Performing Arts Center, Purchase College, 735 Anderson Hill Road, Purchase, N.Y.
10577 Box Office: 251-6200 Hours: Tuesday-Friday, noon to 6 p.m. and on weekends
before performances Website: artscenter.org 

Forliano

Column: The controversial trial of Anne Hutchinson

A depiction of Anne Hutchinson on her way to trail.  Photo courtesy Richard Forliano

A depiction of Anne Hutchinson on her way to trail.
Photo courtesy Richard Forliano

With George Pietarinen,
author of “Anne Hutchinson,
A Puritan Woman of Courage.” 
This is the third in a series 

of articles on the Colonial
and Revolutionary History
of Eastchester.

 

While the Puritans left Europe to escape religious persecution, this did not lead to a belief in tolerance for others. The Puritans, like many true believers, felt that their way was the only way.

But soon, dissension and strife were threatening the unity necessary for the colony to survive. A protracted, bloody and tragic struggle against the Pequot Native American tribe created tensions between those who supported the war and those who did not. Ministers like Roger Williams and John Witherspoon who held views opposed to the ruling theocracy found themselves banished into the wilderness. Anne Hutchison had lived in Boston for only three years when she too ran afoul of the authorities.

Deputy Gov. Thomas Dooley tried to place sole blame on the strife that was dividing the colony on the actions and beliefs of Anne Hutchinson, saying, “Three years ago we were all in peace… Mrs. Hutchinson from the time she came has made a disturbance.”

In the late fall of 1637, Anne Hutchinson was brought to trial in a court presided over by Gov. John Winthrop and the most powerful ministers in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. The charges against Anne were serious. She had troubled the peace of the commonwealth and churches by holding meetings at her house. Moreover, she had counselled her followers not to participate in the struggle against the Pequot.

The trial began in November 1637 as winter was approaching. During the first days of the trial, this proud, brilliant and educated woman outmaneuvered the accusers who were attempting to prosecute her. She had learned theology and a command of scripture in England from her minister father, Francis Marbury, who had also been imprisoned for religious views that were similar to the very men who were prosecuting her. Anne cleverly avoided confessing to the charge leveled against her. She insisted that the ministers leveling accusations against her take an oath on the Bible to tell the truth. Effortlessly quoting scripture, she avoided the most serious charge of accusing ministers of advocating a covenant of works over a covenant of grace.

Acquittal seemed like the clear option when Anne made a very damaging statement to her accusers, saying, “You have no power over my body; neither can you do me any harm—for I am in the hands of the eternal Jehovah, my Saviour…I fear none but the great Jehovah, which hath foretold me of these things, and I do verily believe that he will deliver me out of our hands. Therefore take heed how you proceed against me—for I know that, for this you go about to do to me, God will ruin you and your posterity and this whole state.”

She claimed to have received direct revelations from God and was exempt from the mandates of the court, blasphemy to the Puritans of that time. The final source of all authority was the Bible. It was the function of the clergy to guide their followers in the paths of righteousness. Anne claimed that God spoke to her directly, which cast into doubt the need for clergy. In a sense, she had confessed to her guilt.

Why at a moment of triumph did Anne make such a colossal blunder? Did she simply crack under pressure, or was it a matter of not being able to speak the truth? Either way, she was doomed. Anne spent the next four months under house arrest, unable to see her children. In March 1638, weakened and sickly, Anne recanted some of her views following the advice of two ministers she respected. But in the end, the court not only banished Anne but cast her into eternal damnation by excommunicating her. In a long, six-day April snowstorm, Anne and her children made the arduous trip to join her husband in Providence, R.I.

What do prominent historians say about the legacy of Anne Hutchinson and her trial? Daniel Boorstein, one of America’s prominent 20th century historians, claimed that if the court had treated her differently, “they would have merited praise as precursors of modern liberalism, but they would not have founded a nation.”

Anne was saying that the minister and the church were no longer needed. Edmund Morgan, the Pulitzer Prize-winning historian who granted the unfairness of the trial, said, “Once Hutchinson proclaimed a belief in immediate revelation, it was quite impossible for her to remain part of the Puritan commonwealth.”

Eve LaPlante, a direct descendant of Anne Hutchinson and author of “American Jezebel,” a best-selling work of nonfiction in 2004, believes it might have been better for the judges to banish her without a trial.

“By carefully recording and saving her extensive testimony, the judges inadvertently gave her what few women of her time enjoyed: a lasting voice. The trial that led to her imprisonment lets her speak to us nearly four centuries later,” LaPlante said.

The divisions caused by the trial of Anne Hutchinson gave rise to the establishment of America’s first college. Hutchinson was the true midwife of Harvard. To paraphrase an article in an issue of Harvard Magazine published in 2002, the colony determined to provide for the education of a new generation of ministers and theologians who would secure New England’s peace from future seditious Mrs. Hutchinsons.

Hutchinson had taken on the Puritan theocracy and although she lost her trial, centuries later we can only admire her strength of conviction and courage. With the establishment of Harvard College, ministers received better training and the colony continued to survive.

 

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

 
LETTER

Letter: Seniors need to be part of the discussion

 

 

To the Editor,

In response to the previously-published letter from the Democratic Rye City Council candidates called “Get senior citizens involved and heard,” we of the Rye Seniors Advocacy Committee, RSAC, could not agree more. The health of any community is determined in large part by how well our most vulnerable members are valued and treated.

Schools have expanded and extra playing fields have been created for Rye’s children over the years, yet Rye’s seniors were denied a year-round meeting room at the expanded Rye Rec Damiano Center by a previous city council in a short-sighted move. Rye’s seniors deserve better. They are you, our parents and grandparents. We need to provide a more holistic atmosphere to embrace Rye’s community of children, families and our aging population.

RSAC was formed back in 2000 by former Mayor Steve Otis to address senior issues and is ably chaired by Joe Murphy, a licensed clinical social worker. Our committee’s focus is on informational and access issues affecting Rye seniors. Our late beloved Sis D’Angelo, a dedicated RSAC member for many years, asked me to serve on RSAC earlier this year. We applaud the efforts of Tom Saunders and the SPRYE organization offering seniors hands-on volunteer support to stay in their homes.

Currently, RSAC is working to gain increased senior access at Rye Golf Club and are excited to be partnering with Chris Shoemaker and the Rye Free Reading Room Board in support of Sunday hours at the library. Many seniors depend on the Rye library for an air conditioned space in the summer and a heated space in the winter, and social and informational programs. We urge all Rye residents to support Sunday hours at the Rye library—which benefit us all—at the upcoming city council meetings.

Our next RSAC meeting is on Nov, 19 at 8:30 a.m. at Rye City Hall in the mayor’s conference room. Our meetings are always held on thethird Thursday of the month. Mayor Joe Sack and Sen. George Latimer have attended our meetings in recent months. All are welcome.

 

Jane O’Sullivan,

Rye

 

LETTER

Letter: Open letter to Mamaroneck library Board of Trustees

 

To the Editor,

I attended the Oct. 28 board meeting with the understanding that the public was welcome. However, the board immediately adjourned to a private session and left the room. Before they left, a staff member requested that they wait, as there were about 30 community members present. Some board members remained standing, moving closer to the door. At that point, the board was given a written statement by their staff, informing them of their wish to join the Civil Service Employees Association, CSEA. The staff had voted on the matter and wished to join the same union as other libraries, including Larchmont.

This is what I would have said if I had been allowed to speak: The Mamaroneck library has always been a central part of my family. I am an active patron; my children looked forward to the library’s programs and know each librarian by name. They began in the children’s room and continue to participate in the teen room. Our librarians are our library. The new building is nice, however, the personnel are the lifeblood of the programs. They have always been helpful, personable, inviting and creative in their programs. Our librarians deserve our support.

So members of the board, I ask you: do they have your support? Why do our librarians currently have a lower morale than previously? How can you help? Will you support their vote and choice to join the union that other libraries use? Also, if you do not support their wish, why, and how many of my tax dollars will be spent in legal fees?

As a result of the Oct. 28 meeting, I now have more questions for the board:

Will the public be welcome to attend and comment at future meetings?

Would you consider video recording your meetings and uploading them to your website? The technology is available at the library.

I look forward to hearing from you.

 

Linda Latona, 

Mamaroneck

 
Children of all ages dress in Halloween costumes, including this young girl dressed as Elmo from Sesame Street.

Rye YMCA hosts Halloween carnival

Ibania and Jose Estrada add some culture to Mamaroneck’s Spooktacular.

Downtown Mamaroneck offers a Spooktacular Sunday

Some of the country’s most prolific media critics took the stage at Purchase College to discuss the role of today’s modern critic. From left, Manhola Dargis, Wesley Morris, Emily Nussbaum and Amy Taubin.
Photo/James Pero

Panel discusses ‘crisis in criticism’

Some of the country’s most prolific media critics took the stage at Purchase College to discuss the role of today’s modern critic. From left, Manhola Dargis, Wesley Morris, Emily Nussbaum and Amy Taubin. Photo/James Pero

Some of the country’s most prolific media critics took the stage at Purchase College to discuss the role of today’s modern critic. From left, Manhola Dargis, Wesley Morris, Emily Nussbaum and Amy Taubin.
Photo/James Pero

By James Pero
Honored, a little moved, and slightly freaked out: that’s how Manhola Dargis, the New York Times chief film critic and SUNY Purchase graduate, felt taking the stage at Purchase’s Performing Arts Center, where she and a distinguished troupe of panelists discussed the role of the modern critic. 

“I’m trying to remember the last time I was actually on campus; I think I saw some plays here, and I think I saw Glenn Branca here,” she told the audience. “Anyway, I’m not going to take you down memory lane. What I’m going to do tonight is talk to three of the smartest people I know.”

The people to whom Dargis was referring were three fellow critics: Wesley Morris, staff writer at Grantland; Emily Nussbaum, television critic at The New Yorker; and Amy Taubin, contributing editor at the British Sight and Sound.

For the modestly-sized audience, the objective of the Sept. 28 lecture was to illuminate the role of the critic in today’s media landscape. In the fashion of any good writer, they opted mostly to show rather than tell by meandering through topics ranging from the evolution of television to the rise of online comment sections, occasionally descending into spirited discussions about quality content in the world of film and TV—
an occupational hazard for three of the country’s most prominent
media critics.

One of the longest and most in-depth discussions of the night centered on what all four critics acknowledged was a growing “crisis in criticism,” the dynamics of which are affected by the very industries that critics cover.

“About ten years ago, there was a lot of discussion about a ‘crisis in criticism,’” Dargis said. “But you don’t hear that much anymore, because I think in a lot ways we started to realize that the crisis was not so much in criticism, but that the crisis was really in journalism.”

The panelists explained that with the rapid decline in print journalism and therefore widespread layoffs, establishment jobs—like the ones occupied by Nussbaum and the like—are increasingly harder to come by.

Nussbaum, referring to an interview for Rookie magazine in which she outlined the rather grim prospects of rising to a job like hers one day, was only interrupted by a brief interjection from Dargis who took a minute to veer the coversation clear
of gloom.

“How are we [not] bumming you out?” Dargis said to an audience rife with journalism students. “I am so sorry.”

Inversely, while critic jobs—at least ones that pay a proper salary—dwindle, the amount of movies and television shows released continue to barrel through the roof.

“Now, the New York Film Festival had 3,000 features apply for 26 slots, most of them being first-time features,” Taubin said. “At the same time, where there are fewer and fewer places to write cultural criticism where you can get paid, the amount of stuff being made has gone up tenfold.”

Dargis, who during the early 2000s was the chief critic for the L.A. Times, told the audience that during her tenure at the L.A. Times there were approximately 1,200 employees, and now there are just 600.

Newsrooms around the country have gone through a similar shift. According to CNN Money, the New York Times headcount had shrunk by half between 2009 and 2014, and Dargis said, at least in regard to cuts at L.A. Times critics were often the first to go.

This cut in employment and spike in the amount of films and television shows being released—the latter of which can be summed by a 1,000 percent increase in scripted shows for cable since 1999, according to Variety—has led to an unavoidable blind spot in coverage.

“Fifteen years ago there were about 400 movies [that] opened up in New York City,” Dargis said, adding that fellow chief critic at the New York Times, A.O. Scott, started keeping track. “A couple years ago, the number climbed to 600, and then 700, and then it was 800. I mean, every year it was another hundred movies…Last year it was 1,000.”

Dargis went on to explain that because of the influx coupled with the decline in staff, the New York Times, which had
traditionally reviewed every movie opening up in New York, had to begin capping.

For both the publications and the critics themselves, these new dynamics are a problem that remains to be solved.

“You want people to see movies that don’t have $200 million budgets. You want people to see movies that don’t have wall-to-wall commercials. You want people to see something besides a Michael Bay movie,” Dargis said. “How are people supposed to make choices when there are so many choices?”

CONTACT: james@hometwn.com

 
LETTER

Letter: Fresh and new may not be what’s best

 

 

To the Editor,

Rye does not stand at a crossroads. The reform of our government began when Mayor Sack and the current council were elected to office in 2013. Meg Cameron, the current Rye Democratic Party chairwoman, was beaten badly in that election as a candidate for city council.

Richard Slack and Richard Mecca were appointed two vacant council seats in January 2014, and ran in a special election last November to serve out their terms in 2015. In that election, Cameron not only chose not to run as a Democratic candidate against Rich Mecca and Richard Slack, she actually supported the election of each by endorsing both candidates.

Now, we are all to believe that Mecca and Slack—who Cameron fully supported—and the rest of the current city council has laid the entire City of Rye to waste in 12 short months?

And why? Because Cameron says so.

Here’s the truth: Meg fashioned herself as a “new voice” during her failed run for city council in 2013. She has repackaged and reused that slogan to attack the very people she once endorsed and to malign the entire current city council through her new voices and fresh faces ticket.

That ticket is so new that they have never even seen a council packet, which backgrounds each issue on the city council agenda and is available online, as Jeff Taylor admitted to John Carey during his RyeTV interview last month.

That ticket is so fresh that they will insult the elected officials of Port Chester—who have authority over a million-square-foot development that threatens Rye’s neighborhoods—by saying those elected officials tend to “shoot their mouth off on topics they have no idea what they are talking about.” Again, see Mr. Taylor’s interview with Judge Carey.

Is that how Meg Cameron and Democrats Jeff, Danielle and Emily intend to represent Rye? By insulting the elected officials of our neighboring village? Is that how to best mitigate the impacts of the United Hospital development, by mocking the very people we need to work with?

Unfortunately, it appears so.

After all, Jeff, Danielle and Emily have used the entire election cycle to insult the elected officials of our own city and the intelligence of our voters. That is not new, just fresh.

Leon Sculti,

Republican city council candidate