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Vol. 13/Number 7

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February 15, 2013

Town wavers on library funds

OVERCOMING ADVERSITY Joe Maida (left) competes in the wrestlebacks at the Section I wrestling tournament on Feb. 11. Despite wrestling on a bad knee, Maida was able to place fifth in his weight class and earn all-section honors. For more, see page 15 Photo/Bobby Begun

HHS construction set for September completion By DANIEL OFFNER STAFF REPORTER dan@hometwn.com

Board of Education President Dennis DiLorenzo (right) receives a $125,000 check from Harrison Educational Foundation Chairman Robert Tiburzi. The check is the first of two donations from the private organization for the renovation project. Contributed photo

Students at Harrison High School will soon get to experience a more collegiate atmosphere at lunchtime as the district looks to renovate its current cafeteria facility to match the functional purpose of a student union facility. Part of the Harrison Central School District’s three-phase construction project, which began seven years ago with the renovations to the school’s performing arts center, the new cafeteria is slated to be complete and operational by September. And like the recent construction to the school’s fitness center, planetarium and arts center, the new facility will be maintained by the students, for the students, according CAFETERIA continued on page 7

By DANIEL OFFNER STAFF REPORTER dan@hometwn.com

Harrison government and the public library foundation appear close to reaching an agreement over the town’s contribution to a $3.6 million renovation project for the downtown library. The progress is a stark about-face from elected officials, who publicly stated on several occasions that they would not authorize subsidizing the project in any way. Negotiations have picked up steam after a push from the library foundation that included a resident petition, print advertising campaign and the threat that a memorial grant would be pulled for the renovation if the council didn’t loosen up its purse strings. The Harrison Public Library Foundation’s director, Ross Halperin, sought for the Town Council to subsidize $1.1 million in maintenance costs for the existing facility. Town Councilman Joseph Cannella, a Republican, said the town was willing to contribute to the cost of renovations, but said anticipated the amount might be conservative compared to the foundation’s original pitch. “Once this partnership is formed, hopefully we will generate additional power, force and intensity,” Cannella said. “There are things the town needs to do to maintain buildings. If this project happens, which we expect that it will, it will be an opportunity to do things that we would otherwise need to do anyways within the next reasonable period of time, four or five years.” The councilman had previously said issuing bonds for such a project just wasn’t feasible in the current fiscal climate of the town. “We

just can’t do it,” Cannella told The Harrison Report in July of last year. During the Feb. 7 meeting of the Town Council, Councilman Cannella explained that, given the restrictions of the town budget, the community would need to provide grassroots fundraising if they are to agree to work with Halperin to complete the project. Halperin is the son of Richard E. Halperin, a deceased resident for whom the downtown library is named. A foundation in Richard E. Halperin’s name will contribute up to $1 million in matching donations. Ross Halperin had told elected officials if they did not meet a deadline of Feb. 14, he would seek to use the donation for another project. The progress did not jibe with everyone though. During last week’s Town Council meeting, downtown resident Art Loscalzo questioned why members of the council, who previously stated they could not afford to subsidize the cost, suddenly changed their decision. “I think this town board should take care of the young people of this town…I think more young people and more adults use the rec center than the library,” Loscalzo said, calling attention to infrastructure issues with the Sollazzo Center across the street from Town Hall. “I was in there last night, and I am embarrassed to say that this is the facility for the Town of Harrison. It’s utterly ridiculous, its filthy, and it needs some work done.” Loscalzo continued to question the board on where they had obtained the necessary funding for the library renovation project. “If we have no money for the rest LIBRARY continued on page 10

2 • THE HARRISON REPORT • February 15, 2013

February 15, 2013 • THE HARRISON REPORT • 3

DPW to test-run new garbage truck on 1,100 homes By DANIEL OFFNER STAFF REPORTER dan@hometwn.com

Last December, members of the Harrison Town Council paid $324,680 to Gabrielli Truck Sales for the purchase of a new, automated side-loader garbage truck. The new truck is supposed to cut down on collection times and cost for the Department of Public Works, but will require new trash receptacles to be used so they are compatible with the side-load feature. Although the new machinery is not expected to be in effect until May or June of this year, Commissioner of Public Works Anthony Robinson said that 1,100 Harrison residents would serve as a test group for the new curbside pick-up method. “We will be sending out a letter on or about the 15th [of February] to the affected residents in the first phase of this program,” Robinson said. Robinson added that the letter would also include literature on the new vehicle and a questionnaire to residents regarding curbside placement, garbage on a volume basis and preference on a cart size. The new sanitation program came about last February after a presentation from Carla Iommetti of the Sanitation Equipment Corporation in New Jersey on the new garbage trucks. She explained that the new vehicle and equipment would reduce the number of

workers, trucks and gas needed for day-to-day curbside carting. It would also result in leaner worker’s compensation claims due to the lessphysical nature of the work, she said “Your current rear-loader truck can pick up from 600 homes in a typical six-hour day, whereas with an automated unit, you can pick up from 900 to 1,100 homes a day,” Iommetti told The Harrison Report last year. Given the ability to pick up trash from 300 to 500 additional homes each day, the town expects to reduce the current pick-up routes from eight to just two, which will run on a Monday/Thursday and a Tuesday/Friday pick-up schedule. In the Town of Harrison, talks of privatized carting services have been floated for years, but have not gained any traction among elected officials, who have generally been supportive of maintaining current staffing levels, even agreeing to a “no layoffs” provision in the town’s most recent labor contracts. Because of this, the sanitation division anticipates that while the new equipment will reduce the necessary manpower along the collection routes, it will not reduce the number of sanitation workers under the town’s employ. Additionally, concerns with new garbage pail requirements were among several complaints voiced by residents in opposition to the town’s recent purchase. Critics wondered whether the 35, 65, and 95-gallon pails would be sufficient. Since the vehicle requires the

The Department of Public Works

use of specialized bins, the town has agreed to provide one per household. Any additional bins required would cost approximately $55 apiece. To try and prepare residents for the switch, Robinson said he will be putting the carts on display throughout the town for residents to examine for themselves and to give them the opportunity to choose which size they feel is appropriate. Sample carts, photographs and

literature are expected to be on display soon at Sam’s gas station at the top of Lake Street in West Harrison, the Sollazzo Recreation Center, the Purchase Community Center and the Municipal Building on Heineman Place. Although the starting route is not yet finalized, Robinson said he plans to provide additional information on the town’s website in preparation of the new automated garbage collection.

4 • THE HARRISON REPORT • February 15, 2013

C ommunity Briefs Become a Jansen Hospice volunteer Jansen Hospice is currently interviewing individuals for key volunteer positions– including patient care volunteers and pet therapy volunteers. All volunteer applicants must first undergo an interview screening process. Appointments are being taken now for February interviews. Contact Volunteer Coordinator Didi Marcal at (914) 961-2818 ext. 1336 for more information on how you can become a Jansen volunteer. Jansen Hospice provides hospice services to communities throughout Westchester County. MSG Varsity announces games to be televised through mid-February MSG Varsity has announced the Hudson Valley/Westchester high school games that will be televised for the first half of February. The network will televise a number of events featuring teams from the area–including boys and girls basketball games, ice hockey games and wrestling matches. Each event will be televised on MSG Varsity, Optimum TV Channel 14. For more information on MSG Varsity’s high school sports coverage, visit msgvarsity.com

“Angelina Ballerina - The Musical” at Emelin Theatre In anticipation of the off-Broadway hit,

“Angelina Ballerina - The Musical,” which comes to Mamaroneck on Feb. 16 and 17, bestselling author of the “Angelina Ballerina” series, Katharine Holabird, will be doing a reading and signing books on Feb. 9. Holabird will be at Anderson’s Book Shop in Larchmont at 1 p.m. at and at the Mamaroneck Library at 3 p.m. Attendees of the book reading will have a chance to win tickets to the musical stage show at both locations, as well as enjoy a short performance by ballerinas from local dance studio, Studio B Dance Center in Eastchester. Studio B is an official Angelina Ballerina Dance Academy studio, with beginner ballet classes based on the “Angelina Ballerina” books. Performances Feb. 16 and 17 at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. The Emelin Theatre Tickets are $13/person. To purchase tickets, contact the box office at: Box Office: 153 Library Lane, Mamaroneck, N.Y. 10543, call (914) 698-0098 or visit emelin.org. Hudson River art exhibit An opening reception for “The Hudson River and Its People,” an exhibit of photographs by Brian Whalen, will be held at the Rye Free Reading Room on Feb. 16 from 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. Whalen’s images present a view of the people and landscape of the Hudson River Valley from New York City to the back

roads of the Adirondacks. Embracing both landscape and portraiture, his photographs give a unique view of life on and around the Hudson River. A resident of White Plains, Whalen studied photography at SUNY Purchase and the ICP in New York City. The show will hang through the end of February. Applications being accepted for seasonal park rangers The Westchester County Department of Public Safety is accepting applications for seasonal park rangers to patrol county parks this summer. Applications are due by Feb. 22 and are available online at westchestergov. com/ps. Uniformed park rangers work under the supervision of county police officers to maintain a safe and enjoyable atmosphere in the county’s parks. They assist park users, provide information on park rules and procedures, help in searches for lost children, perform basic first aid on occasion and make regular security checks of buildings and facilities. First-time park rangers are paid $14 hourly. Salaries are higher for those who have worked as a ranger for the county before. To qualify, applicants must be a high school graduate, at least 19 years of age, a U.S. citizen, a resident of Westchester County and possess a valid New York State driver’s license by the time of appointment. Accepted candidates must attend a twoweek training program at the Westchester County Police Academy. Pet Rescue kitten and cat adoption day Feb. 23 12 p.m. – 3 p.m. Petco 1275 Boston Post Road, Larchmont For more information, visit NY-PetRescue. org, email petrescueny@aol.com or call (914) 834-6955. Free foreclosure prevention workshop On March 11 from 7 p.m. – 8 p.m., Human Development Services of Westchester Neighborhood Preservation Company offers a free workshop for anyone interested in foreclosure prevention at the Port Chester-Rye Brook Public Library. This not-for-profit organization may be able to help those with unaffordable mortgages, those working with their banks and having difficulty, and those in the court process. Se habla español. The

library is located at One Haseco Avenue in Port Chester. For more information, call (914) 939-6710 x103. Campaign finance discussion Campaign Finance Reform in New York State will be the topic of a public discussion on March 13 from 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. at the White Plains Public Library, located at 100 Martine Ave. Sponsors are the League of Women Voters of Westchester County, LWV of White Plains, LWV of New Rochelle and the White Plains Public Library. Discussion leaders will be Laura Ladd Bierman, executive director of the League of Women Voters of New York State, and Barbara Bartoletti, legislative director of the League of Women Voters of New York State. They will begin with a slide presentation showing the effects of unlimited campaign contributions, sometimes without disclosing the donors. Then they will call for comments and questions. The LWV of New York State supports lower contribution limits, increased disclosure, and a system of small donor matching funds. For further information, call (914) 7614382. Parking is available in the library lot under the building or across the street at the Galleria municipal lot. Mamaroneck High School students sponsoring furniture drive On March 16, from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., students from Mamaroneck High School’s Furniture Sharehouse service club will hold a drive to benefit this Westchester furniture bank. They will be collecting items for Furniture Sharehouse to redistribute, free of charge, to families in need. The drive will take place in the parking lot at Mamaroneck High School, located at 1000 W. Boston Post Road, rain or shine. Only basic home furniture in good condition will be accepted, so before you load up your car, go to furnituresharehouse.org to make sure your furniture meets the donation guidelines. For more information (or donation questions), contact Leslie Garwood at lgarwood10@gmail.com or call (914) 3151982. Deadline for our Community Briefs section is every Friday at 12 p.m. Though space is not guaranteed, we will do our best to accommodate your listing. Please send all items to news@hometwn.com.

Rachel Hurvitz of Purchase was named to the Dean's List of Emory College. Kelly Curtis was a recipient of the Dean's Award for academic excellence during the 2012 fall term at Colgate University.

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February 15, 2013 • THE HARRISON REPORT • 5

County residents weigh in on 5-day postal service By DANIEL OFFNER STAFF REPORTER dan@hometwn.com

On Feb. 6, the United States Postal Service announced it would be scaling back delivery service on Saturday in an attempt to save approximately $2 billion each year. “Our customers see strong value in the national delivery platform we provide, and maintaining a six-day delivery schedule for packages is an important part of that platform,” Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe stated said in a press release. “As consumers, we increasingly rely on delivery services—especially due to the rise of e-commerce—we can play an increasingly vital role as a delivery provider of choice, and as a driver of growth opportunities for America’s businesses.” The switch in service comes after a market research report determined that nearly seven out of every 10 Americans supported the switch. In addition, due to a reported 14 percent increase of package delivery, the USPS has stated it will continue delivery of packages on Saturday. Delivery will remain on a six-day schedule until August. Sound Shore locals are split on the Postal Service’s overnight decision. Emily Lusk, a 21-year old Mamaroneck

resident, said she uses the USPS every day to deliver handwritten letters to her boyfriend, who is–serving a prison sentence. “I think they should definitely do deliveries on Saturday,” Lusk said. “They slack enough on Sundays already.” However, in this digital age, in which emails can be sent back-and-forth with the push of a button, not everyone feels the same as Lusk. For Asa Hyde, a Bronxville resident, the olden days of pen and paper can’t match the point-and-click convenience of email. “In my opinion, it doesn’t come into play in everyday life,” Hyde said. “Most communications I receive are through email.” Although “snail mail” can’t compete with instant information, the use of postal delivery is still the primary source for tax forms, credit card bills, jury duty and any other form of authoritative messages. Mamaroneck resident Jim McGuiness said that, for him, the switch would have no effect at all, but would deal a significant blow to postal workers getting paid time-and-a-half. “It’s really going to affect the postal workers’ pockets,” McGuiness said. According to Postmaster Donahoe’s statement, the switch in service will most

likely result in reassignment and attrition to achieve cost savings. Since 2006, service reductions have resulted in 193,000 jobs cut, and while Donahoe does not address any additional cuts leading up to August, the possibility looms of further downsizing. “It’s a sign of the times,” said White Plains resident Richard Stumpf. “They need to cut back.” Stumpf, 70, added that the switch would not be much of an inconvenience, since mail sent over the weekend wouldn’t get delivered until Monday anyway. “There is nothing so important that it couldn’t be done Monday,” he said. But not everyone is as enthusiastic about the switch as Stumpf. Rye resident Wendy Wyckoff said she was disappointed to lose her Saturday mail. “It’s kind of a bummer…I liked getting mail on Saturday,” Wyckoff said. “I’m sad to see it go.” Harrison resident Ginger Lovett said that while she would’ve liked to continue receiving mail on Saturdays, she understands the decision of the postmaster general. “People like to go through the mail on Saturday,” Lovett said. “But the country is in crisis…so there is validity to both sides.”

“Big Shoes to Fill”

Preston Elementary School physical education teachers Jennifer Burkhardt and Timothy Poole-DiSalvo presented the “Big Shoes To Fill” award to Eileen Carney’s third grade class and Kim Salvatore’s kindergarten class. The award, a large pair of orange or blue basketball sneakers worn by a member of the New York Knicks, is presented to two classes at Preston who consistently display character traits that are valued by the school community. The award is on display in the winning classroom for a month. The “Big Shoes to Fill” award is part of the larger “Preston Cares About Character” program that was developed and implemented by the school’s Character Committee. The program emphasizes Preston students’ awareness of safety, respectfulness, and kindness toward others in their school community as well as their collaborative problem solving abilities. Each month, one class from the primary grades and one from the intermediate grades will be chosen as the recipients of the “Big Shoes To Fill” award for having exemplified these important character traits during their time in physical education class. (Submitted)

6 • THE HARRISON REPORT • February 15, 2013

Former trustee: Dissolve Mamaroneck Village By JASON CHIREVAS STAFF REPORTER jason@hometwn.com

Though nothing has been finalized, the steering committee tasked with finding a way to dissolve the Town of Rye is leaning toward a particular option. Former Village of Mamaroneck Trustee John Hofstetter thinks he has a better idea. Rye Town is wholly comprised of the Village of Port Chester, the Village of Rye Brook and the Rye Neck section of the Village of Mamaroneck. In New York State, villages must exist inside of towns. Because all parts of Rye Town are also parts of other municipalities, the town can be dissolved, thus eliminating a layer of local government, and earning the successor municipalities an as-yet-determined monetary reward from the state. The steering committee, headed by current Town of Rye Supervisor Joe Carvin, a Republican, has, in recent weeks, favored a solution by which the villages of Port Chester and Rye Brook would become coterminous town-villages and the Town of Rye would shrink down to wrap around the Rye Neck section of the Village of Mamaroneck, becoming the Town of Rye Neck. A coterminous town-village is a municipality that exists with the benefits of both designations. Currently, Harrison, Mount Kisco and Scarsdale are the only coterminous town-villages in Westchester.

Hofstetter, a Democrat, has proposed an alternative. Rather than wrap the Town of Rye around Rye Neck-creating what Carvin calls a “paper town” because it would still need to contract out for its services as it does nowHofstetter suggests, once Rye Town is dissolved, the Town of Mamaroneck annex Rye Neck while the Village of Mamaroneck dissolves. This would create a far larger unincorporated Town of Mamaroneck and eliminate layers of government, something he says the coterminous solution does not do. “The value in dissolving villages is you can provide services more effectively and efficiently with, perhaps, less people,” Hofstetter told The Harrison Report. “That’s the value, and that’s where people will really save money.” Hofstetter said he doesn’t understand why Rye Neck residents would want to be stuck with their proportion of the former Town of Rye’s financial obligations-which he says would be the case in the paper town solution-nor would he want the Village of Mamaroneck to take on those obligations if it annexes Rye Neck and goes coterminous, which is a solution favored by Village of Mamaroneck Mayor and steering committee member Norman Rosenblum, a Republican. “If Rye Neck is the only remnant of the Town of Rye at the end of this, Rye Neck residents still have all the obligations they had earlier,” Hofstetter said. Current Village of Mamaroneck Trustee

John Hofstetter

Leon Potok, a Democrat, was the first person to publicly suggest the paper town solution to the steering committee in January. He said that while Hofstetter’s solution sounds good in theory, it is not reasonable to expect it to happen in practice. “Rye Neck will not agree to go into the Town of Mamaroneck for one simple reason, their taxes will go up,” Potok told The Harrison Report. “Under state law, expenses from the town are not properly allocated between the town and the unincorporated area. Therefore, the two villages subsidize, to some extent, the unincorporated area. For Rye Neck to enter into the Town of Mamaroneck, they would be agreeing to do the same.” Potok said if the state law were changed, he thinks Hofstetter’s solution would work for Rye Neck. Although Carvin has questioned whether or not the paper town solution can work long term, Potok said it is a stable alternative for what to do with Rye Neck once Rye Town dissolvesand the villages of Port Chester and Rye Brook go coterminous-because the cost to Rye Neck residents to contract out for services would be less of a financial burden than what they would have to pay in taxes for those services as part of the Town of Mamaroneck. Hofstetter said one of the main advantages to his plan is it effectively eliminates a layer of government in the Town of Mamaroneck, which would enable services to be more easily shared. Potok said the number of municipalities is not the problem. “The issue is not removing layers of government, it’s what do those government units actually do?” Potok said. “So, if you have sharing of services across the town, you can get a good

many of the economies and efficiencies that you’re looking for without dissolving it.” Town of Mamaroneck Supervisor Nancy Seligson, a Democrat, has also advocated for an analysis of ways to share services within the town, with or without a Rye Town dissolution. Still, Hofstetter said the best way to share those services is by streamlining the government administering them. “The reality is, the town structure is the most efficient way to go,” he said. “If the Village of Mamaroneck was dissolved, and the Town of Mamaroneck was made more efficient, you’d see…savings.” Potok said another potential roadblock to village dissolution would be residents’ desire to maintain the village’s character. “I think the village is better off having its own zoning,” Potok said. “I think people like having control over local zoning. Larchmont likes to control its own zoning, the village likes to control its own zoning.” Larchmont is another factor. Hofstetter said that even if his suggestion were followed to completion, he wouldn’t expect Larchmont to follow suit and dissolve, which would create one unified Town of Mamaroneck. “The political reality is there’s no desire for people in Larchmont to do that,” he said. Former Village of Larchmont Mayor Josh Mandell, a Democrat, has been appointed to a committee tasked with planning a reaction to any potential Rye Town dissolution. He told The Harrison Report he doesn’t see village dissolution as a possibility. “To consider village dissolution as a means of eliminating triple-layering [of municipal government] would be beyond the scope of quantitative analysis, in that it would involve asking residents to risk material and potentially adverse changes in the staffing, location and availability of essential service providers in order to generate…savings,” Mandell said. Hofstetter maintains the positive financial effect of dissolving the villages of Larchmont and Mamaroneck is quantifiable, but there is no political will to do the analysis because each village is protective of its history and character. There is something though, he said, that could change some minds. “When the [Town of Mamaroneck] reassessment shakes out in about two years, it’ll be interesting to see what happens,” Hofstetter said. “You’ll find more people in Larchmont will be willing to have a conversation about finding ways to cut taxes. When somebody’s tax bill goes from $40,000 to $60,000 a year, it’ll make a difference.”

February 15, 2013 • THE HARRISON REPORT • 7

Harrison teen wins $10,000 in contest Mary Grace Henry, 16, of Harrison, N.Y., has been voted the grand prize winner in the national Kids Who Give contest, sponsored by Farm Rich. She will receive a $10,000 donation to the charity of her choice as part of her prize. Henry received the most votes in the Kids Who Give online voting competition, held from Jan. 22 to Feb. 5, 2013. Kids Who Give (www.kidswhogive.com) is a national program that celebrates young people, ages 7-17, who devote their time and energy to improving the lives of others. All 2012 quarterly winners were awarded with contributions to their favorite causes and entered into the grand prize voting which was open to the public. Henry was the second-place winner for the fall quarter of Kids Who Give and received $1,500 for her nonprofit, Reverse the Course. At age 12, she started the organization to fund the education of girls in Third World countries with money raised from selling handmade hair accessories. The majority of children who are not enrolled in school worldwide are girls, and to help address this imbalance, Reverse the Course has paid for a total of 37 years of tuition for 18 girls in Uganda, Kenya, Haiti and Paraguay. “On this journey, I've learned as much as the girls I'm supporting. I've learned I have a voice, and I’m using it,” Henry said. “At least once a month, I sell my hair accessories at shows, boutiques or fairs where I meet and talk with hundreds of people about my efforts and the plight of girls worldwide. And every person I talk with agrees–educating girls is the answer.” Henry plans to provide support to girls in the Maasai community next. By funding education, she believes young women can help strengthen their communities by pursuing caCAFETERIA from page 1

Louis N. Wool, the district’s superintendent. “Students have successfully operated the performing arts center since its inception and have gained invaluable experience,” Wool said. “We believe these learning environments provide opportunities for our students to give back to their school and broader community, build real life experience and provide an inviting and engaging learning environment outside the parameters of the traditional school day.” According to Wool, the entire renovation project is anticipated to cost in excess of $1 million and will be partly funded by a $250,000 donation from the Harrison Educational Foundation. During the district Board of Education meeting held on Jan. 30, the board decided to appropriate the first of the two $125,000 donations from the foundation for the construction. “This is going to enhance students’ learning environment to be more conducive to collaboration,” said foundation Chairman Robert Tiburzi, who is also a parent of two Harrison public school students.

reers, marrying later in life and sending their own children to school. “We were simply amazed by all of our 2012 finalists, and the impact they’re making in the world,” said Megan Grinstead, associate marketing manager for Farm Rich. “We appreciate everyone who took time to vote on the finalists. Special congratulations to Mary Grace, who has a remarkable story and vision. We can’t wait to see what incredible things she does to help advance the lives of even more young women through her $10,000 grand prize.” (submitted) Tiburzi explained that the $250,000 donation was generated primarily through the foundation’s annual golf outing held each October at the Westchester Country Club. According to Assistant Superintendent of Finance Robert Salerno, additional funds will come from revenue made from school lunches in an attempt to offset a portion of the cost to taxpayers. “We’ve spent over $300,000 over the past two years for the project,” Salerno said. “We wanted to make the cafeteria more like a student union…to provide students space to eat and learn in, even after hours.” Similar to the recent renovations to the school’s fitness facilities, which cost $85,000, the school plans to use in-house maintenance as well as outside contractors to renovate the kitchen and prep areas. The scope of the renovations will also include work on the lighting, heating and air conditioning systems, the installation of energy efficient windows and doors, and two small kiosks for food service. Able to accommodate 250 to 300 students, the facility will also provide adequate space for exams, tutoring and after hours study groups, and will feature flat panel screens and wireless Internet access for students and faculty.

8 • THE HARRISON REPORT • February 15, 2013

Former Rye party chair reflects on Koch’s visit to city By CHRISTIAN FALCONE ASSOCIATE EDITOR chris@hometwn.com

Ed Koch, who became an icon in New York and beyond, died of congestive heart failure on Feb. 1. He was 88. Koch, well known for his three consecutive terms as mayor, from1978 to 1989, all but rescued the city from the verge of bankruptcy. He leaves a legacy that is revered on both sides of the political aisle. He also served eight years as a U.S. congressman and although a lifelong Democrat, endorsed several Republicans and argued with some in his own party. He was self-proclaimed as a “liberal with sanity.” In 1982, Koch made his way up to Rye and it proved memorable. Those visits are still etched in the mind of Maurio Sax, the former Rye Democratic Party chair who sat down for a recent interview after the former mayor’s passing. “He had an exuberant personality,” said Sax, “and he was very positive.” During his 1982 run for governor, Koch was locked in a heated Democratic primary against rival Mario Cuomo. He was invited as the guest speaker at the Rye Democrats’

1982 picnic, the local party’s biggest fundraiser of the year. Sax recalled Koch asking if he could land his helicopter on the Rye High School football field, but the police commissioner wouldn’t allow it, and Koch instead touched down at Westchester Airport. The picnic wound up indoors thanks to remnants of a major storm. Still, Sax, who served as party chair from 1972 to 1985, said the turnout of more than 100 attendees stands as one of, it not the, biggest fundraising crowds city Democrats have ever seen. “Of course he captured the audience we had,” Sax said. “It was a fun day. He was very positive and humorous and also serious.” Sax, a Rye High School teacher at the time, had some of his students attend the event and Koch spoke with them and took part in an interview for the high school newspaper, Garnet & Black. The former mayor’s ultimate undoing in the gubernatorial primary was the backlash he received after some controversial comments he made about upstate New Yorkers. In an interview with Playboy magazine, Koch described both suburbia and upstate New York as “sterile.” He also said upstate residents wore Sears

Roebuck suits. At the picnic, Rye Democratic officials jokingly mocked Koch by presenting him with a Sears Roebuck and Company catalog, Sax recalled. Later on that year, Koch again reached out to Sax and wound up in Rye a second time; this time at Rye Beach, now known as Playland Beach. “He was familiar with Playland,” Sax said about Koch. “We had a campaign day at the beach. I had a megaphone and would say, ‘come meet Ed Koch.’ The crowd surrounded him. He loved it.” Sax said Koch cracked jokes and put a positive spin on his message to residents, exemplifying the type of person he was. Koch was regarded for not changing character to suit his political wellbeing. “He just had a great spirit and a great personality,” the former party chair said. During the local party’s period of greatest activity during the 1970s and 1980s, Sax said the Democratic picnic always drew the biggest turnout and biggest political stars including Cuomo and John Lindsay, a former New York City mayor and presidential candidate-but none seemed bigger than Koch.

Former New York City Mayor Ed Koch, a Democrat, visits a Rye Democratic fundraiser that drew the party’s largest attendance for a function to date. Photo courtesy Maurio Sax

Social media use among teens concerns Rye parents By CHRIS GRAMUGLIA STAFF REPORTER chrisg@hometwn.com

Technology in the form of social networking has proven beneficial to users over the past decade, but has also left Rye parents with techsavvy children asking questions about Internet safety. Since the inception of Facebook in 2004, a number of other forms of online networking have come into widespread use and are available on every platform, from a desktop PC to a smartphone. Among the most popular among teens are Twitter, Instagram, Chat Roulette, Omegle and Snapchat, which is a new app that enables users to text photos that disappear after a few seconds. Many parents who may have, at one point, not understood the growing importance of these applications are now considering the dangers of allowing their children to explore them without close monitoring and understanding. Exploiting anonymity, cyber-bullying and the accessing of inappropriate or private content online were only some of the topics that sparked dialogue between the Rye Youth Council and concerned parents of Rye Middle School students at a meeting on Feb. 6. Social media in schools occasionally serves as an aid for students wishing to communicate with each other about homework assignments or after-school activities, claimed one Rye High School senior who attended the meeting, but it has also played

a role in disciplinary issues among students. “All social behaviors that middle schoolers try out are about inclusion and exclusions and a search for identity,” said Peter Green, Rye Middle School's social worker. According to Green, social media has exacerbated problems like bullying and exclusion, and has caused those problems to move from places like the cafeteria and classroom to the digital world. “We can't shut kids off from the electronic world, but we can show them what it means to be ethical citizens,” Green said. With 73 percent of teens admitting to using social networking sites, and 48 percent saying they spent up to three hours a day online, cyber-bullying isn't the only issue that demands attention. The lack of privacy online and in social networking has also concerned parents, along with the ease with which teens can access vulgar or inappropriate content. Monica Vila, founder of an online resource for parents called The Online Mom, advocates the use of filtering programs like Net Nanny and believes it is crucial for parents to maintain their awareness of these developing technologies. “Filtering software is not a 'one size fits all',” said Vila, who launched The Online Mom as a result of her daughter's increased use of technology. “Parents need to learn the steps, and set up these programs based on what their kids are into,” she added. Spyware, an undetectable software that can be installed on a computer to view the search

Rye Middle School

history, is reportedly used by 44 percent of parents according to a survery conducted by AVG Technologies, but sometimes it does more harm than good as a result of its invasive nature. “The child that feels trusted and respected is going to make the best choice,” said Vila in response to the question of spyware. According to Vila, a parent's genuine engagement and interest in

what their kids are doing online is the best way to keep them safe while they learn to adjust to the trend themselves. In the upcoming year, The Rye Youth Council, along with Vila, plans on dedicating several workshops and meetings to continually educate parents on the benefits, dangers and various uses of social media among teens.

February 15, 2013 • THE HARRISON REPORT • 9

The State of the Younion address LUNGARIELLO AT LARGE Mark Lungariello

The following text is the prepared speech delivered by the author to his reflection on Tuesday night, during his annual “State of the Younion” address. Mr. I, Mr. Me, members of my personality, and any of my neighbors who may be eavesdropping on me talking to myself: I address you tonight at an important juncture in our history, at a moment when swift actions are called for, and when procrastination and complacency would only mean the further destruction of our union. First, you should go to the doctor. You have not been in years for a general physical and you are not a kid anymore. What we need today is a freedom from fear of the doctor, who you think will tell you to lose weight, or want to give you your first prostate examination. No, not fun, nor is it fun to drop your pants otherwise, but this is for your own good because regular checkups are step one to our goal of not being dead. You need to check your heart beat! [Applause] You need to check your blood pressure! [Applause] And you need to make sure you are not developing Type 2 diabetes, so I tell you tonight: Make me a doctor’s appointment and I will go! [Applause] It is a reality in these trying times that our metabolism is not as strong as it used to be. It is time to reduce our caloric intake to be more in line with the post-recession metabolism! Reducing the fat is not just a matter of the health of our union, but of our sex appeal industry. I remember a time, not too long ago, when you could fit in a Medium. I remember a time when you wore that fancy dress shirt hanging in the back of the closet, but now you can barely squeeze into it. Those times are not gone, with proper exercise and diet you can fit in that shirt again! I urge you here tonight to put a new diet bill on my desk and I will sign it! Flabby is no ally of ours. [Standing Ovation] We have noticed since the last time I gave this speech that my hair is thinning out a bit. A peak is forming in the front of my head and when there is a breeze outside, I can feel the wind on the back of my scalp. [Laughter] I want to announce tonight that we will go bald gracefully and will not employ a comb over! There will be no wigs in our union, nor will there be spray-on hair like we saw on that infomercial on television the other night. No weird hats either. Speaking of, looking in the mirror as I give this speech, I realize you need a haircut. And when you get it, you’ll actually get back to work combing it each morning. No

more bed head in the office! [Applause] With millions of Americans out of the job, you should be pleased you are able to work. But, it is time that you knock on your boss’s door and get that pay increase. You do a good job, generally speaking. You only check your Facebook at work 30 to 40 times a day and you only send several dozen texts while you should be working. Overall, you are an exemplary employee. Besides, your boss needs to know that your phone bill went up, your cable went up and your car insurance went up so it is time that we don’t take no for an answer. That is, unless he says no, in which case you will take no for an answer because the job market out there is pretty rough. Our allies in the British government have learned that your girlfriend, Julie, recently sought significant quantities of our pickles from the refrigerator. We will not permit her to threaten our supply of pickles. We will not back down from our right to dill spears and will thus find a discreet hiding spot in one of the refrigerator drawers. Further, it is time for us to start making decisions about what to watch on television and on Netflix! We will stand up to this Axis of Evil Viewing Decisions. [Standing Ovation] No more “House Hunters International,” no more “Kitchen Nightmares.” From now on we will assert our right to “Star Trek: The Original Series” and “The Walking Dead!” [Applause] Every man has a right to his science fiction and yes, to an occasional viewing of Arnold Schwarzenegger movies. That’s right: “I’ll be back” in control of that remote. [Laughter]. This isn’t political, this isn’t divisive, this is about explosions and Kurt Russell movies and Bruce Willis “one liners,” what could be partisan about that? [Ella, Julie’s cat, squirms uncomfortably in the audience]. It is time we limit our coffee intake to one cup! [Stunned silence] OK, three cups, maximum, any more and you can’t sleep at night and you might even get a stomach ache. [Applause] We need a bill that allows you enough reading time each day to finally finish Robert Caro’s “The Power Broker” and, of course, “War and Peace.” And hey, if you can’t finish it, you must exercise the right to pretend you’ve read the whole thing when speaking to other people who are likewise pretending to have read the entire books. Last, it is time we get back to basics. Stop trying to keep up with modern music and instead just accept that the stuff you used to listen to is just better. Stop trying to dress as a millennial and instead just dress like you used to back when you felt cooler than you do now. Wear your pants too high and above all, be proud to be you! Reach Mark Lungariello at mark@hometwn.com

Have a news tip? Contact your local reporter Daniel Offner, dan@hometwn.com

Rye Town Park outsources sanitation work

The Rye Town Council recently made a somewhat controversial cost-cutting maneuver to pull full-time staffing at Rye Town Park this year in favor of outsourcing sanitation and maintenance work. The decision to do so, which was met with criticism from local residents, has not appeared to get off on the smoothest of footing. On Jan. 31, maintenance and sanitation workers were in a bind when their pickup truck became completely immobilized in the sand. The truck remained stuck on the park's Oakland Beach for several few hours before workers were finally able to free it. Contributed photo -Reporting by CHRISTIAN FALCONE

10 • THE HARRISON REPORT • February 15, 2013

Op/E d

New bill could halt deceptive phone calls By ASHLEY HELMS STAFF REPORTER ashley@hometwn.com

protect identification fraud on landlines, but Paulin said they have kept the language A new state bill seeks to of the bill broad enough to prevent phone “spoofing,” protect cellphone users if the practice used in fraud and their phones are used in the telemarketing scams where the same way in the future. "I caller I.D. shows a name and get a persistent call and it number different from the acalways goes to my voicetual person who is calling. mail," Paulin said. "It's the On Feb. 5, Assemblywoman same number, I have no Amy Paulin, Democrat of idea who it is and they never Scarsdale, joined Assembly leave a message. It happens Speaker Sheldon Silver, a New to all of us." York Democrat, in announcing Residents can call an 800 the legislation to make those number to have their phone who spoof a call’s origin be numbers put on a "do not susceptible to charges and moncall” list for telemarketetary relief to their victims. ers, but Paulin said this bill Silver said that the legislation protects phone users from takes a necessary step towards outright scams. blocking spoofing and restoring "Sometimes it's money, the public's trust in telecom- Assemblywoman Amy Paulin sometimes it could be surmunications technology. "This veying people inapproprifraudulent activity claims two victims: New ately; it's a big problem," Paulin said. York consumers who are being harassed, and The bill has passed the assembly and now those unfortunate individuals whose identities is on the senate floor. If it passes the senate, are being stolen and used to deceitful ends," it will then need to be signed by Governor Silver said. Andrew Cuomo and would take effect immePaulin said the idea for the bill came from diately. hearing various complaints from local conThe bill doesn’t directly address several stituents and noticing that incidents have in- other phone scams that have been a concern creased over the years. The bill would mostly in town recently. LIBRARY from page 1

of this community, you should have no money for the library.” Loscalzo said. Republican Councilman Steve Malfitano explained that the while the town did not have the funding in place, it would likely borrow the expense through a long-term low interest bond. “There are times when opportunities are presented that make it easier to do things. This is one of those, there is a value proposition here,” Malfitano said. “In my opinion, it has a lot of goodwill associated with it, and it provides the taxpayers with value.” According to Malfitano, the public-pri-

vate partnership opportunity is one that would favor the taxpayers in the community by covering roughly two-thirds of the total cost with private funding. Although not everyone was satisfied with the council’s discussion, some residents were glad to hear the update. “I am here to say thank you so much for the progress…we’re assuming the progress is going to come down in a week or two,” said resident Susan Lansenza. “Lots of parents around here are waiting to hear the ink is dry, it’s going to happen, we have a timeline. And lots of parents are ready to fundraise and to help in any way we can.”

Correcting the record In the Feb. 8 edition, the article “Democrats seek new identity" lists the number of voter districts in the Town of Harrison as 19. In fact, the number of voter districts is 20. This means that the total number of registered district leaders should be 40, not 38. In addition, Harrison resident Michael LaDore previously sought the mayor’s seat in 1995 on an independent party line and sought the GOP nomination in 2011, but never ran as a Democrat.

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Governor’s budget misses the point By MARY MARVIN

Last week, Governor Cuomo presented his Executive Budget. Unfortunately, nothing in it addresses the issues that are the root causes of the structural collapse of local governments-the exploding pension and healthcare costs. The Governor’s Mandate Relief Council, which was tasked to address unfunded mandates in tandem with the imposition of the 2 percent tax cap, also produced a report, which unfortunately generated zero savings for municipalities. To put in stark perspective, since the Mandate Relief Council was first proposed, pension costs have risen 183 percent. In approaching the pension issue, the governor has proposed a Long-Term Stable Contribution Option Plan that will, in today’s lingo, kick the can even further down the road. Under the governor’s plan, communities will be able to lock-in pension contribution increases of 12 percent annually for nonuniformed employees and 18.5 percent for police and fire for a period of 25 years versus the projected actual increases of 20.9 percent and 25.9 percent per annum going forward. Stunningly, no one is addressing the basic premise as to why 12 percent and 18.5 percent annual increases in costs is a “good deal” for anyone. Even these lower numbers are clearly an economically unsustainable economy, and the core problem needs to be addressed, not how to pay for a bloated system. The presumptions underlying the plan include no provision for an economic future that is stagnant or declining. The plan presumes a much quicker turnover in employee retirements, counting on many of the employees in future years to be “Tier 6” and thus contributing to their pension benefits. The realities are that government employees are staying in the system longer and retiring later due to the uncertainties in the economy and/or the dearth of jobs in the private sector. Even when employees do retire, communities are containing costs by leaving the positions vacant or simply trimming the workforce. As example, in my tenure as mayor, our staff has shrunk by 15 percent. As Bloomberg News printed recently, “the plan is a thinly disguised form of debt.” Under a current “amortization” pension payment plan available to municipalities, in fiscal year 2011, $43.5 million was deferred from the state pension fund, and last year 165 communities took advantage of it with an additional deferral of $200.6 million in payments. The new deferred payment proposal cannot work without chronically under-fund-

ing the state pension fund and ignoring the state constitutional requirement that pension plans be actuarially sound, threatening to put New York in the same under-funding morass as Illinois. The benefit of the plan is that communities on the verge of insolvency can stave it off a little longer and no politician currently serving in Albany will be there when the house of cards collapses. Ambition seems to be guiding principle of this initiative. My views have been vocally shared by Mayor Spano of Yonkers and Mayor Miner of Syracuse, who is also the co-chair of the state Democratic Party. We cannot continue to refuse to confront the problem. It is simply not fair to the next generation of New Yorkers. The governor’s executive budget proposes no new state taxes. He will be able to honor this if various new initiatives are implemented that take money from municipalities to fill state shortfalls, thus depleting some of the few local non-property revenue sources left. As example, under the rubric of safety, the governor has proposed that municipal courts no longer be allowed to negotiate speeding tickets down to local violations, saving the offender points on his license and possible insurance premium increases. To put in monetary context, local communities get a fraction of the value of a speeding ticket. For example, a $185 speeding ticket yields a community such as ours $5. It actually costs municipalities to issue moving violations, disabusing the idea that communities write tickets to fill the local coffers. However, if the moving violation is pleaded down to a violation, the local municipality retains the lion’s share of the fine. The governor’s plan proposes a new state surcharge of $80 per violation on any infractions that are pled down. The net result is that local non-property tax revenues will shrink, and court costs and staffing will have to increase to handle the multitude of trials that will result as individuals contest the charge due to the points and insurance ramifications. The final burden will then fall on the local property tax payer to cover the shortfall because unlike the state, local municipalities have no one to “pass through” the costs to balance our books. Everything stops with the local property taxpayers. Unless the corrosive root causes of the significant increases in local budgets are addressed by our Legislators, residents state-wide will continue to experience rising taxes, a diminishment of services, a shrinking workforce, decreasing fund balances and crumbling infrastructure. It is time the local property taxpayers become the most important special interest group. Mary Marvin is the mayor of the Village of Bronxville.

February 15, 2013 • THE HARRISON REPORT • 11

Tuckahoe latest municipality to consider plastic bag ban By ASHLEY HELMS STAFF REPORTER ashley@hometwn.com

Tuckahoe will join communities like Rye if a new village bill is approved that will ban the use of plastic bags. Village Trustee Stephen Quigley, a Democrat, has proposed an amendment to the Tuckahoe Village Code that would gradually phase out plastic bags at retail establishments. Similar legislation has been introduced in Mamaroneck, Rye City and Westport, Conn. "Plastic bags do not break down or get reabsorbed into the earth," Quigley said. "They become litter problems and problems to wildlife." According to the Clean Air Council, Americans use approximately 1 billion nonbiodegradable plastic shopping bags per year and only about 12 percent were recycled countrywide in 2010. Quigley said at the Feb. 4 village Board of Trustees meeting that getting rid of plastic bags in the village is a good idea that needs a little force behind it in the form of a law. The law is intended to encourage the use of

reusable carryout bags and recyclable paper bags in the village. For paper bags to be considered recyclable, they must be made out of at least 40 percent post-consumer recycled content, be able to be added to compost, and be accepted for recycling throughout the Town of Eastchester. Reusable bags are made from washable cloth or another material that can be cleaned or disinfected, according to the village legislation. If the law takes effect, retail stores will have six months to dispose of their existing bag inventory and switch over to other materials. Though Quigley said the legislation is mostly to help educate residents and shop owners on sustainability, fines for violating the plastic bag ban will be in effect. There will not be a fine for first-time offenders, but a second violation will be set at a maximum of $100, a third can be as much as $250, and a fourth and all subsequent violations could reach $500. Quigley said that certain things like dry cleaning bags, produce bags and plastic wrapping around deli sandwiches will still be allowed. "Just the plastic bags with two handles that you

High school business club wins big

The Business Club at Harrison High School captured five medals in its first regional Distributive Education Club of America competition at SUNY Rockland Community Club on Thursday, January 10th. Advisors Claudia Gray and Joe Santos helped prepare the HHS students who competed against 200 other students from the Hudson Valley region. In their first attempt of the season, all of Harrison’s students qualified for the DECA New York State Competition in March. HHS Competitors were: Samuel Colangelo Eric Gutierrez Aaron Kaplan Teddy Maguire Daniel Maldonado-President Zoe Mittman Brett Saviano Alexis Shannon Marielle Sheck Award winners were: Marielle Sheck–Second Place “Principles of

Business Management and Administration” Samuel Colangelo & Daniel Maldonado– Second Place “Principles of Finance” Aaron Kaplan–Second Place “Principles of Hospitality &Tourism” Brett Saviano–Third Place “Principles of Marketing” DECA, a national Business and Marketing Club with 185,000 members spanning 5,000 high school chapters in all 50 states and nine countries, prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs by creating a forum in which students practice key leadership skills such as goal setting, consensus building and project management. “After returning to school, I cannot tell you how many students told us they are joining DECA and want to compete next year!” said Gray. “DECA at Harrison is a great opportunity to learn about business and prepare for competitions. We are off to a great start!” (Submitted)

Tuckahoe Village Hall

carry out will be banned," Quigley said. "In Rye, it's been going on for the past year and a half and there haven't been any fines, but they're watching."

A public hearing regarding the plastic bag ban will be held during the next regularly scheduled village Board of Trustees meeting on March 11.

12 • THE HARRISON REPORT • February 15, 2013

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February 15, 2013 • THE HARRISON REPORT • 13

LEGAL NOTICES NOTICE TO BIDDERS The Harrison Central School District hereby invites the submission of sealed bids for the following: Bid Number: 12/13-20a Lumber and Building Supplies (RE-BID) Bids shall be submitted in sealed envelopes marked "Bid Spec #12/13-20a: Lumber and Building Supplies" on the outside. Bids will be received until 2:30 p.m., Monday, March 4, 2013 by the Purchasing Agent (or his duly designated representative), Harrison Central School District, Business Office, 50 Union Avenue, Harrison, NY 10528; (914) 630-3011; Fax: (914) 835-2715, at which time and place all bids will be publicly opened and read. Specifications and bid forms may be obtained from the same office beginning Thursday, February 14, 2013. The Harrison Central School District is not responsible for bids opened prior to the bid opening if bid number and opening date do not appear on the envelope. Bids opened prior to the date and time indicated are invalid. The bidder assumes the risk of any delay in the mail, or in the handling of the mail by employees of the Harrison Central School District, as well as improper hand delivery. The Harrison Central School District reserves the right to waive any informalities in the bids, or to reject all bids, or to accept any bid which in the opinion of the Board will be to their best interest. By order of the Board of Education Gene George Purchasing Agent Dated:February 14, 2013 NOTICE TO BIDDERS The Harrison Central School District hereby invites the submission of sealed bids for the following: Bid Number: 12/13-21a Stonemasonry Services (RE-BID) Bids shall be submitted in sealed envelopes marked "Bid Spec #12/13-21a: Stonemasonry Services" on the outside. Bids will be received until 2:45 p.m., Monday, March 4, 2013 by the Purchasing Agent (or his duly designated representative), Harrison Central School District, Business Office, 50 Union Avenue, Harrison, NY 10528; (914) 630-3011; Fax: (914) 835-2715, at which time and place all bids will be publicly opened and read. Specifications and bid forms may be obtained from the same office beginning Thursday, February 14, 2013. The Harrison Central School District is not responsible for bids opened prior to the bid opening if bid number and opening date do not appear on the envelope. Bids opened prior to the date and time indicated are invalid. The bidder assumes the risk of any delay in the mail, or in the handling of the mail by employees of the Harrison Central School District, as well as improper hand delivery. The Harrison Central School District reserves the right to waive any informalities in the bids, or to reject all bids, or to accept any bid which in the opinion of the Board will be to their best interest. By order of the Board of Education Gene George Purchasing Agent Dated: February 14, 2013 NOTICE TO BIDDERS The Harrison Central School District hereby invites the submission of sealed bids for the following: Bid Number: 12/13-23 Asset Recovery Bids shall be submitted in sealed envelopes marked "Bid Spec #12/13-23: Asset Recovery" on the outside. Bids will be received until 2:00 p.m., Monday, March 4, 2013 by the Purchasing Agent (or his duly designated representative), Harrison Central School District, Business Office, 50 Union Avenue, Harrison, NY 10528; (914) 630-3011; Fax: (914) 835-2715, at which time and place all bids will be publicly opened and read. Specifications and bid forms may be obtained from the same office beginning Thursday, February 14, 2013. The Harrison Central School District is not responsible for bids opened prior to the bid opening if bid number and opening date do not appear on the envelope. Bids opened prior to the date and time indicated are invalid. The bidder assumes the risk of any delay in the mail, or in the handling of the mail by employees of the Harrison Central School District, as well as improper hand delivery. The Harrison Central School District reserves the right to waive any informalities in the bids, or to reject all bids, or to accept any bid which in the opinion of the Board will be to their best interest. By order of the Board of Education Gene George Purchasing Agent Dated: February 14, 2013

Students visit county legislature

Fifth graders from Parsons Memorial Elementary School visited The Board of Legislators at the County Office Building in White Plains. The students had the opportunity to meet with County Legislator David Gelfarb and participated in a Mock Trial. This was a hands-on opportunity for Parsons students to learn about County Government in the Board Chamber and act as legislators, clerks, or a chairperson. After reviewing the workings of government, the students engaged in role-playing as committee members and as legislators to discuss their positions on current issues. The students were then given an agenda with four topics, which they debated and voted on in the board chambers. This field trip coincided with the students’ study of government in the Western Hemisphere. (Submitted)

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Anti-fracking film to screen in White Plains “Dear Governor Cuomo,” a documentary about a concert and rally sponsored by New Yorkers Against Fracking, will be shown on March 7 at 7:30 p.m. at the Ethical Culture Society of Westchester, located at 7 Saxon Wood Road (off Mamaroneck Avenue) in White Plains. A blend of music and message, the film describes the environmental, economic, and heath impact of fracking and includes performances by Natalie Merchant, Joan Osborne, Dan Zanes, the Felice Brothers, Citizen Cope, and Medeski Martin & Wood. Suggested donation is $10. For more information, visit ethicalsocietywestchester.org. (Submitted)

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14 • THE HARRISON REPORT • February 15, 2013

SPORTS

DiRenzis bowls perfect game By MIKE SMITH ASSOCIATE SPORTS EDITOR sports@hometwn.com

On Feb. 5, Michael DiRenzis rolled his way–literally–into the Harrison record books, posting a perfect 300 game in a bowling match against Scarsdale. The flawless game is the latest in a season of stellar performances, which has put the sophomore in a position to vie for a Section I crown later this month. DiRenzis, who didn’t start bowling in earnest until last year, has been a cog on a solid Harrison team since taking up the sport. By his own estimate, DiRenzis has a solid 180 average, and with his help, the Huskies have amassed a 26-1 record over the last two years. The Section I squad is undefeated so far in 2013. But against the Raiders, DiRenzis took his game to another level, posting scores of 216, 244 and a perfect 300. “There was a learning curve when I started out,” said the sophomore. “But I picked it up pretty quickly.” DiRenzis adapted to the sport from his relative inexperience, and it took him under two years to roll an elusive, perfect game–a benchmark for bowlers everywhere. Of course, the pressure of bowling a perfect game wasn’t present

from the outset of his match against Scarsdale, but as the frames ticked by and DiRenzis stayed flawless, the tension began to mount. “I just felt that I was gradually picking up steam as I went along, but by the eighth or ninth frame, I started to feel the pressure,” said the Huskies bowler. “Everyone at the alley starting coming over to watch and see if I could do it.” With the rest of Section I looking on–and his teammates cheering vociferously–DiRenzis picked up strikes in the eighth and ninth frames, then two more in the 10th to set up what would be his final roll of the day. Despite the pressure, the sophomore remained calm as he let it fly. “I felt like it was good when I released it, and when it hit the pocket, I knew,” said DiRenzis. “I just put my fist in the air and people started cheering.” With the win over Scarsdale–and subsequently the league title–DiRenzis and teammate Bobby Medori will look to continue their hot streaks in the Section I tournament. But no matter how the team fares to finish the year, the season will have been a memorable one for the Harrison squad. “We are so proud of Michael and his outstanding accomplishment,” said

Mike DiRenzis

Harrison Athletic Director Pat Seligman. “A perfect 300 is an exceptional achievement and one that will be memorialized in our record books for years to come.”

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Top playoff storylines Rye’s chances after Benincasa’s injury Rye is getting set to venture into the Division II playoffs, where it will likely be seeded among the top three teams, alongside John Jay and rival Pelham. However, on Feb. 6, it was announced that the Garnets would have to hit the ice without their top scorer, Michael Benincases, who has been sidelined with a broken vertebra and will be out the rest of the year. Rye has gone 3-1 without Benincasa in the lineup, but the Garnet senior is a huge loss nonetheless. Mamaroneck, Suffern hockey to meet again? Over the past decade, Mamaroneck and Suffern have dominated the Division I landscape, although in recent years the Mounties have seemingly had the Tigers’ number. This year, however, Suffern and Mamaroneck have split their regular season series. With the two teams apparent favorites to make the sectional finals, a third match could be in the cards. Eastchester boys basketball possible matchup with Pelham With a 17-1 record, the Eagles have had one of their best seasons in years and might find themselves with a unique chance to hand three losses in one season to their rivals from Pelham. Slated as the second seed in Class A, the up-tempo Eagles will meet the Pelicans if both teams win one game to reach the quarterfinals. New Rochelle girls basketball’s chances for County Center bid Two years ago, New Rochelle–perhaps underrated due to its tough schedule–steamrolled its way into the Westchester County Center despite entering the sectional tournament as the 16-seed.

Pete Conley skates against Suffern on Jan. 11. The Tigers and Mounties have split their season series, with a potential rubber match looming in the Division I finals. Photo/Mike Smith

This year, however, a resurgent Huguenots squad–buoyed by the return of Amirror Dixon, who missed a lengthy amount of time this season–find themselves as a six-seed. Although Ossining remains the favorite to repeat as Section I champs, the Huguenots have a solid chance of making the final four with a chance to knock off just about any team left. Harrison wrestlers reach milestone wins Gavin Menchel and Joe Maida might not have come away from the Section I tournament with a crown in their weight class or a berth to the state tourney, but both Huskies won their final match in wrestlebacks to finish fifth–earning them all-section honors. More important was that the final win for both Menchel and Maida gave the duo their 100th career wins-a significant milestone-in back-to-back matches.

SPORTS

February 15, 2013 • THE HARRISON REPORT • 15

Football standout Credendino headed to Fordham By MIKE SMITH ASSOCIATE SPORTS EDITOR sports@hometwn.com

At Harrison High School on Jan, 6, Charlie Credendino (center) signs his letter of intent to enroll at Fordham University. Credendino was joined by his parents, Al and Joanne (seated), as well as Harrison High School principal James Ruck, athletic director Patricia Seligman and head football coach Art Troilo Jr. Photo/Bobby Begun

On Jan. 6, many of the top scholastic football players in the nation made their college decisions official, signing their letters of intent. Among those was Harrison standout Charlie Credendino, who will be staying close to him when he enrolls at Fordham University this coming fall. Citing its location, as well as both its academic and athletic tradition, Credendino said that he had pretty much made his mind up last spring, and that Wednesday’s signing ceremony was a mere formality. “From a football standpoint, it really seems like [The Rams] are going to be good for a while,” said Credendino. “And it’s definitely going to be an honor to be a part of that.” Credendino, a 6-foot-3, 290-pound offensive lineman, has anchored the Huskies’ line for years, earning two AllState selections and a spot on the annual Golden Dozen team this past fall. Not surprisingly, he has been on the radar of several colleges for years, and began the college search in earnest before his junior year of high school. After attending several camps and speaking with college coaches, many of them at the DI-AA level, he decided that he might have a chance to

make the biggest impact in the Bronx over the next few years. “My first goal is to come in and make the team that travels to away games as a backup offensive lineman,” said Credendino. “I’m not expecting to come in right away and start, but if I work hard and do what I’m supposed to, I think I will get my chance.” Credendino has also already decided on an area of study, and will enroll in Fordham’s Gabelli Business School, where he hopes to combine his passion for both academics and athletics. “I hope to focus in on either sports marketing or sports management,” said the Harrison senior. “Once my required studies are done, I hope to go more in depth in those areas.” But even as Credendino looked ahead to his own future on Wednesday, the Huskies standout couldn’t help but be a bit contemplative about his time on the gridiron for the maroon and white. “This whole recruiting process has been very humbling for me,” said Credendino. “I thought of all the kids who I’ve played with over the years that didn’t get the chance to do this at the next level.” “I have that chance,” he added. “And I’m going to cherish it and hold onto it forever.”

Huskies’ seniors win 100th matches at sectionals By MIKE SMITH ASSOCIATE SPORTS EDITOR sports@hometwn.com

Despite sending nine wrestlers to the Section I tournament on Feb. 10-11, Harrison failed to capture a first place crown or a berth to states at the prestigious tourney. However, this doesn’t mean that the Huskies walked away empty handed, as two Harrison grapplers managed to grab all-section honors and landmark wins in their final high school matches. Both Joe Maida (126 pounds) and Gavin Menchel (132 pounds) finished up their careers on high notes. They overcame early defeats to perform well during the wrestleback rounds, in which wrestlers still have a chance to make all-sectionals. Both Huskies won their final matches, which earned them both all-section nods and their 100th career wins. “It was so great to see,” said Harrison coach Vin Nicita of the performance by his seniors. “To see them both win their final match, get their 100th win on the same mat in back-to-back matches, was special.” Maida’s win was made even more impressive given the fact that he was wrestling with a potentially severe knee injury that he sustained in the divisional tournament. Though the official results are not in yet, as Maida is scheduled to get an MRI later in the week, the injury significantly limited what he was able to do on the mat.

“Really, with one leg out there, Joe couldn’t take any shots, couldn’t wrestle offensively,” said Nicita. “He had to change his whole approach.” Neither Maida, who came into the tournament ranked fifth, nor Menchel, who ranked seventh, were able to upset higherranked wrestlers to place in the semifinals. In fact, in all of Division I, there were only two wrestlers ranked in the top four of their respective weight class that were upended by lower-seeded challengers. “You don’t see a lot of those upsets at sectionals,” said Harrison coach Vin Nicita. “You see these guys all year, you wrestle against them all year, so you kind of know what everyone can do.” Despite losing core seniors such as Maida, Menchel and David Polakoff, who also wrestled at sectionals, Nicita is confident that the younger wrestlers on his squad–especially those who earned a berth in sectionals this year–will return to make Harrison an even stronger team next season, with wrestlers like Frankie Barchella, James Carducci and Dom Schepis (who narrowly missed a berth this year) leading the way. “I think it’s been a great experience and those guys, especially our really strong sophomore class, are going to learn from that,” he said. “Now, they know what the best wrestlers in the section look like and what they have to do to get back there.”

Joe Maida competes in the wrestlebacks at the Section I wrestling tournament on Feb. 11. Despite wrestling on a bad knee, Maida was able to place fifth in his weight class and earn all-section honors. Photo/Bobby Begun

16 • THE HARRISON REPORT • February 15, 2013


Harrison Report 2-15-13