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Vol. 13/Number 9

DRIVE HARD

Harrison Husky Coby Lefkowitz is fouled as he drives to the hoop on Feb. 16. Lefkowitz was recently named to the All-Section team. The Huskies won their play-in game, but fell to Poughkeepsie in the next round. For more, see back page. Photo/Bobby Begun

Two school principals set to retire By DANIEL OFFNER STAFF REPORTER dan@hometwn.com

Harrison High School Principal Dr. James Ruck and Parsons Elementary Principal Robert Torp have formally announced they plan to retire from the Harrison Central School District this June. Each has served more than 40 years in the education profession. Ruck said although he does not have any definitive plans for after retirement, he feels healthy and energetic enough to work. Swayed by the amount of time spent driving to Harrison High School from his home in Northport on Long Island, Ruck said that if he were to continue working it would not be to the same extent and would need to be close to home. “It is a monumental job...I really

enjoy it, but we’ll see what happens,” said Ruck, 69. Hired by the Harrison school district in 2006 to serve as an interim principal, Ruck did not anticipate he would stay more than a year, let alone seven. Prior to his tenure, Ruck served as superintendent of the Sachem school district in Long Island and had experience as a principal in Dobbs Ferry. “When they hired me full time, I knew what it meant [in terms of the drive from Long Island],” Ruck said. “But education in this community and the school board were just so enthusiastic in Harrison...it was fun for me to help be a part of that.” At Parsons Elementary School, Principal Bob Torp said his age drove his decision to retire. Torp, 73, said that after he retires, he PRINCIPALS continued on page 8

March 1, 2013

Library announcement due March 7 By DANIEL OFFNER STAFF REPORTER dan@hometwn.com

A library foundation seeking town money to revamp the downtown library will announce the results of negotiations with the Town Council, at the council’s meeting of March 7. After a stance against contributing to the $3.6 million renovations, the Town Counil members opened negotiations with the foundation. It is expected that they will agree to contribute funds, likely through issuing bonds. In an email sent on Feb. 19, Harrison Public Library Foundation Director Ross Halperin said his online campaign for the project had successfully gained 1,607 signatures. “Clearly, there is a tremendous

amount of support for our proposals in the Harrison community,” Halperin said. Halperin said that over the past few weeks, extensive discussions were held with the Town Council after debate over $1.1 million in deferred maintenance costs that the town is obligated to pay at a future point. According to sources close to the negotiations, while no contract has been approved as of yet, the major terms have been agreed upon, and it is expected the town will cover the full $1.1 million expense. Although nothing has been put to paper just yet, both parties are now confident that an agreement will come to fruition before the next meeting. Republican Councilman Joe LIBRARY continued on page 7

New Rochelle Conservative to primary county executive By CHRISTIAN FALCONE ASSOCIATE EDITOR chris@hometwn.com

While Democrats attempt to portray the county executive as a far-right extremist, a New Rochelle challenger has come forward saying Rob Astorino hasn’t been conservative enough. At a Feb. 22 press conference in front of the county Board of Elections offices, Kurt Colucci, a registered Conservative Party member and Tea Party supporter, announced his candidacy for county executive; he plans to seek the Conservative Party line through a primary. “My campaign is not about Rob Astorino,” Colucci said. “The focal point of my message is ‘we don’t have to live like this.’” A self-described conservative-libertarian, Colucci—who said he sup-

appointments. He referported Astorino in the enced the appointment 2009 race—labeled the of Hugh Fox, the councounty executive’s first ty Conservative Party term in office a failure, chairman, to a posistating Astorino could tion with the county have done a better job Department of Public cutting the county budWorks after Fox retired get. Astorino has been from the Yonkers Fire criticized for his deciDepartment. Fox’s new sion to borrow money position earns him a to offset the tax rate in Kurt Colucci six-figure salary in adthe county’s 2013 buddition to his state penget, while holding true to a promise not to raise taxes during sion from his time with the Yonkers fire department. his first term in office. “It was the biggest politi“Rob borrowed money but did it under the guise of holding the line cal payoff in Westchester hison taxes,” Colucci said. “In the long tory,” said Colucci, who works as a run, you pay more with interest. It’s project manager for Chief Fire the long-term consequences of his Prevention & Mechanical, a Mount Vernon-based mechanical engineerdecisions.” Colucci, 36, also criticized the ing company. “There are so many county executive for his political COLUCCI continued on page 11

2 • THE HARRISON REPORT • March 1, 2013

March 1, 2013 • THE HARRISON REPORT • 3

Planning Board provides suggestions on draft master plan By DANIEL OFFNER STAFF REPORTER dan@hometwn.com

On Feb. 26, the Harrison Planning Board sent the draft of the town’s master plan back to the Town Council with recommendations. The Town Council will ultimately approve the master plan, also known as a comprehensive plan, which is a guidemap for zoning and sets municipal goals for development. As part of its process, the Planning Board received written and verbal public comment, and received notes from the Westchester County Planning Board. The members of the board have submitted their own comments and recommendations on master plan, which was prepared by BFJ Planning consultants. It will be up to the Town Council to incorporate those recommendations or other changes into a revised draft, according to Frank Fish, principal planner of BFJ Planning, the firm hired to put together the plan. “There is no new draft,” Fish said. “It would be too confusing. It’s up to them [the Town Council] procedurally if they want to revise it.” Fish added that the town councilmembers have each been given a packet including submitted recommendations and comment from both the county and local planning boards to review. After its review the council will decide which aspects of the guiding document they wish to revise, if any.

The Planning Board focused on four key areas of concern within the master plan proposal and have included recommendations for the council to peruse. The memo includes several suggestions within the so-called “Platinum Mile” corridor along Interstate 287, changes to the town’s two family residential “B” zoning district, and revisions on stormwater management, flood control and green building. Looking to fill the vacant office parks within the once thriving corporate hub along Westchester Avenue–which once provided 60 percent of the town’s overall tax base–the draft proposes the creation of a special business/mixed use zoning district which officials hope will encourage other types of businesses, most likely medical facilities, as many corporations have left the town in recent years. However the Planning Board found a provision allowing “only” assisted care and senior housing in the newly created to be unnecessarily restrictive. The memo recommends retail as an allowable use after further study to determine a maximum square footage threshold, implement transit improvements and expand the “SB-MX” zoning district for all adjacent special business zones. Over the past year, controversy reigned amongst residents regarding a proposed change in zoning regulations for the two-family residential “B” zoning district. According to the plan, the change would allow for the continued construction of the stan-

dard “up-down” houses, which have separate apartments on the first and second floors, and impose restrictions on any proposed construction of “side-by-side” duplex units, limiting construction by special permit only. Planning Board Chair Tom Heaslip weighed in on the controversy. “The Planning Board disagrees with the imposition of an additional layer of regulatory control with regards to the proposed changes in the ‘B’ two-family residential zone,” Heaslip said. The planning board’s memo stated that the additional regulations in the master plan which allow side-by-side duplexes as ‘special exception uses’ did not include any guidelines on specific zoning dimension, bulk or area regulations. In addition, the board members found the draft did not take into consideration additional regulations on parking and other factors that govern dimensional requirements. According to the current draft of the master plan, consultants with BFJ Planning suggest increasing minimum property lot sizes for two-family construction, which would change existing 5,000 square-foot two-family residential properties to non-conforming status. Although this would allow existing properties to remain within their existing property lot sizes, any future changes would require a property be brought up to code before a permit could be approved, or the application would require a variance. In addition to the recommended alterations,

the board found the plan did not adequately emphasize the need to address stormwater management and flood mitigation. The board recommended the plan incorporate the town language that requires applicants to consider stormwater impact on a watershed basis, methods to finance drainage and mitigation projects, and that the town require any future development to offset the projected increase of sewage inflow. Lastly the board suggested implementing a “Sustainable Green Development Impact Fee Rating Program,” which would provide incentives for green development compliant with the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Neighborhood Development rating system. Should the Town Council seek to adopt the draft, it must approve an environmental assessment form, required by the state environmental and quality review act. This would allow the town to issue a negative declaration, stating that there would be no adverse impact to the environment. However, should a positive declaration be issued, the town would then have to submit a full environmental impact statement, which some residents have insisted that the town pursue anyway. The Harrison Town Council is expected to make its declaration later this month, though officials said they could not provide an exact date for completion as of press time.

4 • THE HARRISON REPORT • March 1, 2013

C ommunity Briefs Harrison Public Library Children’s Events Storyland with Miss Bonnie for ages 3-5 March 4, 18, 25 10:30 a.m.-11:00 a.m. Jeffery Friedberg Fun and funky music young children love! Sing and dance along to the catchy tunes. Movie Time @ the Library March 5 at 3:30 p.m. Cookies and juice for the kids March 11 10:30 a.m.-11 a.m. St. Patrick’s Day craft program March 14 at 3:30 p.m. Lego Hour March 18 at 4:00 p.m. Board Games March 26 4 p.m.-5 p.m. Volunteer for Harrison Library’s first Teen Advisory Group For people in grades 7-12. Members will help plan and assist with events, the new Teen Room, and several other projects. Community service credit possible. March 6, 13, 20, 27

10 a.m.-11 a.m. 11 a.m.-11:30 a.m. Circle Time For Tots with Miss Claudia Songs and movement for ages 1-3. March 8, 15, 22 (closed March 29 for Good Friday) 10 a.m.-12 p.m. Open Play Come meet other parents, grandparents, caregivers, and children. Make new friends, play, read, and have fun. Blocks and preschool LEGOs will be available for the little ones while parents chat. March 2, 16 11 a.m.-12 p.m. Sponsored by the Friends. For info call 914/835-0324 or see www.harrisonpl.org. Harrison Council for the Arts presents Youth Art Month March 1-31, at the Harrison Municipal Building, Heineman Place, and the Harrison Public Library, Bruce Avenue. This annual exhibit consists of multi-media art reflecting the talents of students in the Harrison schools with works selected by art teachers in the community. Opening reception Sunday, March 3 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Harrison Municipal Building with entertainment at 2:00 p.m. at the Library. For info call 914/8350324 or see www.harrisonpl.org Local artists exhibit at Mamaroneck Artists Guild The Mamaroneck Artists Guild brings together a quartet of artists beginning March 5 through March 30 who will exhibit an eclec-

tic range of imagery – everything from the realistic to the abstract. New Rochelle artists, Jeanie Ritter (oils), Shelia Benedis (mixed media), and Jane Petruska (mixed media and sculpture) join forces with Carol Gromer (pencil drawings) of Scarsdale in this unique exhibition of two and three-dimensional works. Come meet the artists at an opening reception on March 9, from 3 p.m. – 5 p.m. Gallery hours are Tuesday – Saturday, from 12 p.m. – 5 p.m. The gallery is located at 126 Larchmont Ave. in Larchmont. Admission is free. 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. 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. Millennium Book Club discussion “What Alice Forgot” by Liane Moriarty Harrison Public Library, 2 Bruce Avenue, Wednesday, March 13 at 7 p.m. Registration not required. All invited. Refreshments. Sponsored by the Friends of the Harrison Public Library. 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) 315-1982. Talk to explore the relationship between age and wisdom Do we really become wiser as we age? That will be the subject of a talk by the Rev. Carole Johannsen, a priest in the Episcopal Diocese of New York and a hospital chaplain, on Sunday, March 17, at the Ethical Culture Society of Westchester, 7 Saxon Wood Road (off Mamaroneck Avenue) in White Plains. Johannsen will describe what she has learned through traditional research and with the help of the 70 and 80-year-olds with whom she has worked. The program, which begins at 10:30 a.m., is free, and childcare is available. Ethical Culture is a liberal religious and educational fellowship without formal creed or dogma. For more information, contact ECSW at 914-948-1120 or visit its website, ethicalsocietywestchester.org 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.

March 1, 2013 • THE HARRISON REPORT • 5

Town to pay 54 percent of Shaft 22 repair, litigation slows down By DANIEL OFFNER STAFF REPORTER dan@hometwn.com

Repairs to a 30-inch water main that burst last year along Eastchester’s Route 22 were reported to cost the Westchester Joint Water Works $1.55 million and the Town of Harrison is on the hook for more than half the cost of the repairs. The pipe, more commonly referred to as “Shaft 22,” is maintained by the municipallygoverned utility water works, which keeps tabs on the supply and consumption of water in Harrison as well as that in both the town and village of Mamaroneck. Water Works manager Anthony Conetta said that, typically, residents in the Harrison receive approximately 54 percent of the clean drinking water that runs through the underground pipeline each year. “This amount varies slightly from year to year,” Conetta said. “[The] repairs are slated to be covered as part of a long-term capital project...and will be divided proportionally among the municipalities which use the main line.” According to David Birdsall, business director of the water works, since Harrison residents receive more than half of the supply of water flowing through the pipeline, they will likely pay for more than half the cost of repairs, an approximate $837,000. “We pay more because we use the most

water,” said Harrison Mayor Ron Belmont, a Republican. Belmont serves on the water works Board of Directors, along with the heads of the Mamaroneck municipalities. After more than a year the repairs are now complete. However, the water works is still in litigation over the rupture of a Con Edison owned gas main adjacent to the broken water main. According to court documents dated Oct. 15, 2012, Con Edison is alleging that the water works underwent repairs in a negligent manner, forcing Con Edison to repair its facilities. The court document goes on to state that during the excavation, following the burst of the 30-inch water main, equipment was used that struck and undermined the gas main. Damage to a high-pressure gas main could have caused an explosion in the area. Although Con Edison has not yet specified the total amount of the suit, representatives with the utility company have said they will announce the total amount as talks proceed. “It will be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars,” Con Edison spokesman Allan Drury told The Harrison Report in a previous interview. While the water works rerouted the flow of water through arterial pipelines so customers would not be affected, about 330 Con Edison customers were without gas the night of the Jan. 13, 2012 incident. Foundation poured over the water main for

The Westchester Joint Water Works, operated by Harrison along with Mamaroneck Town and Mamaroneck Village, undertook $1.5 million in repairs and is now at odds with Con Edison over responsibility for the damages. File photo

an old traffic light was said to be the root of the main burst and prompted the state Department of Transportation to move the light. But, the water works and its governing municipalities have alleged that Con Edison repaired and possibly improperly installed their gas main within inches of the water pipe, which they said contributed to its failure. “The line was compromised either by Con Edison or the DOT,” Belmont said. “It’s taken over a year to get it operational...it’s a mess.”

Belmont said due to the lawsuit he would not speak directly on the proceedings. Documents that include the original plans for the gas main installation, the types of protection used on the gas main and any notification made by Con Edison to the water works regarding the improvements or modifications are needed. Hilldale Place in Eastchester has since been reopened to traffic after a year of closure. -With reporting by ASHLEY HELMS

6 • THE HARRISON REPORT • March 1, 2013

Author to discuss the many forms of loss

Blessings, taxes and spring sports

The Harrison Public Library presents “The dream or ideal? Bishop’s poem will spark a Art of Losing,” a discussion with acclaimed profound and spirited conversation about topauthor Priscilla Gilman on Sunday, April 14 ics that matter most. at 2:00 p.m. Priscilla Gilman grew up in New York City “The art of losing isn’t and received her B.A. and PhD hard to master,” Elizabeth in English and American literaBishop writes in the first ture from Yale University. She is line of “One Art”, her poem a former professor of English about loss, time, illness literature at both Yale and Vassar and aging, death, grief, College. Gilman writes regularly and the redemptive powers for publications including “Daily of memory and art. We’ll Beast,” The New York Times, discuss one of Bishop’s and “The Huffington Post,” and greatest poems as an act speaks frequently at schools, of nostalgia, elegy, memconferences, and organizations ory, and memorializing; a about parenting, education, and meditation on the nature the arts. She lives in New York of romantic love and its City with her family. “The Antiloss via break-up, divorce, Romantic Child” was nominated or death, an exploration for a Books for a Better Life of loss and mourning, a Award for Best First Book. gesture of healing and acThis event is free and open to Priscilla Gilman ceptance, a reflection on the public. Refreshments will mortality, an affirmation of be provided by the Friends of the value of poetry. How do we confront and the Harrison Public Library. Space is limited cope with loss, whether it be the seemingly and sign up is required. Please call the Library mundane misplacing of keys or the waste of at (914) 835-0324 or see www.harrisonpl.org precious time, the loss of a job, a home, a time to sign up for this joyful, encouraging and in one’s life, good health, a beloved person, a inspiring discussion. (Submitted)

On Saturday, Feb. 16, I had the great pleasure of attending St. Anthony of Padua as Cardinal Timothy Dolan celebrated the 5 p.m. mass. This was his first visit to St. HARRISON Anthony’s, and many community members and visitors HAPPENINGS were in attendance. He gave a warm and heartfelt homily Mayor Ron Belmont and many were moved by its message. It was an honor to meet him and present him with small gifts and a plaque on behalf of the residents of Harrison. Following the mass, a reception was held at the church. Cardinal Dolan took time to converse with attendees and posed for countless photos. As February comes to a close, I would like to bring your attention to an issue that may affect many residents, tax exemption status. It is time to send out exemption renewals. The assessment office is sending out renewal applications to all enhanced STAR applicants from prior years, as well as applicants of the RPTL 467 senior exemptions. These applications are being sent out with instructional information and all required dates. Applications are due on or before May 1, 2013. Additionally, May 1 is what is known as Taxable Status Date, which requires all exemption applications to be submitted-as well as any demolitions of real estate to be completed-to valuation changes. The assessment office asks that all renewals are carefully reviewed and that all required documents be submitted in a timely manner to avoid a loss of eligibility. Exemptions offer modest to significant relief from real estate taxes. Enhanced STAR and basic STAR offer relief on school taxes, whereas a Veterans exemption offers relief from general town and county taxes. The Senior 467 exemption is the most comprehensive and can offer a sliding scale reduction based on income of up to 50 percent from all forms of real estate taxes. As with all applications for exemption from taxes, there are rules. All senior exemptions require proof of age and an income component with amounts varying based on the application provided. The enhanced STAR income total is $79,050 based on 2011 federal income tax returns. The Senior 467 exemption is $37,399 based on 2012 income data. This exemption is based on gross income from all sources and not net income; social security income counts. The Harrison assessment office is available to answer questions, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.. The office can be reached by calling (914) 670-3060. No applications will be accepted unless complete as audits by the State of New York have become commonplace. With spring’s arrival in a few weeks, it’s time for Harrison’s Recreation Department to prepare for its spring athletic programs. Girls Little League Softball (kindegarten to 12 years old) will hold evaluations on March 2 and 3 in the Harrison High School cafeteria. Boys Little League Baseball (kindergarten to12 years old) will hold evaluations on March 2 and 3 in the Harrison High School cafeteria. Youth Baseball Babe Ruth League (13 years old to18 years old) will hold evaluations on March 3 at Harrison High School. If you are interested in signing your child up for Boys or Girls Harrison Youth Lacrosse (kindegarten to 6th grade), visit their website at harrisonyouthlacrosse.com to register. The next “Lunch with the Mayor” is on Friday, March 1, and I will be at Trattoria Vivolo located at 301 Halstead Avenue in Harrison. On Friday, March 8, I will be at Silver Lake Pizza located at 79 Lake Street, West Harrison. I will be at these locations from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. and look forward to meeting with residents and talking about issues facing our community.

Astorino launches ‘safer communities’ initiative

Affordable housing expo comes to Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, a Republican, introduces the Safer Communities program on Feb. 20. The program is designed to coordinate the efforts of county agencies to prevent tragedies like the Sandy Hook shooting. Contributed photo.

Westchester County Executive Robert P. Astorino launched a major initiative Feb.20 that brings together resources inside and outside county government to protect schools and communities from acts of senseless violence such as the tragedy in Newtown, CT. Called Safer Communities, the initiative is a combination of practical, ready-to-go programs that combat violence by drawing on the expertise of the county departments of Public Safety, Health and Community Mental Health in collaboration with local police chiefs, educators, clergy, civic leaders and elected officials. The goals are to educate the public about available services and programs, enhance those capabilities and evaluate progress on an ongoing and long-term basis.

“After Sandy Hook, every community in the country asked, ‘What can we do to prevent this from happening again?’” Astorino said. “As county executive and a father of three young children, I want to be part of the answer. The Safer Communities initiative is a start. Combating violence, because it afflicts our society in so many ways, is a complex undertaking. Our approach is to attack the causes and consequences of violence comprehensively, collaboratively and continuously. Fortunately, most of what we need, we already have. So the major effort here involves creating awareness around existing resources, building relationships to improve communication and acting as a unified team to increase our effectiveness.” (Submitted)

Westchester County’s 2013 Fair and Affordable Housing Expo will take place on Saturday, March 9 at the Westchester County Center in White Plains from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission is free. “The Expo will provide free and extensive information about fair and affordable housing opportunities in Westchester,” said County Executive Robert P. Astorino. “This is a great way for people to meet with housing professionals, including mortgage lenders and notfor-profit credit counselors.” Seminars will be held on the following topics: • How much do I need for a down payment? • Know your rights–fair housing and fair lending. • The importance of credit and the credit score. • The role of the not-for-profit counselor, the realtor, the inspector, the attorney and the lender. • Down payment and closing costs assistance. • Is this a good time to buy a home? A noon workshop on Fair and Affordable

Housing will focus on the Westchester County housing settlement and on “Homeseeker Online,” a website where visitors are provided with information about affordable homeownership and rental apartment opportunities in Westchester. Those attending can also learn about FAH and fair lending, affirmative marketing and the FAH application and selection process. For more information on the Expo, contact Westchester Residential Opportunities at ganderson@wroinc.org, or 428-4507 x 314, or the Housing Action Council at hac@affordablehomes.org, or 332-4144. Fliers on the expo, in English and in Spanish, can be downloaded at the “Go to flyer” link at homes.westchestergov.com/homeseeker-opportunities. The Westchester County Center is located at 198 Central Avenue in White Plains. The event is co-sponsored by Westchester County, the Westchester Interfaith Housing Corporation, the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors, Inc., Apple Bank for Savings, and Chase and M&T Banks. (Submitted)

March 1, 2013 • THE HARRISON REPORT • 7 LIBRARY from page 1

Cannella, who is leading the negotiations with the foundation, explained that while the proposed renovations are moving in a favorable direction for both parties, aspects such as timing have yet to be ironed out. “It’s not over till the fat lady sings,” Cannella said. “Talks have been constructive…it’s just a matter of getting everybody on the same page.” According to Cannella, the town still has yet to discuss terms with the Harrison Public Library’s Board of Directors. At the last Town Council meeting on Feb. 7, Republican Councilman Steve Malfitano explained that 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 told The Harrison Report in a recent interview. “In my opinion, it has a lot of goodwill associated with it, and it provides the taxpayers with value.” According to Malfitano, the public-private partnership opportunity is one that would favor the taxpayers in the community by covering roughly two-thirds of the total cost of the library’s renovation with private funding. Halperin’s capital plan shows that bonding for the $1.1 million would result in a yearly increase of $69,992 in yearly debt services, which would amount to a 3 percent increase in the facility’s cost, in taxes, to property owners, or $2.55 per Harrison resident per year.

The foundation has sought since 2010 to renovate the facility, which had not seen an improvement in more than two decades. With an added pledge of up to $1 million on behalf of the Richard E. Halperin Memorial Fund, which is named for Ross Halperin’s father, the library initially proposed to raise the additional funding through private donations and charity events, but members of the library’s Board of Trustees said they ran into trouble when dealing with necessary improvements to the building’s maintenance. Also, despite the fundraising effort, the foundation fell $2.3 million short of its goal. On Jan. 30, Harrison Mayor Ron Belmont, a Republican, told The Harrison Report that he met with the foundation leadership, and a verbal agreement was struck. “We spoke a lot over the weekend, and now it’s a matter of getting all our ideas on paper,” Belmont said. “Once that happens, we’ll move forward.” However, should the town agree to fund the additional $1.1 million for maintenance costs, the library would still need to raise another $1.2 million to complete the project. According to Halperin’s fundraising strategy, the remaining capital would be provided through major gifts from individuals, corporations, grassroots efforts and grant funding. “Lots of parents around here are waiting to hear the ink is dry. It’s going to happen, we have a timeline,” Harrison resident Susan Lansenza said. “And lots of parents are ready to fundraise and to help in anyway we can.”

W. Harrison FD taps reserves for equipment By DANIEL OFFNER STAFF REPORTER dan@hometwn.com

The West Harrison Fire Department will spend $79,000 of its reserve funds to upgrade and retrofit 24 self-contained breathing apparatuses before active fire personnel have to meet mandated requirements kick in later this year that can be even more costly. The West Harrison Volunteer Fire Department sought the approval of the Harrison Town Council, on Feb. 7, to upgrade the department’s existing protective equipment for $79,000 to meet the requirements now, before a National Fire Protection Association kicks in this June. The mandate changes standards for the equipment used. Before the mandate goes into full effect, older equipment may be retrofitted to the new standard. Afterwards, all new equipment must be purchased. West Harrison Fire Chief Steve Mancini proposed the town update the equipment to meet 2007 standards. “If [the] current SCBA meets the 2007 standard, the SCBA will be ‘grandfathered,”’ said Mancini. “Also, upon the 2012 mandate going into effect in June, any SCBA that are older than 2002 can no longer be retrofitted to the current standard.”

West Harrison Fire Department

In a request submitted to the Harrison Town Council, Mancini explained that by purchasing the 2007 equpiment needed for the upgrades, the town would save $61,120 they would otherwise be required to spend in July for all new equipment. The cost savings of the budgeted equipment would save the town approximately $2,505 per unit. At the meeting on Feb. 7, the council unanimously voted to purchase the upgrade of 24 Scott Air Pak’s from AAA Emergency Supply Co. in White Plains for $79,080. This includes new facemasks that comply with an 85 percent score on a performance test, new heads up display and a five-year warranty for each air pak.

8 • THE HARRISON REPORT • March 1, 2013

Recordings shed more light on Rye TV controversy By CHRISTIAN FALCONE ASSOCIATE EDITOR chris@hometwn.com

Only days after the controversial comments of one city councilman resurrected community discussions about a tape-altering scandal at Rye TV, secret audio recordings made in the days following the controversy have now surfaced. The recordings present several conversations between Andrew Dapolite, a former Rye TV employee who resigned in July 2012, and his superiors. Dapolite recorded the conversations without the knowledge of anyone else in the room. Dapolite, 23, said he began recording his conversations with city staff as protection, due to fear of retaliation as issues with his employer began to develop. To date, no city officials have heard the tapes. The Rye TV scandal centered on a contentious Jan. 25, 2012, fire department workshop with the City Council that dealt with restructuring the chain of command for volunteer firefighters to report in to the city manager. At that meeting, members of the City Council, public, press and some firefighters were told by City Manager Scott Pickup that the meeting wasn’t taped. However, the meeting had in fact been videotaped, then kept out of public view for 13 days while public pressure began to mount. According to Dapolite, the tape was specifically kept away from Republican Councilman Joe Sack, an adversary of the mayor and city manager. Dapolite came forward in a February 2012 letter to the City Council, and said he had been pushed to lie about the existence of the recording. In his letter, he implicated Pickup and Nicole Levitsky, a Rye TV coordinator,

for concealing the footage, and tampering with the audio levels of the broadcast. At that meeting, the city manager told the City Council that the meeting wasn’t taped because city staff didn’t have the ability to videotape it. Yet, the secret recordings seem to further strengthen Dapolite’s claims that city management did not want the public meeting taped, was aware that footage of the meeting did exist almost immediately and made efforts to conceal the footage, albeit temporarily. “I mean, it’s unfortunate because the council has asked for these workshops to be videotaped, and Scott for some reason doesn’t want them taped,” Rye TV’s Levitsky is recorded saying to Dapolite days after the meeting. “You realize I asked him [Scott Pickup] three times before the [fire workshop] meeting to tape it. I said ‘you sure you don’t want us to tape it? We’re supposed to tape all council meetings.’ Scott doesn’t want to release that we have this.” Early on, the recordings also portray Levitsky as apologetic to Dapolite for directing him to mislead the public and City Council about the existence of the workshop tape. “I should have told you from the start, don’t even answer them,” Levitsky said to Dapolite. “Tell them to call Scott. It’s his lie.” When asked to respond to the tapes having come to light, City Manager Pickup said on Wednesday that, periodically, employees have left the city with a less than satisfying work experience, and some have felt compelled to continuously challenge elected and appointed officials with their versions of events. “I have found that challenging these revisions only continues the cycle of negativity

and conflict,” said the city manager. “It is always disappointing to me that we could not find a more productive outlet for their talents while they were still employed.” A month after writing his initial February letter, Dapolite was reprimanded for using city equipment for personal business and eventually resigned from his post with Rye TV in July of 2012. Councilman Richard Filippi, a Republican, recently brought the issue back to the surface, publicly accusing Dapolite of manipulating footage and shaking down the city for money as part of what Filippi labeled a call for civility. After the councilman’s comments, Dapolite said he decided to release the audiotapes he has kept privately since February of last year in an attempt to correct the record. According to a source with knowledge of the situation, city investigators hired to conduct a probe of the allegations of improper practices at the city-owned Rye Golf Club sat down with the former Rye TV employee last week to ascertain his view of the culture inside City Hall. And media and public scrutiny has also begun to re-emerge with some residents again clamoring for an investigation. Richard Slack, a Rye resident, spoke out at the Feb. 13 City Council meeting. Slack said he was deeply disappointed by the way the City Council has handled the Dapolite matter. “These are matters of public trust,” said the resident. Slack said that those elected officials who refuse to support an investigation will likely pay for it at the polls come November. “The Rye community has a right to know the truth—whatever it is and wherever it leads.

Yet, the council has buried this issue leaving the Rye public without answers,” he said. Last year, Sack and Councilwoman Catherine Parker, a Democrat, were in favor of a City Council investigation into the matter under the authority granted to the council by the city charter. However, they were voted down by the Republican majority, who instead chose to refer the matter to the Ethics Board, a body with no binding investigative authority, which wound up shutting down its review without offering any conclusion or findings on the matter. The city manager and Levitsky were never asked by the board to respond to the allegations made against them and have not been questioned regarding the allegations to date. This week, Councilwoman Parker said she has always felt it was the City Council’s responsibility to investigate the matter concerning Dapolite and Rye TV. “Any time a majority of my colleagues would like to initiate the process, I would support that,” the councilwoman said. The refusal of the City Council majority to investigate the controversy has led some to point the finger at the Republican administration. In 2010, Mayor Douglas French, a Republican, appointed Pickup as city manager after he said during his 2009 mayoral campaign he would solidify the position for the long-term. The city manager has become a strong ally of the mayor’s ever since French took office. When asked on Wednesday to comment about the tapes, French said only that the issue was an employment matter that has many sides to it. Rye TV’s Levitsky could not be reached for comment.

PRINCIPALS from page 1

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

plans to spend the summer with his family in Europe and Cape Cod and is looking forward to kayaking on the Hudson and skiing in his time off. “The proudest accomplishment of my tenure as the Parsons Elementary School principal has been to work with the staff, to develop a strong cohesive, highly professional group of teachers,” Torp said. “The teachers always had a strong desire to work with students, and I hope that I have encouraged them and coached them to do the best for the students.” Although Torp said he does not plan to continue his work as an educator, he said he will miss the students, parents, teachers and staff at the school. The Harrison school district is now beginning searches for replacement candidates, according to Superintendent Louis N. Wool. “We are currently interviewing potential

candidates for the positions as principal of the high school and Parsons,” Wool said at the Board of Education meeting on Feb. 13. “After a rigorous screening process we will present the candidates to parent and student committees.” Ruck, who first announced his plans to retire last April, said that he wanted to provide the district with enough time to find a suitable replacement. “I am sure they will pick a good candidate,” Ruck said. “But there is still so much to do before the end.” Torp, for his part, said he was confident the future was in good hands. “The district is very thoughtful in replacing people and hiring new staff, so I feel assured that the best candidate will be found as principal,” Torp said. “I would certainly make myself available to help with the transition for the new principal.

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March 1, 2013 • THE HARRISON REPORT • 9

A “Doctor Who” geek’s manifesto My obsession with the TV show “Doctor Who” can be summed up with an anecdote about my fear of flying. In January 2005, I took a flight from New York to Orlando and was convinced leading up to the trip that LUNGARIELLO the plane was going crash. During the two-hour flight, AT LARGE I squeezed the armrests, took deep breaths and tried to Mark Lungariello convince myself I’d end up safely on the ground. I’m not religious, but on an airplane I’ll try whatever works. My request to God: “Please don’t let me die before the new ‘Doctor Who’ series starts.” “Doctor Who” debuted in the United Kingdom 50 years ago, on Nov. 23, 1963, the day after John F. Kennedy was killed. The show focused on an eccentric alien, known only as The Doctor, who travels through time and space in an old-fashioned British telephone box that is bigger on the inside than on the outside. Wherever he ends up, he’s doing good, outwitting nasty extraterrestrial monsters and protecting the Earth from the occasional invasion. He uses his mind and has a brains-over-brawn approach to problem solving. There is no magic in the plots, only scientific fact. Like many great love stories, it was love at first meeting for “Doctor Who” and me. My older cousin told me about it when I was 7 years old. He explained the premise over a plate of our grandmother’s oversized ravioli and by the time the plate was done, I was a fan, without ever having seen the show. Soon, I was taping episodes of the program, which was broadcast on Saturdays at 5:30 p.m. on WLIW public television. At around 5 p.m., I’d be so antsy waiting for the show to start that I’d usually watch the Canadian teen soap “Degrassi Junior High” while I waited for the main event. Sometimes I’d videotape an episode as I watched it, planning to rewatch the same episode in the future. I’d pause when WLIW interrupted the middle of the program for their pledge drives. When my family would be out at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, I’d have to set the VCR to record before we left the house. On VCRs in those days, you could set the recording speed, with “EP” giving you the most amount of time. It also gave you the worst picture and sound quality, but I had to use that setting to make sure there was enough time to tape the entire program. That didn’t always work. “Doctor Who” had a fluidity to its format. Each episode introduced new guests, and usually new alien monsters for the Doctor to fight. The producers built in a convenient, but brilliant, plot device that immediately ensured the series’ longevity: they allowed the lead character to “regenerate” and periodically change his entire physical appearance and even personality traits. This meant that different actors could play the role and put their own twist on it, and it also meant that the cast could be a revolving door. Over the years, 11 different actors have played the lead and each played it quite differently. Tom Baker, the fourth Doctor, with his curly hair and seven-foot long scarf, was perhaps the most iconic. There’s a photo of him on my office wall and a toy figure of him on my desk. At home, there’s a framed Time Out London with Baker on its cover. My girlfriend, Julie, gave me a set of “Doctor Who” trading cards a few years back. Recently, we sat at the dinner table with houseguests and Julie produced the cards. To show the depth of my geekiness, she flashed the front of the cards to me, each one depicting a scene from the series, and asked what was the name of the episode, who was the lead actor in the series at the time and what year the episode ran. For bonus points, I would try to name the scriptwriter and director for the episode. The guests seemed terrified at this ability, as if they had just realized I had a problem that I’d hidden from them for years. But Julie found it amusing. The poor girl is quite tolerant of “my condition.” The show became an English institution in the 1960s and, in the 1970s, it became a global phenomenon. It was known for its low-budget polyurethane sets, spaced-out sound effects and latex-masked monsters. It aired for 26 seasons until 1989, when it was shelved by the BBC. The cult continued through novels and radio plays before it was resurrected on television again in 2005. The new, more polished series has been a breakout success, running for seven seasons so far and inspiring two spinoff series as well as a number of television specials on Christmas and other holidays. Thirty plus seasons of television is a lot of material for a science fiction nerd to ingest. Julie, ever sympathetic to my condition, allowed me several concessions when she recently moved in and took over my apartment. She granted me two shelves in the bedroom to stack all of my “Doctor Who” DVDs and old VHS tapes, although she made me dispose of the duplicates: those VHS episodes I now have on DVD. Really, the show is the only reason I even have a VCR anymore after years of collecting. I’m a completist, someone who buys and watches episodes that I find terrible or difficult to watch. But, as anything this geeky goes, you are invested in the bad as well as the good. With the popularity of the new series, merchandise is suddenly for sale at places like Hot Topic or FYE. People who know me best find that this suddenly easy access to merch makes it impossible not to gift me a “Doctor Who”-themed cellphone case, notebook or T-shirt. They have all become enablers and I don’t mind that one bit. The first step, as they say, is admitting you have a problem. And so what if do? Reach Mark Lungariello at mark@hometwn.com

What’s Your Beef?

What’s bothering you today? Collected on Purchase Street in Rye “I'm bothered by the lack of business in the Smoke Shop.”

“There are too many deer in my back garden.”

Tony D'Onofrio, 57, Rye

Derval Kenny, 56, Rye

“Capitalism is bothering me because it puts money over people.” Les Ronick, 70, Rye

“I don't like the way people treat immigrants.” Tania Bonilla, 26, Rye

-Photos and reporting by CHRIS GRAMUGLIA

10 • THE HARRISON REPORT • March 1, 2013

March 1, 2013 • THE HARRISON REPORT • 11

New Rochelle firefighter appointed to county human rights commission By ALEXANDRA BOGDANOVIC STAFF REPORTER alexandra@hometwn.com

As one of New Rochelle’s bravest, Mark McLean fights fires. Now he’ll be fighting to end discrimination, too. On Feb. 15, County Executive Robert Astorino, a Republican, announced that McLean had been named to the Westchester County Human Rights Commission. “The Human Rights Commission plays a vital role in helping to eliminate discrimination and educate the public about human rights issues,” said Astorino. “Westchester is a diverse community that tolerates no less than dignity and respect for all. I thank the commission for its unwavering dedication, and I know Mark will be a valuable addition to the team.” McLean is a lieutenant with the New Rochelle Fire Department and an active member of the New Rochelle Chapter of the NAACP. As one of 15 members of the county’s Human Rights Commission, he will be tasked with reviewing cases involving allegations of discrimination. He will also attend the commission’s monthly meetings. “Serving on the Human Rights Commission will give me the opportunity to bring my real world perspective as a New Rochelle firefighter, member of the NAACP, community advocate and volunteer to the important work of the Human Rights Commission,” McLean said.

New Rochelle Fire Chief Lou DiMeglio characterized McLean as a “good officer,” and said McLean followed in his father’s footsteps by joining the New Rochelle Fire Department on March 3, 1986. He was promoted on Sept. 18, 2008 and is currently assigned to Station 4 on Drake Avenue. His brother, Steven, is also a New Rochelle firefighter. McLean said he views “acts of unlawful discrimination” in much the same way as he views the dangers he faces as a professional firefighter. If they are ignored or otherwise go unchallenged, illegal acts of discrimination can spread, causing irreparable damage to the community, he said. “I look forward to playing a role in our efforts to combat unlawful discrimination here in Westchester,” County Executive Robert Astorino, right, recently McLean added. appointed New Rochelle firefighter Mark McLean, City Councilman Jared Rice, a left, to the Westchester County Human Rights Democrat, said he has gotten to know Commission. Contributed photo McLean a bit over the past couple of years and has already congratulated him on in the group. The other members are Jerold Ruderman of White Plains, Donna Marie his appointment to the commission. The city will benefit from having a “direct Baloy of Baldwin Place, Millie H. Becker of link” to the commission should any issues Pound Ridge, Kimberly Morella of Mount Kisco, Charles Palombini of Cortlandt Manor, arise, Rice said. According to information posted on the George Rios of Yonkers, William Schmidt of commission’s website, McLean joins Thomas Peekskill and Harry Singh of Yonkers. In addition to its 15-member board, an Koshy as New Rochelle’s representative

COLUCCI from page 1

people with unnecessary positions to give political paybacks.” Coincidentally, the Conservative Party endorsement was the subject of controversy during the last county executive race when Astorino, a registered Republican, was passed over by the party in favor of Democrat Andy Spano amid accusations from Conservative Party members of backroom dealings with former party chair Gail Burns. The matter was appealed in court, but upheld. It ultimately didn’t matter, however, as Astorino pulled off a historic upset and ousted Spano by a wide margin. But the party line is likely even more crucial to the Republican this time around. Due to an ongoing feud with the county Independence Party chair Dr. Giulio Cavallo, Astorino is not expected to carry that line like he did in 2009. If the county executive doesn’t secure the Conservative line, his chances could be hampered since Democrats in the county outnumber their GOP counterparts by roughly 100,000 registered voters. Within hours of Colucci’s announcement, Astorino’s campaign released Facebook postings from Colucci’s father, Kurt Colucci Sr., that depicted Gov. Andrew Cuomo as a nazi. The Astornio campaign said that serious candidates for public office must reject the politics of extremism, and asked Colucci to denounce the images. “Until that is done, we will not dignify Mr. Colucci’s candidacy with a comment. There is no room in Westchester County for this type of hatred,” said Jessica Proud, spokesperson for the Friends of Rob Astorino. Colucci Jr. said the intent of the message

was to disorient the voters. He said the postings were distasteful and not in line with his views adding that his father was absent from his life for 30 years. With Westchester continuing to hold the title of highest taxed county in the nation, Colucci said those rates are causing residents to flee the state. The candidate said he would look to cut appointees and salaries and tackle the long-term consequences of pensions. He blamed it on incumbent elected officials and their visions of higher office. “There is no incentive to take the fight to Albany,” he said. On the other hand, the candidate sees himself as a political outsider and his run is a “one-shot deal,” he said. Colucci did flirt with a run at county legislator in 2011 as an Independence Party candidate but ultimately backed out before the vote. Colucci also identifies himself with Westchester’s Tea Party movement. He spoke at several rallies in 2008-2009 and authored a book, titled “A Taxslaves Manifesto.” The battle will surely be an uphill climb against a popular incumbent who supporters say has followed through on his message of lowering taxes, shrinking the size of county government and making Westchester more affordable. Meanwhile, Democrats are in the process of selecting their own choice to oppose Astorino in November. Board of Legislators Chairman Ken Jenkins, of Yonkers, County Legislator Bill Ryan, of White Plains, and New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson are all pursuing the party’s nomination.

executive director, deputy director, director of fair housing, a housing investigator and a confidential assistant to the executive director, staff the commission. The commission “strives to investigate, uncover and prosecute violations of the county Human Rights Law and related laws.” It also provides “education and advocacy that foster racial and ethnic harmony among diverse individuals and groups” and “promotes and supports the furtherance of human rights in employment, housing, public accommodation, schools, credit and any other area.” According to its annual report for 20102011, most of the complaints the commission received pertained to race-based discrimination. For the two-year timeframe documented in the report, the commission received 593 claims of alleged discrimination. Employment discrimination’ accounted for 77.5 percent of the general claims. “At the close of 2010, approximately $66,000 was awarded and paid to complainants and an unquantifiable–but significant–amount [of] equitable relief obtained,” the report said. “At the close of 2011, approximately $210,000 was awarded and paid to complainants and an unquantifiable–but significant amount of equitable relief obtained.” “Equitable relief” includes reinstatement to jobs or “obtaining benefits which may have been unfairly withheld or removed,” according to the report.

12 • THE HARRISON REPORT • March 1, 2013

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Op-E d

L etters

When you see something, say something

Lauding the president, to a point

By GEORGE ANDERSON

There’s never been a more important time for Americans to unite and pledge that when they “see something,” they “say something.” New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority originally unveiled the “See Something, Say Something” campaign to increase public awareness about signs of terrorism and the importance of reporting suspicious activity to law enforcement authorities. This slogan, later licensed to the Department of Homeland Security, highlights the concept that homeland security begins with hometown security. As a retired NYPD assistant chief with 30 years of experience as a police officer, supervisor, trainer, and critical incident responder, I believe that every American needs to develop the tools and techniques to honor the “See Something, Say Something” mandate. Police and security forces are hard at work, but public safety is the responsibility of all Americans. We are the first line of defense against acts of terrorism on our country and each individual’s help is needed. All Americans need to be on alert for potential risks. The attempted car bombing in Times Square in 2010 was averted by the vigilance of a quick-thinking street vendor who witnessed smoke coming from an SUV and alerted police. This potentially saved hundreds of lives had the device functioned as it was nefariously intended. While this incident was front page news, virtually every day, thousands of citizens across the country witness suspicious activity. Citizens play important roles in helping law enforcement solve crimes and save lives by becoming actively involved in protecting their communities. Whether you live in a rural or urban environment, our best defense is to let the authorities know when something does not look right and to be prepared for the unexpected. As the vice president of operations at America’s largest security services company and a former police officer, I offer the following tips to help people to know how to recognize and report suspicious activities: Take Note of Suspicious Behavior–Suspicious activity can be defined as an incident, circumstance or person who appears out of the ordinary and out of place. A range of suspicious behavior includes the adult man loitering alone in the children’s playground, or someone wandering down the street peering closely into car windows. A person taking lots of photographs of a building’s infrastructure is potentially suspicious as this person may be taking images to look for weaknesses in the building to exploit for criminal or terrorist activities. Someone tampering with sewer, gas or electric systems that is not branded with an identifiable company or government agency is suspicious. Hearing unusual sounds–glass breaking, people shouting, gunshots–all are clearly suspicious. Seeing a bag left by a passenger on a bus or train or in a public place is suspicious and demands immediate action by alerting the bus or train operator and calling 911. Record Suspicious Activity–Write down as much information about the suspicious behavior as possible, noting the time and place with a physical description of the suspicious person. If you are able to discreetly take a photo or video of the person from your phone, this could become important evidence. Minus photographic evidence, try to provide specific information to the authorities including gender, race, approximate age, height and weight, hair color and style, clothing, and general appearance including note of any facial hair, scars, tattoos or glasses. Educate the Workplace–Even workplaces with a full-time security team need to involve their employees and promote the See Something, Say Something campaign. The security team cannot be in every hallway, office and production area at all times–but your employees are. It is the observations of the many that can truly make an impact. All employees should be educated on what constitutes suspicious activity and the importance of reporting it. In some offices, it is the receptionist who is the company’s first line of defense. A receptionist should be suspicious of an unknown individual who claims to have lost their identification and seeks to gain entry, or a caller who asks probing questions about particular employees’ schedule or whereabouts. Establish Reporting Procedures in the Workplace–Determining the chain of command on reporting procedures for suspicious activity is important. When is it appropriate for employees to call the police? If an employee feels immediate attention is necessary, they should call 911. Does the level of activity warrant an initial investigation from your security firm or company manager? The Homeland Security Department has also established a tip line to report suspicious activity that is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-866-HLS-TIPS. For more information, visit the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Encourage your friends, neighbors and colleagues to be observant and vigilant on the job and even on their way to work. If there is a stray tote bag tucked under the bus or subway seat, report it to the local police. If a stranger walks into the office without having been identified by your front desk security personnel, ensure that is reported immediately to the appropriate person. Vehicles abandoned in the right of way should also be reported to local authorities immediately. These situations can be completely innocent, but they could also be very dangerous and are worth a call to the local police. George Anderson is vice president, operations for the New York office of AlliedBarton Security Services and president of the New York chapter of ASIS. Prior to joining AlliedBarton, Anderson had a thirty-year career with the NYPD, retiring as an Assistant Chief.

To the Editor, In observing the historic inauguration of a second term for Barack Hussein Obama, a few things came to mind that made me understand, like I said to supporters of his when he was elected in 2008, “a president is never a panacea.” I was a “Rocky Anderson” supporter who voted for Barack Obama because third party candidates like Anderson, who are as revolutionary in terms of changing this brutal system, would not have a chance. President Obama deserved to be re-elected as far as what he has done to basically “cauterzied” the bleeding of millions that had been caused by people who have the philosophy of Mitt Romney, who would have continued the slaughter of millions of America’s poor-and middle class that have been submerged into the ranks of the poor-because of policies instituted under George W. Bush. There has been assault on the concept of government, especially by whites, since Reagan, which has led to the state of utter chaos for tens of millions who are in poverty, without health insurance, making less than $25,000 a year and who have had their jobs outsourced. This type of “gangster capitalism” has allowed for massive deregulation, stealing, fraud and non-accountability by corporate America, which has ruined the lives of millions. Barack Obama was hated for trying to counter that philosophy and for providing health insurance and a safety net to millions that would have died without it. His election also showed how racism is as savage and virulent as it has ever been in this society, with the hateful commentary and threats that Barack Obama has faced. Morgan Freeman has echoed those sentiments. At the same time, Obama has been a continuation of big money dominating politics, with the hundreds of millions that he has raised through those $10,000 a plate dinners that he has been a part of. His drone attacks killing thousands of civilians in Afghanistan and Somalia also show that he has been a continuation of the “old guard.” Many African-Americans who supported him should not be blind to that fact. Clifford Jackson Larchmont

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14 • THE HARRISON REPORT • March 1, 2013

Business Briefs Dr. Ameet Goyal offers latest procedures at Rye Eye Associates From correcting poor vision to improving age related eye diseases, recent advances in vision technology are helping people overcome frustrating, and sometimes debilitating, vision problems. Locally, Dr. Ameet Goyal and the physicians at Rye Eye Associates are using cutting-edge treatments such as “bladeless” laser surgery to remove cataracts and minimally invasive tear duct surgery using an endoscope, which is a thin flexible tube with a tiny camera on the end. “Our practice specializes in these advanced eye care treatments so that we can offer our patients the safest and best procedures along with the quickest recovery times and the least amount of pain and scarring,” says Dr. Goyal. An oculoplastic surgeon for nearly two decades, Dr. Goyal is one of the most finely trained and skilled ophthalmologists in the tristate area, and is highly regarded for his specialty work as an ophthalmic plastic surgeon. Dr. Goyal attended medical school at the University of Cincinnati School of Medicine, where he discovered a passion for ophthalmology during his clinical rotations. He then did his internship in internal medicine at West Virginia University. Rye Eye Associates is located at 167 Purchase St. For further information, please call (914) 921-6966 or visit newyorkeyedocs.com. Kenise Barnes Fine Art announces move and expansion After 13 years in my sweet little gallery space-and two years further up the street on Palmer-I have decided to expand and move. My lease is up at the end of March and I have been actively looking for space, both in Larchmont and neighboring towns, for six months. Although there are some good spaces available throughout Westchester County, it made me wistful to think about leaving Larchmont, and the wonderful art lovers, collectors, neighbors and friends that I have met over the years. I was just on the brink of signing a lease elsewhere when a wonderful opportunity came my way. It must be that 13 is my lucky number! I am so pleased to announce that I will staying in my building on Palmer Avenue in Larchmont and just moving up the street three storefronts. Lee Rubin, of stylish Wendy Gee fame, has decided to rework his store and will be condensing into his one large storefront, making the right-hand store available. I jumped on the opportunity and will begin an extensive build out at the end of the month. I will be able to expand from

my current 650 square feet to a spacious 1,300 square feet of exhibition space and 1,300 additional square feet of warehouse/inventory space below. I will build two exhibition galleries, an office and a private viewing room in the space. I look forward to inviting you to our opening bash scheduled for April 13. Our inagural exhibition will be “Abstract Thinking,” featuring the work of David Collins, who has been with the gallery since its inception in 1994, Yolanda Sanchez, Katia Santibanez and Josette Urso. We will open our “Photo 13” show March 2 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. with large-scale photographs by Bastienne Schmidt, Roger Ricco and Jill Greenberg. As always, the public is invited. We may be reached by email-Kenise@KBFA. com, Leanne@KBFA.com or info@KBFA. com-or by phone at 914 834 8077. The website has information, images, directions and a whole lot more information on who we are, what we do and what services we provide.

Shear Art Studio Hair Salon has moved

Shear Art Studio Hair Salon was established in 1994 and, after 18 years, moved only three doors over in the same shopping center. We have been very fortunate to be able to keep our doors open through all of the economic uncertainty. We are very thankful to our loyal clients whom we gladly serve. Giving very personal and friendly service and reasonable prices are why we are still here. We now have a new light and airy feeling in our new space and can’t wait for all of our clients to see it. Shear Art Studio Hair Salon is located at 501 East Boston Post Road next to Chase Bank in the Village of Mamaroneck. You can reach us at 914-381-7520 or visit us at our website shearartstudio.com and like us on Facebook.

Montefiore physician appointed to Westchester County Board Rubina Heptulla, M.D., chief of the division of pediatric endocrinology and diabetes at The Children’s Hospital at Montefiore, has been appointed to the Westchester County Laboratories and Research Board of Managers. Dr. Heptulla will serve a threeyear term starting this month and will oversee quality assurance, reporting and budgeting for Westchester laboratories. Westchester County Executive Robert P. Astorino selected Dr. Heptulla, a Rye resident and professor of pediatrics and medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University, to join four existing board managers who provide oversight of environmental laboratories, forensic and toxicology services, and microbiological laboratories. The board works in conjunction with Medical Examiner Kunjlata Ashar, M.D., who heads

the Department of Laboratories and Research, to provide reliable, accurate and rapid diagnosis of diseases to the Westchester County health community. The board of managers, which consists of three New York State licensed physicians, holds quarterly meetings to discuss operations of the laboratories, fees and approval of building improvements and repairs to ensure that the county’s laboratories operate effectively and efficiently. Dr. Heptulla’s appointment is subject to approval by the Board of Legislators. Dr. Heptulla joined Montefiore in April 2010. An internationally recognized pediatric endocrinologist, she is an expert in diabetes, thyroid, growth, puberty and adrenal disorders, and leads research in these areas. She oversees six pediatric endocrinology and diabetes clinics that receive nearly 200 patient visits each week in locations across Westchester and the Bronx. A seventh clinic will open in early 2013. Dr. Heptulla has received numerous grants and awards for her work and has published extensively in peerreviewed journals.

White Plains Hospital achieves accreditation The Cancer Program at White Plains Hospital has earned another three-year Accreditation with Commendation from The Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons. The Commission on Cancer, a consortium of professional organizations dedicated to improving survival and quality of life for cancer patients through standard-setting, prevention, research, education and the monitoring of comprehensive quality care, is the only multi-

disciplinary accreditation program for cancer programs in the United States. Its membership includes fellows of the American College of Surgeons and representatives of 47 national organizations that reflect the full spectrum of cancer care. The Commission on Cancer promotes quality care through comprehensive standards that guide treatment and ensure patient-centered cancer care; unique reporting tools to benchmark performance and improve outcomes; and educational interventions and targeted training opportunities. The hospital’s cancer program is dedicated to providing exceptional cancer care that is comprehensive, coordinated and compassionate to individuals who work or live in Westchester County and the surrounding areas. The program is designed to meet the needs of cancer patients and their families through prevention and screening programs, offering advanced diagnosis and access to the latest treatment options and clinical trials as well as a full range of support services. For more information on the cancer program services at White Plains Hospital, log onto www.wphospital.org or call (914) 681-2701. The next Business Briefs section will run on April 5. Please send any submission for our April issue to biz@hometwn.com by Friday, March 29. Each submission can include one picture and must be between 175-225 words. If you have any questions, email Deputy Editor Jason Chirevas at news@hometwn.com.

Pet Rescue

Kelly is an adorable 2-3 year old female Beagle mix who weighs about 23lbs. She’s even-tempered and gets along with all the dogs in her foster home. Kelly is a very sweet, loving, playful girl who is great with children, too. She is housebroken when you are home, but should be put in a crate for now when left alone. Kelly follows her foster mom all around the house. She would make the perfect addition to any family. Kelly is spayed, vaccinated, de-wormed, heartworm tested and micro-chipped. Her adoption donation is $250. For more information, please contact Larchmont Pet Rescue at (914) 834-6955 or on the web at www.NY-PetRescue.org.

SPORTS

March 1, 2013 • THE HARRISON REPORT • 15

Biggest surprises/thrills of the postseason New Ro’s runs to the County Center It’s not really a shock to see New Rochelle’s boys or girls teams making an appearance at the County Center. For many years, the Huguenots have fielded top-notch programs for both genders. This year, however, both teams have faced their share of adversity-the boys losing to Scarsdale and the girls struggling down the stretch-but they both seem to have bounced back at the right time to ride the sixth-seed all the way to the playoffs. Look for Joe Clarke and Amirror Dixon to step up in a big way if these Huguenots teams punch their ticket to the finals. Mamaroneck’s last-second defeat The Tigers were just 58 seconds away from a section crown on Feb. 24 when a goal by fierce rival Suffern knotted the score at 2, sending the game into overtime. The goal spurred on Suffern to strike first in overtime, giving the Mounties their third-straight Section I title. John Jay wins Division II title Over the past 10 years, only two teams have won the Section I title in Division II; Pelham and Rye. That all changed, however, on Feb. 24, when John Jay used a big third period to down the Garnets in the finals to claim its first-ever title. John Jay’s 5-1 win over the Garnets was the team’s second win in three days against the normal division stalwarts and could vault them into the conversation of Section I powers in the future.

John Jay’s hockey team celebrates its first Section I title after a 5-1 victory over Rye. John Jay is the first team in the last decade besides Pelham or Rye to win Division II. Photo/Bobby Begun

Eastchester’s final four appearance Anyone who watched Eastchester play this year probably isn’t surprised that the team is headed to the County Center. One of the most unselfish, tenacious teams in the section, the Eagles have lost just one game all season. Anyone who has followed Eastchester over the past few decades, however, might believe this is a fantasy. This year will mark Eastchester’s first trip to the final four since 1971, which was more than 20 years before any players on this current team were even born.

Harrison’s Shopovick bound for states By MIKE SMITH ASSOCIATE SPORTS EDITOR sports@hometwn.com

In track and field–like all athletic endeavors–the difference between victory and defeat can be measured, quite literally, in inches. On Feb. 23, Harrison long jumper Samantha Shopovick found that out, as her final leap helped her take second place in the state qualifying meet at New York City’s Armory, sending the junior to compete at states on March 2. In her last jump in the championship round, Shopovick hit a personal record with a distance of 16-7/75, which propelled her from fourth place to second, qualifying her for the upcoming meet at Cornell University. “I had a feeling when I landed that I had made it,” said the junior. “One of the officials made the signal, and I just was waiting for the next girl to go to make sure she didn’t beat it.” Shopovick’s jump stood, but while it marked a personal best for her–as well as set a new Harrison benchmark–the record books were the furthest thing from her mind at the time. “Really, I just wanted to make it to states,” she said. “Unlike last year, this time I’m going up as an individual competitor. Shopovick made states as part of the

4 x 400 relay team last year, but will be Harrison’s lone entrant in the 2013 indoor season. Shot putter Jeremy Altamuro was knocked from second after his own personal best, a score of 47-2 was bested in the finals, knocking him out of contention for a state bid. Distance runner Ben Adler broke Chris Repecki’s school record in the 1600m by nearly 5 seconds, coming in at 4:30.99, but placed fifth on the afternoon. “It’s kind of weird being the only one going,” said Shopovick. “I’ve been training this week just by myself and our coaches, which is really different.” However, just because the rest of the Harrison squad won’t be joining her on the trip doesn’t mean that the Huskies haven’t shown love for their state qualifier. “My teammates were really happy for me,” Shopovick said. “Even the ones who weren’t at the meet went out of their way to call or text [to] congratulate me.” Shopovick will head up to Cornell on March 1 to square off with the best long jumpers in the state, but feels that, physically, she is in a great position to outdo her previous best. “I want to make 17 feet or higher,” she said. “If I do that, I’ve got a great chance to finish in the top eight.”

Samantha Shopovick

16 • THE HARRISON REPORT • March 1, 2013

SPORTS

Huskies set sights on County Center in 2014 By MIKE SMITH ASSOCIATE SPORTS EDITOR sports@hometwn.com

Coby Lefkowitz is fouled as he drives to the hoop on Feb. 16. Lefkowitz was recently named to the All-Section team.

Harrison’s basketball team may have faced a first-round playoff exit in 2013, but all signs point to the Huskies becoming County Center contenders next season. With a core group of young, talented players, the Huskies should be able to bounce back from their first-round ousting to emerge as an elite ball club next year. This winter, Harrison had its fair share of signature wins, defeating several top teams–including Fox Lane–that has head coach Gary Chiarella confident that his team is on the verge of great things. “We had a pretty good year with some of the games we played,” said the head coach. “We got a lot of experience playing against good teams, and we held our own this year.” Despite falling 66-40 in the firstround of the Class A playoffs to a surging Poughkeepsie squad–and despite the fact that Harrison will lose four seniors this year–Chiarella is confident that his up-and-coming stars have laid the groundwork to get better. Nick Esposito, with a full season of running the point, will return with some added confidence, as will Zak Evans, a freshman that Chiarella believes will grow into a “point/forward” hybrid and be a major contributor next year. “With Zak, from the end of last year to the end of this year, you can see he’s gotten more aggressive,” said Chiarella. “He used to defer, but he’s getting more comfortable, and I think he’s going to have a big year.” Sophomore Trent Lefkowitz should be called upon to give the Huskies some height next year as well. This year, Lefkowitz was an unselfish defender, leading the team in charges drawn. “I think his progress will be a big key next year,” said Chiarella. “Especially in helping to solidify the middle.” Trent’s older brother, Coby, an All-Conference selection, will again be the Huskies’ primary offensive weapon. “We’ve got a good core,” said Chiarella. “We just have to get a little bigger and stronger.” In the off-season, most of the Harrison roster will find its way Jack McCarthy dribbles in traffic against Nanuet on Feb. 16. McCarthy is one of four graduating Huskies seniors.

onto a summer league or AAU team, something that Chiarella said has not always been true in the past. He said this year’s wins-and to a larger extent some of the team’s close losses–are driving this young squad to get better.

“This is a group of kids who are really excited to play basketball,” said the head coach. “Now that they’ve had some success, I think they want to push to that next level, and maybe make a run to the County Center.”

Coby Lefkowitz shoots the ball against Nanuet on Feb. 16. The Huskies won their play-in game, but fell to Poughkeepsie in the next round. Photos/Bobby Begun


Harrison Report 3-1-13