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Vol. 13/Number 21

Avalon To w n C h o o - C h o o - C h o o s e s

The Metro-North Railroad station downtown may get a whole new look, with AvalonBay Communities, Inc. expected to present design proposals for the long-awaited Transit Oriented Development project. For story, see page 6. File photo

District voters approve $108M school budget By DANIEL OFFNER STAFF REPORTER

Voters in the Harrison Central School District passed its $108 million budget with 71 percent of all votes cast on May 21. As a result, tax bills will increase by 3.7 percent next year. The 2013-2014 budget comes with no reduction to class size and no program cuts, but necessitates

minimal layoffs to come in under the state-mandated 2 percent tax levy cap. According to unofficial tallies, 1,385 residents voted “yes” and 553 voted against the budget. “We have consistently tried to meet our dual commitment of providing a comprehensive education while being responsible to our taxpayers,” Schools Superintendent Louis Wool said on Wednesday regarding the results. “The Board of

Education would like to thank our residents, and express our profound appreciation for the support of our students that came from every corner and neighborhood of the community.” The spending plan marks the second time in history that the budget passed in the polls of each of the four voting districts in Harrison. BUDGET continued on page 10

May 24, 2013

Democrats: LaDore for Town Council By DANIEL OFFNER STAFF REPORTER

Democratic district leaders gathered last week and endorsed Michael LaDore on his run for Town Council. According to the Harrison Democratic committee, LaDore is the first of a full slate to run for local office in the 2013 election providing Democrats an opportunity to retake control of the Town Council for the first time since 2007 during the administration of former Mayor Joan Walsh. “Over the last 20 years, I’ve been a proven fighter for all the people of Harrison,” LaDore said this week. After the Democratic caucus on May 13, Elizabeth “Jimmi” Pritchard, the committee chairwoman, said LaDore won the overwhelming support of the party as the front-running candidate for Town Council. “He is always respectful…and is a really good candidate,” Pritchard said. “He knows a lot of people, and knows a lot of issues [downtown].” Although LaDore has yet to hold public office, he made a bid for the mayoralty in 1995 on the Independence Party line and, more recently, sought the GOP nomination in 2011 but dropped out before a primary was held. He was also endorsed by the local Republican committee twice in the past for a Westchester County Board of Legislators seat. After switching party registration to Democrat in 2011, LaDore returned to the realm of local politics with the hope of unseating one of two long-standing politicians hold-

Michael LaDore

ing together a five-member GOP monopoly on the Town Council. LaDore said he hopes to run a good, spirited campaign that encompasses key local issues, including the need to implement a comprehensive master plan, eliminating pensions and benefits for part-time officials, addressing transparency concerns and working towards changing the former site of Project Home Run into a low-lying nature preserve. Since LaDore is the only one to receive the Democratic nomination as of press time, he will square-off against two incumbent members of the council, Republicans Joe Cannella and Marlene Amelio, whose terms are set to expire. Councilman Cannella, an 11-year incumbent, said he also plans to seek re-election in the fall. For Cannella, his biggest concern is maintaining quality municipal services while staying within the limits of the state imposed two percent tax levy cap. LADORE continued on page 13



Pending $5M lawsuit looms over town By DANIEL OFFNER STAFF REPORTER

While county officials have closed the case surrounding an accidental shooting on the I-287 corridor last year, the wounded suspect—currently in police custody—has filed a lawsuit against Harrison and its police force. During a felony traffic stop that led police, FBI, and other law enforcement agencies to arrest three men wanted in connection with an interstate burglary ring, Harrison Police Lt. Vito Castellano—a 15-year police veteran and county firearms instructor—accidentally fired two shots, striking a suspect and a fellow officer in the fracas. More than two months later, on Dec. 26 2012, the wounded suspect, Daniel DiBiase, a resident of Poughquag, filed a notice claim seeking $5 million for personal injuries, pain and suffering, hospital and medical expenses, and violating DiBiase’s civil rights. According to Town Attorney Frank Allegretti, the legal suit had yet to be served on the town as of press time. DiBiase’s attorney Bill Peterman said that a lawsuit will be filed eminently for the accidental discharge and for the injuries sustained from the bullet. “[DiBiase] did nothing whatsoever to justify being shot,” Peterman said. Peterman added that DiBiase, 55, suffered a collapsed lung from Castellano’s .223 caliber assault rifle, and that the slug was lodged near his heart. “He is lucky to be alive,” Peterman said. On Oct. 17 2012, Harrison police pulled over a Chevrolet Trailblazer, occupied by three men wanted in connection to a burglary on Sept. 3 2012, in Harrison in which they allegedly stole $500,000 worth of jewelry.

The three men were subject to an extensive criminal investigation and were charged with second-degree burglary. Law enforcement surveillance-including electronic GPS tracking and audio interception-were conducted up to and including the time of the arrests. According to reports obtained through a Freedom of Information Law request to the county Department of Public Safety, after Castellano deployed a flash bang grenade, he recognized that the safety of his weapon had accidentally been turned off. Performing a “finger sweep” in an attempt to return the safety back on, he accidentally misfired. After the accidental firing, Dibiase was immediately rushed to Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla but was listed in stable condition. According to a spokesperson for the Westchester County District Attorney’s office, Daniel Dibiase was arraigned the next evening while recovering in the hospital. Harrison Police Chief Anthony Marraccini said that there is always an inherent risk when dealing with criminals of this magnitude, and that it is fortunate nobody was killed. “I think it’ll work out in the court systems.” Marraccini said. “Unfortunately, serious crime such as this calls for significant action.” Marraccini also said that officers found a knapsack within the vehicle. The contents of the bag included ski masks, gloves, a pellet gun, a B.B. gun, glasscutters, and a stolen .40 caliber Glock 27 firearm. The three men—all residents of Dutchess County—were later indicted on additional burglary charges in Bedford and New Canaan, Conn., as well as illegal possession of a firearm, which was reported by a law enforcement officer in Putnam County. All three face a maximum penalty of life in prison.

The suspects’ Chevy Trailblazer, pictured here, showing the trajectory of the two bullets fired from Harrison Police Lt. Vito Castellano’s high caliber rifle. One of the suspects, Daniel DiBiase, 55, has filed a notice of claim against the town seeking $5 million after sustaining a bullet wound during the police sting operation.

Girl Scouts give back

Harrison Girl Scouts donate 217 boxes of cookies to the local food pantry. On May 16, more than a dozen local troop members helped wheelbarrow dozens of boxes of cookies inside the Municipal Building on Heineman Place and before the Town Council. Photo/Dan Offner


C ommunity Briefs Collection drive for mothers in Africa Afya Foundation, a Yonkers-based global health organization, and WESTMED Medical Group are asking Westchester residents to pitch in with gently used baby supplies for a women’s health initiative in honor of Mother’s Day. The project seeks to save the lives of mothersto-be in developing countries by supplying “birth kits” to midwives and expectant mothers. Collections sites will be WESTMED’s large medical offices in Yonkers, Rye, White Plains and New Rochelle. The baby and household items needed are: Medical gloves, plastic sheets, baby blankets, infants’ hooded towels, baby hats, Purell or any type of hand sanitizer, Ziploc bags, rain ponchos and rain boots for midwives. These supplies will be packaged into “birth kits” and shipped to Liberia, Malawi and Uganda. For details, call 914-920-5081. Harrison Library children’s events Friday, May 24 10 a.m. Open play at the library for kids and their caregivers. Wednesday, May 29 10 a.m. Circle Time for Tots with Miss Claudia

11 a.m. Circle Time for Tots with Miss Claudia Thursday, May 30 3:30 p.m. Come and watch a new children’s movie in the Community Room. Refreshments courtesy of the Friends. Friday, May 31 10 a.m. Open play at the library for kids and their caregivers. Harrison Public Library events Memoir writing seminar The Harrison Public Library will be hosting a program to assist older residents of the Harrison community in the writing and sharing of their personal memoirs. The program will consist of a series of writers’ workshops, titled “The Power of Memoir: Bringing Stories From Your Life to the World,” and will be held at the Harrison Public Library’s Community Room every Thursday from May 23 until July 20, 2013 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. This workshop is free of charge. Pre-registration is required, please call 914-835-0324. Each workshop will be led by professional writer and educator Bill Wertheim and consist of meditative exercises, writing lessons, small groups, and the presentation of each participant’s work to his/her classmates for feedback. As possible sources of inspiration for participants, music and imagery from the library’s various collections may also be incorporated into the workshops. In addition, a public reading will be held at the end of the series, during which participants will present their completed works to the community.

“Youth and Cyberbullying: What Families Don’t Know Will Hurt Them” Wednesday, May 29 at 7 p.m. Two-hour training for middle school and high school adult family members to increase understanding about the language, skills, information and challenges associated with cyberbullying. This knowledge will assist families in helping their children/teens respond in appropriate ways to incidents of cyberbullying and in promoting safe and respectful online environments for all people. Sponsored by Harrison Youth Council. Greenburgh Nature Center events May weekday classes for young children Children and parents or caregivers come for an hour of nature fun. Dress for outdoor activity. Except in extreme weather conditions, a portion of each class is spent outdoors. Admittance closes 15 minutes after the start of the program. No pre-registration or pre-payment required. Critters, crafts and kids for18 months to 5 years olds Enjoy wonderful spring days at the Center with walks, live animals, stories and crafts. Wednesdays: 1 a.m. to 11 a.m. May 29 Members: $5 adult; $4 child Non-members: $9 adult; $7 child Oldies Concert A fundraiser to benefit the girls basketball program. Saturday, June 1, 7:30 p.m. New Rochelle High School Starring: Kenny Vance & The Planotones, Emil Stuccho & The Classics, Jimmy Gallagher & The Passions, Bel-Airs, Ms. Jackie Dimaggio Host: Dennis Dion Nardone For tickets, call 914-374-8888 $40 reserve Seating, $35 General Admission Storytelling Guild Join adult story lovers at monthly meetings to share traditional and personal tales and trade tips on storytelling techniques. The Rye Storytellers’ Guild meets at the Rye Library on the first Tuesday evenings of the month at 6:30 p.m. Each evening is loosely arranged around a theme which, on June 4, will be “Youthful Summers and Fathers.” Listeners, as well as tellers, are always welcome. For more information, call 914-231-3161 or visit

Learn how to keep your leg veins healthy at the June mall walk Easy to follow techniques and strategies that can dramatically improve your leg vein health will be discussed on Friday, June 7, at The Westchester in White Plains as part of the Mall Walk program. Registered nurse Joann Kudrewicz of the Center for Vein Restoration, will discuss necessary steps to keep leg veins healthy as we age as well as signs, symptoms and treatment options for unhealthy leg veins, including a “live” leg ultrasound demonstration. The program will begin at 9 a.m. at the food court on Level Four. Admission and parking are free for members of the mall walk program. Sponsored by Westchester County Parks, this program offers year-round indoor health walking at The Westchester on Tuesdays and Fridays, from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. To join, sign up at the horse fountain plaza near Crate & Barrel on Retail Level Two, on Tuesday and Friday mornings during the program. Go to or call 914-231-4645. Summer reading and writing program For parents concerned their children will lose academic ground over the summer, The Center for Literacy Enrichment-Pace University has a solution–The Summer Reading & Writing Program. From pre-schoolers to middle schoolers, the program provides children with an opportunity to not only maintain their reading, writing and comprehensive skills, but also to make gains academically in fun and informative ways. The program, which runs from July 1 to 31, offers full-day and half-day sessions. Certified teachers provide small-group instruction complemented by theme-based indoor and outdoor activities, including science experiments, crafts and games in a noncompetitive setting. The Summer Reading & Writing Program is held on the campus of Pace University Law School, 78 North Broadway, White Plains. Early bird registration, prior to June 14, qualifies for a 5 percent discount on tuition. For more information, or to register your child, contact Center Director Sister St. John Delany, PhD at 914-422-4135. 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


Rye Councilwoman Parker’s registration status disputed By CHRIS GRAMUGLIA STAFF REPORTER

Democratic Rye City Councilwoman Catherine Parker recently announced she will run for the County Board of Legislators seat that has been held by incumbent Judy Myers since 2005. However, Parker’s status as a Democrat has been questioned in recent weeks, specifically by Village of Mamaroneck resident Sue McCrory. Parker’s 2006 registration shows her as unaffiliated with any party. Only recently did Parker attempt to change her registration to Democrat. The councilwoman was first elected to the Rye City Council in 2007 as an independent, and was re-elected in 2011 on the Democratic ticket. Party registration in local elections is not a factor regarding what ticket a candidate decides to run on. The deadline for changing one’s registration was Oct. 12, 2012, and, according to McCrory, Parker missed that date. McCrory’s reasoning for looking into Parker’s registration status stemmed from several concerned residents approaching her and asking that she do the research, she said. “Since she missed the date, she is not a Democrat and will not be one during this election cycle. Her registration change will be effective after the general election,” McCrory said.

According to Tajian Jones, the executive assistant to Board of Elections Commissioner Reginald Lafayette, who also serves as the chairman of the county Democratic Party, Parker filed a new voter registration form on

Nov. 8, 2012. The form is sealed, and Tajian said the board is unaware of which party to which Parker instends to register. Also, New York State Election Law Section 5-304 states that a change of enrollment has to be received by the Board of Elections no later than 25 days before the general election of the current year in order to take effect for the next year. “At this time, Ms. Parker is enrolled as a non-affiliated voter and the board has no record on file that would have prompted a party enrollment change for this year,” Jones said. State law also mandates that any candidate wishing to run on a major party line that they are not Rye City Councilwoman Catherine Parker will attempt to run on the enrolled in would Democratic Party line for Judy Myers’ seat on the county Board of have to request a cerLegislators, but a Mamaroneck resident has discovered that Parker tificate authorization is not, in fact, a registered Democrat as evidenced by her voter or a “Wilson Pakula” registration card, seen here, on file with the Westchester County Board from that party. of Elections.

The authorization request gets its name from the Wilson Pakula Act of 1947 authored by then-state Sen. Irwin Pakula, a Republican, and then-state Assemblyman Malcom Wilson, also a Republuican. A Wilson Pakula is issued to candidates by a political party that enables them to run on that line, even if they are not affiliated with the party. If a candidate does not receive such authorization, they can’t appear on the line. Parker told The Harrison Report that whether or not she is a registered Democrat is not what is truly important in the upcoming election. “I think that [the issue of registration statuses] misses the point. I run on the Democratic ticket. I did for the first time in 2003, and then again in 2011. I have represented the Democratic ideals throughout my entire time as an elected official,” Parker said. Councilwoman Parker said she has already put her name on a petition to be approved to run on the Democratic party line, and such approval is pending. “I think that it’s unfortunate if the best candidate who can start from day one would not be approved,” she said adding that she would likely still look to run as an independent if necessary. Parker also said that her experiences with REGISTRATION continued on page 10


Avalon tapped to develop train station project, sources say By DANIEL OFFNER STAFF REPORTER

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Sources indicate the Town of Harrison has plans in motion to strike a development deal with the AvalonBay Communities concerning the long-awaited Transit Oriented Development project with the Metropolitan Transit Authority. It has been more than two years since Harrison received bids for construction of the project, but town officials have been mum ever since. Any motion will be the first in just over a year since residents expressed skepticism that the proposed Town Center would ever see the light of day. However, recently sources with knowledge of the ongoing negotiations between the town, MTA and Avalon, have informed The Harrison Report that AvalonBay Communities will in fact be the developer of the long-awaited project once discussions are finalized. The most recent mention of the project arose during a public hearing on the master plan, a non-binding zoning and development use document, last November that hasn’t been updated since 1988. Due to zoning requirements, the Town Council would first need to adopt a revised master plan, that would allow it construct new mixed-use development in the location surrounding the Metro-North train station.

The transit oriented development project would allow for more access to mass transit by replacing the existing parking along Halstead Avenue with something built for a higher capacity and would look to revitalize the downtown business district through mixed-use retail and residential development. Last November, former Mayor Joan Walsh, a Democrat who left office in December 2011, asked the Town Council if there had been any progress made with MTA negotiators over the construction of a new town center complex on the Metro-North property downtown located off of Halstead Avenue. Walsh received no response from elected officials except to point out that the board had signed a confidentiality agreement. In an interview last week, Walsh pointed out that Avalon was one of the original bids submitted two years ago, but that the company’s concept did not live up to the Town Council’s intent sending Avalon back to the proverbial drawing board. Walsh said she found it incredible that it had been almost two years since the bids had been closed without any further information coming to light. “It’s about time…it’s just too bad it took this long,” Walsh said. “I can’t wait to see what it looks like.” Due to a confidentiality agreement between the town and the MTA, any new information has been barred from release regarding the

proposal process. According to Avalon representatives, it could neither confirm nor deny whether it had been pegged as the developer of the project downtown. However, official sources, with knowledge of the ongoing negotiations, have informed The Harrison Report that AvalonBay Communities will in fact be the developer of the project. According to a registration list of developers, representative Mark Forlenza with AvalonBay Communities, Inc. attended the Request for Proposals Pre-bid meeting in 2011. Forlenza could not be reached for comment as of press time. The long-discussed construction involves property at the corner of Halstead and Harrison avenues currently owned by the Metropolitan Transit Authority. The town and the MTA agreed on a deal in 2011 that would transfer the 3.28-acre property to Harrison in exchange for the construction of a multitiered parking garage. At the time, Harrison had sought bids from developers to construct a mixture of residential and retail units at the site, a project many have hoped will be the spark needed to revitalize the downtown business district. Since receiving the bids, town officials have taken a “no public discussion” stance on the project, declining to discuss who produced AVALON continued on page 14

Bobby Begun, Alexandra Bogdanovic, Liz Button Chris Gramuglia, Ashley Helms

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The 2012 draft of the Harrison Master Plan pinpoints the location of the long-awaited Transit Oriented Development project. The proposed development project, located on the 3.28-acre parcel indicated on the map, includes mixed-use retail and residential space as well as a tiered parking garage.



Rye Town Park cracks down on unleashed dogs By LIZ BUTTON and ASHLEY HELMS HARRISON REPORT STAFF

Although many residents may view Rye Town Park as a “dog park,” local leadership is attempting to make it clear that unleashed

New signs indicate that dogs must be leashed in Rye Town Park, which is located on Forest Avenue. The crackdown by police stems from an incident where two children were bitten by unleashed dogs.

dogs are not welcome. The City of Rye, the Rye Town Park Commission and the Friends of Rye Town Park have solicited the help of the Rye Police Department to remind dog owners of the law. Rye Police reported an incident at the park over the weekend of April 26, in which, two young children were bitten by two unleashed dogs. The bites broke the skin, police said. The dog leashing policy, part of the Rye City code, requires that dogs must be leashed when not on their owner’s premises by a leash not more than eight feet long. The state law, which applies to all public spaces including Rye Town Park, will now be more strictly enforced, police said. According to Rye Mayor Douglas French, a Republican, a number of residents raised concerns at a Rye Town Park community forum held last month. At that meeting, residents said that the safety of park goers depends on owners maintaining control of their dogs. “We need to ensure a safe environment at our parks, which is fully supported by the Rye Town Park Commission,” French said, referring to the park’s governing commission. According to Chapter 76 of the Rye City Code, last amended in 2010, every person found to have violated the ordinance will pay a penalty of up to $50. A second violation within a year of the first will cost the offender up to $75. If there is a third offense within

Dog owners said that, while they understand the reasoning for the stricter rules, there was an understanding that dogs could be unleashed before 9 a.m., when Rye Town Park technically opens. Photos/Ashley Helms

a year, the fines have the potential to reach $100. The regulation has drawn varying responses on behalf of Rye Town and city residents. One resident said that a friend told her a Rye police officer used a bullhorn last week at around 8:30 a.m. to alert dog walkers of the rule. Agnus Bak, a Port Chester resident, was walking her Yorkshire terrier without a leash at the park recently. She said that if there were more people at the park, she would keep her dog on a leash, but added there aren’t many nice parks where residents can bring their dogs. “There should be somewhere where the dogs can be off the leash,” Bak said. “Not on the street, but they need the exercise.” Debbie Maresca, who lives close to the park and was walking her leashed Labrador Retriever nearby, said she understands why the city is tightening up on its policy this time of year, when there are more walkers and nondog owners out and about. Maresca said she thinks what people are most upset about is the fact that there was a sort of “unwritten rule” that dog owners could bring their unleashed dogs into the park before 9 a.m., when the park officially opens for the day, and now they face a crackdown on the activity. Park officials also have allowed resi-

dents to let their dogs run on the beach during the winter months in the past, she said. “But you have to know your dog,” Maresca said. “I know mine won’t bite anyone, but you never know; they’re animals.” Police acknowledge there are strong feelings on both sides of the issue. According to police, this is an issue about the rights of non dog owners to use and enjoy the park. Spring brings warmer weather leading to greater use of the park by walkers, families and children, some of whom may be uncomfortable or fearful dogs. The warmer season brings the potential for conflict between park users and unrestrained pets, police said. French said that park security and the Rye Police will begin issuing warnings and communications on the state leash law to ensure compliance. New signs have also been installed at park entrances to alert dog walkers of the rule. According to Police Commissioner William Connors, there has not been a need to issue summonses recently either in the town park or other public spaces such as the Village Green outside of Rye City Hall where dogs have been known to run unleashed. Rye Town Park is jointly owned and operated by both the city and town of Rye.

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Memorial Day festivities and the spirit of volunteerism This year, Harrison’s annual Memorial of charge. For more information, please visit Day Parade and ceremony will be held on Monday, May 27. Line-up is at 9:30 a.m. on On June 1, the Harrison Girl Scouts will be the corner of Halstead and Thatcher avenues. holding a food drive to benefit the Harrison Step-off time is promptly at 10 a.m. Parade Food Pantry. From 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., scouts participants include local municipal and civic will be at DeCicco’s Family Market in groups, and I hope to see many of you there Harrison. Shopping lists, containing necesin commemoration of this very important day. sary, basic staple items, will be available for In addition to honoring the men and women shoppers who would like to contribute. If you who made great sacrifices, in an effort to en- are unable to attend, and would like to support sure our freedom, we will be this effort, you can send a recognizing Harrison High monetary donation, payable School’s band director, Dr. to the Harrison Food Pantry, Fred Pasqua, for his 23 years to Harrison Municipal HARRISON of service to our children, Building, 1 Heinemann HAPPENINGS schools and community. Place Harrison, NY, attenMayor Ron Belmont On Wednesday, May 29, tion: Food Pantry. the Harrison Youth Council Harrison Youth Council will be sponsoring a workshop on cyberbul- is seeking new board members with specific lying. The Anti-Defamation League will be skills. facilitating this event at 7 p.m. at the Harrison For over 30 years, in an effort to promote Library. A recent survey found that 16 percent healthy lifestyle choices for all Harrison youth, of high school students were electronically the Harrison Youth Council has built a stable bullied in the prior year. Given the constant and stronger community by providing educhanges in electronic communication, it is a cational prevention programs, parent support problem that often presents new challenges, groups, workshops and professional support is difficult to measure and may be larger than through individual, family and group counselindicated by surveys. Incidents of cyberbully- ing. You can make a difference by joining the ing have been reported in Harrison, and the Board of Directors. Currently, the council is problem is significant enough to offer cyber- seeking community members with the followbullying education and prevention informa- ing skills and interests: Business development, tion. Parents from Harrison and surrounding which includes fundraising as well as business communities are invited, and the event is free management and basic financial skills, and fi-

nancial management, includes budget creation and maintenance of fiscal books. Individuals, with proficient computer skills, are also needed. If interested, please contact Lori Wilson at Dr. Stephen Lane, chair of the Keio Academy Art Department, will be displaying his artwork in a new exhibit titled, “Installations, Paintings and Works on Paper: Vol. 64-200.” The exhibit is located at 287 Spring Gallery and Performance Space in New York City and runs through June 1. For more information, visit Please take note of the following sanitation schedule change: Monday, May 27 is a holiday, and offices will be closed for Memorial Day. Garbage and recycling normally collected on Monday, May 27 will be picked up on Tuesday, May 28. Garbage and recycling normally collected on Tuesday, May 28, will be picked up on Wednesday, May 29. There will be no bulk trash pick up during the week of May 27. The next “Lunch with the Mayor” is on Friday, June 7. I will be at Fuji Sushi located at 216 Harrison Avenue in downtown Harrison. I will be at this location from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. and look forward to meeting with residents and talking about issues facing our community. In closing, I would like to wish you and your family a very happy and safe Memorial Day weekend.

10 • THE HARRISON REPORT • MAY 24, 2013 BUDGET from page 1

After a series of reductions totaling more than $2.25 million, the district approved a $3.79 million increase in spending from last year for a budget-to-budget increase of 3.6 percent. Reductions included decreases in certiorari and capital budget lines, decreases in social security, unemployment, contractual services, the cost of fuel and several other cuts for smaller budget line items. By eliminating vacant positions through attrition and through the implementation of a teacher retirement incentive, the district was able to minimize the need for layoffs in the budget, with plans to cut only one to two positions. The school-spending plan for 2013-2014 comes in .81 percent under the calculated cap, or a 3.47 percent increase in the overall tax levy. This equates to an estimated tax rate increase of $25.16 per $1,000 of real property value, or 3.7 percent. Using a calculation provided by the state, which determines the allowable tax levy limit, the school district could have potentially increased the levy as much as 4.28 percent. However, by allocating less for local revenue, state employee pension reserves, certiorari reserves, compensation reserves and the appropriated fund balance, school officials were able to provide a $4.4 million reduction to taxpayers. School board elections were a quiet affair for yet another year, with two unopposed races for the Board of Education’s two open seats. Board of Education Trustee Jason Schechter REGISTRATION from page 5

county issues regarding Playland, flood mitigation, bus service, as well as her strong advocacy for the Westchester County Children’s Museum make her a good fit for the job, and that approval to run as a Democrat would be imperative to her utilizing that knowledge as a legislator. However, if Parker–viewed as the front runner–were denied registration status from Democrats, it would clearly compromise her effort at being elected into county office. Parker’s oppononent, former Village of Mamaroneck Trustee, Tom Murphy, a Democrat, said that he is aware of her registration status and that the outcome will have a significant impact on whether or not there

chose not to seek re-election. Therefore, running uncontested, newcomer Rachel Estroff won in her bid for Schechter’s seat, garnering 857 votes. “[The school board], and my predecessors, have done an excellent job in ensuring the district is on sound academic and financial footing,” Estroff said in an email following the results. “All school districts have big challenges ahead, and I look forward to working with my colleagues to tackle them.” With six years of experience on the board, Board of Education Vice President Abby Mendelsohn won her third consecutive election on Tuesday. First elected to office in 2007, Mendelsohn will continue her role as board vice president after securing an uncontested victory. “I am honored to have the opportunity to serve the community for another three years, and I am grateful to the community for its continued support,” Mendelsohn said. “I look forward to continuing to work with my board colleagues to preserve the district’s excellent educational programs.” Mendelsohn received a total of 1,312 votes, almost as many as those supporting the school budget. Both Mendelsohn and Estroff were elected to three-year terms. “This budget is driven by our education priorities and is responsive to the concerns of taxpayers,” Mendelsohn said. “Harrison voters came out to support quality education and responsible financial planning in the face of some serious challenges. I am grateful to each and every voter for supporting the children of our district.” will be a primary. “If the leaders of the Democratic Party, are looking to avoid a primary which is what they voiced to me, they could easily avoid it by not issuing [Parker] a Wilson Pakula,” he said. “However, I’m open to a primary. I’ve been advocating democratic ideals my whole life so I have no problem going to voters and making my case.” As for any connection to fellow Mamaroneck reident McCrory, Murphy downplayed it saying that he has known her for a long time, but does not know what prompted her to conduct her research. “She marches to the beat of her own drum,” Murphy said. “Believe me, no one tells her what to do.” Phone calls to county Democratic Party Chairman Lafayette and Legislator Myers were not returned as of press time.

Poll-worker Theresa Hamrahan assists resident Angela Badolato, 71, cast her vote at the Harrison Avenue School on the proposed $108 million school budget. “It’s important to cast your vote,” said Badolato, “and be heard.” Photo/Daniel Offner

What’s Your Beef? What’s bothering you today?

Collected on Mamaroneck Avenue in Mamaroneck “The stems of my flowers break when I try to weave them around my clematis.”

“My shoulder pains. I need to see a masseuse as soon as possible.” Bahir Nesspitt, 35, White Plains

Mieke Dikkers, 44, Mamaroneck

“My stuffy nose is bothering me.” Holly Brockerhoff, 17, Scarsdale

“Looking at the news and seeing all of the horrendous events that have recently occurred.” Joan Radford, 65, City Island

-Photos and reporting by ILANA BRUCKMAN


County looks to ‘minnow-mize’ West Nile Virus CHRIS GRAMUGLIA STAFF REPORTER

Westchester County is taking a new initiative to fight West Nile Virus in 2013 and is asking residents to take an active role in the revised approach. On May 10 and 11, at the Westchester County Airport, the county handed out thousands of free, larvae-eating fish called fathead minnows to homeowners who have pools, ponds and other kinds of standing water on their property. By using the “food-chain” style approach, the county Health Department’s hope is that the minnows, which typically consume up to 200 larvae a day, will do just that, thus decreasing the mosquito population on residential properties. Fathead minnows can grow to a maximum of three inches and spawn each year when the water hits 65 degrees. Last year, there were four documented cases of West Nile in Westchester, one case in Rockland County and one in Ulster County. None of the cases were fatal. However, across the nation, the virus has slowly become an epidemic, with 2012 being the most active year since 2003. Across 48 states, there were 5,387 documented cases of the virus–243 fatal–according the Centers for Disease Control. Five of those fatal cases occurred in New York. According to the Centers for Disease Control, West Nile Virus can range in severity, and is sometimes asymptomatic, unless it develops into West Nile fever, which occurs in about 20 percent of people who contract the virus. When the virus does reach its more severe stages, the CDC said, symptoms can arise, which include high fever, neck stiffness, disorientation, coma, and paralysis. Rockland County has given minnows to residents to help reduce its own mosquito population, and Amy Isenberg of the Rockland County Health Department said the approach has worked very well. “Residents have told me that this has helped,” Isenberg said. “We have a very hard time finding mosquitoes in the sites where this has been done.” Isenberg also said, while the minnows

will not get rid of all the mosquitoes in an area, they will significantly reduce the amount, and that in some cases, Rockland residents were unable to go into their backyards because of the insects. But after releasing the minnows into small ponds and swimming pools, such problems have become less severe. White Plains resident Tony Agazzi took advantage of the county’s minnow offer and said his property will almost certainly benefit from the new plan. “We have quite a bit of acreage here, and part of it is flat, and the rest of it drops off. There’s a pocket of water there, and there’s all kinds of crap flying around, mosquitoes, what have you.” Agazzi said that when he and his wife sit outside during the summer, the mosquitoes are a real problem and prevent him from working in his garden. The Westchester County Health Department ordered more than 100 pounds of the fish from breeders, at a cost of $1000. According to county Assistant Health Commissioner Peter DeLucia, despite the relatively low number of West Nile virus cases in the county last year, there were 29 pools of mosquitoes discovered that tested positive for the virus. “It’s still in Westchester County, there’s no doubt about it,” DeLucia said. “We wanted to add something to our arsenal of mosquito control naturally, and are always looking for a better way not to use pesticides.” DeLucia said that educating residents is also part of the approach, and said that an important thing for them to remember is to eliminate any standing water on the property to prevent mosquitoes from breeding. “This is another way that we can do something. If you have a small ornamental pond on the property, that doesn’t have any natural predators in it—bang! instead of throwing pesticides in it, let’s throw in a pound of minnows,” he said. The distribution of the minnows took place at 2 Loop Road at the Westchester County Airport in Harrison. DeLucia said that, depending on the success of this first attempt at using the minnows, the county may offer them again next year.

Westchester County Assistant Health Commissioner Peter Delucia, left, and Health Commissioner Dr. Sherita Amler, center, talk with a resident about strategies to prevent mosquitoes from becoming a nuisance in the upcoming summer months.

Westchester resident Tony Agazzi holds up a bag of fathead minnows he received from the county as a free giveaway at the county airport on May 10. He said that he has a large body of standing water on his property, and plans to deploy the minnows in order to prevent mosquito larvae from hatching. Photos/Chris Gramuglia


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LEGAL NOTICE NOTICE TO BIDDERS Notice is hereby given that SEALED PROPOSALS for: Bid Number C12/13-03: Harrison High School Cafeteria Renovation NEW YORK STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT PROJECT # 66-0501-06-0-011-026 will be received by the Board of Education by the Purchasing Agent of the Harrison Central School District at 50 Union Avenue, Harrison, New York 10528; 914-630-3011; and will be publicly opened in the Business Office at 11:00 AM on Friday, June 7, 2013. The contract documents may be examined at the office of the project architect, H2M Architects & Engineers, 575 Broad Hollow Rd, Melville, NY 11747, at the office of the project construction manager, Arris Contracting Co, Inc., 189 Smith St, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601, or at the office of the Purchasing Agent, Harrison Central School District, 50 Union Avenue, Harrison, NY 10528 between 9:00 A.M. and 3:00 P.M. Monday through Friday beginning on Wednesday, May 22, 2013. Bids must be presented on the standard proposal form in the manner designated therein and as required by the Specifications. All bids must be enclosed in sealed envelopes which are clearly marked on the outside: “Bid Number C12/13-03: Harrison High School Cafeteria Renovation”. The name of the bidder and bidder’s address must also appear on the outside of the envelope. 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. A PRE-BID WALK THROUGH HAS BEEN SCHEDULED FOR WEDNESDAY, May 29, 2013 AT 3:00 P.M. AT HARRISON HIGH SCHOOL –CAFETERIA, 255 UNION AVENUE, HARRISON, NY. Each proposal submitted must be accompanied by a certified check or bid bond, made payable to the HARRISON CENTRAL SCHOOL DISTRICT, in an amount equal to five percent (5%) of the total amount of the bid, as a commitment by the bidder that, if its bid is accepted, it will enter into a contract to perform the work and will execute such further security as may be required for the faithful performance of the contract. Certification of bonding company is required for this bid, see Instructions for Bidders section. Each bidder shall agree to hold his/ her bid price for forty-five (45) days after the formal bid opening. It is the Board’s intention to award the contracts to the lowest qualified bidder who can meet the experience, technical and budget requirements. The Board reserves the right to reject any or all bids, waive any informalities and to accept such bid which, in the opinion of the Board, is in the best interests of the School District. Gene George Purchasing Agent HARRISON CENTRAL SCHOOL DISTRICT BOARD OF EDUCATION 50 Union Avenue Harrison, New York 10528 Date: May 22, 2013

MAY 24, 2013 • THE HARRISON REPORT • 13 LADORE from page 1

“It requires continued monitoring of revenue to ensure quality services are maintained inside the cap,” Cannella said. Councilwoman Amelio said she will be seeking her second four-year term on the council this fall and will square-off against Cannella and LaDore to keep her seat. Amelio said one of LaDore’s main campaign points–regarding the benefits and pensions of elected officials–is a non-issue for her; she donated her $16,834 salary back to the town during its budgeting crisis in 2010. Amelio added that she agrees with LaDore that it shouldn’t be a title that warrants a pension and benefits. “Personally, I don’t take any benefits offered from the town,” Amelio said. “It serves no consequence to me…but I think you might find it [getting rid of pensions and benefits for part-time employees] a deterrent to people interested in running.” For LaDore, it is more an issue of long-term financial planning, which he said continues to cost taxpayers in the community more each year. “There is no logical reason for the town to subsidize this cost,” LaDore said. “It is unsustainable…we have to think long-term. Where will we be 15 or 20 years from now?” Another key issue LaDore said he intends to campaign on will surround the town’s master plan, which he would like to see redesigned by a different consulting firm other than BFJ Planning, who the town hired because it was

instrumental in designing the existing land use document. The town’s master plan, which hasn’t been updated since 1988, serves as a non-binding zoning and development guidebook that provides an outline of proposed zoning changes on a piecemeal basis. Any actual changes to the zoning require board resolution following a public hearing. “The master plan should serve as comprehensive guidelines that we must stick to as close as possible,” LaDore said. “Will there be variances here and there? Sure, but it is a living document and we need to adjust it.” Cannella, who sat on the Planning Board for eight years prior to being elected to the Town Council, said he guesses the master plan will be finalized fairly soon. “It has been the subject of several of [the council’s] work sessions,” Cannella said. However, with nothing adopted as of press time, it seems that the town is still waiting to finalize a document more than five years in the making, and which has yet to meet the approval of several members of the community. LaDore said he plans to run a much less personal, more issue-based campaign then the local Democratic and Republican committees have in years past, and looks to raise $30,000 to $40,000 in financing through grassroots support in an effort to keep personal spending at a minimum. “Once we start the petition process, I plan to spend all the free time that I have on the campaign,” LaDore said.

LEGAL NOTICE NOTICE TO BIDDERS The Harrison Central School District hereby invites the submission of sealed bids for the following: RFB #13/14-16 FOR SALE: 1995 GMC Dump Truck Bids from parties interested in purchasing a 1995 GMC Dump Truck shall be submitted in sealed envelopes marked “RFB #13/14-16: FOR SALE: 1995 GMC Dump Truck “ on the outside. Bids will be received until 2:00 p.m., Friday, June 7, 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 at or from the district Business

Office beginning Thursday, May 23, 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: May 23, 2013

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The cicadas are coming THE KITCHEN AND BATH INSIDER Paul Bookbinder, M.I.D.©

It’s not bad enough that we are plagued with Canada geese wherever we look or walk, now we’re in for an extra special treat. Seventeen years have past since the cicadas have last visited us, and, with the news coverage they’re getting, you think the end of the world is coming. Granted, it may get a little noisy, but if you’re like me, and have tinnitus-ringing in your ears-you won’t hear a thing. However, for those who do hear the annoying mating call of the cicada, some will see it as a reminder that’s it is time to fix up your home again. Couple this seventeen-year extravaganza with the end of winter and many people’s thoughts turn towards the traditional, ritual of home improvement. And, of those contemplating this upcoming, seasonal compulsion, many will focus on their kitchen. Like the swallows returning from wherever they went, this need is not something to be ashamed of, our species simply has no control over it. If you are facing the uncontrollable urge to remodel your kitchen, you will probably need some help. But don’t despair; you don’t have to do it alone. There are many qualified kitchen designers available to create a functional, as well as aesthetically pleasing, kitchen to satisfy your desires. Look for a firm that is associated with the National Kitchen and Bath Association. This is the largest organization in the industry and it sets the standards for kitchen design. But don’t expect to get something for nothing, because you get what you pay for. Most successful kitchen designers charge for their initial work, however their charges and pricing structures vary greatly. I know of companies that charge anywhere from $100 to $1,000 or more, for this service. Usually, this sum can be applied towards the purchase of designs or cabinets, and I wouldn’t recommend contracting with a firm that did not adhere to that policy. After all, a good design takes a great deal of time, effort and creativity, so why should they give this away for free? An argument could be made that if you don’t like the design and/or estimate you’ve wasted your money. I don’t entirely disagree with this, and that’s why I recommend find-

ing a firm with a minimum initial design fee. This smaller expense certainly does not compensate the designer for all the time he must spend creating your dream kitchen, but it shows a commitment on your part, indicating that you are serious about the project. Some firms have a staged design fee, which includes a minimum initial design charge. If after reviewing the design, you wish to pursue the project, they have a secondary fee (sometimes called a retainer) for additional work on the design or releasing the drawings to you. This seems to be an equitable compromise. The designer charges a minimal fee, confident that they will create an exciting design, within the budget that you specify. You get a chance to review the design and see how much the renovation will cost, before laying out a lot of money. At that point, assuming the design fits your budget, you have to ask yourself three questions. First, do you like the design? It doesn’t have to be perfect yet, but it must show promise, and you have to be convinced that it can be modified to your satisfaction. The second question is, do you like the company’s products? This includes the cabinets, countertops and accessories. The final question is, do you trust the designer and his support staff? If the design or designer is not to your liking, or the cost is out of line, you have the option of ending the relationship without incurring additional costs. If you answer, “yes” to the three questions, you’re ready to move to the next step in a “staged design fee” program. If any of your answers were “no,” look for another firm. Once you find the right company to work with, a design you love, and a price you’re comfortable with, you can succumb to your impulses. Don’t feel guilty. Just as the cicadas make their music, spring home improvement has been ingrained into our genes for a thousand years and it will remain that way for a long time to come. Paul Bookbinder, M.I.D., C.R., is president of DreamWork Kitchens, Inc. located in Mamaroneck, New York. A Master of Design (Pratt Institute), and E.P.A. Certified Remodeler, he serves on the Advisory Panel of Remodeling Magazine. A member of the National Kitchen & Bath Assoc., he is also a contributor to Do It Yourself magazine. He can be reached for questions at 914-777-0437 or


Surviving your (child’s) wedding NOTES FROM A THERAPIST’S DIARY Hillary Volper LCSW

I prayed to my mother one Sunday morning, something I never do. I’m a psychoanalyst, and I believe I can handle whatever is put on my plate. But these were desperate times. My daughter needed outfits for her bridal shower in Maryland, in five days. Do you believe the superficiality of my prayers? I wasn’t praying for someone’s health, or a cure for a disease or relief for a homeless family. Boston had been recently decimated by two young men. Wars, famine and abuse continue all over the world, and I’m worried about clothing for my daughter. I consoled myself that, even in war-torn nations, life goes on; people marry, babies are born and celebrations occur. In this “full catastrophe of life” I justified my prayers and hoped my colleagues wouldn’t find out. I prayed. “Mom you were a fashion model, you have the fashion gene, help us find some outfits because I’m stumped.” Silence from the other end. Not even a tweet from a bird outside my window giving me the “ah hah” moment that she heard me. Besides preparing for a wedding, those of you who are mothers of brides-to-be know how emotional this period is. Each bride responds in her own characteristic way as each mother and family does. My daughter worries how she will accomplish everything. She defended her dissertation, applied for a fellowship and was transferred to a different unit in the hospital in which she works all within one year, and she is marrying. Meeting my daughter in the city that Sunday, we trekked to an upscale department store. My daughter has a lovely figure, but looked horrid in every outfit. We left and went directly to a chain store that is found in every major city in the U.S., Europe and Asia. The clothing is cute and colorful and they can outfit you from head to toe. As I was standing in the middle of the store drinking in the array of outfits, and not having a clue where to begin, as if out of a dream, like two lovers meeting, Ryan appeared between the shoes and the arm candy. Hip and stylish, he wore leopard print slip-on shoes, brown silk flowered pants and a billowing shirt. I knew he was our guy. In our oversized fitting room, Ryan deftly and swiftly brought in outfit after outfit. And not once did he flinch at our rejection of any of his offerings. We settled on an orange sherbet-colored sheath with a navy blue cardigan sweater. Ryan wanted us to go with leopard pumps with tree trunk heels. We instead chose navy blue spectator pumps: more practical. We left the store thrilled, and then I told my daughter the truth I had prayed to Nana that morning asking for her help, and she had sent us Ryan. Thank you, Mom. Here’s the myth that is perpetrated on

brides, and grooms-to-be and their families. “Getting married is the happiest time of your life.” I have spoken to numerous mothers of both young women and men and to colleagues. They all agreed that, while there are many moments of happiness, they also agreed that there can be many moments of discomfort and disappointments. It’s just like life. When your child marries, it is a life-altering experience for everyone, even though no one may realize it. There is a new cast of characters that are now entering your world because of your child’s selection of a mate. The melding of families brings different challenges for both sides. Each family’s values, financial resources and personality quirks come to the fore. You are also sharing your child with another family, and we parents are changing roles. We are no longer just a parent but inlaws and we have grown older. Without our knowing it, our unconscious memories are suddenly jiggled like a bowl of jell-o. Suddenly, we may think about relatives not here to celebrate with us, or reflect on our own weddings, whether wonderful or difficult, and that we are losing our child symbolically. In those families where divorce has taken place, children can often find themselves refereeing a soccer match with each problem being kicked from one side of the field to the other. Some suggestions: Keep in mind that you have only one goal for the wedding, that it be a smooth transition for your child and a happy day. Do not challenge anyone, including your child, at the height of your frustration. Problems arise, but let yourself cool down first. Compromise wherever you can to avoid ongoing power struggles. Find a “win win” situation at all times, always going back to your original wish that it is to be a wonderful day where your child is joining her or his life with someone she or he loves. Remember, you will be seeing these people at family gatherings for many years, so it’s much more comforting to be on good terms with them. Make a decision how much you can afford for the wedding. If the in-law family is suggesting more than you can contribute, be honest, making sure to discuss your position with your adult child, instead of making unilateral decisions. Lastly, don’t put the kids in the middle of your disagreements. You are grown-ups and you need to draw on all the grown up reserves you have developed over the years. And when all else fails, pray to my mother Helen, she might help. Hillary Volper, LCSW is a psychotherapist in private practice in Westchester and New York City. She works with individuals, couples and groups. She is on staff at the Training Institute for Mental Health, where she teaches, supervises and sits on their Board of Trustees. To contact Hillary you can email her at or visit her website:

AVALON from page 6

the bids or comment on the status of proposals. Officials cited concerns over the potential impact on negotiations as the reason for their stance, though many residents have believed the silence meant the project was losing steam. However, in recent weeks, officials have met several times behind closed doors to discuss the project, listing their executive session as simply “MTA.” According to Republican Councilman Joe Cannella, the town had received several responses since first opening the requests for proposals process two years ago and are still hoping to see the project come to fruition in a manner that meets the definitive views of the town. “There continues to be dialogue with the MTA,” Cannella said who refused to further

identify or confirm any developer as of press time. Downtown resident Michael LaDore, who recently received the Democratic nomination on his bid for Town Council, said his main concerns with the project stem from a potential influx of traffic along the town’s main thoroughfare. “One of my concerns is the increase in parking,” LaDore said. “Can Halstead handle the influx of vehicle traffic…or will it become a mini [Long Island Expressway]?” LaDore suggested that due to the requisite that would provide 600 parking spaces for MTA commuters, that the traffic would increase substantially. He also cited a potential PILOT—payment in lieu of taxes—program offered to Avalon should they sell affordable housing units, as a means to compensate for tax revenue.

Pet Rescue Hailey is a beautiful and very sweet girl. She is about four years old and weighs 45 pounds. Hailey is completely housebroken and loves to walk and explore, play tug-of-

war and fetch, and will chill on the couch at the end of the day, too. She knows her basic commands: sit, stay, shake, down, etc. Hailey sleeps through the night, preferably in her foster parent’s bed, and follows her foster family around the house hoping for a scratch behind the ears or a belly rub. Hailey does pull some on the leash if she sees an animal or another person, but she is learning quickly to correct herself. Hailey would do best in a home with older children, and she would like to be your one and only furry friend enjoying your undivided attention. Hailey is spayed, vaccinated, heartworm tested and microchipped. The adoption donation for Hailey is $250. For more information, please contact Larchmont Pet Rescue at 914-8346955 or on the web at (Submitted)



Playoff-bound teams to watch Tuckahoe Baseball At 18-2, the Tigers are arguably the best team in Class C and their top seed in the playoffs exemplifies that fact. The Tigers boast a few holdovers from 2011’s state championship team, including Nick Reisman and Brian O’Toole, and they excel at every facet of the game, be it pitching, hitting or defense. The Tigers might be too deep and too fundamentally sound for any Class C team to match up with. If everything breaks well, players like Reisman and O’Toole might have another state title under their belts. Tuckahoe Softball Like their counterparts on the baseball field, Tuckahoe’s girls have also had quite the regular season, posting an undefeated record. The team’s turnaround, which started last year, has been a complete one, led by eighth-grader Cassie McGrath, who has dominated both on the mound and at the plate. With McGrath, as well as talented veterans like Casey Stevko in the fold, the Tigers may just take home a Class C crown.

New Rochelle baseball The Huguenots didn’t steamroll through the regular season as their 11 seed might indicate, but where the Huguenots have excelled this year is in their ability to play up to their competition. The Huguenots have beaten two top Class A teams in Mamaroneck and Fox Lane, and should have the confidence to beat anyone, including first-round draw Clarkstown North. If ace John Valente is going well, the Huguenots are certainly one of the toughest outs in the Class A bracket. Eastchester Softball Led by Danielle Cacciola, the Eagles have been solid this year and could be lowerWestchester’s best bet to unseat the northern powers that have long dominated the softball postseason. Cacciola has gotten it done on both sides of the ball, and seems to be at the top of her game, if her May 17 game against Pelham is any indication. Against the Pelicans, Cacciola allowed just two runs on the day and hit a three-run dinger to propel the Eagles’ offense.

Eastchester catcher Kristin Martin throws the ball to second base during an early season contest at Eastchester High School. Martin and battery-mate Danielle Cacciola are looking to lead the Eagles to a section title this year. Photo/Mike Smith

Harrison to square-off with Somers On May 20, the seedings for the Class A baseball sectional tournament were announced, with Harrison earning a ninth-seed

Shortstop Vinnie Nicita makes a play during an early season contest at Harrison High School. Nicita and the Huskies finished the regular season with a 10-8 record, drawing a ninth seed at the sectional seeding meeting on May 20. Photo/Mike Smith

and a first-round game against eighth-seeded Somers. Harrison finished the season with a 10-8 record, but stumbled down the stretch, losing three of its last five games of the regular season. Their last game was a win, however, as the beat Byram Hills 5-0. “We were hoping to get a little bit of a higher seed, but when you hit a bunch of rough games in the last week, that’s what happens,” said head coach Marco DiRuocco. “Somers is not only a good team, but they play a tough schedule, so they know what to do against good teams.” DiRuocco has tabbed Matt Baker as his first-round starter, following Baker’s shutout performance against Byram Hills, and believes that his team is poised to make another deep playoff push. “Looking at Matt’s last start and the way we played behind him, it made it an easy choice,” DiRuocco said. “I think we played some of our best ball in that last game of the season. “We’ve played against some of the top teams in AA, faced their number ones and stayed in those ballgames,” added the coach. “My guys know what they have to do.” The Huskies will travel to Somers to take on the Tuskers on May 22, after press time. -Reporting by MIKE SMITH

Harrison Huskies



On May 19, Harrison’s boys and girls track team took home first place in the Class B division at the Westchester County meet. While the Huskies had no shortage of bright stars on the weekend, none shone brighter than senior Trey Wasilesky, who recorded Harrison’s only first-place finish in open scoring, winning the Steeplechase with a season-best time of 10:18.04. According to the senior, the win was especially sweet given the way his spring progressed until that point. “It felt really good because I haven’t had the best season,” said Wasilesky. “This was definitely a big confidence boost for me.”

Wasilesky said he made a few adjustments this weekend that paid big dividends and allowed him the chance to shine on a big stage. “I stayed more conservative,” said Wasilesky of his strategy during the 3,000m race. “I just focused a lot more.” Wasilesky and the Huskies will head to sectionals this weekend, but the senior said that while he will not be running at the collegiate level next year–he will be attending Stony Brook University in the fall–he’s not quite ready to hang up his running shoes. “I’m not going to run at Stony Brook,” he said. “But I’m going to look to do some other races.”



Harrison Report Roundup Girls Lacrosse 5/16 Brewster d. Harrison 17-1 Harrison bowed in its first-round game against eighth-seeded Brewster last week, as the Bears got off to a hot start and never looked back. Brewster was led by Kristen Ohrberg, who scored six times on the afternoon, while Christina Mill and Lauren DiTianto each had three goals of their own. Harrison’s lone goal was scored by Erica LaManna. Though the loss was a disappointing finish to the season, the young Huskies should be even better next year with some more playoff experience under their belt.

Boys Lacrosse 5/16 Somers d. Harrison 11-8 In the first round of the lacrosse playoffs, 13-seed Harrison fared well against the fourthseeded Tuskers, but couldn’t do enough to come away with a win, falling 11-8 in a competitive game. Somers was led by David Rubenstein, who tallied four goals on the day, but teammate Marc Fiocco added three of his own. Harrison was led by Jake Marino, who found the net four times, while brothers Charlie and Owen van Tongeren both scored twice for the Huskies.

Track On May 19, both the boys and girls track teams from Harrison High School were crowned Class B champions at the county meet. Competing against the top schools from around Westchester County, Harrison not only fared well against Class B competition, but against the pool at-large. In fact, the boys team finished fifth out of 49 schools in open scoring. Trey Wasilesky was the team’s only open medal winner, as he won the steeplechase event. Now, Harrison will look ahead to the May 25 section championships.

Softball 5/17 Pleasantville d. Harrison 9-2 Pleasantville continued their strong play with a win over the Huskies last week, riding starter Alicia Marino’s solid performance to a victory. Marino allowed eight hits, but minimized the damage against Harrison and helped her own cause at the plate with a tworun homer. The two Harrison runs were driven in by Jordan Valentzas and Jenna Vaccaro. Harrison is currently awaiting the results of the May 22 seeding meeting that will determine its postseason draw.

Harrison’s boys track team took first place in Class B at the county meet on May 19. The boys also placed fifth in open scoring.

Erica Dattero carries the ball during a May 8 game against Westlake. Harrison’s season ended last week with a first-round playoff exit. Photo/Mike Smith

The Harrison girls track team took first place in Class B, as well. The Huskies are currently gearing up for the Section I championships. Contributed Photos

The Harrison Report, 5-24-2013