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Vol. 13/Number 26

We’re Out!

Harrison’s Class of 2013 has left the building For coverage, see pages 22-23

June 28, 2013

2 • The HARRISON REPORT • June 28, 2013

June 28, 2013 • The HARRISON REPORT • 3

DEC decides on Beaver Swamp Brook By DANIEL OFFNER STAFF REPORTER

The saga surrounding the Beaver Swamp Brook may finally be drawing to a close now that the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has issued its interim decision ruling in favor of Harrison’s plans. Located at the crossroads of Oakland and Halstead avenues in the Town of Harrison, the vacant DEC-regulated Brownfield property was planned as the site of new ballfields during the administration of former Republican Mayor Steve Malfitano, but over the years has seen opposition from Rye City and residents of both communities, who firmly believe dirt fill already carted on to the site is increasing flooding in the area. While the future of the site still remains unclear, the DEC’s June 12, 2013 decision denies the City of Rye’s appeals—a ruling finding no impact to flooding—and holds firm that Harrison may potentially be granted the right to construct a scaled-down version of the longdebated Project Homerun. “The appeal confirms that we are moving closer to having a hearing and, ultimately, the issuance of a full DEC permit to allow the project to move forward,” said Harrison Town Attorney Frank Allegretti. First conceived in the early 2000s by former Harrison Mayor Steve Malfitano, a Republican, Homerun was initially intended to include the construction of an elaborate baseball diamond, gazebo, walking trails and parking lot structures within the Beaver Swamp Brook floodplain. The most recent chapter of the ongoing legal hoopla surrounding the property comes after a series of appeals made by neighboring Rye, which, in collaboration with affected Harrison property owners, had contested the initial rulings of Daniel P. O’Connell, an administrative law judge overseeing the case. According to O’Connell, under the State Environmental Quality Review Act law, or SEQRA, the City of Rye’s arguments, as it relates to flooding, did not have merit in the case since it was outside of the judge’s scope. Now, after more than a year of silence from the state Department of Environmental Conservation, its Commissioner Joseph J. Martens has issued an interim decision affirming O’Connell’s rulings. Rye further requested Harrison conduct additional reviews of potential flood impacts. However, the DEC commissioner upheld O’Connell’s decision, finding that Rye’s claims fell outside its jurisdiction, citing Harrison’s SEQRA review is beyond the scope of the proceeding. “The DEC staff and the DEC Commissioner rejected all the main arguments raised by the City of Rye and individual interveners,” Allegretti added. Although the commissioner maintained O’Connell’s decision , the DEC plans to hold a hearing, to be scheduled after press time, which will determine whether Harrison could move forward with the downsized proposal for Project Home Run.

The fate of a recreational project on the Beaver Swamp Brook property, pictured here, located at the intersection of Halstead and Oakland avenues in downtown Harrison remains in limbo. File photo

However, in order to receive the permit to begin construction of the ballfield, the town would have to satisfy standards that weigh the loss of flood control benefits from the wetland property against the pressing economic or social need for the project. After review of the interim decision, Rye City Attorney Kristen Wilson said that when a municipality files certain objections with interstate departments, the permit process is dragged out, leaving petitioners waiting in anticipation for the hearing. The ensuing battle with the state DEC has been an elongated process spanning the extent of three different administrations in Harrison and two in the City of Rye. “Now there is going to be a conference call with all parties sometime in early July, and at that time, the issues will be clarified for the actual hearing,” Wilson said. All four parties involved in the case will be in attendance, including Harrison residents Doug Schaper and Michael LaDore, Rye and Harrison, the administrative law judge, and the DEC. Should the proceedings of the adjudicatory hearing not go the city’s way, it would be up to the Rye City Council to determine whether or not they wish to sue Harrison. Procedurally, this would require an appeal in the form of an Article 78 petition that would be processed in the Westchester County Supreme Court. “That’s based on the timeline so far,” Wilson added. “The process has been slow. I think we will know a lot more after this conference call and we get the date for the hearing.” If the hearing is in October, for example, it is feasible if the judge renders decision that the conflict could be over before the next Rye City Council takes office. Four seats on the City Council are up for re-election including Mayor Douglas French, a Republican. Park Avenue resident Mike Ladore, who has experienced increased flooding in recent years which he attributes to fill brought onto the project site, said that while the interim decision was disappointing, that the matter is not over yet. “I think it’s frustrating that things are not in the DEC’s purview,” Ladore said. “There are too many entities of government who turn a blind eye.” Ladore also said he would like the DEC to acknowledge that additional fill was brought into the area, and that he would like to get FEMA more involved. “There are no slam dunks, but I think our case is very strong,” Ladore said. -With reporting by LIZ BUTTON

4 • The HARRISON REPORT • June 28, 2013

Community Briefs Harrison Library children’s events Open Play at the Library June 28 at 10 a.m. 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. Harrison Public Library events Volunteers Needed for Summer Reading Program If you are 14 years old or older, you can share your love of reading with children this summer. Earn community service hours and feel good about helping others. Volunteer this summer to read with children and help make our summer reading program a success. Stop by the information desk at the downtown library to fill out an application. For info, call 914-835-0324. 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 June 27 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. Women of jazz Saturday, June 29 at 8 p.m.

The White Plains Performing Arts Center presents Women of Jazz on Saturday, June 29 at 8 p.m. in the theatre on the third level of City Center in downtown White Plains. The program on June 29 features the music of Dinah Washington, Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday in an evening of smooth tunes from some of the most distinctive young jazz singers performing in NYC today. Join Kat Gang, Terese Genecco and LaTanya Hall as they wrap their spinetingling vocals around classics such as “That ‘Ol Black Magic,” “What a Difference a Day Makes,” “Mr. Wonderful” and “Strange Fruit,” accompanied by the Barry Levitt Trio. We’re chilling the martinis and turning up the sizzle. Tickets are $35 for adults; $25 for students in high school and younger. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit the WPPAC website at www.wppac. com, call the box office at 914 328-1600 or visit the box office during business hours at the third level of City Center. Westchester County Nature Center Events Reptile and Amphibian Seek-out 2 p.m. Saturday, June 29 Marshlands Conservancy, Boston Post Road, Route 1, Rye 914 835-4466 Kids can have fun looking for and learning about snakes, frogs and a big snapping turtle. Archaeology Open House 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, June 30 Croton Point Nature Center, Croton Point Avenue, Croton-on-Hudson 914-862-5297 View the collection and learn about the history of the area with members of the New York State Archaeological Association, Lower Hudson Chapter. Classical music performance at Katonah’s Caramoor On Sunday, July 21 at 4:30 p.m. in the Venetian Theater, The Emerson String Quartet will make its American debut performance with its new cellist, Paul Watkins. Watkins, a much-lauded cellist as well as music director of the English Chamber Orchestra, replaces David Finckel. The distinguished soloist, award-winning conductor, and dedicated chamber musician joins the quartet’s Eugene Drucker, Philip Setzer and Lawrence Dutton for their 37th season. Watkins officially joined the group May

11, 2013, and will perform with his new colleagues extensively throughout North America, Europe, and Asia after the Caramoor debut. Tickets: $15, $20, $30, $40. Children under 18 are half price. To order tickets, call the box office at 914232-1252 or visit Blood drive We will be hosting, hopefully with the EMS Team, an emergency American Red Cross blood drive for the Oklahoma disaster on Wednesday July 31st. It will be at the Veteran’s Building at 210 Halstead Ave., Harrison, N.Y. Hours are 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Summer art classes at Greenburgh Nature Center Enjoy a five-class series of art instruction. Learn, explore and create in the beautiful outdoor setting of the nature center. Students work independently and in groups, learning to use a variety of basic supplies, as well as simple sketching, painting and more. Each class focuses on a new technique, ranging from landscapes to portraits, cartoons to still-lifes. Instructor Jake Hurwitz is a fun, outgoing and experienced art teacher who relates well with

young students. Session Dates: Saturdays, July 13 to Aug. 10 Sundays, July 14 to Aug. 11 Class Times: Group 1, ages 7 to 10: Saturdays 10 a.m. to noon Group 2, ages 7 to 10: Sundays 10 a.m. to noon Group 3, ages 11 to 14 plus: Saturdays 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Classes run for two hours and are held outdoors, weather permitting. In case of inclement weather, class held indoors. Pre-registration and pre-payment required online. See website to register and pay. Classes start promptly, so please arrive on time. Dress appropriately for outdoor activity. Session Fee, which covers five classes and all supplies: Members $150 Non-members $175 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

Pet Rescue

Madrid is a lovely tortie/calico with a bit of Spanish flair. Very friendly and sweet, she was rescued from a hoarding situation. This charming three-year old has lived happily in a foster home, so she is accustomed to a home environment where there are other cats, dogs and kids. Madrid is spayed, in excellent health and up to date with all vaccinations. The adoption donation for Madrid is $75. To meet Madrid, please contact Larchmont Pet Rescue at 914-834-6955 or visit (Submitted)


The Harrison Report will not print a July 5 edition. The next print date is scheduled for July 12. Happy Fourth of July.

June 28, 2013 • The HARRISON REPORT • 5

6 • The HARRISON REPORT • June 28, 2013

GOP incumbents formally announce re-election bid, rehash past political potboilers By DANIEL OFFNER STAFF REPORTER

With an all-GOP board monopoly hanging in the balance, incumbent Mayor Ron Belmont and Town Council members Joe Cannella and Marlene Amelio, have staked their respective bids for re-election in Harrison this November. The news comes a mere formality with all three candidates long expected to seek additional terms in office but the offensive tactics already in play seems to have surprised some. The trio, after receiving the endorsement of the Harrison Republican Town Committee on June 18, is set to face-off against former Democratic Mayor Joan Walsh, and council candidates Rosemarie Verano and Elizabeth “Jimmi” Pritchard, the town’s Democratic chairwoman. “Under the leadership of Ron Belmont, Harrison has begun a positive journey back to civility, professionalism, and respectability,” Republican Committee Chairman Bob Amelio said. Earning the Republican line, the three incumbents have each touted the town’s ability to maintain existing services under the 2 percent tax levy cap and the business-like atmosphere of council meetings. According to Belmont, under the current administration, board meetings have changed significantly and are no longer a “reality television side-show.” “We plan on running a constructive campaign based on the issues facing our community,” Belmont said. “What it all comes down to is what we have done and where we are going.” Vying for his second term in office, Belmont faces a familiar foe after he was first voted into the mayoral seat—with 63 percent of the vote—in a landslide victory over Walsh in 2011. “Calm has come over Harrison,” Belmont said. “[Walsh’s candidacy] was a surprise, considering her term as mayor was fraught with scandal after scandal.” Under the Walsh administration, two scandals stirred up buzz amongst residents in the community. In 2010, Walsh’s ethics were first called to

Ron Belmont

Marlene Amelio

question after news broke that she borrowed a town-owned golf cart for private use during a family reunion. The other scandal, known throughout the community as the “Facebook Incident,” occurred in 2009, while Walsh was campaigning against former Harrison Police Chief David Hall, a Republican. At the time, three members of the Harrison Police Department were found to have engaged in posting sexist comments directed at Walsh as well as racist ones lobbed at President Obama. The scandal was a big debate point at the time as it became associated with more than a dozen civil lawsuits. At the time, Walsh called for the firing of the three Facebook officers, but was outvoted by the current GOP majority, who decided suspension and community service were adequate punishment. News of the GOP tactics, to re-hash past controversies in town, came as a surprise to Walsh, who said she intends to run a “quiet campaign.” “I think it is more of a scandal that [the policemen called to question] did not get fired,” Walsh said, sticking to her sentiment stated two years prior. Putting the scandal aside, Belmont said Walsh’s last campaign in 2011, “was replete with non-truths and a lack of integrity.” Republicans point to 2011 findings of the Westchester County Fair Campaign Practices Committee, a non-partisan organization with no punitive authority, deeming nine of the Walsh re-election campaign mailers and advertisements unfair.

Joe Cannella

With both the Democratic and Republican committees set on their slate, the two incumbent Town Councilmen say they are ready to face Harrison Democratic Chairwoman “Jimmi” Pritchard and political newcomer Rosemarie Verano for two seats on the board. “I think we’ve historically demonstrated that the town is doing well,” said Councilman Cannella, who has served on the council for 11 years . “Clearly, we are looking to keep the existing team in place.” Cannella has been a resident of Harrison for more than 30 years and currently works as an attorney with the New York City firm Eaton & Van Winkle LLP. Seeking her second term, Councilwoman Amelio is a speech and language pathologist, who strongly believes the current administra-

tion is working on the same page to find new and innovative means to collect revenue while keeping taxes low. “I think we’re a cohesive group that is working together for the continued success of Harrison by maintaining taxes and sustaining services,” she said. During the last budget cycle, the council adopted a 2.94 percent tax rate increase, which the incumbents say is the lowest reported in the town in more than 15 years. “Joan [Walsh] cost thousands [of dollars] in Harrison and only has limited financial experience,” Councilwoman Amelio added, citing Walsh’s goal of reducing the frequency of town spending. “But, I never think that the competition should be dismissed.” However, according to Walsh, she spent the four years in office working to keep costs down, but feels as though the town has reverted back to bonding and spending, further adding to the roughly $80 million in outstanding debt. Apart from the three candidates running for political office, the Harrison Republican Town Committee endorsed Town Clerk Jackie Greer and Receiver of Taxes Nancy BriotteMasi on their re-election bids. In the Town/Village of Harrison, the Mayor/Supervisor serves a two-year term in office, while town councilpersons are elected to a four-year term. Town clerk and receiver of taxes serve two-year terms of office.

200 William St., Port Chester, N.y. 10573 | Tel: (914) 653-1000 Fax: (914) 653-5000 Publisher | Howard Sturman ext. 21,

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Advertising Coordinator | Marcia Schultz Classifieds, Subsciptions

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June 28, 2013 • The HARRISON REPORT • 7

Rock out for the 4th; I’m ready for my close-up harrison Happenings Mayor Ron Belmont

It’s time, once again, to get ready for Harrison’s summer concert series. This annual event is enjoyed by many Harrison residents and guests. The series kick-off will begin at 7:45 p.m. on July 4. Reunion, Harrison’s own 60’s and 70’s rock n’ roll rhythm and blues band, will be the entertainment for the evening’s festivities. Fireworks will begin promptly at 9 p.m. at the Claremon Shopping Center on Halstead Avenue in downtown Harrison. Future July events include musical entertainment by Back to the Garden, Sundown, Emilio Magnotta, Rat Race Choir, Reddy Valentino Orchestra, Don Felice and The Wanderers. All concerts begin at 7 p.m. Please visit our website at or call the Recreation Department hotline at 670-3039 for event locations and additional information. I look forward to seeing you all there. The Harrison Youth Council is dedicated to reducing the use of alcohol, tobacco, drugs and other harmful substances by youths in our community. To further these efforts, the council’s Youth Employment Service assists our youth in resume writing, interviewing skills, and job readiness, and then helps place them in available jobs with area residents and businesses. This summer, beginning on June 24, Lisa Calder Vella, the YES coordinator, will be meeting with students in the Harrison Public Library instead of LMK Middle School. Teens are encouraged to take advantage of this very worthwhile program.

The schedule is as follows: Mondays, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., Harrison Public Library Thursdays, 10 a.m. to noon, Harrison Public Library Fridays, 8 a.m. to 11 a.m., Harrison Youth Council office: 84 Calvert St., Harrison by appointment only. Call 835-5700 or email This week, I had the opportunity to be interviewed and filmed for Cablevision’s “Meet the Leaders,” a program highlighting area municipal leaders and local officials. This program investigates issues affecting our communities. Through a question and answer format facilitated by a Cablevision moderator, the program helps viewers understand and appreciate the necessary steps in public policy formation and decision-making. It was a gratifying experience, and I believe the information presented is valuable and informative. Commencing on Sunday, June 30, base schedule subject to some pre-emption, my segment will be aired on Southern Westchester’s government channel 78. Be sure to tune in, at various intervals, throughout the week. In closing, I would like to recognize the recent graduates from all of our local high schools. It was with great pleasure that I attended this year’s Harrison High School graduation and I am impressed by all the fine young men and women I witnessed accepting their diplomas. Congratulations to all students and their families on this very important milestone. The next “Lunch with the Mayor” is on Friday, July 5 and I will be at Land and Sea Restaurant located at 307 Halstead Ave. 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.

Letters Come on, Ron. What have you accomplished? To the Editor, The following is a response to Mayor Ron Belmont’s columns: I do not know if I have missed it, but I have yet to read anything in any of your columns of any substance, not one since you became mayor. You have never told us what is being done with the town’s strategic plan. You have never reported the results of the benchmarking that was to be conducted, not even reporting if the work was done. I do not remember reading what happened with the town’s negotiations with its unions. And I certainly do not remember reading about any decisions that were made to change, strategically, what services are provided or the way they are provided. We have read a lot about the numerous events that you have attended. So, we know about what you do in the ceremonial part of your job, but not the fiduciary responsibility part of your job. Maybe you and the Town Council should finally agree that the two roles should be split. Maybe we need a town supervisor who is a professional at running the business of the town and a mayor who cuts the ribbons, attends the parades and festivals, etc. I have no idea what you are going to say your accomplishments were when your term comes to an end, but if you are doing anything, why not let us know? Jerry Lieberman, Harrison

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

Collected on Mamaroneck Avenue in Mamaroneck “Our dog has to have an operation this week, and my car broke down.” Bruce Nathan, 73, Larchmont

“No one wants to give me money to ban fracking in New York State.” James Brownie, 20, Mount Vernon

“I hate inconsiderate people.”

“Getting the apartment finished.”

Maria Vidal, 23, Port Chester

Bob Shapiro, 69, Mamaroneck

-Photos and reporting by COREY BAUMER

8 • The HARRISON REPORT • June 28, 2013

HHS marching band donates to Red Cross

The directors, officers and members of the Harrison High School marching band as well as the co-presidents of the HHS Band Parent Association were on hand to present the American Red Cross Chapter of New York with a donation for $2,500 toward ongoing relief efforts and other local disaster issues. The band and the band parent association developed the idea to donate the proceeds of the Section 1 football playoff concession stand after Harrison felt the impact of Hurricane Sandy. “Most of Harrison was still without power,” said HHS band Co-Director Charlie Briem. “But it was reassuring to see the community gather together and support one another at the football game.”

Grace Polakoff, co-president of the HHS Band Parent Association agreed. “Hurricane Sandy devastated so much of what we know and love. The band parents association decided to give back and donate the proceeds of the last football game concession stand to the Red Cross. We had signs up stating the donation and the fans on both sides were very generous with their purchases and contributions.” Mary Davis of the Red Cross was on hand to personally accept the check on the charity’s behalf. She spoke of how the money would help families that were still suffering after Sandy, but also others who had been affected by fires and flooding. (Submitted)

HHS junior Halle wins Gershwin Award Harrison High School junior Halle Mastroberardino received the Gershwin Award for Best Performance by a Lead Actress at the CAP 21 studios’ annual Gershwin Awards, a musical theatre studio of New York University, on May 18. Mastroberardino and HHS junior Lucas Pettinato were nominated by their Harrison teachers and were invited by the Gershwin Committee to represent the school’s “Crazy For You” production. The pair spent the day among talented students from high schools in Westchester County and Manhattan, participating in ensemble workshops and individual coaching sessions overseen by Broadway coaches and actors. Mastroberardino and Pettinato then performed one of their solos from “Crazy For You” for a panel of judges. As a result of winning the Gershwin Award, Mastroberardino received a full scholarship to CAP 21’s Summer Pre-College Musical Theatre Training program and Musical College Auditions Prep Program, a $1,000 scholarship toward continued education, and an invitation to compete in the National High School Musical Theatre Awards‑The Jimmy Awards‑to be held from June 26 to July 2 on Broadways’ Minskoff Theatre stage. (Submitted)


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Lifestyles of Westchester County/JUNE 2013 Vol.15 NO.97



Lifestyle June 2013 | SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT TO

The Harrison Report

STARTING STRONG How to make the gym work for you from the get-go

THE HIDDEN TRUTH Lesser known benefits of cardiovascular exercise

MAKING THE CUT Simple ways to cut calories

Go Online to view this section!

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The lesser known benefits of

cardiovascular exercise Active people tend to have varying views on cardiovascular exercise, or cardio. Often done at the end of a workout, cardio rarely evokes a staid response from fitness afficionados asked to share their thoughts on this valuable type of exercise. Fans of cardio will admit they love the feeling they get during and after a rigorous round of this type of exercise, which includes activities like running, cycling and walking. But those men and women who dread their time on the treadmill, elliptical machine or stationary bike are likely to categorize cardio as a boring and uninspiring activity. But regardless of a person’s opinion on cardio, there’s no denying it offers numerous benefits, many of which even avid athletes might be unaware. • Cardio boosts brain power. Perhaps the least known benefit of cardio is its positive impact on the brain. During cardiovascular exercise, the brain is being flooded with chemicals that improve decision making, memory and problem solving. Cardio can also help preserve memory and improve its ability to learn. So while the physical

benefits of exercise are widely known and noticeable to the naked eye, cardiovascular exercise can be just as effective at improving cognitive function. • Cardio can improve your appearance. Improving physical appearance is a motivating factor for many physically active men and women, and cardio can go a long way toward improving physical appearance because it increases lean body tissue while reducing fat. Cardiovascular exercise is a healthy way to burn calories, and burning calories is a healthy means to losing weight. • Cardio can help reduce the severity of preexisting conditions. Arthritis sufferers have long looked to cardiovascular exercise as a healthy means to relieving the pain caused by their condition. Water exercises like swimming make for great cardiovascular exercises, especially for those looking to relieve arthritis pain. That’s because an exercise such as swimming keeps joints moving while strengthening muscles surrounding those joints. Studies have shown that cardiovascular exercise also can lower blood pressure.

• Cardio can improve mood. Cardiovascular exercise can benefit men and women suffering from depression or those who are simply having a bad day. That’s because the mood-boosting chemical serotonin is released to the brain during cardio, helping to improve mood and alleviate symptoms of depression or fatigue. • Cardio can make tomorrow’s workout easier. Recovery time is important to athletes, many of whom want to ensure

their bodies are ready for tomorrow’s workout even before they finish today’s. Cardiovascular exercise helps to deliver more oxygen-rich blood to muscle tissue, aiding in tissue repair and recovery. The quicker your body can rebound from today’s workout, the more effective tomorrow’s workout will be. So even if you don’t enjoy that pit stop at the treadmill before you head home, it’s paying more dividends than you might know.

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Simple ways to cut calories P

eople take a variety of approaches when attempting to lose weight. Some try fad diets that may or may not produce results, while others commit to a daily exercise regimen. One of the more popular ways men and women attempt to lose weight is to cut calo-

When making a sandwich, hold the mayo in favor of mustard, which contains far fewer calories.

ries from their diets. Cutting calories can be an effective way to shed extra pounds, but it should be done in a way that does not compromise your overall health for the sake of a slimmer waistline. Any changes adults make to their diets should be discussed with their physicians prior to going forward, but the following are a handful of healthy ways to cut calories. • Put away the potato chips. Potato chips are a favorite snack of many people, but those delicious chips could be a reason your belt size is getting bigger. Instead of potato chips, opt for air-popped popcorn, which contains roughly one-fourth the amount of calories as potato chips. Popcorn also is a whole grain, which means you’ll be adding fiber, minerals and vitamins to your diet while decreasing your caloric intake. • Add healthy flavor to your pasta. Perhaps because it’s become increasingly available in recent years, whole grain pasta has risen in popularity. But men and women looking to cut calories can go even further when cooking up some pasta for dinner.

When making whole grain pasta, cook about half the amount you normally would, and then add fresh or even frozen vegetables to the mix. Reducing the amount of pasta will reduce the amount of calories you consume, and the vegetables will add nutrients to your diet. Another way to cut calories from your favorite pasta dishes is to leave the parmesan cheese on the sideline. Parmesan cheese can be loaded with in calories, and the vegetables should add all the flavor you need. • Choose the right condiment for your sandwich. Many people love a good deli sandwich slathered in mayonnaise. But while that sandwich might be delicious, that mayo could be adding a significant number of calories to your meal. One tablespoon of mayonnaise can have as many as 57 calories, while an alternative like mustard can be just as flavorful while containing far fewer calories. • Say “so long” to soft drinks. Perhaps no method to cutting calories is more effective for soft drink lovers than cutting soft drinks from their diets. Sugary beverages are not only loaded with calories, but such

drinks offset the body’s blood sugar, increasing appetite as a result. Instead of reaching for a soft drink at the convenience store or at home, try water. It’s a much healthier alternative, and it’s sure to help you achieve a slimmer waistline. • Don’t forget to eat fruit. Fruit is not just a fresh and delicious snack, it’s also a fiber- and antioxidant-rich and low-calorie alternative to more popular snack foods. Strawberries are a popular fruit, and men and women might be surprised to learn that a pound of strawberries contains nearly the same amount of calories as a half-cup of vanilla ice cream. When eating breakfast in the morning, add some fruit to your cereal or oatmeal. Allowing the fruit to occupy some of the space that would otherwise be occupied by more cereal or oatmeal will lower your caloric intake while adding fiber and antioxidants to your diet. When choosing fruits, opt for fresh instead of dried fruit. Sugar and calories are much more concentrated in dried fruits than fresh fruits, so choose fresh fruits whenever possible.

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A lifetime of healthy vision is the goal of the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary’s Rye Brook office By Alfonso Ponce, MD

Previously in Inside Westchester, we discussed the importance of remaining active and spending time outdoors for the health of your eyes. The younger you are when you start, the better your body will be prepared to confront the changes that happen with aging. A study published in the prestigious journal Ophthalmology in May reported that children who spent more time playing outdoors will be less likely to develop myopia compared to children spending the same amount of time indoors. High myopia (extreme nearsightedness) is an eye condition that can put your eye at risk for many other problems. If left uncorrected in a child, it can produce amblyopia (or lazy eye), preventing that eye to see clear permanently. Eyes that develop high myopia are more prone to have retinal tears and detachment which can lead to blindness in later years if left untreated. A good ophthalmological and retinal evaluation can determine if you have myopia or any retinal problems. Another benefit of remaining active outdoors is to maintain good circulation in the body and to consume ingested calories, reducing the chance to develop systemic diseases. Mayor Bloomberg launched a campaign in New York City to restrict the ingestion of sugar-loaded beverages since there’s a direct link to obesity.

Obesity in turn can produce diabetes mellitus, high blood pressure and high cholesterol–all of which are risk factors for diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration. Smoking is another risk factor in eye disease. So, even if you are taking medication to keep cholesterol or systemic blood pressure controlled, but you are a smoker, it’s equally important to check your retina early before it gets affected. In addition to time outdoors and control of smoking, your eyes are helped by a good balanced diet including green vegetables that are high in antioxidants and Lutein, fish (especially salmon that is rich in omega acid) and berries. Commercially available supplements that contain Lutein, beta carotene and omega-3 can support the health of your eye. But always discuss the use of supplements with your ophthalmologist or your primary physician before starting taking them. So summer is here, get your hiking gear and hit the beautiful trails that the area has to offer. Don’t forget your sunglasses and sun block. And remember, balance is the key to a healthy life. To make an appointment with Dr. Ponce, please call 914-934-5280 or visit www.nyee. edu/westchester to book online through ZocDoc.

Reasons to include

more dairy in your diet


healthy diet can improve quality of life and reduce a person’s risk of developing disease or other negative health conditions. For example, a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can boost the immune system and promote cardiovascular health, lowering your risk of heart disease in the process. While the benefits of including fruits and vegetables in your diet are widely known, the medical benefits of dairy are often overlooked. The following are a handful of ways that dairy products like low-fat milk, cottage cheese and yogurt can make a nutritious and beneficial addition to your diet. • Dairy packs a protein- and calcium-laden punch. One cup of nonfat yogurt can provide as much as one-third of your daily recommended calcium intake and nearly 20 percent of your daily recommended protein intake. Though dairy products like ice cream don’t pack the same nutritious punch as yogurt, healthier fare like reduced-fat cheese and skim milk can go a long way toward meeting your daily intake of protein and calcium. • Dairy is a great source of vitamin D. In addition to providing sufficient calcium and protein, dairy also helps men, women and children boost their vitamin D. That’s especially important in the winter months when people tend to get less exposure to the sun. Exposure to the sun is a natural way to boost your vitamin D, but the shorter days and colder weather of winter can make it hard to get sufficient vitamin D during that time of year. Dairy products like low-fat milk can boost your vitamin D, which can improve your bone health and, according to recent research, might help reduce your cancer risk. • Dairy may help lower your blood pressure. Men and women with high blood pressure might benefit from including more dairy in their diets. In a study of 5,000 adults, Spanish researchers found that those who reported consuming the most low-fat dairy products were more than 50 percent less likely to develop high blood pressure than those who consumed less low-fat dairy. Though researchers are not certain as to the reason behind low-fat dairy products’ impact

on blood pressure, some theorize that their calcium and protein content are likely behind the benefit. • Dairy benefits your bones. Dairy has long been known to improve bone density. But it’s not just seniors who benefit from the bonestrengthening impact of dairy. Youngsters who consume dairy can also expect an increase in bone mass, which can make them less susceptible to injuries like broken bones. Seniors who consume dairy to improve their bone density should know that a recent study from researchers at the Institute for Aging Research found that not all dairy products are equal when it comes to improving bone density. While milk and yogurt were linked to higher bone mineral density, dairy products like cream and ice cream contain less protein, calcium and vitamin D and more fat and sugar than yogurt and milk, and these products may actually be associated with lower bone mineral density. Though there are many ways men and women can improve their overall health, it’s important to consider the nutritional value of dairy when making any alterations to your diet.

INSIDE WC I June 2013 • 7

8 • June 2013 I INSIDE WC

Make the gym work for you from the get-go M

any people aspire to adopt a healthy lifestyle that includes regular exercise, which medical professionals have long advised is an essential element of a healthy life. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend adults get at least two hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, such as brisk walking, every week and some muscle-strengthening activities that focus on all the major muscle groups on two or more days per week. While adhering to such an exercise regimen might not appear that difficult on the surface, many men and women know just how difficult it can be to make the transition from a relatively inactive lifestyle to one in which exercise is a significant part of the daily routine. Much of that difficulty stems from the intimidation many people feel when visiting a gym. Walking into a gym for the first time can be similar to the first day of school, when a lack of familiarity with one’s surroundings inspired fear and anxiety. But there are ways individuals can make their first forays into the fitness club a success right from the start. • Familiarize yourself with the layout prior to your first workout. It’s easy to feel like an outsider when visiting a gym for the first time. Your fellow members already know their way around, and you might be hesitant to ask any of them for advice as to where certain equipment might be. To avoid a wasted workout opportunity spent wandering around the gym, ask a gym representative to show you around once you’re ready to start exercising. Such a tour was likely provided when you signed up for the gym, but the layout is easily forgotten between that visit and your first workout. Allow a trainer or another gym employee to show you the ropes right before your first workout so you don’t feel as though you’re lost in a vast sea of dumbbells and treadmills. • Accept the gym’s offer of a free training session. Many fitness clubs offer a free consultation with a personal trainer to new members. Accept this offer regardless of your fitness level or familiarity with the facility. The trainer can help you find your way around and tailor your workout to meet your goals. You may even find working with a personal trainer is something you want to do, and this can prove a great introduction to a service that many men and women find valuable and motivational. • Don’t worry about what your fellow members are doing and thinking. One of the biggest mistakes you can make at the

Enlisting a friend as a workout partner is one way to increase the chances your workout routine will be a success from the get-go.

Skip stretching before a workout Stretching before a workout may not be as beneficial as people once thought. Reserve stretching for your post-workout routine.


any athletes have been told to stretch before starting a workout, as such a routine prepares the body for physical exertion. But new evidence suggests that stretching before a workout may do more harm than good.

onset of a new fitness regimen is paying too much attention to what your fellow members are doing. Just because someone working out next to you can bench press a few hundred pounds does not mean you should attempt to follow suit. It’s easy to feel as though your fellow gym members are watching you workout and judging your performance, but oftentimes nothing could be further from the truth. They’re likely too locked in on their own workout to notice what you’re doing, so don’t feel embarrassed if you feel like you’re not lifting enough weight or going easy on yourself on the treadmill. The more you workout, the more comfortable you’ll become and your performance will reflect that comfort level. What’s more, the more comfortable you become the less attention you will pay to your fellow members. • Find a time that works for you. When beginning a new workout routine, it helps to visit the gym at different times to find the time that best fits your schedule and makes you feel most comfortable. Beginners often prefer to avoid peak hours when fitness clubs tend to be most crowded. Many clubs are most busy during the post-work hours of 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

During these hours, beginners may feel intimidated by other members who appear to be in tip-top shape or frustrated when having to share machines with other members. But some beginners might be motivated by a packed gym. To find the time that’s right for you and your schedule, visit the gym at various times of day over the first couple of weeks of your membership. Once you find a time that fits, commit to visiting the gym at that time several days per week. Establishing a routine is essential to making your exercise regimen a success. • Go with a friend. Enlisting a friend to workout with you on the buddy system is a great way to stay committed to a workout routine. A friend who works out with you can motivate you to go on those days when you really don’t want to, which is a significant hurdle to clear for beginners and veterans alike. When choosing a workout partner, make it known to each other that you both expect to be held accountable to your joint commitment. Beginning a new workout regimen can be exciting and intimidating. But beginners can employ several strategies to ensure their new lifestyle is a hit right off the bat.

Several studies now indicate that static stretching, or slowly moving muscles until they start to hurt and then holding the position, may impair strength and speed. One study published in the April 2013 Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research concluded that those who stretch before lifting weights could find themselves feeling wobblier and weaker than expected. Another study at the University of Zagreb in Croatia reviewed 104 studies of people who practiced static stretching as a warm-up. Muscle strength was reduced by more than 5 percent in those who stretched. Another study examined men who did basic squats while lifting barbells. Men who stretched and those who didn’t were examined. Those who stretched lifted 8.3 percent less weight than those who skipped stretching. Many personal trainers now discourage extensive stretching before a workout, feeling that stretching post-workout provides the most benefit. A number of people have long confused stretching with warming up muscles, but static stretching is a different activity from actual muscle warmup, which generally involves low-impact movement of the body. There is no evidence that STRETCHING continued on page 10

INSIDE WC I June 2013 • 9


Fostering healthy eating habits in children

f kids had their way, pizza, chicken fingers and french fries would make up a significant portion of their diets. But parents know they must make kids’ culinary choices for them so youngsters get all of the vitamins and nutrients they need to grow up strong and healthy. Parents also tend to know how difficult it can be to convince kids to embrace healthy eating. Healthy eating habits can help kids live healthier lives and perform better in the classroom while setting them up for a lifetime of making the right choices at mealtime. Though encouraging kids to eat healthy may not always be easy, the following are a few tips for parents hoping to foster healthy eating habits in their children. • Stick to a schedule. Parents should establish a regular eating schedule, for both meals and snacks, so kids learn the importance of not skipping meals. Kids who learn to eat at regular intervals are more likely to continue doing so as they grow older. When kids stick to a meal schedule, they are less likely to overeat and they’re likely to have more energy

throughout the day, which should help them stay attentive at school and be more engaged in their extracurricular activities. • Involve kids when choosing the menu. Kids might be more excited about eating healthy when you involve them in choosing the menu. Invite them along on trips to the grocery store and allow them to choose one of their favorite foods for the meal in exchange for eating the healthy fare you have chosen. Parents may end up eating a lot of side dishes of macaroni and cheese, but their youngsters will also end up eating their vegetables. • Plan healthy desserts. Dessert is often considered an unhealthy indulgence, but there’s plenty of nutritious desserts that are so delicious kids likely will not realize they’re eating healthy. A dessert of fresh fruit and a small serving of yogurt can provide the same post-meal refreshment as ice cream or cake, but it does so with much fewer calories and a lot more nutrients and vitamins. What’s more, kids will come to look at dessert as a chance to eat fresh fruits instead of an opportunity to load up on ice cream or other, less healthy alternatives.

• Serve healthy portions. Sometimes it’s not just what is on the plate but how much is on the plate that can be healthy or unhealthy. When doling out portions for the family, create healthy portions so kids are not encouraged to overeat. Kids who grow up eating healthy portions are more likely to continue doing so into adulthood. Overeating is one of the culprits behind being overweight and obese, so kids who learn to control their portions are much less likely to overeat and gain excess weight. • Don’t reward kids with food. Some parents try to reward youngsters with food, allowing kids to indulge in unhealthy fare in acknowledgement of a good report card or something else kids should be proud of. But using food as a reward is an unhealthy eating habit that can lead to problems down the road as kids become adults responsible for their own eating habits.

• Set a positive example. Kids are more likely to eat healthy when mom and dad are healthy eaters. If your first choice at snack time is to reach for a bag of potato chips, then don’t be surprised when your kids opt for chips over healthier fare like a piece of fruit. “Do as I say, not as I do” is a tough sell to youngsters when it comes to their eating habits, so parents should set a positive example for their kids by ensuring their own diets are healthy.

10 • June 2013 I INSIDE WC

7 myths

SHRETCHING from page 8

about body fat


ody fat is often considered the enemy for those looking to get fit. People will try many types of diets and exercise in an effort to rid their bodies of excess fat, and such regimens produce varying degrees of success. Part of what makes fat so confounding is the misconceptions surrounding this natural component of anatomy. By separating the myths from the facts, men and women might find their efforts to banish body fat that much more successful.

stretching before a workout makes muscles more limber or reduces the risk of injury during a workout. Some experts liken stretching muscles prior to working out to overstretching a rubber band. The muscles may get limp and overworked prematurely and then not be able to perform to peak when power intensity is needed. Others argue that when

people engage in stretching, the muscles are actually tightening, rather than relaxing, which may make athletes more prone to injury. Stretching improves flexibility and range of movement. But some fitness experts suggest stretching be reserved for times when exercise will not immediately follow, such as after a workout has been completed.

Myth #1: Body fat is only under the surface of the skin. While body fat near the surface of the skin, which is known as subcutaneous fat, may be most noticeable, body fat is actually accumulated throughout the body. Organs can accumulate fat, and this internal fat, known as visceral fat, can wrap around the heart and marble muscle. According to Dr. David Haslam, clinical director of the National Obesity Forum, visceral fat can be toxic and unhealthy. When people begin to exercise, they burn away this visceral fat and the results are often noticeable shortly after an exercise regimen begins. Myth #2: Muscle turns to fat without exercise. Muscle and fat are two separate entities, and one cannot become the other. People will gain weight after they stop exercising because fat will begin to accumulate more readily because it isn’t being burned. Fat may mask muscles that were once there and are no longer as pronounced. However, the muscles will not turn to fat. Upon returning to regular exercise, a person can regain his or her physique. Myth #3: Body fat develops from eating fatty foods. Fat in food will not necessarily turn to fat on the body. That piece of bacon will no more turn into a spare tire around your midsection than would a banana. Fat is formed from excess calories. When the body takes in more calories than it uses for energy, that excess is stored as fat reserves. Whether calories come from a lean protein or fatty gristle, if the calories are all used up they will not turn into fat. Myth #4: Starving oneself will burn fat. Depriving the body of calories may initially force it to burn body fat stores. However, if the calorie restriction is so marked, the body may actually go into “starvation mode,” where it breaks down fats more slowly. Also, when food is reintroduced, the body may store more fat in anticipation of

future deprivation. This can cause a person to gain more weight and body fat than if he or she had just adhered to a moderate diet all along. Myth #5: A person can lose body fat from just one area. There are a number of exercises purported to burn fat from a specific area of the body. For example, doing hundreds of crunches will banish belly fat. However, fat will not diminish in just one spot from targeted exercise. The body burns fat evenly so that one portion is not depleted more than another, resulting in an area of the body that is not naturally insulated by fat. Therefore, a diet and exercise plan will produce gradual shedding of body fat all over the body. Yet, the appearance of diminished fat may be visible in particular areas more so than others. Myth #6: Fat modulates body temperature. Scientists used to believe that body fat was instrumental in regulating body temperature. New information suggests that it is actually muscle that helps regulate body temperature, although it is not entirely understood why. According to a report published in Nature Medicine, muscle protein called scarlopin is believed to help regulate body temperature. Muscle contractions also help to generate heat. Myth #7: Fat weighs less than muscle. Muscle and fat weigh the same. A pound of bricks will weigh the same as a pound of cotton. Muscle is more dense than fat, so if a person is exercising and building muscle while shedding fat, he or she may not notice a big change in weight. Body fat is often shrouded in mystery, but understanding the science behind body fat can make shedding it that much easier.

INSIDE WC I June 2013 • 11

Understanding and fighting hypertension

go hand-in-hand

study published in the journal Neurology found that people with high blood pressure were significantly less likely to have headaches than those with healthy pressure readings. Nosebleeds have also been linked to high blood pressure, but one study found that 83 percent of patients treated for high blood pressure did not suffer from nosebleeds. Debunking such myths is important, as it further emphasizes the need to receive routine blood pressure readings as the only reliable means for men, women and children to determine if they have high, low or healthy blood pressure. Anyone experiencing frequent headaches or nosebleeds should consult a physician but should not assume such occurrences are a byproduct of high blood pressure. Can certain foods help reduce high blood pressure? One rumor concerning HBP actually has some merit. A heart-healthy diet that includes the following foods can help men, women and children manage their blood pressure and reduce HBP if necessary: • Blueberries: Blueberries contain an-


ypertension, often referred to as high blood pressure, affects millions of people across the globe. According to the American Heart Association, more than 76 million adults in the United States alone have been diagnosed with high blood pressure. But even children and teens can suffer from hypertension, making it a formidable but largely preventable foe. Understanding high blood pressure, or HBP, may encourage adults and children alike to take steps to maintain a healthy blood pressure, which can reduce their risk of heart attack, stroke and kidney disease. What is HBP? HBP is often associated with men and women who are considered to be constantly on edge, nervous or hyperactive. But even laid back men, women and children can suffer from HBP. As a person’s heart beats, it creates pressure that pushes blood through the body’s arteries and veins. Those arteries are made of muscle and a semi-flexible tissue that stretches when the blood is pumped through them. The more forcefully that blood is pumped, the more that flexible tissue is stretched. When the tissue is stretched too much, a person is at

Routine blood pressure screenings are often the only way men and women can learn if they are suffering from high blood pressure. an increased risk of suffering from a host of problems, including blood clots, plaque buildup that can lead to heart attack and stroke, and tissue and organ damage from arteries that have narrowed or become blocked. Are there symptoms of HBP? The AHA notes that HBP is typically devoid of symptoms. So people suffering from HBP may not know it if they have not routinely had their blood pressure checked. Over the years many myths have prevailed regarding HBP. Such myths can be dangerous, giving people a false sense of security regarding their blood pressure. For example, in the early 1900s it was assumed that people with high blood pressure experienced more frequent headaches than those with healthy blood pressure. However, a

thocyanin, a natural compound that a recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found can protect the body against HBP. • Whole grain cereal: A Harvard University study found that whole grain cereals that are high in fiber can reduce a person’s risk of developing HBP. • Beet juice: A study from British researchers published by the AHA in its journal Hypertension found that a glass of beet juice can lower blood pressure in a matter of hours. • Low-fat dairy products: A 2008 study that examined nearly 30,000 women at an average age of 54 found that those who consumed the most low-fat dairy products, including skim or low-fat milk, were significantly less likely to develop high blood pressure than those who consumed dairy products that were high in fat. HBP is a common problem that affects millions of people of all ages across the globe. There are several ways men, women and children can reduce their risk of HBP and lower their blood pressure if it’s already high.

12 • June 2013 I INSIDE WC

June 28, 2013 • The HARRISON REPORT • 21

Harrison High School Class of 2013 Toni Ann. A. Abbatantono Victoria Isabella Acevedo Scott William Adler Bilal Khalid Al Doori Timothy J. Alfieri Ashlee Crystal Alonso Frank J. Antolino Kaylee Cassidy Araoz Amanda Helena Araujo Sara Julia Arce Kyle L. Avery Kent Bryan Ayala Melissa Christine Badalamente William W. Barnwell Samantha K. Batista Brianna Nicole Belmont Sarah Faith Berman Grace Bilotta Jennifer Louisa Blum Kenneth J. Boaz Jake C. Bogart Tania Adriana Bolanos Giret Michelle J. Bracciodieta Jessica K. Bratberg Timothy Patrick Broderick Jason I. Burger Andrew M. Butler Jillian Cacchione Imogen Alana Caird Albert Leon Camardella II Amy M. Carton Daniela Castillo Miranda Nicole Chiarella Samantha Anna Chiarella Christopher B. C. Chin Jennifer Choe Kyle Lawrence Clokey Kaitlyn A. Clow Rebecca P. Cohen Alexa Marie Coloccia Kimberly Conigliaro Jacob B. Coonin Raymond Joseph Corona Christian Rafael Cosentino Charles Michael Credendino Elizabeth R. Crozier Karen Andrea Cujar Bahamon John Morgan Cusick Madeline Claire Cusick Michael F. Cusumano Jason J. D’Amore Kevin James Daraio Belinda Pasqualina DeFonce Christina R. Della Rocco Ashley Lauren DelliPaoli Steven A. DeRenzis Jamie E. DeRosa Arianna Rose Di Quinzio Henry Dobell Dylan A. Dobrenis Anshul K. Doshi

Stephanie Dragone Yvonne Serwaa A. Duah Davin Zachary Dubon Jeffrey R. Elbert Luke Henri Elion Salvatore Joseph Eppolito Fiorella D. Espinoza Amanda Marie Evangelista Tayla R. Evans Thomas J. Falciglia Kathryn A. Fanelli Kate E. Faxon Amanda Santos Ferreira Bernardo G. Figueroa Loza Gaspare U. Fiorenza Nolan S. Fitzgerald Taylor L. Friedwald Allison J. Fuerst Caroline Casey Gaeta Mariana Galeano-Valencia Sebastian Galvis Kayla Nicole Garritano Patricia Jane Geller Theodore M. L. Gevirtz Nicholas Vasilis Gianaris Kayla Rose Giordano John M Gisondi, Jr. Thomas Glatthaar Brian S. Goldstein Nicole Eve Golino Marlina Gabriela Gomez Joanna I. Gonzalez Kaitlyn Marie Gotte Avanish Govekar Jamal Grant Danny F. Grant, Jr. Samantha Haley Guarnero Erika N. Gunderson Keith William Guthrie Ryan D. Gutstein Josh Nicholas Guzman Bilal Haider Tyler H. Hart Hannah Jane Hochman Daniel Joseph Hurley Olivia S. Hymowitz Rye Inkyo Stephanie Anne Irvine Lauren Elle Jacobowitz Steven K. Jacobson Jordan J. Jimenez Erik Reidar Johansen Rachel Ann Kalichman Justine Nicole Kavanah Miwa Kawachimaru Jung Suh Kim Jaime Leigh King Deanna Jane Knapp Adam F. Kohutnicki Hayley Wei Kronthal Michael Dennis Leake

Christopher Alfred Lee Allison Rose LePino Ottavio Lepore Daniella G. Lepre Jacob Reed Lerner Sarah M. Lisk Michelle Ann Loguidice Sandro S. LoMedico Joselline M. Lopez Antezano Thomas James Lovinger Alexander T. Lynch Robert A. MacKenzie Joseph Robert Maida James Dean Maiurro Steven T. Maldonado Chamorro Daria Maletic Olivia M. Manley Joseph Andrew Marino Nicholas Mioli Marques Rafael Fernando Marta Jack William McCarthy Kelly A. McKiernan Laura Helen McKinsey Julia Catherine McManus Robert Anthony Medori Rajan Mehra Michael Philip Menache Gavin L. Menchel Peri L. Mendelsohn Alexandra M. Menniti Elvira A. Miculcy Amanda F. Mirakaj Monica R. Montes Mariah E. Moody Brett M. Moretzky Christopher Xavier Morris Micaela M. Moscato Nicole Ann Murphy Sarah Jessica Murphy Nicole Taylor Muto Kevin Matthew Nathanson Haya Afif Nesheiway Vincent Joseph Nicita, Jr. Jailene Marie Nunez Camila Alejandra Oblitas Buse Jessica Lauren Oggeri Christopher J. Oliva Michelle Elise Oppedisano Andrew J. O’Rourke Daniel Ezekiel Ortiz Erick J. Oyola Moran Alison Y. Park Nicholas J. Parravani Sanam A. Patel Sebastian Pellejero Calderon Adrianna A. Pera Nicholas R. Pipitone Byram S. Plachi David N. Polakoff Austin Joseph Pollack Bryan Edward Pon

Emmaline Cecelia Potts Martino R. Puccio Sara Elizabeth Purinton Bernadette J. Recchia Kathryn T. Rian Cayla Ann Riehl Casey L. Rinker Christian A. Rivera Steven Andrew Robinson Joshua Manuel Rodriguez Luciana Romani Spencer L. Rosenstein Michael A. Rossi Jorge F. Saenz Rodriguez Mikie Joy Sakanaka Anna C. San Marco Sean Patrick Sandell Michael John SantaCroce Christian Antonio Santamaria Marisa M. Santella Luke R. Sassano Robert John Scatenato Jordyn E. Schettino Alexander Seibel Laura L. Senande Breanna Kathryn Sgro Jacob D. Shopinski Alexa Siapanides Cheyenne M. Sikora Aedjet M. Simoy Melanie Claire Singer Ryan Christopher Sinnott Gregory Richard Sohanchyk Luis M. Solera Nicole Frances Suozzo Serena Takada Kaitlyn M. Talibon Sarina N. Tassone Alexis Noel Tedesco Konstantin Teverovskiy Pornin Thongkhamyoo Pornprom Thongkhamyoo Grace Anne Tobin Shannon M. Toohey Devin J. Ullerick James Robert Edward Underwood Sarah James Vallarelli Ethan Sean Evens Vayo Carmen Lorena Velasquez Lezly Velez Jessica B. Volpe Robert H. Waldman Unique R. Warren Edward Wasilesky III Anthony J. Williams Grant E. Wissak Alexa Julia Wolf Kelsi Delores Wolf Taylor Yvonne Wolf Isabella Zaias Jake Harry Zuckman

22 • The HARRISON REPORT • June 28, 2013

Hail! Harrison High School graduates Huskies of 2013

Now-retired High School Principal Dr. James Ruck opens his last Harrison HS graduating ceremony.

HHS graduate Christopher Morris stands alongside members of the senior choir for a special performance during the opening of the HHS commencement.

Class of 2013 student body president Raymond Corona delivers his commencement speech to the crowd in attendance at SUNY Purchase College.

Sara Purinton gives her commencement speech. “As seniors, we were the ones who led our school to these accomplishments, both on the field and off,” Purinton said.


Bringing an end to their tenure in the Harrison Central School District, 253 capped and gowned students gathered at SUNY Purchase College on June 21 for the 2013 Harrison High School commencement ceremony. With a generous crowd on hand, family and friends filled each seat of the Purchase Arts Center’s three-tiered auditorium to watch as the Class of 2013 walked across the stage. “Today we celebrate your many accomplishments,” said Harrison Board of Education Vice President Abby Mendelsohn. “Be proud, Class of 2013...You’re among the very best the [Harrison] school system has ever produced.” While it celebrated the success of the 253 graduates, this year’s ceremony also marked the last class to receive their diplomas from High School Principal Dr. James Ruck. After 45 years in education, seven of which he served in Harrison, Ruck said he too would exit the stage for the last time. Ruck will retire at the end of the 2012-2013 school year. For him, commencement was an emotional affair. “Collectively, these students behind me have more drive than a principal could ever hope for,” Ruck said. “As you get ready for the real big world, remember the experiences from Harrison and continue to take on short and long term challenges.” Following Ruck’s opening remarks, three students were called to the stage to deliver their commencement speeches to the Class of 2013. Class President Ray Corona was first to address his fellows, delivering a humorous, yet inspired speech surrounding the bonds and Continued on page 23

June 28, 2013 • The HARRISON REPORT • 23

connections created amongst the graduating seniors. “But when it comes to the Class of 2013, facts don’t lie,” Corona said before citing some of the classes accomplishments, including their victory over the Rye Garnets in football last year, as well as the first graduating class to feature International Baccalaureate students. “We’re so special, Dr. Ruck and Dr. Pasqua can’t bear the thought of staying here” Corona joked. For her commencement speech, the student speaker selected by the faculty, Mikie Joy Sakanaka, chose to cite a poem by author Shel Silverstein, stating that there are “no happy endings. Endings are the saddest part, so just give me a happy middle and a very happy start.” Sakanaka added that her education in Harrison had given her a happy beginning and middle. “The community at Harrison High School means we will undoubtedly be successful in all walks of life,” Sakanaka said. Before graduates stepped to the stage to receive their diplomas, Superintendent Louis N. Wool certified the Class of 2013 seniors as HHS graduates. “We have tried so hard to build a high school environment that honors each and every student on the stage,” Wool said. “I take great pride in things these young people emphasized today, and I hope that bond is never untended.” HHS graduate Andrew M. Butler, Jr. is awarded his diploma by Principal James Ruck.

HHS Class of 2013 International Baccalaureate Graduate Rajan Mehra receives his diploma from Principal James Ruck. Mehra joins several others as the first HHS students to graduate with an IB diploma. Photos/Daniel Offner

Harrison School Board Vice President Abby Mendelsohn congratulates her daughter, Peri.

24 • The HARRISON REPORT • June 28, 2013

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June 28, 2013 • The HARRISON REPORT • 25

Row America Rye: Building the sport’s rep one stroke at a time What would it take to make you get up at 5 a.m. regardless of rain, snow, sleet or heat to carry boats that weigh hundreds of pounds wearing nothing but spandex? If the question were posed to me, the answer would be easy: nothing. But, to the rowing enthusiasts in Westchester County, the answer is their love and dedication to the sport of rowing. On March 18, Row America Rye officially opened as a first class rowing club in Rye, N.Y. The new club is adjacent to the Rye Boat Basin at 668 Milton Road. “We were really lucky to get this spot. You can imagine how hard it is to find waterfront property in Rye, but the community was extremely supportive. People have wanted a rowing club here for a long time,” says Laura Rauchfuss, the director The Row America Rye team in action during a recent event. of Row America Rye. Rowing seems to be all the rage begin with. The dedication that goes November, and then moving their in our area, with more than 10 dif- into this sport goes hand-in-hand training inside. ferent boat clubs offering the sport, with success, both in and out of the In addition to the school team, the which is a big change from just water. The kids have to be organized facility also trains a composite team 10 years ago. With the addition of and good at time management. They made up of kids from various comthese clubs, the sport is becom- push themselves on and off the wa- munities as well as Row America’s ing more visible in Westchester. ter to succeed,” Rauchfuss said. junior and master programs. Rowing has been around since the But rowing is not just for This summer, Row America Rye first Olympics and yet its popularity young athletes. is offering several two-week sescompared to other club sports such On June 1, “National Learn How sions offering kids ages 12 to 18 as golf and tennis To Row Day,” I the oppportunity to put a toe in the has not manifested, took to the water water, so to speak. Sign up is on the until now. Westchester to give the sport Row America Rye website. There’s a lot of a try and found it Mathis Jessen, one of the coaches wanderer talk about kids getexhilarating. at Row America Rye, is a German Lisa Jardine ting into great col“Rowing is a National Crew Team member and leges to row crew, life sport. There a co-captain on the University of and if the student athletes who train is a rower in Saugatuck who is 90 Washington’s crew team, a perenat Row America Rye are any indica- and rows every day. It’s a full body nial rowing powerhouse. He is tion, it’s true. workout, it’s great to be outside and overwhelmed by the support of the “Our youth programs perform at it conditions and tones muscle as parents of Row America’s competia very high level—they are some well as enhances aerobic fitness,” tive team. of the best rowers in the nation. Rauchfuss said. “Regattas are long, usually from We have seven or eight high school The Rye High School Garnet 6 a.m. to 4 p.m., and we travel far senior rowers who will row at team has moved its training to the distances to get there,” Jessen said. great colleges in the fall—Cornell, Row America Rye facility and they “The parents are always there, with Columbia, Georgetown. will train there year-round, getting their tent, cooking hot meals for A rower is a different breed to out on the water March through our racers and cheering them on at the finish line. In Germany, I had to make my own sandwiches and bring them to the race to make sure I had something to eat. These kids have the best parents supporting them. It makes a huge difference.” Row America Rye’s new facility is currently under construction and Rauchfuss hopes to have it completed by September, when the organization will most likely offer adult memberships as well. “One of our goals is to make rowing more accessible to everyone in the community and we’d love to create a scholarship one day,” Rauchfuss said. So, whether you are a sculler, who rows with two oars, a sweeper, Row America Rye’s competitive team. Photos courtesy Row America Rye who uses one oar, a bisweptual, a

sweeper that rows both ways, or a novice, Row America Rye is waiting for you. Check them out on or at To contact Lisa, you can email her at and follow her on Twitter @westchesterwand

Laura Rauchfuss, left, and Mathis Jessen in front of the new Row America Rye facility, located on Milton Road in Rye. Photo/Lisa Jardine

26 • The HARRISON REPORT • June 28, 2013

2013 Harrison

Summer Concert All shows start at 7 p.m.

July 4 Celebration, Downtown Reunion, Harrison’s own 60’s ad 70’s rock and rhythm and blues band 7:45 p.m. Fireworks 9 p.m. Claremon Shopping Center, Halstead Avenue July 10 Downtown Back to the Garden, celebration of the music of Woodstock July 11 West Harrison Sundown, in your face southern rock July 17 Downtown Emilio Magnotta, Italian accordion classics July 18 West Harrison Rat Race Choir, 45th anniversary progressive rock concert July 24 Downtown Teddy Valetino Orchestra, swing night

July 25 West Harrison N.Y. music featuring Don Felice, Italian favorites July 31 Downtown The Wanderers, rock & roll night

Aug. 22 West Harrison Hindenberg, a tribute to Led Zeppelin Special guest three for all, 6:30 p.m. start

Special thanks to our 2013 sponsors:

Aug. 1 West Harrison Patrick Perone, Elvis tribute Aug. 7 Downtown Day camp show Aug. 8 West Harrison Day camp show/Frank Trapani Aug. 14 Downtown Club Dennis, the ultimate dance party in the park 6:30 p.m. start Aug. 15 West Harrison Alive n’ kicking, gold record party band Aug. 21 Downtown Jackie DiMaggio, modern classics

Al Dente restaurant Great Wall restaurant Harrison Wine vault Harrison-Mamaroneck rotary Monica Chimes Floral Murray’s Ice Cream Silver Lake Café Grill Silver Lake Pizza Silver Lake Service Trevi Ristorante Vasi’s Deli & Caterers West Harrison Fitness

Harrison recreation hotline 670-3039 (Submitted)


Harrison duo signs letters of intent By MIKE SMITH SPORTS EDITOR

On June 19, two Harrison athletes announced their plans to play sports at the colliegeate level, as Robert Waldman and Bryan Pon officially signed their leters of intent during small ceremony in the Harrison High School Library. Waldman will be playing lacrosse at Ohio State University next year while Pon, a recordbreaking Huskies swimmer, will look to make a splash as part of the Johns Hopkins University swim team. Waldman, a standout on both the football and lacrosse team at Harrison, received several offers from big-time programs since switching to longstick middie last season. “After my junior year, I started to get noticed, going to camps” said Waldman. “I think those camps helped a lot.” Waldman was deciding between many schools, including Yale, Navy and Division III powers like Tufts, but ultimately chose the Buckeyes, who made it to the NCAA quarterfinals last year where they were ousted by Cornell. According to lacrosse coach Jason Rabinowitz, Waldman’s decision to play for Ohio State is a huge coup for the Harrison lacrosse program. “It’s huge for our program to have a studentathlete get selected and signed to a top 10 Division I program,” said the head coach.” His

potential at Ohio State is going to be an immediate impact and they are going to benefit from his presence.” Pon, headed to Hopkins, said that he first started thinking about swimming collegiately in his freshman and sophomore year, and chose Hopkins because of its athletic–and academic‑reputation. “To me, academics come first, so I was looking at schools that had the majors I was interested in,” said the Huskies senior. Pon, a two-time state qualifier in the water, will likely swim the breaststroke events in college, but is ready to help the Blue Jays roster out anyway he can. “In college, you specialize in events, so I’m probably going to be doing the 100m and 200m breaststroke,” he said. “But I could also be doing the individual medleys as well.” Both Pon and Waldman will work tirelessly to prepare themselves for the next level this summer. Waldman will be hitting the gym, as much as four hours each day, to ready his body for the grind of Division I lacrosse, while Pon will continue to get in the pool each day, swimming with the his club team. But while both athletes know the road will be a hard one, the act of signing was a brief period of celebration before the climb. “It was a great experience,” said Pon. “It definitely made me feel proud of my accomplishments.

Robert Waldman, left, and Bryan Pon sign their letters of intent on June 19 at Harrison High School. Waldman will play lacrosse for Ohio State next fall, while Pon will swim at Johns Hopkins. Photo/Mike Smith


June 28, 2013 • The HARRISON REPORT • 27

Strat-O-Matic, Sabermetrics and rolling the dice for Cecil Espy’s next hit For today’s baseball fans, numbers are becoming more part of the game than ever before. I’m not talking about old-school stats either. Homers, RBIs, even batting average are all falling out of vogue in favor of new metrics, such as win-shares, value over replacement player, or VORP, and ultimate zone rating, or UZR, which quite frankly, I still don’t understand. But with more fans casting a critical eye on baseball’s hallowed numbers, wouldn’t it make sense that the great old baseball game, Strat-O-Matic, could be poised for a comeback as well? Strat-O-Matic, for the uninitiated, is a baseball board game, created in 1961 by Hal Richman from Glen Head, Long Island. Using scouting reports, previous year’s stats, and some complicated algorithms, each MLB player is given a card that reflects his on-field ability. Outcomes of at-bats and plays in the field are decided by dice-rolls and probabilities. And yes, a 20-sided die is, in fact, part of the Strat-O-Matic compliment of accouterment. Think of it as Dungeons and Dragons for baseball nerds—but instead of taking control of a Level 20 mage wielding the Staff of Necromancy, you’d get to be Pete Incaviglia, headed into battle armed with nothing but a Louisville Slugger. There was little doubt, growing up in my house, that I would turn out to be a baseball fanatic. My

father, a rabid supporter, never missed an opportunity to teach me the game. No matter where we went on summer vacations—be it to a big metropolis like Chicago, where we’d find time to check out Wrigley Field and Old Comiskey Park, or a small podunk town like Pittsfield, Mass., former home of the Single A Mets’ affiliates—baseball was always on the docket, and I ate it up. As my parents are fond of reminding me, I belive mike came something of a baseball Mike Smith maven, flawlessly reciting major league rosters at two years old for stupefied adults at bars, restaurants or anyplace someone would give a toddler the time of day to expound upon the merits of Mickey Tettleton. But I don’t think anything taught me as much about the game as StratO-Matic. My father and his friends would convene monthly in our basement to play out their seemingly endless Strat-O-Matic seasons, their standings ever-changing on the small chalkboard in the corner. For a few hours, our basement would become a den of cigarette smoke and stale beer stench—a fragrance I would ironically come to associate with adulthood, coming from men sitting around playing a board game—as my father and his cohorts would carry on “grown-up” conversations that were punctuated by sporadic—and quite profane—outbursts when

The Harrison Report’s Mike Smith used to play Strat-O-Matic Baseball with his father. Photos/Mike Smith

Billy Spiers or Spike Owen failed to get a bunt down with runners at first and second. I couldn’t spend enough time down there, but my mother would usually whisk me away to bed before too many brews were consumed and the group would launch into some of their bluer tales.

Cecil Espy’s Strat-O-Matic hitter’s card showed that, in 1993, he wasn’t adept at hitting right-handed pitching. Or left-handed pitching, for that matter.

Although I never got to “manage” a game in my father’s “B&S” league—the meaning behind those initials is still a mystery to me today—I did begin playing the game with the old man when I was around nine. The teams never changed; I, being possibly the biggest Andy Van Slyke fan in southern Westchester, was always the 1993 Pirates. My dad would counter with Kevin Tapani and the Minnesota Twins. The game wasn’t easy to learn— especially for a sugar-addled elementary schooler—but it was worth it. In addition to honing my scorekeeping skills, the game gave me a deeper appreciation for the sport of baseball. As a child, it’s easy to watch a game and be wowed by a home run. But with Strat-o-Matic, I was getting a crash course in the minute details that make baseball as much of a chess-match as a sporting event. From managing bullpens, to pulling double-switches and learning situations in which small-ball can be the best course of action, my Strat-O-Matic years laid the foundation for my baseball knowledge. Rule #1: never, ever try to steal a base with Mike LaValliere—or any other roly-poly catcher with the nickname “Spanky”, for that matter. Over the years, especially in

college, I tried to get some of my friends into the game, but it never took. Part of me understands why: Who wants to roll dice and pretend to be Jim Edmonds when you can fire up the PlayStation and actually control the Angels’ centerfielder on the television screen as he races back towards the wall and makes a diving catch to prevent a possible inside-the-parker? I do. And I’m not alone. In 2011, over 500 Strat-o-Fanatics, including former major leaguer Doug Glanville, celebrated the 50th anniversary of the game’s invention at the Community Church of New York, proving that the old way—dice and brains, pencils and papers—can still hold sway in an increasingly technological age. But who knows, maybe as numbers continue to be crunched and a new generation of fans, Moneyballers and Sabermatricians continue to look inside what makes the game tick, maybe the game will find new life and a younger audience. If it does, I’ll be there, with Doug Drabek forever on the hill, waiting to throw the next pitch. Follow Mike on Twitter @LiveMike_Sports

28 • The HARRISON REPORT • June 28, 2013


Cruz looks to stay perfect against Huffman By MIKE SMITH SPORTS EDITOR

On June 29, Port Chester native Bryant “Pee Wee” Cruz will take the next step in his journey to become the first-ever lightweight world boxing champion from Westchester County as he will take on veteran slugger David Huffman at the Resorts World Casino in Queens, N.Y. Cruz, who turned pro last December, has had a sterling record thusfar, going 4-0 with four knockouts as he continues to establish himself as a true contender in the lightweight division. According to Ryan O’Leary, Cruz’s trainer and the owner of New Rochelle’s Champs Boxing Club, Cruz’s success isn’t a surprise– but the manner in which he’s winning fights is. “It’s going better than we thought,” said O’Leary. “He has so much more power than we thought with four K.O.s And it’s not first-round knockouts either, he’s breaking guys down, stopping them in the third, fourth round.” O’Leary has also been impressed with his charge’s ability to devote himself to the training process while the gym’s status has been in flux. As Cruz trained for his first four pro fights, Champs BC was without a permanent home, so the fighters had to scratch out gym time wherever they could. But now, with Pee Wee training out of a fully-functioning gym in New Rochelle, O’Leary hopes to see an even

stronger performance on Saturday night. “He’s going to be worlds different,” said the trainer. “Four in a row, four knockouts without a gym? I think he’s going to be a terror in there.” Of course, his opponent is no pushover. Despite a losing record, Huffman, at 4-16-1, has 21 pro fights, and is seasoned in a way that many of Cruz’s previous opponents haven’t been. The veteran has been in the ring with the top lightweights in the world, even taking on current lightweight king Adrien Broner in Broner’s pro debut. “You get these guys with losing records, but they’re journeymen, they know what they’re doing,” said O’Leary. “These are the types of guys that can cause an upset.” Though O’Leary has watched lots of film on Huffman, Cruz–true to form–has never seen his upcoming opponent fight. “He doesn’t watch film,” said O’Leary. “He trusts me to handle that. He tells me, ‘If you put me in the ring with him, I’m supposed to beat him’, and I like that mentality.” Should Cruz get past Huffman on Saturday, his team is already looking ahead to more opportunities, penciling in a July date at Roseland ballroom and another summer fight in Atlantic City, N.J. “We’ve got some exciting fights lined up,” said O’Leary. “We’ve got a real busy schedule.”

Port Chester native Bryant “Pee Wee” Cruz throws a punch on Dec. 8 against Jonathan Caban in his pro debut. On June 29, Cruz will take on veteran challenger David Huffman in Queens, N.Y. Photo/Bobby Begun

Westchester Baseball Academy to host first-ever tourney By MIKE SMITH SPORTS EDITOR

Over the last few years, the Westchester Baseball Academy has established itself as one of the elite summer baseball programs for college hopefuls. With big wins at national tournaments and a host of Westchester’s best players, the WBA just needs one more thing to really bring college recruiters to more games– a big time tournament. This year marks the first step in what WBA head Edwin Diaz hopes will become an annual tradition, bringing in top players to play in a local tournament as the 18u Vinci Summer Kickoff Tourney is set to kick off on June 28 in Rye. During the course of the summer, the WBA teams generally play in a wide range of tournaments, from Long Island to Carolina. As the program has grown, the academy has branched out into two 18u teams–the Elite and the Grey–and Diaz felt it would behoove the program to start its own traditions. The tournament will last three days. Each team will play a minimum of four games at Rye’s Disbrow Park, Recreation Park in Port Chester, and Harrison High School’s Lower Field. “Growing up in Westchester, there used to be these big events like the Pepsi Tournament and I wanted to bring that back,” said Diaz, who is coaching the 14u team this year. “People are always looking for new things, so we figured

The 2011 WBA tournament team poses for a group shot. Over the past few years, the WBA team–which features players from both Harrison and Rye–has established itself as an elite ballclub. They will host a summer kickoff tournament on June 28. Contributed Photo

we would bring everything here and ask some really competitive teams to show up.” Squads like the Connecticut Blue Jays, Fairfield Cardinals and the Williamsburg Bombers from Brooklyn will comprise the eight-team double-elimination inaugural tournament, but Diaz said that he’s already received emails from other teams–including a Canadian squad–about joining up in the future. Diaz hopes the team’s past performances at competitive tournaments will attract scouts

and college recruiters. The WBA prides itself on helping its players find homes in college programs and tournaments are often wellattended by college coaches looking for a new find. “With the success we’ve had in the past, going to other tournaments, we’ve gotten exposure,” he said. “Now, the plan is to get that same type of exposure for our programs up here.” The WBA teams will spend the rest of

the summer competing in the Westchester Baseball Association’s summer league, the Met Sandlot league. and traveling to other showcase tournaments, including a 35-team affair at Yale University. The WBA will hold another 18u tournament in August that will feature 16 teams. “I think the impact from this tournament is going to be felt right away,” said Diaz. “We just want to come away from this having played some really quality baseball.”

Harrison Report 6-28-2013