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Vol. 13/Number 4

Mayor French looks to address parking downtown

City to send golf club findings to DA

By CHRISTIAN FALCONE ASSOCIATE EDITOR chris@hometwn.com

By CHRISTIAN FALCONE ASSOCIATE EDITOR chris@hometwn.com

Embattled Rye Golf Club Manager Scott Yandrasevich tendered his resignation to the city last Friday, but he may not be out of the woods yet. The city plans to forward the results of a lengthy investigation into the club and its former manager to the county district attorney’s office, the mayor said. Meanwhile, the City Council has yet to conclude its probe into allegations of financial mismanagement, conflicts of interest and improper practices at the golf club. The ensuing scandal has been called the city’s “Madoff moment” by Mayor Douglas French, a Republican. The mayor said the city would also be establishing an independent body and process to examine past oversight of the golf club. The investigation has revealed that issues at the club date back to 2007. French said the city would share the results of the investigation with the district attorney’s office and the public “as soon as possible.” The former club manager re-

Based on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s plan to raise rates come March, Rye and Port Chester were set to see

During his January State of the City address, Mayor Douglas French said the city would look to resolve a long-term parking problem in Rye’s downtown. The matter is a complex one that has plagued the city for decades. Rye’s 1985 Master Plan addressed the need for additional parking and even suggested parking decks within the Central Business District, a possibility officials passed on. Mayor French, a Republican, said the reason no large-scale parking measures have been put in place to date is because any major build-out would disrupt the business community and city residents, and would also alter the aesthetics of Rye’s coveted downtown. “A decades-old problem, and not a simple answer by any means, but it’s time to revisit our options,” the mayor said in his annual address this year. With no political will from politicians to take on a large expenditure like constructing parking decks, the city over the years has instead moved more toward short-term initiatives such as implementing pay stations back in 2005. On-street parking in Rye remains free of charge. “The meters were a first attempt, and I believe it has improved turnover of spaces,” French said. The meters have also helped generate additional revenue for the city on an annual basis. The mayor said the city would look at parking technology in addition to smaller projects that can add more parking such as adding second levels at the Cedar or Purdy lots. But even with the addition of

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PARKING continued on page 11

Meters were installed in the downtown parking lots in 2005. Most people have deemed the move a success in helping to turn over parking spaces. File photo

Price fix alters Metro-North fare

Metro-North knocked $6 off its planned monthly pass increase for tickets to Grand Central Station. The change came to correct the difference between Rye’s rates and the rates the Conn. Commuter Rail will charge. File photo

Thanks to an unusual pricing difference, Rye Metro-North riders will see planned fare increases reduced by $6, according to MetroNorth officials.

January 25, 2013

signed, effective immediately, after submitting a letter to city officials, on Jan. 18, and agreed to vacate his residence on the club’s grounds by the end of February, according to City Attorney Kristen Wilson. When Yandrasevich was hired in 2002 to run the club’s operations, he was provided with a house on the club’s property, rent-free, as part of the deal. He was also paid an annual salary of $107,000. Wilson said that the “city has already taken affirmative steps to ensure that the club operations will continue without interruption,” and that “the city is looking forward to a successful 2013 season.” Jim Lipolito was hired on Jan. 14 as an interim manager to run the club through the end of the year, according to city officials. Councilman Joe Sack, a Republican, said news of Yandrasevich’s departure was a positive thing for the golf club in the sense that it now allows the club to focus more intently on having a successful year without the burden GOLF CLUB continued on page 13

This house, located on the grounds of Rye Golf Club, was the residence of Scott Yandrasevich. The former club manager, who has kept a low profile the past few months, has lived rent-free with his family since taking over the club’s operations in 2002. Upon resigning from his position last week, he agreed to vacate the residence by the end of February, according to city officials. Contributed photo

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January 25, 2013 • THE RYE SOUND SHORE REVIEW • 3

Rye deer population causing concern among some residents By EDINE JAMES CONTRIBUTOR

For residents in Rye, cohabitating with the deer population has proved easy for some while more difficult for others. Aside from the dangers deer cause for motorists, many complain of the destruction deer cause to their landscapes and gardens. Although there are those who don’t find these creatures troublesome, there are rising concerns about what is considered a booming local deer population. The American white-tailed deer–once considered to be on the verge of extinction in the 1800s–has grown in large numbers in the area over the last 10 to 15 years. Residents have been “awakened to the return of the white-tailed deer and a subsequent population boom,” said Hank Birdsall, 27, who grew up in Rye and wrote his senior thesis on the return of the species. “Deer are entering the neighborhoods to forage on the landscaped vegetation at night, during the period of lowest human activity,” said Birdsall. Many residents, after initially being excited about the sudden sightings of deer, eventually looked at the animals as an “unchecked and growing nuisance,” Birdsall said. Birdsall, now a graduate student at Texas A&M who is working on his master’s in Range and Wildlife Management, is also working on a deer management outreach program with private land-

owners in Zapata, Texas on the Texas-Mexico border. From Birdsall’s research, he found that there “seemed to be a relationship between the Marshlands as a refuge area and the surrounding Greenhaven lawns as a source of nutrition for the local deer population.” Julia Lloyd, 49, who has been a Rye resident for two-and-a-half years, said the deer do not bother her. As a neighbor to the Rye Golf Club bordering the Marshlands, she said she often sees deer–especially around dawn and twilight. “Some of the neighbors have had much deer damage to gardens,” she said. Lloyd “personally enjoys the deer,” although she’s heard many complaints from other locals. “Some drivers go too fast on Post Road and have hit them,” she said. Sherry Rosenbaum, 31, who has just moved to Rye, said her first experience with a whitetailed deer was “non-threatening and quite exciting,” and occurred during a walk around her new neighborhood. She said the deer calmly moved about as “it scoured the grass for its dinner.” Rosenbaum did notice, however, that the deer was not as comfortable around her as she was. “It slowed down its pace quite a bit once it noticed me,” she said. One of Westchester’s well-known horticulturists will be sharing her expertise on deer and gardening concerns in an upcoming lecture. On Jan. 26 at 3 p.m., garden

Former super sentenced for sexual misconduct Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore announced that Kujtim Nicaj (DOB 11/09/68) of 58 C Peck Ave. in Rye was sentenced to six and one half years in state prison and seven years probation on his October 2012 guilty plea to: • One count of burglary in the second degree as a sexually motivated felony, a class “C” violent felony, • One count of sexual misconduct, a class “A” misdemeanor. On Feb. 8, 2012 the defendant, who was employed at the time as the superintendent at the Rye Colony Cooperative Apartments, entered the victim’s apartment without authorization. While inside, the defendant engaged in

multiple sex acts with the owner’s 15 month old Labrador Retriever dog. This conduct was recorded on nanny cam type devices, which the homeowner had previously set up. The Rye City police were notified. The defendant was questioned and subsequently arrested by Rye City police. Upon completion of his sentence, the defendant will have to register as a sex offender under the New York State Sex Offender Registry Act. Assistant District Attorney Wendy Parra of the Sex Crimes Bureau and Assistant District Attorney Mary Ann Liebowitz of the Investigations Division, Animal Cruelty Unit prosecuted the case. (Submitted)

Pet Rescue Billy is a silver male tabby, about 6 months old (born early July 2012). He came to Pet Rescue as a very young kitten; he was found on the street by a volunteer and treated by a vet specialist. After months of TLC, Billy has recovered incredibly well from his injuries. He resides in a foster home where he is a playful kitten who enjoys frolicking with the other felines in his household, although he loves being held. Billy is neutered, in excellent health and up to date with all vaccinations. His adoption donation is $75. If you have a soft spot in your heart for Billy, contact Larchmont Pet Rescue at (914) 834-6955 or visit NY-PetRescue.org.

The deer population is becoming a concern for Westchester residents. The animals have been seen in many neighborhoods in Rye City, including the Rye Nature Center, pictured. A forum will be held Jan. 26 on the impacts of deer on home gardens. Photo/Bobby Begun

writer Ruth Clausen, author of the book “50 Beautiful Deer Resistant Plants: The Prettiest Animals, Perennials, Bulbs, and Shrubs that Deer Don’t Eat,” will be conducting a book signing and seminar called “Coping with Deer in Landscape and Garden.” It will be

held by Rye’s Committee to Save the Bird and Homestead at the Meeting House located in Rye. Those who attend will get firsthand insight into some of Clausen’s secrets for maintaining a plentiful garden while coexisting with deer.

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C ommunity Briefs Roe v. Wade event Celebrate the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade with “Securing the Promise of Roe,” a program by Planned Parenthood Hudson Peconic. Jessica Arons, director of the Women’s Health and Rights Program at the Center for American Progress, will talk about the barriers women face in accessing abortion. Jan. 24 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. $20 per person/$15 under age 30 YWCA of White Plains and Central Westchester 515 North St., White Plains. Sign up at pphp.org or by calling (914) 467-7311. Upcoming events at the Rye Free Reading Room “Art in the Garden” Photographer Rich Pomerantz comes to the Rye Free Reading Room on Jan. 24 at 11 a.m. to present a lecture entitled “Art in the Garden.” The talk covers the use and placement of objects and will be accompanied by Pomerantz’s own slides of art and ornament in gardens. A specialist in garden photography, Pomerantz’s images have appeared in such periodicals as Garden Design, Traditional Home, Horticulture, Fine Gardening, Organic Gardening and Outdoor Photographer. His books include “Great Gardens of the Berkshires and Hudson River Valley Farms.” For more information, visit ryelibrary.org or call (914) 231-3161. Children’s movie The Rye Free Reading Room invites children age five and up to see the movie “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days” (PG) on Jan. 25 at 3:30 p.m. For more information, call (914) 231-3162 or visit ryelibrary.org. Preparing to apply to college Geoffrey Stearns, a partner at Educational Futures, will give parents and high school students an overview on preparing for applying to colleges at the Rye Free Reading Room on Feb. 5 at 7 p.m. He will discuss trends

in college admission, what classes to take in high school, types and timeline of testing and applications, varieties of scholarships and financial aid, and the college interview. There will also be a Q and A session. Geoff travels extensively throughout the United States visiting colleges and meeting with coaches and admissions counselors. He works primarily with students seeking college admission or placement for a post-graduate year and has extensive experience advising high school athletes. For more information, go to ryelibrary.org or call (914) 231-3172. “Show Your Love” Feb. 8 from 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. The Rye Free Reading Room invites children age 5 and up to Fun Club on Friday, Feb. 8, at 3:30 p.m. to listen to stories for Valentine’s Day and make something special for someone they love. For more information about this and other children’s programs, go to ryelibrary.org or call (914) 231-3162. Mardi Gras parade The Rye Free Reading Room invites children age 4 and up to celebrate Mardi Gras with beads, masks and music on Feb. 9 at 2 p.m. Decorate green, gold and purple cupcakes, make celebration masks and parade through the library in true Mardi Gras style. Pre-registration is required; sign up in the Children’s Room or call (914) 231-3162. This event is sponsored by the Auxiliary Board of the Rye Free Reading Room. Upcoming Pet Rescue events Puppy/dog meet and greet Feb. 2 from 12 p.m. – 2 p.m. Petco 1275 Boston Post Road, Larchmont “Smooch the Pooch” Feb. 2 from 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. Larchmont Floral Designs 114 Chatsworth Ave., Larchmont For more information on the events, visit NY-PetRescue.org, email petrescueny@aol. com or call (914) 834-6955. Valentine origami hearts project for Sandy Hook Port Chester-Rye Brook Public Library One Haseco Ave., Port Chester (914) 939-6710 portchester-ryebrooklibrary.org Sign up to make Valentine origami hearts to

send to the Sandy Hook community at the Port Chester-Rye Brook Public Library on Feb. 1 from 3:45p.m. – 4:30 p.m. in the Children’s Room. Enrollment is limited. Pre-registration is required by phone or in person. Free adoption information session Feb. 4 6:30 p.m. – 8 p.m. Port Chester-Rye Brook Public Library One Haseco Ave., Port Chester (914) 939-6710 portchester-ryebrooklibrary.org This free event, hosted by Forever Families Through Adoption, Inc., is open to anyone interested in or involved with the adoption process, including professionals, community members, expectant parents, adoptive or prospective adoptive parents and adoptees. Come learn about the domestic and international adoption process and meet the staff of Forever Families Through Adoption. Forever Families Through Adoption, Inc. is authorized in New York and Connecticut. For more information about the organization, call (914) 939-1180, email adopt@Fo reverFamiliesThroughAdoption.org or visit

foreverfamiliesthroughadoption.org. Rye girls softball registration Registration is now open for Rye Girls Softball. All girls in grades 3 – 8 who live or go to school in the City of Rye are eligible to play. Visit RyeGirlsSoftball.com for information or email RyeGirlsSoftball@gmail.com with any questions. Softball clinics The Rye High School Softball Boosters are hosting a softball clinic for all girls in grades 3 - 8 The clinic will take place on March 2 from 8 a.m. – 10 a.m.; March 9 from 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.; and March 16 from 8 a.m. – 10 a.m. at Rye High School. Advanced registration is required and space is limited. Register today at RyeGirlsSoftball.com to guarantee a spot. Email RyeGirlsSoftball@gmail.com with any questions. All proceeds support the RHS softball program. Deadline for our Community Briefs section is every Friday at 12 p.m. Though space is not guaranteed, we will do our best to accommodate your listing. Please send all items to news@hometwn.com.

Killian inaugurated to City Council Councilwoman Julie Killian, a Republican, was sworn into office on the morning of Jan. 12. City Judge Joe Latwin administered the oath of office to the councilwoman, who was appointed to the City Council back in June 2012, replacing Suzanna Keith. Killian won an uncontested special election in November that allowed her to fill out the remainder of Keith’s unexpired term, which concludes at the end of 2013. Killian, a Forest Avenue resident, has stated that she plans to run again this year. “I am excited to have begun my first full year on the council,” she said. “I have ideas for how to improve the operations and sustainability of the city going forward. However, I am equally focused on looking at the past and helping to fix where we may have gone awry.” –Reporting by CHRISTIAN FALCONE

Councilwoman Julie Killian stands alongside (L-R) Deputy Mayor Peter Jovanovich, Mayor Douglas French and City Judge Joe Latwin.

Julie Killian was inaugurated on Jan. 12 during the City Council’s strategic planning session. It was a no-frills ceremony for the Republican councilwoman who won an uncontested election last November. Photos/Joe Sack

January 25, 2013 • THE RYE SOUND SHORE REVIEW • 5

Astorino visits Eastchester, talks health care costs

County Executive Robert Astorino speaking at an “Ask Astorino” forum at Eastchester Town Hall on Jan. 16. Issues that residents spoke about included soaring pension costs and unfunded mandates, Photo/Ashley Helms By ASHLEY HELMS STAFF REPORTER ashley@hometwn.com

Westchester’s burdensome property tax bills are being weighed down by soaring pension costs and unfunded mandates from the

state and federal governments, according to County Executive Rob Astorino. Astorino, a Republican, took questions from residents during a public forum entitled “Ask Astorino” on Jan. 16 at Eastchester Town Hall. Most attendees’ concerns were tied back

by Astorino to soaring pension costs for government employees that the county is required to pay with no sway in the matter. Astorino has not increased the county tax levy for the past two years, but said that the cost increases must be addressed immediately. The county budget for 2013 stands at $1.7 billion. “Pension costs are expected to rise by 3000 percent over the next few years,” Astorino said. Ten years ago, the county retirement fund cost $65,000 and is now around $3.1 million. Tom Andruss, a lifelong Eastchester resident, said that he and several friends have taken a liking to riding their bikes on the Bronx River Parkway on Sundays during the summer. Over time, Andruss became a director for the Bronx River Parkway Reservation Conservancy and said he has heard that the conservancy may lose its mechanic, who Andruss said saves them a lot of time and labor. “I want you to see to it that if that position becomes vacant, it is filled,” Andruss said. Laying off workers is never an easy task, Astorino said, but he added that not one county worker pays for their health instance benefits. This makes it hard or even impossible for every employee to keep their jobs. “You either have to pitch in a little or have less employees,” Astorino said. “It’s not real life to not pay anything for health insurance.” Astorino said that there have been ongo-

ing negotiations with local unions regarding health insurance, but said that they still haven’t been able to come to an agreement with the Civil Service Employees Union, Westchester County’s largest union. Astorino said that he hopes one day, members will contribute to their benefits, which would allow budget writers to keep more jobs intact. David Levy, 54, an Eastchester resident, said his iron worker’s union requires him to pay 11 percent of his health care costs. He said that some of his friends are also in unions and refuse to pay for their insurance and think that it’s strange that Levy has to. “I’m paying 100 percent of their benefits and mine too, and my taxes can’t handle it,” Levy said. Astorino explained the Triborough Amendment, which prohibits a public employer from altering any provision of an expired labor agreement until a new agreement is reached. This causes a public employer’s salary costs to continue to rise even when labor negotiations have reached a stalemate. Astorino said that New York is the only state to enact this type of amendment and plays a part in rising health care costs. “There’s no bargaining that public employees have to do because they’ll continue to get paid and get their health care,” Astorino said. “Ask Astorino” is held monthly in different towns and cities throughout Westchester County.

6 • THE RYE SOUND SHORE REVIEW • January 25, 2013

Already-failed New Year’s resolutions All of the lettuce in the As you soak that in (and fridge has gone limp and perhaps soak in a tub of ice brownish. The credit card cream rather do 20 minutes LUNGARIELLO has gone from the top drawon the stationary bicycle), AT LARGE er back into the wallet. The let us take a look at some Mark Lungariello wait for the elliptical at the other real and imagined gym is getting shorter again. resolutions that have already February is upon us. become shame-inducing A recent study showed that about one in memories we don’t want to admit we were five New Year’s resolutions is actually kept. part of. Kind of like that A Flock of Seagulls As February begins, those promises made just concert. weeks ago are entirely abandoned: Eat better. Get out of debt. Get in shape. And so on. DMV I conducted an in-depth analysis of the Failed resolution: To lose wait. effectiveness of New Year’s resolutions and Hey, see what I did there? “Wait” instead of found that, according to a 2007 Wall Street “weight!” [Taps microphone] Is this thing on? Journal article, 88 percent of all resolutions fail. One web resource said that 25 percent Me of resolutions are broken in the first week of Failed resolution: Stop making ridiculous January alone. DMV jokes in the newspaper. (By the way, when I said I conducted an in-depth analysis before, what I meant was I White Plains parking enforcement officer did a quick search on Google for “failed New Failed resolution: Be a more forgiving Year’s resolutions” and skimmed the first person. three results). The concept of New Year’s resolutions can Kobe, my dog be head scratching. There are probably betFailed resolution: Stop licking self aggrester ways to start a new year than by making sively in public. promises you can’t keep and exposing your willpower for the black-socks-in-gym-class Manti T’eo wimp that it is. Failed resolution: Keep good friends close

and avoid fake people. If that was too obvious a target, I can go even more obviouser. Manti T’eo’s girlfriend Failed resolution: Stop being phony. Me Failed resolution 2: Stop using words that don’t exist, such as “obviouser,” in the newspaper. Health Care bills Failed resolution: Start being more affordable. Lindsay Lohan Failed resolution: Stop doing stuff that will have me end up on PerezHilton.com. Republicans Failed resolution: Now that the election is over, move on and do the good work of the people. Lance Armstrong Failed resolution: Put the lies behind me. Democrats Failed resolution: Now that the election is over, move on and do the good work of

the people. Beyoncé Failed resolution: Don’t worry about all the other stuff. Just sing! Wayne LaPierre, NRA Failed resolution: Have a sensible debate about gun safety. Nicki Minaj Failed resolution: Let go of the hate. Congress Failed resolution: Don’t filibuster the filibuster. Gordon Ramsey Failed resolution: Don’t be so hard on people with bad kitchens. Frosty the Snowman Failed resolution: Be a warmer person. My Facebook Friends Failed resolution: Learn the difference between their and there, hear and here and learn how to spell “definitely.” Reach Mark Lungariello at mark@hometwn.com

With honors Cornell University’s Ariella Reidenberg of Rye has been placed on the Dean’s List of the College of Arts and Sciences for Excellence in Scholarship for the fall 2012 semester.

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David Andrew Mintz of Rye has been named to the Dean’s List at Clemson University for the fall 2012 semester. Howard Sturman

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January 25, 2013 • THE RYE SOUND SHORE REVIEW • 7

City Council manners and responsibilities Manners There was a time when members of the Rye City Council A RYE would raise a hand when they wanted to speak during meetOLDTIMER ings. The mayor would give the floor to one member at a Judge John Carey time. You did not simply start talking when you felt like it. Somewhere along the line, good manners in this regard fell by the wayside. There also used to be an item on each City Council agenda called “miscellaneous communications and reports.” That way, every letter from a resident would at least be mentioned in passing. That no longer happens. It is bothersome to send a serious letter to the City Council and never hear back. Even acknowledgement by a printed postcard would be better than to be simply ignored. For example: The council’s agenda for their special meeting on Dec. 21, 2012 included this item: “Authorization to retain special counsel to assist the City Council in a potential Section 75 proceeding.” The reference is to Section 75 of the State Civil Service Law, which deals with disciplinary actions and refers to participation by a “hearing officer.” I emailed the council on Dec. 20, 2012, accidentally omitting Councilwoman Julie Killian, offering to serve “as hearing officer in the matter before you under Section 75 of the Civil Service Law.” I pointed out that I had been a New York State Judicial Hearing Officer since 1995 and had presided in municipal employee discipline cases in Rockland County among many other types of mostly New York State Supreme Court cases, both there and in Putnam and Westchester counties.” The Special Counsel has since been hired, but not a word have I heard in reply to my email. Even if just one of the council members had replied by saying, “We got your email,” that would have been more polite than simply being ignored. One feature of email is that you know it has been received if it does not kick back. So the six council members I addressed surely did receive my message, but did not feel it necessary to say so. In case you think my hearing officer offer is small potatoes, listen to this: Many months ago, I offered in writing to provide the city with 20 hours a week of legal services for compensation of one dollar a year. If you multiply 20 hours by 50 weeks, you get 1,000 hours a year. Valuing those hours at $200 each (less than what the city has paid an outside law firm) you get $200,000, the value I was offering to the city, less $1 a year. If the City of Rye is in a position where it can ignore without acknowledgement the offer of service arguably worth $199,999, at least common courtesy would seem to oblige someone in the city government to mail a postcard saying simply, “Your email dated __, 2013, has been received.” Responsibilities The Rye Sound Shore Review, on Jan. 18, reported an idea floated in the City Council for hiring a personnel officer, to relieve the city manager of some personnel responsibilities. No estimate of the added cost of such a job is given, but it could be in excess of $100,000 a year. What this suggestion implies is that the city manager is not in a position to handle all personnel matters. But if the City Council blames the city manager, they should heed the warning of Cassius to Brutus in Act 1, Scene 2, lines 139-40, of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar: “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, But in ourselves, that we are underlings.” The members of our City Council might well ponder whether any fault regarding personnel management lies with the city manager or, at least as much if not more, with themselves. Unlike the city manager, they have full investigative powers and are better equipped to get to the bottom of personnel problems than the city manager or any other city agency. Reach John Carey at J_Pcarey@verizon.net

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increases for monthly passes to Grand Central Station from $247 to $269. However, Connecticut Commuter Rail, the state’s public transit system, implemented fare hikes this month that left an odd price differential for Metro-North users. A monthly ticket from Greenwich, Conn. to Grand Central is now $263, meaning fares from Rye would have been more expensive under the MTA’s latest pricing plan. As a result, Metro-North was forced to reduce its slated increase to $263 to comply with Connecticut. Otherwise, area riders might have purchased monthly passes in Connecticut, which would have cost the MTA revenue. Since Metro-North has decided to charge

riders in Rye $6 less than had been planned, Connecticut Commuter Rail has agreed to pay Metro-North the difference for each monthly Rye and Port Chester commuter pass, according to Margie Anders, a Metro-North spokeswoman. “The state of Connecticut will make us whole,” said Anders, adding that the difference is expected to cost the MTA roughly $300,000. The new rates go into effect on March 1. Anders said such an anomaly actually happens more often than one would think. “It’s because the two states raise fares at different rates,” the spokeswoman said. “It also happens between Metro-North and New Jersey Transit.” - Reporting by CHRISTIAN FALCONE

8 • THE RYE SOUND SHORE REVIEW • January 25, 2013

Legion gives American flags proper retirement By CHRISTIAN FALCONE ASSOCIATE EDITOR chris@hometwn.com

Displaying the proper way to dispose of American flags, the American Legion Rye Post 128 held the first official ceremony of its kind at Disbrow Park on Jan. 19. In total, over 1,200 flags were burned after being collected by the legion over the past year, according to Rye Post Commander George Sczcerba. “I though it was a great idea,” he said. “There was a need for it in the community.” The event was actually years in the making, due to the city’s lack of an official drop-off location for disposing of flags. Sczcerba, in his second year as the legion’s post commander, said talk had gone on for a few years over the need to organize some sort of collection box since the prior process was becoming antiquated. “People were dropping off flags for years to Ed Dempsey,” the post commander said. “People would leave them on his front porch.” Dempsey, one of the post’s elder statesmen, would gather all the flags and drive them upstate to dispose of them, Sczcerba said. Then one day, Sczcerba came across a mailbox, sitting outside the Port Chester Post Office that had been refurbished into a collection box for American flags. But after years of being denied similar access by the post office, the plan finally came to fruition. After having a mailbox refurbished and properly lettered, the mailbox which sits inside Rye City Hall was finally unveiled to the general public on May 28, 2012, as part of the city’s Memorial Day observance. “It has gotten a very good reception,” the post commander said. “It has worked out very well.” The United States Flag Code outlines guidelines for disposal of the flag. When a flag is so tattered that it can no longer serve as a symbol

Jim Burke, a former post commander, tosses a bundle of old flags into a trashcan filled with flames at an American Legion ceremony on Jan. 19. Photos/Christian Falcone

of the United States, it should be destroyed in a dignified manner, preferably by burning. The American Legion and other organizations regularly conduct flag retirement ceremonies, typically on Flag Day, June 14.

New police officer appointed to City of Rye PD

City Clerk Dawn Nodarse administers the oath of office to Police Officer Leila Molle. Contributed photo

Members of the American Legion Rye Post 128 took part in the flag burning ceremony, the city’s first, after collecting more than 1,000 unserviceable flags.

Leila M. Molle has been appointed to the position of police officer in the City of Rye Police Department, effective January 2013. She was sworn in at Rye City Hall on Jan. 4. Molle, 28, is a graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology. A resident of Cortlandt, she follows in a family tradition: her mother, Catherine Johansen, recently retired as a lieutenant in the Peekskill Police Department, where her stepfather, Eric

Johansen, was recently appointed Chief of Police. Molle will be assigned to the Westchester County Police Academy for basic recruit training, after which she will begin the department’s field training program, a structured curriculum designed to familiarize newly hired officers with the community and departmental procedures under the guidance of experienced officers. (Submitted)

January 25, 2013 • THE RYE SOUND SHORE REVIEW • 9

10 • THE RYE SOUND SHORE REVIEW • January 25, 2013

Mamaroneck to honor “X Factor” finalist By JASON CHIREVAS STAFF REPORTER jason@hometwn.com

Although she finished second on one of television’s biggest reality competition shows, the Village of Mamaroneck will show Carly Rose Sonenclar she is still first in the heart of her hometown with a parade on Jan. 27. Carly, 13, was the runner-up on the just finished season of Fox’s “The X Factor,” an interactive reality talent show created by former American Idol judge Simon Cowell. After her audition performance, an interpretation of Nina Simone’s “Feeling Good,” earned her a place in the show’s boot camp, Carly advanced through the competition with acclaimed performances each week until the Dec. 21, 2012 finale. In the last round, she fell just short of the show’s championship, which went to 37year-old country singer Tate Stevens. The parade, which will be held from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. along Mamaroneck Avenue, will be the culmination of months of hometown support for Carly, who told The Rye Sound Shore Review she is “so lucky to have such great support from back home” in a statement last November. That support will be in full force for the parade with the village police department, fire department, EMS, school athletic teams and cheerleaders all expected to help show Mamaroneck’s appreciation for its homegrown star.

“We have not a local, and not a national, but an international star budding for a great future,” said Mayor Norman Rosenblum in announcing the parade. Although she has come to national prominence recently, Carly is no stranger to performing. When she was 7, an art teacher saw something special in Carly and put her family in contact with a talent agent. Within a year, she appeared on Broadway as Young Cossette in “Les Miserables.” In 2011, Carly was named Best Young Performer by Broadwayworld.com. Carly’s second place finish on “The X Factor” has not just earned her millions of viewer votes and a parade from her hometown fans. She has reportedly inked a recording contract with Syco Music, a company coowned by Sony Music and Cowell. Mamaroneck has made an event of supporting Carly throughout her climb to “The X Factor”’ summit. In November of 2012, Rye Sound Shore Review caught up with Carly’s father, Bob Sonenclar, at an “X Factor” viewing party in Larchmont’s Chat 19. “‘Blown away’ are about the only two words I can come up with to describe how Terri and I feel about what the community is doing for Carly,” Bob Sonenclar said. The village expects thousands of Carly’s fans, who have come to be known as “Carly’s Angels,” to be in attendance for the parade. Carly has perhaps no bigger fan at the mo-

The Village of Mamaroneck will honor 2012 “X Factor” finalist Carly Rose Sonenclar, seen here, with a parade along Mamaroneck Avenue on Jan. 27 from 2:30 p.m.–4:30 p.m. Village fire, police and EMS personnel, along with her fans, dubbed “Carly’s Angels,” will participate in the celebration. Contributed photo

ment than Mayor Rosenblum, who promised the parade will be “a pure celebration,” even if The “X Factor’s” result was not quite what

he would have liked it to be. “[Carly] should have been first,” the mayor said.

Obituary Felicity Dell’Aquila-Geyra Felicity Dell’Aquila-Geyra died Jan. 11 at Calvary Hospital as a result of kidney failure. She was 82 years old. She is survived by her son Don Geyra of Bloomington, Ind. A native of New Rochelle, Dell’AquilaGeyra called Rye her “home” as she spent over 25 years as the guiding light of performing arts at the Rye Arts Center, bringing to the community dramatic readings by acclaimed actors John Cunningham of Rye and Frances Sternhagen of Westchester, as well as concerts by Abbey Simon, vignettes by Beverly Penworthy, a capella “fun” by JQ and the Bandits, among countless other presentations. She helped innovate and promote exhibits in the gallery and arranged a number of programs that took Rye community members to New York City to visit artists’ studios and to hear actors’ commentary at the conclusion of a Broadway play. In her long association with Rye, Dell’Aquila-Geyra was responsible for the Rye Arts Center marketing and public relations, establishing its reputation as a center of creativity in the arts for the local and surrounding communities. Dell’Aquila-Geyra was a “free spirit” who loved the arts; and her work on behalf of the Rye Arts Center, as elsewhere, enriched the lives of thousands of people. Dell’Aquila-Geyra has requested that donations in her memory be made to the Rye Arts Center at 51 Milton Road in Rye or to the New Rochelle Humane Society at 70 Portman Road, New Rochelle, N.Y. 10801. (Submitted)

January 25, 2013 • THE RYE SOUND SHORE REVIEW • 11

Pet rescue groups create mobile clinic By ALEXANDRA BOGDANOVIC STAFF REPORTER alexandra@hometwn.com

Faced with a growing dilemma, members of local pet rescue groups hope a new mobile veterinary clinic will help “fix” the problem. The 26-foot long “mobile clinic” vehicle, equipped with everything necessary to spay and neuter companion animals, arrived at the Westchester Humane Society in West Harrison Jan. 20. It will soon be deployed to areas where large numbers of unaltered dogs and cats continue to breed, adding to the vast number of stray and unwanted pets in the United States. According to one estimate, as many as 4 million unwanted or stray dogs and cats are euthanized in the United States each year. “We want everyone to know that the Westchester Humane Society is under new management and that we’ve turned it into a successful animal shelter with many cat and dog adoptions already to its credit,” said Eric Lobel, president of the Westchester Humane Society. “So I jumped at the chance to help out our friends at Fido Fixers and Pet Rescue, and to promote our common cause.” The Westchester Humane Society is dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and adoption of companion animals. It also works to end animal cruelty, embraces the no-kill philosophy and seeks to “end euthanasia of healthy, treatable and loveable dogs and cats.” Based in Greenwich, Conn., Fido Fixers, a

fledgling nonprofit group, provides low or nocost spay and neuter services for companion animals in economically distressed areas. It raised the money for and purchased the $140,000 vehicle after its founders experienced the futility of trying to save animals in areas where relatively little is done to address overpopulation. “Susan Maounis, Suzanne Steinberg and I have been involved in animal rescue and worked with animal rescue groups in this area. We helped transport animals from the south and southeast to shelters here,” said Lisa Wysocki of Fido Fixers. “We decided we had to get to the root of the [overpopulation] problem because so many of the animals that we left behind were euthanized. We knew the most effective way to do that is spay/neuter.” Rather than relying on other groups to provide the services, the trio decided to form the nonprofit organization and set about raising the money for the mobile clinic. The fundraising effort took less than a year. The Ohio-based La Boit group built the specialty vehicle, which Lobel picked up at its headquarters Jan. 18. In addition to being “remarkably easy” to drive, the vehicle is packed with state-of-the art equipment, Lobel said. In addition to a 54-gallon fuel tank, it has its own generator, built-in refrigerator and vacuum. There’s also an area where surgical instruments can be sterilized. An upper shelf along one side of the van provides ample space for

Members of local pet rescue groups welcomed the arrival of this new mobile veterinary clinic Jan. 20. Photo/Alexandra Bogdanovic

several cat carriers. Below that cages can be configured to accommodate small, medium and large dogs. A fully functional operating theater that can be separated from the main area is located at the back of the vehicle. “This gets to the heart of the overpopulation issue. What we can do at the shelter is limited. Now, we can provide this to people who will run low and no-cost spay/neuter clinics. We’re happy to do it.” Lobel said. Ruth Frumkin of the Larchmont-based Pet Rescue group said the organization would be the first to use the new mobile clinic.

Pet Rescue’s mission is to “aid homeless, abandoned and neglected cats and dogs, to nurture them in the foster care of volunteers, to provide veterinary care and socialization, and to place them in permanent loving and responsible homes.” Pet Rescue also works to decrease the population of homeless dogs and cats through its spay/neuter program. In addition to providing spay and neuter services in areas where pet owners cannot afford them, the mobile clinic will be staffed by experienced veterinarians and their assistants to trap, spay/neuter and release feral cats.

PARKING from page 1

the meters, other concerns have arisen. For example, the pay stations don’t accept credit cards and only accept exact change. “It’s very frustrating,” said Democratic Councilwoman Catherine Parker, a Purchase Street business owner since 1996. “Anytime you are creating a situation that is more frustrating for a consumer, it’s not good. It’s not healthy for the business community.” Parker believes there are short-term options the city can try in order to alleviate some of the frustration felt by residents in the downtown. She suggested a resident parking permit offered, for $50 per year, that would allow residents to park in the lots after 3 p.m. and on weekends. Parker said the hours offered are typically during a time period where more parking is available. “It might encourage people to come into town more often,” the councilwoman said. “I think there is a benefit again to people who want to know they will get a parking space. I think we can provide that.” City officials contend that parking is most at a premium in the downtown area on weekdays between the hours of 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Parker said currently the city seems unsure of where the users are coming from. Parker said a downtown parking study is needed to ascertain who is utilizing the Central Business District. The city has more restaurants to offer than ever before, and more offices over storefronts, she said, and it is possible the numbers have changed since the

city’s last parking study over a decade ago. In 2000, a city consultant performed a parking analysis and found that residents made up the majority of shoppers in the downtown. The study also stated that high parking occupancy rates confirm that a shortage of parking exists in Rye–particularly on weekends. Some of the recommendations that came out of that study were installing pay station meters, and selling separate parking permits for the Highland Road and Cedar Street lots. Both of those initiatives were implemented. The report also recommended redesigning the Smith Street parking lot; building a parking deck over the School Street parking lots and acquiring additional land. But the cost of putting a deck over the School Street lot was estimated, back then, at $2.5 million. Sally Wright, president of the Rye Chamber of Commerce said, “Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could wave a magic wand and get a structure in perfect place? It’s such a costly solution at least when we looked into it in the past for the amount of spaces it would capture.” The city’s Planning Commission who was responsible for drafting the 1985 Master Plan even gave thought to creating a parking deck at the train station, behind Purchase Street and across from Highland Hall but chose to pass on the proposal due to exorbitant costs. At that time, now more than 25 years ago, city representatives were also hesitant to alter the character of Rye’s Central Business

Not much has been assuaged in the way of parking concerns since the city released its 1985 Master Plan.

District with a project the magnitude of a parking deck. Yet, the report also states that the amount of parking back then was considered by some merchants to be inadequate for shoppers and restaurant patrons. Ultimately, that report recommended the creation of new parking lots on Locust Avenue and between lots east of Purchase Street. If parking decks were entertained today, the

city would likely have to borrow to pay for them triggering a public vote. Instead, Councilwoman Parker envisions the possibility of a public-private partnership in place of having to bond for the cost of construction. There’s no easy answer,” she said. “There’s a lot to consider.” A phone call to City Planner Christian Miller seeking comment was unsuccessful.

12 • THE RYE SOUND SHORE REVIEW • January 25, 2013

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To the Editor, Seventy-nine days after Superstorm Sandy devastated families, businesses and communities, Congress’s action today finally puts us a step closer to recovery. I am especially proud to have helped lead the bipartisan effort to pass the full assistance package for the affected areas, as the first order of business in the 113th Congress. Sandy took the lives of 110 Americans, transportation networks and coastal areas in New York and New Jersey were devastated, 650,000 homes were damaged beyond repair, and 8.1 million homes lost power, many for weeks. In New York alone, 265,000 businesses were affected, costing jobs, paychecks, and billions in lost economic output. The desperately-needed relief in this bill will help families and individuals put their lives back together and assist in rebuilding transportation networks and public infrastructure vital to commerce and our quality of life. Small businesses, schools, health care facilities, and research institutions will have the support to restore vital services in their communities. Congress’ failure to provide emergency relief before the end of the 112th Congress was inexcusable. With 146 major disasters declared in the last two years, no region of the country is immune to such tragedy. As Americans, we must never hold vital disaster assistance hostage to partisan fights about spending or political calculations. Nita Lowey, U.S. Congresswoman

Raising radon awareness To the Editor, January is National Radon Action Month, and the American Lung Association would like to raise awareness of how radon can affect your lung health. Many may not be aware of what exactly radon is; radon is a colorless, tasteless and odorless gas that is found in soil and forms radioactive byproducts which eventually can damage tissue inside your lungs and cause lung cancer. Radon enters your home, school or office building through cracks in the foundation or even through pipes and/or the water supply. People who have private wells are more at risk than people with community water supply. Prolonged radon exposure is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking. There are countless health risks to those living inside a home with high levels of radon. According to the EPA, smoking combined with radon exposure is considered a severe health risk. Testing your home is the best way to find out whether you are being exposed to high levels of radon. The Lung Association sells radon kits for only $12. They are available at LungNE.org/products or by calling 1-800LUNG-USA. Jeff Seyler President and CEO, American Lung Association of the Northeast New York City

January 25, 2013 • THE RYE SOUND SHORE REVIEW • 13

People and coyotes can co-exist, advocate says By ALEXANDRA BOGDANOVIC STAFF REPORTER alexandra@hometwn.com

It’s been a while since Frank Vincenti’s last trip to New Rochelle. Back in 1999, he did a presentation about coyotes for residents near Ward Acres. Just a few days ago, he did a similar presentation for an audience at the New Rochelle Humane Society. “Frank had called us about a month prior and asked if we’d be willing to host his presentation,” said New Rochelle Humane Society Manager Dana Rocco. “We do get a fair number of calls about coyotes, so we thought it would be a good educational piece.” On Jan. 20, Vincenti, founder of the Long Island-based Wild Dog Foundation, shared his passion for Eastern coyotes with shelter volunteers and interested residents. He began by saying that all it takes to peacefully co-exist with the animals is education and common sense. “If you understand dogs, you can understand coyotes,” he said. “They are wild animals, but you can reinforce proper behavior

in coyotes.” One effective method to deter coyotes from interacting with people is called “hazing,” Vincenti explained. It can be done by making loud noises, or in some cases firing paintball guns or beanbags at the animals, he said. Vincenti said he simply chases them away. “Coyotes don’t want anything to do with us,” he said. “There are no man-eating coyotes.” Most cases in which coyotes bite people happen because of “food habituation,” or when the animals are rabid, Vincenti said. Even so, he said understands why highly publicized incidents frightened and upset many Rye residents. Back in the summer of 2010, two coyotes attacked a then 6-year-old girl while she was playing outside. According to an account in The Rye Sound Shore Review, she was running along the side of her house when the coyotes jumped on her and knocked her to the ground. She was bitten on the shoulder and thigh, and sustained scratches to her head, back and neck. In another case, just a few days later, coyotes attacked another young girl in Rye. In that case a 3-year-old girl was playing with a

6-year-old neighbor when the coyote, which had been concealed behind a rock, jumped on the younger girl and knocked her to the ground. The coyote bit the little girl on the left side of her neck and torso before fleeing when adults alerted to the incident intervened. The victims were taken to the hospital in both cases. The severity of the attacks prompted officials to halt humane trapping in favor of more aggressive action. At a press conference documented in The Rye Sound Shore Review, Rye Police Commissioner William Connors said authorities would act on the presumption that all coyotes spotted in the community at that time were dangerous. Specifically, he said police and trappers would “shoot to kill,” and that any coyotes that were trapped would be euthanized. State wildlife officials advised at the time that relocation was not a viable alternative given the animals’ behavior and the severity of the attacks. Vincenti also said trapping and relocating or otherwise eradicating coyotes in such circumstances doesn’t necessarily solve the problem.

Instead, it creates a vacuum where other coyotes move into a vacated territory. “Negative reinforcement–not killing them–teaches coyotes how to avoid people,” Vincenti stressed. People can protect their pets from coyotes by vaccinating dogs and cats against rabies and other common diseases that can be transmitted from wild to companion animals, Vincenti said. Cats should be kept indoors whenever possible. “Coyotes do view cats as competitors and they will occasionally eat them, although cats generally make up less than 1 percent of a coyote’s diet,” Vincenti said. “They are not all cat killers.” The New York State Department of Conservation also recommends that people do not allow pets to run free. Furthermore, the agency urges people not to feed pets outside and not to feed coyotes at all. “If you see a coyote, be aggressive in your behavior–make loud noises, wave your arms or throw sticks or stones,” the agency recommends. “Teach children to appreciate coyotes from a distance.”

state civil service employee. Councilman Sack said anything the city may have been mounting against the club manager is now moot since he is no longer employed by the city. However, the former manager still faces the potential of being indicted on criminal charges based on the appearance of an improper relationship with an outside staffing company and misuse of club funds. It remains unclear what the city’s investigation will conclude. It also remains unknown if any other city employees are potential targets of the investigation. There is no word from city officials whether Yandrasevich will be entitled to collect on his pension and benefits since he was a 10-year city employee. Under state Civil Service law, an employee can begin to collect his or her pension through the state’s retirement system after 10 years of service. Sources say no settlement agreement was struck between the two parties. The former manager was placed on administrative leave on Oct. 10, 2012. That same night, the City Council agreed to initiate its own investigation into matters at the club, overtaking that authority from City Manager Scott Pickup. Three days later, the council hired the law firm Brune & Richard, which has continued its investigation as of press time. With his hiring, Yandrasevich was given reign over the operations and management of the club; in retrospect, there was little oversight from the club’s Golf Commission or city management of his handling of the organization. The club is run as an enterprise fund with the intent of remaining self-sustaining in order not to burden city taxpayers and is funded primarily through membership dues. Yet the club has struggled to run at a net-positive for

years, offsetting any year-end deficits by dipping into the club’s fund balance. Back in September 2012, it was uncovered, in a story broken by The Rye Sound Shore Review that the club had paid out roughly $2.2 million in salary costs to RM Staffing and Events, Inc.–a Rye-based company which has since relocated to Port Chester. Of that $2.2 million, roughly $400,000 was billed as overtime–equal to more than 10,000 hours over the same span. The rela-

tionship between Yandrasevich and the staffing company raised further questions when it was reported that his wife, Anne, worked for the company and Yandrasevich himself did consulting work for RM in an attempt to broker deals. Rye Golf Club, at Yandrasevich’s discretion, agreed to a deal with RM Staffing back in 2008, just as the company had formed. Rye Golf Club is a city-owned golf course that was purchased back in 1965.

GOLF CLUB from page 1

of the former manager’s employment as a distraction. Sack, a practicing attorney, wouldn’t provide a timetable for wrapping up the investigation. “The first phase seems to be winding down but there are obviously still many other aspects of what took place that we need to look at,” the councilman said. The club is currently in the midst of its offseason. Golf club officials made the financial decision to shut down Whitby Castle’s dining operation this year through February although the catering operation remains open. Still, many clubgoers await answers as to what has been going on at the club ever since the investigation got underway last year and comment from city officials has since become scarce. It was recently brought to light that a 2010 audit into the club’s financials raised several red flags regarding no bid contracts and other managerial irregularities. Club members have criticized the city for failing to address the issues brought out in the report. Chris O’Brien, a golf club commissioner, said he hopes the mayor provides the public and membership a full report exposing everything that was uncovered in the investigation. According to O’Brien, the club membership isn’t going to be satisfied until there is full accountability of what went on at the club. “We want to get some closure,” he said. “We want to know exactly what was going on at Rye Golf Club. Everybody has to be accountable here.” The city was working toward bringing disciplinary action against the club manager prior to his resignation. The City Council had even retained an attorney in the case that Yandrasevich requested a hearing, as part of his rights as a

Residents urged to get an annual flu shot Cases of influenza are widespread throughout the United States and New York, so County Executive Robert P. Astorino and Health Commissioner Sherlita Amler, MD advise residents who have not already done so to get their flu shot and to take simple steps to protect their health and that of their families. “You should always get a flu shot each year to protect yourself,’’ Amler said. “Many local pharmacies still have flu vaccine, and it’s never too late to benefit.’’ “Three simple steps that can help you stay healthy are washing your hands, staying home when you’re sick and avoiding others who are not well,’’ said County Executive Robert P. Astorino. Each year in the United States. the flu is responsible for approximately 200,000 hospitalizations and 36,000 deaths. This translates into the potential for about 100 to 125 flu-related deaths per year in Westchester’s population. To help stay healthy this season, the Westchester County Department of Health urges all residents to visit their doctor and get

a flu shot. During flu season, shots are also widely available at supermarkets and pharmacies. This year’s flu vaccine provides protection against the three strains of the flu that are circulating this season. People most at risk for complications from the flu include pregnant women, adults age 50 and older, children under the age of five and their caregivers, residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities and anyone who has certain underlying medical conditions. To prevent spreading the flu, cough or sneeze into your elbow and wash your hands often with soap and water. If you do get a respiratory infection, stay home until 24 hours after your fever subsides, to avoid spreading your germs. Clean surfaces you touch frequently, such as doorknobs, water faucets, refrigerator handles and telephones. Get plenty of rest, exercise and eat healthy food. For more information about the flu, contact the Westchester County Department of Health at (914) 813-5000 or go to westchestergov. com/health. (Submitted)

14 • THE RYE SOUND SHORE REVIEW • January 25, 2013

Rye YMCA names contest winners The Rye YMCA is pleased to announce the winners of “Heads Up: A Distracted Walking and Driving Poster Contest.” The winners–all students in three digital photography classes at Rye High School–are: • 1st Place: Ali Howard • 2nd Place: Kylie Roddy • 3rd Place: Cole Passaretti In September 2012, the Rye Y, as part of its Safe Routes to School initiative, invited the students to create posters that illustrate the dangers of distracted walking and driving. Under the leadership of Rye High School art teacher Andre Soto, 60 students–51 freshmen, eight sophomores and one junior–in three elective classes participated. The students narrowed the field to 15 finalists, a process that led to thought-provoking discussion in the classroom about distracted walking and driving. The Rye Y then convened a panel of community judges who selected the three winners. The judges were:

Rye High School student Ali Howard’s project won first place in the “Heads Up: A Distracted Walking and Driving Poster Contest.” Contributed photo

• William Connors – Chief, Rye Police Department

• Gregg Howells – Executive director, Rye YMCA • Robin Jovanovich – Editor and publisher, The Rye Record • Charles Sutter – Planner, Westchester County Dept. of Public Works and Transportation • Kim Larsen – Chairperson, Larchmont-Mamaroneck Safe Routes to School Committee • Nancy Pasquale – Rye City School District, Board of Education All of the posters will be exhibited at the Rye Arts Center from Jan. 24-Feb. 7. The 15 finalist posters will then move to the Rye Free Reading Room for a month-long exhibit. Members of the community are invited to the Opening Reception and Awards Ceremony for the exhibit, which will be held on Jan. 24 from 5:30 p.m. – 7 p.m. at the Rye Arts Center, located at 51 Milton Road in Rye. For additional information, or to RSVP to the Jan. 24 reception, contact Denise Woodin at denisewoodin@ryeymca.org or (914) 967-6363 ext. 101. (Submitted)

RYE GARNETS

Rye Neck students learn about Eastern culture

ATHLETE OF THE WEEK

Evan Clarke By BRANDON LABELLA CONTRIBUTOR

From an athletic standpoint, swimming may be one of the most physical sports that a high school athlete can engage in. But for the past four years, standout senior swimmer Evan Clarke has been a key contributor to the swim team, in and out of the pool. One of the team’s senior captains, Clarke has been a big influence on the team this year. The varsity team is 3-1 so far and keeps improving at every meet. Clarke has been swimming for four years and has been on varsity since his freshman year. Although he had a setback last year with on-and-off calf injuries, he broke the 30-second mark in the 50 freestyle in 10th grade and hopes to set an even faster time this year. “Not only is he a key part of our team’s success, but he is also a true leader and brings an unprecedented air of optimism,” said teammate Connor Murphy. “He defines the label captain in every way, shape, and form.” Clarke has been recruited by Hamilton and Colby–two Division III colleges–but has yet to make up his mind where he’ll enroll.

Sponsor: www.PiazzaPizzaRye.com On Jan. 16, Rye Neck Middle School students traveled to Egypt, Asia and beyond without leaving the building. Michael Harrold of Jambo Productions provided another level of learning to the sixth grade curriculum

studies of the Eastern Hemisphere. After an auditorium presentation, the classes broke out into workshops, where children could interact him and his collection of treasures up close. (Submitted)

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SPORTS

January 25, 2013 • THE RYE SOUND SHORE REVIEW • 15

Top momentum-shifting games Rye basketball beats Harrison The Garnets limped into the Mamaroneck tournament on Jan. 18 with five losses to their name, but their subsequent performance left little doubt as to what this team can accomplish with all hands on deck. Led by captain Max Twyman, the Garnets vaulted past the Huskies and Panthers to win the tournament. The two wins marked the first time that Rye had the majority of its rotational players all suiting up at the same time. Mamaroneck hockey beats Suffern Ever since their nine-game skid against Suffern came to an end on Jan. 10, the Tigers have found new life this season, winning tough league games against Scarsdale and New Rochelle in the last week. For a team that had its ups and downs early on in the year, Mamaroneck looks to be a real playoff threat. The team is even winning ugly games against good teams, such as the knockdown, drag-out fight they had against the Huguenots on Jan. 18. Even “ugly wins” bode well for a team looking to scratch and claw its way to a section title. Eastchester basketball loses to Poughkeepsie Sometimes, losses can be illuminating. When Eastchester dropped its Dec. 19 showdown with Poughkeepsie, it may have been the moment that served to define exactly what type of team it is. Since then, Eastchester has used an up-tempo, press-heavy style to confound oppos-

(L-R) Ben Miller, Luis Rubio and Dion Duran pose with their brackets at Edgemont High School on Jan. 18. The Tigers trio each won their respective weight brackets at the tournament. Contributed photo

ing teams and put together an eight game win streak. Kevin Teahan and Michael Milo have also emerged as viable scoring options, opening up the style of play on the offensive end.

Mamaroneck wrestling places fourth at Edgemont tourney In last week’s “Throwdown,” I discussed Mamaroneck 170 pounder Dion Duran’s first tournament win of the year, and on Jan. 18, Duran–as well as teammates Ben Miller and Luis Rubio– continued to stay hot. The trio each won their brackets at the 31st Edgemont Tournament. There were four Mamaroneck wrestlers in the finals, and the Tigers placed fourth overall. It would appear that the Tigers are rounding into form just in time for divisionals and sectionals.

Panthers win streak comes to an end, but team is riding high By MIKE SMITH ASSOCIATE SPORTS EDITOR sports@hometwn.com

Rye Neck may not have walked away with a championship trophy at the Jan. 18-19 Mamaroneck basketball tournament, but that doesn’t mean they weren’t winners. With the season winding down, the Panthers’ performance against both Mamaroneck and Rye has given them a confidence boost and a good shot to host a playoff game come sectionals. In the opening round of the tournament, the Panthers bested host Mamaroneck-a Class AA school-with a 51-45 performance that marked the sixth straight victory for a Rye Neck team that is starting to come into its own. Led by Matt Franks’ 18 points, the Panthers were able to take advantage of the absence of Tigers big man Alex Lanni, holding Mamaroneck to under 50 points on the day. “Without a doubt, that’s an exciting win for the program. Any time you get to knock off a AA school, especially a rival, that’s big.” said head coach Shawn Lincoln. “We’ve been playing great since winter break and I think we’re a good team that’s starting to find an identity, especially defensively.” Rye Neck couldn’t quite keep the momentum going the following night, dropping the championship game to the Rye

Garnets 60-55. Despite the loss, Lincoln said that there were plenty of encouraging signs in the game. Franks again led the Panthers in scoring with 20 and Chris Cascione was named to the all-tournament team. “I think if you look at it, a lot of individuals are starting to step up, and we saw that during the tournament,” said Lincoln. “If Chris can continue to score the way he has been, it continues to give us more options on the offensive end.” With just four games left in the regular season, Rye Neck is a lock for a berth in the Class B playoffs. If they continue to play well to close out the season, Lincoln believes the team has a chance to host a playoff game, a goal set at the beginning of the season. “Right now, we control our destiny and that’s where we want to be,” said the head coach. “We look at this last weekend, playing Mamaroneck, as something of a measuring stick which shows us how far we’ve come as a team. Now we just need to take care of business.” Like many area teams, Rye Neck will get some time off before returning to the court on Jan. 31 against a good Hastings squad. They will tangle with Hawthorne, Keio and Alexander Hamilton before the playoffs start in the second week of Chris Cascione looks for an opening in the Rye defense on Jan. 19. Cascione is one of several Panthers who contributed during Rye Neck’s six-game win streak. Photo/Mike Smith February.

16 • THE RYE SOUND SHORE REVIEW • January 25, 2013

SPORTS

Garnets top Panthers, Huskies in Mamaroneck tournament

Rye coach John Aguilar (right) and Rye Neck coach Shawn Lincoln share a moment before the Jan. 19 showdown between the schools at Mamaroneck High School. Lincoln previously coached under Aguilar at Rye Neck, and the meeting was the first between the two coaches. By MIKE SMITH ASSOCIATE SPORTS EDITOR sports@hometwn.com

Battling injuries, illness and bad luck all season long, the Rye Garnets came into Mamaroneck’s annual Tiger Tournament on Jan. 18 with something to prove–and a season to turn around. Led by forward Max Twyman, Rye was able to put together eight quarters of inspired play, picking up two wins, a tourney championship and some much needed momentum as the squad prepares for what might be its toughest stretch of the season. On Jan. 15, taking on a top team in Horace Greeley, Rye seemed destined for a win, leading by double digits with time running out, before some key turnovers doomed them to the team’s fifth loss of the season. “That was a tough one, mentally,” said Aguilar. “Our other losses were all to Class AA teams and we knew we would need to bounce back from that.” Luckily, the squad didn’t have time to dwell on the loss, as its first round matchup at Mamaroneck’s tournament pit them against rival Harrison for another league showdown. But the hungry Garnets, eager to turn things around, got off to a quick start against the Huskies, ultimately winning 60-47 thanks to a big performance from Twyman, who scored 24 points. “It was a huge win, that was our season there,” said Aguilar. “Every time we play Harrison, it’s going to be a battle, and they’re having one of the

better seasons they’ve had in a while.” Rye went on to meet Rye Neck in the tourney finals on Jan. 19, and although the Panthers and Garnets don’t have the same sustained rivalry that marks any Rye contest against Harrison, the emotional stakes were especially high for this meeting, Aguilar’s first against the team he helmed last year. “I had been texting with [Panthers coach] Shawn Lincoln during the week and we said ‘let’s make this a Rye-Rye Neck final,” said Aguilar. “It was sort of hard seeing those guys again who I had coached for a while, like Matt Franks, but I’ve definitely been proud of the season that they have been having.” “We knew coming in that it was important game for him,” said Twyman, whose 23 points and 14 rebounds led Rye to a 60-55 win and the tourney crown. “But it was our job to just stay focused and run our gameplan.” With the back-to-back wins, Rye will now have to deal with a grueling stretch of the schedule that will see them take on the Huskies in a rematch on Jan. 27 before back-to-back games against powerhouse Byram Hills. Despite Rye’s relatively easy first win against Harrison, Twyman and the Garnets aren’t looking past a Huskies’ squad that will be looking for some measure of revenge. “They’re good and they’re athletic,” said Twyman. “Plus, their best player, Coby Lefkowtiz, got into early foul trouble in that first game, so I don’t think we’ve seen the best of what they have.”

Matt Franks looks for an open man on Jan. 19. Franks and the Panthers beat Mamaroneck to advance to the tournament finals, where they fell to Rye. Photos/Mike Smith

Rye senior Max Twyman gets ready for a foul shot on Jan. 19. Twyman’s strong games against Harrison and Rye Neck earned him outstanding player honors at Mamaroneck’s annual tournament.


Rye Sound Shore Review, 1-25-2013