Vol. 13/Number 10
City looks to wrap up golf probe in coming weeks By CHRISTIAN FALCONE ASSOCIATE EDITOR email@example.com
The city’s investigation into Rye Golf Club continues even after an 18-page report went public Feb. 27, accusing the club’s former manager of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars. Investigators plan to conduct two more interviews as well as a continued ﬁnancial analysis of former Rye Golf Club manager Scott Yandrasevich’s bank records and credit card statements. A ﬁrm hired by the city to conduct the investigation, still plans to interview former city manager Paul Shew and one other current city employee. After those interviews, the 18-page report will be amended, according to City
Attorney Kristen Wilson. There were already 29 people interviewed in connection with the investigation. Wilson said much of the holdup in completing the investigation has been waiting for Chase Bank to turn over Yandrasevich’s bank records. “We were hopeful [investigators] would have them by now,” the city attorney said. “[Chase is] not being incredibly cooperative.” The initial report, which came after nearly ﬁve months of investigation, accused Yandrasevich of stealing from golf members through various shell corporations that he created beginning in 2007. The district attorney’s ofﬁce continues to look into the case and may soon launch a criminal probe.
Released last week, the ﬁndings did not uncover evidence that any other former or current city employees beneﬁted ﬁnancially from the mismanagement, though those in charge of the city’s operations, in particular City Manager Scott Pickup, continue to face scrutiny for allowing potential criminal activity to go unchecked for years. The City Council-led investigation centered on nearly $8 million worth of purchase orders for outside services submitted to the city for billing through Yandrasevich’s shell companies. Without many checks and balances over Yandrasevich’s management of the city-owned golf club, the former manager was able to funnel GOLF continued on page 9
Oversight of development a concern for land use boards By CHRISTIAN FALCONE ASSOCIATE EDITOR firstname.lastname@example.org
There is concern over a lack of regulation of development within the city. Part of the land use boards’ concern is that developers are now seeking to utilize “110 percent” of development potential, said
William Fegan, of the Board of Architectural Review. Also, many of the newly constructed houses are not code compliant, according to Barbara Cummings, a member of the Planning Commission. “The volume of the building is becoming very large and becoming disproportionate to our community,” Fegan said. “People are building
buildings not as we approve them.” He added applicants are cutting down trees before they even request permission to do so. “There’s a lot of shoot ﬁrst, ask question later. They just don’t care,” Fegan said. And the ﬁnes the city levies for such offenses do not seem to be much of a deterrent. LAND USE continued on page 14
Mayor looks to create volunteer technology committee By CHRISTIAN FALCONE ASSOCIATE EDITOR email@example.com
The city is considering the creation of a volunteer Technology Committee. Mayor Douglas French, a Republican who ﬁrst kicked off the idea, said the plan is to have the City Council formally establish the
committee at an upcoming meeting and then collaborate with city staff on rolling it out. The proposal was expected to be discussed publicly at the City Council meeting on March 6, after press time. The volunteer committee, if created, would temporarily consist of ﬁve members charged with exploring how technology can enhance
services to city residents. French said every other city department has a citizen oversight committee to assist staff in new initiatives and ideas “except the one area that could have an immediate impact on the resident experience here in Rye, and that is technology.” The goal of the group would be TECH continued on page 11
March 8, 2013
Lester’s disputes sale of 1037
The conceptual plan of what 1037 Boston Post Road will look like after it’s sold to a Long Island-based corporation. Rendering courtesy/Bill Wolf Petroleum By CHRISTIAN FALCONE ASSOCIATE EDITOR firstname.lastname@example.org
The sale of 1037 Boston Post Road to a private investor was motivated by what ofﬁcials said were the best interests of the City of Rye. However, the property’s current tenant, who claims he was treated unfairly, may contest that decision. The City Council was expected to ﬁnalize the contract to sell the building for $5.6 million to the newly created 1037 Boston Post Road LLC on Wednesday after press time. The LLC was formed by Bill Wolf Petroleum, a real estate holdings and gasoline distribution corporation based in Long Island. Adam Wolf, vice president of Bill Wolf Petroleum, said the building and property would be redeveloped, and he would look for a high-end tenant. “It’s going to be a beautiful building,” he said. But Lester’s owner Perry Schorr, the current tenant, said his bid to buy the building included a provision in which he would beat any legitimate offer by $50,000.
“That was our way of telling you clearly that we wanted to buy the building and we would do whatever it took,” said Schorr. “A $106,000 more in the coffers is somewhat irresponsible for you not to take, in my opinion.” If the city had selected Lester’s, it would have only paid a 3 percent fee to the broker instead of 4 percent, which would have saved the city an additional $56,000. Republican Councilwoman Julie Killian said although the bidding process for the city-owned property was a competitive one, the council’s decision came down to the gasoline corporation’s ability to offer cash for the purchase as well as its experience with environmental issues. “That was the piece that made me more comfortable,” Killian said. “So, we took the deal that was the most certain for the city.” Despite talk of potential environmental issues on the site, City Attorney Kristen Wilson said she is not aware of any speciﬁc contamination at 1037. LESTERS continued on page 10
2 • THE RYE SOUND SHORE REVIEW • March 8, 2013
March 8, 2013 • THE RYE SOUND SHORE REVIEW • 3
City C ouncil News
Assistant schools superintendent resigns
Compiled from the Feb. 27 Rye City Council meeting • The City Council authorized funding legal services related to a lengthy Rye Golf Club investigation. The $102,000 will cover outstanding bills through Feb. 25 and come from the city’s contingency account. Going forward, Mayor Douglas French asked the city’s investigators to provide estimates of work prior to actually billing the city. “I don’t want to authorize any funding going forward until [lead investigator Theresa Trzaskoma] gives us an estimate of what she expects,” French said. The city hired a ﬁrm to investigate accusations of mismanagement at the municipality owned club. • Discussion on establishing a temporary Technology Committee was deferred to the March 6 City Council meeting. • Bertrand DeFrondeville was appointed to the Finance Committee to ﬁll a term expiring on Jan. 1, 2014.
• The council granted a Milton Elementary School PTO request to approve a parade to precede the Milton Elementary School Fair on March 16 from 9 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. • The City Council approved a request by the Rye Little League to hold an Opening Day parade on April 13 at 12 p.m. to kick off the 56th Little League season. • A resolution permitting the Rye Sustainability Committee, the Conservation Commission/Advisory Commission, and the Rye Arts Center to hold a free public event on the Village Green to commemorate Earth Day 2013 on April 20 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. was tabled for the next meeting. • A request by the Rye YMCA for the use of city streets during the 25th Annual Rye Derby on April 28 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. was tabled. –Reporting by CHRISTIAN FALCONE
Have a news tip? Contact your local reporter Christian Falcone email@example.com
On Tuesday night, Assistant Superintendent for Business Kathleen Ryan announced her resignation from the Rye City School District effective July 31. Ryan said she plans to pursue personal and professional interests, spend time with her family and relocate to Florida. Ryan joined the Rye district as a school business ofﬁcial in 2007. “It will be a bittersweet farewell as I leave my role here to focus on other areas of my life,” she said. “It has been a privilege to work with all of my colleagues here in Rye.” Board of Education President Laura Slack
said Ryan has been instrumental to the district, having modernized the business ofﬁce and helped the school district through some of the toughest economic times in state history. Slack also said that Ryan is widely respected in the state as a business ofﬁcial, and some of the ﬁnancial work she has done in Rye has been copied by other school districts. “It’s a loss for the school district and big shoes to ﬁll,” Slack said. School district ofﬁcials said they will share information on the search process for Ryan’s successor in the coming months. -Reporting by CHRISTIAN FALCONE
4 • THE RYE SOUND SHORE REVIEW • March 8, 2013
C ommunity Briefs Affordable housing expo comes to Westchester Westchester County’s 2013 Fair and Affordable Housing Expo will take place on Saturday, March 9 at the Westchester County Center in White Plains from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission is free. Seminars will be held on the following topics: • How much do I need for a down payment? • Know your rights–fair housing and fair lending. • The importance of credit and the credit score. • The role of the not-for-proﬁt counselor, the realtor, the inspector, the attorney and the lender. • Down payment and closing costs assistance. • Is this a good time to buy a home? A noon workshop on Fair and Affordable Housing will focus on the Westchester County housing settlement and on “Homeseeker Online,” a website where visitors are provided with information about affordable homeownership and rental apartment opportunities in Westchester. Those attending can also learn about FAH and fair lending, afﬁrmative marketing and the FAH application and selection process. For more information on the Expo, con-
tact Westchester Residential Opportunities at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 428-4507 x 314, or the Housing Action Council at email@example.com, or 332-4144. Fliers on the expo, in English and in Spanish, can be downloaded at the “Go to ﬂyer” link at homes.westchestergov.com/homeseeker-opportunities. Environmental presentation On Saturday, March 9, the Committee to Save the Bird Homestead will sponsor a presentation by Tom Andersen, the New York Program and Communications Coordinator for Save the Sound, titled “The Long Island Sound Cleanup: Where Are We, What Is To Be Done?” The program will take place at the historic Meeting House on Milton Road at 3 p.m. Admission is free of charge. The Meeting House is located at 624 Milton Road. For further information contact birdhomestead. firstname.lastname@example.org or 914-967-0099. Summer camp open house Soundview Sports will host an Open House at Manhattanville College on Sunday, March 10 from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. for campers and parents interested in learning about Soundview’s unique Summer Sports Skills-Building Day Camp. New this year are week-long specialty programs for ages 10-14. These afternoon programs include baseball, basketball, lacrosse and soccer. Camp starts on Monday, June 24 and ends on Friday, August 9, 2013. Please call Soundview Sports (914) 323-5400 and/or visit soundviewsports.com
for further information on all of our programs. Rye Historical Society Free Program “Contributions of Women to Peacebuilding Operations” On March 10, from 3 p.m.–5 p.m., the Rye Historical Society and the Westchester chapter of the United Nations Association of the UNA invite the public to celebrate International Women’s Day 2013 with a special presentation. “Contributions of Women to Peacebuilding Operations” will feature Judy Cheng-Hopkins, Assistant SecretaryGeneral for Peacebuilding Support at the United Nations. This event will be at the Square House Museum at 1 Purchase St. in Rye. The program is free and will be followed by a Q&A session and discussion moderated by Marcia Brewster, president of UNA Westchester. Refreshments will be served following the program. Reservations for this program are requested as space is limited. Please call the Rye Historical Society at (914) 967-7588 to reserve a seat. The ofﬁce and Square House Museum are open Tuesday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Please visit ryehistory.org. Local artists exhibit at Mamaroneck Artists Guild The Mamaroneck Artists Guild brings together a quartet of artists beginning March 5 through March 30 who will exhibit an eclectic range of imagery – everything from the realis-
tic to the abstract. New Rochelle artists, Jeanie Ritter (oils), Shelia Benedis (mixed media), and Jane Petruska (mixed media and sculpture) join forces with Carol Gromer (pencil drawings) of Scarsdale in this unique exhibition of two and three-dimensional works. Come meet the artists at an opening reception on March 9, from 3 p.m. – 5 p.m. Gallery hours are Tuesday – Saturday, from 12 p.m. – 5 p.m. The gallery is located at 126 Larchmont Ave. in Larchmont. Admission is free. Free foreclosure prevention workshop On March 11 from 7 p.m. – 8 p.m., Human Development Services of Westchester Neighborhood Preservation Company offers a free workshop for anyone interested in foreclosure prevention at the Port Chester-Rye Brook Public Library. This not-for-proﬁt organization may be able to help those with unaffordable mortgages, those working with their banks and having difﬁculty, and those in the court process. Se habla español. The library is located at One Haseco Avenue in Port Chester. For more information, call (914) 939-6710 x103. 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 email@example.com.
March 8, 2013 • THE RYE SOUND SHORE REVIEW • 5
School Safety symposium held at SUNY Purchase By DANIEL OFFNER STAFF REPORTER firstname.lastname@example.org
More than 300 school and police ofﬁcials gathered inside the Performing Arts Center at SUNY Purchase on Feb. 26 for the launch of Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino’s “Safer Communities” initiative. “Senseless acts of violence can never be completely eliminated...but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try,” Astorino said. “There are public safety concerns, mental health issues and all sorts of societal inﬂuences at work...the good news is we don’t have to reinvent the wheel.” Astorino, a Republican, formulated the initiative in the wake of the school shooting last December at Sandy Hook Elementary school in Newtown, Conn. The goal, he said, is to keep Westchester schools safe from acts of violence. “Like a disease, [violence] can be treated, it can be avoided, and it can be cured,” Astorino said. For the ﬁrst of several sessions, Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety George Longworth coordinated a school safety symposium to provide educators with practical guidance on making schools safer as well as enhancing the coordination between law enforcement and school districts. The symposium included a keynote address from former New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton, three presentations from security experts on school-based
violence, a demonstration of county police tactics and a panel discussion focusing on strategies and real-time decision-making in actual situations. “Community policing in New York clearly emphasizes a partnership that is critical to school safety,” Bratton said. “We cannot continue to operate in silos...there is too much at stake.” Bratton highlighted several key components of the plan to make local school communities safer, including working towards building a better partnership between school ofﬁcials, local police and parents, understanding and helping solve issues affecting today’s youth and prevention of criminal behavior,which involves understanding how to spot warning signs and notifying the proper authorities of any potential indicators. For his demonstration, Westchester County Department of Public Safety Chief Inspector John Hodges brought out explosive-detecting dogs with the county’s K-9 unit, a remote operated bomb-disarming robot and demonstrated evacuation procedure in instances where there is an emergency, such as an “active shooter.” In the months since Newtown, the term “active shooter” has been used as a term among law enforcement ofﬁcials to identify an individual that is discharging a ﬁrearm in an attempt to kill. “Discussion of these issues tends to help lessen the shock when it occurs,” Hodges said. “It is important for law enforcement to remain
Members of the Westchester County Department of Public Safety provide a real-time demonstration of standard evacuation protocol in the event of an “active shooter.” Four county police ofﬁcers, pictured here, are suited up in full protective gear and use replica ﬁrearms in order to demonstrate how they would approach a suspect in a hostile environment. Photo/Daniel Offner
dynamic as the plans may change.” The event concluded with a panel discussion featuring County Executive Astorino, law enforcement ofﬁcials and education leaders such as Harrison Central School District
Superintendent Louis Wool. Wool, who also serves as the President of the Lower Hudson Council of School Superintendents, an organization including SAFETY continued on page 14
6 • THE RYE SOUND SHORE REVIEW • March 8, 2013
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Enough already of “Rye’s Madoff Moment” and alleged large thefts. A RYE Enough already of city ofﬁcials’ possible blind eyes OLDTIMER or deaf ears. Judge John Carey Enough already of big spending on private law ﬁrms for doing investigations that could have been done by the Westchester District Attorney or the United States Attorney, or by means of “discovery” in civil lawsuits in state or U.S. courts. Enough already of hiring law ﬁrms without competitive bidding or predetermined fees. Enough already of the city manager, without City Council approval, hiring a consultant for a purpose kept from the public and despite any budget limit or hiring freeze. Enough of all that unpleasantness, the likes of which I have not seen in our family’s 56 years as Rye residents. Instead let’s turn the clock back even further, to the summer of 1945. There is a Rye resident, Kent Warner, whose experiences at that time so closely paralleled my own as to be uncanny. We both had the Navy rank of Lt. Junior Grade in anti-submarine warfare, and we both survived three hurricanes at Okinawa that destroyed or damaged numerous U.S. Navy ships. The three typhoons occurred on successive weekends, starting on the Friday when our ship arrived at Buckner Bay, the unprotected anchorage at the southeast end of Okinawa. As the force of the wind picked up, we could see that our anchor was dragging, so we ran both engines in order to stay in place. Several dozen ships were not able to avoid getting dragged across the bay to its northwest side, where they went aground. It was a sad sight the next morning. The shore was littered with vessels, large and small. When we tried to pull up our anchor, we found out why we had not gone ashore with many other ships. We were not able to budge the anchor. It was hooked onto something immovable. When a large freighter came near, we persuaded them to hook onto our anchor chain with one of their powerful booms. In due course, up came our anchor, hooked into a length of heavy chain that must have been lying on the bottom in just the right place to save us. The next weekend, as the second typhoon approached, we and other small ships were ordered out to sea to ride it out. We headed off southwest, in the direction of Formosa, and had heavy going of it even though the force of the storm was behind us. Getting back after the storm was like riding a bucking bronco. The third typhoon is where Rye resident Kent Warner and I crossed paths. His ship, a bit smaller than ours, had taken refuge during the preceding two storms in a tiny landlocked cove called Unten-Ko at the north end of Okinawa. Although we were again ordered out to sea, our captain persuaded the commandant to let us seek refuge in Unten-Ko. Once there, we dropped our anchor from the bow and hitched our stern to a dolphin, a group of pilings driven into the muddy bottom close together. We had a small boat with which to get around in harbors. It was ﬂoating beside our ship when the storm began and needed to be hoisted aboard. No one in our crew volunteered to get down in the bouncing boat and hook it onto a block and tackle to be raised to our ship’s deck. So I said I would do it. As soon as I got down into the small boat, whomever on deck was holding the rope connected to the small boat lost his grip. So off I drifted, with no motor or oars. Once I reached shore, an Army truck driver saw my plight and urged me to come to his camp for the night. So, for one night I was in the Army. Our ship was unharmed, sitting in soft mud, but it was a bit embarrassing, especially since our captain suddenly got orders to leave and turn command over to his executive ofﬁcer. That may have been the ﬁrst time in the history of the U.S. Navy that a change of command took place on a ship that was not aﬂoat. One day there appeared in Unten-Ko an Army tugboat commanded by a sergeant. We quickly invited him and his two-man crew to lunch with us. We had one steak left in the freezer and quickly thawed it. The tug was large and powerful looking, so we asked the sergeant if he could try to yank us off our mud bank. At that moment, we were too high up to ﬂoat, but he promised to come back at full moon. He was as good as his word, and we soon were aﬂoat again. That was one powerful tugboat. While aground, we had visitors from other ships since we were able to show movies on deck, the shooting having stopped. A Landing Craft Infantry stopped by, drawing very little water, and its captain told us that he needed to recruit ofﬁcers to judge in a court martial. His most talented crewmember, it seems, had no understanding of military discipline. Promotion had not improved him, so the only alternative appeared to the captain to be punishment. I told the captain I was interested in studying law whenever I ﬁnished college and would like the experience of serving as a court martial judge. Then I made a mistake that blew my chance for practical judicial experience. I asked him what he would like to see done with his crewmember. The captain scowled at me in disgust, and said, “Forget it; you just don’t get the point. I’ll have to get someone else.” Hats off to the captain for being so sensitive to the risk of “command inﬂuence.” And a Bronx Cheer for me, although it was a lesson I have never forgotten. Reach John Carry at J_Pcarey@verizon.net
March 8, 2013 • THE RYE SOUND SHORE REVIEW • 7
Electric bill phone calls annoy residents By ASHLEY HELMS STAFF REPORTER email@example.com
According to an amendment to the telemarketing bill from Nov. 12, 2012, telemarketers doing business in the state are prohibited from delivering prerecorded messages to customers A recent trend of telemarketer calls offering to reduce elec- without obtaining the customer’s consent and are required to tricity bills has created irritation among locals over the manner allow consumers to opt onto the company’s do not call list. Marcotte said she sent an email to a business affairs repreand frequency of the calls. But, the unknown callers may be companies approved to solicit in Westchester County by the sentative from Con Edison and got a reply from Jane Solnick regarding the telephone calls. Solnick said she state’s Public Service Commission, which overunderstood the frustration Marcotte’s consees utilities. stituents were facing and wanted to make sure When a homeowner receives one of the calls, information regarding approved telemarketing an automatic message prompts the answerer to companies was easily accessible. On Con Ed’s stay on the line for a representative and tells website, there is a list of roughly 50 companies the homeowner to get his or her electric bill with phone numbers that are allowed to market handy so the caller can identify areas of poselectrical services in Westchester. “Suppliers sible savings. The calls are received strictly on qualify to do business under processes outlined landlines, as often as three times a day accordby the New York Public Service Commission,” ing to residents. The callers never identify who Solnick stated in an email. they are or what company they’re calling from Allan Drury, a business representative with and, when asked, hang up the phone. Asking Con Edison, also said that residents who are exto be removed from the company’s list, or to periencing these calls should contact the Public have your name placed on a do not call regisSheila Marcotte Service Commission. “These calls are not comtry has not been effective, according to County Legislature Sheila Marcotte, who has received the persis- ing from us, and we do not provide customer information to outside parties,” Drury said in an email. tent calls. Bronxville Trustee Anne Poorman, a Republican, wrote Marcotte, a Tuckahoe Republican, said she doesn’t have caller identiﬁcation and her attempts to reverse dial using *69 on Facebook that she has registered complaints on the do not have proved ineffective. If the caller is asked for a phone num- call list, but doesn’t know what else she can do. “I get six ber where he or she can be reached later, Marcotte said the [unwanted telemarketing calls] a day; probably 30 each week callers say that they’ll call back, but then hang up. She said she since fall from different area codes,” Poorman said. Kathy McLaughlin Muscat, an Eastchester resident, said that has never gone through the motions of going over her electric bill because she never has it handy when the telemarketers she gets a couple of calls a day and when she asks them to take call. “This has really driven me to the edge,” Marcotte said. her off their call list, they just hang up. “A couple hours later I get another call,” Muscat said. “I’m disgusted with them.” “They call three to four times a day on my landline.”
WP Dems back Ryan for exec White Plains Democratic district leaders gave their support to County Legislator Bill Ryan in the race for the Democratic nomination for Westchester County Executive. Legislator Ryan, who lives in White Plains, received 85 percent of the weighted votes cast on the ﬁrst ballot, compared to 13 percent and 2 percent for New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson and County Legislator Ken Jenkins respectively. The balloting came after the three candidates each made Bill Ryan their case for the job and answered questions about major issues in the campaign. White Plains district leaders will participate with others throughout Westchester when the County Democratic Committee meets in convention on April 24 to select its candidate to face incumbent Rob Astorino. In addressing the White Plains committee, Bill Ryan said, “this will be a tough election. As Westchester Democrats, we have an important job to do. We need to pick the candidate who can beat Astorino in November. There’s a lot at stake.” (Submitted)
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8 • THE RYE SOUND SHORE REVIEW • March 8, 2013
Holy Child student named Merit ﬁnalist
Punked out Purchase, N.Y. Spring 1995. I go down into the woodpaneled basement of my grandparents’ house, where they still have an old table-sized stereo system with a record LUNGARIELLO player. This kid, Jon, who is in my English class at Iona AT LARGE Prep, lent me a record by some punk band he swears by Mark Lungariello called The Queers. I put the record on and cringe. The ﬁrst song, an instrumental number called “Steak Bomb,” is so fast that I check the RPMs on the record player, thinking I have it set to 45 instead of 33.3. The settings are ﬁne. When the vocals start, it still sounds wrong to me. I give up on it and lift the needle after about 10 minutes. Harrison, N.Y. Summer 1995. Jon and I manage to get back to Westchester on the MetroNorth with 47 cents between the two of us after a two-day journey to a place called The Tune Inn in New Haven to see The Queers and some other bands. I think the Queers performed poorly. We decide when we get back to his house we’ll make a punk song about our adventure called “47 Cents.” We never do though.
School of the Holy Child senior Caitlin Hogan has been named a ﬁnalist by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation. Chosen on the basis of high scores on the Preliminary SAT, Caitlin is among the roughly 15,000 ﬁnalists competing for approximately 8,300 National Merit Scholarship awards that will be announced in April. To become a ﬁnalist, a student must have an outstanding academic record throughout
high school, be endorsed and recommended by the school principal, and earn SAT scores that conﬁrm the student’s earlier qualifying test performance. The student and a school ofﬁcial must submit a detailed scholarship application, which includes the student’s self-descriptive essay and information about the semiﬁnalist’s participation and leadership in school and community activities. (Submitted)
White Plains, N.Y. August 1996. Jon, my younger brother Matt and I buy the new Queers record “Don’t Back Down” at the Vinyl Solution in Port Chester and drive home to my parents’ house to listen to it. It came out on vinyl a few days before it will be released on tape and CD, so we get the vinyl, but then have to wait the whole drive home where there’s a record player to listen to it. We head upstairs into my room to use the player there. It’s a big deal that we’re even upstairs, and my mother would kill me if she knew we didn’t take our shoes off while walking on the carpet. I declare that I have never been this excited about a new album in my life. We mostly love it, and we memorize the lyrics to as many songs as we can before their gig at Coney Island High in New York City a few days later. We want to be able to sing along to their new songs the same way we would their older tunes. After the show, one of our friends, Ian, is sweating so much from dancing and running in circles in what they used to call “mosh pits” that it looks as if he’s had ﬁve buckets of water dumped on him. The Lowdown, Mount Vernon, N.Y. October 1999. The new band I formed, Team 13, plays its ﬁrst gig at this small dive, which is essentially in a basement off the Cross County Parkway. Legend had it that a few cars had crashed into the entrance and gone down the steps. I play guitar and sing and there are three other guys in the group, including the bassist, who is my friend from high school English we now call Jon Ruckus because all punk rockers have nicknames like that. Jon comes out on stage wearing an Easter Bunny head and handing out baskets of hard-boiled eggs. He uses butane to light his pants and bass on ﬁre when he plays. None of the rest of us knew he planned to do this. A hard-boiled egg ﬁght ensues immediately once we start playing, which is past 1 a.m. People are being kicked out for throwing eggs at us and each other before we even hit the ﬁrst chorus of our ﬁrst song. Four songs later, the sound guy cuts the power to the stage and shuts us down. The owners of the place complain about the hard-boiled eggs all over the bar. “Anyone have any salt?” I yell into the crowd. The Lowdown, Mount Vernon, N.Y. Feb. 2, 2001. One of the songs we play has to be stopped and started over to get it right. Someone pukes on stage. Mid-song, Jon smashes his base, then covers its remains in rubber cement. The three other members of the band continue to try to ﬁnish the song we’re playing. Then Jon lights the bass and his hand on ﬁre. The ﬂames reach higher than my head and a half dozen people run on stage to try to stomp out the ﬁre, but the ﬂaming cement sticks to their sneakers and they run off in a panic. People are moving away from the stage, ready to run for the exit. I think calmly, “Not good: we are going to burn this dump down.” But soon the ﬂames die down, though Jon has sustained third degree burns which will require surgery. Still, we play two more songs and Jon joins us on stage to sing harmonies on one of the numbers. My brother Mike, who isn’t into punk rock, is seeing me play that night for the ﬁrst time. I apologize to him, slightly embarrassed. He doesn’t understand what I’m apologizing about, because he thinks the almost-burning-the-entire-place-down thing was part of the show. New York City, 2013. I stand in the back of a club called Santo’s Party House, which is so oversaturated with people that it’s not a crowd so much as it is a bunch of people standing in a really long line that never moves and leads nowhere. Two punk bands, The Queers and Teenage Bottlerocket, perform and I’m glad the show starts at 7 p.m. so I can be in bed at a decent time. It’s Saturday. I’m also glad I’m not the oldest person at the show though I still feel self conscious pumping my ﬁst on the sing along parts. On the Metro-North heading back to Westchester, both my girlfriend and I doze off but luckily wake up in time for the White Plains stop. Two days later, she still complains of her ears buzzing from how loud the bands were. Reach Mark Lungariello at firstname.lastname@example.org
March 8, 2013 • THE RYE SOUND SHORE REVIEW • 9 GOLF from page 1
some of that money—a ﬁnite sum is yet to be determined—from the golf club unhindered. Some have pointed to a 2009 audit of the golf club that expressed concern over a lack of written contracts or competitive bidding by the club manager. However, at the time there was no knowledge of wrongdoing or potential criminal activity, according to city ofﬁcials. Investigators said city ofﬁcials held an informal meeting with Yandrasevich to address the concerns. City Manager Pickup said no one was aware of what Yandrasevich was doing back in 2010 as it relates to the ﬁndings of the investigation, and one of the biggest “tragedies” coming out of the golf club scandal is that the former club manager was given free reign based on trust. “We work from an assumption of trust that people that are here are honest and hardworking,” the city manager said. “I believe that. When somebody violates that trust, I think it shakes the core of the organization.” Councilman Peter Jovanovich, a Republican, offered a defense of the current administration, stating that the issues at the golf club date back to 1998, when the city took out a bond to expand and restore Whitby Castle. Jovanovich said members of various City Councils hold some responsibility for what has taken place since then. “Really, if we’re going to save Rye Golf, then we need to be honest that our problems didn’t arrive with Scott Yandrasevich or Scott Pickup,” Councilman Jovanovich said. “Even though I know you would like to pin
the blame on [Scott Pickup]…If you read the report, [former city managers] Mr. [Frank] Culross and Mr. [Paul] Shew signed the same invoices. Three city managers rubber-stamped these bills. What was it in the drinking water? They all did pretty much the same thing.” Part of the problem may lie with the construct of the city’s enterprise funds, former Councilman Mack Cunningham said there seems to be a culture within City Hall that if something doesn’t affect the property tax than anything goes. The city operates the golf club and marina as enterprise funds that remain sustainable through membership dues and do not burden taxpayers. “Enterprise funds do not touch the property tax base,” Cunningham said. “As a result, there is no discipline, no rigor of protecting the two assets. This does not affect bottom line, but it certainly affects me as a [golf club] member when there is a 3 or 4 percent increase.” The most troubling aspect of the report for Councilman Joe Sack, a Republican, continues to be the comments made by the city manager at a September 2012 Rye Golf Commission meeting where he said the contract with RM Stafﬁng had been fully vetted by the city attorney. But investigators reported that Pickup knew the contract had not been reviewed by the city attorney when he made those comments. “I think the worst thing we could do is run away from the ﬁndings of the [investigation],” Councilman Sack said. “We need to embrace
these ﬁndings and deal with them head on. If we try to cover it up with sand we’re going to be in a worse place than we ever were.” Pickup, who served in an assistant position until being appointed by Republican Mayor Douglas French in 2010, was actually responsible for signing off on the bulk of invoices to RM Stafﬁng, Yandrasevich’s principle shell company. Pickup signed off on $5.2 million of the $7.4 million paid out to RM Stafﬁng since 2007. Roughly $1 million in purchase orders remain unaccounted for. The controversy at the club ﬁrst surfaced last summer when Yandrasevich’s relationship with RM Stafﬁng was uncovered. It emerged that Anne Yandrasevich, the club manager’s wife, worked for RM Stafﬁng and Yandrasevich himself did consulting work for the company. Rye Golf Club, under Yandrasevich’s direction, agreed to a deal with RM in 2007, prior to the company even being incorporated. To date, the city has spent approximately $280,000 on the investigation. The City Council is also faced with an additional $20,000 to cover costs through the end of February. Wilson said on Tuesday that she doesn’t anticipate March’s bill to exceed much more than $5,000. The city has informed its insurance provider about the alleged theft and will look to collect on its employee theft insurance policy. “At this point it’s a theft coverage, fraud coverage claim that we have,” Wilson, the city attorney, said. “If Scott Yandrasevich is
Whitby Castle remains at the center of a stafﬁng and catering scandal that may lead to an investigation by the district attorney’s ofﬁce. File photo
convicted of crime it’s pretty easy to trigger that coverage.” Some have questioned why the city didn’t turn the investigation over to the district attorney’s ofﬁce from the outset, instead of racking up more than $300,000 in bills when all is said and done. But the basis for the city’s probe was to collect enough information for its insurance carrier regardless of whether or not the district attorney seeks a criminal conviction against the former club manager, according to Rye ofﬁcials. At a City Council special meeting on Monday, Wilson said the consensus was to begin work on creating more controls. “I feel like we identiﬁed the problem and now we need to ﬁnd solutions,” the city attorney said.
10 • THE RYE SOUND SHORE REVIEW • March 8, 2013
Business council hosts Stewart-Cousins New York State Senate Democratic Conference Leader Andrea StewartCousins was honored by the Business Council of Westchester at a special reception on Jan. 31. Senator StewartCousins was recognized for her elevation as leader of the Democratic Conference in the New York State Senate. “I am deeply honored to receive this recognition from the Business Council of Westchester. Our combined efforts to foster sustainable economic growth and create jobs for New Yorkers are made even stronger by our partnership,” said Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins. “I have been Left to Right: John Ravitz, executive vice president a longtime advocate for businesses in of the Business Council of Westchester; Democratic Conference Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins; Dr. Dario Westchester County and throughout A. Cortes, president of Berkeley College; Cynthia the State; whether it’s increasing op- Rubino, vice president of Government Relations of portunities for minority and women Berkeley College; Dr. Marsha Gordon, president and owned enterprises, supporting our CEO of the Business Council of Westchester. burgeoning biotechnology sector or cutting through red tape for businesses in our reception in recognition of Senator Andrea community. With our continued partnership, Stewart-Cousins’ leadership and her recent the Business Council, my colleagues and I elevation to serve as leader of the New York will work to grow existing businesses and State Senate’s Democratic Conference. encourage the entrepreneurial spirit that will We look forward to working with Senator Stewart-Cousins and all of our New York create jobs in Westchester and beyond.” Dr. Marsha Gordon, President and CEO of State Legislators, to strengthen our existing the Business Council of Westchester added; businesses, to develop new entrepreneurs “The Business Council of Westchester was and to create jobs in Westchester County.” honored to have the opportunity to host this (Submitted)
Rye cancer survivors win national contest The National Women’s Survivors Convention is partnering with YMCA of the USA and the Livestrong Foundation to help change the lives of Rye residents Lucy Landi and Kathy Mandarano of Rye with Survivor Life Makeovers. The Livestrong at the YMCA program was created to fulﬁll the important need of supporting the increasing number of cancer survivors who ﬁnd themselves in the transitional period between completing their cancer treatment and the shift to feeling physically and emotionally strong enough to attempt to return to their normal life or their “new normal.” The program is conducted outside of medical facilities to emphasize that Livestrong at the YMCA is about health, not disease. The goal of Livestrong at the YMCA is to help participants build muscle mass and muscle strength, increase ﬂexibility and endurance, and improve functional ability. The program also aims to reduce the severity of
therapy side effects, preventing unwanted weight changes and improving energy levels and self esteem, and assist participants in developing their own physical ﬁtness program so they can continue to practice a healthy lifestyle, not only as part of their recovery, but as a way of life. In addition to the physical beneﬁts, the program provides participants with a supportive environment and a feeling of community with their fellow survivors, Y staff and members. Landi and Mandarano will work with trained instructors who are a part of the Livestrong at the YMCA program and are trained in the elements of cancer, post rehab exercise and supportive cancer care. The women will represent survivors of all ages, types and cancer stages. Each woman’s story will be documented via on-camera interviews and through video diaries. The transformed women will be revealed along with their stories during a conventionhighlighted event. (Submitted)
LESTERS from page 1
Councilwoman Laura Brett, a Republican, said the certainty of closing with Bill Wolf Petroleum played the biggest role for her. “I felt more certainty to close with [Bill Wolf Petroleum] due to past transactions and their ability to deal with environmental concerns,” she said. But according to sources with knowledge of the negotiations, Schorr had ample opportunities to come to terms on a deal but wasn’t straightforward during negotiations. Sources also say that was the main reason why the City Council chose Bill Wolf Petroleum’s offer. In May 2012, Lester’s offered $3.6 million to purchase the property. As it turns out, if the city had accepted the offer, it would have suffered its largest ﬁnancial loss—$2.6 million—in its history. The current lease with Lester’s, which doesn’t expire until Dec. 31, 2013, would not be impacted by the looming sale of the property, according to city ofﬁcials. Lester’s, a clothing retailer, has rented the space since 2007. There were also concerns surrounding Lester’s ability to fund the sale if ﬁnancing options fell through, since Lester’s plan was to offer $600,000 up front and borrow the balance. Issues can arise with ﬁnancing a purchase the magnitude of 1037 when dealing with a lender, since the lender is the one making the ﬁnal decision, according to Gene Pride, a senior vice president with CBRE. “How a lender reacts to potential environmental issues. How a lender reacts to the condition of the building,” said Pride adding that Lester’s kept increasing their ﬁnancial limit in order to stay competitive. “It’s one more layer of decision-making as a seller you don’t have control over.” Schorr said that the city signed a letter of
intent to sell the property to Lester’s last June and added that he didn’t think the issue was over with. “We’re a good neighbor; you know our use,” the owner said. “Why not just sell us the building? I don’t think this is the end of it.” Wilson said, in her view, there was nothing binding in that letter of intent. A purchase and sale agreement with Lester’s was never signed, although negotiations did take place beginning in late 2011. The deal with Bill Wolf Petroleum will cost the city a $224,000 broker’s fee, leaving Rye with $5.3 million cash on hand; $2.7 million of that would go toward ﬁnancial commitments, according to city ofﬁcials. The remaining funds would be put back into the city’s general fund. The contract—through a licensing agreement—would also allow for residents visiting City Hall and the library to utilize 10 nondesignated parking spaces on the property’s grounds during weekday morning hours. That agreement will be for 20 years, renewable by consent of both parties. The City Council hired the Stamford Conn.-based CBRE late last year to handle the 1037 listing. The broker began marketing the property in October 2012. Pride said the city received eight offers to buy the property: three from Manhattan, two from Westchester, two from Long Island and one from Brooklyn. Of the eight offers, CBRE engaged four bidders who submitted initial offers of more than $4 million and asked them to revise their bids. CBRE used several criteria in analyzing the competitive offers including price, method of payment, amount of deposit, expertise with owning real estate and experience with environmental issues. The city purchased the 1037 Boston Post Road building in 2006 for $6.2 million.
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March 8, 2013 • THE RYE SOUND SHORE REVIEW • 11
Wild goose case: Contract to slaughter geese causes controversy By CHRIS GRAMUGLIA STAFF REPORTER email@example.com
The Village of Mamaroneck has stepped in it for the last time. The Board of Trustees has signed a contract with the USDA to have a large number of the village’s geese euthanized in order reduce the level of droppings scattered throughout Harbor Island and Columbus parks. As our sister paper The Sound and Town Report reported in November 2012, the Board of Trustees purchased a Toro Rake-O-Vac, a machine designed to remove droppings from large outdoor areas, but found that more drastic measures needed to be taken to keep the village’s parks clean. Animal rights groups like the Animal Liberation Front and the Animal Defenders of Westchester have protested this decision. The euthanization will take place this summer, when geese enter their molting stage-an annual process that renders geese unable to ﬂy due to a temporary loss of their wing feathers. USDA workers will also conduct a widespread search for goose nests and coat any goose eggs they ﬁnd with corn oil to prevent them from hatching. After the geese are euthanized, the USDA plans to donate the meat to local food banks. Preventing excess waste from accumulating in the village’s parks has been a concern for nearly three decades, according to Mayor Norman Rosenblum, and the decision to euthanize geese is only one part of a larger program to combat the issue. “If you go down there, you can see Columbus and Harbor Island Park literally covered in goose waste,” Rosenblum said. “I believe it to be a health hazard, and it is not conducive to the best interests of residents not to remove the waste.” The mayor, a Republican, also told The Sound and Town Report that, while this is an emotional issue
that has met with some opposition, the decision has also garnered signiﬁcant support by many residents in the village. Kiley Blackman of the Animal Defenders of Westchester said that the situation disgusts her. “I will go to court if I have to,” she said. According to Blackman, killing geese sends the wrong message to people about animals, and the methods used to do so are cruel. “The public is told that the slaughtering is humane, but it isn’t. They crate [the geese] all up with their babies and use gas to choke them to death,” she said. However, according to USDA Spokesperson Tanya Espinosa, “Geese are placed alive in commercial turkey crates, and are taken to a poultry processor, where they are humanely euthanized and processed for human consumption following the guidelines set by New York State Agriculture and Markets, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Bureau of Wildlife and New York State Health Department.” An additional criticism the board faces is the added cost of euthanizing geese via the USDA, in addition to the $30,000 that was spent on the Rake-O-Vac. Assistant Village Manager Daniel Sarnoff, pointed out that the village has tried other methods to keep goose droppings out of the parks, and that the euthanization has become the only option. “We’ve tried a lot of things,” said Sarnoff, “and nothing has worked.” At a recent work session, Trustee Leon Potok proposed several alternatives to euthanizing geese after consulting with Steven Garber, president of Worldwide Ecology. Potok’s proposal aimed to solve the problem while also preserving the village’s public image. “If we can solve the problem with more humane treatment, than why wouldn’t we?” Potok said. “We will see results immediately, as opposed to waiting until July for the USDA, and this proposal will stop the erosion
TECH from page 1
to make recommendations to city staff for technology improvements and investments to improve city services. French said the committee has been discussed for some time and, given the wealth of technological experience in the community, he sees the group as a potential success. “I look forward to establishing the committee to work with our information technology professional and hearing their recommendations,” said the mayor, adding that he has also received phone calls from several residents interested in joining the committee. Slated improvements would tentatively include expanding the use of the existing city listserv to broadcast important notiﬁcations to residents. The committee would also explore the use of a social media component for the city, establish a Rye WiFi network that would provide open internet access at designated areas around town, and identify technological trends happening with other local governments. Consideration is also being given to updating the city’s government website to provide comprehensive information about the com-
munity to new residents. The proposed committee would be another step in the city’s efforts to upgrade its technology. In 2010, the city established a new Rye. gov website that was more interactive and user-friendly than its predecessor. Over the past few years, Rye has expanded its Cable and Communications Committee to focus more on communication. The city also introduced Nixle, a citywide emergency notiﬁcation system. Despite these efforts, there have been some resident complaints about a lack of ofﬁcial communication, particularly during storm events. French has often said that creating an ofﬁcial city social media component has been an interest of his but that the proposal has lingered within the conﬁnes of the Cable and Communications Committee for over a year with no recommendation. The plan would be to create an ofﬁcial city Facebook page and Twitter feed. An attempt to reach Kerry Donahue, the city’s information technology ofﬁcer, was unsuccessful, as of press time.
The Village of Mamaroneck Board of Trustees announced its plan to slaughter a large part of the village’s goose population in order to combat the ongoing problem of droppings left in public parks. These geese were photographed in Mamaroneck last summer. File photo
of our village’s reputation.” The proposal involves training the geese to leave the village, and relies on hiring high school and college students to chase them out of its parks. Mayor Rosenblum disagreed with Potok’s decision to devise the proposal, claiming that he should have discussed it with the board ﬁrst. Potok told The Sound and Town Report that he felt
he was simply trying to take an initiative to solve the problem. “For [the mayor]to see that as a negative is preposterous,” Potok said. Neighboring villages like Scarsdale have overturned similar efforts to slaughter geese, and the City of Yonkers has announced that it is unlikely it will continue the practice of slaughtering this year.
12 • THE RYE SOUND SHORE REVIEW • March 8, 2013
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March 8, 2013 • THE RYE SOUND SHORE REVIEW • 13
Larchmont considers banning plastic bags By ALEXANDRA BOGDANOVIC STAFF REPORTER email@example.com
The Village of Larchmont could soon join neighboring communities that have taken steps to phase out the single-use plastic bags commonly distributed to shoppers by retailers at the point of sale. Within the past year, the City of Rye and Village of Mamaroneck implemented rules nixing the distribution of single-use plastic bags as “checkout bags” at retail establishments. According to Elizabeth Poyet, their efforts to rid the local environment of the bags inspired members of Larchmont’s Committee on the Environment to propose a similar measure. “We started to talk about it last spring,” said Poyet, a co-chair of the committee’s Reusable Bag Initiative Committee, a subcommittee of the larger group. “There was interest in what our sister communities were doing, and general interest in the environment. By phasing out plastic bags we can reduce the amount of non-biodegradable litter and beautify the community all through one initiative.” Poyet acknowledged that single-use plastic bags are convenient and many people have grown up using them without being aware of the damaging effects the discarded bags can have on the environment. Therefore, it will be important to educate the public about the importance of changing their habits and encour-
aging them to use reusable bags, she said. To that end, the Larchmont Committee on the Environment is hosting three showings of the documentary “Bag It” March 9 through March 11. The ﬁrst showing will be held at the Village of Larchmont Town Center March 9. Refreshments will be served at 2 p.m. and the movie will begin at 2:30 p.m. A question and answer session with Patti Woods of Grass Roots Environmental and a reusable bag giveaway will be held afterwards. The second showing will be at the Mamaroneck Library at 2 p.m. March 10. Village of Mamaroneck Mayor Norman Rosenblum, a Republican, and Trustee Ilsa Miller, a Democrat, will answer questions about their village’s new law. The last screening will be at the Mamaroneck Town Center at 7 p.m. March 11. The Larchmont Board of Trustees will hold a public hearing on the proposed bag ban March 19. The village will distribute letters to merchants and post the proposal on its website so everyone can review it beforehand, according to Democratic Mayor Anne McAndrews. McAndrews also stressed that the village is not considering a universal plastic bag ban. Some items, such as the plastic sleeves used to protect home-delivered newspapers from the elements and garment bags aren’t included in the proposal, she said. “We have a proposal that is similar to [the
The Village of Larchmont could soon join other communities that have created laws targeting distribution of single-use plastic bags like the one pictured here. Photo/Alexandra Bogdanovic
one enacted] in the Village of Mamaroneck. There a few tweaks, but nothing major,” McAndrews said. The ordinance adopted by the Village of Mamaroneck last summer is meant to “improve the environment in the village by encouraging the use of reusable checkout bags and banning use of plastic bags for retail checkout of purchased goods.” It stipulates “any person engaged in retail sales should provide only reusable bags or recyclable paper bags as checkout bags to customers.” A warning is issued for the ﬁrst violation of the law and the merchant is given 10 days to comply. There is a $150 penalty for each violation thereafter. Rye approved its ordinance in December 2011. The ordinance took effect in May 2012. It also banned use of the plastic bags for “retail checkout of purchased goods.” A little farther aﬁeld, Village of Tuckahoe ofﬁcials are also considering a plastic bag ban. According to some estimates, 500 billion to 1 trillion non-biodegradable plastic bags are discarded worldwide each year. Americans throw away 100 billion plastic bags annually. Recycling them is cost-prohibitive, according to Jared Blumenfeld, director of San Francisco’s Department of the Environment. The cost of processing and recycling 1 ton of plastic bags is $4,000 and the resulting material can be sold on the commodities market for just $32, he said.
14 • THE RYE SOUND SHORE REVIEW • March 8, 2013
LWV to hold property tax forum Updating property tax assessments in Westchester County to ensure fair taxes will be the topic of a panel discussion sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Westchester and LWV of New Rochelle on Wednesday, March 20, 2013, at 7 p.m. in the City Hall Council Chamber, 515 North Avenue, New Rochelle. The program, “Reassessing Property in Westchester: Fair or Foul?” will feature state, county and local perspectives on the issue. About half of the municipalities in Westchester have reassessed, are reassessing or are planning to reassess, most for the ﬁrst time in decades. Panelists include the following ofﬁcials: • John Wolham, regional director, southern region, New York State Ofﬁce of Real Property Tax Services • George Oros, chief of staff to County Executive Rob Astorino • Michèle Casandra, Pelham Town Assessor
• Harold Porr III, Bronxville Administrator/ Clerk • Mitchell Markowitz, Rye Town Assessor • Mark Russell, Yonkers Assessor • Edye McCarthy, Greenburgh Assessor Charles B. Strome III, New Rochelle city manager, will welcome the panelists and audience, and Sharon Lindsay, LWVW president, will moderate. A question and answer period will follow the presentations. The forum will address questions such as how outdated tax assessments impact property values and taxes, what is involved in the reassessment process, and how to insure fairness in the process. For further information, go to www. lwvwestchester.org, www.newrochelleny. com, or call Janet Zagoria at 914-739-6518. Free parking is available in the city hall lot behind the building on Beaufort Place. The building entrance is from the parking lot. (Submitted)
LAND USE from page 1
Often overlooked by the causal observer, land use is a critical function of local government. City Planner Christian Miller called land use decisions the most important a municipal government makes. “You can mess around with a budget. You can mess around with how to clean your streets,” Miller said. “Land use is kind of permanent. It stays there for a long time.” But those boards can also be scrutinized for their decision making. Land use boards must balance the process of approving applications with the perspectives of competing interests, Miller said. He added that every decision a board makes has a context and legacy attached to it. Some residents criticized the city’s land use boards following the 2007 ﬂoods, believing the city granted permits to develop at too quick a pace, which they said only exacerbated ﬂooding. “You’re actually trying to rework this community for the future needs and current needs,” Miller said. “It never gives you the perfect solution to the concern you may have.” At the urging of the City Council, Rye’s Planning Commission, Board of Architectural Review, Zoning Board of Appeals and Conservation Commission/Advisory Council met to discuss the state of the city’s land use procedures. The seed for the forum, which took place at City Hall on Feb. 27, was planted a year ago when Mayor Douglas French, a Republican, had conversations with the Planning Commission Chairman Nick Everett. The discussed goal at the time was educating the public, and even the City Council, on various aspects of land use practices. “It was to talk about some of the issues and
some of the challenges that are being faced,” French said. “Some of the trends [the land use boards] are seeing, and maybe areas where the City Council may need to look at laws and regulations.” Everett, of the Planning Commission, said the biggest issues likely come from the public not fully understanding the laws. One way to help combat poor regulation is having the boards and commissions communicate more effectively in an effort to help each board make a more informed decision. Currently, the Planning Commission refers all its applications to the Board of Architectural Review and the Conservation Commission for feedback. The consensus was that the BAR should provide comments to the ZBA prior to that board rendering its decision. Otherwise, in many cases, the BAR feels like its input is inconsequential, Fegan said. Tony Piscionere, a member of the Zoning Board of Appeals, agreed the new approach could prove beneﬁcial. City Planner Miller said, “It would be simply easier to do the referral and see how it goes for awhile. The advisory referral coordination puts the applicant on notice and puts the board on notice.” If the public has trouble understanding the city’s land use practices, it might be understandable considering some of the protocol was confusing to members of the boards themselves. Mayor French said that was one of the reasons for the workshop. “Most people, their ﬁrst interface with government is as an applicant,” French said. “And through the years we’re hearing people saying ‘this doesn’t add up.’”
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Free consultation or intellectual theft? When you’re considering a remodeling project, the ﬁrst step is to talk to people who know about such things, and THE KITCHEN AND seek out advice. After all, you don’t do this that often, so BATH INSIDER why not consult with the people who do? And who better Paul Bookbinder, M.I.D.© to talk with than someone who offers a free consultation? But remember, you usually get what you pay for, so don’t expect too much good advice for free. Certainly, you shouldn’t anticipate a designer or architect to sketch out a whole plan for you, giving you the wealth of their experience and knowledge, at a preliminary meeting for no charge. After all, their ideas are their “intellectual property” and that doesn’t come cheap. At an initial consultation, you can expect to get the basics of what’s involved in the project you’re contemplating. Think of it as a primer on construction, cabinets, general costs, etc. This is invaluable information, and it pays to pay attention-even if it is free-because it’s the beginning of your remodeling education. At this appointment, you’ll also get a feeling about the person you’re meeting with. Ask yourself, does the person sound knowledgeable? Do they seem trust worthy? Do you feel comfortable enough with them to let them work in your home? If you move forward, the designer, contractor or architect will eventually show you their proposed design for the project. Please don’t try to covertly, or overtly, copy down everything that they show you, with the hopes of using their design and creativity and having a carpenter who lives down the block supply the materials and do the work for less money. That’s when “free consultation” ends and “intellectual property theft” rears its ugly head. If you’re up front with the designer and tell them that you want to purchase a plan and then shop around for the best price for the materials and installation, that’s different. Then the designer can quote a price for supplying you with the necessary ﬂoor plans and elevations and, if you agree to the fee, none of their intelligence gets stolen. There are no set jail times for intellectual theft, however a few weeks at Gitmo would probably be fair. Check out the FBI’s web site: http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/investigate/white_collar/ipr/ipr or the National Crime Prevention Council’s, (in partnership with the Bureau of Justice Assistance, Ofﬁce of Justice Programs, U.S. Dept. of Justice): http://www.ncpc.org/topics/intellectual-property-theft. Both of these organizations take this concept pretty seriously. “It’s robbing people of their ideas, inventions and creative expressions-what’s called intellectual property.” So when you’re ready to start planning a project, by all means, get as many free consultations as you have time for. Hopefully, you’ll pick up a couple of good ideas from each one. But then, when you’re ready to select someone, make a commitment. Be up front with them regarding what you want them to do. Do you want your designer to design only, supply materials, or handle the whole project? Get an estimate and see if it ﬁts your budget, but don’t try to secretly photograph their plans on your Iphone with the hope of stealing their ideas and then going to the lowest bidder. That’s intellectual theft, and, even if you don’t go to jail, you still have to live with yourself for the rest of your life. Paul Bookbinder, M.I.D., C.R., is president of DreamWork Kitchens, Inc. located in Mamaroneck, New York. A Master of Design (Pratt Institute), and E.P.A. Certiﬁed Remodeler, he serves on the Advisory Panel of Remodeling Magazine. A member of the National Kitchen & Bath Assoc., he is also a contributor to Do It Yourself magazine. He can be reached for questions at 914-777-0437 or www.dreamworkkitchens.com.
SAFETY from page 5
over 82 school ofﬁcials in the area, explained while the local police have been actively involved in working with the schools to prevent these events from occurring, it is not enough to simply beef up security around the schoolyard. “We often wonder what would’ve prevented [the Newtown shooting], but fortifying schools is an unrealistic concept,” Wool said. According to Wool, school safety is reliant not only on police response to emergency situations, but to identifying disaffected youth in the community. For Detective Martin Greenberg with the Mount Pleasant Police Department, the implementing of school resource ofﬁcers is also important for student safety, not only to protect children and teachers from inci-
dents caused by active shooters, but also to take a proactive approach to stopping a situation from developing in the ﬁrst place. “In schools, on top of everything else, it is important to show face,” Greenburg said. “Be present and be available...collaboration is important to learn more about the students too.” The county executive announced in a release following the event that for the second portion of his “Safer Communities” initiative he plans to meet with mental and physical health professionals at the Westchester County Center on April 9. The program will also coincide with the efforts of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to emphasize violence as a public health concern affecting all local communities in the country.
March 8, 2013 • THE RYE SOUND SHORE REVIEW • 15
A shot in the arm for sports fans It’s not that I don’t love sports–it would be hard to work in my profession if I didn’t–but it just seems like each day, fans are inundated with negative stories. From athletes using performance enhancing drugs to millionaires squabbling with billionaires over who gets a bigger slice of the revenue pie, it’s easy to become disenchanted with something that is supposed to be a pure endeavor. But every now and then, something happens that can make even the most cynical observer believe in the majesty of sport. It just so happens that the most recent afﬁrmation of everything sports can be occurred right in our backyard. By now, I’m sure you have seen what transpired at the Westchester County Center on March 2. In the Class AA section ﬁnals, New Rochelle, facing certain defeat at the hands of perennial power Mount Vernon, pulled off one of the most miraculous last-second wins ever. Down by two points with 2.9 seconds left, the Huguenots turned the ball over, and just about everyone in attendance–except for New Rochelle’s Khalil Edney–thought the Knights had won yet another section crown.
But Edney stayed alert. He intercepted a lazy, ill-advised Mount Vernon lob and ﬁred the ball towards the basket 60-feet away with one-tenth of a second left to play. You know the rest. The ball went in, but was initially ruled no good by one ofﬁcial before the referees huddled at half-court and eventually overturned the call, giving the Section I title to New Rochelle. You’ve seen the reactions, from the intial hysteria, to Edney being mobbed by fans and teammates alike, to New Rochelle head coach Rasuan Young overcome by emotions, tears of joy streaming down his face. Conversely, Mount Vernon’s Bob Cimmino, one of the ﬁnest coaches that Section I has ever seen, stared forlornly across the court, trying to comprehend exactly what transpired in the game’s ﬁnal seconds. Not surprisingly, the story blew up on social media and found its way into the national news. Those 2.9 seconds–and their aftermath-were broadcast on ESPN, alongside highlights of Lebron James. New Ro’s conquering heroes found themselves on “Good Morning, America” and CNN.
Two New Rochelle players react to the referees’ decision to let Khalil Edney’s last-second shot stand on March 2. The thrilling ﬁnish to the Mount Vernon-New Rochelle Section I Championship game became a national story, in part because of the emotional celebration. Photo/Bobby Begun
There’s a reason that this game went ‘viral’ and it’s not just because of the wild ﬁnish. It’s because the entire thing–while a oncein-a-lifetime scenario–was so relatable. The fans storming the court weren’t some college student body with little connection to the Huguenots besides the name on the front of New Ro’s jersey, they were the players’ friends, classmates, family members and teachers. Edney’s shot–while it will be with him for the rest of his life–won’t be used as a bargaining chip in a future contract negotia-
tion. Sure, that Hail Mary heave meant that New Rochelle could call itself section champs, but, at its purest, that shot gave Edney and his friends the chance to play at least one more game together before their high school careers come to an end. It was a miraculous shot, an indelible moment, and a true testament to what magic can come from a simple game. It was the kind of reminder that Americans need, every now and again, to remember why they fell in love with sports in the ﬁrst place.
“What’s Your Beef?” “What’s bothering you today?” Collected on Purchase Street in Rye “There is way too much trash all over Rye.” Joan Hill, 51, Rye Brook
“The president is bothering me.” Maxwell is a lovely, slim, orange and white tabby with a bit of Siamese in her background. Only about1 and 1/2 years old now, Maxwell resides in a foster home where she enjoys being the queen bee and cuddling up to her humans. She likes to rule the roost with other cats and would do best as an only cat in the household. Maxwell is spayed, in excellent health and is up to date with all vaccinations. The adoption donation for this striking kitty is $75. To meet Maxwell, contact Larchmont Pet Rescue at 914-834-6955 or visit www.NY-PetRescue.org.
Barbara Samanta, 44, Rye
-Photos and reporting by Chris Gramuglia
“I have so much to do and no time to do it.” Adam Stern, 33, Rye
“A water pipe bust in my apartment.” Fernando Gomez, 70, Mamaroneck
SPORTS Rye students shoot for the heart
16 • THE RYE SOUND SHORE REVIEW • March 8, 2013
Former Rye Girls Basketball coach Mary Henwood addresses the middle schoolers after the basketball tournament on March 5. Photos/Mike Smith By MIKE SMITH ASSOCIATE SPORTS EDITOR firstname.lastname@example.org
Sixth grader Katharine Langer poses with a prize on March 5. She won the T-shirt thanks to some nifty shooting.
On March 5, some Rye Middle Schoolers headed over to the high school to shoot baskets for heart health as the school district held its 13th straight Hoops for Heart event. Hoops for Heart aims to raise mon-
ey and awareness for cardiovascular health. Roughly 100 middle schoolers were on hand for the event, playing in three-on-three tournaments and participating in three-point contests. Kelly Duffy, a RMS physical education teacher, has been helping run the event since 2003 and said that the day ﬁts perfectly into a physical education curriculum that stresses heart health. “We really do promote cardio ﬁtness for a better lifestyle,” said Duffy. “We do a lot of jumping rope, and we just ﬁnished our basketball unit, so we ﬁgured that this is a good way to promote the idea that the kids get their 30 minutes of vigorous workout per day.” In addition to simply raising money for heart conditions found
in adults, said Duffy, the focus this year was on children born with heart defects. Students were asked to raise a minimum of $15 dollars to participate, soliciting donations from their families over the winter break and, in many cases, diving into their own piggy banks for funds. “I think it shows the kids how these donations can be used to help other people,” said Duffy. “In past years, the minimum to participate had been $10 but we decided to raise it.” The event raised $2,800 dollars total, but Duffy said more money is likely trickle in. “Some kids don’t come out for this because they don’t like basketball,” she said. “But they still want to help. I’d say once we get all the money, we will probably be around $3000.”
2013 Hoops for Heart three-on-three champions Sixth grade: Troy Egan, Nick Roach, Alex Noga, Thomas Flaherty Seventh grade: Max Sandberg, Owen Hall, AJ Thompson, Will Tepedino Eighth grade: Chris Petersen, Ryan Kirkpatrick, Will Tuten, Mac McGovern Some middle schoolers jokingly ﬁght over a prize at the Hoops for Heart event on March 4. Prizes were given out to youngsters who excelled in the three-on-three tournament or three-point shooting contest.