Vol. 13/Number 22
June 7, 2013
Developer to run for Myers’ seat By LIZ BUTTON STAFF REPORTER email@example.com
Oh no you Ken’t
County Board of Legislators Chairman Ken Jenkins, a Democrat, is suing to stop County Executive Rob Astorino’s agreement with Sustainable Playland, Inc. from going into effect. For story, see page 6. File photo
Elementary teachers accused in testing scandal By ASHLEY HELMS STAFF REPORTER firstname.lastname@example.org
Three teachers from two elementary schools have been suspended due to alleged irregularities during district-wide standardized tests for English language arts and mathematics, according to school district officials. The teachers have been suspended with pay, according to an attorney representing them. The educators are said to have given preferential treatment to a small group of students in third and fourth grade. The issue was reported to the
Westchester County District Attorney’s office last week and is currently being reviewed. Two teachers work at Osborn School and one is employed at Milton School. One of the teachers in question is Carin Mehler, the wife of Jason Mehler, who is seeking political endorsement to run for a seat on the Rye City Council in November. There is speculation that accusations of her misconduct may have been politically charged. According to Superintendent Dr. Frank Alvarez, a parent alerted the district to the possibility of testing irregularities on May 6. Once the
alleged preferential treatment was brought to the district’s attention, officials reported it to the State Department of Education and the county District Attorney’s office. “It is alleged that the teachers provided improper coaching to a small number of students during the administration of the assessments in late April,” Alvarez said in a statement to parents. The superintendent has already met with parents of the classes involved to discusss the allegations. Lucian Chalfen, spokesman for TEACHERS continued on page 10
John Verni, a real estate developer and land use attorney from New Rochelle, told The Rye Sound Shore Review after growing speculation that he will, in fact, run on the Republican line to fill Democratic incumbent Judy Myers' seat on the Westchester County Board of Legislators. In the general election, Verni will challenge either Rye City Councilwoman Catherine Parker, who has been endorsed by Myers or former Mamaroneck Trustee Tom Murphy. Both Parker and Murphy, who have already announced their candidacies, are Democrats. Verni was expected to receive the county GOP nomination on Thursday, after press time. The county’s Republican convention, which was held on May 30, nominated legislative candidates for all 17 legislative districts except for District 4 and Myers’ District 7. Myers’ legislative district includes Rye, Mamaroneck, Larchmont and portions of New Rochelle and Harrison. Her county seat, in which legislators serve two-year terms, has been held by Democrats since 1992 and is considered now to be a Democratic stronghold. With deep roots in the Sound Shore area, Verni said he will be effective in addressing both district and county issues, like controlling high taxes and refurbishing Playland in a sustainable way that preserves its historic elements. “I love the Sound Shore and I want to see it stay the familyfriendly place that it is. I think there are a lot of important issues on the Sound Shore and the county level,” Verni said. Verni is a principal of Verco
New Rochelle’s John Verni will be the Republican challenger in the race for Judy Myers’ District 7 seat on the county Board of Legislators. Photo/Bobby Begun
Properties, a real estate development company he owns with his brother Chris, a former Larchmont trustee. He said he plans to move to Mamaroneck in the fall with his wife, Karina Gomez Verni and their four children. Over the last two years, Verni’s signature project has been the restoration of the historic Mamaroneck Train Station, originally built in 1888, to turn the dilapidated space into a new One Station Plaza. Re-opened in April 2012, the building's first floor is home to the retro Club Car RestaurantLounge, while the second floor houses offices, including the Verni brothers.’ Verni officially announced his intention to run at a June 5 press SEAT continued on page 11
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2 • The rye sound shore review • June 7, 2013
June 7, 2013 • The rye sound shore review • 3
Mayor: New FOIL system a “disaster” By LIZ BUTTON STAFF REPORTER email@example.com
A month has gone by since the city adopted its new FOIL system, and initial reviews among City Council members are mixed. One of the biggest critics, however, has been the mayor labeling the new process nothing short of a mistake. A resolution passed by a 4 to 2 vote at the council's April 3 meeting designated the City Council as the appelate body for Freedom of Information Law request appeals, a role that had previously been filled by the city attorney. Also, City Clerk Dawn Nodarse took on the position of the city’s only records officer, whereas before the police department had its own records officer. The legislation also added a feature to the city’s website allowing petitioners to submit requests online to one generic email account rather than to the emails of various city department heads acting as FOIL officers, as had been done previously. The applicant is then sent a confidential link to a cloud server where that person can download the documents for which they receive approval. Instituted in 1974, the Freedom of Information Law, or FOIL, works to increase the transparency of governments and public agencies by allowing citizens access to specific public records by request. In the majority of municipalities, it is rare that a governing body serves as a FOIL appeals officer, but an initial proposal in Rye to turn the role over to the city manager in order to streamline the process was met with criticism from some members of the City Council. Since changes to the FOIL system took effect on May 1, Mayor Douglas French, a Republican, said that, from his perspective, the new format has been “a complete disaster,” adding an extra step to the process. French said he always disagreed with the idea of the City Council serving as the appellate body and voted against the measure in April along with Republican Councilman Richard Filippi; fellow Republican Councilman Peter Jovanovich abstained from the vote. At a special meeting on May 29, the City Council dealt with its first FOIL appeals case since late 2010, when the French administration first delegated appellate duties to the city attorney and removed the City Council from that function. In French’s absence that night, Jovanovich chaired the meeting in his capacity as deputy mayor, which was attended by councilwomen Laura Brett, a Republican, Julie Killian, a Republican, and Catherine Parker, a Democrat. Four members of the City Council are required to constitute a quorum allowing for an official meeting of the public body to take place. The special meeting was held to address seven FOIL request appeals made by resident and former Rye Police Benevolent Association President Timothy Chittenden. French said this particular case had to do with the police department, which is understaffed, so Police Commissioner William Connors was compelled to spend a long time
Mayor Douglas French is not pleased since the City of Rye adopted new FOIL system procedures putting appeals in the hands of the City Council. File photo
searching for the files to satisfy the appeals. “At a time when our police commissioner is focusing on threats at Rye Country Day and potentially other Rye schools,” French said, referring to the recent bomb scare at Rye Country Day School, “[Connors] has spent dozens of hours on records processing. The council needs to fund more staff if this is their directive, as current levels cannot accommodate.” Chittenden made his 16 FOIL requests on Feb. 21 and appealed seven of the responses he received from the city. State law dictates that FOIL requests must be answered, upon receipt, within 20 business days of acknowledgement of the request and all appeals must get a response within 10 business days. “I think it went pretty smoothly,” said Councilwoman Brett of the special meeting, which lasted only six minutes. “We were able to consider a lot of information pretty quickly and reach resolutions that were unanimous.” The council did not meet to discuss the issues beforehand, Brett said, but was provided with documents regarding what was requested and had the chance to consult with City Attorney Kristen Wilson for legal advice and to get a recap of FOIL and public officer's laws. “After getting that education, we felt we had enough information to make a decision,” Brett said. The councilwoman stressed the importance of the city's duty in fulfilling all FOIL requests. She said there is a tremendous amount of work that goes into following up, work the city is obligated to do by the state. While the process was redesigned to aid the undermanned city staff, officials hoped the new centralized FOIL process would cut down on the time-consuming work of fulfilling a steadily growing number of annual requests, which required staffers to go to various city departments and search for information FOIL continued on page 12
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Community Briefs Fresh farm organic vegetables come to Rye Join Rye/Soundshore Community Supported Agriculture at Community Synagogue Pickup: Mondays 3:30-6:30 p.m. June 10 to November 18, 2013 $519 vegetables (24 weeks) $235 fruit (20 weeks) Questions? Ask Ellen at firstname.lastname@example.org Sign up at www.stoneledgefarmny.org Sponsored by The Green Team at Rye Community Synagogue Learn how to keep your leg veins healthy at the June mall walk Easy to follow techniques and strategies that can dramatically improve your leg vein health will be discussed on Friday, June 7, at The Westchester in White Plains as part of the Mall Walk program. Registered nurse Joann Kudrewicz of the Center for Vein Restoration, will discuss necessary steps to keep leg veins healthy as we age as well as signs, symptoms and treatment options for unhealthy leg veins, including a “live” leg ultrasound demonstration. The program will begin at 9 a.m. at the food court on Level Four. Admission and parking are free for members of the mall walk program. Sponsored by Westchester County Parks, this program offers year-round indoor health walking at The Westchester on Tuesdays and Fridays, from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. To join, sign up at the horse fountain plaza near Crate & Barrel on Retail Level Two, on Tuesday and Friday mornings during the program. Go to westchestergov.com/parks or call 914231-4645. Rye Library events Teens will learn to speak and write well A “Speak Well, Write Well” workshop at the Rye Free Reading Room on Tuesday, June 11, at 6:30 p.m. will help teens learn the basics of these most important skills for their future school, work and personal success. Workshop presenter Seth Sternstein, who has more than 35 years
of experience in the field, has helped almost a thousand people improve their speaking and writing skills in a variety of settings. In addition, he teaches classes, writes sermons, and delivers extemporaneous speeches as a regular part of his work. For more information about these two important presentations, call 914-231-3172 or visit www.ryelibrary.org. Dig into Chinese history The Chinese Language School of Connecticut will present four Saturday morning programs for children age three and a half and up at the Rye Free Reading Room during June. The Dig into Chinese History story-and-craft hours will be held at 11 a.m. and will cover respectively “Monkey King, Door Gods, Stone Lions and Other Chinese Super Heroes” on June 8, “Chinese Banquet Foods and Traditions of Celebration and Worship” on June 15, “The Dragon Boat Festival” on June 22, and “Chinese Lanterns: Symbols of Celebration for All Occasions” on June 29. For more information about these programs, call 914-231-3162 or visit www.ryelibrary.org. Computer classes The Rye Free Reading Room will offer a workshop on basic Microsoft Word on Thursday, June 20, from 10 a.m. to noon. The class presents the basic skills for using the most popular word processing program. Learn how to prepare documents and how to save and retrieve them from computer storage. Printing options will also be covered. Some computer experience is necessary to take this workshop. There is no sign-up for this free class, which is first come, first served. For more information, go to www.ryelibrary.org or call 914-231-3161. Legislation and Learning: Schools of Thought Kathee St. Vincent will speak about legislation and educational reform at the Rye Free Reading Room on Saturday, June 15, at 2 p.m. Her talk will address issues such as how government interventions influence our schools in positive or negative ways, how legislative mandates make a difference in our children’s learning, and how most recent regulations concerning teacher evaluations affect our schools. She will also discuss the growing focus on high-stakes assessments and describe charter schools and school vouchers. Ms. St. Vincent, for whom the Katherine St. Vincent ESL Scholarship Fund was named, taught for many years in the Tarrytown school
district and was the head of the ESL department at Sleepy Hollow High School. This event is presented by the Holistic Moms Network. For more information, call 914-2313161 or visit www.ryelibrary.org. Rye Newcomers and Neighbors Club’s annual spring luncheon The Rye Newcomers and Neighbors Club will hold its annual spring luncheon for newcomers and all members on Thursday, June 13, from noon to 2:30 p.m. at the Coveleigh Club in Rye. This is a wonderful opportunity for members and newcomers alike to meet new people and re-connect with old friends now that the summer is almost here. Spend the afternoon with us in a beautiful setting overlooking the Long Island Sound. This luncheon is open to all in our community. Tickets are $40, $45 for non-members, which includes a fabulous sit-down lunch, wine and dessert. Please buy your ticket in advance no later than Monday, June 10. Please send payment to Carol Pouchie Attn: RNNC Luncheon, 8 Bulkley Manor Rye, N.Y. 10580. Babysitting will be available. Any questions? Email Carol Pouchie at email@example.com “Stars Over the Harbor” A free lecture and stargazing program for the community at Wainwright House, 260 Stuyvesant Avenue, Rye, NY Friday, June 14 Lecture 8:15 p.m. Viewing 9:15 p.m. Lecture under the Wainwright House tent. Seating is limited, first-come, first served. Star viewing on the back lawn. School’s out for summer–reach for the stars. Wainwright House is honored to partner with Westchester Amateur Astronomers, Inc. for this exciting program. WAA members, along with President Dr. Lawrence Faltz, will point out the moon, at 26 degrees almost due west on June 14, and Saturn at 37 degrees elevation and due south starting at 9:15 p.m. Dr. Faltz predicts that we may see double stars, and perhaps two galaxies. Wainwright House on Milton Harbor in Rye, N.Y. is the nation’s oldest, holistic non-sectarian learning center offering classes that nurture the body, mind and spirit. For more information, or to register, please call 914-967-6080 or visit wainwright.org. Free crisis counseling available Project HOPE provides free crisis counseling to those whose lives were impacted by Super Storm Sandy. Staff is available to assist individuals, families, community groups, businesses and service organizations at no charge. Our goal is to assist our community recover from the damages that followed Sandy. Wednesday, June 19, 2013 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Port Chester-Rye Brook Public Library 1 Haseco Ave Port Chester, NY 10573 914-939-6710 www.portchester-ryebrooklibrary.org Project HOPE is funded through a grant by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and facilitated with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Project HOPE is a program of the NYS Office of Mental Health. www.wjcs.com 914-336-0350 or 914-336-0351
Westchester County Nature Center Events Friday, June 14 Trailside Nature Museum at Ward Pound Ridge Reservation, Routes 35 and 121 South, Cross River 914-864-7322 Second Annual Firefly Festival 8 p.m. Witness the daily light show at dusk, enjoy an ice cream social, and learn about and catch fireflies. Saturday, June 15 Cranberry Lake Preserve, Old Orchard Street, North White Plains 914-428-1005 Managing Invasives with a Fork and Knife 1 p.m. Learn which ones are edible and how to control the rest. Marshlands Conservancy, Boston Post Road, Route 1, Rye 914-835-4466 The Dragonflies of June 2 p.m. Bring binoculars to observe the dragon and damselflies in the pond and salt marsh. Sunday, June 16 Marshlands Conservancy, Boston Post Road, Route 1, Rye 914-835-4466 One for the Waders 1 p.m. Bring binoculars to view egrets, herons and other shore birds feeding along the shoreline at mid-tide. Summer reading and writing program For parents concerned their children will lose academic ground over the summer, The Center for Literacy Enrichment-Pace University has a solution–The Summer Reading & Writing Program. The program, which runs from July 1 to 31, offers full-day and half-day sessions. The Summer Reading & Writing Program is held on the campus of Pace University Law School, 78 North Broadway, White Plains. Early bird registration, prior to June 14, qualifies for a 5 percent discount on tuition. For more information, or to register your child, contact Center Director Sister St. John Delany, PhD at 914-422-4135. Soundview Sports Summer Mini Day Camp Soundview Sports Summer Day Camp has developed a unique movement-based program for 3 and a half to 5-year-old boys and girls. Age appropriate sports and activities, including swim instruction, will be offered. Created by Soundview Sports educators, together with experienced preschool and elementary school physical education and health professionals, the Soundview Sports Summer Mini Day Camp focuses on fine-motor as well as gross-motor skills. For the past 18 years, Soundview Sports has offered a Summer Sports Skills Building Day Camp at Manhattanville College for boys and girls ages 5 to 14. The Soundview Sports Summer Mini Day Camp will run from 9 a.m. to 1:15 p.m .at Manhattanville College throughout the summer. Lunch is included. Camp starts on Monday, June 24 and ends on Friday, August 9, 2013. Please call Soundview Sports at 914-323-5400 and/or visit soundviewsports.com for further information on all of our programs. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
June 7, 2013 • The rye sound shore review • 5
Work in progress: Architect chosen for Rye Neck school projects By ALEXANDRA BOGDANOVIC STAFF REPORTER email@example.com
The Rye Neck Board of Education last week took a crucial step toward making its capital improvements a reality by appointing an architect for the projects. Before the announcement at the board’s May 29 meeting, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Peter Mustich briefed the audience on the timeframe for the work that will be funded through bonding approved by the community. “We will be starting all of the bond projects within the next few weeks,” Mustich said. “Our goal will be to have the majority of the security work done by the time school opens in September. The rest will be done over the next couple of years.” A resolution unanimously adopted by the board May 29 names the Farmingdale N.Y.based firm Tetra Tech Architects and Engineers for the capital improvement work approved May 21 and December 21, 2012. The $1.47 million bond approved by voters two weeks ago will fund security enhancements throughout the school district. They include the installation of a new district-wide phone and communication system that would be integrated with the public address and a district-wide walkie-talkie system. Additional upgrades include the installation of new security cameras, card readers and building access software.
Collectively, the security enhancements will allow for earlier detection of present or potential threats, faster response and enhanced collaboration with local emergency agencies, according to school officials. Back in December, Rye Neck voters approved a $7.1 million bond for district-wide repairs. “The board and the administration are grateful to have the community’s support,” said Board of Education President Guy Pipolo following the vote. “I think our goal was basically to educate everyone about what we were going to do and to let them know that if we didn’t bond now, the money for the work would have to come out of the operating budget later. We didn’t want to wait until the roof started falling in.” The bulk of the money—roughly $4.7 million—will be used for general site work, including roof work at the middle school, high school and the athletic facility; paving at the middle school and high school; replacement of the gas lines at the middle school and high school; and brickwork at Daniel Warren and F.E. Bellows elementary schools. The general site work also includes toilet room fixtures and partitions; new field work at F.E. Bellows; retaining walls and fencing; replacing ceilings and upgrading door hardware; and resurfacing the existing outdoor basketball courts at the middle school and high school. The bond will also fund repairs and im-
provements to the electrical, plumbing, heating and cooling systems at the high school, middle school, athletic facility and both elementary schools. Specific projects include the installation of air conditioning in the Daniel Warren and F.E. Bellows auditoriums, the installation of air conditioning in the gym and replacement of the rooftop heating/ventilation and cooling system units at the middle and high school. As stipulated in documents accompanying the May 29 resolution, the district will pay Tetra Tech Architects and Engineers $495,000 for “professional, architectural and engineering services” necessary for construction document preparation, state education department
approvals, bidding and construction administration through the “close out phase” of the general repair projects. School officials considered two bid submissions for architectural services associated with the security projects and will now pay Tetra Tech an additional $86,500 for architectural services associated with the work. Factors taken into account in making the selection included the bidders’ knowledge of the New York State Education Department, laws and public schools; its professional qualifications; and recommendations of other clients. Other considerations included the extent of each firm’s services and resources, and familiarity with Rye Neck.
Rye Neck school officials recently adopted a resolution naming an architect for district-wide repair projects and security enhancements. File photos
6 • The rye sound shore review • June 7, 2013
County’s Jenkins files lawsuit to annul Playland agreement By LIZ BUTTON and CHRIS GRAMUGLIA SOUND SHORE REVIEW STAFF firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
Westchester County Board of Legislators Chairman Ken Jenkins, a Yonkers Democrat, mounted a legal challenge last month seeking to annul the county’s recent agreement with non-profit Sustainable Playland, Inc. to take over running the famed amusement park. The lawsuit, filed on May 23 in state Supreme Court, challenges the outcome of an April 18 vote by the county’s Board of Acquisition and Contract, which is comprised of County Executive Rob Astorino, a Republican, the administration’s Budget Director Lawrence Soule and Jenkins, to approve the 10-year plan that would transfer management of the historic, county-owned 280-acre amusement park to the Rye-based organization. Playland’s revenue and attendance have dropped off sharply from one million people in 2005 to only 430,000 recorded last season, according to county administration officials who have used those figures as a focus of their campaign to redevelop the amusement park. Astorino said the new agreement would stop the financial bleeding as the countyowned park’s losses mount, and the burden on county taxpayers increases to an insupportable degree. According to county executive spokesman Ned McCormack, the administration’s position is that the agreement is not a lease because the county still has control and ownership of the park. The only difference is that management of the park is being outsourced to SPI, McCormack said, so, if things go awry, the county would still maintain ownership of the park. The deal with SPI is expected to bring $34 million in capital investments to go against the reported $32 million in debt the county has accrued in running the park. Sustainable Playland will pay the county a base fee of $4 million and will make annual payments to the county of $1.2 million to operate the park. Under SPI’s watch, the park will be open year-round instead of seasonally.
SPI spokesperson Geoff Thompson said that Sustainable Playland’s priority is to restore the park while keeping its historic components intact as well as turn the park into a year-round destination for families and visitors from outside of the region. “We are...committed to seeing that Playland gets the attention and investment that it deserves and requires to continue to be a gem in the Westchester parks system,” Thompson said. “Anything that unnecessarily delays moving forward with our fully-vetted plan only serves to hurt the public, the taxpayers and Playland itself.” But Chairman Jenkins, who voted against the SPI agreement and filed the lawsuit on his own, said Astorino and Soule’s votes exceeded their jurisdiction, thus violating the county charter. Although called an asset management agreement, under New York State law the agreement qualifies as a lease, according to Jenkins, who said it “contains many provisions typical of a lease and conferring rights well beyond those of a licensee or holder of a mere temporary privilege.” Leases involving the county for more than five years must be approved by a two-thirds vote of all members of the Board of Legislators. County Legislator Judy Myers, a Democrat whose legislative district contains the park, said that, as chairman of the Board of Legislators, it is Jenkins’ prerogative to file such lawsuits on his own. When it comes to the rest of the board, it is not clear whether there was general support for a lawsuit, or even whether legislators knew the suit would be filed. A request for proposals was first put out to bid by the county in 2010, soon after Astorino took office, with the goal of reinventing the amusement park. On Oct. 11, 2012, the county executive signed a letter of intent to award the contract to Sustainable Playland. Astorino embraced the SPI plan following a review of 12 proposals analyzed by a 19-member citizens committee. Myers said, though she is in favor of the SPI plan and knows many of her constituents in District 7 are as well, two actions by the county executive have made the legislators resistant to approving the agreement:The Astorino administration did not actively share the results
Westchester County has entered into a contractual agreement with Sustainable Playland Inc. that would allow the non-profit organization to take control of Playland’s management without the county giving up ownership of the park. However, Democratic Board of Legislators Chairman Ken Jenkins said the agreement is merely a lease by another name, and has advanced a lawsuit in the hopes of having the agreement annulled. File photo
of its financial analysis about Playland’s performance and financial details of the competing Playland proposals, and that Astorino and County Attorney Robert Meehan made efforts to move forward without legislature approval, a plan that fizzled when it was determined that although the administration had the authority to agree to a management deal, any land use changes to the park required the Board of Legislators’ approval. According to County Legislator Jim Maisano, a Republican, the only instance in which board approval is needed is in the event of a physical or infrastructural change to the park—a provision that was confirmed with County Attorney Robert Meehan. “I think that’s why the legislators are not interested [in the lawsuit],” he said. “We all al-
ready know we’re going to vote on Sustainable Playland, not on the initial agreement.” Since that agreement was reached, the legislature has gone to the competing organizations to get the information they need in order to complete their audit of the top four proposals and weigh each against the way Playland is currently run. According to Legislator Myers, the independent financial firm, Marlin K. Wiggins, hired by the board is almost finished with their audit. If the Board of Legislators approves the SPI plan once it completes its independent audit of the final four proposals, Sustainable Playland will take over the management of the park by Oct. 1. The park is expected to re-open under SPI on May 1, 2014.
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June 7, 2013 • The rye sound shore review • 7
Health alerts from around the world A RYE OLDTIMER Judge John Carey
Nearly six million people are killed each year by tobacco, says the World Health Organization as another World No Tobacco Day rolls around. Another WHO statistic is that, each year, 600,000 people die from exposure to second-hand smoke. WHO’s approach to this enormous problem is stated as follows on the WHO website “Bans on advertising, promotion and sponsorship are one of the most effective ways of reducing tobacco consumption. As more countries make progress towards implementing complete bans, the tobacco industry is increasingly using tactics such as brand extension, product placement and stealth marketing to sell its products.” Times have really changed. I remember seeing cigarettes selling for five cents a pack at the U.S. Navy Base on Staten Island. It seemed as if most people smoked, especially if your parents had the habit and by their smoking told you without words that smoking was OK. Some people in those times, and for many years after World War II, smoked two or even three packs a day. Young people smoked because it was “cool,” at least until they became addicted, after which they felt compelled to continue, unless they were prepared for the ordeal of withdrawal and abstinence. Every room in the house had to have an ash tray because people who smoked would do it anywhere they happened to be when the urge seized them. Some rooms reeked of smoke. Try breathing in a hotel room where smoking has been allowed. The WHO says that 63 percent of all deaths are caused by non-communicable diseases with tobacco as the greatest risk factor. Some diseases are hard to classify as communicable or non-communicable. One of these is what is now called the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERSCoV), formerly referred to as “novel coronavirus.” On June 2, the WHO issued an update that included the following: “The Ministry of Health in Italy, through the European Union’s Early Warning Response System, has notified WHO of an additional two laboratory-confirmed cases with MERSCoV in the country. “Both the patients are close contacts of the recent laboratory-confirmed case with recent travel from Jordan. The first patient is a two-year-old girl and the second patient is a 42-year-old woman. They are in stable condition. “Globally, from September 2012 to date, WHO has been informed of a total of 53 laboratory-confirmed cases of infection with
MERS-CoV, including 30 deaths. “WHO has received reports of laboratoryconfirmed cases originating in the following countries in the Middle East to date: Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. France, Germany, Italy,Tunisia and the United Kingdom also reported laboratoryconfirmed cases; they were either transferred there for care of the disease or returned from the Middle East and subsequently became ill. In France, Italy, Tunisia and the United Kingdom, there has been limited local transmission among patients who had not been to the Middle East, but had been in close contact with the laboratory-confirmed or probable cases. “Based on the current situation and available information, WHO encourages all Member States to continue their surveillance for severe acute respiratory infections and to carefully review any unusual patterns. “Health care providers are advised to maintain vigilance. Recent travellers returning from the Middle East who develop SARI should be tested for MERS-CoV as advised in the current surveillance recommendations. Specimens from patients’ lower respiratory tracts should be obtained for diagnosis where possible. Clinicians are reminded that MERS-CoV infection should be considered even with atypical signs and symptoms, such as diarrhea, in patients who are immunocompromised. “Health care facilities are reminded of the importance of systematic implementation of infection prevention and control. Health care facilities that provide care for patients suspected or confirmed with MERS-CoV infection should take appropriate measures to decrease the risk of transmission of the virus to other patients, healthcare workers and visitors. “All Member States are reminded to promptly assess and notify WHO of any new case of infection with MERS-CoV, along with information about potential exposures that may have resulted in infection and a description of the clinical course. Investigation into the source of exposure should promptly be initiated to identify the mode of exposure, so that further transmission of the virus can be prevented. “WHO does not advise special screening at points of entry with regard to this event, nor does it currently recommend the application of any travel or trade restrictions. WHO continues to closely monitor the situation.” The website of the European Commission states the following about the early warning system: “The Early Warning and Response System is a confidential computer system allowing Member States to send alerts about events with a potential impact on the EU, share information, and coordinate their response. The system has already been successfully used for previous outbreaks of SARS, Pandemic Influenza A(H1N1) and other communicable diseases.” Reach John Carey at email@example.com
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8 • The rye sound shore review • June 7, 2013
County Republicans nominate Westchester slate
County GOP chairman Doug Colety opens the convention on May 30. At the meeting a slate of Republican candidates were selected for this year’s general elections.
Ossining Councilman Peter Tripodi, one of the youngest elected officials in Westchester, was selected to run for a county seat.
Former Scarsdale Mayor Dr. Miriam LevittFlisser accepts the nomination for the 0county’s 5th legislative district. The district includes White Plains, Scarsdale and a portion of West Harrison.
Sheila Marcotte, a two-term county legislator, is seeking a third term in office after gaining the support of county Republicans last week.
County Executive Rob Astorino addresses a crowd of supporters and district leaders after receiving the Republican nomination for county executive. Astorino, seeking his second term in office, will face New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson, a Democrat.
Long-time county Legislator Jim Maisano, left, will run for re-election to his legislative seat. Maisano accepts the nomination from Chairman Doug Colety at the Westchester Manor in Hastings on May 30. Contributed photos
On May 30, GOP district leaders from across Westchester County gathered at Westchester Manor in Hastings for the party’s annual committee convention. The caucus was convened to nominate judges, legislators and candidates for countywide seats. In an event highlight, incumbent Rob Astorino garnered and accepted the Republican nomination for county executive. Astorino will seek a second-term in office. He was first elected in 2009.
June 7, 2013 • The rye sound shore review • 9
Montefiore acquires Sound Shore Medical Center
Sound Shore Health Systems CEO John Spicer says the sale of the Sound Shore Medical Center in New Rochelle and Mount Vernon Hospital to the Montefiore Medical System should not affect day-to-day operations. File photo By ALEXANDRA BOGDANOVIC STAFF REPORTER firstname.lastname@example.org
Sound Shore Medical Center in New Rochelle has been sold as part of an agreement with Montefiore Medical Systems to purchase the Sound Shore Health System which also includes Mount Vernon Hospital. The recently announced sale should not have any impact on day-to-day operations, one hospital official said. “This is the right next step to deliver on our commitment to provide high quality, accessible and affordable healthcare,” John Spicer, president and CEO of Sound Shore Health System said. “Our mission is strong and our dedication to patient care is unchanged. We are fortunate to have Montefiore as a partner because of their clinical excellence, commitment to the community and ability to provide the best care at Sound Shore and Mount Vernon hospitals over the long run.” Spicer could not be reached for additional comment about what precipitated the deal earlier this week. However, published reports indicate the troubled healthcare provider blamed its struggles on “cuts in government spending.” Both Sound Shore Medical Center and Mount Vernon Hospital have trimmed staff and faced financial troubles in recent years. Financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed to date. However, Sound Shore Health Systems reportedly claimed roughly $159.6 million in assets and roughly $200 million in debts when it voluntarily filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy petitions in federal bankruptcy court in White Plains last week. At the same time, Montefiore filed a petition in federal bankruptcy court to buy the assets of the Sound Shore Health System, whose hospitals combined have about 450 beds. Reached shortly thereafter, the agreement allows Montefiore Health System to
acquire Sound Shore Health System’s assets and some of its liabilities. Although it is allowed under the federal bankruptcy code, the deal is subject to regulatory and bankruptcy court approval and should be completed by year’s end. Representatives from Sound Shore Health Systems did not respond to a request for additional information about the number of doctors, nurses, administrative and other staff members it now employs. In 1997, an affiliation between Sound Shore Medical Center, Mount Vernon Hospital, the Dorothea Hopfer School of Nursing and Schaffer Extended Care Center resulted in the creation of “one of the largest private healthcare systems between New York City.” Since then, the Sound Shore Health System has received numerous national and stated accreditations. Dr. Steven M. Safyer, president and CEO of Montefiore Medical Center, located in the Bronx, said in a statement issued last week that healthcare should be “easy to access, local and tailored to the needs of the communities.” “New Rochelle and Mount Vernon deserve exceptional care close to home,” he said. “Montefiore looks forward to building on its existing clinical presence in lower Westchester and working with the dedicated doctors, nurses and staff of Sound Shore and Mount Vernon hospitals and the Schaffer Extended Care Center, who have served their patients well over many years.” Montefiore Health Systems includes four hospitals handling 90,000 admissions each year. Through its current partnership with the University Hospital for Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Montefiore also provides “state-of-the-art and specialty care” at 130 locations throughout the region. In addition to that, it now operates nine health clinics in Westchester.
10 • The rye sound shore review • June 7, 2013 TEACHERS from page 1
the district attorney’s office, said the D.A. will review the case to determine if the matter will be formally investigated. “We received correspondence from the school law firm and are in the process of reviewing the letter,” Chalfen said. The Rye public school system isn’t the only school district in Westchester that has been faced with a recent testing scandal. In Peekskill, three high school guidance counselors and a middle school counselor were reassigned in January because they were suspected of changing 34 high school transcripts of students who were at risk of not meeting district requirements. According to Chalfen, at least one teacher has been arrested and charged in that case. In April, the Nassau County District Attorney’s office in Long Island opened an investigation into whether 18 elementary school teachers had assisted students during last year’s tests. That investigation remains ongoing, while this year’s tests were administered under heightened scrutiny following the allegations. Though Mr. Mehler would not comment on the matter, Arthur Schwartz, an attorney representing the teachers involved, said that they did nothing wrong and that the allegations seem to be more politically driven rather than educationally. Schwartz said that the district attorney has reviewed the case and does not have interest in the matter. “The allegations are spurious, and have
been handled wholly inappropriately by the school district,” Schwartz said. Despite Schwartz’s claim of a lack of interest from the district attorney, Chalfen said that the district attorney’s office is still looking into the issue and no decision has been made yet as to whether or not they will formally investigate the case. In the meantime, parents outside of Osborn School last week expressed their disappointment over the incident. Andrea Weld said that the general public is shocked and disappointed with the teachers. Her child was not in class with any of the accused teachers, but one teaches the same grade her child is in. “I’m very disappointed; I think the expectations put on teachers nowadays leads to this type of behavior,” Weld said. “The administration is dealing with it, so we don’t really know what’s going on. One parent, who asked to not be identified, said that her son was taught by one of the teachers, but she doesn’t know exactly what the teacher is accused of. The parent said that there is a petition being circled to get the teachers back into the classroom because students are unhappy about being taught by substitutes. “Parents just want to know the truth,” the parent said. “They want the teachers back by the end of the year, but I don’t think that is possible.” Gabe Gurgitano, a, parent, said he was
Two teachers from Osborn School and one from Milton School have been suspended with pay following allegations of standardized testing irregularities. According to Schools Superintendent Dr. Frank Alvarez, the district was alerted to the issue by a parent. Photo/Corey Baumer
extremely shocked to hear about the alleged irregularities. “We hold everyone to such high standards
here at Osborn that I never would have expected something like this to occur,” he said. -With reporting by ILANA BRUCKMAN
What’s Your Beef? What’s bothering you today? Collected on Purchase Street in Rye “Minimum wage in New York.”
“Wasteful, gas guzzling cars.”
Matt Meany, 23, Rockland
Steve Radinsky, 71, St. Louis
“Being home from college.”
“Parking in Rye.”
Danny Pierro, 20, Rye Brook
-Photos and reporting by JEFFREY ROBINOWITZ
Kim Mack, 45, White Plains
June 7, 2013 • The rye sound shore review • 11 SEAT from page 1
Rye City Republicans announce picnic The Rye City Republican Club has announced their plans to hold their second annual “Grand Old Party” Summer Picnic and BBQ. The picnic will be held on June 23 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the lower shelter of Rye Recreation’s Damiano Center, 281 Midland Ave., Rye, NY, 10580. Club President Matt Thomas said, “2013 is a very important year for Republican politics and a very important year for Rye City politics in particular. We will be electing a new mayor, three council members, a county legislator and county executive this November. “Last year’s picnic was an overwhelming success–we had more than 125 attendees our first time out, and all three GOP primary candidates for the U.S. Senate were among them. We expect to build on last year’s success and look forward to having Doug French, mayor of Rye City as our featured speaker.” Republicans and non-Republicans alike are all welcome. The picnic will be a family-friendly affair with games and face painting for kids and food and drink the whole family will enjoy. Tickets are priced at $15 for individuals and $30 for families. Checks may be mailed to the RCRC, Inc., P.O. Box 3, Rye, NY 10580 or purchased online at http://www.ryegop.org/picnic.html. Further information can be obtained on the club website www.ryegop.org or by contacting the Club Secretary, Elaine DiCostanzo at 914-522-1235 or via email at email@example.com. (Submitted)
Pet Rescue Rooney is a sweet and adorable male Shepherd mix, about four and a half months old. He loves to be around other dogs, big and small. Rooney is a bit shy around people, but is slowly coming out of his shell. He enjoys playing with toys and the other dogs in his foster home. He sleeps through the night in a crate and is working on his housebreaking. Rooney was recently diagnosed with Diabetes Incipidus. It is very treatable with daily drops in his eyes. He is a regular pup in every other way, just needs his meds daily to keep it at bay. Rooney is neutered, vaccinated, dewormed, heartworm tested and micro-chipped. The adoption donation for Rooney is $250. To learn more, please contact Larchmont Pet Rescue at 914-834-6955 or on the web at w w w . N Y- P e t R e s c u e . o r g . (Submitted)
conference held at his restaurant. The brothers bought the building from the MTA, putting it back on the city’s tax rolls and creating over 50 jobs for locals, according to Verni. “[We] invested our own private dollars to renovate the building, and turned it into an asset for the community,” he said. The brothers and partners also added several green building features to the project, such as reclaimed lumber, radiant heat flooring, and green roofing on the train tunnels, earning them a Westchester Municipal Planning Federation award for outstanding adaptive reuse. Verni is also an attorney with the White Plains law firm of Kent Hazzard specializing in land use and real estate. Prior to his work at Kent Hazzard, Verni was a Westchester County prosecutor, serving six years as an assistant district attorney. He is a graduate of Iona Prep in New Rochelle, and Georgetown University with a major in economics and has a law degree from Fordham University. The developer and lawyer has also served as a past president of Habitat of Humanity
of Westchester, which he said has made him very familiar with issues related to affordable housing. As a land use attorney, Verni said he has the skills and experience necessary to help the county navigate some of the difficult issues it faces in complying with the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s 2009 affordable housing settlement, which requires 31 communities in Westchester County to construct 750 affordable residences within a seven-year period. “I do not want to see Washington dictating to our local boards: our local land use, planning, zoning boards, boards of architectural review, our harbor and coastal boards. I appeared in front of them all the time for [the Mamaroneck] project and I don’t want to see these boards’ powers usurped,” he said. Verni said each project should be developed in clear conjunction with the comprehensive plans adopted by each community. Legislator Myers, who was elected to the board in 2005 and remained there for four terms, announced in May she would not seek a fifth term.
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12 • The rye sound shore review • June 7, 2013
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FOIL from page 3
through several locations. According to City Clerk Nodarse, the number of documents sought per FOIL request has also increased over the years, so the clerk now asks citizens to limit the requests to one set of records per request. Brett disagreed with French's assessment that Connors was unduly burdened by his duties collecting the documents for the appeals procedure. “I don't really know why it would take Commissioner Connors longer to respond to this appeal rather than an appeal handled by anyone else,” like the city attorney, who used to perform that duty. Most of Chittenden's FOILs were for employment records for Police Officer Christine Incalcatera‑a member of the city police force since 2006‑a selection of documents that included overtime requests, requests for outside employment, employee calendars, and disciplinary action or citizen complaints. In a series of unanimous votes by the council, three appeals were denied on the grounds that no further records were found after an additional search. One of the seven appeals was granted because Chittenden was not provided with the 2012 calendar, which was missing from all employee calendars received. Two appeals were denied on the basis of public officer's law, and one appeal was granted on the grounds that the police department did not make the requested documents available online when they had the capability to do so. legal notices Notice of Formation of Certified Site Safety of NY, LLC. Art. of Org. filed with Secretary of State of NY (SSNY) on 02/08/08. Office location: Westchester County. SSNY has been designated as agent upon whom process against it may be served. The Post Office address to which SSNY shall mail a copy of any process against the LLC served upon him is C/O the LLC, 51 Bedford Road, Katonah, NY 10536. Purpose of LLC: any lawful activity. Principle Office: 2975 Westchester Ave # 114, Purchase, NY 10577. Notice of Formation of Minted Media, LLC Arts. of Org. filed with Secy. of State of NY (SSNY) on 6/20/11. Office location: Westchester County. SSNY designated as agent of LLC upon whom process against it may be served and shall mail process to Minted Media, LLC, 8 Roger Sherman Place, Rye, NY 10580. Purpose: any lawful activity.
Business Briefs Miller Clark Animal Hospital’s 110th anniversary: A day of fun fur everyone Miller-Clark Animal Hospital, renowned as one of the longest-running animal practices in New York history, will hold a special anniversary celebration on Saturday, June 15, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. to celebrate 110 years of exceptional pet care, its many accreditations and achievements, and to thank their clients past and present. With fun and education as the theme, the event is being called “A Day of Fun Fur Everyone!” and will be held outside the animal hospital at 1621 Harrison Avenue, Mamaroneck, NY, 10543. The community is invited to this free event where they’ll find activities and entertainment for all ages, including tours of the hospital, face painting, tattoos for kids, arts and crafts, promotional giveaways, raffles, door prizes, photos with your pet, and many vendors offering food, as well as pet products and services. Current staff members will be on hand to greet clients, dispense pet advice and answer questions, and retired and current doctors will also be present in a rare opportunity to greet clients and visit with their pet patients. Additionally, groomers and pet trainers will be on hand to give demonstrations and tips. Even the highly-respected non-profit organization, The Tower of Hope, providing specially-trained service dogs to people living with disabilities, will be on hand to educate the community about what they do, and how community members can get involved. In addition, the New Rochelle Humane Society, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing individual loving care for lost, abandoned, injured, and mistreated animals, will benefit from the proceeds and donations of the vendors on hand. And, of course, the Miller-Clark Animal Hospital event is completely handicap accessible. “A Day of Fun Fur Everyone!” will be a great opportunity for community members to get outside after a long, cold winter, have fun and learn some valuable tips about pet care. Pets are especially welcome to join in the festivities, as long as they keep their owners on a leash. For more information, please contact MillerClark Animal Hospital at 914-698-1756, or visit http://millerclarkanimalhospital.com/ French-American School’s summer camp still open for registration Summer French immersion for students grades N to 5. A unique program where students will get plenty of linguistic and cultural immersion with native speaking counselors. This camp is the closest thing there is to sending your kids to France for the summer; total cultural and linguistic immersion, with French speaking counselors and lots of fun, age-appropriate activities that will give your child plenty of opportunities to hear, speak, play in French. Students are grouped by age level. Non-French speaking students get an
June 7, 2013 • The rye sound shore review • 13
hour of French instruction per day; the rest of the time, they are with the other students. Dates June 24 to July 26‑Larchmont campus, five weeks with weekly sign-up, half or full day, kids will be grouped by age. Accepting registrations for children ages 3 to 11. Counselors Our counselors are teachers from the school or French-speaking educators with years of experience in bilingual environment. Location Larchmont Campus 111 Larchmont Ave. Air-conditioned classrooms, gym, playground, computer room, art room, cafeteria. Rates Half day: $225 Full day: $450 (includes lunch provided by La Bonne Cuisine, the school catering service) Contact Agnès Tounkara 914-250-0415 camps@ fasny.org . Register online at www.fasny.org/ afterschoolprograms. For more information, please contact: Agnès Tounkara, camp director at 914.250.0415. or via email at camps@fasny. org, or visit our website at www.fasny.org. For on line registration and class offerings, go to www.fasny.org/After-School Programs. About the French-American School of New York (FASNY) Kinetic Sports Club offers Westchester’s first five-star, family-friendly fitness facility Who says serious fitness can’t be a family affair? Certainly not Kinetic Sports Club, a new concept in fitness located at 872 Pelham Parkway in Pelham Manor, New York. From the serious-minded adult fitness enthusiast to the family that just wants to go out and play, the state-of-the art fitness facility strives to be the first to provide five star, family friendly fitness. “We saw a real need in the Pelham area for a place the entire family could come to support their health, wellness and fitness needs,” said Laura Butcaris, general manager of Kinetic Sports Club. “Ours will have all of the beautiful amenities of an upscale fitness club, yet, unlike most upscale clubs, children and families are welcome and encouraged.” The group fitness fanatic will find much to love about Kinetic Sports Club’s three groupfitness studios and a weekly lineup of 60 to 70 classes including Pilates mat, yoga, studio cycling with myRide+, Les Mills Body Pump, Zumba and Bootcamp. The club’s 1,000 square-foot functional training area offers clients the opportunities to train using TRX, kettlebells, climbing ropes, a kinesis workout and much more. Those who prefer to sweat individually can choose from a wide variety of equipment from LifeFitness, Precor, and Technogym. A team of elite personal trainers, some of the most experienced and well-regarded in the area, are also on hand to keep clients on track with their goals, offering one-on-one sessions, partner sessions and small group training. For the kids, Kinetic Sports Club features over 10,000 square feet of athletic fields, including a soccer field and regulation size basketball court. Children will be able to participate in soccer classes, basketball, dodgeball and flag football, as well as youth fitness classes such as Kids Yoga and Zumbatonic. One-on-one sportspecific coaching and training, as well a youth
athletic speed school, are also available for the serious athlete. Finally, kids of all ages will enjoy Kinetic Sports Club’s aquatic center, featuring a 50-foot adult lap pool, a waterslide and a fun splash pad with sprinklers. Swim lessons will also be offered. Amenities will rival those offered by the most elite clubs in Manhattan. The Kinetic Sports Club Juice Bar offers a wide variety of shakes, juices and snacks. Luxurious locker rooms include steam and sauna, towel service, digital lockers, and the basics‑shampoo, conditioner and body wash. For more information about Kinetic Sports Club, visit www.kineticsportsclub.com, or call 914-738-4000. Barzotti joins Douglas Elliman Joseph Barzotti has joined Douglas Elliman Westchester’s Pleasantville Brokerage. Originally from Rome, Italy, Barzotti has lived in Chappaqua and the surrounding Westchester/ Putnam areas for the past 25 years and has been entrenched in the local real estate community. “Joseph is a real self-starter. He is passionate about real estate and possesses phenomenal business insights. He goes beyond and above for his customers, and I am thrilled to be working with him,” said Gabe Pasquale, Executive Vice President of Douglas Elliman Westchester. A former CEO of his own consulting firm, Barzotti traveled the world providing restructuring for numerous companies. A graduate of New York University with a B.A in science and engineering, he is fluent in several languages including Italian, Mandarin, and German. “Douglas Elliman is the perfect fit for me because the company allows me to follow my entrepreneurial spirit while leveraging the resources of the most powerful brand in real estate,” Barzotti said. The enthusiasm Barzotti exercises in his profession carries over into every aspect of his active lifestyle. He played professional soccer for the Italian team Juventus, was a professional racecar driver, and represented New York City in a national track and field relay competition. He is currently a certified wreck driver, as well as a tennis and soccer instructor. In his spare time, Barzotti enjoys spending time with his two adult children, hiking, biking and working in his garden, which includes tending to more than 200 different species of orchids. Douglas Elliman Real Estate is New York’s largest residential brokerage, with more than 70 offices in New York City, Long Island, the Hamptons, Westchester/Putnam, and South Florida, and more than 4,000 real estate agents and a network of national and international affiliates. They are strategic partners with Londonbased Knight Frank LLP for residential business in all of their New York markets. Douglas Elliman ranked in the top four of all real estate companies in the nation in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012. The company also controls a portfolio of real estate services, including Manhattan’s largest residential property manager, Douglas Elliman Property Management, as well as DE Title and DE Capital Mortgage. For more information on Douglas Elliman, as well as expert commentary on emerging trends in the
real estate industry, visit the Douglas Elliman site at www.elliman.com Larchmont Insurance Executive Elected to IIABNY Board of Directors Michael Coughlin, chief executive officer of Coughlin Group in Larchmont, was recently elected as regional director of the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of New York, Inc. Coughlin is among a group of officers and directors elected May 9 during IIABNY’s Annual Business Meeting at The Otesaga Resort Hotel in Cooperstown, New York. He will represent the not-for-profit trade association’s members in the Metro-Suburban Region, which includes the New York City metro area. As an IIABNY director for two years, Coughlin will help guide the association’s board of directors on policies and issues vital to the interests of the organization’s members at more than 1,750 locations statewide. A member, past director and past president of the Independent Insurance Agents of Westchester County, Coughlin oversees Coughlin Group’s insurance offices in New York and Los Angeles. He is a graduate of Regis University in Denver, Colorado. The Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of New York, Inc. has represented the common business interests of independent insurance professionals since 1882. More than 1,750 agencies and their 13,000 plus employees currently rely on the DeWitt, New York-based not-for-profit trade association for legislative advocacy, continuing education and other means of industry support. In addition, most IIABNY members proudly identify themselves as Trusted Choice agents and brokers, a national consumer brand uniting more than 21,000 independent agencies across the United States. For more information, go to www. trustedchoice.com or www.iiabny.org. Harrison Insurance Exec Elected Secretary-Treasurer of IIABNY R. Todd Rockefeller, partner of DeRosa, Rockefeller, Sohigian & Werdal, Inc. in Harrison was elected secretary-treasurer of the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of New York, Inc. at a recent Cooperstown gathering. New York’s oldest insurance producer trade association made the selection at its annual business meeting, held at The Otesaga Resort Hotel in Cooperstown May 9. During his one-year term, Rockefeller will oversee the not-for-profit trade association’s funds and report to the IIABNY Executive Committee on all fund movement and activities. He is also responsible for managing IIABNY’s records. A member and past president of the Independent Insurance Agents of Westchester County, Rockefeller has served as a regional director on the IIABNY board since 2009 and chaired the board’s Audit Committee. He is a graduate of Gettysburg College. The next Business Briefs section will run on July 5. Please send any submission for our July issue to email@example.com by Friday, June 28. Each submission can include one picture and must be between 175-225 words. If you have any questions, email Deputy Editor Jason Chirevas at firstname.lastname@example.org.
14 • The rye sound shore review • June 7, 2013
Sports Four games of hope
I am not among those who subscribe to the old-timers’ school of baseball purity. I have no problems with the DH, I don’t mind night games, and, to be honest, in the early to mid 2000s, I didn’t even care that hitters and pitchers were growing muscles on their muscles and outgrowing their ball caps faster than a Hummer goes through gasoline. But, for some reason, over the years, I’ve found it increasingly difficult to get excited about interleague play. Of course, it’s no small coincidence that in New York, interleague play is synonymous with the Subway Series and, given the absolute dreck the Mets have put on the field in recent seasons, I—as a card-carrying member of Red Sox Nation—have little faith that the little brothers of the New York City baseball scene will ever pose much more than a vague annoyance to my hated Yankees. Even when triumph seemed assured, the hapless Mets had a certain flair for snatching defeat from the jaws of victory (see Castillo, Luis). As a result, I paid no more attention to a Yankee-Met tilt than I did to a mid-season battle between the Astros and the Padres. But that all changed—at least for a few days– last week, when a four—game season sweep by the Mets managed to instill a little pride in the team’s fanbase and spark‑mainly one-way‑discussions on sports talk radio about which team was actually better.
Of course, the debate is largely a stupid one. The Yanks will likely content for first place in the AL East, while the Mets, well-below .500, can’t even draw praise from the team’s ownership. For the Mets, the four-game series in Flushing and the Bronx was the equivalent of a postseason appearance, and will likely need to suslive mike tain Mets fans for the duration of what will likely be a Mike Smith long summer. You could see the Mets fans come out of hiding after that first win on Monday night. A few callers on WFAN here, a couple of “Let’s go Mets!” Facebook posts there, you could see a beleaguered fan base start to acknowledge that winning was indeed pretty fun. Still, there was a general sense that fans didn’t want to get ahead of themselves. The following night phenom Matt Harvey toed the rubber. Harvey has been the lone consistent Mets attraction this year, as his undefeated record attests, and this game was a big one for Mets fans. Should Harvey get shelled, it would mean more dismissive ridicule from friends and family who support the Bombers. But Harvey was terrific. He didn’t get the win—that would eventually go to left-hander Scott Rice—but, through eight innings, Harvey kept the Yankees at bay, paving the way for the Mets to find a way to beat the great Mariano Rivera in a rare ninth-inning lapse by the future
A view of Citi Field, which played home to two Met wins over the Yankees in May. Photo/Mike Smith
Hall-of-Famer. The win, an otherwise meaningless May victory, became a rallying point over the next few days as Metropolitan fans invaded Yankee Stadium to watch their ball club complete their first-ever series sweep. Yankee fans, especially on social media, were predictably disdainful and dismissive about the Mets’ success against their team. “We’re playing with a lot of injuries,” said a fanbase who just four days prior, were sitting atop the AL East Standings. “These games mean nothing,” they opined, while watching blue and orange clad fanatics
celebrate in the Bronx. Ultimately, they may be right. The Mets, carrying all the momentum from those four big wins, would go on to drop their next three games to an even more hopeless squad from Miami, while the Yanks, despite a brief hiccup against the Red Sox, seem to be getting healthy at the right time. But while these wins might seem inconsequential in the grand scheme of the regular season, one thing is for certain. For four days in May, baseball—and the Subway Series—mattered for fans of both teams in New York City. Even if one side isn’t willing to admit it.
Cancer fundraiser hits high mark in 2013 By MIKE SMITH SPORTS EDITOR email@example.com
On May 10, Rhodes’ Kajukenbo studio in New Rochelle held its fourth annual fundraiser for the St. Jude Children’s Research Fund. With the final tally of money in this week, it would appear that the event has raised $8,300, making it the school’s hightest grossing fundraiser to date. Sifu Dusty Rhodes said that, in years past, the fundraiser hasn’t always lived up to his lofty expectations, but that this year, it hit the mark. “Maybe last year, I wanted to shoot for $10,000 dollars, and we ended up with about $4,300,” Rhodes said. “This year, I wanted to shoot for $8,000, but would have been happy with $5,000.” The day, which consists of fitness classes, bake sales, and other endeavors, has been steadily growing as Rhodes becomes a more efficient and experienced fundraiser. Several local businesses, including pizza chains and restaurants, donated food to the proceedings. Rhodes, a former marine, also enlisted the help of some of his friends “I know a lot of military people, and they’ve been very helpful over the years,” Rhodes said. This year, Rhodes and Spectators Pub were
also able to hold a raffle that contained signed Ray Rice paraphernalia, including a jersey and football. The raffle, said Rhodes, brought in another $650 that was added to the cancer research fund. Rhodes, who visited the St. Jude Children’s Hospital in 2012, also brought a youth suffering from pediatric cancer to meet some of the youngsters who took part in the fitness and self-defense classes. “At first, this kid was playing around with the other kids, like any other child, which really, he is,” said Rhodes. “But then, a little later, we brought him out and told his story, and I think it really moved people. I think it’s interesting, especially for the younger kids, to actually meet someone who is going through this.” Although the event has grown significantly, Rhodes said he isn’t done trying to figure out how to raise more money for cancer research and use his training center as a way to give to those in need. Rhodes and some of his students formed a committee to find smaller ways to supplement the fundraising event throughout the year as a way to make sure they never take their eyes off the goal. “Every year it gets easier, but every year it gets harder,” he said. “You have so much expectation to help those kids and you always want to do more.”
Local martial arts instructor Dusty Rhodes and his wife Pamela visit the St Jude Children’s Hospital in Memphis, Tenn. in 2012. Rhodes’ kajukenbo studio recently held its latest fundraiser to fight pediatric cancer. Contributed Photo
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Panthers ousted by Lourdes By MIKE SMITH SPORTS EDITOR firstname.lastname@example.org
On May 31, Rye Neck’s softball season came to an end at the hands of a tough Lourdes team that downed the Panthers 6-3. Though the Panthers may have fallen short of their yearly goal to play for a Class B title, Rye Neck’s season was one filled with pleasant surprises. Facing holes left by the departure of seven seniors from the 2012 team, the Panthers were able to put together an impressive 14-8 season thanks to several players stepping up their games at opportune times. “Coming in, I don’t know what I expected,” said head coach Joan Spedafino. “But I was so impressed with what these girls were able to do this year.” Like the rest of the teams in the section, Rye Neck’s postseason was put on hold as rain washed out the better part of a week of play. When play resumed on May 30, Rye Neck was ready, downing Hastings 13-1 in the opening round. Nickole Morgan led the team
offensively, driving in six runs on three hits, while ace Diana King proved the layoff didn’t affect her, as she mowed down 13 Yellow Jackets in the win. The next day, however, the Panthers were forced to travel up to Lourdes and couldn’t sneak past the crusaders. “It’s tough to play back-to-back days,” said Spedafino. “Especially in that heat. I think the girls were a little worn down.” Rye Neck will once again look to make a deep postseason run next year, as they return several key players, including Morgan, Brianna Cefaloni, and Shannon Liguori. “We’re returning most of our infield, and that’s a good place to start,” said Spedafino. The Panthers also return their top arm in King, who Spedafino believes will continue to mature along with the rest of the team. “She showed a lot this year with the job she did,” said Spedafino. “She’s just going to continue to get stronger. “I’m just extremely pleased with the way this entire team played this year,” added the head coach. “The girls did everything we asked and really worked very hard.”
First baseman Brianna Cefaloni guards the line on May 30. She will be one of Rye Neck’s key returnees next year. Photos/Mike Smith
ATHLETE OF THE WEEK Alexis Hios By BRANDON LABELLA CONTRIBUTOR
Playing in one of the hardest sports to master, junior golf star Alexis Hios has shined. Her parents first gave her golf clubs when she was two years old, and she started to play in mini golf tournaments at her club when she was five. This season, Rye’s golf team finished with a 12-2 record thanks largely to Hios. Hios made the golf team as an 8th grader and has improved every year since. Her biggest accomplishment up to date was winning sectionals this year and making it to states. “She is a hardworking, dedicated golfer,” said head coach Rich Savage. “[She is] composed and is able to get the job done, no matter what the situation is.” Alexis feels that the team was very successful this year because the girls on the team really pulled through and worked very hard throughout the season. After placing 12th in states last year, Hios is hoping for a top-ten finish in states. She hopes she will be recruited for golf and is looking forward to having the opportunity of playing in college.
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Rye Neck’s Diana King throws a pitch against Hastings on May 30. King struck out 13 batters on the day.
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16 • The rye sound shore review • June 7, 2013