Vol. 13/Number 19
An end to Sluice Gate-gate! Rye City Mayor Douglas French, center, cuts a ribbon for the new Bowman Avenue Sluice Gate held aloft by Rye Brook Mayor Paul Rosenberg, left, and County Executive Rob Astorino. The project has its origins in the April 2007 ﬂoods in Rye that caused $80 million in damage when the Blind Brook overﬂowed its banks. For story, see page 23. Photo/Liz Button
Rye native Jason Bateman ﬁlms on Purchase Street By LIZ BUTTON STAFF REPORTER email@example.com
Home to the iconic Rye Playland amusement park, and an attractive suburban landscape that includes picturesque ocean views, sandy beaches, grand homes, verdant treeﬁlled parks and quaint storefronts, the City of Rye has long been a draw for ﬁlmmakers to use as a backdrop for their movies. For two consecutive Sundays this
month, actor Jason Bateman, a Rye native, ﬁlmed scenes on Purchase Street and Mead Place for his new movie, “This Is Where I Leave You,” based on the 2009 novel by Jonathan Tropper co-starring Tina Fey, Jane Fonda and Timothy Olyphant. Yet, when a ﬁlm crew embeds itself in a public place, concerns can arise, such as disruption to the ﬂow of business and potential public safety issues. It’s not all glitz and glamour;
clearly, the city has a lot to consider each time it gets a proposal from Hollywood. According to Chapter 93 of the city code, it is the city’s intent to encourage, but not solicit, producers and others to use the city as a setting for movies, television shows, commercials and photographs. Eleanor Militana, an assistant to the city manager, said the city FILMS continued on page 26
June 28, 2013
Teachers, district settle new contract By ASHLEY HELMS AND LIZ BUTTON SOUND SHORE REVIEW STAFF firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
The Rye City School District and the Rye Teachers Association have worked out an agreement for a new teacher contract in a matter of months, circumstances that are a far cry from the three years of aggravated contractual negotiations spanning 2007 to 2010 that proved to be a divisive force in the community. The new contract, which calls for partial salary freezes and modiﬁes and extends the union’s existing contract with the district, which was set to expire on June 30 of this year, will be in effect from July 1, 2013 until June 30, 2015. Over the years, settling a union contract before a current one has expired has not been commonplace in Rye. However, the divisiveness during the last round of negotiations seemed to be a constant reminder of the need for both parties to settle amicably, and on time. According to Board of Education President Laura Slack, the negotiation teams reached an agreement last week, and a contract was drawn up. The union voted to approve the agreement on June 25 and the Board of Education passed the memorandum of agreement at its meeting that night. The new deal was reached before the current contract, dated June 9, 2010, was set to expire on June 30. The current contract, negotiated to be active for six years, took effect retroactively after the union worked under an expired contract since 2007. In the new contract, there is no salary increase for the 2013-2014
school year with a 1.5 percent salary increase during the following school year that does not take effect until Feb. 1, 2015. Over the life of the contract, the 1.5 percent salary increase is only paid during the last ﬁve months. “Step” salary increases, which are incremental increases in salary based on previous professional experience, will be frozen for the ﬁrst seven months of each year. Changes were also made to health insurance premium contributions for retirees and active staff, along with reduced buyouts for those who waive the right to accept health insurance. These changes will result in lower costs for the school district, according to administration ofﬁcials. In the 2010 contract, teachers’ contributions to their healthcare premiums were 8 percent, as per the expired contract, and rose to 12 percent for the year 2010. In 2010-2011 and 2011-2012, that contribution rose to 14 percent. Contributions rose once more, to 15 percent, in 2012-2013. Discussions on a new contract began a few months ago, Slack said. The board president attributed the relative speediness of the process to efforts to cooperate on both sides. “I think that the administration and the RTA leadership were able to work collaboratively to come to an agreement that is in the best interest of the community and school district,” Slack said. “The administration, the board and the faculty were hopeful to reach an agreement before [the 2010 contract] expired. We worked TEACHERS continued on page 22
2 • THE RYE SOUND SHORE REVIEW • June 28, 2013
June 28, 2013 • THE RYE SOUND SHORE REVIEW • 3
Finance Committee backs new arts center lease By LIZ BUTTON STAFF REPORTER firstname.lastname@example.org
In anticipation of the 2016 termination of the city’s 30-year lease on 51 Milton Road to the non-proﬁt Rye Arts Center, the Rye Citizen’s Finance Committee is recommending that the city consider renewing the lease for up to 15 years. Rye’s Finance Committee created an eightpage report on the arts center’s lease for the building, which sits on 18 acres of property between Milton and Midland roads on a piece of land the city has owned for more than 70 years. The center has been paying $1 per year in rent to the city for the last 28 years. “On the surface, this arrangement seems overly generous to the Rye Arts Center,” said committee member Laura Leach. The lease was signed in March 1986 and requires the non-proﬁt arts center to maintain the interior of the building, which was built in 1788, at its own expense and to fund all capital improvements, while the city maintains the landscaping and the center’s allocated section of the parking lot next door. The Rye Arts Center has spent $1.2 million on improving the building since 1986, which has an estimated replacement cost of $1.9 million, according to the committee’s report. In going over the center’s accounts, the committee discovered that, although the arts center has been exempt from all other taxes under the lease, the center had not met its obligation to reimburse the city for sewer and refuse taxes. “The failure to pay these taxes can be considered an oversight by both the arts center and the city Finance Department. It wasn’t clear at all why [the center was] never billed,” by the city, which pays these taxes to the county, Leach said. In response to this report, the City Council called upon interim comptroller, Joe Fazzino to ﬁnd out how much the center owed in sewer back taxes. Fazzino found that the comptroller at the time enforced a 50-50 allocation from the city-owned Rye Recreation Center and the arts center, but the city’s Finance Department just never billed the center, said Fazzino. According to arts center executive director Helen Gates, the sewer tax, which Fazzino reports at an annual amount of $4,671.52, is meant for the entire parcel of land on which the art center sits; 18 acres in all. However, while the arts center only sits on one acre of that state park land, the city-managed Rye Recreation Center also sits on that
land, as do the city’s tennis courts. Gates contends that the center should pay 1/18 of those annual sewer taxes. According to Fazzino, City Manager Scott Pickup said the city and the center will have to work out exactly how much sewer tax the nonproﬁt will have to pay annually, going forward. According to the committee’s lease report, the city would be hard pressed to sell the land to a buyer who would build a different building on it because using state parkland for private use would require an act by the state legislature. In 1984, the building was so dilapidated that it could not pass ﬁre inspections, so the city decided to sell it. Since they could not agree with the arts center on a price, the city put it up for sale at $125,000, a move that sparked a retaliatory lawsuit from the center that eventually convinced the city take the building off the market. Arts center president Eileen Neiman said the center was “grateful for the council’s recognition of the value that we have added, do add and hopefully will continue to add to the community of Rye.” Councilwoman Catherine Parker, a Democrat, said the center lends intangible value to the city and “keeps Rye Rye.” But, Parker said, the center’s non-proﬁt set-up is too fragile for a 15-year lease, which might not allow for enough time to launch a major capital campaign if needed. “While we have constraints on our budgets, they have constraints on their budgets,” Parker said. “We can’t really shackle their hands with a short lease.” The center attracts many out-of-town visitors to the city with its free programs, but on occasion, its shared parking lot can become very crowded, as it is also available to tenants from Blind Brook Lodge across the street and those who use the recreation center and ﬁelds. According to Pickup, costs to repair the center’s share of the lot could run as much as $100,000 within the next few years. If their lease is renewed, there should be discussions with the city whether the arts center should contribute, Pickup said. Gates said the center is required to raise funds constantly, not only for programs, but to maintain the interior of the old building. While it was renovated back in 1986, it has been 23 years since the center’s last major capital improvement campaign. Republican Mayor Douglas French said he would like the City Council to make a decision on the issue in September.
The city’s Citizens Finance Committee created a report on the 30-year lease for the center, which has paid $1 per year in rent to the city for 28 years. The committee recommends renewing the center’s lease for a shorter term. Photo/Liz Button
4 • THE RYE SOUND SHORE REVIEW • June 28, 2013
C ommunity Briefs Rye Library events 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. “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. Summer reading and writing program For parents concerned their children will lose academic ground over the summer, The Center for Literacy Enrichment-Pace University has a solution–The Summer Reading & Writing Program. From pre-schoolers to middle schoolers, the program provides children with an opportunity to not only maintain their reading, writing and comprehensive skills, but also to make gains academically in fun and informative ways. The program, which runs from July 1 to 31, offers full-day and half-day sessions. Certiﬁed teachers provide small-group instruction complemented by theme-based indoor and outdoor activities, including science experiments, crafts and games in a noncompetitive setting. The Summer Reading & Writing Program is held on the campus of Pace University Law School, 78 North Broadway, White Plains. Early bird registration, prior to June 14, qualiﬁes for a 5 percent discount on tuition. For more information, or to register your child, contact Center Director Sister St. John Delany, PhD at 914-422-4135. Women of jazz Saturday, June 29 at 8 p.m. The White Plains Performing Arts Center presents Women of Jazz on Saturday, June 29 at 8 p.m. in the theatre on the third level of City Center in downtown White Plains. The program on June 29 features the music of Dinah Washington, Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday in an evening of smooth tunes from some of the most distinctive
young jazz singers performing in NYC today. Join Kat Gang, Terese Genecco and LaTanya Hall as they wrap their spine-tingling vocals around classics such as “That ‘Ol Black Magic,” “What a Difference a Day Makes,” “Mr. Wonderful” and “Strange Fruit,” accompanied by the Barry Levitt Trio. We’re chilling the martinis and turning up the sizzle. Tickets are $35 for adults; $25 for students in high school and younger. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit the WPPAC website at www.wppac. com, call the box ofﬁce at 914 328-1600 or visit the box ofﬁce during business hours at the third level of City Center. Classical music performance at Katonah’s Caramoor On Sunday, July 21 at 4:30 p.m. in the Venetian Theater, The Emerson String Quartet will make its American debut performance with its new cellist, Paul Watkins. Watkins, a much-lauded cellist as well as music director of the English Chamber Orchestra, replaces David Finckel. The distinguished soloist, award-winning conductor, and dedicated chamber musician joins the quartet’s Eugene Drucker, Philip Setzer and Lawrence Dutton for their 37th season. Watkins ofﬁcially joined the group May 11, 2013, and will perform with his new colleagues extensively throughout North America, Europe, and Asia after the Caramoor debut. Tickets: $15, $20, $30, $40. Children under 18 are half price. To order tickets, call the box ofﬁce at 914232-1252 or visit www.caramoor.org. Westchester County Nature Center Events Reptile and Amphibian Seek-out 2 p.m. Saturday, June 29 Marshlands Conservancy, Boston Post Road, Route 1, Rye 914 835-4466 Kids can have fun looking for and learning about snakes, frogs and a big snapping turtle. Archaeology Open House 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, June 30 Croton Point Nature Center, Croton Point Avenue, Croton-on-Hudson 914-862-5297 View the collection and learn about the history of the area with members of the New York State Archaeological Association, Lower Hudson Chapter. Joyful baby massage Wainwright House, 260 Stuyvesant
Ave. Rye, N.Y. is offering weekly starting Thursday, June 27. There are many good reasons to massage your baby. It is healthy for mother and baby. There are many other powerful emotional and physical beneﬁts. You can begin baby massage at any time, as soon after birth as you feel ready. Oil and laminated take-home massage notes are provided-all you need to bring is yourself, your baby and a couple of soft towels, big enough to wrap around your baby. Summer programs for children at the Port Chester-Rye Brook Public Library The following programs are being offered this summer at the Port Chester-Rye Brook Public Library. Movie Tuesdays at 11 a.m. July 9 Wreck-It Ralph July 16 Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days July 23 Ice Age: Continental Drift July 30 Brave “You Picasso” an art program For Ages 7-12 years. “You Picasso” is an art program for children ages 7 to 12 years on Mondays, July 15, 22 and 29 from 11 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. Please note, there is limited enrollment for this program. Pre-registration is required starting Monday, June 24 by phone 914 939-6710 x 108 or in person. This program is sponsored by the Nowodworski Foundation through Arts Alive Artist Grants. Grants are made possible with funds from the Decentralization Program, a re-grant program of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the NYS Legislature, and administered by ArtsWestchester. Juggler Will Shaw Juggler Will Shaw will perform a variety of juggling tricks and feats for children ages 5 and up on Wednesday, July 17 at 11 a.m. at the Port Chester-Rye Brook Public Library. Robert the Guitar Guy Robert the Guitar guy plays great music, sings songs and has the children use a variety of instruments at the Port Chester-Rye Brook Public Library on Monday, July 22, July 29 and August 5 at 2:30 p.m. This program is for children ages 1 to 6 years. RuneScape Club Join the adventure of the Middle Ages with this free online game for Ages 8 and up. Classes will be held on Thursdays, July 18 to 25 and August 1 and 8 at 3 p.m. Please note, there is limited enrollment for this program. Pre-registration is required starting Monday, June 24 by phone 914 939-6710 x 108 or in person. Magic and Comedy of Jim A magic and comedy show for ages 5 and up on Wednesday, July 24 at 11 a.m. at the Port Chester-Rye Brook Public Library. Pirate School Ahoy, mateys. Join us on Monday, August 5 at 6:30 p.m. with a hilarious swashbuckling show with Pirate School at the Port ChesterRye Brook Public Library. Summer art classes at Greenburgh Nature Center Enjoy a ﬁve-class series of art instruction. Learn, explore and create in the beautiful outdoor setting of the nature center. Students work independently and in groups, learning to use a variety of basic supplies, as well as simple sketching, painting and more. Each class
focuses on a new technique, ranging from landscapes to portraits, cartoons to still-lifes. Instructor Jake Hurwitz is a fun, outgoing and experienced art teacher who relates well with young students. Session Dates: Saturdays, July 13 to Aug. 10 Sundays, July 14 to Aug. 11 Class Times: Group 1, ages 7 to 10: Saturdays 10 a.m. to noon Group 2, ages 7 to 10: Sundays 10 a.m. to noon Group 3, ages 11 to 14 plus: Saturdays 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Classes run for two hours and are held outdoors, weather permitting. In case of inclement weather, class held indoors. Pre-registration and pre-payment required online. See website to register and pay. Classes start promptly, so please arrive on time. Dress appropriately for outdoor activity. Session Fee, which covers ﬁve classes and all supplies: Members $150 Non-members $175 “Big” in Rye Town Park The Friends of Rye Town Park is presenting the family classic, “Big” starring Tom Hanks, on Thursday, July 11, beginning at approximately 8:40 p.m.. The event will be held outdoors, on the great lawn at the northeast end of Rye Town Park. Two parts of the movie were ﬁlmed in Rye: An amusement park sequence, and the “return to Zoltar” scene near the end. “Big” was nominated for Academy Awards for Best Actor in a Leading Role for Tom Hanks and Best Original Screenplay. Thanks to the generous sponsorship of Carpet Trends of Rye, admission to the movie is free. There will be a reduced parking rate of $5, $4 for season permit holders, after 4:00 p.m. People living close to the park are encouraged to walk. In the event of bad weather, the rain date will be Thursday, July 18. For further information, phone 914 967-5419. Or, people can call the park at 967-0965. Shabbat on the beach Community Synagogue of Rye invites families raising young Jewish children to attend “Shabbat on the Beach” at Oakland Beach in Rye on Friday, July 19 at 6 p.m. Join Rabbi Leora Frankel and Cantor Melanie Cooperman for a family-friendly, musical Shabbat service on the beach. After the service, families are invited to stay for pizza dinner and all are welcome to enjoy wine and light refreshments. We’ll be gathering in the covered pavilion next to the Rye Town Park administration building. Please RSVP to Diane Sacks, Clergy Assistant, at email@example.com by July 15 to reserve a place, as space is l imited. Visit Community Synagogue of Rye on the web at www.comsynrye.org and “like” our Facebook page at facebook.com/comsynrye. 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 28, 2013 • THE RYE SOUND SHORE REVIEW • 5
6 • THE RYE SOUND SHORE REVIEW • June 28, 2013
City may ﬁle Article 78 over Beaver Swamp By DANIEL OFFNER STAFF REPORTER email@example.com
The saga surrounding the Beaver Swamp Brook may ﬁnally be drawing to a close now that the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has issued its interim decision ruling in favor of Harrison’s plans. Located at the crossroads of Oakland and Halstead avenues in the Town of Harrison, the vacant DEC-regulated Brownﬁeld property was planned as the site of new ballﬁelds during the administration of former Republican Mayor Steve Malﬁtano, but over the years has seen opposition from Rye City and residents of both communities, who ﬁrmly believe dirt ﬁll already carted on to the site is increasing ﬂooding in the area. While the future of the site still remains unclear, the DEC’s June 12, 2013 decision denies the City of Rye’s appeals—a ruling ﬁnding no impact to ﬂooding—and holds ﬁrm that Harrison may potentially be granted the right to construct a scaled-down version of the long-debated Project Homerun. “The appeal conﬁrms that we are moving closer to having a hearing and, ultimately, the issuance of a full DEC permit to allow the project to move forward,” said Harrison Town Attorney Frank Allegretti. First conceived in the early 2000s by Malﬁtano, Homerun was initially intended to include the construction of an elaborate baseball diamond, gazebo, walking trails and parking lot structures within the Beaver Swamp Brook ﬂoodplain. The most recent chapter of the ongoing legal hoopla surrounding the property comes after a series of appeals made by neighboring Rye, which, in collaboration with affected Harrison property owners, had contested the initial rulings of Daniel P. O’Connell, an administrative law judge overseeing the case. According to O’Connell, under the State Environmental Quality Review Act law, or SEQRA, the City of Rye’s arguments, as it relates to ﬂooding, did not have merit in the case since it was outside of the judge’s scope. Now, after more than a year of silence from the state Department of Environmental Conservation, its Commissioner Joseph J. Martens has issued an interim decision afﬁrming O’Connell’s rulings. Rye further requested Harrison conduct additional reviews of potential ﬂood impacts. However, the DEC commissioner upheld O’Connell’s decision, ﬁnding that Rye’s claims fell outside its jurisdiction, citing Harrison’s SEQRA review is beyond the scope of the proceeding. “The DEC staff and the DEC Commissioner rejected all the main arguments raised by the City of Rye and individual interveners,” Allegretti added.
Although the commissioner maintained O’Connell’s decision , the DEC plans to hold a hearing, to be scheduled after press time, which will determine whether Harrison could move forward with the downsized proposal for Project Home Run. However, in order to receive the permit to begin construction of the ballﬁeld, the town would have to satisfy standards that weigh the loss of ﬂood control beneﬁts from the wetland property against the pressing economic or social need for the project. After review of the interim decision, Rye City Attorney Kristen Wilson said that when a municipality ﬁles certain objections with inter-state departments, the permit process is dragged out, leaving petitioners waiting in anticipation for the hearing. The ensuing battle with the state DEC has been an elongated process spanning the extent of three different administrations in Harrison and two in the City of Rye. “Now there is going to be a conference call with all parties sometime in early July, and at that time, the issues will be clariﬁed for the actual hearing,” Wilson said. All four parties involved in the case will be in attendance, including Harrison residents Doug Schaper and Michael LaDore, Rye and Harrison, and the administrative law judge and the DEC. Should the proceedings of the adjudicatory hearing not go the city’s way, it would be up to the Rye City Council to determine whether or not they wish to sue Harrison. Procedurally, this would require an appeal in the form of an Article 78 petition that would be processed in the Westchester County Supreme Court. “That’s based on the timeline so far,” Wilson added. “The process has been slow. I think we will know a lot more after this conference call and we get the date for the hearing.” If the hearing is in October, for example, it is feasible if the judge renders decision that the conﬂict could be over before the next Rye City Council takes ofﬁce. Four seats on the City Council are up for re-election including Mayor Douglas French, a Republican. Park Avenue resident Ladore, who has experienced increased ﬂooding in recent years, which he attributes to ﬁll brought onto the project site, said that while the interim decision was disappointing, that the matter is not over yet. “I think it’s frustrating that things are not in the DEC’s purview,” Ladore said. “There are too many entities of government who turn a blind eye.” Ladore also said he would like the DEC to acknowledge that additional ﬁll was brought into the area and he would like to get FEMA more involved. “There are no slam dunks, but I think our case is very strong,” Ladore said. -With reporting by LIZ BUTTON
Notice The Rye Sound Shore Review will not print a July 5 edition. The next print date is scheduled for July 12. Happy Fourth of July.
June 28, 2013 • THE RYE SOUND SHORE REVIEW • 7
Why I admire the ﬁrst President Bush A RYE OLDTIMER Judge John Carey
I got a head start on George Herbert Walker Bush. He was not born until a day after me. After that, he pulled ahead of me, way ahead. A good friend of mine roomed with Poppy, as he was then called, at Phillips Academy Andover. My friend told me how, the day after Pearl Harbor, he and Poppy went to the local recruiting ofﬁce and tried to join up. They were told to go back to school, ﬁnish their senior year, and then come back if still interested. They were still interested, and did try again. My friend was turned down by the Marines at ﬁrst for having ﬂat feet. Poppy was not turned down, but was accepted by the Navy soon after turning 18 to ﬂy planes off aircraft carriers. The rest is history. I understand that Poppy ﬂew torpedo bombers. They were heavy planes that carried a torpedo fastened to their underbelly. The idea was that they would approach a large ship and, at the right moment, release the torpedo in the direction of the target. If attacked by a ﬁghter plane, their slowness might doom them. Enemy submarines on the surface were also potential targets. One day, off the coast of occupied France, I watched as a torpedo bomber approached the carrier we were escorting. Our ship, the U.S.S. Loy (DE-160), was stationed astern of the carrier with the assignment of picking out of the ocean the crew of any plane that
dropped into the water while slowing down to make a landing on the ﬂight deck. The plane we on the Loy were watching that day banked a little too steeply as it circled toward the carrier’s ﬂight deck. It lost lift and slid sideways into the ocean. We raced over to rescue the crew, but all that was left ﬂoating was one of the plane’s wheels. I had just recently met the pilot while ashore in Casablanca. So, Poppy was in a dangerous part of the Navy, not just because of possibly being shot down, but also because of the hazards of simply being aloft in so unwieldy an aircraft. Happily, he got home and was married here in Rye during the war, and later enrolled at Yale University. He had been slated to be in the same Yale class I was in, but instead chose a hero’s path and postponed college. I often wonder whether I myself would have had the courage to join the Navy in 1942 as a pilot instead of taking the easier route of the Naval Reserve and putting off the dangers of sea duty. I did not know Poppy in 1942, and, if I had, the contrast in our plans would have been all the more striking. I met him only in the late 1950s, through a mutual friend. His courage was again apparent when, after graduating from Yale, he headed, not for Wall Street, where his senator father had made his mark, but for the oil ﬁelds of Texas. All through his subsequent career, he has shown the courage to take on new responsibilities and has, in that way, risen to the top. I do not envy him, but certainly do admire him. I wish him long life and much happiness with all his family and his memories of bravery beyond the call of duty. Reach John Carey at firstname.lastname@example.org
What’s Your Beef? What’s bothering you today?
Collected on Mamaroneck Avenue in Mamaroneck “Our dog has to have an operation this week, and my car broke down.” Bruce Nathan, 73, Larchmont
“No one wants to give me money to ban fracking in New York State.” James Brownie, 20, Mount Vernon
“I hate inconsiderate people.”
“Getting the apartment ﬁnished.”
Maria Vidal, 23, Port Chester
Bob Shapiro, 69, Mamaroneck
-Photos and reporting by COREY BAUMER
8 • THE RYE SOUND SHORE REVIEW • June 28, 2013
Rye police rescue family from CO2 By LIZ BUTTON STAFF REPORTER email@example.com
Two Rye City Police ofﬁcers became ill after exposure to carbon monoxide gas while rescuing a 49-year-old city man from a home at 6 Hunter Lane, police said. The man’s father, David Florence, 82, accidentally left his car running in the garage below the room where David Florence, Jr. was sleeping beginning around 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 15, according to Police Commissioner William Connors. Connors said Sgt. Michael Anfuso and Ofﬁcer Jason Washco were called to the home of David, Sr. and Michelle Florence, 80, around 8:55 a.m. on Sunday, June 16. The ofﬁcers entered the bedroom and found Florence, Jr. unconscious. Fumes had seeped up through the ﬂoor over night as the man slept. By Monday, Florence’s parents were released from Westchester Medical Center, where they were treated for high carbon monoxide levels. They were standing in the vicinity of the home’s front door when police arrived, Connors said. The police ofﬁcers were back to work by Monday. The younger Florence man was sent to Greenwich Hospital and subsequently transferred to the Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx, Connors said.
Connors said the house was ventilated by members of the Mamaroneck and Harrison ﬁre departments at Sunday’s scene. “They were able to gain access around 10:30 that morning,” he said, and ﬁreﬁghters set up a large fan to blow fresh air into the house. According to Connors, carbon monoxide poisoning is avoidable if residents make it a point to implement important safety measures in their homes and garages. “I think ﬁrst and foremost, when you park your car in the garage or in another conﬁned area, at least make sure it is turned off and stopped and the keys are removed,” he said. Residents should also make sure their homes have working carbon monoxide detectors, which make a loud noise to alert people to dangerous levels of CO2. Connors said he was not sure whether the detectors in the house on Hunter Lane were operable at the time of the incident. Florence’s mother, Michelle, said on June 25 that her son is out of the hospital and doing well. “He’s amazing,” she said. “He’s going to go back to work on the ﬁrst.” However, David, Jr.’s health is not completely back to normal, and he is still very tired, she said. “It’s a miracle. We had lots of prayers and I’m sure they made the difference,” Florence said.
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INSIDE WC I June 2013 • 1
Lifestyles of Westchester County/JUNE 2013 VOL.15 NO.97
INSIDE WESTCHESTER COUNTY
Lifestyle June 2013 | SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT TO
THE RYE SOUND SHORE REVIEW
STARTING STRONG How to make the gym work for you from the get-go
THE HIDDEN TRUTH Lesser known benefits of cardiovascular exercise
MAKING THE CUT Simple ways to cut calories
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2 • June 2013 I INSIDE WC
INSIDE WC I June 2013 • 3
The lesser known benefits of
cardiovascular exercise Active people tend to have varying views on cardiovascular exercise, or cardio. Often done at the end of a workout, cardio rarely evokes a staid response from fitness afficionados asked to share their thoughts on this valuable type of exercise. Fans of cardio will admit they love the feeling they get during and after a rigorous round of this type of exercise, which includes activities like running, cycling and walking. But those men and women who dread their time on the treadmill, elliptical machine or stationary bike are likely to categorize cardio as a boring and uninspiring activity. But regardless of a person’s opinion on cardio, there’s no denying it offers numerous benefits, many of which even avid athletes might be unaware. • Cardio boosts brain power. Perhaps the least known benefit of cardio is its positive impact on the brain. During cardiovascular exercise, the brain is being flooded with chemicals that improve decision making, memory and problem solving. Cardio can also help preserve memory and improve its ability to learn. So while the physical
benefits of exercise are widely known and noticeable to the naked eye, cardiovascular exercise can be just as effective at improving cognitive function. • Cardio can improve your appearance. Improving physical appearance is a motivating factor for many physically active men and women, and cardio can go a long way toward improving physical appearance because it increases lean body tissue while reducing fat. Cardiovascular exercise is a healthy way to burn calories, and burning calories is a healthy means to losing weight. • Cardio can help reduce the severity of preexisting conditions. Arthritis sufferers have long looked to cardiovascular exercise as a healthy means to relieving the pain caused by their condition. Water exercises like swimming make for great cardiovascular exercises, especially for those looking to relieve arthritis pain. That’s because an exercise such as swimming keeps joints moving while strengthening muscles surrounding those joints. Studies have shown that cardiovascular exercise also can lower blood pressure.
• Cardio can improve mood. Cardiovascular exercise can benefit men and women suffering from depression or those who are simply having a bad day. That’s because the mood-boosting chemical serotonin is released to the brain during cardio, helping to improve mood and alleviate symptoms of depression or fatigue. • Cardio can make tomorrow’s workout easier. Recovery time is important to athletes, many of whom want to ensure
their bodies are ready for tomorrow’s workout even before they finish today’s. Cardiovascular exercise helps to deliver more oxygen-rich blood to muscle tissue, aiding in tissue repair and recovery. The quicker your body can rebound from today’s workout, the more effective tomorrow’s workout will be. So even if you don’t enjoy that pit stop at the treadmill before you head home, it’s paying more dividends than you might know.
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Simple ways to cut calories P
eople take a variety of approaches when attempting to lose weight. Some try fad diets that may or may not produce results, while others commit to a daily exercise regimen. One of the more popular ways men and women attempt to lose weight is to cut calo-
When making a sandwich, hold the mayo in favor of mustard, which contains far fewer calories.
ries from their diets. Cutting calories can be an effective way to shed extra pounds, but it should be done in a way that does not compromise your overall health for the sake of a slimmer waistline. Any changes adults make to their diets should be discussed with their physicians prior to going forward, but the following are a handful of healthy ways to cut calories. • Put away the potato chips. Potato chips are a favorite snack of many people, but those delicious chips could be a reason your belt size is getting bigger. Instead of potato chips, opt for air-popped popcorn, which contains roughly one-fourth the amount of calories as potato chips. Popcorn also is a whole grain, which means you’ll be adding fiber, minerals and vitamins to your diet while decreasing your caloric intake. • Add healthy flavor to your pasta. Perhaps because it’s become increasingly available in recent years, whole grain pasta has risen in popularity. But men and women looking to cut calories can go even further when cooking up some pasta for dinner.
When making whole grain pasta, cook about half the amount you normally would, and then add fresh or even frozen vegetables to the mix. Reducing the amount of pasta will reduce the amount of calories you consume, and the vegetables will add nutrients to your diet. Another way to cut calories from your favorite pasta dishes is to leave the parmesan cheese on the sideline. Parmesan cheese can be loaded with in calories, and the vegetables should add all the flavor you need. • Choose the right condiment for your sandwich. Many people love a good deli sandwich slathered in mayonnaise. But while that sandwich might be delicious, that mayo could be adding a significant number of calories to your meal. One tablespoon of mayonnaise can have as many as 57 calories, while an alternative like mustard can be just as flavorful while containing far fewer calories. • Say “so long” to soft drinks. Perhaps no method to cutting calories is more effective for soft drink lovers than cutting soft drinks from their diets. Sugary beverages are not only loaded with calories, but such
drinks offset the body’s blood sugar, increasing appetite as a result. Instead of reaching for a soft drink at the convenience store or at home, try water. It’s a much healthier alternative, and it’s sure to help you achieve a slimmer waistline. • Don’t forget to eat fruit. Fruit is not just a fresh and delicious snack, it’s also a fiber- and antioxidant-rich and low-calorie alternative to more popular snack foods. Strawberries are a popular fruit, and men and women might be surprised to learn that a pound of strawberries contains nearly the same amount of calories as a half-cup of vanilla ice cream. When eating breakfast in the morning, add some fruit to your cereal or oatmeal. Allowing the fruit to occupy some of the space that would otherwise be occupied by more cereal or oatmeal will lower your caloric intake while adding fiber and antioxidants to your diet. When choosing fruits, opt for fresh instead of dried fruit. Sugar and calories are much more concentrated in dried fruits than fresh fruits, so choose fresh fruits whenever possible.
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A lifetime of healthy vision is the goal of the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary’s Rye Brook office By Alfonso Ponce, MD
Previously in Inside Westchester, we discussed the importance of remaining active and spending time outdoors for the health of your eyes. The younger you are when you start, the better your body will be prepared to confront the changes that happen with aging. A study published in the prestigious journal Ophthalmology in May reported that children who spent more time playing outdoors will be less likely to develop myopia compared to children spending the same amount of time indoors. High myopia (extreme nearsightedness) is an eye condition that can put your eye at risk for many other problems. If left uncorrected in a child, it can produce amblyopia (or lazy eye), preventing that eye to see clear permanently. Eyes that develop high myopia are more prone to have retinal tears and detachment which can lead to blindness in later years if left untreated. A good ophthalmological and retinal evaluation can determine if you have myopia or any retinal problems. Another benefit of remaining active outdoors is to maintain good circulation in the body and to consume ingested calories, reducing the chance to develop systemic diseases. Mayor Bloomberg launched a campaign in New York City to restrict the ingestion of sugar-loaded beverages since there’s a direct link to obesity.
Obesity in turn can produce diabetes mellitus, high blood pressure and high cholesterol–all of which are risk factors for diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration. Smoking is another risk factor in eye disease. So, even if you are taking medication to keep cholesterol or systemic blood pressure controlled, but you are a smoker, it’s equally important to check your retina early before it gets affected. In addition to time outdoors and control of smoking, your eyes are helped by a good balanced diet including green vegetables that are high in antioxidants and Lutein, fish (especially salmon that is rich in omega acid) and berries. Commercially available supplements that contain Lutein, beta carotene and omega-3 can support the health of your eye. But always discuss the use of supplements with your ophthalmologist or your primary physician before starting taking them. So summer is here, get your hiking gear and hit the beautiful trails that the area has to offer. Don’t forget your sunglasses and sun block. And remember, balance is the key to a healthy life. To make an appointment with Dr. Ponce, please call 914-934-5280 or visit www.nyee. edu/westchester to book online through ZocDoc.
Reasons to include
more dairy in your diet
healthy diet can improve quality of life and reduce a person’s risk of developing disease or other negative health conditions. For example, a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can boost the immune system and promote cardiovascular health, lowering your risk of heart disease in the process. While the benefits of including fruits and vegetables in your diet are widely known, the medical benefits of dairy are often overlooked. The following are a handful of ways that dairy products like low-fat milk, cottage cheese and yogurt can make a nutritious and beneficial addition to your diet. • Dairy packs a protein- and calcium-laden punch. One cup of nonfat yogurt can provide as much as one-third of your daily recommended calcium intake and nearly 20 percent of your daily recommended protein intake. Though dairy products like ice cream don’t pack the same nutritious punch as yogurt, healthier fare like reduced-fat cheese and skim milk can go a long way toward meeting your daily intake of protein and calcium. • Dairy is a great source of vitamin D. In addition to providing sufficient calcium and protein, dairy also helps men, women and children boost their vitamin D. That’s especially important in the winter months when people tend to get less exposure to the sun. Exposure to the sun is a natural way to boost your vitamin D, but the shorter days and colder weather of winter can make it hard to get sufficient vitamin D during that time of year. Dairy products like low-fat milk can boost your vitamin D, which can improve your bone health and, according to recent research, might help reduce your cancer risk. • Dairy may help lower your blood pressure. Men and women with high blood pressure might benefit from including more dairy in their diets. In a study of 5,000 adults, Spanish researchers found that those who reported consuming the most low-fat dairy products were more than 50 percent less likely to develop high blood pressure than those who consumed less low-fat dairy. Though researchers are not certain as to the reason behind low-fat dairy products’ impact
on blood pressure, some theorize that their calcium and protein content are likely behind the benefit. • Dairy benefits your bones. Dairy has long been known to improve bone density. But it’s not just seniors who benefit from the bonestrengthening impact of dairy. Youngsters who consume dairy can also expect an increase in bone mass, which can make them less susceptible to injuries like broken bones. Seniors who consume dairy to improve their bone density should know that a recent study from researchers at the Institute for Aging Research found that not all dairy products are equal when it comes to improving bone density. While milk and yogurt were linked to higher bone mineral density, dairy products like cream and ice cream contain less protein, calcium and vitamin D and more fat and sugar than yogurt and milk, and these products may actually be associated with lower bone mineral density. Though there are many ways men and women can improve their overall health, it’s important to consider the nutritional value of dairy when making any alterations to your diet.
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Make the gym work for you from the get-go M
any people aspire to adopt a healthy lifestyle that includes regular exercise, which medical professionals have long advised is an essential element of a healthy life. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend adults get at least two hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, such as brisk walking, every week and some muscle-strengthening activities that focus on all the major muscle groups on two or more days per week. While adhering to such an exercise regimen might not appear that difficult on the surface, many men and women know just how difficult it can be to make the transition from a relatively inactive lifestyle to one in which exercise is a significant part of the daily routine. Much of that difficulty stems from the intimidation many people feel when visiting a gym. Walking into a gym for the first time can be similar to the first day of school, when a lack of familiarity with one’s surroundings inspired fear and anxiety. But there are ways individuals can make their first forays into the fitness club a success right from the start. • Familiarize yourself with the layout prior to your first workout. It’s easy to feel like an outsider when visiting a gym for the first time. Your fellow members already know their way around, and you might be hesitant to ask any of them for advice as to where certain equipment might be. To avoid a wasted workout opportunity spent wandering around the gym, ask a gym representative to show you around once you’re ready to start exercising. Such a tour was likely provided when you signed up for the gym, but the layout is easily forgotten between that visit and your first workout. Allow a trainer or another gym employee to show you the ropes right before your first workout so you don’t feel as though you’re lost in a vast sea of dumbbells and treadmills. • Accept the gym’s offer of a free training session. Many fitness clubs offer a free consultation with a personal trainer to new members. Accept this offer regardless of your fitness level or familiarity with the facility. The trainer can help you find your way around and tailor your workout to meet your goals. You may even find working with a personal trainer is something you want to do, and this can prove a great introduction to a service that many men and women find valuable and motivational. • Don’t worry about what your fellow members are doing and thinking. One of the biggest mistakes you can make at the
Enlisting a friend as a workout partner is one way to increase the chances your workout routine will be a success from the get-go.
Skip stretching before a workout Stretching before a workout may not be as beneficial as people once thought. Reserve stretching for your post-workout routine.
any athletes have been told to stretch before starting a workout, as such a routine prepares the body for physical exertion. But new evidence suggests that stretching before a workout may do more harm than good.
onset of a new fitness regimen is paying too much attention to what your fellow members are doing. Just because someone working out next to you can bench press a few hundred pounds does not mean you should attempt to follow suit. It’s easy to feel as though your fellow gym members are watching you workout and judging your performance, but oftentimes nothing could be further from the truth. They’re likely too locked in on their own workout to notice what you’re doing, so don’t feel embarrassed if you feel like you’re not lifting enough weight or going easy on yourself on the treadmill. The more you workout, the more comfortable you’ll become and your performance will reflect that comfort level. What’s more, the more comfortable you become the less attention you will pay to your fellow members. • Find a time that works for you. When beginning a new workout routine, it helps to visit the gym at different times to find the time that best fits your schedule and makes you feel most comfortable. Beginners often prefer to avoid peak hours when fitness clubs tend to be most crowded. Many clubs are most busy during the post-work hours of 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
During these hours, beginners may feel intimidated by other members who appear to be in tip-top shape or frustrated when having to share machines with other members. But some beginners might be motivated by a packed gym. To find the time that’s right for you and your schedule, visit the gym at various times of day over the first couple of weeks of your membership. Once you find a time that fits, commit to visiting the gym at that time several days per week. Establishing a routine is essential to making your exercise regimen a success. • Go with a friend. Enlisting a friend to workout with you on the buddy system is a great way to stay committed to a workout routine. A friend who works out with you can motivate you to go on those days when you really don’t want to, which is a significant hurdle to clear for beginners and veterans alike. When choosing a workout partner, make it known to each other that you both expect to be held accountable to your joint commitment. Beginning a new workout regimen can be exciting and intimidating. But beginners can employ several strategies to ensure their new lifestyle is a hit right off the bat.
Several studies now indicate that static stretching, or slowly moving muscles until they start to hurt and then holding the position, may impair strength and speed. One study published in the April 2013 Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research concluded that those who stretch before lifting weights could find themselves feeling wobblier and weaker than expected. Another study at the University of Zagreb in Croatia reviewed 104 studies of people who practiced static stretching as a warm-up. Muscle strength was reduced by more than 5 percent in those who stretched. Another study examined men who did basic squats while lifting barbells. Men who stretched and those who didn’t were examined. Those who stretched lifted 8.3 percent less weight than those who skipped stretching. Many personal trainers now discourage extensive stretching before a workout, feeling that stretching post-workout provides the most benefit. A number of people have long confused stretching with warming up muscles, but static stretching is a different activity from actual muscle warmup, which generally involves low-impact movement of the body. There is no evidence that STRETCHING continued on page 10
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Fostering healthy eating habits in children
f kids had their way, pizza, chicken fingers and french fries would make up a significant portion of their diets. But parents know they must make kids’ culinary choices for them so youngsters get all of the vitamins and nutrients they need to grow up strong and healthy. Parents also tend to know how difficult it can be to convince kids to embrace healthy eating. Healthy eating habits can help kids live healthier lives and perform better in the classroom while setting them up for a lifetime of making the right choices at mealtime. Though encouraging kids to eat healthy may not always be easy, the following are a few tips for parents hoping to foster healthy eating habits in their children. • Stick to a schedule. Parents should establish a regular eating schedule, for both meals and snacks, so kids learn the importance of not skipping meals. Kids who learn to eat at regular intervals are more likely to continue doing so as they grow older. When kids stick to a meal schedule, they are less likely to overeat and they’re likely to have more energy
throughout the day, which should help them stay attentive at school and be more engaged in their extracurricular activities. • Involve kids when choosing the menu. Kids might be more excited about eating healthy when you involve them in choosing the menu. Invite them along on trips to the grocery store and allow them to choose one of their favorite foods for the meal in exchange for eating the healthy fare you have chosen. Parents may end up eating a lot of side dishes of macaroni and cheese, but their youngsters will also end up eating their vegetables. • Plan healthy desserts. Dessert is often considered an unhealthy indulgence, but there’s plenty of nutritious desserts that are so delicious kids likely will not realize they’re eating healthy. A dessert of fresh fruit and a small serving of yogurt can provide the same post-meal refreshment as ice cream or cake, but it does so with much fewer calories and a lot more nutrients and vitamins. What’s more, kids will come to look at dessert as a chance to eat fresh fruits instead of an opportunity to load up on ice cream or other, less healthy alternatives.
• Serve healthy portions. Sometimes it’s not just what is on the plate but how much is on the plate that can be healthy or unhealthy. When doling out portions for the family, create healthy portions so kids are not encouraged to overeat. Kids who grow up eating healthy portions are more likely to continue doing so into adulthood. Overeating is one of the culprits behind being overweight and obese, so kids who learn to control their portions are much less likely to overeat and gain excess weight. • Don’t reward kids with food. Some parents try to reward youngsters with food, allowing kids to indulge in unhealthy fare in acknowledgement of a good report card or something else kids should be proud of. But using food as a reward is an unhealthy eating habit that can lead to problems down the road as kids become adults responsible for their own eating habits.
• Set a positive example. Kids are more likely to eat healthy when mom and dad are healthy eaters. If your first choice at snack time is to reach for a bag of potato chips, then don’t be surprised when your kids opt for chips over healthier fare like a piece of fruit. “Do as I say, not as I do” is a tough sell to youngsters when it comes to their eating habits, so parents should set a positive example for their kids by ensuring their own diets are healthy.
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SHRETCHING from page 8
about body fat
ody fat is often considered the enemy for those looking to get fit. People will try many types of diets and exercise in an effort to rid their bodies of excess fat, and such regimens produce varying degrees of success. Part of what makes fat so confounding is the misconceptions surrounding this natural component of anatomy. By separating the myths from the facts, men and women might find their efforts to banish body fat that much more successful.
stretching before a workout makes muscles more limber or reduces the risk of injury during a workout. Some experts liken stretching muscles prior to working out to overstretching a rubber band. The muscles may get limp and overworked prematurely and then not be able to perform to peak when power intensity is needed. Others argue that when
people engage in stretching, the muscles are actually tightening, rather than relaxing, which may make athletes more prone to injury. Stretching improves flexibility and range of movement. But some fitness experts suggest stretching be reserved for times when exercise will not immediately follow, such as after a workout has been completed.
Myth #1: Body fat is only under the surface of the skin. While body fat near the surface of the skin, which is known as subcutaneous fat, may be most noticeable, body fat is actually accumulated throughout the body. Organs can accumulate fat, and this internal fat, known as visceral fat, can wrap around the heart and marble muscle. According to Dr. David Haslam, clinical director of the National Obesity Forum, visceral fat can be toxic and unhealthy. When people begin to exercise, they burn away this visceral fat and the results are often noticeable shortly after an exercise regimen begins. Myth #2: Muscle turns to fat without exercise. Muscle and fat are two separate entities, and one cannot become the other. People will gain weight after they stop exercising because fat will begin to accumulate more readily because it isn’t being burned. Fat may mask muscles that were once there and are no longer as pronounced. However, the muscles will not turn to fat. Upon returning to regular exercise, a person can regain his or her physique. Myth #3: Body fat develops from eating fatty foods. Fat in food will not necessarily turn to fat on the body. That piece of bacon will no more turn into a spare tire around your midsection than would a banana. Fat is formed from excess calories. When the body takes in more calories than it uses for energy, that excess is stored as fat reserves. Whether calories come from a lean protein or fatty gristle, if the calories are all used up they will not turn into fat. Myth #4: Starving oneself will burn fat. Depriving the body of calories may initially force it to burn body fat stores. However, if the calorie restriction is so marked, the body may actually go into “starvation mode,” where it breaks down fats more slowly. Also, when food is reintroduced, the body may store more fat in anticipation of
future deprivation. This can cause a person to gain more weight and body fat than if he or she had just adhered to a moderate diet all along. Myth #5: A person can lose body fat from just one area. There are a number of exercises purported to burn fat from a specific area of the body. For example, doing hundreds of crunches will banish belly fat. However, fat will not diminish in just one spot from targeted exercise. The body burns fat evenly so that one portion is not depleted more than another, resulting in an area of the body that is not naturally insulated by fat. Therefore, a diet and exercise plan will produce gradual shedding of body fat all over the body. Yet, the appearance of diminished fat may be visible in particular areas more so than others. Myth #6: Fat modulates body temperature. Scientists used to believe that body fat was instrumental in regulating body temperature. New information suggests that it is actually muscle that helps regulate body temperature, although it is not entirely understood why. According to a report published in Nature Medicine, muscle protein called scarlopin is believed to help regulate body temperature. Muscle contractions also help to generate heat. Myth #7: Fat weighs less than muscle. Muscle and fat weigh the same. A pound of bricks will weigh the same as a pound of cotton. Muscle is more dense than fat, so if a person is exercising and building muscle while shedding fat, he or she may not notice a big change in weight. Body fat is often shrouded in mystery, but understanding the science behind body fat can make shedding it that much easier.
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Understanding and fighting hypertension
study published in the journal Neurology found that people with high blood pressure were significantly less likely to have headaches than those with healthy pressure readings. Nosebleeds have also been linked to high blood pressure, but one study found that 83 percent of patients treated for high blood pressure did not suffer from nosebleeds. Debunking such myths is important, as it further emphasizes the need to receive routine blood pressure readings as the only reliable means for men, women and children to determine if they have high, low or healthy blood pressure. Anyone experiencing frequent headaches or nosebleeds should consult a physician but should not assume such occurrences are a byproduct of high blood pressure. Can certain foods help reduce high blood pressure? One rumor concerning HBP actually has some merit. A heart-healthy diet that includes the following foods can help men, women and children manage their blood pressure and reduce HBP if necessary: • Blueberries: Blueberries contain an-
ypertension, often referred to as high blood pressure, affects millions of people across the globe. According to the American Heart Association, more than 76 million adults in the United States alone have been diagnosed with high blood pressure. But even children and teens can suffer from hypertension, making it a formidable but largely preventable foe. Understanding high blood pressure, or HBP, may encourage adults and children alike to take steps to maintain a healthy blood pressure, which can reduce their risk of heart attack, stroke and kidney disease. What is HBP? HBP is often associated with men and women who are considered to be constantly on edge, nervous or hyperactive. But even laid back men, women and children can suffer from HBP. As a person’s heart beats, it creates pressure that pushes blood through the body’s arteries and veins. Those arteries are made of muscle and a semi-flexible tissue that stretches when the blood is pumped through them. The more forcefully that blood is pumped, the more that flexible tissue is stretched. When the tissue is stretched too much, a person is at
Routine blood pressure screenings are often the only way men and women can learn if they are suffering from high blood pressure. an increased risk of suffering from a host of problems, including blood clots, plaque buildup that can lead to heart attack and stroke, and tissue and organ damage from arteries that have narrowed or become blocked. Are there symptoms of HBP? The AHA notes that HBP is typically devoid of symptoms. So people suffering from HBP may not know it if they have not routinely had their blood pressure checked. Over the years many myths have prevailed regarding HBP. Such myths can be dangerous, giving people a false sense of security regarding their blood pressure. For example, in the early 1900s it was assumed that people with high blood pressure experienced more frequent headaches than those with healthy blood pressure. However, a
thocyanin, a natural compound that a recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found can protect the body against HBP. • Whole grain cereal: A Harvard University study found that whole grain cereals that are high in fiber can reduce a person’s risk of developing HBP. • Beet juice: A study from British researchers published by the AHA in its journal Hypertension found that a glass of beet juice can lower blood pressure in a matter of hours. • Low-fat dairy products: A 2008 study that examined nearly 30,000 women at an average age of 54 found that those who consumed the most low-fat dairy products, including skim or low-fat milk, were significantly less likely to develop high blood pressure than those who consumed dairy products that were high in fat. HBP is a common problem that affects millions of people of all ages across the globe. There are several ways men, women and children can reduce their risk of HBP and lower their blood pressure if it’s already high.
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June 28, 2013 • THE RYE SOUND SHORE REVIEW • 21
Rye Neck seniors say farewell
Seniors at Rye Neck High School attended the 2013 commencement ceremonies and received their diplomas in front of proud family members and friends on Thursday, June 20. Principal Dr. Barbara Ferraro congratulated the graduates in her remarks, and called each student up to a decorated podium to receive his or her diploma. The ceremony was held on the school’s football ﬁeld, and the Rye Neck High School band provided musical accompaniment during the ceremony. Salutatorian Jessica Rubin and valedictorian Ryan Baal gave speeches to their fellow graduates. Of the 2013 graduating class, 95 percent are moving on to higher education, and 96 percent will graduate with an advanced Regents diploma. “Our high school graduation is a community celebration; it represents our district’s long-standing commitment to excellence in education, a tradition dating back over 150 years,” said Superintendent Dr. Peter J. Mustich. “Tradition is important, as it roots our students in the past and gives them a ﬁrm foundation on which to build.” -Reporting by Chris Gramuglia
A graduate receives his diploma at the Rye Neck High School graduation.
Principal Dr. Barbara Ferraro calls up graduates to a decorated podium to receive their diplomas. A graduate smiles as he walks toward his proud family members and friends.
Rye Neck graduate and former Rye Sound Shore Review intern Jeff Rabinowitz after receiving his diploma.
Graduates sit proudly at the Rye Neck commencement ceremony shortly after receiving their diplomas.
22 • THE RYE SOUND SHORE REVIEW • June 28, 2013
RYE NECK HIGH SCHOOL Robert Allen Bryan Ampuero Alex Anderson Carley Anderson Ryan Baal Carlo Balsamo Joshua Barach Christian Barreto William Bermingham Matthew Brennan Jonathan Bruenn Connor Byrne Jennifer Calderón Nicholas Cannon Damiana Carolini Allison Carruthers Barsha Chakraborty Megha Chakraborty Sydney Chiera Martin Colman Will Corrigan Corrine Corsa Jonathan DaSilva Jared Daskal Anthony DeCicco Christopher Dellner Ignacio DeLucca Julia De Sanctis Nicolas Di Battista Alan Espinoza Carissa Fernandez Talia Fiorentino Spencer Gelhard Isaias Gonzalez
Mark Hassenfratz Timothy Hogan Elena Hurlbut Peter Ianniello Tyler Juscen Chisa Kakegawa William Kebbe Brian Kerr Michael Kopy Chelsea Kwong Anastasia Lafond Gavin Lagani Claudio Lisella Remy Litvin Alessandro Maffei Tild Maliqati Jeanine Mancheno Jibbrael McField Rio McGuire Eric MendozaConner Rafael Mestanza Micaela Morelli Nickole Morgan Henry Murphy Athena Nathan Richard Nathan Joshua Noodt Paige O’Donnell Theresa O’Quinn Rita Orazi Edward PerlmanRadcliffe James Quigley
Jeffrey Robinowitz Julia Rubin Jennifer Rubinstein Jonathan Rubinstein Jacqueline Sanchez Jessica Sensi Matthew Sickles Julia Solazzo Whitney Soriano Michael Spiegel Whitney Spiegel Nicholas Spiegler Taylor Stenroos Natalie Tanner Arianna Tardio Alexandra Tartaglia Alexander Thompson Rehema Ulli Victoria Valentine
L etters Fire Island rules! To the Editor, Did you know that in about one hour’s drive from Rye you can visit six villages in one day, all on foot, and without a car in sight? Yes, you can by simply crossing either the Whitestone or Throggs Neck bridges and proceeding by the Long Island Southern Parkway to either Bayshore or Sayville and catching one of the fast and frequent ferries across Great South Bay to Fire Island. You pick any one of the seven or eight communities along the sands of Fire Island and the ferry you choose will bring you to the boardwalks and summer cottages that sit in the dunes between the Atlantic Ocean and the Great South Bay. There are no roads. Everyone has a little wagon for pulling supplies and all else from the ferry dock on the bay side to whatever their cottage may be. Once you leave the ferry, walking is easy and you are free to roam from village to village on boardwalks or on the ocean beach. You may, in one day, pass through Fair Harbor, or Ocean Beach, or Saltaire, or Point O’ Woods and always be within the sounds of the Atlantic waves on the beach. There’s another way to do this if you don’t want to enjoy the 20-minute ferry ride across the Great South Bay. That is to drive all the way to Robert Moses State Park, park your car and start trekking a mile or two to the villages. If you take this route, don’t pass up a visit to the Fire Island Lighthouse, where you might walk up 220 steps to the top and take in a view around the compass like no other. The trek to Sayville will bring you to a cross-bay fast ferry to Sailors Haven on Oceanfront National Park and Wildlife Refuge between the Atlantic and the Great South Bay. Believe it or not, you’ll see wild deer, fox, lots of small game, beautiful birdlife and the most ancient and gorgeous holly grove on the eastern seaboard. It is many hundreds of years old and preserved with the care of the National Park Service. There are no houses at Sailors Haven except for that of the park ranger, a small refreshment stand, and a shower and lavatory for visitors. However, if you feel like a walk in the sand, walk east about a quarter mile to the community of Cherry Grove, noted for its very eclectic residents and artistically talented others. It is an example of how beautiful cottages and gardens can be produced out of nothing but beach, sand, and grass. So these are the places to spend a day, or even an overnight, if you check out possibilities at Ocean Beach. Ferries leave Bayshore on schedules. Call 631-665-3600, or go to www.ﬁreislandferries. com. For Sayville, call 631-589-0810 or www.sayvilleferries.com. Have a great day at the ocean. John Carolin, Rye
Tyler Vallejos Brolin Vasquez Erika Vidales Alyssa Vinzons Rachaela Violi Rachel Vollenweider Sara Wright Anthony Yellen Christina J. Yoo Midori Yoshino Daniel Young
CLASS of 2013
TEACHERS from page 1
toward that with that goal in mind,” she said. Three years of back-and-forth negotiations from fall 2006 to June 2010 caused animosity within the district to grow and resulted in a divide within the school community. In the end, the teachers and the school district eschewed formal negotiations and were able to hammer out a deal without involving lawyers.
According to a statement from the union’s negotiating team, which is led by chief negotiator James Baker, “The RTA believes that the agreed-upon memorandum of agreement takes into account the interests of all parties in a fair and professional manner.” Attempts to reach Schools Superintendent Dr. Frank Alvarez were unsuccessful, as of press time.
Empire City Summer Concert winners Angelo Avitabile Julianna LaBella Paula Minicucci Suzanne Jacobsen Lawrence F. Talt III Selected winners get a chance to see America at Empire City Casino on June 30. Each week, ﬁve pairs of tickets will be awarded by random drawing. To be eligible, send your email address to firstname.lastname@example.org with “summer concert” in the subject line
June 28, 2013 • THE RYE SOUND SHORE REVIEW • 23
Sluice gate ﬁnally christened By LIZ BUTTON STAFF REPORTER email@example.com
Six years after the April 2007 ﬂoods that caused $80 million in damage, city leaders joined ofﬁcials from the Village of Rye Brook for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the long-awaited completion of the Bowman Avenue Sluice Gate, their joint ﬂood mitigation project. Over two days in April of that year, Rye and surrounding areas experienced extensive ﬂooding, during which the Blind Brook overﬂowed its banks. The $2.2 million project, located at the Bowman Avenue Dam, was ﬁrst broached by engineering ﬁrm WSP Sells. The company was ﬁrst enlisted by the city in the wake of the 2007 ﬂoods but the project dragged on for years due to bureaucratic red tape. The completed sluice gate was christened Wednesday, June 19, just in the time for the start of hurricane season, at a nighttime event attended by County Executive Rob Astorino, Rye City Mayor Doug French and Rye Brook Mayor Paul Rosenberg. A sluice gate is a massive, galvanized steel gate that is operated electronically to either raise or lower during rainstorms. The device regulates water from upstream to prevent ﬂooding in areas of Rye that lie downstream from the dam, warding off downstream ﬂooding in neighborhoods like Indian Village and upstream ﬂooding in Rye Brook. The cost of the project is being funded collectively by the city, county, state, and Rye Brook. The sluice gate was originally scheduled to be completed in September 2012, but experienced construction delays. Rye tends to become ﬂooded easily because
The completed sluice gate, a mechanized steel gate designed to raise or lower during storms, was christened June 19, which coincides with the start of hurricane season.
of its low elevation, which puts it on the receiving end of upstream rainfall and fallout from storm events like Tropical Storm Irene and Hurricane Sandy. Many residents have vivid memories of the devastation of the 2007 ﬂoods, including Rye resident Steph McKean, who said her entire basement ﬂooded during those ﬁrst storms. “Same with our garage, which is separate from our house. Wooden frames, artwork, among other things, were things that got destroyed,” she said. “We in Rye are constantly getting ﬂooded. Even with Tropical Storm Irene, we got ﬂooded again, so this is surely money well spent and great for our community.” Public safety ofﬁcials in the city recalled
Mayor Douglas French, right, stands with County Executive Rob Astorino during a ribbon-cutting press conference to announce the completion of a long-awaited sluice gate ﬂood mitigation project that has been in the works since 2007. Photos/Liz Button
how treacherous conditions made it hard to help residents during the 2007 ﬂoods, but some said they were hopeful the new mitigation project would prove effective. “Everyone’s holding their breath that the sluice gate works,” said Rye Fire Lt. Kurt Tietjen, standing outside the station on Locust Avenue. Fireﬁghters Todd Barnum and John Thompson said they had a hard time getting around during the ﬂoods. They said the ﬁre station ﬂooded just after being renovated, destroying the basement and boilers. At the June 19 ceremony, Mayor French, a Republican, thanked residents for their support and praised City Manger Scott Pickup, whom he said dealt with jurisdictional, engineering and stafﬁng issues throughout the process. “It really does take a partnership,” the mayor said. The project, he said, is a true collaboration between Rye, Rye Brook, New York State and the county-with accommodations also made by Harrison-that was made a reality by many, including former Rye Brook Mayor Joan Feinstein, former Rye City Mayor Steve Otis, former Rye Councilwoman Paula Gamache, County Legislator Judy Myers and City Engineer Ryan Coyne.
The ceremony’s attendees also included Rye City Councilwoman Laura Brett, who serves as council liaison to the Flood Committee, along with Rye City councilmen Peter Jovanovich and Richard Filippi. Representing the county at the June 19 event, County Executive Astorino also praised the partnership between the different entities. French said 50 percent, or $1 million, of the money for the project came out of the county’s capital funds. According to Pickup, the city is still ﬁnalizing the county share of the project, but said the project has already received a $400,000 state grant that had been designated for it. “We have to do our ﬁnal costs and allocations, which will then get the county share, our Rye Brook share, and then the balance of the city share,” he said. Rye Flood Commission Chairman Bernie Althoff, a self-proclaimed “ﬂood activist,” said that, in 2007, the ﬂood tore right through his backyard. “We’re not trying to catch the 1,000 year ﬂood. We’re trying to catch the smaller ones that ﬂood into your basements and your boiler room,” he said. But Althoff said the sluice gate’s goals are modest, and there are more ﬂood mitigation projects in the works. In summer 2012, a project estimated to cost more than $10 million that would expand the upper pond at the Bowman Avenue Dam site was scrapped after the city received the results of a feasibility study. In February of this year, the city commissioned a new study to develop further ﬂood mitigation measures in the Blind Brook watershed, a project that includes evaluating hydrology studies prepared for the Westchester County Airport in 2010 and Pepsico, located in Purchase, in 2012. The city received proposals from three companies in response to their request, according to the city manager’s ofﬁce. The city’s ﬂood action committee has asked that city ofﬁcials look into investing in additional downstream monitoring stations, Pickup said. The city should know in July whether there is any additional money available to devote to these projects, the city manager said. -With reporting by J.C. SITES
24 • THE RYE SOUND SHORE REVIEW • June 28, 2013
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Notice is hereby given that the Town Board of the Town of Rye, Westchester County, New York at a regular meeting thereof, held on June 18, 2013, duly adopted, subject to a permissive referendum, a resolution, an abstract of which is as follows:
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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
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NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Town Board of the Town of Rye, in regular session duly convened, does hereby authorize and direct the Town Supervisor of the Town of Rye to execute and deliver to the Village of Rye Brook at 938 King Street, Rye Brook, New York, the property known as 511 West William Street, Rye Brook, New York, (141.35-243) subject to a permissive referendum as permitted by law.
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to Minted Media, LLC, 8 Roger Sherman Place, Rye, NY 10580. Purpose: any lawful activity. Notice of Formation of Marc R. Tannenbaum, MD, PLLC Art. Of Org. ﬁled with SSNY on 4/24/13. Ofﬁce Location: 1 City Place, Apt 1409, White Plains, NY 10601. SSNY designated as agent of the LLC upon whom process against it may be served. SSNY shall mal process to: Marc R. Tannenbaum, MD, PLLC, 1 City Place, apt 1409, White Plains, NY 10601. Purpose: any lawful purpose. Notice of Formation of Mill Town Rescue, LLC. Arts. of Org. ﬁled with SSNY on 5/8/13. Ofﬁce location: Westchester County. SSNY designated as agent of LLC upon whom process may be served. SSNY shall mail process to J. Cotter, 7 Ellsworth Street, Rye, New York 10580. Purpose: any lawful act or activity.
BY ORDER OF THE TOWN BOARD OF THE TOWN OF RYE, NEW YORK Dated: June 18, 2013 Hope B. Vespia, Town Clerk
June 28, 2013 • THE RYE SOUND SHORE REVIEW • 25
Row America Rye: Building the sport’s rep one stroke at a time What would it take to make you get up at 5 a.m. regardless of rain, snow, sleet or heat to carry boats that weigh hundreds of pounds wearing nothing but spandex? If the question were posed to me, the answer would be easy: nothing. But, to the rowing enthusiasts in Westchester County, the answer is their love and dedication to the sport of rowing. On March 18, Row America Rye, ofﬁcially opened as a ﬁrst class rowing club in Rye, N.Y. The new club is adjacent to the Rye Boat Basin at 668 Milton Road. “We were really lucky to get this spot. You can imagine how hard it is to ﬁnd waterfront property in Rye, but the community was extremely supportive. People have wanted a rowing club here for a long time,” says Laura Rauchfuss, the director The Row America Rye team in action during a recent event. of Row America Rye. Rowing seems to be all the rage begin with. The dedication that goes and then moving their training inside. in our area, with more than 10 dif- into this sport goes hand-in-hand In addition to the school team, the ferent boat clubs offering the sport, with success, both in and out of the facility also trains a composite team which is a big change from just water. The kids have to be organized made up of kids from various com10 years ago. With the addition of and good at time management. They munities as well as Row America’s these clubs, the sport is becom- push themselves on and off the wa- junior and master programs. ing more visible in Westchester. ter to succeed,” Rauchfuss said. This summer, Row America Rye But rowing is not just for is offering several two-week sesRowing has been around since the ﬁrst Olympics and yet its popularity young athletes. sions offering kids ages 12 to 18 On June 1, “Na- the oppportunity to put a toe in the compared to other tional Learn How water, so to speak. Sign up is on the club sports such as To Row Day,” I Row America Rye website. golf and tennis has WESTCHESTER took to the water not manifested, Mathis Jessen, one of the coaches WANDERER to give the sport at Row America Rye, is a German until now. a try and found it National Crew Team member and There’s a lot Lisa Jardine exhilarating. of talk about kids a co-captain on the University of “Rowing is a life sport. There Washington’s crew team, a perengetting into great colleges to row crew, and if the student athletes who is a rower in Saugatuck who is 90 nial rowing powerhouse. He is train at Row America Rye are any and rows every day. It’s a full body overwhelmed by the support of the workout, it’s great to be outside and parents of Row America’s competiindication, it’s true. “Our youth programs perform at it conditions and tones muscle as tive team. a very high level—they are some well as enhances aerobic ﬁtness,” “Regattas are long, usually from of the best rowers in the nation. Rauchfuss said. 6 a.m. to 4 p.m., and we travel far The Rye High School Garnet team distances to get there,” Jessen said. We have seven or eight high school senior rowers who will row at has moved its training to the Row “The parents are always there, with great colleges in the fall—Cornell, America Rye facility and they will their tent, cooking hot meals for train there year-round, getting out on our racers and cheering them on at Columbia, Georgetown. A rower is a different breed to the water March through November, the ﬁnish line. In Germany, I had to make my own sandwiches and bring them to the race to make sure I had something to eat. These kids have the best parents supporting them. It makes a huge difference.” Row America Rye’s new facility is currently under construction and Rauchfuss hopes to have it completed by September, when the organization will most likely offer adult memberships as well. “One of our goals is to make rowing more accessible to everyone in the community and we’d love to create a scholarship one day,” Rauchfuss said. So, whether you are a sculler, who rows with two oars, a sweeper, Row America Rye’s competitive team. Photos courtesy Row America Rye who uses one oar, a bisweptual, a
sweeper that rows both ways, or a novice, Row America Rye is waiting for you. Check them out on facebook.com/rowamericarye or go
to rowamericarye.com. To contact Lisa, you can email her at email@example.com and follow her on Twitter @westchesterwand
Laura Rauchfuss, left, and Mathis Jessen in front of the new Row America Rye facility located on Milton Road in Rye. Photo/Lisa Jardine
26 • THE RYE SOUND SHORE REVIEW • June 28, 2013 FILMS from page 1
almost always realizes revenue from these projects, although it depends on the size of the ﬁlm company and the size of the production. Usually, the ﬁlm company pays for the police ofﬁcers that oversee the site. For this particular shoot, which took place on June 16 on Purchase Street and June 23 on Mead Place, the city’s revenue was enough to afford to buy two Big Belly Solar garbage cans for the Starbucks and Poppy’s storefronts on Purchase Street to catch excess trash. City ofﬁcials usually use any funds from ﬁlm shoots on Purchase Street to give back to the central business district in the form of various improvements on its main retail avenue, Militana said. The city clerk has the authority to issue ﬁlming permits once ﬁlming is approved by the city manager, according to city code. The clerk, Dawn Nodarse, then determines the fee the city draws, enforces regulations imposed by the permit and has the authority to suspend or revoke a license. According to the city’s fee schedule, fees for ﬁlming on private property, a fee structure last modiﬁed in 2003, range from $400 to $450. Fees to ﬁlm on public property, last modiﬁed in 2001, range from $1,600 to a maximum of $25,000. From Playland to Purchase Street, TV shows and movies have made good use of the city’s attractive attributes, including a recent episode of “Law & Order: SVU” that shot on Purchase Street in early May. In 2012, pilots were shot on Purchase Street for the new TV show “The Following” with Kevin Bacon and “The Secret Lives of Husbands and Wives.” But the biggest attraction for ﬁlmmakers has long been the iconic amusement park that overlooks the Long Island Sound. Movies that have shot scenes at Playland Park include the 1988 blockbuster “Big” starring Tom Hanks, for which the actor was nominated for an Academy Award. Playland Park was also transformed into a 1950s boardwalk for Woody Allen’s 1999 movie “Sweet and Lowdown,” chronicling the life of ﬁctional jazz guitarist Emmet Ray, played by Sean Penn. Besides well-known uses of Playland like the fortuneteller scene in “Big,” ﬁlm buff and lifelong Rye resident Scott Benowitz, 41, said there are many other movies that have used the park like “The Muppets Take Manhattan” in 1984, “Fatal Attraction” in 1987 and the 1998 ﬁlm “Stepmom” starring Julia Roberts, Ed Harris and Susan Sarandon. Mariah Carey also shot her “Fantasy” music video, in which the pop star was seen riding the famed Dragon Coaster, there in 1995. Benowtiz said the worst movie ever ﬁlmed in Rye was an independent zombie horror movie called “Spookies” from 1986, some of which was shot at the Jay Heritage Center mansion off of Boston Post Road, when the building was still boarded up before its historic restoration. More recently, Benowitz, said he observed ﬁlming for “Robot and Frank” starring Frank Langella at the Rye Library. “I’ve seen a lot of camera crews around,” Benowitz said. “Most of the time, when you see a camera crew in Rye it’s usually for a commercial.”
Actor Jason Bateman rides down Purchase Street in the passenger seat of a black Porsche while ﬁlming a scene for his upcoming ﬁlm “This is Where I Leave You.” The movie also stars Tina Fey and Jane Fonda. Contributed photo
Many commericals are shot on private property as Rye has a preponderance of residences with long driveways and large, expensive homes, he said. But when it comes to filming in public spaces, Purchase Street business owners are not always happy to host a film crew in their vicinity. Former Rye Chamber of Commerce president Sally Wright said she received only one formal inquiry from a store owner in connection with the Bateman film shoot. Wright said Rye police sent out a Nixle alert which the chamber forwarded to business owners a few days in advance. Since June 16 was Father’s Day weekend, ﬁlming threw a wrench in some families’ plans to take their dads out to eat at the restaurants on the strip, Wright said. The scene was crowded and noisy, with trucks pulling up at 5 a.m. and beginning shooting at 9 a.m., ﬁnally breaking down equipment at 9 p.m. On the other hand, the shoot brought a lot of shoppers to town, and, parking is an inescapable issue in Rye no matter what, she said. “The ﬁlming didn’t really inﬂuence our business, but the parking was an issue for our customers. I had a couple people who were getting annoyed with the lack of spots available,” said Lucille Saavedi of Patisserie Salzburg, 77 Purchase St. Deputy City Clerk Diane Moore, who handles the bulk of ﬁlming permits, said she received a call from Warner Brothers in the beginning of May and booked the two ﬁlming dates. “It took a lot of planning,” she said. “The project was larger in scope than we have had.” Moore said additional parking was needed, but the clerk’s ofﬁce planned for extra spaces with the help of the city manager.
At Rye Running Co., 37 Purchase St., Phil Pignato said the ﬁlm project is great for the city. He even had a brief personal experience with one of the ﬁlm’s stars. “I saw Jason Bateman driving around in a
Porsche and ran out to wave at him, and he gave me a really warm and welcoming smile and wave,” Pignato said. “I waved back and realized, ‘Oh my gosh, a famous person just waved at me.’”
This scene from “Big” starring Tom Hanks takes place on the Playland Boardwalk. It is considered the most memorable movie scene ever ﬁlmed in the City of Rye. Photo courtesy scoutingny.com
June 28, 2013 • THE RYE SOUND SHORE REVIEW • 27
Strat-O-Matic, Sabermetrics and rolling the dice for Cecil Espy’s next hit For today’s baseball fans, numbers are becoming more part of the game than ever before. I’m not talking about old-school stats either. Homers, RBIs, even batting average are all falling out of vogue in favor of new metrics, such as win-shares, value over replacement player, or VORP, and ultimate zone rating, or UZR, which quite frankly, I still don’t understand. But with more fans casting a critical eye on baseball’s hallowed numbers, wouldn’t it make sense that the great old baseball game, Strat-O-Matic, could be poised for a comeback as well? Strat-O-Matic, for the uninitiated, is a baseball board game, created in 1961 by Hal Richman from Glen Head, Long Island. Using scouting reports, previous year’s stats, and some complicated algorithms, each MLB player is given a card that reﬂects his on-ﬁeld ability. Outcomes of at-bats and plays in the ﬁeld are decided by dice-rolls and probabilities. And yes, a 20-sided die is, in fact, part of the Strat-O-Matic compliment of accouterment. Think of it as Dungeons and Dragons for baseball nerds—but instead of taking control of a Level 20 mage wielding the Staff of Necromancy, you’d get to be Pete Incaviglia, headed into battle armed with nothing but a Louisville Slugger. There was little doubt, growing up in my house, that I would turn out to be a baseball fanatic. My father, a rabid supporter, never
missed an opportunity to teach me the game. No matter where we went on summer vacations—be it to a big metropolis like Chicago, where we’d ﬁnd time to check out Wrigley Field and Old Comiskey Park, or a small podunk town like Pittsﬁeld, Mass., former home of the Single A Mets’ afﬁliate—baseball was always on the docket, and I ate it up. As my parents are fond of reminding me, I became something of a LIVE MIKE baseball maven, Mike Smith ﬂawlessly reciting major league rosters at two years old for stupeﬁed adults at bars, restaurants or anyplace someone would give a toddler the time of day to expound upon the merits of Mickey Tettleton. But I don’t think anything taught me as much about the game as StratO-Matic. My father and his friends would convene monthly in our basement to play out their seemingly endless Strat-O-Matic seasons, their standings ever-changing on the small chalkboard in the corner. For a few hours, our basement would become a den of cigarette smoke and stale beer stench—a fragrance I would ironically come to associate with adulthood, coming from men sitting around playing a board game—as my father and his cohorts would carry on “grown-up” conversations that were punctuated by sporadic—and quite profane—outbursts when Billy Spiers or Spike Owen failed
Rye Sound Shore Review’s Mike Smith used to play Strat-O-Matic Baseball with his father. Photos/Mike Smith
to get a bunt down with runners at first and second. I couldn’t spend enough time down there, but my mother would usually whisk me away to bed before too many brews were consumed and the group would launch into some of their bluer tales. Although I never got to “man-
Cecil Espy’s Strat-O-Matic hitter’s card showed that, in 1993, he wasn’t adept at hitting right-handed pitching. Or left-handed pitching, for that matter.
age” a game in my father’s “B&S” league—the meaning behind those initials is still a mystery to me today—I did begin playing the game with the old man when I was around nine. The teams never changed; I, being possibly the biggest Andy Van Slyke fan in southern Westchester, was always the 1993 Pirates. My dad would counter with Kevin Tapani and the Minnesota Twins. The game wasn’t easy to learn—especially for a sugaraddled elementary schooler—but it was worth it. In addition to honing my score-keeping skills, the game gave me a deeper appreciation for the sport of baseball. As a child, it’s easy to watch a game and be wowed by a home run. But with Strat-o-Matic, I was getting a crash course in the minute details that make baseball as much of a chessmatch as a sporting event. From managing bullpens, to pulling double-switches and learning situations in which small-ball can be the best course of action, my StratO-Matic years laid the foundation for my baseball knowledge. Rule #1: never, ever try to steal a base with Mike LaValliere—or any other roly-poly catcher with the nickname “Spanky”, for that matter. Over the years, especially in
college, I tried to get some of my friends into the game, but it never took. Part of me understands why: Who wants to roll dice and pretend to be Jim Edmonds when you can ﬁre up the PlayStation and actually control the Angels’ centerﬁelder on the television screen as he races back towards the wall and makes a diving catch to prevent a possible inside-the-parker? I do. And I’m not alone. In 2011, over 500 Strat-o-Fanatics, including former major leaguer Doug Glanville, celebrated the 50th anniversary of the game’s invention at the Community Church of New York, proving that the old way—dice and brains, pencils and papers—can still hold sway in an increasingly technological age. But who knows, maybe as numbers continue to be crunched and a new generation of fans, Moneyballers and Sabermatricians continue to look inside what makes the game tick, maybe the game will ﬁnd new life and a younger audience. If it does, I’ll be there, with Doug Drabek forever on the hill, waiting to throw the next pitch. Follow Mike on Twitter @LiveMike_Sports
28 • THE RYE SOUND SHORE REVIEW • June 28, 2013
Cruz looks to stay perfect against Huffman By MIKE SMITH SPORTS EDITOR firstname.lastname@example.org
On June 29, Port Chester native Bryant “Pee Wee” Cruz will take the next step in his journey to become the ﬁrst-ever lightweight world boxing champion from Westchester County as he will take on veteran slugger David Huffman at the Resorts World Casino in Queens, NY. Cruz, who turned pro last December, has had a sterling record thusfar, going 4-0 with four knockouts as he continues to establish himself as a true contender in the lightweight division. According to Ryan O’Leary, Cruz’s trainer and the owner of New Rochelle’s Champs Boxing Club, Cruz’s success isn’t a surprise–but the manner in which he’s winning ﬁghts is. “It’s going better than we thought,” said O’Leary. “He has so much more power than we thought with four K.O.s And it’s not ﬁrst-round knockouts either, he’s breaking guys down, stopping them in the third, fourth round.” O’Leary has also been impressed with his charge’s ability to devote himself to the training process while the gym’s status has been in ﬂux. As Cruz trained for his ﬁrst four pro ﬁghts, Champs BC was without a permanent home, so the ﬁghters had to scratch out gym time wherever they could. But now, with Pee Wee training out of a fully-functioning gym in New Rochelle, O’Leary hopes to see an even
stronger performance on Saturday night. “He’s going to be worlds different,” said the trainer. “Four in a row, four knockouts without a gym? I think he’s going to be a terror in there.” Of course, his opponent is no pushover. Despite a losing record, Huffman, at 4-16-1, has 21 pro ﬁghts, and is seasoned in a way that many of Cruz’s previous opponents haven’t been. The veteran has been in the ring with the top lightweight in the world, even taking on current lightweight king Adrien Broner in Broner’s pro debut. “You get these guys with losing records, but they’re journeymen, they know what they’re doing,” said O’Leary. “These are the types of guys that can cause an upset.” Though O’Leary has watched lots of ﬁlm on Huffman, Cruz–true to form–has never seen his upcoming opponent ﬁght. “He doesn’t watch ﬁlm,” said O’Leary. “He trusts me to handle that. He tells me, ‘If you put me in the ring with him, I’m supposed to beat him’, and I like that mentality.” Should Cruz get past Huffman on Saturday, his team is already looking ahead to more opportunities, penciling in a July date at Roseland ballroom and another summer ﬁght in Atlantic City, N.J. “We’ve got some exciting fights lined up,” said O’Leary. “We’ve got a real busy schedule.”
Port Chester native Bryant “Pee Wee” Cruz throws a punch on Dec. 8 against Jonathan Caban in his pro debut. On June 29, Cruz will take on veteran challenger David Huffman in Queens, N.Y. Photo/Bobby Begun
Westchester Baseball Academy to host ﬁrst-ever tourney By MIKE SMITH SPORTS EDITOR email@example.com
Over the last few years, the Westchester Baseball Academy has established itself as one of the elite summer baseball programs for college hopefuls. With big wins at national tournaments and a host of Westchester’s best players, the WBA just needs one more thing to really bring college recruiters to more games–a big time tournament.
This year marks the ﬁrst step in what WBA head Edwin Diaz hopes will become an annual tradition, bringing in top players to play in a local tournament as the 18u Vinci Summer Kickoff Tourney is set to kick off on June 28 in Rye. During the course of the summer, the WBA teams generally play in a wide range of tournaments, from Long Island to Carolina. As the program has grown, the academy has branched out into two 18u teams–the Elite
and the Grey–and Diaz felt it would behoove the program to start its own traditions. The tournament will last three days. Each team will play a minimum of four games at Rye’s Disbrow Park, Recreation Park in Port Chester, and Harrison High School’s Lower Field. “Growing up in Westchester, there used to be these big events like the Pepsi Tournament and I wanted to bring that back,” said Diaz, who is coaching the 14u team this year.
The 2011 WBA tournament team poses for a group shot. Over the past few years, the WBA team–which features players from both Harrison and Rye–has established itself as an elite ballclub. They will host a summer kickoff tournament on June 28. Contributed Photo
“People are always looking for new things, so we ﬁgured we would bring everything here and ask some really competitive teams to show up.” Squads like the Connecticut Blue Jays, Fairﬁeld Cardinals and the Williamsburg Bombers from Brooklyn will comprise the eight-team double-elimination inaugural tournament, but Diaz said that he’s already received emails from other teams–including a Canadian squad–about joining up in the future. Diaz hopes the team’s past performances at competitive tournaments will attract scouts and college recruiters. The WBA prides itself on helping its players ﬁnd homes in college programs and tournaments are often well-attended by college coaches looking for a new ﬁnd. “With the success we’ve had in the past, going to other tournaments, we’ve gotten exposure,” he said. “Now, the plan is to get that same type of exposure for our programs up here.” The WBA teams will spend the rest of the summer competing in the Westchester Baseball Association’s summer league, the Met Sandlot league. and traveling to other showcase tournaments, including a 35-team affair at Yale University. The WBA will hold another 18u tournament in August that will feature 16 teams. “I think the impact from this tournament is going to be felt right away,” said Diaz. “We just want to come away from this having played some really quality baseball.”