Vol. 15/Number 7
Music Teacher Suzanne Greene introduces a musical segment during the 22nd annual Valentine’s Day concert at the Lake Isle Senior Nutrition Center on Feb. 11. Some of the 32 performers had solos while others played as a group. For more, see page 8. Photo/Ashley Helms
Bronxville board mulls tax cap override again By DANIEL OFFNER STAFF REPORTER email@example.com
The Village of Bronxville Board of Trustees is mulling an override of the state-mandated property tax levy cap for the second consecutive ﬁscal year. On Feb. 11, the board approved legislation to hold a public hearing on April 1, to resolve a proposed tax cap override for the 2013–2014 budget. But, according to village ofﬁcials, it is not certain if they will entertain a repeat of last year’s tax cap override, which exceeded the limit by a $166 margin. “We don’t know if we will or if we won’t approve it,” said Republican Trustee Guy Longobardo. Although a budget has yet to be presented for the 2013–2014 ﬁscal year, Village Administrator Harold Porr III said that he anticipates an
Bronxville Village Hall
additional spending increase in the vicinity of 16 to 18 percent for pension costs. Porr also cited similar costs, including annual step increases for employee beneﬁts, as the primary
reason for last year’s override of the state cap. The 2012–2013 budget included a nearly $300,000 jump in mandated employee beneﬁts as well as almost $96,000 in increased OVERRIDE continued on page 11
February 15, 2013
Utilities spar over burst pipe costs By ASHLEY HELMS STAFF REPORTER firstname.lastname@example.org
On Jan. 13, a 30-inch diameter water main nearby a highpressure natural gas main owned by Con Edison burst last year at the corner of White Plains Road and Hilldale Place, causing ﬂooding that drenched Leewood Golf Club and other nearby properties. The water pipe provides water to Mamaroneck and Larchmont, but not to Eastchester. About 330 of Con Edison’s customers were without gas the night of the incident, but Westchester Joint Water Works was able to reroute its water supply so that its Sound Shore customers were not affected. The delayed repairs drew the ire of nearby businesses owners and residents. Foundation poured over the water main for an old trafﬁc light was said to be the root of the water main burst and prompted the state Department of Transportation to move the light. The water and gas main were located at Hilldale Place since the 1950s.
Con Edison is currently involved in litigation with Westchester Joint Water Works following the burst of a Con Edison-owned gas main at Hilldale Place in Eastchester in 2012. The company is seeking repayment from the water works, stating the water utility’s mishandling of construction is what caused the gas main to break. According to court documents dated Oct. 15, 2012, Con Edison is alleging that the water works performed repairs in a negligent manner. As a result, Con Edison was forced to repair its facilities. Additionally, Con Edison is seeking a judgment against the water works alongside any incurred court fees. Ofﬁcials from Con Edison said that despite the water works knowledge of the water main break, the company failed to take adequate and timely measures to prevent damage to nearby properties. During excaUTILITIES continued on page 11 vation after the water main burst, equipment was used that struck and undermined the gas main, according to court documents. Damage to a high-pressure gas main could have caused an explosion in the area. Allan Drury, a business representative from Con Edison, said the company has not speciﬁed the amount of their claim in court yet, but will provide the court with an amount as the litigation proceeds. “It will be in the hundreds of thousands of Westchester Joint Water Works dollars,” Drury said.
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February 15, 2013 • THE TOWN REPORT • 3
Local Boy Scout pushing for Tuckahoe marble legislation By ASHLEY HELMS STAFF REPORTER email@example.com
The famous Tuckahoe marble quarries may be a thing of the past, but bits and pieces of the local stone can still be found in homes and businesses throughout the village. For his Boy Scout project, Matteo Maroun, 16, documented the locations of Tuckahoe marble across the village and is pushing for legislation to keep the marble in the village if a person performs construction to his or her home. This home on Marbledale Road in Tuckahoe was found to be completely made of authentic Tuckahoe marble by local A questionnaire would be almost Boy Scout Matteo Maroun. For his Eagle Scout project, Maroun added to the end of village surveyed the entire village and is pushing for legislation that will building permits that asks help keep the marble in Tuckahoe. Contributed Photo if a person’s home has authentic Tuckahoe marble and if they’d like to Maroun said. donate it. It would be completely optional for In 1822, deposits of high quality white the homeowner to donate. marble were found along the Bronx River Maroun has presented his project in front between Tuckahoe and Eastwood. The marble of the village Planning Board in hopes of that was quarried in Tuckahoe was used for amending the building permit, and he said the various important buildings across the namembers of the board were receptive to the tion including the Brooklyn Borough Hall, idea. Now Maroun must get the approval of Stewart’s “Marble Place”-New York’s ﬁrst the village Board of Trustees. “The marble department store-St. Patrick’s Cathedral and is what deﬁned our village a century ago,” the Washington Monument. Tuckahoe marble
was the most important white marble deposit in the country until access to the same quality marble was discovered in southwestern Vermont. The Tuckahoe quarries ceased production in 1930. To become an Eagle Scout, a participant must complete a project that helps the community and is sustainable even after the scout is no longer in service. Maroun said he contacted Sheila Marcotte, Eastchester Historical Society president and county legislator, at the suggestion of his father. Maroun said Matcotte suggested he take a survey to determine the amount of marble that is still located within the village. During the summer of 2012, Maroun taught his crew of fellow scouts how to spot the marble and took them out around the village to document different homes and commercial buildings. Maroun then compiled a database of structures that were found to be containing marble and created a PowerPoint presentation for the Zoning Board of Appeals. “We thought, what if someone does work on their home and just disposes of this precious stone?” Maroun said. “Wouldn’t it be great to keep that marble in the village?” Some of the buildings Maroun found to be containing Tuckahoe marble include the Winter Hill Road Immaculate Conception Church, the Samuel Fee Building on Main Street and a private property on Underhill Street, but Marcotte said that the list includes
over 150 examples. Maroun’s troop leader, Bill Chilson, said that a simple gravestone made of Tuckahoe marble is worth thousands of dollars. “A lot of what they found is what you would call slabs from when the quarries closed down,” Chilson said. “If it wasn’t completely square they couldn’t use it, so people could just come and pick it up.” Chilson said that if residents do decide to donate their marble after construction or a demolition, village ofﬁcials will pick it up and keep it at a town highway yard before they make a decision as to where to store it. Homeowners could hold onto the marble if they wanted to, and if they didn’t have any to being with, they can apply for some of the discarded marble with a stated reason. “At the end of my block on Dante Avenue, there is a ﬂower bed with two marble monuments.” Chilson said. “That’s the type of thing you may see if the village decides to use it.” Village Trustee Janette Hayes, a Republican, oversaw the process, and Matteo said he had many discussions with her regarding possible legislation. “Matteo deserves all the credit; he worked so hard for almost a year,” Hayes said. “[He] truly is a wonderful young man, and is going to excel in everything he sets out to achieve.” Maroun will present his project to the board during the regular trustees meeting on March 11 in hopes of getting the law approved.
4 • THE TOWN REPORT • February 15, 2013
C ommunity Briefs Volunteers needed Volunteers are needed to deliver meals to Eastchester’s homebound elderly – one or two hours – once a week. If interested, call Nutrition Program Director Norah Rossi at the Eastchester Senior Citizen Nutrition Program at Lake Isle at (914) 337-0390. Become a Jansen Hospice volunteer Jansen Hospice is currently interviewing individuals for key volunteer positions– including patient care volunteers and pet therapy volunteers. All volunteer applicants must ﬁrst undergo an interview screening process. Appointments are being taken now for February interviews. Contact Volunteer Coordinator Didi Marcal, at (914) 961-2818 ext. 1336 for more information on how you can become a Jansen volunteer. Jansen Hospice provides hospice services to communities throughout Westchester County. MSG Varsity announces games to be televised through mid-February MSG Varsity has announced the Hudson Valley/Westchester high school games that will be televised for the ﬁrst half of February. The network will televise a number of events featuring teams from the area–including boys and girls basketball games, ice hockey games and wrestling matches. Each event will be televised on MSG Varsity, Optimum TV Channel 14. For more information on MSG Varsity’s high school sports coverage, visit msgvarsity. com. Hudson River art exhibit An opening reception for “The Hudson
River and Its People,” an exhibit of photographs by Brian Whalen, will be held at the Rye Free Reading Room on Feb. 16 from 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. Whalen’s images present a view of the people and landscape of the Hudson River Valley from New York City to the back roads of the Adirondacks. Embracing both landscape and portraiture, his photographs give a unique view of life on and around the Hudson River. A resident of White Plains, Whalen studied photography at SUNY Purchase and the ICP in New York City. The show will hang through the end of February. “Angelina Ballerina - The Musical” at Emelin Theatre In anticipation of the off-Broadway hit, “Angelina Ballerina - The Musical,” which comes to Mamaroneck on Feb. 16 and 17, bestselling author of the “Angelina Ballerina” series, Katharine Holabird, will be at Anderson’s Book Shop in Larchmont at 1 p.m. at and at the Mamaroneck Library at 3 p.m. Attendees of the book reading will have a chance to win tickets to the musical stage show at both locations, as well as enjoy a short performance by ballerinas from local dance studio, Studio B Dance Center in Eastchester. Studio B is an ofﬁcial Angelina Ballerina Dance Academy studio, with beginner ballet classes based on the “Angelina Ballerina” books. Performances Feb. 16 and 17 at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. The Emelin Theatre Tickets are $13/person. To purchase tickets, contact the box ofﬁce at: Box Ofﬁce: 153 Library Lane, Mamaroneck, N.Y. 10543, call (914) 698-0098 or visit emelin.org. Applications being accepted for seasonal park rangers The Westchester County Department of Public Safety is accepting applications for seasonal park rangers to patrol county parks this summer. Applications are due by Feb. 22 and are available online at westchestergov.com/ps.
Uniformed park rangers work under the supervision of county police ofﬁcers to maintain a safe and enjoyable atmosphere in the county’s parks. They assist park users, provide information on park rules and procedures, help in searches for lost children, perform basic ﬁrst aid on occasion and make regular security checks of buildings and facilities. First-time park rangers are paid $14 hourly. Salaries are higher for those who have worked as a ranger for the county before. To qualify, applicants must be a high school graduate, at least 19 years of age, a U.S. citizen, a resident of Westchester County and possess a valid New York State driver’s license by the time of appointment. Accepted candidates must attend a twoweek training program at the Westchester County Police Academy. Pet Rescue kitten and cat adoption day Feb. 23 12 p.m. – 3 p.m. Petco 1275 Boston Post Road, Larchmont For more information, visit NY-PetRescue. org, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (914) 834-6955. Free foreclosure prevention workshop On March 11 from 7 p.m. – 8 p.m., Human Development Services of Westchester Neighborhood Preservation Company offers a free workshop for anyone interested in foreclosure prevention at the Port Chester-Rye Brook Public Library. This not-for-proﬁt organization may be able to help those with unaffordable mortgages, those working with their banks and having difﬁculty, and those in the court process. Se habla español. The library is located at One Haseco Avenue in Port Chester. For more information, call (914) 939-6710 x103. Campaign ﬁnance discussion Campaign Finance Reform in New York
State will be the topic of a public discussion on March 13 from 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. at the White Plains Public Library, located at 100 Martine Ave. Sponsors are the League of Women Voters of Westchester County, LWV of White Plains, LWV of New Rochelle and the White Plains Public Library. Discussion leaders will be Laura Ladd Bierman, executive director of the League of Women Voters of New York State, and Barbara Bartoletti, legislative director of the League of Women Voters of New York State. They will begin with a slide presentation showing the effects of unlimited campaign contributions, sometimes without disclosing the donors. Then they will call for comments and questions. The LWV of New York State supports lower contribution limits, increased disclosure, and a system of small donor matching funds. For further information, call (914) 7614382. Parking is available in the library lot under the building or across the street at the Galleria municipal lot. 36th annual Tuckahoe Library Poetry Contest Open to grades 4-8 at the Tuckahoe and Eastchester schools. Students should include their name, address, phone number, school name and grade on their entry. All entries must be returned to the library by March 31. One entry per student. An awards ceremony will be held for poets who win ﬁrst, second and third prize for each grade. The Tuckahoe Public Library is located at 71 Columbus Ave. in Tuckahoe. For more information, call (914) 961-2121 or visit tuckahoelibrary.org. Deadline for our Community Briefs section is 12 p.m. every Friday. Though space is not guaranteed, we will do our best to accommodate your listings. Please send all items to email@example.com.
Author touts travel memoir in New Rochelle By ALEXANDRA BOGDANOVIC STAFF REPORTER firstname.lastname@example.org
Cross Cultural Solutions establish a scholarship. “All of the earnings from ‘The Voluntourist’ Over the years, Ken Budd’s quest to live are going back to the places and organizations where I volunteered,” Budd up to his late father’s life said. prompted him to travel and Budd said he began volunvolunteer all over the world. teering when he was about to A couple of weeks ago, turn 40. He didn’t have any his travels brought him to children and he was trying to New Rochelle, where he come to terms with the fact spoke about “travel, purthat his father had passed pose,” and his memoir, away. He came across a group “The Voluntourist–A Six called Rebuilding Together Country Tale of Love, Loss, that was working to help Fatherhood, Fate and Singing New Orleans after Hurricane Bon Jovi in Bethlehem.” Katrina, and decided to join Budd spoke at the headthe effort. quarters of Cross Cultural “They were taking unSolutions, an organization skilled people to come in and that he volunteered with in Ken Budd paint and haul trash,” Budd Costa Rica. He donated proceeds from book sales at the event to help recalled. “I just took a leap of faith.”
Three months later, while on a “mini-sabbatical” from his job as a writer and editor at AARP Magazine, Budd and his wife took the opportunity to go to Costa Rica, where they taught English. A three-year break from volunteering ensued, but Budd has since contributed to various efforts in China, Ecuador, Palestine and Kenya. “I ﬁrmly believe you only learn outside of your comfort zone. Each experience was different. What I witnessed on the West Bank was startling. Most Americans don’t know what Palestinians experience,” Budd said. Budd said he wrote an article about his trip to Costa Rica for the AARP Magazine, but quickly came to the realization that “maybe there was something larger there.” He pitched the idea to a few publishers, and a Harper Collins subsidiary decided to publish the book. The memoir came out last May and it has since been marketed largely through
word of mouth and a website Budd created. Since its release, Budd’s book has won acclaim from numerous critics. Publishers Weekly called it “a sincere and subtly written memoir,” and Library Journal called it “an extremely funny book.” That’s ﬁne with Budd, who also described “The Voluntourist” as “a serious book that doesn’t take itself too seriously.” “In a memoir you have to be honest about what scares you-and I’m not a ‘talk about your feelings’ type of guy,” he said. Budd’s admiration is evident when he talks about his father, however. “My father grew up very poor. He had few opportunities and he never went to college but he became a manager in a Fortune 500 company,” Budd said. “He never forgot where he came from or what it was like to be hungry. When he retired, even people he laid off spoke highly of him. He got letters from people who said he changed their lives.”
February 15, 2013 • THE TOWN REPORT • 5
County residents weigh in on 5-day postal service By DANIEL OFFNER STAFF REPORTER email@example.com
On Feb. 6, the United States Postal Service announced it would be scaling back delivery service on Saturday in an attempt to save approximately $2 billion each year. “Our customers see strong value in the national delivery platform we provide, and maintaining a six-day delivery schedule for packages is an important part of that platform,” Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe stated said in a press release. “As consumers, we increasingly rely on delivery services—especially due to the rise of e-commerce—we can play an increasingly vital role as a delivery provider of choice, and as a driver of growth opportunities for America’s businesses.” The switch in service comes after a market research report determined that nearly seven out of every 10 Americans supported the switch. In addition, due to a reported 14 percent increase of package delivery, the USPS has stated it will continue delivery of packages on Saturday. Delivery will remain on a six-day schedule until August. Sound Shore locals are split on the Postal Service’s overnight decision.
Emily Lusk, a 21-year old Mamaroneck resident, said she uses the USPS every day to deliver handwritten letters to her boyfriend, who is –serving a prison sentence. “I think they should deﬁnitely do deliveries on Saturday,” Lusk said. “They slack enough on Sundays already.” However, in this digital age, in which emails can be sent back-and-forth with the push of a button, not everyone feels the same as Lusk. For Asa Hyde, a Bronxville resident, the olden days of pen and paper can’t match the point-and-click convenience of email. “In my opinion, it doesn’t come into play in everyday life,” Hyde said. “Most communications I receive are through email.” Although “snail mail” can’t compete with instant information, the use of postal delivery is still the primary source for tax forms, credit card bills, jury duty and any other form of authoritative messages. Mamaroneck resident Jim McGuiness said that, for him, the switch would have no effect at all, but would deal a signiﬁcant blow to postal workers getting paid timeand-a-half. “It’s really going to affect the postal workers’ pockets,” McGuiness said. According to Postmaster Donahoe’s statement, the switch in service will most
likely result in reassignment and attrition to achieve cost savings. Since 2006, service reductions have resulted in 193,000 jobs cut, and while Donahoe does not address any additional cuts leading up to August, the possibility looms of further downsizing. “It’s a sign of the times,” said White Plains resident Richard Stumpf. “They need to cut back.” Stumpf, 70, added that the switch would not be much of an inconvenience, since mail sent over the weekend wouldn’t get delivered until Monday anyway. “There is nothing so important that it couldn’t be done Monday,” he said. But not everyone is as enthusiastic about the switch as Stumpf. Rye resident Wendy Wyckoff said she was disappointed to lose her Saturday mail. “It’s kind of a bummer…I liked getting mail on Saturday,” Wyckoff said. “I’m sad to see it go.” Harrison resident Ginger Lovett said that while she would’ve liked to continue receiving mail on Saturdays, she understands the decision of the postmaster general. “People like to go through the mail on Saturday,” Lovett said. “But the country is in crisis…so there is validity to both sides.”
6 • THE TOWN REPORT • February 15, 2013
Seminar focuses on feral cat population control By ALEXANDRA BOGDANOVIC STAFF REPORTER firstname.lastname@example.org
manager Dana Rocco, taught people how to catch the animals so the animals can be spayed or neutered and then returned to the colony. “We started with one person who just A handful of cat lovers got a crash course in how to trap feral felines at the New Rochelle brought strays in that always had upper respiratory and eye infections, and it grew into a Humane Society on Feb. 10. An hour-long seminar, given by shelter more formal program,” Rocco said. Trap, neuter and return programs such as the one offered by the New Rochelle Humane Society are gaining in popularity because people have realized that simply feeding stray cats isn’t enough, she added. “If you’re feeding them, it slowly increases the population and you run out of friends to take the kittens,” Rocco said. “Trap, neuter and return stabilizes the population.” Alley Cat Allies, a Washington, D.C. based organization, also said TNR programs decrease the overall population of feral cats by stopping the birth of more kittens. It also decreases mating behavior such as yowling, roaming and spraying urine, which may cause complaints, according to Alley Cat Allies. It decreases the risk of Shelter Manager Dana Rocco, pictured with kittens found certain types of cancer for feral outside during Hurricane Sandy, is a proponent of trap, cats, improves their overall health, neuter, return programs such as the one offered at the New and prevents “kitten mortality.” Rochelle Humane Society. Photo/Alexandra Bogdanovic
Several Westchester shelters and rescue groups, including the Bedford based Community Cats and the Mt. Kisco based Just Strays, Inc., have trap, neuter and return programs. The New Rochelle Humane Society makes traps available at no charge to members of the general public who are interested in catching feral cats so they can be spayed, neutered and returned to feral cat colonies. People can also make appointments to have the animals spayed or neutered at the New Rochelle Humane Society. The fee for males, which includes both neutering and a rabies shot, is $30, while the cost for females is $50. The best way to trap a feral cat is to establish a morning feeding routine over the course of one to two weeks so the cats get used to going in and out of the trap to get food, Rocco said. “Turn the trap into a restaurant,” she advised. If necessary, begin by putting the can outside of the trap and gradually moving it inside, until it’s far enough inside where the door can come down once the cat steps on a pressure pad, she added. It helps to position the trap against something-instead of in the middle of a ﬁeld-and to put newspaper or a light towel on the bottom of the trap because some cats don’t like walking on the wire, Rocco said. Once a cat has been trapped, it is important to leave the cage covered so the animal stays
calm. The cats should be dropped off between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. on the day of the scheduled appointment and picked up between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. Males should be allowed to rest overnight before they are returned to the colony, but females need three days to recover, Rocco said. The humane society provides crates that the cats can stay in while they are recuperating, she added. “January and February are the biggest breeding months,” Rocco said. “Ninety percent of breeding is going on now and then the females will be pregnant for two months, so we’ll start seeing lots of kittens in May. Now is the time to get out and go full force [with trapping].” In another effort to address the overpopulation of companion animals, the Greenwich, Conn. based organization Fido Fixers raised funds for a mobile veterinary “spay/neuter” clinic that will be deployed to areas where large numbers of unaltered dogs and cats continue to breed. In addition to providing spay and neuter services in areas where pet owners cannot afford them, the mobile clinic will be staffed by experienced veterinarians and their assistants to trap, spay/neuter and release feral cats. The Westchester Humane Society and Larchmont based Pet Rescue are among the organizations initially expected to use the mobile spay/neuter clinic.
Residents react to Pope Benedict XVI resignation By ASHLEY HELMS STAFF REPORTER email@example.com
Local Catholics reacted with mixed emotions to the news that Pope Benedict XVI would be resigning his position effective Feb. 28. Eric Raaser, pastor of the Immaculate Conception Church in Eastchester, said that, although it has been six centuries since a pontiff resigned, it will be a matter of prayer that an effective new pope will be selected. “God won’t abandon the church,” Raaser said. “[The pontiff is] the father of over a billion people worldwide, and it’s a great deal of stress on the Pope.” There’s a void when something sudden like this happens, Raaser said, but sometimes the body fails even though your spirit is still present. He said that being able to admit you’re getting older shows a high level of humility, and that Benedict XVI was a great teacher while he was in power. “Some people want to be forever young and they get involved in plastic surgery, and he’s the most powerful man in the world saying he can’t do it anymore,” Raaser said. Raaser speculated that Benedict would spend his ﬁnal days inside the walls of the Vatican or in a residence north of Rome after he retires. “But this is uncharted territory for all of us,” Raaser said. John Galluzzi, a Tuckahoe resident, said that the Vatican has three weeks to deliberate, and that he’s heard that they’re considering the
archbishop of Milan. Galluzzi said that electing someone new is exciting. With anything you do you have to be passionate, Galluzzi said, and the pope must travel constantly and review documents. “I’m deﬁnitely supportive of him retiring if he’s not healthy,” Galluzzi said. “Why force someone?” Francis McAree, pastor of Saint Gregory’s Church in Harrison, said that while he’s surprised by Benedict’s decision, he understood it very well and admires him for doing it. He said that Pope Paul VI made a provision allowing popes to resign only under extreme conditions, but it was later extended. The cardinals must gather a two-thirds majority in order to elect the next pope, McAree said. “He’s advancing in age and it was more difﬁcult for him,” McAree said. “The doctors told him he couldn’t travel trans-Atlantically anymore.” Pope Benedict XVI announced on Feb. 11 that he will resign on Feb. 28 due to his advanced age and failing health. The 85 year old is the ﬁrst pope to resign in nearly 600 years and was the oldest pope elected in nearly 300 years at the age of 78. He announced his decision in Latin during a meeting of cardinals at the Vatican in Rome. The move will require the Vatican to hold meetings in order to select a new pope by mid to late March. Benedict was elected to his position after the death of Pope John Paul II in 2009. The last pope to retire, Pope Gregory XII, stepped down in 1415.
February 15, 2013 • THE TOWN REPORT • 7
Village budget pinched by state mandates The village received an extremely positive report from our auditors of late, which was shared with the village BRONXVILLE TODAY Finance Committee for review and suggestions. We are extremely fortunate that individuals including Don Gogel, Mayor Mary Marvin Louis Parks, Ed Forst, Leighton Welch, Mary Hoch and Bill Barton lend their years of ﬁnancial expertise to the village and we certainly take their advice at every turn. Last year, our Finance Committee, as well as our auditors, brought to our attention the level of our fund balance. At that time, it was 11.76 percent of our yearly budget, which was at the low level of the range to sustain our AAA bond rating. Heeding their advice, we sought savings on every line in last year’s budget and have raised the fund balance to 15.72 percent of our operating budget, thus cementing our bond rating for future capital borrowing. Unfortunately, at the same time, Governor Cuomo announced an initiative in his executive budget that punishes communities who seek to keep their fund balances at a prudent level. The governor proposes to overhaul the provisions of the state’s binding arbitration law that allows police and ﬁreﬁghters to have recourse to a third party should the union and a municipality fail to agree on contract terms. Currently, third parties who have no connection to a community or pay taxes locally can decide on the pay raises for uniformed employees. In an admirable effort to trim some of the very high awards of the past, the governor proposes a 2 percent cap on raises if a community is “ﬁscally distressed,” with one of the indices being that the municipal fund balance is 5 percent or less of the operating budget. If it is above, there is no cap on the percentage of wages that can be awarded. So it leaves our village, along with every other New York community, with a powerful disincentive to be ﬁscally prudent and shore-up fund balances recommended by every professional. Conservative budgeting can be used as a sword against municipalities in labor arbitration. Again, it seems our choice is politics versus good government. Because budgets are so tight and the economic recovery indices-in the form of revenue increases in mortgage tax and sales tax for the village-are climbing at a glacial pace, we must start the budget process earlier and earlier every year so we can examine every expenditure under a microscope. We are in the throes of that currently as a preliminary budget must be made public, per state law, by March 20. As we will add no new staff, materials or programs, the ﬁnal tax numbers will directly relate to the increase in state unfunded mandates, most notably our pension and health care obligations. Intertwined inextricably with the ﬁnal number of one’s tax bill is the assessed valuation of your property in the village. The yearly opportunity to grieve your assessment is coming up on Feb. 19. Grievance applications are available on-line at the village’s website or in Village Hall. They must be returned to Village Hall by 8:45 p.m. on Feb. 19. Should you prefer to appear in person in front of the Board of Assessment Review, appointments are available between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. on Feb. 19 and can be secured by calling the Village Hall tax desk at 337-6500 ext. 122 by the Feb. 19 at 4 p.m. As I write, the village is still recovering from the weekend nor’easter. With a very lean staff, our Department of Public Works crews did a terriﬁc job ﬁrst “brining” the roads to prevent icehence the shiny lines visible on the pavement prior to the storm-followed by the salters and then the plows when the accumulation reached two inches. Our newly purchased snow melter was employed efﬁciently and resulted in the rapid clean up of our parking lots and business district. As a refresher, should future storms head our way, per Village Code, sidewalks in the business district must be cleared of snow and ice by 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. each day of a snowfall whether or not snow is still falling. Sidewalks in our residential areas must be cleaned within 12 hours of the cessation of the snowfall, and any residual ice must be covered with sand or a like material to be made safe for pedestrian passage. Kindly notify Village Hall at 337-7338 if you encounter an unsafe or impassable village sidewalk. This time of year also brings concerns about carbon monoxide in homes as windows and doors are tightly closed due to weather. Now is the opportune time to have furnaces and carbon monoxide sensors checked to make sure that they are in good working order.
Westchester Library System names new trustee The Westchester Library Systemrecently named Catherine A. Draper of Pelham to the organization’s Board of Trustees. Ms. Draper serves as the District IX representative covering Bronxville, Eastchester, Pelham and Tuckahoe. Ms. Draper, a graduate of Swarthmore College and the University of Pennsylvania Law School, served as a trustee of the Town of Pelham Public Library for ten years. Following nine years as a member of the Pelham Board of Education, she joined the board of the Pelham Education Foundation and currently serves as its board president. Ms. Draper is also board president of the Westchester Children’s Association, an advocacy organization that improves the lives of children by shaping policies and programs to meet their needs. She is an active Rotarian focused on programs that benefit children and youth and was honored by the Pelham Civic Association as Person of the Year in 2009. “Ms. Draper’s extensive community engagement and leadership qualities are certain to bring many contributions to the Westchester Library System,” said Terry Kirchner, Westchester Library System executive director. “We are pleased to welcome her to the board and look forward to her unique viewpoint.” In addition to Draper’s appointment, the
Catherine A. Draper
following ofﬁcers were re-elected: Dave Donelson as President, Naseem Jamali as Vice President, and Chris Hansen as Secretary. The Westchester Library System is located at 540 White Plains Road, Suite 200, Tarrytown, NY 10591. More information about WLS is available at their website: www. westchesterlibraries.org.
8 • THE TOWN REPORT • February 15, 2013
Elementary orchestra performs for seniors at Lake Isle
Greenvale and Ann Hutchinson Elementary School students wait and tune instruments before the Valentine’s Day concert at the Lake Isle Senior Nutrition Center on Feb. 11. The students opened the show with a group performance. The children said, “Happy Valentine’s Day,” in unison at the end of the song. By ASHLEY HELMS STAFF REPORTER firstname.lastname@example.org
Music Teacher Suzanne Greene introduces a musical segment during the 22nd annual Valentine’s Day concert at the Lake Isle Senior Nutrition Center on Feb. 11. Some of the 32 performers had solos while others played as a group.
Nestled in a small area of the Lake Isle Country Club, elementary school children tuned their instruments and looked over their music. Parents snapped pictures and about 75 elderly residents sat at round tables awaiting the afternoon’s entertainment. The smell of lunch
Rose Gandolﬁ, 79, opens and reads a handmade card from an Eastchester elementary school student at the 22nd annual Lake Isle Senior Nutrition Center Valentine’s Day concert on Feb. 11. After the children performed, they delivered the festive cards to all of the seniors. Photos/Ashley Helms
lingered in the air as the dining crew closed up the buffet stand at the edge of the room. As an early Valentine’s Day celebration, the ﬁfth grade orchestra students from Ann Hutchinson and Greenvale elementary schools performed at the Lake Isle Senior Nutritional Center on Feb. 11. The annual holiday concert has been a tradition for the past 22 years. Suzanne Greene, the music teacher for Eastchester elementary schools, led the performace. The 32 children performed famous tunes including Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker March” and the traditional wedding march. Every year, the concert ends with sing-alongs to “Love Me Tender” and “Let Me Call You Sweatheart” during which Greene passed a microphone around the room to the singing senior attendees. Solos included Greenvale’s Alexander Jutt playing “Budapesto With Father” on the cello and Junko Abe playing “Fiocco Allegro” on the violin. Some of the children who had solos in the show have been recognized at Westchester all-county music festivals. After the show, the children passed out handmade Valentine’s Day cards to the attendees. Eastchester Schools Superintendent Dr. Marilyn C. Terranova helped introduce the concert and said that the children love to perform and care about playing in the community. Terranova also made reference to the inches of snow on the ground following the recent blizzard, and how it contrasts with the atmosphere inside Lake Isle. “It’s blustery outside, but sunny in
here,” Terranova said. Greene said that the children had been practicing for the concert since early December and that many of the students are veteran performers who have been involved for about three years. “They need to perform in front of an audience to practice and gain conﬁdence,” Greene said. James Gedge, performance piano player and Eastchester High School’s choral teacher, said that last year the district lost 25 percent of their music staff and it’s essential to try to preserve local music programs in schools. Roughly 80 percent of the town’s middle school students are involved in the music department. “Eastchester is trying to be more supportive, but something has to go,” Gedge said. “We’re bare bones right now.” Rose Gandolﬁ, 79, said she has attended the performance for the past 10 years. “You pay $3 for admission and you get lunch,” Gandolﬁ said. Ann Hutchinson violinist Jessica Rampersaud, 10, said she thought the performance was exciting . She said has been playing the violin since third grade and plans to continue through middle school. “My favorite song today was ‘Scatter the Mud’ because it was fun and fastpaced,” Jessica said. Performing in front of a live audience is something that can’t be recreated in a classroom, Greene said, and having every child perform as opposed to hand-picking them is important for the community. “These aren’t selected children, they are everyone,” Greene said. “Music is so important in Eastchester.”
February 15, 2013 • THE TOWN REPORT • 9
The State of the Younion address The following text is the prepared speech delivered by the author to his reﬂection on Tuesday night, during his annual “State of the Younion” address. LUNGARIELLO Mr. I, Mr. Me, members of my personality, and any of AT LARGE my neighbors who may be eavesdropping on me talking Mark Lungariello to myself: I address you tonight at an important juncture in our history, at a moment when swift actions are called for, and when procrastination and complacency would only mean the further destruction of our union. First, you should go to the doctor. You have not been in years for a general physical and you are not a kid anymore. What we need today is a freedom from fear of the doctor, who you think will tell you to lose weight, or want to give you your ﬁrst prostate examination. No, not fun, nor is it fun to drop your pants otherwise, but this is for your own good because regular checkups are step one to our goal of not being dead. You need to check your heart beat! [Applause] You need to check your blood pressure! [Applause] And you need to make sure you are not developing Type 2 diabetes, so I tell you tonight: Make me a doctor’s appointment and I will go! [Applause] It is a reality in these trying times that our metabolism is not as strong as it used to be. It is time to reduce our caloric intake to be more in line with the post-recession metabolism! Reducing the fat is not just a matter of the health of our union, but of our sex appeal industry. I remember a time, not too long ago, when you could ﬁt in a Medium. I remember a time when you wore that fancy dress shirt hanging in the back of the closet, but now you can barely squeeze into it. Those times are not gone, with proper exercise and diet you can ﬁt in that shirt again! I urge you here tonight to put a new diet bill on my desk and I will sign it! Flabby is no ally of ours. [Standing Ovation] We have noticed since the last time I gave this speech that my hair is thinning out a bit. A peak is forming in the front of my head and when there is a breeze outside, I can feel the wind on the back of my scalp. [Laughter] I want to announce tonight that we will go bald gracefully and will not employ a comb over! There will be no wigs in our union, nor will there be spray-on hair like we saw on that infomercial on television the other night. No weird hats either. Speaking of, looking in the mirror as I give this speech, I realize you need a haircut. And when you get it, you’ll actually get back to work combing it each morning. No more bed head in the ofﬁce! [Applause] With millions of Americans out of the job, you should be pleased you are able to work. But, it is time that you knock on your boss’s door and get that pay increase. You do a good job, generally speaking. You only check your Facebook at work 30 to 40 times a day and you only send several dozen texts while you should be working. Overall, you are an exemplary employee. Besides, your boss needs to know that your phone bill went up, your cable went up and your car insurance went up so it is time that we don’t take no for an answer. That is, unless he says no, in which case you will take no for an answer because the job market out there is pretty rough. Our allies in the British government have learned that your girlfriend, Julie, recently sought signiﬁcant quantities of our pickles from the refrigerator. We will not permit her to threaten our supply of pickles. We will not back down from our right to dill spears and will thus ﬁnd a discreet hiding spot in one of the refrigerator drawers. Further, it is time for us to start making decisions about what to watch on television and on Netﬂix! We will stand up to this Axis of Evil Viewing Decisions. [Standing Ovation] No more “House Hunters International,” no more “Kitchen Nightmares.” From now on we will assert our right to “Star Trek: The Original Series” and “The Walking Dead!” [Applause] Every man has a right to his science ﬁction and yes, to an occasional viewing of Arnold Schwarzenegger movies. That’s right: “I’ll be back” in control of that remote. [Laughter]. This isn’t political, this isn’t divisive, this is about explosions and Kurt Russell movies and Bruce Willis “one liners,” what could be partisan about that? [Ella, Julie’s cat, squirms uncomfortably in the audience]. It is time we limit our coffee intake to one cup! [Stunned silence] OK, three cups, maximum, any more and you can’t sleep at night and you might even get a stomach ache. [Applause] We need a bill that allows you enough reading time each day to ﬁnally ﬁnish Robert Caro’s “The Power Broker” and, of course, “War and Peace.” And hey, if you can’t ﬁnish it, you must exercise the right to pretend you’ve read the whole thing when speaking to other people who are likewise pretending to have read the entire books. Last, it is time we get back to basics. Stop trying to keep up with modern music and instead just accept that the stuff you used to listen to is just better. Stop trying to dress as a millennial and instead just dress like you used to back when you felt cooler than you do now. Wear your pants too high and above all, be proud to be you! Reach Mark Lungariello at email@example.com
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Pet Rescue Zorro is a beautiful boy. He is about six years old and wants nothing more than a loving home where he is appreciated. Zorro was returned to Pet Rescue after six years due to some changes in the family. He is a loving boy, housebroken, leash trained and knows his basic commands. He would like to go to a home where he is the only four-legged family member, so he can have your undivided attention. Zorro is neutered, vaccinated, de-wormed, heartworm tested and micro-chipped. The adoption donation for Zorro is $250. To learn more, please contact Larchmont Pet Rescue at (914) 834-6955 or on the web at www.NYPetRescue.org.
10 • THE TOWN REPORT • February 15, 2013
Face of schoolyard bullies changing, expert says By ALEXANDRA BOGDANOVIC STAFF REPORTER firstname.lastname@example.org
Sometimes the biggest bullies don’t seem like bullies at all, a national expert on the subject said. “The stereotype of youth who bully is that they are kids with behavioral problems, or the big kids who use physical intimidation to make themselves feel better,” Dr. Joel Haber told Rye Neck Middle School parents at a Feb. 4 presentation on “Safe Parenting for 2013,” “But that’s no longer the case. ‘New’ bullies are charismatic, smarter, more popular and conﬁdent. They’ve got good self-esteem. They look like leaders.” These so-called “popular bullies” lack empathy and compassion, but they continuously get away with their behavior because no one suspects them of engaging in it, Haber said. Even peers who witness and disapprove of bullying are often loathe to intervene because the need to have friends and be part of a group is so deeply ingrained in their minds, according to Haber. “Kids through their 20s value social relationships as much as adults value food,” he said. As a result, bullies can easily attract supporters and followers. Most kids who witness bullying are “disengaged onlookers” who can’t or don’t want to say anything at the time, but may share their concerns with parents or teachers after the fact. Only 3 percent
of youth who see someone being picked on are “defenders,” or those who will intervene right then and there, according to Haber. “The bystander issue is very frustrating,” he said. “You can teach kids what to do, and they know what that is. If one person takes the leap it’s a homerun because they can then get support from the community. It takes a very special person to do that.” Haber, author of “Bullyproof Your Child for Life,” said parents can encourage children who fall into the “bystander” category to take action that won’t necessarily jeopardize their own standing in the group at the time. For example, a bystander could approach the child who has been bullied after the fact and ask if he or she is OK, Haber said. The bystander could also acknowledge that the behavior wasn’t appropriate. Children who are bullied can also learn skills to cope with the behavior, or reduce their chances of being targeted. Speciﬁcally, children who egg bullies on by reacting with anger or highly dramatic antics can learn to react differently, Haber said. “Bullying will never stop,” said Haber. “The goal is to manage it better.” Approximately one in six children, or 16.1 percent of girls and 17.4 percent of boys report being bullied two to three times per month. One in 10 children report being bullied two or three times per week. In contrast, only 7 percent of girls and 12 percent of boys admit to being bullies.
Rye Neck High School
“Girls don’t see what they are doing as bullying when they are engaging in ‘mean girl’ stuff,” Haber said. “But something like gossiping is bullying if it is being done to be mean.” Bullying is deﬁned as aggressive behavior that occurs when there is an imbalance of power and is repeated over time. While physical bullying has declined due to increased awareness of the problem, verbal bullying and relational bullying-which can be the most
damaging type of bullying because it results in social exclusion-are on the rise, Haber said. Brendan Nelson, a counselor at the school, said he holds out hope that children who do engage in bullying behavior can change if they are challenged. “We get the message that we should punish these kids. When we confront them about their behavior, we try to get them to tap into their empathy. Some don’t get it, but we have to keep trying.”
February 15, 2013 • THE TOWN REPORT • 11
New bill seeks to criminalize deceptive calls By ASHLEY HELMS STAFF REPORTER email@example.com
Andrew Cuomo and would take effect immediately. The bill doesn’t directly address several A new state bill seeks to prevent phone other phone scams that have been a concern “spooﬁng,” the practice used in fraud and in town recently. On Feb. 4, during the Tuckahoe telemarketing scams where the Village Board meeting, Chief of caller I.D. shows a name and Police John Costanzo spoke about number different from the actual a call he received just before he person who is calling. left his house that day. Costanzo On Feb. 5, Assemblywoman said the telemarketers told him Amy Paulin, Democrat of they were looking for donations Scarsdale, joined Assembly for the New York State Police Speaker Sheldon Silver, a New Benevolent Association, a law York Democrat, in announcing enforcement labor union that repthe legislation to make those who resents about 1,200 members of spoof a call’s origin be susceptible the New York State Agency Police to charges and monetary relief to Services. Costanzo said he got as their victims. much information as he could Silver said that the legislation Assemblywoman about the telemarketer’s agency takes a necessary step towards Amy Paulin before saying that it would be a blocking spooﬁng and restoring the public’s trust in telecommunications tech- conﬂict of interest to donate to such an agennology. “This fraudulent activity claims two cy. “But these telemarketers are professionvictims: New York consumers who are being als,” Costanzo said. “They said the donations harassed, and those unfortunate individuals would help widows of slain police ofﬁcers.” Costanzo suggested that residents ask as whose identities are being stolen and used to many questions as possible before they dodeceitful ends,” Silver said. Paulin said the idea for the bill came from nate, including how much of their donation hearing various complaints from local constitu- goes to the chosen charity. In August 2012, a phone scam was targeting ents and noticing that incidents have increased over the years. The bill would mostly protect Eastchester’s elderly by exploiting their emotions identiﬁcation fraud on landlines, but Paulin in hopes of stealing money. The thieves would said they have kept the language of the bill pose as a close relative in some sort of trouble broad enough to protect cellphone users if their and ask for money, which would then be wired phones are used in the same way in the future. directly into the account of the thief. In one in“I get a persistent call and it always goes to my stance, an elderly resident was told they had won voicemail,” Paulin said. “It’s the same number, the lottery and needed to make a deposit to insure I have no idea who it is and they never leave a their winnings. In a separate push just a month earlier, message. It happens to all of us.” Residents can call an 800 number to have Scott Tarter, manager of Twin Lakes Farm their phone numbers put on a “do not call” list and Riding School, was targeted by a scamfor telemarketers, but Paulin said this bill pro- mer who claimed to be calling on behalf of Eastchester High School. The caller told tects phone users from outright scams. “Sometimes it’s money, sometimes it could Tarter that for $350, they would print dozens be surveying people inappropriately; it’s a big of calendars with Twin Lakes advertising to be distributed on school grounds. Tarter intended problem,” Paulin said. The bill has passed the assembly and now to donate to the school, but the scam agency is on the senate ﬂoor. If it passes the senate, pocketed the entire $350 after they delivered it will then need to be signed by Governor the calendars. OVERRIDE from page 1
operating expenditures for the village. This year, Porr suggested the board approve the hearing as a way to take a pre-emptive approach to the issue that caused the levy to exceed the 2 percent threshold. In addition to scheduling the hearing on the proposed tax cap override for April 1-a month after the presentation of the tentative budget draft-the local law gives the village Board of Trustees authority to exceed the cap by a twothird majority vote. “It gives us the ﬂexibility to do what we feel is right by the taxpayers,” said Bronxville Mayor Mary Marvin, a Republican. The state’s property tax levy cap, which was ﬁrst signed into law in 2011 by Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo, limits the total tax liability paid by residents based on the assessed
value of their properties. Unlike neighboring municipalities who have also explored the possibility of a cap override in 2013, the Village of Bronxville regularly conducts a revaluation of all its commercial and residential properties at three-year intervals to ensure more equitable assessments. Due to the shrinking assessment pool, the village approved a $13.97 million budget last year, which increased both the tax rate and levy by 2.94 percent. According to the 2012– 2013 ﬁscal budget, this meant a $232,657 levy increase, which brought the total balance of appropriations to be raised by real property taxes to $8,145,613. As of Jan. 31, 2013, the village has not yet collected approximately $816,281 of last year’s property tax dollars.
UTILITIES from page 1
But the water works is alleging that Con Edison repaired and possibly improperly installed their gas main that was located within inches of the water pipe, which they said contributed to its failure. Certain documents are needed from Con Edison that include the original plans for the gas main installation, types of protection on the gas main and any notiﬁcations made by Con Edison to the water works regarding gas main improvements or modiﬁcations. According to court documents, information regarding such services and maintenance are needed so that the complaint can be framed properly and any other parties who may have
contributed to the damage can be identiﬁed. Anthony Conetta, manager for Westchester Joint Water Works, said in court documents that Con Edison records are needed to determine the source of the water main break and whether Con Edison’s work caused or contributed to it. “It is my belief that service work, repairs, maintenance, inspections and/or modiﬁcations of the gas main caused and/or contributed to the break in Westchester Joint Water Work’s water transmission main,” Conetta said. The litigation is continuing, but Hilldale Place has since been reopened to trafﬁc after a year of it being closed.
12 • THE TOWN REPORT • February 15, 2013
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February 15, 2013 • THE TOWN REPORT • 13
L etters A nation’s need to protect its youth To the Editor, The alcohol fueled alleged serial rape of a 16-year-old Ohio girl by two of her similarly impaired classmates–not to mention the drunken videotaped commentary of others–points yet again to the imperative that adult America renews its commitment to address as a true national community those issues that most threaten the health, safety, and forward development of youth. It is a priority that carries with it, in Dr. Martin Luther King’s words, the ﬁerce urgency of now. Indeed, is there a task more pressing than protecting the generation that will follow us as custodians of the future? Probably not. Among the key threats facing our kids are ones often overlooked, underplayed, or enabled by adults: alcohol use and its many negative ramiﬁcations, including impaired driving. Over the past decade, our government has laid out a blueprint for reducing “demand” among adolescents and children, beginning with the National Academies report, “Reducing Underage Drinking–A Collective Responsibility.” As the title suggests, it is imperative that all members of adult America make it their business to join the legions of agencies, organizations, schools, and families in combating underage drinking and the driving that often follows. But new research reveals we have a long way to go. According to a recently released study of teens by SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) and Liberty Mutual Insurance, the number of 16 and 17 year olds reporting that their parents allow them to drink at home, host alcohol-included parties, and drink at parties away from home is on the rise. For example, 37 percent of the teens revealed that their parents allow them to drink with them, up 10 percent from 2010. Some believe that “de-mystifying” alcohol use by allowing kids to drink at home will make it less likely their teens will drink elsewhere. But other research tells a different story. According to a 2005 SADD Teens Today study: • Among high school teens, those who tend to avoid alcohol are more than twice as likely as those who repeatedly use alcohol to say their parents never let them drink at home (84 percent vs. 40 percent). • More than half (57 percent) of high school teens who report their parents allow them to drink at home, even once in a while, say they drink with their friends, as compared to just 14 percent of teens who say their parents don’t let them drink at home. • Similarly, between 2010 and this year, those stating that they are allowed to drink without their parents present or to attend alcohol-included parties rose from 21 to 29 percent and from 36 to 47 percent, respectively. • Finally, those teens reporting that they are permitted to host parties with alcohol increased slightly over prior years to 15 percent. Given the known–and deleterious–effects of alcohol on evolving teen brains and the link between early alcohol use and life-long problems, this trend represents a signiﬁcant concern to prevention specialists and educators. Maybe even more alarming is the percentage of teens that admit to driving after drinking (15 percent) or using marijuana (16 percent). Hence the urgency. Fortunately, not all the news is bad. A combination of policy, parents, and peers holds some hope. Thus, let’s make a resolution in our courts, our homes, and our cars to address the scourge of youth substance use and the crash deaths and injuries from car crashes that often result. That is the ﬁerce urgency of now.
Anti-fracking ﬁlm to screen in White Plains “Dear Governor Cuomo,” a documentary about a concert and rally sponsored by New Yorkers Against Fracking, will be shown on March 7 at 7:30 p.m. at the Ethical Culture Society of Westchester, located at 7 Saxon Wood Road (off Mamaroneck Avenue) in White Plains. A blend of music and message, the ﬁlm
describes the environmental, economic, and heath impact of fracking and includes performances by Natalie Merchant, Joan Osborne, Dan Zanes, the Felice Brothers, Citizen Cope, and Medeski Martin & Wood. Suggested donation is $10. For more information, visit ethicalsocietywestchester.org. (Submitted)
With honors Edward Suriano of Eastchester was named to the College at Brockport Dean’s List with Honors. The following residents were named to the Dean’s List at Ithaca College for the fall 2012 semester. Veronica Patrascu of Tuckahoe Karleanne Redpath of Bronxville Joseph Mahoney of Eastchester is among the Delaware Valley College list of December graduates.
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14 • THE TOWN REPORT • February 15, 2013
Former trustee: Dissolve Mamaroneck Village By JASON CHIREVAS STAFF REPORTER email@example.com
Though nothing has been ﬁnalized, the steering committee tasked with ﬁnding a way to dissolve the Town of Rye is leaning toward a particular option. Former Village of Mamaroneck Trustee John Hofstetter thinks he has a better idea. Rye Town is wholly comprised of the Village of Port Chester, the Village of Rye Brook and the Rye Neck section of the Village of Mamaroneck. In New York State, villages must exist inside of towns. Because all parts of Rye Town are also parts of other municipalities, the town can be dissolved, thus eliminating a layer of local government, and earning the successor municipalities an as-yet-determined monetary reward from the state. The steering committee, headed by current Town of Rye Supervisor Joe Carvin, a Republican, has, in recent weeks, favored a solution by which the villages of Port Chester and Rye Brook would become coterminous town-villages and the Town of Rye would shrink down to wrap around the Rye Neck section of the Village of Mamaroneck, becoming the Town of Rye Neck. A coterminous town-village is a municipality that exists with the beneﬁts of both designations. Currently, Harrison, Mount Kisco and Scarsdale are the only coterminous townvillages in Westchester. Hofstetter, a Democrat, has proposed an alternative. Rather than wrap the Town of Rye around Rye Neck-creating what Carvin calls a “paper town” because it would still need to contract out for its services as it does nowHofstetter suggests, once Rye Town is dissolved, the Town of Mamaroneck annex Rye Neck while the Village of Mamaroneck dissolves. This would create a far larger unincorporated Town of Mamaroneck and eliminate layers of government, something he says the coterminous solution does not do.
“The value in dissolving villages is you can provide services more effectively and efﬁciently with, perhaps, less people,” Hofstetter told The Town Report. “That’s the value, and that’s where people will really save money.” Hofstetter said he doesn’t understand why Rye Neck residents would want to be stuck with their proportion of the former Town of Rye’s ﬁnancial obligations-which he says would be the case in the paper town solutionnor would he want the Village of Mamaroneck to take on those obligations if it annexes Rye Neck and goes coterminous, which is a solution favored by Village of Mamaroneck Mayor and steering committee member Norman Rosenblum, a Republican. “If Rye Neck is the only remnant of the Town of Rye at the end of this, Rye Neck residents still have all the obligations they had earlier,” Hofstetter said. Current Village of Mamaroneck Trustee Leon Potok, a Democrat, was the ﬁrst person to publicly suggest the paper town solution to the steering committee in January. He said that while Hofstetter’s solution sounds good in theory, it is not reasonable to expect it to happen in practice. “Rye Neck will not agree to go into the Town of Mamaroneck for one simple reason, their taxes will go up,” Potok told The Town Report. “Under state law, expenses from the town are not properly allocated between the town and the unincorporated area. Therefore, the two villages subsidize, to some extent, the unincorporated area. For Rye Neck to enter into the Town of Mamaroneck, they would be agreeing to do the same.” Potok said if the state law were changed, he thinks Hofstetter’s solution would work for Rye Neck. Although Carvin has questioned whether or not the paper town solution can work long term, Potok said it is a stable alternative for what to do with Rye Neck once Rye Town dissolves-and the villages of Port Chester and Rye Brook go coterminous-because the cost
to Rye Neck residents to contract out for services would be less of a ﬁnancial burden than what they would have to pay in taxes for those services as part of the Town of Mamaroneck. Hofstetter said one of the main advantages to his plan is it effectively eliminates a layer of government in the Town of Mamaroneck, which would enable services to be more easily shared. Potok said the number of municipalities is not the problem. “The issue is not removing layers of government, it’s what do those government units actually do?” Potok said. “So, if you have sharing of services across the town, you can get a good many of the economies and efﬁciencies that you’re looking for without dissolving it.” Town of Mamaroneck Supervisor Nancy Seligson, a Democrat, has also advocated for an analysis of ways to share services within the town, with or without a Rye Town dissolution. Still, Hofstetter said the best way to share those services is by streamlining the government administering them. “The reality is, the town structure is the most efﬁcient way to go,” he said. “If the Village of Mamaroneck was dissolved, and the Town of
Mamaroneck was made more efﬁcient, you’d see…savings.” Potok said another potential roadblock to village dissolution would be residents’ desire to maintain the village’s character. “I think the village is better off having its own zoning,” Potok said. “I think people like having control over local zoning. Larchmont likes to control its own zoning, the village likes to control its own zoning.” Larchmont is another factor. Hofstetter said that even if his suggestion were followed to completion, he wouldn’t expect Larchmont to follow suit and dissolve, which would create one uniﬁed Town of Mamaroneck. “The political reality is there’s no desire for people in Larchmont to do that,” he said. Former Village of Larchmont Mayor Josh Mandell, a Democrat, has been appointed to a committee tasked with planning a reaction to any potential Rye Town dissolution. He told The Town Report he doesn’t see village dissolution as a possibility. “To consider village dissolution as a means of eliminating triple-layering [of municipal government] would be beyond the scope of quantitative analysis, in that it would involve asking residents to risk material and potentially adverse changes in the stafﬁng, location and availability of essential service providers in order to generate…savings,” Mandell said. Hofstetter maintains the positive ﬁnancial effect of dissolving the villages of Larchmont and Mamaroneck is quantiﬁable, but there is no political will to do the analysis because each village is protective of its history and character. There is something though, he said, that could change some minds. “When the [Town of Mamaroneck] reassessment shakes out in about two years, it’ll be interesting to see what happens,” Hofstetter said. “You’ll ﬁnd more people in Larchmont will be willing to have a conversation about ﬁnding ways to cut taxes. When somebody’s tax bill goes from $40,000 to $60,000 a year, it’ll make a difference.”
“Beauty and the Beast” headlines ballet The Westchester Theatre of Dance, resident company of the JCC of Mid-Westchester Dance School, will present “Beauty and the Beast” as the centerpiece ballet in its annual concert, with music by Tchaikovsky and original choreography by Mimi Wallace, as well as New York City guest artist Joel Levy as the “Beast.” Three performances will be held at the JCC’s Bendheim Performing Arts Center, located at 999 Wilmot Road in Scarsdale, on March 16 at 8 p.m. and on March 17 at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. The concert will feature additional dance selections in
hip-hop, tap, and classical ballet to showcase JCC Dance School students, as well as faculty guest artists. Tickets are $28 for the Saturday night performance, which includes a dessert reception after the show; and $23 for the Sunday matinees. A $5 discount applies for students and senior citizens. Buy tickets online at jccmw. org or in person at the JCC Front Desk, located at 999 Wilmot Road in Scarsdale. For more information, contact Jayne Santoro, director, JCC Dance School at (914) 472-3300 x320. (Submitted)
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February 15, 2013 • THE TOWN REPORT • 15
Top playoff storylines Rye’s chances after Benincasa’s injury Rye is getting set to venture into the Division II playoffs, where it will likely be seeded among the top three teams, alongside John Jay and rival Pelham. However, on Feb. 6, it was announced that the Garnets would have to hit the ice without their top scorer, Michael Benincases, who has been sidelined with a broken vertebra and will be out the rest of the year. Rye has gone 3-1 without Benincasa in the lineup, but the Garnet senior is a huge loss nonetheless. Mamaroneck, Suffern hockey to meet again? Over the past decade, Mamaroneck and Suffern have dominated the Division I landscape, although in recent years the Mounties have seemingly had the Tigers’ number. This year, however, Suffern and Mamaroneck have split their regular season series. With the two teams apparent favorites to make the sectional ﬁnals, a third match could be in the cards. Eastchester boys basketball possible matchup with Pelham With a 17-1 record, the Eagles have had one of their best seasons in years and might ﬁnd themselves with a unique chance to hand three losses in one season to their rivals from Pelham. Slated as the second seed in Class A, the up-tempo Eagles will meet the Pelicans if both teams win one game to reach the quarterﬁnals. New Rochelle girls basketball’s chances for County Center bid Two years ago, New Rochelle–perhaps underrated due to its tough schedule–steamrolled its way into the Westchester County Center despite entering the sectional tournament as the 16-seed.
Pete Conley skates against Suffern on Jan. 11. The Tigers and Mounties have split their season series, with a potential rubber match looming in the Division I ﬁnals. Photo/Mike Smith
This year, however, a resurgent Huguenots squad–buoyed by the return of Amirror Dixon, who missed a lengthy amount of time this season–ﬁnd themselves as a six-seed. Although Ossining remains the favorite to repeat as Section I champs, the Huguenots have a solid chance of making the ﬁnal four with a chance to knock off just about any team left.
Harrison wrestlers reach milestone wins Gavin Menchel and Joe Maida might not have come away from the Section I tournament with a crown in their weight class or a berth to the state tourney, but both Huskies won their ﬁnal match in wrestlebacks to ﬁnish ﬁfth–earning them all-section honors. More important was that the ﬁnal win for both Menchel and Maida gave the duo their 100th career wins-a signiﬁcant milestone-in back-to-back matches.
Town Report basketball playoff preview Boys Basketball 2/15 No, 2 Eastchester vs. No. 15 Rye/No. 18 Sleepy Hollow (Class A) No matter which team Eastchester plays in this one, expect the Eagles to have a major advantage in speed and depth. As the season has gone on, senior Jack Daly has done a fantastic job getting the rest of the offense involved and the Eagles’ press has been hard to crack all year. The Eagles will likely have a somewhat tougher time with Rye simply because of Garnets star Max Twyman, who has the ability and size to take over games for stretches. 2/15 No. 3 Our Lady of Lourdes vs. No. 14 Bronxville (Class B) Bronxville might have been seeded a bit higher, but injuries played a big part in derailing the Broncos early on. However, head coach Bryan Senior believes that the early loss of several key players like Dylan Murray and Matt Tormey has helped season the Broncos bench players and has made the squad a better one since Tormey and Murray returned. 2/15 No. 4 Tuckahoe vs. No. 5 Haldane (Class C) At 4-14, Tuckahoe might not be the team it was last year, but it’s also not the team that its record indicates. Playing against tough Class A and B competition, the Tigers have proved themselves to be a strong, resilient bunch and will look for point guard Shyheim Nixon to lead them to a ﬁrst-round win. With the most experience on the court, Nixon will be key, as the Tigers look to turn around a trying season with a good postseason run.
Matt Tormey boxes out Tuckahoe’s Kayvon Reid on Jan 11. Both Bronxville and Tuckahoe begin their playoff matches on Feb. 15. Photo/Mike Smith
2/15 No. 1 Irvington vs. No. 16 Bronxville (Class B) The Broncos face a tall order if they hope to bring down the Class B favorites in Irvington. The Bulldogs’ star, Lexi Martins, is always capable of having a big game, and the 6-foot-2 center will provide Irvington with a much needed edge inside. 2/15 No. 3 Palisades Prep vs. No. 6 Tuckahoe (Class C) Like the Broncos, the Tigers may also run into some problems in the middle, as Palisades Prep’s 6-footer Paula Richards has been a game changer this year for the fourth-year Yonkers program. The last time the two squads met, on Feb. 2, Tuckahoe fell by 10, losing 42-32. -Reporting by MIKE SMITH
16 • THE TOWN REPORT • February 15, 2013
ETB falls late in New Ro tilt, eyes playoffs By MIKE SMITH ASSOCIATE SPORTS EDITOR firstname.lastname@example.org
Goalie Ethan Reich makes a stop on Feb. 13 against New Rochelle. Reich and teammate Tripp Corcoran have been solid in net for ETB this season.
Despite jumping out to an early lead against Division I power New Rochelle on Feb. 13, ETB–hampered by its numbers–wasn’t allowed to make the lead stick as they saw a 2-goal lead evaporate in a 7-goal Huguenots third period. But as the Eagles ready for a ﬁrst-round playoff game, head coach Dave O’Neil feels that his undermanned squad has already surpassed expectations in 2013. The Eagles (8-15) have had trouble holding onto late leads this year, which was evident in their regular season ﬁnale against New Rochelle, where they saw two early goals by Matt Power and Chris Hagen prove moot in late onslaught by an older–and deeperHuguenot team. “We just ran out of steam,” said O’Neil. “We gave it all we had for two periods, but
Jon Yienger skates with the puck on Feb. 13. Yienger has been one of the defensemen that has stepped up on the young ETB team.
Chris Hagen brings the puck up ice on Feb. 13. Hagen had a goal against the Huguenots and leads ETB with with 42 points on the year. Photos/Mike Smith
they changed things around in the third and were able to come back on us.” Although Hagen (32 points) and Power (19 goals) have been solid as the team’s veteran leaders, with an uncharacteristically small-and young-squad this season (ETB has just 19 players, just three of them seniors), holding late leads has been a chore. Against the Huguenots, a terriﬁc early performance by Ethan Reich was wasted as the gassed Eagles couldn’t match up with the Huguenots late in the game, and New Rochelle’s leading scorer, Chris Ramondelli, led his team to a comeback win. Even so, said O’Neil, his team has played better as of late, and the Eagles’ younger players have begun to grow into their roles. “It’s been an up-and-down
season, but I think that lately, the younger guys have been stepping up,” said the head coach. “I think they’ve matured throughout the year, and the game is kind of demystifying for them.” The Eagles, despite their hardships this season, will be back in action when the Division I playoffs kick off on Feb. 18. Although the seeds have not ofﬁcially been released as of press time, they will likely match up with either White Plains or Rye Town/Harrison in the ﬁrst round. Both teams have recorded wins over the Eagles this season. “We don’t know who we’re playing yet, but we’ve been playing tough teams all year,” said O’Neil. “We’ve been maturing throuhought the year, and hopefully that continues.”