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Vol. 15/Number 14

S h e ’s B a c k ! Bronxville Mayor Mary Marvin, a Republican, takes the oath of office on April 1 following her uncontested re-election in March. Bronxville Village Court Judge George McKinnis administered the oath to three re-elected GOP incumbents during the Bronxville Board of Trustees annual meeting. For more, see page 7. For the story on the Village of Tuckahoe’s re-organizational meeting, see page 3. Photo/Daniel Offner

Town, villages not sold on Cuomo pension plan By ASHLEY HELMS STAFF REPORTER ashley@hometwn.com

Eastchester, Tuckahoe and Bronxville wouldn’t benefit from Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo’s proposed 2013-14 budget mandate intended to allow communities to smooth out state-mandated pension costs by spreading them over the next 25 years, according to local officials. Although pension costs have

soared roughly 3,000 percent in Eastchester over the last 10 years, local officials agree that the burden of footing the bill shouldn’t be extended because it will put the financial responsibility on future generations. In Bronxville, projected pension costs stand at about $1.3 million, a 13 percent increase from the previous year. Pension costs in Tuckahoe were roughly $3.1 million for the budget year ending this May, and

the village will be faced with another tough year ahead. In Eastchester, pension costs account for $3.1 million of the budget’s funds, up from $3 million last year, and have sky rocketed from $65,000 just ten years ago. Those increases, however, have led to as much as a 25 percent loss in Eastchester’s full-time staff members through layoffs and hiring freezes. PENSION, continued on page 15

Eastchester schools reveal new superintendent By ASHLEY HELMS STAFF REPORTER ashley@hometwn.com

The Eastchester School District has announced that former town middle school principal Dr. Walter Moran will be taking over as the district’s Superintendent in July. It is anticipated that Moran will be appointed during the April 9 Board of Education meeting. The appointment comes just a few months after Marilyn Terranova, the current superintendent, announced that she would step down from the position at the end of the school year.

According to School Board President David Carforo, Moran, 55, was instrumental in helping to pass the 2011 bond to expand the middle school, a project that will usher in 13 new classrooms and a revamped cafeteria when it’s completed in early 2014. SUPER, continued on page 11

Dr. Walter Moran will be appointed Eastchester School District superintendent at the April 9 Board of Education meeting. Contributed photo.

April 5, 2013

District proposes class size bump By ASHLEY HELMS STAFF REPORTER ashley@hometwn.com

Due to a projected budgetary shortfall of roughly $666,000, the Eastchester School District is proposing, in its 2013-2014 budget, to close sections and increase class sizes at the elementary schools. The district must also reduce spending by about $684,000 to stay within the state-mandated 2 percent tax levy cap. The proposed budget stands at about $75.7 million, which is a 3 percent increase over the current 2012-2013 budget. The tax levy increase is projected at 3.7 percent. To save about $300,000, a class section from each Eastchester elementary school will be cut come September. Following a decrease in enrollment, a first grade section will be eliminated at Waverly Elementary School. Two second grade classes at the school will have an increase in student enrollment to as many as 25 students, up from 20 this year. Third grade classes at Greenvale School would be increased to about 23 students. Similar changes were proposed in Tuckahoe, where the district is considering cutting four teachers’ aides and one elementary school teacher. As a result, class sizes will increase to about 25 or more students. The proposals were met with opposition from the community during a budget workshop last month, with some residents saying that such large elementary class sizes are educational malpractice. Superintendent Marilyn Terranova said that the district tried to craft a list of reductions that would have the least impact on students. The district is also looking into various grants

and will be using a federal grant to pay for a special education teacher’s salary next year, saving the district about $110,000. The district is also considering additional reductions totaling about $285,000, Terranova said. Other potential savings would come from canceling two minimally used afternoon busses at the middle school and high school. “There are some small points we need to draw together, but these cuts will have very little effect on students and activities,” Terranova said. The district reduced spending by more than $1 million last year and has eliminated 60 positions districtwide over the last four years as well as reconfigured union contracts and programs. Board of Education member Ronald Hatter said that the board is doing the best they can to continue to provide Eastchester’s students with the high level of education they’re use to. “We’re still taking a robust approach to the budget despite budgetary restraints,” Hatter said. The 3.7 percent tax levy increase for the 2013-2014 school year means that the district has a fixed amount of money that they can apply to the budget in addition to last year’s taxes, Board of Education member Mary Martin said. State pension increases for teachers are expected to increase by about $1.7 million, which makes up the bulk of the increases allowed under the tax cap. “There’s a concept that the cap will be 2 percent and that’s a fallacy,” Martin said. “But if you look at the budgets coming out now, a lot of them are in the 3 percent area.” Jason Karol, Eastchester schools BUDGET, continued on page 14

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Tuckahoe’s Republican trustees sworn in By ASHLEY HELMS STAFF REPORTER ashley@hometwn.com

Following the village’s first contested election in five years, three members of the Tuckahoe Board of Trustees were sworn in on April 1 for their second terms on the board. Republican trustees Tom Giordano and Greg Luisi, both incumbents, will each serve a new two-year term on the board, as will Mayor Steve Ecklond, who ran unopposed. Addressing a crowded room of supporters at Village Hall after taking the oath of office,

Republican Trustee Tom Giordano is sworn into office at Monday’s village reorganization meeting. Giordano will serve a second term on the Tuckahoe board. Photos/Ashley Helms

Luisi said that the election’s results were a mandate from the voters for the board to stay on coarse, but there will be a tough road ahead. He said there will be difficult decisions that need to be made in the coming months following the adoption of a formal budget for 2013. “Today I start my second term as trustee, and I’m excited for what the next two years will bring,” Luisi said. Trustee Janette Hayes, a Republican not up for re-election this year, said she thinks that the board’s diverse backgrounds holds it together and keeps things running well. Trustee Stephen Quigley, a Democrat who moderated the reorganization meeting, said that the village has a well-functioning board, and is looking forward to the next two years. “The election sharpened issues and brought village government out into the community,” Quigley said. The audience for the reorganization meeting filled every seat in the meeting room at Village Hall. The meeting featured Boy Scout Troop 353 from Eastchester and Eastchester elected officials. Other Tuckahoe employees were also ap-

pointed during the meeting, including Susan Ciamarra as the village clerk and Camille DiSalvo as the deputy village clerk and the deputy registrar of vital statistics. On March 19, Luisi and Giordano were elected over political newcomers Andrew Watiker and Seth Schultz, both Democrats. Village election turnouts are generally low; this year only about 800 votes were cast out of the 3,890 registered voters in the village. Tuckahoe Mayor Steve Ecklond poses with his family after being Tuckahoe trustees serve sworn in to a second term in office. Ecklond ran unopposed. two-year terms and earn an annual salary of $5,000 per year. The mayor also serves a two-year term and earns a salary of $7,000 per year. Republican Trustee Greg Luisi, left, and Mayor Steve Ecklond, right, took their oaths of office at the village reorganization meeting on April 1. Ecklond ran uncontested, while Luisi fended off Democratic challengers in the village’s first contested race since 2008.

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C ommunity Briefs Tuckahoe Senior Center events Spring concert and luncheon April 9 Cottle School Trolley transportation will be provided Sign-up required Living independently presentation Presented by Julie Dalton, president of Gramatan Village April 11 Lucky Ladies Night April 16 Empire City Casino Sign-up required Soul Food Luncheon Prepared by Yvonne’s Followed by muscial entertainment by Gregory Press April 25 $15 per person Sign-up required “WWII and New York City” April 30 New York Historical Society Box lunch at the museum Sign-up required Events at the Lutheran Church Good news Christian coffee house Saturday, April 13, 2013. The coffee house opens at 7 p.m. with gourmet coffee and pastries, and the concert begins at 7:30 p.m. Cost is $10/Adults, $5 Students. Children $3 (ages 5-12). Babysitting will be available. Tag Sale Saturday May 4 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Proceeds benefit the San Antonio Youth Gathering Trip. Donations and buyers appreciated. Collection days April 28 to May 2. The Village Lutheran Church is located at 172 White Plains Road, Bronxville, New York, 10708. For more information call 914-3370207 or www.vlc-ny.org. Upcoming Tuckahoe Library events

Join Miss Ellen for stories and songs! Open to ages 2-5 years Fridays at 11a.m. April 12, 19, 26 Registration is required. Tuckahoe Public Library 71 Columbus Avenue Tuckahoe, NY 10707 914-961-2121 www.tuckahoelibrary.org Topical novel discussion “Love at the Edge,” written by noted writer and educator Joan Katen, will be the focus of a discussion with the author at the Ethical Culture Society of Westchester on April 7 at 10:30 a.m. Based on the realities of the Palestinian/Israeli conflict, the novel tells the story of two young people of opposite backgrounds, culture, and belief systems, who meet in Paris and fall in love. The ECSW is located at 7 Saxon Wood Road, White Plains, next to the Saxon Woods Pool, off Mamaroneck Avenue. It is wheelchair accessible and childcare is available. There is no charge but donations are always welcome. Call Bridget McGraw 914-777-5022 for more information or visit www.ethicalculturesociety.org St. Paul’s church events George Washington and the Civil War Saturday, April 13 at 2 p.m., Professor Anne Sarah Rubin of the University of Maryland at Baltimore County addresses the intriguing question of what George Washington has to do with the American Civil War, exploring the ways that both the Union and the Confederacy drew on the mythology and iconography of the Revolutionary war. Dr. Rubin is President of the Society of Civil War Historians and has written numerous works on the great national conflict, including the award winning, “A Shattered Nation: The Rise and Fall of the Confederacy, 1861-1868.” Church tower walk Friday, April 19, 3 p.m. Join us for a hike up the wooden staircase in the church tower, leading to the historic, 250-year-old metal bell, and fine views of the surrounding counties. Note: This program is repeated, every other Friday, weather permitting, through early October.

The church is located at 897 South Columbus Avenue, Mt. Vernon, NY 914-667-4116 www.nps.gov/sapa Boat Show Saturday, April 13 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Mamaroneck. McMichael Yacht Brokers will have more than fifty boats on display 15’ to 50’. Sail and power. 447 E. Boston Post Rd. and 700 Rushmore Avenue, Free admission. Better After 50 seminar Join 200 women who will gather at Manhattanville College on April 16 for betterafter50.com’s She Did It/New York. BA50’s She Did It events are for women choosing to make a difference in their own lives. The seminars and workshops provide a way for betterafter50.com, the weekly online magazine and newsletter for women creating the next phase of their lives, to directly engage with its members and bring them the tools they need to propel their lives into the next phase, fulfill their dreams and create their own legacy. Whether they are building a new business, reconnecting with their inner artist, caring for aging parents and adult children, getting divorced or remarried, or seeking an entirely new adventure, BA50 women are taking charge of their futures. BA50s will leave She Did It/New York inspired and with the necessary information and action items to take the next steps. The event, sponsored by White Plains Hospital and Verizon, will run from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets, which must be purchased in advance, are $95 and include lunch. Sponsorships at the highest level are already sold out. To register to attend the event: http://betterafter50.com/2012/12/she-diditnew-york-april-16-2013/. Cancer support available Support Connection, Inc., a not-for profit organization that provides free, confidential support services for people affected by breast and ovarian cancer, offers a wide range of free support groups women with breast and ovarian cancer. Groups focus on topics pertaining to living with cancer through all stages of diagnosis, treatment and post-treatment. They are offered in Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess, and by toll-free teleconference. For a complete calendar of groups at all locations, visit www.supportconnection.org. Advance registration is required for all groups; call 914-962-6402 or 800-532-4290. The following support groups are scheduled Westchester in April: At the support connection office in Yorktown: • Breast Cancer Support Group Apr. 23, at 7 p.m. • Young Women’s Breast Cancer Support Group: For women who have or had breast cancer at a young age. Apr. 10, at 7 p.m.

At Hudson Valley Hospital Center in Cortlandt Manor: • Breast Cancer Support Group Apr. 15, at 7 p.m. At the Yorktown Jewish Center in Yorktown Heights: • Support Group for Women Living with Recurrence: For women living with recurrence of breast or ovarian cancer, with advanced stage and/or metastasis. Apr. 19, at 12:30 p.m. By teleconference: For those unable to attend groups in-person, there are monthly Telephone Support Groups via toll-free teleconference, enabling women to participate regardless of their location and from the comfort of their homes. Call a few days ahead to learn how to participate. The Ovarian Cancer Telephone Group will take place on Wednesday, Apr. 10, at 8 p.m. The Breast Cancer Telephone Group will take place on Tuesday, Apr. 16, at 8 p.m. Westchester Library System’s 22nd annual Book & Author Luncheon The Westchester Library System will hold its 22nd annual Book & Author Luncheon on Thursday, April 18, 2013 at CV Rich Mansion in White Plains, NY. The event celebrates National Library Week and features talented authors Deidre Bair, Marie Howe and Dorothy Wickenden who will discuss their newly published books. The luncheon, which will be held from 12:00 p.m.–2:00 p.m., will be followed by an author signing. Registration begins at 11:15 a.m. Tickets for the Book & Author Luncheon are $95 for general admission. Proceeds from this event will support WLS’s efforts to expand its e-book collection and increase digital media content for all Westchester public libraries. For more information or to purchase tickets, please call (914) 231-3226 or visit www.westchesterlibraries.org. Casino Night Please join us for an evening of fun casino gaming, with delicious food and drinks. Play to win a 47” HDTV and many more exciting prizes. This is to benefit the programs and exhibits of the Westchester Italian Cultural Center. Friday, April 19, 2013, 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Pre-paid tickets $65. Tickets at the door $80. Special Offer: Casino Night admission and annual Fieri Young Professionals membership $75. Westchester Italian Cultural Center One Generoso Pope Place Tuckahoe, NY 10707 (914) 771-8700 http://wiccny.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 news@hometwn.com.

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County executive demands HUD release federal funds By CHRIS GRAMUGLIA STAFF REPORTER chrisg@hometwn.com

The Department of Housing and Urban Development and Republican County Executive Rob Astorino have been repeatedly at odds over a lawsuit filed against the county in 2009. The lawsuit was filed by a housing advocacy group called the Anti-Discrimination Center of Metro-New York, which claimed that Westchester County had been dishonest about its attempts to integrate housing among people of mixed-incomes, and sought to prevent local governments from using income and race as a way to impact housing choice. The federal government ruled in favor of the advocacy group and ordered that Westchester County build 750 new affordable housing units spread across its towns and villages over a seven-year span, as well as pay the government $8.4 million and the center $2.5 million. Additionally, the settlement required that the county aggressively market the new housing projects to low-income individuals outside of Westchester. The settlement was reached under thenCounty Executive Andy Spano, a Democrat. After Astorino took over in 2010, HUD attempted to force Westchester to restructure its zoning in order to prevent the county from using such boundaries as a way to segregate citizens of varying race and income. Astorino

has made it clear that, while he will adhere to the original terms of the settlement, dismantling the county’s zoning is out of the question. Each municipality in the county has home rule authority on all matters relating to planning and zoning, meaning each adopts its own zoning ordinances. Such authority is set under state law. Recently, HUD decided to withhold $7.4 million in grant funding for local development projects to ensure that the county complys with its rezoning demands. But, according to some in the county, the decision may be hurting the very people the federal government claims to want to help, and also may be a detriment to some municipalities that have already made efforts to build affordable housing. Jeffrey Zuckerman, who is the chair of the Tuckahoe Housing Authority, said that many of the grants the village was recieving were going to good use, and losing them won’t be easy. “There is no place we can turn to replace that funding. The fact that we can no longer apply for such

The Department of Housing and Urban Development recently made the decision to freeze $7.4 million in grant funding in order to force Westchester County to adhere to the terms of an affordable housing settlement. Critics say the decision is counterintuitive insofar as it will hurt many of the people that the original settlement sought to help. County Executive Rob Astorino has said that he refuses to change his position. Photo/Diana Costello

grants is a tremendous loss to the Tuckahoe Housing Authority,” Zuckerman said. “So many of the parks in Tuckahoe were re-done and other necessary projects were completed, all with the help of grants.” Additionally the Town of Mamaroneck will lose $90,000 that could have been used to improve sidewalks on Ward Avenue as well as $75,000 for a walkway next to a CVS on Mamaroneck Avenue. George Oros, Astorino’s chief of staff, said that HUD’s move to withhold grant money was bewildering. “We feel that the county’s record speaks for itself. We’re one hundred and five units ahead of HUD’s benchmark of building the housing units,” Oros said. “We’re questioning HUD’s judgement when they’re taking away 7.4 million dollars, 86 percent of which goes to communities that are not part of the settlement.” Oros said that a possible solution would be to continue searching for exclusionary zoning, and if such zoning is found, only that particular municipality should be penalized. Astorino has insisted that HUD release the grant money, and said that he doesn’t intend on changing his position or adhering to any conditions that are outside of the original agreement. “I will do what is in the settlement,” Astorino said, “but I will not yield to the federal government’s views. They can’t take away the rights of the private property owner.”

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Concordia chats with Priscilla Gilman her expectations for Priscilla Gilman, auher children and parthor of the acclaimed enting and how she memoir, “The Antiwas forced to reevaluRomantic Child: A ate those expectations Story of Unexpected when her first son was Joy,” will speak at diagnosed with a variConcordia’s Books ety of special needs. & Coffee program on “The book isn’t only April 11, at 7 p.m. in about a special needs Sommer Center. Dr. child, or even parentStephanie Squires, ing, but rather about Director of Concordia’s the curve balls thrown master’s program in by life and how we reChildhood Special spond to them,” Gilman Education, will host said. the evening. Dr. Stephanie Squires “The Anti-Romantic will host a private sesChild” is Gilman’s first sion with Gilman and book and reveals her Concordia graduate experience with her students in childhood son’s developmental special education bedisorder, his need for fore the public preintensive therapies, and Priscilla Gilman sentation in Sommer the special schooling that dramatically altered the course she had Center at 7 p.m. No reservations are required. imagined for her family. A former professor The program is free and open to the public of English Literature at Yale University and thanks to generous support from Friends of Vassar College, Gilman uses Wordsworth’s Concordia and Concordia’s graduate program poetry as a touchstone, speaks intimately of in childhood special education. (Submitted)

FEMA seeks applicants for youth council By ALEXANDRA BOGDANOVIC STAFF REPORTER alexandra@hometwn.com

Area teens interested in being on the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Youth Preparedness Council are now invited to apply. “The Youth Preparedness Council provides an opportunity for young leaders to serve as a member of a distinguished national council,” FEMA representative Hilary Kraus said in a statement announcing the opportunity. “Another benefit is completing a youth preparedness project of their choosing.” Anyone age 12 to 17 who is engaged in “individual and community preparedness” is encouraged to apply to serve on the council, Kraus added. Examples of such activities include participation in National Preparedness Month; participation in the Citizen Corps Council; using social media to further disaster preparedness; participation in various after school activities focused on disaster and emergency preparedness; and increasing local disaster awareness. Nominations by adults “familiar with the youth’s preparedness activities” are also being accepted. “The nomination announcement went far and wide, including outreach to state, local, tribal and territorial officials, emergency management associations, congressional offices, private sector partners, faith-based and non-profit organizations,” said FEMA Spokesman Dan Watson. Only 14 members serve on the council at any given time, Watson added. Council members will be selected based on vacancies and announced next month. Members typically serve one-year terms, but FEMA can invite council members to extend their service for an additional term. “Those who are chosen will attend the Youth Preparedness Council Summit, a meeting with emergency management leadership to discuss steps to strengthen the nation’s resiliency against all types of disasters,” Kraus said. “Council members may also participate in national, regional, state, tribal and local preparedness meetings.” Their responsibilities aren’t limited to participation in the summit, however. Council members must also represent their peers’ perspectives on disaster readiness and “relay information within their communities.” Council members are also expected to “develop and complete a preparedness-related project specific to his or her region and interests.” The completed project can also be presented at national, regional, state, tribal and local meetings. Finally, the council members will participate in conference calls with FEMA. During those calls, they will provide “ongoing input” on various “strategies, initiatives and projects.” FEMA created the Youth Preparedness Council in 2012. According to a portion of the agency’s website dedicated to the topic, the Council supports “FEMA’s emphasis on and dedication to involving the whole community in preparedness related activities.” “Engaging youth is an integral step in preparing the nation for all hazards,” said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate. “Youth have a unique ability to influence their peers and families to be more resilient, and children play an important role in disaster preparedness, during and after a crisis.” In order to be considered for selection to the council, prospective candidates must submit a completed application form, a narrative and a letter of recommendation. The letter can be from any adult, such as a parent, guardian, community first responder or teacher. All applications and supporting materials must be received by April 19. To get application packets and learn more about the Youth Preparedness Council, visit ready.gov/youth-preapredness.

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Bronxville GOP maintains control of village government During the annual reorganizational meeting of the Village of Bronxville Board of Trustees, held on April 1, the three GOP incumbents were officially sworn into office. The local party hasn’t faced competition from its Democratic counterparts in more than seven year. After winning in the local polls with a total 80 of votes, Mayor Mary Marvin took her oath of office for the fifth consecutive time. Marvin has served as village mayor for eight years. “It is truly an honor and a joy to serve with all of my colleagues on this board,” Marvin said. Each receiving over 70 votes, incumbent trustees Donald Gray and Robert Underhill were also sworn into office by the Hon. Judge George McKinnis. Bronxville trustees, and mayor, are elected to two-year terms. - Reporting by DANIEL OFFNER

Mary Marvin

Robert Underhill

Mobile passport service travels Westchester Do you need a U. S. passport, a passport card or passport photos taken? Westchester County Clerk Timothy C. Idoni’s community outreach staff can help you apply for a U.S. Passport including having a photo taken. The county clerk’s mobile office, which makes visits throughout Westchester County, is gearing up to kick off the 2013 season at SUNY Purchase on April 3. Idoni’s expansion of the passport service since becoming county clerk in 2006 has resulted in the acceptance of more than 5,700 passport applications at outreach appearances. “The extraordinary success we have with the mobile office appearing in every town, village and municipality in Westchester is a true testament of our commitment at the county clerk’s office to making government easier and accessible,” Idoni said. Look for the mobile office in the following locations in the coming weeks: • Monday, April 8 from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. Pelham Town Hall, 34 5th Avenue, Pelham, NY 10803 • Tuesday, April 16 from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. Scotts Corners Market, Pound Ridge, NY 10576 • Thursday, April 25 from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. Briarcliff Manor Village Hall, 1111 Pleasantville Road, Briarcliff Manor, NY 10510 • Thursday, May 9 from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. New Rochelle Public Library, 1 Library Plaza, New Rochelle, NY 10801 • Saturday, May 11 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Hastings-on-Hudson Public Library, Across from Village Hall, 7 Maple Avenue Hastings-on-Hudson, NY 10706 To learn what you need to apply for a U.S. passport or to find out when the mobile office is coming to your community in 2013, call (914)995-3086 or visit www. westchesterclerk.com. (Submitted)

Donald Gray

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County Democrats question Playland repair delays By LIZ BUTTON STAFF REPORTER liz@hometwn.com

City residents, which intends to begin running the park as a year-round operation and make various material improvements. SPI has pledged $34 million in capital investments for Playland, which will go against the reported $32 million in debt the county has accrued in running the historic park. In the last few weeks, the Board of Legislators have asked for more time to consider the different project proposals, which cannot alter the park without their approval. They have called for an independent auditor to review current operations and financial management of the park, as well as SPI’s plan and several other proposals. County Legislator Judy Myers, a Democrat whose district covers Playland, said she was “extremely surprised” and disappointed to learn of the delays in boardwalk repairs. Myers said legislators were not told about the possible delays to the boardwalk repairs until they specifically inquired about the project’s progress. Myers said she had been giving her constituents updates about the park, and told them the boardwalk would most likely be ready for May and the Ice Casino for September. “We had been assured time and again that there would be no problem meeting that deadline for the amusement park,” she said.

As Rye Playland’s recovery continues from the $12 million in destruction wrought by Hurricane Sandy, it seems beach lovers may have to wait even longer than expected to take that first spring stroll down the boardwalk. County administration officials announced last week that there will be further delays in repairing damage caused by the October 2012 storm’s high winds and massive tidal surges. In addition to delays on boardwalk repairs, the county-owned park’s Ice Casino skating rink, which sustained damage to its roof, basement and boilers, is no longer projected to open this September, and may not open until next winter. At a March 19 meeting of the county Government There are now growing concerns within the county that the Playland boardwalk, which was destroyed during Operations Committee, coun- Hurricane Sandy, will not be fully repaired in time for the amusement park’s scheduled May opening. ty legislators were told to expect further delays in repairs, which could administration may have intentionally mismean the boardwalk’s repairs will be incom- handled the original emergency contract bids plete for the park’s projected May 11 open- for repairing damage to the boardwalk. ing. According to a March 22 statement After the county received bids last week, from Board of Legislator officials, Mace county attorney Robert Meehan said that the Contracting Corp. out of New Rochelle was repair work on the boardwalk did not legally the lowest bidder for the repairs project. qualify for the emergency contracting process, However, other contracting firms not on the which allows for expedited bidding. pre-qualification list were allowed to bid on According to Meehan’s legal opinion, the the job, and after they did not win, the Mace county must put the repair work out to bid bid was rescinded. again for two weeks, since a contract has not Administration officials have not expanded been signed and too much time has elapsed on the finer points of how the bidding process since late January. In January, the county was conducted. “One has to question the vaBoard of Legislators approved $12.5 million lidity of a claim by the Astorino administrain bonding, with one bond act for boardwalk tion that the emergency contract provisions repairs totaling $7.5 million. have not been met,” Jenkins said. Despite this delay, Republican County The situation has become less clear to the Executive Rob Astorino’s deputy communi- board, Jenkins said, as the Astorino admincations director Donna Greene said last week istration becomes increasingly cagey about that the administration expects repairs to the their deliberations on both the matter of reboardwalk and other projects, excluding the pairs and on the overall refurbishment of Rye Ice Casino, will still be completed on time. Playland. “The contract is now in the bid process. The Major improvements to the 280-acre park date for completed work is May 15, but we were a major platform of Astorino’s during expect it to be completed in time for May 11,” his campaign for office in 2009, as it has been Greene said. “Some of these repairs are things reported that the park has run anywhere from such as some of the electrical systems…and a $2 to $6 million deficit annually for years. general infrastructure, in addition to the Concerns include the need to increase revenue boardwalk.” and reboot falling attendance rates, which Following news of the delay, members of have dipped below 500,000 from over 1 milthe Democratic-led Board of Legislators, lion in past years, according to some studies. like Democratic Chairman Ken Jenkins, have After a request for proposal was put out voiced concerns. to bid in 2010 on the restoration project and Jenkins, who is running for election to the administration evaluated 12 proposals, county executive against Astorino in 2013, Astorino signed a letter of intent on Oct. 11, and Democratic Vice Chair Lyndon Williams 2010, to award the contract to Sustainable The Playland boardwalk, seen here following Hurricane Sandy. The boardwalk remains have suggested that the county’s Republican Playland, Inc., a non-profit founded by Rye unrepaired to date. File photos

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Mamaroneck trustees request cancellation of USDA geese contract By CHRIS GRAMUGLIA STAFF REPORTER chrisg@hometwn.com

MAMARONECK – The ongoing conflict over the fate of Mamaroneck’s goose population took an unexpected turn on March 27 when two trustees requested that the board cancel its contract with the USDA to slaughter the geese and start fresh to find a more humane solution to the problem. The issue has caused significant controversy in previous weeks and the village has drawn criticism from animal rights activists since the contract was made public. However, the decision to slaughter the animals has also received support from residents who are just now voicing that sentiment. “If we do this in a way that allows homeless people to be fed, I think that’s a great idea,” Resident Brett Moeller said. “We kill fish to eat, we raise cows to be killed. We’re doing this a lot more humanely than anyone could imagine.” Moeller also said that he plays softball in Harbor Island Park over the summer, and that goose droppings are a health hazard. Roseanne Aresty, who was on the Board of Mamaroneck Junior Soccer League for 10 years, also contacted the Board of Trustees via email, and said that the problem of goose droppings in Mamaroneck has only gotten worse over time. “The goose population has

in thick goose poop.” Despite support for slaughtering the geese, Democratic trustees Ilissa Miller and Andres Bermudez Hallstrom both stood firm in their views and said that there are ways to negotiate with the USDA that may or may not result in a cancellation of the contract. At the very least, the provision that called for the slaughter of the animals seems to have divided the board. “I don’t think killing [the geese] is going to solve the problem,” Miller said. “This needs to be managed from a short term and a long term The Mamaroneck Village Board recently decided to renegotiate perspective.” the terms of the contract it signed with the USDA that would The contract was signed have called for the slaughter of a number of wild Canada on Dec. 14, 2012, four days Geese. For now, the board has decided to only strike the after Miller and Bermudezprovision that calls for slaughtering the geese, and is now Hallstrom took office. The seeking non-lethal options. File photo village was given 120 days, until April 13, to cancel or grown exponentially, and the harbor is liter- reach a mutual agreement with the USDA ally covered in a carpet of goose deritus,” to abandon the plan completely. Aresty said. “It is dangerous and filthy. We One issue that the board is considering, as come home from playing a soccer game, and the deadline for the out clause draws near, our cleats and clothes are completely covered is the potential legal ramifications of can-

PET RESCUE

celing the contract, after the 120 days has passed. The board met with USDA representative Ken Preusser at its April 1 work session to discuss the possibility of cancelling the contract as well as various ways to reach a compromise. The parties agreed that the village would move forward with the provision of oiling goose eggs to prevent them from hatching, but that a non-lethal approach would be taken to manage the existing geese. Preusser made several recommendations for making the landscape less attractive to the geese, which included letting grass grow taller, and enforcing a no-feeding policy for residents in the village, but also said that many techniques work more efficiently with a less-dense population of geese. Mayor Norman Rosenblum, a Republican, said that, because of the playing fields located in Harbor Island Park, some recommendations for modifying the environment are out of the question, namely letting grass grow. Other possible alternatives that Preusser urged the board to reconsider were the use of collies to chase the geese out of the parks, as well as the use of pyrotechnics to scare them away through a process known as hazing. Preusser did mention that while some of these techniques will make the geese fly away, some will inevitably return.

WHAT’S YOUR BEEF? “What’s bothering you today?” Collected on Purchase Street in Rye “I’m annoyed about this rider protecting the use of Monsanto in a bill passed by Congress last week.” Aaron Goldberg, 60, Mamaroneck

Twitch is a very handsome boy, about a year old, with beautiful white whiskers that glimmer against his black coat. He has a slight neurological disorder that causes him to tilt his head. He came from Yonkers where he was picked on by other cats. Twitch is all around a very sweet boy. This kitty loves petting and simply adores being brushed. Twitch responds wonderfully to humans and will make for a wonderful feline companion. The adoption donation for Twitch is $75. If you have a soft spot in your heart for a gentle, sweet and playful kitty, please contact Larchmont Pet Rescue at 914-834-6955 or visit www.NY-Petrescue.org to meet Twitch. (Submitted)

“There is no covered bus station [near] St. Vincent’s Hospital. People, some of whom have mental illnesses, have to stand out in the rain to wait for the bus.”

“Today’s commute driving from New York City to Rye” Jimmy Yen, 39, New York City

“The inequality between the rich and the poor” Mary Alice Minogue, 72, Rye

Jenny Dobell, 50, Harrison -Photos and reporting by LIZ BUTTON

April 5, 2013 • THE TOWN REPORT • 11

New Rochelle hosts free rabies clinic By ALEXANDRA BOGDANOVIC STAFF REPORTER alexandra@hometwn.com

A free rabies clinic in New Rochelle on April 7 will give Westchester County pet owners a chance to have their dogs, cats and ferrets vaccinated against the lethal disease. The clinic will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Stamen Animal Hospital, which is located at 61 Quaker Ridge Road. Turnout is usually pretty steady and Dr. Maria Violi, who owns the practice, said the vaccinations are done on a “first come, first-served basis.” Generally speaking, Violi said she and her staff typically see about 65 to 75 animals during the free clinics. Stamen Animal Hospital has been teaming up with the county to do the clinics for at least 10 years, she added. In a press release announcing the event, Dr. Sherlita Amler, the county health commissioner, said it is vital to have companion animals vaccinated against rabies. “Vaccinating your pet against rabies will protect your pet and your family in case your pet has contact with a rabid or potentially rabid animal,” Amler said. According to the health department, rabies is a “fatal disease that is spread through the bite or saliva of infected animals.” While raccoons, skunks, bats and foxes are the animals most commonly infected, rabies can also be transmitted to pets that come into contact with wild or stray animals. Pet owners–especially cat owners who keep their animals indoors, should not be lulled into a false sense of security, because bats and rodents that carry rabies can get inside, Violi said. According to the county health department, infected animals exhibit several different symp-

toms. The initial characteristics include a change in the animal’s behavior. “A rabid animal may become either abnormally aggressive or unusually tame,” the agency said in the announcement about the upcoming clinic. “It may lose its fear of people and become docile, or it may become particularly excited and irritable.” Infected animals will sometimes stagger, spit or froth at the mouth, according to county health officials. Because rabies can also be transmitted to people, the health department advises adults to “encourage children to avoid touching unfamiliar animals and to immediately tell an adult if they have been bitten or scratched by an animal.” All animal bites or contact with animals that may have rabies must be reported to the Westchester County Health Department by calling 914-813-5000. According to information on the agency’s website, 61 out of 615 animals, or 9.9 percent, of animals tested for rabies in the county in 2011 were confirmed rabid. In 2010, 39 out of 531 of animals tested were confirmed rabid and in 2009, 36 out of 606 of animals tested were confirmed rabid. “A pet that is up-to-date with its rabies vaccinations would only need to get a booster dose of vaccine within five days of the pet’s exposure to a known or suspect [sic] rabid animal,” the health department said. “Animals not up-to-date with rabies vaccinations would need to be quarantined or potentially euthanized following contact with a rabid or suspect-rabid animal.” Consequently, rabies vaccinations are not optional in New York State. In fact, state law mandates that dogs and cats receive their first rabies vaccine before they are four months old. A second rabies shot must be given within a year after the first one, and additional shots must be administered every one to three years thereafter, depending on the type of vaccine. The penalty for owners who do not have their pets vaccinated or keep the vaccinations up to date is a maximum fine of $2,000. Pet owners who want to take advantage of the free clinic at Stamen Animal Hospital must bring cats and ferrets in carriers and dogs must be on leashes. Aggressive dogs must be muzzled. For more information about the clinic, call 914632-1269, and for more information about rabies, visit westchestergov.com/health. A free rabies clinic will be given in New Rochelle this weekend

SUPER, continued from page 1

Carforo also said that the board was impressed by Moran’s ability to effect change during his time as principal of the middle school. “Under his leadership, test scores in the middle school have risen, reflecting the positive changes that he brought to the academic program,” the board president said. In addition to overseeing the progress of the construction project at the middle school, Moran said that he will be focused on the common core standards within the schools and raising academics to new standards of excellence through continued assessments. “I’m hopeful that I can move the agenda of the district forward,” Moran said. “We’re a growing district, and I think we also need to look at enrollment numbers.” The district is facing an estimated $666,000 shortfall in its 2013-14 budget and may close sections and increase class sizes at the elementary school to stay within the state-imposed 2 percent tax levy cap. The proposed budget stands at about $75.7 million with a projected tax levy increase of 3.7 percent. Moran said that he will help the district in crafting the upcoming 2013-14 budget in order to work within the tax levy cap. “The tax levy cap will be challenging, as will our ability to be accountable and fund our progress,” Moran said. Prior to becoming Eastchester Middle School’s principal in 2000, Moran was a middle school principal in Rockland County. Carforo said that, because of Moran’s experience in education and his lengthy tenure in

the district, he will thoroughly understand the culture and values of the community. He said that Moran has a high level of personal and professional integrity and has demonstrated commitment to the utmost professional and educational standards. During Terranova’s tenure, five school budgets and a $12 million bond were successfully passed during a time of backlash against bonding and scrutiny over transparency, or lack thereof, in the district’s administration. She also presided over a large-scale capital bond as the superintendent for the Carmel School District before she was hired in Eastchester. The search for her replacement was conducted by School Leadership LLC, an outside company. After hearing comments from the public, which largely centered on a new superintendent’s ability to work cohesively with the community, the company narrowed down the list of potential candidates and presented a few to the board over the last couple of weeks. Toni Guccione, a former Eastchester School Board member, said at a search meeting that a new superintendent must come up with a new financial plan. “The new person must be a real education leader that’s able to tow the line of excellence that we have in Eastchester,” Guccione said. The Tuckahoe School District is also looking for a new superintendent to take over for the coming school year. The district hired Southern Westchester Board of Cooperative Educational Services to conduct the search, but then chose to hire an outside firm after the company failed to cultivate any candidates who were a good fit for the village’s schools.

New editor-in-chief named After more than six years serving as associate editor of our sister paper, The Rye Sound Shore Review, we are pleased to annouce Christian Falcone as the new editor-in-chief of our parent company, HomeTown Media Group. Known for his investigative brand of journalism, Falcone, 34, has collected numerous awards for his work. Most notably, he took home honors for his coverage of the 2007 floods as well as Tropical Storm Irene. Most recently, he uncovered the alleged corruption at Rye Golf Club that led to an ongoing criminal investigation by the Westchester County district attorney’s office. Prior to joining HomeTown Media Group in February 2007, Falcone reported for the Long Island Press and The Queens Courier. He is a graduate of Hofstra University. Falcone can be reached at 914-653-1000 x19 or at chris@hometwn.com.

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Contact your local reporters Ashley Helms and Daniel Offner ashley@hometwn.com dan@hometwn.com

12 • THE TOWN REPORT • February 22, 2013

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April 5, 2013 • THE TOWN REPORT • 13

City discusses deer population control By ASHLEY HELMS STAFF REPORTER ashley@hometwn.com

RYE – City officials are considering a bowhunting proposal intended to control the growing local deer population this fall. Officials and some residents say that the deer population in the city’s wooded areas has grown past the point of being manageable, though others question the effectiveness of hunting with a bow and arrow. The proposal comes on the heels of other animal population control initiatives in neighboring municipalities. According to Councilwoman Catherine Parker, a Democrat, the proposal for a deer management team came after city officials received numerous emails in January from residents, particularly in the Greenhaven section of the city, who were concerned with the deer population. Three properties in Rye on Boston Post Road have been identified as areas where a deer management program would be effective: Rye Golf Club, the Jay Heritage Center and the Marshlands Conservancy. “The deer have presented themselves as a driving hazard and they are carriers of deer ticks which in turn carry Lyme Disease,” Councilwoman Parker said. City Manager Scott Pickup said that deer sometimes attract coyotes, which attacked three local children in the summer of 2010. He said that because of such a high deer population, they lack food and subsequently destroy the city’s natural habitat. Pickup said, “It’s supposed to be as humane as hunting can be considered.” The county Department of Parks, Recreation and Conservation has been managing a deer control program since 2008 following a symposium four years earlier that determined that deer were a problem in the county and hunting was the best way to control them. John Baker, director of the county program, said that the number of deer are five to 10 times higher than what local forests can support, and the animals are destroying healthy fauna growth that will regenerate only when the population is decreased. Similar deer management programs were implemented in communities such as Millbrook in Dutchess County and Pound Ridge after a spike in deer numbers in 2010. But not everyone felt that bow hunting was the best way to take care of the deer. Norman Cooper, a 40-year Rye resident, said that, though he has tried sound and odor devices to keep deer away from his property and hasn’t seen any improvement, he didn’t think hunting with a bow and arrow was practical in a suburban area like Rye. “To say that we’re using a handful of bow hunters, it sounds to me that we’re going back 200 years,” Cooper said. Rye resident Chris Molinari she has a problem with the proposal. Molinari said that, by conducting her own research, she found 24 studies on bow hunting from across the country that show that the practice is inhumane and wasteful. “What we are dealing with is wounding and crippling our deer population,” Molinari said. “As an avid user of our parks and marshlands, I feel like deer are part of that experience.”

The City of Rye is proposing a bow-hunting program to reduce the deer population in three wooded areas during the fall. Local officials say that the deer population is five to 10 times higher than what the city’s forests can support. Contributed photo

After her 8-year-old daughter was recently stricken with Lyme Disease, Alison Heaton, who lives near the Rye preserve in the Greenhaven section of the city, said that the consequences of doing nothing to control the deer are severe as well. She said that her children no longer want to play in their backyard because of the overabundance of deer droppings. “As a mother of four, I really hope we do something to curb the deer population,” she said. This deer discussion comes shortly after the Village of Mamaroneck signed a contract with the USDA to have a large number of the village’s geese slaughtered in order to cut down on droppings in local parks. Just like the deer proposal has in Rye, Mamaroneck’s goose initiative caught the ire of some residents, national media and wildlife defenders, who said that the process of killing geese is cruel and inhumane. The city will continue its discussion of deer control in May.

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14 • THE TOWN REPORT • April 5, 2013

Business Briefs Harrison salon celebrates big anniversary

Joli Salon & Spa is the landmark destination for Westchester residents who seek ultimate pampering and beauty care from top professionals in the industry. This month marks a special milestone for the salon as they have been operating under the ownership of master stylist Roberto for 20 years. “I am fortunate and privileged to be part of this community and serve the clientele in this area for the past 20 years. I couldn’t have done it without the support of my loyal staff and family. Through the years the salon has evolved and maintained a level of high elegance and integrity,” Roberto said. “We give back to the community whenever possible through events such as Hair Cuts for Hunger or Locks of Love.” Roberto and his staff pride themselves on customer care and are dedicated to creating a look of natural beauty with healthy, radiant styles and effortless elegance. From traditional hair and nail services to sunless tanning, laser hair removal, and facials, Joli offers an endless array of superior services and products to enhance and maintain your style. Spa treatments rejuvenate and refresh from the inside out, allowing natural beauty and radiance to come through. Whether you’re looking to refresh an existing style, or revamp your appearance altogether, Joli’s team of stylists and colorists will work closely with you to achieve the look you desire. In celebration of their anniversary, Joli will be offering a new customer discount of 20 percent off with mention of this article. Joli Salon & Spa is located on 343 Halstead Avenue, Harrison, N.Y. in the Harrison shopping center. Appointments can be made Tuesday through Saturday by calling 914835-0200. Kinetic Sports Club Offers aouthern Westchester’s first five-star, family friendly fitness facility Who says serious fitness can’t be a family affair? Certainly not Kinetic Sports Club, a new concept in fitness located at 872 Pelham Parkway in Pelham Manor, New York. From

the serious-minded adult fitness enthusiast to the family that just wants to go out and play, the state-of-the art fitness facility strives to be the first to provide five-star, family friendly fitness. “We saw a real need in the Pelham area for a place the entire family could come to support their health, wellness and fitness needs,” said Laura Butcaris, general manager of Kinetic Sports Club. “Ours will have all of the beautiful amenities of an upscale fitness club, yet unlike most upscale clubs, children and families are welcome and encouraged.” As part of its grand opening celebration, Kinetic Sports Club is offering a 30-day money back guarantee. The group fitness fanatic will find much to love about Kinetic Sports Club’s three group fitness studios and a weekly lineup of 60 to 70 classes including Pilates mat, yoga, studio cycling with myRide+, Les Mills Body Pump, Zumba and bootcamp. The Club’s 1,000 square foot functional training area offers clients the opportunities to train using TRX, Kettlebells, climbing ropes, a Kinesis workout and much more. Those who prefer to sweat individually can choose from a wide variety of equipment from LifeFitness, Precor, and Technogym. A team of Elite Personal Trainers, some of the most experienced and well-regarded in the area, are also on hand to keep clients’ goals on track, offering one-on-one sessions, partner sessions and small group training. For the kids, Kinetic Sports Club features over 10,000 square feet of athletic fields, including a soccer field and regulation size basketball court. Children will be able to participate in soccer classes, basketball, dodgeball and flag football as well as youth fitness classes such as kids yoga and Zumbatonic. One-on-one, sport-specific coaching and training, as well a youth athletic speed school, are also available for the serious athlete. Finally, kids of all ages will enjoy Kinetic Sports Club’s aquatic center, which features a 50-foot adult lap pool, a waterslide and a fun splash pad with sprinklers. Swim lessons will also be offered. Amenities will rival those offered by the most elite clubs in Manhattan. The Kinetic Sports Club Juice Bar offers a wide variety of shakes, juices and snacks. Luxurious locker rooms include steam and sauna, towel service, digital lockers, and the basics-shampoo, conditioner and body wash. For more information about Kinetic Sports Club, visit www.kineticsportsclub.com, or call 914-738-4000. Becker’s Hospital Review Names Dr. Linda Efferen to its prestigious list of 100 CMOs to know Becker’s Hospital Review has named New Rochelle native Linda Efferen, MD, chief medical officer at South Nassau Communities Hospital, to its prestigious list of the “100 Chief Medical Officers to Know” in the United States.

The list is based on individuals’ experience in overseeing medical and quality affairs at their respective organizations. The 100 CMOs are indispensable members of hospital and health system leadership teams and have demonstrated commitment to continuous improvement in safety and quality. Members of the list do not and cannot pay to be included on this list. Becker’s Hospital Review is a Chicagobased publication focusing on hospital and healthcare news and business advice. The primary audience for the publication is hospital executives and healthcare industry leaders. As South Nassau’s chief medical officer, Dr. Efferen is responsible for facilitating medical staff interactions with hospital administration and the governing board and for assuring the effective and efficient delivery of quality medical care consistent with the hospital’s mission. She also assists with strategic planning and execution, as well as the implementation of disease management programs, and monitors the effectiveness of management practices and productivity indicators. Dr. Efferen is board-certified in hospice and palliative medicine, critical care medicine, pulmonary medicine and internal medicine. She has been listed in the Consumers Research Council of America’s Guide to America’s Top Physicians, Castle Connolly’s Top Doctors: New York Metro Area (for seven years), Best Doctors’ Best Doctors in America and has received a host of awards/honors, including a spot in the 2010 class of Long Island Business News’ Long Island’s Top 50 Business Women. Clinical professor of medicine at Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine, she is a member of a number of professional organizations, including the New York Academy of Science, American College of Chest Physicians, American College of Critical Care BUDGET, continued from page 1

athletic director, said that the athletic department is going to carry over their $651,000 budget from 2012-2013 into the next school year, and add funding for new equipment.

Physicians, American College of Medical Quality, American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. For more information, visit www.southnassau.org. Summer musical theatre camp in Harrison

New York Performing Arts Center, located at 378 Halstead Ave, Harrison, NY will be holding a summer children’s musical theater camp from June 24 to July 26, 2013. Camp will be held Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to noon. Children ages 5 to 7 and 8 to 12 can choose from one, two, three, four or five weeks. Each week of camp will focus on scene work, choreography, and songs from a specific Broadway show. There is limited space available, so register as soon as possible. Call 914-358-4222 for more information, or visit the web site at www.nyperformingartscenter.com The next Business Briefs section will run on May 3. Please send any submission for our May issue to biz@hometwn.com by Friday, April 26. Each submission can include one picture and must be between 175-225 words. If you have any questions, email Deputy Editor Jason Chirevas at news@hometwn.com. “The football teams have been needing equipment for nine years, so we’re going to add a few thousand dollars to equip them,” Karol said. The Eastchester budget vote takes place on May 21.

The Eastchester School District is considering cutting elementary school sections in the 20132014 budget, which will result in an increase in class sizes. The high school, seen here, is not facing any significant changes in the proposed budget. File Photo

April 5, 2013 • THE TOWN REPORT • 15 PENSION, continued from page 1

Unfunded mandates handed down by the state combined with pension costs and a decline in property values have all contributed to stressful budget processes. Such constraints have also led to layoffs of very good people, Eastchester Councilman Glenn Bellitto, a Republican, said. “Each year we’ve been going through layoffs,” Bellitto said. “People live and work here and you get to know them personally.” Cuomo’s pension plan would give local governments and schools the ability to choose to spread out spikes in pension costs over the next 25 years. State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli and the state teachers retirement system have signed off on the optional mandate after DiNapoli made a couple revisions. The proposal is intended to soften the burden caused by rapid increases in state-mandated retirement costs. But Tuckahoe Village trustee Tom Giordano, a Republican, said that Cuomo’s plan, to his understanding, would be more beneficial to communities such as Yonkers that are in much more dire fiscal situations. Giordano compared the mandate to using a credit card because interest would accumulate on top of the cost of the pensions. “We’d rather be fiscally

responsible and pay for it in real time than to keep kicking the can down the line to future generations,” Giordano said. State Sen. George Latimer, a Democrat, echoed Giordano’s opinion and said that municipalities who take advantage of the mandate are the ones that probably have large fire departments, police forces and sanitation crews. The senator said that Yonkers is currently lobbying for the mandate to pass. Pension percentages change every year, Latimer said, and smoothing out the costs involves making a standard payment percentage every year. This could create years that are much more financially unstable than others. “It’s a risk factor because you’re making an estimate of what your future finances will be,” Latimer said. “It might be that down the line, you won’t have that.” Tuckahoe Trustee Giordano said that the village would like to raise awareness and send a message to Albany that they should develop a different plan to help mitigate the rising pension costs and curb government when appropriate. “Pension calculations were based on inaccurate numbers,” Giordano said. “But the idea may be valuable to some municipalities whose survival requires payments to be spread out over time.” Councilman Bellitto said that he doesn’t

like the idea of extended payments and thinks the town should pay as they go along. It’s not good economics, he said, to pay for something over a long period of time that you owe right now. “The focus should be on trying to find ways to keep them down year by year as they come up as opposed to mortgaging them to the future,” Bellitto said.

Pension costs are mainly fixed, and with higher salaries come higher costs, Bellitto said. Tight financial controls on the town’s decisions are important, and one of the most tangible things the councilman said the town could do to keep costs down is to say that they’re not going to pass the bills down to their children and grandchildren.

SPORTS

Why it’s finally fun to root for the Yankees (and Mets) Every spring, Major League Baseball’s Opening Day brings with it the hope–however fleeting–that this could be “the year” for your team, even if “your team” happens to be the Chicago Cubs. But in the weeks leading up to the 2013 season, I was sensing something different about this year. I know that I, a devout Red Sox fan, didn’t have the highest hopes for a good season, given the disastrous nature of the 2012 campaign. But it wasn’t just me. Mets fans, still smarting over the losses of R.A. Dickey and Johan Santana, didn’t seem excited for the year–which is no surprise considering that the team hasn’t fared well recently. But, amazingly, for the first time in my adult life, I saw Yankees fans similarly consumed by a newfound doom-and-gloom outlook on the season. WFAN listeners who railed for years that the Yankees relied too heavily on homerun hitters were now calling the talk shows demanding to know where the pop was in the 2013 lineup. Yanks fans fretted about the health of the infield while bemoaning the perceived lack of hustle from Robinson Cano, who is inarguably the best position player on the team and was the only superstar in the Yankees opening day lineup. For the first time in 20 years, it seemed like nobody was giving the Mets or Yankees a chance. But, as an outsider, I have to say, there’s a lot to look forward to for both fanbases this year. For the Mets, it’s pretty apparent that this team isn’t built to win a championship right now. They’re in a division with the Nationals, who just happen to be the best team in baseball. The Mets are young, but, unfortunately, they have an outfield filled with retreads and glorified AAA players (I know that Collin Cowgill has gotten off to a good start, but still). And that’s where the fun starts. In my mind, this team has the potential to be like the

Metropolitans of 1983. With a young nucleus with potential stars on the hill, like Zach Wheeler and Matt Harvey, and in the field (the imminent arrival of catcher Travis D’Arnaud is of particular interest). The Mets might not win a whole bunch of games this year, the–‘83 Mets went 68-94–but they could be fun to watch; the first step towards building a contender. This is the ground floor, Met fans, and, if everything works out, watching this team over the next three years could be something special. As for the Yankees, I think that their current roster, filled with aging veterans looking to prove they still belong in the league, likeVernon Wells and Kevin Youkilis as well as exciting, though frustrating, younger players like Eduardo Nunez filling in for legends, makes for some enticing drama, something the Bronx Bombers–with their exorbitant payrolls of the last 15 years–have sorely lacked. This opening day roster gives a fanbase that still longs for blue-collar players like Scott Brosius a chance, for the first time in years, to be an underdog again. Can this team, currently looking like an outsider in the playoff picture, somehow overcome all these obstacles and injuries to make a run in the last year of Mariano Rivera’s final season? That might have even me rooting for the Yanks come playoff time. So, enough with the teeth-gnashing, and enough with the whining. Baseball season is here, and it’s about to get interesting.

SPORTS

16 • THE TOWN REPORT • April 5, 2013

Eagles eager for breakout season By MIKE SMITH ASSOCIATE SPORTS EDITOR sports@hometwn.com

Taking over a young Eagles’ squad, firstyear Eastchester lacrosse coach Steve Lennon knows that his team has their work cut out for them this season. But with a talented crop of underclassmen and a number of high energy players, Lennon believes that the Eagles have a chance to make some people pay attention this year. The Eagles return eight players in 2013– just four of them were starters last season–but Lennon said that the squad has been committed to working out in the offseason, something that has been evident this spring. “These kids usually play for some sort of club team in the summer, plus they’ve been in the gym; we’ve been doing agility drills,” said the head coach. “The offseason is the most important time for us, and it pays off, especially early in the season, when everyone is ready to go.” The Eagles will rely heavily on the play of two juniors, Rob Lalli and Paul McGovern, who will wear many hats for the team this year. Primarily used as attackers in the past, Lalli and McGovern will also be playing some midfield when the situation dictates, according to the head coach. “They’re the x-factor for us,” Lennon said. “They can do so much out there. So, if we’re ahead, and we need more defense, we can stick them at midfield. But, if we need a goal, we’ll put them at the attack.” Sophomore goalie Wayne Hoffman has been solid in net during the preseason, and

Lennon expects that to continue as well, but one of the things that Lennon has been most impressed with thus far is the tenacity and fierceness shown by his young team. “We’re a high energy team; very feisty and scrappy,” Lennon said. “I think we like to play physical, that’s something we’ve been preaching and that comes down to the leadership we have from some of our older guys like [senior] Matt Powers.” Despite their youth, Lennon feels that the team is poised for a breakout year, similar to the one experienced by last year’s Class A champions from Mamaroneck. The success enjoyed by that Tiger team, said Lennon, is further proof that southern Westchester teams are starting to chip away at the northern dominance that been the status quo for many years in Section I. “Growing up in Lakeland, we always took it as a given that we were going to contend for championships,” he said. “But you look at some of these southern teams now and we want to instill that mindset here too. “The kids are definitely buying in,” Lennon said. “They know that we can compete right now.” Matt Power carries the ball upfield against Mamaroneck in 2012. Power will be a senior leader on this year’s young Eagles squad. Photo/Mike Smith

2013 EASTCHESTER EAGLES BOYS LACROSSE SCHEDULE

First-year Eagles coach Steve Lennon. Contributed photo

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@ PELHAM HS DOBBS FERRY HS @ MAMARONECK HS HASTINGS HS @ SCARSDALE HS ARDSLEY HS @ YONKERS HS NEW ROCHELLE HS EDGEMONT HS @ SLEEPY HOLLOW HS @ IRVINGTON HS @ NEW ROCHELLE HS SLEEPY HOLLOW HS BLIND BROOK HS IRVINGTON HS CLARKSTOWN SOUTH HS


Town Report 4-5-13