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Vol. 13/Number 23

June 7, 2013

Harrison mainstay Trinity closes By DANIEL OFFNER STAFF REPORTER

Park Trek

A group hikes the heavily-wooded trails around the Silver Lake Preserve on June 2, catching a glimpse of the historical relevance of an area known as “the Hills.” For story, see page 8. Photo/Daniel Offner

HHS increases police presence after threatening texts Last Thursday, Harrison Police were called to the high school as extra security after one student’s father sent threatening text messages to a school counselor. Harrison Police Chief Anthony Marraccini explained the increased police presence was a precaution following reports of a domestic dispute between a father and son the night prior. “[The father] had gotten into a heated conversation,” said Marraccini. According to Marraccini, the son accidentally left his cellphone at his father’s house, who then replied to a

series of texts sent from the school counselor. “When the father found out it was the school counselor…that ended,” Marraccini said. “We increased security [at the school] once we were able to determine what was happening.” Despite the initial claim from school officials, citing that the cause for increased police presence had been fabricated, Harrison Central School District Superintendent Louis Wool said he would not discuss any disciplinary matters in the press. “We received information of a threatening nature,” Wool said.

According to Wool, district administrators received notice that some of the information had been directed at a member of the high school staff. He added that police intervened and talked to both the student and the father and resolved the issue. School officials did not feel the need to put the school on lock down, but did increase police presence as a precaution. Calls to Harrison High School Principal James Ruck and Assistant Principal Lawrence Mastrota were not returned as of press time. -Reporting by Daniel Offner

Last month, the Trinity Bar & Grill, a prominent Harrison eatery in the heart of the central downtown business distric, shuttered its doors after roughly 12 years on Purdy Street. Annette Smith, a Bronx resident working in Harrison, said she passes the restaurant every day on her way to work. “There was no notice,” said Smith, 42. “A lot of people seemed to be disappointed it closed.” Previously known as Risoli’s Restaurant, the property at 7-9 Purdy St. was sold to the current owners, Mt. Pleasant Avenue Associates, LLC., in January 1999 for $700,000 according to town assessment records. And, by the early 2000s, Trinity Bar & Grill was open for business. After the change in ownership, the newly redubbed Trinity Bar & Grill soon became a hot spot amongst local celebrities and political figures, including U.S. Congresswoman Nita Lowey and former state Sen. Suzi Oppenheimer, both of whom held election night rallies at Trinity in previous years. “They’re finito… they’ve closed up,” said Peter DiCostanzo, owner of the Land and Sea Restaurant on nearby Halstead Avenue. “The landlord took over.” Although there is much speculation circulating as to why the restaurant closed after more than a decade—including issues with parking,

high cost of rent and even the harsh realities of the economy—property manager Ann Marie McGinn, with Mt. Pleasant Avenue Assoc., said the reason Trinity closed was the restaurant’s owner fell ill and could no longer operate the business. But, no matter the reason, one thing is certain: Trinity left behind some very fond memories amongst Harrison patrons. “I ate there quite frequently,” said Andrew Strauss, an employee with P&H Painting, a company located one floor above the former restaurant. “It was a great family run business… and they made one of the best hamburgers around.” Harrison Mayor Ron Belmont said he remembers, when he first announced his run for public office, Trinity was the location he chose for his first political fundraiser event. Belmont added that, while a potential owner plans to open up a restaurant at the location, it remains uncertain if the name will stay the same. Chamber of Commerce President Anthony D’Arpino said he hasn’t heard whether or not anyone specific had purchased the restaurant as of yet, but that they plan to reopen under new management in the fall. “It’s not going to stay empty,” said D’Arpino, “which is always good.” According to a sign posted in the lobby of the restaurant, new management plans to reopen with a “new look” and a “new menu.” In addition, the new ownership plans to seek a change in the ambience. Renovations are under way.

The Trinity Bar & Grill—now under new ownership—is undergoing renovations after more than 12 years in the Town of Harrison. Photo/Daniel Offner

2 • The HARRISON REPORT • June 7, 2013

June 7, 2013 • The HARRISON REPORT • 3

Developer to challenge for Myers’ seat By LIZ BUTTON STAFF REPORTER

John Verni, a real estate developer and land use attorney from New Rochelle, told The Harrison Report after growing speculation that he will, in fact, run on the Republican line to fill Democratic incumbent Judy Myers' seat on the Westchester County Board of Legislators. In the general election, Verni will challenge either Rye City Councilwoman Catherine Parker, who has been endorsed by Myers or former Mamaroneck Trustee Tom Murphy. Both Parker and Murphy, who have already announced their candidacies, are Democrats. Verni was expected to receive the county GOP nomination on Thursday, after press time. The county’s Republican convention, which was held on May 30, nominated legislative candidates for all 17 legislative districts except for District 4 and Myers’ District 7. Myers’ legislative district includes Rye, Mamaroneck, Larchmont and portions of New Rochelle and Harrison. Her county seat, in which legislators serve two-year terms, has been held by Democrats since 1992 and is considered now to be a Democratic stronghold. With deep roots in the Sound Shore area, Verni said he will be effective in addressing both district and county issues, like controlling high taxes and refurbishing Playland in a sustainable way that preserves its historic elements. “I love the Sound Shore and I want to see it stay the family-friendly place that it is. I think there are a lot of important issues on the Sound Shore and the county level,” Verni said. Verni is a principal of Verco Properties, a real estate development company he owns with his brother Chris, a former Larchmont trustee. He said he plans to move to Mamaroneck in the fall with his wife, Karina Gomez Verni and their four children. Over the last two years, Verni’s signature project has been the restoration of the historic Mamaroneck Train Station, originally built in 1888, to turn the dilapidated space into a new One Station Plaza. Re-opened in April 2012, the building's first floor is home to the retro Club Car RestaurantLounge, while the second floor houses offices, including one belonging to the Verni brothers. Verni officially announced his intention to run at a June 5 press conference held at his restaurant. The brothers bought the building from the MTA, putting it back on the city’s tax rolls and creating over 50 jobs for locals, according to Verni. “[We] invested our own private dollars to renovate the building, and turned it into an asset for the community,” he said. The brothers and partners also added several green building features to the project, such as reclaimed lumber, radiant heat flooring, and green roofing on the train tunnels, earning them a Westchester Municipal Planning

New Rochelle’s John Verni will be the Republican challenger in the race for Judy Myers’ District 7 seat on the county Board of Legislators. Photo/Bobby Begun

Federation award for outstanding adaptive reuse. Verni is also an attorney with the White Plains law firm of Kent Hazzard specializing in land use and real estate. Prior to his work at Kent Hazzard, Verni was a Westchester County prosecutor, serving six years as an assistant district attorney. He is a graduate of Iona Prep in New Rochelle, Georgetown University with a major in economics and a law degree from Fordham University. The developer and lawyer has also served as a past president of Habitat of Humanity of Westchester, which he said helps him understand affordable housing. As a land use attorney, Verni said he has the skills and experience necessary to help the county navigate some of the difficult issues it faces in complying with the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s 2009 affordable housing settlement, which requires 31 communities in Westchester County to construct 750 affordable residences within a seven-year period. “I do not want to see Washington dictating to our local boards: our local land use, planning, zoning boards, boards of architectural review, our harbor and coastal boards. I appeared in front of them all the time for [the Mamaroneck] project and I don’t want to see these boards’ powers usurped,” he said. Verni said each project should be developed in clear conjunction with the comprehensive plans adopted by each community. Legislator Myers, who was elected to the board in 2005 and remained there for four terms, announced in May she would not seek a fifth term.

4 • The HARRISON REPORT • June 7, 2013

Community Briefs Harrison Library children’s events Open Play at the library June 7 at 10 a.m. Come meet other parents, grandparents, caregivers, and children. Make new friends, play, read, and have fun. Blocks and preschool LEGOs will be available for the little ones while parents chat. Board games at the library June 10 at 4 p.m. Bring a friend or 2 and play one of the library’s many board games in the Children’s Room. Circle Time for Tots with Miss Claudia June 12 at 10 a.m. and again at 11 a.m. Songs, dancing, stories and more for ages 0 to 3, siblings welcome. Wiggle and Giggle with Dawny Dew June 13 at 10:30 a.m. and again at 11 a.m. Interactive musical program for children ages 6 months to 6 years old. Sponsored by the Friends of the Library. Open Play at the Library June 14 at 10 a.m. Come meet other parents, grandparents, caregivers, and children. Make new friends, play, read, and have fun. Blocks and preschool LEGOs will be available for the little ones while parents chat. Storyland with Miss Bonnie June 17 at 10:30 a.m. Miss Bonnie will read stories to children ages 0 to 3, siblings welcome. Harrison School Of Music student recital The Harrison School Of Music will hold an end of school year recital on Sunday, June 9, at All Saints Church in Harrison. More than 90 students will perform pieces on a variety of instruments. Recitals will be held at 1:30, 2:30, 3:30 and 4:30pm. As always, recitals are free and open to the public. For more information, please visit www.HarrisonMusicSchool. com Harrison Public Library events Memoir writing seminar

The Harrison Public Library will be hosting a program to assist older residents of the Harrison community in the writing and sharing of their personal memoirs. The program will consist of a series of writers’ workshops, titled “The Power of Memoir: Bringing Stories From Your Life to the World,” and will be held at the Harrison Public Library’s Community Room every Thursday from June 6 until July 20, 2013 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. This workshop is free of charge. Pre-registration is required, please call 914-835-0324. Each workshop will be led by professional writer and educator Bill Wertheim and consist of meditative exercises, writing lessons, small groups, and the presentation of each participant’s work to his/her classmates for feedback. As possible sources of inspiration for participants, music and imagery from the library’s various collections may also be incorporated into the workshops. In addition, a public reading will be held at the end of the series, during which participants will present their completed works to the community. Art exhibit Harrison Council for the Arts presents “Rites of Passage,” collages and small 3D wall sculptures by Debra Friedkin at the Harrison Public Library, 2 Bruce Avenue, June 3 to 28 with an opening reception on June 8 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Debra works in various media, including collage, painting, and sculpture. The characters and settings are iconic and range from prehistoric to futuristic–strange and fabulous creatures and animals, fossilized dinosaurs, mythical unicorns, abstract modern figures, aliens and humans or just body parts, as well as surrealistic creations. The exhibit may be viewed Mondays and Wednesdays 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Meditation and health June 8 at 10 a.m. Come and explore Bodhi Meditation with Zen Master Julie and Dr. Francina Liu. Participants will feel renewed and rejuvenated. Everybody is welcome. In Our Own Voice: Living with Mental Illness June 10 at 7 p.m. This is a unique program that offers hope

that recovery is possible. Hear from people who have struggled with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, major depression, and other severe mental illnesses, and are now role models of hope and recovery. Computer orientation June 13 at 10:30 am One-hour class for the computerized library catalog and Internet. If you are feeling left behind in this technology-driven world, this class is for you. All about credit June 17 at 7 p.m. Sarah Camacho from Wells Fargo Bank will talk about the importance of a good credit rating in our financial lives. Open to all ages. Learn how to keep your leg veins healthy at the June mall walk Easy to follow techniques and strategies that can dramatically improve your leg vein health will be discussed on Friday, June 7, at The Westchester in White Plains as part of the Mall Walk program. Registered nurse Joann Kudrewicz of the Center for Vein Restoration, will discuss necessary steps to keep leg veins healthy as we age as well as signs, symptoms and treatment options for unhealthy leg veins, including a “live” leg ultrasound demonstration. The program will begin at 9 a.m. at the food court on Level Four. Admission and parking are free for members of the mall walk program. Sponsored by Westchester County Parks, this program offers year-round indoor health walking at The Westchester on Tuesdays and Fridays, from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. To join, sign up at the horse fountain plaza near Crate & Barrel on Retail Level Two, on Tuesday and Friday mornings during the program. Go to or call 914-231-4645. Summer reading and writing program For parents concerned their children will lose academic ground over the summer, The Center for Literacy Enrichment-Pace University has a solution–The Summer Reading & Writing Program. From pre-schoolers to middle schoolers, the program provides children with an opportunity to not only maintain their reading, writing and comprehensive skills, but also to make gains academically in fun and informative ways. The program, which runs from July 1 to 31, offers full-day and half-day sessions. Certified teachers provide small-group

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instruction complemented by theme-based indoor and outdoor activities, including science experiments, crafts and games in a noncompetitive setting. The Summer Reading & Writing Program is held on the campus of Pace University Law School, 78 North Broadway, White Plains. Early bird registration, prior to June 14, qualifies for a 5 percent discount on tuition. For more information, or to register your child, contact Center Director Sister St. John Delany, PhD at 914-422-4135. Soundview Sports Summer Mini Day Camp Soundview Sports Summer Day Camp has developed a unique movement-based program for 3 and a half to 5-year-old boys and girls. Age appropriate sports and activities, including swim instruction, will be offered. Created by Soundview Sports educators, together with experienced pre-school and elementary school physical education and health professionals, the Soundview Sports Summer Mini Day Camp focuses on fine-motor as well as gross-motor skills. For the past 18 years, Soundview Sports has offered a Summer Sports Skills Building Day Camp at Manhattanville College for boys and girls ages 5 to 14. The Soundview Sports Summer Mini Day Camp will run from 9:00 a.m. to 1:15 p.m .at Manhattanville College throughout the summer. Lunch is included. Camp starts on Monday, June 24 and ends on Friday, August 9, 2013. Please call Soundview Sports at 914-3235400 and/or visit for further information on all of our programs. Eugene J. Feeley Harrison High School student aid fund appeal For over 65 years, “The Feeley Fund” has enabled needy and worthy Harrison High School graduates to attend accredited colleges and/or schools. Since 1947, more than 1,000 have received loans or grants to pursue their post-high school education and training. The Feeley Fund needs you to share our confidence in the future of our Harrison youth. Please respond to our request by sending your contribution to The Feeley Fund, 255 Union Avenue, Harrison, NY 10528. For more info call Lola Geiger, Executive Director at 914/939-7066. Deadline for our Community Briefs section is every Friday at 12 p.m. Though space is not guaranteed, we will do our best to accommodate your listing. Please send all items to

Daniel offner

June 7, 2013 • The HARRISON REPORT • 5

Montefiore acquires Sound Shore Medical Center By ALEXANDRA BOGDANOVIC STAFF REPORTER

Sound Shore Medical Center in New Rochelle has been sold as part of an agreement with Montefiore Medical Systems to purchase the Sound Shore Health System which also includes Mount Vernon Hospital. The recently announced sale should not have any impact on day-to-day operations, one hospital official said. “This is the right next step to deliver on our commitment to provide high quality, accessible and affordable healthcare,” John Spicer, president and CEO of Sound Shore Health System said. “Our mission is strong and our dedication to patient care is unchanged. We are fortunate to have Montefiore as a partner because of their clinical excellence, commitment to the community and ability to provide the best care at Sound Shore and Mount Vernon hospitals over the long run.” Spicer could not be reached for additional comment about what precipitated the deal early this week. However, published reports indicate the troubled healthcare provider blamed its struggles on “cuts in government spending.” Both Sound Shore Medical Center and Mount Vernon Hospital have trimmed staff and faced financial troubles in recent years. Financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed to date. However, Sound Shore

Health Systems reportedly claimed roughly $159.6 million in assets and roughly $200 million in debts when it voluntarily filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy petitions in federal bankruptcy court in White Plains last week. At the same time, Montefiore filed a petition in federal bankruptcy court to buy the assets of the Sound Shore Health System, whose hospitals combined have about 450 beds. Reached shortly thereafter, the agreement allows Montefiore Health System to acquire Sound Shore Health System’s assets and some of its liabilities. Although it is allowed under the federal bankruptcy code, the deal is subject to regulatory and bankruptcy court approval and should be completed by year’s end. Representatives from Sound Shore Health Systems did not respond to a request for additional information about the number of doctors, nurses, administrative and other staff members it now employs. In 1997, an affiliation between Sound Shore Medical Center, Mount Vernon Hospital, the Dorothea Hopfer School of Nursing and Schaffer Extended Care Center resulted in the creation of “one of the largest private healthcare systems between New York City.” Since then, the Sound Shore Health System has received numerous national and stated accreditations. Dr. Steven M. Safyer, president and CEO of Montefiore Medical Center, located in

Sound Shore Health Systems CEO John Spicer says the sale of the Sound Shore Medical Center in New Rochelle and Mount Vernon Hospital to the Montefiore Medical System should not affect day-to-day operations. File photo

the Bronx, said in a statement issued last week that healthcare should be “easy to access, local and tailored to the needs of the communities.” “New Rochelle and Mount Vernon deserve exceptional care close to home,” he said. “Montefiore looks forward to building on its existing clinical presence in lower Westchester and working with the dedicated doctors, nurses and staff of Sound Shore and Mount Vernon hospitals and the Schaffer

Extended Care Center, who have served their patients well over many years.” Montefiore Health Systems includes four hospitals handling 90,000 admissions each year. Through its current partnership with the University Hospital for Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Montefiore also provides “state-of-the-art and specialty care” at 130 locations throughout the region. In addition to that, it now operates nine health clinics in Westchester.

6 • The HARRISON REPORT • June 7, 2013

Bridge out ahead, and leave that kid alone harrison Happenings Mayor Ron Belmont

I would like to take this time to thank the Harrison Youth Council for facilitating the valuable, and much needed, workshop on cyberbullying. It is regrettable that, in today’s technological world, there is a need for this type of seminar, but we are very fortunate that this organization provides information and resources aimed at curtailing the effects of this very alarming trend. Thank you to the council and the Anti-Defamation League for a very helpful and thought-provoking presentation. On Monday, June 10, Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino will be in Harrison Town Hall at 7 p.m. to answer questions and update our community on his administration’s progress. Astorino will cover topics concerning Westchester County taxes, services and economic growth and will also discuss the 2009 housing settlement and the federal government’s efforts to dismantle local zoning. This meeting is part of Astorino’s ongoing effort to keep county municipalities informed of the developments occurring at the executive level. Recently, I had the pleasure of attending the 6th Annual Blue Mass at St. Anthony of Padua Church in West Harrison. Each year, this mass honors all members of the Harrison Police Department, fire departments, ambulance corps and our civic officials. This event is a special commemoration to all who selflessly serve our community, and it was a privilege to be part of such a meaningful tribute. Please be advised, effective June 5, 2013, until Aug. 16, 2013, the New York State Department of Transportation will be resurfacing the deck of the I-287 Ridge Street Bridge in Rye Brook. The bridge will be closed to vehicular traffic during this time. The detour plan is as follows: Traffic on the north side of the bridge—Ridge Street—will be detoured to Westchester Avenue west, continuing into Harrison to state road 120A, which is Westchester Avenue east, to E. Purchase

Street, and will continue into the City of Rye. Traffic on the south side of the bridge‑Ridge Street‑will be detoured to Purchase Street, Rye, continuing into Harrison to Westchester Avenue east, and will continue into Rye Brook. Please proceed with caution. Each year, The Friends of Harrison Football run a campaign encouraging parents, merchants and interested parties to support our high school students by purchasing a banner. The purchaser’s name or logo will be featured on the banner and will be mounted on a municipal lamp pole. Banners will remain on the lampposts until November. If you’re interested in purchasing a banner for this year’s campaign, please call Lola Alvora at 914-8433377. The deadline for banner applications is June 15, 2013. The next “Lunch with the Mayor” is on Friday, June 7, and I will be at Fuji Sushi located at 216 Harrison Ave. in downtown Harrison. On Friday, June 14, I will be at Silver Lake Pizza located at 79 Lake St. in West Harrison. I will be at these locations from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. and look forward to meeting with residents and talking about issues facing our community.

County Executive Rob Astorino will be in Harrison on June 10 for one of his “Ask Astorino” town hall-style sessions. Contributed photo

Harrison parents briefed on cyberbullying By DANIEL OFFNER STAFF REPORTER

Staying current in the hustle and bustle of the digital age, where people can tweet, text, and photograph any occurrence—from the mundane to the controversial—has made it increasingly difficult for parents to keep track of their children’s online behavior. In an effort to inform parents in the Harrison Central School District, some of whom may or may not be aware of the accessibility of private information online, members of the Harrison Youth Council provided a two-hour seminar on cyberbullying. The council’s main focus is to provide free mental health and substance abuse counseling for kids, teens and families in Harrison. “[The program] is about tolerance and understanding children and the situations of bullying,” said Scott Altabet, executive director of the youth council. “Bullying can also affect the risk of substance, alcohol and gambling abuse.” Unlike the past, the current demeanor of the grade school bully goes far beyond gossip written on the bathroom walls or physical face-to-face confrontations. Now, through the power of the internet, students have the means to verbally harass and taunt their classmates. According to Altabet, it used to be primarily disaffected youths who bullied their peers and posed a risk of violent behavior. But, due to the limitless capabilities of the web, the aggressors no longer need to see the person they pick on directly. Furthermore, by providing a veil for the bully, he or she is leaving out any feelings of empathy for their victim. At the Harrison Public Library seminar, on May 29, Anti-Defamation League’s Assistant Project Director Jason Sirois addressed the topic of bullying in the digital era. Over the past 100 years, the ADL has fought for fair treatment and civil rights for all. “So much of bullying is based on bias,” Sirois said. “What [the ADL] looks to address is how do you make it cool so bystanders become allies.” Because the largest demographic of students are those who witness harassment and stand idly by, the ADL has sought to change social norms, so people can address the situation without being labeled a “snitch.” Sirois also informed participants of a new provision to the already existing state law—known as the Dignity for All Students Act—and what it means for parents, teachers and students. The new provision, which goes into effect this July, serves as a reporting mechanism that requires administrators to investigate any reports of cyberbullying in the district. However, with all the hype surrounding bullying, some parents addressed the need to draw the line and teach kids how to be indifferent to individual incidents. “Kids need to know the difference between teasing and bullying,” said Shelly Simon, a social worker with the youth council. “Students need to learn how to let certain things roll off of their shoulders.”

Anti-Defamation League Assistant Project Director Jason Sirois discusses the dangers of cyberspace with parents in the Harrison school district. Photo/Daniel Offner

To address this, Sirois pointed out that the difference between teasing and bullying occurs when it is a reoccurring event. For Dana McCarthy, the student assistance counselor at Harrison High School, the reoccurrence of bullying is something she had dealt with in the past. According to McCarthy, she responded to the complaints of a teenage student who had just transferred into the district, who received several texts from an aggressor attending her previous school district. McCarthy said she immediately called the student’s former school district and they responded to the situation. “Now, more so then ever, it is easier to get a student to go to the assistant principal,” McCarthy said, citing the school district’s zero tolerance stance on bullying. Due to factors such as anonymity, freedom of speech, and online policing and monitoring of websites, it has been an increasingly difficult challenge for the bully’s targets to avoid their 24/7 influence of the internet. “I think it is important parents [approach their children about the internet] when they’re younger,” McCarthy said. “It is a lot easier than when they are in 11th grade.” According to the ADL, it is important for the victims of cyberbullying attacks not to reply, to save the evidence, report the offense and protect themselves by getting assistance from school or law enforcement officials. Sirois concluded by advising parents to keep the lines of communication open with their children and even provided a sample contract for family members to review with their children before agreeing to grant them access to the web.

June 7, 2013 • The HARRISON REPORT • 7

Rye teachers accused in testing scandal By ASHLEY HELMS STAFF REPORTER

Three teachers from two elementary schools have been suspended due to alleged irregularities during district-wide standardized tests for English language arts and mathematics, according to school district officials. The teachers have been suspended with pay, according to an attorney representing them. The educators are said to have given preferential treatment to a small group of students in third and fourth grade. The issue was reported to the Westchester County District Attorney’s office last week and is currently being reviewed. Two teachers work at Osborn School and one is employed at Milton School. One of the teachers in question is Carin Mehler, the wife of Jason Mehler, who is seeking political endorsement to run for a seat on the Rye City Council in November. There is speculation that accusations of her misconduct may have been politically charged. According to Schools Superintendent Dr. Frank Alvarez, a parent alerted the district to the possibility of testing irregularities on May 6. Once the alleged preferential treatment was brought to the district’s attention, officials reported it to the State Department of Education and the county District Attorney’s office. “It is alleged that the teachers provided improper coaching to a small number of students during the administration of the assessments in late April,” Alvarez said in a statement to parents. The superintendent has already met with parents of the classes involved to discusss the allegations. Lucian Chalfen, spokesman for the district attorney’s office, said the D.A. will review the case to determine if the matter will be formally investigated. “We received correspondence from the school law firm and are in the process of reviewing the letter,” Chalfen said. The Rye public school system isn’t the only school district in Westchester that has been faced with a recent testing scandal. In Peekskill, three high school guidance counselors and a middle school counselor were reassigned in January because they were suspected of changing 34 high school transcripts of students who were at risk of not meeting district requirements. According to Chalfen, at least one teacher has been arrested and charged in that case. In April, the Nassau County District Attorney’s office in Long Island opened an investigation into whether 18 elementary school teachers had assisted students during last year’s tests. That investigation remains ongoing, while this year’s tests were administered under heightened scrutiny following the allegations. Though Mr. Mehler would not comment on the matter, Arthur Schwartz, an attorney representing the teachers involved, said that they did nothing wrong and that the allegations seem to be more politically driven rather than educationally. Schwartz said that the district attorney has reviewed the case and does not

Two teachers from Osborn School and one from Milton School have been suspended with pay following allegations of standardized testing irregularities. According to Superintendent Dr. Frank Alvarez, the district was alerted to the issue by a parent. Photo/Corey Baumer

have interest in the matter. “The allegations are spurious, and have been handled wholly inappropriately by the school district,” Schwartz said. Despite Schwartz’s claim of a lack of interest from the district attorney, Chalfen said that the district attorney’s office is still looking into the issue and no decision has been made yet as to whether or not they will formally investigate the case. In the meantime, parents outside of Osborn School last week expressed their disappointment over the incident. Andrea Weld said that the general public is shocked and disappointed with the teachers. Her child was not in class with any of the accused teachers, but one teaches the same grade her child is in. “I’m very disappointed; I think the expectations put on teachers nowadays leads to this type of behavior,” Weld said. “The administration is dealing with it, so we don’t really know what’s going on.” One parent, who asked to not be identified, said that her son was taught by one of the teachers, but she doesn’t know exactly what the teacher is accused of. The parent said that there is a petition being circled to get the teachers back into the classroom because students are unhappy about being taught by substitutes. “Parents just want to know the truth,” the parent said. “They want the teachers back by the end of the year, but I don’t think that is possible.” Gabe Gurgitano, a parent, said he was extremely shocked to hear about the alleged irregularities. “We hold everyone to such high standards here at Osborn that I never would have expected something like this to occur,” he said. -With reporting by ILANA BRUCKMAN

8 • The HARRISON REPORT • June 7, 2013

Former Harrison historian narrates hike through “the Hills” By DANIEL OFFNER STAFF REPORTER

Nestled between North White Plains and West Harrison, the 236-acre Silver Lake preserve offers much more than a seasonal hike for those daring to tread the steep inclines or enjoy nature’s bounty. Last weekend, Dr. Edythe Ann Quinn, a former Harrison historian and professor of history at Hartwick College in Oneonta, N.Y., led 15 travelers on a journey through history of “the Hills,” which, to this day, remains the largest African-American community in Westchester County history. “When you are in the hills,” Quinn said, “you have security… identity.” According to Quinn, around the turn of the 17th century a population of black citizens owned the land, creating a stable community based on family structure, property, church and school. By 1860, “the Hills” community included as many as 191 inhabitants, many of whom were literate property owners with the ability to vote. “There was still inequality when it came to employment,” Quinn said. “[At the time], many African-Americans were locked out of trades.” In 1863, after the release of the “Emancipation Proclamation”—which Quinn called a “sacred commission”—36 black men from “the Hills” left their kin and community

The heritage trail is one of many that takes travelers several miles up “the Hills” to Buckout Road and the Stony Hill Cemetery, where several African-American soldiers were buried. The trail spans more than three miles around the lake and borders White Plains, North Castle and West Harrison. Photos/Daniel Offner

to serve in the infantry. Of the 36 soldiers, 16 served with the 29th Connecticut Infantry Volunteers, 14 with the 14th Rhode Island Heavy Artillery, five with the 20th United States Colored Infantry and one with the Navy. Although only one soldier from Harrison— white or black—was killed during the Civil War, six died of illness, three were wounded and one was injured. Some of those lost during the war were later buried at the Stony Hill Cemetery off Buckout Road. According to Quinn, after returning from war, only a handful of black families remained in Westchester after seeing the world outside of “the Hills.” Sharon Mosley, a White Plains resident, said she had often heard of the history and the people who lived in “the Hills” community— which, at that time, spanned from the edge of West Harrison up through White Plains and North Castle—but had never seen it firsthand. “It’s really interesting that people used to live there,” Mosley said. “[The hike] was a little daunting…but it was something I wanted to share.” While the hike, which took place on June 2, was a rather exhausting excursion for Mosley, she and her daughter wanted to experience “the Hills,” where they were able to see some of the remaining stone foundations of former homesteads left standing in the preserve. Quinn’s hike through the history of “the Hills” was assembled in anticipation for the

release of her new works, “Freedom Journey: Black Civil War Soldiers and their ‘Hills’ Community,” and “The Hills is Home: the History of the Largest, African-American Community in Westchester County, N.Y., 1830s-1890s,” which are expected to hit bookshelves in 2014 and 2015, respectively. “Make a contribution to a freedom journey,” Quinn suggested, “and think about how can you be on it.”

Dr. Edythe Quinn pays homage to the land and ancestors before walking through “the Hills” around the Silver Lake Preserve.

June 7, 2013 • The HARRISON REPORT • 9

County Republicans nominate Westchester slate

Sheila Marcotte, a two-term county legislator, is seeking a third term in office after gaining the support of county Republicans last week.

On May 30, GOP district leaders from across Westchester County gathered at Westchester Manor in Hastings for the party’s annual committee convention. The caucus was convened to nominate judges, legislators and candidates for countywide seats. In an event highlight, incumbent Rob Astorino garnered and accepted the Republican nomination for county executive. Astorino will seek a secondterm in office. He was first elected in 2009.

Long-time county Legislator Jim Maisano, left, will run for reelection to his legislative seat. Maisano accepts the nomination from Chairman Doug Colety at the Westchester Manor in Hastings on May 30. Contributed photos

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County GOP chairman Doug Colety opens the convention on May 30. At the meeting a slate of Republican candidates were selected for this year’s general elections.

Former Scarsdale Mayor Dr. Miriam LevittFlisser accepts the nomination for county’s 5th legislative district. The district includes White Plains, Scarsdale and a portion of West Harrison.

Ossining Councilman Peter Tripodi, one of the youngest elected officials in Westchester, was selected to run for a county seat.

County Executive Rob Astorino addresses a crowd of supporters and district leaders after receiving the Republican nomination for county executive. Astorino, seeking his second term in office, will face New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson, a Democrat.

10 • The HARRISON REPORT • June 7, 2013

County’s Jenkins files lawsuit to annul Playland agreement By LIZ BUTTON and CHRIS GRAMUGLIA HARRISON REPORT STAFF

Westchester County Board of Legislators Chairman Ken Jenkins, a Yonkers Democrat, mounted a legal challenge last month seeking to annul the county’s recent agreement with non-profit Sustainable Playland, Inc. to take over running the famed amusement park. The lawsuit, filed on May 23 in state Supreme Court, challenges the outcome of an April 18 vote by the county’s Board of Acquisition and Contract, which is comprised of County Executive Rob Astorino, a Republican, the administration's Budget Director Lawrence Soule and Jenkins, to approve the 10-year plan that would transfer management of the historic, county-owned 280-acre amusement park to the Rye-based organization. Playland’s revenue and attendance have dropped off sharply from one million people in 2005 to only 430,000 recorded last season, according to county administration officials who have used those figures as a focus of their campaign to redevelop the amusement park. Astorino said the new agreement would stop the financial bleeding as the countyowned park's losses mount, and the burden on county taxpayers increases to an insupport-

able degree. According to county executive spokesman Ned McCormack, the administration’s position is that the agreement is not a lease because the county still has control and ownership of the park. The only difference is that management of the park is being outsourced to SPI, McCormack said, so, if things go awry, the county would still maintain ownership of the park. The deal with SPI is expected to bring $34 million in capital investments to go against the reported $32 million in debt the county has accrued in running the park. Sustainable Playland will pay the county a base fee of $4 million and will make annual payments to the county of $1.2 million to operate the park. Under SPI’s watch, the park will be open year-round instead of seasonally. SPI spokesperson Geoff Thompson said that Sustainable Playland’s priority is to restore the park while keeping its historic components intact as well as turn the park into a year-round destination for families and visitors from outside of the region. “We are...committed to seeing that Playland gets the attention and investment that it deserves and requires to continue to be a gem in the Westchester parks system,” Thompson said. “Anything that unnecessarily delays moving forward with our fully-vetted plan only serves to hurt the public, the taxpayers

Westchester County has entered into a contractual agreement with Sustainable Playland Inc. that would allow the non-profit organization to take control of Playland’s management without the county giving up ownership of the park. However, Democratic Board of Legislators Chairman Ken Jenkins said the agreement is merely a lease by another name, and has advanced a lawsuit in the hopes of having the agreement annulled. File photo

and Playland itself." But Chairman Jenkins, who voted against the SPI agreement and filed the lawsuit on his own, said Astorino and Soule’s votes exceeded their jurisdiction, thus violating the county charter. Although called an asset management agreement, under New York State law the agreement qualifies as a lease, according to Jenkins, who said it “contains many provisions typical of a lease and conferring rights well beyond those of a licensee or holder of a mere temporary privilege.” Leases involving the county for more than five years must be approved by a two-thirds vote of all members of the Board of Legislators. County Legislator Judy Myers, a Democrat whose legislative district contains the park, said that, as chairman of the Board of Legislators, it is Jenkins’ prerogative to file such lawsuits on his own. When it comes to the rest of the board, it is not clear whether there was general support for a lawsuit, or even whether legislators knew the suit would be filed. A request for proposals was first put out to bid by the county in 2010, soon after Astorino took office, with the goal of reinventing the amusement park. On Oct. 11, 2012, the county executive signed a letter of intent to award the contract to Sustainable Playland. Astorino embraced the SPI plan following a review of 12 proposals analyzed by a 19-member citizens committee. Myers said, though she is in favor of the SPI plan and knows many of her constituents in District 7 are as well, two actions by the county executive have made the legislators resistant to approving the agreement:The Astorino ad-

ministration did not actively share the results of its financial analysis about Playland’s performance and financial details of the competing Playland proposals, and that Astorino and County Attorney Robert Meehan made efforts to move forward without legislature approval, a plan that fizzled when it was determined that although the administration had the authority to agree to a management deal, any land use changes to the park required the Board of Legislators’ approval. According to County Legislator Jim Maisano, a Republican, the only instance in which board approval is needed is in the event of a physical or infrastructural change to the park—a provision that was confirmed with County Attorney Robert Meehan. “I think that's why the legislators are not interested [in the lawsuit],” he said. “We all already know we're going to vote on Sustainable Playland, not on the initial agreement.” Since that agreement was reached, the legislature has gone to the competing organizations to get the information they need in order to complete their audit of the top four proposals and weigh each against the way Playland is currently run. According to Legislator Myers, the independent financial firm, Marlin K. Wiggins, hired by the board is almost finished with their audit. If the Board of Legislators approves the SPI plan once it completes its independent audit of the final four proposals, Sustainable Playland will take over the management of the park by Oct. 1. The park is expected to re-open under SPI on May 1, 2014.

June 7, 2013 • The HARRISON REPORT • 11


What’s Your Beef?

Mental illness still misunderstood

What’s bothering you today?

To the Editor, The incident in New Rochelle where the police officer killed a mentally ill person and the incident in Sandy Hook bring to my mind that society still has a long way to go in learning, understanding, and knowing what steps to take with the mentally ill. In the Newtown case, I think that if just one person saw this man the day of or the day before, maybe they would have recognized his symptoms. His mother obviously used poor judgement, but families often do not "see" it because they are often in denial or it is the family's "normal." People with mental illness are victims, too. They didn't ask to be born with their illnesses. Many work hard every day, every minute to manage their illness. But sometimes, the illness gets bigger than the person, and hopefully the person gets the help they need. I think that, whether you have a family member who is mentally ill or not, it would be conducive to all if everyone took that extra step and educated themselves about mental illness so that they can help someone that may not be able to help himself. There are plenty of resources. There are thousands of mentally people who are sensitive, nice, and good people. They are often extremely intelligent and quite creative...if society would only give them a chance. Society can erase the stigma. It's not about gun control. If society would learn more, understand more, and know what to do in these kinds of situations more often, they simply wouldn't happen.

Collected on Purchase Street in Rye

Jane E. McCarty, Harrison

“Minimum wage in New York.”

“Wasteful, gas guzzling cars.”

Matt Meany, 23, Rockland

Steve Radinsky, 71, St. Louis

“Being home from college.”

“Parking in Rye.”

Danny Pierro, 20, Rye Brook

Albany: Get off our back To the Editor, When does it stop? Albany’s unfunded mandates are crushing Westchester. Their unfunded mandates are not unfunded. They are paid for with our property taxes, the highest in the United States. And even at that, our schools are cutting teachers and programs, our local governments are cutting services, and our neighbors are moving away because they can’t afford to live here anymore. STOP Albany is a grassroots coalition of Westchester citizens, schools, businesses and local governments that are standing together to send a simple yet strong message to Albany: Stop taking our power. We invite your readers to join our cause. They can send a letter directly to Governor Cuomo and their state representatives simply by going to It only takes a minute. Tell Albany to stop taking our power to decide how our local tax dollars are spent. Stop taking our power to grow our local businesses and create jobs. Stop taking our power to educate our children. Pass meaningful mandate relief now. The STOP Albany Coalition Westchester County Association Westchester County Executive Robert P. Astorino Westchester-Putnam School Boards Association Lower Hudson Council of School Superintendents Westchester-East Putnam Regional PTA Westchester Municipal Officials Association

About Letters to the Editor Publication is not guaranteed. We reserve the right to edit letters for content or space, at our discretion, without notification from the company. We reserve the right to reject submissions at our discretion without notice to the author. Sorry, but we are unable to notify authors in advance if and when a letter will be printed. Deadline for submission is Friday before publication. The maximum length of letters that appear in our pages is 625 words, but letters are usually significantly shorter to accommodate space needs. The letter should be signed and include the

writer’s address and phone number for verification purposes. We will not publish letters that cannot be verified. Publication by frequent letter writers will be limited to one per month. The opinions of letter writers do not reflect those of this newspaper. Please submit via fax to (914) 653-5000 or email to or via post to Home Town Media Group, C/O Letters to the Editor, 200 William Street, Port Chester, NY 10573. We do not accept unsolicited Op-Ed submissions, film reviews, or food reviews.

-Photos and reporting by JEFFREY ROBINOWITZ

Kim Mack, 45, White Plains

12 • The HARRISON REPORT • June 7, 2013

The Classifieds HOW TO REACH US

(914) 653-1000x25 • Fax: 653-5000 CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING: 200 William Street, Port Chester

Advertising that gets results


UP TO 4 LINES $42.50 for 2 weeks minimum. Each Additional Line $2.00


Placement, correction or cancellation of an ad may be phoned in any time before noon on Monday for publication

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Adoption ADOPTION: Affectionate, educated, financially secure, married couple want to adopt baby into nuturing, warm, and loving environment. Expenses paid. Cindy & Adam. 800.860.7074 or ADOPT: Childless, married couple seek baby to make them a family. Will be stay-at-home mom/ doting dad. Promise love and bright future. Ellen & Chris. 1-888-701-2170 ADOPT: The stork didn’t call. We hope you will. Loving family of 3 looking to adopt another little miracle. Contact Robin and Neil: 866-303-0668, ADOPTION - Happily, married couple wishes to adopt a baby! We promise love, learning, laughter, security, extended family. Expenses paid. 1-800965-5617. (Se habla español.)

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FOR SALE SAWMILLS from only $3997.00- MAKE & SAVE MONEY with your own bandmill- Cut lumber any dimension. In stock ready to ship. FREE Info/DVD: www. 1-800-578-1363 Ext.300N RINALDIFLEAMARKETS.COM Every Sunday Weather Permitting (Opening 4/7/13) 900 Dutchess Turnpike (rt44) Poughkeepsie NY. Free Admission & Parking, Great Food & Bargains. Vendors Wanted! Please visit RINALDIFLEAMARKETS.COM See Ya There!

Wanted to Buy CASH for Coins! Buying ALL Gold & Silver. Also Stamps & Paper Money, Entire Collections, Estates. Travel to your home. Call Marc in NYC 1-800-959-3419 TOP CASH PAID FOR Antiques, furniture, paintings, lamps, china, crystal, coins, sterling, watches, sewing machines, clothing, handbags, jewelry, cameras, records, books, baseball items, old toys/games. Call J. Geller – 914-275-6611 or

real estate LAKE SALE: 6 acres Bass Lake $29,900. 7 acres 400í waterfront $29,900 6 lake properties. Were $39,900 now $29,900. www. Ends June 30th Call Now! 1888-683-2626.

Business Briefs Miller Clark Animal Hospital’s 110th anniversary: A day of fun fur everyone Miller-Clark Animal Hospital, renowned as one of the longest-running animal practices in New York history, will hold a special anniversary celebration on Saturday, June 15, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. to celebrate 110 years of exceptional pet care, its many accreditations and achievements, and to thank their clients past and present. With fun and education as the theme, the event is being called “A Day of Fun Fur Everyone!” and will be held outside the animal hospital at 1621 Harrison Avenue, Mamaroneck, NY, 10543. The community is invited to this free event where they’ll find activities and entertainment for all ages, including tours of the hospital, face painting, tattoos for kids, arts and crafts, promotional giveaways, raffles, door prizes, photos with your pet, and many vendors offering food, as well as pet products and services. Current staff members will be on hand to greet clients, dispense pet advice and answer questions, and retired and current doctors will also be present in a rare opportunity to greet clients and visit with their pet patients. Additionally, groomers and pet trainers will be on hand to give demonstrations and tips. Even the highly-respected non-profit organization, The Tower of Hope, providing specially-trained service dogs to people living with disabilities, will be on hand to educate the community about what they do, and how community members can get involved. In addition, the New Rochelle Humane Society, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing individual loving care for lost, abandoned, injured, and mistreated animals, will benefit from the proceeds and donations of the vendors on hand. And, of course, the Miller-Clark Animal Hospital event is completely handicap accessible. “A Day of Fun Fur Everyone!” will be a great opportunity for community members to get outside after a long, cold winter, have fun and learn some valuable tips about pet care. Pets are especially welcome to join in the festivities, as long as they keep their owners on a leash. For more information, please contact MillerClark Animal Hospital at 914-698-1756, or visit French-American School’s summer camp still open for registration Summer French immersion for students grades N to 5. A unique program where students will get plenty of linguistic and cultural immersion with native speaking counselors. This camp is the closest thing there is to sending your kids to France for the summer; total cultural and linguistic immersion, with French speaking counselors and lots of fun, age-appropriate activities that will give your child plenty of opportunities to hear, speak, play in French. Students are grouped by age level. Non-French speaking students get an

June 7, 2013 • The HARRISON REPORT • 13

hour of French instruction per day; the rest of the time, they are with the other students. Dates June 24 to July 26‑Larchmont campus, five weeks with weekly sign-up, half or full day, kids will be grouped by age. Accepting registrations for children ages 3 to 11. Counselors Our counselors are teachers from the school or French-speaking educators with years of experience in bilingual environment. Location Larchmont Campus 111 Larchmont Ave. Air-conditioned classrooms, gym, playground, computer room, art room, cafeteria. Rates Half day: $225 Full day: $450 (includes lunch provided by La Bonne Cuisine, the school catering service) Contact Agnès Tounkara 914-250-0415 camps@ . Register online at afterschoolprograms. For more information, please contact: Agnès Tounkara, camp director at 914.250.0415. or via email at camps@fasny. org, or visit our website at For on line registration and class offerings, go to Programs. About the French-American School of New York (FASNY) Kinetic Sports Club offers Westchester’s first five-star, family-friendly fitness facility Who says serious fitness can’t be a family affair? Certainly not Kinetic Sports Club, a new concept in fitness located at 872 Pelham Parkway in Pelham Manor, New York. From the serious-minded adult fitness enthusiast to the family that just wants to go out and play, the state-of-the art fitness facility strives to be the first to provide five star, family friendly fitness. “We saw a real need in the Pelham area for a place the entire family could come to support their health, wellness and fitness needs,” said Laura Butcaris, general manager of Kinetic Sports Club. “Ours will have all of the beautiful amenities of an upscale fitness club, yet, unlike most upscale clubs, children and families are welcome and encouraged.” The group fitness fanatic will find much to love about Kinetic Sports Club’s three groupfitness studios and a weekly lineup of 60 to 70 classes including Pilates mat, yoga, studio cycling with myRide+, Les Mills Body Pump, Zumba and Bootcamp. The club’s 1,000 square-foot functional training area offers clients the opportunities to train using TRX, kettlebells, climbing ropes, a kinesis workout and much more. Those who prefer to sweat individually can choose from a wide variety of equipment from LifeFitness, Precor, and Technogym. A team of elite personal trainers, some of the most experienced and well-regarded in the area, are also on hand to keep clients on track with their goals, offering one-on-one sessions, partner sessions and small group training. For the kids, Kinetic Sports Club features over 10,000 square feet of athletic fields, including a soccer field and regulation size basketball court. Children will be able to participate in soccer classes, basketball, dodgeball and flag football, as well as youth fitness classes such as Kids Yoga and Zumbatonic. One-on-one sportspecific coaching and training, as well a youth

athletic speed school, are also available for the serious athlete. Finally, kids of all ages will enjoy Kinetic Sports Club’s aquatic center, featuring a 50-foot adult lap pool, a waterslide and a fun splash pad with sprinklers. Swim lessons will also be offered. Amenities will rival those offered by the most elite clubs in Manhattan. The Kinetic Sports Club Juice Bar offers a wide variety of shakes, juices and snacks. Luxurious locker rooms include steam and sauna, towel service, digital lockers, and the basics‑shampoo, conditioner and body wash. For more information about Kinetic Sports Club, visit, or call 914-738-4000. Barzotti joins Douglas Elliman Joseph Barzotti has joined Douglas Elliman Westchester’s Pleasantville Brokerage. Originally from Rome, Italy, Barzotti has lived in Chappaqua and the surrounding Westchester/ Putnam areas for the past 25 years and has been entrenched in the local real estate community. “Joseph is a real self-starter. He is passionate about real estate and possesses phenomenal business insights. He goes beyond and above for his customers, and I am thrilled to be working with him,” said Gabe Pasquale, Executive Vice President of Douglas Elliman Westchester. A former CEO of his own consulting firm, Barzotti traveled the world providing restructuring for numerous companies. A graduate of New York University with a B.A in science and engineering, he is fluent in several languages including Italian, Mandarin, and German. “Douglas Elliman is the perfect fit for me because the company allows me to follow my entrepreneurial spirit while leveraging the resources of the most powerful brand in real estate,” Barzotti said. The enthusiasm Barzotti exercises in his profession carries over into every aspect of his active lifestyle. He played professional soccer for the Italian team Juventus, was a professional racecar driver, and represented New York City in a national track and field relay competition. He is currently a certified wreck driver, as well as a tennis and soccer instructor. In his spare time, Barzotti enjoys spending time with his two adult children, hiking, biking and working in his garden, which includes tending to more than 200 different species of orchids. Douglas Elliman Real Estate is New York’s largest residential brokerage, with more than 70 offices in New York City, Long Island, the Hamptons, Westchester/Putnam, and South Florida, and more than 4,000 real estate agents and a network of national and international affiliates. They are strategic partners with Londonbased Knight Frank LLP for residential business in all of their New York markets. Douglas Elliman ranked in the top four of all real estate companies in the nation in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012. The company also controls a portfolio of real estate services, including Manhattan’s largest residential property manager, Douglas Elliman Property Management, as well as DE Title and DE Capital Mortgage. For more information on Douglas Elliman, as well as expert commentary on emerging trends in the

real estate industry, visit the Douglas Elliman site at Larchmont Insurance Executive Elected to IIABNY Board of Directors Michael Coughlin, chief executive officer of Coughlin Group in Larchmont, was recently elected as regional director of the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of New York, Inc. Coughlin is among a group of officers and directors elected May 9 during IIABNY’s Annual Business Meeting at The Otesaga Resort Hotel in Cooperstown, New York. He will represent the not-for-profit trade association’s members in the Metro-Suburban Region, which includes the New York City metro area. As an IIABNY director for two years, Coughlin will help guide the association’s board of directors on policies and issues vital to the interests of the organization’s members at more than 1,750 locations statewide. A member, past director and past president of the Independent Insurance Agents of Westchester County, Coughlin oversees Coughlin Group’s insurance offices in New York and Los Angeles. He is a graduate of Regis University in Denver, Colorado. The Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of New York, Inc. has represented the common business interests of independent insurance professionals since 1882. More than 1,750 agencies and their 13,000 plus employees currently rely on the DeWitt, New York-based not-for-profit trade association for legislative advocacy, continuing education and other means of industry support. In addition, most IIABNY members proudly identify themselves as Trusted Choice agents and brokers, a national consumer brand uniting more than 21,000 independent agencies across the United States. For more information, go to www. or Harrison Insurance Exec Elected Secretary-Treasurer of IIABNY R. Todd Rockefeller, partner of DeRosa, Rockefeller, Sohigian & Werdal, Inc. in Harrison was elected secretary-treasurer of the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of New York, Inc. at a recent Cooperstown gathering. New York’s oldest insurance producer trade association made the selection at its annual business meeting, held at The Otesaga Resort Hotel in Cooperstown May 9. During his one-year term, Rockefeller will oversee the not-for-profit trade association’s funds and report to the IIABNY Executive Committee on all fund movement and activities. He is also responsible for managing IIABNY’s records. A member and past president of the Independent Insurance Agents of Westchester County, Rockefeller has served as a regional director on the IIABNY board since 2009 and chaired the board’s Audit Committee. He is a graduate of Gettysburg College. The next Business Briefs section will run on July 5. Please send any submission for our July issue to by Friday, June 28. Each submission can include one picture and must be between 175-225 words. If you have any questions, email Deputy Editor Jason Chirevas at

14 • The HARRISON REPORT • June 7, 2013

Pet Rescue Rooney is a sweet and adorable male Shepherd mix, about four and a half months old. He loves to be around other dogs, big and small. Rooney is a bit shy around people, but is slowly coming out of his shell. He enjoys playing with toys and the other dogs in his foster home. He sleeps through the night in a crate and is working on his housebreaking. Rooney was recently diagnosed with Diabetes Incipidus. It is very treatable with daily drops in his eyes. He is a regular pup in every other way, just needs his meds daily to keep it at bay. Rooney is neutered, vaccinated, dewormed, heartworm tested and micro-chipped. The adoption donation for Rooney is $250. To learn more, please contact Larchmont Pet Rescue at 914-834-6955 or on the web at w w w . N Y- P e t R e s c u e . o r g . (Submitted)

legal notices NOTICE TO BIDDERS The Harrison Central School District hereby invites the submission of sealed bids for the following: RFB #13/14-17 Elevator Maintenance and Service Bids shall be submitted in sealed envelopes marked “RFB #13/14-17: Elevator Maintenance and Service” on the outside. Bids will be received until 2:00 p.m., Tuesday, June 18, 2013 by the Purchasing Agent (or his duly designated representative), Harrison Central School District, Business Office, 50 Union Avenue, Harrison, NY 10528; (914) 6303011; Fax: (914) 835-2715, at which time and place all bids will be publicly opened and read. Specifications and bid forms may be obtained at or from the district Business Office beginning Thursday,

June 6, 2013. The Harrison Central School District is not responsible for bids opened prior to the bid opening if bid number and opening date do not appear on the envelope. Bids opened prior to the date and time indicated are invalid. The bidder assumes the risk of any delay in the mail, or in the handling of the mail by employees of the Harrison Central School District, as well as improper hand delivery.

NOTICE TO BIDDERS The Harrison Central School District hereby invites the submission of sealed bids for the following: RFB #13/14-20 Masonry Supplies Bids shall be submitted in sealed envelopes marked “RFB #13/14-20: Masonry Supplies” on the outside. Bids will be received until 2:15 p.m., Monday, June 24, 2013 by the Purchasing Agent (or his duly designated representative), Harrison Central School District, Business Office, 50 Union Avenue, Harrison, NY 10528; (914) 630-3011; Fax: (914) 835-2715, at which time and place all bids will be publicly opened and read. Specifications and bid forms may be obtained at or from the district Business Office beginning Friday, June 7, 2013. The Harrison Central

School District is not responsible for bids opened prior to the bid opening if bid number and opening date do not appear on the envelope. Bids opened prior to the date and time indicated are invalid. The bidder assumes the risk of any delay in the mail, or in the handling of the mail by employees of the Harrison Central School District, as well as improper hand delivery.

NOTICE TO BIDDERS The Harrison Central School District hereby invites the submission of sealed bids for the following: RFB #13/14-18 Integrated Security and Access Control for Entrance Doors Bids shall be submitted in sealed envelopes marked “RFB #13/14-18: Integrated Security and Access Control for Entrance Doors” on the outside. Bids will be received until 2:15 p.m., Tuesday, June 18, 2013 by the Purchasing Agent (or his duly designated representative), Harrison Central School District, Business Office, 50 Union Avenue, Harrison, NY 10528; (914) 630-3011; Fax: (914) 835-2715, at which time and place all bids will be publicly opened and read. Specifications and bid forms may be obtained at

or from the district Business Office beginning Friday, June 7, 2013. The Harrison Central School District is not responsible for bids opened prior to the bid opening if bid number and opening date do not appear on the envelope. Bids opened prior to the date and time indicated are invalid. The bidder assumes the risk of any delay in the mail, or in the handling of the mail by employees of the Harrison Central School District, as well as improper hand delivery.

NOTICE TO BIDDERS The Harrison Central School District hereby invites the submission of sealed bids for the following: RFB #13/14-19 Landscaping Supplies Bids shall be submitted in sealed envelopes marked “RFB #13/14-19: Landscaping Supplies” on the outside. Bids will be received until 2:00 p.m., Monday, June 24, 2013 by the Purchasing Agent (or his duly designated representative), Harrison Central School District, Business Office, 50 Union Avenue, Harrison, NY 10528; (914) 630-3011; Fax: (914) 835-2715, at which time and place all bids will be publicly opened and read. Specifications and bid forms may be obtained at www. or from the district Business Office beginning Friday, June 7,

2013. The Harrison Central School District is not responsible for bids opened prior to the bid opening if bid number and opening date do not appear on the envelope. Bids opened prior to the date and time indicated are invalid. The bidder assumes the risk of any delay in the mail, or in the handling of the mail by employees of the Harrison Central School District, as well as improper hand delivery.

The Harrison Central School District reserves the right to waive any informalities in the bids, or to reject all bids, or to accept any bid which in the opinion of the Board will be to their best interest. By order of the Board of Education Gene George Purchasing Agent Dated: June 6, 2013

The Harrison Central School District reserves the right to waive any informalities in the bids, or to reject all bids, or to accept any bid which in the opinion of the Board will be to their best interest. By order of the Board of Education Gene George Purchasing Agent Dated: June 7, 2013

The Harrison Central School District reserves the right to waive any informalities in the bids, or to reject all bids, or to accept any bid which in the opinion of the Board will be to their best interest. By order of the Board of Education Gene George Purchasing Agent Dated: June 7, 2013

The Harrison Central School District reserves the right to waive any informalities in the bids, or to reject all bids, or to accept any bid which in the opinion of the Board will be to their best interest. By order of the Board of Education Gene George Purchasing Agent Dated: June 7, 2013

Sports Four games of hope I am not among those who subscribe to the old-timers’ school of baseball purity. I have no problems with the DH, I don’t mind night games, and, to be honest, in the early to mid 2000s, I didn’t even care that hitters and pitchers were growing muscles on their muscles and outgrowing their ball caps faster than a Hummer goes through gasoline. But, for some reason, over the years, I’ve found it increasingly difficult to get excited about interleague play. Of course, it’s no small coincidence that in New York, interleague play is synonymous with the Subway Series and, given the absolute dreck the Mets have put on the field in recent seasons, I—as a card-carrying member of Red Sox Nation—have little faith that the little brothers of the New York City baseball scene will ever pose much more than a vague annoyance to my hated Yankees. Even when triumph seemed assured, the hapless Mets had a certain flair for snatching defeat from the jaws of victory (see Castillo, Luis). As a result, I paid no more attention to a Yankee-Met tilt than I did to a mid-season battle between the Astros and the Padres. But that all changed–at least for a few days– last week, when a four-game season sweep by the Mets managed to instill a little pride in the team’s fanbase and spark‑mainly one-way‑discussions on sports talk radio about which team was actually better.

Of course, the debate is largely a stupid one. The Yanks will likely content for first place in the AL East, while the Mets, well-below .500, can’t even draw praise from the team’s ownership. For the Mets, the four-game series in Flushing and the Bronx was the equivalent of a postseason appearance, and will likely need to suslive mike tain Mets fans for the duration of what will likely be a Mike Smith long summer. You could see the Mets fans come out of hiding after that first win on Monday night. A few callers on WFAN here, a couple of “Let’s go Mets!” Facebook posts there, you could see a beleaguered fan base start to acknowledge that winning was indeed pretty fun. Still, there was a general sense that fans didn’t want to get ahead of themselves. The following night phenom Matt Harvey toed the rubber. Harvey has been the lone consistent Mets attraction this year, as his undefeated record attests, and this game was a big one for Mets fans. Should Harvey get shelled, it would mean more dismissive ridicule from friends and family who support the Bombers. But Harvey was terrific. He didn’t get the win—that would eventually go to left-hander Scott Rice–but, through eight innings, Harvey kept the Yankees at bay, paving the way for the Mets to find a way to beat the great Mariano Rivera in a rare ninth-inning lapse by the future

June 7, 2013 • The HARRISON REPORT • 15

A view of Citi Field, which played home to two Met wins over the Yankees in May. Photo/Mike Smith

Hall-of-Famer. The win, an otherwise meaningless May victory, became a rallying point over the next few days as Metropolitan fans invaded Yankee Stadium to watch their ball club complete their first-ever series sweep. Yankee fans, especially on social media, were predictably disdainful and dismissive about the Mets’ success against their team. “We’re playing with a lot of injuries,” said a fanbase who just four days prior, were sitting atop the AL East Standings. “These games mean nothing,” they opined, while watching blue and orange clad fanatics

celebrate in the Bronx. Ultimately, they may be right. The Mets, carrying all the momentum from those four big wins, would go on to drop their next three games to an even more hopeless squad from Miami, while the Yanks, despite a brief hiccup against the Red Sox, seem to be getting healthy at the right time. But while these wins might seem inconsequential in the grand scheme of the regular season, one thing is for certain. For four days in May, baseball–and the Subway Series–mattered for fans of both teams in New York City. Even if one side isn’t willing to admit it.

Cancer fundraiser hits high mark in 2013 By MIKE SMITH SPORTS EDITOR

On May 10, Rhodes’ Kajukenbo studio in New Rochelle held its fourth annual fundraiser for the St. Jude Children’s Research Fund. With the final tally of money in this week, it would appear that the event has raised $8,300, making it the school’s hightest grossing fundraiser to date. Sifu Dusty Rhodes said that, in years past, the fundraiser hasn’t always lived up to his lofty expectations, but that this year, it hit the mark. “Maybe last year, I wanted to shoot for $10,000 dollars, and we ended up with about $4,300,” Rhodes said. “This year, I wanted to shoot for $8,000, but would have been happy with $5,000.” The day, which consists of fitness classes, bake sales, and other endeavors, has been steadily growing as Rhodes becomes a more efficient and experienced fundraiser. Several local businesses, including pizza chains and restaurants, donated food to the proceedings. Rhodes, a former marine, also enlisted the help of some of his friends “I know a lot of military people, and they’ve been very helpful over the years,” Rhodes said. This year, Rhodes and Spectators Pub were

also able to hold a raffle that contained signed Ray Rice paraphernalia, including a jersey and football. The raffle, said Rhodes, brought in another $650 that was added to the cancer research fund. Rhodes, who visited the St. Jude Children’s Hospital in 2012, also brought a youth suffering from pediatric cancer to meet some of the youngsters who took part in the fitness and self-defense classes. “At first, this kid was playing around with the other kids, like any other child, which really, he is,” said Rhodes. “But then, a little later, we brought him out and told his story, and I think it really moved people. I think it’s interesting, especially for the younger kids, to actually meet someone who is going through this.” Although the event has grown significantly, Rhodes said he isn’t done trying to figure out how to raise more money for cancer research and use his training center as a way to give to those in need. Rhodes and some of his students formed a committee to find smaller ways to supplement the fundraising event throughout the year as a way to make sure they never take their eyes off the goal. “Every year it gets easier, but every year it gets harder,” he said. “You have so much expectation to help those kids and you always want to do more.”

Local martial arts instructor Dusty Rhodes and his wife Pamela visit the St Jude Children’s Hospital in Memphis, Tenn. in 2012. Rhodes’ kajukenbo studio recently held its latest fundraiser to fight pediatric cancer. Contributed Photo

16 • The HARRISON REPORT • June 7, 2013


Harrison bows in quarterfinals By MIKE SMITH SPORTS EDITOR

The Harrison Huskies’ softball season ended on May 30, with a 10-0 loss to Eastchester in the Class A quarterfinals. But, although the season ended on a sour note for the Huskies, this young Harrison team should come back re-tooled in 2014 with a solid group of returning players. Facing Eastchester’s Francesca Chioda, the Huskies and Eagles were scoreless through three innings despite some early scoring opportunities for the Huskies. “We had runners on base,” said head coach Dean Marino. “We just couldn’t drive them in.” Thanks in part to a questionable call at first base in the third inning, Eastchester was able to tack on six runs, to jump out to a lead they wouldn’t relingquish. “Things like that happen, sometimes” said Marino. “Obviously, I didn’t agree with the call, but as I said to the girls, there’s nothing you can do about that.” Harrison finished the season with a 12-10 record and showed great signs of improvement as the campaign wore on. Freshman pitcher Christina DeCarlo threw the lion’s share of innings for Harrison this year, went 10-6 and was undefeated in league play. Most of Harrison’s infield, including Dominique LoGuidice, who hit .379 this year, will be back, but Harrison will have to overcome some key losses, most notably Amanda Evangelista, who served as the team’s catcher

Kendra Deschamps takes a swing on May 30 against the Eagles. Harrison’s young squad finished 12-10 on the year.

Dominique LoGuidice makes a play at second base on May 30. LoGuidice is one of several players who will return to next year’s squad. Photos/Mike Smith

this year. “Catching’s going to be a concern for us next year,” said Marino. “That’s going to be the big thing for us, finding someone who can handle being the catcher.” According to Marino, the other challenge facing his team next year will be cutting down on errors. “We can’t make as many errors as we did this year,” said Marino. “But we’re going to be strong up the middle and we’ve got some girls coming up from JV who plan to push the kids on varsity.” Marino said the team would also benefit from a preseason trip to Florida. The Huskies have been traveling south for spring training for a few years, but were unable to go this year due to scheduling conflicts. “We go down there, we play 10 scrimmage games, and we can figure some stuff out,” said the head coach. “If we can do that and we’re not playing well, we can make some changes.” Freshman Christina DeCarlo throws a pitch on May 30 against

Eastchester. DeCarlo was effective, especially early on, but the Huskies fell 10-0 in the quarterfinals.

Harrison Report 6-7-13