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Vol. 13/Number 24

June 14, 2013

Fes ta!

Town celebrates Feast of St. Anthony of Padua. For more, see pages 8-9. Photo/Bobby Begun

2 • THE HARRISON REPORT • June 14, 2013

June 14, 2013 • THE HARRISON REPORT • 3

Walsh gets Democratic nod for mayor on,” Walsh said, “And how can they, when the town board meetings only last a half-hour.” With rolls now reversed, Walsh will face the challenge of trying to unseat the popular It has been nearly two years since Ron Belmont, who is in the final year of his firstBelmont won in a landslide victory for term in office. Belmont, who served as the Recreation Harrison mayor—securing 63 percent of the Department superintendent for more than 20 vote—over then-Mayor Joan Walsh. Now in her late seventies, Walsh, a years, said he had never aspired to be mayor, but joined the fray Democrat, has reafter members of the turned from a twocommunity urged him year hiatus from the to run back in 2011. political arena with In fact, he was an plans to reclaim the unaffiliated candidate mayoral seat. chosen by the local “Many people are GOP to run against dissatisfied with the his former boss. current town board,” Since the DemoWalsh said. “When I cratic nod for Walsh was mayor, we really is still unofficial as of watched every dolpress time, Belmont lar…now, [the council refused to comment is] spending money on the upcoming and they’re borrowing campaign, citing the money.” Democratic Party’s Preparing to spar endorsement as hearwith Belmont for a say. second time, Walsh “When it’s official, plans to run a fiscallyI’ll officially comminded campaign ment,” Belmont said. with the primary foAlthough the slate is cus on reducing the still subject to change, amount of spending the Dems have stated and accrued debt built that they have started by the town in recent Former Harrison Mayor Joan Walsh, a to file petitions. years. Democrat, has decided to run for the seat Walsh joins the At the end of the again this year. File photo first of an all-female 2012 fiscal year, the town was carrying $79.6 million in accumu- Democratic slate to be named in Harrison. lated debt—accounting for each of the town’s She will run alongside Rosemarie Verano and party Chairwoman Pritchard who will vie for special districts with accrued interest. “I feel they’re reversing what I did over my the two open Town Council seats currently filled by GOP incumbents Marlene Amelio four years [as mayor],” Walsh said. Although confident in her ability to devote and Joseph Cannella. Pritchard will fill a the time and energy necessary to run the town, gap, left by Town Council candidate Michael Walsh said she felt left out of the loop politi- LaDore, who dropped out of the race despite cally and therefore did not seek the nomina- the endorsement of the committee. Additionally, the Democrats have nomition, but eventually decided to throw her hat in the ring after being approached by mem- nated Margaret “Peg” Conover, who will run against Jackie Greer for Town Clerk, bers of the Harrison Democratic Committee. “[Joan] is a very strong woman with the and Maria Frioli-Fiore, who will run against town’s best interests at heart,” said Harrison Nancy Masi for Receiver of Taxes. In the Town of Harrison, the mayor is Democratic Chairwoman Elizabeth ‘Jimmi’ Pritchard. “She has energy, drive, determina- elected to a two-year term of office; councilmen serve four-year terms. Due to the gap tion…and nothing stops her.” Despite losing a few allies—including for- in electoral years, should Walsh be victorimer Democratic Chairman Joe Derwin, who ous in her endeavor, it would mean serving stepped down from the position last year— alongside her Republican predecessor, forWalsh said she has seen the current GOP-led mer mayor and current Councilman Steve board monopoly resort to ignoring residents Malfitano. Although she said serving with Malfitano comments and keeping more pressing issues in the town behind closed doors in executive was initially a deterrent for her candidacy, Walsh said she would deal with it when it session. “I feel that people should know what’s going happens. By DANIEL OFFNER STAFF REPORTER

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What’s Your Beef? What’s bothering you today?

Collected on Mamaroneck Avenue in Mamaroneck “Teenage pregnancy.” Crystal McDaniels, 41, Mamaroneck

“Not enough parking for high school students on a tight schedule for lunch.” Martino Puccio, 18, Harrison

“The Weaver Street Bridge closing. I have to drive so far to go to Stop and Shop.” Eileen Puleo, 44, Mamaroneck

“Wednesday early recycling pick up. I have to be here at 6 a.m. to put it out, and we don’t open until 9 a.m. We get fined if we leave it out over night.” Stephen Strateman, 22, Greenwich, Conn.

-Photos and reporting by COREY BAUMER

4 • THE HARRISON REPORT • June 14, 2013

C ommunity Briefs Harrison Library children’s events 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. Board Games at the library June 17 at 4 p.m. Bring a friend or two and play one of the library’s many board games in the Children’s Room. Circle Time for Tots with Miss Claudia June 19 at 10 a.m. and again at 11 a.m. Songs, dancing, stories and more for ages 0 to 3, siblings welcome. Children’s Craft Program June 20 at 3:30 p.m. Make It & Take It. Make a fun craft to take home to share. Sponsored by the Friends of the Library.

Open Play at the Library June 21 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. Kitten & cat adoption day Sunday, June 16 11 2 p.m. Petco 324 N. Central Avenue Hartsdale 914-834-6955 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 13 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 Ave., June 3 to 28. 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. 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. Meditation for healthy living June 19 at 7 p.m. Dr. Andrew Vidich, author, educator, consultant and international speaker who has been practicing meditation for over 40 years will present research on how meditation can improve our physical, mental and spiritual health. Part 2 of 2. All invited. Computer orientation June 22 at 10:30 a.m. 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. Identity theft and you June 24 at 7 p.m. Sarah Camacho from Wells Fargo Bank will talk about how to avoid identity theft. Open to all ages. Summer reading and writing program For parents concerned their children will lose academic ground over the summer, The Center for Literacy Enrichment-Pace University has a solution–The Summer Reading & Writing Program. From pre-schoolers to middle schoolers, the program provides children with an opportunity to not only maintain their reading, writing and comprehensive skills, but also to make gains academically in fun and informative ways. The


program, which runs from July 1 to 31, offers full-day and half-day sessions. Certified teachers provide small-group instruction complemented by theme-based indoor and outdoor activities, including science experiments, crafts and games in a non-competitive 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 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 Ave., Harrison, N.Y. 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


June 14, 2013 • THE HARRISON REPORT • 5

High school cuts counselor’s services to once a week By DANIEL OFFNER STAFF REPORTER

Harrison Central School District administrators cut one of three student assistance counselor positions this past week, citing budgetary constraints as the cause. After 11 years of counseling students at the high school, Student Assistance Counselor Dana McCarthy was let go from the district. “I was very surprised,” McCarthy said. “I really enjoyed working with the students, faculty and staff.” Hired by the district in 2002, McCarthy said the reason she became a social worker was to help teenagers in the school community. For Olivia Pagano, a Harrison High School junior, McCarthy has always been a relatable, kind, and trustworthy person to approach with any problem. “Whether it is her specialty or not, she will help with all the energy she has,” Pagano said. “There is no reason why she should be laid off because, now, the students’ comfort and happiness is at stake.” According to Harrison Schools Superintendent Louis Wool, the last school budget cycle forced the district to re-examine every aspect of a child’s education and reorganize to more effectively provide the same level of intensity. “I understand the disappointment of the kids and some parents,” Wool said. “This was not an easy decision…and it does not reflect

the quality of Ms. McCarthy’s service as a school social worker.” Wool added that the decision to cut McCarthy’s position came late last Wednesday, after administrators carefully reviewed each of the student assistance counselors’ case loads and found it necessary to eliminate one of three full-time social workers to keep existing school programs mostly intact under the state-mandated tax levy cap. Following the latest staffing cut, the high school guidance program was reduced to two full-time social workers and one-and-a-half school psychologists. “It is not necessarily our ideal position, but it is one we carefully made with a scalpel,” Wool said. Separate from the school district’s in-house guidance counselors and staff, McCarthy was hired through the efforts of Student Assistance Services, a non-profit corporation based in Westchester, licensed and funded by the state Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services. Andrea Fallick, the assistant director of the Student Assistance Services, said McCarthy built a good working relationship with students and parents in the district, but was cut for a purely fiscal reason. “It was not because the district was displeased with her services,” Fallick said. “We will do what we can to keep her onboard.” According to Fallick, Student Assistance

Morehouse said the district has already agreed to pay $14,430 for her services, which equates to one day a week. “We appreciate the school district’s efforts to at least maintain some of the services [McCarthy] provided,” Morehouse said. According to Morehouse, the agency is hoping to acquire additional funding through the state, so the district can maintain McCarthy’s services Student Assistance Counselor Dana McCarthy plans on returning two days a week instead to Harrison High School, seen here, in the fall. Although her of just one. position has been cut by district officials due to budgetary “She has helped so many restrictions, she will continue on a part-time basis, working once students and is needed in this a week. File photo school,” said Harrison High Services is collaboratively funded in such a School junior Ashley Milone. “I’ve heard she has way that the state supplements the cost to the saved some people’s lives because they wanted to commit suicide…I think she should stay.” district. School officials are also waiting to hear Contracted for her services five days a week, McCarthy previously stood to make back from the state on a grant application to $111,150 annually. Of this, $67,150 was paid keep McCarthy’s services with the district out by the district and the remaining $44,000 twice a week. “It will be hard to service all the students I paid through a state subsidy. In an effort to keep her in the Harrison service on a part-time basis,” McCarthy said. school district, administrators plan to retain “But it’s better than nothing.” McCarthy on a part-time capacity. Student Assistance Services Executive Director Ellen -With reporting By AIDAN MORETTI

6 • THE HARRISON REPORT • June 14, 2013

Astorino talks HUD, housing in Harrison By DANIEL OFFNER STAFF REPORTER

As part of his ongoing series, Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, a Republican, stopped by the Alfred Sulla Municipal Building in downtown Harrison on June 10 for his 15th “Ask Astorino” town hall-like forum. During his presentation, Astorino touched on a variety of county issues, including unfunded state mandates and reductions to the county Department of Social Services. However, the major subject of Astorino’s visit to Harrison was affordable housing in Westchester and the county’s ongoing battle with the federal government over a 2009 U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development settlement. The settlement with HUD, agreed to under former Democratic County Executive Andrew Spano in 2009, mandates 750 units of affordable housing be constructed amongst 31 eligible communities over seven years and must be marketed for families with varying-incomes. According to Astorino, the federal government is demanding the county do away with local zoning provisions in order to comply with the settlement, citing claims that the existing municipal zoning in Westchester County is discriminatory. “Washington is equating zoning and discrimination as the same thing,” Astorino said. “The federal government is determining what

said that, in addition to the is necessary to balance accusations, HUD has continneighborhoods.” ued to “move the goal posts,” The dispute between citing data from a study done the county and HUD in 2004 at Rutgers University. was first ignited by a Based on the data, the federlawsuit brought by a nonal-appointed housing moniprofit housing advocacy tor James Johnson, who has group called the Antibeen overseeing the county’s Discrimination Center compliance with the housof Metro New York. ing settlement, said 5,847 The group claimed that units should be built across county government was Westchester County. Of that dishonest about its atamount, 756 units have been tempts to integrate housallocated to the Town/Village ing among people of of Harrison, based on the varying-incomes, citing Rutgers study. “That is six census data collected in more than the entire settle2000, claiming municipal ment,” Astorino said. zoning used income and With the federal government race as a way to impact mandating the county have housing availability. all its units built and sold by In a letter sent to 2015, Astorino argues that he Deputy County Executive has complied with the settleKevin Plunkett, on May ment and that the county is 13, 2011, HUD Assistant County Executive Rob Astorino, left, meets with Harrison Mayor Ron Belmont and Councilwoman Marlene Amelio after his “Ask Astorino” event in Harrison on June well ahead of HUD’s goal. He Secretary John Trasvina 10. Photo/Daniel Offner added that the county has far said that based on the more recent 2010 census,21 Westchester diverse population, but fails to explain surpassed the 300-unit requisite for 2013, municipalities have African American popu- and analyze its long history of segregation having 386 units with financing slated for lations of less than 3 percent and 12 munici- and the impact that segregation has had construction. “I will do what is in the settlement,” palities with Latino populations of less than and may have in the future on fair housing 7 percent. choice for racial and ethnic minorities,” Astorino said. “But I will not do what’s in the “The county describes itself as having a said Trasvina said in his letter. Astorino interest of the federal government.”

Pet Rescue Coraline is an absolutely charming tabby and white two-year-old female found on the street with a healed mouth injury. The topside of her mouth is missing with some of the gum and teeth exposed. Coraline has been seen by a vet and is in excellent health despite of her old injury. She is very, very sweet, friendly and sociable and just a pleasure to be around. Coraline resides in a foster home, where she gets along well with the other cats, dogs and kids. She is spayed and up to date with all vaccinations. The adoption donation for Coraline is $75. To learn more, please contact Larchmont Pet Rescue at 914-834-6955 or visit (Submitted)

Thanks for nothing, Andrea; Festa lives! food is prepared at St. Vincent’s Hospital and is delivered to residents’ homes by volunteer drivers. St. Vincent’s Hospital generously HARRISON provides these meals, at a very reasonable fee, HAPPENINGS ensuring that proper nutrition is available to Mayor Ron Belmont those in need. Harrison’s Meals On Wheels is currently looking for volunteer drivers who I would like to take this opportunity to thank can commit to a few hours a month. Each Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino volunteer delivers six to 10 meals, once every for his Harrison Town Hall meeting this week, or once every other week, and the entire week. His presentation focused on his admin- process takes about an hour. This organization istration’s efforts to control spending, reduce is not able to function without the assistance taxes and maintain services while promoting of volunteers. A few hours of your time will economic growth for Westchester County res- help keep this much-needed program in seridents. The affordable housing settlement was vice. If you are interested, please contact Ms. also a point of discussion and Astorino urged Accompora at the Meals On Wheels office at all residents to stay informed. For up to date 914-670-3027. With summer right around the corner, information on key settlement requirements and how these requirements effect our com- you may want to make plans for visiting our munity, please call the county office at 914- town pools. The 2013 pool schedule is as follows: Both the Ron Belmont Pool Complex 995-2900 or visit This weekend, I had the pleasure of attending at 9 Casarella Way, 358-4333, and the Bernie the annual St. Anthony’s Festa in West Harrison. Guanini Brentwood Pool and Park at Adelphi Although Tropical Storm Andrea threatened Avenue, 751-8222, are currently open on the weekends from noon to dampen the fun, to 6 p.m. During the thousands of residents week of June 17, and visitors attended the pools will be the festivities and enopened, daily, from joyed the food, games noon to 6 p.m. From and celebration. Food June 24 to Aug. 16 vendors provided the weekday hours Festa favorites that are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. included sausage and and weekend hours peppers, pasta and are 11 a.m. to 6 fresh cannoli. Childp.m. Guests may ren’s activities, music, accompany ID card dancing and carnival holders. For fee rides were enjoyed by Gina, of Gina’s Zeppoles, serves festival-goers schedules and addimany Festa attendees. some of her famous zeppoles and calzones. tional information, This year’s event was Photo/Dan Offner a great success and provided a wonderful way to please visit or call your neighborhood pool. showcase our area’s Italian heritage. The next “Lunch with the Mayor” is on I would like to bring your attention to Meals On Wheels of Harrison. Currently, this orga- Friday, June 14. I will be at Silver Lake Pizza, nization delivers meals to 30 senior citizens. located at 79 Lake St. in West Harrison. I According to Dulcie Accompora, the Harrison will be at this location from 12:30 p.m. to Meals On Wheels coordinator, these elderly 1:30 p.m. and look forward to meeting with residents are home bound and, many times, residents and talking about issues facing our the Meals On Wheels volunteers are their only community. In closing, I would like to wish you and connection to the outside world. Recipients receive two meals, five days a week. The your family a very Happy Father’s Day.


m su m h e g r u s o t r o h r t m s r , e a t w t o r a c t s a c ro w d p a n a i l a t ta I By DANIEL OFFNER STAFF REPORTER

Tom Tropea enjoys a sausage and pepper wedge.

For its 44th year, St. Anthony of Padua’s three-day “Festa Italiana” went on without a hitch...not even Tropical Storm Andrea could stop it. “This is the first time we’ve ever encountered a tropical storm,” said festival Chairwoman Denise Serra. Although the rain forced the church to close a little ahead of schedule-around 8:30 p.m. as opposed to the scheduled close at midnight-the passing storm pulled two days of sunshine behind it. “On Friday, I was puddle jumping,” said Jennifer Sylvia, 48, a West Harrison volunteer who has manned the pastry kiosk for 12 years. “But, the past two days we’ve had such beautiful weather.” Celebrating the annual observance of Italian heritage, from June 7 to June 9, the West Harrison Roman Catholic parish’s annual event brought thousands

from the community and neighboring Sound Shore region for the festivities. This year, the festa included numerous midway carnival games, a petting zoo, inflatable bounce-houses for kids, and a $10,000 raffle. “This is the most attended festa, volume-wise,” said Carlo Riccobono, 52, a West Harrison native. According to Riccobono, who has been around since the event first got its start 44 years ago, he has noticed the way the carnival games have evolved over the years as technology improved. He recalled, when the festa first began, the carnival games were much more basic and would only cost 10 cents a turn, whereas now they include electronic lights, speakers, music and cost $2 or more to play. West Harrison resident Crissy Castellano said she has volunteered to run the family booth-a carnival game involving lobbing beanbags at fuzzy pin shaped critters-for the past five years. “I started because I wanted to meet people and to give back to the commu-

nity,” said Castellano, 34. Apart from the outdoor activities, one of the staples of the annual festa is the selection of traditional Italian foods. Whether it’s the clams, calzones, zeppoles, ices, sausage or pastries from DeLillo’s on Arthur Avenue, the variety of food certainly provided festival-goers with a little taste of Italy. “They really went all out for this,” said Mayor Ron Belmont. For those looking to beat the heat outside, an air-conditioned indoor vendor market also provided local merchants the opportunity to showcase a variety of items including jewelry, candles, olive oil, and other collectables. Following mass on Sunday, parishioners marched through the hillside streets of West Harrison, carrying the patron St. Anthony of Padua alongside. “Each year, we take our patron saint to the streets of our neighborhood... to bless the community,” said Father Christopher Monturo, the pastor of St. Anthony’s church. “It is an opportunity to bring the community together and pay respect to our patron saint.”

The 44th annual “Festa Italiana” began, rain or shine, on June 7, as Tropical Storm Andrea approached. Although the rain would halt the first night of festivities, the three-day event went on as scheduled.

Participants from throughout Westchester County visited the heavily-attended annual festival.

(L-R) Father Christopher Monturo, Miriam Levitt Flisser, a candidate for county legislator, Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino and Seminarian Erialdo Ramires stop by the annual celebration in West Harrison. Parishioners carry the patron saint, St. Anthony of Padua, through the streets of West Harrison before the procession outside the church.

Justin Lanni, 11, tosses one in for a strike last Saturday night.

David Tamburro throws some more sausage on the grill.

Italian pastries were on full display last weekend for the 44th annual “Festa Italiana.”

(L-R) Sofia, 9, Amelia, 5, and Ava Alvarez, 8, take part in West Harrison’s Festa last weekend.

10 • THE HARRISON REPORT • June 14, 2013

Westchester Children’s Museum still awaits move to Playland By LIZ BUTTON STAFF REPORTER

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Bobby Begun, Alexandra Bogdanovic, Liz Button Chris Gramuglia, Ashley Helms

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It appears doubtful that the Westchester Children’s Museum will get its four walls just yet. While the museum received approval from the county Board of Legislators in June 2012 to move into the 1920s-era North Bathhouse along the county-owned Playland boardwalk, the county administration has not yet granted the museum permission to begin the 18 to 24 months of construction work needed to transform the property. It is the contention of some on the Democraticdominated county Board of Legislators—who held a press conference on the Playland boardwalk in May—that County The museum’s website contains renderings of the its new location at Playland. Currently, the museum has offices in Executive Rob Astorino, White Plains, but it does not have an official building, calling itself “a museum without walls.” a Republican, is using the Photo courtesy Westchester Children’s Museum. museum as leverage to get the board to ap- from 12 management firms, after the county dren’s museum to have the museum’s fate prove his choice of a park management firm: executive sent out the original request for pro- held hostage to SPI’s progress with the Board of Legislators,” said Myers, who is in favor of The non-profit Sustainable Playland, Inc. posals in 2010 to refurbish the park. Tracy Kay, the museum’s executive direcAll of the four finalists currently being vet- SPI’s proposal. “If we could get enough of a tor, said fundraising for the project has been ted by the legislature include the museum in hue and cry from the public, I think we could get the keys handed over.” somewhat stymied since the museum has not their plans. However, former Village of Mamaroneck yet received access to the bathhouse itself to Since its founding in 2000, the children’s begin construction. museum, which calls itself “a museum with- Trustee Tom Murphy, who is running for Myers’ According to Julie Sootin, the museum’s out walls,” has provided interactive educa- seat, said that not everyone is in favor of SPI, director of development, the non-profit cam- tional programs at schools and other venues which does not have deep pockets and is inexpepaign for the Westchester Children’s Museum to lower income youth, serving around 9,000 rienced with running an amusement park. Astorino is extorting the privatization of a has raised more than $9 million for the project children each year. Kay said he has waited for over the last 12 years, but still needs to raise 13 years to move from the non-profit’s modest public park at the expense of the children who $10 million more. White Plains office into a “real” building, and would benefit from the museum’s services, Legislators have criticized the county ex- is eager to get started. However, it is a fact that Murphy said. “I think it’s just a very heavy hand. He wants ecutive for rushing the SPI agreement through museums don’t crop up overnight, he said. approvals at the executive level, at one point “When you’re working with a government to have his way and be the operator of Playland, attempting to bypass the legislature until of- partnership, there are lots of hurdles,” said Kay. and he’s willing to hold a good project in jeopficials confirmed the board’s approval was The museum will benefit jobseekers in the ardy until he gets his way,” Murphy said. According to Ned McCormack, communineeded on any structural changes to the park. county, according to museum officials, which SPI spokesman Geoff Thompson said that projects 25 to 30 construction jobs and 15 per- cations director for the county executive, the there is a good reason that the county has manent positions to be added during the first county, the museum and SPI have had a series of “aggressive, constructive discussions,” and connected the two projects because, in oper- year of operation. ating the entire park, SPI will pay for some With an estimated annual visitation of now the next step is in the works. “Again, this of the museum’s essential maintenance and 200,000 people, the Westchester Children’s is about dotting all the I’s and crossing all the operational services—like snow removal and Museum is projected to add over $4 million T’s to make sure all the legal documentation certain cleaning, utilities and security ex- a year to the local economy, according to of- is there,” he said. “If you look at this as an analogy to this as penses—helping all tenants on the property to ficials with the non-profit. control costs. County Legislator Judy Myers, a Democrat an office building or a mall, SPI is going to “[The museum is] not going to operate as who spoke at May’s press conference, said control the master lease,” McCormack said. an enclave unto themselves and they don’t that frustratingly, despite separate approvals “They’re going to be the head landlord and want to,” said Thompson. from the state legislature and the Board of the children’s museum will be one of their The county executive signed a statement of Legislators of a 10-year lease last year, the tenants,” he said. To officials, the plan makes perfect sense intent to sign a contract with SPI on October project has not moved forward. 11, 2012, and this April announced an asset Last October, the bathhouse’s exterior was for the county, he said. While some argue that the museum does not management agreement with SPI. According renovated by the county,which invested $7 to this agreement, SPI would take over the million to bring the building up to code for have the financial wherewithal to move into park in October of this year if the improve- occupancy. But, currently, the museum is an the Playland space at this time, the museum ment plan submitted to the county last month empty shell, she said. Myers said she thinks reported that, at the end of the fiscal year in is approved by the Board of Legislators. SPI’s year-round plan will bring in an in- June 2012, its coffers hold around $2.43 million in assets, a figure corroborated in finanAstorino and a citizens’ advisory committee creased number of visitors. picked Sustainable Playland out of proposals “I think it’s somewhat unfair to the chil- cial documents provided by Kay.

June 14, 2013 • THE HARRISON REPORT • 11

Armonk’s Fortina offers a taste of the real Italy Walking into Fortina, the new Italian res- uncle, shirtless and smoking a cigtaurant in Armonk, just days before its much- arette with the ubiquitous espresso anticipated opening, I’m in hand, has overcome with the most been beautifully wonderful aroma. rendered into a At first, the obvious WESTCHESTER piece of art. It’s source is the two woodalmost like Louie WANDERER burning ovens imported is watching over Lisa Jardine from Naples tucked into the joint, making the corner of the seemsure his nephew ingly endless subway-tiled bar. But it’s an does right by his customers. Petroni and Nealon met while even richer scent, one that I haven’t come upon in Westchester in quite some time. working at Barcelona in GreenTaking in the rustic surroundings, com- wich, Conn. Petroni was the execplete with old barn doors and forged iron utive chef and Nealon the general fittings, light fixtures that look like they manager. “When I met Christian at were bought directly from an upstate farm, I think the smell might be coming off the Barcelona, the connection between floor to ceiling cyprus walls which were us was instantaneous,” Petroni said. aged by fire–literally, a blow torch. As for Krauss, he’s a childhood But that’s not it either. After spending an hour with Christian friend of Nealons’s they like to Petroni, John Nealon and Rob Krauss—the call the “marketing guru.” It seems these guys really like to three partners in this new venture—I come to the conclusion that the wonderful smell that collaborate. Another amazing food hits you as you walk in the door of Fortina is partnership they forged was at Cooked & Co. in Scarsdale, where success. These guys know food and they know how I first came across their food. The to enjoy it. And at Fortina, they’ve used every- physical space was quite small, and thing they’ve learned from their past experi- yet their reputation was anything Partners John Nealon, left, and Christian Petroni of Fortina in Armonk. Photos/Lisa Jardine but. I wouldn’t think twice about ences to make sure you will, too. Petroni grew up in a true Italian family driving 20 minutes for one of their banana nut ries was the Feast of the Mother Mary, when credibly creative and fresh toppings like zucin the Bronx and spent idyllic summers on muffins stuffed with Nutella. And then there Uncle Louie would make a big pot of polenta. chini flowers, English peas, leaks and even Ponza, a tiny island off the coast of Naples. were the Saturday night polenta tables. The contents of the pot would be spread out bone marrow. They have a hearty antipasto of Petroni came up with the idea of doing a on a specially-made wooden table and the salumi and formaggia, as well as proteins a He was so influenced by his extended family and the food they fed him, he pays homage to chef’s table on Saturday nights featuring po- guests would bring Ragu and grilled meats, la carte: a beautiful piece of fish, a perfectly his Uncle Louie above the bar. A photo taken lenta alla spianatora–literally, polenta spread which would be laid on top of the polenta. He roasted chicken. this past summer with Petroni’s iPhone of his flat. One of his fondest Italian summer memo- did the same thing at Cooked & Co., but with “Cooking a perfectly roasted chicken excites an added online tweak. They put an invite on me more than a dish with a thousand ingrediFacebook and, within 45 minutes, sold out the ents. Simplicity is king and it’s very difficult to entire series of Saturday nights with a 500- pull off. It needs to be perfect,” Petroni said. person waiting list. Petroni knows a lot about perfection, as eviI was one of those 500 who never did get denced by his 2010 win on Food Network’s off the list. popular show, Chopped. “The polenta tables brought strangers toWhen asked about dessert, Petroni waxes gether whose only commonality was a love of poetically about the gelato in Italy. food and a sense of adventure,” Nealon said. “When I’m in Florence, I eat gelato seven Wendy Gellert, a Harrison resident and to nine times a day. It’s that good. The homefoodie said, “It was one of the best meals I made gelato we’ll offer here is sweet cream ate all year.” gelato, just like you’ll find in Florence. Krauss, the partner tasked with the team’s Another dessert we’ll serve is affogato. The online presence, is extremely media savvy perfect scoop of vanilla ice cream with a hot and refuses to use technology to push their shot of espresso poured over it, tableside. It’s customers to do anything. “Facebook is all about friends. We have no my favorite,” Petroni said. If you haven’t yet visited their website to desire to monetize it. Our Facebook page is a rereserve your table online, you might be one flection of us and what we like to do–which is eat of those famous 500 on the waiting list. Book good food and have fun doing it,” Krauss said. Their new website is now or forever hold your peace. crisp and fresh, just like their food. It’s in its Lisa Jardine is a freelance writer who has infancy, but they envision it will be a great frequently contributed to among source of information with blog entries by the chefs and servers alike. Field trips and cook- other publications. She is currently a stuing demonstrations will be a part of what they dent in the MFA creative writing program at have in store. This is a young group of chefs, Manhattanville College. She is always on the restaurateurs and entrepreneurs, and it’s going lookout for a great story, an amazing restaurant, an unusual day trip or a must-see culto be exciting to see where they take it. tural event (in Westchester County). Their menu is simple. To contact Lisa, you can email her at Almost everything will be cooked in the and follow her on Twitter two wood-burning ovens, starting with their This picture of partner Christopher Petroni’s Uncle Louie oversees the proceedings at Fortina, a new Italian restaurant in Armonk. artisanal and flat bread pizzas. Look for in- @westchesterwand.

12 • THE HARRISON REPORT • June 14, 2013

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The Harrison Central School District hereby invites the submission of sealed bids for the following: RFB #13/14-18a Integrated Security and Access Control for Entrance Doors Bids shall be submitted in sealed envelopes marked “RFB #13/1418a: Integrated Security and Access Control for Entrance Doors” on the outside. Bids will be received until 2:00 p.m., Tuesday, June 25, 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 Tuesday, June 11, 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. A PRE-BID WALK THROUGH HAS BEEN SCHEDULED FOR TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 2013 AT 8:00 A.M. AT THE FACILITIES OFFICE, HARRISON CENTRAL SCHOOL DISTRICT, 50 UNION AVE, HARRISON, NY. 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 11, 2013

June 14, 2013 • THE HARRISON REPORT • 13

L etters Build the Children’s Museum now To the Editor, I am writing to urge the Board of Trustees of Sustainable Playland, and all elected officials who have supported the Sustainable Playland plan, to demand that County Executive Rob Astorino immediately allow the Westchester Children’s Museum to begin construction on their previously-approved and long overdue project. It is unconscionable that Astorino would hold hostage a project that benefits all of Westchester’s children in a misguided effort to extort the privatization of a public park. There is universal bipartisan agreement that the Children’s Museum will be a great benefit for all of Westchester’s children. It has been included in every proposal under consideration for Playland’s future, including the Sustainable Playland plan. Consequently, there is no reason, other than petty partisan politics, for Mr. Astorino’s stubborn intransigence. Sustainable Playland, and anyone who supports their plan, should tell Astorino to stop his childish obstructionism and call upon Astorino to behave maturely. For public officials to support Sustainable Playland before it’s financial and practical benefits and detriments have been vetted and compared in a public forum with the other competing plans is irresponsible. By urging Astorino to act now to allow construction of the Children’s Museum, Sustainable Playland and its supporters would allow the Board of Legislators time to conduct its due diligence and help prevent Astorino’s attempt to force precipitous action. Tom Murphy, Mamaroneck Murphy is a candidate for county legislator

Bramson: Out of touch on American Dream To the Editor, Democratic candidate for county executive, Noam Bramson, has taken the position that County Executive Rob Astorino is deceiving us about HUD’s intentions towards Westchester County, going so far as to accuse the county executive of creating his own “imaginary threat.” Either Mr. Bramson has no understanding of what HUD is trying to do to our county, or he is attempting to purposefully mislead us for his own-and, perhaps even HUD’s-political ends. We move to Westchester County for a number of reasons. Not the least of these is the suburban residential setting provided by our municipalities’ single-family homes and the thoughtful placement of its apartment or garden type housing. That setting is protected by our local zoning ordinances, which require certain minimum lot sizes and restrict multi-family homes to certain of our community’s neighborhoods, in accordance with our community’s specific culture and land planning. Some of us want and are able to afford large homes on spacious lots, but many of us achieve our piece of the “American Dream” on more modest lots of 10,000 square feet-a common suburban lot size of less than a quarter of an acre-or by renting or purchasing an attractive apartment in a pleasant suburban surrounding. Unfortunately, what HUD is attempting to do to us is far more than an “imaginary threat”. It is a planned assault on our communities, our suburban culture and our individual pieces of that “American Dream.” In this regard, HUD has taken the position “that 10,000 sq. ft. zoning, regardless of municipality, may have an exclusionary effect.” which, in turn, would require a forced federal remedy, according to HUD’s letter of March 13, 2013 to Westchester County. HUD is also demanding that the county override local zoning ordinances “that directly or indirectly limit the number of bedrooms in a unit, restrictions on lot size or other density requirements that encourage single-family housing or restrict multifamily housing,” according to HUD’s letter of May 13, 2013 to Westchester County. In other words, without regard to the fact that there is no proof of local racial discrimination, HUD’s social engineers want to bully Westchester into demanding that its individual communities change their respective landscapes to conform to HUD’s idea of racially diverse housing patterns. Mr. Bramson’s campaign column informs us that, unlike County Executive Rob Astorino, he does not “get it” or, worse yet, he does not care. However, if we care about our suburban way of life and our piece of the “American Dream,” then we should clearly understand that he is the wrong leader for Westchester County. Peter Lane, Rye

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Independence Party endorsement: Revenge? By CHRIS GRAMUGLIA STAFF REPORTER

manager. “We won on both the Republican and Independent line.” O’Reilly said the campaign expected The Westchester County Independence Bramson would receive the endorsement over Party has made its official endorsement for Astorino this time around, and that Cavallo the upcoming county executive race, choosing is, “getting back at Rob for not getting him New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson, who those jobs.” After Astorino won the election, received the Democratic Party’s nomination Cavallo expected to reap the benefits of his endorsement through cushy county governin April. Four years ago, Bramson’s opponent, in- ment jobs for members of his party, but never cumbent Rob Astorino, a Republican, received got them, according to O’Reilly. “He’s got a group that is close to him in the Independence nomination, but party chair Giulio “Doc” Cavallo said that rising property the party, and thought everybody would get taxes and a lack of job creation strategies un- parked somewhere with a very nice salary,” der the current county executive caused the O’Reilly said. In published comments, Cavallo has denied party to shift its support elsewhere. However, representatives from Astorino’s that he has used his party’s endorsement to campaign have said that Cavallo’s decision get people jobs, and that he controls the party. to endorse Bramson was no surprise and was However, Cavallo is viewed as the outright done vengefully, after the county executive leader of the Independence Party wielding his refused to grant jobs to a number of people in political power for gain. Barry Caro, a spokesperson for Bramson, the party who are close to Cavallo. According to the county Board of Elections, said the campaign is happy to have received the Independence Party has 22,132 registered the Independence Party nomination for a members in Westchester, making it the third- number of reasons, and believes the shifting focus in the party is due to Astorino’s changing policies. “We are obviously quite happy that [the endorsement] has switched because no Republican has ever won countywide office without the support of the Independence Party,” Caro said. “I think it is clear that there has been a marked change in independent voters’ impression of Astorino’s policies over the years. They have seen what he’s about and they don’t like it.” Tony Sayegh, a Republican political analyst, told The Harrison Report that Astorino’s ability to traverse political party lines will make his lack of endorsement from the Independence Party mostly irrelevant. “It certainly would be almost a requirement for someone to get the Independence line to be viable in Giulio Cavallo, chair of the county’s Independence the county. But Rob has transcended Party, announced the party’s endorsement will go to Democratic New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson, political boundaries,” Sayegh said. pictured. However, incumbent Rob Astorino’s campaign “He is able to take his message and sees this as a way of exacting revenge for not complying win support from a broad specwith Cavallo demands in 2009. File photo trum.” According to Sayegh, Astorino’s success in largest political party, trailing Democrats, with 250,232 registered voters, and Republicans, cutting taxes, reducing spending and successfully negotiating with a number of public serwith 132,460 voters. In 2009, Cavallo endorsed Astorino when vice unions, make it clear that party lines will he ran against then-County Executive Andy not be a major factor in the county executive’s Spano, a Democrat, and played an instrumen- attempt at keeping the seat. Westchester’s county executive is elected to tal role in Astorino’s victory. “In 2009, we had the support [of the serve a four-year term. An attempt reach Cavallo for comment was Independence Party] and really appreciated it,” said Bill O’Reilly, Astorino’s campaign unsucessful as of press time.

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14 • THE HARRISON REPORT • June 14, 2013

Shopping event for children’s health documentary

The mysterious kitchen triangle THE KITCHEN AND BATH INSIDER Paul Bookbinder, M.I.D.©

support of these local volunteers, has a number of additional fundraising events planned for the coming months. The first event is a charity shopping night to be held in downtown Rye on Thursday, June 27 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The shopping event, whimsically titled, “Canary in the Rye,” is being held in collaboration with the Rye Chamber of Commerce and many local merchants. Participating stores will be donating between 10 percent and 20 percent of sales to Epidemic Answers in support of the Canary Kids Film Project. Shoppers are invited to enjoy a glass of wine and light appetizers after shopping, compliments of Ruby’s Bistro & Oyster Bar, located on Purchase Street. Stores participating in the charity shopping night include: Alex and Ani, Angela’s, Blush Beauty Bar, Blue Mercury, Bubble & Tweet, Candy Rox, Great Stuff, Havana Jeans, Health through Massage, Learning Express, Longford’s Ice Cream, Nest, Parkers, Ruby’s Bistro & Oyster Bar, Rye Running Company, The Open House, Twinkle Toes, Walin & Wolff, Weezie D, Wine At Five, Wish, and more stores soon to join. Additional fundraising events are planned for New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Tampa Bay and other cities to help pay for the treatment and healing of the children and the production of the film. To see a trailer for The Canary Kids Film Project, learn more about Epidemic Answers, or to donate to the project, please visit www. Donations to the project are tax-deductible. (Submitted)

Thankfully, the kitchen triangle is not the hazard that the Bermuda Triangle is thought to be, and headlines like this one are few and far between. However, a movement has arisen to make the kitchen triangle itself disappear, doing away with this traditional design tool that has guided us for so many years. In my profession, I find myself torn as my hero, Raymond Lowey-greatest industrial designer ever)*-said “never leave well enough alone”. So which is it? Is the kitchen triangle dead like these upstarts are claiming, or has it moved to a new plane? Developed in the 1940s, the kitchen work triangle addressed the efficiency of the relationship of three areas of your kitchen: The cooking area, the preparation area and the food storage area. The cooking area refers to the cook top, oven and/or range; the preparation area-including the sink-and the storage area, where the refrigerator and dry storage are located. The plan was based on a single person-one person, not someone who is single-cooking in a 1940s sized kitchen. Since then the size of kitchens has increased dramatically, and, today, more people are helping prepare meals, whether they are single or married. If you struggled with 10th-grade geometry, this magical shape is the line connecting the stove, fridge, and sink with each of these areas creating one of the points of the triangle. The basic rules were no leg of the triangle should be less than four feet or greater than nine feet, and the sum of all three sides should be between 13 and 26 feet. I recently attended a conference where they discussed the new “kitchen work zone” theory, but, when I realized that the work zones were the “cooking zone”, the “preparation zone”, and the “storage zone,” I began to zone out. It sounded suspiciously like new packaging for the old triangle that they said was kaput.

*Among a million other things, Raymond Lowey designed my favorite car, the Studebaker Avanti; my favorite locomotive, the GG-1; the interior of Skylab-back when we had a space program-the interior of the Concorde supersonic jet; the Coke bottle and their vending machines; the Shell and Exxon logos, etc. etc. Paul Bookbinder, M.I.D., C.R., is president of DreamWork Kitchens, Inc. located in Mamaroneck, New York. A Master of Design (Pratt Institute), and E.P.A. Certified Remodeler, he serves on the Advisory Panel of Remodeling Magazine. A member of the National Kitchen & Bath Assoc., he is also a contributor to Do It Yourself magazine. He can be reached for questions at 914-777-0437 or



A small group of dedicated women from local towns including Harrison, Rye, and Greenwich have taken up a new cause. These volunteers have signed on to help raise money for an innovative new film project called “The Canary Kids Film Project.” The project aims to bring awareness to the new childhood epidemics sweeping through this country, including autism, ADHD, allergies and asthma. The project will provide seven children-with a diagnosis of autism, ADHD, asthma or another chronic condition-with free healing and recovery services for a period of 18 months. The children’s recovery journey will be documented and made into a powerful feature-length film to be directed by awardwinning filmmaker Mary Mazzio of 50 Eggs Films. The film will provide an exposé on the many factors contributing to the epidemics, but will also leave viewers with a message of hope: These childhood conditions can be reversed. Dr. Martha Herbert, MD, PhD, pediatric neurologist and professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School, will oversee the Medical Advisory Board for the project and will also perform a clinical study of the enrolled children. The project is sponsored by Epidemic Answers, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to helping parents find recovery solutions for children with chronic illnesses. Local volunteers, including Mary Toulouse of Harrison, Jennifer Lanzarone Lindsay of Greenwich, and Eileen Iorio of Rye, have helped to raise over $150,000 for the film project so far. Epidemic Answers, with the

Nevertheless, they did have a valid point regarding the size of new kitchens, which have grown over the years. In bigger kitchens-which will probably be outlawed by the current New York City mayor-you frequently are blessed with multiple cooking areas, additional preparation areas and several areas of storage space. Does this mean we should abandon the triangle? Not at all. We just use multiples of them, keeping in mind that you want to avoid crossing the kitchen with hot pots and pans, making sure that the sink isn’t too far from the cook top, and that you have decent storage near your refrigerators. If more than one chef will be involved in the preparation of meals, then we need to utilize one triangle for each person. If they overlap, the two triangles will create a star. You can try this at home with pen or pencil. In fact, I think I will give a lecture and call this concept the star kitchen design zones, just to confuse everyone. As usual, most design comes down to common sense. Once your designer has created a plan, review it carefully and make sure that the basics of the original triangle have been adhered to where possible and that nothing seems “out of whack.” If the fridge is 25 feet away from the sink, you’re going to be miserable, no matter how pretty the kitchen looks.

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June 14, 2013 • THE HARRISON REPORT • 15

Baseball’s knuckleheads strike again In previous columns, I’ve stated that I’m not one of those baseball fans who demonizes players for taking performance enhancing drugs. I’m not a ‘roids advocate by any stretch of the imagination, nor do I think that Barry Bonds’ achievements should ever be put on the same level as Ruth’s, Mays’ or any of the all-time greats that came before him. But, ultimately, I understand why players do what they do to their bodies. In a culture where chasing perfection is an every day thing, many players, I believe, are looking for an edge any way they can, be it legal or not. But with this latest incident at Florida’s Biogenesis clinic, in which 20 players—many of whom have been previously on the hot seat for PEDs—have been linked to a dirty doctor, I may just be done. Suspend them, I say. But not for steroids, for sheer arrogance. Imagine you’re Ryan Braun—a player, coincidentally, I happen to like. You fail a drug test in 2012. Miraculously, you get off scot-free thanks to a mishandled sample and some aggressive MLBPA lawyers. That’s it for you on the steroids front, no? You flew too close to the sun, got burned, but ultimately ended up unscathed—de-

spite having a somewhat tarnished reputation. If I were Braun, I would do everything in my power to prove to people that I am playing the game by the rules from that point on. Braun made his money. If he cared at all about his reputation, he should be acting like a choirboy. Then why was he on Tony Bosch’s list? The first reports out of his camp were that Braun contacted Bosch—who had known ties to PEDS—in order to “find out more” about how his sample could have been tainted. If Braun doesn’t have a public relations director, he should find one. If he does have one, he should find a new one. Braun’s inclusion on the list, and his subsequent denial, are something endemic to people in positions LIVE MIKE of power, especially athletes. Superstar athletes, having grown up with Mike Smith coaches, parents and friends singing their praises, sometimes have a slanted worldview, one in which they aren’t held accountable for their actions. So, it’s no surprise that players like Braun and A-Rod would find themselves in this mess. They operate under the assumption that they’re untouchable, but if MLB lawyers have their way–and these guys get slapped with 100game suspensions–—maybe they’ll start to realize that even they have to pay the piper sometimes. Then again, it might take more than 20 players facing the wrath of Commissioner Bud Selig to get the point across. There’s always somebody waiting in the wings, just ready to grab the crown of stupidity.

Despite a crackdown on performance enhancing drugs, many major leaguers still aren’t getting the point. Photo courtesy

Harrison celebrates senior athletes By MIKE SMITH SPORTS EDITOR

On June 6, Harrison High School celebrated student athletes with its annual senior awards banquet, held at Harrison High School. The evening was a celebration of the accomplishments of this year’s Huskies as they prepare to bid adieu to high school and look ahead to their future challenges. Harrison students, coaches, parents and friends filled the Harrison Performing Arts Center. In past years, the awards banquet has been a formal dinner held at the Crowne Plaza in White Plains, but it was moved to the HPAC in order to accommodate a larger crowd. “We want this to be an opportunity for parents, grandparents and friends to come and join the celebration,” said Superintendent Louis Wool. “That’s why we’re having this here, so everyone can participate.” School officials lauded the seniors for their various accomplishments this year, including championship seasons for the boys and girls track squads, each of Harrison’s varsity teams being named Scholar-Athlete teams, and, of course, the first victory over Rye on the football field in eight tries. “I think we won a football game, isn’t that right?” Wool said, inciting raucous applause. “We brought some of the tradition back to Harrison.” Vinnie Nicita and Kaitlyn Gotte won the male and female Athlete of the Year Award,

respectively, with Nicita leading the Huskies deep into the football playoffs and Gotte establishing herself one of the premier field hockey players around this season. But, although the event was a send-off for Harrison’s seniors, it was also a way for Harrison’s athletes to say goodbye to some important figures in the district, as the retirements of longtime tennis coach Sam Fishman, Principal James Ruck and Athletic Director Patricia Seligman were all included in the awards ceremony. “I often tell people that I have the best job in the world. Every day - no matter how challenging the day has been - I can look forward to watching our student- athletes give their all out on the field, court, pool, mat,” said Seligman, who is stepping down after four years at the helm of Harrison’s athletic and physical education departments. “It has sheer joy to Athletic Director Pat Seligman addresses the crowd at the Harrison Senior Sports Award Banquet on watch them work together as a Harrison June 6. Seligman will retire at the end of the year. Photo/Mike Smith well-greased team to accomplish and apply them to situations they will no transferable for the rest of your life,” Ruck their goals.” told the seniors. “With relationships, spouses, In his final address to Harrison’s athletes, doubt face in the real world. “What you take from the experience you bosses, co-workers, people will be part of Principal Ruck urged them to take the lessons that they learned on Harrison’s sports fields are going through now, those experiences are your team.”

16 • THE HARRISON REPORT • June 14, 2013


Scholar-athletic teams treated to ice cream social By MIKE SMITH SPORTS EDITOR

On June 3, Harrison High School honored its outstanding student-athletes with an ice cream social to commemorate the naming of each of Harrison’s varsity teams to the AP scholar-athlete award. Each year, the New York State Public High School Athletic Association recognizes sports programs that produce stars in the classroom as well as the ball fields. To that end, the scholar-athlete award is given to teams who have a minimum of players on the roster earn a 90 average or better for the season. This year, every single one of Harrison’s teams was awarded that distinction, a first for the district. To celebrate, the student athletes were all treated to a celebration in the student union complete with chocolate fountains and sundae building stations. According to girls soccer Maya Abdul-Samad builds a sundae on June 3. Photos/Bobby Begun coach Jon-Erik Zappala, the According to Zappala, Harrison’s strong Huskies’ acheivements this year are proof that Harrison’s commitment to its student-ath- community bonds–as well as its embrace of letes–and the student-athletes’ commitment to new technology–all serve to make the high learning-are the building blocks to Harrison’s school, and by extension its sports teams, a place where teachers, coaches and administrasuccess. “It’s one of my main beliefs, the Aristotelian tors are all heavily involved in each student’s concept of sound mind and body,” said the growth. “It’s a combined effort between everyone, head coach. “It shows these kids are playing hard on the field, taking care of themselves the students, teachers coaches,” said Zappala. and working hard in the classroom, and that’s “I think in years past, it was a little more difficult to keep an eye on how each kid was something that colleges like to see.”

From left: Olivia Manley, Alex Coloccia and Assistant principal Josh Elder partake in the chocolate fountain on June 3.

Harrison Mayor Ron Belmont says a few words at the celebration on June 3. This is the first time all of Harrison’s teams have qualified for the award.

Harrison’s student athletes celebrate their scholar-athlete team awards on June 3. Every varsity squad won scholar-athlete distinctions.

doing, knowing who their teachers were. But now, with better technology, there are more open lines of communications between everyone and that definitely helps.” Those sentiments were echoed by HCSD Superintendent Louis Wool at the senior awards banquet on June 6. Wool said the achievements of Harrison’s student-athletes

this year spoke to the contributions of everyone at Harrison High School, even those who didn’t quite make the scholar-athlete cut. “For those kids who were just under the average, who’s names aren’t up here, they still played a big part in what the scholar-athletes were able to accomplish,” he said. “And that’s what being a part of a team is all about.”

Harrison Report 6-14-13