Vol. 13/Number 17
Outta my way!
City threatens Lester’s with lawsuit By LIZ BUTTON STAFF REPORTER firstname.lastname@example.org
Sophomore Jack Smith looks to blow by a Byram Hills defender on April 20. Smith and the Garnets are out to a blistering start in 2013 and are currently undefeated. For more, see back page. Photo/ Mike Smith
City Council to rebid police uniform contract By ASHLEY HELMS STAFF REPORTER email@example.com
The City Council voted unanimously to completely rebid for its police uniforms following the arrest of John Holmes, owner of New England Sportswear in White Plains, who is accused of providing a fraudulent warranty in order to gain a clothing contract from the city. Councilwoman Laura Brett, a Republican, said that she was able to discover that New England Sportswear was not a permitted dealer of Blauer, a uniform manufacturer that the city uses, by searching through Blauer’s website.
In fact, the fraudulent warranty wasn’t signed, prompting the city to review its bidding and warranty procedures. “Due diligence on the bid was not met,” Brett said. A viable contract from Connecticut-based New England Uniform was still valid, but the council decided that further review must be conducted and rescinded the bid. This will be the fourth time this year that the city has put a request for bids out for the police department’s uniforms. Police Commissioner William Connors said that the city took the bid from Holmes, who has been working as a city auxiliary police
April 26, 2013
officer since 2008, on face value because they had done business with his store in the past. The controversy centers on a possible conflict of interest stemming from Holmes’ involvement in the police department. At a March 20 City Council meeting, when Holmes’ bid was approved, both City Manager Scott Pickup and City Attorney Kristen Wilson said that there wasn’t a conflict of interest because Holmes was an unpaid officer and there had been a competitive bid process. This month, when the bids were rescinded, Councilman Joe Sack, UNIFORM continued on page 11
The city has threatened to file a lawsuit against Lester’s, its current tenant, after final closure proceedings for the 1037 Boston Post Road property’s $5.6 million sale broke down. On April 17, the City Council unanimously voted to commence a lawsuit against Lester’s owner Perry Schorr, who has run the department store out of its current location since 2007, if he did not sign and submit a clean estoppel certificate by Monday at 5 p.m. The lawsuit states Schorr is intentionally obstructing the execution of the city’s purchase and sale agreement with Bill Wolf Petroleum, a Long Island based real estate holdings and gasoline distribution corporation that agreed to purchase the property from the city earlier this year. When contacted by The Rye Sound Shore Review in the days following the council meeting, Schorr said he was not aware of the City Council vote to file the suit. “I signed the estoppel that they sent us,” he said. “We signed that we felt was a correct estoppel. It may not have been satisfactory from their vantage point, but we signed one we felt to be correct.” An estoppel certificate is a document that sets forth the rights of the tenants, according to City Attorney Kristen Wilson. Many landlords of retail lease spaces have their tenants sign one of these agreements, which are designed to give a third party critical information on the relation-
ship between landlord and tenant, usually so a prospective buyer can conduct its own due diligence. Estoppel certificates include information such as whether the tenant’s lease is in full force; whether the landlord has paid any required contributions to the tenant; whether the tenant has any existing claims against the enforcement of the lease by the landlord; whether any rent has been paid more than one month in advance; and whether any security has been deposited with the landlord. The city could not close the sale on April 17 because a fully completed estoppel certificate is needed to get title insurance, Wilson said. “From a title insurance perspective, this was not a clean estoppel certificate,” said Wilson. Two weeks ago, Lester’s attorneys sent a note to the city’s legal department to amend the certificate, she said. Since then, she has been in communication with Lester’s attorneys, who maintain that the tenant has a right to first refusal of the sale of the property. It is the city’s position that they do not, she said. Schorr signed a letter of intent with the city in June 2012 to buy the property, but the city signed a contract in March of this year to sell to another bidder, Bill Wolf Petroleum, for $5.6 million. City officials have since said the letter of intent was not a binding document. Negotiations to sell the building to Schorr began in late 2011, but a purchase and sale agreement was never signed. Schorr has said his bid LESTERS continued on page12
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Critic looks to change city makeup By ASHLEY HELMS STAFF REPORTER firstname.lastname@example.org
Patrick Stephen Lamont, a registered Democrat, has announced that he intends to run for a seat on the City Council in November. This will be Lamont’s first shot at a City Council position during his nine years in the city. Lamont, 47, said that what has been going on in Rye government over the past seven to eight months has been unacceptable and change is in order. “Last week, what I saw on Rye TV I found so repulsive that I think real change is in order in city government,” Lamont said referring to a recent City Council meeting. “I think I have a decent enough background to fulfill the seat.” Lamont is a chief executive officer for Iviewit Holdings, Inc., an Armonk-based company responsible for multimedia technology and video frame manipulation. Lamont oversees the company’s innovations while controlling up to a $100 million budget. He is also a practicing attorney. If elected, Lamont said that he would focus on the possibility of ongoing city corruption, particularly with a recent Rye Golf Club scandal. He said it’s possible the city could have be involved in a racketeering scheme stemming
Patrick Stephen Lamont, 47, has announced his interest in running for a seat on the City Council in the November elections. Lamont has lived in Rye for nine years and would be running for the first time. Contributed photo
from the incidents at the golf club‑after which an investigation found former club manager Scott Yandrasevich created shell companies accusing him of stealing money from club members‑and that this isn’t the type of environment that children should be raised in. “The Rye Golf Club investigation I support CRITIC continued on page 13
Police to revisit social media policy By LIZ BUTTON STAFF REPORTER email@example.com
Social media has emerged for a growing number of residents as both an invaluable tool, during crises like Hurricane Sandy, and as a cause for caution, as with a recent incident at Rye Middle School involving an anonymous student-run gossip blog. In consideration of an ever-evolving technological world, city officials have asked Rye Police to renew their focus on crafting a social media policy for the department. In the view of Police Commissioner William Connors, the need to set certain standards for social media content and behavior has never been clearer. “It’s becoming more and more of not just how we deal with our youth and other issues, but also how the [police] department communicates to the next generation,” Connors said at an April 18 meeting of the City Council. In a series of ongoing discussions about civility sparked by last year’s hazing incident at Rye High School, the Rye Youth Council worked with members of the public to draft a civility statement for the city. Earlier this month, a Tumblr account run by anonymous Rye Middle School students was uncovered. The site ryegossipgirl.tmblr.com answers anonymous questions and speculated openly about the personal lives and behavior of other students. On April 8, Peter Green, an RMS social worker, posted a letter on the site
asking the anonymous moderators to take it down. The next day, the school held a student assembly on the issue, and Green sent a letter to parents in which he asked families to talk about the incident “Please help your sons and daughters make respectful and empathetic choices in their dealings with each other,” the letter read. The site was removed after the letter was sent out to parents. To prevent these types of incidents, Green said, the focus must be on civility at school and at home. “Social media is a modern technology. It’s a tool that can be used for good or ill, and we need to teach people to be good to each other. I think the civility statement conversations are exactly what all of us in the community need to be doing,” he said. While Facebook, Twitter and other social media outlets are now a ubiquitous part of modern life, with a host of attendant issues like online civility and privacy, they are also increasingly a helpful tool for law enforcement. These days, Connors said, social media serves as a communication and notification service for the community as well as a public relations vehicle. It can also facilitate twoway communication between residents and cops for crime tips. At the moment, the department, which SOCIAL MEDIA continued on page 9
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Community Briefs Events at the Rye Library
Meet author Suzanne McNear Meet author and former Rye resident Suzanne McNear at the Rye Free Reading Room on Tuesday, April 30, at 7 p.m., and join your neighbors for a reading from her new book, “Knock Knock,” which displays the same quirky, ironic sensibility that brought praise for her story collection “Drought.” The new book, a full-length fictional work in the form of a memoir, carries the reader through the upheavals of the 60’s and 70’s‑the impact of Betty Friedan, the assassination of President Kennedy, and the Vietnam War‑in a style that is comic as well as painful and true. Books will be available for purchase and signing. For more information, call 914-231-3161 or visit www.ryelibrary.org. Basic computer classes The Rye Free Reading Room will offer a two-session workshop on computer basics and surfing the Internet on Thursdays, May 2 and 9, from 10 a.m. to 12 noon. The class covers using the mouse, keyboarding, activating computer programs and producing and printing a simple letter. No previous computer experience is necessary, and participants are expected
to attend both sessions. For more information, go to www.ryelibrary. org or call 914-231-3161. No pre-registration is necessary. Photography Show “America: Coast to Coast,” a collection of photographs showcasing landscapes, architecture, and nature from photographer Scott Dengrove’s travels all across the United States, will be on display at the Rye Free Reading Room from May 3 to 29. An opening reception will be held on Saturday, May 4, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. The photographs in the show, including some taken in Rye, show that, while it is easy to find beauty everywhere you look across the country, each locale has something unique to offer. For more information, call 914-231-3161 or visit www.ryelibrary.org.
Church spring tag sale
The Thrift Shop at Rye Presbyterian Church‑882 Boston Post Road‑will hold a giant spring sale on Saturday, April 27, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Shoppers will find a large number of quality items, some even new. Items, priced to sell, include jewelry, handbags, china, silver, lamps, frames, linens, housewares, toys, games, books, collectibles, and easy-to-transport furniture. All proceeds go to local nonprofit groups that help women, children, and the elderly. Run by volunteers, the thrift shop is also open most Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., September through June. Entrance is at side and back of church, Parsons St. and Milton Road.
“Conversation” about Rye Town Park
The Rye Town Park Commission is holding
its fourth “community conversations” meeting on Saturday, April 27 at 10:30 a.m. The meeting will be held at the Damiano Recreation Center/ Recreation Park, 281 Midland Avenue, Rye, NY 10580. The event is being co-sponsored by the Friends of Rye Town Park and Rye City’s Rye Town Park Advisory Committee. The previous “conversations” meetings each attracted about 150 people, representing a wide variety of interests and points-of-view concerning Rye Town Park.
Greenburgh Nature Center events
May weekday classes for young children Children and parents or caregivers come for an hour of nature fun. Dress for outdoor activity. Except in extreme weather conditions, a portion of each class is spent outdoors. Admittance closes 15 minutes after the start of the program. No pre-registration or pre-payment required. Nature Bugs for 2 to 5 year olds Nature discovery for youngsters, with a parent or caregiver. Meet a museum animal each week, hear a story and do a craft or nature game. Mondays: 1:30-2:30 p.m. May 6, 13, 20 Members: $5 adult; $4 child Non-members: $9 adult; $7 child Critters, crafts and kids for 18 months to 5 years olds Enjoy wonderful spring days at the Center with walks, live animals, stories and crafts. Wednesdays: 10:00 a.m. to 11 a.m. May 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 Members: $5 adult; $4 child Non-members: $9 adult; $7 child
May evening program for adults and high school students Wednesday, May 8, 7 p.m. for refreshments, 7:30 p.m. program: What’s the buzz with honeybees? Enter into the busy life of a honeybee hive with GNC naturalist Greg Wechegelaer. Learn why and how these amazing creatures are critical players in our own lives and global economy. Greg discusses the threats currently faced by honeybees, and how what harms bees threatens us in turn. The evening includes a taste test of some local honeys. Program presented in partnership with the Sierra Club Lower Hudson group; designed for adults and high school students. Free
Springtime brings the fabulous shopping event we all look forward to, the ninth annual Designing Women of Rye and Beyond boutique fundraiser, organized by The Woman’s Club of Rye, Children’s Philanthropy. The event will take place at The Apawamis Club on Wednesday, May 8 from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.. Again this year, it will feature a special “Girls Night Out” from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., which will include complimentary gift bags for the first 50 attendees as well as a cash bar. The Apawamis Club is located at 2 Club Road, intersection of Club Road and Highland Road, Rye, NY. Deadline for our Community Briefs section is every Friday at 12 p.m. Though space is not guaranteed, we will do our best to accommodate your listing. Please send all items to firstname.lastname@example.org.
April 26, 2013 • The rye sound shore review • 5
Blind Brook tenants say right to speak denied By LIZ BUTTON STAFF REPORTER email@example.com
A group of shareholders at the Blind Brook Lodge co-op, located at 66 Milton Road, allege they were denied their right to speak when a public hearing slated to occur at the April 18 Zoning Board of Appeals meeting was closed before residents had their
turn at the podium. At the meeting, the zoning board granted the condo’s five-member shareholders board the variance it needed to forge ahead with plans to add 59 parking spaces to the existing 38-space tenant parking lot. The application will now go back before the Planning Commission, which holds final approval over the project.
Tenants of Blind Brook Lodge, located on Milton Road, allege that they were denied their right to speak at a public hearing held by the Zoning Board of Appeals. The BBL board is seeking approval from the city’s land use boards to construct a 92-space parking lot across the street from the complex. Photo/Liz Button
Ultimately, Alan Weil, the zoning board chairman, said the final parking plan represents a sensitive effort by the applicant to preserve green space while addressing an important neighborhood concern, the scarcity of parking for Blind Brook Lodge tenants. At the meeting, the ZBA heard a report from the Blind Brook Lodge board’s attorney Seth Mandelbaum, who went over the results of a required traffic study and followed up with the zoning board on communications with neighboring property owners. Soon after, the board unanimously voted to shut down the public hearing, which had been advertised as such via public notice. According to Bob Freeman, executive director of the state Committee on Open Government, a municipality may write its own laws into its city or town code on many aspects of governance, including Zoning Board of Appeals procedures and public hearings. State law requires a public hearing before adopting proposed local laws, like a budget or a zoning change, but not for planning issues like the Blind Brook Lodge lot. The Rye City Code does not contain specific rules regarding conducting informal public hearings. If a public hearing is not a legal requirement of a board’s proceedings, the meeting must still be publicly posted and announced
in the media a set number of days in advance. The question, Freeman said, is whether enough people know the hearing is going on. Though the zoning board’s actions did not violate any state or local law, the public was misled, Freeman said, calling the board’s action to close the hearing immediately without any prior notice “a slap in the face to the residents.” Concerned shareholders have rallied to prevent the paving over of a swath of green space containing World War II-era “victory” gardens, an area that surrounds the potentially expanded parking lot, which is located across the street at 75 Milton Road. They contend that creating these extra parking spaces and increasing the intensity of use to greater than 30 percent would impact the residential character of the apartments, pose potential safety threats for pedestrians‑for which the zoning board commissioned a traffic study‑and lower property values on the street. The final plan for which the variance was approved was for 54 additional spaces, reduced by five parking spaces from the initial 59-space plan recommended to the zoning board by the Planning Commission, Weil said. The reduction was part of the applicant’s efforts to mitigate the impact on the neighborhood, he said. BLIND BROOK continued on page 10
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‘Spider hole’ to drainage pipe to driveway boat A RYE OLDTIMER Judge John Carey
When you are “on the lam,” no doubt most any place to hide looks good. Saddam Hussein lowered himself into a ‘spider hole’ just large enough to get him out of sight under ground. Ghadhafi hid in a drainage pipe. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev hoisted himself, bleeding, under the tarpaulin covering a boat sitting in winter storage in someone’s driveway. Much good it did any of them. Their flights had come to an end. There was nowhere else to hide. We don’t yet know whether Tsarnaev will recover sufficiently from his wounds to be analyzed mentally. If that had been done before he acquired his arsenal, the MIT police officer might still be patrolling beside the Charles River’s banks. And the three killed at the marathon finish line might get to watch other events, as might the dozens of those that were maimed, possibly for life. If Tsarnaev lives and comes to trial, he will be fortunate to be facing a Federal Court judge and jury in Boston, which has a heritage of doing justice. This is the town where John Adams undertook the unpopular defense of British soldiers charged with killing five protesters near the
old State House in 1770. The idea of three U.S. senators, that Tsarnaev should be turned over to the military as an enemy combatant, has been declined by cooler heads in the White House. It appears that, at a regular criminal trial, if the U.S. Attorney offered in evidence statements made by Tsarnaev before being given Miranda warnings, the notion of a “public safety exception” to the Miranda rule would be put to the test. Hypothetically, Tsarnaev may have been asked right after his arrest where his stash of weapons was and who his helpers were. Had he given self-incriminating replies, offered in evidence at trial and objected to by defense counsel for lack of advance warnings, the scene would be set for a landmark ruling in American criminal law. Normally, answers given by a person in police custody before being given Miranda warnings would be excluded from the jury’s hearing. But that does not prevent the accused from being found guilty based on other, admissible, evidence, unless the giving of the other evidence can be shown to have been induced by the giving of the pre-Miranda evidence. A prisoner might say to himself, “I spilled the beans before they warned me, and I can’t take that back, so I might as well tell them more, and hope my cooperation will somehow help me.” What are Miranda warnings anyway? They consist of roughly the following: “You are
under arrest, charged with the crime of XYZ. You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you. You have the right to a lawyer to advise you whether or not to speak with us. If you want to have a lawyer, but do not have one, the court will appoint one to advise you.” The normal drawback to getting pre-Miranda statements from a person in custody is that you can’t use them at trial, unless there really is an applicable public safety exception to the Miranda Rule. Personally, I never encountered such an exception during my years as an assistant district attorney, nor during my years as a New York State trial judge presiding at criminal trials. While running races are not the only public events that could be attacked by cowardly misfits, the only way to secure a marathon route would be to station armed guards along the entire 26.2-mile route, with authority to stop and frisk absolutely anyone. With thousands of runners competing, they get spread out along the way, as do the spectators. So the whole route should not be as vulnerable as the start and finish, where crowds of competitors, families and friends are sure to gather. American civilians have faced danger at all stages of our history. While taking every feasible precaution, we must grit our teeth and do our best to defend ourselves and each other. Reach John Carey at J_pcarey@verizon.net
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April 26, 2013 • The rye sound shore review • 7
Rye High named ninth best public high school in state By LIZ BUTTON STAFF REPORTER email@example.com
Rye High School was ranked ninth among New York State public high schools in U.S. News & World Report’s 2013 list of the best high schools in the nation, which was released Tuesday. Out of all public high schools U.S. News analyzed, Rye High School ranked 61st in the country. Rye ranked first on the publication’s list of New York state public high schools when charter and magnet schools were not included in the count. The list surveyed over 21,000 public high schools in 49 states and the District of Columbia. Nebraska did not report enough data to be included in the rankings, according to the study. Superintendent of Schools Dr. Frank Alvarez said the administration is proud of the recognition by U.S. News. “It acknowledges our hard-working students and dedicated faculty and staff,” Alvarez said. U.S. News & World Report uses a ranking system based on how well high schools prepare students for college, test scores and other factors. Among those public schools on the list, Rye received a gold medal ranking, the highest honor. Of all schools analyzed, 500 were given gold medals by U.S. News, 1,790 received silver and 2,515 were awarded the bronze. “We’re very proud of this accomplishment. It reflects the hard work of the faculty and students,” said Board of Education President Laura Slack. Visit U.S. News & World Report’s website to see the entire list.
In U.S. News & World Report 2013 Best High Schools issue, Rye High School was ranked the best public high school in the state, not including charter and magnet schools. When charter and magnet schools were included in the list, it ranked ninth. In the report, which came out April 23, Rye also ranks as the 61st best public high school in the country. File photo
8 • The rye sound shore review • April 26, 2013
Rye Y to celebrate 25th anniversary derby
City Council updates THE RYE Perspective Mayor Doug French
Runners get off to a good start at the 2012 Rye Derby. This year’s race marks the 25th anniversary of the event. Contributed photo
The Rye YMCA is celebrating the 25th Anniversary of its Rye Derby along with Healthy Kids Day on Sunday, April 28. Eamonn Coghlan, co-founder of the derby, and a former Rye resident, will travel from his home in Dublin, Ireland, to be the honorary chair. Eamonn is a three time Olympian and has been known as the “Chairman of the Boards” for his successes on the American indoor athletics circuit, breaking the world record for the indoor mile on three separate occasions. In 1983, he won the 5000m event at the World Championships in Helenski. Runners can choose between a 5K race and a 5 mile USA Track & Field sanctioned race. Both races start at 10:15 a.m.; a one mile family fun run/walk starts at 12:15 p.m. Several world-class athletes as well as local runners are expected to participate in the race. Medals are given to champi-
onship race winners in their age groups and there is a cash purse for the top first, second and third place winners in the five mile race. Starting at 10:30 a.m., runners and families are invited to gather at the Rye Y for free activities including active games, jumping castle, live music and a BBQ. Participants are encouraged to register for the races in advance at www.ryeymca.org, or at the Rye Y’s member services desk. Online registration is available for both races and the family fun run. Registered participants receive a derby t-shirt. The fee for the five-mile and 5K race is $25 or $30 the day of the race. The fun run/walk fee is $20. Open registration and bib pickup begins at 8 a.m. on the race day. Proceeds contribute to teen programming, financial aid for families and community outreach. For more information, contact the Rye YMCA at 914-967-6363. (Submitted)
The city’s 4-year financial plan A few years ago, we moved to revitalize and expand the city’s Citizens Finance Committee to assist the city in working through the difficult recessionary times and to advise on budget and operational recommendations. Through the work of the staff, council and the committee, the city is poised to rebound exceptionally well as the economy recovers. Taxes and spending have been held in tact the last few years, and the city’s fund balance is being restored to a healthy level. We have also re-invested in our infrastructure so as to not defer higher long-term costs. Going forward, we have sought to formalize this work with the creation of a multi-year financial plan to project cost and revenue trends that will aid in decision-making and educating the public. The committee will present their report at the next council meeting on May 8. Joint meeting of the city and schools Last week, the two governing bodies met to discuss a number of issues of mutual interest between the city and school district. The collaboration and communication has been effective the last few years as the challenges have increased. The matters discussed included a “state of the schools” by Dr. Alvarez, joint communications for emergencies, the school district building project and schedule coming up this year, increased police presence and crossing guards, the many Safe Routes to Schools projects in and around the schools, coordination of much needed field space, tax certiorari matters, the Rye Youth Council civility initiative, and an agreement to re-state our joint call for mandate relief from New York State. A follow-up meeting will take place at the beginning of the school year.
the funding for the project which has a total cost of $417,000. The boat basin will be responsible for the remaining cost, however, city staff have been working with New York State representatives for possible coverage of an additional 12.5 percent of project costs. Deer population The increasing deer population across our region remains a growing problem. The city continues to review the situation and explore potential options for a deer management pilot program. The proposed bow-hunting program being used and advocated by the Westchester Audubon Society for culling deer herds will not be brought forward for council action as a joint pilot program with the Jay Heritage Center and the Westchester County Marshlands. Much more information, education and discussion is required before any decisions are made. A new direction for Playland takes another step The Sustainable Playland project took another positive step as a 10-year agreement was reached and approved by the county contracts review board. The SPI proposal has great promise for Westchester residents. Based on the work of the city’s own strategic committee established two years ago, my work on the county citizens committee, and resolutions passed by the council in support of Sustainable Playland and the Westchester Children’s Museum, we encourage this project to move ahead as soon as possible. Old Milton Road drain project The long-awaited drainage project had its construction bid approved by council and will be completed this summer. The project includes replacement of an existing drain line to address stormwater runoff and flooding at the Harbor House. Bonds have already been issued for this project at a project cost of $200,000.
Refinancing of bonds Two years ago, the city refinanced much of its debt, and this past week the city approved to refinance the additional following bonds: Bonds issued in 1998 for $1.7 million for improvements to the Rye Golf Club with a current outstanding balance of $785,000, and bonds issued in 2005 for $6.4 million for public improvements with a current outstanding balance of $4.7 million. The total outstanding balance of these bonds is $5.5 million and these can be refunded to generate a savings dependent upon market rates on the date of closing of roughly $325,000.
Stewards of the public interest At the next council meeting on May 8, the city will celebrate its history as a volunteer government and our commitment to public service with the annual meeting hosted by the Rye Historical Society at the Square House. Former mayors, council, and judges, as well as members of our boards and commissions, are encouraged to attend in honor of our city management and volunteer form of government. It’s also a time to acknowledge the department heads and show appreciation for their hard work. Despite many challenges the city has faced in its history, the volunteer government has and continues to serve the city very well.
Milton Harbor dredging project The city approved a much-needed dredging project based on FEMA funding as a result of damage from storms Irene and Sandy. FEMA will provide 75 percent of
For more information on these matters, visit the City of Rye Website at www.ryeny.gov or contact me, your City Council members or the city manager. Mayor Doug French, firstname.lastname@example.org
April 26, 2013 • The rye sound shore review • 9 SOCIAL MEDIA from page 3
brought the idea of a social media policy before the City Council for the first time last year is not looking to engage in anything more involved than its Nixle program, an online alert system that lets residents and members of the community register for emails from police, Connors said. Police do plan, however, to establish protocols via a formal comprehensive policy so the department is ready to expand their efforts when the time comes. While police have been talking about a social media policy for the last three years, it was the communication issues that surfaced during Tropical Storm Irene and further reinforced during Hurricane Sandy that prompted city officials to seriously consider creating a social media component for city government. The idea was floated in 2011 to the city’s Cable and Communications Committee to establish an official city Twitter feed and Facebook page. But to date, there has been no official application of social media, on behalf of the city, put in place. With roughly 300,000 power outages in Westchester during Sandy, smartphone usage was vital to communication efforts on the part of elected officials, most notably Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, and County Executive Rob Astorino, a Republican, who both used Twitter effectively to provide updates. “I’m a big supporter [of social media] based on [Hurricane] Sandy. I think any and all communication vehicles are good,” said
Mayor Douglas French, a Republican. In addition to outside communication, police can also use the tool internally to vet potential job candidates. These days, Connors said, it would be irresponsible not to take a look at a candidate’s social media page if it is available. When it comes to officers’ personal social media pages, the commissioner said statements made pursuant to their official duties do not necessarily have the same First Amendment privileges that a civilian employee might have. “On duty or off, a cop is always on stage,” Connors said. The department wants to strike a balance between ensuring that officers’ rights to free speech remain unabridged, but also make sure that the city and the department is represented properly. The final facet of the proposed policy will address prohibitions against releasing information that could compromise a criminal investigation, including statements of guilt or innocence, as well as sensitive photographs or video. Officers will also face consequences for obscene or sexually explicit language on their personal pages, as well as statements that malign people on the basis of race, sexual orientation or religion. In just one of various examples, The New York Post broke a story last month of New York City Fire Department EMS Lt. Timothy Dluhos, who regularly posted racist and antisemitic comments via Twitter.
Communication issues during Hurricane Sandy and a recent scandal at Rye Middle School involving a gossip blog have prompted the city to ask the police department, seen here, to renew its focus on adopting a social media policy. Rye police first proposed the idea to the City Council last year. File photo
Vince Toomey, the city’s labor attorney, and City Attorney Kristen Wilson will go over the department’s latest draft, and the City Council will also hear comments from the Rye PBA as well as the Communications and Cable Committee. City Manager Scott Pickup said the city also
plans to update its own social media policy for employees using the police model, as well as make updates to its automated systems policies. “Obviously, since we’re still in the infancy of this type of communications, this will not be a static policy, but will certainly change over time,” Pickup said.
10 • The rye sound shore review • April 26, 2013
Thinking inside the box
BLIND BROOK from page 5
Claire Alford-Socarides, one of the concerned shareholders, said she implored the zoning board on April 18 to let the tenants speak as they had at the board’s last two meetings in December 2012 and March of this year. Since the public hearing opened months ago, residents have also sent multiple emails to the zoning board, citing various concerns, including the legitimacy of the measurement techniques and practices used to conduct the board’s traffic study. City Clerk Dawn Nodarse, who also serves as the zoning board secretary, said many of the shareholders present had spoken at length at the two previous public hearings. The city clerk also said a dozen or more residents also submitted emails, all of which were included in the board members’ meeting information that night. In closing the public hearing, which was unanimously passed by the zoning board, Chairman Weil said he also considered fairness to an agenda full of 21 other applications, many which hadn’t yet had an opportunity for any public hearing. “The facts are that, when we did open the hearing up for public comment, most of the Blind Brook residents who spoke were raising issues that were completely irrelevant to the zoning matter,” Weil told The Rye Sound
Shore Review. It was clear that the tenants of Blind Brook Lodge have multiple internal issues that relate purely to co-op governance, which is immaterial to the proceedings, he said. “And a zoning meeting is, frankly, not the appropriate place for the residents to air their grievances about how the co-op is being run,” he added. The Blind Brook board’s by-laws authorize it to take action on these types of planning decisions unilaterally without consulting shareholders. Some shareholders of the 133-unit condominium have alleged that the co-op’s board has been resistant to discussion of the plan with tenants. The Blind Brook board has claimed that apartment sales have been falling through of late because it cannot promise buyers on the waiting list a space within a reasonable amount of time. Heather Sweeny, another concerned shareholder who attended the April 18 zoning board meeting, said she hoped residents would be able to speak before the Planning Commission at its next meeting. In any case, Sweeny said, “The tone has been set.” Phone calls to the lawyer representing the Blind Brook Lodge board were not returned as of press time.
the kitchen and bath insider Paul Bookbinder, M.I.D.©
It has become so fashionable to think “outside the box” that I thought this month we’d take a look “inside the box” instead. I’m not referring to some imaginary constraints of the status quo, but, naturally, to the interior of your kitchen cupboards. Remember, a beautiful cabinet is nothing without functional innards, and cabinet beauty is not only skin deep. Whether you’re creating a new dream kitchen from scratch, refacing your existing cabinets, or just modernizing your domicile, there are many companies that offer cabinet accessories to ease our over-stressed existences. Think of the contentment that you would derive fropm everything in the kitchen having an actual place. Rev-A-Shelf and Knape & Vogt are the two biggest suppliers of accessories for both new cabinets and aftermarket needs. Assuming you have access to the internet, visit their websites. Rev-A-Shelf refers to its products as “accessories that are considered necessary for the organization and function of your kitchen”. Both companies manufacture shelving units, garbage pull-outs and the ubiquitous lazy Susan. As an historical note, the “lazy Susan” was first written about in Vanity Fair magazine in 1917. However, these revolving serving trays have been around since the 1700s and were originally referred to as “dumbwaiters.” Today, in America, dumbwaiter refers to a small elevator, although in England‑where they use the metric system‑lazy Susans are still called dumbwaiters. Many linguists believe that “Susan” was
simply a common maid’s name, and that the term “lazy Susan” was a derogatory reference to a lethargic servant who walked around in circles. More likely, the source for the term was a brilliant copywriter, using the repetition of the “z” sound in “Lazy” and the “s” in “Susan,” to invent a memorable term for a clever appliance. Meanwhile, back inside the box. Rollout trays are one of the best solutions to increase the efficiency of base and pantry cabinets. By making items easier to reach, it’s easier to keep them organized. And as we approach Social Security, even if there won’t be any money to collect, we’ll still appreciate not having to bend over if we don’t have to. There are also a variety of shelves and racks that can be attached to the doors of the wall cabinets, though, in a retrofit, you may have to trim the depth of the shelves for these to fit. Spices, among other items, can be removed from your counters and finally put away. If you are creative, you can end up with a place for everything, thus making your cupboards beautiful, both inside and out. Finally, many thanks to those who have called or sent emails regarding the last several articles. I always love to hear from you, and remember: There is no such thing as a stupid question. My apologies to those whose calls I haven’t returned yet. Occasionally, I do have to spend some time making a living, but I’ll do my best to get in touch with you when time allows. 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 www.dreamworkkitchens.com.
Pet Rescue Grover is an adorable five-month-old male shepherd mix. He wants nothing more than to find his forever home to shine in. Grover is neutered, vaccinated, dewormed, heartworm tested and micro-chipped. His adoption donation is $250. To learn more, please contact Larchmont Pet Rescue at 914-834-6955 or on the web at www.NY-PetRescue.org.
April 26, 2013 • The rye sound shore review • 11
“Ask Astorino” coming to Rye As part of an ongoing effort to reach out to Westchester residents and listen to what is on their minds, County Executive Rob Astorino, a Republican, will host his next “Ask Astorino” town hall meeting on Wednesday, May 1 at 7 p.m. at the Rye Free Reading Room located at 1601 Boston Post Road. In the first town hall following his 2013 State of the County Address, Astorino will give an update on the progress his administration is making in delivering on his three major goals: providing tax relief, preserving essential services and promoting economic development. He will also present the latest developments in the plans to reinvent Playland for the 21st century. Town of Rye and City of Rye residents are invited to bring any questions or ideas they would like to discuss face-to-face with the county executive. They can also submit questions in advance via email at askastorino@westchestergov. com The popular “Ask Astorino” town hall series has drawn crowds in North Salem, Pelham, White Plains, Scarsdale, Cortlandt, Eastchester, New Castle, Somers, Ossining, Mamaroneck and Yonkers and will continue to be held on a regular basis throughout the county. (Submitted)
UNIFORM from page 1
a Republican who plans to run for mayor, said that there was an overall lack of scrutiny. Sack said he doesn’t think the city has received the entire story on Holmes’ involvement with the police department and he wants to see the bid specifications before they are put out again. “I think it’s possible that you can draft a bid spec in a certain way in order to get it to a preferred person, I’m not saying it happened here, but it’s possible,” Sack said. Councilwoman Brett said that when you’re dealing with a vendor that has a relationship with the city, it puts an extra due diligence burden on Rye to make sure that there wasn’t an instance of preferential treatment. She said that the city may want to review if that burden is necessary to impose and look to vendors who don’t have an involvement with Rye. “New England Sportswear presented an unsigned warranty and that was not noted,” Brett said. “There should have been greater scrutiny to the warranty since we knew going into it that
the warranty was the issue.” Going forward, Commissioner Connors said that the city might have to validate any warranty letters that they receive for police clothing, a process that wasn’t seen as necessary in the past. The warranty clause, which applies only to shirts, will also be reviewed to make sure it’s needed. Sack said that he is unsure why the warranties have been overlooked, as they were required before Holmes’ bid was originally approved. The councilman said that he questioned why there were only a few bidders when the process is meant to get the best clothing price for the city, and thinks that there may be a certain environment that suppresses multiple bidders. “The last thing this city needed was another scandal like this,” Sack said. Holmes’ arrest comes on the heels of a scandal at the cityowned Rye Golf Club in which the City Council, and City Manager Pickup in particular, have been criticized for a lack of oversight over a competitive bid process, staffing and purchasing.
New England Sportswear, seen here, is owned by former auxiliary police officer John Holmes, who is facing felony charges stemming from an accusation that he turned in fraudulent warranty papers to the city in order to get a police uniform clothing contract. Photo/Bobby Begun
12 • The rye sound shore review • April 26, 2013
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LESTERS from page 1
in May 2012 for $3.6 million to buy the building included a provision in which he could beat any legitimate offer by $50,000. As it turns out, if the city had accepted the offer on the property, which they believed had lost value, it would have suffered the largest financial loss—$2.6 million—in its history. City officials have also expressed concern about Lester’s ability to fund the sale if financing options fell through, since Schorr’s proposal was to pay $600,000 up front and borrow the remainder of the balance. The decision to sell the building to Bill Wolf Petroleum was in the best interests of the city, according to city officials, due to its ability to offer cash for the purchase as well as its experience with environmental issues. The city purchased the 1037 Boston Post Road property in 2006 for $6.2 million. As of press time, the city had not yet announced a final decision regarding the suit. Phone calls to the City Manager Scott Pickup for comment were not returned as of press time.
April 26, 2013 • The rye sound shore review • 13 CRITIC from page 3
no matter how much it costs,” Lamont said about the City Council’s decision to spend in excess of $300,000 for an independent probe of the club. “We must see how high these issues went up.” Lamont said he also wants to focus on flooding issues, infrastructure and teen drug use. He said that he isn’t going to run a traditional campaign and plans to create a website where he will blog about his campaign positions. That way, residents will be able to see his views written out in front of them. “Voters won’t see me hand-shaking at schools or waiting for commuters to get off of trains,” Lamont said. “There’s more meat on the bones this way.” Lamont is no stranger to controversy, however. According to a city memorandum, Lamont is involved in litigation with Resurrection Church, along with multiple other defendants, stemming from a breach of contract claim. City Attorney Kristen Wilson said that Lamont was given permission to live on the Resurrection Church property with his
son, but was asked to leave after issues arose that Wilson said she’s unsure of. When Lamont refused to vacate the premises, there was an eviction proceeding in city court and a marshal was sent to Lamont’s home to escort him away. Wilson said that Lamont served the city and the Archdiocese with a complaint, but after it was answered, Lamont never filed his complaint in court. According to the complaint, Lamont thinks that his eviction was a violation his civil rights. “He knew he didn’t file the complaint, but I’m not sure why,” Wilson said. “I’ve never seen this before.” Lamont acknowledged that a claim hasn’t been filed yet and said that he is not currently involved in litigation. “I grew up Catholic, and although I’m not now, you’re taught that the priests are God’s representatives,” Lamont said. “In Resurrection Church, the priest seems to think he’s God himself.” Lamont has one son, Stephen, who is a fifth grader at Osborn school. Lamont’s wife, Jennifer, succumbed to breast cancer.
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14 • The rye sound shore review • April 26, 2013
Obituary Robert Joseph Fahey Robert Joseph “Bob” Fahey died peacefully on Saturday, April 20, 2013 after a short illness. He was born in Belmont, Mass., on Jan. 31, 1932, the fifth of six children to Michael Patrick Fahey and Dorothy Sughrue Fahey. He graduated from Belmont High School and earned his Bachelor of Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1953 and graduated Harvard’s Advanced Management Program. He married Mary Elizabeth Brine in 1957 in Newton, Mass., settling in Belmont shortly after marriage, where they had five children. Bob served two years as an intelligence officer in the U. S. Air Force before beginning his career at Arthur D. Little and Company, working with a diverse group of clients including Spanish Rail, Aer Lingus, American Airlines, Eastern Airlines, the National Football League Players Union, the Society of Jesuits, Exxon, General Motors Company, and the U.S. Congress. He published two books, 1966’s “Congress Needs Help,” a study of congressional reform originally prepared for television broadcast by David Brinkley and the National Broadcasting Company, and “Computer Science and Management Dynamics” in 1969. For a number of years, he vacationed on Prouts Neck, Maine, exploring Maine’s coastal cruising areas in his Tartan 30.
In 1978, he accepted a position with The Penn Central Corporation and moved his family from Belmont to Rye, N.Y. Later, he worked for SeaLand Corporation before becoming President and Chairman of the Board of Stuart-Dean Company. Shortly after moving to Rye, he joined the American Yacht Club, where he continued to engage in his love of sailing with his catboat, Magnanimity, becoming familiar with the waters of Long Island Sound. As a lifelong Roman Catholic, he devoted a considerable amount of his time in seminary renewal, both at Mundelien College in Chicago‑in longterm planning for the ordinary of the archdiocese there‑and at Weston Jesuit School of Theology in Cambridge, Mass., where he served as chairman of the Board of Trustees. He was also a trustee of the Boston Theological Institute, an ecumenical consortium of schools including St. John’s, Weston Jesuit, Episcopal School of Divinity, the Divinity School of Harvard University, Andover-Newton Theological School, Boston College Department
of Theology, and others. He was inducted into the Knights of Malta on January of 1993, and made several pilgrimages to Lourdes to assist the malades. He was preceded in death by his beloved older sister, Barbara Kelley, and his older brothers Laurie, Don, and Dick. He is mourned by his beloved wife of 55 years, Mary Elizabeth Brine Fahey, as well as his children and in-laws Michelle Fahey Ganon and Bill Ganon of La Jolla, Calif.; Christopher Robert Fahey and Marybeth Wallace Fahey of Wyckoff, N.J.; Timothy William Fahey and Eileen Gillespie Fahey of Guilford, Conn.; Matthew Brine Fahey and Missie Kostel Fahey of Rye, N.Y.; and Constance Fahey Dingle and Christopher Dingle of Toronto, Canada. He also leaves behind a dozen grandchildren – Meredith, Carolyn and Robert Benjamin Ganon; Michael and Brendan Fahey; George Fahey; Quinn, Peter, and Harry Fahey; and Cordelia, Conrad, and Charles Dingle. A wake was held at the Graham Funeral Home in Rye on Tuesday evening, April 23. A Mass of Christian Burial was held at Rye’s Church of the Resurrection on Wednesday, April 24. In accordance with his wishes, in lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his memory to the American Diabetes Association, www.donations.diabetes.org. (Submitted)
April 26, 2013 • The rye sound shore review • 15
Solace in baseball’s cathedrals I started hearing the chants sometime around the sixth inning on Friday. On a blustery night at Citi Field on April 19, in the midst of an exhilarating pitching performance by Mets rookie Matt Harvey, the focus–for a time–shifted away from the play on the field as fans, no doubt clued in by their smart phones, came to the realization that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the second suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings, had been apprehended by police. From my nosebleed seats in section 414, it was easy to make out when each section heard the news. A smattering of patriotic chants down the third base line; some enthusiastic “We got him!” cheers in left field. Suddenly, the game at hand seemed far less important as fans became aware that one of the perpetrators of a heinous attack that left three dead and hundreds more injured would be brought to justice. In the seventh, the Mets flashed the news on
the scoreboard. I don’t know if Citi Field has ever gotten that loud in its short history as the crowd, as one, chanted “USA, USA” in a moment of catharsis. The nation was angry, sure, but there wasn’t anger in these chants. Instead, there was mostly pride and relief. Relief in knowing that some of the questions we, the American public, had about this attack would be answered, and pride in the way the situation was handled by our first responders, our true American heroes. Citi Field wasn’t the only venue to play host to outpourings of American pride. Videos of stadiums responding to the news went viral. The following day, emotional pre-game ceremonies were held at Boston’s TD Garden and hallowed Fenway Park, honoring those that lost loved ones in the attacks as well as celebrating the resilience of a city–and country‑that desperately needed a ‘win’.
Mike Smith’s vantage point at Citi Field on April 19 allowed him to see the crowd react as news of the capture of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev made its way around the stadium. Photo/Mike Smith
Perhaps one of the most memorable responses belonged to longtime Red Sox slugger David Ortiz, who took the microphone to address the Fenway faithful before a tilt with the Royals to remind the crowd–and the nation that was watching–that Boston was indeed their bleepin’ city. The crowed roared. FCC violations aside, the message was succinct and positive; We’ll get through this. We always do. In a time that sees much division in our nation, be it religious, ideological or otherwise, crowd reactions at sporting events this past weekend were refreshingly apolitical, a sign
that for better or worse, we’re all in this together. Professional sports aren’t pure. We’ve learned that as a collective culture. But sports still have a way of capturing the American spirit, no matter what tragedies befall our country. Be it wartime baseball in the 1940s, or Mike Piazza’s dramatic homerun at Shea following 9/11, sports have a way of reminding us what brings us together as a people. That scene at Fenway, baseball’s cathedral, served as a reminder that no matter what background we come from, we can sometimes find solace in the church of sports.
Rye student athletes ready for next step
From left, Rye seniors Neil Parrello, Andrew Aulino, Melissa Fulenwider, James Dugan, Scarlett Sulliman, Katie Konopka and Mary Robertson will continue their athletic pursuits at the collegiate level. Photos/Bobby Begun By MIKE SMITH SPORTS EDITOR firstname.lastname@example.org
On April 18, several Rye seniors who will be going on to play collegiate sports next year gathered together to celebrate the continuation of their athletic careers. Seven students in total were on hand for the event, including lacrosse standout Scarlett Sulliman, who will play at Fairfield University next year. Football players Andrew Aulino, James Dugan and Neil Parrello will be suiting up for Gettysburg, Washington and Lee and Saint Lawrence University. Mary
Scarlett Sulliman signs on to play for Fairfield University on April 17 as Rye Athletic Director Rob Castagna and Rye High School Principal Patricia Taylor look on.
Robertson, a member of the sailing team, will take her talents to Annapolis when she enrolls in the Naval Academy. Swimmers Melissa Fulenwider and Katie Konopka will be headed to Princeton and Rochester, respectively. Vania Ludman will be playing soccer at Johns Hopkins University next year but was not present. According to Rye Athletic Director Rob Castagna, the chance to be on hand when these athletes make their college decisions is an especially rewarding one. “I’m so proud of these kids, everyone really is, from their coaches and teachers to their parents,” he said. “It says a lot
about these kids that they are able to handle the workload, go to practice, get their schoolwork done, go to other extra curricular activities. It’s really great to see.” Castagna went on to say that the day also captured the spirit of a popular sentiment in Rye, one that has been a testament to the bond that the community shares with its student athletes over the years. “To borrow a quote from some of our coaches, ‘Tradition doesn’t graduate’,” said Castagna. “These kids will move on, but their legacy at Rye will remain here as motivation for future classes.”
16 • The rye sound shore review • April 26, 2013
Undefeated Garnets gear up for tough stretch By MIKE SMITH SPORTS EDITOR email@example.com
On April 20, the Rye Garnets topped the Byram Hills Bobcats 11-5 in a game that helped the Garnets stay undefeated–and showed off the approach they have used to get there. With defense and team play, the Garnets (6-0) have jumped out to a great start this season, but will be tested as the schedule ramps up this week. Rye’s defense has been a tough nut to crack for opposing attackers this year, as the Garnets haven’t allowed more than 5 goals in any one contest. While much of the credit goes to goalie Peter White, head coach Brian Dooley is quick to point out that the defensive success is a result of a collective commitment to the system. “It’s been a complete group effort,” said Dooley. “We have some veterans back there like Michael Benincasa, but everybody has stepped up to make us well-rounded back there.” Despite scoring 11 goals against the Bobcats, however, the Garnet offense hasn’t been quite as dominant as the defense in the early goings of the season. The Garnets have done a good job of controlling time of possession, thanks to face-off wizard Chris Santangelo,
but haven’t been able to enjoy that one breakout game this season. The scorers, led by Jack Hasselman, who has had five multi-goal games this season, have done enough to keep Rye out of the lost column so far, but Dooley said that he hopes to see more out of the unit in coming games. “We’ve been a bit inconsistent,” said the head coach. “And it comes down to fundamentals, catching and throwing. But we need to rely on all six guys we have out there.” The Garnets will step up a level in opposition starting on April 23, when they take on rival Harrison. Two days later (after press time) they will host a tough Fox Lane team before heading up to take on Somers on April 27. Somers is currently ranked eighth by local polls, while another future Garnet opponent, Iona Prep, is ranked fourth with a record of 7-1. In addition to taking on some of the section’s better squads, Dooley and the Garnets are well aware that their undefeated streak will now be an extra incentive for other teams to knock them off. “We’ve got a tough, challenging schedule coming up,” said Dooley. “But we figure that we are historically a good team, and we just have to go in there and play our best every game.”
Rye goalie Peter White takes the ball downfield on April 20. White and the Garnet defense have been superb all season.
Jack Smith pesters a Bobcat forward on April 20. Smith and the Garnet attack will be tested in coming games.
Chris Santangelo wins a face-off against Byram Hills on April 20. Santangelo’s face-off skills have been an asset to the Garnets this season. Photos/Mike Smith