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Vol. 15/Number 5

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City rejects police dept changes

Finding a way

By ALEXANDRA BOGDANOVIC STAFF REPORTER alexandra@hometwn.com

Aaliya Hayes drives to the hole against Mount Vernon on Feb. 16. New Rochelle has made its way to the final four in Class AA and has earned the right to play at the Westchester County Center. For more, see back page. Photo/Bobby Begun

City Council sets deadline for Armory project letter By ALEXANDRA BOGDANOVIC STAFF REPORTER alexandra@hometwn.com

had not submitted a signed letter of agreement to the city. At its Feb. 12 meeting, the City As of Tuesday morning, the Council agreed to give the Good group that successfully submitted Profit group until the end of the a proposal for the adaptive reuse of month to ink and return the docuthe New Rochelle Armory last year ment. Kathy Gilwit, a spokesperson for the city confirmed on Feb. 26 that the city had not received the requested material, and that the Good Profit group had until the close of business Feb. 28 to submit it. “I don’t believe we [initially] set a deadline, but we all anticipated the letter would have been taken care of by now,” Democratic Mayor Noam Bramson said during the council meeting two weeks ago. “I think we ought New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson says to signal to Good Profit that he is still optimistic about the Good Profit they need to sign the letter group’s plans for the Armory. File photo

March 1 & March 8, 2013

by the end of the month or we will look at other opportunities.” The mayor added that he’s unsure why the matter hasn’t been resolved and said he doesn’t think the council can exercise infinite patience. Republican Councilman Louis Trangucci said he is very disappointed that the city hasn’t received a signed letter of agreement. He also wondered whether the other group that submitted a proposal for the adaptive reuse of the Armory could resubmit its idea at the end of the month, or if the city would have to issue a new request for proposals. Representatives of the Save Our Armory Committee, a group comprised mostly of local veterans, also submitted a proposal for the adaptive reuse of the armory. That group’s proposal called for the ARMORY continued on page 3

In a bi-partisan vote at its Feb. 19 meeting, the City Council rejected proposed changes to the police department’s command structure. The department currently has three captains, each of whom is in charge of a different division, but New Rochelle Police Commissioner Patrick J. Carroll wanted to convert those positions to civilian deputy commissioners. In order for that to happen, the council had to adopt an ordinance amending the 2013 budget and establishing the new positions. But after a lengthy discussion, Republican councilmen Albert Tarantino and Louis Trangucci, and Democrats Shari Rackman, Ivar Hyden and Jared Rice, voted against the measure. Mayor Noam Bramson and Councilman Barry Fertel, both Democrats, cast the lone votes for the ordinance. Prior to the vote, Bramson said staff support for the proposal should have been enough to put the council at ease. “We have received a clear message from our city manager, police commissioner and deputy police commissioner, and this is a situation in which we should be most deferential to our management team,” Bramson said. “I don’t have a particular preference for how these positions are categorized, but if we can’t trust our city manager’s judgment, maybe we should be getting another one.” City Manager Chuck Strome, who backed Carroll’s proposal, fielded numerous questions before the vote as several New Rochelle police officers in the audience lis-

City Manager Chuck Strome, pictured, said he didn’t see why a Feb. 19 proposal to reshape the police department’s command structure garnered controversy. File photo

tened carefully. “I met with the president of the Superior Officers Association before this was proposed. They have a right to oppose it since we’d be taking three positions out of the union, but management feels this is what’s best, so you either agree or you don’t,” Strome said. “These captains are some of the highest paid senior management positions in our organization. I don’t see any controversy other than not wanting to lose three jobs.” In an Aug. 20 letter to Strome explaining his proposal, Carroll said the police captains are currently each earning more than $150,000 per year including overtime. The salary and benefits for a captain exceed $200,000, Carroll said. “The cost is too great to support appointment based on a test score and for a department this size the commissioner needs to appoint the best qualified individual to the position of a division commander POLICE continued on page 10


2 • THE NEW ROCHELLE SOUND AND TOWN REPORT • March 1 & March 8, 2013


March 1 & March 8, 2013 • THE NEW ROCHELLE SOUND AND TOWN REPORT • 3

New Rochelle Conservative to primary county executive By CHRISTIAN FALCONE ASSOCIATE EDITOR chris@hometwn.com

While Democrats attempt to portray the county executive as a far-right extremist, a New Rochelle challenger has come forward saying Rob Astorino hasn’t been conservative enough. At a Feb. 22 press conference in front of the county Board of Elections offices, Kurt Colucci, a registered Conservative Party member and Tea Party supporter, announced his candidacy for county executive; he plans to seek the Conservative Party line through a primary. “My campaign is not about Rob Astorino,” Colucci said. “The focal point of my message is ‘we don’t have to live like this.’” A self-described conservative-libertarian, Colucci—who said he supported Astorino in the 2009 race—labeled the county executive’s first term in office a failure, stating Astorino could have done a better job cutting the county budget. Astorino has been criticized for his decision to borrow money to offset the tax rate in the county’s 2013 budget, while holding true to a promise not to raise taxes during his first term in office. “Rob borrowed money but did it under the guise of holding the line on taxes,” Colucci said. “In the long run, you pay more with interest. It’s the long-term consequences of his decisions.” Colucci, 36, also criticized the county executive for his political appointments. He referenced the appointment of Hugh Fox, the county Conservative Party chairman, to a position with the county Department of Public Works after

Fox retired from the Yonkers Fire Department. Fox’s new position earns him a six-figure salary in addition to his state pension from his time with the Yonkers fire department. “It was the biggest political payoff in Westchester history,” said Colucci, who works as a project manager for Chief Fire Prevention & Mechanical, a Mount Vernon-based mechanical engineering company. “There are so many people with unnecessary positions to give political paybacks.” Coincidentally, the Conservative Party endorsement was the subject of controversy during the last county executive race when Astorino, a registered Republican, was passed over by the party in favor of Democrat Andy Spano amid accusations from Conservative Party members of backroom dealings with former party chair Gail Burns. The matter was appealed in court, but upheld. It ultimately didn’t matter, however, as Astorino pulled off a historic upset and ousted Spano by a wide margin. But the party line is likely even more crucial to the Republican this time around. Due to an ongoing feud with the county Independence Party chair Dr. Giulio Cavallo, Astorino is not expected to carry that line like he did in 2009. If the county executive doesn’t secure the Conservative line, his chances could be hampered since Democrats in the county outnumber their GOP counterparts by roughly 100,000 registered voters. Within hours of Colucci’s announcement, Astorino’s campaign released Facebook postings from Colucci’s father, Kurt Colucci Sr., that depicted Gov. Andrew Cuomo as a nazi. The Astornio campaign said that serious candidates for public office must reject

ARMORY from page 1

creation of a performing arts center–a plan ultimately rejected by the city council. Representatives from the veterans group did not return phone calls seeking comment about whether they would be willing to resubmit the proposal if the opportunity arises. It would be up to the council to determine whether or not it wants to invite the group to resubmit its idea, according to the city’s corporation counsel Kathleen Gill. Reached for additional comment Feb. 15, Bramson said he is still optimistic about the project and that the council would cross that bridge “if and when we get to that point.” The Westchester-based Good Profit group wants to create a new indoor farmers market and restaurant at the Armory building on East Main Street. With a 5-2 vote in November, the council authorized City Manager Chuck Strome to execute the letter of agreement with Good Profit. Trangucci and Republican Councilman Albert Tarantino opposed the idea. At the time, Tarantino questioned why the city was not entering a memorandum of understanding,” a more common preliminary step when entering an agreement regarding a capital project.

Bramson said it was just a matter of semantics, however. “To me, the distinction between a MOU and a letter of agreement is much ado about little,” he said. “Our own staff concluded this is a more sensible way to proceed. To me the content is what’s important. I don’t think we should get hung up on a label.” As stipulated in the resolution approved by the council in November, a 180-day (six month) period would be established to allow the Good Profit group to “review, study and consider policy and financial implications with respect to the development of the Armory.” Within the allotted time, Good Profit is also expected to provide the city with a detailed site plan, an analysis of public costs and benefits, and a detailed financing program. In the Feb. 15 phone interview, Bramson acknowledged that he had spoken to members of the Good Profit team and that they are “still committed to the project.” Bramson also said the team is still trying to work out certain details of the project, but declined to elaborate. Michael Blakeney, the founder of the Good Profit group, did not return emails seeking comment.

Kurt Colucci

the politics of extremism, and asked Colucci to denounce the images. “Until that is done, we will not dignify Mr. Colucci’s candidacy with a comment. There is no room in Westchester County for this type of hatred,” said Jessica Proud, spokesperson for the Friends of Rob Astorino. Colucci Jr. said the intent of the message was to disorient the voters. He said the postings were distasteful and not in line with his

views adding that his father was absent from his life for 30 years. With Westchester continuing to hold the title of highest taxed county in the nation, Colucci said those rates are causing residents to flee the state. The candidate said he would look to cut appointees and salaries and tackle the long-term consequences of pensions. He blamed it on incumbent elected officials and their visions of higher office. “There is no incentive to take the fight to Albany,” he said. On the other hand, the candidate sees himself as a political outsider and his run is a “one-shot deal,” he said. Colucci did flirt with a run at county legislator in 2011 as an Independence Party candidate but ultimately backed out before the vote. Colucci also identifies himself with Westchester’s Tea Party movement. He spoke at several rallies in 2008-2009 and authored a book, titled “A Taxslaves Manifesto.” The battle will surely be an uphill climb against a popular incumbent who supporters say has followed through on his message of lowering taxes, shrinking the size of county government and making Westchester more affordable. Meanwhile, Democrats are in the process of selecting their own choice to oppose Astorino in November. Board of Legislators Chairman Ken Jenkins, of Yonkers, County Legislator Bill Ryan, of White Plains, and New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson are all pursuing the


4 • THE NEW ROCHELLE SOUND AND TOWN REPORT • March 1 & March 8, 2013

Feb. 13…A New Rochelle man accused of selling Oxycodone pills was arrested and charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance. According to Detective Capt. Joseph Schaller, Shastri Budu, 24, of 759 Main St. was arrested and charged with the offense because he was selling the pills in the Walgreens parking lot on Main Street. The offense is a Class B felony. Feb. 13…A Mamaroneck man was reportedly arrested on several drug charges as the result of a heroin investigation conducted by the New Rochelle Police Department’s Special Investigations Unit. Detective Capt. Joseph Schaller said Kevin A. Lopez, 27, of 1517 Park Ave. was arrested and charged with a Class B felony count of criminal sale of a narcotic drug, two Class B felony counts of criminal possession of a narcotic drug with intent, and a criminal possession of a controlled substance, which is a Class A misdemeanor. Feb. 14…Unknown perpetrators allegedly stole four rims off a 1996 Honda Civic that had been parked on St. John’s Place around 4:30 a.m. Detective Capt. Joseph Schaller said the victim, a 22-year-old New Rochelle resident, awoke after hearing a loud noise and looked toward the rear of the apartment at 31 St. John’s Place. The victim then saw two unknown men running away from the vehicle with the rims, Schaller said. Feb. 15…A New Rochelle man was arrested and charged with petit larceny, a Class A misdemeanor after he was spotted going through someone’s car, police said. According to Detective Capt. Joseph Schaller, Edwin L. Clerval, 28, of 33 Mount Joy Place, was arrested and charged with the offense after the owner of a 2005 Honda Civic parked at 32 Woodland Ave. saw him in the car. The 46-year-old New Rochelle resident chased the man, who was ultimately identified as Clerval, to a nearby gas station where he caught up with Clerval and called police, Schaller said.

Feb. 15…Officers received a report of a burglary at 31 Candlewood Road. According to Detective Capt. Joseph Schaller, the victim–a 20-year-old New Rochelle resident–reported finding two rooms ransacked around 6:55 p.m. The sliding doors at the rear of the residence were unlocked, Schaller said. It is unknown if anything was taken. Feb. 16…A New Rochelle man was arrested and charged with third-degree assault, a Class A misdemeanor after he allegedly beat up his ex-girlfriend when she tried to crawl through his apartment window. Detective Capt. Joseph Schaller said Alvaro M. Pineda, 31, of 393 Fifth Ave. and the woman had been involved in a dispute that ultimately resulted in the incident. Feb. 16…A Mount Vernon woman was arrested and charged with third-degree criminal mischief after she allegedly damaged a vehicle belonging to her ex-boyfriends’ mother. According to Detective Capt. Joseph Schaller, Sashabelle Cotto, 23, of 29 Sidney Ave. in Mount Vernon was charged with the offense after she dented, scratched and left puncture marks in the car. The offense is a Class E felony. Feb. 16…A New Rochelle woman was arrested and charged with petit larceny after she allegedly took some items from a store at 28 Harrison St. Detective Capt. Joseph Schaller said Yesinia Gonzalez, 22, of 44 Fountain Place was charged with the offense after she failed to pay for some of the items before leaving the store. The offense is a Class A misdemeanor. Feb. 17…A 25-year-old New Rochelle man was arrested and charged with third-degree criminal mischief after he allegedly damaged a glass door at 215 Main St. Detective Capt. Joseph Schaller said Andrew P. Quinn was arrested and charged with the offense after officers responded to the location around 3:30 a.m. The door was worth $1,500 and the offense is a Class E felony.

Feb. 20…A Bronx woman was arrested and charged with petit larceny after she allegedly tried to leave a supermarket without paying for assorted merchandise. According to Detective Capt. Joseph Schaller, Veronica R. Jackson, 49, of 685 East 225th St. was seen trying to leave the Stop and Shop at 28 Harrison St. without paying for the items, which were worth approximately $161. The offense is a Class A misdemeanor. Feb. 21…Saxon J. Schelfhaudt, 28, of 2141 Holland Ave. in the Bronx was arrested on a felony drug charge, police said. Detective Capt. Joseph Schaller said Schelfaudt was charged with criminal possession of a narcotic drug with intent to sell – a Class B felony -- while he was “making a delivery” at 24 Station Plaza. Police records show Schelfhaudt was also charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, a Class A misdemeanor. Feb. 21…Officers received a report of shoplifting at the CVS at 625 North Ave. around 11:24 a.m. According to Detective Capt. Joseph Schaller, a suspect described as a black man who appeared to be about 6 feet tall and 50 years old tried to steal 15 boxes of condoms from the store. The suspect dropped seven boxes outside, but made

off with the rest, Schaller said. Feb. 22…Officers received a report of an attempted burglary at 1301 North Ave. around 7:52 a.m. Detective Capt. Joseph Schaller said the incident happened at a commercial building that is currently being renovated sometime between 4:30 a.m. Feb. 21 and 6 a.m. Feb. 22. The person who reported the incident found pry marks on the rear door but the perpetrator(s) did not gain entry to the building, Schaller said. Feb. 23…Hector Franco, 27, of 294 Lockwood Ave., New Rochelle, was arrested and charged with third-degree assault after he allegedly hit a woman who was trying to help his sister after she fell down the stairs, police said. According to police records, the incident happened at 48 South Division St. around 1:43 a.m. Detective Capt. Joseph Schaller said people were “drinking and dancing” there when the two women tried to leave. The victim reported that the suspect’s sister and the suspect both fell down the stairs, and that the suspect wouldn’t let go of his sister’s foot as she was laying at the bottom of the stairs, Schaller said. The victim also reported that the suspect – ultimately identified as Franco – hit her when she tried to help his sister. The offense is a Class A misdemeanor. BLOTTER continued on page 10

C ommunity Briefs At Home on the Sound seeks local volunteer drivers Volunteer drivers are needed by At Home on the Sound, the local aging-in-place organization serving older adults in Mamaroneck and Larchmont. The drivers take senior citizens in the community to occasional appointments, on errands or shopping. Drive as your schedule allows–just once a month, or every week. Contact Volunteer Coordinator Pat Hachey at (914) 899-3150. For more information, visit AtHomeontheSound.org. Drivers must be at least 25 years of age. Boys and Girls Club Fundraiser On March 2, over 300 guests are expected to join in the Boys and Girls Club’s annual “Be Great” fundraising event. This celebration will be held from 7:30 p.m.–10:30 p.m. at the newly constructed Pepe Luxury Cars, Mercedes Benz located at 77 E. Main St. in New Rochelle. It will feature culinary contributions from many area restaurants and distributors along with dancing and an amazing array of auction items. CIA daughter reads from memoir Literary journalist Sara Mansfield Taber reads from “Born Under an Assumed Name,” a memoir of her exotic childhood as the daughter of a covert CIA operative, on Sunday, March

10, at 4 p.m. Her book chronicles the thrilling and confusing life of a girl growing up abroad in a world of secrecy and diplomacy, and the heavy toll it takes on her and her father. The reading takes place at Larchmont Village Center, behind the Larchmont Library at 121 Larchmont Avenue, Larchmont. Free and open to the public. Sponsored by Friends of the Larchmont Public Library. Complimentary refreshments at 3:30 p.m. For more information, go to friendsoflarchmontlibrary.org. Music conservatory seeks alumni for spring reunion Calling all MCW Alumni. The Music Conservatory of Westchester is kicking off the New Year by reaching out to our alumni across the generations to celebrate their affiliation with the not-for-profit music school at an inaugural Alumni Reunion and Concert on Saturday, June 1, 2013. The event will feature performances by MCW students and faculty, cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, and the unveiling of a new photo exhibit chronicling the school through the decades. Alumni will have the chance to reconnect with their favorite teachers and classmates, and look for familiar faces and events in the photos. If you are an MCW alum or know of anyone who might be interested, you are encouraged to contact the Conservatory at info@musiced.org or “like” the MCW Alumni Facebook page for more information. You may also call 914-761-3900. 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 news@hometwn.com.


March 1 & March 8, 2013 • THE NEW ROCHELLE SOUND AND TOWN REPORT • 5

New Ro firefighter appointed to county human rights commission By ALEXANDRA BOGDANOVIC STAFF REPORTER alexandra@hometwn.com

As one of New Rochelle’s bravest, Mark McLean fights fires. Now he’ll be fighting to end discrimination, too. On Feb. 15, County Executive Robert Astorino, a Republican, announced that McLean had been named to the Westchester County Human Rights Commission. “The Human Rights Commission plays a vital role in helping to eliminate discrimination and educate the public about human rights issues,” said Astorino. “Westchester is a diverse community that tolerates no less than dignity and respect for all. I thank the commission for its unwavering dedication, and I know Mark will be a valuable addition to the team.” McLean is a lieutenant with the New Rochelle Fire Department and an active member of the New Rochelle Chapter of the NAACP. As one of 15 members of the county’s Human Rights Commission, he will be tasked with reviewing cases involving allegations of discrimination. He will also attend the commission’s monthly meetings. “Serving on the Human Rights Commission will give me the opportunity to bring my real world perspective as a New Rochelle firefighter, member of the NAACP, community advocate and volunteer to the important work of the Human Rights Commission,” McLean said.

New Rochelle Fire Chief Lou DiMeglio characterized McLean as a “good officer,” and said McLean followed in his father’s footsteps by joining the New Rochelle Fire Department on March 3, 1986. He was promoted on Sept. 18, 2008 and is currently assigned to Station 4 on Drake Avenue. His brother, Steven, is also a New Rochelle firefighter. McLean said he views “acts of unlawful discrimination” in much the same way as he views the dangers he faces as a professional firefighter. If they are ignored or otherwise go unchallenged, illegal acts of discrimination can spread, causing irreparable damage to the community, he said. “I look forward to playing a role in our efforts to combat unlawful discrimination here in Westchester,” County Executive Robert Astorino, right, recently appointed New Rochelle firefighter Mark McLean, McLean added. City Councilman Jared Rice, a left, to the Westchester County Human Rights Commission. Contributed photo Democrat, said he has gotten to know McLean a bit over the past couple of years and has already congratulated him on in the group. The other members are Jerold Ruderman of White Plains, Donna Marie his appointment to the commission. The city will benefit from having a “direct Baloy of Baldwin Place, Millie H. Becker of link” to the commission should any issues Pound Ridge, Kimberly Morella of Mount Kisco, Charles Palombini of Cortlandt Manor, arise, Rice said. According to information posted on the George Rios of Yonkers, William Schmidt of commission’s website, McLean joins Thomas Peekskill and Harry Singh of Yonkers. In addition to its 15-member board, an Koshy as New Rochelle’s representative

executive director, deputy director, director of fair housing, a housing investigator and a confidential assistant to the executive director, staff the commission. The commission “strives to investigate, uncover and prosecute violations of the county Human Rights Law and related laws.” It also provides “education and advocacy that foster racial and ethnic harmony among diverse individuals and groups” and “promotes and supports the furtherance of human rights in employment, housing, public accommodation, schools, credit and any other area.” According to its annual report for 20102011, most of the complaints the commission received pertained to race-based discrimination. For the two-year timeframe documented in the report, the commission received 593 claims of alleged discrimination. Employment discrimination’ accounted for 77.5 percent of the general claims. “At the close of 2010, approximately $66,000 was awarded and paid to complainants and an unquantifiable–but significant–amount [of] equitable relief obtained,” the report said. “At the close of 2011, approximately $210,000 was awarded and paid to complainants and an unquantifiable–but significant amount of equitable relief obtained.” “Equitable relief” includes reinstatement to jobs or “obtaining benefits which may have been unfairly withheld or removed,” according to the report.


6 • THE NEW ROCHELLE SOUND AND TOWN REPORT • March 1 & March 8, 2013

Concerns about class size reflected in budget survey By ALEXANDRA BOGDANOVIC STAFF REPORTER alexandra@hometwn.com

Maintaining class size and preserving the advanced placement and honors programs emerged as top priorities among those who participated in a New Rochelle school budget survey. Paul Costiglio, a spokesman for the New Rochelle City School District, shared the findings with the Board of Education during its meeting Feb. 26. Sixty-one percent of the respondents indicated that preserving the advanced placement and honors program is “essential,” Costiglio said. Sixty percent said maintaining class size is essential, according to Costiglio, and 45 percent said it is essential to make up-to-date technology available in the classroom. This was the third year the New Rochelle City School District distributed the survey in conjunction with its annual budget process. Although the district posted the survey on its website and did media outreach, there was a significant decline in participation this year, Costiglio said. There were 500 respondents during the first year, and 550 participated last year. Only 300 people responded this year. Seventy-five percent of those who did participate this year were parents or guardians of children who attend New Rochelle schools, and a large percentage of the participants have kids in the elementary schools. Twenty

percent did not have children in the school district. Seventy-five percent of the respondents said they regularly vote on the school budget and cast their ballots in the school board elections. Approximately half of them said they voted on the budget because they were concerned about the quality of the schools and 20 percent cited tax impacts as their reason for voting. “People are still struggling to understand the property tax [cap] and its impacts,” Costiglio said. “Forty-one percent [of the survey respondents] said they know it means we will have to make difficult choices. Thirty percent said they have heard about the tax cap but don’t know the specifics and 19 percent said they know about it and fully understand it.” The board did not have any questions on the findings in the preliminary report. Costiglio said the full budget survey report, which totals 45 pages, will be posted on the district’s website, which can be accessed by visiting nred.org. The Board of Education will get the preliminary budget book during its March 5 meeting at Columbus Elementary School. Budget review sessions will be held at the New Rochelle High School library March 7, March 12, and March 14. The board is slated to approve the resolution for its annual meeting, budget vote and election at its April 3 meeting. It will also adopt the proposed budget for the 2013-2014

Maintaining class sizes at the city’s schools, such as the high school (pictured), were among the most prominent concerns in a budget survey from the city school district.

school year that night. A public hearing on the proposed budget will be held at 7 p.m. on May 7 at New Rochelle High School’s Linda E. Kelly Theater, and the budget vote will be held May 21. Last year, voters approved a $234 million school budget for 2012-2013 by a margin of more than 2 to 1. The May 15 tally showed

that 1,770 people cast their votes for the spending plan, while 734 voted against it. The budget increased taxes by 4.13 percent and called for $3.3 million in additional expenditures compared to the 2011-2012 budget, and for staffing reductions totaling 38.5 positions. -With reporting by CHRISTIAN FALCONE

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March 1 & March 8, 2013 • THE NEW ROCHELLE SOUND AND TOWN REPORT • 7


8 • THE NEW ROCHELLE SOUND AND TOWN REPORT • March 1 & March 8, 2013

Business Briefs Dr. Ameet Goyal offers latest procedures at Rye Eye Associates From correcting poor vision to improving age related eye diseases, recent advances in vision technology are helping people overcome frustrating, and sometimes debilitating, vision problems. Locally, Dr. Ameet Goyal and the physicians at Rye Eye Associates are using cutting-edge treatments such as “bladeless” laser surgery to remove cataracts and minimally invasive tear duct surgery using an endoscope, which is a thin flexible tube with a tiny camera on the end. “Our practice specializes in these advanced eye care treatments so that we can offer our patients the safest and best procedures along with the quickest recovery times and the least amount of pain and scarring,” says Dr. Goyal. An oculoplastic surgeon for nearly two decades, Dr. Goyal is one of the most finely trained and skilled ophthalmologists in the tristate area, and is highly regarded for his specialty work as an ophthalmic plastic surgeon. Dr. Goyal attended medical school at the University of Cincinnati School of Medicine, where he discovered a passion for ophthalmology during his clinical rotations. He then did his internship in internal medicine at West Virginia University. Rye Eye Associates is located at 167 Purchase St. For further information, please call (914) 921-6966 or visit newyorkeyedocs.com. Kenise Barnes Fine Art announces move and expansion After 13 years in my sweet little gallery space-and two years further up the street on Palmer-I have decided to expand and move. My lease is up at the end of March and I have been actively looking for space, both in Larchmont and neighboring towns, for six months. Although there are some good spaces available throughout Westchester County, it made me wistful to think about leaving Larchmont, and the wonderful art lovers, collectors, neighbors and friends that I have met over the years. I was just on the brink of signing a lease elsewhere when a wonderful opportunity came my way. It must be that 13 is my lucky number! I am so pleased to announce that I will staying in my building on Palmer Avenue in Larchmont and just moving up the street three storefronts. Lee Rubin, of stylish Wendy Gee fame, has decided to rework his store and will be condensing into his one large storefront, making the right-hand store available. I jumped on the opportunity and will begin an extensive build out at the end of the month. I will be able to expand from

my current 650 square feet to a spacious 1,300 square feet of exhibition space and 1,300 additional square feet of warehouse/inventory space below. I will build two exhibition galleries, an office and a private viewing room in the space. I look forward to inviting you to our opening bash scheduled for April 13. Our inagural exhibition will be “Abstract Thinking,” featuring the work of David Collins, who has been with the gallery since its inception in 1994, Yolanda Sanchez, Katia Santibanez and Josette Urso. We will open our “Photo 13” show March 2 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. with large-scale photographs by Bastienne Schmidt, Roger Ricco and Jill Greenberg. As always, the public is invited. We may be reached by email-Kenise@KBFA. com, Leanne@KBFA.com or info@KBFA. com-or by phone at 914 834 8077. The website has information, images, directions and a whole lot more information on who we are, what we do and what services we provide.

Shear Art Studio Hair Salon has moved

Shear Art Studio Hair Salon was established in 1994 and, after 18 years, moved only three doors over in the same shopping center. We have been very fortunate to be able to keep our doors open through all of the economic uncertainty. We are very thankful to our loyal clients whom we gladly serve. Giving very personal and friendly service and reasonable prices are why we are still here. We now have a new light and airy feeling in our new space and can’t wait for all of our clients to see it. Shear Art Studio Hair Salon is located at 501 East Boston Post Road next to Chase Bank in the Village of Mamaroneck. You can reach us at 914-381-7520 or visit us at our website shearartstudio.com and like us on Facebook.

Montefiore physician appointed to Westchester County Board Rubina Heptulla, M.D., chief of the division of pediatric endocrinology and diabetes at The Children’s Hospital at Montefiore, has been appointed to the Westchester County Laboratories and Research Board of Managers. Dr. Heptulla will serve a threeyear term starting this month and will oversee quality assurance, reporting and budgeting for Westchester laboratories. Westchester County Executive Robert P. Astorino selected Dr. Heptulla, a Rye resident and professor of pediatrics and medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University, to join four existing board managers who provide oversight of environmental laboratories, forensic and toxicology services, and microbiological laboratories. The board works in conjunction with Medical Examiner Kunjlata Ashar, M.D., who heads

the Department of Laboratories and Research, to provide reliable, accurate and rapid diagnosis of diseases to the Westchester County health community. The board of managers, which consists of three New York State licensed physicians, holds quarterly meetings to discuss operations of the laboratories, fees and approval of building improvements and repairs to ensure that the county’s laboratories operate effectively and efficiently. Dr. Heptulla’s appointment is subject to approval by the Board of Legislators. Dr. Heptulla joined Montefiore in April 2010. An internationally recognized pediatric endocrinologist, she is an expert in diabetes, thyroid, growth, puberty and adrenal disorders, and leads research in these areas. She oversees six pediatric endocrinology and diabetes clinics that receive nearly 200 patient visits each week in locations across Westchester and the Bronx. A seventh clinic will open in early 2013. Dr. Heptulla has received numerous grants and awards for her work and has published extensively in peerreviewed journals.

White Plains Hospital achieves accreditation The Cancer Program at White Plains Hospital has earned another three-year Accreditation with Commendation from The Commission on Cancer of the American College of Surgeons. The Commission on Cancer, a consortium of professional organizations dedicated to improving survival and quality of life for cancer patients through standard-setting, prevention, research, education and the monitoring of comprehensive quality care, is the only multi-

disciplinary accreditation program for cancer programs in the United States. Its membership includes fellows of the American College of Surgeons and representatives of 47 national organizations that reflect the full spectrum of cancer care. The Commission on Cancer promotes quality care through comprehensive standards that guide treatment and ensure patient-centered cancer care; unique reporting tools to benchmark performance and improve outcomes; and educational interventions and targeted training opportunities. The hospital’s cancer program is dedicated to providing exceptional cancer care that is comprehensive, coordinated and compassionate to individuals who work or live in Westchester County and the surrounding areas. The program is designed to meet the needs of cancer patients and their families through prevention and screening programs, offering advanced diagnosis and access to the latest treatment options and clinical trials as well as a full range of support services. For more information on the cancer program services at White Plains Hospital, log onto www.wphospital.org or call (914) 681-2701. The next Business Briefs section will run on April 5. Please send any submission for our April issue to biz@hometwn.com by Friday, March 29. Each submission can include one picture and must be between 175-225 words. If you have any questions, email Deputy Editor Jason Chirevas at news@hometwn.com.

What’s Your Beef?

What’s bothering you today? Collected on Purchase Street in Rye “I'm bothered by the lack of business in the Smoke Shop.”

“There are too many deer in my back garden.”

Tony D'Onofrio, 57, Rye

Derval Kenny, 56, Rye

“Capitalism is bothering me because it puts money over people.” Les Ronick, 70, Rye

“I don't like the way people treat immigrants.” Tania Bonilla, 26, Rye

-Photos and reporting by CHRIS GRAMUGLIA


March 1 & March 8, 2013 • THE NEW ROCHELLE SOUND AND TOWN REPORT • 9

School safety symposium kicks off county exec’s initiative By ALEXANDRA BOGDANOVIC STAFF REPORTER alexandra@hometwn.com

County Executive Robert Astorino’s collaborative plan to address the issue of school violence is a “step in the right direction,” according to a local mental health professional. “I am very happy to see a collaborative initiative being undertaken that will bring together all of the key components–schools, law enforcement, community mental health professionals and parents,” said Dr. Mark Levy, executive director of the Larchmont Mamaroneck Community Counseling Center. School violence is a complex problem, and the key to making progress is a higher order of collaboration than has been achieved in the past, he said. Astorino unveiled the initiative, called Safer Communities, Feb. 20. Its goals are to educate the public about available services and programs, enhance those capabilities and evaluate progress on an ongoing and longterm basis, he said. “After Sandy Hook, every community in the country asked, ‘what can we do to prevent this from happening again?’” Astorino, a Republican, said. “As county executive and a father of three young children, I want to be part of the answer. The effort began with a School Safety Symposium at SUNY Purchase Feb. 27. Former New York Police Commissioner

and Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton kicked off the event as the keynote speaker. Local and national experts also outlined “best practices” for improving school security. The speakers included retired Secret Service Agent Charles H. Boklan, who gave an overview of school-based violence in America; Matthew A Miragillia, a noted school security expert; and Chief Inspector John Hodges of the Westchester County Department of Public Safety. “Familiarity and coordination are two critical tools when preparing for and responding to a crisis,” Westchester County Department of Public Safety Commissioner George Longworth said prior to the event. “This forum will give educators a realistic sense of what they can expect and a chance to strengthen relationships and lines of communication with their law enforcement counterparts.” The symposium also featured a panel discussion focusing on “the dynamics among law enforcement, school officials and parents during a crisis, and bridging the gaps between strategies that look good on paper and realtime decision-making in actual situations.” “The opportunity to talk about what works and doesn’t work ahead of time and in very realistic terms should be invaluable for all school districts that are in the process of updating security plans,” said Harrison Central School District Superintendent Louis Wool, who was a panelist at the symposium. “Insights from

law enforcement, parents, educators and other government officials will help us develop the kinds of collaborative solutions we need to be effective.” Astorino said he invited every school leader in the county, their administrative teams and members of their school boards to the symposium. Another event will be held as part of the Safer Communities initiative on April 9, when the county departments of health and community mental health will host a “Community Violence Forum” at the County Executive Robert Astorino recently unveiled a community to address the issue of school violence. A school safety Westchester County Center. initiative symposium kicked off that initiative on Feb 27. Contributed photo “The idea is to bring a public health approach to treating and preventing violence,” said national perspective on violence prevention. Dr. Sherlita Amler, Westchester County It will also give those in attendance a chance Commissioner of Health. “By identifying to share successful methods for combating causes, addressing symptoms, monitoring violence. progress and measuring results, we will in“The purpose is to share best practices, crease our chances for positive outcomes.” identify gaps in the system where schools Geared towards leaders including appointed and communities need some help and then to and elected officials, educators, community implement programs to address these gaps,” groups, directors of non-profit agencies and said Dr. Grant Mitchell, commissioner of clergy, the forum is designed to provide a Community Mental Health.


10 • THE NEW ROCHELLE SOUND AND TOWN REPORT • March 1 & March 8, 2013 POLICE from page 1

without being restrained by civil service rules,” Carroll said. The captains are currently chosen from the top three candidates on the captain’s promotional list, Carroll explained. Their standing on the list is based on their score on a state civil service test, he said. “This is not a practical or sound method of choosing individuals to manage at an executive level within the department, and it can place the commissioner in a position where a promotion is forced rather than chosen,” Carroll said in the Aug. 20 letter. In making his case to Strome, Carroll said the change in titles could save the department 6 percent in pension costs. Moreover, the deputy commissioners would no longer earn overtime and would work flexible schedules, Carroll said. Because the deputy commissioners would be civilian positions no longer included in the Superior Officers Association, the people holding those titles would be able to conduct disciplinary hearings and tackle other responsibilities while being “free of ambivalence and unencumbered by union affiliation,” Carroll said. Trangucci wanted to know how many times the captains have actually had to discipline subordinates who are also members of the SOA. In response to his question, Carroll said there have been 54 cases of command disciplinary actions since 2004. Only “a handful” of those have resulted in serious charges, Carroll admitted while fielding a follow-up question from Rackman. Fertel, who said he’d been “bombarded by emails,” had a different question. Specifically, he wanted to know why the proposal garnered such adamant opposition. “I don’t know,” Carroll said. “I would be trying to get one of those positions, auditioning for future spots. We’d be looking for someone to carry the ball.” BLOTTER from page 4

Feb. 24…A 34-year-old New Rochelle man reported being robbed around 5:52 a.m. According to police records, the incident happened at 142 North Ave. Detective Capt. Joseph Schaller said the victim was out walking around 4 a.m., and that he was headed home when suspects described as two tall black men confronted him. The suspects allegedly put the man in a headlock and went through his pocket. The victim also said the men took his wallet, which contained approximately $500 and fled east on Bonnefoy Place, Schaller said. The victim refused medical attention. Feb. 24…Jennifer L. Nydick, 43, of 2291 Palmer Ave., New Rochelle was arrested and charged with petit larceny after she allegedly tried to leave a supermarket without paying for assorted merchandise. According to Detective Capt. Joseph Schaller, the incident occurred at the Shoprite supermarket and the items were worth roughly $165.


March 1 & March 8, 2013 • THE NEW ROCHELLE SOUND AND TOWN REPORT • 11

L etters

The creation of political heroism John Quincy Adams, the sixth president, said “Democracy has no monuments. It strikes no medals. It bears the head of no man on a coin.” LUNGARIELLO Adams said that in 1831, about 50 years after the presiAT LARGE dency and a number of its precedents were established. Mark Lungariello Early Americans, reacting to the hokum of European royalty, decided on “Mr. President” as a more down-to-Earth way to refer to Washington, as opposed to titles such as “Your Excellency.” The concept of nobility was scoffed at, as was the observation of public land as “sacred.” And when Washington planned to decline his hefty $25,000 presidential salary, according to historians, he was convinced to accept it for fear that rejecting it would send a message that only wealthy men who could serve as volunteers would lead the union. Shortly after Washington’s death in 1799, the fledgling Congress controversially knocked down a proposal to construct a memorial in his honor or to stamp his likeness on a U.S. coin to commemorate his birthday. In fairness, some of the political bickering arose from Congress being Republican controlled and Washington having become synonymous with the Federalists. But, there was a popular view that there was no place in a republic for hokum, grand titles and the elevation of people into demigods. It was no accident that early coins did not depict people – that is the way this group now known collectively as “forefathers” wanted it. Still, John Quincy Adams was wrong, apparently. Democracy has readily and willingly borne the heads of men (and women) on coins. Alexander Hamilton, the first secretary of the treasury, is depicted on the 10; Benjamin Franklin is shown on the 100; Susan B. Anthony’s and Sacagawea’s face mark two different $1 coins; and Salmon. B. Chase, a treasury secretary, is memorialized on the out-of-print $10,000 note. All other U.S. currency depicts men who were U.S. presidents. To memorialize Anthony or Sacagawea as a symbol of the women’s rights struggle may have meaning, but depicting politicians at its root less honors the individuals than the power they held. An effort to elevate the status of those in office, or to portray elected public service as being noble is a direct turnaround from the notion of the power of the people. An elected representative, in his or her purest form, is someone who is delegated the power of a particular group of people. Put simply, it is the people who elect an official to office who actually possess the power, not the representative. The common idea that acting as a delegate or representative of the people means someone should be looked at with awe or hewn into marble is a contradiction to the basis of the democracy. The system of elections and representation of politicians was established as a way to dilute the concentration of power, and the branches of government existed as a means to ensure that Mr. President did not become His Excellency in power, if not in official title. It took several hundred years, but the country has too readily embraced the elevation of individuals, specifically politicians. The power of the elected has trumped the power of the people. It is interesting that today, with record low approval ratings for Congress, and with a widespread distrust of politicians in general, those in office still possess enough power capital to perpetuate the deifying of other politicians. Our capitol, named Washington, is known for its elaborate and expensive monuments. George Washington’s memorial cost $1.1 million to construct in the mid 1800s, when those in office were far enough removed from Washington’s death, and the revolution against the monarchy, to debate the implications of monuments (nor did they care any longer about Washington-as-aFederalist Party hero). Lincoln and Jefferson each received memorials that cost around $3 million apiece in the early half of the 1900s. Interestingly, Mount Rushmore only cost $1 million by early 1900s costs, though it was never completed. It is fitting that those who designate these memorials are often the politicians themselves. Politics has increasingly grown into an insiders’ club, in which the new crop pays homage to the old crop by dedicating things in the older set’s honor. Legislating, which is rarely heroic and should never really require monarchist-style appreciation, is generally more rewarded and regarded than any other act, it seems. In lower New York, we have the George Washington Bridge, the FDR drive, and the mouthfuls Governor Malcolm Wilson Tappan Zee Bridge, Ed Koch Queensboro and the Robert F. Kennedy Triborough Bridge. This is to say nothing of the people who received these honors as individuals, whether they were friendly, treated their friends well or were men of character, it is simply to note that there is an inherent danger in elevating those who have served in office as anything more than as someone who has served in office. It is worth noting, shortly after President’s Day, that a government for the people can’t be by the people if we continue to take a certain few meant to serve and elevate them to a status of above the people. Reach Mark Lungariello at mark@hometwn.com.

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Business as usual in New Rochelle To the Editor, Your Feb. 15/Feb. 22 news article on the Feb. 12 New Rochelle City Council meeting was a case of “business as usual.” A dubious big developer, Forest City Residential, was asking for an acceptance of its self serving and financed environmental impact study as well as continuance of its MOU, replete with a 20-year abatement, diminished taxable retail space and the development of six, not 26 acres of waterfront property. This developer mentioned in the Annabi/Jereis bribery case ignored Yonkers law by installing parking meters and charging customers without the authorization of Yonkers. Forest City Ratner’s spokesperson stated that they would not turn over the improperly collected money to Yonkers. Yet in New Rochelle this questionable conduct is overlooked. It was déjà vu as the council drama unfolded with Mayor Bramson preaching the familiar rhetorical platitudes of years past, oblivious to the gathering concerns of citizens and the Board of Education. Concerns were for grossly flawed past studies, especially involving school children projections–151 percent underestimate–while the impacts on the financing of quality education were minimized. Some council members asked token questions to maintain public appearances, but with no resolve as the developer or council shills successfully countered. The mayor met sound questioning by two council members with stony admonishment. So, threatened by the discussion, Mayor Bramson began to cheerlead a reminder to Democratic colleagues not to waver from the party line. The vote was taken and history repeated itself! Once again, a big developer was granted corporate welfare at the expense of the New Rochelle Taxpayers! Mickey Boyle, New Rochelle

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12 • THE NEW ROCHELLE SOUND AND TOWN REPORT • March 1 & March 8, 2013

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March 1 & March 8, 2013 • THE NEW ROCHELLE SOUND AND TOWN REPORT • 13

Can’t make this stuff up, part I By RACHEL McCAIN

with a dash of extended panic attacks.) With the help of Managing Editor Mark Lungariello–especially during the early goings of my tenure–I managed to navigate the rough seas and eventually made it to calm water. Needless, to say, I grew up a bit in the process. Home Town will always hold the clichéd “special place in my heart,” as will the coffee stirrers, napkins, powdered sugar and bowling alley on the third floor–a reference only Home Town veterans will understand. I will miss playing psychologist, my colorful collection of co-workers and doing the occasional art “directing.” Public relations calls from “local” places like Oregon and Venezuela, the lost souls who come through the front door looking for companies other than ours and the oft-verbose Letters to the Editor also sit high on the list of things I’ll miss. And of course, there’s the writing. I’m sure my mother would have loved for me to become a lawyer instead of opting for the meandering life of a writer, but a wise woman once said happiness is paramount. For as long as I can remember, writing has been my fervor. From scribbling stories on a wideruled notebook back in Trinity Elementary School in New Rochelle, to crafting articles for The Source Magazine, writing, for me, is like breathing–although editing definitely has its own adventures. As an editor, one is not necessarily afforded the luxury–or the time–of being “on the beat,” although I still managed to sneak in a few stories here and there. But amid the endless mounds of day-to-day duties, my urge to write didn’t seem to dissipate. And with the new inclusion of long-form profiles as seen in our “Sound Shore Neighbors” edition this January–my favorite edition at Home Town–my suppressed desire to write fully ignited again. As for what comes next, I’m a leaf in the wind–though ambiguity does not mean uncertainty for me. Albeit daunting and not necessarily my “style,” lacking a clear idea of what’s to come is a bit freeing and exciting. Ambition can often get the best of your time, but sometimes it pays for one to occasionally slow down to observe and partake in things far more priceless than success. For the next year, until May 2014 when I graduate (insert sigh of relief here), my studies are my main focus. Travel will also be in the cards, starting with Mexico in a few weeks. Everything else remains a serendipitous mystery. Still, whatever I decide to do, it will, as Maya Angelou and Oprah say, “make me proud to spell my name ‘w-o-m-a-n.’” I don’t see a record-breaking performance featured in the Super Bowl in my cards, but writing a book or two is something I (eventually) will see to fruition, however long it takes. Former Deputy Editor Rachel McCain is bidding adieu Beyoncé may have the moves on to Home Town Media, the parent company of this newspaper. This will be her last edition as a staff the stage, but I will always have the member. words on the page. I came to Home Town the same way many of us have: I answered the mysterious Craigslist ad looking for freelance writers. I wrote a few stories, took a few pictures and that was that. Or so I thought. When I saw the ad for an assistant editor, it was perfect timing. I was graduating from college with my newly minted English degree and was in search of somewhat gainful employment in a field kind of close to what I had been studying. After an extensive job search that stretched over the course of about seven months due to our lovely economy, I struck gold. I began my journey at Home Town on a Monday morning in June 2011, right after graduating that previous Friday. I was completely “green” and excited (a.k.a. naive, uncertain, confused and lost) and unaware of the obstacles that lay ahead. Fast-forward a year and a half later. As I am sure some of our diligent readers may have noticed, the change to our masthead in our papers is not an illusion: My tenure at Home Town has slowly come to an end. I won’t be moving to far away and exotic places like Alabama and South Carolina as some of my former co-workers have–I will still be around for a bit. I’ve opted to finish my master’s degree in writing at Sarah Lawrence College full-time versus trying to balance fulltime classes, a full-time job and some form of sanity (and possibly a social life.) I also would like to use the free time to catch up on sleep and possibly see what the sun looks like again, although that may be reaching. I digress. My time at Home Town has been both interesting and a valuable learning experience. Although I came to the company with a bit of writing experience under my belt, nothing could have prepared me for many of the things I encountered as an editor (I’d like to equate it to a learning curve and a culture shock combined

Program provides access to health services By ALEXANDRA BOGDANOVIC STAFF REPORTER alexandra@hometwn.com

A new program available at the Sound Shore Medical Center of Westchester is designed to reduce the number of repeat visits by elderly or chronically ill patients who receive treatment in the emergency department, but are not hospitalized. Offered in conjunction with the Visiting Nurse Association of Hudson Valley, the “Rapid Response” program provides immediate access to follow-up care including home health services. “The goal is to provide the right care at the right time in the right situation,” said Cornelia Schimert, the director of business development and community relations for the Visiting Nurse Association. “Now we can work together to come up with an individualized plan for the patient. Everything is much tighter and much more immediate [than it used to be].” The Rapid Response program works this way: When a patient seeks treatment at the emergency department, a doctor or nurse there will assess and stabilize their condition. Once the doctor determines admission is not warranted, the emergency department staff will make a referral to the VNA for homecare services. “The emergency department staff wants to ensure that there’s a safe hand-off, or a safe transition, before a patient is discharged,” said Rhonda Ruiz, the assistant vice president of operations at Sound Shore Medical Center. “They can call the nursing supervisor at VNA, who will then send a visiting nurse directly to the emergency department if there is a safety concern, or to the patient’s home.” If need be, the nurse can visit the patient within hours after he or she is discharged from the emergency department’s care to gauge his or her ability to follow discharge instructions. The visiting nurse will also teach the patient to be alert for changes in his or her condition. “The strong lines of communication between Sound Shore Medical Center’s Emergency Department staff and the Visiting Nurse Association of Hudson Valley is a real benefit to the patient and assures continuity of care between the emergency department setting and home,” said Schimert. “Other services such as

A new program offered at Sound Shore Medical Center of Westchester seeks to reduce repeated emergency department visits by providing immediate access to homecare services. Photo/Bobby Begun

that of a home health aide or medical equipment may also be requested by the emergency department physician for the patient.” As part of the Rapid Response program, the visiting nurse also evaluates each patient for in-home placement of its state-of-the-art Telehealth Monitoring Unit, Schimert said. Nurses use the device to monitor a patient’s vital signs throughout the week, thereby reducing the need for return visits to the emergency department, she added. That’s especially important since the government started cracking down on hospitals with high readmission rates, Ruiz said. According to Kaiser Health News and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, hundreds of hospitals across the country are losing a portion of their Medicare reimbursements because they’ve got high readmission rates. The Sound Shore Medical Center of Westchester is slated to lose 0.92 percent of its Medicare reimbursements, according to the report. So far, it’s difficult to say whether the Rapid Response program, which has been in effect since November, has made an impact on the facility’s readmission rate. “We have minimal data at this point,” Ruiz said.

WITH HONORS

Sijo Thomas and Jamie Jacob have been named to the fall 2012 dean’s list at the University of the Sciences. The following New Rochelle residents were named to the Dean’s List at the State University of New York at New Paltz for the Fall 2012 semester: Alicia Heinemann, an Adolescence Ed: Earth Science. Anne Jacobs, a Communication Media major. Jenifer Pereira, a History major. Natania Bookbinder, an English major. Melanie Gabel, a Theatre Arts major. Rachel Rackman, a Visual Arts major. Suzana Gashi, an undeclared major.


14 • THE NEW ROCHELLE SOUND AND TOWN REPORT • March 1 & March 8, 2013

New York State budget may fall short for some groups By ASHLEY HELMS STAFF REPORTER ashley@hometwn.com

Leaders of some Westchester organizations say they need Gov. Andrew Cuomo to provide more money in the 2013 executive budget for certain items or lose what they view as essential services. Leaders addressed several local members of the state Assembly at a Feb. 14 state budget forum at Greenburgh Town Hall. Jeremy Ingpen is the executive director of the Washingtonville Housing Alliance in Mamaroneck and came to the forum on behalf of that organization. The nonprofit’s stated mission is to preserve and enhance the quality of life in Mamaroneck and to work to sustain ethnically diverse communities. The housing alliance has constructed or rehabilitated 115 apartments and developed 14 starter homes since the group’s inception in 1980, according to Ingpen. Ingpen spoke about income discrimination, and said that he’s shocked by how many people seek out the alliance for help because their landlords won’t accept Section 8 rent vouchers. He said that the organization relies in part on funding provided by the state to Neighborhood Preservation Companies, which, like Washingtonville, increase affordable housing opportunities for low and middleincome families. Ingpen said that while he’s happy that the state has put aside some money

for these companies on an ongoing basis, it isn’t quite enough to make ends meet. “All the good services we do are funded by these NPCs and without this money we’d be very boring little agencies,” Ingpen said. “At times of disaster, these are the organizations that are able to roll out services.” Assemblyman Tom Abinanti, a Greenburgh Democrat, said that the budget has mastered the art of looking like certain initiatives are being funded, but in reality they’re not. “I personally object to this budget and how it funds organizations,” Abinanti said. Pat Anderson came to the forum on behalf of the United Way in Westchester. Anderson said that while the organization appreciated the significant challenges that the state is facing, there are challenges with the executive budget in terms of non-profits. Receiving $2.5 million specifically for the United Way’s 211 information and referral service line would help them respond to calls better, Anderson said. The executive budget puts aside money for similar services, but Anderson said that the United Way is just one of many organizations that could be lumped into that budget line item. “We’ve been wanting to take some the $43 million in the budget for similar services directly to the 211 call line,” Anderson said. “We took over 25,000 calls during Hurricane Sandy.”

State Assembly members meet with organization leaders and members of the public at an executive budget forum on Feb. 14 in Greenburgh. A common theme among the speakers was the increasing inability to pay for essential services in light of dwindling funds. Photo/Ashley Helms

Janice Kirshner, executive director of the Jewish Council of Yonkers-Westchester Community Partners said that their major funder, the Helen Benedict Foundation, is changing their focus as of 2014 and will cease funding the organization. The council develops intergenerational programs to meet the literacy needs of children in the community. Kirshner said that the council serves over 7,000 families and has engaged roughly 6,000 mentors at 39 sites and needs funding for new

Local group discusses health care law, impacts By CHRIS GRAMUGLIA STAFF REPORTER chrisg@hometwn.com

On Feb. 13, residents attended a breakfast forum hosted by the Larchmont-Mamaroneck Local Summit on the effects on local communities of the federal Affordable Care Act. The event, held at the Nautilus Diner on West Boston Post Rd, featured a lecture by Mark Hannay, director of the Metro New York Health Care for All Campaign, and focused on the benefits, changes and long-term goals associated with the new legislation. The Affordable Care Act was passed by Congress and signed by President Obama in 2010 with the stated aim of providing accessible and affordable health care for all Americans. But now that several provisions are going into effect, residents are still trying to decipher exactly what the law will mean for them. Today, 2.8 million New Yorkers who are currently uninsured. Hannay’s presentation focused mainly on three provisions of the law: insurance coverage reform, delivery system reform and financing. Insurance coverage reform will make coverage more affordable to low income Americans by limiting the percentage that they are obligated to contribute to health insurance, providing federal subsidies to assist with the cost of purchasing insurance and enforcing a cost-sharing system to cut back on out-of-pocket costs. According to Hannay, this will be accomplished through the New York Health Exchange, a marketplace

where approved health insurance plans will be sold. “The Health Exchange is essentially a marketplace for individuals, families and small businesses to go and get coverage if they need it. It offers standardized benefits and standard policies,” said Hannay. Within the New York Health Exchange, individuals and families who are above 100 percent but under 400 percent of the federal poverty level, will receive subsidies, provided they use the exchange to purchase insurance. Delivery system reform focuses on the expansion of access to health care services, while also improving the quality of those services. Hannay pointed out that, historically, health care in the United States has been predicated on institutional care, and that the reform aims to refocus on, “primary, preventative, community-based ambulatory care.” It has been estimated that $500 billion will be saved over a 10-year period under the law’s new provisions. However, higher taxes on Medicare payroll, unearned investment income, drug companies and medical equipment makers will also go into effect. According to Hannay, the projected savings under the new law will build up the nation’s medical infrastructure over a 10-year period, along with a number of new incentives given to those who undergo more sophisticated medical training. A widespread concern seemed to be about the status of the large population of undocumented immigrants living in Mamaroneck, and whether or not they would also be covered

At a forum breakfast at the Nautilus Diner, Mark Hannay of the Metro New York Health Care for All Campaign explaines to residents of Mamaroneck and Larchmont how the Affordable Care Act will affect them. Contributed photo.

under the new plan. “The Affordable Care Act does some things for immigrants, but not a lot...The good news is that the courts ruled that New York State has an obligation under the constitution to provide coverage for immigrants who are lawfully present,” said Hannay. The Larchmont-Mamaroneck Local Summit meets at 7:45 a.m on the second Tuesday of every month. Next month’s meeting will be held on Tuesday, March 19.

or revitalized senior centers and youth education. Kirshner said that the organization is focusing more on kinship care and grandparents raising grandchildren, things she said are increasingly difficult because grandparents don’t receive a state tax break like parents do. “As you implement your budget, we ask you to implement intergenerational work and thinking,” Kershner said. The executive budget must be implemented by the state by the end of June 2013.

Pet Rescue

Kelly is an adorable 2-3 year old female Beagle mix who weighs about 23lbs. She’s even-tempered and gets along with all the dogs in her foster home. Kelly is a very sweet, loving, playful girl who is great with children, too. She is housebroken when you are home, but should be put in a crate for now when left alone. Kelly follows her foster mom all around the house. She would make the perfect addition to any family. Kelly is spayed, vaccinated, de-wormed, heartworm tested and micro-chipped. Her adoption donation is $250. For more information, please contact Larchmont Pet Rescue at (914) 834-6955 or on the web at www. NY-PetRescue.org.


SPORTS

March 1 & March 8, 2013 • THE NEW ROCHELLE SOUND AND TOWN REPORT • 15

Biggest surprises/thrills of the postseason New Ro’s runs to the County Center It’s not really a shock to see New Rochelle’s boys or girls teams making an appearance at the County Center. For many years, the Huguenots have fielded top-notch programs for both genders. This year, however, both teams have faced their share of adversity-the boys losing to Scarsdale and the girls struggling down the stretch-but they both seem to have bounced back at the right time to ride the sixth-seed all the way to the playoffs. Look for Joe Clarke and Amirror Dixon to step up in a big way if these Huguenots teams punch their ticket to the finals. Mamaroneck’s last-second defeat The Tigers were just 58 seconds away from a section crown on Feb. 24 when a goal by fierce rival Suffern knotted the score at 2, sending the game into overtime. The goal spurred on Suffern to strike first in overtime, giving the Mounties their third-straight Section I title. John Jay wins Division II title Over the past 10 years, only two teams have won the Section I title in Division II; Pelham and Rye. That all changed, however, on Feb. 24, when John Jay used a big third period to down the Garnets in the finals to claim its first-ever title. John Jay’s 5-1 win over the Garnets was the team’s second win in three days against the normal division stalwarts and could vault them into the conversation of Section I powers in the future.

John Jay’s hockey team celebrates its first Section I title after a 5-1 victory over Rye. John Jay is the first team in the last decade besides Pelham or Rye to win Division II. Photo/Bobby Begun

Eastchester’s final four appearance Anyone who watched Eastchester play this year probably isn’t surprised that the team is headed to the County Center. One of the most unselfish, tenacious teams in the section, the Eagles have lost just one game all season. Anyone who has followed Eastchester over the past few decades, however, might believe this is a fantasy. This year will mark Eastchester’s first trip to the final four since 1971, which was more than 20 years before any players on this current team were even born.

New Rochelle youngsters learn baseball basics The Monroe Mustangs baseball team took a break from preparing for the start of their season to host a free baseball clinic on Feb. 23 at

the Monroe Athletic Complex. The Mustangs coaches and student athletes instructed 30 youngsters from the New Rochelle Thunder

Youth Baseball program. The two-hour clinic focused not only on the fundamentals of the game, such as pitching, hitting, and fielding, but it also demonstrated the discipline and focus that’s required to be successful on the field and in life. “It’s important for us to support the community,” said Mustang head coach Luis Melendez. “We take that responsibility very seriously. Also it’s excellent for our student-athletes to work with young people. It helps build character and also reinforces the baseball skills that they themselves have developed.” The Mustangs divided the group of eager ballplayers into units of five and set up

six stations spread out across the arena. Each station was devoted to a honing a specific skill of the game; pitching, infield practice, or outfield practice. There were also three different hitting drills in Monroe’s batting cage. “I have been involved in youth baseball in New Rochelle for many years, and the clinic at Monroe was by far the best that we have been involved with,” said Director of New Rochelle Thunder Baseball Anthony Failisi. “The kids had a great time and learned about many baseball fundamentals. Most of all, Coach Lou and his entire staff and players made this clinic as insightful and fun as possible,” he said. “You can tell that not only do the Monroe baseball coaches and players have a passion for the game, but they have a passion for trying to help the kids in our community. I can not thank Monroe enough for what they did for the kids of New Rochelle Thunder Baseball.” After the clinic, the New Rochelle squad was treated to pizza and stayed on to watch the Monroe College men’s basketball team take on the Westchester Vikings. The Mustangs are set to begin their season Saturday March 2 with a home game against Sullivan Community College. First pitch is scheduled for 12:00 p.m. (Submitted)

Sophomore outfielder Vladimir Gomez works with a youngster on outfield techniques on Feb. 23. Gomez and his teammates hosted 30 New Rochelle youth baseball players for an instructional clinic. Contributed photo


SPORTS New Ro battles back to County Center

16 • THE NEW ROCHELLE SOUND AND TOWN REPORT • March 1 & March 8, 2013

Amirror Dixon looks for an open teammate on Feb. 16. Dixon missed six games with an injury this year, but remains an important cog in the Huguenots’ machine.

Alysia Parente-Colin is fouled as she hoists up a shot against Mount Vernon on Feb. 16. The Huguenots have battled through a disappointing end to the regular season to reach the County Center. Photos/Bobby Begun By MIKE SMITH ASSOCIATE SPORTS EDITOR sports@hometwn.com

Two years ago, finding themselves as an 18-seed heading into sectional play, the New Rochelle Huguenots defied the odds and made an unprecedented run, storming past the competition to secure a berth at the Count Center. This year, as a sixseed, the Huguenots have made a similarly impressive run, knocking off the third-seeded team from John Jay 64-55 on Feb. 23 to advance, yet again, to Section I’s biggest stage. Although the Huguenots (16-4) played,for much of the year like a team bound for the County Center, the last few weeks of the season saw them struggle against good teams, as they dropped three games and looked to be a team that was backing its way into the playoffs. Head coach Bruce Daniele, however,

wasn’t concerned. “We were sputtering,” he said. “But the games we lost, they were to our rivals, like Scarsdale. Since then, I think we’ve rallied.” Rallying has been a common theme for the Huguenots this year, as the team was forced to play without star guard Amirror Dixon as the junior nursed an injury. The squad, buoyed by the play of guards Sidney Pinn and Liz Tyson, didn’t miss a beat; something that Daniele feels gave the team more confidence moving forward. “When that happened, I think we thought we couldn’t win without [Amirror],” Daniele said. “After she went down, I think that everyone realized that while we do need her to win, we’re a team and we need contributions from a lot of different girls.” As they enter the final four, New

Rochelle will be charged with a tall order in second-seeded Lourdes High School on Feb. 27. Last season, New Rochelle traveled to Lourdes in the Section I playoffs, only to be trounced by the Warriors by 39 points. The defensive-minded Lourdes team is currently holding opponents to under 40 points a game. “They’re a tough team, they play great defense,” said Daniele. “They’ve got two girls [Paige Decker and Emily Fererri] who are outstanding, so we know we have to worry about them.” Also a concern for Daniele is the effect that the atmosphere of the County Center will have on his squad. However, while many coaches worry that their teams will buckle under the pressure of performing in front of a packed house, Daniele’s fears are a bit different.

Aaliya Hayes drives to the hole against Mount Vernon on Feb. 16. New Rochelle beat its rival 55-50 to start the Class AA playoffs.

“We have the early game, so for girls who have never played there, it’s going to be an adjustment–it’s a big arena with nobody in it,” he

said. “I think we’re going to find out right away, in the first quarter, if they are going to be able to adjust to the new court.”


Sound Report 3-1-13