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CityREVIEW NewRochelle December 2, 2016 | Vol. 4, Number 36 |

A mighty parade The city of New Rochelle held its 53rd annual Thanksgiving parade on Nov. 19, which started at New Rochelle High School on North Avenue and ended at Main Street and Maple Avenue downtown. For more, see page 6. Photos/Sibylla Chipaziwa

2 • THE CITY REVIEW • December 2, 2016

December 2, 2016 • THE CITY REVIEW • 3

Coalition calls for $800M in public works grants By SIBYLLA CHIPAZIWA Assistant Editor On a recent fall morning, elected officials, titans of industry and some concerned residents gathered at the littleknown Hommocks Conservation area in the town of Mamaroneck to call upon New York state to extend its Clean Water grants program for crucial water infrastructure projects. Also announced on Nov. 16 was the formation of a coalition, which includes elected officials, worker union officials, conservationists and members of the construction industry, to lobby for crucial water repairs, and how the high costs of such projects cannot be funded by individual communities alone, without state intervention. The projects are ways to ensure that wastewater is properly treated and managed to protect the environment for years to come. On the wooden viewing platform of the conservation area, Mamaroneck Town Supervisor Nancy Seligson, a Democrat,

said that the site could be affected by polluted runoff, especially after heavy rains and when sewer pipes aren’t repaired. “I worry about how to repair sewer infrastructure and how to pay for it,” she said. “The costs are too high for each municipality to do it on their own.” One necessary clean water project that Seligson pointed to is the installation of ultraviolet light treatment to the town of Mamaroneck’s entire water system, a part of the Westchester Joint Water Works, which could cost $80 million. This does not include repairs to water mains which are a century old, according to Seligson. Seligson added that the town has been working with the villages of Mamaroneck, Larchmont and Pelham Manor, and the city of New Rochelle; all part of New Rochelle’s sewer district. Democratic state Assemblyman Steve Otis, also a former mayor of the city of Rye, was credited for recognizing and helping to initiate the Clean Water program at the state level in

2014, garnering support from Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, both Democrats. The program has now provided more than $400 million in grants toward municipal projects. All who spoke at the conference praised Otis’ efforts. “We have, statewide, over $70 billion in water infrastructure projects that need to be done,” Otis said. “Even with low-interest loans from the state, it’s too much debt [for municipalities].” Seligson added that these clean water initiatives are crucial not just for drinking water and the environment, but also to provide jobs in the region; one reason why construction and union leaders are participating in the coalition. Otis said that every $10 million granted creates 160 new jobs. “This is pure water, pure jobs; it’s good for property tax payers,” he added. “We need to grow this program and put more projects [in motion].” New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson, a Democrat, said that

Free 2-hour holiday parking through 12/31 In continuation of an annual tradition and to promote holiday shopping in New Rochelle, the city will offer two hours of free holiday parking in certain municipal lots. Free two-hour holiday parking in municipal lots will be in effect from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. through Saturday, Dec. 31. Nor-

mal parking regulations will resume on Monday, Jan. 2, 2017. Off-street parking fees will be waived in all lots controlled by either meters or pay by space machines, excluding the New Roc City Garage, the New Rochelle Transit Center and all permit parking areas. (Submitted)


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Town of Mamaroneck Supervisor Nancy Seligson speaks at a news conference at the Hommocks Conservation area on Nov. 16 calling for the state to provide up to $800 million in public works grants for much-needed water infrastructure projects. Also pictured is city of New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson. Photo/Andrew Dapolite

many of the things needed to be done to protect the water quality in the Long Island Sound “are falling to our little old municipality.” He also pointed out that more needs to be done with investing in infrastructure.

“There’s this mismatch between the scale of the need and the importance of the priority, and the resources that are available to us,” he said. “Unless those two things are equalized, the financial condition of our

municipality is going to suffer terribly, and eventually the quality of the Long Island Sound will suffer as well…. All of us will pay the price.” CONTACT:

4 • THE CITY REVIEW • December 2, 2016

What’s going on... New Rochelle Public Library

Sundays: 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Huguenot Children’s Library hours: Mondays and Thursdays: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sundays: Closed.

Friends Huge Holiday Book Sale

The New Rochelle Public Library has reopened the Memorial Highway entrance, but the Lawton Street entrance is scheduled to be closed for construction and is expected to be completed by fall 2016. While construction is underway, the only wheelchair-accessible entrance will be the reopened Memorial Highway doors, which have a ramp leading down from street level. There will be additional wheelchair-designated parking spaces on Memorial Highway. The only book drop at the main library will also be located by this doorway. Patrons may also return books by using the book drop at the Hugh Doyle Center, located at 94 Davis Ave., or in front of the Huguenot Children’s Library, located on North Avenue in front of New Rochelle High School. Visit for information on these and other events and programs.

Library hours Main library hours: Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Wednesdays: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Fridays and Saturdays: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.;

On Saturday, Dec. 3 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the main library’s lobby. A variety of gift-quality books, including popular novels, mysteries, and nonfiction in hardcover and paperback, to children’s books, brand new jigsaw puzzles, DVDs, and classic literature in attractive editions will be available for purchase at exceptionally low prices. The sale will also include gift wrap, holiday cooking and craft books, sets of books, and other bargain items for affordable gift-giving.

Make a Gift Fair On Saturday, Dec. 3 from 10:30 a.m. to noon at the main library. Children ages 5 and up are invited to create presents for holiday giving at the annual BID Family Day “Make a Gift to Give” Workshop. The BID Family Saturdays’ staff from New Rochelle schools, the Department of Parks and Recreation, and the library, along with teen assistants, will help participants use their creativity to make three lovely presents to give to family, friends and teachers this holiday season. Participants will have the opportunity to make a colorful sun-catcher, bead a necklace or bracelet, decorate a picture frame, make a candy cane reindeer, fashion a sparkling snowman, or create other lovely

projects suitable for gift-giving. A “Wrap it Up!” station will provide gift wrapping and tags for each of the creations. The program is free and participation is on a first-come, first-served basis. BID Family Days is a partnership of the New Rochelle Downtown BID (Business Improvement District) with the New Rochelle Public Library, the city school district, and the Department of Parks and Recreation. For more information, call the library’s Community Relations office at 632-8254.

Young Artists Concert On Sunday, Dec. 4 at 2 p.m. in the Ossie Davis Theater of the New Rochelle Public Library. The public is invited to hear some of Westchester’s most accomplished rising musicians as they compete in the 53rd annual Westchester Musicians Guild’s Young Artists Concert. Top student musicians in grades 7–12, selected through a competitive audition process, will present a variety of riveting works. The concert is free; donations to the Westchester Musicians Guild are gratefully accepted.

English for Advanced ESL Students On Mondays from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.; Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., and 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.; and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the main library. Improve your English reading, writing, grammar and speaking skills in a casual and fun conversation learning circle with trained volunteers. Classes do not meet during school vacation days. Please call 813-3706 or email the Community Relations Office at to set up an appointment with one of the instructors.

Lunchtime Yoga Express On Mondays from 12:15 p.m. to 12:45 p.m. and Wednesdays from 1:15 p.m. to 2 p.m. in the main library’s first floor Meeting Room. Yoga instructor Nora LeMorin leads the gentle yet invigorating sessions, helping participants return to work with renewed energy and focus. Traditional and adapted poses will be practiced either standing or seated in chairs to balance, stretch and strengthen the body while calming the mind. Participants do not need to change out of work clothes, and mats will not be needed for these sessions of breathing and meditation techniques as well as the guided relaxation. The drop-in sessions do not require advanced registration. This program is made possible by the Friends of the New Rochelle Public Library. Donations are gratefully accepted.

Free legal assistance On Tuesday, Dec. 6 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. in the main library’s lobby. This is a drop-in program. Attorneys from the Pace Women’s Justice Center offer free information and assistance to seniors on such issues as staying safe, avoiding financial scams, avoiding harassment and abuse, filling out health care proxies, and other legal matters. In addition, information and assistance on domestic violence and family matters will also be provided. The Pace Women’s Justice Center is one of the largest legal service providers in Westchester County, specializing in domestic violence and elder abuse, and serving more than 2,500 clients each year. Bilingual assistance is available.

Friends of the New Rochelle Public Library Book Sales The Friends of the New Rochelle Public Library will be holding a mini book sale on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the main library lobby. The book sales include popular novels, mysteries and nonfiction in hardcover and paperback, to children’s books, CDs and DVDs. Proceeds from these sales allow the Friends of the New Rochelle Public Library to provide funding for quality children and adult programming, and will help the library by contributing to various projects and improving service to the community. The Friends welcome prospective volunteers.

Job Search Coaching Those who are searching for a job but don’t know where to start are welcome to drop in to see the job coach on Tuesdays anytime from 4:45 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. in the Handleman Business Opportunity Center on the second floor. The job coach will help people achieve their goals, one step at a time. Those dropping in to see the job coach should arrive with a pen, calendar, notebook and both a hard and digital copy of their resume, with a copy sent to the coach at btopjobreadinesscoach@gmail. com. This program is free and open to the public, and registration is not required.

ESL winter session registration On Wednesday, Dec. 7 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.; Tuesday, Dec. 13 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.; and Saturday, Dec. 17 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. in the main library’s Meeting Room on the first floor. Sponsored by Westchester Community College. Registration for the college’s winter session will be held.

Health Care Navigation Health care navigators will be able to meet with clients by appointment only on Wednesdays from 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. in the second floor Conference Room. Sessions will provide clients with information and assistance with the New York State Department of Health. These sessions are free and open to the public, and an appointment is necessary to be seen. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 813-5192.

New Rochelle news Parente Christmas Party and Toy Drive On Friday, Dec. 9 at 7 p.m. at the New Rochelle American Legion Post 8 Hall, 112 North Ave. Donations for the children in foster care will be made through the Westchester County Department of Social Services. Cost: $35 per person for an allyou-can-eat dinner, beer and wine. A cash bar will also be available. Bring a new unwrapped toy or two for children up to age 21. Gift cards will be accepted for teenagers. There will be music by Undercover, so bring your dance shoes. For more information, call Peter Parente at 5575556, Leslie Farucci at 393-2970, or Oscar Bravo at 316-1991. Deadline for our What’s Going On section is every Thursday at noon. Though space is not guaranteed, we will do our best to accommodate your listing. Please send all items to

December 2, 2016 • THE CITY REVIEW • 5

Manhattanville plans bus service change By FRANCO FINO Staff Writer The Manhattanville College administration is leaning toward adjusting its shuttle bus service, following elevated outrage from the student body about the safety of its current schedule. On Nov. 10, Michael Geisler, the college’s president, confirmed that the administration has begun discussing retracting last year’s controversial decision to alter the bus service schedule, according to Touchstone, the school’s newspaper. “I think we’re willing to bring back the bus starting in the spring term,” he said. The interest in altering the school’s bus service comes in the wake of last month’s death of Robby Schartner, a 21-yearold junior at the college who was killed by Emma Fox, of Rye, while returning to campus after a night out in White Plains. As of September 2015, the college decided to cut the last campus bus route on Fridays and Saturdays, which typical-

ly returned to campus by 3:30 a.m. As a result, the bus, the Valiant Express, makes its final return to campus at 1:30 a.m. On Oct. 9, Schartner had been walking along Westchester Avenue in White Plains when he was struck by Fox, 24, who was under the influence at the time of the incident. At the time, police reported that Fox had a blood alcohol content of three times the legal limit in New York state; Fox was measured at 0.21, and the legal limit is 0.08. She is being charged with aggravated DUI and firstdegree vehicular manslaughter. “In regard to safety, this is the best decision the school can make,” said Falon Kirby, a senior at the college. “Students won’t feel stranded or lost [in White Plains], and will know that, no matter what the hour, they will return to Manhattanville College safely.” As part of a new school policy implemented last year, the college altered the schedule for the Valiant Express bus, adding four early morning runs to transport students to and from

White Plains Monday through Friday in place of the last two weekend runs. “I love the [late] bus coming back to campus,” said Jess Cowle, a junior at the college. “I think it’s a great way for students to get home from a night out.” J.J. Pryor, a spokeswoman for the college, previously told the Review that the administration enacted the change in the Valiant Express, which was once dubbed as the “drunk bus,” in order to comply with the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act of 1986. She said that an institution could potentially be penalized if the college is aware of on- or off-campus conduct that encourages drinking and does nothing to prevent such abuse. But while the school administration plans to reverse course back to its former bus schedule, it’s currently unclear how the college will balance complying with the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act, and protecting the safety of students returning from downtown White Plains under the influence after

Manhattanville College’s administration is contemplating reintroducing its former bus schedule, which included later pickups on weekends, following the death of junior Robby Schartner on Oct. 9. Photo courtesy Karina Cordova

a night out. Pryor could not be reached for comment, as of press time.

Fox was released from Westchester County Jail on Nov. 10, and is due back in

court on Dec. 6. CONTACT:

6 • THE CITY REVIEW • December 2, 2016 THE

CityREVIEW NewRochelle 170 Hamilton Ave., Suite 203 White Plains, N.Y. 10601 Tel: (914) 653-1000 Fax: (914) 653-5000

Publisher | Howard Sturman ext. 21, Executive Vice President | Ira Ellenthal ext. 31,

New Rochelle celebrates the holidays

Christian Falcone Associate Publisher | Editor-in-Chief ext. 19,

Mr. Potatohead looms over Huguenot Street, avoiding the traffic lights in the way. Photos/Sibylla Chipaziwa

Sports Editor | Mike Smith ext. 22, Assistant Editor | Sibylla Chipaziwa ext. 25, Graphic Designer | Arthur Gedin Graphic Designer | Jim Grasso Advertising | Lynne Starr ext. 29, Advertising Coordinator | Sibylla Chipaziwa ext. 27, Staff Writers James Pero, Corey Stockton, Franco Fino Staff Photographers Bobby Begun, Andrew Dapolite

Many participants in the parade came from out of town, like the Sapphire Dance Line with the Marching Cobras band from Harlem.

Columnist Lenore Skenazy


The New Rochelle High School varsity soccer team brings the Class AA state title to the parade, an effort that was 30 years in the making.

The community’s opinion matters. If you have a view to express, write a letter to the editor by email to Please include a phone number and name for verification purposes.

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Follow us on Twitter, @cityreviewnr Like us on Facebook, The City Review New Rochelle (permit #16661) is published by Home Town Media Group weekly for an annual subscription of $32. Application to mail at the peridcals postage rate is approved at Port Chester, N.Y., 10573. Periodicals postage paid at Port Chester and additional mailing offices.

The New Rochelle Chamber of Commerce shows off its turkey float, which featured New Rochelle High School’s homecoming king and queen. Photo/Jen Parente

December 2, 2016 • THE CITY REVIEW • 7

8 • THE CITY REVIEW • December 2, 2016

Police investigate swastikas found at SUNY Purchase

The New York state University Police at SUNY Purchase College are investigating swastikas that were drawn on a bulletin board in one of the college’s dorms on Nov. 20. File photo

By FRANCO FINO Staff Writer Police are investigating hateful images that were found in one of the dorm rooms at SUNY Purchase College on Nov. 20. According to Betsy Aldredge, a spokeswoman for the college, the New York state University Police, UPD, began investigating the vandalism after the college discovered three swastikas drawn on a bulletin board in one of the dormitories late last weekend. After the incident, Thomas Schwarz, the president of the college, sent a message to the campus community. “We continue to explore our options for protecting our most vulnerable on campus,” he said in the statement. “I urge you all to remain active, engaged and committed to ensuring that our campus is a model for what our nation

should be.” Schwarz also warned the community of the repercussions for violating the college’s policy on hate crimes. “I would like to add that hate crimes are considered felonies and are punishable by arrest and dismissal from the college,” he said. Aldredge said that as part of the college’s protocol, any incidents involving a hate crime are first reported to the university’s police, and are then referred to the “appropriate authorities,” including the Westchester County Intelligence Center, and the Evidence Collection and Bias Crime teams from the New York state police. On Nov. 13, Westchester County police discovered antiSemitic and anti-African-American imagery along the Bronx River bike path in the city of White Plains. County police said the footpath and bridge were defaced with spray-painted swas-

tikas, KKK initials, and various racial slurs. That investigation is currently ongoing. This also isn’t the first time that SUNY Purchase has been faced with hate crimes. In March 2015, campus authorities investigated a similar incident involving swastikas that were found spray-painted in a dorm room. According to Aldredge, a student was ultimately arrested and expelled from the college. Aldredge would not provide additional details on that incident. Around the same time, nooses were found spraypainted in another dorm, but that incident remains unsolved. The college’s police said the investigation into the recent discovery of swastikas is ongoing as well, but would not provide additional information, as of press time. CONTACT:

December 2, 2016 • THE CITY REVIEW • 9

New Harrison gun store draws concern

L&L Sports, a gun store planned for the Harrison Mall on Halstead Avenue, could open this month. Harrison residents, however, are protesting the shop’s proximity to Parsons Memorial Elementary School. Photo/Franco Fino

By COREY STOCKTON Staff Writer A new gun store now open on Halstead Avenue in Harrison is generating concern among residents. Nearly 3,500 residents of Harrison, and nearby communities, as of press time, have signed an online petition on protesting the location of L&L Sports, at 261 Halstead Ave., a gun store located less than 1,000 feet from Parsons Memorial Elementary School and also near St. Gregory the Great’s Church. The petition alleges that the location of the shop undermines the Gun-Free School Zones Act, a federal law which regulates the possession of guns on school grounds or within 1,000 feet of a school. However, gun stores are specifically exempt from that law. The law does require that firearms are unloaded and placed in a locked container when traveling within a 1,000-foot perimeter of any school. Petitioners have focused their

attention on members of the Harrison Town Council, asking them to take additional efforts to prevent the store from opening, and asking them if they’ve explored other options—including town ordinances which could have put tighter restrictions on the Gun-Free Schools Zone Act—before OK’ing the store. Harrison Mayor Ron Belmont, a Republican, said there is little the town can do to regulate what kind of store opens in any storefront. The council did not have to review the site because there was no change of use; the storefront was formerly used for retail purposes. And, the store has received all its necessary permits from the town Building Department, according to town officials. “My primary concern as the supervisor is the safety and welfare of all residents,” the mayor said. “But I also have a responsibility to make sure everyone’s rights are upheld.” Store owner Louis Zacchio, a retired paramedic and 17year resident of the town, said

opening the store is within his legal rights, adding that he has followed all state and federal guidelines to protect his inventory from the possibility of theft. The store’s website has tabs designated for handguns, rifles, shotguns, accessories, optics and training, although there are no items listed for sale. “He meets the state and federal guidelines,” Belmont told the Review, “that’s where these things are regulated.” The petitioners are also inquiring what kind of safeguards the town has or will put in place. “We’re relying on customers coming from outside areas to know the federal law, [which says] that they may not traverse this area unless the guns are unloaded and put inside a locked container,” said Joe Liberti, a parent of student of the Parsons School. “So [the store’s location] really does threaten the maintenance of this federal law.” CONTACT:


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10 • THE CITY REVIEW • December 2, 2016

December 2016

Planning ahead... SUNDAY








The Nutcracker 2 p.m. & 7 p.m., Whitney Auditorium



SAT testing

Holiday Lighting Memorial Plaza




City Council COW meeting 3:45 p.m. New Rochelle Board of Education meeting 6 p.m.










Municipal Arts Commission meeting 6 p.m., 90 Beaufort Place


Toys For Tots Christmas Party 8 p.m., American Legion Hall

ACT testing


Zoning Board meeting 7 p.m., 90 Beaufort Place



The Symphony of Westchester concert 3 p.m., Iona College



Planetarium Holiday Show 7 p.m.


City Council regular legislative meeting 7 p.m., City Hall


Winter solstice


New Rochelle Board of Education meeting 6 p.m.

SAT registration deadline

Planning Board meeting 7:30 p.m., City Hall Annex

Planetarium Holiday Show 7 p.m.

Winterfest Vocal Concert 7 p.m., Whitney Auditorium


Planetarium Holiday Show 4 p.m.


Hanukkah begins

Winterfest Instrumental Concert 7 p.m., Whitney Auditorium

Christmas Day


Kwanzaa begins


Holiday recess begins, schools closed



New Year’s Eve


December 2, 2016 • THE CITY REVIEW • 11

Astorino announces Senior Citizens Hall of Fame 2016 County Executive Rob Astorino will join in honoring the achievements of 58 senior citizens from throughout Westchester at the 34th annual Senior Citizens Hall of Fame awards luncheon on Friday, Dec. 2 from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Westchester Marriott in Tarrytown. This year’s program, one of the largest to date, names dedicated veteran and Yonkers resident Jack Lotz as top honoree. “It is a privilege to honor this dynamic group of Westchester residents for their service to others and their dedication to the community at large by inducting them into our Senior Citizens Hall of Fame,” Astorino said. “This longstanding Westchester tradition is our way of recognizing and thanking seniors for their time, energy and commitment to enhancing the quality of life of those around them.” Among this year’s award recipients age 60 and older, four seniors will receive the Special Recognition Award: Jean C. Anderson, of New Rochelle; John F. Larkin, of Eastchester; and Katherine Moore, of Rye.

Other members of the Westchester Senior Citizens Hall of Fame Class of 2016 include: Irwin Rothman of Bronxville; Jim Fillis, of Eastchester; Mary Kingsley, of Harrison; Jack Adler, of Larchmont; Kathleen Flynn, and Barbara Werber, of Mamaroneck; Ruth Katz, and Janice Malett, of New Rochelle; and Ralph Vellone, of Rye. The Senior Citizens Hall of Fame is sponsored by the Westchester County Department of Senior Programs and Services, DSPS; the Westchester County Department of Parks, Recreation and Conservation; Westchester County Livable Communities; and the Westchester Public/Private Partnership for Aging Services. Jansen Hospice and Palliative Care in Scarsdale is a cosponsor. DSPS commissioner Mae Carpenter said the achievements of the Hall of Fame honorees show the importance of people giving back to their communities and to each other. “The honorees show that age is never a deterrent to being a vital member of our society,” she said. “In fact, it’s an

advantage because of the life experiences they bring with them. Their generous contributions have helped to make Westchester one of the most senior-friendly places in the world.” The Senior Hall of Fame began in 1983—the 300th anniversary of Westchester County’s founding. Its purpose was to showcase how seniors contributed to building the county, and more than 1,100 seniors have since been inducted. To be nominated, seniors must have made significant and enduring contributions to enhance the quality of life in Westchester through their professional work, volunteer achievements or both. Nominations are made by members of the community, and the honorees are selected by a panel of judges and Hall of Fame members. The names of past honorees are engraved on plaques that are permanently displayed at the DSPS office in Mount Vernon. Top Honors: John “Jack” Lotz, of Yonkers Lotz is a lifelong Yonkers resident. As an actor and member

Jean Carol Anderson, of New Rochelle. Photo courtesy Westchester County

of the Screen Actors Guild since 1978, his roles have included roles in “Raging Bull” and “The Sopranos.” He was also a stunt driver in many films. His latest role was Ruben in “The Hurricane Carter.” He has also been a referee in professional wrestling and boxing. As a volunteer, Jack has supported and had leading roles with the Yonkers Central Committee of Veterans Organizations, the Korean War Veterans and the New York State Ko-

rean War Veterans. The past four years he has organized events for the Veterans State Nursing Home and the Federal Nursing Home Building 6 in Montrose. He has started a fund with the Yonkers Veterans Posts for needy and homeless veterans. He is the founder of the Medal of Honor Ceremony and has worked with members of the Yonkers Central Committee of Veterans to find a site to house the Yonkers Veterans Museum. His focus is also on helping youth learn more about veterans and he has organized bus trips to Montrose Nursing Home and Kings Bridge Veterans Hospital for local middle and high school students. In addition, Jack was one of the organizers of the Veterans March on Washington, D.C., for mandatory health care for all veterans. A man of many accomplishments, he has received the Americanism Award twice in recognition of his efforts within the veteran’s community. Jack and his wife Mary have been married over 63 years and have five children, 12 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. Special Recognition: Jean Carol Anderson, of New Rochelle

Jean Carol Anderson is a 48-year resident of New Rochelle. She is a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. Anderson spent her career working in the Westchester County Department of Social Services and also worked with Westchester County Opportunity Program. She also was a weekend house parent with the New York State Division for Youth in Mount Vernon. Jean is an active volunteer with many organizations. She is a New Rochelle district leader, a member of the NAACP, and a past president of the Interreligious Council of New Rochelle and the Westchester Council of Women. She spends a tremendous amount of time in service to her church, Union Baptist Church in New Rochelle. She currently serves as the director-servant leader of the church’s Manna Ministry Feeding Program, which serves hundreds of families per week. Fellow volunteers and friends have shared that Jean is someone they can count on as a calm and sensible problem solver who always knows just what to say and do to handle almost any situation. (Submitted)

12 • THE CITY REVIEW • December 2, 2016

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December 2, 2016 • THE CITY REVIEW • 13

Warning: Ball may bounce RHYMES WITH CRAZY Lenore Skenazy

Sick of being warned about anything and everything when it comes to the holiday season, especially all the warnings about dangerous toys? Me too. That’s why I’m ready to throw a lawn dart at a group called World Against Toys Causing Harm—W.A.T.C.H. Every year since 1973, it has published a hyperventilating “10 Most Dangerous Toys” list at Christmastime. Now maybe back in ’73, toymakers were still grinding out toy ovens that could smelt ore and chemistry sets that could actually blow things (that is, people) up. But in the 40-plus years since W.A.T.C.H. was started—by a trial lawyer who wouldn’t exactly suffer if he drummed up clients eager to sue toymakers for negligence—the regulations on toys and other kiddie products have multiplied to the point where if there’s lead in the ink in the logo that’s printed on the instep of a child’s boot, which was exactly the issue in one infamous case, the item is recalled. Because what if a kid somehow hacked the boot into pieces, peeled out the instep and ate it? And speaking of shoes, another run of children’s footwear was recalled because “the metal rivets surrounding the holes where the shoestring is secured on the shoes can have sharp edges, posing a laceration hazard.” So wrote the Consumer Product Safety Commission. What threat level are we talking about? “The firm has received one report of an adult who scratched or cut his finger,” the commission wrote. “No medical attention was required.” A miracle! But it is just this zero tolerance

for “risk” that W.A.T.C.H. exploits every Christmas. Among its top 10 dangers this year is a large, plush elephant. What danger could a stuffed animal with no sharp edges, lead paint, or exploding parts possibly present? Duh! “POTENTIAL FOR SUFFOCATION! Not to be used unsupervised.” Also on this year’s list is a kind of wearable beach ball called Bump ‘n Bounce Body Bumpers. You put the bumper around your waist like an inner tube and then proceed to bump into your friends. The manufacturer’s own warning label, already quaking at the thought of personal injury lawsuits, clearly states, “To avoid risk of serious injury or death… protective equipment (for head, elbows, knees, hands, etc.) should be worn (not included).” But somehow, even a warning about DEATH was not enough. The company was shamed because its box shows kids using the toy without any head, elbow or knee guards whatsoever. Goodbye, St. Nicholas, hello St. Pete! If they only worked a little harder, I’ll bet lawyers could stop kids from ever moving their fragile little bodies again. But so far, W.A.T.C.H. has shied away from the biggest kahuna of them all, the toy that must be stopped. So I did it for them. I ran a contest online: Come up with a warning label for a BALL! Here’s what folks came up with (some using their whole names, some not). “Caution! Sharp edges.” – Neil S. “WARNING: This is a toy and not to be used as an actual ball.” – Matthew Trescher “Warning: Ball carries germs. Wash after each use.” – Alanna But wait! There’s more! “Do not insert into urethra.” – Anonymous “For decorative purposes

only.”– Christina “Not to be used as a flotation device.” – Adam Kampia “Do not operate without protective goggles.” – Shelly Stow “Device does not provide a stable support. Do not attempt to sit or stand upon the ball.” – Scott “Toy may change direction unpredictably when impacting an object.” – Jim C. “Chasing this object could cause fatigue.” – John B. “For educational purposes only. Not to be taken internally. Do not play ‘ball’ while driving.” – Bob Magee “For recreational purposes only. Do not use as a metaphor for having a great time. Do not use as a metaphor for masculinity or courage. Do not confuse with a formal dance.” – Kenny Felder “Not to be used to exclude other children.” – Backroads “To avoid risk of serious injury or death, always wear groin protection. Do not roll or throw ball near a street, drain, sewer, or body of water without adult supervision. Do not throw ball while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If you have high blood pressure or diabetes, consult your doctor before attempting to throw ball.” – Rick “Warning, if you bounce this too high it might break through the ceiling causing the house to cave in on you.” – Alaina, age 12 “To be used on padded surfaces only. Use of a helmet is recommended. If any hole or tear develops, discard immediately.” – Jessica “Not to be used by children under 13.” – Sally “DO NOT THROW.” – Jack D. “WARNING: Balls may be bigger than brains.” – Lollipoplover CONTACT:

Astorino announces new diabetes program

An example of a Bee-Line bus ad promoting the new diabetes awareness campaign from the Westchester County Department of Health. Photo courtesy Westchester County

Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino recently announced that the county Department of Health is launching a new diabetes awareness campaign that encourages residents to identify their risk for diabetes and make lasting lifestyle changes to improve their health. The campaign includes bilingual Bee-Line bus shelter and bus ads that encourage residents to take a prediabetes risk assessment test, promoting and leading diabetes prevention classes offered through the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program, and a new bilingual educational brochure. “These efforts can help Westchester residents reduce their chances of developing Type 2 diabetes and provide them with great tools to make lasting healthy lifestyle changes,” Astorino said. “Another added benefit of healthy lifestyles is the lowered costs of health care that otherwise would be spent to treat obesity-related illness and disease, including Type 2 diabetes.” This work is being accomplished through the health department’s participation in the Hudson Community Health Alliance as part of a Local Initiatives for Multi-Sector Public Health Action grant, IMPACT. These outreach efforts are being promoted in November during National Diabetes Month to highlight potential solutions to this national health problem. One in three adults in the U.S. age 20 or older has prediabetes, which means they have an increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke—among the leading causes of death in the U.S., according to the federal Centers for

Disease Control and Prevention, CDC. Nine out of 10 people with prediabetes are unaware that they have it. Medical costs for people with diabetes average 2.3 times higher than for people without diabetes, according to the CDC. In 2012, direct medical costs for people with diabetes were estimated at $176 billion, with an additional $69 billion in indirect costs. The YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program is a nationally recognized program with a proven track record of preventing or delaying the onset of Type 2 diabetes. This program, which nationally costs $429 per participant, is being made available at no cost to residents through IMPACT grant funding and is offered through the Rye YMCA, in Yonkers, and Port Chester, with more locations to come. It provides the skills and support residents need to make lasting lifestyle changes such as eating healthier, increasing their physical activity and learning coping skills. “Together with the Rye Y, we are giving residents a chance to get the support they need to make meaningful changes that can help them live longer, healthier lives,” said Dr. Sherlita Amler, county health commissioner. “This program has been proven to succeed, so I strongly encourage residents who are diagnosed with prediabetes to take advantage of this opportunity.” To find out if you qualify to participate, text “RISKTEST” to 97779 on your smartphone or visit To learn more, or to enroll in your area, call the Rye YMCA at 967-6363 ext. 206. YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention

Program lifestyle coaches include three health department employees who will lead classes for residents at risk for or diagnosed with prediabetes. Their training was supported by IMPACT grant funding to Hudson River Health Care, which has subcontracted with the Westchester and Rockland counties’ health departments. In Westchester, the aim of this grant is to reach adults in White Plains, Port Chester, Peekskill, Yonkers, Mount Vernon and New Rochelle, where residents are at increased risk for hypertension, diabetes and stroke. Threeyear grant funding is provided by the New York state Department of Health through a grant from the CDC and continues through September 2018. The campaign’s bus shelter and bus ads feature four different designs and prediabetes risk factor messages. The ads encourage residents to take the prediabetes risk test and promote the Diabetes Prevention Program. The interior bus ads appear in English and Spanish on every Bee-Line bus and the shelter ads have been placed throughout Westchester’s targeted IMPACT communities at locations with high volume and traffic visibility. The county health department also has developed a new “Keep Healthy and Know Your Numbers” brochure, which promotes blood sugar screening and includes a wallet card where residents can track their glucose and cholesterol level, blood pressure and other important health numbers. The brochure will be available at health and will be distributed at health department clinics and in the community. (Submitted)

14 • THE CITY REVIEW • December 2, 2016


Say yes to the ‘Ces’ fers, the Mets—over the last two decades or so—have seemed to LIVE MIKE oscillate between two extremes: Mike Smith ill-advised spending sprees, and miserly penny-pinching. Maybe, just maybe, the Mets’ But with the Cespedes deal, I front office is learning. think they’ve found a happy meOn Tuesday afternoon, dium. news broke on Twitter that the While more details about the Amazin’s had agreed to bring negotiations are sure to trickle back outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, out over the next few days, I inking the All-Star slugger to a have a hard time believing that four-year, $110 million deal. there wasn’t some other team out And sure, while paying more there—say the Nationals or the than $27 million a year for a play- Yankees—that would have given er on the wrong side of 30 might Cespedes more years, more monseem like a gamble, for the Mets, ey or both. it was a logical, smart, and thereBut the Mets, perhaps playing fore somewhat surprising move. on Cespedes’ repeated declaraMets fans have long bemoaned tions of his love for Queens, were the majority of moves made by able to resign the slugger for just their executives. Between the a small raise and lock him up until Bobby Bonilla buyout, which will the age of 35. see the Mets paying the outfielder Not exactly what we’ve come (who retired in 2001) until 2035, to expect from the Mets, huh? or the organization’s seeming reThe Cespedes signing is esluctance to pony up the dough for pecially important for the club, serviceable players in the wake given their situation around the of the Bernie Madoff scandal that diamond. “La Potencia” has been wreaked havoc on the owners’ cof- the centerpiece of an otherwise

inconsistent Mets’ lineup for 1 1/2 years. If the Mets are able to get more production from Jay Bruce in right field—or move Bruce entirely for other pieces—they will have a strong core to go along with Cespedes, Curtis Granderson and a hopefully healthy Neal Walker. That, combined with the return of a brilliant young pitching staff that was riddled with injuries in 2016, could spell success for the Mets not just this year, but over the duration of the Cespedes contract. Of course, I know it’s still early December. Teams aren’t done building for the upcoming season yet, and many more pieces are yet to fall as the Hot Stove warms up. You never know how this is going to end. But as the Christmas season gets underway, it’s just a little thrilling that Mets fans already know something great is waiting under the tree.

Follow Mike on Twitter @LiveMike_Sports

On Nov. 29, the Mets announced they had come to terms with free agent outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, bringing the slugger back for four more years. For many fans, the signing comes as an early Christmas present. Photo courtesy


LIVE MIKE! Follow Mike Smith @LiveMike_Sports stats • recaps • commentary Follow @cityreviewnr for Mike’s live, in-game action updates


December 2, 2016 • THE CITY REVIEW • 15

Ex-NBA player shares story By MIKE SMITH Sports Editor On Monday, Nov. 28, the Eastchester school district held its first event in an ongoing series about student wellness and drug abuse prevention, as former NBA player Chris Herren, an ex-heroin addict, spoke with local students and parents about his own battles with drugs and alcohol that cost him his athletic career—and nearly his life. With an escalation in heroin use in the area and several re-

cent overdoses among youths in Westchester, the district decided to bring Herren in to speak on three different occasions over a two-day span—twice on Monday, and once again on Tuesday morning—in an attempt to shed light on the dangers and consequences of drug and alcohol use for teens, framing his own struggles to overcome addiction as a warning. Herren, a father of three, stressed that although teenagers are often quick to shrug off cautionary tales of drug use, in-

Chris Herren addresses the crowd in the Eastchester High School gymnasium. Herren gave three presentations this week as part of the Eastchester school district’s Wellness and Drug Abuse Prevention campaign. Photos/Andrew Dapolite

Eastchester School District Wellness and Drug Abuse Prevention Campaign Dates Dec. 5

The Adolescent Brain Under Stress with Dr. Michael Nerney

Jan. 12

New Year, New You

Feb. 27

A Parent’s Story of Tragedy and Loss with the Salamone family

March 30

Hidden in Plain Sight with Jermaine Galloway

April 24

Prom Safety

May 1

Smart Choices During the Summer Months and After High School with Dr. Michael Nerney

sisting the same won’t happen to them, addiction is an all-too-real threat that destroys lives—and families—indiscriminately. “I remember being at these, listening to some 35-year-old guy talking and I didn’t take it seriously,” Herren told the audience in the high school’s auditorium. “But I was ignorant; I thought I was above it.” A native of Fall River, Massachusetts, Herren, 41, rose to prominence as a high school basketball player, becoming a McDonald’s All-American and one of the most highly coveted college recruits in the nation. He committed to play for Boston College in 1994, but drug addiction quickly cut short his career with the Eagles, prompting a transfer to Fresno State where— despite his struggles with prescription pain pills, including a stint in rehab during his junior year—he played well enough to get selected in the second round of the NBA draft by the Denver Nuggets. Unable to kick his habit to prescription opioids—at his peak Herren said he took 1,600 milligrams of Oxycontin painkillers a day—he lasted just two years in the NBA before playing abroad and getting hooked on heroin. He would overdose four times, be charged with seven felonies, and contemplated suicide at various times before finally getting clean on Aug. 1, 2008. Three years later, he formed The Herren Project to increase drug awareness education and to provide help and treatment to those hoping to break their addiction. His story was also the subject of an Emmy award-winning ESPN documentary titled “Unguarded,” which aired in 2011. Herren, who gives motivational talks ranging from prep schools to prisons roughly 250 times a year, told the audience that he believes that his story is not atypical of many addicts. What started as “harmless” alcohol use in high school, often in homes where adults were present, became a steppingstone to harder and more dangerous substances. Of his 14 high school teammates, Herren said, seven ended up becoming addicted to heroin. In that vein, he believes that

Chris Herren speaks at Eastchester High School on Nov. 28. A former NBA player, Herren struggled with drug addictions that cost him his career—and nearly his life.

open dialogue between parents and children is an important first step toward combatting future addiction. “I grew up with the attitude and belief that drinking beers and smoking pot on Friday nights was right, that there was nothing wrong with it,” he said. “I hung out in basements where parents told us we were safe, and allowed us to drink, as long as we didn’t drive.” Herren, who said his goal is to impact just one person each time he gives a talk, also proposed that schools across the country take steps toward focusing more class time to address these issues. “Wellness should be a core class,” he said. “In a lot of schools, kids aren’t having these classes and these talks until they are 16 or 17.” Herren’s talk was the first in what the school district hopes will be a path toward an ongoing dialogue in the community about the pressures and challenges facing students today. On Dec. 5, Dr. Michael Nerney will give a lecture about risk assessment and stress in the adolescent brain. In February, the family of Justin Salamone, a Mahopac teen who died of a heroin overdose in 2012, will share their story, and the speaker series will be rounded out by an appearance by police officer Jermaine Galloway, who will

discuss how parents can identify telltale signs of drug and alcohol abuse in teens. On Monday night, Herren admitted that while there is no surefire way to completely stamp out drug use, lines of communication between par-

ents, teachers, students and law enforcement officers can go a long way toward saving lives. “Addiction is tricky,” he said. “Nobody knows who is carrying that card in their back pocket.” CONTACT:

In 2011, Herren’s story of redemption was the subject of the ESPN documentary “Unguarded” that detailed the basketball star’s drug abuse.

16 • THE CITY REVIEW • December 2, 2016

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