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Eastchester REVIEW THE

December 2, 2016 | Vol. 4, Number 49 |


ASSIST In an attempt to shed light on the dangers and consequences of drug and alcohol use among teens, the Eastchester school district enlisted the aid of former NBA player Chris Herren, an ex-heroin addict who nearly lost his life battling the disease. For story, see page 15. Photo/Andrew Dapolite

Sarah Lawrence College president to step down in 2017 Karen R. Lawrence will step down as the 10th president of Sarah Lawrence College, following a decade of service, in July 2017. Having taken office in August 2007, Lawrence successfully led the college through the recession, national concerns over higher education affordability and accessibility, changes in enrolling students’ demographics, and attacks on the relevance of the liberal arts in a shifting economy. Under her leadership, the college has grown its enrollment, with the student body becoming more diverse and international; added new curricular offerings such as arts and technology and environmental studies; built upon its rigorous program in the sciences; created new opportuni-

ties for studying abroad; and expanded its community outreach, including the establishment of the Sarah Lawrence Center for the Urban River at Beczak. The college also joined Division III of the NCAA. “Karen Lawrence’s greatest legacy will be her leadership and fundraising success, which allowed the college to maintain the affordability of the distinctive Sarah Lawrence education, the hallmarks of which are small classes and on one-on-one interaction between students and faculty, during a period of national economic turmoil,” said John Hill, who chaired the college’s board of trustees from 2008 until May 2016. During her tenure, Sarah Law-

rence has undertaken the most successful fundraising campaign in the history of the college, with more than $120 million raised to date toward a goal of $200 million. This includes a $15 million gift from alumna Barbara Walters to help fund the college’s vision for a transformative new campus center. A search for the college’s 11th president is currently underway. An announcement is expected this winter. Founded in 1926 and consistently ranked among the leading liberal arts colleges in the country, Sarah Lawrence College is known for its pioneering approach to education, rich history of impassioned intellectual and civic engagement, and vibrant,

successful alumni. In close proximity to the unparalleled offerings of New York City, the historic campus is home to an inclusive, intellectually curious, and diverse community. Talented, creative students choose Sarah Lawrence for the opportunity to take charge of their education. In close collaboration with our dedicated, distinguished faculty, students create a rigorous, personalized course of study, conduct independent research, and connect a wide array of disciplines. They graduate knowing how to apply the knowledge, skills, and critical thinking necessary for life after college. For more information, visit (Submitted)

Rye Brook considers law to regulate gun stores By COREY STOCKTON Staff Writer The village of Rye Brook plans to propose a local law that would regulate where gun retailers would be allowed to open stores within the village. The pending legislation comes in the wake of the recent opening of a gun store in a contentious area in Harrison last month. According to Rye Brook Mayor Paul Rosenberg, a Democrat, that legislation “will seek to, on a local level, dictate where gun shops may be located within the village of Rye Brook.” Rosenberg told the Review that legislation could be proposed as early as the Dec. 13 village board meeting, and added that a first draft of that legislation had already been written. Both Rosenberg and Chris Bradbury, the Rye Brook village administrator, said the specifics are still being investigated by the village attorneys to prevent potential legal backlash of an overreaching law. Meanwhile, village officials have asked for collaboration from members of the Harrison town board in proposing the law. In a letter addressed to Harrison officials, Rosenberg asked them to join Rye Brook—and potentially other neighboring communities—in considering the adoption of legislation that would restrict the location of gun stores regionally. Bradbury and Harrison Mayor Ron Belmont, a Republican, said they have since discussed meeting. Similarly, the city of Rye has formed a gun safety committee

in response to the location of the Harrison shop. That committee could look to propose similar legislation to regulate where guns could be sold within the city. However, city officials have not collaborated with officials in Rye Brook as of press time. Rosenberg’s letter to Harrison expressed specific concern about the location of L&L Sports, the gun store at the center of controversy. The shop opened in early November on Halstead Avenue in Harrison, and is less than 1,000 feet from Parsons Memorial Elementary School. Its proximity to the school and also two churches has drawn concern from town residents and its neighboring communities; an online petition protesting the store’s location has garnered nearly 3,500 signatures, as of press time. However, Harrison officials have said that there is nothing they can to prohibit the business from operating. The federal Gun-Free School Zones Act prohibits someone from carrying a gun within 1,000 feet of a school unless the weapon is unloaded and kept in a locked case. However, that law has a provision that allows gun stores to operate within a 1,000foot zone. Westchester County Legislator Catherine Parker, a Rye Democrat, said she may also look to propose a countywide law regulating the location of gun stores, adding that local legislation could help generate interest. “As a precursor to doing something at a larger level, LAW continued on page 9

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2 • THE EASTCHESTER REVIEW • December 2, 2016

December 2016

Planning ahead... SUNDAY







World AIDS Day



THS Variety Show 7 p.m., TMS/HS Auditorium


SAT testing

Waverly Winter Wonderland 11 a.m. Tuckahoe Winterfest 5 p.m., Depot Sqaure

BHS Solo Orchestra Recital 6 p.m.

Tuckahoe Winterfest Noon, Depot Sqaure




Tuckahoe BOE workshop 6:30 p.m., TMS/HS Auditorium



WEC PTA Holiday Boutique

WEC PTA Holiday Boutique

EHS National Honor Society Induction 7 p.m.

Anne Hutchinson Holiday Concert 6:30 p.m. THS Gr. 8 Parent Info Night 7 p.m., TMS/HS Auditorium



Waverly Holiday Concerts begin




BMS Gr. 8 Band Concert 7 p.m.

EHS Holiday Concert 7 p.m.

Bronxville village board meeting 8 p.m.

THS Winter Concert 7:30 p.m., TMS/HS Auditorium

BMS/HS Band Concert 7 p.m.

Tuckahoe village board meeting 8 p.m.

Eastchester BOE meeting 8 p.m.


Tuckahoe BOE meeting 7:30 p.m., TMS/HS Library

Tuckahoe Zoning Board of Appeals 7:30 p.m. THS Winter Concert 7:30 p.m., TMS/HS Auditorium


EMS Winter Concert 7 p.m.

BHS Chorus/Orchestra Concert 7 p.m.

Winter solstice


EMS Winter Concert 7 p.m.

EHS Italian Club Holiday Dinner 6 p.m.


Greenvale Holiday Concert 6:45 p.m.


Anne Hutchinson Senior Citizens Breakfast and Concert 9 a.m. EHS Operation Smile 7 p.m.

Waverly Holiday Concerts end


Anne Hutchinson Senior Citizens Breakfast and Concert snow date

ACT testing


Anne Hutchinson Santa Breakfast 9:30 a.m. Waverly Winter Wonderland snow date


Anne Hutchinson Santa Breakfast snow date 9:30 a.m.

WEC Winter Concert 7 p.m., William E. Cottle School


EMS Orchestra Concert 7 p.m.

EMS Career Day



Hanukkah begins

Eastchester and Bronxville schools early dismissal

SAT registration deadline

Tuckahoe Planning Board 7:30 p.m.

Christmas Day


Kwanzaa begins


Holiday recess begins, All schools closed




Tuckahoe menorah lighting 6 p.m., Columbus Avenue


New Year’s Eve


December 2, 2016 • THE EASTCHESTER REVIEW • 3

Lawrence Hospital opens $65M Cancer Center A new era of communitybased health care was ushered in with the ribbon cutting of a stateof-the-art surgical and oncology pavilion at NewYork-Presbyterian, NYP, Lawrence Hospital. Top hospital administrators, medical staff, and community and government leaders toured the new 36,000-square-foot space to learn about services offered at NewYork-Presbyterian Lawrence. The cancer center is a collaboration between Columbia University Medical Center and NYP Lawrence Hospital, and provides a comprehensive menu of services from prevention to diagnosis to advanced treatments and survivorship. New operating rooms will serve all of the inpatient surgical needs of the hospital. Radiation oncology, a new program for the hospital, includes a PET (positron emission tomography)/CT (computerized tomography) scan and a LINAC (linear accelerator) machine. The LINAC offers the most advanced linear accelerator available. A satellite laboratory and pharmacy are situated adjacent

to the infusion therapy suite for an efficient flow. Patients now have access to disease-specific management teams focused on areas such as breast, lung, and gynecologic cancer. The physician teams include cancer specialists who are members of the highly regarded NewYork-Presbyterian Medical Group Westchester and ColumbiaDoctors faculty practices. Many of these physicians are members of the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center at NewYork-Presbyterian Columbia University Medical Center—one of only three National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer centers in New York state. These physician teams, new technology, access to clinical trials, and disease-specific management teams elevate the level of care provided. Navigators assist patients through their treatment journeys, ensuring that they understand what is happening during each step of treatment and schedule followup appointments. Additional programs include enhanced support and survivorship programs,

genetics counseling, nutrition care, pain management, and palliative care. Being a part of the NewYorkPresbyterian system has major benefits. The NYP Lawrence Cancer Center offers patients access to the most advanced treatment and clinical trials at NewYork-Presbyterian Columbia University Medical Center’s Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center. There is a true collaboration among the teams, and through advances such as video conferencing, patients can discuss treatment options and physicians can consult with colleagues without having to travel to the city. “This center is a major expansion for NYP Lawrence Hospital and allows us to provide all the services our patients need under one roof in their community,” said NYP Lawrence Hospital president Michael J. Fosina. “More importantly, patients can receive those services from a top-notch team of physicians from NewYork-Presbyterian Medical Group Westchester, ColumbiaDoctors, community phy-

Various members of the NewYork-Presbyterian hospital network and local officials, including Bronxville Mayor Mary Marvin, sixth from left in the back row, and Westchester County Legislator Ken Jenkins, far right in the front row, attend the ribbon cutting of Lawrence Hospital’s new Cancer Center. Photo courtesy NewYork-Presbyterian Lawrence Hospital

sicians, and staff members collaborating and focused on their individual plans of care.” The center was designed with the patient’s overall comfort and experience in mind. The lower level houses all radiation therapy for advanced medical imaging through a linear accelerator, a system for image-guided radiotherapy that combines the functional and physical views, and a PET/CT scanner. The first floor includes a bright and open infusion center (with community, semi-private, private treatment

areas), pharmacy, lab, medical offices and exam rooms. The second floor contains new operating rooms with state-of-the-art equipment, including a video integration system for use with robotic and laparoscopic surgeries. This suite will serve the hospital for all surgical needs and replace the current operating rooms. A tranquil rooftop garden completes the building, accessible to both patients and visitors. “Coupled with our nationally recognized Carol H. Taylor Breast Health Center, this new

cancer center will continue to build upon and expand our services to provide outstanding care to our patients close to where they need it - home,” said Dr. Maureen Killackey, clinical director for of the NYP Lawrence cancer services and professor of Medicine, and Obstetrics and Gynecology at Columbia University Medical Center. To learn more about cancer services at NYP Lawrence or to schedule an appointment, visit or call 787-1000. (Submitted)

4 • THE EASTCHESTER REVIEW • December 2, 2016

What’s going on... Eastchester Public Library

For more information on hours and programs, visit

Teen Hour of Code: Minecraft Designer On Wednesday, Dec. 7 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. For grades six and up. Join the library for its first Teen Hour of Code event. Come learn how to use Minecraft Designer to program animals and enemies in your own version of Minecraft. Online registration is required, and you will need to bring your own laptop to participate. For more information, contact Elizabeth Portillo at 721-8109 or

Mother Goose Time On Thursdays from 10:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. Join Miss Teresa for a musical adventure to the Mother Goose land with songs and fun. For 18 months to 3 years old. No registration required.

Knitting for a Cause! On Wednesday, Dec. 14 from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. For sixth-graders and up and adults. Registration for all sessions, online or at the Reference

Desk, is suggested. Last holiday season, the library donated multiple blankets to Project Linus, which distributes handmade blankets to critically ill children, that were made by from squares created by library patrons. Teens and adults alike came together to learn basic knitting, new techniques, and to put together the blankets. Don’t know how to knit? No problem; beginners and advanced knitters are welcome. Teen librarian Elizabeth Portillo and resident knitting expert Dottie Bicknese are happy to teach. Yarn will be provided at each session, but feel free to bring/use your own as well. There are a few sets of No. 5 knitting needles, but if you have your own please, bring those along. If you start a square but don’t have time to finish it, that is still a huge help as long as you drop it off before a session, so someone else can finish it. You do not need to attend all three sessions to participate. Want to help make blankets but can’t attend? The library welcomes donations of knitted squares—7 inches by 7 inches—ideally knitted with a No. 5 needle, by Friday, Dec. 16. Just drop them off at the Circulation Desk. For more information, contact Portillo at 721-8109 or

Bronxville Public Library For more information on library hours and programs, visit

Book donation drop-off On Saturday, Dec. 3 from 10 a.m. to noon. Bring

in your gently used books for the ongoing library book sale. All proceeds benefit the Friends of the Bronxville Library. Limit is 10 books per patron.

Yoga Kids On Mondays from 4 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. Children will build focus, confidence and strength as they learn traditional yoga poses, age-appropriate breathing exercises, and relaxation skills. For ages 4 to 7. Online registration is required, and includes three sessions: Dec. 5, 12 and 19. Please include the child’s name and age in the comment box.

Electricity and Circuitry with Westchester Children’s Museum On Tuesday, Dec. 6 from 4 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. For ages 8 to 11. A hands-on introduction to electricity. Participants will use a variety of methods to understand how electricity is made and transmitted. Students will experiment with snap circuits, circuitry blocks, and even lemons to conduct electricity to light lights, make buzzers buzz and make a clock tick. Online registration is required. Please include the child’s name and age in the comment box.

Life-size Game Day On Wednesday, Dec. 7 from 3:15 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. For grades four and up. Calling all tweens and teens. Join the library for life-size Jenga and checkers. You won’t believe your eyes when the Yeager Room is turned into these classic games. Online registration is required. Please include the child’s name and grade in the comment box.

Gift Basket demo On Thursday, Dec. 8 from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Learn how to make a personalized gourmet food and spa gift basket just in time for holiday gift-giving. Registration is required. Please call 337-7680 ext. 24 or email

Tuckahoe Public Library For more information on library hours and programs, visit

Tuckahoe Winter Fest On Saturday, Dec. 3 at 2 p.m. at the Tuckahoe Community Center, located at 71 Columbus Ave. Doors open at 1 p.m. The Tuckahoe High School Jazz Band will perform, and there will be raffle baskets and a 50/50 raffle. Come and support the Friends of the Library. For more information, call 961-2121.

Jewelry making workshop On Friday, Dec. 9 from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. For adults. Join the library for a fun-filled afternoon with Joan Lloyd of Blings the Thing and learn how to make unique and attractive beaded earrings. For every pair of earrings made, one is donated to the Women’s Shelter and one is for you to take home. You can make as many pieces of jewelry as you can. No skill is required in this workshop, other than the ability to manage the use of pliers. All supplies are provided free. If you have any bead jewelry (including broken) that can be cut up and used, please bring them with you. Space is limited; to register, call 961-2121.

Teen jewelry making class On Friday, Dec. 9 from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. For ages

11 to 16. Come to the library for a fun-filled afternoon and learn the art of beading. You’ll be surprised at your own creativity and how simple it all is. For every pair you make, you donate a pair to the Women’s Shelter. Make as many pairs as you can. Space is limited; to register, call 961-2121.

Overdrive class On Tuesday, Dec. 13 from 11 a.m. to noon. Learn how to use Overdrive’s website to download e-books and audiobooks from the digital collection of Westchester Library System. Don’t forget to bring your own laptop, phone or tablet. Space is limited; to register, call 961-2121.

Eastchester events Santa Stop On Sunday, Dec. 4 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Gazebo Park, across from Eastchester Town Hall, on Mill Road. Come have your picture taken with Santa, make a fun craft and enjoy hot chocolate and cookies. Sponsored by the Eastchester/Tuckahoe Chamber of Commerce and the town of Eastchester Recreation Department. The hot chocolate will be provided by The Odyssey Restaurant.

Celebration of Holiday Lights On Sunday, Dec. 4 at 4:30 p.m. at Memorial Park, at the corner of White Plains and California roads. There will be a welcome and flag ceremony; the lighting of the town Christmas tree and menorah, and seeing the crèche; and holiday songs, hot chocolate, cookies and candy canes. Join your friends and neighbors, sing songs of the season, and spread holiday cheer. All are welcome. Sponsored by the Eastchester Beautification Foundation.

Gingerbread House Decorating Contest Come show your creativity and decorating skills in the first Eastchester Recreation gingerbread house decorating contest. It will be held on Sunday, Dec. 11 from 10 a.m. to noon at the Eastchester Town Hall Community Room, at 40 Mill Road. Participants must be residents in grades 1–6, and teams can have up to two members. The contest will be judged by age categories. A special holiday guest is also scheduled to appear. Please visit and go to the Recreation section for more registration details and forms. Call Sally at 771-3311 with any questions.

New York-Presbyterian/Lawrence Hospital The New York-Presbyterian/Lawrence Hospital is located at 55 Palmer Road in Bronxville. For more information, visit

Joint Replacement and Surgery Patient Education classes Every Wednesday from 9:45 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. in the NYP/Lawrence lobby Conference Room. This free class will teach patients scheduled for joint replacement surgery what to expect before and after an operation. To register, call 787-2119. 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 EASTCHESTER REVIEW • 5

Letters to the Editor

Re-elect Napolitano for Eastchester fire board

Killian on her run for state Senate

To the Editor, On Tuesday, Dec. 13, please vote for Jerry Napolitano who will be running for re-election to the Eastchester Board of Fire Commissioners. Jerry has served on the board for the last five years and, under his leadership, the board has achieved many significant accomplishments. These have included: • Prudent fiscal management, as evidenced by three consecutive years of property tax levy below the state-mandated cap, while materially increasing reserves for capital improvements. The fire district remains debt-free and free of any lease obligations. • During Napolitano’s first term, two fire stations have under gone large-scale renovations and plans are now finalized to rebuild a third fire station in early 2017. Our apparatus reserve account has been replenished to allow for the delivery of three new fire engines in 2017 without debt. • Increase in the district’s Insurance Service Office rating that places the Eastchester Fire District within the top 2 percent of all fire departments nationwide. • Restructure of the district’s administrative systems, making them more transparent and providing needed redundancies. Major upgrades have been made to the district’s information technology capabilities, including the use of cloud-sharing technology at a fraction of the cost of tradition architecture. Jerry’s professional career with a major data and communications company, where he specializes in communications for fire, police and EMS services, enables him to bring a unique and complimentary skill set to the current board. He has been instrumental in the design and implementation of the district’s technology platform. Jerry has also helped to improve transparency in all matters related to the Eastchester Fire District. He spearheaded the effort to make all our meetings available to the public via YouTube and instituted the use of Twitter to send meeting notices and safety bulletins. He also implemented a system to electronically store and retrieve district contracts and other important documents using G Suite, a Google product dedicated to government enterprises. Jerry has long taken an interest in the safety of our community and the sustainability of the Eastchester Fire District. His leadership has been forward-thinking, well-informed, vigilant and transparent. He has worked hard to make the fire district accountable to Eastchester taxpayers. We wholeheartedly endorse Jerry Napolitano in this election. As fellow board members, we have seen firsthand the value Jerry brings to this demanding role. Please vote for Jerry Napolitano on Dec. 13, in this critically important election.

To the Editor, It was an enormous privilege running for state Senate in New York’s 37th District this year. Thank you to the many readers whom I had the opportunity to meet along the trail. Your willingness to share concerns, ideas, and even disagreements, was invaluable. I did not prevail on Election Day—it was a tough year to run as a Republican in Westchester. I am enormously proud of my team’s campaign for a more responsive government in Albany. I congratulate Sen. George Latimer on another successful re-election effort. It is my hope that issues raised by my campaign—fair funding for Westchester schools; enacting term limits; repealing arcane rules that make is so expensive to do business in New York state and unfunded mandates that drive property taxes higher; targeted digital drug education; and changing state rules that hurt our developmentally disabled community—served in some small way to elevate the discourse in and about state government. Belief that it did makes every door knock, phone call, and chilly 6 a.m. train platform visit well worth it. Thank you again. Best wishes for a wonderful 2017.

Peter Incledon and Dennis Winter, Eastchester fire board members

Julie Killian, Rye City councilwoman

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that cannot be verified. The opinions of letter writers do not reflect those of this newspaper. Please submit via fax to (914) 653-5000 or email to or via post to Home Town Media Group, C/O Letters to the Editor, 170 Hamilton Avenue, White Plains, NY 10601. We do not accept unsolicited Op-Ed submissions, film reviews, or food reviews.

6 • THE EASTCHESTER REVIEW • December 2, 2016

Eastchester REVIEW THE

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‘Newtown’ film shines light on Westchester By COREY STOCKTON Staff Writer

A screening of the 2016 documentary “Newtown” was held in Harrison on Nov. 21; although purely coincidental, the timing seemed apropos as the issue of gun control has recently surfaced in the Westchester community. The film, which documents the shooting of 20 children, ages 6 and 7, and six staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, and the emotional trauma that ensued, was featured in the Sundance Film Festival and the

South by Southwest Film Festival. The film was directed and co-produced by Kim Snyder and released in January 2016, three years after the shooting in December 2012. To date, Sandy Hook stands as the deadliest mass shooting of schoolchildren in American history. “It’s a film about grief, and about trauma and coping as a community,” said Marie Cuomo Cole, one of the film’s producers, adding that besides the issue of gun control, community resilience was one of the biggest themes which she hoped to address in producing

the documentary. Whether because of the degree of emotional suffering the film depicts or its timeliness to issues currently in Harrison, the screening drew tears from its audience. “I feel like Newtown could have been Harrison; it could have been Rye,” Cuomo Cole said. “It could have been any-and-every-town, U.S.A. I think that’s what really struck so many people about the tragedy.” According to Galina Chernykh, the Harrison Public Library’s executive director, the screening was set up several months ago; but the timing of

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The “Newtown” film, released on Jan. 24, 2016, documents the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, and the emotional fallout of the parents, teachers and rescue workers that resulted. Photos courtesy

A scene from the “Newtown” documentary featuring one of the wrenching funerals following the Sandy Hook tragedy.

the event seems appropriate, as an ongoing debate over L&L Sports, a gun store that opened on Harrison’s Halstead Avenue in early November, continues to draw significant amounts of attention. An online petition on protesting the location of the store, which is less than 1,000 feet from an elementary school, has nearly 3,500 signatures, as of press time. “I think the response has been, at the onset, prudent,” Cuomo Cole said about the local issue in Harrison. “It’s important to check out the sellers. There are many bona fide, acceptable sellers and there are those that are not, so I think that the caution is well-supported.” The controversy over the store’s opening has even led neighboring communities to mobilize. In the city of Rye, a gun committee has been formed in the wake of the Harrison saga, which aims to promote gun safety measures and may look to establish zoning tactics to put stricter regulation on where a gun store can be located. And in the village of Rye Brook, a draft legislation is being proposed that would also look to regulate where gun shops could be located. The success of local laws could eventually have ramifications for Westchester as a whole. If any of those potential laws garner enough support on the local level, Westchester County Legislator Catherine Parker, a Rye Democrat, said she may consider proposing one on the county level. “It should be on notice that this is something that we should certainly look into, and doing something on a county level would be fantastic; but I don’t think the county executive [Rob Astorino] would support it,” she told the Review. Parker referred to legislation

proposed in June to reinstate a ban on gun shows at the Westchester County Center which was enacted in 2000 under then-County Executive Andrew Spano, a Democrat. Astorino, a Republican who took over as county executive in 2010 after defeating Spano, repealed the ban that year. The contentious fight over gun control is evident in “Newtown”; Cuomo Cole is no stranger to school shootings, having previously produced a documentary on the mass shootings at Virginia Tech. In 2010, she was a producer of the film “Living for 32,” a documentary about the push for gun control legislation after the 2007 shooting of 32 students at Virginia Tech. A similar surge in gun control laws also occurred after Newtown. Just a month after that tragedy, Cuomo Cole’s brother, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, signed the Safe Act into law in New York state. That law widened the definition of assault rifles, put stricter limits on magazine capacities, and put tighter restrictions on the background check system in the state. The Safe Act also included an amendment to the Mental Hygiene Law, requiring mental health professionals to report patients who they considered could be hazardous to themselves or others if they possessed a gun. Adam Lanza, the 20-year-old Sandy Hook shooter who also took his own life during the event, had been diagnosed with several behavioral and cognitive disorders, including Asperger’s syndrome, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and sensory-integration disorder, according to his father, Peter Lanza. CONTACT:

December 2, 2016 • THE EASTCHESTER REVIEW • 7

Bronxville School’s Forsberg leads digital panel Jennifer Forsberg, Bronxville school district’s director of technology, represented the district at the Digital Citizenship Summit, an international conference that leads the movement on empowering people to be safe, savvy and ethical users of social media and technology. Forsberg was a member of a panel that discussed actions one

can take to see digital citizenship and media literacy be the norm in schools around the country. She was among hundreds of educators, parents, students, organizations and industry leaders who participated in the summit on Oct. 28, which was hosted at Twitter headquarters and livestreamed locally and globally. “It’s important to ensure that

students are safe and smart online and that they know how to use the internet and social media in positive ways,” Forsberg said. “I believe that starts early and is an integral part of their education. The Internet and social media are very powerful tools and essential components of the learning experience. I want to ensure that students make

Jennifer Forsberg, seated third from left, participates in a panel discussion about how digital citizenship and media literacy can be seen as the norm in schools nationwide.

Jennifer Forsberg, the Bronxville School’s director of technology, represented the district at the Digital Citizenship Summit, where she was a member of a panel that discussed actions one can take to see digital citizenship and media literacy be the norm in schools around the country. Photos courtesy Bronxville school district

good choices and think critically about the decisions they make.” The Digital Citizenship Summit’s mission is to advocate for parents and students to develop positive online and social media skills, to educate them on what it means to be a good digital citizen, and to empower them to make a difference in the world. “I hope to inspire other educators to ensure that parents are an integral part of this work and that this should be a mandatory or necessary piece of the curricu-

lum that is taught and embedded in grades K–12 and beyond into higher education,” Forsberg said. Forsberg has been an avid advocate and leader in the movement to ensure that students and parents are educated on the topic of digital citizenship. At the Bronxville School, she collaborates with administrators and teachers to create educational technology environments that promote 21st-century learning skills and organizes parent educational workshops and sessions

dedicated to digital citizenship. Led by Forsberg, the district won the Lower Hudson Regional Information Center 2016 Pioneer Award for Technology for demonstrating regional leadership through its innovative initiatives and programs that encourage global citizenship, leadership, critical thinking and innovation in its students through the use of technology. For more information on the Digital Citizenship Summit, visit (Submitted)

8 • THE EASTCHESTER REVIEW • December 2, 2016

Why shopping small matters BRONXVILLE TODAY Mayor Mary Marvin

This past Saturday was Small Business Saturday, initiated by the American Express Co. offering incentives to shop small and local on that particular day. However, the social and economic facts prove that it is a “bargain” to shop in one’s hometown small stores every day. The beneficial nexus is clear: Small businesses generate local sales tax revenue that is a vital component of every community’s budget. If we lost that one revenue line in the Bronxville budget and all other line items remained flat, your village taxes would have risen 12 percentage points last year! For every dollar spent in a locally owned independent store, $68 returns to the community. This occurs because of the multiplier effect, as small business hire local accountants, architects, computer specialists, sign makers, attorneys, etc. Local merchants often even buy ancillary supplies from each other. If the same item is purchased at a chain or a mall store, less than $40 returns “home.” The reason being chain stores often bypass local service providers, rather having everything handled homogeneously through “headquarters.” Thus, the local accounting firm doesn’t have a chance to even pitch business. And if all of one’s shopping is done on the Internet, nothing flows back to the community where the package was delivered.

To play out an all too possible scenario as Internet sales increase significantly on a yearly basis, and mom and pop stores close at an alarming rate, if our small downtown shuttered, there would be an immediate 12 to 15 percent tax increase and/or municipal services cut so drastically that quality of life in the village would be severely affected. Home values would decrease due to their location so close to a non-thriving business district. Home prices are directly related to the nearby amenities offered in the surrounding area, be they attractive gift shops, movie theatres, exercise studios, or small restaurants. No one’s home is increased in value by living near a thriving Costco. I believe in my core that each time you spend a retail dollar, you must weigh the full value of your choice; not the immediate financial “deal”/benefit, but rather look to the future and what you want for the sustainability of your hometown. The disappearance of local businesses leaves a social and economic void that is palpable and real—even if unmeasured by an index. The quality of life of a community will change more quickly and negatively than any economic indicator can translate. A small business district is a treasure—a glue that defines a community—a place where seniors and strollers meet. Small town businesses not only provide convenient access, they save on fuel and ancillary costs, encourage a walking environment, foster a human

connection often lost between a merchant and customer, and local merchants support the local community with raffle donations, prizes, gift certificates. Important to note, when was the last time a donated prize at St. Joe’s events, the Bronxville School, the Junior League was from or Costco? A purchase made in our village not only delivers a much deserved message of appreciation to our merchants for their sustained local generosity, but our stores offer unique, personalized gifts that are often delivered, wrapped, explained in detail and able to be returned. Small stores also buy from other small startup manufacturers whose unique products are not produced on a scale mass enough to be a part of a national sales plan for a chain or big box store. Net-net, a purchase in the village sends money directly back to our public school and village government via the significant share of the tax burden our small businesses shoulder though they do not use the school or use many municipal services, most notably having their garbage collected privately versus village labor. Bronxville shop owners are vested in our community, and the unique ambiance/vibe they provide and the pleasing windowscapes that grace our downtown will remain a permanent attribute of our village only if we walk in and support the merchant inside. As is borne out economically and socially, a purchase made in the village is the ultimate long-term “bargain.”

December 2, 2016 • THE EASTCHESTER REVIEW • 9 LAW from page 1

A new gun store in Harrison, located less than 1,000 feet from one of its public elementary schools, has drawn the concern of area residents as well as neighboring municipalities; some of which are now considering more stringent regulations on where gun stores could be located. File photo

it would be great to show that there is a desire to do something on a local level,” she told the Review. When asked by the Review

leave the decision to regulate municipal zoning laws in the hands of local officials.

if the county executive would support a countywide gun store zoning legislation, spokesman Phil Oliva said the Astorino administration would prefer to



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10 • THE EASTCHESTER REVIEW • December 2, 2016


The origins of Trump’s election victory By HOWARD HELLWINKEL It seems like 2009 was just the other day, when people became so outraged with the federal government in Washington that they took to the streets in protest. It started with the Troubled Asset Relief Program, TARP, the straw that broke the camel’s back. Local protest events by small groups spontaneously occurred. That year on the day tax returns are due, April 15, 2009, was a focal point for larger more coordinated events. Rick Santelli, a little-known financial reporter on CNBC, suggested that we hold a tea party on the shores of Lake Michigan. On Sept. 12, 2009, somewhere between 1 million and 2 million people came from across the country to protest in Washington. It was there that Matt Kibbe from Freedomworks said, “What we need is a hostile takeover of the Re-

publican Party.” On Tax Day 2010, protest rallies were once again held across the county. Americans protested excessive taxation, government regulation and the upcoming Obamacare legislation. That November, we gave the Republican Party control of the House with 63 new members. John Boehner, the new speaker of the House, said we only have half of one-third of the government. Nothing happened. In 2014, we gave the Republicans control of the Senate and still nothing happened. In 2015, we changed House speakers thanks to the freedom caucus, and again nothing happened. Government was still growing. Our personal liberties were still being trampled on. Politicians were still focused on getting reelected and not listening to the people. The caldron was boiling. Tea Party and non-Tea Party people were part of the discontent. Out

of this boiling caldron came Donald Trump. He understood what the problem was and had tapped into the discontent. At the 2016 Republican National Convention, I came away from Trump’s acceptance speech feeling that I had just seen the hostile takeover of the Republican Party Kibbe said we needed. I did not see many members of the Republican establishment on stage. It was outsiders, businessmen and others, who understood the rank-and-file Republicans, up there on the stage. It all started with a few of us going out onto the streets. The movement grew. It began to include others who didn’t call themselves Tea Partiers but held the same beliefs. We never expected it would be Trump who would become our anti-establishment champion, but maybe we got what we need. The views expressed are those of Howard Hellwinkel

Trump election is par for the course By CLIFFORD JACKSON The election of Donald Trump, as outrageous and offensive to many as it may be, is still an expression of this country’s violent, racist, misogynistic state and history of nativism. His rallies promoted that level of violence with the assaults of numerous anti-Trump protesters, as well as Trump himself saying about one protester, “I’d like to punch him right in the face.” Trump is “America,” and many people need to stop denying that. Trump is a racist, misogynist and is certainly xenophobic; but he is also an astute politician, that, in my belief, is not as extreme as all of his vile, hateful words and actions demonstrated during the campaign. What he knew was that all of the hatred and racism was a major part of the American electorate; he parlayed that, and that is one of the main reasons why he won. If he was as bad as his actions and words during the campaign, he would never have survived the polyglot of New York for 40 years, going back to his relationship with Roy Cohn, the infamous lawyer for Cosa Nostra in the 1970s. He is still morally repulsive on many levels, and his election to the presidency is the culmination of all the worst parts of America that have always existed, and there are volumes of historical data to support that statement. His election overwhelmingly was an expression of white power and white backlash that was exemplified with the more than 1,700 white supremacist and anti-militia groups—that have mushroomed during the last eight years as a direct re-

sponse to the election of President Barack Obama—who supported Trump. This includes a Ku Klux Klan-planned Trump victory celebration that will be commencing next month in North Carolina. Hillary Clinton called them “deplorables”; she was right about that, but she and Trump were wrong about America’s so-called “greatness,” because these types of people have manifested themselves throughout American history and have been a dominant force engaging in murder, mayhem and lynchings of all kinds, and the victims have primarily been African-Americans and people of color. This aspect of America’s sanguinary history was relayed in many of the policies that Trump was strident about. One example is Trump’s xenophobia and antiimmigrant hatred, calling Mexican illegal immigrants “rapists and drug dealers,” and his threat to deport 11 million is reminiscent of “Operation Wetback,” a brutally racist American policy of the 1950s that was labeled after the hundreds of thousands of Mexicans who were deported during that time frame. His describing the black community and its schools as terrible and without hope is nothing but an expression of the American racist tradition that white communities across the country have used to define blacks in order to segregate and dehumanize them, producing all of the fallout from that criminalization, helping to create the “ghettos,” and economic and social blight in those communities. Trump’s violent modus operandi when it comes to women, as far as his saying “I grab them by the p----,” is an American tradition of not just misogyny, but

being an owner of women and their bodies that have allowed thousands of women who have been raped and beaten to have their heinous crimes not taken seriously many times by law enforcement or the communitiesat-large. One of the main reasons, especially in the past, why many rapes were never reported was due to the stigma, and the difficulty in trying to prove it in a court of law. All of the bombastic and outrageous statements of Trump clearly showed, as Bill Maher and others have said, that those who he attracted were not very educated. But has that not been the problem with white mob rule and the concomitant violence throughout the history of this country? At the same time, these people should be given credit they did come out to vote, unlike Clinton’s base, especially in the African-American communities that did not. They will be paying a price for that. This election was not a mandate for Trump by any stretch of the imagination; he lost the popular vote to Clinton by more than 2 million votes, as of press time, and we see daily the thousands who are protesting in the streets against his presidency. However, this election was a watershed as far as really defining what America is all about. As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “America is a sick society based upon militarism, materialism and violence.” The election of Trump makes those prophetic words of Dr. King so salient today. Clifford Jackson is a resident of Larchmont. The views expressed are his own.

December 2, 2016 • THE EASTCHESTER REVIEW • 11

Eastchester’s unknown freedom trail HISTORICALLY SPEAKING Richard Forliano

On a warm Saturday with fortunately low humidity in late June of this year, Tom Casey, a local historian and an officer in the East Bronx History Forum, conducted one of the most fascinating tours I have been fortunate to participate in. My initial reason for attending was to find out where the Puritan rebel Anne Hutchinson and her party settled before they were massacred by Native Americans almost four centuries ago. To my amazement, I realized that Casey had us trekking over places that some of our most famous Founding Fathers had either stopped, worked, or even lived. The tour began at the Dyre Avenue subway station in the north Bronx, once a terminal for the now defunct Boston Westchester Railroad, originally financed by JP Morgan in 1912. This section of the Bronx and southern Mount Vernon consists of mostly Hispanic, AfricanAmerican, Caribbean, and African people who have arrived here in the last few decades. This section of the Bronx is found between the west bank of the Hutchinson River and Interstate 95, separating this section from Co-Op City. Up until the end of the 19th century this area had been part of the historic town of Eastchester. At one time, Eastchester was 2 1/2 times the size of what it is today. It included all of the present city of Mount Vernon and parts of the Bronx between the Hutchinson and Bronx rivers. For four decades, Mount Vernon was a village in the town of Eastchester, but once it reached a population of 14,000, it voted to become a city. As we walked among the strip malls, storefront churches, auto body shops, convenience stores, and small but relatively wellkept residential homes on side blocks, an epiphany came to me. Casey on his tour was describing a place that was one of the most

historic in America. He was telling us about an area that was much more than the approximate location of the place where Anne Hutchinson, her children and party had lived. George Washington twice stopped here at the former Guion tavern on the Boston Post Road. The first time was on his way to Boston to take over troops after Bunker Hill. The second time was after his election as president on his way to take a tour of the New England states. Benjamin Franklin, the first postmaster for the American colonies, laid the mile markers for the Boston Post and Albany Post roads (today White Plains Road or Route 22) as he passed through historic Eastchester. Casey mentioned that Paul Revere passed through town four times when he carried letters on the Boston Post Road. The Rev. Samuel Seabury who wrote “Letters from A Westchester Farmer” was the rector at nearby St. Paul’s Church, now located in Mount Vernon. Alexander Hamilton in anonymous letters responded in the press to Seabury, an ardent Loyalist. In the popular Broadway play “Hamilton,” one of the songs in the first act of the play is devoted to the conflicting opinions between Hamilton and Seabury. Aaron Burr argued cases at St. Paul’s Church when it was also served as the courthouse. There is good reason to believe that Hamilton also did. During the small pox epidemic of 1797, two-thirds of the population of Philadelphia was forced to leave the nation’s capital. For a few weeks during that fall, President John Adams and his wife Abagail lived in Eastchester with their daughter, Abagail, and four grandchildren. Unfortunately, the first lady found Eastchester incredibly dull. She worried about her daughter living there and urged her to come to Philadelphia. In a letter Abagail Adams wrote, “I cannot leave her (her daughter) here this winter with not a single creature within twenty miles of her to speak a word to….” A son of President Adams

drowned in the Long Island Sound and was interned at St. Paul’s Church. One other president passed through this area in 1839. Martin Van Buren stayed in Pelham and made his way to Eastchester in 1839 to visit the Tuckahoe marble quarries and stayed overnight in a tavern on White Plains Post Road. This was at the same time when Africans seized a slave ship, killed the captain and the cook, and ordered the ship to sail to Africa. Their ship was found adrift in the Long Island Sound, and the chase of the Amistad went all the way to the Supreme Court. Former President Adams successfully argued for their acquittal. And there is more. Twentyone years after the massacre of the Hutchinson party, 10 Puritan farm families signed a deed purchasing from Thomas Pell the land that they would name Eastchester. In the Eastchester Covenant of 1665, it was stated that they would start a settlement “down on the track of land lying between Hutchinson brook….” The Eastchester Covenant became the blueprint or mission statement for the Puritan settlers who founded the town. The document states that the basic principle upon which this community would be based was “Christian love and civil honesty.” In 21st-century language, the people of Eastchester would display compassion, generosity, cooperation, and integrity. This is the only surviving covenant in New York state. It ranks importance between the Mayflower Compact and the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut. How many other places in America can boast that they are connected with four of our early presidents, two other Founding Fathers, and a priceless document like the Eastchester Covenant? Email with any comments or questions you have about this column. For more information on the Eastchester Historical Society and its numerous programs, visit

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December 2, 2016 • THE EASTCHESTER 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 EASTCHESTER 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.

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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


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December 2, 2016 • THE EASTCHESTER 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. Photo/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. Photo/Mike Smith

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 EASTCHESTER REVIEW • December 2, 2016


December 2, 2016  
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