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Eastchester REVIEW THE

February 17, 2017 | Vol. 5, Number 7|

Marriott hotel opposition files for court injunction By COREY STOCKTON Staff Writer

Eastchester FD: County mutual aid system is broken By COREY STOCKTON Staff Writer The Eastchester Fire District says it should have been called to assist in a fatal fire outside of its borders—less than a mile away from one of its stations— in nearby Scarsdale late last year. The deadly fire killed the homeowner, Dr. John Salimbene, who ran his medical practice from a home office. Salimbene had also been the official physician for the village of Tuckahoe for more than 50 years. The cause of the fire has not been determined to date, according to Scarsdale fire Chief James Seymour. The fire, which occurred at

around 3:20 p.m. on Dec. 4, 2016 at 174 Boulevard in Scarsdale, was severe enough to warrant the call for mutual aid to other fire departments in Westchester County. In addition to the Scarsdale Fire Department, several other departments were called by 60 Control, a county service which is responsible for dispatching mutual aid when it receives a call from a department in need of assistance. According to Westchester County Department of Emergency Services documents, fire departments are not supposed to directly request mutual aid from a neighboring department, and should instead go through 60 Control. In response to a Freedom of Information Law, FOIL, request

made by the Review this month, the emergency services department is compiling a list of other departments that were called to assist in that fire, according to Kieran O’Leary, an emergency services spokesman. The Eastchester Fire District, however, maintains that it was not one of the departments called to assist. However, Richard Dempsey, the captain on duty at the time of the fire, responded on his own volition, sending two of the department’s trucks to the scene, according to Eastchester fire officials. Dennis Winter, chairman of the Eastchester Fire District Board of Fire Commissioners, said the Fire Department was alerted to smoke in the area by

Eastchester police officer who had received calls of smoke in the area. But fire district officials said they shouldn’t have had to rely on self-dispatch to respond to the fire, as its northernmost station, at 31 Wilmont Road in Eastchester, is less than seven-tenths of a mile away from where the fire took place. Eastchester fire officials noted, and Seymour confirmed, that Scarsdale’s southernmost station, which was closest to the location of the fire, was closed on Dec. 4, as the station’s only engine was in the repair shop. Winter said that while the mutual aid system has usually AID continued on page 5

One day after Tuckahoe’s building inspector issued a permit to begin excavating a socalled hotspot of contaminated soil on the site scoped to become a Marriott hotel, opponents have filed an injunction hoping a judge will issue a stop work order on the project. On Feb. 8, a day after village Building Inspector Bill Williams issued a permit to begin removing potentially contaminated soil from a 30-square-foot area called Source Area 2, attorneys met before Westchester County Justice Larry Schwartz to argue whether or not digging on Marbledale Road should be forestalled while the court weighs the merits of a lawsuit initially filed against the project in November. The plaintiffs in the lawsuit, a group of nine Tuckahoe residents who live in close proximity to the site, are hoping to overturn an approval of a remediation plan of the site by several agencies. The listed parties include the village Planning Board, the building inspector, the New York state Department of Environmental Conservation, DEC, and the New York state Department of Health, DOH. If the plaintiffs are victorious in court, the development project could be required to go back through another environmental review process, which could take years to complete. In October, the Planning Board approved the site plan for the hotel, which included plans to remove contaminants from the site through the DEC’s Brownfield Cleanup Program.

The program grants tax breaks to developers for cleaning up and then redeveloping contaminated sites. Bilwin Development Affiliates was accepted into the program in 2014 with plans to build a 5-story, 6,400-square-foot hotel and restaurant on the Marbledale Road property, which had formerly been a marble quarry and subsequently was used as an industrial and municipal waste dump. A separate opposition group of residents called the Marbledale Road Environmental Coalition, as well as other critics of the project, have rallied against the DEC-approved cleanup. While opponents have long argued that the site was not properly investigated for chemicals or objects potentially below the surface, a panel of defense attorneys claimed that work on the site has met state standards. “It has been investigated to the point that we know how to control what’s down there,” said Lynda Shaw, an attorney for Bilwin. A lawyer from the state attorney general’s office, representing the DEC and the DOH, said the level of public concern over this site was highly unusual, as the remediation plan was not out of ordinary procedure. But David Gordon, an attorney representing the plaintiffs, said the state’s standard procedures had been scrutinized by an independent set of environmental experts hired by the plaintiffs, who believe that the air monitoring program on the site, which is designed to detect dangerous levels of toxins, is not protective enough. INJUNCTION continued on page 8

INSIDE Bronxville receives historic donation Story on page 9.

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February 17, 2017 • THE EASTCHESTER REVIEW • 3

County to mull new gun show laws in committee Former village pet store owner fined, banned By JAMES PERO Staff Writer Bipartisan support and public input has reinvigorated a Democratic initiative looking to tighten control over gun shows countywide, after a veto from Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, a Republican, derailed a potential ban last month. According to Joe Sgamatto, a spokesman for the Board of Legislators’ Democratic Caucus, the potential legislation— which will expound upon a set of Republican initiatives introduced simultaneously with Democrats’ proposed ban on gun shows held at county facilities—came as a result of sweeping public comment. New provisions would seek to bolster security at shows, enforce proper signage, and potentially impose an age restriction for attendees. In addition to the dozens of public testimonies that flooded the Westchester County Convention Center earlier this month on the Republican laws regulating gun shows, Sgamatto said lawmakers received a torrent of phone calls railing against the legislation, which— even after the public hearing— was introduced to the legislative floor unchanged. “We already had 36 voicemails by the time we got to the

sions mandating greater cooperation with law enforcement when privately held shows do take place. Some of the proposed laws would apply to both public and privately held gun shows in the county. County Legislator Catherine Parker, a Rye Democrat, told the Review that she would also pursue a possible age restriction for both public and private shows held in Westchester. “I’m applying the same sort of law that you have for children in bars,” Parker said. “You have to be 21 years old to drink and you have to be 21 years of age to even be at a bar.” Exactly what those age restrictions would be, how they would be enforced, or whether they will find their way into a final product, Parker said, would come as a result of committee deliberations. Across the aisle, Legislator Jim Maisano, a New Rochelle Republican, who has been outspoken over his opposition to a ban on gun shows, said while constituents in his district had little to no feedback on the laws, he and his Republican colleagues are open to working with Democrats on retooling some provisions. “We’re very open to having a conversation,” Maisano said. On the county level, ten-

I’m applying the same sort of law that “ you have for children in bars. You have to be 21 years old to drink and you have to be 21 years of age to even be at a bar.

– LEGISLATOR CATHERINE PARKER, on proposed gun show legislation office in the morning,” said Sgamatto referring to the day following the legislation’s introduction. The Republican legislation that Democrats will look to strengthen is an extension of New York state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s model New York Guns Show Procedures. According to a statement from county Legislator Ben Boykin, a White Plains Democrat, among the potential additions to the regulations may be overnight security for private gun shows in addition to provi-

sions over increased regulation on gun shows reached a fever pitch last month after a piece of legislation, passed by the Board of Legislators in a partisan vote by Democrats that effectively banned gun shows at countyowned facilities, was vetoed by Astorino. The ban, which was unsuccessfully floated in 2010 by Legislator Ken Jenkins, a Yonkers Democrat, who plans to run for county executive this year, came in response to a gun show held at the County Center

At a glance A set of Republicanintroduced provisions on strengthening gun show regulations will be sent back to committee Democrats will look to seize on the increased scrutiny over the proposed laws to add a number of stipulations, including potential age restrictions on gun shows held Increased overnight security and greater communication with law enforcement may also be on the table last month, and would have reinstated an embargo from former County Executive Andrew Spano that lapsed when Astorino took office in 2010. According to Phil Oliva, a spokesman for the Astorino administration, January’s gun show netted $47,000 in revenue for the county and saw 8,000 visitors, both of which exceeded expectations. Now, according to Parker, Michael Kaplowitz, a Yorktown Democrat and chairman of the Board of Legislators, will continue to mull an override of Astorino’s veto which would require a bipartisan supermajority vote of 12 legislators in order to overturn the decision. Whether that override would garner the necessary bipartisan support, Parker said, remains unclear. But Maisano told the Review he doesn’t see himself or his Republican colleagues shifting their stance any time soon. According to Oliva, the most recent round of proposals being assessed by county legislators may fare better than an outright ban. “[Astorino] has said he would be open to [the laws],” Oliva said. “We look forward to looking at the legislation when it comes back from committee.” CONTACT:


Former village of Mamaroneck pet store owner Richard Doyle has been fined $20,000 and banned from selling pets in New York state after an investigation from the state attorney general’s office. Both the ban and fine come after a two-year investigation from the attorney general’s office that was spurred as a result of numerous complaints from customers who had purchased sick or physically impaired pets from Doyle’s stores; some of which were sold at his former Mamaroneck Avenue storefront. “By shutting down stores that mistreat animals… we can help ensure that consumers are purchasing healthy pets, while protecting the animals them-

selves from those who break the law to turn a profit,” said state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. According to a statement from the attorney general’s office, the investigation revealed that Doyle had falsified documents for pets who had been sourced from unlicensed breeders in addition to performing a number of unlicensed surgeries in his stores. In addition, the investigation revealed, Doyle had also regularly instructed teenage employees to administer intravenous medications on his pets in order to mask infections and pass audits from outside veterinarians. Backlash over Doyle’s former Mamaroneck store has

since launched a wave of public laws across lower Westchester County, where municipalities, starting with the village of Mamaroneck, have passed their own anti-puppy mill legislation. The county Board of Legislators is currently considering its own iteration of an antipuppy mill law that would limit where stores are able to source their pets from, in addition to placing tighter restrictions on store owners who have been issued violations from the state. According to the attorney general’s office, $15,000 of Doyle’s fine will be distributed to customers who purchased sick pets from Doyle, and $5,000 will go to New York state. –Reporting by James Pero

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What’s going on... Cartooning workshop

Eastchester Public Library

For more information on hours and programs, visit

EPL Mystery Club On Wednesday, March 1 at 2:30 p.m. Join the library in exploring the careers and books of bestselling mystery authors of the 1960s, whose literary creations are loved by readers 50 years later. New members are welcome. March’s featured author is Ruth Rendell.

Bronxville Public Library

The Village Lutheran Church is located at 172 White Plains Road in Bronxville. For more information, call 337-0207 or visit

Marshmallow Snowmen

AARP Tax Aide Program

On Thursday, Feb. 23 from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. For ages 3 and up. Make a funny snowman out of marshmallows and other goodies. Please note: While this is a peanut-free activity, please use caution if your child has food allergies. Registration required online due to limited space and supplies. Please include child’s name and age in the comment box.

Every Friday through April 7 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Get your taxes done. No appointment necessary; first come, first served.

Learn to Paint Like Georgia O’Keeffe

Joint Replacement and Surgery Patient Education classes

On Friday, Feb, 24 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Learn to paint in the style of Georgia O’Keeffe while learning more about the artist and her style of painting. No artistic experience necessary. Space is limited. Registration required. Call 337-7680 ext. 24 or email bronxvillelibrary@

Tuckahoe Public Library For more information on library hours and programs, visit The library will be closed on Monday, Feb. 20 for Presidents Day.

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

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.

Look Good Feel Better On Monday, Feb. 27 from 10 a.m. to noon in the NYP Lawrence Hospital’s Cancer Center Conference Room. This free program is designed for women dealing with hair loss and skin changes from chemotherapy and radiation. You will learn specific techniques to help you look and feel your best while undergoing treatment. To register, call 800-227-2345.

Eastchester Recreation US Sports Institute programs

Adult Book Discussion Group

On Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to noon. This is a weekly knitting and crochet hour. Socialize while making beautiful items which we donate to the Visiting Nurse Service of New York.

StoryTime On Friday, Feb. 24 at 11 a.m. Stories and songs for ages 2 to 7. Please call 961-2121 to register.

On Friday, Feb. 24 from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Best for ages 3 and up. Watch Joe the Magic Man bring magic to life with tricks and fun-filled entertainment.

Social Needlers

Village Lutheran Church

On Wednesday, Feb. 22 from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. For ages 6 and up. Join artist Mike Teator for a step-by-step tutorial in cartooning. Registration is required online, as space is limited. Please include child’s name and age in the comment box.

Magic Show

On Tuesday, Feb. 21 from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. “Between the World and Me” by Ta-Nehisi Coates will be discussed. The book has been described by the New York Times as “powerful and passionate… profoundly moving… a searing meditation on what it means to be black in America today.”

great book club titles. Please call 961-2121 to register.

For more information on library hours and programs, visit The library will be closed on Monday, Feb. 20 for Presidents Day.

Books & Coffee On Tuesday, Feb. 21 at 11 a.m. Join Lisa Ragano for lively conversation over coffee to discuss the newest bestsellers and suggest some

She’s not crazy, her name just rhymes with it. Read Lenore Skenazy’s column every week in the Review. A past contributor to the Daily News and the New York Sun, Skenazy has also appeared on “The Daily Show,” been profiled in the New Yorker and even had her own reality TV show, “World’s Worst Mom.”

The town of Eastchester and the US Sports Institute have many classes for 2- to 5-year-olds to learn soccer or a variety of sports, starting in April. Registration is now open. These morning programs are for all abilities, boys and girls, and provide fun games and activities. Visit eastchester. org/departments/recreation for more information and to register.

Bronxville Adult School Spring semester registration Registration for the Bronxville Adult School spring semester is now open. The BAS Spring Catalog includes dozens of new trips and classes, as well as the return of many popular favorites. Visit to view the interactive catalog.

Men’s Bible Study Men’s Bible Study meets on the third Saturday of each month, from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. The next meeting is on Feb. 18. Attendees are invited to bring a breakfast item to share.

Women’s Bible Study All women of Village Lutheran Church and their guests are invited to come hear and welcome special guest Monique Nunes on Saturday, Feb. 18. Whether you are a regular member of the Women’s Bible Study/ LWML or not, please come be inspired by Nunes’ talk on being a Christian woman. Join the group for breakfast at 8:30 a.m. followed immediately by Nunes. The women’s Bible study will follow. Bring a breakfast item to share.

Prayer Service The next monthly service of prayer for healing will be held on Saturday, Feb. 25 at 6:30 p.m. This service is an opportunity to pray for personal needs and concerns, and to receive anointing with oil. It is also part of the church’s anniversary weekend celebrations, providing dedicated time to pray for its congregation and its mission.

LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester ‘LEGO Batman’ Movie Days Through Sunday, Feb. 19 at LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester, 39 Fitzgerald St. in Yonkers. Super Hero. Crime-fighter. Master Builder. “LEGO Batman” is all of those and so much more. Come meet Gotham City’s Caped Crusader during this celebration of the Warner Bros. Pictures’ feature film, which will include photo ops with the scene-stealing star, a themed scavenger hunt and LEGO Batman-inspired build activities. Starting at $15.95; children under age 2 are free. Hours: Friday and Saturday: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sunday to Thursday: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. For more information, call 866-243-0770 or visit 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

Eastchester Union Free School District’s

Official Newspaper

February 17, 2017 • THE EASTCHESTER REVIEW • 5 AID from page 1

worked efficiently, the incident in December indicates that the system, which is run by the county Department of Emergency Services, might need to be updated. “We’d be negligent as a board not to raise a red flag and say, ‘Somebody fix it,’” he said. But Winter added that the Eastchester Fire District has little recourse over the matter other than to alert the county of the perceived misstep. “It’s not our issue that they didn’t call us,” Winter said. “But it [seems] to me that there needs to be a better system. This is county-driven; this is not us.” According to the most recent Westchester County Fire Mutual Aid Plan, which was adopted on Dec. 19, 2012 and is posted on the county website, Westchester. gov, the county is divided into so-called battalions to organize mutual aid response. The Eastchester Fire District is part of mutual aid Battalion 18, which also encompasses Yonkers,

New Rochelle, Mount Vernon, Greenville, Pelham, and Pelham Manor. Scarsdale falls into Battalion 19, which sits to the northeast of Battalion 18, and includes White Plains, North White Plains, West Harrison, Purchase, and the Westchester County Airport. But according to O’Leary, departmental preferences take precedence over battalion lines. Each department involved in the county’s opt-in mutual aid program is responsible for creating a “run card,” listing the neighboring departments which each fire department would prefer to call first in the event that mutual aid is required. The county does not override the requests unless a department from a run card is not available, in which case 60 Control asks the department which is requesting mutual aid for further guidance. Seymour said that Eastchester is on the second tier of Scarsdale’s run card. Scarsdale gets a first wave of mutual aid when it sounds one alarm signaling a

working fire, and a second wave of assistance—which includes Eastchester—when it raises a second alarm. He added that Scarsdale sounded two alarms for the Dec. 4 fire, but Eastchester was already on the scene. “Eastchester was there sooner than they would [have been] if we had transmitted a working fire second alarm,” he told the Review. O’Leary added that the county Department of Emergency Services could not disclose how often departments were dispatched across battalion lines, as it does not keep track of that information. The Review has submitted FOIL requests to the county Department of Emergency Services and the Scarsdale Fire Department for transcripts of the Dec. 4 fire, and has also submitted a FOIL request for communications between the county department and the Eastchester Fire District regarding the fire.



174 BOULEVARD Location of fire



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1.9 mi .65 mi .68 mi

Eastchester’s firehouse on Wilmont Road is less than a mile from 174 Boulevard in Scarsdale, the scene of a Dec. 4 fire that killed the homeowner. The closest responding station in Scarsdale was three times as far. Map courtesy Google Maps

6 • THE EASTCHESTER REVIEW • February 17, 2017

Eastchester REVIEW THE

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

Publisher | Howard Sturman ext. 21, Christian Falcone Associate Publisher | Editor-in-Chief ext. 19, Sports Editor | Mike Smith ext. 22, Assistant Editor | Sibylla Chipaziwa ext. 25, Reporter | Corey Stockton ext. 16, General Assignment | Taylor Brown ext. 30, Graphic Designer | Arthur Gedin Graphic Designer | Jim Grasso Advertising | Lynne Starr ext. 29, Advertising Coordinator | Sibylla Chipaziwa ext. 27, Staff Writers James Pero, Franco Fino Staff Photographers Andrew Dapolite, Aaron Kershaw, Charlie McLaughlin Columnists Mary Marvin, Richard Forliano, Lenore Skenazy Letters

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Harrison veteran fights for his title By TAYLOR BROWN General Assignment Reporter Staff Sgt. Thomas Varbero has been trying to change a misprint on his discharge papers for 71 years. Varbero, a 96-year-old World War II Army veteran, served in the military from February 1943 until February 1946, when he was honorably discharged. But upon receiving his discharge papers, he noticed that his last grade rank was listed as a private, instead of his title as a staff sergeant. He said he brought this issue to the attention of an officer at Army Camp Beale in California. The officer informed him that he could wait at the camp for new paperwork, but that it could take up to three months to receive them. The second option was to go home, and the new paperwork would be mailed to him. Varbero chose the latter. “They never mailed it,” he said in an interview with the Review at his Harrison home. Upon returning to Westchester County in 1946, Varbero, in his mid-20s at the time, wanted

to focus on working and raising a family with his wife. One of his chores was also renovating his Harrison home, the home he was born and raised in. Today, the house now has six bedrooms and three baths. “My wife and I took this whole apartment out,” he said. The walls of his refurbished home are filled with memories from his past. Some of these show him at 50 years old in Newfoundland, Canada, where he said he built five log cabins over 35 years. Other photos include Varbero on a hunting trip, gearing up for a boat trip on the lake and his old camping ground. Tom Varbero, Varbero’s grandson, speaks fondly of the outdoor activities he participated in with his grandfather. He said that he was very close with his grandfather growing up, and that everything his grandfather did for him was to help teach him and his siblings a life lesson. The time spent with his family helped distract Thomas Varbero from thoughts about his time in the Army. “I didn’t care,” he said. “I wanted to forget… that experience.” But his feelings changed in

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Thomas Varbero, 96, speaks animatedly of his time in the Army at his home in Harrison.

recent years as his grandchildren began asking him more about what he had done in the war. “A while back, I [started] thinking; I said, ‘I got to get this straightened out before I die,’” he said. Varbero said the position of staff sergeant was given to him after he injured his knee in a car accident. He was told he would require surgery, and that he wouldn’t be able to fight anymore because he would need a cane to walk. Varbero was given an opportunity to serve his country in a different way, and he became an interpreter from Italian to English. “I was more qualified because I knew five dialects,” he said. Varbero was awarded his title as staff sergeant after beginning his work at a prisoner-of-war camp in Monticello, Arkansas. Varbero’s granddaughter, Marlene Varbero, said that he still frequently talks about his time with the POWs. She said how even though they were prisoners, he would provide them with more food than he was supposed to. Thomas Varbero also said that his fluency in Italian worked to his advantage when it came to learning more about the enemy. “I wanted to get into their system, to get more information that I could pass on,” he said. “I got a lot of information like that by talking their dialect.” Varbero said that over years, he has complained that this promotion wasn’t reflected in his discharge paperwork, but to no avail. Varbero explained that around 15 years ago is when he started to seriously pursue a resolution. He spoke to veteran affairs centers in places like Harrison, the Bronx and Castle Point in Wappingers Falls, New York. But he was directed toward Virginia, where the Army Review Board Agency, ARBA, is located. In December 2016, he wrote to the board. In the letter, he included a copy of his discharge papers, an application for correction of military record, which allows military personnel to dispute changes to their military records, and a letter explaining his request. Varbero wrote, “I feel my ser-

Thomas Varbero only has one photo taken of himself from when he first entered the U.S. Army as a private. Photos/Andrew Dapolite

vice to my country should be honored by having this correction made.” His only concern is being able to show his family that he has earned service stripes. His grandson, Patrick Varbero of the Harrison Police Department, said that he believes the corrected paperwork is something that his grandfather deserves. The Army Board for Correction of Military Records, AMBCMR, is one of 14 boards under ARBA. The board oversees requests for changes of military paperwork. But changes such as Varbero’s have been difficult to argue because of U.S. Code Title 10 Section 1552(b), which says that if a request for changed paperwork is to be made, it needs to be done within three years of noticing the error. There have been, however, exceptions made to this rule when it is in the interest of justice.

A December 2015 court case seen by ABCMR was similar to Varbero’s situation in that Army personnel had a misprint on their discharge papers. Even though more than three years had lapsed since the person had noticed the error, the board made an exception and decided to see the case. Despite this, the court still ruled that the person didn’t provide sufficient evidence to support the claim that they ranked as a specialist grade four before being discharged from the Army. This position is above a private, and below a corporal. The only paperwork Varbero has left from the Army are his discharge papers. As of press time, Kat Connolly, the VA staffer at the White Plains district office for U.S. Rep. Nita Lowey, a Democrat, has been contacted, where a case file has been created for Varbero. CONTACT:

February 17, 2017 • THE EASTCHESTER REVIEW • 7

Astorino: ‘We will not be silent on travel ban’ By FRANCO FINO Staff Writer Amidst a nationwide debate about a policy on immigration, President Donald Trump’s recently blocked travel ban on seven predominantly Muslim nations has captured the interest of top elected officials in Westchester. On Feb. 10, Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, a Republican, appeared before a crowd of nearly 200 MuslimAmericans at the Andalusia School in Yonkers to proclaim his support for those of the religious group living in the county. “I stand here beside you today and every day to reaffirm our friendship, to let you know that as the county’s top elected official, that not only are you welcome here, but that the contributions of our Muslim-American community are essential to us,” said Astorino, who’s up for re-election this year and unofficially has said he plans to seek a third term in office. As the county executive since 2010, Astorino has established arelationship with the school and mosque. In 2013, he appointed Sonia Chinn, a former teacher at the Andalusia School, as a member of the county Human Rights Commission, the first Muslim to be appointed to the commission since it was established in 1999. Shortly after Chinn’s departure after relocating to Texas for work, Astorino appointed another Muslim-American to the post, naming Ghada Salim to the commission in 2015. According to 2014 numbers provided by the county Board of Legislators, there are roughly

14,000 Muslims living in Westchester, comprising 1.4 percent of the county’s total population. Astorino, who addressed the worshipers at the mosque as his friends, said that while he supports “careful screening” of those who seek to enter the country, he does not believe the controversial ban targets a specific religion. “Please know, and make no mistake about it, I would never support a religious test on who comes into our country,” he said. However, the travel ban, which is currently on hold because of a decision by the federal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, has other elected officials in the county, specifically Democrats, worried about Astorino’s support for the ban and that it does in fact unfairly target Muslims. The ban placed restrictions on individuals entering the country from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Phil Oliva, a spokesman for Astorino, confirmed that the county executive does support a temporary suspension on accepting refugees into the country. For that reason, county Legislator Catherine Parker, a Rye Democrat, said Astorino is part of the problem associated with the travel ban. “It doesn’t support the values of Westchester residents,” she said. ‘It’s unfortunate that [Astorino] is directly aligned with what’s in direct opposition to our residents.” Astorino’s speech follows another debate on the county level related to immigration, as the county Board of Legislators’ Democratic Caucus recently proposed an Immigration Protection Act, which was referred

to the committees on Budget and Appropriations, Legislation, and Public Safety and Social Services on Feb. 13. That legislation, which is sponsored by Majority Leader Catherine Borgia, an Ossining Democrat, aims to stem the tide of recent efforts by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, ICE, and Customs and Border Protection, CBP, to detain and transfer an individual for immigration and investigation purposes. While as many as 680 were arrested in the first week of February throughout Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, San Antonio, and New York City areas by raids conducted by ICE agents, according to Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, the legislation seeks to codify language to prevent Westchester County from aiding the federal government in investigations made on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity, and national origin. “With all the news reports of immigration raids, even in New York [state], this act is a step we must take to follow the law and make sure our county does not practice any type of discrimination,” Borgia said. This also comes as a backdrop for an upcoming county executive race that will likely highlight treatment of the Muslim community as one of the campaign’s talking points. Last month, county Legislator Ken Jenkins, a Yonkers Democrat, called on Astorino to denounce the president’s travel ban, labeling it un-American. “There is no place for this; not here, not in Westchester,”

On Feb. 10, Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino joined a crowd of Muslim-Americans at the Andalusia School and mosque in Yonkers to show his support. Photo/Aaron Kershaw

said Jenkins, the lone Democrat to have announced that he will run for county executive

this year. “The county executive needs to denounce these actions that have no place in

Westchester County.” CONTACT:

Aubrey is a beautiful Maine coon mix, about 8 years young. She was abandoned by her human but holds no grudges. She is a little bit shy, but very sweet, friendly and snuggly. She loves to be loved and purrs like a motor. She is in good health, but does have a condition known as hyperthyroidism, for which she receives (inexpensive) medication. She is spayed, up-to-date with all vaccinations and microchipped. The donation for Aubrey is $100. To meet this lovely, charming kitty, please contact Pet Rescue at 835-4133 or visit (Submitted)

8 • THE EASTCHESTER REVIEW • February 17, 2017

On the governor’s ‘consolidation’ plan BRONXVILLE TODAY Mayor Mary Marvin

As I write, I am in Albany with my fellow mayors discussing legislative topics for the current 2017 Legislature to consider. Chief among them is the untangling of state aid to towns and villages from a governor’s “consolidation” plan that requires a November statewide vote. I wrote about the injustice and the misplaced priority of it all in my column last week, but it remains Topic One with my colleagues here, as it should. Needless to say, our current discussion serves to further ignite our indignation at the premise, that according to the governor, “local officials do not and will not work together to share services.” It is simply not grounded in fact. We are the easiest target, the runt in the schoolyard who is no force to be reckoned with, and from a money-saving perspective, the smallest component of one’s overall tax burden. Statewide, municipal taxes are less than 30 percent of the overall tax burden, and in our village they are less than 14 cents of every tax dollar. The “consolidation plebiscite” is a foolhardy way to lower any segment of our tax obligations, but to exempt at least 70 to 80 percent of the overall bill from this scrutiny, i.e., school funding, can only point to the enormous power of New York’s much solidified and politically active teachers union—support everyone seeking higher state and federal offices must curry. Local governments are not wasting money. Most elected officials are unpaid or receive a stipend that if divided by hours worked doesn’t even approach former minimum wage levels. To drill down to our local level, our village administrator

is paid fully half what a comparable educator receives, shares a secretary with five other people, visits construction sites, organizes a parade, answers phones, and, when needed, shovels the front walk! Hardly a spend thrift approach. Contrast this belt-tightening with the tens of thousands of dollars allocated in the governor’s proposed budget to re-PR brand his economic rollout program from “Start-Up New York” to “Excelsior.” I am lost how this change of sloganeering benefits any New York taxpayer. Even if the consolidation tie in is somehow overcome, there is always horse trading and we at the local government are concerned as to what we will lose on another front to get this requirement removed. But the process marches on, and we are all here in Albany to set yearly priorities taking a page from other “special interest” playbooks in the hopes that our numbers and unity of ideas will garner legislative attention. First on our list is this local government funding aid to help us cover the ever escalating cost of more than 200 unfunded state laws/mandates that affect local spending. Not only is it now tied to a political policy, funding is not slated to increase again this year continuing a pattern of flat funding since 2008. Municipalities, all subject to the 2 percent tax cap on spending (which this year will actually be 1.15 percent due to its tie to the inflation index), are not excluded from the cap for expenditures on public infrastructure, as are school districts and the state itself from their respective caps. The result is that local governments are postponing repairs on key public infrastructures, which will have significant negative long-term repercussions. As example, to stay under the “state tax cap,” we would have

had to forego the federal FEMA flood mitigation outright grant of $5 million because it carried with it a local infrastructure repair “copay.” On the state level, the New York state comptroller released a report that estimated infrastructure repairs statewide now have a funding deficit of $657 billion annually. In addition to deteriorating subterranean infrastructure, local roads and bridges are in similar disrepair. According to the report referenced above, 48 percent of state roads are in “fair to poor” condition, and one-third of all bridges are structurally deficient. Net-net, the unintended consequence of the tax cap is that New York state infrastructure is in its worst condition in generations. During his speech to the mayors, the state comptroller shared a distressing, albeit not surprising, revenue trend. The state sales tax revenues have dramatically slowed in growth from 4 percent annually to barely 2 percent. Of course this correlates directly with the explosion in Internet sales. Given ever increasing local costs, health care in particular (the state’s health insurance family plan premiums are increasing to $25,927 per employee, or over 12 percent above last year’s rate), for our village alone, local shopping and the sales tax revenues they generate are critical. As I have mentioned in past columns, if villagers made all of their purchases on the internet last year, local taxes would have risen 13 percent. As I leave Albany, I am gratified by the fine and dedicated people that govern all over New York state, and my hopes never dim that if united in purpose, we can improve the lot of the most important special interest group in the state—the property taxpayer.

Experience Carnevale di Venezia Be transported back in time to Venice, Italy on Friday, Feb. 24 at Carnevale di Venezia, the latest Eventures Divine event to take place at The Briarcliff Manor. This interactive and historically driven production of a traditional Venetian masked ball will thrill patrons by taking them on an experiential adventure while engaging each of the five senses. The historic 1904 Briarcliff Manor is set to host Therèsa Fernand’s vision on two floors— a feast and fusion of old world Venetian and contemporary Italian tastes accompanied by select spirits, music and art. Guests can indulge in a divine sampling of carved meats, sausages, pasta and fish, all while enjoying this uniquely presented event, which will feature both local talent as well as internationally known artists and musicians. The theme is “Astrological, Magic of the Stars.” Semiformal dress and masks are required. Coming in full period costumes that are representative of traditional Venetian inspired carnival is preferred for guests to fully engage in the experience of the evening. Astrological/tarot influences will be present in the theme throughout the night. The event on Feb. 24 will begin at 7:30 p.m. and conclude at midnight. Adults only. The Briarcliff Manor is located at 25 Studio Hill Road in Briarcliff Manor. Tickets for Eventures Divine Carnevale di Venezia are available now, priced at $130 per person. For more information, please visit Fernand is an anamorphic catalyst, and owner of Intuitive Business Solutions LLC, and

the Eventures Divine and Divinely Charmed brands. An information intuit in the business of human experience, she is an intuitive interpreter guiding you through her highly anticipated, experiential events, engaging in the all senses. She has traveled and worked throughout the country, doing readings, events and lectures, inspiring people to

connect and live passionately. Eventures Divine was launched as a platform to create highly experiential events out of otherwise ordinary and familiar themes. In a time where people are disengaged, bored and out of touch, Fernand’s vision is to bring a sense of adventure into each event experience. (Submitted)

INJUNCTION from page 1

Ultimately, the court will decide whether to overturn the decisions which have allowed the developer to move ahead with the state-approved plan. But on a shorter time scale, it will decide imminently whether to allow work to continue on the project as it considers the larger case. According to a court document released on Feb. 12, both parties have until March 16 to file additional documents, and are due back in court on March 17, when the court may render its decision on the stop work order. CONTACT:

Initial digging has started in Tuckahoe at the approved site of a hotel development which must first be cleaned of contaminants through a state-supervised program. But opponents of the project, who have already sued to overturn its approval, have also filed an injunction with the court in hopes that it will temporarily stop work while it considers the larger case. File photo

February 17, 2017 • THE EASTCHESTER REVIEW • 9

Bates family donates secretary desk University. Their aunt, Miss Frances Austin, who had raised the two boys after their mother In the course of designing died when they were children, dozens of private homes, apart- moved to Lawrence Park as ments, public buildings and oth- the first three homes were beer structures for Bronxville be- ing built in 1890, and by 1891 tween 1890 and 1922, architect Charles had become a resident William Augustus Bates may of Bronxville. Miss Austin manwell have written letters, kept aged the Prescott Manor House his books, or even made pre- (now 8 Prescott Ave.) as an inn liminary sketches at his elegant and social center during the new mahogany secretary desk that park’s earliest years. the estate of his niece, Frances When he began work in Bates Wells, recently donated to Lawrence Park, the 37-yearthe village of Bronxville. old Bates already had an exWells, who grew up in Bronx- tensive architectural practice. ville and graduated with the Between 1881 and 1887 he had high school Class of 1938, was designed a resort hotel complex the daughter of William Bates’ in the White Mountains, much younger brother, Col. Charles of which survives in the Jackson Francis Bates. In late January, Falls Historic District in New her estate made a long-term loan Hampshire. Between 1882 and of Bates’ beautiful 19th century 1891 he had also designed subdrop front secretary desk to the urban houses in Cheyenne City, village, where it will be perma- Wyoming Territory; Detroit, nently displayed in the mayor’s Michigan; Canton, Ohio; Mount office at Village Hall. Desert, Maine; Short Hills, New “My mother treasured the Jersey; Quogue, New York; desk,” said Katherine Wells Flushing, New York; and TuxePower, who traveled to Bronx- do Park, New York; as well as an ville from Dallas to oversee its inn at Ridgefield, Connecticut. delivery. “My sisters and I beFor more than three decades, lieve that our mother and her Bates, alone or with partners, uncle Will would have want- put a lasting stamp on the face ed the desk to be returned to of Bronxville, designing more Bronxville. Even though it was than 50 private homes, several in Texas for more than 65 years, apartment buildings, townhouse it fits into the mayor’s office like groups, and several multi-use it was always there.” residential/retail buildings, as Power and her sisters, Mari- well as the Hotel Gramatan, anne Wells, Nancy Wells Ward- the original village hall, and er, and Sarah Wells Macias, pre- school and church buildings. viously donated William Bates’ He worked in a variety of styles, sketchbooks and a 1917 studio including Queen Anne, Tudor photograph portrait of the ar- Revival, Arts and Crafts, and chitect to the Bronxville History Colonial Revival, but is best reCenter. membered locally for his elaboThe Bates family ties to rate Shingle style houses on the Bronxville go back to the be- Lawrence Park hilltop. ginning of Lawrence Park. WilAlthough William Bates nevliam A. Bates was from William er married and never owned a Lawrence’s hometown, Monroe, house in Bronxville, the archiMichigan, where the two fami- tect maintained an active solies had been friends. As Law- cial life in the village. Articles rence began developing Law- and social notes published in rence Park on the old Prescott the Bronxville Review reflect farm, he engaged Bates to design a man who often entertained the first houses. At the time, Wil- friends for dinner or bridge at liam’s younger brother Charles the Hotel Gramatan, exhibited was a law student at Columbia architectural drawings in local

By ELOISE L. MORGAN Bronxville Historian

art shows, and enjoyed performing in amateur community plays. For many years he maintained offices and apartments in New York City, but he often lodged at the Hotel Gramatan, sometimes for months at a time, and was considered a permanent resident of the hotel when he died. Bates’ desk is believed have been in Bronxville from at least the late 1910s through 1950. It was likely among the furnishings in the rooms he maintained at the Hotel Gramatan in his later years. He died in 1922 at 7 Lookout Ave., the home of his brother Charles, to whom he left his furniture and other possessions. Two years later, Charles purchased 33 Park Ave., where he lived with his extended family, including daughter Frances. In 1950, several years after Charles’ death, his family—with Will’s furniture—moved to Texas. Expressing gratitude for the generous donation, Bronxville Mayor Mary Marvin said, “This lovely antique desk blends beautifully with the style and décor of Village Hall. As the desk of our most important early architect William Bates, it is a perfect gift that both honors our history and beautifies our present.” She noted that Village Hall also displays a fine collection of original oil paintings created by turnof-the-20th-century Lawrence Park artists who Bates would have known. The art collection is on long-term loan from the Bronxville Historical Conservancy. Upon William A. Bates’ death, a Bronxville Review editorial saluted his personal and professional contributions to the village: “Much of the beauty which Bronxville boasts will remain as a monument to the genius of Mr. Bates as the architect of many of our most important buildings, but his friends will remember more the unfailing gentleness, patience and courtesy to all which were so characteristic of this American gentlemen of the finest type.”

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From left, Katherine Power, Bronxville Mayor Mary Marvin and village historian Eloise L. Morgan pose at Village Hall with architect William A. Bates’ 19th century secretary desk. The desk was donated to the village by the estate of Power’s mother, Mrs. Frances Bates Wells. Power’s grandfather was William Bates’ younger brother, Charles Bates, who was instrumental in the incorporation of Bronxville as a village in 1898. Photo courtesy Eloise L. Morgan

10 • THE EASTCHESTER REVIEW • February 17, 2017

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February 17, 2017 • THE EASTCHESTER REVIEW • 11

You don’t always have to say something RHYMES WITH CRAZY Lenore Skenazy

If you see something, say something. That campaign, launched in New York after 9/11 and rolled out nationally in 2010, suggests that anyone and anything we see could be out to get us, so our job is to immediately alert the authorities. What a wonderful way to turn kind, caring citizens into paranoid busybodies who don’t even actually help each other. All they do is call 911 and smile smugly. “People are submitting thousands and thousands of tips a day,” says Joshua Reeves, author of “Citizen Spies: The Long Rise of America’s Surveillance Society.” He has examined these tips, including gems like, “Someone is standing next to a water fountain, checking their wristwatch.” And, “I saw a suspicious person watching her daughter on the playground.” As a result of being asked to err on the side of extreme caution, Reeves said, “There’s this sort of extended paranoia throughout the culture that everything is a potential signifier or terrorism or crime.” Consider this sign I saw on New Jersey Transit last week. It began with the usual, “If you see something, say something,” but added, “If it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.” Ah, but what if you have been primed by years of going through airport security, being forced to ditch your 4 fluid ounces of Head & Shoulders in case it’s a bomb? At some point, our common sense gets corrupted and even the most innocent

items and activities don’t “feel right” anymore. And so we turn to the authorities. In turn, the authorities just keep getting more... authority. You see something like this happening at schools, with kids being told to report any possible bullying to the adults in charge; and on college campuses, where the same goes for students encountering the slights known as “microaggressions.” Of course, no one wants real harassment going unchecked. But our young people are being taught that they are not competent enough to examine or solve interpersonal problems on their own. To Reeves (and now me), this is the one-two punch of the problem: Not just that we overreact to innocent “triggers,” but that we are told to outsource the solution. Two examples: On the subway, there are signs that say (I’m quoting from memory): “If you see a sick passenger, do not attempt to help them yourself. Alert an MTA employee or the police.” So we’re not supposed to exercise basic compassion? Only the authorities are qualified to help another human? Example No. 2: We have also been told to dial 911 if we see a child waiting in a car. This makes us believe that a few minutes’ car wait is automatically dangerous, even though most of us remember waiting in the car when WE were kids. But once again, our common sense has been curdled by constant warnings of the worst-case scenario—in this case, the rare deaths of kids FORGOTTEN in cars for hours. So now, if we’re not seeing terrorists, we’re seeing terrible parents.

But here’s the thing. When parents tell me about coming out of Walgreens only to find someone dialing 911 and screaming at them for “abandoning” their child, the screamers don’t seem to recognize that THEY were watching the child. THEY could make sure no kidnapping occurred. (An extremely unlikely crime anyway.) THEY could hang out a few minutes, making sure the parents returned, and then say something like, “Hi! Just watching to make sure you got back soon. Your kid is so cute. Have a great day.” That’s what good Samaritans do. Opening a Child Protective Services investigation on a mom who dashed in to get some Tylenol is what good Samaritans do NOT do. Yet today’s Samaritans are asked to spy on their neighbors and turn them in. Reeves has felt this in his own life. He and his wife have four kids, and the oldest, age 7, goes to karate six blocks away. “We would love to be able to send him over there by himself but we won’t do it,” Reeves said. They fear that a citizen pumped with fear and armed with a cellphone could call 911 to report a case of child neglect. Usually, this will not happen. But if we want to create the kind of place we’d like to live, a place where onlookers wave to kids and help them cross the street, we have to dial back the culture of dialing up the cops. Asking citizens to assume the worst at all times is making us paranoid. But asking us to involve the authorities is even creepier: It’s making us forget how normal and nice it is to be kind. CONTACT:

Hudson Valley rich in African-American history Black History Month is a time to celebrate and reflect on the many contributions AfricanAmericans have made throughout the United States. Westchester County is home to several unique sites for visitors to observe this important month. The newly enhanced Guide To African American Heritage and History, at, gives visitors a roadmap to discover the rich African-American culture here in the Hudson Valley. “Visitors of all ages can come for the day or stay for the weekend to gain a better understanding of African-American art, history and literature in our region,” said County Executive Rob Astorino. “Families from all cultural backgrounds can explore everything from 17th century landmarks to African-American art collections to a historic cemetery, right here in the Westchester County.” Westchester’s rich African-American history After growing up in the Westchester community of Rye, Founding Father John Jay established a homestead for himself and his family in the northern Westchester community of Bedford. Enslaved and free Africans lived and worked at Jay properties in Bedford, New York City, Albany, Fishkill and Rye throughout the 18th and early 19th centuries. John Jay Homestead is a National Historic Landmark and is operated by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. The Education and Visitor Center includes a main exhibit gallery with a welcome desk and gift shop, a map-model of the property, computer kiosks with exhibit content, and period news magazines featuring articles relevant to Jay’s life. A 2011 ad-

dition to the building features a video viewing area, and an activity center with a replica governess’s cart, similar to one the Jay children rode in, and discovery boxes full of interesting items. Around the corner in the horse stalls, visitors can see realistic models of horses and experience a sound and light show emphasizing the importance of horses to the Jay family and Bedford Farm. Philipsburg Manor, a property of Historic Hudson Valley, is a nationally significant late 17thand early 18th-century milling and trading complex that was part of a vast 52,000-acre estate owned by the Anglo-Dutch Philipse family. Enslaved individuals of African descent operated the commercial center of the estate in what is now the village of Sleepy Hollow. Today, costumed interpreters demonstrate and talk about various aspects of colonial life that affected the culture and economy of those who lived and labored at Philipsburg Manor. The interpreters offer regular performances of vignettes dramatizing aspects of African slavery. In addition, the site offers popular school programs and a lively calendar of special events. Visitors experience hands-on tours of the water-powered gristmill, manor house, barn, activity center, and slave garden. The visitor center includes a shop and cafe. St. Paul’s Church, a National Historic Site, completed in 1787, was located in Eastchester, later considered part of Mount Vernon. Built along the old Boston Post Road, it rested in the midst of farmhouses and taverns. The earliest reference to African-Americans in Eastchester appears in the town records dated April 23, 1672. The entry records the sale of a “Negro woman” to Samuel Adams of

Fairfield, Connecticut, by Moses Hoitte. The church and taverns were the center of community life. Many of the 9,000 interred in the cemetery are persons of African descent buried here in the 19th and 20th centuries. The church records at St. Paul’s include the sexton’s book and burial records denoting the race of those entered into the historic graveyard. Saluting the First Lady of Song Dubbed “The First Lady of Song,” Ella Fitzgerald was the most popular female jazz singer in the United States for more than half a century. Raised in Yonkers, Fitzgerald lived and worked at a time when, for her, entrances to most white-owned clubs were through the back door. She literally conquered the bigoted, the insensitive, and the racist with love through song while serving as an ambassador for both music and our country. African-American artist Vinnie Bagwell created this bronze statue entitled “The First Lady of Jazz Ella Fitzgerald” in her honor in 1996. It stands next to the Metro-North station in Yonkers. Planning a visit To learn more about AfricanAmerican historical sites, travel and transportation information, visit and the county’s African American Advisory Board website at african-american-advisory-board. For the latest events and happenings in Westchester, visit, like at, follow on Twitter @ westchestertour, or call 1-800833-9282. View the travel guide on Instagram, visitwestchesterny. To view the Westchester County Destination Guide, please visit bit. ly/2cCFErf. (Submitted)

12 • THE EASTCHESTER REVIEW • February 17, 2017

Stronger than Oak LIVE MIKE Mike Smith

If you picked up a newspaper over the last week, the story was pretty nearly unavoidable: a thinskinned, vindictive and petty New York City-born billionaire embroiled in an embarrassing celebrity feud as the once-proud institution he oversees continues to be a laughingstock. But before you think I’m getting political here, don’t worry; I’m only talking about the Knicks. On Feb. 8, retired NBA star Charles Oakley was ejected from Madison Square Garden and subsequently arrested following a scuffle with security guards after allegedly directing a mid-game tirade towards Knicks’ owner James Dolan, in what is quickly becoming the biggest story in the NBA as the league gears up for its All-Star Weekend.

You probably know the rest: In the following days, Dolan— never one to let something go— banned the former Knick great from the Garden for life, and told anyone who would listen that Oakley had issues with alcoholism and offered his somewhat disingenuous hopes that, somehow, Oak would seek the help he needed. If all press is good press, the struggling Knicks are certainly getting their fair share of it now. Now, before I go too far in on Dolan, I want to say that, in no uncertain terms, Oakley was in the wrong during the courtside melee. He was being combative—as the famed Knicks’ enforcer was wont to be during his playing days—and actually tussling with Garden security is indefensible to say the least. But it just demonstrates how much ill will New Yorkers have towards the MSG chairman— and just how little self-awareness he possesses—to see the


way the Dolan has become the bad guy in all of this. And it’s not really surprising. Oakley may not have been the most talented Knick to ever step on the court, but he remains, even 12 years after his retirement, one of the most beloved. As a physical presence and tenacious rebounder, Oakley provided some much-needed grit for the solid Knicks’ teams of the 1990s, which, coincidentally, was really the last time they were relevant in the NBA landscape. Dolan’s time running the Knicks, on the other hand, has been marked by gross incompetence, baffling managerial blunders, sexual harassment scandals, and perhaps most importantly to Knicks fans, just three winning seasons since 2001. On top of that, Dolan has been aloof with critics of his regime, blacklisting reporters who speak up about the team’s ineptitude and generally carries himself as someone who is deaf to the pleas

On Feb. 8, former Knicks’ great Charles Oakley was arrested after tussling with security guards at Madison Square Garden. The feud between Oakley and owner James Dolan has been big news over the last week, and indicative of the problems facing the once-proud basketball franchise. Photo courtesy

of Knicks’ fans who just want to root for a contender. Oakley may have been vociferous and abusive in his comments about Dolan at the game, but Dolan—himself a recovering alcoholic—should know better than to hypothesize about the perceived problems of others. But for Dolan, that sort of response just seems to be par

for the course. I don’t know where the Knicks go from here. The team is halfway through another disappointing year, ticket prices remain ludicrously expensive, and whether Oakley is ever welcomed back to the Garden— Dolan recently met with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and Hornets’ owner Michael Jordan

to reach some sort of compromise—remains to be seen. But, like most fans, I don’t see the situation at MSG improving until Dolan finally sells the team and rides off into the sunset. Maybe then, Oakley can come back. And so can the winning.

Follow Mike on Twitter @LiveMike_Sports

Playoff seeds announced By MIKE SMITH Sports Editor Section I held its basketball seeding meetings on Wednesday, Feb. 15, and now that the dust has settled, we have a better idea of the playoff picture for our local teams. With the outbracket games set to take place on Feb. 15, after press time, the postseason has officially kicked off and the march to the County Center has begun. In Class C, the Tuckahoe boys walked away with an expected No. 1 seed after storming out to a stellar 15-5 record during the regular season. The Tigers’ top seed gives them an automatic berth to the semifinal round, which will be played at the Westchester County Center on Feb. 27. Tuckahoe’s girls finished with a No. 6 seed and will play at third-seeded North Salem on Feb. 22. In Class B, both the Bronxville girls and boys fared well,

as the girls’ team came away with a No. 4 seed and will host Blind Brook on Saturday, Feb. 18. The boys, who earned a No. 7 seed, will host No. 10 Putnam Valley on the same day. Class A is where it starts to get interesting for the Review’s teams, especially in the girls’ bracket. Eastchester, Harrison and Rye waged a seasonlong battle against each other, and of those three teams, the Eagles came out on top, securing a league title and earning a No. 5 seed. They will host the winner of an outbracket contest between Yonkers and Lincoln in the first round. Rye and Harrison grabbed the No. 7 and 8 seeds, respectively, and will both have first-round home games. The Garnets will take on No. 10 Pelham, while the Huskies will take on No. 9 seed Pearl River. On the boys’ end, both Harrison and Eastchester will have to play outbracket games on Feb.

16, as No. 14 Eastchester will host Pearl River and the No. 24 Huskies will travel to John Jay. Rye’s boys, on the other hand, came away with a No. 3 seed and could play the entire tournament at home until the semifinals are moved to the County Center. Their first-round game will be against the winner of the showdown between Eastchester and Pearl River. In the Class AA boys’ bracket, No. 14-seed Mamaroneck has gotten a shot at third-seeded league rival Scarsdale in the opening round. No. 4 seed New Rochelle will also have to contend with a league foe when they host No. 13 White Plains. Mamaroneck’s girls will play an outbracket round game on Feb. 16 at Arlington, and No. 9 seed New Rochelle will also be on the road in the first round when they travel to Clarkstown South. CONTACT:

Eastchester’s Cassidy Mitchell drives to the lane against Harrison. The Eagles won a league title this year and secured a No. 5 seed in the Class A playoffs. Photo/Mike Smith


February 17, 2017 • THE EASTCHESTER REVIEW • 13

Wallace claims section crown By MIKE SMITH Sports Editor The most anticipated match at the Section I wrestling tournament may not have been a championship bout after all. On Feb. 11, the top wrestlers in the area convened for the biggest tourney of the year at Arlington High School, but it was a semifinal battle between two New Rochelleans that stole the show. Facing off at 170 pounds, Huguenot senior Jordan Wallace scored a narrow 3-1 victory over teammate Jake Logan and rode that win to a convincing victory in the finals and a top spot on the podium. Coming into Saturday’s event, New Rochelle head coach Eddie Ortiz took a look at the brackets and lamented that his two standout grapplers were on a collision course for a meeting in the semis. Both Wallace, who entered the tournament as the top seed in the weight class, and Logan, who was seeded fourth, would have been prohibitive favorites to win the title in any other year. But Wallace edged Logan in the semis, scoring a few early points and wrestling a strong defensive match to beat his teammate for the second-straight week. “It was a tough semifinal match, both guys wrestled well,” Ortiz said. “But I told them no matter who won, they had to be good sports after the match and become their teammate’s biggest cheerleader in the final.” After topping Logan in the semis in a hard-fought bout, Wallace proved why both wrestlers were so highly regarded, scoring a dominant 15-4 decision over Horace Greeley’s Jacob Ferreira in the finals. “I don’t want to take anything

Eastchester’s Steven Bilali takes on Suffern’s Bryan Nicpon in the 152-pound semifinals. Photos/Mike Smith

Harrison’s Jay Martins squares off against John Jay’s Matt Kramer. Martins fell to Kramer, but came back to take third place at 126 pounds.

away from Ferreira, he’s a great wrestler,” Ortiz said. “But it wasn’t just me; just about every coach felt that the way that the seeding worked out was unfortunate because both [Wallace and Logan] are two of the top guys in the state.” For Wallace, who became New Rochelle’s all-time wins leader this year, winning the 170-pound title was just one of the goals for the winter season. The senior will head to the state championships in Albany next week where he hopes to become New Rochelle’s first state titlist since superheavyweight Malcolm Allen won the crown in 2011. “He’s done a great job, he got a lot of

confidence from all the work that he puts in and from what a competitive person he is,” Ortiz said. “He set his goals really high; he’s going for the state championship so there’s still

some work to be done.” Logan, who wrestled back to take third place on Saturday, could still make the state team as an at-large bid and should certainly have a bright future as one of the area’s top wrestlers. “He’s going to be a force to be reckoned with,” Ortiz said. “As a sophomore, he’s already one of the best wrestlers in the upper weight classes and that’s something that’s usually reserved for juniors and seniors.” A number of other local wrestlers had strong showings on Saturday as well. Mamaroneck’s Crew Fullerton placed second in the 132-pound bracket, Harrison’s Jay Mamaroneck 132-pounder Crew Fullerton tops Suffern’s Pat Canty in the quarterfinals. Fullerton placed second in his weight class.

Martins took third place in the 126-pound division, and Eastchester’s Steven Bilali finished fourth at 152 pounds. The state tournament will kick off on Feb. 24 at the Times Union Center in Albany. The semifinal and final rounds are scheduled for Feb. 25. CONTACT:

Jordan Wallace, left, battles against New Rochelle teammate Jake Logan in the 170-pound semifinals at the Section I wrestling tournament on Feb. 11. Wallace topped Logan 3-1 and went on to win the title with a brilliant performance in the finals.

14 • THE EASTCHESTER REVIEW • February 17, 2017



Lifestyles of Westchester County/FEBRUARY 2017 VOL.6 NO.1

Eastchester REVIEW THE


February 17, 2017 | Vol. 5, Number 7|


Destination Science: The fun science day camp

Summer Challenge Camp at Thorton Donovan

The Bruce Beck Sports Broadcasting Camp

The best summer ever at Rye Y

16 • THE EASTCHESTER REVIEW • February 17, 2017

The Bruce Beck Sports Broadcasting Camp The Bruce Beck Sports Broadcasting Camp is coming to Westchester County. It will be held July 24–28 at Steiner Sports in New Rochelle. After 15 years running the successful Bruce Beck - Ian Eagle Sports Broadcasting Camp in Montclair, New Jersey, it is a thrill to bring this venture to Beck’s home county. This is not a camp which teaches how to hit a gamewinning home run in baseball or connect on a last-second shot in basketball. It’s a specialty camp that allows kids the opportunity to learn the nuances of broadcasting from some of the top announcers and sports personalities in the New York metropolitan area. Among the scheduled guest lecturers is the voice of the New York Rangers, Sam Rosen, and Fox Sports play-by-play man, Kenny Albert. Youngsters will learn about field reporting from Fox 5’s and New York Red Bulls host, Tina Cervasio, and they will be exposed to the art of

interviewing by Jimmy Roberts of NBC Sports. Sports talk radio has exploded in recent years, and Mark Malusis of WFAN will be on the scene as kids brand their own show and field questions from callers. Campers will also learn how to read from a teleprompter. Plus former players, such as David Diehl, Ray Lucas and Carl Banks, will be on hand to discuss the relationship between broadcaster and athlete. They have all made successful transitions to this fascinating industry. The camp includes a road trip to MetLife Stadium, where campers will go behind the scenes for a illuminating tour. Not only will they see parts of the stadium they never knew

existed, but they’ll visit the press box, the announcement booth, and witness where the coaches conduct their postgame press conferences. It will be a road trip to remember. It should be an unforgettable week of insight, knowledge and fun. It will be interactive in every way. And it’s an opportunity to become part of the next generation of sports broadcasters. As someone who has been in the sports broadcasting industry for 39 years and in the New York market place for 35 of them, Beck believes that he has a unique perspective on what it takes to be successful. More importantly as a lifelong camp person, he understands how to nurture today’s youth and

make their experiences come to life as they chase their dreams. He began announcing when I was 8 years old in his mother’s kitchen. Beck would take her cooking utensils and hold them up like a microphone and start announcing. Unfortunately,

there were no outlets for kids at that time. And while 8 may be too young to start in this camp, age 13 is not. If you have a passion for sports and an interest in broadcasting, Beck promises this will be one of the greatest weeks of your life.

For more information, visit, email info@brucebecksportsbroadcastingcamp. com, or call 472-7869. Follow on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook at @brucebeckcamp. (Submitted)

February 17, 2017 • THE EASTCHESTER REVIEW • 17

Destination Science: The fun science day camp Destination Science is designed to excite kids ages 5 to 11 about science and to build great life skills in campers. Weekly themes combine science and engineering with unique projects, outdoor games, problem solving and many great take-homes. The day camp’s top notch, enthusiastic educators and leaders make STEM learn-

ing an adventure! 2017 Themes Robotic Mystery Camp: Robots rule! Build your own Rescue Bot to save EG and the power crystal. Become a forensic science detective and solve the MicroBot mystery. Engineer with magnetic benders, a super sound amplifier, an electronic catapult game, and construct

your own working VR goggles. Journey into Space & Movie Making Camp: Build your own motorized Mars Rover, use solar power to collect Martian samples, and join the Mars rover race. Explore the moon telescopically, golf to our inner and outer planets, dig into earth science, and prepare for the solar eclipse. Produce your own “Out of this World” stop motion movie. Crazy Contraption & Demolition Camp: Enter the Contraption - Demolition Think Tank to create and build electronic contraptions that spin and race. Engineer space forts and pods to withstand meteorite impacts, high winds and to sustain life in space. Explore Newton’s Laws, forces of flight, game inventing and more. Coaster Science & Mad Chemistry Camp: Create a wacky wall coaster and three mini electronic rides to take home. Burst into the world of chemistry with the Destination Science mad lab complete with

experiments that will blow your mind. Race your way into physics with the all new race car catapulting speedway. Locations: Larchmont - Larchmont Temple, 75 Larchmont Ave. Mount Kisco - The Saw

Mill Club, 77 Kensico Drive New Rochelle - The College of New Rochelle, 29 Castle Place Scarsdale - Scarsdale Congregational Church, UCC, 1 Heathcote Road Tarrytown - Temple Beth

Abraham, 25 Leroy Ave. White Plains - The Presbyterian Church, 39 N. Broadway Early Bird Savings: Save $30 per week; ends March 31. For more information, call 888909-2822 or visit (Submitted)

18 • THE EASTCHESTER REVIEW • February 17, 2017

Future Stars offers specialty camps For more than 36 years, Future Stars has been providing families in Westchester, Manhattan and Long Island with the finest specialty camp programs. The lineup of its specialized sports camps, STEAM education programs, and arts and entertainment opportunities, is unrivaled. Programs and curricula are individually designed to provide stimulating and challenging syllabi that is both ageand level-appropriate. Future Stars’ directors and coaches are mature, experienced educators who are passionate about their craft and highly motivated to share their enthusiasm with all of the eager campers. Future Stars’ SUNY Purchase College location is a sprawling 500-acre campus located in the heart of beautiful Westchester County. It offers weekly day sessions for ages 4 to 16, from June 19 to Aug. 25. Endless acres of playing fields, training areas and two new lighted turf, football and baseball fields. As many as

six full soccer fields, 12 shortsided fields and NCAA regulation baseball and softball diamonds are expertly maintained for daily use. Facilities also include 14 newly surfaced deco tennis courts (six lighted), three full indoor and four outdoor basketball courts. Campers will also utilize three indoor gymnasiums, racquetball and squash courts, training rooms, an Olympic-size indoor swimming pool, a videotape analysis room and cafeteria. Campers can choose and combine weeks from 19 individualized specialty programs: tennis, soccer, basketball, baseball, lacrosse, football, multi-sports, field hockey, cheerleading, volleyball, circus arts, magic, softball, diving, horseback riding, swim, academic, STEAM education, and Rising Stars (our youngest campers). Supervised swimming is included, as is instructional swim for Rising Stars. Lunch options and doorto-door transportation from most of Westchester is also available.

Future Stars is a very special place for children to spend a fun filled, exciting summer. Thousands of campers over the years have enhanced their skills, tucked away lifelong memories, and made lasting friendships at Future Stars Camps. The camp philosophy is to provide every camper a fun, safe and encouraging environment in which they feel comfortable and secure. Future Stars’ goal is to create the perfect atmosphere so that each camper may maximize his or her potential. Through its limited enrollment policy, Future Stars gets to know each camper and recognize their individual needs. Everyone is encouraged to play with confidence, enthusiasm, and a genuine love of the game. Please visit for more information and a tour of the beautiful camp sites. Future Stars looks forward to working with you for many years to come and is certain you will “Hit a Winner This Summer with Future Stars.” (Submitted)

February 17, 2017 • THE EASTCHESTER REVIEW • 19

The best summer ever at Rye Y Rye Y camps, for youth ages 3 to 14, are led by a team of full-time professional directors and committed summer staff who serve as professional role models to campers. The socialemotional, cognitive, and physical development of all youth are nurtured and celebrated. The camps are accredited by the American Camp Association with low counselor-to-camper ratios. Campers choose from a variety of camps and can attend from one week to eight weeks. Camps are held at the Rye Y and the Osborn School in Rye. Kinder Camp, for children ages 3 to 6, introduces young ones to the camp experience in a warm, supportive environment. Activities include swim lessons, crafts, music, sports and more. Half- or full-day options. Discovery Camp, for ages 4 to 11, is a full-day camp packed with swim lessons, STEM, crafts, music, performing arts, sports, filed trips and special guests to keep campers engaged and excited every day. Campers gain new abilities, challenge

themselves with the unexplored, and learn to work with others as a team. Sports Camp, for ages 5 to 12, has both full- and half-day options and is designed for sports enthusiasts who want to develop both their individual and team skills. STEAM Camp, for ages 6 to 11, challenges campers to question, explore, plan, discover, analyze and understand the world through the lenses of science, technology, engineering, art and math. Gymnastics Camp, for ages 6 to 14. Beginner and advanced gymnasts are welcome. Drills, games and teamwork are utilized to build gymnastics skills. Fulland half-day options available. Adventure Camp, for teens completing grades 6–9, is designed for campers who like to be on the go. Campers travel to a different great summer destination every day, including a water park, camp-outs, amusement parks, baseball games and more. Teen Fitness Camp, for ages 11 to 14, is a fun way to get fit over the summer. Participants

work indoors and out with certified personal trainers to achieve individual goals. Activities include swimming, sports, games, strength training, spinning, Pilates, agility training and more. Campers choose from three-day or five-day options. Leaders in Training, for youth who have completed grades 6–8, is new this year. Youth develop as leaders through coaching in activity planning, camper supervision and more, while earning community service hours. Counselors in Training Program, for teens who have completed grades nine and 10, is designed to challenge participants to grow as leaders both at camp and within the community while earning community service hours. For more information, or to register for any of the above camps, visit, call 967-6363 or email An early bird rate is in effect for those who register before March 1. The Rye Y offers financial assistance for families who qualify. (Submitted)

Live at Play Group Theatre At Play Group Theatre, PGT, Summer Theatre, you don’t just study theatre, you live it. Walk through the front door and you are immersed in a community of young artists eager to support each other and challenge each other to new heights. Every inch of the colorful building is brimming with sparks of creativity. Make your way into the black box theatre and you’ll see middle school students determined to master three-part harmonies for a musical number around the piano. Head upstairs on your tip-toes or you’ll distract the teens hard at work writing original material for their upcoming show. Sneak next door into PGT’s brand new dance studio where a group of kids are filming a music video. Get a good laugh in the lobby as you pass through an improv class. And don’t leave without peaking into The Play Group Theatre’s state-ofthe-art MainStage theatre where students are bringing a fully

produced musical to life. “My favorite part of camp is seeing how playfully the staff and students collaborate on such intensive and disciplined work,” says camp director Rachel Berger. “The joyful process feeds into a polished final product, and students transform over the course of a few short weeks.” Whether rehearsing a show tailor-made to fit each student, taking a class in Shakespeare, or gallivanting through the building for a surprise scavenger hunt, PGT offers students a multifaceted means to explore the world of theatre. At PGT, students not only learn about theatre, they are given an environment where experimentation is encouraged, every voice is heard, and students are rewarded for their individuality. Teen Co. student Elliot Huh recalls his favorite camp memory. “I loved seeing our script all put together for the first time and seeing how all of our weird and funny ideas

had made their way in. Somehow, it all became one story,” he said. Young Actor’s ensemble member Eesha’s favorite camp moment was singing songs from their show at a senior living home and using their skills as artists to brighten someone’s day. Jada’s favorite part of camp was getting an award for her work in dance class. PGT’s artistic director Jill Abusch said, “Students today spend hours staring at screens and preparing for standardized tests. At PGT, students learn with their full bodies. Staff members don’t teach to one type of student, but allow all students to take a step forward.” From a trip to Broadway, to rigorous classes with New York professionals, to spontaneous dance parties, PGT Summer Theatre cultivates a wellrounded young artist. Don’t miss out... get in on the act! For more information, visit (Submitted)

20 • THE EASTCHESTER REVIEW • February 17, 2017

Debate camp offers 2-week public speaking classes

The Lumos Debate Camp helps students learn public speaking in a stress-free atmosphere. This two-week day camp runs in July and August from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and is held at Berkeley College in White Plains. “We want to make it really easy, low-pressure and fun,” said Zephaniah Chang, the camp’s director. Chang explained that often public speaking is only taught a few times a year during school, and it can be scary for children when they feel like the whole class is watching them. He said that for children who may be reluctant to join the camp can go to a two-day public speaking trial during the April school vacation. This gives students a brief overlook of what the twoweek camp will be like. The two-day workshop runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and costs $65. The program is available for children ages 11 to 15.

“We don’t want it to be like extra school,” Chang said. “There’s no textbooks, teachers [or] lectures.” Chang added that those who would enjoy the camp are students who like to argue, and are more analytically minded. This camp is also beneficial for students who are shy, because the camp is where they are able to build up their self-confidence. There is a maximum of a 6-to-1 ratio of students to teachers. The two-week sessions are made up of 50 to 70 students. These students are broken up into groups of 12, with two instructors per group. “All of our instructors have four to five years of competitive debate experience,” Chang said, explaining that the instructors are mostly college-aged, because they are able to connect better with the students. Students first learn the basics of debate, including the necessities of a solid argument.

They are given easy subjects to debate including things like summer versus winter or cats versus dogs. Throughout the course, students are given one-on-one feedback to help improve their skills. Chang said that the subjects become more complex as the camp goes on, and subjects like the U.S. increasing its spending in the Middle East become topics of discussion. For harder subjects like this, students reference articles to help gather evidence for their arguments. The last two days of the camp are where students are able to use the skills they’ve gained to compete in a debate competition amongst the other members of the camp. The camp is currently offering $575 off of the $1,650 two-week tuition rate if you use the code “FEBDISCOUNT” and sign up by Feb. 28 at -Reporting by Taylor Brown

February 17, 2017 • THE EASTCHESTER REVIEW • 21

A summer camp challenge

crazy hat days, petting zoos, and themed science programs. Groups are kept small, with roughly 12 to 14 campers per group with two supervising counselors. The staff is all welltrained and are either current elementary school teachers or college students majoring in education. All staff members undergo a through background check and training. The Sports Fitness program focuses on developing sportsspecific skills while still allowing campers time to participate in activities, such as arts and crafts, bowling, and treasure hunts. The sports covered by the Sports Fitness program include soccer, tennis, basketball, football, volleyball, golf, street hockey, and swimming. Counselors overseeing each athletic station and instructing skill development are all current or former athletes in that specific sport. As a father of a little girl, I appreciate that the camp also offers door-to-door busing and daily lunches that are included in the enrollment price. Even more important than busing, food service, athletics, and fun is the fact that parents can have peace of mind while their children are at camp. Parents can rest assured knowing that their children are

in a safe environment and being supervised by adult counselors, who have backgrounds in education. In fact, this is the opposite of the current trend in Westchester, where camps are populated predominantly with counselors-in-training and other extremely young, inexperienced counselors. The summer at ThorntonDonovan concludes with a beautiful award ceremony highlighting every camper’s achievements. Awards, certificates, and trophies are handed out with the grand finale centering around the Camper of the Year Award, which is earned through exhibiting excellent sportsmanship. Unfortunately, I was beat out for the award by my older sister, but thankfully I won an even greater prize; that is, becoming the director of admissions for Thornton-Donovan School and also the aquatics director at the Summer Challenge Camp. Any families looking to learn more about the school or camp are welcome to meet me at Thornton-Donovan’s upcoming open house on March 26 and April 23. If you would like to speak sooner, please feel free to contact the school at 632-8836. (Submitted)

College Racquet Club, CRC, is located in Bronxville on the campus of Concordia College. The facility includes three indoor hard courts, three outdoor hard courts, two clay courts and a squash court. The original mission of the CRC was to provide tennis and instruction to all levels of players, from the weekend warrior to the nationally ranked player. The CRC offers comprehensive junior programs from beginner, age 10 and under, to intermediate, advanced and elite high performance programs. CRC also offers adult instruction from beginner, intermediate, drill classes and USTA league competition for men and women. The goal is to help people have fun with tennis while they improve their skills and compete. The staff is directed by Con-

cordia men’s and women’s tennis coach Neil Tarangioli, who is nationally recognized and has won more than 20 Coach of the Year awards. The staff includes head pro Brian Simunyola, a renowned pro in the area; Vito Galatioto, a former college player; Addie Brennan, a former college player; Penny Phiri, USPTA certified pro; and Andrey Boldarev, a former four-time NCAA All-American player. CRC refers to everything it does as a team and takes a holistic approach to coaching. The staff integrates fitness, footwork, strokes, focus, and relaxation techniques, as well as strategy/tactics and fun. The summer program starts on June 26, right after the CRC spring classes. Spots are still available for the spring classes. CRC offers classes for begin-

ners through advanced players. There will be two-, four- or eight-week sessions. Some classes will require a tryout. Registration begins Feb. 21 and closes April 15. Information and brochures can be obtained by calling the CRC at 961-3955 or visiting Typical classes consist of instruction, drilling, point play, games, and conditioning. Every Friday is “Fun Friday,” and CRC has special events such as soccer against the pros, tennis, baseball, relay races, and, on really hot days, water balloon fights. CRC uses the indoor courts for the programs, so there is class rain or shine. The staff is top quality, the kids are well-behaved, and the facility is great, so the CRC hopes to see you on the courts “summer and beyond!” (Submitted)


Harrison REVIEW REVIEW Mamaroneck THE


Eastchester CityREVIEW NewRochelle REVIEW THE



Nearly 25 years ago, an energetic little boy found the camp of his dreams—a camp where you could develop friendships, learn a sport, develop your mind through creative games and interactions, and see the world around you in a new light. Twenty-five years ago, that little boy was I, Steven H. Schlitten, and that magical camp was the Summer Challenge Camp at Thornton-Donovan School in New Rochelle. While that boy might have changed into an adult, the camp has remained and still thrills each new camper as it has for the past 40 summers. Located on the 6-acre Thornton-Donovan campus, the Summer Challenge Camp offers two distinct camp programs along with an additional academic enrichment program. Campers ages 3 to 7 are members of the Play School program, while ages 8 to 14 are athletes in the Sports Fitness program. Campers ages 3 to 7 have the opportunity to participate in daily arts and crafts, athletics, dance, karate, music, free play, swim instruction, and free swim. Every week, special activities are provided to the campers including pirate treasure hunts, pajama days,

College Racquet Club for all levels

INSIDE WESTCHESTER COUNTY | 170 Hamilton Ave., Suite 203, White Plains N.Y. 10601 | (914) 653-1000

22 • THE EASTCHESTER REVIEW • February 17, 2017

February 17, 2017 • THE EASTCHESTER REVIEW • 23

How to keep kids entertained all summer long Summer vacation often starts with high expectations. Children are excited about the prospect of fun days outdoors playing with friends, while parents anxiously await relaxing months without the responsibilities of school and extracurricular clubs. But once summer vacation arrives and the first few days have passed, parents often find that the litany of cheers and giggles transform into a chorus of “I’m bored.” Many parents pore over ideas that will keep their children busy throughout the summer. Many activities that come to mind tend to be expensive, so if cutting costs is a priority, parents might need to think outside the box to come up with entertaining ideas that won’t break the bank. Camp Summer camp is a popular way for kids to spend their summers, but many camps are expensive. The American Camp Association has found that over-

night camps can cost anywhere from $325 to $780 a week. Day camp fees may be $100 to $275 per week. Parents who send their children to camp for an entire season might pay anywhere from $3,000 to $9,000 for the seven- to nine-week program. Parents looking for an alternative to costly camps should consider local programs that offer summer activities. Libraries, schools and childcare centers may have programs that run the length of summer and are considerably less expensive than more formal camps. A YMCA or even a swim club may also put together activities. Parents whose children attend afterschool sporting classes, such as karate or soccer, may find that the organizations offer a camp or summer program. Day Trips If a parent is off for the summer, then day trips may be a possibility. Schedule a few day trips to different locations that the kids are excited to see.

Newspapers routinely print “Go See It” or “Just Go” listings that highlight local events. The family can gather around the table and decide which outings would be interesting and then mark them on the calendar. Some parents purchase season passes to amusement parks and take the kids several times over the summer. In either case, bring snacks and lunch from home when possible to keep costs in check. Kid Swap Chances are many of your neighbors are also facing the same difficulties as they try to find ways for kids to spend their summer afternoons. Parents can get together and set up a schedule for entertaining the kids. For example, one parent is responsible for the whole lot one day, while the next day another parent takes a turn. This gives parents the opportunity to take a break from parental responsibilities and enjoy some quiet time. And for the children, time spent in a pool, watching movies,

playing video games, or riding bikes is often more enjoyable with friends in tow. Fun Projects Children often want to feel useful, and may enjoy the responsibility of some easy tasks in and around the house–so long as the tasks are fun. Washing the car with a hose and a bucket of sudsy water is a fun way to cool off during the hot summer days and get a chore done. While parents should not expect

a perfect job, they can rest assured that the kids will have at least an hour of fun in the sun and water. Set aside a patch of the yard that children can turn into their own personal gardens. Encourage digging in this area and provide seeds or seedling plants as well as kid-sized gardening tools. Each day the kids can check on the progress of their gardens. Some home-improvement

and craft stores sponsor free learning activities for children. They can be held in the morning or afternoon and will teach interesting skills that can be put to use again at home. Summer vacations are soon to arrive, and parents can be armed with a list of enjoyable– yet inexpensive–ways to keep kids busy. Reprinted from ACAcamps. org by permission of the American Camp Association.

with your other children, or some “date nights” with your spouse or friends. If you have apprehensions, work to resolve them. If you are worried that your camper is not going to know anyone, set up a pre-camp get-together. If you are worried about your camper’s medical needs, be-

come friendly with the camp nurse. If you are anxious about their food allergies, talk to the camp’s head cook. Make a camper-sick plan for yourself. :) Make sure there is only excitement and optimism coming from you, and share your anxiety with another adult. Pack self-addressed enve-

lopes in their luggage. Whether they are flying or driving, refrain from bawling until they can’t see you. Take a deep breath, trust, and remind yourself that you are giving them an awesome gift. Reprinted from ACAcamps. org by permission of the American Camp Association.

Preparing for Camp: Tips for Campers (and Parents!) I love those rare moments of parenthood when I am not preparing for the next thing. Most of the time as a parent, I feel as if my day is full of getting something ready. Small things like breakfast, sack lunches, and backpacks. Big things like preparing my children to become productive adults. Our job as a parent is to prep! It’s spring, and summer camp is on the horizon. Here are some things that you can do to prepare your camper and yourself for camp.


Plan several sleep overs. Resist the urge to pack their bags for them or to check on them while there. If they have a phone, have them leave it at home. This is a good way to practice not having direct or constant contact. Have them write a good ol’ letter to someone. You will thank me when you receive a letter from camp! Gear up physically. If you

have purchased hiking boots, break them in with a long walk. Especially for teenagers, have them take a mini-vacation from their devices. A couple of hours or a weekend. Have them write a statement for their social media pages. “Peace out Facebook, I won’t be sharing my day-by-days with you, I will be at camp.” Your teenager may not post that, but maybe something like it. Make a homesick plan. It’s great to love your home. It’s sometimes part of the process, and it’s a confidence booster when a camper gets through it. Make a happy place plan and write it down. This is an amazing opportunity to learn a life skill. Today’s youth go to technology to escape, and studies show this increases their stress. Some ideas might be: taking 10 deep breaths, traveling to a happy place in your mind, packing a certain stuffed animal, shooting hoops, or tossing a football. They are capable

of this independence. Your plan should NOT be, “Give it a couple of days and if you don’t like it, we will come get you.” This will set them up to give it a couple of days and knock the confidence right out of them. Let your camper know what to expect with correspondence. You don’t need to write everyday, but let them know what to expect.


You are giving your child an incredible gift. I cannot promise you that they won’t lose some socks, that they will love every meal or activity, and that they will adore every counselor. But you are preparing them for college and beyond; you are giving them the freedom to gain confidence, independence, and leadership skills; and you are instilling in them that they can do it. What do YOU want during their time at camp? Think about a vacation, time to organize, time to have one-on-one time

24 • THE EASTCHESTER REVIEW • February 17, 2017

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