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February 17, 2017 | Vol. 5, Number 7 | www.mamaroneckreview.com

Town gun ban gets axed By JAMES PERO Staff Writer

Village Building Department records now online By JAMES PERO Staff Writer For the first time in village history, members of the public are able to peruse almost the full gamut of Building Department records as quickly as an Internet connection will allow. Earlier this month, the vast

majority of village Building Department records were made available online, as part of a broader initiative to streamline government operations, cut cost and increase transparency, according to Assistant Village Manager Dan Sarnoff. “It’s a nice system to allow us to streamline how documents

are requested and received and hopefully make it easier for residents, business owners and other individuals who want to browse documents,” Sarnoff said. According to Village ClerkTreasurer Agostino Fusco— who has worked extensively on the project—the initiative to

upload the village Building Department files has been ongoing since 2011 and is another step toward a more holistic attempt to digitize all village records. Currently, Building Department files, in addition to meeting agendas and minutes, and RECORDS continued on page 8

A proposal from the Mamaroneck town board that sought to ban guns on town property has been shelved after vehement public backlash as well as trepidation over the law’s constitutionality. “We were definitely wrestling with what kinds of protections can we really provide,” said Town Supervisor Nancy Seligson, a Democrat. “We decided that we would table it for now.” Among the major discussions leading the board to sideline the initiative, Seligson said, was difficulty in deciding just how to enforce the law; specifically, whether the town had the resources to conduct adequate searches on members of the public entering a building. “We started to think about what it would take to have some kind of search when people come into a building,” she said. “We decided we didn’t have the wherewithal to do that at this time.” After some contentious discussion at a public hearing last month, the town board also realized that it could be facing several potential lawsuits if the proposal had moved forward. That public hearing saw dozens of owners and activists voice their concerns. Among them was Scott Sommavilla, president of the Westchester Firearms Association, who told the Review that his gun rights collective

was “lawyered up.” Increasingly throughout the past several months, municipalities across Westchester County have begun to tackle the regulation of guns, following the controversial opening of a gun store in Harrison that operates less than a mile away from an elementary school. The store sparked widespread criticism throughout Harrison as well as an online petition to find a way to close down the store that was signed by 3,500 people. While the county Board of Legislators introduced legislation to ban gun shows in countyowned facilities—a law that was later vetoed by County Executive Rob Astorino, a Republican, and has since been retooled and sent back to committees—the village of Rye Brook has taken preliminary steps to ban gun stores within a certain proximity of schools. Currently on the county level, lawmakers will mull over the codification of a slew of provisions regulating gun shows countywide. That discussion stemmed from the administration of County Executive Rob Astorino, a Republican, moving forward, last month, with a gun show at the Westchester County Convention Center; the first gun show held by the county since 2010; a previously scheduled show was canceled in the wake of the 2012 shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in GUN continued on page 9


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County to mull new gun show laws in committee Rye to resurrect Human Rights Commission 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.

gun shows in addition to provisions 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

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 “We already had 36 voicemails by the time we got to the 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

a conversation,” Maisano said. On the county level, tensions 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 county-owned 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 last month, and would

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 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: james@hometwn.com

By JAMES PERO Staff Writer A perceived uptick in racially motivated vandalism and rhetoric has left some members of the Rye City Council calling for the revival of a local Human Rights Commission; a long defunct arm of the broader county organization. City Councilwoman Danielle Tagger-Epstein, a Democrat, who was approached by Mayor Joe Sack, a Republican, about reviving the committee, has been tasked with leading its charge. “Danielle stood out naturally as a leader in the area, especially given her focus on condemning hate crimes,” Sack said. “My charge to her is to use her imagination and skill to resurrect this committee and to reclaim its goal in addressing human rights issues.” The call to reignite the commission, which has been inactive since 2004, also comes in the wake of a rash of racially mo-

tivated vandalism countywide, including multiple instances of swastikas being scrawled on county property; an issue which Tagger-Epstein points out has taken hold nationally. “If you have one day when 16 or 20 [Jewish community centers] are getting bomb threats; we have a problem,” said Tagger-Epstein, referring to a recent slew of reported threats to Jewish centers across the country. Even within Rye’s own borders, according to an email sent out by county Legislator Catherine Parker, a Rye Democrat and former member of the Rye City Council, since late November, racial tensions have boiled over. Specifically, the letter detailed a Latino woman being taunted at the Westchester Children’s Museum on the Playland boardwalk and told to “go back to her own country.” The absence of the local body has not served the city well, according to Tagger-Epstein.

“We should really be addressing [issues] on our own,” she said. “To put it on the county is a cop-out.” In the past, Tagger-Epstein said, the city Human Rights Commission had been successful in responding to issues of inequality in its own community; namely during the late 1970s when women launched a discrimination complaint regarding a policy of preferential tee times for men at the cityowned Rye Golf Club. Since the 2016 presidential election, issues regarding racist rhetoric and bigotry have fallen into the both national and regional spotlight. But while discussions around hate crimes and racial tensions have centered on the current political climate, for Tagger-Epstein, tamping down inequality transcends the political arena. “This has nothing to do with the political spectrum,” she said. “This is a human issue.” CONTACT: james@hometwn.com


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What’s going on... Mamaroneck Public Library

AARP income tax assistance On Fridays through April 14, from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Community Room. AARP tax aide volunteers will offer free tax preparation and assistance at the Mamaroneck Public Library. Assistance is available on a drop-in basis for seniors and low- and moderate-income taxpayers.

the Teen Library at 630-5875.

Larchmont Public Library

St. Thomas Episcopal Church Down to Earth Winter Farmers Market

Rye Neck Middle School art exhibit Visit mamaronecklibrary.org for more information on library hours and programs. The library will be closed on Monday, Feb. 20 for Presidents Day.

Survive the Zombie Apocalypse: Maker Edition From Tuesday, Feb. 21 to Friday, Feb. 24 from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. in the Teen Library. Learn how to construct equipment that would aid in your survival during a zombie apocalypse or other disaster. This is a four-day workshop, with a party after the final workshop. Registration is required by calling 630- 5875. The final workshop and party on will be on Feb. 24 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Edible DNA On Wednesday, Feb. 22 from 4 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the Children’s Room. Learn about the function and structure of DNA, then construct your own edible DNA model. Space is limited and registration is required by calling 630-5894.

Through Tuesday, Feb. 28 in the Warner Gallery on the lower level. Drawings, paintings, prints and collages made by students in grades 6–8. These works were inspired by world-renowned artists such as Picasso, Braque, Warhol, Stuart Davis and more.

Free SAT practice test On Saturday, April 8 from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in the Community Room. For students in grades 7–12. This is your chance to register for an academic practice SAT exam. Upon registration, Adam Ratner, Brienza’s Academic Advantage advisor, will schedule a score report review at a time convenient for you. During the session, he will breakdown your score to understand areas of strength and weakness and develop a custom preparation plan. Registration begins Monday, Feb. 20 at 9:30 a.m. To register, please email mamkteens2017@ gmail.com and include your name, parent/guardian name, telephone number, email address, school name and grade in school. Questions? Please call

of the United States of America through DVD lectures. After each DVD lecture, there will be a brief discussion period. On Feb. 23, the topics will be “1773: Liberty! The Boston Tea Party” and “1776: We’re Outta Here—Declaring Independence.”

Visit larchmontlibrary.org for more information on library hours and programs. The library will be closed on Monday, Feb. 20 for Presidents Day.

Annual Larchmont Spelling Bee Registration is open now through Thursday, March 23. The fifth annual Larchmont Spelling Bee has become a community tradition and is one you don’t want to miss. Team registration is now open and is available online at friendsoflarchmontlibrary.org/spellingbee. Entry forms are also available at the front desk of the Larchmont library. The spelling bee will be held on Sunday, April 2 at 4 p.m. in the Social Hall at Larchmont Temple, located at 75 Larchmont Ave. in Larchmont.

On Saturdays through April 15 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Check out local vendors offering food of the season and other goodies. St. Thomas Episcopal Church is located at 168 W. Boston Post Road in Mamaroneck. For more information, visit downtoearthmarkets.com.

Village of Mamaroneck news Call for summer concert series bands The Village of Mamaroneck Arts Council is seeking bands to play in our Summer Nights on the Sound Concert Series, on Sundays, July 16, 23 and 30 in Harbor Island Park in Mamaroneck. Please send an email to vomartscouncil@gmail.com with your interest, which dates you are available, and a sample of your music. Decisions are made in late February.

Furniture Sharehouse

Rare Archie Comics memorabilia exhibit

MHS annual furniture drive

A touring exhibit of Archie Comics memorabilia is currently on display in the Burchell Children’s Room at the Larchmont Public Library. The collection on display is owned by Nancy Silberkleit, who took over as CEO of Archie Comic Publications in 2008 following the death of her husband, Michael, whose family owned the business since the 1940s. The exhibit includes licensed products related to Archie and his gang, including pins, perfume, a key chain, a puzzle, a baseball cap, a Veronica doll, and other novelty items. Many are one-of-a-kind items and quite rare. The exhibit is on view throughout February during normal library hours and is free.

On Saturday, March 18 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Mamaroneck High School students will sponsor their annual furniture drive to benefit Furniture Sharehouse, Westchester’s furniture bank. They collect items, which Furniture Sharehouse redistributes free of charge to families in need. The drive takes place in the parking lot of Mamaroneck High School, at 1000 W. Boston Post Road, rain or shine. Only basic home furniture in good condition will be accepted, so before you load up your car, please visit furnituresharehouse.org to make sure your furniture meets the donation guidelines. Furniture Sharehouse helps you “recycle with a difference!” For more information, or donation questions, please contact Leslie Garwood at lgarwood10@gmail.com or 315-1982.

Gym on Wheels for 4-year-olds On Tuesday, Feb. 21 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:20 p.m. Online registration is required. Get out a little of the wintertime energy by coming to a gymnastics class in the library. The program combines music, aerobics, gymnastics and creative games that enhance gross and fine motor skills.

Computer Programming and Graphic Design On Wednesday, Feb. 22 from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Village Center. For grades 6–12. Online registration is required. Graphic design includes designing material for websites, social media, print material, logos, and more. In this introductory workshop, students will be introduced to Photoshop and will use it to merge two or more animals to make a different creature.

Great Courses: Turning Points in American History On Thursday, Feb. 23 from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the Village Center. No registration required. “Turning Points in American History” is your chance to relive the most powerful and groundbreaking moments in the fascinating story

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 legolanddiscoverycenter.com/westchester. 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 news@hometwn.com.


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Letters to the Editor About Letters to the Editor Beachgoers pay, but don’t get services To the Editor, Rye Town Park has the most fantastic public beach along the entire sound shore. Whether you are a permit holder or a day tripper who pays exorbitant daily fees, the attendance at Oakland Beach is proof that many people in Westchester agree. In fact, the beach has earned an operating surplus the last two years. Because of the fact that the city of Rye seceded in the early ‘40s from Rye Town, the physical boundaries of Oakland Beach lie unfortunately in the city. The entire upkeep of the park is paid for mostly by beachgoers. What do the beach users get in return: 1. disgusting toilets located in tunnels behind the beach, 2. a bathhouse without any changing area, 3. no handicapped access to the beautiful beach, and now this summer, 4. maybe no food and snack bars. What is the Rye Town Park Commission thinking? The commissioners from Rye City seem very happy to use the revenues from Oakland Beach to enable the city residents to enjoy the park area for free the nine months of the year beyond the summer. The Rye Town commissioners offered to contribute $59,000 to the park capital fund to give seed money to start upgrades. After initially agreeing, Rye City Mayor Joe Sack and Councilwoman Julie Killian said the they would not contribute one dime. Not only do they keep putting off fixing the deplorable toilets, but they both said because of the surplus in the park treasury, they see no reason to even supply any food to the beachgoers for the summer of 2017. They want to leave the restaurant and snack bars vacant. Finally, Sack said condescendingly that “we can give them a hot dog, a hamburger and some ice cream,” his idea is perhaps a food truck up off the beach. According to the bylaws of the Rye Town Park Commission, the park exists to allow the public free and uninhibited access to enjoy the waters of Long Island Sound. It is NOT a neighborhood park, but a public beach, a fact lost on some commissioners and residents whose homes are on the surrounding streets. The commission’s duty is to insure the users of Oakland Beach have: 1. decent toilets and a bathhouse, 2. handicapped access, and 3. seasonal food and drink for the beachgoers. Contact your commissioners and let them know your views on how the park should be run: Port Chester Mayor Dennis Pilla, Rye Brook Mayor Paul Rosenberg, Rye Town Supervisor Gary Zuckerman, and Benedict Salanitro for Rye Neck. Diane Horner, Rye Neck

Publication is not guaranteed. We reserve the right to edit letters for content or space, at our discretion, without notification from the company. We reserve the right to reject submissions at our discretion without notice to the author. Sorry, but we are unable to notify authors in advance if and when a letter will be printed. Deadline for submission is Friday before publication. The maximum length of letters that appear in our pages is 625 words, but letters are usually significantly shorter to accommodate space needs. The letter should be signed and include the

writer’s address and phone number for verification purposes. We will not publish letters that cannot be verified. Publication by frequent letter writers will be limited to one per month. The opinions of letter writers do not reflect those of this newspaper. Please submit via fax to (914) 653-5000 or email to chris@hometwn.com or via post to Home Town Media Group, C/O Letters to the Editor, 170 Hamilton Ave., Suite 203, White Plains N.Y. 10601. We do not accept unsolicited Op-Ed submissions, film reviews, or food reviews.


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Publisher | Howard Sturman ext. 21, publisher@hometwn.com Christian Falcone Associate Publisher | Editor-in-Chief ext. 19, chris@hometwn.com Sports Editor | Mike Smith ext. 22, sports@hometwn.com Assistant Editor | Sibylla Chipaziwa ext. 25, sibylla@hometwn.com Reporter | James Pero ext. 20, james@hometwn.com General Assignment | Taylor Brown ext. 30, taylor@hometwn.com Graphic Designer | Arthur Gedin Graphic Designer | Jim Grasso Advertising | Lynne Starr ext. 29, lynne@hometwn.com Advertising Coordinator | Sibylla Chipaziwa ext. 27, ads@hometwn.com Staff Writers Corey Stockton, Franco Fino Staff Photographers Andrew Dapolite, Aaron Kershaw, Charlie McLaughlin Columnist 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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Follow us on Twitter, @mamaroneckview Like us on Facebook, facebook.com/mamaroneckreview The Mamaroneck Review (permit #16661) is published weekly by Home Town Media Group for an annual subscription of $45. Application to mail at the periodicals postage rate is approved at White Plains, N.Y., 10601. Periodicals postage paid at White Plains and additional mailing offices.

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: taylor@hometwn.com


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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 reelection 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,

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

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,” 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: franco@hometwn.com

Seek solutions with Talmudic texts Engage in a brain-twisting, mind-wrestling, hair-splitting experience as you explore modern situations and the complex dilemmas they give rise to while you seek solutions by examining original Talmudic texts. Beginning Sunday, Feb. 26 at 10:30 a.m., Rabbi Mendel Silberstein of Chabad of Larchmont & Mamaroneck will offer a fascinating new six-session course from the Rohr Jewish Learning Institute, JLI, called “The Dilemma: Modern Conundrums. Talmudic Debates. Your Solutions.” In an example of one such conundrum, Tesla Motors is currently programming self-driving cars for instances when death is inevitable. Should the company program the cars to swerve and avoid killing more pedestrians, but kill one whose life was previously not endangered? Should it favor the lives of pedestrians over passengers? Should it favor the lives of younger people over those who are older? And should owners be given the ability to determine these settings? In another example, relating to the recently popularized Pokémon Go mobile app: Should the game’s creators be held liable in the hundreds of cases of trespassing and damages that were incurred because of Pokémon characters negligently

programmed to be found on private properties? “In ‘The Dilemma,’ we encounter fascinating, real-life conundrums; situations in which your gut instinctively responds one way, but your brain tells you quite the opposite,” explained Rabbi Zalman Abraham of JLI’s Brooklyn headquarters. “To solve these dilemmas, participants are asked to break into study groups and explore hair-splitting Talmudic arguments that participants then debate and apply to solve the cases using new, interactive polling technology.” “‘The Dilemma’ is a mental expedition in which participants mind-wrestle with situations that force them to choose between two reasonable truths,” said Silberstein of Chabad of Larchmont, the local JLI Instructor. “Participants analyze, discuss, and debate original Talmudic texts to solve dilemmas and get an authentic taste of dynamic Talmud study. “I find people in Larchmont love having the opportunity to engage in social discourse, particularly when it involves fascinating intellectual challenges and hot topics such as Pokémon Go and Tesla’s self-driving cars,” Silberstein added. “This is by far the most captivating course we’ve ever offered and I

encourage everyone to attend.” “The Dilemma” is accredited in New York for continuing legal education credits for attorneys and others in the legal professions. Like all JLI programs, this course is designed to appeal to people at all levels of knowledge, including those without any prior experience or background in Jewish learning. All JLI courses are open to the public, and attendees need not be affiliated with a particular synagogue, temple, or other house of worship. Interested students may call 834-8000 or visit JewishLarchmont.com/TheDilemma for more information and to register. JLI, the adult education branch of Chabad-Lubavitch, offers programs in more than 800 locations in the U.S. and in numerous foreign countries, including Argentina, Australia, Belarus, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, Estonia, France, Finland, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, the Netherlands, Panama, Russia, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, Uruguay, and Venezuela. More than 400,000 students have attended JLI classes since the organization was founded in 1998. (Submitted)

RECORDS from page 1

various other governmental records, are available through the village’s online portal. According to Sarnoff, though some building records—like those pertaining to contracts or employees—were kept off of the database due to privacy concerns, the village is entirely up to date on its catalogue. Some department records, the assistant village manager explained, date back to as early as the 1910s and ‘20s. While village officials hope that records are able to aid an inquisitive public, according to Trustee Victor Tafur, a Democrat, who has already been given a crash course on the new system, it will also help village board members make informed decisions. “On the board, we’re focusing on policy, legislation and budgets,” Tafur said. “We really don’t get into the village administration day-to-day work. But,

In an attempt to bolster transparency and streamline government operations, members of the public are now able to access the near entirety of the village of Mamaroneck’s Building Department records online. Photo courtesy Flickr.com

at the end of the day, we need to understand how things happen.” That understanding, Tafur said, could come through researching a property’s granted variances, its dates of certificates, and the ability to view all of those records through the Internet. Further, he noted, the timing of the database’s rollout also fits into the board Democrats’ recent campaign plat-

form, which championed a greater amount of government transparency. “It fits into the transparency goal we’ve set,” Tafur said. “This is a big step for us and one that is going to take us into a more open government.” On Feb. 13, the village gave a crash course to the public at its Board of Trustees meeting. CONTACT: james@hometwn.com


February 17, 2017 • THE MAMARONECK REVIEW • 9

Opinion-Editorial

Paying homage to police officer Steven McDonald By CLIFFORD JACKSON Most people when it comes to their faith exude hypocrisy with their hatred, ignorance, racism and disdain for the poor, especially within the context of American society. Police officer Steven McDonald was an aberration in this society and epitomized the real meaning of his Christianity and Catholicism. He was shot by Shavod Jones in 1986 and was paralyzed from the incident, and, in the manner of Jesus of Nazareth, forgave him. Who does anyone know reading this under similar tragic circumstances would have done the same?

McDonald dedicated his life for the next 30 years building bridges between the police and the public, especially within communities of color. I remember in 1989 when an AfricanAmerican teenager named Yusef Hawkins was lynched in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, by a group of whites and McDonald said, “A great kid like Yusef Hawkins did not deserve to die like that.” McDonald like many other people “talked the talk” as far as his Catholicism went, but unlike most, even with his paralysis, more importantly he “walked the walk” as far as being a true example of Jesus of

Nazareth. Many police officers in the NYPD and within the Larchmont police should pay attention to Steven McDonald’s example because his character is conspicuously lacking within those two institutions. My friend, retired police officer Jeffrey Meyer from the Eastchester Police Department, is an example of that, as well as retired police officer Robert Kelly-Schuyler from the Atlanta PD. These gentleman continue the great legacy of officer Steven McDonald. Clifford Jackson is a resident of Larchmont. The views expressed are his own.

GUN from page 1

NYU Capstone rolls out park survey The NYU Capstone “Team Sound View” is working with the town of Rye to identify and engage stakeholders in Rye Town Park/Oakland Beach, and to assist in formulating a park mission and vision statement. As part of the project, NYU Capstone is also investigating case studies of comparable parks, and determining an appropriate framework for measuring park success. The Capstone Team is composed of four urban planning graduate students from the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University. It is appealing to all members of the community to provide information on their experience at Rye Town Park/Oakland Beach. With the assistance of com-

munity members and local elected officials, they have compiled a 15-minute online survey to gather community input. The results of this survey will inform the research being conducted on behalf of the town of Rye. People can access this survey at TownofRyeNY.com or by visiting the Rye Town Park Facebook page. In addition to the online survey, they will also be hosting two public forums to be held at the Rye Free Reading Room, located at 1061 Boston Post Road in Rye, on Saturday, March 4 from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. and Monday, March 6 from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. For people unable to attend either public forum, the team will also be available for an open discussion at T&J Restau-

rant & Pizzeria, located at 10 Pearl St. in Port Chester, on Saturday, March 4 at noon. To spread the word about the online survey and public events, the team is mailing out a postcard to 25,000 households, nearly 69,000 people, in the city and town of Rye, encompassing the villages of Port Chester and Rye Brook, and the Rye Neck section of the village of Mamaroneck. The team urges anyone who would like to contribute to their report to please fill out the survey and attend one of the public meetings. Anyone with questions about the online survey, public events, opportunities for engagement, or the project itself, should contact the team at TeamSoundView.RTP@gmail. com. (Submitted)

Experience Carnevale di Venezia

A ban on guns across town of Mamaroneck property has been tabled after trepidation over the law’s enforcement and its legality. Photo courtesy Flickr.com

Newtown, Connecticut. Critics of the proposed law— modeled after New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s model gun show legislation—say it is redundant to many of the regulations mandated by New York

state’s Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement, SAFE, Act. As for whether the town board plans on revisiting its proposition banning guns, Seligson told the Review the issue may turn out to be long-term.

“It’s not likely in the near future,” she said. Sommavilla could not be reached for comment as of press time. CONTACT: james@hometwn.com

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 eventuresdivine.com. 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)


10 • THE MAMARONECK REVIEW • February 17, 2017

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February 17, 2017 • THE MAMARONECK 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: lskenazy@yahoo.com

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 escapes.visitwestchesterny.com/aaht, 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 visitweschesterny.com and the county’s African American Advisory Board website at africanamerican.westchestergov.com/ african-american-advisory-board. For the latest events and happenings in Westchester, visit visitwestchesterny.com, like at facebook.com/westchestercountytourism, follow on Twitter @ westchestertour, or call 1-800833-9282. View the travel guide on Instagram, instagram.com/ visitwestchesterny. To view the Westchester County Destination Guide, please visit bit. ly/2cCFErf. (Submitted)

Town of Mamaroneck

Official Newspaper Mamaroneck Schools


12 • THE MAMARONECK 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

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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 Knicks.com

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 season-long 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 firstround 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

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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: sports@hometwn.com

James Manetta drives to the hoop at the Westchester County Center in December. The Tigers are eyeing a repeat trip to the arena this winter. Photo/Mike Smith

@linkedin.com/company/hometown-media


SPORTS

February 17, 2017 • THE MAMARONECK 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

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.

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: sports@hometwn.com


14 • THE MAMARONECK REVIEW • February 17, 2017


INSIDE

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

INSIDE WESTCHESTER COUNTY

Mamaroneck REVIEW THE

February 17, 2017 | Vol. 5, Number 7 | www.mamaroneckreview.com

CAMPS SUMMER PROGRAMS

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


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


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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 destinationscience.org. (Submitted)


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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 fscamps.com 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 MAMARONECK 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 ryeycamps.org, call 967-6363 or email camp@ryeymca.org. 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 playgroup.org. (Submitted)


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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 lumosdebate.com. -Reporting by Taylor Brown


February 17, 2017 • THE MAMARONECK 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 collegeracquet.com. 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)

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Harrison REVIEW REVIEW Mamaroneck THE

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Eastchester CityREVIEW NewRochelle REVIEW THE

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INSIDE

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

www.hometwn.com | 170 Hamilton Ave., Suite 203, White Plains N.Y. 10601 | (914) 653-1000


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February 17, 2017 • THE MAMARONECK 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. 

Camper

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.

Yourself

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


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February 17, 2017