RyeCity REVIEW THE
December 2, 2016 | Vol. 4, Number 49 | www.ryecityreview.com
Rye Brook considers law to regulate gun stores By COREY STOCKTON Staff Writer
Christmas arrived in Rye over the weekend in the form of Mistletoe Magic, a holiday-themed Purchase Street festival. For coverage, see page 6. Photo/Andrew Dapolite
City law prohibits food truck option for Rye Town Park By FRANCO FINO Staff Writer Despite interest from multiple food truck concessioners to fill the opening left by Seaside Johnnies’ exit, a citywide provision currently prohibits vehicular vendors from peddling out of Rye Town Park, according to the
city manager. Even with the Rye Town Park Commission recently drawing interest from Westchester’s famed food stand, Walter’s Hot Dogs, which is located in the town of Mamaroneck, Rye City Manager Marcus Serrano told the Review that it’s currently not possible because the city’s
current peddling and soliciting restrictions prevent any vendors from operating in public spaces throughout Rye. The commission’s desire for a food truck operation comes in wake of the owners of Seaside Johnnies, John Ambrose and Sam Chernin, formally declining the commission’s final offer
to continue their operation next season. Seaside Johnnies, the current tenant, has been operating out of the park since 2000. At the moment, the commission does not have a plan in place to offer any food or beverage for parkgoers or patrons of Oakland FOOD continued on page 11
The village of Rye Brook plans to propose a local law that would regulate where gun retailers would be allowed to open stores within the village. The pending legislation comes in the wake of the recent opening of a gun store in a contentious area in Harrison last month. According to Rye Brook Mayor Paul Rosenberg, a Democrat, that legislation “will seek to, on a local level, dictate where gun shops may be located within the village of Rye Brook.” Rosenberg told the Review that legislation could be proposed as early as the Dec. 13 village board meeting, and added that a first draft of that legislation had already been written. Both Rosenberg and Chris Bradbury, the Rye Brook village administrator, said the specifics are still being investigated by the village attorneys to prevent potential legal backlash of an overreaching law. Meanwhile, village officials have asked for collaboration from members of the Harrison town board in proposing the law. In a letter addressed to Harrison officials, Rosenberg asked them to join Rye Brook—and potentially other neighboring communities—in considering the adoption of legislation that would restrict the location of
gun stores regionally. Bradbury and Harrison Mayor Ron Belmont, a Republican, said they have since discussed meeting. Similarly, the city of Rye has formed a gun safety committee in response to the location of the Harrison shop. That committee could look to propose similar legislation to regulate where guns could be sold within the city. However, city officials have not collaborated with officials in Rye Brook as of press time. Rosenberg’s letter to Harrison expressed specific concern about the location of L&L Sports, the gun store at the center of controversy. The shop opened in early November on Halstead Avenue in Harrison, and is less than 1,000 feet from Parsons Memorial Elementary School. Its proximity to the school and also two churches has drawn concern from town residents and its neighboring communities; an online petition protesting the store’s location has garnered nearly 3,500 signatures, as of press time. However, Harrison officials have said that there is nothing they can to prohibit the business from operating. The federal Gun-Free School Zones Act prohibits someone from carrying a gun within 1,000 feet of a school unless the LAW continued on page 8
2 • THE RYE CITY REVIEW • December 2, 2016
December 2, 2016 • THE RYE CITY REVIEW • 3
Proposed senior facility nears final approval
The city Planning Commission has scheduled a public hearing to finalize the approval of construction of an age-restricted senior living facility on Old Post Road. Photo/Andrew Dapolite
By FRANCO FINO Staff Writer The owners of a vacant, 3-story office building proposing to build an age-restricted senior living residence at 120 Old Post Road are set to face a public hearing by the city Planning Commission on Dec. 13. According to Jonathan Kraut, an attorney representing Old Post Road Associates, the owners of the vacant space, once the site plans are approved by the Planning Commission, construction is expected to begin immediately. “We’re optimistic that this is a great plan for the city and we’re hopeful it will get the support it deserves,” he said. The owners of the property are proposing to construct a 135unit, 55 and up age-restricted, 4-story housing complex, replacing an antiquated office building that has remained vacant since 2009. While there hasn’t been much opposition to the planned senior housing complex, Kraut told the Review the proposal has been met with a number of hurdles which have prevented it from getting off the ground sooner. In the proposal’s early stages,
the City Council noted that a senior development could potentially bring more traffic to the area. However, according to Rye City Manager Marcus Serrano, the threat of elevated traffic is no longer an issue because, he added, if the proposal is approved by the Planning Commission, the city Engineering Department will implement measures to mitigate the rise in vehicular congestion. Serrano said the Engineering Department has already requested funds for a traffic mitigation project, but, as of press time, there is no cost estimate of that project. Last December, the Rye City Council also approved a zoning change that would allow for the construction of an active senior residential facility at the Old Post Road location. Prior to rezoning, the property owners were unable to move forward with the project, as the zoning only allowed for office building use. In 2012, the Old Post Road Associates, a subsidiary of Alfred Weissman Real Estate, located in Rye, proposed to construct a Hampton Inn hotel at the location. That plan, however, was met with communitywide
resistance and quickly scrapped. The property continued to sit vacant until Weissman came back to the council in 2015 proposing to develop the senior housing site. The City Council subsequently approved the creation of an RA-6 zone, which paved the way for construction of the facility. According to Kraut, once the proposal is approved by the Planning Commission, the construction is estimated to be completed within an 18- to 22-month time frame. Kraut said there is currently no information about the potential cost of living in the complex. Serrano added that the city does not plan to push for affordable housing at the planned development. Previously, the City Council suggested designating 10 percent of the development’s residential units to affordable housing, but has since dropped that request after pursuing affordable housing at other locations in Rye. Andy Ball, a member of the Planning Commission, could not be reached for comment, as of press time. CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org
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4 • THE RYE CITY REVIEW • December 2, 2016
What’s going on... Rye Free Reading Room
Room, Woman’s Club of Rye/Children’s Philanthropy section, and the PTO of the Rye schools.
Rye Storytellers Guild On Tuesday, dec. 6 from 6 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. in the Meeting Room. Join adult story lovers at monthly meetings to share traditional and personal tales and trade tips on storytelling techniques. Each evening is loosely arranged around a theme. Listeners, as well as tellers, are always welcome. For more information on hours and programs, visit ryelibrary.org.
Rye Library Writers On Saturday, Dec. 3 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Ogden Nash Room. Share work, brainstorm, encourage fellow writers and be encouraged in a welcoming and supportive environment. This writers’ group meets once a month to discuss works in progress, writing topics, the writing process, and individual writing joys and challenges. Open to the public on an ongoing basis to novice and experienced writers.
neurological, behavioral and cognitive problems as well as chronic pediatric issues. Presented by Holistic Moms.
Pancakes with Santa
Apple iPad workshop Part 1 On Thursday, Dec. 8 from 10 a.m. to noon at the Raho Technology Center. No registration required. Learn iPad setup and controls with the Apple’s latest iOS 10, using Wi-Fi and the Internet and receiving and sending emails. Attendees should bring their fully charged iPad to class. Note the iPhone uses the same iOS and functions like an iPad. However, the phone calling feature with the iPhone will not be addressed in this class. Taught by former IBM executive Mike Negrelli. Seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Observers are welcome.
‘The Dirt Cure’ presentation
On Mondays through Thursdays from 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the Children’s Room. Rye teachers offer after-school homework help to students attending local public and private elementary schools in the Rye area. This is a free program sponsored by the Auxiliary Board of the Rye Free Reading
On Thursday, Dec. 8 from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Meeting Room. Dr. Maya Shetreat-Klein, pediatric neurologist and author of “The Dirt Cure: Growing Healthy Kids with Food Straight from Soil,” will present how biodiversity, or partnering with bacteria, relates to her approach to healing
Dear Santa Through Wednesday, Dec. 14. The mailboxes are located at Rye Recreation, 281 Midland Ave., and at the corner of Elm and Purchase streets. Your child’s letter will be taken by special delivery, via reindeer express, directly to Santa Claus at the North Pole. Santa will answer as many letters as possible. No stamps necessary; however, a return address is required.
Volunteer opportunities Wainwright House invites those interested in volunteering to join its volunteer enrichment program. Opportunities are available to train as docents, who would conduct tours of the beautiful mansion, and discuss the history of the house with visitors. Volunteers also help with special events throughout the year in various capacities. Wainwright House is a learning center situated on 5 acres of lawns and gardens, overlooking Milton Harbor on Long Island Sound at 260 Stuyvesant Ave. in Rye. For more information, call Mary de Barros or Angela Sculti at 967-6080 or visit wainwright.org.
On Saturday, Dec. 17 at 10 a.m. at the Damiano Recreation Center, 281 Midland Ave. Registration is required as space is limited to 100 participants. For ages 2 to 7. Fee: $18 per registrant (children and adults); non-residents add $2. Enjoy a hot buffet breakfast and have your picture taken with Santa. Santa requests that parents supply gifts for their own child for him to distribute, valued under $20, to be dropped off at Rye Recreation by Tuesday, Dec. 13.
Jay Heritage Center
The Rye Arts Center The Rye Arts Center is located at 51 Milton Road in Rye. For more information or to register for the programs below, call 9670700 or visit ryeartscenter.org.
Small works exhibition and sale The exhibit closes on Saturday, Dec. 3. Featuring more than 25 artists, this juried exhibition and sale will feature diverse works no larger than 12 inches by 12 inches; affordable art for all.
Rye Recreation Winter program online registration opens at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 6 for residents and on Tuesday, Dec. 13 for non-residents. Register early. Most programs have minimum requirements and may be cancelled due to low enrollment. Nothing cancels programs more than waiting until the last minute to register. In addition, programs have maximum enrollments and may fill up quickly. Visit ryeny.gov/recreation.cfm for more information and to view the winter brochure.
Ho Ho Ho! Santa is Calling On Monday, Dec. 12 or Tuesday, Dec. 13 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Free and for Rye residents only. For ages 3 to 7. Santa has made special arrangements with Rye Recreation to telephone your child at home. A special registration form is required and is available at Rye Recreation, 281 Midland Ave., and online at ryeny.gov/recreation.cfm. Sing up as early as possible before Tuesday, Dec. 6 at 5 p.m., and Santa will do his best to reach all the good children in Rye.
Children’s After-School Holiday Party On Wednesday, Dec. 7 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Candy Cottage (also known as the 1907 Van Norden Carriage House). See a performance of “Hansel and Gretel” by The No Strings Marionette Company from Randolph, Vermont, and enjoy a scrumptious rendition of the fairytale classic. A cast of 14 handcrafted, whimsical marionettes leads this journey of never-ending action, where the unexpected frolics next to the familiar from the opening scene right on through to the last beat of the music. The performance will be followed by caroling, cookies, activities and more. Free for Jay Heritage Center members and their children; non-members pay $10 per child. RSVP by emailing email@example.com. The Jay Heritage Center is located at the Jay Estate, 210 Boston Post Road in Rye. For more information, call 698-9275 or visit jaycenter.org.
Rotary Club of Rye Rotary Citrus Sale cancelled Due to the lack of saleable fruit, the Rotary Club of Rye is forced to abandon a long-standing Rye tradition—its annual Holiday Citrus Sale—at least for this year. Warm weather and bad growing conditions have yielded a crop of such poor quality that the club’s shipper has suspended sales. Rye Rotarians are crossing their fingers in hopes that they will be able to resume sales of high quality fruit in 2017. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
December 2, 2016 • THE RYE CITY REVIEW • 5
Letters to the Editor
Killian on her run for state Senate
Cleaner water, clearer signal
To the Editor, It was an enormous privilege running for state Senate in New York’s 37th District this year. Thank you to the many readers whom I had the opportunity to meet along the trail. Your willingness to share concerns, ideas, and even disagreements, was invaluable. I did not prevail on Election Day—it was a tough year to run as a Republican in Westchester. I am enormously proud of my team’s campaign for a more responsive government in Albany. I congratulate Sen. George Latimer on another successful re-election effort. It is my hope that issues raised by my campaign—fair funding for Westchester schools; enacting term limits; repealing arcane rules that make is so expensive to do business in New York state and unfunded mandates that drive property taxes higher; targeted digital drug education; and changing state rules that hurt our developmentally disabled community—served in some small way to elevate the discourse in and about state government. Belief that it did makes every door knock, phone call, and chilly 6 a.m. train platform visit well worth it. Thank you again. Best wishes for a wonderful 2017.
To the Editor, It makes sense for homes and businesses to prevent releasing toxins into our drinking water and recreational waters as well, if waterways are going to be deemed safe for drinking and recreational use. Toxins should not be released into the ground as well as these toxins make their way into the waterways, and environmentally friendly rock salt, fertilizers and pesticides should be implemented for use to provide for cleaner water. It also makes sense for a wireless signal receiver to be installed at Westchester Country Club, the highest point in our area, allowing it to receive signals, not only from Rye, but also Port Chester, Harrison and White Plains. This for cleaner water and a clearer signal. Kent Iarocci, Rye
Julie Killian, Rye City councilwoman
About Letters to the Editor 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
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6 • THE RYE CITY REVIEW • December 2, 2016
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Mistletoe Magic spreads holiday cheer
The holiday season was in the air on Purchase Street on Sunday, Nov. 27 as the city celebrated its annual Mistletoe Magic event, closing off a portion of downtown Rye in order to accommodate thousands of participants. The extravaganza, sponsored by the Rye Chamber of Commerce, consisted of puppet
shows, a petting zoo, animal rides and holiday refreshments, each sponsored by a local business or organization. According to Margaret Ricketts, president of the Rye Chamber of Commerce, the event was a success, with the downtown area bustling with children, parents and extended families that were
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A young girl rides a pony down Purdy Avenue in the downtown business district in Rye. Photos/Andrew Dapolite
visiting the area for the duration of the Thanksgiving weekend. “Once again we were graced with sunny, seasonable weather for Mistletoe Magic,” Ricketts said. “Children and parents alike enjoyed the festive atmosphere of carolers, the DJ and the sleigh bells from our horse and carriage.” Throughout the afternoon, Santa Claus visited with young children, listening to their Christmas wish lists and posing for photographs, as a professional ice sculptor provided a live demonstration on the Village Green, carving out a large teddy bear for onlookers. In addition to a live DJ, carolers from Christ Church in Rye sang holiday songs as musicians from the Rye Arts Center performed on the front porch of the historic Square House Museum. The celebration also featured the famous Chili Cook-off in which numerous local restaurants competed for the distinguished honor of the Judge’s Award as well as the People’s Choice Award, which were captured by Ruby’s Oyster Bar & Bistro and Town Dock respectively. State Assemblyman Steve Otis, Rye fire Chief Mike Billington, and Bob Zahm, committee chairman for Rye Boy Scouts
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A train makes its way up Purchase Street in front of Rye Running Company.
Frosty the Snowman poses for photographs in front of June & Ho.
Musicians play holiday melodies on the front porch of the Square House.
Troop 2, served on this year’s panel of judges. The festival was free to members of the Rye community, funded through donations and contributions from chamber members. “This is our way of showing gratitude to the community for supporting us all year long,” Ricketts said.
All proceeds from the event’s raffle and Chili Cook-off will benefit the Rye Chamber of Commerce Scholarship Fund, which provides one college scholarship per year to a graduating senior who meets the requisite qualifications, which includes employment at a local business. -Reporting by Andrew Dapolite
Rudolph greets young children at the Rye Chamber of Commerce’s annual Mistletoe Magic event held on Sunday, Nov. 27.
December 2, 2016 • THE RYE CITY REVIEW • 7
8 • THE RYE CITY REVIEW • December 2, 2016
The Crown Castle controversy continues THE COUNCIL CORNER Councilwoman Emily Hurd
Residents of Rye have been loud and clear: they want to be involved in the discussion about the proliferation of wireless infrastructure in Rye. Crown Castle’s application to install an additional 64 DAS—distributed antenna system—nodes on telephone poles in the residential right of way throughout the city has caused a controversy amongst residents. Many believe the installation of DAS nodes will negatively impact adjacent property values and reduce the aesthetic of our neighborhoods. These residents have gone so far as to hire a lawyer and engineer to represent their interests as the city considers the Crown Castle application with the help of its own outside attorney and engineer. While Crown Castle has certainly been the most notorious of the wireless proposals, this year other telecom providers have approached the city of Rye about the siting of their wireless facilities. In contrast to the past two years, when the city did not receive a single application, this year we received three proposals. This significant increase is in line with the national trend towards the proliferation of
wireless infrastructure. A staggering increase in the demand for broadband access is leading to a wireless facilities explosion. While residents are focused on the number and location of DAS nodes and potential alternatives, the other proposals that have come before the city this year present equally compelling concerns. Given the importance of this topic in the public mind, I believe residents should know about all discussions on this topic coming before the city. My belief is grounded in the New York state Open Meetings Law that requires that “public business be performed in an open and public manner.” The presumption of openness under this law is only overcome by a showing that the material addresses one of eight enumerated topics—matters which would harm public safety; information that would disclose law enforcement agents and informants; investigation information; litigation discussions, including any material that would fall under attorney-client privilege; collective negotiations; personal information, including medical and credit history when being used within discussions of employment, promotion, discipline or removal; preparation or grading of exams; sale or purchase of property—and even then, there is no mandate that a
topic be covered under executive session. Even though the wireless proposals do not fit squarely within any of these enumerated categories, the city of Rye has made a point of not sharing this information publicly and disclosing reluctantly, if at all, this information when requested by residents through the FOIL process. Accordingly, at the next City Council meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 7, I will propose that the council pass a resolution that commits the city, when approached by a telecom company about the siting of a wireless facility, to provide this information in a timely manner to the public via the city’s website. The public has a right to know. Under the New York state Open Meetings Law: “It is essential to the maintenance of a democratic society that the public business be performed in an open and public manner, and that the citizens of this state be fully aware of and able to observe the performance of public officials, and attend and listen to the deliberations and decisions that go into the making of public policy.” The concern about placement of wireless facilities will continue here in Rye and it is very important that residents be involved in the discussion. CONTACT: email@example.com
LAW from page 1
weapon is unloaded and kept in a locked case. However, that law has a provision that allows gun stores to operate within a 1,000foot zone. Westchester County Legislator Catherine Parker, a Rye Democrat, said she may also look to propose a countywide law regulating the location of gun stores, adding that local legislation could help generate interest. “As a precursor to doing something at a larger level, it would be great to show that there is a desire to do something on a local level,” she told the Review. When asked by the Review if the county executive would support a countywide gun store zoning legislation, spokesman Phil Oliva said the Astorino administration would prefer to leave the decision to regulate municipal zoning laws in the hands of local officials. CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org
A new gun store in Harrison, located less than 1,000 feet from one of its public elementary schools, has drawn the concern of area residents as well as neighboring municipalities; some of which are now considering more stringent regulations on where gun stores could be located. File photo
December 2, 2016 • THE RYE CITY REVIEW • 9
10 • THE RYE CITY REVIEW • December 2, 2016
Planning ahead... SUNDAY
THURSDAY World AIDS Day
SAT testing Christmas at the Square House 7 p.m.
Board of Architectural Review meeting 7:30 p.m., Rye City Hall
Rye High School Vocal/Percussion Concert 7:30 p.m., Performing Arts Center Board of Fire Wardens 7:30 p.m., Locust Avenue Firehouse
Landmarks Committee meeting 7 p.m., Rye City Hall
Conservation Commission/Rye Sustainability Committee meeting 7 p.m., Rye City Hall
Rye City government offices closed Holiday recess begins, Rye Neck schools closed
Traffic and Pedestrian Safety Committee meeting 7:30 p.m., Rye City Hall
Rye City Board of Education meeting 8 p.m., Middle School Multipurpose Room
Rye Golf Club Commission meeting 7 p.m., Whitby Castle
SAT registration deadline
Rye Neck High School Holiday Concert 7 p.m.
Midland School Holiday Concert 9 a.m.
Holiday recess begins, Rye schools closed
Rye Neck Board of Education meeting 6:30 p.m., MS/HS Library Rye City Council meeting 7:30 p.m., Rye City Hall
Board of Architectural Review meeting 7:30 p.m., Rye City Hall
Rye City Council meeting 7:30 p.m., Rye City Hall
Osborn School Holiday Concert 9:30 a.m.
Zoning Board of Appeals meeting 7:30 p.m., Rye City Hall
Rye Middle School Vocal Concert 7:30 p.m., Performing Arts Center
Planning Commission meeting 7 p.m., Rye City Hall
Rye High School Instrumental Concert 7:30 p.m., Performing Arts Center
Rye Neck Board of Education meeting 6:30 p.m., Administration building
New Year’s Eve
December 2, 2016 • THE RYE CITY REVIEW • 11
Not black, but sparkling Friday A RYE OLDTIMER Judge John Carey
As this is written, on “Giving Tuesday,” we can be glad that the early post-Thanksgiving days like “Black Friday” have passed us by. We have emerged into a period of kinder and gentler feelings. No longer are we encouraged just to
grab, but also to give to good causes. Thanksgiving was a joy at our house, spent with neighbors across the street. Next was the day tarnished with the derogatory adjective black. But for us it shone in splendor, brighter than any day since my precious Pat left us in March. The little household of son Douglas and myself was enormously brightened by the
timely arrival of two of our Texan members, my daughter Jennifer and her 10-year-old Nathaniel. They take in stride our chillier mornings. Now we have religious holidays approaching, when it is all the more important to observe the spirit of “Giving Tuesday” and hold in check our “Black Friday” motivations. CONTACT: email@example.com
FOOD from page 1
Beach for the 2017 season. Rye City Councilwoman Julie Killian, a Republican and member of the park commission, said the city of Rye would be willing to grant a temporary exemption to its peddling restrictions to permit a food truck campaign in the park. “If the park commission formally asks [the city of Rye] to consider modifying the provision, it’s something we would consider looking at,” she said. But, according to Rye Town Supervisor Gary Zuckerman, a Democrat and president of the park commission, until the commission has a feasible and significant offer from a concessionaire, he does not plan to make a formal request to the city to alter its code. “If the commission desires to have a food truck instead of a restaurant for a year, that’s something that can certainly be discussed; I’m open to everything,” he said. “But I’m not prepared to make an open-ended request without knowing who our possible operator will be.” Katharine Warrington Woodward, a representative of Walter’s,
Despite news that Walter’s Hot Dogs of Mamaroneck is interested in operating a food truck out of Rye Town Park next season, a citywide law stands in the way of that plan coming to fruition. File photo
said there were preliminary discussions between the family-owned business and Zuckerman last week, but added there is currently no concrete offer on the table. Other than providing food and beverage options, a food truck alternative would also help minimize the financial loss of as much as an estimated $200,000 as a result of the absence of Seaside Johnnies.
But with nothing worked out, as of press time, the clock continues to tick toward 2017. Rye City Mayor Joe Sack, a Republican and member of the park commission, said, “I would like to see Rye town’s officials and [their] staff approach the issue with a little more urgency.” CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org
12 • THE RYE CITY REVIEW • December 2, 2016
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SEASONAL TAX PREPARER
Seasonal Work: Flexible work schedule from January through April. Farm Credit East, ACA is looking for an individual with bookkeeping, accounting, or income tax preparation skills to be a seasonal income tax preparer. If you are detailed oriented, have a college degree or experience in these fields, and a desire to put these skills to work, consider spending the next few months with us. 35 to 40 hours per week. EOEAA, m/f/h/v Interested candidates should send resumes to: Farm Credit East, ACA Attn: Tim Slavin, 190 State Route 9H, Hudson, NY 12534 FAX (518)851-3319 or e-mail: Timothy.Slavin@FarmCreditEast.com
December 2, 2016 • THE RYE CITY REVIEW • 13
Warning: Ball may bounce RHYMES WITH CRAZY Lenore Skenazy
Sick of being warned about anything and everything when it comes to the holiday season, especially all the warnings about dangerous toys? Me too. That’s why I’m ready to throw a lawn dart at a group called World Against Toys Causing Harm—W.A.T.C.H. Every year since 1973, it has published a hyperventilating “10 Most Dangerous Toys” list at Christmastime. Now maybe back in ’73, toymakers were still grinding out toy ovens that could smelt ore and chemistry sets that could actually blow things (that is, people) up. But in the 40-plus years since W.A.T.C.H. was started—by a trial lawyer who wouldn’t exactly suffer if he drummed up clients eager to sue toymakers for negligence—the regulations on toys and other kiddie products have multiplied to the point where if there’s lead in the ink in the logo that’s printed on the instep of a child’s boot, which was exactly the issue in one infamous case, the item is recalled. Because what if a kid somehow hacked the boot into pieces, peeled out the instep and ate it? And speaking of shoes, another run of children’s footwear was recalled because “the metal rivets surrounding the holes where the shoestring is secured on the shoes can have sharp edges, posing a laceration hazard.” So wrote the Consumer Product Safety Commission. What threat level are we talking about? “The firm has received one report of an adult who scratched or cut his finger,” the commission wrote. “No medical attention was required.” A miracle! But it is just this zero tolerance
for “risk” that W.A.T.C.H. exploits every Christmas. Among its top 10 dangers this year is a large, plush elephant. What danger could a stuffed animal with no sharp edges, lead paint, or exploding parts possibly present? Duh! “POTENTIAL FOR SUFFOCATION! Not to be used unsupervised.” Also on this year’s list is a kind of wearable beach ball called Bump ‘n Bounce Body Bumpers. You put the bumper around your waist like an inner tube and then proceed to bump into your friends. The manufacturer’s own warning label, already quaking at the thought of personal injury lawsuits, clearly states, “To avoid risk of serious injury or death… protective equipment (for head, elbows, knees, hands, etc.) should be worn (not included).” But somehow, even a warning about DEATH was not enough. The company was shamed because its box shows kids using the toy without any head, elbow or knee guards whatsoever. Goodbye, St. Nicholas, hello St. Pete! If they only worked a little harder, I’ll bet lawyers could stop kids from ever moving their fragile little bodies again. But so far, W.A.T.C.H. has shied away from the biggest kahuna of them all, the toy that must be stopped. So I did it for them. I ran a contest online: Come up with a warning label for a BALL! Here’s what folks came up with (some using their whole names, some not). “Caution! Sharp edges.” – Neil S. “WARNING: This is a toy and not to be used as an actual ball.” – Matthew Trescher “Warning: Ball carries germs. Wash after each use.” – Alanna But wait! There’s more! “Do not insert into urethra.” – Anonymous “For decorative purposes
only.”– Christina “Not to be used as a flotation device.” – Adam Kampia “Do not operate without protective goggles.” – Shelly Stow “Device does not provide a stable support. Do not attempt to sit or stand upon the ball.” – Scott “Toy may change direction unpredictably when impacting an object.” – Jim C. “Chasing this object could cause fatigue.” – John B. “For educational purposes only. Not to be taken internally. Do not play ‘ball’ while driving.” – Bob Magee “For recreational purposes only. Do not use as a metaphor for having a great time. Do not use as a metaphor for masculinity or courage. Do not confuse with a formal dance.” – Kenny Felder “Not to be used to exclude other children.” – Backroads “To avoid risk of serious injury or death, always wear groin protection. Do not roll or throw ball near a street, drain, sewer, or body of water without adult supervision. Do not throw ball while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If you have high blood pressure or diabetes, consult your doctor before attempting to throw ball.” – Rick “Warning, if you bounce this too high it might break through the ceiling causing the house to cave in on you.” – Alaina, age 12 “To be used on padded surfaces only. Use of a helmet is recommended. If any hole or tear develops, discard immediately.” – Jessica “Not to be used by children under 13.” – Sally “DO NOT THROW.” – Jack D. “WARNING: Balls may be bigger than brains.” – Lollipoplover CONTACT: email@example.com
Astorino announces new diabetes program Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino recently announced that the county Department of Health is launching a new diabetes awareness campaign that encourages residents to identify their risk for diabetes and make lasting lifestyle changes to improve their health. The campaign includes bilingual Bee-Line bus shelter and bus ads that encourage residents to take a prediabetes risk assessment test, promoting and leading diabetes prevention classes offered through the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program, and a new bilingual educational brochure. “These efforts can help Westchester residents reduce their chances of developing Type 2 diabetes and provide them with great tools to make lasting healthy lifestyle changes,” Astorino said. “Another added benefit of healthy lifestyles is the lowered costs of health care that otherwise would be spent to treat obesity-related illness and disease, including Type 2 diabetes.” This work is being accomplished through the health department’s participation in the Hudson Community Health Alliance as part of a Local Initiatives for Multi-Sector Public Health Action grant, IMPACT. These outreach efforts are being promoted in November during National Diabetes Month to highlight potential solutions to this national health problem. One in three adults in the U.S. age 20 or older has prediabetes, which means they have an increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke—among the leading causes of death in the U.S., according to the federal Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC. Nine out of 10 people with prediabetes are unaware that they have it. Medical costs for people with diabetes average 2.3 times higher than for people without diabetes, according to the CDC. In 2012, direct medical costs for people with diabetes were estimated at $176 billion, with an additional $69 billion in indirect costs. The YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program is a nationally recognized program with a proven track record of preventing or delaying the onset of Type 2 diabetes. This program, which nationally costs $429 per participant, is being made available at no cost to residents through IMPACT grant funding and is offered through the Rye YMCA, in Yonkers, and Port Chester, with more locations to come. It provides the skills and support residents need to make lasting lifestyle changes such as eating healthier, increasing their physical activity and learning coping skills. “Together with the Rye Y, we are giving residents a chance to get the support they need to make meaningful changes that can help them live longer, healthier lives,” said Dr. Sherlita Amler, county health commissioner. “This program has been proven to succeed, so I strongly encourage residents who are diagnosed with prediabetes to take advantage of this opportunity.” To find out if you qualify to participate, text “RISKTEST” to 97779 on your smartphone or visit westchestergov.com/diabetes/prediabetes. To learn more, or to enroll in your area, call the Rye YMCA at 967-6363 ext. 206. YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program lifestyle coaches
include three health department employees who will lead classes for residents at risk for or diagnosed with prediabetes. Their training was supported by IMPACT grant funding to Hudson River Health Care, which has subcontracted with the Westchester and Rockland counties’ health departments. In Westchester, the aim of this grant is to reach adults in White Plains, Port Chester, Peekskill, Yonkers, Mount Vernon and New Rochelle, where residents are at increased risk for hypertension, diabetes and stroke. Three-year grant funding is provided by the New York state Department of Health through a grant from the CDC and continues through September 2018. The campaign’s bus shelter and bus ads feature four different designs and prediabetes risk factor messages. The ads encourage residents to take the prediabetes risk test and promote the Diabetes Prevention Program. The interior bus ads appear in English and Spanish on every Bee-Line bus and the shelter ads have been placed throughout Westchester’s targeted IMPACT communities at locations with high volume and traffic visibility. The county health department also has developed a new “Keep Healthy and Know Your Numbers” brochure, which promotes blood sugar screening and includes a wallet card where residents can track their glucose and cholesterol level, blood pressure and other important health numbers. The brochure will be available at westchestergov.com/ health and will be distributed at health department clinics and in the community. (Submitted)
14 • THE RYE CITY REVIEW • December 2, 2016
Say yes to the ‘Ces’ fers, the Mets—over the last two decades or so—have seemed to LIVE MIKE oscillate between two extremes: Mike Smith ill-advised spending sprees, and miserly penny-pinching. Maybe, just maybe, the Mets’ But with the Cespedes deal, I front office is learning. think they’ve found a happy meOn Tuesday afternoon, dium. news broke on Twitter that the While more details about the Amazin’s had agreed to bring negotiations are sure to trickle back outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, out over the next few days, I inking the All-Star slugger to a have a hard time believing that four-year, $110 million deal. there wasn’t some other team out And sure, while paying more there—say the Nationals or the than $27 million a year for a play- Yankees—that would have given er on the wrong side of 30 might Cespedes more years, more monseem like a gamble, for the Mets, ey or both. it was a logical, smart, and thereBut the Mets, perhaps playing fore somewhat surprising move. on Cespedes’ repeated declaraMets fans have long bemoaned tions of his love for Queens, were the majority of moves made by able to resign the slugger for just their executives. Between the a small raise and lock him up until Bobby Bonilla buyout, which will the age of 35. see the Mets paying the outfielder Not exactly what we’ve come (who retired in 2001) until 2035, to expect from the Mets, huh? or the organization’s seeming reThe Cespedes signing is esluctance to pony up the dough for pecially important for the club, serviceable players in the wake given their situation around the of the Bernie Madoff scandal that diamond. “La Potencia” has been wreaked havoc on the owners’ cof- the centerpiece of an otherwise
inconsistent Mets’ lineup for 1 1/2 years. If the Mets are able to get more production from Jay Bruce in right field—or move Bruce entirely for other pieces—they will have a strong core to go along with Cespedes, Curtis Granderson and a hopefully healthy Neal Walker. That, combined with the return of a brilliant young pitching staff that was riddled with injuries in 2016, could spell success for the Mets not just this year, but over the duration of the Cespedes contract. Of course, I know it’s still early December. Teams aren’t done building for the upcoming season yet, and many more pieces are yet to fall as the Hot Stove warms up. You never know how this is going to end. But as the Christmas season gets underway, it’s just a little thrilling that Mets fans already know something great is waiting under the tree.
Follow Mike on Twitter @LiveMike_Sports
On Nov. 29, the Mets announced they had come to terms with free agent outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, bringing the slugger back for four more years. For many fans, the signing comes as an early Christmas present. Photo courtesy Wikipedia.org
December 2, 2016 • THE RYE CITY REVIEW • 15
Titans take 2 at tourney By MIKE SMITH Sports Editor Although the Rye Town/ Harrison Titans officially opened their season on Nov. 19 with a convincing 9-5 win over Byram Hills, the 2016-17 campaign kicked into high gear last weekend, as the club played three games in three days at the annual Guy Mathews Invitational in White Plains. After falling 5-3 to Stepinac in the tourney opener on Nov. 25, the Titans rallied back to reel off consecutive wins against Harvey and White Plains to finish the weekend on a strong note and improve to 3-1 on the year. After two late Crusader goals sank the Titans on Friday morning, giving the Rye Town/Harrison team its first loss of the young season, Titans coach Jason Head said that the squad’s veteran leaders—players who have been integral parts in the club’s run to the section finals in each of the last two years—called a team meeting in an attempt to right the ship. Their efforts paid off, as the Titans rolled through the rest of the tournament, topping Harvey 6-0 and pounding host White Plains 7-2 over the next two days. “We didn’t really talk after the [Stepinac] game in the locker room,” Head said. “But we showed a ton of resolve; my captains took it upon themselves to get everyone there a half hour early the next day, called a meeting, and the guys took it upon themselves to get us where we needed to be.” Over the course of the threegame tourney, Jackson Schultz led the Titans with seven goals and five assists, while Ike Murov added five goals and four assists. Goalie Sam Smith shook off Friday’s loss to post his first career shutout against the Cavaliers on Saturday, then followed it up with another strong showing against the Tigers in the finale. “This is a sport where you have to be quick to forget,” Head said. “But when something does go your way, you want to remember it; plus I think it helps that we were
playing very strong in front of [Smith].” Head has been encouraged by the team’s performance thus far, and said that he often uses the Mathews tournament as a measuring stick before his team enters the heart of the winter season. The Titans will be back in action on Dec. 3, when they travel to Trinity-Pawling to take on the Pride.
“I always like the jampacked nature of the tournament; you get to take a look at the team and I think we’re gelling faster,” Head said. “And as far as being able to bounce back and play three hard-fought games, we’re a deep team.” CONTACT: firstname.lastname@example.org
Joe Bucci skates with the puck at the Ebersole Ice Rink. Photos/Mike Smith
Alex DeLitta goes after a puck in the corner against Stepinac. The Titans are currently 3-1 on the year.
Anthony Cipollone fires a shot against the Crusaders on Nov. 25. Ike Murov dives as he sends a pass to Jackson Schultz against Stepinac on Nov. 25. Murov and Schultz combined for 12 goals and nine assists during the Guy Mathews Invitational.
16 • THE RYE CITY REVIEW • December 2, 2016