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RyeCity REVIEW THE

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

Ex-golf club members sue city over greens By FRANCO FINO Staff Writer

School district finds new superintendent in Chappaqua By FRANCO FINO Staff Writer The Rye City School District Board of Education has found its man, naming Dr. Eric Byrne as its next superintendent. Byrne, who has been serving as the assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction at the Chappaqua Central School District for six years, will formally be appointed to the position at the next board meeting on Feb. 28, and he will officially take over as superintendent on or around July 1. “It’s an honor and privilege to

have been selected as the finalist for the position,” Byrne said. “The reputation of the Rye City School [District] is quite incredible, and I look forward to working with their terrific faculty and strong administrative team.” Byrne began his career in education as a science teacher in the New York City public schools. He received his doctorate and a master’s degree in education from Fordham University; he also received a degree in natural science from Fordham. “After a rigorous selection process, the choice was clear,” said Board of Education Presi-

dent Katy Keohane Glassberg. “Dr. Eric Byrne’s background and experience as a leader in curriculum development and implementation is extraordinary.” In October 2016, Byrne was appointed as the acting superintendent of the Chappaqua school district for a brief stint, following the resignation of former Superintendent Lyn McKay, who stepped down while wrestling with the sexual abuse scandal of teacher Christopher Schraufnagel; Byrne served in that capacity until January 2017. He also previously served as principal of Chappaqua’s Roaring Brook El-

ementary School. As for the Rye district, Byrne said it would be premature to highlight a blueprint for the future; however, he said he will begin an “extensive entry process” once appointed. He added that, as part of that process, he will meet with stakeholders groups, administrators and teachers to devise a comprehensive plan. “First, I want to take a look at what’s happening in Rye; see the strengths and opportunities for the district, and then we’ll have a much better sense of a plan,” SCHOOL continued on page 8

The city will challenge a lawsuit from six former Rye Golf Club members seeking membership reimbursements, according to a City Council member. On Jan. 31, John and Marjorie Lyons, of Larchmont; Mark and Silvia Lederman, of Larchmont; and Stephen and Deborah Chapin, of Mamaroneck, who are all couples that didn’t renew their membership with the club in 2016, filed the lawsuit against the city, claiming the club failed to uphold contractual obligations. The suit, which accuses the golf club of negligence and breaching its contract, is related to damage incurred to the club’s greens in the summer of 2015, in which the groundskeeper, Chip Lafferty, misapplied tainted pesticide from Tesenderlo Kerley Inc., TKI. At the time, the club was forced to close a majority of the city-owned golf course during peak season. According to Stephen Florek, an attorney representing the six plaintiffs, they are demanding full reimbursement for the membership dues—estimated at $8,500 per couple—and compensation for several other consequential damages, including attorney fees, expenses incurred as a result of the club’s actions, negligence and breaching the contract agreement. For residents, a comprehensive membership costs $4,500

per year and includes access to the club’s pool; an individual daily golf membership costs $3,100. For non-residents, the comprehensive membership costs $8,000, as of press time. Golf club policy dictates that memberships are strictly nonrefundable. However, the plaintiffs are contending that the incident falls outside the scope of the membership agreement. “My clients did not get what they paid for and had to make alternate arrangements; for that, our argument is that the suit goes way beyond the [club’s] refund policy,” Florek said. But according to City Councilman Terry McCartney, a Republican and liaison to the Rye Golf Club Commission, the city will challenge the plaintiffs’ claim that the incident warrants different treatment for falling outside the scope of the contract. “They all agreed to a very strict no-refund policy when they signed the membership application, and we’re going to hold them to that agreement,” the councilman said. “We’re confident that we can defend ourselves vigorously.” McCartney added that the city is not worried about more members joining onto the lawsuit, as the golf club added a provision in its 2016 membership agreement in which members had to sign a release form waiving their rights to file a lawsuit against GOLF continued on page 9

INSIDE City wary of potential Starwood traffic Story on page 9.


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

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

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

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

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

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

HAVE A NEWS TIP? CONTACT JAMES PERO james@hometwn.com

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 Restaurant &

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)

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What’s going on... Rye Free Reading Room

go to “Programs & Events,” “Kids,” the event date, and then “Register.”

Ryebrary S.T.E.A.M.ers

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

Winter break coding programs For grades K–2, on Tuesday, Feb. 21, Thursday, Feb. 23 and Friday, Feb. 24 from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Children’s Room. Learn the basics of computer programming/coding by creating an algorithm to plant a seed, and also do the planting activity. Using binary code, participants will also make a bracelet with their initials. For grades 3–5, from Tuesday, Feb. 21 through Thursday, Feb. 23 from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. in the Raho Technology Center. These “Hour of Code” workshops will teach your child the basics of computer programming through interactive gamming and other fun methods specifically for their age and skill level. Each session will be different. Participants may sign up for one session or attend all three. Space is limited. Pre-registration is required online for both programs. Visit ryelibray.org,

On Saturday, Feb. 25 from 3 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. in the Ogden Nash Room. All Ryebrary S.T.E.A.M.ers in grades one and two are invited to join the librarians once-a-month in the new “S.T.E.A.M. LAB,” where literacy meets S.T.E.A.M. Each month, participants will read a book together. Then taking inspiration from the story, kids will be taught how to think with their hands and minds. It’s inquiry-based learning combined with a hands-on-activity. February’s book is “Whoosh! Lonnie Johnson’s Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions” by Chris Barton. Children do not have to pre-read the book. Pre-registration is required online. Visit ryelibray. org, go to “Programs & Events,” “Kids,” the event date, and then “Register.”

Rye S.T.E.A.M. ROLLERS On Saturday, Feb. 25 from 4 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. in the Ogden Nash Room. All Ryebrary S.T.E.A.M. ROLLERS in grades three and four are invited to join the librarians once-a-month in the new “S.T.E.A.M. LAB,” where literacy meets S.T.E.A.M. Each month, participants will read a book together. Then taking inspiration from the story, kids will be taught how to think with their hands and minds. It’s inquiry-based learning combined with a hands-on-activity. February’s book is “Josephine: The Dazzling

Life of Josephine Baker” by Patricia Hruby Powell. Children do not have to pre-read the book. Preregistration is required online. Visit ryelibray.org, go to “Programs & Events,” “Kids,” the event date, and then “Register.”

Wainwright House

whose life and career brought her from Northern Italy to East Africa. There, she spent 30 years working on large-scale public projects, while absorbing African cultures, allowing it to permeate her work. Her paintings spanned from figurative post-impressionism to pure abstraction, drawing from countless influences.

Heart-Centered Spiritual Growth

Rye YMCA

Starting Wednesday, Feb. 22 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. This is a five-week course. Learn the basics of Western spirituality experientially. Learn how to meditate through your heart. Fee: $162 for members; $180 for non-members. Visit wainwright.org for the course outline. For more information and to register, visit the website or call 967-6080.

Mardi Gras Masquerade Gala On Saturday, Feb. 25 from 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Wainwright House is hosting its annual Mardi Gras Masquerade Gala—a fun-filled fundraising event to help advance its mission and support programs and classes. Come in costume, don Mardi Gras’ purple, green and gold colors, or come as you are to enjoy a sumptuous New Orleans style dinner, open bar, live music for your dancing and listening pleasure, a revelers parade, and more. Fee: $150 per person. Reservations are required online at wainwright.org or by calling 967-6080.

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.

Rye Recreation Rye Youth Soccer spring 2017 registration Online registration is open through the Rye Youth Soccer website, ryeyouthsoccer.org, for spring intramural soccer for boys and girls in grades K–5. The season will begin Saturday, April 29 and end Saturday, June 17, with no games on Saturday, May 13. Complete details on dates and times of the program can be found the aforementioned website. Questions? Contact Patti Adimari, registrar, at pattirys@ optonline.net or 967-5273. Scholarships are available upon request. Please note that coaches should also register to coach in their online account.

Rye Arts Center The Rye Arts Center is located at 51 Milton Road in Rye. For more information or to register for a program, call 967-0700 or visit ryeartscenter.org.

Gallery exhibit “Nenne Sanguineti Poggi: An Artist Without Borders” will be on display through Saturday, March 4. Explore the works of painter, mosaicist, writer, and journalist Nenne Sanguineti Poggi,

Program registration Program registration is ongoing for members and non-members. Dozens of programs are available for all ages. Visit ryeymca.org to view program guide and to view registration details.

Summer Camp registration Summer Camp registration has started for all campers. The Rye Y offers camps for ages 3 to 14. New this year: early bird rates. Visit ryecamp.org to view the brochure and to register.

Rye Y Weight Watchers Join the Rye Y Weight Watchers—all are welcome. On Thursdays from 1 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. For more information, call Diana Vita at 967-6363 ext. 211.

Rye Historical Society Presidential Foods and Facts workshop Children ages 6 and up are invited to the Square House Museum in Rye on Wednesday, Feb. 22 from 10 a.m. to noon to honor the presidents of the United States. Participants will learn fun trivia about some of our nation’s past leaders and recreate delicious treats favored by founding families using adapted historic recipes. The cost for this fun and informative program, including the necessary supplies, is $10 per child. Reservations are suggested as space is limited and can be made by calling the Rye Historical Society at 967-7588. The Square House Museum, located at 1 Purchase St. in Rye, is open Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, please visit ryehistory.org or call 967-7588.

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

Beachgoers pay, but don’t get services

The Crown Castle cellphone tower issue

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.

To the Editor, As a neighborhood, we are writing to express our disappointment—and frankly, dismay—with the way the Crown Castle cellphone tower issue has been handled by our local government. We understand that this issue is a complex and nuanced one. We understand that the City Council is weighing many factors: federal law versus the capabilities and limitations of local law; risk assessments of various courses of action and the implications of each; technology infrastructure in various permutations both now, and conceivably in the future; precedential issues; and citizen concerns. We understand that this is not a clear-cut or simple topic. What we don’t understand, however, is the manner in which this topic has been addressed by (some of) our elected officials. For an issue of such obvious concern, why hasn’t a committee or task force composed of local officials and citizens been created? Why is there such opacity to the work the council has done to evaluate our options? The lack of open communication is concerning. And of even deeper concern is the open contempt with which the concerned citizens of Rye—the City Council’s constituents—have been treated. The disrespect shown the citizens is unbefitting of the community we have built and seek to preserve, and is simply unacceptable. There must be a way to govern more respectfully. More cooperatively. More effectively. We implore Rye’s City Council to find a better way. The formation of a joint committee would be a good first step.

Diane Horner, Rye Neck

Julie Souza, Loudon Woods Neighborhood Association


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RyeCity REVIEW THE

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

Publisher | Howard Sturman ext. 21, 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 Reporter | Franco Fino ext. 18, franco@hometwn.com General Assignment | Taylor Brown ext. 30, taylor@hometwn.com Graphic Designer | Arthur Gedin Graphic Designer | Jim Grasso Advertising | Lindsay Sturman ext. 14, lsturman@hometwn.com Advertising Coordinator | Sibylla Chipaziwa ext. 27, ads@hometwn.com Staff Writer Corey Stockton Staff Photographers Andrew Dapolite, Aaron Kershaw, Charlie McLaughlin Columnists John Carey, Rye City Council, Lenore Skenazy, Joe Murphy Letters The community’s opinion matters. If you have a view to express, write a letter to the editor by email to chris@hometwn.com. Please include a phone number and name for verification purposes.

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, @ryecityreview Like us on Facebook, facebook.com/ryecityreview The Rye City Review (permit #438660) 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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No fines for property owner over oil spill

Astorino: ‘We will not be silent on travel ban’

By FRANCO FINO Staff Writer

By FRANCO FINO Staff Writer

The New York state Department of Environmental Conservation, DEC, will not impose any fines on a property owner of a vacant home on Pilgrim Road in Harrison that experienced an oil spill last month, according to a representative with the state agency. According to Jomo Miller, a media relations officer for the DEC, the agency is not anticipating any penalties on the property owner of the home located at 4 Pilgrim Road property owner, a location which sits adjacent to a small body of water. The property is located just on the north side of Westchester Country Club. On Jan. 25, local fire, police, and hazmat crews responded to several calls about a strong odor in the vicinity of the private road. When emergency crews arrived at the scene, they discovered that oil was spilling from an underground tank in the crawl space beneath the house. Miller said that oil is no longer leaking out of the tank since the last cap was replaced, but it’s still impossible to determine how much has been released. As of press time, it’s approximated that 500 gallons may have spilled from the tank. “The DEC continues to monitor the situation to ensure the

Amidst a nationwide debate about a policy on immigration, President Donald Trump’s recently blocked travel ban on seven predominantly Muslim nations has captured the interest of top elected officials in Westchester. On Feb. 10, Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, a Republican, appeared before a crowd of nearly 200 MuslimAmericans at the Andalusia School in Yonkers to proclaim his support for those of the religious group living in the county. “I stand here beside you today and every day to reaffirm our friendship, to let you know that as the county’s top elected official, that not only are you welcome here, but that the contributions of our Muslim-American community are essential to us,” said Astorino, who’s up for re-election this year and unofficially has said he plans to seek a third term in office. As the county executive since 2010, Astorino has established arelationship with the school and mosque. In 2013, he appointed Sonia Chinn, a former teacher at the Andalusia School, as a member of the county Human Rights Commission, the first Muslim to be appointed to the commission since it was established in 1999. Shortly after Chinn’s departure after relocating to Texas for work, Astorino appointed another Muslim-American to the post, naming Ghada Salim to the commission in 2015. According to 2014 numbers provided by the county Board of Legislators, there are roughly 14,000 Muslims living in Westchester, comprising 1.4 percent of the county’s total population. Astorino, who addressed the worshipers at the mosque as his friends, said that while he supports “careful screening” of those who seek to enter the country, he does not believe the controversial ban targets a specific religion. “Please know, and make no mistake about it, I would never support a religious test on who comes into our country,” he said. However, the travel ban, which is currently on hold because of a decision by the federal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, has other elected officials in the

The New York state Department of Environmental Conservation will not fine the property owner of a home located at 4 Pilgrim Road for an oil spill that occurred on Jan. 25. Photo/Franco Fino

environment and public are protected, [but] no penalties are anticipated at this time,” he said. Miller added that while the property owner is actively cleaning up the oil that leaked, it’s also important to recognize that the cause of the spill is due to recent nor’easter flooding, which is beyond the property owner’s control. The DEC is responsible for regulating the conservation, improvement, and protection of New York’s natural resources and forest lands. “The remaining oil sheen will be removed from the floodwaters

after the ice cover thaws,” Miller said. “The oily debris [under the home] may take longer to clean up as there are safety concerns that must be considered.” He did not elaborate on the safety concerns being considered, but said that the icy conditions are preventing the oil from spreading out further. The vacant home is currently surrounded by “booms,” which are temporary floating barriers used to contain marine spills and assist in protecting the environment. CONTACT: franco@hometwn.com

SCHOOL from page 1

he said. Byrne will take over for Dr. Brian Monahan, who has been serving as the district’s interim superintendent since Aug. 1, 2016, following the departure of Dr. Frank Alvarez, who stepped down from the post in July 2016. Monahan was believed to be seeking the permanent superintendent position, and was considered to be one of the finalists for the job, according to a source. According to Sarah Derman, a representative for the Rye City School District, Byrne was among 40 other candidates seeking the position. There will be a reception to welcome Byrne at a Board of Education meeting on March 7. CONTACT: franco@hometwn.com

The Rye City Board of Education has announced the selection of Dr. Eric Byrne as its next district superintendent of schools. Photo courtesy Rye City School District

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

county, specifically Democrats, worried about Astorino’s support for the ban and that it does in fact unfairly target Muslims. The ban placed restrictions on individuals entering the country from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Phil Oliva, a spokesman for Astorino, confirmed that the county executive does support a temporary suspension on accepting refugees into the country. For that reason, county Legislator Catherine Parker, a Rye Democrat, said Astorino is part of the problem associated with the travel ban. “It doesn’t support the values of Westchester residents,” she said. ‘It’s unfortunate that [Astorino] is directly aligned with what’s in direct opposition to our residents.” Astorino’s speech follows another debate on the county level related to immigration, as the county Board of Legislators’ Democratic Caucus recently proposed an Immigration Protection Act, which was referred to the committees on Budget and Appropriations, Legislation, and Public Safety and Social Services on Feb. 13. That legislation, which is sponsored by Majority Leader Catherine Borgia, an Ossining Democrat, aims to stem the tide of recent efforts by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, ICE, and Customs and Border Protection, CBP, to detain and transfer an individual for immigration and

investigation purposes. While as many as 680 were arrested in the first week of February throughout Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, San Antonio, and New York City areas by raids conducted by ICE agents, according to Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, the legislation seeks to codify language to prevent Westchester County from aiding the federal government in investigations made on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity, and national origin. “With all the news reports of immigration raids, even in New York [state], this act is a step we must take to follow the law and make sure our county does not practice any type of discrimination,” Borgia said. This also comes as a backdrop for an upcoming county executive race that will likely highlight treatment of the Muslim community as one of the campaign’s talking points. Last month, county Legislator Ken Jenkins, a Yonkers Democrat, called on Astorino to denounce the president’s travel ban, labeling it unAmerican. “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


February 17, 2017 • THE RYE CITY REVIEW • 9

Starwood project zoning vote nears

GOLF from page 1

Six former members of the Rye Golf Club have filed a lawsuit against the city for refusing to reimburse membership dues relating to the club’s damaged greens in 2015. File photo

the city regarding the damaged greens. As part of that contract, members received a 35 percent discounted rate for the 2016 season. The idea to offer discounted membership renewals came after the city collected $2.5 million from TKI, the distributer of the fungicide, Alt-70, which destroyed the course’s greens. Of that, $2.1 million was designated for capital improve-

ments and settling small claims related to the club’s damages. “This is a little frustrating for me because we’ve been working very hard, and we’ve had a rough few years coming to terms with other lawsuits,” McCartney said. In 2015, the city of Rye sued its insurance company, Travelers Casualty & Surety Co., for failing to reimburse the city for money stolen in a fraud scheme

executed by former golf club manager Scott Yandrasevich. The city received $1.55 million from that settlement. This past December, the city also paid $1 million to more than 50 former club employees who sought unpaid tips and overtime which were never distributed under Yandrasevich over a six-year period. CONTACT: franco@hometwn.com

As a $300 million development proposal at the village of Port Chester’s United Hospital site lurches forward, the city of Rye will look to negotiate larger sums of money to go toward traffic mitigation from Starwood Capital, the developers. File photo

By JAMES PERO Staff Writer In the wake of multiple public hearings and a completed environmental impact statement, the village of Port Chester’s multimillion dollar United Hospital redevelopment project will move toward a key vote from the village Board of Trustees. On Feb. 6, the mixed-use development proposal from Starwood Capital—which plans to repurpose the former United Hospital site to accommodate 307,000 square feet of office and retail space in addition to 730 residential units—underwent its last public hearing in advance of an upcoming vote to accept necessary zoning changes from Port Chester’s village board. According to Rye City Manager Marcus Serrano, the city of Rye, which has sought to help minimize the impact of the $300 million project on abutting Rye neighborhoods, will await a “finding statement.” That statement, Serrano explained, will be the blueprint for how details of the potential development would come together, including specifics on traffic studies, hours of operation, when truck deliveries to the development’s various storefronts will be made, and more. The finding, he added, could

take anywhere from a couple of weeks to a couple of months to be drafted and disseminated to the public. According to Rye City Councilman Terry McCartney, a Republican, the city is currently in negotiations with Starwood over financing that the city is requesting to be put toward traffic mitigation efforts. McCartney said Starwood has set aside $107,000 toward the mitigation plans, but given the complexity of the mitigation efforts needed—updating several stop lights and several traffic mitigation projects in Rye neighborhoods—the overall cost could exceed $1 million. “[Starwood] has been somewhat cooperative,” McCartney said. “We just want to make sure we’re covered.” While Starwood had previously applied to pursue a zoning overlay that would have allowed the project to nearly double the amount of allowable space for the company to develop, that request was rescinded in November 2016. According to a letter sent to the village Board of Trustees from Starwood’s attorneys, the retraction of the application to pursue a zoning overlay was in response to significant public concern expressed during the project’s environmental review.

Now, the village Board of Trustees will mull a decision on whether or not to alter zoning laws in the site’s district to allow the project to proceed. Among the major changes to the zoning code, according to Eric Zamft, village director of planning and economic development, would be an increased floor-area-ratio, altered height regulations, and some alterations to allow certain design aspects of the project. Zamft said the board will likely vote on whether to accept the project’s finding statement in March, and after that, a decision on whether to allow the zoning changes. Discussions over redevelopment of the site—which would be the biggest development in village history—have dragged on for a decade since Starwood, a Greenwich-based investment firm, purchased the site for $28 million in 2006, just a year after the hospital closed its doors following bankruptcy filings. In 2014, the project was amended by Starwood, reducing the number of proposed units from 820 to 730 and expanding its inclusion of both public space and retail space significantly. Since then, the project has continued to evolve via public scrutiny and environmental analysis. CONTACT: james@hometwn.com

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February 17, 2017 • THE RYE CITY 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)

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12 • THE RYE CITY 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

SPORTS

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.

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February 17, 2017 • THE RYE CITY REVIEW • 13

Rye gears up for postseason By MIKE SMITH Sports Editor After a somewhat up-anddown regular season campaign that has seen the Garnets contend with many of the top teams in the section, Rye’s hockey team seems to be peaking at the right time. With the playoffs set to begin on Feb. 20, the Garnets closed out the year with four straight wins and could find themselves in contention for a Division II crown. On Feb. 10–11, the Garnets capped the regular season with a win at the Salmon River Tournament, beating both NorwoodNorfolk and the host Shamrocks on successive days to win the tourney for the second-straight year. According to Rye coach Peter Thomas, the Salmon River event provides the Garnets with an important final test before the postseason commences. “It’s always nice to get on the road and get that team bonding in,” Thomas said. “But also, we got to go up against a couple of gritty, physical teams that play a tight defensive game, so I think that is going to help us.” The Garnets also won their last home game of the year on Feb. 8, topping Pearl River 7-1 on Senior Night at Rye Playland. With a 3-1 lead heading

Cameron DiEdwards pushes the puck up the ice against Pearl River on Feb. 8. The Garnets topped the Pirates 7-1.

into the third period, the Garnets scored four unanswered goals— two coming off the stick of Alex Noga—to put the Pirates away. For a team that has been carried for much of the season by the play of the defense and netminder Jack Petrucelli, the of-

Will Hynson skates past a Pirates defender on Feb. 8. Photos/Mike Smith

fensive outburst was viewed as a welcome sight. “For sure, it was important to win that game, it might have been the last home game for our seniors,” Thomas said. “And we’ve been playing good defensive hockey. Even though

John Barber fires a puck at the net against Pearl River.

we haven’t been scoring a lot of goals with the exception of the Pearl River game, we’ve been very comfortable in tight games and we’ve gotten timely goals.” The Section I seeding meeting is currently scheduled for Feb. 15, after press time, and at 9-11 on the season, the Garnets will figure to have a lower seed. But Thomas believes that his team’s win-loss record is not indicative of his team’s chances in the playoffs. Having competed in the Section I power league all year, the Garnets’ strength of schedule could be a boon once the postseason starts. “We’re going to be a lower seed because of the point system, and when you create a power league, you don’t get anything for being in it,” the head coach said. “But we know that while our record might not reflect it, we have handled or can handle teams that will be seeded higher, and we think of ourselves as a top team.” But no matter what the playoffs have in store for the Garnets, Thomas believes that increasing pressure on the offensive end will be integral to the team’s postseason success.

Alex Noga controls the puck. Noga had two goals in Rye’s 7-1 win over Pearl River.

“I’m definitely happy with the way we’re playing, but we need to focus on scoring a few more goals,” he said. “And of course,

in the playoffs, those goals always come at a premium.” CONTACT: sports@hometwn.com


14 • THE RYE CITY REVIEW • February 17, 2017

SPORTS

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

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

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

Michael Carty brings the ball up the court at the Westchester County Center. The Garnets secured a No. 3 seed and will play the winner of an outbracket contest between Eastchester and Pearl River on Feb. 18. Photo/Mike Smith

Rye Athlete of the Week ROBBIE KONOPKA By LIAM BRENNAN Contributor This week’s Athlete of the Week is Robbie Konopka, a member of the varsity swim and dive team. The Rye swim and dive team finished 8-0 on the season and made it to the Section I finals after finishing second at divisionals, thanks to strong performances from its members such as Konopka. At divisionals, he placed third in the 50-meter free and fifth in the 100-meter free. Coach Brendan Eggers thinks very highly of Konopka’s mentality. “[He] displayed the team

first attitude needed to lead the team to a successful regular and championship season,” Eggers said. “[Konopka’s] presence elevated his teammates beyond their known potential.” Teammate Brendan Egan always appreciates Konopka’s positive attitude whenever he shows up to an event or practice. “Robbie always came to practice with a smile on his face,” Egan said. “[He] is eager to get in the pool and show what he’s got.” Konopka is as strong a scholar as he is a swimmer. He is a member of the Hon-

or Roll. He wants to thank Coach Eggers for a great season and for helping him and his teammates reach their personal bests.

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

INSIDE WESTCHESTER COUNTY

RyeCity REVIEW THE

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


16 • THE RYE CITY REVIEW • February 17, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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


February 17, 2017 • THE RYE CITY REVIEW • 17

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

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

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

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

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

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


18 • THE RYE CITY REVIEW • February 17, 2017

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

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

Future Stars is a very special place for children to spend a fun filled, exciting summer. Thousands of campers over the years have enhanced their skills, tucked away lifelong memories, and made lasting friendships at Future Stars Camps. The camp philosophy is to provide every camper a fun, safe and encouraging environment in which they feel comfortable and secure. Future Stars’ goal is to create the perfect atmosphere so that each camper may maximize his or her potential. Through its limited enrollment policy, Future Stars gets to know each camper and recognize their individual needs. Everyone is encouraged to play with confidence, enthusiasm, and a genuine love of the game. Please visit 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 RYE CITY 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)


20 • THE RYE CITY REVIEW • February 17, 2017

Debate camp offers 2-week public speaking classes

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

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

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


February 17, 2017 • THE RYE CITY 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)

P U B LI S H ES

Harrison REVIEW REVIEW Mamaroneck THE

THE

Eastchester CityREVIEW NewRochelle REVIEW THE

THE

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


22 • THE RYE CITY REVIEW • February 17, 2017


February 17, 2017 • THE RYE CITY 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


24 • THE RYE CITY REVIEW • February 17, 2017

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