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Vol. VI, No. VIII

Westchester’s Most Influential Weekly

Thursday, March 1, 2012,,,,$1.00

Omar Sharif Page 6

Cyber War - Version 2012 Page 8

Conflict Journalism Page 11


Page 14

Leaving On a Jet Plane Page 18

Driving Licentious

By ABBY LUBY, page 13

Page 19

The Cuomo Whip

THE hezitorial

A Cry for Blood By HEZI ARIS, page 22


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Always Follow the Money, Page 25

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Of Significance Community Section................................................................................4 Section ...............................................................................4 Business.................................................................................................4 Business ................................................................................................4 Calendar................................................................................................4 Calendar ...............................................................................................4 Creative Disruption.............................................................................5 Charity ..................................................................................................5 Contest ..................................................................................................6 Cultural Perspective............................................................................6 Creative Disruption ............................................................................6 Cyber Security. .....................................................................................8 Education .............................................................................................7 Health. ....................................................................................................9 Fashion..................................................................................................8 History.................................................................................................10 Fitness....................................................................................................9 In Memorium.....................................................................................11 Health Music....................................................................................................10 ..................................................................................................12 History ................................................................................................10 Spoof.....................................................................................................13 Ed Koch Movie Review ...................................................................12 Investigation. .......................................................................................13 Spoof ....................................................................................................13 Writers Collection.............................................................................14 Sports.Scene .......................................................................................13 Books. ..................................................................................................16 Najah’s Corner ...................................................................................13 Legal Investigation. ............................................................................17 Writers Collection.............................................................................14 Travel....................................................................................................17 Books...................................................................................................16 Eye On Theatre...................................................................................19 Transportation...................................................................................17 Government Section.............................................................................20 Government Section ............................................................................17 Albany Correspondent Correspondent.....................................................................20 Albany ....................................................................17 Mayor Marvin’s Marvin’s Column Column..................................................................20 Mayor .................................................................18 French On Rye. ...................................................................................21 Government .......................................................................................19 OpEd Section Section..........................................................................................23 .........................................................................................22 OpEd Hezitorial. . ...........................................................................................22 Ed Koch Commentary.....................................................................23 Ed Koch Letters toCommentary.....................................................................23 the Editor ..........................................................................24 Weir Only Human Human.............................................................................25 ............................................................................25 Legal Notices Notices...........................................................................................26 ..........................................................................................26


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Westchester On the Level with Narog and Aris

Westchester On the Level is heard from Monday to Friday, from 10 a.m. to 12 Noon on the Internet: Join the conversation by the conversation calling toll-free toPlease 1-877-674-2436. calling toll-free toby1-877-674-2436. stay on topic.Please stay on topic. Richard Narog Hezi your co-hosts. weekbeginning beginningFebruary February20th 27thand and ending ending on Richard Narog andand Hezi ArisAris areare your co-hosts. InInthetheweek March 2nd, wewe have an an exciting entourage of guests. February 24th, have exciting entourage of guests. Every Monday is special. Monday, February 27th,Krystal Philip Wade, Catshill,a acelebrated celebratedparticipant participantin in http:// Every Monday is special. OnOn Monday, February 20th, Catshill a massive a stroke 30 years age. is our guest. Mr Krystal Wadesuffered is a mother of three whoatworks fiftyofmiles 18 months he returned to work as a“Wilde’ policeman. His a second stroke; he took up from home later, and writes in her “spare time.” s Fire,” hercareer debutended novel after has been accepted for publication painting. Now, after a 3rdinstroke, writes! and should be available 2012.he Not far behind is her second novel, “Wilde’s Army.” How does she do it? TuneCo-hosts in and find out. Narog and Hezi Aris will relish the dissection of all things politics on Tuesday, FebRichard ruary 28th.Richard Narog and Hezi Aris will relish the dissection of all things politics on Tuesday, February Co-hosts 21st.The Yonkers Council President Chuck Lesnick share his perspective from the august inner guest City expected on Wednesday, February 29th iswill not yet confirmed. sanctum of the City Council Chambers on Wednesday, February 22nd. Stephen Cerrato, Carlos Gonzalez, The Albany Correspondent, will clue us in on Thursday, March 1st. Esq., will share his political insight on Thursday, February 23rd. Friday, February 24th has yet to be filled. It may be a propiCongressional candidate Mark Rosen is our guest Friday, February 2nd. tious day to sum up what transpired throughout the week. A sort of BlogTalk Radio version of That Was those join us live, consider listening to the show by way of an MP3 download, or on The For Week Thatwho Wascannot (TWTWTW). demand. Within 15 minutes of a show’s ending, you can find the segment in our archive that you may link For thosethewho cannotprovided join us live, consider to the show by way of an MP3 download, or on to using hyperlink in the openinglistening paragraph. demand. Within 15 minutes of a show’s ending, you can find the segment in our archive that you may link The the entire archive is availableinand for your perusal.The easiest way to find a particular interto using hyperlink provided themaintained opening paragraph. view is to search Google, or any other search engine, for the subject matter or the name of the interviewee. The entire archive is available and maintained for your The easiest way to find a particular interview For example, search Google, Yahoo, AOL Search for perusal. Westchester On the Level, Blog Talk Radio, or use is to search Google, or any other search engine, for the subject matter or the name of the interviewee. For the hyperlink above. example, search Google, Yahoo, AOL Search for Westchester On the Level, Blog Talk Radio, or use the hyperlink above.

Mission Statement Westchester’s Most Influential Weekly

Guardian News Corp. P.O. Box 8 New Rochelle, New York 10801 Sam Zherka , Publisher & President Hezi Aris, Editor-in-Chief & Vice President Advertising: (914) 562-0834 News and Photos: (914) 562-0834 Fax: (914) 633-0806 Published online every Monday Print edition distributed Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday Graphic Design: Watterson Studios, Inc.

The Westchester Guardian is a weekly newspaper devoted to the unbiased reporting of events and developments that are newsworthy and significant to readers living in, and/or employed in, Westchester County. The Guardian will strive to report fairly, and objectively, reliable information without favor or compromise. Our first duty will be to the PEOPLE’S RIGHT TO KNOW, by the exposure of truth, without fear or hesitation, no matter where the pursuit may lead, in the finest tradition of FREEDOM OF THE PRESS. The Guardian will cover news and events relevant to residents and businesses all over Westchester County. As a weekly, rather than focusing on the immediacy of delivery more associated with daily journals, we will instead seek to provide the broader, more comprehensive, chronological step-by-step accounting of events, enlightened with analysis, where appropriate. From amongst journalism’s classic key-words: who, what, when, where, why, and how, the why and how will drive our pursuit. We will use our more abundant time, and our resources, to get past the initial ‘spin’ and ‘damage control’ often characteristic of immediate news releases, to reach the very heart of the matter: the truth. We will take our readers to a point of understanding and insight which cannot be obtained elsewhere. To succeed, we must recognize from the outset that bigger is not necessarily better. And, furthermore, we will acknowledge that we cannot be all things to all readers. We must carefully balance the presentation of relevant, hard-hitting, Westchester news and commentary, with features and columns useful in daily living and employment in, and around, the county. We must stay trim and flexible if we are to succeed.



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When was the last time BUSINESS you dealt with Governor Cuomo Announces Pepsico and Theo Müller Choose Lexington Capital Associates? NYS To Launch their Joint Venture into Yogurt Business Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced that PepsiCo, the world’s second largest snack and beverage company, and Theo Müller Gmbh, Germany’s largest privately owned dairy business, have chosen New York as the site for their first yogurt producing facility in the United States. Through the joint venture Wave LLC, the companies will invest $206 million and create 186 new manufacturing and support jobs to operate its state-of-the-art facility at the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park, in Batavia. “This project demonstrates that leading international companies like PepsiCo and Müller see New York as a premier place to invest and the natural choice for their first venture into the yogurt business. With over $200 million in private investment and nearly 200 new jobs, this opportunity is another strong boost to the region’s growing dairy industry,” Governor Cuomo said. New York State, through Empire State Development, will provide the company with $3.3 million in Excelsior Jobs Program tax credits, as well as $1 million from NYS Homes & Community Renewal and a $10 million NYS Investment Tax Credit. Genesee County will also provide an estimated $12 million in sales and property tax savings. Wave considered other locations both in and outside of New York State for the facility. After a thorough evaluation, including an assessment of access to dairy resources, water supply and distribution routes to key markets, the company chose the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park in Batavia, New York. While the facility is being developed over two years, Wave may import Müller products in order to establish a foothold in the fast-growing U.S. yogurt business. Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Kenneth Adams said, “New York is working hard to be a global leader in the kind of high-growth manufacturing that has critical economic development and job creating potential. Wave is a strong example of our work and the leadership of Governor Cuomo paying off in the form of new jobs and significant private investment from a leading overseas company that will have a resounding impact on the local economy.” PepsiCo’s investment continues a strong recent trend of major yogurt producers opening manufacturing facilities in New York. The state currently has 29 yogurt plants, which employ more than 2,000 people and produced a total of 530 million pounds of yogurt in 2011—a 43% increase from 2010 and more than double 2008 levels. In 2011, Governor Cuomo announced major investments by two of the nation’s largest yogurt producers- Chobani and FAGE, Inc., in-

creasing the companies’ production capacity and creating hundreds of new jobs in New York. New York State is the nation’s leader in the production of the wildly popular Greek-style yogurt. Producing Greek yogurt requires approximately three times the amount of milk than traditional yogurt, making the industry a major economic driver for dairy farmers across New York State. In 2011, more than 1.166 billion pounds of milk was used for yogurt production. This is comparable to the milk production of 500 average-size dairy farms in New York State (115 cows/farm). Western New York in particular has benefited from the yogurt boom. The 15-county area of Western New York accounts for approximately 40% of the state’s total milk production, with Wyoming County serving as the leading milk producing county in the State. By locating in Batavia, PepsiCo joins a number of other major yogurt manufacturers taking advantage of the region’s existing infrastructure available for dairy processing including the Genesee Valley AgriBusiness Park. For more information, visit www.pepsico. com. Theo Müller is Germany’s largest privatelyowned dairy business employing 4,700 throughout Europe and Israel with sales of about 2.2 billion Euros. Theo Müller Gmbh produces a line of six different premium yogurts, including the leading yogurt brand in the U.K. “Müller Corner.” Wave LLC is a new joint venture between PepsiCo and Müller.

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News & Notes from Northern Westchester By MARK JEFFERS Welcome to the Lenten season, I promise to give up ice cream, do more nice things for folks and of course continue enjoying “News and Notes…” Family University is presenting an important program, “Help Your Child Develop Bullyproofing Skills for a Lifetime,” with Joel Haber, Ph.D., at the Katonah Village Library on March 9th, call 914234-3227 for details. Up in Yorktown Heights at Hilltop Hanover Farm on March 3rd, it’s bread making time and trust me nothing tastes better than freshly made bread, add a little butter and enjoy! The gang over at the NY Grand Prix in Mount Kisco are hosting a program we all should look at, “How to Put More Green in your Business,” both cash and ecologically speaking, presented by Katonah Chamber of Commerce on March 7th. Here’s your chance to jumpstart Spring… cleaning, that is! The Wellness Day Committee invites

you to drop off all saleable items to Fox Lane High School during the week of March 6th to March 9th for the sixth annual Tag Sale set for March 10th and 11th in the large café at the Fox Lane High School. So bring the following items: Household goods, clothing, costume jewelry, bikes, books, toys (no used stuffed animals please!), etc. PLEASE: only items in good condition. My voice is more bass, but I will definitely be heading to the White Plains Performing Arts Center to see Ken Ludwig’s presentation of “Lend Me A Tenor,” March 9th through March 18th. The 2012 Scholars Lecture Series continues at the John Jay Homestead with Charles Rappleye’s “Robert Norris: Financier of the American Revolution,” on March 7th. Hocus-Pocus… here’s a “tricky” lecture, “Magical,” presented by local author and magician Margaret Steele will be loaded with photos and colorful magical posters at the Field Library in Peekskill on March 3rd. WFAS radio our home for “The Clubhouse,” is hosting its 2nd annual Listener Appreciation Party at the Westchester Broadway Theatre on March 22nd, sounds like a fun time, 2 column hope to see you there…

The Fort Hill Players present “National Pastime,” (no it’s not reading this column…), but a comedy grand slam featuring baseball, radio and romance playing at the Rochambeau School in White Plains March 18th to 24th. Our friends at the Community Center of Northern Westchester are still looking for warm clothing for men, women and children. The weather can still be cold in the months ahead. As you can imagine, warm jackets are brought in and taken very quickly. Sweaters, sweat shirts, heavy jeans, pants, scarves, hats, boots and shoes are all needed. As always, the Center wants to thank the community for their continued support. What has more than 5,200 of these held throughout the United States every year with four million participants? And, it’s considered the largest non-profit activity in the world and this summer Lewisboro will be hosting one for the first time (no not my birthday party!). The answer is…The Relay for Life, a cancerprevention fundraiser, is a unique event that takes place overnight. The one is Lewisboro will be held June 22nd to 23rd at the John Jay High School track field. It will be the 14th Relay for Life event in Westchester County. On the night of the event, each team is assigned an area where it set up camp. An opening ceremony, where participants celebrate

Photographs of Ireland Featured at Yonkers Riverfront Art Gallery By SUSAN THALER YONKERS, NY --The Yonkers Public Library Foundation is proud to present, “’Tis More Than Just Green,” a photographic exhibit of Ireland and its people.The exhibit features works by fourteen photographers. These stunning images capture the beauty, spirit and history of Ireland and the Irish. The exhibit will open to the public on Saturday, March 3, and will run through

survivors and caregivers, is held and survivors walk an opening lap. Caregivers then walk a lap with their survivors. At sundown, the Relay for Life features a luminaire ceremony, where candles are placed in paper bags, and held by participants who line the track with them. The candles can be purchased for $10 to honor someone who died of cancer. We all know that I am pretty “sappy,” so this event is a favorite of mine… the Sugarhouse Chat at the Trailside Nature Museum at the Ward Pound Ridge Reservation on March 10th, the museum staff will be on hand to show how sap turns into maple syrup. March is here which means spring is just around the corner, so as you start your spring cleaning, please drop off any good condition clothing to the many area organizations or bins that will gladly accept your donation for folks who could really use them… see you next week. Mark Jeffers successfully spearheaded the launch of MAR$AR Sports & Entertainment LLC in 2008. As president he has seen rapid growth of the company with the signing of numerous clients. He resides in Bedford Hills, New York, with his wife Sarah, and three daughters, Kate, Amanda, and Claire.

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Saturday, March 31, in the Art Gallery at the Yonkers Riverfront Library. Yonkers Riverfront Library is located at One Larkin Center in downtown Yonkers, across from the Yonkers station on MetroNorth’s Hudson Line. For directions and library hours, please visit the library’s website at www. Parking is available in the nearby Buena Vista Parking Garage. Riverfront Library is handicapped accessible.




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Education By JOHN F. McMULLEN

Since the beginning of verbal communication, it has been the role of one generation to pass the knowledge it has acquired down to the next generation, so that the learned material does not have to be re-learned all over again. As civilizations grew, passing on this information has become more and more the province of professional “teachers” who concentrate on particular topics of their expertise – and then, as education expanded to more and more people, the constant striving for new methodologies -- new ways of teaching as well as new ways of distribution – began and continues to this day. As part of the search for new ways of imparting information, teachers looked for ways to bring students who could not be brought into a classroom (which came to be known as “Same Time, Same Place”) into the process. The first known occurrence of this was a 1728 advertisement in the Boston Gazette by a teacher named Caleb Phillips, seeking students for a Short Hand course with lessons to be “sent weekly” (this method of imparting information is called “Different Time, Different Place”). With the development of postal services in the 1800’s, modern “Distance Education” began, with the most known provider a teacher of Short Hand, Isaac Pitman. Soon thereafter, traditional colleges and universities got into the act. The University of London, tracing its program to 1858, claims to be the first university to provide distance education courses (its program, now known as the “University of London International Programmes,” continues to this day, providing graduate, undergraduate and diploma courses from The London School of Economics and other schools). By the end of the nineteenth century, the University

of Chicago and Columbia University were engaged in distance education in the United States. The type of distance education utilized throughout the majority of the 20th Century was known as “Correspondence Courses,” in which the student received through the mail either a complete course or individual lessons with homework assignments which would be returned to the instructor when completed. At the end of the course, the student would either go to a testing center to take an examination on the “honor system” or simply receive credit for completing the course. Many well known US universities had such programs and some, such as the University of Maryland, worked in conjunction with the US Military which provided courses to service men throughout the world. I took such a course, while a civilian employee of the Department of Defense in the early 1960s. It was an “Introduction To Data Processing” course, encompassing both the relatively new use of electronic computers and the older “electrical accounting machines,” developed at the Department of the Army’s Fort Benjamin Harrison educational facility in Indiana, and, while comprehensive, was not very useful to someone already working in the field. It was good reference material but the turnaround was too slow for someone able to work on the material only in spurts. It was actually not my first exposure to distance education. From 1957 through 1982, CBS, in conjunction with New York University (“NYU”), broadcast “Sunrise Semester” (in the summer, called “Summer Semester”) at 6AM Eastern US time each weekday.The courses covered a wide range of subjects and could be simply watched by any viewer or taken for actual NYU credit by signing up and paying a fee. It soon became obvious as computers and telecommunications became more ubiquitous throughout both colleges and the business world that these systems could be used for business education as well as traditional courses. In the mid-1970’s, I had occasion, as an officer of a Control Data subsidiary, to utilize the first “generalized computer assisted instruction

system,” “PLATO” (“Programmed Logic for Automated Teaching Operations”). PLATO was at the University of Illinois as a teaching device for its students and was assumed by Control Data, which provided the machines that the system ran on. The training that I took provided introductory material and then asked a series of multiple-choice questions. If the answer provided was correct, the system went on to the next question; if incorrect, it explained the correct answer. Although rudimentary by today’s standards, PLATO generated excitement as to where computer assisted educated might go as it did provide forums, message boards, online testing, e-mail, chat rooms, instant messaging, remote screen sharing, multi-player games, and other components that became staples of later robust systems. PLATO and other systems of that time required access to terminals connected to large (“Mainframe”) systems, mandating that the large majority of users would have to be on a campus or at work in an office and their connection was dedicated to the educational system to which they were connected. The reach of educational systems grew dramatically with the introduction in 1981 by Ira Fuchs at the City University of New York (“CUNY”) and Graydon Freeman at Yale University of “BITNET” (“Because It’s There Network”, later referred to as “Because It’s Time Network”). Running initially only on IBM mainframe systems and later also on Digital Equipment Corporations’ VAX systems, BITNET brought together, at its high point in 1991, 3,000 nodes at almost 500 educational institutions worldwide. It provided e-mail connections throughout the network and “mailing lists” (primarily through “LISTSERV” mailing list servers), allowing users to join lists for over 10,000 subjects and obtain and share information. BITNET’s popularity dipped as personal computers came into wider use and the Internet spread rapidly, bringing with it “File Transfer” (“ftp”), “Gopher” file searching, and, eventually, the “World Wide Web. Its users were integrated seamlessly into the Internet.

Parallel to the improvements in technology and communications was the development of new methods of online education. In the early days of computer networking, game players immersed in the world of the “Dungeons and Dragons” board game developed online platforms for interactive game playing called “MUDs” (first called “Multi-User Dungeons” and then, as more uses were found for them, “Multi-User Domains”). The first MUD had been developed at Essex University in the UK in 1978 by Roy Trubshaw (and later by Richard Bertie) and was connected to the Internet in 1980, becoming the first Internet multiplayer on-line role-playing game. Soon there were hundreds of MUDs throughout the world and their pervasiveness led researchers at Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (“PARC”) to develop an “Object-Oriented” multi-user platform called a “Multi-User Dimension Object-Oriented” (“MOO”). The first one, Lambda MOO, was developed by Paval Curtis in 1990 and was an instant success attracting over 1,000 users. Curtis provided the “LambaCore” (the programs at the heart of Lambda) to those wishing to build their own MOOs and two, both created in 1993, “Media MOO” (created at MIT’s Media Lab by Amy Bruckman) and “Diversity University” (created by University of Houston Graduate Sociologist student Jeanne McWhorter) became the premier educational MOOs. The benefits of the Lambda core included the ability for users to build their own educational tools and share them with others. At Diversity University, for instance, Professor Tom Danford of West Virginia Northern Community College built a science lab and taught microbiology classes; Albert Einstein neuroscientist Priscilla Purnick modeled a brain and taught neuroscience courses; Marist College Professor Sherry Dingman led a group of high school students in the development of the environment of the Gilgamesh legend; and others developed tools for lectures, slide presentations, and simulations. In 1995, I taught the first interactive online Continued on page 6

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Education Continued from page 5 course at Marist College, a graduate capstone course in Information Systems using the Diversity Universe platform. Students employed by IBM and about to complete the Marist program were transferred throughout the country as part of an IBM re-organization and, rather than have them try to find a course that would combine the elements of their Marist program, we set up an online section of the course. I met with students “at Diversity University” every Sunday from 11AM to 2PM (“Same Time, Different Place”) and we completed the program, with them only having to come to the campus for a final conference and paper presentation. Although MOOs were successful in educational use, they were “text-based” only and faded away as the World Wide Web became more popular and web-based platforms developed

for education, such as “Blackboard”, “ANGEL”, “Moodle”, and “Sakai” came into use. Each of these systems provides facilities for all of the features originally conceived as components of PLATO (forums, message boards, online testing, e-mail, chat rooms, instant messaging, remote screen sharing, multi-player games, etc.) as well as the ability to link to web sites and contain videos, graphics, word processing, and presentation files. More and more, these systems are utilized not only for distance education courses but also to support in-classroom courses as well as “blended courses” (a combination of distance and in-classroom courses). Students and faculty when presented with the idea of “on-line courses” often seem to think that they will be “easier” for both. I have taught both and I actually find them to be greater work. As a professor, I miss the ability to “see” whether students are getting it and knowing when I have to go deeper into a subject – so I must go deeper in all subjects, giving more material (web links,

videos, documents, etc.) and provide more assessment tools (quizzes, homework, research papers, etc.). Students have more work and require more discipline as they do not have set hours for classroom attendance and are left to their owntime management skills, often lacking (it is for this reason that many colleges have minimum GPA requirements for taking on-line courses.). One enhanced educational tool came with the advent of “Second Life”, a Graphic-based Virtual Reality platform – a “graphic MOO on Steroids” which educational institutions such as Princeton, NYU, Marist, Monroe College, Ohio University, Emory University, MIT, USC, Purchase College, and Notre Dame flocked to. Although Second Life did not reach the commercial success to which it aspired, the educational experimentation goes on. Another recent development is the placing, at no charge, curriculum on-line by colleges. MIT has been at the forefront of this effort and, as professors from around the world share and

use such material, the overall quality of all courses should improve. As I look back in my relatively short involvement with education, it is obvious that there has been mind-boggling development and, as with everything, development should continue to grow exponentially. Creative Disruption is a continuing series examining the impact of constantly accelerating technology on the world around us. These changers normally happen under our personal radar until we find that the world as we knew it is no more.

John F. McMullen has been involved in technology for over 40 years and has written about it for major publications. He may be found on Facebook and his current non-technical writing, a novel, “The Inwood Book” and “New & Collected Poems by johnmac the bard” are available on Amazon. He is a professor at Purchase College and has previously taught at Monroe College, Marist College and the New School For Social Research.


Omar Sharif

ties upon my behalf because I had a big head (laughter). I remember she was hard on me for my sake because she wanted me to become the best young man in town. She first took me to French schools where I didn’t learn any English, the language I relied on later in my international career. At the time I turned eleven, I remember becoming a very fat boy because I was addicted to cakes. Seeking more discipline, my mother moved me to a British school where, in addition to learning the English language, I started to act in school plays as soon as I turned thirteen.


Omar Sharif is a legend. We grew up watching him sharing the screen with great stars like Jean PaulBelmondo, Gregory Peck, and beautiful vedettes like Sofia Loren and Julie Christie. On Egyptian television, we re-discovered his first black and white films with beautiful actresses like Soad Hosni, Faten Hama, his wife and perhaps his greatest love. Over the years, Omar Sharif has never lost his simple, yet charming presence; his tranquil voice and surprising openness. Sometimes he gets too serious while throwing a sarcastic comment over one of his memoirs. After starring in more than 20 films in Egyptian cinema, Omar Sharif made a spec-

Lawrence of Arabia.

Omar Sharif with Julie Christie in Dr. Zhivago. tacular entrance into movie history when he cowho goes undercover as the Coptic Morcos to starred in David Lean’s epic Lawrence of Arabia hide from hunting extremists only to befriend a (1962), alongside an international cast that inpriest going through the same dilemma. cluded Peter O’Toole, Anthony Quinn and Alec What follows is an exclusive interview in Guinness. His role as Sherif Ali granted a double Doha, Qatar. Golden Globe win for Best Actor Drama and AWAD: What can you tell us about your Best Supporting Actor, an Oscar nomination early years growing up in Alexandria? and another starring role with Lean in yet another all-time epic Doctor Zhivago (1965). From film, to theatre and television, Omar Sharif became the most famous Egyptian star with an international career that spanned half a century. He worked with the best filmmakers (and, as he put it, sometimes the worst), the most beautiful leading ladies and travelled all over the world becoming an art ambassador representing Egypt. Long years of agony and likewise ecstasy; he was seeming praised as much as he was confronted Hassan & Morcos. with epithets originating from within his homeland. Nevertheless, Sharif returned to Egypt to elevate his personal artistic craft to the demands SHARIF: At you know, I was born in the of contemporary local cinema and television. He downtown neighborhood of Cleopatra Elmade an impressive starring role versus Egyptian Hamamat, near Seidy Gaber Station in Alexstar Adel Imam in Hassan & Morcos where he andria. My mother played a major role in my played the religious Muslim Sheikh Mahmoud life although I was told she had many difficul-

Omar Sharif in Venice with the stars of ElMosafer. AWAD: It was noted that your first roles in Egyptian cinema were colorful, varying in complexity from comedies like Ishaaet Hob (Rumor of Love-1961), to drama (Naguib Mahfouz’s Bedaya We Nehaya), and romance (Nahir ElHob). How did you manage to land such a variety of roles? SHARIF: I think, I did, because of my looks; I was a jeune premier who got cast in more than twenty-five Egyptian films during the golden age of cinema. Some films I did for their good scripts, others I only signed along the dotted lines when I needed extra cash. And to tell you the truth, I still follow this criterion Continued on page 7



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Omar Sharif

Continued from page 6 until now. Between then and now, I had responsibilities and families to support. I raised my own son Tarek and Nadia, the daughter of my ex-wife Faten Hamam, and my grandsons along the years. I remember that, before I travelled abroad, my biggest paycheck was three hundred Egyptian Pounds per picture compared to Five Thousand for Hamama. My longtime friend Ahmed Ramzy and our contemporaries, like Shokry Sarhan were used to be paid the same amount. Others like Abdel-Halim Hafez, who a singer/actor, was offered more than Hamama. In those days, we didn’t have a shooting script. The director and the screenwriter used to arrive at 13:00 hours (1:00 p.m.) to write the lines we would use in our scenes. Then, we used to arrive at the studio at 14:00 hours (2:00 p.m.) to learn our lines, with the assistant director, and to shoot everything in one take. AWAD: Afterwards you landed your first international role as Sheikh Sherif Ali Ben El Kharish in Lawrence of Arabia (1962). How did this role come your way? SHARIF: At that time, Sir David Lean, the film’s great British director, was starting to lose hope in finding a professional actor with Middle Eastern looks who could also speaks English fluently. After his assistant casting director brought

him all the profile photos of Egyptian leading men of that decade, Lean picked up mine and, after verifying I spoke the language, flew me over to London where I did a camera test to land the role of Sherif Ali. Sir David Lean was more of a father figure to me and he treated me like I was his own son. I remember that, before the film wrapped up, he said to me: ‘Omar, once Lawrence of Arabia is

Monsieur Ibrahim.

released, you’ll become an international star. So don’t accept another role of an Arab riding a camel, and always try to thoroughly refresh your image. Try to accept films that will push your career forward and not films that will rely on your name to achieve success.’ But of course, I didn’t follow up on those words of wisdom throughout my long career. I believe circumstances are sometimes stronger than we may hope to be. Nevertheless, I was a very hard worker and used to go on my shooting day-offs to watch other great actors. I worked with the likes of Peter O’Toole and Alec Guinness to absorb their methodology in acting and to learn their techniques on how to inhabit a character. AWAD: We grew up hearing the story about your being criticized in the Arab Press about starring with and kissing Barbara Streisand in the movie Funny Girl back in the sixties. SHARIF: Yes, because when we started to shoot Funny Girl, the 1967 War ignited between Egypt and Israel and it was as if I got caught between two fires. In the United States, the Jewish community started to say that I was using my payments from Hollywood Studios to help Nasser fight Israel. While back in the Arab world, they were saying I was working with a Jewish actress. But let me tell you something from an insider’s perspective, the whole film industry, not only the American one, is mostly controlled by people of Jewish origins. Attacks against me began when journalists from Time

magazine and Newsweek began questioning me about what I thought was the reason for the attacks from my own people. My reply was simple and straightforward; I told them I was only doing a musical comedy, not a political drama! Moreover, I told them that I follow a certain code: When I decide to kiss a girl, I never ask her about her nationality or her religion. AWAD: It is noted from the 1970s until the early 1980s that you didn’t appear in Egyptian Continued on page 8

Standing up for our schools and families Fighting for good paying jobs Charting a new course for Yonkers

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Omar Sharif

Continued from page 7 films because you focused on your international work in Europe and America. Thereafter, you had frequent starring roles on Egyptian TV, films like Ayoub (1983), with Fouad El-Mohandes, then in El-Aragoz (1989), with Mervat Amin, and El-Mowaten Masri (1991), with Ezzat El-Alaily. SHARIF: After I finished Lawrence, I found myself committed to several international films, but I returned to Egypt, once in 1965, to star in El-Mamalik (The Mamluks), as a favor for my producer Helmy Rafla and director Atef Salem who, at that time, was launching the career of a young girl that became his wife- now known as the star, Nabila Ebeid. Afterwards, it was difficult to go back and forth because we, Egyptians, needed to have an exit visa from Mogama el-Tahrir to travel abroad. As for actors, we used to be called artistes, in Egyptian slang, and we needed an additional Certificate of Good Conduct issued in our favor from an office located on Kasr ElNile Street. I remember that Fatin Hamama and I used to stand in a long line to get that piece of paper. Ironically, in the end, and after many officicials gave us a hard time, we were given approximately EGL20 (Egyptian Pounds) as our allowable travel expenses! I decided not to come back to Egypt until this bureaucracy faded away. Although many nationalities were offered to me, I never abrogated my Egyptian passport. Then, perhaps ten years later, I met President Anwar Sadat at a party held at the White House during Gerard Ford’s presidency. I remember that Sadat took me in his arms and, with his deep voice, invited me to his own son’s wedding in Egypt. So I began to return, and to accept film offers from Egyptian producers once again. AWAD: Another great moment in your film career was receiving the Cesar of Best Actor for your role as the title character of Monsieur Ibrahim et les fleurs du Coran (2003), a film that re-

flects the tolerance between two religions over the friendship between your character and a young Jewish boy. SHARIF: Monsieur Ibrahim made me return to stand before his camera after a hiatus of two years hiatus. I did not expect to find any picture or role that would compel my return. While I was on vacation in Cairo, I had achance to read the script which moved me because the theme interested me. I am open reverent of all religions; what I liked about the story was the incidental friendship between human beings. It didn’t matter that the boy was Jewish and Ibrahim was Muslim; what mattered to me was the exchange of trust and understanding that grew between the two of them. AWAD: Your role in Hassan & Morkos seemed like a continuation to those thematic elements.The movie reflected religious bigotry in Egypt through the eyes of those two friends and their families.Before Hassan & Morkos,had the idea of casting you alongside Adel Imam ever surfaced? SHARIF: I guess not because filmmakers always thought of me as a serious dramatic actor although I love comedy more than any other genre. I once starred in a farcical, theatrical play on the London stage which lasted for over fifteen months. But when he got the screenplay of Hassan & Morkos, Imam looked for an equal, an equivalent, with whom he could share the screen. So his actor son Mohamed Imam, who co-starred told him: “Why don’t we call Omar Sharif?” And so he reached my friend Inas Bakr who called my chauffeur (Because I don’t carry a cell phone). Finally, we reached each other and he invited me to his home at 1:00 o’clock in the morning. After a brief discussion, I said, ‘Yes,’ and never asked how much Good News, the film’s production company, would pay me. AWAD: The TV serial Hanan We Hanin (Tenderness and Desire) by your longtime friend Inas Bakr, didn’t achieve the expected reception among viewers on Egyptian TV. SHARIF: Hanan We Hanin was a fiction-

alized retelling of my own life story. It was about how I was longing for Egypt in the 1970s and how I was wishing to come back but couldn’t. When I was in Europe, I used to invite my Alexandrian friends from different Greek Jewish origins, and I recited my favorite poems by Salah Jahin in a corner house I referred to as the Egyptian corner. Back to your question, I think the serial was too “soft” for today’s audience who are exposed to an overdose of melodrama and violence. But now, viewers are rediscovering it in its reruns on terrestrial channels. I think Inas did a good job in writing and directing the serial. It also afforded us a chance to share the screen again with my longtime friend Ahmed Ramzy, after fifty years after Ayamna El-Helwa. AWAD: Since you have become honorary president of the Cairo Film Festival, your improvised words during the opening nights touched Egyptians and foreign guests alike. SHARIF: I was first asked to become the festival president when Saad Wahba passed away back in 1997. A few years later, I did an interview for the Egyptian magazine, El-Kawakeb, mentioning that we should move the festival outside of the crowded capital to Luxor, Sharm El-Sheikh or even Thebes. So one journalist took the final sentence and re-worded it in such a way as to give the impression I wanted Israel to attend the festival.Then Mohamed Saad,the chief editor of El-Kawakeb at that time, wrote a big article against me in the opening column of a special issue he created to discredit me. When they offered me the honorary presidency,I couldn’t refuse because I never say no to a demand related to my country Egypt. I appeared on stage facing the spotlight without having prepared anything beforehand and I let the words flow from my heart. AWAD:You have been in more than a hundred films that span half-a-century. How do you define stardom after such an impressive career achievement? SHARIF: It’s a mystery and a bit of luck. I was lucky that my parents didn’t get a divorce and my mother took care of me. When I wanted to become a professional actor, I never started in

small roles. Youssef Chahine offered me the starring role Siraa Fil-Wadi (The Blazing Sun-1954) opposite Faten Hamam, an epic that was selected to represent Egypt in competition at the Cannes Film Festival. When I worked in Lawrence of Arabia, my first international role, I got an Oscar nomination and a double Golden Globe win. You know, I never asked for all of this; it just landed in my lap. I am now 77 and still do good starring roles which are more difficult to find for actors in my age. AWAD: You also shared the screen with most beautiful stars. What is beauty for Omar Sharif? SHARIF: To you the truth, if the Mona Lisa hung on my wall, I would get easily bored looking at it every day. I never fell in love with gorgeous women. I worship a smart woman with whom I may enjoy a good conversation while listening to good music. I never believed in love at first sight; neither in life or in the movies. AWAD: What do we next expect from Omar Sharif? SHARIF: A man of my age doesn’t think of the past because it brings nostalgicly sad memories and neither the future because he doesn’t control it. I only think of today and tomorrow and not the day after tomorrow. In France, I shot a drama called J’ai Oublié de Te Dire (I forgot to Tell You), where I play an old man suffering from Alzheimer with writer-director Laurent Vinas-Raymond. Then in Egypt, El-Mosafer (The Traveler), by Egyptian filmmaker Ahmed Maher was recently released. I play the older version of Khaled ElNabawy’s character, an Egyptian whose journey spans over the last century.

where a successful attack could have massive public impact. I can hear the snickering of the cyber hackers, safe in their faraway homes. They are not waiting for the Congress to pass a bill. I believe the FBI has it right when the FBI Director Robert Mueller stated in front of the Congress, “Threats from cyber-espionage computer crime and attacks on critical infrastructure will surpass terrorism as the number one threat facing the US”. The National Intelligence Director James Clapper, “The cyber threat is one of the most challenging ones we face, among state actors we’re particular concerned about entities within China and Russia conducting intrusions into U.S. Computer networks and stealing US data. And the growing role that non-state actors are playing in cyberspace is a great example of the easy access to potential disruptive and even lethal technology and know-how by such groups. US officials es-

timate there are 60,000 new malicious computer programs identified each day.” How serious is this threat? With all the layered security controls that banks and credit unions are putting in place, a 2011 survey revealed more than 75 percent of surveyed financial institutions said they discovered fraud only after their customers notified them. Institutions have continued to grapple with fraud threats linked to card skimming, corporate account takeover, (http:// , wire transfer fraud ( , identity theft, and third party breaches like credit card number thefts at the point-of-sale cash register breaches that hit last summer, especially affecting Michaels’ Arts & Crafts store chain ( Continued on page 9

Born in Cairo, Egypt, Sherif Awad is a film/video critic and curator. He is the film editor of Egypt Today Magazine, and the artistic director for both the Alexandria Film Festival, in Egypt, and the Arab Rotterdam Festival, in The Netherlands. He also contributes to Variety, in the United States, and Variety Arabia, in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).


Cyber War - Version 2012 By ALAN HEYMAN Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid, D-Nev.: “Malicious cyberactivity poses one of the most profound threats to our nation; yet, our government currently lacks a framework with which to confront this threat. To put it candidly, we are playing catch up in an increasing costly and potentially deadly, game” The proposed answer is the new “Cybersecurity Act of 2012” - The bipartisan bill introduced in the Senate during the week of February 16, 2012, with chief sponsors of the bill being; Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, Sen. Joseph Lieberman, ID-Conn., Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va. and Sen. Diane Feinstein, D-Calif.

Sen. Collins stated: “The threat is not just to our national security, but also to our economic well-being”. With these warnings, this bill as with all cyber-security legislation in the past faces an uphill climb. The legislation is three years in the making and follows many cyber-security bills introduced in the past year. Who can forget the controversial ”Stop Online Privacy Act” (SOPA), and the unprecedented public backlash with Internet companies using the power of the Internet to voice opposition causing many Senators to rethink the goals of the lobbyists, attempting to protect big media interests by putting the policing actions on Internet companies, without a clear definition of responsibilities and legalities. The bill places the Department of Homeland Security at the forefront to assess the risks and vulnerabilities of critical infrastructures, such as electrical and nuclear power grids, water systems, and telephone and data communication systems,



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Cyber War - Version 2012 Continued from page 8 and Zappos from Megaupload of Anonymous ( or the massive California gas pump credit card number skimming attacks kb/2011/Aug/405132.html (stealing card numbers remotely). The proposed bill will force US Companies operating critical infrastructures to better defend their networks against cyber-attacks and to collect and share data crossing their networks with federal authorities.The bill is designed to streamline data security processes and to improve the ability for companies to share information about data threats within their industries. Public interest organizations want to ensure that legislation limits the amount of personal data to which the government will gain access. After several attempts at passing cyber-security related legislation, lawmakers are playing it safe this time around. This measure would stop short of giving the President “kill switch” powers to limit or shut down web traffic in the event of

an emergency as a previous version had. Companies that are selected under the critical infrastructure classification clause in the Senate bill would have the ability to implement their own cyber-security technology. The bill would prohibit the government from regulating the design or the technology used by these companies. The measure would also redefine some roles of federal agencies and amend the Federal Information Security Management Act (2003-FISMA) regulations from being compliance focused to security focused. The FISMA act requires federal agencies to develop, document, and implement an agency-wide program to provide security for the information systems that support the operations and assets of the agency, including those provided or managed by another agency, contractor, or other source. FISMA has brought attention within the federal government to Cybersecurity and explicitly emphasized a “risk-based policy for cost-effective security.” FISMA requires agency program officials, chief information officers, and federal auditors to conduct annual reviews of the agency’s information security program and report the results to Office

of Management and Budget (OMB). The “risk-based policy for cost-effective security” is a growing trend within state legislations also. This will change the focus of a company from a compliance or paperwork answer to a security technology emphasis. The crafting of the proposed bill is not completed, with many parties and interest groups still to be heard. As the bill stands now, it would not only exempt companies from existing privacy laws, but also bar the public including watchdog organizations and academics from obtaining information collected under the law through the Freedom of Information Act. The bill also calls for organizations in the private and public sector to share data about cyber-threats including personal data, said Lee Tien, a senior staff attorney of the Electronic Freedom Foundation, a San Francisco nonprofit digital rights group. Further, Tien said the way the law is written, the government can gain access to data it otherwise would not have, even if the companies involved did not want to share that information. Others are concerned that the bill permits the government to use the threatened information that will be shared, to prosecute any crime or is in reality another new surveillance “big

brother” program. Those experts believe the bill should require the information shared with the government for cyber-security purposes is used only for cyber-security. I wonder what the cyber hackers here and in foreign countries think about all this. Regardless of their thoughts, we must be concerned with their actions and deeds. The Congress must move forward with a comprehensive intelligently crafted bill and not another bill with more complex cyber-regulations and compliance mandates that would drive up costs while causing the misallocation of limited business resources without necessarily increasing security. Mr. Alan Heyman, ( is Managing Director of Cyber Security Auditors & Administrators LLC (CSA2) and a principal of Xanadu Security Services, LTD, (XS2). More than 25 years in the data communication world, having started one of the first Internet based Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) companies in the late 80’s. Mr. Heyman is growing CSA2 on a national scale focusing on Cyber Security issues, Reputation Management systems and auditing compliance requirements in the healthcare industry.


The Tree House in Mt Kisco Helps Children and Parents Cope with Tragedy By RICH MONETTI

In the course of being kids, the expressions are the same – even in the face of tragedy. “They often look like they are doing Ok because they have to be kids first,” says Patricia Duff of the Bereavement Center of Westchester, so it follows that the true effects of losing a parent or sibling shouldn’t be looked for on the face of a grieving child. Mired in feelings like guilt, anger and regret, which are typically frowned upon in daily life, children reflectively repress them and later in life they can return in the form of mental illness, according to Ms. Duff, an RN who has been in the field of hospice and bereavement for 28 years. At the Tree House, she says, they learn that all those feeling are acceptable. Under the umbrella of the Bereavement Center and begun 16 years ago, the Tree House is set up to bring young families together in a forum structured toward children. “When they come to us, they have to feel safe in the group before they will talk,” she says. So every other Thursday, families come to The Presbyterian Church of Mt. Kisco at 605 Millwood Road, start off with a pizza dinner and then break down into groups based on age. “The kids start their group with an opening circle where they may share their story, their feelings, their worries and their memories, she says. At the same time, the Tree House realizes

that kids cannot just sit and talk for 90 minutes. They may play feelings bingo or a musical chairs game that follows a theme geared toward bereavement. On the other hand, she says, “If we feel they just need to play – we let them play.” All in all, the atmosphere lets them move in stark contrast to the way they instinctively precede in school. Knowingly in the minority, letting others in on their pain is not the norm. “Kids want to be like everybody else at school so they don’t want to show their emotions,” she says. That could possibly be the case in some homes but even if families are open, a similar silence could emerge without outside intervention. “A lot of kids worry about their surviving parent or guardian so often they will not want to talk about it for fear that it will upset the parent,” she says. With that said, the Tree House helps provide parents the tools they need to move forward with their kids, but the feelings of adults aren’t left out either. This gives them one place where they can go, see other young families and realize they aren’t the only ones going through this, she says. In turn, the healing is not simply the shortest distance between two points but a circular journey without endpoints. Not only do you receive help but you give help and that’s a wonderful feeling to be able to help another young parent by sharing what has worked for you, she says. Continued on page 10

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The Tree House in Mt Kisco Helps Children and Parents Cope with Tragedy

Continued from page 9 In other words, she adds, “It makes you feel more normal in an abnormal situation,” and the proof is in the members who return as volunteers to take their turn as group leaders at the

Tree House. Nonetheless, the children taking part in this process at the Tree House are much more the exception to the rule. “We’re not reaching every kid that this is happening to by any stretch of the

imagination,” she says. Currently, with only 38 families enrolled in Mt. Kisco, she’s sadly right but hopes that can change. For more info or call 961 2818 x 317

Rich Monetti lives in Somers. He’s been a freelance writer in Westchester since 2003 and works part time in the after school program at Mt. Kisco Childcare. You can find more of his stories at www.


The Golden Age of Hudson Valley Brickmaking, 1: An Industry Is Born By ROBERT SCOTT In the first decade of the 20th century, the Hudson Valley was the largest brick-producing region in the world. The Hudson Valley produced more than a billion bricks a year, accounting for 10% of total U.S. brick pro-

site shore, he crossed over to Haverstraw, where he leased land and established a brickyard. With its more abundant supplies of clay, the west bank of the Hudson eventually surpassed the east bank in production. Nevertheless, for 75 years after 1850 a busy brickmaking industry flourished in Westchester in the area between Croton and Peekskill.

Early Westchester Brickyards

duction. By the turn of the present century, the last surviving brickyard closed, and the once mighty molded-brick industry of the Hudson Valley was no more. This is the story of that now-forgotten chapter of local history. The invention of the steam shovel made clay extraction easier.This scene is at the W. A. Underhill Brickyard Company’ s site on Croton Point.

A City’s Need for Bricks

Clay for bricks was extracted by digging and then hauling it to the brickyard in small hopper cars over temporary narrow-gauge tracks.

Brickmaking Comes to the New World

Babylonians and Egyptians made bricks, the oldest manufactured building material, as early as 4000 B.C. For centuries, bricks were sun-dried. Around 1000 B.C. someone discovered that they could be hardened by fire. Since then, every civilization has burnt bricks. Dutch and English colonists brought with them the brickmaking skills of the mother country. Small deposits of clay were everywhere in the new land, and it was not unusual for bricks to be made at building sites. In the construction of the John Jay homestead in Katonah, for example, bricks were made from clay dug and burned at the site. At the Van Cortlandt Manor in Croton, demonstrations of how molded bricks were made in Colonial times are occasionally given. The father of Hudson Valley commercial brickmaking was an Englishman with brickmaking experience, James Wood. Arriving in Westchester in 1801 at age 28, he set up a brickyard at Sing Sing and then at George’s Island. Upon learning of vast clay deposits on the oppo-

panic of 1837 Some 55 million locally-manufactured bricks would be consumed in building this engineering marvel. But five years would elapse before water would begin to flow to the city. Another solution to New York’s increased threat of fire was to erect fire-resistant buildings-and to construct them of brick.

During the first half of the 19th century, New York grew faster than any other American city to become the principal metropolis of the nation. By mid-century its population was more than a half-million inhabitants. Fires were the dreaded hazard in cities, where closely packed houses were constructed of wood, and fireplaces were used for cooking and heating. Small fires inevitably spread to become conflagrations of disastrous proportions involving whole sections of a city. In 1835, the need for an adequate supply of water in New York was underscored when the city suffered one of the worst disasters in its history. The great fire of December 17th wiped out many buildings that had survived an earlier fire of 1776 when the British seized the city during the Revolution. Before the conflagration was extinguished, it leveled 20 blocks, destroyed 674 buildings, 530 of which were warehouses or housed commercial establishments. Estimates of property loss ranged between twenty and forty million dollars. Some 1500 merchants were ruined, and nearly all of the city’s fire insurance companies went bankrupt. An adequate supply of water was one solution to the city’s fire problem. Actual construction of the Croton Aqueduct would not begin until two years late, in the midst of the financial

One early brickyard was between Verplanck Point and Montrose Point, at Green’s Cove, named for Isaac Green, a settler from Vermont. In 1833 or 1834, Green began to manufacture bricks on land leased from Joshua T. Jones. In 1837, William A. Underhill began making bricks on land owned by his father, Robert Underhill, on Croton Point. Extensive deposits of clay and sand were discovered on Verplanck Point, and it became the center of the early brickmaking industry in Cortlandt. An early brickyard operator was William Bleakley, former town supervisor of Cortlandt and later sheriff of Westchester County.

plified Greek Revival style are seemingly frozen in time. In 1836, John Henry and nine other investors purchased Verplanck Point with the intention of establishing a village to rival Peekskill. Theirs was an ambitious plan for small lots along 37 numbered streets and six named avenues (Water, Hudson, Highland, Broadway, Westchester, and Union). The expected population never materialized, however, and only eleven streets and four avenues were cut through. In 1866, Henry sold much of his land to the Hudson River Brick Manufacturing Company. Initially, this company did not engage in brick manufacture but leased land to others.

Dr. Richard T. Underhill, a physician and brother of William A. Underhill, had no interest in brickmaking. He grew grapes on his estate on Croton Point and made prize-winning wines. His vintages were stored in brick-lined vaults still visible there.

Brickmaking in 1884

Two bricks showing marks used by the W.A.Underhill Brickyard Company: WAU and IXL (“I excel”). According to the N.Y. State Census of 1855, 37 brickyards employing more than a thousand workers were operating in the town of Cortlandt. The only other brickyard in Westchester was located near Sing Sing in the town of Mount Pleasant and employed 16 men. One legacy of the intensive brickmaking on Verplanck Point is the community of Verplanck itself. Still remarkably intact, it is a veritable architectural museum. Its brick public buildings and modest brick homes and row houses in sim-

Because brickmaking was an unglamorous industry requiring comparatively little capital or equipment, few records have survived. We get a glimpse of its extent in Cortlandt in 1884 from J. Thomas Scharf ’s two-volume Westchester County history. On Verplanck Point ten brickyards employed 425 men and manufactured 400,000 bricks daily. Frank A. Timoney leased three yards and employed 150 men. Patrick King also operated three yards employing 125 men. Adam Fisher’s yard (50 men, Thomas Vaughey’s yard (25 men) and John Morton’s two yards (75 men) were all leased. One of Morton’s yards manufactured what was described as “Croton front brick,” priced at $10-12 a thousand. The other made “common brick,” priced at $6 a thousand. Continued on page 11



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The Golden Age of Hudson Valley Brickmaking, 1: An Industry Is Born Continued from page 10 At Green’s Cove, between Verplanck Point and Montrose Point, were the brickyards of Cyrus Travis, then the town supervisor of Cortlandt, and O’Brien & McConnon, each employing 50 men. On Montrose Point was the brickyard of James D. Avery, with 30 men. Farther south were two brickyards operated by Orrin Frost with 100 men. On George’s Island were three leased brickyards, employing 130 men.Two were operated by Tompkins & Bellefeuille and the third by Edward Bellefeuille. At Crugers, John Peach Cruger owned two brickyards employing 70 men; one was leased to

Adam Fisher. Croton Landing had two brickyards. The northern, smaller yard was operated by Schuyler Hamilton of Ossining and employed 30 men. To the south was the yard of the George D. Arthur Company, owned by Francis Larkin and Marcus L. Cobb, both of Ossining, with 50 men. Croton Point had two yards--one made 60,000 Croton front bricks a day and another turned out enameled bricks for tiling and wainscoting.

Westchester Brick Brands

Early brickmakers occasionally scratched their initials in their bricks, but by the 1880’s templates were used to enable uniform marks to

be made. Eventually, rectangular wooden plates were fixed inside the molds at the bottom. These produced an indentation in each brick called a “frog” in which brickyards’ names or initials appeared in raised relief. The frog not only yielded a lighter brick but also conserved raw material. It also made for a better bond between bricks laid with mortar. Builders soon recognized brands whose quality was consistent and bought such bricks. Most Westchester brands are easily identifiable by their names, but some initials can pose a problem. Verplanck yards: CC (Charles Carman); K&L (King and Lynch); O&McC (O’Brien & McConnon); PO (Patrick O’Brien). Crugers yards: LHL (L.H. Lynch); L&O (Lynch & O’Brien). Croton and Croton Point

yards: CPB Co (Croton Point Brick Company); EF (Eugene Frost); JM (John Morton); WAU (W.A. Underhill). Bricks of the Anchor Brick Company of Croton were distinguishable by an anchor embossed in the frog. Some W.A. Underhill bricks displayed the letters IXL (“I excel”). Despite their size and weight, and the difficulty of exhibiting them, collectors eagerly seek examples of brick brands. The Brick Museum in Haverstraw, N.Y., has exhibits tracing the history of brickmaking in the Hudson Valley, and is well worth a visit.

Saigon fell while we were in college. Though I never aspired to be a war correspondent, I suppose I would have gone abroad had the situation presented itself early in my career. I focused instead on covering government, politics and law while I got my M.B.A. Just around the time Colvin found her calling as a British-based correspondent, I decided to leave daily journalism to become a financial adviser (which is a different sort of fact-gathering and reporting process), start a business and get married and have a family.

I never met Colvin, but from the passion in her last interview with CNN and her final report for the Sunday Times, I’m pretty certain that she would make the same choices again. She knew the risks she was taking, and she died doing something that I believe she felt duty-bound to do. She wanted to bring the story of Homs to the world, and she did, in her life and through her death.

Robert Scott is a semi-retired book publisher and an avid local historian. He lives in Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y. In next week’s issue of The Westchester Guardian, he describes the steps in the brickmaking process.


Conflict Journalism By LARRY M. ELKIN

As my rental car crawled through Los Angeles rush hour traffic Tuesday evening, I tuned the satellite radio to CNN and listened to Anderson Cooper interview Marie Colvin, an Americanborn reporter for London’s Sunday Times who slipped into the besieged Syrian city of Homs. By the time I awoke on Wednesday morning Colvin was dead, along with a French photojournalist.They were reportedly killed, and two other reporters were wounded, when a Syrian government shell struck a house that was being used by the small cadre of foreign reporters defying Syrian restrictions on coverage in the conflict zone. The BBC, which also interviewed Colvin on Tuesday, said more shells landed in the building’s garden as survivors tried to flee the bombing, but it is impossible to know whether the journalists were specifically targeted or whether they were merely victims of the violence they were covering. The Sunday Times released Colvin’s final story outside its pay wall following her death. She described a harrowing journey into Homs on an undisclosed smuggling route, escorted by the lightly armed Free Syrian Army, consisting mainly of defectors from Bashar Assad’s regime. “Inevitably,” she wrote, “the Syrian army opened fire.” She described coming under fire again as she was driven through dark and empty streets. “As we passed an open stretch of road, a Syrian army unit fired on the car again with machine guns and launched a rocket-propelled grenade. We sped into a row of abandoned buildings for cover.” Colvin’s last interviews with CNN and the BBC focused on a 2-year-old boy who was struck, along with his father, by shrapnel from a government shell. The father survived. The

child arrived at an ill-equipped clinic gasping for breath, with a gaping wound in his chest. The clinic’s staff, consisting of one medical doctor and one dentist, could do nothing but watch as the little boy died. Like many journalists reporting from war zones, Colvin made no pretense of being impartial in the clash between the Assad regime and the rebellion, which began nearly a year ago as peaceful calls for democratic change but has steadily devolved into violent repression and scattered resistance, including recent suicide bombings in Damascus. It must be difficult to be impartial when one side tries to protect you, even for its own purposes, while the other side shoots at you. Colvin was under no illusions as to why the Syrian rebels risked so much to bring her and her colleagues to Homs. She was an experienced war reporter who had spent two decades with the Sunday Times; she lost an eye while covering civil war in Sri Lanka in 2001. Colvin knew that the rebels want the world to see the carnage in places like Homs in hopes that it will bring help for their cause. She openly sympathized with that goal. In her story Tuesday she quoted United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who said last week, “We see neighborhoods shelled indiscriminately, hospitals used as torture centers, children as young as 10 years old killed and abused. We see almost certainly crimes against humanity.”Then Colvin added her own observation: “Yet the international community has not come to the aid of the innocent caught in this hell.” War reporters make choices and take risks that most of us don’t. The paths that Colvin and I took in life reflect those choices. She was about a year older than me and grew up on Long Island, N.Y., at the same time I was raised in the Bronx. We were both drawn to journalism in the Vietnam and Watergate era, when reporting the news seemed like one of the most worthwhile things a young person could do in life without first having to pass a course in organic chemistry.

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Conflict Journalism

Continued from page 11 Rémi Ochlik, a French photojournalist who was only 28, was also killed Wednesday. The death of someone so young hits harder. It is especially disturbing for me because I have my own young journalist who is just about to graduate from college. I don’t know where her future choices will lead her, and I can’t be certain – much as I want to be – that she will always be

safe. But I know where she’s coming from, even if I can’t know or control exactly where she is going. Conflict journalists are a breed apart. Either out of altruism or bravado or ambition, or most likely a combination of all of the above, they put themselves in harm’s way. Too often, they pay a high price. But they have to do what they have to do. Deepest condolences to the families of Marie Colvin and Rémi Ochlik, and best wishes for a speedy recovery to British photographer Paul

Conroy, who illustrated Colvin’s stories from Syria, and French journalist Edith Bouvier of Le Figaro. They were injured, apparently quite seriously in Bouvier’s case, in Wednesday’s shelling. And thank you to all the news people who risk their lives so the rest of us can safely know what is happening around us.

Larry M. Elkin, CPA, CFP®, is president of Palisades Hudson Financial Group a fee-only financial

planning firm headquartered in Scarsdale, NY. The firm offers estate planning, insurance consulting, trust planning, cross-border planning, business valuation, family office and business management, executive financial planning, and tax services. Its sister firm, Palisades Hudson Asset Management, is an independent investment advisor with about $950 million under management. Branch offices are in Atlanta and Ft. Lauderdale. Website:www.


THE SOUNDS Anson Funderburgh, Big Joe Maher, Kevin OFBLUE McKendree & Steve Mackey By Bob Putignano A four night in a row consecutive treat on this year’s edition of Delbert McClinton’s Sandy Beach Cruise was watching and listening to Anson Funderburgh, Big Joe Maher, Kevin McKendree and Steve Mackey jam and perform smartly. After recovering from his cancer treatment (he’s now five year cancer free,) Funderburgh has never sounded better. Rhythm section mates; McKendree (keys) and Mackey (bass) are also part of Delbert’s tour de force band. Plus Joe Maher drummed and sang regally as this finely honed unit dazzled everyone in the room night after night. For me this was a nightly ritual that I eagerly looked forward to that followed some of other strong performances by great artists that appeared on the cruise. I might add that there weren’t any lightweights as the likes of Marcia Ball, Jimmy Hall, Lee Roy Parnell, Joe Ely, the McCrary Sisters, Teresa James, Seth Walker, Gary Nicholson, Nick Connolly, Eric Lindell, Wayne Toups & Zydecajun, as well as Delbert and others were also part of the seven days of hardy partying. Maher told me that some of his favorite songs performed included chestnuts like “Confessin’ the Blues,” “Evangeline,” “What the Hell Were You Thinking,” “Nothing But Trouble,” “Lets Get High,” Big Long Buick,” “Someday,” “Who Will the Next Fool Be,” and “Lets Go Jumpin’.” A lot of these tunes were like a fresh walk down memory lane, but were executed in such a way that allowed each and every musician to imprint their own signature sounds on each instrument. I would also like to add that (like some good musicians) these gentlemen not only had strong chops, they also knew how to listen to each other, allowing them to intuitively play off riffs, which not only raised the bar to near perfection, it also made for top-shelf jamming. Bassist Steve Mackey told me: “This band is without a doubt the most swinging group of musicians I have ever played with. I have not

Delbert McClinton’s Sandy Beach Cruise January, 2012 -

Kevin McKendree.

Anson Funderburgh (front) and Joe Maher.

learned about nuance and depth of groove like that since I was first learning my instrument. Joe Maher is a master; and his gigs during SBC cruise week are the highlight for me.” Kevin McKendree was quoted as saying; “It’s always my favorite gig on Delbert’s cruise, playing with Big Joe. I don’t get to play with him nearly as often as I would like, so I’m grateful Delbert has been booking him every year. Big Joe and The Dynaflows was the first professional

band I was ever in, this took place back before it was legal for me to work in clubs. I consider him to be my musical father”. McKendree also told me that this band had so much fun on the cruise this year, so much so that there are plans to go into studio to record, how cool would that be? Finally Funderburgh summarized the four piece band performances, by opining: “I think the world of Big Joe, he is a great drummer & a wonderful singer. I’ve known Joe for years, from back in the ‘80’s, where I also used Kevin in a project I did with Sam Myers back in the ‘90’s.” Funderburgh went on to say; “I also loved the way Maher sang; “I Hear You Knocking,” that old New Orleans song by Lazy Lester, it’s a shuffle with a low down sound that I’d never heard Big Joe sing like before. “ Funderburgh is also getting busy again, as he also mentioned that he is going on the road with Kim Wilson, not as a member of the Fabulous Thunderbirds, but as Anson Funderburgh & the Rockets featuring Kim Wilson in Europe,

and they have done other gigs in the states last year too. Maher is also on the comeback trail, as he just started recording recently for Severn Records again, checkout his 2011 “You Can’t Keep a Big Man Down,” by Big Joe and the Dynaflows which is a very strong recording. With Funderburgh and Maher back on the recent mend, plus their being coupled with the superlative backing of McKendree and MackeyI (as well as you) should be looking forward to the tunes they’ll be putting down at McKendree’s recording studio in Tennessee. Stay tuned, and let’s hope their collaborative recording comes out real soon! Last but not least, rumor has it that next years 2013 Delbert McClinton Sandy Beach cruise might be the final edition. If you have never attended this cruise, know that I highly recommend it, so if you can make it next year. Come on down and join the festivities, as you will not be disappointed. Details at: & 1-800-Delbert. Bob Putignano




Page 13


Baby Porcupine Irwin: First Interview and Wish List Commissioner David Chong Honored as 2012 Year of The By GAIL FARRELLY He’s a YouTube sensation -the baby porcupine in Pennsylvania trying to eat from a coffee cup. But he’s not a happy camper. In his first interview, he told all, including why he’s furious with the media and what’s on his wish list. He denies being drunk when the video was taken. He says he has taken “the pledge” and drinks no alcohol at all. “How would YOU like being filmed in the morning, before you’ve even had your coffee?” he asked the reporter. Irwin signed no legal papers either giving permission for him to be filmed or permitting the release of the video to the world. “My rights were violated, and I plan to sue,” Irwin revealed. “My self-esteem has been damaged, and I don’t intend to stand for it.”

On a more positive note, Irwin revealed his wish list. He’d like privacy while he’s eating, his food served on a big plate (rather than in a cup), an entertainment agent to handle his career, a complete body waxing (since he lives in a rescue wildlife center, he feels he has no need of what he calls “all those pesky quills”). Furthermore, he’d like a new name. Something like George, Brad, Ashton -- whatever. With a sigh, he said, “Just about any name would have more pizzazz than Irwin.” “Stories of humans bullying each other always seem to in the news,” baby Irwin points out, continuing, “but there should be more publicity about humans bullying animals.” Out of the mouths of babes............. Learn more about The Farrelly Sisters Authors: http://www.farrellysistersonline. com/ on the Internet.


David Chong (center), White Plains Public Safety Commissioner and a Berkeley College faculty member, Justice Studies – Criminal Justice, School of Professional Studies, was recently honored as the 2012 Year of the Dragon Person of the Year by the New York Police Department (NYPD) Asian Jade Society. Mrs. Patricia Chong, and Thomas Roach, White Plains Mayor, stand by his side. The NYPD Asian Jade Society was established in 1980 to promote a diverse police department and to champion the cause of Asian law enforcement personnel.

Injudicious Justice? By ABBY LUBY Two New York State Supreme Court judges have allegedly shown favoritism while bending administrative court rules in a highly contentious legal battle between two factions at the Greencroft Condominium complex in New Rochelle, New York. Several motions, now in front of Judge Joan Lefkowtiz, are disputes between two Greencroft boards of Condominium 1 and Condominium 2. The Greencroft Homeowners Association, made up of five members from each condo, is also part of the litigation. The original case was heard by Judge William Giacomo, who, in July, 2011, had to recuse himself for an inappropriate, private conversation with one of the condo owners. After July, the cases were transferred to Judge Lefkowitz. So far the majority of decisions by Judges Giacomo and Lefkowitz have sided with board members of Greencroft Board 1. According to records obtained by The Westchester Guardian, the tenant roster of Greencroft 1 lists Nancy Mangold as a resident. Mangold is the Chief Clerk of the 9th Judicial District who wields a great deal of administrative power in the courts, where this case is being heard. Mangold resides in Greencroft 1 with her partner, Jerry Cohen, who is part of the current litigation. Seeking Giacomo’s recusal because of the possible clubby connection with Mangold was Greencroft 2 attorney Saul Fellus of Bisogno & Meyerson, L.L.P., in Brooklyn, New York. Fellus’ February 2011 letter to Giacomo sought to have

Person of the Year by the NYPD Asian Jade Society

the judge recuse himself based on his working relationship with Mangold because her “offices are in the same building as your chambers” and “given her years of service in Court Administration and prominent position, Your honor may well be acquainted with Ms. Mangold.” Giacomo curtly denied Fellus’ request saying his “relationship with Ms. Mangold is strictly on a professional level….” The board of Mangold’s building, Greencroft 1, has repeatedly sued Greencroft 2 who protested certain issues. At the crux of the litigations - questionable capital expenditures by the Homeowner’s Association, the barring of access to condo financial records by Greencroft 1, and fraudulent Board elections and questionable assessments on apartments, also by Greencroft 1. When Greencroft 2 voiced their objections, Greencroft 1 sought remedy by the courts, ratcheting up the list of lawsuits against Greencroft 2. As defendants, Greencroft 2 has never counter-sued Greencroft 1. Continued on page 17


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THE TOPIC OF THE WEEK: Ghosts Guardian Angels of the Plantation


Soul Of My Soul


The Wr ters Collection

Stephen Woodfin forms. Come on guys, I came back to wait for you because you’ve earned your day of rest.’ There was a whispered breeze of snow falling on the field but not a footprint to be seen when the old friends began their climb. http://www.independentauthornetwork. com/paul-anthony.html


By PHILIP CATSHILL A tale in rhyme I offer you But every word of it is true And it is fitting in a way Fifty years this very day Since Jack, Jack passed our way Truth I tell you so stifle the yawn But in the cottage where I was born With its timber beams and inglenook Wattle daub and all that muck Lived if that’s the word to hack A ghost our mom said was Jack And every night it would seem He would creak on every beam And tread the boards on upper floor Descend the stair fling back the door But Jack could only make us laugh Whipping the ashes in the hearth And rattle the handle on the old front door That was never opened anymore We always called it the living room Even when shrouded in mournful gloom On rusted hinges they forced the door And the creak echoed on upper floor As John, our brother in his coffin lay Led the procession out that way Believe this tale of a ghost called Jack From that day to this he has not been back In memory of John Born 10th August 1949 Died 27th January 1962 /


By Caleb Pirtle III He came back to the pine forests and red clay hills of East Texas to bury the ghosts that had trailed after him every waking hour, and mostly when he was asleep, for the past forty-six years, seven months, and sixteen days. He had not lost track of the time. He could never forget the moment. He heard the cries even now.

Time and space, and mostly the miles, had not dimmed them. His muscles jerked slightly, and he felt far older than he was as he drove down crooked little highway 323 from Overton to New London. He dreaded what he would find. About the time he left one dying little town, he reached the other. The afternoon was quiet. And gray, much as it had been forty-six years, seven months, and sixteen days ago. Skies overcast. It looked like rain. His was the only car on the road. It had once been so different. The name on his paycheck had been Travis Flowers, but a lot of names were lost, misplaced, thrown away, and forgotten in the oilfield. He had taken the train to East Texas in the autumn of 1933, trying desperately to escape the Great Depression, on his way to anyplace that had a job and paid him enough to buy all of the white bread, bologna, and cigarettes he wanted. They were drilling oil wells in East Texas. And Travis could drill oil wells. Never had. But he knew he could. Travis had worked his way from roustabout to roughneck long before the spring of 1937, and he had married once, lost a baby, and then put his wife on a bus back home to Holly Springs, Mississippi. He thought she would come back. She never did, and, after awhile, her letters, if there were any, no longer found their way to either the oilfield or Overton. He parked beside the New London School. He thought he would never see it again. It looked so bright, so new. Not even the past forty-seven years had been able to age it or stain the bricks. Travis shook his head. The last time he saw it, the school lay in ruin. And still he heard the cries. The rubble was gone. The cries had not left him. The afternoon of March 17, 1937, had been unusually cold, and an uncomfortable rain peppered the ground around Travis Flowers. The well was in. The flow had been controlled. The slush pit was full. Not much left to do but pack up his tools and go on home. The time had clicked down to three-thirty. He knew. He had checked his watch. Didn’t know why, but he had checked it all the same. Inside the school, just beyond the clearing in the pines, children were beginning to line up in their classrooms, waiting for the final bell to dismiss them. Five minutes. That was all they needed. Such a short time.

It became eternity. As Travis Flowers leaned against the rig on the platform, while he was rolling a cigarette in the rain, the school exploded. Suddenly. And without warning. For years, he later learned, the school had been heated by raw natural gas, piped straight from the oilfield. No one knew why, but a leak began spilling fumes into a darkened basement. No one could smell it. No one knew it was there. And no one would ever know for sure what ignited it. That’s what hurt worse. Plain and simple, no one knew. But for one frightening, grieving moment, all Travis knew was that the sky before him had turned black with smoke and debris and ragged bricks falling to the ground. The day became a shroud of leaded gray in the midst of a chilled rain, and the walls of the school came tumbling down. Travis knew that the sound must have been deafening, but all he heard was silence. Nothing. The day was ending. The world was ending. In silence. Then came the cries. And he would never be the same again. Travis Flowers was one of the first to reach the burned-out hull of a school dead and dying. He heard someone say, “There was a spark, a flash, and then it was gone.” All gone. Around him, almost three hundred students and teachers lay beneath mounds of rubble. Like Travis Flowers, oilfield workers were leaving their jobs and rushing to the pile of twisted metal and shattered bricks. Some were searching for their own children. Others were simply searching for life, any sign of it. Travis could hear men cursing. And praying. And one was no different from the other. The shattered walls of New London became a wailing wall. He pushed away metal and wood and bricks and carried child after child to an Ideal bread truck. The driver had thrown the bread onto the ground and turned his truck into a rescue vehicle. Bodies were limp and broken. He hugged them. He held them tightly. He kissed them. He brushed dirt and blood from their faces. Only the ones crying had hope, and so few of them were crying. Day became night, and night became morning, and Travis no longer felt the rain. He was too tired to lift another brick, but still he stayed, crawling through the debris, praying Continued on page 16

t (h

Stephen Woodfin is an attorney/author who has written five legal thrillers. He blogs on Venture Galleries (http://venturegalleries. com/author/stephenwoodfin ) 


30 polic ,
 e after m 

Philip Catshill

At 30, I had a massive stroke. 18 months later, I returned to work as a policeman. My career ended after 
 a 2nd stroke so I took up 
 painting. Now, after a 3rd stroke, 
I write! 

p af


Jack Durish

 Jack Durish was born in 
 Baltimore, Maryland, in 
 1943. He is a soldier and a 
 sailor, a decorated veteran 
 an of Vietnam, a husband, 
 Ve father, and grandfather. Jack is the 

 author of Rebels on the
 Mountain, available 
 at all eBook retailers, and a blogger at,, 
Cale and b

scree n South e 

Caleb Pirtle, III


Caleb Pirtle III is
 the author of more than 55 published books, the screenwriter for three made for TV movies, and a former travel editor of Southern Living Magazine 

mo t time her
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A mother of three who works fifty miles from home and writes in her ”spare time” Krystal’s debut novel “Wilde’s Fire” 
 has been accepted for publication and should be available in 2012

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Page 16




The Writers Collection Continued from page 15 that another life remained and he could find it. Mothers stood hollow-eyed in the cold rain, hoping that missing sons or daughters, listed among the living, would still be alive. Tired workers knew that at any minute they might roll aside a stone and look upon the lifeless body of their own child.

In the sparse light of an early day, Travis stumbled across a blackboard, and upon it, in a childish scrawl, someone had written the lesson of the day: “Oil and Natural Gas are East Texas’ greatest mineral blessing. Without them this school would not be here, and none of us would be here learning our lessons.” Travis erased the words with his sleeve, and the rain washed away the chalk dust. Around him was a hurt that would not heal.

Forty-seven years, seven months, and sixteen days later, he walked across the campus and watched the children at play. He was surrounded by laughter. All he heard were the cries. The sun cut sharply through the pines. All he felt was the rain. Travis Flowers had come back to the pine forests and red clay hills of East Texas to bury the ghosts of his past.

Forty-seven years, seven months, and sixteen days later, he drove away at dark. He was not alone. The ghosts rode with him. And the muted silence of the cries were almost more than he could stand, and they sounded a lot like his own.

Kenny: Roz and me, it was only when we heard that maybe you and Mimi, but nothing really happened between us, believe me, please. “No finale is ever complete in summing up a play,” Myron remembers Kenny often saying. Kenny’s son motions to Myron, and as he walks to the front of the chapel, he again talks silently and quickly to Kenny: Oh, Kenny, Kenny, how could they not find a liver donor for you? You, the most handsome and charming, the actor, the high school literature teacher whose students loved you. Instead, suddenly people are watching me, a short, retired, boring actuary run for City Council. Myron now looks around the crowded chapel. He finally pulls a magazine page from the inside of his jacket. “At funeral services, often a speaker will quote an authority because he feels incompetent to capture the recognition deserved by the deceased’s work.” Myron pauses, puts on his glasses. He blinks because of the wetness in his eyes. “Poets are known for their descriptive powers and this is a quote from a former United States Poet Laureate, one of the nation’s top poets, as he enters his eighties and thinks about how the public sees older persons.” Myron stares at the page, his glasses now resembling a wet windshield, and then reads: “Old people are a separate form of life. They can be pleasant, they can be annoying--but most impor-

tant they are permanently other.” Myron looks at the crowded chapel. “Kenny wanted to wipe away this view. He believed seniors needed to seize the center stage of society, become public leaders, and then people would see seniors not as the other who belongs silently on the sidelines but as a group who feels the pressure to act soon and can help break the country’s dolittle polarization.” Myron’s words come faster but not sure of them, feeling as if Kenny is watching him, seeing but not seeing the faces in the chapel, “But Kenny, you’re the actor, not me. I don’t know if I can be successful at center stage. I don’t feel like a senior trying to win a City Council election, but more like a child in a big room who’s being stared at. The child’s scared and crying a little. He’s not sure what he’s supposed to do. And more and more people are watching and the child’s crying more, and he still isn’t sure what to do-- Oh, Kenny, Kenny, for you, for me, for our group, for all seniors trying to suddenly be center stage and not sure what to do, except we know it’s our finale, and as you used to say,‘the finale always comes too soon for an actor--‘” Myron’s words suddenly stop but his tears don’t, tears visible beneath his glasses. Everyone in the chapel sees them. A reporter too? The other now on center stage, knowing the finale comes soon.


THE RETIRED (TRY TO) STRIKE BACK Chapter 40 - Suddenly By Allan Luks As Myron and Mimi enter the funeral hall’s crowded lobby, Bob quickly comes over and leads them away from the entrance. Mimi says she’ll meet them in the chapel. “I’ve been waiting for you to arrive,” says Bob, in a hurried, low voice to Myron. “All the friends in our group are being asked to speak. I want to make sure you don’t cry when it’s your turn. There could be a reporter here, yes, at a funeral. I know the media from my years in advertising. Kenny would want you to have my advice. Remember, no tears--voters want strong candidates, not sympathetic ones.” Myron waits. “Your eyes are red.” “I’m not the candidate for the City Council. Your race against Mary Ellen is attracting publicity. The media has given it a tag line: The Old vs. The Young. They’ve summed it up in six words so it’s interesting to the public. There could easily be a reporter here. Now, go into the chapel, be seen. Roz said she wants our group to sit in front. Their son from California will call each of us up, and he’s

calling you last.” The service begins and Kenny’s son rises at the front. He is tall and handsome like Kenny, and he introduces Bob first. Bob describes Kenny’s long amateur acting career, and how Kenny always believed that his last performance might lead to a professional acting opportunity. “It never happened but he never gave up. Kenny also was part of our group of friends who are supporting a senior to run in one of the City Council races. It initially was Kenny’s idea. If successful, the campaign can encourage other seniors to take on different public leadership roles and show how the retired have qualities, such as needing to make things happen now, that can help unify society. I feel Kenny waiting to see what happens.” Bob looks up for a moment, and then returns to his seat. When Mimi gives her remarks, Myron stares at his wife’s eyes to somehow see how much Kenny is in them—had they had a relationship as was often been hinted? — but her eyes just appear red and wet. Myron closes his eyes and silently explains to

No Guarantees: One Man’s Road Through the Darkness of Depression Chapter 26 – Yet Another Demon By BOB MARRONE One feature of accepting the way I had to live my life, at least for a while, was that of unsatisfying, sweaty, restless sleep filled with frequently disturbed and vivid dreams. I would wake up exhausted yet mercifully, for a brief moment, clueless. Within a couple of minutes an initial vague sense of dread would serve as the reminder that I was in the midst of this unrelenting crisis. It’s funny, as I think back, how I used to say to myself that, on any given morning, if I could just forget yesterday I could go back to living a normal life. The reality was that the very processes of remembering the horrors of the day before served to bring them all right back; more

uncontrollable than the previous day. I struggled to find a way to function, and learned over time that as the hours of the day wore on I gained more psychic strength to deal with the obsessions a little bit better, if not the other symptoms. Of course this was not always the case. A fresh series of panic attacks could well throw me into a tailspin and introduce new and more painful obsessions. My goal was simply to survive the day. Somewhere along those first few months a new and withering symptom filled what was, up until then, a brief moment of respite. The vivid dreams and nightmares usually took place in the later stages of my sleep cycle, close to morning. What I remember about this first bout with the new phenomena is that faceless creatures, energy charged and hateful, were crawl-

ing and floating at high speed along the floor of my bedroom and climbing up the side of my bed. They moved quickly, almost apparition like, the way you see entities lurch from place to place in the movies. An internal sense told me that this was a nightmare and that I had to shake myself awake. I did. The demons were no more, my fear left and I moved to open my eyes and turn my head so as to more fully awaken. I could not move. I could not open my eyes, move my head, kick my feet or turn my body. The harder I tried the more difficult it became. The still harder I tried; I began once again to panic. It was horrifying beyond description. After several attempts to move something, I forced myself to relax, wait and not fight it. Ultimately, I snapped out of it, freed from my prison of paralysis. The condition is called Sleep Paralysis. Dur-

ing sleep there is a part of your brain that paralyzes your voluntary movements at certain points of the REM sleep cycle. Here is the basic Wikipedia description, which, while detailed, is not overly arcane: “Sleep paralysis occurs either when falling asleep or during awakening. The falling asleep type is called hynagogic, or predormital, sleep paralysis. When it occurs upon awakening (as mine did), it is called hypnopompic, or post dormital paralysis. In this instance the person becomes aware before the REM cycle is complete. The paralysis can last from several seconds to several minutes, and in some cases hours. As the correlation with REM sleep suggests, eye movement is still possible during the episodes. In addition, the paralysis may be accompanied by terrifying hallucinations, perceived deafening high noises and an acute sense of danger.” The literature continues to describe studies about how the horror of the condition has been associated with what victims thought to be every Continued on page 17



Page 17


No Guarantees: One Man’s Road Through the Darkness of Depression Continued from page 16 thing from alien abductions to flashbacks of child abuse and ghostly encounters. I had none of these notions. But it has to be said that these episodes, which I endured scores of times, were one of the most devastating and surreal agonies I have ever experience in my life, including the other insults incurred during my years with depression. And, as I have pointed out, its addition to the 24-hour torment that was my day, left me with no break or escape whatsoever. This reality drove me to the thoughts of suicide coinciding with the first chapter of this book, but that very well may have saved my life; and cer-

tainly kept my life from being less than fulfilling, as it might have been, by virtue of a pampered, less useful cure. I often think about this dichotomy when I consider the fates of people like Howard Hughes, Elvis Presley or Michael Jackson. Their experiences had their own dichotomy, a corollary to mine really,that ultimately ruined,or shortened their lives. With no self pity, I tell you that there was no peace to be had for me. Not during sleep, not when medicated, not at work, not in repose. Nor could I enjoy a book, a movie or the company of others; not for a long time. My only way out was to find a way to live with it and work through it. I cannot

tell you that I would not have stayed in bed all day if doing so would have abated the pain and agitated self-hate. I cannot tell you that I would not have over medicated had I thought it would give me a moment’s peace. Further, I did not have the means to take off from work or buy illicit drugs. Another factor was my upbringing and the double edged sword that was my environment. A man did not do drugs or quit. And he especially did not walk away from a child. As you will learn later on, one of my greatest sources of courage, if that is the right word, was the presence of my daughter Christine, in the crib. There was no way, after the life I had led and the failure of men as

presentation of orders to show cause for signature.” Although the transcript indicates that Judge Giacomo initially told McGrath “Well, it is really improper for me to hear you when the other side is not here,” he nonetheless continued to listen, filling a total of 13 pages of the 50-page court transcript. Greencroft 2 attorney Fellus, in a second letter requesting Giacomo’s recusal because of the Ex-Parte communication, refers to McGrath as an “adversary of my clients.” Judge Giacomo not only carried on a lengthy chat with McGrath, but he neglected to disclose the private meeting, only to be discovered when the transcript became public ten days later. The transcript also reveals that Giacomo improperly raised issues with McGrath she herself didn’t bring up, such as the homeowner board’s voting stalemate. Giacomo gives McGrath unsolicited advice to “either add another board member so you don’t have a five/five tie, you can have a six to five vote and it seems to me that that kind of drastic change to the operating agreement would have to be voted on by all the unit owner, so that might be a way to do it….” The impropriety of Ex-Parte by a judge is seen as unethical judicial behavior and considered a violation by the Commission on Judicial Conduct. But such verbal exchanges usually go unquestioned by the legal community. Debra Cohen, attorney and adjunct professor at Pace Law School, said that generally, for a legal system to work, people have to be able to feel confident in its integrity. “We rely on the judge to strictly adhere to the rules of conduct that make their impartiality above question. Even in situations where there may be well meaning informal communications from the bench, they can lead to unease on the part of one party or the other.” Judge Giacomo claimed that his Ex-Parte communication was “held in open court and on the record and in no way was Ex-Parte.” He then recused himself “in order to avoid any appearance of impropriety,” after which, on July 28, 2011, he proceeded to issue decisions on the Greencroft case that had been pending for six months. The judge also sidestepped the issue of at-

torney Sher’s conflict of interest claiming it was “rendered moot by Mr. Sher’s agreement to withdraw as counsel.” Judge Giacomo gave Greencroft 2 one week to pay the back dues. According to Greencroft 2 Board President Mandelbaum, Giacomo neglected to specify the exact amount to be paid by Greencroft 2 so they could avoid disqualification from the HOA. “The rulings were egregious,” said Mandelbaum. “It seems funny that he waited to the last minute to make these decisions, recuse himself and leave on vacation.” Fellus sought the opinion of the Appellate Division for clarification on how much Greencroft 2 owed. In an August 3, 2011 order of Appellate Division, Justice Miller set the sum of Association dues at $35,000.00 - which was subsequently paid. But at that point, the Greencroft 1 board was demanding $80,800 as an outstanding amount due. The case by that time had been transferred to Judge Lefkowitz who countered the Appellate Division’s decision and in a November 7, 2011 order, she agreed to the higher sum of $80,800.

fathers all around me, that I would not be a good provider and father to my daughter. As for the famous men I mentioned above. Mr. Hughes could afford to buy an entire hotel and cut deals with the government to escape his respective fears of germs and nuclear fallout. The hangers on of Elvis and Michael Jackson made it easy for the two of them to buy their way out of their conflicts and fears. It is strange, but my good fortune would prove to be that I had the benefit of few options other than getting well. Bob Marrone is the host of the Good Morning Westchester with Bob Marrone, heard from Monday to Friday, from 6 – 8:30 a.m., on WVOX-1460 AM.


Injudicious Justice?

Continued from page 13 Among the most contentious issue was that of long time attorney for the Greencroft Homeowner’s Association (HOA), Ronald Sher of Himmelfarb & Sher LLP. Based in White Plains, New York, who concurrently advised not only Greencroft 1 and 2 boards, but the Greencroft Homeowner’s Association (HOA). Sher, who specializes in counseling condominium and coop boards, was hired by Greencroft 1 long before Greencroft 2 was built. When Greencroft 2 decided to hold back their HOA dues until they could assess how the monies were being used, Greencroft 1 sued the HOA board members from Greencroft 2 for their unpaid dues. According to Greencroft 2 board President Howard Mandelbaum, when the two boards became adversarial, in a startling conflict of interest, “Sher went along with Greencroft 1, even though he still represented the HOA. We raised the issue about being fairly represented.” Sher was officially fired by the board of Greencroft 2 but he remained attorney of the HOA until Greencroft 2 sought to have him disqualified, an issue that they hoped would be addressed by Judge Giacomo. It took Judge Giacomo six months before he issued a decision. However, in July, 2011, court transcripts revealed that Judge Giacomo had a private conversation with Greencroft 2 resident Rosa McGrath who seemed to oppose her own board’s actions. The conversation took place after the hearing ended in an empty courtroom except for the court reporter who continued recording. This type of conversation is known as an “Ex-Parte communication” which just six months earlier in January, 2011, Judge Giacomo posted his own ruling on ex parte communications on the court web site, http:// PR_WJGiacomo_0II0311.pdf. Here Giacomo states “Ex-Parte communications are strictly prohibited except upon the consent of all counsel, or with respect to scheduling matters or the

Greencroft 2 attorney Fellus claims that the litigation has unquestionably been on an unlevel playing field. “The high number of “irregularities” hints that undue influence behind the scenes is at work. We saw a shocking collapse of the adversarial system in the Greencroft 1 faction’s effort to “disqualify” my clients from holding their offices on the Greencroft Homeowner’s Association Board of Managers which was a piece of litigation in which attorney Ronald A. Sher was counsel for both plaintiff and defendant. Mr. Sher’s conflict of interest did not bother Justice Giacomo, and Justice Lefkowitz has allowed the Greencroft 1 plaintiffs to build on that foundation.” Read Part 2 in the next edition of The Westchester Guardian.

Abby Luby is a Westchester based, freelance journalist who writes local news, about environmental issues, art, entertainment and food. Her debut novel, “Nuclear Romance” was recently published. Visit the book’s website, http://nuclearromance.word- press. com/.

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Rye’s Multitude of Unresolved Problems Snowball Under the French/Pickup Administration By RAY TARTAGLIONE Why are local health and safety codes so difficult to master in Rye? Last June Rye City Mayor Dough French brought forth to the residents of Rye a so-called “solution” for the health, safety and sewage codes, long ignored out on Hen Island. Hen Island is located at the gateway to Rye’s environmentally sensitive Marshlands Conservancy and Milton Harbor. City Manager Scott Pickup, under Mayor French’s direction, announced that Composting Toilets would be mandated for all residential cottages out on Hen Island and if they were installed, the City would be satisfied that the sanitary sewer violations on the islands would be mitigated. However, after our environmental group pointed out that these composting systems would be ineffective without the necessary continuous electric service long missing out on Hen Island, the Mayor and City manager mysteriously and adamantly refused to change their position. Why would Mayor French refuse to enforce public sanitary sewage and safety codes, if his true concerns were to protect the citizens of Rye? So Heal the Harbor decided to inquire about just that question. And what we uncovered was shocking, and would forever challenge the public creditability of these top three Rye City officials.

Item 1 - Mayor French’s Personal Approach to Building Code Compliance

Heal the Harbor started digging in Rye’s public records. First we uncovered that the May-

or was the proud owner of a rental home at 13 Richard Place that had been secretly improved and renovated without any permits, inspections or tax assessments as required by law. Mssrs. French, Pickup, and Ms. Wilson initially claimed there were no violations of city law or that any work that was done when Mayor French was in the 3rd grade. However, after a period of public denunciation by them of our research efforts, and then the subsequent release of a local independent investigatory film entitled “13 Richard Place” showing the denied violations in fact existed, the Rye City Building Department issued additional building violations to the Mayor on December 23, 2011. Heal the Harbor followed these up by requesting on January 25th that the Rye City Building Department investigate the fact that Mayor French apparently installed a completely new heating system at 13 Richard Place - including a conversion from fuel oil to natural gas fired system – with all work conducted again without any permits or approvals.

Item 2 – Mayor French’s Personal Approach to Tax Code Compliance

While investigating Mayor French’s building code violations we discovered that Rye’s Mayor was illegally receiving a STAR tax exemption on his personal income producing rental property (13 Richard Place) while at the same time he was taking the same tax exemption on his primary home at 46 Meadow Place in Rye. After Heal The Harbor exposed our findings; Mayor French claimed ignorance of the situation but records show he was made fully aware of the fact 8 months prior to our revelation. Mr. French was subsequently forced to pay

over $16,000 in retroactive taxes and penalties to the Westchester County taxing authority.

Item 3 – Referral to the Ethics Board, the Punt, the Do-Over and the Ensuing Outcry

Because of items 1 and 2 above, Mayor French, City Manager Pickup and City Attorney Wilson were referred to the City of Rye Board of Ethics. That committee met initially and quickly dismissed the complaint over standing and jurisdiction matters. By virtue of that dismissal (known locally as “The Punt”) the Board and the implicated officials were confronted with a sharp public outcry due to the perception that the process was a superficial attempt to ignore the issues. So, in an effort to once again fool the general public about the true nature of the violations, Mayor French requested that his handpicked Deputy Mayor Peter Jovanovich re- issue a newly framed ethics complaint back to the Board of Ethics. At this session, City Manager Pickup and City Attorney Wilson released a factually and inaccurate composed “timeline” of events to the members. This subsequently FOILed timeline is so misleading and contains substantially vast omissions that it can only be seen a last ditch effort to once again protect Mayor French, Mr. Pickup and Ms. Wilson against charges of wrongdoing and preferential treatment. This almost farcical second go round or “Do Over” went over worse with the public than the first time and led to other council members questioning the sincerity of the process, its lack of transparency, it’s apparent and factual conflicts of interest and thus the need for an immediate independent investigation as provided for in the

Rye City Code. The Mayor then publically and heatedly questioned the motives of other sitting council members and a verbal donnybrook broke out live on Rye TV.

Item 4 – Former Rye High Track Star and Current Rye City Employee Blows the Whistle on Repeated Lies to Public

Speaking of Rye TV, the above items were soon eclipsed after Andrew Dapolite, a Rye City Cable TV employee and Rye native stepped forward to expose City Manager Pickup and Dapolite’s direct supervisor Nicole Levitsky for jointly deceiving the City Council about the existence of a recording of a contentious public meeting with members of the Rye City Fire Department. In a formal private letter to the City Council, Dapolite claimed Mr. Pickup and Ms. Levitsky conspired to deceive the Rye City Council into believing that the meeting was not recorded - when secretly in fact it was. Levitsky was quoted by Dapolite in his letter as saying “Part of the job is bullshitting people at Council meetings.” Astonishingly, only a few days after it was delivered to the City Council, Dapolite’s private letter was leaked to The Rye Record – which happens to be owned by Deputy Mayor Peter Jovanovich’s wife. Dapolite stated “It was never his intension to release the letter to the public.” Dapolite has requested a separate investigation into the actions of both City Manager Pickup and Cable TV coordinator Levitsky. As of this writing this matter is still awaiting City Council action. We’ll bring you up to date as these stories evolve. Ray Tartaglione is the head of


152 Minutes to Paradise

Paradise: Nearer Than You Think

Flying to the Bahamas is a Breeze By BARBARA BARTON SLOANE

For the perfect (and quick) escape from the cold, JetBlue has recently launched the only international flight out of New York’s Westchester County Airport (HPN) with daily nonstop service to Nassau, Bahamas (NAS). I had the pleasure of experiencing this flight and was thrilled to find that it took just 2 ½ hours or 152 comfortable and happy minutes to arrive at my destination. I happen to be a big fan of JetBlue. I love everything from their smooth leather seats, the two-across seating conformation, and especially the great movies and TV channels, which make the time fly. For this white-knuckle flyer, that’s a particularly meaningful reward.

Fish embraced by a sea rod, Bahamas, courtesy of Lonely Planet.

Sunset on Paradise Island, Bahamas, courtesy of Sloane Travel Photography.

Local Lady and her home, Bahamas, courtesy of Lonely Planet.

This get-away involved yet another pleasure: my hotel was at the Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island. Inspired by the lost city of Atlantis, it is an unbelievable playground built for couples, families and friends. Atlantis delivers everything you need on a grand scale from world-class dining, entertainment, a children’s club, a casino, and splendid accommodations. From Aquaventure’s mind-racing water slides to the Mandara Spa’s rejuvenating treatments and high-end boutique shopping, it’s all here. There are 3,700 (gulp!) guest rooms and suites in six hotels on the property, comprised of the Royal Towers, the Coral Towers, the Beach Tower, Cove Atlantis, Reef Atlantis and the Harborside Resort. I stayed at Cove Atlantis which sits atop two of the most beautiful beaches in the world and is replete with stunning water features. It seems as though the mesmerizing sound of water continually surrounds you – splashing, splattering, Continued on page 19



Page 19


152 Minutes to Paradise

Continued from page 18 coursing and gurgling in waterfalls, pools and meandering rivers – and all of this set in this hotel’s balmy, open-air lobby! My room overlooked the ocean and as it was on a high floor, I could see almost forever, including most of the Atlantis property – a scene so overwhelming that I was drawn to the balcony several times a day. At dawn, the property looked pink and gold, in the evening purple and mauve, and late at night, the millions of lights of Atlantis sparkled in the dark.

Riding the Rapids

Amazing activities abound at Atlantis and one that I enjoyed was plunging into the Lazy River Ride. We floated gently along a quarter

mile “river” in large tubes and it was tranquil and relaxing – until it wasn’t. Unexpectedly, our lazy river spilled into another waterway called The Current and we were propelled along lush, tropical foliage amid roiling water, rolling waves and extreme rapids powered by master blaster technology. Short of genuine white water rafting, for my part, this ride fit the bill quite adequately.

Making a Smooth Acquaintance

Paradise Island has a host of adorable resident Atlantic Bottlenose dolphins and, to me, the Dolphin Cay Shallow Water Interaction sounded good (read safe): shallow water interaction - just my speed. And it was! We waded into waist-deep water to meet our dolphin friend “Hercules,” a 14-year-old, very lively guy just itching to show us his tricks. He did a swim-by

at breakneck speed, another swim-by flipping his tail up and down crazily and splashing water in our faces, leaping straight up in the air to unbelievable heights, and finally settling down to allow us to stroke his ultra-smooth, rubbery body and to put our arms around him and engage in a friendly kiss – or two or three.

Beguiling Bahamas

Nassau, Bahamas is comfortable and easy. I found that I had an instant sense of belonging and my departure from everyday life led to my arrival at an extraordinary destination. The Bahamian people are friendly and welcoming, and there is, at once, a feeling of international glamour and tropical ease, accompanied by the freedom to do everything or nothing at all. Leaving the Bahamas was hard, but returning will be as smooth and slick as

Hercules – thanks to JetBlue and their nonstops from the Westchester Airport.

If You Go: JetBlue Airlines Bahamas information Atlantis Resort Travel Editor Barbara Barton Sloane is constantly globe-hopping to share her unique experiences with our readers; from the exotic to the sublime. As Beauty / Fashion Editor she keeps us informed on the capricious and engaging fashion and beauty scene.


Driving Licentious

Michael Bodeen. The chorus parts are serviceably taken by Kevin Cahoon, Jennifer Regan, and Marnie Schulenburg, although it is hard for young Ms. Schulenburg to do the Grandmother, and Ms. Regan may overdo restraint in portraying Peck’s forgiving wife. Watching this production is like observing some guests at a dinner party flagrantly misbehaving: one does not approve, but cannot help being fascinated.


As I read my review of the original 90s production of Paula Vogel’s “How I Learned to Drive,” it strikes me that the current revival at the Second Stage Theatre may be somewhat changed. But memory plays tricks—mine is a virtuoso trickster—and it may just be the quality of the production that has changed. In any case, the play about a pedophile, Uncle Peck, and his niece by marriage, Li’l Bit, is still both interesting and unsatisfactory. The most striking aspect, though not its best, is the freewheeling treatment of time. Like a manhandled car, it sputters between drive and reverse and goes neither fully forward nor fully backward (like the recently revived musical “Merrily We Roll Along”). As I wrote at the time, it indulges in much gear-shifting and frequent stops, catching Li’l Bit at various ages between 11 and 35 in seemingly no particular order. Though this may give it avant-garde cachet, it makes it even harder for us to care about the two principal characters, who are not all that sympathetic to begin with. Even more provocative, although not particularly involving, is the introduction of three other actors Vogel labels Male Greek Chorus, Female Greek Chorus, and Teenage Greek Chorus, the nomenclature implying that she views the play as a Greek tragedy, a view the rest of us, with the best intentions, cannot share. In fact, this trio, whose members also assume diverse individual roles— most notably Uncle Peck’s wife and Li’l Bit’s mother and grandparents—cannot escape coming across most of the time as caricatures, which further unbalances the proceedings. The solicitude with which Peck teaches the underage girl to drive is not without interest, in that it blends instruction with seduction, challenging us to note how good mixes with bad.That the girl proves, until the big reversal in the end, a rather willing victim, in a seduction consummated

Kevin Cahoon, Marine Schulenburg, Norbert Leo Butz as Uncle Peck, Jennifer Regan and Elizabeth Reaser as Li’l Bit in How I Learned to Drive.

(if that is the right term) fully clothed, also elicits speculation from the audience. But other things are too puzzling. For instance, a scene in which, while Lil’Bit sleeps stage right, Peck, stage left, patiently teaches an unseen little boy how to fish for pompano. This may be intended to show Peck’s good side, but instead tends to have us wondering what strange dreams Li’l Bit is having. Even more troubling for those of us who remember the original production is how much superior it was.The girl was the incomparable Mary Louis Parker, arguably the American actress who best melds physical beauty with histrionic talent; and Peck was played by David Morse, who seamlessly fused the caring and the ominous. Now we have Norbert Leo Butz, one of our very best actors, as Peck, well enough done yet somehow actorish, making certain transitions too emphatic, too calculated, not wholly natural. This is the sort of thing that defies easy description, and can be fully felt only in the viewing. As for Elizabeth Reaser, I get something tough and forbidding in her physical appearance, which her performance that trowels on every known cliché of juvenile behavior does not mitigate. She does, however, possess the requisite big bosom in incontrovertible abundance. What may be less evident is the wisdom of Kate Whoriskey’s direction; she overloads the caricatural aspect of the chorus, turning Greeks into geeks.

Jennifer Regan, Elizabeth Reaser as Li’l Bit and Marine Schulenburg in How I Learned to Drive.

Derek McLane replicates the set of the original production: a pleasant landscape with rows of rather delicate street lights lining the sides and a bucolic backdrop, with bits of needed props boldly carried onstage. Jenny Mannis’s costumes are idiomatic, but the gifted Peter Kaczorowski’s lighting does get out of hand in one scene with a fanciful polka-dot effect. Discreet background music is exemplarily devised by Rob Milburn and TICKET PRICES INCLUDE A COMPLETE MEAL & SHOW

Photos by and courtesy of Jenny Anderson / ©

John Simon has written for over 50 years on theatre, film, literature, music and fine arts for the Hudson Review, New Leader, New Criterion, National Review,New York Magazine, Opera News, Weekly Standard, and Bloomberg News. Mr. Simon holds a PhD from Harvard University in Comparative Literature and has taught at MIT, Harvard University, Bard College and Marymount Manhattan College. To learn more, visit the




Westchester Broadway Theatre Group WBT_theatre


Comic NOEL V. GINNITY plus Irish entertainers!



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Pensions and Redistricting and the Cuomo Whip By CARLOS GONZALEZ ALBANY, NY -- A key battle is shaping up in the Capitol and it’s over pension benefits for new government workers. Though the Senate and Assembly are on mid-winter break until Wednesday, Cuomo reminded reporters of his vow to enact a new pension tier that would provide less generous benefits to new employees. Cuomo insisted that pension reform must be part of the state budget for the 2012-13 fiscal year, which starts April 1. The effort to curb rising pension costs for state and local governments pits Cuomo squarely against special interests. “You have special interests that give a lot of money to politicians in Albany,” Cuomo said Thursday. “This is them saying to the politicians, ‘We want you to do this for us.’I’m saying to them, ‘I want you to do this for the taxpayers.”’ Unions and Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, who oversees the state’s $140 billion pension fund, have protested the changes. Cuomo said the issue could force a government shutdown if pension reform isn’t agreed to by the time the budget is due. Now we’ve seen a near government shutdown before. It came close under the Paterson administration. Danny Donohue, president of the Civil


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Service Employees Association, chimed in. He accused the governor of trying to attack the middle class. He said the average pension for the 265,000-member union is about $19,000. Donohue’s comments bear merit. If Cuomo wants to stop pension abuse, it shouldn’t come at the expense of those earning a small pension in retirement. “Anybody making $100,000 from a pension is abusing the system,” Donohue said. “Anybody making between $13,000 and $19,000 is not.” Cuomo is proposing a new Tier VI pension level that would increase contributions from 3 percent of a new employee’s salary to as much as 6 percent. The retirement age would increase from 62 to 65. The governor would also exclude overtime and other lump-sum payments from an employee’s final average salary -- cracking down on the pension padding. His plan is estimated to save governments outside of New York City $83 billion over 30 years. Perhaps the most controversial component from all of this would be to create a 401k-type option for new employees. DiNapoli has warned that the pension system shouldn’t be moved that route. He said it would add costs to employees and add financial risk for retirees. “I stand firmly behind my position that defined contribution plans are not adequate for retirement security for public or private workers,”


The Metro North Survey is only accessible online. What’s your opinion?The hyperlink is: mem/?ad=91&sh=story&story=46370 George Latimer, NYS Assemblyman, represents the communities in the 91st A.D.


Cuomo’s not happy with the legislature. On Thursday, February 23rd, he unleashed a teethgrinding attack on state lawmakers, just stopping short of calling them hypocrites for their approach to redistricting. Cuomo fumed that he has had enough of what he called the “political theater” surrounding the once-a-decade redrawing of legislative district boundaries. The whipping was mostly at Senate Democrats for a letter first reported Thursday by the New York Daily News in which the minority urged him to veto the redistricting proposals created by the majorities in both chambers.

I am pleased to share good news on two fronts regarding the health of Village finances. The first concerns our efforts to “rehabilitate” the Village’s fund balance to an optimal level as explained in the Village’s financial statements for the fiscal year ended May 31, 2011. Our audit was prepared by O’Connor Davies Munns & Dobbins of Harrison, NY, and is available for inspection at Village Hall. The second piece of “good news” came from Moody’s Investor Services, which after careful review has certified the Village of Bronxville as an Aaa rated entity, the highest we can attain. Neighboring Scarsdale comes to mind as one of the few other Villages with this distinction. Much of our good fortune is thanks to the dedication of our Treasurer’s staff, with the collaboration of our volunteer Village Finance

Senate Democrats state they have enough votes to protect Cuomo’s veto should Senate Republicans attempt an override. Nevertheless, an irritated Cuomo questioned why his fellow Dems didn’t manage to pass an independently crafted redistricting bill during the two years they held a majority in the chamber. “Because they were in power,” Cuomo said. He also asked why the Senate Democrats have not exerted more pressure on their “buddies” in the Democrat-controlled Assembly to refrain from passing redistricting models that are not independently drawn. “You want me to veto the bill?” Cuomo said bitterly. “Don’t pass the bill.” The problem we see with all of this is that it’s obvious the Senate Democrats have enough votes to protect a veto. So why the letter and why release it to the press? To grandstand, I suppose. Why wouldn’t Continued on page 20 Continued from page 20 Senate Minority Leader John Sampson walk into Cuomo’s office and keep such strategies internal until necessary? We don’t know. After Cuomo’s whipping, many are ducking from commenting. “Indirectly, the letter may have been considered a slap in the face to the governor, who in return slapped them back with two hands,” said a former senior staffer to the Senate Democrats. Share your thoughts with Carlos Gonzalez, The Albany Correspondent, by directing email to


Resuscitated Fund Balance and Aaa Bond Rating By MARY C. MARVIN


DiNapoli said in a statement last week. Donohue said a 401k system could lead to deficits in the pension system. New employees would be contributing to their own 401k and not to the state, potentially leaving a hole for current retirees. Cuomo said a 401k system would be optional for new employees and a small component of the pension savings. Assemblyman Gary Pretlow, D-Mount Vernon / Yonkers, said the state has yet to realize the benefits of Tier V -- a pension plan adopted in 2009 that lessened benefits for new public employees.That plan was expected to save $35 billion over 30 years. “We’re still trying to see if Tier V is working right. I think we should tread slowly on this,” Pretlow said. Well said, Pretlow.

Committee chaired by Deputy Mayor, Bob Underhill. Other members of this august body include Don Gogel, Louis Parks, Leighton Welch, Ed Forst and Trustee Donald Gray. Resident Mary Hoch was just recently appointed to round out the committee. At the Finance Committee’s recent meeting, the auditor led a line by line discussion of the financial performance of Village government for the financial year ended May 31, 2011. The Trustees and I believe it is imperative to have fresh, astute and impartial eyes review our fiscal decision-making. Outside resident experts bring a perspective that is often different from that of the elected officials and staff who are immersed in it at a micro level. As an overview, the Trustees and I completed two consecutive years of producing a budget that did not raise property tax levies. Due to the very precarious financial times, in addition to the back- to- back 0% tax levy increases, we also chose to suspend financing on a capital improvement program.

Though we believed this austerity program to be both prudent and necessary, it did put a strain on our fund balance. In order to reach the 0% tax levy increases, while at the same time absorbing State unfunded mandates equating to an approximately 4% tax increase, we had to dip deeply into reserves. Though both the Finance Committee and the auditors appreciated the frugality, they urged us going forward to concentrate on finding additional revenue sources and cost savings to shore up our fund balance, as the amount in fund balance is a major driver in bond rating determination. We heeded their advice and took a hard look at every budget line item and Village service levels. Our single largest initiative was a decision to change healthcare providers for both Village employees and retirees.The switch from our selfinsurance POMCO plan to the New York State Empire Health Program helped bring our fund balance back from $1,626,263 to the current level of $2,147,178 or 15.8% of our current Continued on page 21



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Resuscitated Fund Balance and Aaa Bond Rating Continued from page 20 total budget. As a guidepost to maintaining our Aaa bond rating fund balance should remain in the range of 14% to 24% of a yearly total budget. Unfortunately, the aggregate savings of approximately $520,915 last year was the result of finding several “one shot” infusions of cash that will not be repeated. It was by no means a surplus, rather a replenishment of a depleted fund balance to prove to our rating agencies that the Village is run well. The healthy fund balance dovetails with our


second piece of positive financial news. After several years of funding a meager or no capital improvement plan, the Trustees and I thought it advantageous to create a capital fund for infrastructure repairs, given the unusually inexpensive cost of borrowing money at this juncture. We also need to pave more streets, upgrade the Department of Public Works equipment and rotate police cars. We are also designating a significant amount of capital funding for a flood mitigation program. As a result, at the October 2011 Board of Trustees meeting we ap-

proved a capital improvement program totaling $2,450,000. This amount was added to our current outstanding debt of $1,225,000 and rolled together to be put up for a bond sale. Prior to any bond sale, the Village is interviewed by a prominent rating agency to determine a rate. Obviously, the better the rating and the less indication of risk results in a lower interest rate for borrowing. After a thorough scrutiny of our finances, Moody’s awarded us the coveted triple A bond rating, allowing us to take advantage of the lowest possible interest rates. Due to the economic climate coupled with crushing New York State unfunded mandates,

Village’s have become fragile financial entities that required careful stewardship to remain afloat. I thank my fellow Trustees, the Village Finance Committee and our professional staff for their constant vigilance. Prudence, frugality and careful planning will continue to be our guideposts as we begin to tackle the 2012-2013 Village budget.

will review over the next few months.

the Police union whose contract expired at the end of 2008.

Mary C. Marvin is the mayor of the Village of Bronxville, New York. If you have a suggestion or comment, consider directing your perspective by email to:


City Council Updates

Transfer Tax Consideration

A Decaying Infrastructure May Lead to a November Bond Referendum By DOUGLAS FRENCH

behind the Bowman Avenue spillway.

Just as the Rye City School District is grappling with its long-term planning issues and an expanding student enrollment, the City Government is also facing major capital needs with a crumbling infrastructure to include roads, sidewalks, sewers, storm drains and flood mitigation needs. By City Charter, any public referendum on City matters must be held on Election Day and so the City is targeting Election Day 2012 as a potential date to go out for bond. The City is in dire need of making repairs and improvements to the infrastructure that has been neglected for quite some time. Should the Council decide to move to a bond vote, the Council is in full agreement that only critical projects tied to the general safety and well-being of the public should be included. An initial rough estimate would range the total cost of the bond from $5M to $10M in projects depending on the assessment the Council has asked to be conducted and reviewed with the public over the next 6 months. The key project for flood mitigation would be the expansion of the Upper Pond

There are three phases the City is undertaking in its review of the organization of the Fire Department. The first is a legislative step as the Council has set a date for February 29th for a public hearing on a change to the City Charter for the Board of Wardens and the volunteer firemen to report to and work in conjunction with the City Manager as opposed to the relationship now whereby the City Manager is only advisory to the Board of Wardens. This is an important step in creating greater organizational alignment with the career firemen and volunteers who currently have separate reporting structures. This follows a year of discussions with key stakeholders to include the Fire Chiefs, volunteers, career personnel, and the Board of Wardens. The second phase is an interim transition plan with the mandated retirement of the Fire Inspector and how best the City can maintain those services. The last phase is to determine the best long-term organization design, which could include a Director of Public Safety or other possible scenarios that Council

Public Hearing on Organizational Alignment of the Rye Fire Department

The City continues to look at many ways to offset property taxes while maintaining the level of services and facilities that keep the quality of life and property values high in Rye. One item for consideration is to seek from New York State home rule authority for a transfer tax on the sale Continued on page 21 Continued from page 21 of real estate of 1% on all cash sales of homes that are over $1M. It is estimated that there were $65M in home sales with that criteria in 2011. Currently the City receives 1% on mortgage taxes but nothing on all cash sales, which is a growing trend, and other Cities in Westchester have the tax in place.

Funding for the Rye Free Reading Room Labor Negotiations

As part of its annual Inter-Municipal Agreement with the Rye Free Reading Room to contribute $1,080,000 to furnish library services, the City requested last year that it also assist in labor negotiations for the library. The labor agreement between the library and the Communication Workers of America expired at the end of 2011. The City’s agreement with its Fire union has been expired since the end of 2009 and the City is currently in arbitration with

Appointments Made to the Newly Formed Rye Flood Committee

At the last Council meeting, I appointed the following individuals who were confirmed by the Council to serve on the newly formed committee: Rafael Elias-Linero (Chair), Larry Lehman (Vice-Chair), Annette Guarino, Dean Neely, Richard Mecca, Bernie Althoff, and Holly Kennedy. The role of the flood committee is to advise the Council and assist the City in the implementation of the City’s flood mitigation plan, to educate residents on personal flood mitigation measures, to monitor land-use development upstream and surrounding areas and study their impact on storm-water as well as to look at potential legislation and funding options. The City’s first flood mitigation project, the Bowman Sluice Gate should be going out for bid in March now that all permits, approvals, funding and Inter-Municipal Agreements have been secured. For more information on these matters, visit the City of Rye Website at or contact me, your City Council members or the City Manager. The next City Council meeting is scheduled for February 29th. Douglas French is themayor of the Town of Rye:


Addressing Rye Inspector Eckman Over Rye Mayor French’s 13 Richard Place Home By RAY TARTAGLIONE On January 25th, I requested the Building Department investigate the installation of a new heating system at Mayor French’s 13 Richard Place rental property. According to the mayor’s documentation he installed a new heating system between 1995 and 1997. According to responses from my recent (Freedom of Information Law) FOIL requests, no permits were issued by the City of Rye relative to that installation.

Although I did receive an immedi-

ate response from inspector Dianni specifically addressing the oil tank, as of this date, I have not received a response from the building Department referencing the non-permitted installation of the new heating system and addressing my complaint. If you could please advise as to where my compliant presently stands in the process. A review of Mayor Douglas French’s recently released 1992 MLS listing sheet linked below, vernmentOther/1992HomeListing.pdf, displays his rental property, located at 13 Richard Place, Rye, NY 10580, had an oil fuel / hot water heating system in 1992 which is consistent with the

city’s assessorís records. However, the mayor’s most recent MLS listing sheet from 2011 linked below,, reflects that the home’s heating system has been changed to a gas fuel / hot air system with no permits or approvals for such work found in building department records that I have recently foiled. This would seem to be an apparent violation of Building Code Chapter 68-12(C), which states in part,“No alteration in existing oil or gas heating installation, HVAC or an electrical installation, for which a permit has been issued, shall be made without the inspection and approval of the Build-

ing Inspector.” At this time I would formally request a Building Department investigation into the above. I would also request the Building Department investigate the removal, disposal, filling or remediation of the oil tank at the same location for the aforementioned fuel oil system. Please be advised I have forwarded this e-mail to Mr. Edward Moore at The Department of Environmental Conservation Region 3 for their oversight and involvement. This would seem to be an apparent violation of Building Code 98-70 which states “Tanks Continued on page 22

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GOVERNMENT Addressing Rye Inspector Eckman Over Rye Mayor French’s 13 Richard Place Home

Yonkers City Clerk Joan Deierlein to Retire

Continued from page 21 abandoned by replacement or otherwise shall be removed, or, upon approval of the Board of Fire Wardens, their lines may be disconnected and capped and the tanks filled with sand. Tanks not to be used for a period not to exceed one year or more shall be filled with water and lines capped.” I would respectfully request a return response after a determination has been made of the above. Thanking you in advance for your efforts.

YONKERS, NY -- Yonkers Tribune / The Westchester Guardian sources have learned Yonkers City Clerk Joan Deierlein (Republican) will step down after approximately four decades as a civil servant; two decades of which are as a city clerk. Her departure leaves Deputy Clerk Vincent Spano (Conservative) the only person in the Clerk’s Office with experience. The Yonkers City Clerk’s Office permits

Learn more about Ray Tartaglione at the Website, and view the following: watch?v=xKM6N1Nj27s


representation from a maximum of three political appointees with the three largest vote getting parties permitted to designate one qualified individual. One should expect a Democratic nominee and a Republican nominee to be entered for consideration by the Yonkers City Council membership. On the Democratic side of the equation the YT / WG are hearing that Symra Brandon, Yonkers Democratic City Committee Chair, Patricia McDow, recently term-limited Yonkers City Council Majority Leader, and Rachelle “Rocky” Richard, Yonkers City

Council President Chuck Lesnick’s Chief of Staff. are in serious contention. On the Republican side of the equation, the name of former Yonkers City Councilwoman (6th District) is regarded a favorite contender, as is David Tubiolo, son of Justin Tubiolo, 9th Ward GOP Leader. With the Democrats holding the majority, it is likely the Democratic nominee, once designated, would accede to Yonkers City Clerk. Protocol would have the present Deputy Clerk, Vincent Spano, moved to 1st Deputy Clerk, and the Republican, accede to 2nd Deputy Clerk.


Praised for Pledging to Enact Term Limits Legislation for Congress By MARK ROSEN Term limits is a concept whose time has come. It is only fitting to underscore this message during this President’s Day weekend, when our greatest Presidents exemplified the concept of serving the public good over narrow, special interests. Over the years, we have seen an erosion of the concept of the citizen legislator, with career politicians now ensconced in Congress. The incentive structure has gotten all twisted with self-created incumbency advantage mixed with an obscene set of perks, including exorbitant pension and health care benefits not available to the average citizen, causing a condition where few are willing to take on the real and hard problems. A dysfunctional Congress is the end result. I publicly commit to achieving passage of a term limits amendment and put my

personal reputation on the line to assisting in leading and seeing passage of that amendment. Passage of a term limit amendment is directly related to driving an effective, pro-growth agenda, which is my top priority when I am elected to Congress. Career Congresspersons are so worried about reelection and so beholden to narrow special interests that they fail to lead and drive real, creative and effective solutions for the issues that matter--such as growth and prosperity for Americans. That kind of work is hard and doesn’t grab the big headlines like various symbolic issues that career politicians glom onto to drive wedges between voters and grab a headline or two. Bottom line, governing for the public good is hard, unglamorous work and requires perseverance and moral courage. Sometimes doing the right thing for the public good requires taking political risk. Many people enter Congress with good

intentions of doing good works, but somehow many forget why they entered. The only lasting result from the continuous reelection politics and making of false, unsustainable promises is a mountain of debt to be passed onto our children. Term limits will cut the incentive structure cord to a career in Congress so Congresspersons can focus on what matters, take risk, and do the right thing for our children and grandchildren. “While I believe Congresswoman Nita Lowey is a well-meaning public servant, she is also a career politician, currently in her 24th year in Congress, who has not provided leadership in delivering creative and effective solutions for the challenges of our time. We have significant challenges in economic growth, jobs, spending, debt, tax policy, regulatory overreach, education, energy and healthcare. More of the same, ever-expanding spending on current programs without

that surrounded the Forest City Ratner for bringing about the Ridge Hill Development is telling. While many in the media have drawn the conclusion that both Ms Annabi and Mr Jereis are guilty of corruption, among other charges, the Yonkers Tribune / The Westchester Guardian have not. The facts have yet to be fully presented. The government is still in the process of making their case. It is not yet completed. The defendants have not had their turn at fully responding

to the charges promulgated against them. It would be irresponsible to steer toward one possible conclusion over another. Yet a cry for blood is heard throughout many sectors of the city. The lust for blood intensifies with greater passion after one witness or another utters an expression of so-called “fact.” Why should any community be so quick to cry for blood when many years have elapsed since after these alleged situations happened? Are the witnesses now being called rewriting

structural changes and effective solutions can only lead to an unsustainable safety net, a continually anemic economy, and an unforgiveable debt load and less promising future for our children. We need leadership and solutions, not more of the same career maintenance. While I support term limits, I have also made clear to USTL that I do not believe three terms per member of the House of Representatives is the correct number of terms. I believe four or five terms is a better time frame. Six years is not enough. But, if a Congressperson cannot contribute substantially within a time frame of eight to ten years, they never will.

Editor’s Note: Mark Rosen was praised by U.S. Term Limits (USTL) Organization ( for his pledge to enact term limits for Congress in order to restore citizen legislators and eliminate career politicians. Learn more: Mark Rosen for Congress –


A Cry for Blood By HEZI ARIS

The federal corruption trial of former Yonkers City Council Majority Leader Sandy Annabi and former Yonkers GOP Chairman Zehy Jereis with regard to the political shenanigans

the “facts” and why have they been silent in their telling of the “truth” all these years? In the case of Ms Annabi having changed her initial non-support of the Ridge Hill Development project to eventually casting the deciding vote to move it ahead, let’s look at what transpired so far, assuming the “facts” are on target. Forest City Ratner (FCR), having been incapable of persuading enough Yonkers City Councilmembers to endorse the Continued on page 23



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A Cry for Blood Continued from page 22 project, are now labeled and recognized as political manipulators who incorporated lobbyists who were alleged to cajole or coerce their target, in this case, Ms Annabi, to have her capitulate to endorsing their project by casting her vote for the project. Among the allegations are Mr Jereis’ professed infatuation with Ms Annabi and his being approached by FCR and other lobbyists to direct Ms Annabi’s attention to resolve to endorse the Ridge Hill Development project. Only a man, would believe another man, that he has sway over the conduct of a woman. Ask a woman that, and she will laugh in your face. The reality is that every woman, just as every man, can be reasoned with; most people are not manipulated. To imply otherwise besmirches those who suggest it. For FCR to devise a plot that would undermine the Yonkers City Council by extorting a vote with bribes of money and jewelry, among other so-called “benefits,” is outrageous, no matter who the conduits to this ploy were. Why is FCR, the developer that may be regarded as too big to not get their way be afforded “rights” outside the parameters expected of all individuals and corporations that are permitted access to the representatives of The People? Why does the system we have created nationally, not just here in Yonkers, be per-

mitted to continue unabated in its ability to allegedly “corrupt” elected officials? Why are lobbyists permitted access and favor when they are presumed to only be permitted to give expression and voice to the project they promote? Can any project be presumed valuable to a community if every aspect of the project is not met? Does society suffer flawed projects by permitting developers access to those in government expected to speak for the public good? The physical imprint of a project must be judged, as well as the financial investment, and the return on investment validated. Nowhere should lobbyists, special interests, or political agendas be permitted to intrude. What should or should not be is the reality whose world we inhabit. It seems little is as we thought. On the face of it, we expect a fair and level playing field. We expect developers to be open with the facts and we expect elected government officials, and the surrogates under their charge, to scrutinize facts and proceed when everything has been verified. Reality is different. In Yonkers and elsewhere, heads are often turned by the assumed clout of politicians, lobbyists, elected officials, and those that can afford to pay for someone’s dinner, purchase them a car, or adorn them with jewelry. Will the “facts,” as they are “told,” redefine the manner by which society accepts these processes? Is the task of changing the methodology and the people permitted access be curtailed to bring the process in line

with what may be accepted as a ”norm” we can abide? Do we begrudge these two defendants because of their youth, ethnicity, religion, success, or cerebral prowess? Why is former Yonkers Mayor Phil Amicone not on the witness list? Didn’t the “buck stop” at his office? Didn’t he bring the likes of FCR, Melio Management, and Capelli Enterprises to Yonkers? Aren’t they “his” boys? Will Phil Amicone answer for all the corruption surrounding his tenure in office? He had his hand in everything that transpired over 16 years of governance. He is getting off without a word. He is not on the list of expected people to testify before the federal court. The reality is that it is easy to focus on Ms Annabi and Mr Jereis because they seem too weak and too inconsequential to matter if they are thrown in as sacrificial lambs to those who scream for their hide. Judge as you please while reflecting that many will be burned at the stake to deflect attention from the likes of former Mayor

Phil Amicone who created a distorted environment and culture within Yonkers City Hall, which was, and still retains much of the corruption that is spoken about but to which little attention will be paid. There is simply too much to cover up and protect. I pray that the construct, tenets, and regimentation of the law, as it is decreed for us to abide by will be a comforting overlay to the common sensibilities of The People for which the court will rule. Until then, I will believe that the two defendants are innocent. Should they be found otherwise, I will submit to a reality that does not wish to delve into the complexity of this “mess,” because it is easier to make a show of those we shunned for what I believe are the wrong reasons. The verdict they receive will give wider berth to those too big to tackle and diminish the value of those caught in the backroom connivances. Those that plot will continue to have their way unabated; the rest of us will be singed by their greed and lawlessness.

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Mugging in Paradise By EDWARD I. KOCH Justice Stephen Breyer, a member of the liberal wing of the U.S. Supreme Court, has a vacation home on the Caribbean paradise island nation of Saint Kitts and Nevis in the West Indies. Last week the Times reported: “Justice Breyer was in his vacation home with his wife, Joanna, and guests when [a] man entered the home around 9 p.m. The man took about $1,000 in cash and fled.” I read elsewhere that the man was armed with a machete and that the Justice and his wife were playing bridge with guests. The incident recalled for me the time I was running for mayor of New York City. The year was 1977. Crime was rampant at the time in the city as opposed to today. New York City now is probably the safest big city in America with the lowest crime

rate in the country for big cities. One of the street jokes back in the bad old days was that a conservative was a liberal who had just been mugged. One night during the 1977 mayoral campaign, I was scheduled to address a group of senior citizens in the Bronx at about 8:00 p.m. I was running late, as often happens in every political campaign, and arrived closer to 10:00 p.m. I was aware that the audience had waited for me, and I was worried about their getting home safely. I said in my opening remarks, “Ladies and Gentlemen. We all know what the major issue is in this campaign. It is crime. A judge I know who was recently mugged called a press conference after the mugging and said to the reporters, ‘This mugging of me will in no way affect my decisions in matters of this kind.’” An elderly lady immediately stood up in the back of the room and said, “Then mug him again.” In those few words, she summed up the outrage that most citizens felt. They resented the lack of common sense they saw Continued on page 24


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Mugging in Paradise Continued from page 23 in those Continued from page charged with the obligation of protecting the public, and they felt as though they were often prisoners in their own homes, and nobody cared. Ultimately, as a result of elections, government did get the message, and those committing crimes of violence began to be treated much more severely. Mandatory sentencing laws were enacted taking discretion away from judges, and longer sentences were imposed by the legislature. Today, crime no longer the number one issue on people’s minds, pressure has been building to reduce sentences and eliminate

mandatory minimums imposed for many violent crimes. Some editorial writers and opinion makers criticize the U.S. for putting so many people in prisons. I believe it is those mandatory minimums that have been most responsible for the reduction in violent crimes. Many criminals are recidivists and two-thirds will commit new crimes or engage in parole violations and be back in prison within three years after their release. So keeping criminals sentenced for crimes of violence for as long as is reasonably possible in prison makes sense to me. Nevertheless, I do believe that we have gone much too far in our efforts to punish the non-violent criminals by mandating very long sentences for those who use hard

drugs – cocaine, heroin and meth – but who are not involved in violent crime. I support the efforts – successful in some states – to reduce those sentences. I also believe that we should allow the sealing of some criminal files of those who served their prison time and are released. Where there was no violence involved in their crime, and they perform obligations such as getting their General Equivalency Diploma (G.E.D.) and stay out of trouble for 5 years, I support legislation that would seal their records so they can respond lawfully with a “no” to the job application question, “Have you ever been convicted of a crime?” Some states already do this, e.g., New Jersey, Ohio, Florida, Massachusetts and Washington, D.C., and more should. Regrettably, New

York does not. Young men who have non-violent criminal records find it very hard to obtain jobs even in good economic times, let alone during recessions. And they find it harder to get married because of their inability to support a family. Their lack of family support leads to recidivism. It will be interesting to see whether and how Justice Breyer’s judicial decisions are impacted by the trauma of being threatened by a machete wielding robber.

long-held doctrine that the U.S. must be prepared to fight in two separate regions simultaneously. The possibility of a large scale conflict with a powerful adversary such as China or Russia apparently has been rejected. The President also advocates a unilateral and unprecedented 80% reduction of atomic warheads. This would place the U.S. in a distant third place, behind Russia with its 6,000 warheads and on a par with China, leaving America vulnerable to ongoing intimidation from either of these powers as well as outright nuclear blackmail. The proposal lowers U.S. nuclear strength to 1950 levels. Strategically, this means that a first strike by an adversary could easily wipe out our arsenal, leaving the nation with no choice but surrender. As the President attempts to enact his plan, Russia continues an ambitious military modernization program. MILPLEX reports that China will double its announced military budget within the next five years. North

Korea and Iran are also moving swiftly ahead with their nuclear weapons programs. In a bizarre twist, The Obama budget also cuts funds from Homeland Security, while increasing aid to Islamic fundamentalists in Egypt. Last week, a group of military experts assembled by former Assistant Secretary of Defense Frank Gaffney noted that while the proposed defense cuts will slash our military capability, civilian DOD personnel will not be affected. In other words, the fat will be spared while muscle is cut. In the past, proposals to substantially reduce our national security posture would face stiff Republican opposition. This year, the Republican Party is diverted by a fierce presidential primary battle, and it is being influenced by a small group of isolationists led by Ron Paul. The end result of this proposed reduction to military spending may well cost far more than it actually saves. The impact of 100,000

low paid soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen returning home with very few available jobs will produce more expense in unemployment checks and related benefits than will be saved. The fragile industrial base may not recover from the loss of military contracts. Numerous contractors and subcontractors will be forced out of business, destroying the recession-proof tax revenue and jobs they produce. Many of these businesses will close forever, meaning that future administrations would be powerless to undo the harm this reckless attack on our safety would produce. Historians remind us that it was the pre-World War Two defense buildup that actually began to end the Great Depression. Gambling with our national safety is a poor bet at any time; doing so in an era of economic crisis is even worse.

The Honorable Edward Irving Koch served as a member of member of Congress from New York State from 1969 through 1977, and New York City as its 105th Mayor from 1978 to 1989.


Indefensible Decisions By FRANK V. VERNUCCIO, JR. Revenue-starved Westchester County will lose up to $18,002,128 in federal spending in the coming years as a result of the President’s defense-related decisions. As a whole, New York State could lose up to 27,000 jobs. Although Defense spending accounts for only 20% of the federal budget, The White House has targeted the armed forces (which have basically been deprived of adequate supplies of new equipment since the end of the Reagan era) to take 50% of all spending cuts. It has also been leaked that a radical and unilateral reduction in our nuclear defense posture is being considered. In his budget, Obama has rejected the

Contact Frank Vernuccio by directing email to:




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Weir Only Human

Always Follow the Money! By BOB WEIR It’s been said that all politics is local, meaning that a politician’s success is directly related to his ability to understand the issues of most importance to his constituents, and to the best of his ability, carry out their wishes. If the politician has principles, carrying out those wishes is a no-brainer. But, suppose the voters elected a congressman, mayor, sheriff, or other authority figure that had an “open mind” when it came to making deals with wealthy companies that swooped down over the local community with business projects that posed severe discomfort, or potential hazard to the residents? Big companies have big checking accounts, hence are capable of making significant contributions to campaign treasuries. Of course, the ethical elected official will not be influenced one iota by those who seek to buy the power of his office. Nevertheless, he’s unlikely to turn down those “donations” that don’t seem to have any strings attached (at least no strings he’d admit to). Yet, you’d have to ask yourself why a

company, or an individual, with business or personal interests in the area would spend money on someone who isn’t viewed as sympathetic to their concerns. The answer is; they wouldn’t. The problem we face in selecting the best people to govern us is the fact that running for office can be expensive. In some campaigns, the amount of money spent is obscene. It’s a sad commentary on our culture that so many people are manipulated by political ads that distort reality and send voters to the polls with a twisted view of the candidates. One way to change this exercise in mind manipulation is to level the playing field by taking big money out of politics. Another way is for the voters to be made aware of whom the money donors are, and make a judgment on the candidate’s credibility based on whom he accepts money from. No reasonable person objects to wealthy people buying mansions, yachts, sports cars, etc., those are retail items. However, everyone should object to wealthy people buying elections. We often hear pundits talking about money as a form of free speech. That’s utter nonsense (no pun intended)! If money equals free speech, then it must be painfully evident that most Americans have very limited access to that Constitutionprovided right, when compared to the deep-pocketed fat-cats on Wall Street and

K-Street. The same goes for voters in local communities who may find themselves being influenced by well-financed campaigns and ethically-challenged candidates who have little compunction about filling their treasuries with ill-gotten gains. Therefore, if the voice of the people is to have any meaning, it’s important that voters know who’s contributing money to candidates on every level of government. A gambler will bet a bundle on a horse because he expects a significant return if it wins. Sadly, the same often happens in political campaigns. Example: suppose candidates A and B are on opposite sides when it comes to zoning changes in their city. If candidate A is on record for supporting those changes and has received large donations from a business concern that seeks to build retail stores in an area that is not zoned for them, it seems obvious that the money is being spent to buy access to the candidate’s vote. Keep in mind; if it was a development favored by the local residents, there would be no need to stuff the campaign coffers of candidates who also favored the planned projects. Hence, when large sums of cash are injected into the contest, it’s usually because of an attempt to thwart the will of the people. In order to do so, voters must be persuaded into believing that their best interests are being served by the new ad-

ditions to their surrounding environment. Very often, that persuasion comes from advertising that promises increased revenue that would lessen the tax burden on residents. What’s often left out of equation is the fact that any revenue gained would be more than offset by additional city services that would be required if said project was built. In the final analysis, we elect people to represent us equally, not to favor those who spend the most money putting them in office. One way to deal with this usurpation of democracy is to allow voters to follow the money by requiring that campaign contributions be reported publicly within 48 hours of receipt. When a voter goes to the polls he/she should know which candidates are already bought and paid for. Bob Weir is a veteran of 20 years with the New York Police Dept. (NYPD), ten of which were performed in plainclothes undercover assignments. Bob began a writing career about 12 years ago and had his first book published in 1999. Bob went on to write and publish a total of seven novels, “Murder in Black and White,” “City to Die For,” “Powers that Be,” “Ruthie’s Kids,” “Deadly to Love,” “Short Stories of Life and Death,” and “Out of Sight.” He also became a syndicated columnist under the title “Weir Only Human.”

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A non profit Performing Arts Center is seeking two job positions- 1) Director of Development- FT-must have a background in development or experience fundraising, knowledge of what development entails and experience working with sponsors/donors; 2) Operations Manager- must have a good knowledge of computers/software/ticketing systems, duties include overseeing all box office, concessions, movie staffing, day of show lobby staffing such as Merchandise seller, bar sales. Must be familiar with POS system and willing to organize concessions. Full time plus hours. Call (203) 438-5795 and ask for Julie or Allison



Chelsea Thomas (d.o.b. 7/14/94), A Child Under 21 Years of Age

Dkt Nos. NN-10514/15/16-10/12C

Adjudicated to be Neglected by

NN-2695/96-10/12B FU No.: 22303





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Last known addresses: KENNETH THOMAS: 24Suitable Garfield Yonkers,Contact NY 10701 for Street, any type#3, of business. Wilca: 914.632.1230 An Order to Show Cause under Article 10 of the Family Court Act having been filed with this Court seeking to modify the placement for the above-named child.


A non profit Performing Arts Center is seeking two job positions- 1) DirecDevelopmentFT-must development or expeYOU ARE HEREBY SUMMONEDtortoofappear before this have Courta background at Yonkersin Family Court rience fundraising, knowledge of what development entails and experilocated at 53 So. Broadway, Yonkers, New York, on the 28th day of March, 2012 at 2;15 pm in the ence working with sponsors/donors; 2) Operations Manager- must have a afternoon of said day to answer the petitiongood and to show cause why said child should beinclude knowledge of computers/software/ticketing systems,not duties adjudicated to be a neglected child and whyoverseeing you should notoffice, be dealt with inmovie accordance with the lobby all box concessions, staffing, day of show staffing such as Merchandise seller, bar sales. Must be familiar with POS provisions of Article 10 of the Family Court Act. system and willing to organize concessions. Full time plus hours. Call (203) 438-5795 and ask for the Julieright or Allison PLEASE TAKE FURTHER NOTICE, that you have to be represented by a law-

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The Development Team of NY LLC Arts. of Org. filed with SSNY 1/20/2012. Off. Loc.: Westchester Cnty. SSNY designated as agent of LLC whom process may be served. SSNY shall mail process to: c/o The LLC, P.O. Box 305, Lincolndale, NY 10540. Purpose: all lawful activities. JPANY, LLC Articles of Org. filed NY Sec. of State (SSNY) 12/21/2011. Office in Westchester Co. SSNY design. Agent of LLC upon whom process may be served. SSNY shall mail copy of C/O Stern Keiser & Panken, LLP 1025 Westchester Ave. Ste. 305 White Plains, NY 10604. Purpose: Any lawful activity. WEINER, LLP Articles of Org. filed NY Sec. of State (SSNY) 12/6/2011. Office in Westchester Co. SSNY design. Agent of LLP upon whom process may be served. SSNY shall mail copy of The LLP 660 White Plains Rd. Tarrytown, NY 10591. Purpose: Any lawful activity. Principal Office: 660 White Plains Rd. Tarrytown, NY 10591


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LEGAL NOTICE ALBERT E. ALEXANDER ENTERPRISES, LLC Articles of Org. filed NY Sec. of State (SSNY) 12/21/2011. Office in Westchester Co. SSNY design. Agent of LLC upon whom process may be served. SSNY shall mail copy of C/O Stern Keiser & Panken, LLP Ste. 305 1025 Westchester Ave. White Plains, NY 10604. Purpose: Any lawful activity.” GEORGIO FAMILY LIMITED PARTNERSHIP II Articles of Org. filed NY Sec. of State (SSNY) 12/6/2011. Office in Westchester Co. SSNY design. Agent of LLC upon whom process may be served. SSNY shall mail copy of C/O Patricia G. Micek Esq. 2180 Boston Post Rd. Larchmont, NY 10538. Purpose: Any lawful activity BIG JAY’S DISTRIBUTORS LLC Articles of Org. filed NY Sec. of State (SSNY) 10/25/2011. Office in Westchester Co. SSNY design. Agent of LLC upon whom process may be served. SSNY shall mail copy of C/O John P. Recchia 201 Tarrytown Rd. White Plains, NY 10607. Purpose: Any lawful activity.

SIGNATURE PUBLIC RELATIONS, LLC Articles of Org. filed NY Sec. of State (SSNY) 10/27/2011. Office in Westchester Co. SSNY design. Agent of LLC upon whom process may be served. SSNY shall mail copy of process C/O Randal B. Hayes 101 Ellwood Ave. 1E Mt. Vernon, NY 10552. Purpose: Any lawful activity. GEORGIO FAMILY III LLC Articles of Org. filed NY Sec. of State (SSNY) 12/5/2011. Office in Westchester Co. SSNY design. Agent of LLC upon whom process may be served. SSNY shall mail copy of process C/O Patricia G. Micek, Esq. 2180 Boston Post Rd. Larchmont, NY 10538. Purpose: Any lawful activity. THE FARM FOODIE, LLC Articles of Org. filed NY Sec. of State (SSNY) 11/28/2011. Office in Westchester Co. SSNY design. Agent of LLC upon whom process may be served. SSNY shall mail copy of process C/O Stern Keiser & Panken, LLP 1025 Westchester Ave. Ste. 305 White Plains, NY 10604. Purpose: Any lawful activity. B8 ENTERPRISE LLC Articles of Org. filed NY Sec. of State (SSNY) 12/7/2011. Office in Westchester Co. SSNY design. Agent of LLC upon whom process may be served. SSNY shall mail copy of process Justin Jaikaran 9 Holly St. Yonkers, NY 10704. Purpose: Any lawful activity.

RUN DOG RUN LLC Articles of Org. filed NY Sec. of State (SSNY) 12/2/2011. Office in Westchester Co. SSNY design. Agent of LLC upon whom process may be served. SSNY shall mail copy of Alexandra Ginnel 211 Green Ln. Bedford Hills, NY 10507. Purpose: Any lawful activity

CHANCC LLC Articles of Org. filed NY Sec. of State (SSNY) 5/26/100. Office in Westchester Co. SSNY design. Agent of LLC upon whom process may be served. SSNY shall mail copy of The LLC 698 Saw Mill River RD Ardsley, NY 10502. Purpose: Any lawful activity.

INTERVIEW CHIEF, LLC Articles of Org. filed NY Sec. of State (SSNY) 11/22/2011. Office in Westchester Co. SSNY design. agent of LLC upon whom process may be served. SSNY shall mail copy of process 27 Barker Ave. Ste. 1005, White Plains, NY 10601. Purpose: Any lawful activity.

NEWBOLD HOLDINGS LLC Articles of Org. filed NY Sec. of State (SSNY) 1/19/2012. Office in Westchester Co. SSNY design. Agent of LLC upon whom process may be served. SSNY shall mail copy of The LLC 305 North Ave. New Rochelle, NY 10801. Purpose: Any lawful activity.

1250 PELHAM PARKWAY SOUTH, LLC Articles of Org. filed NY Sec. of State (SSNY) 1/23/2012. Office in Westchester Co. SSNY design. Agent of LLC upon whom process may be served. SSNY shall mail copy of The LLC 20 Black Hawk Rd. Scarsdale, NY 10583. Purpose: Any lawful activity.

Notice of Formation MommyN-Me of Shrub Oak LLC Arts. of Org. filed with SSNY 2/21/2012. Off. Loc.: Westchester Cnty. SSNY designated as agent of LLC whom process may be served. SSNY shall mail process to: c/o The LLC, P.O. Box 305, Lincolndale, NY 10540. Purpose: all lawful activities.

NEWBOLD LOT LLC Articles of Org. filed NY Sec. of State (SSNY) 1/30/2012. Office in Westchester Co. SSNY design. Agent of LLC upon whom process may be served. SSNY shall mail copy of The LLC 305 North Ave. 1st Fl. New Rochelle, NY 10801. Purpose: Any lawful activity. BLUE TARGET LLC Articles of Org. filed NY Sec. of State (SSNY) 11/30/2011. Office in Westchester Co. SSNY design. Agent of LLC upon whom process may be served. SSNY shall mail copy of C/O Julio Alberto Garcia 119 E. Hartsdale Ave. Apt. 4C Hartsdale, NY 10530. Purpose: Any lawful activity.

NUDGE CAPITAL LLC Articles of Org. filed NY Sec. of State (SSNY) 2/3/2012. Office in Westchester Co. SSNY design. Agent of LLC upon whom process may be served. SSNY shall mail copy of C/O Patricia G Micek Esq 2180 Boston Post Rd. Larchmont, NY 10538. Purpose: Any lawful activity. HAMMER TIME HANDYMAN, LLC Articles of Org. filed NY Sec. of State (SSNY) 12/2/2011. Office in Westchester Co. SSNY design. Agent of LLC upon whom process may be served. SSNY shall mail copy of The LLC 45 Virginia Lane Thornwood, NY 10594. Purpose: Any lawful activity.

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