• Vol. 13/Number 4 www.myharrisonreport.com January 25, 2013 Tax challenges down, still a hurdle for town By DANIEL OFFNER STAFF REPORTER dan@hometwn.com The Town/Village of Harrison saw a decrease last year in the amount of tax challenges it received, but still faced a costly burden of refunding back taxes. After hitting a record high in 2011–with 10,596 tax appeals–the number of county residents fi ling tax grievances reported a slight de- crease last year. Westchester County Clerk Timothy Idoni recently re- ported a total 9,068 small claims assessment review, or SCAR peti- tions, fi led among 38 municipalities in 2012. “A decline in the volume of ap- peals means less stress on local tax rolls,” Idoni stated in a press release. “When appeals are granted or settled, it forces municipalities to identify equivalent reductions in spending or unpopular increases in revenue.” The number of SCARs fi led in Harrison decreased last year. According to county assessment fi gures, Harrison residents fi led a total of 324 petitions in 2012–a de- crease from the 384 fi led a year be- fore. Still, Harrison is No. 9 among Westchester municipalities for hav- ing one of the highest volumes of petitions fi led. Town Comptroller Maureen MacKenzie explained that small claims payouts last year were sig- nifi cantly lower than in year’s past. At the end of 2012, Harrison paid out $137,556 to reimburse residents petitions–approximately $500,000 less than it paid in 2011. County fi lings for SCARs have steadily increased more than 1,000 percent since 2005, though experts hope the recent trend is evidence of a stabilizing of property assess- ments. Although relatively few ap- peals are fi led during years when real estate values near stability, the decrease of 1,528 petitions last year is still substantially higher from county real estate values recorded between 2001 and 2005. Harrison also saw a decrease in expenses for tax certioraris–tax challenges reserved for commercial properties or residents seeking a much higher reduction–paying out just $145,862 in 2012 as opposed to $441,250 in 2011. But while the number of com- mercial certiorari challenges SCARS, continued on page 8 Group presses for library funds By DANIEL OFFNER STAFF REPORTER dan@hometwn.com Members of the Harrison Public Library Foundation have set a dead- line of Feb. 14 for the Town Council to commit public funds to cover a portion of a $3.6 million renovation project for the downtown library. Or else. If the town cannot enter an agree- ment by the group’s chosen date, foundation leaders say they will withdraw a $1 million commitment from the Richard E. Halperin Fund and divert the funding toward a dif- ferent project. According to Ross Halperin, the son of Richard E. Halperin and ex- ecutive director of the library foun- dation, any project he would divert funding toward is “confi dential” for now, as he hopes to try and resolve matters with the town. “The agreement must include a specifi c timeline for the renovation of the building and a $1.1 million commitment from the Town of Harrison,” Halperin said in a press release. Despite raising additional fund- ing through private donations, the foundation still needs $2.3 million to reach its goal. Although the foun- dation is willing to cover the cost of renovation work using private funds, the organization has refused to spend additional money from its donors to cover electrical, heating and air conditioning, fi re protection and plumbing maintenance work. On Jan. 14, the foundation an- nounced that it had hired the engi- neering fi rm Kohler Ronan, LLC to report the assessment of the existing maintenance systems. Halperin said the engineers were recommended by the architects with H3Hardy, a consulting fi rm commissioned to renovate the library. “The majority of the mechani- cal, electrical, plumbing and fi re protection infrastructure appears to be original to the building,” Kohler Ronan stated in the report. “The condition of the MEP/FP [mechani- cal, electrical, plumbing and fi re protection] system infrastructure that was visually observed ranges from fair to poor and should most likely be addressed prior to failure.” Since the costs for the project are scheduled to become “non-dis- cretionary,” the town is required by law to cover the maintenance costs in the near future. Halperin’s argument is that by paying the $1.1 million now, the town will take care of this costly commitment at a time when interest rates are at a record low, otherwise it could cost taxpay- ers in the community an exorbitant amount to renovate the library. If the council were to agree to the foundation’s terms and borrow the necessary capital to cover the $1.1 million, it would increase the cost to taxpayers by 3 percent, or $2.55 per person each year, Town Council members say. The downtown branch of the library was built in 1961 and has not been ex- panded extensively since 1984. Richard E. Halperin died in June 2008 and three months after his death, the downtown library was offi cially dedicated as “The Richard E. Halperin Memorial Building.” Before his death, Richard E. Halperin had told his family of his desire to see his lo- cal library updated. The Richard LIBRARY, continued on page 12 ASTORINO SPEAKS County Executive Robert Astorino, pictured recently at County Executive Robert Astorino, pictured recently at County Executive Robert Harrison Train Station, spoke Astorino, pictured recently at Harrison Train Station, spoke Astorino, pictured recently at at an “Ask Astorino” forum at Harrison Train Station, spoke at an “Ask Astorino” forum at Harrison Train Station, spoke Eastchester Town Hall on Jan. 16. Issues that residents spoke about included soaring pension 16. Issues that residents spoke about included soaring pension 16. Issues that residents spoke costs and unfunded mandates. about included soaring pension costs and unfunded mandates. about included soaring pension For more, see page 8. File photo
  • Rye deer population causing concern By EDINE JAMES CONTRIBUTOR For residents in Rye, cohabitating with the deer population has proved easy for some while more difficult for others. Aside from the dangers deer cause for motorists, many complain of the destruction deer cause to their landscapes and gardens. Although there are those who don’t find these creatures troublesome, there are rising concerns about what is considered a booming local deer population. The American white-tailed deer–once considered to be on the verge of extinction in the 1800s–has grown in large numbers in the area over the last 10 to 15 years. Residents have been “awakened to the return of the white-tailed deer and a subsequent population boom,” said Hank Birdsall, 27, who grew up in Rye and wrote his senior thesis on the return of the species. “Deer are entering the neighborhoods to forage on the landscaped vegetation at night, during the period of lowest human activity,” said Birdsall. Many residents, after initially being excited about the sudden sightings of deer, eventu- ally looked at the animals as an “unchecked and growing nuisance,” Birdsall said. Birdsall, now a graduate student at Texas A&M who is working on his master’s in Range and Wildlife Management, is also working on a deer management outreach program with private landowners in Zapata, Texas on the Texas-Mexico border. From Birdsall’s research, he found that there “seemed to be a relationship between the Marshlands as a refuge area and the surrounding Greenhaven lawns as a source of nutrition for the local deer population.” Julia Lloyd, 49, who has been a Rye resident for two-and-a-half years, said the deer do not bother her. As a neighbor to the Rye Golf Club bordering the Marshlands, she said she often sees deer–especially around dawn and twilight. “Some of the neighbors have had much deer damage to gardens,” she said. Lloyd “personally enjoys the deer,” although she’s heard many complaints from other locals. “Some drivers go too fast on Post Road and have hit them,” she said. Sherry Rosenbaum, 31, who has just moved to Rye, said her first experience with a white- tailed deer was “non-threatening and quite exciting,” and occurred during a walk around her new neighborhood. She said the deer calmly moved about as “it scoured the grass for its din- ner.” Rosenbaum did notice, however, that the deer was not as comfortable around her as she was. “It slowed down its pace quite a bit once it noticed me,” she said. One of Westchester’s well-known horticulturists will be sharing her expertise on deer and gardening concerns in an upcoming lecture. On Jan. 26 at 3 p.m., garden writer Ruth Clausen, author of the book “50 Beautiful Deer Resistant Plants: The Prettiest Animals, Perennials, Bulbs, and Shrubs that Deer Don’t Eat,” will be conducting a book signing and seminar called “Coping with Deer in Landscape and Garden.” It will be held by Rye’s Committee to Save the Bird and Homestead at the Meeting House located in Rye. Those who attend will get firsthand insight into some of Clausen’s secrets for maintaining a plen- tiful garden while coexisting with deer. The deer population is becoming a concern for Westchester residents. Pictured, a deer spotted recently at Rye Nature Center. Photo/Bobby Begun
  • 4 • THE HARRISON REPORT • January 25, 2013 Staff announcement The Harrison Report is pleased to announce Jason Chirevas as our new deputy editor. Chirevas has for several months been the reporter covering Mamaroneck for Home Town Media Group, the parent company of this newspaper. In 1992, Jason Chirevas won a Gannett News jour- nalism scholarship. In 2012, he put it to use as the Mamaroneck reporter for Hometown Media Group. In the interim, he worked as an undercover investigator for a management consulting firm, managed a movie theater, did two tours in retail and published some short fiction. Community Briefs Events at the Harrison Public Library, Bruce Avenue Film movement at the library Jan. 27 at 2 p.m. “Found Memories” a film directed by Julia Murat. Portuguese with English subtitles. Book club discussion The Millennium Book Club will discuss “The Paris Wife” by Paula McLain on Feb. 13 at 7 p.m. All are welcome to attend. For more information, call (914) 835-0324 or visit harrisonpl.org. Circle time for tots Jan. 30 at 10 a.m. – 10:30 and 11 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Ages 0-3 (siblings welcome). Songs and stories for the little ones with Miss Claudia. Roe v. Wade event Celebrate the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade with “Securing the Promise of Roe,” a program by Planned Parenthood Hudson Peconic. Jessica Arons, director of the Women’s Health and Rights Program at the Center for American Progress, will talk about the barriers women face in accessing abortion. Jan. 24 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. $20 per person/$15 under age 30 YWCA of White Plains and Central Westchester 515 North St., White Plains Sign up at pphp.org or by calling (914) 467-7311. Harrison High School Baseball Booster Club fundraiser On Jan. 25, the Harrison High School Baseball Booster Club is hosting “A Night at the Races” fundraiser at the Yonkers Raceway and Casino. There will be dinner, live harness racing, slot machines, an auction, and much more. Tickets are $75/person. For tickets and/or more information, contact Susan Pizzutello at blue1212@optonline.net. Seating is limited. Volunteers needed at Sarah Neuman Center Sarah Neuman Center in Mamaroneck is seeking volunteers of all ages and invites you to share your talents and time. If you enjoy cooking, sewing, painting, knitting, arts and crafts reading and/or have an interesting hob- by, then you can make a difference in the lives of seniors. For more information, contact Amy Lionheart, director of volunteer programs, to learn about volunteer opportunities at (914) 864-5140 or email alionheart@jewishhome. org. Valentine origami hearts project for Sandy Hook Port Chester-Rye Brook Public Library One Haseco Ave., Port Chester (914) 939- 6710 portchester-ryebrooklibrary.org Sign up to make Valentine origami hearts to send to the Sandy Hook community at the Port Chester-Rye Brook Public Library on Feb. 1 from 3:45p.m. – 4:30 p.m. in the Children’s Room. Enrollment is limited. Pre-registration is required by phone or in person. Free adoption information session Feb. 4 6:30 p.m. – 8 p.m. Port Chester-Rye Brook Public Library One Haseco Ave., Port Chester (914) 939-6710 portchester-ryebrooklibrary.org This free event, hosted by Forever Families Through Adoption, Inc., is open to anyone interested in or involved with the adoption process, including professionals, community members, expectant parents, adoptive or pro- spective adoptive parents and adoptees. Come learn about the domestic and international adoption process and meet the staff of Forever Families Through Adoption. Forever Families Through Adoption, Inc. is authorized in New York and Connecticut. For more information about the organization, call (914) 939-1180, email adopt@ForeverFamiliesThroughAdop tion.org or visit foreverfamiliesthroughadop- tion.org. Deadline for our Community Briefs section is every Friday at 12 p.m. Though space is not guaranteed, we will do our best to accom- modate your listing. Please send all items to news@hometwn.com. Mamaroneck to honor “X Factor” finalist By JASON CHIREVAS STAFF REPORTER jason@hometwn.com Although she finished second on one of television’s biggest reality competi- tion shows, the Village of Mamaroneck will show Carly Rose Sonenclar she is still first in the heart of her hometown with a parade on Jan. 27. Carly, 13, was the runner-up on the just finished season of Fox’s “The X Factor,” an interactive reality talent show created by former American Idol judge Simon Cowell. After her audition performance, an interpretation of Nina Simone’s “Feeling Good,” earned her a place in the show’s boot camp, Carly advanced through the competition with acclaimed performances each week un- til the Dec. 21, 2012 finale. In the last round, she fell just short of the show’s championship, which went to 37-year- old country singer Tate Stevens. The parade, which will be held from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. along Mamaroneck Avenue, will be the culmination of months of hometown support for Carly, who told The Harrison Report she is “so lucky to have such great support from back home” in a statement last November. That support will be in full force for the parade with the village police department, fire department, EMS, school athletic teams and cheerleaders, all expected to help show Mamaroneck’s appreciation for its home- grown star. “We have not a local, and not a national, but an international star budding for a great future,” said Mayor Norman Rosenblum in announcing the parade. Although she has come to national promi- nence recently, Carly is no stranger to per- forming. When she was 7, an art teacher saw something special in Carly and put her family in contact with a talent agent. Within a year, she appeared on Broadway as Young Cossette in “Les Miserables.” In 2011, Carly was named Best Young Performer by Broadwayworld.com. Carly‘s second place finish on “The X Factor” has not just earned her millions of viewer votes and a parade from her hometown fans. She has reportedly inked a recording contract with Syco Music, a company co-owned by Sony Music and Cowell. Mamaroneck has made an event of sup- porting Carly throughout her climb to “The X Factor”’ summit. In November of 2012, The Harrison Report caught up with Carly’s fa- ther, Bob Sonenclar, at an “X Factor” viewing party in Larchmont’s Chat 19. “‘Blown away’ are about the only two words I can come up with to describe how Terri and I feel about what the community is doing for Carly,” Bob Sonenclar said. The village expects thousands of Carly’s fans, who have come to be known as “Carly’s Angels,” to be in attendance for the parade. Carly has perhaps no bigger fan at the mo- ment than Mayor Rosenblum, who promised the parade will be “a pure celebration,” even if The “X Factor’s” result was not quite what he would have liked it to be. “[Carly] should have been first,” the mayor said. The Village of Mamaroneck will honor 2012 “X Factor” finalist Carly Rose Sonenclar, seen here, with a parade along Mamaroneck Avenue on Jan. 27 from 2:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Village fire, police and EMS personnel, along with her fans, dubbed “Carly’s Angels,” will participate in the celebration. Contributed photo
  • January 25, 2013 • THE HARRISON REPORT • 5 Morgan Stanley to build solar facilities By DANIEL OFFNER STAFF REPORTER dan@hometwn.com The town will receive the largest ground mounted solar panels in Westchester County, a device to be constructed by a Fortune 500 company to provide an alternative energy source for its Purchase offices. Wall Street financial giants Morgan Stanley have recieved the green light to construct an accessory solar facility that will provide a re- newable source of energy. Town officials have praised the move as being on the cutting edge of “green” technology. On Jan. 17, the Harrison Town Council voted in a three-member roll call decision to grant a special permit for the company to in- stall the 821 kilowatt alternate power supply within the special business district. Christopher Fisher, an attorney with the Cuddy & Feder law firm in White Plains who are representing Morgan Stanley, said the in- ternational investment firm has received capi- tal funding from the state Energy Research and Development Agency to construct the facility as an alternative to its use of the exis- iting electrical “grid” infrastructure. “The solar array can produce enough power to offset 5 percent of the company’s total usage and 25 percent of the building’s peak demand,” Fisher said during his presentation to the coun- cil. “We hope to reduce [the company’s] carbon emissions by 400 metric tons a year.” Apart from state funding, legislation put into effect last year by state Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, could provide Morgan Stanley with a tax break. According to a press release from the state Department of Taxation and Finance, commercial businesses won’t be charged the state’s 4 percent sales tax on the purchase or installation of the solar energy system and equipment. “This measure builds on the existing solar exemption for homeowners to encourage busi- nesses statewide to use clean renewable resourc- es,” said Tax Commissioner Thomas Mattox. In addition to the cost aspect, a presenta- tion at the Town Council meeting of Jan. 17 showed the location of the facility lies along the southwestern end of the Morgan Stanley property. Although the location proposed lies within a wetlands disturbance area, the town’s Planning Board previously deemed that there would not be any significant im- pact to the environment. According to Fisher, finding a spot provid- ing enough of a slope to collect the optimal amount of sunlight and enough distance from the highways surrounding the Morgan Stanley property were key components in making their decision. Fisher added that the photo- voltaic, or solar panels, will be given a “mac black finish” and will be surrounded by trees so they will be non-reflective or distracting to any passing traffic. “It’s similar to real estate,” said Republican Councilwoman Marlene Amelio. “Location, location, location is really important.” Once plans were in place, attorneys with Cuddy & Feder approached the Purchase Environmental Protective Association to ensure the project de- sign met the civic group’s approval. Anne Gold, the executive director of PEPA, stated in a letter to the law firm, after review- ing the plans with fellow board members, the organization would support Morgan Stanley’s proposed solar project. “Morgan Stanley’s leadership in advancing a renewable energy project in a manner that minimizes localized impacts is commend- able,” Gold said in her letter. Republican Councilman Fred Sciliano, who recused himself from the board’s deci- sion, said that this is just one of several proj- ects Morgan Stanley has approved in trying to make their facility energy friendly. Sciliano added that the facility currently produces ice at night, which is melted throughout the day to help cool the facility. A report from the state Energy Research and Development Authority on “microgrids” made in 2010, stated that the ice storage sys- tem implemented by Morgan Stanley’s offices in Purchase has already lowered the buildings peak electricity demand by 740 kilowatts a day and reduces overall electircity use by 900,000 kilowatts. Morgan Stanley is planning to install a ground-mounted solar facility adjacent to its offices at 2000 Westchester Ave. Photo/Daniel Offner
  • Sandy recovery check presented to county The Building & Realty Institute of Westchester and the Mid-Hudson Region presented a $10,000 check to benefit the Westchester County Disaster Recovery Fund, which was set up by Westchester County Executive Robert P. Astorino in partnership with the United Way of Westchester and Putnam to help provide long-term assistance to county residents in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. The fund–which will address long-term needs that are either not covered by insurance, other non- profit agencies or government programs such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency–is being administered by the United Way of Westchester and Putnam. Separately, Westchester residents and business owners have until Jan. 28 to file for federal assis- tance for damages associated with Hurricane Sandy under an extension announced by FEMA. To make a donation or to learn more, visit UWWP.org, click on the “GIVE” button, and select “Disaster Fund.” Checks can be made out to “United Way of Westchester and Putnam - Disaster Recovery Fund” and mailed to the United Way of Westchester and Putnam at 336 Central Ave., White Plains, N.Y., 10606. You may also dial 211 for recovery assistance. Founded in 1946, the Building & Realty Institute is one of the largest construction, develop- ment and real estate related industry trade associations in the state. The Westchester-based organiza- tion has more than 1,500 members, primarily in the Westchester and mid-Hudson Valley region. (Submitted) (L-R) Mike Beldotti, Building & Realty Institute president; Naomi Adler, United Way of Westchester and Putnam CEO; Stephen J. McCulloch, Houlihan-Parnes/iCap Realty Advisors; Robert P. Astorino, Westchester County Executive; and Albert A. Annunziata, Building and Realty Institute executive director. Contributed photo 6 • THE HARRISON REPORT • January 25, 2013 Former Rye super sentenced Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore announced that Kujtim Nicaj (DOB 11/09/68) of 58 C Peck Ave. in Rye was sentenced to six and one half years in state prison and seven years probation on his October 2012 guilty plea to: • One count of burglary in the second degree as a sexually motivated felony, a class “C” violent felony, • One count of sexual misconduct, a class “A” misdemeanor. On Feb. 8, 2012 the defendant, who was employed at the time as the superintendent at the Rye Colony Cooperative Apartments, entered the victim’s apartment without au- thorization. While inside, the defendant engaged in multiple sex acts with the owner’s 15 month old Labrador Retriever dog. This conduct was recorded on nanny cam type devices, which the homeowner had previously set up. The Rye City police were notified. The defendant was questioned and subsequently arrested by Rye City police. Upon completion of his sentence, the defendant will have to register as a sex offender under the New York State Sex Offender Registry Act. Assistant District Attorney Wendy Parra of the Sex Crimes Bureau and Assistant District Attorney Mary Ann Liebowitz of the Investigations Division, Animal Cruelty Unit prosecuted the case. (Submitted) People, coyotes can co-exist, advocate says By ALEXANDRA BOGDANOVIC STAFF REPORTER alexandra@hometwn.com It’s been a while since Frank Vincenti’s last trip to New Rochelle. Back in 1999, he did a presentation about coyotes for residents near Ward Acres. Just a few days ago, he did a similar presentation for an audience at the New Rochelle Humane Society. “Frank had called us about a month prior and asked if we’d be willing to host his presentation,” said New Rochelle Humane Society Manager Dana Rocco. “We do get a fair number of calls about coyotes, so we thought it would be a good educational piece.” On Jan. 20, Vincenti, founder of the Long Island-based Wild Dog Foundation, shared his passion for Eastern coyotes with shelter volunteers and interested resi- dents. He began by saying that all it takes to peacefully co-exist with the animals is education and common sense. “If you understand dogs, you can understand coyotes,” he said. “They are wild animals, but you can reinforce proper behavior in coyotes.” One effective method to deter coyotes from interacting with people is called “hazing,” Vincenti explained. It can be done by making loud noises, or in some cases firing paintball guns or beanbags at the animals, he said. Vincenti said he simply chases them away. “Coyotes don’t want anything to do with us,” he said. “There are no man-eating coyotes.” Most cases in which coyotes bite people happen because of “food habituation,” or when the animals are rabid, Vincenti said. Even so, he said understands why highly publicized incidents frightened and upset many Rye residents. Back in the summer of 2010, two coyotes attacked a then 6-year-old girl while she was playing outside. According to an account in The Rye Sound Shore Review, she was running along the side of her house when the coyotes jumped on her and knocked her to the ground. She was bitten on the shoulder and thigh, and sustained scratches to her head, back and neck. In another case, just a few days later, coyotes attacked another young girl in Rye. In that case a 3-year-old girl was playing with a 6-year-old neighbor when the coyote, which had been concealed behind a rock, jumped on the younger girl and knocked her to the ground. The coyote bit the little girl on the left side of her neck and torso before fleeing when adults alerted to the incident intervened. The victims were taken to the hospital in both cases. The severity of the attacks prompted officials to halt humane trapping in favor of more aggressive action. At a press conference documented in The Rye Sound Shore Review, Rye Police Commissioner William Connors said authorities would act on the presumption that all coyotes spotted in the community at that time were dangerous. Specifically, he said police and trappers would “shoot to kill,” and that any coyotes that were trapped would be euthanized. State wildlife officials advised at the time that relocation was not a viable alter- native given the animals’ behavior and the severity of the attacks. Vincenti also said trapping and relocating or otherwise eradicating coyotes in such circumstances doesn’t necessarily solve the problem. Instead, it creates a vacuum where other coyotes move into a vacated territory. “Negative reinforcement–not killing them–teaches coyotes how to avoid people,” Vincenti stressed. People can protect their pets from coyotes by vaccinating dogs and cats against rabies and other common diseases that can be transmitted from wild to companion animals, Vincenti said. Cats should be kept indoors whenever possible. “Coyotes do view cats as competitors and they will occasionally eat them, although cats generally make up less than 1 percent of a coyote’s diet,” Vincenti said. “They are not all cat killers.” The New York State Department of Conservation also recommends that people do not allow pets to run free. Furthermore, the agency urges people not to feed pets outside and not to feed coyotes at all. “If you see a coyote, be aggressive in your behavior–make loud noises, wave your arms or throw sticks or stones,” the agency recommends. “Teach children to appreciate coyotes from a distance.”
  • 8 • THE HARRISON REPORT • January 25, 2013 Astorino visits Eastchester, talks health care costs By ASHLEY HELMS STAFF REPORTER ashley@hometwn.com Westchester’s burdensome property tax bills are being weighed down by soaring pen- sion costs and unfunded mandates from the state and federal governments, according to County Executive Rob Astorino. Astorino, a Republican, took questions from residents during a public forum entitled “Ask Astorino” on Jan. 16 at Eastchester Town Hall. Most attendees’ concerns were tied back by Astorino to soaring pension costs for gov- ernment employees that the county is required to pay with no sway in the matter. Astorino has not increased the county tax levy for the past two years, but said that the cost increases must be addressed immedi- ately. The county budget for 2013 stands at $1.7 billion. “Pension costs are expected to rise by 3000 percent over the next few years,” Astorino said. Ten years ago, the county retirement fund cost $65,000 and is now around $3.1 million. Tom Andruss, a lifelong Eastchester resi- dent, said that he and several friends have taken a liking to riding their bikes on the Bronx River Parkway on Sundays during the summer. Over time, Andruss became a direc- tor for the Bronx River Parkway Reservation Conservancy and said he has heard that the conservancy may lose its mechanic, who Andruss said saves them a lot of time and la- bor. “I want you to see to it that if that position becomes vacant, it is filled,” Andruss said. Laying off workers is never an easy task, Astorino said, but he added that not one county worker pays for their health instance benefits. This makes it hard or even impos- sible for every employee to keep their jobs. “You either have to pitch in a little or have less employees,” Astorino said. “It’s not real life to not pay anything for health insurance.” Astorino said that there have been ongo- ing negotiations with local unions regarding County Executive Robert Astorino speaking at an “Ask Astorino” forum at Eastchester Town Hall on Jan. 16. Issues that residents spoke about included soaring pension costs and unfunded mandates, Photo/Ashley Helms health insurance, but said that they still haven’t been able to come to an agreement with the Civil Service Employees Union, Westchester County’s largest union. Astorino said that he hopes one day, members will contribute to their benefits, which would allow budget writ- ers to keep more jobs intact. David Levy, 54, Eastchester resident, said his iron worker’s union requires him to pay 11 percent of his health care costs. He said that some of his friends are also in unions and refuse to pay for their insurance and think that it’s strange that Levy has to. “I’m paying 100 percent of their benefits and mine too, and my taxes can’t handle it,” Levy said. Astorino explained the Triborough Amendment, which prohibits a public em- ployer from altering any provision of an ex- pired labor agreement until a new agreement is reached. This causes a public employer’s salary costs to continue to rise even when labor negotiations have reached a stalemate. Astorino said that New York is the only state to enact this type of amendment and plays a part in rising health care costs. “There’s no bargaining that public employees have to do because they’ll continue to get paid and get their health care,” Astorino said. “Ask Astorino” is held monthly in differ- ent towns and cities throughout Westchester County. HHS semifinalist in Grammy contest The Grammy Foundation announced that Harrison High School has been selected as a Grammy Signature Schools semifinalist for 2013. Applications from the Performing Arts Departments of 20,000 public high schools nationwide were evaluated and 129 schools from across the country have been awarded this distinction. Of the 15 schools selected from the State of New York, Harrison is the only school from Westchester County and its surrounding counties to be honored. A Grammy award, originally called a Gramophone Award, is an honor bestowed by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Science to recognize outstanding achievement in the music industry. In 1998, the Grammy Signature Schools program was created by the Grammy Foundation to recognize top United States public high schools that are making an outstanding commitment to music education during the academic school year. Harrison High School’s vibrant music program has seen their students perform at Heritage Music Festivals in Atlanta and Chicago in recent years. The Marching Band was one of 15 bands nationwide selected to perform at the 50th anniversary of the Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii this past December and the Harrison High School Chorus and Orchestra will participate in the Heritage Festival this spring in Boston. Harrison also offers small ensemble performing opportunities such as the Madrigal Singers, Jazz Band and Jazz Chorus as well as unique cabaret nights. (Submitted) The Harrison High School Chorus. Harrison is the only school in the county to be selected as a Grammy Signature Schools semifinalist for 2013. Contributed photo brought against the town was fewer in 2011, the settlements paid by the town were much higher. This was mostly due to the size of the commercial properties seeking reductions in 2011, some of which included JP Morgan Chase, Oak Valley Consultants, Westair, Aviation Westchester and the 285,000 square-foot commercial office space at 500 Mamaroneck Ave. Meanwhile, last year certiorari payouts re- mained primarily in the low thousands, with the most expensive reimbursement paid to the OCC Purchase for $65,425. Although the apparent drop may seem to be a large improvement, the effects of SCAR refunds and tax certiorari settlements have a much broader impact than simply draining the annual budget for local municipalities. Refunds are granted based on a challenge to a property’s assessment. So with every refund comes an accompanying reduction in the ju- risdiction’s assessment rolls, which determine how a municipal tax levy is divided up among property owners. “When the assessment roll goes down, the tax rate goes up,” Idoni told The Harrison Report in a recent interview. According to Idoni, each time a property owner receives a reduction to his or her as- sessed property value, and consequently his or her taxes, other property owners must make up the difference. But because of the decline in the number of tax certiorari and SCAR petitions, the town is able to levy tax increases at a lower rate than previous years. In 2013, residents’ tax bills will increase by 2.94 percent for the town and 5.7 percent for the county. SCARS, continued from page 1
  • January 25, 2013 • THE HARRISON REPORT • 9 With honors Katelyn Marie Murphy of Harrison has been named to the Dean’s List at Clemson University for the fall 2012 semester. Olivia Mogavero of Harrison has been placed on Manhattan College’s Dean’s Honor List for the fall of 2012. Michelle Winkelman of West Harrison, a sophomore sociology major, has been named to the Deans’ List for the fall semester at SUNY Oswego. Steven Scappaticci of West Harrison has earned an M.S. in Chemistry from the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. Robert J. Suhre of West Harrison has been named to the Dean’s List at Western New England for the fall semester of 2012. Rye to send golf club findings to district attorney By CHRISTIAN FALCONE ASSOCIATE EDITOR chris@hometwn.com Embattled Rye Golf Club Manager Scott Yandrasevich tendered his resignation to the city on Friday, but he may not be out of the woods yet. The city plans to forward the re- sults of a lengthy investigation into the club and its former manager to the county district attorney’s office, the mayor said. Meanwhile, the Rye City Council has yet to conclude its probe into allegations of fi- nancial mismanagement, conflicts of interest and improper practices at the golf club. The ensuing scandal has been called the city’s “Madoff moment” by Mayor Douglas French, a Republican. The mayor said the city would also be establishing an independent body and process to examine past oversight of the golf club. The investigation has revealed that is- sues at the club date back to 2007. French said the city would share the results of the investigation with the district attorney’s office and the public “as soon as possible.” The former club manager resigned, effec- tive immediately, after submitting a letter to city officials, on Jan. 18, and agreed to vacate his residence on the club’s grounds by the end of February, according to Rye City Attorney Kristen Wilson. When Yandrasevich was hired in 2002 to run the club’s operations, he was provided with a house on the club’s property, rent-free, as part of the deal. He was also paid an annual salary of $107,000. Wilson said that the “city has already taken affirmative steps to ensure that the club opera- tions will continue without interruption,” and “the city is looking forward to a successful 2013 season.” Jim Lipolito was hired on Jan. 14 as an in- terim manager to run the club through the end of the year, according to city officials. Rye Councilman Joe Sack, a Republican, said news of Yandrasevich’s departure was a positive thing for the golf club in the sense that it now allows the club to focus more in- tently on having a successful year without the burden of the former manager’s employment as a distraction. Sack, a practicing attorney, wouldn’t pro- vide a timetable for wrapping up the investi- gation. “The first phase seems to be winding down but there are obviously still many other aspects of what took place that we need to look at,” the councilman said. The club is currently in the midst of its off- season. Golf club officials made the financial decision to shut down Whitby Castle’s dining operation through February although the ca- tering operation remains open. Still, many clubgoers await answers as to what has been going on at the club ever since the investigation got underway and comment from city officials has become scarce. A 2010 audit into the club’s financials raised several red flags regarding no bid con- tracts and other financial irregularities. Club members have criticized the city for failing to address the issues brought out in the report. Chris O’Brien, a golf club commissioner, said he hopes the mayor provides the public and membership a full report exposing every- thing that was uncovered in the investigation. According to O’Brien, the club membership isn’t going to be satisfied until there is full ac- countability of what went on at the club. “We want to get some closure,” he said. “We want to know exactly what was going on at Rye Golf Club. Everybody has to be accountable here.” The city was working toward bringing disciplinary action against the club manager prior to his resignation. The City Council had even retained an attorney in the case that Yandrasevich requested a hearing, as part of his rights as a state civil service employee. Councilman Sack said anything the city may have been mounting against the club manager is now moot since he is no longer employed by the city. However, the former manager still faces the potential of being indicted on criminal charges based on the appearance of an improper rela- tionship with an outside staffing company and misuse of club funds. It remains unclear what the city’s investigation will conclude. It also remains unknown if any other city employees are potential targets of the investigation. There is no word from city officials whether Yandrasevich will be entitled to collect on his pension and benefits since he was a 10-year city employee. Under state Civil Service law, an employee can begin to collect his or her pension through the state’s retirement system after 10 years of service. Sources say no settlement agreement was struck between the two parties. The former manager was placed on admin- istrative leave on Oct. 10, 2012. That same night, the City Council agreed to initiate its own investigation into matters at the club, overtaking that authority from City Manager Scott Pickup. Three days later, the council hired the law firm Brune & Richard, which has continued its investigation as of press time. With his hiring, Yandrasevich was given reign over the operations and management of the club; in retrospect, there was little over- sight from the club’s Golf Commission or city management of his handling of the organiza- tion. The club is run as an enterprise fund with the intent of remaining self-sustaining in or- der not to burden city taxpayers and is funded primarily through membership dues. Yet the club has struggled to run at a net-positive for years, offsetting any year-end deficits by dip- ping into the club’s fund balance. Back in September 2012, it was uncovered, in a story broken by our sister paper The Rye Sound Shore Review that the club had paid out roughly $2.2 million in salary costs to RM Staffing and Events, Inc.–a Rye-based compa- ny which has since relocated to Port Chester. Of that $2.2 million, roughly $400,000 was billed as overtime–equal to more than 10,000 hours over the same span. The relationship be- tween Yandrasevich and the staffing company raised further questions when it was reported that his wife, Anne, worked for the company and Yandrasevich himself did consulting work for RM in an attempt to broker deals. Rye Golf Club, at Yandrasevich’s discretion, agreed to a deal with RM Staffing back in 2008, shortly after the company was formed. Rye Golf Club is a city-owned golf course that was purchased back in 1965. County to offer free flu shots to residents County Executive Robert P. Astorino announced that the Westchester County Department of Health will offer free flu shots to residents on Thursday, Jan. 24 from 2 p.m. – 7 p.m. at the Westchester County Center in White Plains. The county has 1,000 doses, which can be given to adults and children ages 9 and up. Residents are strongly encouraged to register in advance for the flu clinic at health.ny.gov/ Go2Clinic. Those without Internet access can call (914) 995-7425 weekdays starting Tuesday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Residents can also visit the health department website to find providers and pharmacies who are giving flu shots. Physicians can call the health department if they have excess vaccine to share with other providers or if they are willing to give vaccines to people who are not their patients. The flu shot is safe and provides protection against the three strains of the flu that are circulat- ing this season. To prevent spreading the flu, cough or sneeze into your elbow and wash your hands often with soap and water. If you do get a respiratory infection, stay home until 24 hours after your fever subsides, to avoid spreading your germs. Clean surfaces you touch frequently, such as doorknobs, water faucets, refrigerator handles and telephones. Get plenty of rest, exercise and eat healthy food. For more information, visit westchestergov.com/health. (Submitted)
  • 10 • THE HARRISON REPORT • January 25, 2013
  • January 25, 2013 • THE HARRISON REPORT • 11 Doc Gooden stops by Empire Casino Former Mets and Yankees World Champion right-hander Doc Gooden joined Steiner Sports founder Brandon Steiner at Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway on Jan. 14. Steiner signed copies of his book “You Gotta Have Balls,” and conducted a question and answer session for over 300 Elite Club members at the casino’s Good Time Room. Gooden autographed baseballs for the audience. Photo courtesy/Sean Hamrock (Submitted) Pet rescue groups create mobile clinic By ALEXANDRA BOGDANOVIC STAFF REPORTER alexandra@hometwn.com Faced with a growing dilemma, members of local pet rescue groups hope a new mobile veterinary clinic will help “fix” the problem. The 26-foot long “mobile clinic” vehicle, equipped with everything necessary to spay and neuter companion animals, arrived at the Westchester Humane Society in West Harrison Jan. 20. It will soon be deployed to areas where large numbers of unaltered dogs and cats continue to breed, adding to the vast number of stray and unwanted pets in the United States. According to one estimate, as many as 4 million unwanted or stray dogs and cats are euthanized in the United States each year. “We want everyone to know that the Westchester Humane Society is under new management and that we’ve turned it into a successful animal shelter with many cat and dog adoptions already to its credit,” said Eric Lobel, president of the Westchester Humane Society. “So I jumped at the chance to help out our friends at Fido Fixers and Pet Rescue, and to promote our common cause.” The Westchester Humane Society is dedi- cated to the rescue, rehabilitation and adoption of companion animals. It also works to end animal cruelty, embraces the no-kill philoso- phy and seeks to “end euthanasia of healthy, treatable and loveable dogs and cats.” Based in Greenwich, Conn., Fido Fixers, a fledgling nonprofit group, provides low or no- cost spay and neuter services for companion an- imals in economically distressed areas. It raised the money for and purchased the $140,000 ve- hicle after its founders experienced the futility of trying to save animals in areas where relatively little is done to address overpopulation. “Susan Maounis, Suzanne Steinberg and I have been involved in animal rescue and worked with animal rescue groups in this area. We helped transport animals from the south and southeast to shelters here,” said Lisa Wysocki of Fido Fixers. “We decided we had to get to the root of the [overpopulation] problem because so many of the animals that we left behind were euthanized. We knew the most effective way to do that is spay/neuter.” Rather than relying on other groups to pro- vide the services, the trio decided to form the nonprofit organization and set about raising the money for the mobile clinic. The fundrais- ing effort took less than a year. The Ohio-based La Boit group built the specialty vehicle, which Lobel picked up at its headquarters Jan. 18. In addition to being “remarkably easy” to drive, the vehicle is packed with state-of-the art equipment, Lobel said. In addition to a 54-gallon fuel tank, it has its own generator, built-in refrigerator and vacuum. There’s also an area where surgical instru- ments can be sterilized. An upper shelf along one side of the van provides ample space for several cat carriers. Below that cages can be configured to accommodate small, medium and large dogs. A fully functional operating theater that can be separated from the main area is located at the back of the vehicle. “This gets to the heart of the overpopulation issue. What we can do at the shelter is limited. Now, we can provide this to people who will run low and no-cost spay/neuter clinics. We’re happy to do it.” Lobel said. Ruth Frumkin of the Larchmont-based Pet Rescue group said the organization would be the first to use the new mobile clinic. Pet Rescue’s mission is to “aid homeless, abandoned and neglected cats and dogs, to nurture them in the foster care of volunteers, to provide veteri- nary care and socialization, and to place them in permanent loving and responsible homes.” Pet Rescue also works to decrease the popu- lation of homeless dogs and cats through its spay/neuter program. In addition to providing spay and neuter services in areas where pet owners cannot af- ford them, the mobile clinic will be staffed by experienced veterinarians and their assistants to trap, spay/neuter and release feral cats. Members of local pet rescue groups welcomed the arrival of this new mobile veterinary clinic Jan. 20. Photo/Alexandra Bogdanovic
  • 12 • THE HARRISON REPORT • January 25, 2013 HELP WANTED Driver-Daily or Weekly Pay. $0.01 in- crease per mile after 6 months and 12 months.$0.03 Quarterly Bonus. Requires 3 months recentexperience. 800-414-9569 www.driveknight.com ADOPTION ADOPT: 3+1=Happiness. Looking to adopt another little miracle and make our little Lucy a big sister. Contact Robin & Neil @ 866�303�0668, http://www.rnladopt.info/. SITUATIONS/SERVICES EXPERIENCED TRIAL ATTORNEY– Criminal, Civil and Family Law – FORMER CHIEF PROSECUTOR-20+ years experience – Excelle nt results on difficult cases-Free consultation- Offices in Westchester/Bronx-Contact Michael 718-293-2222 or mbarskyla w@verizon.net ADVANTAGE COMPUTER SUPPORT–We make your computer “people friendly” in your home or office. Fast Resopnse * Upgrades * Repairs * Network Support. Call Richard Klein 914-422-1798 or 203-781-8672. PROFESSIONAL IN-HOME TUTORING Tutor ing in Math , Ear th Sc ience , Chemistry, and Physics. All levels. SAT, ACT, Regents.Call Michael 646-284-6676. www.pelhamtutor.com AIRLINES ARE HIRING–Train for hands on Aviation Career. FAA approvedpro- gram. Financial aid if qualified -Job place- ment assistance. CALLAviation Institute of Maintenance 866-296-7093 HAS YOUR BUILDING SHIFTED OR SETTLED? Contact Woodford Brothers Inc,for straight- ening, leveling, foundation and wood frame repairs at1-800-OLD-BARN. www. woodfordbros.com. “Not applicable in Queenscounty” SITUATIONS/SERVICES ATTEND COLLEGE ONLINE from home. *Medical, *Business, *CriminalJustice, *Hospitality, Job placement assistance. Computer available.Financial Aid if quali- fied. SCHEV Authorized. Call 888-201-8657 www.CenturaOnline.com FOR SALE BUYING/SELLING: Gold, gold coins, sterling silver, silver coins, silver plate, diamonds, fine watches (Rolex, Cartier, Patek), paint- ings, furs, estates. Call for appointment 917-696-2024 JAY VENDORS OF QUALITY ANTIQUES: Consider a wonderful New Antique Center in Downtown Owego. 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More Land available www.helderbergrealty.com CALL HENRY: 518-861-6541 Classified Advertising Pays Off To Place Your Ad Contact: 914-653-1000 X27 ads@hometwn.com E. Halperin Memorial Foundation pledged a matching donation of up to $1 million to aid improvements and though library enthusiasts hoped to raise the remainder of the costs of the renovation through donations, it soon became clear that donations and fund- raising would not be enough to make up the difference. In past year, members of the library foundation have met several times with the Harrison Town Council, which has stated that due to the current economic climate, the town could not afford to subsidize even part of the cost. Despite the council’s repeated re- fusal, on Jan. 17, Halperin reminded the council that two months have passed since he first issued the self- imposed three-month deadline to ne- gotiate a commitment. “We are all in favor of seeing a more modern library...it behooves the entire town to have it,” said Republican Councilwoman Marlene Amelio. “But deadlines are difficult, especially when they are not designed by us.” Although Halperin said the dead- line was not meant to coerce the coun- cil into a decision, he hoped the ulti- matum would be constructive toward completing the renovations in what he views as reasonable timeframe. “Don’t put a gun to our head,” said Councilman Fred Sciliano, a Republican. “We have to do our due diligence.” According to Sciliano, the council has been working to find what it can do to support the foundation given all the factors involved, as well as pro- vide continued support to the founda- tion via grant opportunities. But while the foundation may re- ceive a state grant to assist with the renovations, it will not be enough to cover the entire $1.1 million for de- ferred maintenance. With less than a month left until the council hits Halperin’s Feb. 14 deadline, the foundation has decided to take their fight online. Through the use of the website change.org, the foundation has started a petition to the Harrison Town Council to “support the proposed public private partner- ship to save our library.” As of Jan. 21, the petition has 156 physical signatures, with an additional 62 sign-ups online as of press time. In addition to the petition, the foun- dation anticipates that the council will hold a vote on its proposed plan of ac- tion at the next Town Council meeting on Feb. 7 after press time. LIBRARY, continued from page 1 Jack Steinberg Obituary Jack Steinberg, 86, retired director of communications of the Marmon Group, died Jan. 17 after a long illness. He served the multi-billion dollar diversified manu- facturing group privately owned by the Chicago Pritzker family for 14 years, retiring in 1990. Marmon Group is now part of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Immediately previous to this, he was with the advertising firm Cunningham and Walsh as vice president of public relations for 20 years. Although he spent most of his working life as a professional public relations executive, his first love was newspapering. As a child growing up in New London, Conn., he founded his own local newspaper for which he also sold advertising. Later, after working for an insurance trade paper, he published The Downtown Key, which he distributed free to Wall Street workers. He retired from the advertising busi- ness in 1975 when he purchased the Wallingford Post in Connecticut. Steinberg attended the University of Connecticut and served with the Navy Seabees during World War II. His family re- members him as a person of diverse interests: an accomplished fisherman and bowler, an avid fan of jazz, James Joyce and Henry James, and as an enthusiastic rooter for the New York Knicks, New York Mets and the for- mer Brooklyn Dodgers. He leaves behind his wife of 66 years, Lois, a well-known Westchester social activist who is president and co-founder of the Center of Aging in Place–a resource for nine community aging in place groups. In addition to his son, Mark, of Canaan, N.Y., he is survived by a son, Eric, of Plantation, Fla. (Submitted)
  • January 25, 2013 • THE HARRISON REPORT • 13 Bruce Cohen Art Director x36 art@hometwn.com NEWS TIPS Unfortunately, our reporters cannot be everywhere. If you see news in the making or have an idea for a news story, call us. Community reporters and correspondence are listed at left. LETTERS The community’s opinion matters. If you have a view to express, simply write a letter to the editor by email to mark@hometwn.com, fax or mail. Please include a phone number and name for verification purposes. Word limit: 625. No unsolicited Op/Eds, food, film reviews. COMMUNITY EVENTS If you have an event you would like to share with the community, send it via email to news@hometwn.com. Deadline for community news is noon on Fridays. Space is not guaranteed. Send listings to news@hometwn.com. DELIVERY For home delivery, call Marcia Schultz at (914) 653-1000 x25. CONTRIBUTORS: Bobby Begun, Alexandra Bogdanovic, Christian Falcone, Ashley Helms POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: The Harrison Report, c/o HomeTown Media Group, 200 William St., Port Chester, N.Y. 10573 The Harrison Report is published weekly for a subscription price of $30 per year by Home Town Media Group, 200 William St., Port Chester, N.Y. 10573. Standard Postage is paid at White Plains, New York 200 WILLIAM ST., PORT CHESTER, N.Y. 10573 • Tel: (914) 653-1000 Fax: (914) 653-5000 Howard Sturman Publisher x21 publisher@hometwn.com Mark Lungariello Editor-in-Chief x19 mark@hometwn.com Mike Smith Assoc. Sports Editor x22 sports@hometwn.com Marcia Shultz Subscriptions, Classifieds x25 Advertising Coordinator x27 marcia@hometwn.com ads@hometwn.com Daniel Offner Reporter x26 dan@hometwn.com Lindsay Sturman Advertising Account Manager x14 lsturman@hometwn.com Rachel McCain Editor x30 news@hometwn.com Jason Chirevas Deputy Editor x30 news@hometwn.com Letters Sounding off on Sandy relief To the Editor, Seventy-nine days after Superstorm Sandy devastated families, businesses and com- munities, Congress’s action today finally puts us a step closer to recovery. I am es- pecially proud to have helped lead the bipartisan effort to pass the full assistance package for the affected areas, as the first order of business in the 113th Congress. Sandy took the lives of 110 Americans, transportation networks and coastal areas in New York and New Jersey were devastated, 650,000 homes were damaged beyond re- pair, and 8.1 million homes lost power, many for weeks. In New York alone, 265,000 businesses were affected, costing jobs, paychecks, and billions in lost economic output. The desperately-needed relief in this bill will help families and individuals put their lives back together and assist in rebuilding transportation networks and public infrastructure vital to commerce and our quality of life. Small businesses, schools, health care facilities, and research institutions will have the support to restore vital services in their communities. Congress’ failure to provide emergency relief before the end of the 112th Congress was inex- cusable. With 146 major disasters declared in the last two years, no region of the country is immune to such tragedy. As Americans, we must never hold vital disaster assistance hostage to partisan fights about spending or political calculations. Nita Lowey, U.S. Congresswoman Bringing awareness to radon To the Editor, January is National Radon Action Month, and the American Lung Association would like to raise awareness of how radon can affect your lung health. Many may not be aware of what exactly radon is; radon is a colorless, tasteless and odorless gas that is found in soil and forms radioactive byproducts which eventually can damage tissue inside your lungs and cause lung cancer. Radon enters your home, school or office building through cracks in the foundation or even through pipes and/or the water supply. People who have private wells are more at risk than people with community water supply. Prolonged radon exposure is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking. There are countless health risks to those living inside a home with high levels of radon. According to the EPA, smoking combined with radon exposure is considered a severe health risk. Testing your home is the best way to find out whether you are being exposed to high levels of radon. The Lung Association sells radon kits for only $12. They are available at LungNE. org/products or by calling 1-800-LUNG-USA. Jeff Seyler President and CEO, American Lung Association of the Northeast New York City LBJ holds complex legacy To the Editor, Jan. 22, 2013 was the 40th anniversary of the death of Lyndon Baines Johnson, our 36th president. He was a man that became president under tragic circumstances, but in my opinion he has had a much more profound affect on the country and the world than his predecessor. LBJ was selected as vice president by JFK to help him with the South, and its more entrenched state of legalized apartheid. Lyndon Johnson became an “enemy” of this brutal and evil aspect of this country’s history by passing the most far reaching civil rights laws since the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments when he orchestrated the passing of the 1964 Civil Rights Acts and 1965 Voting Rights Act. He was not in demeanor or comportment any resemblance to the regality of “Camelot.” But he was a very shrewd politician who was not afraid of getting his hands dirty as far as the wrangling and “arm-twisting” nature of American politics. He stewarded the “The Great Society Programs” in order to assuage the devastating and inhumane levels of poverty that had become acceptable in America and still is today–even though the level of Americans living in poverty took a precipitous drop during his tenure into the 1970s. He was responsible for signing Medicare, Medicaid and for funding the beginning of the “Head Start” Program. LBJ was also a continuation of the “American Empire” and its sanguinary history of killing millions of civilians. The escalation of troop involvement from 1963 to 1968 in Vietnam was an expression of that–a tradition that George W. Bush and Barack Obama have maintained. Lyndon Johnson said, “There is much we have yet to do, the hunger in the world, the sickness in the world, the poverty in the world.” He was indeed a contradiction that was expressed in his roots, being from Texas, and yet his values were anathema as he tried to destroy the Ku Klux Klan. Clifford Jackson, Larchmont About Letters to the Editor Publication is not guaranteed. We reserve the right to edit letters for content or space, at our discretion, without notification from the com- pany. We reserve the right to reject submissions at our discretion without notice to the author. Sorry, but we are unable to notify authors in advance if and when a letter will be printed. Deadline for submission is Friday before publication. The maximum length of letters that appear in our pages is 625 words, but letters are usually significantly shorter to accommodate space needs. The letter should be signed and include the writer’s address and phone number for verifica- tion purposes. We will not publish letters that cannot be verified. Publication by frequent let- ter writers will be limited to one per month. The opinions of letter writers do not reflect those of this newspaper. Please submit via fax to (914) 653-5000 or email to mark@hometwn.com or via post to Home Town Media Group, C/O Letters to the Editor, 200 William Street, Port Chester, NY 10573. We do not accept unsolicited Op-Ed submis- sions, film reviews, or food reviews.
  • 14 • THE HARRISON REPORT • January 25, 2013 Rye YMCA names contest winners The Rye YMCA is pleased to announce the winners of “Heads Up: A Distracted Walking and Driving Poster Contest.” The winners–all students in three digital photography classes at Rye High School–are: • 1st Place: Ali Howard • 2nd Place: Kylie Roddy • 3rd Place: Cole Passaretti In September 2012, the Rye Y, as part of its Safe Routes to School initiative, invited the students to create posters that illustrate the dangers of distracted walking and driving. Under the leadership of Rye High School art teacher Andre Soto, 60 students–51 freshmen, eight sophomores and one junior–in three elective classes participated. The students narrowed the fi eld to 15 fi nalists, a process that led to thought-provoking discussion in the classroom about distracted walking and driving. The Rye Y then convened a panel of community judges who selected the three winners. The judges were: • William Connors – Chief, Rye Police Department • Gregg Howells – Executive director, Rye YMCA • Robin Jovanovich – Editor and publisher, The Rye Record • Charles Sutter – Planner, Westchester County Dept. of Public Works and Transportation • Kim Larsen – Chairperson, Larchmont-Mamaroneck Safe Routes to School Committee • Nancy Pasquale – Rye City School District, Board of Education All of the posters will be ex- hibited at the Rye Arts Center from Jan. 24-Feb. 7. The 15 fi - nalist posters will then move to the Rye Free Reading Room for a month-long exhibit. Members of the community are invited to the Opening Reception and Awards Ceremony for the ex- hibit, which will be held on Jan. 24 from 5:30 p.m. – 7 p.m. at the Rye Arts Center, located at 51 Milton Road in Rye. For additional information, or to RSVP to the Jan. 24 recep- tion, contact Denise Woodin at denisewoodin@ryeymca. org or (914) 967-6363 ext. 101. (Submitted) Rye High School student Ali Howard’s project won fi rst place in the “Heads Up: A Distracted Walking and Driving Poster Contest.” Contributed photo Harrison resident fi nalist in national contest The fi nal 2012 winners of Kids Who Give, sponsored by Farm Rich, may each support different causes, but they all have come to the same conclusion: anyone can help change the world. Harrison resident Mary Grace Henry, 16, is a second-place fi nalist in the Kids Who Give contest. At age 12, Henry started Reverse the Course, a nonprofi t that uses money raised from selling handmade hair accessories to fund the education of girls in Third World countries. Today, 70 percent of the 130 million children worldwide who are not enrolled in school are girls. To address this crisis and help young girls attend second- ary school, Reverse the Course has paid for a total of 37 years of tuition for 18 girls in Uganda, Kenya, Haiti and Paraguay. For the fall winners, Farm Rich will donate money to each winner’s chosen charity: $3,500 for fi rst place, $1,500 for second, $1,000 for third, and a $250 gift card for honor- able mention. Kids Who Give is a national program that celebrates young people, ages 7-17, who dedicate their time and energy to improving the lives of others. Quarterly winners are awarded with contributions to their favorite causes. A leading brand of Rich Products Corporation, Farm Rich is based in St. Simons Island, Ga., and features a successful portfolio of frozen snacks and appetizer products sold at grocery and club stores nation- wide. All 2012 winners are eligible to win a $10,000 grand prize via an online voting com- petition that runs from Jan. 22 until Feb. 5 at kidswhogive.com. (Submitted) Already-failed New Year’s resolutions All of the lettuce in the fridge has gone limp and brown- ish. The credit card has gone from the top drawer back into the wallet. The wait for the elliptical at the gym is getting shorter again. February is upon us. A recent study showed that about one in fi ve New Year’s resolutions is actually kept. As February begins, those promises made just weeks ago are entirely abandoned: Eat better. Get out of debt. Get in shape. And so on. I conducted an in-depth analysis of the effectiveness of New Year’s resolutions and found that, according to a 2007 Wall Street Journal article, 88 percent of all resolutions fail. One web resource said that 25 percent of resolutions are broken in the fi rst week of January alone. (By the way, when I said I conducted an in-depth analysis before, what I meant was I did a quick search on Google for “failed New Year’s resolutions” and skimmed the fi rst three re- sults). The concept of New Year’s resolutions can be head scratching. There are probably better ways to start a new year than by making promises you can’t keep and exposing your willpower for the black-socks-in-gym-class wimp that it is. As you soak that in (and perhaps soak in a tub of ice cream rather do 20 minutes on the sta- tionary bicycle), let us take a look at some other real and imagined resolutions that have already become shame-inducing memories we don’t want to admit we were part of. Kind of like that A Flock of Seagulls concert. DMV Failed resolution: To lose wait. Hey, see what I did there? “Wait” instead of “weight!” [Taps microphone] Is this thing on? Me Failed resolution: Stop making ridiculous DMV jokes in the newspaper. White Plains parking enforcement offi cer Failed resolution: Be a more forgiving person. Kobe, my dog Failed resolution: Stop licking self aggressively in public. Manti T’eo Failed resolution: Keep good friends close and avoid fake people. If that was too obvious a target, I can go even more obviouser. Manti T’eo’s girlfriend Failed resolution: Stop being phony. Me Failed resolution 2: Stop using words that don’t exist, such as “obviouser,” in the newspaper. Health Care bills Failed resolution: Start being more affordable. Lindsay Lohan Failed resolution: Stop doing stuff that will have me end up on PerezHilton.com. Republicans Failed resolution: Now that the election is over, move on and do the good work of the people. Lance Armstrong Failed resolution: Put the lies behind me. Democrats Failed resolution: Now that the election is over, move on and do the good work of the people. Beyoncé Failed resolution: Don’t worry about all the other stuff. Just sing! Wayne LaPierre, NRA Failed resolution: Have a sensible debate about gun safety. Nicki Minaj Failed resolution: Let go of the hate. Congress Failed resolution: Don’t fi libuster the fi libuster. Gordon Ramsey Failed resolution: Don’t be so hard on people with bad kitchens. Frosty the Snowman Failed resolution: Be a warmer person. My Facebook Friends Failed resolution: Learn the difference between their and there, hear and here and learn how to spell “defi nitely.” Reach Mark Lungariello at mark@hometwn.com Mark Lungariello LUNGARIELLO AT LARGE
  • SPORTS January 25, 2013 • THE HARRISON REPORT • 15 Top momentum-shifting games Rye basketball beats Harrison The Garnets limped into the Mamaroneck tournament on Jan. 18 with five losses to their name, but their subsequent performance left little doubt as to what this team can accomplish with all hands on deck. Led by captain Max Twyman, the Garnets vaulted past the Huskies and Panthers to win the tournament. The two wins marked the first time that Rye had the majority of its rotational play- ers all suiting up at the same time. Mamaroneck hockey beats Suffern Ever since their nine-game skid against Suffern came to an end on Jan. 10, the Tigers have found new life this season, winning tough league games against Scarsdale and New Rochelle in the last week. For a team that had its ups and downs early on in the year, Mamaroneck looks to be a real playoff threat. The team is even winning ugly games against good teams, such as the knock- down, drag-out fight they had against the Huguenots on Jan. 18. Even “ugly wins” bode well for a team looking to scratch and claw its way to a section title. Eastchester basketball loses to Poughkeepsie Sometimes, losses can be illuminating. When Eastchester dropped its Dec. 19 showdown with Poughkeepsie, it may have been the moment that served to define exactly what type of team it is. Since then, Eastchester has used an up-tempo, press-heavy style to confound oppos- ing teams and put together an eight game win streak. Kevin Teahan and Michael Milo have also emerged as viable scoring options, opening up the style of play on the offensive end. Mamaroneck wrestling places fourth at Edgemont tourney In last week’s “Throwdown,” I discussed Mamaroneck 170 pounder Dion Duran’s first tourna- ment win of the year, and on Jan. 18, Duran–as well as teammates Ben Miller and Luis Rubio– continued to stay hot. The trio each won their brackets at the 31st Edgemont Tournament. There were four Mamaroneck wrestlers in the finals, and the Tigers placed fourth overall. It would appear that the Tigers are rounding into form just in time for divisionals and sectionals. (L-R) Ben Miller, Luis Rubio and Dion Duran pose with their brackets at Edgemont High School on Jan. 18. The Tigers trio each won their respective weight brackets at the tournament. Contributed photo Huskies Roundup Girls Basketball 1/18 Alexander Hamilton d. Harrison 54-34 The young Huskies found themselves outgunned by Hamilton, falling behind early and never making their way back into the game. Harrison’s Paige Brabant led her squad with 8 points, but Hamilton’s Jasmine Robinson was seemingly everywhere on the court at once, finishing with 23 points and 4 steals to lead her squad to a win. Hockey 1/19 RyeTown/Harrison tie Lakeland/Panas 2-2 (OT) On Saturday in Brewster, the Titans found themselves locked in a wild one with the Rebels, as a 2-2 score in the second period held up through overtime, and the game ended in a stale- mate. Both goalies were tremendous on the evening, with Lakeland’s Brandon Vasquez making 34 stops and the Titans’ Brian Ketchebaw making 25 of his own. Ian Bass’ goal in the second was the one that knotted the game at 2. Paige Brabant, seen here against Rye on Jan. 9, looks to find an open teammate. Brabant led the Huskies with 8 points in a losing effort against Hamilton on Jan. 18. Photo/Mike Smith Pet Rescue Billy is a silver male tabby, about 6 months old (born early July 2012). He came to Pet Rescue as a very young kitten; he was found on the street by a volunteer and treated by a vet specialist. After months of TLC, Billy has recovered incredibly well from his injuries. He resides in a foster home where he is a playful kitten who enjoys frolicking with the other felines in his household, although he loves being held. Billy is neutered, in excellent health and up to date with all vaccinations. His adoption donation is $75. If you have a soft spot in your heart for Billy, contact Larchmont Pet Rescue at (914) 834-6955 or visit NY-PetRescue.org.
  • SPORTS16 • THE HARRISON REPORT • January 25, 2013 Harrison drops two games at Mamaroneck tournament By MIKE SMITH ASSOCIATE SPORTS EDITOR sports@hometwn.com Boasting an impressive 6-3 record coming into the Jan. 18 Mamaroneck Tiger Tournament, Harrison had been playing some good basketball against some tough teams. But after dropping two games at the tourna- ment–including one to rival Rye–it is time for Harrison to regroup, with another tough stretch in the weeks ahead. In the tournament’s first round game, the Huskies took on their bit- ter foes from Rye, but did so with- out much help from standout Coby Lefkowtiz, who got into some early foul trouble, putting Rye in driver’s seat early on. The Garnets were able to extend an early lead thanks to Max Twyman’s 24 points, and held on to beat the Huskies 60-47. Although the Huskies have had–at times–to play without their star, head coach Gary Chiarella said that the team has done well with him on the bench–they just didn’t do it against Rye. “He’s been in foul trouble before and we’ve actually played pretty well, which stems from the guard play we’ve been getting,” said the head coach. “I think the mindset of the kids is to be a little more aggressive and not to defer to him as much, and that needs to happen when he’s on the court too.” Twyman, the game’s leading scorer, said that he expects to see a much different Harrison team when the two teams meet again on Jan. 29. “They’re good and they’re athletic,” said the Garnets captain. “I don’t think we’ve seen the best of what they have.” The following night, the Huskies dropped their second straight game, losing to a Mamaroneck squad that was still smarting over an upset at the hands of Rye Neck in the first round. Despite the losses, Chiarella is confident that his team will use what is essentially a week off from competi- tion (mid-term week) to work on a few key things that will help the Huskies right the ship. “I think now, everyone that’s scouted us has seen that we have more success when we face man-to-man defense, so teams have gone to zone, and we’ve struggled,” he said. “We need to go back, work on our zone offense, and just get better.” Of course, the Huskies will be tested mightly when they take the floor again on Jan. 25. Their first game back will be a road contest against Pearl River, but the Huskies also have meetings with Rye and Fox Lane, as well as a berth in the prestigious McDonald’s Tournament on the ho- rizon. “It doesn’t get any easier,” said Chiarella. “It’s a real gauntlet.” Harrison’s Coby Lefkowitz defends against Mamaroneck’s Ben Kalish on Jan. 19. Lefkowtiz led Harrison scorers with 19 points in the consolation game, but Mamaroneck still held off the Huskies. Mamaroneck’s Ryan Orgielewicz looks to get the ball inside against Harrison on Jan. 19. The Tigers held Harrison to just 38 points. Harrison’s Zac Evans plays defense against Mamaroneck on Jan 19. The Huskies have a tough stretch coming up that includes games against Pearl River, Rye and Fox Lane. Photos/Mike Smith
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  • Vol. 13/Number 4 www.myharrisonreport.com January 25, 2013 Tax challenges down, still a hurdle for town By DANIEL OFFNER STAFF REPORTER dan@hometwn.com The Town/Village of Harrison saw a decrease last year in the amount of tax challenges it received, but still faced a costly burden of refunding back taxes. After hitting a record high in 2011–with 10,596 tax appeals–the number of county residents fi ling tax grievances reported a slight de- crease last year. Westchester County Clerk Timothy Idoni recently re- ported a total 9,068 small claims assessment review, or SCAR peti- tions, fi led among 38 municipalities in 2012. “A decline in the volume of ap- peals means less stress on local tax rolls,” Idoni stated in a press release. “When appeals are granted or settled, it forces municipalities to identify equivalent reductions in spending or unpopular increases in revenue.” The number of SCARs fi led in Harrison decreased last year. According to county assessment fi gures, Harrison residents fi led a total of 324 petitions in 2012–a de- crease from the 384 fi led a year be- fore. Still, Harrison is No. 9 among Westchester municipalities for hav- ing one of the highest volumes of petitions fi led. Town Comptroller Maureen MacKenzie explained that small claims payouts last year were sig- nifi cantly lower than in year’s past. At the end of 2012, Harrison paid out $137,556 to reimburse residents petitions–approximately $500,000 less than it paid in 2011. County fi lings for SCARs have steadily increased more than 1,000 percent since 2005, though experts hope the recent trend is evidence of a stabilizing of property assess- ments. Although relatively few ap- peals are fi led during years when real estate values near stability, the decrease of 1,528 petitions last year is still substantially higher from county real estate values recorded between 2001 and 2005. Harrison also saw a decrease in expenses for tax certioraris–tax challenges reserved for commercial properties or residents seeking a much higher reduction–paying out just $145,862 in 2012 as opposed to $441,250 in 2011. But while the number of com- mercial certiorari challenges SCARS, continued on page 8 Group presses for library funds By DANIEL OFFNER STAFF REPORTER dan@hometwn.com Members of the Harrison Public Library Foundation have set a dead- line of Feb. 14 for the Town Council to commit public funds to cover a portion of a $3.6 million renovation project for the downtown library. Or else. If the town cannot enter an agree- ment by the group’s chosen date, foundation leaders say they will withdraw a $1 million commitment from the Richard E. Halperin Fund and divert the funding toward a dif- ferent project. According to Ross Halperin, the son of Richard E. Halperin and ex- ecutive director of the library foun- dation, any project he would divert funding toward is “confi dential” for now, as he hopes to try and resolve matters with the town. “The agreement must include a specifi c timeline for the renovation of the building and a $1.1 million commitment from the Town of Harrison,” Halperin said in a press release. Despite raising additional fund- ing through private donations, the foundation still needs $2.3 million to reach its goal. Although the foun- dation is willing to cover the cost of renovation work using private funds, the organization has refused to spend additional money from its donors to cover electrical, heating and air conditioning, fi re protection and plumbing maintenance work. On Jan. 14, the foundation an- nounced that it had hired the engi- neering fi rm Kohler Ronan, LLC to report the assessment of the existing maintenance systems. Halperin said the engineers were recommended by the architects with H3Hardy, a consulting fi rm commissioned to renovate the library. “The majority of the mechani- cal, electrical, plumbing and fi re protection infrastructure appears to be original to the building,” Kohler Ronan stated in the report. “The condition of the MEP/FP [mechani- cal, electrical, plumbing and fi re protection] system infrastructure that was visually observed ranges from fair to poor and should most likely be addressed prior to failure.” Since the costs for the project are scheduled to become “non-dis- cretionary,” the town is required by law to cover the maintenance costs in the near future. Halperin’s argument is that by paying the $1.1 million now, the town will take care of this costly commitment at a time when interest rates are at a record low, otherwise it could cost taxpay- ers in the community an exorbitant amount to renovate the library. If the council were to agree to the foundation’s terms and borrow the necessary capital to cover the $1.1 million, it would increase the cost to taxpayers by 3 percent, or $2.55 per person each year, Town Council members say. The downtown branch of the library was built in 1961 and has not been ex- panded extensively since 1984. Richard E. Halperin died in June 2008 and three months after his death, the downtown library was offi cially dedicated as “The Richard E. Halperin Memorial Building.” Before his death, Richard E. Halperin had told his family of his desire to see his lo- cal library updated. The Richard LIBRARY, continued on page 12 ASTORINO SPEAKS County Executive Robert Astorino, pictured recently at County Executive Robert Astorino, pictured recently at County Executive Robert Harrison Train Station, spoke Astorino, pictured recently at Harrison Train Station, spoke Astorino, pictured recently at at an “Ask Astorino” forum at Harrison Train Station, spoke at an “Ask Astorino” forum at Harrison Train Station, spoke Eastchester Town Hall on Jan. 16. Issues that residents spoke about included soaring pension 16. Issues that residents spoke about included soaring pension 16. Issues that residents spoke costs and unfunded mandates. about included soaring pension costs and unfunded mandates. about included soaring pension For more, see page 8. File photo
  • Rye deer population causing concern By EDINE JAMES CONTRIBUTOR For residents in Rye, cohabitating with the deer population has proved easy for some while more difficult for others. Aside from the dangers deer cause for motorists, many complain of the destruction deer cause to their landscapes and gardens. Although there are those who don’t find these creatures troublesome, there are rising concerns about what is considered a booming local deer population. The American white-tailed deer–once considered to be on the verge of extinction in the 1800s–has grown in large numbers in the area over the last 10 to 15 years. Residents have been “awakened to the return of the white-tailed deer and a subsequent population boom,” said Hank Birdsall, 27, who grew up in Rye and wrote his senior thesis on the return of the species. “Deer are entering the neighborhoods to forage on the landscaped vegetation at night, during the period of lowest human activity,” said Birdsall. Many residents, after initially being excited about the sudden sightings of deer, eventu- ally looked at the animals as an “unchecked and growing nuisance,” Birdsall said. Birdsall, now a graduate student at Texas A&M who is working on his master’s in Range and Wildlife Management, is also working on a deer management outreach program with private landowners in Zapata, Texas on the Texas-Mexico border. From Birdsall’s research, he found that there “seemed to be a relationship between the Marshlands as a refuge area and the surrounding Greenhaven lawns as a source of nutrition for the local deer population.” Julia Lloyd, 49, who has been a Rye resident for two-and-a-half years, said the deer do not bother her. As a neighbor to the Rye Golf Club bordering the Marshlands, she said she often sees deer–especially around dawn and twilight. “Some of the neighbors have had much deer damage to gardens,” she said. Lloyd “personally enjoys the deer,” although she’s heard many complaints from other locals. “Some drivers go too fast on Post Road and have hit them,” she said. Sherry Rosenbaum, 31, who has just moved to Rye, said her first experience with a white- tailed deer was “non-threatening and quite exciting,” and occurred during a walk around her new neighborhood. She said the deer calmly moved about as “it scoured the grass for its din- ner.” Rosenbaum did notice, however, that the deer was not as comfortable around her as she was. “It slowed down its pace quite a bit once it noticed me,” she said. One of Westchester’s well-known horticulturists will be sharing her expertise on deer and gardening concerns in an upcoming lecture. On Jan. 26 at 3 p.m., garden writer Ruth Clausen, author of the book “50 Beautiful Deer Resistant Plants: The Prettiest Animals, Perennials, Bulbs, and Shrubs that Deer Don’t Eat,” will be conducting a book signing and seminar called “Coping with Deer in Landscape and Garden.” It will be held by Rye’s Committee to Save the Bird and Homestead at the Meeting House located in Rye. Those who attend will get firsthand insight into some of Clausen’s secrets for maintaining a plen- tiful garden while coexisting with deer. The deer population is becoming a concern for Westchester residents. Pictured, a deer spotted recently at Rye Nature Center. Photo/Bobby Begun
  • 4 • THE HARRISON REPORT • January 25, 2013 Staff announcement The Harrison Report is pleased to announce Jason Chirevas as our new deputy editor. Chirevas has for several months been the reporter covering Mamaroneck for Home Town Media Group, the parent company of this newspaper. In 1992, Jason Chirevas won a Gannett News jour- nalism scholarship. In 2012, he put it to use as the Mamaroneck reporter for Hometown Media Group. In the interim, he worked as an undercover investigator for a management consulting firm, managed a movie theater, did two tours in retail and published some short fiction. Community Briefs Events at the Harrison Public Library, Bruce Avenue Film movement at the library Jan. 27 at 2 p.m. “Found Memories” a film directed by Julia Murat. Portuguese with English subtitles. Book club discussion The Millennium Book Club will discuss “The Paris Wife” by Paula McLain on Feb. 13 at 7 p.m. All are welcome to attend. For more information, call (914) 835-0324 or visit harrisonpl.org. Circle time for tots Jan. 30 at 10 a.m. – 10:30 and 11 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Ages 0-3 (siblings welcome). Songs and stories for the little ones with Miss Claudia. Roe v. Wade event Celebrate the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade with “Securing the Promise of Roe,” a program by Planned Parenthood Hudson Peconic. Jessica Arons, director of the Women’s Health and Rights Program at the Center for American Progress, will talk about the barriers women face in accessing abortion. Jan. 24 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. $20 per person/$15 under age 30 YWCA of White Plains and Central Westchester 515 North St., White Plains Sign up at pphp.org or by calling (914) 467-7311. Harrison High School Baseball Booster Club fundraiser On Jan. 25, the Harrison High School Baseball Booster Club is hosting “A Night at the Races” fundraiser at the Yonkers Raceway and Casino. There will be dinner, live harness racing, slot machines, an auction, and much more. Tickets are $75/person. For tickets and/or more information, contact Susan Pizzutello at blue1212@optonline.net. Seating is limited. Volunteers needed at Sarah Neuman Center Sarah Neuman Center in Mamaroneck is seeking volunteers of all ages and invites you to share your talents and time. If you enjoy cooking, sewing, painting, knitting, arts and crafts reading and/or have an interesting hob- by, then you can make a difference in the lives of seniors. For more information, contact Amy Lionheart, director of volunteer programs, to learn about volunteer opportunities at (914) 864-5140 or email alionheart@jewishhome. org. Valentine origami hearts project for Sandy Hook Port Chester-Rye Brook Public Library One Haseco Ave., Port Chester (914) 939- 6710 portchester-ryebrooklibrary.org Sign up to make Valentine origami hearts to send to the Sandy Hook community at the Port Chester-Rye Brook Public Library on Feb. 1 from 3:45p.m. – 4:30 p.m. in the Children’s Room. Enrollment is limited. Pre-registration is required by phone or in person. Free adoption information session Feb. 4 6:30 p.m. – 8 p.m. Port Chester-Rye Brook Public Library One Haseco Ave., Port Chester (914) 939-6710 portchester-ryebrooklibrary.org This free event, hosted by Forever Families Through Adoption, Inc., is open to anyone interested in or involved with the adoption process, including professionals, community members, expectant parents, adoptive or pro- spective adoptive parents and adoptees. Come learn about the domestic and international adoption process and meet the staff of Forever Families Through Adoption. Forever Families Through Adoption, Inc. is authorized in New York and Connecticut. For more information about the organization, call (914) 939-1180, email adopt@ForeverFamiliesThroughAdop tion.org or visit foreverfamiliesthroughadop- tion.org. Deadline for our Community Briefs section is every Friday at 12 p.m. Though space is not guaranteed, we will do our best to accom- modate your listing. Please send all items to news@hometwn.com. Mamaroneck to honor “X Factor” finalist By JASON CHIREVAS STAFF REPORTER jason@hometwn.com Although she finished second on one of television’s biggest reality competi- tion shows, the Village of Mamaroneck will show Carly Rose Sonenclar she is still first in the heart of her hometown with a parade on Jan. 27. Carly, 13, was the runner-up on the just finished season of Fox’s “The X Factor,” an interactive reality talent show created by former American Idol judge Simon Cowell. After her audition performance, an interpretation of Nina Simone’s “Feeling Good,” earned her a place in the show’s boot camp, Carly advanced through the competition with acclaimed performances each week un- til the Dec. 21, 2012 finale. In the last round, she fell just short of the show’s championship, which went to 37-year- old country singer Tate Stevens. The parade, which will be held from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. along Mamaroneck Avenue, will be the culmination of months of hometown support for Carly, who told The Harrison Report she is “so lucky to have such great support from back home” in a statement last November. That support will be in full force for the parade with the village police department, fire department, EMS, school athletic teams and cheerleaders, all expected to help show Mamaroneck’s appreciation for its home- grown star. “We have not a local, and not a national, but an international star budding for a great future,” said Mayor Norman Rosenblum in announcing the parade. Although she has come to national promi- nence recently, Carly is no stranger to per- forming. When she was 7, an art teacher saw something special in Carly and put her family in contact with a talent agent. Within a year, she appeared on Broadway as Young Cossette in “Les Miserables.” In 2011, Carly was named Best Young Performer by Broadwayworld.com. Carly‘s second place finish on “The X Factor” has not just earned her millions of viewer votes and a parade from her hometown fans. She has reportedly inked a recording contract with Syco Music, a company co-owned by Sony Music and Cowell. Mamaroneck has made an event of sup- porting Carly throughout her climb to “The X Factor”’ summit. In November of 2012, The Harrison Report caught up with Carly’s fa- ther, Bob Sonenclar, at an “X Factor” viewing party in Larchmont’s Chat 19. “‘Blown away’ are about the only two words I can come up with to describe how Terri and I feel about what the community is doing for Carly,” Bob Sonenclar said. The village expects thousands of Carly’s fans, who have come to be known as “Carly’s Angels,” to be in attendance for the parade. Carly has perhaps no bigger fan at the mo- ment than Mayor Rosenblum, who promised the parade will be “a pure celebration,” even if The “X Factor’s” result was not quite what he would have liked it to be. “[Carly] should have been first,” the mayor said. The Village of Mamaroneck will honor 2012 “X Factor” finalist Carly Rose Sonenclar, seen here, with a parade along Mamaroneck Avenue on Jan. 27 from 2:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Village fire, police and EMS personnel, along with her fans, dubbed “Carly’s Angels,” will participate in the celebration. Contributed photo
  • January 25, 2013 • THE HARRISON REPORT • 5 Morgan Stanley to build solar facilities By DANIEL OFFNER STAFF REPORTER dan@hometwn.com The town will receive the largest ground mounted solar panels in Westchester County, a device to be constructed by a Fortune 500 company to provide an alternative energy source for its Purchase offices. Wall Street financial giants Morgan Stanley have recieved the green light to construct an accessory solar facility that will provide a re- newable source of energy. Town officials have praised the move as being on the cutting edge of “green” technology. On Jan. 17, the Harrison Town Council voted in a three-member roll call decision to grant a special permit for the company to in- stall the 821 kilowatt alternate power supply within the special business district. Christopher Fisher, an attorney with the Cuddy & Feder law firm in White Plains who are representing Morgan Stanley, said the in- ternational investment firm has received capi- tal funding from the state Energy Research and Development Agency to construct the facility as an alternative to its use of the exis- iting electrical “grid” infrastructure. “The solar array can produce enough power to offset 5 percent of the company’s total usage and 25 percent of the building’s peak demand,” Fisher said during his presentation to the coun- cil. “We hope to reduce [the company’s] carbon emissions by 400 metric tons a year.” Apart from state funding, legislation put into effect last year by state Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, could provide Morgan Stanley with a tax break. According to a press release from the state Department of Taxation and Finance, commercial businesses won’t be charged the state’s 4 percent sales tax on the purchase or installation of the solar energy system and equipment. “This measure builds on the existing solar exemption for homeowners to encourage busi- nesses statewide to use clean renewable resourc- es,” said Tax Commissioner Thomas Mattox. In addition to the cost aspect, a presenta- tion at the Town Council meeting of Jan. 17 showed the location of the facility lies along the southwestern end of the Morgan Stanley property. Although the location proposed lies within a wetlands disturbance area, the town’s Planning Board previously deemed that there would not be any significant im- pact to the environment. According to Fisher, finding a spot provid- ing enough of a slope to collect the optimal amount of sunlight and enough distance from the highways surrounding the Morgan Stanley property were key components in making their decision. Fisher added that the photo- voltaic, or solar panels, will be given a “mac black finish” and will be surrounded by trees so they will be non-reflective or distracting to any passing traffic. “It’s similar to real estate,” said Republican Councilwoman Marlene Amelio. “Location, location, location is really important.” Once plans were in place, attorneys with Cuddy & Feder approached the Purchase Environmental Protective Association to ensure the project de- sign met the civic group’s approval. Anne Gold, the executive director of PEPA, stated in a letter to the law firm, after review- ing the plans with fellow board members, the organization would support Morgan Stanley’s proposed solar project. “Morgan Stanley’s leadership in advancing a renewable energy project in a manner that minimizes localized impacts is commend- able,” Gold said in her letter. Republican Councilman Fred Sciliano, who recused himself from the board’s deci- sion, said that this is just one of several proj- ects Morgan Stanley has approved in trying to make their facility energy friendly. Sciliano added that the facility currently produces ice at night, which is melted throughout the day to help cool the facility. A report from the state Energy Research and Development Authority on “microgrids” made in 2010, stated that the ice storage sys- tem implemented by Morgan Stanley’s offices in Purchase has already lowered the buildings peak electricity demand by 740 kilowatts a day and reduces overall electircity use by 900,000 kilowatts. Morgan Stanley is planning to install a ground-mounted solar facility adjacent to its offices at 2000 Westchester Ave. Photo/Daniel Offner
  • Sandy recovery check presented to county The Building & Realty Institute of Westchester and the Mid-Hudson Region presented a $10,000 check to benefit the Westchester County Disaster Recovery Fund, which was set up by Westchester County Executive Robert P. Astorino in partnership with the United Way of Westchester and Putnam to help provide long-term assistance to county residents in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. The fund–which will address long-term needs that are either not covered by insurance, other non- profit agencies or government programs such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency–is being administered by the United Way of Westchester and Putnam. Separately, Westchester residents and business owners have until Jan. 28 to file for federal assis- tance for damages associated with Hurricane Sandy under an extension announced by FEMA. To make a donation or to learn more, visit UWWP.org, click on the “GIVE” button, and select “Disaster Fund.” Checks can be made out to “United Way of Westchester and Putnam - Disaster Recovery Fund” and mailed to the United Way of Westchester and Putnam at 336 Central Ave., White Plains, N.Y., 10606. You may also dial 211 for recovery assistance. Founded in 1946, the Building & Realty Institute is one of the largest construction, develop- ment and real estate related industry trade associations in the state. The Westchester-based organiza- tion has more than 1,500 members, primarily in the Westchester and mid-Hudson Valley region. (Submitted) (L-R) Mike Beldotti, Building & Realty Institute president; Naomi Adler, United Way of Westchester and Putnam CEO; Stephen J. McCulloch, Houlihan-Parnes/iCap Realty Advisors; Robert P. Astorino, Westchester County Executive; and Albert A. Annunziata, Building and Realty Institute executive director. Contributed photo 6 • THE HARRISON REPORT • January 25, 2013 Former Rye super sentenced Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore announced that Kujtim Nicaj (DOB 11/09/68) of 58 C Peck Ave. in Rye was sentenced to six and one half years in state prison and seven years probation on his October 2012 guilty plea to: • One count of burglary in the second degree as a sexually motivated felony, a class “C” violent felony, • One count of sexual misconduct, a class “A” misdemeanor. On Feb. 8, 2012 the defendant, who was employed at the time as the superintendent at the Rye Colony Cooperative Apartments, entered the victim’s apartment without au- thorization. While inside, the defendant engaged in multiple sex acts with the owner’s 15 month old Labrador Retriever dog. This conduct was recorded on nanny cam type devices, which the homeowner had previously set up. The Rye City police were notified. The defendant was questioned and subsequently arrested by Rye City police. Upon completion of his sentence, the defendant will have to register as a sex offender under the New York State Sex Offender Registry Act. Assistant District Attorney Wendy Parra of the Sex Crimes Bureau and Assistant District Attorney Mary Ann Liebowitz of the Investigations Division, Animal Cruelty Unit prosecuted the case. (Submitted) People, coyotes can co-exist, advocate says By ALEXANDRA BOGDANOVIC STAFF REPORTER alexandra@hometwn.com It’s been a while since Frank Vincenti’s last trip to New Rochelle. Back in 1999, he did a presentation about coyotes for residents near Ward Acres. Just a few days ago, he did a similar presentation for an audience at the New Rochelle Humane Society. “Frank had called us about a month prior and asked if we’d be willing to host his presentation,” said New Rochelle Humane Society Manager Dana Rocco. “We do get a fair number of calls about coyotes, so we thought it would be a good educational piece.” On Jan. 20, Vincenti, founder of the Long Island-based Wild Dog Foundation, shared his passion for Eastern coyotes with shelter volunteers and interested resi- dents. He began by saying that all it takes to peacefully co-exist with the animals is education and common sense. “If you understand dogs, you can understand coyotes,” he said. “They are wild animals, but you can reinforce proper behavior in coyotes.” One effective method to deter coyotes from interacting with people is called “hazing,” Vincenti explained. It can be done by making loud noises, or in some cases firing paintball guns or beanbags at the animals, he said. Vincenti said he simply chases them away. “Coyotes don’t want anything to do with us,” he said. “There are no man-eating coyotes.” Most cases in which coyotes bite people happen because of “food habituation,” or when the animals are rabid, Vincenti said. Even so, he said understands why highly publicized incidents frightened and upset many Rye residents. Back in the summer of 2010, two coyotes attacked a then 6-year-old girl while she was playing outside. According to an account in The Rye Sound Shore Review, she was running along the side of her house when the coyotes jumped on her and knocked her to the ground. She was bitten on the shoulder and thigh, and sustained scratches to her head, back and neck. In another case, just a few days later, coyotes attacked another young girl in Rye. In that case a 3-year-old girl was playing with a 6-year-old neighbor when the coyote, which had been concealed behind a rock, jumped on the younger girl and knocked her to the ground. The coyote bit the little girl on the left side of her neck and torso before fleeing when adults alerted to the incident intervened. The victims were taken to the hospital in both cases. The severity of the attacks prompted officials to halt humane trapping in favor of more aggressive action. At a press conference documented in The Rye Sound Shore Review, Rye Police Commissioner William Connors said authorities would act on the presumption that all coyotes spotted in the community at that time were dangerous. Specifically, he said police and trappers would “shoot to kill,” and that any coyotes that were trapped would be euthanized. State wildlife officials advised at the time that relocation was not a viable alter- native given the animals’ behavior and the severity of the attacks. Vincenti also said trapping and relocating or otherwise eradicating coyotes in such circumstances doesn’t necessarily solve the problem. Instead, it creates a vacuum where other coyotes move into a vacated territory. “Negative reinforcement–not killing them–teaches coyotes how to avoid people,” Vincenti stressed. People can protect their pets from coyotes by vaccinating dogs and cats against rabies and other common diseases that can be transmitted from wild to companion animals, Vincenti said. Cats should be kept indoors whenever possible. “Coyotes do view cats as competitors and they will occasionally eat them, although cats generally make up less than 1 percent of a coyote’s diet,” Vincenti said. “They are not all cat killers.” The New York State Department of Conservation also recommends that people do not allow pets to run free. Furthermore, the agency urges people not to feed pets outside and not to feed coyotes at all. “If you see a coyote, be aggressive in your behavior–make loud noises, wave your arms or throw sticks or stones,” the agency recommends. “Teach children to appreciate coyotes from a distance.”
  • 8 • THE HARRISON REPORT • January 25, 2013 Astorino visits Eastchester, talks health care costs By ASHLEY HELMS STAFF REPORTER ashley@hometwn.com Westchester’s burdensome property tax bills are being weighed down by soaring pen- sion costs and unfunded mandates from the state and federal governments, according to County Executive Rob Astorino. Astorino, a Republican, took questions from residents during a public forum entitled “Ask Astorino” on Jan. 16 at Eastchester Town Hall. Most attendees’ concerns were tied back by Astorino to soaring pension costs for gov- ernment employees that the county is required to pay with no sway in the matter. Astorino has not increased the county tax levy for the past two years, but said that the cost increases must be addressed immedi- ately. The county budget for 2013 stands at $1.7 billion. “Pension costs are expected to rise by 3000 percent over the next few years,” Astorino said. Ten years ago, the county retirement fund cost $65,000 and is now around $3.1 million. Tom Andruss, a lifelong Eastchester resi- dent, said that he and several friends have taken a liking to riding their bikes on the Bronx River Parkway on Sundays during the summer. Over time, Andruss became a direc- tor for the Bronx River Parkway Reservation Conservancy and said he has heard that the conservancy may lose its mechanic, who Andruss said saves them a lot of time and la- bor. “I want you to see to it that if that position becomes vacant, it is filled,” Andruss said. Laying off workers is never an easy task, Astorino said, but he added that not one county worker pays for their health instance benefits. This makes it hard or even impos- sible for every employee to keep their jobs. “You either have to pitch in a little or have less employees,” Astorino said. “It’s not real life to not pay anything for health insurance.” Astorino said that there have been ongo- ing negotiations with local unions regarding County Executive Robert Astorino speaking at an “Ask Astorino” forum at Eastchester Town Hall on Jan. 16. Issues that residents spoke about included soaring pension costs and unfunded mandates, Photo/Ashley Helms health insurance, but said that they still haven’t been able to come to an agreement with the Civil Service Employees Union, Westchester County’s largest union. Astorino said that he hopes one day, members will contribute to their benefits, which would allow budget writ- ers to keep more jobs intact. David Levy, 54, Eastchester resident, said his iron worker’s union requires him to pay 11 percent of his health care costs. He said that some of his friends are also in unions and refuse to pay for their insurance and think that it’s strange that Levy has to. “I’m paying 100 percent of their benefits and mine too, and my taxes can’t handle it,” Levy said. Astorino explained the Triborough Amendment, which prohibits a public em- ployer from altering any provision of an ex- pired labor agreement until a new agreement is reached. This causes a public employer’s salary costs to continue to rise even when labor negotiations have reached a stalemate. Astorino said that New York is the only state to enact this type of amendment and plays a part in rising health care costs. “There’s no bargaining that public employees have to do because they’ll continue to get paid and get their health care,” Astorino said. “Ask Astorino” is held monthly in differ- ent towns and cities throughout Westchester County. HHS semifinalist in Grammy contest The Grammy Foundation announced that Harrison High School has been selected as a Grammy Signature Schools semifinalist for 2013. Applications from the Performing Arts Departments of 20,000 public high schools nationwide were evaluated and 129 schools from across the country have been awarded this distinction. Of the 15 schools selected from the State of New York, Harrison is the only school from Westchester County and its surrounding counties to be honored. A Grammy award, originally called a Gramophone Award, is an honor bestowed by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Science to recognize outstanding achievement in the music industry. In 1998, the Grammy Signature Schools program was created by the Grammy Foundation to recognize top United States public high schools that are making an outstanding commitment to music education during the academic school year. Harrison High School’s vibrant music program has seen their students perform at Heritage Music Festivals in Atlanta and Chicago in recent years. The Marching Band was one of 15 bands nationwide selected to perform at the 50th anniversary of the Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii this past December and the Harrison High School Chorus and Orchestra will participate in the Heritage Festival this spring in Boston. Harrison also offers small ensemble performing opportunities such as the Madrigal Singers, Jazz Band and Jazz Chorus as well as unique cabaret nights. (Submitted) The Harrison High School Chorus. Harrison is the only school in the county to be selected as a Grammy Signature Schools semifinalist for 2013. Contributed photo brought against the town was fewer in 2011, the settlements paid by the town were much higher. This was mostly due to the size of the commercial properties seeking reductions in 2011, some of which included JP Morgan Chase, Oak Valley Consultants, Westair, Aviation Westchester and the 285,000 square-foot commercial office space at 500 Mamaroneck Ave. Meanwhile, last year certiorari payouts re- mained primarily in the low thousands, with the most expensive reimbursement paid to the OCC Purchase for $65,425. Although the apparent drop may seem to be a large improvement, the effects of SCAR refunds and tax certiorari settlements have a much broader impact than simply draining the annual budget for local municipalities. Refunds are granted based on a challenge to a property’s assessment. So with every refund comes an accompanying reduction in the ju- risdiction’s assessment rolls, which determine how a municipal tax levy is divided up among property owners. “When the assessment roll goes down, the tax rate goes up,” Idoni told The Harrison Report in a recent interview. According to Idoni, each time a property owner receives a reduction to his or her as- sessed property value, and consequently his or her taxes, other property owners must make up the difference. But because of the decline in the number of tax certiorari and SCAR petitions, the town is able to levy tax increases at a lower rate than previous years. In 2013, residents’ tax bills will increase by 2.94 percent for the town and 5.7 percent for the county. SCARS, continued from page 1
  • January 25, 2013 • THE HARRISON REPORT • 9 With honors Katelyn Marie Murphy of Harrison has been named to the Dean’s List at Clemson University for the fall 2012 semester. Olivia Mogavero of Harrison has been placed on Manhattan College’s Dean’s Honor List for the fall of 2012. Michelle Winkelman of West Harrison, a sophomore sociology major, has been named to the Deans’ List for the fall semester at SUNY Oswego. Steven Scappaticci of West Harrison has earned an M.S. in Chemistry from the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. Robert J. Suhre of West Harrison has been named to the Dean’s List at Western New England for the fall semester of 2012. Rye to send golf club findings to district attorney By CHRISTIAN FALCONE ASSOCIATE EDITOR chris@hometwn.com Embattled Rye Golf Club Manager Scott Yandrasevich tendered his resignation to the city on Friday, but he may not be out of the woods yet. The city plans to forward the re- sults of a lengthy investigation into the club and its former manager to the county district attorney’s office, the mayor said. Meanwhile, the Rye City Council has yet to conclude its probe into allegations of fi- nancial mismanagement, conflicts of interest and improper practices at the golf club. The ensuing scandal has been called the city’s “Madoff moment” by Mayor Douglas French, a Republican. The mayor said the city would also be establishing an independent body and process to examine past oversight of the golf club. The investigation has revealed that is- sues at the club date back to 2007. French said the city would share the results of the investigation with the district attorney’s office and the public “as soon as possible.” The former club manager resigned, effec- tive immediately, after submitting a letter to city officials, on Jan. 18, and agreed to vacate his residence on the club’s grounds by the end of February, according to Rye City Attorney Kristen Wilson. When Yandrasevich was hired in 2002 to run the club’s operations, he was provided with a house on the club’s property, rent-free, as part of the deal. He was also paid an annual salary of $107,000. Wilson said that the “city has already taken affirmative steps to ensure that the club opera- tions will continue without interruption,” and “the city is looking forward to a successful 2013 season.” Jim Lipolito was hired on Jan. 14 as an in- terim manager to run the club through the end of the year, according to city officials. Rye Councilman Joe Sack, a Republican, said news of Yandrasevich’s departure was a positive thing for the golf club in the sense that it now allows the club to focus more in- tently on having a successful year without the burden of the former manager’s employment as a distraction. Sack, a practicing attorney, wouldn’t pro- vide a timetable for wrapping up the investi- gation. “The first phase seems to be winding down but there are obviously still many other aspects of what took place that we need to look at,” the councilman said. The club is currently in the midst of its off- season. Golf club officials made the financial decision to shut down Whitby Castle’s dining operation through February although the ca- tering operation remains open. Still, many clubgoers await answers as to what has been going on at the club ever since the investigation got underway and comment from city officials has become scarce. A 2010 audit into the club’s financials raised several red flags regarding no bid con- tracts and other financial irregularities. Club members have criticized the city for failing to address the issues brought out in the report. Chris O’Brien, a golf club commissioner, said he hopes the mayor provides the public and membership a full report exposing every- thing that was uncovered in the investigation. According to O’Brien, the club membership isn’t going to be satisfied until there is full ac- countability of what went on at the club. “We want to get some closure,” he said. “We want to know exactly what was going on at Rye Golf Club. Everybody has to be accountable here.” The city was working toward bringing disciplinary action against the club manager prior to his resignation. The City Council had even retained an attorney in the case that Yandrasevich requested a hearing, as part of his rights as a state civil service employee. Councilman Sack said anything the city may have been mounting against the club manager is now moot since he is no longer employed by the city. However, the former manager still faces the potential of being indicted on criminal charges based on the appearance of an improper rela- tionship with an outside staffing company and misuse of club funds. It remains unclear what the city’s investigation will conclude. It also remains unknown if any other city employees are potential targets of the investigation. There is no word from city officials whether Yandrasevich will be entitled to collect on his pension and benefits since he was a 10-year city employee. Under state Civil Service law, an employee can begin to collect his or her pension through the state’s retirement system after 10 years of service. Sources say no settlement agreement was struck between the two parties. The former manager was placed on admin- istrative leave on Oct. 10, 2012. That same night, the City Council agreed to initiate its own investigation into matters at the club, overtaking that authority from City Manager Scott Pickup. Three days later, the council hired the law firm Brune & Richard, which has continued its investigation as of press time. With his hiring, Yandrasevich was given reign over the operations and management of the club; in retrospect, there was little over- sight from the club’s Golf Commission or city management of his handling of the organiza- tion. The club is run as an enterprise fund with the intent of remaining self-sustaining in or- der not to burden city taxpayers and is funded primarily through membership dues. Yet the club has struggled to run at a net-positive for years, offsetting any year-end deficits by dip- ping into the club’s fund balance. Back in September 2012, it was uncovered, in a story broken by our sister paper The Rye Sound Shore Review that the club had paid out roughly $2.2 million in salary costs to RM Staffing and Events, Inc.–a Rye-based compa- ny which has since relocated to Port Chester. Of that $2.2 million, roughly $400,000 was billed as overtime–equal to more than 10,000 hours over the same span. The relationship be- tween Yandrasevich and the staffing company raised further questions when it was reported that his wife, Anne, worked for the company and Yandrasevich himself did consulting work for RM in an attempt to broker deals. Rye Golf Club, at Yandrasevich’s discretion, agreed to a deal with RM Staffing back in 2008, shortly after the company was formed. Rye Golf Club is a city-owned golf course that was purchased back in 1965. County to offer free flu shots to residents County Executive Robert P. Astorino announced that the Westchester County Department of Health will offer free flu shots to residents on Thursday, Jan. 24 from 2 p.m. – 7 p.m. at the Westchester County Center in White Plains. The county has 1,000 doses, which can be given to adults and children ages 9 and up. Residents are strongly encouraged to register in advance for the flu clinic at health.ny.gov/ Go2Clinic. Those without Internet access can call (914) 995-7425 weekdays starting Tuesday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Residents can also visit the health department website to find providers and pharmacies who are giving flu shots. Physicians can call the health department if they have excess vaccine to share with other providers or if they are willing to give vaccines to people who are not their patients. The flu shot is safe and provides protection against the three strains of the flu that are circulat- ing this season. To prevent spreading the flu, cough or sneeze into your elbow and wash your hands often with soap and water. If you do get a respiratory infection, stay home until 24 hours after your fever subsides, to avoid spreading your germs. Clean surfaces you touch frequently, such as doorknobs, water faucets, refrigerator handles and telephones. Get plenty of rest, exercise and eat healthy food. For more information, visit westchestergov.com/health. (Submitted)
  • 10 • THE HARRISON REPORT • January 25, 2013
  • January 25, 2013 • THE HARRISON REPORT • 11 Doc Gooden stops by Empire Casino Former Mets and Yankees World Champion right-hander Doc Gooden joined Steiner Sports founder Brandon Steiner at Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway on Jan. 14. Steiner signed copies of his book “You Gotta Have Balls,” and conducted a question and answer session for over 300 Elite Club members at the casino’s Good Time Room. Gooden autographed baseballs for the audience. Photo courtesy/Sean Hamrock (Submitted) Pet rescue groups create mobile clinic By ALEXANDRA BOGDANOVIC STAFF REPORTER alexandra@hometwn.com Faced with a growing dilemma, members of local pet rescue groups hope a new mobile veterinary clinic will help “fix” the problem. The 26-foot long “mobile clinic” vehicle, equipped with everything necessary to spay and neuter companion animals, arrived at the Westchester Humane Society in West Harrison Jan. 20. It will soon be deployed to areas where large numbers of unaltered dogs and cats continue to breed, adding to the vast number of stray and unwanted pets in the United States. According to one estimate, as many as 4 million unwanted or stray dogs and cats are euthanized in the United States each year. “We want everyone to know that the Westchester Humane Society is under new management and that we’ve turned it into a successful animal shelter with many cat and dog adoptions already to its credit,” said Eric Lobel, president of the Westchester Humane Society. “So I jumped at the chance to help out our friends at Fido Fixers and Pet Rescue, and to promote our common cause.” The Westchester Humane Society is dedi- cated to the rescue, rehabilitation and adoption of companion animals. It also works to end animal cruelty, embraces the no-kill philoso- phy and seeks to “end euthanasia of healthy, treatable and loveable dogs and cats.” Based in Greenwich, Conn., Fido Fixers, a fledgling nonprofit group, provides low or no- cost spay and neuter services for companion an- imals in economically distressed areas. It raised the money for and purchased the $140,000 ve- hicle after its founders experienced the futility of trying to save animals in areas where relatively little is done to address overpopulation. “Susan Maounis, Suzanne Steinberg and I have been involved in animal rescue and worked with animal rescue groups in this area. We helped transport animals from the south and southeast to shelters here,” said Lisa Wysocki of Fido Fixers. “We decided we had to get to the root of the [overpopulation] problem because so many of the animals that we left behind were euthanized. We knew the most effective way to do that is spay/neuter.” Rather than relying on other groups to pro- vide the services, the trio decided to form the nonprofit organization and set about raising the money for the mobile clinic. The fundrais- ing effort took less than a year. The Ohio-based La Boit group built the specialty vehicle, which Lobel picked up at its headquarters Jan. 18. In addition to being “remarkably easy” to drive, the vehicle is packed with state-of-the art equipment, Lobel said. In addition to a 54-gallon fuel tank, it has its own generator, built-in refrigerator and vacuum. There’s also an area where surgical instru- ments can be sterilized. An upper shelf along one side of the van provides ample space for several cat carriers. Below that cages can be configured to accommodate small, medium and large dogs. A fully functional operating theater that can be separated from the main area is located at the back of the vehicle. “This gets to the heart of the overpopulation issue. What we can do at the shelter is limited. Now, we can provide this to people who will run low and no-cost spay/neuter clinics. We’re happy to do it.” Lobel said. Ruth Frumkin of the Larchmont-based Pet Rescue group said the organization would be the first to use the new mobile clinic. Pet Rescue’s mission is to “aid homeless, abandoned and neglected cats and dogs, to nurture them in the foster care of volunteers, to provide veteri- nary care and socialization, and to place them in permanent loving and responsible homes.” Pet Rescue also works to decrease the popu- lation of homeless dogs and cats through its spay/neuter program. In addition to providing spay and neuter services in areas where pet owners cannot af- ford them, the mobile clinic will be staffed by experienced veterinarians and their assistants to trap, spay/neuter and release feral cats. Members of local pet rescue groups welcomed the arrival of this new mobile veterinary clinic Jan. 20. Photo/Alexandra Bogdanovic
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More Land available www.helderbergrealty.com CALL HENRY: 518-861-6541 Classified Advertising Pays Off To Place Your Ad Contact: 914-653-1000 X27 ads@hometwn.com E. Halperin Memorial Foundation pledged a matching donation of up to $1 million to aid improvements and though library enthusiasts hoped to raise the remainder of the costs of the renovation through donations, it soon became clear that donations and fund- raising would not be enough to make up the difference. In past year, members of the library foundation have met several times with the Harrison Town Council, which has stated that due to the current economic climate, the town could not afford to subsidize even part of the cost. Despite the council’s repeated re- fusal, on Jan. 17, Halperin reminded the council that two months have passed since he first issued the self- imposed three-month deadline to ne- gotiate a commitment. “We are all in favor of seeing a more modern library...it behooves the entire town to have it,” said Republican Councilwoman Marlene Amelio. “But deadlines are difficult, especially when they are not designed by us.” Although Halperin said the dead- line was not meant to coerce the coun- cil into a decision, he hoped the ulti- matum would be constructive toward completing the renovations in what he views as reasonable timeframe. “Don’t put a gun to our head,” said Councilman Fred Sciliano, a Republican. “We have to do our due diligence.” According to Sciliano, the council has been working to find what it can do to support the foundation given all the factors involved, as well as pro- vide continued support to the founda- tion via grant opportunities. But while the foundation may re- ceive a state grant to assist with the renovations, it will not be enough to cover the entire $1.1 million for de- ferred maintenance. With less than a month left until the council hits Halperin’s Feb. 14 deadline, the foundation has decided to take their fight online. Through the use of the website change.org, the foundation has started a petition to the Harrison Town Council to “support the proposed public private partner- ship to save our library.” As of Jan. 21, the petition has 156 physical signatures, with an additional 62 sign-ups online as of press time. In addition to the petition, the foun- dation anticipates that the council will hold a vote on its proposed plan of ac- tion at the next Town Council meeting on Feb. 7 after press time. LIBRARY, continued from page 1 Jack Steinberg Obituary Jack Steinberg, 86, retired director of communications of the Marmon Group, died Jan. 17 after a long illness. He served the multi-billion dollar diversified manu- facturing group privately owned by the Chicago Pritzker family for 14 years, retiring in 1990. Marmon Group is now part of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Immediately previous to this, he was with the advertising firm Cunningham and Walsh as vice president of public relations for 20 years. Although he spent most of his working life as a professional public relations executive, his first love was newspapering. As a child growing up in New London, Conn., he founded his own local newspaper for which he also sold advertising. Later, after working for an insurance trade paper, he published The Downtown Key, which he distributed free to Wall Street workers. He retired from the advertising busi- ness in 1975 when he purchased the Wallingford Post in Connecticut. Steinberg attended the University of Connecticut and served with the Navy Seabees during World War II. His family re- members him as a person of diverse interests: an accomplished fisherman and bowler, an avid fan of jazz, James Joyce and Henry James, and as an enthusiastic rooter for the New York Knicks, New York Mets and the for- mer Brooklyn Dodgers. He leaves behind his wife of 66 years, Lois, a well-known Westchester social activist who is president and co-founder of the Center of Aging in Place–a resource for nine community aging in place groups. In addition to his son, Mark, of Canaan, N.Y., he is survived by a son, Eric, of Plantation, Fla. (Submitted)
  • January 25, 2013 • THE HARRISON REPORT • 13 Bruce Cohen Art Director x36 art@hometwn.com NEWS TIPS Unfortunately, our reporters cannot be everywhere. If you see news in the making or have an idea for a news story, call us. Community reporters and correspondence are listed at left. LETTERS The community’s opinion matters. If you have a view to express, simply write a letter to the editor by email to mark@hometwn.com, fax or mail. Please include a phone number and name for verification purposes. Word limit: 625. No unsolicited Op/Eds, food, film reviews. COMMUNITY EVENTS If you have an event you would like to share with the community, send it via email to news@hometwn.com. Deadline for community news is noon on Fridays. Space is not guaranteed. Send listings to news@hometwn.com. DELIVERY For home delivery, call Marcia Schultz at (914) 653-1000 x25. CONTRIBUTORS: Bobby Begun, Alexandra Bogdanovic, Christian Falcone, Ashley Helms POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: The Harrison Report, c/o HomeTown Media Group, 200 William St., Port Chester, N.Y. 10573 The Harrison Report is published weekly for a subscription price of $30 per year by Home Town Media Group, 200 William St., Port Chester, N.Y. 10573. Standard Postage is paid at White Plains, New York 200 WILLIAM ST., PORT CHESTER, N.Y. 10573 • Tel: (914) 653-1000 Fax: (914) 653-5000 Howard Sturman Publisher x21 publisher@hometwn.com Mark Lungariello Editor-in-Chief x19 mark@hometwn.com Mike Smith Assoc. Sports Editor x22 sports@hometwn.com Marcia Shultz Subscriptions, Classifieds x25 Advertising Coordinator x27 marcia@hometwn.com ads@hometwn.com Daniel Offner Reporter x26 dan@hometwn.com Lindsay Sturman Advertising Account Manager x14 lsturman@hometwn.com Rachel McCain Editor x30 news@hometwn.com Jason Chirevas Deputy Editor x30 news@hometwn.com Letters Sounding off on Sandy relief To the Editor, Seventy-nine days after Superstorm Sandy devastated families, businesses and com- munities, Congress’s action today finally puts us a step closer to recovery. I am es- pecially proud to have helped lead the bipartisan effort to pass the full assistance package for the affected areas, as the first order of business in the 113th Congress. Sandy took the lives of 110 Americans, transportation networks and coastal areas in New York and New Jersey were devastated, 650,000 homes were damaged beyond re- pair, and 8.1 million homes lost power, many for weeks. In New York alone, 265,000 businesses were affected, costing jobs, paychecks, and billions in lost economic output. The desperately-needed relief in this bill will help families and individuals put their lives back together and assist in rebuilding transportation networks and public infrastructure vital to commerce and our quality of life. Small businesses, schools, health care facilities, and research institutions will have the support to restore vital services in their communities. Congress’ failure to provide emergency relief before the end of the 112th Congress was inex- cusable. With 146 major disasters declared in the last two years, no region of the country is immune to such tragedy. As Americans, we must never hold vital disaster assistance hostage to partisan fights about spending or political calculations. Nita Lowey, U.S. Congresswoman Bringing awareness to radon To the Editor, January is National Radon Action Month, and the American Lung Association would like to raise awareness of how radon can affect your lung health. Many may not be aware of what exactly radon is; radon is a colorless, tasteless and odorless gas that is found in soil and forms radioactive byproducts which eventually can damage tissue inside your lungs and cause lung cancer. Radon enters your home, school or office building through cracks in the foundation or even through pipes and/or the water supply. People who have private wells are more at risk than people with community water supply. Prolonged radon exposure is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking. There are countless health risks to those living inside a home with high levels of radon. According to the EPA, smoking combined with radon exposure is considered a severe health risk. Testing your home is the best way to find out whether you are being exposed to high levels of radon. The Lung Association sells radon kits for only $12. They are available at LungNE. org/products or by calling 1-800-LUNG-USA. Jeff Seyler President and CEO, American Lung Association of the Northeast New York City LBJ holds complex legacy To the Editor, Jan. 22, 2013 was the 40th anniversary of the death of Lyndon Baines Johnson, our 36th president. He was a man that became president under tragic circumstances, but in my opinion he has had a much more profound affect on the country and the world than his predecessor. LBJ was selected as vice president by JFK to help him with the South, and its more entrenched state of legalized apartheid. Lyndon Johnson became an “enemy” of this brutal and evil aspect of this country’s history by passing the most far reaching civil rights laws since the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments when he orchestrated the passing of the 1964 Civil Rights Acts and 1965 Voting Rights Act. He was not in demeanor or comportment any resemblance to the regality of “Camelot.” But he was a very shrewd politician who was not afraid of getting his hands dirty as far as the wrangling and “arm-twisting” nature of American politics. He stewarded the “The Great Society Programs” in order to assuage the devastating and inhumane levels of poverty that had become acceptable in America and still is today–even though the level of Americans living in poverty took a precipitous drop during his tenure into the 1970s. He was responsible for signing Medicare, Medicaid and for funding the beginning of the “Head Start” Program. LBJ was also a continuation of the “American Empire” and its sanguinary history of killing millions of civilians. The escalation of troop involvement from 1963 to 1968 in Vietnam was an expression of that–a tradition that George W. Bush and Barack Obama have maintained. Lyndon Johnson said, “There is much we have yet to do, the hunger in the world, the sickness in the world, the poverty in the world.” He was indeed a contradiction that was expressed in his roots, being from Texas, and yet his values were anathema as he tried to destroy the Ku Klux Klan. Clifford Jackson, Larchmont About Letters to the Editor Publication is not guaranteed. We reserve the right to edit letters for content or space, at our discretion, without notification from the com- pany. We reserve the right to reject submissions at our discretion without notice to the author. Sorry, but we are unable to notify authors in advance if and when a letter will be printed. Deadline for submission is Friday before publication. The maximum length of letters that appear in our pages is 625 words, but letters are usually significantly shorter to accommodate space needs. The letter should be signed and include the writer’s address and phone number for verifica- tion purposes. We will not publish letters that cannot be verified. Publication by frequent let- ter writers will be limited to one per month. The opinions of letter writers do not reflect those of this newspaper. Please submit via fax to (914) 653-5000 or email to mark@hometwn.com or via post to Home Town Media Group, C/O Letters to the Editor, 200 William Street, Port Chester, NY 10573. We do not accept unsolicited Op-Ed submis- sions, film reviews, or food reviews.
  • 14 • THE HARRISON REPORT • January 25, 2013 Rye YMCA names contest winners The Rye YMCA is pleased to announce the winners of “Heads Up: A Distracted Walking and Driving Poster Contest.” The winners–all students in three digital photography classes at Rye High School–are: • 1st Place: Ali Howard • 2nd Place: Kylie Roddy • 3rd Place: Cole Passaretti In September 2012, the Rye Y, as part of its Safe Routes to School initiative, invited the students to create posters that illustrate the dangers of distracted walking and driving. Under the leadership of Rye High School art teacher Andre Soto, 60 students–51 freshmen, eight sophomores and one junior–in three elective classes participated. The students narrowed the fi eld to 15 fi nalists, a process that led to thought-provoking discussion in the classroom about distracted walking and driving. The Rye Y then convened a panel of community judges who selected the three winners. The judges were: • William Connors – Chief, Rye Police Department • Gregg Howells – Executive director, Rye YMCA • Robin Jovanovich – Editor and publisher, The Rye Record • Charles Sutter – Planner, Westchester County Dept. of Public Works and Transportation • Kim Larsen – Chairperson, Larchmont-Mamaroneck Safe Routes to School Committee • Nancy Pasquale – Rye City School District, Board of Education All of the posters will be ex- hibited at the Rye Arts Center from Jan. 24-Feb. 7. The 15 fi - nalist posters will then move to the Rye Free Reading Room for a month-long exhibit. Members of the community are invited to the Opening Reception and Awards Ceremony for the ex- hibit, which will be held on Jan. 24 from 5:30 p.m. – 7 p.m. at the Rye Arts Center, located at 51 Milton Road in Rye. For additional information, or to RSVP to the Jan. 24 recep- tion, contact Denise Woodin at denisewoodin@ryeymca. org or (914) 967-6363 ext. 101. (Submitted) Rye High School student Ali Howard’s project won fi rst place in the “Heads Up: A Distracted Walking and Driving Poster Contest.” Contributed photo Harrison resident fi nalist in national contest The fi nal 2012 winners of Kids Who Give, sponsored by Farm Rich, may each support different causes, but they all have come to the same conclusion: anyone can help change the world. Harrison resident Mary Grace Henry, 16, is a second-place fi nalist in the Kids Who Give contest. At age 12, Henry started Reverse the Course, a nonprofi t that uses money raised from selling handmade hair accessories to fund the education of girls in Third World countries. Today, 70 percent of the 130 million children worldwide who are not enrolled in school are girls. To address this crisis and help young girls attend second- ary school, Reverse the Course has paid for a total of 37 years of tuition for 18 girls in Uganda, Kenya, Haiti and Paraguay. For the fall winners, Farm Rich will donate money to each winner’s chosen charity: $3,500 for fi rst place, $1,500 for second, $1,000 for third, and a $250 gift card for honor- able mention. Kids Who Give is a national program that celebrates young people, ages 7-17, who dedicate their time and energy to improving the lives of others. Quarterly winners are awarded with contributions to their favorite causes. A leading brand of Rich Products Corporation, Farm Rich is based in St. Simons Island, Ga., and features a successful portfolio of frozen snacks and appetizer products sold at grocery and club stores nation- wide. All 2012 winners are eligible to win a $10,000 grand prize via an online voting com- petition that runs from Jan. 22 until Feb. 5 at kidswhogive.com. (Submitted) Already-failed New Year’s resolutions All of the lettuce in the fridge has gone limp and brown- ish. The credit card has gone from the top drawer back into the wallet. The wait for the elliptical at the gym is getting shorter again. February is upon us. A recent study showed that about one in fi ve New Year’s resolutions is actually kept. As February begins, those promises made just weeks ago are entirely abandoned: Eat better. Get out of debt. Get in shape. And so on. I conducted an in-depth analysis of the effectiveness of New Year’s resolutions and found that, according to a 2007 Wall Street Journal article, 88 percent of all resolutions fail. One web resource said that 25 percent of resolutions are broken in the fi rst week of January alone. (By the way, when I said I conducted an in-depth analysis before, what I meant was I did a quick search on Google for “failed New Year’s resolutions” and skimmed the fi rst three re- sults). The concept of New Year’s resolutions can be head scratching. There are probably better ways to start a new year than by making promises you can’t keep and exposing your willpower for the black-socks-in-gym-class wimp that it is. As you soak that in (and perhaps soak in a tub of ice cream rather do 20 minutes on the sta- tionary bicycle), let us take a look at some other real and imagined resolutions that have already become shame-inducing memories we don’t want to admit we were part of. Kind of like that A Flock of Seagulls concert. DMV Failed resolution: To lose wait. Hey, see what I did there? “Wait” instead of “weight!” [Taps microphone] Is this thing on? Me Failed resolution: Stop making ridiculous DMV jokes in the newspaper. White Plains parking enforcement offi cer Failed resolution: Be a more forgiving person. Kobe, my dog Failed resolution: Stop licking self aggressively in public. Manti T’eo Failed resolution: Keep good friends close and avoid fake people. If that was too obvious a target, I can go even more obviouser. Manti T’eo’s girlfriend Failed resolution: Stop being phony. Me Failed resolution 2: Stop using words that don’t exist, such as “obviouser,” in the newspaper. Health Care bills Failed resolution: Start being more affordable. Lindsay Lohan Failed resolution: Stop doing stuff that will have me end up on PerezHilton.com. Republicans Failed resolution: Now that the election is over, move on and do the good work of the people. Lance Armstrong Failed resolution: Put the lies behind me. Democrats Failed resolution: Now that the election is over, move on and do the good work of the people. Beyoncé Failed resolution: Don’t worry about all the other stuff. Just sing! Wayne LaPierre, NRA Failed resolution: Have a sensible debate about gun safety. Nicki Minaj Failed resolution: Let go of the hate. Congress Failed resolution: Don’t fi libuster the fi libuster. Gordon Ramsey Failed resolution: Don’t be so hard on people with bad kitchens. Frosty the Snowman Failed resolution: Be a warmer person. My Facebook Friends Failed resolution: Learn the difference between their and there, hear and here and learn how to spell “defi nitely.” Reach Mark Lungariello at mark@hometwn.com Mark Lungariello LUNGARIELLO AT LARGE
  • SPORTS January 25, 2013 • THE HARRISON REPORT • 15 Top momentum-shifting games Rye basketball beats Harrison The Garnets limped into the Mamaroneck tournament on Jan. 18 with five losses to their name, but their subsequent performance left little doubt as to what this team can accomplish with all hands on deck. Led by captain Max Twyman, the Garnets vaulted past the Huskies and Panthers to win the tournament. The two wins marked the first time that Rye had the majority of its rotational play- ers all suiting up at the same time. Mamaroneck hockey beats Suffern Ever since their nine-game skid against Suffern came to an end on Jan. 10, the Tigers have found new life this season, winning tough league games against Scarsdale and New Rochelle in the last week. For a team that had its ups and downs early on in the year, Mamaroneck looks to be a real playoff threat. The team is even winning ugly games against good teams, such as the knock- down, drag-out fight they had against the Huguenots on Jan. 18. Even “ugly wins” bode well for a team looking to scratch and claw its way to a section title. Eastchester basketball loses to Poughkeepsie Sometimes, losses can be illuminating. When Eastchester dropped its Dec. 19 showdown with Poughkeepsie, it may have been the moment that served to define exactly what type of team it is. Since then, Eastchester has used an up-tempo, press-heavy style to confound oppos- ing teams and put together an eight game win streak. Kevin Teahan and Michael Milo have also emerged as viable scoring options, opening up the style of play on the offensive end. Mamaroneck wrestling places fourth at Edgemont tourney In last week’s “Throwdown,” I discussed Mamaroneck 170 pounder Dion Duran’s first tourna- ment win of the year, and on Jan. 18, Duran–as well as teammates Ben Miller and Luis Rubio– continued to stay hot. The trio each won their brackets at the 31st Edgemont Tournament. There were four Mamaroneck wrestlers in the finals, and the Tigers placed fourth overall. It would appear that the Tigers are rounding into form just in time for divisionals and sectionals. (L-R) Ben Miller, Luis Rubio and Dion Duran pose with their brackets at Edgemont High School on Jan. 18. The Tigers trio each won their respective weight brackets at the tournament. Contributed photo Huskies Roundup Girls Basketball 1/18 Alexander Hamilton d. Harrison 54-34 The young Huskies found themselves outgunned by Hamilton, falling behind early and never making their way back into the game. Harrison’s Paige Brabant led her squad with 8 points, but Hamilton’s Jasmine Robinson was seemingly everywhere on the court at once, finishing with 23 points and 4 steals to lead her squad to a win. Hockey 1/19 RyeTown/Harrison tie Lakeland/Panas 2-2 (OT) On Saturday in Brewster, the Titans found themselves locked in a wild one with the Rebels, as a 2-2 score in the second period held up through overtime, and the game ended in a stale- mate. Both goalies were tremendous on the evening, with Lakeland’s Brandon Vasquez making 34 stops and the Titans’ Brian Ketchebaw making 25 of his own. Ian Bass’ goal in the second was the one that knotted the game at 2. Paige Brabant, seen here against Rye on Jan. 9, looks to find an open teammate. Brabant led the Huskies with 8 points in a losing effort against Hamilton on Jan. 18. Photo/Mike Smith Pet Rescue Billy is a silver male tabby, about 6 months old (born early July 2012). He came to Pet Rescue as a very young kitten; he was found on the street by a volunteer and treated by a vet specialist. After months of TLC, Billy has recovered incredibly well from his injuries. He resides in a foster home where he is a playful kitten who enjoys frolicking with the other felines in his household, although he loves being held. Billy is neutered, in excellent health and up to date with all vaccinations. His adoption donation is $75. If you have a soft spot in your heart for Billy, contact Larchmont Pet Rescue at (914) 834-6955 or visit NY-PetRescue.org.
  • SPORTS16 • THE HARRISON REPORT • January 25, 2013 Harrison drops two games at Mamaroneck tournament By MIKE SMITH ASSOCIATE SPORTS EDITOR sports@hometwn.com Boasting an impressive 6-3 record coming into the Jan. 18 Mamaroneck Tiger Tournament, Harrison had been playing some good basketball against some tough teams. But after dropping two games at the tourna- ment–including one to rival Rye–it is time for Harrison to regroup, with another tough stretch in the weeks ahead. In the tournament’s first round game, the Huskies took on their bit- ter foes from Rye, but did so with- out much help from standout Coby Lefkowtiz, who got into some early foul trouble, putting Rye in driver’s seat early on. The Garnets were able to extend an early lead thanks to Max Twyman’s 24 points, and held on to beat the Huskies 60-47. Although the Huskies have had–at times–to play without their star, head coach Gary Chiarella said that the team has done well with him on the bench–they just didn’t do it against Rye. “He’s been in foul trouble before and we’ve actually played pretty well, which stems from the guard play we’ve been getting,” said the head coach. “I think the mindset of the kids is to be a little more aggressive and not to defer to him as much, and that needs to happen when he’s on the court too.” Twyman, the game’s leading scorer, said that he expects to see a much different Harrison team when the two teams meet again on Jan. 29. “They’re good and they’re athletic,” said the Garnets captain. “I don’t think we’ve seen the best of what they have.” The following night, the Huskies dropped their second straight game, losing to a Mamaroneck squad that was still smarting over an upset at the hands of Rye Neck in the first round. Despite the losses, Chiarella is confident that his team will use what is essentially a week off from competi- tion (mid-term week) to work on a few key things that will help the Huskies right the ship. “I think now, everyone that’s scouted us has seen that we have more success when we face man-to-man defense, so teams have gone to zone, and we’ve struggled,” he said. “We need to go back, work on our zone offense, and just get better.” Of course, the Huskies will be tested mightly when they take the floor again on Jan. 25. Their first game back will be a road contest against Pearl River, but the Huskies also have meetings with Rye and Fox Lane, as well as a berth in the prestigious McDonald’s Tournament on the ho- rizon. “It doesn’t get any easier,” said Chiarella. “It’s a real gauntlet.” Harrison’s Coby Lefkowitz defends against Mamaroneck’s Ben Kalish on Jan. 19. Lefkowtiz led Harrison scorers with 19 points in the consolation game, but Mamaroneck still held off the Huskies. Mamaroneck’s Ryan Orgielewicz looks to get the ball inside against Harrison on Jan. 19. The Tigers held Harrison to just 38 points. Harrison’s Zac Evans plays defense against Mamaroneck on Jan 19. The Huskies have a tough stretch coming up that includes games against Pearl River, Rye and Fox Lane. Photos/Mike Smith
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