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Letters to the Editors:

(Note: Letters are posted in the order we receive and verify them, not necessarily the date on which they were written. Letters may be edited for clarity; those over 500 words will not be printed.)

To email your own letter to the editors, please click here.

December 14, 2004

Scholarship to Honor Kaitlyn Moriwaki

Kaitlyn Moriwaki, a student at Mamaroneck High School, died from a sudden illness on October 2, 2004. She was an extremely talented artist and musician and a very special friend to many of us in the Larchmont/Mamaroneck community. (See: Kaitlyn Moriwaki)

The Moriwaki family and friends are working to establish a scholarship in memory of Kaitlyn. The Kaitlyn Moriwaki Scholarship will go to a student or students who excel in the visual or musical arts. The scholarship will be administered by the Mamaroneck-Larchmont Student Aid Fund. We are hoping to make the scholarship an annual endowment – to do that, we need to raise at least $25,000.

If you would like to make a tax-deductible donation to this scholarship, please make your contribution payable to (and send it to) the Mamaroneck-Larchmont Student Aid Fund, Inc., Mamaroneck High School, Mamaroneck, NY 10543. It is important that you note on your check and in a brief note, that the donation is to be credited to the Kaitlyn Moriwaki scholarship. If you would prefer a donation card for this purpose, please contact Judy Baumgarten or The Larchmont Music Academy, 833-8941, 2089 Boston Post Road, Larchmont.

If you have any questions, please call or e-mail Judy Baumgarten, 834-6522, JudyBaum@optonline.net.

December 1, 2004

Opening AP Gates Raises Issues: Stress, Cost

As a social studies teacher at Mamaroneck High School, I find your article about "gatekeeping" and Advanced Placement courses to be of great interest. The article referred to the change from two to three sections of AP American History as having happened seven years ago. The correct figure is closer to seventeen years. With the exception of one year, the number of sections remained at three, increasing to four, and then five, over the past seven years. (Editors' Note: correction has been made.)

Your article leaves the reader believing that the teachers are “confident” about the movement to “open the gates.” This confuses us, because until the most recent faculty meeting, the teachers had not been asked for input on the issue, and the word “confident” does not reflect the nature of our discussions at that meeting, and certainly not at our own meeting a few days later.

Parents and students want these courses for all of the right
reasons, and, unfortunately, some of the wrong ones. On several occasions, struggling students admit that they take the courses so they can get into good schools. Others say that they don’t want to drop the course because their friends take it. (The social pressure is enormous.) Some parents who spend weeks in meetings and phone calls demanding their children’s admission are then upset when their students’ grades fall below previous levels.

Now we may face the challenges of open admission. One will be economic. In my department this year, the AP classes are very large; in some cases, ten to twelve more than the eighteen maximum recommended by the College Board. Open admission classes should be much smaller. Regents classes and electives would have to run opposite AP classes so that students who want to opt out in the first quarter can do so without disrupting their schedules. These factors dictate increased staffing, which is very costly.

An open policy cannot come without some guidelines and a lot of guidance. Regardless of what some claim, many students simply cannot do college work in high school. Others, who have specific interests, would prefer to concentrate on those rather than cram their transcripts and lives with as many AP courses as those admissions officers demand. Others would thrive in an exploration of various electives in a Regents curriculum.

We continue to discuss these and other concerns, and we hope that our input informs whatever policy changes come about. Obviously, everyone seeks the right policy for the right reasons. We want to challenge all of our students without hurting any of them.


Kathleen Donnison
Mamaroneck High School

November 18, 2004

M. Johnson Raised Environmental Awareness

News that Maryanne Johnson passed away is reverberating around the community. The Johnson family has done so many wonderful things for Larchmont and Mamaroneck over the years. They will be remembered primarily for making the Larchmont Reservoir Conservation area, known as the James G. Johnson, Jr. Conservancy a reality.

Before the word ecology was part of everyone's lexicon, Maryanne Johnson was fighting to save the world around us. She was active in the League of Women Voters, where I met her, and clean water was her passion, along with conservation. With lots of other League stalwarts in the 60's and 70's, she harangued local citizens and our elected officials to raise everyone's consciousness about the importance of our environment.

Now, more than ever, the world needs more Maryanne Johnsons and she will be sorely missed.

Marlene Kolbert
Trustee, Village of Larchmont

 

November 16, 2004

Brit Appreciates Local Visit, Local French Toast

I’ve recently returned from a 12-day visit to Larchmont and wanted you to know that, on this occasion, I was no trouble to your fire department. (See: British Visitor Gets Rescue and Lift from LFD.) I found my way around easily and was determined not to get lost. I think I might have disappointed my grandchildren who have never forgotten my fire engine ride.

Larchmont is as charming as ever and the highlight of my trip was having French toast nearly every morning at 6 am at the Manor Park Deli in the village shopping area. Unfortunately, the owner didn't give me the recipe (Editor's note: see below) so I am back to eating a slice of brown bread and butter before I go to work. One of the unusual perks I enjoyed at the deli was a free read of all the daily newspapers. Being that it was your election period, I really enjoyed that.

Now I have two glorious memories of Larchmont -- fire engines and French toast!

Raymond Rudaizky
London, England

Tony Abregu, owner of Manor Park Deli, supplied the following:

Manor Park French Toast

Beat in a small bowl:
2 oz. milk
one egg

3 slices of bread (customers choice of white, rye or whole wheat)

Dip slice, one at a time, in egg mix. Put on a lightly buttered hot grill.

When done, sprinkle with ground cinnamon.

Secret tip: Use a really hot grill to get the right color.

 

November 7, 2004

Hold Legislators & School Boards Accountable

I was struck by the comment in your recent article on the school budget that certain cost "amounts are largely set by contract and state mandates and are not flexible."

It is true that these State mandates and contracts cannot be changed immediately. However, they are not given us from some higher authority beyond our control. We need to accept that mandates are legislated by the State officials whom we elect, and we have control on election day. And school contracts are the result of decisions made and signed by the school board itself, which has control every time that a contract is written.

We need to hold our State legislators responsible for the mandates that they legislate. And we need to hold the school board responsible for the contracts that it signs.

George Roniger
Town of Mamaroneck, NY

November 4, 2004

Latimer Thanks Voters

A sincere thanks to all of the people of Larchmont and Mamaroneck for
their vote of confidence in my race for the State Assembly. Their
overwhelming support is much appreciated; I treat that support very
seriously, and intend to work hard everyday to represent their interests
in Albany, and to justify their faith as expressed at the ballot box.

George Latimer
Rye, NY

October 21, 2004

Village of Mamaroneck GOP Accusation Baseless

In a desperate attempt to deflect criticism of their handling of the police scandals in the Village of Mamaroneck, the Republican candidates for the office of trustee have shamelessly and baselessly overstepped the lines of truth, propriety and decency.

In a letter to the editor, published in another media outlet, they have accused me of meeting on a regular basis with one of the attorneys of an officer currently involved in a lawsuit with the Village. They further indulge in a fantasy of me regularly meeting with these parties, as if to suggest that some grand conspiracy is afoot.

Shame on them: I have never met with this attorney. To suggest otherwise is a twisting of the truth. There is no need to get into the gutter with them. Not now. Not ever.

Tom Murphy
Candidate for Trustee,
Village of Mamaroneck

October 14, 2004

One Assemblyman Can Make A Difference

Election 2004 is almost upon us, and in my race for NY State Assembly the most frequently-asked questions I hear reference the dysfunctional New York State government, and whether one Assemblyman can make a difference.

In my public life - Rye City Councilman for 4 years, County Legislator for 13 years, with 4 of those years as Chairman of the Board of Legislators - I could point to a long list of accomplishments, some against the odds, that have proven to me what an energetic official can help accomplish. The Larchmont SSO, placed at the rear of Flint Park, was originally targeted for the Flint/Cherry intersection; expensive sewer repairs was originally planned to be put on the tax budget of Village and Town governments as a major unfunded mandate; bus routes serving Larchmont and Mamaroneck were slated for elimination; Davids Island would have had Xanadu towers on them. IKEA would have clogged our local streets. Effective representation (and I was proud to be a part of every one of these battles as your County Legislator) helped make the difference. Every one of these stories had involved citizens, committed municipal officials, and an attentive press to help create the right result.

One Assemblyman, in Albany...can fight to complete sound barriers along the Thruway - for the benefit of Howell Park residents, for Larchmont Village residents on Soundview that hear the rush of traffic noise, for all of our residents.

One Assemblyman can fight for updated railcars on Metro North/New Haven Line, and push for better wintertime performance of trains and equipment.

One Assemblyman can advocate for improvements to the Palmer/Weaver intersection in the Town, and for a traffic light at Keeler and the Boston Post Rd. in Mamaroneck Village.

One Assemblyman can join 99 others and override vetoes that cut funding for our local libraries, Westchester Community College and supplemental aid for neighboring communities.

One Assemblyman can attend the Larchmont/Mamaroneck Summit regularly and participate in key community discussions; one Assemblyman can be there for the substance of discussions at the Town Board, and not just the symbolism of marching in parades.

One Assemblyman, properly motivated, will let residents of Larchmont Village, Mamaroneck Village and Mamaroneck Town know that they are represented fully and completely in the full range of issues at hand in Albany from education and the environment to lowering mandated property tax burdens.

One County Legislator has enjoyed and appreciated working hard for Larchmont and Mamaroneck these 13 years. I'd like to be your "One Assemblyman" for the next two years, and promise more of the same hard work and energetic representation if the voters give me that chance on Election Day, Tuesday, November 2nd

George Latimer
Westchester County Legislator

September 28, 2004

Latimer Is Up to Challenge of Reforming Albany

With all the talk of reforming Albany's legislative process, one
candidate for the State Assembly - George Latimer, running in the 91st A.D. - has actually delivered an agenda of significant reform in the Westchester County Board of Legislators. Latimer's 4 years as Chairman - and his efforts both before and after that tenure - marked the most significant reform movement in the Board's history. He personally insured cable TV gavel-to-gavel coverage of legislative meetings, crafted the user-friendly agenda, insured all Board meetings were held at night, delivered the most balanced redistricting plan in 2001 of any level of government, appointed every minority Republican to a committee chairmanship - - in short, the most unprecedented power-sharing in the Board's history.

His conduct on controversial public issues, through chairing public hearings and through legislative mark-ups, showed a balanced demeanor and fairness to all. Before he became Chairman, he was the first legislator to refuse committee meeting attendance stipends - a "backdoor pay raise," a practice that was ultimately discontinued.

The challenges of reforming Albany are clearly greater in scope and more daunting than changing the County Board, but George Latimer has proven his willingness and ability to bring change to the status quo. He deserves our support for the State Assembly this November.

Judy Myers
Councilwoman, Town of Mamaroneck

September 3, 2004

British Family (Fondly) Recalls Fire Sirens

As Brits who lived in Larchmont 1995-1998, now with fond memories fanned by reading regularly, almost religiously, your on-line organ and having visited fair Larchmont as recently as late July 2004, we were rather jealous to read about the London-based visitor, Raymond Rudaizky, who managed to get lost in Larchmont and had to be rescued by the Larchmont Fire Department. Through our time in Larchmont although our young daughters regularly admired the fire trucks (now called fire engines!) and were woken by the siren, we never managed to hitch a ride!

Pamela and Marcus Shapiro, Rebecca, Katie, William & Henry
Radlett, Herts. United Kingdom

 

August 30, 2004

Appeal for Help on Diabetes: Buy a Paper Sneaker

I am appealing to our friends in Larchmont and the surrounding area for your help. Our daughter, Gabrielle, was diagnosed with Juvenile Diabetes (Type I insulin-dependent) in November 2002, just a month after her second birthday. This disease has significantly changed Gabrielle's life. Life with diabetes means a constant balance between diet, exercise and insulin. Her daily routine is regimented with several insulin shots, 6-8 blood sugar tests, an insulin pump that continually delivers insulin to her and a low carbohydrate diet. Since being diagnosed, Gabrielle has had over 3,000 insulin shots and 4,471 finger pricks - and she's only three years old! This regimen makes
everyday childhood events such as having going to nursery school, playing sports, and going to birthday parties truly challenging! We constantly struggle to keep Gabbie's blood sugar under control. Sometimes it gets so low that her body shakes, other times, it is very high and she's unable to focus on simple tasks. The worst part is that
there is no cure for diabetes -- she will have diabetes for the rest of her life.

For those of you who are not familiar with diabetes, it is a disease that shuts down the natural pancreas-driven production of insulin, a hormone necessary to regulate blood sugar levels. It is not caused by obesity or by eating excess sugar. In fact, the causes are not entirely known. Insulin injections provide life support for a diabetic, but they do not prevent the insidious complications from diabetes such as stroke, blindness, kidney disease, heart failure, and amputation.

Stop & Shop Larchmont and Toy Box have generously agreed to help raise money for the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation ("JDRF") by sponsoring the sale of paper
sneakers. Through paper sneaker sales, JDRF has raised millions for diabetes research, one dollar at a time, thanks to support from caring individuals. We need your
help to make this year's JDRF Sneaker Campaign the most successful ever. You can help by buying a sneaker. Encourage your friends and family to do the same. Your paper sneaker, with your name added to it, will be posted on a special wall or window, along with all the other sneakers.

In addition, Dunkin Donuts and IHOP Larchmont along with Target White Plains have generously agreed to donate merchandise for an upcoming raffle on Sunday,
September 19, 2004 at 1 pm at Stop & Shop on 1326 Boston Post Road in Mamaroneck. We are asking everyone who can buy a raffle ticket to please join us and
raise money for this very worthy cause. Every contribution helps bring us one step closer to the cure. Your support of JDRF is deeply appreciated by my family and the over 17 million people affected by diabetes, thank you for your generous contributions.

Joanna May
Mamaroneck, NY

August 26, 2004

Board Should Provide Fair Compensation for Police

The presentation to the Village Board on August 2nd by the President of the Larchmont Police Benevolent Association raises serious long-term concerns to Village residents caused by this Board's failure to negotiate a fair and timely contract with the Larchmont Police Department.

As a result of the Board's failure, highly qualified police officers have left the department for better pay and benefits and others are actively looking to leave. The loss of experienced officers is a serious problem for Larchmont residents, and one that will needlessly continue unless action is taken.

The statistical comparison of Larchmont’s compensation of its police officers with other municipalities is a disgrace. Consider the following:

1. According to the 2000 Federal census, Larchmont ranks 3rd in median family income and per capita income in all of Westchester County, and 4th among all Westchester villages in median household income. In spite of this healthy financial picture and the millions of dollars the Village has in its surplus account today, the salary for a police officer in our village is anemic, ranking 14th out of 15 Westchester villages with a contract, and 19th out of 22 villages in the County.

2. All police departments in Westchester County provide longevity payments to their police officers. Larchmont' s payments rank 20th out of 22 County villages.

3. Larchmont’s uiniform allowance is ranked 32nd out of all 38 police departments in the County.

4. Detectives in the Larchmont Police Department (who do some of the Village’s most important work, particularly regarding safeguarding our children) are the lowest paid in all villages in Westchester County.

5. The police in the Town/Village of Mamaroneck are better paid than our Larchmont police.

6. In the important area of medical benefits, Larchmont pays our police the bare minimum required by law. Many Westchester municipalities pay considerably more upon retirement.

7. The most recent overall increase in Larchmont's tax levy (of approximately 8.5%) and the overall salary increase to Village employees (of about 7%) has not translated into fair pay raises and benefits for our police -- who continue to work without a contract.

At the August 2nd meeting, the Board took the position that it can't get involved in pay negotiations with our police because this is a matter "left to the lawyers," to negotiate. That stance is clearly misleading. Certainly, this Board confers with and directs its lawyer regarding the terms it seeks and is willing to accept. That has been its practice, of course, and if this Board for some undisclosed reason has not followed this practice in negotiating with the Police Department, then its lawyer is exercising excessive independent authority. One has to wonder why.

Now that the Village of Larchmont Police have been without a contract for over a year, with demonstrably inadequate pay and benefits, this Board must finally step in and promptly provide fair and just compensation -- and not hide behind the lawyers.

Thomas F. Curnin
Larchmont, NY


August 9, 2004

Another Hero: Supervisor O'Keeffe

The recent Larchmont Gazette article "Another Hero in Heart Attack Rescue at Sports Club" reminds us of the exceptional privilege of participating in the saving of a life.

There is yet another "hero" who participated in the chain of events which saved Joe Beck's life that day, Mamaroneck Town Supervisor, Valerie O'Keeffe.

At a Senate Place block party at the close of last summer, I, and my wife Susan, a registered nurse and CPR-Defibrillator instructor, asked Supervisor O'Keefe to consider purchasing automated external defibrillators (AEDs) for use by the Town Police. We explained that police are often the first responders in cardiac emergencies when every minute counts, and that AED automation enables non-medical first responders to easily use that device.

Supervisor O'Keeffe promptly responded and our Town Police were provided with AEDs and the training to use them, in time for Mamaroneck Town Officer Anthony Hoffmann to save Joe Beck's life.

Thank you Valerie.

Barry Gedan
Town of Mamaroneck

August 5, 2004

Latimer Will Not Protest GOP Substitute Candidate

The situation regarding the Republican efforts to field a candidate in the 91st Assembly District is at best unclear. I have received legal advice that indicates the County Republican Party’s action in naming a fourth candidate (the third consecutive substitute) for the race is in violation of the state election law, and that we could successfully sue to invalidate this latest candidacy.

However, my whole career in government is about openness and inclusion, and I believe there ought to be competition, and a valid discussion of ideas between two candidates. Despite these circumstances, which may well have been illegal, I have instructed my campaign and my party to take no legal action to invalidate the current Republican-Conservative designee. My belief in democracy is stronger than just acting in my own narrow interest.

I welcome the debate to come, and I’m confident that I can make a stronger case to the voters of this district that I will be more effective fighting on their behalf in Albany.

Finally, I must call on the Westchester County GOP to end this practice of bait-and-switch. In three assembly races this year, the candidate on the Republican ballot is different than the candidate whose name appeared on the petitions circulated. Not only has that happened to me in this assembly race, but the same thing happened last year in my county legislative race – Republicans changed candidates between the petition drive and final certification. After a few weeks, the replacement candidate turned out to have moved out of the county – discovered too late to remove her from the November ballot. While legal, these practices are simply not fair to the voters; it all smacks of political gamesmanship instead of statesmanship.

We ought to run these races on a higher level, and that’s exactly what I intend to do.

George Latimer
Candidate for NY State Assembly
Westchester County Legislator

July 25, 2004

Pedestrian Tunnel Disgrace

There are two jurisdictions governing the tunnel under the train in Larchmont, Metro North and Larchmont Village -- why is a mystery. Now that Metro North has renovated its side, the Village side, which is crumbling, dirty and dark, is more than ever a disgrace. Even short of renovation, the Village could at least clean and paint. If the Village doesn't care, why not cede jurisdiction to the Town or MTA?

Stan Schneider
Larchmont, NY

  June 27, 2004

Thanks for the Memories, Gazette

My wife Pat and I live in Dunwoody, Georgia, where we've spent the last 25 years. However, both of us grew up in Larchmont, where we both graduated from MHS (Class of '58). The next 20 years we continued to live in Larchmont and raised our family. Recently a friend sent me the Gazettem highlighting an article. From that point on I now anxiously look forward to receiving the weekly update and local information.

This is only a small note to say thanks for the Gazette and for bringing a lot of our Larchmont memories back into our lives.

Tony Miller
Dunwoody, GA

June 10, 2004

Thanks to the Mamaroneck Village Police from Pre-K

On behalf of the children of the Mamaroneck Avenue School Pre-K program and their parents, we would like to publicly thank the Village of Mamaroneck Police Department for their outstanding work at our car seat installation check.

We would like to thank P.O. Scott Fraioli and P.O. Dave Casterella for sharing their time and expertise with us. Both officers were highly professional and patient with the parents who needed their help. We are especially grateful to P.O. Richard Carroll who arranged for new car seats to be available through a New York State grant and who has worked so closely with us to make this project a success. All three officers worked tirelessly to check and/or install about 40 car seats.

We extend our sincere thanks to Lt. Hank Paul for arranging this event. He is always helpful and responsive and we very much look forward to continuing to work with him in the future. Again, we appreciate your making your department available to the community for such an important endeavor.

Carrie Amon
Mamaroneck Ave School Principal
Meryl Schaffer, CSW
Mamaroneck Pre-K Social Worker

May 20, 2004

Memorial "Field" Not in Keeping with Kemper Deed

As a Mamaroneck High School history teacher, I respectfully disagree with David Carylon in his letter of May 11 (Vet/Historian for School Budget & Park). A Memorial “field” serves neither the “letter “ nor the “generous spirit of the deed.” If it did, the Kemper family would not be engaged in such a painful and legal battle with the district. Mr. Carlyon writes that “it was available property, money and compromise that determined the placement” of the memorial park. That is correct. The property was commercial and was likely to become an apartment house. The money was that of the Kemper family, because the District did not have the funds to expand the campus. The only compromise was the stipulation that the land be maintained as a Memorial in perpetuity. It was a park which the Kempers landscaped and on which they built the Memorial.

Mr. Carlyon states that it “would be a cruel irony if those who claim to speak for our children handicap our children.” Exactly who are “those people?” Has he become one by stating his point of view? As for the entitlement issue, Mr. Carlyon’s formula of “more fields, more kids play” seems obvious, but it is flawed. Exactly who will be playing? The high school fields are locked and their use is restricted to district and community teams. There are many kids who, for a variety of reasons, are not on teams. Shouldn’t their needs be considered as well?

We are fortunate that the budget has passed, and we are informed by the closeness of the vote and the size of voter turnout. It is heartening that Mamaroneck may soon be permitted to build two new fields in Saxon Woods Park. Perhaps now we can all take a breath, gain perspective, and continue our efforts on the part of our children in more civil
discourse.

Kathleen Donnison
MHS History Teacher

 

May 13, 2004

'BEDGRAGGLED PARK DUE TO SCHOOLS' NEGLECT

Stephen Kling’s letter (Build Field and Renovate Bedraggled Park) was remarkable in quite an unintended way. Through his ignorance and irreverence, his comments actually support all the arguments of those who are in favor of keeping the Kemper Memorial Park in its current configuration. His apt description of the run down condition of the park is directly attributable to the school board’s negligence and its failure to honor its obligation stipulated in the deed to “maintain the park.” To quote his very words, “That degree of bedraggledness didn’t appear overnight, but is a product of decades of neglect.” That is a very important point. How could anyone in his right mind believe the school board would maintain a newly configured park, when it has utterly failed to maintain the current park? So, if Mr. Kling finds the park in a despicable state of maintenance, he should march right up to the school board and demand that it rectify its negligence forthwith.

Let us correct his misconceptions about the community’s concern for the park. From the beginning the Kempers have looked over the welfare of the memorial and have contacted the school district time and time again about its deplorable condition and maintenance. That history is documented by written correspondence.

There are examples after examples of people who have planted flowers, people who came to pray and pay their respects, people who visit the park regularly. Instead of riding by and shooting off his mouth, it would be nice if Mr. Kling would lift a finger to make the park more presentable. And perhaps, as the Kempers did, he could donate a few hundred thousand dollars of his own money to the community, before speaking so disparagingly about a memorial that has touched the hearts of countless people for over fifty years. In other words, instead of cursing the darkness, it would be better for him to light a candle.

As far as what the park means to so many, all Mr. Kling would have to do is visit the VFW and talk to the WWII veterans and their families, or most people in the community, or if he preferred the other extreme of age, talk to any of the students who wrote essays about how much the park means to them and how important it was to their education. He could even talk to his own son, who is on the student committee fighting to preserve the park.

But for people like Mr. Kling and his friends on the school board it is much easier to maintain opinions borne of ignorance than to spend the time necessary to become enlightened. So, yes, Mr. Kling you did “jump in too late to a briskly boiling controversy”. If you want to get some facts before spewing forth your opinions, get off your bike and go visit the archives of the Larchmont Historical Society. The next time you get a flat, you will know who is responsible for the missing benches in the park and its state of neglect.

Richard Cantor
Scarsdale, NY

(editor: the writer is the grandson of the park's donor)

May 5, 2004

BOARD PLAN SERVES PAST & FUTURE GENERATIONS

The Mamaroneck School District needs more playing fields because of the dramatic increase in the numbers of boys and girls in our community playing sports. Participation in sports provides tremendous benefits to our children. Not only are they spending several hours of the week exercising their bodies when they might otherwise be sitting at the computer or watching tv; they are also learning important social skills regarding teamwork, winning and losing, and connecting with other children and adults in the community. And experts advise us that involvement in extracurricular activities helps teens refrain from engaging in risky behaviors in those same after-school hours.

Before the controversy over moving the Kemper Memorial, I had been at the high school countless times without ever having been aware of the memorial’s existence. Having since learned about the monument and the land that was donated, I understand the concerns of the Kemper family, veterans, and the Historical Society. However, I feel that the school board’s thoughtfully designed plan preserves the spirit of the original gift. It calls for a beautifully laid out park with the memorial at its center, which will probably draw more visitors and attention than the current configuration. Naming the playing fields after Lt. Kemper would also raise awareness of that generation’s sacrifices. This plan will enhance the memorial site and the memory of the young people who gave their lives during WWII, as well as serve the good of the current and future generations of youngsters in our community.

Philippa Wharton
Larchmont, NY

April 29, 2004

BEAD-DAZZLED OPPOSES PARK SWAP

After reading The Sound & Town Report local newspaper, April 23, 2004 page 7, I was disturbed to find our retail business, Bead-Dazzled By Diane listed in an advertisment titled "Open Letter to the Village of Larchmont." The advertisment was paid for by RAPP, (retailers against poor planning) and we wish to make our position clear on this matter. Before this advertisment was printed, we never heard of this organization; we are not members and never given any financial support to this group. We are opposed to the park land swap for the same reasons that John Troy states in his letter of April 22, 2004.

We urge the Village trustees to vote against the park swap. We support S.T.E.P. (Save the Existing Park) and the 125 Larchmont residents who oppose the park land swap.

Jerry & Diane Shapiro
Bead-Dazzled By Diane
Larchmont, NY

 

April 22, 2004

SWAP WOULD BE 'IRREPARABLE LOSS'

Every time I pass the two lots on Parkway/Palmer, my opposition to the proposed land swap is further re-enforced.

The existing Village park on Parkway

  • is larger (by 400 sq. feet)
  • has more attractive trees, six v. two in the Palmer lot
  • is safer, particularly for small children
  • has a better layout for a park (its shape & grade)
  • is more attractive. The Palmer lot is squeezed in between a a solid wall and an active driveway.

Add to these practical reasons, the fact that the vast majority of neighbors are opposed to the swap, as clearly evident at the Village meeting on March 29.

The proposed swap will benefit only one family in the Village. It will be an irreparable loss of valuable open space to all others.

I urge the Village Board to listen to the neighbors not to approve the land swap.

John Troy
Larchmont, NY

April 15, 2004

PALMER BUFFER PARK WOULD BE FOR ALL

When I was a kid here in Larchmont, I and my three neighbor/buddies, bundled in our winter clothes, stood in befuddlement, watching the Public Works Department guys installing a cement creature in “our” park at Vanderburgh Avenue. A little later, there appeared a duck head on a spring and other ride toys, then a slide, and the soon-to-be famous sandbox. We local kids were now forced to reconsider our proprietary attitude to the park as other kids we had never seen before came into “Turtle Park” to play.

As we went around to different parks, exploring our “world,” we never went to the “Parkway Park” next to the Morris property. It was confining and odd. Maybe we didn’t even know it was a park.

Later, …much later, I made a study of Vanderburgh Park and learned that the Village Board, at the time, had designed this park as a buffer between the commercial area at Chatsworth and Palmer and the residences north of there. In the 1940s, an apartment building six stories high was proposed for the site where the park is now. Indeed, the buffer idea was stronger.

The buffer park idea has come up again in the proposed swap. I truly believe it would be the correct choice for the Village to make: to have the park placed as the buffer property between the commercial and residence area; that is, to the left of the Morris property.

This would result in the greatest amount of enjoyment for the most people, and would be a consistent planning move based on precedent and logic.

Beyond equities of value, beyond the family suggesting this swap, the concept of “open space” would still prevail, and moving the park would be the correct thing to do for all.

After all, isn’t that what a park is for…all?

Jim Fleming
Larchmont, NY

 

April 9, 2004

PRINT GAZETTE WILL GIVE EVERYONE ACCESS

Congratulations on your new venture. The service you provide to the community is extraordinary.

I am proud to live in a community with an outstanding local news service. A print version will allow everyone in the area access to the Larchmont Gazette.

We all owe you a debt of gratitude for the work you have been doing without any financial remuneration. Recognition of your excellence should give you a great feeling of satisfaction in a job well done.

Marlene Kolbert
Trustee, Village of Larchmont

April 6, 2004

DC MARCH: OK FOR MEN, WOMEN & CHILDREN

It is clear from Ms. Federspiel’s letter of March 23 that she is anti-abortion. That is ok. Intelligent people do disagree on this issue.

I do not, however, feel that it is ok to impose one’s opinion on others by restricting access to reproductive health care services.

The April 25th March for Women's Lives in Washington is about preserving the right to choose safe abortion as a means to terminate a pregnancy – but it is also about the larger issue of ensuring access to fundamental primary, preventive health care, care that will ensure the health of parents and their children. The march is about preserving services that have been scientifically proven to promote wellness, services that the current presidential administration has attacked since it took office. As examples, I offer the administration’s opposition to comprehensive sex education as a means to prevent unwanted pregnancies; and its opposition to condoms as a means of preventing the spread of deadly infections such as HIV.

I stand by my statement that the march is an important place for men, women and families to be. Not only does the march stand for the importance of accessible reproductive health care to ensure the health of families – the march is an example of our right to protest, our precious freedom of speech. The march is a living history lesson, and will not harm children.

Lisa Perry
Larchmont, NY

 

March 26, 2004

TEST TIPS FOR PARENTS

Recently, as an educator, I participated in “Parent’s Night” at a school district out on Long Island. It happened to be the same night as “Family University” in the Mamaroneck School District (where I reside). The positive response I received from parents that night disseminating State Assessment Information was so overwhelming, I feel compelled to share this information to parents in my own community.

The Internet Resource Information below was prepared by a colleague of mine and is an invaluable resource for any parent.

Assessment Information

• Regents Exam Information - NYS Education Department has links to past Regents exams.

Regents Exam Prep - The goal of this nonprofit site is to help high school students meet the New York State Regents requirements in English, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies.

Intermediate Level Test Prep - Each testing area provides lessons, practice activities, teacher resources, and sometimes literature tie-ins for ELA 8, Math 8 and Social Studies 8 assessments.

Elementary Test Prep - Each testing area provides lessons, practice activities, teacher resources, and sometimes literature tie-ins for ELA 4, Math 4 and Social Studies 5 assessments.

NYS Assessment Information - Links to test samplers and schedules of state assessments.

SAT Test Prep Questions - The SAT Prep Center provides you with exercises where you can learn about question types and their answers, as well as tips and strategies for test day.

The State Education Department has recently announced that, beginning with the June 2004 administration, the Regents Examination in Living Environment (9th Grade) will include a new section, Part D. The questions on Part D will consist of a combination of multiple-choice and open-ended questions related to at least three of the four required living environment laboratory activities and will compromise approximately 15% of the examination.

Sample questions are available and provided to help teachers and students become familiar with the format of questions for this part of the examination.

If your child is taking the Living Environment Regents, it is a new section of the Exam (Part D) that they should be aware of and prepared to take in June.

Ginny Welp
(NY State School Administrator)
Larchmont, NY

March 23, 2004

"MARCH FOR WOMEN'S LIVES" IS A MISNOMER

The title "March for Women's Lives" disregards women's emotional and physical battles that occur after abortion.

In the March 17 issue of the Gazette, Planned Parenthood Board member Lisa Perry of Larchmont says, "It is so important that women, men, families go to Washington for this March. From Day 1, the Bush Administration has turned its back on scientific evidence and public opinion in advancing its own narrow agenda on women's health and reproductive rights."

On the contrary, scientific evidence shows through increasingly detailed ultrasounds a baby in the womb, not an inconvenience to be disposed of. As far as the public opinion Ms. Perry talks about, polls show year after year that more people oppose abortion than are for it.

It also sickens me to think of people bringing children to an abortion rally. (The article lists the bus fare for the children attending the rally). That is really sad--teaching children that babies shouldn't be born if their parents don't want them. Disposable babies? No. Please don't teach our children that.

Carey Federspiel
Larchmont, NY

March 15, 2004

LARCHMONTERS: PLEASE DRIVE MORE CAREFULLY

I would like to respond to the letter "Plea for Common Courtesy in Larchmont." I couldn't agree more.

I have lived in Larchmont for four years now and nowhere have I seen such lack of respect and common courtesy as I have seen on the roads here. I drive my children to and from school everyday and each day I see at least one, if not several, examples of drivers doing all manner of illegal things: cell phone use, cutting in front of others, double-parking, eating or drinking while driving and driving while having one or two dogs on the driver's lap, the list goes on.

It's absolutely ridiculous to be driving this way at any time but I am asking Larchmont drivers to please be especially careful during school hours. And please, do consider others when you are parking. Thank you.

Brenda Duell
Larchmont, NY

March 11, 2004

PLEA FOR COMMON COURTESY

This is a plea to my fellow Larchmonters. The lack of parking space in our village is compounded by the lack of consideration that is constantly observed by other drivers. Perhaps it's a lack of driving and parking ability, but to see a car parked in the middle of two spaces is so annoying. I realize in some cases it happens when someone else has just pulled out, but I have seen people pull in and use two spaces. That and the use of cell phones show a great disregard for others.

What has happened to common courtesy over the 70 years that I’ve lived in Larchmont?

Sally McGuire
Larchmont, NY

March 6, 2004

CHANGE IS OK IF IT ADDS MORE THAN IT TAKES OUT

I write against the triumph of the status quo. As a permanent resident but not a citizen of Larchmont, I have obviously no right to have a say in how my taxes are spent and elective bodies take decisions, but I would like to share my views on a few topics that agitate the community (mainly about land by the way). The established attitude of the partisans of the status quo towards the Kemper memorial and now the Village land swap participate in the same religion of the past that give our village its quaint and attractive ambiance, but also a definite sense of living in history for the sake of it.

Social groups do not progress by constantly looking at the past and rejecting change because it is different. Or rather, social groups that behave this way wither and die. I will not go further but say that any re-arrangement of the status quo that seems to add to the collective benefits more than it takes out from individual or collective entitlements and beliefs should be encouraged. I don't believe that this great nation was built on status quo.

Pierre-Antoine Boulat
Larchmont, NY

March 3, 2004

KEMPER ISSUE NEEDS POINT/COUNTERPOINT

I don't know how the Kemper Memorial Park issue is going to be resolved. But I do know that Tuesday evening's public meeting on the issue at Mamaroneck High School's McLain Auditorium didn't really solve anything, except, perhaps, to keep the flame of passion surrounding the issue burning ever brighter.

While the intention of the organizers of the meeting was, undoubtedly laced with hope, the reality was that the meeting was victimized by the same old “They Said (the Mamaroneck School Board), He Said (Richard Cantor).” The Board carefully and clearly presented its side; Mr. Cantor carefully and clearly presented his side. So it wasn't in the presentation that a less than successful evening resulted. No, it was, I think, in the format of the evening.

What the School Board said it was doing with/to the Kemper Memorial Park and why it was necessary to do so made a lot of sense to me.

What Mr. Cantor said about why the School Board was legally and morally wrong to initiate such an action also made a lot of sense to me.

What didn't make so much sense, however, was the way the School Board was impugned and disrespected at most every turn, with no chance to defend or refute these attacks.

It's one thing to stand and call the School Board a group of liars who deliberately take action to desecrate a hallowed ground; it's another thing to say that when you know that you are going to be called upon to back up those strong, inflammatory statements.
It's one thing to say that the School Board has not exhausted every possibility in its search for another playing field, because you have presented alternatives to that School Board; it's another thing not to offer specifics of those alternatives, such as estimated costs and what potential building demolitions might be involved.

So my point is, how about setting up a different kind of forum than the one that I witnessed on Tuesday. How about a meeting where the School Board and Mr. Cantor meet in a Point/Counterpoint discussion? This way, when one side calls the other a liar or misinformed or left out of the discussions or worse, the other side can defend itself on the spot.

Who knows? Perhaps an atmosphere of clarity and trust will finally pierce the sodden, murky, impenetrable air that is currently swirling around this issue.

And, wonder of wonders, perhaps we all will learn a valuable lesson in the misplaced art of respect, trust and compromise.

Syl Michael Morrone
Larchmont, NY

March 2, 2004

KEEP MEMORIAL AS IT WAS

I was raised in Mamaroneck and my father, grandfather, two brothers and I were all in the service. I like to come home and see the Kemper memorial as it always was. People like us have not got too many years left, and we don’t want to feel as if we are pushed aside.


Nicholas V.Muir
Denver, NY

February 4, 2004

DOOR CLOSED TO CHOICE IN NO CONTEST ELECTION

Last week the Democrats and Republicans in Larchmont closed the door on choice. In the March 2004 election, there will be no contest, no choice, for the three Village Board positions whose terms are expiring. (See: No Contest.) And on April 5, the same people who now hold those seats will begin a new term. And none of us will have had a choice, a voice, an opportunity to vote.

That is really sad.

It’s sad because there will be no League of Women Voters debate and no meaningful discussion of issues. And there are issues, such as the proper use of the village’s monetary surplus.

Assertions will be made and remain unchallenged, such as the one in last week’s Larchmont Gazette, in which a Republican announced that the board appoints Democrats and Republicans. That’s a whitewash statement that ignores the dismissal of Democrats from the technology committee, which is now virtually moribund.

You may say that no one came to the debates anyway and the voting numbers have been low. But that’s begging the question. The process being discarded does not depend upon the numbers who are smart enough or energetic enough to participate. The process exists because it’s essential to democratic public life.

The nolo contendere stance taken here is a throwback to the pre-1960’s when a group of Republican men could sit around in rocking chairs and decide who would hold the positions that ostensibly run the village.

This decision turns its back on Democratic party history of at least 40 years during which the Larchmont Democratic party fielded a full slate of candidates even when the chance of winning was so low as to be invisible. But the process, the democratic process, was important enough to labor over and struggle over and they did.

One Democratic woman, Eileen Gallagher, was elected in the 1960’s, followed in the 1970’s by the election of three Democrats, Larry Lowy, Mary Jane Feuerbach and Martin Quigley. And in 1980, we finally had a Democratic mayor when Martin was elected to that office.

The conditions then were what they are today. The weather could be unpleasant for campaigning. The effort to produce campaign literature was arduous. Money had to be raised, in small amounts, which meant numerous citizens were contributing to the process. Same needs then as now. And people met those needs and worked hard and frequently lost elections.

By the way, if the issue is fatigue and the inability for a board to be productive from January to March because elections are an annual distraction, the solution could and should be to take the steps to make the elections bi-annual. Don’t discard the electoral system altogether.

I hope the door that has been closed in the faces of the Larchmont electorate will reopen next year because I believe we have lost something essential here. In politics and in democracy, you not only have to talk the talk, you have to walk the walk.

Miriam Curnin
Former Larchmont Mayor
Larchmont, NY

January 21, 2004

KEMPER SISTER: HONOR THE DEED, KEEP THE PARK

I am Jean Kemper, the sister of Lt. Richard Kemper, for whom the Memorial Park at the Mamaroneck High School was named. The park was given by my parents, Adolph and Helen Kemper, to honor all of the students from the district who lost their lives in World War II. The deed by which the land was conveyed states unequivocally that it was to be “held and maintained for public and school use as a memorial in perpetuity.” My father not only made a gift of the land, but also had it landscaped; planted with trees, as a living memorial; furnished it with benches so students, faculty and the public could comfortably sit to enjoy the peace of the surroundings; and commissioned a monument on which are inscribed the names of those who sacrificed their lives to protect our nation.

You can imagine our family’s shock when in 2001 we received word that the School Board was planning to tear down the entire memorial – all of it – for a parking lot and soccer field. Now it expects us to endorse its “revised” plan to slice the park in half and cut down 30 beautiful trees that stand over 60 feet tall. Even more incredible, they expect us to believe their claim that all they want to do is “enhance” the Memorial. Just how gullible do they think we are?

We have every reason to believe that the Board is being duplicitous and that it intends to usurp the entire property piece by piece. First it plans to convert half to an athletic field and in a few years to convert the rest to a parking lot, moving the monument completely off the property. The question is not whether there should be a field or more parking. The question is where to put them. Destroying a memorial dedicated to those who defended our freedoms and made our playing fields possible is not an appropriate place, especially since there are alternative locations which do not infringe on the Park.

Painful as all of this has been to us, what is more grievous is the perfidy of the School Board in attacking our family, its benefactor, and attempting to manipulate public opinion by distorting the truth. Had it not been for our generosity, an apartment building would occupy the land in front of the school instead of a lovely memorial park.

The Board’s attempts to convert the land to alternative usage demonstrates its lack of respect and appreciation for the tremendous sacrifices of our veterans, the sanctity of the park as a memorial, the sacredness of the land on which it lies, the legal and ethical commitments embodied in the deed establishing and protecting the park, the historical significance of the park existing as it has for over half a century, and the greater importance the land has for the entire community as a memorial park versus parking spaces and a soccer field. All of these values and commitments were endorsed by the School Board back in 1945; and in accepting the gift of the Kemper Memorial Park, that Board obligated all future Boards to uphold its promises. It is time for the current Board to acknowledge this obligation to honor the deed and maintain the park, to apologize to our family and to create a new field in a more appropriate location.

Jean Kemper

January 15, 2004

BEAUTIFICATION MOOT AS LONG AS OVERHEAD WIRES REMAIN

On the subject of the proposed streetscape: street furniture (i.e. benches and garbage recepticles), flower boxes, trees, sidewalk surfaces, and other "beautifications" are moot so long as the overhead utility wires, which also require the mutilation of street trees, remain. Let us either bury these disfiguring and dangerous utility lines, or cease the expensive but futile efforts in other directions.

All of the other Sound Shore communities--from Pelham to Port Chester--have now eliminated these abominations at least from the Boston Post Road, if not elsewhere within their municipal limits. But perhaps there is something I am missing. Why should Larchmont Village be the only municipality on the Sound to preserve above-ground utility wires everywhere within our boundaries?

Judy Spikes
Larchmont, NY

January 14, 2003

MOVE WILL ENHANCE MEMORIAL, BENEFIT KIDS

This letter concerns the Mamaroneck community controversy over the Kemper Memorial. My husband and I have been members of the Larchmont/Mamaroneck community for 20 years. Our two children attended Mamaroneck Public Schools from Kindergarten through graduation at Mamaroneck High School, and we feel that they received superior educations.

I also write from the perspective of my professional role as a board-certified pediatrician who has practiced in Westchester for 20 years, for the past 10 years, as the Medical Director of School Health Services in a neighboring District

Several years ago, when I read the proposal to move the Memorial to the very front of MHS near the flagpole, this struck me as a brilliant and fitting way to give it much more prominence and the importance it deserves. It was very disappointing that the Kemper/Cantor family and Historical Society did not see the exciting possibilities for elevating the prominence of the Memorial in the community.

I have the greatest respect for those who serve our country in the Armed Forces. My own father and 2 uncles are all WWII veterans, and, as a teenager, I remember hearing my grandmother relate to me her daily distress, anxiety and the worry she lived with when my father, her precious son, a Navy man, was stationed in the Pacific at the tender ages of 18 to 22.

Gettysburg, Antietam, Normandy, the World Trade Center – these places are hallowed ground where men and women fought, spilled their blood, and gave their lives. The Kemper Memorial is a vital symbol of the ultimate sacrifice, but no blood was spilled and no lives were lost on this ground. This is what separates the site from actual battlefields which are sacred ground.

The Memorial itself is of immeasurable value to our community, but its specific location a number of yards in one direction or another does not diminish that importance in any way.

I know by my professional role how vital the Athletic program is, not just in building skills, but in providing students a niche within the larger school community, and through the mentor relationship the student athletes develop with their coaches. Indeed, for some students who are not academically inclined, their commitment to their sport team is what motivates them to maintain an academic average high enough to qualify to remain on their team. Additionally, any school-related activity in which students engage with a positive faculty role model reduces the chances that a student will be drawn into the negative influences and poor decision making of some adolescents such as alcohol and other substance abuse. If teens are kept busy, they are less likely to follow a destructive path that does not lead to success as adults.

Therefore, the proposal to move the Memorial to make room for the High School’s urgent need for more field space merits the community’s support.

The Mamaroneck Board of Education has the responsibility for the 4500 hundred children who must be educated to ever increasing standards, to maintain and improve our school buildings and facilities, and to have an eye on long-term planning for the students who will be aging up into the system for years to come.

This Board has been acting and planning responsibly. In a school district, decisions should be student centered. The Board should be applauded for its willingness to re-examine their plans, while keeping the focus on the current and future needs of the children of this community.

I urge those opposed to the current plan to take a step back. Consider that the memories and respect we all wish to preserve for Lt. Kemper and other MHS students and graduates who made the ultimate sacrifice during WWII to preserve the freedom and values we Americans cherish will be enhanced by the Board’s latest proposal, by giving the Memorial the importance it deserves, while also serving the needs of the future generations those brave veterans fought so hard and sacrificed so much to protect.

I sincerely hope that this conflict can be resolved to the satisfaction of all parties with the needs of our children uppermost in the final plan.

Adrienne Weiss-Harrison, M.D.
Larchmont, NY

January 7, 2004

VILLAGE NOT RESPONDING ON 9/11 MEMORIAL

The Larchmont Village Board continues its policy of not answering letters of residents critical of its performance.

On December 2, 2003, I hand-delivered a letter to the Village Clerk addressed to all the trustees in which I objected to the Board’s failure to respond in a timely fashion to questions raised in September in a letter from the Parks and Trees Committee that asked for direction on a proposed 9/11 memorial for Larchmont.

On December 1, 2003, I attended a meeting of the Parks and Trees Committee and asked what had been the follow up on the various ideas for a 9/11 memorial
discussed at the Committee’s meeting in September 15 which I attended. At the December 1 meeting I learned that the Committee had sent a letter to the Board of Trustees in September outlining certain suggestions, including the creation of a task force to be chosen by the trustees to pursue the project, but that, as of
December 1st, no response had been received form the Board of Trustees.

The Board’s failure to respond to the Parks and Trees Committee has delayed further planning for the memorial.

I have not received a response to my December 2 letter.

Delay in responding is part of the Village Board’s continuing inattention to Village issues.

Thomas F. Curnin
Larchmont, NY

January 5, 2004

BOARD PLAN WILLFULLY IGNORES DEED

I am adding my voice to join the chorus of others in our community expressing dismay and outrage at the position being taken by our Mamaroneck School Board and Superintendent on the Kemper Memorial. Their proposal to move it and use the land for a new soccer field not only willfully ignores the deed that established the site, but also displays a callous indifference to the sacrifice members of our community made to preserve our freedoms, and to the importance of the Memorial to their loved ones, descendants and to our town. What the Board and the Superintendent propose to do is not honorable and it is wrong.

To the first point of law, the agreement that deeded the Kemper Memorial in 1945 requires that the “premises ... be held and maintained in perpetuity for public and school uses as a memorial.” This clearly means that the very land and trees of the site, not just the stone monument, comprise the Memorial. Just because its placement now seems inconvenient to the Board, and they have other uses for the space, this can afford no basis for ignoring the clear intent of the grantors and the sacred trust that the Memorial represents. The Board has also said that they could name the new field after Richard Kemper, but that would not change the fact that they would be building an athletic facility on the equivalent of a gravesite.

Regarding the second point of sacrifice, we can and should revere the history of our community, and our memories should not be so short as to decide that 58 years is enough time to pay tribute. To the Kemper Memorial families, and indeed to anyone else who has lost a loved one in the course of war or an attack on our country, in perpetuity is not too long to remember and honor their lives and how they gave them. The Kemper Memorial helps assure that we will not lose the thread of, what Abraham Lincoln called, those “mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave, to every living heart and hearth-stone, all over this broad land.” Another soccer field would not serve the same purpose.

We as a community MUST find another solution.

Vicky Amon
Larchmont, NY

December 27, 2003

PUBLIC MAY OBSERVE HISTORICAL MEETING

Recently, the local media has publicized a meeting to which the Larchmont Historical Society Board of Trustees has invited members of the Mamaroneck School Board to discuss the School Board’s proposals with regard to the Richard Kemper Memorial Park. This meeting will be held at 8 pm on January 8 at the Larchmont Village Center.

This meeting was intended as a private meeting for Historical Society board members with the School Board representatives, as our recent meeting with Richard Cantor (a representative of the Kemper family) was. As this has now been announced as open to the public, we have no problem at all with doing so in order that the public can hear about this dispute.

However, in light of the fact that this meeting was called for the purpose of giving our board members an opportunity to hear and question the School Board members and for School Board members to hear the feelings of the Historical Society board, it is my intention to limit questions to board members, or, if time permits, dues-paying members, of the Larchmont Historical Society. I hope that this clarifies the nature of this upcoming meeting.

Fred Baron
President
Larchmont Historical Society

December 8, 2003

HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE ON KEMPER MEMORIAL

About three years ago, when I was President of the Larchmont Historical Society, I heard that the Mamaroneck School Board was planning on creating an athletic field and parking lot out of the Richard M. Kemper Park. I thought that there must be some mistake because the land in question had been donated to the School District by a grieving family. This donation was made to not only honor their only son, who was killed in France in l944, but to honor all of those from the community who gave their lives in World War II. But there was no mistake. Fortunately, to protect their donation, the Kemper family had included a restrictive covenant in the deed. Furthermore, New York State Education Law requires school boards to abide by the instructions of donors.

Why should we, as a community, insist on the preservation of this park as is? Because it provides vital insight into our community’s history. Far more lives were lost here during World War II than in any war, before or since. No matter where you lived, there was a family close by who had lost a loved one. Our community grieved and suffered. Many of the dead were not buried stateside. Others were never buried at all because their bodies were never recovered. Adolph and Helen Kemper’s gift, the park with its monument and trees, helped to give all of the families and friends some closure. It was a place to go to remember what had been and what would never be. Thousands, if not millions, of tears were shed on this ground. Each name represents heartbreak.

The School Board claims that their proposal means no disrespect to these individuals. To me, it does. Honoring the individuals who made the ultimate sacrifice is the most important thing in this discussion and honoring the promise made to Adolph and Helen Kemper is a close second. Both are way more important that any athletic field. It may be difficult for Kevin O’Shea (Journal News, Letters to the Editor, November 26, 2003) to schedule practices but it doesn’t come close to the difficulty the community had in dealing with the deaths of 100 young men and women in just three and a half years. This is the only memorial that honors everyone who lived in the Mamaroneck School District.

The School Board now says that the Kempers’ vision of a memorial park no longer has merit because it is in the wrong location. I beg to differ. The location is just fine and the vision is just fine. As a matter of fact, it is perfect.

It is the duty of the School District to abide by the promises made to a donor. If it can no longer do so, then the gift should go back to the donor with sincere apologies. Using it for another purpose is tantamount to theft.

Jan Northrup
Larchmont, NY

November 20, 2003

GAZETTE SCOOPS NEWSWEEK ON WINE

It was with gleeful pleasure that I read in your pixels that Landmark Vineyard's Overlook chardonnay was recommended as a most appropriate partner to our annual Thanksgiving turkey feast.(See: Which Wine with the Turkey?) It was indeed somewhat anticlimactic to find this same insider's tip posted in no doubt recycled pulp on page 92 of Newsweek magazine's November 24th issue. As a local, who still has deep roots in the community I applaud you journalistic scoop.

Eric Stern
formerly of Mamaroneck, NY

November 10, 2003

SPEND MONEY FOR EMPTY NESTERS, TOO

I'd love to see the money being spent on Flint Park (substantially for kids) being matched for the enjoyment of empty nesters and seniors on outdoor activity facilities. The latter don't seem to have the same ability to raise large sums (note the failure of the 11 year struggle to build a real nature center at the reservoir), but need facilities, none the less.

Joe Zelvin
Larchmont, NY

December 14, 2004

Mamaroneck Candidate Thanks Her Community

I wish to thank all the people who voted for me on November 2nd. In particular, I want to thank my many friends in the Latino, Jewish, African, Asian and Italian-American communities. This was a broad coalition and a broad representation of the village that supported the Democratic Party campaign. I also want to thank the people who, while not residents of the Village of Mamaroneck, supported me wholeheartedly.

The majority of those of you who voted for me did not know me before Labor Day. However, you took a good, hard look at my record and what I have accomplished in my life and you decided that I was going to represent you before the Board of Trustees of the Village of Mamaroneck. I am truly honored.

Although I was 138 votes away from our goal, I can assure you that your vote was not lost and it was not in vain. Your support has given me the impetus and motivation to continue being involved in the affairs of our village. We are not going away, we will be here and we will be very vigilant in making sure that our voices are heard, our power is demonstrated and our hopes and dreams are pursued.

A lot of work lies ahead, but together, we can strive to make our vibrant, mixed and multicultural community better integrated and represented. I urge you to support Trustee Tom Murphy and the rest of the Board of Trustees by attending their meetings on the 2nd and 4th Mondays of every month and expressing your needs and opinions as often as possible.

Thank you again for everything that you have done and continue to do for the betterment of our beloved Village of Mamaroneck. Happy holidays to everyone.

Elsa Puerto-Rubin
Village of Mamaroneck

November 24, 2004

Help Playland by Welcoming Boaters

What Do We Have? An historic amusement park, with a beautiful beach, wonderful pool, concerts, a large picnic area, a lake, an ice skating casino, fireworks, an environmental center, a natural wood, “easy on your feet,” boardwalk with great views of Long Island Sound, a modern safe dock with a nice fishing area, miniature golf, plenty of food choices and all the ice cream anyone could want.

What Do We Need? A plan that will help ensure the financial stability of our park while preserving its’ landmark attractions and still keep it affordable to everyone who wants to enjoy what it has to offer.

How Do We Get It? One way to help accomplish this, without bringing more vehicular traffic into the area, would be to tap into the thousands of regional boaters looking for places to go with their families and friends. With a minimal financial investment on the part of Westchester County and with help from potential federal and state grants, earmarked for transient boaters, and public waterfront access, giving recreational boaters access to Rye Playland seems to make lots of sense. The additional money these boaters would be spending in the park could be a big help toward preserving and enhancing this wonderful facility. It could become a real “destination location” for day boaters as well as long-range cruisers.

Whether by setting up a mooring field, a dinghy beach landing area or launch service to our fine new dock, the County has an opportunity to “break new ground” in making our “treasure” available to an even wider circle of fans, enthusiasts and fun seekers.

Yacht Clubs and boaters from up and down the Sound, the Hudson River, the South Shore of L.I. and even the Jersey Shore are always looking for new places to go. Let’s make it easy for them to come visit us.

With all the boating and business interests we have here in Westchester County, we should be able to make this happen, and it shouldn’t have to cost County taxpayers a bundle, either.

Ernie Odierna
Councilman, Town of Mamaroneck

November 16, 2004

Outgoing Mamaroneck Trustee Offers Thanks

Thank you to the Village of Mamaroneck, village staff, the appreciative residents, and to the ever-supportive Board of Trustees. Thank you to my friends and family members who made being a trustee of the Village of Mamaroneck possible for the past two years.

While having lost this past election by such a slim margin should have left me feeling sad and defeated, it has not. I am so grateful that our ticket was able to win two seats in a national election when the forecast for the success of the Republican Party was dismal and the countywide results reflected this. My dear friends and running mates, Joe Angilletta and Tony Vozza, will continue the good work they have begun.

I am so glad that I did in fact achieve so many things that I set out to do when I took office. Who thought two years would go by so quickly? Knowing the fickle nature of politics one of my goals was to set things in motion that would survive past my time on the board. I can say that this has been done. To name a few, the well reported 132 “leaks” will be completely repaired well ahead of schedule and water quality readings are improving; we have also received one $50,000 grant which the village is preparing to put to work. The Village of Mamaroneck is now “on the map” as a municipality that is serious about water quality, the environment and getting tough jobs done. Best of luck to the current board.

Christie McEvoy-Derrico
Village of Mamaroneck

 

November 7, 2004

With Election Behind Us, We Can Help Troops in Iraq

Now that the election is behind us and we begin to contemplate the holidays, it seems timely to remember that our troops in Iraq are still there—and are there for the long haul. I came across the following suggestions as to how we can support our men and women in the military, and I thought your readers might like to know of them:

Donate frequent-flier miles: In the largest R&R program since Vietnam, as many as 470 soldiers a day in the Middle East go on two-week leaves. The military flies them to three airports in the U.S., but soldiers then foot the bill for connections to their hometowns.

Operation Hero Miles (heromiles.org) has already contributed 540 million miles to help, resulting in 22,600 roundtrip flights.

Foster a military pet: Many called to active duty are forced to put their pets in shelters or give them away. Apply at netpets.org to
foster a dog, cat or bird for six months.

Give the gift of talk: Visit the USO’s site (www.uso.org) to see how you can help troops get free calling cards.

Care packages for soldiers: The historic tradition of sending a package to "any soldier" is more difficult in an era of terrorism. However, one proud father of a U.S. Army solider serving in Iraq has set up a web site, and with his son has devised a system for sending care packages. The website is anysoldier.us and it is full of recommendations on items the soldiers need today.

Send some fun: For $20, the American Red Cross will ship a package of snacks, puzzles and games to a service member. Contact your local chapter about Treasures for Troops (trianglearc.org).

Kate Kelly
Larchmont, NY

November 5, 2004

Article on POW Reminds of Sacrifices for Freedom

Ned Benton's article on What Happened to Master Sgt. MacDonnell is excellent. It is just the kind of reporting that brings to life the incredible sacrifices of those who went before us and reminds us that people of all walks of American life served to protect the freedoms of others.

All too often we see memorials that have been ignored for generations that stand for real people having given their lives for us in the most painful ways. Well done!

Bruce Cauley
Larchmont, NY

November 3, 2004

Impressions of an Election Worker: Nov 2, 2004

On election day, I served as an election inspector for district 12 in the Town of Mamaroneck at the Murray Avenue School voting location. It was an incredible and interesting experience.

Seeing elderly people in walkers slowly making their way and first time voters needing instruction in the mechanics of the operation of the levers in the booth was both moving and rewarding. I saw parents who wanted to bring their children into the booth to bear witness to our process and a teacher who wanted her students to see the process from both inside and outside a booth.

I noticed how differently people approached us to sign in, some impatient and anxious to be done, most patient and enthusiastic. And I was able to observe the various expressions of many people exiting the booth, reflections of their sense of satisfaction and pride sometimes coupled with what seemed like a "now we will have to wait and see" posture.

Regardless of (or maybe in spite of!) the outcome, it made me proud to be an American.

Jane Hoffman
Larchmont, NY

October 21, 2004

Does Dem Candidate Have a Conflict of Interest?

An apparent conflict of interest has been exposed. Buried in the criticism being thrown out by candidates Tom Murphy, Elsa Puerto-Rubin and Guy Zerega regarding this Board’s handling of the police matter, the candidates have brought to light questions of where their allegiances rest and whether they are able to adequately defend the village.

During the campaign, we have been aware that candidate Tom Murphy has spoken with one of the suspended officers on more than one occasion. It was revealed on the night of the debate that this selfsame officer has been known by the Internet handle “oneinsaneguy” and that he also posted on his Internet profile under “Hobbies & Interests” the following:

“What are they looking for when they give cops psychological screenings? I’ve heard of cops who murder, rape, steal, use drugs, and abuse their power. Ya even hear of cops who blow their brains out with their own service weapon. But the one thing you never ever hear about is a cop killing one of those no good dirt bag bosses who’s causing all that misery for him. Think About It!!”

As we sit in one capacity as the Board of Police Commissioners, residents can see why we felt that it would have been irresponsible and unsafe to speak with this individual. We may then question what gain did Mr. Murphy seek in speaking with such an individual? Although this question may have been on our minds, a greater question came about when Mr. Murphy said at the debate, in summary, the current Board has made every decision the lawyer for the police officers has wanted them to make!

Now the question is begged, how often and when has Mr. Murphy been meeting with the attorney for the suspended officers? This is the same attorney who stands to profit handsomely from suing the village and other municipalities.

It is our opinion that Mr. Murphy’s action in speaking with the suspended officer is in fact naive and misguided. He is playing with fire.

One of the suspended officers has been seen publicly attired in a t-shirt which states “Future Millionaire” rather than one that says “Defending the Constitution.”

As anyone present could see, three of the suspended officers were prominently present at the League Debate, sitting in the front row in support of the Democratic candidates, heckling and making menacing gestures to us. Another officer has also publicly expressed his support of the 3 Democratic candidates by posting their election sign on his lawn.

This has been an unfortunate situation that this Board inherited and that we have handled responsibly. Despite these events, this Board has many accomplishments, which we are proud of.

Christie L. McEvoy-Derrico
Tony Vozza
Joe Angilletta
Village of Mamaroneck Trustees

September 28, 2004

Law Enforcement Ethnic Categories Hurt Hispanics

Once again, in the case of the Bonner kidnappings and killing, the term Hispanic is being used inappropriately. As a Puerto Rican and very proud member of the Hispanic community, I have protested in the past, and protest now the use by New York and national law enforcement of ethnic categories that discriminate against Hispanics.

My protesting is aimed first at any mention of ethnicity, since an entire community should not be funneled into a crime committed by one particular person. Second, if law enforcement needs to provide physical characteristics of criminals, the ethnic categories amount to little more than racial guesses, and are likely to be more hurtful than helpful.

In November, 2001, I protested vehemently the categorizing of a black, alleged sex offender per Megan’s Law, as a “Non-Hispanic.” After looking for support from local officials, only Town Supervisor Valerie O’Keeffe was courageous enough to join in my protest and write a letter to the State of New York Division of Criminal Justice Services.

The chilling response only furthered my resolve that Hispanics need to take more control of the voting booth and our communities, because in the databases, we are the first community to be "assumed" as the culprit and originator of any crime. The response from New York State stated, "...as published in the National Incident Based Reporting System Volume 1: Data Collection Guidelines, the only authorized entries in the ethnicity field are Hispanic Origin, Not of Hispanic Origin and Unknown." Are we the only criminals? Where are all the other ethnic groups on the form?

I challenge the District Attorney’s office to take notice that the crime data collection system amounts to racial and ethnic discrimination against Hispanics. This system contributes to our prison population and denies us employment and housing. It hinders any progress with the county's day laborers, who contribute every day even as they are discriminated against.

I challenge the District Attorney and all other legal and judicial departments to force corrections on all New York State ethnic data collection systems as aggressively as possible, even if this requires suing the Division of Criminal Justice Services for promoting discrimination.

Luis Quiros
Mamaroneck, NY

September 15, 2004

Concerned That Day Laborers are Losing Work

I am writing on behalf of the Hispanic Resource Center of Larchmont and Mamaroneck in response to the September 9 column "Rethinking the Solitary Approach: Day Labor in Mamaroneck An Issue for the Entire Community" by Bob Degen about the day laborers who gather in Columbus Park in Mamaroneck.

As President of the Resource Center, I greatly appreciate efforts being made by Village of Mamaroneck officials, notably Mayor Philip Trifiletti, Police Chief Ed Flynn and Chairman Robert Degen of the Trimunicipal Human Rights Commission, with whom we met to discuss our mutual concerns about the laborers and the recent beefed-up police presence at their gathering place. We are encouraged by our mutual belief in the workers’ right to pursue work, which is a crucial step in these immigrant laborers becoming productive members of our community. We also look forward to our continued joint efforts to establish a new village-sanctioned site for the laborers where they and potential employers can meet in an organized and systematic manner that will best benefit the laborers, the individuals they work for and the community.

However, we are unnerved by the recent increase in police presence at the current Columbus Park site, and are concerned that this could mean the laborers’ right to congregate is not as secure as we previously have been led to believe. Complaints about the day laborers intimidating persons near the site are largely unfounded and exaggerated and have been offered as justification for an increased police presence geared toward intimidating the workers lawfully assembled in that area. In turn, both a number of the workers and their potential employers have stayed away from the site since the police appeared, meaning many workers have gone without jobs – and money to pay their families’ rent, food and utility bills – for almost four weeks.

It is crucial that the village, the laborers and their advocates find a viable means that would enable the workers to continue to find the work they need to be productive members of our community while eliminating the problems that have been reportedly occurring at Columbus Park.

We are anxious to continue our efforts with the Board of Trustees and our joint quest for a new laborer site that will meet the needs of all community members. Until that goal is reached, however, we remain committed to protecting the rights of the laborers’ whose main goals are to find jobs that will allow them to
feed, clothe and house their families.

Beatriz Serrano
President, Board of Directors
Hispanic Resource Center of Larchmont and Mamaroneck

August 30, 2004

British Visitor Gets Rescue & Lift from LFD

I was delighted to see your Gazette on the internet whilst searching for an item in Larchmont as I wish to relate a great experience I had in Larchmont whilst visiting my daughter who lives there.

I went for an early morning walk and got lost. Eventually I was delighted to see a fire engine. On hearing where I lived the driver insisted on taking me to my daughter's house where we were staying and let me phone my wife to say that I was returning in a fire engine. My wife told our grandchildren, who gave me a thunderous applause on my return as they couldn't believe I was returning in a fire engine. I enjoyed the short journey as it was my first ride in a fire engine and was also so pleased that I gave my grandchildren the pleasure they got out of the incident.

The firemen aboard were very warm and friendly, and when I thanked them, they expressed their pleasure in helping me and said they were not very busy anyway. My only experience of fire engines in London is hearing them loudly ringing their bells and almost running me over.

Please pass my thanks to the fire station. I will be in Larchmont again in November but promise to look carefully where I am walking.

Raymond Rudaizky
London, United Kingdom

August 26, 2004

Community Responded!
4-Year-Old Benefited

On August 2, 2004, the Elmsford Fire Company held a Benefit Blood Drive in the name of 4-year-old Jimmy Arena. Our pleas for help went out through LMC-TV's Eileen Mason's cable show and the Larchmont Gazette. Your community responded!

The Hudson Valley Blood Service claims we set a record, collecting 82 pints of blood from 96 people in five hours. This blood benefits the various communities while assisting Jimmy. As the chairman for this event, I would like to express my appreciation and thanks to those who helped us make this blood drive successful. Again, thank you and God bless you all.

Tom Bock
Former Chief
Elmsford Fire Department

August 10, 2004

Taxes Should be Central Theme of Assembly Race

Mr. Latimer has made taxes a central theme of his campaign and he should. He has a very clear voting record on where he stands on our taxes and how the money is spent at the county level. As chairman of the county legislature he raised the legislature’s budget by 45% and increased property taxes in 2003 by 15%, presumably as revenues started to fall off. Are there not other ways to plan for a “rainy day” as the county cut some taxes in the late 1990’s instead of increasing taxes when people are losing their jobs and can’t afford increased property taxes?

I agree with him that this entire election for the 91st Assembly District in his words “is about openness and inclusion”. As of this writing, we still do not have a state budget, do we really need another tax and spending approach in Albany?

Let's make sure the debate on taxes and spending are as open and inclusive as he desires. This is not about a “bait and switch” on issues, these are real true issues that every voter in the 91st must be concerned about. Can we afford to live in the 91st AD, becomes a real question for every voter. Does Mr. Latimer bring the same old solutions to a forum in Albany that has the shortest debate time in the country on legislation that actually makes it to the floor?

Albany desperately needs to seek new and smart ways to fund the programs and provide solutions we need as citizens of the 91st. We need people there who are “regular men and women” who bring fresh, real, and new approaches to solving problems, not to just go with the flow.

I hope the voters of the 91st Assembly race follow this real debate that calls us all to be involved because it impacts us all on where and how we live.

Glenn Dorr
Rye, New York

August 6, 2004

Clippings Out Too Early: Guilty!

The Town of Mamaroneck now has achieved a level of policing comparable with Stockbridge. In an experience eerily similar to the story of Alice’s Restaurant garbage, I was summoned to appear in Town Court at 7 pm for putting out our organic waste too soon for collection. By organic waste I mean the grass cuttings collected from several lawns cut by our gardener.

Well folks, there I was, squeezed between a rape case and drug possession, appearing before a tough judge saying she had no choice in the matter but to fine me $25. I considered some form of social protest but then thought better about it remembering all the trouble Arlo Guthrie got into after just trying to be neighborly by disposing of Alice’s garbage on a day when the garbage dump was closed.

A few cases before me was an elderly woman who claimed she couldn’t drag the bag with the grass cuttings back onto her lawn because it was too heavy. The judge let her off but advised her to get some help in the future. Then there was the family on vacation. “You are still responsible for your grass cutting even if you are on vacation.”

And then there was me. No contest. I didn’t even know there was regulation because in the 12 years we’ve lived here (and paid over $200,000 in taxes), it has never been a problem. “Ignorance is no excuse! Guilty!”

So the Town has seen fit to drag tax-paying citizens into court and clutter the calendar with grass clippings. Couldn’t we have gotten a warning? Or perhaps have it handled like a traffic ticket? But, I must admit watching the parade of criminals going before the judge was like being in the live audience for Judge Judy. A good diversion from my usual dinner with the family.

Steven Marcus
Mamaroneck, NY

 

July 29, 2004

Historic Harbor Street Fair: Organizers Thank All

As the organizers of the 2004 Historic Harbor Street Fair in the Village of Mamaroneck, we would like to extend our heartfelt appreciation to the hundreds of volunteers and an estimated over 30,000 fairgoers who helped us make this year’s event a huge success. The event obviously had grown in popularity since its inception last year, and the feedback from so very many people who attended has been extremely positive and enthusiastic. Miraculously, as we hoped, it was even bigger and better than 2003!

We can’t possibly name everyone who contributed limitless volunteer hours in this letter, but we are thankful that the Village Board took the initiative to honor so many of our hardest workers with Certificates of Appreciation at the last board meeting. I do hope you know how much we treasured working with our whole team, our “fair family,” plus having the wonderful opportunity to work with our village government officials and staff. Special thanks must be given to our public works, police, fire and EMS departments who helped make the event safe, clean, and ensured the comfort of all who attended.

We created this event to unite the village and to show the best of what we have to offer to those who live outside our boundaries. From the beautiful harbor to the fine shops, movies, theatre and eateries in our central business district (Mamaroneck Avenue area), Mamaroneck Village is truly a great destination. We were happy to showcase our international restaurants, our local artists, our commitment to water quality and the environment, our cultural offerings, our non-profit organizations, our gorgeous waterfront park, and our local merchants. We hope that in the days ahead, you and your families will continue to enjoy our “friendly village” -- our glittering gem by the Sound, and the place we are lucky to be able to call “home.”

Many thanks again to all who helped make the Historic Harbor Street Fair a memorable experience for us to treasure for a lifetime.

Carolyn Pomeranz &
Sunny Goldberg 2004 Co-Chairs
Mamaroneck, NY

July 15, 2004

Elmsford Asks for Larchmont Help with Blood Drive

I am writing to our friends in Larchmont and the surrounding area for your help. Four year-old Jimmy Arena, of Purdy's, NY, has had two very difficult brain-surgery operations with limited success to remove a life-threatening brain tumor. Chemotherapy must be used to try to destroy the rest of his tumor. It will take months of relentless treatments at the Westchester County Medical Center followed with rehabilitation therapy at Blythdale Children's Hospital in Valhalla. He needs your help!

When the Elmsford Fire Department learned of this little boy's plight, Elmsford Fire Company #1 organized a blood drive for him to be held on August 2, 2004, with the Hudson Valley Blood Service. It will be from 3:30 pm. until 8:30 pm at the Elmsford Fire Company #1, 144 East Main Street (Rt. 119), Elmsford, NY. We are asking everyone who can to please come and donate blood in Jimmy's name. Thank you so much to our caring friends of Larchmont. Info @ 917-662-9107.

Tom Bock
Elmsford, NY

June 24, 2004

Good News that Latimer Will Run for NY Assembly

It was refreshing, then exhilarating, to learn that George Latimer will seek election this fall to represent our communities in the New York State Assembly.

George’s candor, unbounded optimism and faith in the ideals of politics distinguish him from many other public servants. He never shirks a question. He always gives you a reasoned and pragmatic response. Where there is no obvious solution, George offers alternatives grounded in favorable compromise. He believes in our communities and works honestly for the support of those that share different views. George’s grace and devotion to our communities has earned him not only our vote, but also our trust.

Yes, it was a real boost to hear the great news this week.

Michael Gottfried
Larchmont, NY

June 18, 2004

Thanks for Print Gazette

I must compliment you on your first two print editions - they make the best reading of any local publications which arrive here. And I do like print as you can go back to it, and don't get wiped out, ever! Thanks for continuing to keep us informed and aware of what's going on in the community. In particular, the photos of the graduating class of 2004 were wonderful. We have no children in the school system now, but I'm sure everyone appreciated seeing them. Usually there are photos of the valedictorian and a couple of others -- your decision to show them all was super.

Marion Lister
Larchmont

May 21, 2004

Teach Children to Keep Covenant on Kemper

The attention span of our generation is so short lived and that is quite sad. It is “out with the old and in with the new,” regardless of what promises were made. More than 50 years ago a memorial was dedicated and a covenant made. The responsibility for that covenant has now shifted to our generation and we should not shirk from it because it may conflict with our wants and needs. And we should not teach our children that shirking from responsibility is warranted or condoned under any circumstances. To do so would be far more damaging than any benefit derived from a new playing field. We owe the previous generation a tremendous debt of gratitude for the sacrifices they made on our behalf, and shirking our responsibility would only justify future generations from doing the same.

I ask those who are for moving the Kemper Memorial to take a step back and think for a moment… With all the anguish and emotion currently being expended in developing a fitting memorial for the victims of 9/11/01, what would your reaction be if in 50 years the next generation decided to move it to what they believe to be a more “appropriate location” so they can “make room for their children.” If our generation is so willing to disregard covenants made with past generations, how can we blame the future generations from doing the same?

Brian Morris
Pelham, NY

May 18, 2004

EMPLOYMENT FOR L/M (ELM) CLOSING

Since 1999, Employment for Larchmont and Mamaroneck (ELM) has pursued its mission of developing connections between employers and employees in our local area. In the past five years we have placed hundreds of people in full and part-time jobs. These employees are our neighbors who needed extra assistance when entering or returning to the job market. They received one-on-one help with resume writing, interview techniques and job-hunting skills. Our Summer Youth Job Program has provided at-risk youths with meaningful job experience and invaluable workplace and life skills training. We have worked side-by-side with many community organizations, leveraging our experience and skills to help make our community a better place to live and work.

ELM’s Board of Directors is made up of volunteers who have spent thousands of hours identifying the need in the community, honing and delivering ELM’s message and raising the funds to carry out our mission. Due to the many demands on the time of the generous volunteers in our community, the Board has been unable to recruit enough leaders to perpetuate its mission with the quality and integrity that the community has come to expect. It is, therefore, with deep regret that the Board of ELM has decided to cease the agency’s operations as of June 1, 2004. We will, however, run a Summer Youth Job Program this summer and work to find another organization to continue it in the future.

Many people contributed to ELM’s success over the years but special mention must go to our founding Executive Director, Leslie Josel. Leslie’s unique combination of determination, foresight and expertise enabled ELM to exceed the Board’s expectations. As she moves on to new endeavors we wish her the best of luck and greatest success. Thank you for your support of ELM. We are grateful for the confidence you showed in us and are proud of the good work we did together.

Cindy Goldstein, ELM President
Leslie J. Josel, Executive Director

May 11, 2004

VETERAN/HISTORIAN FOR SCHOOL'S BUDGET & PARK

As a veteran and a historian, I support the school budget, including plans for the Kemper Memorial and a needed field for our children.

As a veteran, I appreciate the board’s respectful balance of past and future. Enhancing the monument on its original plot, we honor the sacrifice of past students, while a new field benefits current and future students. A Memorial field fits the letter and generous spirit of the deed, which envisioned “public and school uses as a memorial.”

Some have complained about “entitlement.” Adding a field is just the opposite: more fields, more kids play. It would be a cruel irony if those who claim to speak for our children handicap our children. Elite athletes will always get space, and affluent families can find private schools or towns with open land, but another field at our community’s school will be like the science club or Shakespeare, enlarging opportunities for all our kids.

As a historian, I respect the past. I also know it can be used to constrict the present, shriveling the noble spirit of those we would honor. Some argue that the monument’s technically exact spot is sacred, but it was available property, money, and compromise that determined the placement. It’s not precise location but the memories that are sacred.

We should be grateful that this dispute has renewed attention on our community memorial, which had become obscure and rarely visited. Enhanced, it will again belong to all of us, a revered site for our entire Larchmont-Mamaroneck community to honor sacred memories.

David Carlyon
Larchmont, NY

April 29, 2004

SHOCK AT BOARD VOTE BEFORE TERMS KNOWN

I was shocked to learn that the trustees are planning to consider and possibly vote on the proposed swap of Larchmont Village parkland, Monday, May 3. At the end of the Village board meeting, March 29, Mayor Bialo stated that no action would be taken without making the actual proposal available for public review and comment. Village residents were promised an open process, but this does not seem to be occurring when the terms of the swap are unknown.

What do the trustees hope to accomplish by moving the issue quickly and with minimal public reaction? Swift action may bring closure to the issue but the cost will be a divided community.

Nancy Aries
Larchmont, NY

April 22, 2004

LIBRARY BUDGET: HAVING TO DO MORE WITH LESS

Given the recent discussion about the budget of the Village of Larchmont, I would like to clarify some of the issues surrounding the Larchmont Public Library’s budget. As your article on April 15 (New Board Faces Difficult Budget) pointed out, the Village and the Library face the same factors--huge increases mandated by the state retirement fund and health insurance, along with increases in general liability insurance, which are impacting the budgets of every village, town, library and school district in New York State.

It should be noted at the outset that the Library’s “11% increase” translates to a cost of $66,899 for the Village. (The Village and Town have a contractual arrangement to fund the Library, and the Town is responsible for 58% of the Library’s budget.)

The Library is doing more with less, and has been doing so for some time. The Library’s budget for books is once again flat for the third straight year despite the fact circulation increased by 25% in the past year.

Other facts about the Larchmont Public Library are these:

-- Our operating expense per capita places Larchmont below Chappaqua, Bronxville, Scarsdale, Armonk, Katonah, Irvington, White Plains and Croton

-- Our operating expense per circulation transaction is among the lowest in the county: we rank 28th of the 38 libraries.

--LPL is the eighth-busiest library of the 38 public libraries based on the number of circulations per hour open (93), and two of the seven libraries ranked above us have more than one building factored into this calculation.

This library is well used by the community it serves. Our reference librarians answered 45,100 reference questions during 2003. Programs at the Library covered a plethora of subjects, from music and arts to career counseling and resume-writing. 4,772 adults and 6,980 children attended these programs in 2003.

We know that the Village and Town Boards understand and appreciate the excellent work and oversight of the Library’s Board of Trustees, all of whom are residents of this community. We also know that they value this Library and its staff that works hard to serve the public from cradle to grave. The Library is the hub of education, information and recreation for the entire community.

Diane T. Courtney, MLS, MPA
Director, Larchmont Public Library

April 9, 2004

GAZETTE SETTING QUALITY EXAMPLE

Congratulations as you begin your third year of online publication. Your announcement that the Gazette will also take form as a printed monthly means that even more residents will be able to experience your fair and balanced coverage of news and important local events.

It has been a pleasure to watch this valuable online newspaper take shape and grow better and better with each passing edition. The Gazette provides a real service to Larchmont and surrounding communities by setting a quality journalistic example in this age when editorial viewpoints of some media outlets seem to drift off the op-ed pages and into news reporting.

Keep up the good work!

Alisa H. Kesten
New Rochelle, NY

April 9, 2004

EMAIL/PRINT GAZETTE: OPTION WOULD BE GOOD

I am sure it will be a good move for you to decide to have the Larchmont Gazette in print.
However, I am very happy with the email version! It is concise; it arrives always on time; it is an excellent publication and a relatively low burden on our environment.

I note that everyone with a zip code 10538 will receive your publication in print - point blank.
That is what I object to. I would like to opt out for such a delivery: no paper clutter and no time investment on my behalf to dispose of it (read: recycle).

You would do your readers’ circle a justifiable favor by giving them the option of receiving a printed copy as well.

Frank .C. Buddingh'
Larchmont, NY

April 2, 2004

POLITICS BEFORE PROGRESS

Trustee Anne McAndrews is doing her best to bring political gridlock to the Village of Larchmont. At the Larchmont Village Board meeting March 16th, I was shocked to hear Trustee McAndrews’ call for an “auxiliary task force” to re-evaluate the plans for the expansion and renovation in Flint Park, a project that will revitalize a long-forgotten waterfront area, and expand and upgrade sorely needed playing field space.

Over the last 14 months there have been hundreds of volunteer hours spent, along with consultant Monroe Eberlin, in creating, reviewing, and revising numerous times the plans for the back field and waterfront area. The result was quite an accomplishment. A design strongly supported by both our youth sports leadership (Baseball, Soccer, Lacrosse), and our residents interested in a revitalized waterfront/environmental area. This plan has been on display at Village Hall for the last four months, and there have been public hearings for residents’ comments at a minimum of four separate board meetings since November. By the final public hearing on February 2, 2004 there were no further comments made from residents or from Village board members. A process that spanned ten months in creation and four months of soliciting feedback had reached a rare point where all interested parties were on board with the final plan.

Subsequent to this, a single resident stepped forward to suggest that the Village Board engage in a master plan for Flint Park prior to moving ahead with the expansion and renovation of the waterfront and ball fields. Trustee McAndrews, without any opposition to the plans through the previous fourteen months, has apparently decided to take up this residents’ cause with her own call for this “auxiliary task force”. She went so far as to suggest the possibility of relocating the road that runs through the Park as part of a complete redesign, a plan that would likely run into multi-millions of dollars.

I don’t know if Trustee McAndrews actions were simply meant to be a political distraction, or whether she is attempting to hold up the progress of a Village effort that is a true win/win for the entire community. Either way, I would call for Trustee McAndrews to focus on the needs of the Village as a whole and drop any opposing efforts to moving this forward.

Philip A. Johanson
Larchmont, NY

March 23, 2004

DC MARCH ABOUT MUCH MORE THAN ABORTIONS

I take exception to the writer criticizing the "March for Women's Lives" organized by Planned Parenthood and other organizations, set for April 25, 2004 in Washington, D.C. The march is a protest against the unprecedented attacks on women's reproductive rights perpetrated by this administration. It is not a march by people who advocate abortion on a whim, but by those who want it to be, as President Clinton declared, "safe, legal, and rare."

That is why Planned Parenthood concentrates on all aspects of reproductive rights: the "morning after" pill, contraception, sex education, testing for sexually transmitted diseases, mammograms, prenatal care, and health education. Abortions are only a small part of our agenda, but a crucial one when necessary, and a right that has be affirmed and reaffirmed by the Supreme Court for over 30 years.

As for bringing children to the march, it is not to teach them that abortion is a casual event, but about teaching them that individuals have a right to make their voices heard. It's about teaching our children that peaceful protest can accomplish much, for there is strength in numbers and the chance to speak with an enhanced voice.

Judith D. Widmann
Larchmont, NY
Board Member, Planned Parenthood Hudson Peconic

March 12, 2004

FOR REAL ELECTIONS AND GOOD MANNERS

Although I now live in Virginia, I lived in the Village of Larchmont for 46 years (1955-2001) and
have voted in many Village and Town of Mamaroneck elections--hardly any of them contested. You have an excellent
point. Uncontested elections don't give the voters a choice. (See Editorial: We Need Real Elections for Real Democracy.) The choices are made by party committees, a handful of what might be called semi-professional local politicians, for whom this unpaid work is a hobby; but it is also a public service. And democracy is not entirely absent, because any citizen who wants to be a political activist and help to select the candidates--or to actually be a candidate--is free to do so if he or she has the time and energy to do the work.

I have another problem with your call for "real elections." Sadly, the American culture is in a period where good manners are not valued much, and angry, even insulting "in your face" exchanges among public figures are common. I fear that your "real elections" might import that ugly style into Larchmont. Well--how about real elections with good manners? Not impossible!

Wallace Irwin Jr.
Staunton, Virginia

March 10, 2004

MOVING MEMORIAL WON'T SOLVE FIELD NEED

Since 2001, the Kemper Memorial and the Kemper Park Property at Mamaroneck High School have been at the heart of a contentious issue that places the very tangible needs of the school district and municipalities for practice and playing fields against the conventions that embody the fundamental values of our community. The Mamaroneck UFSD Board of Education has taken on the burden of trying to resolve this increasingly heated and disruptive quandary, which we believe calls for all our community-wide governing bodies to open their good offices and provide the necessary leadership, resources and solutions.

At the February 24 board meeting meeting at MHS, the board coherently presented a detailed report of the athletic needs of our school and community. Included in the details were:

* The District sponsors 30 “field” teams (600 students), requiring 246 games and 1,944 practices. There are requests to increase intramural and other athletic opportunities, which cannot be accommodated due to lack of field space.

* Community youth programs requiring athletic fields have greatly expanded and now have over 5,000 participants with 2,500 games and 6,000 practices.

* Approximately 70% of the district’s athletic program currently must be conducted on municipal fields.

Unmistakably our community has far greater needs than one, new, varsity athletic field. We obviously require a broad-based, comprehensive, community-wide plan that will provide the greatest number of fields for all our athletic participants, not just high school varsity athletes. We believe it is time for all our tri-municipal leaders and school district authorities to work in concert and become fully engaged in alleviating our communities’ needs for additional practice and playing fields, since these needs transcend the domain of all three local governments and the school board.

We are petitioning the school board to drop the current plan of moving the Kemper Memorial and rearranging the donated parcels of land. The current plan is far too hurtful, and still does not address, nor resolve the overall needs of the community. Certainly, we are not interested in having the Kemper Memorial issue be a line item within our school budget this May, as is being considered.

We are appealing to the authorities from the Town of Mamaroneck, the Village of Mamaroneck and the Village of Larchmont to roll up their sleeves and become fully immersed in the issue of providing open spaces for athletic pursuits.

We are imploring our neighbors to come together to encourage our elected community officials to resolve this matter.

Jane Marsella Schumer
Mark Schumer
Larchmont, NY

March 3, 2004

WE CAN MAKE ROOM FOR CHILDREN & HONOR VETS

I attended the meeting on February 24 at the Mamaroneck High School to hear the debate about the possible moving of the Kemper Park Memorial, which honors local men and women killed in World War II. I was in favor of allowing the Mamaroneck School Board to reposition the memorial to accommodate a much-needed athletic field before I attended the meeting, and I am even more in favor of it now.

The school board’s thoughtful plan, arrived at with much input from all sides, would move the veterans’ memorial approximately 40 yards closer to the main entrance of the high school. The memorial would be more beautiful and more accessible than it is now. More people would know about the memorial, more would visit the memorial and even more would think about what these brave local men and women sacrificed for our country.

Opponents seem to think that moving the memorial (no one is buried on the land) a tiny distance is horrible. They say those of us in favor are teaching our children that history and sacrifice don’t matter, that we are breaking a promise to those gone before.

I couldn’t disagree more. By thinking and talking about this so much, I know that my children will learn that in Larchmont-Mamaroneck we not only remember what these veterans did, but we also honor them by taking so much time to make things right.

Would the veterans listed on the memorial want us to fight over where we stand to honor them? I don’t think so. Life is about compromise. Let’s show the world we can be different and make the best decision for those living and dead. Let’s make room for the children to play in this crowded town and honor the veterans at the same time.

Connie Reddicliffe
Larchmont, NY

February 27, 2004

DON'T DIVIDE KEMPER MEMORIAL PARK

In 1945, the Kemper family purchased three parcels of land, demolished buildings and cleaned the site for a memorial park dedicated to the 99 men and woman who died in World War II from the Mamaroneck School District. They built the memorial and deeded the park to the Mamaroneck School District. Now the Board of Education wants to use part of one parcel to build a roadway and use a piece of it for a playing field as well as move the Memorial itself! They justify this by saying the Memorial would still be on one of the original parcels, and additional land would be used on the outside of the original park. They originally started this without notifying the Kemper family.

The Kemper family is opposed to this, as well they should be. While there is a need in Mamaroneck for additional playing fields, it should not be accomplished by dividing up Kemper Memorial Park. Both the Villages of Larchmont & Mamaroneck are making master plans for additional playing fields in Flint Park and Harbor Island Park. The School Board is focusing on two words in the original deed to accomplish this. They are “School Use”; they are ignoring the rest of the deed which states that the entire park would remain a memorial park. That does not mean you use adjacent land to keep the original size and move the boundaries of the original park. I believe this will be a terrible mistake, the ramification of which is unknown.

Does this mean that any donated land and memorials can be moved arbitrarily? Is nothing sacred anymore? It is beyond me why anyone in the future would donate any land, building, or memorial to a school or municipality if their wishes are not to be followed as is the case here. The Kemper family has been very outspoken against it. The wishes of the family that so lovingly made the donation and built the memorial to their son and fellow classmates should be followed and honored.

Keith Harmon
Mamaroneck, NY

February 2, 2004

THANKS TO TOWN FOR SKATING AT "DUCK POND"

I would like to thank and commend the Town of Mamaroneck for the special job they do making it possible for us to skate on the "duck pond" in Larchmont Gardens. I didn't grow up with a place to skate outdoors, so I feel particularly fortunate that my children have the opportunity to skate on a scenic pond with friends in their neighborhood--it makes the cold winter a little more bearable and fun, and creates a wonderful old-fashioned sense of community.

We appreciate the efforts of town workers to measure the thickness of the ice so we know it is safe to skate. Thank you. We truly feel very fortunate to live in this remarkable community.

Jill Simpson
Larchmont, NY

January 17, 2004

ADDISON DESERVES RENOVATION, TOO

"Streetscape Renovation," sounds terrific but why is the Village Board excluding Addison Street?

As an owner of the retail property on Addison, I feel slighted that the Village is neglecting the fine stores on Addison.

The Flower Barn, Meateria, Addison Street Spa, Rubino Jewelery, Childrens Creative Center and Sonya Design are certainly worthy of the support of the renovation project. Why would the Village want to exclude them from the project?

The Addison Street retail section is small and should not be a great addition to the cost of the project. Excluding Addison Street would not make for a cohesive retailing district and image for the area.

I would like the Village Board to reconsider this project so that it does include Addison Street.

Bert McCabe
Larchmont, NY

January 15, 2004

ATTEND HEARING ON FOREST CITY DALY APTS: SENIOR BUS AVAILABLE

The Chatsworth Neighborhood Association is encouraging all members to attend the public hearing regarding the zoning change for the Forest City Daly proposal for development on Madison Street on Tuesday, January 20, 2004 at 7:00 pm in the courtroom at the Town Center. The Association represents interests of the people in the following buildings: 14, 16, 17, 21, 35 North Chatsworth Avenue, 1, 2, 3 Washington Square and 178 Myrtle Boulevard.

The Town has offered bus service for seniors, the handicapped or anyone who can't drive at night. The bus will be at the corner of Washington Square and North Chatsworth from 6:30 to 6:45 pm on Tuesday. At the end of the meeting, people will be dropped off at their individual buildings. Please, be aware that return transportation will not leave until the meeting is over.

Please call 834-0021 if you are eligible and plan to use the Senior bus. We need a head count before Sunday so adequate preparations can be made.

Peg Cozzi
Larchmont, NY

January 10, 2004

RE GAZETTE SUPPORT FOR RETAIL RENAISSANCE

Diversity, color, animation and an e-publication that captures the pulse 24/7 of our community...

Your support of the retail community in the village has over the months been a great service, and your efforts to animate and share with your readers the spirited renaissance of our downtown is greatly appreciated.

Eric Newland
Designer One
Larchmont, NY

January 5, 2004

BUILD FIELD & RENOVATE BEDRAGGLED PARK

At the risk of jumping in too late to a briskly boiling controversy, I'd like to address the Kemper Memorial tempest from the perspective of a flat tire. While cycling down the Post Road one cold morning recently, I punctured a tire, and set off for a place to sit down and repair it. I found one just off the road...a bedraggled bit of lawn with one broken stone bench, several candy wrappers, a bent trash can and a marble plinth inscribed with names of war dead. I was in the Kemper Memorial, I realized, and from the looks of things, I was one of the few who ever has been.

My first reaction was one of disbelief: could so many Mamaroneck High students have been killed in World War II? The devastation to their families and the community must have been enormous. And since most of us in this bedroom community are relatively recent immigrants, those families' experiences of 60 years ago are too distant to be really understood by us. That said, the woeful state of the memorial seems to belie the passions raised by those opposed to alterations of the park. That degree of bedraggledness didn't appear overnight, but is a product of decades of neglect. It's sad that it took the School Board's plans for altering the site to rouse the memorial's slumbering protectors, but it must be pointed out that the Kemper Memorial has not been on most people's radar for many, many years. Shouldn't we take advantage of this new-found interest and use it to everyone's advantage? Let the School Board reconfigure the park by building their field, and let them renovate the neglected memorial so people actually go there and reflect on the larger issues the memorial raises.

But to insist the little dreary park with only one bench (and a broken one, at that) is a sacred plot is to create a falsehood. Contrasting the rhetoric with the faded reality makes me think that the battling opposition has some kind of hidden agenda.

Stephen Kling
Larchmont, NY

January 5, 2004

KEEP KEMPER PARK INTACT

It’s hard to keep promises. Ask any 10-year old. Yet we as parents try to teach our children that it is important to keep them. Keeping our promises is a sign of character and builds a bond of trust between people. So it is with great sadness that I have read the recent articles about Mamaroneck’s Kemper Park in the local press.

I understand that the current Mamaroneck School Board finds this Park inconvenient because it wants to expand its playing fields. As the mother of two athletic boys, I love to stand along the sidelines and cheer. But to take land from Kemper Park is breaking a promise that an earlier School Board made when they accepted the land. They promised to maintain the Park in perpetuity. That means forever – not just until it is inconvenient.

Today, we complain about deteriorating values and people taking advantage of each other. But if we want our children to grow up with values; if we want them to keep their promises, we must lead by example. This is why I urge the Mamaroneck School Board to remember its promise to keep Kemper Park intact. By doing this they will really educate our children about doing what is right.

Marianne Worthington
Scarsdale, NY

January 5, 2004

MAINTAIN PARK AS MEMORIAL

My grandparents, Adolph and Helen Kemper, donated Richard Kemper Park to the Mamaroneck School District in honor of their son and other Mamaroneck High School students who lost their lives in World War II.

They bought the land. They paid to have it landscaped. They planted trees which grace the ground. They purchased the monument on which are inscribed the names of those whom the Park honors. They furnished the Park with benches so students and faculty might find a peaceful place away from the classroom to be alone with their thoughts. Then they deeded the park to the Mamaroneck School district on one condition: that it be maintained in perpetuity as a Memorial.

Imagine the pain they and my mother felt when Richard was killed on a French battlefield. Now the Mamaroneck School Board would kill the legacy left to the children of Mamaroneck in his name by destroying Richard Kemper Memorial Park.

The School Board claims it has no other alternative but to violate the deed. The land, it claims, is needed for another playing field. But as an architect engaged by our family has demonstrated, there are many other places to put another field. Why, then is the board being so intractable? Why is it refusing to consider any other plan? Why is it kicking a gift horse in the mouth? Why is it so willing to destroy a memorial that has a place in the hearts of the community?

Words can't convey the distress it will cause my 86-year-old mother, my brother who is Richard Kemper's namesake and an army veteran, and me if the Board goes ahead with its plans. But the three of us well know that the Mamaroneck School Board is not pledged to act in our family's interest. Rather, it is pledged to act in the interests of the children of Mamaroneck.

Each and every member of the Board should be asked, therefore: "Given the many alternative locations for an additional playing field, is it in the interests of the children of Mamaroneck to destroy Richard Kemper Park?" Already, the Mamaroneck Historical Society, veterans, students and others have answered that question with a resounding, "NO!" Indeed, even if there was no alternative for an additional playing field, they have made it clear their answer would still be: "NO!"

Hence, if the School Board really has the interests of the children of Mamaroneck at heart it will do what the deed signed with my grandparents half a century ago obligates it to do: maintain the Park as a memorial to my uncle and others members of the Mamaroneck community who lost their lives in World War II.

Paul Cantor
Norwalk, CT

December 11, 2003

MEMORIAL: COVENANT IN PERPETUITY

A community’s memorial is a covenant in perpetuity and with it comes the burden of responsibility. Memorials are a commitment from one generation to the next for reasons too soon forgotten. Simply stated, there are things more important than our own needs. The Board of Education is simply wrong-headed as it crumbles to our community’s sense of entitlement. No one, not veterans, community leaders or our school board has the right or reason to violate this covenant.

The irony of our memorial conundrum located at our most important collective investment in the future gives me cause to pause. The Kemper Memorial is an example to our children of great sacrifice. The decision to sacrifice the use of this land was made long ago. We simply must respect that decision on moral grounds. Our sacrifice and the example it sets for our future generations out weighs our current sense of entitlement.

From generation to generation the stories are told. Let future generations reflect on the price of freedom and the costs we must share across the generations. We must remember. We must teach. We must never forget.

Edward J. Merians
Larchmont, NY
MHS class of 1976

December 6, 2003

SADNESS AT KEMPER MEMORIAL STALEMATE

It is with great sadness that I continue to read articles about the stalemate between the Cantor family and the Mamaroneck School District proposal to shift the Kemper Memorial to make room for an additional playing field at the high school.

I won’t pretend to be unbiased. As the mother of three student athletes whose teams are constantly hindered due to the community-wide lack of field space, I am in favor of the district’s proposal to relocate the Kemper Memorial.

But my vote isn’t purely selfish--I believe that everyone would benefit by relocating the Kemper Memorial. For the Cantor family, a rededication of a more prominent, beautifully landscaped area to remember our war veterans could well serve their memory better than the existing memorial area. I think the school district’s proposal to enhance the memorial park area and its offer to name the new playing field after Richard Kemper creates a memorial legacy that will have far greater impact on our children and community than the current monument now offers. I urge the Cantor family to put grievances aside, to bring calm discourse to this situation, and, in good faith, work for a resolution that will meet the needs of our children and community today and in the future

My vote aside, it’s also important to note that a fair process is now taking place. Members of the School Board, who are elected representatives, are currently holding discussions with community groups to get feedback on the district’s proposal. The primary job of our Board members is to take into account the needs of over 4,000 diverse students in order to make sound policy decisions for the greater good of the entire student body. Just as they have done in the past, regarding issues ranging from curriculum to capital improvements, we must trust that the Mamaroneck School Board members will ultimately weigh all factors in coming to a final decision. It serves no purpose other than to fuel controversy and split our community for the Cantor family, or any others, to imply that the School Board is acting dishonestly or with hidden agendas.

Let’s not let this matter divert our community from our more important educational mission. My hope is for a speedy resolution, and my trust goes to our elected School Board members.

Blythe Hamer
Larchmont, NY

November 14, 2003

HELP US REACH COMPROMISE ON MEMORIAL

This past Veterans Day, November 11th, at 11 am in the morning, Cecilia Absher and I went to the Kemper Memorial. For the time we were at the memorial, we were alone with our thoughts on that cold morning. There were no flags, no ceremony; we were joined by no other community members. I thought about my tour of duty in Vietnam, the friends I made in the service, some of whom returned with me, others who did not. Cecilia thought of her cousin who was MIA for many months in Vietnam before returning home.

As the School Board has worked with Richard Cantor and his family over the past several months, the ghosts of my friends have never been far from my mind. To preserve the memory of the young men and the woman who are named on the Memorial, to honor those who served and those who continue to serve, the community and the schools must treat the Memorial with all the dignity and respect we owe our service men and women.

I agree that the School Board and the Cantor family must strive to put our differences behind us and try to work together on this difficult and emotional issue. I believe that if we and the community can honestly listen to each other and hear each others needs, we will reach a compromise that will meet the needs of the community, the needs of our student-athletes and the need to honor Lt. Richard Kemper and all those who have served and died wearing the uniform of the United States armed services. Please help us to reach that goal.

Robert G. Martin, President
Mamaroneck School Board

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