Gazette Ceases Publication: Donates Archives to LHS

In 2010, the Larchmont Gazette ceased publication. In 2011 the publishers donated all contents to the Larchmont Historical Society, which will continue to make the Gazette archives available online.

All inquiries should be addressed to the Larchmont Historical Society.

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Political Newcomer is New VOL Trustee

Mayor Liz Feld has selected a financial investor and political newcomer, Josh Mandell, to  fill the vacancy on the Village Board of Trustees left by the departure of Jim Millstein on May 17. (See: VOL Trustee Leaves to Join US Treasury.)

Mr. Mandell, 41,  is a Democrat. Mayor Feld, the only Republican on the board, had said that party affiliation would not be one of her considerations in selecting a new trustee. (See: Mayor Feld Announces Mandell is New VOL Trustee.)

A graduate of the University of Florida (1989), Mr. Mandell worked at Salomon Brothers in the 1990s and later at Caxton Associates, mostly as an investor for high net worth individuals and institutions. He now invests primarily for his own portfolio – which leaves him a lot of time and flexibility for volunteer service, he told the Gazette on Wednesday, June 3, following the mayor’s announcement of his appointment.

After a 20-year career “which was rewarding mostly in the financial sense, I’m seeking greater rewards now,” said Mr. Mandell.

Josh Mandell

Josh Mandell

Mr. Mandell and his wife, Ravit, lived in Mamaroneck Village  for six years before moving to Larchmont Village in 2006.  They have three children. “This is a wonderful community – we fell in love with it,” said Mr. Mandell.

Mandell Will Be Fire Commissioner

Mr. Mandell  joined the Larchmont Fire Department in July of 2007, a few months after the board’s appointment of a paid chief precipitated the resignation of many long-term volunteers.  (See:  Larchmont Appoints Paid Fire Chief; Many Volunteers Resign ) Mr. Mandell is now certified as an interior firefighter.

As fire commissioner, Mr. Mandell said his primary responsibility will be to “insure the safe and efficient operation of the department by offering the assistance, consideration and support of the Village Board,” To that end,  ”I’d like to work with the chief and others to insure the community enjoys the same local services our citizens have always enjoyed,” he said.

Michael Wiener, a current volunteer firefighter and former fire chief and Larchmont trustee, said Mr. Mandell has been “trying to help work on the healing process” in the department.  

Another issue that may confront the new fire commissioner is allocating resources for the department.  ”They need to either hire more personnel or recruit more active volunteers,” said Mr. Wiener. “You need to have enough people to safely fight the fires – for the residents and for the firefighters. I hope Josh will have the time to evaluate this in a more expeditious manner.”

Other Issues for the New Trustee

But fire department concerns made up only 10 percent of the conversation with the mayor and the board in the run-up to his appointment, said Mr. Mandell. More critical were topics relating to maintenance of services and infrastructure. Also important, he said, were “seeking out and driving initiatives that improve the quality of life.” He mentioned playing fields and parks, for example.

On another issue, consolidation of services, Mr. Mandell said he is not ready to pass judgment and is “just becoming privy to some of the details.”

The appointment is the mayor’s to make, but other board members interviewed Mr. Mandell as well. Trustee Marlene Kolbert said she is just getting to know him, but “he seems like he has a wonderful temperament for the job. He is very thoughtful. He understands the issues. He has become really involved in Larchmont. And in the relatively short time that he’s lived here, he loves the community: all wonderful qualities for a trustee.”

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10 comments to Political Newcomer is New VOL Trustee

  • I know how to spell

    Although Mr Mandell is probably wealthy enough to As “insure the safe and efficient operation of the department by offering the assistance, consideration and support of the Village Board” (like an insurance company would do), I believe his goal is to ENSURE that it happens.

    Thank you for using the dictionary when UNSURE of the spelling of complex words.

  • Judy Silberstein

    It’s delightful to get grammar, spelling and usage comments!

    Various dictionaries we consulted indicated that “ensure” and “insure” are now synonyms. Older dictionaries and “strict constructionists” stick to the definitions recommended by “I know how to spell.”

    So, in this case, we’re SURE we want to INSURE.

    Spoken and written English continue to evolve, and publications – even the venerable New York Times – have evolved as well. For example, “their” is now accepted widely as a singular pronoun to replace “his” (when gender is unknown) or instead of the awkward “his or her.”

  • Steve Paul

    That’s a cop-out, Judy. “Insure” and “Ensure” have two different meanings. Those of us who completed high school should use the language properly. Laziness or ignorance may be blurring the definition between the two words, but that’s a flimsy excuse from a journalist.

    • Judy Silberstein

      I’ll let Roget’s reply:

      “Main Entry: insure
      Part of Speech: verb
      Definition: protect, secure
      Synonyms: assure, cinch, cover, guarantee, guard, hedge, indemnify, register, safeguard, shield, underwrite, warrant
      Notes: insure and ensure mean ‘to make certain,’ but only insure can mean ‘indemnify against loss’

      Roget’s 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition
      Copyright © 2009 by the Philip Lief Group.
      Cite This Source

  • Issues with Thesuarus(es)

    I agree with Steve. Huge difference in meaning. I remember my Jr High english teacher telling me the difference between a thesaurus and a dictionary – - never rely on a thesaurus for true meaning.

    Given that it was a quote and a phonetic interpreation of the author, wouldn’t it make sense to follow-up with the speaker and ask which word he used??

    Just askin’

    • Judy Silberstein

      I love that our readers: 1. care about word usage; 2. remember what they learned in English class.

      If the thesaurus is not a sufficient authority, how about Merriam Webster? Here’s how the online dictionary defines “ensure”

      Pronunciation: \in-ˈshu̇r\
      Function: transitive verb
      Inflected Form(s): en·sured; en·sur·ing
      Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French ensurer, alteration of assurer — more at assure
      Date: 1660
      : to make sure, certain, or safe : guarantee
      synonyms ensure, insure, assure, secure mean to make a thing or person sure. ensure, insure, and assure are interchangeable in many contexts where they indicate the making certain or inevitable of an outcome, but ensure may imply a virtual guarantee , while insure sometimes stresses the taking of necessary measures beforehand , and assure distinctively implies the removal of doubt and suspense from a person’s mind . secure implies action taken to guard against attack or loss .

  • Anon E Mous

    Seems Judy is right –

    More interesting, she’s told people what’s happened now, but the discussion is on the history of the English language.

    Wonder what would happen if she mentioned ‘progress’.

    Here’s an old Incan proverb:
    Information is knowing that rain is water.
    Knowledge is knowing how to make it rain.
    Wisdom is knowing why you made it rain.

  • Sue Girardi

    This duel of word meaning and usage “sure” is becoming curiously more interesting than the original article!

  • Peg

    Hello all you word mavens! What an interesting dialogue. Parsing these words certainly assures a hearty debate. Thanks for the enlightenment.

  • Penny Dana

    Sorry, but ‘ensure’ (to make certain that something will occur or be the case) is definitely NOT a synonym for ‘insure’ (agree to compensate for a loss). They definitely have different meanings in a legal context.

    This is not merely about wanting to implement what people learned in school. This sort of thing creates an interruption from the flow of reading, and reflects poorly on the writer/editor. Given the overall high quality of this publication, I would hope you would want to reflect a higher usage standard.

    Frankly, using ‘their’ as a generic substitute for his or her is wrong (and following the NY Times doesn’t justify anything). Let’s hope this is not a step towards that slippery slope of the ubiquitous errors of it’s/its and their/they’re/there.