Relay For Life — May 23, 2016

Relay For Life

The case for a sixteen year old from Guatemala who attempted to enroll in Mamaroneck High School has a major development. The teenager had been denied access to MHS due to his having already completed the highest level of education in his native country. The New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) appealed the decision to the state on behalf of the student. Earlier this week, the state education commissioner Mary Ella Elia decided that MHS must allow the student to enroll at the school, at least temporarily. Gisella Marroquin, the regional organizer for the NYCLU explained to The Local Live the Guatemalan educational system to help us understand some of the confusion surrounding the case. The civil liberties lawyer then explained the process of appealing the student’s decision to the state. At this time, the decision is only temporary, and will not impact the final determination, which will be decided in the coming months. Debbie Manetta, a spokesperson for the Mamaroneck School District, said, “We continue to believe strongly that all children have the right to a public education. However, we recognize that in accordance with the Commissioner of Education’s Regulations, we are expected to make determinations of eligibility that may serve to exclude some students from enrolling in our school system”.  We keep you informed with any new developments in this story.

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The 2016-17 school budgets for both the Mamaroneck School District and the Rye Neck School District were held this past Tuesday. The Mamaroneck budget of $133 million dollars passed with


85% of voters who approved the budget. The new budget, which is approximately $750 thousand dollars less than last year’s will help to decrease the Mamaroneck school tax by an estimated 4.57%. Dr. Robert Shaps, the Mamaroneck School Superintendent, thanked the community for coming together and approving the budget in an email to the district. He said, “Maintaining the quality of education we provide in Mamaroneck Schools is our priority. Once again, we appreciate the level of community involvement with the budget process leading up to today and thank all community members who came out to vote”. The Rye Neck School District’s budget of $40 million dollars was also passed with over 80% voting to approve.

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In other school district news, Rina Beder and Sari Winter edged out Michael Rosenbaum and were elected to the Mamaroneck School Board.

At this week’s Village of Larchmont Board of Trustees, the members and coaches of the Mamaroneck High School’s Girls 4-by-800 Meter Relay, the Girls Field Hockey and the Boys Ice Hockey teams were honored. The relay team was praised for their national championship, while the field hockey and ice hockey teams were acknowledged for their championships at the state level.

Mayor Lorraine Walsh presented Official Village Proclamations to track coach, Robert Morrissey, field hockey coach, John Savage and ice hockey coach, Mike Chiapperelli. Each coach spoke a few words about the success of their teams. Then each student athlete was introduced given special certificates.

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In our Round Table discussion, Mike Witsch spoke with Relay For Life volunteers, Kaitlin Chieco, Randi Spatz and Diane Sjostedt about their upcoming event which will be held this weekend to help support cancer research.

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With the regular season coming to an end, the Rye Neck baseball team, they had a 3-0 lead over Keio Academy of New York. Panther first baseman, Frankie Capparelli was able to keep the Unicorns off the scoreboard with an outstanding play that made our LMC Varsity Sports Play of the Week.

What is Stemtastic Saturday? It’s a program that highlights the talents of our future engineers, scientists and mathematicians. Local Live reporter Rebecca Paganini spoke with the people behind the event.

Looking for some fun after dinner? Then check out Pinot’s Palette on Mamaroneck Avenue. Local Live reporter met with the owners of the new establishment where you can have some wine while you paint.

Our Pet of the Week is Ellie, a 3-year-old Pastel Calico who loves to be the center of attraction and will quickly fit right in her new forever home. She is up-to-date with all her shots. To learn more about Ellie or other pets like her, visit

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The 26th Annual LMC-TV Awards Night in which LMC shows and volunteers are honored will be held next Wednesday at 7 p.m. Hope to see you there!




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Let’s Talk about School Budgets with Two Superintendents — May 19, 2016

Let’s Talk about School Budgets with Two Superintendents

In our last program, we informed you about a controversy surrounding possibly discriminatory housing practices in some Westchester towns and villages. A new development was added this week when a New York Post article labeled Mamaroneck as a “leafy area” and implied that it was an example of a homogeneous New York suburb. The article, which criticized the Obama administration’s attempt to encourage diversity in wealthy suburbs, mentioned that the fair market rent for a one-bedroom apartment in New York City would be lower than rentals in suburbs such as Mamaroneck. The Village of Mamaroneck, led by Mayor Norman Rosenblum, is fighting back. In an open letter to the Editorial Board of the New York Post, Rosenblum called the article “exasperating and ironic” and invited the Board to review and re-assess its claim. We will keep you posted as this story continues to unfold.

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On Monday of this week, The Village of Mamaroneck authorized improvements to the Harbor Island Conservancy’s plant and walkway around the gazebo at the intersection of Delancey Street and Boston Post Road. June Ottinger spoke on behalf of the Conservancy in a presentation which featuring an artist’s rendering of the proposed update. The Village Board of Trustees approved the project unanimously. Changes will be seen in the Harbor this summer.

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Screen Shot 2016-05-19 at 12.58.37 PM“If I would not tell the story, who would?” That’s what Salomea Kape, a Holocaust survivor and Larchmont resident, told a group of Mamaroneck High School tenth graders earlier this week. With a PowerPoint presentation, Kape told her story about life in a Polish ghetto during World War 2.  English teacher, Evan Madin spoke about the importance of exposing his students to these types of experiences, saying, “This is living history. I want my students to think about the fact that one their kids will ask them about this. There are not many opportunities left to hear from Holocaust survivors.

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On Thursday, F.E. Bellows Elementary School finished their annual K through 5 art show. Art teachers, Dara Goodman and Trisha Appel ran the event, which showcased student art in a number of different styles.  According to Goodman and Appel, “The arts are such a vital part of your child’s education. We are thrilled to be part of the source that propels these creative, well-rounded global thinkers into society”. The event was a great success, and we would like to congratulate everyone who participated.

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In our Round Table discussion, Mike Witsch spoke with the Mamaroneck School District’s Superintendent, Dr. Robert Shaps and the Rye Neck School District’s Superintendent, Dr. Peter Mustich regarding the upcoming school budget for both districts.
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Screen Shot 2016-05-19 at 1.11.17 PMThe Rye Neck High School Softball team hosted a round robin style tournament this week. In Game 2, after running into some trouble, relief pitcher Alicia Rodriguez got two quick outs with one stellar play to make our Play of the Week.

Last week, a new public arts initiative was launched with the unveiling of sculptures by artist Ernest Shaw.

It’s that time again, when LMC-TV celebrates the efforts of their volunteers by awarding their best work. The annual LMC-TV Awards Night will be held on May 25th.

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Sadie, a beautiful jet black cat is about five years old. She loves rolling over to have her belly rubbed. She is gentle and affectionate. She will probably do best in a household with one or two adults who can give her the attention that she deserves. For more information on Sadie, and other pets, visit

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We are always looking for new interns and volunteers, so send your emails to and join us. We love hearing from you.

Flooding Update — May 10, 2016

Flooding Update

Seven Westchester municipalities, including Larchmont should be sued by the federal government, according to a report made last week by attorney James Johnson, the monitor overseeing the implementation of a 2009 settlement between Westchester and an anti-discrimination group over affordable housing. In 2009, Westchester County was sued for taking Department of Housing Development block grants without spending it on fair and affordable housing. In the settlement, Westchester agreed to build 750 units of affordable housing in areas that were shown to be primarily white in the 2010 census. Additionally, the county said that it would challenge municipal zoning laws which may work to discourage low-income housing. Many communities, including the Town of Mamaroneck, have fulfilled those duties, adopting an inclusionary model that requires that 10% of new developments include affordable housing. However, Johnson is saying that that some other communities, including Larchmont, have not changed their zoning laws and must adopt this inclusionary model. Needless to say, Johnson and County Executive Rob Astorino have not agreed on this matter since Astorino was elected to the position in 2009. In a sit-down discussion with LoHud this past December, Astorino maintained his position that the county has no power over building permits, and accused the Department of Housing and Development of holding a “gun to their heads”. In the meantime, Johnson has accused Astorino of actively deceiving the public with claims that the project, which is planned to cost over $50 million, could end up costing a billion dollars. The momentum currently resides with the county after an appeals court ruling last year that deemed the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s withholding of funds without judicial oversight as illegal. Astorino was very pleased with the decision, stating that it proved that there had been no wrongdoing by the county.

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Newly elected Village of Larchmont Mayor, Lorraine Walsh did not wish to comment on the issue. The Local Live talked with several Larchmont residents to find out how affordable housing in the Village really is.

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The Local Live spoke with Sarah Cody, the President of the PTA and one of the three M-A-S-Parents, who are joining efforts with the school district and the entire community to save the CO-OP camp. She stated that for the last five years, the district has struggled to have enough resources to keep offering the CO-OP camp, which is a summer camp offered at Mamaroneck Avenue Elementary School  that has been in effect for over twenty years.Currently, Jonathan Sacks, Nicole Sheindlin and Sarah Cody are looking to fundraise enough money to save the camp for this year, but their main goal is come up with an new concept that would allow the camp to continue in the future.

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Last month, eight Rye Neck High School were honored at the “Future Film Festival”, with their film “Slasher Parole”, which won for Best Comedy. The film festival is held annually at the Pelham Picture House and celebrates high school student filmmakers from all over Westchester County. Forty short films were submitted in categories such as drama, documentary, and musicals. Rye Neck’s film stood out as one of the best. The Local Live would like to congratulate Jake Fagen, Bria, McClain, Davidson Mede, Gabriel Ajram, Alissa Luceno, Alyssa Rainaldi, Raven Parham and Brian Cucchiara on a job well done. We look forward to seeing what you’re going to do for next year!

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The Executive Director of the Community Resource Center, Milan Bhatt is leaving Mamaroneck to join Governor Andrew Cuomo’s team, as the new Assistant Deputy of Labor. The Local Live wishes Milan the best of luck in his future endeavors.

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On the Republican side of the race for president, both Ted Cruz and John Kasich have officially ended their campaigns after suffering huge losses in the Indiana primary, leaving Donald Trump as the presumptive nominee. As for the Democratic side, Bernie Sanders beat Hillary Clinton winning 53% to Clinton’s 47% in Indiana. The win gave Sanders’ campaign an incentive to continue on the convention in Philadelphia, despite the fact that at this time, he has virtually no chance of passing Clinton in the delegate count.

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In our Round Table discussion, Maura and Mike spoke with Village Manager, Richard Slingerland and Tony Gelber, Chairman of the Village’s Flood Mitigation Advisory Committee. They updated us about the Army Corps of Engineers’ plan for a flood mitigation plan for the Mamaroneck and Sheldrake Rivers Basin.

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While playing league rival Ursuline, the Mamaroneck Girls Lacrosse team player, Karina Steigerwald had just one second to try to even the score after a foul was called late in the first to make our Play of the Week.

This past Sunday, the 10th annual Wine Trail was held and despite the rainy weather had a good turnout. Local Live reporter, Veronica Puma covered the event.

Still looking for a last minute Mother’s Day gift? How about a massage and a facial spa? Cat Galeano visited Hand and Stone Massage and Facial Spa which recently opened on Mamaroneck Avenue.

Our Pet of the Week is Toby, a 3-year-old Pit Bull. He loves to snuggle, play fetch and romping around the play yard with his dog friend, Nori. He loves being close to you and he thinks he’s a lap dog. He walks nicely on a leash and is a favorite of the volunteers at the kennel. He would love a forever home with a yard and people who will play with and adore him like he once had. For more information regarding Toby or other pets like him, please go to

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