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Bronxville Government and History

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13,000 Invitations in Mail to Commence Eastchester's 350th Anniversary Celebration PDF Print Email



Nov. 20, 2013: To ensure that every resident in Eastchester, Tuckahoe, and Bronxville receives an invitation, the steering committee of Eastchester 350th Anniversary, Inc. has mailed over 13,000 of them!

This invitation comes in the form of a colorful brochure describing the yearlong 2014 celebration of the town's founding and the public programs designed to commemorate it.

Produced by the professional marketing team of Don Blauweiss and Diane Dudzinski, who volunteered their services for this effort, the rich burgundy mailing features the Royal Patent of 1666 on its cover and details the community programs inside. "As owners of the historical Coutant House and supporters of the Eastchester Historical Society, we wanted to share our enthusiasm for our rich local history and give back to our town," said Blauweiss, principal of Don Blauweiss Advertising & Design.

Bob Riggs, co-chair of the steering committee of Eastchester 350 Anniversary, Inc., the organization overseeing the anniversary celebrations, emphasized that the committee wanted to reach everyone in town, not just those with access to digital media, although that base is covered as well. "We have launched our website at www.eastchester350.org, issued a number of press releases, and now we are reaching out even further to the entire population," added Riggs.

The steering committee welcomes volunteer participants in all of its programming and encourages those interested to contact the group at CLOAKING .

Similarly, the brochure presents opportunities for all residents to offer financial support, whether large corporate or small individual donations. Checks should be payable to Eastchester 350th Anniversary, Inc., a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, and mailed to 40 Mill Road, Eastchester, NY 10709.

Pictured here:  Cover of brochure sent to residents of Eastchester, Tuckahoe, and Bronxville by Eastchester 350th Anniversary, Inc. describing the celebrations of Eastchester's 350th anniversary planned for 2014.

Photo courtesy Linda Doherty, Co-Chair, Steering Committee, Eastchester 350th Anniversary, Inc.

 
Bronxville Farmers' Market Soon to Move Indoors PDF Print Email

Nov. 20, 2013:  After a six-month stint outdoors, the Bronxville Farmers' Market will be moving indoors to 1 Pondfield Road after this Saturday's market (November 23).

We have had a busy and productive outdoor season with 39 vendors this year. We were very fortunate with the weather and even escaped the usual nor’easters and hurricanes and did not get flooded out even once this season! That's a first on both counts.

Our furry friends visited in October from Staghorn Valley Alpacas and were as cute and popular as ever. We had students from Bronxville High School visit, collecting donations for Hearts to Home to help our servicemen and women.

After taking last winter off for all to reboot, we are once again fortunate to have a very generous realtor, Samson Management, allowing us to use their unoccupied space at 1 Pondfield Road. We would not be able to run a market without their kind gesture.

The indoor market will be held every other Saturday starting December 14. (December 14 and 28, January 11 and 25, February 8 and 22, March 8 and 22, and April 5 and 19 from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm.)

We are back outside May 10, just in time for your Mother's Day feast! 

We will have fresh veggies all winter since one of our new farmers has high tunnels and greenhouses and can continue production all winter. Also, many of our regular vendors will be there, as well as some new ones. Please check our new website (www.bronxvillefarmersmarket.com) for directions and vendor information.

Thanks to all our loyal customers who have supported the BFM this season as well as the past 12 years!

Hope to see you Saturday outdoors!

Pictured here:  Paul Alward, farmer and owner of Veritas Farms.

Photo by Mary Liz Mulligan, Market Manager, Bronxville Farmers' Market

 
Bronxville Police Blotter: October 18 to November 3, 2013 PDF Print Email

 

Friday, Oct. 18:  At 8:46 am a bicycle was reported removed overnight from a driveway on Avon Road. The bicycle was a Raleigh brand, unknown value.

Friday, Oct. 18:  The passenger-side window of a 2012 Lexus located on Meadow Avenue was smashed and a Lanvin handbag containing credit cards and $1,500 in cash were stolen from the vehicle. Detective William Carroll reviewed surveillance video from the area and developed a suspect. After consultation with the Westchester County Intelligence Center the suspect was identified as 44-year-old Christopher Derentiis of Yonkers. On October 28 Derentiis was arrested by Detective Carroll and charged with two counts of felony grand larceny in the 4th degree and one count of criminal mischief. Derentiis was remanded on $10,000 bail pending his next court appearance.

Saturday, Oct. 19:  At 3:09 pm on Lake Avenue a black IBM laptop was reported stolen from a 2007 Toyota Highlander overnight. There were no signs of forced entry.

Wednesday, Oct. 23:  At 1:21 pm on Plateau Circle West, a pink Apple iPod valued at $160 and $20 cash were reported stolen overnight from a 2013 Mercedes Benz ML 350.  No signs of forced entry.

Wednesday, Oct. 23:  At 1:34 pm on Plateau Circle West $15 was reported stolen from a 2010 Toyota Highlander. No signs of forced entry

Sunday, Nov. 3:  At 9:16 am on Sunnybrae Place a black specialized Rockhopper mountain bike valued at $750 was reported taken from a closed garage. No signs of forced entry.

 
Super Scrambles Paddle Tournament Called Off After Organizing Committee Resigns PDF Print Email

 

Nov. 13, 2013:  For the first time in 40 years, to the surprise and confusion of paddle tennis players in Bronxville, there was no Super Scrambles to kick off the new paddle tennis season.

"We don't know what's going on, and it's sad," said avid player Allison Devlin. "It's really disheartening. Paddle tennis has been, quite literally, my social life for seven months of the year."

All five members of the long-standing volunteer paddle tennis committee resigned after its president, Kevin Dillon, received a letter from the village expressing concern over revenues generated by the program, the proper monitoring of permits, and the low number of village residents who use the courts. The letter also called for trustee approval of the roster of committee members.

Committee members felt the letter took an unnecessarily accusatory tone. According to Dillon, the letter faulted the committee for causing the concerns raised.

Trustee Guy Longobardo stated that he and Mayor Mary Marvin asked the paddle tennis committee members to continue to serve but believes there was dissatisfaction among the members after they requested a committee roster to approve.

Longobardo explained that, since the paddle tennis facility is a village asset, officials are accountable to the state for identifying individuals who allocate the courts and hold tournaments there.

"The letter came out of the blue," said Lynn Joyce, a 40-year member of the committee, which has organized and run the paddle tennis program at the village's four courts on Paxton Street. "People don’t even know what happened. That's the sad part."

Dillon stated that, if village officials had verbalized their concerns about the program and explained that the roster of approved members represented a matter of compliance with New York State law, the committee would have been happy to comply. He also said that committee members were willing to correct any issues village officials had with their operation of the courts.

Joyce said that members made nightly trips to the courts over several weeks when notified that a significant percentage of players in a Tuesday evening league did not have proper permits. They monitored permits and either collected fees or denied access to players who did not comply.

"Never once was working together to solve the problems brought out," Dillon noted. He added that, when he asked officials about the village's vision for the paddle tennis courts, they didn't seem to have one.

Longobardo pointed out that the village's paddle tennis program has consistently lost money over the past five years, if not longer. The losses have ranged from $8,000 to a $15,000 loss in 2009-2010.

"The village, because we're already subsidizing court usage because of the losses, wants to increase resident usage of the facility," Longobardo said. He estimated that twice as many non-residents as residents use the facility. The village has changed the fee structure to encourage more residents to join. Under the new structure, a resident family can join for $150 per year, as opposed to the former rate of $200. A non-resident family will pay $300 annually, as opposed to the former rate of $225.

Longobardo acknowledged that, once the committee was made aware of the delinquent permits, its members did a "great job" in collecting permit fees from those players.

"Ideally, we’d like to see resident usage increase," Longobardo said. "If we have a facility that's not being used by many residents, should the village continue to subsidize it the way it does now?"

At its November 4 meeting, the board of trustees approved a resolution to hire Mike Virgilio, tennis pro, as a private contractor to supervise the paddle tennis courts. His duties will include monitoring players for valid permits, monitoring the facility itself, and organizing tournaments and scrambles.

Longobardo reported that Bill Moss and Sloane Finn, who will be named to a new paddle tennis committee, are working on holding tournaments. He added that the new committee is open to volunteers.

"We always strived for growing and building a community-based program," Dillon said about his defunct committee. "We had that. We had the traction."

Pictured here:  Paddle players during a previous Super Scrambles tournament.

Photo by A. Warner

 
From Bronxville to Mt. Kilimanjaro, Elizabeth's Hope Marks Second Anniversary PDF Print Email

Nov. 13, 2013:  The "Elizabeth’s Hope" flag had come a long way, from Bronxville, NY, to Tanzania, where it would be unfurled at the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro to raise funds for pediatric brain cancer research.

But just shy of the summit, Tom Jones, 62, fell ill and wasn’t sure he'd make it. For two days he took the antibiotic Cipro, but there was no improvement. So he asked his fellow climbers and his porter, Aaron Sinkuya, a deeply religious man, if they would take the flag up to the summit without him. 

His porter and fellow climbers had been inspired by Jones's story of his best friend's daughter, Elizabeth Minter, who had died at age 21 of an inoperable brain cancer and the reason why Jones was making the climb.

"The day before the ascent, Aaron came by my tent to visit me and said that he'd been praying for me for two days, and God wanted me to make it to the summit for Elizabeth," Jones said. "Aaron then quoted Deuteronomy 7:15 to me, 'And the Lord will take away from you all sickness, and will afflict you with none of the terrible diseases of Egypt which you have known, but will lay them on all those who hate you.'" He paused, and added, "I woke up the next morning at 3:30 am for the final ascent, and my stomach problems were no longer an issue."

Jones, a Bronxville resident since 1982 who works for Alvarez & Marsal, a turnaround/corporate restructuring and business consulting company, is but one of hundreds of Bronxville residents who have been inspired to support Elizabeth's Hope, launched by Emmie and Mike Minter, which is approaching its second anniversary on November 17. Another resident, Gretchen Scott, donated all the proceeds from a blouse she designed for Elizabeth's Hope.   

All these efforts to support Elizabeth's Hope have served to seed the Children's Brain Tumor Project at the Weill Cornell Pediatric Brain and Spine Center, founded in 2011. Its website states, "The project owes its inspiration and launch to Elizabeth Minter, whose battle with gliomatosis cerebri--a rare and inoperable brain tumor--inspired her surgeon, Dr. Jeffrey Greenfield, to undertake this groundbreaking research initiative. In starting the Children's Brain Tumor Project, Dr. Greenfield joined forces with Dr. Mark Souweidane, who had already spent a decade researching and testing alternative therapeutic delivery systems for other inoperable brain cancers, such as DIPG." More than a dozen families throughout the country now support the project, but Elizabeth's Hope alone has raised nearly $1,000,000.

"Jeff [Greenfield] performed a biopsy on Elizabeth's tumor," Emmie Minter said. "Her prognosis was grim from day one. Jeff was inspired by her to do something for kids with rare and inoperable tumors. In the spring of 2011, he asked if Elizabeth and we were interested in supporting his vision, and the answer was 'yes.' He had incredible credentials and the passion and ambition to help these kids. It was an opportunity for us to be more than a passive victim. Elizabeth was unable to work or go to school. The project gave her some purpose and hope."

What Dr. Greenfield and his colleagues are pioneering is the idea of precision medicine, or getting a fingerprint for the tumor and personalizing the therapy.

"The one-size-fits-all therapy is not the way of the future," he said. "If we can figure out exactly in each tumor what's gone wrong, we can tailor the chemotherapy and the regimens directly to those patients. It's a very expensive and time-consuming endeavor. That's really what the vision was when I talked with Elizabeth and her parents and that's what's really gotten off the ground. We've made enormous strides and have started doing this in a routine way for a lot of kids. Their foundation and their dream has really taken off, and it's done something meaningful and hopefully it's just the beginning of something."

In July 2012, Dr. Greenfield, his wife Dr. Caroline Long, and their three sons, Liam, 6, Charlie, 4, and Sam, 1-1/2, moved to Bronxville.

"Maybe subconsciously I knew the outpouring of support and the amount of community behind Elizabeth was reflected in my decision to move," Greenfield said. "Certainly, being in Bronxville now for 1-1/2 years, I’m not at all disappointed. The sense of community is even greater than I would have expected. It’s just been a wonderful place to start raising my family."

Tessa Naso, 24, was an early supporter of Elizabeth's Hope. Two years older than Elizabeth at Bronxville High School, they were on the softball and tennis teams together. When Naso isn't working in marketing and public relations for the Union Square Hospitality Group, she devotes several hours a week as the volunteer coordinator for Elizabeth's Hope.

"I work with all the students and any Bronxville high schooler or anyone who wants to plan an event for Elizabeth's Hope," Naso said. "Anything from 'I'm running a race and I want to donate all proceeds to Elizabeth’s Hope, what can I do?' to 'I want to host a fun sporting event and could you help me brainstorm?'"

Her involvement with Elizabeth's Hope began when she organized a fundraiser at Soul-Cycle in Scarsdale two years ago.

"I just wanted to do something for her," Naso said. "I wasn’t working at the time and in between internships. I thought I'd do something fun while friends were home for Christmas and Elizabeth would be there. We raised $43,000, and then others started doing events. Everyone wanted to help; they just didn't know how."

Minter's classmates initiated fundraisers on their college campuses, ranging from a capture-the-flag tournament organized by Chandler Rutherfurd at the University of Virginia to a mixed doubles tennis tournament organized by Erin Hackett at Gettysburg College. Many of these have become annual events.

Bronxville High School's yearly Bronco Bonanza donates to Elizabeth's Hope. Recently, Caitlin Hudson ran the New York Marathon to raise money for the cause. Another Soul-Cycle event this summer raised an additional $15,000. The efforts by Bronxville High School students and graduates have raised nearly $80,000 to date, according to Sue Conroy, marketing specialist with the Weill Cornell Brain and Spine Center.

"So many people are struggling with the same thing as Elizabeth went through," Naso said. "They’re Googling it and Elizabeth’s Hope comes up. [Fundraisers] are happening that I don't even know about sometimes."

The Minters, who moved to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, following Elizabeth's death on May 30, 2012, hope that, with a secure and growing source of funding, the lab will deliver new treatment options that at the very least can make the disease chronic as opposed to fatal. 

"At the moment, the diagnosis of inoperable brain tumor really means 'pray for a miracle,'" Emmie Minter said. "'Rare' means no clinical trials. No parent should ever hear upon diagnosis, 'Take your child home; there is nothing we can do.'"

As Elizabeth's Hope reaches its second anniversary, Naso encourages others to "get involved and look back on Elizabeth's legacy."

"Elizabeth's Hope is really amazing because it kind of continued what Elizabeth was," Naso said. "It helps bring people together and she always brought people together. Elizabeth had an amazing way of making everyone around her happy and bringing everyone into the same network. Elizabeth's Hope brought people together for a good cause, and she would be so happy to see what everyone is doing."

Tom Jones agrees that Elizabeth "could make friends with a rock." He had watched her grow up, but it wasn't until her diagnosis in 2011 that he connected with her "in a way that I do not have words to describe." He shared with Elizabeth that he was told he had cancer in 1974, a bad-odds cancer with less than one in three survival rate.

So when Jones reached the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro, it was a personal victory for him as well, but what was more important to him was that the money he raised will benefit Elizabeth's Hope and the Children's Brain Tumor Project.

"The total is over $60K so far," he said happily. "And money is still flowing in."

Pictured here (rotating):  Elizabeth Minter, Minter and her family, and Tom Jones at summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro.

Photos courtesy the Minter family, Irena Choi Stern, and Tom Jones
 

 
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