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Longtime Bronxville Resident, Nancy McKenna, Sits Quietly Yet Passionately at the Helm of Destination: College PDF Print Email


By Katharine Outcalt

Nov. 13, 2019:  In the Spring of 2006, Nancy McKenna, longtime resident of Bronxville, found herself at the conclusion of her final college acceptance process with the last of her four children. Reflecting on the incredibly arduous process of college admissions, Nancy wondered how even more challenging this process must be for students who attend underserved high school and are economically disadvantaged.

It was this thought that propelled Nancy to reach out to Bob Cimmino, Mount Vernon High School’s longtime boys basketball coach, to see if there was a way that she could offer college counseling support to his players. Coach Cimmino cautiously welcomed the idea and offered Nancy the opportunity to work with one of his players who was struggling with To Kill a Mockingbird.

Additional players soon followed. By that summer, Nancy enlisted 10-12 volunteers (most of them her friends) and launched a reading comprehension program for athletes at Mount Vernon High School. From those classrooms Destination: College was born. Today it has grown to support over 200 student-athletes annually who attend Mount Vernon High School, Woodlands High School (Hartsdale), and Gorton High School (Yonkers).

The program is powered by over 65 volunteers who offer tutoring, advising, and assistance in filling out college and financial aid applications. Students enrolled in the program have access to weekly reading comprehension/vocabulary support, Regents prep, and homework assistance.

Students can also visit the Destination: College Centers in Mount Vernon High School and Woodlands High School. At these Centers, the students can get help with SAT/ACT prep, essay and resume writing, filling out college applications and financial aid forms, and navigating sports and academic scholarship opportunities.

Some of the schools that Destination: College students have attended include Cornell University, Hamilton College, Middlebury College, George Mason University, Case Western Reserve, Hofstra University, Tufts University, Marist College, Fordham University, and the University of Michigan.

Destination: College’s work does not stop at college acceptance. Realizing that getting students into college is only half the battle, a College Retention/College Success program was launched in 2018. This program is focused on helping students meet the demands of staying in college. To date, Destination: College alums have an 86% retention rate.

Nancy shies away from taking credit for Destination: College. She firmly attributes the success of its programs to the many dedicated volunteers (adults and local Bronxville students), who give their time and wisdom to the Destination: College student-athletes.

When asked where she sees Destination: College in the next 5-10 years, Nancy hopes that more volunteers and resources will allow for a broader reach of athletes.


Pictured:  Nancy McKenna

Photo by N. Bower

Events this Week in Bronxville: Wednesday, November 13 to Wednesday, November 20, 2019 PDF Print Email


 By Staff 

Nov. 13, 2019: Below are events that will take place in and around Bronxville from Wednesday, November 13, 2019, to Wednesday, November 20, 2019. For the Village of Bronxville calendar, click here. For events at the Bronxville Public Library, click here. For the Bronxville school district calendar, click here

Wednesday, November 13, 7:30 PM:  Village of Bronxville Planning Board Meeting at Bronxville Village Hall, 200 Pondfield Road in Bronxville.

Thursday, November 14, 7:00 PM: Sarah Lawrence College welcomes best-selling author and professor Kwame Anthony Appiah to campus to discuss his new book, The Lies That Bind: Rethinking Identity, in a conversation with Sarah Lawrence President, Cristle Collins Judd. A Q&A with audience members will follow.   The event is in the Barbara Walters Campus Center, Room B.  The event is free and open to the public! 

Thursday, November 14, 7:00 PM:  Bronxville Green Committe Meeting at Bronxville Village Hall, 200 Pondfield Road in Bronxville.

Thursday, November 14, 7:00 PM Bronxville's Committee for Non-Partisan Nomination and Election of School Trustees (NPC), will host its annual Open Meeting at in the Yeager Room of the Bronxville Public Library, 201 Pondfield Road in Bronxville.  All members of the Bronxville community are invited to attend.

Tuesday, November 19, 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM:  NewYork-Presbyterian Lawrence Hospital Free Veterans Health and Screening Program at Leroy Gregory American Legion Post # 979 40 Bell Road, Eastchester, New York 10709

Photo by N. Bower



Bronxville Field Hockey Heads to the State Final Four With a Decisive Win Over Taconic Hills PDF Print Email

By S. Quinn DeJoy and J. Murrer

Nov. 13, 2019:  After winning the Class C Section 1 Championship, the Bronxville varsity field hockey team headed north to Lakeland High School to compete in the regional finals.

In the regional game against Taconic Hills, the Broncos wasted no time in scoring. Sunday Ladas found the back of the goal in the first two minutes, and teammates Holly Ungvary and Olivia Gunther added two more to put the Broncos up 3-0 at the half. Gunther scored one more time in the second half, and Grace McSherry added a goal on a penalty stroke to give the Broncos a 5-0 victory. Julia Widen had two assists.

Senior captain Holly Ungvary about to score for the Broncos. Photo by David Fenner.

Senior captain Grace McSherry leads the defense in the shutout. Photo by J. Murrer.

The Broncos offense never let up taking shot after shot on the goal. Taconic Hills goalie, Sydney Kieran, made 19 saves, and Bronxville goalie Caitlin Mooney had just one.

“This game was a great reflection of how well these girls have clicked on the field,” said Coach Jacquelyn Frawley. “They are confident in themselves and their teammates, and they have a common goal - to keep winning!”

Sophomore Olivia Gunther was named Player of the Game.

Olivia Gunther (22). Photo by David Fenner.

The Broncos (15-3-2) will travel to Buffalo to play in the state semifinals against Section 6 Barker High School (17-3) on Saturday morning. It should be a competitive game as both the Broncos and the Raiders have recorded 14 shutouts this season.

“We look forward to entering the tournament as a finalist,” said Frawley. “What an honor to be one of the final four teams still competing in Class C. We bring ten seniors who have a lot of experience and composure to get the job done - while our underclassmen are feisty in front of the goal!”


In the other Class C semifinal, Carle Place (Section 8) will play Johnstown (Section 2). Both Class C semifinal games will take place on Saturday at 10 AM, and the state final game is scheduled for Sunday at 10 AM. The Class C games will be broadcast live at

Field Hockey Team Roster

Senior Captains
Holly Ungvary
Sunday Ladas
Grace McSherry

Caitlin Mooney
Madison Meehan
Cassidy Mullen
Hailey Mullen
Molly Denning
Olivia Martin
Hanna Bishop

Rachel Roberts
Isabelle Kennedy
Annabelle Krause
Caroline Palermo
Marielle Dibbini

Shay Sipple
Natalie Gunther
Olivia Gunther
Carmen Phillips

Isabela Fenner

Julia Widen

Go Broncos!

Pictured at top in rotation:  (1) The Broncos holding the regional championship plaque after their victory over Taconic Hills. Photo by J. Murrer and (2) Freshman midfielder Olivia Gunther controls the ball in the regional contest against Taconic Hills last Saturday. Photo by J. Murrer.






World-Renowned Track Star and Bronxville Native, Mary Cain, Speaks Out PDF Print Email


By S. Quinn DeJoy and J. Murrer

Nov. 13, 2019:  Bronxville native Mary Cain’s success on the track is legendary and was chronicled in Myhometownbronxville throughout her middle and high school years

As just a seventh-grader, Mary Cain made a name for herself on the track and field team at Bronxville. She made it to states her very first year, breaking the New York 7th-grade record in the mile.

As an eighth-grader she and her teammates in the 4x800m relay earned All-American recognition at Nationals:  Six Bronco Track Athletes Receive Eleven All-American Commendations 

As a freshman, Cain broke the New York State high school record in the 1500m: Cain is Able: Bronxville Freshman Breaks the New York State Record in the 1500m 

As a sophomore, she was one of the youngest competitors at the Olympic trials and finished 6that the World Junior Championships

As a rising senior, she made history by becoming the youngest American ever to make a US team headed to the world championships: 

By age 17, Cain held the junior records (19 and under) in the 800m, 1500m, mile, and two mile along with other impressive records.

Upon graduation from Bronxville High School, Cain headed to the West Coast to attend the University of Portland and train with the Nike Oregon Project under Alberto Salazar. 

This week, Mary Cain was in the spotlight again, this time for her New York Times opinion piece.

Click here to read the story and see a video.

Pictured: A young Mary Cain (center) on the track at Chambers Field

Photo by J. Murrer.

From The Mayor: Possible Ramifications of New State Laws PDF Print Email


By Mary Marvin, Mayor, Village of Bronxville

Nov. 13, 2019:  New legislation passed by the most recent state legislature will make sweeping and dramatic changes to New York’s law on discovery, bail, and the right to a speedy trial. The substance of these laws will directly impact our residents and the “costs” associated.

Prior to the passage of the new legislation, which takes effect on January 1, New York had a reputation as one of the most restrictive states in these areas as the last law revision was made in 1979. Though most agree some revision was needed, many, including associations of police officers and district attorneys, believe the pendulum has swung much too far, particularly in the area of discovery law changes.

Discovery is the process through which prosecutors turn over evidence so someone accused of a crime can mount a capable defense. In an unprecedented short timeframe, the new law mandates the prosecution to reveal all its evidence within 15 days of arraignment. Currently, discovery is required before a trial starts, which only happens in approximately 3% of all cases. A positive result of this procedural change is that defendants will now be equipped with the information assembled against them before deciding whether to take a plea bargain. However, most law enforcement agencies agree that they cannot possibly comply with this tight timeframe without greatly expanded personnel and technological support. As an example, all of the State’s crime labs are backed up beyond two weeks.

The DA of small Oswego County estimates it will cost his office 1/2 million dollars to comply, and Bronx DA Gonzalez estimates his office will need $15 million more in funding to comply. Our police chief is currently reviewing needs on the local level, as is the Westchester County DA’s office. Statewide, one hundred million dollars of additional funding is needed to execute the new regulations. The governor announced just last week that there will be no additional state funds to alleviate local costs. This is quite possibly one of the most significant unfunded mandates passed into law - another case of reforms without resources.

Though the financial costs are staggering and will appear as increases in your village and county tax bills, most law-enforcement officers are rightly concerned about the human ramifications. According to the Brooklyn DA, one of the primary reasons why witnesses are hesitant to cooperate with investigations is confidentiality. He said the first question always asked is, “Will that defendant know who I am and where I live?” Prosecutors will now no longer be able to assure witnesses that their identity will be protected even in cases of grand jury testimony, which the new law now requires to be disclosed.

While there is a provision to ask a judge for a protective order to shield a name, that request can only come after police and prosecutors have already talked to witnesses in order to make an arrest and build a case. Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance put it this way, “having to hand defendants a roster of who has spoken out against them just 15 days after their first appearance is a seismic change that will undoubtedly dissuade witnesses who live in all neighborhoods from reporting crimes. “

To add to the equation, the new law increases the likelihood of defendants being granted access to the locations - stores, bank vaults, and bedrooms -where they are accused of committing crimes. In a section entitled “Order to Access the Premises,” the law stipulates that the defendant may apply “for access to an area or place relevant to the case in order to inspect, photograph or measures same.” Queens DA John Ryan asks, “How do we tell a burglary complainant that the defendant may have the right to come into their home with an investigator to take pictures?” Beyond taking pictures, the new law seems to permit the defendant to also inspect the premises to undertake his or her own investigation of the crime scene, resulting in a scenario that a suspected rapist or a home invader could be permitted to poke around the same room where he or she committed the crime.

The recent penal revisions also end cash bail for all misdemeanors and non-violent felony charges, thus significantly reducing the number of pre-trial prisoners in the state jail system. Those in favor of the change believe it corrects a system that was disproportionately harmful to low income defendants and incarceration due to poverty is counterintuitive to keeping an individual out in his community to work and be gainfully employed.

The other side of the coin is that a judge will have no discretion as to their belief the defendant is a flight risk or harmful to society given their past history to which the judge is privy. Instead of a bail requirement, individuals who have been charged with such crimes as second-degree manslaughter, aggravated vehicular homicide, criminally negligent homicide and criminal possession of a weapon on school grounds will now be issued an appearance ticket. Should someone choose not to appear, the cost of extradition from another state varies from $3500-$5000, causing many municipalities to cancel the recapture purely on monetary grounds.

Other potentially dangerous scenarios resulting from the “no bail “provision include the release of a habitual drunk driver now automatically free to go out and perhaps drive drunk again or a domestic violence perpetrator released even though it is well documented that the phase between an offender’s arrest and sentencing is the most dangerous for a victim of abuse.

The speedy trial provision has been changed with a goal of more oversight and accountability of the prosecution. Per law, the speedy trial clock, which determines the defendant’s timely rights, can be stopped if the prosecutor states that they are ready for trial, but the defense is not. Going forward, the standards for “trail ready “by the prosecution will require greater oversight and verification.

I will continue to keep you apprised of the ramifications of the new laws in the areas of community safety, personnel, and technological needs and financial costs that will be required to execute these changes.



Editor's note: As a public service, MyhometownBronxville publishes articles from local institutions, officeholders, and individuals. MyhometownBronxville does not fact-check statements therein, and any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff.

Ever Wonder Exactly What the Bronxville Village Board of Trustees, Planning Board, and Zoning Board Do? Here's Your Answer PDF Print Email


By Susan Miele

Nov. 13, 2019:  What's the secret to preserving Bronxville's character and charm? Credit our village code and the boards that uphold them. While homeowners and landlords might wish they could alter their property without the hassle of approvals, the safeguards ensured by the Village Board of Trustees, the Planning Board, and the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) help prevent Pondfield Road from becoming home to a mega mall and your neighbor's deck from abutting your driveway. Despite the important role they serve, these boards remain unclear to many people in terms of their role and function. What do they do exactly? 

In a nutshell, the Board of Trustees establishes local laws and codes; the Planning Board ensures adherence with respect to development efforts, and the ZBA considers appeals from constituents to deviate from the code. This is the highly simplified explanation for a complex system whose execution must abide by both local and state laws.

Members of the Village Board of Trustees are chosen via general election. In contrast, members of the Planning Board and of the Zoning Board of Appeals are appointed by the mayor with approval from the Board of Trustees. Members must be Bronxville residents, and all are unpaid volunteers.  The meetings of all three boards are open to the public and may be either attended in person at Village Hall or viewed on TV via Bronxville's public-access channel.

Village Board of Trustees

According to New York State law, the Village Board of Trustees—headed by Mayor Mary Marvin--is empowered to "regulate and restrict the height, number of stories and size of buildings and other structures, the percentage of lot that may be occupied, the size of yards, courts and other open spaces, the density of population, and the location and use of buildings, structures and land for trade, industry, residence or other purposes." Village government is entrusted with this power in the interest of promoting the community's overall health, safety, morals, and general welfare. The State requires that no laws shall be codified until after a public hearing on the subject is held, and these must be announced via published notifications at least ten days prior. 

Planning Board & Design Review Committee

Once local laws and codes are established, it's up to the Planning Board to maintain them. The Planning Board evaluates assorted proposals—from the selection of street lights to a store's choice of an awning to the demolition of a house to the installation of an apartment-building ramp. Part of their task is to consider the pros and cons voiced by both residents and commercial interests.

Whereas straightforward applications like a store awning might take only a short time to deliberate, projects with a greater potential for impacting the Village could require the engagement of architects, traffic studies, revised plans, re-revised plans, and even re-re-revised plans. 

Another layer of review may be performed by the Design Review Committee, which advises the Planning Board from the viewpoint of architectural integrity. The Planning Board also draws on the expertise of outside consultants with technical knowledge of matters such as traffic patterns, road construction, and the like.

According to Gary Reetz, the current President of the Bronxville Planning Board, when NewYork Presbyterian Lawrence Hospital applied for permission to build a wing for its proposed cancer center, the Planning Board spent a year and a half reviewing drawings, working with architects and designers, and collaborating with the hospital to arrive at a plan that would be compatible with village code while accommodating the hospital's desire to expand. Another large-scale project was the Kensington Road project—now the site of Villa BXV--whose design underwent three iterations, involving three different developers over about 15 years. 

Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA)

When an application calls for construction that is not in compliance with the Village's Zoning Code, a property owner can petition the ZBA for a "variance." Both commercial and residential variances are considered. According to Bill Fredericks, current President of the ZBA, the most frequent variance requests that the ZBA receives concern the Village's "setback" requirements, which mandate that the footprint of a home be a minimum distance from the property line. 

Factors that affect these Boards' decisions, says Reetz, include the impact on parking, traffic, population density, neighbor objections, and demand on public resources, like waste disposal and school enrollment. Reetz notes that population density is an important factor when considering proposals to erect housing projects like apartment buildings. A critical factor is the potential impact on the public school, whose reputation for excellence serves as a magnet for home buyers. Housing propositions, he notes, must avoid school overcrowding. 

"I look at things in terms of what its impact will be 50 years from now—because I remember what it was like in Bronxville 50 years ago," Reetz, a longtime Bronxville resident, said. "Our job is to maintain the village character and quality of life." To that end, the Planning Board also contributes to village comprehensive plans, which establish goals and policies for both short- and long-term public planning. 

According to Fredericks, the ZBA exists to provide some flexibility, recognizing that even well-conceived rules may not need to be upheld precisely as stated in every situation. However, "the burden is always on the applicant to establish that there is a genuine need for the variance and that an alternative with a lesser impact is not an option," Fredericks noted. "We want to allow reasonable modernizations of existing properties, but we don't want to lose the existing sense of scale and proportion that we are all familiar with." 

Fredericks reports that the ZBA generally rules on applications at the hearing when they are first presented but cautions that applicants who may require a variance should do their homework to ensure an efficient procedure with respect to both time and expense. "Do not assume that the ZBA will rubber-stamp your plans – to the contrary, think of your neighbors, the impact of your plans on the character of the local neighborhood as a whole; above all, make a serious effort to explore all reasonably available options to make sure that you really do need a variance to meet your project objectives." 

All these boards work collaboratively to consider policy refinement, such as in response to the spate of storefront vacancies that occurred several years ago. Because the longstanding zoning law discouraged service and food providers from obtaining variances (businesses are "zoned" to house retail, service, entertainment, or dining establishments; thus, a variance is required to allow an alternative use), the zoning law was modified to be more accommodating, based on the changing nature of commerce and the reality of its effect on local trade. 

Photo by N. Bower



Thanksgiving Events In Bronxville: Share Your Events, Traditions & Recipes PDF Print Email


By Staff

Nov. 13, 2019:  Below are some favorite Thanksgiving events that have been shared with MyhometownBronxville so far.  We will be updating this weekly until Thanksgiving.

Favorite Thanksgiving Events

Community Dinner: The Reformed Church Bronxville will host a Thanksgiving Community Dinner on Thursday, November 28th from 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM in Congregational Hall (enter on Midland and Kraft Avenues).  Guests will be treated to music, a casual cheese-and-crackers reception, and a complete Thanksgiving Dinner. This is a fun event and provides an opportunity for people of all ages to enjoy good food and each other’s company. Suggested donation of $15.00. To make a reservation, please RSVP by November 21 to CLOAKING  or call (914) 337-6776, ext. 153.

Katie Welling Memorial Run: The Katie Welling Memorial Run is a 2.5 mile race named in honor or 2002 BHS graduate Katie Welling. The funds raised benefit the Bronxville School Foundation.  The run is on Saturday, November 30th at 9am at the Bronxville School, 17 Pondfield Road in Bronxville.  Click here to sign up online.  You can also register in person on Friday, November 29th at The Running Company Store (52 Pondfield Road in Bronxville) from 10am-4pm or on the day of the race from 7:30-8:30 at the Bronxville School..

Share Your Events Traditions and Recipes

MyhometownBronxville would like you to share your favorite events, foods, recipes or links to recipes and traditions with us and we will share them with the community in articles over the next couple of weeks. 

Please send us an email to CLOAKING


Post your information on our Facebook page: 

Photo:  Shutterstock
Local Author Meaghan Winter Speaks on Progressive Fight for the States PDF Print Email


By Bill Gaston

Nov. 6, 2019:  The late Thomas P. “Tip” O’Neill Jr., Speaker of the US House of Representatives, was often heard to say “all politics is local.”  If O’Neill were alive today, he would probably add to that:  all government is local too.

On that theme, Meaghan Winter, a native of Bronxville and the author of All Politics is Local: Why Progressives Must Fight for the States, spoke eloquently at the Bronxville Field Club in October about the contentious battles being fought out today in local governments across the country.  At state capitals, town halls, and village commission meetings, she said that the institutions of self-government increasingly find themselves under attack on many fronts from a variety of well-funded corporate interests – the same forces that President Teddy Roosevelt, during the Gilded Age, once referred to as the “malefactors of great wealth.”

In her book, Ms. Winter, a freelance writer with a MFA from Columbia University, spotlights these battles as they have played out in three battleground states:  Missouri, Florida and Colorado.  In each of these states, progressives have found themselves on the defensive, in some cases (as in Colorado) successfully holding off reactionary and libertarian legislation; in others (Missouri) collapsing under the weight of the right wing onslaught.  Her on-the-ground reporting from these states is clear-eyed and sobering.

Fueled by the rise of the Tea Party in 2010, the GOP has leveraged tremendous success at winning elections at the local level and passing conservative legislation on issues ranging from abortion and gerrymandering to climate change and union rights.  Ms. Winter explained how these defeats have left state level Democratic parties flat-footed and dispirited.  By 2016, the GOP controlled legislative chambers in 32 states and governor’s offices in 33 (although those margins were somewhat trimmed back in the 2018 midterm elections).

Winter argued that Republican success at the state and local level is due to several factors.  Among them, liberal interest groups have been vastly outspent for years by a flood of corporate money that has disproportionately been funneled into GOP coffers.  Second, these same liberal groups have for decades concentrated their funding and organizational efforts at the federal level, mainly because civil rights were a federal concern.  However, on a tactical level, that emphasis had the unintended effect of ceding the battle in the states to the Republicans. 

Also key has been the success the GOP has enjoyed campaigning on cultural resentment and so-called “wedge” issues that have won over some traditionally conservative pockets of Democratic Party strength in “red” states.

For their part, Republicans have never relented in their multi-decade project of building dominance at the state and local level, pocketing those victories and creating a foundation for strength at the national level. 

Another factor, said Winter, is the collapse of local journalism, and the void in public attention paid to what is happening.  Much of the under-the-radar right wing legislative agenda in “red” states over the past decade has been barely covered, if at all, in most local media outlets for the simple reason many of them no longer exist or have gone bankrupt.  National media outlets, more cost-conscious than in the past, simply do not have the wherewithal or inclination to cover state or local politics with the in-depth focus it deserves. 

So are we at a dangerous tipping point between the power of organized wealth and the strength of our political institutions?  Or are we past it?

Ms. Winter was by turns hopeful and pessimistic (“at times, I’m filled with nihilism”).  She urged that citizens devote greater attention to local issues, and channel their donor dollars and efforts to local chapters of national affiliates where it may be more efficiently spent (and the outcomes are more visible). In any case, progressives will face an uphill climb to restore the health of our democracy without continued citizen engagement from the ground level up.

Pictured:  Meaghan Winter

Photo courtesy of Simon Ramsey.


Editor's note: As a public service, MyhometownBronxville publishes articles from local institutions, officeholders, and individuals. MyhometownBronxville does not fact-check statements therein, and any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff. 


The Rare Bit in Dobbs Ferry is a Gastro Pub with an Exciting Menu PDF Print Email


By Karen Talbot

Nov. 13, 2019: What started out as a British Pub-like restaurant late last year, has rapidly evolved into a gastro pub with an exciting menu. While still serving some British favorites like Fish & Chips and Scotch Eggs, The Rare Bit in Dobbs Ferry also serves a broad array of well-prepared and well-executed US and international dishes. These dishes exemplify the culinary talents of owner Scott Broccoli and Executive Chef, Evan Kalogiannis. The Chef most recently worked in New Orleans and has added his special Gumbo to the gastro pub menu.

The restaurant has a pub-like décor and atmosphere with a large and inviting bar surrounded by cheerful red leather banquettes and booths throughout the restaurant. There are interesting chandeliers over the bar and a cozy corner behind the bar with high-back chairs for more intimate dining.

For APPETIZERS, I recommend the Smoked Pork Ribs, which are crispy and tasteful and served with plum tamarind BBQ sauce and farmer’s slaw. I also recommend The Rare Bit signature dish, which is white toast with cheesy brie and sliced pears with honey on top. This dish is creative and not your typical Welsh Rarebit.

For MAIN COURSES, we had the delicious Fish & Chips that was comprised of lightly battered hake, with house cut fries and house tartar sauce, served with malt vinegar to spritz on the fish. Our second main was Red Wine Braised Short Ribs, very lean and loaded with flavor, served with yummy mashed potatoes, brussels sprouts, herb gremolata, and black garlic aioli.

DESSERT was a delicious Lemon Bar and fresh strawberries, but there were also many other selections. 

The beers, either on draft or bottles/cans, were unique with many rare labels. The restaurant also offered creative cocktails and a great assortment of Gin & Tonic. Enjoyable red wines by the glass included: Tempranillo from Rioja, Spain, Cabernet Sauvignon from Columbia Valley, Washington, and Carignan from Sonoma, Calif---all priced from $10 to $15.

The General Manager, Trevor Ganzi, and our waiter, Joshua, were extremely attentive and friendly and made sure that we liked our food.

The Rare Bit offers a few special appetizers and main courses each night and had a five-course Elk Dinner last week. 

You can book the restaurant to cater a Crawfish Boil and other dinners. The restaurant puts a 3% surcharge on the food portion of your bill to reward the dedicated kitchen staff. You can choose to opt-out of this, and they will be happy to take it off your bill.

The Rare Bit is located at 23 Cedar Street in Dobbs Ferry.  914-693-8000.


Sha!Capella to Sing at Bronxville Tree Lighting December 6 PDF Print Email


By Suzanne Davis and Cindy Randall

Nov 13, 2019: Sha!Capella (Sha), a co-ed high school acapella group, has been entertaining the Bronxville community for an amazing 17 years. With 16 members, this year’s group is one of the largest ever.

From Broadway and classic oldies, to pop hits and ballads, Sha sings it all.

"Hearing the students perform a wide variety of song selections at many different styles of performances is what really creates a great sound for the group," said Sha's Musical Director Richard Grasso.

The group meets once a week to rehearse music in 4- part harmony from all different styles of music.

"Directing Sha these last few years has been a pure joy. Working on challenging 4-part acapella songs from all genres of music is really exciting when working with such talented Bronxville HS students," said Grasso.

Sha has sung the national anthem countless times for many Bronxville High School sporting events, and performed for nursing homes, senior groups, tri-state competitions, community concerts, private parties, and Bronxville Chamber events. Sha is a particular favorite of Bronxville High School alumni groups for its rendition of the "Bronxville Fight Song," a fan favorite for many years. (The song is making its way back into the sports stands.)

"Our alumni reunion classes are always very excited for Sha to perform for them. The Sha performance adds an element of school spirit to their reunion gatherings. The rendition of "Onward Bronxville" is a favorite and brings back so many good memories of High School. The group is so talented and gives a very professional performance," said Peggy Williams, Executive Director of the Bronxville School Foundation.


This year, Sha has many holiday/carol concerts planned, including singing for the Bronxville Tree Lighting Ceremony on Friday, December 6th. All their concerts are free, and they are available for a variety of events and needs.

As happens every year, Sha! will once again culminate its season by recording songs at The Loft, the local recording studio owned and run by Al Hemberger. "This has been a studio to the stars, from Rihanna to Christina Aguilera to Donny Osmond to Sha!Capella! They are always a pleasure to work with, and are a professional, talented group of young people," said Hemberger.

Sha is lucky to have the following students as 2019-2020 members:

Seniors: George Cooney, Ava Downs, and Anabel Maldonado

Juniors: Ben Davis, Maya Engenheiro, Katy McBride, Caroline Palermo, Connor Randall, Kelly Weild and Michael Weild

Sophomores: Jed Donohue, Erin Foley, and Margaux Ribka

Freshman: Molly Bishop, Ellie Clifford, and Brooks Clifford

If you would like to book Sha for an event, please contact parent coodinators Cindy Randall at  CLOAKING or Michelle McBride at  CLOAKING .  Also, click here to see some of Sha! Capella's performances on You-tube.

Pictured:  Sha!Capella group

Photos by C. Randall

Editor's note: As a public service, MyhometownBronxville publishes articles from local institutions, officeholders, and individuals. MyhometownBronxville does not fact-check statements therein, and any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff.

Surviving the Holidays PDF Print Email


By Sherry Saturno, Executive Director, Gramatan Village

Nov. 13, 2019:  The holidays are stressful for anyone who has family. Holidays are equally trying for those of us who do not have family. Everyone knows that you can’t choose your family, but you have the power to control what effect family has upon your life and set boundaries regarding behaviors that you will or won’t accept.

Can you make a family out of friends? Absolutely. Through the love and support of your friends, you can create something healthy and meaningful. What are the first steps?

Reframe your thinking. Open your mind. Family does not mean only one thing. Family is more than biology. Family is who has your back and who is there for you in good and bad times. If you are estranged from family, take small steps to connect more closely with other people in your life.

How can you establish your Friend Family?

Value the people that you have in your life and express what they mean to you. Don’t hesitate to tell them how important they are to you. Your Friend Family can be small. Two people? Fantastic! We’re after quality, not quantity.

It’s the holidays, and I’m lonely. What do I do?

Acknowledge that holidays can be difficult. Some days are going to be tough. Accept any invitations that come your way and just say yes. Make plans in advance and keep them. Celebrate holidays on your own terms, and if that means a movie marathon with your friend, break out the popcorn.

Recognize that loneliness is a feeling and not a permanent state of being.

Understand that you are not alone, and many people share your feelings.

Choose to be the hero of your life, not the victim. You have to be willing to fight for the life that you want and take risks to achieve it.

Rethink your expectations. Steer clear from Hallmark movies about perfect holidays.

Be kind to yourself, but practice tough love. Don’t allow yourself to wallow in self-pity. You’re alone on Thanksgiving? Go to a food pantry and help people in need to celebrate the holiday. When you lose yourself in helping others, you will find something greater than yourself.

Use technology to connect with others in similar situations. Need someone to talk to? Try engaging in friendly phone calls, and check ou 

Be grateful for every day. Tomorrow is not a guarantee.

Consider meeting with a professional counselor to talk about how you feel.

Anais Nin wrote, “The secret to a full life is to live and relate to others as if they might not be there tomorrow, as if you might not be there tomorrow.” Create new traditions, and don’t look back. You can do it.

Note about the author: Sherry Saturno is the Executive Director of Gramatan Village in Bronxville. She is licensed as a Nursing Home Administrator and Clinical Social Worker

Photo:  Shutterstock

Editor's note: As a public service, MyhometownBronxville publishes articles from local institutions, officeholders, and individuals. MyhometownBronxville does not fact-check statements therein, and any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff.

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