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Mayor Mary Marvin and Trustees Robert Underhill and Randy Mayer Reelected PDF Print Email

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By Staff

Mar. 22, 2017:  All three incumbents, Mayor Mary Marvin and trustees Robert Underhill and Randy Mayer, were re-elected to the Bronxville Village Board of Trustees yesterday, March 21. Elizabeth Calderon, who ran an active campaign on the Democratic ticket was defeated by more than two to one. 

Marvin won 335 votes on the Bronxville Citizens for Responsible Growth line and 317 on the Republican line for a total of 652 votes

Underhill won 257 votes on the Bronxville Citizens line and 316 on the Republican line for a total of 573 votes.

Mayer won 247 votes on the Bronxville Citizens line and 322 on the Republican line for a total of 569 votes.

Calderon won 144 votes on the Democratic line.

While the polls closed at 9:00 pm as required by state law, the results were not completely tabulated until after 11:00 pm because of the use of paper ballots. The old metal voting booths were not used because they do not provide a paper trail. Village Administrator Jim Palmer said that the newer scanning machines now available for rent from the Westchester County Board of Elections are expensive. 

Pictured here:  Village Administrator Jim Palmer carrying the metal box containing the completed ballots just after the polls closed. 

Photo by N. Bower

 

 

 

 

 
Events this Week in Bronxville: March 22 to March 29, 2017 PDF Print Email

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By Staff


Wednesday, March 22
: The Bronxville Public Library will be hosting a presentation on great women in world history at 3:00 pm. For more information, go to www.bronxvillelibrary.org or call 914-337-7680.

Friday, March 24:  There will be a workshop at the Bronxville Public Library at 11:00 am presented by the Alzheimer's Association, Hudson Valley Chapter, on healthy aging. For more information and to register, go to www.bronxvillelibrary.org or call 914-337-7680.

Tuesday, March 28:  There will be a meeting of the Bronxville Zoning Board of Appeals at 7:30 pm at Bronxville Village Hall. For more information, go to www.villageofbronxville.com or call 914-337-6500.

Thursday, March 30:  There will be a performance at 2:30 at the Bronxville Public Library of songs of Billie Holiday, Peggy Lee, Dinah Shore, Judy Garland, Marlene Dietrich, and others of the Big Band era performed by Ken Lelen. For more information, go to www.bronxvillelibrary.org or call 914-337-7680.

Editor's note:  As a public service, MyhometownBronxville publishes notices about meetings of village government, the Bronxville Board of Education, and the board of trustees of the Bronxville Public Library. MyhometownBronxville does not independently research other events but will, at its discretion, consider including a notice of an event that will occur in Bronxville if information about the event is received by MyhometownBronxville (managing editor Marcia Lee at CLOAKING ) by noon on the Sunday before the subsequent Wednesday publication. These notices must not be advertisements; please send any requests for advertisements to Sarah Thornton Clifford at CLOAKING .

Photo by N. Bower

 
Dr. Roy R. Montesano Named New Bronxville School Superintendent PDF Print Email

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By Carol P. Bartold


Mar. 22, 2017:  Dr. Roy R. Montesano, current superintendent of Hastings-on-Hudson Union Free School District, has been named the next superintendent of the Bronxville Union Free School District. Dr. Montesano will assume his duties at The Bronxville School on July 1, 2017, upon the June 30 retirement of Superintendent Dr. David Quattrone.

Emerging as the strongest candidate from a pool of 63 applicants, Dr. Montesano comes to Bronxville with 37 years of public education experience, the last five years at Hastings-on-Hudson. He served as superintendent of the Ramsey (New Jersey) Public School District for six years prior to that. In 2012, the New Jersey Association of School Administrators named Montesano the state's 2012 Superintendent of the Year.

At Hastings-on-Hudson, Dr. Montesano demonstrated solid educational leadership by boosting academic achievement in the middle school so that it improved from a Focus School, a designation by the New York State Education Department as a school showing low academic performance in English Language Arts and mathematics, to a Reward School, one showing two years of improvement and closing the gap between the highest- and lowest-performing students.

Dr. Montesano also increased STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) offerings for students, established a student-centered, technology-based classroom instruction philosophy, and developed elementary and middle school makerspaces--collaborative work areas where students create, learn, and explore using both high- and low-tech tools.

During his tenure at Hastings-on-Hudson, the district passed a bond referendum to institute full-day kindergarten.

A graduate of Cook College at Rutgers University, where he earned a bachelor of science degree in environmental science, Dr. Montesano received a master in administration degree from Seton Hall University and a doctor of education (EdD) degree in educational leadership and administration.

"The board believes that Dr. Montesano's depth of experience and enthusiasm as an educator will continue to advance The Bronxville School's tradition of academic excellence," said Jeffrey Rohr, president of the Bronxville Board of Education.

Rohr added that board members and Bronxville School staff members made an onsite visit to Hastings-on-Hudson for a final vetting, where they consulted with at least 40 people, including PTA members, board of education members, principals, faculty members, and officials of the Hastings Education Foundation. "The references were all outstanding," Rohr noted.

Of the 63 applicants for the superintendent post, 41 were male and 22 female. Twenty-three were superintendents, 18 assistant superintendents, and 15 principals or headmasters, and seven held other positions. Thirty-nine applicants held doctorate degrees. Thirty-six applicants came from within New York State and 27 from other states.

Board trustee Thomas Curran stated that of all the candidates interviewed and vetted, Dr. Montesano "distinguished himself in positive ways right from the start."

Pictured here:  Dr. Roy R. Montesano, newly appointed superintendent of the Bronxville schools.

Photo courtesy Connie Lourentzatos, Secretary to Superintendent

 
Bronco Athletes Honored at 2017 Winter Sports Awards Ceremony PDF Print Email

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By S. Quinn DeJoy and J. Murrer 


Mar. 22, 2017:  At the annual winter sports awards evening held on March 16 in the school auditorium, Athletic Council co-presidents Beth Finley and Jack Reilly introduced the winter sports teams. It was a successful season for the Bronxville athletes, who were honored with All-American, All-State, All-Section, and All-League recognition.


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Will Cioffi receives the Morse Cup award for squash (photo by J. Murrer). 

It was an outstanding season for many Broncos, including Sabrina Mellinghoff, Sophie Kohlhoff, Laura Holland, and Kaitlin Ryan, who were recognized with All-American honors after finishing third in the sprint medley relay at the New Balance National Championships on March 11. Ryan also earned All-American honors in the 800m, finishing in second place in 2:08.63, a new Bronxville School record. 


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SMR relay team (L to R): Sabrina Mellinghoff, Sophie Kohlhoff, Laura Holland, and Kaitlin Ryan, with Coach Jim Mitchell (photo submitted by L. Holland). 

At the New York State Swimming Championships, Andrew Babyak earned All-American recognition with his first-place finish in the 500yd free at the New York State Championships; Babyak and Tim Cushman also earned All-American honors in the 400-free relay. Bronxville High School turned out six All-Americans during the winter season, an incredible statistic for such a small school district. 

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Swimmers Andrew Babyak (L) and Aidan Flannery (photo by J. Murrer).  

The Broncos also had nine talented squash players participate in the prestigious U.S. Junior Championships held at Harvard and MIT this past weekend. It was a great weekend of squash for the Bronxville players, with particularly outstanding results for siblings Molly Stoltz (Girls Under 13) and Connor Stoltz (Boys Under 15), who both placed second in their age divisions. For more details of the weekend, please see this week's squash article on MyhometownBronxville.

Two Bronco basketball players, eighth-grader Brooke Tatarian and senior Jack Reilly, were named most valuable player for their respective leagues. Brian Senior, the coach for the boys' team, was also recognized during the awards ceremony for earning his 100th varsity win this season. Senior will be stepping down as head varsity coach. 


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The basketball team giving a standing ovation to Coach Brian Senior (photo by J. Murrer).

The evening included photos and videos of each team, and the Athletic Council and Athletic Director Karen Peterson gave special thanks to Liam Siegal, who produced the multimedia presentation. 

Award recipients are listed below.

Girls' Indoor Track and Field

Coach: Jim Mitchell
Assistant Coach: Keina Samuels 
Captains: Sophie Kohlhoff, Lindsey Nobles, Sophia Dibbini

New York State and Federation Champion: Kaitlin Ryan

All-Section and All-County:  K. Ryan, Patty Haggerty, Sydney Coddington, Laura Holland

All-League: Emma Mandanas, L. Holland, K. Ryan, Avery Widen, S. Kohlhoff, Caroline Brashear, P. Haggerty, S. Mellinghoff, Gigi Chrappa, Grace Randall, Molly Palma, Alisa Kanganis, Maeve Sullivan, Betsy Marshall, Eve Balseiro, Amanda Shkreli, Marina Alfano, S. Coddington

Sprint MVP: S. Kohlhoff

Field MVP: S. Mellinghoff

Middle Distance/Distance MVP: K. Ryan 

SeniorsAllegra Alfano, Sydney Coddington, Sophia Dibbini, Audrey Kim, Sophie Kohlhoff, Lindsey Nobles, Kaitlin Ryan


Boys' Indoor Track and Field

Coach: Ian Clark
Assistant Coaches: Bobby Love, James Salerno
Captains: Evan Downs, Tripp Judkins, Sean Mooney 

All-League: Luke Redman, Kevin Formato, T. Judkins, Alex Rizzo, Avery Kane, Andrew Murray, Damien Meehan, Tommy Fitzgibbons, Tommy O'Connell, Matt Rizzo, Seamus Watters

Sprint MVP: S. Watters

Field MVP: A. Murray

Distance MVP: A. Rizzo 

SeniorsEvan Downs, Tripp Judkins, Sean Mooney, Andrew Murray, Liam Siegal, Harry Vollmer 


Boys' Swimming and Diving 

Swim Coach: Kip Fiero
Assistant Coach: Adam King

New York State and Federation Champion: A. Babyak

New York State Champion: Tim Cushman

All Section: A. Babyak

All-League: A. Babyak, T. Cushman, Aidan Flannery

MVP, Swimming:  A. Babyak
MVP, Diving: Mark Sears
Most Improved: T. Cushman

Coaches' Award: Aidan Flannery 

SeniorAidan Flannery


Varsity Squash

Coach: Jason Hicks, Karim Samy
Captains: Sam Abukhadra, Hadley Barr

Most Improved: Sam Abukhadra, Robbie Cruikshank

MVPs: Connor Stoltz, Sasha Capasso

Morse Cup: Will Cioffi and McKenna Stoltz 

SeniorsFord Neild, Will Cioffi, Tommy Maldonado


Boys' Basketball 

Coach: Brian Senior
Assistant Coaches: Justin Brucale
Captains: Matt Toal, Alston Tarry, Jack Reilly

All-Conference: A. Tarry, J. Reilly

League MVP: J. Reilly

All-League: J. Reilly, M. Toal, A. Tarry

All-League Honorable Mention: Eddie Connors

MVP, Defense: E. Connors

Coaches' Award: Jack Flanagan

SeniorsBrian DePaul, Jack Flanagan, Jerry Frost, Jack Reilly, Matt Toal


Girls' Basketball

Coach: Donald Lucas
Assistant Coach: Michaela Donohue
Captain: Ellie Walsh, Natalie Kister

All-Conference: Brooke Tatarian

League MVP: B. Tatarian

All-League: E. Walsh, N. Kister, Ashley Kaye, B. Tatarian

All-League, Honorable Mention: Allie Berkery, Olivia Jensen

Coaches' Awards: E. Walsh and N. Kister

SeniorsEllie Walsh, Natalie Kister, Sophia Anagnostakis, Olivia Jensen, Alyson Schultz


Ice Hockey

Coach: Steve Forzaglia
Assistant Coaches: Joe Blute

All-Section, Honorable Mention: Ethan Reich

Russ Simon Sportsmanship Award: E. Reich

All-League: E. Reich

All-League, Honorable Mention: Leo Gretzinger

Senior Awards: Michael Landy, E. Reich, Joe Dougherty 

SeniorsMichael Landy, Ethan Reich, Joe Dougherty


Varsity Skiing

Coaches: Jim Agnello, Peggy Williams

All-League: Remi Laurence, Piper Gilliam

Boys Most Valuable Skiers: R. Laurence, P. Gilliam

Most Improved: Emily Spitz, Peter Meyer 

SeniorsEmily Spitz, Sam Arcano, Remi Laurence, Alex Oman
 

Pictured at top:  Ellie Walsh receives her six-year varsity award for basketball.

Photo by J. Murrer

 
Bronxville Squash Players Compete in U.S. Junior Squash Nationals; Molly and Connor Stoltz Are Finalists PDF Print Email

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By Staff


Mar. 22, 2017:  This past weekend, nine talented squash players from Bronxville traveled to Boston to participate in the U.S. Squash Junior Championships held at Harvard and MIT.

In order to qualify, each of these players achieved national rankings in the top thirty-two positions of their age group, quite an accomplishment. The players from Bronxville represented at the nationals were James Murphy (Boys Under 11), Charlie Clifford and Ronin Kaplan (Boys Under 13), Molly Stoltz (Girls Under 13), Connor Stoltz and Coulter Mackesy (Boys Under 15), Tyler Mackesy and Harry Charlton (Boys Under 17), and Ryan Murray (Boys Under 19).

It was a great weekend of squash for the Bronxville players, with particularly outstanding results for siblings Molly and Connor Stoltz, who both made it to the finals in their age divisions. In the Girls Under 13 division, Molly won her first four matches without giving up a single game and advanced to the finals, where she faced Lucie Stefanoni, the number-one seed, of Darien, Connecticut. Their match was a hard-fought five-game battle, with Stefanoni ultimately pulling out the win.

In the Boys Under 15 division, fourth-seed Connor Stoltz also reached the finals, dropping only one game along the way. Connor ultimately succumbed in the finals to second-seed Jacob Bulbulia of Short Hills, NJ. 

Other notable results include Ryan Murray (BU19), who finished in the top 16 of his age division, Coulter Mackesy (BU15) and Tyler Mackesy (BU17), who finished in the top 24 of their age divisions, Charlie Clifford (BU13) and James Murphy (BU11), who finished in the top 26 of their age divisions, and Harry Charlton (BU17) and Ronin Kaplan (BU13), who finished in the top 32 of their age divisions.   

These boys and girls train at the Bronxville Field Club as well as other squash clubs, including Pyramid in Tuckahoe and Westchester Squash in Mamaroneck. In addition, many participate on their school teams.

All in all, Bronxville once again showed its prowess in the junior squash world.

Pictured here (rotating):  Bronxville squash players who played in the U.S. Junior Championships.

Photos contributed by parents

 
From the Mayor: The Pyramid of New York State Government PDF Print Email

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By Mary C. Marvin, Mayor, Village of Bronxville


Mar. 22, 2017:  With the current discussion of various elections, budgets, and taxing entities, I thought it instructive to review the government pyramid that trickles all the way down to our village board, truly the end of the line!

Our Albany government is headed by the governor and lieutenant governor, who are elected for four-year terms with no term limits. Historically, unlike the office of the mayor of New York City, the governorship is a successful launching point for even higher aspirations. Ten governors have been major party candidates for president and four, Martin Van Buren, Grover Cleveland, Theodore Roosevelt, and Franklin D. Roosevelt, have won the office. Six New York governors have gone on to serve as vice president, and two governors, John Jay and Charles Evan Hughes, served as chief justice of the United States.

The governor presides over a bicameral legislature consisting of 150 assembly members and currently 63 state senators. A senate district varies from two to three times more populous than an assembly district.  Both legislative positions are two-year terms with no limit. The senate alone confirms the governor's appointment of all non-elected state officials and judges.

The senate, which currently holds a slight majority, is led by Republican leader John Flanigan, a 15-year legislator who represents the Nassau County towns of Smith Haven, Brookhaven, and Huntington.

The assembly, which has a Democratic majority, is led by Carl Heastie, a 17-year veteran in office representing the Northeast Bronx, including Williamsbridge and Wakefield. He is the first African American to lead the assembly since its inception in 1777.

When bills are jointly passed by the two houses, the governor has a veto power that can be overridden only by a two-thirds vote.

Bills passed during the last ten days of a legislative session are subject to a special 30-day rule pursuant to which, if the governor takes no action, it constitutes a veto. That is why so many local officials wait with baited breath during that final month to see the possible effects on local governments.

Next in the hierarchical structure is county government. Though the largest and most inclusive local government, it is the most limited in the services it can legally provide. Every New Yorker lives within one of our 62 counties. Scarcely resembling their function at their inception in colonial times, county governments now are largely partners with the state to provide many of the state-mandated services, including Medicaid, other social services, and management of jails and prisoner retention.

They may also provide police services, parks and recreation, community colleges, road and transportation infrastructure, economic development assistance, and coordinated regional response to issues of commonality.

Coincidentally, there are also 62 city governments in New York State ranging in size from New York City at over 8.1 million residents to the City of Sherrill, with a population of just under 3,100. Cities are governed by locally created charters that address their basic organization, including powers, type of legislative bodies, and services rendered directly to its citizens, including public safety and infrastructure.

Following down the pyramid is town government. Established in the late 1700s/early 1800s to carry out general governmental functions on a more local level rather than as a state service, there are currently 932 New York towns, each of which exists in a county. Interestingly, towns in New York are not permitted to provide fire services on a town-wide basis. For this function, special fire protection districts or independent fire boards governed by commissioners must be created.

Villages such as our own and our neighbor, Tuckahoe, must exist within a town. Thus, every citizen of a village also lives in a town and a county.

There are currently 551 villages in New York State, and their size and services vary so greatly that there is no typical village.

The government closest to its citizens, villages very much value Article IX of the New York State Constitution, called the Municipal Home Rule Law, which explicates the constitutional local powers. Home rule in its broadest sense describes those governmental functions traditionally reserved to or performed by local governments without undue infringement by the state. In its more technical sense, home rule refers to the constitutional and statutory powers given to local governments to enact local legislation in order to carry out our local duties.

The above constitutional right is a primary reason why many communities chafe at the imposition of a tax cap and all of its inherent restrictions placed upon local governments by state dicta. 

In the same vein, many communities had reservations about the Affordable Housing Decree, not because of its clearly laudable goals, rather because the federal government wanted to impose a uniform zoning code on all Westchester County communities regardless of community acreage or density.

All of the above layers are the reasons why you receive federal, state, county, town, village, fire district, and school district tax bills, all with varying due dates, penalties, and legal consequences.

 
Longtime Bronxville Resident Charles H. Brunie, Jr. Dies February 23, 2017, at 86 PDF Print Email

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By Friends


Mar. 22, 2017:  Longtime Bronxville resident Charles H. Brunie, Jr. passed away at age 86 on February 23, 2017. He was a highly recognized and much-respected member of the Bronxville community. 

Brunie was a securities analyst whose research department at the Oppenheimer brokerage firm was ranked as the number-one research firm by Institutional Investor for the four years he ran it.

In 1969, he went on to found the investment-advisory firm Oppenheimer Capital and served as its chairman for more than a quarter of a century until 1996 when he became chairman emeritus. 

Chuck graduated from Amherst College in 1952. After two years in the Army, he enrolled in Columbia University's business school, from which he received an MBA in 1956. 

After several years as a security analyst, first for New York Life Insurance Co. and then for one of the early institutional research firms, Faulkner, Dawkins & Sullivan, Mr. Brunie joined Oppenheimer. In two years, he became head of institutional research and was made a partner.

He remained with Oppenheimer Capital through 2000, then started his own firm, Brunie Associates, in 2001.

He was a member of the Association of Investment Management and Research and of the New York Society of Security Analysts.

In addition, he was chairman emeritus of the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, a not-for-profit free-market oriented "think tank," and a member of the international Mont Pelerin Society, proposed for membership by two Nobel laureates.

He was also a director of the Zweig Fund and the Zweig Total Return Fund and was a trustee of the Milton and Rose D. Friedman Foundation.

He served on the boards of The American Spectator and the Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths, which was founded by Hudson senior adjunct fellow Betsy McCaughey.

An obituary published by the Manhattan Institute states this about Chuck: 

As a youth, Chuck had sat with Alan Greenspan at the feet of guru Ayn Rand and had imbibed some of her views, not all of them equally salubrious. But what was certainly correct, as Chuck knew, was her view that entrepreneurialism allowed the greatest development both of the human potentialities of the entrepreneur and the benefits to society.

He is survived by his wife, Jean Corley Brunie of Bronxville.  

Photo courtesy Manhattan Institute

 
Westchester County Legislators Present State Legislators with 2017 Legislative Priorities PDF Print Email

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By Matt Richter, Communications Director, Westchester County Board of Legislators


Mar. 22, 2017:  On Thursday, March 16, the Westchester County Board of Legislators, Legislation Committee, met with members of Westchester County's state legislators for the purpose of presenting and discussing the 2017 Joint Legislative Package.

The 2017 package contains 20 legislative items to be submitted through Westchester state legislators for consideration by the state legislature and governor in the current state legislative session. 

The joint legislative package, which is submitted annually, represents measures that Westchester legislators have identified as being of particular importance or urgency. As in recent years, most of the legislative items submitted for consideration deal with the overarching issue of unfunded mandates and mandate relief.

Legislator Virginia Perez (D) Yonkers is chair of the legislation committee. An item of particular importance to Legislator Perez is the first item in the legislative package, which is a proposal to raise the age of criminal responsibility in New York. In April of 2016, the board of legislators passed a resolution commonly referred to as "Raise the Age." The age of criminal responsibility in New York is 16 years old. It is the board of legislators' belief that treating and incarcerating 16-year-olds with adults does far more to harm than it does to try to rehabilitate them. The "Raise the Age" legislation would not apply to individuals charged with violent crimes.

Legislator Perez's brother Martin was killed in a shooting by two young men, one, 17, and the other, 18. The trigger man had prior convictions and had served time in jail. Perez believes that if this young man, when serving time as a juvenile offender, had received some form of intervention instead of incarceration, he may have changed the direction of his life for the better and Martin Perez may have been alive today.  Legislator Perez said, "We urge the state to consider a modification to the age of criminal responsibility and to find ways to rescue these kids from a criminal justice process that may in fact push them toward a life of criminal activity and that would ultimately make them a drain on our resources."

The key to getting this resolution passed is an agreement by the state that they would fund the additional costs associated with handling these youth offenders' cases outside a jail setting. 

Westchester would need to hire ten new probation officers to manage youthful offenders who are offered alternatives to incarceration. The "Raise the Age" legislation has passed the assembly with the requisite funding. The state senate and governor have yet to pass and properly fund this critical legislation.

Other items in the legislative package from Westchester County:

• State reimbursement to counties for full amount of expenditures for indigent legal services

• Secure more money for the Bee-Line Bus Service

• Restore funding for Hudson Valley 211 hotline

• Child care subsidy funding

• Request funding for state-mandated rape kit law

• Provide Medicaid mandate relief for counties

Participants in the meeting from the state delegation were Assemblywoman Amy Paulin, Assemblywoman Sandy Galef, Assemblywoman Shelley Mayer, Assemblyman Steve Otis, and Assemblyman Gary Pretlow.

Pictured here
:  Meeting of the Westchester County Board of Legislators with Westchester's state legislators.

Photo courtesy Matt Richter, Communications Director, Westchester County Board of Legislators

 
Village Historian Eloise Morgan on the Blizzard of 1888 PDF Print Email

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By Eloise Morgan, Bronxville Village Historian


Mar. 22, 2017:  Last week's blizzard--after days of dire weather alerts and blizzard warnings, school, business, and transportation cancellations, and emergency declarations--left the Bronxville area with an anticlimactic, less-than-projected 10 to 13 inches of snow on March 13 and 14.

That was inconvenient and dangerous enough. But imagine the reverse. A two-day storm that with absolutely no warning dumps 20 or more inches of snow whipped by 40 to 85 miles per hour winds.

That is no imaginary storm. That was the Blizzard of 1888, which brought this area and the whole Northeast to its knees on Monday and Tuesday, March 12 and 13, almost exactly 129 years ago to the day from last week's storm. As temperatures hovered barely above zero, the region was shut down with drifts as high as 40 to 50 feet. In New York City alone, 200 people died.

The day before the 1888 storm had been overcast but not stormy, and the forecast called for partly cloudy to fair weather. Although it was snowing by Monday morning, thousands of unsuspecting Westchester County commuters caught trains to New York City as usual, only to find the tracks farther down the line blocked by deep snow and themselves held captive in a raging blizzard in train cars without heat, food, or drink.

Trains through Bronxville on the Harlem Division of the New York Central got only as far south as Mott Haven at 138th Street before the tracks became impassable. An 8:15 am train from Scarsdale took four hours to reach Mott Haven; 15 trains were stuck behind it. Other local commuters caught New Haven trains at Mount Vernon's station at First Street and Fourth (Gramatan) Avenue. They too ended up in stalled trains, and one Bronxville commuter, Robert M. Masterton, died in the snow.

A merchant who traveled to Manhattan regularly, Masterton was a member of one of Bronxville's oldest families. His large stone house sat near the White Plains/Pondfield Roads corner, and he customarily took the New Haven train from Mount Vernon, which had more frequent service than the Harlem line. His train that Monday made it only about a third of a mile before being stalled in the cut near Scott's Bridge at Tenth Avenue. At about noon, he left the train with a number of others, including his friend A. J. Whittem, who lived on Mount Vernon's Second Avenue.

The two men walked to Whittem's house and ate lunch. About four hours later, they left the house to walk to the train station, where Masterton thought his coachman might be waiting to drive him home as usual. They had gone only about 200 feet when Masterton collapsed into the snow. Whittem, who supposed him to be exhausted, summoned help immediately and he was carried into Sharkey's saloon. When the doctor arrived, the 65-year-old Masterton was dead of "cerebral apoplexy," according to the Mount Vernon Chronicle, which reported extensively on the storm.

As tragic as Masterton's death was, most of Mount Vernon was focused at the time on an unprecedented crisis. From Monday morning until Wednesday night, five New Haven trains with nearly 1,500 passengers, many of them ladies, were stalled near Mount Vernon, along with three other trains marooned between Mamaroneck and New Rochelle. Many passengers spent Monday night in their railcars while the steam engines ran out of coal and water. After being resupplied on Tuesday from local hydrants and coal yards, the engines were thawed out and the trains dug out and moved nearer the Mount Vernon station.

Mount Vernonites opened their homes, stores, offices, meeting halls, and clubrooms to accommodate their thousands of "unwilling guests." Firemen rigged up "horsed conveyances" and transported the women passengers to comfortable quarters. The hotels, restaurants, and saloons were swamped with patrons. When people ran short of money, complete strangers loaned them cash, "without security." One store owner posted a sign: "Hot coffee and a warm store free."

Some trapped passengers walked home struggling miles through the blizzard, including two young men from Tuckahoe who nearly lost their lives in the attempt. The son of Mr. Hodgman, owner of the Tuckahoe rubber goods factory, and his friend took the 7:43 am Harlem train from Tuckahoe on Monday to attend school in the city. By Tuesday morning, they lost patience with their snow-bound train at Mott Haven and set out for home. After walking all day Tuesday through the storm, they reached Bronxville, where the station agent saw them struggling in a snowdrift and came to the rescue. They were "well nigh" exhausted from hunger, cold and the tremendous strain upon their systems," reported the Chronicle.

Throughout the Northeast, communities were out of touch with each other and the outside world. Mount Vernon was in total darkness Monday and Tuesday nights with neither gas nor electric light. Telegraph communication was completely cut off Monday and part of Tuesday. There were no daily newspapers until Wednesday, when someone walked up from Fordham with a bundle to sell. Mount Vernon was without mail from Saturday to Thursday. The horse-drawn snowplows were useless against the deep snow, and social and business life basically shut down.

Tuesday afternoon the Harlem line started three heavy locomotives from White Plains to clear the tracks, reaching the Mount Vernon West station that night. On Wednesday, the Harlem line was opened from White Plains to Manhattan. By Thursday, New Haven trains were running between New Rochelle and the city. Railroad traffic generally was not resumed until Saturday.

Although Robert Masterton died at about 4:00 pm on Monday, it was not until late Tuesday that a messenger was able to fight through the storm--a five-hour roundtrip--to deliver the grim news to Masterton's wife, Avis, and family. Masterton was president of the Bronxville/Tuckahoe School Board. At an early April special meeting, the board formally mourned his passing: "We are deeply affected with a sense of personal loss and sorrow . . . that our eldest and most trusted advisor and counselor will no more be in his accustomed place to aid us in the performance of our duties."

Mount Vernon was Eastchester's largest village, with around 10,000 inhabitants. By contrast, Bronxville was a little hamlet with fewer than 300 residents. Such rural areas suffered less from the storm than more densely populated areas.

Generally, people stayed home, relying on their winter stores of food and fuel. No one expected anyone but themselves and their neighbors to clear the roads. The Bronxville School was closed for a week. Bronxville didn't lose electricity, running water, or telephones, because it didn't have them in the first place.

But however one experienced the storm, everyone recognized that it would go down in history.

Pictured here:  A team of horses pulls what looks to be a sleigh down Pondfield Road in the aftermath of the Blizzard of 1888. Tyler’s general store is on the left (just north of today’s Park Place). Peaking above the store roof is the cupola of the 1870 Bronxville School.

Photo courtesy Eloise Morgan, Bronxville Village Historian

 
Bronxville's Virginia Doetsch Named 2016 Manager of the Year PDF Print Email

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By Andrew Wood, Director of PR, William Pitt and Julia B. Fee Sotheby's International Realty


Mar. 22, 2017:  Virginia Doetsch, manager of William Pitt and Julia B. Fee Sotheby's offices in Bronxville and Irvington, has been named the company's 2016 Manager of the Year.

Doetsch was chosen from among 16 brokerage managers for the honor, winning the award for the second time in the past three years.

"Virginia continuously proves what a tremendous asset she is to our firm with her outstanding support and leadership," said Paul Breunich, president and chief executive officer of William Pitt and Julia B. Fee Sotheby's International Realty. "Her achievements are substantial, including her skill for drawing and retaining top talent as well as her impressive track record of realizing notable increases in annual sales volume. She was also instrumental in expanding our presence in Westchester County's key Rivertowns market area during 2015 and 2016. I am proud to recognize Virginia as our Manager of the Year."

Doetsch, who has been in the real estate industry for over 25 years, has led the company's Bronxville brokerage office since 2011. Over the course of her first five years in the position, she grew the brokerage's sales force from a small team of nine agents to 41 while increasing the office's annual sales volume by a dramatic 800%. 

Additionally, in the summer of 2015, Doetsch played an important role in establishing the company's first brokerage based in Westchester County's Rivertowns market and continues to drive the firm's growth there. Located in the region's hub town of Irvington, the brokerage achieved significant dollar volume in its first full year of 2016. She now leads a group of 15 agents in Irvington, after starting virtually from scratch prior to launching the new brokerage in 2015.

"I attribute so much of the success of my offices to all of my fantastic full-time agents, who bring deep knowledge of current real estate conditions coupled with sensitivity to changing global markets," said Doetsch. "I have high expectations for my agents and strive to build teams comprised of sales professionals who focus on what is best for their clients over their own interests. As a result, we are building relationships that we know will last for generations."

Pictured here:  Virginia Doetsch.

Photo courtesy of William Pitt and Julia B. Fee Sotheby's International Realty

 
Trinity Rose Drummond Wins Blind Audition for NBC TV Show PDF Print Email

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By Jo Drummond


Mar. 22, 2017:  Thirteen-year-old Trinity Rose Drummond beat out over 40,000 artists to become the youngest female contestant ever to win the blind audition for the NBC singing reality TV show The Voice.  Another boy, Quizz, who performed on the show, was also 13 but two months younger than Trinity.

Among other things, Trinity is a part of an educational music group called Young at Arts (YAA), centered at Christ Church Bronxville, which mentors students of all backgrounds through music. The director of YAA, Charles DuChateau, is famous for his music direction of The King and I and Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark.

Trinity was found by casting directors for NBC when The Voice lowered the audition age to 13 after she won an unsigned music competition for her song "In the Pines," a 100-year-old cover made famous by Leadbelly.

Casting directors then checked out YouTube videos of her singing the national anthem. Trinity sang the "Star-Spangled Banner" last year at several venues in Los Angeles, where she lived. The largest venue was at Dodger Stadium, where she sang "God Bless America" for the 25,000 participants in the 2016 LA Marathon.

Trinity and our family moved to Bronxville in August of 2016 when her dad found a job in advertising in the city. Trinity has two singles and an EP (a musical recording that contains more tracks than a single but is usually unqualified as an album) in online stores such as iTunes and Spotify. 

Her latest, "Another Perfect Day," is produced by Colbie Caillat's music producer and is an anthem of positivity for letting your worries go. All proceeds of her music go towards helping the homeless and those in need.

Trinity performs monthly at a YAA-sponsored event called First Fridays, which is a curated open-mic event held at Taylor Hall in Christ Church the first Friday of every month.

Trinity and her family will not find out when she performs on The Voice until three days before the show airs. She is in one of the promos being aired on TV and online.

Pictured here:  Trinity Rose Drummond, second from the right.

Photo courtesy Jo Drummond

 
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