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Consolidated Edison's Midland Avenue Work Reveals Problem in Detecting Natural Gas Odor PDF Print Email


By Carol Bartold, Senior Reporter     

Jul. 18, 2018: A recent development in Consolidated Edison's effort to upgrade and repair aging gas mains along Midland Avenue from Winter Hill Road in Tuckahoe to Library Lane in Bronxville has raised concern among village residents who live in the Midland Avenue area.

The utility has indicated that a section of new 16-inch steel pipes, which will ultimately replace all 12-inch cast iron pipes currently in place, may not have been properly cleaned and scoured before installation. As a result, Consolidated Edison determined that natural gas flowing to residences already connected to the new main does not contain sufficient mercaptan, the chemical that lends a sulfuric odor to natural gas and allows detection of gas leaks.

According to Bob McGee, Consolidated Edison spokesperson, a section of the newly installed pipes absorbed enough mercaptan to render the gas flowing through them odorless. He stated that on June 30, the utility began a procedure, known as purging, that will allow the utility to achieve the level of mercaptan needed in the natural gas to ensure safety. Purging involves forcing an increased flow of gas through the pipes to eliminate the odorless gas and pump in a new supply while adding mercaptan to that new supply until the level needed to make the gas detectable is achieved. The natural gas eliminated by purging is continuously released into the atmosphere.


Resident Gretchen Pingel reported that the ongoing process has subjected the neighborhood to increased noise and disruption, not only from the purging itself but also from work crews and idling vehicles being onsite day and night. "It is amazingly inefficient, expensive, and wasteful," she said.

McGee stated that, while Consolidated Edison is expediting the work, there is no estimated completion date. "If there were a different way to do this, resulting in greater savings, we'd do it," he said. "What we're doing is state of the art in these regards." He cited the decreased flow of natural gas due to summer's lower demand as one factor that made purging necessary to solve the mercaptan problem.

Work on the overall project began in January at Winter Hill Road and has proceeded into Bronxville, resulting in ongoing construction work on Midland Avenue. McGee noted that initial work yielded proper mercaptan levels but that readings on the section currently undergoing purging revealed a problem. "We need to be sure the mercaptan takes hold," he said.

Bronxville Village Administrator Jim Palmer has indicated his insistence that Consolidated Edison properly prime all steel piping to be used for the next section of work so that purging can be avoided. "I will not have them start installation of the next section of 16-inch pipe until the first section can be closed up and purging is complete," he said. "They will be better prepared for the next section of pipe."

Pictured here:  Midland Avenue in Bronxville during Con Ed's upgrading and repairing of aging gas mains.

Photos by A. Warner

Events this Week in Bronxville: July 18 to July 25, 2018 PDF Print Email


By Staff

Jul. 18, 2018: Below are events that will take place in and around Bronxville from Wednesday, July 18, to Wednesday, July 25, 2018. For events at the Bronxville Public Library, click here.

Wednesday, July 18, 8:00 pm, Bronxville Pops Concert, Front Lawn of The Bronxville School. The Bronxville Pops Concert Band will be performing its second concert of the 2018 season on the front lawn of The Bronxville School starting at 8:00 pm. The Bronxville Pops will perform two more concerts, both at 8:00 pm on Wednesdays on the front lawn of The Bronxville School: July 25 and August 1. For more information, email CLOAKING .

Thursday, July 19, Noon, Gramatan Village Annual Summer Luncheon. Gramatan Village will be holding its annual summer luncheon at Eastchester Fish Gourmet, 837 White Plains Road. The cost is $30.00. Reservations are required along with payment. For more information, call 914-337-1338 or go to

Wednesday, July 25, 8:00 pm, Bronxville Pops Concert, Front Lawn of The Bronxville School. The Bronxville Pops Concert Band will be performing its third concert of the 2018 season on the front lawn of The Bronxville School starting at 8:00 pm. The Bronxville Pops will perform its last concert of the 2018 season on the lawn at 8:00 pm on Wednesday, August 1. For more information, email CLOAKING .

Photo by N. Bower

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 sethorntoncliff@aol.

Bronxville Pops Concert Tonight, July 18; See Photos from Last Week's Concert PDF Print Email


By Staff

Jul. 18, 2018: The summer concerts of The Bronxville Pops Concert Band are a long tradition in Bronxville. Here are some pictures of the band from the July 11 concert. There is another free concert tonight, July 18, at 8:00 pm on the front lawn of The Bronxville School, and there are two more concerts this summer, July 25 and August 1, both at 8:00 pm on the front lawn of the school.









Photos by N. Bower

Editor's note: A member of the staff of MyhometownBronxville and her son are members of the Bronxville Pops Concert Band.


Predators 2023 Lacrosse Team Competes at the World Series of Youth Lacrosse in Denver PDF Print Email


By Guest Contributor

Jul. 18, 2018:  Five Bronxville boys and their teammates traveled to Denver to compete against the top U13 lacrosse teams in the world. Rising 8th-graders Thomas Conneally, Nick George, Sean McGrath, Greydon O'Keefe, and Chris Patterson are members of the Westchester-based Predators 2023 lacrosse team. Other team members come from the New York metropolitan area and Connecticut.

In April, Predators 2023 participated in the qualifiers for the World Series Youth Lacrosse on Long Island. After many grueling games in freezing temperatures against the Northeast's top U13 teams, Predators 2023 secured their first-ever spot in the World Series of Youth Lacrosse (WSYL), which was held in Denver over the week of July 4.


Present at WSYL were the top 24 U13 teams in the world, who were all competing for the championship. Predators 2023 faced a tough bracket and fell short in the first game, losing to this year's finalist. Pre-game jitters, high temperatures, and altitude added to the challenge. In true Predators fashion, they never gave up and went 3-3 in the tournament, placing third in their bracket with wins against Team Israel, 91 Titans from Florida, and Walsh Park Warriors from Denver. Predators 2023 entered the World Series ranked 17 and finished with a world ranking of 12.


A banquet gala was held in Mile High Stadium, home of the Denver Broncos, where the team members donned their custom Predators Vineyard Vines ties for team pictures that were taken on the 50-yard line. Being in Mile High Stadium was especially fun for the young Bronxville lacrosse players.


Yorktown native and current Bronxville resident Mike McCall founded the Predators lacrosse program in 2013. McCall, who played for UNC, joined head coach Gary Raniolo and assistant coach Eric Cooley on the journey to Denver. The dedication of this trio of coaches was instrumental in the boys' success.

Lacrosse starts from the ground up and the boys acknowledged the effort put in to their lacrosse skills development by the Bronxville Youth Lacrosse Association and Bronxville school coaches, including Bronxville modified coach Tom Sanders, who was the starting All-American goalie for Bucknell from 1975 to 1979. Predator player Nick George was overheard saying, "I want to give a shout-out to Mr. Sanders for telling us to keep our heads up when dodging."


Pictured here: The Predators 2023 team in action and posing for photos in Mile High Stadium.

Photos by Quintin George  

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 therein do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff.


Second-Graders Gain a Unique Glimpse Back in Time PDF Print Email


By Erin Saluti, Co-Chair, Board of Directors, The Bronxville Historical Society

Jul. 18, 2018: If you happened to notice that the Tuckahoe Trolley was traveling up and down Pondfield Road more often than usual a few weeks ago, you are right! Over the 2017-2018 academic year, The Bronxville Historical Conservancy partnered with The Bronxville School to develop a local history curriculum module for the second grade. The module was designed to complement the current second-grade social studies theme, "change over time."


The unit began on May 24 with a PowerPoint presentation to the entire second-grade class by the Eastchester town historian, Richard Forliano. Forliano, dressed in period costume, assumed the role of "Farmer John" and guided the children on an in-depth pictorial tour of "old" Bronxville. There were audible gasps in the auditorium as the students recognized familiar places that looked so different centuries ago. Forliano engaged the students in a unique way by periodically asking them questions and directing them to "turn and talk" to the classmates seated beside them. This format fostered interesting discussion between the students.


ln the following few weeks, each of the six classes took individual trolley tours, visiting the buildings, homes, and locations that they learned about in the presentation. Stops included the Bronx River; Lawrence Park ("the Hilltop"); the original village square; the "one-room schoolhouse"; and Bronxville's oldest home, the Abijah Morgan house at 339 Pondfield Road. These locations were contrasted with the present-day village center and "four corners," which consists of the library, village hall, The Reformed Church, and the school.


Forliano explained to the students how the area evolved from a Native American hunting and fishing settlement on the banks of the Bronx River thousands of years ago to an agricultural hamlet to a purposefully developed artistic community to a modern-day suburb. At the completion of the tour, the second-graders were provided with a booklet to reinforce what they had learned.

In addition to Forliano, former Conservancy co-chair Jack Bierwirth, current Conservancy co-chair Erin Saluti, and Village of Bronxville historian Ray Geselbracht contributed to the project--one of many programs and initiatives offered this year in celebration of The Bronxville Historical Conservancy's 20th anniversary.

The local history module provided the second-graders with an unusual glimpse of their hometown back in time. It encouraged their understanding of how Bronxville has changed over time and helped to develop an appreciation for why their community is unique. The Bronxville Historical Conservancy looks forward to partnering with The Bronxville School on future projects, furthering our mission of fostering an awareness of the village's architectural, artistic, and cultural heritage.

Pictured here: Second-graders on the Tuckahoe Trolley guided by Richard Forliano and in the school auditorium.

Photo by Michelle Schoulder

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 therein do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff.

Looking for a Great Summer Read? Here Are Over 40 Books PDF Print Email


By Sarah Thornton Clifford, Publisher

Jul. 18, 2018: Whether you’re at the beach, the lake, or the mountains or you are traveling or relaxing at home, summer can provide just enough downtime to pick up a good book. 

Below are over 40 books that my friends and family are enjoying this summer. The books are in alphabetical order and quotations are from those who submitted the titles.    

The Alice Network, by Kate Quinn.  

Bad Blood, by John Carreyrou. "About the Theranos scandal. Couldn’t put it down." 

The Banker's Wife, by Christina Ager. "Wealth, society, Swiss banks, financial titans. Has all the intrigue for a good mystery." 

Beartown, by Fredrik Backman.  

Behemoth: A History of the Factory and the Making of the Modern World, by Joshua Freeman. “Fascinating history of big factories.” 

Bobby Kennedy, by Chris Matthews. “Great read of Bobby's life … focuses on campaigns with JFK through his own presidential bid. Well-done tribute to his years of public service.”  

Breakfast with Buddha; Lunch with Buddha; Dinner with Buddha, a trilogy by Roland Merullo. 

The Confidence Code For Girls: Taking Risks, Messing Up, and Becoming Your Amazingly Imperfect, Totally Powerful Self, by Katty Kay and Clair Shipman. “Has some good insights and is written in a very user-friendly, positive tone. I like both authors as journalists and found their insights into the need for confidence and perspective for our young girls (and boys) valuable.”  

Crazy Rich Asians, by Kevin Kwan. “Beach read page-turner!” 

The Cutting Edge, by Jeffery Deaver.  

Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a Presidentby Candice Millard. 

Educated: A Memoir, by Tara Westover. 

The First Frontier: The Forgotten History of Struggle, Savagery, and Endurance in Early Americaby Scott Weidensaul.  

A Gentleman in Moscow, by Amor Towles. This book was recommended by five different people.  

The Great Alone, by Kristin Hannah. 

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Societyby Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows.  

The Heart’s Invisible Furies, by John Boyne. 

The High Season, by Judy Blundell. 

Hourglass: Time, Memory, Marriage, by Dani Shapiro. 

The Immortalists, by Chloe Benjamin.  

Leonardo da Vinci, by Walter Isaacson.  

Manhattan Beach, by Jennifer Egan. “Historical novel which takes place during WWll and is set at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. … Good historical context with a well-done family saga and NY mystery.” 

The Masterpieceby Fiona Davis.  

My Dear Hamilton: A Novel of Eliza Schuyler Hamilton, by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie.   

Pachinko, by Min Jin Lee.

The Piano Teacher, by Janice Y. K. Lee.

The Power of Oneby Bryce Courtenay. 

Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder, by Caroline Fraser. “It's about Laura Ingalls Wilder and the early 1880s settlement of the Nebraska and Northwest territory. It was ranked by the NY Times as one of the 10 best books of the year in 2017.”  

Providence, by Caroline Kepnes.

Red Notice: A True Story of High Finance, Murder, and One Man's Fight for Justice, by Bill Browder.  

The Red Sparrow Trilogy, series by Jason Matthews. 

The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey, by Candice Millard.  

The Rules of Magic, by Alice Hoffman.  

Saints for all Occasions, by J. Courtney Sullivan. “Novel based on two sisters and their story of immigration from Ireland and the different lives they choose. … Similar to the popular Brooklyn.

The Square and the Tower: Networks and Power, from the Freemasons to Facebook, by Niall Ferguson. 

Strength in Stillness, by Bob Roth.

Temporary People, by Deepak Unnikrishnan. “This is a bit dated--March 2017--and its magical realism is odd, but I loved it. Really well-written short stories about migrant workers in the Persian Gulf." 

A Theory of Love, by Margaret Bradham Thornton. “Love story between a financier and a journalist set in London, St. Tropez, Tangier, and other beautiful places. Couldn’t put it down.” 

The Ticket, by Fred Shackelford. “Channing Booker is down on his luck and wins the Mega Millions lottery but there are some unexpected twists. I have given this to all my friends.” 

When Life Gives You Lululemons, by Lauren Weisberger. “Fun summer read by author of The Devil Wears Prada. ... As you can imagine, it’s a page-turner set in LA-NY-Greenwich. Society and glamor with Hollywood and politics mixed all equal a good summer read! I have started it and it is hard to put down when work gets in the way!” 

Who We Are and How We Got Here: Ancient DNA and the New Science of the Human Past, by David Reich. 

Photo by N. Bower 

Editor's note:  This list includes a book by a relative of the author.

Bronxville Farmers' Market Is Open for Business: Gluten-Free Sweets, Fresh Chicken, Organic Eggs, and Much More PDF Print Email


By Pascale Le Draoulec, Director, Bronxville Farmers' Market

Jul. 18, 2018:  Apricots and sugar snap peas are turning up at the Bronxville Farmers' Market as we celebrate the Hudson Valley's mid-summer bounty.

For sixteen years now, market tents have been set up every Saturday from May through November at the intersection of Stone and Paxton. With each passing year, the market seems to become more and more fine-tuned.


This year, new vendors include Sweet Hearth Bakery, which has a super-talented baker whose creations, some laced with edible flowers, are as beautiful as they are delicious. The owner bakes without gluten, but you'd never know it. Her sweet cacao brownies, made with cauliflower puree, are some of her most popular items (even among kids), as are her gorgeous French macarons filled with raspberry beet or fennel and pistachio jam.


Our certified organic vendor, Sun Sprout Farm, keeps expanding. When it joined the market, the farm in Chester, NY, black dirt country, was an upstart. But now farmer Simon Ziegler, who sells at the market, said that the farm has come into its own. He has forged special bonds with many of his customers who come to him every week for advice on what to buy and how to cook it. 

Treadlight Farm is a no-till farm in the Catskills that grows some of the prettiest flowers you ever did see. 


Letterbox Farm and Gaia's Breath Farm continue to bring plump, fresh chicken and organic cuts of pork (and ridiculously good veal and pork meatballs), as well as organic farm eggs that redefine breakfast. 


We also have two new coffee vendors this year. Big Bang Coffee roasts its beans in Peekskill and is quickly gaining a following among shoppers for its robust hot coffee and cold brew. Dutch Coffee Co. makes Kyoto and Nitro cold brew concoctions. They are on an alternating-week schedule.

All this, plus live music every single week to serenade you while you shop. 

See you at the market. 

Photos by N. Bower

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 therein do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff.



Community Fund Board Names Thirteen New Members PDF Print Email


By Staff, The Community Fund

Jul. 18, 2018: As The Community Fund embarks upon our 100th anniversary in 2019, the organization is evaluating how we ensure that our overall impact represents the different stakeholders in our community and how the fund will adapt to the ever-changing needs of our residents.

With this in mind, we are excited to introduce thirteen new members to The Community Fund board: Amy Atkeson, Hilary Blumenreich, Jay Curran, Amy Krause, Robin Lewis, Sheila Marcotte, David O'Shaunessy, Patricia Reilly, John Schneider, Katie Shah, Mark Webb, Dan Wilson, and George Winn.

Our new members represent a strong cross-section of Bronxville, Eastchester, and Tuckahoe residents. Their backgrounds are diverse and wide, and the skill sets they bring to the board are numerous. These valuable skills include finance, public relations, marketing, volunteer management, donor relations, and community organizing and support. Each individual offers the organization a fresh perspective on what The Community Fund can do to ensure that we are serving all residents as well as supporting those most in need.

The common thread weaving together all thirteen new members is the deep commitment they share and their goal to make our community strong and sustainable. With their exceptional backgrounds and valuable knowledge, they have the necessary skills to make that goal a reality.

Please join us in thanking our new board members for their commitment to the organization!

We would also like to extend a very special thank-you to the nine board members retiring from board service this year. Their dedication and support to the organization will be greatly missed. Retiring board members are Dana Arrighi, Robert Castano, Jennifer Nelson Colao, Fran Harris, Rosetta McArdle, Doug Meyer, Jim Rotenberg, Thomas Sipple, and Mark Welshimer.

Pictured here: Bill Rizzo, president, Jay Curran, John Schneider, Hilary Blumenreich, Amy Atkeson, Patricia Reilly, Robin Lewis, Amy Krause, Katie Shah, and George Winn. Not Pictured: Sheila Marcotte, David O'Shaunessy, Mark Webb, and Dan Wilson.

Photo courtesy The Community Fund

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 therein do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff.

From the Mayor: Summer Matters: Safety While Away, Home Repairs, Road Repaving, Leaf Blowers, and Yard Waste PDF Print Email


By Mary C. Marvin, Mayor, Village of Bronxville

Jul. 18, 2018:  As one can immediately tell by the availability of parking on Pondfield Road, many villagers are on vacation.

Safety While Away. Even if you are traveling for a short duration, it is important that your home look occupied. Despite stopping mail, phone books, flyers, and PennySavers in the driveway are all giveaways to a vacant house.

Our police department advises homeowners to share your schedule with a neighbor; ask them to pick up items left near your home and park a car in your driveway. In addition, if you alert our police desk to your travels, they will add your home to the “dark house” list and drive by on a daily basis.

Other safety tips from our police department include:

  • Putting timers on televisions and radios as well as lights.

  • Phone ringers in apartments should be lowered as a persistently audible ringing phone is a sign of an empty dwelling.

  • Keep the garage doors locked and secure mowers, barbeques, and bicycles inside.

  • Trim trees and shrubs to avoid creating a screen for intruders.

  • Don’t leave hidden keys. Burglars tend to know all the hiding places.

  • Be a good neighbor. If you notice anything unusual, call the police immediately. While you are awaiting their arrival, write down any license plate numbers or description of persons.

  • Take advantage of our e-Alert system to receive phone updates on any criminal activity in the village, as well as real-time updates on critical incidents affecting the village, including power outages and weather warnings. The service is easily accessed by going to

  • If you do return home and find a tampered door or window, do not enter your home. Go to a neighbor to use a landline or call from your cell phone a good distance away from your home. Do not touch anything until the police have inspected for evidence.

Summer Home Repairs.  Summer is also the ideal time for home repairs as the village is less busy in general. If you plan any major project, kindly alert all your neighbors so they can adjust their outdoor plans accordingly.

Expansive Road Repaving Program.  The village will be undertaking an expansive road repaving and curb restoration program as well. Residents will be notified in ample time to relocate cars or change outdoor plans.

Streets slated to be repaved are:

  1. Pondfield Road from Cedar Street to Midland Avenue

  2. Tanglewylde Avenue from Willow Road to Park Avenue

  3. Elm Rock from Oriole to Masterton Road

  4. Sturgis Road from Homesdale Road to Route 22

  5. Forest Lane from North Road to Grove Lane

  6. Middle Road from Forest Lane to Dead End

  7. Kraft Avenue Parking Lot

  8. Sections of Sagamore Road

  9. Kensington Road from Beechtree Lane to Sagamore Road

  10. Northway

  11. Northwest Way

Almost $500,000 will be spent on road resurfacing this summer. The decision as to which streets are repaved is determined by our public works department. Criteria include age of the road surface, amount of traffic, state of disrepair, and village location. Even if your street is not on the repaving list, all potholes will be addressed.

Continue to call village hall if you believe your street should be on the list going forward, as we catalog all requests and inspect accordingly. Streets will be “milled” before repaving so the elevation is not affected and, with it, water flow and drainage.

Gas-Powered Leaf Blowers. Now is also the time to put away the gas-powered leaf blowers to enhance a peaceful summer. Kindly notify any gardeners, as the fine is quite expensive and our police patrol and enforce the ban. Gas-powered leaf blowers are not only 40-70% louder than their electric counterparts, they circulate particulate matter including pesticides, fertilizers, and herbicides that have a direct correlation to increased asthma and cancer occurrences, particularly in children.

Yard Waste and Grass Clippings. Yard waste and grass clippings will be picked up on a regular basis throughout the summer. We do encourage residents to “grass cycle” by leaving clippings on the lawn. Gardening experts recommend this practice, as the clippings provide nutrients to the soil in a natural way. If you remove lawn or yard products, please bag for curbside pickup. The use of yard bags allows for more efficient pickup, eliminates the unsightly piles of debris, and protects the storm drains from being clogged during rain events.

Help us keep our village particularly beautiful and peaceful during the summer months and take advantage of outdoor dining, first-run movies, or a summer sale as you slide into that open parking space!

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 therein do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff.

Adrienne Smith, the Constant Traveler: Island Idylling in Idaho PDF Print Email


By Adrienne Smith

Jul. 18, 2018:  Your Constant Traveler has been, let's face it, inconsistent over the last year and a half. This has been due to family needs, which have clipped her wings and taken the air out of her sails.

But she's back now with, perhaps, less exotic tales of adventure.

Awkwardly switching voice, I took a recent trip to Jackson, Wyoming, that necessitated a stopover in Idaho Falls, ID.

Of course, I could have stayed in a Ye Olde Holiday Inn, but I was looking for insane adventure. Felicitously, a lodging called Destinations Inn offered me more than I could possibly dream of.

Featured on the hotel's site were offerings of fantasy suites. The Egypt room featured sandstone columns, hieroglyphic-covered walls, and an "antechamber of an Egyptian king pyramid." Or I could opt for the "wild, pristine and relatively untouched" Alaska suite. If I so wished, I could go with the Rome room, complete with Trevi Fountain bathtub, guaranteed to make me "feel like Caesar himself."

Choices, choices: a Venetian hideaway including a gondola bathtub, an Arabian sheik's tent, Athens, including a Parthenon view from the bathtub.

New York, Paris, London, and others were slightly less enticing, perhaps due to my familiarity with the real things.

So what did I pick? The Hawaii room, with a perilous rope bridge up to the sleeping area, murals painted with the swelling Pacific, and an enormous lava rock spa bath, from which, once having entered, I could just barely extricate myself.

Hawaiian chants emanated from the radio, an actual fountain babbled eventually annoyingly just below me, the latter stimulating unwanted responses from my aging, ever-reactive anatomy. This was, most certainly, the afore-desired insane adventure, even without the massive projection TV screen, which dropped from the ceiling to show me every pore on screen actors' faces.

But this was not to be the end of my ersatz Hawaiian experience, for I discovered that a mere 60 miles away lay the Craters of the Moon National Monument & Preserve, an honest-to-god possibly extinct volcanic region.

Galloping off to the Craters the next morning, I came upon a scene not unlike parts of Volcanoes National Park in Hawaii, and, true to its name, a moonscape. The landscape teemed with lava cones, one of which I was able to climb. Lava with their ropelike trails from slow and gentle flows to rough, explosive deposits were in view as were the hauntingly delicate and beautiful flowers that eventually take root in the seeming wreckage. Had I brought a flashlight with me, I would have been able to explore several caves, known as lava tubes in Hawaii.

So moonlike is the monument that Apollo astronauts Alan Shepard, Edgar Mitchell, Eugene Cernan, and Joe Engle learned about volcanology here in 1969 before they departed for the moon.

So who says you have to fly 10 long hours to see Hawaii when it is virtually at your back door in Idaho!

Pictured here:  The rope bridge leading up to the sleeping area in the Hawaii room at Destinations Inn.  

Photo by Adrienne Smith

From the Office of Assemblymember Amy Paulin: Bill to Prevent a Tax Hike on Nonprofits Passes State Legislature PDF Print Email


By Tim Foley, Communications Director, Office of Amy Paulin, Assemblymember, District 88, New York State Assembly

Editor's note
:  Assemblymember Amy Paulin represents the 88th New York State Assembly District, which includes Scarsdale, Eastchester, Tuckahoe, Bronxville, Pelham, Pelham Manor, and parts of New Rochelle and White Plains.

Jul. 18, 2018:   Assemblymember Amy Paulin (D-Scarsdale) announced the passage of her bill (A. 11051 / S. 8831) in late June to prevent a new state tax for unrelated business taxable income on not-for-profit companies, which was inadvertently created by recent changes made in the Federal Internal Revenue Code. Since it had previously passed the Assembly, it will now proceed to Governor Andrew Cuomo for his signature or veto.

“Not-for-profit companies perform critical, mission-driven work throughout our state, and these employers often rely on commuter benefits to help recruit the best employees,” said Assemblymember Paulin.  "New York State did not intend this tax hike, nor did we count the potential new income in our FY 2018-2019 budget.

If we do not act to prevent it, too many not-for-profit companies will have fewer funds to serve New Yorkers, many will have a harder time making ends meet, and some will undoubtedly be forced to close."

When Congress passed and the president signed the federal tax cut bill at the end of 2017, there were a number of changes affecting not-for-profit businesses.  Beginning in 2018, the federal tax code changed the treatment of the amount paid or incurred by non-profits for commuter benefits for their employees, including mass transit, commuter costs, and parking fees.

Such costs are now subject to the unrelated business taxable income (UBIT) assessment. Since state tax law is tethered to federal tax law on UBIT, this would have amounted to an unintentional 9% state tax on these benefits as well, potentially diverting millions of dollars from non-profit companies.

Assemblymember Paulin’s bill separates federal tax law from state tax law on the specific category of the money paid for these employee commuter benefits.

Throughout the legislative session, Assemblymember Paulin championed a number of additional policies to ameliorate the more punitive effects of the federal tax bill, especially the new cap on the deduction for state and local taxes, including both income and local property taxes, of $10,000.

This has a disproportionate impact in Westchester County, which has the highest property taxes in the nation.

Most of the Assemblymember’s proposals, including the decoupling of itemization and allowing counties, municipalities, and school districts to establish charitable funds, were passed as part of the FY 2018-2019 budget. This standalone bill was the final piece of Paulin’s tax reform agenda for the year.

“Particularly for workers in the Greater New York City area, benefits from your employer to defray the cost of public transportation or other commuter costs are essential,” said Assemblymember Paulin.  “Preventing this unintended tax is the right thing to do for employees, for non-profit employers, and for the New Yorkers who rely on the vital work done by our not-for-profit sector.”

Pictured here:  Amy Paulin, Assemblymember, District 88, New York State Assembly.

Photo courtesy Office of Assemblymember Amy Paulin 

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 therein do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff.

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