Spacious pristine and ideal for entertaining $1,075,000 Lisa Koh
Free-standing home in gated community $1,225,000 Lucille Liang
Ranked 5th in The Leading Real Estate Companies of The World, The World’s Largest Luxury Real Estate Network, 3,500 Offices
"The best website in real estate"
Exclusive Yale Farms colonial near town $1,585,000 Stacey Sporn
Sunlit open flow Windmill Farms split $749,900 Amy Singer
Mini-estate with guest cottage on 2 acres $1,499,000 The Costa Looney Team
Whippoorwill Hills Gloucester model $1,150,000 Lauren Goldenberg
Private and sunny 4 bedroom on 2+ acres $1,150,000 Angela Schuler
Turn-key colonial rebuilt in 2004 $1,049,500 Lucille Liang
Contemporary retreat on 4 acres $750,000 Stacee Massoni
Open Ranch with walk out lower level $709,000 Schuler/Varvara
395 Main St | Armonk, NY
Ranked 5th in The Leading Real Estate Companies of The World, The World’s Largest Luxury Real Estate Network, 3,500 Offices
"The best website in real estate"
S t a c e e Lieberman-Massoni
A selection of Stacee’s Market Activity
THE MAGAZINE FOR NORTH CASTLE & BEYOND | INSIDEPRESS.C0M
Cemetery Tour of Civil War Veterans
features 6 Beauty of Armonk
PHOTOS BY ANDREW VITELLI
8 Frosty’s Back
Thomas Wrights Estates private gated masterpiece $1,850,000 Stacee Lieberman-Massoni
Coveted Whippoorwill section of Armonk $1,795,000 Stacee Lieberman-Massoni
20| A Hidden Jewel Close to Home
Westchester County Airport BY STACEY PFEFFER
just between us
10 Spinning to Save Lives
My Get Fit Journey BY GRACE BENNETT
12 State Senate Showdown
happenings 5 Save the Dates
BY DEBORAH RAIDER NOTIS
BY BRIAN DONNELLY
Scott Kahan’s Financial Asset Management BY MATT SMITH
BY MARIANNE A. CAMPOLONGO
Saving Our History
Majestic Colonial with breathtaking views $1,950,000 Stacee Lieberman-Massoni
New Construction in Estate area $4,195,000 Stacee Lieberman-Massoni
Some of Armonk’s historic buildings have stood for more than 200 years. Meet the people hoping to keep them standing for 200 more.
In Gratitude BY ANDREW VITELLI
BY MATT SMITH
22 Arts in the Area
letter from the editor
22 Day of Donuts
PHOTOS BY ANDREW VITELLI
Cemetery Tour of Civil War Veterans BY ANDREW VITELLI
Teaching our Kids about Winning and Losing BY DANIKA ALTMAN,PH.D.
etcetera 32 An Attitude of Gratitude
BY JODI BARETZ
Amy Siskind on Fighting College Sexual Assault BY SUSAN YOUNGWOOD
Protecting our Children from Sexual Predators BY JANINE CROWLEY HAYNES Ranked 5th in The Leading Real Estate Companies of The World, The World’s Largest Luxury Real Estate Network, 3,500 Offices
"The best website in real estate"
Meet the Chamber’s Stacy Wilder BY ANDREW VITELLI
5W November 2016 | INSIDE ARMONK |
LETTER FROM THE EDITOR IN GRADITUDE For our November edition of Inside Armonk, we have stories on history, politics, art, altruism, and some looks back at the last two months. As Americans, the first thing that comes to many of our minds when we think of November is elections. With this year being a presidential election year (and an unusual one at that), it’s likely a lot of readers will have more than a little election fatigue by the time you’ve picked up this magazine. But even for those who have watched, heard, and read more than they can stand on the presidential election, the races closer to home often get overlooked. For this issue, we’ve spotlighted the race for Armonk’s representative in the New York State Senate, profiling both candidates and allowing readers to compare where they stand. Election season is also a great time to look back at the country’s history and at the role our town played. I’ve highlighted the work of the North Castle Historical Society whose members make sure this history isn’t lost for future generations. We have also included a preview of an upcoming tour of one of Armonk’s historic cemeteries, located next to St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church Novemver 2016 Volume 13, Number 5 THE MAGAZINE FOR NORTH CASTLE & BEYOND | INSIDEPRESS.C0M
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| November 2016
Our cover story last issue previewed the Armonk Outdoor Art Show. For this edition, we look back at that weekend, along with coverage of other art shows in the area. We also feature pictures from the Donuts and Cider Festival held in September. For our Q&A, ‘meet’ Stacy Wilder, the director of communications for the Armonk Chamber of Commerce. Stacy tells readers how the hamlet has evolved in the 22 years she has lived in Armonk, and what the chamber has done in order to keep up. We also highlight a charity event held this September in a spin studio, where cyclists took a “Spin for a Cure” with funds going towards the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation. Finally, our November issue profiles Westchester County Airport, an often overlooked asset for the town and the region. We look at how the airport fits into North Castle and Westchester County, why travelers prefer the airport to some of the larger airports in the area, and how Westchester County Airport became what it is today.
Rock The Cure Gala Will Fight to End Pediatric Cancer On November 2, Pediatric Cancer Foundation (PCF), a Mamaroneck-based nonprofit committed to fighting pediatric cancer, will host the Rock The Cure Annual Gala at Brae Burn Country Club in Purchase, New York. The evening will feature legendary rock music performed by NYC’s Unforgettable Fire, “the world’s greatest U2 Tribute Band,” live and silent auctions and delicious food and drink. The gala is expected to draw hundreds of loyal supporters and rock ‘n roll fans, young philanthropists and advocates for pediatric cancer awareness. This year’s event will be in memory of Paul Ulysses Jimenez, a 10 year-old Westchester boy who passed away in January, 2016, from a rare form of cancer in the skeletal muscles called Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS). Please visit: www.pcffallevent.org/rockthecure/ or contact Nancy Joselson at 914-777-3127.
Le Bernardin’s Eric Ripert to Speak Eric Ripert, chef and co-owner of the renowned restaurant Le Bernardin will be speaking about his new book, “32 Yolks: From My Mother’s Table to Working the Line” at North Castle Public Library’s Whippoorwill Hall as part of the Chefs are the New Rock Stars Series on Tuesday, November 15. The program will be moderated by Stephen Mancini of Restaurant North. A book signing will follow the event. Tickets are $30 and can be purchased at the Friend’s website www.fncpl.org
Wine in the Woods Westmoreland Sanctuary Nature Center and Wildlife Preserve will hold its Annual Fall Fundraiser, this year themed Wine in the Woods on Friday, November 18th, 6 to 9 pm. This celebration of Nature will take place at Westmoreland’s historic 200-year old church that serves as its Nature Museum, located at 260 Chestnut Ridge Road, Mt. Kisco, To purchase tickets or become a sponsor, please visit www.WestmorelandSanctuary.org
just between us
My Get Fit Journey In time for our ‘Gratitude’ edition, I’d like to mention a journey I’m on at the Saw Mill Club in Mount Kisco. I announced on Facebook recently that I’d gained a lot of weight over the last year. I’m grateful that I have the opportunity to work out twice a week with a wonderfully engaging and pro personal trainer, Sarah Eichorn. She’s making a huge difference in how I feel both physically and mentally in my still kind of new empty nest years.
THE MAGAZINE FOR NORTH CASTLE & BEYOND | INSIDEPRESS.C0M | NOVEMBER 2016
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and the resting place of many Civil War veterans, for those who want to delve deeper into the history.
The changes in how I look and feel are coming in little increments, and I’m embracing Sarah’s belief that a positive journey is as important to my well-being and long term success as any weight loss I experience. I’ll be writing more about this special journey in the next edition, too! So, tell me. What are you grateful for? Maybe your experience could also be a story in a future edition of Inside Armonk! Please drop me a note any time. [email protected]
November 2016 | INSIDE ARMONK |
MANHATTAN | BROOKLYN | LONG ISLAND | THE HAMPTONS | THE NORTH FORK | RIVERDALE | WESTCHESTER | PUTNAM/DUTCHESS | GREENWICH | ASPEN | LOS ANGELES | FLORIDA
orth Castle “and beyond” can easily boast more than its fair share of natural beauty in Westchester County. As you embark on fall foliage drives, you won’t have to travel very far to be dazzled by the colors arriving this season. While photos were taken just days before the colors started to change, they do offer a light hint of the lush panaroma sure to follow. Pictured here are views from Wampus Brook Park in Armonk, Westmoreland Sanctuary in North Castle, and the Kensico Dam in Valhalla. ANDREW VITELLI PHOTOS
Armonk | $1,925,000 | Enjoy easy living in this 4-bedroom, 4-full/2-half bath custom cedar shake Colonial with wrap-around front porch and wooded back yard on 2 acres. Chef’s kitchen, 2 fireplaces, home theater, gym, wine cellar and 3-car garage. Web# 4640603 Armonk Office 914.273.1001
Armonk | $829,000 | Situated on secluded 2 acres on quiet cul-de-sac close to town and highways, this 4-bedroom, 3.5-bath home boasts a large living room, formal dining room, family room with fireplace and door to deck, eat-in kitchen with slider to deck. Web# 4620751 Bedford Office 914.234.4590
PRETTY AS A PICTURE
IN THE HEART OF ARMONK
Armonk | $750,000 | Set on 1.11 acres and moments to downtown shops and restaurants, this 3-bedroom, 3 full bath Cape has a flexible floor plan and lives like a 4-bedroom. Recent renovations include a new deck off of the kitchen and a patio in back. Web# 4613326 Armonk Office 914.273.1001
Armonk | $719,000 | Great opportunity to own this 3-bedroom, 2.5-bath home extensively renovated in 2012 with new kitchen and baths, a spacious screened-in porch and hardwood floors throughout. Quiet street near town, restaurants and highways. Web# 4636135 Armonk Office 914.273.1001
CAN’T BE MISSED
CHARMING VILLAGE COLONIAL
Pleasantville | $649,000 | Just minutes to all the town has to offer, this charming, well cared for 3-bedroom, 2.5-bath Colonial boasts an updated master bath with Carrera marble and spacious walk-in-closet. Manicured fenced-in property. Web# 4637934 Chappaqua Office 914.238.3988
Mount Kisco | $359,000 | Located in the heart of Mount Kisco, convenient to train, shops, restaurants and park, this sweet 3-bedroom home is perfect for the first time home buyer or investor. Updated eat-in kitchen plus detailed trey ceilings on first floor. Web# 4618357 Armonk Office 914.273.1001
For a complete list of properties, visit elliman.com
06 | INSIDE ARMONK
KNOWN GLOBALLY. LOVED LOCALLY. | November 2016
Down to the Village for the
FROSTY DAY Parade
ny, wherein Frosty will pull switch and set the park aglow. As one would probably imagine, it’s a huge undertaking for all involved. “We probably work six months on this one-day event,” Still, Morris acknowledges the payoff simply can’t be beat. “It brings out the best in our community,” he says, noting that local businesses take in upwards of 300 visitors throughout the day. The fact that around 60 percent of them are coming in from out of town is another plus, as it not only boosts town vibrancy, but provides out-of-towners “good exposure to what Armonk has to offer” and may hopefully entice them to return in the future.
While the lights and razzle-dazzle are indeed alluring–especially with the added bonus of the hamlet’s connection to the famed lyricist–Morris is quick to stress the true importance and meaning behind all the flash. “It’s a great event for that time of year where you’re giving back,” he says, with a broad smile.
BY MATT SMITH For the residents of Armonk, the cool weather can only mean one thing: Frosty Day is right around the corner. Now in its seventh year, the winter spectacle has become an annual town staple, ushering in the holiday season with style and flair. Originally conceived by North Castle Historical Society Vice President Ed Woodyard as a Winter Walk and Tree Lighting in the Park, it morphed into Frosty Day in 2010, when the NCHS decided to recognize the contributions of New Castle resident Steve Edward Nelson. Nelson, who penned the lyrics to the snowman’s iconic anthem while he lived in White Plains, was a frequent visitor to Armonk and Nelson’s love for the hamlet is said to have provided inspiration for certain moments within the song. The “Village Square”–which Frosty “runs all around… with a broomstick in his hand”–is supposedly referencing the Bedford Road Historic District, while the town’s first police chief, John Hergenhan, inspired “traffic cop [who] hollered, ‘Stop!’” “Because of these connections, [we thought], ‘Why not ramp this thing up?’” explains Robby Morris, President of Friends of Frosty, Inc., the not-for-profit organization in charge of planning the day’s events. “We took it from a small little winter walk, into a full-out Disney production of ‘Frosty the Snowman,’ with costumes and activities galore.” That they did–and this year promises to be no different. The day-long extravaganza kicks off with a host of activities throughout the downtown area, including train rides, face painting, a hot chocolate tasting, and the return of “Build-A-Frosty.” “From decorating a cupcake to creating an ornament from scratch, we’ve got something for ev-
08 | INSIDE ARMONK
| November 2016
Castle Public Library. “People can drop items in as they walk through,” says Morris. “Anything is appreciated.”
He’s happy to report that year after year, the Armonk community never fails to deliver, and “when you’re watching everyone come together and get involved,” he says. “It’s a wonderful thing.”
eryone,” says Morris, with a smile. He also notes that Frosty himself will, of course, be visible throughout the day, spreading holiday cheer by posing for photos and giving warm hugs. He’ll also anchor the main parade event, which commences on Old Route 22 and continues along Main Street toward Maple Avenue, before finishing up at Wampus Brook Park. As Frosty passes, he’ll invite all spectators to join the parade to its final destination. “We get almost 40 participants each year, from cars and floats to marching bands and other groups,” Morris continues. “They all come together, and It’s a lot of fun.” From there, the day culminates in the park with the original Tree Lighting ceremo-
The seventh annual Frosty Day Parade will be held November 27 from 12 to 5 p.m. in the Armonk Town Plaza. For more information, including schedules and sign-up sheets, please visit www.armonkfrosty.com. PHOTOS COURTESY OF ROBBY MORRIS Matt Smith is a writer and regular contributor to The Inside Press. For further information or inquiry, please visit www.mattsmiththeatre.com.
“The whole thing is at no cost to anyone,” explains Morris, adding that all expenses are covered through local sponsors, including Breezemont Day Camp, White Plains Hospital Medical and Wellness, Douglas Elliman Real Estate, Hickory and Tweed, and The Bristal Assisted Living. There’s indeed no “official” cost of admission, but the event does act, in part, as a fundraiser. As part of their Winter Warmth project, “Help Frosty Help Others,” members of Friends of Frosty, Inc., encourage attendees to donate winter clothing (jackets, hats, mittens), which will be distributed to a local charity following the parade. Bins will also be available prior to the event, at area schools, restaurants, and the North November 2016 | INSIDE ARMONK |
SAVE LIVES BY DEBORAH RAIDER NOTIS On September 15, spin instructor Lisa Gagliardi led a spin class at Equinox to raise money for the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation. Sponsored by the William Raveis Charitable Fund, approximately 30 people participated in “Spin for a Cure” to raise research money and greater awareness of cancer research. The Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation was started in 1946 by the famous radio personality Walter Winchell following the sportswriter Runyon’s death from throat cancer. Winchell led the foundation in honor of his friend until 1972. He was supported by fellow celebrities, including Milton Berle, Marilyn Monroe, Joe DiMaggio, and Bob Hope. Since its inception, the Damon Runyon Foundation has been responsible for proving the correlation between cigarette smoking and cancer, developing a cure for a patient with Stage IV melanoma via immunotherapy, and founding innovative biotech companies like Juno Therapeutics and Sunesis Pharmaceuticals. Last year, Bill Raveis, owner of the William Raveis Real Estate company, became involved with the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation after attending a breakfast presentation in Manhattan for the foundation. He was greatly impressed by the foundation’s enthusiasm towards and devotion to finding cures for cancer. The Runyon Foundation gives young scientists significant funding and opportunities to pursue dedicated cancer research indefinitely. “I believe that all of us, in some form or another, have been affected by cancer, either personally or through family and friends,” notes Lisa Theiss, the Vice President of Business Development at William Raveis’s Armonk office. Bill Raveis is one of those people. “Bill’s wife, Candy, was diagnosed with AML Leukemia 18 months ago, which makes this cause even more personal for him,” states Theiss, who spear-headed this event with her co-worker Lauren Goldenberg and the Armonk office administrator, Robin Lechner. Bill and Candy are witness-
10 | INSIDE ARMONK
| November 2016
ing, first-hand, the miraculous results of new research and targeted drug therapies. Every year, members of the William Raveis family participate in a Ride and Walk event that takes place in Norwalk, Connecticut to support the fight against cancer. This year, William Raveis’s 130 offices throughout the country were charged with finding effective ways to fundraise to support the Damon Runyon Foundation. The Armonk office, in an effort to engage family, friends, and the community, decided to host “Spin for a Cure.” Theiss hopes this is the first of many “Spins” hosted by the Armonk office. Raveis realtors Patricia Del Vecchio and Sandra Scarano contacted family, friends, and clients to participate in the event. “Everyone was very eager and happy to join us for this great cause,” notes Scarano, who is also a personal trainer. Del Vecchio concurred, “It is extremely important to us to do something to help people, and so many people’s lives are touched by cancer.”
says Scarano. This was Del Vecchio’s first time participating in a spin class, and she found Gagliardi extremely motivating. “I am definitely going to try another one of her classes.” “A cure for cancer is very personal and a very big deal for everyone,” says Theiss, who believes that this is a critically important cause in which most people are heavily invested. Between innovative research and dedication to fundraising, the Damon Runyon Foundation is focused on finding a cure for this disease, which takes too many lives. And William Raveis’s Armonk office is doing its part to help. Deborah Raider Notis is a writer and co-owner of gamechangernow.com, a free referral service connecting Westchester families to highly qualified instructors. Deborah’s writing can be found in the Inside publications as well as in suburbanmisfitmom.com.
The class was led by Equinox spin instructor Lisa Gagliardi. “Lisa has a great energy and played the perfect music,” November 2016 | INSIDE ARMONK |
Meet the Candidates for NYS Senate District 37 BY BRIAN DONNELLY
With the highest property taxes in the On Election Day, Nov. 8, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton aren’t the only names on nation, Westchester voters always want to know what their elected officials plan to do North Castle voters’ ballots. about it. State Sen. George Latimer (D) seeks a third Latimer, a former Rye City Council member term as the representative for District 37 and is being challenged by Rye City Coun- himself, cited the middle class income-tax cut in the 2016-2017 state budget, for cilwoman Julie Killian (R). The mother of five is serving her second term on the city council, and spent 13 years working in finance at Merrill Lynch and CitiBank. Latimer spent 20 years in marketing and has worked at major corporate subsidiaries of Nestlé and ITT.
making New York more welcoming to businesses, calling it one of the least business-friendly states in America. “Making us competitive with taxes and streamlining regulation, making things simpler is a good answer,” she tells Inside Armonk, using the example of the boom in distillery businesses after the state introduced the Alcohol Production Credit to cut red tape and reduce their licensing costs.
| November 2016
“It just hamstrings how you can manage your construction projects,” she says. Ethics Reform
She also takes issue with the minimum wage increase in this year’s budget, which will bring the wage floor up to $15 per hour in Westchester by 2021. While not opposed to an increase, she says $15 is too high and could cost the state jobs, especially small businesses.
Both candidates agree the biggest obstacle, if elected, will be accomplishing ethics reform. But, they have different strategies to address the subject, which has dominated headlines for more than a year–more than 30 current and former New York state office holders have been convicted, sanctioned or accused of wrongdoing in the last decade, according to the New York Times.
“My answer would have been increase the earned income tax credit,” says Killian, whose coalition, RYE ACT, has secured more than $1 million in grants to address the opioid epidemic in her community.
“The day that I decided to run was Jan. 22 of 2015,” Killian says. “And I woke up and saw on my iPhone that Shelly Silver was arrested, and I said to myself, ‘I should think about running for state Senate.’”
Silver, the former Democratic speaker of the state Assembly and one of the most high-profile corruption cases, was convicted of fraud, money laundering and extortion.
When it comes to unfunded mandates, both candidates agree the state, which has promised it would offer relief, needs to live up to its word. Latimer supports eliminating the MTA payroll tax on both counties and municipalities, and phasing out the Medicaid
While the 32 Democrats outnumber the 31 Republicans in the state Senate, Republicans Councilwoman Julie Killian (R) State Sen. George Latimer (D) hold the majormandate placed on counties. ity because a group of five Democrats– the which he voted in favor. This lowers the rate Independent Democratic Conference (IDC) taxpayers who earn $40,000-to-$300,000 “In Westchester County, it’s a $220 million – have caucused with the Republicans the will pay on income. When fully phased in by 2025, the rate will drop to 5.5 percent. hit to the county budget,” he says, adding last three election cycles. The current rates are 6.45 percent for the that he is a co-sponsor on a bill to address $40,000-$150,000 income bracket, and this mandate. “The IDC is going to be the fulcrum,” says 6.65 percent for the $150,000-$300,000 Latimer, who hopes Democrats can take income bracket. Killian wants to see relief for mandates “big the majority and replace the Republican and small.” As an example she cites the leadership with Democrat Andrea StewKillian says “any tax cut helps,” but added Wicks law, which she says is extremely art-Cousins, who represents another that more focus needs to be paid to costly for school districts. It requires New Westchester district –District 35.
12 | INSIDE ARMONK
York districts to hire four separate contractors for school construction (a general contractor plus contractors for electrical, HVAC and plumbing).
Latimer - who also served on the Rye City Council for four years - cites three core problems that have allowed this culture of corruption to fester: the concentration of power in too few hands; the flow of money –both public and private campaign money –that goes to those most powerful legislators; and the excessive partisanship. “I run again because I believe I can be part of a team of people that will change the equation,” he says. “We’ve done it before in the [Westchester] County legislature. I saw what reform looked like and it was a positive.” Latimer served 13 years on the county legislature and in 1998 became the first Democrat to serve as its chairman. What do the candidates plan to do to weed out corruption? Julie Killian says terms limits, and has made this her flagship issue. “I believe in citizen legislators,” she says, referring to politicians who continue working while holding public office. “I’m not looking to go up to Albany and spend the rest of my life there.” Killian says she will draft legislation imposing term limits of eight to 12 years–terms run two years for state Senators, who are paid an annual base
salary of $79,500 a year. “I will vote for it, it has a value, but it is not the panacea and if it isn’t accompanied by other things you won’t have real reform,” Latimer says, adding that he’s never seen a term limits bill come up because leadership in the state legislature doesn’t want it. The former four-term state Assemblyman argued that many caught in corruption cases have served just one or two terms. To that, Killian asks, “Why can’t we be simple?” “Let’s have a bill on one thing and one thing only, something really important,” she suggests. “They’re always throwing in this stuff so [the Republicans and Democrats] can mess with each other...It’s a lot of games and I’m personally tired of it.” Latimer maintained that, to address term limits, campaign contributions must also be addressed. The maximum is $10,000 for a Senate candidate and $4,000 for an Assembly candidate. “That means you’re going to have to interact with everyday people more regularly, as opposed to going to a handful of people who can give you $10,000 a pop,” he said, suggesting $2,000 as a cap. Then there’s the LLC loophole, which allows limited liability corporations (LLCs), which are subsets of a larger corporation, to each donate the maximum amount to a candidate. This, Latimer says, allows corporations to contribute unlimited amounts of money. “Now, you might say, well, what’s that got to do with corruption?’” Latimer said. “[Former Senate Majority Leader Dean] Skelos and the Silver trials were for corruption, and in both cases they shook down real estate entities, who had multiple LLCs, for money.” Education State aid to schools increased by 6.5 percent to $24.8 billion in the 2016-17 budget. “I have advocated for and we’ve been able to see some significant funding for school districts that I represent,” Latimer said. “And particularly in the eliminations, or the
ending of reduction in school aid that was created back in 2010–Gap Elimination Adjustments.” Killian also supports eliminating the policy, which was enacted in 2010 to make up for the state’s shortfall by reallocating state aid already designated in the budget for schools. But she said Westchester still isn’t getting its fair share because of the formula for cost of living - the regional cost index - which the state uses to determine where school aid goes. “That’s just a calculation and right away that would get us more money,” Killian said. “The cost index is representative of Kingston and Poughkeepsie.” Killian said she doesn’t hear anyone, including her opponent, talking about this. “I’ve fought this issue for years,” Latimer countered. “Westchester is treated like an upstate community because the Long Island and New York City leadership [in the state legislature] doesn’t choose to understand what makes us unique,” he said. “We get real change when we change who is in charge.” Regardless of who is in the majority, Killian said she will make her voice heard. “I feel confident that I can work with anybody up there,” Killian said. “But, I’m not afraid to speak out.” In addition to North Castle, District 37 includes the cities of New Rochelle, Rye, White Plains and Yonkers, and the towns of Harrison, Mamaroneck, Rye, Bedford and Eastchester. Killian is running on the Republican, Conservative, Independence and Reform party lines. Latimer is running on the Democrat, Working Families and Women’s Equality party lines. Brian Donnelly was born and raised in Westchester. He is a freelance reporter, videographer and social media specialist, whose hobbies include riding bicycles, waves and rooftop hammocks. November 2016 | INSIDE ARMONK |
The North Castle Historical Society is located at Smith’s Tavern in Armonk.
A tombstone was reused in the floor of Smith’s Tavern. The Quaker Meeting House, located behind Smith’s Tavern.
North Castle Historical Society Preserves Town’s Past (AND ITS BUILDINGS) BY ANDREW VITELLI Today, North Castle’s historic buildings on Bedford Road in Armonk look tranquil, with the small schoolhouse and blacksmith shop serving as charming reminders of a simpler time. Two hundred and forty years ago, though, the site was a training ground in one of the world’s bloodiest, and most historically significant, geopolitical conflicts, as rebel militias headquartered in what is now called Smith’s Tavern, practicing their shooting in the fields out back. The town was viciously divided between rebels and royalists, a division that makes today’s political disagreements appear muted. “North Castle was probably the most hotly contested of all the spots in Westchester, because we had some long-established families with money,” Town Historian Sharon Tomback explains, as she leads this reporter through a tour of the tavern. “Obviously they didn’t want to be revolting because they were well-off and happy.” The North Castle Historical Society works to make sure this history is not lost for future residents. But preserving these aging buildings is not easy–or cheap. “It’s very expensive to maintain old build-
14 | INSIDE ARMONK
| November 2016
ings,” says Tomback. “I say to friends, ‘You know what it costs to maintain your home. Now multiply that times four, because there are four old buildings.” On Sept. 12, the historical society held its major annual fundraiser at Amore Italian Kitchen in Armonk, raising close to $15,000 for the society. With much work to be done, raising money is a year-round task, Tomback notes. So how does the society get the funds to keep up with everything it needs to function? “We beg,” Tomback says, laughing. The society has a list of around 500 donors, she notes, who consistently donate to the society to help it carry out its mission. “They are highly supportive, and have never turned us down.” Some even continue to donate after they’ve moved away. Smith’s Tavern, in which the society is located, didn’t actually belong to the Smiths until after the revolution. The tavern has served as a residence, an inn, and even a post office. Visitors today can still see the bar at which guests were served drinks in centuries past, though unfortunately visitors can no longer order a drink. Behind Smith’s Tavern are three more historic buildings: A Quaker meeting house, a blacksmith shop,
and a one-room schoolhouse. “I think we’re very lucky in North Castle to have these four ancient buildings survive,” Tomback notes. “It’s only through the foresight of the incorporators of the North Castle Historical Society that these buildings have survived all these years.” Since 2012, Anna Maria Marrone has served as president of the historical society. Marrone, who has lived in Armonk for 42 years, was born in Italy, where some buildings date back thousands of years. Though the history of the United States doesn’t compare in terms of length, Marrone finds it no less fascinating. “Everything in Italy is old, and it’s very well taken care of,” Marrone, a former town assessor, notes. “People want it to be there, and to take care of the homes that are there. So we would like the same thing to happen here, because this is so amazing.” One of Marrone’s ongoing projects has been an effort to preserve and digitize old newspapers, dating back to 1913. “They were going bad because we had no place to preserve them,” says Marrone. The society teamed up with the North Castle Public Library for the project and has managed to save many newspapers from the
Town Historian Sharon Tomback (left) and Historical Society President Anna Maria Marrone at Smith’s Tavern in Armonk.
A rope bed in the bedroom of Smith’s Tavern.
past 100 years. Next year, North Castle will be featured in a book from the “Images of America” series, which is sold at bookstores and features historical pictures from thousands of towns across the country. Tomback spent her spring and much of her summer preparing pictures and cutlines for the publisher. “For three months,” she recalls, “every time someone called I said, ‘Not now.’” The book is expected to be released in January or February. Smith’s Tavern is also home to a changing exhibition highlighting the region’s history. Now on display are cast irons. Other artifacts found at the tavern include corn cobb pipes smoked by visitors to the inn, a beehive oven, a rope bed, and a silver cup believed to have been used by General George Washington during the revolution. Part of the tavern was constructed later; in fact, an 1812 diary entry refers to Mr. Smith’s “new room.”
The Brundage Blacksmith Shop.
September’s fundraiser at Amore, which the society called “Partner in Preservation,” was sponsored by Houlihan Lawrence in Armonk. “It’s important to keep the heritage alive in the community, to show the things that made the different communities what they are, and to respect that history,” says Barry Graziano, Houlihan Lawrence’s Armonk manager. “It’s always good, in a values sense,” said Graziano, “to see where you’ve come from and where you’ve gone, and I think the historical society reminds people of that.” While Tomback and Marrone recognize the importance of wooing donors, their greatest focus is bringing children to the society’s facilities and connecting with them at a young age. A Colonial Crafts Day was held in October, and a Halloween party is scheduled for the end of the month. “If you get somebody interested early, it sort of continues for the rest of his or her life,” Tomback says. Run by volunteers, the historical society has a board of 23 trustees. A team of about a dozen docents lead tours of Smith’s Tavern and other facilities, with the buildings open from 2 to 4 p.m. on Wednesdays and Sundays for visitors, with private tours also available. Andrew Vitelli is a Westchester native and the editor of Inside Armonk magazine.
November 2016 | INSIDE ARMONK |
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Taking the Stress out of
Money Management BY MATT SMITH
s the average layperson might attest, financial planning can be quite the daunting task. You may feel so overwhelmed with all the other business associated with your child going to college, or facing that impending retirement, that perhaps you may simply forget the financial aspect until it’s too late. Maybe you fall into that group of people who are so confused by the jargon that they put it off altogether in fear of it being too complicated to handle. Or, you may be one of a few who think they’ve got it all covered with their basic number crunching and investment portfolios, but who doesn’t yet realize there’s so much more to do. Whatever your reason, financial management expert Scott M. Kahan, CFP®, wants you to rest assured that he and his staff at Financial Asset Management Corporation know exactly how to help! Since 1986, Kahan, founder and President of FAM, has been serving the good people in this area, and some in Manhattan, where also has an office) with the time-tested belief of putting his clients’ needs first. “Being a small firm, we get very involved with our clients’ lives [and] we take things very seriously,” he says, of FAM’s approach. “It’s a personalized service that allows us to fully understand our client’s goals and objectives. We’re here to work for the client… With us, what you see is what you get.” And to that end, “what you see” is quite extensive. The firm offers comprehensive wealth management, including both financial planning (cash flow, saving for college, tax planning, retirement planning, and insurance review) and investment management, all with that same emphasis of valuing clients’ needs above all else. “We’re a fee-only firm [meaning we don’t generate commission; our compensation
18 | INSIDE ARMONK
| November 2016
comes solely from our clients], and we act solely as fiduciaries.” Acknowledging “money can cause a lot of stress,” he adds that “our goal and role is to alleviate that stress through conversation.”
MATT SMITH PHOTO
The first introductory meeting at FAM is completely free, allowing potential clients and advisors alike to gauge how they can help each other. “We describe financial planning as a road map,” Kahan explains. “If you want to [drive] from New York to California, you have to plan out your trip.” Similarly, that initial meeting with a financial advisor “will address where [a client] wants to go, what the obstacles are, and how they can successfully [evade them].” Indeed, it’s quite the lengthy process, but that’d be the case anywhere…and there’s no question clients appreciate the oneon-one, ethical approach. “[Clients] know that if they come and work with us, they’re going to get honest answers,” Kahan continues. “We will give [them] the education they need, and provide as many resources as they need until they feel comfortable.” For Kahan, a belief in “doing what’s in the client’s best interest” isn’t limited to his work professionally; it also holds great significance in his personal relationships with people throughout the community. “For me, it’s about also giving back,” Kahan continues. “As a Chappaqua resident for the last 22 years, [with] two kids that went through the school system and graduated from Greeley, I take a lot of pride in this community…I think it’s important to get involved and give back.” And give back he has. In addition to his professional offerings at FAM, he previously served as Treasurer on the Board for the Horace Greeley Scholarship Fund for two terms, spanned over 11 years. (“It’s a great organization that helps make up the
Scott M. Kahan, CFP®, hard at work.
difference for Greeley graduates to pay for college.”) With the help of a local college financial director, Kahan also presents an annual seminar at Horace Greeley High School as part of their Financial Aid Night to help parents prepare and plan to pay for college, noting, “Besides retirement, [paying for college] is probably the biggest financial concern parents have.” In addition to his local work, Kahan is also currently a Trustee for the Foundation for Financial Planning, a national organization which provides funding for the military and other underserved groups to receive pro bono financial planning. Whomever he is advising, Kahan maintains that when done properly and correctly, financial planning can really work. Judging by his approach, it’s easy to see why his clients agree: “They just feel relieved, getting up and walking out knowing that a) they have someone to talk to about their financial issues and b) they know someone is going to provide objective advice and help them reach their goals.” And knowing he’s played a part in making it happen, Kahan simply couldn’t be happier. Financial Asset Management Corporation is located at 26 S. Greeley Avenue in Chappaqua. For more information, call 914-238-8900 or visit www.famcorporation.com. Matt Smith is a writer and regular contributor to The Inside Press. For further information or inquiry, please visit www.mattsmiththeatre.com. November 2016 | INSIDE ARMONK |
Westchester County Airport:
A Hidden Jewel For Air Travelers
In The Region
The airport first began commercial flights in 1948 and the National Guard maintained a base at the airport from 1952 to 1983. In 2005, the airport began to offer discount flights to several key destinations for the first time. With residential properties surrounding the airport, the county works hard at limiting noise and other environmental hazards. A Westchester County Airport Advisory Board meets monthly and the board discusses topics such as noise/odor complaints with meetings open to the public. The board consists of eleven members
BY STACEY PFEFFER It’s another busy morning at Westchester County Airport. On the runway, a JetBlue flight is about to take off to Orlando with several young Westchester families en route to Disney. Another runway has a handful of business travelers coming in on a United flight from Chicago. Meanwhile a Westchester-based CEO is boarding his corporate jet for a meeting in Rochester. Opened in 1945, Westchester County Airport operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and currently has six airlines offering flights, serving approximately 1.75 million passengers a year. The airport’s code, HPN, actually stands for Harrison, Purchase and North Castle, not White Plains Airport, as many people mistakenly believe, because the airport’s footprint is owned by all three towns. The airport employs 1,300 workers full-time and brings in an estimated $735 million to the region, according to a 2010 analysis.
| November 2016
“The Westchester County Airport serves a very important purpose for the residents and businesses not only in North Castle but in the surrounding region,” notes Michael Schiliro, the Town Supervisor of North Castle. “In April, the North Castle Town Board adopted a Resolution requesting that North Castle be considered an Interested Agency for the proposed legislation modifying the Terminal Use Agreement. It is important to strike a balance between sustaining the level of service expected by the users of the airport while addressing the environmental, traffic, and noise impacts of North Castle residents. We intend to be an active participant in the process.” “I think when people hear the words development or expansion they confuse construction with that,” notes Richard Conrad, an Advisory Board member from North Castle who is also the CEO and Owner of
GP Aviation, a company that operates and sells business jets. For example, the airport recently built a separate building on the right hand side of the terminal for baggage screening to make it safer and efficient for
For example, the airport recently built a separate building on the right hand side of the terminal for baggage screening to make it safer and efficient for all passengers. all passengers. “The airport really is a jewel of Westchester, offering accessibility, ease of entry/egress from the airport and civilized travel with fewer crowds than other nearby airports. The county and [County Executive Rob] Astorino are huge proponents of it
and are constantly looking for ways to improve the airport experience for everybody.” Samantha Shinnick, an Armonk resident, uses the airport frequently and likes that “it’s a small airport with pretty good service (except when it snows). They run the operations smoothly based on security lines, etc.” However, she wishes there were more reasonable taxi services available and would like Uber to be allowed on-site. There are several fixed-base operators (FBOs) at the airport such as Million Air and Signature Flight Support and these operators offer the convenience of driving right up to your plane and having staff handle your baggage. “It’s just another level of civilized travel,” comments Conrad. In addition, Conrad notes that the airport is a “mecca for business aviation,” bringing in millions of dollars to the area. Stacey Pfeffer lives with her husband and three young children in Chappaqua. She has written for New York Family Magazine, Kveller.com, Westchester Parents and Inside Chappaqua. She has flown to Florida several times via Westchester County Airport.
Westchester County Executive Robert P. Astorino; Lt Col Joseph Wooley, Civil Air Patrol; Peter Scherrer, Westchester County Airport at a rededication ceremony this past July for the Lockheed T-33 jet, known as the “T-Bird” after the WWII plane was restored for a year. Photos Courtesy of the Office of the Westchester County Executive
The main terminal at Westchester County Airport.
20 | INSIDE ARMONK
appointed by the County Executive with representatives from the surrounding areas and aviation specialists. Residents can track flights and complain about any noise issues via www.airport.westchester.gov under the flight tracking tab. The County and Board have also been instrumental in capping terminal use to 480 passengers per hour to limit the impact on surrounding communities.
The County and Board have also been instrumental in capping terminal use to 480 passengers per hour to limit the impact on surrounding communities. November 2016 | INSIDE ARMONK |
rt Shows in Armonk
Perfect fall weather greeted the 55th annual Armonk Outdoor Art Show, a two-day juried event featuring paintings, drawings, sculpture, printmaking, photography, ceramics, jewelry, and other tactile arts by 185 artists. Ranked among the top art shows nationally, the event draws established and emerging artists from across the country. In recent years, the show has hosted a tent for local high school artists, who, like other participating artists, must be juried into the show, giving them a glimpse of the professional art world. Painter Rosalind Oesterle has participated since moving to Armonk the 1970s. Her paintings have changed over the years from delicate florals to pastel and jewel-toned nonrepresentational paintings, winning her
BY MARIANNE A. CAMPOLONGO
Autumn is a great time to see art close to home. From legendary French artists to some of your very own neighbors, there is much to enjoy in the local art scene this fall.
Award-winning artist and Armonk resident Judi Offenberg returned to show her luxuriously colored silk paintings this year for the fifth time at the Armonk Outdoor Art Show, on September 24. the nod each year from the jury, since even long-time participants must re-apply and have their work evaluated each year. Oesterle, a member of the American Watercolor Society and a veteran of countless art shows across the country says her favorite is close to home. “The [Armonk] show is fabulous. It’s the best show.”
Kenyan Wangechi Mutu’s untitled work, on display at the Bruce Museum in Greenwich. Photo Courtesy of the Bruce Museum
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| November 2016
Armonk resident Judi Offenberg returned to show her luxuriously-colored silk paintings this year. Originally a textile designer, she fell in love with silk painting when her daughter Melissa did a high school project. She “bought supplies, read books, and taught myself,” she said. Her work has been exhibited widely, but “winning a prize at the show two years ago, was the biggest honor of my life,” she said. Armonk resident Lana Sidoti, who exhibited her bold and beautiful enameled jewelry
A film series and lectures by scholars and show artists Alessandra Expósito and Margaret Lee compliment the exhibition. See www.brucemuseum.org for the schedule.
case their work in a separate room of a spectacular new $7 million home coming on the market at 135 Highland Road, Rye. The show opens October 28 with morning (8:30-11 a.m.) and evening (6-8 p.m.) receptions and continues October 29-30, 2-5 p.m. A portion of the proceeds benefit Rye-ACT, which helps battle underage drinking and drug use.
Armonk Outdoor Art Show
Long time Armonk Outdoor Art Show volunteer and Armonk resident Luis Perez showed his drawings for the first time at the Armonk Outdoor Art Show. and wall pieces for the fourth time this year, and Luis Perez, a longtime show volunteer who entered his watercolors and drawings for the first time, are both members of the Northern Westchester Artists Guild (NWAG), which has been an important catalyst for many local artists to begin showing their work. The winner of this year’s first $1,000 Sylvia Rogers Best New Artist prize at the show is another NWAG member, Natalya Aikens from Pleasantville. Her amazing quilts based on her photographs use reclaimed fabric and repurposed plastic bags to make a beautiful environmental statement. Debra Graham, an NWAG member from Scarsdale, won 3rd prize in the Printmaking, Drawing and Pastels category, the second time she has won a prize for her intricately detailed drawings.
Katonah Museum of Art Matisse Drawings: Curated by Ellsworth Kelly from The Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation Collection opens at the Katonah Museum of Art, October 23. The exhibition features 45 drawings by legendary French artist Henri Matisse, curated by Ellsworth Kelly before his death in 2015. Works from Kelly’s own large-scale Suite of Plant Lithographs (1965-66) accompany the show. Kelly earned an international reputation by the early 1950s as one of the most important Minimalist artists in the United States. “There are many ways to look at and appreciate art, but seeing through the eyes of one artist onto another can be both transformative and illuminating,” says Museum Executive Director Darsie Alexander. The show, organized by the American Federation of Arts and the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum in collaboration with the Matisse Foundation, runs through January 29, 2017.
Rosalind Oesterle, an Armonk Outdoor Art Show participant since moving to Armonk the 1970s, with some of her paintings on display.
Bruce Museum Her Crowd: New Art by Women from Our Neighbors’ Private Collections, which opened at the Bruce Museum in Greenwich, Conn.` in September and runs through Jan. 2, offers a singular opportunity to view art from the walls of some of America’s most influential contemporary art collectors living in Fairfield and Westchester Counties. Themes specific to women such as motherhood, beauty, gender, and sexuality are in evidence, as are works from both established artists such as Yayoi Kusama and Tara Donovan, and up-and-coming artists. Kenneth E. Silver, Mia Laufer and Zvi Grunberg curated the exhibition.
Northern WestchesterArtists Guild The Northern Westchester Artists Guild (NWAG), has several treats in store locally. Their show collective expressions at Art and Sound Gallery in Greenwich, Conn. runs through the end of October. When that show ends, the Guild will also be sponsoring a pop-up show at Art and Sound Gallery featuring drawings, paintings, mixed media, and photography on the walls as well as tactile art. It is scheduled for November 12 through December 23, Tuesday through Sunday and by appointment. Check the website artandsound.com for more information. Art In Rye: Armonk artist Perez and prize winner Aikens are among the 16 Guild artists exhibiting their work at a unique show sponsored by the Strong Oestriech team from the Armonk Real Estate office of Douglas Elliman. Each artist will show-
Remedy, which looks at the healing power of art, opened at ArtsWestchester in White Plains this month and runs through Jan. 14. “The artists in this exhibition engage with the relationship between arts and healing on a number of levels,” says Gallery Director Kathleen Reckling. “Some are inspired by the methods, instruments, and institutions that diagnose and treat our ailments. Others remind us that art is a remedy in and of itself.” The artists from across the
Armonk resident Lana Sidoti returned to the Armonk Outdoor Art Show for a fourth year to exhibit her bold and beautiful enameled jewelry and wall pieces. country work in many media. “The work is provocative, it is humorous, and it is also poignant,” says Reckling. For example, works such as Laura Splan’s “Prozac, Thorazine, Zoloft,” oversized “pill-ows,” soft and welcoming, offer a humorous take on the comfort provided by the prescriptions they represent while “Asylum,” haunting photographs by Christopher Payne, document abandoned mental institutions across the country. Gallery hours: Tuesday-Friday 12-5 p.m., Saturday 12-6 p.m. Free events during the show’s run include a Healing Drum Circle, Saturday, October 22, 1 p.m.
Byram Hills High School seniors (left to right) Juliana Zepf, a ceramicist and paper sculptor, Gabrielle Kleinberg, painter, and Allegra Samsen, photographer, hold up some of their art on display at the Armonk Outdoor Art Show outside a tent dedicated to the work of 24 student artists primarily from Armonk.
Marianne Campolongo is a professional photographer and freelance writer from Chappaqua. A member of the Northern Westchester Artists Guild and other arts oriented organizations, she enjoys exploring new ways to use Photoshop and other digital magic to see where her imagination can take her photographs. MARIANNE A. CAMPOLONGO PHOTOS November 2016 | INSIDE ARMONK |
Donuts for Everyone Nice weather, live music, and freshbaked donuts brought hundreds of local
ENJOY THE HOLIDAYS LEAVE THE DECORATING TO US!
residents and visitors to the 5th Annual Cider and Donuts Festival on Sept. 18 at Wampus Brook Park in Armonk. The festival included games and rides for children and plenty of food (including warm donuts from Beascakes Bakery in the hamlet) for kids and parents alike. For the second year, the festival partnered with Jamie’s 5K Run for Love, with proceeds benefiting the North Castle Public Library’s children’s
Complete programs for a hassle free experience.
programs as well as the Armonk Chamber of Commerce. The festival merged this year with the Pre-School
Association Fall Carnival.
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24 | INSIDE ARMONK
| November 2016
November 2016 | INSIDE ARMONK |
Cemetery Tour Brings Civil War Veterans to Life BY ANDREW VITELLI
ence during the war that he lost all memory of his military service.
A piece of Armonk’s history will come to life this November. St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church will take visitors back 175 years in time, as the church, which dates back to 1842, holds a dramatized tour of its historic cemetery. The tour, which will be held on Nov. 5 at 4 p.m., will include a selection of monologues delivered by performers cast by the Armonk theater company.
Much of the material performed at the cemetery tour is drawn from Pouder’s research. Pouder, a World War II veteran, published biographies of more than 100 Civil War veterans from North Castle, including 68 who are buried in the town’s cemeteries. After discovering that Ransom had no tombstone and Freeland’s was in a state
The stories told will focus on people who served in the U.S. military, particularly during the Civil War. Tour-goers will visit the gravesites of two veterans of the Civil War, U.S. Army Private William Freeland and Corp. Albert Ransom. Freeland, who died of typhoid fever in 1864 at the age of 25 while stationed at Rikers Island, and Ransom will each be given new headstones this year by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs. Ransom was held as a Prisoner of War at the notorious Andersonville Prison in Georgia, where nearly a third of the 45,000 Union soldiers held there died of disease, starvation, overcrowding, or exposure to the elements. According to research by George Pouder, an Armonk-based historian and author, Ransom was so traumatized by his experi-
What are We
TEACHING OUR CHILDREN About Winning & Losing?
By DANIKA ALTMAN, PH.D.
Pouder, a World War II veteran, published biographies of more than 100 Civil War veterans from North Castle, including 68 who are buried in the town’s cemeteries.
of disrepair, Pouder worked with Rev. Nils Chittenden of St. Stephen’s to lobby the government to issue new headstones. Tickets for the tour can be purchased online in advance at ststephensarmonk.org for $10, or at the door for $15; children under 12 are $5 in advance or $10 at the door. Visitors can also view the recently-renovated historic sanctuary of St. Stephen’s, with a visual history of the church’s artwork, artifacts, and photographs provided in the Parish Hall. For more information about the tours, visit the church’s website or call (914) 273-3812. St. Stephen’s is located at 50 Bedford Road in Armonk.
26 | INSIDE ARMONK
ANDREW VITELLI PHOTOS | November 2016
Andrew Vitelli is a Westchester native and the editor of Inside Armonk.
ost of us believe our message to our children is: “Do your best.” But the implicit message may be: “You need to be the best.” We are a community of achievers with high expectations for our children. We want our children to replicate our success. We employ coaches and tutors to help, but by doing so we may also be conveying “You must do well.” The problem is that this message may be causing anxiety and winat-all-costs attitudes in our children.
and friendship. We have likely overheard children posturing, saying things like: “I’m the best at soccer and so and so is next.” If children brag to feel powerful by inducing envy in their friends, they will not likely have many successful friendships. We should teach our children that everyone has strengths and weaknesses. We should help them focus on their strengths and improving their weaknesses rather than on other children’s weaknesses to feel good about themselves. An excellent exercise in self-esteem building for children is to have them compliment someone who needs improvement in a particular skill. It creates positive feeling and connection rather than “power” at another child’s expense.
An overemphasis on winning neglects the valuable lessons that are learned from losing. It is painful and humbling. In order for our children to Children are experts at cope with losing, they reading their parent’s When we must feel compassion reactions. If we express for themselves. When anger that our children face our we face our failures, have made the B team infailures, compassion and support stead of the A team, they gives us a chance to feel that they have failed, compassion rebound. Compassion when in fact they have an for ourselves despite our opportunity to grow. and support flaws and mistakes is the If we point out the gives us a way we endure criticism number of children our and grow. Alternatively, children have to beat to chance to judgment and negativity get to the top of the tennis after a failure often leads ladder, we are sending rebound. to anxiety, depression, the message: “I will not aggression, quitting or be satisfied until you get poor performance. there.” If we express disappointment when our children receive a poor grade on an In the U.S. Open Tennis final, Novak exam, the message is “only an A makes Djokovic gave us a good example of his you acceptable to me.” need to win-at-all-costs. He called for a medic just before Stan Wawrinka’s turn Parents who criticize their children, their to serve rather than before his own, and children’s teammates or coaches, create a game short of the changeover. The ananxiety. They are teaching their children that nouncers alluded to this being poor sportstheir weaknesses will be seen and judged manship. Wawrinka had momentum, and by others. When children feel shamed, the six-minute hiatus could have caused they feel resentment toward their parents, him to lose focus but–despite it–he won the rather than a desire to improve. Instead, title. What makes this interesting is Djokovic empathic statements about how hard it is and Wawrinka are friends, but will Wawrinka to be on the playing field or score As on ever trust Djokovic again? tests are very valuable. Our children want to know that we support them and their We have fortunately many opportunities to friends despite setbacks. Empathy for their teach our children about sportsmanship struggles empowers them to be resilient
and self-confident. It enables them to work through their own disappointments without quitting or doubting themselves. We abhor losing because it makes us feel pain and vulnerability but it also gives us opportunity to build self-esteem. If we help our children to see that we have been there and pushed through, we become role models for how to rebound. If we help our children view failures as something that happen to all of us but do not define who we are, they might even accept a bit of advice. If our children see our confidence in their ability to work hard and our compassion for their pain, we give them the strength and determination to try again. In a Ted Talk, Julie Lythcott Haims reports the Harvard Grant Study shows that the best predictor of success in adulthood is not athletic ability or grades. It is the number of chores one did in childhood. A greater number of chores is correlated with taking initiative and contributing to the greater good at work. We all know that working with colleagues is equally as important for success as surpassing them. If our implicit message to our children is that they have to win, they may not be developing confidence, compassion, humility and resilience in the process of growing up. If instead, we help our children reach their goals by supporting their strengths while having compassion for their weaknesses, they will hopefully have the self-esteem to do their best. Danika Altman, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist in private practice with adolescents, adults and couples. She specializes in adolescent anxiety, depression, and identity development. She also works as a coach for students on college and employment interviews. She has offices in Pleasantville and Manhattan. November 2016 | INSIDE ARMONK |
A Must-Have Conversation:
How to Protect Our Children from a Sexual Predator BY JANINE CROWLEY HAYNES
here comes a time when a community has to face a dreaded reality. No other issue can strike such a deep, repulsive chord in all of us like that of child abuse and sexual assault. As parents, it’s one of our biggest fears. Devastatingly, it has happened in our sister town of Chappaqua in the case of Greeley drama teacher Christopher Schraufnagel, whose plea bargain on felony and sexual abuse charges brought by families of victims, was recently rejected by Judge Kraus in New Castle at the time we were going to press, and the case remains open. The shock and outrage of the community has been deafening but pales in comparison to the irreparable, heart-wrenching pain felt by the kids and parents personally affected by this tragedy. The purpose of this article is not to document the trajectory of this case, which is being amply covered by local daily/weekly media, but to provide information and resources to help equip and protect children going forward. No matter what the age, abuse is abuse is abuse. “And in no circumstance is the child at fault,” says April’s Child Executive Director Laura Bernstein Schwartz, ACSW. “No community is immune,” she adds. The terms tiger mom and helicopter parents are used to describe some parents today. We think because we’re involved, educated, and live in safe, affluent communities that things like this don’t go on. The Stats More than 4.5 million students are subject to sexual misconduct by an employee of a school sometime between Kindergarten
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and 12th grade, according to U.S. government statistics. “The 4.5 million victims represent 9.6% of all school-age children….Students who are more likely to be sexually abused include: girls, especially girls of color (African-American, Native American, and Hispanic-American); children with disabilities; children who are estranged from their parents, who may be unsure of themselves, and/or who engage in high-risk behaviors....Several studies estimate that only about six percent of all children report sexual abuse by an adult to someone who can do something about it. The other 94 percent do not tell anyone or talk only to a friend. And they swear their friend to secrecy....”* What a Predator Looks Like More often than not, a sexual predator is someone the child or adolescent knows. It could be a neighbor, uncle, sibling, friend, teacher, coach, clergy member, etc. Predators are typically in places of authority. Many are chronic offenders. Predators are mostly men. “Contrary to what we think, predators are charming and very patient,” says Chappaqua resident and psychologist William M. Dince, Ph.D. Usually, a predator has the opportunity to be alone with the child over a period of time where there is no oversight. “They create a safe haven where a child feels important and special,” says Dince. Predators give gifts or rewards. They offer support and understanding, while slowly increasing the amount of touch or other sexual behavior. This is called the grooming process. Parents need to be aware of the signs of the grooming phase which takes place between predator and the potential victim. “Predators are adept at reading vulnerabilities,” says Dince. The purpose of
grooming is to assess the child’s ability to maintain secrecy.
child know that it’s not okay for someone to touch them in areas their bathing suit covers,” says Schwartz. Of course, for adolescents, the conversation becomes more complicated, but we can be more frank and descriptive. What a Community and School System Should Do According to Title IX, when incidences of sexual misconduct or sexual abuse are reported, a protocol must be followed. Swift, effective action must be taken by the school and its administration. Title IX further lays out that “[A school] should ensure that you are aware of your Title IX rights and any available resources, such as victim advocacy, housing assistance, academic support, counseling, disability services, health and
mental health services, and legal assistance….[A] school must designate a Title IX coordinator and make sure all students and employees know how to contact him or her. The Title IX coordinator should also be available to meet with you....” Unfortunately, we have been shaken as a community and want to ensure our children’s safety going forward. Here in Chappaqua, our schools are ranked top in the country. Our teachers and staff are highly qualified. From a personal standpoint, my son went through the school system from K-12 and thrived academically and socially. He had countless positive, inspirational experiences with teachers, coaches, and staff which helped shape the 23-year-old young man he is today.
That being said, one rotten apple in the community or in the school system is one too many. It all goes back to believing the child. Studies, in general, show that false allegations of sexual abuse are rare. As parents, we need to be their trusted confidant and advocate. Educating ourselves and teaching our kids, at any age, to stand up for themselves is a good place to start. And, as a community, we must make sure that our schools and administration take prompt action and ensure that the policies in place are strictly followed and enforced. Janine Crowley Haynes is a 20-year resident of Chappaqua, mother, and author of My Kind of Crazy: Living in a Bipolar World.
What We Can Do As Parents “The best way to safeguard our kids is to, first and foremost, always believe the child,” says Schwartz. It sounds like Parenting 101, but, as early as a child can speak, we need to be tuned in to, not only what they say, but what they are feeling. At any age, a child needs to feel they can confide in us without being judged or reprimanded. We need to validate their feelings when they share things like, I don’t like my teacher… or I hate so and so…. At times, we might dismiss their feelings and say things like, Oh, you don’t mean that or that’s not nice to say you hate someone. Paying attention when they express their feelings gives us insight as to how our kids are navigating their world. At times, our family lives and professional lives are super busy and stressful, but carving out time to allow conversations to unfurl in a nonjudgmental way gives us a window into what’s really going on outside their home life. Like most parents, we teach our kids to be respectful of peers, adults, and people in places of authority. “But if a child doesn’t feel comfortable greeting someone with a hug, we need to acknowledge that and let them know it’s okay,” says Schwartz. We can also observe our children and how they interact with others in social situations to see whether they’re hesitant or uncomfortable around certain people. Parents can help protect their children against sexual abuse by having age-appropriate discussions about sexual behavior and encourage them to stand up for themselves and say no if someone attempts to touch their sexual parts. “For younger children, the standard guideline is to let the
This topic is multi-layered and too lengthy to cover in full in this article. Please go to the lists of resources and references provided below.
New Coalition Committee Recommended Resources A Coalition for Youth Subcommittee for Community Healing–with representatives from the school, town, clergy and police–has
References & Resources: U.S. Department of Education | ed.gov
formed recently in New Castle to address concerns raised by the Schraufnagel case.The committee provided the Inside Press with the following list of agencies and organizations “as those who provide
U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, Title IX | ed.gov
support and counseling to survivors of sexual misconduct and abuse, as well as to educate people on how communities can help protect against predators.”
National Sexual Violence Resource Center | nsvrc.org Darkness to Light | d2l.org Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network | rainn.org MaleSurvivor | malesurvivor.org Lauren’s Kids | laurenskids.org Loveisrespect | loveisrespect.org S.E.S.A.M.E (Stop Educator Sexual Abuse Misconduct and Exploitation) sesamenet.org
Drawing Attention to the Campus Sexual Assault Epidemic “…the way girls are portrayed leads to them becoming sexual objects, and so many boys think that if they are passed out they are fair game.”–The New Agenda Co-Founder Amy Siskind BY SUSAN YOUNGWOOD In mid-October, runners and walkers at several college campuses around the country were preparing to lace up their shoes for a 5k walk/run. Their goal was not only the finish line, but to raise awareness of campus sexual assault. The New Agenda Foundation, co-founded by Westchester resident Amy Siskind, hopes to draw attention to an epidemic which impacts one in five college women, and one in 16 college men, with their on campus initiative, SToPP. at www.SToPP5k.org. “The idea of SToPP--Stop. Think. Protect your Peers.–is to empower and educate our kids,” said Siskind. “Fifty-five percent of college students who witnessed a sexual assault didn’t intervene, many because they didn’t know what to do.” Siskind’s thousands of Facebook and Twitter followers know Siskind as a fierce Hillary Clinton supporter, and turn to her feeds to celebrate, commiserate and criticize the twists and turns of the 2016 presidential campaign. Offline, she’s President and Co-Founder of The New Agenda, a prolific writer and speaker to audiences of college students and professional women. The New Agenda sprung from the ashes of Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign. Shortly after Hillary dropped out, a group of women active in her campaign gathered in Siskind’s living room in August 2008 to strategize about making change. “We were upset by how women were treated in the media, by the double standard,” Siskind said. The media treatment opened their eyes, she added, to how far women have to go. “There were very few voices to defend women from the dou double standard, the sexist treatment.”
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“Our belief was how we allowed any one woman to be treated, is how we should expect all women to be treated,” said Siskind. Major news organizations, from CNN to Fox News, Huffington Post to the Daily Beast, took note. The New Agenda continued to call out examples of sexism–for all stripes of women, Republican, Democrat, liberal and conservative. In 2010, with change afoot, The New Agenda shifted its resources and focus. Vice President and Co-founder, Karen Gerringer, also a Westchester resident, said it was “time to stop just whining about women’s disparate treatment, and time to start doing something about it!”
The first SToPP race was held last year, and the money raised went to make educational videos–“Grey Matters” (www.learn.SToPP5k.org)–which are being used on several college campuses to educate students. The video is a dramatization of a true story about a woman was raped by a dorm-mate while incapacitated--and covers the importance of bystander intervention. “One of the issues we raise in the video is that young men don’t understand that if you have sex with an incapacitated woman, it is rape. Half of high school boys don’t understand this,” Siskind said. “Campus assault is an issue that parents are struggling with,” said Siskind, who links campus assault to the sexualization of women today. “This permeates our society.” The way women are depicted, the way girls are bullied in high school and middle school, teen-dating violence–“the genesis is all from the same family…the way girls are portrayed leads to them becoming sexual objects, and so many boys think that if they are passed out they are fair game.”
AMY SISKIND Facebook and Twitter have helped enunciate the gender bias.“There’s more accountThe New Agenda morphed from its initial ability on social media,” Siskind said. “Overt role as media watchdog, and now focuses sexism gets called out.” on fostering leadership skills in and creating opportunities for millennial women, espeShe also reflected on women’s image in cially on college campuses. the media. “The portrayal of women in the media–videos, television, movies–has really Every June, it holds a nationwide event hurt the women’s cause. Women are more called National Girlfriends Networking Day sexualized. We’re not judged on how smart (“NGN Day”). With events nationwide, we are, but instead by how we look. We NGN Day connects thousands of college still have a long way to go.” and professional women, and last year, according to Siskind, “hashtag #NGNDay Susan Youngwood is a writer, editor had over 2.3 million Twitter views!” “We and graphic designer, who recently pride ourselves on inclusion and diversity. covered the Democratic National ConSince we were founded as a voice for all vention on behalf of the Inside Press. women, it’s in our organizational DNA,” Siskind said. This is a shortened version of Susan’s original article which may be found at National Girlfriends Networking Day 2015 http://theinsidepress.com/dynamoSiskind worked on Wall Street until her amy-siskind-and-how-her-the-newretirement in 2006. She became the first agenda-helps-women-find-their-voices female managing director at Wasserstein Perella at the age of 31, and later ran trading departments at Morgan Stanley and Imperial Capital, as a partner, too.
inside armonk PROFILE: Stacy Wilder Please tell us about yourself. How long have you lived in Armonk? STACY: I moved to Armonk in 1994 with my husband, Allen Blum, and our two young children, Jeremy (now 26) and David (now 23).
When did you decide to get involved with the Chamber? What made you want to become involved? STACY: I’ve always been involved in the community, first as a volunteer at the schools, then as a board member and president of the Windmill Club, as a cochair of the Armonk Outdoor Art Show and, most recently, as the Director of Communications for the Armonk Chamber of Commerce. I believe in the importance of giving back to the community. In order for a community to thrive, residents need to pitch in and lend a hand. It’s one thing to complain and keep your fingers crossed, but quite another to do something meaningful to effect change. Plus, the bonus has been getting to know the wonderful people in our town who make good things happen.
How has the Chamber evolved? How do you connect the Chamber to the wider community? STACY: In the 22 years that I have lived here, Armonk has become a very different place. What was once a tiny stretch along Main Street has become a thriving downtown with a perfect central meeting space at Armonk Square. As the town evolved and the business scene grew, it became apparent that the Chamber of Commerce
had to up its game.The current board, with Neal Schwartz as its president, has really stepped up communications between members and the surrounding community. Social media has been a great way to keep everyone, both residents and businesses, informed. Plus, Armonk Connect, our annual membership directory that gets mailed to over 8,000 households, provides the community with valuable local information. Our newly revised website (armonkchamberofcommerce.com) gives easy access to our membership directory, activities and events. Members are also given their own URL web page, which we encourage them to utilize in branding their local presence. Chamber membership has grown to over 130 members, who either have businesses here or who do business here. Monthly meetings provide a way for members to network and brainstorm about how to connect to the community. One way we do this is through a number of Chamber-sponsored events. Our Citizen of the Year dinner and golf outing in May honors a member of the Armonk community who embodies a long-time passion for making a difference in our town. It brings together business owners, town government, residents and their friends. During the summer months we sponsor First Thursdays, with entertainment and activities downtown. Merchant promotions and specials are geared
towards bringing people into town to listen to music, stroll through local shops and eat at one of our many participating restaurants. In the fall, we host the Cider and Donut Festival together with Jamie’s 5K Run for Love in Wampus Brook Park. This year, for the first time, the Festival included the Byram Hills Pre-School Association carnival, which made it a great day for people of all ages. This festive event brings together friends and families from near and far, and gives Chamber members a chance to sponsor and provide fun activities. All of these events give local residents and attendees a chance to interact with our member businesses.
What are the Chamber’s goals, both short and long term? STACY: We are always looking for ways to help our local businesses succeed. Short term, we aim to increase each businesses visibility through networking, events and web awareness. We also try to educate the community about the value of shopping local whenever possible. Our long-term goals have even greater payback. We have a vested interest in creating memories for our town’s patrons. Happy memories will keep people coming back for more, and that’s a winning scenario for everyone. November 2016 | INSIDE ARMONK |
AN ATTITUDE OF
GRATITUDE BY JODI BARETZ
“If we are not grateful for what we have, what makes us think we’d be happy with more?” Being charged with writing an article on gratitude I was forced to think about what I am truly grateful for, and what I could possibly write about on this topic. Of course, I’m grateful for the obvious things, the ‘big things.’ I’m grateful for my loving family, my supportive friends and my growing private practice. However, I think it’s just as important to recognize the ordinary moments in daily life, the little things. I can recall a moment when my kids were small and I was bringing them for haircuts, which was not an easy task. Once I finally got them into the car, my two precious children proceeded to fight as per usual. As I was driving and listening to this free for all in the back seat, I would occasionally interrupt with a “stop it” or “enough already!” When that didn’t seem to be effective, I started getting annoyed, and then for some reason, amidst all the noise and frustration, I just gave up. As I drove and the boys continued to yell, I just listened to them exchanging insults. I became amused by the banter instead of being annoyed with it. It struck me that these two little boys were not going to be young forever, and I realized how lucky I was to spend these precious moments with them. Suddenly, I made this major shift, a total reframe of the mind that filled me with gratitude. Once you get the hang of the gratitude attitude, you can apply it to almost anything. Take a look at something small in your daily life. I just sat down to write this article after
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visiting Millwood Plaza, where I realized how lucky I am to live in a wonderful, supportive community–from the people I ran into who smiled and were helpful to the new businesses that are coming to town to make my life a little easier. I am so grateful that DeCicco’s, already a treasure in Armonk, is opening here soon too. We have been without a supermarket for long enough; ’m sure many of you can understand my pain. I am especially grateful for Tazza Cafe. There are many wonderful places in town that I frequent, but the Tazza in Millwood, is a truly special place to me. (I hear the one in Armonk is also a popular hotspot!). I go there daily for my tea, but the best part is those who work there know my order, my name and always greet me with a hearty “Hi Jodi!” It’s like Cheers without the alcohol. In addition, I usually know at least three people there who are also getting their caffeine fix. Being a part of a small community makes me feel connected and supported.
after something huge, like getting a promotion, or having awesome kids, it can be as small as your morning coffee at your favorite cafe. Noticing the small moments and truly appreciating them will help change your mind.
Once you keep noticing these small things to be grateful for, your own shift will start to occur. It will become habit. You will feel happier, and that feeling is contagious. Practicing gratitude is one of the top indicators of happiness, in addition to having many other benefits.
I love the idea of a gratitude jar, especially with kids. It involves writing what you are grateful for on a piece a paper and putting it into a jar and reading them when you are sad or at the end of the year to inspire you! Now if we can extend that attitude of gratitude all year, we will be happier, healthier individuals and as a community.
Besides improving emotional health, it can have a positive impact on you physically. People who are grateful experience less aches and pains, according to a 2012 study published in “Personality and Individual Differences.” Gratitude also improves your relationships, self-esteem, fosters empathy and decreases aggression. It helps you sleep better! So, how do we cultivate this all-important skill? Gratitude does not have to only be
A gratitude journal is proven to be a great way to hone your skills, but if you’re like me, you won’t be taking the time to do that so often, so being mindful of what you are thankful for throughout the day definitely helps a lot.
Happy Thanksgiving! Jodi Baretz, LCSW, CHHC, is a psychotherapist, mindfulness and holistic health coach at The Center for Health and Healing in Mount Kisco. She lives in Millwood with her husband and two sons. She is also the founder of the program and upcoming book, Mindfulness is the New Skinny.