Stop, Drop and Roll: The Mamaroneck FD Open House

One of the highlights of this great annual neighborhood event (Saturday, Oct. 2) at the Town of Mamaroneck Fire Station on Weaver Street and Edgewood Avenue               is the "smoke room." A trailer, really, where Chief Sean McCarthy hides behind the controls like the Wizard of Oz and fills the joint with smoke…after children have learned how important it can be, in a real life situation, to run to the neighbor’s and call 911. There were rides on the fire truck, the chance to climb around the stationhouse…and the hot dogs were pretty good, too.

Irvington Outranks Mamaroneck?

  We already know that Mamaroneck is a great place to live (Why else would we be here?) but             formal recognition from “outsiders” is always good to get too. That’s why we like that Mamaroneck has been named by Westchester Magazine as the fifth best place to live in the county, based factors like diversity, housing, schools, nightlife, proximity to water and all those other things that go into compiling such rankings. Out of the list of 40 such places, only Irvington, Ossining, Dobbs Ferry and Hastings-on-Hudson in that order placed above Mamaroneck – making our hometown the only Sound Shore community to rank in the Top 10 (though neighboring Scarsdale came in No. 7). As the magazine says, “Check it out on a Thursday night—the town is jumping with music, outdoor dining, and shops open late for business.

Nat’l Merit Semifinalists at MHS

Eight Mamaroneck High School seniors were selected this week as Semifinalists in the prestigious National Merit Scholarship Program competition,                which recognizes about 16,000 students across the country as Semifinalists among a pool of 1.5 million juniors who took the 2009 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT).   Mamaroneck’s National Merit Semifinalists are: Matthew Bialo, Yuan Feng, Isabel Genecin, Stephanie Li, Gabriel Samach, Luke Schanz-Garbassi, Emily Semaya and Juliet Welcome. Interim MHS Principal John Goetz called all of the students down to his office yesterday to deliver the exciting news as a surprise.  “Congratulations!  You are here because of your extraordinary academic accomplishments, and we are very proud of all of you.  Receiving this prestigious honor means that your scores on the PSAT were in the top 1 percent of the nation,” Goetz said.  “We know how hard working and dedicated you all are.” Students who received the Semifinalist designation this year will compete next spring for 8,400 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $36 million.   Semifinalists needed to achieve a PSAT/NMSQT selection index score of 214 or greater. To become a Finalist, a Semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by the principal, and earn SAT scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test. Approximately 90 percent of the Semifinalists are expected to advance to the Finalist level, and about half will win a National Merit Scholarship based on their skills, accomplishments, and potential for success in rigorous college studies. Semifinalists and a school official must submit a detailed scholarship application, which includes a student essay and information about the semifinalist’s participation and leadership in school and community activities.  Finalists will be announced in February.

Fall into Arts

You wont get hurt. Have a look at the rich offerings of ArtsWestchester this season!             submitted to theLoop by ArtsWestchester  Beginning this September, ArtsWestchester kicks off a series featuring Westchester’s talented visual, performing and literary artists and the jewels of the county’s arts organizations, all taking place at The Arts Exchange,  ArtsWestchester’s historic 1929 venue in downtown White Plains – a place where ideas, discussion and the arts go hand-in-hand. ArtsWestchester connects people to the arts in this and other magnificent spaces, creating a place where the arts are available, affordable and accessible, offering diverse programs to challenge a wide range of artistic tastes – a place where the program is up close and the intimate setting is a work of art in itself.   The thirteen events taking place between September 24th and January 29th highlight a variety of artistic experiences, including performances by local musicians in our popular NewUrbanJazz series; theater programs such as the Red Monkey Theater’s presentation of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night on the evening of January 14th; and the highly-anticipated opening of sculptor Vinnie Bagwell’s Enslaved Africans’ Rain Garden exhibition on Friday, September 24th.

Haircuts for Hope

Gisele Guerrero of the eponymous Gisele’s Salon in Larchmont is at it again, offering haircuts and a little pampering to clients of HOPE Community Servces                   in New Rochelle, on September the 13th.  She writes, "We are looking for toiletries to give to our clients like;  Shampoo and conditioner, tooth brushes and tooth paste, deodorant, razors and shaving cream, and soap.  This can be for a male or a female as well as children.  All donations can be brought to Gisele’s Salon on, or by 11th of September. All hair cuts are for free and we do volunteer our time every two months to do this, our clients are in need of these products to keep them feeling good.  I am always looking for someone to offer lunch to the clients while they are waiting to have their hair cut.  We are usually there from 1:00 until 5:00.  This time Tequila Sunrise will be offering the lunch; Melissa, the owner of the restaurant, was kind enough to accept. It is a community of caring people. I am grateful to everyone who has helped in the past and continues to help out including my Stylists from Gisele’s Salon who give of their time willingly : Monica Nybeck, Siobhan Healy, and a special thanks to a very giving stylist from Gisele’s Salon who started with me on this mission on April 13th, 2009,  Sheila Fernandes . I also want to thank all my clients for generosity as well as the friends of the stylists who have helped us in the past including Anna Rivera and Susanna.

Your Generosity Fed 75 Families

Friends of the Loop grew and donated about 150 pounds of produce that was donated to the food pantry on Tuesday in a community effort called "Nourish your Neighbor ."                   The idea was that of Ed Merians, Larchmont resident and Chairman of the Red Cross of Westchester. We received support from Sheldrake Environmental Center and Farm Share .   Last night Ed brought a crate which had veggies for about 35 families. Beautiful stuff. The talented Sheldrake gardeners also brought veggies for about 30.

Swim Across the Sound

500 swimmers raised $10 million dollars to fight cancer Saturday during the Long Island Sound Swim,  part of Swim Across America. These amazing people were dropped off 1, 4 or 6 miles from the Larchmont Shore club by volunteer boats, and swam back. Swim Across America raises money for cancer research and treatment. Slideshow by Rosemary Mancino. (you have our permission to download photos by clicking on thumbnails below and downloading via flickr.

Bastille Blast

Village police say hundreds of  people turned out for the Bastille Day block party on Larchmont Avenue Wednesday night, organized by Espana and Tequila Sunrise                  restaurants, Auray and about fifteen other sponsors, including theLoop. Thanks to Groove for the great music line up. And thanks to the community for supporting local business in Larchmont!

New Rochelle on Top 100 List again

The Queen City on the Sound once again has made a national "Top 10 Places to Live" list, this time                   on Money Magazine. Go New Ro!  (Last year , it was top 50 in Business Week– But will it ever live down The Dick van Dyke Show? "Oh Rob….") (enthusiastic disclosure: editrix’s family moved to NR in 1932.)

71-year-old Mamaroneck Woman wins $1M Lottery

With proceeds from her prior scratch-off lottery winnings, Margery Falco bought the ticket on June 14 that would change her life. In 28 years as a secretary for the Village of Mamaroneck Harbor Master, she never imagined she would hit the jackpot.             After being a regular customer of Soji Stationery for 7 years, her consistency finally paid off. She bought tickets every day, sometimes 4 per day, other days 10, hoping her time would come. The owner of Soji Stationery,  Manjari Dani said, "I know her by her perfume, not her name."   Mnjari and Dilip Dani commented on the wild stroke of luck that came through their store.

Shout-Out to Your Favorite Graduate!

Are you the parent, grandparent, sibling, friend, or simply a fan of one of the thousands of area High School and College Seniors               that are about to graduate? Let’s hear it for them! And let’s hear it from you, below!

A Dog’s Life

My dog, Scooby Tecumseh Sherman Sawyer, died recently. She was an 11 year old, lazy-as-can-be chocolate lab,                  (story re-published by request.) and she will be missed. This is not like losing a parent. This one really hurts. I’m not one of those people who take the whole dog relationship too far; I mean I never lost sight of the fact that she was a dog.

Ward Acres Gardens: Growing Success

New Rochelle small business consultant Hope Surpris and her mother Verna were at the Ward Acres Gardens Tuesday planting herbs and vegetables in her plot.                   Hope is just one of the many community residents who believe strongly in organic gardening, sustainability, and eating foods that are grown locally. In renting her plot at the gardens, Ms. Surpris was looking for a way to get more involved in the city of New Rochelle and promote sustainability.   In its second full season, the Ward Acres Gardens have expanded from the original thirty six plots to eighty eight plots in just a few weeks.  The gardens have truly been a community effort toward an increase in organic gardening and sustainability.  Plots can be rented for fifty dollars with all proceeds going toward garden maintenance.  There has been a huge show of interest by the community in supporting the gardens and following the principles of organic gardening.        A cocktail party fundraiser was held and five thousand dollars was raised to contribute to a water infiltration system into the gardens and the neighboring dog park.  The local dog community has donated money, Bulfamonte Nurseries of New Rochelle has tilled the land twice in preparation for the gardeners, compost bins were donated by Westchester County and the local chapter of Habitat for Humanity donated a shed for the periphery of the gardens.   Six of the plots are rented by Hope Community Services, a local soup kitchen.  The Ward Elementary School occupies eight plots, with each grade having its own plot to grow whatever it pleases and incorporate the garden into the science curriculum.  Shoprite even provided breakfast for fifty on the opening day of the gardens.

First Loop Mixer of 2010!

Coming Thursday, May 27.  If it’s almost summer, it must be time for the first getLooped at Plates party of the season. So many of you asked us to do this again we are not waiting.                 Once again, we are partnering with Plates in Larchmont. Come for food, drinks and live music before or after the parade of your choice! We’re going red, white and loop.  The fun starts at 6 pm and goes ’till somebody calls the cops .

Community TV Awards

LMC-TV held its own version of the Emmy Awards May 17 for community television…where community engagement and involvement is the star power.                 LMC-TV Volunteer of the Year is Andrew Rio, who,  according to LMC-TV Executive Director Erik Lewis, does anything and everything needed to bring programming to LMC-TV.   Also honored was "Shari’s Art Class" – lessons taught by East Harlem teacher Shari Schwarz – which was named Best New Series.  Fran Snedeker’s "Future Choices," her long-running thoughtful series about reproductive rights, was named Best Series.   Hommocks Middle School seventh-grader Asher Collins received the Val Estabrook Award for Outstanding Work in a School Video.  Lynne’s Smith’s "Pet Rescue of Larchmont" took the Best Single Program Award and the Best Public Service Announcement Award went to the Town of Mamaroneck Fire Department.   State Assemblyman George Latimer received the Mary Anne Sullivan Award for Overall Achievement in Community Television.

Eyesore to Go from New Ro

A dilapidated home owned by the Somalian government in the Forest Heights section of New Rochelle View Larger Map to see photo of house, click on colored "pin"          will be demolished, Congresswoman Nita Lowey announced.   The home at 250 Elk Avenue was abandoned years ago and has been "an eyesore and nuisance" ever since, according to one neighbor.   The resolution as to the home’s future involved the Forest Heights neighborhood association, the City of New Rochelle and the U.S. Department of State.  The demolition of the house and improvements to the property will be funded through Somali government funds that the U.S. government is holding in trust, generated by sale of Somali Embassy property in Washington, D.C.   

Going Blue to Fight Cancer

If you see women and girls around town with blue hair extensions, there is a very good reason why. It began with a                        special collaboration:     Cindy Vucetovic of Cindy’s Hair Studio  (far right) in Mamaroneck, first met Nancy Joselson, Executive Director of Pediatric Cancer Foundation (PCF) at the salon. They connected instantly and worked together on the idea of a kick-off event for the Annual PCF Bike-a-thon to raise funds. PCF is a non-profit organization, which funds for pediatric cancer research in area hospitals. Cindy generously offered to do blue hair extensions in support of kids with cancer.

Kudos Korner

Many local winners this week, beginning with…Mamaroneck High School’s Jason Miller, named a finalist at the Westchester Science & Engineering Fair.               The Fair provides a forum for high school students to showcase their scientific research studies and compete for scholarships and prizes including a grand prize all-expenses paid trip to the Intel International Science & Engineering Fair.   Hommocks 7th grader Stephen Sollid won a digital photo lab for the middle school as the grand prize winner in Microsoft Bing’s earth day photo contest in the 11-13 age category.    Stephen’s prize package with a retail value of $2,800, will benefit Hommocks Middle School and its students. Within the next several weeks, Hommocks will receive a Digital Photo Lab, including12 HP Pavilion desktops, 12 monitors, three PhotoSmart Printers, 10 paper and ink value packs and three Canon Rebel EOS Cameras.   Thank you, Stephen! The New Rochelle police department honored its own members during this national police memorial week.    Police Officer Robert Wenzler was named Police Officer of the Year and CSO Stacey Craft was named Civilian Employee of the Year.

Mother’s Day: Yo *Mama*-roneck?

Mother’s Day is  May 9th .  Every year, officially since 1914 here in the States, we have been scrambling to show our mothers what they mean to us.         In ancient Rome and Greece, it wasn’t so much Moms being given gifts as much as the goddesses that represented Earth Mother.  Goddesses wreaking havoc with empires were taken seriously. Around the 1600’s England recognized Mothering Sunday, a day that children who had been cast off to work as slaves were allowed to come back and honor their mothers, have a meal and then be cast back until Christmas.   It’s hard to picture anyone cutting loose on this occasion. In the states, it wasn’t until the late 1800’s that Julia Ward Howe who wrote the Battle Hymn of the Republic declared a Mother’s Day Proclamation for all the dead ‘sons’ from the Civil War.  Not good enough.  No recognition stuck until 1914 when Anna Jarvis, the daughter of an Appalachian homemaker campaigned to have Mothers’ Day declared a national holiday as a tribute to her mother.  Lest we give Anna too much credit, she didn’t foresee the runaway train called Commercialism until it was too late. After filing a lawsuit to stop the flower buying madness, she lost and died blind, poverty stricken and childless.  Clearly no good deed goes unpunished.

Trees Young and Old

Larchmont residents value their trees; the Village has been named a “Tree City USA" for the 29th consecutive year. But while children were helping plant the                 first of three bald cypress trees in Constitution Park on April 30, across town in Vanderburgh (Turtle) Park, a crew from Evergreen Arborists was taking down one of the Village’s oldest trees that had succumbed to Dutch elm disease. The large elm tree in Turtle Park was more than 100 years old. As the park is just across the street, I’ve been able to watch from my front porch the accelerating loss of trees in the park. Five years ago in a letter to then-Mayor Ken Bialo I wrote:     In the past two years, several large trees have been removed from Turtle Park ― trees that provided welcome shade to the toddlers using the playground as well as others who come to rest, read, and relax in the shade provided on hot summer days.

Contest Winners, Lying Down

Congrats to the five winners of our "Just Let Me Lie Down" contest, where you were asked to   write an original, witty phrase to describe being a working parent. OK, any phrase will do. The winners of a brand new book are Debra Quintana, Teacher Lady, Rebecca Mazin, Debbie Ausch, and Mom of Three. Check out their entries !

Green Day Expo

Some images and stories from Green Day- Larchmont-Mamaroneck’s first Sustainability Expo.       Vendors (from chicken farmers to dry cleaners), volunteers, speakers and hundreds of members of the community filled the halls of Hommocks with great ideas for helping our planet and living cleaner lives. Here is a "slide-show" by Loop staffers. Below, a story by Susie Arth.           You can install solar panels on your home; you can purchase energy-efficient appliances for your kitchen; you can ride your bike to work.

Larchmont Wins "Best Commuting Town"

Did Loop Larchmartians stuff the ballot box? Earlier this month, we told you about the poll on Trainjotting.com for The Best Metro Area Commuting Town. Herewith, the results:               from trainjotting: "The Best Damn Commuter Town Period title stays in Westchester, as Larchmont was selected by Trainjotting readers as the best mix of relatively easy transit to the city, low-ish a**hole ratio, lively downtown, parks, taxes, and other quality of life issues involving the tri-state area. Pleasantville won the prize the first/last time we held the Best Damn Commuter Town Period poll, in 2008. New Jersey was very well represented in the voting, especially among towns starting with the letter ‘M’: (Montclair, Maplewood, Metuchen, Millburn, Westfield, Summit, New Providence).

Vending Machine :No Calories

A new machine in Scarsdale targets commuting bookworms . . .          Meet Library Express – an ATM-style book-lending machine that permits cardholders to take out and return library books 24/7.  The new machine, the first in New York and only the third in the country, is located at the East Parkway entrance to the Scarsdale train station.  It is stocked with new popular fiction, non-fiction, children’s and teen books.

Best Commuter Town?

Our commuter friends at trainjotting.com want to give Loop towns a leg-up in a local contest (but mind the gap…)      From editor Mike Malone:  "Trainjotting.com is hosting is second ever ‘Best Damn Commuter Town,  Period."  contest, in which readers vote for the best NY-area commuter town, based on train access, taxes, lively downtowns, a**holes per capita, etc. It’s open to the whole of the tri state area. Pleasantville won it the last time around.   Maybe you can tell your readers about it. Ballot stuffing is allowed.

Municipal Makeovers: Two New Websites

Wanna see a great civic website? New Rochelle just unveiled this beauty. Easy to navigate and easy on the eyes.   New Ro was the winner of an "Extreme Website Makeover" competition by CivicPlus, a website design firm specializing in municipalities. On March 8, the Town of Mamaroneck is scheduled to unveil it’s new website.

Try and Be Social.

We are aware there are some people out there, somewhere, who don’t twitter or facebook all day.That means that somewhere     That means that somewhere is a group of people who are either not tethered to their laptops or who are not ADD. For the rest of us, Social Media has moved out of its embryonic stage to be a regular part of cyber-life and to some, a key component of their business communication strategy. That’s why it’s incredibly annoying (and counter-productive) when people don’t obey the “rules.”  (If there is such a thing amidst all the anarchy)   Herewith, some rules of social media:    Pick Your Site -Take the time to learn what type of audience uses a given social media site. Facebook is all purpose, LinkedIn is for business professionals looking to network; there are also specialized social media sites for individual professions.   •  Study the Content – Pay close attention to what type of content appears in which environment.

HB GCT! (and did you know…?)

This week marked the 97th anniversary of the opening of Grand Central Terminal, one of the most                     remarkable places on Earth. Herewith, a little story; and perhaps some trivia even you didn’t know…     Audrey Johnson arrives at Grand Central Terminal every morning at 7:00 and doesn’t leave.   Instead, she takes a seat in one of the most visible spots in New York, waiting for the next question.   600,000 people pass through Grand Central Terminal every day, and nearly all of them, at one time or another, need an answer.

Miracle on the Hutch

The sudden snowstorm last week turned a Connecticut woman into a lifesaver on the Scarsdale stretch of the   Hutchinson River Parkway, when she defied the suggestions of passersby and saved a New Rochelle woman’s life. From WestportNow and the Westport News

Twisted Pickets: The Accesso-rising

 (apologies to Bruce Springsteen) In addition to therapy and martinis with the girls, the great cure for many women is self-gifting   with various forms of suburban bling.  Despite the recession, we’ll always find a plausible excuse to treat ourselves to that new lipstick, bag, piece of jewelry, pair of boots, or bra (which is easily rationalized because it provides a functional use as well). The need for baubles and face paint is as old as our gender.  At a museum recently, I was impressed by the intricacies and variations of prehistoric accessories.  The Egyptians even loved their stuff so much they insisted on being buried with it.  (Hmmm…does that mean I can take that great pair of suede over-the-knee boots with me forever?)  Did prehistoric women run out to shop too when they had a bad day or needed a pick-me-up?  (“I overcooked the wild boar today so my husband hit me with a stick…the kids were running all around the cave…and I was feeling bloated, so I went next door and traded a piece of dried fish for a new set of shell beads.)  I was talking recently to a local Westchester boutique owner who told me that her business had held up well throughout the recession.  She sells bags, jewelry, and underwear.  Although lower-priced merchandise was selling better than some of the true luxuries, her sales were only down a relatively small percentage over last year.  Rumor has it that the “Lipstick index” of the last recession has proven out recently, although foundation sales are up.  Could it be that women are just looking to mask larger areas of their faces to hide anxiety and depression?  The good news is that sales of women’s nutrition products also appear to be climbing, according to this article.  Great to know that we are feeding our souls as well as our closets. Speaking of health and wellness, we are entering Go Red for Women month, so you can really rationalize shopping for some new bling.  Just pick out something of a crimson hue that has a charitable tie-in and you don’t have to feel as guilty about your accessory addiction. See you around Main Street.   Twisted Pickets is authored by Billie Cleaver (a pseudonym).  She claims to be a renegade relative of June and Ward Cleaver.  June had a torrid affair with Eddie Haskell and Billie was the result.  She inherited June’s apron collection.

Is the Kindle the New Black?

In the NY Times Saturday, there was an interesting article, “On Kindle’s List, the Best Sellers Don’t Necessarily Need to Sell.”     It was about best-selling books on the Kindle, only the kicker was that these books are free. Yes, you read that right – they are free. According to the article, “more than half of the best-selling e-books for the Kindle are available at no charge.” The thinking behind this stems from more unknown authors who want to create some buzz about their work – offer the e-book Kindle version for free a month before hard-copy release or perhaps create a fan-base for secondary title releases. The goal is to get readers to try out new authors, and get them hooked for future publications (that aren’t free). Although the CEO of Hachette disagrees – “it is illogical to give away books for free.” Then again, his clients include James Patterson and Stephenie Meyer who only have a to sneeze into a book and people will buy it.