Open Mike: Latimer on Pay Raises

As a member of the New York State Assembly, it should be clear to all that things have gotten better over the last two years in state government, under the strong leadership of Governor Andrew Cuomo. Two on-time state budgets, balanced without new taxes; eliminating the MTA payroll tax for small businesses and schools; making a wise commitment to address our overdue infrastructure needs such as the Tappan Zee Bridge; passing a tough new ethics law; expanding the DNA databank to catch criminals and exonerate the innocent – all of these and more are positive steps in Albany. In light of some legislative successes, unfortunately, talk has surfaced regarding pay raises for State Legislators, to be passed at the end of this year. This is absolutely the wrong time for a pay raise. The members of the Legislature have gone since 1999 without an increase in base salary; I know personally how hard it is to make ends meet in Westchester, given the bills we have to pay, for those of us like me who are not personally wealthy.

Reader Mail: Racoons, a Reminder


To the Editor:
My husband and I were surprised yesterday by an uninvited guest in the bright afternoon sunshine – a sick or injured raccoon laying on its side, breathing heavily, huddled against the wall of our garage. I called Mamaroneck (Village) Police Department who gave me the number for a trapper.  I called the trapper and explained the situation.  This raccoon could well be rabid.  I was told that the initial trapping fee would be approximately $300.   If the animal were indeed found to be rabid, then I would have to additionally pay for the cost of the rabies test and for proper disposal of the animal.  Final cost would be upward of $1000. I thank my lucky stars (and also the “rapid” raccoon as my kids call it) that it was scared enough when we found it to gather the strength to amble off into the woods across the street and disappear.  It saved me hundreds and hundreds of dollars.  but now the issue becomes a risk to others since the raccoon is out there somewhere and may pose a risk to public health.  our house is next door to the Girl Scout house which means more opportunities for exposure. This is a worrisome situation here for sure.  Homeowners who don’t have this kind of extra cash handy will attempt to dispatch sick animals on their own.  I am not criticizing the Police Dept. they are just the best.  But I was really surprised about this policy and the possible risk to public health and safety that this policy creates.  I would think that the heavy tax bills we all pay could cover the costs of removing rabid animals whether they happen to roam onto private property or not.

Local Soccer League Accused of ‘Abusive Behavior’


theLoop received a Letter to the Editor from a reader claiming the Mamaroneck Junior Soccer League (MJSL) engaged in “disrespectful and abusive behavior” against a team from Fox Lane recently. We asked MJSL for a response, which you can see below it. To the Editor:

On Saturday night Mamaroneck FC 93 played Fox Lane FC Best Friends in soccer at The Armonk Indoor Soccer League winning the game 5-1 and also a place in the Hall of Shame along with their coach and some of the parents. During an intense game the coach of the Mamaroneck team resorted to a play of verbal attacks on the Fox Lane players and their coach, even promising one of the players, “I’ll see you after the game…”

In this country we live by rules and the golden rule for any sport is respect.  On Saturday, the Mamaroneck coach failed on every bullet point in the Code of Ethics.  The ultimate offense came when his players refused the traditional team handshakes after the game.  Where’s the leadership and sportsmanship? The disrespectful and abusive behavior exhibited throughout the game by the Mamaroneck coach only incited the players which, not surprisingly, led to a melee after the game.   What was surprising, however, was the conduct of some of the parents who asserted their own aggression on their defenseless opponents that were half their size.  How absurd!

Reader Mail: Squeeeeeeezing in New Parking

To the Editor:

I thought you would find this amusing. I have attached a  picture of one of the few newly created parking spots at the Mamaroneck Train Station.  Does anyone agree that at least spot #172 is a little too close to the crosswalk? I know parking is a problem in the Village but this space seems more of a hazard and won’t solve the overall problem. Judy Santarsiero


How Will Pension Reform Impact Schools?

At the same time some of you have begun commenting on the Mamaroneck School District’s impasse with the Teachers union, an editorial in Newsday claims Governor Cuomo’s Tier 6 pension reform dosen’t go far enough. It remains to be seen how this will impact teachers and schools in our area. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s hype machine went into overdrive late last week after the Legislature passed a scaled-back version of his Tier 6 pension reform plan. Cuomo said the result was “bold and transformational . .

Open Mike: Train Station Parking

To the Editor:

If you have the second-tier parking pass that gives you access to designated spaces at the Larchmont (or other) train station, you still have to feed the meter once you’ve parked.  Nothing wrong with that.  It’s an extra burden that comes with the lower price for this pass.  But how many of us have missed trains or come close, because we had to stop at the meter?  How many of us have risked, and received parking violations because we were running too late to take the extra step of feeding the meter?  I’m guilty on all counts. I know this is wishful thinking, and that it is not the most pressing matter facing the Town of Mamaroneck.  But wouldn’t it be great if we could feed the meter via the internet, once we were safely on the train?  You can pay for just about everything else on the internet, so why not parking? It might cut down on the number of caffeine-fueled sprinters running for the train during wet or icy weather.  It would certainly cut down on the build up of people that occasionally occurs at the machines themselves.  It might even increase town revenue, as it would encourage more uniform payment of parking fees. Despite the best efforts of the Town, there have been occasions when late commuters did not pay their parking fees, and got away with it!  A little uniformity and convenience would benefit commuters and the the town. Andy Barovick

photo: alan cleaver on flickr

How ‘theLoop’ Works: A Guide

theLoop posts local content all day on a schedule you can rely on (more or less)

Our new “blog” format makes it easy for you to scroll down to catch up with what you may have missed. Our morning e-mail blast sums it up for you each day in one email. Here’s how we roll every weekday:
7:00 am –  News
8:00 am –  News
9:00 am – Coming Up: a future event you might want to know about
10:00 am –  Cool Finds
(11:00 am- our opt-in newsletter)
12:00 pm – House of the Day from theLoop Real Estate Marketplace
2:00 pm – Real Estate and Architecture
Tuesday:     Our Towns;
Thursday:   Building of the Week;
Friday:        The Way We Were
3:00 pm – Police blotter,  Reader mail, Food, etc. 4:00 pm –
Monday/Thursday:  Locals: Profiles of interesting locals
Tues./Wed./Fri.:  Art, Sports, something new

5:00 pm – Pet Project

6:00 pm – Closing photo, sometimes a Double Take

All subject to breaking news, adjustment and whim.  

photo: June Marie Sobrito

Bruce McNichols 1939 – 2012

LMC-TV Executive Director Erik Lewis announced the passing of a man well known to those who have watched and been involved with community TV in Larchmont and Mamaroneck:
It  is with deep sadness that I report that longtime producer and musician Bruce McNichols has died. Bruce’s banjo and vocals appeared regularly at LMC-TV, first in the show “It’ll Get Better” for which we have records of 390 episodes, and then after a hiatus, in the show “Still Tryin’” which recorded its 100th episode on February 8. Bruce with his bandmate Henry Newberger and others also lent their lilting good humor and great music to LMC-TV Award Nights on the stage of the Emelin Theater and at numerous LMC-TV holiday parties. Countless volunteers have passed through LMC-TV as crew persons for his shows. Bruce will be deeply missed by all of us here at LMC-TV.

Reader Mail: When Clean Up Leaves Trash Behind

Reader Marjorie Kaufman writes in with the picture above, about a mess left on Taylors Lane in Mamaroneck by Westchester Joint Water Works crews. Taylors Lane runs from the Boston Post Road to the Sound. I’m attaching some recent pictures illustrating the mess that WJWW  made on our street while replacing the water main. It’s so offensive that their contractors despoiled our neighborhood with their garbage, and worse, littered the Otter Creek Nature Preserve. They have cleaned up some of it after several of us lodged complaints.

Reader Mail: The Reassess Mess, Cont’d

An example of how well everything is being handled is the letter from the Town saying that we could watch a replay of the reassessment workshops on LMC-TV. No one received the letter in time.

Happy New Year! Now Dial 911.

Let’s resolve in the New Year to get to know our neighbors. Let’s promise ourselves not to handle though the police a matter that social beings typically handle with a face to face conversation or at worst a phone call.

Will You Let the Assessors into Your Home?

A reader writes, “I attended a Reassessment Workshop Saturday morning, at the Town Center. I had hoped that I would hear things that would ease my concerns with how the reassessment is being handled. Not so…”

The Reassess Mess?

I agree with the concept of reassessment, but only if it is done accurately and fairly. Clearly that is not what is about to happen.

Reader Mail: Where is Delaney’s Bench?

The bench in front of the Junior League’s Golden Shoestring thrift store in Larchmont is gone. It was placed in memory of a two-month-old baby named Delaney who died suddenly in 2009.

Dancing with the 5th Graders

Every September, theLoop receives email about “Ballroom,” a time-worn tradition in Westchester that brings high emotions from parents on both “sides.”

Fly Me

A miracle, as the plane bounced through darkening skies, when the man from Topeka popped up in front of my children’s seats on Frontier and sang out, “what’s your favorite color?”