Vol. 9 No. 36 Visit TapIntoSomers.net for the latest news. Thursday, December 19, 2019
Kaplowitz joins Latimer School’s security plan
administration securely in place
BY CAROL REIF All schools—and the dis-
STAFF WRITER trict itself—have updated their
BY CAROL REIF emergency response plans. Par-
Somers’ bid to beef up school ent reuni cation locations have
safety and security has not lost been “cemented,” Bernardi said.
Mike Kaplowitz didn’t have to any momentum in the three Teachers and sta —includ-
travel far to nd his new path in
life. years since the mission was rst ing lunch and hall monitors—
After serving for more than conceived. are receiving ongoing emer-
two decades on the County
Board of Legislators, the Somers Last May, district voters ap- gency protocol training.
man will now be helping West-
chester plot a way to better han- proved a multimillion-dollar e high school this year un-
dle its sewer districts, water treat-
ment facilities and recycling. capital improvement project derwent a scheduling change
In introducing Kaplowitz as that is funding everything from that created a “community
deputy commissioner of the De-
partment of Environmental Ser- SROs and new communication lunch program,” where every-
vices last week, County Executive
George Latimer declared that the systems to security vestibules one, students and sta , eat at
Democrat has the legal, nancial
and political chops necessary to and roof repairs. the same time. Altaris, the dis-
tackle such a di cult task.
Joe Bernardi, the district’s trict’s security consultants, have
e attorney and nancial
planner did two turns as chair- chief emergency o cer, and been working with the admin-
man of the Board of Legislators.
He is a budget expert and scal Dan Corrado, its safety and istrative team to make sure all
conservative, not to mention the
past chair of the county’s Envi- security o cer, updated the bases are covered there.
ronment and Energy Commit-
tee, which has fought to preserve Board of Education on that Building safety audits have
thousands of acres of open space.
project’s progress at its meeting been completed and are being
He and his wife, Jayne, have
two daughters. Tuesday, Dec. 10. followed up as part of an ongo-
Kaplowitz’s “intellect, public According to Bernardi, safe- ing process.
commitment and knowledge of
the county make him perfectly ty procedures that are already Exterior door number-
prepared to do this,” his men-
in place include single points ing signs have arrived and are
of entry and security vestibules about to be installed. is way,
at each of the four schools. e if the security cameras catch
PHOTO COURTESY OF WESTCHESTER COUNTY district is also holding more something amiss, the exact en-
Joan McDonald, the county’s director of operations, Legislator safety drills—about 80 per year. trance will be “easily identi -
Michael Kaplowitz and County Executive George Latimer.
Its new VOIP system, used able,” Bernardi said.
for lockdown drills, is working Each school has an “emer-
tor said Wednesday, Dec. 11, in After announcing his deci- well, he said. It has also out t- gency zone”—with clipboards
White Plains. sion last January not to seek re-
election, the representative of ted all campus monitors with containing pertinent informa-
He will work closely with the District 4, which includes New
department’s commissioner, Vin- Castle and portions of Yorktown special vests and two-way com- tion and keys—that only law
cent F. Kopicki, and Peter Mc-
Cartt, its director of energy con- SEE KAPLOWITZ PAGE 4 munication gear. enforcement members and
servation and sustainability.
e campuses continue to be SROs can access.
patrolled regularly by local po- SEE SCHOOL SAFETY PAGE 18
lice and state troopers.
BUSINESS & REAL ESTATE 27 SPORTS SellYour Home forTOP DOLLAR
ELEPHANT’S TRUNK 2 Varsity roundup with Somers’ Real Estate Specialist
LEGAL NOTICES 27 pg 20
LEISURE 25 FREE
SPORTS 19 Home Evaluation
Anytime — No Cost or Obligation
CLASSIC REALTY Michael Trinchitella
LicensedAssociate Real Estate Broker
or Email: [email protected]
Page 2 – The Somers Record ELEPHANT’S TRUNK Thursday, December 19, 2019
The Staff Illuminate Somers line on the Somers Lions website SAINT LUKE’S FOOD DRIVE calls for the ambulance. Over 300
or at www.IlluminateSomers.com. Bring a non-perishable food of the calls were from members
EDITORIAL TEAM e Somers Lions Club is plan- During registration, don’t forget to of our community falling. A lot
JODI WEINBERGER ning the 6th Annual Illuminate choose a charity you want to illu- item for Somers Food Pantry at St. of these falls are avoidable. Falls
Somers Indoor & Outdoor Home minate also! Luke’s Church Sundays in Decem- can be devastating to a senior. It
EDITOR: 914-302-5830 Lighting Competition. Our goal ber is the leading cause of accidental
[email protected] is to give back to the hardworking Somers Holiday death in people over 65. e Fire
residents of Somers by recogniz- Celebrations Fall prevention Department has teamed up with
BRIAN MARSCHHAUSER ing them with awards and prizes presentation Westchester Family Care, Burke
SPORTS EDITOR: 914-302-5628 for their home lighting creativ- MENORAH LIGHTING FOR Rehab and Anytime Fitness on
[email protected] ity. Registration is now open and HANUKKAH e Somers Fire Department a presentation on how to prevent
there will be prizes for the rst wants to get the word out about falls and providing follow-up ser-
ADVERTISING TEAM few Somers homes decorated and Sunday, December 22, Town a new initiative on medical pre- vices. For more information or to
LISA KAIN entered into the contest! Enter on- House Front Lawn, 6 p.m. vention. In 2018, the re depart- host this presentation, email Ray
ment had approximately 2,000 at [email protected]mersfd.com.
[email protected] Holiday Catering Italian Style! Reusable Tusker bags
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Sept2019_Grills_qtr_ad_Halston.indd 1 9/4/19 11:46 AM
Thursday, December 19, 2019 The Somers Record – Page 3
Road maintenance, public safety top priorities in 2020 budget
BY CAROL REIF e second adjustment to the prelimi- state did was to pay the towns that lost the special district taxes.
STAFF WRITER nary spending plan involved public safety. funding out of sales tax that was paid to the “Most important, we’re still under the
county,” Kehoe explained.
After making some necessary tweaks, the Morrissey said that Gov. Andrew Cuo- state tax cap,” said Morrissey.
Somers Town Board last week adopted a mo recently signed a law authorizing a e state is now required by law to with- “Well under,” Kehoe agreed, adding that
2020 budget of $14.8 million. $5,000 increase in the amount of money hold certain county sales tax revenues and
that can be earned by state retirees who use them to make payments to the impact- the cap is 2.8 percent this year.
A number of things have occurred since work as part-time police o cers and in ed communities, according to a letter from Councilman Tom Garrity said ursday
the town approved its preliminary spending other capacities. Deputy Comptroller Elliott Auerbach.
plan, Supervisor Rick Morrissey said at the that he supported the adjustments, espe-
board’s meeting ursday, Dec. 12. “ at was a long time coming…and Somers will be getting $53,000 next year cially the one related to local policing.
well-deserved, but it does have an impact in AIM-related funding.
For one, it received requests for a new on our budget,” he said. “For years we’ve been trying, as the chief
truck and additional personnel from its In addition, the town is reducing its ap- knows and all the police know, we’ve been
highway department. e previous cap was $30,000,set in 2007. propriated fund balance by $14,500, so trying to get the governor to sign o on
Now they can earn up to $35,000 a year the “net addition” to the tax levy will be something we all thought was pretty basic
e town has relied on Army surplus without a ecting their pension bene ts. $22,500, Kehoe said. and made sense. And it’s taken years and
trucks to keep its highway eet going. But years to happen. So the fact that we can do
age is beginning to catch up with the work- According to the bill’s co-sponsor, state CHANGES it for $60,000 is a relatively small price to
horse vehicles, incoming superintendent Sen. Pete Harckham (D-40th District), the Under its preliminary manifestation, the pay,” he said.
Nick DeVito told the board recently. law will have a “negligible impact on retire-
ment patterns.” 2020 $14.6 million spending plan repre- “We have a great police department here.
Several trucks broke down during the sented an increase of $535,778, or 3.81 Getting them out for more hours is going
rst storm of the season. Auction houses State data shows that an average num- percent, over the $14 million 2019 budget. to be helpful for the health and safety of the
where the town purchased them are dry- ber of 90 employees in the past four years town.”
ing up. And it’s nearly impossible to nd would have been impacted by the law lift- e nal version—$14.8 million—now
replacement parts, DeVito said. ing the earnings cap. carries an increase of 5.7 percent, Kehoe Councilman Rich Clinchy said he
said. agreed, but explained that the $60,000 isn’t
e town added $210,000 to the 2020 “ is is a win-win for municipalities and for a “pay increase” for police o cers, it just
budget to buy a new truck, but won’t see it retired public employees,” Harckham said. e 2020 tax levy increase—which was means that they can earn more.
this winter because it takes about a year to 1.44 percent or $107,414 in the preliminary
order and receive, DeVito said. So, in order to cover those potential extra budget—is now 1.75 percent. is year, the It also doesn’t mean all the money is go-
hours, the Town Board added $60,000 to levy was about $7.4 million; in 2020, it rises ing to be used. e police chief will have
at purchase didn’t increase expendi- the Police Department’s budget line. to $7.5 million. more “leeway” in assigning hours, Clinchy
tures because the money will be culled from said.
the general funds and the highway depart- It also included $1,000 to support the all- In the preliminary budget, the tax rate
ment’s surplus budget. volunteer Somers Litter Task Force, which was slated to go up by 1.44 percent to Morrissey said he was “thrilled that the
keeps the town’s roadsides and parks clean. $15.12 per $1,000 of assessed valuation. governor nally put pen to paper and did
e extra money for two more road After the recent adjustments, the tax rate this for the retirees.”
maintenance workers became necessary af- Changes also were made in the prelimi- will rise by 1.75 percent to $15.16 per
ter road-paving crews uncovered numerous nary budget on the plus side of the exche- $1,000 of assessed valuation. Councilman Anthony Cirieco agreed
problems with storm drains. quer, said the town’s nance director, Rob- with putting money into the budget for a
ert Kehoe. is means that property owners with new truck, but thought the new highway
e town is in the midst of trying to nd homes worth $500,000 can expect their superintendent needed to come up with a
ways to prevent contamination of drinking In October, Albany informed Somers town taxes to go up by about $16 next year, capital projects plan.
water supplies and to protect Lake She- that it, like more than 1,000 towns and vil- Kehoe said.
norock and Lake Lincolndale so they can lages in the state, would no longer be re- Kehoe said the nance department had
continue to be used for recreational pur- ceiving “traditional” Aid and Incentives for e average property owner with a sin- talked about it with DeVito and the cur-
poses such as swimming and shing. Municipalities (AIM) funds. gle-family home now pays $900 a year in rent superintendent, Tom Chiaverini, who
town taxes, not including school, county or is retiring.
“ at had been eliminated from the state
budget, but, I think, the workaround the “It’s coming,” he promised.
e Somers Library is located at 82 Primrose St. Register for Donations of any amount can be sent to the Medicare health plans and prescription drug coverage.
programs at somerslibrary.org or by calling 914-232-5717. Friends care of Somers Library Information is provided about di erent types of govern-
Programs are funded by the Friends of the Somers Library P O Box 443, Somers, NY 10589. ment programs.
through donations. Additional information is available at the Friends sec-
If you can’t visit the library in person, you can leave a
Friends of the Somers Library Annual Appeal tion on the library website: somerslibrary.org message on the SBIC helpline at 914-231-3260 or email
Each year, through its annual appeal, the Friends raise Watch for our annual appeal mailing or pick up our us at [email protected] with your name, number, a time
funds to support wonderful programs as well as providing to call from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and whether your interest is
occasional gifts to the library such as the new entry land- brochure at the library. in Medicare services or other bene ts. A counselor will
scaping and the construction of the circulation desk. Last e Friends of the Somers Library is a nonpro t orga- return your call within two business days. SBIC will not
year, the library hosted 987 programs for adults, teens and meet on days the Somers schools are closed due to snow.
children. ese programs hosted over 16,000 attendees nization chartered by the Regents of the University of the
thanks, in great part, to our generous donors. We need State of New York. Westchester Writers Workshop. ursdays, 6:30 -
your support to continue to help our library to thrive! 8:30 p.m, Jan. 2, 16, 30; Feb. 6, 20; March 5, 19; April
Senior Beneﬁts Information Center. Every Wednes-
day, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Senior Bene ts Information Cen- SEE LIBRARY PAGE 17
ters (SBICs) helps older adults 60 and over and those
caring for the elderly achieve a better understanding of
Gary Forbes Chris Radding ChMreisrtrmy as
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Page 4 – The Somers Record Thursday, December 19, 2019
KAPLOWITZ Kopicki said he has worked plants and pipelines, drinking the operation and maintenance Although climate change
FROM PAGE 1 well with Kaplowitz and is happy water treatment and distribu- of their district sewers and the wasn’t yet at the forefront of the
and Somers, said: “ ere’s a natu- the soon-to-be former legislator tion, recycling facilities, garbage plant(s) that treats their waste- public’s concern then, sustain-
ral cycle for things. I feel it’s time will be joining his team at the transfer stations and handling of water as well as comply with state ability issues were emerging.
for me to step away and someone headquarters of the county De- hazardous waste. and federal rules and regulations. In 2003, Kaplowitz was asked
else to step up.” partment of Environmental Fa- Likening it to a “Rubik’s Cube,” Over the years, the framework to chair the Budget and Appro-
He added that he hoped to cilities (DEF) in New Rochelle. the setup is complicated because just kind of “evolved,” but now priations Committee, a post that
continue in public service but not of the multiple levels of govern- it’s time to reassess it. But with- requires a deep understanding of
as an elected o cial. ‘HOLISTIC’ APPROACH ment involved, Latimer said. out taking a “holistic” approach, “every nook and cranny of county
Succeeding Kaplowitz on NEEDED ere are seven wastewater it probably would be next to im- government,” Latimer said.
the Board of Legislators will be e county’s DEF is respon- treatment plants and 13 sewer possible to convince taxpayers County Director of Operations
Democrat Vedat Gashi, a York- sible for planning, operating and districts in Westchester. Each that improvements will bene t Joan McDonald said Wednes-
town real estate attorney. maintaining sewage treatment municipality is responsible for everybody, the county chief said. day that Kaplowitz will help the
at’s where Latimer’s new DEF look beyond its “day-to-day
appointee’s analytical skills and operations” and make policy de-
personal experience will come in. cisions that are fair and equitable
Water quality and the proper across the county.
disposal of wastewater is a hot Shared services, such as the
topic in Kaplowitz’s back yard. possible consolidation of sewer
and Deli Somers, currently in the pro- districts, are one way to keep
cess of trying to form a new sew- costs down. In order to do that,
291 Route 100, Somers • 914.277.8539 • route100market.com
er district in two of its lake com- the current structure has to be re-
munities, hopes to gain access to vamped, McDonald said.
the county’s treatment plant in Among the things Kaplowitz
Peekskill. will examine are the “ nancial
e town and its environmen- viability” of each district. He
perfGecigvifhto!hlida tal and engineering experts argue will identify any capital invest-
that aging septic systems in Lake ments needed to keep plants and
Shenorock and Lake Lincolndale supporting systems “the best in
and stormwater runo in general class,” she said.
are endangering local and New
York City drinking water sup- is is important because of
plies and curtailing recreational the amount of development tak-
opportunities such as swimming ing place, especially in cities such
and shing. as New Rochelle, Yonkers, and
It has already installed a storm-
water ltration system in She- Deputy County Executive Ken
norock and hopes to get outside Jenkins said he’s con dent that
funding to do the same in Lin- the new deputy commissioner
colndale. Lake Purdy is also on can build bridges between com-
the town’s radar. munities competing for the same
Opponents of the plan claim
the town isn’t being completely “Listening to the charge, I’m
kind of scared. Is it too late to
transparent about the multimil- back out?” Kaplowitz quipped
lion-dollar project’s costs or im- Wednesday.
pact and is merely trying to hike Noting that it’s naive to think
taxes. Others, however, are wel- politics won’t be a factor, he ac-
TehvceearErydXoniXseOpNoenrMfyeoocbutirlfolgirsiftt. ftaemsatGciulrhyde,eeafrnrtsitefsaon!nrdds, coming the move, saying a pub- knowledged that each commu-
lic sewer system would bring the nity has the right to look out for
town into the 21st century. its own best interests.
A public vote on the project Any changes the DEF pro-
was postponed until next year af- poses won’t hold water until con-
ter questions were raised about its stituent-conscious legislators give
Map, Plan and Report. e town them the thumbs up, Kaplowitz
has hired a public relations rm said.
to help it deal with residential
concerns. e county is venturing into
“unchartered territory” and the
Yorktown also been taking speed with which policy changes
steps to secure a $10 million occur and “what the end product
grant to extend public sewers in is, is not at all assured,” Latimer
the Hallocks Mill Sewer District said.
order to meet New York City’s But because Kaplowitz has
directive to lower phosphorous been handed a “blank canvas,”
cifanoGonursifrtbgtodeaCreseualisroa!dertd levels in stormwater runo enter- “pretty much everything’s on the
ing the Croton Reservoir. table.”
Job one is to determine the best
BUILDING BRIDGES way the county can save money
Latimer also cited Kaplowitz’s while delivering services more ef-
ability to work across the aisle: ciently, protecting public health
“People of all political persua- and preserving the environment.
sions recognize that he is an out- So Kaplowitz’s talent for diplo-
standing public o cial.” macy will come in handy when
Kaplowitz did “a brilliant job” it comes time for the county to
of steering Westchester’s En- explain to taxpayers why it has
Open 24/7/365 vironment, Health and Energy to shift funding among di erent
Food, Fuel, Fast, Friendly. Committee at a time when the levels of government to accom-
county was moving to protect its plish this.
waterways and open spaces and
expand recycling programs, Lat- “It’s a tricky process,” Latimer
Thursday, December 19, 2019 The Somers Record – Page 5
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from
all of us at Somers Wine and Spirits!
We greatly appreciate the support
you give us all year long!
Maryann, Louis, Ann, Key & Liz
To VCishiatmUspPFaleogarnsOee,uDarnoWdno’KtroFldoshrFgaeemrtBoausskWetisne, F(rMeineimuDmeRelqiuvireedr) y
325 Route 100, Somers Towne Center
Somers, NY 10589 • (914) 276-2555
Page 6 – The Somers Record Thursday, December 19, 2019
Somers Seniors TRUNK
Adult services are through the Van Tassell House in Somers. For more information, contact program director Barbara Ta- FROM PAGE 2
berer at 914-232-0807 or [email protected] You can also visit Somersny.com or on Facebook at Somers Senior Services.
All services are for ages 60 and up. Travel Camp Assistant Director
Please submit resumes to [email protected]
Nutrition and Stop and Shop, Shoprite, Door to days 10:30-11:30 a.m. Richard Barnett SOMERSNY.COM .
If you have any questions,please contact
door. Call 914-232-0807 for transporta- has been leading group music and dance the Recreation O ce (914) 232-8441
Meals on Wheels: if you are having tion reservation. classes in Westchester for over 20 years. Somers Boy Scout Troop
trouble preparing meals or getting out Library: Hop aboard our alternate Line dancing! Beginners welcome as Somers Troop 376 would like to invite
all interested boys ages 10 years and older
to shop, we can help out by delivering Tuesday run to the Library. Door to well as more seasoned dancers, singles ( fth grade and up) to attend one our
Troop Weekly Meetings to learn about
a hot meal to your home. $2 donation door. and couples welcome, or maybe you’d the BSA Scouting Program. We meet at
Somer’s Middle School cafeteria every
suggested. Activities like to join us…have a seat, listen to the Tuesday evening from 7:30pm to 9:00pm.
Lunch at Van Tassell House: a hot music and enjoy the dancing. Lunch is No prior experience is required. For more
information contact Scoutmaster Andy
meal is served Monday through Friday available following the class. Cheung at [email protected]
at noon. $2 donation. Activities and out- Creative writing class with Jo Ann: Mah Jong Wednesdays 12:30 p.m. Volunteer Drivers Needed
ings available to all. Transportation is Mondays 10:30 to noon beginning Sept. We have beginner tables and tables for Can you spare a little time to make a
di erence in the life of an older adult?
available to those in need. 9. is will be a six week series. more advanced players. Tile sets are
RideConnect, a program of Family
Transportation Ballroom and Latin Dancing with available. Services of Westchester, is an informa-
tion, referral, and transportation program
Frank Elia: ursdays at 10:30 a.m. Card Games, speakers, holiday par- for older adults, age 60+, who can no lon-
ger drive. We are seeking volunteer driv-
Tai Chi forArthritis Sept. 10 through ties and Wii: Monday through Friday ers who are willing to provide occasional
rides to our older adult neighbors. ese
Wheelchair accessible vans are avail- Nov. 1 with Melanie Sloane. Classes are Book Club: 12:30 p.m. last Monday rides enable our clients to remain active
in their communities and to continue to
able for transport to all destinations. 12:30-1:30 p.m. Tuesdays and 10:45- of the month. With the assistance of the lead ful lling lives. Rides are typically to
medical and dental appointments, grocery
Medical Appointments: Transpor- 11:45 a.m. Fridays. Somers Library a monthly selection will
SEE TRUNK PAGE 18
tation to medical, dental and physical Water Color Class: Join Diana and be assigned and distributed to members.
therapy appointments is available on Janet every Wednesday from 10 a.m. to Do not hesitate to be critical or forth-
Tuesdays, Wednesdays and ursdays 1 p.m. Free. coming about your thoughts. We are
between the hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Exercise Classes: 10:45 a.m. Monday here to share, listen and enjoy.
for Somers adults who are unable to is exercise and music with Lori. 10:30- Bridge 10 a.m. Tuesdays and urs-
drive. Door to door. $5 round trip fee. 11:30 a.m. Tuesdays is music and dance days. e club welcomes new players.
Shopping: Mondays transportation is with Richard; 12:30-1:30 p.m. Tues- Dr. Tomback, podiatrist, makes a bi-
available to clothing/gift shopping pla- days is workout with Lori; 10:45 a.m. monthly house call.
zas including JV Mall and the Danbury Wednesdays is body movement with Happy Chef. When you see a “happy
Mall, Christmas Tree; Fridays transpor- Lori; 12:30-1:30 p.m. Fridays is strength chef ” designation on the nutrition pro-
tation to area grocery stores. Destina- and balance with Lori. gram menu, you are in for a treat. Reser-
tions include Turco’s, Stew Leonard’s Line Dancing with Richard. Tues- vations are required
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Thursday, December 19, 2019 The Somers Record – Page 7
The Somers Lions & Leos Clubs would like to wish the community a very happy holiday season.
We are truly thankful for all of the support and generosity we have received this past year from
the many volunteers, the local community and businesses, the Somers Town Government includ-
ing the Police, Fire and Highway departments as well as our Annual Sponsors. Your involvement
enables us to serve those in need within our community and to help make it a great place to live!
Page 8 – The Somers Record Thursday, December 19, 2019
Tree amigos Be a risk taker
Last Sunday my wife and I, MAN should have told you to let go of the My friend, Dorothy, is a retired Westchester
along with Gidget, e Most OVERBOARD rope,” they said back on the boat. “If politician whose brilliance is equaled by
Prettiest Dog in the World, you want we can go back and take a her kindness, helpfulness, and concern
joined a bunch of fellow Somers look around for your bathing suit.” for the human race. She is as active as a Seasoned
residents at the front lawn of the RICK Children love Gidget, and they Citizen as she was in her earlier life.
Elephant Hotel to usher in the holi- MELÉN all came up to visit with her. “Ask if I recently wrote
day season with the lighting of the you can pet her, rst,” their Moms an article request- THE
ing that governor SEASONED
Somers Christmas tree. e weather said. “Can we pet you?” Some asked Cuomo seriously CITIZEN
was perfect, cool enough to warrant the dog directly. Gidget looks kind
a cup of hot cocoa, which the Girl Scouts were hand- of similar no matter which direction you pet from, so ADRIENNE
ing out, along with a bowl full of Hershey’s Kisses. it helps to take a good look rst if you’re particular. I ing New York a KAVELLE
After my sixth handful the Girl Scouts should have thought it was nice that the parents teach their kids daylight savings
presented me with an honorary merit badge in glut- to ask rst, because when I was a kid we would only state. Dorothy told
tony, but since my birthday falls on December 25th, I remember to ask after the dog bit us if it was okay. me yesterday that
am rightfully entitled to twice as much of everything I saw Mrs. Claus handing out candy canes by the she had clipped
Christmas-related. ey say that stolen kisses are the hotel entrance, so I knew Santa couldn’t be far behind. my column from the Somers Record and sent it to
sweetest, but mine were justly appropriated. I wonder why the Clauses never had kids? Even if they the governor with a note of agreement. She is the
I was chatting with a couple readers, Mary, and also decided not to have children they should have at least had kind of person who excels at everything. When I ran
Elaine, and it’s nice to know that people still read. My grandchildren- seems like they’d be a natural at it. I have book sales for the Patterson library I could always
sister told me she read three books this week- WOW, to say that even as a little kid I was skeptical of the whole count on Dorothy to work diligently with me and
because we Meléns are notoriously slow readers, but Santa Claus story. Do you mean to tell me that ALL the convince others to donate their time and e ort, so
upon cross-examination she admitted they were audio toys for all the good little girls and boys are going to t perhaps her appeal to Mr. Cuomo will really en-
books. at’s not reading. When you read you supply onto that one sleigh? Either each toy would have to be courage him to give us more light!
the visual scene that the writer sets up in your head. If microscopic, or hardly anyone is left in the world who Pro-active people make the world go ‘round. If
you want to you can just supply this whole column in wasn’t naughty. And how is this guy with a stomach like a we’re strong enough to follow through, almost any-
your head, and that way I won’t say anything that you bowlful of jelly, who clearly is on the “Cheeto diet”going thing can be accomplished.
might regret later. Next time I see my sister I’ll ask her to get down the chimney without catching the ue? But I encourage you, my readers, to take risks…put
if she’s heard any good books lately. my parents seemed to believe it so I went along because I yourselves out there and be amazed at what you can
While we were waiting I posed with Gidget in front didn’t want to burst their bubble. make happen.
of the Manger for a little family photo, and made I fell in behind Santa who was making good time e Wright Brothers, omas Edison, Henry
a couple jokes to her that I hope she doesn’t have getting through the crowd because he had his own Ford, all risk takers. Believe me, others had thought
mange because nobody likes a mangy manger, ha, ha, security detail. My Dad used to do the same thing about electricity, horseless carriages, and ying
ha. Gidget didn’t nd that too amusing, and instead whenever an ambulance passed us in the car, and above the clouds, but failed to go forward with their
decided that she wants to play in the snow. I had on he’d follow along right behind it. We’d get where we ideas.
cowboy boots with less traction than a Giuliani con- were going twice as fast, as long as we were going to When you see something you like or don’t like,
spiracy theory, and Gidget has on-demand four-wheel an accident. Santa walks faster than you’d think, and speak up. Only by sharing our thoughts can we ac-
drive. I had her leash wrapped around my wrist like a even though I want to make it clear that I complish our goals. If we all wait for someone else
kid holding a balloon, so when she took o at a mil- don’t believe the whole Santa Claus fable, to act, nothing will ever come to fruition. at’s why
lion miles an hour, the di erence between me deciding I might have mentioned to him that what my friend Dorothy did is so important. She
to go along and me not expressly agreeing to it was I wear size 11 cowboy boots, and I’d followed her instinct and made her voice heard. If
hardly worth mentioning. prefer ones with a little more tread on we follow her lead we can change the world!
It probably looked like the rst time I went water the bottom. Remember, you CAN ght city hall; you CAN
skiing, once I nally got up on the skis and enjoyed the imagine something into being, but only if you
exhilarating sensation of wondering exactly how I was Join Trillium on Friday, December believe in yourself and the importance of every
going to get down o the skis. I was waving my hand 20th, at Clubhouse Grille in Norwalk other individual. WE make it happen, whether it’s
in the air, trying to remember whether waving your at 7:00PM for a Christmas celebration day light savings time or world peace. One voice
hand in the air was the sign for “I’m done” or “speed of love and harmony! Say hello at: becomes two, two become four, four become eight,
up,” when I went down face rst into the surf for what [email protected] until we multiply ourselves into so many that we
seemed like another ve or six miles, shedding my sun- must be heard.
glasses, contact lenses, some of my hair and most ink of living as a game. In order to win you
of my self-respect. “I guess we must go face-to-face with life, challenge it, and
don’t be afraid to lose once in a while. Failure is
just proof that you’ve been brave enough to try and
makes the eventual winning much sweeter and even
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Thursday, December 19, 2019 OPINION The Somers Record – Page 9
Join the club
“Igot an invitation on TRACY husband wondered.
Facebook to join the BECKERMAN “Not much, I guess. I think it’s
Fan Club,” I told my husband more about keeping out the people
as I stared at my computer who pull the door that says push,”
screen. “You know, there is a way to
“What does that even stop getting these group invites,”
mean,” he asked incredulously. said my husband.
“It’s a group on Facebook “What?”
for people who like magnetic eyelashes, I assume.” “Stop going on Facebook,” he said.
“Is that a thing?” he said. “I can’t do that,” I replied.
“Apparently,” I said. “Although I have no idea “Why not?”
what a magnetic eyelash is and why I got an invite.” “Because then I wouldn’t know what stupid Face-
I sighed. is wasn’t the rst time I’d been invited book groups my friends are all joining.”
to join a weird club on Facebook. It seemed like He sighed and left the room. But the issue
recently the invites were coming faster and faster gnawed at me. Every time I went on Facebook,
and the clubs were becoming more and more I was being bombarded by invites. In the past 24
obscure. ere was the club for “People Who Prefer hours, I got invites to “People Who Su er from
Camels with One Hump, Not Two.” Yet another the Fear that Somewhere, Somehow, a Duck is
club called, “When I was Your Age Pluto Was a Watching You,”“Gnomes are People,Too,” and the
Planet.” And the ever popular, “Friends Don’t Let somewhat relatable, “I Use the Word ingy When
Friends Wear Mom Jeans.” I was invited to each I Forget What It’s Called,” which is a group I might
of these and I can’t fathom why. I don’t really have actually join. It got to the point where I was so busy
any opinions one way or another about any of these, deleting group requests that I almost didn’t have
and especially the number of humps a camel should time to tell all my friends I secretly prefer camels
have. I’m more concerned with not getting too close with one hump.
to a camel so I don’t get spit on. “You know, all these invites got me thinking,” I
Since my Facebook friends were the ones who nally said to my husband. “I decided I’m going to
were inviting me to join Facebook groups, it oc- start my own Facebook Group.”
curred to me that I didn’t need to stop getting “What is it?” he said.
Facebook group invites. I needed to get some new “People on Facebook Who Hate Facebook Groups.”
“I got another invite for a group called, “I Always You can follow Tracy on Facebook at www.facebook.
Push the Door that says Pull,” I continued. com/LostinSuburbiaFanPage and read her blog at
“What is there to talk about in that group?” my www.lostinsuburbia.com.
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Page 10 – The Somers Record OPINION Thursday, December 19, 2019
Misery loves company
Merry Christma Am I the only one who JUST
& forgets things? If you JO ANN
ask my daughter and
Happy Hanukka husband, you’d think I am. But, JO ANN
slowly I’m beginning to realize FRANCELLA
fro a o u a that it’s probably most people
over the age of 40. “I thought he was worth a
Law Ofﬁces of Joseph J. Tock repeat. Okay, I’m through with
I always prided myself on the twenty questions. Take
963 Route 6, Mahopac, NY 10541 • TOCKLAW.COM being able to give quick, witty a few minutes to gather your
responses, but over the years, I thoughts and I’ll be right here
800-869-8080 realize that although my mouth waiting. I shouldn’t be expected
starts the reply, my brain for- to read your mind and complete
gets the ending or the most your thoughts when I can barely
important word in my now not remember my own name these
so quick and unwitty responses. days.”
Recently I’ve begun keeping
my mouth shut for fear that I’ll Most times we usually just
sound foolish. forget the whole conversation
and go on like it never happened.
My daughter cuts me no On this particular occasion it
slack. “Gee Mom, way to kill a took a week for him to blurt out,
funny moment,” she’ll declare Brad Pitt.
when I stop half way through
a funny story to remember the Days later, I was mind-
elusive word. e silence can go lessly washing dishes and I began
on for 30 to 40 seconds before thinking of the holiday mov-
I remember or just substitute ies I love to watch starting in
another word which makes no mid-October up until January
sense at all. 1. My all-time favorite is an old
Christmas movie, but for the life
“Watch it Kim. You’ll be there of me I could not remember the
soon enough. Forgetfulness name of it.
doesn’t skip a generation.”
“Hon, do you remember the
Ken is pretty good at helping name of my favorite Christmas
me out when I get stuck, but movie from 1938, the one with
when father and daughter get Reginald Owen as Scrooge,
together, they are brutal with the Leo G. Carroll as Marley, Gene
teasing. I’m grateful we all have Lockhart and his wife and their
a good sense of humor. If truth daughter June Lockhart as one of
be known, Ken is actually in the the Cratchit children?
same boat, he just doesn’t realize
it yet. “You remember all that and
you can’t remember the name of
After reading the Sunday the movie?”
paper last week Ken announced,
“Looks like your boy is making “No, I keep thinking of A
another movie.” Christmas Story, but that’s the
one with Peter Billingsley as Ral-
“My boy? Who’s my boy?” I phy, but that’s my other favorite
asked. and not my very favorite.”
“You know who I mean, the “ en you must mean A
one you really like. Don’t you Christmas Carol.”
know who I mean?”
“How did you think of it so
“Of course I don’t know who quickly?”
you mean. You don’t even know
who you mean!” “I had a moment of lucidity.”
“Ah yes, the rare and mar-
So, I quickly ran through all velous moments of lucidity. I
the celebrities I would run away haven’t had one of those since
with and began the list. the late 1900’s. anks for help-
ing me out. I owe you one; after
“Brad Pitt?” all, misery loves company.”
“No, not him.”
“Johnny Depp?” [email protected]
“No, the one you really like.”
“You mentioned him already.”
by Jo Ann
Some degree of memory problems and thinking skills are a
common part of aging. Hormones that protect and repair
brain cells decline with age, and there is also a decreased
blood ﬂow to the brain which can impair memory.
Thursday, December 19, 2019 OPINION The Somers Record – Page 11
e Job Innerview
[ Job candidate enters room, begins to we’ll escort you to their HR: Explain. they won’t be working for us here, if I
sit…] can help it.
o ce. HT: Well, for one,
HUMAN RESOURCES MANAG- HT: What about the shopping cart
ER (HR): Remain standing, please, and [Candidate exits] BRUCE it’s not exactly a sign question?
tell me something I may not have heard HR: (to HT) Talk THE BLOG of good hygiene if
before about this company. to me. someone skips the HR: You tell me.
HT: If they’re too lazy to return the
JOB CANDIDATE ( JC): Can I use HT: I’ve never heard BRUCE sink before leaving a cart to its rightful place, it’s a sign of
my phone? APAR their lax work ethic?
interview questions like bathroom. HR: Good. And leaving the cart in
HR: is isn’t Who Wants to Be the way of a vehicle is another red ag of
a Millionaire. ere’s no lifeline call. those. Very interesting. HR: Yet there are rudeness.
HT: If you pushed it to the car, you
ank you for your time. HUMAN HR: Do you know people who hightail it can push it back to where it belongs.
RESOURCES TRAINEE (HT): (to HR: Precisely. Being a productive part
candidate) anks. e receptionist wil why we ask those kinds out of there without of society is a team sport. We help and
validate your parking pass. we look out for each other. ose who
of questions? lathering up. look out only for themselves are not who
[Next Job Candidate enters room] we want here.
JC: Hi! HT: I know for Google job interviews, HT: You don’t want to be shaking HT: What about that rst candidate.
HR: What’s the last thing you do You were done with him almost before
before leaving a rest room? the questions can come out of left eld, hands with them, that’s for sure. the door had closed behind him.
JC: e last thing I do? Wash my HR: I gave him a very tough question.
hands, of course. not related to the job, like your ques- HR: What else? Only the strong survive. I could tell right
HR: If you’re in the left lane on a away from his posture he was a slacker.
highway and a car is on your tail, you...? tions. HT: You also want to hire people ma- Sloppily dressed too. Bad optics for an
JC: ...change lanes to let her pass. interview.
HR: After you’ve loaded groceries HR: Why is that? ture enough to abide by simple rules. He HT: I’m not clear about how any job
from your shopping cart into the car, candidate would know something about
you... HT: e candidate wouldn’t get this showed that by knowing the left lane is a this company that you don’t know?
JC: ...bring the cart back to where I HR: at’s not exactly how I worded
got it. far if their experience didn’t meet your passing lane, so you don’t hang out there it. I said “something I may not have
HR: ank you. I’d like you to meet heard before.”
the department head who’s the direct standards. ere’s no sense asking about with cars behind you. HT: I’m not following...
report for this position.
JC: I’d love to meet him. their skills at this point. HR: It also shows us that the person SEE APAR PAGE 12
JC: Sure. HR: Right. We already know they we’re looking to hire is considerate,
HR: Just give us a few minutes and
qualify to work here. But how they aware of their surroundings, and not
answer these types of questions gives us obstinate for its own sake.
an inner view to their character and their HT: I see.
behavior patterns. It’s a surprisingly ef- HM: Ever hear the expression, “ e
fective and e cient way to determine if way a person does one thing is the way
their values are aligned with our corpo- they do everything”?
rate values. HT: Not really.
HT: ere’s no way a resume can tell HR: With these questions, it means
you that. you can tell a lot about a person from
HR: Very good. So how did these can- how they drive. If they’re reckless and
didates do? rude on the road, odds are they’ll bring
HT: e second one obviously did some of that behavioral baggage to work.
well. You moved her to the next round of A self-regarding, snarky attitude may
interviews. work for them behind the wheel, but
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Page 12 – The Somers Record OPINION Thursday, December 19, 2019
FROM PAGE 11
Try our CBD FULL HR: I want to nd out how well they prepare for the interview.
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can be reached at [email protected]; 914-275-6887
To advertise in The Somers Record, call Brett Freeman at
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Thursday, December 19, 2019 OPINION The Somers Record – Page 13
e end of an era...
WHATWAS way. en o he’d go to do the customer’s home, he passed a stopped to take a look: “ ank and lovingly restored from the
I THINKING? same for his customers. Many woman shoveling her driveway. you, Joe” it read. He said that “ground up;” I’ve observed him
mornings, without any break for Joe stopped and o ered to plow, gesture of appreciation meant so e ortlessly plow a narrow, short
RUTHANN sleep, he’d get to his job, plow no charge--she was stunned. much to him. driveway: he is poetry in mo-
SCHEFFER the yard and open the garage He said with just two sweeps of tion. He’s been instrumental in
for business. the plow, the driveway was done I’ve watched my son hook up
Joe, our youngest son and a and the woman was delighted. cars to the tow truck or inch a nding cars for his customer’s
skilled mechanic, has right- Joe very rarely posts com- car on to the at bed; I’ve seen kids who were heading o to
fully earned his nickname, ments on Facebook. Imagine A few days later, as he passed him get a junk car ready for college. Add to this a willing-
St. Joseph. He has been the my surprise when I read his her house, he noticed a sign on a demolition derby; I’ve seen ness to help someone in trouble
go-to person when family and posting last week: “After 33 top of the mound of snow. He and you’ve met St. Joseph.
friends have had car problems: years, 8 trucks and countless rsthand cars he has carefully
he once took a at bed truck to sleepless nights, I am o cially
Long Island to bring home a 100 percent retired from plow- Give the Perfect Gift
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I remember a few years back • A delicious, 3 course served meal
when it seemed to snow every
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