VOL. 12 NO. 31 Visit TapIntoMahopac.net for the latest news. THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 9, 2021
Local ﬁrst responders Twenty years
recall ‘working the Pile’
20th anniversary of 9/11 haven’t
evokes strong memories forgotten
Eamon Cummins, an operating engi-
neer, worked the night shift as a subcon-
tractor for Con Edison. Mahopac residents/
On Sept. 11, 2001, he clocked out at FDNY members,
5 a.m. and went home to a peaceful, if
brief, sleep in Carmel. For the next six
months, he worked every day using heavy
equipment to aid the recovery e ort at raise money for
the World Trade Center, but his sleep
was never as restful again. wounded veterans
Larry Mack, an FDNY lieutenant t h e m s e l v e s
whose station house was in the Bronx, in harm’s way to in 343-mile bike ride
was sent with his unit to the West Street work at recovering those
operations center and arrived just after lost in the World Trade Cen-
the South Tower of the World Trade ter attack. BY DONNA CHRISTOPHER 9/11 and the 10th anniversary of the FD-
Center collapsed. He didn’t return home “Putnam serves, and I’m proud to live CONTRIBUTING WRITER
to Mahopac for a week. in a county where people look out for It was organized by members of FDNY
Pete Conlin, an NYPD detective who others,” Odell said. “Hundreds of our Current and retired FDNY re ghters Engine 50, Ladder 19, and Battalion
had long since been promoted out of the residents who work as rst responders, from Mahopac will take a 9/11 memorial 26 (Bronx) as a way to raise money for
Emergency Services Unit, learned about or in the trades, or in countless other bikeride to remember the New York City wounded veterans.
the planes hitting the towers and imme- professions, saw the devastation at the Fire Department heroes who died in the e money raised is used to pay for all-
diately drove from his home at Mahopac World Trade Center and rushed to help. World Trade Center Attacks. terrain wheelchairs (track chairs), service
Point to the police command center. He Some spent months working under dan- e FDNY members of Engine 50,Lad- dogs, medical bills, housing and numerous
begged the higher ups to transfer him gerous conditions to try and nd those der 19, and Battalion 26 have organized an other expenses that surface.
back to Emergency, so he could work on who were lost and give the families of annual bicycle trip on the anniversary of e Mahopac contingent along with
the Pile. the victims some closure. Many have 9/11. e ve-day Sept. 14 to 18 journey is some family members is Deputy Chief
As the 20th anniversary of 9/11 ap- since lost their own lives to 9/11-related 343 miles and honors and remembers the Anthony Montera, Battalion Chief Dan
proaches, Putnam County Executive illnesses. ey all put others’needs before 343 members of the FDNY who died in Sheridan, Ret. FDNY Lt. Larry Mack,
MaryEllen Odell recognized the many SEE MEMORIES PAGE 3 rescue e orts on Sept. 11, 2001. SEE RIDE PAGE 3
Putnam County residents who put
is year is the 20th anniversary of
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PAGE 2 MAHOPAC NEWS MAHOPAC MUSINGS THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 9, 2021
The Staff Farmers Market at Lake Mahopac will be held Lake Boulevard, Mahopac. Free Shop local and eat fresh. e
Sunday, Sept. 12, 9 a.m. to 1 admission. Come check out Rec Department will be sending
EDITORIAL TEAM e Carmel Farmers Market p.m., Chamber Park, South out vendor information, weekly
BOB DUMAS our market on Lake Mahopac! specials, and market updates on
its Facebook page, www.facebook.
EDITOR: 845-208-0774 97th Annual
[email protected] com/CFMatLakeMahopac.
Yorktown Grange Fair
ADVERTISING TEAM American Legion Golf
PAUL FORHAN September 10 — September 12 Outing
(914) 806-3951 Grange Fairgrounds • 99 Moseman Road, Yorktown Heights American Legion Mahopac
[email protected] Post 1080 Golf Outing has been
Rides ~ Exhibits ~ Livestock ~ Contests ~ Live Music Every Day! rescheduled to Monday, Sept. 13,
BRUCE HELLER due to weather. Enjoy a full day
(914) 486-7608 C$a1rO0lonaplyder of golf at the Mahopac Golf Club
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Produce ~ Flowers ~ Art ~ Baking ~ Needlework ~ Photography on the course.
LISA KAIN Woodworking ~ Legos ~ Poultry & Waterfowl ~ Rabbits
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[email protected] Antique Tractor Parade FKtohirdes! Jam-Band Special! Enjoy an Evening of Great chance to win a “Hole in One”
CORINNE STANTON Featuring Phish Songwriter Billy Joel Hits Ford, courtesy of Mahopac Ford.
(914) 760-7009 Saturday at Noon At 4 p.m. there will be a one-hour
[email protected] yorktowngrangefair.org open bar with appetizers, followed
by dinner at the American Legion
JAY GUSSAK • • • TRUSTED FOR GENERATIONS • • • Mahopac Post 1080. Registration
(914) 299-4541 BREWSTER, NEW YORK • FOSSATIWATERSYSTEMS.COM is at 9 a.m. and a shotgun start at
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CREATIVE DIRECTOR CALL TO SCHEDULE your FREE ESTIMATE Putnam County on Tuesday, Sept.
PHOTOGRAPHER 14 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.at the
845•278•0300 Mahopac rehouse at 741 Route 6,
[email protected] in conjunction with the Mahopac
Volunteer Fire Department, Car-
EXECUTIVE TEAM mel Police Department, e Pre-
BRETT FREEMAN vention Council of Putnam, CTC
CEO & PUBLISHER Carmel, NIH HEAL Initiative,
845-208-8151 and Drug Crisis in Our Backyard.
[email protected] St. John’s Food Bank
In an e ort to help families in
MAHOPAC NEWS DEADLINE need, a drive is being held to col-
THE DEADLINE FOR ADVERTISEMENTS lect school supplies. Supplies can
be brought to Carmel Town Hall,
AND EDITORIAL SUBMISSIONS FOR 60 McAlpin Ave. and placed in
the box in the lobby. e drive is
MAHOPAC NEWS IS THE THURSDAY sponsored by Councilman Frank
BEFORE THE NEXT PUBLICATION DATE. Lombardi.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, Friday Night BBQ
CALL BOB DUMAS AT Concert Series
845-208-0774 OR EMAIL Putnam County Golf Course in
[email protected] Mahopac - Friday, Tickets are $29
plus tax online, $35 at the door.
Subscribe Includes all you-can-eat barbecue
bu et dinner until 8 p.m. Cash bar
TO REQUEST MAHOPAC NEWS available. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
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EMAIL [email protected] com/events to purchase tickets.
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THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 9, 2021 MAHOPAC NEWS PAGE 3
MEMORIES York City, stepped up to the RIDE our wounded vets,” Mack said. “We turned it
FROM PAGE 1 FROM PAGE 1
plate,” Mack said. “ ey all did around to support the armed services who came
something.” back severely injured
their own, and we in Putnam Mack now heads a group of and Ret. FDNY Lt. Ken Carroll. He acknowledged signi cant support from
County will always be grateful.” FDNY retirees, the NYC Fire- “Every penny goes to help the veterans,” said Putnam County residents in raising money for
Cummins, who is retired, used ghters of the Hudson Valley Carroll. A recipient of a companion dog named the event.
backhoes and cranes to carefully East. About 200 retired re ght- the animal after him, he said proudly. “Just last Friday... we raised $5,000 in just two
move the tons of wreckage. First, ers from Putnam and Northern “I got involved as soon as I heard about it,” hours [at Tilly Foster Farm]. e people of our
he searched for damaged gas lines Westchester belong to the group, Carroll said in a phone interview. “Some guys county are fabulous. Every year when I sell T-
and to restore power to the area, which meets regularly at the Ma- were talking about it at my VFW in Mahopac, shirts to raise money, they ask what we’re doing
then he looked for remains, al- hopac rehouse, and they always that the New York City remen were starting and are very supportive.”
ways pausing and saying a prayer have some public service project this and I wanted to know more and got involved Deputy Chief Anthony Montera of Mahopac
when any were uncovered. going on. from the start. I became the training o cer. I is proud of his fellow members of Engine 50,
e work took a physical toll. A lot of police o cers from help them get ready. I tell them (bicyclists) ‘Leave Ladder 19, and Battalion 26 who devote count-
Cummins has asthma and lung Putnam were also at the Pile. your daddy’s Schwinn at home and gear up.’ I less hours to organizing this important event.
disease, and even the slightest After he talked his bosses into help them get in shape. I’ll be going to rogs “ ey do most if not all of the work to put
cold presents a danger to him. letting him go work on the Pile, Neck on ursday to give the guys tips on how to the ride together. I do the bike ride to honor
e emotional toll hasn’t been Det. Pete Conlin didn’t leave for keep their oxygen up and what to expect.” the memory of the 343 re ghters who died at
easy either, feeling guilty that he three days. He sorted through de- Carroll spent 30 years with the FDNY and the World Trade Center. Money raised is used
survived when so many didn’t, an- bris searching for possible human served as lieutenant at Ladder 43 in Spanish to support severely disabled veterans from the
niversaries bringing all he saw and remains and bringing unknown Harlem. He is an avid cyclist and teaches a spin- tristate area. We’ve raised $1.2 million over the
felt right back again. pieces to a priest to be blessed be- ning class in Mahopac. Some of the charity ride last 10 years and expect to raise another $200,000
“I saw the best and the worst fore taking them to the morgue participants take the class to get ready for the this year,” he said.”
in people,” Cummins said. “ ere and returning to the Pile to sort trip, he said. e cyclists will drive out to Montauk early
were people you crossed paths through more. Along with the 343 who lost their lives, this on Sept. 14 where the ride begins. It ends at the
with, and you never saw them “It was tough,” Conlin said. year’s ride will honor FDNY member Frank Por- graves of two FDNY re ghters who were killed
before, but it was like you knew “ is not-recovering was demor- telle and re ghters who died from 9/11-related in Afghanistan while serving in the armed forces.
them all your life because of the alizing. ere was so much steel illnesses. All proceeds go to organizations including Ac-
connection of being in the zone twisted, you’d think ‘ ere’s got Portelle was a 24-year veteran of the FDNY. tion Track Chairs, America’s Vet Dogs, Building
together. People would help each to be somebody in there.’ But no. On Sept. 11, he was assigned to Ladder 13. He Homes for Heroes, and other projects.
other. at just didn’t happen. In the started working as a lieutenant in Engine 50 in “ e character of the people the ride supports
“I got a whole new respect for early days, you still had hope and 2015 and joined the 343 Ride. Portelle died in is outstanding,” Montera said. “ ey are people
the Salvation Army and people you just keep digging and looking. March of WTC related illness, his obituary said. of service in the true sense of the word, not just
who volunteered and came from It took a while to get all the trucks He spent the majority of his career at Ladder 13 in words, but in their deeds, actions, and heart.”
all over the country,” Cummins down there, the trades came with in Manhattan and then lieutenant and captain of All participants in the charitable ride are vol-
continued.“ ey had a big tent on the cranes, but just looking for ev- Engine 50. unteers.
the West Side, they called it the erything by hand at rst was very To honor the memory of the nine members “Every penny goes to the veterans,” Carroll
Taj Mahal. Sometimes you’d just tough.” of E-22 and L-13 who lost their lives that day, said. He thinks he’s likely to be the one to “set
stop there to get your bearings. Conlin, who retired in 2004, Portelle carried their pictures each year he rode. the pace” when the ride begins on Sept. 14 in
You had to pass all the lines of worked on the Pile for six months “ e (FDNY 343 Ride) started o to remem- Montauk Point.
security and when you passed the before returning to detective work. ber the fallen brothers, the events of 9/11 espe-
last one and went into the zone, He is now president of the lo- cially the 345 remen and we turned it around to FDNY343RIDE is a registered 501-c tax-exempt
it was like the Twilight Zone. You cal Fraternal Order of Police, Ste- support the armed services who came back se- organization. To donate, visit FDNY343Ride.com.
did what you had to do. I remem- phen Driscoll Memorial Lodge verely wounded,” said Retired FDNY Lt. Larry
ber crying all the way down, all 704. e lodge was named in Mack of Mahopac, a 9/11 survivor.
the way home. One night there honor of NYPD O cer Driscoll, “I was at Engine 50, Ladder 19 on West
was rumors that we expect to nd of Lake Carmel, who died in Street, and for various reasons, we were de-
a lot of bodies tonight because we 9/11. Like Conlin, Driscoll served layed getting down to the World Trade Center,”
were going to a stairwell, but we in the Emergency Services Unit. Mack said by phone.
didn’t nd one.” While Conlin’s health is ne, Mack trains for the long, roughly 75-miles
For Lt. Mack of the FDNY, the he’s mourned plenty of friends per day bike ride with his daughter and veterans
week after 9/11 was non-stop re- who died from 9/11-related can- among others on the Putnam Trailway. Every
covery at the Pile. For months af- cer. morning the bicyclists will read the names of
ter, it was one tour at the rehouse Many who worked at the Pile the NYPD 9/11 victims.
in the Bronx, one tour on recovery plan to attend the Putnam He- What began as a way to remember the fallen
at the Pile, sometimes attending roes Memorial Candlelight Vigil remen “turned into a way to raise money for
several funerals a day. at Cornerstone Park in Carmel on
In April, Mack worked 30 Saturday, Sept. 11 at 7 p.m.
straight days on recovery. As di cult as their work in the PHOTO: BOB DUMAS
“A lot of it is still foggy,” said recovery e ort was, all three said Ken Carroll poses in front of the 9/11 memorial
at the Mahopac ﬁrehouse on Route 6.
Mack, who retired ve years ago. it paled in comparison to what the
“It was an intense non-stop round 9/11 victims and their loved ones
of funerals, rehouse shifts and su ered.
searching for remains at the Pile.” “After a month or something,
Mack helped raise the six chil- they started letting people back
dren of his longtime friend and into the neighborhoods down
fellow re ghter Lt. Vincent there,” Cummins recalled. “When
Halloran, who was killed on 9/11. we were putting the cables back
In 2014, Mack was celebrated on in the ground, I was stuck at one
a Father’s Day special on “Good cross in the road and there was a
Morning America” that recog- picture of a lady and it said, ‘Last
nized outstanding fathers. seen on the 29th oor.’ And that
But all that attention makes brings a di erent side to it all.
Mack want to share the spotlight Loved ones, people who would
on this somber 20th anniversary stand at the perimeter, looking
with his fellow re ghters who, down at the pile and crying. You
like him, worked tirelessly at the just wished you could do more.”
Pile. PHOTO COURTESY OF LARRY MACK
“Every re ghter in Putnam Article provided by County Bikers outside the U.S. Capitol building on the 15th anniversary of 9/11.
County, every re ghter in New Executive’s O ce.
PAGE 4 MAHOPAC NEWS THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 9, 2021
Local volunteers battle ﬂoods at home and in Mamaroneck
BY BRETT FREEMAN that have the ability to bring
PUBLISHER water down to about 3 inches.
My resources are limited to
In a storm that killed doz- how low I can get the water.”
ens of people in the North- Stasiak said that below
east last week, the remnants three inches, his department
of Hurricane Ida dumped can give advice about where
7.28 inches of rain on Ma- residents can seek further as-
hopac, which received more sistance.
rainfall than most of Putnam Meanwhile, both depart-
and Westchester counties, ments, as well as departments
according to the National from Carmel and Brewster,
Weather Service. sent volunteers down to Ma-
e Mahopac Falls Vol- maroneck, which saw massive
unteer Fire Department ooding.
handled 20 pumpouts, First “It was a long night,” said
Assistant Chief Robert Trace Mahopac Falls Dive Capt.
Matthew Eaton, who was Typical after a heavy rain, above and below, this parking lot at Tompkins Bank on Route 6 was deluged last
said in an interview.
“Nothing catastrophic, one of six volunteers from week.
thank God,” he said, not- his department who operated
ing that it was a particularly out of a staging area in Ma-
higher call volume for a rain maroneck from about 2 a.m.
storm. to 7 a.m. on Sept. 2.
Pumpouts are when resi- Eaton assisted in evacuat-
dents call the re department ing a condo complex, rescu-
due to major ooding in their ing about two dozen people,
homes. including a woman who was
Mahopac Volunteer Fire 41 weeks pregnant.
Department Chief James Eaton said the streets were
Stasiak said his department ooded with ve to six feet of
handled 25 calls in a 14-hour water.
period, including two EMS “So it was impossible for
calls, but no serious injuries. them to leave their resi-
“It’s not uncommon when dence,” he said. “De nitely a
you get storms like that,” Sta- huge operation that I was a
siak said. “We have pumps part of.” PHOTOS: TABITHA PEARSON MARSHALL