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Published by Halston Media, 2021-02-24 15:13:11

Mahopac News 02.25.21

VOL. 12 NO. 3 Visit TapIntoMahopac.net for the latest news. THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2021

Flames are visable on Officials in Putnam
the second story of the County ask, ‘Where
are our vaccines?’
Barrett Hill house.

PHOTO: JACK CASEY

Putnam County o cials con- said. “ at absolutely must

tinue to urge New York State to change.”

increase the county’s supply of For many people, there is

vaccine. e Putnam County confusion about how and where

Department of Health reports to access an appointment. To

that they dispense all of the complicate matters, some rst-

state-supplied doses within 48 dose shipments sent to local

hours of receiving them. As of health departments have been

Feb. 16, the department has ad- speci cally designated by New

ministered 1,740 rst doses and York State for targeted popula-

907 second doses. tions, such as individuals a li-

“During H1-N1 we were able ated with the O ce for People

to vaccinate 300 people in an with Developmental Disabilities

hour,” saif Supervising Public (OPWDD). Additionally, New

Health Nurse Kathleen Percac- York State requires individu-

Fire causes extensive damage ciolo. “Clearly we are capable of als over 65 to get vaccinated at
to Mahopac Falls home
vaccinating more residents—we a state-run vaccination site or

just need more vaccines to make a pharmacy or healthcare pro-

that happen.” vider. Local health departments

County Executive MaryEllen are generally not permitted to

Odell she understands that the vaccinate this portion of the

entire process of scheduling a population unless they also meet

BY BOB DUMAS water damage to the second oor unknown but is under investiga- vaccine is frustrating for people. other eligibility criteria such as
EDITOR and attic. tion. No injuries were reported.
“We are frustrated,too,”she said. essential worker status.
On Monday afternoon, Feb. Mahopac Falls Fire Chief Je Second Assistant Chief Daniel
15, the Mahopac Falls Fire De- Boyle said that the house was Meury was rst to arrive on-scene County o cials said that they Odell said there are other pro-
partment responded to a call for unoccupied at the time of the around 1:13 p.m., con rming
a structure re on Barrett Hill the re and requesting a second continue to advocate for more viders in the county as well.
Road in Mahopac Falls that left re and undergoing renovations. alarm as he observed smoke and
a home with extensive re and Construction workers were at the vaccine to be available for resi- “We are also asking the state
scene when the re broke out. SEE FIRE PAGE 16
Boyle said the cause of the re is dents. to increase the supply available

“We see the eligibility groups to our pharmacies and healthcare

expand, but the supply doesn’t SEE VACCINES PAGE3
meet the demand still,” Odell

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BUSINESS & REAL ESTATE 27
CLASSIFIEDS 26
HEALTH & WELLNESS 17
LEISURE 25
MAHOPAC MUSINGS
OPINION 2 BOYS HOOPS
SCHOOLS & CAMPS
SPORTS 8

16 Mahopac wins three to
22 start season.

pg 22

PAGE 2 MAHOPAC NEWS MAHOPAC MUSINGS THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2021

The Staff Mahopac Library sta , a scratch card to create a information about the Kindness link please email Emily at ewi-
Events note for someone else, a friend- Club visit www.mahopaclibrary. [email protected] y.
EDITORIAL TEAM ship bracelet to make, a kindness org, or call 845-638-2009, ext. org. Books are available at the
BOB DUMAS
Kindness Club card and a kindness bingo board. 135. Circulation Desk; or get a copy
EDITOR: 845-208-0774
[email protected] rough March 31, Calling rst Every time you complete an Monday Evening Book via curbside pick-up by calling
BRIAN MARSCHHAUSER
SPORTS EDITOR: 914-302-5628 through fth graders: Come to act of kindness, color in a square Group the Information Desk at 845-
[email protected]
the Library’s Youth Services desk on your bingo board. When you Monday, March 1, 7:30 p.m. 628-2009 ext 100. “We Are Not
ADVERTISING TEAM
PAUL FORHAN to join the Kindness Club and have colored ve in a row, bring is adult book group meets Ourselves” is also available as an

(914) 806-3951 pick up your special kindness kit. the board back to the library on the rst Monday of each audiobook on Hoopla and an
[email protected]
Our March bulletin board will and receive a yummy prize! We month; new members are al- eBook on Overdrive/Libby.
BRUCE HELLER
(914) 486-7608 display large hearts that we want want to ll our bulletin board ways welcome. is month we Yoga Class
[email protected]
to ll with names of all those that with hearts so each participant will be discussing “We Are Not Tuesday, March 2, 10 a.m.
LISA KAIN
(201) 317-1139 sign up. Included in your kit is a is welcome to complete as many Ourselves” by Matthew omas. Twelve-week Yin Yoga class
[email protected]
CORINNE STANTON note of kindness from the YS acts of kindness as they like. For Join us on Zoom; to receive a with Anne Burningham. is
(914) 760-7009
[email protected] yoga class combines a series of

JAY GUSSAK long held passive oor poses that
(914) 299-4541
[email protected] gently work the lower part of the
JENNIFER CONNELLY
(917) 446-7757 body. e second half of the class
[email protected]
SHELLEY KILCOYNE Replacing scores of involves more active movement
(914) 924-9122 Allstate | State Farm | Geico followed by a gentle cool down.
[email protected]
GABRIELLE BILIK Policies Everyday! is class will be held via Zoom;
ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE/DESIGNER a link will be sent to registered
[email protected]
students prior to each class.
PRODUCTION TEAM
TABITHA PEARSON MARSHALL $85/person for the 12-week

CREATIVE DIRECTOR session. Make check payable to
PHOTOGRAPHER
Anne Burningham and mail to:
[email protected]
CHRISTINA ROSE Mahopac Public Library, 668
ART DIRECTOR/
Route 6, Mahopac, NY 10541
DIGITAL PRODUCTION MANAGER
[email protected] ONE CALL… MULTIPLE QUOTES ATTN: yoga.
Job Search Workhop
EXECUTIVE TEAM
BRETT FREEMAN So You Can Get The Best Buy! We Offer Many Tuesday, March 2, 6 p.m. Job-
CEO & PUBLISHER A-Rated Companies Now: Resume, Interview, and
845-208-8151 Come See Career Guidance LIVE! Learn

[email protected] Hy Reichbach, Susan Rohrig & Carmen A. Ritter Travelers • Foremost about the library e-resource Job-
For Experience, Knowledge and Service Progressive • Safeco Now, and how you can receive
Deadlines live help on all the stages of your

MAHOPAC NEWS DEADLINE Aardvark Insurance Kemper • Hartford job search! is virtual presen-
THE DEADLINE FOR ADVERTISEMENTS Mercury • 1st American tation will cover: How to get to
the JobNow e-resource from the
AND EDITORIAL SUBMISSIONS FOR
600 Rt. 6 | Mahopac NY Main Street America MidHudson Library System;
MAHOPAC NEWS IS THE THURSDAY 845.208.3707 • 845.225.1007 Utica Mutual where to access live assistance
BEFORE THE NEXT PUBLICATION DATE. and feedback on interviews; re-

FOR MORE INFORMATION, [email protected] sumes and job search strategies;
CALL BOB DUMAS AT
how to access interest and per-
845-208-0774 OR EMAIL
[email protected] The Carmel Aardvark Insurance office is merged with the Mahopac office sonality tests to help you learn
effective November 25, 2015. what elds are the best t for
Subscribe your talents and interests.

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SEE MUSINGS PAGE 6

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2021 MAHOPAC NEWS PAGE 3

Local pols weigh in on nursing home controversy VACCINES

Attorney general’s report said deaths were ‘underreported’ FROM PAGE 1

BY BRIAN MARSCHHAUSER providers so that our residents age
CONTRIBUTING EDITOR 65 and over can more easily ac-
cess appointments,” she said. “ ey
State legislators may rein in Gov. Andrew Sen. Pete Harckham FILE PHOTO PHOTO: TABITHA PEARSON MARSHALL should not have to travel or search
Cuomo’s executive powers in the wake of for a vaccine provider.”
a report that determined his administra- osa, a top aide to Cuomo, said the adminis- Assemblyman Kevin Byrne
tion “underreported” COVID-19-related tration “froze” with regard to data requests Health Commissioner Dr. Mi-
nursing-home deaths by approximately 50 because of concerns about a potential fed- pandemic. But, Harckham said, legislators chael J. Nesheiwat said county of-
percent. eral investigation. en-President Donald must be “careful what they wish for,” as
Trump pounced on the controversial March stripping executive powers in a pandemic cials share in the frustration and
Data obtained from surveying 62 nurs- 25 mandate and had been using the topic as could make it more di cult to take action. concerns of residents, particularly
ing homes, a roughly 10 percent sample of a “political football,” DeRosa said, and the At the very least, he said, “the legislature those over age 65, who have not
total facilities across the state, suggests that state was concerned the data “would be used needs to have a seat at the table so we’re not been able to secure vaccination ap-
“many nursing home residents died from against us.” hearing about things after the fact.” pointments.
COVID-19 in hospitals after being trans-
ferred from their nursing homes,” which State Sen. Peter Harckham (D-South Sa- If the legislature takes no action, the law “We will continue to demand
was not re ected in the state’s accounting lem), in an interview with Mahopac News, that granted Cuomo’s executive powers will more vaccines for Putnam, so our
of COVID-19 deaths, the attorney general’s said the governor’s administration was not expire on April 30. pharmacies can also be better sup-
o ce said last month. acting “in good faith” in its reporting of the plied for our seniors,” he said. “ I
data. “We have a choice,” said Assemblyman have personally reached out to the
New York State, which lost a months- Chris Burdick (D-Bedford), “whether to governor’s o ce and will continue
long legal battle with the Empire Center, “I think by the governor’s own words, they just let it lapse, or do we take action before to advocate on behalf of the en-
has since been required by a State Supreme didn’t provide enough data or transparency,” then? ere’s no question in my mind that tire county. We want school sta ,
Court judge to release data that includes Harckham said. we need to take a hard look at that.” essential workers, and those with
nursing-home residents who died in hospi- underlying medical conditions to
tals. On Feb. 10, the Department of Health Citing both the AG’s report and DeRo- Last week, U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand know that we are well-prepared
provided the dates and locations of more sa’s comments, Assemblyman Kevin Byrne (D-New York) con rmed that there is an to vaccinate a larger portion of our
14,000 deaths involving long-term care resi- (R-Mahopac) said there was “absolutely” an ongoing federal investigation into Cuomo’s community. We are hopeful that
dents, including almost 5,000 that occurred attempt by the governor’s o ce to mislead handling of nursing homes during the pan- the vaccine supply will greatly in-
in hospitals. the public on the number of nursing-home demic. e state senate is also launching an crease so we can swiftly vaccinate
deaths. He said Cuomo prioritized his po- investigation. all Putnam County residents who
For example, at a nursing home in York- litical image and fear of federal prosecution wish to be vaccinated.”
town Heights, zero in-facility patient deaths over the health and safety of New Yorkers. Byrne is among the state legislators also
were reported throughout the pandemic. calling for a legislative impeachment com- ere are several reasons for the
However, on Feb. 10, the state reported that “No one ever said the total number of mission “to investigate and recommend po- lack in vaccine availability. Last
six residents died outside of the facility be- deaths was inaccurate, and that’s not the tential counts of impeachment against the week, on top of the supply and de-
tween May and January. question here,” Byrne added. governor.” mand imbalance, the region was
faced with the challenges of safely
But to Dr. Howard Zucker, New York’s For months, Byrne and other state legisla- Adding fuel to the re, Assemblyman delivering temperature-controlled
health commissioner, the AG’s report was tors requested the gures to help guide de- Ron Kim (D-Brooklyn) said last week that doses of vaccine during back-to-
not a revelation of conspiracy. If anything, cision-making. ose who asked questions he received a “threatening” phone call from back winter storms. County and
he said, the report proved there was “no or probed further, he said, were “publicly Cuomo after speaking out against his ad- state o cials have contingency
undercount” in the total number of deaths. ridiculed and attacked” by the governor’s ministration’s handling of nursing homes. plans in place for when weather or
administration. Cuomo has denied Kim’s version of events, other circumstances may result in a
e health department has always “publicly but Byrne said he “believes” his colleague. delay in shipment. Because of these
reported the number of fatalities within “ at information was withheld,” Byrne expected but unpredictable circum-
hospitals irrespective of the residence of the said. “We asked for it. We knew that it was Harckham, who served in Cuomo’s ad- stances, the county Department
patient,” he said in a Jan. 28 statement. missing information—that they weren’t in- ministration from 2015 to 2018, was sworn of Health only schedules appoint-
cluding the hospital deaths from nursing- in by the governor when he was elected to the ments when they have vaccines “in
e attorney general’s report “is only re- home residents.” state senate. He said that he has never had a the refrigerator.”
ferring to the count of people who were in conversation of that nature with Cuomo.
nursing homes but transferred to hospitals Both houses of the state legislature are “Rather than having to cancel
and later died,” Zucker continued. “ at discussing this week potentially reining in “I spoke with him [last] week,”Harckham appointments, it is more e cient
does not in any way change the total count Cuomo’s executive powers, which were be- said. “We had a very good conversation on to schedule as we receive.,” Percac-
of deaths but is instead a question of allocat- stowed upon the governor early on in the a number of issues. I read the same reports. ciolo said. “If we begin to receive
ing the number of deaths between hospitals more doses, we will revise plans as
and nursing homes.” at’s just not been my experience. at needed.”
doesn’t mean we always agree. We certainly
e scrutiny over the state’s handling of don’t on policy. But they’ve always been pro- e Health Department has
nursing homes is nothing new. On March fessional phone calls.” con rmed that there will be more
25, the state Department of Health contro- providers in Putnam to facilitate
versially mandated that nursing homes must is week, the senate was expected to pass vaccination of residents with with
not deny readmission to residents “based on a package of bills aimed at improving situa- more than one illness. Healthcare
a con rmed or suspected diagnosis of CO- tions in nursing homes. Harckham said he’s providers looking to become an
VID-19.” A new policy was announced on particularly concerned about sta ng levels. approved COVID-19 vaccine pro-
May 10, saying a hospital cannot discharge vider can visit coronavirus.health.
a patient to a nursing home unless they test “ at’s the kind of positive action we ny.gov/covid-19-vaccine-informa-
negative for the virus. need to be taking. Not be part of the bomb tion-providers.
throwing,”Harckham said.“Now is the time
In a private virtual meeting earlier this to focus on the work at hand and not con- While Putnam County resi-
month with state legislators, Melissa DeR- tribute to the toxic atmosphere.” dents have received their rst dose
of vaccine at a slightly higher rate
than the New York State average,
Odell continues to push the state
to address gaps in communication
and information. She led a regional
e ort with other county executives
to bring together state lawmakers
and call for improved communica-
tion from the state along with the
needed increase in vaccine supply.

Article courtesy of Putnam County
Health Department

PAGE 4 MAHOPAC NEWS THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2021

McConville throws hat in
ring for sheriff’s race

Kevin McConville, a lifelong Putnam served as director of Security & Emer- Kevin McConville announces his candidacy for sheriff on the steps of the county
County resident with over 30 years of gency Management at a local healthcare courthouse.
law enforcement experience has an- facility.
nounced his intention to run on the Re- and lives with his wife Janice in Cold Democrat Sheri Robert Langley, who
publican ticket for the o ce of Putnam In announcing his candidacy, McCo- Spring. ey have three children and announced his intention to seek re-elec-
County Sheri . nville said, “It is time to have a respon- two grandchildren, all of whom live in tion earlier this month.
sible, accountable and e cient law en- Putnam County.
McConville, who made the announce- forcement leader, one that manages the Article provided by McConville campaign
ment during a press conference on the budget, and the Department. e role of McConville would face incumbent
steps of Putnam County Courthouse the sheri is not about politics, it is a
last week, said he will also seek the en- hands-on job that requires the knowl-
dorsement of the Conservative Party. edge of how a law enforcement agency
works and how to do it e ectively and
McConville retired in 2008 as chief e ciently, provide support and training
of the Metropolitan Transportation to your personnel and excellent service
Authority (MTA) Police Department, to your communities.
where he oversaw a 770-member force
with a $100 million budget. During his “I support, without hesitation, the
tenure as chief, he created the Interagen- men and women of law enforcement.
cy Counter Terrorism Team to address Let’s give our deputies and corrections
terrorism, working with the FBI, mem- o cers a leader, one who isn’t afraid of
bers of the Joint Terrorist Task Force transparency and scal accountability,”
( JTTF), and numerous law enforcement he added. “Training, resources and as-
agencies throughout the Hudson Valley sets are a large part of that support. So
to ensure the safety of commuters, in- is leadership; providing a mission and
cluding those using MetroNorth. goals allows deputies and corrections
personnel to ful ll the Department’s
Additionally, McConville served as job. As my good friend, Dutchess Sher-
a member of the governor’s Home- i Butch Anderson says, ‘Treat oth-
land Security Team and developed and ers as you want to be treated.’ at is a
implemented plans and strategies to promise we will uphold in the Putnam
prevent bombings on commuter rail County Sheri ’s Department.”
systems, like the ones in London and
Madrid. McConville, 63, has a bachelor’s and
master’s degree from Marist College,
For the past 12 years, McConville has

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THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2021 MAHOPAC NEWS PAGE 5

The Paramount at Somers Rehabilitation and Nursing Center located on Route 100 in Somers, New York
is now offering specialty Respite Stay Care for your loved one for up to 14 days!

A RESPITE STAY CAN BE USED TO PREVENT CAREGIVER BURNOUT

Respite stays support caregivers by providing knowledge and education in skilled nursing prior to the need
for a subacute, short-term rehabilitation stay following a hospitalization and long-term care placement.

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189 Route 100, Somers, NY 10589 | Ph. 914.232.5101

www.TheParamountRehab.com

PAGE 6 MAHOPAC NEWS THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2021

Mahopac for Racial Justice honored MUSINGS Conversation with
FROM PAGE 2
Putnam County
Farmers
Harckham lauds group for Black History Month Adult Virtual Escape Room

Wednesday, March 3, 7 p.m.

Spend some time online with Tuesday, March 2, 2021 from

In recognition of Black History while bringing people together to the group hosted the Rally and other adults and solve a puzzle. 6-7 p.m. via Zoom

Month, State Sen. Pete Harck- forge a level of respect and better Protest against Racism that drew Registration with a valid email What does it mean to sup-

ham honored 14 members of Ma- understanding of each other. Also, hundreds of residents. address is required; register on- port local farms? Join us for a

hopac for Racial Justice for their the students in Mahopac for Ra- Six main organizers of Ma- line at www.mahopaclibrary.org, virtual conversation with Put-

leadership and commitment to cial Justice exemplify a profound hopac for Racial Justice were or call 845-628-2009, ext 100. nam County farmers. Putnam

bettering their communities. awareness of our society and the awarded Senate proclamations A Zoom link will be emailed has a long history of agricul-

Harckham also honored jazz spirit to make necessary changes for their work; they are Brianna one day prior to event. If you ture--known as the gateway to

artist/cultural advocate Ray Blue. to better everyone’s lives. All to- Small, Andréa Jenkins, Jessica have any questions about this the farms. We still have farmers

e special award ceremony gether, they deserve our gratitude Caputo, Marisa Caputo, Ala- program please contact Amy right here in Putnam Coun-

was held virtually online. and appreciation.” nis Nawrocki and Diana Kone. Schapiro at 845-628-2009 ext. ty, and we want to introduce

“ ese Black History Month Mahopac for Racial Justice is a Receiving Senate certi cates for 152 or by emailing [email protected] you to them. You’ll hear from

honorees value the importance group of nearly 30 young adults their work were eight other group mahopaclibrary.org. Pro Brothers, a small family-

of strengthening our commu- that advocates against racial dis- members: Stephany Solis, Ron- Mid-Day Yoga owned, certi ed organic vege-

nity, empowering residents and crimination and prejudice in their ald Solis, Alexis Annabi, Kristen ursday, March 4, noon table farm, located in Brewster,

proudly celebrating their African community. e group created a Annabi, Vincent Annabi, Isabel ursday Mid-Day Yoga with NY, currently specializing in

American heritage,” said Harck- social media page where anony- Perez, Edwin Meijia and Daniel Chun Kim-Levin. is Yoga all types of greens, a handful of

ham. “Ray has accomplished so mous residents could share their Ehrenpreis. class is designed so that anyone herbs, and some other seasonal

much in this regard in the music personal experiences with rac- can learn to safely practice and crops. See more at their web-

world as a performer, composer, ism. And in solidarity with the Article courtey of Sen. Harckham’s reap the bene ts of one of the site: probrothersfarm.com.

educator, mentor and organizer, broader anti-racism movement, O ce most profound healing systems. Hear more about the Cat

Learn how to stretch without Rock Egg Farm. Established in

To advertise in Mahopac News, call Brett Freeman at 845-208-8151 or email [email protected] pain, maintain proper align- 2009, they’ve provided organic
halstonmedia.com.
ment, re-establish a fuller range eggs from their backyard chick-

of motion, strengthen fragile ens, quail, ducks, guineas and

joints and muscles, reduce stress, turkeys to neighbors, friends,

and cultivate a peaceful mind. restaurants and shops in the

You will also learn simple en- Lower Hudson Valley and be-

ergy balancing tools to amplify yond. ey also o er ready to

the bene ts of Yoga practice. cook meat birds, maple syrup,

All classes are held via Zoom. garlic and honey on occasion.

For today, retirement A link is sent to registered stu- Follow @thecatrockeggfarm
and every moment
in between. dents prior to each class. Join Longhaul Farm in Gar-

$85 per person for the 12- rison to hear about their diver-

week session. Make check pay- si ed vegetable farm. Long-

able to Chun Kim-Levin and haul Farm was established

mail to: Mahopac Public Li- in 2011 by Jason Angell and

brary 668 Route 6 Mahopac, Jocelyn Apicello. ey prac-

NY 10541, ATTN: Yoga reg- tice regenerative growing that

istration. is based on nourishing the soil

PAC Call to Artists and doing everything with hu-
man power. On their 10,000

sq-ft of growing space, they

Putnam Arts Council invites have a 40-member CSA and

Tier 4 planning isn’t about getting a new 403(b) member artists 18 years and old- donate to local food pantries.
or buying financial products. It’s about becoming
educated and empowered around the events er to digitally submit one piece In the forest, they also raise
and decisions in your personal financial life. It’s
about being prepared. Maybe it’s time. of original ne art for inclusion hens, meat birds, turkeys and

Call me today for your initial Confident in an exhibition; work must pigs. See more at www.long-
Retirement conversation.
have been completed within the haulny.com

past three years and not previ- Hosted by Tamara Tripp of

ously exhibited at PAC. Hudson Valley Mushrooms. A

ere is no fee to partici- micro-farm in Patterson, Hud-

pate as this annual exhibit is a son Valley Mushrooms special-

Confident Retirement approach bene t of membership. Artists izes in traditional log-grown

may renew their membership or shiitake mushrooms grown

Michael A. Bucci 203.302.6744 join the Putnam Arts Council outdoors, using traditional
Financial Advisor
41 W. Putnam Ave. at any time prior to the March techniques and without single-
Tier 4 Planning Greenwich, CT 06830
A financial advisory practice of [email protected] 10 deadline for submissions at use plastics. See more at their
Ameriprise Financial Services, LLC. Tier4planning.com
CA Insurance #0M83870 www.putnamartscouncil.com or website: hudsonvalleymush-

by contacting the Putnam Arts rooms.com.

Council at 845-803-8622. Pre-register at putnam.cce.

Email a digital photograph of cornell.edu/events

your work, in jpeg format, me- MHS Track Hours
dium size image (4-by-6 inches,

300 dpi), no later than March

10 to: [email protected] Due to the need to maintain

gmail.com. Please identify your social distance during both the

work ( le) by including your school day and after school ath-

name, title, size of work, and letic team practices, the MHS

price (or not for sale) in the track will be open to the public

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THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2021 MAHOPAC NEWS PAGE 7

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PAGE 8 MAHOPAC NEWS Opinion THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2021

e perception gap Rhetoric vs. reality

HERE some answers. In this study, conducted by LIFE, for the rst year of his.Trump signed ve his
AND More in Common (an advocacy group HEALTH, rst month, Obama, nine. And George W.
NOW! committed to countering extremism), POLITICS
researchers asked Democrats to guess how Bush and Bill Clinton both signed zero.
BERNIE Republicans would answer a range of po- MARA Yet only a few months back, Biden had a
KOSBERG litical questions; they then asked Republi- SCHIFFREN
cans how Democrats would answer those di erent view about executive orders. At a
A dramatic increase in religious, racial same queries. Joe Biden ran for the presidency in 2020 townhall in October, while he was running
and ethnic diversity over the past 20 on a platform of moderation. In a very for president, Biden said the following,“I
years, along with signi cant advances More in Common wanted to nd out far left eld, he ran as the one man in have this strange notion. We are a democracy.
in communication technologies, have whether Republicans and Democrats the Democrat eld who had a history of Some of my Republican friends and some of
signi cantly reshaped our political beliefs. could separate perception from reality. reaching across the aisle. my Democratic friends even occasionally say,
So much so, in fact, that Republicans don’t ‘Well, if you can’t get the votes, by executive
really know who Democrats are anymore, What More in Common found is fas- And for that—because national Democrat order you’re going to do something.’ ings
and, conversely, Democrats hardly know cinating: Americans’mental image of the leadership believed that this element was you can’t do by executive order unless you’re
Republicans. “other side”is a caricature; certain striking a crucial in order to win—he was awarded a dictator. We’re a democracy. We need
characteristics are persistently exaggerated with the Democratic nomination, after consensus.”
Considering that almost 70 percent of in order to create a distorted and negative several of his competitors dropped out in his
adult Americans refer to themselves as e ect. favor. His comments back then on consensus
either Democrats or Republicans, this is sound very much like his comments on
a signi cant problem. With each passing For example: In the Democratic After his victory was announced, Biden “uniting us here at home,”cited above from
year, Republicans and Democrats seem to caricature of Republicans, most Republi- gave a justly praised speech, written by Jon his victory speech. And yet that is not the
dislike each other more and more, trusting cans stridently oppose immigration, hold Meacham, titled the “Soul of America.” In Biden who has shown up to be president.
each other less and fearing each other deeply prejudiced views about religious it, Biden claimed that he pledged “to be a
more; unable to understand how those minorities, and are blind to the existence president who seeks not to divide but unify. Take one crucial example. His admin-
on the other side could hold so many of racism and sexism. In the Republican Who doesn’t see red states and blue states, istration refuses to play hardball with the
bullheaded views. caricature of Democrats, most Dems are only sees the United States.” teacher’s unions, which want full pay without
unpatriotic, are disingenuous and cater to showing up to work in the schools in person,
In a recent article appearing in e the undeserving for political advantage, Biden stated as well that he “sought this although that has now been declared safe
Atlantic, Yascha Mounk discusses a new and strongly support the ideas of big o ce to restore the soul of America… And by expert after expert. Keep in mind that,
study—“ e Perception Gap”—which government and open borders. to unite us here at home… according to NBC News, teachers unions
shows that Americans have little under- spent $43 million on elections in 2020 and
standing of their political opponents’views e rationale for these mutual hatreds, “It’s time to put away the harsh rheto- 98 percent of that went to Democrats. Is it
and, curiously, education doesn’t help. according to the study, is, surprisingly, not ric, lower the temperature, see each other any wonder Biden is returning the favor?
based on a signi cant di erence of values, again, listen to each other again. And to
Americans lament the rise of radical but implanted by numerous misun- make progress, we have to stop treating our We also know that school districts in
partisanship, even as their attachment to derstandings. And, therefore, extreme opponents as our enemies. ey are not more politically conservative areas are far
their own political parties has weakened political divisions should, in principle, be our enemies. ey are Americans. ey are more likely to be operating with in school
noticeably. Progressives no longer strongly reasonably easy to remedy. It’s just a mat- Americans.” instruction at this point in time, rather than
identify as Democrats and Conservatives ter of education. virtually. is is why many people have been
no longer strongly identify as Republicans. Beautiful writing. Beautiful notions. moving to red states or districts in order to
And where are most of us educated Unfortunately, it has not panned out provide their children with access to in-
“What is corroding American politics nowadays, on a day-to-day, almost hour- this way in any respect. Which means that person schools.
is negative partisanship,”says Mounk. to-hour basis? rough media. the language, however beautiful, was mere
“Although progressives may feel con icted rhetoric. It sounded great, but in retrospect, it Not everyone has the means to move,
about the Democratic Party, they really One might think that people who means nothing. Just high falutin’words. however. And the ones without this nancial
hate the Republican Party. And even regularly get their news through one Last Friday, Rasmussen reported in a poll freedom are the kids getting most hurt by
though conservatives may feel con icted media source or another would be better (whose internals fairly re ect the populace), this, primarily in blue cities and some subur-
about the Republican Party, they really informed about their political opponents. stating that a month after inauguration, 54 ban districts.
hate the Democratic Party.” But, according to the study, the opposite percent of likely U.S. voters agree that,“Joe
is true. e more news media people Biden’s not the moderate nice guy that they Parents are going to look kindly on self-
Speaking from personal experience, consume, the greater their misconception made him out to be. He’s a puppet of the indulgent teachers’unions, when even Chica-
having spoken to dozens upon dozens of of the opposition.“ e best educated and radical left.” go Mayor Lori Lightfoot says that they are
angry Democrats and angry Republicans most politically interested Americans acting more “akin to a political party.”
over the last several years, I agree. Our are more likely to vilify their political at’s pretty strong language.
political divides are visceral and, for many, adversaries than their less-educated, less So why the change in perception? e longer Biden lets them win, without
driven more by hatred of the other party tuned-in peers.” In the rst month of his administration, pushback, the more of a puppet of the far left
than by strong philosophical beliefs. the man signed 53 executive orders, more he looks.
Why? than Obama signed in the entire rst year of
“ e Perception Gap”helps to provide Most media outlets—print, broadcast his presidency. And just under Trump’s 55 Mara Schi ren, PhD, is a writer, certi ed
and digital—are not neutral. Major news Functional Medicine Health coach, certi ed
Integrative Psychiatric educator and certi ed
SEE KOSBERG PAGE 13 Peak Performance coach. You can reach her at
[email protected]

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THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2021 OPINION MAHOPAC NEWS PAGE 9

LETTERS Looking for signs of spring

Carmel votes network that desperately needs READING, than his Pennsylvania cousin. a straw hat to wear when lead-
against its own best to be taken o ine. We’ve some- WRITING & Staten Island Chuck predicts ing our tour groups. Yee-ha!
how bought into the preposter- CHOCOLATE that spring will be arriving
interests ous idea that party a liation shortly in 2021. Over the At home, I studied my binder
matters on local issues. And we KIM years, he has been correct to commit all of the farm facts
KOVACH 80 percent of the time. Go to memory. I wanted to dazzle
To the editor, enable their complacency, by Chuck! these young school children
Iam not a winter person. I with my knowledge of animal
In my last letter to the edi- allowing many of them to run am tired of layering up and Recently, I was surprised to husbandry, farm life in the early
wearing my hat, gloves, learn about a local Westches- 1900s and comparisons to life
tor, entitled “So Bored with is unopposed, or under-opposed. turtleneck, eece, heavy jacket, ter forecaster named Cluxa- then and now (no electricity, no
corduroy pants, and boots. I am tawney Henrietta. Cluxatawney TV, milk the cows before going
Board,” I singled out Council- Where’s the incentive to do bet- looking for signs of spring. Henrietta is a hen who resides o to school each morning!).
at Muscoot Farm on Route
woman Suzi McDonough for ter when you never have to look An exciting sign of spring 100. Henrietta predicted an My rst tour group was a
is seeing the sun set after ve early spring by laying an egg class of pre-schoolers from
some rather poorly chosen words. over your shoulder, and you can o’clock in the evening. ose on Feb. 2. For three years in a down county. e children
extra minutes of daylight lift my row, Henrietta, an Ameraucana were very excited to visit all of
at was unfair of me, because vote for your own pay raises? spirits. Another sign of spring chicken, has made her predic- the animals. As tour guides,
is that the birds seem to be tions for an early spring by we were encouraged to bring
verbal ga es are the least of what Why be transparent when all more active. Cardinals, blue laying a blue egg on Ground- children into the chicken coop
jays, little brown birds, and the hog’s Day. and then pick up a live chicken
is wrong with this board. And of your colleagues are operating honking geese are all squawk- When I rst moved to to show them up close. It was
ing away outside all day long Lewisboro in 1987, I visited hard to get past the smell of the
there’s no one person who de- under the same code of silence, and I’m happy to hear it. Muscoot Farm. I love cows chicken coop and keep smiling
and gardening and all of that while o ering up facts about
serves the brunt of the criticism, and there’s no dissenting voice(s) On Feb. 2, that furry prog- good wholesome farm life. I hens laying eggs. e chickens
nosticating celebrity, Punx- volunteered to be a tour guide were non-plussed and allowed
but rather all of them, collectively. to hold you accountable? sutawney Phil, was hauled out for school groups on weekday me to scoop up one hen to
of his socially distanced burrow mornings to introduce young introduce to the wide-eyed
When I look at our next-door Other nearby communi- to give his prediction for 2021. children and their teachers to children.
Phil is the most famous of the wonders of Muscoot Farm.
neighbors in Yorktown, who ties seem to do more with less animal forecasters but not I took my tour guide position As we strolled along the farm
necessarily the most accurate. very seriously. At orientation, path, I proudly announced to
are running circles around us in than what our town has to o er. According to the internet, we were handed a large binder the youngsters that sheep don’t
Punxsutawney Phil has been full of information on the histo- mind standing out in the rain
terms of economic development, I’m not saying I want our town correct 39 percent of the time. ry of Muscoot Farm, the barns because their wool has natural
and outbuildings on the farm, lanolin which repels water to
I can’t help but wonder if it’s all turned into a sea of big box stores is year he predicted another the farmhouse, the di erent keep the sheep feeling dry. e
six weeks of winter. animals raised on the farm, the children enjoyed singing a rous-
due to geography and demo- and chain restaurants. Far from vegetables grown and harvested, ing chorus of “Baa Baa Black
I prefer to place my trust in the dairy industry, etc. We were Sheep.”
graphics, or if it’s at least due in it. But some middle ground, be- Staten Island Chuck. is New also handed a red and white
York groundhog has a much checked short-sleeved shirt and Kim Kovach must have lived
some part to Yorktown’s young, tween that and ghost town would better track record of accuracy on a farm in a previous life.
kimkovachwrites.com
30-something supervisor who is be nice. I have no faith in the cur-

eager to prove himself, and to a rent regime to deliver that to us.

politically, and ethnically diverse ey will continue to spin their

Town Board that surely resem- wheels, on your dime, until the

bles the community it serves machine places them elsewhere,

more closely than ours does. or until they’ve had enough. If,

When I tune into our Town like me, you’ve had enough of

Board meetings each week, I them, and want better for this

see no one under the age of 50; town, maybe it’s time to start

I see no one who looks like they voting with your eyes open.

have to wonder if they can a ord Don’t mistake my words for

their next mortgage payment, or merely being Republican bash-

that next auto repair bill; I see ing. I’m not letting the local

one color; one party, waging an Dems o the hook either, be-

uncivil war against itself in the cause they’ve done absolutely

local press and on social media; nothing to inspire my con -

I see the products of a political dence in them. at’s a rudder-

machine that will churn out as less ship, if there ever was one.

many photo-op attendees, with ey seem to be more interested

painted-on smiles, to shake in coming up with their next

hands, and wave at cars, as it clapback or mic drop on their

needs to, in order to maintain its political opponents, than coming

grip on our town and county. up with viable candidates. My

Our town has been stuck in advice to them is, get your act COVID–19
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