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What families often overlook is the opportunity to take advantage of nature. Whether your troupe is a nuclear family, an extended family, a grandparent and grandchild, or a group of friends, birding is a rewarding activity. You find yourself in a relaxed setting that differs from your daily, digital world.

Even better is to create a daily routine of going outside every day to observe changes in flora and fauna, for a leisurely walk, or volunteer as a citizen scientist with the Central Westchester Audubon Society-sponsored Christmas Bird Count.

The data collected provides a wealth of information to researchers studying winter bird populations across North America and is an invaluable resource for conservation.

This year, Audubon will be stationed at the Marshlands Conservancy in Rye on Saturday, December 23 from 7:30-4. All are welcome to join this free event. For additional information, call the Count Compiler, Michael Bochnik, at 237-9331 or visit


— photo of Native Belted Kingfisher by Jay Mahoney


By Jana Seitz

I will never again take a Christmas tree for granted. That pretty thing in the corner upon which you hang ornaments and under which you hide gifts is a huge labor of love. I can’t think of a more fitting metaphor for Christmas: a seed is planted, the object grows into a thing of beauty and grace but then is cut down in its prime, a sacrifice for the whole world.

Do you have any idea how much time and effort goes into getting that tree to your home? These trees grow about a foot a year, with an eight-year return on investment. It all begins at a nursery where pinecone seeds are planted and grown for two years before being sold to a tree farm to be grown into your Christmas delight.


December 8, 2017 is a day that many in Rye will long remember. It was the day that Crown Castle’s lawsuit against the City was dismissed in federal court.

Crown Castle claimed that the City’s positive declaration under SEQRA (State Environmental Quality Review Act), which required Crown Castle to conduct an environmental review of their application to install 64 mini cell towers, violated the Telecommunications Act.

Judge Briccetti found otherwise. He granted the City’s motion to dismiss the complaint, stating there is nothing in the law that prevents a municipality from performing a thorough review.

Mayor-elect Josh Cohn was cautiously sanguine upon hearing the news. “This win is a great Rye start to what may be a long battle. But I hope Verizon, which stands behind Crown, takes this decision as a signal to stop backing Crown's bullying tactics. If Verizon really wants to serve Rye, it must do so in a manner acceptable to the people of Rye.”

Trish Agosta, who with Cohn, fought the installation proposal from the start, hired outside counsel and a consultant to come up with alternatives, and organized the citizen’s group, Protect Residential Rye, called the decision “a very positive development”.

However, as Agosta noted, Crown Castle may yet appeal the federal dismissal and pursue state law claims in New York state court. “As information becomes available, we will keep you posted.”

— Robin Jovanovich


’Twas the Month Before Christmas…

…and all through the night, merchant elves were busy making sure our old-fashioned downtown was festive and bright.

There’s no place like Mistletoe Magic, the annual celebration orchestrated by the Rye Chamber of Commerce the Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend, to warm a young child’s heart. In addition to sharing their lists with Santa, youngsters took train, horse-drawn carriage, and pony rides. They watched a puppet show, slid down a bouncy castle, dined out on hot dogs and chili, warmed up with hot chocolate, met adoptable dogs, and bumped into some of their favorite Christmas characters.


— Photos by Robin Jovanovich


RyeTV, which provides Rye with a variety of programming and information – Public Access/Government, Arts, and Lectures – needs people who live and/or work in Rye to complete a survey so they can better serve the community. You will find the survey on the City’s website,

The information gathered will help determine if the existing local cable TV services and resources meet Rye’s needs. Participation in the survey will also help RyeTV identify changes that might be made to meet current and future cable TV interests of Rye residents.

It takes about ten minutes to take the survey, and, if you wish to share your name and email address, you will be eligible to enter a drawing for a $150 gift card to the Rye Golf Club’s restaurant.

The survey closes December 22. The drawing will take place shortly after the close. RyeTV is available online at