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I am replying to a letter regarding speeding on Playland Parkway from Chris Cohan, published in your February 2, 2018. I am a longtime resident of Rye and

regularly drive on that particular road.

My hat is off to the City of Rye Police for their earnest efforts to keep traffic flowing on that road at a safe, moderate speed. Signs clearly indicate what the speed limit is. There is even a speed indicator warning sign that flashes when speeders come zipping down the road after leaving I-95, plenty of time to put foot on brake and slow down to legal speed. The focus is to have cars and commercial vehicles driving safely on this road.

I find it interesting that Mr. Cohan uses the term “speed trap” to describe what the Rye City Police are doing. According to the “Living Webster Encyclopedic Dictionary of the English Language”, a speed trap is “a section of roadway, often with inadequately posted or hard to see speed limit signs, where hidden police or electronic devices trap unwary drivers exceeding the speed limit.”

The town is not running a speed trap. Tickets are given to <<all>> those who do not slow down and who disobey the posted speed limit, no matter what race or color.

In my opinion, the City of Rye has a really fine police department, and with regard to Playland Parkway, the police are just doing their job.

  • Alan Marasco

 

My deep appreciation to the voters of Rye for their strong vote of confidence on my election as County Executive. I look forward to working with everyone in the community over the next four years on the important County issues we all care about.

George Latimer,

NYS Senator

 

 

Is the best use of the Rye City police to have a speed trap on Playland Parkway? Almost daily, especially in summer, I see them give speeding tickets to unsuspecting drivers, most of whom are people of color.

All are folks looking forward to fun and enjoyment at Playland, ones who have saved and anticipated a day together, at the beach, in fresh air, and on rides. Yet, before they get there, the cost of the outing doubles. The driver’s insurance may go up and he may receive points on his license.

The Parkway, a four-lane wide road, is downhill from the Thruway making it easy to innocently pick up speed. If the concern is public safety, then pull over the speeders, give them a warning, and let them go on their way. Nothing works better for improving respect for police and the law than understanding versus a cold and expensive ticket.

 

I think the Long-Range Plan proposal recently put before the community is premature.

Before Rye goes down the road of making changes to its existing Master Plan and comes up with an analysis of the wish lists of the community and how to respond to them, I think we need to project, to the best of our ability, what Rye will look like 10, 15, 25 years out; what its needs will be; and analyze Rye’s assets and what use might be made of them.

Then, we can make an informed decision as to what changes should be made to accommodate the projected reality.

None of this was apparent at the recent public workshop. The thoughts expressed as to the proposal were remarkably similar to what must have been those which resulted in the 1985 Master Plan — essentially, an assumption you merely needed to line-extend current issues.

What should we be doing? Following the advice of Wayne Gretsky, we should be “going where the puck is going to be.”

What enrollment figures does the School District estimate going forward?

Where do The Osborn and WESTMED, two of the biggest employers in Rye, see themselves 20 years out? (Remarkably, neither The Osborn nor WESTMED is represented on the Master Plan Committee.)

I think we’re looking at a major change in the business of Rye.

The combination of WESTMED, The Osborn, the desire of more Rye residents to remain in the area as they age (think of the success of SPRYE), and the proximity of White Plains and Greenwich hospitals suggest quite strongly that Rye’s business is going to be more health-centered. Assuming this is correct, perhaps we should look at zoning changes to permit in-law apartments with arguments pro and con.

Next, Rye has remarkably little in the way of significant parcels of free land.

The place to start, I think, is with land does Rye own or control.

Interestingly enough, in addition to Disbrow Park and whatever its claims may be as to the Thruway property (in fact, I believe, none!), Rye does have one significant parcel. If developed, it would increase public access to salt water beyond that already available through Playland and Oakland Beach, or could address affordable housing supported by the City for the folks who work for Rye — police, firemen, City staff.

It’s the Rye Golf Club course. 

As part of this process, should we consider reducing the course to nine holes and limiting membership to Rye residents?

We also need to identify and address the problem created by those who wish to live here for ten years to take advantage of our schools but contribute little to the community. This obviously affects the price of homes and property taxes.

Before getting into wish lists, we need to look at the larger issues and assess foreseeable changes over the next 15 or 20 years. 

Then, with that in hand, we can address the wish lists.

— Howard G. Seitz

 

<The following letter was addressed to the Westchester County Board of Legislators and forwarded to us for publication.>

On behalf of the trustees of the nonprofit Bird Homestead and Meeting House in Rye, I respectfully urge you to reinstate the multiple curator positions at the County nature centers, which were eliminated in the administration’s proposed budget.

The nature centers’ trained professional curators hire, train, and direct teachers for ecological summer camps, which have provided a tremendously important service to generations of the County's children. The curators also teach on-site, hands-on programs throughout the year to students from preschool through college age. These are educational experiences that cannot be duplicated in the classroom.

Some of the recipients of this knowledge have gone on to become naturalists and scientists themselves. All have gained a greater understanding of the natural world. This is key to having a well-informed citizenry, especially as important environmental policy decisions loom ahead for our nation.  In this era of rising sea levels and ferocious hurricanes, environmental education should not be seen as a luxury. It is, in fact, a necessity.

Please do not think of the curators’ salaries as a cost. For a very tiny fraction of the County budget, they are, instead, an investment that will yield important dividends well into the future for our children and our society.

—Anne Stillman, President

Bird Homestead & Rye Meeting House

In the last issue, Mitch Silver wrote about the “preying” mantis in his backyard. I have no idea if the praying mantis on the mirror that we have leaning against our back porch wall is the same one or a relative of Mitch’s. (Actually, I don’t know if praying mantises have relatives. I do know that being a father mantis is a dangerous occupation.)

Perhaps our mantis thinks her reflection in the mirror is an attractive suitor and will stay there until he makes his move. Anyway, we have alerted all butterflies on our property to lie low.

— Allen Clark