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On Saturday night April 29, Rye Police Officers responded to a noise complaint at 6 Barberry Lane. Upon arrival, officers observed approximately 30 under-aged individuals drinking what appeared to be canned beer on the rear deck and inside the home. Numerous empty cans of Bud Light were scattered throughout the yard. Many fled as police arrived at the scene.

During the investigation, one of the officers observed a 17-year-old male in possession of a nine-pack of unopened beer and one open Bud Light in his hand that he dropped and kicked under the car near where he was standing. Several individuals were detained and identified and evidence was confiscated. The homeowners were not home.

Public Safety Commissioner Michael C. Corcoran stated, “This is an ongoing investigation into who may have supplied the alcoholic beverages, which will include interviews with multiple parties.” Corcoran added that an anonymous tip was submitted through the Tip Line, which led to the department’s response.

“Rye Police Department will continue to take a zero-tolerance approach to under-aged drinking and the hosting of these types of parties,” said Corcoran. RPD Detectives continue to investigate the case, with charges pending.

Right before Easter, Rye Garden Club members worked wonders in downtown Rye. Their spring cleanup included tidying up the Square House garden and refreshing the planters along Purchase Street with a purple haze of pansies. Pictured: Kim Veber and RGC president Julia Burke working in the Square House garden; and Lisa Wallace bearing pansies.

Photos courtesy of Sarah Barringer

 By Peter Jovanovich

Tuesday, May 16 is a very important day on the Rye City School District calendar. The 2017-18 District Budget is up for voter approval, and Karen Belanger and Blake Jines-Storey are running for reelection as members of the Board of Education. No other candidates are running. Voters will cast their ballots at the Rye Middle School Gymnasium; polling hours are 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Proposed spending for fiscal year 2017-18 is $86,930,075, which represents a 2.2% increase over the previous year’s budget. A tax levy increase of 2.64%, within the State Tax Cap law, plus the use of $2.1 million in undesignated Fund Balance, balances the District’s budget for next year.

The budget maintains all current programs and adds four teaching positions to handle projected enrollment growth. In addition, the budget provides for a staff psychologist, occupational therapist, and four full-time equivalents in the fields of art, music, physical education, foreign language, and English as a new language.

Many of the District’s buildings are historic gems of educational architecture. They are also in need of constant repair. The District budget for 2017-18 sets aside $775,000 for mundane but necessary items like roof repair, floor refinishing, masonry pointing, and repainting. Among the budgeted one-time projects are creating more storage space in the Media Center, renovating the Health Office for ADA compliance, and replacing the outdoor patio at Milton School.

Karen Belanger is seeking her third term on the Board. She has served as liaison to the Curriculum Council as well as a member of the Audit, Communications, Finance, Policy and Technology committees. An 18-year resident of Rye, Belanger holds an MBA and was a consultant for the Boston Consulting Group.

Blake Jines-Storey’s is seeking his second term on the Board. He currently serves as Chair of the Technology Committee and as a member of the Facilities and Curriculum committees. He has worked as a consulting engineer for a variety of businesses and government agencies. Currently, he’s Chief Technology Officer of Zachy’s Wine International.

Karen Belanger & Blake Jines-Storey

By Tom McDermott

At the April 5 City Council meeting, Rye joined a number of New York State and Westchester County municipalities in trying to create a policy towards immigrants. To that end, City Councilmember Danielle Tagger-Epstein, liaison to Rye’s Commission on Human Rights, introduced a draft resolution regarding Rye and its “Policy Towards Immigrants or Citizenship Status.” Both Public Safety Commissioner Michael Corcoran and Corporation Counsel Kristen Wilson assisted the Commission in drafting the resolution.

In opening the discussion, Tagger-Epstein said, “Clearly there’s an unease with what’s going on at the federal level and we are seeing the effects in Westchester.” The resolution, as currently drafted, states as one aim to “alleviate any tensions between various groups within and outside the City,” wording that has already raised some questions from other Councilmembers and residents.

Since much of the resolution sets forth Rye police policies and procedures, Commissioner Corcoran was called upon to give his perspective. He stated that Rye police currently have no policy on immigration enforcement; that the draft is “very much in line with what Westchester County police are doing, but that it goes further in regard to when a Rye police officer could actually inquire about a person’s immigration status; and, “it is important to make sure that serious offenders are not slipping through the cracks.”

Addressing the Council, Anthony Piscionere, Chairman of the Rye City Republicans, said that certain portions of the resolution made a lot of sense, but certain others made no sense whatsoever. He pointed out his difficulties with the section which defines when a Rye police officer “shall not stop, question, interrogate, investigate, or arrest an individual.” An officer would not be able to stop someone solely on the basis of “actual or suspected immigration or citizenship status” <or> a national crime database or Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detainer or administrative warrant that did not have a judicial warrant. A Rye police officer, however, would not be limited from inquiring about status when the officer makes an arrest for any felony under NYS penal law.

According to Piscionere, requiring a judicial warrant might allow a person that has already been deported to come back into the country and to possibly commit a crime and be let go by Rye police. He cited a recent chase incident in Rye and said, “This is tying police officers hands to enforce the law. I’m not sure what problem we’re addressing here.”

In a pointed discussion, Tagger-Epstein told Piscionere that the resolution closely followed the New York Attorney General’s guidelines, and that a recent judicial decision meant ICE detainer requests can no longer be made without a judicial warrant.

Piscionere cautioned the Council to take its time and carefully review the resolution before voting.

A number of residents spoke fervently in favor of the resolution, urging the Council to protect law-abiding people and to allow police to focus on other more important duties. Alison Relyea told the Council that there was no intention to allow serious criminals to avoid being detained. “We have to protect one another,” she said. There was a general concern for immigrant residents of Port Chester who might be employed in or visiting Rye who might hesitate to call emergency services, although no actual incidents were described.

The discussion among Councilmembers was tense at times, with Mayor Joe Sack, Julie Killian, and Terry McCartney voicing displeasure with Tagger-Epstein at what they viewed as negative comments on their attention to the resolution.

This week, Killian told the paper that the resolution “seems to have general support; but it’s a matter of getting the language right.” Kristen Wilson confirmed that the resolution closely follows the guidance of the state’s Attorney General and what other Westchester and New Jersey municipalities have done. Wilson, Corcoran, and Tagger-Epstein shared the information with the Commission. “Our version is much more specific, and may be more restrictive,” she said.

Discussion of the resolution will continue at the May 3 Council meeting.

At a City Hall ceremony to promote two members of the Rye Police Department, Commissioner of Public Safety Michael Corcoran told the audience that Rye should be very proud of being named the safest city in Westchester County and the second safest in New York.

City Clerk Carolyn D’Andrea then swore in Michael Anfuso as a new lieutenant and Albert Hein as a new sergeant.

A Rye native, Lt. Anfuso has been on the force for 18 years. He was assigned to the Detective Division. Sgt. Hein hails from Mount Vernon and has ten years of service in Rye. He was assigned to the Patrol Division.

– <Photo by Tom McDermott>

March 28 is American Diabetes Association Alert Day and the Rye YMCA is urging everyone to take action to prevent the disease. An estimated 86 million Americans have prediabetes, yet only about 10 percent are aware of it. 

 

Prediabetes is a condition in which blood glucose (sugar) levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be classified as diabetes. People with prediabetes are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. 

 

 “Studies show that people with prediabetes can prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes by eating healthier and increasing physical activity,” noted Tanya Stack, the Rye Y’s Director of Membership, Health, and Wellness. “Our Prevention Program can provide the support needed to make those lifestyle changes.”

 

The YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program is an evidence-based, yearlong, small group program where participants learn about behavior changes that can improve overall health. Working in partnership with Open Door Family Medical Centers and Hudson River Healthcare, the Rye Y offers classes in Spanish and English at locations in Rye, Port Chester, Ossining, Peekskill, and Yonkers. 

 

Program participant Fernanda Carillo remarked, “As my lifestyle coach always reminds us, we are not on a diet; we are making life long changes for our health. I have lost over 20 pounds. I am so thankful for the program. Now I am an active, healthy person.” 

 

To learn more about the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program or enroll in an upcoming class, contact Tanya Stack at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 967-6363, ext. 107.

 

Caption

Fernanda Carillo, a participant in the YMCA’s Diabetes Prevention Program, with Rye Y Community Health Worker Heidy Barros