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Putnam Press

Putnam Press

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Published by Andrew Goldston

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Published by: Andrew Goldston on Oct 22, 2012
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By Holly Toal
A standing-room only crowdfilled the meeting room of theCounty Office Building duringlegislative committee meetings ontwo nights last week to voice their dissent over proposed cuts to thecounty’s bus system.The county executive’s pro- posed budget calls for the elimina-tion of two Putnam Transit routes tonet $650,000 in savings. Removingthe two routes – Route 2 whichloops through Mahopac, BaldwinPlace and Mahopac falls, and Route3 which loops through Kent andPatterson – would save $258,000,according to budget documents.Also affected would be the Paratran-sit system, which picks up peoplewho live within three-quarters of a mile of an existing route. If theseroutes no longer exist, many of the people who ride the Paratransit willno longer live within the required parameters. The estimated savingsof this would be $168,000.An additional $100,000 would be saved in maintenance costs asso-ciated with those routes, as well asthe elimination of the Cold Springtrolley routes on Fridays.About $145,000 would also be reduced from the “pre-schoolmonitors” line.
By Dan Murphy and Holly Toal
The race for state Senate in the40th District, which includes thePutnam County towns of Patterson,Carmel and Southeast and much of Westchester and little of DutchessCounty, has Republican Sen. GregBall and Democrat Justin Wagner facing off this November.With Republicans trying tohold their slim 32-30 majority inthe Senate, every seat held by aRepublican is vital to the NewYork GOP, including Ball’s. Over the past few months, this race be-tween Ball and Wagner has becomea closely watched race in Albany,with polls showing Ball with aslight lead but within the marginof error.This race has become com- petitive for several reasons:First, there are more West-chester residents and, consequent-ly, more Democrats now in the40th District. Several changes weremade to the 40th Senate Districtthis year as part of the statewide re-districting plan. Removed from thedistrict were the towns of PutnamValley, Kent and Philipstown, aswell as Bedford in Westchester and parts of eastern Dutchess. The 40thDistrict now has more Westchester residents, which means more reg-istered Democrats, including Billand Hillary Clinton in Chappaqua.Also, Democratic voter regis-tration in Putnam County continuesto outpace Republican registration,according to the county’s Demo-cratic Chairman Victor Grossman.Since Jan. 1, of this year, newDemocratic registrants in Putnamtotaled 967, versus 740 Republi-
By Holly Toal
With only about 5.5 percentvoter turnout on Friday, the pro- posed $4.9 million capital projectat the Carmel High School failedwith a tally of 739 to 368.“I’m a little surprised in thesense that we put out a prettyresponsible project,” said school board President Richard Kreps.“It’s a loss to the district.”The proposal included a newturf eld, resurfacing the track,replacing the home-side bleachers,expanding the tness center, reno-vating two student bathrooms, re- placing two boilers, and upgradesto the school’s electric, ventilation,lighting and telephone systems.The project included the useof $1 million from the district’sfund balance and a $150,000state grant, and would have been bonded over a 15-year period.Superintendent Dr. JamesRyan expressed his disappoint-ment with the results Friday eve-ning.“The board and the adminis-tration worked on putting together a very strong proposal,” he said.“Maybe they didn’t understandthat this is something we needhere in Carmel High School ... Thecommunity needs a eld that is in
POSTMASTER: Send Address Change To:VOL. 154 NO. 42Ofcial Newspaper for Putnam County,Kent, Southeast, Brewster WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 17, 2012
Established 1858
2nd Class Postage Paidat Mahopac, N.Y. 10541P.O. BOX 608, MAHOPAC, NEW YORK 10541 845-628-8400 PUTNAMPRESS@AOL.COM(USPS 451-060)
Published Weekly
$20 Per YearOut of County $30 peryear
Residents FightProposed Cuts toPutnam Transit
40th District ChangeCould Defeat Ball
School Bond VoteFails in Carmel
Cyclsts ta off p Rot 301 n Cold Sprng. Addtonal photos from Snday’s vnt ar on pag13. Photo by Marty Collns.Dmocratc canddat Cath Sloat and ncmbnt Rpblcan Lgslator Rogr Gross n PtnamConty’s Dstrct 6 drng a rcnt dbat. Photo by Holly Toal.
Cycling Classic Attracts Riders to Putnam
Legislature Candidates Questioned at Debate
Continued on Page 6 Continued on Page 5Continued on Page 6 
By Holly Toal
While the seat for PutnamCounty Legislative District 7 iswide open for the next term, Dis-trict 6 has an incumbent who is being challenged by someone inthe minority party.Republican Roger Gross wasappointed to serve on the Legisla-ture in January. “My main goal isto stay connected to the town,” hesaid during a Sept. 27 debate hosted by the Putnam County Chamber of Commerce and the League of Women Voters.Gross said state mandates are putting a crushing burden on lo-cal schools and towns, as well asthe county, and while fuel taxes provide some relief by way of in-come, the county has taken someadditional steps to cut costs.He said he is in favor of con-solidation and shared services, and believes that the county’s decisionto sell foreclosed properties via areal estate agent instead of at auc-tion will bring in more money, aswill shifting the responsibility of 
Close to 200 cyclists linedup at the starting line of the rstPutnam Cycling Classic on Sun-day, Oct. 14 to tackle the 50- and100-kilometer race throughoutscenic Cold Spring and PutnamCounty.The top three winners inthe 50K were Dominic Stobartof the men’s 40 to 44-year-oldage bracket; Alexander Gaidis,17, of Wappingers Falls; andMadeleine Marecki, a former runner who, after an injury, took up cycling in July.Winners of the 100K weremostly serious cyclists. Theyincluded Andreas Runggatscher of the men’s 40 to 44 age bracketwith a time of 13:13:59; KurtSandiforth in the men’s 35 to39 age bracket with a time of 3:14:02; and George Suter whonished in 3:14:03.
Tax Lien Notice Starts on Page 16
Continued on Page 24
 Dear Editor:
Does anyone question theneed for affordable senior housingin Putnam County or anywherenearby?If so, I suggest one read theAug. 16 newspaper article statingthat there is a waiting list of 350seniors for a complex on the border of Putnam County. Additionally, proposals for affordable housingmade by neighboring communi-ties in Westchester County clearlyindicate the absolute need for thiskind of housing.I am one of the fortunate se-niors who is delighted to be able torent an apartment at Mayor Mitch-ell Court in the Village of Brewster.Living on a fixed income, it isreassuring for me to know I amin a safe, secure and comfortableapartment that is well maintained,repairs attended to efciently andin a timely manor – and at a rent Ican afford.About a year ago I asked howI could help the Putnam Com-munity Foundation in its missionto further plan, develop and buildadditional affordable senior hous-ing. As a volunteer member of theBoard of Directors of the Founda-tion, I am determined to assist thishardworking, non-prot organiza-tion achieve its goal.Our senior population hasworked hard all their lives, paidtaxes, contributed to the growthand development of Putnam Coun-ty and want to continue to live here.Without affordable senior housing,they will be unable to realize this.Let us not abandon our seniorsin their time of need.
 Barbara Brangan Brewster  Dear Editor:
I recently thanked U.S. Con-gresswoman Nan Hayworth for the help her staff gave to me (inobtaining an addition to my vet-eran’s disability pension).Hayworth is very active withher constituents. She holds fre-quent telephone town hall meet-ings, and has an understanding of today’s important issues.As her website biographyshows, she is a doctor, mother, businesswoman and communityleader. These qualities are espe-cially important when facing thecountry’s medical issues.
 Frank A Crognale Mahopac Dear Editor:
In the debate held by theLeague of Women Voters, As-semblyman Steve Katz, who has just completed his first term inofce, laid out a plan to save NewYork $550 million per year: Cut-ting spending by 2 ½ percent willcreate a $350 million surplus;reducing the time legislators spendin Albany to 30 days will save$250 million. Katz found that theamount of work legislators do inAlbany can be accomplished in 30days instead of six months.This is what happens whena businessman who is a citizenlegislator goes into public ofce.He brings his experience and busi-ness savvy into government to beused for the good of the people.Katz has the ability through yearsof real-world business experienceto identify waste and uncover opportunities. With two years inAlbany behind him, Katz can now point out where improvements inthe operation of New York Stategovernment can be made.Unfortunately, his opponent,Andrew Falk, is a lawyer andthe problem in Albany is that theLegislature is about two-thirdscomprised of lawyers.We need more successful business-oriented people likeKatz to reign in our out-of-controlgovernment.
 Howard Hellwinkel  North Salem Dear Editor:
There’s an old Irish customof writing songs to celebrate one’shometown and the ordinary peoplein it. A woman might be celebratedfor her beauty, a young man for hisfootball prowess, a patriot for hissacrice, a local scoundrel for histricks. The result has been a rep-ertoire of wonderful music, happyand sad, which the whole world hascome to appreciate and enjoy. Notsymphonies, not operas, not tone poems just heartfelt thoughtsabout what people see and lovearound them, set to the ancientmelodies of unknown composers.If Putnam had such a tradi-tion, I would be crafting such asong now instead of composingthis letter at my computer. And mysong would tell of an art exhibit Iattended in Lake Carmel recently.The heroes of the song would bethe volunteers who have kept andgrown Arts on the Lake over the past ve years into a solid pillar of local culture where such eventsnow take place regularly.The magic of the song would be the art itself, which lled thewalls of the exhibit, as well craftedas can be seen in many a well-known gallery, and more variedthan one generally nds in such places.And the soul of my songwould be the connection I wasable to make with the artists – Iwas astounded to nd that I recog-nized nearly every name on thosewalls! If I didn’t personally knowthe artist, I recognized the namefrom local newspaper accounts of Putnam County school teachers,volunteers, small business owners.I spoke with several such artistsand learned that many have only begun to exhibit their work sinceArts on the Lake came to town.Well done, Arts on the Lake.You built it, they came.
 Kathleen Hoekstra Putnam Valley Dear Editor:
At the dedication ceremony atthe Carmel Town Hall for the 9/11memorial, Supervisor Ken Schmittgraciously acknowledged my ef-forts in assisting in the completionof the project. While I accept thisoverture from Ken, it is largelymisplaced.From the inception of this project, it was Supervisor Schmittwho took the lead and who indeedwas involved in every aspect of  project design and construction.In my 25 years of service to thetown, it has always been my dutyto take my direction from thesupervisor, who in my eyes is thechief executive.From the outset, Ken madeclear to me that he would beinvolved in the project at every phase. Together, we attended nu-merous meetings with architects,engineers, contractors and suppli-ers. At every decision point, it wasKen who determined how your me-morial would look. He was presentduring every phase of construction,from excavation, foundation, steelerection and all of the nishingtouches. My input was primarilylimited to whether those visionscould be made into reality from aconstructability perspective.Having said that, it is impor-tant for me to acknowledge theCarmel Town Board. It is that bodythat both Ken and I ultimately getour directive for projects like this.The board at all times was support-ive of this project and permitted methe latitude in my job duties to seethe project to completion.Finally, as a public servant, Iam ultimately accountable to eachand every person who requiresthe service or intervention of theCarmel Engineering Department.So, for each resident who waitedthat extra hour or more for a phonecall back on a complaint, for eachcontactor or builder who waitedthat extra day for an inspection or  permit, for the Town Board thatwaited longer than they shouldhave for a response to an importantemail: thank yourselves.Ultimately, as a professional,the residents of the Town of Carm-el pay me a fair wage for the work that I perform on a daily basis. For my part, no more thanks is war-ranted or required. Your supervisor and Town Board, however, mustmake decisions every day as to theappropriate allocation of your re-sources. It is your supervisor, withthe assent of your Town Board, and by way of your own selection of these ofcials that warrants thanks.
 Robert Vara Engineering projects coor-dinator Carmel  Dear Editor:
My family and I are sup- porting Roger Gross’s electioncampaign for District 6 PutnamCounty Legislator.We have known Roger sincehis days as a teacher in which allthree of my children were in hisclasses. He has had a positiveinuence on all of them. Both of my sons are police ofcers andmy daughter is a middle schoolteacher.I have personally worked for four years with Roger in the Townof Southeast. I can say unequivo-cally that Roger Gross has theintegrity, experience, energy andleadership qualities necessary for District 6 County Legislator.In this day and age of politics,Roger Gross is a breath of fresh air.
The Scorca FamilySoutheast 
Letters to the Editor
The Putnam County
is available at the following locations EVERY WEEK, andprints the OFFICIAL NOTICES for PUTNAM COUNTY,the towns of CARMEL, PATTERSON, SOUTHEASTKENT AND BREWSTER VILLAGE
Brewster LibrarySoutheast Town HallKobacker’s SupermarketBuy Rite LiquorsA&P SupermarketBrewster Village OfceWilliams Gas StationVillage Supermarket
A&P SupermarketCounty Ofce BuildingHannaford’s SupermarketStarbucks - Putnam Plaza
Patterson LibraryA&P Supermarket
Getty - Route 52Recycling Center Kent Town HallShopRite SupermarketDeli Land - 508 Rte. 52Kent LibraryKent Liquors - 1078 Rte. 52Fratelli Bros. DeliPecksville Plaza
Red Mills MarketA&P SupermarketKey Food SupermarketCarmel Town HallStop & Shop SupermarketMahopac LibraryAmerican Oil - Rte. 6Cafe Piccolo
Cold Spring Village HallPete’s Hometown GroceryDesmond Fish LibraryButtereld LibraryPutnam Valley Town HallPutnam Valley Library
 F R E E
  F  R  E  E
 Send press releases and news items to: PutnamPress@aol.com
The Studio Around the Cor-ner is looking for photographs, paintings, sculptures and draw-ings of pets for its November artshow, titled “Animal Magnetism.”At the show, the Studio will becollecting donations of pet foodfor Forgotten Felines and PutnamHumane Society.“Animal Magnetism” willconsist of 25 pieces and is opento both professionals and non- professionals, and anyone whowould like to share images of their  pets. Each person can submit up tothree images via email to curator Dawn Willis, at lilaccottage39@comcast.net by Oct. 19. Includename and phone number. Thosewho submit work will be notiedif their photos have been chosenand there will be a $10 hangingfee.The exhibit will run Nov. 16,17, 30 and Dec. 1 at 67 Main St.,Suite 101, Brewster, in the OldTown Hall.
Studio SeeksArt for PetShow
 New York City artist MelissaMeyer is this year’s Visiting Art-ist at the Riverside Galleries atGarrison Art Center. This newinitiative opens with an artist’sreception Oct. 20 from 6 to 8 p.m.,and runs through Nov. 18, at 23Garrison’s Landing.The exhibit includes work completed this September duringMeyer’s residency at MacDowellColony in New Hampshire – theoldest in the country.As a part of the new VisitingArtist program, Meyer is conduct-ing workshops with GarrisonSchool eighth-grade students, anda selection of the student work isalso included in a simultaneousexhibit at the art center. In addi-tion, Meyer will present a talk and presentation, titled “My Life as aColonist,” on Nov. 11 from 3 to4:30 p.m., as part of the center’s professional development oppor-tunities for member artists.Additional information aboutMelissa Meyer and her work can be found online at www.Melis-sameyerstudio.comThe Riverside Galleries atGarrison Art Center are openTuesday through Sunday from 10a.m. to 5 p.m. For more informa-tion, visit www.garrisonartcenter.org or call 845-424-3960.
By Holly ToalEditor’s note: This is the 14th part of a series focusing on thedifferent departments of countygovernment and what services they provide constituents. Next week’sfocus will be tourism.Whether you’re buying a pieceof fruit at the grocery store, gettingan estimate from a contractor tohave your kitchen remodeled, or fueling up at the gas pump, thecounty’s Ofce of Consumer Af-fairs is making sure residents aregetting what they pay for.The department, led by Di-rector Jean Noel, protects local businesses and their patrons byoverseeing licensing and registra-tion, weights and measures, andother quality-control measures.The purpose of weights andmeasures is to ensure that consum-ers are accurately charged for goodsthey purchase by unit. For example,the department inspects gas pumpsto make sure that when someone ischarged for 10 gallons of gas at the pump, they actually received 10gallons of gas – and that it was thecorrect octane.The department also deter-mines that the scale at the delicounter of the grocery store is func-tioning accurately, so that someonewho buys a pound of ham is not being shortchanged; as well as en-suring that when someone pays for 8 ounces of olives at the olive bar,they are not paying for the weightof the plastic container it comes in. Noel said most businesses inPutnam are good about followingthe law. “Businesses are very, verycooperative,” she said.In addition, the departmenttests all the trucks that dispensehome heating oil, to check for calibration accuracy.Anyone in the plumbing andmechanical, electrical, home im- provement or other trade businessis thoroughly investigated by Con-sumer Affairs before they are givena license to work in Putnam County.Their residency status is conrmed,they must be insured, bonded,and have workers’ compensationinsurance.“If they have not provided proof of the integrity of their busi-ness, they are not acceptable to us,”said Noel.She stated that for trade pro-fessionals who have put in the timeand money to make sure they arelicensed and legally operating a business in the county, it is not fair if someone is illegally solicitingresidents for the same business – and it is also scamming consumers.“These businesses that arelegit need to be protected fromy-by-night businesses,” she said,adding: “I find that good busi-nesses are good for consumers,and good consumers are good for  businesses.”Every hook-up of natural gasor installation of a generator is sup- posed to be inspected by Consumer Affairs, to make sure it has been properly set up and that homeown-ers won’t have harm to their healthor property because somethingwasn’t accurately assembled.Electric inspectors check  plumbing, heating, ventilation andother electrical systems after homerepairs are made, as well. “It’shealth, and it’s safety,” stated Noel.The department also receivesnumerous complaints from con-sumers about individuals or busi-nesses that have solicited work, or repairs they have paid for that havenot lived up to their expectations.“That’s a difficult thing toascertain,” said Noel.For example, a chimney sweep“company” that was not licensedto work in the area recently ap- proached many Putnam homeown-ers, offering to clean their chimneysfor cheap. While doing so, theyclaimed to nd things that needed to be xed to make their homes safer.According to Noel, a lot of residents took advantage of thedeal, but were smart enough to stopthere. “Most consumers, luckily,were not willing to take the bait thatthey needed more work,” she said.After receiving telephonecalls from residents about this al-leged company, Consumer Affairsand the Putnam County Sheriff’sDepartment learned that the com- pany had previously swept throughWestchester with similar scams.The individuals were charged inPutnam and, it is believed, they arenow attempting the same scams inMassachusetts. Noel said the best thing peoplewho are solicited can do is call her ofce to see if the company pro-moting work is licensed to work inthe county.When it comes to budget-ing the department, Noel said thedepartment is “budget positive,”or at least neutral. “It’s been self-sustaining, even in this economy,”she said.The department brings inrevenue through regulatory feesand nes, as well as inspectionsfees, which it in turn is used for enforcement.
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Garrison Hosts “Visiting Artist”
Mahopac artist ElizabethBarksdale has her work featured ina rst-of-its-kind outdoor art showtitled “Scarecrow,” at Lyndhurst Na-tional Historic Site, 635 S. Broad-way, Tarrytown, through Nov. 11.“I love for my work to almostlook as if has grown in its setting, or that it would have gone there on itsown,” she said. “This is how it waswith ‘Twined Flight.’ I image thatshe was born out of vines twiningaround each other, growing together to form her. With this energy insideher, I fancy that she took flight,which is where we see her, in thismoment of ight above our heads.”“Twined Flight” will be promi-nently displayed on the greenhousedome at Lyndhurst.Barksdale’s initial inspirationfor the gure came from a twisted pile of green coated garden fenceshe found in front of a neighbor’shouse. Inspired by its beauty, and by how it had been twisted from theraw power of a storm, she carefullyuncrushed the fencing and reformedit into a gure.Barksdale is also currently participating in The Farm Project,curated by Collaborative Concepts,located on 140 acres of a historicworking farm in Garrison.
Mahopac ArtistFeatured at Lyndhurst
To celebrate the beauty of the63,000-acre watershed of the GreatSwamp, FrOGS has asked the 60 professional artists who will par-ticipate in this year’s art show tohighlight that unique sense of placein their works.Those artists, joined by stu-dents from high schools in thewatershed competing for the Peter Dunlop Prize, will express their vision in works which include pho-tography, watercolor and ceramics.The Great Swamp Art Showand Celebration will be held Satur-day, Oct. 20 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.,and Sunday, Oct. 21st from noon to4:30 p.m. at the Thomas MemorialCenter at Christ Church, Quaker Hill, Pawling.Visit www.frogs-ny.org for more information.
FrOGS Holds Celebration

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