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Nine Signs You’re on the Back 9

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Mayor, TownLink

BRUCE THE BLOG
BY BRUCE APAR
MAYOR, TOWNLINK

I can’t admit that each of the nine points that follow is my first-hand experience currently. Some of these are based on observations of others who are my senior. I also can’t admit I look forward with relish (or even prunes, for that matter) to the day when each of these is my first-hand experience.

Perhaps, when that fateful 11th hour arrives, our quicksilver technological advances combined with our sports obsession will have created 27-hole standard golf courses, turning today’s Back 9 into tomorrow’s Middle 9. How nice were that future generations’ “par for the course.”

1. You drive mostly in the slowest (right) lane, and when you find yourself in the passing (left) lane, and check the rearview mirror, you see you are holding up a long line of anxious motorists glaring at you to move over to the slower lanes (as you should).

2. You turn music volume down instead of up to avoid noise that annoys, but you turn TV volume up instead of down to clearly hear dialogue, or, better yet, you select the “Caption” option so you don’t have to learn to read lips. (more…)

July 5, 2013 |

Wimpy Parents Unite!

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Mayor, TownLink

BRUCE THE BLOG
BY BRUCE APAR
MAYOR, TOWNLINK

I’m just about finished with my autobiographical, selfish-help book, which all those bookstores that went out of business just can’t wait to get their hands on.

It’s titled, “The Wimpy Parents Guide to Wimpy Parenting.” I’m an expert on the subject, and it’s not for nothing I am called (inside my own head, at least) “The Dr. Spock of Wimpy Parenting.” (Before any post-baby boom Trekkies say I got it wrong, there WAS a real-life, best-selling Dr. Spock before there was a fictional Mr. Spock, so chill.)

I know you can’t wait to beg, borrow or illegally download a copy of my dopey opus, so at the risk of being my own spoiler, in this very space I am about to share with you some of the morsels of child-rearing genius jam-packed into the book’s hefty 6-1/2 pages.

Rest assured the methods described here are all road-tested by yours truly and guaranteed to work most, if not none, of the time (depending on your definition of “work”). (more…)

June 21, 2013 |

Graduating Beyond Grades

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BRUCE THE BLOG
BY BRUCE APAR

MAYOR, TOWNLINK

“I don’t have behavior problems. They focus, they listen, they follow directions, and they do the work. That’s what it takes.” Sounds like a successful boss complimenting her staff. Except the “boss,” in this case, is the venerable Marcia Royce, Director of Key Institute for Learning Strategies, now in its 27th year. The “staff” consists of eight pre-K and K students, ages 3-5, who just might teach a thing or two to adult workers who fall into the slacker category.

The scene is Key’s annual Moving Up Day, held June 13 at Barnes & Noble in Cortlandt Manor. What better surroundings for seminal students to strut their stuff than stacks of knowledge. And strut their stuff they did.

As an amateur actor familiar with the challenge of memorizing dialogue, I was far from the only adult present who marveled at the discipline and poise of tiny students like Alexander Ki-ve, who recited with extraordinary grace and command the story of our American Flag. (more…)

June 20, 2013 |

When Disagree Comes to Dis

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BRUCE THE BLOG
BY BRUCE APAR
MAYOR, TOWNLINK

What makes a question impertinent? Not necessarily the subject matter. Not always how it’s phrased. What makes a question impertinent, as was on gaudy display during the Q&A of a recent “Ask Astorino: On the Road” town hall presentation by Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, is the etiquette of the questioner.

The erstwhile public official is making the rounds these days to more than a dozen Westchester municipalities. He has an agenda, of course, that is summed up in two words: Stop Albany. Hard to quarrel with that call to action. It was a lot more transparent, well-researched and respectfully presented than the agenda of the hecklers who showed up in Yorktown May 30 to play their very mature game of Gotcha!

Yes, it is an election year for the incumbent, and it makes sense he, as with any office-holder eyeing re-election, wants to make himself as visible and likable as possible to voters. The thing is, regardless of his politics or yours, the youthful, ebullient Rob Astorino projects as affable and eloquent a persona as any politician, on the stump, or off. Like his host for the occasion, Yorktown Supervisor Michael Grace, Mr. A can retail his sincerity and warmth with the best of them, no irony intended. (more…)

June 3, 2013 |

Of Paramount Importance: The Show Must Go On

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BRUCE THE BLOG
BY BRUCE APAR
MAYOR, TOWNLINK

On the stage of the slightly renamed and emphatically rejuvenated Paramount Hudson Valley (dotcom), John Platania was getting in his frontman licks as the band played on. Soon, Peekskill resident and performing-dervish violinist Daisy Jopling materialized to trade riffs with the man who for years kicked axe in Van Morrison’s band.

Outside, several minutes earlier, on a warm and sunny May 15, 2013, Peekskill’s Acting City Manager Brian Havranek and Kurt Heitmann, CEO of Red House Holdings, transacted the lease, signifying the ceremonial encore of an historic entertainment landmark seven months after it unceremoniously got the hook due to insufficient funds, about 300,000 simoleons’ worth.

Now “Under New Management,” one of the encouraging signs, oddly enough, is that Mr. Heitmann and Co., at the outset, seem suitably realistic about the challenges of transforming the venue into a healthy moneymaker. For the first six months, under the deal between operator and the city, which owns the building, Peekskill will absorb certain operating costs so new management can find its – pardon the pun — “see” legs. Part of the deal also calls for the City to collect 5% of box office receipts.

There already are events scheduled, from rock-and-rollin’ violin virtuoso Daisy Jopling’s June 9 concert with the Westchester Putnam Youth Symphony to a physique competition June 29. (Jopling tix are available through brownpapertickets.com; 800.838.3006.) See my interview with Daisy Jopling here http://youtu.be/s56t9Mp6ZZU. (more…)

May 30, 2013 |

‘Relay’ Gives Voice to Local Talent

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Mayor, TownLink

BRUCE THE BLOG
BY BRUCE APAR
MAYOR, TOWNLINK

“We knew Yorktown could dance, but we wanted to find out if Yorktown could sing!”

What on earth is Lynne Rothman, a resident of Yorktown in Westchester County, N.Y., talking about? Doesn’t she know municipalities can’t dance and sing. Their workload is taxing enough as it is.

It’s all about birthdays. Celebrating more of them each year. In the name of fighting the most dreaded of diseases. Ms. Rothman belongs to one of the top fundraising teams for the local Relay for Life, an annual rally of the human spirit that occurs across the country under the aegis of American Cancer Society, whose poignant and perfect tagline is “Sponsor of Birthdays.”

Citizens affected directly or otherwise by cancer form themed teams that invent new and clever ways to collect donations for cancer research. Led by creative, energetic types like Ms. Rothman and attorney/musician Gary Cusano, the Bunco Babes/Class Action team in Yorktown in the past few years has been the king of ka-ching! (more…)

April 30, 2013 |

Why 42 Is Number 1

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bruetheblogBRUCE THE BLOG
BY BRUCE APAR
MAYOR, TOWNLINK

This past weekend, armchair golf fans had the rare pleasure of watching a tournament without hearing the usual overzealous gallery yahoos yelling, “Get in the hole!”… after a player teed off on a Par 5, where the chances of a ball struck from the tee box finding the green are hardly better than its landing on the moon. Hyperbole’s fine, except when it’s banal ad absurdum.

The endlessly elegant Masters is the Mount Olympus of golf competitions. Not only must respect be paid to the game and its regimented etiquette: it must be worshipped with utmost reverence. As reported by Bill Pennington of The New York Times on April 13, the litany of rules that rule the behavior of visitors to Augusta National in Georgia, its hallowed home, is long enough to stretch tee to pin on a Par 5.

Let’s put it this way: as Mr. Pennington relates, there is no allowance even for running or lying down anywhere on the course, plus there is no sitting in standing-only areas, and no standing in sitting-only areas. No joke. (more…)

April 15, 2013 |
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