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Burcescu, Panas Open Strong


By Chuck Slater

Brigette Burcescu, the area’s standout high school volleyball player, and Panas, the area’s top team with state-championship designs, opened the regular season in impressive fashion on Sept. 10.

The Panthers dominated Ursuline – whom they beat in the section final last season – 25-10, 25-18, 25-18 as Burcescu, had 25 kills. The 6-1 senior headed for Northeastern also contributed five aces.

Setter Allie Patriciello dished out 25 assists for Panas.

“It’s always nice to open with a straight-set win on the road,” said Panas coach Joe Felipe, “especially against a finalist.

“Brigette just took over the match.”

September 11, 2013 |

Suicide: Myth vs Fact


September 8th through the 14th is national suicide prevention week, with September 10th being World Suicide Prevention Day, Here are some myths and facts about suicide I hope will make you think twice about making any assumptions. (Provided by the AFSP)

Suicide: Myth vs. Fact

Suicide is a serious public health problem that takes an enormous toll on families, friends, classmates, co-workers and communities, as well as on our military personnel and veterans.

To understand why people die by suicide, and why so many others attempt to take their own lives, it is important to know the facts. Please read the facts about suicide below and share them with others during Suicide Prevention Week. (more…)

September 9, 2013 |

Holy Days, not Holidays

Mayor, TownLink

When Bruce the Blog Listens, People Talk


I take words at their word, which is to say seriously, sometimes too much so for my own peace of mind. Take the Days of Awe those of my faith currently are observing. The 10-day span that started Sept. 4 with Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) and culminates Sept. 14 with Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) collectively is referred to as our High Holidays.

My ears quiver at the sound of that. High Holidays is a conflation — and a corruption — of High Holy Days. Holy day connotes a far more profound reverence for a higher power than a commonplace term like holiday, which in other parts of the world is what we call vacation, as in “I’m going on holiday to the Cote d’Azur [Riviera].” (I wish.)

All this is preamble to my musing about 9/11, our nation’s latter “day that will live in infamy,” as President Franklin Delano Roosevelt dubbed Japan’s Dec. 7, 1941 surprise attack on U.S. naval base Pearl Harbor in the Pacific. (As an aside, I always will wonder if the incendiary impact of that event on WWII wives somehow precipitated my mother’s giving birth two days later to our brother Stephen who, alas, led a tortured, abbreviated existence after our mother died suddenly of a brain hemorrhage in 1959.)

Lord knows, the enormity visited on us Sept. 11, 2001, has had an untolled [sic] impact on the psyche of this proud country and its citizens. Its predecessor plague, Dec. 7, 1941, never was sanctified as a legal national holiday, in the somber spirit of Memorial Day. Pearl Harbor for subsequent generations faded into a distant history lesson, even as it remained a poignant touchstone for those who bore witness to its devastation. Those who feel the need to create a competition between 9/11 and 12/7 argue that we were not “attacked on our own soil” in 1941, a dubious distinction for those who lives were upended in either case.

A dozen years after our own soil was soiled with the blood of our own, the sanctity born of the mayhem slowly shifts from immediacy to metaphor. For the first decade of this century, it was deemed virtually un-American to schedule routine events on the 11th day of September. Not so much anymore. Now there are those who, each passing year, actually experience a delayed recognition of the date as something that evokes a sacred remembrance. It’s the difference between seeing it dramatically as 9/11 or mundanely as the date between Sept. 10 and Sept. 12.

One of Judaism’s seminal tropes is “remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy.” Whether or not 9/11 transcends 12/7 by becoming a legal holiday, for those forever haunted by its grisly ghosts, it is, in its own way, a holy day.

To read all Bruce the Blogs, go to Follow him @BruceTheBlog on Twitter and Facebook.


September 5, 2013 |

The Gift of Gab: Celentano’s Speed Accelerates Lakeland Hockey’s Drive for Five


slater_articlepicSLATER’S SLANT

     The Lakeland field hockey team and Coach Sharon Sarsen are trying for something few high schoolers anywhere, any time, have had an opportunity to seek: A fifth consecutive state championship.

In the season just under way, the girls have a fast edge.

Fast as in the speed of returning high scorer Gab Celentano.  She just may be the fastest thing among the girls on area field hockey turfs this season.

Gab Celentano

Gab Celentano (on ball) says as long as she’s part of a play, she doesn’t mind not always scoring the goal for her Lakeland team. Photo courtesy Gab Celentano

“Her speed definitely gives opposing defenses problems,” said Sarsen.  And standout sophomore center-mid Dana Bozek adds:  “Gab’s speed . . . just creates so much on the field.”

“Was I always the fastest kid on the block?  I’m not sure,” Celentano said. “But in the sixth grade I went to Club Fit and that helped my speed.” (more…)

September 4, 2013 |

Ossining’s Loeb Ousted in U.S. Open Singles



It was a long delay and a long match, but Ossining’s Jamie Loeb was defeated in the first round of the junior girls division of the U.S. Open on Sept. 2.

With rain delaying the match schedule, Loeb and Ivana Jorovic took the court as daylight was waning. Loeb took the first set by 6-4 but the Serbian girl took the final two, 6-4, 6-l in a taut match which lasted 1 hour 43 minutes.

Loeb, who was disappointed by the loss, won just nine less points overall, but Jorovic’s won a higher percentage of points when receiving serve, which proved the slim difference.

Loeb remained in the doubles field teamed with the Russian Varvara Flink and was scheduled to face the American duo of Tornado Alicia Black and Peggy Porter on Sept. 3.

Loeb will report to the University of North Carolina on a tennis scholarship once her Open play is completed.

September 3, 2013 |

Brewster’s Miller Leaves His Mark in Pro Golf Debut



Mike Miller has been a professional golfer for less than two weeks, but the 21-year-old from Brewster is already establishing a reputation as a final-round phenom.

Upon turning pro, Miller placed third in the three-day Met Open at Old Westbury, closing with a 67 on Aug. 22, which equaled the tournament’s best round. He earned $15,000.

From Aug. 28-30, Miller was in Nebraska City, Neb., to play in the pre-qualifier of the long qualifying road to getting a card for the rich, major Professional Golf Association (PGA) Tour, populated by the likes of Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson.

He authored three sub-par rounds: 69, 71 and a final 7-under par 65, which broke the course record for the Arbor Links Golf Club. The top 35 advanced to the next level; Miller came in first.

“I’m really enjoying this new experience,” he said of being a professional.

In the pre-qualifier, Miller, who can drive the ball up to 350 yards, played the long par-5 holes in 9 under par.

The first qualifying stage for Miller can be attempted at one of a dozen sites in October and a second stage in November further narrows the field. The finalists then vie for a Tour card Dec. 12-17 at PGA West in Palm Springs, Calif.

September 3, 2013 |

Taconic Opera Debuts the World’s Most Famous Opera


Opening its sixteenth season in Westchester, Taconic Opera will debut Bellini’s famous masterpiece, Norma, in Yorktown and White Plains. No other opera has received as much attention and acclaim as the story of the Druid princess. The title role has been sung by almost every famous soprano in the world during the past 180 years. Perhaps none have made the role more famous than Maria Callas, who performed the role eighty-nine times on stage, in addition to her seminal recordings.

“Every opera lover has an opinion about Norma. Callas has a cult following as do many others who have portrayed the great heroine,” says Dan Montez, General Director of Taconic Opera. “All you have to do is go to and read the comments from the recent release of Cecilia Bartoli’s Norma, and you will find hundreds of intellectually vitriolic reactions to the recording. These strong opinions make opera companies want to shy away from performing the work, but we won’t.” (more…)

September 3, 2013 |
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