News + Views

Assemblyman Kevin Byrne Speaks in Favor of Distracted Driving Legislation





Assemblyman Kevin Byrne (R,C,I,Ref-Mahopac) offered remarks in support of legislation aimed to reduce the threat of distracted driving at a press conference in Albany on Monday, April 24.

On Monday, April 24, Assemblyman Kevin Byrne (R,C,I,Ref-Mahopac) participated in a press conference in support of legislation aimed to reduce the increasing threat of injury due to automobile accidents caused by distracted drivers. The proposed bill, named ‘Evan’s Law’ in memory of Evan Lieberman, a young man who lost his life in a car accident with a distracted driver in 2011, would set into motion a number of initiatives to combat distracted driving. Notably, ‘Evan’s Law’ would allow for the use of police technology to detect if a driver was using a cellular phone at the time of an accident without accessing any of the device’s private messages or personal data. Byrne, an EMT and volunteer firefighter who also suffered serious injuries in a car accident with a distracted driver on April 29, 2016, was vocal in both his support of the bill and the need for technology and protocols to police distracted drivers.

“As a first responder and an individual whose life was profoundly affected by a car accident involving a distracted driver, I have seen firsthand the need for additional oversight and support for policing this dangerous and all too prevalent crime,” said Byrne. “Distracted driving is a serious issue that affects us all, and unfortunately, the lack of attention paid to this matter has led to unconscionable scenarios like what we have seen with the Liebermans, where grieving families are forced to seek justice on their own due to the absence of investigation protocols needed for these accidents.

“Statistics show that without the necessary tools and equipment, it is nearly impossible to ensure distracted drivers are held accountable for their actions after an accident,” continued Byrne. “In the face of the digital age’s ever increasing array of hand-held distractions, I call on my colleagues to unite in support of ‘Evan’s Law,’ and reaffirm their commitment to keeping our roads safe.”

April 26, 2017 |

Students from Longview Break Ground on Their Seed to Salad Garden


The garden outside the Studio Around the Corner has begun. With the students of Longview School and the help of master gardeners, Ed Illiano and Anita Conway, we planted early season plants.

Each student was given a 2×2 plot of land in which they planted a mosaic garden Plants included lettuce, spinach, carrots, peas and herbs. The produce will be used for a “Seed to Salad” celebration in late June.

As part of the “Come Grow with Us” project, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Putnam County will be running monthly classes at the studio teaching gardening methods and caring for our larger vegetable garden. The next class on May 24 will be the planting of warmer weather veggies. This program is open to the public and free.

For more information, visit the Cultural Arts Coalition’s Garden Around the Corner’s webpage at, email or call 845-363-8330
The Studio Around the Corner at Old Town Hall
Cultural Arts Coalition
67 Main Street, Suite 101
Brewster, NY 10509
(845) 363-8330
Facebook: Old Town Hall

About The Town of Southeast Cultural Arts Coalition
The Town of Southeast Cultural Arts Coalition is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to creating and sustaining cultural arts within the Town of Southeast and its surrounding region. TOSCAC was established as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation in August 2010 with the purpose, as detailed in the incorporation papers, “… to promote and raise funds for the development and effective management of affordable, accessible performance space that will provide citizens of the Town of Southeast opportunities to participate in and appreciate cultural arts, including lectures, theater, dance, film, music, visual arts, and inclusive community events.” 

Our current focus is the renovation of the Southeast Old Town Hall, a historic landmark within the Village of Brewster and a perfect venue to serve as a cultural hub. The Old Town Hall has been described as a “Jewel in the Center of Brewster” and its renovation will help foster the revitalization of downtown Brewster.

April 26, 2017 |

Pleasantville Music Festival Battle of the Bands Begins


April 20, 2017, Pleasantville, NY–On Sunday, April 30th, Pleasantville Music Festival’s ‘Battle of the Bands’, sponsored by Lagond Music School, will be holding its first of two semi-final rounds from 1pm to 5:30pm at Garcia’s, 145 Westchester Ave, Port Chester. Young musicians from throughout the region will be competing for a chance to open up this year’s July 8th festival in Pleasantville. In addition, scholarships to attend Lagond Music School’s summer program in Elmsford will be awarded to two participating young musicians.

The second phase of the semifinal round of the Battle of the Bands will be held on May 6th at Copper Face Jack’s,166B Mamaroneck Avenue, White Plains. Admission to all of the Battle of the Bands competitions and the Announcement Party is free.

April 26, 2017 |

Bridal Dress Shopping — Picking the Perfect Dress!

Bits & Pieces Column

Helpful Chitchat







By Evelyn J. Mocbeichel



Several friends are in the midst of an exciting experience right now—shopping with their daughters for a bridal gown. No matter how many photos you see on line, bridal consultants in the shops offer a wealth of information that helps in making the final selection. Each bride should be open-minded in looking at different types of fabrics, styles, necklines, and fullness, even if they think they know what they want from photographs. Keep in mind height, weight, body shape, personality and age to find the dress that best suits what emphasizes the style, personality and formality of the day you are planning. What may look wonderful on a professional model might not feel or look the same on the bride-to-be if your body type and personality aren’t a combination that fits the dress.

What style are you?   Many bridal consultants feel that different personality types may match the styles of wedding dresses. Are you a classic, romantic, town and country, dramatic, delicate or natural? While the appearance of the dress is the number one priority, its comfort level has to be next. If your dress is off the shoulder, will you spend most of the day tugging one sleeve back into place or carrying bunched-up fabric so you don’t trip on the hemline?

Think about your headpiece and veil. Do you plan to wear them both all evening? This is the only day you will be walking around with a veil and decorative headpiece, so why not leave them on for all of your guests to enjoy and for the photographer to capture? If the style is too uncomfortable to wear, then perhaps you are making the wrong choice. What length of veil do you want? The options are shoulder length, waist length, fingertip, semi-cathedral, and cathedral.

Shop early because most bridal dress orders take from six to nine months. Dress shopping is a fun day, a happy experience, but a very tiring one. I would suggest that once you are engaged to be married, start looking, even though you don’t have a wedding date in mind. This way you will have an idea of what looks good on you when the actual search begins.

Finding the dress of your dreams is only the start of a long list of decisions to make for your special day!

April 26, 2017 |

The Righty Who Bowls Lefty


Slater's Slant







By Chuck Slater



Samantha Mills is her team’s captain and leader. (PHOTO COURTESY OF JANICE MILLS)



In my old bowling days, teammates would disparage one another after a good shot by saying, “That was so easy, I could have done it left-handed!” Well, the naturally right-handed Samantha Mills had to do so, for real. And now the Walter Panas sophomore is the Westchester/Putnam girls bowler of the year.

The nearly 5-foot, 4-inch Mills has always been right-handed all the way. She writes right-handed. In softball, as the starting JV second baseman who bats in the middle of the order, she hits right-handed and throws the same way. But almost five years ago she decided to push her scooter to the max. She ended up flipping over the handlebars and breaking her right wrist. This happened just before her fall bowling league. Not wanting to miss it, Mills threw a ball left-handed, awkward as it was at first. “Guess this is what we’re doing,” she told herself, and she worked her way through the frustrations of correcting her righty approach.

It finally felt natural and has been ever since. Now nimbly rolling with her off-hand, she averaged 154 over 45 games in the high school season and fired a 1,115 six-game series to finish 16th at the Section 1 tournament.

No one has been more impressed than her fellow Panas sophomore Nicholas Perrone, who is merely the best Section 1 bowler ever. “What she did is extremely difficult,” said Perrone, who this past high school season won the section and state titles after averaging an awesome 239 record during the season, breaking the section tournament mark with a 1,580 six-game series and adding a 1,392 at States.

“Have I ever seen anyone else do it (switch hands out of necessity)? I can’t say I have.” So how was Samantha Mills able to do it? “Determination and perseverance,” said Perrone. “You need a lot of both.”

After using her southpaw slants for Panas in the eighth grade, Mills didn’t compete as a freshman. Yet when she came out as a sophomore this season, coach Santa Trawick designated her team captain. “We have a young team,” Trawick explained, “and she’s proven a great leader. She’s always got time for less accomplished girls.” She’s also got time to fool around with right-handed bowling, but only when it doesn’t count.

There are, of course, certain shots where bowling right-handed would be an advantage, like a second shot with a couple of pins lined up on the left corner. But it’s not permitted. “You have to bowl the whole game with the same hand,” Mills said. “And when you qualify for a tournament, you must use the hand with which you made your average.”

Still, the forced-to-be-a-southpaw has been known to have a right-handed game. “Our team, which is close, sometimes does midnight bowling for fun,” she said. “Then I might try right-handed but the average isn’t too good.”

Mills will bowl — left-handed of course— in a summer league. And she has set her sights on her junior bowling season. “I definitely hope to make States (at sectionals),” she said, “and then to do well in the state tournament.”


April 26, 2017 |

Sweet Spring Desserts


In Good Taste








(Family Features) When the scent of fresh blooms begins to fill the air, it’s a sure sign that spring has sprung. It’s the perfect time of year to gather loved ones for a leisurely meal, then linger over dessert as you enjoy this season of refreshment.

No dessert menu is complete without an array of treats, and these creamy, homemade Blueberry Key Lime Cheesecake Bars are the perfect way to put a sweet finishing touch on your celebrations. Or go for a crowd pleaser with this Cherry Cheesecake Lush Dessert and its smooth, velvety texture and plump, juicy cherries.

The secret ingredient in each of these desserts is Lucky Leaf Fruit Fillings, which are GMO-free and contain plenty of fruit – and no high-fructose corn syrup – for exceptional tasting desserts every time. With popular flavors like apple, blueberry, cherry and strawberry, you have plenty of convenient, versatile ways to dress up desserts.

Find more tasty treats for all your spring entertaining at

Blueberry Key Lime Cheesecake Bars

Recipe courtesy of Inside BruCrew Life blog

Prep time: 25 minutes

Cook time: 45 minutes

Servings: 24

Nonstick cooking spray

30        vanilla cream-filled cookies

1/4       cup butter, melted

3          packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened

3/4       cup sugar

3/4       cup sour cream

1/3       cup key lime juice

1          tablespoon key lime zest

1/4       cup flour

3          eggs

green gel food coloring (optional)

1          can (21 ounces) Lucky Leaf Blueberry Pie Filling, divided

1          container (8 ounces) whipped topping, thawed

key lime slices (optional)

Place baking sheet on bottom rack of oven. Fill halfway with water. Heat oven to 325 F. Line 9-by-13-inch pan with foil and spray with nonstick spray.

Using food processor, pulse cookies until crumbly. Stir together crumbs and butter. Press evenly into bottom of prepared pan.

Beat cream cheese until creamy. Add sugar and sour cream, and beat again until smooth. Add key lime juice, zest and flour, and beat until mixed thoroughly. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat gently after each. Add green food coloring to cheesecake mixture, if desired.

Spread cheesecake batter evenly over crust in pan. Add 1 cup of blueberry pie filling over top of cheesecake. Use butter knife to gently swirl pie filling into cheesecake. Do not let knife go through to crust.

Place pan on oven rack above tray of water. Bake 45-48 minutes. Remove immediately and place on wire rack for 1 hour then place in refrigerator until completely chilled.

Cut into 24 squares and serve with whipped topping, remaining pie filling and key lime wedges.

Cherry Cheesecake Lush Dessert

Recipe courtesy of Lemon Tree Dwelling blog

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

Servings: 12

1          cup vanilla wafer crumbs

1          cup finely chopped pecans

1          cup butter, melted

8          ounces cream cheese, softened

1          cup powdered sugar

16        ounces whipped topping, divided

2          small boxes cheesecake-flavored pudding

3          cups milk

1          can (21 ounces) Lucky Leaf Cherry Pie Filling

1/2       cup. chopped pecans

Heat oven to 350 F.

In medium mixing bowl, combine vanilla wafer crumbs, finely chopped pecans and butter.

Press into 9-by-13-inch baking pan; bake 15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool.

In separate mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, powdered sugar and 1 1/2 cups whipped topping. Mix until smooth; spread evenly over cooled crust.

Combine cheesecake pudding mix, milk and 1 1/2 cups whipped topping, and mix until smooth. Spread evenly over cream cheese layer in pan.

Top with pie filling, remaining whipped topping and chopped pecans.

April 26, 2017 |
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