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Grass-Cutting Contemplations …


ROI by Frank J. Rich







By Frank J. Rich



Contemplations may be the issue of the contemplative, those given to time alone and solitary activity. For these the imagination grows with available time. Most have their place—the shower, a comfortable chair, the “hours after the hours,” walks to nowhere, the littoral gazing across the sea. For others, it may be the opportunity in a singular chore or enchantment that works to separate us from the rest of everything for those moments of reflection, imagining, and the forecasts that raise the spirit. They are the times when plans form, or the anxiety that attends them wafts away as perspective grows; even routines—cooking, cleaning house, washing the car, or painting a fence—that ask only our time and little thought to achieve it.

Not unlike so many that find their way to a place untouched by others, in stolen moments, I am at peace riding a mower. The practice is an imperative for any with property to mend and care for, listening for the cadence that makes measured turns and speeds second nature, until contemplations take the wheel. The activity is at once mindless and mindful, its near-naked cousin able to occupy time, space, and matter simultaneously. Einstein and Rosenthal made math of the artifice, while the rest have simply fallen into its gravitational sleep without thinking.

This gait has no equal; it is mine alone—the same, I imagine, for you. I see new ventures, alternative social solutions, a greater sense of my investment in others, the unique ways the creator has knit me, the model of construction or repair that has needed more skill than I own. Time for all things is suddenly available to me. I consider song, literature—largely my own—kitchen creations, the God of our world, how to do the impossible like bringing two parties together. All things may come into view—TV series, high school memories, mother’s words, gravity, ways to encourage new customers to local shops and craftsmen.

It’s summer, the season of growth—a warning for some to take stock, for others a time to consider the simple world around us. These are the common things—the gratification in a freshly cut, lush lawn, the character of breezes, warm, moist, even warning of storms ahead, and homegrown tomatoes. No other season can produce them, not even Amazon can cause them to appear at your doorstep. Little else is so cherished than a gift of them to neighbors yet unfolded to seasonal joys.

Kierkegaard claimed “I have walked myself into my best thoughts.” Rousseau asserted “my mind works only with my legs.” Thoreau called walking “a sort of crusade, preached by some Peter the Hermit in us,” to reclaim the holy land of deliberation and imagination. Eric Klinger, and other psychologists, suggest that this “daydreaming and fantasizing” is a “reminder mechanism” that helps to separate oneself from busyness, thus keeping “larger agenda fresher in mind.” It’s a time to let the “adaptive unconscious” take control of the wheel, when “feeling” becomes the only form of self-reliance.

Today I’ll take a swim in a nearby lake, listen for the sounds and song of it, and try to be still for the longest time busyness allows. I hope to see you there.

July 21, 2017 |

“From Badge of Military Merit to Purple Heart” Program at Washington’s Headquarters


Come to Washington’s Headquarters State Historic Site, in Newburgh, on Saturday, August 12th, at 2:00 PM for “From Badge of Military Merit to Purple Heart” and hear how and why General George Washington created the Badge of Military Merit during the last days of the Revolutionary War. The Badge, the first award of its kind to honor enlisted personnel, evolved into the Purple Heart, an award given today to officers and enlisted personnel wounded or killed in the defense of our country. Listen to the exploits of the three recipients of the Badge, stories of daring, courage and patriotism.

While at the site, to celebrate the creation of the Badge of Military Merit, you are invited to make your own Badge to take home!
The program is free with Museum admission. Site hours are 11 AM until 5 PM. For further information please call 845-562-1195.

July 20, 2017 |

44 Division and 4 Scholarship Winners Honored at the East Hudson Dinner of Champions


The East Hudson Youth Soccer League (EHYSL) hosts the largest awards dinner for teams annually in the Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA). The EHYSL Dinner of Champions has become a July tradition that extends back almost to the league’s founding four decades ago.

44 division champion teams and four scholarship recipients were honored on July 11 and 12 at Anthony’s Pier 9 in New Windsor. A crowd of nearly 1,400 attended over the two nights. Present on July 12 was New York City FC defender Maxime Chanot, who gracefully posed for photos with seemingly every player at the dinner.

“I don’t know of anybody in soccer who holds a dinner as large as this one to honor their champions,” commented EHYSL President Jim Purdy. “We thank and honor our coaches and volunteers whose patience, direction and soccer expertise allow our children to enjoy this great game. We also want to recognize and especially thank the parents who write the checks, do the chauffeuring, nurse the bumps and bruises and cheer on the sidelines, no matter the weather.”

The coaches of the 44 champion teams discussed their squad and introduced the players. A common theme for many of the squads is the players were unhappy with how they had done the previous season so the kids worked really hard and put together a championship season. Special kudos to the Boys-Under-14 Liberty Red Devils, who went from 0-10-0 to 10-0-0 in Division 4.

All four scholarship winners decided to continue their education at colleges in New York State. The Michael Goldberg Memorial Scholarship Award recipients are Linzy Dineen (Syracuse University) and Alexa Franceschi (Mount Saint Mary College). Michael was a 15-year-old boy playing in the EHYSL for the Chappaqua Soccer Club when he died of leukemia and his family started the scholarship to honor his fulfilling yet brief life.

The Dan Herbst Memorial Scholarship winners are Birch Lazo-Murphy (Syracuse University) and Emily Mildner (Utica College). The scholarship namesake also died from leukemia, in 2001. Dan was a longtime soccer journalist and author, past president of the Yorktown Soccer Club and in his first term as EHYSL President when he passed away at age 48.

“These four scholarship winners exhibited excellence not only on the soccer field but in the classroom and in their communities as well,” concluded President Purdy.

With over 100,000 youth soccer players––both boys and girls––and more than 25,000 volunteers, the non-profit Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA) stretches from Montauk Point, Long Island to the Canadian border. Members are affiliated with 11 leagues throughout the association, which covers the entire state of New York east of Route 81. ENYYSA exists to promote and enhance the game of soccer for children and teenagers between the ages of 5 and 19 years old, and to encourage the healthy development of youth players, coaches, referees and administrators. All levels of soccer are offered––from intramural, travel team and premier players as well as Children With Special Needs. No child who wants to play soccer is turned away. ENYYSA is a proud member of the United States Soccer Federation and United States Youth Soccer Association. For more information, please log onto, which receives nearly 300,000 hits annually from the growing soccer community.


Boys-Under-16 Dover Terminators, who have won three consecutive division titles.



















Members of the EHYSL Board of Directors with NYCFC defender Maxime Chanot in center.



July 19, 2017 |

Byrne Supports Health Fair for Putnam Valley Seniors


Assemblyman Kevin Byrne (R,C,I,Ref-Mahopac) addresses attendees of the Putnam Valley Senior Health Fair. The free event was held on July 12 at the Putnam Valley Senior Center.




On July 12, Assemblyman Kevin Byrne (R,C,I,Ref-Mahopac) participated in the 2017 Putnam Valley Senior Health Fair at the Putnam Valley Senior Center. Hundreds of local residents attended the free event offered in partnership with NewYork-Presbyterian Hudson Valley Hospital and the Putnam Valley Seniors, and enjoyed an array of educational workshops and demonstrations. The day’s activities also featured a variety of refreshments, as well as door prizes and giveaways.

The event offered local seniors an engaging and educational opportunity to discuss numerous health-related topics, including health care, taxes and affordability and how to become an organ donor in New York State. Assemblyman Byrne sent out a mail piece to nearly 1,000 senior households promoting the event and encouraging Putnam Valley residents to attend. “This is a wonderful annual event put together by the incredible team of volunteers of the Putnam Valley Seniors and NewYork-Presbyterian Hudson Valley Hospital, and we thank Assemblyman Byrne for supporting and promoting the event,” said Marie Zarcone, President of the Putnam Valley Seniors.

“As a former resident of Putnam Valley, and a ranking member of the Assembly’s Aging Committee, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to participate in this year’s Putnam Valley Senior Health Fair,” said Byrne. “Ensuring our residents have access to educational opportunities such as these is crucially important, and I applaud our local partners, NewYork-Presbyterian Hudson Valley Hospital, Putnam Valley Seniors, Marie Zarcone, and the Town of Putnam Valley, for their continued commitment to the health and well-being of our community.”

July 19, 2017 |

Reach New Heights with a Reinvented Burger


In Good Taste







(Family Features) Text your friends, dust off your apron and fire up the grill. It’s time to throw a barbecue party that won’t sink your summer budget.

You can find everything you’ll need at a one-stop shop like ALDI. With savings up to 50 percent over traditional grocers, you can fill your cart with summer essentials like fresh seasonal produce, premium meats and award-winning wines.

Once shopping is out of the way, you’ll have plenty of time and money to experiment with new recipes. These quick and affordable tips can up your grill game and impress guests:

Boost your burgers. Take burgers to the next level this summer with your favorite ground meats such as turkey, chicken and beef. Then layer on the toppings like avocado, kale, gourmet cheeses and more.

Change up your take on cheesy. Top your burger with a blue cheese mousse by simply blending blue cheese crumbles and cream cheese then season it with your favorite spices.

Spice up your condiments. Combine mayonnaise with fresh orange juice and fresh orange zest to make a citrus aioli or whip up a special sauce by mixing peanut butter with oil and hot water. Sprinkle with bacon for some extra flavor. Toppings such as a pickled red onion can also add a bit of crunch and zest.

Bite better buns. Forgo traditional burger buns and bookend your masterpiece with brioche buns or pretzel rolls.

Find more great grilling tips and recipes for dishes to enjoy all summer at

Six-Mile High Burger

Recipe courtesy of ALDI Test Kitchen

1      tablespoon Carlini Vegetable Oil
10   Baby Bella mushrooms, sliced
8     pieces Specially Selected Center Cut Bacon
8     Season’s Choice Whole Onion Rings
4     All Natural 80 percent Lean Ground Beef Patties
8     slices Happy Farms Pepper Jack Cheese
1      cup Burman’s Mayonnaise
1/4  cup Burman’s Hot Sauce
1/2  cup Burman’s Mustard
1/4  teaspoon Stonemill Iodized Salt
1/4  teaspon Stonemill Ground Black Pepper
4      L’oven Fresh Hamburger Buns
1      tomato, sliced
2     romaine lettuce leaves, cut in half width-wise

Heat grill to medium-high.

In saute pan, heat vegetable oil and saute mushrooms 2-3 minutes. Set aside. Fry bacon to desired doneness, about 5 minutes on each side. Set aside. Bake onion rings according to packaging instructions. Set aside.

Grill burgers 5-7 minutes on each side until they reach desired doneness. Place two slices cheese on each burger and continue to grill until melted. Remove from heat.

Mix together mayonnaise, hot sauce, mustard, salt and pepper, and spread on both sides of buns, to taste.

To assemble burger: layer bottom bun with patty with cheese, tomato, lettuce, mushrooms, two onion rings, two pieces of bacon and top half of bun.

July 19, 2017 |

“Annie” Arrives at Westchester Broadway Theatre in Fantastic Production!



Bits & Pieces Column

Helpful Chitchat







By Evelyn J. Mocbeichel



As a child visiting my grandmother for lunch, one of the memorable parts of that meal was using a special mug that had the likeness of Orphan Annie on the front. Stirring my hot chocolate, I used a spoon with Charlie McCarthy’s face on the top of the handle. These were used by my mom as a little girl. My grandmother explained who both characters were along with their story.

Annie’s tale has always been my favorite, whether on film or stage. Annie arrived as the latest production at the Westchester Broadway Theatre (WBT) in Elmsford. It runs through September 10th, perfect for families, friends and children to be entertained by this lively, beloved story. This production features a superb cast, fantastic scenery, and outstanding musical and dance numbers — so don’t miss it!

Inspired by Little Orphan Annie, the 1924 comic strip by Harold Gray, Annie is a heart-warming story, filled with adventure and laughs, that defines what family truly means. It’s one of the longest running and world’s best-loved shows in Broadway history and the winner of seven Tony Awards. Set in 1933 in New York City during the Great Depression, it tells the story of a young orphan who charms those around her with her spunky personality. The orphanage’s supervisor, Miss Hannigan, is less than charmed and punishes Annie and the other orphans and even concocts a devious get-rich-quick scheme. Annie finds refuge from the orphanage when billionaire Oliver Warbucks asks her to spend the holidays with him. Magic and adventure follow as Annie develops loving relationships with the many people she encounters, including President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. In the end, she foils Miss Hannigan’s evil plans and finds a loving family that she can call her own.

Notable musical numbers include It’s the Hard Knock Life, Easy Street, I Don’t Need Anything But You, and Tomorrow. Music for Annie is by Charles Strouse, lyrics by Martin Charnin, based on the book by Thomas Meehan. Powerful vocals by Peyton Ella (Annie) were unbelievable, with every supporting cast member incredible in their roles making this an extraordinarily cast production on all levels. Well-deserved standing ovations at the show’s end showed audience appreciation.

Dinner and show range between $56.00 and $84.00 plus tax depending on the performances chosen, with discounts for children, students, senior citizens and groups of twenty or more at select performances.

Call (914) 592-2222 or visit: for on-going special offers.





July 19, 2017 |
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