News + Views

The Russian String Orchestra Performs on Saturday, February 5 at Westchester Community College


A presentation of Russian String Orchestra will take place on Sunday, February 5 at 3:00 p.m. in the Academic Arts Theatre on the Valhalla campus at Westchester Community College.

Comprised of some of Russia’s finest young string players, this ensemble  has carved a niche for itself under the creative baton of its founder and music director Misha Rachlevsky. Its warmth and high energy create addictive performances that stay with listeners long after the last note has been played. “From work to work, Rachlevsky drew from his players gleaming tone quality, finely nuanced timbres, carefully shaded textures and focused ensemble coordination. The vitality and expressiveness the players spontaneously poured into this work made it a jewel.” (The Washington Post)

Tickets are $22 (general admission), $20 (students/seniors), and $16 (children under 13). Tickets can either be purchased in advance by mailing with a check or by cash at the Box Office, thirty minutes before the scheduled performance time. For online credit card purchases, please visit and click on the “Buy Tickets” link.

For more information about this performance or the many other exciting cultural events, please call the Office of Cultural Affairs at 914-606-6262 or visit us online at



December 28, 2016 |

Refresh, Restore and Repair Your Health


To Your Health








Six tips and tricks for improving your health from head to toe

(Family Features) When it comes to your overall health, taking simple steps to keep yourself in good shape is key. Regardless of age or physical ability, practicing healthy habits can help improve both your physical and mental states, and lead to a happier, healthier lifestyle.

Whether it’s working a quick, refreshing yoga session into your daily routine, restoring energy with a nutritious snack or repairing your oral health, there are countless things you can do to improve your overall health and wellness. Take a step in the right direction and put your health first with some of these simple tips:Having a healthy morning routine

Keep Your Mind Sharp

Research shows that you can keep cognitive function strong with mental stimulation. Completing crossword puzzles, reading or challenging yourself with brain games like Sudoku or Mah Jongg can help boost memory and brain power.

Lower Your Stress Level

Take stress levels seriously. Try managing it by focusing on hobbies or activities you find calming, like reading or listening to music. You can also try practicing relaxation techniques, including meditation and breathing exercises.

Help Repair Your Oral Health

Practicing proper oral hygiene and using the right tools are simple ways to improve your oral health. The American Dental Association recommends brushing twice daily for two minutes and flossing daily. Using the Colgate Total Daily Repair regimen is an easy way to ensure you’re taking better control of your oral care. Try Colgate Total Daily Repair Mouthwash, which helps kill bad breath germs while also helping to repair daily damage to teeth, and Colgate Total Daily Repair Toothpaste that helps repair early teeth and gum damage by re-mineralizing weakened enamel and helping prevent gingivitis, while freshening breath and whitening teeth.

Eat a Well-Balanced Diet

Research supports eating a well-balanced diet of vitamin and mineral-rich foods can be beneficial to your health. Opting to cook at home rather than going out to eat is an easy way to maintain those healthy eating habits. You can also try different cooking methods, such as steaming, modifying recipes to reduce sugar, salt and fat, to help manage and sustain your diet changes. You can also supplement a multivitamin if necessary.

Make Time for a Workout

Finding the motivation to hit the gym is the hardest part of working out, said blogger and Colgate Total influencer Kelly Tomlinson of Live Love Texas. Outside of the obvious health benefits of staying in shape, Tomlinson said she feels energized, strong and beautiful after a workout. If you make working out and taking care of yourself a priority, you can feel your best and also help set a good example for your children.

Practice Good Sleeping Habits

The National Sleep Foundation recommends adults get 7-9 hours of sleep each night. Staying on a regular sleep schedule, keeping your sleep environment cool, dark and quiet, and avoiding napping for too long or too late in the day can help you make sure you’re getting the proper amount.

With these simple tips and tricks, you can finally put you first, contributing to better overall health. For more information, visit


Photo courtesy of Getty Images

June 15, 2016 |

Strawberry Fields to Headline Yorktown Grange Fair


The Yorktown Grange has announced the slate of performers and the schedule of live music for this year’s 91st annual fair to be held September 10th to 13th, and is excited to present Strawberry Fields as this year’s headlining act.

Billed as “the ultimate Beatles tribute band,” Strawberry Fields features former members of the Broadway musical “Beatlemania”, and is a fixture at BB King’s club in NYC. Not only are they renowned for their accurate, sound alike performance of all the classic Beatles songs, they also perform in full period costumes and play the same instruments the Beatles used.

Strawberry Fields promoAdditionally, the Grange Fair is proud to once again showcase local musical talent with a full and diverse array of area bands performing on the main stage throughout the fair. Other scheduled performers include:

Unfunded Mandate, a classic rock/pop cover band comprised entirely of Lakeland School District staff led by Dr. George Stone, the Lakeland Superintendent of Schools, will kick off Friday evening’s performances at 5:30. They will be followed at 8:00pm by local favorite Chain of Fools, a Yorktown band who perform all the best Motown, R&B, and funk from the ’60s to the ’80s.

Saturday’s main stage line-up begins at 11:45am with live entertainment for the kids by Overhill Shenanigans featuring interactive songs by multi-instrumentalist John Griffiths. At 2:00, the Grange Fair is proud to once again showcase local teen musicians under the banner of the Justin Veatch Fund All Stars. The caliber of talent of these young musicians is not to be missed. They will be followed at 5:00pm by Andrea & The Armenian Rug Riders, a popular Westchester County classic rock band fronted by Andrea Ekizian, a dynamic lead vocalist, who are the official opening act for Strawberry Fields who will take the stage at 8pm.

Sunday afternoon, Yorktown residents Mike and Lori Barr return to the Grange Fair stage at 1:30 with an enthusiastic acoustic guitar and vocals set, followed by the Bob Martinson Band at 4:00pm.

“The Yorktown Grange Fair is proud to continue its tradition in recent years of showcasing talented local musicians live on our stage,” said Heidi Bornemann, entertainment director of the fair. “Come see, hear, and dance to these fun, incredibly talented musicians from our region. And be sure to catch a performance of Tony’s World of Magic & Illusion, with multiple shows scheduled throughout Friday, Saturday and Sunday.”

Celebrating its 91st year, the Yorktown Grange Fair is the last true county fair of its kind in Westchester County. It is unique for celebrating its agricultural heritage with livestock and produce exhibits alongside carnival rides, midway games, and live entertainment.

For more information, please visit


June 19, 2015 |

Who The Heck Is Mark Rylance?


Bruce the Blog







By Bruce Apar



The above headline is a question that was asked, virtually verbatim, by Frank Stallone. He’s the brother of Rocky movie franchise creator Sylvester “Sly” Stallone. Fittingly enough, loving sibling that he is, faithful Frank sounded as if he was ready to KO both the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences and Mark Rylance after the British thespian won the Oscar for best supporting actor that the not-so-sly money was fairly certain would go to Sylvester.

Here is what Frank Stallone tweeted after the February 28th Oscar ceremony upset, which elicited a gasp from the star-studded audience and clearly upset him to distraction:

“The Academy should be ashamed of themselves. It’s as clear as the nose on your face that Sly won. Mark who? It’s total Hollywood bull-.”

Frank was just warming up. He followed that with a barrage of more Tweets, including one that said Mr. Rylance should be embarrassed. When it comes to embarrassing oneself, Frank sounds like he could teach a course in it at the School of Hard Knocks. Frank did apologize later to the man he never met or heard of.

It’s true that Mark Rylance is the furthest thing from a household name in America, but here’s the big reveal: since his career started in 1980 — three years after Rocky made Mr. Stallone a Hollywood heavyweight — Mr. Rylance has collected one prestigious award after another for brilliantly portraying a remarkably wide range of characters on stage, TV and film. Show business cognoscenti respect him as one of the world’s finest actors, a reputation that has not even fully hit its stride, but of late is picking up the pace.

Within a day of winning the Oscar for Steven Spielberg’s Bridge of Spies, as real-life Russian agent Rudolf Abel, the 56-year-old actor, who is British-born and grew up in Wisconsin, was nominated for yet another award; this one for a theatrical performance in England.

With the rare exception, the difference between theater-trained British actors like Mark Rylance and camera-trained American actors like his co-star Tom Hanks is the difference between a classical musician and a rock star. One focuses on rigid discipline and minimalist technique, the other goes for emotional effect and big personality. What makes him unique is that Mark Rylance bridges those styles like no other English-speaking actor on the world stage.

Truth be told, my heart was pulling for Sly’s name to be in that Oscar envelope. I have one degree of separation with him, as an acting classmate in college way back when. Yet, when the winner was announced, my head quickly told my heart, “They got that right.”

Not that Sylvester has talked to me since our college days in Miami, but let’s be frank. I would bet that even he felt the same way. Or, perhaps, at best, he was hoping for a split decision, which has happened twice, once each for best actor (1932) and best actress (1969).

Media and marketing specialist Bruce Apar, also known as Bruce The Blog, is Chief Content Officer of Pinpoint Marketing & Design, a Google Partner agency.  He also owns APAR All-Media, a Hudson Valley marketing agency. Follow him on Hudson Valley WXYZ on Facebook, Twitter & YouTube. Reach him at or (914) 275-6887.


March 9, 2016 |

Friends and Family CPR



WHAT:          New parents, students, grandparents, babysitters or anyone interested in learning this lifesaving skill are invited to Sunshine Children’s Home on May 21 for Friends and Family CPR.

This American Heart Association CPR course will be taught in a group setting using practice while watching to provide students with the most hands-on CPR practice time.

The Friends and Family program is free and open to the public but space is limited and interested participants should contact Paula at Sunshine Children’s Hospital, 914-333-7051 or

WHEN:            May 21, 2016

HOW:              Please register with Paula at Sunshine Children’s Home, 914-333-7051 or

Sunshine Children’s Home in Ossining, NY is a 54-bed licensed nursing facility that specializes in the care and treatment of medically complex children who require post-acute, rehabilitative care.

May 4, 2016 |

Big Truck Day at the Kent Library


Over 390  people, mostly parents and children, came to see the big trucks gathered at the Kent Public Library on Saturday, June 4th.  Besides a  fire truck, police van, construction equipment, and  well drillers this year’s “Big Truck and Community Vehicle Day” included a former tank belonging to the Putnam County Sheriff’s Department. The library parking lot was not a quiet place as children honked horns and sounded sirens of the many interesting vehicles gathered for the event.

The library would like to thank the many people, including Town of Kent Supervisor Maureen Fleming, the Kent Highway Department, the Kent Police Department,The Putnam County Sheriff’s Department,  the Lake Carmel Sanitation District, the Lake Carmel Fire Department, and the Boyd Artesian Well Company, who helped to make  “Big Truck Day”   a success.  The Kent  Library plans to host it again next year.


BTD - overview

June 8, 2016 |

Open Days Program Garden Tour – Bedford Hills/Cortlandt Manor


Explore two private gardens in Cortlandt Manor and Bedford Hills, open for self-guided tours to benefit the Garden Conservancy. No reservations required; rain or shine. Begin at the Merrin Garden (10am to 2pm only), or see website for additional locations; hours vary. Highlights include rare tropical plants in four greenhouses, a large lotus pond, and formal vegetable parterre.

The public garden at the Native Plant Center in Valhalla will also be open, giving free guided tours 12pm to 4pm.

The Native Plant Center was established in 1998 under the auspices of the Westchester Community College Foundation as the first national affiliate of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin, Texas. The following year, in 1999, Lady Bird Johnson and her daughters, Lynda Johnson Robb and Luci Baines Johnson, visited the Westchester Community College campus for the dedication of The Native Plant Center’s demonstration garden named for the First Lady.

July 17, 2013 |
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