News + Views

John Jay Captain Has Multiple Roles


Slater's Slant







By Chuck Slater



The John Jay Cross River baseball team is currently preparing to spend six days at Disney World in Orlando, training and playing exhibition games before returning home to start the regular season early next month.  And things seem a bit different for Geoff Curtis’ perennially strong Indians, who for the last two years have lost to Rye in the sectional semifinals.  They finished 14-8 a year ago.

“A lot of uncertainty,” says Curtis, whose team began practice early this month.  “A lot of unknowns.  Graduation took eight seniors including our middle infield and our top pitcher.” There is no uncertainty, however, concerning his captain, senior Justin Drpich, a star who will help his newcomers and who will be playing his third position in three years for John Jay.

Slater photo-Justin Drpich

Justin Drpich is playing his third position in three years.

As a sophomore, Justin played center field and his brother Joe was the first baseman and hitting star of the team.  Last year as a college freshman, big brother was a long-ball-hitting All Star for Siena College, while little brother played third base for Curtis and batted .362 with 11 doubles, 15 stolen bases and 19 RBIs.  Now he has been moved to shortstop to help plug the middle-infield hole, and Curtis is confident he will excel.

“He has an excellent eye and could bat from 1 to 5 when we work out our lineup,” Curtis said. “Justin is an excellent base-runner as well.

“And,” the coach added, “he’s not only our shortstop, he’s our closer.  He hits 91 or 92 on the gun.  Binghamton (where Drpich already has a college baseball scholarship) wants him as a two-way player.”

“As I grew up, my arm got stronger and stronger,” confirmed the Indians’ captain, who is replacing at short an All-County player, Jack Weiller (now at the University of Virginia).  “That’s why I prefer the left side of the infield.” But he is hardly a long-ball threat.  Little brother has yet to hit a varsity home run.  “It’s true,” Justin said.  “Something definitely has to happen this season. I’ve led off mostly the last couple of years.”

And Justin Drpich expects something to happen with the unproven team he captains.  “I want to win sectionals and go to States,” he said.  “Is that a realistic goal?  Absolutely.  I want to help a couple of the kids.

John Jay will open the season on April 4th with a new pitching ace replacing righty Carter Henry, now at NYU.  Right-handed senior Chase Borowitz was 5-2 with a 3.29 earned-run average last year and has committed to pitch for LeMoyne College next season.  Righty Carl Albert is another starter.

“It should be interesting,” Curtis said. And it should be a winning season.

March 16, 2016 |

Make Snack Time Count


In Good Taste







(Family Features) During this busy time of year, it’s easy to let nutrition slide. That’s why it’s important to have healthy snacks ready to take with you so you can keep your energy up while you’re on the go.

Choosing wisely will let you get the most out of your snacks. For example, soy is a complete plant protein that contains all nine essential amino acids needed for human growth and health, and it’s lower in saturated fat and higher in fiber than other animal protein sources.

Beyond nutrition, choosing the right snacks can help keep hunger at bay so you can focus on shuttling from one activity to the next. Research has shown that soy fiber and protein – found in snacks such as edamame and many nutrition bars – keep you feeling full longer and help you avoid the temptation of sugary on-the-go foods filled with empty calories.

“When my customers are looking for snack ideas, I advise them to layer protein, fiber and carbohydrates,” said registered dietitian Peggy Balboa, a supermarket nutritionist with Mariano’s grocery stores in Chicago. “This is key to feeling full longer, and soy has it all. For example, adding half a cup of soy nuts to trail mix can provide four grams of fiber, 18 grams of protein and 15 grams of carbohydrates. Choose ingredients from the grocery bulk section, add the mix to a snack baggie, and you’ll have a grab-n-go snack for a mid-afternoon energy boost.”

When every minute of your busy day counts, make your snacking count, too, with these nutritious ideas:
* Make your own trail mix, filled with a combination of salty and sweet flavors and a blend of textures to satisfy your cravings. Pretzels and nuts, such as soynuts or roasted edamame, add a delicious crunch, while dried fruits and berries lend a softer sweetness.
* Protein-packed versions of your favorite cereals are now on the market, and they are great to throw in a baggie for a snack or add as a granola topping on yogurt.
* Raw veggies can be easily carried in a baggie and while they taste great cold and crunchy, you can enjoy them at room temperature, too. Experiment with different flavors for variety: zucchini, squash and broccoli are all tasty choices alone or dipped in low-fat dressing or hummus.
* For the kids, get creative and make snack time enjoyable. Serve little ones a variation of ants on a log, filling celery sticks with soynut butter before placing the raisins on top, which makes for a school-friendly option without nut allergens.
* Smoothies made with soymilk, soy yogurt or tofu are a fun way to get your protein and key nutrients on the go. This smoothie takes five minutes to make and packs 12 grams of protein, along with a healthy kick of vitamin A, vitamin C and iron.

Find this and more protein-rich snacks for your busy lifestyle at and

Go Green Soy Smoothie   12768
Prep time: 5 minutes
Servings: 1

1     cup light or unsweetened vanilla soymilk
1/2     banana, cut into pieces and frozen
1/2     ripe pear, cored and chopped
2     cups baby spinach

Puree all ingredients in blender until smooth. Serve immediately.

Nutritional information per serving: 230 calories; 5 g total fat; 0 mg cholesterol; 100 mg sodium; 636 mg potassium; 36 g total carbs; 10 g dietary fiber; 8 g sugars; 12 g protein. Percent of daily recommended intake: 111 percent vitamin A; 49 percent vitamin C; 26 percent iron.
Source: Soyfoods Association of North America

August 26, 2015 |

DOT Roadwork on Rt 202 and Rt 118 Begins July 15th

Route 202 and Route 118

Beginning July 15th, New York State Department of Transportation will begin drainage work, milling the road surface and repaving of Route 202 from Baldwin Road to Broad Street and Route 118 from Commerce Street to Downing Drive.

Work will take place Monday – Friday from 9 am – 6 pm. During this time one lane will be closed and flaggers will be directing traffic.  The work is scheduled to be completed on or about Aug 1, 2013.

July 15, 2013 |

Somers’ Cavaliere Places Among Top 25 Amateur Golfers


Slater's Slant






Slaters Slant 5-13 photo

Christian Cavaliere, Somers High School varsity golfer, tees off at the Liberty National Junior Invitational in Jersey City, N.J. PHOTO COURTESY OF KELLY CAVALIERE



By Chuck Slater

Ever since he was little, Somers’ Christian Cavaliere dreamed of being a baseball player, a good baseball player.  But when he was 7, his dad, Greg, took him out to learn golf, the sport his mom, Kelly, had played on varsity in high school. “It was just something to do,” he said. “I always wanted to be a baseball player.”
Somehow, that changed. “When I was 11, I fell in love with golf,” he said.
Goodbye, baseball. Soon he was beating mom with regularity on the links. “As a toddler he was never interested in trucks and stuff,” Kelly Cavaliere said. “It had to be a ball and sticks.”
Now the junior is a good golfer, make that a very good golfer, and one of the top challengers in the two-session sectional championship at two separate courses on May 18 and 20.
Cavaliere has been playing varsity golf at Somers for Leigh Fiorito since the eighth grade. The last two years, he made sectionals and advanced to the state tournament. As an eighth grader, he failed to qualify for state play by a single stroke.  This season, he was the medalist (lowest score) in all but one of Somers’ matches in its 6-4 start.  His average for each nine holes of competition is an impressive 36, which would be even more impressive save for an early-season 45 in miserable conditions.
“Yes, he is better this year,” Fiorito said. “He’s a lot more confident.”
And the coach is confident how her star junior ranks among her players. “Oh yes, he’s the best I’ve had in my 15 years of coaching golf,” she said.  “He was the first eighth-grader I had to easily break into our top six.”
Recently the 5-9, 140-pounder broke into the top 25 in an invitation-only event of the nation’s top amateur golfers, firing a closing 73 at the U.S. Challenge Cup in Jersey City.
And no, there are no regrets about baseball. “Golf? I love it!” he says. “I love the individuality of it.  It’s all up to you.”
What Christian Cavaliere says is most up to him is improving his short game. “It’s better now,” he said. “I practice it a lot. I’d say my putting still has the most room for improvement.”
He says previous sectionals “did not go as well as I’d have liked.” His coach, however, speaks optimistically of this time. Of course, Brent Ito of Ardsley is a formidable opponent.
“Do well at sectionals and states?” Fiorito said. “Christian is good enough, and he’s worked hard enough.”

May 13, 2015 |

Putnam Heroes Memorial to Commemorate 15th Anniversay of 9-11 Attacks


Eight Putnam Residents who Perished on 9-11 to be HonoredDSC_5057

CARMEL, NY — On Sunday, September 11, 2016 at 6:30pm, the Putnam Heroes Memorial will once again commemorate the 15th Anniversary of the 9-11 attacks at the Putnam Heroes Memorial Monument.  Located at Cornerstone Park on Route 52 and Fair Street in Carmel, the Monument contains the names of the eight Putnam residents who perished on September 11, 2001, along with First Responders from Putnam who have since died from 9-11 related illnesses and whose names have been added to the National Memorial Wall.
“During the Roll Call of names, we also pay homage to NY State First Responders and Military Members who have lost their lives in the Line of Duty in the past year,” said Dennis Hanrahan, Co-Chair Putnam Heroes Memorial.  “The family members of the victims are always in attendance and participate in this 20 minute solemn ceremony.”
The Fraternal Order of Police, Stephen P. Driscoll, a memorial pipe band and the Carmel High School Choir will perform. Preceding the Vigil, there will be a 5:00pm Mass at St. James the Apostle Church, which will honor and celebrate the lives of these heroes.
Journalist, Eric Gross of the Putnam County Courier and the Putnam County News and Recorder, will be this year’s guest speaker at the Candle Light Vigil. For more information, please contact Dennis Hanrahan, Co-Chair Putnam Heroes Memorial at 845-225-3048.

September 1, 2016 |

Get Schooled: Creative Lunchbox Ideas


In Good Taste







Family Features) It’s time for sandwiches to move aside, because this school year bento-box style lunches reign king on campus. Bento boxes provide not only the space for healthy and nutritious food choices, but also creativity. Isn’t it time for lunch to be more fun?

Nutrition blogger and mom of two, Sally Kuzemchak, uses Lil Snappers kid-sized fruit when she creates bento box lunches because they are easy for little students to hold, serving size proportionate and each 3-pound pouch provides enough fruit for lunches and snacks for an entire week. On top of that, the fruit can be sliced up for dipping in almond butter or yogurt sprinkled with cinnamon or cut up into a fruit salad, perfect for the three or four compartments in a bento box.

Studies indicate healthy eating can influence the cognitive ability and intelligence levels of students, and balanced midday meals of fruits, proteins, carbohydrates and healthy fats are best. For a well-rounded lunch, parents can fill bento boxes with fresh pasta alongside sliced carrots and grapes, taco fixings with a Lil Snappers apple or a fun and creative meal-on-a-stick to keep school-aged children satisfied throughout the day.

Preparing healthy, filling lunches shouldn’t be difficult, and with bento-box style meals your kids will never be bored. With a little preparation and recipe inspiration, crafting back to school lunches will be a breeze. For additional recipes and information, visit and look for them at your local grocery store.

Apple-Tuna Treasure Chest12878_A
Servings: 2

2     Stemilt Lil Snappers Kid Size Apples
1     can (6-ounces) white albacore tuna, packed in water, drained
2     tablespoons mayonnaise
1/2     teaspoon honey mustard
1/2     carrot, finely diced
salt and pepper, to taste

Slice off top one-third of each apple; set aside. Using small teaspoon or grapefruit spoon, core-out center of each apple base (working outward from centermost part of fruit), leaving 1/4-inch outer edge; set aside.

In small bowl, mix tuna, mayonnaise, mustard and carrot. Season to taste. Spoon 1/4 cup of tuna salad into each apple, top with top one-third of apples, tilted slightly to resemble a chest being opened.

Use playful, pirate-themed cupcake holders and flagged toothpicks to make for fun presentation and easy clean-up.

Apple Turkey Cheese Kabobs 12878_B
Servings: 2

1     Stemilt Lil Snappers Kid Size Apple, cored not sliced
1     block (3 ounces) low-fat cheese
1    slice oven-roasted turkey, cut 1/4-1/2-inch thick
2     bamboo skewers

Core apple and slice in half vertically.

Place two halves on cutting board, flesh side down, and slice each into 3-4 slices, from stem end to bottom to resemble half-moon. Set aside.

Cut 2-3 1/2-inch slices from block of cheese and, depending on dimensions of cheese block, cut each slice again to create square or triangle shape, as preferred.

Cut cubes of turkey from slice, or, using 1 1/2-2-inch round cutter cut rounds of turkey from slice. Then cut each round in half.

Thread pieces onto skewers, alternating between apple slices, cheese and turkey.
Source: Lil Snappers






September 23, 2015 |

The Greater Mahopac-Carmel Chamber of Commerce 2013 Street Fair


Sunday October 6th, 11AM – 6PM. With generally over 100 local craft businesses, non-profits, professionals, retail shops, restaurants, delis and more…you can be sure that the community wants to come out to meet you…and not only will they have a great time at the parade…but they’ll also grab a few coupons, make some new contacts, meet up with some old friends, eat some awesome food…and have a great time!

September 16, 2013 |
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