News + Views

The Spring Soccer Season Kicks Off in Both Hyde Park and New Hyde Park


This is the tale of two similarly-named towns, Hyde Park in the Hudson Valley and New Hyde Park, Long Island. Hyde Park was given that name around 1810 and it’s best known as the home of Franklin D. Roosevelt, the 32nd President of the United States. With a population of 21,571 according to the 2010 census, that’s roughly double the population of New Hyde Park. The Long Island town was known as Hyde Park starting in 1715 but changed its name to New Hyde Park in 1871 when a Post Office opened there, to avoid confusing it with the larger town in the Hudson Valley.

Both Hyde Park and New Hyde Park have vibrant soccer programs that are longtime members of the Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association (ENYYSA).

Hyde Park United kicked off in 1974 and is a proud member of the East Hudson Youth Soccer League (EHYSL). Currently, 600 players––300 boys and 300 girls––wear the club’s green, white and black uniforms at the Creek Road Complex. The travel teams who play in the EHYSL serve as the feeder program for the varsity teams at Franklin D. Roosevelt High School. Craig Capano, who served as captain of the United States Under-20 National Team and midfielder for the Chicago Fire from 2002 to 2006, played for the club in the EHYSL.

There is also a partnership between the Marist College women’s soccer program and Hyde Park United with the intent of strengthening the focus on girls soccer while identifying role models for their young players. The goal is to fill the stands and show support for the local team while the Marist players have often made voluntary appearances at Hyde Park United practices and provided clinics as part of their community service.

“We have done a tremendous amount of work with local teams such as Hyde Park, East Fishkill, Newburgh and LaGrange,“ commented Marist women’s soccer assistant coach Gene Smith. “We require our players to do community service but a lot is done outside the frame of soccer, I think having the balance away from the sport is important. Our players have always enjoyed the relationship with Hyde Park and giving back to the younger kids. Most of our players started in local leagues and it is great for them to educate the kids on their experiences.“

Explained club president Jeff Biamonte, “We’ve also benefited from the continued support of the Hyde Park Central School District, the Town of Hyde Park Recreation Department as well as the generosity of numerous local businesses that serve as sponsors. In 2013, we introduced a high school level of recreation soccer that includes intertown play with our neighbors in Pleasant Valley, Wappingers Falls, Fishkill and LaGrange. Our league also hosts Over-30 and Over-40 teams so we truly provide an opportunity for children of all ages.“

The New Hyde Park Wildcats Soccer Club was founded in 1978 and its travel teams have been playing in the Long Island Junior Soccer League (LIJSL) ever since. 1,100 players––715 boys and 385 girls––proudly wear the Wildcats’ red, white and blue.

“We are a strong community-based club with players of all levels and with a strong volunteer base,“ explained New Hyde Park Wildcats President Diana Ricciardi. “Our club provides the opportunity for all coaches to obtain their coaching licenses plus AED and First Aid certifications. We currently have 9 AED’s for the club and are continuing to purchase more.“

Eastern New York’s September 2016 Personality of the Month, Olympian Jane Vongvorachoti, grew up playing for the Wildcats and our November 2016 Personality of the Month, Richard Bletsch, was in charge of the Wildcats’ TOPSoccer Program for children with special needs since its founding in 1991 to 2011. Six years ago, Mary Jo Bursig took over as TOPSoccer Director and she was recently honored, in front of 670 people, with the LIJSL’s Marg McGory Award as the person who has given an amazing amount of volunteering to the program. Every October, the Wildcats host a TOPSoccer Tournament at the Denton Avenue School. New Hyde Park’s TOPSoccer Program is so well-received that its players and coaches are depicted in a mural at the local Applebee’s.

Additionally, MLS assistant referee Brian Dunn and Eastern New York Director of Instruction Joe Danbusky both live in New Hyde Park and Eastern New York President Richard Christiano was a Wildcats’ coach for many years.

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 on to, which receives nearly 300,000 hits annually from the growing soccer community.




March 30, 2017 |

Smell Your Way to a Better Mood


To Your Health








(Family Features) Though often taken for granted, smell is a powerful sense, especially when a gentle scent can instantly transport your mind to another time and place. From retrieving pleasant memories to boosting your mood, your sense of smell plays an important role in your overall well-being.

The scents you detect are actually tiny molecules that interact with sensory centers in your brain to elicit responses, such as happiness, relaxation or stimulation. For centuries, smell has been associated with healing practices. Today, the restorative and uplifting benefits of smell can be found throughout everyday life. Next time you’re feeling down or need to soothe your mind, turn to one of these aromatic options:

  • Light candles with a soft, calming scent to relax and unwind. Try lighting the candle when you walk in the door from a long day, and by the time you’ve changed into some comfy clothes, the aroma should begin to fill the air.
  • Take a warm shower and lather up with a scent-driven body wash, such as Softsoap Honey Creme & Lavender or Blooming Jasmine & Plum Moisturizing Body Wash. Inspired by trending ingredients and crafted with real extracts of honey, lavender, jasmine and plum, these body washes can create an invigorating sensory experience that moisturizes and cleanses your skin.
  • Energize your morning with a vibrant air freshener in your car. According to the National Sleep Foundation, scents like citrus, rosemary, peppermint and eucalyptus are stimulants that can help you shake off sleepiness and put some pep in your step. In fact, fruity smells like citrus actually stimulate serotonin, the brain’s “happy” chemical.
  • A fresh bouquet of flowers is an instant mood-booster, but not just because of their beauty. Numerous studies have shown the emotional benefits of a vase filled with fresh blooms. Take that goodwill a step further by taking a trip to a flower market to purchase fresh flowers with fragrant qualities that can brighten your desk or a room at home.
  • It may be the anticipation of a tasty treat to come, or maybe it’s the connection to childhood memories with a beloved relative, but few can resist the smell of homemade treats baking in the oven. Of course you can cheat and light a candle or burn wax or oil that mimics the scent, but nothing comes close to the therapy of freeing your hands and mind to bake and create that delicious aroma on your own.


Find more scents to move your mood at



Photo courtesy of Getty Images

March 29, 2017 |

She’s Walking to Glory


Slater's Slant







By Chuck Slater




Amelia Cuomo was fascinated by racewalking. (PHOTO COURTESY OF JOSEPH SCELIA)

Brewster senior Amelia Cuomo got into track and field almost by accident in the seventh grade after running a surprisingly fast mile to show she was fit for another sport. The following year at a meet in Rockland, she became intrigued by the seldom-done racewalk. “It looks like fun,” she told veteran Brewster coach Joe Scelia. “I’d like to try it.”

Soon it wasn’t just fun. It was also record setting. She now holds the Section 1 record of 6 minutes 38 seconds for the normal local distance of 1,500 meters. And recently at the New Balance Indoor Nationals at the Armory, she set the section record for the full mile of 7:08.65 in finishing third. It smashed her previous mark by more than eight seconds.

“I hope this inspires others to pursue the event,” said the 5-foot, 6-inch Cuomo, who is a Brewster captain. “Unlike running, there’s more to it than just stepping on the track and going fast. Form is very important, too.”

“As a junior Amelia really started to excel,” said Scelia. “She was All-State and All-American and finished fourth in the State meet. And this year she has been all but unbeatable. Only national champion Lauren Harris of Long Island has bested her. She has won the State qualifier, the Northern County championship, the Class A sectional and the league title.”

Scelia is the first to admit racewalking is not his prime area of expertise. “She has the endurance, the distance running,” the coach said. “She’s finished a marathon, you know. She’s figured out the technical aspects of it (racewalking).   The distance training I knew. I could help her with it. But she would modify it a little differently.”

If the directive were to run six miles, Cuomo would run three and walk three. “She’s a great captain, a great leader,” the coach said. “Even if there’s no practice, she’ll get her work in. She has a tremendous work ethic.”

She is also a tremendous student. Her GPA is an awesome 98.3. She hasn’t picked her college yet, but it will be a fine Division 1 school; however, none of them offers racewalking, which she plans to continue on the outside.

At the Nationals, Olympian Maria Mitchell-Coffey urged her to continue her racewalking. “She gave me hope for the future,” Amelia Cuomo said. “Compete internationally some day in racewalking? That would be incredible.”

March 29, 2017 |

Eat Your Way to Better Health


In Good Taste









(Family Features) It seems like every week there is a new product claiming to promise nutrition and improve your health. However, there are some foods you likely already have on hand that can improve your diet quality and support clean-eating efforts.

Skip the total diet overhaul or the latest fad, and keep it simple by focusing on small but powerful changes to help you clean up your diet. Dairy products have always been cost-effective and nutrient-packed. These three tips can help you make the most of dairy’s health benefits.

Inspect the ingredient label. With just three ingredients, milk is the original clean and clear food, unlike trendy milk alternatives, which may contain up to 10 ingredients.

Examine the benefits beyond bone health. It’s widely known that dairy products provide calcium to build strong bones, but milk, cheese and yogurt actually provide a unique package of nine nutrients, including high-quality protein to support muscle health.

Explore its versatility. Dairy can be easily incorporated into meals and snacks to help make healthy and clean eating simple. Getting the recommended three servings of dairy every day is a cinch once you discover the possibilities.

Resolve to get three servings of milk, cheese and yogurt every day by pledging Dairy 3 for Me. You may be surprised how easy it is to create a healthier menu all day long. Try these ideas to get started:

  • Make milk your mealtime beverage. White, chocolate, strawberry; no matter the flavor, all milk provides the same nine nutrients.
  • Build a breakfast parfait with your favorite yogurt, fruit and whole grain cereal, or mix things up with milk or yogurt by blending a smoothie.
  • Sneak in healthier eating by pairing cheese with fresh fruit or vegetables. Research shows when cheese is coupled with these foods, it helps kids eat more of all of them.
  • After a workout, recover with a tall glass of chocolate milk, which studies have proven to be effective in aiding tired muscles.
  • Boost nutrition and flavor by adding shredded cheese to casseroles, soups and pasta dishes, or sprinkle on top of tacos and chili.

To find more delicious recipes to support your nutrition goals and to pledge Dairy 3 for Me, visit

Raspberry-Strawberry Yogurt Smoothie13584_A

Recipe courtesy of Midwest Dairy Association

Prep time: 5 minutes

Servings: 4

1          cup low-fat vanilla yogurt

1          cup unsweetened frozen raspberries

1          cup unsweetened frozen strawberries

3/4       cup low-fat milk

1          cup ice (about 12 cubes)

Blend all ingredients in blender until smooth. Serve immediately.

Pulled Pork Soft Tacos

Recipe courtesy of Midwest Dairy Association

Prep time: 8 hours, 35 minutes

Servings: 6

For pork:13584_B

2          pounds boneless pork loin roast

2          tablespoons brown sugar

1          tablespoon ground ginger

2          garlic cloves, smashed

1          small white onion, coarsely chopped

1/2       cup orange juice

2          limes, cut in half

For tacos:

1/2       cup nonfat sour cream

1          teaspoon cumin

2          scallions, trimmed and chopped

12        soft corn tortillas (6 inches each)

1 1/2    cups shredded reduced-fat Colby Jack

1          bag (8 ounces) shredded red cabbage

3/4       cup fresh salsa

Trim excess fat off roast. In small bowl, combine brown sugar and ginger; rub generously over roast. Place in slow cooker with garlic, onion and orange juice; cook on low heat 8 hours (or high 4-6 hours.)

Transfer pork to large bowl and shred with forks. Strain pork liquid from slow cooker and pour over pulled pork to moisten. Squeeze lime juice on top and mix well. Divide into 12 servings.

In small bowl, mix together sour cream, cumin and scallions.

Cover each corn tortilla with 2 tablespoons cheese; microwave 20 seconds. Top with pulled pork, 2 teaspoons sour cream mix, 1 1/2 tablespoons shredded cabbage and 1 tablespoon salsa. Fold and serve immediately.

March 29, 2017 |

Word Origins and Expressions

Bits & Pieces Column

Helpful Chitchat







By Evelyn J. Mocbeichel



I find the discovery of the origin of many of our standard expressions fascinating. The root seldom comes from where we expect. Each time I learn about one, it becomes another “trivia notch” on my belt to share.

If you are a fan of old Westerns, as my dad was, these expressions could be heard regularly in John Wayne movies and other films of that era. A cowboy would saunter up to the bar and ask for a “shot of whiskey,” which was the drink of choice back then. Why was it called a shot? In the Old West, a .45 cartridge for a six-gun cost 12 cents; so did a glass of whiskey. If a cowhand were low on cash, he would often give the bartender a cartridge in exchange for a drink. This became known as a “shot” of whiskey.

What about when a ranch was sold and the contract was known to be “ironclad” between the buyer and seller? Where did the term “ironclad” come from? It came about from the ironclad ships of the Civil War. It meant something so strong it could not be broken.

A more somber expression, when someone “bought the farm” was synonymous with dying. During World War I, soldiers were given life insurance policies worth $5,000. This was about the price of an average farm back then, so if you died, you “bought the farm” for your survivors.

Speaking of living in a farmhouse, back during colonial times the expression “dirt poor” comes from that time period when the floors of houses were literally made of dirt. Only wealthy people had some kind of flooring such as slate or wooden planks to cover the walking areas of their home. So if a family had only soil on the floor, they were known as being “dirt poor.”

One expression I’ve used for years is to wish someone a good night’s sleep and to “sleep tight.” I learned that this term went back to colonial times. Back then, beds were made with a wooden frame with ropes tied across the frame in a criss-cross pattern. A straw mattress was then placed on top of the ropes. Over time the ropes stretched, causing the bed to sag. The owner would then tighten the ropes to get a better night’s sleep. So to sleep tight meant that your bed didn’t sag and you were able to have a comfortable sleep, which makes sense!

March 29, 2017 |

It’s You!


ROI by Frank J. Rich







By Frank J. Rich



More than any other question is the one that defines each individual, each effort toward the achievement of the next planned goal—the simple definition of success. In advising others, we occupy sacred ground. How do we help without giving over to a simple expression of the way we are, as though our way is the answer for everyone who asks: What should I do with my life? Today, the most quoted answer is engineering, healthcare, or government. These are the high-growth areas. We must first, and foremost, take stock of who, in the most essential guise, is the asker.

Once a common understanding of this quality joins our thinking, we may ask the second essential question: How good do you want to be… at something? Same question in different words: How hard are you willing to work to achieve it? The answer helps to clear the way for the potential in the asker. We may all be “able to prepare” for the outcome we seek, but few are willing to do the work. The so-called work begins with a realistic self-assessment, the stuff that begins the process of self-esteem building. The last, though not least among its building blocks is “personal accomplishment.” Without these, one can only imagine a brighter future. The idea is more the “Hollywood Effect,” or the mistaken notion that if others, their apparent success as witness, can reach great heights, so can we. Unfortunately, one may only move from one place to another by taking individual steps. Some things we alone must accomplish. Good luck—where preparation and opportunity meet—may appear given of little personal effort, but the experienced would deny it.

The people you work with are the incredible resources necessary to a brighter future. When we invest ourselves in their success, and they do likewise, the results are astounding. Join with those that are going somewhere, with purpose, and for the good of all, and personal dreams come into focus. This is how one engages others and how many become the vehicle to personal dreams. This level of fulfillment is not only personal, but also delivers the energy that fuels collaborative work.

We gain fulfillment when actively engaged in meaningful work. When joined with others of the same mind, financial and corporate results soar. Organizations with strong financial results have employee engagement levels that are twice those with poor financial results. The numbers are similar for those organizations that have better customer experiences, which relate directly to the attitude of the organization’s most valuable resource—people.

The limbic system of the human brain informs much of how we feel about things and the decisions we make. Few elements of brain function provide more direction than this system to realize one’s personal aspirations. Although there is much to do in exercising the healthy use of it, the limbic system benefits greatly from an outside/inside view of the world. That is, how we see it as an extension of ourselves.

When one sees another living out a core value of the group or society, engagement jumps by double digits, according to studies. It is no wonder that the very powerful sense of belonging (to others) that is in each plays such a significant part in the achievement of life goals. Fulfillment may be just two levels above, but requires that we first grow a healthy model in addressing our sense of belonging. In the pursuit of our personal best, we must do a few simple things:

  1. Find Clarity: Know where you are going, how it feels to imagine it, and write it down. Thought becomes behavior. The simple act of acknowledgement begins the process called “knowing,” the total body immersion in the person you want to become.
  2. Commit to Action: Envision the steps along the way. Include the hard parts, such as a long educational commitment, or apprenticeship. Map out the sequence of events, and add the flexibility necessary to adjustments (not excuses) along the way.
  3. See Your Dreams Moving “Toward You”: See all things as puzzle pieces to your goals, as though each has purpose and fits well. Take a position as one who claims the things that happen daily as necessary to your ultimate goals. Watch them coming toward you.

We have little more important to do than to grow with every tick of the clock. We must be ready and available as growth opportunities arise. It is not only our desire to fulfill our personal dreams; it is also our birthright.


March 24, 2017 |
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