Riverdale's HamletHub https://news.hamlethub.com/riverdale Thu, 23 Jan 2020 19:09:51 -0500 HamletHub.com Broadway’s Jessica Vosk Joins Bryan Perri in ACT of CT’s Broadway Unplugged Series Feb. 25 https://news.hamlethub.com/riverdale/events/4591-broadway-s-jessica-vosk-joins-bryan-perri-in-act-of-ct-s-broadway-unplugged-series-feb-254591-broadway-s-jessica-vosk-joins-bryan-perri-in-act-of-ct-s-broadway-unplugged-series-feb-25 https://news.hamlethub.com/riverdale/events/4591-broadway-s-jessica-vosk-joins-bryan-perri-in-act-of-ct-s-broadway-unplugged-series-feb-254591-broadway-s-jessica-vosk-joins-bryan-perri-in-act-of-ct-s-broadway-unplugged-series-feb-25

ACT (A Contemporary Theater) of Connecticut is excited to announce that Jessica Vosk will join ACT's Resident Music Supervisor, Bryan Perri, on February 25, 2020 for the Broadway Unplugged Series 

Jessica Vosk played Elphaba in WICKED on Broadway for two years, and recently starred in the NYC Ballet Jerome Robbins tribute SOMETHING TO DANCE ABOUT. Other Broadway credits include FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, FINDING NEVERLAND, and THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY. Jessica starred as Anita in the Grammy-nominated San Francisco Symphony’s WEST SIDE STORY. This season, she will star in the 50th anniversary of JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT at Lincoln Center. 

The Broadway Unplugged Series is the brainchild of the accomplished Perri, who is currently working as Music Director and Conductor on the critically acclaimed Broadway musical JAGGED LITTLE PILL alongside Alanis Morissette, Tom Kitt and Diane Paulus. Perri recently finished a ten-year run as Music Director and Conductor of the Broadway production of WICKED, and as Music Director for SUPERHERO, having its world premiere Off-Broadway at Second Stage Theater. Each show in the Broadway Unplugged Series presents an intimate evening where Perri sits down at the piano with renowned Broadway performers for an exceptional evening of never before heard stories, great conversation, and incredible vocals.

ACT’s Artistic Director Daniel C. Levine says, “Jessica is one of the most gifted performers that I know. I’ve been hoping to get her to ACT for a Broadway Unplugged for quite some time, and I am thrilled that it is happening! Audiences are going to fall in love with her!”

Tickets for the February 25, 2020 show may be purchased here. For more information about ACT of Connecticut, ticket and annual subscription sales, education programs, sponsor/donor opportunities, and other theater-related news and announcements, visit www.actofct.org.

kerry@ducey.org (Amanda Duff) Events Wed, 22 Jan 2020 03:45:00 -0500
Westchester Parks Foundation Elects New Chairperson https://news.hamlethub.com/riverdale/neighbors/4597-westchester-parks-foundation-elects-new-chairperson4597-westchester-parks-foundation-elects-new-chairperson https://news.hamlethub.com/riverdale/neighbors/4597-westchester-parks-foundation-elects-new-chairperson4597-westchester-parks-foundation-elects-new-chairperson

Westchester Parks Foundation (WPF), the only organization dedicated exclusively to promoting and supporting Westchester County Parks, announced Seth M. Mandelbaum, Esq., managing partner with McCullough, Goldberger & Staudt, LLP in White Plains, as its new Chairperson of the Board of Directors. Since 2015, Mandelbaum served as the WPF’s Vice Chairperson and has been a member of its Board of Trustees since 2011. Mandelbaum’s appointment comes after Joanne Fernandez’s announcement to step down as Chairperson after six years. Jane Solnick, Director of Public Affairs at Con Edison, will take over as WPF’s Vice Chairperson.

“What could be more important than ensuring that future generations have the chance to enjoy the more than 18,000 acres of open space in Westchester’s Parks system?’’ said Mandelbaum. “I’m excited to take on a further leadership role in an organization that has had a longstanding commitment to supporting one of the greatest assets in our community: our parks. I would also like to thank immediate past Chairperson Joanne Fernandez for her extraordinary leadership and vision over the last six years.’’

Mandelbaum practices in the areas of land use and environmental law, alternative energy, municipal law, and not-for-profit organizations. In addition, Mandelbaum is one of only a small group of attorneys in New York to be certified by the U.S. Green Building Council as a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional (LEED® AP).

Joe Stout, Executive Director, Westchester Parks Foundation stated: “Westchester Parks Foundation is grateful to Joanne Fernandez for her years of service. We are equally as privileged to have someone as dedicated as Seth Mandelbaum lead our Board for the next 3 years. Seth has been a board member for years and understands the importance of parks to the community in Westchester, and the need to advocate for and invest in them. His dedication to our organization and commitment to Westchester parks is unwavering.”

Mandelbaum is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Westchester County Association, where he serves on the Real Estate Task Force and is Co-Chair of the SEQRA Subcommittee. In addition to WPF, Mandelbaum serves on the Board of Directors of the Holocaust & Human Rights Education Center. Mandelbaum is a member of the New York State Bar Association, and the Westchester County Bar Association, for which he formerly served as Co-Chair of the Environmental Law Committee. In 2009, Mr. Mandelbaum was a recipient of the Business Council of Westchester “Rising Stars – 40 under 40” award.

Mandelbaum holds a J.D., cum laude, and an Environmental Law Certificate from Pace University School of Law, where he was an Articles Editor for the Pace Environmental Law Review; and a B.A. with honors from the University of Florida, where he majored in Environmental Policy.

He resides in White Plains with his wife and two daughters.

For more information about Westchester Parks Foundation, visit www.thewpf.org or follow them on Facebook.com/WestchesterParksFoundation and Instagram @thewpf.


About Westchester Parks Foundation

Westchester Parks Foundation is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit, philanthropic organization which provides private support to preserve the County’s park system and improve the quality of life in our communities. Westchester Parks Foundation’s mission is to engage the public to advocate for and invest in the preservation, conservation, use, and enjoyment of the 18,000 acres of parks, trails, and open spaces within the Westchester County Parks system. For more information, visit thewpf.org.


kerry@ducey.org (Kerry Anne Ducey) Neighbors Tue, 21 Jan 2020 07:02:42 -0500
Yonkers Police Offer Free Citizen Training Program https://news.hamlethub.com/riverdale/neighbors/4596-yonkers-police-offer-free-citizen-training-program4596-yonkers-police-offer-free-citizen-training-program https://news.hamlethub.com/riverdale/neighbors/4596-yonkers-police-offer-free-citizen-training-program4596-yonkers-police-offer-free-citizen-training-program

The Yonkers Police Department Training Unit is now accepting applications for the next Citizen's Police Academy class.

This informative and exciting 12 week program will meet on Monday nights from 6:30 to 9:30 PM at the Training Division, located at the First Precinct. There is no fee for this program and all materials needed, will be provided for the class. Members of the community who are interested in attending this no cost training can obtain an application at any of the four Police Precincts or the Community Affairs Division. Additional information and a downloadable application can also be downloaded here, or by contacting the Training Division staff at (914) 377-7364. This Training is open to Yonkers Residents or Citizens who work in Yonkers. Space is limited so file your application as soon as possible.

Application attached and can be downloaded here: Yonkers Police Citizen's Police Academy

Additional Information:

The Yonkers Police Department’s “Citizen Police Academy” is an educational program designed to foster a greater understanding between our citizens and the Police Department. A specialized course of instruction has been created to give you, the citizen, a rare inside glimpse of all the different facets and challenges of today’s Police Officer. With your participation we hope to provide a positive learning experience among both students and the instructors. The students will gain a better understanding and appreciation of what we do and the Department will have the opportunity to better understand the needs of its residents.

The classes are sure to be exciting and an “eye opening” experience for all. Not only will you learn about the current laws, but you will have hands on experience in defensive tactics, simulated firearms, pursuit driving and a “ride-a-long”.

You may contact Captain Vincent Castelli of the Training Division if you have any further questions or concerns. 914-377-7360.

aseward100@aol.com (YPD) Neighbors Fri, 17 Jan 2020 09:25:15 -0500
Cousins Maine Lobster at Gun Hill Brewing Company! https://news.hamlethub.com/riverdale/events/4595-cousins-maine-lobster-at-gun-hill-brewing-company4595-cousins-maine-lobster-at-gun-hill-brewing-company https://news.hamlethub.com/riverdale/events/4595-cousins-maine-lobster-at-gun-hill-brewing-company4595-cousins-maine-lobster-at-gun-hill-brewing-company

Cousins Maine Lobster is coming to the Bronx!

On February 15th, Cousins Maine Lobster is excited to be back at the Gun Hill Brewing Company Enjoy an entire day, between 12pm to 8pm, snacking on your favorite lobster delights, as you sip on one of the amazing beers at this brewery.

Make this Saturday extra special!

Gun Hill Brewing Company,  3227 Laconia Ave, Bronx, New York

Learn more on Facebook here.

kerry@ducey.org (Gun Hill Brewing Company) Events Thu, 16 Jan 2020 12:34:30 -0500
White Plains Performing Arts Center presents Rita Harvey’s Heart Like A Wheel – A Tribute to Linda Ronstadt https://news.hamlethub.com/riverdale/events/4594-white-plains-performing-arts-center-presents-rita-harvey-s-heart-like-a-wheel-a-tribute-to-linda-ronstadt4594-white-plains-performing-arts-center-presents-rita-harvey-s-heart-like-a-wheel-a-tribute-to-linda-ronstadt https://news.hamlethub.com/riverdale/events/4594-white-plains-performing-arts-center-presents-rita-harvey-s-heart-like-a-wheel-a-tribute-to-linda-ronstadt4594-white-plains-performing-arts-center-presents-rita-harvey-s-heart-like-a-wheel-a-tribute-to-linda-ronstadt

Rita Harvey’s Heart Like A Wheel – A Tribute to Linda Ronstadt at WPPAC on January 25 at 8pm

Rita Harvey’s ‘Heart Like A Wheel’ - A Tribute to Linda Ronstadt celebrates one of the most beloved and versatile pop singers of the past five decades. Hear the hits that Linda Ronstadt helped make famous ("You're No Good," "Blue Bayou," "When Will I Be Loved," "It's So Easy," "That'll Be the Day," "Desperado," "Heat Wave" and many others) as well as stories behind the songs that highlighted her career. These timeless favorites are performed by Broadway star, Rita Harvey, backed up by four incredible rock musicians.

Rita Harvey starred in the lead role of Christine Daae in the Broadway and National Touring productions of The Phantom of the Opera.  She was also in the Broadway production of Fiddler on the Roof as Hodel opposite Rosie O'Donnell, Harvey Fierstein and Alfred Molina. Other credits include Diana in the Theatersquared production of Next To Normal and Helen Bechdel in the White Plains Performing Arts Center’s acclaimed production of Fun Home. Rita is the principle soprano in "Neil Berg's 100 Years of Broadway" which was voted the number one reviewed touring Broadway concert in the country.

Rita Harvey’s ‘Heart Like A Wheel’ - A Tribute to Linda Ronstadt will play the White Plains Performing Arts Center on Saturday, January 25 at 8pm. Tickets are $37.50.

The White Plains Performing Arts Center is located on the third level of City Center off Mamaroneck Avenue in downtown White Plains, minutes from the White Plains Metro North Station. For tickets visit the theatre box office Monday-Friday (11am-6pm), purchase the tickets online at wppac.com or call 914-328-1600. For Group Sales, please contact boxoffice@wppac.com.

kerry@ducey.org (Kathleen Davisson) Events Thu, 16 Jan 2020 08:12:00 -0500
Nation's Only Sustainable Seafood Festival Returns to New York on January 25 https://news.hamlethub.com/riverdale/events/4593-nation-s-only-sustainable-seafood-festival-returns-to-new-york-on-january-254593-nation-s-only-sustainable-seafood-festival-returns-to-new-york-on-january-25 https://news.hamlethub.com/riverdale/events/4593-nation-s-only-sustainable-seafood-festival-returns-to-new-york-on-january-254593-nation-s-only-sustainable-seafood-festival-returns-to-new-york-on-january-25

The nation’s only sustainable seafood festival, Aquarius, will return to The Foundry in Long Island City on Saturday, January 25th from 8pm - 1am. Guests will be invited to partake in a boundless journey of sensory and visual imagination at this 3rd annual festival highlighting sustainable seafood and farm fresh cocktails. The Foundry will set the scene for this artic chic event.  The historic venue is a fully-restored 19th century building, which boasts 3,000 sprawling square feet of space offers stunning views of the Manhattan skyline along with a gorgeous indoor Greenhouse.  It will be filled with delicacies from the sea, complemented perfectly with premium wines and spirits. Aquarius 2020 is brought to you by the talented producers of Secret Summer, Tyler Hollinger of HighLife Productions, Andrew Maturana of RAPT and Allison du Val of The Foundry.

This year, Aquarius has partnered with Oceanic Global, a non-profit that engages new audiences in ocean conservation. They tap into universal passions to raise awareness for issues impacting our oceans and to provide individual and industry solutions that drive positive change. We are working with them to implement The Oceanic Standard to ensure a plastic-free event.  CupZero will provide $2 cups for purchase upon entry to use throughout the festival.  Return your cup to the CupZero station and get your money back. There will also be designated CupZero recycling bins throughout the space. 

Guests will have the ability to purchase seafood with sustainable offerings as deep as the sea, all of which will be recommended by the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s rigorous Seafood Watch program. Festival-goers will be equipped with the latest sustainable seafood guides and have the opportunity to sample seasonal flavors by Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Executive Chef Matthew Beaudin. Hudson Square’s Houseman Restaurant’s Chef Ned Baldwin will offer Fisherman’s Stew and more and Mattitaco will serve farm to food truck Oysters, Tacos and Moules Frites, courtesy of Chef Justin Schwartz.   Ca’Pisci  will make its festival return offering a rustic Italian menu featuring only sustainable fish. Salsa Pistolero will be on hand with an assortment of refreshing salsa flavors to snack on and My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream will hand out their sweet treats.  MF Events will provide a local raw bar highlighting 100% local to NYC oysters  and more…

The festival will showcase and serve up cocktails from the world’s most prominent spirits brands including COÇA PURA TEQUILA, Boukman Botanical RhumKoval, London Essence Co., KAS Krupnikas Nolet’s Gin, Chinola, Barrows Intense and Barrows Intense Ginger Liqueur. Q Mixers will be the official mixer, enhance the finest spirits and  fresh cocktail garnishes will be provided by Square Roots, which is  building a hanging Hydroponic Garden.  Guests can also enjoy the Coney Island Brewing Co lounge with photo booth, and Owl's Brew Boozy Tea And Botanicals, while Polar Seltzer, Harmless Harvest Coconut  Water  and sparkling probiotic drinks from KeVita will be there to help keep revelers hydrated. 

This one-of-a-kind immersive experience, outfitted with floral and tree arrangements by Brenton Wolf Design, will also feature a winter séance and a symbolic sacrifice to the God of Aquarius, an art installation by Jimmy Carillo, outdoor fire pits and extraordinary fire breathers and aerialists. The evening will also feature a performance from the  Brass Queens, the all female group that’s disrupting a male dominated genre.  Guests can commemorate the magical evening with an impromptu photoshoot in the 4Five Photo Booth with fun props to kick your pictures up a notch.  DJ Ryan Vandal will provide the soundtrack for the night in the Albra Room while  DJ Samantha Michelle will take over the Main Hall. Who could ask for more?

Aquarius specialty cocktails and water are complementary to all ticket holders.  Full meals will be available for purchase. Tickets begin at $95 and can be purchased by visiting: aquariusnyc.com  Guests will also be invited to help save the ocean and the planet by donating $10 to Oceanic Global,  AQUARIUS 2020’s official ocean conservation charity and sustainability partner.
The Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch® program helps consumers and businesses choose seafood that's fished or farmed in ways that support a healthy ocean, now and for future generations. Our recommendations indicate which seafood items are Best Choices or Good Alternatives, and which ones you should Avoid. For more information, visit seafoodwatch.org
Oceanic Global is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that engages new audiences in ocean conservation. We tap into universal passions to raise awareness for issues impacting our oceans and to provide individual and industry solutions that drive positive change. Read more at: oceanic.global


Cup Zero is on a mission to change the way we think about events and festivals moving towards zero waste one drink at a time.  Cup Zero is a reusable cup service based in NYC. They deliver, pick up, wash, and store so you can focus on throwing a great party, without hurting the planet. Using a deposit system, cups get returned so they can be washed and sanitized for future use, keeping the venue clean, and plastic out of the oceans.  To learn more, visit cupzero.com.
Inspired by the word husmanskost, “everyday food" in Norwegian, Houseman is a neighborhood restaurant where chef Ned Baldwin serves clear-headed food that ranges from the familiar to the unexpected. housemanrestaurant.com/about 
kerry@ducey.org (Kerry Anne Ducey) Events Wed, 15 Jan 2020 03:48:18 -0500
New York Public Library Releases Top Checkouts of All Time https://news.hamlethub.com/riverdale/life/4592-new-york-public-library-releases-top-checkouts-of-all-time4592-new-york-public-library-releases-top-checkouts-of-all-time https://news.hamlethub.com/riverdale/life/4592-new-york-public-library-releases-top-checkouts-of-all-time4592-new-york-public-library-releases-top-checkouts-of-all-time

Classic Children’s Story The Snowy Day tops The New York Public Library’s All-Time Checkouts List

The top 10 list kicks off the Library’s year-long 125th-anniversary celebration

The beloved, innovative, award-winning children’s story—written and illustrated by Ezra Jack Keats—is the most checked out book in The New York Public Library’s 125-year history. 

A team of experts at the Library analyzed a series of factors to compile—for the first time ever—the 10 books that have been borrowed most since The New York Public Library was founded in 1895. Today’s release of the list—as well as a limited-edition library card and MetroCard featuring artwork from The Snowy Day—launch a year-long celebration of The New York Public Library’s 125th anniversary. 

The year will focus on appreciating and reaffirming the Library’s values of trust, inclusion, respect, and free and open access to information and knowledge, as well as its unique role supporting a true love of reading. The celebration will include special author talks, book lists, public programs, the much-anticipated reopening of the system’s completely renovated central circulating library, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Library, and the opening of the Polonsky Exhibition of The New York Public Library Treasures, a permanent, free exhibition showcasing items from the Library’s robust research collections. 

More information on plans is available at nypl.org/125.

To develop the list of most checked out books, the Library evaluated a series of key factors—including historic checkout and circulation data (for all formats, including e-books), overall trends, current events, popularity, length of time in print, and presence in the Library catalog. The full list:

  1. The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats / 485,583 checkouts
  2. The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss / 469,650 checkouts

  3. 1984 by George Orwell / 441,770 checkouts

  4. Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak / 436,016 checkouts

  5. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee  / 422,912 checkouts

  6. Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White / 337,948 checkouts

  7. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury / 316,404 checkouts

  8. How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie / 284,524 checkouts

  9. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling / 231,022 checkouts

  10. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle / 189,550 checkouts

The list also includes an honorable mention: children’s book Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown, which would have been among the system’s top checkouts if not for an odd piece of history: extremely influential New York Public Library children’s librarian Anne Carroll Moore disliked the story so much when it was published in 1947 that the Library didn’t carry it . . . until 1972. 

“For 125 years, the Library has uniquely sparked, supported, and fostered a true love of reading in the people of New York City and beyond,” said New York Public Library President Anthony W. Marx. “Among our many roles, we look to connect people with the stories that capture their imaginations, take them places, stay with them over time, encourage them to keep turning pages, and greatly impact and shape their lives. The books on this list have transcended generations and, much like the Library itself, are as relevant today as they were when they first arrived. This list tells us something about New Yorkers over the last 125 years—what moves them, what excites them, what stands the test of time. It’s a perfect way to kick off our celebration of the Library’s 125th anniversary . . . and it’s just the beginning.”

The Snowy Day

The Snowy Day, in print and in the Library’s catalog continuously since 1962, is a charming, beautifully-illustrated tale of a child enjoying the simple magic that snow brings to his city. It is one of the Library’s top circulated books every year (across all neighborhoods). Andrew Medlar, director of the Library’s BookOps selection team and one of the experts who helped compile the list, attributes the book’s success to its universal appeal, its fame (being a Caldecott winner and one of the earliest examples of diversity in children’s books), its wide availability in other languages, and its many years in print. 

“At the end of the day, though, it’s all about the story, and it is absolutely brilliantly told,” Medlar said. “It is such a relatable story, and pure magic for kids and adults alike. It’s on people’s radar screens, they remember when they first heard it, and they want to share that experience with their kids. And the artwork is just gorgeous.” 

To celebrate the top checkout, all 92 New York Public Library locations are offering a special, limited-edition The Snowy Day library card beginning today (existing cardholders can move their accounts to the new card for a $1 donation). And a special edition MTA MetroCard will be available this week in the following 10 stations across the five boroughs:

  • Grand Central – 42nd St (S,4,5,6,7)

  • 42nd St Bryant Park (B,D,F,M)

  • 34th St Penn Station (1,2,3)

  • 59th St Columbus Circle (A,B,C,D)

  • 3rd Ave – 149th St (2,5)

  • St. George Terminal (Staten Island Railway)

  • Broadway-Lafayette St (B,D,F,M)

  • 125th St (4,5,6)

  • Jay St MetroTech (A,C,F,R)

  • Sutphin Blvd. Archer Ave (E,J,Z)

Both special edition cards are limited and available while supplies last. 

Additionally, branches will hold special storytime and craft programming around The Snowy Day in January and February.

“For The Snowy Day to be recognized as the most checked out book in the history of The New York Public Library would have been for Ezra Jack Keats, as it is for us at the EJK Foundation, the highest honor he could ever receive,” said Deborah Pope, executive director of the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation. “As a young boy, Ezra found a safe haven and inspiration in the public library. Part of his legacy has been to extend the welcome of public libraries by creating books that reflect the diverse faces of the children who use the library. The popularity of children’s books on this top ten list shows that literacy and the love of reading is a high priority for all of us in New York City’s and we, along with the beloved NYPL, are happy to help achieve this goal.” 

Key Factors

According to Medlar, there are several key criteria that seem to influence whether a book is a top checkout:

  • Length: The shorter the book, the more turnover, or circulation (this is why children’s books are often amongst the most circulated). The adult books on the list tend to be shorter, such as 1984 and To Kill A Mockingbird

  • Length of time in print: Clearly, the longer a story is in print, the longer the public has to check it out. The oldest book on the list is Dale Carnegie’s ultimate self-help book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, which has been in print continuously since 1936. The newest book is Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, which came out in the United States in 1998 and was only able to crack this list because it was an absolute phenomenon. 

  • Languages available: In a city like New York City, the more languages offered means more checkouts.

  • Universal appeal: The more a story appeals to a wide variety of tastes, the more checkouts it will receive.

  • Current events: Particularly with adult books, what is happening in the world greatly impacts checkouts. 1984 and Fahrenheit 451 see spikes in circulation depending on what’s happening in the world, and have currently seen increased popularity due to the rise of dystopian fiction, particularly in teen books.

  • School: If a book has been on school lists for many decades, it is more likely to be a top checkout. 

  • Awards and acknowledgment: Awards generate awareness and excitement, which also generate checkouts. Several of the books on the list are Caldecott winners, for example.

NYPL 125 List Teaser Horz v2

kerry@ducey.org (NYPL) Life Mon, 13 Jan 2020 08:27:46 -0500
Let NY Vote Celebrates as NYS Senate Passes Automatic Voter Registration https://news.hamlethub.com/riverdale/politics/4590-let-ny-vote-celebrates-as-nys-senate-passes-automatic-voter-registration4590-let-ny-vote-celebrates-as-nys-senate-passes-automatic-voter-registration https://news.hamlethub.com/riverdale/politics/4590-let-ny-vote-celebrates-as-nys-senate-passes-automatic-voter-registration4590-let-ny-vote-celebrates-as-nys-senate-passes-automatic-voter-registration

Let NY Vote Celebrates as NYS Senate Passes Automatic Voter Registration - Coalition urges Assembly to follow suit

Today, the New York State Senate passed Automatic Voter Registration (AVR): a process that would register or pre-register eligible New Yorkers to vote when they interact with a government agency (i.e., the DMV, Department of Health), unless they opt out. AVR was part of package of election reform bills that included poll sites on college campuses and reforms to early voting.

Currently, there are 1.1 million New Yorkers who are eligible to vote, but remain unregistered. AVR would streamline the registration process, making it easier for eligible New Yorkers to vote. Since 2015, 16 states and Washington DC have already implemented some form of AVR.

"It is exciting that the Let NY Vote coalition started 2020 the same way we did in 2019: by standing with the State Senate as our priorities passed. Automatic voter registration will streamline the way eligible New Yorkers register to vote, while providing adequate safeguards to protect the most vulnerable populations. Now the Assembly must follow the Senate's lead and bring New York in line with the 16 other states that already have some form of AVR. We can't wait, it's time to let New York vote!" said Susan Lerner, Executive Director of Common Cause/NY and co-founder of Let NY Vote.

In January 2019, the Let NY Vote coalition led the successful campaign to overhaul the state's outdated and antiquated voting laws. The Legislature passed - and Governor Cuomo signed into law -- early voting, consolidation of primaries, pre-registration of 16 and 17 year olds, and registration portability, which allows New Yorkers who move within the state to have their voter registration automatically updated via the USPS.

Automatic Voter Registration benefits historically disenfranchised communities like veterans, low-income people who have regular contact with the government, and young people who are often transient. This year, 1 in 10 Generation Z and close to one third of Millennials will be eligible voters in the country. Studies show that voting is habit forming: a person is more likely to vote in the next election if they voted in the one prior. By making voter registration opt-out, instead of opt-in, AVR increases registration rates and encourages eligible voters to participate in our elections. AVR also keeps the voter rolls more accurate, since voters update their registration information (like their address) when they interact with state agencies.

Automatic voter registration will also save money by cutting down on mail costs since all transfers are electronic. This will also reduce handwritten errors and mistakes from election officials.

"Stringent voting laws in New York have historically made our state one of the hardest places for people to cast a vote," said Perry Grossman, Senior Staff Attorney for the New York Civil Liberties Union's voting rights project. "Obstacles to the polls particularly impact low-income New Yorkers of color and have made for an exclusive democracy that represents some rather than all. With today's passage, New York has taken an enormous step forward in creating a more inclusive democracy by making it much easier for people to vote," said Erika Lorshbough, Asst. Dir. for Legislative Affairs at NYCLU.

"We are excited to see that the State Senate is recognizing the importance of expanding our democracy with this package on the first day of session. In particular, automatic voter registration and mandating on campus poll sites are key steps to breaking down barriers to participation for young voters. We hope that this is followed by continued action to protect youth voting rights and expand democracy for the next generation of voters," said Brianna Cea, CEO and Co-Founder of Generation Vote.

"Indivisible groups across New York are thrilled that the Senate has passed automatic voter registration. This measure is critical to making New York a leader in voting rights nationwide, during a time when voter suppression and election security are national concerns," said Lauren Boc, the State Policy Manager of Indivisible Project.

"We are proud to once again be a part of passing a historic package of election reforms to modernize voting in New York State. This package of reforms will further empower voters and ensure maximum voting accessibility in all regions of New York State. Thank you to the Senate for passing these comprehensive voting rights reforms," said Jennifer Wilson, Deputy Director of the League of Women Voters of New York State.

"For generations, communities of color have suffered from a voter registration gap that has reinforced our under-representation in New York's political system," said Javier H. Valdés, Co-Executive Director of Make the Road New York. "Automatic voter registration will be a key tool for addressing that deficit and ensuring that our communities are registered and heard."

"The New York Senate should be commended for leading the way on democracy reform. The combination of automatic voter registration, early voting and other key election reforms implemented in New York will break down barriers to voting and provide a path for all communities to have a voice in our democracy. We urge members of Congress to take note of the progress being made in New York and enact these reforms on the national level by passing the For the People Act (HR 1)," said Christine Wood, Democracy Organizer at Public Citizen.

"Automatic Voter Registration is the next important step in electoral reform. Our democracy is strengthened when we expand enrollment and increase voter participation. I applaud this important reform and call on the state legislature to make it law," said Stuart Appelbaum, President of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU).

"We do not have to register for free speech rights nor do we have to register for the right to a fair trial. So, why should we have to register to be permitted to vote? It makes no sense. AVR is long overdue," said Michael Quackenbush of Dutchess county Progressive Alliance.

"Last year, New York saw a number of crucial pro-democracy reforms become law and we are pleased to see that work continue in 2020 with the passing of Automatic Voter Registration in the Senate, today. This law will allow more voters to participate in the electoral process. In states where this reform has been implemented, voting rolls have become more accurate, and states have saved money. With some of the lowest voter turnout numbers in the country, New York must take all possible steps to make voting more accessible," said Betsy Gotbaum, Executive Director of Citizens Union.

"Why are we letting a piece of paper--the voter registration form--stand in the way of allowing citizens to participate in democracy? If you are eligible to vote, you should be able to vote. Voters shouldn't have to jump though hoops just to exercise their fundamental rights. Automatic Voter Registration serves to eliminate one of the biggest hoops and helps to bring more people into our democracy," said Erica Cohen of Brooklyn Voters Alliance.

"Historically, New York's antiquated election laws barred low-income voters, voters of color, and newly naturalized voters from exercising their rights and ultimately, from accessing power. Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are eligible to register to vote at higher rates that many other naturalized groups -- but a lack of language access, tailored resources, and direct outreach prevent many would-be voters from fully participating in our democracy," said Amy Torres, Director of Policy & Advocacy at the Chinese-American Planning Council (CPC). "Last year, the legislature closed a historic wave of voting reforms with a promise to pass Automatic Voter Registration at the start of session. Today's package of voting bills demonstrates that New York is not yet finished passing bold, progressive reforms that unlock political potential for people across the state."


The Let NY Vote Coalition is a statewide network of over 175 member organizations ranging from 32BJ, to NAACP New York to New York State Indivisible. Full coalition list here.

The Let NY Vote coalition has been demanding common sense voting reform in New York for years such as:

  • Early Voting (enacted in law): in place in 37 other states and now New York, allowing citizens to cast ballots in person days, sometimes weeks, before an election.
  • Pre-registration of 16 and 17-year-olds (enacted in law): 13 states plus DC allow for pre-registration for voting at 16 and 17 years old. Pre-registration increases the likelihood of voter participation among young adults. Engaging potential voters at a young age and bringing them into the voting process early helps create lifelong voters.
  • Consolidation of Primary Dates (enacted in law): Currently New York has two primary days in June and September, confusing voters. New York is the only state with two primaries.
  • Vote by mail (passed, constitutional amendment required): No eligible voter should have to provide a reason to be able to vote absentee.
  • Same day registration (passed, constitutional amendment required): 18 states and DC have Same Day Registration. Same Day Registration enables voters to register and vote at the same time and increases voter turnout.
  • Flexibility to Change Party Affiliation (passed): New York has the most restrictive deadline in the country, locking out hundreds of thousands of voters during the primaries. The change of party deadline must be shortened to allow people to make an informed decision.
  • Voting Rights for People on Parole: the restoration of voting rights for people on parole needs to be codified in law, so that restoration becomes an automatic process.
kerry@ducey.org (readMedia) Politics Thu, 09 Jan 2020 09:45:14 -0500
Empire City Casino by MGM Resorts Appoints Ed Domingo as President & COO https://news.hamlethub.com/riverdale/neighbors/4589-empire-city-casino-by-mgm-resorts-appoints-ed-domingo-as-president-coo4589-empire-city-casino-by-mgm-resorts-appoints-ed-domingo-as-president-coo https://news.hamlethub.com/riverdale/neighbors/4589-empire-city-casino-by-mgm-resorts-appoints-ed-domingo-as-president-coo4589-empire-city-casino-by-mgm-resorts-appoints-ed-domingo-as-president-coo

Empire City Casino by MGM Resorts (“Empire City”) has announced gaming and hospitality veteran Ed Domingo as President and Chief Operating Officer. Domingo is being promoted from his position as Empire City’s Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. He will be responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the country’s sixth largest gaming floor and the 120-year-old historic Yonkers Raceway, in addition to its 1,000+ employees, and the overall experience of its nine million annual visitors.

“Ed’s extensive experience and passion are assets that will serve Empire City and the community greatly,” said Jorge Perez, Regional Portfolio President, MGM Resorts International. “Empire City is a cornerstone in Yonkers, and it has been a privilege to introduce MGM over the last year and continue to support more than 1,000 jobs and bring exceptional experiences to our guests. Ed’s vision will continue moving us forward.”

Domingo joined MGM Resorts International as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of the Bellagio resort in Las Vegas. He brings to New York two decades of experience in law, finance and hospitality, including overseeing and executing successful casino resort upgrades and openings for Caesars Entertainment and Rush Street Gaming.

“This is a very exciting time as we work towards securing a full commercial casino license that will expand our offerings and grow Empire City into a full-fledged entertainment and gaming destination,” said Domingo. “Having worked in casino resorts in major metropolitan areas, I recognize the extraordinary opportunity the downstate New York market presents. I’m also grateful to be part of the vibrant Yonkers community and the exceptional team at Empire City.”

Domingo, a first-generation Filipino American born and raised in Dallas, Texas, has lived all over the United States, including New York City, Raleigh-Durham, Boston, Chicago, and Las Vegas. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Duke University, a Juris Doctor degree from New York University School of Law, and a Master of Business Administration from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. He resides in Westchester County with his wife, twin eight-year-old daughters and two dogs.

kerry@ducey.org (MGM Resorts) Neighbors Thu, 09 Jan 2020 09:41:14 -0500
New York Botanical Gardens Hosts A Gathering of Stones: Dan Snow on Jan. 20 https://news.hamlethub.com/riverdale/events/4588-new-york-botanical-gardens-hosts-a-gathering-of-stones-dan-snow-on-jan-204588-new-york-botanical-gardens-hosts-a-gathering-of-stones-dan-snow-on-jan-20 https://news.hamlethub.com/riverdale/events/4588-new-york-botanical-gardens-hosts-a-gathering-of-stones-dan-snow-on-jan-204588-new-york-botanical-gardens-hosts-a-gathering-of-stones-dan-snow-on-jan-20

New York Botanical Gardens hosts A Gathering of Stones: Dan Snow on Tuesday, January 21, 2020 from 1 PM – 3 PM

Stone underlies all earthly life. It is grist for loam and the bedrock of megacities. But because it's so ubiquitous, it tends to disappear in plain sight. Dan Snow's work brings stone into sharp focus by elevating this humble, natural material to new heights. His hand-crafted, site-specific dry stone installations fuse environment and art, offering new perspectives on both. Dan's lushly illustrated talk will trace his long career in partnership with Earth's most basic elements.

An outdoor craftsman and art maker, Dan Snow creates practical landscape structures and playful environmental artworks in dry stone. A life-long Vermonter, Dan has traveled widely for more than four decades producing public and private site specific installations.

kerry@ducey.org (NYBG) Events Wed, 08 Jan 2020 10:39:34 -0500
Billion-dollar Consulting Firm Slalom Expands to Westchester County, Bringing Hundreds of New Jobs https://news.hamlethub.com/riverdale/places/4587-billion-dollar-consulting-firm-slalom-expands-to-westchester-county-bringing-hundreds-of-new-jobs4587-billion-dollar-consulting-firm-slalom-expands-to-westchester-county-bringing-hundreds-of-new-jobs https://news.hamlethub.com/riverdale/places/4587-billion-dollar-consulting-firm-slalom-expands-to-westchester-county-bringing-hundreds-of-new-jobs4587-billion-dollar-consulting-firm-slalom-expands-to-westchester-county-bringing-hundreds-of-new-jobs

 Slalom, the $1B modern consulting firm focused on strategy, technology, and business transformation, today announced the opening of its newest office servicing Westchester County and Southern Connecticut. The office will be located in White Plains, New York, and will bring more than 300 jobs to Westchester and Southern Connecticut over the next several years.

“Westchester County is pleased to welcome Slalom and the hundreds of professional jobs the firm will bring to our business community,” said Westchester County Executive, George Latimer. “We are fortunate to possess a wealth of talented, successful business leaders right here in Westchester, and with an ideal location adjacent to New York City, this is the perfect place for an innovative company like Slalom to thrive.”

Slalom was founded in Seattle in 2001. Today, the company is in over 35 markets across the US and around the world and is worth over $1B in revenue. Slalom’s clients include more than half the Fortune 100 and a third of the Fortune 500—along with startups, not-for-profits, and innovative organizations of all kinds.

“We’re building the Westchester market from the ground up and will be driving growth in the business community with the leadership of our newest General Manager, Marc Raderman,” said Troy Johnson, Slalom Chief Growth Officer and Co-Founder.

For Slalom, Westchester County offers close proximity to multiple Fortune 500 companies, financial institutions, and a rapidly expanding growth center for media, manufacturing, biotech, med-tech, and healthcare innovation.

“In Westchester County, we see a lot of untapped potential,” said Marc Raderman, Slalom General Manager for Westchester/Southern Connecticut. “Westchester is home to industry leaders in healthcare, financial services, technology, and retail, and we’re looking forward to bringing innovation and impactful outcomes to this business community.”

Along with Slalom’s newest office, the company currently employs 7,500 people globally and will continue its rapid growth in 2020.

kerry@ducey.org (Christiaan Boer) Places Wed, 08 Jan 2020 10:30:56 -0500
Westchester DA Alerts Residents to Heightened Security Concerns Following Attached in Baghdad https://news.hamlethub.com/riverdale/publicsafety/4586-westchester-da-alerts-residents-to-heightened-security-concerns-following-attached-in-baghdad4586-westchester-da-alerts-residents-to-heightened-security-concerns-following-attached-in-baghdad https://news.hamlethub.com/riverdale/publicsafety/4586-westchester-da-alerts-residents-to-heightened-security-concerns-following-attached-in-baghdad4586-westchester-da-alerts-residents-to-heightened-security-concerns-following-attached-in-baghdad

Statement from Westchester County District Attorney Anthony A. Scarpino, Jr. in Response to Heightened Security Concerns Following Attached in Baghdad

“With the U.S. attack on targets in Bagdad, Iraq, and reports of public threats of revenge from Iranian leaders, intelligence agencies in our region are on alert for possible retaliation by Iran and its terrorist partners. At this time, we urge all religious and civic institutions as well as residents of Westchester to put safety first.

As part of our ongoing work to keep Westchester safe, the Westchester Intelligence Center, a department in my office, continues to monitor intelligence from Homeland Security, New York State Police, NYPD and other agencies. The WIC will share relevant information with the County’s 42 local police departments, which may mean the difference between a threat and actual violence.

We want to remind those of you who live and work in Westchester: if you have any concerns for your safety or that of others, tell your local police. Please, Westchester, Say Something.”

kerry@ducey.org (Westchester County District Attorney) Public safety Mon, 06 Jan 2020 07:56:53 -0500
Annual Meet the Media Panel with HamletHub's Margaret Carey on January 14 https://news.hamlethub.com/riverdale/events/4585-annual-meet-the-media-panel-on-january-144585-annual-meet-the-media-panel-on-january-14 https://news.hamlethub.com/riverdale/events/4585-annual-meet-the-media-panel-on-january-144585-annual-meet-the-media-panel-on-january-14

Professional Women of Westchester invites you to join them on January 14th for our annual Meet the Media Panel!

Moderator: Lisa Kaslyn of Prosper Communications


Valerie Abrahamas, Editor in Chief, Scarsdale Inquirer
Margaret Carey, Editor of Putnam and Northern Westchester HamletHub
Jeanne Muchnick, Food and Dining Reporter, LoHud
Susan Ross, Publisher, Westchester Senior Voice

Location: Sam's of Gedney Way
50 Gedney Way
White Plains, NY

$25 pp Non Members
$20pp PWW Members
Includes appetizers. Cash Bar.

MUST Register to Attend: www.professionalwomenofwestchester.com

PWW provides its membership with a broad array of opportunities for networking, information sharing, and professional development. All are welcome to attend this educational event.


kerry@ducey.org (Professional Women of Westchester) Events Fri, 03 Jan 2020 08:06:00 -0500
Yonkers Raceway Police Benevolent Association Donates $45,000 to Two Local Charities https://news.hamlethub.com/riverdale/charities/4584-yonkers-raceway-police-benevolent-association-donates-45-000-to-two-local-charities4584-yonkers-raceway-police-benevolent-association-donates-45-000-to-two-local-charities https://news.hamlethub.com/riverdale/charities/4584-yonkers-raceway-police-benevolent-association-donates-45-000-to-two-local-charities4584-yonkers-raceway-police-benevolent-association-donates-45-000-to-two-local-charities

 On Monday, December 23 at Empire City Casino by MGM Resorts, Yonkers Raceway Police Benevolent Association (YRPBA) - the union representing the security personnel at Empire City - spread cheer and charity just in time for the holidays as they presented two checks of $22,500 each to local Westchester County charities Make-A-Wish Hudson Valley and Blythedale Children’s Hospital.

The presentation was attended by Michael Sandler, President, YRPBA; Emilio Filopei, Vice President, YRPBA; David Gordich, Union Trustee and Consultant, YRPBA; Christopher Mallari, Recording Secretary, YRPBA; Thomas J. Conklin, President and CEO, Make-A-Wish Hudson Valley; Abraham Almanza, Director of Marketing & Volunteer Management, Make-A-Wish Hudson Valley; Lisa Koch, Vice President of Development, Blythedale Children’s Hospital, as well as additional representatives from each organization.

"On behalf of the Yonkers Raceway Police Benevolent Association (YRPBA), it is a great honor to present these donations to two of the most valuable causes in Westchester County,” said Michael Sandler, President of the Yonkers Raceway Police Benevolent Association. “There is nothing more gratifying than to see the smiles on children's faces and know that we played a role in making their dreams come true."

Yonkers Raceway Police Benevolent Association consists of 105 uniformed peace officers who are committed to the safety and well-being of all visitors and staff at Empire City Casino by MGM Resorts. As part of their CSR commitment, these donations serve as an opportunity to help support the local community and allow YRPBA to lend another helping hand to the community, making a difference for thousands of children across the region.

“We are deeply grateful to Empire City Casino by MGM Resorts employees, especially the Yonkers Raceway Police Benevolent Association (YRPBA), for this incredibly generous gift. This will be a tremendous help in granting the wishes for children in the Lower Hudson Valley dealing with critical illnesses,” said Thomas J. Conklin, President & CEO, Make-A-Wish® Hudson Valley.

“On behalf of Blythedale Children’s Hospital, we are grateful for the incredible generosity of the Yonkers Raceway Police Benevolent Association,” said Lisa Koch, Vice President of Development, Blythedale Children’s Hospital. “For over 128 years, Blythedale has been dedicated to improving the health and quality of life of children with medical complexities. Your commitment helps to ensure that Blythedale will continue to deliver state-of-the-art medical care, rehabilitation therapy and support services to well over 2,500 children and families every year.”

This presentation is just one of the many ways Empire City Casino by MGM Resorts gives back to the communities they serve. For more information, please visit www.empirecitycasino.com.   

kerry@ducey.org (Abby Ogden) Charities Mon, 30 Dec 2019 06:14:05 -0500
Find a First Day Hike Near You https://news.hamlethub.com/riverdale/life/4583-find-a-first-day-hike-near-you4583-find-a-first-day-hike-near-you https://news.hamlethub.com/riverdale/life/4583-find-a-first-day-hike-near-you4583-find-a-first-day-hike-near-you

First Day Hikes

Many New Yorkers thrive in winter and are eager for falling temperatures and consistent snowfalls. To these hardy adventurers, a few extra layers of gear combined with the snowy terrain of parklands is a winning recipe for fitness, togetherness and outdoor fun. One way to enjoy the winter landscapes and unwind after a hectic holiday season is with a First Day Hike on January 1, 2020

New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (State Parks) and the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) invite New Yorkers to celebrate the New Year at one of the 75+ hikes being held at state parks, historic sites, wildlife areas, trails, and public lands across the Empire State and the nation as part of the 9th annual First Day Hikes program.

Hikes are being offered at more than 50 state parks and historic sites (with some facilities offering multiple hikes for different age groups, skill levels and destinations within the park) and 22 DEC State lands, wildlife areas, Forest Preserve trails and environmental education centers. Staff from State Parks and DEC, along with volunteers and partners at many sites, will lead these family-friendly walks and hikes, which range from one to five miles depending on the location and conditions.

A sample of this year's programs feature a seal walk, walking history tour, snowshoe waterfall hike, pet-friendly treks, gorge walks, fire towers, and more. If weather conditions permit, some First Day Hikes may include snowshoeing or cross-country skiing. Many host sites will be offering refreshments and giveaways. If you've never been on a First Day Hike, 2020 is the year!

Click here for more details

keytocomputing@gmail.com (NY State Parks) Life Tue, 24 Dec 2019 05:17:57 -0500