Somers's HamletHub Fri, 18 Jun 2021 04:46:46 -0400 Reinforcing the Law during the return of Prom Season

Westchester County Police, Office of Drug Abuse and Prevention, Taxi and Limousine Commission continue checkpoints for drugs and alcohol ahead of prom.

A rite of passage returns for Westchester County High School students as the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions allows for gatherings including the prom.

With the onset of prom, comes the reinforcement of drugs and alcohol. The Westchester County Office of Drug Abuse and Prevention and STOP-DWI, Westchester Coalition for Drug and Alcohol Free Youth Program, Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) all under the umbrella of the  Westchester County Police Department joined together for prom safety checkpoints, completing four so far this year.

Westchester County Executive George Latimer said: “This type of enforcement works. We don’t want to restrict our young people from having a good time, but we want them to be safe and smart, so their memories of the prom will be good ones.”

While many proms are hosted off-campus, the checkpoints are considered an extension of school grounds. Vehicles are stopped and inspected for drugs, alcohol and compliance with TLC rules and regulations.

Chairperson of the Westchester County Taxi and Limousine Commission Leandra Eustache, Esq. said: “Not only does this help ensure the safety of the students, but it also helps to combat illegal car service operators who take business away from licensed companies. Our role is to ensure students attending their proms are using safe and reliable transportation and not bringing alcohol or drugs into the prom venues.”

The Office of Drug Abuse Prevention and STOP-DWI makes information available to schools and students ahead of prom season including assemblies for safety measures, letters to principals and brochures. Brochures and fact sheets are available in both English and Spanish,

Office of Drug Abuse Prevention and STOP-DWI Director Patricia Tomassi said: “This is a very different prom season for us, there are many more instances of alcohol consumption, so we decided to be more proactive about it. It’s all about protecting students and helping them celebrate what is supposed to be one of the happiest times in their lives.”

The program began in 2003.

Superintendent Christopher Borsari of the Public Schools of the Tarrytowns has participated in the program for several years.

Borsari said: “Keeping our kids safe is always our top priority.  We appreciate the partnership with the County Police in ensuring their safety on such a memorable evening.”

Checkpoints are already scheduled for other Westchester County proms this year.

]]> (Westchester County) Public safety Thu, 17 Jun 2021 13:16:52 -0400
Obamcare Challenge Rebuffed by Supreme Court

The Supreme Court today threw out a Texas challenge to the Affordable Care Act, ruling the GOP states seeking to derail the law lacked standing to sue over a $0 penalty adopted by Congress.

In a 7-2 decision, the Supreme Court rejected a constitutional challenge to the Affordable Care Act. The 7-2 ruling is the third time the nation's highest court has preserved the 2010 law, colmmonly referred to as "Obamacare".

The Majority of judges ruled that:



  • Texas, and other Republican-led states and two individuals had no right to bring their lawsuit in federal court.
  • The law’s major provisions include protections for people with pre-existing health conditions, a range of no-cost preventive services and the expansion of the Medicaid program.
  • The ruling left in place the law’s requirement that people have health insurance or pay a penalty. Congress rendered that provision irrelevant in 2017 when it reduced the penalty to zero.

Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Clarence Thomas, Amy Coney Barrett and Brett Kavanaugh all sided with the high court's liberal justices in the ruling.


]]> (Peter Carey) Life Thu, 17 Jun 2021 11:42:15 -0400
Dances of India Workshop for Teens/Tweens at Somers Library

Dances of India Workshop for Teens/Tweens

Thursday, July 1, 4:00 - 5:00 pm 

Join us for a live introduction to Indian dance, a video presentation of Anja Dance Company's performance followed by a live, interactive Bollywood and Bhangra dance lesson and Q&A. This program is intended for teens and tweens entering grades 6 and up! This program is offered in conjunction with the Greenburgh Library. Please register using this link. You will receive an email prior to the meeting with a Zoom invitation.  

Our programs are funded by The Friends of the Library - thanks for your support!

The Somers Library ~ 914-232-5717 ~

]]> (Somers Library) Events Thu, 17 Jun 2021 06:17:41 -0400
The Schoolhouse Theater presents 'The History of Tom Jones' by Henry Fielding in a Zoom Matinee This Saturday

The Schoolhouse Theater presents 'The History of Tom Jones' by Henry Fielding.

A Zoom Matinee This Saturday

Lovable Tom Jones “was born to be hung.”

Mistakenly believed to be the son of peasants,

Tom’s love of a wealthy landowner's daughter is barred. 

So Tom sets off wandering the world where he is robbed, seduced, assaulted, reproached, seduced yet again... 

Raunchy and romantic,

Tom's course of true love is not a plain path

The History of Tom Jones is offered free of charge as part of The Schoolhouse Theater’s series of Zoom matinees.

Click on the link below or visit:

Saturday, June 19, 3:00 pm (EST)



]]> (Schoolhouse Theater) Events Thu, 17 Jun 2021 06:03:24 -0400
Brooke Wheeler Named to College of Charleston Spring 2021 President's List

Brooke Wheeler, of Somers, NY, was named to the College of Charleston Spring 2021 President's List. Wheeler is majoring in Business Administration .

To qualify for President's List (Highly Distinguished), students must earn a GPA of 3.800 or higher and complete a minimum of 14 semester hours.

To quality for Dean's List (Distinguished), students must earn a GPA of 3.600 or higher and complete a minimum of 14 semester hours.

Located in the heart of historic Charleston, South Carolina, the College of Charleston is a nationally recognized public liberal arts and sciences university. Founded in 1770, the College is among the nation's top universities for quality education, student life and affordability. Its beautiful and historic campus, combined with contemporary facilities, cutting-edge programs and accessible faculty attracts students from across the U.S. and around the world.


]]> (College of Charleston) Life Thu, 17 Jun 2021 05:46:00 -0400
Sweepstakes scams cost victims more during pandemic

Sweepstakes and lottery scams resulted in higher financial losses during the COVID-19 pandemic compared to the previous three years, according to new research from Better Business Bureau® (BBB®). Consumers are advised never to pay money to claim a prize. If anyone asks for money before delivering a prize, it is probably a scam.

Sweepstakes and lottery prize scams ranked as the third most common scam reported to BBB Metro New York in 2020. In 2021, as of June 9, there were 108 such scams reported to BBB Metro New York.

“Anybody could fall victim to scammers who dangle the promise of rich sweepstakes or lottery rewards, while trying to rip people off,” said Claire Rosenzweig, President and CEO of BBB Serving Metropolitan New York. “While older people may often be especially susceptible, everyone needs to look at such appeals with a skeptical eye and verify claims before taking any action.”         

The research is an update of BBB’s 2018 in-depth investigative , Sweepstakes, Lottery and Prize Scams: A Better Business Bureau Study of How “Winners” Lose Millions Through an Evolving Fraud. Since the study’s publication, there has been a 16% decrease in complaints to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC). However, financial losses from these types of scams reported to all three agencies rose dramatically in 2020 with the COVID-19 pandemic, with FTC logging an increase of more than 35% in reported dollar lossesThe updated research highlights how these scams work and the importance of educating consumers, particularly those who may be susceptible to a specific scam.

Older adults are the primary target for sweepstakes scams

People over the age of 55 continue to be the primary target of sweepstakes, lottery, and prize scams, representing 72% of fraud reports for this type of scam received by BBB Scam Tracker during the last three years. Of the older consumers who were targeted, 91% reported that they lost money. Adults over 55 lost an average of $978 while those 18-54 lost an average of $279, according to Scam Tracker reports.

The confinement and isolation many older people experienced during COVID-19 may have helped fuel the increase in losses. Other factors that may contribute to some older people’s particular vulnerability include mental decline and relative financial stability, as reported in BBB’s 2018 study.

Recent BBB interviews with repeat victims of sweepstakes scams, however, found few to be the stereotypical “frail shut-in” that many people envision,” according to Baker, the author of the 2018 study. Instead, Baker noted that the victims interviewed were ordinary people more interested in using the imagined winnings to help their families or communities than spending it on themselves.

Scammer tactics include impersonation and wide outreach

According to BBB Scam Tracker data, sweepstakes scammers reach out through a variety of channels: phone calls, email, social media, notices in the mail, and text messages. They may impersonate well-known sweepstakes such as Publishers Clearing House or a state or provincial lottery. The “winner” is told to pay taxes or fees before the prize can be awarded. The FTC notes that people increasingly are asked to buy gift cards to pay these fees -- its use is documented further in BBB’s 2021 in-depth investigative study on gift card fraud -- but they also may be asked to pay via wire transfer or bank deposit into a specified account, or even cash sent by mail.

In reality, the prize does not exist, something the people may not realize before paying thousands of dollars that cannot be recouped. However, the harm suffered by lottery fraud victims can far exceed the loss of that money. The losses can put severe strains on family trust, and victims have even committed suicide. In addition, repeat victims may have difficulty ending their involvement in a lottery scam, and they may unwittingly become “money mules”  who receive and forward money from other lottery fraud victims.

How to tell fake sweepstakes and lottery offers from real ones:

  • True lotteries or sweepstakes don’t ask for money. If someone wants money for taxes, themselves, or a third party, they are most likely crooks.
  • You have to enter to win. To win a lottery, you must buy a lottery ticket. To win a sweepstakes or prize, you must have entered first. If you can’t remember doing so, that’s a red flag.
  • Call the sweepstakes company directly to see if you won. Publishers Clearing House (PCH) does not call people in advance to tell them they’ve won. Report PCH imposters on their website. Check to see if you have actually won at 800-392-4190.
  • Check to see if you won a lottery. If you are told you’ve won a lottery, call the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries at  or your local state lottery agency to confirm it.
  • Do an internet search of the company, name, or phone number of the person who contacted you. Check BBB Scam Tracker to see if other consumers have had similar experiences.
  • Law enforcement officials do not call and award prizes. Verify the identity of the caller and do not send money until you do.
  • Talk to a trusted family member or your bank. They may be able to help. You also can call your local BBB office for help in identifying a scam.

If you think you have been a target of lottery/sweepstakes fraud, file a report with:

ABOUT BBB: For more than 100 years, the Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses and charities they can trust. In 2020, people turned to BBB more than 220 million times for BBB Business Profiles on nearly 6.2 million businesses and Charity Reports on about 11,000 charities, all available for free at There are local, independent BBBs across the United States, Canada and Mexico, including BBB Serving Metropolitan New York, which was founded in 1922 and serves New York City, Long Island, and the Mid-Hudson region. Visit for more information.

]]> (Better Business Bureau® of Metropolitan New York) Public safety Thu, 17 Jun 2021 04:46:54 -0400
University of Rhode Island names Somers students to Spring 2021 Dean's List

The University of Rhode Island is pleased to announce the Spring 2021 Dean's List. More than 7,000 students were named to the Spring 2021 Dean's List, representing nearly all of Rhode Island's cities and towns, all six New England states, New York and New Jersey, and many other states and countries.

The following local students were named to the list:

Evan Kader of Somers

Grace Stellato of Somers

To be included on the Dean's List, full-time students must have completed 12 or more credits for letter grades which are GPA applicable during a semester and achieved at least a 3.30 quality point average. Part-time students qualify with the accumulation of 12 or more credits for letter grades which are GPA applicable earning at least a 3.30 quality point average.

To view the entire Dean's List, visit:

About the University of Rhode Island

Founded in 1892, the University of Rhode Island is the principal public flagship research and graduate institution in Rhode Island. Competitive and highly regarded, its 14,300 undergraduate students and more than 2,700 graduate students represent 48 states and 76 countries across the globe. With 203 academic programs, URI offers its undergraduate, graduate, and professional students distinctive educational opportunities designed to meet the global challenges of today's world and the rapidly evolving needs of tomorrow. At URI, you will find some of today's leading innovators, discoverers, and creative problem solvers. To learn more, visit:

]]> (University of Rhode Island) Life Wed, 16 Jun 2021 11:55:36 -0400
Ronald McDonald House Receives COVID Grant from Community Foundation of Orange and Sullivan Counties

Ronald McDonald House of the Greater Hudson Valley was recently awarded a
COVID 19 response grant from the Community Foundation of Orange and Sullivan Counties (CFOS). Based in Montgomery, NY, the Community Foundation of Orange and Sullivan connects people who care with causes that matter. Ronald McDonald House of the Greater Hudson Valley (RMHGHV) provides families with children facing medical challenges an atmosphere of comfort, hope and courage, keeping them close to the care and resources they need.

The grant, in the amount of $5,000, will be allotted to the Covid Relief Plan implemented atRMHGHV during the current pandemic to enable the organization to continue providing critical services to families experiencing medical crisis. “We are grateful for the Community Foundation’s generous grant which will enable us to continue to support our families as the world rebounds from this unprecedented pandemic,” said Christina Riley, Executive Director RMHGHV. “The world was put on hold but children continued to get sick and families were forced to face serious medical issues. Through our COVID Relief Plan we have continued to
successfully carry out our mission.”

The Community Foundation, established in 1999 helps philanthropic individuals, businesses and organizations establish charitable funds that will award grants and scholarships. The Foundation has significantly increased the region’s charitable capital and has empowered donors to make a profound difference in the quality of life in the Westchester region. Since its inception, CFOS has awarded more than $15 million in grants and scholarships and currently administers 322
active charitable funds.

This year Ronald McDonald House of the Greater Hudson Valley is celebrating a decade of keeping families together and close to the medical care their child needs. The House has 12 bedrooms that are filled to capacity almost every night and provides meals, laundry and respite services for families during their stay. Located on the campus of Westchester Medical Center the House is just steps away from Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital. Since opening in 2011, more than 2,000 families have called the House their home and has saved families over $5,000,000 in out-of-pocket lodging and meal costs. For more information on RMHGHV visit www.rmh- or


]]> (Ronald McDonald House of the Greater Hudson Valley) Charities Wed, 16 Jun 2021 07:07:13 -0400
$105 Million in Grant Funding for Nonprofit Arts and Cultural Organizations and Artists

New York State Council on the Arts Offers Four Rounds of Flexible Funding Applications for Live Performance Grants Open on Wednesday, June 16

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced yesterday the availability of $105 million in critical arts and cultural funding through the New York State Council on the Arts, including a program to reinvigorate near-term live performances that opens for applications Wednesday. The grants will aid in the arts sector's multi-year recovery from COVID-19 and spur the revitalization of New York's creative economy, which fosters $123 billion annually in economic activity and supports more than 500,000 jobs statewide. 

"We must build New York back better than it was before, and part of that process will be strengthening and reinvigorating our state's creative economy," Governor Cuomo said. "These grants will pay dividends through the economic activity generated by our creative ecosystem, which will continue to flourish and inspire us as we work together to make New York stronger than ever."

There will be four rounds of funding, with $20 million already committed to multi-year awards in the first round. Each round is designed to address the most urgent needs of organizations and artists within New York's nonprofit creative sector. 

  • Restart NY: Rapid Live Performance Grants ($10 million): Support will directly address the area of the arts sector hardest hit by COVID-19, and reinvigorate near term, in-person performance opportunities. This funding will prioritize the recovery of New York's unparalleled performance organizations, venues, artists, and groups. This $10 million opportunity offers both direct support from NYSCA and regrant support through NYSCA's Partnerships and Statewide Community Regrants program. Grants of $5,000 and $10,000 will be available for eligible performing arts organizations for planned performance programming in 2021. Support provided through the Community Regrants Program, which will focus on reviving performance on a very local level, will be administered by NYSCA partners statewide. The goal of this regrant support is to reach small, local organizations that do not receive direct grants from NYSCA. Round 1 guidelines and portal for direct NYSCA Rapid Live Performance Grants will open on June 16. Application portal will close July 1.  
  • Expanded Access to Funding ($15 million): Support will expand NYSCA's current network of valued regrant partners to reach New York's vast and diverse community of artists and organizations. Funding will be distributed through NYSCA Partnerships and Statewide Community Regrants. Increased support at the local level will ensure more communities, organizations, and individuals will have access to NYSCA funding. Round 2 guidelines will be posted June 16, 2021. Application portal will open on July 19 and close August 2.
  • Organizational and Individual Artist Recovery ($40 million): Support will broaden individual artist assistance and deliver extremely flexible funding for organizations through a streamlined application experience. Grants offered in this round will greatly expand eligibility and encourage new applicants across a wide spectrum of artistic and cultural practices. Priority will be given to applicants that serve historically underrepresented communities. Round 3 guidelines will be posted on June 16. Application portal will open July 19 and close September.
  • Capital Funding for the Arts ($20 million): Support will assist organizations in making improvements to address health and safety issues in their spaces and venues among other needs. Any New York State nonprofit arts and culture organization is encouraged to apply. Round 4 guidelines and application portal will open in September. 

More information will be posted on NYSCA's website this week.

NYSCA Executive Director Mara Manus said, "As the post-COVID era begins, NYSCA's goals are to drive greater access to arts funding, reach historically underrepresented communities, and support the full breadth of artmaking in New York. We are grateful to Governor Cuomo, the New York State Legislature, and the Division of the Budget for their dedication and unwavering support. Our extraordinary creative culture boosts tourism, hospitality, and Main Streets in every region. The reopening of the arts will ignite our multi-year, multi-faceted recovery, and will promote vitality, health, and prosperity as we rebuild across New York State." 

NYSCA Chairwoman Katherine Nicholls said, "The NYSCA staff and Council members are acutely aware of the ongoing need and the financial pressures weighing on individuals and organizations within our sector. This historic $100 million in funding will bring unprecedented relief. I look forward to working with Council and the NYSCA staff to continue our mission of promoting artistic endeavors in all 62 counties and to artists and organizations of every description." 

About the New York State Council on the Arts  

The New York State Council on the Arts preserves and advances the arts and culture that make New York State an exceptional place to live, work and visit. The Council on the Arts upholds the right of all New Yorkers to experience the vital contributions the arts make to our communities, education, economic development, and quality of life.

Through its core grant making activity, the Council on the Arts awarded more than $40 million in FY2021. Though the statewide grants and regrants program, Council on the Arts funding reaches all 62 counties throughout New York State. This funding supports the visual, literary, media and performing arts and includes dedicated support for arts education and underserved communities. The Council on the Arts further advances New York's creative culture by convening leaders in the field and providing organizational and professional development opportunities and informational resources.  

Created by Governor Nelson Rockefeller in 1960 and continued and expanded to the present day with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, NYSCA is an agency of the Executive Branch of New York State.  

]]> (Office of the Governor. ) Politics Wed, 16 Jun 2021 05:49:54 -0400
2021 Pegasus Horse Show

The 39th Annual Pegasus Horse Show is on Saturday June 26th.

Building on the success of last year's drive-thru Horse Show we have something very special planned! Not only will participants compete in the riding portion of the Horse Show but they will have the opportunity to take part in some very and engaging activities afterward. Each student will earn a show ribbon for accomplishing a particular horsemanship skill exceptionally well.
The Annual Horse Show provides a wonderful opportunity for our riders with specials needs to celebrate their accomplishments with family and friends in a unique, nurturing and supportive environment.
This free event is open to everyone in the community! It's guaranteed to be full of fun activities, arts, music, grooming, visits from some new four-legged friends (you'll have to wait and see who our special guests are).
And of course, there will be ice cream and other treats along the way!
Interested in attending? Sign up for a timed entry here
To speak with us regarding sponsorships or a donation in honor of our participants, contact Director of Development Candice Sciarrillo at or visit for complete details
]]> (Pegasus Therapeutic Riding ) Events Wed, 16 Jun 2021 05:36:25 -0400
IRS offers information and resources in variety of multilingual and alternative formats

As part of an ongoing effort to increase multilingual outreach, the IRS offers tax information in multiple languages. pages have links to any available translations on the right side, just below the title. Languages currently available include Spanish, Chinese simplified and traditional, Korean, Russian, Vietnamese and Haitian-Creole.

Taxpayers can also click on the language dropdown arrow at the top of many pages. The dropdown menu displays the current language selection and lists other languages in which a taxpayer can view

Some multilingual resources on

 • The agency has created a Languages page in 20 languages to help taxpayers find basic tax information, such as how to check their refund status, pay taxes or file a federal tax return.

o • Information about IRS Free File options is available in seven languages. Free File software offers free electronic filing options in English and Spanish.
 • The Let Us Help You page is available in seven languages.

 • A Spanish language version of Form 1040  and the related instructions are also available.

 • Form 1040 Schedule LEP, in English and Spanish, with instructions available in English and 20 other languages, can be filed with a tax return by those taxpayers who prefer to communicate with the IRS in another language..
 • has a special section with information on Economic Impact Payments in seven languages. The Get My Payment tool, to check the status of an Economic Impact Payment, is offered in English and Spanish.

 • Information about the 2021 advance child tax credit payments is also in seven languages.

 • The Taxpayer Bill of Rights, outlined in Publication 1, Your Rights as a Taxpayer, is available in seven languages.

 • Taxpayers can view and download several tax forms and publications, such as Publication 17,Your Federal Income Tax in Spanish, Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional, Korean, Russian and Vietnamese.

Multilingual IRS social media and e-news subscriptions

 • The free IRS2Go app is also available in English and Spanish. It’s available to download from Google Play, the Apple App Store, or the Amazon App store.

 • The agency also has a multilingual YouTube channel.

 • The IRS Facebook page is available in Spanish, and anyone can get the latest IRS tax news and information in Spanish through the Twitter account @IRSenEspanol. The agency has also has created individual Twitter Moments in six languages, highlighting key messages in SpanishVietnameseRussianKoreanHaitian Creole and Chinese.

 • Anyone get IRS news releases, tax tips and updates in Spanish as they are released. Subscribe at Noticias del IRS en Español.

Alternative formats available for use with assistive technology 

 • also offers content in a variety of file formats to accommodate people who use assistive technology, such as screen-reading software, refreshable Braille displays and voice recognition software. Taxpayers can download or view in text only hundreds of tax forms and publications, Braille-ready files, browser-friendly HTML, accessible PDF and large print. Any program that reads text including Microsoft Word and Notepad can open and read these text files. Details are available on the Accessibility page of

]]> (Internal Revenue Service) Life Wed, 16 Jun 2021 05:33:53 -0400
Open Letter to Governor Cuomo Urging Him To Sign Bill to Support Disabled Students


"Dear Governor Cuomo,
Assembly bill A8021 needs your signature to support a small number of significantly disabled students in a precarious situation at the end of this school year. As most students look forward to getting back into schools next year, these special education students who turned 21 years old will NOT be permitted to make up this last year that they missed, regardless of regression, missed services, learning loss due to the educational impact of the pandemic, and will never have the opportunity to appropriately finish their public school education, without YOUR signature on A8021 NOW!
The negative impacts of COVID-19 are agreed upon across our educational systems, both at the State and Federal levels, and federal funding from the American Rescue Plan Act supports students because of this. WE all agree on this!
However, students who, by circumstance and D.O.B. lost their last year of school. Signing this bill will permit these students for this limited opportunity. They need this to be a law, or school districts do not have to permit them to return. 
I have been working with parents and students around New York State who are in this predicament, who have been advocating all year for this permission with the NYS Senate, Assembly as well as with NYSED. Commissioner Rosa supports this action to have these students return, and has shared recommendations with all NYS superintendents (memo attached). NYSED did this last year too, but it was ignored due to lack of legislative mandate.  Without this bill, the mandate from your office, her authority in this issue is null. 
For students with significant disabilities, the school year (IEP) starts July 1. These students need you to sign this now, to make it clear to all NYS school districts that they may permit 21 year old special education  students to continue for the 2021-2022 school year. No more, no less. 
Assembly bill A8021 will ensure that my child’s school district makes an individual assessment of the education services these students need to compensate for the services not provided and for his/her learning loss.
As a long term constituent, I urge you to sign immediately!"
Katy Faivre
Family Specialist
Can you help me on my first public policy project? Below is my letter to Governor Cuomo, asking him to sign bill A8021 that I have been working on this year,
"permits school districts"
-to have students over 21 remain in school
-to assess the need for 1 year continued services
-to use federal funding From ARP Act for this purpose 
Please take a minute and email Governor Cuomo to support these students. WE need him to sign this bill NOW, before the school year ends and these kids are signed out of school!

“A network of interdisciplinary centers advancing policy and practice for and with individuals with developmental and other disabilities, their families, and communities.”
]]> (HH) Life Wed, 16 Jun 2021 02:02:38 -0400
Assemblyman Byrne & Putnam Arts Council Recognize Contestants at First District-Wide Assembly Art Competition for Middle-School Aged Children

Assemblyman Kevin Byrne (R, C, I, SAM, ROS-Mahopac) and the Putnam Arts Council hosted a ceremony recognizing contestants in the 94th District’s first ever Assembly Art Competition. Eligible contestants included students in grades 5-8 from both Westchester & Putnam Counties within the Assembly District.

“Throughout the pandemic our young people, like all of us, have been forced to endure through new unforeseeable challenges,” said Byrne. “Harnessing their creative abilities through the arts is one of many ways they have been able to engage with peers, develop their skills, and express themselves. Congress has long conducted an Art Competition for high school aged students, but we know our younger middle school aged students can be just as creative. This competition allowed us to celebrate that. Encouraging our young people to use their creative abilities in a positive way, and then watching them view their artwork in a professional gallery was truly remarkable. This was our first ever Assembly Art Competition, and it will not be our last. I’m grateful to the Putnam Arts Council for their partnership and I look forward to making this an annual tradition for our young people in the district.”

“The Putnam Arts Council was more than happy to exhibit artworks created by middle school students throughout Assemblyman Byrne’s District,” said Joyce Picone, president and executive of the Putnam Arts Council. “I have been involved, on many occasions, with the Congressional High School competition and am so pleased that this has become a new opportunity for younger emerging artists. Our council members who served as judges were all thoroughly impressed with the exceptional artwork presented by each of the contestants. It was a pleasure to partner with the Assemblyman and his office in support of this wonderful arts endeavor. I look forward to continuing this event in future years.”

The top contestants from the competition included:

Best in Show

Gabby Pena, 8th Grade

Harriet Tubman, mixed media

George Fischer Middle School

Carmel Central School District

Second Place

Alexandra Weiss, 8th Grade

Time Stands Still, mixed media

Mahopac Middle School

Mahopac Central School District

Third Place

Anna Greico, 5th Grade

The Clearwater, mixed media

George Fischer Middle School

Carmel Central School District

Honorable Mention

Iker Munoz Sanchez 5th Grade

Carmel Train Station, mixed media

George Fischer Middle School

Carmel Central School District

Participating students created and submitted artwork inspired by New York State history and government. The Putnam Arts Council displayed the artwork at their A. Eric Arctander Gallery so students, family, and visitors could view the artwork during the weeks leading up to the ceremony held this past Sunday. Teachers, students, and guardians seeking to learn more about how they can participate next year should contact Assemblyman Byrne’s office at 845-278-2923.

]]> (Office of Assemblyman Kevin Byrne) Life Tue, 15 Jun 2021 17:26:18 -0400
Hello, summer. Goodbye, scammers.

Summer is right around the corner. With things reopening, kids getting out of school, and days lasting longer, this summer promises, we hope, some much-needed relaxation, adventure, and a chance to reconnect with family and friends.

Today, we’re kicking off our summer safety series to share some thoughts on ways to make your summer season as enjoyable and safe as possible. Unfortunately, scammers love summer, too, and they’re not taking any time off. So we want you to pack your sunscreen, but leave the SPFs (scams, phonies, and frauds) behind.

Throughout the week, we’ll share ideas for taking scam-free vacations by learning to avoid the latest travel and rental car scams, timeshare and customer review scams, and family emergency scams. And if you’ve spotted a scam this summer, we hope you’ll share it with your family and friends so they can protect themselves, too. We know that people who know about scams are more likely to be able to avoid them.

As you think about what your summer holds, here are some things to keep in mind.

  • Never pay for “prize” vacations. No legitimate company will ask you to pay for a prize.
  • Use a credit card, if possible, for your travel spending. This gives you more protection than paying by cash or debit card — and it may be easier to dispute unauthorized charges.
  • Subscribe to Consumer Alerts to keep up to date on the latest scams. Then pass them on.

Sharing what you know will help protect someone you care about from a scam — so they can have a scam-free summer, too! Report any scams you’ve seen at

]]> (im Kreidler Consumer Education Specialist, FTC) Life Tue, 15 Jun 2021 07:22:43 -0400
York College of Pennsylvania Student Jennifer Campbell Was Named to the Dean's List for the Spring 2021 Semester

Jennifer Campbell of Somers, NY, a sophomore Biological Sciences major was named to the Dean's List for the Spring 2021 Semester at York College of Pennsylvania.

Established in 1787, York College of Pennsylvania is a private, four-year college located in the city of York, a hub of arts and industry between Baltimore and Philadelphia. Housed on 190 picturesque acres, the College is known for its focus on experiential learning and community engagement, serving over 4,000 undergraduate and 300+ graduate students in more than 70 baccalaureate majors, along with 20+ graduate and professional programs. Deeply rooted in the liberal arts and recognized for excellence in its professional nursing, business, engineering, and education programs, York is ranked among the nation's top 50 Best Value Schools by U.S. News. The College's robust recreation and athletics program is among the best in the region, and is home to 23 NCAA III Division sports teams and 30+ intramural sports. A Princeton Review Best Northeastern College, York prides itself on its experienced, engaged faculty; its high-impact and student-centric philosophy; and its long-standing commitment to affordability and accessibility.

]]> (Peter Carey) Life Tue, 15 Jun 2021 06:17:03 -0400