Category Archives: Harrison Review

District Concerned With High Stakes Curriculum

Assistant Superintendent Michael Greenfield explains some of the processes Harrison Central School District underwent to adhere to new state standards. Photo/Daniel Offner

Assistant Superintendent Michael Greenfield explains some of the processes Harrison Central School District underwent to adhere to new state standards. Photo/Daniel Offner

Harrison students in grades 3-8 are breathing easy after completing the newly implemented state English Language Arts and Mathematics exams this past month. But for administrators and faculty within the public school district, the pressure is on as the state Department of Education finalizes its assessments of the Common Core curriculum.

First adopted by the Board of Regents in 2010, the Common Core Learning Standards are designed to create a baseline to assess the knowledge and skills students must achieve within each grade to better prepare themselves for college and careers. The standards have been adopted in 45 states, the District of Columbia, four U.S. territories, and are the current standard used by the Department of Defense Education Activity, a federal program that provides education overseas in Europe and the Pacific regions as well as domestically.

This story originally appeared in the May 10, 2013 edition of the Harrison Report. 

Increase in state aid funding restored to HCSD

The Harrison Central School District’s reduction in state aid has been restored in its entirety despite a missed state deadline to file an annual teacher and principal performance evaluation plan.

School officials were given the formal approval of their evaluations from the state Education Department on Jan. 22, five days after the filing deadline. The state’s decision came after a debate with school district and state officials 15 minutes before the deadline regarding a measure added to the requirements of high school principal evaluations that take the percentage of students admitted into a four-year college into consideration.

Prior to NYSED reversing course, district officials were under the assumption that Harrison would not be eligible for any increase in aid funding this year, unless the department backdates its approval.

This story first appeared in the April 5, 2013 edition of The Harrison Report.

Increase in state aid funding restored to HCSD

The Harrison Central School District’s reduction in state aid has been restored in its entirety despite a missed state deadline to file an annual teacher and principal performance evaluation plan.

School officials were given the formal approval of their evaluations from the state Education Department on Jan. 22, five days after the filing deadline. The state’s decision came after a debate with school district and state officials 15 minutes before the deadline regarding a measure added to the requirements of high school principal evaluations that take the percentage of students admitted into a four-year college into consideration.

First appeared in the April 5, 2013 edition of The Harrison Report

Roy Aletti: The Collector

Some know him simply as “Mr. Christmas” due to his exuberant display of lights and sound that fill his front lawn each December. Others call him a comedian for his quick wit and one-liners that could leave even the surliest of people in stitches.

Easily recognized by his signature mustache and overalls, Harrison resident Roy Aletti is a man of many interests. A lifelong resident of Parsons Street, a painter, a volunteer member of the Harrison Fire Department, a musician, a veteran of a foreign war, a bachelor, a small business owner and a gardener. But perhaps most interesting of all, Aletti is a collector.

Aletti’s childhood chum, Vito L. Faga, Jr. said the display isn’t just made from some items picked up at the local shopping center, either.

“Everything you see is an antique,” Faga said. “He drives all over the country for them.” Aletti said his display includes pieces he has picked up from as far away as Nebraska.

From the 1950s style mailbox addressed to the town of Santa Claus, Ind., to the statuesque toy soldiers that he loans to Rye Playland after the holidays, nearly every item in “Roy’s Christmas Land,” has its own backstory.

“I like to do everything to the extreme, in case you can’t tell,” Aletti said.

Harrison Holds $61M In Debt

As the Harrison Town Council mulls a $56 million budget for 2013, a bill for roughly $61 million in debt waits to be paid at a later date.

With interest rates at a record low, the Town Council has been of the view it is a good time to borrow. As $5.3 million in bonds came off the books this year, new bonding replaced it, according to Town Mayor Ron Belmont, a Republican.

“Whatever is coming off, we’re putting right back on,” Belmont told The Harrison Report in June.

Originally appeared in the Dec. 14, 2012 edition of The Harrison Report (Now, Harrison Review). 

Veterans Day Parade in Harrison (Nov. 2012)

Veterans Day Parade (Nov. 2012)

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Rep. Lowey Wins By Landslide In Strong Showing for Dems

A hard-fought battle over the state’s 17th Congressional District seat resulted in another landslide victory for 24-year incumbent Rep. Nita Lowey, a Democrat who triumphed over GOP contender and Rye Town Supervisor Joe Carvin by a 65 to 35 percent margin.

Lowey1“It looks like Rockland will be Lowey Land,” said Rockland County Democratic Chairperson Kristen Stavisky, after the poll re- sults from Westchester and Rockland showed

Lowey comfortably in the lead. For Lowey, who will serve her 13th term in Washington D.C., the district will only include a sliver of her former mainstay in Westchester. Due to a recent reconfiguration of district lines, the new 17th district will cut several communities in the Sound Shore region including Mamaroneck, Larchmont, New Rochelle, and Pelham, as well as parts of Port Chester, Rye and Harrison.

This story originally appeared in the Nov. 9, 2012 edition of the Harrison Review

Day Care Subsidy Impacts Westchester

child-care-council-of-westchester-logoLike many single parents in Westchester County, Wendy Urbima, 25, works to provide for her daughter, Priscilla, who is 3 years old. Urbina currently struggles to pay bills and the Sleepy Hollow resident is expecting to pay even more to keep her daughter in day care.

“I might need to leave my job and go on welfare to spend time caring for my daughter,” Urbima said. “I wouldn’t feel safe… no education would be available to provide the social environment she would need for the future.”

Working parents like Urbima who currently receive financial assistance from the county’s Department of Social Services Child Day Care Subsidy Program are expecting to pay more this November, when a 15 percent increase in family contribution costs will go into effect. The childcare subsidies, which were designed to make day care program- ming affordable in Westchester County, now require self-sufficient parents pay almost double what they have in the past based on their weekly income. But according to Executive Director of the Harrison Children Center Debbie Imperia, families in the Town of Harrison that currently earn between $7 and $15 an hour will no longer be eligible for assistance.

This story originally appeared in the Oct. 5, 2012 edition of the Harrison Review

Harrison High School Gets A Case of “Beatlemania”

IMG_4177Harrison High school students are getting ready to “Twist and Shout” like it’s the Summer of Love all over again.

On Oct. 13, members of the Harrison High School chorus, orchestra and dance company will come face-to-face with a faux Fab Four as they hit the stage for “Beatlemania.” With a little help from their friends John, Paul, George and Ringo, students will “Come Together” with world-famous Beatles impersonators to raise money for their annual spring trip.

“This is such a great opportunity for these kids to work and perform at a Broadway level,” said Harrison High School Band Director Charles Briem.

This story originally appeared in the Oct. 5, 2012 edition of the Harrison Review

Capitol Theatre Once Legendary, Rocks Anew

IMG_3871The Capitol Theatre in the Village of Port Chester was constructed at the peak of the roaring 20s, but is seldom remembered as a playhouse or movie theater. Like the historic rock venue the Fillmore East in Manhattan, the Capitol was created with different uses in mind but didn’t really become a household name until the 1970s, when the marquee featured rock icons like Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Traffic, The Rolling Stones, Frank Zappa, Pink Floyd and the Grateful Dead, to name a few.

To “deadheads” and hippies across the nation, this stoic landmark has an even deeper meaning in the annals of music history when in 1970, the Grateful Dead outperformed anyone who had ever set foot in Port Chester, with a record 18 shows in a single year. Originally planning to play 21 nights at the Capitol, The Dead unexpectedly cancelled their last three performances in December of that year, before hitting the airwaves with a radio apology to the fans in Port Chester.

This story originally appeared in the Sept. 7, 2012 edition of the Harrison Review.

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