State Legislature proposes harsher penalties for killing police dogs, horses

May 21st, 2013 by Steve Lieberman

Legislation dictating harsher penalties for those who kill or injury police dogs and horse while they are on duty was adopted Tuesday by the state Assembly and Senate.

Assemblyman Kenneth Zebrowski, D-New City, was a main sponsor of the proposal in the Assembly.

State and local law enforcement agencies increasingly rely on these animals in crime solving, rescue and recovery operations. Under current law, killing a police animal is a misdemeanor.

The legislation passed by both houses on Tuesday would make harming the animals a felony, punishable by up to 4 years in prison, the highest penalty for killing an animal in the state.

“The role of police animals has significantly expanded over the past few years leading to increased use in investigations and apprehensions,” Zebrowski said in a statement “These animals provide protection, assistance and improve public safety.”

“State and local police invest a great deal of time and resources in the training of these extraordinary animals,” he said. “These animals are viewed and respected as ordinary police officers and we should begin to reflect that by increasing the penalty for killing them.”

The rest of the Zebrowski press release says:

Sen. George D. Maziarz, R-C, Newfane, also sponsored the proposed law that helps recognize the important roles these animals have in crime solving, rescue and recovery operations and other duties by creating a felony-level offense.

“Police animals do a remarkable job protecting and serving the citizens of this state,” Maziarz said in a statement released by Zebrowski’s office.

“In 2011, the Niagara County Sheriff’s Office lost their K-9, Rocky, when he fell off a roof tracking clues regarding a robbery,” Maziarz said. The use of police animals is increasing and they continually undertake tasks that our own police officers do. It is time that we provide these animals the protection they deserve under the law when they are injured or die in the line of duty.”

In addition to the loss of Rocky, another high-profile death of a police animal came in March 2013 when Ape, a newly-trained FBI dog, was fatally shot as police searched for Kurt Myers – a suspect in the deaths of four people in Herkimer.

“The role of police animals has significantly expanded over the past few years leading to increased use in investigations and apprehensions,” Zebrowski said. “These animals provide protection, assistance and improve public safety. State and local police invest a great deal of time and resources in the training of these extraordinary animals. These animals are viewed and respected as ordinary police officers and we should begin to reflect that by increasing the penalty for killing them.”

Photo: Assemblyman Kenneth Zebrowski

Westchester Cycle Club welcomes spring with Bike Shop Tour Series

March 22nd, 2013 by Robert Brum

The Westchester Cycle Club held the first of its Spring Bike Shop Tour Series at Bicycle World in Mount Kisco on Wednesday, March 20.

The club has partnered with area bike shops to encourage people to get out, get fit, be safe and have fun riding. Evenings include food, demonstrations and socializing.

With a beer garden theme, the Bicycle World program was held upstairs, and participants sampled local brews from Captain Lawrence Brewery, wine, non-alcoholic beverages and German food.

Discussion topics included bike handling techniques, proper gear selection, getting the most training benefits from your time on the bike and mechanical tactics.

Programs will be held next week and throughout April. All programs $25 and are from 6:30 p.m. -9 p.m. Future programs include:

Danny’s Cycles, 644 Central Ave., Scarsdale; Wednesday, March 27. Manufacturer representatives will speak about wheels and clothing.

Hastings Velo, 45 Main St., Hastings-on-Hudson; Monday, April 1. A demonstration of the latest in electronic shifting and discussion the virtues of a custom bicycle. Food by David Dibari of the Cookery.

Hickory and Tweed, 410 Main St., Armonk; Monday, April 8. Helmets, bike clothing, specifically bibs and shorts, followed by a discussion about triathlon bikes.

Yorktown Cycles, 1899 Commerce St. Yorktown Heights; Wednesday, April 10. Dr. Stuart Weitzman will address different nutrition or fuel requirements for your rides – from shorter rides or races to Century or Iron distance rides.

Signature Cycle, 1899 Commerce St., Greenwich, Conn., April 18. Learn more about frame materials and have your questions answered about differences and attributes of carbon, steel and titanium bikes. Cuisine from Tarry Lodge.

WCC members can register on the WCC website under Events. All others please contact Events Organizer Flori Doyle to register: . All welcome, but registration is limited, so register early.

The Westchester Cycle Club is a not-for-profit organization that has been riding since 1975. Annual membership ($20) provides a variety of member-led rides – beginner through expert – throughout Westchester as well as Putnam, Dutchess and Fairfield (Conn.) counties. For more information on the club or to become a member, please visit


            Left to right: Eric Marcos, owner of Bicycle World, with organizer Flori Doyle and some Westchester Cycle Club members at first event.

Monsey man gets probation for sex abuse, makes lawyer’s job harder

March 19th, 2013 by Steve Lieberman

Moishe Turner of Monsey got sentenced to 10 years probation Tuesday morning for sexually abusing a 14-year-old boy on seven occassions in July 2011.

He didn’t get state prison time – facing a maximum of seven years – because the boy’s family didn’t want the child to testify, tying the hands of the Rockland District Attorney’s Office.

But the 59-year-old unemployed father of five children didn’t make life easy for his lawyer, Kenneth Gribetz, the former Rockland County prosecutor. He lives off of food stamps and gets Section 8 rental subsidies.

First off, Turner’s pre-sentence report by Rockland County probation officer recommended six months in jail.

Justice William Kelly said the report stated Turner was seemingly trying to blame the 14-year-old, calling the youngster sexually aggressive and a wild child.

Kelly allowed Gribetz a recess so he could talk to turned. Gribetz could be heard telling Turner it’s time to stop the nonsense (cleaned up version).

At some point, when Kelly was talking, Turner’s cell phone went off, leading to a rebuke from Gribetz.

After Kelly classified Turner as a Level 2 sex offender, Turner asked Gribetz why not the lowest designation – Level 1.

Gribetz essentially told Turner the judge was talking about the highest classification – Level 3 – so he should take Level 2 and leave.

See full article on

Haverstraw Elks hosting Rockland cop recognition night on March 21

March 6th, 2013 by Steve Lieberman

Rockland police officers will be honored on March 21 during the Haverstraw Elks Lodge 877’s 41st Annual Law Enforcement Recognition Night.

The event starts with cocktails at 7 p.m., followed by a prime rib dinner and ceremony. The honors include outstanding investigative award, unit appreciation award, and civilian award.

Rockland District Attorney Thomas Zugibe is the scheduled speaker.

For more information and a list of contacts, for $35 tickets, go to or call Spring Valley Officeer Phil Fantasia at 845-356-7400 or Sheriff’s Office Detective Hank Bender at 845-638-5446. cq

Rockland Sheriff’s Office offers free gun locks

January 30th, 2013 by Steve Lieberman

The Rockland Sheriff’s Office will offer free firearm locks for county residents who possess firearms.

Starting Friday, the Sheriff’s Police Division will begin to disseminate firearms cable locks.

• These cable locks will be provided to Rockland residents free-of-charge, on a first come, first received basis.
• In an effort to provide these devices to the maximum number of residents, a limit of four cable locks per household has been established.
• Persons seeking to receive the locks will be asked to complete a voluntary basic information form. If a person chooses not to complete the form, they must display visual proof of residency to the issuing officer.
• If requested and if time permits, the issuing officer will explain how to install the cable lock on a firearm.
The Rockland County Clerk’s Office also has been provided with a quantity of these cable lock devices. They will be participating in this distribution program as pistol permit amendment applications are processed.

Clarkstown cop Bill Sherwood resigns under OT cloud

January 30th, 2013 by Steve Lieberman

A veteran Clarkstown police officer has resigned rather than challenge potential departmental accusations that he filed for several hours of overtime and didn’t work the hours, authorities confirmed.

William “Bill” Sherwood, a decorated officer for more than a decade, filed for routine overtime of four hours allowed for a scheduled appearance before a Rockland grand jury, authorities said.

“We came across a discrepancy in his overtime,” Police Chief Michael Sullivan said. “We did an investigation and some overtime he submitted he didn’t work.”


Hillcrest firefighers’ Christmas Party for kids set for Sunday

December 10th, 2012 by Steve Lieberman

The Hillcrest Fire Co. will hold its annual children’s Christmas party on Sunday at the Mount Ivy Firehouse, 16 Thiells-Mount Ivy Road, Pomona.

The volunteers’ party starts at 3 p.m.

Aside from gifts, food, drink and entertainment, the hightlight of the party is Santa Claus visting the firehouse in his firetruck and talking to the children.

Read more about the Hillcrest Fire Department.

Bronxville, 19 local schools makes list of top high schools

May 23rd, 2012 by Randi Weiner

There are several of these that come out about this time of year, lists of local schools that have reached a benchmark for excellence according to a general interest publication.

Newsweek and The Daily Beast have released their top 1,000 public high schools, with New York scoring 118 of the slots, second only to California.

Among the top 10 from among the New York schools is Bronxville High School, number 40 on the list.

The others on the top 10 were City Honors School in Buffalo at 11; Jerico High School at 41; Hunter College High School at 44; Bronx High School of Science at 50; Locust Valley High School at 55; Great Neck South High School at 56; Pittsford Sutherland High School at 61; The Wheatley School in Old Westbury at 62; and Stuyvesant High School at 66.

A bunch of other area schools made the list as well. Here are those that made the top 1,000 even if they didn’t make the top 10 in New York: Rye, 77; Irvington, 79; Edgemont, 142; Rye Neck, 155; Pleasantville, 173; Hastings, 227; Clarkstown South, 348; Clarkstown North, 358; Tappan Zee, 403; Yonkers, 409;

Dobbs Ferry, 286; Croton Harmon, 311; Eastchester, 314; Pelham Memorial, 330; Mamaroneck, 532; Somers, 718; Hendrick Hudson, 747; Sleepy Hollow, 986; and Mahopac, 987.

The schools were chosen based on four-year on-time graduation rate, percentage of 2011 graduates accepted into college; percentage of students taking college-level courses and special examinations including Advanced Placement and their average scores; average SAT and ACT scores; college-level curriculum available at the school.

All of the New York schools can be seen here.

“The continued success of our public high schools is a direct result of the hard work by our outstanding teachers and other committed education professionals working in classrooms across News York state who dedicate themselves, day-in and day-out, to ensuring their students receive the best education possible,” said Richard C. Iannuzzi, president of New York State United Teachers.

Burgers, Anyone?

January 31st, 2012 by Mary Lynn Mitcham

Has anyone else noticed that there have been quite a few new burger joints opening around here. I don’t know if you saw my story about in Sunday’s Journal News, “The Burger’s Big Comeback,”— if not you can click here —but I found five places that opened in the last year. One of them was Cheeburger, Cheeburger in White Plains, where if you eat “The Pounder,” your photo gets put on the wall. Take a look at the size of that burger (these photos are by Journal News photographer Tania Savayan):



Can you imagine what you’d look like eating a burger that big? Here’s something to jumpstart your imagination:



So picture you in this photo—and then picture it hanging on the wall at Cheeburger, Cheeburger, so the whole world could see it! Nice, right? Does anyone know of any other places where they take pictures of you, just for eating so much? I’d be curious to know.

By the way for all of you Liz Johnson fans out there, I hear today (Wednesday) is her first day back at the office from maternity leave. Now, I don’t have to tell you how hard that first day back can be. So, if you’d like to drop her a welcome back comment, feel free to do so at the end of this post. And also, let me know about those food photo places.

In the meantime, here’s the link to my story again. If you love a good burger, you don’t want to miss it. And here’s the info on Cheeburger, Cheeburger.   Enjoy!




Park 143 Bistro Opens in Bronxville!

January 27th, 2012 by smallbitesguest

My friend, Jeanne, went to 143 Park Bistro in Bronxville yesterday. It’s just a week old! Here’s what she has to say about it:


“The former Village Cafe in Bronxville is now the sleekly redesigned Park 143 Bistro. And yes, you’ll be drawn in by the decor before you even sit down and order a drink (and oh what a cocktail list there is…more about that in a minute)

What you notice first: The Zebra print banquettes with red leather piping which lines the main dining room. There are also gorgeous silver-edged mirrors and shades of blue which mix with rows of box shade sconces.For a table with real privacy and panache ask for the elevated chef’s table in the back with its recessed seating and lipstick red stools. Very cool.

Enough about the decor, you say, what about the food? The restaurant, which incidentally just opened a week ago, is just as impressive. My friend and I sampled the soup to start: A very light, very fresh tomato soup and an uber-tasty mushroom truffle. (FYI: The smell of the truffle oil is enough to get you swooning and spooning).

My friend tried the Arugula salad with roasted beets, goat cheese, shallot vinaigrette and candied pecans. A nice mixture that again, felt like the right amount: not too big and not too small.”

“Craving the taste of summer, I opted for the lobster roll with drawn butter, chive, lemon and frisee. it didn’t disappoint though I did feel like it was a lot of bun.

For dessert, our server Chris “twisted our arm” for what he called “the showstopper: Chocolate chip cookie dough binded with a little cream cheese, served with waffle cookies and a caramel drizzle. if you want the grown up version of childhood, this is it.”


“Owner Wayne Chessler, the former general manager of Harry’s of Hartsdale and Underhill’s Crossing Restaurant, told me I have to come back for dinner. The pride of the restaurant, he says, is the small plates menu meant for sampling and sharing. Among the favorites so far: the gourmet crepes including duck confit, truffle Hollandaise; sweet shrimp, pesto, mango cucumber salsa; and wild mushroom, chive, creme fraiche and pecorino cheese. And oh yeah, about those cocktails: how about a Park Chipolte Margarita (mezel, chipolte syrup, fresh lime and zest) or a Park Peach Bellini with champagne and peach puree.

I’ll be back.”

Park 143 Bistro is open 7 days a week; 143 Parkway Road. Bronxville; 914-337-5100.