Saturday, March 28, 2009


Posted by Frances Chu in Massachusetts


It was 60 years ago, in 1949, that gasoline cost 17 cents a gallon, that average wages were $2,950.00 (a respectable sum at the time), and that soap operas began on TV…Ahh, yes, “The Good Old Days!”

“More than any other time in history, Mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other, to total extinction. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly.”
--Woody Allen


OPENING CEREMONY: Our weekly meeting was officially opened at 12:21 PM. It was celebrated by an Air Force flyover and a round of hearty cheers.

SALUTE TO OUR FLAG, PATRIOTIC SONG, AND BENEDICTION: The salute to our flag was patriotically fronted by Ernie Pacchiana. Following that, there was an uplifting version of “My Country ‘Tis of Thee,” gloriously sung by Sy Yuter, and—delivered with proper earnestness by Reverend Lee--a heartwrenching appeal to Our Lord for Divine Mercy and a generous uptick in the stock market.

CLUB PRESIDENT’S REMARKS: ANNOUNCEMENTS, OBSERVATIONS AND HAPPY THOUGHTS. There will be a meeting of the Briarcliff Rotary Board this coming Wednesday at Atria at 12 noon. On April 11th, there will be a local Blood Drive;and on May 3rd, Briarcliff Rotary will hold a Truck Show.

Mark Seiden rose to inform us of his Journal News interview, President Fulfree announced that his son has returned from college and has aspirations to be a fireman in Quincy, Mass., Frances Chu has named Dr. Alan Cohen as a Paul Harris Award recipient and was honored at the Rotary District's Paul Harris Luncheon, Etrusca Consentino reported news about Marie, and Sy Yuter reported on the doings of his grandson and the grandson’s Significant Other.

NEXT WEEK’S SPEAKER: Our guest speaker on April 3rd will be Mr. Tom Lichbacher, who will bring us up-to-date on “Briarcliff History.”

TODAY’S SPEAKER: Our speaker today was the recently-appointed Village Manager, (he’s been Village Manager for a scant four weeks), Philip Zegarelli, who talked about the ecstasies of life in Briarcliff Manor. First of all, taxes are going up and services are going down, which, decidedly, is not an ecstasy. But, after that, things are looking better.

After complementing the professionalism of Village Board and his staff, he launched into a discussion of the whys and wherefores of the budget. Recreation costs have risen, the new village library has just opened, and other expenses are rising, so budget cost-saving measures are necessary. There has been a cutback on personnel, and many cost-reducing efforts have been taken to put the village on a firm financial footing. Mr. Zegarellia’s goal: “Do more with less!”

A major problem for Briarcliff is the water project, but that is being addressed by an agreement between the village and Sleepy Hollow and Tarrytown to keep the cost of providing water within reasonable limits.

At one time or another, Mr. Zegarelli has been a banker, a teacher, a mayor (many years as mayor of Sleepy Hollow), and a world-traveler (Israel and Australia). To add to that impressive list, he comes from a family of doctors and dentists, (one of his relatives was Dean of the Columbia Dental School!) and is a personable, conscientious worker.

Judging from what we saw and heard today, the village of Braircliff Manor is in very good hands!

. ###

THE DRAWING: The first winner was Zen Eidel; the second winner was an ecstatic Ernie Pacchiana, who shouted gleefully and did a fetching little dance.. An apoplectic Bishop John, who failed to win once again, was led off, gagged and manacled by the local constabulary, shouting, “This never wouldn’t have happened under a Republican administration!”

CLOSING CEREMONY: This week’s meeting drew to a close precisely at 1:33 pm, and was celebrated by a second flyover, by a pilot who seemed to be irretrievably lost.

Submitted by
Recording Secretary, Don Wilde

Friday, March 27, 2009

April 2009 Program

From Sy Yuter


3 *Briarcliff History - Tom Liehbacher

10 *Science of Soap Making - Gili Zilca

17 *Rye Playland 2009 - Anthony Radice

24 Battered Women - Bincy Jacobs, My Sister's Place



Friday, March 20, 2009


Happy to read about the meeting report since I had to attend our District PHF luncheon at the Crowne Plaza and the Rotary District 7230 Foundation Trustees Meeting afterward. -- Frances


From Don Wilde -- Briarcliff Manor Rotary 5/20/09 Report


March 20th is the 79th day of the year, the day of the vernal equinox in the Southern Hemisphere. It is also the date of the traditional Iranian holiday—Nouriz—in a host of countries.
(Honestly now, where else can you find so much valuable information packed into such a tiny space?)

LIQUIDITY: Looking at your retirement funds and wetting your pants.


OPENING CEREMONY: Our weekly meeting was officially opened at 12:21 PM to the
sound of trumpets and a smattering of rude catcalls.

SALUTE TO OUR FLAG, PATRIOTIC SONG, AND BENEDICTION: The salute to our flag was bravely led by Ernie Pacchiana. This was followed by a heart-rending version of “My Country ‘Tis of Thee” led by Sy Yuter, and a moving appeal to The Man Upstairs, delivered by Bishop John, and seconded by Rev. Lee.

CLUB PRESIDENT’S REMARKS: ANNOUNCEMENTS, OBSERVATIONS AND HAPPY THOUGHTS. Sy Yuter, speaking for all club members, pronounced the Chinese Dinner, hostessed by Frances Chu, a sparkling success. It was announced that Rotary Member, William Vescio was re-elected Mayor of Briarcliff Manor in a landslide. The much-missed Pam Morris rose to say that she was delighted to be back in the fold, and Sy Yuter (the man was everywhere this week!) brought us up-to-date on his Test Ban proposal. (It was received by and acknowledged by a governmental Undersecretary.) And a cheer arose when we were reminded by several members that today was the first day of Spring.

NEXT WEEK’S SPEAKER: Our guest speaker on March 27th will be Village Manager, Philip Zegarelli, who will bring us up-to-date on the subject of “Managing Briarcliff.”

TODAY’S SPEAKER: Our speaker today was our own Mark Seiden, who spoke intimately about “Foreclosures and Short Sales.”

Mr. Seiden dealt with three subjects: (1) Loan modification; (2) Short sales and; (3) Forclosures.

It was a disturbing and sobering talk.

The financially-distressed—those unfortunates who are mired in debt as opposed to those who are temporarily financially inconvenienced-- are in deep trouble, when it comes to loan modifications, short sales, and foreclosures. Banks and lenders are increasingly loathe to help them, especially here in the East, as opposed to the Mid-West.

For example, a homeowner has to prove to the bank holding the mortgage to his property that if the terms of a home loan are modified (reduced), that the homeowner can pay.

When it comes to Short Sales, the news is grim, also. Many banks are receiving 50 to 100 requests a day, and the turnover in the bank’s division dealing with short sales is immense. (You almost never hear if you are turned down.)

Foreclosures (when the bank—no longer you—owns the house) are especially devastating, inasmuch as, if you are foreclosed upon, you are identified as a credit risk, which affects almost everything in your life, including your job.

Directly following Mark’s talk, I went home and, after breaking into the liquor closet, had several invigorating drinks.

But it was a good talk, bracing and necessary. Many thanks, Mark.

. ###

THE DRAWING: The first winner was Eric Lebenson (doing a guest appearance); the second winner was Antonio Conte, who certainly deserved it.

Bishop John didn’t agree. He immediately characterized the drawing as “the most onerous scam in the history of the Milky Way” and stomped out.

CLOSING CEREMONY: This week’s meeting drew to a close precisely at 1:33 pm, and was celebrated by Zen Eidel’s escaping, while chained underwater in a padlocked coffin, totally bound in piano wire. (The coffin, not Zen. Zen was not bound by anything, except his undershorts.)

Submitted by
Recording Secretary, Don Wilde

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Menu - 3/20/09

From Juan, Chef of Amalfi Restaurant

Pasta & Fagioli Soup ~ Ceasar Salad ~ Cold Cuts ~ Hot Rolls ~ Manicotti ~ Chicken Lemon ~ Brocolli ~ Cheesecake

Monday, March 16, 2009

From Shelley Lotter

On Thursday, March 19th, we will be holding the first in a series of Educational Forums about the lifestyle offered by The Club. This event will be at the Sleepy Hollow Country Club in Scarborough. Feel free to join us if you can make it.
The invitation below has more details. Please send me an email or give me a call if you have any questions. You can RSVP to Jill Goodwin (Tel # below) or to me. Thank you.
Best regards,
Shelley Lotter

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Menu - 3/13/09

From Juan, Chef of Amalfi Restaurant

Cheese Tortellini in Brodo with Spinach
Caesar Salad
Hot Rolls
Baked Ziti
Chicken Scarpariello

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


March 6, 2009


On this date in 1475, Michelangelo was born. On this date in 1806, Elizabeth Barrett Browning was born. On this date in 1919, my mother-in-law was born.

Ah, well.


“Live as you were to die tomorrow.”
--Mahatama Gandhi

“But what if you don’t?” What if you just keep going on and on and on and ----?
--A Wondering Me.


OPENING CEREMONY: Our weekly meeting was officially opened at 12:21 PM and was celebrated by the shooting off of skyrockets. Also, a cherry bomb, which appeared to fizzle. Drat!

SALUTE TO OUR FLAG, PATRIOTIC SONG, AND BENEDICTION: The salute to our flag was led by Zen Eidel. Then, with tears pouring down his cheeks, Sy Yuter
sang a heart-wrenching version of “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee.” With nowhere to go but down after Sy’s riveting performance, Reverend Lee lifted his eyes to the heavens and whispered, “Mercy, Lord!”

HAPPY THOUGHTS Frances Chu reminded us of the upcoming Chinese Dinner, slated for the near future and Geraldine Mahoney invited us all to attend the Official Opening of the New Briarcliff Library this coming Sunday. (We did, and it was wonderful!)

There were so many other Announcements and Happy Thoughts that my head is in a spin just thinking about them. Immediately on my recovery, I shall let you know what they were

NEXT WEEK’S SPEAKER: Our speaker on March 13, will be Tom Saunders. His subject: “Government Internet Suveillance.”

TODAY’S SPEAKER: Today’s speaker was our own Paul Rosen, who provided us with an up-to-the-present review of public education history.

A few of the highlights:

In 1840, Horace Mann started the public school movement.

After the American Revolution, a need was seen for occupational education.

In 1900, only 6% of American youngsters graduated from high school. Today, 85% graduate.

In 1917, vocational programs were added to school curricula.

In 1925, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a high school education, though not mandatory, was recommended for every child.

In the same year, 1925, it was decided that Home Schooling had to comply with the education requirements provided by Public Schools.

Along the way, a school tax was devised to provide to pay for public schooling.

And today, public education remains even more necessary than ever. An educated citizenry is paramount, Mr. Rosen concluded, if the U.S. is to continue maintaining its position as leader of the Free World.

It was a well-thought out, well-delivered, and informative talk.

Bravo, Paul!


THE DRAWING: The first winner was Rod Ertischek; the second winner was Bob Maher.

Bishop John converted to Catholicism. .

CLOSING CEREMONY: This week’s meeting drew to a close precisely at 1:32 pm. celebrated by the singing of Brahm’s Requium.

It was awe-inspiring.

Submitted by
Recording Secretary, Don Wilde

Sunday, March 8, 2009

A New Treat For You

A Chinese Painting from Shanghai Museum - posted by Frances Chu

Take your time and 'walk through' this painting which stretches across some length. At each of the three white boxes, turn on your sound system, click your mouse within the box and you will be amazed at how the painting comes to life. Cursor to right to fast forward. Enjoy!

This is a very famous painting in China . People line up for hours at the Shanghai Museum just to view it. This painting was originally painted, circa 1085-1145, during the Northern Song Dynasty. It was repainted during the Qing Dynasty. It measures 528cm. in width and 24.8cm. in height. It is considered as one of the Great Treasures of China and was exhibited in the Hong Kong Museum of Art last year.

Control the speed of picture with your mouse. Don't forget to click inside the white squares, and turn your sound on.

You can also find this link named "A Chinese Painting from Shanghai Museum" under the "Interesting Links" on the left. Enjoy!


Thursday, March 5, 2009

Menu of 3/6/08 From Juan of Almalfi Restaurant

Lentil Soup ~ Caesar Salad ~ Cold Antipasto ~ Rotini Melanzana ~ Chicken Marsala ~ Mixed Vegatable ~ Hot Rolls ~ Tira Misu



From Sy Yuter

6 *Public Education History - Paul Rosen

13 *Government Internet Surveillance II- Tom Saunders

20 *Foreclosures and Short Sales - Mark Seiden

27 *Managing Briarcliff - Village Manager Philip Zegarelli