Wednesday, July 29, 2009

August 2009 Program - Dr. S. C. Yuter

31 ***Universal Health Care Debate - Keith Safian, CEO Phelps Hospital

7 *Role of Drama in Schools - Ian Driver, Briarcliff Schools

7 Bring food for Food Pantry

14 *Block Printing - Tom Wills

21 *Have Fun With Music - Mike Risko

28 *What's New With Taconic Opera - Dan Montes, Director


Tuesday, July 28, 2009


July 24th, 2009
By: Don Wilde


If you are right-handed, you will tend to chew your food on the right side of your mouth. If you are left-handed, you will tend to chew your food on the left side of your mouth.

(I don’t know where I learned this. But I didn’t make it up. Honest!)



(I know what it means, but I’m not going to tell you.)

MEETING OPENING: Our newly-appointed president again was not present, so Paul Rosen, once again, charged into the breach, making sure that our weekly meeting got off to a roaring start.
SALUTE TO OUR FLAG, PATRIOTIC ANTHEM, AND PRAYER: Peter Garth, brimming with patriotism, led us in a Salute to Our Flag. Bishop John intoned the blessing, asking for forgiveness for our many sins and tips regarding admittance to Heaven. There was no singing of our national anthem. Alas!

PRESIDENT’S REMARKS: As mentioned before, inasmuch as there was no President of our chapter in attendance today, the indefatigable Paul Rosen called for Happy Thoughts and Significant Community News.

Sy Yuter responded by announcing that last week’s Rotary Fellowship Dinner was either a success or a failure, depending on how one looked at it. Although attendance was not what it should have been, the meal set out was superb, joy was unconstrained, and the festivities lasted hour after happy hour. Sy also pointed that the chef for the Fellowship Dinner will be the chief chef for the upcoming French banquet.

Sy was followed by Dean (What would happen if he were named President of our club?
Would he be known as President Dean or Dean, President? It’s confusing things like this that keep me awake nights.), who was thankful for the absolutely beautiful day.

NEXT WEEK’S SPEAKER: Our speaker on July 31st will be Phelps Hospital CEO.
Keith Safian. Mr. Safian will bring us up-to-date on The Universal Health-Care Debate.

THIS WEEK’S SPEAKER: Our speaker today was our own Bob Maher, head man at St.
Christopher’s, (Superintendent of Schools) whose mission is to serve young adults and their families with residential care, therapeutic care, and special education services outside a mainstream secondary school setting. The school‘s population consists of 10%
Whites, 60% Blacks and Hispanics, and 30% called Others.

Bob Maher, ex-superintendent of schools for Briarcliff Manor, proved once again that he is a good man, doing good work, for a noble cause. (This year there were 72 graduates of the school, 70 of whom earned a GED. His is up from a mere one (1), when he took over the reins!)

Mr. Maher started his talk by pointing with pride to examples of the art work produced by students at St. Christopher’s, displayed on the table behind him. The art work is bought by teachers, parents of the students, and art-appreciating citizens of the surrounding community. The student-artists (altogether, there are some 1200 examples of their work on display at the schools) are rewarded with the money raised from the sale. One student-artist collected an astonishing $3,200 from the sale of her art!

Bob pointed out that he works within a budget of $15 million, which seems like a lot until you realize that it costs $19 million to keep the doors of the schools open. The shortfall of $4 million is made up for by generous donors.

The schools classes run from grade 7 to grade 12, and their population consists of 10% white students, 60% Black and Hispanic students, and 30% others. Students can remain in school until they are 21, at which point they receive a pat on the back and are bid a fond farewell. Most students graduate, more or less, on time and on schedule.

Bob has added a significant number of staff members, including the 15 teachers who
followed him from Briarcliff High School. Together, the teachers and Bob, have shaken
things up, making the school much more than a school for outcasts, much more than
a holding-pen for the dysfunctional-young in our society. The school is on its way to
becoming a legitimate member of the educational establishment..

There are, of course, behavioral problems. (Bob described a recent occurence, when two female students barricaded themselves in the girls’ bathroom and refused to come out. They later relented, and emerged.) And sexual incidents arise, as they will, from time to time. But, overall, behavioral problems have gone down and continue to go down, significantly, since Bob took over the helm. And academic achievements continue to rise skyward.

Would you expect anything less from Bob Maher?

Bob is a credit to Briarcliff Rotary. We are magnificently proud of him.


THE DRAWING: The winners of this week’s lottery were Ernie Pacchiana and Bishop John. A criminal investigation is expected momentarily.

THE CONCLUSION OF OUR MEETING: Our weekly meeting ended precisely at 1:32 pm, when a fistfight broke out between Zen Eidel and Marie Fuesy. Mrs. Fuesy was declared--by a majority vote of the judges--the winner. But, to her eternal shame, it took her two rounds to do it.
Respectfully submitted by
Recording Secretary, Don Wilde

7/24 Attendance - Lee Carrozzi, Frances Chu, Antonia Conte, Dean Dykeman, Zenith Eidel, Rodney Ertischek, Marie Fuesy, Peter Fulltree, Peter Garth, John Herzog, Shelley Lotter, Bob Maher, Geraldine Mahoney, Ernest Pacchiana, Fiala Portnoy, Vladimir Portnoy, Paul Rosen, Carl Weiner, Donald Wilde, Elinor Yuter, Sy Yuter

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Briarcliff Rotary Fellowship Jewish Banquet - 7/19/09

At Heights Bistro, Yorktown Heights, NY
Banquet Chairman: Dr. Sy Yuter
Photos by Chester Mah


Friday, July 17, 2009


July 17th, 2009


It is estimated that Americans’ obesity costs the airlines a quarter of a million dollars’ worth of fuel annually. Also, revolving doors have had to be widened.

--The New Yorker magazine, July 20, 2009


A hamburger is called a hamburger even though it contains no ham?………
It kind of destroys your faith in a God, doesn’t it?

MEETING OPENING: Our newly-appointed president was not present (he called in, with his apologies), so Paul Rosen leaped into the breach, making certain that the meeting got off to a flying start.
SALUTE TO OUR FLAG, PATRIOTIC ANTHEM, AND PRAYER: The indefatigable Sy Yuter led our tiny band of patriots in a salute to our flag. Sy, in turn, was followed by
a deep-bassed Paul Rosen (he was everywhere, today!) who belted out a rousing version of The Star-Spangled Banner.

PRESIDENT’S REMARKS: Inasmuch as there was no President of our chapter in attendance today, Paul Rosen, subbing for the absent Mark Seiden, made a startling announcement: At last! Diet celery tonic in now available!

Pandemonium broke out, as a result.

ANOUNCEMENTS AND HAPPY THOUGHTS: Dr. Yuter, in a return appearance, declared that 24 people have registered for the upcoming Jewish Banquet. But there sill remains room for one or two more gourmands. Hurry! Hurrry!

NEXT WEEK’S SPEAKER: Our speaker on July 31st will be Phelps Hospital CEO.
Keith Safian. Mr. Safian will bring us up-to-date on The Universal Health-Care Debate.

THIS WEEK’S SPEAKER: Our speaker today was Anna Syganowski, author of “How To Stay Alive On The Roads.”

Ms. Syganowski, a member of the Westchester Engineering Department (she explained why she found herself in that department rather than the Traffic Safety Department) was eloquent on the subject.

Highway accidents and fatalities have remained relatively constant in the past few years, Ms. Syganowski pointed out, with figures inching up slowly, as more cars fill the roads. And County roads are the safest.

The chief cause of automobile accidents is, according to experts, surprisingly enough, tailgating: cars simply speed along dangerously close to one another. Other causes of highway mayhem are speaking on a cellphone and breastfeeding (breastfeeding??) Killing insects plays a part in accidents, too, as does changing seats while driving. Texting in automobiles has become such a major problem that a law forbidding it has been enacted by the State Legislature. There are laws outlawing not stopping at a Stop Sign and going through a red light, but drivers still continue to ignore them.

If you want to be safe as a pedestrian, Ms. Syganowski warned, always walk against the traffic, not with it. And when you are driving, don’t speed! Speed kills!

As a driver and as a pedestrian, use your head and say alive!

It was a highly-informative and eye-opening talk. Thank you. Ms. Syganowski


THE DRAWING: The winners of this week’s lottery was not Bishop John.

THE FINISH OF OUR MEETING: Our weekly meeting ended at precisely 1:32 pm.
An altercation by mail followed between Bishop John and Reverend Lee over who is the most religious.

Respectfully submitted by
Recording Secretary, Don Wilde

7/17 Attendance - Robert Amsterdam, Dean Dykeman, Zenith Eidel, Rodney Ertischek, Marie Fuesy, John Herzog, Shelley Lotter, Robert Maher, Ernest Pacchiana, Paul Rosen, Donald Wilde, Frances Wills, Elinor Yuter, Sy Yuter

Monday, July 13, 2009


July 10th, 2009


Wednesday—not Monday—is the day in which many people commit suicide. If you make it through Wednesday, your risk for suicide plummets. Thursdays have the lowest rate: only 11 percent of people check out on Thursday.


Low-cal diets slow aging in monkeys.
MEETING OPENING: Our weekly meeting was begun promptly at 12:15 pm, to the sound of trumpets, exploding fireworks, and a display of flags.
SALUTE TO OUR FLAG, PATRIOTIC ANTHEM, AND PRAYER: The salute to the Stars and Stripes was headed brilliantly by our own Marie Fuesy. Sy Yuter followed with
a foot-stomping version of “O, Say Can You See”, and Bishop John brought things to a
riotous climax with his appeal to Our Maker for understanding and an improved attendance at our Friday meetings.

PRESIDENT’S REMARKS: President Mark Seiden assumed the club presidency today
with a display of enormous elan and gusto. He started things off by announcing that our weekly meetings would start 10 minutes earlier than they do now. He followed that up with news that we should expect a Calendar of Upcoming Events.

This, in turn, was followed by someone asserting that his clothes dryer broke when his wife tried to wash their dog. (That can’t be right; I think I must have misheard.) Shelley followed with a story about his son and the son’s grandfather’s adventures with the violin. Zen awoke long enough to alert us to the fact that three (3) new Rotary benches have been ordered and sold. Zen, in turn, was followed by Frances Chu, who reminded us of the New York Rotary’s NYC Marathon on November 1st. She, in turn, was followed by Sy Yuter’s pointed reference (Sy, we get it, we get it, you rascal!) to the upcoming Jewish Dinner, featuring a menu that would give a gourmet the Pip. This section came to a conclusion with President Seiden’s reminding us to look for the Calendar of Upcoming Briarcliff Rotary events.

Good start, President Seiden!

ANOUNCEMENTS AND HAPPY THOUGHTS: This year, there will be no Rotary-sponsored Truck Show. In its place will be an event to be announced at a future date. President Seiden declared that the 1st Friday of every month would be a Briarcliff Rotary food-collection day and that more collection sites that are available now will be needed to stock the Food Pantry.

NEXT WEEK’S SPEAKER: Our speaker on July 17th will be Anna Wyganowski, whose topic will be “How To Stay Alive On The Roads.”

THIS WEEK’S SPEAKER: Joe Lulak, Scoutmaster of the Briarcliff branch—Troop 18--of the Boy Scouts, spoke to us today about “The History of Briarcliff Boy Scouts.”

Mr. Lulak opened his talk by pointing out that the hundredth year of Scouting is coming up. In 2010, the Boy Scout organization will be a century old.

He then went on to talk specifically about Scouting, and the good that it does for its members and for society. Mr. Lulak, pointing to a board he had brought,described the seven (7) ranks of Scouting, from Tenderfoot to Eagle--the Leadership level. And he described various Briarcliff scouts who went on to important positions (Hank Kaufman and Briarcliff Rotary’s Carl Weiner.)

The Briarcliff Boy Scout troop numbers 50, and meets in the local Congregational Church. Boy Scout activities include rafting and jamborees that feature ice-climbing.
(Ice climbing! I yi yi!!) At one time, soccer was a Scout activity, but was later abandoned because it took away from important Scouting activities.

One of local troop’s many projects, has been the mapping of Briarcliff Manor, including the position of every last fire hydrant. (Speaking of which, Mr. Lulak indicated, many Briarcliff firemen, of which he is one, were Boy Scouts at one time.)

Striving to reach the level of Eagle Scout (the top level), a boy must first put in at least 50 hours of community service—not service to individuals--and be a young man of proven exemplary character.

The age of Boy Scouts, Mr. Lulak stated, ranges from eleven to eighteen, except for handicapped youngsters, who are given more age leeway.

Mr. Lulak, in full Scout uniform, gave an inspiring talk. Bravo, Joe Lulak!


THE DRAWING: The winners of this week’s lottery, drawn by Mr. Lulak, were
first-place prize winner, Vladimir, and second-place winner, Eleanor Yuter. (Dismayed, The Right Reverend John Herzog had to be coaxed down from his jumping-off spot on the roof.)

THE FINISH OF OUR MEETING: Our weekly meeting ended with a Parade of the Hounded Husbands….There were too many parading husbands to mention.

Respectfully submitted by
Recording Secretary, Don Wilde

7/10 Attendees - Frances Chu, Antonia Conte, Dean Dykeman, Zenith Eidel, Marie Fuesy, Peter Garth, Rachel Leihbacher, Shelley Lotter, Ernest Pacchiana, Fiala Portnoy, Vladimir Portnoy, Paul Rosen*, Mark Seiden, Carl Weiner, Donald Wilde, Frances Wills, Elinor Yuter, Sy Yuter

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

2009 NYC Marathon - November 1, 2009

From Rotary International District 7230 Karl Milde - District Governor

Fellow Rotarians,

To be a Rotarian has many advantages like for example the following offer from David Del Monte at the Rotary Club of New York to participate in the upcoming New York Marathon:

District 7230 Rotarians, families & friends have a special opportunity from the Rotary Club of New York.

The Rotary Club of New York, as a participating charity of the New York Road Runners, has a limited number of guaranteed entries for the 2009 NYC Marathon. District 7230 Rotarians will be given priority for these coveted entries Subject to Availability on a first come, first serve basis.

If you are interested or know of a runner who may be interested, please mention this opportunity to them ASAP.

Polio Plus, Gift of Life, the Ronald McDonald House and the New York Rotary Foundation (which supports all three entities) will each receive 25% of the proceeds.

For full details please visit or call David Del Monte, Event Captain, (212) 532 2141.

Thank you
David Del Monte
Rotary Club of New York
I have heard that it is very difficult to be accepted for running the New York Marathon. The waiting list is very long with more people willing to run that there are spaces available. This offer is therefore very attractive.

If you are interested or if you have friends, who are interested in the New York Marathon, David Del Monte is the Rotarian to call. In addition, you will be running for a good cause.

Rotary is about having fun and doing good things!

Matts Ingemanson
District Secretary


Friday, July 3, 2009

Copy of an International "Grandma's Scam" Story from Elmsford Rotary Website


The short story: Magda got a phone call and the man said he was our grandson. Magda said ”Jedd, where are you”? He said in a Montreal jail and he needed $2,900 to pay the fine to get out and not to tell anyone (his parents). We rushed to Western Union and wired the money (to the lawyer). Next day he calls and says he needs to pay the lawyer or he can’t leave Canada. Again we wire another $2,900.00 and tell him to call us when he gets back to Baltimore. We wait and wait and wait for his call. Finally, we call him and asked what happened. He tells us that he was never in Montreal nor jail. We immediately knew that we’d been scammed.

Long story made short…this scam is going on all over the world. At a Rotary dinner the other night, a person from Japan told us that it had hit Japan very heavy.

SO, BEWARE ! ANYONE AT ANY TIME CAN GET CAUGHT UP IN DOING STUPID THINGS IF THEY LET THEIR EMOTIONS TAKE OVER WHEN SENDING MONEY TO PERSONS THEY LOVE. A lot of that details were left out of the above, but suffice it to say there are plenty of people will do anything to separate you from your money. -- Alan Nemlich

It was really nice of Alan & Magda to share the story with us so that we can be better prepared not to be tricked in a scam. I also heard the story directly from Alan and Magda at the District Governor's Installation Dinner. PDG Alan Nemlich is in this picture on the right. Sitting from the left: Myra Voves, PDG Joe Voves,and PDG Andy Morzello (standing) at the dinner in Crabtree Kittle House on 6/30/09.