Letters to the Editor: March 2012

I am relieved that in your article, “Pie-Eyed,” about pizza in Westchester, you mentioned a key pizza pie ingredient: olive oil. This was always the first “topping” to any pie. Not sure why so many pizza places abandoned this key ingredient over the years; it brings together the tastes of the tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese. Thank goodness really good pizza is back on the streets of Westchester!    
Paul Grimaldi, Yonkers

Water, Water Everywhere
It has become fashionable in certain quarters to dismiss government as nothing more than a debating society. It is especially easy to do so with an issue like the increasingly frequent and severe flooding our county has been experiencing. After all, flooding in Westchester has numerous causes, and no easy fixes. But there are many things government can do to remedy flooding; and government is beginning to do them. As with so many other worthwhile things that government does, local governments banding together for the common good have driven the agenda.  
The Saw Mill River is a prime example. Not only did local public works crews from Greenburgh and Elmsford begin the massive, labor-intensive task of clearing debris dams themselves, but persistence on the part of our Stormwater Advisory Board’s members and by our State representatives (most prominently Sen. Stewart-Cousins’s office) nudged the State Department of Transportation and other State and Federal agencies into the debris removal business.          
There is much more that we will need to do to reduce flooding to manageable levels, including reclaiming our extant but dormant flood control infrastructure; new storm-water management techniques; new, well-placed infrastructure projects; regularized river maintenance; the addressing of severe ecological problems along our rivers and streams.  At the forefront of this action will be coalitions of our local governments. Local officials are responsible for land-use policies and public works, they hear the horror stories of their flooded-out friends and neighbors, and themselves must find alternate ways to get to work after a heavy rain.
Those who dismiss government forget that real solutions are possible only with real effort from all levels of government.
MaryJane Shimsky
County Legislator, 12th District
Westchester County Board of Legislators
White Plains

Moral Decay
So, I’m flipping through my January 2012 copy of Westchester Magazine, and I come upon a smiling couple. I begin reading, and my interest turns to disgust as I discover who they are: “But she and… Mark Brener… were both sent to prison for running the Emperors Club VIP, the escort service that brought down Eliot Spitzer.”
I am incredulous that this criminal couple was given an entire page of free publicity for their (and I can’t believe they have the nerve to publish this) “self-help book” and “personal-growth classes.” They are then sweetly interviewed, as just another dynamic Westchester couple, with blithe questions such as, “The girls who worked with the service sound very impressive—how did you find them? Was there a screening process?”
Are you kidding me?
Now, I realize that Westchester is not exactly a citadel of conservatism, but are there no morals left at all? Why publish an article about people who enriched themselves by selling young women for sex, as if they merely took an odd detour on the road of life?
Deborah Gaebler, Irvington

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Top Bars
While I enjoyed your article “Our 31 Best Bars” in the January issue, I feel compelled to inform you that the Set Back Inn in Tarrytown is indeed among the oldest bars in Westchester and that Gordo’s Bar & Restaurant in Hawthorne dates back more than 200 years (though, back then and through the centuries, it had been a hotel and stagecoach stop, etc.). Beginning with the end of Prohibition in 1933, it became the Colonial Tavern. It remained as such until two men purchased the building in 1971 (they left the Colonial Tavern name intact for several years), and Gordo’s has been its name since around 1980.   
Tom Williams, Via email

Oops! In our February Beauty and Style column, Advanced Laser and Medical Spa of Rye was incorrectly noted as being a new business; the HydraFacial treatment is what’s new.

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