Public Safety Commissioner Michael A. Corcoran welcomed three new firefighters to the Rye Fire Department September 28 at City Hall where they were sworn in by City Clerk Carolyn D’Andrea.

<<Christian Acevedo>> was born and raised in Rye. He is a 2009 graduate of Rye High School and has been affiliated RFD’s Poningoe Engine & Hose company since the age of 14. Acevedo is a Coast Guard licensed captain who operates the launch at American Yacht Club.

<<Joseph Ganci>> served as a United States Navy Hospital Corpsman for more than five years, earning a Global War on Terrorism-Expeditionary Medal while deployed with a United States Marine unit in the Mediterranean and Arabian seas area of operations. Ganci, who is EMT certified, has been an active member of RFD since 2016 and is finishing his bachelor’s degree in International Criminal Justice at John Jay College. He resides in Rye with his wife Allison and son Jack.

<<Peter Kennedy>>, a 2010 graduate of Rye High School, received his B.S. degree in Marine Transportation in 2014 from SUNY Maritime and has a Coast Guard captain’s license. After graduation be became 2nd Mate on a tug and barge unit in Canada. Kennedy joined the RFD Explorers at 14 and has been a volunteer firefighter for over seven years in addition to being EMT certified. His grandfather, Bruce Jenkins, was an RFD volunteer for over 50 years.

– <photos by Tom McDermott>

Joseph Ganci take his firefighter oath accompanied by wife Allison and son Jack.

Christian Acevedo receiving his firefighter pin from his mother.

Nancy Kennedy with her newly-sworn firefighter son Peter.


The Osborn School Parent-Teacher Organization is gearing up for its annual Scare Fair Halloween Carnival and Silent Auction, October 28 from 10-3:30, rain or shine. Families with special needs will have access to the Fair beginning at 9:30 a.m.

Parking is available along Osborn Road and Theall Road. Punch cards for rides, games, and food can be purchased the day of the event.

Parents, teachers, staff, and students welcome the entire community to take part in rides and attractions for all ages:

  • Ultimate survivor zip line obstacle course
  • Inflatable fun house obstacle course
  • Karaoke disco room
  • Wrecking ball inflatable
  • Cakewalk
  • Many carnival-style games. 

Guests can purchase lunch from the food trucks — Walter’s Hot Dogs and Melt Mobile, among them. Additionally, you can sample an international array of food and beverages prepared and sold by Osborn families.

All are invited to bid online for one of the many one-of-a-kind silent auction items, including sought-after sporting event tickets and memorabilia, luxury spa treatments, original experiences, and getaways to beautiful vacation homes. Online bidding registration is available in the Silent Auction room. The auction closes promptly at 3:30.

The Scare Fair is Osborn School’s primary fundraiser, supporting critical technology, curriculum, enrichment, and arts programs at the school.

By Gretchen Althoff Snyder

Over 400 people gathered at Rye Town Park on September 17th to celebrate the ten-year anniversary of Soul Ryeders. The weather was picture-perfect as supporters of the organization enjoyed live music by Michael Guarnieri and Pao Pao and delicious fare from longtime Rye favorite, Jerry’s Post Road Market.

The celebration included the unveiling of a newly constructed labyrinth with bricks engraved in honor of loved ones who lost the fight against cancer, as well as tributes to survivors and many others who have helped in the fight along the way. The idea for the labyrinth was to unite the community by creating a quiet place for reflection and a space for family and friends to gather. Soul Ryeders founder Sandy Samberg said, “The labyrinth is filled with messages of love, hope, strength, and inspiration,” and that additional bricks will be added over time to make it an integral part of the community for years to come.

The program began with Rye Middle School seventh grader Maelin Doran, who sang a beautiful, goosebump-inducing rendition of “Fight Song.” Afterward, hugs and tissues were in high demand as several brave and inspiring women shared harrowing stories of their battles against cancer. Jenn Doto and Sondra Fizzinoglia, both first-grade teachers, became “breasties” after they were diagnosed with breast cancer around the same time. Connected by and given unwavering support from Soul Ryeders, these women shared their greatest fears and found solace through “texts, tea, tears, and time”.

JoAnn Linden, whose sister lives in Rye, was connected with Soul Ryeders after her life-changing cancer diagnosis. At first hesitant since she lived an hour away, Linden took a leap of faith and attended Mondays with Soul Ryeders at a local beauty salon. She immediately felt the warmth, generosity, and support of the organization, and was later inspired to start a similar cancer support program at a salon near her home on Long Island.

April Deen’s life was turned upside down when she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. As a mother of 2½-year-old twins, her family was searching for support through any means possible. Deen’s brother, a devoted yogi, found her a Yoga for Cancer class sponsored by Soul Ryeders. Her instructor then connected Deen with Samberg, who showed up at her door with a meal and care packages for her twins. Whether it was massages, reflexology, or lending her a wig, “their generosity and support was endless,” she said.

There wasn’t a dry eye in the house after Callie Zola, a high school senior, shared her tragic story of being diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma right in the middle of her junior year. “Being a teenager is hard enough; being a teenager with cancer was a whole different ballgame,” she said, fighting back tears. Because of her age, Zola struggled to find anyone to talk to who could really understand the range of emotions she was going through. She was connected with Soul Ryeders, and upon meeting with coordinator Janet Muller, said “I felt so understood — it was one of the first times I truly felt comfortable and okay this past winter.” After a grueling six months of chemotherapy, she is now cancer free. A testament to her courage, before Zola’s treatment was even finished, she attended the junior prom — her hair styled courtesy of Soul Ryeders.

The common thread of the evening was the kind, generous and unwavering support Soul Ryeders has given so many people affected by cancer over the last ten years. The community is forever grateful for this important work and looks forward to the next ten years.

Susan Marynowski, Monica Brenner, Sandy Samberg, Lesley Findlay, Heidi Kitlas, and Christine Lombardo

A labyrinth filled with love


Shining a Light on Toulouse-Lautrec and His Celebrated Subjects

By Arthur Stampleman

“In the Limelight: Toulouse-Lautrec Portraits from the Herakleidon Museum” is the featured new exhibit at the Bruce Museum, occupying both the Love and Arcade galleries. On view are some 120 works on paper on loan from the collection of Paul and Anna-Belinda Firos housed in the Herakleidon Museum, which they founded in Athens, Greece.

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901) was born into an aristocratic French family. As a child, his family fully expected him to follow his father’s example and pursue aristocratic pastimes. But at age 10, Lautrec began suffering severe medical problems in his legs, partly hereditary, which caused his bones to grow abnormally and his height as an adult was under 5 feet. As a bedridden child, Lautrec turned his attention to art, and the rest is history.

He began his career as a painter, but his mature work is dominated by lithography, which is the focus of the exhibit at the Bruce. There are also drawings, etchings, publications, and one watercolor. “In the Limelight” showcases the artist’s portraits of dancers, singers, and other performers who became the icons of the Parisian nightlife in the late 19th century.

Lautrec wanted to show life as it is, not as it should be, but his objectivity was not without empathy or humor. His interest lay in portraying people, not only those he met during his nights on the town, but also his friends and the working-class citizens of Paris.

While many of his contemporaries created idealized pictures of celebrities, Toulouse-Lautrec presented a different perspective, focusing on the darker side of celebrity culture, highlighting the unflattering effects of stage lights, and depicting performers’ faces from the pit, revealing many of them grimacing.

“As a longtime friend of many of the celebrities he depicted, Lautrec was uniquely able to appreciate the hollowing effects of celebrity,” notes exhibition curator Mia Laufer. Lautrec created many of his lithographic projects and posters in collaboration with friends to promote their books, music, or performances.

The first three rooms in the Bruce exhibit include posters and drawings of some of the most famous Parisians Toulouse-Lautrec depicted:

  • Desire Dihau played the bassoon in the Paris Opéra orchestra and wrote songs for cabarets and cafés-concerts. Here viewers see caricatures, portraits, and the actual printmaker’s limestone plate for one of the lithographs displayed. Some notes and a video on the lithography process are available nearby.
  • Jane Avril was celebrated for her explosive and erratic can-can dancing. A poster shows her in the midst of a high kick framed by a musician cast in shadow and gives the illusion of the viewer situated in the orchestra.
  • Singer Yvette Guilbert was best known to Lautrec lovers for her long black gloves and a simple dress with a deep neckline highlighting her willowy figure. Lautrec collaborated on a luxury print portfolio dedicating her that is on view.
  • Aristide Bruant owned a Montmartre cabaret, Le Mirliton, and used Lautrec’s art to decorate and promote it. Lautrec helped Bruant establish a trademark costume: a large felt hat, corduroy pants, a hunting coat, and a red scarf.

The exhibit continues with Le Café-Concert, a limited-edition luxury print portfolio of lithographs on fine vellum paper. Other galleries display images of other figures, friends, family, politicians, and horses.

The exhibit runs through January 7. The Bruce Museum is located at 1 Museum Drive in Greenwich. Hours are 10 to 5 Tuesday to Sunday. Special public programming to complement this exhibition includes a lecture and film series. For more information, call 203-869-0376 or visit


Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec
Eldorado, Aristide Bruant dans son cabaret, 1892
Color lithograph

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec
Study of Y. Guilbert (I) Linger, Longer, Loo, 1894
Ink drawing

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec
Babylone d’Allemagne (German Babylon)
Color lithograph

All images courtesy of The Bruce Museum. Copyright Herakleidon Museum, Athens, Greece.

By Janice Llanes Fabry

A chill in the air means it’s time to start bringing plants indoors before nighttime temperatures start dipping below 40 degrees. The transfer takes more than simply shuffling pots around and is not always clear-cut. We asked the experts in town to plant their seeds of knowledge before the frost sets in, so our green houseguests can fill our homes with color, texture, and oxygen.

Greene Willow owner Michael Falkowski, who grew up with a green thumb on a farm in Long Island long before he opened his shop 14 years ago, suggests transferring garden plants to potting soil to avoid bringing in pesky insects. He also advises pruning, which helps dormant plants in the winter produce new, healthy growth in the spring. Hibiscus, geraniums, and begonias, for instance, will do well with deadheading, or pinching off old blooms.

It is with dahlias, above all, that Falkowski’s magic touch blossoms. These plants with beautiful abundant florets and such varietal names as “Midnight Dancer,” “All That Jazz,” and “Foxy Lady,” grow from tubers and are native to Mexico, so they need to steer clear of the cold at all costs.

“Upon the first frost, typically late October, their foliage freezes and turns black,” he explained. “Let them sit in the ground for two weeks, so the tubers harden or they will rot over the winter. Then dig up the tubers, which look like fingerling potatoes, wash the dirt off and allow them to dry for a day or two.”

His storage technique includes soaking the tubers in vermiculite, keeping them in a plastic bag with holes poked through it, then layering them in a box between newspapers. They spend the winter in his garage, where the temperature does not drop below 40 degrees. Come spring, he gingerly divides them and plants them in the ground. “Their most prolific season is the end of August, but they can start blooming in July,” he said.

Claudia Gasparini, Falkowski’s right-hand helper for over a decade, confirmed that, “Michael’s dahlias are incredible. Their colors, size, and longevity are far superior to any wholesaler’s.”

Rocco Lagana opened <<Rockridge Deli and Florist>> as a plant, fruit, and vegetable stand with his wife Gemma 44 years ago. Today, their daughter Brigit and son Lorenzo work closely with them. Although the latter has taken over the nursery, like us, he still asks his father for advice.

The seasoned Lagana patriarch advised, “Make sure garden plants do not have insects before ever bringing them in. They can spread very easily.” And the last thing one needs is a full-on invasion of aphids, mealybugs, fungus gnats, and spider mites that make your home their home.

Another important factor is the pot. It should be large enough to accommodate the size of the roots and should have holes to ensure adequate drainage. Roots cannot tolerate sitting in stagnate water. Cultivating healthier roots will give plants a much higher survival rate over the winter. Also, use good quality potting soil instead of garden soil, which is too dense for pots. Every couple of weeks, add an all-purpose fertilizer, as in Miracle-Gro plant food.

Lagana added, “Most garden plants love sunlight. Geraniums, hibiscus, and ficus plants will thrive in rooms with a lot of sun, but houseplants often prefer shade.” Houseplants that thrive on the patio during the summer — peace lilies, succulents, schefflera, pothos, and corn plants — fare better in rooms with indirect sunlight.

If yards and porches start feeling a little bare once the plants have been brought in, select a couple of Rockridge’s hardy chrysanthemums and ornamental cabbage before they are replaced with a crop of pumpkins. As Brigit noted, “Unlike other plants, they like the cold and can last outside till Halloween.”


#2447 Green Willow owner Michael Falkowski’s homegrown dahlias

# 2410 Chrysanthemums and cabbage plants galore at Rockridge

#2420 A colorful mix at Rockridge

Rye is a many-splendored town, but when artists get out their brushes and canvases, it’s most often to capture the shifting light over Long Island Sound, the Tide Mill, or Blind Brook. While waterfront scenes were the glittering attractions at The Rye Arts Center’s 14th Painters on Location: Plein-Air Paint-Out & Auction, downtown landscapes merited plenty of attention and high bids at the live auction September 16.

The Gallery filled up early with art lovers interested in getting a close look at the works in the silent auction. One by one they moved on to the freshly painted ones in the Performing Arts Room that were later sold in the live auction.

The occasion gives the community the chance to meet artists from Maine to Rhode Island to Pennsylvania to upstate New York and right around the corner.