By Gretchen Althoff Snyder

 “In the spirit of the three remarkable scientists of the Bird family, we particularly wanted to encourage scientific curiosity in young people.”

This is a noteworthy year in Rye’s history: 2017 marks the 150th anniversary of the arrival of the Meeting House. The Meeting House evolved from a schoolhouse to an Episcopal Sunday school when it was moved to 600 Milton Road in 1867. After the addition of the distinctive bell tower in 1877, the Meeting House became Grace Chapel (affiliated with Christ’s Church), and subsequently served for many years as a Quaker Meeting House. The City of Rye purchased the Meeting House in 2002, and acquired a grant for the property’s restoration, which commenced in 2005. Today, the building serves as a secular historic site and educational destination for all age groups.

The Bird Homestead, a historic and rare-surviving 19th-century farm complex along a tidal estuary, lies directly adjacent to the Meeting House. The property consists of a modest 1835 Greek revival house, an 1885 two-story barn, and a late 19th-century woodworking shop with an attached chicken coop. Henry Bird, the owner of the farm and patriarch of the family, was a prominent entomologist and President of the New York Entomological Society in the 1920s. His son Roland was an esteemed paleontologist at the American Museum of Natural History, and Roland’s younger brother Junius was an internationally known archeologist. The Bird family owned the homestead from 1852 until 2009, when it was purchased by the City of Rye; the following year it was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

Prom Dresses at a Good Price Point

As prom season approaches, many high school girls are preparing to purchase dresses, shoes, and handbags. Appreciating that proms are a large expense for many, Camryn Sullivan, a Rye Neck High School senior, founded The Prom Collective.

In November 2016, she started collecting lightly worn prom dresses from friends and family, as well as tapping the United Methodist Church community in Mamaroneck for dresses that might be hanging in girls’ closets from last year’s proms.

“The support I have received is amazing. People want to help and I have received donations of dresses, accessories, and even make-up samples,” said Camryn.

Her concept is to make the cost of the dresses optional, determined by the purchaser. If someone hesitates or cannot pay more than a small amount, Camryn said she is ready to simply give dresses away. “I think people are honest and will tell me what they feel they can pay.  If someone loves a dress and hesitates, I will discreetly ask if they want it for free.”

Camryn invites all prom-bound girls to The Prom Collective event: Saturday, March 25 from 11-3 at the Mamaroneck United Methodist Church. The funds collected will be donated to a charity that helps support at-risk teens.


                  Camryn Sullivan, Rye Neck High School senior, holds a dress from The Prom Collective.    

By Tom McDermott

The Village of Port Chester Board of Trustees took a leap towards eventual approval of Starwood’s proposed 15-acre mixed-use development on the old United Hospital site on March 6 by approving a Statement of Finding. The Statement included several plan revisions regarding zoning, affordable housing, traffic mitigation, and a density bonus ($3 million) to be paid by the applicant.

The Rye Park and Environs Steering Committee, which represents residents of the area of Rye contingent to the site – Hillside Road, High Street, Ridge Street, Evergreen and Grandview avenues, and Boston Post Road – was represented at the meeting by Richard Smith. While Smith complimented the Board on the inclusion of a number of Committee recommendations, he noted several areas that needed the Board’s attention. In a letter dated that same day, the Committee asked for the following considerations among others: room for additional future mitigation steps already identified by engineers but not required in the Statement; intersections at Ridge and High streets, Hillside Road and BPR, and Purchase/Wappanoca/Ridge/Hillside should be included in the Post Implementation Study.

The Committee and the City of Rye are both deeply concerned that excess traffic from the site will flow onto High Street and the neighborhood. Consequently, both seek an agreement with Starwood that provides plans and adequate funds for traffic mitigation. Traffic is expected to increase by 30 percent along High Street; Smith also asked that trucks in excess of 5,000 pounds be prohibited due to noise and excessive turning radius.

Sailors’ Delight

Dozens of enthusiastic sailors attempted to pilot boats made of cardboard and duct tape from one end of the Rye YMCA’s Brookside pool to the other at the Y’s 4th Annual Cardboard Boat Regatta, March 10. Some of them didn’t make it – but that was part of the fun!

Congratulations to the winners:

Overall Winner: HMS Sinksalotnot

Best Design: Michael and Vincent Mancusi: The Fire Truck!

Davy Jones’ Locker: Elizabeth Carriere: Orange Crush

And the Heat Finalists:

  1. Pool Shark: Michael and Anthony Vernace
  2. Merflower: Caroline Kirby and Julianne Tonkle
  3. HMS Sinksalotnot: Aidan Grant
  4. Cub Scout Den 1
  5. Black Pearl: Philip Nemeth and Max Webber


Michael and Vincent Mancusi won Best Design for their Fire Truck

Aidan Grant of HMS Sinksalotnot holding the Overall Winner trophy

Elizabeth Carriere on Orange Crush won the Davy Jones Locker title

By Gretchen Althoff Snyder

A bright, airy new yoga studio with a focus on overall health and wellness opened this week upstairs at 22 Purchase Street, in downtown Rye. Beyond Yoga: A Home for Wellness is a long-awaited dream come true for Janet Muller. While Muller, a former Rye resident, has taught yoga in various locations around town for 17 years, she always envisioned a studio of her own to cultivate a place where people can relax, breathe, and enjoy all the health benefits that a yoga practice has to offer.

Muller began her career as a dietician at Nyack Hospital, but quickly realized that she wanted to be more proactive and help people prevent illness before they landed in the hospital. As a result, she got certified as a fitness instructor and started teaching exercise classes at Rye Recreation 27 years ago. “I taught aerobics and step classes back in the days when those classes were ‘in’,” quipped Muller.

After teaching exercise classes for many years, Muller says she suffered with some health issues that drove her “on a personal level to seek out yoga.” She felt very stressed and fatigued at a young age, and knew that something wasn’t quite right. Muller enrolled in training classes to get certified as a yoga instructor, and said that she felt great after each session; her exhaustion and stress levels were significantly reduced. Although she was eventually diagnosed with Lyme disease, Muller found that a yoga practice drastically improved her overall quality of life and she wanted to share this gift with others. Over the years, she blended vinyasa, hatha, and Iyengar styles to create her own unique brand of yoga classes.

In the midst of growing her practice, Muller was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007. Throughout her ordeal, which included four months of chemotherapy and a mastectomy, Muller says yoga is what kept her going. “My yogis were so dedicated – they got me through a very tough time.” Muller continued to teach her yoga classes during chemotherapy, even when she wasn’t sure she could do any of the poses (or stand) herself. Just having a place to go where people depended on her kept Muller from cancelling classes and staying in bed.

After her recovery, Muller was inspired to join Soul Ryeders as a client coordinator for the highly successful Wig Exchange program; she also runs the Soul Strong survivor program. Muller also credits yoga for helping her cope with another extremely difficult time when her son was battling drug addiction. Yoga’s focus on breathing, being mindful, and staying in the moment kept her in the right frame of mind to be present and steadfastly support her son during a very stressful time.

After teaching yoga at several different venues, Muller was recently alerted to an open studio space on Purchase Street. Having waited 17 years to open a place of her own, she jumped at the opportunity. “Going through all these hardships in my life has taught me to be fearless,” said Muller.

Her vision for the Beyond Yoga studio is to create a home for wellness. “I want to empower people and make them feel better both mentally and physically.” To that end, Muller will host wellness initiatives, including nutrition workshops and a six-week “Mindful Parenting” course to help participants respond to life and parenting challenges in new and more effective ways. Her goal, Muller said, is to partner with different professionals who have expertise in a variety of health initiatives to promote the overall well being of her clients.

And, of course, there will be numerous different yoga classes to choose from every week, including a Begin and Renew class (for those who may be intimidated by a more advanced class), Sweat the Stress, Beyond Cancer, Millennial Madness, a class for teens and tweens, and even a class for teachers. Muller stresses that her studio is a place for everyone, and that she is fully dedicated to meeting the needs and interests of the community. “People should feel free to drop the load they are carrying and just leave it here at the studio.”

Muller is hosting an open house on Saturday, March 25 from 2-4. For more information, as well as class and workshop schedules, visit

Calling All Candidates


Any Rye resident interested in being a candidate for election to the Rye City School District Board of Education may pick up a candidate's packet at the District's Central Administration Offices, 411 Theodore Fremd Avenue, 100S, school days between the hours of 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.


Candidates must be U.S. citizens, at least 18 years old, qualified voters in the School District, and able to read and write. They must also be residents of their district continuously for one year before the May 16 election. They cannot be employed by the Board, or live in the same household as a family member who is a member of the Board. 


Nomination to candidacy must be made by the submission of petitions including the names of 100 qualified voters in the Rye City School District. Petitions must be submitted no later than April 26 at 5 p.m. Blank petitions are included in candidate packets.


There are two seats up for election on the seven-member Board. The two candidates who receive the greatest number of votes will be elected to three-year terms of office, beginning July 1.



Questions? Contact Elaine Cuglietto, District Clerk at 967-6100, ext. 6278.