EDITORIAL: Fear, Loathing, and Larvae in Rye
By Robin Jovanovich
While many are trying to enjoy the last days of summer, remaining vacation days, and Casual Fridays, others are not so content. In fact, they haven’t been for many summers. They want to stir the pot, while the rest of us want City officials and staff to get cracking on a potful of improvements — sidewalk and street repairs, safer downtown cross-walks, the creation of additional downtown parking, a Metro North parking lot you can walk and drive safely through, greater enforcement of existing laws, a tougher tree ordinance, to name a few.
Further, we want our small City staff to have time to imagine, envision, and lay out a future that is good for as many as possible.
But with a band of unruly “brothers” spewing vitriol about pretty much every City official and spinning stories of imminent threats to life as we know it that would give The National Enquirer pause, you don’t have enough chances to dream, much less accomplish needed change.
What is to be done? Should we impeach the officials and put the brothers in charge? Should we hire a ferry to take every resident over to Hen Island so they can see how serious the mosquito problem is? Not quite yet. If you live in Rye and have been near the water (which we hear is why many choose to move and stay here), you’ve seen your share of mosquitoes. Fortunately, there haven’t been any cases of West Nile at the Marshlands, Edith Read, or anywhere in Rye, notwithstanding the fear mongering.
Awful things happen every day, but evidently not enough for the band of brothers, who want more.
The difficulty so many of us have with the scenario is that we want more substance and far less nonsense.
The brothers may triumph.
All we can do is try to go the other way when they’re swarming. There’s a lot of other life on this planet, much of it pleasurable, meaningful, and true.
A Vote to Move Forward on City Bond
I have been following the discussions of the City Council about infrastructure with great interest. It reminded me of some of the actions of Councils in the past decade, such as delaying rebuilding Theall Road, which had more than doubled in cost when finally approved, and other projects cut back without significant savings when completed.
As a taxpayer, I keep in mind that our City tax is a small percentage of our total tax bill, below 20%. As pointed out during the Council discussion, interest on borrowed money, including bonds, is at an all-time low right now. Furthermore, bidding for infrastructure type work is very competitive, and, hopefully, a few more people could find employment.
We can be certain of one thing: When the economic recovery comes, doing infrastructure work will cost us a lot more than it would now.
I feel confident that a majority of Rye taxpayers would approve a bond that includes most of the projects urgently needed, and hope the Council will move ahead.
John J. Sherwin
Thanks for a Great Softball Season
The Rye Recreation Department would like to take the time and congratulate all the winning teams of the Rye Softball leagues. Congratulations to Poppy’s Café, Davy Burns, The RGB Hackers, and the Legal Eagles of the Women’s division. Great job this season.
A few people should be thanked for their positive contributions this season. Thank you to the Rye Rec field crew, Frank Cecere, Frank Lopez, JD, Eugene, Alex, Kelvin, and Anthony for their hard work preparing the softball fields all season. Thank you to Carmen and the umpires of USSSA for providing umps who were able to adjust to all our needs and changes. Thank you to Melanie Cane of The Rye Record for taking some great photos. We would also like to thank all the players and teams for competing and contributing to a great season of Softball here in Rye.
We look forward to seeing everyone back next year.
Doug Scott, Rye Recreation
Can We Close the Book on Hazing for All Time?
The “Hazing Incident” has happened, it will not go away; though many have wished it so. Many have tried to convince young minds that it is not right, but it is back on our doorstep.
Young minds are seemingly unprepared to understand in the abstract; they have to do it, as a rite of passage, to thumb their nose at the conventional. That it is wrong is now a reality, and we, and they, the perpetrators, have to deal with it. The community has risen up, pointed its finger, made known beyond a certainty that this is not to be tolerated. Lurking in the back of their minds, they knew this could happen, I’m sure, but they had to test the will of society?
Will this incident remove hazing from our midst? Is the wrath of the community that convincing to all those who might dare to test the waters?
I expect so.
I was a witness, a reluctant participant many years ago when hazing was a part of our lives and the “gung ho” perpetrators got away with it … or, did they? Or, did it come home to haunt them, to drag at their conscience, to mold their minds just a bit toward unseemly behavior? There was on war on then, we had to be tough; we had an obstacle course on the Rye High School grounds, on the northwest side, along the stonewall where the macho excelled. You graduated, and then you were in the military, ready as best you manfully could, to be really tough.
These hazing perpetrators of my youth were never “caught”, never called to account, never was a finger lifted in rebuke, but they went on with their lives as if they had done a deed of growth and acceptance. A friend, much later, was actually “locked out” of his marriage, his home, his life, and his children. He had performed these hazing rituals with gusto, with verve, and he got away with lording it over the weaker…. And this must have seemed right to him because he proceeded to practice it; true in a slightly different form, in a family setting, but hazing nonetheless, the power over the weaker; he was uncaring, unfeeling “we must be tough” …
So, bless you all for taking up this issue forthrightly and head on; the mother who went to the police, Ms. McBaine-Cooke, who brought out the legal and the understanding, the Rye Middle School Principal who several years ago wrote letters home on the subject, and all who have voiced their opinions. Society has made it known: no more.
Now, the community must decide how much punishment is enough to right this wrong and see the perpetrators, and their peers who would have done the same, on to a future life “enlightened” by this experience. And don’t forget the “victims”, those that were beaten, they too must find their way in the world.
Can we close the book on hazing for all time? It will be difficult. We must temper justice with understanding and caring. This is not an “eye for an eye”, but young minds we have to mold to fully get the job done.
T. S. Harvey