At the annual League of Women Voters luncheon, held April 4 at Orienta Beach Club, guests took part in a political trivia contest before listening to political pundit Phil Reisman.
By Janice Llanes Fabry
At the annual League of Women Voters luncheon, held April 4 at Orienta Beach Club, guests took part in a political trivia contest before listening to political pundit Phil Reisman. The occasion was co-sponsored by the Larchmont-Mamaroneck and New Rochelle, and Rye, Rye Brook, and Port Chester chapters.
Elisabeth Radow, President of the Larchmont-Mamaroneck league, led guests in the contest. Filled with political savants, the room had no trouble attributing quotes to the U.S. presidents who uttered them.
Rye LWV President Debbie Reisner announced the upcoming Tools For Change presentation at Rye Town Hall in Port Chester, May 20 at 7:30 p.m. Inspired by an honors program at Duke University, Tools For Change is a seminar for bright, focused, and analytical middle and high school students who are interested in resolving local challenges and making national and global contributions. Students from Rye Neck, Blind Brook, and Port Chester High Schools are participating.
“Covering politics is a dirty job, but somebody’s got to do it!” said Reisman, the keynote speaker, to a captive audience.
Reisman shared a bit of personal history and anecdotes about his role as a journalist. Born in New Rochelle, he learned to swim in the Long Island Sound at age 5, which he quipped started his propensity for “getting in over his head.” He likened writing a column to “swimming in rough seas.” He grew up in Mamaroneck, graduating from Mamaroneck High School, class of 1972. Today, he lives in Yonkers.
He spoke thoughtfully about public servant Christine Helwig, Supervisor of the Town of Mamaroneck from 1969 to 1975. He interviewed her late in her life and remarked, “She set the standard for selfless community spirit and focused on quality-of-life issues.”
A full-time columnist at The Journal News since 1998, Reisman has written the equivalent of what Radow referred to as “seven unabridged versions of Moby Dick.” Although he considers himself more of a generalist than a political commentator, he admitted, “Politics is a bottomless well of material. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.”
Despite his cynicism, he clarified that politicians, at their best, exemplify the very same principles Helwig did. They leave the towns they served a better place than they found them.