June 22, 2012

18th Congressional District gets its christening

The newly renamed 18th Congressional District in New York — formerly the 19th, represented by Nan Hayworth (not the former 18th, represented by Democrat Nita Lowey) — will see its first milestone next week. On Tuesday, June 26, five Democratic candidates will be on the primary ballot to run against Ms. Hayworth in November.

There are five candidates on the ballot: in alphabetical order, Wappingers Falls Mayor Matt Alexander; Cortlandt physician Richard Becker; Buchanan trustee Duane Jackson; attorney and former attorney general primary candidate Sean Maloney; and Tuxedo Park Mayor Thomas Wilson.

Three of the candidates, Dr. Becker, Mr. Jackson and Mr. Maloney, live outside the district lines, which encompass a similar swath as the 19th District, minus the areas of Peekskill and Yorktown and with the additions of Newburgh and parts of Dutchess County. While living inside the district is not a legal requirement, it is considered an advantage, and Dr. Becker has announced that he has plans to move from his home in Cortlandt if he wins the congressional seat.

While redistricting has changed in some congressional districts, experts are split on whether the Dems or Repubs will gain from this year’s redistricting. However, the D.C. political daily, The Hill, says that while the 18th congressional race was “likely Republican” before the redistricting, it now “leans Republican” — i.e., the outcome is less certain. Perhaps the Democrats will see an opening in this, especially as Ms. Hayworth is still dealing with the fallout from the Jay Townsend kerfuffle, a Facebook rant by her top adviser that would have been better off unposted. Mr. Townsend resigned from the campaign two weeks ago, depriving Ms. Hayworth of a seasoned political whipsaw.

From our unscientific armchair, the current primary’s leading candidates are Mr. Maloney and Dr. Becker — Mr. Maloney because he has some heavy hitters behind him, and Dr. Becker because he is the most well organized.

The Pound Ridge and Bedford Democratic committees have indicated their support for Dr. Becker, including holding fundraisers and special events. Mr. Maloney made news with the endorsement by former President Clinton, whom he served under as White House staff secretary, and the endorsement by the AFL-CIO. From the number of mailings and robocalls we’ve received, Mr. Maloney has the most money behind him. A statement from his office stated that Mr. Maloney outraised Ms. Hayworth for the second consecutive quarter by $25,000, and overall, by $530,000.

If either of these candidates win, they will have to consider a home relocation — voters don’t look kindly on carpetbaggers. In any case, the winner of the primary will provide a focus for what will likely be a very competitive race this fall.

Years of study, a day of celebration

One thing grads can be sure of in the years to come: graduation will be a blur. The family dinners will have long been enjoyed, the out-of-town guests long gone, the gift cards and cash trickled away. The cap and gown is but a symbol, and in truth, the graduate could wear anything from flip-flops to a fig leaf. “Pomp and Circumstance” is nice, a signature moment.

We put so much energy, time and work into the quality of the educational experience. In Bedford Central and Katonah, schools are the core of our community. They determine our property values and they dominate our daily concerns. In the city it is said that families put their children’s names on waiting lists to go to exclusive private schools. The mere fact of putting down roots in our community means having a trust in the schools, faith in the system and a belief in the structure that will lead our children successfully through the stages of life.

For these grads of all ages, then, it is not graduation day that is the most important moment. That is fleeting. It is the thought that it all began in a classroom, nervously sharing moments with strangers who became your friends. We all have defining moments: winning a spelling bee — or losing one — a volleyball game, or being the new kid in the class. Elementary school friends often become friends for life, and the habits the group learns early on — consideration for others, respect for the environment and a love of learning — are all inspired by early classroom experiences.

As we grow older, we move further away from the core values. More and more compromise has to be made, and even the basic knowledge that we acquired, be it algebra, world history or physical science, becomes like a shelf in the library that we remember browsing once upon a time. And all too soon, we are not the ones graduating, but the parents and grandparents of graduates, able to appreciate the time, effort and inner resources necessary to complete their studies.

Last month, our son, Sam, graduated from American University with a graduate degree in international economic relations. We couldn’t be prouder. The moment of graduation day passed in a flash. The rewards of the days devoted to the pursuit of knowledge will be part of him forever, and to us, as will remembering that we are graduating to something, to somewhere, to the “next level,” and another graduation, another degree, another milestone.

Congratulations to all the classes of 2012 and their families.

Read more local coverage of your hometown in this week’s issue of the The Record-Review. Newsstand copies are available at several locations listed above, or subscribe today for convenient home delivery.

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The official newspaper of the towns of Bedford and Pound Ridge, New York



Pound Ridge/Scotts Corners

  1. Scotts Corner Market – Trinity Corners Shopping Center;  55 Westchester Avenue

  2. Pound Ridge Sunoco — 66 Westchester Avenue    

  3. Sam Parker Country Market — 257 Westchester Avenue    

Bedford Village

  1. Bedford Rexall Pharmacy — Hunting Ridge Mall; 424 Old Post Road  

  2. Village Green Deli — Village Green; Routes 22 and 172    

  3. Bedford Shell — Routes 22 and 172 (at blinking light); 848 So. Bedford Road

  4. Village Service Center —193 Pound Ridge Road (at Long Ridge Road intersection)    

Bedford Hills

  1. Bedford Hills Deli – 7 Babbitt Road    

  2. Bueti’s Deli – 526 Bedford Road (Route 117)


  1. NoKA Joe’s – 25 Katonah Avenue    

  2. Steger’s Paper Mill – 89 Katonah Avenue    

  3. Katonah Pharmacy – Katonah Shopping Center; 294 Katonah Avenue   

  4. Bagel Shoppe – Katonah Shopping Center; 280 Katonah Avenue    

  5. Katonah Sunoco – 105 Bedford Road

Mount Kisco

  1. Teamo/Mt. Kisco News – 239 Main Street    

Cross River

  1. Bagel Boys Café – Cross River Shopping Center; Routes 121 and 35    

  2. Cross River Shell Station – Route 35    

  3. Cameron’s Deli –  890 Route 35    

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