September 21, 2012

Breathing a little easier

Few things are more chilling than the story of the home invasion and shooting at a Bedford home this summer. Bedford residents may take some comfort in knowing that a suspect in the case has been charged. In a collaborative effort, the Bedford police, the FBI and the Westchester County District Attorney announced charges this week against Queens resident Bartek Zajkowski for, among other things, the attempted extortion of a family by whom he was previously employed and attempted robbery of them in their home in Bedford. The defendant, who is currently incarcerated on charges from a Ridgefield, Conn., break-in, appeared in a court in White Plains and was ordered detained without bail.

Mr. Zajkowski, 22, was charged with one count of attempted robbery, one count of attempted extortion, and one count of mailing threatening communications. Each count carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

For us in Bedford, this case points to our everyday vulnerability. The home of the victims was secluded, not easily seen from the road. The suspect not only allegedly terrorized the family with extortion and threats, but through his familiarity with the area he was able to hide out in the woods and elude police capture. His ongoing attempts to blackmail and extort the family, with threats to their children, were heartless and seemingly unending —continuing even after Mr. Zajkowski was arrested for the Ridgefield crimes.

Fortunately, this proved to be his undoing. Collaborative police work between local and federal law enforcement put an end to Mr. Zajkowski’s reign of terror. One only has to remember the heartbreaking and savage Cheshire, Conn., home invasion that occurred in July 2007, when a mother and her two daughters were murdered.

It remains to be seen whether Mr. Zajkowski will be linked to other break-ins and robberies in the area. There is nothing more important than safety in one’s home — and protection from vicious and unwarranted attack. We are grateful that the family is now safe, and that good, determined police work has led to the arrest of the man believed responsible.

In a time of politics, reflections on the Jewish new year

Rosh Hashanah represents a joyous moment, the beginning of a new year on the Hebrew calendar. The 10 days in-between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are a time of reflection, of second chances, a time to review what has passed rather than to leap headfirst into something new.

On a daily basis, at The Record-Review we are focused on local concerns. But with Israel a flashpoint for politicians both on the right and the left, with nuclear threats in Iran, and zealotry fueling demonstrations leading to the loss of American lives, a global perspective is in order. How, as The New York Times succinctly put it, could a “13-minute film lampooning the Prophet Muhammad” provoke such anger? What is the appropriate role of the United States in Iraq? How can the United States best help maintain order in Afghanistan? Israel and its role in American policy will inevitably shape our future. Tensions in the Middle East are surely a reflection of the sour mood that seems to permeate too many of our national as well as international relationships.

As the election approaches in November, rabbis are aware of the role that the Middle East will play in the campaign. “Israel is a great concern for us, but so also is the well-being of our society and our world,” Rabbi David Greenberg of Temple Shaaray Tefila said this week.

Rabbi Carla Freedman of Jewish Family Congregation in South Salem said Israel is a topic that is “too important to become part of back-and-forth arguments between the two presidential candidates.” She sees resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as crucial toward reconciliation and a lasting peace.

It is with these thoughts that we wish members of our community a happy new year and urge people of all faiths to work toward the common goals of safety, security, tolerance and peace.

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

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  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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