June 13, 2014

Greg Ball: Chapter II

It gives us no pleasure that Greg Ball announced that he is not running for re-election to the New York State Senate— or any other elected office, for that matter. Mr. Ball was the most entertaining politician in the region since Jeannine Pirro.

From his initial proclamation that he was a “bomb thrower” in the State Senate, Mr. Ball put on a show. He sent emails using other people’s names and “untraceable” web addresses; advocated the torture of suspected terrorists on CNN; and outraged the Latino community with his anti-immigration stance. Mr. Ball was a newspaperman’s dream, the gift that kept on giving. There was his indignance over the publication by the Journal News of the gun ownership registry, and his subsequent call for readers to boycott that newspaper. Mr. Ball was always quotable and seemed well aware that there is no such thing as bad publicity, especially for a politician. He usually won his elections handily, guided by his ability to cut his opponents off at the knees, with bravado and smash-mouth politics. He had a knack for lethal zingers:  “Tax Hike Mike” was ingenious and completely flummoxed the usually capable and articulate Michael Kaplowitz, who ran against him in 2010. In 2012, Mr. Ball overwhelmed candidate Justin Wagner during a debate with a verbal battery shot from an Uzi. (Mr. Ball had no doubt been spending time at the feet of fellow Putnam County resident Roger Ailes of Fox News, who excels at such pithy weapons of destruction.) A few years back, we thought so highly of Mr. Ball’s charisma we were convinced he could play on the national stage, once even speculating on a Sarah Palin/Ball ticket in 2016. (And we thought California Chrome was going to take the Triple Crown too.)

Now Mr. Ball is turning the page by leaving New York state office. Is it for a higher aspiration, loftier goals? Is it in response to alleged misdoings from the aborted Moreland Commission report, which chronicled corruption among the state’s politicians? Or is he simply making good on his longtime claim that he is not a “career politician” and is now headed to a new and different endeavor?

Regardless, his statement is pretty unequivocal. After announcing his support for Yorktown’s Terence Murphy as his successor in the Senate, Mr. Ball issued this statement: “On the campaign side, I will remain engaged from fundraising to operations for a solid Republican victory in November. It has been an exhilarating journey, and I would like to thank my family, friends and supporters. And no, I am not running for county executive, Congress, or any other position.”

Either way, Mr. Ball’s agenda of high-intensity focus on veterans, small business and sportsmen (i.e., gun-owner) rights hold wide appeal on a national stage. We continue to believe that anyone who underestimates Mr. Ball does so at their own risk.

The ‘100 deadliest days’

The period between Memorial Day and Labor Day — summer vacation for most students — has been called “The 100 deadliest days” for teen drivers. Nine of the 10 deadliest days for youth on U.S. highways fall between May and August.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, an estimated 5.8 percent of teens ages 16 and 17, and 15.1 percent of 18- to 20-year-olds reported driving under the influence of alcohol in 2010. The U.S. Department of Transportation reported that a total of 3,115 teens ages 13-19 died in motor vehicle crashes that year.

One reason is that teens are drinking at younger ages. Too much free time and too little driving experience also pose risk for teenagers. In addition, they are more likely to engage in distracted driving behavior.

In April, Grand Prix New York, the racing center in Mount Kisco, hosted a race with the goal of helping teens drive more safely. Project Yellow Light, in partnership with the Ad Council, Mazda, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and National Organizations for Youth Safety, is a scholarship competition designed to bring about positive change. Applicants have a clear mission: encourage peers to develop and embrace safe driving habits, especially in raising awareness about the dangers of distracted driving.

This program and others are important for raising awareness, but driver’s ed classes are only the start. Road safety begins at home, by example and by education. The National Safety Council advises parents to talk about driver safety to their kids and to observe these common-sense rules:

• Don’t let your teen get behind the wheel when fatigued or in need of sleep.

• Be aware that anger, frustration, worry, joy or excitement can distract drivers.

• Certain medicines might affect your teen’s driving. Remind your teen to read warning labels on all prescription and over-the-counter drugs.

• Remind your teen never to drink or take illegal drugs and drive. These substances affect judgment, reaction time and coordination.

• If your teen forgets his or her glasses or contacts, it’s not safe for them to drive.

• Driving really takes all of your senses and mental processes: sight, hearing, thoughts, concentration and maybe even smell. Anything that limits or impairs these functions makes driving more dangerous. Your teen should avoid getting behind the wheel if he or she is not in top form.

Share this information with your teen and help your child stay safe behind the wheel.

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.

HOME     |     SUBSCRIBE     |     ADVERTISE     |     NEWSROOM     |     CONTACT

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    

The Record-Review is available from our office at

264 Adams Street, Bedford Hills, NY

and at these locations:

Single copies $1.00