A Game Changer in Weapons Technology

PERMIT #3036
Vol. 10, No. VI
Westchester’s Most Influential Weekly
Thursday, February 12, 2015
A Game Changer
in Weapons
Story By John McMullen Page 6
Page 2
Thursday, FEBRUARY 12, 2015
The Charges Against Mr. Zherka Do Not Warrant Denial Of Bail
As you have no doubt have already
heard, Mr. Zherka’s appeal for bail was
denied at The Second Circuit. Yes, it is
very difficult to have decisions overturned here; we knew that going in.
We are outraged that Mr. Zherka is
being held without bail on run of the
mill white collar charges while persons
accused of far more serious crimes are
routinely granted bail. Our readers are
smart and they are fair. They can see
who gets bail and who does not and
can draw their own conclusions about
what is going on and why.
Affirmation of the District Court’s
decision to deny our publisher bail does
however, need to be seen in a larger
context and we encourage our readers
to visit: http://www.newsmaxtv.com/
where former U.S. Representative J. D.
Hayworth interviews Tom Fitton of
Judicial Watch, to discuss targeting of
Conservative and Tea Party Groups.The
interview is very instructive in explaining how the power of the government
has been leveraged against citizens who
disagree the administration.
So, if we had any doubts previously, we now understand that speech
Guardian Publisher Sam Zherka
is free, only for those who agree with
the administration; for everyone else, it
is incredibly expensive.
On Tuesday, Jan. 10th The New
Rochelle City Council expects to
learn the results of the North Star
Destinations December marketing
survey and we will report on this
once we have had an opportunity to
review their presentation. The survey
was designed to elicit feedback from
respondents regarding the many factors
that play into the perception of New
Rochelle among the public at large. It
is critical to know how many responses
were received, along with a breakdown
of who actually responded to the survey,
before we can put too much stock in
the answers. It is hoped that the marketing survey results will enable the
city to zero in on what is special about
New Rochelle so that we can leverage
and build upon that, going forward.
The current marketing concept: “A
City of Homes, Schools and Houses
of Worship,” though descriptive, is not
distinctive from a marketing point of
view: most communities in America
can make a similar claim. Pawnshops
and Dollar Stores now line streets
where limousines used to double-park,
and that is perhaps due to inexorable
market forces, but we need to forge
a new downtown that will be more
resistant to external conditions. New
Roc City, the Trump Building and
the former Avalon apartments have
made great inroads in transforming the downtown business district
but more development is needed to
Ninth Annual St. Patrick’s
Day Party
The Ninth Annual St. Patrick’s Day Party in memory of Thomas
Hanlon, Jr. for the benefit of Our Lady Queen of Martyrs School
will be held on Saturday. March 14, 2015 from Noon to 3PM at:
J. C. Fogarty’s Town Tavern
60 Kraft Avenue (across from the MetroNorth RR Station)
Bronxville, NY 10708
(914) 337-1122 for directions.
Those unable to attend (legitimate excuses are limited to out-of-thecountry; in a hospital; or confined to a state or federal institution) may
send donations to:
Our Lady Queen of Martyrs School
Thomas Hanlon, Jr. Scholarship Fund
71 Arden Street
New York. NY 10040
(Please indicate on the check “Thomas Hanlon. Jr. Scholarship Fund) Mission Statement
Table of Contents
Guardian Opinion...................................................................3
Creative Disruption.................................................................6
Eye on Theatre.......................................................................10
Film Classics..........................................................................12
Legal Ads..............................................................................14
Cultural Perspectives.............................................................15
Mary at the Movies...............................................................16
attract greater retail activity and create
a dynamic downtown district that will
benefit everyone.
Sam Zherka, Publisher
Mary Keon, Acting Editor /Advertising
Publication is every Thursday
Write to us in confidence at:
The Westchester Guardian
Post Office Box 8
New Rochelle, NY 10801
Send publicity 3 weeks in advance of your event. Ads due Tuesdays, one week prior to publication date. Letters to the Editor & Press Releases can only be submitted via Email:
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The Westchester Guardian is a weekly newspaper devoted to the unbiased
reporting of events and developments that are newsworthy and significant to
readers living in, and/or employed in, Westchester County. The Guardian will
strive to report fairly, and objectively, reliable information without favor or
compromise. Our first duty will be to the PEOPLE’S RIGHT TO KNOW, by the
exposure of truth, without fear or hesitation, no matter where the pursuit may
lead, in the finest tradition of FREEDOM OF THE PRESS. The Guardian will cover
news and events relevant to residents and businesses all over Westchester
County. As a weekly, rather than focusing on the immediacy of delivery more
associated with daily journals, we will instead seek to provide the broader, more
comprehensive, chronological step-by-step accounting of events, enlightened
with analysis, where appropriate.
From amongst journalism’s classic key-words: who, what, when, where, why, and
how, the why and how will drive our pursuit. We will use our more abundant time,
and our resources, to get past the initial ‘spin’ and ‘damage control’ often characteristic of immediate news releases, to reach the very heart of the matter:
the truth. We will take our readers to a point of understanding and insight which
cannot be obtained elsewhere.
To succeed, we must recognize from the outset that bigger is not necessarily
better. And, furthermore, we will acknowledge that we cannot be all things to all
readers. We must carefully balance the presentation of relevant, hard-hitting,
Westchester news and commentary, with features and columns useful in daily
living and employment in, and around, the county. We must stay trim and flexible
if we are to succeed.
Thursday, FEBRUARY 12, 2015
Page 3
committing violence against another individual. Is all this suffering and human
agony necessary? No, I believe it is an
unnecessary punishment - a warning
meant to teach the next person who
speaks out a lesson: do not challenge us
or else!
Imagine for a moment if you were
facing 300 years in prison, not for a
violent crime like rape, murder or terrorism, but instead for defending our
Then they came for Sam Zherka…
by Kurt Colucci
“So long as the people
do not care to exercise their
freedom, those who wish
to tyrannize will do so;
for tyrants are active and
ardent, and will devote themselves in the
name of any number of gods, religious and
otherwise, to put shackles upon sleeping
men.” --Voltaire
Martin Niemöller was a pastor in
Germany during the Nazi’s rise to power.
He became an ardent critic of Adolf
Hitler and the Nazis. As a result he was
arrested and sent to a concentration camp
in 1937. He was eventually rescued from
his eight years of madness by the liberating Allied forces in 1945.When speaking
of his experiences he reflected:
“First they came for the Socialists, and I
did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists,
and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did
not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was
no one left to speak for me.”
A dark spell has been cast upon the
minds of men. There is something happening beyond the realm of the visible.
Many of us know it and recognize this
strange premonition that beckons us – it
is a cry from a terrifying period of our
history that serves as a warning: things
are not as they seem. A dark hypocrisy
is slowly making itself known. While
we are led to believe that we have a
right to free speech, the questionable
events that have unfolded around Sam
Zherka’s legal hassles make me wonder
if we have a right to freedom after we
exercise our freedom of speech. As I’ve
said before and I will say again, the ‘law’
has become an instrument of manipulation and a tool of abuse: a weapon used
by the powers that be for the purpose of
social, political and economic manipulation. All evidence indicates, that the law
is currently being used as a weapon to
punish political dissent. Why else would
a man like Sam Zherka, who has not
been convicted of a crime - or even been
charged with a violent crime - still be
imprisoned nearly 5 months after he was
taken into custody by federal agents and
unjustly denied bail both by the district
court and the second circuit?
Martin Luther King, Jr. eloquently
told us: “The ultimate measure of a
man is not where he stands in moments
of comfort and convenience, but where
he stands at times of challenge and
I know where I stand. I stand on
the side of what is fair, decent and right
- even if the law has been manipulated
in order to argue the contrary. Many
people see the court’s denial of Sam
Zherka’s bail appeal as a bad thing - a
loss for free speech activists everywhere.
But I don’t. Instead, I see it as a good
thing. Why? Because now we all can
see with greater clarity, the tragic flaws
in our legal system: the mask is coming
off the monster posing as justice. The
curtain is being pulled back little by
little; as events like this unfold, we see
the justice system for what it really is a wicked and fraudulent system where
men are guilty until proven innocent.
The Sam Zherka case proves that all
of us are, in some way, living in a prison of
one type or another. There are two types
of prisons. In one prison there are bars
that hold a person in physical bondage.
The other is a prison of the mind, where
the bars around you are hidden in plain
sight, but too obvious to see.
When we were kids we were given
this perception of bad guys: whether in
movies, cartoons or television shows,
the bad guys looked, dressed and acted
like bad guys. They fit the spoon-fed
paradigm of evil, and they were clearly
recognizable. But we must remember,
evil takes many forms. Somewhere
along the line the bad guys assumed
the same look and professed the same
good intentions as the good guys. We all
know the difference between good and
evil, but when the wolf appears in sheep’s
clothing, we may not be able to tell the
difference between the good guys and
the bad guys since they look the same
and sound the same. Fortunately, actions
speak louder than words, making it
easier to differentiate the good from the
bad and most people are not fooled. The
problem is that most people are afraid to
speak out because they know that they
will make themselves the targets of the
bad guys if they do.
As I write, Sam Zherka has been
in prison for five months, separated
from his family and friends. He is the
father of 8 children. He has been repeatedly denied bail, following his arrest for
alleged white-collar crimes, even though
he has not been found guilty of committing a crime, nor has he been indicted for
Continued on page 4
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Page 4
Thursday, FEBRUARY 12, 2015
Then they came for Sam Zherka…
Continued from page 3
freedom of speech and your right to
live a happy and prosperous life without
corrupt politicians telling you how you
should live and what you should think.
Five months following his arrest
and many months before his trial, Sam
Zherka still sits in a prison and this
indeed a cruel and unusual punishment
- not only for the man accused, but also
for his family and friends.
The presumption of innocence
is a right to which all Americans are
entitled and not a privilege granted by
a government. Again, it is a right - not a
privilege. The presumption of ‘innocent
unless proven guilty’ (not ‘until proven
guilty’ because when framed in this
manner it presupposes guilt which is
subversive and it is in direct opposition
of what the statement is intended to
The French philosopher Voltaire
said: “So long as the people do not care
to exercise their freedom, those who
wish to tyrannize will do so; for tyrants
are active and ardent, and will devote
themselves in the name of any number
of gods, religious and otherwise, to put
shackles upon sleeping men.”
We have become the playthings
of a confusing legal system that can
be manipulated to make criminals out
of anyone it so chooses. And yes, I am
afraid to speak out – I am downright
terrified to speak out against the injustices that I see happening around us.
History proves that things don’t work
out too well for people like me who
speak out when it is unpopular to do so.
But I do it anyway, because I come to
my decisions, not based on fantasy, but
instead based on rational observations,
with logic and reason as my primary
instruments. History is my guide and
oracle. I refuse to stay silent in the face
of injustice. Silence has served as the
conduit that allowed some of the most
‘wicked’ people in history to rise to positions of power. Most people remain
silent when they are afraid. When we
are paralyzed by fear we leave room
for wickedness to take hold, of both
our minds and our society. I speak out
because I refuse to be part of the fearful
collective majority that chooses to close
its eyes and look the other way.
History will not forgive those who
look the other way!
The denial of the bail appeal for
Sam Zherka is a gross distortion of
justice and a misuse of our legal system.
It threatens each and every one of us.
Today it is Sam Zherka who assumes
the role of David reluctantly battling
Goliath, but be forewarned, tomorrow it
could be you! None of us are free or safe
if even one of us is treated unjustly by the
American legal system.
I’m going to leave off with a remix of
the quote that I opened this article with.
“First they came for your taxes, but
Sam Zherka did speak out.
Then they came and attacked the
First Amendment, but Sam Zherka did
speak out.
Then they came for Sam Zherka, and
this time we are not afraid to speak out!”
-Kurt Colucci follow on Twitter @
and weak areas of the city, especially its
business areas.
The Chief Executive Officer
of North Star Destinations, Don
McEachem, thought the branding
of New Rochelle would be useful in
“managing the conversation” as to how
New Rochelle could be identified. The
company compiled a list of questions
after meetings were held with some
community leaders who wanted to
discuss New Rochelle’s strengths and
Northern Star Destinations
produced a twenty-five item
questionnaire which was placed on the
city’s website. The questions had to be
completed by December 14, 2014, a
busy time of year for most residents
and it is not clear how many responses
were received. However, the entire
questionnaire can still be read on the
City of New Rochelle’s website. Most
questions were designed to allow participants to select one of 4-5 potential
pre-written answers and some answers
required rating one’s response on a scale
of 1-10, although there were opportunities at various points to write in an
answer. The questions asked residents
to evaluate New Rochelle as a place to
live and in which to work and shop, in
and of itself and relative to neighboring
communities. The survey asked residents to identify the city’s three greatest
assets, the two greatest assets for future
growth and what is missing from the
downtown experience. Several other
questions tried to identify the perception
of ethnic diversity throughout the city
and whether this diversity is an advantage or a disadvantage. One question
asked, “If New Rochelle was a famous
person, who would it be?”
Opinions were sought from residents,non residents and business owners.
New Rochelle Branding Survey
By Peggy Godfrey
New Rochelle awaits the results of a
branding questionnaire and community
outreach by North Star Destinations,
the Nashville, TN company hired by the
city last year. In the meantime, RDRXR
has also been designated by the City of
New Rochelle to survey public opinion
on proposed downtown development.
Scheduling these two initiatives
so closely together hopefully will not
confuse residents. RDRXR anticipates
opening a storefront in New Rochelle
where residents will be able speak
with RDRXR staff to express their
views but a definitive location has not
yet been announced. RDRXR will
mainly address redevelopment of the
downtown area, while the goals of the
branding are more elusive. North Star
Destinations reached out to the community using visionary meetings last
September (2014) to find out how
residents and businesses label the strong
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Page 5
identification, household income and
whether the respondent is a resident
or business owner are listed as choices.
Will these categories be reported on
separately? The New Rochelle taxpayers
will certainly be interested in how these
separate categories are answered.
It is true as Commissioner Aragon
suggests, that “collective efforts” are
needed for successful economic development. But residents need to be
informed of how this survey was viewed
by different segments of the community.
Jennie Petrucci who has a marketing
background asks what is the purpose of
the brand for New Rochelle. The City
already has a sign saying New Rochelle
is the city of schools, churches and
houses of worship. (This sign is in a book
by Karen Hessel, “One Day Photos of
Life in New Rochelle.) She wanted to
know what their marketing plan is. Will
the City spend more money to advertise
and bring new residents here? What is
the ultimate marketing objective? What
will the city do with the data collected
and do they have a budget for any other
There was a job posted for New
Rochelle Community Liaison by
RDRXR on Craig’s list recently.
Lorraine Karl, a New Rochelle
resident, saw too many coincidences
between New Rochelle and Bristol.
The ad claims New Rochelle is the
sister project of Bristol, Connecticut
(see the about section) and also mentioned another coincidence of using
North Star Destinations for a branding
study in Bristol. Can the City of New
Rochelle explain these coincidences to
the residents?
New Rochelle Branding Survey
Continued from page 4
Several months ago the New Rochelle
Commissioner of Development, Luiz
Aragon, was asked about this initiative. The first question on pre-testing is
followed by a list of specific questions.
His answers are stated below
1 What pre-testing was done with the
branding survey?
This community-wide survey is based
on cumulative research conducted
on behalf of New Rochelle (qualitative survey, audit of existing research,
interviews, focus groups, field work
etc.). North Star has completed similar
projects in more than 200+ communities nationwide; given their experience
nationally and their understanding of
the New Rochelle community, external
pre-testing was not conducted, however
their internal quality control process
did include a pre-test on the clarity of
questions across multiple demographic
segments as well as the technical structure and flow of the survey.
2. May I have the results of this advance
testing of questions and topics?
There are no external pre-testing results
to share.
3. What is the time line (time frame)
for the branding initiative dates?
The first date I have is September 9,
2014. What is the finish date?
Anticipated completion date is Spring
4. How much money is being given
the North Star company (in total) for
their work?
I have recorded $15,000 from the IDA.
Can you explain where the IDA got
this money and if any other city funds
are being used? $95,000 ($75,000
from IDA project fees; $20,000 from
5. The questionnaire to my knowledge
was released this week. Residents have
until December 14 to enter data. How
will you secure opinions of residents
who do not have computers and may
not know where the paper copies are
posted? Is the list of these places available? How will non English speaking
residents be surveyed?
Hard copies are available at the City
Clerk’s Office, the library and Doyle
Senior Center. Outreach includes a
wide range of distribution channels.
6. Will non residents’ answers to questions be tallied separately so they don’t
slant the opinions of New Rochelle
The community survey is open to all
who live and/or work in New Rochelle.
People that work in New Rochelle
in New Rochelle. In terms of segmentation we do differentiate the various
segments and examine responses based
on whether they belong to residents,
resident business owners, non-resident
business owners, or non-resident visitor
It is obvious that different areas of
Photo by Anna Piliero,101010NR.com. On October 19th, 2010, 40 volunteers
photographed New Rochelle on the same day and the above photo is part of this collection.
The photos were assembled in a book and the proceeds were donated to the Thomas Paine
and spend most of their day in New
Rochelle have valuable opinions to
gather. But responses can be separated
by residency.
7. How will you deal with questions
that do not apply to everyone answering: e.g. about “my child’s school.”
Why is this an option?
The survey was intended to cover as
many segments of the population as
possible, so not every question will
apply to everyone.
8. Why are business owners who are
not residents included? Will they be
tallied separately?
The survey is intended for people who
live or do business in New Rochelle,
as there is an economic development
aspect to marketing and branding.
Successful marketing and branding
requires the collective efforts of residents, businesses, stakeholder groups,
and agencies within the community.
In order to ensure that all the voices
within the community are heard, we
are interested in getting the opinions of
people who live, visit, and do business
New Rochelle were included in several
response choices. Research studies
often highlight the difference between
various categories of respondents. The
north-south divide in New Rochelle
was acknowledged yet there was apparently no attempt to separately tally the
answers of the various segments of the
city, the non-residents, and the business
owners. Research studies often highlight the differences between various
categories of respondents. The design
of this branding survey is difficult to
understand. Is it an objective or subjective study? If, as it appears, it is a
subjective study, why aren’t there plans
to break down the study by categories
of respondents? Likewise, what validity
will the study have and can North
Star Destinations assure the residents
that the $95,000 spent for this survey
actually measures the way people view
New Rochelle?
Since there is no breakdown of
scores projected, how do the residents know how much statistical error
is being tolerated? The age, ethnic
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Thursday, FEBRUARY 12, 2015
Creative Disruption
The Technology Is Always Ahead Of Us
By John F. McMullen
There was much
joy and jubilation on
February 14, 1946
when the “ENIAC”
(“Electronic Numerical
Integrator And Computer“), the world’s
first working electronic computer was
introduced to the public. Work on the
computer had begun in secret in 1943 at
the University of Pennsylvania’s Moore
School of Electrical Engineering and,
by the time it was completed, $500,000
had been expended (Wikipedia estimates
an equivalent cost of $6,000,000 today).
The cost of the development was underwritten by the US Department of the
Army, Ordnance Corps, Research and
Development Command with the goal
of having a system powerful enough to
compute gunnery tables for use during
World War II.
Co-developer of the ENIAC (with
John Mauchly), J. Presper Eckert, in
a 1989 interview, described the power
of the system, “ENIAC could do threedimensional, second-order differential
equations. We were calculating trajectory
tables for the war effort. In those days the
trajectory tables were calculated by hundreds
of people operating desk calculators - people
who were called computers. So the machine
that does that work was called a computer.”
While the development of the
ENIAC was a huge technological
success and ushered in the modern age
of technology, it must still be remembered that World War II ended on
August 15, 1945 making the ENIAC
not only the first computer but also
the forerunner of the large majority of
major computer systems that tend to be
late and over budget (case in point – the
support systems for the “Affordable Care
Eckert supposedly also started
still another historical trend by grossly
underestimating the impact of new
technology when he allegedly stated “25
of these machines will be able to support all
of the business activities of the United States
until the turn of the century.”
While it is not actually clear that
Eckert actually ever said this (or that Ken
Olson, founder of Digital Equipment
Corporation, ever doubted that people
would want computers in their homes, as
has been reported), what is clear is that Bill
Gates, writing in his 1995 best seller,
“The Road Ahead,” felt that the Internet
would be important “after the year 2000”
– to Bill’s credit, he soon realized that this
was a underestimation and the paperback edition, released the following
year, was updated to show the immediate importance of the Internet and,
more importantly, Gates restructured
Microsoft to become Internet-centric
with “Internet Explorer” (“IE”), “MSN”
(“Microsoft Network”), and “MSNBC”
(the joint venture of Microsoft and NBC)
– while none of these, with the possible
exception of IE, became the totally
technology once it was deployed. This
has not been the case for the development and deployment of Drone
Drones, another name for “robotic
unmanned aircraft,” usually small, operating under remote control have become
vehicles of targeted killing, surveillance,
and commercial activity – and they have
proliferated, under the radar, until their
uses have become both pervasive and
It is only recently that many have
begun to question not only the accuracy
of the vehicles but also both the tactics
and morality of their use in warfare and
who they were targeting. The development of field artillery widened the gap
more but forward spotters and friendly
infantry could assess the accuracy and
resultant damage from artillery shelling.
This method of warfare is analogous
to that engaged in in the air – fighter
pilots see who they are shooting at (and
who is shooting at them) while bomber
pilots know where they are supposed
be dropping bombs. Additionally, these
“soldiers” were at risk – from enemy
artillery, anti-aircraft guys, opposing
bombers, etc. In some ways, it was still
With drones, it is different.
Chamayou writes “Warfare, by distancing itself totally from the model of
hand-to-hand combat, becomes something
ENIAC: Men and Women at work, 1946. L to R: Pfc. Homer Spence; J. Presper Eckert, chief engineer; Dr. John W. Mauchly,
consulting engineer; Elizabeth Jennings (aka Betty Jean Jennings Bartik); Capt. Herman H. Goldstine, liaison officer; Ruth
Lichterman Photo used with permission courtesy of the University of Pennsylvania digital archive.
dominant product which Microsoft
hoped, it was still a major feat to transform the company in such a short time
The immediate successes of the
“iPod,” “iPhone,” and “iPad” also were
far greater than initial projections of
industry analysts and Apple alike –
and the same could be said for analysts
“not getting it” when Facebook and
Twitter rolled out (“why would anyone
be willing to limit themselves to 140
Yet, while these instances of “not
getting it” may have led to embarrassment or even business setback, none of
them would turn out to create moral
dilemmas for the users of the new
their place in domestic life. The recent
translation of a 2013 book by a French
philosopher, Gregoire Chamayou, “A
Theory Of The Drone,” into English has
brought to readers’ attention not only
the way drones have changed warfare
but how that have changed us, the
country that is using them to kill opposition combatants (and, at times, innocent
bystanders) thousands of miles from the
“drone pilot.”
Chamayou points out that drones,
more than any war device before, have
altered the relationship between soldier
and enemy. In ancient times, armies
battled face-to-face, “man to man.”Then
the advent of first, bows and arrows, and
then guns allowed combatants to disengage somewhat but still to see those
quite different, a ‘state of violence’ of a different kind. It degenerates into slaughter or
hunting. One no longer fights the enemy;
one eliminates him, as one shoots rabbits.”
The use of drones in current
warfare is not a rarity. Jack Serle of
The Bureau of Investigative Journalism
wrote on February 2nd of this year, “At
least 2,464 people have now been killed
by US drone strikes outside the country’s declared war zones since President
Barack Obama’s inauguration six years
ago, the Bureau’s latest monthly report
reveals. Of the total killed since Obama
took his oath of office on January 20 2009,
at least 314 have been civilians, while
the number of confirmed strikes under
his administration now stands at 456.”
almost-2500-now-killed-covertus-drone-strikes-obama-inauguration-six-years-ago). Note that
Serle writes “outside the country’s declared
war zones” – “The research centers on countries outside the US’s declared war zones of
Iraq and Afghanistan.” Drones are not
bound by geography and, as the governments of Yemen and Pakistan have
complained, not by the sovereignty of
countries not in the war. The report
drills down to the drone attacks and
persons killed in the countries “not in
the war zone.”
One can certainly hold the position
that the goal of a war is to WIN and,
wherever possible, to kill and wound
more of the enemy than are killed or
wounded on our side -- and with drones
launched from secret bases all over the
world, it seems that this warfare accomplishes this. Additionally, the enemy
that we fight in Afghanistan often flees
across boarders into other nations with
which we are not at war. Should they be
allowed “safe havens?”
But, wait! I can buy a drone in
Barnes & Noble or from Amazon for a
few hundred dollars and control it from
an iPhone or Android. The anti-US
team’s supposed terrorist network
already in the US could buy or make
a few, “soup them up” with explosives,
and fly them into public locations in the
US. They could also launch them from
South America, Canada, or around the
world. There is obviously concern also
that US use of drones is an incentive for
Martin Van Creveld’s review of
Chamayou’s book in the New York
Times Book Review of February
1, 2015 (http://www.nytimes.
summarizes the kinds of questions that
the book seeks to answer – “The ones
used by the United States armed forces in
Afghanistan are often operated from bases
in Nevada, so far away as to raise the
question of whether their use constitutes war
or murder. That is because the victims, most
of them suspected terrorists and insurgents
in various developing countries around
the world, have no way to fire back. Quite
often they are killed before they even know
they have been targeted. The implications
of these realities are far-reaching. What do
they mean for the ethical basis of war? Does
not the fact that there is no mutuality sweep
Continued on page 7
Thursday, FEBRUARY 12, 2015
Page 7
defense strategists. It seems to me that
we as a nation must take responsibility
for what the military does on our behalf
and, to do this, we must have an understanding of the complexities that we face
in undertaking such responsibility.
Next issue – Domestic Drones
personal radar until we find that the world
as we knew it is no more.
the “Akwaaba D.C.: a Victorian townhouse just north of the White House,
in the Dupont Circle. The Akwaaba
offers delicious breakfasts along with
comfortable beds and is run by lovely,
caring folks. Go to TripAdvisor.com or
Booking.com and read their reviews to
select lodgings that are right for you.
You’ll find that D.C.’s demographics are unlike any other city: filled with
politicians, powerbrokers, foreign diplomats, college students and lots of
tourists. Before planning your trip, (and
once you’re in D.C.) be sure to Google
washingtondc.com and washington.org
websites for everything happening in the
Nation’s Capital. Enter dates of your trip
at washingtondc.com and you’ll quickly
find out anything you want to know
during your stay in D.C., including the
“Inside D.C. scoop:” a comprehensive
list of special events or performances you
won’t find anywhere else. (Make reservations in advance for everything in D.C..)
Before you go, download a good
Creative Disruption
The Technology Is Always Ahead Of Us
Continued from page 6
away any idea that war should be moral
and just? And what about the law of war
itself? Drones (somewhat like submarines
and aircraft before them) cannot take prisoners or look after enemy wounded. Worst of
all: May not governments start using their
killer drones not just in wars waged against
foreigners in faraway countries but also at
home, against their own c­itizens?”
Van Creveld adds some of his own
observations at the end of the review,
writing “Finally, are drones really as
effective, militarily speaking, as their manufacturers and operators claim? After all,
the extensive use of drones in both Iraq and
Afghanistan did not enable the American
forces in those countries to obtain anything
like victory. Nor will drones on their own
defeat ISIS.”
None of the above should be taken
as a denunciation of the use of drones.
Drone warfare is here and in use. It just
seems to me that how they are used
should be a matter of public discussion. They are more than an incremental
upgrade to weapons technology; they
are a “game changer” just as the personal
computer was and one that is attracting
the concerns of philosophers as well as
Creative Disruption is a continuing series
examining the impact of constantly accelerating technology on the world around us.
These changers normally happen under our
Comments on this column to [email protected]
John F. McMullen is a writer, poet, college
professor and radio host. Links to other
writings, Podcasts, & Radio Broadcasts
at www.johnmac13.com, his books are
available on Amazon, and he blogs at
© 2014 John F. McMullen
Washington D.C.: A Capitol Vacation!
By Richard Levy
Everyone needs a
spontaneous weekend
getaway to reboot, far
away from the everyday
grind. The perfect place
to go anytime of the year is our captivating and vital city of Washington, D. C.
If you can’t just drop everything and take
French leave for a week or so, consider
spending a few days in Washington D.
C. this spring.
You’re sure to fall head-over- heels
admiring the breathtaking cherry
blossoms at the annual “Cherry Blossom
Festival” which takes place this year,
from March 20th to April 13th: www.
Be there for the beautiful opening
night ceremony when hundreds of
Japanese lanterns are lighted on the
Tidal Basin. The thousands of cherry
blossom bursting in bloom all over
Washington is one of nature’s most
spectacular performances: check with
the national park service for this year’s
projected peak bloom dates: http://www.
The best way to go to Washington,
D.C. is on the relaxing, stress-free
Amtrak Metroliner, running hourly
between Penn Station and Washington’s
Union Station. The 3½ hour trip round
trip averages about $300 round-trip
per person for coach; a little more for
business class; or about $368 round-trip
per person for the luxurious Acela - and
worth it. (But be sure to the check dates
you want to travel for prices, availability
and special promotions). Westchester
residents can pick up Amtrak trains at
Croton-Harmon, New Rochelle and
Yonkers. Amtrak offers discounts for
children and seniors along with occasional specials on selected routes from
time to time, so look for the promotional
codes. When you make reservations 14
days in advance, you’ll save a whopping
If you are eager to arrive in
Washington as soon as possible and
your budget permits it, spring for the
Acela: the luxurious, sleek express train
that gets you to Washington in just
2hrs: 53 min; a great way to start your
Washington D.C. get-a-way. (Go to
amtrak.com, and decide what works
best for you.) Taking the train is a
fabulous way to travel: time will fly by as
you sit back on comfortable seats, grab
a snack and a glass of wine in the Café
Car; doze on and off, lose yourself in
your Kindle or just stare out at the countryside flashing by. And if work won’t
wait, you can multitask on your laptop
--selected trains offer WiFi service. Be
sure to make reservations as soon as you
decide when you’re going, as availability
decreases the closer you get to departure
time and holidays.
Once you arrive at the historic
Union Station, you’ll already be in the
middle of Washington. Where should
you stay? The boutique Hotel Monaco,
Topaz Hotel or Hotel Rouge or luxurious Hotel Capella in Georgetown are all
great choices. For a less expensive hotel
option, try the Liaison Capital Hill,
which offers a seasonal rooftop deck
and pool, an unusual feature for hotels
at this price point. The “Art and Soul
Restaurant” run by Art Smith, known
as “Oprah’s Chef,” is also at the Liason.
Personally, I prefer to stay at the very
cozy and charming Bed-and-Breakfast,
Continued on page 8
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Ads due Wednesday one week prior to publication date. Publication every Thursday
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Page 8
Thursday, FEBRUARY 12, 2015
Washington D.C.: A Capitol Vacation!
Continued from page 7
D.C. street map and study it to get
a good lay of the land. Check out
TripAdvisor.com, Viator.com, Peek.
com and Tripit.com for D.C. hotel
and restaurant reviews along with
things to see and do, to before planning
your trip. Washington is very easy to
navigate, thanks to the very imaginative Frenchman, Pierre L’Enfant, who
designed the city with four quadrants.
The streets are named with letters
followed by NW, NE, SE, SW and
Avenues are named for states.
Like I said, the best way to get to
D.C. is on Amtrak, but if you love
driving it’s an easy four to five hour trip.
Once you get there, garage your car until
you leave: you don’t want to drive around
D.C.. Flying takes less than an hour but
it is stressful and not worth the trouble
of getting back and forth from airports,
going through security and dealing with
potential weather or air traffic delays.
Air travelers must land outside D.C.
and take a long, expensive taxi ride to
their hotel, while Amtrak departs from
three stations in Westchester and arrives
in downtown Washington D. C. where
you can easily grab a cab to your hotel.
A perfect way to celebrate the start
of your get-a-way weekend is to make
a dinner reservation before you leave
home, at one of Washington’s premier
restaurants, to celebrate getting away.
Selecting a restaurant near your hotel
enables you to walk there; for listings, go
to yelp.com.
Should you dine at one of the top
D.C. restaurants don’t be surprised if
you’re seated next to well-known politicos, pundits, or people looking as if they
just came off the set of “West Wing”,
“Scandal” or “Veep”. On Fridays, the
D.C. “movers and shakers” dine at The
Palm Restaurant. You might see John
Boehner, Nancy Pelosi, or Senator
McCain, who will probably nod and
shake your hand, or you might bump
into one the Supreme Court Justices
“without their robes;” (The Palm
doesn’t allow robes). Share one of the
Palm’s enormous 5 lb. lobsters or aged
Porterhouse steaks. Always dress up
for dinner: you’ll get a better table and
tourists will think you’re someone they
should recognize.
After dinner take a “slow taxi ride”
down Pennsylvania Ave (give driver $20
tip up front) to view the very inspiring,
nighttime beauty of the illuminated
Capital Building and the White House.
(The later the better so there won’t be
any tourists in your photos!) Taxis are
the fastest and best way to get around,
especially if you’re just there for a few
days; alternatively, the Metro Subway is
very efficient and stops at all the popular
tourist destinations. Unlike the New
York subway system, the D. C. Metrorail
does not operate on a 24-hour basis.
Metrorail opens at 5AM on weekdays
and at 7am on weekends, shutting down
at 12AM Sunday to Thursday and at
3AM on Fridays and Saturdays, so plan
Fourteen Places to Visit:
1. National Mall: Open area of gardens,
fountains, trees and monuments
stretching nearly two miles between
the Capitol and the Lincoln Memorial
and the site of the annual Fourth of July
2. The Capital: Take a tour of this
spectacular work of architecture. Your
representative or Senator can even
arrange for you to sit in on a session of
Congress, but no voting allowed!
3. The White House. For White
House tour information go to
WashingtonD.C..com, or ask your
congressman to arrange a tour as your
reward for voting for him or her.
4. Cherry Blossoms Festival: If you
decide to get-a-way to Washington you
could not go at a better time. Period.
This year, the Opening Ceremony is on
March 21. (Make reservations now.)
5. Smithsonian Museum The world’s
largest museum and research complexincludes 19 museums and galleries, as
well as the National Zoological Park.
Honestly, you could spend two weeks
here so review the website to determine
what will most interest you: http://
6. Lincoln, Jefferson, Vietnam and
Washington Memorials: Each one
deserves 30 minutes, except for the
Vietnam, which needs at least an
hour…and bring a lot of tissues.
7. The Holocaust Museum: One
of the most memorable must go to
museums in the world. It compares to
Yad Vashem in Israel. When you enter
you’re given an “identity card” with
name of a person sent to the concentration camps, then when ready to leave,
you insert the card into a machine that
tells you if that person survived. There’s
a room filled with thousands of pairs of
children’s shoes from the kids exterminated upon arrival at the camps. This
will break your heart; it broke mine.
8. The Martin Luther King Memorial:
The newest memorial and something
Martin Luther King certainly deserved.
It is very captivating and inspiring.
9. The Newseum: This museum has
been called, “the best experience
Washington, D.C. has to offer”. Each
of the seven levels of this spectacular building is filled wall-to-wall with
interactive exhibits exploring how
news affects our experiences of shared
historic moments.
10. The National Museum of the
American Indian is absolutely worth
visiting: it houses fabulous artifacts,
art, historical and cultural objects from
Native Indian communities in North
America and even has a great little restaurant for lunch.
11. The Bureau of Engraving and
Printing Building: Your kids will be
fascinated with a visit to the Bureau of
Engraving and Printing Building where
they can watch hundreds of thousands
of dollars being printed, (roughly what
you’ll be spending on them until they
finish college).
12. National Air & Space Museum:
the Wright Brothers plane, “Kitty
Hawk,” aviation’s first flight and the
“Spirit of St Louis”, the plane “Lindy”
flew non-stop from NY to Paris for the
first time are on display here. World
War II fighter planes (ours and theirs)
and space capsules that once circled the
Earth, floating dream-like above you as
you walk through the exhibits.
13. The Spy Museum: perfect for hard
to please teenagers.
14. The Kennedy Center. Named to
honor our 35th President, the center
is committed to” presenting the very
best performance performances from
America and from around the world.”
You’ll never run out of things
to do or to see in Washington D.C.,
even if you are there for two weeks. It
is sort of a fabulous mélange of the
best of New York, San Francisco and
Boston all rolled into one. The city is
packed with very official looking government and military folks dashing
about, foreign diplomats, Arab sheiks
and their entourages getting in and out
of dark windowed limos, lending an
air of intrigue to the mix. If you look
closely, you might observe some of
Washington’s beautiful and mysterious,
Chanel clad, women in the fancy restaurants, luxury hotel lounges and trendy
bars. D.C.’s power-restaurants are full
of bronzed men in $1000 suits leaning
over and whispering in someone’ s ear.
Maybe my imagination is working
over-time, but there appears to be a lot
of secret things going on in Washington
D.C. --and perhaps “we are better off ”
not knowing” what they are.
So if you’ve always wanted to explore
our nation’s capitol and experience the
panorama of Cherry Trees bursting
into bloom, a visit to Washington D.C.
this spring is a great vacation choice,
whether you can stay for just a few days
or an entire week. It’s a Capital vacation
you’ll always remember.
Washington D.C. photos Courtesy of
The Hills Are Alive in Bled, Slovenia
By Author Rozsa Gaston
Slovenia is not Slovakia. Let’s
get that straight right away. Slovakia
is the southern part of what was
once Czechoslovakia. It’s north
of Hungary, south of the Czech
Slovenia is bordered by Austria
to its north, Croatia to its east and
south with a tiny sliver of Hungary
just above, and Italy to its west. The
northernmost republic of the new
nations formed after the breakup
of Yugoslavia in 1991, Slovenia is
about the size of Massachusetts and
undoubtedly the greenest nation in
Europe. With a more alpine, rather
than Balkan flavor, this tiny nation of
two million managed to stay largely
out of trouble during Yugoslavia’s
terrible divorce in the early 1990s.
When Maria sings “The hills
are alive” in The Sound of Music, she’s
singing about a place like Bled. In
fact, Bled shares many similarities
with Salzburg, 144 miles to its north,
except that Bled is more rustic and
Youthful tourist and costumed Bled
Castle performer
about one third the price. Tucked
into the northwest corner of Slovenia,
Bled is surrounded by mountains,
and shapes itself around the azure
blue Bled Lake. With a population of
around 8,000, Bled is about 28 miles
from both the Austrian and Italian
borders, 25 miles from Ljubljana
International Airport and 37 miles
from Slovenia’s capital of Ljubljana,
another charming place to visit in this
sylvan, pristine country.
With a history as a spa town
Continued on page 9
Thursday, FEBRUARY 12, 2015
Page 9
The Hills Are Alive in Bled, Slovenia
Continued from page 8
for wealthy Austrians at the start of
the 20th century, Bled became the
summer retreat of Marshall Tito,
former President of Yugoslavia, in
the 1950s. His residence, Vila Bled, is
now a hotel, directly overlooking Lake
Bled’s fairytale island. Summer room
rates average around $200 per night..
As an alternative to a hotel, there
are many chalet-style pensions in
Bled, offering a more authentic alpine
experience. With an average cost of
$50-$75 per night, including breakfast, the charm of leaning over one’s
flowerbox-festooned balcony to greet
the day is comparable to feeling like
a country cousin of the von Trapp
family. Not bad for a day or two.
At the pension we chose, we were
hosted by a husband-wife team of
schoolteachers who provided us with
a sumptuous breakfast on the balcony
outside our rooms. We did well to
stuff ourselves, as every activity we
embarked on in Bled involved walking,
hiking, and climbing stairs. The town’s
ambience favors fitness over fashion. I
was reminded of a Colorado ski resort
in summer months, with a much more
exotic vibe.
The 15th century Church of
the Assumption, also known as the
Church of St. Mary, presides over
Bled Lake’s only island. Accessible
by a roof-covered boat known as a
pletna, unique to Bled, the church is
reached by 99 stone steps up to its
grounds. An invigorating fact to keep
in mind while climbing, is that before
Christianity was introduced in Bled,
the local Slavs used the island as a
place of worship to Živa, goddess of
love and fertility.
An afternoon at Bled Castle, or
Blejski Grad, is recommended and
should include at least one meal at its
rooftop café terrace overlooking Bled
Lake. At sunset on summer nights,
medieval castle life is re-enacted
with courtly dance and play performances. The castle, built sometime
between 1004 and 1011, was deeded
by German king Henry II in 1011
to Bishop Adalberon in thanks for
his church’s assistance in strengthening Germany’s rule in Northern Italy.
The castle offers a permanent natural
history exhibit featuring life-sized
prehistoric humans indigenous to the
area. I was surprised to note a preponderance of short red-heads and
blonds in the collection, hirsute and
With tourism its only industry,
Bled needs you to visit. Two nights is
enough. You will never forget it and
your wallet will not be noticeably
slimmer, although you may be from
all the walking you will do. Your soul?
Uplifted forever.
Bled Castle in Lake Bled
All uncredited photos by Rozsa or
William Gaston
Bled Castle Terrace View
For further information on
Bled, Slovenia:
h t t p : / / w w w. t r i p a d v i s o r. c o m /
h t t p : / / w w w. t r i p a d v i s o r. c o m /
h t t p : / / w w w. s l o ve n i a .
About the Author—Rozsa Gaston is a
Bronxville author who writes playful books
on serious matters. Women getting what
they want out of life is one of them. To learn
more, travel online to www.rozsagaston.
com or contact her at [email protected]
New Rochelle residents will be
given absolute preference in appointment. All are urged to apply,
especially Blacks, Hispanics and
Women. Starting salary $39,543
After 4 years $87,312. Retirement
after 20 years. Req. West. County
residency. Must be 17-1/2 to apply. Training classes available. Test
Date: March 28, 2015 $25.00 fee.
Applications at City Hall, Martin
Luther King Center, Boys’ & Girls’
Clubs in NR, Housing Authority,
Library & Fire Houses. Application
must be returned in person with
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City Hall, Civil Service Office,
515 North Ave., weekdays 9 – 4.
Applications Deadline
February 20 at 4 pm SHARP.
Add’l info: 654-2172
Page 10
Thursday, FEBRUARY 12, 2015
Modest Productions
By John Simon
I’m Gonna Pray for
You So Hard
“I’m Gonna Pray for
You So Hard” is a two-character play
about a successful aging playwright,
David, and his actress daughter, Ella,
who just missed out on a lead, Nina, in
“The Seagull,” and must make do with
Into the Woods
Masha, a supporting role, leaving her
nearly inconsolable.
David tries to boost her morale by
telling her about his own difficult, impecunious youth as the son of Russian
immigrants with a strict, uncomprehending father, and how he had to run
away from home to become an unpaid
assistant to a famous playwright while
supporting himself with work in a cat
food factory.
Betty Gilpin and Reed Birney in a scene from I’m Gonna Pray For you So Hard at The
Atlantic Theater Company. Photo by Ahron Foster.
Reed Birney and Betty Gilpin in a scene from I’m Gonna Pray For you So Hard at The
Atlantic Theater Company. Photo by Ahron Foster.
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As they first drink and smoke, and
later turn to drugs; father and daughter
are close enough to be lovers. He assures
her that she too will become a successful
playwright, which she doubts. Much of
the dialogue consists of his going on and
on about her talent, perhaps to lift his
own spirits even more than hers, while
she keeps interjecting into his invectives
against everyone else little exclamations
like “Wow,” “Whoa” and “Right” plus a
goodly number of “O my God’s.
In the end, Ella, who has long been
on the verge of tears, lapses into open
sobbing. David bangs out ever more
loudly, ashes from the ashtray into the
garbage can, over which Emma later
has the dry heaves. One doesn’t quite
know whom David is deriding most:
audiences, actors, critics, or Ella’s current
director, with obscenity and scatology
Still, Ella eventually feels condescended to so badly that she runs away
from home just as her father had done.
About the much shorter second act, I
will only say that in it roles are reversed,
and Ella has become, even verbatim, a
replica of her father.The annoying things
are, first, that so much of the dialogue
gets repeated two, three, or even more
times, with or without slight variations;
next, that every few lines we get the f- or
s-words; further, that there are too many
pregnant pauses a la Pinter; that bucketful of tears are shed by both characters;
and, lastly, that motivation tends to feel
forced if not entirely missing.
The acting, however, is commendable, even if the director, Trip Cullman,
pushes the actors too hard in a signal case
of overdirection. Reed Birney, a superb
actor, manages to make the endless
vitriol tolerable, and Betty Gilpin reacts
with every prescribed excess, from naïve
enthusiasm to hysterical crying, with
sedulous dedication. A lot depends on
how funny you find lines like “Calling
someone a faggot doesn’t mean they’re
a faggot, it means they’re acting like a
faggot.” Or: “We have a good relationship. We just don’t speak.”
Mark Wendland’s messy, indeed
chaotic Upper West Side apartment is
properly shabby genteel, Jessica Pabst’s
costumes strike the right bohemian
notes, and Ben Stanton’s lighting has its
clever tricks. That the characters are not
really actress-playwright Halley Feiffer
and her famous playwright-cartoonist
father, Jules, is mocked by one line, but
hardly persuades. One further curiosity:
This may be the only nonmusical ever to
boast a choreographer in the program.
I don’t know whether, what with the
sumptuous movie version of the James
Lapine-Stephen Sondheim musical
“Into the Woods” frolicking on our
screens, we needed Roundabout’s Todd
Haimes’s importing from Princeton an
underpowered stage revival. The Fiasco
Theater, created by graduates of the
Brown University/Trinity Rep MFA
acting program is an itinerant outfit,
having to stint on scenery, costumes and
musicians for economy and convenience.
The music comes chiefly from
music director Matt Castle’s piano,
though several actors on various instruments periodically chime in. The show
has an improvised, Grotowskian “Poor
Theater” feel to it, which some may
find appealing (a rave review from
the Times’s numero uno critic), but I
rather don’t. Thus Noah Brody and Ben
Steinfeld, who co-directed, economically also act in it: Brody in three parts;
Steinfeld, as the Baker, in the male lead.
Continued on page 11
The Cast of The Roundabout Theatre Co Production of Into The Woods Photo by Joan
Thursday, FEBRUARY 12, 2015
Page 11
provided valiantly enough.
Some money and imagination was
surely spent on Janell Berte’s goodly
costumes that, for Guenevere’s steady
costume changes alone, must have cost
a pretty penny. King Arthur was also
accorded plural attire, but Lancelot and
Mordred benefited only modestly, as
did those in supporting roles.
But never mind. Richard Sabellico
has directed aptly and choreographed
adequately, but what had he to work
with? Jennifer Hope Wills is a more
than competent Guenevere, Martin
Van Treuren a plausible Merlyn and
Pellinore, Jordan Wolfe a suitably
slimy Morderd, and Emily Brockway
a decent Lady Anne. Yet are they able
to efface memories of the likes of
Julie Andrews and Vanessa Redgrave,
Richards Burton and Harris, and
Robert Goulet?
And what about Clark Scott
Carmichael, who turns Arthur
into a needy, nerdy near-cipher:
distinguished chiefly for weathervaneworthy arm waving? Or Jeremiah
James, a fair figure of a Lancelot, but
generating no sparks with Guenevere,
and able to make that great song,
“If Ever I Would Leave You,” come
across mediocre? Lesser roles are filled
acceptably, but could the great court of
King Arthur’s Camelot consist of only
a half dozen multitasking, overworked
Oddly, “Camelot” does not call for
a visible Round Table, but at WTC, it
would have to manage with a coffee
table. And then there is the band,
reduced to six characters in search of
an orchestra sound, and even they are
hidden behind the set, so that their
contribution often did not properly
mesh with the singers and seemed to
stem from some unrelated space. I feel
compassion for this “Camelot,” and
grant it an A for effort, but only an
alliterative C for achievement.
Modest Productions
Continued from page 10
Jeremiah James as Lancelot du Loc, and Jennifer Hope Wills as Queen Guenevere.
The cast is hard-working, but with
the possible exception of Jessie Austrian,
as the Baker’s Wife, not what I would
call prepossessing or memorable. Take,
for example, Andy Grotelueschen,
a big, heavy-set fellow, who, besides
playing one of the snooty daughters and
Rapunzel’s Prince, also enacts Milky
White, the scrawny cow. He does this,
ineffectually, with no mask or costume,
but carrying a briefcase, presumably as a
Take also the Witch, usually played
by such stars as Bernadette Peters,
Donna Murphy and Meryl Streep, but
here relegated to Jennifer Mudge, who
can just barely pass. Thus, too, Emily
Young is a far too pushy Riding Hood
and also an unwelcome Rapunzel. I
mostly felt sorry for Brody, who must
make do as the Wolf by brandishing
about a mere Halloween wolf mask.
Designer Derek McLane’s ingenious forest is made chiefly from
bunches of colored ropes, stretching
vertically or slantingly out of sight, and
what appears to be a compilation of
wooden music instruments forming side
walls. Christopher Akerlind, as always,
provides evocative lighting, and here and
there something catches the eye or ear.
Still, I perceive this as a hopeful college
drama club production with almost
nobody quite out of the woods.
John Simon has written for over 50
years on theatre, film, literature, music
and fine arts for the Hudson Review,
New Leader, New Criterion, National
Review, New York Magazine, Opera
News, Weekly Standard, Broadway.
com and Bloomberg News. He reviews
books for the New York Times Book
Review and for The Washington Post.
To learn more, visit his website: www.
Cast of Camelot
If you are sufficiently undemanding or inexperienced, you may groove
on Westchester Broadway Theatre’s
production of the Alan Jay LernerFrederic Loewe- Moss Hart musical,
“Camelot.” It is the show that the
winning team of “My Fair Lady”
followed up with in 1960. Based on
T. H. White’s “The Once and Future
King,” this has been a highly successful
work both in its Broadway premiere
and its countless revivals ever since.
The problem is that it is about
the legend of medieval King Arthur
and the Round Table, and properly
requires stars, grand scenery and
costumes, a full orchestra and a large
cast. WBT, however worthy, disposes
over none of these, and is further
hamstrung by being almost in the
round. That excludes major scenery,
which would inevitably block the
view for many spectators. Being only
¾ round, WBT has at least one wall
for scenery, which Kyle Dixon has
Cast of Camelot
5. Knights l to r: Billy Hepfinger as Sir Lionel,Jordan Wolfe as Mordred, Dan
Fenaughty as Sir Dinadan and Michael Glavan as Sir Sagramore
Page 12
Thursday, FEBRUARY 12, 2015
‘Play It Again, Sam’: Remembering Casablanca
By Robert Scott
Every once in a
while a movie will come
along that matches the
mood of the moment so
perfectly it captures the nation’s heart.
Just such a film was Casablanca. Made
in 1942 while the country was still
reeling from the disastrous Japanese
attack on Pearl Harbor, this rare and
perfect example of movie making gave
a disheartened populace the powerful
morale boost it needed.
The Script
Irene Lee, head of the Warner
Brothers story department, discovered
the script of a play titled Everybody
Comes to Rick’s, by Murray Burnett and
Joan Alison, languishing on a shelf in
the company’s New York office. She
touted it to studio head Jack L. Warner,
who agreed to buy it for $20,000--the
most any studio had ever paid for an
unproduced theatrical work.
Nothing in the planning and
shooting of Casablanca gave a hint of
greatness to come. Seven screenwriters
worked on the film script, often simultaneously. Some actors in featured roles
had not been signed before shooting
started. Script changes were frequent,
with actors being handed new versions
of the dialogue for a scene on the day it
was to be shot. As a result, shooting ran
eleven days over schedule.
To Casablanca’s stars, Humphrey
Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, the
dialogue seemed ridiculous and the
Ingrid Bergman and Humphrey Bobart in Casablanca
situations unbelievable. Despite the After that, no other actor was ever conobvious on-screen chemistry between sidered for the part. Bogart’s salary was
them, they hardly spoke on the set. $2,200 a week.
One reason may have been the insane
In those days, players were under
jealousy of Bogart’s wife, actress Mayo contract to studios or producers, who
Methot, who repeatedly accused him of traded them back and forth almost
having an affair with Bergman.
like baseball cards. Producer David
O. Selznick owned Ingrid Bergman’s
The Players
contract, Wallis sent the film’s principal
Studio publicity claimed that writers, Philip and Julius Epstein, to
Ronald Reagan and Ann Sheridan persuade Selznick to lend her to Warner
had been scheduled to appear in Brothers for the picture.
this film, and Dennis Morgan was
After twenty minutes of describnamed the third lead. This fictitious
plot to Selznick, Julius gave up
story was planted merely to keep their
dismissively, “It’s going to be a
names before the public. Producer Hal
like Algiers.” Selznick immeWallis had been assigned to search for
and agreed to the
Humphrey Bogart’s next starring role.
When he learned that George Raft was loan. French star Michèle Morgan had
angling for the part, he told Warner that asked for $55,000, an amount Wallis
he had found the perfect script and role refused to pay since he could get Ingrid
for Bogart—that of Rick Blaine, the Bergman for $25,000. Warner agreed to
cynical, world-weary nightclub owner. lend Olivia de Haviland to Selznick in
Bogart was actually about two
inches shorter than Bergman. To create
the illusion that the opposite was true,
he stood on boxes, wore platform shoes
and sat on pillows in some shots, or she
slouched down (as when she sits on the
couch in the “a franc for your thoughts”
Finding an actor for the part of
Resistance leader Victor Laszlo was
a problem. Herbert Marshall, Dean
Jagger and Joseph Cotton were all
under consideration until Selznick lent
Warners an unhappy Paul Henreid for
the role. Having just starred in Now,
Voyager with Bette Davis, the Austrian
actor was worried that playing anything
less than a lead character would ruin his
budding career.
Henreid plays the least well-developed role in the film. He has come to
Dooley Wilson and Humphrey Bobart in Casablanca
Casablanca seeking so-called “letters of
transit” that would enable a return to
Europe. We are told that he is a heroic
Resistance leader—but what he actually
does is unclear. His sole act of resistance
is to induce the orchestra at Rick’s café
to play “La Marseillaise,” the French
national anthem. A more concerned
leader would not have gone traipsing
around Europe and North Africa with
an adoring wife, risking her capture by
the Nazis.
Dooley Wilson, who played the
part of Sam, the pianist, was borrowed
from Paramount at $500 a week. His
name came from his unusual vaudeville act in which he sang Irish songs
in white makeup. A drummer, Wilson
had to fake playing the piano. The songs
were actually played by pianist Elliott
Carpenter hidden behind a curtain,
but positioned so Wilson could see and
copy his hand movements. Wallis briefly
considered making the character Sam a
female, with Hazel Scott, Lena Horne
or Ella Fitzgerald in the role.
On loan from MGM, veteran actor
Conrad Veidt played the role of Major
Strasser. His wife, Lily Prager, was
Jewish, and they had fled Germany for
England. A fervent anti-Nazi, he spent
the last years of his life playing Nazis.
His salary, $5,000 a week for five weeks’
work, made him the highest-paid actor
on the set. Another competitor for the
part had been Otto Preminger, under
contract to 20th Century-Fox, who
wanted $7,000 a week for his services.
Production had already started
when Claude Rains was signed as
the corrupt Vichy Captain Renault
at a weekly salary of $4,000, and S. Z.
“Cuddles” Sakall as Carl, Rick’s maitre
d’, at $1,750. Joy Page, who played
the young Bulgarian wife, was the
stepdaughter of studio head Jack L.
Warner, but earned only $100 a week.
Page, Bogart and Dooley Wilson were
the only American-born actors in the
credited cast.
The Songs
“As Time Goes By,” the love song
shared by Bogart and Bergman, was
written by composer Herman Hupfeld
and introduced by Frances Williams in
the 1931 Broadway musical Everybody’s
Welcome. It had long been a favorite of
playwright Murray Burnett.
Max Steiner, who composed the
background music for the film, was
against using the Hupfeld melody. He
had wanted to compose an original
song (which would qualify him for
Thursday, FEBRUARY 12, 2015
Page 13
‘Play It Again, Sam’: Remembering Casablanca
“Round up the usual suspects!” Claude Rains in Casablanca
royalties). “As Time Goes By” is #2 on shocked to find that gambling is going on
the American Film Institute’s “100 here!” and “Major Strasser has been shot!
Round up the usual suspects!”
Years, 100 Songs” list.
When Rains attempts to probe
For the “contest between the
anthems” sequence, Warner Brothers Bogart about his reasons for coming to
had intended to use the “Horst Wessel Casablanca, Bogart’s laconic response is,
Lied,” the anthem of the Nazi party. “My health. I came for the waters.” Rains is
Unfortunately, a German publisher incredulous. “The waters? What waters?
owned the international copyright, We are in the desert.” Bogart shrugs, “I
so they switched to the rousing “Die was misinformed.”
Wacht am Rhein.” After the emotional
Then there are the other classic
playing of “La Marseillaise,” many of gems from Bogart: “Of all the gin joints
the actors, refugees from Europe, were in all the towns in all the world, she walks
in tears.
into mine.” And the two lines he says to
Thanks to a stroke of luck, just Bergman, recalling their past meeting:
before the film’s release Allied forces “We’ll always have Paris.” And “I
landed at Casablanca and elsewhere in remember every detail. The Germans wore
North Africa. The studio quickly moved gray, you wore blue.”
up the release date to take advantage of
Few will forget Bogart’s memothis unexpected publicity.
rable parting from Bergman, “I’ve got a
job to do. Where I’m going, you can’t follow.
Memorable Lines
What I’ve got to do, you can’t be any part
Casablanca yielded more memo- of, Ilsa. I’m not good at being noble, but it
rable quotes than any other film. doesn’t take much to see that the problems
Interestingly, nobody in the film of three little people don’t amount to a hill
ever says, “Play it again, Sam.” What of beans in this crazy world. Now, here’s
Bergman says to pianist Dooley Wilson looking at you, kid.” Bogart had ad-libbed
is, “Play it, Sam. Play ‘As Time Goes By.’” the farewell toast to Bergman earlier in
Later, a melancholy Bogart tells Wilson: the film. The line worked so well, it was
“You played it for her. You can play it for me. repeated in the airport sequence as he
If she can stand it, I can. Play it!”
sends her away with Henreid.
Claude Rains as Capt. Renault had
The film concludes with Bogart’s
two widely quoted lines: “I’m shocked, optimistic line predictive of eventual
Diana O’Neill
Holistic Health
Humphrey Bobart and Dooley Wilson in Casablanca
victory over the forces of evil, “Louis, I Screenplay Academy awards for 1942.
recently for $3.4 million.
think this is the beginning of a beautiful
Out of the near chaos that attended
It was a war picture, a love story, and
friendship.” Three weeks after shooting even had elements of a musical. Most the making of this movie has come a
had finished and unhappy with the of all, it was a riveting drama about a story of a love that gives, rather than
film’s final scene, producer Hal Wallis different kind of bravery: Little people takes--even though the giving is not
decided to add that line at the end of the willing to take a stand against injustice without pain and heartbreak. It is the
film, as Bogart and Rains walk across in a world rapidly falling apart.
story of a woman torn between that love
the airport tarmac together. Bogart was
Unlike the blatantly propagandis- and her worship of a man and the cause
called back from vacation to record what tic movies made by Hollywood during he is fighting for. And the story of a man
would become one of the most famous the war, Casablanca’s celebration of a who loves a woman so much he cannot
last lines in movie history.
timeless romance, idealistic self-sacrifice bear to have her live with what he knows
to a greater cause, and the inevitable will be vain regret.
The Film’s Enduring Impact
Casablanca remains a film that ideWarners had paid $20,000 for the triumph of good over evil has stood the
alistically portrays the beauty of sacrifice
unproduced stage play, $47,281 to six test of time.
With a running time of only 102 for a love that will live forever. Viewers
writers and $73,400 to director Michael
it is a work of art that still everywhere are glad that it embodies
Curtiz to pull everything together. The
us today. For good reason, these sentiments. Otherwise, we
bill for cast salaries was $91,717. Total
Film Institute voted it wouldn’t have come to love it so much.
cost of the film was $878,000. The take
films from the first Robert Scott taught creative nonfiction
from the first domestic rentals came
making. Sam’s writing at the Writer’s Digest School for
to a cool $3.7 million, a number that
pleased the brothers Warner. It won piano, the same one in which Rick con- eighteen years. He lives in Croton-onBest Picture, Best Director and Best cealed the coveter letters of transit, sold Hudson, NY.
I will journey with you during challenging times such as
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Thursday, FEBRUARY 12, 2015
LLC Articles of Org. filed NY Sec. of State (SSNY)
9/17/14. Office in Westchester Co. SSNY design.
Agent of LLC upon whom process may be served.
SSNY shall mail copy of process to The LLC 618
Warburton Ave Hastings-On-Hudson, NY 10706.
Purpose: Any lawful activity
35176 253RD AVENUE LLC Articles of Org. filed NY
Sec. of State (SSNY) 12/12/14. Office in Westchester Co. SSNY design. Agent of LLC upon whom
process may be served. SSNY shall mail copy of
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THE CAFE AT 178TH, LLC Articles of Org. filed NY
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MNG 178TH, LLC Articles of Org. filed NY Sec. of
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In the Matter of a Proceeding Under
Article 10 of the Family Court Act
QUAYVAUN ALLEN (d.o.b.9/11/11),
Docket No.: NN- 00277-14
FU No. 139941
A Child Under Eighteen Years of Age
Alleged to be Neglected by
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A Petition under Article 10 of the Family Court Act having been filed with this Court, and annexed hereto
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News and Notes from
Northern Westchester
By Mark Jeffers
What a great Super
Bowl, we had chicken
wings, ribs, stew, bacon
bits and cupcakes, oh
yeah and the game
wasn’t so bad either. I was so excited
I almost forgot to finish this week’s
“diet starts today” edition of “News
and Notes.”
With the numerous winter storms
we have been having, blood drives have
been canceled and there is a real need
for blood donations. The New York
Blood Center which supplies blood to
the Hudson Valley tells us to call 800933-2566 to make an appointment.
It’s easy and very rewarding to donate,
so please give them a call…
The Westchester County Veterans
Service Agency, in conjunction
with the Veterans Advisory Board,
will be updating the Korean War
Veterans Monument at Lasdon Park
in Somers. Anyone with information
regarding a Westchester resident who
died in the Korean War and whose
name does not currently appear on
the monument should contact Vito
Pinto, head of Westchester’s Veterans
Service Agency, at (914) 995-2145.
Our entertainment reporter, aka
my wife, tells me that actress Kate
Mara, who grew up in Bedford, stars
in a new film version of the “Fantastic
Four,” a popular superhero franchise
from Marvel Comics. Mara stars as
scientist Sue Storm/The Invisible
Woman, one of the Fantastic Four
who are enlisted to save the planet
from destruction after they obtain
superhuman powers.
Congratulations and good luck to
Manhattanville College sophomore
Eric Lopez as he has made it to the
Hollywood Week on Fox’s “American
Idol” show, way to go Eric.
More entertainment news, it
looks like “Die Hard” star actor Bruce
Willis is a new Bedford neighbor, as
he and his wife Emma Heming Willis
have purchased a home near Mount
Kisco, can’t wait for our first BBQ…
The Bedford Free Library is
sponsoring its seventh annual writing
contest for high school students in
the community. All entries must be
received by Wednesday, February
25th, at 5pm. Winners and their
families will be invited to an awards tea
to receive their prizes on Wednesday,
March 18th.
If you forgot to pick up something
for your beloved for Valentine’s Day…
show her that you really do have some
class by attending a Chamber Music
concert. The Simon String Quartet
will present a concert featuring
music by Haydn, Mendelssohn, and
Schubert on Sunday, February 15th
at 3:00pm at the Presbyterian Church,
400 Bedford Road in Pleasantville.
The concert, which is free to the public,
features Fiona Simon who is a violinist with the New York Philharmonic
The Vietnam Veterans of
America are looking for your reusable
items, especially need clothing for
these cold winter months, they have
scheduled a local Westchester pick up
for Thursday February 12th, call 800775-8387 for details.
Officials in Yorktown recently cut
the ribbon on the new state-of-theart Emergency Operations Center
(EOC) located in the basement of the
Yorktown Court/Police Department
complex. An EOC is a centralized
command center for key first responders to meet during an emergency to
coordinate emergency response and
disaster preparedness plans.
The Masters School in Dobbs
Ferry will present “The Pajama Game”
on February 27 and 28.
The Saw Mill Club in Mount
Kisco is holding a heart-pumping
workout event, featuring spin and
Zumba, on Saturday, February
14th, to benefit the American
Heart Association and Go Red for
Women. There will be two spin classes
held. The first spin class begins at 9am
and the second spin class will be held
at 10:30am. A Zumba class will also be
held at 10:30am. There is a $20 suggested donation and the event is open
to all, members and non-members.
This just in…the ground hog saw
his shadow, so it looks like we will
have six more weeks of this wonderful
winter, maybe I should go out to look
for my shadow and a new shovel… see
you next week.
Thursday, FEBRUARY 12, 2015
Page 15
Another Trip To The Moon
By Sherif Awad
As we mentioned
in the last article, the
Festival, in Rotterdam
(IFFR), gives priority
to filmmakers, who are producing their first or second film. In that
context, a dreamy fantasy film, based
upon Indonesian myths and legends,
called Another Trip To The Moon,
was screened during the IFFR main
competition. The film is a long, dialogue-free film, which revolves around
Asa, who escapes from her mother,
only to hide in the forest with her only
girlfriend. In the woods, the two young
actors with great elegance and passion.
The thirty year old Basbeth studied
Indonesian traditional music in
Bandung, before moving to Yogyakarta
to study Communications and while
there shot his first short film, Hide
and Sleep (2008) through his alternative production company, Hide Project
Indonesia. In 2012, he was invited to
the Berlinale Talent Campus, which
gave him the creative push to make
Another Trip To The Moon, his feature
In many Islamic countries, the
system of social control and domination of women restricts their roles to
wife, homemaker and mother. “In the
is Dayang Sumbi. The Prince and
Dayang Sumbi marry and have a son
who is called Sangkuriang. On the
day Sangkuriang is born, the Prince
must turn into a dog, named Tumang,
the condition that the Prince’s father
decreed, when he allowed the Prince to
marry Dayang. One day, Dayang sent
Sangkuriang and Tumang to the forest
to hunt but they found nothing there.
Overcome with evil, Sangkuriang
murders Tumang and gives his heart to
Dayang. Realizing what he has done,
Dayang banishes Sangkuriang and
lives alone thereafter. Many years later,
Sangkuriang returns to the village and
falls in love with a beautiful woman,
not realizing she is his own mother.
“In my story, I borrowed the relationships of Dayang Sumbi, Tumang
and Sangkurian,” continued Basbeth.
Asa and her would-be husband preparing to head back home
girls survive by hunting and fishing for
a while, until they establish a quiet
daily routine until suddenly, Asa’s
friend is struck dead by lightning. The
loss devastates Asa, who can no longer
hunt or eat as she did previously. Asa’s
mother somehow telepathically senses
her despair and inspires Asa to connect
with a young man who has the head
of a dog. Following this, Asa returns to
her classically beautiful Javanese house
with the man-dog, who is revealed
to be a Prince, sent by her mother to
collect her and bring her home. Asa
and the Prince marry and have a child
At times, the film seems strange
and absurd, but the Indonesian writerdirector Ismail Basbeth directs his few
tradition of Islam, I understand that in
front of God, humans are represented
as women. God is the only man that
created our life, and human is the
women created by Him,” said Basbeth.
“The people of Indonesia lived and
grew together with these traditions,
myths and fairytales, in various forms
and versions. These influences have
led to generations who see women as
objects to be led, rather than as persons
who lead their own lives. Women have
no strong position in Indonesia’s patriarchal way of life. I made this film in an
effort to break those traditions.”
In Indonesian fairytales, it is said
that a Prince from heaven is falling
in love with a human whose name
“My film is about the journey of a
woman, fighting for and confronting
her deepest fear; to be a completely
free person. Watching this film will
give you spiritual, magical and poetic
Basbeth is currently working on
his second feature, a father-son road
movie called Mencar Hilal, which
literally means, “In Search Of The
Crescent Moon, in Arabic.” Hanung
Bramantyo, a critically acclaimed
director whose films also enjoy great
success at the box office has signed
on to produce the film. Shooting will
commence this month, after the RIFF
The Awards Ceremony, held
Winners HIVOS Tiger Award, from left Jakrawal Nilthamrong (Vanishing Point),
Carlos M. Quintela (La Obra del Siglo) and Juan Daniel F. Molero (Videophilia (and
Other Viral Syndromes).
Asa and her girlfriend takes shelter in Another Trip to the Moon
on the final day of the Rotterdam influence of digital modernity on
International Film Festival was held young Peruvians. The filmmakers were
at the Doelen Center, the IFFR’s prin- each awarded £15,000.
cipal venue. The three winners of the
Next stop: Germany for The
Hivos Tiger Award Competition Prize Berlinale Film Festival!
were La Obra Del Siglo by Carlos M.
Quintela from Cuba, a feature about Born in Cairo, Egypt, Sherif Awad is
the Electro-Nuclear City (ENC) a film/video critic and curator. He is the
which was once part of an ambi- film editor of Egypt Today Magazine
tious Soviet-Cuban venture to build (www.EgyptToday.com) and the
the first Caribbean nuclear power Artistic Director for both the Alexandria
station in Juragua; Vanishing Point by film Festival , and the Arab Rotterdam
Jakrawal Nilthamrong from Thailand, Festival in The Netherlands. He also
a thriller about a young reporter who contributes to Variety, in the United
attempts to reconstruct a car accident States and is the Film Critic of Variety,
that seems to be related to other Arabia (http://amalmasryalyoum.com/
crimes and Videophilia (And Other ennode189132 and The Westchester
Viral Syndromes) by Juan Daniel F. Guardian: www.WestchesterGuardian.
Molero from Peru, who studies the com
Page 16
Thursday, FEBRUARY 12, 2015
Mary At The Movies
Movie Review: The Loft
Five wild and crazy guys split the
rent on The Loft – the perfect place
to meet girlfriends, mistresses and the
“catch of the day (as the female detective who interrogates them so succinctly
puts it);” far from the watchful eyes of
hotel staff and suspicious wives. And it
is a seemingly foolproof, albeit cynical
plan: no check-in register and no pesky
paper trail of credit card statements until
one day when they arrive at the loft to
find that the beautiful blonde in the
bed is dead. Now what? These men are
the best of friends and there are only
five keys, so who set them up? As the
movie unfolds, we learn through a series
of flashbacks that the five men have
given many people in their lives motives
for murder, from wary wives with sad
eyes to romantic rivals and powerful
businessmen. These are not nice men
and they do not engender sympathy
but I have to say, the plot will keep you
guessing and the action moves along at
a brisk pace. Listen, this is not a good
choice for a Valentine’s Day movie or
date nights in general, so guys see this
one with your buddies! The Loft is a
psychological thriller and a cautionary
tale for cheatin’ hearts!
Starring James Marsden as Chris
Vanowen – a psychologist, Karl Urban
Rachael Taylor as Anne and James Marsden as Luke in The Loft
as Vincent Stevens, the architect who
designed the building in which the
loft is located, Wentworth Miller as
Luke Seacord, Eric Stonestreet as
Marty Landry, Matthias Schoenaerts
as Philip Williams, Rhona Mitro as
Allison Vanowen, Isabel Lucas as Sarah
Deakings, valeries Cruz as Barabra
Stevens, Elaine Cassidy as Ellie Seacord,
Kali Rocha as Mimi Landry, Isabel
Lucas as Sarah Deakins, Rachel Taylor
as Ann Davis, and Margarita Levieva
as Vicky. Screenplay by Bart De Pauw’
adapted by Wesley Strick. Produced by
Adam Schulman, Steve Golin, Matt
DeRoss, Joel Silver, Hilde De Laere.
Running time 1hour, 44 minutes
MPAA Rating R for sexual content,
nudity, bloody violence language and
some drug use.
Isabel Lucas as Sarah in The Loft
Open 10AM - 8PM Mon-Sat.
Juice Bar • Smoothies • Salads
Paninis • Rice Bowls
Dine In -Take-Out • Dobbs Ferry Delivery
Karl Urban as Vincent, Eric Stonestreet as Marty, and Wentworth Miller as Luke in THE LOFT