Monthly Archives: January 2011

Existing home sales jump 12% | South Salem NY Homes

(Via CNN Money)

Sales of existing homes jumped in December, marking the fifth month of gains in the past six months, based on an industry report released Thursday.

Previously-owned home sales climbed 12.3% in December to an annual rate of 5.28 million, from 4.70 million in November, according to the National Association of Realtors.

That puts sales at the highest level since the homebuyer tax credit expired in June, said Stuart Hoffman, chief economist at PNC Financial Services Group.

The December rate came in much higher than expected. A consensus of experts surveyed by had forecast an annualized sales rate of 4.8 million. However, sales were down 2.9% from 12 months earlier and fell 4.7% in 2010.

“December was a nice finish to the year, but looking at the bigger picture — home sales and prices have been scraping along the bottom for the last three years,” Hoffman said. “So, while we’re not digging a deeper hole — the housing market is still quite weak, and there are still more homes available on the market than there are likely to be buyers.”

The median price of all existing homes sold in December was $168,800, down 1% from a year ago.

Meanwhile, the inventory of homes on the market fell 4.2% in December to 3.56 million units. That’s enough inventory to last 8.1 months, and is down from a 9.5-month supply in November.

While that’s an improvement, Hoffman said that data doesn’t reflect the large number of foreclosures that could soon enter on the market.

“What’s hidden behind the curtain are potential foreclosures adding to those inventory levels,” he said. “Even as we have jobs growing, inventory is still large and more foreclosures are going to be coming on the market. Prices will go down and it’s going to continue to be very much a buyer’s market.”

That said, Hoffman expects sales to gradually improve — rising about 4% or 5% — by the end of 2011, as the employment picture improves.

“I do think there will be more sales in 2011, because job growth will support homebuyers,” Hoffman said. “We’re getting back to the underlying demand without the homebuyer tax credit, but housing is still not contributing much to the overall economic improvement in the economy.” 



Full Story on CNN Money

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Beautiful Westchester NY Buildings

10 Most Beautiful Buildings

Some of the world’s most renowned architects have left their marks on Westchester—and our county is the better for it.

Not only does Westchester have natural beauty and stately residences, we are also home to a number of architecturally significant office buildings and education facilities. Local architects voted on their top 10 choices. We couldn’t agree more.

Mastercard Building Purchase
I.M. Pei

Known for his dramatic use of concrete, glass, and sharp, geometric designs, I.M. Pei is perhaps best known for designing the spectacular courtyard to the Louvre in Paris, with its grand glass-and-metal pyramid, the East Wing of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, the JFK Library, even the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. “His forms are outrageous,” says Dennis S. Noskin of Dennis Noskin Artchitects in Tarrytown. “Pei has a knack for corporate America—this building has an exciting exterior and interior.”

PepsiCo Headquarters, Purchase
Edward Durell Stone

PepsiCo’s legendary sculpture garden, with its 45 sculptures by major artists including Rodin, Henry Moore, and Alexander Calder, sometimes overshadows the building itself. One of Stone’s last works, PepsiCo’s headquarters is a series of seven three-story buildings with each building connected to its neighbor only at the corner. The buildings’ square blocks rise from the ground into low, inverted ziggurats, with each of the three floors having strips of dark windows; patterned pre-cast concrete panels add texture to the exterior surfaces.

Jacob Burns Media arts lab Pleasantville
KG&D Architects

“The new Media Arts Lab, an honoree of a 2009 AIA Westchester/Mid-Hudson Design Award, is an excellent example of how ‘green’ design and technology can be beautiful,” says Mark LePage of Fivecat Studio in Pleasantville. “With its simple, modern design and its prominent location in the heart of town, the Media Lab has quickly become a must-see destination in Westchester County.”

Pepsico building photo by chris ware; Jacob Burns Media arts lab photo by DAVID LAMB PHOTOGRAPHY

800 Westchester Avenue
(formerly General Foods Headquarters), Rye

“It’s like a Taj Mahal for corporations,” says Noskin. “It’s classically laid out with strong centrality and symmetry and proportioned in the manner of Andrea Palladio’s Villa Emo—yet its proportions are exploded in scale commiserate with the American ideal of ‘bigger is better.’ Guests arrive along a thin causeway that traverses a huge reflecting pond making the building imposing, unapologetic, and justifiably so.”

Manhattanville College Environmental Learning Lab
Maya Lin

Maya Lin came to national attention when she designed the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC, while still a student at Yale. Her reputation has repeatedly been affirmed, most recently with Storm King Wavefield, an 11-acre field she sculpted into gently rolling hills at Storm King Art Center. Clearly, her works are one with nature, including this well-crafted environmental learning lab, designed to be a teaching tool for studying and analyzing the effects of passive solar building technologies as well as the effects of an adjacent water filtration pool Lin designed that naturally purifies a nearby stream.

IBM Headquarters Armonk
Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates

“IBM’s headquarters represents a groundbreaking rethinking of the suburban office building,” says Raymond Beeler of Raymond Beeler Architect in Pelham. “This design responds to the ridges and valleys of the wooded site, dramatically unfolding in its relationship to the environment as one moves in and around the building. The crisp, modern detailing of the glass-and-metal panel structure, sitting on a stone plinth that anchors it to the site, is as compelling today as when it was built fifteen years ago.”

Seven Bridges Middle School, Chappaqua
KG&D Architects

“While many buildings try to contrast forms and materials to create excitement, often with goofy effects, this building manages to combine diverse forms and materials with an easy elegance,” says Michael J. Molinelli of Molinelli Architects in Briarcliff Manor. “It shows that public buildings do not need to be austere and default to off-white walls and oceans of acoustic drop ceilings. It finds opportunities to display the architect’s crafts: manipulating space and light for stimulating interiors spaces and imposing facades.”

The IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center, Yorktown Heights
Eero Saarinen

“Very few buildings anywhere will give you the experience of walking into a ‘Bauhaus’ straight out of your architecture study books as much as this gem of a building,” says May G. Kirk of Engineering and Construction Services in Somers. “The exterior is especially dazzling at night when the lights inside make the length of the building extend endlessly as the curve of the facade and the perspective play tricks with your perception. It all seems to stretch and expand, where everything is possible. Isn’t that the definition of what a research facility should look like?”

Pace Law School, White Plains
Lohan Associates

“Like the law itself, this building marvelously establishes calm order when chaos could rule,” says Molinelli. “It connects two buildings from separate eras and styles of architecture with a serene boldness. With collegiate gothic on its left and a 1950s brick box—the kind that gave modernism a bad name—on its right, the classroom building presides like a judge on a bench keeping apart two hostile attorneys.”

New York Life Building (formerly IBM)
Sleepy Hollow
Edward Larrabee Barnes

No wonder this building is so stunning: it was designed by Edward Barnes, one of the greatest modernists in American architecture. He is the mastermind behind the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, the Dallas Museum of Art, and the IBM Building in Manhattan. “It is true to the modernist concept in a virile and simple way,” says Molinelli. “It will likely survive while others are torn down for looking dated…because as a valuable office building, it is immune to aesthetic trends.”


Celebrity Homes

Rose McGowan Leaving Los Feliz

Friday, January 28, 2011, 3:08:05 PM | (Your Mama)Go to full article
SELLER: Rose McGowan
LOCATION: Los Angeles, CA
PRICE: $1,849,000
SIZE: 4,278 square feet, 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Yesterday, while sipping an ice cold gin & tonic scoping out all the new listings in The City of Angels we ran across a particularly fetching abode in the Los Feliz area that set off all of Your Mama’s highly-tuned celebrity real estate sensors. A short spin through the interweb and a few ringydingy’s on our bedazzled Princess phone turned up two snitches who confirmed the house, listed with an asking price of $1,849,000, belongs to sultry actress, Boston Terrier advocate and sartorial daredevil Rose McGowan.

For better or worse and likely much to her chagrin, Miss McGowan will likely go down in Your Mama’s (entirely subjective) version of Hollywood history for three things for which she might rather not be remembered: Her long-running role on that hare-brained tee-vee show about sister-witches Charmed, her 3.5 year relationship with Goth-rock provocateur Marilyn Manson and her sensationally ribald walk down the red carpet at the 1998 MTV Video Music Awards in little more than a handful of beads that did nothing to conceal neither her booty nor her boobies. In an inexplicable nod to modesty, some of the children may recall, Miss McGowan did sport a sparkling pair of beaded thong panties that covered her (probably hairless) baby maker. Nowadays the Miss McGowan works her thing a far less scurrilous but still vixenish Betty Page-inspired sort of style mirrored in the day-core choices made in her house.

Anyhoo, Miss McGowan hung on to Charmed until it went off the air in 2006. A few of her more recent professional engagements include Brian de Palma’s Black Dahlia, Quentin Tarantino’s double-feature Grindhouse, Fifty Dead Men Walking and a stint on the boob-toob program Nip/Tuck with the also happy-to-be-expose-my-kiester-on-television Julian McMahon. According to her resume on the Internet Movie Data Base, Miss McGowan will appear in three movies in 2011 including a in the action-babe flicks Conan the Barbarian and Red Sonja.

Property records show that Miss McGowan scooped up her walled and gated residence in the Los Feliz area of Los Angeles in July of 2004 for $1,850,000. That’s exactly one thousand dollars more that the property’s current price tag of $1,849,000. Even with a full price sale–an unlikely event in today’s still tough real estate times–Miss McGowan will be faced with a wham-blam to her pocketbook.

Old listing information Your Mama scared up out of the internets shows that Miss McGowan snapped up this house after just one day on the market. Listing information from that time also shows the house was priced at $1,749,000, which suggests that Miss McGowan paid about $100,000 more than the asking price. That was way back in 2004 when the market was sizzling. We doubt Miss McGowan will be so lucky but, chickens, iffin Your Mama and the Dr. Cooter were in the market for a nearly two-million smacker house in Los Feliz, we’d be all over this place lickety-split.

Listing information shows the muted coral-colored villa, an intriguing and exquisitely patinated melange of Spanish, Moroccan, Moorish and Andalusian architectural elements, was built in 1928 and spans 4,278 square feet. The house contains a total of 4 bedrooms–one located on the lower floor–and three bathrooms. Listing information indicates–but isn’t entirely clear–that one of the upstairs bedrooms may have been converted to a walk-in closet/dressing room for all of Miss McGowan’s many pairs of shoes and vintage dresses.

The front door, set dramatically into an elaborately carved stone threshold, opens into an impress-the-guests-style entrance hall with tile floor, double-height ceilings, stained glass window, decorative iron banister, minstrel’s balcony and a trio arched doorways that lead to the living, dining and family rooms.

The sizable and architecturally swoon-worthy but not cavernous living room has peg-and-groove hardwood floors, a high pitched ceiling with exposed trusses, carved stone fireplace, classic arched window and four sets of French doors the open into courtyard-like gardens. While it certainly won’t be to every one’s liking, Miss McGowan’s quirky personal style shines through in the living room that’s done up with moss colored velvet Art Deco furniture, shimmery orange curtains (a bold statement that Your Mama loves but isn’t fully effective here, and a burled wood credenza over which hangs an original lighted sign from the legendary Brown Derby restaurant that used to be at Hollywood and Vine. This may not be what we’d do with this house decoratively speaking but Your Mama would far more look at day-core that is an overt reflection of the occupant rather than to peep at the sterile decorative perfections that have been washed free of any personality and are often seen in most of the glossy shelter publications.

Miss McGowan wisely kept things basic in the nicely-proportioned formal dining room where a complicated geometric tile floor–that we hope and imagine is original to the house–takes center stage. The fab tile floor continues out a wide bank of French doors to a grassy and private part of the yard. A glorious and very shallow groin-vaulted ceiling graces the kitchen that opens to the dining room and is renovated in a manner that both preserved the original aesthetic of the house–note the lattice front lower cabinets–and added high-grade modern conveniences. The tile floor is an identical pattern to that in the dining room except with a tweaked color combination that swaps the red in the dining room for the yellow in the kitchen.

A family room with a coffered ceiling that mirrors the coffered detailing of the front door has hardwood floors, fireplace, built-in bookshelves filled with actual books–it seems Miss McGowan reads–and a big-ass flat screen tee-vee mounted on the wall above a streamlined Art Moderne cabinet. Like in the living room, Miss McGowan opted for Art Deco style furnishings–this time clean-lined black leather with white accents. Your Mama feels the room could benefit strongly from the introduction of a playful and richly colored antique Art Deco-style area rug with a rounder, more female pattern that plays off the hard edges of tile floors in the kitchen and dining room.

Miss McGowan’s boo-dwar includes a bedroom with wood floors and French doors that open to a covered balcony with beautifully lathed wood columns and a perfectly period Jack-and-Jill-style pooper with spectacular lavender and black tile and historically accurate (and possibly original) fixtures.

While there does not seem to be a single large expanse of outdoor space there are several intimate courtyard-style terraces and patios that ring the residence and provide plenty of room for Miss McGowan’s Boston Terriers or, perhaps, a couple of long bodied bitches like Your Mama and the Dr. Cooters‘ Linda and Beverly.

Miss McGowan’s Los Feliz home has a long list of celebrity neighbors who include January Jones (Mad Men), Jon Hamm (also from Mad Men), Laura Prepon (That 70s Show), director David Fincher (The Social Network, Fight Club). A bit farther away are all the celebs that line the streets of the gated Laughlin Park community who include preggers Natalie Portman (Black Swan), Patricia Arquette (Medium) and soon to be-exhubby Thomas Jane (Hung), pop star Natasha Bedingfield, Jenna and Bodhi Elfman, Casey Affleck and Summer Phoenix, and Black Eyed Pea

Previous to living in Los Feliz, Miss McGowan owned a Spanish-style casa in the historic Whiteley Heights ‘hood in Hollywood. That house, interestingly, has had a slew of subsequent celebrity owners. Records show that Miss McGowan sold the house in July of 2004 for $1,235,000 to actress Rachel Bilson (The O.C.). Miss Bilson quickly caught a case of The Real Estate Fickle and sold the house in December of 2005 to the deevoon Busy Phillips (Cougar Town) for $1,349,000. As far as Your Mama knows Miss Bilson still owns and occupies an abode in Los Feliz records show she bought in the fall of 2006 for $1,880,000.

Miss Busy and her rom-com screenwriter husband Marc Silverstein (He’s Just Not That Into You) moved to bigger digs nearby they bought for $2,100,000 in March of 2008. In January of 2009 Miss Busy sold the 2,204 square foot house in the hills as a short sale for $1,075,000. We were told by the always knowledgeable informant Lucy Spillerguts that the house was acquired thespian turned tee-vee star Ginnifer Goodwin (Big Love) who recently became engaged to actor Joey Kern.

Lewisboro Calender For January 29th | Lewisboro NY Homes

Target Picture Story Saturday, 10:30 to 11:30,  Katonah Museum of Art, 134 Jay St., Katonah. Children of all ages and family members are invited to listen to stories followed by a hands-on art activity with local pediatrician Dr. Kathy Purvis. 232-9555.
Winter Wolves, 11 a.m., Wolf Conservation Center, 7 Buck Run, South Salem. Visit Ambassador wolves Kaila and Atka and learn about the mythology, biology and ecology of wolves in North America. Also a visit with the critically endangered red wolves and Mexican gray wolves. Best program for first time visitors. Enjoy hot beverages. Dress for cold weather. Space limited. $15/adults; $12/children under 12. Pre-registration required. 763-2373.

BAS Excursion to Pelham Bay Park, Bronx, 8-noon, Carpool from Bylane Farm, 35 Todd Rd., Katonah. Join Adam Zorn and Birder Peter Becker at Pelham Bay Park which features an impressive number of waterfowl, landbirds, monk parakeets and owls. Registration: Joan Becker at 232-4806 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

CHADD of Putnam and Vicinity Meeting, 6:30 p.m., Four Winds Hospital Conference Center, Route 35, Katonah. Meetings are held the first Tuesday of the month. Topic: “Exercise – A Tool to Help Manage AD/HD Symptoms” with speaker Bill Pagel, Club Fit Jefferson Valley, Personal Trainer and Program Director of the Parisi Speed School. Support Session for Parents: 6:30 to 7:15 p.m. and general meeting at 7:30 p.m. A $5 donation is requested of nonmembers. 729-2067.

AARP Tax Aide Program, 10 to 2 p.m., Katonah Village Library, 26 Bedford Road, Katonah. Volunteers from the AARP will be on hand at the library every Monday and Tuesday for those that would like help with their taxes. Walk-ins welcome. Bring the following: a copy of last year’s income tax returns, forms from each employer, unemployment, all 1099 forms, dependent care provider information, social security cards or other official documentation of identity for yourself and all dependents. 914-232-3508.

The Great Hudson River Excursion/Hudson River EagleFest,” 9-1 p.m., carpool from Bylane Farm, 35 Todd Rd., Katonah at 8:15 a.m. or meet at the Croton River Landing, south of the Croton train station at 9 a.m. Coordinating with other local birding groups, Bedford Audubon will be a collaborator of this year’s annual EagleFest where numerous events are scheduled at Croton Point Park celebrating the return of these majestic birds to our area. The trip will conclude at George’s Island Park where we will see Bald Eagles and other birds on the river. Refreshments will be served. Registration: Joan E. Becker at 232-4806 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

KMA Abstract Art Exhibit, 11 a.m., Katonah Museum of Art, 134 Jay St., Katonah. Join us for the Abstract Art Exhibit at the museum and then to lunch at II Forna. $27/person. Call Judy at 277-5087.

TUESDAYS, FEB. 8 15, MARCH 1, 8, 15, 29 AND APRIL 5
Tuesdays for Tots, 1 to 2 p.m., Katonah Museum of Art, 134 Jay St., Katonah. Eight week course for ages 3 to 5 with adult. $120/members; $160/non-members. Children and adult caregivers explore art in imaginative workshops. Prepaid registration required. 232-9555, ext. 0.

BAS American Museum of Natural History Tour in NYC, 10 to 3:30. Carpool from Bylane Farm, 35 Todd Rd., Katonah at 8:30 a.m. After tour, lunch at in-house café and maybe opt for a quick birding foray into Central Park. Attendance limited. Registration: Joan E. Becker at 232-4806 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
A Chocolate Valentine, 7:30 p.m., Katonah Village Library, 26 Bedford Rd., Katonah. Co-sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Bedford, Lewisboro, North Salem and the library, food writer Peter G. Rose will describe the history of chocolate, paying particular attention to 17th and 18th century Hudson Valley merchants who traded in chocolate in the Caribbean and brought the precious product back to New Amsterdam and then to Europe. Raffle tickets, $5, will be available for two prizes. Chocolate items available for purchase. $15/with a reservation; $20/at door. Checks may be sent to LWV Bedford, Lewisboro, North Salem, P.O. Box 584, Goldens Bridge, NY 10526. Information: Susan Auslander at 763-9747. Inclement weather date: Feb. 11.
BAS Discussion on ‘White-nose Syndrome in Bats,’ 7:30 p.m., Katonah Memorial House, 71 Bedford Rd., Katonah. Carl Herzog, wildlife biologist, will conduct a discussion on the devastating disease White-nose Syndrome, which has decimated bat populations in Northeastern United States. 232-1999.

WEDNESDAYS, FEB. 9, 16; MARCH 2, 9, 16, 23, 30; APRIL 6
Art Adventures After School, 4:30-5:45 p.m., Katonah Museum of Art, 134 Jay St., (Rte. 22) Katonah. Eight week course where students will view original drawings by famous artists such as Eva Hesse, Jasper Johns, Ellsworth Kelly and Sol LeWitt and will explore an endless variety of drawing activities from realism to abstraction. Pre-paid registration required. Grades kindergarten through fifth, $120/members; $160/non-members. 232-9555, ext. 0


Food Pantry Donations Needed, Community Center of Northern Westchester, 84 Bedford Road, Katonah. Foods needed most: Dried black and pinto beans, cold cereal, tuna, canned beef stew, spaghetti sauce, fruit juice, baby food, diapers. Bring donations to rear entrance of the Community Center, Tuesday through Friday from 10:30 to 3:30 p.m. or Saturday from 10 to 1 p.m. 914-232-6572.
JFC Religious School Registration, Jewish Family Congregation, 111 Smith Ridge Rd., South Salem. Registration for school year beginning Sept. 2010-2011. Rolling registration until classes are filled. Once-a-week classes in Hebrew language and Jewish history and culture for grades K-6 and programs for students in grades 7-12, as well. For more information or times and dates of classes, call Leslie Gottlieb at 763-3028, ext. 24 or
Stepping Stones Tours, 1 p.m., Stepping Stones, 62 Oak Rd., Katonah. Monday through Saturday, tour the historic home of Bill and Lois Wilson, co-founders of Alcoholics Anonymous and Al-Anon family groups. All other times by appointment. 232-4822.

Book Blast Book Group, 5 p.m., Lewisboro Library, 15 Main St., South Salem. Meets second Wednesday of the month. Book discussion for grades 3 to 5. Registration required. 763-3857.
Lewisboro Library Book Group, 7:30 p.m., Lewisboro Library, 15 Main St., South Salem. Book group meets on the third Wednesday of the month. Books available through the Westchester Library System. Myrna or Steve Shomstein: 533-2550.

Daytime Knitting Group, 10:30 a.m., Ruth Keeler Memorial Library, 276 Titicus Rd., North Salem. Group will meet the first and third Thursdays of the month. 669-5161.
Library Preschool Program, 1:30 p.m., Lewisboro Library, 15 Main St., South Salem. Longer picture books, songs and fun or children ages three through six. 763-3857.
Choir Practice, 4:45-6 p.m., Home of the Rosenbaums, South Salem. For auditions for The Canticum Novum Youth Choir (ages 8-18), call Edie at 763-6819.
Camerata d’Amici Choral Group, 7:30-9:30 p.m., South Salem Presbyterian Church, 111 Spring St., South Salem. Camerata d’Amici is seeking new members for all voice parts. Auditions: 203-938-3711 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
The Parental Bereavement Support Group, 7:30 to 9:30 p.m., Katonah United Methodist Church, 5 Bedford Rd., Katonah. This support group reaches out to any and all parents who have lost a child of any age. 232-4094.

Tea at Caramoor, 1:45-4 p.m., Caramoor Summer Dining Room, 149 Girdle Ridge Rd., Katonah. A formal tea served as it was in the day for Caramoor’s founders, Walter and Lucie Rosen — on their own china. Tea is preceded by tour of the House Museum. Tickets: $29. 232-5035.

Internet for Beginners, 11 a.m., Lewisboro Library, 15 Main St., South Salem. Free, one-hour workshop with a librarian guiding you through a basic search and showing you interesting sites. By appointment only. Registration: 763-3857.

Gossett Brothers Farm Market, 9 to 1 p.m., Gossett Brothers Nursery, 1202 Rte. 35, South Salem. Year-round market will host 13-plus vendors and artisans who will provide locally and regionally produced, grown and crafted quality products and educating the community about home gardening and native plants. Special guests are invited from time to time.
Miss Patti’s Feeling Groovy Music/Movement, The Katonah Art Center, 131 Bedford Road, Katonah. Ages 1 to 3: 9:30-10 a.m.; Ages 3 to 5: 10:15-10:45 a.m. Special needs children welcome. 232-4843.
Target Picture Story Hour, 10:30 a.m., Katonah Museum of Art, 134 Jay St., Katonah. For children of all ages and family members. Stories read by museum educators and special guests with hands-on art activities inspired by the books. 232-9555.
Miss Patti’s Artsmart for Ages 3 to 5, Cyrus Russell House, Rte. 35, Cross River. Mondays: 1 to 3:30 and Wednesdays: 1 to 3. 232-6162.
Beginner Dance for Ages 3 to 5, Cyrus Russell House, Rte. 35, Cross River. Mondays: 10:15 to 11 a.m.; Tuesdays: 2:15 to 3 p.m. 232-6162.

See and Do Art Activities, Katonah Museum of Art, 134 Jay St., Katonah. Time: Saturday at 1 p.m. and Sundays 1:30 p.m. View and discuss the works on exhibit, then participate in a related hands-on art activity. Ages 3 and up, accompanied by an adult. 232-9555.

Lewisboro Recycling Christmas Trees. Christmas trees may be left in the town’s recycling center on Saturdays between 9 a.m. and noon. For weekday appointments, call the town clerk’s office at 763-3511 or e-mail to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

John Jay Homestead Exhibit ‘Slaves,’ John Jay Homestead, 400 Rte. 22, Katonah. The Jay Family chronicles the transition of the Jay family from slave-owners to manumissionists and abolitionists.
Northern Westchester Watercolor Society Art Show, Katonah Village Library, 26 Bedford Rd., Katonah. A Valentine’s Day Portfolio Show of unframed pieces will also be on display and for sale on Feb. 10 to 12. Information: 232-3508.

Drawn/Taped/Burned: Abstraction on Paper Exhibition, various times, Katonah Museum of Art, 134 Jay St., Katonah. Exhibition features 65 original works on paper by 58 artists, with an emphasis on minimal, post-minimal and conceptual art. Admission: $5/person; $3/seniors; free/students, members and children under 12. 528-6647

This Week

FRIDAY, JAN. 28, 29 AND 30
‘The Glass Menagerie’ Play, Main Street Arts Theatre, Northern Westchester Shopping Plaza, off of Harris Rd., at 238 Rte. 117 By Pass Rd., Bedford Hills. $12/person. 864-1880.

Environmental Action Day, 8 to 4:30 p.m., Fox Lane High School, Bedford. The event, hosted by The Bedford 2020 Coalition, will include workshops, expos and networking opportunities for area residents to drive change through local action and to create a sustainable community. Bedford Town Supervisor Lee Roberts will speak. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
Penguin Storytime, 10:30 a.m., Ruth Keeler Memorial Library, 276 Titicus Rd., North Salem. All ages join us for penguin stories and crafts. No registration necessary. 669-5161.
Somers Library ‘Beyond the Secret,’ 2:30 p.m., Somers Library, Rte. 139 at Reis  Park, Somers. Join us for a movie and discussion of Beyond the Secret. Production will positively impact your life during these tough economic times when the world is looking for answers and motivation. Beyond The Secret provides a supplemental blueprint on how to achieve your goals and dreams. Register online at or call 914-232-5717.
Author Talk with Steven Rattner, 5 to 7 p.m., Ruth Keeler Memorial Library, 276 Titicus Rd., North Salem. Author Steven Rattner will be at the library for a signing of his book, “Overhaul.” Refreshments will be served. No registration necessary. 669-5161.

Guest Speaker Alan Veingrad at Chabad, 10 a.m., Chabad of Bedford, 133 Railroad Ave., Bedford Hills. A gourmet breakfast will be served. NFL offensive lineman Alan Veingrad will share his story of being the only Jewish player on the field at Super Bowl XXVII and the intense training, ruthless competitive atmosphere and performance requirements of professional football life. Event is open to the community. 666-6065. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .
Let it Snow! 1-3 p.m., Muscoot Farm, Rte. 100, Somers. Fun indoor winter activities for families. Outdoor activities weather permitting; dress for the weather. 864-7282.

Pen & Ink Drawing Workshop for Adults, 1 p.m., Somers Library, 80 Primrose St., Katonah. Experiment with pen and ink learning new textures and techniques and learn to enhance your art with watercolor. Taught by Professor Mark Cassata. Registration required, space limited. 232-5717.

North Salem Nursery School Art Exhibit, 9-5 p.m., Ruth Keeler Memorial Library, 276 Titicus Rd., North Salem. Family members, pets, exotic animals, favorite toys, gardens and homes, insects and dinosaurs are just some of the subjects that populate the imaginations of preschool children. 669-5161.

Bagels and Books: The History of Love, 10:30 a.m., Ruth Keeler Memorial Library, 276 Titicus Rd., North Salem. Join us to discuss the book over coffee and bagels. Ask the library if you need help obtaining copies of this book. No registration necessary. Drop-ins welcome. 669-5161.
Chinese New Year, 4 p.m., Ruth Keeler Memorial Library, 276 Titicus Rd., North Salem. Celebrate the Chinese New Year by making a New Year’s Dragon. All welcome. No registration necessary. 669-5161.

THURSDAYS, FEB. 3, 17, MARCH 3, 17
Daytime Knitting Group,  10:30 a.m., Ruth Keeler Memorial Library, 276 Titicus Rd., North Salem. Interested in knitting or crafting? Bring your current project or try something new. Drop-ins welcome. 669-5161.


Drop-in Art, 10-5, Ruth Keeler Memorial Library, 276 Titicus Rd., North Salem. Help your child make a project, we supply the materials. For children of all ages.  669-5161.
Judaism 101: Values and Ideals of Judaism, noon-1:30, Temple Shaaray Tefila, 89 Baldwin Rd., Bedford Corners. Join us for a light lunch and an informative discussion on topical subjects related to Jewish thought, history and practice. Nominal charge for lunch. 666-3133.
WLS Audio Book Help, 3-5 p.m., Ruth Keeler Memorial Library, 276 Titicus Rd., North Salem. Bring your media player if you have any questions about transferring the audio book to your player. Open to public.

One-on-One Computer Class for Adults, Somers Library, 80 Primrose St., Katonah. By appointment only, learn how to use the mouse, basic Internet skills and e-mail. Register online at: or call 232-5717.

Women Living with Recurrence Support Group, 1 p.m., Support Connection, Inc. 360 Underhill Ave., Yorktown Heights. Offered every 3rd Tuesday of the month. Focus is on living with a recurrence of either breast or ovarian cancer. Led by a trained peer facilitator who is living with recurrence. Registration required. 962-6402 or 800-532-4290.
Crafts For Kids, 4 p.m., Ruth Keeler Memorial Library, 276 Titicus Rd., North Salem. Fun new projects every week. Children of all ages. 669-5161.
Knitting and Crafting Group, 7 p.m., Ruth Keeler Memorial Library, 276 Titicus Rd., North Salem. Meets the first and third Tuesday. Bring your current project or try something new. Instructors provided on a rotating basis for help with knitting, crocheting, beading, tatting, etc. 669-5161.

Puzzles, 10-5, Ruth Keeler Memorial Library, 276 Titicus Rd., North Salem. For all ages. Open to the public. 669-5161.
Yards of Yarn, 4 to 5 p.m., Ruth Keeler Memorial Library, 276 Titicus Rd., North Salem. Knit a scarf. For ages 10 plus. 669-5161.
Young Women’s Breast Cancer Support Group, 7 p.m., Support Connection, 360 Underhill Ave., 2nd Floor, Yorktown Heights. Offered the 2nd Wednesday each month. Focus on topics related to women who have or had breast cancer at a young age. Led by trained peer facilitators who have experienced breast cancer. Registration required. 962-6402 or 800-532-4290.
Breast and Ovarian Cancer Telephone Support Group, 8 p.m. Toll-free telephone support group for women with breast cancer available the first Wednesday of each month and ovarian cancer telephone group available the second Wednesday of each month. After registering with Support Connection, participants call a toll-free number and are connected with a trained peer facilitator who has experienced breast and ovarian cancer, via teleconference. Registration required. 962-6402 or 800-532-4290.

Board Games, 10-5, Ruth Keeler Memorial Library, 276 Titicus Road, North Salem. For all ages. Open to public. 669-5161.
Chabad Hebrew School, 4-5:45 p.m., Fox Lane Middle School, 949 S. Bedford Rd., Bedford. Hebrew school for grades kindergarten through seventh grade. 767-3337.
WLS Audio Book Help, 3 to 5 p.m., Ruth Keeler Memorial Library, 276 Titicus Rd., North Salem. Bring your media player if you have any questions about transferring the audio book to your player. Open to public. 669-6161.
New Drama Group, 6-8 p.m., Ruth Keeler Memorial Library, 276 Titicus Road, North Salem. Free acting lessons open to both adults and children. Information: 669-5161.
Knitting Circle for Women with Cancer, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Support Connection, 360 Underhill Ave., Yorktown Heights. Crafters of various skill levels gather to knit and crochet on the third Thursday of the month. All skill levels welcome. Registration required. 962-6402 or 800-532-4290.
Breast Cancer Support Groups, Support Connection, Inc., 360 Underhill Ave., Yorktown Heights. Focus is on life after a cancer diagnosis, led by trained peer facilitators who have experienced breast cancer. Group meeting every first Thursday at 10 a.m.; Evening group meeting every 4th Tuesday at 7 p.m. Registration required. 962-6402 or 800-532-4290.

Bingo, 4 p.m., Ruth Keeler Memorial Library, 276 Titicus Rd., North Salem. For all ages. Open to the public.
Chabad of Bedford Tot-Shabbat Musical Program, 5:30 p.m., Chabad of Bedford, 133 Railroad Ave., Bedford Hills. Program, held on the second Friday, includes Shabbat songs with musical entertainer Bobbie Doowah and Kiddush, challah and candle lighting. Ages one to five. Family welcome. Reservations: 666-6065. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Individual Computer Lessons, 11-4, Ruth Keeler Memorial Library, 276 Titicus Rd., North Salem. Open to the public. 669-5161.

A Bounty of Baskets, noon to 4, Muscoot Farm, Rte. 100, Somers. Westchester Area Basketmakers Guild show and sell in the Main House Gallery. 864-7282.

Muscoot Farmers Market, 10-3 p.m., Muscoot Farm, Rte. 100, Somers. Products include fresh produce, meats, cheeses, soaps, candles, honey, maple, syrup, flowers, fish and baked goods. 864-7282.

Michael Liebman, Photography Exhibit and Reception, Somers Public Library, 80 Primrose St., Katonah. Photographer Michael Liebman will exhibit his impressions of travels in Italy, the American Southwest, New England and other locales. A reception is scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 8 from 2 to 4 p.m., Call 232-5717 for daily time schedules.
January Sales Days in Pound Ridge. Discounts range from 10% to 50% on selected items to store-wide. Participants: Albano Appliance & Service, Antiques & Interiors, Antiques & Tools of Business & Kitchen, Eileen Godfrey Miniatures & Dollhouses, Juleigh’s Resale Couture, Pinocchio Pizza Restaurant, Poundridge Nurseries, Pound Ridge Wine & Spirits and Silhouette. Joan Silbersher, 764-0015 or 5122

Exhibition of works by Sally Frank, Pound Ridge Library, 271 Westchester Ave., Pound Ridge. Printmaker Sally Frank will  present her one-woman exhibition “Tree Work,” a collection of etchings, monoprints and monotypes inspired by trees, forests and the natural landscape of the Northeast. Opening reception Sunday, Jan. 9 from 2-5 p.m. 764-5085.

Lewisboro NY Homes

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Katonah-Lewisboro audit reveals strong controls

Katonah-Lewisboro audit reveals strong controls

Written by Matt Dalen
Wednesday, 26 January 2011 23:00

The Katonah-Lewisboro School District’s most recent audit found a handful of issues, but was largely positive, internal auditor David Moran of Accume Partners said last week. Mr. Moran presented the district’s internal audit at the school board meeting on Thursday, Jan. 20.

“This was a very good audit, which demonstrates strong financial controls,” Assistant Superintendent for Business Michael Jumper said.

Download a copy of the audit report.

The audit reviewed five areas highlighted by the state comptroller as frequently of concern in school districts: human resources, purchasing, claims auditing, contracts, and computer systems. The unusual scope of the audit — internal audits in the past have focused on a specific department — was the brainchild of the school board’s audit committee, but Mr. Moran said that he would probably start recommending it to other districts.

Mr. Moran said that two of the audited areas had been found to have relatively minor flaws, and therefore were classified as “needs improvement,” but that all of his firm’s recommendations had already been implemented.

“Katonah-Lewisboro has been doing a very good job maintaining their controls,” Mr. Moran said.


In the auditors’ report, Accume recommended several changes to some of the forms that are used in the district. Requests for overtime in the facilities department should indicate the estimated number of hours, and special education consultants should be required to give a breakdown of their hours worked, rather than just a total, and those hours spent at students’ homes should be verified by parents, according to auditors.

In addition, the audit recommends that the district reinforce its pay requisition process to ensure that employees are being properly paid. While the audit found no instances of improper payments, auditors said that pay requisitions from several employees had been approved only by the payroll coordinator, and not by the human resources department. The district said that this had only happened in cases where an employee’s salary was retroactively changed, and that the payments would be reviewed by the human resources department in the future before being paid.

Improving audits

Accume Partners has been Katonah-Lewisboro’s external auditor since 2006. In that time, its evaluations — which do not examine the district’s financial strength, unlike the external auditor, but rather its controls against fraud and other areas of risk — have steadily improved.

In Accume’s first audit, which was reported in May 2008, one out of five areas was considered to have “significant issues,” and several others were considered in need of improvement, particularly in the business office, where “most business procedures [had] not been formally documented” and some office staff had not been provided adequate training. Later audits identified issues with the separation of powers between human resources and payroll, and providing proper approval of payroll. The vast majority of these issues seem to have been corrected.

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