Westchester 2012 Year in Review: June
Or passing. Whatever. If you miss seeing Venus pass over the sun—which is likely since it’s a cloudy night—your next chance will be in 2117.
Westchester takes more than it’s fair share of Tony Awards with Audra McDonald of Croton-on-Hudson winning (her fifth) for her starring role in The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess; Alan Menken of North Salem for his score for Newsies; and Jeff Croiter of Eastchester for lighting design for Peter and the Starcatcher. Congrats to all.
A Long Time Coming
Remember all the brouhaha when a Muslim group wanted to build a mosque near the site of the Twin Towers? Well, we in Westchester like to think we are more open-minded. Although it took six years, the Upper Westchester Muslim Society finally learns that its application to build an $8 million mosque and school on an 8-acre parcel of land on Pines Bridge Road in Chappaqua is ready for a public hearing.
HS Theater Awards
Archbishop Stepinac High School in White Plains wins the best overall production award at the 14th Metropolitan High School Theater Awards for its production of The Phantom of the Opera.
TODAY in Mamaroneck…
On June 7, investigative reporter Jeff Rossen airs a report on NBC’s TODAY show about a hidden-camera experiment he conducted in Mamaroneck, with the help of the police and the owners of Boiano Bakery on Mamaroneck Avenue. Rossen’s producers post bogus missing-child posters (featuring the headshot of an actress hired to play the missing child) inside the bakery. The actress then walks into the bakery on the arm of a sketchy-looking adult male 16 times throughout the day. Hidden cameras set up inside the bakery record the reaction of its patrons—or not: Customers contact police to report the “missing” girl just three out of the 16 times.
This has all the makings of a Lifetime movie. Nearly three years after the brutal murder of Ben Novack, Jr., in a Hilton Rye Town (now Hilton Westchester) suite, and after almost nine weeks of testimony, his wife, Narcy, a former stripper, is found guilty of masterminding the attack, along with her brother, Cristobal Veliz. The couple had been in town running an Amway International convention, when Ben Novack, heir to the Fontainebleau Miami Beach hotel fortune, was bludgeoned to death with dumbbells. Narcy “found” his body, wept, and stood to inherit more than $7 million; in case of a divorce, she’d net decidedly less, depending on what pre- or post-nups were in effect. What precipitated such drastic action? Novack was allegedly leaving Narcy for Rebecca Bliss, a former porn actress/prostitute/tattoo artist. You can’t make this stuff up.
Jurors spend 16 hours deliberating the case and flat-out reject the defense theory that Narcy’s daughter, May Abad, was behind the killing. (Framing your own daughter?) It is the detailed phone records showing calls between Narcy, Veliz, and the hired hit men, Alejandro Garcia and Melvin Medrano, that erase any doubts of their guilt. She also is found guilty of orchestrating the murder of her mother-in-law, Bernice Novack, in April 2009. Both she and her brother face life in prison.