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Mamaroneck’s West Nile Distinction


or did we speak too soon?  Check out what’s reportedly happening on Hen Island in Rye.


MAMARONECK– Mamaroneck mosquitoes carried the distinction last week of being the first mosquito samples this year in Westchester County to test positive for West Nile virus.

They will be evaluated by the Health Dept. But as veterans of these stories here in Westchester and as reporters in NYC every summer, we urge people not to worry. Cases are rare, and you know the precautions: Check and remove standing water that could harbor mosquitoes, clean and chlorinate swimming pools and discard old tires.

Oh- and wear bug spray.

illustration: wikimedia commons



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August 7, 2012 10:36 AM

Our latest video about West Nile Virus testing positive on Hen Island

July 28, 2012 2:19 PM

Good this guy Ray’s name and you’ll see a string of complaints, investigations, ect…all going after officials in Rye for one thing or another. It does sound like an unsafe condition, but I’d love to hear someone but him making this complaint. You’d think if anything, those on the coast of Rye would care if it were truly an issue.

July 29, 2012 12:43 PM
Reply to  Anonymous

Interesting…it also appears that Ray not only HAS a home on Hen Island, but lives in Purchase. So come clean about your motivations. You can’t be bothered by Mamaroneck mosquitos in Purchase, but you do stand to benefit if Rye paid to bring in sewer and electricity to your weekend home. How much would that increase your value?

The Heal the Harbor group is also run by you. It’s just a front for your never-ending battles with the city of Rye. How is that 9 foot potty working out for you, btw?

Ray Tartaglione
Ray Tartaglione
July 29, 2012 8:23 PM
Reply to  Anonymous

What is so interesting about having a home in Purchase and who said I am trying to hide the fact that I have a home on Hen Island and I started Heal the Harbor? If there is something wrong with any of that, I am guilty as charged, so what. What front and where is the big secret that you uncovered?
Am I not allowed to try to expose these issues? Should it be Ok for my neighbors to pollute the water and breed mosquitos? How about no one should have to live under those conditions including me and you!! If you would like to see what is going on, please give me a call and I would be happy to spend the time with you on the island. 914-948-1100
Here is where you are wrong once again. Rye or the County or any taxpayer should not have to pay a penny to fix these issues, the home owners should. That would also be me! But Rye and the County need to issue violations in order for the Islanders to comply with the law protect the waters and stop breeding mosquitoes.

July 30, 2012 10:23 AM

Ray, whatever the facts, they’re just saying it would have been better for you to do full a disclosure of your interests and involvement upfront.

July 30, 2012 8:51 PM
Reply to  kayblossom

If you go to our website you will see that I could not be anymore upfront. You will see where I acknowledge to multiple public officials at multiply times that I own a home on the Island and that I also reside in Purchase NY.

Please don’t shoot the messenger; all I am trying to do is point out where public officials are not protecting the health and safety of residents or the environment. I am trying to clean up my backyard and at the same time it helps Rye, Mamaroneck and the Sound.

What our hostile little friend Mike fails to understand is that mosquitoes fly as far as five miles from where they breed. That many of the people that live on the island have no regard for safety or the environment.

I have been singing this song for about five years now and Mike is either just getting familiar with the Hen Island controversy or he is one of the bloggers that live on the Island that would like to keep things the way they are, it sounds like the latter to me.

If you are interested click on this link from 2008 and pay special attention to the posters that oppose me. Who in their right minds would want to live like that?—ph.html

As for Mike’s comment about property values, I can assure you I don’t need or want the money and I have every intension of running down my bucket list as I enjoy my little piece of Heaven on that Island.

Ray Tartaglione
Ray Tartaglione
July 23, 2012 1:11 PM

Please view this CBS News report and pay special attention to Mrs. King as she speaks about burying her 5 year old daughter on her birthday. It is heart wrenching and it only takes one mosquito out of millions that are being breed on Hen Island. Residents should worry and especially so when the County Health Department and Rye Mayor Doug French ignores 33,000 gallons of standing stagnant stored water on Hen Island in Rye.

Mike Ross
Mike Ross
July 23, 2012 2:53 PM

This raises more questions than it answers.

You speak of mosquitos ‘being bred’ which makes it sound like someone is breeding them purposely?

And why is the water being stored? To what use will it ever be put? If it can’t be drained, isn’t it sprayed?


July 23, 2012 4:05 PM

Yes, of course this is tragic, but I don’t think it is useful to instill tabloid-style fear into people when cases are so isolated.

July 24, 2012 2:45 PM
Reply to  theLoop

The 34 homeowners on Hen Island have never been required to drill water or
connect to the city water for household use as required everywhere else in
New York state. As a result they collect rain water from the rooftops and
store them in 400 gallon, open water tanks. Almost every home has 1000-1200
gallons (4 tanks).
They also have some sewage systems located less than ten feet from the
Long Island sound that have been polluting the waters for years. The City of
Rye and the County of Westchester has refused to issue violations even
though they have known about this for years. We have devoted a website to
this very political issue that effects the health and safety of everyone. Please take a look. And here is a direct link to a
video of the water systems in use as we speak.

It is not tabloid-style fear, The Federal Government and the CDC has spent
millions to publicize WNV and how to avoid it. Why should Rye or Westchester
County be allowed to pick and choose who should obey the law. Read some of
the post from the WNV survivors and supporters website.

I bet the posters whom you read from were the only one in there community
that were affected. And why should our communities be at a larger risk
because of 34 selfish homeowners and a Mayor that refuse to obey and enforce
the law?

Or read this letter to the editor of The Rye Record from a NY Times
photographer who was assigned to photograph Hen Island for a story.

Mike Ross
Mike Ross
July 25, 2012 8:54 PM
Reply to  theLoop

Rainwater? Sounds excellent to me, that’s about the lowest-impact way of sourcing domestic water. That system is extremely common, indeed just about universal, in upland Hawai’i for instance.

Do you have any prima facie evidence that this use of rainwater causes a mosquito problem? I’m pretty damn sure it doesn’t otherwise the homeowners would be the worst affected!

Frankly it looks to me like this is a complete red herring and you’re just using it as an excuse to tirade against Hen Island, for whatever reason. Nothing to bloody do with WNV! Your prejudice is showing, Sir.

July 25, 2012 11:12 PM
Reply to  Mike Ross

I Googled Hen Island just to see what the heck he was talking about and every entry I saw did refer to a huge mosquito population…not sure if it’s caused by the barrels or otherwise but it is interesting. No electricity, sewer, water and Mosquitos to boot? Sounds like paradise!

Ray Tartaglione
Ray Tartaglione
July 26, 2012 12:10 AM
Reply to  Mike Ross

Agreed on the low impact issue but in resort locations that you speak of, they use desalination systems to purify the water. On Hen Island that can’t happen without electricity. The first action taken in any mosquito control program is to remove standing water. On Hen Island they need to drill wells or bring in city water. The cistern storage and the lack of maintenance are breeding mosquitos by the millions. Take a look at this report from Westchester County from 2007 where the heavy mosquito infestation is sited.

Mike Ross
Mike Ross
July 26, 2012 11:56 AM
Reply to  Mike Ross

Ray, I’m not speaking of resort areas, I’m speaking of private homes in the countryside, upcountry Hawai’i. A lot of them don’t have public water, the water table is far too deep for drilling, so they store rainwater. It works.

If mosquitos are a problem on the island you mention, then clearly (unless they LIKE mosquitos!!) the homeowners will take precautions to prevent their water storage from being mosquito infested; lids, nets or rain. It’s trivial. That’s common sense. Why insist they need wells or city water if the rain water supply is adequate? They’ve managed without them for this long so they do NOT need them, so what’s your beef?

Ray Tartaglione
Ray Tartaglione
July 28, 2012 1:59 PM
Reply to  Mike Ross

So Mike, You believe that it is Ok to store 33000 gallons of water in the middle of Westchester County? If so why should we bother to restrict everyone else in Westchester County? Why ask residents to Check and remove standing water that could harbor mosquitoes, clean and chlorinate swimming pools and discard old tires?

You sound like some of the Islanders that wish to avoid code enforcement. My beef is, that it is not fair that Rye and Mamaroneck should be subjected to and increase health risk factor because of 34 selfish homeowners that refuse to abide by the law. Maybe you could explain the reasoning behind your comments? Do you have a home on Hen Island?

Mike Ross
Mike Ross
July 30, 2012 11:38 AM
Reply to  Mike Ross

Ray, what are you talking about??? We should store as much water as we need; I’m bloody sure there’s a lot more water than 33,000 gallons stored around Westchester! You’re talking about ‘standing water’ – that means water standing to no good purpose – old tires etc. as you mention. Not water stored for domestic use!

And what health risks are you talking about? We’re back to mosquitos again; unless the people who use rainwater for domestic supply on the island LIKE mosquitos, they’ll try to keep them down the same as everyone else. Who else do mosquitos on Hen Island affect anyway? And what law obliges them to kill mosquitos anyway, as you claim???

I’m sorry, you’re frankly coming across like an obsessive kook. You’re really not looking very good here.

Heal The
Heal The
July 23, 2012 10:48 AM

Wrong, people should worry and they should be very concerned. We find it interesting that Mamaroneck was the first to test positive this year for WNV. Usually it is Rye.

The Westchester County Health Department along with Mayor Doug French allows the storage of over thirty three thousand gallons (33,000) of stagnant water on Hen Island located at the entrance to the Mamaroneck and Rye Harbors. The City and the County have been avoiding enforcement of regulations for years on Hen Island.

Mayor Doug French is best friends with the Volpe’s who family controls Hen Island. As a result the Rye and Mamaroneck communities have to deal with mosquitoes. This is a total failure of the Mayor and the Health Department to protect the health and safety of residents.

Copy and paste the below link to view water systems in use today on Hen Island;

• C O M M U N I T Y • C A L E N D A R •

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