The Record-Review – The official newspaper of Bedford and Pound Ridge, New York


DECEMBER 16, 2011

The great energy experiment, part 3

On Monday, Dec. 19, at 8 p.m., at the Bedford Town House, the Bedford 2020 Coalition will be celebrating “the first families to make their homes more energy efficent.” Along with the families, the contractors involved in the work will be on hand.

In past editorials, we wrote about our personal experience participating in the Energize Bedford pilot program.

The process began early this year with an energy audit. In the half-day process, we saw how air leaked from our home. We witnessed via modern technology — a “RetroTec air current tester” — the cracks between our windows and doors and leaks around the chimney and laundry machines. Our house was thermographed and combustion safety tested. We learned we were losing more than half our energy efficiency through drafts and inadequate insulation. It was a compelling presentation, and after hearing cost analyses and energy savings ratios, we decided the upgrades were worth pursuing.

This summer, we described the loan process and the work performed by a local contractor. This included applying for a low-interest loan, several days of energy-efficiency construction upgrades, an audit of the audit, and concluded this month with a paint touch-up (alas, one of the hidden costs of the program.)

After the work was completed, we received a call from Heather Rae of Energize Bedford, who ran through a checklist of items we should be aware of. She conducted a thorough phone interview about the process and the work. We also received calls from people seeking references for our contractor, which we gladly provided.

In October, we received an email from Honeywell Systems, on behalf of the New York State Energy and Redevelopment Authority. Honeywell explained that NYSERDA, which sponsors the program, sends out audits to about 15 percent of the people who receive the audits and the upgrades. After a delay due to storms, we received a visit from their auditor. The representative conducted a thorough two-hour inspection, with our contractor on hand. If there were something wrong with the work, we would be alerted, he said. So far, so good.

On Monday night we’ll be standing along with 16 other families to receive our “Energy Seal,” “in recognition of the improvements in energy efficiency you have achieved in your home.”

This week was the first of frigid temperatures, so we paid particular attention to the comfort factor. Without adjusting the thermostats from normal levels, the rooms — even the traditionally coldest ones — did seem warmer. Anecdotally, there is a sense of an almost “vacuum seal” keeping things in, no doubt from the commercial-grade weatherstripping, dense pack cellulose, one-half pound attic floor foam, fireplace draft stopper and air sealing of all perimeter fenestrations — sort of like a Ziploc bag effect. 

With cold days and colder nights, we’re feeling warmer already, and, we hope, will be throughout the winter.

The Energize Bedford program may not be around forever — just look at the soon-to-be late, great open space fund — so take advantage of it while you can.

Guitar hero

Martin Schechter was a multifaceted character who was as vital and important to our community as any board member or committee volunteer. Mr. Schechter, who died last week at age 60, was a longtime Katonah resident and familiar fixture on the street.

Giving up the corporate life in middle age, he followed his passions, becoming a blues guitarist, supporter of fellow musicians and a counterculture hero. For those youngsters who worked at Steger’s for years, he provided a certain dignity in his daily toil, providing the music of the Delta blues for those picking up candy and lottery tickets.

It couldn’t have been an easy life, and getting a smile out of Marty could be a task. But it was always well-earned, as shown by the loyalty of his friends and family, especially the musicians who were part of his blues night entourage. An event in his honor takes place this Sunday at Katie Mac’s in Mount Kisco. Running from 2 p.m. until the wee hours of the morning, blues musicians from all around will be coming to wail and moan, and to sing the praises of our own Howlin’ Wolf.

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The official newspaper of the towns of Bedford and Pound Ridge, New York



Pound Ridge/Scotts Corners

  1. Scotts Corner Market – Trinity Corners Shopping Center;  55 Westchester Avenue

  2. Pound Ridge Sunoco — 66 Westchester Avenue    

  3. Sam Parker Country Market — 257 Westchester Avenue    

Bedford Village

  1. Bedford Rexall Pharmacy — Hunting Ridge Mall; 424 Old Post Road  

  2. Village Green Deli — Village Green; Routes 22 and 172    

  3. Bedford Shell — Routes 22 and 172 (at blinking light); 848 So. Bedford Road

  4. Village Service Center —193 Pound Ridge Road (at Long Ridge Road intersection)    

Bedford Hills

  1. Bedford Hills Deli – 7 Babbitt Road    

  2. Bueti’s Deli – 526 Bedford Road (Route 117)


  1. NoKA Joe’s – 25 Katonah Avenue    

  2. Steger’s Paper Mill – 89 Katonah Avenue    

  3. Perks – 197 Katonah Avenue    

  4. Katonah Pharmacy – Katonah Shopping Center; 294 Katonah Avenue   

  5. Bagel Shoppe – Katonah Shopping Center; 280 Katonah Avenue    

  6. Katonah Sunoco – 105 Bedford Road

Mount Kisco

  1. Teamo/Mt. Kisco News – 239 Main Street    

  2. Connie’s at Northern Westchester Hospital
    400 E. Main Street    

South Salem/Vista

  1. JNR Pharmacy – 222 Oakridge Commons;
    Route 123   

Cross River

  1. Bagel Boys Café – Cross River Shopping Center; Routes 121 and 35    

  2. Cross River Shell Station – Route 35    

  3. Cameron’s Deli –  890 Route 35    

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