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Today’s 4 Things: Pedestrian Peril, Holiday Trains, Teacher Returns, Championship Dreams

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This is the first week of the fall when we take a bit of a quick breath. 

After the lazy, hazy days of summer, post-Labor Day, we dive right into Back to School, the return of varsity sports, and tons of autumn events. 

By the time October rolls around, the election season is in full swing, and we’re drowning in candidate coverage. 

We swim upstream through our election preview edition, then follow up with the more manageable print results coverage, the Tuesday after the elections, as we also report on the handful of local high school sports teams still alive in the hunt for state titles.

And then we arrive at today. Phew. 

With election season mercifully over, we turn our lens to other topics. 

Let’s start with a story out of the City of Peekskill: Pedestrians are being struck by vehicles at a truly alarming rate.

Since just Oct. 7, only a bit more than a month ago, there have been six — SIX! — incidents at different intersections throughout the city where individuals have been severely hurt or escaped serious injury. Something is deeply amiss. 

Thankfully, a local grassroots group is zeroing in on the issue. 

“You’re more likely in Peekskill to get hit by a car than be the victim of a crime,” said Conor Greene, a co-founder of Peekskill Walks and a former mayoral candidate. “If we had six residents getting assaulted on our streets, the city would take action. We’re probably fortunate that we haven’t had more people killed on our streets [in accidents], but we’ve had many incidents that have been life-altering.”

On the broader topic, distracted driving is a major problem in the age of texting and driving. I remember the push as a kid in the 80s to raise awareness about the dangers of drunk driving, with groups like M.A.D.D. 

While there’s some attention on the issue of texting and driving, my impression is there needs to be increased awareness and enforcement. 

Meanwhile, the currently unhinged Elon Musk should abandon his disastrous Twitter takeover and turn his attention to fully functioning, affordable, safe self-driving cars at Tesla and put the entire issue to bed. But that’s a different story for a different day.

Read news editor Rick Pezzullo’s full report on the Peekskill pedestrian crisis. 

Switching gears — if you’re looking for something a little bit different and fun to do in the coming weeks, check out the New Castle Historical Society’s Great Holiday Train Show.

It’s a collection of about 10 replica trains that are set up to operate, each in a different room of the Greeley House on King Street in Chappaqua. The 19th-century farmhouse had served as iconic newspaper publisher Horace Greeley’s second home and is decorated for the season.

The show opens this Saturday, Nov. 19, and runs primarily on weekends through Jan. 8. 

Examiner Editor-in-Chief Martin Wilbur fills you in here on the event, which is in its second year. 

Up in Somers, I was relieved to see how hysteria seemed to lose the day. The high school English teacher who was at the center of a debate in the district after assigning a lesson with racial overtones returned to the classroom Monday. 

I got into my more nuanced view on the topic last week in this piece

But for now — stipulating the low bar — it’s just nice to see those pitchforks don’t always kill the careers of veteran public school educators. (While also acknowledging the painful scars left by having to endure such public abuse). 

Here’s the quick recap on the latest from Rick.

Second-to-last but not least, did you know we have an absolute powerhouse of a girls’ volleyball program around here in northern Westchester?

Hen Hud players and coaches celebrated the Sailors’ 11th NYSPHSAA regional title win since 2000 on Saturday. Not a typo — 11!

Examiner girls’ sports reporter Tony Pinciaro produced our coverage

Speaking of local sports, Carmel, Somers, Pleasantville, and Westlake football all earned Section 1 crowns in their respective classes last weekend. Examiner Sports Editor Ray Gallagher has that report.

Stay tuned to see if we have any local winners next weekend as these kids and coaches continue in their quests for state titles — the ultimate championship goal for high school athletes. 

That’s it for today. See you here tomorrow. And get cracking on that Thanksgiving planning. We’re only eight days out!

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