In February 2014 Raymond Tartaglione was nominated for the 2014 Westchester County Public Health Service Award by a diverse group of Westchester residents including a medical doctor, an attorney and a media executive. What follows is text from that nomination:
“The City of Rye in southern Westchester County NY is one of America's wealthiest communities. Yet Rye is also home to Westchester County's troubled Hen Island, an offshore seasonal colony of 33 "cottages" where rooftop rainwater collection systems fill unprotected cisterns and a lack of maintenance which breeds swarms of mosquitoes in season daily.
West Nile Virus was positively identified on the island in 2012 by the New York State Laboratory however a handful of island property owners, along with some in city and county government agencies, have seemed united in blocking the removal and remediation of these dangerous primitive systems. Hen Island also has the dubious distinction of being the site of the last working outhouse in Westchester County. And that outhouse, unbelievably, is somehow still legal also.
Heal The Harbor.com headed by Mr. Tartaglione of Purchase and Rye has led an almost decade long public awareness campaign to educate the residents of the seasonal health dangers to Hen Island's contiguous communities of Mamaroneck, Harrison, Rye and beyond. In 2013 among many other undertakings and short local health and safety awareness videos Mr. Tartaglione produced and web-released two new and especially powerful Hen Island long form documentary feature videos.
The first, released July 9th 2013 is entitled "Rye's Failure To Protect" runs 37 minutes
The second, released December 15 th 2013 is entitled "Rye Vector Borne" runs 10 minutes.
Both of these features are immediately available for the public to view by simply clicking on the above link or entering their titles into the main YouTube search engine.
Because of Mr. Tartaglione's persistence and diligence, awareness of the health and safety issues on Hen Island has solidified and a majority of Rye Residents now believe things out there need improvement. In fact, after years of official denials and local infighting about these dangers most now feel remediation can't come soon enough.
( Click here to view Mr. Tartaglione's awareness efforts presented at the July 2013 Rye City Council meeting.)
Mr. Tartaglione has gone above and beyond to make a difference in promoting the mission of public health and safety in the several Westchester County communities that are impacted by Hen Island issues. His supporters in Rye hope that the Westchester Board of Health will consider him for recognition based upon his years of public service and honor him as a role model for those who put 'service above self' in helping protect the public health in Westchester's Sound Shore region.”