The Yonkers Insider Online


Posted on: April 17, 2012


For Immediate Release


Environmental Advocates of New York – the top statewide environmental group that monitors state legislation – has identify a bill sponsored by Westchester Assemblyman George Latimer (D-Rye) as a “Super Bill”, one of the highest priority among all proposed legislation. The bill, A.7137, would provide a net increase in resources allocated to the Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) used to fund major environmental projects statewide. It would phase unclaimed deposits collected by the state through the Returnable Beverage Container Law from the General Fund into the EPF over four years.

 Assemblyman Latimer co-sponsors the bill with Republican Senator Mark Grisanti (R-Erie County), and credited environmental activist and lawyer J. Henry Neale of Scarsdale for bringing the concept into consideration. “This proves once again the value of citizen advocacy in taking a good idea, and giving it the attention it deserves”, Latimer said.

In describing the bill, Environmental Advocates noted that since 2003, approximately $500 million in New York State funds has been swept from the EPF for General Fund relief; since 2008, the EPF appropriation has been reduced from $255 million to $134 million. New revenues are needed support the many important projects that protect New York’s families and our shared environment. Some of those programs include protecting natural resources and community character, eliminating solid waste, keeping family farms working, and preventing pollution and invasive species.

New York State collects about $115 million from unclaimed bottle deposits on an annual basis.

These revenues would be phased in over four years, starting in State Fiscal Year 2013-14. Also, the bill specifies that this new revenue would not replace the traditional source of funding for the EPF but would supplement the current funding source.  This bill would not amend the mechanism that collects the unclaimed deposits in the current bottle bill law. Latimer indicated that the revenues generated by bottle deposit law, which keeps communities cleaner and encourages recycling, should be used to benefit state programs to protect our air, land, and water.

The bill is currently in the Assembly Environmental Conservation Committee and the Senate Finance Committee. Favorable action is targeted for this spring.

Latimer has long been a staunch supporter of the environment, and has often received top scores from Environmental Advocates for his positions and votes. Naming this bill a “Super Bill” makes it a top priority for environmental groups – and more likely to pass the legislature.

For more information, contact Assemblyman Latimer 777-3832.

To review EA’s bill ratings, view their website at

To view the bill on-line, click:

Bipartisan Team of Legislators To Facilitate Municipal Flooding Advisory Board.

The first meeting of the Bronx River Advisory Board (BRAB) took place today in the committee meeting room of the Westchester County Board of Legislators.  The advisory board was established as a requirement of the “Westchester County Storm Management Law” which was enacted in February 2011. 

The BRAB was created as a partnership among the municipalities along the Bronx River Watershed and Westchester County.  The group’s primary objective is to address storm water management and flooding issues in those participating communities. 

In addition to the representatives from the municipalities, this initial organizational meeting was also attended by Westchester County Legislators whose districts are wholly or partially comprised of communities along the Bronx River.  Legislator Bill Ryan (D-District 5) moderated the meeting and was joined by Legislators, Sheila Marcotte (R-District 10), Alfreda Williams, (D-District 8), Michael Smith (R-District 3) and Mary Jane Shimsky (D-District 12).

At the meeting, Legislators Alfreda Williams, Sheila Marcotte and Gordon Burrows were designated as temporary, co-facilitators for the group.  After the organizational process is complete the BRAB will function as a self governed body comprised solely of the municipal representatives and will work with the county to implement the recommendations that the advisory board submits.

Legislator Alfreda Williams said, “Certainly it’s long overdue to start the effort.  My communities in Greenburgh that border the Bronx River, have sustained serious damage in the Fall of 2011.  I’m looking forward to this collaboration to hopefully begin the process to mitigate flooding.”

Legislator Sheila Marcotte said, “I am grateful to the municipal representatives that have stepped forward to address the very serious issues of flooding in these communities.  We need the participation of all of our municipal partners in order to begin the remediation of this very costly and traumatic issue of chronic flooding and the damage that results from it”

Legislator Gordon Burrows was an early advocate for the formation of the advisory board and has worked with the county and municipal government on flood mitigation projects like the work done at Scout Field.  Legislator Burrows was unable to attend the meeting but offered his full support to the group saying, “I am hopeful that this group will finally take a holistic approach to this problem and I believe we will see a positive impact from their hard work.”  Burrows went on to say, “We have to begin looking at this issue as a regional problem.  We are all individual communities but the poor condition of the ground water management system in communities up and down the river has a deleterious effect on each and every municipality along its banks.”

Greg Luisi a Trustee from Tuckahoe who represents his Village on the advisory board said, “I’m very glad we’ve made this first step to mitigate the flooding problems that have affected the communities along the Bronx River.”

The BRAB is scheduled to meet again in mid-May.

Diane DiDonato Roth Announcement Speech)

A hundred years ago in the foothills of Frosinone, Italy, a dream began with the humble hopes of Julian and Eugenia DiDonato.  Their dream was to one day raise a family in a country with inherited God given freedoms… A community instilled with faith, family values, and a sense of purpose… and to follow a promise that with hard work, determination and personal responsibility, there was no dream their children and grandchildren could not realize.
That country is America, that community is Westchester and that dream is being realized today as I announce my candidacy for the New York State Senate.
Three generations later, the story of my family, like yours, is truly an American story… But even more, it is truly a Westchester story…  A story of faith, family and friends… As a life-long resident of Westchester, I grew up in Pelham, as the youngest daughter of Anthony and JoAnne DiDonato, attended St. Catherine’s Grammar School, Maria Regina High School and received a degree from Iona College.
Today I sit as an elected member of the Town Board in North Castle, which covers North White Plains, Armonk and Banksville… North Castle is my home, where I live with my Husband Tom, my daughter Holly and son Tommy… My Mom JoAnne, (who’s here today) currently lives in Rye Brook and my brother Julian DiDonato lives in Eastchester where he runs the youth soccer program that touches over 15,000 families every year… Yes, my family’s story is truly a Westchester story. 
Which is why it saddens me to no end to travel around this district and see how the failed policies of recent years have had a crushing effect on our neighborhood’s and town squares, from Yonkers to Eastchester, Harrison, to Bedford and New Rochelle to Mamaroneck… There are far too many signs that read: “For Sale” or “For Rent” – and not enough signs that say “Help Wanted.” Even worse, there are storefronts that don’t have any signs at all, because they are completely bordered-up… More than I can remember in my life.
Here in Westchester,  we live in one of the most heavily-taxed and expensive places in the country…Jobs are lost… Innovation is stifled… and hard working families and businesses gave up on the area and simply move out.
I am running for State Senate because we can do better!…  And we must!
I am running to End Albany’s Tax and Spend Insanity… Our children’s future depends on our ability to behave in Albany like we do around our kitchen table: spending less than we make and resist the urge to live off our credit cards.
I am running to Fight for Women and Working Moms… Right now, almost every major decision that affects our State is made by the Governor, the Senate Leader, and the Speaker of the Assembly, all career politicians, all men. We must shatter that glass ceiling and make sure that working moms are heard on tax reduction, job creation, our children’s future and strengthening our fiscal footing.
And I run to Grow our Small Businesses… They are the backbone of our community… As a small businesswoman and local elected official I know personally how taxes and over regulation kills small businesses. The next wave of job creation can only come when government gets out of the way.
These are issues that affect my family, friends and constituents on a daily basis.
These are issues that (unlike my primary opponent) I didn’t have to move into a new district to understand.
Before I get a chance to square off against Democrat George Latimer in the general election and discuss how out of touch his liberal views are with mainstream values of this community… I must first face “Scarsdale Bob Cohen” in a primary… Yep, he’s back… And this time, in a shameful act of political opportunism, he actually moved from his long-time hometown of Scarsdale, into the newly formed 37th district, not because of any great love of the people or the concern of the communities, that I have lived in all my life, but rather for his own political ego and the gain of the special interests in Albany!
I was warned to stay out of this race… The “Old Boys Club” warned me… They said: “How can you compete with him? He already has the endorsements of too many county leaders”… I say: “I don’t want their endorsements!”… The only endorsements I want are from the people of this district… The people I grew up with!
They said to me: “But he lost the last election by only a narrow margin, don’t get in this race and shake things up for him”… Well, this is true. He did lose the last election by a narrow margin, but he lost… He’ll remind you that he received 49.5 percent of the vote in the last election and that this is the voting base he’s working from in this election cycle… Well, let me tell you something… There is no such thing as the Cohen “voting base”!… It doesn’t exist!… Two years ago the anti-Suzi Oppenheimer vote existed, the anti- Liberal vote existed, but the “Cohen vote” is a complete mirage with a foundation built on sand… Two years ago any Republican would have gotten his percentage of the vote and a stronger candidate would have won.
They told me: “that he is the inevitable candidate for the Republicans and the most electable.”… I say with my entry into this race and Cohen’s hometown of Scarsdale no longer a factor in this new district with new demographics, that he is not only not inevitable…  Bob Cohen is not electable!
So as he travels around this district making empty promises and giving false hope about reforming Albany, I as the only elected official and true conservative in this primary, actually have a voting record to back up the talk!
I voted against every proposed property tax increase and will continue to do so when I go to Albany!
I forced all town employees to contribute to their healthcare premiums.
I capped post-retirement benefits for town employees and demonstrated real fiscal restraint by eliminating costly fringe benefits to elected officials and part-time employees.
I declined to participate in the state pension plan and declined Town-provided health care, because we simply could not afford the costs.
I wish I could tell you about “Scarsdale Bob’s” voting record… But he doesn’t have one… He’s never been elected to anything and of all the candidates in this race I am the only one who knows firsthand how Albany’s policies impact local government.
While being a very nice man. Bob Cohen is the wrong man. The wrong candidate. In the wrong district.
He had his chance two years ago and the voters decided… It is now time for others with an authentic passion for community service and an iron will of conviction rooted in the Westchester values of faith, family and friends, to pick up the mantle of leadership and carry this party to victory in November, which I will do!… Send me to Albany so that together we can continue to fight for all our Westchester stories!
Thank You and God Bless You.

NEWS from: The Westchester Independence Party


Independence Party Backs David Buchwald for State Assembly.

The Westchester Independence Party has endorsed White Plains Councilman David Buchwald in his race against incumbent State Assemblyman Robert Castelli. Referring to Buchwald as a breath of fresh air, the Independence Party said he would bring the skills of a productive and independent minded legislator to his representation of the people of the newly renumbered 93rd Assembly District. Buchwald, with a physics degree and experience as an economist, a tax attorney and a local elected official, will be in a position as an Assemblyman not just to take positions on bills, but will have the capacity to persuade colleagues to adopt the best policies for New York State. On the White Plains Common Council, Buchwald has shown a willingness to speak up and put the interests of the 57,000 constituents he represents first. For these reasons, the Westchester Independence Party is proud to offer their full support to David Buchwald for the State Assembly.

Dr. Giulio Cavallo, Westchester Independence Party Chair, said “Independent and moderate voters, who look first and foremost to integrity and effectiveness in government should enthusiastically support David Buchwald. He is a Harvard and Yale graduate and fights for the common man – that is exactly the type of person we want representing Westchester.”

David Buchwald is the Democratic candidate in the Assembly race. When he ran for the White Plains Common Council in 2009, Buchwald had the support of both the Democratic and Independence Parties. Castelli ran last time for the State Assembly as the candidate of the Republican and Conservative Parties.

The 93rd Assembly District covers the towns of Bedford, Harrison, Lewisboro, Mount Kisco, New Castle, North Castle, North Salem, Pound Ridge and half of White Plains.


Poll Shows only 42% of New Yorkers Plan to Support Kirsten Gillibrand

“Yesterday’s Marist Poll proves that Kirsten Gillibrand is beatable and there’s a reason why: Since being appointed to the senate by David Paterson, Ms. Gillibrand has veered dangerously to the political left. She now has the ignominious distinction of being ranked the “Most Liberal senator in America,” based on her voting record. Nowhere is that more evident today than in her votes to force gas prices higher while New Yorkers struggle to get by. Many New Yorkers have buyers remorse when it comes to Ms. Gillibrand, and many more find themselves unsure of just exactly who she is as a legislator. That number will grow as this campaign continues. Once her status as the “Most Liberal senator in America” is made famous, moderate and conservative New York voters, who cherish common sense over ideological politics, will know what to do.”

–Cong. Bob Turner

Re-scheduled Hearing

You are cordially invited to join  MIKE SPANO Mayor of Yonkers For a Party Celebrating his 48th Birthday.
Thursday, April 19th
6:00pm to 8:00pm


The Fairways at Dunwoodie
1 Wasylenko Drive
Yonkers, NY 10704

Cocktails and Light Fare
Patron $500
Benefactor $1,000
Sponsor $2,500

RSVP: Eric Molly (646) 643-8747/(914) 294-0004 or
CONTRIBUTIONS WILL BE ACCEPTED AT THE EVENT – MAKE CHECKS PAYABLE TO “Mayor Mike Spano Committee”, 5 Colonial Parkway North ,Yonkers, NY 10710

Mark Conrad, Fordham University Sports Law Expert, Weighs In.

April 17, 2012, New York, NY– The federal government has started jury selection aimed at retrying baseball legend Roger Clemens for perjury, allegedly for lying during his testimony to Congress on his use of performance-enhancing drugs. 
Mark Conrad, an Associate Professor of Law and Ethics at Fordham University, has been following the ramifications of using performance-enhancing drugs in Major League Baseball for the last 15 years.  Professor Conrad is widely quoted for his expertise in prominent cases, including the trials of baseball legend Barry Bonds and the lawsuit against the New York Mets by the victims of Bernie Madoff.
“After a mistrial was called because of the introduction of admissible evidence, the government decided to take aim at Roger Clemens for a second trial, which could last four to six weeks.  It will be a tough go for prosecutors, who will rely on few witnesses.  They will also have to contend with an angry judge and a public attitude that this is an issue behind us and should not be a top priority.” -Professor Mark Conrad
About Professor Mark Conrad

Professor Conrad is an Associate Professor of Legal and Ethical Studies at Fordham University and a member of the New York State Bar Association.  Conrad teaches a variety of courses, including Sports and the Law that covers all kinds of issues involving professional and amateur sports.  These issues include league structures, contract issues, labor law, broadcasting and intellectual property issues and policy initiatives.  Conrad has also written for several technical publications and professional journals, including the New York Law Journal.

About Fordham University:

Founded in 1841, Fordham is the Jesuit University of New York, offering exceptional education distinguished by the Jesuit tradition to more than 15,100 students in its four undergraduate colleges and its six graduate and professional schools. It has residential campuses in the Bronx and Manhattan, a campus in West Harrison, N.Y., the Louis Calder Center Biological Field Station in Armonk, N.Y., and the London Centre at Heythrop College in the United Kingdom.

“While President Obama and Senator Gillibrand wage class warfare to distract Americans from our massive debt bomb, our economy continues to stagnate because job-providers see no real leadership in the Senate or White House. Mr. Obama’s and Ms. Gillibrand’s tax plan is driven by an extreme left-wing political ideology that has resulted in massive overspending and a new and crippling tax at the gas pumps.”
An overhaul of the nation’s tax code requires a strong political will, and it would have an immediate impact on reviving our economy. A simpler, fairer and lower tax rate for individuals and small businesses will foster growth and inspire confidence among our job creators. Americans are looking for courageous leaders in Washington who are willing to work on true reform, not more misleading political rhetoric. “

Yo Chick! Yo Honey! Keeping Chickens & Bees in the City!
Thursday, April 19

6:15 -7:30 pm: $7 adults, $3 kids

YOH Chick – Keeping Chickens in the City

Did you know that city-dwellers raising chickens is a trend? Now even New York City allows it! Check your municipal code and join the “urban chicken movement” for  healthy, home grown eggs, quality nitrogen-rich fertilizer, pest and insect control, and companionship. Learn more at this fun forum featuring the Zander family of Somers and their feathered flock. Coop displays too. Co-sponsored by Beczak Environmental Education Center, Groundwork USA and The City of Yonkers Green Policy Task Force. Email or call (914) 377-1900, ext. 13. Beczak, 35 Alexander St., Yonkers.

Thursday, April 266:15 -7:15 pm: $7 adults, $3 kids 

YOH Honey – Keeping Bees in the City

City-dwellers in New York City and beyond are starting to keep bees to save our crops.  Learn the basics of beekeeping from Douglass Decandia of the Food Bank of Westchester. Stay on to screen “Queen of the Sun: What Are the Bees Telling Us,” an award-winning film about the global bee decline and the philosophy of sustainable beekeeping. Co-sponsored by SlowFood Metro North, Beczak Environmental Education Center, Groundwork USA, and The City of Yonkers Green Policy Task Force. Email or call (914) 377-1900, ext. 12. Beczak, 35 Alexander St., Yonkers.

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