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A.G. SCHNEIDERMAN ANNOUNCES SETTLEMENT OF LAWSUIT AGAINST UTICA CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT TO ENSURE EQUAL EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMMIGRANT AND REFUGEE STUDENTS.

Schneiderman: My Office Is Committed To Ensuring That Every Child Has Access To Education Regardless of Immigrant Or Refugee Status.

NEW YORK – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced the settlement of a lawsuit against the Utica City School District ensuring equal educational opportunities for immigrant and refugee students. The complaint in that suit, filed in November 2015, alleged that the District denied enrollment to immigrant and refugee students above the age of sixteen in the District’s only public high school, and instead diverted those students to inferior, and segregated, alternative education programs.  The consent decree settling the lawsuit requires the District to create new policies to ensure that such students can be enrolled in high school, as well as to retain an internal Administrator and an external Independent Monitor to ensure compliance with the agreement and with federal and state laws.  Moreover, the District will offer compensatory educational services to all immigrant students who experienced delays or denials of enrollment, and will ensure that any future alternative education program offered by the District meet standards prescribed by federal law.  

“Full and equal access to education is not only a legal right, it is the very foundation of the American Dream,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “School districts should not place unnecessary barriers in the way of students seeking enrollment.  Our country and state were built in part by the significant labors of immigrants, and my office is committed to ensuring that New York’s education system is open to any and all children, regardless of race, national origin, English language proficiency, or immigrant or refugee status.”

The Attorney General began looking into the District’s practices as part of its joint compliance review with the New York State Education Department of enrollment policies and procedures of school districts across New York State, in order to determine whether districts were impermissibly discriminating against students or prospective students on the basis of immigration status.  To date the Attorney General has entered into agreements with twenty-two school districts as part of this initiative, including one with the Westbury Union Free School District in February 2016, which engaged in similar underlying conduct as that alleged in the Attorney General’s complaint against the Utica City School District.  Those agreements ensure that immigrant students – many of them unaccompanied minors – have full and equal access to educational opportunities.

The City of Utica is a major resettlement center for refugees coming to the United States from around the world, including from the countries of Vietnam, Myanmar, Russia, Ukraine, and Somalia,; many of these refugees fled ethnic persecution in their home countries.  According to the 2010 Census, approximately eighteen percent of Utica’s total population was born outside of the U.S., and over a quarter speaks a language other than English at home.  The area served by the District has one of the largest proportions of limited English proficient households in New York, with more than one in ten households having no member over the age of fourteen who speaks English “very well.”

In March 2015 the Attorney General opened a formal investigation into the Utica City School District alleging that the District discriminated against immigrant and limited English proficient individuals above the age of sixteen, on the basis of national origin and immigration status.  After several attempts to resolve the investigation failed, in November 2015 the Attorney General filed suit against the District in the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York.  Today’s consent decree resolves that complaint.

In its complaint, the Attorney General alleged that the District created and implemented a policy in 2007 that denied enrollment into the District’s only public high school, Thomas R. Proctor High School, to any student over the age of 16 who had limited English proficiency.  The complaint further alleged that the District rigorously enforced this policy through the efforts of senior District officials, its central office administrative staff, high school staff, and staff located at a local refugee center.  Rather than allow these students to enroll in high school, the District diverted them into alternative programs that provided English as a Second Language classes, or provided minimal preparation for the high school equivalency exam, but could not result in a high school diploma.  As a result, the complaint alleged, dozens of newly arrived immigrants and refugees above the age of sixteen were deprived of any opportunity to attend classes with their high school peers or to earn credits toward a diploma.  The complaint alleged that the District’s conduct violated federal and state laws, as well as the guarantee of equal protection of the laws under the U.S. and New York Constitutions.

The consent decree entered into between the Attorney General and the District, subject to court approval, requires the District to do the following:

  • Modify District enrollment materials;
  • Develop new enrollment procedures governing the activity of District personnel responsible for enrollment and academic placement;
  • Develop training materials addressing permissible and impermissible inquiries in the enrollment process, and legal requirements concerning academic placement and the entitlement to a public education until a student turns 21, as well as annual training for relevant District personnel; 
  • Hire or designate a new Enrollment Administrator responsible for enrollment and throughout the District;
  • Retain an Independent Monitor to assure compliance with applicable law and the agreement;
  • Provide compensatory educational services to all immigrant students who were delayed or denied enrollment or diverted into non-degree bearing programs during the past four years; and
  • Obtain written pre-clearance authorization from the Attorney General before creating any new alternative education program for refugee or immigrant youth, or before counseling or referring such youth to any alternative program.

Lily Htoo, the English as a New Language Home School Coordinator for the Albany City School District, said, “I am happy to hear that the Attorney General has settled his lawsuit against the Utica City School District.  When I was eighteen years old, I moved to Utica after living in a refugee camp in Thailand for years.  When I arrived here, my English was very limited, but I took a friend who spoke better English to Proctor High School with me and tried to enroll.  An employee at the high told me I was too old to enroll there, and I was devastated.  I ended up working in casinos and factories for years, but I finally managed to enroll in Hudson Valley Community College, and then SUNY Albany, and recently graduated.  I always wanted to help refugees and immigrants because of what happened to me, and I did not want other refugees and immigrants to be denied the right to go to high school just because they arrived here when they were older.  That is why I took the job I have now.  I know the real benefits of allowing older immigrant students to attend high school, like the integration of students with non-refugees, avoiding the isolation that can happen to newly arrived immigrants, learning life skills, and learning about the culture here in the United States.”

“As a leading advocate and service provider for immigrants and resettled refugees in the State of New York, Catholic Charities is pleased the Attorney General has reached a settlement with the Utica City School District,” said Vincent W. Colonno, Statewide Chair of the New York State Council of Catholic Charities Directors.  “Now our communities can work to successfully welcome those who have been resettled in the United States due to war, conflict, and persecution in their home countries – especially children who are seeking an education.  Catholic Charities is proud to provide needed services throughout New York to assist immigrants, and we continue to stand for just and fair policies to give our new neighbors every chance at success.”

This matter is being handled by Assistant Attorneys General Justin Deabler, Diane Lucas and Ajay Saini of the Civil Rights Bureau, with the assistance of bureau support staff.  The Bureau is led by Bureau Chief Lourdes Rosado and is part of the Division of Social Justice, which is led by Executive Deputy Attorney General for Social Justice Alvin Bragg.

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Veterans Paddle in Yonkers on Saturday, July 23.

 

YPRC’s Second Annual Open House for VA Hospital in Montrose.

 

(July 19, 2016) Yonkers Paddling & Rowing Club’s second annual Veterans Paddle is Saturday, July 23, 10 AM – 1 PM. Veterans from the Veterans Health Administration in Montrose are invited to this all volunteer-run event that includes kayaking on the Hudson River and a barbeque at the YPRC boathouse.

 

Frank Horvath, a Yonkers resident and the catalyst for the Veterans Paddle, is a veteran himself, having served in the Air Force in the 1980s. He works as an electrician at the Veterans Health Administration in Montrose by day. But in his off-time, he is an avid kayaker, member of the Yonkers Paddling & Rowing Club, and currently serving on their board and as House Captain of their downtown boat house. Horvath also volunteers for Heroes on the Hudson, a much larger annual event that teaches disabled veterans how to kayak and sail, held in Manhattan, sponsored by VA New York Harbor Healthcare System, VA NY/NJ Prosthetics and Sensory Aids Service, and the Wounded Warrior Project.

 

YPRC expects a group of ten to fifteen veterans at the Veterans Paddle. “These are vets who lost their jobs and came to the VA to find employment and housing,” explains Horvath. “Programs like YPRC’s Veterans Paddle help them back into society.”

 

“What surprised me last year,” says Horvath, “is that the YPRC volunteers enjoyed the Veterans Paddle as much as the vets!”

 

YONKERS PADDLING& ROWING CLUB (YPRC)

Yonkers Paddling & Rowing Club serves as an anchor institution along the Yonkers riverfront nurturing paddling and environmental awareness.

 

YPRC’s programs include rescue and paddling skills clinics, a winter boat-building workshop, and free public kayak sessions at the JFK Marina in Yonkers, which put over 1,190 people on the river in 2015!

 

2013 marked the “75th Jubilee” of YPRC’s historic boathouse just north of the Yonkers Pier. It was home to Yonkers Canoe Club (YCC) which is remembered for the two Olympic Gold medals it brought home in 1948. Although the boathouse was submerged in four feet of water during Superstorm Sandy, the members rebuilt it and continue the club’s long legacy of community involvement.

 

YPRC has been recognized through the receipt of grant support from the City of Yonkers, the State of New York, Westchester Community Foundation, Hudson River Estuary program, Hudson River Improvement Fund, Hudson River Foundation for Science and Environmental Research, Inc., Toyota, and Public Lands Every Day, a National Environmental Education Foundation Program.

July 21, 2016

The New York Times

NYTimes.com »

Breaking News Alert

July 21, 2016

BREAKING NEWS
Roger Ailes, who reshaped TV news, has stepped down as Fox News chief over sexual harassment allegations

Thursday, July 21, 2016 4:21 PM EDT

Roger Ailes stepped down on Thursday as chairman and chief executive of Fox News, ending a 20-year reign as head of the cable network he built into a ratings juggernaut and an influential platform for Republican politics.

July 21, 2016

The New York Times

NYTimes.com »

Breaking News Alert

July 21, 2016

BREAKING NEWS
The N.B.A. has pulled its 2017 All-Star Game from Charlotte in response to North Carolina’s transgender bathroom law

Thursday, July 21, 2016 5:53 PM EDT

The National Basketball Association announced Thursday that it would not hold the 2017 All-Star Game in Charlotte, N.C., in a reaction to state legislation passed earlier this year that eliminated specific anti-discrimination protections for lesbians, gays and bisexuals.

Donald Trump conjured a dire picture Thursday of an America sliding deeper into poverty, violence and corruption and declared himself the only person who could avert disaster.

Accepting the Republican nomination in Cleveland, the billionaire pledged to be a voice for working Americans, restore law and order and confound elites and doubters by winning the White House in November.

“Nobody knows the system better than me, which is why I alone can fix it,” Trump said.

Trump’s address was the most crucial moment yet in his transformation, from a brash tycoon and reality star to a presidential nominee with an expansive vision of disruptive change. The speech clocked in at 1 hour 15 minutes, surpassing Bill Clinton’s 1992 marathon.

While hammering Hillary Clinton, Trump attempted to soothe divisions in the country and his party, where tensions were exposed Wednesday by Ted Cruz’s refusal to endorse Trump.

“Our convention occurs at a moment of crisis for our nation. The attacks on our police, and the terrorism in our cities, threaten our very way of life,” he said. “Any politician who does not grasp this danger is not fit to lead our country.”

Donald Trump has accepted the Republican Party’s presidential nomination: “We will lead our country back to safety, prosperity and peace.”

The 2017 NBA All-Star Game will move from Charlotte, North Carolina, because of that state’s controversial transgender bathroom law, the league has announced.

The NBA says it will announce a new site in the coming weeks. The NBA also said it hopes to hold the 2019 game in Charlotte “provided there is an appropriate resolution to this matter.”

House Bill 2, signed into law in March, prohibits people from entering bathrooms that do not match the sex on their birth certificates — a distinction many claim discriminates against the LGBT community.

Fox News chief Roger Ailes is leaving the network following sexual harassment allegations, 21st Century Fox confirms. Rupert Murdoch is now acting CEO.

Ailes’ sudden exit ends a controversial 20-year career atop Fox News, which he built essentially from scratch in 1996.

The legislation also mandated that transgender people use bathrooms that match their birth gender. The law created an immediate backlash and raised speculation that the N.B.A., the professional league most identified with engagement on social issues, would conclude it had no choice but to move the game. Read more »
Rupert Murdoch, the 85-year-old media mogul who started Fox News with Mr. Ailes, will assume the role of chairman and chief executive of Fox News channel and Fox Business Network. Read more »

Lalor_Logo.JPG

 

A.G. SCHNEIDERMAN ANNOUNCES NEW GRANT PROGRAM FOR COMMUNITIES TO COMBAT ZOMBIE HOMES.

The Zombie Remediation And Prevention Initiative Will Reverse The Proliferation Of Vacant And Abandoned Properties And Help Families Avoid Foreclosure; Adds Momentum To Recently Passed “Abandoned Property Neighborhood Relief Act”.

$13 Million Grant Initiative Made Possible By Schneiderman’s $3.2 Billion Settlement Agreement With Morgan Stanley.

Schneiderman: This Office Will Continue To Help Communities Emerge From The Foreclosure Crisis And Its Enduring Legacy Of Zombie Homes.

SYRACUSE – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced a new grant initiative to address the growing statewide problem of so-called “zombie homes” – vacant and abandoned homes that are not maintained during a prolonged foreclosure proceeding.

The Zombie Remediation and Prevention Initiative will provide $13 million in grants to local governments throughout the state through a competitive application process. The 100 communities with the greatest problem of zombies and vacancy have been invited to apply for the funds. The money will address housing vacancy and blight by bolstering municipalities’ capacity for housing code enforcement, for tracking and monitoring vacant properties, and for legal enforcement capacity to ensure banks and mortgage companies comply with local and state law.  The grants also require communities to develop innovative programs and policies and connect at-risk homeowners to services so they can avoid foreclosure and stay in their homes. The initiative coincides with the recent passage of the Abandoned Property Neighborhood Relief Act, a bill that was authored by Attorney General Schneiderman, championed by Senator Jeff Klein (D-Bronx) and Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein (D-Brooklyn), and signed into law by Governor Cuomo on June 23rd

“Too many communities across this state have been hit hard by the proliferation of zombie properties,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “This new grant initiative puts tools directly in the hands of towns and cities across the state to reverse course, rebuild from the foreclosure crisis, and put zombie homes in the rear-view mirror.”

Funding for the initiative will be drawn from the $3.2 billion settlement agreement with Morgan Stanley that Schneiderman, as co-chair of the federal-state working group on residential-mortgage-based securities, negotiated in February. That settlement generated $550 million in cash and consumer relief for New Yorkers.

The Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) is running the grant program. LISC is a national community development intermediary that specializes in affordable housing, economic development, and community revitalization. LISC selected the grantees for this program based on the number of abandoned properties within the municipality; the proportion of such properties compared to the overall size of the municipality; and its level of general economic distress. All invitees must have populations of at least 5,000 residents and at least 100 vacant and abandoned properties.

Applications are due on Tuesday, August 16th, by 5 p.m. and award notifications will be made by early September 2016.

LISC expects to award grants in amounts ranging from $75,000 to $350,000, depending on the size of the municipality, the scope of its zombie problem, and its track record and capacity for addressing such issues. Each municipality must also include a prevention component in its application, to connect families to services that help families avoid foreclosure, including programs supported by the Attorney General, describe in more detail below.

There are at least 16,000 zombie homes across the state, based on data released by Realty Trac in 2015. Zombie homes invite crime, threaten public safety, and drive down the value of surrounding homes.  Studies have shown that each zombie property reduces the value of all homes within 750 feet by one percent.

The Zombie Remediation and Prevention Initiative is but one component of Attorney General Schneiderman’s broad strategy to help New York families and communities recover from the housing crash.  He has led the fight for strong bank settlements that hold the banks accountable for their recklessness and responsible for mitigating the damage they caused.  He has obtained settlements that brought more than $70 billion to communities across the country. 

More than $5 billion of that settlement money has flowed into New York. It allowed the Office of the Attorney General to establish the Homeowners Protection Program, HOPP, in 2012, which currently funds 90 agencies across the state to provide legal services and counseling to help families stay in their homes. More than 62,000 families have been served to date; and nearly a third of them have mortgage modifications pending or approved.  In Central New York, HOPP has served 3,600 families.

That settlement money also established the New York State Mortgage Assistance Program (MAP) in 2014.  Since it began, MAP has provided $18 million in small loans to homeowners to clear other debts and qualify for mortgage modifications; it has prevented more than 650 foreclosures; and it has preserved $153 million in property value for nearby homeowners.

The Office of the Attorney General has allocated some $30 million from settlement monies toward land banks—local, nonprofit entities that purchase and rehabilitate abandoned properties that are a blight on communities across the state. Already, 16 land banks in communities from Erie to Suffolk County are working to return vacant properties to productive use, including the Syracuse Land Bank, which has obtained 1,000 properties, razed 100 of the most dilapidated, unsafe structures, and restored 270 to the market.

The initiative coincides with the recent passage of the Abandoned Property Neighborhood Relief Act, a bill that the Attorney General wrote, the Legislation passed and the Governor signed.  Among other provisions, that law requires banks to register any properties abandoned by their owners with the Department of Financial Services and to maintain those properties during the foreclosure process, and not just once the process has been completed.  Banks face significant fines for non-compliance.  The state will share the registry with localities and will run a toll-free hotline for individuals to report such properties.

“Rehabilitating blighted properties and putting them back into productive use improves the quality of life in our neighborhoods and generates more property tax revenue for municipalities,” said Mayor Stephanie A. Miner, City of Syracuse. “This grant program will support cities like Syracuse as we continue to deal with ongoing issues presented by zombie properties. I thank Attorney General Schneiderman for his ongoing commitment to housing issues faced across the State of New York.”

“The financial crisis might seem like a distant memory to some, but the vacant properties left in its wake are continuing to destroy the quality of life in many of our communities,” said Denise Scott, executive vice president with LISC. “Local leaders now have a strong policy framework, and LISC is helping deliver targeted resources and housing expertise, so neighborhoods can recover. We are gratified to be working closely with Attorney General Schneiderman’s office to help municipal leaders across the state take effective action against zombies.”

“Foreclosed and abandoned properties are a serious problem in our neighborhoods, affecting quality of life for residents and forcing localities to spend precious resources on monitoring them,” said Senator David J. Valesky. “I commend Attorney General Schneiderman for taking steps to address this issue. I am confident these grants will make a difference here in Syracuse and across the state.”

“Zombie properties have devastating impacts on our communities,” said Assemblywoman Pamela J. Hunter. “When they fall into disrepair at the hand of absentee banks, they attract crime and lower the property values of the surrounding homes. We need to invest in programs, like the one announced today, that will help our local municipalities and homeowners come together and fight against the blight caused by these zombie properties.”

“I commend Attorney General Schneiderman for his leadership in combatting zombie properties and blight in our communities,” said Assemblyman Bill Magnarelli. “As chair of the Assembly Local Governments Committee, I know firsthand the difference he has made in combatting this issue. His previous efforts provided our new Land Banks with significant capital investment to address abandoned and blighted properties. This new initiative will continue that work and provide our municipalities with the resources they need to end the scourge of zombie properties in New York.”

“The Zombie Remediation and Prevention Initiative will provide much-needed aid to communities across Central New York to help families stay in their homes,” said Assemblyman Al Stirpe. “I look forward to continuing to work with the Attorney General and with my colleagues in the Assembly to tackle the issue of zombie properties and strengthen our neighborhoods.”

“This funding finally gives local municipalities the ability to react and address the consistently problematic blighted properties in our communities that detract from our neighborhoods and property values,” said Mayor Billy Barlow, City of Oswego. “In Oswego, neighborhood revitalization and encouraging residential investment is taking place all over our community. Thanks to Governor Cuomo and Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, we now have an additional resource to expedite the entire revitalization process and combat homes that detract from our efforts.”  

“As the Mayor of Auburn, I’m pleased to hear about the invitation to apply for funding to combat the plaguing issue of vacant and abandoned homes in our communities,” said Mayor Michael Quill, City of Auburn. “I applaud Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman for his continuing effort to address and improve the housing troubles of many New Yorkers.”

“As Mayor for the City of Cortland, I hear frequently from constituents and I see on a regular basis the negative impact that a zombie property can have on an entire neighborhood,” said Mayor Brian Tobin, City of Cortland. “The Attorney General has heard the concerns of municipal officials throughout the great State of New York, and has consistently acted to help us with our zombie properties. I am grateful that the AG is offering funding opportunities to help us be more active in supporting our neighborhoods, and addressing this blight on all communities in New York.”

“On behalf of the City of Fulton, I appreciate Attorney General Schneiderman’s continued effort in recognizing the problem communities face with the increase in zombie properties and the damaging effect it has on neighborhoods,” said Mayor Ronald L. Woodward, Sr., City of Fulton. “These vacant properties that have been allowed to stagnate for years help to devalue their worth as they are allowed to deteriorate.  These properties become a nuisance, attract criminal activity and aid in bringing down the quality of life for the residents in the area. I am thrilled to hear about the funding, and thank the Attorney General for his commitment to helping New York State communities.

“Abandoned properties negatively affect the quality of life and the market value of surrounding homes,” said Kerry Quaglia, executive director of Home HeadQuarters. “Addressing zombie properties will help restore Upstate New York’s neighborhoods and create an opportunity to improve the present and future needs of vacant buildings and the surrounding communities. We are grateful to NYS Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman for providing another funding opportunity to revitalize communities.”

“Given the disproportionate impact of the foreclosure crisis on communities of color, we are excited to hear about the Attorney General’s initiative to address the problem of zombie properties,” said Sally Santangeloexecutive director of CNY Fair Housing. “Our cities have suffered too long with issues of vacancy and blight and we are encouraged to see the commitment of additional resources to improve our neighborhoods.”

“Years after the first wave of the mortgage foreclosure crisis, communities like Syracuse continue to struggle with zombie properties in our neighborhoods,” said Katelyn E. Wright, executive director of the Greater Syracuse Land Bank. “We’re grateful for Attorney General Schneiderman’s continued support for local governments tackling this problem. These resources will complement the recently passed zombie law and give us more tools at our disposal to take control of problem properties and turn them into opportunities.”

The man who drove a truck into a crowd in Nice, France, killing 84 people, plotted his July 14 attack for months with “support and accomplices,” a French prosecutor said.

Authorities are investigating five suspects who are in custody for their alleged roles in helping the attacker, Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel.

One suspect allegedly sent Bouhlel a Facebook message saying, “Load the truck with tons of iron and cut the brakes.”

City of Mount Vernon Heat Advisory

Mayor Orders Emergency Services Ready for Blackouts, Brownouts, & Burn Events

 

Temperatures are expected to top 90 degrees over the next several days and The City of Mount Vernon has issued a heat advisory.  We are asking residents to take precautions to stay safe, hydrated and healthy during this hot and potentially dangerous weather.

 

As a result of the sweltering heat, the City of Mount Vernon is operating cooling centers at various locations listed below. Should someone not be able to reach a city run facility, and need health assistance, visit Montefiore Mount Vernon Hospital located at 12 N 7th Ave, Mount Vernon, NY 10550.

 

Children and the elderly are mostly vulnerable to extreme temperatures, but everyone should remember to limit their activities during very hot weather, stay hydrated, and avoid alcohol or hot beverages.  When outdoors, limit strenuous activity, wear sunscreen and loose, light-colored clothing, and remember to rest often in cool, shady areas.

 

The hot weather can lead to an increase in the risk of fires. Increased electrical usage to cool homes and power air conditioners can overload power strips. Double check smoke alarm batteries and unplug electronic devices when not in use. Outdoor grills should be used cautiously and make sure to completely extinguish them when finished.

 

Heat related illnesses such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke can be fatal if untreated and need to be taken seriously.  Warning signs include nausea, dizziness, and headaches.  If symptoms persist, call 9-1-1 immediately. Family, friends and neighbors are also urged to check in frequently with elderly residents who may need assistance during the hot weather.

 

Check out these tips from Con Edison on how save energy and keep cool during the heat wave.

 

For questions about heat-related city services, residents should call the City’s hotline at 914-665-2390 or 211.

 

List of Mount Vernon Cooling Centers:

 

Doles Center – 250 S 6th Ave, Mount Vernon, NY 10550

 

Armory – 144 N 5th Ave, Mount Vernon, NY 10550

 

   

 

 

For the hottest news stories this morning from around New York State, please visit www.empirereportnewyork.com … including:
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With the third night of the Republican convention getting underway, CNN unveiled changes to its projected electoral map, making Pennsylvania a battleground state and moving Colorado and Wisconsin to “lean Democratic.”

Wednesday night’s convention speakers include Donald Trump’s VP pick, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. Former GOP primary rivals Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and Scott Walker will also speak. All three would be possible candidates again in 2020 if Trump loses this year.

In other developments:

  • The U.S. Secret Service is investigating an informal adviser to Trump’s presidential campaign after the adviser called for Hillary Clinton’s execution.
  • Cleveland police made multiple arrests and reported that two officers had been injured in a scuffle after a protester attempted to light an American flag on fire outside the security barrier surrounding the convention.
  • Trump and John Kasich’s teams were at war over whether the Republican presidential nominee ever seriously wanted the Ohio governor to join the ticket.

Follow the convention live from gavel to gavel on CNN’s Convention Cam. Download the CNN Politics App.

Donald Trump downplayed Ted Cruz’s decision to withhold an endorsement during his convention speech, even as the move was savaged by Trump’s allies.

Trump tweeted, “Wow, Ted Cruz got booed off the stage, didn’t honor the pledge! I saw his speech two hours early but let him speak anyway. No big deal!”

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie — a former presidential candidate and now a Trump backer — blasted Cruz’s speech in an interview with CNN’s Dana Bash.

“I think it was awful,” Christie said. “And quite frankly, I think it was selfish.”

A lawyer for Trump, Michael Cohen, called Cruz’s speech “political suicide.”

As delegates began to protest, Cruz’s wife, Heidi, was heckled by Trump supporters shouting “Goldman Sachs!” and escorted out by security. She is an employee of Goldman Sachs.

Cruz, who has long sought the support of GOP megadonor Sheldon Adelson, was turned away when he tried to enter Adelson’s suite after the rebuke, three sources told CNN.

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, who accepted the nomination as Trump’s vice presidential nominee at the end of the session, sidestepped when asked about Cruz’s speech.

“I am just grateful for all the support we are receiving, and I am excited about the future,” Pence said.

July 21, 2016

The New York Times

NYTimes.com »

Breaking News Alert

July 21, 2016

BREAKING NEWS
In an interview, Donald Trump said he wouldn’t automatically defend NATO members like the Baltic States from a Russian attack

Thursday, July 21, 2016 12:13 AM EDT

Donald J. Trump, on the eve of accepting the Republican nomination for president, on Wednesday called into question whether, as president, he would automatically extend the security guarantees that give the 28 members of NATO the assurance that the full force of the United States military has their back. For example, asked about Russia’s threatening activities that have unnerved the small Baltic States that are the most recent entrants into NATO, Mr. Trump said that if Russia attacked them, he would decide whether to come to their aid only after reviewing whether those nations “have fulfilled their obligations to us.” Read more »

Police have arrested 10 suspects who were planning terrorist acts during the Olympics, Brazil’s Justice Ministry said.

The group was “baptized” by ISIS and only had contact with the group via the Internet, according to the Justice Minister.

Defiant Texas Sen. Ted Cruz explained why he didn’t endorse Donald Trump during his Republican National Convention speech, saying he’s “not in the habit” of backing people who attack his family.

“I am not in the habit of supporting people who attack my wife and attack my father,” the Republican told his home state delegation the night after he was booed in the convention hall.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz defended his speech to the Republican National Convention, where he did not endorse Donald Trump, vowing not to say “negative things” about the GOP nominee.

“In that speech last night, I did not say a single negative word about Donald Trump,” Cruz told Texas Republicans during a morning meeting where he faced sharp questioning.

“And I’ll tell you this morning and going forward, I don’t intend on saying negative things about Donald Trump. The media would love me to.”

Russia loses its appeal of the ban of its track and field athletes from the 2016 Olympics. 

Ted Cruz refused to endorse Donald Trump while speaking at the Republican convention, a powerful rebuke that earned boos from the audience.

Trump then disrupted Cruz’s moment by appearing in the arena at the end of the speech, drawing attention away from the senator from Texas.

A.G. SCHNEIDERMAN JOINS JUSTICE DEPARTMENT AND TEN STATES SEEKING TO STOP ANTICOMPETITIVE MERGER BETWEEN HEALTH INSURERS ANTHEM AND CIGNA.

Merger Could Substantially Reduce Competition Among Large Employer Plans In New York And Nationally, Potentially Affecting Millions Of People, Including Hundreds Of Thousands Of New Yorkers.

Schneiderman: My Office Will Do Everything Possible To Prevent Mergers That May Harm Patients By Raising Their Costs Or Reducing Access To Quality Healthcare.

NEW YORK– Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced today that New York has joined a joint federal/state complaint alleging that the proposed merger between insurance giants Anthem and Cigna would be anticompetitive and should be stopped.  Anthem and Cigna are two of the top five national health insurance carriers in the United States, and Anthem is the second largest carrier in New York State.  The proposed transaction has the potential to impact the accessibility, affordability, quality, and availability of health care for hundreds of thousands of individuals in the New York metropolitan area.

“Affordable, quality health care is essential to the well-being of all Americans,” Attorney General Schneiderman said. “Most consumers are covered by insurance plans that their employers choose and negotiate with companies like Anthem and Cigna.  By reducing competition, this proposed merger has the potential to significantly increase the merged firm’s power in the marketplace, to the detriment of consumers. Employers will be left with fewer choices, and ultimately consumers could be saddled with higher premium costs, reduced access to providers, and lower quality care.  I stand with my federal and state partners in fighting to stop this merger before it harms New Yorkers.”

The lawsuit, which was filed today in federal court in Washington, D.C. by the Department of Justice, New York, ten other states, and the District of Columbia, seeks a court order halting the merger between the two companies.  The complaint alleges that the consolidation would reduce competition for large-group employer plans in 35 local markets in which Anthem does business, including the New York City metropolitan area.  It also alleges that the merger would reduce competition in the market for national plans sold to large employers covering employees throughout the country, including New Yorkers.  In addition, it charges that the merger has the potential to drive down reimbursement rates for healthcare providers in a manner that might affect access to and quality of health care services in some areas of the country, including the New York City metropolitan area.

The case is being handled by Assistant Attorney General Irina C. Rodríguez of the Antitrust Bureau, under the supervision of Deputy Bureau Chief Elinor R. Hoffmann. The Antitrust Bureau is part of the Division of Economic Justice, led by Executive Deputy Attorney General for Economic Justice Manisha M. Sheth.

Shed the Meds Opportunity Today

Lalor_Shed_The_Meds_Fyer (2).jpg

 

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Assemblyman Kieran Michael Lalor, a former teacher at Our Lady of Lourdes in Poughkeepsie, is a Marine Corps veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and a frequent guest on the Fox News Channel. Lalor is of counsel to the law firm Gaines, Novick, Ponzini, Cossu & Venditti. He is a graduate of John Jay High School, Providence College and Pace Law School and lives in Hopewell Jct. with his wife Mary Jo and their four young children Katie, Riley, Mikey and Kieran Jr..

When you first get to Congress, the party committees suggest a schedule for new members, according to the Huffington Post.

They say you should spend 4-5 hours A DAY on fundraising, and only 3-4 hours doing the actual work of being in Congress.

If that doesn’t show how broken our campaign finance system is, I don’t know what does.

When I get to Congress, I’m going to do the hard work of taking on super PACs and trying to overturn Citizens United. I wrote the book on political corruption, and I’m going to do everything I can to root it out in Washington. But I can’t do it alone.

Can you add a $3 contribution to help me stay independent of big donors so I can work to take on big money in politics?

The way to really change the system is to elect people who actually care about the change. A lot of people give lip service and talk about corruption. I’ve spent my entire life fighting for a more democratic and more responsive system to get big money out of politics.

We’re not accepting corporate contributions. We’re focused on small contributions from a grassroots movement, at an average contribution of about $15.91 a piece.

Your support keeps me independent. It helps me take on big corporations who want to flood our democracy with unaccountable money. It helps build our movement.

Make a $3 contribution to our grassroots campaign today and we’ll fight to overturn Citizens United and get big money out of politics.

Thanks for all you do.

Best,

Zephyr Teachout

Contribute

Due to Tuesday’s closure of the Tappan Zee Bridge, NYSDOT suspended all roadwork on State Roadways. Our planned closure of the SB SMRP had to be cancelled and is now planned to occur on Friday night.   Work is till planned for the next two nights on the NYS Thruway (I-87).

  • Saw Mill River Parkway – NIGHT WORK UPDATE
    • Friday July 22 – removal of structural steel
      • SB left lane closed from 8:00 PM to 11:00 PM
      • ALL SB Lanes closed from 11:00 PM to 5:00 AM – follow posted detour
      • NB Left Lane closed from 8:00 PM to 5:00 AM
      • Stoppages of NB traffic for up to 15 minutes, will occur while each of the 4 steel beams are in motion, between Midnight and 5:00 AM.

July 20, 2016

The New York Times

NYTimes.com »

Breaking News Alert

July 20, 2016

BREAKING NEWS
A Trump employee took the blame for lifting phrases from Michelle Obama for Melania Trump’s speech: “This was my mistake.”

Wednesday, July 20, 2016 1:10 PM EDT

A longtime employee of the Trump Organization said she lifted two passages from a 2008 speech by Michelle Obama for Melania Trump’s Monday address at the Republican National Convention, saying that it was an innocent mistake. The employee, Meredith McIver, who has worked on some of Mr. Trump’s books, identified herself in an unusual statement posted on the Trump campaign’s website, hours after the chief strategist, Paul Manafort, said the issue was manufactured by the news media. Read more »

A Trump organization staffer has offered her resignation for her role in Melania Trump’s convention speech and the plagiarism allegations that followed. 

Meredith McIver was identified as the staffer. She apologized in a statement sent out by the campaign and said Donald Trump did not accept her resignation.

Donald Trump’s campaign chairman Paul Manafort refuses to acknowledge parts of Melania Trump’s speech were lifted from Michelle Obama’s 2008 Democratic convention remarks, saying the controversy is “not meaningful at all.”

“The speech was very effective and communicated those feelings,” Manafort told CNN’s Chris Cuomo on “New Day.” “The controversy you’re talking about is not meaningful at all. She’s not a candidate for office. She was expressing her personal feelings about her country and her husband and why he’s best for the United States.”

Baton Rouge cop killer Gavin Long suffered from PTSD, a source involved in the investigation told CNN’s Chris Cuomo. Long served in the Marines and was discharged in 2010.

TV and movie legend Garry Marshall, who created “Happy Days” and directed “Pretty Woman,” has died at 81.

Donald Trump, whose outsider campaign both galvanized millions of voters and divided the Republican Party, is officially the 2016 GOP presidential nominee.

The billionaire businessman reached the 1,237 delegates he needed to clinch the nomination when his son Donald Trump Jr. cast the votes for the New York delegation.

Talks that will likely lead to CEO Roger Ailes’ departure from Fox News are ongoing, a source says. Ailes has denied accusations of sexual harassment.

Wright State University is pulling out of its presidential debate scheduled for September 26, and the debate will move to Hofstra University, sources tell CNN.

Day two of the Republican National Convention is underway in Cleveland. Here’s what’s happened so far and what is to come.
-Donald Trump’s presidential campaign has no plans to fire anybody or to take any disciplinary action against anyone for the Melania Trump speech plagiarism controversy, CNN learned Tuesday.
-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort denied allegations that Melania plagiarized a Michelle Obama speech, calling the accusation “just really absurd.”
-The campaign manager Donald Trump fired last month, Corey Lewandowski, says the person responsible for writing Melania Trump’s campaign speech should be fired.
– New Jersey governor and Trump ally Chris Christie defended the speech, saying, “There’s no way that Melania Trump was plagiarizing Michelle Obama’s speech.”

-Sean Spicer, the Republican National Committee’s chief strategist, invoked “My Little Pony” in defending the speech in an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer.

-White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest addressed the allegations saying, “As it relates to Mrs. Trump’s speech, I’ll let all of you weigh in on all of that and try to learn more about how exactly it was written.”


What to watch for tonight:
-There’s a major piece of business: Officially nominating Trump for president and Indiana Gov. Mike Pence for vice president. The roll call begins at 6 p.m. ET.
-Speeches from Ben Carson and top congressional Republicans, including Speaker Paul Ryan.
-Also, look on the podium for Chris Christie, who just lost out in the vice presidential sweepstakes, a couple of Trump’s children and non-political speakers, including UFC president Dana White.

Donald Trump claimed the mantle Tuesday as the Republican presidential nominee, capping a stunning rise to power for his insurgent campaign as a boisterous showing by his family and friends revived his convention after a rocky start.

Chris Christie, shaking off the disappointment of being passed over as Trump’s running mate, performed a show trial of Hillary Clinton, whipping the crowd into frenzied chants of “Lock her up!

Trump’s son Donald Jr. sketched a portrait of his father as a champion of the working man who could unleash America’s potential. His half-sister Tiffany offered a more tender and less familiar view of her father.

July 19, 2016

The New York Times

NYTimes.com »

Top Stories

July 19, 2016

TOP STORIES
Donald Trump has been formally nominated as the Republican presidential candidate. He is expected to accept on Thursday night.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016 7:14 PM EDT

CLEVELAND — Day 2 of the Republican National Convention enters prime time, after the delegates formally nominated Donald J. Trump for president. The evening’s speakers — including the Republican leaders of the Congress — will focus on the economy. Here’s what else you should know (and some of Tuesday’’s best photos): Mr. Trump, the New York real estate mogul and reality TV star, formally took control of the Republican Party on Tuesday as delegates to the convention here officially chose him as their nominee, ending a tumultuous, year-long political crusade. Read more »

July 19, 2016

The New York Times

NYTimes.com »

Breaking News Alert

July 19, 2016

BREAKING NEWS
The Fox News co-founder Roger Ailes is said to be in talks to leave the network after he was sued for sexual harassment

Tuesday, July 19, 2016 5:17 PM EDT

Roger Ailes and 21st Century Fox are in the advanced stages of discussions that would lead to the departure of Mr. Ailes as chairman of Fox News Channel, a person briefed on the discussions said on Tuesday. The development follows by less than two weeks a sexual harassment suit filed against Mr. Ailes by a former anchor, Gretchen Carlson. The suit prompted 21st Century Fox, Fox News’s corporate parent, to conduct an internal review. Read more »

For the hottest news stories this morning from around New York State, please visit www.empirereportnewyork.com … including:
DRAMATIC SHAKEUP AT FOXNEWS AS MURDOCHS PUSH OUT ROGER AILES…
Senator D’Amato: Melania’s speechwriter a “jackass” who “should be fired”…
Donald Jr. delivers speech, nomination to dad…
Cuomo “playing Santa Claus” with pork barrel projects around NY State…
Shark sightings close to Coney Island Beach…
Crane Collapse closes Tappan Zee Bridge…
Western NY safari owner trampled to death by his own antelope…
AG Schneiderman: 3 trips to Miami Beach on donors’ dime…

www.empirereportnewyork.com

New York’s #1 news site has the latest details updated all day, every day.

Thanks to many loyal readers in New York , we are the fastest-growing news site in the state. Please tap below or go to www.empirereportnewyork.com

Thank you for reading.

Empire Report

www.empirereportnewyork.com

The secret no one talks about when you run for office, Delfim, is just how much time you have to spend on the phone. Not necessarily with voters, not with radio shows or anything like that.

Our campaign finance system is so broken that candidates for office have to spend every free minute they have on the phone with big donors. They have to basically beg rich people for huge checks in order to have a chance at getting to Congress.

We’re doing things a different way here. I don’t want to answer to anyone but voters when I’m in Congress. So I’m relying on small contributions made online from emails like this. The average donation to my campaign is just $15.91.

If I get to Congress, I want to do it with the help of hundreds of thousands of people chipping in small amounts of whatever they can afford. We can win without super PACs, without big donors, without lobbyists. But I need your help to succeed.

Can you add a $3 contribution to our grassroots campaign? Your contribution will help me get to Congress, challenge powerful special interests, and fix our corrupt campaign finance system.

I’ll be honest: running this kind of campaign is not going to be easy. My opponent is a former corporate lobbyist who has two big hedge fund guys dumping $1 million into our race. And it’s only July!

We expect to see a lot of corporate money, big donors, and super PACs flooding our race. They see me as a threat to the way things happen now — they’re perfectly happy with Citizens United. They love unchecked money in politics. And they know that I’ll do everything in my power to fight them in Congress.

Thanks to small contributions of $15.91 a piece, I get to talk to small business owners, farmers, and other folks in my district instead of big donors. It may be a radical idea, but we’re making the bet that we will be far more successful in this election by actually talking to voters instead of talking to big donors.

But that’s why we need you, Delfim. Your small contributions of whatever you can afford will give us the resources we need to beat the corporate money we’re up against.

Please contribute $3, or whatever you can afford right now, and you’ll help us build the power we need to win our race for Congress while rejecting the kind of big money that plagues politics.

Thank you for being a part of this movement. We’re changing the way things work, and I’m proud to have you with me.

Best,

Zephyr Teachout

Contribute

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I didn’t want you to miss this big news out of my office yesterday. 

Working together with Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey and Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh, my office filed a major lawsuit against Volkswagen, alleging that the company disregarded the rule of law by concealing the harmful emissions of their vehicles and engaging in a willful and systematic scheme of cheating that spanned over a decade. The idea that this level of fraud could take place and involve so many people at such high levels of a major international corporation is appalling.

You can read all about our case in yesterday’s New York Times and on CBS New York.  

I hope our actions send a clear message to every corporate board room: If you willfully jeopardize the public health and endanger the environment, we will bring the full force of the law – and seek the stiffest possible sanctions – to protect our citizens.

Thank you,

Eric Schneiderman

A.G. SCHNEIDERMAN ANNOUNCES AGREEMENTS WITH TWO COMPANIES FOR DECEPTIVE SALES PRACTICES THAT RESULTED IN HIDDEN CHARGES TO CONSUMERS ORDERING PRODUCTS MARKETED ON TV.

Tristar And Product Trend Lured Consumers With Infomercials That Advertised Illusory Prices That Did Not Disclose Significant Processing and Handling Fees; Marketers Must Make Major Reforms To Their Advertising, Marketing And Customer Service Practices.

Schneiderman: Consumers Have A Right To Understand The True Terms Of An Offer Before They Are Charged.

NEW YORK — As part of a wider investigation into deceptive advertising and sales practices allegedly used by the direct marketing industry, Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced  settlements with Tristar Products, Inc. (“Tristar”), a firm headquartered in Fairfield, New Jersey, and Product Trend, LLC (“Product Trend”), headquartered in Williston, Vermont.  The agreements require the direct marketers to make significant reforms to their advertising, ordering processes and customer service practices.  The marketers sell their products directly to consumers, typically through television and online advertising.  Tristar’s products include Genie Bra; blenders and juicers, as well as a variety of exercise equipment, such as the Ab Coaster and Cardio Twister.  Product Trend’s products include Total Pillow, Wonderhanger and Furniture Fix. 

The agreements also require each marketer to make a monetary payment to the New York Attorney General’s Office for restitution, penalties, costs and fees, with Tristar paying $700,000 and Product Trend paying $175,000.

“These agreements insure that consumers will not be hit with charges they did not authorize and will not be frustrated with long hold times or unresponsive customer service when they seek assistance,” Attorney General Schneiderman said. “The settlements also bring much needed reforms to two major players in the direct marketing industry and insure that consumers will have a clear understanding of the charges before they place an order.”

The Attorney General’s Consumer Frauds Bureau launched a probe into the industry after receiving complaints from consumers, including hundreds forwarded by the Better Business Bureau.

According to the Attorney General’s investigation, both marketers ran misleading infomercials on television that often featured attractively priced “Buy One, Get One” offers, which required consumers to purchase a double order of the advertised product. However, the ads did not adequately disclose that consumers would be charged two separate processing and handling fees or the amount of those fees, which significantly increased the cost of the offer. When consumers placed orders by phone or online, they were subjected to a confusing, automated ordering process that typically included numerous “upsell” offers for additional products. Consumers were also not given the opportunity to review and edit their orders before they were processed. As a result, in some cases, consumers who responded to the marketers’ advertisements were charged significantly more than they expected and received products that they did not intend to order. 

One Product Trend customer responded to a “Buy One, Get One” ad for Total Pillow, advertised for $19.99, plus shipping and handling, but was charged $91.73 after placing an order online. A Tristar customer who responded to a $19.99 “Buy 3, get 3” Genie Bra advertisement ended up being charged $101.83. Although she subsequently returned the bras, Tristar refused to refund the $27.00 charged for shipping and handling.

The Attorney General’s investigation also revealed that consumers who sought warranty service from Tristar for products that malfunctioned or to obtain authorization to return products often faced long telephone hold times and otherwise had difficulty obtaining relief or assistance.

The settlements require the marketers to:

  • Clearly and conspicuously disclose all material terms of an advertised offer.
  • Clearly and conspicuously disclose the amount of any processing and handling fee for the second item in a “Buy One, Get One” offer.
  • Provide consumers with an opportunity to confirm the details and the total price of any order before it is processed.  For orders placed online, this includes presenting the consumers with a checkout or shopping cart page that the consumer can edit.
  • Disclose the amount of any processing and handling fees during the ordering process before the consumer is asked to confirm the order details.
  • Label all hyperlinks to clearly convey the consequence of clicking the link.
  • Email consumers who place orders by phone an order summary with any processing, handling or other charges.
  • Ensure that the marketers’ customer service lines are adequately staffed so that consumers are not subjected to long hold times.

In March 2015, the Attorney General and Federal Trade Commission reached a similar settlement with Allstar Marketing Group, LLC located in Hawthorne, New York. 

Consumers who believe they may be entitled to a refund should notify the Attorney General’s office. Consumers can file a complaint online or obtain a complaint form at www.ag.ny.gov. Consumers can also call the Attorney General’s consumer helpline at 1-800-771-7755. This investigation is being handled by Assistant Attorney General Amy Schallop, Deputy Bureau Chief Laura J. Levine and Bureau Chief Jane M. Azia, all of the Consumer Frauds and Protection Bureau, and Executive Deputy Attorney General Manisha M. Sheth.

A.G. SCHNEIDERMAN ANNOUNCES INDICTMENT OF BRONX MEDICAL CLINIC OWNER IN ALLEGED $5 MILLION MEDICAID FRAUD. 

Joseph Wright Allegedly Duped Innocent New Yorkers Into Receiving Unnecessary Medical Treatment By Luring Them To His Clinic With False Promises Of Affordable Housing.

NEW YORK — Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced the indictment and arraignment of Joseph Wright, 52, of Middletown NY, for his role in an alleged $5 million Medicaid fraud. Prosecutors allege that Wright, as owner of a purportedly not-for-profit organization called Assistance By Improv II, Inc. (ABI), located at 953 Southern Boulevard in the Bronx, lured thousands of low-income New Yorkers to ABI with the promise of affordable housing, arranged to have them subjected to unnecessary medical tests and then filed false claims for reimbursement with the New York Medicaid program. Wright was indicted on felony charges of Insurance Fraud in the Second Degree.

“The defendant in this case allegedly took advantage of the hopes and needs of vulnerable New Yorkers to line his own pockets with millions of dollars in taxpayer funds,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “This elaborate scheme resulted in an alleged theft of over $5 million of Medicaid funds that should have been used to help medical patients in need.”

Prosecutors allege Wright unlawfully owns and operates ABI as a medical mill that masquerades as a charitable housing organization. ABI claims in newspapers, on television, and on city bus advertisements to be dedicated to providing affordable housing for developmental disabled New Yorkers. Prosecutors allege Wright ignored ABI’s professed charitable mission and duped potential clients, most of whom were Medicaid recipients, into surrendering their personal health care information and undergoing purported medical screening to qualify for housing.

Prosecutors allege potential clients were directed to see various doctors and counselors at ABI, and were often subjected to unnecessary purported medical tests and procedures. Thereafter, staff at ABI, under the direction of Wright, and at the behest of various doctors and counselors employed by ABI, submitted false claims for reimbursement to Medicaid for services allegedly rendered to the Medicaid recipients who provided Wright, his staff and ABI with their client identification numbers.

Wright, prosecutors allege, used the doctors’ and patients’ Medicaid identification numbers to submit a staggering volume of claims for services purportedly rendered to Medicaid recipients. In an eight-month span, over 125,000 claims for medical services allegedly rendered to Medicaid recipients were submitted in the names of eight Medicaid providers actually employed by Wright and ABI. The value of these claims totaled in excess of $10 million dollars, for which Medicaid reimbursed these eight doctors over $5 million dollars, and they in turn paid Wright millions of dollars.

Prosecutors allege that an overwhelming number of these claims were for treatment in connection with a primary diagnosis of “counseling and advice on contraception” or “other contraceptive/sex counseling” and bore no resemblance to the purported examinations to which the recipients were subjected, even if they had been proper. Often these claims were completely fictitious and factually impossible. According to claims records maintained by the Medicaid program, prosecutors allege, these doctors purportedly treated hundreds of patients a day and each patient received the same medical diagnosis. Many of the doctors’ claims were for services outside their field of specialty and for claimed medical diagnosis and treatments the doctor often was unqualified to give.  Furthermore, given the number of claims filed each day by each doctor, the doctors could not have physically rendered the treatment they claimed to have provided.

To date, the Attorney General’s investigation has uncovered no evidence that any of ABI’s patients ever received any housing despite being subjected to unnecessary medical examinations, medical tests, and multiple visits to ABI.

Wright, at the time of his arrest on June 20, 2016 by the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU), was charged with Grand Larceny in the First Degree, Health Care Fraud in the First Degree and Insurance Fraud in the Second Degree. Grand Larceny in the First Degree and Health Care Fraud in the First Degree are both class B felonies with a maximum term of incarceration of 8 1/3 to 25 years in State prison. Bail was set at the time of Wright’s arrest in the amount of $500,000 bond or cash with an examination of surety and today, following Wright’s arraignment and oral argument, continued by the Hon. George Villegas in the same amount. The defendant pleaded not guilty and the case was adjourned until November 22, 2016. The investigation is ongoing.

The Attorney General’s Office thanks the New York State Office of the Medicaid Inspector General (“OMIG”), Computer Services Corporation, the New York City Human Resources Administration (“HRA”) and the New York Office of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General, Office of Investigations for their valuable contributions to this investigation.

The case was investigated by Special Investigators Denitor Guerra and Thomas Dowd with assistance from Supervising Investigator Dominick DiGennaro and Deputy Chief Investigator Kenneth Morgan.  Dominick Zarrella is the Chief Investigator of the Office of the Attorney General. OMIG Investigator Nigill Johnson also assisted in the investigation. The audit investigation was conducted by MFCU Auditor Investigator Lisandra Defex with assistance from Principal Auditor Investigator Emmanuel Archer and Regional Chief Auditor Thomasina Smith. Also assisting in the investigation were Stephanie Paton and Margaret Tsui of OMIG and Leslie Dykeman from Computer Services Corporation.

The case is being prosecuted by MFCU Special Assistant Attorneys General Alyssa A. Preston and Mark P. Cannon with the assistance of New York City Regional Director Christopher M. Shaw. Thomas O’Hanlon is the MFCU Downstate Chief-Criminal Investigations.  The Medicaid Fraud Control Unit is led by Director Amy Held and Assistant Deputy Attorney General Paul Mahoney.  The Criminal Justice Division is led by Executive Deputy Attorney General Kelly Donovan.

The charges against the defendant are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

NY A.G. SCHNEIDERMAN, MASSACHUSETTS A.G. HEALEY, MARYLAND A.G. FROSH ANNOUNCE SUITS AGAINST VOLKSWAGEN, AUDI AND PORSCHE ALLEGING THEY KNOWINGLY SOLD OVER 53,000 ILLEGALLY POLLUTING CARS AND SUVS, VIOLATING STATE ENVIRONMENTAL LAWS.

Cover-Up Of “Defeat Devices” Was Allegedly Orchestrated And Approved At The Highest Levels Of The Company, Up To And Including Former CEO Martin Winterkorn; German Parent Companies Volkswagen AG And Audi AG Directed US Subsidiaries To Submit False Documents, Make False Claims To New York, Massachusetts And Maryland Authorities.

Numerous Employees, Tipped Off By A Senior In-House Lawyer In Germany, Also Destroyed Incriminating Documents, Lawsuits Allege.

NEW YORK – New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey and Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh announced lawsuits today against Volkswagen AG and its affiliates Audi AG and Porsche AG, as well as their American subsidiaries, for the automakers’ sale of diesel automobiles (including over 25,000 in New York, 15,000 in Massachusetts and 12,935 in Maryland) that were fitted with illegal “defeat devices” that concealed illegal amounts of harmful emissions these cars spewed– and then allegedly attempting to cover-up their behavior.

“The allegations against Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche reveal a culture of deeply-rooted corporate arrogance, combined with a conscious disregard for the rule of law and the protection of public health and the environment,” Attorney General Schneiderman said. “These suits should serve as a siren in every corporate board room, that if any company engages in this type of calculated and systematic illegality, we will bring the full force of the law—and seek the stiffest possible sanctions—to protect our citizens.”

“Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche defrauded thousands of Massachusetts consumers, polluted our air, and damaged our environment and then, to make matters worse, plotted a massive cover-up to mislead environmental regulators,” Attorney General Healey said. “With today’s action, we want to make clear to all auto manufacturers that violating laws designed to protect our environment and our public health is unacceptable and will be punished with significant penalties.”

“Maryland has worked tirelessly, through Maryland’s Healthy Air Act and Clean Cars Act, as well as stringent regulations adopted by the Department of the Environment, to clean our air,” said Attorney General Frosh. “As our complaint sets out, Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche installed defeat devices in their cars to trick regulators and to deceive the public; they did so knowing that their conduct was illegal and their misconduct has hindered our efforts to clean the air and to clean the Chesapeake Bay.  Their disregard for the health of our citizens and their disregard for our environment must be punished.”

“These automobile manufacturers deliberately deceived the public into believing their cars met emissions standards when in fact they were excessively polluting New York’s air,” said New York DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. “This corrupt behavior is unacceptable and it undermines our efforts to protect public health and combat climate change.  I applaud Attorney Generals Schneiderman and Healy for their important efforts to uphold the integrity of our clean air regulations.”

“The emission rules are in place to protect public health and the environment,” said Martin Suuberg, Commisisoner at the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP). “This action underscores the serious nature of the violations.”

“The air Marylanders now breathe is the cleanest it’s been in decades, and we will not stand for Volkswagen’s dirty tactics that undercut our environmental progress,” said Maryland Secretary of the Environment Ben Grumbles. “The Hogan Administration is committed to reducing pollution from tailpipes and power plants and holding accountable those who threaten the health and well being of our communities and watersheds. Volkswagen must get its act in gear and pay the price for breaking some of the most stringent laws in the country protecting the waters, lands and lungs of Marylanders in the Chesapeake Bay region.”

These lawsuits by the New York, Massachusetts and Maryland Attorneys General offices follow a nine-month long investigation by a multistate coalition of over 40 states and other jurisdictions, led by New York, Massachusetts, and four other states.  New York State’s Department of Environmental Conservation, Massachusetts’s Department of Environmental Protection and Maryland’s Department of the Environment provided important assistance with the investigation.

The complaints allege, in detail, a cover-up that Volkswagen and Audi allegedly managed for nearly a year-and-a-half. The cover-up followed a study by researchers at West Virginia University that alerted authorities in this country that these diesel cars emitted much more nitrogen oxides (NOx) when driven on the road than they did when undergoing emissions testing on test equipment used by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the California Air Resource Board (CARB) to test the amount of air pollutants emitted by automobiles. 

These suits follow the car companies’ partial settlements of claims for consumer relief and consumer deception penalties, as well as their agreement to establish a fund to mitigate the environmental damage caused by their admitted misconduct. Those earlier settlements did not resolve any of the claims for civil penalties that New York, Massachusetts and other states, as well as the EPA, may bring for the companies’ flagrant violations of state and federal environmental laws and regulations, nor did the settlements cover all of the vehicles equipped with emission control defeat devices.

The lawsuits allege that, after the EPA and CARB contacted Volkswagen and Audi about the discrepancies revealed by the West Virginia University study — which the companies fully knew were caused by their defeat devices – Audi and Volkswagen:

  • Tried to cover up the problem through sham recalls that they knew would not meet the required standards;
  • Repeatedly failed to disclose to regulators the true reason – the defeat devices – for the discrepancies; and
  • Only confessed to the defeat devices when they knew the regulators had them pinned to the facts. 

The lawsuits allege this cover-up was orchestrated and approved at the highest levels of the company, up to and including the former CEO, Martin Winterkorn.

Throughout this entire course of alleged illegal conduct, in which dozens of employees, officers and senior executives were involved, the investigation found no evidence that a single Volkswagen, Audi or Porsche employee came forward to blow the whistle.

As alleged in the complaints, Volkswagen’s response to the scandal shows that the company has not reformed its corporate behavior.  When the investigation was getting under way in late 2015, numerous employees, tipped off by a senior in-house lawyer in Germany, allegedly destroyed incriminating documents.  Just last month, the Volkswagen Supervisory Board recommended a package of bonuses for the Management Board that presided over the cover-up totaling over $70 million, including generous severance pay to Mr. Winterkorn himself. That recommendation was overwhelmingly approved by the company’s shareholders.

The Attorneys Generals’ investigation also found evidence that the misconduct of Volkswagen and its Audi and Porsche subsidiaries in the production and sale of these automobiles has few parallels in corporate history. 

Specifically, the complaint alleges, that:

  • These three affiliated brands made a knowing decision to violate the laws of New York, Massachusetts, Maryland, and other states not just once, but over and over again. There was not just one defeat device that cheated on emissions tests, but six, with the first going back to Audi’s European-market cars in the mid-2000’s.
  • Starting in 2008, Volkswagen and Audi, and later Porsche, began installing these defeat devices in several generations of US-market Volkswagen and Audi diesel engines that equipped over a dozen models, including flagship Audi luxury sedans and high-performance Porsche SUVs, with sales eventually totaling over 25,000 vehicles in New York State, 15,000 in Massachusetts, and 13,000 in Maryland before being pulled from sale last year. 
  • The defeat devices took the form of computer software designed to ensure that a vehicle’s emissions system performed properly only during emissions testing.  On the road, the defeat device switched off or scaled back the vehicles’ emissions systems, with the result that the cars and SUVs emitted NOx – a harmful pollutant linked to numerous respiratory diseases – far above allowable limits, indeed up to 40 times those limits. 
  • Despite their reputations for engineering excellence, Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche resorted to the illegal defeat devices to enable them to equip their cars with shoddy emissions systems that in many cases would have broken down, without the defeat devices, in less than 50,000 miles, contrary to the durability assurances the automakers had falsely given to regulators. 
  • In other cases – for example, on the high-end V6 diesel engines that equipped the Porsche, Volkswagen and Audi SUVs and Audi luxury sedans, vehicles that use a urea-based liquid as part of the emissions control system – the automakers installed defeat devices to compensate for the companies’ unwillingness either to make the tanks that hold urea large enough to properly serve the cars’ emissions system, or to reduce the intervals between urea refills in a manner they believed would turn off diesel car owners.  In these vehicles, the defeat devices limited dosing of the urea-based liquid into the emissions system, again driving up harmful NOx emissions far past their legal limits.
  • Volkswagen and Audi researched the laws in this country and previous enforcement cases before embarking on this course. They knew what they were going to do was illegal, and if caught they would face government enforcement and sanctions. They went ahead and did it anyway.
  • As a result, the complaints allege that consumers in New York, Massachusetts, Maryland and around the country did not receive what they were sold – a “clean” “green” diesel car that the Volkswagen companies aggressively touted. Indeed, Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche expressly and repeatedly promised consumers that they could have the best of all worlds by purchasing a car or SUV with both outstanding power and excellent environmental performance – and charged high mark-ups on the bases of these claims – claims that Audi and Volkswagen knew to be blatantly false.
  • As a further result, the complaints allege that thousands of excess tons of NOx were illegally spewed onto city and rural streets around the country, leaving many of residents at greater risk of asthma and other respiratory diseases, and driving up the formation of harmful ozone in the atmosphere.  New York—in particular the New York City metropolitan area—has harmful levels of smog pollution, one of the main reasons the State adopted strict car emission standards to combat this problem.  New York’s complaint alleges that the companies’ conduct has made it more difficult to clean up New York’s air to levels that are adequate to protect public health. Massachusetts also experiences the harmful effects of smog: every year, the Department of Environmental Protection issues air quality alerts on numerous days because ozone levels make the air unhealthy to breathe. Maryland has recorded some of the highest ozone levels in the Eastern United States, and is subject to the perfect storm for ozone air pollution, where unique meteorology and geography line up with transported pollution from power plants in the west and local pollution from the south, primarily cars along the I-95 corridor.

Today’s lawsuits make clear that substantial penalties must be imposed on the Volkswagen companies, above and beyond the amount they have to pay to make American consumers whole and redress the environmental harm they have caused.

The strongest message possible has to be sent:  you cannot deliberately flout the laws of New York, Massachusetts, Maryland, and every other state, and not be severely penalized. Neither Volkswagen, nor any other car manufacturer, should ever again conclude that it can engage in this behavior as part of the cost of doing business. 

New York Attorney General Schneiderman thanks the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation for its help in this matter. Massachusetts Attorney General Healey thanks the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection for its assistance. Maryland Attorney General Frosh thanks the Department of Environment for its assistance.

A copy of the New York complaint can be found here.

The New York case is being handled by Senior Enforcement Counsel David Nachman; Deputy Bureau Chief Lisa Burianek, Affirmative Litigation Section Chief Michael Myers, and Assistant Attorneys General John Turrettini, Brian Lusignan and Morgan Costello, Environmental Policy Advisor Peter Washburn and Chief Scientist Alan Belensz of the Environmental Protection Bureau; Assistant Attorney General Noah Popp of the Consumer Protection Bureau; Senior Trial Counsel David Ellenhorn; and with the assistance of Laura Sarli of the Investor Protection Bureau.  The Environmental Protection Bureau is led by Bureau Chief Lemuel Srolovic and the Social Justice Division is led by Alvin Bragg.

The case is being handled in Massachusetts by Gillian Feiner, Chief of AG Healey’s False Claims Division, First Assistant Attorney General Christopher Barry-Smith, Christophe Courchesne, Chief of AG Healey’s Environmental Protection Division, Peter Mulcahy, Assistant Attorney General in AG Healey’s Environmental Protection Division, with critical assistance from Assistant Attorneys General Diane Barry and Gary Klein, along with Attorney Meghan Mackenzie, and Paralegal Krista Roche.

The Maryland lawsuit is being handled by Assistant Attorney General Roberta James.

THIS WEEK IN THE NEWS

May 2 to May 6, 2016

TOP HEADLINES

Spearheading Reforms in the Ticket Industry

As part of an ongoing investigation into ticket reselling, the Attorney General sent letters to StubHub, Ticketmaster, Vivid Seats, and TicketNetwork urging them to adopt more consumer friendly practices. He called on the companies to do more to curb the use of illegal “bots” and take steps to discourage speculative ticket sales, as well as other measures. Read the CNN Money article here.

Art Collectors Failing to Pay Taxes

The Attorney General reached a settlement with NYC art collector Aby Rosen for failing to pay sales and use taxes on $80 million worth of artwork he bought or commissioned since 2002. Rosen will pay $7 million following the Attorney General’s investigation into the use of resale certificates. Read the NYT story on it here.

His office also reached an agreement with art sales executive Victoria Gelfand for failing to pay New York sales and use tax on more than 30 works of art purchased by her companies. Her companies will pay $210,000 in both sales and use tax to New York State.

Recovering Funds for New York

A joint settlement was announced with the  federal government and a coalition of states and the Olympus Corporation of America for paying illegal kickbacks to healthcare providers. Olympus will pay $306 million, with the New York Medicaid Program receiving over $7.7 million in damages. Read the Times Union piece here.

Tracking Data Breaches Across New York

The Attorney General’s office reported an over 40% increase in data breach notifications involving New Yorkers this year in comparison to 2015. His office has now provided companies with the ability to file notice electronically via this web submission form to meet the increased volume and provide efficiency in reporting. Read the Crain’s New York Business article here.

***MEDIA ALERT***

YONKERS MAYOR SPANO, YONKERS PUBLIC SCHOOLS AND COMMUNITY SUPPORTERS TO GATHER URGING NEW YORK STATE LEGISLATURE TO PASS REBUILD YONKERS PUBLIC SCHOOLS INFRASTRUCTURE PLAN.

Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano will join Superintendent of Yonkers Public Schools Dr. Edwin Quezada, Yonkers Board of Trustees, New York State Regent Judith Johnson, Yonkers Public Schools students, parents, teachers and community supporters Wednesday, May 4 at 9:30AM at Martin Luther King, Jr. Academy (135 Locust Hill Ave., Yonkers) to urge the New York State Legislature to pass a four-phase, 13-year reconstruction plan to rebuild Yonkers’ 39 public schools. Similar legislation has been passed in New York’s other Big Four Districts — Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse.

Mayor Spano launched the Rebuild Yonkers Schools advocacy campaign earlier this year, asking New York State to support special legislation that would fund the plan. The legislation was introduced to the New State Assembly last week but still needs to be introduced by the State Senate. The average age of the Yonkers Public Schools is 75 years. Currently, Yonkers Schools are 4,100 students over capacity.

A.G. SCHNEIDERMAN ANNOUNCES AGREEMENT WITH ART SALES EXECUTIVE FOR RE-PAYMENT OF TAXES ON ARTWORK ACQUISITIONS.

Art Sales Executive And Collector Victoria Gelfand Agrees To Pay $210,000 In Sales And Use Tax On More Than 30 Works Of Art.

NEW YORK–Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced an agreement with Art sales executive Victoria Gelfand, whose companies failed to pay New York sales and use tax on more than 30 works of art purchased by her companies. As part of the agreement, Gelfand’s companies will pay $210,000 in sales and use tax combined to the state.

“Art buyers may not avoid sales or use tax simply by claiming that artwork they enjoy at home is intended for resale,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “That rule is clear, and my office is committed to ensuring the art industry follows it.”

Between 2005 and 2013, Ms. Gelfand employed two companies to engage in the purchase and resale of artwork, and her companies purchased more than 30 works of art in New York using resale certificates, including such works as John Baldessari’s “It Couldn’t Be Helped,” Cecily Brown’s “Almost Always True,” Richard Prince’s “Piney Woods Nurse,” and Cindy Sherman’s “Untitled (#217),” for an aggregate purchase price exceeding $1 million.  The companies paid no sales or use tax on the art purchased, but occasionally displayed some of the art in Ms. Gelfand’s New York residence.  Ms. Gelfand has agreed to pay sales and use tax on the acquisitions displayed, and on future acquisitions displayed in the same manner.

New York law requires sellers of goods, or vendors, to charge sales tax on sales of goods.  Purchases that a vendor makes exclusively for resale are excluded from sales tax, if the vendor purchases retail property with the intent exclusively to resell that property.  If, after purchase, a vendor uses the item initially bought exclusively for resale, then the vendor must pay a compensating use tax at the same aggregate rate as the sales tax.  Use tax applies when, among other circumstances, a vendor diverts for its use inventory purchased with resale certificates that was initially intended exclusively for resale.

Attorney General Schneiderman thanks the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance for its important assistance in concluding this matter to resolution.

This matter was handled by Thomas Teige Carroll, Chief of the Taxpayer Protection Bureau, with assistance from Legal Support Analyst Bianca LaVeglia, as well as from former AAG Lisa White and former LSA Rupinder Garcha.  The Taxpayer Protection Bureau is a unit of the Criminal Division, which is overseen by Executive Deputy Attorney General Kelly Donovan.

A.G. SCHNEIDERMAN ANNOUNCES $7 MILLION SETTLEMENT WITH ART COLLECTOR ABY J. ROSEN FOR FAILING TO PAY SALES AND USE TAXES ON ART ACQUISITIONS.

Rosen Owed Millions In Taxes On Over 200 Works Of Art Purchased Over A Period Of More Than 10 Years.

NEW YORK–Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced today a settlement with Aby J. Rosen, a major contemporary art collector, for failing to pay millions in sales and use taxes on art acquisitions made by his companies. Rosen will pay $7 million following the Attorney General’s investigation into the use of resale certificates. Mr. Rosen’s collection has included works by Basquiat, Calder, Currin, Hirst, Warhol and others. Rosen is a major figure in both the contemporary art and New York real estate scenes.

The Attorney General alleges that beginning in 2002, Mr. Rosen bought or commissioned more than $80 million worth of contemporary art, but did not pay applicable State and City sales and use taxes on the purchases.  Between 2002 and 2015, Mr. Rosen used two companies, known as 22nd Century Acquisitions LLC and Lever House Artwork LLC, to purchase and, in Lever House Artwork’s case, commission artwork, claiming an exclusion from sales tax on the basis that the purchases and commissions were for resale. 

Mr. Rosen used the artwork for personal enjoyment and the enhancement of his real estate business brand, displaying it throughout his residences in New York State and throughout his real estate business offices and properties.

“We are committed to rooting out tax abuses wherever we find them, especially in the art world, where the difference can be hundreds of thousands—if not millions—of dollars in lost tax revenue per sale,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “When art collectors don’t pay their fair share, law abiding New Yorkers should not be stuck footing the bill.”

New York law requires sellers of goods, or vendors, to charge sales tax on sales of goods.  Purchases that a vendor makes exclusively for resale are excluded from sales tax, if the vendor purchases retail property with the intent exclusively to resell that property.  If, after purchase, a vendor uses the item initially bought exclusively for resale, then the vendor must pay a compensating use tax at the same aggregate rate as the sales tax.  Use tax applies when, among other circumstances, a vendor diverts inventory for use that was initially intended exclusively for resale and purchased with resale certificates.

In 2002, Mr. Rosen formed 22nd Century Acquisitions LLC in order to engage in the purchase and sale of contemporary art.  22nd Century filled out and issued resale certificates in connection with its artwork purchases.  Use of these resale certificates enabled 22nd Century to avoid paying New York State and local sales tax on the items it purchased.  Mr. Rosen signed all resale certificates on behalf of 22nd Century. 

Between 2002 and 2015, 22nd Century purchased more than 200 works of art, furniture, jewelry, and other decorative items, for an aggregate purchase price exceeding $80 million, claiming the resale exclusion.  With a single exception, 22nd Century paid no sales or use tax on the items it purchased, and filed sales and use tax returns signed by Mr. Rosen from 2002 through 2015 in which it declared that no sales or use tax was due.

Between 2002 and the present, Mr. Rosen displayed the 22nd Century purchases throughout his personal residence in New York City and his residences elsewhere in New York State.  Also, Mr. Rosen displayed the 22nd Century Purchases throughout the offices of his real estate company, in the office of a family member and in the public areas of real estate properties, including hotels and restaurants in New York State, owned or administered by affiliates of his real estate company.

In 2004, Mr. Rosen and others formed a Delaware limited liability company named Lever House Artwork LLC, which purchases and commissions works of art from contemporary living artists, holds such artwork for long-term appreciation, makes or arranges for periodic display of the artwork in the ground floor public areas of Lever House (a building in New York City owned by Mr. Rosen’s real estate business) and in public areas of other buildings, including those owned by Mr. Rosen’s real estate business.  From 2006 through 2015, Lever House Artwork paid no sales or use tax on the works of art it purchased or commissioned, even though it intended, among other purposes, enhancement of the identity and brand of Mr. Rosen’s real estate business. 

Mr. Rosen’s companies should not have used resale certificates. Instead, they should have paid sales or use tax at the time they purchased artwork to the extent they did not intend exclusively to resell the art.  To the extent Mr. Rosen’s companies initially intended exclusively to resell the art, they should have paid use tax when, following the purchases, they diverted the artwork to taxable uses. 

In addition to the payment, Mr. Rosen has agreed to a code of conduct including the following:

  • Mr. Rosen and his companies will not use a resale certificate when purchasing artwork, unless the artwork is purchased for the exclusive purpose of resale;
  • Mr. Rosen and his companies will timely report and pay New York state and local government compensating use taxes if artwork is purchased for resale but is subsequently diverted to a taxable use, including displaying such artwork within New York State, for personal or non-resale business use: (i) in any residence or office of Mr. Rosen’s; (ii) in any residence or office of any of his immediate family; or (iii) in any property owned, managed or sold by Mr. Rosen’s real estate company or any of its affiliates; and
  • 22nd Century and Lever House Artwork will employ (i) duly accredited outside accounting professionals to prepare and file all tax returns; and (ii) duly accredited accounting professionals to prepare all accounting and financial books and records.

Attorney General Schneiderman expresses his thanks to the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance for its important assistance in bringing this investigation to resolution. The Attorney General’s investigation of Mr. Rosen was conducted by Thomas Teige Carroll and Scott J. Spiegelman, respectively Chief and Deputy Chief of the Taxpayer Protection Bureau, with assistance from AAG Sujata Tanikella and Legal Support Analyst Bianca LaVeglia, as well as from former AAG Lisa White and former LSA Rupinder Garcha

The Taxpayer Protection Bureau, which enforces the New York State False Claims Act including tax claims made thereunder, is a unit of the Criminal Division, which is overseen by Executive Deputy Attorney General Kelly Donovan.

STATEMENT FROM A.G. SCHNEIDERMAN ON LETTERS SENT TO TICKET RESALE WEBSITES.

NEW YORK—Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman issued the following statement today on letters his office sent to StubHub, Vivid Seats, Ticketmaster and TicketNetwork on increased transparency in the ticket industry:

“Ticketing is a fixed game. Unscrupulous players in the industry use tactics that prevent New Yorkers from getting tickets at affordable prices, or even getting them at all. Now we are calling on the major resale websites to address these issues. These sites should take steps to discourage speculative ticket sales, ensure ticket resellers are properly licensed, and facilitate compliance with New York laws. My office will continue to work towards creating a more fair and transparent ticket market for fans and to crack down on anyone who breaks our laws and preys on ordinary consumers.”

Copies of the letters can be found here

A.G. SCHNEIDERMAN ANNOUNCES $306 MILLION NATIONAL SETTLEMENT WITH OLYMPUS CORPORATION.

New York On National Team To Settle Kickback Claims Against The Company.

New York Medicaid Program To Receive Over $7.7 Million Dollars.

NEW YORK—Attorney General Schneiderman announced today a joint settlement with the federal government and a coalition of states to resolve allegations that Olympus Corporation of the Americas paid illegal kickbacks to healthcare providers, in violation of federal and state False Claims Acts, including New York’s statute. The national settlement is $306 million, with the New York Medicaid Program receiving over $7.7 million dollars in damages.

Between January 1, 2006 and December 31, 2011, Olympus, a subsidiary of Olympus Corporation of Japan located in Center Valley, PA, used improper financial incentives to induce doctors and hospital executives to buy a wide ranging array of endoscopes and other surgical equipment manufactured by Olympus.  It was alleged that these improper financial inducements took the form of grants, fellowships, consulting payments, free trips, no charge loans for equipment along with other incentives. 

 “If you are a company that prioritizes profits over patients, we will hold you accountable,” Attorney General Schneiderman said. “Healthcare providers cannot make decision that are swayed by illegal kickbacks, and we are committed to ensuring that Medicaid recipients are receiving the best care possible.”

The matter was brought to the attention of the government through the filing of a qui tam lawsuit in the District of New Jersey.  (US ex. rel. John Slowik v. Olympus America, Inc. et al. 10-cv-5994 DNJ).  The Attorney General would like to thank Mr. Slowik for the information that he provided to the government.  The group representing all the states consisted of members from New York, California, Virginia, Indiana, Delaware and the District of Columbia.

Meghan Collins, Associate Special Auditor Investigator, of the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit’s Civil Enforcement Unit, represented New York on the team. Stacey Millis is the Chief Auditor for the Civil Enforcement Division of the New York Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. The New York Medicaid Fraud Control Unit is led by Director Amy Held and Assistant Deputy Attorney General Paul Mahoney.  The Criminal Justice Division is led by Executive Deputy Attorney General Kelly Donovan.

 

GWHV letterheadsmrc logo

 
Saturday, May 7th,
10am – 12:30pm
Location: VE Macy/Hunger Memorial Park
Located off Saw Mill River Parkway North
Exit 19 see signs for Great Hunger Memorial
(just north of Dobbs Ferry/Ardsley exit)
Michael with vinesTrash Picker-uppers Vine Cutting
Invasive vines kill our trees but together we can prevent this from happening!
All are welcomed to join our fun, free community event!
 

Vine-Cutting guys

cutting the vines
Register on Riverkeeper’s eventbrite page
For more information, contact Nathan Hunter
 
Event Details  
Vine Cutting
What to Wear: 
Layer clothing, wear sturdy shoes and bring gloves.
 
What to bring:
Lunch, water and tools: Loppers, clippers, and hand saws 
We’ll Provide:
Hard hats, safety vests and some tools
 
This event will be a rain or shine event!
 
 
All are welcomed to this fun, free community event!
Vine-Cutting 11-8-09
Reach us through Facebook!
  

 

 
 

 

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Saw Mill River Coalition–a Program of Groundwork Hudson Valley
22 Main St. 2nd Floor, Yonkers, NY 10701

Dear MoveOn member,

My name is Ann Lewis, and I’m the Chief Technology Officer at MoveOn. I’m writing because MoveOn is under attack by Donald Trump, and we need your help.

Here’s the situation: Over the past few months, as Donald Trump has campaigned from city to city, MoveOn members have turned out for peaceful demonstrations against his carnival of hate.

In response, Trump attacked us in the media, calling MoveOn members “not a good group of people,” while his media surrogates explicitly blamed MoveOn for violence he incited at his rallies.1,2

That’s when things started getting ugly. We’ve been flooded with hate mail, spam, and personal threats to our staff and online security.

As a result, we’re conducting a top-to-bottom security audit to secure our systems in advance of the general election. We won’t back down from Trump, but we need to be prepared. Will you chip in $3?

Yes, I’ll chip in to help MoveOn stand up to Donald Trump and his threats.

Over the years, MoveOn has gone head to head against everyone from Dick Cheney to Sarah Palin to the Koch brothers. But what we’re seeing from Trump and his supporters is something different—and scary.

We’ve all seen the videos of Trump supporters punching and shoving protestors—as well as Trump’s explicit statements encouraging violence. What the public doesn’t see is the avalanche of threats that come in through email and social media. It’s more hate mail of a more vicious nature than we received even when we took on the NRA or helped take down the Confederate Flag. It’s frightening.

The Trump strategy is clear: He picks a target, demonizes them, and then tries to bully them into silence. It’s what he’s done to Muslims, women, immigrants, reporters, people with disabilities—and now, he’s trying to do it to MoveOn.

But we won’t back down.

Click here to chip in and help stand up to Donald Trump and his threats.

MoveOn has already begun taking on Trump’s hate directly by providing support for peaceful protesters outside his rallies, by exposing how Trump incites violence, and by joining with leaders of civil rights, economic justice, women’s rights, labor, immigrant rights, environmental, veterans, and community organizations to launch a major initiative to stand up to Trump’s hate.

But this is going to be one of the hardest-fought elections we’ve ever seen. It’s also one of the most important: a fight for the heart and soul of America.

Will you chip in $3 to help provide the resources to ensure the security of our staff and systems we need to take on this fight and keep our staff and systems safe?

Yes, I’ll chip in.

Thanks for all you do.

–Ann Lewis, MoveOn Chief Technology Officer

Sources:

1. Tweet by Fox News, March 11, 2016
https://act.moveon.org/go/2083?t=17&akid=164705.24481313.wlhB6b

2. “Right-Wing Media Baselessly Accuse MoveOn.Org Of Inciting Violence At Trump Rally,” Media Matters for America, March 15, 2016
http://act.moveon.org/go/2780?t=19&akid=164705.24481313.wlhB6b

Want to support our work? MoveOn member contributions have powered our work together for more than 17 years. Hundreds of thousands of people chip in each year—which is why we’re able to be fiercely independent, answering to no individual, corporation, politician, or political party. You can become a monthly donor by clicking here, or chip in a one-time gift here.

 

With Mother’s Day just around the corner, our minds are filled with gratitude towards the moms in our lives who have raised us, cared for our children, and provided us with safety. We also think of the countless domestic violence survivors who we are honored to support in their journey to find peace and justice for their families.
Please show your appreciation for the mothers in your life by making a donation to My Sisters’ Place in their honor! All donations support our work to provide hope, achieve justice, and change the lives of our clients. A card will be sent to your special someone, including a personalized message from you, in recognition of your gift.
May 5 – Find the Perfect Gift for Mom:
On Thursday, May 5th from 6-9 PM ICD Contemporary Jewelry in Chappaqua will host an incredible evening to benefit My Sisters’ Place. 10% of purchases and 100% of raffle proceeds will be donated to MSP. Designer Tovi Farber will be at the event to present her collection and create custom designs!
RSVP below or stop by to find just the gift you are looking for while supporting MSP!
      
May 3-8 – Shop The Brave Collection’s Online Store:
From May 3rd – May 8th, The Brave Collection will donate $5 per purchase to MSP’s Human Trafficking Program. Simply enter the code MSP at checkout.
Their unique jewelry is handmade by Cambodian artisans who come from underprivileged backgrounds or suffer from disabilities. Each piece is carved and woven using traditional metalwork techniques.  

May 15 – Join Us for a Moving Performance of Red Flags:
On Sunday, May 15th, The Schoolhouse Theater in Croton Falls, NY will host a production of Red Flags to benefit My Sisters’ Place. This incredible one-woman play showcases the story of a woman’s journey from the dream of a perfect love, to the horror of abuse, to how she rose again to regain safety and independence.

Thank You!
To learn more about all of the ways to get involved,
please contact info@mspny.org.

Dear MoveOn member,

Imagine a bank that has progressive values and advocates for issues that we all care about—$15 an hour minimum wage, worker protections, affordable housing, and more.1 Yes, a bank like that does exist!

Amalgamated Bank is union owned and supports social and economic justice issues MoveOn members are passionate about.2

Now, Amalgamated Bank has launched its “Banking That Gives Back” campaign, which gives $150 to each MoveOn member who opens a new Convenience+ checking account—and supports MoveOn Civic Action by contributing $50 towards our work fighting for progressive change.3

Make your money work for your values. Click here to find out more about opening a Convenience+ checking account at Amalgamated Bank.3

Amalgamated Bank offers a simple, convenient online banking experience, as well as branches in New York City and Washington, D.C.

The bank was founded in 1923, and its values and actions are vastly different from too-big-to-fail banks, whose irresponsible practices brought about a massive recession and brought our economy to the verge of collapse.

Wouldn’t you feel better putting your money in a progressive financial institution, rather than a bank that profited at the cost of millions of Americans’ homes, jobs, and security and helped create a huge financial crisis?

Open a Convenience+ checking account at Amalgamated Bank and get $150. Click here to find out more now.3

With this one simple action, you’ll support progressive change through Amalgamated Bank and through MoveOn.

Thanks for all you do.

—Tzyh, Bobby, Robert, Adam, and the rest of the team

P.S. This offer with Amalgamated Bank is part of a bigger effort to connect MoveOn members to ways we can make America more progressive—while raising funds to help make MoveOn stronger in the process. We still do not sell our members’ information to any external groups, and we’ll always be transparent about how partnerships like this one help our work together. We’re keen to know what you think! Please click here to tell us what you think of this email.

P.P.S. If you would like to stop receiving our emails about Amalgamated Bank, you can opt out here.

Sources:

1. “Owned by Union, Amalgamated Bank Gives Lift to the Left,” The New York Times, August 29, 2015
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/30/us/politics/owned-by-union-amalgamated-bank-gives-lift-to-the-left.htm

2. “Mission and Values,” Amalgamated Bank, accessed April 19, 2016
https://www.amalgamatedbank.com/mission-values


3. Rules of Amalgamated Bank’s “Banking That Gives Back” Promotion

To qualify for this bonus of $150, you must open a Convenience+ Checking Account between April 15 and June 30, 2016, using the URL provided or by mentioning this special offer when you apply by visiting a branch, and you must set up a qualifying recurring direct deposit (including ACH credits of payroll, pension or government payments payable to you) (hereinafter “qualifying direct deposit”) of $500 or more. At least one qualifying direct deposit of $500 or more must post to your account within 60 days of account opening. Once you have met these requirements, the bonus will be directly deposited into your Convenience+ Checking Account within 30 days. The value of the bonus may have to be reported to the IRS; consult your tax advisor. Offer is limited to one per customer, is subject to withdrawal at any time, and is valid only for accounts in good standing. All accounts subject to the bank’s Terms and Conditions.

If you qualify for the $150 bonus, we will also donate $50 to the non-profit organization above. There is no cost to you and this donation is paid fully by Amalgamated Bank. There is no substitute for this $50 donation and you cannot opt to receive it directly.

For Convenience+ Checking Accounts there is a $10 monthly maintenance fee that can be waived with a qualifying recurring direct deposit of any amount. Note that a direct deposit of less than $500 will not qualify you for the $150 bonus; please see the footnote above for terms and conditions related to the bonus offer. There is no minimum opening deposit or minimum balance requirement to maintain in the account in order to obtain the bonus stated above. The Convenience+ Checking Account is a variable tiered interest rate account. The Annual Percentage Yield (APY) on this account works as follows: if the daily balance is $0-$499.99, the APY paid on the entire balance is 0.01%; for balances $500-$999.99, the APY paid on the entire balance is 0.05%; and for balances $1,000+, the APY paid on the entire balance is 0.10%. The APY stated is accurate as of April 15, 2016 and is subject to change at any time without notice. Fees may reduce earnings.

Every caucus and primary in the last three months has given voters the chance to answer the question: “Where do we want our country to be four, no, eight years from now?”

Take a look at where the political revolution is now. That’s your answer.

The Fight for $15 is the norm in politics — not some far flung idea. People like you and me are being heard when we talk about free college, holding Wall Street accountable, and universal healthcare. Young people are coming out to vote in droves — and staying engaged after election day.

Together with the Bernie Sanders campaign, we’re painting a vision of the future. And we’re not done yet. Every voter matters, and every state deserves the opportunity to vote their values in this Democratic Primary.

Can you pitch in $3 to Bernie and the WFP to make sure this campaign reaches more voters in the states ahead?

This past Tuesday, Bernie won Rhode Island outright and gained 260 delegates from Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Maryland. As Bernie’s campaign manager said last week, “every single vote, and every single delegate for Bernie Sanders is a declaration of support for the values we share.”

Bernie’s campaign has unleashed a progressive wave that is transforming the Democratic Party and will impact elections from the top to the bottom of the ballot in November. Pushing Democrats to the left is a core reason why the Working Families Party was founded and we’ve made a lot of progress over the years. It’s incredible to see in 2016, not even 10 years post-Bush era, a presidential candidate like Senator Sanders who’s giving voice to the same progressive vision.

But if we want to make our vision of the future a reality, we’re going to need greater participation and stronger commitment. We’re going to need young people and community activists to start running for local office.

We’re going to need to bring the protests to the streets, to state legislatures, to the workplace, and to our school boards.

Bernie Sanders started a fire burning. Can you help WFP and Bernie make sure people join the political revolution nationwide? Click here.

Thank you,

Amanda Johnson
Working Families Party

Donate

            Every caucus and primary in the last three months has given voters the chance to answer the question: “Where do we want our country to be four, no, eight years from now?”

Take a look at where the political revolution is now. That’s your answer.

The Fight for $15 is the norm in politics — not some far flung idea. People like you and me are being heard when we talk about free college, holding Wall Street accountable, and universal healthcare. Young people are coming out to vote in droves — and staying engaged after election day.

Together with the Bernie Sanders campaign, we’re painting a vision of the future. And we’re not done yet. Every voter matters, and every state deserves the opportunity to vote their values in this Democratic Primary.

Can you pitch in $3 to Bernie and the WFP to make sure this campaign reaches more voters in the states ahead?

This past Tuesday, Bernie won Rhode Island outright and gained 260 delegates from Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Maryland. As Bernie’s campaign manager said last week, “every single vote, and every single delegate for Bernie Sanders is a declaration of support for the values we share.”

Bernie’s campaign has unleashed a progressive wave that is transforming the Democratic Party and will impact elections from the top to the bottom of the ballot in November. Pushing Democrats to the left is a core reason why the Working Families Party was founded and we’ve made a lot of progress over the years. It’s incredible to see in 2016, not even 10 years post-Bush era, a presidential candidate like Senator Sanders who’s giving voice to the same progressive vision.

But if we want to make our vision of the future a reality, we’re going to need greater participation and stronger commitment. We’re going to need young people and community activists to start running for local office.

We’re going to need to bring the protests to the streets, to state legislatures, to the workplace, and to our school boards.

Bernie Sanders started a fire burning. Can you help WFP and Bernie make sure people join the political revolution nationwide? Click here.

Thank you,

Amanda Johnson
Working Families Party

Donate

            

Zephyr’s finance director here.

Yesterday, we said that we needed to raise $12,000 to stay on track. I have some bad news for you: We fell short.

It certainly wasn’t without trying. Your grassroots donations brought in $10,257.

Here’s the deal: We NOW need to raise $15,000 by midnight or we won’t hit our $400,000 April goal.

Will you chip in $5, $25 or more to help us hit this goal?

Zephyr is running for Congress to ban fracking throughout the United States, end Citizens United, and make elections publicly financed. She can’t do that without your support.

Time is short. Help us hit this goal by clicking here.

Thank you to those who have already contributed to April’s goal!

Ellen Foster

04-12-2016 Agenda with no Backup

03-22-2016 City Council Agenda

Astorino To Dads: Participate In Kids’ Lives
Announces innovative R.E.A.L. parenting program >>

Preventing Seniors From Falling
Accidents are top reason for dependence among elderly >>

Westchester Cheers For Tuckahoe Tigers
National champions honored by county >>


DISNEY LIVE AT COUNTY CENTER

Check out other events
on our Calendar

For more news: www.westchestergov.com

     

148 Martine Avenue, White Plains, NY 10601
www.westchestergov.com
Phone: (914) 995–2900

Locals Urge New York Lawmakers to Pass GMO Labeling Law

 

Mt Vernon, NY – On Friday, April 8, Mt Vernon residents called on local Assembly Member Pretlow to support Assembly Bill 617, which would give consumers critical information about what’s in our food and how it is produced. The bill would label genetically engineered foods in New York, which are pervasive in our food supply, but are often bred to withstand applications of harsh chemicals. Local residents delivered over 1000 petition signatures from constituents to Assembly Member Pretlow, asking for his support for the GMO labeling bill.

 

Local business owner of Sadhana Tea House and Wellness Center, Dr. Mother Khoshhali stated,“I believe GMOs have to be labeled because customers have to know…they need to be labeled because it is the choice of the consumer.”

 

An overwhelming majority of Americans — over 90% in many polls— want GMOs to be labeled. New York would be the fourth state, following Vermont, Connecticut and Maine, to pass a law in support of labeling. The event on Friday followed a rally in Albany in March, with 250 attendees from across the state.
At the federal level, the Senate blocked legislation introduced by Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS) that would halt state efforts to label GMOs.  If passed, the bill would have undermined democratically enacted state laws that give consumers the right to know what’s in our food. U.S. Senators Gillibrand and Schumer both opposed this bill, siding with New Yorkers – and the majority of Americans – who want GMOs to be labeled.  Shortly after the bill’s defeat, U.S. Food Company General Mills announced they will voluntarily label all products sold in the U.S. that contain genetically engineered ingredients. Other companies such as Mars, Kellogg’s and ConAgra were quick to follow.

“We must call on our elected officials to stand up for the people and our right to know what is in our food,” said Food & Water Watch organizer, Ashleigh McGuire.

 

The effort to label GMOs in New York is growing in Mt Vernon and across the state. Consumers are calling on state legislators to pass A. 617/S. 485 and protecting New York’s right to decide whether to label genetically engineered foods. In Yonkers and Mt Vernon activists have gathered over 1000 petitions, in addition to having generated over 50 calls into Assembly Member Pretlow’s office, and 28 local businesses and community organizations have signed on to a letter in support of the bill.

 

Reyna Gonzalez, local mother, stated, “As a consumer I feel I have the right to know what is going into my body and the bodies of my family.”

 

The bill to label GMOs in New York, A. 617, is currently facing a vote in the Codes committee and has 73 co-sponsors in the New York State Assembly.

 

Food & Water Watch champions healthy food and clean water for all. We stand up to corporations that put profits before people, and advocate for a democracy that improves people’s lives and protects our environment. www.foodandwaterwatch.org  

NYC Mayor De Blasio went on Meet the Press yesterday and denied any knowledge of the FBI investigation into his fundraising activities. He has been on the cover of the New York Post two days in a row detailing Preet Bharara’s investigation.

www.empirereportnewyork.com New York’s #1 politics news site has the latest details as well as stories featuring government incompetence.

Thanks to thousands of readers in YONKERS, we have become one of the most popular sites in the state.

Please tap below or go to www.empirereportnewyork.com

Thank you for reading.

Empire Report

www.empirereportnewyork.com

Dear Friends,
Reelhouse Productions has put together a wonderful tribute film to remember the life of our own Michael Nolan. His family is, as always, in our thoughts. If you have time, I hope you will take a moment to watch and remember Mike fondly.

Aisling Center 5k
 
Rest in Peace Msgr. Gallagher
 
Please say a special prayer for the family of Monsignor John A. Gallagher, who passed away on April 1 peacefully after a long bout with illness and was laid to rest this week.
Born in the Bronx, Msgr. Gallagher was close to his disabled brother, Matt, whom he took care of for many years until Matt passed away several years ago. Due to this devotion, he was able to remain with us here in Yonkers at his beloved St. Paul’s Parish from his initial assignment in 1955 until his retirement 48 years later, the last 25 of which he served as Pastor.
Msgr. Gallagher was an educated man and worked part time as a licensed psychologist and also served as the Director of Pastoral Care at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Harrison in addition to countless charitable and civic endevors here in Yonkers. Msgr. Gallagher is survived by countless loving relatives and friends, all of whom are in our thoughts and prayers this week.
 
Senior Citizen Spring Dance
 
Some shots from the seniors dancing up a storm at this year’s spring dance, held at Castle Royale.

 

 
Support Mario Zuccarelli
Long-time employee of the City Clerk’s Office, Mario Zuccarelli, has announced his retirement. Mario has courageously battled M.S. and shown what people with abilities can do. Due to the lapse in time where his paperwork will be filed and the effective date of his retirement, the City Clerk’s Office staff are organizing a fundraiser to help support Mario. Please consider attending or donating.
YPD Supports Childhood Cancer Research
On Sunday, April 10th, members of the Yonkers Police Benevolent Association led by Lt. Keith Olson will be shaving their heads to raise money for pediatric cancer research and the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. This year’s event will be held at 1:00 p.m. Yonkers Brewing Co., 92 Main St. in Yonkers.
The Yonkers PBA has chosen to shave their heads in honor of Det. Frank Fernandez who was recently killed in an automobile accident. If you would like to help support the PBA this support St. Baldrick’s Day, click here to donate.
Worldwide, 175,000 children are diagnosed with cancer each year. In the U.S., more children die of childhood cancer than any other disease-more than AIDS, asthma, cystic fibrosis, congenital anomalies and diabetes combined. The money you raise helps fund the world’s best research to help these children.
 
Upcoming Events
4/9/16 – PC4- Free Recording Session – 16 Warburton Ave – 9am- 3pm
4/9/16 – Assyrian Flag Raising Ceremony – City Hall – 11am
4/9/16 – Pelton Boys & Girls Club Opening Day Ceremony – Pelton Field – 11am
4/9/16 – Art Speak: From Page to Performance – Blue Door Gallery 13 Riverdale Avenue – 1:30pm – 5pm
4/9/16 – Art of Music at CURB – 35 Alexander Street – 2pm-4pm
4/9/16 – Yonkers Artist Showcase – Opening Reception – Yonkers Riverfront Library – 3pm – 5pm
4/9/16 – PO’Jazz on the Hudson – Blue Door Gallery 13 Riverdale Avenue – 7pm-9pm
4/10/16 – Aisling Irish Community Center 4th Annual Pauline Boylan – Coll Memorial 5K Walk/Run Fundraiser – Rambling House 4292 Katonah Ave – 9:30am – 12:30pm
4/10/16 – Weekend Movies: In the Heart of the Sea – Yonkers Riverfront Library – 12:15pm – 2:15pm
4/10/16 – Weekend Movies: Romeo & Juliet – Yonkers Riverfront Library – 2:30pm – 4:30pm
4/10/16 – Rivertown String Quartet: Poetry + Music – Yonkers Riverfront Library – 3:30pm – 4:30pm
As always, if you have any questions, comments, concerns, or complaints, you can contact my office by calling (914) 377-6060.
Gratefully,
Liam J. McLaughlin
914-377-6060

We are thrilled to announce that Team Trump is headed to Rochester, NY this Sunday, April 10th, for a Donald J. Trump for President Rally and we want you to join us! Details about the event are below:

Sunday, April 10th: Rochester, NY
JetSmart Aviation
1205 Scottsville Road
Rochester, NY 14624
Doors Open: 12:00 PM
Rally Begins: 3:00 PM
Register for Tickets here.

Please limit personal items and arrive early to expedite entrance into the venue – please note, NO homemade signs, banners, back packs or large bags will be permitted into the venues.

We look forward to our first rally in Upstate New York and hope to see you there!

 

Sincerely,

Team Trump

Check out the amazing events coming up in Downtown Yonkers
Saturday, April 9th
PC4 – Free Recording Session
9:00am-3:00pm

16 Warburton Ave., Yonkers

This event will provide a free professional recording session for selected participants and is open to any Yonkers youth who would like to lay down a track and receive a CD of their music or spoken word pieces.  PC4 Yonkers is conducting many small-scale events to learn more about the ideas, passions, needs, and concerns of Yonkers residents. One major request has been programming for Yonkers youth, particularly around spoken word and music.
Saturday, April 9th
Science Barge Season’s Opening Festival

99 Dock St, Yonkers.  Noon-4:00pm

Come get your spring on at the season opening of the Science Barge on Saturday, April 9. The Barge is celebrating its eighth year on the waterfront in downtown Yonkers with an afternoon of revelry.
Super-high kite-flying, boomeranging, and stilt walking with Flyin’ Brian Cavallaro, Live music, giant wearable  puppets, hunting for glass eels, Jonathan Ellers’ “Museum Theatre” interactive performance, Yonkers High Robotics Team, and much more
Saturday, April 9th
From Page to Performance.  1:30-5:00pm
Po’ Jazz on Hudson.  7:00-9:00pm
13 Riverdale Ave., Yonkers
Poet? Painter? Songwriter? Storyteller? Performer? Be it Canvas or Notebook, Brush or Pen, ArtSpeak at Blue Door Art Center lets you explore your medium and genre. Please join us in the welcoming space where energy and talent change landscape with each exhibition.
Saturday, April 9th
Art of Music at the Sarah Lawrence Center for the Urban River (CURB). 2:00-4:00pm
35 Alexander Street, Yonkers
Music of the Hudson River. A concert of songs, stories and narratives about the Hudson River, slavery, and the quest for freedom that reveals the hope, power and triumph shared by African Americans and people of all races. In songs, stories, playaction and with audience involvement, Kim and Reggie Harris will lead families in stories including content from the Hudson River heritage, showing how all races can come together to build a strong community.
Saturday, April 9th
Yonkers Artist Showcase – Opening
Riverfront Library, 1 Larkin Plaza.
3:00-5:00pm.
Opening Reception of the Yonkers Artist Showcase. A group of Yonkers artists living and working in the city will show selections of their work in the 8th Annual Yonkers Artist Showcase in the Riverfront Gallery. The Showcase spotlights the presence of a number of remarkable artists in Yonkers showing a variety and creativity comparable to what is found in New York City.
More Great Events Coming Soon to Downtown Yonkers.
Presented by the
Yonkers Downtown BID | 914-969-6660| www.YonkersDowntown.com 

We have huge news!

We needed to raise $400,000 in two months to show the pundits and the insiders that we could raise the money needed to win this congressional seat.

Instead, we raised over $520,000!

But we didn’t raise it with a few hundred wealthy political insiders, like my Republican opponents.

We raised it through 13,000 grassroots donations of $5, $25, or $50. Each donation was really meaningful.

Together, all your contributions led to a wildly successful first filing quarter. You are raising up the voices of people who have been shut out.

This campaign is about grassroots power. It is how we are going win!

Thank you for being part of this amazing campaign.

Z

 

Please be advised that a Real Estate Committee Meeting has been scheduled for Wednesday, April 20, 2016  at 7:00pm, following the Rules Committee Meeting, in the City Council Chambers, Yonkers City Hall, 4th Floor.

 

Agenda Items:

 

 

  1. Presentation from the Westchester Residential Opportunities, Inc. (WRO) to discuss the continuing problems homeowners have  with homes in the City of Yonkers facing foreclosure.  Please note that once received from WRO we will add to the Real Estate ‘H” folder the ‘actual presentation agenda”.

 

 

  1.  Any additional items that may properly come before this committee.

 

We respectfully request that the Administration direct the appropriate Commissioners/Department Heads or their representatives to attend the meeting to address issues on the agenda relating to their respective departments.

 

**In addition, we are also requesting that this meeting be televised**

 

 

Nerissa D. Peña

Second Deputy City Clerk

City of Yonkers

Please be advised that a Budget Committee Meeting has been scheduled ‎for Tuesday, April 12th at 5:45 p.m. in the Council Chambers, Yonkers‎ ‎City Hall, 4th floor.‎

 

Agenda Items:

 

  1. Resolution – for an agreement between the City of Yonkers and the Yonkers Uniformed Firefighters Association. (Negative Fiscal Impact.)

 

  1. Any additional items that may properly come before this Committee.

 

 

 

We respectfully request that the Administration direct the appropriate Commissioners/Department Heads or their representatives to attend the meeting to address issues on the agenda relating to their respective departments.

 

**In addition, we are also requesting that the meeting be televised.‎**

 

Nerissa D. Peña

Second Deputy City Clerk

City of Yonkers

Lalor Joins Farm Bureau and Local Small Businesses in Appeal to Oppose $15 Minimum Wage

East Fishkill, NY – (3/22/16) – Family farmers and small business owners joined together yesterday at Fishkill Farms in Hopewell Junction to ask state lawmakers to oppose the $15 minimum wage. The April first budget deadline is just days away, and the coalition remains united in its efforts to defeat what will be a tough blow to local employers.

The consequences of a 67% wage hike are far reaching.  The small businesses shared their personal stories of what this will mean to each of them, including the decisions that will have to be made to compensate for the major increase in labor costs. A reduction in the number of employees and an increase automation are on the table should this proposal pass in Albany.

The impacts will be felt statewide. A recent report conducted by the former director of the Congressional Budget Office, found that at least 200,000 jobs will be lost across the state. A separate independent analysis by Farm Credit East estimates a $15 minimum wage in New York State would cost farmers between $387 and $622 million in 2021 at the peak of the wage rollout and nearly 2,000 farms would no longer be profitable.  Businesses that can’t make money, don’t stay in business.

Because of the statewide ramifications, the event coincided with more than a dozen others in communities across New York that were organized by Farm Bureau. It is a final push to make the compelling point to lawmakers that there are serious consequences, from job to loss to higher consumer prices, should New York pass a $15 minimum wage.  The small business owners asked their local lawmakers to vote no on $15.

“The push for a $15 minimum wage is being driven not by economics or even a desire to help the working poor.  The drive for a $15 minimum wage, a sixty percent hike on the current minimum wage that just went up on January 1, 2015, is being driven by raw politics.  The way to help the working poor is not to hurt small businesses, farmers, not-for-profits, school districts and taxpayers with yet another unfunded mandate that will make our state less competitive and eliminate an estimated 200,000 jobs statewide. As Governor Cuomo’s own father recognized, the way to help the working poor and avoid all of the collateral damage of a huge minimum wage hike is to expand the New York State Earned Income Tax Credit to benefit more low income New Yorkers.” –  Kieran Lalor, Assemblyman District 105

“As dairy farmers, my family has invested in robotic milkers to minimize our exposure to increased labor costs. It is not simply the higher minimum wage that is the problem, as my family has not hired anyone at minimum wage in years, it is the fact that everyone will require a commensurate increase over minimum.  Some dairy farmers will be able to weather this storm, but I fear that with the high percentage of a vegetable farms costs being in labor all the vegetables being purchased in the metro New York area will not be produced in NY.  Despite politician’s rhetoric for local foods, this shows that their rhetoric does not match reality.”  – Eric Ooms, Farmer & Vice President of New York Farm Bureau

Additional quotes from business owners and Chamber of Commerce:

“At Fishkill Farms during the summer and fall, we hire up to 45 high school students and for many of them this is their first job. Therefore, at $15 dollars an hour minimum wage would have multiple impacts on that practice. First of all, it would increase the cost dramatically of doing business. Perhaps more importantly, we would be hiring more adults and as a result the training and introduction to the workforce that these youths receive would not be available any longer, nor the cash in their pockets. To me, the unintended consequences of meddling in the market place are wide ranging and for, outweigh any benefits that law makers might be considering.” – Mark Doyle, Vice President of the Dutchess Putnam Westchester County Farm Bureau

“We grow garden plants and we compete directly with Dan Schantz Greenhouses in Zionsville, PA were they supply to all of Lowes in Dutchess County. Labor is 47% of our expenses and if minimum wage goes to $15 an hour it will increase our cost of labor to 67%. With PA at $7.25 an hour it will be impossible to compete. Right now Adams Greenhouse produces 170,000 tomato plants for home gardeners to plant in their garden and it would be a shame if these plants were not grown locally.” – Mark Adams, Owner of Adams Greenhouse and President of the Dutchess Putnam Westchester County Farm Bureau.

“As a small business man, I am fully aware of the need for people to make a living. But, making a mandatory $15/hr minimum wage is not the answer. In New York State agriculture we talk about being competitive globally and were not event competitive now state to state. Businesses of all types get larger often times to lower their labor costs per unit of output. As a rule, small businesses; particularly in agriculture, are more labor intensive. The mandatory minimum wage will hurt all businesses and especially labor intensive smaller businesses. If there are no businesses left, there are no jobs.” – Jim Davenport, Owner of Tollgate Holsteins and President of the Columbia County Farm Bureau.

“As far as minimum wage, it is going to be detrimental for community and businesses. I strongly oppose the minimum wage law they are trying to pass, for it will destroy jobs and not create any. As a business owner we take care of our workers very well, and if this law takes place we will have to cut jobs.”  Emanuele Marinaro, Owner of the Blue Fountain Restaurant

“If these mandates are passed, many small businesses, family farms and nonprofit service providers will lay off workers or reduce employees’ hours or be forced out of business. The governor has also not considered that if you increase wages, all taxes and fees correlated with a business’ payroll will also increase. New York State is already one of the worst states in the US for business. According to the Tax Foundation in Washington, DC, the 2015 Business Tax Climate Index Ranks New York State 49 out of 50. This index compares the states in five areas of taxation that impact business: cooperate taxes, individual income taxes, sales taxes, unemployment insurance taxes, and on property, including residential, commercial and farm property.”  – Audra Gerty, Executive Vice President and CFO of the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce

 

Assemblyman Kieran Michael Lalor, a former teacher at Our Lady of Lourdes in Poughkeepsie, is a Marine Corps veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and a frequent guest on the Fox News Channel. Lalor is of counsel to the law firm Gaines, Novick, Ponzini, Cossu & Venditti. He is a graduate of John Jay High School, Providence College and Pace Law School and lives in Hopewell Jct. with his wife Mary Jo and their four young children Katie, Riley, Mikey and Kieran Jr..


www.KMLNY.com

You and your family can enjoy fresh and healthy produce all summer long by purchasing your own share

of the season’s harvest at Hilltop Hanover Farm and Environmental Center in Yorktown Heights through its

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program.

 

CSA is a form of direct produce marketing in which a community of individuals pledges to a support a local farm

by purchasing a share of its upcoming harvest at the beginning of the growing season. Each week, from

June through October, CSA members can take their pick of farm fresh vegetables, herbs and produce  grown

right on the farm using organic and sustainable farming methods to ensure that products are fresh, wholesome

and  nutritious, and grown responsibly without pesticides or fungicides.

 

This year, Hilltop Hanover Farm is offering two different CSA options. A standard CSA is intended to fulfill the

average weekly vegetable needs of a family of four and is available for $700. Members can choose to pick up on

Tuesdays or Thursdays starting in June. Pick up will be farm stand style, with members having the opportunity to

select their own produce.

 

For smaller families of two who like the convenience of delivery, a workplace share – essentially a half share — is

available for $350. This includes pre-packaged produce delivered each week to your workplace on a day to be

determined. A minimum of 20 members is required for the workplace option.

 

Produce varies seasonally and depends on the seasonal harvest. Past CSAs have included carrots, leeks, fennel bulbs,

leafy greens, tomatoes, basil, summer and winter squash, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, onions and beets. A weekly

blog will offer information and recipes tailored to each week’s produce, and an expert volunteer CSA coordinator will

be on site each week to offer advice and suggestions.

 

Hilltop Hanover Farm and Environmental Center is located at 1271 Hanover Street in Yorktown Heights.

 

For event tickets and to register for events, go to HilltopHanoverFarm.org or call (914) 962-2368.

Yesterday, Gov. Cuomo insisted that he will continue to defy the federal government when they request an individual listed for deportation.

New York’s #1 conservative news site has the latest details and other stories featuring liberal incompetence.
Thanks to thousands of conservatives in YONKERS, we have become one of the most popular sites in the state. Please tap below or go to www.empirereportnewyork.com
Thank you for reading.
Empire Report
www.empirereportnewyork.com

Remembering Heroic Irish New Yorkers on St. Patrick’s Day

Made up almost entirely of sons of Erin, The Irish Brigade helped preserve the Union during the Civil War by fighting with distinction at Bull Run, Gettysburg and Antietam. It is believed that Confederate General Robert E. Lee was so impressed with the military prowess of the 69th New York Infantry portion of the brigade at the Battle of Fredericksburg, that he gave them the enduring nickname the “Fighting 69th.”

No Parris Island recruit leaves boot camp without knowing about “Deadly Dan Daly,” a Marine Sergeant Major from Glen Cove, New York, who is one of only seventeen people in American history to receive the Medal of Honor twice. Daly fought in the Boxer Rebellion, the Banana Republic Wars and during WWI. In 2005 when the US Post Office released its Distinguished Marines stamps, Daly was one of four Marines so honored.

The “Father of American Intelligence” was also an Irish New Yorker. Bill Donovan, a Columbia University graduate and prominent Wall Street lawyer before his Army service, received the Medal of Honor, Distinguished Service Cross and two Purple Hearts during WWI. During WWII, he led the Office of Strategic Service, the forerunner to the CIA. After the war he was the special assistant to the chief prosecutor at the trial of several Nazi war criminals.

Even during unpopular wars, Irish New Yorkers answered the call and served heroically. Robert Emmett O’Malley of Queens was the first US Marine to earn the Medal of Honor in the Vietnam War. The Medal’s citation reads in part,” Although three times wounded in this encounter, and facing imminent death from a fanatic and determined enemy, he steadfastly refused evacuation and continued to cover his squad’s boarding of the helicopters while, from an exposed position, he delivered fire against the enemy until his wounded men were evacuated.”

O’Malley’s three brothers served in the Marine Corps as did his boyhood friend Thomas Noonan. Noonan was killed in action while saving the lives of his fellow Marines. For “indomitable courage, inspiring initiative and selfless devotion to duty” Noonan received the Medal of Honor posthumously.

Some 2.7 million American servicemen served in Vietnam but only 247 received the Medal of Honor. That two men who went to school and church together received the nation’s highest military honor for similar acts of selflessness and bravery says something profound about the Irish Catholic community in New York from which they came.

A generation later, two products of that same community fought and died together in Iraq. Lance Corporal Mike Glover of Rockaway, Queens was a scholarship student at Pace Law School who resurrected the school’s Gaelic Law Society before he gave his life for his country in Iraq. Glover’s platoon commander Captain John McKenna, a red-haired New York State Trooper who was born on St. Patrick’s Day, earned a posthumous Silver Star for giving his life in an attempt to save Glover.

Glover and McKenna carried into the 21st Century a tradition of Irish New Yorkers demonstrating gallantry in defense of our nation that began long ago.

 

Assemblyman Kieran Michael Lalor, a former teacher at Our Lady of Lourdes in Poughkeepsie, is a Marine Corps veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and a frequent guest on the Fox News Channel. Lalor is of counsel to the law firm Gaines, Novick, Ponzini, Cossu & Venditti. He is a graduate of John Jay High School, Providence College and Pace Law School and lives in Hopewell Jct. with his wife Mary Jo and their four young children Katie, Riley, Mikey and Kieran Jr..


www.KMLNY.com

We had so many great wins last night! I am very proud to receive your support because without you this wouldn’t have been possible.

 

These past few weeks have been a truly amazing experience. We met so many incredible people. I am just a messenger and it is clear that our voices are being heard! We will no longer stand for the incompetence and corrupt political system that has failed hard working American’s for far too long.

 

I am self-funding my campaign and I am going to do what is right for the people – not the special interests, donors and lobbyists – that control our all talk, no action politicians.

 

I look forward to meeting more of you over the next few months and discussing the issues most important to voters like you including illegal immigration, tax reform, protecting your second amendment rights and national security, among others.

 

Thank you for your continued support. Together we will Make America Great Again!

 

Best Wishes,

 


Donald J. Trump

P.S. Show your support with official Trump campaign merchandise: http://shop.donaldjtrump.com

Paid for by Donald J. Trump for President, Inc.
info@donaldtrump.com

Governor Cuomo and the New York State Legislators are now deep in negotiations on 2016 education funding.

And it’s critical that your representatives hear from you. They need to know how important education is to you. More importantly, they need to hear that you want them to lift up our state’s high need schools so that all students, regardless of their zip code, can have a quality education.

In order to do this, the state must provide schools with $1.1 billion in Foundation Aid. This would alleviate the desperate fiscal needs of the most underprivileged schools. We also need another $200 million for community schools, which will transform our struggling schools into schools that serve the whole child and the community.

For a decade, high need districts have been neglected and starved of Foundation Aid.  Tell your representative that this must end.

Now is the time to restore Foundation Aid to our schools in the 2016 budget.

Tell your Assemblymember and Senator to fight for $1.1 billion in Foundation Aid and $200 million for community schools in the enacted budget. Together, we can make public schools in New York something we can all be proud of.

Thank you,

Jasmine Gripper,
Legislative Director of the Alliance for Quality Education

To read a throughout analysis of the budget proposal, click here.Check Us Out

Follow @AQE_NY on Twitter

Like us on Facebook

Donate to AQEThe Alliance for Quality Education  I  94 Central Ave., Albany, NY  I  (518) 432-5315  I  www.aqeny.org  I  @AQE_NY

It’s a feel-good moment
TWO WAYS YOU CAN HELP GIVE
THE SAW MILL A GOOD SPRING CLEANING
With your help – as a donor or volunteer – trash won’t stand a chance during this year’s Great Saw Mill River Cleanup! Now in its 7th year, the Cleanup will take place on April 16, from 10am to 1pm at 8 sites along the river, from Chappaqua to the river’s mouth in Yonkers.
Every year, hundreds of volunteers join Groundwork Hudson Valley to haul tons of trash and construction debris (3 tons last year) – leaving the river cleaner and freer-flowing for the critters and human folk to enjoy.
Please be a part of this feel-good community event by
volunteering at one of the sites:
Eventbrite - Great Saw Mill River Cleanup 2016: Lawrence St-Ardsley
Or donate to support the Cleanup and Groundwork’s
year-round Saw Mill River stewardship:
DonateNow
Donations of $500 or more made before March 25 will be acknowledged on the event
t-shirt, on the website, and on all promotional materials.
Groundwork Hudson Valley, 22 Main St., 2nd Floor, Yonkers, NY 10701

Hi there, Did you see the email below that Mark sent you yesterday?  Again, this March 31st will mark the last FEC fundraising deadline before the election.

We must close this quarter strong!  Please mail your contribution to the address below so we may receive it before March 31st.  You can always donate online.  Visit our website www.PowellForCongress.com or click here.
Thank you!
The Powell Team
Hello there – I just needed to alert you to a very important fundraising deadline:  MARCH 31st
You see, every quarter we file our contributions with the FEC (Federal Election Commission), that is, March 31st, June 30th, September 30th and December 31st.  At that point they go public for everyone to see.  Many labor unions, elected officials, community leaders and others look at these numbers to determine who they will support.
MARCH 31st is the last filing deadline before the June 28th election!!
Adam has been doing great at all the debates!  He’s been actively campaigning at churches, subway stops, senior centers and just talking with people in every part of this historic congressional district.  But none of that will matter if the MARCH 31st FEC filing doesn’t show the resources to win.  Click here and help us in this exciting journey to Congress.  Or if you prefer, please mail your contribution to Powell for Congress at the address below.
Thank you!
Mark J. Weinstein
Treasurer
Powell for Congress

Are You Getting a Bad Deal Hudson Valley?
First-of-its-Kind Online App Shows
How Much Living Here Really Costs You


(New York, NY) — As Reclaim New York’s Affordability Crisis Report showed last fall, millions of New Yorkers are in over their heads. They are treading water financially as New York gets more expensive each year. Now, in an effort to help Hudson Valley residents understand how much living in their neighborhoods actually costs them, Reclaim New York has launched a new online calculator that computes residents’ total tax burden and basic cost of living. For the first time, anyone in the Hudson Valley can see in clear, powerful data their unique struggle against New York’s high-tax, high-cost environment.

Visitors to www.NYCalculator.org can begin using the new resource today.

“When we read about massive government spending, borrowing, waste and corruption, it’s important to realize those things drive up the cost of everything we do,” says Brandon Muir, Reclaim New York’s Executive Director. “It’s the first step toward understanding whether we are getting what we’re paying for, and those living in the Hudson Valley are paying more than most.”

Reclaim New York’s Affordability Calculator combines your federal, state, and local total tax burden with basic expenses using hyper-local information down to the zip code and school district level. Users then add specific “Wake-Up Costs” like mortgage payments, student loans, childcare, cell phone bills, and other basic expenses to get a complete picture of their financial situation.

The calculator gives users a printable report that breaks down where their hard-earned money is going and what’s left for saving and other expenses. It’s often not a pretty picture. New York loses more people each year than any other state due to affordability concerns.

“The Hudson Valley has seen too many people and businesses leave,” says Muir. “We want them to stay. Now, people can now use data to demand more accountability, reforms and transparency from their elected officials,” Muir continued. “That kind of engagement is what it will take to make New York more affordable for all of us.”

The group has been conducting grassroots events in recent months to educate New Yorkers on the issue of the affordability and the impact of the cost of government on our families.

“Most New Yorkers are paying between 25% and 45% of everything they earn directly to layer upon layer of government,” says Muir. “It’s time we started asking if we’re getting a bad deal and what can be done about it.”

In addition to the new calculator, Reclaim New York will be releasing new editions of its Affordability Crisis Report across the state in the coming months. The initial 2015 report, focused on Long Island, found that across nearly all income levels, residents were struggling to pay basic expenses and have enough to save for retirement, college, and healthcare.

 

About Reclaim New York: Reclaim New York is a non-partisan, non-profit 501(c)3 organization dedicated to advancing a state-wide, grassroots conversation about the future of New York, its economy, and its people. It provides information and seminars on the challenges we face as a state while giving citizens the tools they need to engage in the process of reform. Learn more at ReclaimNewYork.org. Follow on Twitter @ReclaimNewYork.

Nuestros correos electrónicos están ahora en español! Española después de Inglés!
Current Exhibition: BIG Ideas in Small Packages On View Through April 23rd, 2016
Were You At Our Reception? Find Yourself on our Facebook:)
Many artists work exclusively on fully realized concepts, created on a small scale; not needing to be “more”. These works are finished art and not meant to be studies for larger scale works. Yet other artists use small-scale studies for imagining larger works, exploring possibilities of form and materials. Curators Arle’ Sklar-Weinstein and Luis Perelman have invited artists using a wide range of media to submit their work to Big Ideas in Small Packages. This exciting and beautiful art in a variety of media is now on view at our gallery featuring 150 works created by over 50 artists.
ASW 3/8/16, LP 3/8/16
Call For Artists: Putting It All Together
Found Object, Mixed Media, and Collage is the theme of our next call for Artists! If you, or someone you know would like to submit work for this exhibition or would like more information  you can find our submission page at Bluedoorartcenter.org, Under ‘Artist’, Click ‘Call for Artists’
This show will open on June 18th and run through July 23rd.
March 25th, 630pm: Our Monthly OpenMic with Jidah and CJ. Sign up is at 630pm and performances start at 7pm and run until 9pm. Come with your spoken word, instrument, vocals, or just come by and watch these talented members of the community share their art. Entry: $3 Donation
Check out our Facebook for Performance Pictures From Open Mic
March 26th, 630pm: Blue Door Cinema Night, Come by for our Monthly Movie night hosted by Arle Sklar-Weinstein, Discussion to follow film. Suggested Donation of $10.
For more information about our March Events or our Gallery please call during business hours, or email us at info@bluedoorartcenter.org
About Us
Blue Door Gallery presents widely attended and critically-acclaimed fine art exhibitions in a welcoming environment. BDG publishes books on many of its outstanding exhibitions and makes available the chap books of our poets.
Current Exhibition: Future/Canvas The Emerging of Digital Arts opening Saturday, February 13th 2-5 and will be on display through Saturday, March 6th.
Other community art programs at the gallery include monthly “Open Stage” performances, poetry writing workshops, art themed videos, art classes, performances and other special events.
The Blue Door Art Center initiates many public art projects including the installation of sculpture along the Yonkers Esplanade and in other locations. BDAC has been a fixture at Yonkers “Riverfest” for many years and conducts  workshops and events in locations throughout the city. BDAA is now in the process of installing artwork in vacant storefronts throughout Downtown Yonkers and partnering with Greyston Foundation to provide special art experiences for children in their Child Care Center.
SPECIAL THANKS to our Generous and Supportive Sponsors
 
 

sponsor logos 2015

Not an art-maker?  Be an art-lover and supporter  You may find something that 
catches your eye and feeds your soul.
If you or your creative friends have workshop ideas or would like to share your craft,
feel free to email the gallery at info@bluedoorartcenter.org and we will respond asap.
Arle´ Sklar-Weinstein, Gallery and Art Center Co-Director
Luis Perelman, Public Art and Art Center Co-Director
Madeline Yee, Assistant Director/Gallery Manager
Robin Hutchinson, Membership/Registrar
Naajidah Correll, Assistant Manager
Chris Baxter, Grant Writer/ Development
La traducción al español:
11 de Marzo, 6-8pm: Big Ideas in Small Packages – Recepcion de apertura.
Todo el trabajo es entre el diametro de 15 pulgadas. Ven a ver mas de 40 artistas de la zona de Westchester y artistas internacionales tambien.  La instalacion estara hasta el 23 de Abril.
25 de Marzo, 6:30pm: nuestro Open Mic mensual, con Jidah y CJ.
Registracion es a las 6:30pm, las actuaciones corren de 7pm a 9pm. Venga y participe con su poema, cancion, instrumento, a compartir su rendimiento o simplemente venga a disfrutar una noche llena de miembros talentuosos de la comunidad que vienen a compartir su arte. Donacion sugerida de 10$.
26 de Marzo, 6:30pm: Blue Door Cinema Night.
Venga a nuestra noche de pelicula mensual, organizada por Arle Sklar-Weinstein. Discusion sigue la pelicula. Donacion sugerida de 10$.
Para obtener mas informacion acerca de nuestros eventos de Marzo o nuestra galeria por favor llame durante el horario comercial, o escribanos a info@bluedoorartcenter.org
Sobre Nosotros
La galeria Blue Door presenta exposiciones artisticas ampliamente visitadas y aclamadas por la critica en un ambiente agradable. BDG publica libros sobre muchas de sus exposiciones y pone a su disposicion libros de nuestros poetas.
Otros programas de arte en la galeria incluyen actuaciones mensuales en nuestro Open Mic Night, talleres de escritura de poesia, videos con temas de arte, clases de arte, espectaculos y otros eventos especiales.
El Centro de Arte Blue Door (BDAC) inicia muchos proyetos de arte publico incluyendo la instalacion de la escultura a lo largo de la esplanada de Yonkers y en otros locales. BDAC ha sido un complemento al Yonkers “Riverfest” durante muchos anos y realiza talleres y eventos en toda la ciudad.
BDAA esta en el proceso de instalacion de arte en las tiendas vacantes del centro de la ciudad de Yonkers, y su asociacion con Greyston Foundation proporcionara experiencias de arte especial para los ninos en su Centro de Cuidado Infantil.
AGRADECIMIENTOS ESPECIALES a nuestros patrocinadores por su generosidad y apoyo
CONVOCATORIA PARA ARTISTAS
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER (Juntandolo Todo)
Producido por Luis Perelman y Alre Sklar-Weinstein, directores
Centro de Arte Blue Door / Galeria
Ensamblaje y Collage
Proponemos exponer mas grande variedad de temas y tecnicas incluyendo trabajos mas experimentales en 2 y 3 dimensiones para pared o pedestal. La exposicion sera en nuestra galeria dinamica situada en Riverdale Ave, entre las calles de Hudson y Main en el centro de Yonkers, con efecto del 18 de Junio al 23 de Julio de 2016. Fecha limite para las submisiones es viernes, 27 de Mayo de 2016.
Tamano maximo hasta 60″ en cualquier direccion. Mostraremos un maximo de cuatro obras por artista. Obras seleccionadas deben ser entregadas el Lunes 13 de Junio entre las horas de 10am a 4pm.
NO HAY NINGUNA CUOTA DE SUBMISION DE OBRAS. Habra un cargo de instalacion de 25$ por obra seleccionada y comision del 35% por las obras vendidas. Aceptamos su submision siguiendo el procedimiento indicado a continuacion.
Por favor envie por correo electronico archivos JPEG de hasta ocho imagenes como archivos, adjuntos con titulos y toda su informacion de contacto en el cuerpo de email a info@bluedoorartcenter.org
Llame al 914-965-3397 para solicitar mas informacion.
Name | Company | Phone | Email | Website
The Master Pattern Report:
Examining Market Trends and the Evolving Economic and Political Climate
The Master Pattern Report: The Revolution Grows
 

In this week’s episode Dr. Bob Flower talks about how our silver call hit last Friday and this Tuesday, another move coming March 22 in the S&P and Nasdaq, and oil is moving up temporarily, with a large correction in May.


Please click image to view video
My book The Exceptional Mind and Student Success is now available on Amazon!
Unlock the potentials that will help first year college students to navigate the transitional challenges at the end of their high school careers.
Students as well as educators and parents are presented with proven formats for advancing education and educational achievement. A fundamental architecture of direction leads participants to discover concrete laws of control, power and action.
Please click here for Full Press Release
Order on Amazon
For additional information or to request an excerpt from the workbook that has been developed in connection with the program, please contact the Gilchrist Institute press@Gilchristforum.com
STAY CONNECTED:
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Dr. Robert Flower, Ph.D. | Gilchrist Institute | 914.779.6299
admin@Gilchristforum.com | www.drbobflower.com

A.G. SCHNEIDERMAN ANNOUNCES SETTLEMENT WITH MANHATTAN RESTAURANT OWNER WHO UNDERPAID EMPLOYEES AND KEPT TIPS MEANT FOR DELIVERY WORKERS.

Workers Delivered Food To Customers That Ordered Through Websites Delivery.Com, Grubhub.Com, And Seamless.Com. 

Schneiderman: It Is Outrageous That A Business Would Cheat Its Workers And Hoodwink Customers.

NEW YORK—Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced a $15,000 settlement with the owner of two Manhattan restaurants for wage underpayments. The owner, Wallace Lai, admitted to a number of labor law violations, including keeping tips intended for delivery workers after customers ordered through online delivery services. 

Lai formerly owned two Chinese food restaurants, both called Hong Kong Station. From May 2014 until January 2015, the restaurants delivered food to customers through the food delivery websites Delivery.com, GrubHub.com, and Seamless.com. Through those websites, customers paid with credit cards, typically including a tip for delivery workers. Lai unlawfully kept the tips charged through the sites – never paying them to the delivery workers as customers intended.

“Delivery workers travel at all hours of the day and through all kinds of weather to provide food to customers who can order from their homes with the click of a button,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “It is outrageous that a business would cheat its workers and hoodwink customers, by keeping tips that are meant for these hardworking employees.”

The settlement agreement requires Wallace Lai to pay $15,000 for the full amount of tips that he kept from customer orders on the food delivery websites and for minimum wage and overtime violations. The restitution will be distributed to approximately ten workers who formerly worked at Lai’s restaurants.

New York Labor Law prohibits employers from keeping any part of the tips that are intended for service employees, including delivery workers. Under the law, Lai and his restaurants were required to distribute tips to the workers who provided the service that customers are tipping for. The law both protects the earnings of low-wage service employees, and ensures that consumers are not defrauded by a business that keeps gratuities meant for workers. 

This matter was handled by Assistant Attorney General Haeya Yim under the supervision of Deputy Bureau Chief ReNika Moore. Terri Gerstein is the Labor Bureau Chief, and Alvin Bragg is the Executive Deputy Attorney General for Social Justice.

Dear Friend:

Today the Daily News published my Op-Ed on why we must raise the minimum wage in New York. I hope you will take a moment to read about this important campaign, and join me in calling for a living wage in our state.

Sincerely,

Eric Schneiderman

Daily News Masthead

BY ERIC SCHNEIDERMAN

Support is growing across New York State for increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour. More than two-thirds of New Yorkers agree that working men and women need a raise. The Legislature should give them one, or Gov. Cuomo should take action.

The reasons to increase the minimum wage are as clear as they are compelling. Paying a fair wage is a statement of our basic values. When we allow our fellow New Yorkers to work full-time and live in poverty, we are sending a message that we do not value them.

And when we permit large employers to force taxpayers to foot the bill for major costs of doing business — by offering food stamps and other state benefit programs so workers can provide for their families — we send a message that New York is willing to subsidize companies that pay poverty wages. As one study revealed, more than 50% of low-wage workers are on public assistance, costing state and local taxpayers approximately $9 billion over the past two years.

Let’s be clear: The minimum wage affects more than just high-school kids looking to make a few extra dollars. According to official state Department of Labor statistics from February, half of all workers earning less than $15 per hour are 35 or older. In New York City, 80% of minimum-wage workers are over age 25.

According to the Economic Policy Institute, statewide, 53% of minimum wage workers are women and 50% are people of color.

Fight For 15 Rally

The benefits of a hike would go beyond those who receive it. For each dollar the minimum wage is increased, economists estimate it boosts consumer spending by $2,800 per affected household. A minimum wage hike can stimulate the economy.

And recent history shows that a minimum wage hike is not a “job-killing tax.” Quite the opposite. In 2014, more than a dozen states — including New York — increased their state minimum wage. In the months that followed, these states experienced higher rates of employment growth than the national average, according to analyses by economists at Goldman Sachs and the Center for Economic and Policy Research.

Nor is $15 an arbitrary number, as some suggest. As one analysis showed, if the minimum wage had just kept up with inflation since 1970, it would nearly match the governor’s five-year phase-in plan, which would raise the pay floor to that level in New York City by 2018 and in other parts of the state by 2021.

We can address this problem in one of two ways. The Legislature can enact an across-the-board increase. Or, under state law, the commissioner of the Department of Labor can convene a wage board to examine conditions in a specific occupations and determine whether an increase in wages is necessary because current wages are inadequate to provide for workers and their families.

Last year, New York convened a wage board to address the woefully low wages for fast-food workers. Over two months, the board heard testimony from employees, employers and industry experts, and reviewed statistics and studies describing the conditions in the industry.

When confronted with the harsh reality of what it is like to live on poverty wages and work in the fast-food industry, the wage board voted to raise the minimum wage for fast-food workers at large chains to $15 per hour. As a result, as many as 200,000 fast food workers will earn a true living wage by 2021.

There are many other industries — from home-care to retail — where the current minimum wage is inadequate. It is time to send the simple message that all New Yorkers deserve a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work.

Gov. Cuomo can use his power to create more wage boards to critically examine whether workers in other occupations face similar conditions and therefore deserve a similar raise. But the best solution is for the legislature to pass a law this session raising the state’s minimum wage to $15 per hour for all workers.  

Yonkers Watchdog News: Sent to us by one of our readers.

IMG_0494

We got sent this picture of a truck following Yonkers Mayor Michael  Spano around with a banner on the truck and it states about Mayor  Spano being a Republican as opposed to a Democrat as Mayor Spano says  he is a Democrat and it states specific examples of Mayor Spano  joining against the Dems.

1. Where the Mayor sided with the GOP in terms of the Redistricting City Council Districts.

2. The Yonkers City Council President’s race in 2013, where Spano  didn’t endorse the Democratic Party Nominee for Yonkers City President  and the Republican won the Yonkers City Council President’s seat.

3. The Mayor didn’t endorse or support Corazon Pineda in her race for  the 2nd City Council District seat in 2013. Even after Pineda won the Democratic Party Primary, Mayor Spano continued to support the  Independence Party Candidate who lost the Democratic Party Primary to  Pineda.

4. Didn’t endorse or support – Democrat George Latimer in his race  against Republican Bob Cohen.

The Yonkers Watchdog.

 

http://www.lohud.com/story/opinion/columnists/phil-reisman/2016/03/04/reisman-spano-contract-yonkers-firefighters/81333880/

04-12-2016 Agenda with no Backup

We are currently investigating a motor vehicle accident that occurred on Old Tarrytown near the intersection of Knollwood Road. Old Tarrytown Road is temporarily closed between Manhattan Avenue and Knollwood Road while detectives conduct an accident investigation. The closure is expected to last several hours. Please avoid the area and take alternate routes if possible.

Chief Chris McNerney

 

Aside from receiving our quality recreational and tournament tennis instruction, at the most reasonable rates in Westchester, each camper will be able to choose from the following ” electives” , at no extra cost! Campers may choose an elective or continue with tennis instruction. Electives generally run for ½ hour.

 

*Swimming

*Basketball

*Kickball

*Soccer

 

The weeks of August 15th and 22nd there will be an “early drop off” 7:45am and/ or “late pick-up-6:00pm option, for $100.00, per week.

 

RECREATIONAL TENNIS CAMP

1. Morning-1/2 day- 9:30-12:30 pm

2. Full Day- 9:30-4:00 pm

 

Recreational Tennis Camp

(racquets provided, where necessary)

*Games and prizes each week

* Quick Start play format for children 10 and under

* Smaller racquets, low-pressure balls

* Advanced play for higher skilled players

* Electives, as listed above

 

Call Roberta Moloney at 914-693-8985, x 112. Or 124 for information.

 

FULL DAY CAMP

PROGRAM CODE/SESSION/DATE

0115-6/Session VII/July 25-July 29

0115-7/Session VIII/Aug 1-Aug 5

0115-4/Session V/Aug 8-Aug 12

0115-6/Session VII/Aug 15-Aug 19

0115-7/Session VIII/Aug 22-Aug 26

DAY/TIME:  Mon.-Fri./9:30am-4:00pm

LOCATION:  Anthony F. Veteran Park

AGE:  up to 16yrs

FEE:  $300 Res./$330 Non-Res.

 

 

TENNIS CAMP – HALF DAY (Morning)

PROGRAM CODE/SESSION/DATE

0017-3/Session IV/July 25-July 29

0017-4/Session V/Aug. 1-Aug. 5

0017-5/Session VI/Aug 4-Aug. 8

0017-6/Session VII/Aug 15-Aug. 19

0017-7/Session VIII/Aug 22-Aug. 26

DAY/TIME: Mon.-Thu./9:30am-12:30 (Fri. rain date)

LOCATION: Anthony F. Veteran Park

AGE: Up to 16 yrs.

FEE: $150 Res./ $165 Non-Res

 

 

TOURNAMENT TENNIS CAMP

1. Morning- ½ day–9:30-12:30 pm

2. Full Day-9:30-4:00 pm

 

Tournament Tennis Camp

* Focus on conditioning, footwork

* Game- styled tennis drills

* Round-robin match play

* Development of effective match strategies

* Matches with other facilities

* Electives, as listed above

*Participants must be able to serve, rally and score their own matches.

Contact Colleen Till at 914-693-8985, X112 or 124, for information

 

FULL DAY

PROGRAM CODE/SESSION/DATE

0026-3/Session IV/July 25-July 29

0026-4/Session V/Aug 1-Aug. 5

0026-5/Session VI/Aug 8-Aug. 12

0026-6/Session VII/Aug 15-Aug. 19

0026-7/Session VIII/Aug 22-Aug. 26

DAY/TIME: Mon.-Thu./9:30am-4:00pm (Fri. rain date)

LOCATION: Anthony F. Veteran Park

AGE: up to 16 years

FEE: $353 Res./ $425 Non-Res

 

 

 

HALF DAY – MORNING

PROGRAM CODE/SESSION/DATE

0027-4/Session IV/July 25-July 29

0027-5/Session V/Aug 1-Aug. 5

0027-6/Session VI/Aug 8-Aug. 12

0027-7/Session VII/Aug 15-Aug. 19

0027-8/Session VIII/Aug 22-Aug. 26

DAY/TIME: Mon.-Thu./9:30am-12:30pm (Fri. rain date)

LOCATION: Anthony F. Veteran Park

AGE: up to 16 years

FEE: $176 Res./ $212 Non-Res

 

 

AFTER CAMP-PRE SCHOOL SESSION

PROGRAM CODE/SESSION/DATE:

0015-9/Session V/Aug. 29-Sep. 2 (1/2 day)

DAYS/TIME:  Mon.-Thu./9:30am-12:30pm (Fri. Rain Date)

FEE:  $100.00 resident/$120.00 nonresident/1-1 week session

0014-9/Session VI/Aug. 29-Sep. 2 (full day)

DAYS/TIME:  Mon.-Thu./9:30am-4:00pm (Fri. Rain Date)

FEE:  $198.00 resident/$236.00 nonresident/1-1 week session

LOCATION:  Anthony F. Veteran Park

AGE:  Up to 16 yrs.

CLASS SIZE:  30 max.

A special 1-week clinic to “bridge the gap” between the summer season and the opening of school.

 

ASSISTED LIVING FACILITY (former frank’s nursery) to make presentation on August 4th at 9:45 AM, not July 26th

Plans and application are available for download on the town website: link below.

EVENING PRESENTATION BETWEEN 6 and 7 PM BEFORE TOWN BOARD MEETING STARTS

UPDATED CHANGE OF DATE FOR PRESENTATION OF ASSISTED LIVING FACILITY –AUGUST 4  9:45 am

 

Please note that Capitol Senior Housing (CSH), the applicant who is proposing an assisted living facility at the former Frank’s Nursery at 715 Dobbs Ferry Road, will be making a presentation to the Town Board at a work session on Thursday, August 4th at 9:45am.  Our meeting is held at Greenburgh Town Hall, 177 Hillside Ave. Later that evening, the applicant will be making a similar presentation to interested residents from 6:00pm – 7:00pm. The proposal consists of a special permit (Assisted Living Facility – Town Board Approval, referral to Planning Board) and site plan (Town Board approval, referral to Planning Board), Planning Board wetland/watercourse and tree removal (Town Forestry Officer approval) permit application associated with the demolition of an existing nursery and garden center (formerly Frank’s Nursery) and the construction of a three-story, 101 unit (115 beds), 105,000 sq. ft. assisted living facility, with related improvements. The applicant proposes to remediate soil and groundwater contamination at the site in connection with the NYSDEC Brownfield Cleanup Program. The plans and applications are available for download at the following address: http://www.greenburghny.com/Cit-e-Access/formcenter/index.cfm?TID=10&DID=353 Scroll down to the headings TB 16-06.

 

Please note that there is no work session of the Town Board on Tuesday, July 26th, therefore there will be no presentations on this matter on July 26th.  Paul Feiner

Gas Leak in front of 69 Fort Hill Road

 

Con Edison on scene digging up roadway I/f/o 69 Fort Hill Rd

 

Fort Hill Rd closed both North and South at Pheasant Run.

 

Con Ed: No ETA for reopening.

 

Con Ed: No ETA for gas leak repair.

 

 

Paul Feiner

Last call to enroll in our Last Blast Extended Camp for children who are developmentally disabled.

Camp dates:  August 15-19 from 9-3pm.

Location:  Anthony Veteran Park

For more information contact:  Noel Broccoli, Director of Special Recreation at nbroccoli@greenburghny.com

The Greenburgh Town Board approved a local law signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo and passed by the NYS Legislature (thanks to the hard work of Senator Andrea Stewart Cousins and Assemblyman Tom Abinanti) that will phase in tax hikes over a two year period for those who have experienced at least a 25% increase in the assessed value of their property.  Those who qualify will have to submit an application to the Assessor by mid September. There is an income requirement (must be able to qualify for STAR). And, those who take advantage of the phase in must have no building  violations.

The application is being prepared and can be accessed on the town website (assessor’s page) within the next day or two.  Ossining, which also is reassessing all properties, is also  implementing similar policies.  To watch the discussion of the Town Board work session today click on to the  link below.  Assessor Edye McCarthy discusses the phase in.  The goal of the legislation is to help those who are experiencing very large & sudden increases in their taxes as a result of the reassessment.  Only those who meet the guidelines and who are experiencing tax hikes will receive them.

PAUL FEINER

Greenburgh Town Supervisor
EXPLANATION OF PHASE IN LAW–AND DISCUSSION WITH ASSESSOR AND TOWN BOARD

https://youtu.be/zJZl4Y9Ak5IP

The Westchester County Office of Emergency Management is monitoring a construction accident on the Tappan Zee Bridge. Due to a collapsed construction crane, all lanes are closed in both directions. Expect extensive delays and consider alternate routes.

Greenburgh police is on the scene. I have been advised by the Police Chief Chris McNerney that  the crane is being cut up and the center median will be moved to allow for the traffic to move. The southbound lanes are being opened now and they are removing some sections of the center median to allow northbound traffic to turn around. There is no ETA on when the northbound lanes will be open. Tarrytown PD has closed down the ramps to the bridge. The Greenburgh police department has sent tech rescue teams, EMS to the scene and we will be monitoring traffic backup problems.  There were a few minor injuries according to the police chief.  It could have been much worst—we were lucky there were no fatalities or serious injuries. A miracle!

 

I hope that there will be a review of bridge construction safety oversight procedures that are in place. Motorists shouldn’t have to worry about their safety when crossing the bridge during a construction project.

 

This accident highlights the need to not only review safety initiatives re: Tappan Zee bridge but safety on all bridge construction. Last week I received an e mail from a constituent about another bridge construction project: the ASHFORD AVENUE bridge in Ardsley/Dobbs Ferry.  The concern is highlighted below.   The construction of this bridge is a Westchester county project.  I have written to the County Executive highlighting the constituents concern.

 

“Dear Paul Feiner

The rebuilding of the Ashford Avenue Bridge in Ardsley lack private guards for traffic control and for the safety of pedestrians.   In NYC, major construction such as the rebuilding of the Ashford Bridge, have private street guards paid by the contractor for controlling auto traffic and to insure the safety of pedestrians.  Why is this not being done in Ardsley?”

PAUL FEINER

Greenburgh Town Supervisor

 

FANTASTIC NEWS….Elmsford Little League Seniors 16U baseball wins New York State Championship.

The good news continues for Elmsford Little League!  Following on our 12U team’s District 20 title, Jon Last, Elmsford Little League Secretary has informed me that for the first time ever, an Elmsford Little League team has won the New York State title.

The Elmsford Seniors, comprised of 16 and 15 year old boys from Greenburgh, rallied from an 0-7 deficit to beat North Tonawanda 8-7, in this morning’s tournament championship opener and then secured the state title with a 10-4 victory in the second game.  Elmsford bested seven other section champions in the State tournament. This follows Elmsford victories in District 20 and New York Section 3 North tournaments.
Elmsford Seniors now advance to the Eastern Regionals, just outside of Philadelphia, where it will open on Friday morning against the New Jersey State Champions.  The winner of the regional plays for the national Seniors Little League World Series in Bangor, Me.

We are so proud of these boys for their tenacity and commitment to the program.  The Elmsford Little League champs and their coaches were honored at the Greenburgh Town Board meeting last Tuesday night.

ELL Seniors–NY State baseball Champions

Manager: Steve Cowles
Coaches: Jon Last, Brian Field
Players:

Alex Berger
Alec Bjorkland
Joseph Cappiello
Travis Cowles
Drew DiSerio
Corey Field
Andrew Gallousis
Dylan Harrigan
Kevin Lee
Brandon Machado
Kevin Montgomery
Anthony Paiva
Danny Smith
Ryan Smith
Krishan Weber

Congratulations to our champs!
PAUL FEINER, Town Supervisor
Kevin Morgan, Councilman
Diana Juettner, Councilwoman
Francis Sheehan, Councilman
Ken Jones, Councilman

Over the years I have received numerous e mails/calls from cyclists and pedestrians who love walking/bicycling on the South County trail. There is a missing link in Elmsford. This is finally being addressed. I received the following update from the county with an update.

 
“The planning department has completed design for the missing link on the South County Trailway between Route 119 and Warehouse Lane. Funding for construction was approved by the Board of Legislators in early June. A contractor should be selected soon and construction could begin late this year or by spring 2017.
 
According to NYC BIke Maps “the South County trail & North County trails are part of an ambitious rails to trails project that connect Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx to Putnam County trailways via a scenic car free bike path.  The South County trail is 14.1 miles. The North County trail is 22.1 miles. The North County trail connects to the 7.5 mile Putnam County trailway in Baldwin Place in Somers.  The three trails provide a 43.7 mile route.”
 
When I was a member of the Westchester County Board of Legislators in the 1980s and early 1990s I lobbied aggressively for the county to purchase the Old Putnam Railway and to turn the abandoned rail into a bike path. At almost every meeting of the Board of Legislators for over a year I presented Legislators with petition signatures calling on the county to purchase the property as open space. One of the last votes I cast was for the acquisition of the property. 

Over the years many senior citizens and disabled residents have complained about the lack of an elevator at the Hartsdale train station.  Metro North installed elevators at other train stations (like Scarsdale) but they have  refused  to make the Hartsdale train station disabled accessible citing costs among other factors.  The lack of elevators makes it difficult and very stressful for some to take the train to and from Hartsdale. Because the bridge over the tracks was built BEFORE the ADA law was approved the station can continue to be inaccessible according to law.  That doesn’t make it right!

At the Greenburgh family day event yesterday at the Greenburgh pool  the subject of no elevators at the Hartsdale train station came up again. But this time an excellent suggestion was made by one of the residents who approached me:  How about asking Metro North to install a stairlift rather than an elevator on the steps of the bridge over the tracks?

Many people have used stairlifts for years in their homes. Stairlifts provide the elderly/disabled with mobility. They are easy to operate and offer a stable, quiet ride with a comfortable chair. They usually are installed close to the wall and offer plenty of extra room on the steps. And are not very expensive.

I plan to reach out to Metro North and other lawmakers and will urge them to consider this compromise option. If you have any thoughts about this please advise.  If you or family members/neighbors have had difficult getting to and from Hartsdale by train because of the lack of an elevator – please highlight your experiences so I can share them with Metro North.

My e mail is pfeiner@greenburghny.com.

EAST HARTSDALE AVE FARMER’S MARKET CONCERT TOMORROW AT 11:30 AM FEATURING MUSICIAN JONATHAN FLAK—The farmer’s market summer concert series, organized by town Clerk Judith Beville, continues tomorrow (Sat) at 11:30.  Enjoy the music of one of our musicians who has performed in Hartsdale over the years –Jonathan Flak.  Back by popular demand!

2016 IS THE YEAR OF THE ANGRY VOTER ACCORDING TO THE WASHINGTON POST AND MANY OTHER PUBLICATIONS.  IF YOU ARE ANGRY ABOUT ANYTHING that has to do with government  DUNK YOUR TOWN SUPERVISOR (SEE PHOTO OF ME IN THE DUNK TANK FROM YEARS PAST–ATTACHMENT).

This is your opportunity to take out your frustrations. At the time you try to dunk me in the dunk tank you can explain your reasons…. But, there’s a catch. You have to a small fee if you want to dunk me.  I will be at the dunk tank before 3 PM tomorrow-at AF Veteran park for family day.

REMINDER FIREWORKS AT AF VETERAN PARK TOMORROW AT 9 pm

Paul Feiner

CELEBRATE GREENBURGH

Join us July 16th(rain date 7/17) at Anthony F. Veteran Park for our annual Celebrate Greenburgh event.

FIREWORKS – FIREWORKS – FIREWORKS

Fireworks can be viewed from either Anthony F. Veteran Park (11 Olympic Ln, Ardsley) or McDowell Park (across from Veteran Park).

POOL ENTRANCE FEE $5 – FREE AFTER 6PM

Events will include:

  •  10:00 AM – 12:00 PM, Tennis Carnival
  •  10:00AM – 4:00PM, Senior Bridge Party/Entertainment
  •  10:00 AM – 4:00 PM, County Clerk’s Mobile Office Passport Application Processing
  •  12:00 – 4:00PM, Dunk Tank (proceeds benefit Greenburgh Swim Team)
  •  1:00PM – 3:00PM, Band – “Bijoux”
  •  1:00 PM – 4:00 PM, Westchester County’s “Be Fit” Mobile
  •  1:00PM – 5:00PM, Inflatable Water Slides
  •  1:30PM – 3:30PM, Greenburgh Nature Center
  •  2:00 PM – 4:00 PM, Clown Performance/Face Painting
  •  3:00 PM – 4:00 PM, TDYCC African Drums
  •  4:00 PM – 6:00 PM, Band – “Teri Lamar & New Company
  •  6:00 PM – Close, Pool Entrance Free
  •  6:45 PM – 9:45 PM,”Music Mixer DJ’s”
  •  9:00 PM – FIREWORKS 

Call 693-8985 for more information or visit our website at www.greenburghny.com/parks

Department of Parks & Recreation – Town of Greenburgh
Official Town Greenburgh, New York Web site – Information available includes departments, Town Council, supervisor, tourism, education, history, municipal profiles, government, recreation and culture, demographics, and links

Last week’s concert was a blast..

hundreds attended and had a great time. The 2nd in our series begins in less than an hour and a half…

2016 WILLIAM L. CARTER SUMMER JAZZ SERIES,” BEGINNING AT 7 PM TONIGHT at Yosemite Park, located directly behind the TDYCC facility at 32 Manhattan Avenue, White Plains, NY. The FREE series fuses contemporary jazz with urban accents and features a variety of incredibly talented Jazz and R&B artists. Complete with great food, dance space, specialty vendors and a children’s playground along with a sprinkler pad, the Thursday evening series offers FREE summer fun for the entire family.

 
TONIGHT… The Bronx Conexión Latin Jazz Big Band run the scope – from straight-ahead New York Mambo to danceable Latin-Jazz and Brazilian and Afro-Peruvian rhythms
 

Late last  week we installed an electronic sign near the Edgemont High School advising of road delays because some roads were being repaved in the Old Edgemont section of town.  If you take the train from Hartsdale to NYC in the morning leave some extra time since there will repaving trucks on the road.

PAUL FEINER

 

Greenburgh Parks and Recreation in association with Riverstone Yoga are offering Fluid Yoga at A.F. Veteran Park.

This open level class is good for teens and adults – it’s a fun and safe
way to build muscles, increase balance, find and strengthen your core.
No experience needed. (60 minutes)

DAY/DATES/TIME: Sun./July 17, 24 & 31/8:30am-9:30am
LOCATION: Anthony F. Veteran Park Main Pool
In case of inclement weather the class will be held indoors
AGE: 14+
FEE: $36 3 sessions

Register online at www.greenburghny.com/parks

or come in to our office at 11 Olympic Ln., Ardsley, NY 10502

or call 914-693-8985 x118 for more information.CELEBRATE GREENBURGH

Join us July 16th(rain date 7/17) at Anthony F. Veteran Park for our annual Celebrate Greenburgh event.

FIREWORKS – FIREWORKS – FIREWORKS

Fireworks can be viewed from either Anthony F. Veteran Park (11 Olympic Ln, Ardsley) or McDowell Park (across from Veteran Park).

POOL ENTRANCE FEE $5 – FREE AFTER 6PM

Events will include:

  •  10:00 AM – 12:00 PM, Tennis Carnival
  •  10:00AM – 4:00PM, Senior Bridge Party/Entertainment
  •  10:00 AM – 4:00 PM, County Clerk’s Mobile Office Passport Application Processing
  •  12:00 – 4:00PM, Dunk Tank (proceeds benefit Greenburgh Swim Team)
  •  1:00PM – 3:00PMBand – “Bijoux”
  •  1:00 PM – 4:00 PM, Westchester County’s “Be Fit” Mobile
  •  1:00PM – 5:00PM, Inflatable Water Slides
  •  1:30PM – 3:30PM, Greenburgh Nature Center
  •  2:00 PM – 4:00 PM, Clown Performance/Face Painting
  •  3:00 PM – 4:00 PM, TDYCC African Drums
  •  4:00 PM – 6:00 PM, Band – “Teri Lamar & New Company
  •  6:00 PM – Close, Pool Entrance Free
  •  6:45 PM – 9:45 PM,”Music Mixer DJ’s”
  •  9:00 PM – FIREWORKS 

Call 693-8985 for more information or visit our website at www.greenburghny.com/parks

Greenburgh Parks and Recreation in association with Riverstone Yoga are offering Parent/Child Yoga at A.F. Veteran Park.

Partner up with your child for this simply yoga class, specially
designed for to help you get moving with your kids. This class is
both fun and enriching for all. You will use each other in various
postures that are designed to build strength, flexibility and balance
as you share time together. Appropriate for children 6 and up and
parents of all ages. Parent(s) must accompany kids(s) throughout
the entirety of classes. (60 minutes)
Check out our FLYER

START DATE: July 17th & 31th
DAY/TIME: Sun./10am-11:00am
LOCATION: Veteran Park Community Room
AGE: 6+ and parent
FEE: $12/workshop per person

Register online at www.greenburghny.com/parks

or come in to our office at 11 Olympic Ln., Ardsley, NY 10502

or call 914-693-8985 x118 for more information.US Sports Multi Sports Camp

Day/Time: Mon- Fri 9am-4pm/9am-12pm/1pm-4pm

Location: AFV Multipurpose Bldg.

Date: August 22-26

Ages: 5yr-11yrs

Fee: Full Day $185 Resident/$222 Non-Res; Half Day 9am-12pm $155 Resident/$186 Non-Resident: Half Day 1pm-4pm $115 Resident/Non-resident $138

Program introduces children to a variety of sports such as soccer, basketball, lacrosse, hockey etc. Games and drills are designed to capture each child’s imagination.

Click here for Flyer and Registration Form

For more information contact Keith Wright (914) 693-8985 x151or kwright@greenburghny.com

Engineering for Kids Summer Camp

Day/Time: MondayFriday 9am-4pm/Half Day 9-12 or 1pm-4pm

Location: AFV Park Multipurpose Bldg.

Date: August 15-19

Ages: Pre-K- 2nd Grade/Grades 3rd-8th

Fee: Full Day Resident $420/ Non- Resident $450: Half Day Resident $270/Non-Residents $300  

 This Camp introduces our youngest engineers to fundamental concepts of energy, materials and movement.

 CLICK HERE FOR FLYER and REGISTRATION FORM

 Please make checks payable to Greenburgh Parks and Recreation. Registration and payments should be mailed to the Greenburgh Parks and Recreation Department @ 11 Olympic Lane Ardsley, NY 10502.   

For more information contact Keith Wright (914) 693-8985 x151or kwright@greenburghny.com

2016 REVISED SCHEDULE FOR GREENBURGH PARKS AND RECREATION  SWIM MEETS.

The Diving Boards and Competitive Pool will be closed to the public during the below times.

MONDAY 7-18-16

COMPETIVE POOL CLOSED 4PM UNTIL CLOSING

DIVING BOARDS CLOSED 3-4 PM

 

THURSDAY 7-21-16

COMPETITIVE POOL CLOSED 4PM UNTIL CLOSING

DIVING BOARDS CLOSED 3-4 PM

 

WEDNESDAY 7-27-16

COMPETITIVE POOL CLOSED 4PM UNTIL CLOSING

DIVING BOARDS REMAIN OPEN

AmerInti ~ Sun of America
Tuesday, July 12, a las 7:00 p.m.

Enjoy a wide repertoire of Andean music with AmerInti, Sun of America, a local band who uses a variety of Andean instruments including pan pipes, flutes, string instruments and unique percussion instruments such as the quena and sampoñas, the charango and guitars.

Event Location: Greenburgh Public Library, 300 Tarrytown Road, Elmsford, NY 10523

 

Really Terrible Orchestra of Westchester
Saturday, July 16, 2:00 p.m.
The Really Terrible Orchestra of Westchester is a  not-for-profit ensemble of musical amateurs who strive to create philharmonic fun for themselves and their audiences.  Enjoy their summer line-up of great songs! No registration required.

Event Location: Greenburgh Public Library, 300 Tarrytown Road, Elmsford, NY 10523 

CELEBRATE GREENBURGH

Join us July 16th(rain date 7/17) at Anthony F. Veteran Park for our annual Celebrate Greenburgh event.

FIREWORKS – FIREWORKS – FIREWORKS

Fireworks can be viewed from either Anthony F. Veteran Park (11 Olympic Ln, Ardsley) or McDowell Park (across from Veteran Park).

POOL ENTRANCE FEE $5 – FREE AFTER 6PM

Events will include:

  •  10:00 AM – 12:00 PM, Tennis Carnival
  •  10:00AM – 4:00PM, Senior Bridge Party/Entertainment
  •  10:00 AM – 4:00 PM, County Clerk’s Mobile Office Passport Application Processing
  •  12:00 – 4:00PM, Dunk Tank (proceeds benefit Greenburgh Swim Team)
  •  12:00PM – 2:00PMBand – “Bijoux”
  •  1:00 PM – 4:00 PM, Westchester County’s “Be Fit” Mobile
  •  1:00PM – 5:00PM, Inflatable Water Slides
  •  1:30PM – 3:30PM, Greenburgh Nature Center
  •  2:00 PM – 4:00 PM, Clown Performance/Face Painting
  •  2:30 PM – 3:30 PM, TDYCC African Drums
  •  3:30 PM – 5:30 PM, Band – “Teri Lamar & New Company
  •  6:00 PM – Close, Pool Entrance Free
  •  6:45 PM – 9:45 PM,”Music Mixer DJ’s”
  •  9:00 PM – FIREWORKS 

Call 693-8985 for more information or visit our website at www.greenburghny.com/parks

FREE SUMMER GOLF CLINIC FOR YOUTH AND WOMEN ON WEDNESDAY’s  July 13 to August 24th  The African American Men of Westchester in partnership with the Theodore Young Community Center & Westchester Golf range are offering free (no registration required) summer golf clinics for youth and women on Wedesdays  from now to August 24th. Girls and Boys session: 6 PM to 7 PM  & Ladies session  7 PM to 8 PM. Kids ages 6-18.   Location: Westchester Golf Range, 701 Dobbs Ferry Road, White Plains.  Learn how to play golf for free!  As my father in law says —“free is good.”

POLICE TEST GIVEN EVERY 4 YEARS..APPLICATION OPEN TILL JULY 25…..SUMMARY OF SOME OF THE ACTION STEPS WE HAVE TAKEN TO ADDRESS COMMUNITY/POLICE RELATIONS.

The Westchester County Towns and Villages police test is only offered every 4 years. The application period is open now and will remain open until July 25, 2016. The test date is November 19, 2016. The Town of Greenburgh Police Department is the largest town police force in the county and gives residents of the unincorporated town preference in hiring. Please click the below link to find answers to eligibility questions and to register for the exam. We encourage all eligible residents to take the test to compete for an opportunity to be part of one of the finest police agencies in the country.

 

http://humanresources.westchestergov.com

 

The recent police related tragedies has caused community leaders all over the nation to proactively address police-community relations. The town of Greenburgh has tried hard to encourage good community-police relations for many years.  Among the initiatives we have taken:

 

Every uniformed police officer is using their individual body camera and has been doing so since early June, thanks to the leadership of Chief Chris McNerney.

 

  • Every police officer is trained and equipped with a Taser which is less lethal.   Our Special Operations personnel are equipped with additional “less than lethal” equipment.

 

  • In 1992 we created a Greenburgh Police/Community Advisory Commission to encourage dialogue and promote greater understanding between the police and the community in which they serve. The commission (except for the summer months) meets monthly and has included student representatives. Different neighborhoods in town are represented on the commission. Residents with public safety concerns are invited to attend the meetings and relate their feelings.

 

 

  • In 2003 the town created a Greenburgh Police Explorer Post #2003. This is a voluntary post organized by the Boy Scouts of America Explorer Program and sponsored by the Greenburgh police department. Members of the Explorer post serve without compensation and assist the police department. We provide young adults who may be interested in a career in law enforcement with a comprehensive program of training, competition, service and practical experiences.  Character development, physical fitness, good citizenship  are parts of the program. The program is open to young adults ages 14 through 20 years. Call Sergeant Norman Hall at 989- 1715 if interested or e mail nhall@greenburghny.com

 

  • In 1998 the town formed a police summer youth camp.  The camp is partially funded by the Lanza Foundation. About 25 children between the ages of 12 and 17 sign up for the camp each year. The camp is, in essence, a junior police academy where youngsters are placed in a setting similar to that experienced by a police recruit. The seven week course consists of physical training and classroom instruction in law and other related topics. Guest lecturers from the FBI, DA’s office, United States Secret Service and other areas within the criminal justice system present an overview of their agency’s operations. Demonstrations by specialized police units and field trips to courts and other criminal justice institutions also take place. Contemporary issues such as alcohol and drug abuse are addressed and students participate in various role play scenarios which illustrate the practical everyday problems faced by law enforcement officers.  Campers receive instruction and certification in cardio pulmonary resuscitation, first aid and water rescue.  TWO OF OUR GRADUATES ARE NOW GREENBURGH POLICE OFFICERS!

 

 

  • In 1993 we formed the Greenburgh police community policing unit. The community police unit was formed at the time to address pervasive criminal activity in the Fairview section of Greenburgh.  The  community police officers interact with the community. They are given a bicycle and are certified by the Law Enforcement Bicycle Association. They work on other projects: enhancing the bicycle identification program—town residents can have their bicycles stamped with a consecutive number and the framed label. They have coordinated with landlords to eliminate graffiti and vandalism to their properties. They participate in a toys for tots program helping local needy children. They have assisted the department’s street crime unit and the NYS Police with investigations which resulted in indictments of major drug suppliers. They have worked with the parks and recreation department to upgrade our parks and provide safety initiative programs. And- they have helped senior citizens resolve problems. Greenburgh police will also be visiting places of worship—encouraging members of the community to interact with our officers when needed.

 

  • On Tuesday August 2nd from 6 PM to 9 PM the Greenburgh police department will host their years NATIONAL NIGHT OUT. The event takes place at Greenburgh Town Hall. National night out involves over 15, 325 communities from all 50 states. The goal: to heighten crime and drug prevention awareness. To generate support for and participation in local anticrime programs. To strengthen neighborhood spirit and police community partnerships. To send a message to criminals to let them know that our neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.

 

We want you to be proud of our police department and all the services you receive from your town government. Feel free to reach out with any additional suggestions that you think should be considered.

PAUL FEINER

Greenburgh Town Supervisor

 

Elmsford Little League Wins !!!! —an important step to get to the Little League World Series.

Elmsford Beats Harrison 9 to 8 for the District 20 Championship. the Elmsford Little League home field is located at Rumbrook Park in Elmsford on 9A.

District 20 is made up of Ardsley, Dobbs Ferry, Eastchester, Elmsford, Harrison, Kensico, Port Chester, Rye, Rye Brook, Scarsdale, Sherman Park and White Plains.The team is made up of Greenburgh children ages 11 and 12 who tried out and made this traveling All Star Tournament Team.

This is the first step in having the Town of Greenburgh represented in the Little League World Series. It has been over a decade since a team from Elmsford won the District 20 Championship.

The Town Board would like to honor our champions at an upcoming Town Board meeting.  Hat’s off to the champs!

Last fall, while bicycling on the South County trail, I took photo’s of graffiti on the bike path. I also took some photo’s of graffiti at other locations along the Bronx River Parkway bike path. I suggested that a graffiti busters initiative be organized – with volunteers helping to remove graffiti from our parks and along bike paths.

 

I am pleased to advise that the Westchester Parks Foundation is now in the process of organizing a graffiti busters program. They will supply the paint and graffiti removal materials. The volunteers would remove the graffiti and advise the foundation of the work they did.

 If you are interested in volunteering please contact Sarah Cavanaugh, volunteer coordinator for the foundation at 231-4530.

This is great news.

PAUL FEINER

from: Sara Cavanaugh <sara@thewpf.org>
Sent: Wednesday, July 6, 2016 2:14 PM
To: Paul Feiner
Cc: Joseph Stout
Subject: Graffiti Squad

Hi Paul,

We are in the beginning stages of recruiting people for the graffiti volunteer squad. When we met a few months ago you had mentioned that you knew some people that might be interested. Would you kindly pass along my information to them? We are excited to get this program up and running!

Thanks,

Sara

Sara Cavanaugh

Volunteer Coordinator

The Westchester Parks Foundation

(Formerly Friends of Westchester County Parks)

(914) 231-4530

Sara@theWPF.org

GRAFFITI ON S COUNTY PATH

Release Date: November 28, 2015

GRAFFITI BUSTERS NEEDED TO REMOVE GRAFFITI FROM SOUTH COUNTY BIKE TRAIL
PHOTOS ATTACHED  OF SOME OF THE GRAFFITI SEEN ALONG THE COUNTY PATH

GRAFFITI ON SOUTH COUNTY TRAIL GIVES CYCLISTS A POOR IMPRESSION OF THE COUNTY
On November 27th I bicycled on the South County bike path and was very upset to see all the graffiti–especially from the Executive Blvd section to the Yonkers/Bronx line. I am enclosing three photo’s –representing some of the graffiti that I saw on bridges, trees, rocks along the path. The path is beautiful. The graffiti is a county wide embarrassment.
Obviously, the graffiti leaves cyclists with a poor impression of the county. It’s a reminder of the graffiti on the NYC subways when NYC was in decline.
I have written to the county in the past requesting that graffiti on the South County bike path be removed. In the past the county has been responsive. However, graffiti vandals come right back and deface property again and again.
I have a suggestion. The county should form a citizens group of graffiti busters. These volunteers should conduct periodic inspectors and be trained and authorized to remove the graffiti or to cover it up with paint. All the county would have to do is supply the volunteers with graffi remover and ask for an accounting of the work that is done.  It won’t be very expensive but will make a very positive experience for cyclists and walkers/runners who enjoy the path.

Paul Feiner

AmerInti ~ Sun of America
Tuesday, July 12, a las 7:00 p.m.

Enjoy a wide repertoire of Andean music with AmerInti, Sun of America, a local band who uses a variety of Andean instruments including pan pipes, flutes, string instruments and unique percussion instruments such as the quena and sampoñas, the charango and guitars.

Event Location: Greenburgh Public Library, 300 Tarrytown Road, Elmsford, NY 10523

I was just advised by Greenburgh Police Chief Chris McNerney that there was a motor vehicle accident on the Sprain Brook Parkway southbound, south of Ardsley Road but north Jackson Avenue. Apparently the vehicle involved in the accident was carrying Hydrochloric Acid (HCL) and there was a chemical leak of same at the scene. The Greenburgh police responded to assist the New York State Police and Fire Department HazMat personnel at the scene. Our EMS personnel transported the 2 occupants of the vehicle to the WCMC with minor injuries related to the accident (not exposure).

We are told that there is no threat to any residents. The parkway has been closed southbound at Dobbs Ferry Road while the cleanup is taking place (traffic is being diverted into the town). It is anticipated it will be reopened soon.

GREENBURGH’S DEPARTMENT OF COMMUNITY RESOURCES AT THE

THEODORE D. YOUNG COMMUNITY CENTER HOSTS ANNUAL WILLIAM L. CARTER SUMMER JAZZ SERIES

SUMMER JAZZ SERIES THURSDAY NIGHTS AT 7PM IN YOSEMITE PARK

The Theodore D. Young Community Center (TDYCC) is proud to announce the lineup for the “2016 WILLIAM L. CARTER SUMMER JAZZ SERIES,” beginning July 7th at Yosemite Park, located directly behind the TDYCC facility at 32 Manhattan Avenue, White Plains, NY. The FREE series fuses contemporary jazz with urban accents and features a variety of incredibly talented Jazz and R&B artists. Complete with great food, dance space, specialty vendors and a children’s playground along with a sprinkler pad, the Thursday evening series offers FREE summer fun for the entire family.

A chair and musical spirit is all you will need for an enjoyable evening featuring:

On July 7th, ASC All Stars with Special Guest, Lalah Hathaway, a 3 time Grammy Award Winner with a voice that possesses both power and vulnerability with a quiet resonance that fills spaces of grandeur and the hearts of many;

On July 14th, The Bronx Conexión Latin Jazz Big Band run the scope – from straight-ahead New York Mambo to danceable Latin-Jazz and Brazilian and Afro-Peruvian rhythms;

On July 21st, The Kenny Lee ‘All Stars’ bring a blend of jazz and blues to the venue for an explosive emotional summer experience;

On July 28th, tribute band, Forever Ray, honors the music of Ray Charles with their jazzy blend of his greatest hits;

On August 4th, Marcus Machado ft. Bilal & Friends (EWF Tribute), “the most notable guitarists from the next generation,” and Rolling Stone Magazine’s “Next Young Gun”, Machado blends jazz, funk, and rock along with Grammy Award Winner, Bilal, and will prove to be an unforgettable tribute to the “Elements”;

On August 11th, The Angela Johnson Band with a Special Guest, will perform to close out the series.

 

I invited Lavette Carter, widow of Commissioner William L. Carter to share her thoughts about the jazz series named in honor of Bill. The William L. Carter Foundation is providing student musicians who were selected after an audition with a free summer jazz clinic to help them excel. The names of the students are below.

PAUL FEINER

As we embark on the 1st annual William L. Carter Jazz Series, Bill was able to smell some of his flowers last October 2015 when The Greenburgh jazz concert series was renamed The William L Carter Jazz Series.

He was overwhelmed with joy, gratitude and happiness as he stated during his heart felt speech. Bill proclaimed he would be there at the 1st annual

William L Carter Jazz Series and he will be with us in Spirit.

If Bill were alive today, he would say, “Celebrate my Life!”. As I continue to reminisce on past conversations, Bill talked on how he would like to be remembered, A celebration of life.

This is what the William L Carter Jazz Series mean to me” A celebration of life and love of a legend and community activist, Commissioner William L Carter.”

We will all cherish and share the many memories of Bill at the past Greenburgh jazz series and now we will all remember a legend, a giant “Bill” at the William L Carter Jazz Series for years to come.

Bill was the example of how we should all love and support one another and our community. You can live your life the William L Carter way by supporting our youth, respecting our seniors, supporting our community and sharing in love and fellowship with each other through music.

Bill and I fell in love through God first, love of family and friends, love and service to our youth and, the love of music. Please come out with love to fellowship with friends, family and each other at The William L Carter Jazz Series.

 

Thank you to all of the members of the TDYCC family,  TDYCC Advisory Board, Greenburgh Town Council, and the Town Of Greenburgh for making The William L Carter Jazz Series a reality.

 

The William L Carter Jazz  students will perform at The William L Carter Jazz Series on August 11,2016

Mr. Daniel Mack- Baritone/Woodlands Middle School

Mr. Adam Pascual- Trumpet/Woodlands Middle School

Ms. Miranda Luiz- Trumpet/Masters School

Mr. Desmond Washington- Pianist/Woodlands Middle School

Ms. Taylor Harris- Vocal/College of Saint Rose

Mr. Samuel Washington III-Saxophonist/ Morehouse College

Ms. Iryna Bobovyk-Pianist/Music Conservatory of Westchester

Ms. Ekaterina Trofimova- Pianist/Music Conservatory of Westchester

Ms.  Susanna Stepanyan,- Vocal /Music Conservatory of Westchester

Mr. Wesley Nyambi -Trumpet/ Woodlands High School

Ms. Olivia Marie Cook- Saxophonist/ Valhalla Middle School

 

With Love and Appreciation,

Mrs. Carter

 

 

LAST NIGHT CARS WERE STUCK ON SPRAIN PARKWAY FOR OVER 3 HOURS…CARS DRIVING IN OPPOSITE DIRECTION…WE NEED U TURN ACCESS ON CENTER MEDIANS ON SPRAIN PARKWAY–WOULD HELP FIRST RESPONDERS

Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner is urging the NYS Department of Transportation, NYS Police and other state lawmakers to help the town make the Sprain Parkway safer. One suggestion:  install a u turn access on center medians on the Sprain Parkway to avoid the situation that took place last night –motorists were stranded on parkway for a few hours —driving in the opposite direction, creating hazardous situations.  A copy of a letter that is being sent to the Commissioner and  Regional Director, NY State Department of Transportation, State lawmakers, the Governor and the State Police and an e mail from a constituent who was stuck in traffic for over 3 hours last night and observed dangerous conditions can be read below (constituents e mail address deleted)

NEED FOR NYS TO INSTALL U TURN ACCESS ON CENTER MEDIANS ON SPRAIN PARKWAY TO AVOID SITUATION THAT TOOK PLACE LAST NIGHT —MOTORISTS STRANDED ON PARKWAY FOR OVER A FEW HOURS

SOME CARS DROVE IN OPPOSITE DIRECTION WITHOUT POLICE DIRECTION TO GET OUT…..

WHAT WOULD HAVE HAPPENED IF MOTORISTS HAD TO BE EVACUATED SOONER?

 

Last night’s motor vehicle accident (haz mat situation—hydrochloric acid) resulted in the closing of the Sprain Parkway for over a few hours. As  you will note from the enclosed e mail from a constituent some motorists were driving in opposite directions. They were very frustrated.   I would like to request that the procedures used in accidents like this be reviewed. Would it have been possible to have had more police on the scene? Could the police have helped motorists get off the parkway safely –without being inconvenienced for a few hours?  Would signage have helped?

Police Chief Chris McNerney has advised me that there is one other potential safety improvement that needs to be made. We have asked the state to install U-turn access on the center medians and the request has fallen on deaf ears. This is one possible solution to last night’s problem. We have requested this for our EMS response on the parkway. In some cases, valuable time is lost having to go to the next exit to turn around.

The Sprain Parkway has experienced many accidents over the years including fatalities. We need to make the parkway safer. Something needs to be done.  What would have happened if a more dangerous hazardous chemical accident had taken place and motorists had to be evacuated from the parkway faster?

PAUL FEINER

Greenburgh Town Supervisor

enc  copy of e mail

 

________________________________________

From: Joan >

Sent: Wednesday, July 6, 2016 11:28 PM

To: Paul Feiner

Subject: Re: Motor Vehicle Accident on Sprain Parkway

 

Get some police assistance to Sprain!

Have been sitting for over 3 hours.  Now people , without police direction , are driving in opposite direction!  Ver dangerous !!!

Sent from my iPhone

 

Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law the legislation that Assemblyman Tom Abinanti, Assemblywoman Sandra Galef and Senator Andrea Stewart Cousins worked so hard on –authorizing the town of Greenburgh to phase in the impacts of reassessment for those whose taxes will go up for two years. By the third year all taxpayers will pay 100% of the taxes owed.   The Town Board will be holding a public hearing on Tuesday evening, July 12 at 7:30 PM at Greenburgh Town Hall prior to enacting the phase in  as a local law. The issue: should the phase in apply to everyone  who qualifies or those whose tax hikes are over a certain percentage or dollar amount?

 

Greenburgh is reassessing properties for the first time in 60 years. Although most residents of the town will experience no tax hikes as a result of the reassessment  – some have received bad news–significant tax hikes. In recent weeks I have met with property owners who have seen their taxes increases by 50%, 100%, 200% –even more. Neighborhoods most impacted were Irvington, Hastings & Edgemont. The phase in legislation only applies to tax hikes, not tax decreases. The legislation will help us have a smooth reassessment transition. Neighborhoods impacted negatively by the reassessment will be able to avoid panic selling. And, those residents who are being impacted by the reassessment will have little more time to plan what they want to do with their properties.

 

The revenue that the school district will raise will not be affected by this legislation.  The tax levy will be the same; it will then be allocated as always based on the entire assessed valuation for the school district and the tax rate.  This bill will be revenue neutral for the school. The legislation signed into law authorizes a 66% exemption in year one and a 33%  exemption in year two.

 

The legislation does not require the school district to take any action.    The assessor will finalize the assessment roll for the district, determine the tax rate and send out the tax bills as usual.   There will be no impact in this regard on the schools as well.

 

In 2009 and 2010, before the town decided to reassess, Assessor Edye McCarthy and I spoke before dozens of groups (village, school, civic groups) and discussed the reassessment process.  I indicated to groups that I met with that I would push for a phase in process if we implemented the reassessment. Earlier this year former Irvington Trustee Ken Bernstein sent me the following e mail reminding me of the promises we made that we would phase in reassessment.  Prior to the Town Board committing to reassess properties we met with numerous groups, village and school boards and made similar pledges to push for phase in.  At that time no one objected to the phase in because, people were worried that their taxes would go up.

 

This is a big victory for the town and highlights the excellent relations we have with our state government leaders. Earlier this year one civic association that is always critical of the town  sent out an e mail blast stating that “the chances of getting last minute approval form the state legislature for a measure to give some relief to taxpayers in the areas of Greenburgh hardest hit by increases in their property assessments were pretty remote to begin with, but as the legislative session winds down this week, they appear just about dead.”

 

E MAIL FROM FORMER IRVINGTON TRUSTEE KEN BERNSTEIN AND VIDEO OF A 2010 MEETING AT WHICH TIME TOWN OFFICIALS PROMISED TO PHASE IN REASSESSMENT  (we made similar promises to other civic groups in 2009 and 2010)

Ken Bernstein

April 11 at 11:11am

 

 

 

On 10/12/10 there was a “town hall” meeting in Irvington to discuss the possibility of reassessment based on the demands of some Irvington residents. Then-Mayor Jon Siegel and trustee Brian Smith organized the meeting to allow a presentation and Q&A of Paul Feiner and Edye McCarthy. I was also a trustee at the time. Then-county legislator and now State assemblyman Tom Abinanti was also in attendance. I just looked back and found the video on the Irvington Village website at

 

http://irvington.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=2&clip_id=88#.VwuvIHHtoYQ.email. It is a lengthy but informative 2 hour video.

 

To Paul’s credit, at around 1:30 on the video clock (the clock doesn’t work well), he said that (1) he would only support reassessment if there was a hardship provision and (2) he felt strongly about incorporating a phase-in plan, and was going to investigate those possibilities. Others concurred. I believe he consistently took those positions elsewhere. So I’m interested to know what Paul Feiner learned from those investigations before making the decision to proceed. And what help can Tom Abinanti provide now that he is at the State level?

 

SAD NEWS –STEPHEN SCHAINMAN OF MOHAWK DAY CAMP PASSED AWAY

Stephen Schainman, who led the Mohawk Day Camp and Day School for 51 years passed away late last month.  Tens of thousands of campers, staff and families benefited from Steve’s wisdom, expertise and commitment to children.  Stephen received the American Camp Association’s highest honor in 2005—the “Legend in Camping Award.”  He was known for his contributions to camp safety. Mohawk became the first camp or school in New York State to put seat belts on buses. He was the former President of the New York State Camp Directors Association.  And – he was always responsive to the community and worked with local civic associations. He will be missed. At the Town Board meeting on July 12th we will begin our meeting with a moment of silence in honor and in memory of Stephen Schainman. We will pay tribute to his leadership in our community.

Just received this news…..You’re invited to cheer on the team!

Supervisor

 

The Elmsford Little League (Town of Greenburgh’s league) is playing for the District 20 Championship tonight at 6pm at the Elmsford Little League Facility on 9a.

 

District 20 is made up of Ardsley, Dobbs Ferry, Eastchester, Elmsford, Harrison, Kensico, Port Chester, Rye, Rye Brook, Scarsdale, Sherman Park and White Plains.

 

The team is made up of Greenburgh children ages 11 and 12. Who tried out and made this traveling All Star Tournament Team.

 

This is the first step in having the Town of Greenburgh represented in the Little League World Series. It has been over a decade since a team from Elmsford won the District 20 Championship.

 

It would be great if residents from the Town of Greenburgh would come cheer on their team.

 

Respectfully

 

Rob Gramaglia

ELL Board Member

Over six years ago I started a job club. Residents looking for work get frequent job postings from me. And members of the community who know of job openings share job opportunities with their neighbors. If you are out of work and want to be added to the list please advise. And, if your business or organization is looking to hire—you should let me know. It’s great when jobs could be given to people in the community who are in need of employment.  Over a few hundred people have been employed (full time or part time) –thanks to these postings during the past six years!

 

The following is a part time job opportunity that might interest you.

PAUL FEINER

Edgemont Youth Lacrosse, a Westchester based club for boys and girls aged 5 to 15, is looking for a coach and club administrator.  The responsibilities will include coordinating registration, ordering and maintaining team equipment and apparel, scheduling games and events, organizing fund raising and soliciting sponsorships, preparing fields for play, managing club website and email communications, creating practice plans and coaches training programs, as well as coaching boys and girls lacrosse practices and games.  From August through February, the workload will require 5 to 10 hours per week on a flexible schedule, working from home.  From March through June, responsibilities will require 20 to 25 hours per week, primarily after school hours on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, as well as the early afternoons on Saturday.  Compensation is $12,000 for the full engagement, paid in two installments in March and June; benefits are not offered.  Coaching experience a big plus, US Lacrosse certification a plus.  Strong communication and organizational skills required.

This position is perfect for someone looking for a local, part time work from home experience working with kids in sports.  Interested parties are invited to respond to info@edgemontlacrosse.org with a resume and cover letter.

We’re making significant progress with our efforts to sell Frank’s nursery on Dobbs Ferry Road to an assisted living facility. The formal land use review process should begin this month. The Town of Greenburgh land-use board review process will include special permit and site plan applications with the Town Board, and a wetland/watercourse permit application with the Planning Board. Meetings with both Boards will take place over the next several months, beginning with a Town Board referral of the special permit and site plan applications to the Planning Board for review and recommendation. The proposed use has the support of local residents and the civic association, based on prior Town Board outreach.
 
The sale price: $3.5 million minus the cost of remediation. Some good news. The remediation efforts are expected to be less than originally anticipated. And the town could reduce our costs even further with Brownfield Tax Credits.  We anticipate receiving over $500,000 in taxes annually once the building is occupied (with most of the taxes going to the Greenburgh schools).

I invited the chairs of different advisory/policy making boards to share information about their boards with residents. The town benefits tremendously from the hard work and dedication of our volunteers. Fran McLaughlin, chair of the Greenburgh Planning Board sent me the following summary highlighting the work of the Planning Board.

If you visit our website: www.greenburghny.com you can watch meetings of the Planning Board and archived meetings of the Planning Board on our website.

PAUL FEINER

Home Page – Town of Greenburgh
Official Town Greenburgh, New York Web site – Information available includes departments, Town Council, supervisor, tourism, education, history, municipal profiles, government, recreation and culture, demographics, and links

 

Planning Board Responsibilities

The Planning Board of the Town of Greenburgh is an independent land use board that has approval authority over:

  • All subdivision applications
  • All site plans in the PD (Planned Development) and PUD Planned Unit Development) Districts
  • Site plans under five acres in all other Districts
  • Steep slope permits
  • Wetland and watercourse permits
  • Special permits for restaurants, child day care, car dealerships and fitness centers/spas on Central Park Ave.

In addition, the Town Board is required by code to refer a long list of requests within its purview to the Planning Board for recommendation. Applications before the Parks and Recreation Board for use of recreation escrow funds come first to the Planning Board for recommendation before going to the Town Board and the Historic and Landmarks Preservation Board also sends requests to landmark a property to our board for recommendation before the request goes to the Town Board.

Who We Are

Our Board consists of seven members, appointed by the Town Board for seven year staggered terms, and one alternate who can vote in place of a member who cannot attend a meeting. We are all volunteers concerned with good planning. We meet twice a month on the first and third Wednesdays and also may hold a third meeting during months that have five weeks. All members, including the alternate, are required to take at least four hours of continuing education annually on planning issues. Members are also asked to visit the site of all applications and, on large or complicated applications, the Board schedules noticed sited visits on a Saturday morning, inviting the public to join us. Members are drawn from throughout the unincorporated area and represent a wide variety of expertise.

How We Work

The Board applies the Town Code, the State Environmental Quality Review Act regulations and good planning and management practices in reviewing each application. We are an independent board. Most applications change several times for the better during our work sessions in response to members’ concerns and before they reach a public hearing. Our first question during our work sessions is usually, “have you spoken to your neighbors” and if the answer is “no”, we encourage the applicant to do so.

During public hearings we encourage and welcome all to come up and speak. We also read and acknowledge comments received via mail or email. We consider all public comment in reaching our decisions and in determining conditions that may be applied to any approval granted.

Currently there are no vacancies on the Planning Board.

Earlier this week I issued a statement (see below) encouraging Shelbourne to withdraw the lawsuit that they had filed against 19 residents and civic associations objecting to the proposed assisted living facility. Residents of Edgemont and unincorporated Greenburgh have differing views on the application – some support the proposal, others object. I believe that we should be encouraging dialogue and discussion and feel that any legal action against citizens/civic groups  discourages public participation in the process. All the members of the Town Board try to go out of their way to encourage citizen involvement in our decision making actions.

I spoke with representatives of Shelbourne to highlight our views  during the week and am pleased that the lawsuit has been dropped!  A victory for free speech!  Their statement is posted below.  My original statement encouraging them to drop the lawsuit is posted after their comments.

 

I appreciate the fact that the leadership of Shelbourne took this action step. Their application is currently under review by the Zoning Board. The Zoning Board is independent of the Town Board. Members of the Town Board are prohibited by our ethics laws from attending their meetings and speaking for or against applications before them.  Residents who support or oppose the application are always encouraged to express themselves –on this and all other proposals.

PAUL FEINER Greenburgh Town Supervisor

 

From: Jim Kane

Date: July 1, 2016 at 12:01:50 PM EDT

To: Paul Feiner <pfeiner@greenburghny.com>

Cc: Mark Maberry

Subject: Shelbourne Senior Living

Paull,

Attached you will find the follow up response to our discussion of yesterday. As I mentioned we have decided to withdraw the Article 78 proceeding and focus our attention our current application for variances before the Zoning Board.

 

Jim

James W. Kane III|Shelbourne Healthcare Development Group LLC

STATEMENT MADE BY SHELBOURNE

Shelbourne would like to provide clarification on recent events to the citizens of Edgemont and Greenburgh.

 

Contrary to statements that have been made on various social media posts and blogs, Shelbourne did not file a lawsuit against private citizens in an effort to silence dissent or bully our opponents.  That is not our way of doing business. In fact, until now, we have never filed a lawsuit.  Instead, our legal action was an Article 78 appeal of a Greenburgh Zoning Board decision related to our proposed senior living project.  We filed that appeal on the advice of our legal team in order to preserve our rights.  Our attorney named the Edgemont Community Council and a number of citizens because the ECC and those citizens had collectively appealed the Greenburgh Building Inspector’s decision of last summer.  According to our attorney, the ECC and those citizens had to be served with the notice of the appeal in order for the appeal to be proper and legal.  We did not realize that filing the appeal would be the equivalent of filing a lawsuit, and certainly did not realize that it would involve serving private citizens with legal documents.  We should have asked more questions and been more diligent in determining how best to proceed.  We apologize for taking an action that caused concern and inconvenience for the citizens of Greenburgh.

 

Shelbourne has elected to voluntarily withdraw our Article 78 appeal of the previous Zoning Board decision and instead focus our efforts on the pending Zoning Board case.  The citizens served with notice of our appeal and the ECC will not have to answer our appeal.  We intend to make our best case to the Zoning Board.

 

We apologize to the citizens who may feel inconvenienced and even harassed. That was not our intent and we are sure that was not on their minds when they agreed to sign onto the ECC appeal of the Building Inspector’s decision.

 

Shelbourne is not experienced with such litigation, because in our other zoning cases around the country we have not had to rely on the courts to help sort out the complexities of a zoning case.  In other jurisdictions we have been able to make our case successfully to the various town boards.  But we have learned that legal appeals are prevalent and maybe even part of the normal process in Greenburgh. We meant no harm to any citizens of the Town by filing the Article 78 proceeding. We fully expect some of those citizens to ultimately be our residents or the family members of our residents.

 

We recognize the concerns of the ECC and other opponents of our project. We would like nothing more than to convince the opposition of what others around the country already know: we are good neighbors wherever we locate and we provide a beautiful community with excellent senior living services to our residents.  The ECC is concerned with the potential impact our project may have on Greenburgh, although we must respectfully point out that their concerns (traffic and emergency services in particular) are not supported by the facts around assisted living communities, and certainly not valid when you compare Shelbourne’s project with the heavy commercial operations of the nursery for the past 70 years.   The ECC also has made it clear that they are not so much opposed to our use as they are opposed to the way they have been treated in general by the town of Greenburgh and its elected officials.  Shelbourne is caught in the middle of that, and we trying our best to make our case for senior living in as straightforward a way as possible.  Our Article 78 proceeding improperly allowed Shelbourne to be portrayed as a litigious corporate bully, when actually we are just a small group that provides senior living services in quiet, attractive buildings.  Shelbourne is confident that our building will be a welcome addition to the community and will provide another much-needed option for seniors in Greenburgh and their families.

,

 

Jim Kane

Mark Maberry

 

 

From: Paul Feiner

Sent: Tuesday, June 28, 2016 9:18 PM

To: ‘gblist@cit-e.net”””eew

Subject: MESSAGE TO SHELBOURNE–PLEASE DROP LAWSUIT AGAINST CITIZENS WHO OBJECT TO ASSISTED LIVING FACILITY

 

Shelbourne, an assisted living company that wants to build an 80 unit 94 bed assisted living facility on Sprain/Underhill has filed a lawsuit in State Supreme Court against the Zoning Board, the Edgemont Community Council and 19 neighboring residents who had appealed the Building Inspectors decision which resulted in the Zoning Board determining that the assisted living facility needs a variance under the zoning laws.

 

I just learned about the lawsuit today when I received some e mails from residents who live near the proposed facility.  Am very upset.

 

Members of the Town Board and I always try to encourage citizen participation in the decision making processes of government. I believe that a lawsuit against citizens who express themselves is not in the interests of good government. these kind of lawsuits against citizens  discourage people from feeling comfortable expressing themselves on issues of importance to the community. We want residents to speak out in favor and in opposition to proposals under consideration by the Town Board or other Boards. We don’t want citizens who participate in the decisions making processes to feel that their involvement will ever result in lawsuits against them -which could require the hiring of counsel to defend them.  Or the possibility of damages against them if they exercise their right to free speech.

 

Shelbourne’s application is currently before the Town Board. It is possible that the Zoning Board will approve the application. It’s also possible that the application will be denied and that the assisted living facility will never be built at this location. There are residents of Edgemont and unincorporated Greenburgh who support the application. There are those who object to the facility. That’s democracy!

 

I strongly encourage the applicant to remove non government parties (the civic association and 19 citizens) from the lawsuit.  Every citizen has the right to speak out–in favor or in opposition to all actions pendings before their town government, without fear of any form of retaliation.

PAUL FEINER

Greenburgh Town Supervisor

If you and your family enjoy fireworks you’ll love this e mail.  Lots of terrific fireworks displays close to home beginning tonight.

The Village of Scarsdale will host their Fireworks Spectacular at the Scarsdale Pool tonight, Thursday June 30th at 9:15 pm. The show is open to the public. Non-pool members can enter the pool complex after 5 pm for a fee of $2. Members and non-members will pay an entrance fee of $2 to enter after 8 pm.The Westchester Band will play as well, starting at 8 pm.


July 4th Celebrations….

Dobbs Ferry Waterfront, July 4 [link]
Thomas Cullen Picnic in the Park with Fireworks dusk! The park is open to residents of the village but the fireworks can be seen from streets located in and around the village.

Irvington, July 4 [link]
The Village of Irvington Fireworks display will be held on the 4th of July @ 9pm in Matthiessen Park. This event is for Irvington residents only. Park permits will be checked. There is a park near Matthiessen (Scenic Park–where the Red Hat Restaurant is located) that is open to non residents. A beautiful park on the river. Great place to see firework display.

Sunnydale Country Club, off of Underhill Road in the Edgemont section of Greenburgh, has obtained a permit to hold a fireworks display for July 3rd. The display can be seen from areas around Sunnydale since the club grounds are only open to members.                               7/3/16

TOWN OF GREENBURGH FIREWORKS DISPLAY

Family day –AF Veteran pool  Saturday July 16  (the pool is located off of Heatherdell Road)

Additional fireworks displays on www.rivertownsguide.com  They update their website frequently.

http://www.lohud.com/story/entertainment/2016/06/16/where-see-fireworks-fourth-july/85657530/

Have a great holiday and July 4th weekend.

Paul Feiner

Fourth of July fireworks displays in Westchester, Rockland and Putnam
Get the details on the Lower Hudson Valley’s best places to see fireworks over the Fourth of July weekend.

Come visit us this weekend at A.F. Veteran Park. We will have a live music from 2pm to 4pm on Monday July 4th.

Also don’t forget about our upcoming Celebrate Greenburgh Day July 16th (see below)

CELEBRATE GREENBURGH

Join us July 16th(rain date 7/17) at Anthony F. Veteran Park for our annual Celebrate Greenburgh event.

FIREWORKS – FIREWORKS – FIREWORKS

Fireworks can be viewed from either Anthony F. Veteran Park (11 Olympic Ln, Ardsley) or McDowell Park (across from Veteran Park).

POOL ENTRANCE FEE $5 – FREE AFTER 6PM

Events will include:

  •  10:00 AM – 12:00 PM, Tennis Carnival
  •  10:00AM – 4:00PM, Senior Bridge Party/Entertainment
  •  10:00 AM – 4:00 PM, County Clerk’s Mobile Office Passport Application Processing
  •  12:00 – 4:00PM, Dunk Tank (proceeds benefit Greenburgh Swim Team)
  •  12:00PM – 2:00PMBand – “Bijoux”
  •  1:00 PM – 4:00 PM, Westchester County’s “Be Fit” Mobile
  •  1:00PM – 5:00PM, Inflatable Water Slides
  •  1:30PM – 3:30PM, Greenburgh Nature Center
  •  2:00 PM – 4:00 PM, Clown Performance/Face Painting
  •  2:30 PM – 3:30 PM, TDYCC African Drums
  •  3:30 PM – 5:30 PM, Band – “Teri Lamar & New Company
  •  6:00 PM – Close, Pool Entrance Free
  •  6:45 PM – 9:45 PM,”Music Mixer DJ’s”
  •  9:00 PM – FIREWORKS 

Call 693-8985 for more information or visit our website at www.greenburghny.com/parks

July/August 2016 Multipurpose Center Events

 

New Class Session Registration Reminder

 A variety of exercise, bridge, knitting, creative arts and mahjongg classes are offered at the Multipurpose Center. Seniors may try a class one time before registering.

Registration for the July/December class session begins on Friday, July 1st.

Updated Unicards are required to register.

 

 

Mah Jongg Tournaments:

Mondays, July 25th & August 29th.   10:30am-1:30pm.

 Risa Borisoff will supervise tournament play.

Must bring your own Mah Jongg card. Refreshments will be served.

Rules at Front Desk. Sign up in advance at Front Desk.

 

Bingo & Lunch”   12:30-3pm.

Thursday, July 14th -Pizza/

Thursday, August 18th – Hot Dogs

$4.00 for lunch. Sign up in advance at the Front Desk.

 

Celebrate Greenburgh Day: Sat. July 16th.

Multipurpose Center is open from 10am -4pm.

Supervised Bridge game from11am-2pm.  Come play Bingo! Music by Ron Fowler!

Fee for lunch: $5.00 Fireworks at 9pm. Sign up at Front Desk.

 

Duplicate Bridge – 12:30-3:00pm. Mondays: July 18th & August 22nd

 

Back to Basics Bridge Class

Thursdays: 12:30-2:30pm   * 10 weeks* September 8th – November 10th

 

For those new to the game or those who want a solid review of the foundations of the game. Learn how to take tricks, develop more tricks, and how to keep your opponents at bay. MoreFees: $35/Residents.    $87/Non-Residents.

 

 

Registration for trips listed below begins on Wednesday, July 6th at 9:30am.

Each trip requires a separate form & separate check. Credit card forms available at Front Desk. Participants must be senior citizens and   have an updated town Unicard.

Westport Country Playhouse: “What the Butler Saw” & Lunch at Rizzuto’s Restaurant.

Wednesday. Sept. 7th: 10am-5:30pm

Another zany comedy by Joe Orton. Fallen trousers, a marriage on the rocks, and a little blackmail abound in this anarchic romp of hysterically silly proportions. 

Fee for play & 3 course price –fix lunch: $70.00. Sign up by Tues. 8/16.

 

 Riverside Park, Grant’s Tomb and Columbia University w/Marty Shore.

Mon. Sept. 12th: 9:30am –4pm

Explore Riverside Park & Gardens. Visit Grant’s Tomb. Lunch on Amsterdam Ave. Walk through Columbia University & the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. Marty Shore will discuss the history and gentrification of this wonderful Manhattan neighborhood. Must be able to walk a mile. Fee: $16.00.Lunch on your own.  Sign up by Tuesday, Sept 6th.

Rain Date: Wed. Sept. 14th.

 

A Day at Belmont Race Track! Thursday, September 15th9am – 5pm.

Enjoy a day at the races! Indoor buffet lunch in the Belmont Room with a view of racetrack!  

Fee: $75. 00 includes coach bus, track entrance, lunch and a program.

Sign up by Wed. August 17th.

 

Lunch at Pete’s Saloon in Elmsford

Mon. Sept. 19th 12noon –3:00pm

Delicious 3 course meal at one of our favorite local restaurants! Fee: $25.00

Includes beverages and tip. Pay the day of the trip. Sign up by Tues. September 6th.

 

For more information on any of these activities, please call 693-8985, x116 or email pmurphy@greenburghny.com.

 

Gerry Byrne, Commissioner of Parks shared two photos of Crane’s pond (located in Edgemont)–one taken before the algae treatment. One after. .  We still need another treatment before the full effect can take place.  As per state regulations  the whole pond could not be treated at the same time.  We hope to have another treatment take place in 9 days.  The photos (before and after) are attached.  Although the treatment seems to be working – at some point within the next few years we will probably have to dredge the pond –which could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.GREENBURGH TOWN BOARD EXPRESSING CONCERN ABOUT ALGONQUIN PIPELINE WHICH WILL PASS 105 FEET FROM INDIAN POINT AND IS NEAR AN EARTHQUAKE ZONE

The Greenburgh Town Board has joined other officials in expressing concern about the proposed Algonquin pipeline. The pipeline, as proposed, passes 105 feet from Indian Point and is in close proximity to an earthquake zone. The following resolution was unanimously approved by the Town Board at our last meeting.

Paul Feiner

RESOLUTION URGING THAT HEALTH, SAFETY AND PLANNING

CONCERNS BE ADDRESSED AND MITIGATED BEFORE ANY FURTHER

CONSTRUCTION CONTINUES ON SPECTRA ENERGY’S ALGONQUIN

INCREMENTAL MARKET (AIM) NATURAL GAS PIPELINE,

COMPRESSOR AND METERING STATIONS EXPANSION PROJECT

WHEREAS, Algonquin Gas Transmission, LLC (AGT), a wholly-owned subsidiary of

Spectra Energy Partners is seeking expansion of pipelines carrying fracked gas to serve customers in

Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island, and for export, and which pipelines affect Rockland,

Westchester, Putnam Counties and the Greater NY Metropolitan Region; and

WHEREAS, the location of the Algonquin Incremental Market (AIM) pipeline passes 105

feet from the Indian Point Nuclear Facility, intersects with two proposed high voltage power lines and

is in close proximity to a significant seismic zone; and

WHEREAS, materials and contaminants in the gas pipeline include radium precipitate, radon

and its decay products, lead and polonium, many of which are known carcinogens and present a

serious health risk both to local residents as well as the potentially hundreds of short-term

construction-related workers; and

WHEREAS, scientific studies and the World Health Organization link exposure to air

pollution from fracked gas with neurological, cardiovascular, respiratory other health problems and

scientific studies specifically indicate that emissions from compressor stations and other shale gas

infrastructure are also associated with negative health impacts; and

WHEREAS, the current emissions that include benzene, toluene and formaldehyde will be

significantly increased by the expansion of the Southeast and Stony Point compressor stations and

other gas pipeline infrastructure and operations, including but not limited to metering and regulating

stations, pipelines, valves, fittings and Pipeline Inspection Gauge (PIG) operations; and

WHEREAS, the tri-state region, including Rockland, Westchester, and Putnam counties, is

already considered a non-attainment zone for air quality standards according to the United States

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and exceeds the limits for pollutants such as ground level

ozone and particulate matter; and

WHEREAS, there is presently no advanced notification for all planned full or partial

blowdowns at compressor stations, or immediately following any unplanned partial or full

blowdowns, in order for residents and public officials to take prompt emergency measures; and

2

WHEREAS, considering the continued build-up of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, the

State of New York and its political subdivisions should not be facilitating the construction of

additional fossil fuel-related infrastructure, particularly when such infrastructure will operate for

decades into the future; and

WHEREAS, the villages, towns and cities of Rockland, Westchester, Putnam and the Greater

Metropolitan region are duty bound to protect the health and safety of all its residents and all workers

associated with the project;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that

1) before any further construction on the pipeline expansion project, an independent air

emissions baseline assessment be conducted in the areas directly impacted by the proposed

compressor and metering and regulating stations modifications; and

2) any continued construction of the pipeline be continuously monitored by an

independent expert acceptable to industry, local government officials at the state, county, town,

and village level, and to advocates and the public, with funding for this monitoring provided by

Spectra Energy; and

3) the results of the continuous monitoring of air, water, land and all other

environmental impacts be reported daily to the New York State Department of Environmental

Conservation (DEC) and the EPA, and made available to the public in a transparent manner; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that Algonquin Gas Transmission, LLC (AGT) be required:

1) to install the best available mitigation technologies on all components of the existing

and proposed compressor and metering stations in the Algonquin Incremental Market (AIM)

pipeline project, including electric compressor engines, zero emission dehydrators, blowdown

prevention, vapor recovery units, and methane capturing equipment; and

2) to utilize the best practices outlined by the EPA; and

3) to install selective catalytic reduction if gas-driven engines are used instead of

preferred electric engines; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, effective immediately, that advanced notification of all

planned blowdowns (either full or partial) and notification within 30 minutes following any

unplanned partial or full blow downs of the Stony Point and Southeast compressor stations and other

gas pipeline infrastructure and operations (including but not limited to metering and regulating

stations, pipelines, valves, fittings, and Pipeline Inspection Gauge [PIG] operations) be given to all of

the towns within a 25 mile radius of the nuclear reactor in order to alert all residents, emergency first

responders, and municipalities within their purview; and

3

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that a comprehensive and transparent Health Impact

Assessment (HIA), as outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National

Academy of Sciences, be conducted by an independent entity acceptable to industry, local

government officials, advocates and the public, and funded by Spectra Energy; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this comprehensive and transparent HIA cover

cumulative short-term and long-term impacts as well as direct and indirect impacts of all

infrastructure components and operations of the AIM project, including compressor stations

emissions and blow downs, metering and regulating stations emissions, and pipeline leakage prior to

construction, during construction, during normal operations and during blow downs and accidental

release events, with a thorough analysis of all materials and contaminants in the pipeline, including

radium precipitate, radon and its decay products, lead and polonium, and with a thorough analysis of

the proposed Pipeline Inspection Gauge (PIG) launching staging areas and the handling, storage,

cleaning, and disposal of PIGs, PIG wastewater, PIG launcher and all other associated equipment

with PIG operations; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that Spectra Energy fund a comprehensive, independent

and transparent risk assessment of the potentially catastrophic explosion of a 42″ diameter highpressure

pipeline in close proximity to Indian Point Nuclear Facility and a significant seismic zone, to

be completed in accordance with CFR Federal Law 50.59 and 10 CFR 100.20 regarding changes to

site, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, Spectra Energy be required to follow New York State law

by undergoing an independent Environmental Impact Statement before construction of the AIM

pipeline continues any further in order to comply with the requirements of the State Environmental

Quality Review Act (SEQRA) and thereafter minimize and mitigate any negative environmental

impacts; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that until the above safety-related mitigation measures are

fully implemented, the Town Board of the Town of Greenburgh declares its opposition to the

continued construction of the pipeline; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that should the above safety-related mitigation measures

not adequately address the potential hazards, any parkland and private property seized by eminent

domain needs to be returned to the public and its private owners and that the trees cut down to make

way for the pipeline be replanted at the Spectra Energy’s expense; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Clerk of the Town of Greenburgh, NY is hereby

authorized and directed to send a copy of this resolution to the Federal Energy Regulatory

4

Commission and all federal and state involved agencies with the request that the health, safety and

planning concerns stated in this resolution be addressed and mitigated in the environmental review

and all other review processes before project permissions be granted; and to send a copy of this

resolution to Hon. Barack H. Obama, President of the United States; Hon. Charles Schumer and Hon.

Kirsten Gillibrand, United States Senators; Hon. Nita M. Lowey and Elliot Engel, Members of the

United States House of Representatives; the President Pro Tem of the United States Senate; the

Speaker of the United States House of Representatives; the Majority and Minority Leaders of the

United States Senate and House of Representatives, Hon. Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor of the State

of New York; Hon. Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Hon. David Carlucci, Hon. William J. Larkin, Jr., New

York State Senators; Hon. Kenneth P. Zebrowski, Jr., Hon. Ellen C. Jaffee, and Hon. James G.

Souris, Members of the New York State Assembly; the President Pro Tem of the New York State

Senate; the Speaker of the New York State Assembly; the Majority and Minority Leaders of the New

York State Senate and Assembly and to such other persons as the Clerk, decides.

Shelbourne, an assisted living company that wants to build an 80 unit 94 bed assisted living facility on Sprain/Underhill has filed a lawsuit in State Supreme Court against the Zoning Board, the Edgemont Community Council and 19 neighboring residents who had appealed the Building Inspectors decision which resulted in the Zoning Board determining that the assisted living facility needs a variance under the zoning laws.

I just learned about the lawsuit today when I received some e mails from residents who live near the proposed facility.  Am very upset.
Members of the Town Board and I always try to encourage citizen participation in the decision making processes of government. I believe that a lawsuit against citizens who express themselves is not in the interests of good government. these kind of lawsuits against citizens  discourage people from feeling comfortable expressing themselves on issues of importance to the community. We want residents to speak out in favor and in opposition to proposals under consideration by the Town Board or other Boards. We don’t want citizens who participate in the decisions making processes to feel that their involvement will ever result in lawsuits against them -which could require the hiring of counsel to defend them.  Or the possibility of damages against them if they exercise their right to free speech.
Shelbourne’s application is currently before the Town Board. It is possible that the Zoning Board will approve the application. It’s also possible that the application will be denied and that the assisted living facility will never be built at this location. There are residents of Edgemont and unincorporated Greenburgh who support the application. There are those who object to the facility. That’s democracy!
 I strongly encourage the applicant to remove non government parties (the civic association and 19 citizens) from the lawsuit.  Every citizen has the right to speak out–in favor or in opposition to all actions pendings before their town government, without fear of any form of retaliation.

Crane’s Pond in Edgemont has been looking like pea soup this summer, not like a beautiful pond.

Today  Commissioner of Parks Gerry Byrne and his team met with an aquatic specialist from The Pond and Lake Connections (that provide pond and lake management services) at Crane’s Pond concerning the algae and duckweed problem.  Presently the pond has a lot of algae growth with no sign of duckweed.

 

As per state standards he could only treat half of the pond today and will return in two weeks to treat the other half.  He is confident that this treatment will  be effective.  Treatment will continue as needed and as per state regulations through August.  Unfortunately, we had a dry month and the pond fountain went down that contributed to the aggressive algae growth.  We also had a conversation about starting our treatment program earlier next year.

 

Lastly we are going to purchase another pond fountain to increase the water flow and hope to have the new fountain installed later this summer.  If the treatment doesn’t work we will proceed with plans to dredge the pond. Dredging could be very expensive.

Wednesday, June 29; 6:30 p.m.— 8:00 p.m.
WEBs Career & Educational Counseling Svc.
Create a LinkedIn Profile with Impact
A free presentation for job seekers and others using social media.  Learn how to promote your personal brand, market your strengths and values to an employer and distinguish your profile from your resume.  Go to greenburghlibrary.org/calendar or call 721-8208 to register.
Event Location: Greenburgh Public Library, 300 Tarrytown Road, Elmsford, NY 10523

 

Greenburgh Parks and Recreation in association with Riverstone Yoga are offering Fluid Yoga at A.F. Veteran Park.

This open level class is good for teens and adults – it’s a fun and safe
way to build muscles, increase balance, find and strengthen your core.
No experience needed. (60 minutes)
Check out our FLYER

DAY/DATES/TIME: Sun./July 10, 17, 24 & 31/8:30am-9:30am
LOCATION: Anthony F. Veteran Park Main Pool
In case of inclement weather the class will be held indoors
AGE: 14+
FEE: $48 residents/$58 non-residents/4 sessions

Register online at www.greenburghny.com/parks

or come in to our office at 11 Olympic Ln., Ardsley, NY 10502

or call 914-693-8985 x118 for more information.

Greenburgh Parks and Recreation in association with Riverstone Yoga are offering Parent/Child Yoga at A.F. Veteran Park.

Partner up with your child for this simply yoga class, specially
designed for to help you get moving with your kids. This class is
both fun and enriching for all. You will use each other in various
postures that are designed to build strength, flexibility and balance
as you share time together. Appropriate for children 6 and up and
parents of all ages. Parent(s) must accompany kids(s) throughout
the entirety of classes. (60 minutes)
Check out our FLYER

START DATE: July 17th & 31th
DAY/TIME: Sun./10am-11:00am
LOCATION: Veteran Park Community Room
AGE: 6+ and parent
FEE: $12/workshop per person

Register online at www.greenburghny.com/parks

or come in to our office at 11 Olympic Ln., Ardsley, NY 10502

or call 914-693-8985 x118 for more information.

On Wednesday evening I received a letter from Rick Rucoba, Public Affairs Manager for Akzo Nobel advising that their company has terminated contractual relations with the Jefferson and is starting to market the property for commercial or industrial purposes.

In recent months hundreds of NO JEFFERSON lawn signs have appeared in front of homes in Ardsley, unincorporated Greenburgh and Dobbs Ferry. The  Texas company had proposed  to build 272 rental apartments at a former chemical manufacturing plant site on the Ardsley/Greenburgh border.   Residents had numerous complaints – ranging from significant traffic in Ardsley, parking problems, impact to the schools, flooding.  This news is expected to be greeted with lots of smiles from a community that was almost unanimous in their opposition against the proposed development.

I thanked Mr. Rucoba for listening to the community  and expressed an interest in working with his company to find an acceptable use of the property.   Congratulations to the hard working and dedicated members of our community  for their effectiveness!

PAUL FEINER

copy of letter below

Rucoba, R. (Rick) <

Reply all |
Wed 6/22/2016 7:27 PM

To:

Paul Feiner;

Wed 6/22/2016 7:27 PM
You forwarded this message on 6/22/2016 10:11 PM
Paul Feiner,  
 
This email is to inform you that Akzo Nobel has terminated contractual relations with a prior potential purchaser of its site at 1 Lawrence St. in Ardsley, NY and has commenced marketing the property for Commercial or Industrial development.
 
Regards,
 
 
 
Rick Rucoba 
Public Affairs Manager

HARTSDALE ROTARY TO PRESENT LIBRARY WITH NEW COMMUNITY BULLETIN BOARD

Janet Kuney of the Hartsdale Rotary will make a presentation at the beginning of the Greenburgh Town Board meeting tonight at 7:30 PM.  A Ribbon Cutting Ceremony will be held on Saturday, June 25th at 2 p.m. at the Greenburgh Public Library.  The Hartsdale/Greenburgh Rotary Club will be presenting the new Community Bulletin Board to the Library.    A reception with light refreshments will be held after the ceremony in the lobby of the library.

We appreciate the service and dedication of the members of the Rotary Clubs.

PAUL FEINER

Service Above Self: SOME OF THE INITIATIVES OF THE HARTSDALE ROTARY

We are proud to list some of the projects in which we have been involved:

 

  • Provide annual cash awards to high school seniors who have been exceptionally active in community affairs.
  • Sponsorship of High School Students to the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards leadership conference.
  • Sponsorship of the Louis Bronz Child Care Center backpack program.
  • Participation in a Food Outreach program.
  • Thanksgiving and Christmas food baskets at the Theodore Young Community Center.
  • Installed trash baskets and benches around Greenburgh.
  • Constructed elevated gardens at Woodlands for use by the elderly who are unable to garden at ground level.
  • Erected community Bulletin Boards at the Greenburgh Town Library and at the Hartsdale train station plaza.
  • Sponsored and hosted several “Gift of Life” children.
  • Bought and presented dictionaries to all the fourth grade children in the Greenburgh Central School District.
  • Erected and maintain a memorial flagpole in the Hartsdale train station plaza.
  • Instituted an ongoing “Student of the Month” memorial award program.
  • Assisted restocking the library and collecting videos for the Montrose Veterans Hospital through a book and magazine collection program.
  • Read to children at the Greenburgh Library during Literacy Week.
  • Had a clock installed at Greenburgh Town Hall to commemorate 100 years of Rotary and to highlight our strong ties with the town of Greenburgh.
  • Breakfast with Santa with proceeds donated back to programs in the town of Greenburgh.
  • Playground at the Greenburgh Nature Center.
  • Sponsorship of Teen burgh at the Greenburgh Library.
  • Provided AV equipment for Greenburgh seniors

Town Clerk Judith Beville, Town Attorney Tim Lewis and my office recently took a tour of a water tank being repainted in the Edgemont section of Greenburgh. Painting of  each water tank is very expensive–over 2 million dollars!  Find out why.

Watch the video the student interns took.  All our water tanks will be repainted and maintained.

The town formed a Citizens Water District Advisory Committee a few years back to work with the water district, Town Board and public works department. The committee is reviewing  short term and long term infrastructure needs, water rates and regulations impacting the water department.  It’s important to all the members of the Town Board that your drinking water taste good and that the water complies with all federal, state and county health regulations.

WATCH THE VIDEO INTERVIEW BELOW CONDUCTED BY STUDENT INTERNS WITH WATER TANK PAINTERS!  LEARN WHAT GOES INTO PAINTING A WATER TANK
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RIwMkIBgHO8&feature=youtu.be

A great experience for teenagers entering 7th-9th grade with a trip each day in an air conditioned bus to various athletic, cultural and recreation places, (i.e Splash Down, baseball game, Liberty Science Center). On rainy days alternate trips will include bowling, movies, etc.

* DATES: 4 weeks long NEW
* DAYS: M-F, 5 days per week NEW
* TIME: 8:45am – return times vary
* FEE: $900
* AGE: 7th -9th grade
* LOCATION: Anthony F. Veteran Park

Click for our flyer

James Robinson retired as Deputy Commissioner of the Department of community Resources (Theodore Young Community Center) months ago. But – he remains passionate about the town and continues to donate his time volunteering  to make our community a better place.  Thanks to James fundraising efforts we have a spectacular new dream court basketball court at our Old Tarrytown Park.

  • Children will enjoy this court for many years to come. Thank you James and WorldVentures  for this great addition.
  • PAUL FEINER

    Westchester County Town of Greenburgh “Fulfills a Dream and Builds a Court”

    PLANO, Texas, June 20, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — In the town of Greenburgh, N.Y. area kids can now fulfill their dreams on a new DreamCourt™ basketball court thanks to the WorldVentures ‘Empire Team’ of Independent Representatives, the town of Greenburgh, Nancy Lieberman Charities Founder, Basketball Hall-of-Famer, two-time Olympian and NBA Sacramento Kings Assistant Coach Nancy Lieberman, WorldVentures Foundation™ and Sport Court East. The new court was officially opened at Old Tarrytown Park, 177 Hillside Ave. where scattered rain showers did not deter the throngs of community members from celebrating at the pre-dedication cook-out.

    DreamCourts are top-quality, multipurpose play spaces built in collaboration with Nancy Lieberman Charities, WorldVentures Foundation and Sport Court®, with the goal of providing children in underprivileged communities a safe area to play basketball, interact socially, and learn important lessons about teamwork and good sportsmanship. The Old Tarrytown Park DreamCourt is the 27th court installed to date in communities across the country.

    WorldVentures CEO Dan Stammen cuts ribbon at Greenburgh, N.Y. DreamCourt dedication accompanied by WorldVentures Marketing Director and lead fundraiser James Robinson, Greenburgh town officials, and members of the community.

    WorldVentures CEO Dan Stammen cuts ribbon at Greenburgh, N.Y. DreamCourt dedication accompanied by WorldVentures Marketing Director and lead fundraiser James Robinson, Greenburgh town officials, and members of the community.

    WorldVentures Marketing Director James Robinson, who led the fundraising effort and coordinated with town officials to bring the court to Greenburgh, opened the dedication ceremony and served as the emcee for the dedication event. Greenburgh Parks and Recreation Commissioner Gerard “Gerry” Byrne recognized WorldVentures’ commitment to giving back, saying, “James and Team Empire raised more than $20,000 over a two-year period to build this court.”

    Town Supervisor Paul Feiner called this a spectacular addition to the town, and Chairperson of the Housing Authority Board, Bishop Preston, reminded the attendees that all of the town officials and the parks and recreation department of Greenburgh quickly came together to support the court.

    One of the youth in attendance expressed words of appreciation, saying, “This is a really beautiful court where I’ll enjoy playing with my friends. It’s really great how the town officials came together to approve it and make it happen,” with several others nodding in agreement.

    A staff member from Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins’s (D-35th Senate District) office presented a certificate of dedication.

    Before officially opening the court with a ribbon-cutting, WorldVentures CEO Dan Stammen reminisced about playing on a neighborhood basketball court in his hometown of Sarasota, Fla. “You kids are going to have fun, make friends, and make memories. I’m still friends with guys that I played with on a similar court.” He then completed the ceremony by thanking the community members that came out to support the court. “Whether you donated one dollar or five or more, it matters. It’s a gift to give back, and it’s a gift to serve.”James Robinson retired as Deputy Commissioner of the Department of community Resources (Theodore Young Community Center) months ago. But – he remains passionate about the town and continues to donate his time volunteering  to make our community a better place.  Thanks to James fundraising efforts we have a spectacular new dream court basketball court at our Old Tarrytown Park.

  • Children will enjoy this court for many years to come. Thank you James and WorldVentures  for this great addition.
  • PAUL FEINER

    Westchester County Town of Greenburgh “Fulfills a Dream and Builds a Court”

    PLANO, Texas, June 20, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — In the town of Greenburgh, N.Y. area kids can now fulfill their dreams on a new DreamCourt™ basketball court thanks to the WorldVentures ‘Empire Team’ of Independent Representatives, the town of Greenburgh, Nancy Lieberman Charities Founder, Basketball Hall-of-Famer, two-time Olympian and NBA Sacramento Kings Assistant Coach Nancy Lieberman, WorldVentures Foundation™ and Sport Court East. The new court was officially opened at Old Tarrytown Park, 177 Hillside Ave. where scattered rain showers did not deter the throngs of community members from celebrating at the pre-dedication cook-out.

    DreamCourts are top-quality, multipurpose play spaces built in collaboration with Nancy Lieberman Charities, WorldVentures Foundation and Sport Court®, with the goal of providing children in underprivileged communities a safe area to play basketball, interact socially, and learn important lessons about teamwork and good sportsmanship. The Old Tarrytown Park DreamCourt is the 27th court installed to date in communities across the country.

    WorldVentures CEO Dan Stammen cuts ribbon at Greenburgh, N.Y. DreamCourt dedication accompanied by WorldVentures Marketing Director and lead fundraiser James Robinson, Greenburgh town officials, and members of the community.

    WorldVentures CEO Dan Stammen cuts ribbon at Greenburgh, N.Y. DreamCourt dedication accompanied by WorldVentures Marketing Director and lead fundraiser James Robinson, Greenburgh town officials, and members of the community.

    WorldVentures Marketing Director James Robinson, who led the fundraising effort and coordinated with town officials to bring the court to Greenburgh, opened the dedication ceremony and served as the emcee for the dedication event. Greenburgh Parks and Recreation Commissioner Gerard “Gerry” Byrne recognized WorldVentures’ commitment to giving back, saying, “James and Team Empire raised more than $20,000 over a two-year period to build this court.”

    Town Supervisor Paul Feiner called this a spectacular addition to the town, and Chairperson of the Housing Authority Board, Bishop Preston, reminded the attendees that all of the town officials and the parks and recreation department of Greenburgh quickly came together to support the court.

    One of the youth in attendance expressed words of appreciation, saying, “This is a really beautiful court where I’ll enjoy playing with my friends. It’s really great how the town officials came together to approve it and make it happen,” with several others nodding in agreement.

    A staff member from Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins’s (D-35th Senate District) office presented a certificate of dedication.

    Before officially opening the court with a ribbon-cutting, WorldVentures CEO Dan Stammen reminisced about playing on a neighborhood basketball court in his hometown of Sarasota, Fla. “You kids are going to have fun, make friends, and make memories. I’m still friends with guys that I played with on a similar court.” He then completed the ceremony by thanking the community members that came out to support the court. “Whether you donated one dollar or five or more, it matters. It’s a gift to give back, and it’s a gift to serve.”

THANK YOU SENATOR ANDREA STEWART COUSINS AND ASSEMBLYMAN ABINANTI

THE HOTEL TAX THAT WAS APPROVED EARLY THIS MORNING WILL GENERATE AS MUCH AS ONE MILLION DOLLARS A YEAR TO UNINCORPORATED GREENBURGH –HELPING US REDUCE PROPERTY TAXES.
Another major victory for the Town of Greenburgh!  Thanks to the hard work and effectiveness of State Senator Andrea Stewart Cousins and Assemblyman Tom Abinanti the Senate and Assembly have approved legislation authorizing the town of Greenburgh and villages that have hotels within their limits to impose a 3% hotel/motel occupancy tax on guests.  Other municipalities in Westchester and around NYS and the county of Westchester have had a hotel tax for years.
How does this impact you?  If you reside in unincorporated Greenburgh the impact will be significant. We anticipate generating as much as a million dollars a year in new  revenue.  This will make it much easier for the town to continue to approve budgets that come under the New York State tax cap (we have never overridden the tax cap (unlike other municipalities, school and fire districts around the state).  Villages within the town that have hotels (Ardsley, Tarrytown, Elmsford, Dobbs Ferry will be getting a new hotel) will also benefit directly from the new revenue source.
The legislation goes to the Governor for his signature.  I want to thank Senator Cousins and Assemblyman Abinanti for their hard work. I was on the phone with both lawmakers many times this past week – getting updates–as late as close to midnight last night. Councilman Francis Sheehan also made numerous calls and watched the deliberations on the web from yesterday morning to the early morning hours today. Council members Diana Juettner, Ken Jones and Kevin Morgan also lobbied effectively for the legislation. This accomplishment was difficult to achieve. The Senate passed the legislation in the early morning hours today – when most of us were sleeping.
We are fortunate to have an excellent relationship with our lawmakers in Albany. And look forward to working with Senator Cousins and Assemblyman Abinanti so we can continue to make Greenburgh a better place to live and work in.
PAUL FEINER
Greenburgh Town Supervisor

 

The last day to file a grievance to challenge your tax assessment is June 21 at 9 PM. A link that appears on the town website is below: cut and paste if the link doesn’t work or visit our website Grievance deadlines are set by NYS. Grievance applications MUST be received by the 21st.

http://www.greenburghny.com/FCpdf/HOW%20TO%20CHALLENGE%20YOUR%20TOWN%20ASSESSMENT-2016.pdf

AUDITIONS FOR FREE JAZZ CLINIC FOR STUDENT MUSICIANS MONDAY JUNE 27 2 PM TO 5 PM AT THEODORE YOUNG COMMUNITY CENTER

Kenny Lee Orchestra is proud to be part of the William L Carter Foundation mentoring initiative.  As part of the initiative Kenny Lee has agreed to offer 10 qualified Jazz musicians the opportunity to practice with his band during the summer months and to actually perform on stage with the band at the William L. Carter Jazz Concert series to be held at Yosemite Park during the summer.
 The William L Carter Jazz Clinic will offer young Jazz musicians 8 weeks of perfecting their musical  talent  at no coast to the young musicians. The William L Carter Foundation will sponsor the 10 young Jazz musicians in continuing with the legacy of Mr. William L Carter. Keeping Jazz vibrant to our youth is essential for future musicians. 
 Bill inspired young people to reach their potential, Kenny Lee said and we want to do our part to continue Bill’s legacy of motivating young people to excel in jazz and music. We know that jazz brought smiles to Bill and we want to bring smiles to hundreds of other people through music.
Kenny Lee All stars is well known and respected in the region. Jazz trumpeter, Kenneth D. Lee, known as Kenny Lee, started his musical ambitions at an early age by playing trumpet in the White Plains elementary and high school jazz and marching bands.  Kenny received his first trumpet lesson from his father, who also played trumpet.

 

Upon completion of White Plains High School, Kenny joined the United States Marine Corp and played four years in the United States Marine Corps Band. He was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps at the rank of Sergeant E-4.

 

Subsequently, Kenny spent 22 years at the White Plains Police Department and retired as a Detective 1st grade. His career continued as a Criminal Investigator for the Bank of New York. He retired 17 years later as the Regional Security Manager of the Bank of New York.

 

During all of this period of time, Kenny continued to play trumpet and later studied trumpet at the Westchester Conservatory of Music in White Plains.

 

Kenny has gained the respect of jazz musicians throughout the Westchester, Connecticut, and New York City area and has had the pleasure of playing with numerous outstanding professional musicians.  To date, Kenny continues to perform at many clubs and restaurants all over the tri-state area with his band, the “Kenny Lee Allstars”.  The band consists of Trumpet, Tenor Sax/Flute, Piano, Bass and drums.

NEW YORK STATE SENATE AND ASSEMBLY APPROVES 3 YEAR PHASE IN FOR THOSE IMPACTED BY REASSESSMENT TAX HIKES.

THANK YOU SENATOR ANDREA STEWART COUSINS, ASSEMBLYMAN TOM ABINANTI AND ASSEMBLYWOMAN SANDRA GALEF —and the Town Board!

The New York State Senate and Assembly has approved legislation enabling the town of Greenburgh to phase in tax hikes over a three year period for those impacted by the reassessment. By the third year all property owners will pay 100% of their taxes.  The approved legislation now goes to the Governor.

Greenburgh is reassessing properties for the first time in 60 years. Although most residents of the town will experience no tax hikes as a result of the reassessment  – some have received bad news–significant tax hikes. In recent weeks I have met with property owners who have seen their taxes increases by 50%, 100%, 200% –even more. Neighborhoods most impacted were Irvington, Hastings & Edgemont. The phase in legislation only applies to tax hikes, not tax decreases. The legislation will help us have a smooth reassessment transition. Neighborhoods impacted negatively by the reassessment will be able to avoid panic selling. And, those residents who are being impacted by the reassessment will have little more time to plan what they want to do with their properties.

I would like to thank State Senator Andrea Stewart Cousins and Assemblyman Tom Abinanti for working very hard on this initiative. A special thank you to Assemblywoman Sandra Galef, chair of the Real Property Committee in the Assembly for her assistance. All the Town Board members – Francis Sheehan, Diana Juettner, Kevin Morgan and Ken Jones – did whatever they could to lobby for the legislation.  This is a big victory and was difficult to achieve. Some bloggers posted on blogs that the chances of the legislation being approved by state lawmakers was remote.

The revenue that the school district will raise will not be affected by this legislation.  The tax levy will be the same; it will then be allocated as always based on the entire assessed valuation for the school district and the tax rate.  This bill will be revenue neutral for the school.

 

The legislation does not require the school district to take any action.    The assessor will finalize the assessment roll for the district, determine the tax rate and send out the tax bills as usual.   There will be no impact in this regard on the schools as well.

In 2009 and 2010, before the town decided to reassess, Assessor Edye McCarthy and I spoke before dozens of groups (village, school, civic groups) and discussed the reassessment process.  I indicated to groups that I met with that I would push for a phase in process if we implemented the reassessment. Earliert this year some residents sent me the video of my remarks – to remind me!  I am pleased that we will be able to keep the promises made to the community.

If you are not satisfied with the assessment on your property please be advised that the last day to file a grievance at Town Hall (to appear before the Board of Assessment & Review) is next week: June 21. Town Hall will be open till 9 pm on the 21st.  Call 989 1520 (assessor’s office for more info).

PAUL FEINER

Greenburgh Town Supervisor

 

 

There will be a Vigil for the Orlando victims this Thursday, 6:30PM at Fulton Park adjacent to the Hastings Library. (If there is inclement weather, it will be held in the Orr Room of the Hastings library.) A number of congregations of different faiths will join together in a moment of peace and solidarity. All are invited. Please repost broadly and help to get the word out.

30 UNITS OF SENIOR HOUSING TO BE REPLACED WITH 82 AFFORDABLE SENIOR CITIZEN APARTMENTS ON MANHATTAN AVE.

UNINCORPORATED GREENBURGH IS ONE OF THE FEW COMMUNITIES IN THE COUNTY THAT WAS NOT ORDERED BY THE US JUSTIC DEPARTMENT TO BUILD MORE AFFORDABLE HOUSING —BECAUSE OF OUR 40 YEAR RECORD

some very exciting news!

The Greenburgh Housing Authority met with members of the Town Board on Tuesday to discuss the redevelopment of the senior citizen affordable housing at 48-60 Manhattan Ave. This housing facility is 40 years old. It’s poorly constructed and not very attractive. It needs infrastructure repairs and improvements.  The property does not meet the current code and does not have many of the resources, amenities and accessibility features that are commonplace in senior developments today.

There is a long waiting list to get into Greenburgh housing.  When the housing authority opened up the application process 500 applicants applied in six hours. The Housing Authority proposes to replace 30 units of senior housing with 82 units in a modern 3 story facility that would include new and much larger units, a community room, fitness center and outdoor gardens.

More details in the attached memo.

I am very pleased with this initiative and will work  hard to help the Housing Authority turn this proposal into reality.

This is the link to the Town Board discussion:

http://greenburghny.swagit.com/play/06142016-563/#5

It should be pointed out that unincorporated Greenburgh is one of the very few towns, villages and cities in Westchester that was not ordered by the US Justice department to build more affordable housing units. The reason: Our 40 year record of non discrimination. The US Justice department and the County of Westchester had signed a settlement during the administration of former County Executive Andrew Spano –a landmark desegregation case. The Justice department has claimed that the county has failed to enact legislation prohibiting housing discrimination based on source of income like Section 8.  As a result of the lawsuit a new affordable housing complex has been built in the village of Ardsley on the site of the former waterwheel property. That complex will house some volunteer firefighters or municipal employees. But, a lottery was also held for most of the apartments.  The town worked with the village and turned over foreclosed property to help the village make this happen. That development is almost ready for occupancy.  And looks attractive.

Greenburgh is a great community because of our volunteers. We are fortunate to have some outstanding members of the Conservation Advisory Council. They provided me with the following update. There is currently one vacancy on the Board. Interested in serving? E mail townboard@greenburghny.com.

PAUL FEINER

The Conservation Advisory Council (CAC) advises the Town Board on environmental matters affecting unincorporated Greenburgh and its residents.  The CAC also makes recommendations on applications for permits to disturb wetlands or watercourses and their associated buffers.  The CAC is composed of 7 members residing in unincorporated Greenburgh.

The CAC is pleased to have an opportunity to update the community on the CAC’s activities.

Application Review

In the past year, eleven wetlands applications were reviewed.  In addition to wetlands or watercourse impacts, the reviews assessed and suggested mitigations to reduce the impacts of tree removals and increased artificial night light.  Additional tree removal applications were reviewed.

Environmental Law Review

Updates to the town’s environmental laws: wetland and watercourse, tree, steep slope, storm water management, and local environment quality review were evaluated and the CAC suggested changes were adopted.

Comprehensive Plan

The CAC issued reports on the draft Comprehensive Plan.  Issues commented on included: water runoff, trees, wildlife and vegetation, traffic impacts, air pollution, and artificial night light.

Environmental Studies and Recommendations

CAC recommendations are made after issues are studied and discussed by its members.  Recommendations are made via written public reports to the Town Board.  The study the impact of plastic bags resulted in a realization that both plastic and paper one time use bags are  equally harmful to the environment and that a ban while including both should have exceptions for certain types of merchandise.  The CAC recommended to be more effective that legislation should be at the county level.

In response to a request by Supervisor Feiner, the CAC working with a summer intern prepared a report on the harmful impacts of artificial night light and presented it at a Town Board meeting.  The report recognized the energy savings to be had from the use of LED lighting.  Subsequently the Town began to execute its plan to install LED lights.

Support of County Legislation

The CAC has issued recommendations to the County Board of Legislators supporting:

  • Legislation limiting the use of single-use bags, and
  • Legislation banning more highly polluting no. 2 and no. 4 heating oils.

 

Current Projects

In addition to the ongoing review of development projects, the CAC is currently working the following:

  • A study assessing the negative impacts of noise,
  • Developing legislation to redirect edible food waste,
  • Recommendations to improve air quality, from Westchester County’s “F” air quality rating, and
  • Gathering community support for updating the Town’s Tree Law.

CAC Meetings and Membership

The CAC is created by chapter 520 of the Town Code.  It usually meets on the second and fourth Thursday of each month, except August, at 6:30 pm at Town Hall.  Meetings are open to the public.  At present, the CAC has a vacancy for one member.  Anyone interested should contact, Patricia Arpaia in the Planning Department at 989-1538.

 

 

FOUR STUDENTS RECEVE $1000 SCHOLARSHIPS FROM WILLIAM L. CARTER FOUNDATION

RECIPIENTS FROM WOODLANDS, ALEXANDER HAMILTON AND VALHALLA HIGH SCHOOLS

WATCH VIDEO OF PRESENTATION AT TOWN BOARD MEETING

http://greenburghny.swagit.com/play/06082016-1162/#8

Former  TDYCC Commissioner  William L. Carter’s daily goal was to impact the lives of those around him in meaningful and positive ways.  In this regard, the William L. Carter Foundation is designed with the sole purpose of carrying on Mr. Carter’s daily mantra into a reality for generations to come.  The William L. Carter Inspiration Program recognizes that all adolescents need actionable plans aimed at their future achievements that will be made possible by clear goals and exposure to experiences and skills needed to fully realize their dreams.  Mr. Carter understood and often taught that one of the most effective ways to gain life experience and personal fulfillment was through true service to the community at large and a keen understanding of the importance of education. In step with the mission of the William L. Carter Inspiration program and the example given by Commissioner Carter himself, we are proud to present four students from within the Town of Greenburgh with a William L. Carter Community Leader Scholarship of $1,000 to be put towards college related expenses.

Students who applied for this scholarship were put through a rigorous application process that included completing a full written application detailing their leadership and community service experiences, an essay explaining why they are most deserving of the award, and finally a culminating interview with the William L. Carter committee.  Additionally, in order to be eligible for the scholarship, students must graduate high school with at least a 2.5 cumulative GPA, have over twenty five hours of community service over the course of the last twelve months and be able to submit two letters of recommendation from a teacher or mentor.  Each student receiving an award will attend a college or university this upcoming fall.  With this in mind we are very proud and honored to present the following scholarship to Woodlands High School graduates Ms. Samantha Simpson,Mr. Stephan Forbes, Jasmine Blanks and Amanda Guy

Stephan Forbes

 

Stephan Forbes will be graduating from Woodlands High School and will attend Iona College this fall. He will be majoring in International Business. Business has been a passion of his for a few years as it has so many facets which present quite an exciting and challenging venture for him. Stephan is excited about following his dreams and  so grateful for the opportunity to let it become a reality. In the future he would like to travel and establish new business in different countries that will give opportunities for economic growth.  Stephan has actively participated in Woodlands’ Key Club where he volunteered at school and community events for various community outreach programs. On occasions he was the designated photographer for planned activities.   He is  currently employed with Dunkin Donuts and have also worked with the Greenburgh Parks and Recreation day camp in the summer. Additionally, Stephan is an avid participant in Calvary Temple Evangelical Church of Christ in Mount Vernon. His weekly attendance consists of operating the Sound Room and playing the drums when absences arise.  Stephan recognizes, his  dreams are big and in order to make them a reality it comes with hard work.  Stephan “Hence, here I am on the threshold of a new beginning.”

 

Samantha Simpson

 

Samantha Simpson will be graduating Woodlands High School she has been accepted for the Fall 2016 semester at Sacred Heart University, Fairfield Connecticut, with a declared major in Education. Her ultimate goal is to pursue a career in Elementary Education.

She has is a member of the  National Honor Society and was awarded the Woodlands High School Academic Excellence Award

Samantha has received the Gold Award Certificate for Academic Excellence from Mercy College

● 2015 Recipient of Certificate of Recognition from Town of Greenburgh , she started a gardening club which beautifies the town and school,

She is the Student Coordinator of Woodlands Individualized Senior Experience (WISE program)

● Peer Tutor and Teaching Assistant

Sunday School Teacher and Coordinator for K – 5th grade for Trinity St Paul Church

● Volunteer Reading Buddy at JCY-WCP at Riverfront Library, Yonkers NY

● Volunteer Science Camp Coordinator at Carey Institute, Millbrook NY

● Volunteer with “Volunteer New York”     cleaning up Westchester parks and beaches, painting libraries

 

● Founder and President of High School Gardening Club.   She  Recruited 15 members o Planted flowers and herb garden and Taught other schools about Flowers and Planting

● Samantha is a Member TSTT (Today’s Students Tomorrow’s Teachers)

 

● Writer/Reporter for High School Newspaper “Falcon/Falcon Online”

● Member of UN LINKS club

 

● Co-Editor and Contributing Writer for Literary Magazine “Passages”


Jasmine Blanks

 

Jasmine Blanks, is the daughter of Wayne and Alicia Blanks.   She will be graduating from Alexander Hamilton High School this June 2016.  Jasmine is involved in leadership and community service activities.   She is described by those who know her as; focused, motivated, sensible, hardworking and dedicated.  Jasmine is a mentor during summer camp.  She is employed part-time at Rita’s ice-cream store.

Jasmine’s is planning on attending and has already committed to the historical Bennett College in Greensboro, North Carolina this fall.  She plans on majoring in biology with pursuing a career as a Pharmacologist.  Jasmine enjoys working with people and would like create medication that can be used more effectively and safely.

 

 

Amanda Guy

 

 

Amanda Guy is a senior at Valhalla High School. At Valhalla, she is the president of the Whitney M. Young Jr. Society, the president of the National Honor Society, and a member of the World Language Honor Society. She has also been apart of the Varsity Soccer and Varsity Track teams. Currently, she is a member of the Rockland Rowing Association. In addition to being involved at school, she is also dedicated to service and throughout her high school career she has served over 700 hours of community service. Next year, Amanda will be attending Marist College. At Marist she plans to major in History and minor in Sports Communications with a pre-law emphasis in hopes of eventually becoming a sports lawyer. Amanda is a recruited Division 1 athlete who intends to excel both on and off of the water.

 

Paul Feiner

 

Tuesday, June 14; 6:30 p.m.
New Movie Release Night
Star Wars—The Force Awakens
(2015, PG-13, 2 hrs. 15 mins. )

Thirty years after the defeat of the Galactic Empire, the galaxy faces a new threat from the evil Kylo Ren and the First Order. When a defector named Finn crash-lands on a desert planet, he meets Rey a tough scavenger whose droid contains a top-secret map.  No ticket required.

Event Location: Greenburgh Public Library, 300 Tarrytown Road, Elmsford, NY 10523

The Town of Greenburgh is interested in pursuing the potential for a shared Town of Greenburgh Consolidated Water District No. 1 (CWD#1) / Westchester Joint Water Works (WJWW) pumping facility to be located on Town of Greenburgh property at the intersection of Knollwood Road and Stadium Road and adjacent to New York City’s Delaware Aqueduct. The Town believes that there are efficiencies to be realized and benefits to both Greenburgh CWD#1 and WJWW in constructing a combined pumping facility on this Town owned property.  The proposal centers around the Town’s need for updated Water department infrastructure and the need for WJWW to obtain water from New York City aqueduct connections in Greenburgh and move that water across the County to Harrison. The Town’s Water Advisory Board (WAB) is working with Town staff members to evaluate the merits of a joint project.

Recently, members of the Town Board met with representatives of the Westchester Joint Water Works to discuss a possible shared service arrangement that could save money and increase efficiencies—and deal with an important issue. Please watch the video about this important initiative. Westchester Joint Water Works is independent of the county government.

PAUL FEINER

 

 

The William L. Carter Inspiration Foundation, named after the leader of the Theodore Young Community Center (Bill passed away this year) is encouraging members of the community to mentor young people. Inspire…change a young persons life for the better…be a role model for our youth!  Learn more about becoming a mentor. This Tuesday, June 14th. Meeting at the Richard J. Bailey Elementary School on Hillside Ave–just seconds away from Greenburgh Town Hall  from 6 PM to 8 PM.

Lots of fun activities this weekend. Check rivertownsguide.com.
Highlights include:
Hartsdale farmer’s market -today.
Hastings farmer’s market -today (AM and early PM)
Juneteenth parade and festival in White Plains  (11 AM parade, Festival on Court Street in afternoon)
Wine tasting at Kensico Dam
GREENBURGH POOL!
Paul Feiner
TOMORROW
Bicycle Sunday’s–Bronx River Parkway
Hastings Flea Market
Irvington Farmer’s market
GREENBURGH POOL!

Tuesday, June 21; 6:00 p.m.
SCORE Workshop: Advanced Social Media Tips & Tricks: Find Time to Save Time
Robert Clarke, Managing Principal, LucidPointe
Managing social media activity can be daunting to time-starved business and non-profit owners who cannot afford to live on social media all day nor ignore it.  We’ve put together an advanced social strategy that will help you save time on social media marketing and find extra time for you to manage your business. Go to greenburghlibrary.org/calendar or call SCORE at 948-3907 to register.

Event Location: Greenburgh Public Library, 300 Tarrytown Road, Elmsford, NY 10523

 

Wednesday, June 29; 6:30 p.m.— 8:00 p.m.
WEBs Career & Educational Counseling Svc.
Create a LinkedIn Profile with Impact
A free presentation for job seekers and others using social media.  Learn how to promote your personal brand, market your strengths and values to an employer and distinguish your profile from your resume.  Go to greenburghlibrary.org/calendar or call 721-8208 to register.

Event Location: Greenburgh Public Library, 300 Tarrytown Road, Elmsford, NY 10523

Thursdays, June 9, 16; 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Cyber Seniors Open Forum
Facilitator: Jason Fox
A review of the new software: Windows 10 and what what to expect using this new software.
Call Kate at 721-8233 to register.

Event Location: Greenburgh Public Library, 300 Tarrytown Road, Elmsford, NY 10523

LINK TO DISCUSSION OF SHELBOURNE ASSISTED LIVING FACILITY –GREENBURGH TOWN BOARD AND GREENVILLE FIRE CHIEF AND TWO FIRE COMMISSIONERS

**SAFETY IMPROVEMENT RECOMMENDATIONS  TO BE STUDIED AT INTERSECTION SPRAIN/ARDSLEY ROAD

** UNDERHILL SAFETY IMPROVEMENTS TO BE CONSIDERED

** IMPROVEMENTS TO BE MADE WATER SUPPLY FOR AREA

Yesterday, members of the Greenburgh Town Board met with Greenville Fire Chief Dan Raftery, Helene Orce, chair of the Greenville Fire Board and Walter Groden a Fire Commissioner to discuss the proposed Shelbourne Assisted living facility that is being considered off of Underhill Road (Sprain Nursery is being sold).

 

Shelbourne offered to absorb the costs of a study to address safety improvements on Sprain/Ardsley Road – an intersection that many people feel is very dangerous. I believe that this intersection needs safety improvements.

 

They also offered to study and if appropriate make safety improvements at the hair pin steep blind turn at Underhill/Sprain Road –leading to the proposed site.

 

Regarding water supply, the applicant has proposed  improvements being made to the water supply. An excerpt below from the draft negative declaration is shown:

 

“Based upon the projected flow demands for this project, the Town Water & Sewer Department Superintendent recommended for the existing 8-inch water main on Underhill Road to be looped with the existing 8-                           inch water main on Sprain Road was made. The applicant has proposed to loop the two systems, and to incorporate a pressure regulator, as the two existing water mains are from two different pressure zones.                       Connecting the 8-inch water mains and the installation of a pressure regulator will provide enhanced flow and pressure as well as provide enhanced fire protection and maintenance of treated water quality. The                   applicant, in coordination with the Greenville Fire Department, will add an additional fire hydrant, if deemed necessary.”

 

In addition, if the project progresses, the typical water flow data and tests will be required which will, with the full plans for the project, be shared with the fire district. The project will not receive a certificate of occupancy until water flows are sufficient.   The water pressure needs to be  strengthened. At the meeting it was estimated that the cost of the water improvements will be about $200,000.

 

No final decisions have been made as to whether or not to approve the project. The application is also being reviewed by the Zoning Board and will be reviewed by the Planning Board.

 

This is the link from Swagit on the Town of Greenburgh website from the work session TB_060716_WS Greenville Fire District.

 

http://greenburghny.swagit.com/play/06072016-538/#2

 

GREENBURGH HOUSING AUTHORITY BOARD VACANCY–

The Greenburgh Town Board is going to be making an appointment to the Greenburgh Housing Authority in the near future. Those interested in applying should e mail townboard@greenburghny.com.

 

 

Greenburgh Housing Authority Commissioner Position Description

 

 

 

Commissioners serve for five year terms and must be residents of the Town of Greenburgh. Housing Authority Commissioners make policy decisions on current and future programs needed to meet the housing needs of lower income citizens of the County.

 

Commissioners are responsible for keeping governmental agencies, elected officials and the general public informed on the Authority’s activities. Housing Authority Commissioners volunteer their time in the spirit of public service. Because Commissioners are not paid, they are credible advocates for the needs of the local community.

 

The demands of time, efficiency and staff morale make it prudent to delegate operation of the Authority’s day-to-day operations to an Executive Director, allowing the Board to focus on leadership and policy making issues. Commissioners are responsible for the actions and decisions of the Executive Director and staff, making confidence in staff essential. The Commissioners must receive and review regular reports and information from staff that reflect proper and legal administration of Authority programs and initiatives. The Board of Commissioners meets once per month; regular meetings with residents are also held monthly at the  Authority’s administrative offices located at 9 Maple Street.

 

The Commissioners have access to the Authority’s “staff-only” section of the Authority’s website where all Authority policies and documents can be searched and read on-line.

 

The Authority uses legal counsel to advise Commissioners on important matters of law. Commissioners are also covered by Directors and Officers liability insurance.

Housing Authority Commissioners cannot contract with the Authority to sell goods or services, nor can they receive rental assistance payments as landlords.

HOUSING AUTHORITY COMMISSIONER

 

Mission Statement:

The Greenburgh Housing Authority assists in overcoming barriers for safe and affordable housing due to income, disability or special needs, increasing their opportunities, respecting their personal dignity and maintaining public trust.

 

Position Summary:

A Volunteer position as a member of a citizen board of commissioners responsible for planning, policy development and fiscal oversight.

 

Appointed by:

The Greenburgh Housing Authority Board also consists of two elected resident commissioners. Other than the Resident Commissioners, the Greenburgh Town Board appoints five Commissioners.

 

Supervision Exercised:

None individually, but collectively the members hire, direct and evaluate the Executive Director.

 

Time Commitment:

Approximately 4 hours per month, with Board Meetings twice each month and occasional committee or special project work.

 

Description of Duties and Responsibilities:

The following represent the major essential and secondary duties of the position, however are not intended to be all-inclusive. The Housing Authority Board of Commissioners reserve the right to redefine the position at any time.

 

Essential Board Functions:

  • Determine the mission and purpose of the organization.
  • Hire, direct and evaluate the Executive Director.
  • Ensure effective organizational planning.
  • Convene monthly Board meeting. Evaluate and act on recommendations made in Director’s report.
  • Ensure adequate organizational resources. Approve administrative, program and project budgets.
  • Manage resources effectively. Review financial and audit reports.
  • Conduct annual public hearing for the agency’s Public Housing Authority Plan (PHA Plan) as required by HUD. Adopt annual resolution and certification regarding PHA Plan.
  • Approve the agency’s annual Section-8 Management Assessment Program (SEMAP) submission as required by HUD.
  • Adopt, review and revise LBHA Section 8 Administrative Plan, LBHA Personnel Policy, LBHA Procurement Policy and associated matters.
  • Review proposals for new, or changes to existing, housing programs and projects.
  • Enhance the Organization’s public image. Participate in public relations efforts to create and maintain the interests of the general public, clients, landlords, local and HUD officials in current and future housing development.
  • Review legal matters. May respond to difficult and sensitive employee, client or citizen complaints. May be requested to review Authority staff decisions on such matters.
  • Act on such other matters that may properly come before the Greenburgh Housing Authority Board of Commissioners.
  • Assess its own performance.

 

Secondary Functions:

  • As an individual Commissioner, may serve as an officer and may serve on a Committee.

 

Qualifications:

  • Demonstrated interest in affordable housing issues. Knowledge of local community.
  • Ability to participate in public meetings. Willingness to make necessary time commitment.
  • Ability to work as a team member with other Commissioners and Executive Director, building consensus towards the best stewardship of scarce public resources to address local housing needs.
  • Prior public commission or committee experience desired. Specialized knowledge of Real Estate, Construction, Landlord/Tenant, Finance or Social Services helpful, but are not required.
  • Cannot be a current Section-8 landlord or rent to a Section-8 participant during term as a Commissioner.

Adult Men’s Basketball League

Day/Time: Tuesdays/Thursdays (make ups) 6:30, 7:30pm, 8:30pm

Location: East Rumbrook Park-Greenburgh/Ardsley exit off the Sprain Brook

Date: June 21- Aug. 9

Ages: 18 & up-Must be 1yr removed from HS

Fee: $450 per team-plus $50 referee fee each game

Come out and play at the best outdoor facility in Westchester!! Play and compete against some of the best ball players in Hudson Valley. Team registration deadline is JUNE 14th

   Click for Flyer

For more information contact Keith Wright (914) 693-8985 x151or kwright@greenburghny.com

the Greenburgh Town Board, at the urging of some residents of the community, decided to reschedule the public hearing on the comprehensive plan to June 22nd at 7:30 PM. Some community members asked for more time to review the plan and the Board agreed with the recommendation. As a result—no public hearing tomorrow evening on the draft comprehensive plan.

 

How has the construction of the Ashford Ave bridge impacted local merchants? Traffic congestion is hurting local Ardsley merchants.  Our student interns spent some time during the spring semester  meeting some local merchants and residents –reviewing how over congestion  and bridge work impacts local merchantsin downtown Ardsley and across the bridge in Dobbs Ferry.  During the summer student interns will be working on a campaign to encourage residents to shop locally and to help the merchants out… This is their report:  The fixed link:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lkoRq-wLotc

 

Interns—who some of our spring interns are:

Internship: https://youtu.be/4JgVE4IlYNs

 

Intern Bios who worked on the bridge video   spring 2016

Matthew Bergenfeld

I am a second year student at Indiana University-Bloomington studying political science with a minor in business.  I am interested in possibly having a career in government in the future and am hoping that this internship will give good insight into a possible career path.

 

Ryan Strick

I am a senior at Ardsley High School and am going to Binghamton University this fall. I am interested in going into business and having a career in trade. I hope that this internship will show me how business and politics affect each other, and get a good look at how local government functions.

 

Michael Guerrero

I am a senior at Ardsley High School and will start school at the University of Delaware this upcoming fall. I will be majoring in engineering at Delaware and plan on starting a career in the field in the future. I hope this internship will give me some insight as to how to approach issues in the future.

 

Emanuel Gutman

I am currently a senior at Hastings High School and will start school at SUNY Albany this fall with an intended major of public policy. After I complete my bachelor’s degree, I intend to get a master’s degree so that I may be properly equipped to enter into the competitive workforce. I am very interested in having a career in politics and government and hope that this internship can teach me about the fundamentals of basic local policy and politics.

 

Brianna Lyman

I am currently a senior at Dobbs Ferry High School and will be attending Fordham University in the fall of the upcoming year with a major in economics with a focus on International Political Economy and a minor in mathematics. I thoroughly enjoy politics and intend on being the President of the United States. In the meantime I hope to either be a Stockbroker or a Constitutional Lawyer.

 

Muhammad Bah

I am currently a senior at Hastings High School and intend on going to college at SUNY Alfred. I am undecided about what I want to pursue in college. However, I have dedicated this entire year to experimenting my various interests. My top interests are Political Sciences, Business, Acting and Computer Programming; all of which I have done to some degree by now.

Santiago Wills

 

I am currently a senior at Dobbs Ferry High School and I shall be attending Iona College. I am interested in pre-law or business or economics for my major. I am also thinking of studying political science during my time in college. I am really good with computers and I am really optimistic and open-minded.

 

Hakim El Kahlaoui is a student at Westchester Community College majoring in computer science. He is originally from Morocco and has lived in the United States for 16 years. I teach one class in government at the Community College as an Adjunct Professor. He was  a student in my class and during the semester he started working on an initiative to persuade NYS and the county to place lights on the Bronx River Parkway, Hutchinson River Parkway and Saw Mill River Parkway.

 

PAUL FEINER

 

The Greenburgh Town Board authorized the Commissioner of Parks to issue a Request for proposals for the development of a privately run, operated and maintained indoor tennis program at East Rumbrook Park located off of Dobbs Ferry Road, near the Sprain Parkway. Only 2 courts would be leased out. A small bubble (similar to the Elmwood bubble) would be installed. And the town would generate some income from the lease.  Since only two courts will be converted to indoor tennis very little traffic will be generated.  We have been approached by some operators of indoor tennis. They are very interested in submitting bids.

The RFP is posted below.

We have a terrific recreation program that serves our residents. And hope to make our recreation program even better.

PAUL FEINER

THE REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL IS POSTED BELOW AND ON OUR TOWN WEBSITE

REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS

FOR THE DEVELOPMENT, OPERATION, MAINTENANCE, MANAGEMENT AND LEASE OF A BUBBLED TENNIS FACILITY AT EAST RUMBROOK PARK

The Town of Greenburgh Department of Parks & Recreation (“Parks”) requests proposals for the development, operation, maintenance, management and lease of two (2) bubbled tennis courts at East Rumbrook Park, East Rumbrook Park Road, Hartsdale, NY just off of Dobbs Ferry Road next to the Sprain Brook Parkway. The bubbled tennis courts shall be in the boundaries of the leased area described in the attachment labeled Preliminary Leased Agreement Map Prepared for the Town of Greenburgh (exhibit A). Currently at the site there are two lighted tennis courts in the park. Parks is seeking a lease to construct: operate, maintain and manage a bubbled facility to operate from October 1through May 1. Parks is seeking proposals from applicants who can demonstrate experience in the operation of an indoor tennis facility to operate this facility at the highest standards for a fifteen (15) year lease term or less. In addition, Parks will look favorably upon proposals that incorporate community programming, youth outreach and programs for people with disabilities.

Proposal Contacts

The Parks & Recreation contacts for this project are Janet Lefkowitz, Tennis Director and Gerard J. Byrne, Commissioner of Parks and Recreation. All questions with regard to this Request for Proposals (“RFP”) or other project inquiries should be directed to their attention at (914) 693-8985 ext. 108 or 112. They may also be reached by fax at (914) 693-8938 or by e-mail at heroJL1@aol.com or gbyrne@greenburghny.com.

Request for Proposals Timetable

The following schedule has been established for this Request for Proposals. This schedule is subject to change as circumstances warrant.

RFP Release Date: June 1, 2016

Proposals Due: Thursday, June 30, 2016 @ 3:00 PM

Note: If you have a disability which would prevent you from delivering your proposal to Greenburgh Parks and Recreation and/or attending the proposer meeting & site tour, please contact one of the proposal contacts at least 48 hours prior to the due date and/or meeting date so that special arrangements can be made to accommodate you.

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

Parks seeks a bubbled tennis facility on the East Rumbrook Park tennis courts, which will be designed, built, maintained and operated to the highest standards. There are two (2) lighted tennis courts on site. The selected leasee will be required to develop a bubbled tennis facility to state-of-the-art standards for use in the indoor season.

2

Parks is seeking a leasee to:

􀁸 Bubble tennis courts; applicant is restricted to using the existing two courts and is to provide drainage and other infrastructure improvements around the indoor tennis courts proposed.

􀁸 Operate, maintain, manage and lease the indoor tennis facility from October 1 to May 1, including supplying all machinery, property, equipment, maintenance supplies, and staff.

􀁸 Cover all expenses for any utility study and any utility improvements needed for this project and its eventual usage.

􀁸 Provide access for youth programming and tennis for people with disabilities.

􀁸 Provide a timetable for development and completion of the proposed facility.

􀁸 Provide a fifteen-year projection of income and expense unless proposing a shorter term lease. This should include a balance sheet, profit and loss statement, cash flow statement and statement of assumptions.

􀁸 The Town is willing to negotiate the leasee to conduct instructional program when not open to the public for general tennis play on site during the summer months for an additional fee.

The aim of Parks is to provide indoor tennis from October to May. Preference will be given to applicants who can demonstrate an ability to construct, operate, maintain and manage an indoor tennis facility. The successful applicant will be required to provide a construction security deposit, in an amount and format approved by Parks, upon signing the lease agreement, to ensure that capital work will be completed. All capital work should be completed in such a manner as to create a minimum amount of interference with tennis court availability to the public.

The leasee may be permitted to store the bubble/s on-site during the outdoor season, subject to Parks’ approval of the location of such storage. It should be understood that all startup and close down activities, including but not limited to the assembly and disassembly of the bubble and ancillary equipment, must be undertaken by the leasee no sooner, and completed no later than the dates stated above, which define the indoor tennis season. During the indoor tennis season, the leasee will be responsible for all necessary improvements to the courts and for all repairs and maintenance to the leased premises.

The leasee will also be responsible for cleaning the entire area surrounding the tennis courts and removing all trash and rubbish generated by the facility and storing at the appropriate on site receptacles. Therefore, applicants should include a detailed maintenance and cleaning schedule in their proposals.

The sale or display or placement of tobacco advertising and/or advertising of alcoholic beverages shall be prohibited. Any type of advertising which is false or misleading, which promotes unlawful or illegal goods, services or activities, or which is otherwise unlawful, obscene or inappropriate as determined by Parks, including but not limited to advertising that constitutes the public display of offensive sexual material shall also be prohibited. Any such prohibited material displayed or placed shall be immediately removed by the leasee upon notice from Parks.

THE TERM

The term for this concession will be FIFTEEN (15) YEARS or less. This lease will be operated pursuant to a lease agreement.

CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS

Parks anticipates a substantial investment from the applicant. Parks anticipates that the investment for this tennis concession will include, but not be limited to, the following:

3

The leasee must pay for all improvements. Applicant should note that Parks will weigh capital investment and design heavily in its evaluation process. In their submissions, applicants must describe all intended capital work and provide cost estimates, preliminary drawings, and a timetable for proposed capital work.

Tennis Rates

All fee increases are subject to Parks’ approval. The proposal should include a schedule of rates to be charged for hourly court times. The schedule should indicate what discount will be offered to residents of the unincorporated area of Greenburgh. The leasee will be allowed, and even encouraged to charge lower fees and/or to offer seasonal rates, special rates for walk-ins when courts are available, lower rates for senior citizens/youths, free court time to program members, etc. as it sees fit. Parks must approve all fees, prices, and hours of operation.

Requirements During The Term of The Lease

  1. The successful applicant will be responsible for obtaining any and all necessary approvals, permits and leases for the construction and lawful operation of this concession.
  2. A security deposit of at least 25% of the highest year’s guaranteed minimum lease fee will be required for the duration of the term. This security deposit will be due upon signing.
  3. The leasee will be required to carry at least $3,000,000 in general liability insurance coverage and $1,000,000 in property damage liability insurance coverage, and replacement value in fire and casualty coverage. The Town of Greenburgh shall be named as Additional Insured and subject for general liability coverage to increase based on inflation for future years.
  4. The leasee will be obligated to supply all equipment necessary for the operation of this concession. All fixed equipment becomes the property of Parks upon installation, at Parks’ option. Should Park choose not to exercise this option, it will be the responsibility of the leasee to remove fixed equipment and return the leased premises to Parks in a condition as good as or better than that at the commencement of the lease term.
  5. The leasee will be responsible for any and all utility costs connected with the operation of this concession during the term of lease. The leasee will be responsible for installing and/or upgrading all necessary utilities, service lines, conduits, water meters, pipes, electric cables, fiber optics etc. The leasee will be required to remove any unsuitable existing materials as required. The leasee will be responsible for removal and disposal of any unacceptable subsurface waste materials, if encountered during the progress of the work.
  6. The leasee may not cut down or remove any trees or shrubs on the permitted premises without prior written approval from Parks. Any attachments to the trees, such as lights, will not be permitted.
  7. The leasee will be required to submit monthly statements of gross receipts from all categories of income in a format approved by Parks. At the end of each operating year, the leasee will be required to submit a detailed audited income and expense statement for the past year’s operation.
  8. All fees, prices, and any subsequent increases must be approved in advance by Parks. Hours and days of operation must also be approved in advance by Parks.
  9. The leasee at its sole cost and expense and to the satisfaction of the Commissioner, must put, keep, repair and preserve in good order the Leased Premises.

 

6

  1. Applicants should submit drawings showing the proposed layout and appearance of the facility and the leased site.
  2. Parks is charged with improving customer satisfaction with the services provided at facilities on parkland. Therefore, Parks would like applicants to explain in their submissions the mechanisms they would use to measure customer satisfaction with the services offered by the lease at the leased premises. Such mechanisms might include customer evaluations or survey forms. Further, Parks would like applicants to explain how they would improve the quality of services offered if the above mechanisms indicate a need to do so.
  3. Evaluation and Selection Procedures

Proposals will be evaluated by a selection committee, based on the criteria listed below. The Town Board grants final approval for awarding the lease agreement. The selection committee and the Greenburgh Department of Parks and Recreation Advisory Board will be making recommendations to the Town Board.

  1. Proposal Evaluation Criteria

In evaluating proposals, Parks & Recreation will use the following criteria:

􀁸 Fee offer and discounts to residents.

􀁸 Capital Improvements: designs submitted, proposed capital investment, and the ability to proceed in an expedited manner.

􀁸 Operating experience in the field and experience operating an indoor and/or outdoor tennis facility or other recreational facility.

􀁸 Customer Service.

􀁸 Financial capability.

  1. Evaluation Procedures

Parks will only consider proposals that meet satisfactory levels of the above criteria. The Town is not required to accept the proposal that includes the highest fee offer. Parks’ acceptance of a proposal does not imply that every element of that proposal has been accepted.

Parks cannot consider any proposal that does not comply with the Submission Requirements’ section of this RFP. Proposals that do not meet these requirements will not be evaluated.

When feasible, employees of Parks and the Town of Greenburgh will visit facilities operated by applicants.

  1. Other General RFP Requirements and Conditions

Parks reserves the right to postpone or cancel this RFP or reject all proposals if in its judgment it deems it to be in the best interest of the Town of Greenburgh to do so.

Applicants are advised that Parks has the option of selecting the applicant without conducting negotiations. Therefore, applicants should submit their best proposals initially, since negotiations may not take place.

Parks shall not be liable for any costs incurred by applicants in the preparation of proposals or for any work performed in connection therein.

Reply Reply to all Forward

The Town of Greenburgh Department of Parks and Recreation

is looking for applicants who are interested in working at Camp Victory

(camp for children who are developmentally disabled)

 

The following positions are still available:  Sports Specialist,  Arts & Crafts/Music position.

All applicants must be at least 18 years of age.

 

Application can be picked up in the registration office or go online to www.greenburghny.com/parks

For more information contact

Noel Broccoli, Director of Special Recreation

914-693-8985 ext.128 or nbroccoli@greenburghny.com

Received the first report of a power outage in the Chelsea Park neighborhood (Wimbledon Court).  If you experience any problems during the storm please feel free to contact me at pfeiner@greenburghny.com or on my cell: 914 438 1343. I will immediately follow up each complaint. The strong storms can have an impact on power.  And other outages are possible (although we hope for the best!)

During past storms some property owners near Babbitt Court  and in N Elmsford have experienced significant flooding problems. Suggestion: Move your car to higher elevations.
PAUL FEINER
A REPORT FROM CON ED


NEW YORK – Con Edison crews are preparing to respond to any outages that occurthis evening due to the severe rain and windstorms expected to hit  Westchester County. The company reminds customers to take safety precautions and avoid any downed power lines.

Customers can report downed power lines, outages and check service restoration status at www.conEd.com or by calling 1-800-75-CONED (1-800-752-6633).  When reporting an outage, customers should have their Con Edison account number available, if possible, and report whether their neighbors also have lost power.

Customers who report outages will be called by Con Edison with their estimated restoration times as they become available.

Con Edison offers a number of mobile solutions so you can manage your accounts, report and check the status of an outage, learn energy-saving tips, and more. Text REG to OUTAGE (688243) to sign up for text notifications, and follow the prompts.

 

You will need to enter your Con Edison account number to complete the registration process. Once you’ve registered, you will not need your account number to report or check the status of a power problem. For more information, go to:http://www.coned.com/mobileapp/

Also, download Con Edison’s free iPhone and Android app, My ConEdison, to report and check the status of a power problem, and view the company’s interactive online outage map.

Depending on the severity of storm damage, crews will give priority to restoring service lines that will provide power to the most customers as quickly as possible, then move on to restore smaller groups and individual customers who are without power.

 

Con Edison offers the following safety tips:

 

·         If you see downed electrical wires, do not go near them. Treat all downed wires as if they are live. Never attempt to move them or touch them with your hands or any object. Be mindful that downed wires can be hidden from view by tree limbs, leaves or water.

 

·         Report all downed wires to Con Edison and your local police department immediately. If a power line falls on your car while you’re in it, stay inside the vehicle and wait for emergency personnel.

 

·         If your power goes out, disconnect or turn off appliances that would otherwise turn on automatically when service is restored. If several appliances start up at once, the electric circuits may overload.

 

·         Check to make sure your flashlights and any battery-operated radios are in working order. Make sure you have a supply of extra batteries.

 

·         Weather updates and news on restorations of electrical service can be heard on most local radio and television stations.

Customers can follow Con Edison on Twitter or like us on Facebook for general outage updates, safety tips and storm preparation information.

For more tips on storm preparation, go to www.conEd.com.

Performers needed!  The Hartsdale farmer’s market is the oldest farmer’s market in Westchester County. The market got it start shortly after I took office as Town Supervisor close to 25 years ago. Rick Turner, former Greenburgh Town Attorney suggested the concept and it took off! Many municipalities in Westchester now have farmer’s markets. And these markets have helped bring new people to our downtowns.

The market is located across from the Hartsdale train station every Saturday morning and early afternoon. In recent years Town Clerk Judith Beville has organized some free jazz, rock, blues concerts at the farmer’s market.  If you have a band and have some musical talent that you would like to show off – we’d love it if you would volunteer your time and perform.  Please e mail Hartsdalemusicfestival@gmail.com (e mail me a copy at pfeiner@greenburghny.com).  In the past performances have taken place between 10 AM and 1 PM.

Musicians won’t get paid but we will help publicize your involvement in advance of the performance.  This year our student interns will help prepare video’s of the performers which we will air on public access TV and on the website: www.greenburghny.com.  The Greenburgh Town Board will also honor performers with Certificates of Appreciation in the fall at a televised Town Board meeting.

We hope that local musicians will consider performing at our farmer’s market.  Thank you for helping us make our farmer’s market and downtown E Hartsdale Ave a destination point.

PAUL FEINER

HARTSDALEMUSICFESTIVAL@GMAIL.COM

The  Greenburgh Town Board will hold a public hearing on the draft Comprehensive Plan Wednesday, June 8th at 7:30 PM. Please note that in an effort to allow for ample time for residents to comment, the public hearing will not be closed on June 8th.  Our hearings are held at Greenburgh Town Hall, 177 Hillside Ave.

 

The current draft of the Plan contains a revision date of 6/3/16. All updates to this version of the Plan are depicted in red underlined text. A majority of the draft Plan has not changed, when compared to the previously released draft of 12/4/15.

 

The 2016 Comprehensive Plan for the unincorporated area of the Town of Greenburgh (unincorporated Greenburgh) is a document that builds on both the Town’s historic past and its present strengths to direct the future.  The Plan is a blueprint that addresses foreseeable challenges, recognizes new opportunities, protects the environment, and fosters a vibrant economy with a good quality of life for its residents.  It is a community-based document which presents a long term plan for the future.  

 

The Plan is available for download on the Town Website at the following link: https://greenburghcomprehensiveplan.com/current-chapters/

The Pediatric Cancer Society mudrun event at Woodlands High School -scheduled for tomorrow morning has been postponed due to the threatened rain storms.


From: Rosemarie Noonan <rnoonan@affordablehomes.org>
Sent: Saturday, June 4, 2016 2:21 PM
To: Paul Feiner
Subject: June 15 Deadline for Applications for The Lofts on Saw Mill (Fair & Affordable Rental Housing

Dear Supervisor Feiner,

 

The deadline for applying for affordable rental apartments at The Lofts on Saw Mill River  is fast approaching.  Applications for the apartments must be post marked by June 15.  I want to make sure that Greenburgh residents and workers are aware of this opportunity.  Attached are application packages in English and in Spanish as well as a flyer.   I would appreciate your distributing this info to Greenburgh staff and alerting others through an email blast. Thank you for your help.

 

Rose Noonan, Executive Director

Housing Action Council, Inc.

GREAT NEWS!!!! June 2, 2016, Paws Crossed Animal Rescue Inc. signed the closing

paperwork for the property and the building of the currently dormant animal shelter located at

100 Warehouse Lane South in Elmsford. Paws Crossed is a no kill shelter and will continue the tradition started by Mimi Stone who was the founder of the Elmsford Animal Shelter– the first no kill animal shelter located at this property.

 Jennifer Angelucci, President/CEO of Paws spearheaded the mission to turn the abandoned shelter into a functioning no kill shelter. Jennifer, 24 years old,  has started work on the rebuilding of the shelter. Paws Crossed’s engineers will map out a

blueprint of the portions that are deemed immediately safe and operational. The building will

be prepared so that those areas can be used while the damaged areas are being renovated,

one section at a time. Opening date is anticipated for early to mid July 2016.

When the doors open, Paws Crossed will hit the ground running increasing current programs

as well as creating new ones. Programs include: (1) Rescue, rehabilitation and rehoming of

animals (2) Specific, tailored programs to help find forever homes for the more difficult to adopt

animals such as senior animals (3) A foster program that is extremely important for bottle baby

kittens and animals with health issues that need a quiet environment to be nursed to good

health (4) Education programs in the rescue and in schools teaching children and adults

empathy and proper animal care (5) Classes with professional trainers for animals and owners

that need a “little extra help” (6) A community pet pantry and (7) Eventually we plan to start a

clinic that had provides low cost spay and neuter and other veterinarian needs. Paws Crossed

will continue to expand on their programs as the organization grows and the building is

restored.

Paws Crossed has a strong, well organized business/fundraising plan that will continue to

combine a variety of events of all sizes, intensive grant writing and communications with

individuals, foundations and corporations sharing our mission, purpose and plans. Paws

Crossed established a “Monthly Sponsorship Program” earlier this year and recently rolled out

a “Sponsor a Kennel” program to promote local businesses at the rescue and in rescue

activities and events.  For information check www.pawscrossedny.org.

Groundwork has started on a Capital Campaign for the restoration of the building by a

committee comprised of people with years of previous Campaign experience. The Board of

Paws Crossed was purposely established to bring diversified skill sets together to work as a

team including Business Management, Development, Marketing and of course, Animal

Welfare. Through Paws Crossed’s website and various media outlets, they will be

documenting and sharing, thoroughly, each Chapter along the way, for both transparency and

posterity sake.

“Having bricks and mortar means Paws Crossed has not only a “home” but a rescue that for

years to come will change the lives of so many animals and the people who will care for them.

Their work begins with the animals who were temporarily relocated from Westchester to another

rescue.

please visit their website at http://www.pawscrossedny.org/#!ourcurrent-

progress/xejif and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pawscrossed. Thank you once

again!

**********************************************

Located in Westchester County, New York, Paws Crossed is a 501(c) 3, not for profit, true nokill

animal rescue organization. Through rescue, adoption, advocacy, rehabilitation and education,

our mission is to “RESCUE ONE

PAUL FEINER

Photo of me signing the deed and turning over the keys to Paws Crossed leader Jennifer Angelucci

COMPREHENSIVE PLAN HEARING WED—-HEARING WILL NOT BE CLOSED ON WED

The Greenburgh Town Board will hold a public hearing on the proposed Comprehensive Plan Wednesday night at 7:30 PM but we will not close the hearing Wednesday. If residents need more time to review the plan they will have other opportunities to appear before the Town Board to highlight their views.

CON ED GAS LEAK UPDATES….RIDGE ROAD AND CENTRAL AV

I received the following e mails from the manager of Public Affairs for Con Ed about the Ridge Road and Central Ave gas leak restoration projects.

 

The project at Ridge Road is expected to be completed within the next 2-3 weeks, then we will schedule the restoration.

 

Central & Hartsdale is an ongoing gas main replacement project.

 

 

CENTRAL AVE/WEST HARTSDALE AVE GAS LEAK UPDATE

Here is an approximate timeline on the main replacement. As I had mentioned earlier, we hit rock during construction which has extended the project timeline.

June – continue installation of new gas main

July  – gas department activates the new main, backfills & temp patch restoration

August – restoration to the roadway

Thank You

Orlando Alves

Public Affairs Manager

ETHICS LAWS

I was invited by Assemblywoman Sandra Galef to speak at an event in NYC today about the Greenburgh Ethics laws–considered by many to be the strongest ethics laws in NYS, if not the nation. Elected officials are prohibited from accepting campaign contributions from developers, applicants, attorneys representing developers, consultants, contractors who work for the town and town employees. We’re pushing for stronger ethics laws in NYS. If you need my help today I won’t be in the office much of the day. Can be reached at 989 1545 or via e mail: pfeiner@greenburghny.com.

Greenburgh Parks and Recreation in association with Riverstone Yoga are offering Fluid Yoga at A.F. Veteran Park.

This open level class is good for teens and adults – it’s a fun and safe
way to build muscles, increase balance, find and strengthen your core.
No experience needed. (60 minutes)
Check out our FLYER

DAY/DATES/TIME: Sun./July 10, 17, 24 & 31/8:30am-9:30am
LOCATION: Anthony F. Veteran Park Main Pool
In case of inclement weather the class will be held indoors
AGE: 14+
FEE: $48 residents/$58 non-residents/4 sessions

Register online at www.greenburghny.com/parks

or come in to our office at 11 Olympic Ln., Ardsley, NY 10502

or call 914-693-8985 x118 for more information.

Greenburgh Parks and Recreation in association with Riverstone Yoga are offering Parent/Child Yoga at A.F. Veteran Park.

Partner up with your child for this simply yoga class, specially
designed for to help you get moving with your kids. This class is
both fun and enriching for all. You will use each other in various
postures that are designed to build strength, flexibility and balance
as you share time together. Appropriate for children 6 and up and
parents of all ages. Parent(s) must accompany kids(s) throughout
the entirety of classes. (60 minutes)
Check out our FLYER

START DATE: July 17th & 31th
DAY/TIME: Sun./10am-11:00am
LOCATION: Veteran Park Community Room
AGE: 6+ and parent
FEE: $12/workshop per person

Register online at www.greenburghny.com/parks

or come in to our office at 11 Olympic Ln., Ardsley, NY 10502

or call 914-693-8985 x118 for more information.

On Wednesday evening, January 13th the Greenburgh Town Board unanimously approved a resolution authorizing the Town Attorney’s office to explore whether legal action should be taken against the city of Yonkers and/or the developers of Ridge Hill in light of the recent federal indictment against a former Yonkers City Councilwoman for having cast the deciding vote in favor of Ridge Hill after accepting a bribe. The town settled a lawsuit against Ridge Hill/Yonkers two years ago after the Yonkers City Council approved the project. We were advised (prior to the settlement) that we did not have a good chance of winning the lawsuit–because Yonkers has the right to approve developments within their borders, provided SEQR is complied with. As part of the settlement the town received $5 million dollars for traffic mitigation. Legal fees were also paid for by the developer. Last week the the Ridgehill Intermunicipal Intersection Committee (Town of Greenburgh, Villages of Ardsley and Hastings on Hudson) committee voted to approve a priority list of four (4) projects from the twelve (12) study areas.

All three municipalities agreed that the survey, design and construction work should proceed for the intersections of 9A and Ashford Avenue ($1.7 Million), and the Y-intersection at North Sprain Road and Jackson Avenue ($650,000). As well as for the widening of 9A between Ashford and Heatherdell ($900,000). The committee decided that the Jackson Avenue S-curve, between Sprain Road and the Park, would proceed to the design phase only and asked staff to prepare an acquisition plan to present to Westchester County.

The five million dollars we received for traffic safety improvements will not solve our traffic problems after Ridge Hill is open. The indictment of former Councilwoman Sandy Annabi highlights the fact that SEQR may not have been complied with. It’s our hope that -at the minimum- we will be able to secure additional traffic mitigation funding. The members of the Town Board who voted for the resolution are Sonja Brown, Diana Juettner, Kevin Morgan, Francis Sheehan. I also supported the resolution.

WHEREAS, the Town of Greenburgh is a party to a Stipulation of Settlement with Forest City Ratner (“FC Yonkers Associates, LLC.”), effective January 12, 2007, pursuant to the terms of a court ordered settlement effective January 12, 2007, in two actions captioned “Town of Greenburgh, et al. v. the City Council of the City of Yonkers, et al.,” Westchester County Index Numbers 5939-06 and 22251-06; and

WHEREAS, the Town originally filed the aforementioned lawsuits because the Town, and villages within the Town, were concerned about the size, traffic impacts and poor planning of the Ridge Hill development proposal in the City of Yonkers; and

WHEREAS, the Town Board settled the lawsuits regarding the Ridge Hill development, even though members of the Town Board remained concerned about the size, traffic impacts and planning of the development, because Board members were advised that the Town had little chance of success on the merits in the lawsuit in view of the Yonkers City Council’s support of the development; and

WHEREAS, in light of recent allegations that a Yonkers City Councilwoman may have received a bribe in exchange for approving the Ridge Hill development, the Town Board believes it prudent to have the Town Attorney’s office explore the Town’s legal options, including damages and injunctive relief, in the event that there is a final determination that the integrity of the State Environmental and Quality Review (“SEQR”) process and/or City of Yonkers approvals have been compromised;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Town Board of the Town of Greenburgh hereby authorizes the Town Attorney’s office to explore whether legal action should be taken against the City of Yonkers and/or FC Yonkers Associates, LLC. and/or others, in the event that there is a final determination that the integrity of the State Environmental and Quality Review (“SEQR”) process and/or City of Yonkers approvals have been compromised, in light of recent allegations that a Yonkers City Councilmember received a bribe in exchange for approving the Ridge Hill development proposal.

Submitted: 01/11/2010
Revised: 01/13/2010

 

THE PICNIC IS THIS SUNDAY!

We hope to see you there! Please note, it will be on – rain or shine!

THE PICNIC IS THIS SUNDAY!

We hope to see you there! Please note, it will be on – rain or shine!

 

GREAT NEWS!!! – We’ve extended the deadline – CLICK HERE for sponsorship opportunities!

We appreciate all of the past sponsors and thank YOU for continuing to make our labor picnic day a huge success!

You may reserve a sponsorship by emailing jennifer@wpclb.org with your requested listing and level sponsorship.

FYI – the brochure will go to print this Thursday, 7/21.

Please submit your requests by tomorrow, 7/20.

See you Sunday!

CLICK HERE for sponsorship opportunities! We appreciate all of the past sponsors and thank YOU for continuing to make this labor picnic day a huge success!

 

40,000 men and women are still on strike at Verizon and Verizon Wireless determined to fight for as long as it takes to protect good jobs.

On Thursday, May 5 this important fight is coming to communities across the United States with a Verizon Strike National Day of Action. RSVP here: http://bit.ly/standuptoverizon_may5

Will you save the date and join us? We’ll be back in touch soon with more information about actions at Verizon Wireless stores near you and how you can join the fight online.

This strike is bigger than Verizon. It’s about protecting good, hometown jobs in this country. It’s about securing a brighter future for our families and our communities. It’s about standing up to a handful of rich and powerful interests to make sure the needs of working families are met.

That’s why it’s so important for all of us to stand with the working people at Verizon and Verizon Wireless.

Will you join us in this fight? Click here to RSVP to the May 5 Verizon Strike National Day of Action and for a list of other ways you can help!

 

 

Connect With Us!

The Hudson Valley Area Labor Federation AFL-CIO stands in solidarity with our CWA and IBEW brothers and sisters on the picket line.  For the past 10 months, CWA’s negotiating team has sat with management to negotiate a fair and equitable contract.

Management made unrealistic demands that would devastate workers and their families. Here are some of the unrealistic demands from Verizon management:

  • Retirees would have to pay more for health care
  • Jobs would be lost to overseas markets
  • Members would be forced to be transferred away from their homes for months at a time, hurting families

Starting at 6:00 am yesterday until the end, we will stand in solidarity with our union brothers and sisters.

Join the Line here:

  • Poughkeepsie: Verizon Wireless Store – 2544 Route 9, Poughkeepsie
  • Fishkill: Verizon Wireless Store – Merritt Blvd, Fishkill
  • Kingston: Verizon Wireless Store – Ulster Ave, Kingston
  • Middletown: Verizon Wireless Store – Dunning Rd, Middletown
  • Nyack: Verizon Wireless Store – 130 NY-303, West Nyack
  • Nanuet: Verizon Wireless @ The Shops – 5101 Fashion Dr, Nanuet

And please sign the petition to Verizon letting them know, that CWA and IBEW  deserve a fair contract!

Sign the Petition Here

In Solidarity,

Paul Ellis- Graham, President of Hudson Valley Area Labor Federation

Please see invitation below to our 11th Annual Workers’ Memorial Day Events.

To download a .pdf of the invite – click here.

Please see invitation below to our 11th Annual Workers’ Memorial Day Events.

To download a .pdf of the invite – click here.

LABOR WALKS FOR GREGORY ADAMS  PORT CHESTER TRUSTEE

BEGIN TOMORROW!!!

Dates: Saturday March 5th & 12th

Time: 10am

Where: CWA Local 1103, 345 Westchester Ave., Port Chester, NY 10573

Contact: Joe Mayhew 914-374-6848

*

On Saturday March 5th and March 12th, labor will take clear decisive action to persuade Big Developers to ensure their projects are done in a community-friendly manner that promotes union jobs and does not overcrowd our school systems.

*

That’s why we asking YOU to help Get the Vote Out for Gregory Adams starting this Saturday in Port Chester!

Currently the Starwood Corporation, a major developer, is proposing a 300 million dollar project in Port Chester without Project Labor Agreement guarantees and the very real possibly of overcrowding of our schools while underfunding them through demands for tax cuts.

By reelecting Gregory Adams, a retired CSEA Member in Good Standing, Labor will have a voice to fight for union work, safe conditions and stable schools.

Please come out and join your Sisters and Brothers!

Dates: Saturday March 5th & 12th

Time: 10am

Where: CWA Local 1103, 345 Westchester Ave., Port Chester, NY 10573

Contact: Joe Mayhew 914-374-6848

THIS IS IT

The final Tuesday showing of 

Where to Invade Next

Only $6 per person on Tuesday, March 1st @ 7:30PM!

CINEMA 100
93 Knollwood Road
White Plains, NY 10607
View Map

*Arrive a little early to make sure you get a seat since this is the last Tuesday showing!

Please continue to support our union brothers and sisters and DO NOT shop at Staples or Quill.com. See below for additional boycotts as well. Feel free to post on your social media outlets and circulate.

RALLY TO FIGHT FOR $15!

Where? Albany- Empire State Plaza Concourse

When? Wednesday January 13, 2016 @ 10:30am

Organized by : Citizen Action of New York

Fighting for Social, Racial, Economic and Environmental Justice for All!

Sign-in / Sign-up

Activities / Description

The state legislature can pass a statewide $15 in 2016 – but they need to feel the pressure from people across the state who know that an $8.75 minimum wage isn’t enough to live on.

Take a stand against poverty wages in New York on January 13!RALLY TO FIGHT FOR $15!

Where? Albany- Empire State Plaza Concourse

When? Wednesday January 13, 2016 @ 10:30am

Organized by : Citizen Action of New York

Fighting for Social, Racial, Economic and Environmental Justice for All!

Sign-in / Sign-up

Happy Holidays for Peace and Justice from the Executive Board And Staff of the Hudson Valley Area Labor Federation

afl cioWPCLB Annual Holiday Buffet

Wednesday, December 9  

at VINTAGE RESTAURANT

171 Main Street White Plains, NY   

... snowflake clipart is colored. We hope you enjoy this snowflake clipart

6:15 pm to 8:30 pm is our annual complementary Holiday reception, full buffet and beverages for our delegates, community partners and elected officials.  PLEASE JOIN US!

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

WPCLB Annual Holiday Buffet

Wednesday, December 9  

at VINTAGE RESTAURANT

171 Main Street White Plains, NY   

... snowflake clipart is colored. We hope you enjoy this snowflake clipart

6:15 pm to 8:30 pm our annual complementary Holiday reception, full buffet and beverages for our delegates, community partners and elected officials.  PLEASE JOIN US!

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

When we join together, when we work together, we have power to change even the largest and most irresponsible retailers, like Walmart.

We need your help to make our calls for change Walmart about more than one day; we need to make it about every day.
So, today we are officially launching a series of holiday actions against Walmart; beginning with a call to action during the week leading up to Black Friday. We’re calling it our “Give Back Friday” initiative.
Give Back Friday is all about helping the hundreds of thousands of hard-working Walmart employees who are paid so poorly they rely on assistance from food banks and food stamps.
Working together, we can help these Walmart workers and their families. By giving back, by standing together, we can help where Walmart refuses.
During this entire Black Friday week, Making Change at Walmart, our progressive partners, along with the UFCW and countless of other organizations, will be hosting food drives in cities across the country the week leading up to Black Friday.
Our goal is to feed 100,000 Walmart workers and families though the holidays.
Can you help us by pledging to donate to a food drive or a food bank in your area?
Please help us feed 100,000 Walmart workers and families and make sure to post about it using the hashtag #GiveBackFriday and #feedhungryworkers.
Together, we can make a difference in the lives of over 100,000 families.
Because no one in America, especially the men and women who work for one of the richest companies in the world, should have go to hungry this Thanksgiving and through the holidays.
Thank you for everything you do to help change the lives of Walmart workers

Wednesday, December 9  *Note change of location

at VINTAGE RESTAURANT, 171 Main Street White Plains, NY   *Not at the labor council

4:00 pm executive board meeting

6:00 pm a short delegate meeting 

6:15 pm to 8:30 pm our annual complementary Holiday reception, full buffet and beverages for our delegates, community partners and elected officials.  PLEASE JOIN US.

And please bring something for our collection drives!

We need:  Bed Bath and Beyond coupons and gift cards, Buy Buy Baby coupons and gift cards, toiletries, and/or cash.

CWA Local 1103 BLACK FRIDAY FIGHT FOR A FAIR CONTRACT @ VERIZON & VERIZON WIRELESS.

CWA Members will be holding an Informational Picket at three VERIZON WIRELESS stores on BLACK FRIDAY Nov 27 beginning at 12 Noon.

For over 3 months Verizon and Verizon Wireless have fail to move off its retrogressive demands for Job Security, Outrageous Give Backs on Healthcare & Take it or Leave It Reductions to our Pensions.

Please join us on Black Friday beginning at 12 Noon at any of the following stores, please click the link for maps and to sign up at a particular store, it greatly helps us to plan for the event:

1773 E Main St, Mohegan Lake, NY 10547

355 N Central Ave, Hartsdale, NY 10530

447 Boston Post Rd, Port Chester, NY 10573

JOIN NOW! It will only take a few moments and can make a big difference!

https://actionnetwork.org/forms/help-protect-public-education?referrer=0a54208d67f10e72c6160503e06705a50e8f9b59&source=direct_link

Act Now!

A.7332 / S.4094 is currently on Governor Cuomo’s desk awaiting executive action.

This bill would compel OPWDD to show a true commitment to individuals with developmental disabilities by allowing them a list of options that would expand services in all areas of the state.

All of our brothers and sisters need to act now to save public services.

Please urge Governor Cuomo to sign the bill.

CLICK HERE TO SIGN THE PETITION!

Please remember the labor breakfast for Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins,
NYS Democratic Conference Leader

Wednesday,  November 18, from 9:00 am-10:30 am
Vintage Restaurant
171 Main Street
White Plains, NY 10601

For tickets or for more info please contact:
Pam Bennett  at (646) 620-2567 or friendsofandrea2016@gmail.comPlease remember the labor breakfast for Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins,
NYS Democratic Conference Leader

Wednesday,  November 18, from 9:00 am-10:30 am
Vintage Restaurant
171 Main Street
White Plains, NY 10601

For tickets or for more info please contact:
Pam Bennett  at (646) 620-2567 or friendsofandrea2016@gmail.comSince November 11 is Veterans’ Day, and we hope you will spend the day honoring our Veterans, we are holding our meeting(s) the day after on

Thursday, November 12 at the Labor Council
595 West Hartsdale Avenue, White Plains, NY 10607

4:00 pm Executive Board
6:00 pm Delegate MeetingGreetings Brothers and Sisters from the Northern Counties, Rockland and Westchester, The Bronx, Queens, Long island, NYC, NJ, CT, The National LCLAA and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
Hola. Como estan. Saludos! Si Se Puede !!!

I have the honor of extending a cordial invitation to you, your friends, and family to our LCLAA Fundraising Dinner Dance scheduled for November 20th, 2015. To be held at “The Riverview” @ Hastings on-Hudson, NY. Doors open at @ 6:30 PM. See attached flyer for details. It is an honor to share this moment with you and our distinguished honorees and specials guests. The admission fee includes fine dining, open bar, salsa dancing, raffles, and more.

You are welcome to join our Westchester Chapter; Please, mail in your seat reservation or Ads request by November 4th, 2015.

Renew or Become a New Member Today! Westchester LCLAA Chapter Members are entitle to the special rate of $80.00 per admission ticket. Nonmember’s General admission is $100.00.

Nos dara mucho, pero mucho orgullo, que Usted y su distiguida familia vengan, y disfruten de un menu exquisito, musica bailable y un programa de reconocimiento a personajes de la comunidad. Gracias, y apreciamos mucho su apoyo!

In Solidarity, thank you for your support !

LCLAA Executive Board

PO BOX 8072

White Plains, NY 10602

www.facebook.com/lclaa914

Sunday, November 8                      DREAMERS AMONG US

4-5 pm documentary film (20 min) and panel

5-6 pm reception and info tables

Temple Beth Abraham  25 Leroy Ave., Tarrytown, NY 10591

Free Admission ($10 suggested donation)

http://tinyurl.com/westchesterdreamers

Katia (RMM) ktachapman@gmail.com

**The Journal goes to press  tomorrow, October 2.

The Celebration of Labor will be held on Wednesday, October 14, 2015 at The Riverview located at 1 Warburton Avenue, Hastings-on-Hudson, New York 10706 from 6:00PM-9:00PM after our 5:30 pm press conference announcing our candidate endorsements.

The evening will give you the opportunity to meet and mingle with elected officials and union members. The cost of the event is $100.00 per person which includes a sit down dinner and cocktails.

This year we are honoring Congressman Eliot Engel, for his ongoing dedication to the labor movement and the working men and women in New York State.

We will also be honoring Joe Mayhew, Sectretary-Treasurer for CWA Local 1103, for his commitment to labor and tireless dedication to the WPCLB.

If you are interested in being a part of our Celebration of Labor Journal for 2015, please refer to the rate sheet below.

Please make checks for tickets and journal ads payable to WPCLB and send to:

Westchester/Putnam AFL-CIO Central Labor Body

595 WEST HARTSDALE AVENUE, WHITE PLAINS, NY 10607

Very truly yours,

Paul Ryan

President

Brendan Sexton

Community Services Chair

**********************

WPCLB Celebration of Labor 2015

Advertising Rates

 

Back Cover $500.00

Inside Front Cover $350.00

Inside Back Cover $350.00

Full Page $150.00

Half Page $75.00

Quarter Page $50.00

The undersigned agrees to purchase advertising space in the WPCLB Souvenir Journal as indicated below. Payment for said advertising is due at the time this contract is submitted.

————————————————————————————————————

Yes, I would like to place an ad in the Celebration of Labor Event Journal and I have enclosed a check for $____________________ as payment for page____________________________ ad.

Please make check payable to: WPCLB and mail to:

Westchester/Putnam Central Labor Body – AFL CIO,

595 West Hartsdale Ave. 1st Floor, White Plains, NY 10607

Name: ________________________________________________________________________

Organization: __________________________________________________________________

Address: ______________________________________________________________________

Telephone: ______________________________ Fax Number: ___________________________

Signature: ______________________________________ Date: ________________________

Note: Submit all ads as jpeg or pdf by Tomorrow, October 2 to karkatpec6@yahoo.com

or 

kkp6@westchestergov.com

Reminder!!

Thursday, July 30th – New York City, NY

50th Anniversary of Medicare & Medicaid: Speakers, Cake & More!

When: Thursday, July 30, 10:00AM
Where: Professional Staff Congress CUNY, 16th floor, 61 Broadway, Manhattan, NY 10013 (downtown Manhattan)
Contact: RSVP on eventbrite here, contact Metro NY Health Care for All Campaign at 646-527-6612 or metrohealth@igc.org

See you this weekend!

Our 7th Annual Labor Picnic Day is fast approaching! We can’t wait to celebrate with you!This is our final week for sponsorship requests. You may reserve your sponsorship via email (jennifer@wpclb.org). See details below.

 

Sunday, August 2, 2015

 

11am-4pm

 

Ridge Road Park, 287 Ridge Road, Hartsdale, NY 10530

 

Hamburgers, hotdogs, salads and sodas will be provided.

This labor celebration event will feature games, food and fun for all families!

*Union service organizations and local unions may distribute

benefits information and upcoming labor event dates*

 

Multi-level sponsorship opportunities are available. Please fill out the form below. Thank you!

 

Yes! I’d like to sponsor the following event at the sponsorship level indicated:

□ Platinum Level Sponsorship: Donations of $500 and above

includes a Platinum Level Listing in our Picnic Brochure

□ Gold Level Sponsorship: Donations of $250

includes a Gold Level Listing in our Picnic Brochure

□  Silver Level Sponsorship: Donations of $150

includes a Silver Level Listing in our Picnic Brochure

□  Bronze Level Sponsorship: Donations of $50

includes a Bronze Level Listing in our Picnic Brochure

*Raffle Prize Donation!  Item:___________________________________

includes a Donation Level Listing in our Picnic Brochure

 

In order to guarantee brochure listing, payments must be received by July 25, 2015 – YOU CAN EMAIL YOUR REQUEST TO JENNIFER@WPCLB.ORG

Contact Name_________________________________

 

Organization _________________________________________

 

Address ________________________________________

 

City___________________________________________________ State ______ Zip _________________________

 

Phone _____________________________________ Email ______________________________________________

Check enclosed, payable to WPCLB

Mail or Fax:

Westchester/Putnam Central Labor Body AFL-CIO, 595 West Hartsdale Ave., White Plains, NY 10607

 

ONE MONTH COUNTDOWN!

Interested in sponsoring this event? You may email jennifer@wpclb.org with your sponsorship request to ensure you are a part of this year’s picnic brochure! Click below for more details.

CLICK for the sponsorship form 2015!

HOT SUMMER FUN!

Interested in sponsoring this event? Thanks in advance for your support! 

CLICK for the sponsorship form 2015!

Today is the day – Join our 32BJ SEIU Brothers & Sisters as they rally in White Plains – details below. Feel free to circulate.

TOMORROW – TUESDAY, May 19th

School Budget Vote – 7AM-9PM

We encourage you to VOTE YES to support quality schools in your home district!

When do I put out the food? On the morning of Saturday, May 9, just set out your non-perishable food items well before your letter carrier’s normal pick-up time. Note that he or she will be delivering and collecting mail as usual, on top of collecting food donations, so that pickup time could be slightly later than usual.

What a wonderful tribute paid to the working men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice on the job in 2014.
We had an amazing showing of support at our 10th Annual Workers’ Memorial Day Vigil! We thank our WPCLB Executive Board Members, Delegates, Community Services Committee, Sword of Light Band, Sponsors, Coalition Partners and Electeds for standing strong with us in our fight for SAFE JOBS TO SAVE LIVES.

Our mission will continue and we hope to one day have even safer working conditions for ALL.

TOMORROW JOIN US AS WE

MOURN FOR THE DEAD…FIGHT FOR THE LIVING!

10th Annual Workers’ Memorial Day Events

 

We hope you will join us to honor working men & women

who were injured or died while working in the past year.

 

Vigil to be held – TOMORROW – Tuesday – April 28, 2015

 

Weather Permitting – Outdoor Location – Renaissance Plaza, White Plains

(Mamaroneck Ave. & Main St. Intersection – in front of the fountain)

Indoor Location – 1199 SEIU, 99 Church St., White Plains

Vigil start time: 5PM

*There is no charge for attending the vigil*

 

***

Cocktail Reception to follow…

Vintage Bar & Restaurant

171 Main Street

White Plains, NY 10601

Cocktail Reception: 6PM-8PM

……………………………………..Pricing Information……………………………………

Cocktail Reception Price: $65 per person

If you plan to pay at the door, please make checks payable to WPCLB

WOW – WOW – WOW!

Over 2,000(!!!) people came together at yesterday’s rally to show support of increased funding for the Yonkers Public Schools!

Parents, students, teachers, electeds, union brothers and sisters, community leaders and others voiced their support in this concerted effort.

We truly appreciate your attendance, assistance, and dedication!

The WPCLB Candidate & Judicial Questionnaires are now available for download on our website.http://wpclb.org/political/

Image result for now available

Do you know of any candidates running for office in 2015?

If so, please share this information with them.

Once completed questionnaires are returned, candidates will be contacted with an interview date and time.

THIS WEDNESDAY – DON’T MISS OUT!

On behalf of the Westchester/Putnam Central Labor Body AFL CIO, we cannot thank you enough for supporting our rally on the National Day of Action Opposing FAST TRACK for TPP!A huge thanks to WPCLB Vice President, Joe Mayhew for organizing this event. To our Executive Board Members, Delegates, Legislators and Coalition Partners and Friends – it was a successful event especially with your support!The fight continues! What can you do next?

Call your members of Congress and tell them to oppose Fast Track because it’s undemocratic and will drive down wages for workers like you. Text TPP to 877877 to be connected to your representative!

***

Here are some video clips from Saturday’s event. Feel free to share and post these video clips as well on your social media outlets.

***

 

Video link of Rep Lowey speech:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=orEj6-TZc68

Video of NYS Assembly member speeches:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O6m__-FeO1w

 

Video of Mayor Roach Speech:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w-z8gVTvDMI

 

Video of Westchester Legislators Speeches:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q5SLQcPjx6Q&feature=youtu.be

 

Video of Rep Engel speech can be seen at end of Video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xLAEeTkN6zM&feature=youtu.be

Join the WPCLB on April 18National Day of Action Against

FAST TRACK for Trans Pacific Partnership

 

When: April 18th Noon – 1:30pm

Where: Martine Ave & Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, White Plains NY

What: Rally & Press Conference to Stop FAST TRACK for the TPP. (bring banners & signs)

DON’T MISS OUT!

(Please see important details regarding tix and sponsor requests below. Deadline is MONDAY 4.20.15)

 

10th Annual Workers’ Memorial Day Events

 

We hope you will join us to honor working men & women

who were injured or died while working in the past year.

 

Vigil to be held – Tuesday – April 28, 2015

 

Weather Permitting – Outdoor Location – Renaissance Plaza, White Plains

(Mamaroneck Ave. & Main St. Intersection – in front of the fountain)

Indoor Location – 1199 SEIU, 99 Church St., White Plains

Vigil start time: 5PM

 

***

Cocktail Reception to follow…

Vintage Bar & Restaurant

171 Main Street

White Plains, NY 10601

Cocktail Reception: 6PM-8PM

RSVP only needed for cocktail reception. Kindly reply by April 20th to jennifer@wpclb.org

……………………………………..Pricing Information……………………………………

Cocktail Reception Price: $65 per person

SPONSOR OPPORTUNITY: If you would like to be listed as a sponsor, please include an additional $75 and your name/organization’s name will be added to the vigil program.Please submit sponsorship request by April 20th.

***YOU CAN RESERVE TIX AND SPONSORSHIPS VIA EMAIL BY NOTIFYING jennifer@wpclb.org. CHECK CAN FOLLOW***

Please make checks payable to WPCLB and mail to

Westchester/Putnam Central Labor Body AFL-CIO

595 West Hartsdale Ave., White Plains, NY 10607 / Attention: Jennifer Puja

Will you be in the White Plains area tomorrow? If so, join the FIGHT FOR $15!

DON’T MISS OUT!

(Please see important details regarding tix and sponsor requests below. Deadline approaching)

 

10th Annual Workers’ Memorial Day Events

 

We hope you will join us to honor working men & women

who were injured or died while working in the past year.

 

Vigil to be held – Tuesday – April 28, 2015

 

Weather Permitting – Outdoor Location – Renaissance Plaza, White Plains

(Mamaroneck Ave. & Main St. Intersection – in front of the fountain)

Indoor Location – 1199 SEIU, 99 Church St., White Plains

Vigil start time: 5PM

 

***

Cocktail Reception to follow…

Vintage Bar & Restaurant

171 Main Street

White Plains, NY 10601

Cocktail Reception: 6PM-8PM

RSVP only needed for cocktail reception. Kindly reply by April 20th to jennifer@wpclb.org

……………………………………..Pricing Information……………………………………

Cocktail Reception Price: $65 per person

SPONSOR OPPORTUNITY: If you would like to be listed as a sponsor, please include an additional $75 and your name/organization’s name will be added to the vigil program.Please submit sponsorship request by April 20th.

***YOU CAN RESERVE TIX AND SPONSORSHIPS VIA EMAIL BY NOTIFYING jennifer@wpclb.org. CHECK CAN FOLLOW***

Please make checks payable to WPCLB and mail to

Westchester/Putnam Central Labor Body AFL-CIO

595 West Hartsdale Ave., White Plains, NY 10607 / Attention: Jennifer Puja April 18 National Day of Action Against

FAST TRACK for Trans Pacific Partnership

 

On April 18 join the Westchester Coalition of Community, Environment, Faith & Labor and our elected leaders for a National Day of Action to oppose FAST TRACK for the Trans Pacific Partnership, the largest trade deal in history that many believe will be disastrous for America.

 

When: April 18th Noon – 1:30pm

Where: Martine Ave & Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, White Plains NY

What: Rally & Press Conference to Stop FAST TRACK for the TPP. (bring banners & signs)

Who: Rep. Eliot Engel, Members of the NYS Assembly & Senate, Westchester County Legislature (list is growing), Westchester Putnam Central Labor Body, CWA (large list of Unions to be named).  Food & Water Watch, Mt Vernon United Tenants, WESPAC, WFP

 

  • Labor says it will cost American jobs just like NAFTA.
  • Environmental groups say it will poison our food, water and air.
  • Faith based groups say it will hurt developing countries.
  • Healthcare advocates say it will drive up prescription costs
  • Community groups say foreign corporations will be able to sue federal, state and even local governments for passing laws that protect our jobs, family and environment.

 

SPONSORS

Communications Workers of America, Westchester/Putnam Central Labor Body AFL CIO, WESPAC

WPCLB/Two Men And A Truck Kick Off A DECADE OF SPEAKING OUT FOR SAFE JOBS TO SAVE LIVES!

The Westchester/Putnam Central Labor Body cordially invites you to our…

10th Annual Workers’ Memorial Day Vigil

 

We hope you will join us to honor working men & women

who were injured or died while working in the past year.

 

Tuesday – April 28, 2015

 

Weather Permitting – Outdoor Location – Renaissance Plaza, White Plains

(Mamaroneck Ave. & Main St. Intersection – in front of the fountain)

Indoor Location – 1199 SEIU, 99 Church St., White Plains

Vigil start time: 5PM

***

Cocktail Reception to follow…

Vintage Bar & Restaurant

171 Main Street

White Plains, NY 10601

Cocktail Reception: 6PM-8PM

RSVP only needed for cocktail reception.

Kindly reply by April 20th to jennifer@wpclb.org

……………………………………..Pricing Information……………………………………

Cocktail Reception Price: $65 per person

SPONSOR OPPORTUNITY: If you would like to be listed as a sponsor, please include an additional $75 and your name/organization’s name will be added to the vigil program.Please submit sponsorship request by April 20th.

Please make checks payable to WPCLB and mail to

Westchester/Putnam Central Labor Body AFL-CIO

595 West Hartsdale Ave., White Plains, NY 10607 / Attention: Jennifer Puja Movers for Moms® Drive to Help Mothers in Shelters

Community-Supported Program Aids Moms in Crisis on Mother’s Day

 

Though Mother’s Day is intended to be a joyous occasion for women across the country, thousands of moms are living in shelters as a result of domestic abuse or homelessness. 

 

The Westchester/Putnam Central Labor Body AFL CIO will be collecting the following items to help those in need:

 

TOILETRIES:

SHAMPOO, TOOTHPASTE, MOISTURIZER, SOAP AND DEODORANT AS WELL AS THINGS THAT WOULD MAKE WOMEN FEEL GOOD ABOUT THEMSELVES (NAIL POLISH, MAKE-UP, HAIR ACCESSORIES AND PERFUME.) All OF THE TOILETRIES SHOULD BE BE IN NEW, UNOPENED CONDITION.

 

BABY ITEMS:

BECAUSE SO MANY WOMEN ARRIVE AT SHELTERS WITH BABIES AND CHILDREN IN TOW

DIAPERS (PAMPERS SWADDLERS SIZE 1 &2), BABY POWDER, BABY LOTION, SIPPY CUPS, TEETHERS, BIBS, PACIFERS AND BABY/CHILDREN’S CLOTHES ARE DESPERATELY NEEDED AS WELL.

 

 YOU MAY DONATE ITEMS FROM NOW THROUGH APRIL 30TH   BETWEEN 8AM and 4PM @ THE WPCLB – 595 West Hartsdale Ave., White Plains, NY 10607. If we are working offsite, please leave your donations in front of our office door.

 

 

WE THANK YOU IN ADVANCE FOR YOUR SUPPORT OF HOPE’S DOOR AND MY SISTERS’ PLACE!

LET’S TAKE IT TO THE STREETS – SPEAK OUT TO #PROTECTOURSCHOOLS!

TOMORROW!!!!

Rally to #ProtectOurSchools March 28 in New York City

If you are in the vicinity of New York City tomorrow, PLEASE do your best to attend a large rally at noon Saturday, March 28, outside the governor’s Midtown District Office, 633 3rd Ave. at East 41st Street.

If you can participate, please take pictures and use social media, “tweeting” to @AndyPallotta and @nysut, using the following hashtags: #AllKidsNeed, #InviteCuomo, #ProtectOurSchools.

LET’S TAKE IT TO THE STREETS – SPEAK OUT TO #PROTECTOURSCHOOLS!

Rally to #ProtectOurSchools March 28 in New York City

If you are in the vicinity of New York City next weekend, try to attend a large rally at noon Saturday, March 28, outside the governor’s Midtown District Office, 633 3rd Ave. at East 41st Street.


If you can participate, please take pictures and use social media, “tweeting” to @AndyPallotta and @nysut, using the following hashtags: #AllKidsNeed, #InviteCuomo, #ProtectOurSchools.

CALL YOUR STATE SENATORS
ASK THEM TO STAND STRONG WITH 2/3’s OF NEW YORKERS
AND REJECT THE GOVERNOR’S PROPOSALSGood Morning,With the budget being finalized this week we are asking that everyone make a final push to make sure our elected officials stand with us and fight Governor Cuomo’s harmful education policies.We are in the final days of negotiations!Please forward the information below to your friends and family.

CLICK HERE TO FIND YOUR ELECTED STATE SENATOR
TALKING POINTS:We are aware there are education conversations occurring today on critical issues facing our students, parents, educators and our public schools.WE ASK THAT THE LEGISLATURE SUPPORT PUBLIC SCHOOL STUDENTS, EDUCATORS, PRINCIPALS AND SCHOOLS and reject the proposals being currently discussed.We are STRONGLY opposed to any education policy that reduces local control for schools. This is a clear attack on students, educators, principals, superintendents, school board members and collective bargaining in this state.We oppose ANY changes in evaluation laws that would reduce local control and we oppose ANY increase in the use of standardized testing.The Legislature SHOULD NOT agree to increase testing in our evaluation system. Governor Cuomo’s proposal to increase testing to 40% or 50% MUST BE REJECTED. These proposals would double the use of standardized testing for our students.We oppose ANY educational decisions regarding evaluation or school decisions, made by appointed panels. Educational decisions must be made within a school district.We oppose reducing due process rights by increasing tenure to four years. Teachers have longer tenure and due process periods than nearly all other state employees. Three years is more than ample time to judge the quality and effectiveness of a teacher.WE reject the governor’s harmful, anti-educator, anti-labor education proposals, which remove local control and increase standardized testing.Bills do not need to be printed until 11:59 pm on Saturday, 3/28. We ask you to continue to advocate for our students, educators and principals.The Legislature should continue to stand strong against the governor’s harmful education proposals.CLICK HERE TO FIND YOUR ELECTED STATE SENATOR

Please join our IUOE Local 30 Brothers and Sisters, concerned Sarah Lawrence College faculty and students, and other community allies at this very important teach-in in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

**Details below**

Friday, January 16 – At the River I Stand

CSEA Region 3 is hosting the Film “At the River I Stand” on Friday, January 16 at 6:30 pm @ CSEA Region 3 – 568 State Route 52, Beacon, NY

Please RSVP to (845) 831-1000

Pizza and Popcorn will be served

At the River I Stand skillfully reconstructs the two eventful months that transformed a strike by Memphis sanitation worker into a national conflagration, and disentangles the complex historical forces that came together with the inevitability of tragedy at the death of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


Monday, January 19 – Martin Luther King Jr. Parade and Celebration

The Future is Ours – What is your Destiny?

Join the Southern Dutchess Coalition for the 37th Annual Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Parade and Celebration.

Monday, January 19 at 10:00 am – Parade begins at Springfield Baptist Church, 8 Mattie Cooper Square, Beacon NY

For further information call: Jennifer McClinton, Chairperson: (845) 454-2059

Happy New Year from the Hudson Valley Area Labor Federation


Congressman Chris Gibson will not seek reelection in 2016


Rep. Chris Gibson, R-N.Y., will announce his retirement Tuesday, according to two GOP sources. The Republican, who was re-elected to a third term in November, will open a competitive seat in 2016 with his departure following this Congress. President Barack Obama carried the district with 52 percent, making it a must-win for House Democrats if they want to put a dent in the GOP’s historic majority this cycle.

Read more here


The HVALF mourns the passing of Former Governor Mario Cuomo


“The Hudson Valley Area Labor Federation mourns the loss of Former New York Governor Mario Cuomo. He was a true democrat who worked hard to keep dreams and hopes alive for working Americans and New Yorkers, native and immigrant alike. We extend our condolences to his family, his friends, and to all of those who were influenced by him.” – Paul F. Ellis-Graham, President HVALF

The son said a final farewell to the father on Tuesday. In what was simultaneously a history lesson on a certain political era in New York sprinkled with anecdotes mixed with gentle humor and a tribute to his father’s legacy as governor, Andrew Cuomo honored the late Mario Cuomo, the man he called “pop.” In sum, the eulogy was perhaps the most personal and stirring address Andrew Cuomo has given in his public life, opening up a rarely seen vulnerable side to a tough-as-nails politician.

Read More here

CNN anchor Chris Cuomo aired a six-minute tribute to his father Tuesday morning, recounting his rules for life and challenging those who dubbed him the “Hamlet on the Hudson.” Chris Cuomo, Mario’s youngest son and a co-host of CNN’s “New Day,” remembered his father as someone who stuck to his closely held beliefs, maintained a sense of humor and urged all to do good in the world.

Read More here


Advocates Call for Equal & Higher Wage for Tipped Workers

A coalition of faith and labor groups rallied at the state capitol Monday to call for an increase in the state’s minimum wage for tipped workers. Today’s call was part of this year’s first “Moral Monday.” The event brings groups together to push what they call ‘moral’ issues, while protesting ‘immoral’ ones.

Read More Here


Donaldson urges Kingston school district to use PLA in massive project

Ulster County Legislator David Donaldson, a Democrat who represents the City of Kingston, is urging the Kingston City School district to consider using a project labor agreement on its $140 million school renovation project. He called the decision not to look into the agreement to use local labor “troublesome.”

Statement from the Executive Board of the Hudson Valley Area Labor Federation

“The Hudson Valley Areas Labor Federation Executive Board strongly urges the Kinston City School district to use a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) for the $140 million school renovation project. It has been proven in the past that PLA’s save money on municipal projects. The City of Kingston School district will have many advantages if they use a PLA; such as, Increased labor activity, uniform work rules, standardized starting times, avoidance of work stoppage, pickets and strikes, use of apprentice labor, more competitive bidding and cost savings. In order to build our local economies we have to think local first and a PLA will ensure that professional contractors utilize highly skilled and local labor to build our communities.”

The Hudson Valley Area Labor Federation Executive Board:

Paul Ellis-Graham, President

William Riccaldo, Executive Vice President

Adrian Huff, Executive Treasurer

Read More Here


Call Center Bill Signed into Law

A bill further assuring that local call centers remain in the area was signed into law.  Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation that sets forth specific procedures for the New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) to follow when a gas or electric company seeks to close a local call center.

Read More Here


Upcoming Labor Events:

  • January 15, 2015 – Rockland CLC Meeting, 4:00 PM, IBEW 363, 8 Taylor Lane, New City, NY
  • Janaury 19, 2015 – Martin Luther King, Jr Day
  • January 21, 2015 – State of the State Address, Albany, NY
  • Janaury 26, 2015 – Upper-Hudson CLC Meeting, 6:00 PM,  NYSUT, 201 Stockade Drive, Kingston, NY
  • January 27, 2015 – Hudson-Catskill CLC Meeting, 6:30 PM, CSEA, 450 E. Main Street, Middletown, NY
  • Janaury 28, 2015 – Dutchess CLC Meeting, 5:30 PM, CWA 1120, 157 Van Wagner Road, Poughkeepsie, NY
  • February 17, 2015 – HVALF Legislative Breakfast SAVE THE DATE


The Hudson Valley Area Labor Federation mourns the loss of Former New York Governor Mario Cuomo.  He was a true democrat who worked hard to keep the dreams and hopes alive for working Americans and New Yorkers, native and immigrant alike.  We extend our condolences to his family, his friends, and to all of those who were influenced by him.
Sincerely,
Paul F. Ellis-Graham,
President

As the year comes to a close, and you finish holiday shopping, we would like to remind you to continue to BOYCOTT STAPLES and AVOID WALMART!

We strongly encourage you to shop at OfficeMax/Office Depot and Costco instead!

To find out more about both issues, please refer to the following links:

http://stopstaples.com/

http://www.aflcio.org/Blog/

Warmest Wishes for a Happy Holiday and a Wonderful New Year!

We extend our best wishes to you and your family for a healthy holiday season!

In Unity,

The Westchester/Putnam Central Labor Body AFL-CIO

 

HOLIDAY BUFFET REMINDER!

Come and join the WPCLB executive board, delegates, community leaders, candidates and electeds at our Annual Holiday Buffet Reception!

Wednesday, December 10th

6:30PM-8PM

at the WPCLB

595 West Hartsdale Ave.,

White Plains, NY 10607

This is the time, the time of the year, when giving not getting will bring you good cheer!WPCLB Annual Holiday Drives 2014Once again we have partnered with the Elizabeth Seton Pediatric Center to donate toys/items for children in need. With your help last year, we were able to donate thousands of dollars worth of items!We can only accept monetary donations or gifts specifically purchased from the wish list below.With monetary donations, we will purchase gifts on your behalf.We are also accepting Bed Bath and Beyond & Buy Buy Baby coupons (not expired) – this helps us make the most of the purchases off the wish list.Please make checks payable to WPCLB and send to 595 West Hartsdale Ave., White Plains, NY 10607. Please send/drop off coupons to the same address.~Elizabeth Seton Pedatric Center Wish ListAll toys, clothes and donations must be new due to heightened infection control precautions. Additionally, we cannot accept any plush toys

For Babies and Infants:MobilesClothesLamaze company infant toysMozart Music CubeBoppy PillowsBoppy Pillow coversBumboo Chairs For Toddlers +:Sesame Street songs on CD’sSesame Street DVD’sChildren’s Musical CD’sPop up Cause & Effect ToysPhonics RadiosLeap Start See and Say’sLeap Frog Products For School Age and TeensBackpacksBaby dolls (realistic)Children’s Books on CD’sChildren’s BooksGift Cards (All Variety)Scrapbooking SuppliesClothes – All Sizes (comfortable – loose fitting) (No Turtlenecks)Winter Coats – All Size

**Elizabeth Seton Pediatric Center

can always use new clothes, new winter coats,

new socks and new sports bras all sizes are welcomed.**

Have items that are gently used??

In addition, the WPCLB is collecting gently used CLOTHES and SHOES – any style, size (no holes please). These will be donated to the Movers for Moms Campaign to be given to victims of domestic violence. Lastly, new toiletries will also be accepted for this drive.

When donating, please mark your bags with

‘Movers for Moms’ or ‘Elizabeth Seton Pediatric Center’.

We thank you in advance for making the world a bit brighter for those in need this holiday season!

December 10th is the final day for all collections!

Questions? Contact jennifer@wpclb.org

There’s just 2 weeks left until MSP and
Mercedes-Benz of White Plains host the party
of the summer!
Join us for Savor & Support on Wednesday, August 3rd from 6pm – 9pm at the CV Rich Mansion in White Plains. Enjoy the perfect summer evening out while supporting a great cause!
Guests will enjoy fine foods and beverages, a live jazz band, and an exciting auction with fantastic items and experiences up for grabs. There will also be free, relaxing chair massages provided by Oasis Day Spa!
All proceeds from this wonderful and festive night will directly benefit the work of My Sisters’ Place, providing services for victims of domestic violence and human trafficking.
Tickets are going fast so get yours today! 
 
  

Photos from Savor & Support 2015

Special thanks to Mercedes-Benz of White Plains for hosting this event and for their continued support of My Sisters’ Place
To learn more about all of the ways to get involved,
please contact info@mspny.org.
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Special thanks to Mercedes-Benz of White Plains for hosting this event and for their continued support of My Sisters’ Place
To learn more about all of the ways to get involved,
please contact info@mspny.org.
Facebook Twitter Tumblr

Happy June, everyone! With one week left before the end of our fiscal year, we’re excited to share that we have received a challenge from a generous donor who will match all gifts up to $2,500 through June 30th. Let’s make this our most successful appeal to date and ensure our safe harbor shelter program has all of the resources necessary to provide support to those in need!
 
We’d like send our deepest gratitude and thanks to all those who have contributed to our campaign to date.
In Solidarity, A Letter from Our CEO
We would like to express our sorrow for the loss of those killed at the LGBTQ+ nightclub, Pulse, in Orlando and extend our support to the victims’ families and communities. MSP CEO, Karen Cheeks-Lomax, has written a letter addressing these events that we would like to share with you.
“Why Did They Stay?” Part 1
“Why didn’t she just leave?” “Why didn’t he tell anyone?”  “Why didn’t they call the police?” There are countless reasons why it can be incredibly difficult, or in some cases impossible, to leave an abusive relationship. Over the coming months, My Sisters’ Place will spotlight various reasons “Why They Stayed” to shed light on how complex and courageous it is to make the decision to leave an abusive relationship.
Our first installment in this series, focuses on domestic violence in immigrant communities and how immigration status or lack of documentation impacts a victim’s ability to leave.
Thank You for Your Support this Month!
Community members from across the county have been working hard to support MSP over the past few weeks. We’d like to thank the following individuals and groups for their awesome work for MSP!
  • Citrin Cooperman for their Day of Service at our shelter
  • Ilene Semiatin for doing a 10K walk in honor of MSP and raising over $3,000
  • Sister Transistor for choosing MSP as the beneficiary of their concert and raising over $1,200
  • Goldman Sachs and Clifford Chance for their pro bono support at our Immigration Clinic
Our Junior Board hosted their first annual Summer Social at the Boat Basin Cafe in New York City. It was an incredibly successful event where over 100 young professionals gathered together to learn more about My Sisters’ Place and show their support for our mission. Thank you to everyone that attended and to the Junior Board for creating such a fun night!

To learn more about getting involved with our Junior Board, please contact Michelle Katz (michelle.r.katz@gmail.com) or Allison Mahoney (allison.mahoney@gmail.com)
Upcoming Events:
August 3rd – Savor & Support
My Sisters’ Place is proudly partnering with Mercedes-Benz of White Plains for our annual Savor & Support fundraiser. This fantastic event, taking place at the CV Rich Mansion in White Plains, will feature delicious food and drinks, live music and a silent auction. It will be the party of the summer that you won’t want to miss!
October 27th – Fall Luncheon
Save the date for our annual luncheon at Brae Burn Country Club! Stay tuned for more details.
Thank you!
To learn more about all of the ways to get involved,
please contact info@mspny.org.
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Dear Friends,

At My Sisters’ Place, we have the privilege of supporting incredible individuals and families in their moment of need. We provide survivors with a sense of refuge they may not have known for a very long time.  We create a supportive environment where our clients can recover from their abuse and take action steps to move forward in their journey towards peace and safety.
I’d like to take a moment to share with you the following testimony from one of our littlest clients.

 

As we enter the last month of our fiscal year, we ask you to help us close a funding gap in our safe harbor shelter program so we can continue to provide support for families in need. Our goal is $5,000. Every gift counts, and no amount is too small.
 
We are incredibly grateful for your meaningful support and appreciate the community advocacy and outreach that you do on behalf of My Sisters’ Place and the survivors that we serve. We can’t do this work without you – Thank You!
Together we make a difference!
With gratitude,
Karen Cheeks-Lomax, Esq.
Chief Executive Officer

To learn more about the many ways to get involved,
please contact info@mspny.org.
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My Sisters’ Place

Dear Friends,
With the start of the New Year, we continue our commitment to helping the many individuals and families who are striving to lead lives free from abuse. We are forever grateful for your partnership in this endeavor and look ahead with excitement to the amazing possibilities 2016 has to offer.
Our success is the result of collaborations with so many who share our mission. To everyone who supported us this past year with in-kind and financial donations, spread the word about the work we are doing, attended one of our events, and so much more, we thank you.
Warm regards,
Karen Cheeks-Lomax, Esq.
Chief Executive Officer
My Sisters’ Place
P.S. Please save the date for our annual Spring Benefit on Wednesday,
April 13, 2016
at The Ritz-Carlton, Westchester. It promises to be a memorable and inspirational evening and we would love to see you there!
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To learn more about all of the ways to get involved,
please contact info@mspny.org.

My Sisters’ Place

 
Please keep My Sisters’ Place in your thoughts this holiday season and give today because:
  • You want to change the odds for children who witness domestic violence.
  • You believe that our teen programs are empowering future generations.
  • You know human trafficking is happening in Westchester County and want to help us put an end to it.
 
With your support we can:
  • Help a mother and her children transition out of shelter to a life of independence.
  • Provide resources and materials for the many children in our therapeutic art counseling program so that they too can begin
    the healing process.
  • Provide peace and safety for vulnerable members of our community.
Your generosity makes all the difference. Thank you!
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please contact info@mspny.org.
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My Sisters’ Place

(Click above picture to view our holiday card)
 
 
Many families struggle during the holiday season. Your gift to
My Sisters’ Place will help brighten the experience for all of our clients who inspire us each and every day with their courage.
 
As the year comes to a close, your donation will assist us to support those in need.
The survivors who walk through the doors of My Sisters’ Place know that hope, safety and healing are now possible. 
 
With tremendous gratitude, we thank you.
 
Donate Button
 
To learn more about all of the ways to get involved,
please contact info@mspny.org.

www.mspny.org

My Sisters’ Place
(Click above picture to view our holiday card)
 
 
Many families struggle during the holiday season. Your gift to
My Sisters’ Place will help brighten the experience for all of our clients who inspire us each and every day with their courage.
 
As the year comes to a close, your donation will assist us to support those in need.
The survivors who walk through the doors of My Sisters’ Place know that hope, safety and healing are now possible. 
 
With tremendous gratitude, we thank you.
 
Donate Button
 
To learn more about all of the ways to get involved,
please contact info@mspny.org.

There Is Still Time to Advocate!

At My Sisters’ Place, we know first-hand, the devastation caused by domestic violence and human trafficking and the restorative impact our emergency shelter, counseling and legal services has on survivors and their children.
The County Executive’s 2016 budget proposes $180,000 in drastic cuts to these vital life-changing programs.
Next Monday, December 7, the Westchester County Board of Legislators can reverse these proposed cuts and restore this funding.
We need you to speak up! Contact your legislator. It can make all the difference. We’ve made it easy for you: click here.
Click below to watch our FiOS1 News feature and learn more.
MSP FiOS1 News Feature
Please forward this on and encourage others to do the same on our behalf.
Thank you so much for your support of My Sisters’ Place!
Karen Cheeks-Lomax, Esq.
Chief Executive Officer

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To learn more about all of the ways to get involved,
please contact info@mspny.org.
“The advice my mom got from My Sisters’ Place
allowed her to understand that what was happening
to us was not normal and she could do something about it.”
~Joshua’s Testimonial
After years of emotional abuse, and hundreds of bruises, Joshua’s mother found support and safety when she walked through the doors of one of
My Sisters’ Place’s emergency residential shelters with Joshua and his little brother. With the help of staff from our Center for Legal Services, she was later granted an order of protection so that Joshua’s father would have to stay away from her and their children. She wanted Joshua and his brother to be safe. She could no longer bear living each day in fear. 
There are countless empowering survivor stories like this. In 2014 alone, over 1,100 women were assisted by our Center for Legal Services with advice and representation related to orders of protection, child support, custody and immigration.
None of this is possible with the support of our community!
Today is #GivingTuesday! 
We hope you are inspired to support My Sisters’ Place and help us reach our goal of raising $10,000 on this global day of philanthropy.
Make your gift today to ensure that we can continue to offer the vital services that impact the lives of 10,000 individuals, like Joshua and his family, each year! Every dollar counts and allows us to provide the resources needed by so many who are struggling this holiday season.
Please share this with your friends and ask them to join you! 

Thank you for your generosity!
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To learn more about all of the ways to get involved,
please contact info@mspny.org.

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#GivingTuesday is just days away! On Tuesday, December 1st,
My Sisters’ Place will be participating in a global day dedicated to charitable giving. 
It’s a national movement designed to inspire people to support their local communities and create a better future. 

 
We encourage you to kick-off the holiday season with My Sisters’ Place. We are on a mission to raise $10,000 this #GivingTuesday – and for that we need you!
 

Your gift will directly support our programs and services which include:

 

  • A 24-hour crisis hotline 
  • Operation of two residential shelters for victims and their children
  • Aftercare services for individuals transitioning out of shelter
  • Adult counseling
  • Children’s counseling, therapeutic care and art therapy
  • Legal services in the areas of family law, immigration and human trafficking
  • Education and prevention programs for middle and high school students
  • Advocacy and outreach
Save the date for December 1st or make your gift today to ensure that we are able to continue to offer the vital services that impact the lives of thousands each year!
Please share this with your friends and ask them to join you! Every dollar counts and helps us meet the needs of our clients.

Thank you for your support!
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To learn more about all of the ways to get involved,
please contact info@mspny.org.

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THURSDAY, JULY 21, AT 2:00 PM AT CHAMPS BOXING CLUB – MEDIA INTERVIEWS, PHOTO OPPORTUNITY, AND PROCLAMATION PRESENTATION.

 

 Westchester County Board of Legislators Declare July 30 Carl Frampton Day to Salute Irish Boxing Champion Training in New Rochelle.

UNDEFEATED BELFAST NATIVE CARL FRAMPTON PUTS FINISHING TOUCHES ON TRAINING CAMP AT CHAMPS BOXING CLUB IN NEW ROCHELLE; PREPARES FOR JULY 30 FEATHERWEIGHT TITLE CLASH; MICHAEL B. KAPLOWITZ, CHAIRMAN OF THE WESTCHESTER COUNTY BOARD OF LEGISLATORS AT SENDOFF TO DECLARE JULY 30 “CARL ‘THE JACKAL’ FRAMPTON DAY”

Ireland’s sensational, undefeated champion boxer Carl “The Jackal” Frampton continues to train at Champs Boxing Club in New Rochelle, New York, for his July 30 featherweight championship bout vs. title-holder Leo Santa Cruz at Barclays Center. Frampton will break camp on Sunday for fight week in Brooklyn, and Michael B. Kaplowitz, Chairman of the Board of the Westchester County Board of Legislators, Gary Friedman, Chief of Staff of the Westchester County Board of Legislators, and Tara Bernard, Assistant to the Chairman of the Board of the Westchester County Board of Legislators, andJames J. Houlihan, Managing Partner, Houlihan-Parnes Realtors, LLC, will be among the business leaders recognizing Frampton for being part of the Westchester family since he launched training camp on July 4.

 

Frampton’s manager, the boxing Hall of Famer and former featherweight champBarry McGuigan, and his son Shane, who is Frampton’s trainer, will also be in attendance.

 

The ceremony, send off, meet & greet, and declaration of July 30 as

“Carl ‘The Jackal’ Frampton Day” will take place at Champs Boxing Club (7 South Division Street, New Rochelle) on Thursday, July 21, at 2:00 PM.

 

Frampton (22-0, 14 KOs) is preparing for his matchup with featherweight world champion Leo Santa Cruz taking place Saturday, July 30 live on SHOWTIME from Barclays Center.

 

Frampton returns for just his second fight stateside aiming to win back the same WBA Featherweight World Championship that Barry McGuigan held 30 years ago.

 

The SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING tripleheader begins at at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT and also features former two division-world champion Mikey Garcia returning to take on former world champion Elio Rojas and rising super welterweight contender Tony Harrison battling once-beaten Sergey Rabchenko in a 154-pound title eliminator.

 

Tickets for the live event, which is promoted by DiBella Entertainment in association with Cyclone Promotions and presented by Premier Boxing Champions, start at $38 and are on sale now. Tickets can be purchased online by visiting www.ticketmaster.comwww.barclayscenter.com or by calling 1-800-745-3000. Tickets are also available at the American Express Box Office at Barclays Center. Group discounts are available by calling 844-BKLYN-GP.

 

BOL Chair, Minority Leader React to Hiring of Police Officers.

The bipartisan coalition of Legislators who passed the 2016 County Budget announced on Wednesday that the 3 County Police Officer positions that they had restored to the Department of Public Safety have been filled.  The new hires are law enforcement professionals currently working in local municipalities.   Following a short training period, the Officers will be assigned and on patrol this summer.

Board of Legislators Chairman Mike Kaplowitz (D) Somers and Minority Leader, Legislator John Testa (R) Peekskill and Christopher Grasso from the Westchester Police Benevolent Association responded in the following statements and video.

Chairman Michael Kaplowitz said, “The hiring of these three County Police Officers is a positive step toward getting our Public Safety staffing back to an appropriate level.  The Legislators who passed the 2016 budget have an agreement with the County Executive that he will seek $250,000 in savings through vacancies in the Public Safety Department.   That figure represents approximately 3 new hires.  With a current vacancy factor in the Department of Public Safety of 9 Police Officers, we still need to fill an additional 6 positions.

“In the analysis of ‘must haves’ versus ‘nice to haves’, appropriate levels of staffing in our County Police is an absolute ‘must have’.  Especially at a time when the public is being told to be alert for potential acts of mass violence.  That is why my colleagues and I who passed this budget insisted that the proposed cuts to Public Safety be restored.  We will continue to monitor staffing levels in Public Safety and to consult with Commissioner Longworth and representatives from the PBA to ensure that Westchester County residents can be confident in the strength of our County Police force.”

Minority Leader John Testa said, “Last year when we passed the 2016 budget, we added back three County police positions which the County Executive had proposed cutting.  We voted for the budget based on the understanding that these three critical public safety positions would be filled.  It has taken a little longer than we wanted or expected but I’m happy to say that those positions will be filled starting with the July 18th pay period.  We are partners with the County

Executive in managing the finances of Westchester County and sometimes partners have differing opinions on how to prioritize spending and savings.  The Legislators who voted for the 2016 budget felt that Public Safety was a priority that should be fully funded and that our County Police Department should be fully staffed.

“We remain committed to protecting taxpayers and I would say that six consecutive years without an increase to property taxes is pretty solid proof that we are succeeding in that effort.  Those Legislators who voted for the 2016 budget have worked with the County Executive over the first half of this year to carefully manage our operations to find savings wherever possible.  I’m happy to say that with the sale of the Austin Avenue property in Yonkers and finding operational savings throughout the county, we are confident that this year’s budget is working well to provide the services our residents need while continuing to protect our already overtaxed homeowners.

“The 2016 budget was a difficult negotiation and required a lot of compromise and good faith.  The County Executive will be sending us his proposed 2017 budget in just a few months.  He has already stated that the 2017 budget will not include a tax increase.  Because the County Executive has now lived up to his promises in the 2016 budget, I am hopeful that the budget we ultimately pass for 2017 continues the zero tax increase policy for a seventh consecutive year.”

Watch video of Chairman Kaplowitz, Minority Leader Testa and PBA Representative Grasso here;   https://vimeo.com/174586071

 

 

BOL Public Safety & Social Services Chair Reacts to Hiring of Police Officers.

 

(WHITE PLAINS, NY) After a several month standoff that ignored the requests and needs of law enforcement officials, County Executive Astorino announced yesterday that he would hire three police officers that he had initially proposed to cut during the most recent County budget negotiation.

 

As the Chairman of the Board of Legislators’ Public Safety and Social Services Committee, Legislator Ben Boykin (D-White Plains) has advocated strongly for a greater investment in the county’s public safety efforts.

 

“I’m thankful that we hired these officers but remain agitated that the prioritization of the county’s public safety has clearly fallen in the mind of the County Executive; it should not have taken this long to fulfill already reduced public safety operations,” Boykin reacted.

 

Boykin, along with many other Legislators on both sides of the aisle, advocated for hiring these police officers during the budget negotiation by adding the police positions back into the budget after they were eliminated in the County Executive’s proposal.

 

“Many of us voted against the budget because we felt it failed to take certain actions that would put us in a position to hire more than 3 cops and do a better job protecting our communities.  Our law enforcement officials have told us what their needs are and I believe this still will not satisfy them.  As the Chair of the Board’s Public Safety Committee, we will continue to work with the County Police and other law enforcement agencies to remain vigilant on how we can improve public safety efforts including adding additional police around the County,” Boykin concluded.

 

Bipartisan Coalition Sets Date for Special Election.

 

 

The date for the Special Election to fill the vacated seat of retired Legislator Bernice Spreckman (District 14) has been set for Tuesday August 9th. The date was moved back from the originally proposed date of August 2nd. The additional week was necessary because the Democrat Leader had blocked/delayed the vote by one week. The Legislation to set the date for August 9th passed by a vote of 9-4.

 

Minority Leader John Testa encouraged voters to get out to the polls on August 9th. “We’ve set the date for the special election for August 9th as opposed to the originally proposed date of August 2nd to make up for the week that we lost due to the Democrats blocking the original legislation. The date we set is fair and equitable to both parties. It also does not break the law by going beyond the 90 days allowed by our charter as our Democrat colleagues have urged.” said Testa. “I hope the Democrats will now stop their delay and stall tactics and focus on presenting their candidate and their positions to the electorate instead of making spurious claims and specious arguments about voter turnout. The Democrats have an announced candidate and a tremendous voter registration advantage in District 14. They have every single opportunity to compete in this election that the Republicans have. If they are afraid that their party won’t turn out to support their candidate then they may want to reconsider the partisan, petty approach to campaigning which they have become known for.”

 

For voters who will not be present in the District on August 9th, absentee ballot forms can be requested at;

 

http://citizenparticipation.westchestergov.com/images/stories/pdfs/2015absentee.pdf

 

There is a .PDF file of the form attached to this statement which can be printed and mailed or hand delivered to:

 

Westchester County Board of Elections 25 Quarropas St. White Plains, NY 10601

Applications must be mailed seven days before the election, or hand-delivered to your county board of elections by the day before the election.

**Media Advisory**

 

A Special Meeting of the Westchester County Board of Legislators will take place Monday, June 27, 2016, at 9:00 a.m. for the purpose of setting a date for the special election to fill the seat which was vacated by Legislator Bernice Spreckman in the 14th Legislative District.

Legislator Francis Corcoran Announces Funding for New Salt Storage Facility in Bedford.

 

Legislator Francis Corcoran, (R) Bedford, announced that the Board of Legislators has authorized the transfer of $175,000 from the East of Hudson Water Quality Investment Program (WQIP) Fund to support the construction of a salt shed facility on Adams St. in Bedford Hills.  The shed is intended to contain the Town’s road salt reserves which will prevent the salt from leeching into the Reservoir. The funds will be provided to the Town of Bedford as part of an Inter Municipal Agreement with Westchester County. The need for a salt shed facility on Adams St has been of concern with the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) although no formal action has been taken. The entire cost of the project is $290,000 and a winning bid has been approved.

 

The East of Hudson Water Quality Investment Program Fund is a fund that was established by the DEC to give support to the implementation of water quality investments in the Croton and Kensico watersheds. With interest, the fund is now over $55 million dollars.

 

Legislator Corcoran is the Chairman of the BOL’s Environment and Health Committee.  “In the northern part of Westchester County, it is imperative that our municipalities have the materials they need on hand to keep our roads passable and safe in the winter time.  We have to ensure that those materials are stored in a safe manner.  This salt shed will provide protection from the road salt leaching into the groundwater and the nearby reservoir.”  Legislator Corcoran added, “Conserving the high quality our drinking water is one of the most important responsibilities of local governments.  The East of Hudson Water Quality Improvement Fund exists to invest in projects that allow Westchester to use the smartest practices and newest technology to provide clean, healthy drinking water to Westchester County and the surrounding area.  I’ll continue to look for opportunities to use the East of Hudson fund and other resources to improve our environmental stewardship.”

 

FullSizeRender

 

Legislator Francis Corcoran, Supervisor Chris Burdick, Commissioner of Public Works Kevin Winn discuss the construction of a new salt shed

Democrat Leader Delays Important Vote To Set Special Election, Republican Caucus Urges Colleagues to Follow the Law.

 

At the regular meeting of the Westchester County Board of Legislators (BOL) on Monday night, Democrat Majority Leader Catherine Borgia blocked a vote on the Legislation which would set the date for a special election to fill the Legislative District 14 seat of retired Legislator Bernice Spreckman.

 

Spreckman retired effective June 7th.  When a Legislator vacates their position during a term, the County Charter requires the BOL to select a date for a special election to take place within 90 days.  The Legislation which was to be voted on set the date for August 2nd.  The BOL will have to convene a special meeting in the coming days to take up the pending legislation again.

 

Legislator Borgia wanted the special election to be held on September 13th, Primary Day, which would be well beyond the ninety day period allowed by law.  BOL Chairman Mike Kaplowitz and the majority of Legislators want to set the special election date within the 90 day time period which would give the Board of Elections sufficient time to prepare and to give both political parties time to identify and announce candidates.

 

Minority Leader John Testa (R) Peekskill is Co-Chair along with Borgia of the BOL’s Rules Committee.  “I’m shocked that Legislator Borgia would act in such a puerile manner simply because she couldn’t get the votes she needed to set the special election for the date she wanted.  We spent a lot of time listening to Legislator Borgia’s arguments in the Rules Committee.  After much discussion it was clear that the will of the Legislature was to follow the law and set the election within the 90 day period as required.”  Testa added, “Legislator Borgia has played fast and loose with election law in the past and it came back to bite her, including getting her candidate kicked off the ballot in the last election cycle.  I would have hoped hope that she was capable of learning from that mistake.  This ‘take my ball and go home’ action that she engaged in tonight proves that she would prefer to put politics over the needs of the people of District 14 to be represented at the BOL.”

 

Minority Whip Legislator Gordon Burrows reacted with disgust to Borgia’s vote blocking.  “I am shocked, frankly, that Legislator Borgia would act unilaterally to prevent a vote because she knew she was on the losing end of an argument.  No Legislator is more important than the BOL and certainly no more important than the needs of the residents of District 14.  The bipartisan coalition and leadership team on the BOL agreed that a special election on August 2nd struck the right balance with respect to the needs of the District’s residents against the time it would take for both parties to field their candidates.”  Burrows said.  “I’ve heard names from both parties bandied about for this seat yet no one has announced or begun campaigning so this is a completely fair contest.  I would encourage Legislator Borgia to help her party by supporting a candidate and discussing the issues that we are facing in Westchester County.  I believe voters have had enough of the political gamesmanship and pettiness that we saw tonight.”

 

Republican Leaders Stunned by Democrat’s Vote to Block Affordable Housing.

 

On Monday Democrats on the Westchester County Board of legislators voted against funding for 10 units of affordable housing  in Mamaroneck.  The ten units represented a significant step toward reaching the 750 units which the county is required to build under the 2009 fair and affordable housing settlement.

 

Republican Legislators were dismayed and confused as to why their colleagues who claim to want affordable housing throughout Westchester would block this important project with just six months left for the county to get 750 units approved with financing in place.

 

During the meeting the Democrat legislator who represents Mamaroneck took the lead in offering a specious argument as to why she blocked the affordable housing in her district.  She claimed that it was a gamble to finance the units because the federal monitor in the settlement had not “pre-approved” them as counting toward the 750 unit requirement.  Republicans found this argument to lack credibility since none of the units that have been approved by the Board of Legislators has ever been “pre-approved” by the Monitor and yet the Democrats voted for them.  The Monitor has only challenged the permissibility of one affordable housing project that was approved by the BOL and that challenge was struck down by the judge overseeing the settlement.  In Committee meetings to review the proposed funding, representatives from the County Attorney’s Office stated that they were confident that the Mamaroneck units would count and were well-prepared to defend the project’s validity in court if necessary.  Further proving the insincerity of the Democrats claims, on the very next vote at the BOL meeting, just 2 minutes and 20 seconds after the five Democrats voted to block the affordable housing in Mamaroneck, they voted in favor of affordable housing in Pound Ridge, a project which also did not have a pre-approval from the Monitor.

 

During the meeting, Minority Leader, Legislator John Testa (R) Peekskill said, “If members have some ‘inside’ information why not share it with us now?  No one from HUD or the Monitor has publicly stated any doubts.  Besides, the only time the Monitor raised an objection that certain units should not be counted was with the Conifer project in New Castle, and in the end, the federal court overruled him and said they do count.”

 

Minority Whip, Legislator Gordon Burrows (R) Yonkers, said, “If on December 31st the County stands at 740 units, ten units short, and incurs the heavy fines, I will hold each of you that voted to defeat this measure responsible and let every taxpayer know who was responsible for putting the county in non-compliance.”

 

Westchester Taxpayers Saved $3 Million by Not Including Mamaroneck Housing Units in Settlement.

 

(WHITE PLAINS, NY) A special meeting of the Board of Legislators was held this morning to vote on spending housing settlement funds on 10 affordable housing units in the Town of Mamaroneck with the hope that they would be counted in the housing settlement with HUD. The vote failed to pass with a supermajority which was needed because several legislators believed it too risky to commit $3 million of taxpayer dollars to a project that had serious doubts attached as to whether they would be counted by the court.  The units in question have already been designated as affordable housing as a result of an agreement between the developer and the Town.  Stipulations of that agreement call for these units to be reserved for workforce housing in the community.  The five county legislators all agreed that since Mamaroneck would still gain 10 units of affordable housing due to the good work of the local officials, the County did not have to risk County taxpayers $3 million.

 

As a result of the pre-existing agreement between the developer and Mamaroneck, the local Legislator, Catherine Parker (D-Rye) and others, did not feel that these units would meet the criteria of the settlement, which prevents an over reliance on the use of pre-existing units for the settlement.  Paragraph 7 of the settlement states that, “No more than 25% of the total number of affordable AFFH Units described in this paragraph may be achieved through the acquisition of existing housing units provided that…no such units, before acquisition, may be controlled by a deed restriction or other legal measure to be affordable to households with incomes at or below 80% of AMI.” The units the County had proposed to purchase fell under this category and therefore left reasonable doubt that it would count towards completion of the settlement.

 

These units would cost the County $3 million to purchase, which would be paid by the funds attached to the settlement but if the independent, court-appointed monitor says that these units do not fit the criteria of the settlement, County taxpayers could have been on the hook for an additional $3 million to pay for these units out of another funding stream.

 

“I was always taught to measure twice and cut once and without any sort of indicator from the monitor or the court, I’m not willing to risk $3 million of taxpayer money on units that are going to be built and marketed as affordable no matter what,” Legislator Parker explained.

 

Westchester County is coming to the end of the period where they were required to build 750 units of affordable housing.  By many accounts, the County is not far from reaching that goal.

“With the end in sight, I’m not sure that going forward with a $3 million expenditure that may not count in the eyes of the court is a wise use of money.  I’m glad these units will be affordable as a result of the Town’s efforts, but I believe the County should find units that are certain to be counted towards the settlement when we are this close to completion,” Parker concluded.

 

Board of Legislators Special Election in August Will Cost Taxpayers Millions Unnecessarily.

 

(WHITE PLAINS, NY) The Westchester County Charter requires there to be a special election for vacancies on the Board of Legislators that occur with more than 7 months remaining in the term.  On Tuesday, June 7th, Bernice Spreckman resigned effective immediately, triggering a special election in less than 90 days.

 

“We will all miss Bernice’s wit and wisdom at the Board of Legislators.  She was as fierce of an advocate as I have ever seen on any cause and I look forward to working with her as she continues her advocacy for seniors. Choosing to set a special election to replace the Legislator who embodied her motto of ‘people before politics’ in the depths of the summer is an affront to Bernice’s legacy as a public official,” Majority Leader Catherine Borgia (D-Ossining) stated.

 

Special elections typically draw low turnout and an August special election would likely suffer from the same suppressed turnout.  Borgia continued, “This County Republican leadership has already taken steps to reduce the access to voter registration forms throughout Westchester and is now counting on deep voter suppression in a heavily Democratic district to win an election by setting it in August.”

 

A special election in August will be the third time already in 2016 that the Board of Elections has had to administer an election with another one more coming in September and another in November.  Efforts to consolidate the State and local primaries with the June Congressional primaries have been stymied in the New York State Senate, causing an estimated $50 million statewide unfunded mandate.

 

“Choosing to add a fifth election to the calendar this year not only diminishes turnout, which is likely a desire of those who set the date, but adds another significant cost to a county budget that is already stretched extremely thin.  At a time when we have less police officers on the streets and in our parks than we used to, this administration seems willing to spend tax payers money unnecessarily  on an additional Election Day but not for the safety of Westchester residents, ”Borgia concluded.

 

Republican Caucus Leadership Reacts to Resignation of Legislator Bernice Spreckman.

 

Board of Legislators Vice-Chairman Jim Maisano;

 

“We thank Bernice for many years of dedicated service to Westchester. Bernice was always a fighter to protect Yonkers and one of the greatest advocates for senior citizens in the history of our county. We will certainly miss the “Unsinkable” Bernice Spreckman on the Board of Legislators.”
Minority Leader, Legislator John Testa;

 

“Bernice Spreckman has been a valued and important member of the Republican caucus and she will be greatly missed. As Minority Leader, I often relied on Bernice’s experience and counsel. We wish Bernice much luck in her future endeavors.”

 

Minority Whip, Legislator Gordon Burrows;

 

“Bernice Spreckman and I have a long history of working together.  I could not have asked for a better partner in fighting for the people of Yonkers and Westchester County.  I will miss Bernice’s advice; wisdom, wit and passion including for her constituents especially seniors.”

 

Legislator Bernice Spreckman Announces Resignation from Westchester County Board of Legislators.

Westchester’s longest serving current Legislator was elected in 1995 after serving on Yonkers Council.

Statement from Legislator Bernice Spreckman;

“It is with the sense of accomplishment and no small amount of sadness that I resigned my position as County legislator for district 14 today.

”I love serving the people and wish I could continue on forever but unfortunately the early morning meetings with seniors and constituents which frequently lead into late evening BOL meetings are simply more than I can handle physically right now.

”Over the course of my career, I have never played the game of partisan politics.  In fact my motto both at campaign time and year round has been “People over politics”.  I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished during my public service in Yonkers City Government and Westchester County Government.

”I am grateful to the many colleagues I have worked with from both parties to serve the residents of Yonkers and Westchester County.  I encourage all elected officials to look for opportunities to work across party lines.

”After an ill-fated cruise some years ago, I was given the nickname ‘Unsinkable Bernice Spreckman’.  While I may be leaving my position on the Board of Legislators I am still very much afloat and I will continue to serve the people of Westchester, especially the seniors community who I will continue to be a fierce advocate for.”

-Bernice Spreckman

 

Statement from Board of Legislators Chairman Mike Kaplowitz on the resignation Legislator Bernice Spreckman;

“On behalf of the Legislature, I would like to thank Legislator Spreckman for her decades of service to all the residents of Westchester County, particularly those in Yonkers, and, of course, the County’s senior citizens.  Bernice is an inspiration to all those in public service and her experience, dedication and hard work will be truly missed.

”On a personal note, I am sincerely grateful for all Bernice has taught me over the past 19 years we have served as Legislators together.  From her tireless efforts and numerous accomplishments with seniors, social services, our parks and infrastructure, to her bi-partisan cooperation on all issues, I am honored to call Bernice my colleague and proud to call her my friend.

”The entire County owes Bernice a tremendous debt of gratitude and on behalf of Westchester County, I thank her.

“The Westchester County Charter provides clear direction for us on how Legislator Spreckman’s seat is to be filled.  A special election will be held within 90 days.  I along with my colleagues in leadership at the Board of Legislators will be meeting immediately to determine the appropriate date.”

-BOL Chairman Mike Kaplowitz

Legislators Burrows, Marcotte Announce Major Rehab for Scout Field Facilities.

Costs shared between County and Municipality.

 

Legislator Gordon Burrows (R) Bronxville, Yonkers, and Legislator Sheila Marcotte, (R) Eastchester were joined by their colleagues on the Board of Legislators (BOL) in approving a Bond Act in the amount of $1,932,000 for improvements to the County Park known as Scout Field. The BOL also approved an intermunicipal agreement (IMA) with the Town of Eastchester to operate and maintain the park. The vote took place at the last Board of Legislators meeting on May16th.

The IMA calls for the County and Town to each make significant improvements to the Park. The $1,932,000 in funding that the County is bonding for will finance major work adjacent to the Scout cabin area. The work will include earthwork and grading, placement of topsoil, installation of sub-surface drainage, installation of irrigation system and other incidental work required for the creation of a turf soccer field.

The Town’s portion of the work includes, resurfacing and reconstructing the entrance road and parking area, creating a new parking area to the east of the entrance road and building a fence with pedestrian and vehicle gates to enclose the soccer field. The Town is also responsible for incidental costs at the field such as signs, goals, bleachers and benches.

The 23 acre Scout Field lies within three municipalities, Bronxville, Mount Vernon, and Yonkers. Legislator Gordon Burrows represents 2 of the 3 municipalities and has advocated for improvements at Scout Field since he became a Legislator in 2005. “This agreement is an excellent example of what we can accomplish when municipal and County Government collaborate. These improvements will make Scout Field a much better asset for Town and County residents for decades to come.” said Burrows, “I look forward to working with our municipal partners on other projects like the Scout Field improvements in the future.”

Legislator Marcotte is Chair of the Budget and Appropriations Committee which reviewed and vetted the plan. Marcotte also represents Eastchester, the community that will manage the operations and maintenance at Scout Field. “I am very happy to see this rehab of Scout Field and the construction of a new soccer field finally come to fruition. By sharing the expense of this project between th C e County and the Town we are able to protect local taxpayers, while delivering a very comprehensive project that will get the Scout Field facility in top shape while creating a new athletic field that will be available to all residents.”

 

 

 

Top image- Site of new Soccer field to be built by Westchester County

Bottom image- entrance road to be resurfaced by Town of Eastchester

**Media Advisory**

Notice of Public Hearing, proposed fare increase for Bee-Line Bus ParaTransit

The topic of this hearing is to review the proposed fare increase for the Bee-Line Bus ParaTransit which is scheduled to take effect in June 2016.  The one-way fare will increase from $4.00 per ride to $5.00.

The May 31 meeting is from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. It will be held at the Westchester County Center, 198 Central Ave. in White Plains.

The County Center is served by Bee-Line routes 1W, 3, 5, 6, 11, 13, 14, 15, 17, 20, 21, 27, 40, 41, 77 and F.

The Westchester County Center is an accessible building.

 

If residents are unable attend the hearing, letters will be received up to June 2, 2016

Mail To:

Westchester County Department of Public Works & Transportation

100 East First Street

9th Floor

Mount Vernon, New York 10550

Or email:

Received up to June 2, 2016

Email Address:

Beeline@Westchestergov.Com

Jenkins-Opioid Letter

Jenkins Calls on State Assembly to Pass Legislation to Prevent Opioid Abuse & Overdose.

 

(WHITE PLAINS, NY) With the State Legislature in Albany for one of the final weeks in the legislative session, Legislator Ken Jenkins is calling on the Democratic controlled Assembly to pass legislation (S6962/A9487) to aid in preventing opioid abuse and overdose.  The epidemic of heroin and other opioid abuse has been well documented throughout the Hudson Valley and many local officials have made strides to combat the problem but still greater resources can be provided by the State and Federal governments.

 

In a letter to Legislative members of the Governor’s Task Force to Combat the Heroin and Prescription Opioid Crisis, Jenkins, a vocal critic of the Astorino administration, praised Westchester’s efforts to equip first responders with Narcan, a life-saving drug that can revive overdose victims.

 

“There is no political divide when it comes to saving lives when we can,” Jenkins said. “This antidote for the effects of opioid overdose has been proven to work and is readily accessible now but I still believe we need to do a better job of controlling the flow of drugs into our communities in the first place.”

 

At least 170 people have died in the Lower Hudson Valley from pain-pill abuse since 2010 and heroin alone has been tied to at least 230 deaths in the same region.

 

Jenkins is pledging support for the legislation sponsored by Republican Senator Terrence Murphy, which has passed the State Senate but still awaits action in the Assembly.

 

“The legislation awaiting action in Albany supports sensible and smart health practices that reduce exposure to a known addictive agent for the general public and would positively complement our efforts in Westchester County.”

 

The legislation, which is sponsored in the Assembly by Assemblyman Michael Cusick (D-Staten Island) would also give prescribers a method to help patients manage pain with a reduced concern for abuse or diversion and offers safeguards to consumers to be able to manage pain without the concern of their medication getting into the wrong hands.

###

Attachment: Jenkins letter to bill sponsors and members of the Governor’s Task Force to Combat the Heroin and Prescription Opioid Crisis

 

Board of Legislators Announces 2016 Jandon Scholarship Recipients;

Westchester High School Students Will Each Receive $12,000 Scholarship.

(WHITE PLAINS, NY) During a press conference on Thursday, May 19th, the Jandon Foundation and the Westchester County Board of Legislators announced the recipients of the 2016 Jandon Foundation Scholarships.  16 Westchester high school students will each receive $12,000 in scholarship funds from the Jandon Foundation in preparation for their next educational steps.  In order for students to qualify for the awards, their families must meet financial eligibility guidelines established by the Jandon Foundation.

“Our Jandon Scholarship program this year is certainly tinged with sadness because of the passing of Jane Cecil last July.  The Jandon Scholarships are a wonderful part of her legacy.  It is a privilege to carry on the Jandon program here at the Board of Legislator to help further the philanthropic goals of the Cecil family to enable these students,” stated Board of Legislators Chairman Michael Kaplowitz. “Quality education is such a powerful and important part of individual success.  When you consider that the Cecil’s have helped more than 200 kids achieve the goal of a college degree, that is a benefit for those individuals, their families and in fact our community.  I’d like to thank the Cecil family for their continued dedication and support of education for Westchester’s youth.”

The Jandon Foundation is a private foundation created by Jane and Donald Cecil of Harrison, New York. The Cecil’s funded the Mount Vernon “I Have a Dream” program in 1987 and began funding the Neuberger Museum of Arts “Writing Through the Arts” Program in 1993. The Jandon Scholars program began as a public-private partnership in 2000 under County Executive Spano in an effort to reach students throughout the County.  The Board of Legislators has been administering the program since 2010.

 

To date over 200 students have been awarded the scholarship. The Cecil family’s primary philanthropic interest lies in education with particular interest in helping students from financially disadvantaged and under-educated families succeed.

 

Alec Cecil, son of Jane and Donald, spoke at the press conference, “My family is privileged and honored to be able to provide assistance to such deserving students, and we very much appreciate the partnership with the Board of Legislators.  We are proud of the results that so many past scholars have achieved through their hard work, dedication and the support of their families and others.   We welcome our new winners and are confident that they will be equally successful.”

The Westchester County Board of Legislators works in collaboration with the Jandon Foundation to Award College scholarships to academic achievers from low-income families.

Jandon Scholars receive $12,000 over their four years in college. The program is unique in that it follows the students throughout their college career.

 

 

List of scholarship winners & photo are attached

 

Last First High School College  
Amigon Melissa Nellie Thornton SUNY Oneonta
Amoako Nicole Roosevelt High School Columbia University
Cardenas Montserrat Port Chester High School Purchase College
Chang Lilian Fox Lane High School SUNY Albany
Elliott Jovanny Peekskill High School SUNY Albany
Ferrell Precious Nellie Thornton Johnson & Wales University
Figueroa Anisia Fox Lane High School SUNY Albany
Griffith Keyana Peekskill High School Hofstra University
Heinz Keith Fox Lane High School University of Chicago
Holmes Jamika Roosevelt High American University
Leslie Shadae Mount Vernon High School Boston University
Pereyra Elisa Lincoln High School Stony Brook University
Rodriguez Yanitza Lincoln High School Manhattan College
Terry Taylor Woodlands High School North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University
Tomlinson Darius New Rochelle High School University of Buffalo
Washington Kim Yonkers High Binghamton Universtiy

 

***Media Advisory for Thursday, May 19***

Board of Legislators Announces 2016 Jandon Scholarship Recipients

WHO:             Jandon Foundation founder Donald Cecil & his children, Alec & Leslie Cecil, & Foundation Members

Board of Legislators Chairman Michael Kaplowitz

Board of Legislators Majority Leader Catherine Borgia

Westchester County Board of Legislators

2016 Jandon Scholarship recipients

Jandon Scholars alumni

WHAT:          The Westchester County Board of Legislators work in collaboration with the Jandon Foundation to award 15 college scholarships to academic achievers who come from low-income families in Westchester.

Jandon Scholars receive $12,000 over their four years in college. The program is unique in that it follows the students throughout their college career.

WHEN:          Thursday, May 19 at 4:00 PM

WHERE:       Westchester County Board of Legislators

Michaelian Office Building

148 Martine Avenue, 8th Floor Rotunda

White Plains, NY

 

 

 

Background on the Jandon Foundation and scholarship eligibility below

 

The Jandon Foundation

The Jandon Foundation is a private foundation created by Jane and Donald Cecil of Harrison, New York. The Cecil’s funded the Mount Vernon “I Have a Dream” program in 1987 and began funding the Neuberger Museum of Arts “Writing Through the Arts” Program in 1993. Their primary philanthropic interest lies in education with particular interest in helping students from financially disadvantaged and under-educated families succeed.

The Jandon Scholars Program began in 1999. It currently boasts 13 classes of students who have graduated from college and a total of 223 students who have been awarded the scholarship. In past years, twelve to fifteen scholarships have been awarded $12,000 per student over their four years of college. In addition to the scholarship money, Jandon Scholars are treated to social events during the year for networking, advice and support.

Jandon Scholars are among the best and brightest high school seniors from public schools across Westchester County. They have all demonstrated an unmatched work ethic and have overcome tremendous obstacles to receive these scholarships.

Scholarship Eligibility & Schedule

To be eligible for the Jandon Scholars Program, students must be in their senior year attending a public high school in Westchester County. Their families must either be receiving public assistance or meet financial eligibility guidelines established by the Jandon Foundation.

Students must have excellent academic records and SAT scores, involvement in extra-curricular activities and evidence of good character.

To encourage students to complete their education on time, the Jandon Scholars Program offers an increase in the amount of the scholarship for each year the students remain in school for a total of $12,000 over four years. Students are required to submit their grades each semester in order to receive the next term’s scholarship funds.

Jandon Scholarship funds are given directly to the students so as not to diminish other financial aid opportunities. Each year’s award is provided one semester at a time on the following schedule:

Freshman Year $1,500
Sophmore Year $2,500
Junior Year $3,500
Senior Year $4,500

$12,000

Playland Deal Falls Short of Desired Goals; Bonds for Significant Capital Investment Pass.

 

(WHITE PLAINS, NY)— For the second time, the Board of Legislators ratified an agreement between Westchester County and Standard Amusements to turn over various aspects of operation to the private operator while requiring significant capital investments by the County that have been lacking in the park for years under multiple administrations.

 

Legislator Catherine Parker (D-Rye), joined by Majority Leader Catherine Borgia (D-Ossining), Legislator Alfreda Williams (D-Greenburgh) and Legislator Ken Jenkins (D-Yonkers), voted against the agreement but in favor of separate bond acts, which authorize the largest investment in Playland since it was built.

 

Legislator Catherine Parker, who represents the Sound Shore communities including Playland stated, “I believe this deal has gone backwards from the one that was crafted previously.  We are spending more money than we were in the last deal and the private operator is reaping more of the benefits of our investment than they were in the last deal.  I believe turning over the keys to one of our county’s most valuable assets without any avenue of accountability is a mistake that will cost us in the long run.  So many county residents have been involved in the process by telling us that this park has been starved for years and they want to see a change.  We’re happy that the public had another opportunity to tell the County Executive that this asset cannot function without the proper investment like he has avoided for years.  I believe the bonds we’ve passed tonight are a strong step in the direction of saving Playland”

 

Legislator Borgia added, “I have been a supporter of Standard Amusements’ vision for Playland from the beginning of this process several years ago when the County Executive initially selected Sustainable Playland as the operator.  With input from many of our Legislators and members of the public at that time, it ultimately became clear that the County Executive had failed to select a financially viable entity and was unaware of what was required to manage this park successfully.  The County Executive’s track record of starving Playland and failing to negotiate economically beneficial deals for taxpayers is the greatest reason for my concern over this deal despite Standard’s willingness to work with all of the Stakeholders involved.  At this time, I do not believe the county has represented its taxpayers as well as Standard has represented its investors.

 

The management agreement was passed separately from individual bonds that authorized funding for several capital projects at Playland including a new fire suppression system, the North Boardwalk and various new rides and attractions.

 

Legislator Lyndon Williams (D-Mt. Vernon) added, “Playland is the single largest employer of summer youth in Westchester County.  I wanted to ensure that summer jobs for our young people are protected and that this historic amusement park is modernized and upgraded with new rides and entertainment for families and young people for generations to come.”

“This deal is not perfect but I do believe that paired with the bonds we passed tonight, we have made strides toward saving Playland,” stated Legislator MaryJane Shimsky (D-Hastings-on-Hudson), who Chairs the BoL Infrastructure Committee and oversaw large portions of the negotiation process. “The County Executive’s longtime reluctance to make needed capital investment in Playland is the reason we need a public-private partnership.  By contractually obligating the County Executive to make these investments, I believe we have given Playland the opportunity to provide enjoyment to families for many years to come.”

**Media Advisory**

 

Westchester County Board of Legislators to hold final vote on approval of private operator for Playland Amusement Park.  The vote will take place at the Board of Legislators Chambers, Tonight (Monday) at 7pm, 148 Martine Ave., White Plains, 8th floor.

HUD Settlement Monitor’s Biennial Report Confirms Astorino’s Extended Deception Strategy.

(WHITE PLAINS, NY) Several days after County Executive Rob Astorino vowed to continue wasting taxpayer money fighting the implementation of the HUD settlement, the court-appointed monitor filed his “Third Biennial Assessment of Westchester County Compliance,” which continued to highlight discrepancies between Astorino’s public rhetoric and statements that he and administration officials have made under oath as well as failures to complete simple and cost-free promotional and informational tasks.  The report also states that the Astorino administration failed to complete the required Analysis of Impediments, which among other things, is used to determine eligibility for federal funds.  The failure on this front means the County will continue to be ineligible for grants from HUD.

In response to the monitor’s annual report, Board of Legislators Majority Leader Catherine Borgia issued the following statement, “The newest report from the independent monitor brings to light some very troubling information including the possibility that Astorino or other high ranking administration officials misrepresented facts under oath in an attempt to cover up their divisive political reason for opposing the implementation of this settlement.  I am sure many taxpayers agree there is no point in continuing a fight that costs the county millions of dollars when this report states that we have met our building permit and finance benchmarks.”

On page 29 of the Monitor’s report, it reiterates the requirements necessary to complete certain promotional aspects in order to reach the registrants of the County’s Central Intake System.  Those requirements are:

  • Outreach on the County’s Website
  • Notices Sent to the households signed up for Homeseeker information
  • E-mail through the County’s list serve
  • Postings to the County’s Twitter Feed and Facebook Page

Borgia reacted to the failings of the Administration to complete those tasks, “Three out of four of those requirements cost absolutely nothing to complete and direct mail to the 9,000 or so households required would only cost a few thousand dollars at most.  At this point, the County Executive’s continued petulance, as displayed by his disingenuous recent statements, is clearly going to cost taxpayers millions more.  The Board of Legislators has and will continue to act expeditiously on the financing requests from the Administration that further the goal of providing adequate housing for as many Westchester residents as we can.  With that commitment in good faith we demand that the County Executive complete the remaining aspects of the settlement without costing taxpayers millions of dollars more.”

 

Monitor’s Biennial 2016

The Monitor’s Report is Attached

Next week, from Monday May 2 through Friday May 6, the following closures are planned for the Ashford Avenue Bridge Project:

  • New York State Thruway  (I-87) – overhang bracket installation

o   Monday 5/2 – SB Right Lane from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM

o   Tuesday 5/3 – NB Left Lane from 7:30 AM to 3:30 PM

o   Wednesday 5/4 – NB Right Lane from 7:30 AM to 3:30 PM

o   Thursday 5/5 – NB Left and Center Lanes from 9:00 PM to 6:00 AM (NIGHT WORK)

o   Friday 5/6 – SB Right and Center Lanes from 9:00 PM to 6:00 AM (NIGHT WORK)

 

We are not anticipating any lane closures on Ashford Avenue or the Saw Mill River Parkway next week and continue to coordinate our project with other projects in the area to limit disruptions to the traveling public.

 

Full details on the Ashford Avenue Bridge project are available at www.westchestergov.com/ashfordavenuebridge.

 

**Media Advisory**

Legislator Lyndon Williams and Westchester County Community College President Dr. Belinda Miles will tour the College’s Mount Vernon Extension Campus at 17 S. Fifth Avenue at 9AM on Wednesday Abril 27th.

The tour will feature two Mount Vernon Extension students.  Chante Thomas who was recently accepted into the prestigious Cambridge summer study abroad and scholarship program, where she will further her studies in literature.

The tour will also offer an opportunity to meet student, Zionia Francis, winner of the first MYB $$eed Tank Competition held in January.  The $$eed Tank competition awards up $10,000 to the entrepreneur who demonstrates how the investment will help to scale their business. Zionia won for her handbag business, Indie Inc. which will launch it’s Summer 2016 handbag collection in May.

 

 

2016 Democratic Response to the State of the County:

“Everything Starts and Ends with Our Finances…and at the Moment Ours are in Bad Shape”

 

(WHITE PLAINS, NY) In response to County Executive Rob Astorino’s state of the County Address, Board of Legislators Majority Leader Catherine Borgia (D-Ossining) reiterated many of the concerns members of the Democratic Caucus have voiced about the operational and financial management of Westchester County.  In a 3 minute video, Borgia summarized that “everything starts and ends with our finances and at the moment ours are in bad shape.”

 

The Democratic response touched on the results of having a multi-million dollar budget deficit created by repeated overestimation of sales taxes that have been criticized by independent auditors and budget advisory groups.

 

“Our roads and bridges continue to be in significant disrepair; flood-prone coastal neighborhoods have been neglected and homeowners fear damaged every time there is rain during high tides; and providers of services for victims of domestic violence, child abuse, and mental health disorders are turned away because the administration refuses to honor its responsibility to the health, safety & welfare of Westchester residents,” Borgia explained.

 

As a practical solution, Borgia restated a priority of using the county as a tool in helping local governments consolidate, share services and find existing efficiencies before cutting vital services, “Over the last 7 years the County has missed lots of opportunities to consolidate and share services amongst municipalities.  As a former Town Supervisor, I’ve seen how these mergers work and the significant savings they yield for taxpayers.”

 

Westchester County is already behind on 2016 sales tax collections and is likely to face another large budget deficit at the end of this year that will cause us to dip into the County’s reserves and has already begun to have impact on services including public safety.

 

“There are no silver bullets to solve our fiscal difficulties; however there are still creative solutions to manage our budget outside of raising taxes and cutting services.  All it takes is a little effort, ambition and some cooperation,” Borgia concluded.

 

 

Click Here to Watch the Democratic Response

 

Westchester County Legislators Applaud Opening of New Family Court.

The new Yonkers Family Court Facility is open at 131 Warburton Avenue in Yonkers.  The Board of Legislators approved the plan for the new facility in September of 2015.  The new court which is located approximately half a mile from the old court vastly improves the safety and efficiency of the Yonkers Family Court operations.  The move will save County taxpayers $14 million in operating costs compared to the previous facility over the course of 20 years.

Legislator MaryJane Shimsky Is Chair of the BOL’s Infrastructure Committee which reviewed and made significant improvements to the new Family Court Plans.  Shimsky said, “I am very happy, and very much relieved, that the new Yonkers Family Court is now a reality.  It has been several years since Board members toured the old facility and saw firsthand the awful and downright dangerous conditions there.  After years of advocacy by the legislators chairing the committees overseeing County infrastructure (including Bill Ryan and Catherine Borgia as well as myself), we received a plan for the new facility from the County Executive’s office.  The Infrastructure Committee, and other legislators (including Gordon Burrows, who as a Family Court attorney has practiced in the old building) suggested modifications for maintaining order and security in the new facility – all of which were agreed to by the Office of Court Administration and the County Executive’s Office.  I will now rest easier, knowing that our residents who use or work in the Court will have a proper facility to carry out their essential work.”

Legislator Gordon Burrows represents Yonkers and is a practicing attorney who frequently appears in Yonkers Family Court.  “I am glad that this facility is finally opened.  I and my colleagues on the BOL have been advocating for this new facility for several years.”  Burrows added, “People who are involved in Family Court are typically experiencing some of the most painful and stressful circumstances of their lives.  As a Legislator and as an attorney with clients in the Family Court system, I am glad to know that our work has improved both the physical security as well as psychological stress that these families are experiencing.”

Board of Legislators Public Safety Chair Calls for Investigation into Embroiled Police Chaplain.

 

(WHITE PLAINS, NY) After another $5,000 contribution emerged linking County Executive Rob Astorino’s campaign to a Westchester County Police Chaplain, Jeremy Reichberg, who is embroiled in a federal corruption probe, the County Executive’s office denied the media access to any information regarding this individual’s qualifications to hold the position.  Reichberg is closely associated with $25,000 in campaign donations to Astorino’s campaign around the time he was appointed Chaplain.  As a result, Legislator Ben Boykin (D-White Plains), Chair of the Public Safety and Social Services Committee, will be asking the Public Safety Department to provide any information regarding Reichberg.

 

“We understand that this was an unpaid position but if this individual had access to taxpayer funded resources, such as a badge of the department or office, we must still monitor every dollar that the department uses,” Boykin stated.  “I believe that the public is entitled to understand why this person was appointed to the position he was, what qualifications he had for it and what the desired responsibilities are for him to carry out.  The Astorino administration needs to provide documentation proving that this individual is qualified for this position or else we’ll have to assume he was appointed for unacceptable reasons.”

 

Boykin will be submitting a formal request to the Astorino administration to discuss these items at a Public Safety and Social Services committee meeting.

 

**Media Advisory**

The Westchester County Board of Legislators will hold a public hearing relating to the amended Playland operating plan at 6:30pm on Wednesday April 20th in the BOL Chambers. (148 Martine Ave., White Plains, 8th floor)

All documents relating to the Playland Management Agreement and video of previous meetings can be viewed on the Board of Legislators website at:

http://westchestercountyny.iqm2.com/Citizens/Default.aspx

The Executive Strikes Back…and Costs another $100,000 to Taxpayers.

 

(WHITE PLAINS, NY) Earlier today at the Board of Acquisition and Contracts, the County Executive retained the services of private, outside counsel to respond to a letter from the independent monitor overseeing the implementation of the affordable housing settlement.  The County Executive’s new legal counsel in the form of white-shoe, mega-firm Holwell, Shuster & Goldberg, a law firm recently noted for giving associates $100,000 bonuses, will cost taxpayers $100,000.

 

Catherine Borgia, the Democratic Majority Leader responded to the new county contract, “The amount of money that the County Executive’s continued intransigence is costing taxpayers has really become out of hand at this point.  We’ve already built and financed a large number of the housing units that the settlement requires us to build and the County Executive is now squabbling over educational and public relations components of the settlement.  By time we spend the $100,000 on this lawyer to respond to a letter, we could have come together, created an education campaign and needs assessment analysis and used the $100,000 to fund them. County attorneys have handled all the other legal work for the County Executive’s fight with the federal government thus far.  They are perfectly able to handle this latest  matter as well, at no additional cost to the taxpayers of Westchester”

 

Last month, the independent monitor filed a report regarding Westchester County’s compliance with various aspects of the stipulation agreed to by the prior administration.  That report found several inconsistencies between the public rhetoric of Astorino and other administration officials and statements that they made under oath in private deposition.

 

Borgia continued, “We clearly need to complete the tasks that the county agreed to do in the settlement in the quickest, most inexpensive way possible by adhering to the four corners of the settlement and move on from there. Our tax dollars should be going towards providing services, not subsidizing mega law-firm annual bonuses.”

 

Virginia Perez_8x10Legislator Perez Sees Benefits and Opportunities For Yonkers Residents in State Budget.

 

Statement from Westchester County Legislator Virginia Perez on passage of the 2016 New York State Budget:

 

“I applaud Governor Cuomo and the New York State Senate and Assembly for negotiating a budget that places a high priority on economic relief to working families.  I represent one of the most economically challenged communities in Westchester County and all of New York State.  This budget which begins a phase-in of the $15 minimum wage and up to 12 weeks of Paid Family Medical Leave means that the many full-time, hard-working immigrant and first generation families in my district have a fighting chance to participe in an economy that is not propped up on government handouts and increasing personal debt.”

 

The historic creation of the Family Medical Leave provision means that the working Moms and Dads of southwest Yonkers, many of whom care for grandparents and young children simultaneously will not be faced with the ‘no-win’ decision of abandoning their employment in order to care for a sick family member.”

 

State Budget Achieves Several High Priorities for Westchester Taxpayers.

 

(WHITE PLAINS, NY) Early Friday morning the New York State Legislature passed its 6th consecutive on-time budget that raised the minimum wage, created a paid family leave program, expanded education funding and cut income taxes again for middle class New Yorkers.  Westchester County Board of Legislators Majority Leader Catherine Borgia released the following statement.

 

“This state budget does several things that will go a long way towards helping families in Westchester grow and thrive.  As the highest taxed county in the nation, our taxpayers have already seen a diminished level of services as a result of the County Executive’s mismanagement of the County budget.  Raising the minimum wage, creating a paid family leave program, increasing education funding and most importantly, cutting taxes are a perfect formula to help so many taxpayers in Westchester.  I applaud Governor Cuomo and our state delegation for their successful advocacy during the budget process.”

**Media Advisory**

The Westchester County Board of Legislators will meet on Monday April 4th at 12:30pm in a Committee of the Whole to discuss a Board of Acquisition and Contracts request from the County executive to hire outside counsel for a matter relating to the Fair and Affordable Housing Settlement.

2016_Council_of_Governments

CouincilOgovernments

**Media Advisory**

On Thursday march 31st at 12:00pm, the Westchester County Board of Legislators will host the 2016 “Council of Governments” meeting.  Attendees will be Mayors and Supervisors from Westchester’s municipalities, members of the Board of Legislators and the Astorino Administration.

The meeting will be held in the BOL’s conference room At 148 Martine Ave., White Plains, 8th floor.

 

SALESTAX CONVERSION 2016

2016 Sales Tax Revenues Already Short of Budget Projections.

 

(WHITE PLAINS, NY) After finishing 2015 with a $29 million budget deficit created by unrealistic sales tax expectations, 2016 is off to a similar start.  After reporting the February sales tax collections, Westchester County has already fallen nearly $1 million behind schedule from last year, which fell short of expectations from the prior year.  These budget practices were strongly condemned by independent auditors and a non-partisan citizen’s budget commission created by the Board of Legislators for consecutive years now.

 

In January of 2016, the County collected $14,162,120.77, down $191,339.54 or 1.33% from 2015.  February brought in $27,526,595.51, down $651,710.48 or 2.21% from the previous year, creating an $813,050.02 budget shortfall after only two months.

 

“As a result of this year’s shortfall, various not-for-profits and service vendors have already been told not to expect the contracts that were included in the recent budget process after many of them had set in motion their plans based on resource allocation,” Legislator Ken Jenkins (D-Yonkers) said. “We’ve seen that many of these outside entities provide additional economic value to the County and the slow start in 2016 shows that this mismanaged budget has a big ripple effect to every corner of the County that can be avoided if we fund these organizations as planned,” he added.

 

With the County budgets continuing to rely on bonding to pay for regular operating expenses, the accruing sales tax shortfalls will cause the county to raid fund balance to close the hole; a practice that credit rating agencies strongly oppose.

 

“The County has found itself in a situation where we have maxed out our credit cards and the only option is to apply for other, high-interest credit cards in order to avoid the reality that we have no more money.  We’ve been warned for years that this was coming and our leadership did nothing about it.” Jenkins concluded.

Attachment: 2015 & 2016 Sales Tax Figures

 

**Media Advisory**

 

On Wednesday, March 30th at 9:55AM the Westchester County Board of Legislators will meet to vote on an extension for Standard Amusements final acceptance of the agreement to manage Playland Amusement Park.

 

The current date for Standard’s final decision is March 31, 2016. The newly proposed date would be March 30th, 2016.

 

The BOL’s Labor, Parks, Planning and Housing Committee, the Budget and Appropriations Committee and the Infrastructure Committee will continue to meet jointly while reviewing the amended agreement and associated Bond Acts.

DOC

Video News Release; Chairman Kaplowitz Proposes $30 Million Capital Investment at Playland Amusement Park

Proposal would match private operators investment.

 

Following Friday’s joint meeting of the Budget and Appropriations Committee, Labor Parks Planning and Housing Committee and Infrastructure Committee, Board of Legislators Chairman Mike Kaplowitz presented a financial analysis of the proposed amendment to the management agreement for a private investor to operate Playland Amusement Park.

 

A video of Chairman Kaplowitz’ presentation can be viewed here;

https://vimeo.com/159849528

 

 

Chairman Kaplowitz’ analysis holds that a balanced share of investment, $30 million from Standard Amusements, the private operator and $30 million in bonded capital projects from the County would result in a deal that would protect taxpayers while preserving one of our most valuable county assets for many decades to come.  Coincidentally the length of the agreement is 30 years.

 

Playland is an important economic driver creating more than $27 million in regional annual economic activity.  Playland also provides seasonal jobs for hundreds of young adults.

 

The next joint committee meeting on the Playland agreement will be held at 9:00AM on Thursday, March 24th.

 

 

 

Chairman Kaplowitz meets with media members to discuss Playland deal

 

**Statement from Legislator David Gelfarb on Proposed Changes to the County Airport “Terminal Use Agreement**

 

Lately there has been concern in the community about potential changes at the Airport. I write to bring you up to date and to assure you that I am doing everything possible to protect the interests of my constituents.

 

Currently, there is legislation pending before the Westchester County Board of Legislators to modify the Terminal Use Agreement (“TUA”) that governs operations at the Westchester County Airport. The TUA, which dates back to 1985, provides that for commercial airline flights of over 9 passengers, no more than 240 passengers may depart and no more than 240 passengers may arrive per half hour period. The proposed change would change the half-hour limit to a per day limit. Thus, 11,520 passengers could arrive and 11,520 passengers could depart per day. This would have the effect of potentially increasing Airport use because the allotment for early morning hours, when there are no scheduled flights, could be transferred to daytime hours.

 

This proposed legislation was initially reviewed by the Legislation and Infrastructure Committees of the Westchester County Board of Legislators on November 9,2015. At that meeting, I spoke at length and argued vociferously that any change which will increase the number of passengers and flights cannot be undertaken without a thorough review of the environmental considerations and quality of life issues for residents of the surrounding communities. These include possible impact on noise, traffic, storm water, and as well as an increase in runoff of de-icing fluid into the Blind Brook. No other persons testified at this meeting. A video of the meeting can be viewed at https://vimeo.com/158951993. Following the meeting, no further action was taken on the proposed law in the 2014-2015 term. In other words, the legislation died.

 

Following this legislative meeting, I spoke on this issue at several Airport Advisory Board meetings, and have met with local environmental organizations and officials from Rye Brook, Port Chester and Harrison to ensure that their concerns are heard. The proposed legislation was sent back to the Legislature again this year. On February 29th, there was a joint meeting of the Legislation, Infrastructure and Environment & Health Committees. At that meeting, I raised, at length, several concerns:

 

First, whether any change to the TUA could impact the County’s ability to maintain its restrictions in light of the 1990 federal Airport Noise and Control Act (“ANCA”), which greatly limited the amount of restrictions that communities can place on airports, as well as under FAA regulations. In other words, I am greatly concerned that any change might invalidate our ability to maintain restrictions on Airport operations. I have suggested that we obtain, and I have obtained, an opinion from the County’s specialized FAA legal counsel in Washington, D.C. That opinion makes clear that under federal law and regulations, the County has a lot of work to do in creating a “record” to justify making any changes to the TUA. In fact, I have urged and will continue to push for having the FAA itself set forth whether the proposed change to the TUA would invalidate the entire TUA. The video of this meeting is available at https://vimeo.com/158946698.

 

Second, the environmental impact of the proposed change must be thoroughly investigated under the New York State Environmental Quality Review Act (“SEQRA”) before any change can be made. For now, the Board of Legislators has only received a “short-form” Environmental Assessment Form. This is plainly inadequate, especially given that the Airport is in a County-designated “Critical Environmental Area.” By comparison, at the February 29th meeting, I compared the short environmental assessment form that the Legislators received with a “Full” Environmental Assessment Form that legislators have received in connection with a proposed lease transaction at the Airport. I would expect the amount of information provided for a new lease would be analogous to a change in the passenger restrictions. This was not the case.

 

The long form for the lease provides an overview of possible impacts on surface water, flooding, groundwater, air, noise, and transportation. Despite the airport being designated a critical environmental area, no meaningful information was provided regarding any of these issues with the proposed legislation. The County must exercise due diligence and study the possible impact on all of these issues. Moreover, since the Airport is in a substantially residential area, the County needs to address possible impact on land use patterns, zoning, and consistency with community character. Also, in addition to completing the Long Form, the County must address the need for studies of the impact on groundwater, noise, air pollution, etc. as well as steps to mitigate these impacts. These are responsible steps to take under SEQRA.

 

I am pleased to report that I recently received a call from an officer of the Sierra Club thanking me for my impassioned discussion of the environmental issues at the February 29th meeting. I can also report that the County will be preparing a much more detailed environmental analysis. In short, unless and until environmental experts have, at a minimum, addressed the environmental impacts, and the FAA issues are resolved, the Board cannot even begin to address this legislation.

 

There will then be further issues to address. The first is simply whether the proposed legislation is advisable at all, even if it passes muster under environmental law and with the FAA. Second, there is also the issue of how this legislation interacts with the master plan for the Airport which is due to be released later this year.

 

The community should also be aware that the proposed legislation can be modified. As always, I intend to fight to protect my constituents and all County residents to ensure that the Airport remains a viable asset to our community while minimizing the negative impact of its operations on surrounding communities.

 

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me by phone at (914) 995-2834 or by email atGelfarb@westchesterlegislators.com.

 

 

**Statement from Legislator David Gelfarb on Proposed Changes to the County Airport “Terminal Use Agreement**

 

Lately there has been concern in the community about potential changes at the Airport. I write to bring you up to date and to assure you that I am doing everything possible to protect the interests of my constituents.

 

Currently, there is legislation pending before the Westchester County Board of Legislators to modify the Terminal Use Agreement (“TUA”) that governs operations at the Westchester County Airport. The TUA, which dates back to 1985, provides that for commercial airline flights of over 9 passengers, no more than 240 passengers may depart and no more than 240 passengers may arrive per half hour period. The proposed change would change the half-hour limit to a per day limit. Thus, 11,520 passengers could arrive and 11,520 passengers could depart per day. This would have the effect of potentially increasing Airport use because the allotment for early morning hours, when there are no scheduled flights, could be transferred to daytime hours.

 

This proposed legislation was initially reviewed by the Legislation and Infrastructure Committees of the Westchester County Board of Legislators on November 9,2015. At that meeting, I spoke at length and argued vociferously that any change which will increase the number of passengers and flights cannot be undertaken without a thorough review of the environmental considerations and quality of life issues for residents of the surrounding communities. These include possible impact on noise, traffic, storm water, and as well as an increase in runoff of de-icing fluid into the Blind Brook. No other persons testified at this meeting. A video of the meeting can be viewed at https://vimeo.com/158951993. Following the meeting, no further action was taken on the proposed law in the 2014-2015 term. In other words, the legislation died.

 

Following this legislative meeting, I spoke on this issue at several Airport Advisory Board meetings, and have met with local environmental organizations and officials from Rye Brook, Port Chester and Harrison to ensure that their concerns are heard. The proposed legislation was sent back to the Legislature again this year. On February 29th, there was a joint meeting of the Legislation, Infrastructure and Environment & Health Committees. At that meeting, I raised, at length, several concerns:

 

First, whether any change to the TUA could impact the County’s ability to maintain its restrictions in light of the 1990 federal Airport Noise and Control Act (“ANCA”), which greatly limited the amount of restrictions that communities can place on airports, as well as under FAA regulations. In other words, I am greatly concerned that any change might invalidate our ability to maintain restrictions on Airport operations. I have suggested that we obtain, and I have obtained, an opinion from the County’s specialized FAA legal counsel in Washington, D.C. That opinion makes clear that under federal law and regulations, the County has a lot of work to do in creating a “record” to justify making any changes to the TUA. In fact, I have urged and will continue to push for having the FAA itself set forth whether the proposed change to the TUA would invalidate the entire TUA. The video of this meeting is available at https://vimeo.com/158946698.

 

Second, the environmental impact of the proposed change must be thoroughly investigated under the New York State Environmental Quality Review Act (“SEQRA”) before any change can be made. For now, the Board of Legislators has only received a “short-form” Environmental Assessment Form. This is plainly inadequate, especially given that the Airport is in a County-designated “Critical Environmental Area.” By comparison, at the February 29th meeting, I compared the short environmental assessment form that the Legislators received with a “Full” Environmental Assessment Form that legislators have received in connection with a proposed lease transaction at the Airport. I would expect the amount of information provided for a new lease would be analogous to a change in the passenger restrictions. This was not the case.

 

The long form for the lease provides an overview of possible impacts on surface water, flooding, groundwater, air, noise, and transportation. Despite the airport being designated a critical environmental area, no meaningful information was provided regarding any of these issues with the proposed legislation. The County must exercise due diligence and study the possible impact on all of these issues. Moreover, since the Airport is in a substantially residential area, the County needs to address possible impact on land use patterns, zoning, and consistency with community character. Also, in addition to completing the Long Form, the County must address the need for studies of the impact on groundwater, noise, air pollution, etc. as well as steps to mitigate these impacts. These are responsible steps to take under SEQRA.

 

I am pleased to report that I recently received a call from an officer of the Sierra Club thanking me for my impassioned discussion of the environmental issues at the February 29th meeting. I can also report that the County will be preparing a much more detailed environmental analysis. In short, unless and until environmental experts have, at a minimum, addressed the environmental impacts, and the FAA issues are resolved, the Board cannot even begin to address this legislation.

 

There will then be further issues to address. The first is simply whether the proposed legislation is advisable at all, even if it passes muster under environmental law and with the FAA. Second, there is also the issue of how this legislation interacts with the master plan for the Airport which is due to be released later this year.

 

The community should also be aware that the proposed legislation can be modified. As always, I intend to fight to protect my constituents and all County residents to ensure that the Airport remains a viable asset to our community while minimizing the negative impact of its operations on surrounding communities.

 

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me by phone at (914) 995-2834 or by email atGelfarb@westchesterlegislators.com.

 

 

Legislators Tour Playland, Subject of $58 Million Capital Projects Proposal.

Members of the Westchester County Board of Legislators (BOL) toured Playland Amusement Park as part of their review of the amended private management agreement with Standard Amusements.

 

The tour focused specifically on 11 capital projects that Standard Amusements has asked the County to undertake as the owner of the 88 year old park.  As proposed, the capital projects are estimated to cost $58 million and would be funded through low-interest bonds.

 

The Legislators were joined on the tour by members of the County department of Parks and Recreation and representatives of Standard Amusements.  Legislators gave special attention to some of the “big ticket” projects like $20 million for rehab of the historic colonnades and towers, $10 million for parking lot redesign and improvements, $10 million for structural restoration and $4 million to remove the pool and rehab the fountain at Playland’s main entrance.

 

The goal of the review process is to shrink the price for capital projects significantly from the $58 million amount.  The management agreement calls for Standard Amusements to make a major capital investment of $30 million at the park as well.

 

Legislator MaryJane Shimsky (D) Ardsley, Dobbs Ferry, Edgemont, Hartsdale,   Hastings-on-Hudson, Irvington, Chair of the Infrastructure Committee said, “It was very useful to go to Playland today and place the proposed projects in  context.  However,  I found myself growing increasingly concerned by the deteriorating condition of portions of the park, caused by years of neglect; and by the lack of specificity for the proposed capital projects.  We need to take a thorough look at the details, to  ensure that the deal with Standard Amusements – which has changed materially by the near tripling of the  County’s capital project budget – will benefit the taxpayers.”

 

Legislator David Gelfarb (R) Harrison, Port Chester, Rye Brook, Chairman of the Labor, Parks, Planning and Housing Committee said, “Today’s site tour at Playland demonstrated something that we all know.  There are some serious problems both structural and aesthetic that need to be addressed at Playland.  I accept that the County will need to invest millions of dollars into capital projects at Playland. We need to continue extensive our review and questioning in order to determine the right amount for taxpayers to invest in the Park and to ensure that we have the best possible deal for management of the Park.  I am hopeful that in working with my colleagues, the County Executive and the executives Standard Amusements,  we will be able to reach an agreement on investments and on management that will be fair to Standard but more importantly, fair to the taxpayers of Westchester County.”

 

The BOL’s Budget and Appropriations Committee, Labor, Parks, Planning and Housing Committee and Infrastructure Committee have been meeting jointly to review the amended agreement.  The next scheduled meeting is this Friday, March 18th at 10:00AM.  You can watch video of the meeting at…

 

http://westchestercountyny.iqm2.com/Citizens/default.aspx

 

The fountain at Playland’s main entrance is in need of a complete rehab.

There are 10 separate towers that are part of the colonnade structure.  Each tower is in need of major work as seen in this photo where the tower is listing significantly to its left.

Steel beams have been installed inside the towers to provide temporary structural support.

Playland’s art-deco colonnades have been designated as historical landmarks.  The current proposed cost to rehab the colonnades is $10 million.

Legislators Reiterate Concerns about Playland Management Cost Increases.

 

(WHITE PLAINS, NY)— After another site visit with representatives of the Astorino administration and Standard Amusements, several Legislators who are influential in the Playland review process have expressed reservations about the proposed alterations made to the Playland Management agreement.  The County Executive has proposed an additional $38 million in capital spending and extending the lease by 100% to 30 years.

 

The meeting held yesterday at Playland was an opportunity for all involved parties to discuss the capital needs of the park and find more cost efficient ways to revitalize Playland.

 

Legislator Catherine Parker (D-Rye) explained, “The cost to taxpayers for this deal went up by nearly three times what the original price tag was without any shred of public input.  If the County Executive was so eager to invest this money in Playland, he could have done it at any point over the last six years in a much more economically efficient way or certainly when we were negotiating the deal with Standard almost a year ago.  This is just the latest disingenuous action that he’s taken to make the public think he is actually interested in improving the condition of the park when he clearly is not.”

 

Legislator MaryJane Shimsky (D-Hastings-on-Hudson) is the Chair of the Board of Legislators’ Infrastructure Committee, which is tasked with overseeing many aspects with the review process again.  She added, “I am deeply concerned by demands that the County commit to $58 million in capital projects for Playland in the next two years.  Neither the County Executive nor Standard Amusements has produced enough detail about exactly what repairs need to be made, and how much each of those repairs will cost.  After the years of neglect which Playland has suffered, and the near tripling of the County’s capital commitment as part of an already-approved agreement, the taxpayers deserve better.”

 

The process to form a public-private partnership at Playland has been a concept for discussion since 2011 under then Board of Legislators Chairman Ken Jenkins (D-Yonkers).  Several other vendors submitted proposals including the now-defunct Sustainable Playland and Central Amusements in addition to Standard.  Jenkins lawsuits were widely credited with exposing Sustainable Playland’s fiscal instability.  Jenkins reacted, “There are certainly many ways that we can make Playland run and we’ve evaluated many of them.  At the moment the modifications made to this deal fail to protect Westchester taxpayers.  I feel this proposal can be modified with input from the public and other stakeholders.”

 

***Media Advisory***

 

Who…….Westchester County Legislators and State Senators Ruth Hassell-Thompson, David Carlucci and Assembly Members Sandy Galef, Shelley Mayer, Amy Paulin, Gary Pretlow, Steve Otis, David Buchwald

What……Meeting to present and discuss 2016 Joint State  Legislative Packet (attached)

 

When….. Friday, March 11, 2016

 

Where….Westchester Board Legislators, 148 Martine Ave., White plains

 

P1080880

 

Jenkins: Kaplowitz’s Proposal on Indian Point PILOT is Fair & Equitable.

 

(WHITE PLAINS, NY)  Today’s meeting of the Budget Committee at the Board of Legislators included a discussion of a proposed PILOT agreement between Westchester County and Entergy, the owner and operator of Indian Point Nuclear Facility in Cortlandt.  The discussions were over a local law that would enter the County into the Pilot and another item to set a public hearing on the topic prior to approval.  During the meeting, Chairman Kaplowitz expressed interest in pursuing a minimum 2% annual payment increase on the deal.

 

After the meeting, Jenkins announced his support for the Kaplowitz modification in a letter to Budget Chairwoman Sheila Marcotte.  “I…write to support the proposal by Chairman Kaplowitz regarding modification of the proposed PILOT agreement to provide a minimum 2% tax increase per year in the agreement.”

 

The proposed agreement as initially drafted makes the increase equal to the rate of the tax cap or 2%, whichever is higher.  By starting with a minimum 2% tax increase that would bump up against the tax cap, Westchester County would be able to realize more revenue from this deal than they would as negotiated by the Astorino administration, without exceeding the tax cap.

 

Jenkins continued, “This is another example of how the Astorino administration continues to fall short in their negotiations.  Even after the Town of Cortland approved nearly a 50% reduction in valuation of the Indian Point facility, Entergy is still going to need the parcels of land and we should be capitalizing on their dependence on us. I support Chairman Kaplowitz in his efforts to bring some common sense to this process.”

 

The current proposal calls for nearly $4 million payment from Entergy.

 

Jenkins’ letter to Budget Chairwoman Marcotte is attached

Indian Point PILOT agreement-JS edits

Westchester Legislators Introduce Environmental Protection Package.

 

(WHITE PLAINS, NY) At today’s Westchester Board of Legislators meeting, several Legislators announced a group of environmental protection priorities that they plan to pursue over the coming term.  The three pieces of Legislation designed to improve the County’s carbon footprint and find financial efficiencies where possible include the “Regional Clean Air Act”, the “Electric Vehicle Charging Stations Implementation Bill” and the “LED Lighting Conversion Act.”

 

The “Regional Clean Air Act” is sponsored by Legislator Catherine Parker (D-Rye) and would prevent the uses of oil grade numbers 4 and 6 in any stationary combustion installation within Westchester.  New York City has also recently prohibited use of number 4 and 6 fuel in multi-family buildings.  Parker explained, “The use of these oils has clearly contributed to asthma attacks as well as heart and lung disease over an extended period of exposure.  There are many other types of oil in the field that burn cleaner than these do and we hope to convert as many buildings as possible to them.”  Parker’s proposal would prohibit the use of number 6 on and after January 2017 with number 4 being outlawed on and after January 1, 2019.

 

Legislator Ken Jenkins (D-Yonkers) introduced the “Electric Vehicle Charging Stations Implementation Bill”, which would require new or renovated parking lots to designate certain percentages of spots for electric charging stations.  “Electric vehicles emit 75% less carbon dioxide than average vehicles.  Pure battery electric vehicles do not emit tailpipe pollutants, which negatively impact air quality and resident health.  Providing for infrastructure to promote and support electric vehicle use will lead to improvement of the County’s air quality and reduce the County’s production of greenhouses gases,” stated Jenkins.

 

Legislator Catherine Borgia (D-Ossining, Majority Leader) authored the “LED Lighting Conversion Act”, which would require the County of Westchester to install light emitting diode lights in all County owned facilities over the next three years.  The Cities of Yonkers and New Rochelle have recently seen significant savings from switching streetlights to LED light fixtures similar to the ones proposed in this legislation.  Borgia stated, “Simple efficiencies like this are the kind of things that the County Executive has failed to implement and those failures are a significant symbol of why the County’s finances are in shambles.  With the clear scientific facts in support of the benefits of switching to LED lights, I hope we can move swiftly on this item to begin to realize the savings before the next fiscal year.”

 

All legislative background materials can be found at www.westchesterlegislators.com

 

ID# 9014: Regional Clean Air Act

ID#9015: Electric Vehicle Charging Stations Implementation

ID#9016: LED Lighting Conversion Act

 

Westchester Legislators Applaud Schumer’s Efforts to Combat Lead Poisoning.

Astorino Must Set Aside Past Confrontation with HUD in Interest of Health & Safety.

(WHITE PLAINS, NY) Earlier today, US Senator Chuck Schumer held a press conference in Yonkers to announce legislation that would directly address the persistent lead problem in Westchester County and elsewhere in the Hudson Valley.  The proposal is to provide federal tax credit to remove lead from private properties and increase HUD funding for healthy homes and lead hazard control programs.

Several Westchester County Legislators used the opportunity to applaud Schumer’s initiative and call on the County Executive to set aside past confrontations with HUD in order to tackle this problem.

Legislator MaryJane Shimsky (D-Hastings-on-Hudson) serves as the Board of Legislators’ Infrastructure Committee Chair.  She said, “Westchester has some of the oldest infrastructure in the nation, much of which was constructed with materials that contain lead.  I applaud Senator Schumer for identifying this issue as a major health and safety concern and hope to see his funding efforts come to fruition.”

“The opening of this and potential additional funds resulting from Senator Schumer’s efforts are proof that the County Executive needs to settle his differences with HUD in the interest of the health and safety of many people,” said Legislator Ken Jenkins (D-Yonkers), who also is the Chair of the Board of Legislators’ Task Force on Federal and State Affairs. “These funds are exactly the kind of opportunities that Westchester has missed out on for years while the County Executive has grandstanded for political promotion.  It’s no secret that our taxpayers could use the relief these grants would provide and we should do everything we can to go get them.”

Under Schumer’s proposal, households and landlords with incomes up to $110,000 would be eligible. The tax credits would be up to $3,000 for removing lead paint and pipes and $1,000 for specialized cleaning and monitoring.        

Jenkins Requests Information on Astorino’s Contempt of Court Fines.

(WHITE PLAINS, NY) During Monday’s Board of Legislators meeting, Legislator Ken Jenkins issued a written request for the BoL Litigation Committee to analyze the complete set of costs involved with County Executive Astorino’s failure to act in respect to the Housing Stipulation Agreement.  It is estimated that this opposition has already cost Westchester taxpayers over $25 million in lost Federal funds.  Jenkins believes that Astorino should be required to pay for the newest fines for contempt of court out of his campaign funds.

Recently it has been reported that the US Attorney for the Southern District, Preet Bharara is seeking contempt of Court penalties against Westchester County for its recalcitrance in implementing the Housing Stipulation Agreement. 

Jenkins explained, Westchester County has never been held in Contempt of Court, even when litigating the initial settlement at its most controversial moments.  County taxpayers should not have to pay for the County Executive’s political actions and these most recent fines should be covered by the County Executive’s campaign funds.”

The Board of Legislators’ Litigation Committee was created at the beginning of the 2016 term to serve as an oversight mechanism on lawsuits that the County is involved with and make sure that settlements reached are fair to the parties involved and Westchester taxpayers alike. 

Nobody told Rob Astorino he needed to use this issue as a political football in his gubernatorial campaign but he chose to grandstand to gain notoriety and the taxpayers should not be forced to foot the bill for his actions.  It’s bad enough we’ve lost out on close to $25 million in funding opportunities since 2010 as a result of bad policy decisions; being fined for Contempt of Court is simply petty and petulant,” Jenkins concluded.

Boykin Introduces Legislation Making Voter Registration Forms More Accessible.

 

(WHITE PLAINS, NY) After County Executive Rob Astorino rescinded an Executive Order from the prior administration which made it easier to register to vote, Legislator Ben Boykin (D-White Plains) has introduced legislation to codify requirements that will engage more citizens in the electoral process.  The initial Executive Order, signed in 2002, required voter registration forms to be placed at any County facility that “currently provides walk-in services to the public” in order to reach a broader range of potential voters and, thereby enhance the voter registration process in Westchester County.  County Executive Astorino rescinded that order early in 2015.

 

“Voter turnout was at an all-time low in 2015 and the excitement around Presidential elections will motivate many more people to register to vote,” Legislator Boykin said. “This measure does not cost an additional dime to anybody, anywhere.  The fact that the Astorino Administration took steps to disenfranchise voters in Westchester County is entirely uncharacteristic of this community and I hope we can correct this quickly.”

 

It is widely known voter participation peaks in Presidential election years and also generally attracts larger sums of new registrations than any other year.

 

Employees of each department that would be required to furnish the voter registration forms would not be required to help facilitate the registration process. Only agencies that were previously designated to provide “agency assisted voter registration” in accordance with New York State election law would be charged with more proactive duties.  The Legislation is co-sponsored by Legislators Catherine Borgia and MaryJane Shimsky.

 

The policy shall apply to the following Westchester County administrative Departments:

  • County Clerk’s Office
  • Community Mental Health
  • Health
  • Social Services
  • Parks, Recreation & Conservation
  • Human Resources
  • Senior Programs & Services
  • Probation
  • Human Rights Commission
  • Taxi and Limousine Commission

Funding for Stormwater Study Receives Bipartisan Support.

 

 

On Monday, the Westchester County board of Legislators (BOL) voted unanimously to release $325,000 from the East of Hudson Water Quality Investment Program Fund for the purpose of conducting a study to identify opportunities for stormwater retrofit projects.  The funds will be provided to the Town of Somers as part of an Inter Municipal Agreement with Westchester County.    Somers will coordinate the study on behalf of all 12 communities in the Watershed. The entire cost of the study will be $620,000.  The balance of the cost will be provided by Putnam and Dutchess Counties through their East of Hudson Watershed Funds.

 

The study is mandated by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation as described in a Memorandum of Agreement signed by the counties, municipalities and New York City in 1997.  The study will focus on practices like the creation of low-land swales, and the use of porous paving materials.

 

The East of Hudson Watershed Corporation is a local development corporation established by the municipalities in Northern Westchester, Putnam, and Dutchess Counties in the New York City Watershed to install stormwater retrofit projects to meet the requirements for phosphorus reduction defined by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

 

Legislator Francis Corcoran (R) Bedford, Lewisboro, Mount Kisco, North Salem, Pound Ridge, Somers is the Chairman of the BOL’s Environment and Health Committee.  “Protecting our drinking water is one of the most basic responsibilities of regional governments.  The East of Hudson Watershed exists to ensure that we are using the best practices and latest technology to provide clean, healthy drinking water to the New York

Metro area, one of the most populous regions in the world.” Legislator Corcoran said.  “As Chair of the Environment and Health Committee and a long-time environmental advocate, I look forward to seeing the initiatives that are proposed as a result of this study.”

 

BOL Chairman Mike Kaplowitz (D) New Castle, Somers, Yorktown applauded the cooperative efforts that have made the East of Hudson Watershed program a success.  “When it comes to long-term environmental planning and conservation, it is necessary that government leaders from every branch, jurisdiction and political party coordinate their efforts.”  Kaplowitz added, “I would like to thank my colleagues on the Board of Legislators for their bipartisan support of this funding.”

 

President of the East of Hudson Watershed Corporation Peter Parsons who also serves as the Supervisor for the Town of  Lewisboro  said, “This is an example of the County and municipalities in the watershed working together so the cost of meeting New York City’s requirements is minimized.”

 

***Media Advisory for Monday, February 8***

Public Safety Committee to Hold Emergency Preparedness Session with Israeli Expert.

 

WHO:             Legislator Ben Boykin, Chairman of the Committee on Public Safety & Social Services

                        Yoni Yagadovsky, Director of International Relations for Magen David Adom

Other Legislators and members of the Committee

WHAT:          Magen David Adom is Israel’s ambulance, blood-services, and disaster-relief organization, serving as emergency medical first responders for the state’s more than 8 million people. MDA is the only organization mandated by the Israeli government to serve in this role.

                        Yoni Yagadovsky is the Director of International Relations for Magen David Adom.  He has been involved in the response to almost every mass casualty incident that’s taken place in the last 25 years in the Jerusalem region.  He also runs training drills and maintains relationships with all MDA friends’ societies around the world.  He began his tenure at MDA as a youth volunteer in 1975, became an EMT in 1981, got his paramedic certification in 1990, and has held his current position since 2004.  He previously served as the director of MDA’s Jerusalem region.

                        RSVP: Melanie Montalto, (914) 995-8620 by February 5

WHEN:          Monday, February 8 at 12:00 PM

WHERE:       Westchester County Board of Legislators

148 Martine Avenue, 8th Floor

White Plains, NY

Legislator John Testa Helps Secure Low Interest Loan for Church Solar Installation in Buchanan.

 

On Monday, the Westchester County Board of Legislators (BOL) unanimously approved funding in the amount $103,507 to finance the installation of three roof mounted solar arrays and for improvements to the underlying roof structure at St. Christopher’s Church in Buchanan.  The funds originated from the County’s allocation of Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds (QECBs) which are reserved for the financing, acquisition, construction and installation of renewable energy systems and energy efficiency improvements.  The church was eligible for the bond because it is a non-profit entity and Buchanan is a participant in the Energy Improvement Corporation (EIC), a consortium of municipalities that use the EIC to finance renewable energy projects.

 

St. Christopher’s Church will repay the bond.  Average annual energy savings are expected to be $14,582.  After the debt service on the bonds this will yield an annual savings of $3,525 per year.

 

Legislator John G. Testa (R) Cortlandt, Peekskill, Yorktown, Minority Leader represents Buchanan where St. Christopher’s is located.  “I appreciate the unanimous support this bonding received from my colleagues.  St. Christopher’s is an important part of the Buchanan Community.  This investment in the physical structure of the church will be a significant cost savings which will allow St. Christopher’s to use better pursue their mission of community support and charity.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Westchester Board of Legislators Creates Tool to Help Families Save on Heating Oil.

 

One of the biggest seasonal expenses that Westchester families are confronted with is the cost of heating their homes in the winter time. The Westchester Board of Legislators has come up with a tool to help Westchester families get the best price available.

 

Check out this video from Board of Legislators Chairman Mike Kaplowitz showing you how to navigate to the New BOL Home Heating Oil Tracker.

 

The webpage is a survey of home heating oil companies’ price per gallon. The page will be updated weekly and includes a link to each heating oil providers’ website.

Westchester County Finishes 2015 with $29 Million Deficit

 

(WHITE PLAINS, NY) Westchester County has officially closed its books on the 2015 fiscal year with the reporting of the December sales tax figures.  As expected, the County fell well short of anticipated revenue goals and will finish the 2015 year with an operating deficit of $29 million that will be filled by raiding county savings.

 

In December of 2015, the county reported $48,551,543 in sales tax revenue, down from $50,281,246 the prior year.  The drop is $1,729,703 and represents a 3.4% drop from 2014.  In order to meet the goal for the 2015 budget, December sales tax would have to have an 8.5% increase from the prior December.

 

“At this alarming pace, Westchester County taxpayers will have no safety net left if the administration continues to balance the books by raiding our savings account,” Legislator Ken Jenkins (D-Yonkers) said.

 

In order to avoid this problem for the coming year, the County would need to have an unprecedented 5.25% growth from this year to meet the projections in the recently enacted 2016 County budget.  This year’s year-over-year change showed a 1% drop from the prior year, indicating that another increase next year is again unlikely.

 

“When Hurricanes Sandy and Irene hit, we used our savings account to pay for emergency repairs; when we had winters that caused excessive damage to our roads and bridges, we had the ability to afford our repairs.  These expenses all have a direct benefit to the people we serve and those are good uses of earned savings; filling a budget gap because of bad accounting doesn’t get any value for taxpayers.” Jenkins concluded.

 

This news comes only weeks after several independent entities cautioned against the overly aggressive revenue assumptions in the 2016 budget, Westchester County released the results from November of 2015.  Sales tax revenues from November 2015, which include those generated by Black Friday and the start of the holiday shopping season, are down 2% from the same point in 2014.

Governor Cuomo’s Ambitious 2016 Agenda Will Benefit Westchester

 

(WHITE PLAINS, NY) A day after Governor Andrew Cuomo delivered the 2016 State of the State and Budget address several Westchester Legislators have come out in support of specific proposals that they believe will directly benefit the Westchester economy.  Among others, the Governor proposed an increase in the minimum wage and investments to regional infrastructure and affordable housing in New York City.

 

Legislator MaryJane Shimsky (D-Hastings-on-Hudson), who chairs the Board’s Infrastructure committee, praised the Governor’s initiatives. “The Governor showed that he has a deep understanding of the challenges that our infrastructure faces and what the costs are if we don’t act now to modernize it.  Westchester County has some of the oldest sewer systems in the State that could be greatly benefitted by the funding that the Governor plans to set aside for sewer system improvements.  I look forward to working with my colleagues at the Board of Legislators to put together a competitive plan to get our share of that funding.”

 

“Raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour for all industries will directly benefit a quarter of the total workforce,” Legislator Ken Jenkins (D-Yonkers) added.  Critics see this as teenagers earning pocket money but more than half of these workers are 35 or older.  More than 40 percent are married, parents or both and many provide the main source of their family’s income.  A full time job at today’s minimum wage still put so many families below the poverty line, setting them up to fail.  I believe we can do better and Westchester is a perfect community to realize that potential.”

 

Legislator Alfreda Williams (D-Greenburgh) stated, “The Governor’s investment in affordable housing is an example that government is still in the business of helping people first.  Westchester County’s leadership has failed to address this issue in our backyard for some time now and the problem has worsened as a result.  As a neighbor to New York City, I hope Westchester County can mirror the efforts that have gone on to tackle an issue that impacts many more of us than we realize.”

 

“Governor Cuomo outlined an ambitious agenda that will undoubtedly benefit Westchester residents,” said Catherine Borgia (D-Ossining), who is the Board’s Majority Leader. “From incentives to streamline local services and reduce the property tax levy to the package of small business tax cuts and increase to the environmental protection fund, this speech had a lot that can make Westchester residents proud.  Our caucus looks forward to playing a role in helping New York take leadership again on many progressive issues.”

Funding for Critical Bridge Repair Receives Bipartisan Support.

The Westchester County Board of Legislators approved funding through Bond Acts in the amount of $2.85 million for continued repairs to the Fulton Avenue Drawbridge which connects Mount Vernon and Pelham at the site of a major retail and industrial district.  This funding is in addition to $9.37 million which has been invested in the bridge since 2012.

The Bond Acts will finance replacement of steel members and piers, rehabilitation of wearing surfaces, painting, rebalancing of bascule spans, rehabilitation of mechanical and electrical components and renovation and/or replacement of metal bulkheads for riverbank protection.

The Fulton Avenue Bridge was originally built in 1974.  The New York State Department of Transportation closed the bridge following an inspection which determined the steel piers had deteriorated to a point that was unsafe.  The bridge has since been re-opened.  Approximately 12,000 cars traverse the span every day.

Legislator Lyndon Williams (D) Mount Vernon said the closure significantly impacted residents and businesses.  “It is imperative that Westchester County finish the rehabilitation of Fulton Ave. Bridge.  This bridge is a critical piece of infrastructure traversed by  area residents to access Boston Post Road and the corridor to Interstate 95 coming into and leaving lower Westchester County. ”

“Major retail development in Mount Vernon and Pelham as well as small merchants and restaurants benefit from the free flow of traffic and commerce over the Fulton Avenue Bridge each day.”  Williams said, “Therefore, area businesses and residents are naturally concerned about any lengthy closure that disrupts residential and commercial activities. I’ve also heard from merchants who saw a sharp decline in business while the bridge was closed.  I urge the Department of Public Works to put an outreach plan in place to inform residents and business owners when the bridge will be closed and to map out an efficient and well-marked detour to minimize the impact of the work”.

Legislator Jim Maisano (R, New Rochelle, Pelham, Pelham Manor) added that his office received numerous complaints about the bridge closing in the past.  “This is a short bridge but it is very important for commuters and local businesses.” Maisano said, “I’m glad that we have funded the rehabilitation of this crucial bridge, and I will expect that our Department of Public Works will ensure that the work is done efficiently and with minimal impact to local businesses. We need this bridge fully fixed and to have this traffic corridor back to normal as soon as possible.”

Funding for Critical Bridge Repair Receives

Bipartisan Support

The Westchester County Board of Legislators approved funding through Bond Acts in the amount of $2.85 million for continued repairs to the Fulton Avenue Drawbridge which connects Mount Vernon and Pelham at the site of a major retail and industrial district.  This funding is in addition to $9.37 million which has been invested in the bridge since 2012.

The Bond Acts will finance replacement of steel members and piers, rehabilitation of wearing surfaces, painting, rebalancing of bascule spans, rehabilitation of mechanical and electrical components and renovation and/or replacement of metal bulkheads for riverbank protection.

The Fulton Avenue Bridge was originally built in 1974.  The New York State Department of Transportation closed the bridge following an inspection which determined the steel piers had deteriorated to a point that was unsafe.  The bridge has since been re-opened.  Approximately 12,000 cars traverse the span every day.

Legislator Lyndon Williams (D) Mount Vernon said the closure significantly impacted residents and businesses.  “It is imperative that Westchester County finish the rehabilitation of Fulton Ave. Bridge.  This bridge is a critical piece of infrastructure traversed by  area residents to access Boston Post Road and the corridor to Interstate 95 coming into and leaving lower Westchester County. ”

“Major retail development in Mount Vernon and Pelham as well as small merchants and restaurants benefit from the free flow of traffic and commerce over the Fulton Avenue Bridge each day.”  Williams said, “Therefore, area businesses and residents are naturally concerned about any lengthy closure that disrupts residential and commercial activities. I’ve also heard from merchants who saw a sharp decline in business while the bridge was closed.  I urge the Department of Public Works to put an outreach plan in place to inform residents and business owners when the bridge will be closed and to map out an efficient and well-marked detour to minimize the impact of the work”.

Legislator Jim Maisano (R, New Rochelle, Pelham, Pelham Manor) added that his office received numerous complaints about the bridge closing in the past.  “This is a short bridge but it is very important for commuters and local businesses.” Maisano said, “I’m glad that we have funded the rehabilitation of this crucial bridge, and I will expect that our Department of Public Works will ensure that the work is done efficiently and with minimal impact to local businesses. We need this bridge fully fixed and to have this traffic corridor back to normal as soon as possible.”

Astorino’s Ethics “Lecture” to Albany is Height of Hypocrisy;

Gives lucrative County legal contracts to campaign donors.

 

(WHITE PLAINS, NY) Just a few days after the US Attorney for the Southern District absolved Governor Cuomo of any wrong-doing resulting from the Moreland Commission shutdown, Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino steered thousands of dollars in lucrative legal contracts to many of his campaign donors.  Astorino continued to criticize Governor Cuomo despite the fact that he has doled out millions of dollars to outside legal firms, many of which donated to his various campaigns.  Astorino will once again lock into these agreements on Thursday at the Board of Acquisition and Contract, which is controlled by the County Executive.

 

“Rob Astorino is so desperate to get to Albany that he has even begun to imitate its pay-to-play culture right here in Westchester County.  This administration has proposed cuts to funding for human services, starved our infrastructure of the resources it needs and paid millions of dollars in fines for being unable to provide clean drinking water but can spend several million dollars taking care of the law firms that employ his campaign donors,” said Brian Hegt, spokesman for the BoL Democratic Caucus.

 

Nearly $36,000 was donated by various law firms that are set to receive contracts from the County on Thursday. Here is the list:

  • Wilson, Elser, Moskowitz, Edelman & Dicker LLP
  • Pannone Lopes Deveraux & West LLC
  • Harriton & Furrer LLP
  • Biaggi & Biaggi
  • Canter Law Firm PC
  • Harris Beach PLLC
  • Traub Lieberman Straus & Shrewsberry LLP
  • Lyons McGovern LLP
  • Gaines, Novick, Ponzini, Cossu & Venditti LLP
  • Bank, Sheer, Seymour & Hashmall
  • Joan Marshall Cresap Law Office

Hegt continued, “As Rob Astorino continues to put his political ambitions over the Westchester taxpayers, members of the Board of Legislators will continue to push for ethics and campaign finance reform so that the ethical cesspool of Albany doesn’t make its way to Westchester.”

 

Board of Legislators Chairman Kaplowitz, Vice-Chair Maisano Continue Policy of Inclusion in Committee Assignments for New Term.

 

Two years ago, the Westchester County Board of Legislators (BOL) underwent a radical change. Chairman Michael Kaplowitz, a Democrat, and Vice-Chairman James Maisano, a Republican, came together to form a bipartisan coalition government to lead the BOL.  For the past two years, the BOL has abandoned gridlock and lawsuits in favor of conciliation and negotiation.

 

One of the new policies that Chairman Kaplowitz established in his first term was that every Legislator would have a leadership position within their caucus or Chair a legislative committee or task force.  This approach has benefited Westchester County residents tremendously and will be continued in the 2016-2017 term.

 

The bipartisan model that was used for committee assignments in the previous term contributed to a number of important accomplishments over the last two years, including;

 

  • A continuation of 6 straight years of no tax-increase budgets.
  • Improved essential services like public safety, subsidized child care, services for domestic violence and child sex-assault victims, legal services for veterans  and seniors, eviction prevention services and restored funding for parks.
  • Compliance, not capitulation, while working diligently with all parties to meet the terms of the 2009 Affordable Housing Settlement and restoration of funds withheld by the Federal Government.
  • Approval of a public/private partnership to operate Playland Amusement Park, alleviating costs to taxpayers while guaranteeing the future of Playland.
  • Approval of $200 million for infrastructure improvements that create jobs and grow our economy.
  • Establishment of an Office of Energy Efficiency and Sustainability to save on operational costs.
  • Reforms and increased transparency in the county budget process.
  • Participation in the Local Development Corporation that has led to over half a billion dollars of economic activity allowing non-profits like hospitals and colleges to finance projects tax-free and at very low interest rates.

 

The Westchester County Charter requires the establishment of a Budget and Appropriations Committee and Legislation Committee for each term.  Any other Committees are created at the discretion of the BOL chairman.  The Committee assignments for the 2016-2017 term are;

 

  • Appointments Committee- Chaired by Legislator Margaret Cunzio (C) Mount Pleasant, North Castle, Pleasantville
  • Budget and Appropriations Committee- Chaired by Legislator Sheila Marcotte (R) Eastchester, New Rochelle, Tuckahoe
  • Public Safety and Social Services Committee- Chaired by Legislator Ben Boykin (D) White Plains, Scarsdale
  • Energy and Regional Efficiencies Committee- Chaired by Legislator Catherine Parker (D) Harrison, Larchmont, Mamaroneck, New Rochelle, Rye
  • Environment and Health Committee- Chaired by Legislator Francis Corcoran (R) Bedford, Lewisboro, Mount Kisco, North Salem, Pound Ridge, Somers
  • Infrastructure Committee- Chaired by Legislator Mary Jane Shimsky  (D) Ardsley, Dobbs Ferry, Edgemont, Hartsdale, Hastings-on-Hudson, Irvington
  • Labor/Parks/Planning/Housing Committee- Chaired by Legislator David Gelfarb (R) Harrison, Port Chester, Rye Brook
  • Litigation Committee- Chaired by Legislator Lyndon Williams (D) Mount Vernon
  • Legislation Committee- Chaired by Legislator Virginia Perez (D) Yonkers
  • Seniors and Constituencies Committee- Chaired by Legislator Bernice Spreckman (R) Yonkers, Mount Vernon
  • Rules Committee- Co-Chaired by Majority Leader Catherine Borgia (D) Briarcliff Manor, Cortlandt, Croton-on-Hudson, Ossining, Peekskill and Minority Leader John Testa (R) Cortlandt, Peekskill, Yorktown

 

The following Task Forces have been assigned for the 2016-2017 term;

 

  • Charter Commission Review Task Force- Co-Chaired by Legislator Gordon Burrows (R) Bronxville, Yonkers and former Legislator Richard Wishnie
  • Families Task Force- Chaired by Majority Leader Catherine Borgia
  • Hispanic Affairs Task Force- Co-chaired by Legislator Virginia Perez and Vice-Chairman Jim Maisano
  • Minority Affairs Task Force- Co-Chaired by Legislator Virginia Perez and Legislator Ben Boykin
  • Federal and State Affairs Task Force- Chaired by Legislator Ken Jenkins (D) Yonkers

 

Chairman Kaplowitz said, “I thank my colleagues for accepting the responsibility of these important Committee and Task Force positions.  The 2016-2017 legislative term promises many possibilities and challenges.  Legislators who are willing to put people over partisanship will be a part of the continued success in making Westchester County an extraordinary example of what we can accomplish when we work together.”

 

Vice Chairman Jim Maisano echoed Kaplowitz’ optimism, saying, “Viewed against the backdrop of dysfunction in Washington and corruption in Albany, Westchester County is a rare, shining example of how Democrats and Republicans can work together for the benefit of the people they represent.”

Kaplowitz, Maisano Elected to Lead Board of Legislators.

 

On Monday the Westchester County board of Legislators (BOL) elected it’s leadership team for the 2016-2017 legislative term.  Legislator Michael Kaplowitz (D) Somers was re-elected Chairman and Legislator Jim Maisano (R) New Rochelle was re-elected Vice-Chair.  Sunday Vanderberg was elected Clerk of the Board.

 

Following the vote, Chairman Kaplowitz said, “I am honored to receive the support of my colleagues to Chair the Board of Legislators for the coming term.  Working together we have proved that bipartisanship works.  We have established a track record of tackling tough issues and facing challenges with pragmatism and professionalism.” Kaplowitz added, “In the coming days, I will be presenting a new committee structure that will best equip the Board of Legislators to handle the many important issues before us in the next two years.”

 

Vice Chairman Jim Maisano echoed Kaplowitz’ commitment to bipartisan cooperation saying, “The Westchester County Board of Legislators has distinguished itself as a thoughtful, professional, collaborative regional government where compromise is valued.  As Vice Chairman, I look forward to another productive term working with my colleagues on the BOL and with the County Executive.”

 

Sunday Vanderberg, the newly elected Clerk of the Board has worked at the BOL since 1999, serving as Deputy Clerk for the past six years.  Vanderberg said, “I am honored to have received the support of the Legislators and I look forward to continuing the high standards of professionalism in administering the business of the BOL that has been established by my predecessors.”

 

Chairman Kaplowitz is expected to announce Committee and Task Force assignments in the next week.

Kaplowitz, Maisano Elected to Lead Board of Legislators

 

On Monday the Westchester County board of Legislators (BOL) elected it’s leadership team for the 2016-2017 legislative term.  Legislator Michael Kaplowitz (D) Somers was re-elected Chairman and Legislator Jim Maisano (R) New Rochelle was re-elected Vice-Chair.  Sunday Vanderberg was elected Clerk of the Board.

 

Following the vote, Chairman Kaplowitz said, “I am honored to receive the support of my colleagues to Chair the Board of Legislators for the coming term.  Working together we have proved that bipartisanship works.  We have established a track record of tackling tough issues and facing challenges with pragmatism and professionalism.” Kaplowitz added, “In the coming days, I will be presenting a new committee structure that will best equip the Board of Legislators to handle the many important issues before us in the next two years.”

 

Vice Chairman Jim Maisano echoed Kaplowitz’ commitment to bipartisan cooperation saying, “The Westchester County Board of Legislators has distinguished itself as a thoughtful, professional, collaborative regional government where compromise is valued.  As Vice Chairman, I look forward to another productive term working with my colleagues on the BOL and with the County Executive.”

 

Sunday Vanderberg, the newly elected Clerk of the Board has worked at the BOL since 1999, serving as Deputy Clerk for the past six years.  Vanderberg said, “I am honored to have received the support of the Legislators and I look forward to continuing the high standards of professionalism in administering the business of the BOL that has been established by my predecessors.”

 

Chairman Kaplowitz is expected to announce Committee and Task Force assignments in the next week.

 

Westchester Legislators Select Leadership for 2016-2017 Term.

Board of Legislators Chairman Mike Kaplowitz a Democrat and Vice-chairman Jim Maisano, a Republican have announced that they have the support of a majority of their colleagues on the Board of Legislators to continue in their leadership positions for the 2016-2017 legislative session.  The bipartisan power-sharing arrangement that has been in place for the past two years led to the most productive legislative term in many years.  Chairman Kaplowitz and Vice-Chairman Maisano began serving on the Board of Legislators together in 1998.

Chairman Mike Kaplowitz who represents New Castle, Somers and Yorktown said, “I am happy to continue in my leadership position as Chairman of the Board of Legislators.  I think the confidence that my colleagues have demonstrated in Vice-Chairman Maisano and myself is a direct result of the inclusive, collaborative, professional and fair manner in which we have administered the work of the Board of Legislators for the past two years.”  Kaplowitz added, “We have many important issues to address in the next two years like continued compliance with the fair and affordable housing settlement, important capital projects and the transition to a private-public partnership to manage Playland.”

Vice Chairman Maisano represents New Rochelle, Pelham and Pelham Manor.  “I am very happy to continue serving in leadership at the Board of Legislators with Chairman Kaplowitz.  Over the last two years, Mike and I have worked hard to maintain an atmosphere of professionalism and collegiality in the way we operate at the BOL.” said Maisano, “I believe that the Westchester Board of Legislators stands as an example to lawmakers from local municipalities to Washington DC that disagreements are very much a part of the political process but they don’t have to be personal and they don’t have to stand in the way of governing responsibly.”

The Democratic and Republican caucuses also reaffirmed their respective leaders for the 2016-2017.  Legislator Catherine Borgia (D) Ossining will be the Majority Leader and Legislator John Testa (R), Peekskill will be the Minority Leader.  Legislator Alfreda Williams (D) Greenburgh, will be the Majority Whip and Legislator Gordon Burrows (R) Bronxville, Yonkers will be the Minority Whip.

Majority Leader Borgia said, “I am honored to serve my colleagues and my constituent as Majority Leader of the Board of Legislators for another two year term.  The Democratic caucus will continue to fight for those residents who most need our support and services, as we did in pushing for restoration of service cuts in the recent budget.  We look forward to a busy and productive legislative term.”

Minority Leader Testa said, “I believe the bipartisan coalition that has controlled the BOL for the last two years has led to a more collaborative and effective Legislature.  We have made a more efficient  county organization, increased the funding for those most vulnerable, and at the same time looked out for the county’s taxpayers. I am honored to continue to serve the Republican caucus as Leader and stand with our like minded-colleagues and County Executive Rob Astorino as we look forward to the new term.”

BoL Task Force Announces Creation of Westchester Families Bill of Rights to Guide Priorities for 2016.

(WHITE PLAINS, NY) At a press conference at the Board of Legislators, members of the Board’s Families Task Force announced the creation of a Families Bill of Rights and will use it as a guide for 2016 priorities.  The BoL Families Task Force has concluded a series of public meetings in various parts of the county where they received input on what families in Westchester need to stay, grow and thrive here.

The result of that work is this Bill of Rights which comes at a very important time at the beginning of the County’s new fiscal year.  This bill of rights will outline the basic needs demonstrated by many families across the County and will serve as a tool to make sure that County provides the services it pledged to in the recently enacted 2016 budget.

Legislator Catherine Borgia (D-Ossining), who serves as the Co-chair of the task force said, “This Bill of Rights will give us a very good framework to guide everything we do in order to help Westchester families thrive.  Every member of the Board of Legislators has agreed that the budget we just passed leaves no margin of error in the coming fiscal year.  Every decision we make as a result of that will be geared towards making sure every family can have the Westchester life they envisioned for themselves.”

“Similar to the hearings during the recently completed budget process, we received lots of compelling testimony about specific needs that families want to see our elected leaders prioritize,” added Kathy Halas, Executive Director of Child Care Westchester, Inc., who also serves as a Co-chair of the task force. “We’re certain that nobody is against providing for the families of our county and the priorities outlined by this task force are very helpful for our elected leaders to be proactive in their solutions to the challenges we face.”

Julia Solow, who was in charge of the policy group of the Task Force to produce the Families Bill of Rights added, “The Families Task Force was created to look at what the needs of Westchester families are, how they are changing, and what we want the county legislature and other elected officials to know about Westchester families in order to have some influence on ways to improve family life.  I’m confident that we can do that if we adhere to the principles in the document this task force created.”

The Families Bill of Rights will be recommended to the BoL for passage when the new term begins in January.

 

Attachment: Draft resolution of the Families Bill of Rights

Family Bill of Rights 2a

The full press conference can be viewed here (9 min 40 sec)

November 2015 Sales Tax Revenues Drop from Prior Year.

 

(WHITE PLAINS, NY) Only weeks after several independent entities cautioned against the overly aggressive revenue assumptions in the 2016 budget, Westchester County released the results from November of 2015.  Sales tax revenues from November 2015, which include those generated by Black Friday and the start of the holiday shopping season, are down 2% from the same point in 2014.

 

In November of 2015, the county reported $38,825,843 in sales tax revenue, down from $39,649,702 the prior year.  The drop is $823,859 and leaves the County’s 2015 11-month total over $2.5 million short of the budgeted revenue figure for the year.  In order to meet the goal for the 2015 budget, December sales tax would have to have an 8.5% increase from the prior December.

 

“While the weather has been extremely conducive to shopping throughout the County, expecting to inject $16 million into the local economy in one month with one shopping season is a bit too large of a gamble for my comfort,” Legislator Ken Jenkins (D-Yonkers) said.

 

The County would need to pull in $54,570,562 in sales tax revenues in order to make budget for the 2015 or else it will have to rely on funds from the County’s reserve to close the several million dollar operating deficit for the year.

 

“We’ve been cautioned against these practices for exactly this reason and with the growth in ease of online shopping, this trend is only going to continue.  The last time our area saw a winter miracle like this was when Joe Namath guaranteed the Jets would win the Super Bowl; I don’t think we’re on the cusp of anything great with this administration,” Jenkins concluded.

Jenkins-November sales tax

***Media Advisory for Tuesday, December 22***

BoL Task Force Announces Creation of Westchester Families Bill of Rights

WHO:             Legislator Catherine Borgia, Co-Chair of the Families Task Force

                        Kathy Halas, Executive Director of Child Care Westchester, Inc. & Co-Chair of the Families Task Force

Julia Solow, Community Voices Heard, Head of FTF Policy Group

Other Legislators and members of the task force

WHAT:          The BoL Families Task Force has concluded a series of public meetings in various parts of the county where they received input on what families in Westchester need to stay, grow and thrive here.  The result of that work is this Bill of Rights which comes at a very important time at the beginning of the County’s new fiscal year.  The Families Bill of Rights will be recommended to the BoL for passage in January.  This bill of rights will outline the basic needs demonstrated by many families across the County and will serve as a tool to make sure that County provides the services it pledged to in the recently enacted 2016 budget.

WHEN:          Tuesday, December 22 at 10:30 AM

WHERE:       Board of Legislators Rotunda

8th Floor, Michaelian Office Building

148 Martine Avenue, White Plains

 

 

 

Background on the Families Task Force:

The Families Task Force was created to look at what the needs of Westchester families are, how they are changing, and what we want the county legislature and the state delegation to know about Westchester families and have some influence on ways to improve family life. The Task Force is broken up into 3 sub-groups:

  1. The Policy Group (creating a Families Bill of Rights)
  2. The Education Group
  3. The Programming group

Bipartisan Coalition Passes ‘No Tax Increase’ 2016 Budget.

Funds Restored to Non-Profits, Social Safety Net Protected.

On Monday, the bipartisan coalition that controls the Westchester County Board of Legislators (BOL) passed a budget for 2016 that does not raise taxes and restores cuts to non-profits, parks and public safety.  This is the sixth consecutive year with no tax increase to the County tax levy.

Board of Legislators Chairman Michael Kaplowitz (D) Somers, praised the bipartisan coalition for their hard work and cooperation while offering the warning that the budget offered no margin for error.  “My colleagues and I have worked very hard to produce a sound budget that protects those who rely on county services while delivering no tax increase for the sixth consecutive year.  The budget we passed was a vast improvement over the budget that the County Executive proposed however there are some elements of the budget that will require close supervision throughout the year.  We saw diminished sales tax revenue this year because of plummeting fuels costs which will leave us short of what we anticipated.  As a result we will likely have to use dollars from our fund balance to make up that shortfall.  I am afraid that we may find ourselves in a similar position next year.”  Kaplowitz added, “A continued draw down of our reserve fund will lead to the loss of Westchester’s AAA bond rating.  My colleagues and I are going to be watching revenues and spending very closely throughout this fiscal year.”

Minority Leader, Legislator John Testa (R) Peekskill, said that a tax increase should be the last option in developing a budget.  “My colleagues and I approached these negotiations with the attitude that collaboration and compromise were needed to make this the best budget possible.  We added back as many of the jobs and service programs that we could but our colleagues in the Democratic Caucus ultimately voted against the budget which restored funding for the social safety net but did not offer any realistic alternatives.” Testa said. “While collaborating on the budget with County Executive Rob Astorino he assured us that he can manage Westchester County on the budget that we passed today and I believe him.  Westchester families can be sure that we remain committed to holding the line on taxes while maintaining the quality of life we all enjoy in Westchester County.”

Legislator Sheila Marcotte (R) Tuckahoe, Eastchester, New Rochelle, is Chair of the BOL’s Budget and Appropriations Committee.  “I’d like to thank the many Commissioners and Department heads throughout Westchester County who participated in the Budget Committee review process.  Between committee meetings and public hearings we spent many hours and days listening to hundreds of people about county operations and the needs of our non-profit partners.  I am happy that to a large extent we were able to restore many programs and positions.  I am most happy that for the sixth straight year, we stood with taxpayers with a no tax increase budget.  An accomplishment that is, frankly, unheard of in these economic times.”

2016 County Budget is Structurally Unbalanced.

 

(WHITE PLAINS, NY) The Westchester County Board of Legislators adopted the 2016 budget today stretches Westchester County’s operations to the thinnest of all time and remains structurally unbalanced according to numerous independent opinions as a result of accounting gimmicks, one shot revenues and suspect revenue projections.  The budget most significantly relies on an aggressive assumption for sales tax revenues with a 4% growth rate. The Citizens Budget Advisory Committee (CBAC) and the County’s independent auditors stated that the sales tax revenues are too aggressive and cited that Nassau and Suffolk Counties and many of our local municipalities budget for roughly 1 – 2 % growth in sales tax revenues. CBAC recommends that the 2016 budget for sales tax be reduced by $10 to $15 million.  The Democratic Caucus had proposed an alternative that involved the proceeds from the sale of the Austin Avenue building and over $4 million in energy efficiencies that are still available.

 

“While I’m happy to see that there were some service restorations, I cannot endorse a budget that spends money based on fictitious revenues,” said Legislator Catherine Borgia (D-Ossining).  “I believe that we are going to have to revisit this budget in the coming months because of the indefensible budget practices of this administration.”

 

Legislator Lyndon Williams (D-Mount Vernon) stated, “By setting this budget in motion without a plan for sustainable revenues, we are placing the county in a tenuous fiscal position if unforeseen circumstances to occur in 2016.”

 

“This budget fails every metric of good accounting,” stated Legislator Ben Boykin (D-White Plains), MBA/CPA. “While we have the appearance of a balanced operating budget with no tax increase, the 2016 budget is structurally imbalanced and will create significant financial challenges for the County and taxpayers in the future.”

 

Legislator Ken Jenkins (D-Yonkers) warned that this budget proposal could trigger another credit rating downgrade that would cost taxpayers more as it attempts to catch up on $1.3 billion backlog of capital projects.  “The Astorino administration has done nothing to address the downward spiral for Westchester’s credit rating, costing taxpayers more for essential services like roads and bridge repairs.  This budget compounds those failures by relying on accounting gimmicks to fill the humongous budget deficit we are really facing.”

 

Legislator Catherine Parker (D-Rye) said, “Approving this budget is akin to doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome.  When every independent opinion says that these budgeting practices are suspect, it is time to try a different strategy.  The budget continues to rely on revenues that we have been cautioned against using to balance the budget and yet we still continue to ignore that advice.”

 

Legislator MaryJane Shimsky (D-Hastings-on-Hudson) explained, “This year’s budget takes back cost saving measures approved by the Board of Legislators, on a bipartisan basis, in last year’s budget—measures needed to keep our infrastructure in working order.  Of most concern to me is the large scale borrowing to fund routine, short term costs like patching our roads; and the deterioration of our infrastructure due to having insufficient engineers to advance our $1.3 billion capital project backlog.  Such moves will cost taxpayers many times more money in future years.”

 

Legislator Alfreda Williams (D-Greenburgh) stated, “I am concerned that many of our non-profits who provide critical, often mandated human services in an efficient and cost saving manner for the present and future, are not going to be funded at sustainable levels.  We have been facing this problem for several years and failed to adopt efficiencies that would help pay for these things in a responsible manner.”

 

***Press Advisory***

Westchester County Board of Legislators Chairman, Vice-Chairman to Make Announcement Regarding 2016 Budget.

Who:  Chairman Michael Kaplowitz, Vice-Chairman Jim Maisano

What:  Announcement regarding 2016 County Budget

When: 3:45, Friday December 11th

Where: 148 Martine Ave., White Plains, 8th floor, BOL Rotunda

Democratic Caucus Releases Plan to Provide Services and Energy Savings without Raising Taxes.

 

(WHITE PLAINS, NY) As the Board of Legislators goes through the additions and deletions phase of the budget process, several members of the Board have released a plan to restore services provided by many non-profit agencies, realize millions in energy and electricity savings and continue to operate without raising any taxes.  The estimated restorations totaled slightly over $6 million and were offset by nearly $17 million in additional non-tax-hike revenues.  The $17 million of revenue was comprised of $12.5 million from the sale of a property in Yonkers and over $4 million in savings that can be achieved through energy efficiencies.  Many of these suggestions were voted down during a recent meeting of the Budget Committee.

 

Legislator Catherine Borgia, (D-Ossining, Majority Leader) said, “There are more efficiencies within the County Budget that have not been explored or executed prior to calling for a tax increase.  The Democratic Caucus will continue to find those revenues and bring them to fruition in order to pay for the valuable services that were slated to be cut by the County Executive.  The taxpayers of Westchester deserve a responsible and strategic budget that preserves our safety, security and quality of life.”

 

The sale of a site on Austin Avenue in Yonkers is near completion and would generate substantial revenue for the County.  The City of Yonkers and Westchester are currently in dispute over how to split the proceeds of the sale.  The Board of Legislators “coalition-caucus” voted against incorporating this revenue into the budget.

 

Legislator Ken Jenkins (D-Yonkers) added, “To not include this revenue in the budget, especially after the County Executive mentioned it during his initial budget presentation, is only going to further tie our hands as we attempt to preserve vital services.  This budget includes revenue projections from other real property sales (375 Executive Blvd in Yonkers) that have not been completed yet as well as money from the stalled Playland deal.  The resulting revenues from the Austin Avenue sale would be no different.  This is a conservative estimate of what the County’s prospective share and would go a long way to preserving services and restoring fund balance.”

 

As a member of the Budget Committee, Catherine Parker (D-Rye) asked to consider a high level energy audit conducted by Westchester County in 2012, which recommended a list of energy efficiencies that are available to existing county infrastructure.  In several dozen recommendations, this audit found that there are approximately $3.4 million in energy efficiencies that the county can realize.

 

On top of the recommendations contained in that report, Westchester County oversees several buildings and nearly 160 miles of roadways including the Bronx River Parkway that could be lit with cost-efficient LED lighting, something Legislator Borgia included as a capital project in the 2015 budget and reintroduced it in the 2016 capital budget.  Many municipalities have gone to this lighting technology and have found savings instantly.  Several municipalities including the Cities of New Rochelle and Yonkers and Town of Eastchester (home of BoL Budget Chair Sheila Marcotte) have already switched to these energy efficient lights and seen cost reductions.  New Rochelle and Yonkers have found between $90 and $100 in savings per light fixture since they have begun utilizing energy efficient lighting.  It is ideal that there be approximately 53 streetlights to every mile of road by New York recommendations.  With a conservative calculation of $90 in savings per streetlight, Westchester will save an addition $763,200.

 

“It is budgeted that we are going to spend nearly $24 million on various utility costs this year and following some of the recommendations outlined in this audit would reduce that number significantly,” stated Legislator Mary Jane Shimsky (D-Hastings-on-Hudson), who chairs the Board’s Infrastructure Committee.  “Our capital plan for the next few years is anemic and undertaking any number of these projects would yield significant returns on the taxpayer’s investment.”

Legislator Catherine Parker (D-Rye), the Chair of the Board’s Energy and Environment Committee said, “We created a position for an Energy Director who is supposed to help us find these savings.  Once again the administration has failed to direct him to do that.  At this rate, without finding these very easy savings, the position is just another patronage job that falls within Rob Astorino’s already bloated staff.”

Caucus-CBAC Release

For Second Straight Year, Citizens Budget Advisory Committee Re-Affirms Budget Criticisms.

 

(WHITE PLAINS, NY)—As part of the detailed overview of the County Executive’s 2016 budget proposal, the Citizens Budget Advisory Committee (CBAC) appeared before the Board of Legislators to issue their feedback on the proposal.  CBAC is a non-partisan group of 10 members tasked with seeking regular input on fiscal matters from the public through public hearings and through monthly meetings of CBAC.  For the second straight year, CBAC expressed significant reservations about numerous practices and proposals within the 2016 budget proposal.  On behalf of the Democratic caucus, Legislator Ben Boykin, MBA/CPA, reacted with the following statement:

 

“Many of us voted against last year’s budget for the reasons spelled out by CBAC and unfortunately this proposal from the County Executive compounds those problems.  As a result, I believe the overall mismanagement of our County’s finances have become clear and are starting to have real impacts across many services the county has provided in the past.  The budget proposal continues to rely heavily on borrowing to pay for operating expenses; this will result in higher taxes for all taxpayers in the future as we repay principal and interest on these borrowings.  Additionally, sales and use taxes appear to once again be over-estimated.   Lastly, the proposed cuts to support organizations such as Legal Aid, Arts, Cornell Cooperative and other non-profits will in all likelihood impact services that are provided to County residents.  These programs must be evaluated on a much more rigid and objective cost-benefit analysis.”

 

Below are some excerpts of CBAC’s Report on the Westchester County 2016 Operating and Capital Budgets.

 

Revenues: “CBAC is concerned that the projected sales tax revenue is too aggressive. The 2015 Budgeted amount of $528M will not be met and has now been lowered to $506 million which is flat over the 2014 sales tax revenue.  The 2016 Budgeted revenue of $526 million is a 4% growth over $506 million. We recommend the 2016 Sales Tax revenue be reduced by $10 million to $15 million to $516 million to $511 million. This represents a 1% to 2% growth over 2015 Projection. We believe that 2016 Sales Tax revenue will be impacted by the continuing slow growth in retail sales and the increased saving rates in the economy. Fuel prices may start to show an increase but will not return to the early 2014 levels. Review of other counties projections show projections in the 1%-2% range.   The view of the CBAC is the County should work to insure ensure a more reliable income stream from Sales Tax as well as a more prudent approach to the forecasting a revenue this essential to the County operations.”

 

Expenditures:

  • Pension Payments: “The County continues to borrow from the NYS Pension Stabilization Program to fund the required pension contribution. The 2016 proposed borrowing is projected to add another $2.7 million to a total $108 million borrowed over the past four years. This strategy will result in a roughly $21 million additional cost to the County in interest over the next 10 years or roughly $2 million in increase expenses over the next 10 years.  We view this as borrowing to fund what is a current operating expense. Further, while this is off the books borrowing it should still be considered in looking at debt ratio.”
  • Certioraris: “The 2016 Budget includes an $11 million for Certioraris expenses [Certioraris are repayments of property tax challenges that have been settled]. The 2016 Revenue Budget contains bonding revenue of $11.5 million for the Certs. We view this as borrowing to fund what is a current operating expense.  This $11 million represents 2% of the Proposed Tax Levy of $548 million. We recommend that the County consider establishing a reserve fund certs.   It should also be noted that the Sewer Districts are expected to have certs totaling $2.8 million or 2.2% of the Proposed Expenditures of $127 million. The Sewer certs are not offset by borrowing.”
  • Workforce Productivity and Service Levels: “The County has kept the tax levy is flat over 6 budgets, federal and state aid have been reduced, sales tax has been increasing but at a much lower rate than anticipated.  In order to meet revenue restraints the County has mainly relied on reducing the County workforce. Services are stated to be maintained.  How has this been achieved over all County Operations? What productivity metrics are available to demonstrate that the reductions in headcount have been offset increased productivity so service levels are maintained?  How is the increased productivity being achieved? What metrics will be in place to measure progress? In order to assure that service levels are maintained the B&A should review these metrics on a bi-monthly basis.”

 

Other Items of Concern:

 

  • DPW: “The open engineering positions continue to be a concern to the CBAC. Because of the backlog of current projects plus the required ongoing workloads and the higher cost of out sourcing this work County needs to assess how to solve this issue. We understand that part of the problem has been finding engineers with the proper training willing to work for the salaries offered by the county. Perhaps the County should consider revising the salary scale for the Engineering positions.”
  • Labor Costs: “The County continues to have labor contracts that have not been resolved. While we understand that the County may not wish to flag amounts held in contingency for contract settlements and increases we wish to highlight our concern that given the leanness of this budget that this item be addressed in your discussions. If these contracts were to be settled is the budget protected or would the County need to dip into the Fund Balance? Additionally, we are concerned that the continued failure reach a contract with CSEA is a lost opportunity for a reduction in net medical expenses? CSEA has reached contracts with other municipalities that include health insurance contributions.  As some point, the failure to reach a contract becomes more expensive than not.”
  • Maintaining the County’s Bond Rating: “The CBAC is concerned by the weaknesses noted in the Moody’s rating and believe that concerns expressed should be kept in mind as you work through the Budget for 2016 and working to close the gap in 2015 and how the County will address the use of fund balance.”

###

The full CBAC report is attached

 


FTCBriefBio2015

Francis Corcoran Sworn in as Westchester County Legislator.

 

On Monday, Francis Corcoran was sworn in as the newest Westchester County Legislator.  Legislator Corcoran, a Republican, will represent Legislative District 2 comprised of Bedford, Lewisboro, Mount Kisco, North Salem, Pound Ridge and part of Somers.

 

Normally new Legislators are sworn in on or around the first day of the new term but because Legislator Corcoran’s election was to fill an open seat, the County Charter directs that he be sworn in following the certification of his election.  This means he will participate in the review and negotiations for the 2016 budget.

 

Legislator Corcoran has been attending Board of Legislator meetings and Budget Committee meetings since his election in November.  “I am honored to represent the residents of District 2 and I thank them for the confidence they’ve shown in me by electing me as their County Legislator.  I am committed to representing every resident of my District through hard work, bipartisan cooperation and responsiveness to their needs.”  Said Corcoran, “I would like to thank my Legislative colleagues and the Board staff for welcoming me warmly and for helping me get up to speed on the issues we are confronting, especially the 2016 County Budget.”

 

BOL Chairman Mike Kaplowitz congratulated Legislature Corcoran saying, “Francis has already demonstrated that he is engaged, smart and ready to work with his colleagues.  Francis’ experience in finance and capital markets will be a great asset as we work our way through this difficult 2016 budget and beyond.  I look forward to a productive term working with Francis and all of our colleagues over the next two years.”

 

Legislator Corcoran grew up in Lewisboro and has served for the last 13 years as a Town Councilman in Bedford.  In his professional life, Mr. Corcoran has worked in the financial/capital markets arena for 30 years.   His full bio is attached.

 

Photo Caption;  Francis Corcoran is sworn in as Westchester County Legislator by County Clerk Timothy Idoni

News from the Democratic Caucus: Statement from Majority Leader Catherine Borgia on the Nomination of Westchester DA Janet DiFiore as Chief Judge of NYS Court of Appeals.

(WHITE PLAINS, NY) Westchester County Board of Legislators Majority Leader Catherine Borgia released the following statement upon the news that Westchester County DA Janet DiFiore is expected to be nominated as the Chief Judge of the NYS Court of Appeals by Governor Cuomo:

“Janet DiFiore has always been a fair and prudent adjudicator of justice throughout her career and has been instrumental in making the residents of Westchester feel that they have safe communities to live in.  During her tenure, she has handled several high profile cases and always demonstrated a professionalism that emanated through her entire office.  Westchester’s loss will be the gain of the entire state as she hopefully takes her public service to the Court of Appeals.  I urge all of Westchester’s Senators to vote in favor of her confirmation when the Senate returns in January.”

 

County Takeover of Tibbetts Brook Park is a Hidden Tax Increase.

 

(White Plains, NY) – As the second week of budget presentations draws to its conclusion, Legislator Ken Jenkins is continuing to point out the adverse impacts the County Executive’s budget proposal will have on Yonkers.  The most recent in that chain is the proposal to have the County take over Tibbetts Brook Park as a way to generate additional revenues for the County.  This would be on top of reduced funding for the Hudson River Museum and the cuts that have resulted from the structurally imbalanced budget.

 

Legislator Ken Jenkins reacted to the proposal by calling it a hidden tax increase as a result of the additional fees that will be added to the County’s coffers. “The County Executive clearly has an agenda towards damaging the City of Yonkers.  This proposal makes me think that he is either unaware or just doesn’t care that there is a cost to taking over a park that we hadn’t run in the past.”

 

Tibbetts Brook Park received a large infusion in capital several years ago that has turned it into one of the most successful parks in the county’s park system but a portion of it is still run and managed by the City of Yonkers.

 

“There are a very few simple realities that make this proposal completely unworkable,” Jenkins stated. “Westchester doesn’t have the money to take this burden on and even if we did, this administration’s track record on managing parks like Sprain Ridge and Playland, would suggest that it wouldn’t be managed well anyway.”

 

County Budget Needs an Additional Public Hearing

 

(WHITE PLAINS, NY) After a hearing that lasted over four hours and included hundreds of testimonials in favor of restoring critical services, Legislator MaryJane Shimsky (D-Hastings-on-Hudson) is calling for an additional hearing to be held as the Board of Legislators examines the County Executive’s proposed 2016 budget.  Unfortunately, the location was not prepared to hold the amount of people that came to testify and forced some to leave without sharing their stories. 

 

“We heard hours of compelling testimony about how these services save taxpayers money and simultaneously improve the lives of many Westchester residents,” Legislator Shimsky said. “I believe the turnout and interest in the budget hearing in Yonkers was indicative of the problems the county is facing; lots of people will be adversely impacted by these cuts, including every single Westchester taxpayer.”

 

The Board of Legislators is scheduled to conduct two more hearings in different parts of the county, but Shimsky held that the controversial nature of this budget and a site that proved inadequate for the first hearing, requires Legislators to do more than they have in the past.  Shimsky continued, “It can sometimes be difficult to find a large venue, but in that case, an extra hearing to accommodate all of the Westchester residents who want their say may be advisable, especially in a year when we are facing such difficult choices.”

 

Shimsky pointed out that providing services for homelessness prevention, domestic violence and elder abuse services, and pretrial diversion for young people can save taxpayers many times more than the services cost.  In addition, funding to ArtsWestchester creates vibrant downtowns and results in increased business for restaurants, with increases in sales tax revenue.  And the cuts to flood mitigation work in the Planning Department will leave the County defenseless against rising waters as climate change intensifies.

 

“The proposed 2016 budget is penny-wise and pound-foolish in many respects, including in its treatment of the important work we heard about last night,” said Shimsky.  “It really is hard to turn our backs on these stories and the individuals who tell them when the financial and anecdotal evidence is so clear.”

 

**Media Advisory**

The Westchester County Board of Legislators will hold a public hearing on the 2016 county budget at Yonkers Public School 30 on Thursday, November 19th at 7PM.

Residents can sign up to speak beginning at 6:15PM.

You can see the proposed 2016 budget at;

http://westchesterlegislators.com/fy-2016-budget-dashboard.html

2016-17 Westchester County Budget is a Product of Past Failures

 

(WHITE PLAINS, NY) On Friday November 13th, County Executive Rob Astorino released his proposed 2016-17 Westchester County Budget.  The budget proposal was released amid third-quarter projections that show the county has a $24.7 million operating shortfall.  Members of the Democratic Caucus believe that this budget is a product of past failures that they’ve opposed in previous years and compounds the problems of the past.

 

“County government is supposed to offer efficiencies that save taxpayer dollars by providing regional services and allowing local governments to reduce costs and reliance on property taxes.  Continuing cuts for public safety, healthcare and community services is only going to put additional burdens on the local governments to raise taxes and that’s not something that I can support,” said Legislator Catherine Borgia.

 

Lyndon Williams stated, “The Board must now exercise its legislative oversight by thoroughly reviewing this budget, assessing its impact on residents particularly the most vulnerable, and listen to residents during budget hearings.  We must make responsible decisions on the budget.”

 

Legislator Ben Boykin (D-White Plains) said, “The budgeting tactics of excessive borrowing to pay for operating expenses are unsustainable and bad for the people of Westchester County. This practice will surely lead to big tax hikes, which will be paid with interest, in the years to come. Borrowing for operating expenses is like using your credit cards to pay your rent.”

 

Legislator Alan Cole (D-Lewisboro) stated, “This budget proposal clearly needs deeper examination.  There has got to be a better way to balance the needs of the taxpayer with the need for essential services.  Our recent police merger in Mt. Kisco is a good working model of how the county can do more to save money for taxpayers.”

 

Legislator Ken Jenkins (D-Yonkers) warned that this budget proposal could trigger another credit rating downgrade that would cost taxpayers $1.3 billion of capital projects.  “The Astorino administration has done nothing to address the downward spiral for Westchester’s credit rating, costing taxpayers more for essential services like roads and bridges.  County Executive Astorino’s budget proposal is fiscally irresponsible.”

 

Legislator Catherine Parker (D-Rye) said, “Providing support for victims of child abuse and domestic violence should be above economic concerns.  The mentality that nobody in Westchester utilizes these services is a terribly ignorant attitude.  This budget reflects that point of view by slashing these services, negatively impacting so many people.”

 

Legislator MaryJane Shimsky (D-Hastings) explained, “You cannot have a modern economy or society without safe roads and bridges.  Over time, reductions of key personnel in the Department of Public Works have resulted in massive backlogs of capital projects.  This budget proposal compounds those issues as Westchester’s roads and bridges continue to crumble every day.”

 

Legislator Alfreda Williams (D-Greenburgh) stated, “The Astorino administration’s record on child care and other human service issues is abysmal.  By failing to fund proven successful programs, we are inviting bad results and setting up taxpayers to foot the bill in years to come.  The Board of Legislators has put forward reasonable solutions multiple times to fund these programs in a cost-efficient way.”

 

Board of Legislators Chairman Michael Kaplowitz Statement on Proposed 2016 Budget:

 

“Today the Board of Legislators (BOL) received the County Executive’s 2016 Capital and Operating Budget.  I thank County Executive Astorino and his staff for the hard work they’ve put into the budget.

 

”Between now and December 27th, the Board of Legislators will undertake an exhaustive review of the proposed budget.  This review will begin on Monday, November 16th and will be coordinated by Legislator Sheila Marcotte, the BOL Budget and Appropriations Committee Chair.  I am confident that as with previous years, the BOL will adjust, amend and ultimately produce and improved budget at the end of our review.

 

”Based on County Executive Astorino’s budget presentation this morning, it would appear that there will be some difficult decisions to be made regarding funding for our non-profit social service providers who are facing an approximate 20% reduction in funding.  Another issue that the Legislators will have to contemplate is the degree to which we are willing to borrow for tax certioraries (money refunded to taxpayers who challenge their assessment).  The County Executive’s proposed budget plans to borrow $11 million to pay for tax challenges.  That cost in an ideal world should be included in our operational expenses.

 

”The County Executive has for the sixth consecutive year vowed to veto any tax increase in the budget.  At the Legislative branch we share his concern for the taxpayers and will balance that concern against the need of all Westchester residents.  Striking the right balance is what this budget will ultimately achieve.

 

”I encourage all Westchester residents to participate in the budget process.  our budget meetings will be streamed live on the BOL website.  Residents can also come out to three public hearings on the budget to make their voices heard.”

 

Budget and Appropriations Committee Meeting Schedule, Statement from Committee Chairwoman Sheila Marcotte:

 

“I believe that the vetting and approval of the annual Westchester County budget is the most important job we do as Legislators.  Beginning this Monday, November 16th, the Budget and Appropriations Committee will begin a thorough and transparent review process of every line in this $1.8 billion dollar proposed budget.  We will hear from every Department Head and Commissioner as well as our non-profit partners and the public.

 

“Early indications suggest that we will have some very tough decisions to make in order to provide a budget that balances the needs of those residents who rely on the social safety net with taxpayers who already pay the highest taxes in the country.  I encourage residents to avail themselves of our many budget meetings and the three public hearings.  A schedule for those meetings is attached.”

 

All Budget Committee hearings will be streamed live and can be seen at;

 

http://westchestercountyny.iqm2.com/Citizens/default.aspx

 

 

 

Budget and Appropriations Committee meeting schedule for 2016 budget

 

WEEK OF NOVEMBER 9th

 

11/9 Monday               7:00 p.m.        Board of Legislators Meeting

 

                                               

                                                WEEK OF NOVEMBER 16th

 

 

11/16 Monday                        10:00 a.m.       Public Safety

                                                11:00 a.m.       Community Mental Health

                                                11:30 a.m.       Budget Department

                                                                        3rd Quarter Forecast – including Districts &

                                                                                                                Airport

 

                                                            Agenda Items

 

11/17 Tuesday                        10:00 a.m.       Law Department/Risk Management

                                                11:00 a.m.       Public Works

                                                12:00 noon     Transportation/Westchester County Airport

 

                                                                        Agenda Items

 

11/18 Wednesday                  10:00 a.m.       Finance Department, Debt Service,

Fringe Benefits, Miscellaneous Budget,

6N & 6J

                                                                11:00 a.m.       County Clerk

                                                12:00 noon     Board of Elections

 

                                                                        Agenda Items

 

11/19 Thursday                     9:00 a.m.         Youth Bureau

10:00 a.m.       Parks

11:00 a.m.       Emergency Services

                                               

Agenda Items

 

 

11/19 Thursday                     7:00 p.m.        Mini Public Hearing –

Yonkers Public School 30

30 Nevada Place

Yonkers, NY  

 

11/20 Friday                           10:00 a.m.       Solid Waste Commission

10:30 a.m.       Office for People with Disabilities

11:00 a.m.       Social Services

                                               

                                                                        Agenda Items

 

WEEK OF NOVEMBER 23rd

 

 

11/23 Monday                        10:00 a.m.       Consumer Protection

10:30 a.m.       Information Technology

11:30 a.m.       Human Resources

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Agenda Items

 

  7:00 p.m.      Board of Legislators Meeting

 

11/24Tuesday             10:00 a.m.       District Attorney

10:30 a.m.       Labs & Research

                                                11:00 a.m.       Correction

                       

Agenda Items

 

 

7:00 p.m.        Mini Public Hearing –

Horace Greeley High School

70 Roaring Brook Road

Chappaqua, NY

 

WEEK OF NOVEMBER 30th

 

11/30 Monday                        10:00 a.m.       Capital Projects

                                                11:00 a.m.       Senior Programs & Services

                                                11:30 a.m.       DEF

 

Agenda Items

 

12/01 Tuesday                        10:00 a.m.       Capital Projects

11:00 a.m.       Office for Women

11:30 a.m.       Probation

 

Agenda Items

 

12/02   Wednesday                10:00 a.m.       Planning

                                    11:00 a.m.       CBAC

11:30 a.m.       Health

 

Agenda Items

 

 

WEEK OF DECEMBER 7th

 

12/07 Monday                        10:00 a.m.       Board of Legislators Meeting

                                                11:00 a.m.       O’Connor Davies Oral Report

2016 Budget

12:30 p.m.      Additions Report Day to the 2016

                                                                        Operating, Capital Budget & Special

                                                                        Districts

                                                Need to sign out B&A Budget Act and County & Special                                           District Taxes

 

12/09 Wednesday                    7:00 p.m.      Public Hearing

                                                                        Board of Legislators Chamber

                                                                        148 Martine Avenue – 8th floor

                                                                        White Plains, NY

 

12/11 Friday                           10:00 a.m.       O’Connor Davies Final Report –

                                                                        2016 Budget   

                                                12:00 noon.    B&A Final Report Day to 2016 Budget

 

 

WEEK OF DECEMBER 14th

 

12/14 Monday                        10:00 a.m.       Special Meeting to approve 2016 Budget

(Capital, Special & Operating Districts)

 

 

WEEK OF DECEMBER 27th

 

12/27 Sunday             The County Budget shall be finally adopted

                                                not later than December 27th (Sec. 167.101

                                                Paragraph 3)

 

 

 

Westchester County Takes Steps to Create Dedicated Veteran’s Treatment Court

 

(WHITE PLAINS, NY) On Monday November 9th, just two days before Veteran’s Day 2015, Legislator Catherine Borgia held a press event at the American Legion Post in Ossining to announce that the County will be pursuing the creation of a Veteran’s Treatment Court.  Borgia was joined by local officials and Veterans.

 

The new Veteran’s Treatment Court would direct veterans with combat experience towards treatment for PTSD and other traumatic brain injuries as opposed to merely the standard corrections process that may push them towards incarceration, without giving them the specific services they really need and to which they are entitled.

 

The City of Buffalo was the first to create a dedicated Veteran’s Treatment Court in 2008 and was followed in 2013 by the Bronx, who also created and Veteran’s mentor program in addition to the court to address the special needs of men and women who served in combat.

 

“Our current culture often speaks of supporting our armed services while they are fighting overseas, but the services available to our veterans often neglect to address the issues many of these Veterans will face when they return home,” explained Legislator Borgia (D-Ossining).  “Creating this entity to show our Veterans there is somewhere to turn for help will greatly improve the channel for recovery for our veterans who are suffering.”

 

Patrizia Hodge, the Veterans Justice Outreach Coodinator at the Montrose VA said, “There are approximately 700,000 veterans in the United States criminal justice system with charges directly related their Mental Health Conditions, Addiction and Trauma.  In Westchester County there are  approximately  30-35 veterans incarcerated at the Westchester County Department of Corrections however that number does not include the veterans who have not self-identified as veterans when incarcerated nor does it include the veterans that still have open criminal cases and are out on bail or ROR’d from court.

 

Having a Veterans Treatment Court here in Westchester County would provide an alternative to incarceration and the veterans would be given the opportunity to receive treatment for Substance/Alcohol Abuse, PTSD, TBI and other Mental Health Conditions that maybe related to their service.   VA Hudson Valley HCS  has both Residential and Outpatient  Programs where these veteran can get the specialized treatment they need.

 

As of today, there are over 200 Veterans Treatment Courts across the United States including Veteran Treatment Courts in NYC, Nassau County, Suffolk County and Veterans Tracks in Orange County, Rockland County , and Sullivan County.  We need to give the Veterans of Westchester County the opportunity to put their lives back together so they can have a chance to break free of the vicious cycle of untreated addiction, untreated mental health conditions and incarceration”.

 

The Board of Legislators will vote on a resolution, sponsored by Legislator Borgia, in support of creating the Veteran’s Treatment Court.  The final decision for creating the Veteran’s treatment court will be made in conjunction with Judge Alan Sheinkman, the Administrative Justice for the Ninth Judicial District.

***Media Advisory for Thursday, November 12***

Legislator Jenkins Will Convene Public Hearing on Safety Conditions at County Correctional Facility

WHO:             Legislator Ken Jenkins, Chair, Federal and State Affairs Committee

                        Jared Rice, Attorney for Rashad McNulty

WHAT:          Resulting from the New York State Commission on Correction’s annual report, the Federal and State Affairs Committee will hold a public hearing on the condition of the County Correctional Facility.

WHEN:          Thursday, November 12 at 7:00 PM

WHERE:       Westchester County Board of Legislators Chamber

148 Martine Avenue, 8th Floor

White Plains

Correction annualreport_2014

 

CorcoranBio

 

CunzioBio

RepubsElexReax

Republican Legislative Caucus Grows as Result of Elections.

 

Republicans on the Westchester County Board of Legislators expanded their caucus by one seat after two key victories on Election Day.  The Republicans added to their ranks with the election of Francis Corcoran to the open seat in District 2 which was previously held by Democrat, Peter Harckham.  In another race for an open seat in District 3, Republican Margaret Cunzio won to keep that District in Republican hands.

 

The Election Day victories give the Republicans 8 seats on the 17 member board, the highest number since 1999.  Republicans have shared power in a bipartisan coalition with two Democrats, BOL Chairman Michael Kaplowitz (D) Somers and Legislator Virginia Perez (D) Yonkers for the last two years.  This arrangement has led to the most successful and productive legislative terms in recent memory.

 

Legislator John Testa (R) Peekskill, who leads the Republican caucus as Minority Leader said, “It is wonderful that voters have chosen to continue the cooperative, bipartisan manner of governance that we have established over the last two years.”

 

Legislator-Elect Margaret Cunzio mounted her first run for public office this year. She is a professor at Iona College and Western Connecticut State University. Ms. Cunzio replaces Legislator Michael Smith, who was recently named President of Berkeley College. The district is comprised of Mount Pleasant, North Castle and Pleasantville.  “I am thrilled to represent the constituents of District 3 and look forward to keeping spending and taxes down while protecting our municipalities from the federal government’s attempts to expand Westchester County’s obligations under the 2009 Affordable Housing Settlement,”  said Cunzio. “I am eager to work with all of my colleagues and County Executive Rob Astorino on the many issues facing Westchester. As a political outsider, I am committed to approaching my work at the Board of Legislators from a citizen’s perspective rather than that of a career politician.”

 

Legislator-Elect Francis Corcoran grew up in Lewisboro and has served for the last 12 years as a Town Councilman in Bedford.  In his professional life, Mr. Corcoran has worked in the financial/capital markets arena for 30 years.  Because the previous District 2 Legislator did not complete his term, in accordance with the Westchester County Charter, Mr. Corcoran will be sworn into office immediately upon his election certification.  This means he will participate in the review and negotiations for the 2016 budget.  “I am thrilled to have been elected to serve the people of District 2 and I am committed to serving them in a collaborative and bipartisan manner.  I look forward to getting to work on the upcoming budget, a task that my professional skill set is perfectly suited for.”  Corcoran added, “I am committed to protecting taxpayers and also homeowners.  As a Councilman in Bedford, I have closely watched as the County Executive and BOL Chairman Kaplowitz have worked to satisfy the terms of the 2009 affordable housing settlement and I intend to look out for not just the municipalities in my district but all the towns and villages in Westchester County which are imperilled by the federal government’s infringement on our local zoning rights.”

 

Legislator-Elect Cunzio and Corcoran’s photos and bios are attached.

Voters Affirm Bipartisan Approach for Westchester County Board of Legislators.

 

 

Westchester County Voters returned to office the Legislators who comprise the bipartisan coalition that has led the BOL for the last two years.  With the election of Francis Corcoran (R) Bedford, the bipartisan coalition has even expanded by one legislative seat.

 

Chairman Mike Kaplowitz (D) Somers and Vice-Chair Jim Maisano (R) New Rochelle have established an atmosphere of cooperation and compromise that has allowed the BOL to have one of its most productive and successful terms in memory.  Among the BOL’s many accomplishments during this term are $200 million dollars in infrastructure bond acts passed, a public-private partnership to operate Playland, reforms to the budget process, an end to practice of litigating against the County Executive, the establishment of an energy department, facilitating compliance with the County’s obligations under the fair and affordable housing settlement and many more.

 

Following the election, Chairman Kaplowitz said, “I am happy that voters all across Westchester rejected partisan bickering and personal attacks in favor of a more respectful, fair and results oriented type of governance.  Westchester County Government has an opportunity to distinguish itself from the pettiness and dysfunction we see in Washington DC.  We can help restore public faith in government starting right here at the Board of Legislators. If I continue as Chairman I will make sure that this legislative body continues to operate in an efficient, professional and respectful manner.”

 

Vice-Chairman Jim Maisano who began serving on the BOL in 1998, the same year as Chairman Kaplowitz echoed Kaplowitz’ sentiments, “My vision for the BOL is that we stand as an example for other governments.  We can tackle the tough issues and we can have fierce debates but I reject those who think that personal attacks and animosity are a necessary part of this process.”

 

 

WESTCHESTER COUNTY BOARD OF LEGISLATORS
NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release: December 31, 2008

What’s Happening at the County Board : Week of January 5, 2009

Board & Committee Meeting Preview: Items for Discussion

(Please note: Full agenda for Board and Committee meetings, as well as complete text of proposed legislation, can be found online at www.westchesterlegislators.com, under the calendar tab. For additional information on a committee discussion item, please contact the coordinator of the specific committee.)

*Regular Meeting of the County Board of Legislators—Monday, January 5, 2009 at 7:00 PM

Monday, January 5, 2009

1:30 PM

Legislation—Hon. William Burton, Chair;

· Discussion of the 2009 Joint State Legislative Package

——————————————————————–

3:30 PM

Environment & Energy—Hon. Tom Abinanti, Chair;

· Organizational Meeting

——————————————————————–

7:00 PM

Regular Meeting of the County Board of Legislators

See full agenda and agenda documents online at www.westchesterlegislators.com (click on the blue box on the right)

NB – The following committee(s) will not meet next week:

Community Services, Public Safety & Security, Budget & Appropriations, Government Operations, Generational, Cultural & Ethnic Diversity