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When Elizabeth Warren ran for Senate against Scott Brown, she introduced a pledge that kept Super PACs out of their race.

The idea was pretty simple: the candidates should run against each other on the issues, and outside groups shouldn’t spend money in the race. If outside groups did spend money, the candidate who benefited would donate 50% of the cost to charity.

I’m with Senator Warren. I would much prefer to not have Super PACs in my race. I’ve asked my opponent, John Faso, to join me in a pledge to keep out Super PACs. Will you add your name to say you agree?

Add your name to mine and say you don’t want Super PACs in my election. Together we can show that democracy doesn’t need Super PACs.

ADD YOUR NAME »

Citizens United gave birth to Super PACs, and since then, these shady groups can spend unlimited amounts of money in elections. Millionaires and billionaires can buy elections with Super PACs.

I want John Faso to join me in calling for Super PACs to stay out of our race. I asked him once before, and he said no. But I hope that if you add your name to say you agree, we might have a better shot at changing his mind.

I want to be clear about something: I think Super PACs are a blight on our democracy. But I also don’t want to unilaterally disarm. If my opponent doesn’t agree to the pledge, I’m not going to ask Super PACs to stay out. If John Faso is going to allow Super PACs in his race, then we need to be prepared to fight back.

Some people may not like that. That’s OK. I think it’s most important for me to win election to Congress so I can fight to overturn Citizens United, work to have publicly funded elections, and keep billionaires from buying our democracy. If John Faso wins because he allowed Super PACs and I didn’t, then everybody loses.

We should agree to keep Super PACs out of our race, and the pledge I’m asking my opponent to sign will do that. If Elizabeth Warren can do it, we can do it too.

Say you don’t want Super PACs in our election and show that you want to work to keep billionaires out of our democracy.

Thank you for your pledge.

Best,

Zephyr Teachout

 

Contribute

THIS WEEK IN THE NEWS

July 18  to July 22, 2016

TOP HEADLINES

 

Holding Volkswagen Accountable For High-Level Fraud and Deceit

Attorney General Schneiderman, joined by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, announced lawsuits against Volkswagen alleging that they intentionally sold polluting cars and SUVs, advertised as green and energy efficient vehicles, and attempting to cover up the large-scale fraudulent behavior. As a result of the ongoing investigations into Volkswagen and its affiliates, the suit alleges that the cars were knowingly equipped with illegal “defeat devices” to conceal higher amounts of harmful emissions, violating state environmental laws. Read the New York Times story here.

AG Mass

 

Watch the press conference here.

Combating Vacant and Abandoned Properties with a $13 Million Grant Initiative

To address the growing statewide problem of “zombie” homes, the Attorney General announced a $13 million grant initiative to combat the foreclosure crisis. The Zombie Remediation and Prevention Initiative will help local communities stop the spread of vacant and abandoned homes that banks have left decrepit, and allow local governments to track and rehabilitate these properties. Read the Syracuse Post-Standard story here.

Ensuring Equal Education Opportunities for Immigrant Families 

As a result of a lawsuit and settlement with the Attorney General’s office, Utica City School District will ensure equal educational opportunities for immigrant and refugee students. Attorney General Schneiderman alleged that the District denied enrollment to such students and their families in local public high schools. The 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. Read the New York Times story here.

Enforcing Tax Laws For Art Dealers And Galleries  

Following an investigation into sales tax fraud, the Attorney General reached a settlement with international art dealer Gagosian Gallery. A leading New York contemporary art dealer, Gagosian Gallery will pay $4.28 million and follow agreed upon code of conduct including more transparent transaction details, charge of sales tax for buyers and sellers, and clearer shipping parameters. Read the New York Times story here.

July 22, 2016

The New York Times

NYTimes.com »

Breaking News Alert

July 22, 2016

BREAKING NEWS
A shooting at a mall in Munich has left several dead, German news reports say. The police suggested a gunman might be at large.

Friday, July 22, 2016 2:06 PM EDT

The shooting started in a fast-food restaurant at 5:52 p.m., according to initial police accounts. The police ordered people to stay away from the shopping mall, the Olympia-Einkaufszentrum. They shut down traffic and issued an extraordinary appeal for people to avoid public places, including the subway system, suggesting that the gunman might still be at large.

July 22, 2016

The New York Times

NYTimes.com »

Breaking News Alert

July 22, 2016

BREAKING NEWS
Hillary Clinton chose Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia as a running mate, according to a senior campaign official

Friday, July 22, 2016 8:10 PM EDT

Hillary Clinton named Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia to be her running mate Friday, according to a senior campaign official, selecting a battleground state politician with working-class roots and a fluency in Spanish, traits that she believes can bolster her chances to defeat Donald J. Trump in November.

July 24, 2016

The New York Times

NYTimes.com »

Breaking News Alert

July 24, 2016

BREAKING NEWS
Russia will not be completely banned from the Rio Olympics. But officials did rule that athletes must appeal to gain eligibility.

Sunday, July 24, 2016 10:18 AM EDT

Olympics officials have determined that all Russian Olympic athletes should be considered tainted by the country’s state-run doping scheme, announcing on Sunday that they must appeal to individual sports federations to gain eligibility for the coming Rio Games.

July 24, 2016

The New York Times

NYTimes.com »

Breaking News Alert

July 24, 2016

BREAKING NEWS
Debbie Wasserman Schultz said she will resign as chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee after the convention

Sunday, July 24, 2016 4:18 PM EDT

Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the Democratic National Committee chairwoman, said on Sunday that she would step down from the role at the conclusion of party’s convention this week after a hack into the party’s internal emails revealed she and top aides had actively attempted to undermine Senator Bernie Sanders’s presidential bid.

July 25, 2016

The New York Times

NYTimes.com »

Breaking News Alert

July 25, 2016

BREAKING NEWS
Two people have been reported killed and at least 17 others injured in a shooting at a nightclub in Fort Myers, Fla.

Monday, July 25, 2016 5:30 AM EDT

Two people were killed and at least 17 others wounded in a shooting early Monday morning at a nightclub in Fort Myers, in southwestern Florida, according to the city’s Police Department and to local news reports. WINK, the CBS station in the area, quoted Lt. Jim Mulligan of the Lee County Sheriff’s Office as saying that two people had been killed, and 17 had been wounded, but the Police Department confirmed only that the shooting had taken place. Police officers were called to Club Blu, a nightclub on Evans Avenue, 2.7 miles south of City Hall, around 12:30 a.m. Monday. They came upon “several victims suffering from gunshot wounds” in the parking lot of the nightclub, WINK quoted a police statement as saying.

July 25, 2016

The New York Times

NYTimes.com »

Breaking News Alert

July 25, 2016

BREAKING NEWS
Verizon is buying Yahoo’s core internet business in a $4.8 billion deal, ending a 22-year run for one of the web’s pioneers

Monday, July 25, 2016 7:24 AM EDT

The deal, which was reached over the weekend, unites two titans of the early internet, AOL and Yahoo, which were surpassed by Google and Facebook long ago and struggled to compete on their own. Verizon bought AOL for $4.4 billion last year and intends to pair it with Yahoo’s content and advertising services to create a stronger No. 3 challenger.

At least nine people were killed when gunfire erupted at a shopping center in Munich, Germany, in what police officials said “looks like a terror attack.”

Munich police said they were trying to verify whether one of the bodies could be one of the shooters.

Police said no one was in custody, and the city was under a virtual lockdown, with residents being urged to stay home, restaurants and other business closing and public transit shutting down.

The shooting broke out at a McDonald’s across from the Olympia shopping mall at about 5:50 p.m. local time, police spokeswoman Claudia Küntzel said. Shots also were fired inside the mall, witnesses said.

On Facebook, police said gunfire was reported in several locations and that witnesses said they saw three people with firearms.

A witness identified as Lauretta told CNN her son was in a bathroom with a shooter at the McDonald’s. “That’s where he loaded his weapon,” she said. “I hear like an alarm and boom, boom, boom… And he’s still killing the children. The children were sitting to eat. They can’t run.”

The FBI has confirmed they are investigating a hack into the Democratic National Committee, the first acknowledgment from the agency that they are probing the incident.

Fallout over the emails led DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz to announce her resignation Sunday.

“The FBI is investigating a cyber intrusion involving the DNC and are working to determine the nature and scope of the matter,” the agency said in a statement.

“A compromise of this nature is something we take very seriously, and the FBI will continue to investigate and hold accountable those who pose a threat in cyberspace.”

Read more »
Read more »
Ms. Wasserman Schultz, a Florida congresswoman, was meeting with advisers behind closed doors at a hotel here, a day before the party’s convention was set to begin and had faced growing calls for her resignation over the weekend. “I know that electing Hillary Clinton as our next president is critical for America’s future,” Ms. Wasserman Schultz said in a statement. “I look forward to serving as a surrogate for her campaign in Florida and across the country to ensure her victory.” Read more »
The International Olympic Committee said in a statement that “all Russian athletes seeking entry to the Olympic Games Rio 2016 are considered to be affected by a system subverting and manipulating the anti-doping system.” The officials stopped short of completely barring the entire Russian delegation. Read more »
Mrs. Clinton’s choice came after her advisers spent months poring over potential vice-presidential candidates who could lift the Democratic ticket in an unpredictable race against Mr. Trump. Read more »
“The situation is still completely confusing,” Thomas Baumann, a deputy spokesman of the Munich police, told Deutsche Presse-Agentur, the German press agency. “It is not clear whether is one or many shooters.” Read more »
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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:
Melania’s ‘plagiarize’ speechwriter is a registered Democrat…
Paladino on Ted Cruz: “a man destroying himself”…
SCHNEIDERMAN: Trump has given “explicit endorsement to anti-Semitic imagery”…
Syracuse mayor picks up Dem convention tab for rival Sanders delegates…
Fmr. Cuomo staffer Howard Glaser got generous balloon mortgage…
Port Authority chairman demands N.Y. Gov. Cuomo OK agency CEO…
Bomb scare closes Columbus Circle in midtown Manhattan…
NYC COUNCIL SPEAKER BLASTS DE BLASIO FOR BLOCKING NURSING HOME PROBE…

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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…

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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!
  

 

 
 

 

Like us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterView our profile on LinkedIn
Donate
Want to volunteer but don’t have time? Please take a moment to donate to our organization. Any amount is helpful and greatly appreciated!
Quick Links
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
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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.
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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
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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
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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

Every summer the county parks department hosts a series of cultural festivals.  Taste delicious ethnic foods, enjoy the music, visit the booths.  Walk up to the top of the Kensico Dam and marvel at the spectacular views of the reservoir and county.  The festivals began earlier this summer. If you missed some of them there is still an opportunity to enjoy four of the remaining festivals (the Irish festival is held at Ridge Road park in Hartsdale). 

PAUL FEINER

Cultural Heritage Festivals: Italian
Kensico Dam Plaza, Valhalla
Experience a variety of cultures from around the world this summer without leaving Westchester County during the annual Cultural Heritage Celebrations held in county parks. Festivals will be held rain or shine. Seating is informal; bring blankets or folding chairs for seating on the lawn. All festivals are sponsored by Westchester County Parks.
Sunday, July 24 from 12noon – 7pm: Italian – Kensico Dam Plaza, Valhalla
Sunday, July 31 from 1pm – 5:30pm: Irish-American – Ridge Road Park, Hartsdale
Sunday, Aug. 7 from 11:30am – 6:30pm: Heritage of India – Kensico Dam Plaza, Valhalla
Sunday, Aug. 21 from 12noon – 6pm: Jewish – Kensico Dam Plaza, Valhalla

Oops—we found some errors in the phase in reassessment application that I posted on Friday night. The errors will be corrected early next week and a new application will be posted on line. Appreciate our proof reading residents!  Residents whose tax assessments increase by more than 25% are eligible to file for a 2 year phase in.

A GREAT SUGGESTION FROM A CYCLIST WHO USES SOUTH COUNTY TRAIL

WHEN SOUTH COUNTY TRAIL MISSING LINK IS BUILT THERE SHOULD BE A PEDESTRIAN BRIDGE OVER 119

I received many calls, e mails from delighted residents who love bicycling or walking on the South County trail. They are thrilled that the missing link will be built  next year. Received a terrific suggestion from a resident who suggests a pedestrian bridge over 119. There have been bicycle related fatalities on Route 119 .   Merrill Cassell, a Hartsdale resident, community leader and activist lost his life on another section of 119 after being hit by a bus (see blog). http://cycling.lohudblogs.com/?p=3689

You sent out an e-mail that the South County Bike Trail will soon be connected with the North County Bike Trail. The South County Bike Trail now ends at route 119 in Elmsford and the North County Bike Trail does not start until it is behind Sam’s Club in Elmsford. Soon the bike trail way will be connected so it will go from Van Courtland Park in the Bronx to Brewster, NY. Crossing over route 119 in Elmsford will be dangerous since it is a congested road with two lanes of traffic in each direction. It would be much safer for a bike and pedestrian bridge over route 119 to connect the South County and North County bike trail ways. It would be a lot safer. I hope you can get funding for a bridge over route 119.

——– Original message ——–
From: Paul Feiner <gblist@cit-e.net>
Date: 7/16/16 8:30 AM (GMT-05:00)
Subject: UPDATE MISSING LINK SOUTH COUNTY TRAIL —
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. 

This week, from Tuesday July 26 through Friday July 29, the following closures are planned for the Ashford Avenue Bridge Project:

  • Saw Mill River ParkwayTuesday July 26 through Friday July 29
  • Northbound Right Lane–  9:00 AM – 2:00 PM – Pier 1 Demolition
  • Southbound Right Lane – 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM – West Abutment Excavation
  • New York State Thruway (I-87)None
  • Ashford Avenue

o   1 lane in each direction at all times until the summer of 2018.

 

Full details on the Ashford Avenue Bridge project are available at www.westchestergov.com/ashfordavenuebridge.

Earlier this week the Greenburgh Town Board voted to authorize a two year phase in of tax increases for property owners who will experience an assessment increase that is greater than 25%. The phase in was authorized by the New York State Legislature (thanks to Senator Andrea Stewart Cousins and Assemblyman Tom Abinanti) and was signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo.   The application and instructions appear below. Please note that property owners who wish to file must submit the application to the Assessor no later than September 15, 2016.

PAUL FEINER

Residential Reassessment Exemption Application

This application is being submitted to determine if property owner is entitled to the assessment exemption described in the amended New York State Tax Law section 485-S. Deadline to file: Sept 15, 2016

Owner’s Name: ______________________________________________ Parcel ID: _______________________

Assessor’s Office

177 Hillside Ave.

Greenburgh, NY 10607

(914) 989-1520

Any additional owners, please list below (#4).

Property Location: ______________________________________________ Zip Code: _____________________

Please check the box that best answers the question:

1. Is the difference between the equalized 2015 Assessment and the 2016 Assessment greater than 25%? Yes No

a. Percentage changed _______________% (see instruction sheet on back)

2. Is this property a one, two, or three family home? Yes No

3. Is this your primary residence? Yes No

4. Are all owners residing at this location? Yes No

If “no”, please explain: __________________________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________________________________________.

5. Are you currently receiving the STAR exemption or credit? Yes No

If “no”, please explain:__________________________________________________________________________________.

6. Are all property taxes paid as of 5/1/16 (taxable status date)? Yes No If “yes”, please provide signature(s) of Receiver / Treasurer.

Town Receiver (For County, Town, and School): ______________________________________________________________

(Signature)

Village Treasurer (For Irvington or Ardsley properties only):____________________________________________________

(Signature)

7. Have you filed a grievance for the 2016 assessment year? Yes No

8. Has there been improvements to your property since the date of purchase? Yes No If “Yes”, please explain:

___________________________________________________________________________________________.

Acknowledgement: By signing this application you confirm that all provided answers are accurate and complete. By signing and submitting this application you also agree to the following:

a. The property may require an interior inspection.

b. The property must have an original or substitute Certificate of Occupancy. (Please provide documentation).

c. The exemption, if granted, cannot be transferred to new owner.

d. The exemption is not applicable if assessed value increase was due, in part, to physical improvements.

________________________________________________ Date: ___________________Phone #:____________________________

Owner’s Signature Notarized (only one owner is necessary)

State of _____________ County of_______________________. Subscribed and sworn (or affirmed) before me this ________________ day of ______________________, 20_____. By ________________________________________ personally known ______ OR produced identification ______ Type of identification produced ____________________________________ ______________________________________________ My Commission Expires _________________________

Notary Name Here. Notary Public

INSTRUCTIONS FOR FILING THE RESIDENTIAL REASSESSMENT EXEMPTION APPLICATiON

ALL MATERIALS MUST BE FILED BY SEPTEMBER 15TH, 2016

**THE APPLICATION WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED OR APPROVED IF INCOMPLETE**

Please provide the following:

EXAMPLE

2015 Assessed Value 1__9,500_______________

divide line 1 by .0309 2 9,500/.0309 = 307,443 (2015 Equalized Assessed Value)

2016 Equalized Assessed Value 3__455,000_____________

subtract line 3 by line 2 4 455,000-307,443=147,557

divide line 4 by line 3 147,557/455,000=32.43%

A document that shows your home has an original or substitute Certificate of Occupancy.

o (This information can be obtained from your local building department in the form of a C.O., Temp C.O., Pre-date letter, etc.)

 Signature of the Town Receiver of Taxes, on appropriate line of application, to confirm that your County/Town/School taxes are current (as of 5-1-16), and Signature of Village Treasurer (ONLY if property is located in the Village of Ardsley or Irvington), on appropriate line of application, to confirm Village taxes are current (as of 5-1-16).

o Town Tax Receiver Anne Povella (914) 989-1550 177 Hillside Avenue, Greenburgh, NY 10607

o Ardsley Treasurer Marion DeMaio (914) 693-1550 507 Ashford Ave Ardsley, NY 10502

o Irvington Treasurer Brenda M. Jeselnik (914) 591-7070 85 Main St., Irvington, NY 10533

 Your notarized signature

o There will be NO opportunity to get your signature notarized at Town or Village Halls (You can find a notary public in most banks, post offices, law offices, or other various businesses).

 Applications must only be submitted to the following:

Town of Greenburgh

Assessor’s Office

177 Hillside Avenue

Greenburgh, NY 10607

APPLICATIONS MUST BE COMPLETE UPON SUBMISSION TO ASSESSMENT DEPARTMENT.

(including all supporting documentation)

 Approval/Denial letters will be sent no later than December 1, 2016.

 Contact Assessor’s Office with any questions at (914) 989-1520.

For Office Use Only

1, 2, or 3 family STAR Home C.O. Open bldg. permits Taxes current Purchased prior 5/1/16

Assessor’s signature:____________________________________________ Date:____________________ Approved

2015 Eq AV:___________________ 2016 AV:____________________ __________% change Denied

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.

 

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  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

New Rochelle’s finances are in good shape, clean energy gets a boost in the City’s comprehensive plan, the Lincoln Park community garden expands, and a cultural district is proposed for lower Webster Avenue.

Plus, get your wineberries while they are still in season.

There’s more about these and other topics of the month at the links below.

Have a great summer!

Noam

Latest News

Agostino

NY Times Raves About Agostino’s on Pelham Road

July 25, 2016 —

Another glowing review for a New Rochelle restaurant in the New York Times, this time for Agostino’s, which gets an “excellent” rating. Money quote: “They don’t make many Italian restaurants of this quality anymore.” Agostino’s is located at 336 Pelham Road. The storefront is very unassuming; the pasta inside is another story. Read the full … Continue reading NY Times Raves About Agostino’s on Pelham Road

BID Art Image

And On The Topic of Culture . . .

July 22, 2016 —

Tomorrow (Saturday) the New Rochelle Downtown Business Improvement District is hosting an Open Studio Event at 5 Anderson Street, just a short walk from the Farmers Market. There’s more in this flyer.

Cultural District DOZ

New Ro Proposes Cultural District

July 22, 2016 —

The City aims to create a new cultural district along lower Webster Avenue. Proposed as an overlay zone, the cultural district would “promote the creation of housing, workspace, and programming that supports New Rochelle’s arts and cultural community.” Artist work studios, live-work apartments, galleries, maker activities, and retail would all be encouraged through generous zoning … Continue reading New Ro Proposes Cultural District

Jeremy happily displays some of the wineberries we collected over the weekend.

It’s Wineberry Season

July 20, 2016 —

It’s the height of the season for wild wineberries, so Jeremy, Owen, and I embarked on a weekend trek to the Nature Study Woods to collect a generous haul of these tart little treats. Fun to forage (overlooking a few minor thorn pricks.) Even more fun to eat.

Trump Convention

Donald J. Trump, Republican Nominee for President of the United States

July 19, 2016 —

The roll call of states at the convention in Cleveland sounded pretty much the same as always: the usual goofy and good-natured trumpeting of regional pride in favored politicians, notable landmarks, and record-setting agricultural yields. But, of course, it was not the same as always. Not at all. Donald J. Trump is now officially the … Continue reading Donald J. Trump, Republican Nominee for President of the United States

Gun Violence Graphic

33,000 Dead. Every Year.

July 19, 2016 —

A deranged young man opens fire in an elementary school or movie theater. An assassin targets Police officers with a semi-automatic rifle. A terrorist sprays bullets into a nightclub. Shocking and frightening, such dramatic examples of gun violence tend to capture headlines and shape our personal perceptions of security. And with good reason – when … Continue reading 33,000 Dead. Every Year.

Solar Panel Home

Clean Energy Gets Boost in New Ro Zoning Proposal

July 15, 2016 —

In the context of New Rochelle’s updated Comprehensive Plan, the City is proposing new zoning standards that would make it easier for property owners to generate their own solar or wind energy. You can view the entire proposal here. The clean energy provisions are on pages 9 – 11 of Appendix A. It’s all part … Continue reading Clean Energy Gets Boost in New Ro Zoning Proposal

Celebrating Bastille Day with the Sister City Committee.

Bastille Day in New Rochelle

July 14, 2016 —

Recognizing our French founders from La Rochelle, New Rochelle commemorated Bastille Day this morning with a brief ceremony at City Hall. Many thanks to the volunteers of New Rochelle’s Sister City Committee who have worked hard to strengthen our cross-Atlantic cultural ties through student exchanges, official visits, and community celebrations.

Dollars

New Rochelle’s Finances in Good Shape

July 14, 2016 —

New Rochelle’s latest independent financial audit is – without a doubt – the most upbeat we’ve received since the onset of the Great Recession. The City’s revenues last year exceeded projections by about $3.7 million, while our expenditures came in under budget by about $3.6 million. Together these positive variances contributed to a surging fund … Continue reading New Rochelle’s Finances in Good Shape

Obama Dallas

Powerful Words After An Awful Week

July 12, 2016 —

Today in Dallas, the President spoke for me and for many other Americans who had been struggling – unsuccessfully – to find the right words to capture our feelings about last week’s awful events in Texas, Louisiana, and Minnesota. Please watch his speech. There is nothing inconsistent about confronting the persistence of bias in our … Continue reading Powerful Words After An Awful Week

Chamber Restaurant

City-Wide Restaurant Week: July 11 – 15

July 10, 2016 —

The BID has sponsored a downtown restaurant week for several years. Now, thanks to the good work of the New Rochelle Chamber of Commerce, there’s a restaurant week for our whole city. From July 11th through July 15th, bring this ad to a participating restaurant to enjoy great cuisine at a 15% discount.

Fireworks

Celebrate the 4th at the New Ro Waterfront

July 1, 2016 —

Celebrate American Independence at the New Rochelle waterfront with our annual fireworks by Grucci. The show starts at 9:30pm on Monday evening, rain or shine, with great viewing from Hudson and Five Islands Parks. Parking will be limited and nearby streets will be closed to cars just before and after the display, so if you’re … Continue reading Celebrate the 4th at the New Ro Waterfront

Coexist

No Us and Them, Only Us

June 30, 2016 —

Last night, I had the pleasure to celebrating Ramadan at an Iftar (Breaking Fast) event organized by the Islamic Center of New Rochelle, our local mosque. I would have been honored by the invitation to join neighbors and friends for this occasion under any circumstances, but was especially grateful to attend this year, in light … Continue reading No Us and Them, Only Us

Mayor Noam Bramson, Councilman Jared Rice, and Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins with the Lincoln Park Community Garden organizers.

Lincoln Park Community Garden Grows

June 29, 2016 —

Since opening in May 2012, the Lincoln Park Community Garden has been a great success. And this week, the Garden celebrated another milestone – doubling its raised beds from 30 to 60 and creating more gardening opportunities for families, youth organizations, houses of worship, and community groups. Gardeners will also benefit from new water service, … Continue reading Lincoln Park Community Garden Grows

NR Future

Join the Conversation About Downtown Development

June 23, 2016 —

Last December, New Rochelle adopted the most ambitious downtown development plan in our history, attracting unprecedented interest and enthusiasm from investors and builders. But even though the development framework is now set, we still need public engagement to implement our vision successfully over the next decade. Please join the conversation! To get involved, visit the … Continue reading Join the Conversation About Downtown Development

Yoga

Yoga on the Green

June 22, 2016 —

This Saturday, June 25th, join Westchester Yoga Arts and the New Rochelle Downtown Business Improvement District for an afternoon of yoga at Ruby Dee Park on Library Green. Here are all the details. Proceeds from the event will help establish a yoga program at the Boys and Girls Club.

. . . and during the last week of school, June 2016.

First Week – Last Week

June 21, 2016 —

Another school year comes to an end. Time flies! (Although the kids looks pretty much the same.)

It’s easier than ever to volunteer in New Rochelle, the MTA’s capital plan is a big deal for our region, the City targets graffiti, and a local bike share program is coming soon.

There’s more about these and other topics, including my commentary on the national political scene, at the links below.

And I can’t believe Owen beat me by two seconds!

Enjoy the summer,

Noam

Latest News

VolunteerNY Logo

Volunteer in New Ro

June 17, 2016 —

New Rochelle is partnering with Volunteer New York to make it easier than ever for residents to donate energy and talent to worthwhile local needs and organizations. In addition to launching this New Rochelle-specific web portal with lots of opportunities to get involved, Volunteer New York is also working with local not-for-profits so they can … Continue reading Volunteer in New Ro →

Politico Nuclear

Fascinating (and Chilling)

June 16, 2016 —

Last week, Politico ran a fascinating – and chilling – article about America’s nuclear weapons apparatus. While ostensibly an examination of Donald Trump’s fitness for office, the article succeeds most as an examination of the complex command and control structure through which any American President could order a nuclear strike. I learned a lot, including … Continue reading Fascinating (and Chilling) →

History Hop

History Hop: Explore New Ro’s Heritage

June 14, 2016 —

New Rochelle’s amazing history is now even easier and more fun to explore, thanks to City Historian Barbara Davis and the Downtown Business Improvement District, which teamed up to create the History Hop. The History Hop is a self-guided tour of 33 downtown locations, each marked with a blue 12″ x 9″ sign that includes … Continue reading History Hop: Explore New Ro’s Heritage →

Noam Bramson with Danny Santos, Owen Bramson, and Kristof Spellen.  Owen beat me by two seconds!

Owen Beat Me By 2 Seconds

June 12, 2016 —

Had lots of (exhausting) fun at the annual North Avenue Mile this morning. My time was about 6:56 – pretty good for me, but obviously way behind the competitive runners. Many thanks to New Ro Runners for once again organizing the race. And an impressive showing by several New Rochelle cops, who ran in their … Continue reading Owen Beat Me By 2 Seconds →

NRPL

Take the Library Survey

June 9, 2016 —

As the New Rochelle Public Library considers whether and how to participate in the City’s ongoing downtown development efforts, residents are invited to take a survey regarding the Library’s facilities, services, and role in the community. To register your opinions, log on to the Library website and then click on the survey hyperlink on the … Continue reading Take the Library Survey →

Feeney Park

Feeney Park Gets a New Playground

June 8, 2016 —

Big thanks to the 200(!) volunteers who pitched in to build a brand new playground at Feeney Park last week. The smiles on the kids’ faces say it all.

History

History

June 8, 2016 —

Congratulations, Hillary. Great moment for America – with, hopefully, an even better moment to come in November. And here’s an especially good piece from Ezra Klein on Hillary’s underrated political talent and the special challenges facing women in politics. She earned her win in every way, and I am very proud to support her.

Gallin Yankees

Yankees Honor Jake Gallin in New Ro Visit

June 7, 2016 —

New Rochelle City Hall was buzzing with a little more excitement than usual yesterday morning, as several New York Yankees paid a visit. On hand were Nathan Eovaldi, Brett Gardner, Nick Goody, Chase Headley, Brian McCann, and Mark Teixeira – plus their former teammate (and more familiar New Rochelle presence) Mariano Rivera. But the real … Continue reading Yankees Honor Jake Gallin in New Ro Visit →

Graffiti

City Targets Graffiti

June 6, 2016 —

Say goodbye to graffiti in New Rochelle. Under a new Graffiti Removal Program launched about a week ago, graffiti on public property will be removed within 48 hours of being reported. For private properties, an abatement notice will be issued to owners within 2 business days of the City being notified; property owners will then … Continue reading City Targets Graffiti →

Hillary Cspan

Hillary’s Powerful Speech

June 3, 2016 —

Hillary Clinton’s speech yesterday in San Diego was powerful, passionate, and absolutely spot-on. The most important remarks of the campaign so far, and by a wide margin. Required viewing for anyone who cares about the future of our country. Please watch.

Train Station

MTA Capital Plan is Big News for New Rochelle and Westchester

June 1, 2016 —

Try not to fall asleep while reading the next sentence. The State’s Capital Plan Review Board has given the go-ahead to the MTA to proceed with a package of large regional transit improvements. Yes. I know that sounds like bureaucratic gobbledygook – but, in fact, the right response to the news is not to snore; … Continue reading MTA Capital Plan is Big News for New Rochelle and Westchester →

Grand Market 2016

New Ro Farmers Markets Return This Week

May 31, 2016 —

New Rochelle’s two farmers markets return this week. The terrific downtown market kicks off this Saturday, June 4th and will be open for business every Saturday from 9am to 2pm through October 29th. So come over to Ruby Dee Park at Library Green to enjoy fresh and cured meats, cheeses, poultry, and straight-from-the-farm produce. In … Continue reading New Ro Farmers Markets Return This Week →

Kaboom

Come Build a Playground

May 25, 2016 —

On Friday, June 3rd, you can help build a new playground (or just watch it take shape.) That’s when the City of New Rochelle and the Boys and Girls Club team up to create a terrific new play area at Feeney Park. This flyer contains much more information. To pitch in, please sign-up online or … Continue reading Come Build a Playground →

Trump TPM

Dear GOP

May 23, 2016 —

The speed and ease with which the Republican Party has fallen in lock-step behind Donald Trump is remarkable . . . and scary. My latest piece on the Huffington Post minces no words in calling the GOP’s new enthusiasm for Trump exactly what it is: profoundly unpatriotic. Click here to read it or copy this … Continue reading Dear GOP →

Announcing our new bike share program this morning (but not exactly dressed for a demonstration!)

Bike Share Coming to New Rochelle

May 20, 2016 —

It’s a beautiful Sunday afternoon. You’re having coffee at Starbucks in Wykagyl and are suddenly inspired to take a bike ride down to the waterfront. Or maybe you’re an Iona student in a hurry to catch a train to Manhattan, but you don’t own a car. Or maybe you live on Pelham Road and would … Continue reading Bike Share Coming to New Rochelle →

New Rochelle gets a terrific write-up in the New York Times (share it with your friends, please,) we roll out the welcome mat for business with a lightning-fast review and approval process, Heritage Homes celebrates another milestone, and our city’s schools and library score decisive wins.

There’s more about these topics and other civic news of the month at the links below.

Best,

Noam

Latest News

NYT Real Estate

The New York Times Profiles New Rochelle

May 18, 2016 —

This week’s Real Estate section of the New York Times features a terrific “Living In” profile of New Rochelle. You can read the article online today, and it will be in the hard copy edition of the paper this weekend. Check it out, and please share.

School District

Decisive Wins for Schools and Libraries

May 18, 2016 —

Rachel Relkin and Todd Kern prevailed decisively in yesterday’s School Board election. Meanwhile, the School budget and bond (and Library budget) were approved overwhelmingly, with more than 70% of the vote. Here are the results. For reasons described more fully in my endorsement post last week, I believe these are excellent outcomes for New Rochelle. … Continue reading Decisive Wins for Schools and Libraries →

Arts Encounters

Live Musical Performances Coming to New Rochelle Train Station

May 17, 2016 —

Live musical performances are coming to the New Rochelle Train Station next month. Spearheaded by the New Rochelle Council on the Arts and sponsored by Nissan of New Rochelle, these “Arts Encounters” will take place every Thursday afternoon during rush hour, from June through August. What a great way to return home after a day … Continue reading Live Musical Performances Coming to New Rochelle Train Station →

Applicant Process

New Ro Rolls Out the Welcome Mat for Investment

May 16, 2016 —

When the City adopted a new downtown development plan last December, our goal was, in part, to create a clear, predictable, and efficient road map for investing successfully in New Rochelle. The plan, which includes a new zoning code and a completed environmental review, has already received rave reviews from the business community. Now we’re … Continue reading New Ro Rolls Out the Welcome Mat for Investment →

Todd Kern

Relkin and Kern for School Board: Vote on May 17th

May 12, 2016 —

New Rochelle’s School and Library elections are next Tuesday, May 17th. Here are my recommendations. (If you agree with my comments, please share them with others by email or social media.) Rachel Relkin & Todd Kern for School Board Now completing her first term on the School Board and running for reelection, Rachel Relkin has … Continue reading Relkin and Kern for School Board: Vote on May 17th →

LWRP

New Rochelle Comp Plan and LWRP Near Completion

May 11, 2016 —

After several years of work, the City has just about completed two major land use plans: our Comprehensive Plan and our Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan. The Council reviewed drafts of the two plans last night and invited public comments by setting public hearings for Tuesday, June 14th. As the name implies, the Comprehensive Plan is … Continue reading New Rochelle Comp Plan and LWRP Near Completion →

Trinity Padilla

New Ro Star in Paid Family Leave Video

May 10, 2016 —

Governor Cuomo and other State leaders deserve great credit for adopting the nation’s most progressive Paid Family Leave policy earlier this year. And I was especially happy to see New Rochelle resident Trinity Padilla take a star turn in this video celebrating the new law. She’s on at 0:19, right after Vice President Biden. Paid … Continue reading New Ro Star in Paid Family Leave Video →

Arepas Mania

Gotta Try This

May 9, 2016 —

It’s just down the street from City Hall, so I am a little embarrassed to have not yet tried Arepa Mania. But I figured I would still share this review from the New York Times. If you’re keeping track, that’s the second restaurant along this little stretch of North Avenue that the Times has reviewed … Continue reading Gotta Try This →

MBK Birthday

Happy First Birthday, MBK New Ro

May 6, 2016 —

Just a year old, New Rochelle’s My Brother’s Keeper (MBK) initiative has already spearheaded valuable programming in our community on priorities from early childhood literacy to job training and readiness. On Wednesday, May 11th, MBK New Ro will hold a birthday party to celebrate a successful first year and to build support for the next … Continue reading Happy First Birthday, MBK New Ro →

Campership

Support the New Rochelle Campership Fund

May 4, 2016 —

I am honored to serve on the Board of Directors of the New Rochelle Campership Fund, which helps underprivileged children in our community have a positive summer camp experience. Contributing to the Campership Fund is a great way to have a meaningful impact on a child’s life. And now it’s easier than ever to support … Continue reading Support the New Rochelle Campership Fund →

WSJ Article 2

New Ro in the Journal (Again!)

May 3, 2016 —

New Rochelle seems to have really attracted the interest of the Wall Street Journal. (Not that I am complaining!) In case you missed it, the Journal ran another article about downtown development this past week. The piece looks at planning trends in several suburban communities, with New Rochelle highlighted as an important example of a … Continue reading New Ro in the Journal (Again!) →

Heritage Homes

Another Milestone for Heritage Homes

May 2, 2016 —

I’m a little behind on my blog posts thanks to a family vacation last week, but didn’t want an important event to pass without comment. Back on April 21st, I was pleased to participate in the ground-breaking for the third phase of Heritage Homes. The big pile of dirt in the foreground of the image … Continue reading Another Milestone for Heritage Homes →

City Hall’s front door is finally open, the Westchester Power website is now live, New Rochelle has banned the box, and two-way traffic is coming back to Huguenot and Main.

New Rochelle’s downtown plan continues to generate great buzz in the Wall Street Journal, on CBS-TV, and at planning conferences.

Here in the mayor’s office, I am pleased once again to offer summer internships to qualified high school graduates and college students.

While on the national stage, I have some strong words for Donald Trump.  Plus, I am not saying that Jeremy’s support was the key to Hillary’s Clinton’s big New York win, but it didn’t hurt.

There’s more about these and other topics at the links below.  And please remember you can receive notices in a more timely way by liking me on Facebook or following me on Twitter.

Happy Passover to those who celebrate, and Happy Spring to everyone!

Warmly,

Noam

Latest News

Main Street used to feature two-way traffic.  Soon, it will again.

It’s Official: Two-Way Traffic Coming Back to Main and Huguenot

April 20, 2016 —

It’s official. Two-way traffic will be returning to Main and Huguenot Streets in downtown New Rochelle. To be clear, the changeover isn’t going to happen overnight. It’s probably about two or three years away, and lots of preparatory work needs to occur first – detailed design, parking adjustments, enforcement protocols, and public information. But the … Continue reading It’s Official: Two-Way Traffic Coming Back to Main and Huguenot →

Jeremy Bramson supports Hillary Clinton on primary day.

Vote Today!

April 19, 2016 —

Along with lots of other enthusiastic supporters, Jeremy and I cheered on Hillary and Bill Clinton as they cast their votes this morning. (One thing that’s clear from these pictures is that Jeremy is a lot more photogenic than his dad.) Jeremy was even interviewed by a local news crew. Please be sure to vote … Continue reading Vote Today! →

Metropolitan Life Tower, Completed 1909, Height 700

Tallest Buildings Tour

April 18, 2016 —

Jeremy and I took advantage of yesterday’s spectacular weather to do something neat: a self-guided walking tour of buildings that have – at some point in their histories – been the tallest in New York City. Most of these structures still look pretty big even to the modern eye, but it is hard to imagine … Continue reading Tallest Buildings Tour →

Senior 1

Honoring Senior Volunteers

April 13, 2016 —

I had a great time earlier this afternoon at the Hugh Doyle Senior Center, where I joined several not-for-profit leaders in honoring some of New Rochelle’s outstanding senior volunteers. Big thanks to all who devote time and energy to help neighbors and improve our community as a whole.

Alpha Centauri, Only 4.37 Light Years Away

600,000 Miles in 2 Minutes

April 13, 2016 —

A group of billionaires and scientists is reportedly planning an interstellar mission to Alpha Centauri involving a fleet of iPhone-sized ships that would be accelerated to a fifth of the speed of light by ground-based lasers. They would travel 600,000 miles in the first two minutes of their journey and reach Alpha Centauri in about … Continue reading 600,000 Miles in 2 Minutes →

Ban the Box

Ban the Box

April 12, 2016 —

Justice requires sure, proportional punishment for crime. But justice also requires second chances for those who have paid their debt to society and have the capacity to be productive, positive citizens. That’s why New Rochelle is joining lots of other municipalities and businesses to “Ban-the-Box.” This initiative removes questions about past convictions from employment applications, … Continue reading Ban the Box →

Salon

Fun Weekend Reading

April 8, 2016 —

Keeping up with The New Yorker can be like a part-time job, so Catie and I are perpetually behind, with a stack of issues always lying around the house. These two pieces are already more than a week old, but I just got to them, and they are so much fun – and so brilliantly … Continue reading Fun Weekend Reading →

Pace Smart Growth

Smart Growth Discussion at Pace

April 6, 2016 —

Here’s a video of an interesting discussion about smart growth sponsored by the Westchester Business Journal and Pace University. (My comments are at about 30:15, 44:12, and 58:01.) I was part of a panel that also included Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano, former New York State Transportation Commissioner Joan McDonald, and two developers, Art Collins and … Continue reading Smart Growth Discussion at Pace →

Westchester Power

Westchester Power Website Now Live

April 5, 2016 —

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about New Rochelle’s exciting transition to 100% renewable energy. Now, you can learn much more about the program and about your options as a consumer through the Westchester Power website, which has just gone live. I am proud that New Rochelle and other communities in Westchester are taking … Continue reading Westchester Power Website Now Live →

Mayor Noam Bramson opens the front door of New Rochelle City Hall.

Cold Day, Warm Welcome

April 4, 2016 —

The day may be colder than usual, but the welcome to New Rochelle’s City Hall just got a little warmer. This morning, for the first time in many years, we opened our front door on North Avenue to the public. (The main entrance continues to be out back by the main parking lot.) The symbolism … Continue reading Cold Day, Warm Welcome →

Senseless and Tragic

April 4, 2016 —

This past Sunday at 3:24am, a local college student was shot and killed at Lincoln Park. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of the victim, whose grief today must be beyond imagining. The New Rochelle Police have already arrested a suspect, also a young man. Initial reports allege that he and the victim … Continue reading Senseless and Tragic →

Police

More Good Safety Stats for New Rochelle

March 30, 2016 —

The New Rochelle Police Department’s just-released annual report for 2015 shows continued positive news for our city when it comes to public safety. Some highlights: • Among the 107 cities with comparable populations across the nation, New Rochelle ranks as the 13th safest. • New Rochelle has the lowest crime rate among the comparable cities … Continue reading More Good Safety Stats for New Rochelle →

City Hall

Summer Internships in the Mayor’s Office

March 28, 2016 —

I am delighted once again to offer summer internships to qualified college students (or students graduating high school this year and planning to enter college in the fall.) Here is much more information about our internship program. To apply, please send a resume, cover letter, and personal reference letter to Angela Taylor at ataylor@newrochelleny.com.

Charming Trump

Strong Words About Trump

March 26, 2016 —

In contrast to my post earlier this month about David Brooks, which was pretty light-hearted, my comments in today’s Huffington Post about Donald Trump are much more serious. This piece contains uncharacteristically (at least for me) strong language, but I think the unusual nature of this year’s Presidential election requires those of us in leadership … Continue reading Strong Words About Trump →

RFL March 2016

National and Local on Yesterday’s RFL

March 25, 2016 —

I was a panelist on last night’s Richard French Live. Some pretty lively conversations about national politics, plus a nice plug at the end for New Rochelle’s downtown development initiative. (Not my finest presentation, but I’ll happily take any positive publicity for the city.) Here are a few clips:

New Rochelle Cares

“New Rochelle Cares” Supports Aging in Place

March 23, 2016 —

Healthy communities are multi-generational. Just as it is vital to attract younger residents to come to our city, so, too, it is important give older residents a good reason to stay. That’s what “aging in place” is all about – a combination of services, activities, housing options, and infrastructure that make it possible – and … Continue reading “New Rochelle Cares” Supports Aging in Place →

WCBS Downtown

More Great Coverage for New Ro Downtown Plan

March 22, 2016 —

Right on the heels of an excellent profile of New Rochelle in the Wall Street Journal, here’s a segment on WCBS-TV that also highlights the sense of excitement and possibility surrounding our downtown development plan.

Brussels

Brussels

March 22, 2016 —

My cousin lives in Brussels, where she works for an international human rights organization that focuses primarily on ending FGM in Africa. This morning, my family was very relieved to receive an email letting us know that she was in Dakar. A strange and unsettling sign of the times that Senegal should be a safe … Continue reading Brussels →

Downtown Aerial LoHud

Wall Street Journal on New Ro’s Downtown Plan

March 21, 2016 —

There’s a terrific article in today’s Wall Street Journal all about New Rochelle’s downtown development plan. The sub-headline is a good summary: “City makes most of train station’s location, paves the way for new stores, restaurants, and apartments.” It’s encouraging for our downtown strategy to be highlighted in such a positive way by a national … Continue reading Wall Street Journal on New Ro’s Downtown Plan →

It’s been an action-packed month, with lots more news that usual, including an exciting energy initiative (it’s a big deal – really), an opportunity to honor a literary great, some important supplements to our downtown development plan, and a push to invest in local infrastructure.

On the political front, I have some fun with New York Times columnist David Brooks, and you can test your Presidential election trivia knowledge.

Finally, in case you missed it, you can watch or read my 2016 State of the City Address.

There’s more on these and other topics at the links below.

Best,

Noam

Latest News

Renewable Energy

New Ro – This is a Really, Really Big Deal. Really.

March 16, 2016 —

Did I mention that this is a big deal? Everyone knows (well, most people know) that it’s important to phase out supply-limited, climate-changing fossil fuels like oil, coal, and gas . . . and move toward clean, renewable energy like wind, hydro, and solar. The day will come – hopefully – when we can flip … Continue reading New Ro – This is a Really, Really Big Deal. Really. →

Gaels

March Madness: Go Gaels!

March 15, 2016 —

Competing in the NCAA basketball tournament is a big deal for any college team. After all, there are only sixty-four slots, so just getting in is impressive, regardless of how you finish — kind of like qualifying for the Olympics. But New Rochelle’s own Iona College has an even more exciting distinction. Iona is one … Continue reading March Madness: Go Gaels! →

Rendering of 587 Main

New Ro in the Press

March 15, 2016 —

In case you missed them, the Journal News recently ran a couple of articles highlighting aspects of the City’s ongoing development efforts. First, a piece last Friday described the performing arts space that will be located within RDRXR’s first major project at 587 Main Street (the site of the former Loew’s theater.) Then, over the … Continue reading New Ro in the Press →

Left to Right: 8th Grade President Adolfo Mejia, 6th Grade President Mariyam Mubarak, Mayor Noam Bramson, 7th Grade President Alejandra Ceja

Isaac Young Student Officers Visit City Hall

March 14, 2016 —

I had a great time welcoming Isaac Young Middle School’s student leadership to New Rochelle City Hall last week. Impressive group of youngsters! Thanks to Adolfo, Alejandra, and Mariyam for coming by. And thanks also to Marty White, the student government advisor (and Isaac teacher) for organizing this annual visit.

Ed Doctorow by his house on Broadview.

Support the Doctorow Legacy Initiative

March 13, 2016 —

When the great author E.L. Doctorow passed away last summer, it was clear that our community needed to do something special to honor one of the most talented and accomplished individuals ever to reside within New Rochelle. This weekend, organizers representing the New Rochelle Council on the Arts, the Fund for Educational Excellence, and the … Continue reading Support the Doctorow Legacy Initiative →

Montefiore

Monte Gets a Big Boost

March 12, 2016 —

Montefiore Hospital is vital to New Rochelle on multiple levels: provider of essential health care, major employer, potential partner in fostering medical office development, etc. So when Montefiore’s New Rochelle campus receives a $44 million grant from the State, that’s good news for our entire community. The funding will permit Monte to significantly upgrade its … Continue reading Monte Gets a Big Boost →

Pepe's Place

Food Blog: Pepe’s Place

March 11, 2016 —

Donald Trump may disagree, but good things can come in small packages. For an excellent example, look no further than Pepe’s Place, the entirely unassuming, mainly take-out restaurant on North Avenue, about a block up from City Hall. Pepe’s may be modest in appearance, but the food packs a wallop. And this little eatery just … Continue reading Food Blog: Pepe’s Place →

Screen Shot 2016-03-10 at 4.03.02 AM

Someone Save David Brooks!

March 10, 2016 —

I have a little fun with New York Times columnist David Brooks (and also make a few serious points about national politics) in my latest piece on The Huffington Post. Please check it out. The text also follows below. Visit The Huffington Post to Read the Following David Brooks is my favorite Republican columnist. To … Continue reading Someone Save David Brooks! →

GEIS Image

Tying Up Loose Ends in New Ro’s Downtown Plan

March 9, 2016 —

When the City Council approved New Rochelle’s ambitious downtown plan last December, there were a few loose ends that still needed a little more attention. Although small in number, some of them were pretty important. So I was very pleased this week when the City’s Development staff presented to the Council a comprehensive package of … Continue reading Tying Up Loose Ends in New Ro’s Downtown Plan →

Mayor Noam Bramson delivers the 2016 State of the City Address

State of the City Video and Press Coverage

March 7, 2016 —

Here’s a video of my 2016 State of the City address. (I posted the full text last week.) Lots of press coverage, too, from the links below. Daily Voice Fios 1 News 12 Patch Journal News Westchester County Association

Mayor Noam Bramson delivers the 2016 State of the City Address

State of the City 2016: Wheels Up

March 3, 2016 —

I just finished delivering my 2016 State of the City Address to a packed house of community leaders, business people, neighbors, and friends. Here’s the full text of my remarks as a pdf, or you can read it below, minus a few off-the-cuff additions. If you’re in a rush, here’s the speech as a word … Continue reading State of the City 2016: Wheels Up →

Seth Pinsky of RXR at Ruby Dee Park in New Rochelle

RXR’s Suburban Real Estate Play

March 3, 2016 —

The current issue of The Real Deal, which covers real estate news throughout the New York area, features a long article about RXR’s big bets on the suburbs. RXR, in partnership with Renaissance Downtowns, is New Rochelle’s designated master developer, and we continue to work closely with them to achieve our city’s economic development vision. … Continue reading RXR’s Suburban Real Estate Play →

Eric Rubin, New Rochelle's Man in Sofia (Photo Credit: Journal News)

Representing New Ro (Oh Yeah, And I Guess America, Too)

March 1, 2016 —

I can’t say Bulgaria has been high on my list of places to visit, but I might have to revise the ranking now that New Rochelle’s own Eric Rubin is the new American ambassador to Sofia. Here’s a great article about Eric in today’s Journal News, in which he credits his New Rochelle upbringing with … Continue reading Representing New Ro (Oh Yeah, And I Guess America, Too) →

Dollar Tree

Lots of Talent in New Ro

February 29, 2016 —

When the new Dollar Tree was constructed on North Avenue at the Boulevard, City planners weren’t too happy about the big blank wall facing North. What to do? With the New Rochelle Municipal Arts Commission taking the lead and with Dollar Tree footing the bill, the City sponsored a competition, open only to local artists, … Continue reading Lots of Talent in New Ro →

Trump TPM

Explaining Trump

February 27, 2016 —

This is the best thing I have read about the Trump phenomenon. Chickens coming home to roost.

Trinity Visit

Trinity Visit

February 27, 2016 —

I had a great time visiting with the students and teachers at Trinity Elementary School a few days ago. The studio they set up in the classroom, complete with professional cameras and lights, was very impressive. Here’s a little write-up from the School District.

Hillary v Trump

Presidential Trivia Questions

February 25, 2016 —

If Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump win their respective party’s nominations for President, New Yorkers will be treated to the rare spectacle of two of their own competing for the White House. Fans of Presidential trivia: test your knowledge with these two questions . . . First, who was the last New York resident to … Continue reading Presidential Trivia Questions →

Infrastructure Image

Rebuilding New Rochelle

February 24, 2016 —

The text of this memo may be a little dull, but the effect of its recommendations would be pretty exciting: rebuilding New Rochelle’s infrastructure (or at least starting to.) While New Rochelle’s budget and workforce are lean across the board, infrastructure is the City’s most severely and chronically underfunded municipal priority. Our deteriorating physical condition … Continue reading Rebuilding New Rochelle →

Climate Times

Uh-Oh

February 23, 2016 —

By now, it’s not like we really needed another data point to confirm that global climate change is happening and that its consequences could be catastrophic, but if you’re a glutton for bad news, here’s the latest from today’s New York Times (read to the last sentence): “[S]cientists reconstructed the level of the sea over … Continue reading Uh-Oh →

Just a few minutes ago, I finished delivering my 2016 State of the City Address to a packed house of community leaders, business people, neighbors, and friends.  Here’s the full text of my remarks as a pdf, or you can read it below, minus a few off-the-cuff additions.  If you’re in a rush, here’s the speech as a world cloud.

This is probably the most upbeat State of the City I have given since becoming mayor, a reflection of my growing optimism for our community.  Wheels up – New Rochelle is ready fly.

Sincerely,

Noam

 

Remarks of Mayor Noam Bramson

Members of the Council, City Manager Strome and Colleagues in Government – especially Commissioner Howard Rattner, who is retiring after 23 years of able service – to the Community Leaders, Partners, Neighbors, and Friends who are present and to those watching at home: Good evening.

As we meet tonight, New Rochelle has the:

  • Fourth lowest tax rate in the entire state.
  • Our highest fund balance in 8 years.
  • Our lowest violent crime rate in 16 years.
  • Our smallest municipal debt in 25 years.
  • Our fewest burglaries in 55 years.
  • And our best bond rating since FDR was in the White House.

In 2015, businesses in New Rochelle sold more goods and services than ever before in our history. And in 2016, we’re on track to break that record all over again.

Last year, more than 600 families bought a home in New Rochelle; hundreds more rented. Choosing our community as the place to set down roots, raise a family, or retire among friends.

Even Mother Nature’s doing her part . . . since last winter, snowfall is down 73%. (By the way, I completely made up that number, but it sounds about right, doesn’t it?)

So, in case there’s any suspense about the punch line of this speech, let me get right to it: the state of our city is strong.

And I haven’t even gotten to the good part yet. We’re going to make our city even stronger.

 

The Best Development Opportunity in the Hudson Valley

Last December, a unanimous, bipartisan Council approved the most ambitious downtown development plan in the entire Hudson Valley.

The potential for up to a million square feet of new retail. More than two million square feet of new office. 5,500 new apartments. Hundreds of new hotel rooms.

It’s not the numbers that count; it’s what they add up to: a thriving city center where all of us can find a place to shop, a place to work, a place to meet, or a place to live. Sustainable growth for a region that’s greener and healthier. Financial terms that put taxpayers ahead, with annual revenue as high as $70 million. And a message to the world, loud and clear: New Rochelle is open for business.

And this plan won’t gather dust on a shelf. We’ll achieve our vision through a unique development framework that takes full advantage of all New Rochelle has to offer and that gives New Rochelle an unprecedented competitive edge . . .

  • Unprecedented confidence. Our master developers at RDRXR now have an exclusive on multiple public properties, and, therefore, a special stake in the success of our downtown. Their own projects will have enormous catalytic value. But it’s more than that, because when a strong, well-capitalized partner places big bets on a place, it says to the rest of the business community: you won’t be alone, get in now, because New Rochelle is on the rise.
  • Unprecedented flexibility. In fact, the most flexible new zoning code in Westchester. It’s something called a form-based code, which means instead of dictating this use for this site and that use for that site, it allows just about any use on every site. That matters, because a vision that doesn’t match the market is like a Ferrari without a gas tank – looks nice, but it’s not going anywhere.  By contrast, when builders can respond quickly to shifting market demands, that’s when shovels go in the ground.
  • And unprecedented efficiency and predictability, with an approval process that sweeps away barriers to success. Usually, the State’s environmental review regulations entail months, if not years, of expense and uncertainty – and that can scare lots of people off. Not here in New Rochelle. We’ve already completed the environmental impact statement. It’s approved. For the whole zone. Essentially that means no dragged-out delays, no costly reports, no last-minute legal obstacles. Any project consistent with the City’s vision, gets that monopoly card: Advance to Go.

So there has never been a clearer path to doing business successfully in New Rochelle. And that’s a profoundly important change. But there’s also another side to this, just as important. Because while a good investment climate is necessary, it’s not sufficient. Our end goal isn’t a healthier rate of return for developers – that’s just a means; our end goal is a healthier city.

So this clear path for builders is also a smart path for the rest of us.

  • The same zoning code that offers all that flexibility on use contains our highest standards ever for design. A continuous active street-front – no more blank walls or empty spaces, upper level setbacks tailored to the width of each road, and special attention to the features that make a city beautiful and exciting – corners, vistas, and the crowns of a rising skyline. Every project has to exemplify the best planning principles and enhance the downtown as a whole.
  • We’ve created a fair share mitigation fund that, for the first time, requires developers to contribute to the infrastructure and capital needs that come with growth, including the construction of classrooms or schools.
  • For residents who need pathways to new careers, we’re creating a job training program that offers opportunities in construction and beyond . . .
  • And for residents who need a decent place to live on a working family’s budget, we’re insisting that 10% of new apartments be affordable, with incentives for even more.
  • And they’re incentives, too, for lots of other public goods through our new height bonuses. To build a little taller and get all the income that comes with those great views, it’s simple: give us something back that matters to our community . . . preserve a historic structure or show us cutting-edge green design, create a new park or provide some open space. That’s what public-private partnerships should be about.

So put it all together. Combine this new shovel-ready development framework, these smart standards for community benefits, with everything New Rochelle already has – the best location, the best transit options, and when Penn Station access is completed, a direct connection to the east and west sides, closer to Manhattan than any other stop – put it together, and from every perspective, this is the most exciting development opportunity in the entire region – maybe one of the best in America.

That’s what we did together this past year.

And this year we’re wasting no time putting the plan into action.

Just a couple of months in, and RDRXR has already announced their first project – a 28 story tower that will make a bold statement at the western edge of the downtown and – I am especially happy to report – will include a new public performance space that brings life and energy to a whole block of Main Street, while aiming to preserve the historic façade of the old Loew’s theater.

587 MainTo introduce a little much-needed showmanship into this event, I want to invite my Council colleagues up to unveil the rendering. And it’s appropriate that they do so, because even though I get to give this speech, everything I have spoken about is a team effort, for which we share equal responsibility.

[Council Unveils Rendering]

This project is exactly the kind of marriage of private investment and public interest that our downtown plan is purposefully designed to create. And it’s not even on one of the City-owned sites for which RDRXR has an exclusive – that’s still to come. What a great way to get started!

And that’s just the first example.

Because as more people wake up to the extraordinary potential of New Rochelle and learn that we are open for business, interest in our city is growing by leaps and bounds.

At this very moment, within our new downtown development zone, two other projects are already under construction, two more have been approved by the Planning Board, and multiple major projects – transformative projects – are under active discussion with our staff – ranging from hotels and conference centers, to condos and rentals, to restaurants and retailers.

Not all will make it to the finish line, but then others will be coming on to the track. And if even a few get done, the positive change will be dramatic.

If I sound excited, it’s because I am, and because I know what it took to get here.

 

Momentum

For so many years, it felt like New Rochelle’s downtown was sort of this big jumbo jet that had all the right parts to cruise at 30,000 feet, but just wouldn’t take off. Sometimes we were grounded by bad weather, sometimes there were too many other planes stacked up ahead, sometimes the flight crew couldn’t agree on the runway . . . or the destination . . . or the in-flight movie. So we just kept taxiing around the airport, getting more impatient.

Well now, finally, for all of us who have struggled and sweated in the cause of a better, greater downtown as good as this city deserves – the professional planners and citizen advocates, the neighborhood leaders and business owners – for everyone who invested time, or faith, or money – whether you’re the pilot of the plane or the engineer, a passenger or even a piece of luggage (I won’t mention any names.) Finally, for all of us, it is wheels up. New Rochelle is ready to fly.

So what next? Do we set the auto-pilot and recline back in our seats? Do we just say our prayers for a good economy to the Almighty (or to Janet Yellen, not necessarily in that order) and then wait for things to unfold as intended?

That’s one approach. And because of the hard work that brought us to this point, because this development framework is, in a sense, self-supporting, we might even do fine.

But let me ask you this?

If your business is finally getting noticed and pulling in more customers, do you pick that moment to cut back on your hours? If you’re running for President and you win the primaries on Super Tuesday, do you leave for a long vacation on Wednesday? If your team just scored three touchdowns in a row, do you take your quarterback out of the game? If Steph Curry is on a hot streak, do you put him on the bench? Do you do those things?

Hell no!

When you’ve got momentum, you run with it. You press it home for all it’s worth. If we want the best chance of success, then this is no time to sit back and relax. This is the time to seize hold of tomorrow.

So here are three big things that can help us make the most of this moment and help ensure that progress downtown lifts our city as a whole.

 

Tell Our Story

First, tell our story.

We may have the best economic development plan in the Hudson Valley, we may have a city with the best bones and the best potential, but none of that will do us any good if the right people don’t know about it.

Now, some level of knowledge just emerges naturally through the press, or word of mouth, or presentations to business and planning groups (. . . or by forcing people to attend this speech.) Like I said, there’s already good interest. But I don’t want to leave any stone unturned. You never know which contact could lead to something special.

That’s why our development staff is working hard right now to create and then execute a systematic and comprehensive strategy for reaching out to the business and investment world, with professional marketing materials that tell our story in a compelling way.

We’ll take our show on the road. We’ll bring potential investors here. We’ll have one-on-one talks, group presentations, bus tours, meet & greets. I’ll bring a bullhorn to Times Square, if that’s what it takes (or maybe Luiz can do that.) And we will do it with no time to waste – starting this spring.

While we’re at it, we’ll also tell our story to a wider audience, too. Because we all know image can be self-fulfilling. When it’s positive, it can boost your ability to attract customers, your housing market, even your civic pride. Everything.

That’s why last year, we created our new brand – ideally yours. And now this year, we’re rolling it out.

Here’s the new logo on my lapel. You all have yours at your tables. Soon you’re going to see it on City entry signs and on t-shirts, on baseball caps and on shopping bags, in store windows and on street banners. (I’d tattoo it on my forehead, if Catie would allow me. Which she will not.)

And it’s not just a logo. You’ll hear and see why New Rochelle is ideally yours when you browse the web, when you listen to the radio, and when you watch TV . . . maybe even when you take the train or subway (right next to Poetry in Motion and Dr. Zizmor.)

To help us do it right, we’ll be assisted by a team that shaped the imagery and message for top-flight clients like Nike, Banana Republic, and the NBA – and that’s lead by homegrown talent: New Rochelle’s own Greg Valvano. Greg, take a bow.

And to make sure we have the biggest possible reach with a message that’s repeated and amplified, we’ll invite the key institutions of New Rochelle to join us. Our three great colleges, our invaluable hospital and elder care providers, our outstanding Library, and our award-winning School District – we’ll ask them not only to integrate our brand into their own communication, but also to pool our resources to augment an effective campaign.

After all, we’re in this together. Just as New Rochelle is, in large measure, defined by its opportunities to learn, its access to medicine, and its centers of employment – so, too, each of these vital institutions is lifted by the success of our community as a whole. If just makes sense for us to work side-by-side for the common good.

And, by the way, that same philosophy applies also to each of us as citizens, because telling our story well isn’t just a governmental or institutional responsibility; we all have a role to play.

Every time you introduce yourself as a resident of New Rochelle, every time you describe your hometown to a friend – whether you’re commenting on-line through social media, or chatting on line at the supermarket – you shape how people look at our city.

So talk us up. Be a good will ambassador. Express the confidence you want others to feel.

To be honest, we could probably do better on this front.

People who share a community can be a little like a family. And nobody knows your flaws better than your own family. (Jeremy and Owen could describe my flaws for you in very great detail – hopefully, not right now!) So sometimes we say things out loud – in company – that are better kept amongst ourselves.

Look, I know that New Rochelle has its share of real problems that should never be swept under the rug. And I think lots of folks in town feel like the best way to get a problem solved is to post it on Facebook or announce it at a public hearing.

But this is a moment when our city really needs to put its best foot forward. So, let’s do ourselves a favor. If you’ve got an issue or complaint, write me an email, call your Council Member, come by the City Manager’s office – we’ll respond. Keep it in the family. You don’t have to shout it from the rooftops.

We can be our own worst enemies or our own best friends.   With such a great opportunity hanging in the balance, let’s each demonstrate the New Rochelle, let’s each be the New Rochelle we want others to see and know.

Let’s come together and tell our story proudly to all the world.

 

Our Whole City

Next. Although the downtown is rightly our top priority because its condition affects everything else, New Rochelle doesn’t begin at Maple Avenue or end at River Street. Ten square miles is a lot of territory. And 80,000 is a lot of people.

We have gracious homes representing every architectural era and fitting every lifestyle.

We have neighborhoods of incredible cultural dynamism like the West End, which for a century has offered new Americans a gateway to a better life.

We have multiple commercial centers, from Wykagyl to Weyman to Wilmot, that each have their own distinct needs and challenges.

And we have hundreds of acres of parkland in which to kick a ball, swing a bat, hike a trail, take a swim, or simply enjoy the quiet peace of nature.

You know, there’s a good reason that Barry Fertel fights for Beechmont Lake. And that Liz Fried advocates for the Wilmot Woods Pond. Assets like these are essential to the long-term value homeowners receive for their investment in New Rochelle, not to mention strong and growing property values.

So if telling our story is the first big thing we can do to make the most of this moment, then the second big thing is this: take the same determination that shaped our downtown vision and apply it now with equal vigor to rest of our city.

Big picture, that means finishing our Comprehensive Plan. A good Comp Plan can help us make smart decisions about what to preserve and what to change. It can bind individual land use choices and approvals into a coherent, community-supported whole, so that we know where we’re going and don’t stumble into controversies on the way.

Our current Comp Plan is twenty years old, long past its useful life. With tons of public participation, we’ve been working to update it for long while now. No more waiting. Let’s put in place a clear vision that extends from Davenport Neck to Lincoln Avenue to Scarsdale Park, and let’s make a commitment to getting it done this year.

And, of course, nothing’s more important to our neighborhoods – and to our lives – than the health of the environment. A few years ago, New Rochelle adopted its first sustainability plan, GreeNR. And we’ve already made big strides in meeting its goals.

This year, we’ll do even more . . .

We’ll introduce New Rochelle’s first bike share program, making cycling easier than ever before, and helping reduce emissions while we boost public health.

We’ll replace all of our nearly 7,000 streetlights with new LEDs that cut electricity use by about two-thirds and cut the City’s electricity bills by about $650,000 every year.

And soon residents looking to cut their energy costs will get help from:

  • Energize New Rochelle, which offers free expert consulting, connections to contractors, financing tips, and much more for home weatherization and HVAC upgrades. Check it out at EnergizeNY.org.
  • And from Community Choice Aggregation, which will pool the buying power of all electricity consumers in several municipalities to give us all lower prices and a better mix of clean, renewable energy sources – that starts in May.

All these efforts and others reflect GreeNR’s guiding principles. They’re right for our environment. They’re right for our wallets. They’re right for our city. And they’re right for our world.

Finally, if there is one area that deserves special focus from every perspective – neighborhood, environmental, and economic – it’s the waterfront.

OK, it’s fair to say that the City’s waterfront efforts haven’t always gone as intended. (And by that, I mean the same way that the voyage of the Titanic did not go as intended.)

And we all get why. The choices are hard. Undoing the planning mistakes of the past is a bear. And sometimes getting to a big benefit tomorrow requires making a sacrifice today. We all want to get it right, but don’t always agree on what right is.

But that doesn’t mean we should stop trying. When you stumble, you get back up; you learn from your mistakes. You do better the next time. That’s what we teach our kids. And now that the hard, labor-intensive zoning and environmental work for the downtown is done, we have the bandwidth to turn our attention back to the shore.

So let’s set a few important, but achievable, waterfront goals for this year.

First, let’s complete the Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan. Like the Comp Plan, the LWRP sets big picture standards for the whole shoreline. It puts us in a better position to apply for grants. And, to offer just one important example, it would be an essential precursor to implementing the great recommendations of the Davids Island Task Force.

Second, let’s take a fresh look at the combined potential of the Municipal Marina, Hudson Park, Wildcliff, and Five Islands. Together, these invaluable public spaces offer sweeping access to the Sound, a relatively affordable opportunity for boating, and a wonderful venue for performances.

And they will get better:

  • Fresh off their success with Amy’s Greenhouse at Barnard School, Millie Radonjic and her board of community volunteers have taken up the challenge of renovating the greenhouse at Hudson Park. Thank you, Millie, for your energy and drive.
  • After the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, the Hudson Park sun deck was completely rebuilt. Hats off to Commissioner Bill Zimmermann for his supervision . . . and to our friends at FEMA who wrote the check.
  • And thanks to the New Rochelle Council on the Arts, the bandshell will soon be ready for a star turn. They secured an anonymous gift of $100,000 to pay for new sound equipment, lighting, and much more. (I don’t know who that anonymous donor is, but I would like to invite him or her to exchange gifts with the Bramson family this holiday season. We can get you a sweater, you can pay off our mortgage.)

But still, even with these great efforts, those four public spaces aren’t what they could be, partly because of neglect, partly because of underutilization, mainly because we’ve never done a good enough job of putting all the sites together as a package, with complementary uses that give more of us a reason to visit the shore.

So this year, let’s issue a Request for Proposals for all four sites in concert, with an open invitation to submit creative ideas.

If we do it right, then appropriate commercial activities could pay for public improvements, with any development modestly-scaled to respect surrounding neighborhoods and maximize community access.

Maybe it’s fine dining at Wildcliff, maybe it’s a pedestrian bridge from Hudson Park to Five Islands, maybe it’s a great boardwalk and boutique hotel at the Marina, maybe it’s all of those things . . . or none of them. This much is for sure. New Rochelle has four waterfront gems side by side. And with the right partners, we can really make them shine.

Finally, to wrap up this verbal tour of the waterfront, let’s decide, once and for all, what to do with the City Yard.

Look, whether you liked the last plan for Echo Bay or not, most of us can agree that the shoreline is not the ideal place for our garbage trucks. Most of us can agree that the City Yard’s in awful condition and makes DPW’s already hard job even harder. And most of us can agree that creating a direct connection from Main Street to the water would be a benefit for everybody in New Rochelle, especially the East End. That’s the goal of our work with the capable team from Twining Properties.

It’s no secret why this is tough. Moving the City Yard will cost a bucket of money. But I promise you this: it’s still cheaper than doing nothing and keeping the Yard where it is right now, because in that scenario taxpayers lose coming and going. Today, we’d have to spend a ton for direct repairs and construction, and then tomorrow – and forever – we’d have to kiss goodbye all the new revenue that could be created through the positive development of the site.

And waiting doesn’t make the choices any easier. It’s not like holding off until December 26th for the post-Christmas mark-down. There’s no sale coming. The price only goes in one direction, and that’s up.

100 years ago, when the waterfront was seen as an industrial access point, the decision to put the City Yard on the shore was an understandable mistake. Today, in 2016, doubling down on that decision would be an unforgivable mistake.

So even if we don’t finish the job right away, let’s start. Let’s determine finally and conclusively where the Yard’s going to go, and then begin the process of getting it there.

 

Commitment to Infrastructure

If we do those two big things – if we tell our story well, and if we extend our sights beyond the downtown, then New Rochelle will make huge progress. But I promised you three big things to take advantage of this moment, so here’s the last one: let’s make a serious commitment to our infrastructure.

To be the city we deserve, New Rochelle needs a strong physical foundation.

A lot of that foundation is more than a century old and falling apart. 161 miles of road. 192 miles of sanitary lines. 87 miles of storm drains. 40 public buildings. Not to mention dozens of playgrounds, plazas, traffic signals, median islands. And if you can’t keep track of those numbers, I’ll give you something a lot easier to remember: last year’s potholes.

Of all the categories of municipal spending, this is the one that is most severely and chronically underfunded. An estimated $200 million of need here in New Rochelle, covered by a roughly $5 million capital budget. It can’t go on this way.

As Lou Trangucci rightly reminds us from his personal experience: in the private sector, you’d never get away with skimping on your capital needs. Smart businesses budget strategically. And the public sector should be held to the same standard.

The good news is that the City Council has already taken a big step forward. Last year and again this year, the Council significantly upped our commitment to road paving, and we aim to continue.

But, as Lou will also tell you, maintaining what we’ve already got is only part of the job. Smart companies don’t cling to outmoded technology, or cede the future to the competition, they invest in R&D, they position themselves for what’s next.

Who wants to waste money laying down new asphalt on a road that might need a complete redesign? Or rebuilding a traditional storm water pipe, when permeable pavers or a rain garden might do a better job?

Plus, there’s more at stake than the basic safety and functionality of our infrastructure, although that comes first. It’s also the look and feel of the public spaces where we gather, the look and feel that can shape the daily experience of residents . . . and the first impressions of visitors.

So here’s more good news. The Council has directed our staff to prepare a complete streets plan for New Rochelle – to design a better road network, better for pedestrians and cyclists, better for safety, better for access, better for the environment. And helping to ensure that every precious capital dollar is used to build the future, not just patch up the past.

And because reimaging our public spaces will be an ongoing challenge and should be a continuous focus of our work, we’re bringing on retainer some great talent – the architects and planners at CDR – to help us visualize changes creatively and professionally.

Even if the money isn’t there to execute certain improvements immediately, by visualizing and designing them now, we put ourselves in a stronger position to secure grants and to implement a serious multi-year capital plan – just the same way that the City’s downtown studies laid the groundwork for our master development agreement.

Let me give you some examples, so you know what I mean . . .

Take our train station.

The new murals and information kiosk have really brightened things up in the station itself. But when you cross the bridge over the tracks and exit the south side into our downtown, you are confronted with . . . nothing. A bare, charmless street, the back of a building, nothing warm or human or inviting. Welcome to New Rochelle. We can do better.

That’s why our Department of Development issued a call for proposals to reshape the south gateway. Here on this poster board is a preliminary image of the look we’re aiming for, and we intend to fund these improvements through the community benefit contributions that flow from new downtown projects.

Or take the North Avenue Bridge that spans I-95. During the next few years, the Thruway Authority is going to replace it, but we don’t want a new version of the same old bad design – a design that chokes down traffic and squeezes pedestrians onto this measly strip between a rusty fence and a busy road. That’s why we’ve been working with the Thruway Authority to widen the platform, with more space both on-road and off-road for every form of transportation, including our own two legs – and engineered to allow a future expansion with public plazas or parks over the highway.

And here’s one last minor little example – two-way traffic on Huguenot and Main. For lots of us, this’ll take some getting used to . . . and, for me, it did require some convincing. But the experts tell us that two-way traffic is far better for retail, the computer modeling tells us that the traffic will flow just fine, and common sense tells us it’s easier to get to our destination when we don’t have to circle around the block.

And make no mistake, this is an infrastructure issue as much as a policy question, because you can’t just take down the one-way signs and let drivers figure it out.   You have to replace the signals, partially reshape the road, and so on.

(Also: we’ll be instituting capital punishment for those who double-park. Not really – just life without parole.)

Fortunately, to help us work through complicated choices like these, the City can draw on decision-makers who couldn’t have a bigger stake in getting it right and for whom this is more than an academic exercise. Every day, Ivar Hyden and Al Tarantino bring their real-world experience as downtown business owners to the Council, and we’re all better off because of it.

Now I offered these specific examples to illustrate a point: that infrastructure is more than just paving roads. But don’t focus too much on those specific examples, because a real commitment to infrastructure isn’t about this project or that project – it’s about a sustained and predictable policy that rebuilds New Rochelle over a period of years. The same way we target a minimum fund balance, the way same way we expect a minimum number of fire fighters and police officers on a shift, the same way we have a minimum number of sanitation routes . . . we should have minimum expectations for our capital investments.

At our meeting just this past week, the whole City Council talked about exactly this kind of strategic approach, moving toward consensus on a better way forward.

So with the Council’s leadership, let’s make sure the body of our city is as strong and beautiful as its soul.

 

The Bigger Picture

Why is all this important? Why is it worth the effort and time, when we could just sit back and enjoy the ride?

Part of the answer is obvious. As taxpayers and homeowners, as workers, and business owners, and consumers – or just as residents who want to feel proud when we say “I live in New Rochelle” – we’ll be better off.

But there’s a bigger picture, too.

We sometimes think of ourselves as competing with White Plains or Yonkers or Stamford. That’s not right. New York as a whole is in competition with Shanghai and Vancouver, with London and with Boston. Our whole metro area is in competition for the jobs and the workforce of tomorrow.

And if our region fails, the result won’t be pretty: higher costs, weaker tax base, aging workforce, declining investment.

To come out ahead, the Regional Plan Association says we’ve got to welcome 3.7 million new people and create 1.9 million new jobs.

The five boroughs can’t absorb that kind of growth by themselves, and the last thing we want to do is push it all to the far edge of the metro area, where infrastructure costs go up, commuting times are twice as long, and everything consumes more energy.

So cities like New Rochelle are a vital part of the equation. We can only succeed as a region, and our region can only succeed with us.

That’s why everything I have mentioned tonight, from the downtown plan itself, to the other steps that look past the downtown, add up to a community where our children and grandchildren can live and want to live, can work and want to work.

Walkability, diversity, affordability. From being less dependent on the car to being more connected to the web, from the alternative energy powering our appliances to the cultural energy filling our galleries. Parks that we want to visit, streets where we want to gather, shops where we want to browse, a shoreline where we want to stroll, neighborhoods where we want to grow up and grow old.

That’s what it takes to win the future.

 

Ideally Yours

And for those who worry that the essential character of New Rochelle might somehow be lost, let me affirm: that’s also what it takes to preserve and carry into the future the qualities we know and love today.

Ideally yours – that’s our brand. But for a brand to ring true, it has to be about who you are, not just who you hope to be.

So, tonight, even though I’ve spoken about many things that ought to change, I want to close by celebrating the things that should never change at all.

You want to know why New Rochelle is ideally yours?

Look around the room at each other. At all the walks of life and strands of experience, all the traditions and cultures and perspective that find, here, in our city, common ground on a human scale.

Why is New Rochelle is ideally yours?

Ask the organizers of My Brother’s Keeper. With Councilman Jared Rice taking the initiative, and with invaluable leadership from Reggie Richardson, Kelly Johnson, Gustavo Barbosa, Devron Chambers, and Colleen Gardephe, plus a vital assist from Angela Taylor and so many others, they’ve brought together an unprecedented coalition of community organizations to make sure our young people, especially young men of color, can succeed before school, in school, and beyond. They remind us that we have a stake in each other’s lives, and that equity matters just as much as prosperity in measuring a community’s health.

K Building DinosaurAsk the New Rochelle Arts Collective. Led by David Krinick, Ben Kent, David Gonzales, and Matt Demeo (three of whom are here) and filled with young talent, they came together a year ago, united by their creativity and loyalty to New Rochelle. Since then, they’ve engaged us with an Inside Out Living Room at Ruby Dee Park, surprised us with pop up displays on Memorial Highway, and charmed us with this friendly dinosaur cuddling the K Building. That’s just for starters. There’s nothing in Williamsburg that the Arts Collective can’t bring to New Rochelle, except the sky-high rents.

Or ask Muhammadu, Nazaf, and Mohamed of ICON, the Islamic Center of New Rochelle. When they founded their mosque on North Avenue, just across from City Hall, they wanted to be in a place where everybody is recognized as a full stakeholder, where every faith has a home, every tradition is embraced with pride . . . and where we know: what makes America great isn’t blood or soil or walls, it’s brotherhood from sea to shining sea. They found that place in New Rochelle, and we are better for it.

You want to know why New Rochelle is ideally yours?

Ask Sgt. Calvin McGee. He’s been with the NRPD for just about 33 years. Must have started when he was 6. For the last decade, Calvin’s been directly responsible for training every officer. And I don’t mean just how to hold a gun. I mean how to engage a community. Coordinating the Youth Police Initiative, overseeing our Citizens Police Academy – Calvin has strengthened the bonds between citizens and law enforcement over and over again, to the benefit of both, and has helped New Rochelle be a positive example for the entire country.

Ask Fire Fighters Anthony Margiotta, Dan Thompson, and Jarred McLean. One night this past September, they answered an EMS call at the Drake Firehouse, and arrived to find a woman in the late stages of labor. Her water had broken, her contractions were just five minutes apart, but New Rochelle’s bravest didn’t miss a beat. They administered oxygen, coached the mom through, and fifteen minutes later were the first to greet our city’s newest baby girl. They even cut and tied the cord. (Diaper change not included.)

Or ask Police officers William Odell, Evangelos Geralis, Dwayne Jones, Chris Hearle, Claudio Carpano, Sean Kane, Yadilene Machado, Michael Vaccaro, and Chris Guglielmo. I mentioned New Rochelle’s low crime rate early on, but there still are some bad guys out there, and it takes guts and quick thinking to confront them. Just about a month ago, the PD received a report of an armed robbery downtown. Long story short, pursuing by car and on foot, putting themselves at risk, our team rounded up suspects that turned out to have a violent criminal history throughout New York and Westchester. Our whole region is safer thanks to their good work. Most of those officers are here tonight. One who is not is Dennis Kiernan, who sustained an injury while preventing the suspects from approaching our high school. With that kind of heroism, even his father, the former Fire Commissioner, might have to forgive his son for choosing a blue uniform.

I’m not done.

You want to know why New Rochelle is ideally yours?

Ask Alisa Kesten. As the Executive Director of Volunteer NY, she oversees an organization that mobilized nearly a quarter million hours of volunteer service to assist 500 not-for-profits at a value of move than $7.2 million, enriching the lives both of those who deliver services and of those who receive them. Alisa is a leader for our whole region, but New Rochelle is her home, and, in fact, this year, we’re launching a new local partnership with Volunteer NY focused specifically on our own city to enlist the time and talent of more residents in meeting needs right here.

Ask Charles Fazzino, maybe the best known pop artist in the world, whose instantly recognizable 3D works officially commemorate such minor events as the Super Bowl and the Grammy’s, and such obscure locations as the Statue of Liberty, the Grand Canal of Venice, and the Hollywood Hills. You can see a Fazzino at hundreds of galleries around the globe. But there’s only one place where you can see them made: New Rochelle, NY. Someone of Charles’ stature might be forgiven for ignoring local civic matters, but that’s not Charles, he’s been a mainstay of the annual ArtsFest, contributed enormously to our 325th celebration, donated a sculpture that greets visitors to City Hall, mobilized support for mental health care and so much more. Now we’re working with Charles to integrate his signature style into our evolving downtown streetscape. New Rochelle is already Charles Fazzino’s place of business, soon it will be his canvas, too.

Or ask Phil DeRaffele. Phil leads the last of America’s great diner manufacturing companies – a dominant presence along the eastern seaboard, where Phil has constructed about 1,000 restaurants, and done as much as anyone to shape the landscape of our country. If you’ve eaten in a diner this side of the Mississippi, you’ve probably experienced Phil’s handiwork. His immigrant father started the business, but Phil made it what it is today. And he did it with smarts, skill, and vision that are exceeded only by his modesty and generosity. Phil’s home is here in New Rochelle. His office is here in New Rochelle. And, at the corner of Weyman and Main, thanks to Phil, there’s a new diner here in New Rochelle.

Let me tell you, I had a heck of a time drilling down to just these examples of people who inspire us in their own ways to be our best in the public square and to feel pride in what New Rochelle represents. Because our city is filled with such examples.

They are New Rochelle. We are New Rochelle.

People who define our spirit of inclusion and optimism, of accomplishment and creativity, who show what it means to find your ideal and what it means to be your ideal.

It’s wheels up. And as our city takes flight, lifted by the hard work already done, aiming higher through the hard work still to do, may we never forget why the journey matters and why we are so privileged to take it together.

Thank you for listening. God bless you. And God bless New Rochelle.

2016 is off to a pretty good start (well, aside from this weekend’s weather forecast.)

The monthly news from New Rochelle includes a smarter strategy for road maintenance and design, a better streetscape for the area around the hospital, and a small taste of bigger changes to come downtown.

Tomorrow morning you can hear me and other local mayors talk about the regional business climate, and next week you can welcome Hillary back to Westchester.

There’s more about these and other items at the links below.

Catie joins me in wishing you a Happy New Year.

Best,

Noam

Latest News

Print House on Huguenot Street

Welcome Millennials

January 21, 2016 —

Millennial housing is coming to downtown New Rochelle. Here’s a rendering of the new “Print House” planned for Huguenot Street, just east of Trump Plaza and across from the New Roc garage. The project’s design, featuring small units, modern style, and lots of shared space for working or socializing, is intended to attract young professionals … Continue reading Welcome Millennials →

Paving Map

A Better Strategy for New Rochelle’s Roads

January 20, 2016 —

Roadwork. That’s a pretty boring topic. But when you consider it, roads have a huge impact on – well – nearly everything about a community. So when local roads are in bad shape or poorly designed, it’s a big problem. Last year, with New Rochelle’s roads feeling the effects of two tough winters in a … Continue reading A Better Strategy for New Rochelle’s Roads →

Mayors

Mayors Discuss City Challenges and Opportunities on January 22

January 19, 2016 —

This Friday morning, January 22nd, the mayors of Westchester’s four large cities will gather for a group discussion about the region’s urban centers. The event is organized by the Business Council of Westchester and sponsored by Key Bank. If you’d like to attend, you can get additional details and reserve a spot here. I participate … Continue reading Mayors Discuss City Challenges and Opportunities on January 22 →

King Video

New Ro Students Shine in Video Tribute to MLK

January 19, 2016 —

New Rochelle High School film students are getting some well-deserved recognition for their video tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Click below to watch the film, and here’s some terrific news coverage from New York’s Channel 11.

RFL 1-15

Talking Budget and Development on RFL

January 15, 2016 —

I was a panelist on RNN’s Richard French Live last night. Here are a couple of clips featuring economic development, the State budget, and a few other topics.

Monte Streetscape

Better Streetscape Will Link New Ro Transit Center to Hospital

January 13, 2016 —

A long-awaited streetscape upgrade is coming to the area surrounding Montefiore’s New Rochelle campus. Funded entirely by federal grants, the roughly $1 million project will include new sidewalks, lighting, street trees, ADA curb cuts, and other improvements along Memorial Highway, Burling Lane, and Glover Johnson Place. Although beautification will be one benefit, the primary goal … Continue reading Better Streetscape Will Link New Ro Transit Center to Hospital →

Hillary

Hillary in Westchester

January 12, 2016 —

Come support Hillary as she returns home to Westchester on January 28th. Click here to reserve a ticket for this breakfast fundraiser. Hillary Clinton is the best prepared and qualified candidate for President in my lifetime, and I am very proud to support her. Hope to see you on the 28th.

Obama on Guns

Obama Gets It Right on Guns

January 5, 2016 —

A very strong and moving statement from President Obama today concerning gun violence. Watch. The President deserves great credit for the gun safety initiatives announced this week, but the steps are modest, and in the face of continuing opposition/cowardice from the GOP in Congress, only so much can be accomplished through executive action alone. The … Continue reading Obama Gets It Right on Guns →

NRCA Logo

Big Improvements Coming to Hudson Park Bandshell

January 4, 2016 —

The Hudson Park Bandshell will see big improvements thanks to an anonymous (and very generous) donation of $100,000 to the New Rochelle Council on the Arts. Upgrades will include a state-of-the-art sound system, stage lighting, and safety lighting along the park walkways and restroom facilities. Together, these enhancements will make the annual Emil Paolucci Summer … Continue reading Big Improvements Coming to Hudson Park Bandshell →

December news follows below, including final approval for New Rochelle’s downtown development plan, installation of energy-efficient LED streetlights, and a report from our community policing committee.

And please be sure to vote today for the New Rochelle School Bond.

Catie, Jeremy, and Owen join me in extending to you and your family the warmest wishes for the season.  Have a happy and healthy 2016!

Best,

Noam

Latest News

Bramson Family 2015

Season’s Greetings and Happy New Year!

December 14, 2015 —

Greetings for the Season and Best Wishes for a Happy, Healthy 2016 – Catie, Noam, Jeremy and Owen

GEIS Image

Open for Business – New Ro Downtown Development Plan Approved

December 9, 2015 —

This is big news. Very big news. Last night, the City Council voted unanimously to give its final approval to a sweeping and ambitious downtown development plan for New Rochelle. (If you are interested in tracing the evolution of this plan over many months of hard work and community discussion, then check out some links … Continue reading Open for Business – New Ro Downtown Development Plan Approved →

School District

Vote for Schools on December 15th

December 7, 2015 —

Be sure to vote on Tuesday, December 15th. Wait. What? Wasn’t the election last month? Well, yes, but there is another important choice coming up on the 15th, so don’t let the unusual timing keep you away from the polls. That’s when the School District submits for voter approval a bond that would pay for … Continue reading Vote for Schools on December 15th →

GEIS Image

Downtown Development Plan Nears Final Approval

December 2, 2015 —

The environmental review of New Rochelle’s ambitious downtown revitalization plan is just about ready to wrap up, with the release of a “Findings Statement” that lays out the expectations and requirements for new development. Reflecting the comprehensive analysis in the Draft Generic Environmental Impact Statement (DGEIS) and Final Generic Environmental Impact Statement (FGEIS), as well … Continue reading Downtown Development Plan Nears Final Approval →

Wind Turbines

No Quick Fixes for Climate Change

December 1, 2015 —

With the Paris climate talks underway, there’s a thought-provoking article in this morning’s Times about the steps needed to achieve the “deep decarbonization” that could avert the worst impacts of global climate change. One counter-intuitive conclusion really jumped out at me: some of the simple actions that can achieve immediate reductions in greenhouse gas emissions … Continue reading No Quick Fixes for Climate Change →

Mayor Noam Bramson launches street light replacement

LED Street Light Replacements Begin

November 30, 2015 —

This morning, I joined DPW officials and the City’s lighting contractor as we together replaced a conventional street light on Hamilton Avenue with a new energy-efficient LED. That’s 1 down; 6,912 to go. Because during the next few months, all of New Rochelle’s street lights will be upgraded. The new lights use about 65% less … Continue reading LED Street Light Replacements Begin →

Police

Community Policing Recommendations Presented to Council

November 25, 2015 —

Earlier this year, the City brought together a group of civic and religious leaders, Police officers, attorneys, and academics to take a look at Police practices in New Rochelle. Yesterday, the Committee released its final report, with ten specific recommendations for improving Police-community relations. While noting New Rochelle’s impressive public safety record and demonstrated commitment … Continue reading Community Policing Recommendations Presented to Council →

Refugees

Refugees and American Values

November 21, 2015 —

An excellent op-ed in today’s Times from Jay Inslee, the Governor of Washington, in which he explains his support for accepting Syrian refugees into the United States. “It’s easy to lose your way in moments like this when we are so fearful,” Inslee writes, but “America has been swayed by fear before. And we’ve lived … Continue reading Refugees and American Values →

This is big news.  Very big news.

Last night, the City Council voted unanimously to give its final approval to a sweeping and ambitious downtown development plan for New Rochelle.

(If you are interested in tracing the evolution of this plan over many months of hard work and community discussion, then check out some links to prior blog entries on this subject at the very end of this email.)

While there are no guarantees, this plan gives New Rochelle our best opportunity ever to attract investment and vitality to the downtown area – and our entire community will benefit as a result.  It is likely that specific, significant projects will now come forward under this framework during the first quarter of next year.

In conjunction with the Council’s vote, I delivered the speech below.  I hope my words adequately convey the sense of satisfaction, optimism, and genuine emotion that surrounds this issue.  You can also download my remarks as a PDF.

Best,

Noam

 

Remarks of Mayor Noam Bramson – December 8, 2015

With this unanimous, bipartisan vote, the City Council gives its final approval to the most ambitious downtown development plan in New Rochelle’s history. Together, we declare: “New Rochelle is open for business.”

Our plan lays out a comprehensive vision for a thriving city center where all of us – whatever our means and tastes, whatever our ideal – can find a place to shop, a place to work, a place to meet, or a place to live.  It’s a vision for sustainable growth that makes our region greener and more competitive — shaped from street-front to skyline by the best urban design, and with financial terms that fund specific public benefits and put taxpayers ahead.  

But our plan is also more than just a vision; it’s also a detailed road-map for accomplishing that vision, because it provides developers with the clearest path ever for investing successfully in New Rochelle.  Every expectation and requirement is defined up front, the environmental review is already completed, the zoning provides for flexibility in response to the market, and the approval process places professionalism ahead of politics.  

What’s more, with our master developers at RDRXR prepared now to launch their own catalytic projects, we’re poised to ignite the local economy right away – giving every other investor the confidence that comes from knowing that our downtown is surging forward as a whole, and that no one is alone in placing bets.

Combine that with New Rochelle’s core assets – our unrivaled location and transit connections, our talented and diverse population, our great schools and libraries and neighborhoods – and there is no community in all of New York that offers a better opportunity today . . . or a bigger upside tomorrow.

It took months of hard work to reach this point, and there are many who have earned our thanks and recognition:

•    My colleagues on the City Council – Lou Trangucci, Al Tarantino, Jared Rice, Ivar Hyden, Barry Fertel, and Shari Rackman – who rose to this occasion and came together across all lines or party and geography to seize an opportunity bigger than any one of us.

•    The members of our City’s development, planning, and legal staffs, who worked with such intensity and focus.

•    Our consulting teams, who provided invaluable expertise and guidance from beginning to end.

•    New Rochelle’s master developers at RDRXR, with whom we have worked side-by-side – constructively, creatively, and efficiently – in an unprecedented public-private collaboration.

•    Finally, I want to thank the many residents who took the time to express a view or attend a meeting.  And I don’t mean just supporters.  I mean critics, too.  We heard every voice, we know that every comment was motivated by love for our city, and we recognize that this effort will succeed only if its benefits are shared equitably – and if the essential character of New Rochelle emerges whole and strong.

If today marks an important ending – the culmination of a rigorous, multi-stage process of negotiating and listening, of studying and writing, of debating and approving – then it also marks a beginning.  Because now that the plan is in place, it’s our job, together, to put shovels in the ground while the market is still strong and while the window of opportunity is open wide.

But if there had been any doubt about New Rochelle’s readiness to turn vision into reality, about our determination to compete and to win, then the unanimity, the speed, and the enthusiasm with which we have reached this milestone should put those doubts to rest, once and for all.  I repeat: New Rochelle is open for business.  

Let me conclude on a brief personal note.  

I grew up in New Rochelle.  One of my earliest memories is holding my mother’s hand in Bloomingdales just a few months before it closed.  I went to school in New Rochelle.  I dragged my wife from Providence to New Rochelle.  I am raising my children in New Rochelle.  I have never considered living anywhere other than New Rochelle.  I’ll probably die in New Rochelle.  So I’m a loyalist.  

Yet from the time of that memory in Bloomingdales and in all the years since, New Rochelle’s downtown has somehow under-performed, somehow disappointed, has never quite been worthy of a city that has everything else going for it.

It is the issue in our community.  The issue that connects to every other issue.  The issue we never stop debating.  Because we all believe that the heart of our city should be a source of pride.  

There have been achievements and setbacks in the past 25 years.  There will be more achievements and setbacks in the next 25.  Tonight’s action is only one step among many.  

But it’s the biggest step.

And by taking it, we cross over from an era of doubt and nostalgia to a new era of confidence and action.

I’ve never concluded a year with a greater sense of satisfaction.  I’ve never looked ahead to a New Year with greater optimism.  This is New Rochelle’s moment.  Together, let’s make the most of it.

 

Evolution of a Plan:  Prior Blog Entries

January 15, 2014 – TOD Study Presented to Council

May 30, 2014 – RFQ Released

October 7, 2014 – RDRXR Response to RFQ

December 16, 2014 – Selection of Master Developer

April 1, 2015 – CSPM Process Launches

August 19, 2015 – RAP Released

September 25, 2015 – DGEIS Released

October 6, 2015 – Planning Award

November 9, 2015 – Downtown Office Opens

November 13, 2015 – FGEIS Released

December 2, 2015 – SEQRA Findings Statement

Our downtown planning process enters the home stretch with a public hearing next Tuesday evening for the Final Generic Environmental Impact Statement.

In other monthly news, the City Manager has released a proposed budget for 2016, My Brothers’ Keeper launches its Action Plan, Stephenson Park gets a new playground, and please join Catie, the kids, and me at New Rochelle’s annual Thanksgiving Parade this Saturday.

Finally, a big thank you to everyone who supported my reelection.  I am excited about all we can accomplish together in the coming term.

There’s more about these and other topics at the links below.

Best,

Noam

Latest News

Load up on pancakes before the parade!

Thanksgiving Parade This Saturday

November 17, 2015 —

Don’t miss New Rochelle’s Thanksgiving Parade this Saturday, November 21st. The Parade kicks off at 10:00am on North Avenue at Eastchester Road, then proceeds south to Main Street, then west to Maple Avenue. Before the Parade, fuel up at the annual Pancake Breakfast at the New Rochelle High School new wing cafeteria from 8:00am to … Continue reading Thanksgiving Parade This Saturday →

Arts District

New Ro Plans Arts & Cultural District – Share Your Ideas

November 16, 2015 —

If you agree that the arts help define the character of a community, and that the arts can play an important role in the future of downtown New Rochelle, then come to New Rochelle City Hall on Thursday, November 19th from 7:00pm to 9:00pm for a public discussion about a potential arts and cultural district. … Continue reading New Ro Plans Arts & Cultural District – Share Your Ideas →

GEIS Image

Taxpayers Win in Downtown Development Plan

November 13, 2015 —

Reaching another milestone in New Rochelle’s downtown revitalization efforts, this week our development team presented a Final Generic Environmental Impact Statement (FGEIS) that evaluates and addresses the effects of a proposed downtown overlay zone. This new document adds considerable specificity and detail to the Draft GEIS released in September, while also addressing public comments posed … Continue reading Taxpayers Win in Downtown Development Plan →

Mayor Noam Bramson speaks on Veterans Day 2015. (Photo credit: James O'Toole)

Honoring Our Veterans

November 12, 2015 —

I was honored to speak briefly at New Rochelle’s annual Veterans Day observance yesterday morning. The text of my remarks follows below, and here’s a photo of the event. (Be sure to note the photo credit.) Sincere thanks are owed to the organizers of the ceremony, to the Police officers and Fire Fighters who attended, … Continue reading Honoring Our Veterans →

Dollars

City Manager Releases 2016 Budget Proposal

November 10, 2015 —

City Manager Chuck Strome has just released his proposed budget for 2016. As a whole, the document reflects steady improvement in New Rochelle’s fiscal condition, with sales tax revenue projected to hit a record $28 million, and with an unappropriated fund balance (basically our municipal savings account) at a healthy $8.2 million. Nonetheless, our municipal … Continue reading City Manager Releases 2016 Budget Proposal →

NR Future Opening

Master Developer Opens Downtown Office

November 9, 2015 —

As New Rochelle looks ahead to implementing our ambitious downtown revitalization plans, the City’s master developer at RDRXR is opening a storefront office at 247 North Avenue. It’s a nice symbol of our partnership and of RDRXR’s long-term commitment to New Rochelle’s future. Come join us for the grand opening on Thursday, November 12th, from … Continue reading Master Developer Opens Downtown Office →

Check Mark

Thank You!

November 4, 2015 —

Yesterday, the people of New Rochelle voted overwhelming for constructive, forward-looking leadership, and expressed clear, unambiguous support for a vision of positive change in our city. In the City elections, I am thrilled by the victories for my running mates in Council Districts 5 and 6, Barry Fertel and Liz Fried, both of whom emerged … Continue reading Thank You! →

The Bramsons Vote - Election Day 2015

Just Voted with the Kids

November 3, 2015 —

Jeremy and Owen helped me cast my ballot at Barnard School a short while ago. (Photo credit: Catie, who also voted.) It’s a really beautiful day. No excuse to stay home!

Jeremy and Matt

Trick or Treat!

October 31, 2015 —

Halloween! Here’s Owen with his friend Ben Markenson, both dressed as soccer players (which isn’t much different from Owen’s usual day-to-day attire.) And here’s Jeremy with his friend Matt Sharp, both sporting crypt-keeper outfits (which, fortunately, is not their usual attire.) I had to leave before the trick-or-treating got under way in earnest, in order … Continue reading Trick or Treat! →

Mayor Noam Bramson with East End families at Stephenson Park

Happy Kids (and Grown-Ups) at Stephenson Park

October 30, 2015 —

I was delighted to join happy East End families and children this morning, as we cut the ribbon together for the new playground at Stephenson Park. This is one phase of a larger master plan for the park that was created in partnership with neighborhood leaders. Special thanks go to Senator George Latimer who secured … Continue reading Happy Kids (and Grown-Ups) at Stephenson Park →

Politico

Politico: Infrastructure Tops Priority List for Nation’s Mayors

October 29, 2015 —

America’s mayors are pretty much in universal agreement about the nation’s chronic neglect of infrastructure. At least that’s the conclusion of a survey described in this article in Politico. I am quoted about half-way through. Here’s what I said: “The federal government could do much more to support sustainable growth patterns, based on compact, walkable … Continue reading Politico: Infrastructure Tops Priority List for Nation’s Mayors →

MBK Logo

My Brother’s Keeper

October 26, 2015 —

A few minutes ago, following months of collaborative discussion and hard work, New Rochelle’s “My Brother’s Keeper” (MBK) steering committee released its Action Plan – a set of goals and initiatives aimed at expanding opportunities for young people in our community, especially young men of color, who – statistically speaking – face steep hurdles in … Continue reading My Brother’s Keeper →

Yesterday, the people of New Rochelle voted overwhelming for constructive, forward-looking leadership, and expressed clear, unambiguous support for a vision of positive change in our city.

In the City elections, I am thrilled by the victories for my running mates in Council Districts 5 and 6, Barry Fertel and Liz Fried, who emerged as winners in hard-fought campaigns.  And I am both humbled and gratified by the landslide margin in my own race for reelection.  Although he fell short, I also congratulate Luis Zepeda in Council District 1 for a valiant effort in a tough, uphill contest.  Here are the results from the Board of Elections, with all precincts reporting.

There are mixed results (from my perspective) in the County Legislative elections covering New Rochelle.  Catherine Parker won reelection by a wide margin, while Haina Just-Michael appears this morning to be trailing in a very tight contest.  (Haina racked up huge numbers in New Rochelle, yet trails overall because of bigger margins for Sheila Marcotte in Eastchester and Tuckahoe.)  Here are the full County results.

I congratulate all the winners, including Democrats Jared Rice and Ivar Hyden, who were reelected without opposition, and Republicans Lou Trangucci and Al Tarantino, who were returned to the City Council for new terms.

I also congratulate my opponent, James O’Toole, on his campaign.  James was gracious in reaching out to me last night to offer his concession, and I look forward to James’ continuing appearances at our Council meetings!

Finally, and most importantly, I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who played a part in our local campaign this year.  Whether you posted a lawn sign, gave an endorsement, made a financial contribution, handed out literature, or simply took the time to vote, Catie and I together feel a deep, personal sense of gratitude for your help.

I look ahead to the coming term with great optimism — humbled to be entrusted again with leadership, but also refreshed by such a strong statement of support and determined to work my hardest alongside colleagues of both parties to justify your confidence.

This is an exciting moment for New Rochelle.  Let’s do everything possible to make the most of our opportunities.

With enormous appreciation,

Noam

 

P.S.  If you have a lawn sign on your property, please go ahead and dispose of it.

Lots of news this month.

New Rochelle gets its brand — we’re “Ideally Yours.”

On the development and planning front, we’re looking closely at how growth affects schools and considering better ways to manage traffic, even as our downtown initiative receives a major award.

I get a valuable and intense education in fire fighting operations.

And we can all get a great meal during restaurant week, while having some pre-Halloween fun tonight at PopRocs.

But the big question is: where are the earthquake pills?

There’s more on these and other items at the links below.

Best,

Noam

Latest News

Main and Huguenot were originally two-way streets.

New Ro Considers Big Traffic Changes

October 21, 2015 —

The City is reviewing three very significant potential changes in local traffic patterns, each of which is laid out in this presentation made to the Council last night: 1) Cedar/River/Palmer: Consolidation of the unusual and inefficient one-way streets at this intersection into a more traditional and rational confluence of two-way streets. I suspect that this … Continue reading New Ro Considers Big Traffic Changes →

Earthquake Pills

Where Are The Earthquake Pills?

October 19, 2015 —

Jeremy and I made a quick grocery run to the new Acme supermarket in the Quaker Ridge Shopping Center over the weekend. Looks pretty much the same as the A & P did, but the name will take a little getting used to — especially for someone like me, who grew up on Warner Brothers … Continue reading Where Are The Earthquake Pills? →

Poprocs Oct 2

PopRocs on Wednesday – Celebrate an Early Halloween on Memorial Plaza

October 18, 2015 —

PopRocs comes back to Memorial Plaza with a special Halloween celebration this Wednesday, October 21st from 5pm to 9pm. Check out everything in this flyer. And bring your pet!

Restaurant Week

New Ro Restaurant Week(s) Coming Up

October 17, 2015 —

The growth and quality of our downtown restaurant scene has been one of New Rochelle’s unvarnished success stories in recent years. Whatever your taste – from Caribbean to Italian, from Mexican to Indian, from great Tapas to perfect wine pairings – New Rochelle has something for you to enjoy. And there’s no better time to … Continue reading New Ro Restaurant Week(s) Coming Up →

NRHS 2

Development and Schools – A Comprehensive, Forward-Looking Strategy

October 15, 2015 —

As New Rochelle pursues the most ambitious downtown development plan in our history, it’s vital that we also carefully analyze and address the potential impacts of development to ensure that our whole community benefits from change. When it comes to residential development in particular, the big question is: how will our schools be affected? As … Continue reading Development and Schools – A Comprehensive, Forward-Looking Strategy →

Brand

New Rochelle – Ideally Yours

October 14, 2015 —

“New Rochelle – Ideally Yours” I hope you like that phrase, because we’ll all be hearing it (and seeing the associated NRNY logo) many, many times in the next few years. It’s our new brand, unveiled for the first time yesterday. The brand may seem pretty simple, but it’s actually the product of many months … Continue reading New Rochelle – Ideally Yours →

Our three pizzas at Carlo's: rucola, carciofo, margherita

Food Blog: Carlo’s Restaurant

October 11, 2015 —

It was the pizza crust that had Catie raving. Both thin and soft – and absolutely delicious as the foundation for the three pizzas our family happily consumed over lunch this weekend at Carlo’s Restaurant. Carlo’s recently opened at 179 Main Street in New Rochelle (where Cienaga used to be located) and is already doing … Continue reading Food Blog: Carlo’s Restaurant →

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Mayor Noam Bramson lead round discussion in New Rochelle.

Gillibrand in New Rochelle Proposes Federal Action to Stop Gun Trafficking

October 9, 2015 —

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand was in New Rochelle today to speak with community leaders about new legislation that would, for the first time, make gun trafficking a federal crime. I was pleased to introduce the Senator and participate in the round table discussion. Nearly three-quarters of the firearms recovered from crimes in New York originate in … Continue reading Gillibrand in New Rochelle Proposes Federal Action to Stop Gun Trafficking →

Screen Shot 2015-10-08 at 8.17.19 AM

Lush Life on November 5

October 8, 2015 —

Don’t miss a great party, when the New Rochelle Council on the Arts holds its 40th Anniversary “Lush Life” Gala on Thursday, November 5th. You can reserve tickets here. And watch this video to get in the mood, even if the A-Train doesn’t quite make it up to Westchester.

Downtown Image

New Ro Downtown Plan Receives Award

October 6, 2015 —

This just in . . . New Rochelle’s ambitious downtown development vision has received an award from the American Planning Association. Here’s more from the notice: “On behalf of the New York Metro Chapter of the American Planning Association, I am pleased to advise you that the City and its development partner RDRXR have been … Continue reading New Ro Downtown Plan Receives Award →

Fire Gear

Much Harder Than Politics

October 4, 2015 —

I have always understood that fire fighting is exceptionally difficult, dangerous, and often heroic work. But it is one thing to grasp the challenges intellectually and another to experience them firsthand. So this past Friday, I was very glad to participate in a half-day fire operations training session. Organized and staffed by fire fighters from … Continue reading Much Harder Than Politics →

Foraging

Come Foraging on October 11th

October 3, 2015 —

Come foraging in the Nature Study Woods on Sunday, October 11th. I did this with the kids a couple of years ago, and it was really fun. Amazing how many edible items are growing all around us. (Although my friends still look at me suspiciously when I pick something in the woods and start munching … Continue reading Come Foraging on October 11th →

Jacks

New Ro is Family Friendly (Also Has Good Taco Trucks)

October 2, 2015 —

Here’s a nice feature on New Rochelle from the current issue of Westchester Magazine, highlighting the family friendliness of the Huguenot Children’s Libary and Jack’s Friendship Garden, with a few good words about our city’s neighborhoods, too. And as long as we’re skimming through the magazine, ya gotta love this piece about the taco trucks … Continue reading New Ro is Family Friendly (Also Has Good Taco Trucks) →

Dance on Green

Downtown’s Hopping, Literally

September 27, 2015 —

New Rochelle’s downtown was hopping this afternoon (literally) with a formal dance on Library Green to wrap up the weekend’s ArtsFest. I love this photo, taken by Angela Taylor, which really shows the area in a pretty light – park, trees, skyline, fun, life. The only thing missing from the photo are the large numbers … Continue reading Downtown’s Hopping, Literally →

I’m in!  This month, I officially entered the race for reelection as Mayor of New Rochelle.

Your friendship and generosity have meant so much to me in prior campaigns, and I would be deeply grateful for your help once again.

Are you with me?

To support the campaign, please click here.

Here in New Rochelle, we are on a roll — our lowest crime rate in 54 years, our top bond rating in 80 years, the fourth lowest city tax rate in the entire state, and an all-time high in local sales of goods and services . . . not to mention plans for the most ambitious downtown development in the region’s history.

Despite this impressive record, the campaign may be difficult.  My opponent is better known than most challengers, and I still bear some political scars from my race for County Executive.  Without the resources to communicate effectively, our message could be shouted down.

That’s why your help is so important.

Please consider making a contribution by clicking here.

I have done everything in my power to uphold the highest standards of service, based on the values we share, values that cross municipal boundaries.  This will always be my commitment.

It has been a privilege to serve at your side.  Together, let’s seize every opportunity for progress.

Thank you for your trust and generosity.  I hope to hear from you soon.

Warmly,

Noam

A new boutique hotel is coming to our downtown, residents and businesses can look forward to cheaper, cleaner energy, Andrea Mitchell gives a great tribute to New Rochelle, a new law should help improve our roads, and I can’t believe Jeremy has already finished elementary school.

There’s more about these and many other topics, including videos of some recent media appearances, at the the links below.

Hope you are enjoying the summer.

Best,

Noam

Latest News

Dollars

A Good Report Card from New Rochelle’s Auditors

July 17, 2015 —

This week, the City’s independent auditors delivered their annual financial report, detailing New Rochelle fiscal position through the end of 2014. In their presentation to the Council, the auditors were more effusive than usual, hailing the City’s “great financial condition.” That may be a little of an overstatement — our community is still wrestling with … Continue reading A Good Report Card from New Rochelle’s Auditors →

greeNR

Cheaper, Cleaner Energy for New Rochelle

July 16, 2015 —

New Rochelle is looking to cut energy costs for residents and businesses, while boosting the percentage of our energy use that comes from clean, renewable sources. Through a process called Community Choice Aggregation (“CCA”), a municipality can pool the total energy demand from within its borders in order to bargain for better rates and clean … Continue reading Cheaper, Cleaner Energy for New Rochelle →

Elevation of Proposed Vib Hotel on Church Street

Boutique Hotel Coming to Downtown New Ro

July 15, 2015 —

A new Vib Hotel is likely coming to downtown New Rochelle. Vib is Best Western’s boutique brand, with an emphasis on technology integration and stylish design. The 8-story, 80 room hotel will be located on Church Street, just south of the Church-Division municipal garage, about a block off Main Street. It’s expected to have sustainable … Continue reading Boutique Hotel Coming to Downtown New Ro →

Daily Voice Interview

My Interview with Daily Voice

July 14, 2015 —

Check out my interview with the Daily Voice, with Q & A touching on both government and politics.

Library Contest

Attention Junior Filmmakers

July 8, 2015 —

If you are an aspiring filmmaker (or if you know someone who is), then check this out. The New Rochelle Public Library Foundation is sponsoring a short video contest for local high school students. The challenge: produce a 60 to 90 second video on the theme “I Found it at the Library.” And in case … Continue reading Attention Junior Filmmakers →

Summer Sounds

Summer Sounds at New Ro Waterfront

July 6, 2015 —

New Rochelle’s Summer Sounds Concert Series is back for a seventh season, bringing outdoor musical performances to the Hudson Park Bandshell every Wednesday evening at 7:30pm in July and August, staring on July 8th. Pack a picnic basket, roll out a blanket, enjoy the cool breeze from Long Island Sound, and take in an eclectic … Continue reading Summer Sounds at New Ro Waterfront →

Winton

Passing of a Hero

July 2, 2015 —

If you did not already know about Nicholas Winton, who just passed away at the age of 106, please take a moment to read this article. For me, the particular brand of heroism demonstrated by people like Winton has always been especially moving. It is the purest form of altruism — self-sacrifice for complete strangers, … Continue reading Passing of a Hero →

RFL June

National and State Issues on the Latest RFL

July 1, 2015 —

I was on RNN’s Richard French Live again last night. The panel had some fun talking about Chris Christie’s Presidential campaign (let’s just say none of us were bullish on his chances.) We also discussed President Obama’s successful week and the last session in Albany. Here are a few clips.

Andrea

Andrea Mitchell’s Tribute to New Rochelle

June 28, 2015 —

Andrea Mitchell is among the most respected and successful journalists in America. She also happens to be a New Rochelle native. A few months ago, Andrea was honored by the New Rochelle Fund for Educational Excellence, and she delivered one of the most impressive tributes to our community I’ve ever heard. Watch below.

Photo Credit: AP, Jose Luis Magana

Marriage Equality!

June 26, 2015 —

A great day for all Americans. (And a pretty good week for the Supreme Court.)

Jeremy Bramson on the last day of elementary school.

Next Up: Middle School

June 26, 2015 —

It seems like just yesterday that Jeremy was boarding the bus for the first time on his way to kindergarten. Now, here he is waiting for the bus on the very last day of elementary school. Time flies.

New Ro resident and WWII vet Bill Moye, age 100, shows how aging in place benefits all of us.

Aging in Place – Services Offered, Volunteers Needed

June 25, 2015 —

A healthy community embraces people at every stage of life. That’s why helping seniors to “age in place” is important to all of us. Creating a senior-friendly city is a multi-layered challenge, involving everything from housing options and physical infrastructure, to mobility assistance and recreational opportunities. Fortunately, there are great organizations and volunteers dedicated to … Continue reading Aging in Place – Services Offered, Volunteers Needed →

Holding Utilities Accountable for Road Work

June 23, 2015 —

You’ve probably seen this happen many times . . . The City paves a road. It looks nice for a little while. Then, just a few months later, a utility company comes along to dig a trench. The trench gets patched in a slipshod way, and now the newly paved road doesn’t look so nice … Continue reading Holding Utilities Accountable for Road Work →

RNN

Latest TV Appearance on RFL

June 22, 2015 —

I appeared on RNN’s Richard French Live last Friday. Here are a few of the clips, touching on reaction to the horrific mass shooting in Charleston, political dynamics in Congress, and the race for President.

Train Station Interior

New Ro’s Train Station Has Never Looked Better

June 19, 2015 —

If you haven’t visited the New Rochelle train station lately, make a point of dropping by; there have been a lot of positive changes. The most notable is a full wrap-around mural by the artist Piero Manrique that fills the interior of the station house. This brochure provides interesting notes on the mural’s features, all … Continue reading New Ro’s Train Station Has Never Looked Better →

Francis

Pope Francis and Climate Change

June 18, 2015 —

Pope Francis’ Encyclical Letter on climate change is a remarkably powerful ethical and factual argument for addressing the biggest global challenge of our time. I am not Catholic, but I can still appreciate and be inspired by the Pope’s moral leadership and his call for individual and collective responsibility. A single statement rarely has much … Continue reading Pope Francis and Climate Change →

County Map

No End Game for County Housing Dispute

June 15, 2015 —

Regular readers of my web posts know that, since 2013, I have refrained from commenting too much on the performance of the Astorino administration. No matter how legitimate, criticism from the losing candidate almost always comes across like sour grapes, and it’s better for me to focus on my responsibilities in New Rochelle than to … Continue reading No End Game for County Housing Dispute →

A positive outlook from Moody’s gives New Rochelle our best bond rating in 80 years, the YMCA gets a huge boost, our train station has never looked better, and watch as students at New Rochelle High School give me a gentle grilling.  Plus a smart gun forum offers practical solutions to reduce gun violence.

On a lighter note, Jeremy, Owen, and I finished the North Avenue Mile with semi-respectable times.  And this old film about Davids Island is not a Simpsons parody (although it sure seems like one.)

There’s lots more monthly news at the links below.

And if you haven’t signed up already to add your voice and perspective to our downtown development efforts, please do it now.

Catie joins me in wishing you a happy start to summer.

Best,

Noam

Latest News

Train Station Interior

New Ro’s Train Station Has Never Looked Better

June 19, 2015 —

If you haven’t visited the New Rochelle train station lately, make a point of dropping by; there have been a lot of positive changes. The most notable is a full wrap-around mural by the artist Piero Manrique that fills the interior of the station house. This brochure provides interesting notes on the mural’s features, all … Continue reading New Ro’s Train Station Has Never Looked Better →

Francis

Pope Francis and Climate Change

June 18, 2015 —

Pope Francis’ Encyclical Letter on climate change is a remarkably powerful ethical and factual argument for addressing the biggest global challenge of our time. I am not Catholic, but I can still appreciate and be inspired by the Pope’s moral leadership and his call for individual and collective responsibility. A single statement rarely has much … Continue reading Pope Francis and Climate Change →

County Map

No End Game for County Housing Dispute

June 15, 2015 —

Regular readers of my web posts know that, since 2013, I have refrained from commenting too much on the performance of the Astorino administration. No matter how legitimate, criticism from the losing candidate almost always comes across like sour grapes, and it’s better for me to focus on my responsibilities in New Rochelle than to … Continue reading No End Game for County Housing Dispute →

Jeremy, Owen, and Noam after the North Avenue Mile.

Crossing the Finish Line

June 14, 2015 —

Jeremy, Owen and I just finished the North Avenue Mile. Our times: seven minutes and change, not too awful for guys who never run. But the real standout at the race was Jonah Gorevic, who just yesterday set the world record in the mile for an 11-year old: 4:51:85. Wow! The North Avenue Mile is … Continue reading Crossing the Finish Line →

Yoga at Bryant Park in NYC

Yogis Invited to Celebrate Solstice on the Green

June 12, 2015 —

Yogis of every age and experience level are invited to a special afternoon of outdoor yoga at New Rochelle’s Library Green. The “Solstice on the Green” happens on Saturday, June 20th, with registration beginning at 2:30pm at the Library Green entrance on the corner of Lawton and Huguenot, and then a special yoga class, guided … Continue reading Yogis Invited to Celebrate Solstice on the Green →

Dollars

Moody’s: Positive Outlook for New Ro Bond Rating

June 11, 2015 —

Moody’s has just assigned a positive outlook to New Rochelle’s bond rating, another indicator that the City’s fiscal position is improving as we emerge from the long shadow of the recession. In fact, New Rochelle now has its best bond rating in at least 80 years! Moody’s specifically cites: “the city’s large tax base and … Continue reading Moody’s: Positive Outlook for New Ro Bond Rating →

Mayor Noam Bramson in orange for Gun Violence Awareness Month

Wearing Orange for Gun Violence Awareness

June 10, 2015 —

In June, New York State observes Gun Violence Awareness Month. It’s a way to encourage conversation about community safety, while demonstrating that the great majority of New Yorkers (and Americans) fully back common sense solutions, like those we discussed in New Rochelle a few weeks ago. Today, there’s a really simple way to show our … Continue reading Wearing Orange for Gun Violence Awareness →

YMCA

Amy & Steve to the Rescue

June 9, 2015 —

New Rochelle’s Assembly Members, Amy Paulin and Steve Otis, have teamed up to rescue the local YMCA. Late last week, Amy and Steve secured a $1 million capital grant from the State to help repair the Y’s pool. Without a new pool, the YMCA was in real danger of closing, which would have been devastating … Continue reading Amy & Steve to the Rescue →

Meet the Leaders

Meet the Students

June 7, 2015 —

Last week, I recorded a 30-minute interview for Cablevision’s “Meet the Leaders” program. But instead of the usual studio format, this interview was conducted town hall-style at New Rochelle High School before a live audience of students in the AP Government class. Watch the program here. The students were the real stars – asking terrific … Continue reading Meet the Students →

Fort Slocum

This is Not a Simpsons Parody

June 6, 2015 —

New Rochelle history buffs will love this old U.S. Army film describing activities at Fort Slocum on Davids Island. In substance, the film is a fascinating portrait of a facility that was a big part of our city’s life. Stylistically, though, it’s very much a relic of its time, with swelling music and cheesy voice-overs … Continue reading This is Not a Simpsons Parody →

Law enforcement officials meet with smart gun manufacturers in New Rochelle.

Smart Gun Forum Held in New Rochelle

June 5, 2015 —

On May 21st, the New Rochelle Police Department hosted a first-of-its-kind forum on smart guns. You can read all about it here. A smart gun uses a microchip or related device to identify an authorized user and to prevent others from firing the weapon. If smart gun technology were employed more widely, many tragic accidents … Continue reading Smart Gun Forum Held in New Rochelle →

MBK Image

My Brother’s Keeper Action Summit on June 11th

June 3, 2015 —

Back in April, New Rochelle accepted the My Brother’s Keeper challenge – a nationwide effort to help more young people overcome barriers and seize positive opportunities, with a multidisciplinary strategy that runs from early childhood all the way to career development. Since then, organizers in our community have been working to bring together service providers, … Continue reading My Brother’s Keeper Action Summit on June 11th →

Our margarita with prosciutto and arugula. I ate most of it.

Food Blog: Patsy’s Pizza

May 30, 2015 —

Ever since Patsy’s Pizza, the famous New York Italian, opened an outpost here in New Rochelle, I’ve been eager to go. Yesterday, I finally got my chance. The space, which formerly housed the restaurants On the Waterfront and RRQ, received a full makeover and has never looked better. Sleek, simple, and elegant, with both indoor … Continue reading Food Blog: Patsy’s Pizza →

Garden Tour

June Blooms! Visit Amazing Gardens on June 6th

May 28, 2015 —

My mother has an amazing green thumb. Growing up, our family was surrounded by plants and flowers, inside the house and out. To this day, Mom’s annual spring gift to me and Catie is a thoughtful collection of potted plants that we place around our yard. Alas, the gift does not seem to be genetic, … Continue reading June Blooms! Visit Amazing Gardens on June 6th →

Farm Market

Downtown Farmers Market Opens This Saturday

May 27, 2015 —

New Rochelle’s downtown Farmers Market is back for another season with terrific fresh produce, baked goods, meats, and fish from throughout our region. The Market opens this Saturday, May 30th at 9am and will continue every Saturday through the fall. Here’s more information, including details about musical performances, product demonstrations, and other family-friendly activities. Visiting … Continue reading Downtown Farmers Market Opens This Saturday →

If you are a New Rochelle resident, before you read any of the monthly news below, please visit this website:

nrfuture

Really.  Please.  Do it now.  In fact, here’s the link again: nrfuture.

Through the site, you can learn about New Rochelle’s ambitious development plans, sign up to receive bulletins and meeting notices, and – most importantly – weigh in on specific development concepts by suggesting your own ideas or reacting to the ideas of others.

This is the most sweeping downtown renewal effort in New Rochelle’s history, and public input is vital to getting it right.  So if you care about this subject, don’t let a small handful of voices dominate the debate.  Take a few moments to join the conversation.  Then pass it along to your friends and neighbors.  It matters.

On other fronts, New Rochelle has accepted the challenge of My Brother’s Keeper, form-based zoning aims to enhance urban design, Iona’s new residence hall reflects a fresh spirit of college-community partnership, the Council has received an intriguing proposal for the Ward Acres barn, and don’t forget the New Rochelle House Tour on May 31st.

There’s lots more about these and other subjects at the following links.

Enjoy the Memorial Day weekend, and please remember to give thanks to those who sacrificed on behalf of our country.

Noam

Latest News

Wards Acres in New Rochelle's largest park.

Stone Barns Meets Storm King (Plus Beer!)

May 21, 2015 —

The Stone Barns Center in northern Westchester is a much-admired showcase for sustainable agriculture. (And it’s on-site restaurant, Blue Hill, offers a world-class dining experience for those willing to take out a second mortgage to cover the tab.) Storm King, … Read more →

Mayor Noam Bramson with Beth El nursery school students.

Very Silly

May 20, 2015 —

I was invited to spend a few minutes with the students at Beth El’s nursery school this morning. We read a couple of books together. The first was an easy crowd-pleaser: The Mixed-Up Chameleon by mainstay children’s author Eric Carle. … Read more →

North Avenue Mile copy

I’ll Race You!

May 15, 2015 —

There are many good reasons to run the North Avenue Mile on June 14th. 1) It’s a fun community event that brings together friends, neighbors, and families throughout New Rochelle. 2) How often do you get to run down the … Read more →

Mayor Noam Bramson and Iona President Joe Nyre at the residence hall ground-breaking.

Iona Residence Hall Reflects New Partnership

May 13, 2015 —

Last week, I attended the ground-breaking for Iona’s new student residence hall on North Avenue. The building will also include taxable commercial space on the ground level. You can read more about the event in this press release from the … Read more →

An image from New Rochelle's Smart Growth Study.

New Ro Receives Planning Award

May 12, 2015 —

This just in. New Rochelle has received a Planning Achievement Award from the Westchester Municipal Planning Federation. The Award recognizes our Smart Growth Study, which helped lay the foundation for our downtown master development agreement. It’s a good illustration of … Read more →

Form Based Code

Rethinking the Zoning Code

May 7, 2015 —

The City Council had an unusual meeting on Tuesday night. No legislation was considered, no votes were cast, and no hearings were held. Instead, we received a presentation – almost a tutorial – about “form-based codes.” Yes, I know, it … Read more →

Potholes . . . Again

May 5, 2015 —

Since the end of winter, New Rochelle’s in-house repair crew has filled about 2,200 potholes. Meanwhile, contractors brought in to supplement the City workforce have repaired an additional 25,000 square feet of roadway, give or take. That’s a lot of … Read more →

Comp Plan Logo

Comp Plan Meeting on May 6th

May 1, 2015 —

The City is resuming efforts to produce an updated Comprehensive Plan, with a public information session set for May 6th. Here are the meeting details: Wednesday, May 6th from 7:00pm to 9:00pm 2 Clinton Place, 2nd Floor (Offices of Cross … Read more →

My Appearance on NBC

April 30, 2015 —

I was interviewed last night for about ten minutes on NBC’s 7pm newscast. Because this is a New York metro area program, I tried to put New Rochelle’s initiatives in a regional context. The interviewer certainly framed our discussion in … Read more →

MBK

New Ro Accepts “My Brother’s Keeper” Challenge

April 29, 2015 —

My Brother’s Keeper is a Presidential initiative aimed at helping more young people thrive in school and transition successfully to work, with an emphasis on better collaboration among service providers, educators, government, and the broader community. For several months, a … Read more →

NRHS 2

City & School District Explore Shared Services

April 28, 2015 —

New Rochelle’s City government and School District are taking a closer look at potential shared services that might cut costs and promote efficiency. Here’s a memo from City Manager Chuck Strome providing an update on this priority. The most promising … Read more →

Noam Bramson with Michael Apollo and Other Honorees

Bridges Award at SEPTA Dinner

April 25, 2015 —

The annual Special Education PTA (SEPTA) dinner is always a terrific event, drawing hundreds of people and celebrating some truly extraordinary teachers and students. This year’s dinner on Thursday was no exception. Here I am with Michael Apollo, who received … Read more →

Mural-Train

Train Station Mural Celebrates New Ro History

April 23, 2015 —

The New Rochelle train station is now home (metaphorically speaking) to some of the city’s most notable residents. A new mural inside the station house celebrates our history with portraits of famous New Rochelleans from days past. If you don’t … Read more →

Mayor Noam Bramson with NRHS Environmental AP Class

New Ro Celebrates Arbor Day

April 22, 2015 —

Earlier this afternoon, I joined the AP Environmental Class from New Rochelle High School at the City’s official Arbor Day observance. Together, we planted a symbolic red oak a few feet from the Huguenot Children’s Library, discussed the many virtues … Read more →

NBC InterviewOn Wednesday evening, I sat down for a live interview on NBC New York’s 7:00pm newscast.  Thought you might be interested.  Take a look.

Best,

Noam

Lots of good news this past month.

The New Rochelle Diner has opened its doors, the City’s finances have improved, and the local crime rate is down to a fifty-four year low.

With downtown development efforts accelerating, you are invited to share your ideas and help shape our plans.

The arts are popping up at the train station, business is popping up in public plazas, and New Rochelle is popping up in the movies and at Carnegie Hall.

And if you missed my State of the City Address, you can read a transcript or watch a video.

There’s much more about each of these topics, plus several others, at the links below.

Catie joins me in sending best wishes,

Noam

Latest News

The New Rochelle Diner<br /><br /><br /> Photo Credit: Jen Parente

New Rochelle Diner Opens Its Doors

April 21, 2015 —

When the old Thruway Diner closed down a few years ago, thousands of residents mourned the loss of a beloved institution. So few events have been more eagerly anticipated than the arrival of a new eatery at the very same … Read more →

Cole Feuer and Noam Bramson wearing fashionable vests.

Clearing Thorns at Ward Acres

April 20, 2015 —

I spent about an hour yesterday clearing invasive thorns bushes from Ward Acres alongside an enthusiastic group of volunteers. The young man on the left in this photo is Cole Feuer, who spearheaded the effort – a great example of … Read more →

SOTC 2015

State of the City Video

April 19, 2015 —

If you missed my State of the City Address last month, and if reading a transcript isn’t your thing, here’s a video of the speech. The microphone shadow is a little distracting, but otherwise not too bad.

Paine to Pain

Paine to Pain Gets Star Treatment in Trail Runner

April 16, 2015 —

About 15 years ago, a New Rochelle resident named Eric Turkewitz approached me with a great idea. Eric pointed out that, with just a few modest connections, we could link together several of the region’s parks and open spaces to … Read more →

YMCA

New Rochelle YMCA Gets Boost, More Help Needed

April 15, 2015 —

The New Rochelle YMCA’s “Be A Lifesaver” campaign got a nice boost in March when Democrats and Republicans joined together at an event to raise money to rescue the Y’s pool. But more needs to be done, and without its … Read more →

Anderson Plaza (Photo Credit: Westfair Online)

New Ro’s Pops

April 14, 2015 —

New Rochelle’s ambitious economic development plans are rightly getting a lot of attention, but the City’s downtown revitalization efforts encompass a whole lot of smaller initiatives that are also important. Here’s a good example, called “New Ro’s Pops.” We’ve just … Read more →

Chance Kelly

Chance Kelly, Neighborhood Association President (Oh Yeah, Actor, Too)

April 13, 2015 —

Chance Kelly’s name may not be familiar to most people, but after dozens of TV and film roles, his face probably is. Here’s a great article about Chance in the current issue of Westchester magazine. Ordinarily, I wouldn’t call attention … Read more →

Hillary

Hillary for President

April 12, 2015 —

Hillary Clinton’s announcement video is one of the best I have ever seen. I am fully on board. Join the campaign at www.hillaryclinton.com.

Common Core

Thoughtful Comments on State Ed Tests

April 12, 2015 —

I am no expert on educational testing and wouldn’t presume to offer my own comments on the subject. But the following observations from Todd Kern, a New Rochelle resident and public school parent whose professional life is devoted to academic … Read more →

Lombardi 2

Business Journal Covers Latest New Ro Projects

April 10, 2015 —

Here’s a nice article from the Westchester Business Journal about two new developments that are helping to transform New Rochelle’s transit district and lower North Avenue corridor. Much more to come.

Newsbreakers

Talking City Issues and Politics on Newsbreaker

April 9, 2015 —

I recently sat down with RNN’s Andrew Whitman for a roughly 15 minute “Newsbreaker” interview, focusing primarily on downtown development issues, but also touching on politics and some personal history. Here’s part 1. And here’s part 2.

Wide Shot

Downtown Development – Share Your Ideas

April 1, 2015 —

The most ambitious downtown development effort in New Rochelle’s history crosses a milestone today with the launch of the crowdsourced placemaking (CSPM) process. Learn more by logging on to www.nrfuture.com. Through CSPM, every resident of New Rochelle will have a … Read more →

Lasagna

Angela’s Alter-Ego (and Lasagne Recipe)

March 30, 2015 —

My Assistant Angela Taylor is an exceptionally competent and dedicated public servant by day, but like Clark Kent or Bruce Wayne, she also has an alter-ego who emerges outside the office — talented author, storyteller, and blogger. Before entering government, … Read more →

George

March 27, 2015 —

George Schiavone has been cutting my hair since I was a little boy. Now I take my own kids to George at his barbershop in the Quaker Ridge Shopping Center. (Here are the before and after shots from our most … Read more →

Mayor Noam Bramson with Out of the Blue. Photo credit: Susan Nagib

Arts Encounter at New Ro Train Station

March 26, 2015 —

“Out of the Blue,” an a capella singing group from Oxford, is touring the United States. First stop: New Rochelle. Yesterday morning, they gave an impromptu performance at our train station, surprising and delighting commuters whose daily routines were suddenly … Read more →

Newsletter 2

Latest City Newsletter – Coming to a Mailbox Near You

March 25, 2015 —

The latest official City newsletter should be arriving in most people’s mailboxes this week, with a good round-up of information from recent months. You can view it here as a pdf.

City Hall