Johnny V. Reminisces with GWU Professor about Meeting Jackie Robinson on Happy Felton’s Knothole Gang at Old Ebbets Field

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The legendary Happy Felton (right), with Knothole Gang Members, Richard and Barry Zamov in the 1950s. Both grew boys grew to be educators, Richard (below with John Vorperian (left) on the set of BEYOND THE GAME,  teaches Sociology at George Washington University, leading a course on Jackie Robinson’s Legacy, and Barry teaches in Florida.

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WPCNR SPORTS. From John Vorperian, Host, White Plains TV’s BEYOND THE GAME. September 30, 2014:

Dr. Richard Zamov, Director of the  Jackie Robinson Project at George Washington University, reminisces with WPTV Sports Personality, Johnny V. this evening at 10 P.M. on Cablevision Channel 76 in White Plains, and countywide at 10 P.M. on Verizon Fios Channel 45.

Dr. Zamov and his brother, Barry grew up loving the Brooklyn Dodgers, appearing once on the best pre-game show of all time, Happy Felton’s Knothole Gang, telecast before Dodger home games on the old Channel 9, where they met and shook hands with the great Jackie Robinson.

Dr.Zamov’s meeting with Jackie turned into a major force in his life. He teaches a Sociology Course at GWU: SOC 2151.10 (32224) “Jackie Robinson: Race, Sports & The American Dream.  As chairman of the Jackie Robinson Society, he has introduced Mr. Robinson’s role as an informal civil rights leader to more than 1,200 students attending 14 schools in six states, the District of Columbia and Japan.

Dr. Zamov received a Certificate of Recognition from White Plains Mayor Thomas Roach  at his appearance in The Edge at White Plains Public Library in September, and the Westchester County Board of Legislators declared September 18 “Jackie Robinson, the Man and His Legacy,” Day.

The interview will also be shown at 9 P.M. onFriday

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THE HEARING THAT NEVER ENDS DO NOT END. FASNYLAND RECONVENES OCTOBER 28, 6:30 P.M.

WPCNR COMMON COUNCIL-CHRONICLE EXAMINER. By John F. Bailey. September 29, 2014 UPDATED 10:30 P.M.:

The jury will remain out on the French American School of New York proposal to build a 5-building campus on the former Ridgeway Country Club as the concurrent hearings have adjourned to October 28 at 6:30 P.M.

The continuation makes it a certainty that no Common Council decision will be made before Election Day, November 4.

The scope of the questions and acerbic comments delivered by the Council to the FASNY representatives indicate that it may be months before the site plan, legal agreements, traffic management, aesthetics, and construction protocols are satisfied to the Council satisfaction, if they indeed can be satisfied. The FASNY representatives appeared stunned by the commentary leveled at them this evening.

Comments from the public may still be delivered for consideration,  based on this evening’s  French American School of New York adjustments offered tonight. Tonight’s council questioning was based on public comments through the September 9 adjournment of the hearings.  New comments may be sent to the Mayor’s Office at 255 Main Street or the City Clerk through the 28th and beyond.

The adjournment is for the French American School of New York to respond to questions raised by all 7 members of the Common Council with Michael Zarin, the attorney for The French American School. Tonight’s session lasted from 6:30 P.M. to 10:15 P.M.

Mayor Tom Roach was very concerned about whether the “Conservsancy” agreement “ran with the land,” should the operation planned by FASNY cease to be a school. He said that perpetual use of the conservancy by was a key matter that FASNY had to address. He also said that discontinuance of Hathaway Lane “could not be taken lightly,” and that not a compelling case has been made yet.

Councilpersons Dennis Krolian was very concerned about the safety issues on North Street, and wanted more  traffic study of the effect of FASNY’s suggestion of adding a 140-foot left turn lane in the northbound lane of North Street leading in to the North Street entrance.  He also sparred with Mr. Zarin’s longheld view that schools and churches had to be approved based on previous court rulings, pointing out that the actual decision cited by Zarin said that approval depended on the impact on the neighborhood.

Krolian also queried Zarin closely on the question of where the school stood with the Army Corps of Engineers on the issue of jurisdiction over wetlands. Zarin soft-shoed around the importance of this Army Corps jurisdiction issue, not saying where the school actually stood with the Army Corps. Krolian did not press Zarin on whether all documents had been submitted.

Councilperson Milagros Lecouna was most concerned about why the school site plan  increased square footage of the first Phase of the project ( High School and Middle School) was 30,000 square feet larger when enrollment had been decreased 20%.  She also wanted clarification on what exactly Phases 1 and 2 consisted of.

Councilperson Nadine Hunt-Robinson commented she was most concerned about the health and safety of students, the restrictions and conditions of the conservancy  agreement,  and the specifics of the construction plan, and the enforcement of the school busing plan and contingencies if other school districts stopped providing school busing servieces.

Zarin, FASNY attorney,  said the school is looking for guidance from the city on the construction plan restrictions and requirements. He mentioned in passing that Turner Construction was going to be the contractor.

Beth Smayda expressed concern on the issue of landscape buffering, the additional parking near Hathaway Lane and why it was needed, as well as the outdoor basketball court and the need for a three-dimensional video simulation.

John Martin, the Council President observed that a compelling case for Hathaway Lane closure had not been made. He termed the traffic management plan “insufficient,”

The primary questions all members of the council expressed concerns about were

In convening the continued hearings Mayor Thomas Roach said the hearings would not be closed tonight because there are a number of questions that the applicant will have to address. Common Council questions will be forthcoming later this evening.

The hearing should be available on the city of  White Plains website Tuesday for your viewing.

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Westchester Coalition for Hungry and Homeless and Food Bank Plan Merger

WPCNR HUMANITARIAN  REPORT. From The Food Bank for Westchester. September 29, 2014:

The Food Bank for Westchester and the Westchester Coalition for the Hungry and Homeless announced today that they have reached an agreement to merge. The merger has been approved by the boards of each organization and the agreement now goes to the State for approval which is expected later this year.

Under the agreement, the operations of the White Plains-based Coalition will be incorporated into the Food Bank, which is based in Elmsford where it operates a 36,000-square-foot distribution warehouse. The Food Bank is one of eight regional food banks in New York State and distributes more than 7.4 million pounds of food annually to an estimated 200,000 Westchester residents.

The two organizations said the consolidation will enable them to strengthen their respective missions by operating more efficiently and eliminating redundancies. Together, the Food Bank and the Coalition are the largest providers of service agencies addressing hunger-related issues in Westchester County.

“This merger capitalizes on the strengths of two vital organizations while eliminating overlapping services,” said Ellen Lynch, Executive Director of the Food Bank.  “The demand for our services is not being met. It is incumbent upon us to implement new distribution models, develop new food and funding sources, and strengthen the distribution network through enhanced volunteer engagement. The merger will enable us to utilize our collective resources more effectively to reach all these goals and to raise awareness of the overwhelming need in our county.”

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Jeanne Blum, (Above shown in an appearance on the White Plains television program, with Jim Benerofe, on PEOPLE TO BE HEARD) the Coalition’s Executive Director, will become Director of Strategic Partnerships and Advocacy for the Food Bank. “The merger gives us a strong unified voice that will help the people we serve,” she said. “Working with our respective boards, we have carefully evaluated the benefits of a merger and concluded that this is the right time for each of our organizations to make the move. We are very excited about the future opportunities the combined organization affords us.”

Both organizations were founded in 1988 and have historically operated on parallel, yet different, tracks. The Food Bank for Westchester solicits, acquires, warehouses and distributes food to over 265 front-line hunger-relief programs across Westchester including food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, and adult, child-care and treatment centers. As the core of the county’s food collection and emergency distribution network, the Food Bank provides over 95 percent of all the food for these programs. Its distribution center includes the largest freezer in Westchester.

The Coalition advocates for hunger relief, provides financial and technical support to hunger-relief agencies, and is a resource for those seeking help or information regarding poverty issues in Westchester County.  It works with autonomous food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters and service organizations, and raises money for organizations to build capacity and to purchase food and equipment for their programs.  With the merger, the Food Bank will continue to build on The Coalition’s efforts and successes while also finding opportunities for its volunteers and supporters within the new structure.

About the Food Bank for Westchester

Incorporated in 1988, the Food Bank for Westchester is one of eight regional food banks in New York State. It acquires, warehouses and distributes more than 7.4 million pounds of food annually to 265 frontline hunger-relief programs, including food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, day care and residential programs serving the estimated 200,000 Westchester residents who are hungry or at risk of being hungry. Based in Elmsford, NY, the Food Bank is located in a 37,000sf distribution center and is home to Westchester’s largest refrigerator and freezer. For more information, visit www.foodbankforwestchester.org.

 

 

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Correspondent: Time to Bid Adieu to FASNY

WPCNR LETTER TICKER. September 29, 2014:

The following sent to the Mayor by a resident of Ridgeway singles out alleged errors in the French American School of New York justifications for its project of proposed campus on the former Ridgeway Country Club.

The hearings on the Hathaway Lane closure and Site Plan Special Permit resume this evening at City Hall at 6:30 P.M. The hearings will be televised at 6:30 P.M. on Channels 75, Cablevision, and Channel 44, Verizon FIOS.

The public is not allowed to speak, but may continue to send comments on the proposal for 10 days, according to the City Clerk. The President of the Gedney Association, John Sheehan notes that the Council could close the hearing(s) this evening or leave them open. The Common Council, as the Mayor has previously said will be asking questions of the applicant.

 

Dear Mayor

“In June 2011, I wrote my first letter to you.  It began by stating that “the audacity and arrogance of the French-American School of New York just takes my breath away.”  Over these long three plus years, it still does.  The latest example of FASNY’s attitude is its vituperative response to the Board of Education’s well-thought out letter unanimously rejecting the FASNY proposal due to traffic and student safety issues.  In the alternate universe of FASNY WORLD, FASNY is always right and anyone who disagrees is always wrong.  In this case, FASNY revealed its audacity and arrogance by stating that the Board’s opposition to the North St. access driveway to the school “showed a lack of substantive analysis of FASNY’s driveway and student busing plans and appeared based on conjecture rather than facts.”

How dare FASNY accuse our Board of Education, with all its expertise and years of hands-on experience running the White Plains School System and bus transportation program, of basing its opinion on “conjecture rather than facts.”  It is FASNY’s transportation plan that is based on “conjecture rather than facts.”  I am tired of FASNY’s temper tantrums. FASNY’s plan consists of computer modeling, projections and video simulations. How does this pass for facts?  As the saying goes, you are entitled to your own opinions, but not to your own facts.  If I were grading the FASNY response, I would give it an F.

I don’t want to belabor the points that have been made to you in hundreds of letters.  However, there are still some that I would like to touch on.

Traffic and Safety.

1.  How did FASNY conclude that the Hutchinson River Parkway is the preferred route to the proposed school, when everyone knows it is not, and why did it promote this falsehood?

2. It is absolutely untrue that only about 40 vehicles will use Ridgeway to get to the North St. entrance.

a)  School buses will use Ridgeway because they are not permitted on the HRP

b)  Parents will avoid the HRP due to the notorious traffic delays, and most will end up on Ridgeway.

3.  The area road network has insufficient capacity to support the project’s expected vehicular generation.  Attorney Zarin claims that the TMP will improve traffic on North St.  Dumping the FASNY traffic onto this already overburdened street, will have the opposite affect.  See Board of Education letter.

4.  Students, their families, staff and the operations of the White Plains Schools would be significantly impacted by FASNY’s operations at the site.  See Board of Education letter.

Character of the Neighborhood.

1.  It is hypocritical to reference the Comprehensive Plan when talking about saving open space, but ignoring its guidelines when the subject of preserving the character of the neighborhood is raised.

2.  The project is not in harmony with the zoning plan for the area and is not harmonious with the surrounding neighborhood by reason of size, location, and character.

a) The architectural design of the buildings, which are barracks-like and institutional, as well as the building material, is not in keeping with area residences.

b) The buildings will dominate the field of view, even with landscaping. The scattered parking lots are appropriate for a shopping center, not a residential neighborhood.

3.  Though the project “clusters” the proposed school campus, clustering, as described in the Comprehensive Plan, is meant for the lowest possible density housing, not institutions and campuses.  FASNY has not demonstrated that it is inherently compatible with the appropriate development of the surrounding residential community. (See Cornell vs. Bagnardi)

4. Per the 1997 Comprehensive Plan and 2006 update, as spelled out in e. 1997 Strategies Updated to 2006, (p. II-I-62): “Limit intrusions or expansions by institutional uses other than religious institutions in the Outer Area neighborhoods, particularly with reference to traffic and on-site parking impacts.”

(FASNY)Attorney Zarin repeatedly says that there are other institutions located in the area, i.e., Gedney Farms. He is totally mischaracterizing the facts. RidgewayAllianceChurch, Westchester Hills, and the Woman’s Club are the only institutions located within Gedney Farms. The rest are on the periphery, not in the heart of Gedney Farms. That is a very great difference.

Hathaway Lane

1.  Why wasn’t Hathaway Lane a problem for FASNY when the proposed entrance was on Ridgeway?

2.  Why is an untried emergency access for interior Gedney Farms deemed acceptable, even when residents’ safety would be jeopardized because of increased response time?  Why are White Plains residents less important to this City than FASNY?

3.  Residents of Hathaway Lane deny that there have been complaints for years about the use of this street by “cut thru” traffic.  This is a community street, used by the community.  What is wrong with that?  If FASNY cannot offer proof of its claim, then these are just empty words used to bolster its attempt to hijack the only direct north/south link from Ridgeway to Bryant, through discontinuance and private eminent domain.

Conservancy

1.  Is it acceptable that the proposed access road from North St., which is 3,000 ft. long (over ½ mile) and 24 ft. wide, comes perilously close to the White Plains 100-foot wetlands buffer, NYSDEC registered Wetlands G-7, and the headwaters of a branch of the Mamaroneck River, which flows into Long Island Sound?  The road will be made of impervious material, which will allow runoff from vehicles and snow and ice treatment, to leach into the most environmentally sensitive areas of Parcel D, including the ponds.

2.  Did White Plains accept FASNY at face value that no part of this environmentally sensitive property came under the regulatory jurisdiction of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers?  Would that explain why ACE was the only governmental agency not specifically included under “Requested Approvals” in the City’s letter of notification under SEQR, dated 8/07/12, regarding public hearings scheduled for the FASNY DEIS?  If so, didn’t White Plains fail in its due diligence?  Why didn’t FASNY consultant AKRF, follow up with ACE?  In its letter of 5/25/11, AKRF wrote:

“We understand that the wetlands on the eastern portion of the property (e.g., NYSDEC Wetland G-7) are not part of an altered system and would be subject to Corps regulatory jurisdiction.”

In its letter of 6/24/11, AKRF stated:  “Our goal is to confirm the regulatory status of the project site and to obtain a letter of non-jurisdiction from your office for the land area that would be disturbed by the proposed project.”  It never referenced the wetlands on the eastern portion of the property.  ACE says that there was no follow-up and the agency thought the project was dead.

3.  Meadow restoration plan.  How can you restore something that was never there?  Until it was cleared, this land was forest, not meadow.

Factual Accuracy

1.  If FASNY’s experts can’t even get the history of the Ridgeway Country Club right, why should we have confidence that more important and complex data are correct?  In its various submissions or letters, when citing the history of Ridgeway, FASNY or its consultants, repeatedly and erroneously stated that it was founded in 1910, 1912, or 1913, as part of the Gedney Farm Hotel.  None of this is correct.

Even worse, they confused the Ridgeway history with the Westchester Hills history.   Founded in 1913 as Gedney Farm Country Club, the predecessor of Westchester Hills Golf Club permitted guests of the Hotel to use its course, for a small fee.   In 2013, Westchester Hills celebrated its centennial.   The predecessor of Ridgeway, Gedney Farm Golf Club, was founded in 1923, one year before the Gedney Farm Hotel was destroyed by a devastating fire.  It was renamed Ridgeway Country Club when it was bought in 1952.  If I can google that information and get it right, why can’t FASNY’s expert consultants?

2.  Here is some hilarity I found in the SWPPP about Design Point#6.  Something changed between the first reference on page 13 (pdf 19) and the second reference on page 39 (pdf page 45):  First reference:  “Design Point #6 is the point where an existing watercourse exits the site along the western boundary.”  Second reference:  “Design Point #6 is the point where an existing water course exits the site along the western boundary behind the Cedarmere Museum.”   What???

So I googled Cedarmere Museum and found out that it is located in the Village of Roslyn Harbor in Long Island.  It is 172 acres and is the former estate of William Cullen Bryant, the famous publisher who died in 1878.  Its address is 225 Bryant Ave. Google shows it in White Plains, with a 516 area code.  It even pinpoints it on a map showing Bryant Ave. in White Plain, and locates it between Hathaway Lane and Bryant Crescent on Parcel C.  How could the expert consultants not have known that there was something very wrong here?  There is a 225 Bryant Ave. in White Plains at the location shown on the map.  It is a single family residence, not a museum on 172 acres.  Now we know that Google is not infallible, and neither is the consultant, who did not catch this ludicrous error.  Maybe it is only one error in hundreds or thousands of pages.  But what if it isn’t?

3.  FASNY refers people to its Greens to Green Conservancy website, which despite the many major changes to the project’s plans, is still pitching the original details, including campus layout, architecture based on the existing clubhouse, student enrollment, campus acreage, Ridgeway entrance, and construction start and finish date.

In addition, it still shows the idyllic renderings of the Conservancy, minus the access road which cuts through it, and the original acreage, and still says that there will be three gravel parking lots, not two.   FASNY invites visitors to the site to:  “Please browse through the website for detailed information about the strategic planning for this major new asset and amenity for White Plains.  We will update the website with additional information as the programmatic planning for this unique new environment progresses.”

The only update is the listing of the newest members of the Common Council.  That was important enough to prompt FASNY to make an update. Important factual information, not so much.  To me, this raises the question of FASNY follow through on all types of matters.  FASNY’s priorities and our priorities are not in synch.

4.  FASNY plays games with numbers.  Here is one example that I consider particularly egregious.  In trying to deflect criticism of its tax-exempt status, FASNY has said that the loss of the $278,000 property tax paid by Ridgeway in its last year, costs White Plains’ tax payers only $5 dollars a year.  How did it come up with this formula?  Conservancy FAQS on its website explains it this way: “The simple math is $278,000 divided by 56,000 White Plains residents = $5 per resident per year on average.”  We have heard about the $5 at several public hearings.  The trouble with this trickery is that while White Plains does have a population of about 56,000 people, they don’t all pay property taxes because they rent or they are children.  So dividing Ridgeway’s last year tax payment by the City’s total population is DISHONEST and insults our intelligence.

How is FASNY Doing?

Most of the City departments asked to comment on the FASNY Site Plan and its request

to discontinue Hathaway Lane, have written negative reviews, finding fault with many aspects of the proposed project.  The one outlier appears to be the Design Review Board.  My question to the Common Council is how many bites of the apple do you plan to give FASNY, either because you are legally required to do so, or you desire to do so?   There is so much wrong with the proposal, that you would surely need at least a bushel basket of apples, or perhaps an entire apple orchard, to allow FASNY to keep pursuing its goal.  Your answer will resonate with the public.

By now you must know that many of your constituents believe that you are prepared to abandon them to support an ill-conceived and disastrous FASNY project.  This would be a monumental betrayal.  Here is a quote from About White Plains, on the White Plains website:

 

Neighborhoods:  Top Quality Suburban Living.  “White Plains has thriving neighborhoods with well-established identities and a traditional suburban feel that belie their proximity to the downtown urban center.  The City offers numerous parks and recreational facilities and a large variety of recreational programming for pre-schoolers through active older adults.  Its schools are well-regarded and provide top quality education and services to a large and diverse student population…”

This says it all.  White Plains does not need FASNY!

At least a dozen neighborhood associations have come out in opposition to the FASNY project.  Exactly zero neighborhood associations have come out in support of the FASNY project.   The message is loud and clear.  A very large number of White Plains citizens do not approve of FASNY’s proposed regional school.  These are your constituents and they are telling you to vote no for the Special Permit and Hathaway Lane discontinuance.  It is incumbent upon you to do just that.

Respectfully,

Ellen Alzerez

September 29, 2014

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White Plains Sales Tax Receipts Even with Last Year’s Pace. County Collections up 3.8%

 

WPCNR QUILL & EYESHADE. From the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance. September 29, 2014:

Figures released today by the state show White Plains sales tax collections  for July and August, the first two months of the city fiscal year are virtually even with July and August 2013, with the city collecting $8,082,064.69 the last two months compared to $8,108,419.99 last July and August.

Westchester County through the first eight months of 2014, its fiscal year is 3.8% ahead of last year’s pace, receiving $328,510,845, compared to  $316,183,747 the first eight months of 2013.

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Cuomo in Afghanistan: More Scrutiny of Potential Members of Terrorist Cells Needed

WPCNR ALBANY ROUNDS. From the Office of Governor Andrew Cuomo. September 29, 2014:

In remarks about his weekend visit to Afghsanistan, Governor Cuomo promised a different approach in the state approach to Homeland Security, saying:

“One is homeland security, and second you have to get to the Middle East. You have to do something about stopping the development of the problem. It can’t be that our answer is going to be we’ll always catch it before it comes in the airport. We have to do something about resolving, managing and controlling the source of the growth of these terrorist cells.

Because at this rate of growth it’s going to be very hard to manage. And people say ‘do you think it’s going to get better or worse?’ – maybe it gets a little better, maybe it gets a little worse, but what I believe is it doesn’t go away, and I believe this is a generational problem.

And for me, as a Governor who likes to believe he’s had experience and knowledge in the matters that he’s responsible for, this is a topic that goes to the top of my list of not just a good solution, but educating myself, educating the people in the state about what this is really about and what it’s going to take.”

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo is in Afghanistan with a bi-partisan delegation of governors at the invitation of the U.S. Department of Defense, which is sponsoring the visit.

 

Governor Cuomo received a series of security briefings from U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Department of State, and other federal officials. Governor Cuomo also visited Bagram Airfield to tour its operations and thank New York and other American troops for their service – including those from Fort Drum, NY’s 10th Mountain Division.

Upon his arrival at Bagram Airfield, Governor Cuomo was met by Major General Stephen J. Townsend, the commander of Regional Command East (RC-E) and Fort Drum’s 10th Mountain Division. RC-E is headquartered at Bagram Airfield. Earlier this year, Fort Drum’s 10th Mountain Division assumed command of Regional Command East in Afghanistan. According to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), RC-East includes the provinces of Bamyan, Ghazni, Kapisa, Khost, Kunar, Laghman, Logar, Nangarhar, Nuristan, Paktika, Paktiya, Panjshayr, Parwan and Wardak.  It covers 46,000 square miles, approximately the size of Virginia, and shares a portion of the border with Pakistan.

Approximately 270 members of the New York National Guard are currently deployed in Afghanistan – the bulk of which are based in the Hudson Valley and New York City. Additionally, approximately 900 members of Fort Drum’s 10th Mountain Division are stationed in Afghanistan.

During the trip, Governor Cuomo is receiving a series of briefings from senior U.S. officials on counterterrorism issues, the evolving global threats that affect New York’s security at home, and other matters. Governor Cuomo was invited to visit Afghanistan by Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel. Due to security issues, the trip could not be disclosed publicly in advance.

Transcript of Governor Cuomo’s opening remarks from today’s briefing call:

Thank you all very much for taking the time to join, and Melissa thank you for setting up the call.

It’s been a really educating and fascinating couple of few days. I left on Friday from New York. We couldn’t give prior notice of the trip because the Department of Defense, which set up the trip, wanted it kept secret until we were on the ground for security reasons. But I left from New York and went to Andrews Air Force Base first from a number of federal agencies that were on basically Middle East issues, terrorism specifically and Afghanistan, because this is a historic moment for Afghanistan. There is going to be, hopefully, an inauguration tomorrow of the new president and then a bilateral security agreement signed with the United States which allows a presence to remain in a model of cooperative assistance.

 

But we had a number of briefings, we spent a few hours at Andrews Air Force Base, and flew to Germany where we stopped at the Ramstein Air Base and visited the main hospital, which is used for the region for soldiers who need serious care, they come to this hospital. Luckily the numbers were way down, evidencing fewer casualties as we know because of the steps the country is taking. But I had a chance to chat with a couple of these young soldiers, and I tell you they were inspirational. One young fellow who has a broken leg and plate screws in his leg, all he wants to talk about is how he wants to get back to his unit. He has a choice of rehabbing in the hospital or going back to the unit immediately and he wants to go back to the unit. One young fellow who is bleeding internally – they can’t figure out why he’s bleeding internally – literally tears up as he’s telling the story. And why does he tear up? Because he feels that he’s let his buddies down by leaving them on their own. It was really amazing.

 

The troops that I’ve met since – the 10th Mountain Division, which is out of Fort Drum, has a major presence here. And the Mountain Division has a proud history and has had hundreds and hundreds of soldiers come through deployment. The numbers were really staggering. We also have a number of National Guard and its interesting because I spent so much time with the National Guard, I recognized many of them because they had done Hurricane Sandy, Flood Irene, Storm Lee, and so I literally have seen many faces that I’ve seen throughout – a lot of them work on Empire Shield, which is also our homeland security piece. But that’s been great and they really appreciate taking the time to visit with them and letting them know that people care and respect their service.

 

I spent the most time at the Kabul base – the most time in classified briefings from the Department of State, USAID, DOD obviously – with generals who have decades of experience in the Middle East, talking about terrorism and what’s happening with terrorism, why what seems like a sudden growth spurt in terrorism and how do we handle it and what do we do differently.

Because Afghanistan in some ways poses what we believed was the problem. 9/11 happens, it’s Al Qaeda, we’re going to get Al Qaeda and it takes us to Afghanistan and in Afghanistan we basically have done what we set out to do. Certainly not perfectly, but we’ve made real progress in Afghanistan. There was an election – not the neatest election ever held, but there was an election that wound up with eventually a power-sharing agreement – an inauguration that is supposed to happen tomorrow.

We said we were going to diminish Al Qaeda and we did. We said we were going to diminish the Taliban and we did. We said we were going to help develop Afghanistan and we did. The numbers on Afghanistan’s growth were starting at a very low point, but the growth is really extraordinary. The number of people who are educated, the number of women who are educated, child mortality rates – I mean there is success all across the board.

So in some ways if you look at Afghanistan and the way we define the problem you could say we accomplished what we set out to accomplish. But along the way, the problem changed. And it’s not just Al Qaeda and the Taliban. It has now metastasized over the past 13 years.

You can have a fascinating discussion about when did ISIL become ISIL and did it really develop overnight and had it been developing over a couple of years, but everyone will say this is a virulent strain of terrorist activity and culture – and it’s a competitor of Al Qaeda. So now the situation and the definition of the problem become more complex. And it’s not just Afghanistan and Pakistan and Syria. It’s now a Middle East-wide problem. And there are off-shoots of different terrorist branches and sometimes they’re in competition with each other. So the problem – we want to solve one problem and now we have eight different problems.

And my point as the Governor of New York – New York is at the top of everybody’s threat lists. And we have spent a lot of time and we will spend a lot of time on homeland security and defending New York at our ports, at our rails, etc. And my goal is to have the most sophisticated homeland defense system ever designed by any state, period. That’s my goal. But, if you want to handle this problem it’s going to have to be done on two prongs, with two prongs. One is homeland security, and second you have to get to the Middle East. You have to do something about stopping the development of the problem. It can’t be that our answer is going to be we’ll always catch it before it comes in the airport. We have to do something about resolving, managing and controlling the source of the growth of these terrorist cells. Because at this rate of growth it’s going to be very hard to manage.

And people say ‘do you think it’s going to get better or worse?’ – maybe it gets a little better, maybe it gets a little worse, but what I believe is it doesn’t go away, and I believe this is a generational problem. And for me, as a Governor who likes to believe he’s had experience and knowledge in the matters that he’s responsible for, this is a topic that goes to the top of my list of not just a good solution, but educating myself, educating the people in the state about what this is really about and what it’s going to take.

And that’s what the trip has been all about for me. “

Posted in Uncategorized

Womens Club of White Plains Schedules Hunt-Robinson — Guerriere Forum October 8

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Terence Guerriere, Candidate for Common Council

 

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Councilwoman Nadine Hunt-Robinson, candidate for election to serve the last year of former Councilman Benjamin Boykin’s term. Mr. Boykin was elected to the County Legislature last November. Ms. Hunt-Robinson was appointed to the Common Council last February.

 

WPCNR CAMPAIGN 2014. From the Women’s Club of White Plains. September 28, 2014:

On October 8, 2014 at 7 PM, the Woman’s Club of White Plains  at Ridgeway will be
hosting a community forum.

Terence Guerriere and the Honorable Nadine Hunt-Robinson will be on hand to discuss issues relevant to the White Plains community.Light refreshments will beserved. Admission is free and the public is encouraged to attend.

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WHITE PLAINS WEEK RIDES AGAIN MONDAY NIGHT 7 PM ON FIOS 45 AND CABLEVISION 76 AND ON THE INTERNET NOW!

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REPORT

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THE FASNY HEARINGS RESUME–WHAT’S AHEAD? THE ISSUES! THE SEETHING CORRESPONDENCE!

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The Mayor Gets Letters, Lots and Lots of Letters: 8 Neighborhood Associations Call for FASNY to be Rejected

WPCNR THE LETTER TICKER. September 24, 2014:

A letter has been sent to the White Plains Mayor and Common Council jointly endorsed by eight White Plains neighborhood associations calling for the rejection of The French American School of New York  plan for a consolidated campus of five buildings to be constructed on the former Ridgeway Country Club grounds. That letter has been shared with The CitizeNetReporter:

 

 September 23, 2014

Dear Mayor Roach and Members of the Common Council:

Our associations represent the majority of residents that live in the south end of White Plains in the vicinity of the former Ridgeway Country Club. Our neighborhoods would be most affected by the FASNY proposed regional school.  In recent weeks a number of things have occurred that have made it even more evident that the FASNY project cannot go forward including:

  • The White Plains School Board, in a letter dated September 15, 2014,  unanimously said “(i) the traffic congestion which will be caused by the location of the main entrance to FASNY on North Street or on Bryant Avenue would have a profoundly negative and disruptive effect on the operations of White Plains High School and the safety and welfare of our students, their families and our staff, and (ii) FASNY’s traffic mitigation proposals not only fail to remedy the flaws in their plans, certain suggested mitigation efforts create much larger, more untenable problems for the White Plains Schools.”
  • The White Plains Planning Board in a letter dated August 25, 2014 unanimously questioned the closure of a portion of Hathaway Lane and stated that “new significant concerns have arisen particularly with regard to traffic and circulation”.
  • On September 8th and 10th two Public Hearings were held at White Plains High School that were attended by over 600 persons.  The overwhelming majority of residents and taxpayers voiced strong opposition to issuance of a Special Permit for FASNY;
  • Property values have been adversely impacted by the FASNY proposal;
  • Serious hydrology questions have been raised by the Village of Mamaroneck and others that have induced the US Army Corps of Engineers to pursue further analysis.

Earlier in the process The Council in its Environmental Findings rejected use of Ridgeway as an entrance to the proposed school stating “The Ridgeway access to the Project Site will bring large numbers of vehicles to Ridgeway in a manner that is inconsistent with the stated role of Ridgeway in the Comprehensive Plan as a Collector Street rather that an arterial roadway”.

Therefore, none of the proposed access points are feasible and all have been deemed unacceptable.   It is now time for the FASNY discussion to end.  The City’s zoning and master plan provide the requisite criteria to consider other alternatives for the property that will maximize preservation of the property’s open space while being compatible with the neighborhood in which it is located.

 

Very truly yours,

 

Gedney Association                                                      Club Pointe Association

North Street  Area Civic Association                             Glenbrooke Association

Havilands Manor Neighborhood Association                  Wyndham Close Association

Rosedale Residential Association                              Maplemoor Lake Association

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What is Going to Happen at the Resumed FASNY Hearings Monday?

WPCNR THE LETTER TICKER. September 24, 2014 The following correspondence was sent to the Mayor and White Plains Common Council Members by the writer who has shared it with WPCNR: 

Dear Mayor and Council members,

French American School of New York Application

The next meeting of the White Plains Common Council on the FASNY application will be held on September 29, 2014 at 6:30 PM in the Common Council Chamber, City Hall. The meeting will be broadcast live on Cablevision Channel 75 and Verizon Channel 47.

The public comment portion of the hearings on both the Hathaway Lane closure and Special Permit Application has been closed however, comments in written form will continue to be accepted. Written comments should be forwarded to the City Clerk”

This announcement is now on the city’s website. However, how is the public going to know what will occur at this meeting? Is it a “Special CC meeting”? Is it a “Work Session”? Are those attending able to speak?

What will the format be? What is the goal of this meeting? Who will be attending other than Council members? Your staff, consultants, attorney, FASNY?

Furthermore, will there be more than one such Session devoted to FASNY? Has the deadline for written comments been reached?

How is the Army Corps of Engineers involvement affecting the process?

I have raised several times with you the question – “what is the process?” No answer has been forthcoming.

Now others also have similar questions – such as the “Rhodes Team” :

18. Who on the City Staff is responsible for helping the Common Council coordinate all of the different FASNY submissions, consultant reports and Public Hearing comments?

19. What is the Mayor and Common Council doing with all of our correspondence and transcripts of our presentations? Is someone on the City Staff summarizing them for you?

Can you please enlighten me and others with a personal response?

I believe it is vital that an announcement on the website answer these questions and, at the very least, describe what process will be taking place on Sept 29!

Thank you!

Carry Kyzivat

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