WP VOTERS WILL REMEMBER THE WAY THE COUNCIL VOTED ON FASNY

THE LETTER TICKER. AUGUST 29, 2015:

Dear Mayor Roach
and Common Council Members John Martin, John Kirkpatrick and Beth Smayda,
The nightmare is over in White Plains after almost five very long, stressful, tumultuous years.  This real-life civics debacle had one collateral pleasure, that is, working with and getting to know some outstanding White Plains residents.
However, the ham-handed manner in which you conducted the French American School of New York (FASNY) review spoke volumes of what a JV team approach you took with the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) process.  While everything you did was for the legal record, your ‘cook book’ approach missed the essence of the SEQRA environmental review.

    -Land, air, water, minerals

-Flora, fauna

-Noise

-Features of historic or

aesthetic significance

-Population patterns

-Community character

FASNY came extremely close to ruining the entire southern portion of White Plains thanks to your ‘oversight’ and lack of stewardship.

You must understand that your votes in favor of an outside developer, FASNY, instead of the people who elected you will have a very long half-life in the memory of concerned White Plains voters.  We felt abandoned by you, our elected public servants.  You threw us under the ‘mandatory’ FASNY school bus!

Your inexplicable actions are in contradistinction to the honest, visionary, courageous and civic-minded stances taken by your colleagues: Milagros Lecuona, Nadine Hunt-Robinson and Dennis Krolian.

It is truly frightening what would have happened without intense citizen scrutiny.  It gives one pause, to think about the myriad decisions you make without such  involvement.

Your votes are your legacy.  Voters will remember your vote.

Thank you,

Anne M. Casey, M.D.

Posted in Uncategorized

WHITE PLAINS WEEK TONIGHT 7:30 ON FIOS CH. 45; CABLEVISION CH. 76 — AND THE INTERNET AT www.whiteplainsweek.com

JOHN BAILEY, JIM BENEROFE

WORLD WIDE

2015710WPW 037

ON

www.whiteplainsweek.com

and

on your local tv 

COUNTYWIDE ON FIOS CH. 45

CABLEVISION CH. 76

7:30 PM

RKOTower2015227whiteplainsweek 013

TONIGHT ON

THE DOWNTOWN VACANCY PROBLEM

WHAT COULD BE NEXT FOR THE RIDGEWAY COUNTRY CLUB PROPERTY

THE DEPARTURE OF ATLANTA BREAD

THE SCHOOL CRISIS

THE WHITE PLAINS LIVING STUDIO

JIM BENEROFE ON WHAT THE DOWNTOWN NEEDS–WHAT WORKS. WHAT DOESN’T.

AND  WESTCHESTER’S MOST RELEVANT INTERVIEW

PEOPLE TO BE HEARD

2015827fagin 009

DR. HENRY FAGEN JR.

OF THE UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH CAROLINA (SPARTANBURG)

ON

HOW PREPARED ARE COLLEGE FRESHMEN TODAY FOR COLLEGE LEVEL WORK.

Posted in Uncategorized

WHITE PLAINS SCHOOLS OPEN BEFORE LABOR DAY WEEKEND. SCHOOL STARTS ONE WEEK FROM TODAY SEPTEMBER 2

WPCNR SCHOOL DAYS. AUGUST 26, 2015:

THE WHITE PLAINS SCHOOLS CALENDAR ARRIVED TODAY

IT ANNOUNCES THE WHITE PLAINS SCHOOLS OPEN WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 2 AND 3, ( BEFORE LABOR DAY WEEKEND) AND CLOSE FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 5, SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 6 AND LABOR DAY, SEPTEMBER 7.

THE WHITE PLAINS SCHOOLS WILL AGAIN CLOSE SEPTEMBER 14 AND 15 FOR ROSH HASHANA AND SEPTEMBER 23 FOR YOM KIPPUR.

Posted in Uncategorized

JUST IN: VERIZON, GTE CONFIRM PHONE SCAM FROM JAILS–DO NOT PRESS 90# IF ASKED BY ALLEGED TELEPHONE TECHNICIAN

WPCNR PHONE SCAM ALERT From a CitizeNetReporter in Florida and Acquaintance of WPCNR. August 26, 2015:

I received a telephone call last evening from an individual identifying himself as an AT&T Service Technician (could also be Telus)   who was conducting a test on the telephone lines. He stated that to complete the test I should touch nine (9), zero (0), the pound sign (#), and then hang up.  Luckily, I was suspicious and refused.
 
Upon contacting the telephone company, I was informed that by pushing 90#, you give the requesting individual full access to your telephone line, which enables them to place long distance calls billed to your home phone number.
 
I was further informed that this scam has been originating from many local jails/prisons. DO NOT Press 90# for ANYONE…
 
The GTE Security Department requested that I share this information with EVERYONE I KNOW.
 
 
After checking with Verizon they also said it was true,
 so do not dial 90# for anyone!!

Posted in Uncategorized

WHITE PLAINS–THE GO-TO PLACE FOR NY MOVIES AND TV PRODUCTION WANTS TO CAST YOUR HOME AND BUSINESS IN A STARRING ROLE.

WPCNR STAGE DOOR. From Jill Ianetta, City of White Plains.August 25, 2015:

How would you like to see your home on the big screen or the little screen?

The Mayor’s office is compiling a database of homes that White Plains can show to location scouts for consideration in future productions. We are also compiling a directory of craft services.

If you haven’t noticed, the City of White Plains has become a popular venue for filming projects. White Plains has recently hosted crews from Elementary, Madam Secretary, Sneaky Pete, Billions, Mr. Robot, and Blindspot.

In recent months, our library, restaurants on Mamaroneck Avenue, and homes in residential neighborhoods have all served as film sets in various productions.

The City of White Plains is considered to be strategically located within the “Studio Zone Radius.” This means that film crews can film here and studios do not have to reimburse them for travel time or hotels, thus making filming in White Plains desirable and economical.

Our diverse neighborhoods and eclectic architecture appeal to location scouts. Mayor Tom Roach, recognizing economic benefits said, “White Plains is perfectly suited for this nontraditional area of economic development because our city has neighborhoods, buildings, and open space that fit a variety of location needs. We have urban and suburban settings, interesting architecture, and we are, of course, easily accessible by car and train. We know that we live in a great city and now the world is seeing it. White Plains has streamlined its processes, and film crews find that working in White Plains is a positive experience.”
The Mayor’s office is compiling a database of homes that we can show to location scouts for consideration in future productions. We are also compiling a directory of craft services.

If you would like your business to be listed as a source for craft services, such as catering, sound, tutoring or anything else a film crew might need, we will list your contact information in our directory.

Please contact Jill Iannetta in the Mayor’s office at (914) 422-1411 or jiannetta@whiteplainsny.gov for more information or to be included in the database and/or directory of craft services.

Tell them WPCNR sent you!

Posted in Uncategorized

Downtown Music at Grace debuts New Season September 16

Welcome to Downtown Music at Grace

2015-16 Concert Season

September

Wednesday, September 16, 12:10PM

Heritage Brass: Five current and former members of the U.S. Military Academy Band join us to celebrate the start of our 28th season. Presented in partnership with the Parks and Recreation Department of the City of White Plains, this concert will take place in the new plaza at Main Street and Mamaroneck Avenue. In the event of rain, the concert will be held in Grace Church.  A Downtown Music debut. Free Admission

Wednesday, September 23, 12:10PM

Irena Portenko, a pianist hailed by the New York Times for her “admirably honest and clear textured playing”, returns to Downtown Music with a program of music by Beethoven, Chopin, and Piazzolla. Free Admission

Friday, September 25, 12:10PM

Ed Fast and Conga Bop
A White Plains Jazz Fest 2015 Event Free admission
Click here for details.

Wednesday, September 30, 12:10PM

Nicole Sharlow, violin, Paul Swensen, cello, andDavid Kim, piano, play music of Copland, Ravel, and Beethoven. This concert is made possible with the generous support of the Brian Wallach Agency, White Plains, New York. Personal and Commercial Insurance since 1949. Free Admission

Posted in Uncategorized

Missing in the Newsroom: Reporters of Color

WPCNR NEWS & COMMENT. From the Columbia Journalism Review. August 23:

EDITOR: The following essay and research paper was sent to me by the Columbia Journalism Review. It reveals an embarrassment to journalism, and I feel it deserves attention:

IN MANY NEWSROOMS THERE ARE NO REPORTERS OF COLOR By Alex T. Williams

Last month I wrote about how editors have explained a lack of minority journalists in newsrooms as a “pipeline problem” (i.e., editors claim they aren’t hiring minorities because there aren’t enough minority applicants), but data collected from colleges and newsrooms across the country rejects this idea. The problem isn’t a lack of qualified candidates; it’s unequal hiring.

But there’s another problem: Minority journalists are more likely to leave journalism than their white counterparts. As a PhD student interested in the future of journalism, I wanted to study this issue from a new vantage point. So in addition to looking at retention rates in newsrooms, I also requested unpublished data from the American Society of News Editors (ASNE) to review how many reporters of color a typical newsroom employs. Even with low expectations, the results were surprising.

Illustrating what many journalists of color refer to as “being the only one in the room,” newspapers with a circulation of less than 50,000 typically employ 0 reporters of color in their newsrooms. While this number is frustrating for a number of reasons, I want to focus on the burden it places on reporters of color when they are hired, and how that burden may affect retention.

Take, for example, a passage published by Rebecca Carroll last year in The New Republic, in which she reflects on what it was like to work as a black journalist for 15 years before finally quitting the media industry:

At the start of each new job, where I was almost invariably the only black editor on staff (unless it was a black publication—I have worked at a few), I would be heralded for my “voice” (and the implicit diversity it brought), until that voice became threatening or intimidating, or just too black.

Now consider that for the last 30 years, ASNE has estimated a retention rate for newspaper employees. In 22 of those 30 years, the retention rate for minority journalists has been lower than Caucasians. In 2015, the difference was more pronounced than ever, with 78 percent of minorities being retained compared to 86 percent of white journalists.

Combine lower retention rates with unequal hiring, and the number of minority journalists in newsrooms hovers around 13 percent. Looking specifically at newspaper reporters in the 2015 ASNE census, Black, Hispanic, Asian, and Native Americans are each under-represented compared to their portion of the population.

Newspaper-Reporting-Chart.png

Graph by Alex T. Williams

To understand the cause of this imbalance, we need to look at the actual number of reporters of color, not just the percentage. We can analyze what a typical newsroom looks like by using the median number of reporters.

According to the ASNE 2015 census data, newspapers with a circulation of less than 50,000 typically employ 0 reporters of color in their newsrooms, as previously mentioned. But while larger newspapers are more likely to employ journalists of color, it’s important to note that out of about 1,400 daily newspapers in the US, approximately 1,250 of them have circulations less than 50,000. These smaller newspapers are often where young journalists begin their careers.

Median-Number-of-Reporters.png

Graph by Alex T. Williams

These low numbers are troubling not only because of what they illustrate about the current state of diversity, but also because of the burden they place on minority reporters when they are hired.

At NPR’s Code Switch, Gene Demby recently interviewed Scott Page, a professor at the University of Michigan who studies how diversity improves decision making at organizations, to explore the pitfalls of “being the only one in the room.”

“One question you can ask is how many people of a particular group have to be in a room for them to speak,” Page said. That is, having a woman in a room doesn’t affect a whole lot if she doesn’t feel comfortable speaking up. And while he has found that the presence of just one member of a minority group in a room can positively influence the rest of the group to be more cognizant of their own language and behavior, that’s different from actually hearing out that person’s ideas.

What Carroll and Demby both point out is that it’s taxing if you are the lone dissenting voice in the room, particularly when you are forced to represent entire communities against the opinions of people who outrank you. Yet the common argument for more diverse newsrooms is improved coverage—which requires minority journalists to challenge and change the status quo.

Given this tension, a 2009 study on minority journalists is worth reviewing. The research team, led by Professor Katsuo A. Nishikawa, wanted to resolve a paradox: Why have some studies found that hiring minority journalists improves coverage of minority communities, while others have found no effect?

After interviewing 18 journalists, the authors concluded that journalists of color acted as “watchdogs” by pointing out stories that needed more nuance and improving the selection of new topics and resources. However, they explain:

A lone voice, asking the pointed question, waving the red flag, might well be drowned out by a chorus of often more senior and influential White voices … diverse newsrooms have the potential to transform the stereotypical, two-dimensional portrayals of minority communities into more accurate, multi-layered depictions. A critical mass of minority journalists committed to that goal, however, is necessary to bring about that transformation.

Since the typical newsroom at a newspaper with a circulation under 50,000 does not even employ one reporter of color, we are clearly a long way from realizing that transformation. And as a result, too often the status quo wins out, with talented reporters of color leaving the field in frustration.

 

If you’d like to get email from United States Project writers and editors, add your email address to our list and we’ll be in touch.

Alex T. Williams is a PhD student at the University of Pennsylvania. His writing his been published by the Pew Research Center, Poynter, and The Washington Post’s Monkey Cage. Find him on Twitter@AlexT_Williams or on his website.

Posted in Uncategorized

EDUCATION LEADS IN JOB GROWTH OVER LAST YEAR. HOSPITALITY SECOND. CONSTRUCTION SLOW

WPCNR WORKFORCE BLOCKS. From the NYS Department of Labor. August 23, 2015:
For the 12-month period ending in July 2015, private sector employment in the Hudson Valley increased by 10,500 or 1.4 percent, to 780,300.  Five of nine private industry sectors gained jobs in July compared to a year ago.
Jobs were added in educational and health services (+7,200), leisure and hospitality (+4,300), other services (+2,000), trade, transportation and utilities (+500), and construction (+200).
Job losses were centered in financial activities (-1,700), manufacturing (-1,500), information (-300), and professional and business services (-200).  The government sector shed 1,000 jobs over the period.
Educational and health services remains the region’s leading job generator.  The sector grew by 3.9 percent over the period – its strongest July year-over-year growth in 17 years.
Meanwhile, the region’s leisure and hospitality industry has continued performing admirably, especially in the Orange-Rockland-Westchester labor market area, where the sector grew by 6.2 percent- its fastest July year-to-year growth on record.
Labor force data for July 2015 will be released on Tuesday, August 25.
Posted in Uncategorized

WHITE PLAINS SINGLE FAMILY HOMES SALES SLIGHTLY UP FROM LAST YEAR. PRICES DECLINE IN SHOPPER’S MARKET. CONDOS RALLY. COOPS COOL OFF. MULTI FAMILIES SALES DEAD.

WPCNR REALTY-GO-ROUND. By John Bailey based on data  Rand Realty, White Plains. August 22, 2015:

Mike Graessle’s Rand Realty sales report on the  April-May-June quarter is upbeat for single home sellers and condo owners, but owners of co-ops and multi-families cool off in price and consumer interest.

Mike writes  me “activity was way up in the second quarter. My colleagues agree the market (in White Plains) seems the busiest that it’s been in years. Even with all that demand coming into the market, we’re not seeing yet any significant impact on prices. I can tell you that in the field we’re definitely seeing pricing start to creep up, with the return of ‘multiple offer’ situations and bidding wars. My guess is, it’s just a matter of time before prices start to escalate.

The data for White Plains in the 2nd quarter for closed sales indicates 8 more single family homes sold in this year’s second quarter compared to last year (52 to 44). In the first quarter this year 39 homes sold a 33% increase for the first six months

Average price declined in the second quarter to $669,549, down 7% and the median selling price (meaning half sold above for prices higher, half lower) was $613,750. Average days on the market was 5 months. Average discount from original price was 2.4%. In the first six months of 2015 the median price dropped 24% ($805,000 to $613,750).

Condominiums appear to making a slight recovery in White Plains, sales up 20% in the first six months of 2015, and prices up, too. The average selling price of a condo in the second quarter was $686,786 on the 49 closings an increase of 20%. In the first six months of this year the average price of closed condo sale was $536,310—up 28%  Sellers on average had to discount their sale price almost 7%. Condos selling took an average 5 months to move.

Sales of Co-ops which had been reasonably brisk in the first quarter, dipped  13%. Nevertheless in the first half of 2015 38 Co-ops sold…29% higher than the first half of 2014.

Prices on Co-ops softened. Average Co-op selling price ($179,267)   dropped 9% from last year’s second quarter highwater mark of $196,668. The average price for a co-op in the 2015 first half was $187,116 a 4% decline the first half 2014. The mean selling price for a co-op in the second quarter was $160,000 off 14%.The mean co-op selling price for the first half was $181,500 down 12% from the first six months of 2014. Co-op owners, on average had to cut about 8% from their original price, and had to wait 5 and a half months to sell their co-ops.

Only 1 multi-family home sold in the second quarter, compared to 7 in the first quarter, and for those 8 owners of the co-ops it is taking 9 and a half months to sell. The average price of a multi family the first six months was $459,063, down 48% from the first six months of 2014. The median price for the first half for the 8 Multi-Families  was $420,250, a decline of  43% from the first half of 2014.

 

Posted in Uncategorized

Another White Plains Bar Fined for Fighting 2nd time in 2014

WPCNR ALBANY ROUNDS. August 21, 2015:

The State Liquor Authority, the Journal News reports this morning, has  fined another White Plains bar, Elements, $2,000 for a fight that took place on its premises December 22, 2014. Reporter Ernie Garcia writes this is the second fight Elements has been fined for. (The other fracas took place earlier in 2014, April 24, for which the bar was fined $3,500.)

Earlier this month, the State Liquor Authority announced it had fined Executive Billiards in White Plains $10,000 for a fight on January 18 of this year and serving underaged patrons on February 7.

Mobil Mart in White Plains Garcia reports was fined $2,500 for selling alcohol to minors  May 1.

Posted in Uncategorized