Montefiore and White Plains Announce Partnership One Step Closer. Deny it is a “Takeover” or “Merger.”

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White Plains Hospital on West Post Road, White Plains, New York USA

WPCNR HEALTH CARING. From Harrison Edwards Public Relations. (EDITED) September 19, 2014:

Today, White Plains Hospital and the Montefiore Health System announced that their affiliation agreement was unanimously approved by the Project Review Committee of the New York State Department of Health’s Public Health and Health Planning Council. The full council will review the agreement in October when the agreement is expected to be final.

Through this innovative partnership, White Plains Hospital will become a member of the Montefiore Health System. The partnership will enable White Plains Hospital to continue to expand its clinical services while retaining its culture of high quality, personalized healthcare.

In the letter acompanying this news release, from Jeannie M. Ashford of Harrison Edwards Public Relations for White Plains Hospital and Montefiore emphasized, in red and bold type to WPCNR:

that it is factually incorrect to use the term “merger” or “takeover” in describing the proposed transaction.  It can be referred to as an “alliance” or “partnership.” There is a legal difference between these two sets of terms.”

WPCNR should point out to readers that the description of this proposed partnership filed with the  Project Review Committee of the New York State Department of Health’s Public Health and Health Planning Council, states:

“Montefiore Health System, Inc., requesta approval to become the active parent and co-operator of White Plains Hospital. The proposed project, as described, does not result in any immediate changes in services at White Plains Hospital, in the projected utilization and staffing, or in any restructuring.”

“The applicant  (Montefiore Health System, Inc.) will exercise the following active powers”

* Approve the appointment of WPH (White Plains Hospital) management level employees (Chief Executive Officer, President, Chief Medical Officer and Chief Financial Officer).

* Approve White Plains Hospital operating and capital budgets.

* Approve White Plains Hospital operating polices and procedures.

* Approve certificate of need applications.

* Approve White Plains Hospital debt necessary to finance the cost of compliance with operational or physical plant standards required by law.

* Approve hospital contractss for management or for clinical services, other than in the ordinary course of business.

* Approve settements of administrative proceedings or litigation to which White Plains Hospital is a party that may have a material adverse impact on WPH or MHS.”

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Jon Schandler in April, 2014 appearing on White Plains Television’s PEOPLE TO BE HEARD, Westchester’s most relevant Interview Program

“The relationship we are embarking on with Montefiore will be a partnership, designed with many benefits to both sides,” said Jon B. Schandler,  C.E.O. of White Plains Hospital, who is retiring in January said,  “We will continue to treat patients close to home, in a setting where physicians, nurses, and staff consider them to be family. White Plains Hospital will continue to provide exceptional care for our community, and with Montefiore as our partner, we are well positioned to provide advanced community based health care well into the future.”

Montefiore brings to the partnership its academic and research expertise as the University Hospital for Albert Einstein College of Medicine; clinical expertise, including its notable Centers of Excellence in cancer care, cardiovascular services, transplantation and children’s health; and decades of experience in comprehensive care management to improve health and make care more affordable.

“This agreement will make White Plains Hospital the regional hub of Montefiore’s Westchester care network,” said Steven M. Safyer, M.D., President and CEO of Montefiore Health System. “Working with the private-practice physician community and other providers, Montefiore and White Plains Hospital will offer Westchester residents a well-coordinated system of care and the benefits of Montefiore’s innovative, integrated care delivery system and academic partnership with the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.”

In April, White Plains Hospital and the Montefiore Health System signed formal documents outlining the partnership.

(Editor’s Note, the legal definition of a merger is in corporate law:

merger n. 1) in corporate law, the joining together of two corporations in which one corporation transfers all of its assets to the other, which continues to exist. In effect one corporation ”swallows” the other, but the shareholders of the swallowed company receive shares of the surviving corporation. A merger is distinguished from a”consolidation” in which both companies join together to create a new corporation. 

OR:

The combination or fusion of one thing or right into another thing or right of greater or larger importance so that thelesser thing or right loses its individuality and becomes identified with the greater whole.

Legal Definition of a Takeover (Legal Dictionary):

To assume control or management of a corporation without necessarily obtaining actual title to it.

 

About Montefiore Health System

Montefiore Health System is a premier academic health system and the University Hospital for Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Combining nationally-recognized clinical excellence with a population health perspective that focuses on the health needs of communities, Montefiore delivers coordinated, compassionate, science-driven care where, when and how patients need it most. Montefiore consists of six hospitals and an extended care facility with a total of 2,059 beds, a School of Nursing, and state-of-the-art primary and specialty care provided through a network of more than 150 locations across the region, including the largest school health program in the nation and a home health program.  For more information please visit www.montefiorehealthsystem.org.  Follow us on Twitter; like us on Facebook; view us on YouTube.

About White Plains Hospital

White Plains Hospital (WPH) is a 292-bed not-for-profit health care organization with the primary mission of providing exceptional acute and preventive medical care to all people who live in, work in or visit Westchester County and its surrounding areas.  Centers of Excellence include the Dickstein Cancer Treatment Center, The William & Sylvia Silberstein Neonatal & Maternity Center and The Ruth and Jerome A. Siegel Stroke Center.  The Hospital’s Flanzer Emergency Department is the busiest in Westchester County, seeing over 55,000 visits a year.  White Plains Hospital is the only community hospital in Westchester County licensed to perform lifesaving emergency & elective angioplasty in its Joan and Alan Herfort, M.D. Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory.  The Hospital is fully accredited by the Joint Commission and earned its recognition as a Top Performer for Key Quality Measures® in 2013.  The Hospital is also an eleven-time winner of the Consumer Choice Award, an honor given to the nation’s top hospitals by the National Research Corporation, and received Magnet® designation in 2012 from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). In 2014 White Plains Hospital received the Outstanding Patient Experience Award from Healthgrades®, given to only 5% of hospitals nationwide. For additional information, visit http://www.wphospital.org.

 

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WHITE PLAINS WEEK THIS WEEK WORLDWIDE: MONTEFIORE TAKES WHITE PLAINS HOSP–BOE SACKS FASNY–WP BANKS ID THEFT AND YOU’VE GOT DAVID MCKAY WILSON

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 STAND BY FOR NEWS!

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BAILEY!

 

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KATZ!

 

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BENEROFE!

ON

WP BOARD OF EDUCATION SHOCKS FASNY

MONTEFIORE TAKES OVER WHITE PLAINS HOSPITAL

WHITE PLAINS BANK TELLERS ACCUSED OF I.D. THEFT BY A.G.

SAXON WOODS -ROSEDALE ROAD  CONSTRUCTION A THREAT TO SAFETY.

TENNIS ANYONE? TENNIS INNOVATORS ACADEMY INTRODUCES ITSELF

THE MOST EXPENSIVE TEE SHOT NEVER TAKEN: $1.5 BILLION  

CUOMO BACK PANHANDLING FOR $4 BILLION FOR NEW ZEE

AND ON PEOPLE TO BE HEARD AT

www.whiteplainsweek.com

WESTCHESTER’S MOST RELEVANT INTERVIEW PROGRAM…

YOU’VE GOT

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DAVID MCKAY WILSON
THE REPORTER’S REPORTER

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AT

www.whiteplainsweek.com

OR WATCH THE ACTION COUNTYWIDE MONDAY 10 P.M. ON VERIZON FIOS AT CHANNEL 45

OR IN WHITE PLAINS ON CABLEVISION CHANNEL 76

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FBI Arrests Westchester Guardian Publisher. Indicts Him on Charges of Submitting False Loan Aps, Tax Fraud, Wire Fraud, Witness Tampering

WPCNR FBI WIRE. Special to WPCNR From the Federal Bureau of Investigation. September 19, 2014:

Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Shantelle P. Kitchen, the Acting Internal Revenue Service Special Agent in Charge of the New York Office—Criminal Investigation (“IRS”), George Venizelos, the Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), and Christy Romero, the Special Inspector General of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (“SIGTARP”), announced today that Westchester businessman SELIM ZHERKA, 46, of Somers, New York, was indicted by a federal grand jury in White Plains for submitting multiple false loan applications to banks, tax fraud, wire fraud, and witness tampering.

ZHERKA was arrested  today by agents of the FBI and arraigned in federal court in White Plains this afternoon. U.S. Attorney Bharara stated:

“Selim Zherka, while running his various businesses, allegedly engaged in a string of crimes. Zherka, the owner of commercial real estate and other businesses, stands accused of filing multiple false bank loan applications, engaging in tax fraud, and witness tampering. He is also charged with defrauding a businessman of his right to collect a court judgment against Zherka for assault and breach of contract.”

Acting IRS Special Agent in Charge Kitchen stated: “The Internal Revenue Service is committed to ensuring that everyone pays their fair share of taxes. The public should not have to pick up the tab for those who willfully choose to not file correct and accurate returns. IRS-Criminal Investigation investigates individuals who allegedly corruptly violate the tax laws to further their business and personal interests, at the expense of other businesses and individual taxpayers who play by the rules.”

Assistant FBI Director Venizelos stated: “As alleged, Zherka’s entrepreneurship got a little too creative when he began fabricating loan applications, among many other things, and Zherka’s web of deception knew few bounds. Today he finds himself under arrest and on the wrong side of the law.”

Special Inspector General of TARP Christy Romero stated: “Following an extensive criminal investigation by SIGTARP and our law enforcement partners, this morning federal agents apprehended Selim Zherka without incident in Westchester County, New York. Zherka is charged with falsifying information on commercial loan applications submitted to North Fork Bank—later purchased by TARP recipient Capital One—to obtain more than $36.5 million in loans from the bank.”

According to the Indictment, from November 2005 through 2008, ZHERKA obtained a total of over $146 million in loans from three banks—North Fork Bank (now Capital One), Sovereign Bank (now Santander), and Signature Bank—for the purchase and/or refinancing of apartment house complexes in New England, Tennessee, New Jersey, and New York by lying about the purchase prices of the real estate he was acquiring, the amount of the down payments he was making toward the purchases in question, his assets, his income, his tax returns, and the nature and circumstances of a 2000 court judgment against him for assault and breach of contract (which, to date, he has not paid).

Additionally, the Indictment charges ZHERKA with engaging in a decade-long tax fraud scheme. The Indictment alleges that ZHERKA repeatedly submitted fraudulent tax returns to the IRS that overstated depreciation expenses and understated his capital gains on tax returns for the real estate holding companies in which he was a partner and which, in turn, owned the above apartment house complexes, thereby reducing their tax liabilities. The Indictment also charges that ZHERKA obstructed the Internal Revenue Service by, among other means, failing to file personal tax returns for over a decade.

The Indictment also charges that ZHERKA schemed to defraud the judgment creditor in connection with the above-referenced 2000 case of that individual’s right to receive payment of the judgment. ZHERKA had been found liable by a New York State Supreme Court jury in Manhattan for assaulting that individual and for breaching a contract with him.

Finally, the Indictment charges ZHERKA with tampering with witnesses in this investigation.

* * *

If convicted on the charges in the Indictment, ZHERKA faces the following maximum penalties: for each of the 11 counts of submitting a false loan application with which he is charged, 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine or twice the gross gain or loss resulting from the crime; for the count of wire fraud and the count of witness tampering, 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine or twice the gross gain or loss resulting from the crime on each count; for the count of conspiracy to obstruct the IRS and violate tax laws, five years in prison and a $250,000 fine or twice the gain or loss resulting from the crime; and for each of the 10 counts of making/subscribing to false returns, the 10 counts of aiding/assisting in the preparation of false tax returns, and the count of attempting to interfere with the administration Internal Revenue laws, three years in prison and a $250,000 fine or twice the gross gain or loss resulting from the crime.

Additionally, he faces potential criminal forfeitures totaling $146 million, restitution, and the costs of prosecution. The statutory maximum sentences are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant and any forfeiture would be determined by the Court.

Mr. Bharara praised the work of the IRS, the FBI, and the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program in this investigation.

This case is being handled out of the White Plains Division. Assistant United States Attorneys Elliott B. Jacobson and Perry A. Carbone are in charge of the prosecution.

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

WPCNR  has learned that Hezi Aris who edits the weekly Westchester Guardian has resigned as editor. Mr. Aris could not confirm whether the paper would continue to publish or not.

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FASNY ACCUSES WP BOARD OF EDUCATION OF A “LACK OF SUBSTANTIVE ANALYSIS CONJECTURE RATHER THAN FACTS” IN REJECTING NORTH STREET ENTRY TO FASNY PROPOSED CAMPUS

WPCNR SOUTH END TIMES. Special to The CitizeNetReporter. Statement from The French American School of New York. (Unedited) September 17, 2014:

The French-American School of New York (FASNY)   today questioned why the White Plains Board of Education waited three years to express any opposition to the plan for FASNY’s school at the former Ridgeway Country Club.

FASNY said the Board’s letter sent yesterday to the White Plains Common Council stating that it is opposed to the North Street 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.

FASNY pointed out that over the last three years, during which its plan has been the subject of extensive public discussion and multiple public hearings, the Board of Education offered virtually no criticism of the plan and did not participate in the process.  In fact, the Board offered no comments on traffic or any other issue during the entire three-year State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) proceeding conducted by the Common Council.  Last December the Common Council adopted the Environmental Findings Statement including the North Street driveway access.

FASNY said the only objection raised by the Board was to oppose a slight realignment of the White Plains High School’s North Street entrance.  That issue, however, was rendered moot when FASNY acquired a property opposite the High School driveway eliminating the need to adjust the school entrance.

FASNY said that it appears that on August 25 the Board appointed a committee comprised of school district officials and board members to study the access driveway issue.

FASNY stated that to its knowledge, no outside professional consultants were hired to analyze the FASNY’s access driveway and there was no effort made on the part of the Board or the District administration to reach out to FASNY with regard to the plan.

FASNY said that throughout the lengthy review process it had made every effort to be fully cooperative and transparent with the Board.

It met and communicated with representatives of the School District on multiple occasions made a full presentation to the Board on September 23, 2013, at which the traffic plan was discussed.  Meetings were held with the School District staff this year regarding the closing of a small portion of Hathaway Lane and the planned entrance driveway.

FASNY added that the Board of Education’s letter to the City also demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of the busing plan that is an integral part of the overall traffic mitigation plan for the school.

 

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Board of Education Writes Mayor and Common Council it Opposes FASNY Ridgeway Campus Proposal

WPCNR SOUTH END TIMES. September 16, 2014 UPDATED 9:55 P.M. E.D.T. UPDATED 10:15 p.m. E.D.T.CORRECTION, SEPTEMBER 17,2014:

All seven members of the Board of Education reached a consensus but did not hold a vote Monday night, in agreeing to send a letter to Mayor Tom Roach and the White Plains Common Council Tuesday morning, declaring the School Board opposition to the French American School of New York proposal to build a 5 building school campus on the former grounds of the Ridgeway Country Club with an entrance on North Street opposite the entrance to White Plains High School. The policy was announced in a letter dated Monday.

They write:

“…it is the unamimous opinion of the White Plains Board of Education that 1.) the increased traffic resulting from the location of the main entrance to the proposed consolidated French American School on either North Street or 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 2., the traffic mitigation proposals submitted by FASNY not only fail to remedy the flaws identified in their originally submitted plans, but certain suggested mitigation efforts potentially create much larger, more untenable problems for the White Plains schools.”

The conclusions of the letter were reached after a review of the FASNY site plan by  a committee composed of Superintendent of Schools Timothy Connors, Assistant Superintendent for Business Fred Seiler; Ellen Doherty, the Principal of White Plains High School ; the Director of Facilities, Frank Stefanelli; Diane Markert, the Director of Transportation  and the members of the Board of Education.

Michele Schoenfeld, Clerk to the Board of Education, asked why the item was not published on the agenda, told WPCNR  the letter was discussed and approved with all 7 members agreeing to send the letter Monday night at the Board of Education. Discussion of the letter, she wold WPCNR, was originally not included on the published agenda to the public because the Board did not know if the letter was going to be “ready on time” to be discussed.

Schoenfeld reported the letter was delivered to the Mayor and the Common Council Tuesday morning.

John Sheehan, President of the Gedney Association issued this statement to the membership:

This letter from those charged with the safety of our school children is an extraordinarily significant development and corresponds to the serious concerns raised by residents from all over the City regarding the feasibility of locating such a facility on the former Ridgeway Country Club property.


Please join us in thanking the Board of Education in undertaking such a thoughtful review of the FASNY proposal.

The Gedney Association would again like to thank the hundreds of residents who attended the Public Hearings last week and those who spoke so eloquently and factually on the FASNY proposal.  We are certain the Common Council heard the overwhelming opinion of the residents.

Lastly, for those who have not seen the excellent video on Gedney Farms prepared by Anne Casey of Hathaway Lane please see the link.  It truly provides a wonderful sense of the unique attributes of Gedney Farms.

The Development of the North Street alternatives was quietly developed in June of 2013 :

The Board of Education first learned of North Street alternatives in June, 2013, as WPCNR reported in its daily report of September 17, 2013, while the FEIS with the North Street proposal was being presented. You can read the entire article at

http://whiteplainscnr.com/2013/09/17/fasny-planners-met-with-school-officials-in-june-to-show-roundabout-north-street-entrance-possibility/

The key portion of that article revealed that School District personnel had attended those meetings and learned that a North Street entrance was the strategy being looked at seriously by city planners and staffers and FASNY whoever they were,  for mitigating the Ridgeway traffic situation that had been one of the main complaints from the Gedney Association about the project. The key narrative in that  September 17, 2013 WPCNR article says:

“Contrary to protestations of school board members they knew nothing of the proposed entrance alternative  offerred  last night in the approved Final Environmental Impact Statement, WPCNR has learned  representatives from the French American School of New York met with Assistant Superintendent for Business of the School District, Fred Seiler and Facilities and Operations Manager Frank Stefanelli in June of this year (June, 2013).

Fred Seiler told WPCNR Tuesday afternoon that the group from FASNY included the head master of the French American School, a representative from the FASNY project architectural firm, a member of the FASNY Board and two others. Seiler said they presented about four  designs, one of which included the proposed traffic circle/roundabout entrance featured in the Final Environmental Impact Statement approved as complete and accurate by the Common Council by a vote of 5-2 Monday evening.

Previously this week (September, 2013) a member of the school board Peter Bassano told WPCNR, the board had not known of the proposed entrance until the beginning of September and said the Interim Superintendent, Timothy Connors had not known either.

Seiler said that the FASNY contingent did show  him and Stefanelli  ithe design for the roundabout/traffic circle to Seiler and Mr. Stefanelli. Asked if the two had any reaction, Seiler said “Frank felt the roundabout would be difficult for pedestrians to cross.”

Asked if Seiler had told the Board of Education about the presentation, he said he had told the superintendent, Christopher Clouet at the time, and Seiler said the Board of Education did not feel it was an issue that concerned them at the time, and that it could be taken up when and if it was an actual proposal. Seiler did not say he and Stefanelli had endorsed any of the plans shown.”

In noting tonight again what Seiler and Stefanelli said in speaking about those June 2013 discussions, it appears the two did not rule out a North Street entrance in any way, nor did the two endorse entry to the  FASNY campus from North Street. The key words that Seiler conveyed to this reporter last year at this time was that  the Board of Education did not feel it was an issue that conerned them at the time, and that  it could be taken up when and if it was an actual proposal

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Autumn in New York: Cider Mills, Farms, Celebrate the waning sun of Summer.

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Apples ripening in fields  of Wilkens  Fruit Farm (a working farm since 1917) last weekend. The farm  and its store and bake shop below gives the family a feel for what a working farm is like. It sells pies, cups of the first cider of the season and donuts, jams cookies. You can find out how to get there by going to www.wilkensfarm.com

 

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2013922bramsonad 006 Thompson’s Cider Mill, a tradition in Westchester County  opens Saturday, 10 A.M. to 5 P.M. proimising the first cider of the season, brewed up by the master ciderer, Geof Thompson.  for information go to  www.thompsonscidermill.com2014906nyc 115

 

 

 

 

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The Last Word: Gedney Association President: The Case for Denying FASNY BUILD.

 

WPCNR SOUTH END TIMES. From John Sheehan, President, The Gedney Association. September 13, 2014:

John Sheehan was the last speaker Wednesday evening when the site plan/special permit hearing on the French American School of New York plan to build a five-building complex on the former Ridgeway Country Club site suspended public comment and adjourned to September 29,

Mr. Sheehan eloquentely summed up the reasons why his neighborhood association feels the city should not approve the application.

Here are his remarks:

I am here tonight to discuss and comment on FASNY’s application for a Special Permit and Site Plan approval. 

 

First let me comment on some things that became very clear Monday night:

  1. 1.                 FASNY acknowledged that property values have indeed declined;
  2. 2.                 The overwhelming comments from residents of White Plains, not having an affiliation with FASNY or someone connected with FASNY, were against approval of a Special Permit for the property.  Remember over 2,000 residents and  voters from all corners of White Plains earlier signed a petition rejecting the FASNY plan;
  3. 3.                 The Army Corps of Engineers has entered into the FASNY application process despite comments from some that this has been resolved. 

The effect on property value is a required consideration in your decision.  Mr. Botti of FASNY recognized the serious drop in property values in the neighborhood but dismissed this citing “uncertainty”.  Its seems to me as a real estate consultant that this argument is not logical. If I am a potential buyer in the neighborhoods near the property and assessing the situation there are two possibilities: either FASNY gets approved or it does not.  If it does not it will be developed residentially or remain as a golf course.  If not, the school would be built.  The former was always true and historically has not hurt property values.  So it is reasonable to assume that the clear reason for the significant diminution in home values is that most buyers believe the regional school complex would be a negative condition in the ownership of a home there.

FASNY’s requires a Special Permit because the use they propose is not permitted as a matter of right but only with the issuance of a Special Permit.

The City’s zoning ordinance provides clear and unambiguous standards that have to be met:

Section 6.51 clearly states “The location and size of the special permit “use”, the nature and intensity of the operations involved in it or conducted in connection with it, the size of the site in relation to it and the location of the site with respect to “streets” giving access to it are such that it will be in harmony with the appropriate an orderly development of the area in which it is located.”

Furthermore, Section 6.53 states “Operations in connection with any special permit “use” will not be more objectionable to nearby properties by reason of noise, traffic, fumes, vibration or other characteristics than would be the operations of permitted “uses not requiring a special permit.”

The use permitted in the zone is single family homes on parcels of at least 30,000 square feet.  Who could say with a straight face that the FASNY project with 950 students and 250 staff in 262,000 square feet of buildings surrounded by a sea of parking lots is in harmony with the neighborhood? Who could seriously argue that the vehicular traffic it will generate will not be more objectionable to single-family homes on 30,000 square foot lots?

Its interesting that the environmental findings resolution does not mention these standards – obviously done so as not to identify restrictions that would prohibit this planned development.

May I also remind the Common Council that colleges are not permitted in this zone.  Who would deny that the density and scale of the FASNY project is not more similar to a college?

Also the clustering of school buildings and parking lots are not permitted in the zone.”

 

These standards in the zoning ordinance are your standards and the Common Council must adhere to them.

 

The City’s Comprehensive Plan also does not support the type of use proposed by FASNY.  It clearly states:

“If not economically viable to maintain the golf courses in private club ownership, the Plan’s preferred scenario is preservation of the golf courses through other, private, quasi-public or public means”

If the courses cannot be maintained as golf courses then  the “Plan envisions residential development at the City’s lowest residential density, clustered to preserve open space and environmental features and providing public and quasi-public areas including trailways linked to the City’s open space network”.

The Comprehensive Plan is very clear:

  • If a golf course is no longer feasible the use should be residential;
  • The density should be at the lowest residential density.

A few other key points:

  1. 1.      The neighborhood surrounding the property already has more land dedicated to institutional or non-profit use than private homes.  The saturation point has already been reached;

 

  1. 2.      A study done by The Institute of Traffic Engineers found that private schools generate double the amount of traffic than a public high  school.  Was this or others studies ever considered or was every projection based on guesses and studies done when other schools were not in session;

 

  1. 3.      FASNY’s traffic study indicated that with the North Street entrance and the so-called Traffic Management Plan traffic on Ridgeway would be reduced by 89% or go from 292 vehicles to only 42 vehicles in the morning peak period.   They further stated that much of the reduction would be attributable to cars and buses using the Hutchinson River Parkway.   No mention was made that standard school buses are not permitted on the parkway. Even more incredible was that the FASNY study never considered that traffic is congested every weekday on the parkway from the Cross County Parkway to I-287 in both morning knowledge, including the City’s traffic engineer and the City and afternoon peak periods.  In fact, it’s common Police Department that cars travelling to New York or to I-287 on the parkway leave the parkway and use Rosedale Avenue and other local streets as a short-cut to avoid the traffic congestion.  Yet we are to believe that cars and buses coming from Larchmont and Mamaroneck will do the opposite, leave local roads to sit in traffic on the parkway.  In fact, FASNY buses and cars will use local roads like the Scarsdale bypass to Ridgeway or come up Mamaroneck Avenue to Ridgeway.  Ridgeway is not designed for this or intended to be used as an arterial road but only as a local collector road but that’s where the vehicles would unquestionably go if not on even more local streets.
  1. 4.      The intersections at Mamaroneck Avenue and Ridgeway and Bryant Avenue and North Street currently operate at unsatisfactory Levels of Service according to City records.  I might add that both the White Plains High School and Ridgeway Elementary School are situated at these intersections yet no mention of this was made of these serious conditions by any Council members in the environmental review.

Why is the Common Council listening to this FASNY gibberish when your own traffic consultant’s findings were entirely different. The City’s traffic consultant, TRC said “Access from North Street reduces “some” of the Project impacts along Ridgeway.”  The TRC report furthermore stated “that it will alsosomewhat” reduce project traffic at the intersection of Mamaroneck Avenue and Ridgeway.”  The TRC report never said that this new entrance would measurably or significantly reduce traffic on Ridgeway or a ridiculous 89% as FASNY purports.

With regard to the so-called busing management plan the TRC report raises the same doubts.  It states that “there are several uncertainties about the actual trip generation and bus utilization and there could be significant fluctuations in these numbers which could result in significant additional traffic impacts” and furthermore that “the number of buses and bus occupancy could vary significantly”.  It’s totally unenforceable and likely to collapse since school districts are abandoning the funding for it.

Remember this was the City’s traffic consultant’s report yet the findings resolution and everything thereafter cites FASNY’s numbers and analysis  which frankly are not worthy of serious consideration.

One last comment with regard to FASNY’s consultant saying they identified every watercourse on the property.  This is absolutely not true.  There is a labyrinth of streams on the property, most having been covered. One of the most glaring omissions is the stream emptying into Westchester Hills from Ridgeway.  FASNY’s consultants did not identify this stream until a few hundred yards down Westchester Hills property despite it being in clear view at Ridgeway.  Interestingly, this culverted stream is directly under the portion of the property where FASNY hopes to erect its high school.

The environmental findings this Council made in December very clearly required FASNY to resolve certain issues most specifically with regard to the  Traffic Management Plan prior to any Special Permit approval.  I am especially mindful of the very specific comments by Council members Martin and Krolian.  It is now evident that these questions have not be resolved nor could they be resolved and therefore the application must be denied.

Recently, a supporter of FASNY wrote a letter warning residents that the FASNY plan would preserve much open space while residential development would not.  I beg to differ.  The 3,000 foot entrance road eviscerates much of the so-called conservancy.  Also, as a former Assistant Town Planner in Greenwich, Connecticut we successfully developed a conservation zone for large properties worthy of protection.  In essence, the zone would require a minimum of 40% of the land permanently protected as open space.  In return the residential lots could drop down to one-half the lot size in the zone.  In this case, you would have 15,000 square foot lots instead of 30,000 square foot.  Importantly, you would not be permitted any density greater than a conventional subdivision after deducting, ponds, watercourses, steep slopes and subdivision roads.

Members of the Common Council listen to your zoning ordinance and its clear standards for Special Permit approval.  Listen to the Comprehensive Plan that was put together by hundreds of our residents.  Listen to your own traffic consultant’s report.  Listen to your Planning Board which unanimously did not approve of the closure of Hathaway Lane.  Listen to Lynn Oliva of the Planning Board, formerly the highly regarded Commisssioner of Planning for Westchester County when she strongly challenged the basis for the traffic findings of FASNY.  Listen to the Court of Appeals of the State of New York which said clearly said “educational and religious uses which would unarguably be contrary to the public’s health, safety or welfare need not be permitted at all”.   Lastly, listen to you constituents who overwhelmingly oppose this application for a Special Permit.  

Thirty years from now all of you will be gone from public service – the pressures pushing you for approval will be long gone – do what is right to protect our residential neighborhoods and hopefully White Plains will continue as a balanced City of an active downtown surrounded by beautiful and safe neighborhoods.

 

 

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Tennis Innovators Academy Clinic at Gille Park Introduces Year Round Facility to Open in January at Ebersole Rink

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Action in the Afternoon: A youngster slams a volley across the net at Gille Courts at  theTennis Innovators Academy held Sunday to introduce the Academy staff and teaching style. The clinic attended by 35 youngsters and adults  served to introduce the new facility being constructed adjacent Ebersole Rink in Delfino Park. (See photo below)
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Under Construction: The construction site of Tennis Innovators Academy alongside Ebersole Rink Sunday. Future home of the Academy opening in January.
WPCNR VIEW FROM CENTER COURT. By John F. Bailey September 15, 2014 UPDATED. 
Tennis Innovators Academy  the New York State firm building the new yearound, bubbled tennis courts adjacent Ebersole Ice Rink hosted  a FREE tennis exhibition  on the courts  at  Gillie Park  courts  to promote the  coming  facility adjacent Ebersole Rink now under construction and to introduce their staff.
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Sixteen youngsters of all ages participated in the first clinic, having a bunch of fun and experiencing the easy-going, active workout worked around humorous, easy-to-understand tips and tweaks on technique. An innovative round-robin game had all particpants involved in a fast-moving game at the end of each session.
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In the adult session that began at 1:15 P.M. featured a formidable gathering of serious older players were involved in a fast-paced session testing their repertoire of tennis shot-making, wrapping up with an exciting competitive round-robin.
An exhibition followed matching Cesar Andrade, Director of Operations for Tennis Innovators Academy, White Plains with three of his instructors in a tense doubles match.
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Construction of the new courts is well under way, and Tennis Innovators Academy is paying the $1.1 Million in construction costs.  At this time it is expected to open in January alongside Ebersole Rink. The rendering above and below shows the six bubbled courts, clubhouse and location of the outdoor courts.
Surfaces will be the most advanced surface in the county, according to Cesar Andrade, Director of Operations at the Academy. “The surface is the Har-Tru surface Hydro court system – The court irrigates itself automatically when in need of water, the court(s) are  always in top shape! “
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This new facility will bring year-round tennis to both adults and junior tennis enthusiasts. Mr. Andrade, in an interview said the Academy will have bilingual instructors and is dedicated to involving more of the county Latino community in tennis. He plans to bring after school tennis to youth organizations in White Plains as well as the schools
He said White Plains residents with a City of White Plains Recreation and Parks Card will play free on his  courts during the summer season and enjoy 15% discounts on lessons, court times and equipment.
He touted  the new surface his courts will provide that descibed as state of the art. He feels the absence of a membership fee, and the 8 AM to 11 P.M. hours of the club offer an attractive, flexible and superior tennis atmosphere compared to private clubs and health clubs in the area, no matter what a player’s objective will be. He  has done price point surveys of the competition in the area for the tennis dollars, and feels his prices are competitive on convenience, facilities, and tennis atmosphere.
Originally from Ecuador, he moved to this country where he was raised in Queens, graduating Francis Lewis High School in Fresh Meadowns.  He learned tennis through  the Mayor David Dinkens-instituted after school tennis program. He wants to bring that same experience to Westchester and White Plains. He has worked for Sportime and with Tennis Innovators Academy for 12 years.
The Tennis Innovators Academy runs facilities successfully in New Rochelle (the New Rochelle Racquet Club), John Jay Tennis Court, Chinatown Y, Kips Bay Tennis Court, Westend Church, Montclair School, Hunter College Sportsplex and the River School.
For information and questions about the coming White Plains facility and how you can use it, you may send e-mail to info@tennisinnovators.com or go to their website, www.tennisinnovators.com.
 They expect to open our courts at Ebersole Rink January 2015..
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Cesar Andrade congratulating the competitors in the Junior Clinic Sunday.
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