WPCNR COMMON COUNCIL CHRONICLE-EXAMINER. OCTOBER 6, 2015:
Parsons Brinckerhoff, Inc. was expected to be designated the firm “to provide professional planning, design and engineering services for the White Plains Multimodal Transportation Center Redevelopment Project last night at the regular White Plains Common Council meeting.
The object, the ordinance says is “to transform the existing Multimodal Transportation Center into a more functional and attractive regional transit hub that willmaximize the economic development potential of the both the station area and the downtown core.”
The area of development target is shown below and touches west to the Jefferson Avenue residential section of Battle Hill, North to the County Center and up a portion of Ferris Avenue and east to Church Street, south to the White Plains Post Office.
The contract with Parsons is for $794,214, funded by the NYSERDA Cleaner,Greener Communities Program grant that will reimburse the city on the completion of prior steps prior to completion—a Strategic Plan containing—
“goals and objectives, guiding principles, performance measures, issues and opportunities, alternative development and screening process, overall recommended vision (Editor’s Italics) with early-action, mid-term and long-term strategies, Implementation Plan with phasing/timeline and potential funding sources, stakeholder and public outreach efforts, and project next steps.”
Parsons will as part of the contract create a “Multi-Modal Transportation Center Stakeholder Task Force that will hold six meetings; Public Outreach-contribution of content for the project website hosted by the City of White Plains; two public meetings.
WPCNR COMMON COUNCIL CHRONICLE-EXAMINER. October 5, 2015:
The Common Council plans the establishment of a city Community Choice Aggregation Energy Program legislation that will also select via the consent agenda the independent firm that will analyze opportunities and possibilities that a new Transit Center should strive to incorporate.
According to the agenda “backup material,” the hearing on the Community Choice Energy progam presents the choice to designate Sustainable Westchester to “work together to implement the CCA Program.” The City, according to the backup material, “involves the aggregationing of the electric and/or natural gas supply of its residents and the entering into a contract with one or more Suppliers for supply and services…but will negotiate with Suppliers on behalf of participating residential and small commercial customers (in the city).”
Sustainable Westchester “shall issue one or more requests for proposals to Suppliers to provide energy to participants and may then award a contract in accordance with the CCA program.”
The city or Sustainable will “notify (White Plains) bundled customers of the contract terms and their (the customers’) opportunity to opt out of the CCA Program.” Each customer in White Plains will have 20 days to refuse (opt out) of the new CCA Program and stay with their current supplier.
In a letter from Mayor Thomas Roach accompanying the legislation in the “backup material,” the Mayor “guarantees”
“Participation in the Sustainable Westchester program us contingent on the following:
1.) The default price is guaranteed to be consistently less than the average utility price for the same commodity, or
2.) the default price is fixed at a level that is less than the average utility price for the same commodity, for the same customer class, over the preceding twelve month period; or
3.) the default price is at first set at a level that is less than the average utility price for electricity, for the same customer class, over the preceding twelve month period, and only floats upward (Editor’s italics)by less than 25% of the price increases implemented by the utilities.
WPCNR NOTES it is unclear (in the backup agenda) whether utility price is the price per kilowatthour.
WPCNR STAGE DOOR. Theatrical Review by John F. Bailey. October 3, 2015:
Come on sleepy townspeople, everybody down to the wharf at Westchester Broadway Theatre on the Mighty Mississippi of the 1880s!
The classic Showboat! Pulled into the WBT wharf Opening Night Thursday and woke up the citizens with the Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II, Florenz Ziegfield-produced 1927 Broadway game changer!
This is the show that turned Broadway from vaudeville to narrative musical theatre and integrated the Broadway stage. The musical melodrama recreates the Old South, raises awareness of prejudice and was the first integrated musical.
Starting without an overture, the townspeople flock down to the wharf in the opening sequence and the Showboat Cotton Blossom magnificently pulls into the wharf right at the audience, in a majestic arrival that suspends disbelief. The grand entrance had the audience into the spirit of that once and distant time – the old South. Magnificently costumed dockhands and elegant southern belles, beautiful showgirls burst into song– Cotton Blossom – and you’re hooked.
When the ladies meet the debonair Southern Gentleman, Ravenal, (John Preator), the riverboat gambler looking for a new stake, a mix of Rhett Butler and Bret Maverick, you have the essence of Old South Smoothie, but he laments Where’s the Mate for Me.
But wouldn’t you know it?
Magnolia, the Captain’s daughter played by Bonnie Fraser in her WBT debut, steps off the boat and in a coy introduction with Preator, crackling with electricity, the two sing Only Make Believe. The audience just loves this couple whose ups and downs drive the plot as we follow their romance up the Mississippi.
I have rarely seen the edgy repressed attraction for one another so well created as this romantic pair acts it. Ms. Fraser and Mr. Preator team again for another charming duet, You Are Love. Really tugs on your heartstrings.
Ms. Fraser shows the full depth of her charming soprano on Why Do I love you? Another performance that touches the hardest heart. They work!
But there is another side to Showboat!, the freed slaves of the post Civil War South and the hopelessness that was their life. Michael James Leslie (above) as Joe a black dock worker belts the classic Ol Man River as he and dock hands and bale handlers go about their monotonous hard work.
His silky, measured deep baritone evokes Paul Robeson. I cannot tell you how well he nails this— the audience tell you when they give up their ovation, as they did opening night, many standing – Leslie singing Ol Man River stopped the show.
The musical standards just keep on coming in this rolling along show. We meet Julie played by Sarah Hanlon also debuting at the WBT who plays the lead in the Cotton Blossom showboat play. She’s in love with the white lead actor and laments the power of love, Can’t Help Lovin Dat Man.
She and Queenie, Joe’s long suffering wife rue the uselessness of the men they love in a funny bitter sweet lament wives and husbands will be all too familiar with. Queenie played by Inga Ballard is great in her comic exchanges with Joe (Mr. Leslie)
Ms. Hanlon leaves the action all too early, when a rebuffed suitor accuses her of being married to a white man. She and her husband, the lead actor are forced to leave the show, and the audience is left to wonder what became of them as a mixed couple in the Old South. She shows up later in Chicago (This was such a gutsy musical to do in the 1920s, the time of lynchings, Jim Crow, segregation, forced labor for people of color).
In the search for a new lead, Capn Andy decides to make Magnolia, his daughter the new female lead, and Ravenal the male lead. You can see where this is going don’t you?
Romance and heartbreak ahead. As Magnolia’s mother,Parthy Hawks, played with deadpan comic sarcasm by Karen Murphy continues to try to prevent the inevitable romance. The electricity sizzles between Ravenal and Magnolia; they just glow! You know that the couple is going to get together, culminating in a raucous finale to Act I
The repartee of the two old married couples Captain Andy Hawks and Parthy Hawks and Joe and Queenie lighten up serious moments. Both old married teams played by Jamie Ross and Karen Murphy (Capn Andy and Parthy) and Joe (Mr. Leslie) and Queenie (Inga Ballard) are great comic relief – natural masters of comic timing with ability to temper insult with compassion as people who have been together a long time do. It’s not business, just personal.
Act Two follows Ravenal and Magnolia adventures and misadventures…childbirth, Ravenal’s run of bad luck at the gambling tables, eventually ending up in his leaving her and his daughter
We catch up with Julie (Sarah Hanlon) doing nightclub work in Chicago, when she sings Bill, auditioning a new song, aa torchy number that she is low down and bluesy on.
Frank Schulz played by the zany Daniel Scott Watson and the comedic Ellie May Chipley (Amanda Pulcini) coach Magnolia to win a nightclub job to support her family, and themselves deliver Goodbye My Lady Love.
Dance sequences segue the passage of decades — as the Ensemble above Charlestons in the 1920s.
The momentum of life and its choices and twists and turns in perspective executed by the marvelous ensemble assembled by Director Ryan Edward Wise –Malcolm Armwood, Eric Briarley, Michael Dauer, Jonathan Freeland, Alia Hodge, Justin R.G. Holcomb, Celeste Hudson, Paul-Jordan Jansen,Leisa Mather, Zoie Morris, Gabriella Perez, Kristyn Pope, Adam Richardson, Roger Preston Smith, Karen Webb.
How do the families end up?
The Cotton Blossom departs after 2 hours and 45 minutes with a reunion that sends the townsfolk home happy…cheering and waiting for Showboat!’s next landing.
Showboat! is docked at the Westchester Broadway Theatre through January 31, with a break for the WBT Holiday Show. Come on down, contact the box office at 914-592-2222, or visit www.BroadwayTheatre.com.
It’s a great show for children. No off-color language. No gunshots. No violence. Loving couples. Couples that respect each other. Feelings that matter. You cannot find a better evening entertainment for all ages.
PETER KATZ AND JOHN BAILEY
INTERNATIONAL FIRM PICKED TO DESIGN, REDO WP TRANSIT HUB — “BIGGEST PROJECT IN WESTCHESTER EVER”–MAYOR
THE BLOODY MOON ECLIPSE — EXCLUSIVE SNAPS
THE REFVIK SENTENCING
THE PLOY TO BUY RIDGEWAY COUNTRY CLUB
THE WARBIRDS COME TO TOWN–EXCLUSIVE VIDEO
SHOWBOAT! DOCKS AT WESTCHESTER BROADWAY THEATRE –REVIEW!
ON WHITE PLAINS WEEK–15TH YEAR COVERING WHITE PLAINS AND WESTCHESTER
SEE IT ANY TIME ON THE INTERNET — www.whiteplainsweek.com
WPCNR ALBANY ROUNDS. From the Office of Assemblyman David Buchwald. October 1, 2015:
As a direct result of the efforts of State Assemblyman David Buchwald (D-White Plains), Senator George Latimer (D-Rye), and White Plains Mayor Tom Roach (D), Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Office of Storm Recovery has reimbursed the City of White Plains $205,989.49 it was owed for expenses incurred as a result of Superstorm Sandy. Together with FEMA aid, the city has been made whole.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) covered 90 percent of all Sandy-related expenses sustained by municipalities, while the individual municipalities were originally responsible for the remaining 10 percent. In June of 2014, Governor Cuomo announced that the state would cover that 10 percent, relieving local taxpayers of an added financial burden. Without the funding, the City of White Plains would have a significant budget gap, and residents would be forced to absorb a .74 percent increase in their property taxes to offset the Superstorm Sandy expenses.
“New York State has come through for the City of White Plains. Without this reimbursement, White Plains property taxpayers would have been hit with a sizeable bill for Superstorm Sandy expenses,” said Assemblyman Buchwald. “Sandy’s extensive damage and power outages hit many communities hard and municipal budgets were strained, so I am very pleased that the Governor Cuomo’s Office of Storm Recovery stepped up to relieve White Plains of its financial burden. I would like to thank Senator Latimer and Mayor Roach for their steadfast work to make sure that the City of White Plains was properly reimbursed.”
“The people of White Plains have demonstrated great strength and resiliency in recovering from Sandy,” said Senator Latimer. “For the city and its officials, this helps ensure financial stability and brings closure in the long battle back. The support of the state, and the fulfilled commitment on the part of Governor Cuomo is appreciated by so many of us.”
“I would like to thank our state delegation members, Assemblyman David Buchwald and Senator George Latimer, as well as the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery, for working with the City to ensure it received this funding,” said Mayor Roach. “The City incurred significant expenses as a result of Superstorm Sandy and this last piece of reimbursement was needed to cover those expenses related to storm response and recovery.”
In total, the City of White Plains spent $2,059,894.85 in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. This includes $1,674,866 on over 17,000 hours of debris and organic waste removal by city workers, with nearly 7,000 of those hours counted as overtime. The City also spent over $166,000 for law enforcement and the fire department to keep the public safe, respond to emergencies, and provide critical equipment and materials such as generators.
Participating in the Collings Foundation’s WINGS OF FREEDOM TOUR, the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress “Nine O Nine” WWII Heavy Bomber, Consolidated B-24 Liberator “Witchcraft” WWII Heavy Bomber, B-25 Mitchell “Tondelayo” mid bomber and P-51 Mustang fighter, flew into Westchester County Airport in White Plains at noon today for a visit from through October 4. This is a rare opportunity to visit, explore, and learn more about these unique and rare treasures of aviation history.
The B-17 is one of only 8 in flying condition in the United States, the B-24J and Full Dual Control P-51C Mustang are the sole remaining examples of their type flying in the World.
Visitors are invited to explore the aircraft inside and out – $12 for adults and $6 for children under 12 is requested for access to up-close viewing and tours through the inside of the aircraft.
WWII Veterans can tour through the aircraft at no cost. Discounted rates for school groups. Visitors may also experience the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to actually take a 30-minute flight aboard these rare aircraft.Flights on either the B-17 or B-24 are $450 per person. Get some “stick time” in the world’s greatest fighter! P-51 flights are $2,200 for a half hour and $3,200 for a full hour. For reservations and information on flight experiences call 800-568-8924.
WINGS OF FREEDOM AIRCRAFT are on display at Westchester County Airport in White Plains NY, at the Million Air facility.
WHEN: The WINGS OF FREEDOM TOUR arrived at Westchester County Airport at 12:00 PM on October 1 and will be on display at main ramp at Westchester County Airport until the aircraft departs October 4 after 5:00 PM. Hours of ground tours and display are:12:00 PM through 5:00 PM on Thursday October 1; 9:00 AM through 5:00 PM on October 2,3, & 4 . The 30-minute flight experiences are normally scheduled before and after the ground tour times above.