Over 3,000 Persons and counting Attend Westchester County Center Gun Show. Will Become a “Perennial Event.”

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Hundreds of men, women and some children strolled through aisles showcasing rifles, current handguns, antique historical weapons, accessories, hunting and outdoor equipment, knives, and information booths  at the Gun and Knife Show today at the County Center.

 

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County Executive Robert P. Astorino in a news conference at 2 this afternoon, said he vetoed the Democrat legislation that would have banned gun shows on county property to preserve the rights of persons to experience firearms exhibitions. 

County Executive Astorino told the assembled press he made the decision based on law and the belief that having a gun show at a county-owned facility such as the Westchester County Center, made such a show a venue that presented greater control of security and execution of the legal procedures required at gun shows across the state.

Mr. Astorino strolled about the show floor prior to the conference, getting congratulations for his veto from vendors, and show goers alike. During the news conference, persons waiting in the long line to get into the show shouted  ”Thank you, Rob,” and “Thanks, Rob!” as they  strolled slowly by the developing news conference.

Peter Tartaglia, the Commissioner of Recreation and Parks for Westchester County told WPCNR over 3,000 persons had passed through the turnstiles, at $13 admission,  as of 2 PM, an all-time record for attendance at a center event (according to Mr. Astorino).

Astorino in his comments to the press said persons could not buy a handgun and walk out with it (from the four tables this reporter saw selling handguns, all of the handguns and rifles for sale which had ties in the barrels, on the triggers, and magazines preventing the guns from being loaded). You could not handle a handgun that was for sale without presenting a Gun License. You could not purchase a rifle or other long gun without a National Instant Criminal Background System (NICS) that would be conducted  on the premises in the manager’s office.

Asked how long it took to get a Gun License, Astorino said there were a number of steps that could take awhile, but did not know how long.

County Legislator John Testa (left, in above photograph)added it would take approximately five weeks to be processed, then you would have to go back to the dealer and get the gun registered. WPCNR, speaking with a Gun Licensee familar with the procedure found it could take six months to a year to get the handgun in your possession. Testa added that the success of the event meant the show would become a “perennial ” event at the County Center.

Questioned about the compromise legislation that Republicans said would replace the vetoed gun show ban on county property, Mr.Astorino said the legislation the County Legislature will take up Tuesday at a public hearing in The Little Theater in the County Center, did not add any regulations or procedures that were new.

He said the procedures codified in the compromise legislation bill supported by the Republicans are being observed in all gun shows across the state.

The compromise legislation was developed because Mr. Astorino said many persons in the county had expressed concern that a gun show was not “secure.”

Astorino said the compromise was to assure citizens worried about security at gun shows that if a gun show was held privately at other non county-owned venues in Westchester that those private property shows were subject to the same regulations the New York State requires of all gun shows and “they would feel safe and secure.”

Astorino noted that a gun show was taking place in Albany at a government -owned property, just as the County Center.

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Line of firearms enthusiasts to get into the County Center wrapped around the venue and up the Bronx River Parkway as of 12 noon..it was just as long at 3 PM

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The showfloor was still crowded at 3 PM

 

 

 

 

 

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John Kelly Sworn In as Head of Department of Homeland Security

WPCNR POLICE GAZETTE.From The Department of Homeland Security. January 21, 

Friday, retired Marine Corps General John F. Kelly was officially sworn in as the fifth Secretary of Homeland Security. Secretary Kelly took the oath Friday evening after the Senate voted to confirm him. As Secretary of Homeland Security, Kelly now leads the third largest federal department in the United States that includes the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Transportation Security Administration, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service, and the United States Secret Service.

“I am honored and humbled to take on this responsibility to serve alongside the magnificent men and women of the Department of Homeland Security,” said Secretary Kelly, “and, I look forward to protecting our nation, its citizens, and preserving our liberty and upholding the rule of law as I continue my service to this great country. I ask for your patience and prayers as I take on this tremendous task together with you, and my only plea is that together we focus our loyalty on the Constitution that we all have sworn to preserve and protect and the nation we love.”

 

Prior to joining DHS, Secretary Kelly served in the United States Marine Corps for 45 years closing his career as the commander of the United States Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM) in 2016. Secretary Kelly has held senior command positions in Iraq and as the Senior Military Assistant to two Secretaries of Defense.

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WHITE PLAINS WEEK–THE INAUGURATION EDITION–NOW ON THE INTERNET YOUTUBE AND WHITE PLAINSWEEK.

JOHN BAILEY AND PETER KATZ

WHITE PLAINS WEEK OF FRIDAY JANUARY 20

ON VIEW WORLDWIDE INSTANT ON THE INTERNET

RKOTower

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PETER KATZ, JOHN BAILEY AND JIM BENEROFE ANCHORS OF THE ONLY WEEKLY WESTCHESTER NEWS ROUNDUP NOW IN ITS 16TH YEAR ON THE AIR EVERY WEEK

ON

TRUMP IN TRANSITION — THE FINAL REPORT

HOUSING OPTIMISM IN WESTCHESTER — BUT FLAT PRICES

THE GUN SHOW BAN–WHAT’S AHEAD

NOW ON YOU TUBE AT

the link to whiteplainsweek.com is.
AND ON
PEOPLE TO BE HEARD 
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VIRGINIA PEREZ
COUNTY LEGISLATOR 
ON
THE GUN SHOW BAN
IMMIGRANTS’ MOODS
AS TRUMP TAKES OFFICE
AT

 

 

 

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County Executive Astorino Vetos Gun Show Law. Override will be Attempted When County Legislature acquires 3 more votes.

WPCNR COUNTY CLARION-LEDGER. From the Westchester County Department of Communications. (Edited)January 21, 2017:

Westchester County Executive Robert P. Astorino  announced Friday afternoon that he had vetoed legislation passed by the county legislature that would have banned gun shows on any county property. The county legislature passed the legislation in a 9-8 vote on January 9th, 2017.

In his veto message sent down to the legislature Friday, Astorino said, “the gun show satisfies all the requirements for its legal and safe operation” and “has historically been one of the best run and most well-attended events held at the (County Center).”  Astorino said he respected the “wide-range of opinion(s)” on the gun show, but is balancing the “divergent views of its citizens by using facts and the law, as opposed to emotion.”  He added that the gun show at the County Center has been held for decades “without incident.”

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County Legislator Virginia Perez, (District 17-Yonkers) in an interview on WHITE PLAINS TV’s People to Be Heard Friday, available for viewing on the internet on YOUTUBE at https://youtu.be/NDmVnVfeV0Q and www.whiteplainsweek.com, said that the county legislature Chairman Michael Kaplowitz would not bring a legislature override vote to the floor immediately, since there were not the votes to override at this time.
She said she expected the override attempt to be taken sometime during the next 11 months if the legislature could persuade 3 more votes (12 votes are needed for an override of a veto) from the Republican side to pass the law over the County Executive’s veto.
The Chairman of the Westchester County Board of Legislators, Michael Kaplowitz confirmed Ms. Perez’s comments to WPCNR in an official statement on the vote:
I am disappointed that the County Executive has vetoed the Legislation which would ban gun shows at the Westchester County Center.  The preference to not use the County Center to sell guns was expressed by a majority of the Legislators and thousands of Westchester residents who signed a petition opposing the gun show.  There are countless alternative venues in Westchester County to hold a sale such as this and ignoring the will of the majority of residents and Legislators speaks to the political nature of this decision.I will leave the option of overriding the County Executive’s veto on the table for the remainder of the Legislative term in hopes that a sufficient number of my colleagues will choose to join the majority who voted to ban the gun shows and override the County Executive’s veto.I will also be voting in favor of a proposed local law (Tuesday, January 24) that my Republican colleagues have submitted which would require all gun show operators at any site- public or private in Westchester County to adhere to the guidelines for gun show operations that have been established by the New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.  The Republican’s Legislation which was offered as a good faith compromise to banning the gun shows will ensure that all future gun shows in Westchester County follow the highest standards for safety and accountability.

The gun show returns to the County Center this Saturday (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) and Sunday (9 a.m. to 3 p.m.).  Thousands are expected to attend over the course of the weekend.  The safety and security rules and protocols at the show are among the strictest in the nation.

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AS ONE OF ITS FIRST OFFICIAL ACTIONS, TRUMP ADMINISTRATION REMOVES ALL MENTION OF THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION FROM THE WHITE HOUSE WEBSITE. RECORDS, PREVIOUS INFORMATION IS GONE.

WPCNR TRUMP THE PRESIDENT. JANUARY 20,  2017:

PETER KATZ in attempt to register for White House Press Credentials advises that “As of 2:28 pm, all mention of Pres. Obama has been removed from the White House website.
No record of what happened before Trump took office; I thought it was the PEOPLE’S business.
All news releases, videos, photos, pending legislation, from Obama are gone.
Press Office pages are empty. No way to request credentials. What appear
to be pages from Trump campaign website have been posted to represent policies.”
You may see the “clean slate” for yourself by going to www.whitehouse.gov
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TONIGHT ON PEOPLE TO BE HEARD 7 PM SATURDAY–GUN SHOW REGULATIONS-CAN YOU BUY A GUN AT A GUN SHOW IN NY: TWO EXPERTS GIVE YOU THE FACTS AT 7 PM ON PEOPLE TO BE HEARD.

JOHN BAILEY INTERVIEWS

White Plains

CARL ALBANESE

NATIONAL FIRE ARMS CERTIFIED INSTRUCTOR

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AND

Ben Rosenshine,

Blue Line Tactical Supply & Shooting Sports in Elmsford

DISCUSS LAW ENFORCEMENT PROCEDURES AT NY GUN SHOWS

BACKGROUND CHECKS

HOW SOON CAN YOU GET A GUN AFTER YOU BUY IT A GUN SHOW.

TONIGHT AT 7 ON

PEOPLE TO BE HEARD

FIOS CHANNEL 45 COUNTYWIDE

AND

WHITE PLAINS ALTICE CABLEVISION CH. 76

AND ON THE INTERNET ANY TIME

on YOUTUBE at https://youtu.be/8-Qo_bFLekE

or on the White Plains Week website at

 http://www.whiteplainsweek.com

 

 

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Westchester District Attorney Charges White Plains Woman in Head-on Fatal Crash Killing two in Late October

WPCNR DOCKET . From the Office of the Westchester County District Attorney. January 18, 2017:

Westchester County District Attorney Anthony A. Scarpino, Jr. announced that Michelle Bonet (DOB 07/28/73) of 9 Stonewall Circle, White Plains, New York was arraigned on an indictment today before Judge Anne Minihan and charged with:

  • three counts of Aggravated Vehicular Homicide, class “B” Felonies,
  • two counts of Manslaughter in the Second Degree, class “C” Felonies,
  • one count of Aggravated Driving while Intoxicated Per Se, a Misdemeanor,
  • one count of Driving While Intoxicated, a Misdemeanor,
  • one count of a Driving While Ability Impaired by the combined influence of drugs or of alcohol and any drug or drugs, a Misdemeanor

in the deaths of Henrietta and Carmelo Sbezzi.

On October 28, 2016 at approximately 2:15 p.m., the defendant was driving north by west on West Hartsdale Road in Greenburgh.

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Michelle Bonet

While driving her Chrysler minivan, the defendant was observed by witnesses crossing over the double yellow line multiple times. Just prior to the fatal event, the defendant nearly collided head-on with a vehicle being operated by a seventeen year old student coming from Maria Regina High School.

A few moments later, the defendant who was driving over the speed limit, crossed the double yellow line on West Hartsdale Avenue and collided head-on with a Lexus sedan being driven by Carmelo Sbezzi (DOB 09/06/34). In the front passenger’s seat was his wife, Henrietta (DOB 11/23/35).

The force of the impact pushed the victims’ car off the road. The vehicles came to rest with the front of each vehicle nearly touching each other and the defendant’s car almost entirely in the opposite lane of traffic.

Police, EMS and Fire units responded to the scene. The victims had to be extricated from their vehicle. The defendant, who was the sole occupant of her vehicle, was found slumped over unconscious.

The defendant and victims were taken to Westchester Medical Center. Both victims died at the hospital.

Two separate blood samples were drawn from the defendant at the hospital at different times. Testing of those samples revealed a BAC of .29 and .25 respectively. The testing also revealed an amount of Diazepam also referred to as Valium.

The defendant pled not guilty.

Her bail was continued.

She faces a minimum of one to four to a maximum of eight and one-third to twenty-five years in state prison.

Her next court date is January 31, 2017.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney James Bavero of the Superior Court Trial Division.

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Waiting for Veto: Law Banning Gun Shows Veto By Friday. Compromise Bill Expected to be Passed Next Tuesday. No Override Attempt Expected

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Westchester County Legislator John Testa, District 1 Gives Update on the Compromise Bill Expected after the anticipated Gun Show Ban Veto.

 

WPCNR COUNTY CLARION-LEDGER. By John F. Bailey. Interview with County Legislator John Testa January 17, 2017.

County Legislator John Testa of Westchester District 1 (Yorktown, Cortlandt and Peekskill), speaking to WPCNR Tuesday afternoon confirmed that Robert P. Astorino is expected to veto the law passed one week ago,  banning the staging of gun shows on Westchester County owned property. The County Center where the show that caused Democrats on the legislature to pass the ban, is county-owned.

Testa said County Executive Astorino will veto the law Friday (or before–Friday is  the 10th day after the bill was passed)  and this weekend’s  show will go on.

Testa said he expected no attempt by the Legislature to override  the veto. “They don’t have the votes”, he said. The law banning shows on county property passed 9 to 8, with 9 Democrats voting to ban, and 7 Republicans and 1 Conservative voting against it. The Democrats would have to acquire three Republicans to override, which Testa does not see happening.

Instead, Testa said, the Compromise Bill (Chapter 432-Gun Show Procedures) Republicans presented last week, will be taken up next Tuesday evening with public hearing and a possible vote.

Testa agreed with law enforcement sources speaking to WPCNR last week who confirmed to WPCNR the “reforms”  the Compromise Bill proposes are already on the state books and in use.”

“All of them (regulations and restrictions on background checks, procedures) are now in use by the County Police and in place,” Testa said.  “The new law makes the state rules applicable to private gun shows within Westchester County held not on County-owned property.” Testa said he was not expecting any additions to the Compromise Bill.

In a related interview on gun show procedures, two fire arms experts who travel to gun shows throughout the state said the procedures the county proposes for the “private” shows in the county are already observed in shows held on private property not only in the County, but across the state.

That interview  will be telecast Thursday evening on White Plains Television’s PEOPLE TO BE HEARD, White Plains Carl Albanese and Ben Rosenshine, both Federal Firearms Instructors, (Mr.Rosenshine  is also a NYS dealer in firearms and owns Blue Line Tactical Supply & Shooting Sports in Elmsford)who travel to gun shows all over New York State, told WPCNR that the procedures in the Compromise Bill are required at every gun show across the state and have been in place for years. You can see that Albanese-Rosenshine interview on YOUTUBE at https://youtu.be/8-Qo_bFLekE or on the White Plains Week website at http://www.whiteplainsweek.com

 

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3 Doctors, 3 Executives in String of 8 Medical Clinics Charged with $33 Million Medicare and Medicaid Fraud Scheme. Gave Kickbacks to Elderly “patients.”

WPCNR FBI WIRE. From the Federal Bureau of Investigation. January 17, 2017:

Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, William F. Sweeney Jr., the Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), and Dennis Rosen, Inspector General of the New York State Office of the Medicaid Inspector General (“OMIG”), announced the unsealing today of a superseding indictment charging physicians MUSTAK Y. VAID, PAUL J. MATHIEU, and EWALD J. ANTOINE, as well as health-care executives MARINA BURMAN, ASHER OLEG KATAEV, a/k/a “Oleg Kataev,” and ALLA TSIRLIN with operating a $33 million health care fraud scheme through the operation of eight fraudulent medical clinics in Brooklyn, as well as the operation of related suppliers of medical equipment, tests, and services.

As part of the fraud scheme, the defendants’ co-conspirators paid cash kickbacks to elderly and financially disadvantaged patients (the “Paid Patients”) who were insured by Medicare and/or Medicaid, and the defendants and their co-conspirators then billed Medicare and Medicaid for unnecessary medical services, tests, and supplies related to the Paid Patients.

VAID was previously indicted and arrested on these charges in November 2016. MATHIEU, ANTOINE, BURMAN, KATAEVE, and TSIRLIN were arrested earlier today and presented and arraigned this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Kevin Nathaniel Fox. The case is assigned to U.S. District Judge Lorna G. Schofield.

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “These defendants allegedly operated fraudulent medical clinics and suppliers in a scheme that bilked Medicare and Medicaid out of more than $30 million. As alleged, three of the defendants were doctors who, in violation of their Hippocratic oath, signed medical charts for patients they never treated and prescribed unnecessary medications, procedures, and supplies. Medicare and Medicaid were established to assist the elderly and economically disadvantaged, not to serve as cash cows for allegedly corrupt professionals.”

FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William F. Sweeney Jr. said: “In this case, as alleged, Medicare and Medicaid programs suffered millions of dollars in losses when a group of physicians and health-care executives created, operated, or became associated with eight fraudulent medical clinics. As charged, their litany of crimes included paying a series of kickbacks, writing scripts for unnecessary medical tests, and arranging transportation services for patients who didn’t need a ride. Today’s charges certainly won’t prove to be a cure for all ills, but they are a step in the right direction when it comes to confronting the threats faced by the health care system.”

Medicaid Inspector General Dennis Rosen said: “This joint investigation and today’s arrests send an unmistakable message. Those who seek personal gain by preying upon vulnerable New Yorkers and exploiting the Medicaid program will be held fully accountable. My office will continue to work closely with our partners in the U.S. Attorney’s Office, FBI and other state and federal agencies to root out fraud, waste and abuse in the Medicaid program.”

As alleged in the Indictment unsealed today and according to statements made in Court today: [1]

Aleksandr Burman, an individual with no medical license, established eight medical clinics in Brooklyn (the “Related Clinics”), which operated between 2007 and 2013. For each clinic, Aleksandr Burman hired one of three doctors – VAID, MATHIEU, or ANTOINE – to pose as the nominal owner of the clinic, since New York State law requires that a professional services corporation providing medical care must be owned by a medical professional.

In fact, however, VAID, MATHIEU, and ANTOINE were each simply hired by Aleksandr Burman to pose as the owner of one or more of the clinics, and to come to the clinic periodically, in order to sign medical charts falsely stating that the doctor had examined a number of Paid Patients. VAID posed as the owner of one such clinic, while MATHIEU posed as the owner of four others, and ANTOINE posed as the owner of the remaining three.

The three doctors were also paid to provide a large number of prescriptions and referrals for medically unnecessary supplies. Such unnecessary prescriptions included referrals for more than $3.5 million worth of durable medical equipment (“DME”), consisting mostly of incontinence supplies such as adult diaper sets ordered from a DME supply company (“USD”) owned jointly by BURMAN and Aleksandr Burman of the Related Clinics.

Many of the Paid Patients who received such prescriptions and referrals did not need or receive the diapers and other supplies. Instead, BURMAN and USD arranged for the Paid Patients to exchange their diaper prescriptions for valuable merchandise, such as bed linens, tablecloths, dishes, kitchen appliances, and other housewares.

BURMAN and USD nonetheless filed Medicaid claims for such DME, seeking more than $3.5 million in reimbursement. BURMAN also transported cash to the Related Clinics to be used to pay kickbacks to the Paid Patients.

VAID, MATHIEU, ANTOINE, and their co-conspirators also provided medical referrals for transportation services to hundreds of Paid Patients, even though such transportation was not medically necessary. This practice generated more than $4 million in losses to Medicaid. In addition, VAID, MATHIEU, and ANTOINE provided referrals and prescriptions for medically unnecessary diagnostic tests, including MRIs, as well as prescriptions for medications such as expensive ointment compounds. The defendants and their co-conspirators then sent such medical referrals to specific medical testing companies, which in turn provided kickbacks to Aleksandr Burman.

 

In 2012, KATAEV and TSIRLIN became business partners of Aleksandr Burman, and operated as the managers of two of the Related Clinics. Their activity as managers included paying cash kickbacks directly to Paid Patients, and employing MATHIEU and ANTIONE to pose as the owners of the two clinics.

 

In or about March 2016, Aleksandr Burman pled guilty for his role in these offenses. He is scheduled to be sentenced on February 15, 2017, before the Honorable Paul G. Gardephe.

VAID, 43, of Brownstown Township, Michigan, MATHIEU, 51, of Morristown, New Jersey, ANTOINE, 66, of Valley Stream, New York, BURMAN, 54, of Manhattan, KATAEV, 48, of Staten Island, and TSIRLIN, 46, of Brooklyn, are all charged with: (1) conspiring to commit health care fraud, mail fraud, and wire fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison; (2) the substantive offenses of mail fraud and wire fraud, each of which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison; (3) the substantive offense of health care fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison; and (4) conspiring to make false statements relating to a federal health care program, which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison. BURMAN, KATAEV, and TSIRLIN are also charged with conspiring to violate the Anti-Kickback Statute, which has a maximum penalty of five years in prison.

The statutory maximum sentences are prescribed by Congress and provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendants would be determined by the judge.

Mr. Bharara praised the investigative work of the New York FBI’s Health Care Fraud Task Force.

The prosecution of this case is being handled by the Office’s Complex Frauds and Cybercrime Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorney David Raymond Lewis is in charge of the prosecution.

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


[1] As the introductory phrase signifies, the entirety of the text of the Indictment and the description of the Indictment set forth herein, constitute only allegations, and every fact described should be treated as an allegation.

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HUDSON VALLEY HOME SALES UP MOST SINCE 2011. WESTCHESTER LEADS WITH MOST SALES, 7.7% GAIN

WPCNR REALTY REALITY. From the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors. January 17, 2017:

Westchester home sales closed on an upswing for the year 2016. All four counties in the region: Orange, Putnam, Rockland and Westchester sold 24% more homes in 2016 than in 2015. The 18,145 closings for 2016 was the best sales results since the “post-recession recovery” began in 2011.

Westchester lead the other three counties in total sales. Westchester closings through December 31 showed single family home sales were up 8.4%, 6,213 to the 2015 total of 5,731. The average Westchester price was down 2.1% to $818,844.

County Condo sales were up 6.3%,1,398 to the 2015 total of 1,315 selling at an average of $422,723, down 1.4%.

Coops in the county were up 4%, 1,884 to 1,814, and the coop average price was $155,000 up 3.6%.

Two to 4 Family homes were very hot in Westchester County up a robust 15.7% , 626 in 2016 compared to 541 in 2015. The average price of a 2 to 4 Family sale? $429.055 up 2.9%

The Multiple Listing Service comments  “All 4 counties have been confronting a tightening inventory situation. Inventory (number of homes for sale), is not quite low enough to stall the market but is low enough to create pressure (on the buyer) for speedier decision making by prospective buyers.”

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