FLASH! FASNY SUES IN STATE COURT DEMANDING COURT OVERTURN COUNCIL DENIAL OF FASNY SCHOOL CAMPUS ON OLD RIDGEWAY COUNTRY CLUB

WPCNR WHITE PLAINS LAW JOURNAL. From the French-American School of New York. September 3, 2015:

The French-American School of New York (FASNY) today filed an almost 90-page petition in State Supreme Court asking the Court to annul the August 5, 2015 vote of the White Plains Common Council that blocked FASNY’s ability to build its new school on a portion of the former Ridgeway Country Club.

Filed by Michael Zarin of the White Plains law firm Zarin & Steinmetz, who has represented the school throughout its more than four years of review before the City, the suit describes the Council’s action as “illegal, irrational, baseless and arbitrary.”

FASNY’s case is unusual because, unlike most parties who challenge governmental actions, FASNY is embracing the administrative record in its suit.  FASNY’s petition notes that, in December 2013, the Common Council, by a 6-1 vote, adopted Findings pursuant to the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA).

The Findings determined that the school’s impacts could be mitigated or “cushioned” as the law requires based upon conditions, including, in particular, the partial discontinuance of a limited portion of a local street, Hathaway Lane.

On August 5, 2015, the Council voted 4-3 to authorize the discontinuance, but the Common Council has taken the position that a “supermajority” is needed for this action, such that the 3 votes in opposition resulted in its denial.

As the petition states, “the Court cannot allow the Common Council to subject an educational use, like FASNY’s School, to a Catch-22 situation, wherein, on one hand, the Council requires by a 6-1 vote a mitigation measure (i.e., the partial discontinuance of Hathaway Lane), yet, on the other, rejects the proposal based on compliance with this mitigation measure.”

The lawsuit notes that the principle basis cited by the three Council members who voted against the school’s proposal was that the partial discontinuance of Hathaway Lane “mandated by the Council would lead to a five-second increase in emergency response times.”

FASNY’s petition explains, however, that the City’s own Commissioner of Public Safety, David Chong, confirmed that this five-second increase was not significant because emergency response times would still be more than two minutes below the thresholds established by the National Fire Protection Association.

The petition characterizes the Council’s action as “a classic example” of why the State Court of Appeals has held that courts are “thrust into the role of protecting educational institutions from community hostility.”

The petition asks the Court to order the Council to approve the Special Permit and Site Plan applications.

The Common Council’s vote on FASNY’s petition to discontinue a portion of Hathaway Lane was inextricably linked to its review of FASNY’s Special Permit/Site Plan Application, so that the Council’s action on the petition resulted in the constructive denial of the School’s Application in its entirety.

The Common Council’s failure to vote on FASNY’s Special Permit/Site Plan Application also resulted in the denial of the Application by operation of law. The White Plains Zoning Ordinance establishes that if the approving agency does not act within 90 days of its receipt of a completed application, its failure to act constitutes disapproval.

Commenting on the case, Zarin said:  “We are optimistic that the Court will recognize the Council’s extensive administrative record which was compiled over four years of review, establishing the merit of FASNY’s application, and affirm the majority vote by the Council in favor of the school.”

Andrea Colombel, Chairperson of the FASNY Board of Trustees, said: “We regret that we are faced with this unfortunate situation, but we have a strong case with solid legal arguments. The school has met every condition imposed by the Common Council, as was recognized by the majority of the Council members, and we are confident that after careful review of all of the proceedings by the Court, our plan will be approved.”

The review of the French-American School’s plan lasted more than four years. The school bought the moribund 130-acre country club in January 2011 and that spring proposed a plan to build a school that would ultimately accommodate its Nursery through 12th grade students. FASNY, founded in Larchmont in 1980, currently operates in rented facilities at four Westchester locations.

FASNY’s plan includes the site for the school at the eastern end of the property where the clubhouse and club facilities were located while the balance of the site would become the 78-acre, publically accessible Greens-to-Green Conservancy.  The Conservancy would restore the former golf course to a natural state and be owned and operated by FASNY. It would feature a network of walking and bicycle paths open to the public year-round.

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White Plains Fall Soccer Registration begins

FALL SOCCER CLINICS & LEAGUE PLAY
Last day to register is 
Saturday, September 12th. 
 
At the Recreation Office or online with a Free Webpass
Fee for all Soccer Programs $65 (Scholarships Available)


Little Kicks Clinics
Soccer instruction and scrimmage play on Saturday mornings located @ George Washington Elementary School.
 
**Clinic will start on Saturday September 19th**
Pre Kickers (Ages 4-5 yrs) 
Available – 12:15pm – 1:15pm
Kinder-Kickers (Grade K) 
10:15am – 11:15am & 1:15-2:15pm
1st Kickers (Grade 1) 
11:30am – 12:30pm & 2:15-3:15pm

Sunday Clinic
 Soccer instruction and scrimmage play on Sunday mornings located @ Ralph Ave Field.
  
**Clinic will start on Sunday
September 20th**
  
Grades K – 3rd
10:00am – 11:00am
Grades 4th – 6th
11:15am – 12:15pm
League Play : Recreation/Travel 
Athletes will participate in practices on weekday evenings and games will be played on Saturdays, with the possibility of a weeknight game, under the lights @ George Washington Elementary School, Saxon Woods Turf, Rumbrook Park, and The Seely School.
  
**This season will begin the week of September 21st and games will start on September 26th**   
  
2nd Grade Co-Ed 
11:30am & 12:30pm  @ George Washington Elementary School

3rd & 4th Grade Boys and Girls 
TBD
George Washington Elementary School, Rumbrook Park, Seely School
5th & 6th Grade Boys and Girls 
TBD @ Saxon Woods Turf

**For more information please call Lauren O’Connor @ 422-1351**
 

City of White Plains Recreation & Parks Department

85 Gedney Way

White Plains, NY 10605

(914) 422-1336

www.ciyofwhiteplains.com

LIKE US ON FACEBOOK

“WHITE PLAINS RECREATION & PARKS”

 

 

Office Hours:

Monday – Friday 8:30am – 5:15 pm

Saturdays 9am – 12 Noon

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Chase Appointed Superintendent of Schools in Greenburgh

WPCNR THE FEINER REPORT. By Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner. September 2, 2015:

Great news! The Greenburgh Central School Board has decided to appoint  Dr. Tahira Chase as the permanent Superintendent of Schools for the school district. The announcement was made yesterday at a program for school faculty.

Dr. Tahira Chase, who had been serving as Interim School Superintendent,  is doing a terrific job.  I have had the opportunity to work with Dr. Chase and her team on an architect/engineering mentoring program for students. We discussed the program last December and by January the program was up and running! This program enables young people to work with seasoned architects/engineers and to be eligible for $10,000 scholarships!

We are currently working on an exciting technology initiative that will prepare students for high paying jobs when they complete their education. And – the town and school district are also looking at shared service opportunities to save taxpayer dollars.  Am very impressed with the innovations taking place at the school district and the dedication and passion for education among educators who work in the school district.

In past years the school district has been subjected to “bright flight” and bad PR. My recommendation: give the school district another chance.

There are many positive things happening at Greenburgh schools. The district may not be currently rated as the number one, two or three districts in the country. But – big progress is being made.

PAUL FEINER

Greenburgh Town Supervisor

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WHITE PLAINS SCHOOLS OPEN TODAY: 7,200 STUDENTS EXPECTED. ENROLLMENT UP 10% IN 14 YEARS.

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WPCNR SCHOOL DAYS. SEPTEMBER 2, 2015:

White Plains will welcome 7,191 expected students today across 5 elementary schools, middle school and high school. This enrollment is WPCNR  is an all-time high in the sixteen years  WPCNR has covered the school district.

Previously in the 2015-16 enrollment was projected at 7.095 and as of the latest information published in the  new school calendar out last week, the enrollment is expected to be 7,191. This is up 633 students from 2001-02 when the school district enrolled 6,558 students an increase of 10%.

The 5 Elementary School universe is down  46 students ( K to 5) to 3,326), according to school calendar projections; The two Middle Schools Highlands and Eastview are up 58 students to 1,628 the high school is down 11 at 2,003.

Schools are open today Wednesday and tomorrow, Thursday, but are closed Friday for the Labor Day Weekend and Monday. Next weekend school is in session for full days Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday Friday. They close again for Monday, September 14 and Tuesday, September 15 for Rosh Hashannah and close again on Wednesday, September 23 for Yom Kippur. The first full 5-day week of school begins September 28.

 

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Corks & Forks Benefit for CENTRO HISPANO –Mark the Date September 18

WPCNR MAIN STREET JOURNAL.From the Woman’s Club of White Plains Foundation. August 31, 2015:

On Friday September 18, 2015 the Woman’s Club of White Plains Foundation will hold its annual fall fund raiser CORKS & FORKS at the CV Rich Mansion in White Plains. This popular event is fast becoming one of the premier “food” events in Westchester.

The event features tastings of signature dishes from many local restaurants as well as wines and beer from area merchants.  This year’s specialties will range from appetizers to main courses to desserts and will feature a wide range of cuisines including  American, Asian, Indian and Portuguese.

As in past years, proceeds from the event will benefit a local charity and this year’s beneficiary will be EL CENTRO HISPANO. El Centro Hispano has been an integral part of White Plains for over 41 years assisting the Hispanic community in their integration into American culture.

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Isabel E. Villar, (left)founder and Executive Director of EL CENTRO HISPANO stated the organization was “honored to be considered as this year’s recipient and is pleased that additional funding will be available to help with the many valuable programs the center has to offer. ”  She is with Maryann Martin, Woman’s Club of White Plains Event Chair 

Last year’s event was a complete sell out and tickets are going quickly.  Reserved and open seating are available and there will be a silent auction and raffle the night of the event. Tickets can be purchased on the website  www.womansclubofwhiteplains.org.

 

 

 

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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.

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WHITE PLAINS WEEK TONIGHT 7 PM 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 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

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DR. HENRY FAGEN JR.

OF THE UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH CAROLINA (SPARTANBURG)

ON

HOW PREPARED ARE COLLEGE FRESHMEN TODAY FOR COLLEGE LEVEL WORK.

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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.

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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!

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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

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