WPCNR LETTER TICKER.
LETTER TO THE COUNTY EXECUTIVE. Sent to the County Executive by Lisa Andrade, a person who works in White Plains, but resides in Putnam County:
Lisa M. Andrade Lincolndale, NY 10540
September 9, 2013
To Whom It May Concern,
Please consider the following letter to Mr. Robert Astorino, Westchester County Executive, a desperate plea for help for the city of White Plains, NY. I am taking it upon myself to beg, plead and cry for a grant for this city in great turmoil.
ANY help is greatly appreciated.
Feel free to forward this to anyone who may be of assistance for this city in need.
Lisa M. Andrade
Dear Mr. Robert Astorino,
We the People who work and reside in the city of White Plains, NY, request that necessary changes be made to this city in order to preserve what little beauty and dignity is left of it.
In case you haven’t heard, I’ll gladly lend my voice on behalf of myself and many others living, working, or visiting the White Plains area in order to fill you in on what’s going down on the streets of your city… and it’s not pretty.
Every morning and every evening I am greeted with the same old thing, day in and day out… (including, but not limited to)… the putrid stench of what smells like day-old vomit (sometimes actual vomit on the sidewalk just sitting there roasting in the hot summer sun), freshly minced crap, 2 day-old road kill, and dirty, filthy garbage.
Add to that the borage of homeless people hitting me up for anything and everything spanning from a quarter, two dollars, to a three-course meal, despite the fact that I am always being asked for a dollar here and a dollar there for every single organization and fundraising event under the sun. Next thing you’ll know, they’ll be asking for a dinner cruise, a brand new car, and a houseboat.
Not only am I asked for this on the streets of White Plains, but everywhere I go including supermarkets, pharmacies, and grocery stores. Aw heck, even politicians are hitting me up for donations. (Insert smiley face here).
(And let’s not get started on the “Tip Jars” that line the counters of most delis, pizzerias, and self-serve mini-marts and bodegas. Heck, I wish I could have a tip jar sitting on my office desk, too!)
Enough is Enough.
The only thing I donate now is BLOOD, the most rewarding gift ever.
I am not a resident of White Plains but have worked here for 14+ years and have seen the deterioration of your beloved city. My office is located inside the Westchester Pavilion on South Broadway, yes the almost vacant building in which still stands because the city doesn’t know what to do with it. Well, I’ll give you a hint… refurbish it or tear it down!
Lately this empty building (which used to be home to Daffy’s, Toys ‘R’ Us, and Sports Authority) has become a haven for the homeless people of your city. From 8 o’clock in the morning until 5 o’clock at night, you’ll find many of them asking for money at the front entrance or sleeping on the benches inside the Pavilion.
And you’d better be careful walking up or down the dark, isolated stairwell because there are some strange people lurking inside. In fact, they party in there on the weekends, the proof is in seeing the empty (cheap) wine bottles and beer cans scattered throughout the stairwell. What a disgrace.
I tell my fellow female coworkers over and over again: DO NOT USE THE STAIRS. And I will keep reminding them until I am blue in the face. It is SCARY and it is DANGEROUS. One suggestion I have is to keep the shelters open ALL DAY so that you don’t have people roaming the streets in a fog and a daze, or have them occupy what is supposed to be a “professional” atmosphere.
What upsets me the most is how agitated people get when you kindly decline handing money over. Some are very nice about it, but others get very hostile which leads to a very uncomfortable, intimidating experience.
But let the lion roar and let it be known:
I am a woman of the 21st century and I absolutely REFUSE to be intimidated … especially by a man… on the corners of Martine Avenue, E. Post Road, South Broadway, and Mamaroneck Avenue… or ANYWHERE for that matter!
No Way. No How.
The sketchiest areas of White Plains are
Points A-Point D: (Point A= South Broadway, Point B= E. Post Road, Point C= Mamaroneck Avenue, Point D= Martine Avenue).
Just walking either to or from South Broadway to Martine Avenue, I get hit up for money at least three times a day by three different individuals. One time I even saw a woman posing with her 7 or 8-year old daughter asking me if I could buy her daughter a donut from Dunkin Donuts. I just stared at her in disbelief and then she laughed, “Oh well, I thought I would try to get a free donut!”
Well look who’s NOT laughing. Gee, wouldn’t it be nice if we could all ask complete and total strangers for money so that our credit cards, student loans, and car/house/mortgage payments could be completely paid off… TAX FREE and IN FULL!
Twice I’ve been followed into Dunkin Donuts by people asking for money to buy a donut. The first incident was from a well-known elderly homeless man who asked me for a dollar so that he could buy himself a donut. The softie that I am (was) gave him a dollar. Would you believe that the Son-of-a-gun took the dollar, turned around, and walked out of Dunkin Donuts and up the street presumably to buy a hit??
NEVER AGAIN. Never, ever, ever!
That is the last time I will ever give away my hard earned money. Lord knows I do not make the money of a Governor’s salary, no sir, not even the salary of a County Executive… (insert smiley face here). Next time all they’ll get is my free advice to straighten up.
On 2 separate occasions (during a one month time span) I had to drop off packages at the Post Office on Martine Avenue. Both times I arrived 15 minutes prior to the post office opening and both times I was greeted by homeless, newly released jail inmates wanting to wine and dine me and take me out for the time of my life. (Editor’s Note: this area is across the street from the County Office Building, where the County Executive works)
Politely I refused their offers. When pressured as to ‘why’ I wouldn’t accept their offers, I kindly informed them that I was a happily married woman. Period. End of Discussion. Or was it? Repeatedly they kept pressuring me for my phone number over and over. It got to the point where I wanted to deck them.
Hey, in the words of President Obama, there’s a red line that’s drawn, not by me, but by the world, and these two punks had crossed that line. They’re lucky they dealt with me instead of someone else who might have started a war with them.
Thankfully, people had started showing up and waiting in line with me for the post office to open. If it had been dark and isolated, who knows what might have happened. And the post office just so happens to be across the street from 7-Eleven, which is also the infamous local bus stop (including mine) that is notorious for being the “out-of-control” corner.
Yes, everybody knows that corner… the cops… the homeless people… the residents/workers/tourists of White Plains, NY. Here is where you’ll find them all. People talking to themselves, fighting with themselves, screaming at others, and threatening everyone in their paths. It is not a safe environment! They’re either heavily medicated or not medicated enough. There is no in-between.
Something needs to be done in order to curb this outrage. That is why I am reaching out to you, Mr. Astorino. Your city needs help and I know that you have the power to make the change that it so desperately needs in order for White Plains to flourish gracefully…
Please feel free to contact me if I can be of any assistance to you.
Lisa M. Andrade
(Editor’s Note: The Mayor’s Office has been asked for a response to this letter.)