Tony Sayegh Gets Republican Nod at Convention

WPCNR Evening Mail. From Christopher Sullivan. June 3, 2002: Tony Sayegh, candidate for the New York State Assembly in the 88th District, was unanimously endorsed by the Republican County Committee at their convention last week to unseat one-term Assemblywoman Amy Paulin.
An enthusiastic and energetic Sayegh thanked the Republican supporters from the 88th district, which includes Eastchester, Pelham, New Rochelle, Scarsdale and White Plains. He vowed to run an upbeat and vigorous campaign that will reveal the ability of a Republican candidate to appeal to a wide array of voters.

Republican Chairmen Mario Faustini of Eastchester and Frank Cantatore of White Plains had the honor of nominating the young Sayegh for endorsement.

“It is a great privilege for me to be endorsed by the Republican County Committee of Westchester,” said Sayegh. “This may be my first run for public office, but I am no stranger to the issues that are of importance to the 88th District or to the legislative process,” continued Sayegh.

“Over the next months, I intend to continue meeting residents across the five towns to better learn what needs to be done in our state government. I truly believe in a government for and by the people. It is the residents that know best where and how government can help locally, and that is why it is so important to have a representative that has their finger on the pulse of our local communities.”

“The main tenets of my campaign will focus on education, fiscal responsibility and giving government back to the people. In the ensuing weeks, I look forward to further discussing these and other significant issues as they relate to the people of the 88th District as well as New York State as a whole,” concluded Sayegh.

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Council Ponders Ponderous NYPH FEIS on 5,6, 10th. New WPHA HQ Referred D.O.A?

WPCNR Common Council Chronicle Examiner. By John F. Bailey. June 3, 2002. 10:30 PM E.D.T. UPDATED June 4, 2002 11:30 A.M. E.D.T.: In a listless Common Council meeting, the New York Presbyterian Hospital hearing on the amendment to the special permit hearing was opened, comments heard and adjourned to July.

The White Plains Housing Authority proposal to build a new headquarters on a site adjacent to the Bethel Baptist Church was referred out to city departments for comment, despite all six councilmembers saying “we heard you (the opposition) loud and clear.”

WHAT A LOVELY PLACE FOR AN OFFICE BUILDING: The parcel of land, with the Bethel Baptist Church in the background, where the White Plains Housing Authority wants to build their new headquarters.
Photo by WPCNR

4-Wheel Drive Scofflaws Targeted.

In matters of direct impact on the public, the council acted on White Plains Parking Authority Commissioner Albert Moroni’s proposal to “boot” 4-wheel drive vehicles that cannot be towed. They approved an ordinance allowing the “booting,” or immobilization of such 4-wheel drive vehicles with long histories of unpaid parking fines.

Moroni, in his request for the new ordinance last month said, White Plains is owed approximately $600,000 in fines from repeated scofflaws. According to Moroni, because vehicles can be damaged if towed, towing companies refuse to remove them, and owners simply ignore the traffic tickets, and let them build up.

The new ordinance allowing “booting” will force the owners to pay their outstanding fines before they can get their vehicles back from the city.

In another action, the council voted improvements to Gardella and Tibbetts Parks.

This is the Hearing that Never Ends: New York Presbyterian Hospital Hearing Resumes, Continues, Resumes in July

The familiar lineup of six hardcore anti-New York Presbyterian Hospital personalities appeared before the Common Council to comment on the amendment to the Special Permit for the hospital to construct a biomedical facility on their Bryant Avenue site. Allan Teck, President of Concerned Citizens for Open Space commented lead-off followed by Don Wilson, Carrie Kyzivat, Marc Pollitzer, Barbara Benjamin, Doris Simon, and Thomas Whyatt commenting last.

Pollitzer called for the present proposal to be defeated and then the hospital and the city and community groups to meet together to consider how the hospital could build the biomedical research facility on the medical oval.

Wilson: Build on Medical Oval.

Wilson, in a statesman-like address, called for a park to be created at this hoped-for future conference, reversing the position the Concerned Citizens for Open Space group took in the late eighties, resulting in designation of the medical oval as an historical district.:

“It is my suggestion tonight, that the city ask the hospital to work out with (the state historic preservation agency) major modifications in its preservation master plan to permit approval of the hospital’s new facilities in architecturally appropriate facilities on the medical oval, and at the same time, the hospital and the city collaborate to plan for and devote a large portion of the remaining property as a city park.

CCOS FOUNDER IN LAST DITCH PLEA FOR CONCILIATION WITH HOSPITAL: Donald Wilson, addressing a plea for a hospital/city/citizen group summit to move the the biomedical facility complex to the hospital medical oval with parkland throw-in. Mr. Wilson is pictured in the live telecast of Channel 72 of the Monday evening Common Council meeting.
Photo by WPCNR

It is my opinion…the state would readily give its support to this ‘everyone wins’ resolution of the city’s long-standing issue. This strategy will require that the hospital indicate its willingness to pursue such an option, and that the various city agencies and citizens groups assure the hospital of their support for such an approach….It will require trust, compromise and faith on all parties and the future of this city. Is this ambitious? Absolutely? Is it practical? Absolutely. Are there any here willing to support such an approach? Let us know.

Teck said the proton accelerator was a target for terrorists, and said he was dead set against it, but would accept a biomedical facility if it were located on the oval. He said the Council should require a new SEQRA proceeding and DEIS procedure for the new combination site plan of sites 5 & 8 which is proposed in the Final Environmental Impact Statement.

Mr. Whyatt called for a scaled-back footprint on the biomedical research facility in order that it could be built within the design configuration of the medical oval, implying the hospital was not being reasonable in their insistence on such a large facility. He again questioned the commercal feel of the proposal, cautioning that commercial research was not permitted under the special permit.

This Weekend’s Beach Reading:

A new issue raised by Ms. Kyzivat was the alleged inability of the general public to acquire copies of the completed Final Environmental Impact Statement in time to digest its contents. Kyzivat said it was not available to her when she asked at the clerk’s office and at the White Plains Public Library. The massive statement consists of 171-pages and 400 support documents according to the mayor.

The FEIS was quietly made available last week at the Planning Department with no publicity about its availability. It was distributed to persons on a list requesting it. WPCNR, for example, was not notified in any way where or when the completed FEIS was available to the general public.

The Mayor said copies of the document were made available to Presidents of neighborhood associations and interested parties. Comments in the statement, the Mayor said, are on the city’s website at

Mayor Delfino pointed out the length of the FEIS made it impractical to distribute to all 53,000 residents of the city, and that it was available at the Planning Department, the city clerk’s office and the White Plains Public Library.

“It is available at those three locations,” Mayor Delfino wearily said. “Every neighborhood association has been advised (of the FEIS availability), some haven’t even picked them up yet. That was over a week ago. We did exactly what we discussed (in work session).”
Doris Simon protested that the hospital proposal if approved would contribute to air pollution, by bringing 900 more cars to the city.

Transit specialist, NYPH employee, Serena Russell support hospital.

John Lyons, The head of Metropool, a nonprofit organization which promotes mass transit and car pooling said they felt the New York Presbyterian Hospital was acting in good faith in preparing for the traffic generated by their proposal because the hospital was working with his organization, approaching them about transit alternatives.

Serena Russell commented that she felt many persons in White Plains supported the hospital proposal and that the council should be aware of that, and not take the vocal opposition as being representative of the entire city sentiments. She suggested the council query residents at random to get more of a range of public opinion on the issue.

An employee of the hospital, Lissette Rodriguez, a White Plains resident, said “Development is condoned as long as it’s not at New York Hospital,” and she felt this was a double-standard, calling for “equal employment opportunity for medical research.”

Council Digesting Ponderous Content, Plans Work Sessions to Formulate Lead Agency Response.

After the commenting concluded, Benjamin Boykin, Jr., Common Council President said the council was going to take up the Final Environmental Impact Statement with their environmental lawyer, Michael Gerard, at work sessions beginning Wednesday, June 5 and continuing Thursday, June 6 and Monday June 10, all at 6 PM. The deadline for the council to accept the FEIS as complete is June 17. Councilman Boykin sheepishly floated a trial balloon, hoping the New York Presbyterian Hospital might extend that June 17 deadline.

Housing Authority Headquarters Moves Ministerial Fellowship Council to action.

The Reverend Daly Barnes, Jr., spoke eloquently in opposition to the locating of the new White Plains Housing Authority headquarters proposed to be built on the grassy slope between 225 Martin Luther King Boulevard and the Thomas Slater Center. He was supported by the Reverend Jacob Stukes, and Reverend Alice Hughes, and the longtime nemisis of and former member of the Housing Authority, Ron Jackson. A large number of Winbrook residents appeared to be in the audience.

Barnes said that the Bethel Baptist Church might have to move out of White Plains, saying the new headquarters construction would disrupt services, “box us in” and block access to the church, and intrude on the character and “spiritual nature” of the community, if the council approved the proposed location.

Five councilpersons and Mayor Delfino, expressed appreciation for the large number of residents from Winbrook, who turned out to have their say on the project.

Rita Malmud said that the Housing Authority had a right to be heard, and that she would vote for referral of the plans to the city departments, as did Councilmen Greer, Boykin, Roach and Mr. King. Glen Hockley bristled about the idea of referral and sharply criticized the Housing Authority for being out of touch with the community they manage, and voted against referring the headquarters plans.

The council voted to refer the headquarters plans to city agencies for comment, not withstanding their comments about “hearing (the people) loud and clear.”

Hockley accuses Housing Authority of reneging on its promise to him.

Glen Hockley was particularly hard on the Housing Authority: I met with two members of the Board of the White Plains Housing Authority, and with the executive director and the deputy director. We all took a walk on the grounds of the Winbrook property, to view sites that…possibly would be looked at (for the office building). During that tour of sites we talked. I explained to the four gentlemen that the concerns of the people of Winbrook were not being heard sufficiently regarding issues on security, drugs, crime in general, sanitation, repairs, senior issues or the location of this particular office building.

I continued to explain that a better relationship and understanding needs to be built between the Housing Authority and the residents of Winbrook. The key is communication. And it starts with the Housing Authority. One of the Board members stated to me in front of the others, that communication is most important, and that we need to have a cooling-down period and that additional meetings would take place to look for other potential locations for this office building. I know these four gentlemen are sincere, honorable, and keep their word.

HOCKLEY HAMMERS HOUSING AUTHORITY, on the Government Access Channel 72 live telecast of Monday evening’s council meeting.
Photo by WPCNR

Hockley said he attended the Ministerial Fellowship Council where he heard the Reverend Barnes say unequivocally,(loud and clear were his words), he was opposed to having the new headquarters building erected next to his church.

COUNCILMAN AND SCRIBE: Glen Hockley, right, and Jim Benerofe on site of the proposed White Plains Housing Authority Headquarters Tuesday.
Photo by WPCNR

Work session shocker

The Councilman said, At the recent work session, I was befuddled and shocked to hear the Chairman of the Housing Authority state that his board is still moving forward with the process of developing that site without consideration to the history of events that I just expressed.

In addition, I heard the tale from the Chairman, that there is no sentiment on the part of the board to move to another site. Obviously, these comments do not add up with the experiences that I just had with the four board members of the housing authority.

Hockley said he heard the comments that the Housing Authority had retained attorneys to imply a lawsuit if they didn’t get their way.

Hockley, his voice rising in indignation, Winbrook residents supporting him with shouts that reminded this reporter of a revival meeting, slowly said,

Winbrook is public property, and that means as a councilman, I will protect the property that the public has paid for with tax dollars, and there will not be any threat that can, or will intimidate my position or principle when it comes to the people’s right and freedom. And that means the people of Windbrook’s right to enjoy, utilize and preserve the green grass on the corner of Reverend Martin Luther king Boulevard and Fisher Court. Therefore I will not vote in favor of continuing the process on this project at this particular site.

HOUSING AUTHORITY PROPOSED LOCATION: Building outline to right is the footprint of proposed building. Building outline to left is the Bethel Baptist Church. Street at right is Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. Street at top is Fisher Court.
WPCNR File Photo

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Cristin to Kelly to Fitz

WPCNR Pressbox. June 1, 2002. The White Plains High School Softball Team had their season ended Thursday on a suicide squeeze play in extra innings. In the best tradition of Grantland Rice, and apologies to the late Robert Adams of the New York Evening Mail we salute this great White Plains team with a poem.

Cristin to Kelly to Fitz

These are the saddest of possible softball worlds.
No more Cristin to Kelly to Fitz.
Trio of Tiger cubs wielders of mighty metal clubs,
Flickers and flashers of cobra gloves.

Fearless in challenging the hitters, and going at pitchers,

Dauntless no matter the inning be dire.
Cristin and Kelly and Fitz and Cyndi and Leslie and Kara
Long will their days in the softball sun inspire.

These are times to salute the champions of the standard
Southpaw smoothie Orfe and lightning righty Pollard.
1-2 mound masters dreaded from Ossining to Yonkers, Chappaqua to Rochelle.

Pokerface little lefty lifting the team with heart under pressure.
Stalwart Tara Terrific with hissy fastball beyond measure.
A meeting on the mound, hands raised, and “3 outs!” their cry,
They fought every inning, and sought the best, and always “did,” not die.

Here’s to Ciara Di, stalwart backstop, “Protector of the Plate.”
Her fleet feet and rifle arm hung out stealers on a line with aplomb.

Fitzmaurice the First, statuesque, rangy and fearless,
She of the magnificent stretch, the graceful charge,
The Rally Builder, moving them over with courage,

Taking the bad hops with poise and ease.

And Jessica “I” with terrific eye and flashing glove, guardian of the Hot Corner Gate.

O’Donnell’s Bluff cheers to Picket Patrol of Busch Carnaghi and Younkin,
Turning Wertz-ian Drives into long outs with their long reach of leather,
Pursuing gappers like deer and breaking Koalas’ Hearts.

Thoughtlessly pricking League I-A Bubbles with their strokes
Sending yellow spheres soaring into green alleys with Promethian Pokes,
The splendid Cyndi, the elegant Leslie, the steady Kara, masters of frozen ropes.

Their names are effort, grace, and class, and the county’s most tough.
Sophomore O’Neil smoothly fitting in will return to A new era
With Isaacs and Abbotts and the towering Tara to Continue innings into the future.

Our Tiger Cubs of the Champions have played their last together as a team,
Forging tradition of unselfish play, to inspire future diamonds in the rough.

In the dirt on O’Donnell’s bluff in future innings, we will remember,
The dives of the fearless Pasqua — Orfe the little lefthander inspiring
Future windmill pitchers to “be like Jessie,” — the grit
Of peerless Carnaghi of Dimaggio stride, the flights of Leslie the Little Falcon.

As other Tigers fill their spikes and listen to peerless leader O’Donnell,
Son of McGraw, Casey, Sparky, and Earl, and shadows of autumn,
Turn our cubs into women and players in life,
Our girls of spring will live in scorebooks of memory, getting “3 outs” in the softball sun.

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Republicans Hold Off Nominating Opponent for Matusow, Expect a Dem Primary.

WPCNR All News Final. Special to WPCNR. May 30, 2002. 11:00 PM E.D.T.: WPCNR observer at the Westchester County Republican Convention at the Crowne Plaza Hotel Thursday evening reports the Republican Party optimistic that this will be a Republican year based on Governor Pataki’s popularity. They also report the GOP expects a challenge to Assemblywoman Naomi Matusow in Assembly District 89.

The GOP nominated Sue Kelly, Guy Velella, Nick Spano and Lei Bell for the State Senate, but is holding over announcing the Congressional Districts these candidates will be running in until next week.

In New York State Assembly races, the Republicans affirmed the nomination of the political debut of Tony Sayegh. Mr. Sayegh is running against Amy Paulin, the Democratic incumbent in Assembly District 88, which includes half of White Plains, West of Post Road and North Broadway. The Republicans also nominated Mike Spano and Willis Stephens of Carmel for Assembly.

Republicans Watch Democrat Intrigue.

Our Republican observer said the party’s decision to not nominate a candidate at this time to oppose Naomi Matusow, the Democrat incumbent in Assembly District 89, is based on the leadership’s opinion that White Plains Democrats may “primary” Ms. Matusow due to her anti-sales tax position, as being not in the best interest of White Plains residents.

Matusow, has refused to budge from her position of opposing the sales tax in Albany. Elimination of the sales tax would cost White Plains taxpayers an extra 30% in property taxes to make up for the loss of sales tax revenue.

Speculation that even City Democratic Party Leader in White Plains, Adam Bradley, might primary Matusow was enhanced locally by Bradley’s marching in the White Plains Memorial Day parade Monday. He was acting every bit like a candidate for something. This reporter has not seen behind-the-scenes party leaders marching in city-sponsored functions.

Bradley and Delgado live in Matusow’s new District

Matusow’s newly drawn District 89, includes the south end of White Plains East, Southeast of Post Road and North Broadway, where Adam Bradley lives. Bradley’s Court of Appeals argument that reversed an appellate and trial court decisions calling for a new election in White Plains to determine the sixth council seat, has boosted his stature as a possible candidate to oppose Matusow.

At a convention attended by approximately 200 Republican supporters at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, the party nominated the following candidates: For Justice of the Supreme Court: Janet Difiori, Thomas A. Dickerson, Mary H. Smith, and James Brands.

Nominated for Judge of the County Court: Irene Ratner. Our correspondent reports the Republicans are holding over nominations for the Family Court until June 6.

The GOP nominated Sue Kelly, Guy Velella, Nick Spano and Lei Bell for the State Senate, but is holding over announcing the Congressional Districts these candidates will be running in until next week.

Delgado Quo Warranto Waltz Plays On.

Larry Delgado, who lives in Ms. Matusow’s newly drawn district, and could, should he so choose, oppose Matusow, was seen at the convention, working the crowd, according to our correspondent. Mr. Delgado did not return calls from WPCNR asking if he was a possible candidate for Assemblywoman Matusow’s seat.

Earlier Thursday, Jeffrey Binder, an attorney for Mr. Delgado orchestrating his quo warranto proceeding with the New York State Attorney General’s Office gave us an update on Mr. Delgado’s efforts to have the Attorney General take up his jammed election machine case.

Case being carefully documented.

Binder told WPCNR the Attorney General’s office had contacted Mr. Delgado personally last week, and offered Mr. Delgado “as much time as needed” to prepare the materials for the quo warranto request. Binder said that he and his legal colleague on the case, John Ciampoli, were doing “our due diligence” in presenting the facts that the Attorney General could use to stage a quo warranto action to recall Glen Hockley from his Common Council seat.

Hockley was, in effect, made the winner of the November 6 election, when the Court of Appeals ruled against Mr. Delgado on March 15, throwing out two lower court rulings declaring a new election be held to determine who would occupy the sixth Common Council seat. Mr. Delgado lead Mr. Hockley going into District 18 results, which were found to be inconclusive due to the District 18 voting machine jamming on the Delgado line, which the Delgado camp claimed resulted in Mr. Hockley winning by 47 votes.

The Court of Appeals ruled that the lower courts overstepped their jurisdiction by calling for a new election, and that Mr. Delgado’s only remedy was to seek a quo warranto action through the Attorney General’s office, which is currently being sought by the Delgado camp. The Attorney General’s office contact with Mr. Delgado and his attorneys last week, was their first contact with Mr. Delgado to date. They have had the case for nine weeks.

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White Plains resident to be honored




Westchester Jewish Community Services (WJCS) will hold its Annual Meeting on Tuesday, June 4, at the Westchester Reform Temple in Scarsdale. Refreshments will be served at 7:00 PM and the program begins at 7:45 PM.

At the meeting the agency will celebrate the 30th Anniversary of its award-winning Parent-Child Home Program (PCHP). An early childhood/parent education and family literacy program, PCHP is designed to prevent school problems for disadvantaged pre-schoolers and promote self-esteem and child rearing competence in their parents. Working at home with families in Greenburgh, Mamaroneck, New Rochelle, Port Chester and White Plains trained home visitors use specially selected toys and books to provide cognitive enrichment through verbal interaction and special game play.

During the past three decades, nearly 2,500 children have participated in the program. At the meeting, several past program participants will acknowledge the impact that early learning has had on their lives.

Dr. Jack Posen of White Plains will be recognized with the WJCS Pillars of Community Award for his support of PCHP. In honor of his daughter who perished when TWA Flight 103 exploded over Lockberie, Scotland in 1988, Dr. Posen set up the Pammy Fund Scholarship Program. Over the past decade, The Pammy Fund has contributed more than $100,000 to high school graduates who participated in PCHP as toddlers, assisting them to pursue their goals through higher education.

Anyone interested in attending the WJCS Annual Meeting should call 761-0600, ext. 719.

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WHO: The American Cancer Society invites individuals who want to honor cancer survivors or pay tribute to those who have lost their battle with cancer to join its Relay For Life, scheduled for:

June 7-8 June 14-15

Mercy College New Rochelle H.S

Dobbs Ferry, NY New Rochelle, NY

June 28-29

Walter Panas H.S

Cortlandt Manor, NY

WHAT: Relay For Life is an overnight celebration allowing individuals and teams to camp out, barbecue, enjoy live entertainment and walk or run around a track “relay-style” to support cancer research, education and patient and family services in the community. At nightfall, participants will light hundreds of luminaria placed around the track in a touching ceremony to honor cancer survivors and those who have lost their battle with the disease.

HOW: To join a Relay For Life in your community, call 1-800-ACS-2345 or visit

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Showtime in the Parks: “Charlotte’s Web” To Debut.

WPCNR White Plains Variety. May 29, 2002. 7:45 A.M. E.D.T.:The Fort Hill Players will present four performances of “Charlotte’s Web” on their fifth annual Summer in the Parks extravaganza.
The showtimes are: July 9, Druss Park; July 11, Turnure Park, July 16; Battle/Whitney Park, July 18, Mattison Park. All Parks in White Plains.
All performances begin at 7 p.m. The admission is FREE.

The Fort Hill Players Summer in the Parks Program is made possible by the Arts Alive Program of the Westchester Arts Council, with funding from the Decentralization Program of the New York State Council of the Arts. For more on the show, go to

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White Plains Comes Out to Salute “The Men and Women Who Made All This Possible.”

WPCNR Morning Sun. By John F. Bailey. May 28, 2002 7:30 A.M. E.D.T.UPDATED WITH ADDITIONAL PHOTOS:The annual White Plains Memorial Day Parade marched off down Mamaroneck Avenue and Main Street and up to the rural cemetary on Broadway Monday saluting the men and women who served and gave their lives in America’s fights for freedom around the world.


VETERAN MAYOR JOSEPH DELFINO GRAND MARSHALLS THE PARADE, with guest H. Carl McCall, and County Legislator William Ryan, followed by members of the Common Council. Veteran and councilman Robert Greer is seen in the American Legion cap to the right.

THE GREATEST GENERATION, White Plains veterans of World War II take the point at the parade of real heros.

JEWISH VETERANS OF FOREIGN WARS proudly maintain rank and file in the White Plains Memorial Day Parade.

THE TIGER BAND of White Plains High School filled the downtown with their really big brass band sound, featuring “America the Beautiful.”..

POPULAR WHITE PLAINS BEATIFICATION FOUNDATION TRUCK, driven by Commissioner of Public Works Joseph “Bud” Nicoletti traditionally signalled the end of the parade. Commissioner Nicoletti has a unique way of “working the crowd” from the cab of the truck that the crowds just love..

PIGEONS PATIENTLY AWAIT PARADE: Prior to the start of the parade, recent arrivals of New York City pigeons, lured by news of the White Plains apartment boom, and the absence of dreaded New York City falcons, anticipate arrival of the annual spectacle, cooing amongst themselves.

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Homeowner’s Almanac: New Fence Keeps Critters Out of Your Garden

WPNCR Homeowner’s Almanac. From Jonathan Leonard. May 24, 2002. 11:30 PM E.D.T.:With Possums, Raccoons, Foxes, voracious rabbits and critters finding White Plains more to their liking, The McGregor Fence Company has announced development of a revolutionary new fence that solves the “Peter Rabbit” problem by reliably keeping rabbits, skunks, woodchucks and other pests out of vegetable gardens.
Known as Mr. McGregor’s Fence™ (pat. pending), the product takes the form of a complete kit with easy installation instructions.

Mr. McGregor’s Fence and its parent company are both named for the gentleman gardener in Beatrix Potter’s Tale of Peter Rabbit. McGregor’s ire immortalized the problem faced by millions of vegetable gardeners who see their crops damaged or destroyed by critters.

Mr. McGregor’s Fence ends this annoyance safely and affordably. The fence is harmless to small animals, pets, and childrenindeed, it does nothing bad to anything. It is cheaper than the retail price of its components purchased separately, and it is easy to set up, with no gates, doors or below-ground digging required.

The fence’s key element is a single charged wire–part of an established system for controlling pets and other small animals in a way that startles but does not harm them. This wire runs a few inches out from the main fence at a height where any exploring creature will find it. Invariably, the would-be interloper investigates the fence before trying to climb or burrow, finds the wire, gets startled, and departs.

Historically, efforts to fence out small critters usually fail. That’s because most fences are passive barriers. They give invaders lots of time to attack them. So they must be massive. That makes them expensive, hard to install, and still failure-prone.

In contrast, most barriers formed by actively charged wires alone are too porous. Creatures figure out how to go over or under single or even paired wires. Worse, since the wires are nearly invisible, people
tend to trip over, break, or uproot them.

What Mr. McGregor’s Fence does is creatively combine these two elements by putting the wire next to a visible landmark (the low barrier fence), adds an active side to the old passive barrier, and ensures that intruders connect with the active element.

Jonathan Leonard, the fence’s inventor and head of the McGregor Fence Company is a Harvard graduate with decades of professional nursery and gardening experience. Leonard installed the first prototype of this fence 15 years ago and has used it to protect his home vegetable garden ever since.

He found the fence highly effective against the woodchucks, rabbits, skunks, and squirrels that roamed his nearby woods. “It was 100% effective” says Leonard, “except for a three-week period one year when I disconnected the fence, neglected to reconnect it, and found that most of my vegetables disappeared.”

Right now, Leonard’s goal is to convince vegetable gardeners of his product’s merits and to put a McGregor fence around every vegetable garden with small animal problems. He notes that “the kit going on the market is installer-friendly, user-friendly, Nature-friendly, and safe.” The kit comes in multiple lengths, with supplements that make it the right size for any garden. It’s also economical, costing less than comparable components purchased independently.

”Anybody who has tried to discourage a hungry woodchuck knows how frustrating and time-consuming it can be,” says Leonard. “If this fence gets the recognition it deserves, it should revolutionize home vegetable gardening in this country.”

While the kit will not reach garden centers this season, it can be ordered now at the firm’s Web site ( for immediate delivery. For more information, contact the McGregor Fence Company, 156 Main Street, Sandwich, MA 02563; tel. 508-888-0272; web site; e-mail

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Scarsdale Accepts Senior Assisted Living Project FEIS in Saxon Woods. Will Rule

WPCNR Evening City Star. May 23, 2002.11:00 PM E.D.T.: The Scarsdale Planning Board accepted the Final Environmental Impact Statement prepared by REALM, and adopted the Findings Resolution for the 197-unit Assisted Living Facility targeted for the property adjacent to the Ethical Culture Society of Westchester off Saxon Woods Road Wednesday evening.
Elizabeth Marrinan, Village Planner for the Village of Scarsdale, reported to WPCNR Thursday that the next step in the process is to consider the site plan for approval, “on condition” REALM can acquire fourteen approvals needed for water, right-of-way easements, among other vital connections from the City of White Plains. Marrinan said that REALM, Inc., did not have to obtain White Plains cooperation with the project in order for Scarsdale to consider the Saxon Woods Assisted Living Facility.

The Village Planner said the Planning Board adopted the Findings Statement pursuant to Article 8 (State Environmental Quality Review Act- SEQR), and that a date had not been set as to when the Planning Board would make the final decision to greenlight or deny the project. She said it could take place in either June or July.

The Findings Resolution adopted by the board requires that REALM “do what it can to establish some affordable units of assisted living housing, as part of the site plan approval.”

Marrinan explained that though the Scarsdale Zoning Ordinance does not permit assisted living facilities in Scarsdale, but does permit nursing homes. She said the Building Inspector had “some time ago,” given the opinion that assisted living facilities “are substantially like a nursing home in operation,” and this was the rationale for the facility being considered by the Planning Board.

Ms. Marrinan said the FEIS for the REALM project will be circulated to interested parties next week, and will be available in the Scarsdale Public Library.

Sources within the White Plains Planning Department have said White Plains will go to court to fight the project.

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