Board of Ed Officers Elected.

WPCNR School Days. From Michelle Schoenfeld. July 9, 2002:Dorothy S. Schere was elected President of the White Plains Board of Education at its Reorganization Meeting last week. Susan R. Kirkpatrick was elected Vice President.



PRESIDENT SCHERE TAKES THE REINS JULY 1: Dorothy Schere moving into the lead seat on the Board of Education last week.
Photo by WPCNR


Mrs. Schere has been a Board member for 15 years and was Vice President during five of those years.

In other action taken at this meeting, the firm of Ingerman Smith, LLP was designated as legal counsel, replacing Plunkett & Jaffe, PC, which is no longer acting as general counsel to school districts.

The next Regular meeting of the Board will take place on Monday August 12th, at 8 P.M., at Education House, 5 Homeside Lane. The public is welcome.

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King Komments: Aesthetics of White Plains

King Komments:By White Plains Councilman William King. July 9, 2002: The peripatetic Councilman takes a weekend trip to Long Island and comes back with some ideas for White Plains.
Although you can’t bring the beautiful coastline of Eastern Long Island to White Plains (although securing the Dellwood property from the County hopefully soon finally for a low key lakeside park would be something), there are several elements in practice there that should be also done in White Plains.

Neat Pedestrian Signs

I suggest calling Easthampton, NY to see where they bought their red, yellow and white, highly visible, vertical, rectangular “Yield for Pedestrians in Crosswalk” signs that they have in the middle of the roadways all over town. Since they are much more visible than the plain black on white signs that White Plains and other towns around us use, people tend to stop more when there is someone who wants to cross in the crosswalk. Check it out!

Bike Signs in Use. No carnage.

Also, when are the Bike Route signs coming? They were also in abundance in Eastern Long Island, on Shelter Island and along the North Fork. A good look. As with White Plains, the bicyclists were already there and biking already – the signs mainly serve to give drivers an extra head’s up that there may be bicycles present -and there are many many bicyclists on Eastern Long Island.

Nifty Telephone Booths

Also, for George’s (Gretsas) edification (and mine), I saw a public payphone in a bright red British phonebox in Port Jefferson. It can be done!

Intriguing Novelties

They had a nice 4-horses-deep carousel in Greenport that was a big hit – many kids riding it. It was under an open air gazebo with big glass folding doors that were open but could be closed if it rained. The round, peaked roof should have at least had skylights or hatches that could have been open and closed too.

Festive Street Banners

I see these everywhere but in White Plains but in Long Island I saw a couple more banners across the street advertising some upcoming town fair or something. Still waiting for one in White Plains.

Finally, I saw a Victorian house-looking building in one town in a hamlet of Shelter Island that reminded me of similar ‘architectural statement’ types of buildings that can redirect and set the tone for an entire downtown or commercial strip.

Theme Architecture to Set a Mood.

There are a couple of Victorian style gems in downtown Santa Cruz, California that are used as commercial structures for restaurants and shops that act as the catalyst for downtown revitalization there. I would think a nice restaurant like the recently defunct Wrapsody would have fared better in such a structure than the plain, white (in White Plains, how ironic) 2-story office type building it was in, and failed in, on Mamaroneck Ave.

I believe it would pay for the City to help jump start the rest of Mamaroneck Avenue, between the City Center and the block between Post and Maple, by co-investing with a building owner to completely redo a facade in a more architectural way.

Thanks – Bill King

P.S. I noticed a pothole where all the asphalt is missing near the Food Emporium on Mam. Ave. – there was yellow brick underneath – wow- Mamaroneck Avenue used to be brick! – would be cool if it was again.

P.P.S. Coming back into White Plains from my weekend trip, I was hit by the bright glare of our streelights again, bathing our town in a bright amber glow, brighter than any place else.

It occurred to me once more that White Plains could be saving hundreds of thousands of dollars a year by not having so many streetlights so brightly illluminating our streets, especially our major arterials which seem as brightly lit as night-time construction sites.

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Nicholson fans 9, Goes All the Way in Historic 7-5, WPLL Tourney Win

WPCNR Press Box. By Greg Zaccaria. July 9, 2002.:Another fun day of Little League Softball,as the White Plains National Team defeated Ardsley 7-5 Sunday in 7 innings.



WHITE PLAINS NATIONAL ALL-STARS, the team which became the first Majors Softball team to advance to the fourth game of the District 20 Little League Tournament. They were coached by Greg Zaccaria far right. Lou Petralia, back row center, and Cindy Gottshal.
Photos by WPCNR


Ardsley jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the 1st on a unearned run off starter Shannon Nicolson.White Plains came right back and took the lead 2-1 in the top of the 2nd on a two out, two run single by Kate Smayda plating both Jill Gordon and Brittany Zaccaria.

Both Pitchers where throwing well as the score held until the top of the fifth, when Jill Gordon delivered a clutch two out single to center scoring Rachal Hacohen who had walked earlier in the inning.

Smayda Saves Game.

With 1 out in the bottom of the 6th, Ardsley mounted a two run rally to tie the score, they even had the chance for victory with runners on 2nd and 3rd and only 1 out , the runner on third broke for home, but Kate Smayda retrived the wild pitch and tagged the runner out.

Shannon retired the next batter on a pop up to end the threat.

Tearing up the Pea Patch

As the score was now tied, the game went to extra innings 3-3.White Plains, behind hits by Caroline Couzens,Jill Gordon (her third),Michelle Potillio,Brittany Zaccaria and Kate Smayda rallied for 4 runs and a 7-3 lead.

Closing it Out

But this game was not to be this easy,Ardsley just would not quit and once again rallied to score 2 runs and have the bases loaded when Shannon Nicolson struck out the final batter for her ninth strike out of the game and the complete game victory.



LITTE ACE: Coach Zaccaria with Shannon Nicholson, the Winning Pitcher in the historic game. Nicholson struck out nine and walked only one batter. Shannon says she has learned to use all the strike zone and move the ball around inside and outside to confound hitters. Pitching for a year, she is the product of Coach Ted O’Donnell’s winter pitching clinics. Her delivery is described as crackling fast with amazing speed for her size. Her mom says nothing rattles her on the mound.


I have been told that this is the first time a W.P. Majors Softball team has advanced this far in the tournament ,if that is true, it just goes to show our girls are headed in the right direction and the future looks bright.

Tigers of the Future

White Plains bowed out of the tournament losing to Kensico Monday evening, but the girls came off the field smiling, knowing they had moved the WPLL Softball Program to the next level.



WHITE PLAINS IN ACTION AGAINST KENSICO MONDAY NIGHT


The WPLL committment to the girls softball program, the last three years which include staging of annual spring clinics, conducted by WPHS softball coach, Ted O’Donnell where techniques are demonstrated to players and coaches is paying off.

Al Orfe of the White Plains Little League notes that four years ago the White Plains Major Girls advanced to the Finals through the losing bracket, only to lose to Harrison twice at Harrison.



SMILES ALL AROUND AS ANOTHER WPLL SEASON FADES INTO MEMORY: White Plains Nationals in ceremonial end of game ritual leave the field Monday evening.

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Adam Bradley Gains Broad Support, Promising to Represent Needs of People

WPCNR Friday Night Final. By Shivaun Dipshan.
Friday, July 05, 2002. 3:00 PM E.D.T.:
It’s obvious from the amount of support that Adam Bradley lined up within the last week, that the White Plains, New Castle, Harrison Democratic politicians want a new Assemblyperson, one that represents their needs.
Overwhelming Support from Democratic officials.

Assembly candidate Adam Bradley has received a tremendous amount of support for his candidacy. The reason: down-district Democratic leaders are ready for change; they want a representative who is going to support their needs.

Already Bradley has received the support of 13 Democratic elected officials as well as every member of the White Plains Common Council, including the White Plains and Harrison party committees and the Matusow stronghold, the New Castle Democratic Committee.

His popularity among the citizens of White Plains is rapidly growing because of his dedication to represent the people of White Plains, something that supporters say his opponent, Naomi Matusow has not done.

White Plains Council President Ben Boykin said, “I support Adam because we need a representative who will be attentive to the needs of each community in the district and I know Adam will be that person.”

Issue of Sales Tax

Matusow, a 10-year Assemblywoman, has been opposed to the extension of the White Plains ½% sales tax, despite the fact that elimination of the sales tax would result in a 30% increase in property taxes.

If the sales tax were abolished, then property owners would be faced with a $10 million loss in revenues. This could result in the laying-off of 100 police officers and firefighters.

The White Plains Labor Coalition, which represents approximately 2,000 public sector union employees, unanimously endorsed Bradley within the last week.

“The members of our organization rallied to Adam Bradley after discussing the sales tax and other issues with incumbent Naomi Matusow. Ms. Matusow is firmly against the continuance of the sales tax in White Plains,” said Duncan MacRae, the White Plains Labor Coalition Chairman.

In an interview with WPCNR, Matusow she explained that she is against the sales tax because she believes it impedes economic growth. However, she has stated that she would never stand in the way of it getting passed.

“I’ve never stymied it, nor would I,” she said.

Malmud On Board

“Adam will be a forceful advocate for increased state aid to our schools and communities and will fight to keep our property taxes low,” Councilwoman Rita Malmud said.

Matusow has told WPCNR that state school aid is predetermined by formula by the state, but she is open to individual presentations requesting aid for specific projects, from the school district and the city.

Bradley Stunned by Opponent’s Opposition to Drug Laws.

Matusow has also voiced her opposition to the reform of the Rockefeller drug laws, which Bradley openly supports. He has voiced his concern about her failure to support the repeal of what he describes as “out-dated, draconian drug laws” that severely punish and often incarcerate first time, non-violent drug offenders instead of offering them access to treatment.

Bradley sees these laws as being costly because they wreck young lives and families and waste tax dollars. His concern is that incarceration of first time non-violent drug offenders is more costly to taxpayers than rehabilitation programs.

“Our communities deserve a real Democrat, not someone who votes with Republicans against important Democratic bills and positions. I was appalled to see my opponent vote against reform of the Rockefeller Drug laws. I promise to consistently support the values that Democrats are elected to uphold,” Bradley said.

Hold on, Says Matusow.

Matusow, on the other hand, thinks that the term “non-violent” is used quite casually since rape in the 2nd and 3rd degree is constituted as “non-violent”. Manslaughter in the 2nd degree is also distinguished as being “non-violent”.

Matusow, along with the New York State District Attorney, also believes the facts indicate that the typical drug offender in prison is a drug dealer and a repeat offender. In a press release sent out by the New York State District Attorney’s office, it was stated, “roughly 97% of drug felons sentenced to prison were charged with sale or intent to sell.” Furthermore, “77% of those in prison are second or persistent felony offenders.”

“I want to make sure that people who are out are not a menace to others. I’m not willing to take that chance. I am concerned about these laws releasing violent felons who plea-bargain to non-violent statuses,” she said.

Bradley Disappointed by Her Stance on Indian Point Evacuation Plan

Many supporters of Bradley have voiced their disappointment about the way Matusow handled the evacuation plan of Indian Point. “The evacuation plan in place is deeply, deeply flawed, because it underestimated by 80,000, the people in the 10-mile zone. It’s flawed because it underestimates the amount of traffic outside the 10-mile zone,” Bradley said.

Matusow’s lack of attention to the plan may have ended up costing her the trust of many voters in her northern stronghold in the 89th District, New Castle.

“I was extremely disappointed by Assemblywoman Matusow’s silence regarding the deeply flawed Indian Point evacuation plan, at a time when other leaders were speaking out on this important issue of public safety. Our families need to be protected and our public officials need to tell the truth about the Indian Point evacuation plan,” New Castle Town Board Member Barbara Gerrard said.

Maureen Keating Tsuchiya, Co-Chair of the New Castle Democratic Committee, in explaining the endorsement of Bradley over Matusow, last week said, “…he energetically reaches out to all Democrats and Republicans in each community, building the necessary bipartisan consensus to resolve the current challenges facing our county and state.”

Other leaders who have endorsed Bradley are County Legislators George Latimer, Martin Rogowsky, Harrison Town Board member, Patrick Vetere, and former Harrison Board members, Bruno Strati and Elizabeth “Jimmi” Pritchard.

Bradley Reaction.

Bradley pointed out how it is unusual for him to receive such tremendous support in a primary race against a ten-year incumbent:

“I am proud and grateful for this extraordinary broad outpouring of support and I promise to represent our families and communities with vigor and integrity. I will redeem this promise by improving state aid to our schools, by telling the truth about Indian Point and by effectively serving my constituents in Albany.”

Matusow Undaunted.

Ms. Matusow, in an interview previously with WPCNR, said that though Bradley has secured the support of Democratic Committee leaders, this does not necessarily extend to the rank and file Democratic voters who will be voting in the September 10 primary. She believes her voters know her record and will support her as they have in the past.

For the upcoming election Matusow is planning to gain more support by going out to the community and talking to people in their homes. She expressed her willingness to discuss any issues with citizens. “I am always happy to talk to people”, she said.

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Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived is Dead at 83

WPCNR Pressbox. July 5, 2003. From Wire Services.: Ted Williams of the Boston Red Sox died today at age 83. Baseball’s last 400 hitter in 1941, the man who made hitting a science and served his country twice as a fighter ace in World War II and Korea is the last of the greats from baseball’s golden age. The 1950s.
Williams was a star from the start because he refused to swing at a bad ball, leading the league in walks, forcing pitchers to throw him strikes which he would hit consistently.

Williams loved to hit and worked hard at it, breaking down the strike zone, to where he knew what pitches that were strikes were the best for him to swing at. He considered the low outside pitch the toughest pitch to hit.

Just one indication of why the man they called “The Thumper,” “Teddy Ballgame,” “The Splendid Splinter,” or simply “The Kid,” was so consistently great at hitting.

Spud Chandler, the Yankee Reliefer in 1939, Ted’s rookie year, recalled a clubhouse meeting on how to pitch to Williams. Chandler said, “I’ll tell you what I learned about him. High and tight is ball one. Low and away is ball two.”

Little Bobby Shantz, the Philadelphia A’s lefthander in the early 1950s, also testified to Ted’s legendary batting eye, “Did they tell me how to pitch to Williams? Sure they did. It was great advice, very encouraging. They said he had no weakness, won’t swing at a bad ball, has the best eyes in the business, and can kill you with one swing; he won’t hit at anything bad, but don’t give him anything good.”

When Williams came to the plate to hit, he was all business. No rituals. No touching the cap. No flexing the muscles. No prima donna he.

He would stand in, bat cocked high, and explode with a “fluid swing,” that featured “a massive weight shift through the hips.” He would practice this swing for hours daily before a hotel mirror or in hitter’s cage.

Williams was hitting .39955 going into the final doubleheader of the 1941 season. Manager Joe Cronin offered to give him the day off to preserve the .400 batting average. Ted refused.

Instead, “The Splinter” went 6 for 8 in the doubleheader to finish with .406. The last time a major league hitter hit .400 in a season.

Williams was also the oldest man to win a batting crown, hitting .328 in 1958, the second year in a row he led the league in hitting at age 39 and 40, respectively. At age 39, in 1957, he hit .388, to eclipse Mickey Mantle in his prime by 23 points.

Williams is 7th in lifetime batting averge in major league history with a career .344 average. He is second in walks with 2,019 free passes issued to him in 9,725 trips to the plate in his 19 year career, second only to Babe Ruth, but actually Ted was walked more frequently than the Babe. Ted is 10th on the homerun list, and had he not lost five years serving as a fighter pilot, he probably would have hit close to 700 homeruns.

Williams was driven to be the best at everything he took up. He taught himself to be a worldclass fisherman, an expert hunter. He was shot down in aerial combat and survived.

I saw Ted Williams play in the 1950s, and there was always a stir in the stands when Ted came to the plate. He was a bigger man towards the end of his career then when he first came to the bigs, but still had that tremendous swing — the famous corkscrew one, where he delivered the complete hip turn, something you simply do not see today in today’s hitters. He hit with a long, thin black bat. His concentration was fierce. His stare intense at the pitcher. He owned White Ford, the Yankees best in the 50s.

In his last at-bat, Ted Williams, on a cloud day in Fenway Park homered into the right-centerfield bleachers in the Fens, circled the bases with his head down, never acknowledging the wildly cheering crowd. As he crossed home plate running hard, flat-out, (no home run slow trots for “The Kid”), he ran straight into the dugout and disappeared. No curtain calls. Just a last goodbye clout to remember him by.

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Utilities Ask Citizens to Lower Electric Use as Scorcher Continues

WPCNR Weather Scoop. From National Weather Service. July 4, 2002. 12 Noon E.D.T. The oppressive heat continues to cook White Plains and Westchester County. The Weather Service reports there is still a slight risk of a thunderstorm late this afternoon or evening, and advises that utility companies are pleading with consumers to scale back their electric use today.
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE CONTINUES THE HEAT ADVISORY THROUGH THIS EVENING.

TEMPERATURES RISING INTO THE 90S THIS AFTERNOON WILL COMBINE WITH SURFACE DEW POINT TEMPERATURES IN THE LOWER 70S TO PRODUCE A HEAT INDEX AND MAKE IT FEEL BETWEEN 100 AND 105 DEGREES.

CHILDREN, THE ELDERLY AND PEOPLE WITH CHRONIC AILMENTS ARE USUALLY THE FIRST TO SUFFER FROM THE HEAT. HEAT EXHAUSTION, CRAMPS, OR IN EXTREME CASES HEAT STROKE CAN RESULT FROM PROLONGED EXPOSURE TO THESE CONDITIONS.

FRIENDS, RELATIVES, OR NEIGHBORS SHOULD CHECK ON PEOPLE
WHO MAY BE AT RISK.

STOP OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES, DRINK LOTS OF WATER OR OTHER NON-ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES, WEAR LIGHT COLORED/LIGHT WEIGHT CLOTHES, AND IF POSSIBLE, SPEND MORE TIME IN AIR CONDITIONED OR WELL VENTILATED PLACES.

TO HELP PREVENT A POSSIBLE DISRUPTION IN ELECTRIC SERVICE…
EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AND POWER COMPANIES ARE ASKING CUSTOMERS TO REDUCE POWER USAGE BY TURNING OFF ALL NON-ESSENTIAL APPLIANCES AND ELECTRONIC EQUIPMENT.

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White Plains Celebrates America’s 226th Birthday.

WPCNR Stars and Stripes. July 4, 2002. 9 A.M. E.D.T.: They came from all over town and all over the county, making their way to the vast open lawn behind White Plains High School to enjoy the White Plains Pops Band and the traditional Fourth of July Eve Independence Day Celebration Wednesday evening.



LADIES, GENTLEMEN, AND CHILDREN OF ALL AGES came from near and far to White Plains High for the traditional White Plains America’s Birthday party. Cars and families lined the streets leading to the high school field with spectators. Others in their neighborhoods gazed from their lawns at the eastern sky in the sweltering tropical heat of the lazy summer evening awaiting the annual celebration.
All Photos by WPCNR



GRAND FINALE of the 30-minute fireworks display arched magnificently into the velvet night to the cadence of military marches.




DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY HONOR COLOR GUARD, awaited the cue to march in to present the colors prior to the start of the show. Jewish Veterans of Foreign Wars raised the colors, followed by a robust playing of the National Anthem.




MR. WHITE PLAINS, former Councilman Robert Ruger, gave an invocation, praying, “God of our Fathers – whose almighty hand has made and preserved our nation – grant as we gather together as free people, that we may understand what it is we celebrate this evening. Our Declaration of Independence, our Constitution, our Bill of Rights, our freedom. May we remember how bitterly our freedom was won – the down payment that was made for it, the installments that have been made since this Republic was born, and the price that yet must be paid for our liberty. May it be understood our liberty is under God and can be found nowhere else. May our faith be something that is not merely stamped upon our coins but expressed in our lives. You led us to this land, oh God, and out of conflict created in us a love of peace and liberty. Let us as a nation not be afraid of standing alone for the rights of people everywhere. Raise in us a right patriotism that seeks the nation’s good. To the extent America honors You – will You bless America. Keep her true as You have kept her free and make her good as You have made her great.”




MASTER OF CEREMONIES, Arne Abromowitz, Commissioner of Recreation & Parks, introduced the program by retelling an inspiring account of the Battle of White Plains and how 1600 White Plains patriots held off a superior British force, keynoting the evening.




MAYOR JOSEPH DELFINO WELCOMED THE MULTITUDES, saying the fate of the World Trade Center Towers, a symbol of our nation’s prosperity, made celebration of America’s Birthday take on even more significance. He was quietly sincere and meaningful in tone, saying America and White Plains would remain great if “we all work together.” To that end, he is shown introducing Common Councilpersons, L to R, Glen Hockley, Tom Roach in shadow, Robert Greer and Benjamin Boykin, Jr., Common Council President. The Mayor also presented plaques of recognition to the three corporate sponsors of the display, Heineken USA, Hudson United Bank, and the New York Power Authority.




WHITE PLAINS POPS BAND entertained the throng, performing a rousing 1812 Overture prelude to the display.




1812 OVERTURE CONCLUDES AND ROCKETS FLARE to start the show.




ROCKETS RED GLARE BURST IN AIR, casting a sense of awe in the audience. No matter how old you are fireworks are always a thrill on the Fourth of July.




PERSONALITIES WORKED THE CROWD. Amy Paulin “fans,” Adam Bradley flyers, and the occasional politician could be seen. Here, Councilman Glen Hockley is seen passing out Adam Bradley campaign literature.




PALS AND NEIGHBORS MET AT WHITE PLAINS BIG PARTY, greeted each other on the hillside, while children ran about playing, throwing balls, spinning glowing hoops before the show. Juliana, left, and “J” right had a front row seat.

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Sayegh Calls Con Ed on Eastchester, New Rochelle Power Outages

WPCNR City Evening Star Reporter. From the Sayegh for Assembly Press Office. July 3, 2002 4:00 PM E.D.T.: Amy Paulin’s challenger for the Assembly Seat in the 88th District, Tony Sayegh said today that the state should investigate the high number of power outages that occurred Tuesday.
“A95 degree day is not supposed to knock the power system for a loop,” said Sayegh, noting that he had received reports of several hundred customers in Eastchester and New Rochelle being without power on Tuesday afternoon and evening.

“Unlike power shortages that have affected other parts of the nation, this seems to be a case of Con Ed’s wiring simply being inadequate to handle the load on local streets,” said Sayegh, noting that there were several incidences of wires literally burning up along streets.

“If Con Ed has not been updating wires or replacing wires and components that are past their useful life, the public needs to know that and needs to know why, ” said Sayegh.

Sayegh said he suspected that Con Ed has been cutting back on maintenance of its system in recent years in order to increase company profits, taking unfair advantage of the new deregulated utility climate.

(WPCNR’s editor notes that Entergy, Indian Point’s operator, has also charged Con Edison with neglectful maintenance of steam generators at Indian Point, resulting in public relations problems for the new owners of the plant. The Mayor’s Office in White Plains also reported some power outages in White Plains due to the extreme heat Wednesday, but there were no mention of burning up wires.)

“When you have wires burning up along the streets, not only are people without power, but pedestrians and motorists could literally have their lives at risk, “ said Sayegh.

Sayegh said the Public Service Commission should investigate  the state of Con Ed’s system in Westchester.

“We know the temperature will hit the high nineties during most summers,” he concluded, “The electrical system should be prepared to handle it. But clearly Con Ed is not.”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 
July 3, 2002 
CONTACT: Tony Sayegh
(914) 924-2578

SAYEGH SAYS CON ED POWER OUTAGES
NEED INVESTIGATION

(New Rochelle) —  88TH District Assembly candidate Tony Sayegh said today that the State should investigate the high number of power outages that occurred Tuesday.
    
“A95 degree day is not supposed to knock the power system for a loop,” said Sayegh, noting that he had received reports of several hundred customers in Eastchester and New Rochelle being without power on Tuesday afternoon and evening.

“Unlike power shortages that have affected other parts of the nation, this seems to be a case of Con Ed’s wiring simply being inadequate to handle the load on local streets,” said Sayegh, noting that there were several incidences of wires literally burning up along streets.

“If Con Ed has not been updating wires or replacing wires and components that are past their useful life, the public needs to know that and needs to know why, ”said Sayegh.

Sayegh said he suspected that Con Ed has been cutting back on maintenance of its system in recent years in order to increase company profits, taking unfair advantage of the new deregulated utility climate.

“When you have wires burning up along the streets, not only are people without power, but pedestrians and motorists could literally have their lives at risk, “ said Sayegh.

Sayegh said the Public Service Commission should investigate  the state of Con Ed’s system in Westchester.

“We know the temperature will hit the high nineties during most summers,” he concluded, “The electrical system should be prepared to handle it. But clearly Con Ed is not.”
 

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White Plains Fear of Change: For the Better or Worse? 6 Thumbs UP on Straub

WPCNR Common Council Chronicle-Examiner. By Shivaun Dipshan.
Wednesday, July 03, 2002. 1:00 P.M. E.D.T.:
Concerned citizens and hospital employees piled in to the Common Council meeting, not to see the appointment of Commissioner of Public Safety, but to voice their concerns about the New York Presbyterian Hospital proposal.



HOSPITAL SHOWCASES DESIGN OF PROTON ACCELERATOR/BIOTECH CENTER: John Annunzio, the landscape architect of the building, as he appeared on Channel 72 Monday evening, presenting the first rendering of a combined accelerator/research lab on the Site Eight. Geoffrey Thompson spokesman for the hospital told WPCNR today, the hospital is agreeable to building the facility on Site Eight or a combination of two buildings, the research facility on Site Eight, the Accelerator on Site Five.
Photo by WPCNR


The Hearing on the hospital Special Permit was held open, and documents were referred out to City Departments for comment with a possible Council vote on the proton accelerator/biotech research facility on August 5.

Traffic, Pollution Concerns

The main concern of citizens who spoke, was the location of the biomedical center not as much the purpose, but safety issues such as traffic and pollution, and the effect it would have on White Plains. However, while the citizens are afraid of change, members of the hospital as well as residents posed the question what is the outcome if one fears change? They asked the council not to impede progress because it could lead to saving people’s lives. In the end it boils down to a question of stopping progress or allegedly, pollution.

A prophetic invocation

The Common Council meeting began with Father Donald O’Brien asking the Lord, to “grant us the courage to be open to each other and not to be fearful of new ideas and different approaches than our own to matters that are put before us.” His prayer was echoed throughout the meeting as representatives and employees from the hospital as well as residents asked that the council not fear the proposal of the biomedical research laboratories New York Presbyterian Hospital is planning for their White Plains campus.

”Watch” Ad Sets Tone.

The long list of residents and hospital employees to voice their opinions about the project started off with members of the Concerned Citizens for Open Space displaying their ad in the newest issue of the White Plains Watch.The ad demonstrated the signatures of 348 White Plains citizens who are opposed to the New York Presbyterian Hospital Project.



TRUMP CARD: The Concerned Citizens for Open Space advertisement as it appeared in the White Plains Watch this week was a star player Monday night.
Photo by WPCNR


“The citizens urgently request you vote no…we are deeply concerned about the future of White Plains,” said Barbara Benjamin, a representative of the association, reading the copy in the advertisement.

A preliminary WPCNR analysis of the first 100 names in the advertisement indicates that virtually all but 4 signees live in the residential neighborhoods immediately up to a mile and a half South of the project, and East of Post Road.

In our analysis of the first 100 signees of the ad, only 4 persons live West and North of Post Road, in the northern end of White Plains, and 58 households live in the area West of Post Road and South of the Hospital, the “Southend” of town. Of those, 39 of those 58 households reside directly South of the Hospital Property in the Gedney Farms, North Street, Haviland Manor area. We counted obvious husband/wife/family combinations as one household, accounting for the difference.

On-going concerns

Residents of the Gedney neighborhood, the North Street Civic Association, and Rosedale neighborhoods and Bryant Gardens (immediately across Bryant Avenue from the hospital property) have voiced concerns in the ongoing public hearing over the last six months because it violates residential zoning, causes health problems as well as traffic problems, and creates a negative impact on surrounding neighborhoods.

Monday evening saw the same speakers from the five previous months of hearings repeating their concerns:

Carry Kyzivat, a resident of Maple Moor Lane, about 1 mile South of the proposed location, and concerned citizen of White Plains, asked the councilpersons “why can’t White Plains be known for preserving unique grounds for the benefit of its residents? I emplore you to show you really care for this city.”

Carl Barrera, a resident, said the issue is not whether open space will be preserved, but rather about a project that a landowner wants to build on his property. His point was the council should not confuse the two issues.

Unanswered Questions Still Lurking

Marc Pollitzer, a resident of North Street, approximately 1 mile South of the proposed project, discussed how this project “seems like a commercial endeavor.” He then went on to ask the council how they could “blindly approve” this project without understanding what the research would be.

Ruth Marie Hicks, a resident who works as a researcher, voiced her concern about the location of the planned project. “I do not see that a residential area is an appropriate place for conducting this research.”

She also discussed how she thinks there are going to be more researchers than the hospital proposed because the amount of space and the number of researchers don’t add up.

Do We Really Need it?

Hicks also stated that Westchester didn’t need this (proton accelerator)facility because “we are very over serviced medically…we don’t need more facilities in this city…we already have two hospitals.”

In previous articles, WPCNR has reported that the proton accelerator, would be the only proton therapy cancer treatment facility of its kind in the New York Metropolitan area. WPCNR has found the accelerator treatment has long been ignored or not considered by oncologists in this area as a cancer treatment for prostate, children’s brain tumors and breast cancers. The reason may be that the accelerator renders obsolete the more invasive surgical procedures and radiation treatments in vogue to treat those cancers and practiced extensively by surgeons and radiologists in the New York metropolitan area.

WPCNR queries of surgeons and cancer specialists who treat such tumors expressed very little knowledge to us of the proton accelerator treatment. It is a treatment that has shown to be more effective and less invasive in treating prostate cancer, yet is tacitly ignored by cancer specialists in our area, so not too many patients are recommended for it.

Hicks, who is an asthmatic, warned the councilpersons not to underestimate the seriousness of pollution. Her mother, who was a singer and never smoked a day in her life, died of lung disease. “Pollution is a serious medical problem,” she said.

Esthetics Seem More Important

Mr. Wilcocks, a resident of Westchester, voiced his concern with people caring more about “a view” than saving people’s lives.

“If such risks were not taken before we would not be having this discussion because most of you would be dead. Progress always comes with a price tag,” he said. He then went on to call citizens who opposed the project arrogant and selfish and said that many of their complaints were not valid. For example, he called the traffic issue “minor traffic problems.”

The Role of Research-Possible Projects

The employees of the Hospital spoke of the benefits of research. Gale Rider, who is the Director of Psychiatric Health, voiced her concern about the need of hospitals to stay current.

The job of an academic medical center is to stay current: “health care is moving very rapidly and we find ourselves behind…what we are being challenged with now is the cure…what people want is the cure. It’s hard for families to hear we don’t have it now but it’s coming…the time is now,” she said.

Another researcher who works for the hospital tried to explain the kind of projects that the hospital is trying to set up. One of the projects is geared towards improving the quality of life of anxious elderly people in the community.

First Look at Facility Design

After a break in the Common Council proceedings, there was a surprise presentation by the New York Presbyterian Hospital. Most of the persons speaking at the hearing left, and missed some very interesting information, including a rendering of the new facility.



PAUL BERGINS ARTICULATES HOSPITAL COMPROMISE: Attorney Paul Bergins explaining the two compromise positions of the proton accelerator/biomedical research building Monday night, as he appeared on Channel 71.
Photo by WPCNR


One of the New York Presbyterian Hospital attorneys, Paul Bergins, presented the most recent developments in the project. Bergins offered an olive branch proposal, saying the hospital was open to placing a 6-story proton accelerator and research building on Site 8, with an accompanying parking structure behind it. Only five stories of which would be above ground, with the proton accelerator below ground.

When queried about tree destruction, a concern of Councilperson Rita Malmud, Bergins said the hospital was still working up a site configuration to limit the amount of tree destruction by relocating the retension pond.

For the first time in the one-year on-going consideration of this project, the hospital presented a color rendering of what the building would look like on the Site 8 interior site.

It is a red-brick, low-rise building, that is designed to a height that would not be seen from either Bryant Avenue or Mamaroneck Avenue, not rising above the tree line, according to Geoffrey Thompson, a spokesman for the hospital. Entry would be from the Bloomingdale Road access road where the hospital enjoys easement rights.

Documents Referred Out to Departments

At the conclusion of the hospital presentation, the Common Council voted unanimously to refer the documents out to city departments to comment. Next in the process, is creation of a Findings Statement. The Hearing on the Special Permit was kept open, and will resume or be closed at the August 5 meeting of the Common Council.

Rick Ammirato, a spokesman for the Mayor’s office, said a vote could be taken at that time, but not necessarily, it depends on the Common Council. Ammirato said the public can send in written comments to the Planning Department up until July 28 on the project.

Straub Approved. Mayor’s Wishes, Not King’s, Come True on Commissioner.



MAYOR DELFINO AND NOW NEW PUBLIC SAFETY COMMISSIONER DR. FRANK STRAUB: The Mayor is shown congratulating Dr. Straub in June when he introduced the NYPD Anti-Terrorism expert to White Plains. Dr. Straub was approved by the Common Council Monday evening.
Photo by WPCNR


Before taking a final vote on the new Public Safety Commissioner nominee, Mayor Joseph Delfino read from Dr. Frank Straub’s resume to reiterate why he would be a good candidate for Commissioner of Public Safety. He mentioned that he had “excellent credentials and experience.”

Some of the things he listed were that Straub is the Co-Chair for the Metropolitan Area Terrorism Committee, working with the New York City Fire Department to develop joint training programs for emergency responders to chemical, biological, and radioactive terrorist events.

He also mentioned that when Straub was Chief Administrator of the NYPD’s office of Training he managed a $25 Million Budget and supervised 750 persons. Straub has a Ph.D. in Criminal Justice from the City University of New York, a Master’s Degree in Forensic Psychology from John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from St. John’s University. He also teaches graduate courses at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

“His unique background will bring a new vision…he will play a vital role in bringing fire and police to a new level of excellence,” the Mayor said.

Strengthen Bond Between Fire and Police

The vote was 6-1; Councilman William King was the only one who voted against Straub being appointed.

After the voting, the Mayor swore him in and presented him with the White Plains Public Safety Commissioner badge.

“It’s an honor to be appointed and a privilege to serve White Plains…Thank you for this opportunity to serve White Plains as a Commissioner of Public Safety,” Straub said.

He then went on to discuss how after September 11th the need for police and fire departments to work more closely together is called for and how he is going to help “strengthen the bond between fire and police.”

Not Enough Summer Jobs for Youth

The Youth Bureau is helping children to get summer jobs but the problem that many kids face is that there aren’t enough jobs. Councilman William King asked citizens of White Plains to “help employ our kids during the summer…if you have any odd jobs around the house you can think of or know any people who could use some help… please do not hesitate to call the Youth Bureau at 422-1378.”

Hudson United Bank

Hudson United Bank is donating $10,000 for the Independence Day Celebration and other Special Events.

“They said what can I do to be a part of this community? That is the first time any corporation has said that to me,” Mayor Delfino said.

Councilperson Rita Malmud also expressed her gratefulness for their 4th of July celebration.

The Mayor also mentioned that they are planning to have an outdoor film at the White Plains High School. The film that is going to be shown is Harry Potter; a date is yet to be set for the event.

Councilpersons Express Their Enthusiasm for the New Field



SAXON WOODS SOCCER FIELD SITE: Shown is the location of the new soccer field to be built for White Plains by the County of Westchester. It is located adjacent to the southbound Hutchinson River Parkway Entrance at Mamaroneck Avenue at far end of the Saxon Woods Pool Lot.
Photo by WPCNR


An artificial turf soccer field is going to be built at the southern end of the parking lot at Saxon Woods Park, which is adjacent to the Hudson River Parkway entrance ramp. The Council accepted the Inter Municipality Agreement necessary to initiate the project.

“I am so pleased we are starting what needs to be done to bring more soccer to White Plains,” said Malmud. She, along with other councilmembers, were pleased at its location because it wouldn’t bother people living near the field.

The City will pay for the maintenance of the field and be responsible for establishing regulations.

Benjamin Boykin, Jr., Common Council President shared Malmud’s enthusiasm for the project and added that the field will stay open till 10 p.m. and will be provided with lighting. The lighting will not impact the surrounding neighborhood. Boykin also said that they are planning to get the neighborhood’s reaction to the field.

“It’s an excellent opportunity for our city…it’s a field of dreams that has come true for our city,” councilman Tom Roach said.

“A few years from now Brazil should watch out,” said councilman Bob Greer.

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Corcoran Turns Down GOP Invitation to Run for Matusow Seat

WPCNR High Noon Newsl. July 2, 2002. 12 noon E.D.T.: Candyce Corcoran of White Plains today rejected the Republican nomination to oppose Assemblywoman Naomi Matusow or her challenger for the Democratic nomination, Adam Bradley in the November Assembly contest for the 89th Assembly District.
In a statement to the media, Ms. Corcoran said,

“I am deeply honored that the Westchester County GOP selected me as their candidate for 89th State Assembly District. Although I have had enormous support and encouragement to serve in Albany, I must decline the offer.

It is my personal belief, that I can be most effective right here in Westchester County, to continue on as a community activist placing People Before Politics.

Corcoran, offerred the Republican nomination for the 89th District by Westchester GOP Chair, James Kavanaugh on June 20, has spent two weeks attempting to secure financial commitments and support from the state and county GOP parties to finance her run. Corcoran was defeated by William Ryan for the County Legislator position in November, 2001.

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