Scarsdale PB Takes Up Realm Senior Project Oct 23. Police: Fire Was Arson

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WPCNR EVENING CITY STAR REPORTER. By John F. Bailey. October 11, 2002:The Realm Senior Citizen Assisted Living Project planned for the rocky wooded tract of forest next to the Ethical Culture Society of Westchester off Saxon Woods Road will be before the Scarsdale Planning Board again Wednesday, October 23, the Scarsdale Village Planner told WPCNR Thursday. Elizabeth Marrinan also told WPCNR that the Scarsdale Police Department is investigating last week’s fire on the site as having been deliberately set.
Ms. Marrinan brought WPCNR up-to-date on where the project is in the Scarsdale Planning Board review process. She said the 117-unit, 3-story project will come back to the Board on October 23 to report on hydrological issues involving the Mamaroneck River which runs through the property, and the design of the bridge crossing the river. Asked if the Planning Board was leaning towards approving the project based on satisfactory answers, she said she could not tell at this time.

WPCNR asked if last week’s fire that has been determined to be definitely set at vacant house on the property, causing a jam-up of traffic on two-lane Saxon Woods Road had any affect on the Planning Board’s consideration of the project. Marrinan said the Planning Board had made it clear to Realm, that if the project were to be approved, the developer would have to have Saxon Wood Road be widened and the bridge over the Mamaroneck River to be widened to accommodate the increased traffic.

Realm Must go to City for Road Improvements.

She said that it was up to Realm, the developer, to obtain approval for widening of the road from the City of White Plains. This is one of 14 approvals Realm must receive from the City of White Plains to execute the project. The city is opposed to the project in principle.

Fire at vacant house said not to be an accident.

Lieutenant Bryant Clark, spokesman for the Scarsdale Police Department told WPCNR that the arson investigator for the Scarsdale Fire Department had told the police that the fire that took place on the property last week, which left only walls of the home standing, was not an accident, and the police are investigating the matter as a definite arson.

Clark said there was indication that the vacant house had been used for impromtu parties in the past, but the fire appeared to be “intentionally set,” and not an accident, “based on the physical evidence.” Chemical analysis of evidence taken from the scene is still being analyzed by the Westchester County Forensics Lab as of Thursday afternoon, he reported, and said he would keep WPCNR informed.

Lieutenant Clark said at this time his department is working on the investigation on its own, and is not involving the White Plains Public Safety Department. He said that should investigation lead police to White Plains residents, the Scarsdale Police would have the right to make an arrest of the suspect(s).

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“Billion Dollar Joe” Delfino Joins County Big 5 Mayors at 1st Biz Summit

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WPCNR MAIN STREET JOURNAL. By John F. Bailey with E. Hezi of The Yonkers Tribune. UPDATED 11:00 A.M. October 10, 2002: White Plains Mayor Joseph Delfino, the Mayor responsible for attracting over $1 Billion of development to White Plains in the last two years will participate in gathering of eagles and angels Wednesday at the first Westchester Mayors Business Summit.

The conference to be held in Yonkers will bring together five of Westchester’s key Mayors with the finance community of Westchester County to discuss how more development can be stimulated in Westchester’s cities.

“It is our mission,” according to Anthony Fardella, President of Westchester Venture Group, major sponsor of the conference, “to create a forum whereby entities who seek financing and the financing community can meet.”

Dee Del Bello, President of the Westchester County Business Journal, another even sponsor, added, “It is the hope of all the participants that the Westchester Mayors Business Summit becomes an annual event.”

Aims at Developing Westchester’s Cities: Spencer

Mayor John Spencer of Yonkers said, “This is an amazing opportunity for the mayors of this county to come together and work toward the goal we all hold very much in common. That is, bringing more and more community-friendly, professional and intelligent economic development to our cities and involving highly trained, skilled men and women in the process.”

Westchester’s Big Five

The Summit will be hosted by Mayor John Spencer and the City of Yonkers and will be sponsored by Morgan Stanley. Participating in the panel of distinguished executives will be Mayor Delfino, New Rochelle Mayor Timothy Idoni, Mount Vernon Mayor Ernest Davis, and Rye Mayor Steven Otis.

The program is scheduled to begin with an informal “Networking Breakfast” beginning at 7:30 A.M., according to Vincent Bocchimuzzo, a spokesman for the Westchester Venture Group.

Mayors Seeking Investment Meet the Investors

Bocchimuzzo reports that the format of the Mayors Business Summit will consist of panel discussion between Mayor Delfino, Mayor Iodoni, Mayor Spencer, Mayor Otis and Mayor Davis and a second panel of executives from venture capital firms.

Venturer firms appearing on the investor side of the panel are Green Hills Ventures LLC, Morgan Stanley, New York Community Investment Corporation, Enhanced Capital Partners, Signature Bank and Venture Partners. The panels will be moderated by Joseph DePaolo, President and Chief Executive Officer of Signature Bank.

Show and Tell.

At the beginning of the event, Bocchimuzzo said, each Mayor will speak about his city and then the panel of venture capitalist representatives will respond. They will make comments and “engage the mayors,” followed by a question and answer period from the floor.

Westchester’s Money Market.

Bocchimuzzo says the event has over 100 persons scheduled to attend at this point, and his hope is that entrepreneurs with business plans, and an audience of what he describes as “a cross-section of the Westchester business community” will, in turn engage the Mayors and venturists in discussion to mutual benefit.

“The organizers see this,” Bocchimuzzo said, “as a way to bring a new source of finance to the people of the cities, to entrepreneurs with new business initiatives.”

Asked if representatives from Westchester County government would be on the panel, Bocchimuzzo, said “No,” that the plan for this meeting was to provide a forum for just the Mayors and 30 venture capitalist groups. He said, the organizers of the event, Westchester Venture Group, the Westchester County Association, and the Westchester County Business Journal, the organizations which “conceptualized this” hoped to organize a similar event involving the county next year.

The Money is Out There.

Asked if the discussion was going to address the apparent weak economy in the county, Bocchimuzzo told WPCNR that “this was a perception that venture capitalists were not ready to invest, and not the reality, because we are not seeing enough of venture capitalist firms.”
He said the purpose of the Summit was “to give them (venture capitalists) visibility, that their doors are open for business.”

He said this was going to become an annual event, and at the end of the morning, the Mayors would draw out of a hat to see which city would host the Summit next year.

The Summit, slated to begin at 8:30 A.M, Wednesday, October 16 at Ridge Hill Plaza, 1 Ridge Hill Drive, in Yonkers, New York, just off Exit 6A North of the New York State Thruway. You exit onto Stew Leonard Drive, and make a right at the Guard Booth.

For information on how you can register contact 914-699-2020, Extension 118.

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Middle School Harriering Girls Win third straight meet.

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WPCNR PRESS BOX. By John F. Bailey. October 9, 2002:

THREE IN THE TOP FIVE: Jill Gordon and Kaylin Gilmartin-Donohue at the finish of Monday afternoon’s cross country event in Larchmont, in which they finished 2nd and 3rd among 35 girls in the 7th and 8th grade cross country meet. The girls took command at the midmark in the 1.1 mile course. It was the third straight White Plains Girls Cross Country win in the Middle School season.
Photo by WPCNR Sports

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City Announces English Courses at Library for Non-English Speaking Citizens.

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WPCNR AFTERNOON TRIB & POST. By John F. Bailey. October 9, 2002: Mayor Joseph Delfino announced today a new program in conjunction with Westchester Community College, the Westchester Library System, the White Plains Public Library providing 12-week courses in English for non-English speaking adult residents over 18, who speak little or no English, to be given mornings, afternoons and evenings all year round at the White Plains Public Library.

ESL FOR DAILY LIVING ANNOUNCED: The architects of the new ESL for Daily Living program just launched at the White Plains Public Library at their news conference Wednesday morning: L to R, Walter Anderson, of the National Center for Family Literacy, Isabel Villar of Centro Hispano, Sandra Miranda of the White Plains Public Library, MayorJoseph Delfino, Dr. Maurice Freedman, Director of the Westchester Library System, and Dr. Joseph Hankin, President of Westchester Community College. There is still room in the first series of courses and adults over 18 must register in person at the library Thursday at 3:30 PM.
Photo by WPCNR News

Registration for the current session in the mornings and afternoons is scheduled for Thursday afternoon 3:30 PM at the Library. The cost per student is $40 for books and course materials, with instructors of the course being provided by Westchester Community College.

Mayor’s Initiative.

The program was conceived by Mayor Delfino and suggested to the Library and Westchester Community College that worked together to design the program.

Sandra Miranda, Director of the White Plains Public Library, said that the current course underway has received an “overwhelming response,” and that there is still room for students in the morning and afternoon courses. She said that 85% of the persons currently enrolled are from White Plains.

Limited Room in present course. New course begins in Janurary.

Beginning in January a new course will start up. The instruction will be primarily for Spanish-speaking persons wishing to learn English, but all persons who speak a different language than English who want to learn English, technological English, and English skills for employment and daily living are eligible and will be accepted into the program, space permitting.

Currently the program is designed to handle 100 to 125 students per 12 week course. The present course is filled in the evenings, however there are some slots open in the mornings and afternoons and those will be filled on a first-come first served basis beginning at 3:30 today at the White Plains Public Library. For more information, call the White Plains Public Library at 422-1400, or Westchester Community College.

Program funded by Westchester Community College.

The cost of the program was not available at the news conference, but it is being underwritten by Westchester Community College, and they are reimbursed by grant money from New York State.
Mayor Inspired to Create the Program by his father.

Mayor Joseph Delfino, introducing the course, said “the diversity in our city is important to us, and this program will bring us together.”

The Mayor pondered on the questions residents who speak no English raised in his head: “How do you communicate? How do you relate to your children and with homework? How do you motivate them?”

The Mayor said the new courses are designed to help make them a bigger part of this community. He cited the example of his own father:

“There’s the example of my own Dad. He was talking to me, he said “how tough it was when I came here. I couldn’t do anything.”

The Mayor said his father got a job at New York Hospital in a custodial position where he had to do a certain task each day. He said he told his father “It wasn’t that you couldn’t do anything. It’s just that you couldn’t read, and he said to me, what do you know?”

“In my heart,” the Mayor said, “I know that had he had the ability to learn and speak English he would have done more.”

Walter Anderson – a living example.

Walter Anderson, CEO of Parade Magazine, a White Plains High School student and White Plains resident, and a member of the Board of Advisors of the National Center for Family Literacy spoke next in support of the program.
Mr. Anderson said that he grew up in Mount Vernon, the son of an alcoholic father who beat him when he caught him reading. On the other hand his mother encourgaged him to read. He said there was an “island” in the midst of the turbulence and anger and violence, and it was the Mount Vernon Library, which had “wonderful librarians.”

“I would do anything I could, and I was able to imagine myself out of a slum (through reading),” he said.

He praised a teacher of his, a Ms. Williams, who encouraged him: “Every child needs somebody to be crazy about them.”

It was her encouragement guiding him to parocial school, Windward School in White Plains, and White Plains High School, and eventually the Marine Corps and then a degree from Westchester Community College which lead to his success today.

“I read myself out of poverity long before I worked myself out of poverity,” Anderson said. “Destiny is not something you wait for. Destiny is a choice.”

“We are going to make a Difference.

Mayor Delfino in closing the official side of the news conference, and thanking the organizations who created the program, looked Heavenward and said, emotionally, “Dad, I found a way. I tried. I found some people to help. We are going to make a difference.”

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Bradley Signs Pledge for a Living Wage at SEIU Rally

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WPCNR DAILY SUN. Special to WPCNR By E. Hezi, The Yonkers Tribune. October 8, 2002:The monotonous internal clock
ticked toward 6:30 P.M. last night, yet the rally called for by the
Worker Families Party had not yet formed, when a contingent of
healthcare workers of Service Employee International Union (SEIU) of
Union 1199 of Hudson Valley, ignited the crowd into a welcome cheer.

Clad in crisp purple colored T-shirts emblazoned with gold lettering,
the healthcare workers increased the attendance of respondents to over fifty energized and determined people who engulfed the entranceway of the 148 Martine Avenue office building.
The participants came to beseech Westchester County Legislators to sign their pledge: “I pledge to support the living wage because I believe all workers should be allowed to live in dignity. The workers, their families and all of Westchester deserve a living wage.”

Debra Smith, Westchester Family Services employee alighted the steps to the entranceway and when reaching the platform before the actual entranceway into the building addressed the crowd in order to “introduce my favorite County Legislator, Andrea Stewart-Cousins,” to the spontaneous applause of those present.

Westchester County Legislator Andrea Stewart-Cousins praised the crowd for their righteous and committed struggle to have legislation passed to witness their over one-year effort for the “Living Wage,” and pledged her passionate resolve upon their behalf. The crowd seemed to hang onto every word she uttered in her brief appearance, as she was required to return to the continuing caucus in session prior to the formal meeting of the Westchester County Legislators that night. Taking a “magic-marker like” pen to the oversized 36 inches by 64 inches “pledge” written on contact paper, Ms. Stewart-Cousins became the first to sign the pledge.

Latimer Supports Bill.

Fellow Westchester County Legislator George Latimer also came from on-going caucus discussions to briefly address the crowd stating, “What you are expressing and demonstrating for is right. I hope to celebrate victory with you in the near future.” Mr. George Latimer also signed the pledge.

Seven Seen Sign

One by one, Westchester County Legislators extracted themselves from caucus discussion to address the rally and to append their names to “the pledge” of support. In no specific order, but rather a listing of undersigners, the following committed their signatures: Westchester County Legislators Richard G. Wishnie, Thomas Abinanti, Bill Ryan, Martin Ragowsky, Jose Alvarado. (The reader must be fully aware that this reporter had to depart the rally before other Westchester County Legislators could be seen to append their signatures to “the pledge” yet I was not there to witness it. In all, this reporter was witness to the first seven signatories.)

Assemblyperson Pre-Elect Signs.

Adam Bradley helped to victory by the efforts of the Workers Family Party made a specific effort to praise the crowd and to hear him pledge his continued effort upon their behalf. He too, was called to a previous function in Mt. Kisco. His name was appended to those signatories
previously mentioned.

This reporter departed the rally for the Westchester County Legislators’
meeting called for 7:00 P.M.

The Living Wage Bill Endorsed by the SEIU would require that contractors with Westchester County on jobs of $25,000 or more would have to pay workers $11.50 an hour with health benefits or $13 an hour without health benefits. The law would also include businesses receiving county tax abatements, loans and aid over $25,000.

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Council Approves Dellwood Park Acquisition, New Calvary Baptist Church.

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WPCNR COMMON COUNCIL CHRONICLE EXAMINER. By John F. Bailey. October 8, 2002: UPDATED 8:20 A.M. E.D.T. CORRECTION October 9, 2002 The Common Council all but approved “God’s Miracle” last night, voting unanimously to refer out to departments the plans for the building of a 1,200 seat new sanctuary building adjacent to Calvary Baptist Church fronting West Post Road to the raucous approval of about 25 Calvary Church members attending the big night. Such was the congratulatory handshakes going around, that it appeared to this reporter the proposal was approved, however, there were several items needed to be resolved, and the matter was actually adjourned to November 4. WPCNR regrets the error.

“GOD’S MIRACLE” ALL BUT APPROVED BY COMMON COUNCIL: Councilpersons discuss the new sanctuary building before voting on the proposal last night. L to R, Robert Greer, Benjamin Boykin, Gary Warshauer (architect), Rita Malmud, William King and Reverend Lester Cousin, Pastor of Calvary Baptist Church whose personal vision for the congregation sees the sanctuary as being a center for use by the entire community, discusses the 1,200-seat ediface to rise on West Post Road.
Photo by WPCNR

In other action, the Council approved the leasing of 2 acres of the former Dellwood Dairy property off Lake Street and 18 acres of Silver Lake, acquiring White Plains first lake front park.

Meanwhile, across town in the Michaelian Building, the County Legislature voted 17-0 to rent the park property to the city for $1 a year for 30 years, and 12-5, respectively to approve purchase of the Pettinichi property and the construction of affordable housing on the site.

Mayor Joseph Delfino called it a happy day in White Plains history, and thanked the County, the council, the city staff, and the Woodcrest Heights Association for working together to make the park acquisition possible.

In other council action:
The Council kept the public hearing on overnight paid parking on Old Mamaroneck Road open until the November 4 Council meeting, after hearing 6 citizens speak against it and 5 citizens speak for the ordinance. Susan Habel, Commissioner of Planning, Albert Maroni (Executive Director of the Parking Authority), and Joseph Nicoletti, Commissioner of Public Works, spoke out firmly against the proposed one-year trial of overnight paid parking. The Battle Hill Neighborhood Association and the Highlands Civic Association announced their strong opposition towards the plan.

CHEERS ON SOUTH BROADWAY: Coughlin’s American Bistro was approved last night. Here is how the exterior of the new restaurant and pub will look on South Broadway. The new owner is seriously renovating the former Oliver’s into an upscale sophisticated pub and lounge with gourmet food with a renowned New York chef. The new establishment will have a fireplace and lounge on the main floor, a fireplace on the interior balcony, and richer luxurious atmosphere. He plans a Thanksgiving weekend opening, promising entertainment and hopes to attract business and social events.
Photo by WPCNR

The council inacted an ordinance approving continuing salary and benefits to city employees called to active duty by the armed forces. Jim Donohoe, President of White Plains Professional Firefighters praised the Common Council, and told the story of how a member of the WPFD, currently serving as a rifle instructor with the National Guard at Fort Bragg was being helped by this measure.

The council accepted over $171,000 in grants for Youth Bureau programs that were secured by the efforts of Frank Williams, Director of the Youth Bureau.

At the outset of the Council meeting, the Mayor recognized a group of employees celebrating their 25 and 30 years of service with the city.

The hearing on the transferral of development rights within the central business district was postponed until November, pending the rewriting of the ordinance. Details were not immediately available as to what changes were contemplated with the new ordinance.

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Middle School Girls Harriers with 5 in top 20, Take Rye Meet

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WPCNR PRESS BOX. By John F. Bailey. October 7, 2002: The White Plains Middle School Cross Country Girls Team won a school medley Cross Country Meet Friday in Rye, with 5 White Plains girls finishing in the top 20, topping Sleepy Hollow, Rye, Mount Vernon, John Jay.

WHITE PLAINS TRIO STRONG TO THE FINISH: Jill Gordon, Kaylin Gilmartin-Donohue, and Juliana Bailey ( Right to left, all in white) heading down the chute at the finish of Friday’s Middle School Cross Country Meet at Rye High. The girls were three of White Plains 5 top 20 finishers in the meet, providing the margin of victory on the 1.2 mile course. Aquina Young and Kristin Smayda, also were White Plains top 20 finishers for the team win. The girls and boys run again today in Mamaroneck.
Photo by WPCNR Sports
Asked about strategy in running a cross country race, WPCNR was told by one White Plains runner that each runner attempts to set a pace at the beginning of the race that they can maintain, reaching back for that finishing burst at the close.
Coach John McGee stresses to his charges that they are not running against others, they are running against their own previous times, course-to-course, year-to-year.

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Environmental Groups Back Paulin.

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WPCNR NEWSREEL. From the Paulin Press Office. (Edited)October 7, 2002:Assemblywoman Amy Paulin, who represents the 88th District in the New York State Assembly, has been endorsed by two key environmental groups in her campaign agains Tony Sayegh, her challenger for the 88th District Assembly Seat.
The Sierra Club and the New York League of Conservation Voters have both given their support to Assemblywoman Paulin’s re-election effort.

George Klein, Chairman of the Lower Hudson Group of the Sierra Club, said, “Amy Paulin’s experience in the Assembly shows she cares about the environment. She has delivered the protections the environment needs. Her promotion of Westchester County’s purchase of David’s Island shows her commitment to open space.”

Marcia Bystryn, Executive Director of the New York League of Conservation Voters, said that the endorsement “is a testament to [the Assemblywoman’s] dedication to preserving and protecting the environment. The League is impressed with [her] record as an outstanding leader on environmental issues.”

Assemblywoman Paulin was credited in the endorsement with her achievements in: Sponsoring a bill finalizing Westchester County’s purchase of David’s Island as open space.Sponsoring a bill to increase penalties and provide additional remedies when timber is illegally cut or removed from state or private lands. Opposing a proposal to increase the number of state highway permits for large trucks.

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Tigers Overpower Lincoln of Yonkers, 27-6

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WPCNR PRESS BOX. From News Reports. October 6, 2002: White Plains improved its record to 3-2 Saturday afternoon, with a 27-6 win over Lincoln High in Yonkers. Three touchdowns in the second quarter overcame a first quarter Lincoln lead. Spencer Ridenhour scored the Tigers first touchdown. Darrell Mack ran 51 yards to set up another score, and caught a 35 yard touchdown strike from Mike Devere for another. The Tigers play Mount Vernon next Saturday at Parker Stadium.

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Antiquing in Westchester? The County Has Some Suggestions!

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WPCNR WHITE PLAINS VARIETY. From Westchester County Office of Tourism. October 5, 2002:Serious shoppers have a new resource in their hunt for antiques. The Westchester County Office of Tourism has produced a new publication, “Antiques, The Westchester Way”, a four-color brochure that lists and describes antique stores throughout Westchester County, New York in the heart of the Hudson River Valley. This new brochure takes the work out of planning a trip to shop for antiques, attend an auction, or visit an antiques show.

“Shopping for antiques is an exciting pastime that can be enjoyed any time of year, but not every destination boasts the same concentration of stores as Westchester County,” said Margo Jones, Director of the Westchester County Office of Tourism. “Whether you’re searching for an 18th-century silver tea set, a 19th-century French armoire, or just a cider press like Grandma used to have, you’ll find it here.”

Nearly 50 stores that are open at least four days per week are listed in
alphabetical order. Each shop description includes the types of products that are available, and any special collections from specific countries or time periods. Auction houses that sell antiques to the public are also listed. Additional information includes the days and hours of operation for each location, addresses and websites.

The brochure provides a county map showing the location of each store or shop. The map, which shows concentrations of antique stores in several areas, can be used to plan shopping trips along specific routes, such as Route 9 (Hastings-on-Hudson, Irvington and Tarrytown) along the Hudson River; and Route 1 (Pelham, Larchmont, Mamaroneck and Port Chester) along Long Island Sound.

A calendar of special events has been included, listing annual antiques shows and fairs that take place the same month every year, such as the Fall Antiques Show at the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts in Katonah, and the Annual Chappaqua Antique Show in November.

Directions utilizing public transportation (trains, buses, and taxis) to the
towns with a large concentration of stores are also listed. Funds from the D.O.T. Smart Commute program made the printing of this brochure possible.

Free copies of the “Antiques, The Westchester Way” brochure are available, from the Westchester County Office of Tourism at 222 Mamaroneck Avenue, Suite 100, White Plains, NY 10605. Phone: (800) 833-9282 or (914) 995-8500; or e-mail:

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