Legislator Bill Ryan Interviewed on White Plains Week Fri. at 7:30

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WPCNR WHITE PLAINS VARIETY. April 5, 2003: County Legislator Bill Ryan will be interviewed on the City News Roundup Show, White Plains Week Friday evening by John Bailey, Alex Philippidis, Editor of Westchester County Business Journal and Jim Benerofe, Editor of Suburban Street.com beginning at 7:30 PM on White Plains Public Access, WPPA-TV, “The Spirit of ’76,” Channel 76 on your cable box.



WAITING IN THE WINGS: Legislator Bill Rynan lingers off the White Plains Week set with Alex Philippidis, left and Jim Benerofe, continuing his lively conversations with the news duo at WPPA-TV Studios Friday, which will “cable” on Friday evening at 7:30 on The Spirit of 76. Ryan discusses the present situation on public security in the county, Indian Point emergency plans, and what the county legislator faces on budget matters, and discusses his political aspirations.
Photo by WPCNR StageCam

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White Plains Ballers Sweep

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WPCNR Press Box. April 4, 2003: The day after Marcel Galigani’s White Plains Baseball Team routed Mamaroneck, 16-0, the softball squads took their cue, Ted O’Donnell’s varsity, winning 13-2 behind Tara Pollard, and the Junior Varsity winning behind
Ashley Encarnacio’s stately pitching, 5-4, on Jen Gilch’s inside-the-park homer in the sixth.

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First SARS Case Reported in County

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WPCNR WHITE PLAINS LANCET. From Westchester County Department of Health. April 3, 2003: The Westchester County Department of Health today announced that a case of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) has been identified in a 71 year-old woman who had recently traveled to Mainland China last month. She began developing fever, cough and muscle aches – symptoms that are consistent with SARS – on April 1. She sought medical treatment at a local hospital and is now recovering at home. The Health Department has conferred with CDC and the state Health Department, and all agree that this is consistent with a case of SARS. This is the first case of SARS to be reported in Westchester County.

SARS is a newly emerging respiratory illness characterized by sudden onset of high fever, difficulty breathing, and recent travel to Hong Kong; to all of mainland China; Singapore; Hanoi, Vietnam; and Toronto, or close contact with a person with SARS. An estimated 4% of people with SARS die. There is no effective medication to treat the disease. Over 1500 cases have been reported in several eastern countries and in Canada. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (the CDC) is recommending that non-essential travel plans be rescheduled to countries experiencing SARS.

To date, 16 cases of SARS have been identified in New York State, of which seven are in New York City. The proximity of the suspect cases and the ability of a newly emerging disease from another part of the world to be on our doorstep within 24 hours lend a sense of urgency to preventive efforts.

Dr. Joshua Lipsman, Commissioner of Health for Westchester County, yesterday announced a Health Department directive which focuses on preventing the emergence of a Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome
(SARS) epidemic in Westchester. “The Westchester County Department of Health program to prevent SARS has three parts: education, monitoring, and control,” stated Dr. Lipsman.

EDUCATION

Updated information about SARS and its prevention is being made available to the public through fact sheets and through the Health Department website, www.westchestergov.com/health. Up-to-the-minute information for physicians is provided through Public Health Updates that are being faxed as information becomes available to emergency room physicians, infection control nurses, laboratories, and large group physician practices. Through the Physician’s Corner on the department’s website, physicians can receive the latest updates on SARS and link to other national and state resources with information on the topic.

MONITORING

A new computerized system developed by the county health department specifically to respond to emerging public health threats receives and analyzes data from hospital emergency rooms on a daily basis and triggers alerts when unusual activity is identified. Health Department staff then follow up on any unusual findings. In addition, health department staff are in daily communication with hospital emergency room staff to assess the numbers of people seeking services for certain types of illnesses, including respiratory diseases.

CONTROL AND RESPONSE

The health department is not recommending any specific measures for the public at this time. Until an effective treatment is established for SARS, the control of SARS depends on traditional public health measures. Residents who are experiencing symptoms and have a travel history to countries reporting SARS should contact their physicians. Physicians should notify the Westchester County Department of Health regarding any patients whom they suspect of having SARS. Fit-tested respirators have been recommended by the State Health Department for emergency and health care workers who may come in contact with patients at risk for SARS.

For more information, visit the Health Department website at www.westchestergov.com/health or call the Health Department at (914) 813-5000.

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NY Hospital/ IBM Fund WP Little League Facilities. Presentation at Parade Sat.

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WPCNR PRESS BOX. From Geoff Thompson. April 4, 2003: Two prominent corporate citizens – NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital and IBM – are teaming up to support the White Plains Little League baseball program that includes more than 1,000 local boys and girls as participants each year. The money will be used to help fund the construction of new restrooms and concession facilities at Gedney Park. The announcement will be formalized at the annual White Plains Little League Parade scheduled this Saturday at Gedney Park. Teams will assemble at 10:30 A.M. at HIghlands to begin the parade at 11 A.M.
Dr. Herbert Pardes, President of NewYork-Presbyterian, will be on hand for the opening day parade and the opening games scheduled to begin this Saturday at 11 a.m. at Gedney Park in White Plains. He will join Mayor Joseph Delfino and other city officials and Little League organizers for the festivities kicking off the 2003 Little League season.

NewYork-Presbyterian, a fixture in White Plains since 1894, employs some 900 people at its Westchester Division campus on Bloomingdale Road. Dr. Pardes said that the hospital was pleased to become a sponsor of Little League Baseball in the city. “This is an important outlet for so many children in the community. Both boys and girls get to play in a very well organized program. We work with hundreds of children who are in mental health programs conducted by our Westchester Division. We welcome the opportunity to reach out to children throughout the community by supporting such a positive and enjoyable program. Opening day at baseball parks large and small are happy celebrations across America.”

The hospital’s joint support with IBM, long Westchester County’s best known corporate resident, is a reflection of the emerging collaboration between the two in White Plains. NewYork-Presbyterian has city approval to create a Center of Excellence for biotech research and advanced medical treatment on its campus. Gov. George Pataki announced the Center of Excellence designation in his state-of-the-state message this year. An announcement on the specifics of funding for the center is pending. IBM is in discussions with the hospital regarding potential collaborative participation in the center.

Joe DeMarte of IBM said the company is an active supporter of programs for young people nationwide and is pleased to be partnering with New York Presbyterian in White Plains.

Billy Ward, President of the White Plains Little League, said the organization is excited to be receiving this much-needed financial support. “The Little League truly draws children from across our community. This year we are receiving support from nearly 100 businesses and organizations in our community, a demonstration of the community spirit that exists in White Plains. To be able to add NewYork-Presbyterian to this list is another major step forward for the Little League, its players and their players.”

Gedney Park is at the corner of Gedney Way and Mamaroneck Avenue.

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Appellate Court Issues a Stay in Hockley-Delgado Quo Warranto Proceeding

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WPCNR WHITE PLAINS LAW JOURNAL. By John F. Bailey. April 3, 2003: The Second Department, Appellate Division in Brooklyn issued a stay Monday, giving Thomas Abinanti, Glen Hockley’s attorney 30 days to perfect his appeal of Judge Francis Nicolai’s decision to move the quo warranto forward despite the Hockley camp contention that the quo warranto action had been filed past the statute of limitations under which a party can sue an officeholder or government body.

The stay suspends the court proceeding where Judge Nicolai had ordered both the Attorney General office and Mr. Abinanti to file briefs on the admissability of the affidavits submitted in the quo warranto proceeding by the Attorney General.

Mr. Abinanti’s argument that the Appellate Court appears to be supporting is that the Attorney General launched the quo warranto too late, well beyond the 4 month statute of limitations.

Mr. Abananti explained to WPCNR that Mr. Hockley took office on March 15, 2002, and the attorney general’s office had by the statute until July 15 to file the quo warranto action, however, did not do so until late last fall.

Abinanti said that after he submitted his appeal, that the attorney general’s office would respond, there would probably be oral argument in May with a decision by June.

The Attorney General’s rebuttal to the Abinanti appeal on Hockley’s behalf argues that the statute of 4 months limitation deals specifically with Article 78 proceedings, not elections.

Abinanti said he was feeling very good that the Appellate Court had issued the stay, saying it was a sign that they considered the statute of limitations issue worth examining.

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Summer Camp for Children of September 11th

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Camp Haze is a one-week, all expense paid summer camp experience for children who lost a loved one on September 11th. The goal of Camp Haze is to provide these children with refuge from worry and grief, a network of peers and a staff that understands their unique emotional needs. Last year, Camp Haze proudly hosted 47 children. This year, the camp will run the week from August 18 through August 23, 2003

Camp Haze is entirely funded by the Scott Hazelcorn Memorial Children’s Foundation. The foundation was created by the family and friends of Scott “Haze” Hazelcorn, who worked at Cantor Fitzgerald and was a victim at the World Trade Center. Scott’s love for children inspired his parents, Janice and Charles Hazelcorn, to create Camp Haze.

Camp Haze is hosted by the Landman family at Camp Kennybrook which is located in Monticello, NY, just 2 hours northwest of NYC. Scott Hazelcorn attended Camp Kennybrook when he was a child. When the Hazelcorn family approached the Landman family about the concept of Camp Haze, they gladly agreed to donate their facility and some of their activity staff.

Campers will be treated to a wonderful camp experience which includes swimming, arts and crafts, soccer, basketball, tennis, challenge course, softball, volleyball, hockey and banana boating. In addition, there will be special events each day which will include a carnival, Olympics, dance party, and out-of-camp trips.

The Camp Haze staff consists of certified teachers, including Camp Director Bruce Gamsey, licensed psychotherapists and camp professionals with many years of camp experience. The entire staff has been carefully screened to ensure that they are qualified to meet the needs of the children.

For more information, call us toll free at 866-FOR-HAZE (367-4293) or see our website at www.CampHaze.org.

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O’Donnell’s New Generation of Tigers Opens Thursday.

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WPCNR PRESS BOX. By John F. Bailey. April 2, 2003: Ted O’Donnell, White Plains Varsity Softball Coach, will turn loose his new Tigers Thursday afternoon at O’Donnell’s Bluff at White Plains High School when they play Mamaroneck opening their League 1-A Season. The team is young with 2 Seniors, Jessica Issaacs and Kate Lee, three sophomores, three freshman, and four juniors. WPCNR interviewed “O’D” as his players call him about the brand-new Tigers.



“O’D” WATCHES EMILY LETTIERI HIT: The Creator of Champions watches Junior Emily Lettieri take BP last week.
Photo by WPCNR Sports


“I don’t believe in rebuilding years,” O’Donnell said in his WPHS office surrounded by pictures of his six Champions in the last seven years, “ because if you have a good program, hopefully you’ll have a strong team every year. Plus, if you’re a senior you don’t want to be a member of a rebuilding team in your Senior year. This year we’re going to be young, very young. I only have three returning players with any kind of Varsity experience. They’re very strong players, but we graduated seven starters from the best team White Plains has ever had. Number 8 ranked team in New York State and three of them are actually playing in college.

The Sport of Time

Ball is a sport of time. Though it has no clock. Time, experience playing and games shape the team. That is the position Coach O’Donnell finds himself, and he is looking forward to it:
“There’s just a lot of unanswered questions that it’s going to take time to answer. The only position that I know is the pitching position which is Junior Tara (Pollard). Every other position, we’re going to have a new player in. Because it looks like Jessica Issaacs, who was the third baseman last year, looks like she’s going to have to move to catcher, and she hasn’t caught in a number of years. Because Candace Abbot, whom I thought was going to be behind the plate has a slight tear in her muscle in her shoulder. She was out for a couple of weeks. She’s back, but doctor’s orders she can’t really catch. Too much stress on the shoulder.”

Moving over to First base will be Senior Kelly O’Neill, who was last year’s starting second baseperson.

“That’s why I say we have a lot of unanswered questions. We have kids playing positions they haven’t played before. We have obviously, quite a number of kids who have never played on the varsity level who are going to be starting, and some of them are going to be starting in positions where they don’t have a lot of experience. People don’t realize that one of the main responsibilities of a coach is to fit his personnel into the best possible positions for them and the team, and that’s not always an easy thing to do.



COMBINATIONS COMBINATIONS: The coach works the Tigers out on the critical outfield relay.
Photo by WPCNR Sports


Every Position You Have to Think.

“The other thing that people do not realize is that softball at this level, every position is important. There is not a position that is not important. If you have a weak link in the chain out there when you’re playing 1-0 and 2-1 games, that’s probably where it’s going to go. Every position is important. Every position requires its own specific skills and abilities, and that’s going to take time. Last year, I went into the season, knowing basically every single position and who was going to play it, except for second base and that’s kind of where I put Kelly in. And those were kids that had experience in those positions, so it was really a matter of fine-tuning the machine, where this is more of like putting it together.”

Season of Discovery.

WPCNR asked which experience he likes better: “I just love coaching. I certainly enjoyed the last few years where we had a team that won 63 games over three years, was undefeated in the league for three years. I enjoyed that because that’s kind of like seeing the fruits of the program’s labor of what the kids have invested. I also look forward to experiences like this because it’s a real challenge for me. Last year we were fine-tuning the machine, kind of adding things in that we hadn’t done before, specialty plays because we had the personnel.

This year, there’s a lot more teaching going on. I love to teach. So much a part of coaching is teaching. I have kids playing new positions. It allows me to get back to some of the basics. I really enjoy that and enjoy the challenge. We always have great kids. I don’t know what it is about the softball program. I’m always lucky to have kids who are really dedicated, who work so hard, who get along, who understand what it means to be a member of a team. When you take twelve kids like that which is what I have again this year, I’m looking forward to working with those kids, finding the best role for them so we can be strongest team possible.”

Around the Horn.

The coach does not have positions set yet. “We haven’t been outside for but a few days. Kelly O’Neill will at first base, Jessica Issaacs will be catching. Tara will be on the mound. We have a very capable number two pitcher in Kelsey Kulk, who’s only a freshman, but doesn’t pitch like a freshman. Carrie Abbott can pitch. She pitched on the J.V. last year. She’d be starting on a lot of varsities in this area. But, it’s tough having three pitchers and getting them any kind of time. So, if push came to shove, we could bring Carrie in. But, I don’t think it’s going to be necessary when we have two pitchers as strong as Tara and Kelsey. We have shortstop, where right now we have Carrie Abbott (Freshman) playing, and she’s been practicing that all winter. We have Kim Wood (Sophomore) at third. Honestly, I don’t know if that’s going to stay that way because Carrie may be moving behind the plate, now that her sister is out of the picture behind the plate, Carrie’s expressed an interest in that. Second base, there’s a number of possibilities. The same with outfield. That’s what I’m going to use the season for.”




HOT CORNER AT SUNSET: Kim Wood Stretches for a relay as the Tigers work out under O’D’s watchful eye.
Photo by WPCNR Sports


Team’s Strength: The Kind of Kid We Have.

“I always think the strength of our teams is the kind of kid we have, and the kind of work ethic that they have. When you have kids like that who love the game of softball. Who aren’t afraid of hard work. Who understand the concept of team that in itself is a significant strength. It’s the old united we stand, divided we fall kind of thing. When you have a team like that, there’s a tremendous potential there.
“In terms of the softball aspect of it. We have the potential to have a very strong hitting team. Mostly these kids, as young as they are, they’ve played summer ball. They all took part in hitting clinics all winter long. They’re fundamentally sound. I want these kids to hit against the elite pitchers, not against the pitchers who are lobbing the ball over the plate. That to me is not a skill. They’re really working on their mechanics and their fundamentals. Things like going to the opposite field on the outside pitch and turning on the inside pitch. I like what I see with the hitting. I really do. We actually have twelve kids who can hit on any given day. They’re all fundamentally sound. Obviously some are stronger than others and more experienced than others. But the potential is there for a very strong hitting team.”

O’D named Tara Pollard (who plays third, short or second when she does not pitch), Jessica Issaacs, and Kelly O’Neil, the returning players as the team’s proven experienced hitters coming into the season.

Defense Defense.

“Defensively, again, the key defensively, we have good athletes with good skills, it’s just a matter of figuring out where they’re going to play what their role is, so we can focus on that. I also think they also have the potential to be a strong defensive team. I’ve always kind of prided myself in defense of our teams. They say offense wins games, and defense wins championships. We work a lot on defense. So I think the potential is there to have a strong hitting team and a solid defensive team, and of course that White Plains always has, their pitching.”

The Varsity Roster includes Seniors Jessica Issaacs and Kate Lee; Juniors Emily Lettieri ,Camille Marquis, Kelly O’Neill and Tara Pollard ; Sophomores, Kim Wood and Christine Younkin, and Freshmen, Candace and Carrie Abbott, Erin Cook, and Kelsey Kulk.

Making the Team. To Summer Ball or Not to Summer Ball.

WPCNR asked O’Donnell how a player can develop themselves to reach the Varsity level; “That’s an interesting question because most people assume the only way to get to this level, and I mean, the varsity level in a good program, is that you have to play year round. It’s got to be your number one sport. I don’t necessarily agree with that. If you look at our team this year, for example, anything you do out of season those are the things you’re choosing to improve your skills and increase your skills of making the team and playing. We have Kelly O’Neill who started last year, and her number one sport is basketball. I respect that, and I admire her that she’s a two-sport athlete. She’s an awesome softball player. There’s a good example of a kid who doesn’t play summer ball, has never played summer ball, who I think is going to be one of the best players in the county. She’s just that kind of an athlete. Plus, she’s focused, she works hard, and during the season she’s 100% committed. White Plains is lucky that we have quite a number of kids like that, they really love the game. They’re playing 40-50 games in the summer. They go to clinics in the winter because they love the game.

The kids that are doing that (summer ball) it increases their chances. But there are no guarantees there. A coach can’t run a program where he’s choosing kids based on what they’re doing out of season. That’s just not fair. My expectation is that from March to June that your number one priority-athletics wise is going to be softball. If you can do that, go to practices six days a week and compete at that level, it doesn’t really matter what you did out of season to me. So I can’t pick kids just on what they did out of season, that’s just not fair. We’ve had kids in the program before that haven’t made that commitment and have risen to the level of starters and significant players in the program. There’s not one set road to get to that level, but obviously, if you’re doing summer ball and doing those kinds of clinics, you’re going to get better, and should increase your chances of competing at that level. But, there’s no guarantee.”

Softball’s role today.

WPCNR asked about growth in softball in the country and career opportunities. O’Donnell expressed skepticism:

“I don’t really think it’s a career path. We as adults have to step back and truly understand what this is. It’s an extra-curricular activity that’s very healthy for young people to be involved in. Being involved in a sport like softball, especially in White Plains at the high school, is a healthy choice for kids. It’s a decision that I think helps build character, an understanding of responsibility and commitment to teamwork and those are all kinds of things we want our young people to develop because it’s going to help them be more successful in life.

I don’t think any kid should get involved in softball with the goal of getting a scholarship to college. I just don’t believe in that. Because there’s too many things that can happen and go wrong along the way. If your goal is you want to play in college, that’s one thing, but if you have a goal that you want to play for a specific school, you want to get a scholarship, I don’t think that’s healthy. I’ve seen too many kids especially in their younger years either have pushed themselves, but more than often they’re being pushed by others, whether it’s coaches or parents, and I’ve seen too many of those kids burn out.”
It does happen though. O’Donnell said he took the team down to Iona Tuesday to see Leslie Busch, last year’s centerfield star, playing as starting centerfielder for Albany. “We went to Iona, she had a large cheering section. It was really kind of neat to see her one year later, starting in centerfield for a Division One Team. Cyndi Carneghi, last year’s rightfielder, is also starting in college right now at the University of North Carolina at Pembrook. Outfield, that’s a big unknown, that’s one of the questions, the sooner we can answer, the better off we’ll be.”

Into Softball on a Whim

O’Donnell started out as the Junior Varsity Coach in White Plains back in about 1990, as he recalls it,

“I’ve always loved sports. I’ve played it all my life. I’ve played baseball, football, basketball. In my mid to late 20s into my thirties I played fast pitch softball. I was working here at the time, also in graduate school. I wasn’t involved in any after school activities. I was working on my doctorate at the time. In 1990, there was an opening in J.V. softball. I’d never really thought of coaching before. As much as I loved the game, I’d never really thought of coaching, I just didn’t have the time. I applied for it and I got it. And I was hooked right away.
It was a wonderful combination of working with kids which I love and being part of a sport which I love. It was a great combination for me, and it was from the very beginning. The first thing I realized was how much I didn’t know. There was a lot for me to learn. I knew right away, that, oh my goodness, there’s a big difference between playing an outfielder on a fast-pitch softball team and being an outfielder basically my whole life. Each position requires specific skills and tools and abilities. And I love learning. Even as a J.V. Coach, I didn’t think about doing anything other than aJ.V. I was going to all the coaching clinics, bought every single video there was. I went to a lot of games. I talked with coaches, picked their brains. I jumped in headfirst right away. Each year I just loved the game more. After six years of being the J.V. Coach there was an opening for the varsity coach, and I’ve been the varsity coach the last seven years.”

J.V. Up and Coming.

Speaking of the J.V., he said, “I’m very pleased with the J.V. this year. I think they have a really nice group of kids. There’s some real potential down there at that level. We have mostly a young team, eighth and ninth graders, one or two sophomores, we even have a seventh grader on the J.V. Coach Minotta is very very happy with the squad he has this year. He sees a real enthusiasm and a real willingness to learn. One of the things that we try and drill into our kids is that there are no shortcuts here. You have to learn how to do it right. You have to learn how to throw right, hit right, field right. There’s only one way to do it and that’s the right way. These kids have already bought into doing the drills and working on the mechanics. So I’m really excited about the J.V. team this year.”
The Varsity will be enjoying a field with an outfield fence this year, complete with a scoreboard, that WPCNR was told is not operational yet, but will be soon.



THE 2003 VARSITY SOFTBALL SCHEDULE


Thursday, April 3: Mamaroneck 4:15 PM
Friday, April 4:Ossining 4:15 PM
Saturday, Sunday, April 5,6:Minisink Alternate Date
Tuesday, April 8: At Arlington, 4:15 PM
Thursday, April 10: Clarkstown South
Saturday, April 12: At New Rochelle, 11:00 A.M.
Wednesday, April 16: Yorktown, 4:15 P.M.
Tuesday, April 22: At John Jay, 4:15 P.M.
Thursday, April 24: Scarsdale, 4:15 P.M.
Saturday, Sunday, April 26, 27: at Horace Greeley Tournament (Doubleheaders both days).
Monday, April 28: Lakeland, 4:15 P.M.
Tuesday, April 29: Mamaroneck, 4:15 P.M.
Wednesday, April 30: At Horace Greeley 4:15 P.M.
Thursday, May 1: At Scarsdale 4:15 P.M.
Sunday, May 4: Horace Greeley Tournament Rainout Date, if necessary.
Monday, May 5: At North Rockland. 4:30 P.M.
Tuesday, May 6: At Yorktown, 4:15 P.M.
Thursday, May 8: John Jay, 4:15 P.M.
Saturday May 10: Madrid Tournament Doubleheader at Suffern
Saturday May 10: Greeley Tournament Raindate, if necessary.
Monday, May 12: At Ossining, 4:15 P.M.
Wednesday, May 14: At Lakeland, 4:15 P.M.
Friday, May 16: Horace Greeley, 4:15 P.M.
Saturday, May 17: West Point Scrimmages (Doubleheader) At West Point
Friday, May 23, Tues, May 27, Thursday, May 29, Saturday, May 31: Sectionals

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Bradley Intros Set Your Own Limits Law

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WPCNR ALBANY TRIB & POST. From Assemblyman Adam Bradley’s Media Center. April 1, 2003: Assemblyman Adam Bradley has introduced legislation that would give all towns in New York State the authority to set the speed limit and determine the signs on state roads running within towns; a right already held by cities and villages.
“This is an issue of public safety. All too often towns are unable to set
speed limits on state roads running through their communities. Some of these roads have had fatalities occur on them and are known to be dangerous. Local town boards know their roads and will know where dangerous conditions exist; the same cannot be said of the state Department of Transportation. They are in the best position to set the speed limit and place signs that make sense and promote safety,” said Assemblyman Bradley.

North Castle Town Supervisor Jack Lombardi spoke out in support of Bradley’s legislation: “Towns have been waiting for this for years and it is due. Assemblyman Bradley has a truly unique idea here that finally provide towns with the same rights that cities and villages have.”

The Assemblyman addressed the need for this legislation in his own
district: “For years the people of New Castle have urged the state
Department of Transportation to lower the speed limit on Route 100 in the town and the DOT has failed to respond. This is a case where inaction can be deadly. Unfortunately it is repeated in towns throughout Westchester and the state. My bill will correct this problem by empowering town boards to set safe rules and speed limits. I will fight for safety and local control of our roads.”

Under state law, cities, villages and towns with 50,000 in population (24 towns) and suburban class towns (56 towns) can set the speed limit and signage on state roads running through the municipalities. The remaining 852 towns, however, have no such authority. Assemblyman Bradley’s bill (A.7226) will remedy this anomaly which has led to unequal treatment of municipalities in the state.

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Leaders of the Future: 79 Tapped for Junior National Honor Society at Highlands

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WPCNR SCHOOL DAYS. From Michelle Schoenfeld. April 1, 2003:Seventy-nine students from the Highlands and Eastview campuses of the White Plains Middle School were inducted into the National Junior Honor Society during a ceremony held on March 12th at the Highlands auditorium. To receive this recognition, students demonstrated excellent scholarship by achieving at least a 92% average in all their courses during sixth, seventh and eighth grades, as well as meeting Citizenship, Character, Service, and Leadership
requirements.



TAKING THE PLEDGE TO ALWAYS SEEK THE TRUTH: Principal Joseph Cloherty of Eastview School leads the 2003 Inductees in the Junior National Honor Society Pledge.
Photo by WPCNR News


The students include: Kimberley Adams, Julie Alfonso, Daniel
Amicucci, Juliana Bailey, Brianna Berg, Lydia Binford, Meghan Buonamici, Jeffrey Cabral, Laura Campion, Andrea Clay, Timothy Conroy, Michael Couzens, Mallory Cruz, Brendan Daly, Laura DeLucia,
Sophia Espinoza, Erica Farland, Matthew Fowler, Merrilee Frable, Rachel Frumkin, Nicole Garrett, Justin Gill, Jill Gordon, Arielle Hawkins, Katherine Hayden, Helen Hess, John Hollahan, Andrew
Kaplan, Lindsay Keating, James Kim, Seth Kreisheimer, Paul LaBarbera, Mary Allison Lau, Candy Light, Samantha Lifson, Rose Liu, David Mangano, Theresa Mauri, and Lauren McGuire.

Also, Elizabeth Meier, Arwa Mohamed, Ryan Morfopoulos, Harry Murphy, Nathalia Narciso, Dan Nguyen, Jonathan Pasqua, Erin Passeri, Robert Persaud, Roland Persaud, Madelyn Petralia,
Joseph Pollio, Michelle Portillo, Alisha Prakash, Samuel Probber, Zhiyao Serena Qui, Alyce Regan, Gabrielle Roberts. Jacob Roby, Kayleigh Rogers-Torres, Marilyn Rojas, Julia Rose, Joshua Rosenblum, Abigail Rudow, Victoria Sampugnaro, Christa Santa-Donato, Casey Schroeder, Molly Seidel, Kirsten Smayda, Shervin Stoney, Lincoln Tahara, Christopher Tenore, Robert Thompson III, Christine Tomlinson, Susannah Genty Waksberg, Shanna Weiner, Keith Werner, Gerald Wilders, Akina Younge and Jaqueline Zemaitis.
Superintendent of Schools Timothy Connors provided the keynote
address during the traditional candle-lighting ceremony held in the Highlands Auditorium.

Faculty advisors Jane Turk at the Eastview Campus and Michael J. Passow at Highlands Campus led the Faculty Councils in selection of candidates and organization of the event. More than four hundred family and friends attended the program.

The purpose of the National Junior Honor Society is to create enthusiasm for scholarship, stimulate a desire to render service, promote leadership, develop character, and encourage citizenship.

This is the eighteenth group of inductees to enter their names
in the Chapter Book. The White Plains Middle School Chapter began in 1986, joining more than 20,000 middle and junior high schools across the country. During the remainder of the school year, many of the students will continue to provide service to their schools through tutoring and other projects.

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BOE Passes $134.7 Million Budget, Up 6.1%, 7.3% Tax Increase on State Promises

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WPCNR SCHOOL DAYS. April 1, 2003: The White Plains Board of Education adopted the proposed 2003-2004 City School District Budget Monday evening, “plugging in” an eleventh hour $600,000 cut in anticipation of the state legislature adopting either a Governor Pataki proposal or Comptroller Allan Havesi’s plan to ease the district share of New York State Retirement fund contributions.

The adopted budget plans an expenditure of $134,632,632 to run the city schools next year. The new budget locks in the year-to-year increase at 6.1% and eases the anticipated increase in school taxes for city residents to 7.3%, or about $358 more for an owner of a home with an accessed value of $15,000. Under the previous budget of $135.2 Million, the same homeowner would have paid $389 more under a 7.9% tax increase

Prior to the Havesi proposal which surfaced last week, the district had been anticipating paying a $1.1 Million contribution into the New York State Retirement Fund due to the state’s investment losses.

Richard Lasselle, Assistant Superintendent for Business, reported Monday night that the city payment into that fund was going to be reduced to only 4-1/2% from the 9% more the district had originally been accessed by the state. Lasselle said that the district has learned from the legislature that a combination of either Governor Pataki’s retirement relief proposal or Mr. Havesi’s was sure to be adapted, so the district has cut their budget for that retirement contribution down from $1.1 Million to $501,490.

The final budget of $134.7 Million, up from $126.9 Million in 2002-03, reflects only contract-driven pay increases, and preserves all the district programs of the current year. It adds $600,000 in new spending to retain pre-K and Universal Kindergarten, add 2 new certified staff positions, provide an additional $100,000 for enrichment/After School/Summer programs as the only new initiatives.

Next year, Superintendent of Schools Timothy Connors said, the district would be looking to fund a new Special Education Initiative with an objective of providing more in-district services for disabled students which would pay for itself eventually by attracting placements from other districts.

Board of Education President Dorothy Schere said the contributions of the Annual Budget Committee of citizens from the community was “very successful” this year, supplying significant guidance in shaping the budget.

Characterized as a “bare bones” budget increase, adding $600,000 in new spending, and preserving current programs. The most significant increases year-to-year are in Utilities ($2.2MM), up 22%, Supplies,$2.0MM, up 18.8%, Fringe Benefits, $22,973,434, up 10.2% .

In the Fringe Benefit Cateogory, the New York State Retirement Contribution mentioned earlier in this report goes up 200% from $168,500 to $501,490. Health Insurance at $13,272,500, goes up 8.3%.

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