Common Council Rewards Fire Fighters with $2,100 Raise

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City Hall announced Friday that the Common Council has agreed to a contract settlement with the White Plains Professional Fire Fighters, by granting them the same raise in pay as the Police received in 1999. The new contract extends to June 2002.
In a resolution at the Monday Common Council meeting coming up, the city will reward each firefighter with a $2,100 in take home pay a year across the board to all firefighters, retroactive to June 2000.

The new contract approved by a majority of the fire fighters union according to the Common Council resolution, will run until June 30, 2002. The general contingency fund will pay for the raise. The increase amounts to a 3.2% increase for the year running June 2000 to June 2001 and a 3.5% increase from June 2001 to June 2002.

The Council announced its decision to the Mayor’s office Thursday. The settlement presented Monday evening in Executive Session.

George Gretsas, the Mayor’s Executive Officer, said the $2,100 figure was the figure awarded the police officers in an arbitrator’s decision in 1999, according to his recollection. The firefighters, at the time, asked for the same increase as a parity issue, and the city refused. On Monday, October 1, Adrian Scapperotti, the head of the Local 274 of the International Association of Fire Fighters said he was pleased with the settlement, but expected to begin negotiations in December on the new contract due to begin in July, 2002. He declined to comment on what issues the firefighters expected to bring up in December to the city.

Other Police and Fire Matters

Police Work Rules ProposalOn the matter of the proposal put before the Common Council last Monday in the same Executive Session by the White Plains Police Benevolent Association, the Council has as of Friday not indicated whether they are supportive. The proposal, aimed at the alleged “badge drain” problem, according to informed sources, seeks to restructure work schedules.

Fire Fighters Raise Over $100,000The White Plains union thanked the citizens of White Plains for donating over $100,000 towards the families of firefighters killed in the World Trade Center attack. Motorists contributed at key intersections in the city by “Filling the Boots” held by White Plains “Bravest.”

Gretsas Clears Air on Trade Center Volunteer Injuries Policy: Mr. Gretsas also denied to WPCNR Tuesday that the city told White Plains fire fighter volunteer rescuers at the World Trade Center disaster site they would not be covered if they were injured working at the site. Gretsas said the city, “of course,” would have honored any claims resulting from injury to a White Plains Fire Fighter at that site.

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Corcoran Co-Endorsed by WCLA; County Pro Firefighters

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Candyce Canelstein Corcoran of White Plains was formally co-endorsed by the Westchester Coalition for Legal Abortion Thursday for County Legislator, along with her opponent for the seat, William Ryan, bringing to six the number of key organizations and individuals supporting her for the District 5 White Plains-Scarsdale seat. She also picked up strong support from the Westchester Coalition of Professional Fighters.

Catherine Lederer Plaskett, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Westchester Coalition for Legal Abortion described Ms. Corcoran as “clearly pro-choice” in announcing the endorsement of Corcoran and incumbent William Ryan as WCLA preferred candidates. In an earlier edition of this story, WPCNR had been incorrectly informed that Ms. Corcoran had received the exclusive endorsement of the WCLA, but we have now been informed by the WCLA that the organization is co-endorsing both Corcoran and Ryan.

Ms. Corcoran is also the announced choice of the Scarsdale Police Benevolent Association, the United Construction Trades & Industrial Employees International Union, the Pro-Choice Coalition Political Action Committee, the County Legislator, Kay Carsky, and the former Mayor of Scarsdale, E. Mark Bench.

Westchester Coalition of Professional Firefighters Chief Backs Her, too.

WPCNR has also learned that Ms. Corcoran, though Republican, is receiving strong early support from the Westchester Coalition of Professional Fire Fighters. Their Chairman, Chris McCann, was critical of Ms. Corcoran’s opponent in District 5, William Ryan, in a document expressing his opinions two weeks ago, which was obtained by WPCNR.

McCann, in this document, encourages the White Plains Professional Firefighters to endorse Corcoran. McCann described his conversations with Corcoran this way:

“She has come out publicly 100% in favor of Paid Firefighters…in every conversation that I have had with Candyce she has been nothing but straightforward, honest and supportive of Career firefighters.”

McCann is not as enthusiastic about Ryan: “Bill Ryan, on the other hand, has fallen somewhat short in these categories to say the least. Bill’s answer when asked about his singing the praises of volunteer firefighters was that his position on the Public Safety committee forces him to play a balancing act. I answer there’s a difference between a balancing act and playing both sides for your own benefit.”

McCann reports the White Plains Professional Firefighters as undecided: “some confusion as to the intentions of the White Plains Firefighters in this matter due to conflicting information coming from within the union. I am under the opinion that given the facts and reviewing the incumbent’s past track record, the only candidate the (Westchester) Coalition (of Professional Firefighters) can move to endorse in this race is Candyce Canelstein Corcoran.”

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Crooked Chimney Sweep Scams Target White Plains: Gismondi

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Building Commissioner Mike Gismondi cautions residents authorizing chimney, furnace exhaust repairs without acquiring a building permit.

Gismondi will be making a presentation to the North Broadway Civic Association at Red Cross Headquarters October 2 in which he will detail the modus operandi of typical chimney sweep fraud operators who step up their activity at this time of year.

City wins court case against sweep company

The problem came to the Commissioner’s attention in a recent court case the city brought against a chimney sweep performing an illegal repair on a resident’s furnace venting system.

Gismondi reports that the city took the sweep company to court for executing a negligent chimney repair without acquiring a permit from the Department of Building.

The resident had paid the chimney sweep what Gismondi terms “an enormous amount of money,” to execute the repair. Not only was the resident out the money, but the contractor had simply jammed a new pipe into the top of the chimney, actually cracking the tile within the chimney, creating a hazard. The city won the case.

Work repairing chimney other than cleaning requires a building permit.

Residents are not aware, Gismondi says, that to execute a chimney repair (not a cleaning), a resident must submit an engineer’s report and a photograph of the area to be repaired in order to obtain a permit from the Department of Building.

Though this may seem to be an inconvenience, it is to protect the consumer, who often has not idea whether his or her chimney is really in need of repair or not.

Anatomy of a sweep scam

Gismondi told WPCNR a building permit protects residents from suspect chimney sweep operations. The typical sweep scammer schedules an appointment to inspect your chimney and offers to do a routine cleaning. During the course of the “inspection,” the sweep tells the homeowner the chimney is cracked or the interior lining of the chimney is in need of repair.

“We can do it right now. We have the materials in the truck.”

Often, the sweep crew just happens to have the material to repair the chimney with them. They offer to do the repair on the spot, often for thousands of dollars. This is illegal. A permit from the Department of Building is required, Gismondi says, with an engineer’s specification of the problem and an interior scoping showing the damaged chimney to be repaired before you can legally do the work.

Your reporter a near victim!

WPCNR was involved in this kind of swindle. I was contacted by a sweep “doing work in the White Plains area.” Since I had not had the chimney cleaned in a long time, I agreed to an “inspection visit.” A chimney sweep company arranged for an inspection.

“Inspector” waves loose brick!

One of the workers climbed atop my home and peered into my chimney. Waving a loose brick at me from the rooftop, he reported that my chimney bricks were loose and the interior of the chimney was cracked. The crew offered to line the chimney with new pipe extending down to my furnace.

“We’ve got the lining right here.”

By coincidence, they had enough pipes in the truck to do the job. The cost: $2,500. By check. On the spot.

They had started the work, when I had second thoughts. I stopped work and told them I wanted to get another estimate. Under much protest, they left. After checking with several sweep firms in the area, I was advised I should have it checked out before proceeding. This bait and switch fraud appears each fall and spring on unsuspecting homeowners.

Contact Building Department before authorizing extensive chimney repair.

Homeowners advised by chimney sweep companies that their chimneys need extensive repair should contact the building department for advice on how to proceed before authorizing the work, particularly if the sweep wants to execute the work as soon as possible. The Building Department may be reached at 422-1269.

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Martine Avenue Merchants File Notice of Claim Against City

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On September 20, 5 merchants formerly of Martine Avenue, whose establishments were bought out by Louis Cappelli, served the city and its Urban Renewal Agency, paving way for a future claim for damages.
The lawsuit is filed against the City of White Plains and the White Plains Urban Renewal Agency as an “action for the recovery of damages due to injuries sustained by the claimant solely by the condemnation and acquisition by the White Plains Urban Renewal Agency of 205-211 Martine Avenue.

The suit filed by attorney John Savage of Bozeman & Trout, Mount Vernon, alleges that his clients, all of whom maintained businesses at the addresses noted, “suffered great harm as a direct result of the condemnation in that claimant was forced to relocate or consider relocating its business,” and that the suit was serving notice that his client “intends to commence an action against the City of White Plains and the URA to recover their damages with interest and charges.”

The suit was filed on behalf of Expressions Hair Design at 205-A Martine Avenue; Bridgitte Wayou and Bertine Djedje of Root African Hair Braiding of 207 Martine Avenue; Dary-Grant Minaya of 205 Martine Avenue, and Soon-Duck Hong of 205-B Martine Avenue.

George Gretsas, Executive Officer for the Mayor, remarked to WPCNR that the Notice of Claim appeared not to be aimed at stopping the City Center project, but at protecting the plaintiffs’ interests if Mr. Cappelli does not provide them with a settlement for their business losses they feel is equitable.

Mr. Cappelli has issued $4,000 checks to each of the business owners affected by the accidental cave-in of the Martine Avenue building roof, and has promised to help them relocate on Mamaroneck Avenue. He has, in addition, promised to outfit their new locations with fixtures and facilities.

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Police Union Seeks to Renegotiate Contract.

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WPCNR has learned that the White Plains Police Benevolent Association has requested to renegotiate their current contract with new workrules changes to ease the “badge drain,” with a novel new proposal. Pay is not an issue.
The surprise negotiating maneuver was presented to the Common Council in Executive Session Monday evening, and the council has not had a reaction to it as of this report.

The police do not want any increase in pay at this time, according to two sources who attended the Executive Session of the Common Council Monday evening. The rationale behind renegotiating the contract is a fresh WPPBA proposal placed on the table aimed at addressing what the White Plains Police Benevolent Association calls the White Plains “Badge Drain.” The WPPBA did not return several calls for explanations by WPCNR about what they want to change in their current contract.

The police proposal was addressed in some detail in a slide show presented to the Common Council and was discussed in depth afterwards, the meeting lasting from 8 until 11:00 PM.

Previously police union suggestions for eliminating the badge drain have consisted of increasing vacation time to bring White Plains in line with other departments in the county, providing more educational benefits, (which the city did do last fall), and operating the department at full strength of 200 men, which they have contended in the past is deliberately understaffed.

The council was also briefed on the current status of negotiations with the firefighters union by the city’s negotiator. The White Plains Firefighters have been serving without a contract since June 30. The firefighter leadership did not return WPCNR’s requests for comment on their demands.

The Common Council is reported by WPCNR sources who were there to have had lively comment, a lot of questions on the police proposal, but the members of the council not advise the Mayor to take any direction for or against with regard to the WPPBA suggestions. Sources said direction from the council could come at any time.

The Mayor’s office refused to comment on the Mayor’s official position towards the proposal, because of the Executive Session nature of the briefing, and because any comment would compromise future negotiations.

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Mayor Launches Slater Community Technology Center in Digital Divide Drive

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White Plains’ effort to bridge the “digital divide” became real Monday evening when Mayor Joseph Delfino opened the first Community Technology Center for White Plains. The center is open at the Thomas Slater Center, Martin Luther King Boulevard, Monday through Friday, from 8:30 AM to 9:30 PM.
The Mayor announced that two more CTC’s are planned to open in October: at the Eastview School in October, when the Youth Bureau opens and at Mercy College.

CHARLOTTE, AGE 9, TRIES OUT A SHINY NEW GATEWAY AT THOMAS H. SLATER COMMUNITY TECHNOLOGY CENTER: 12 Gateway computers and 3 Hewlett Packard laser printers have been installed by the city on the second floor of the Thomas H. Slater Center, as Mayor Delfino’s first “Community Technology Center” opened Monday evening. The Center is open 8:30 AM to 9 PM, Monday through Friday. WPCNR PHOTO

The Mercy College facility will serve Hispanic adults and children, in a joint effort between the City, Mercy College and Centro Hispano. These two additional Community Technology Centers will give the city three places where citizens and children without access to computers can learn and develop their computer skills. All three have been developed in just seven months.

Seven months later: 3 centers emerge

The opening of the Slater CTC Monday is the culmination of Mayor Delfino’s concern about the “Digital Divide,” one of the priorities he wanted to address in his Phase II Economic Development Plan. A task force of city leaders and corporate resource persons was appointed by the Mayor last January to explore ways city resources could work with the community to connect the city’s low-income residents to computer technology and the internet. The Task Force identified needs and suitable locations.

City funds it with Community Development Money

Kathleen Gunn of the Mayor’s Economic Development Office supervised the implementation of the Slater CTC. She reports the cost was $45,000, paid by city Community Development Funds, an expenditure approved by the Common Council. On hand, for the occasion were Robert Greer, Rita Malmud, and Larry Delgado, representing the Common Council.

Gunn told WPCNR the city purchased 12 Gateway computers, three Hewlett-Packard laser printers, computer furniture and refurbished the second floor of the Slater Center to house the computer bank.

City departments handle design, labor, infrastructure

She reports the city wired the computers and retrofitted the electrical and communications infrastructure, and designed a security system for the computers. The City Department of Public Works performed the design and construction. She singled out Leonard Lolis, City Information Systems Director, for his role in purchasing the equipment and designing the computer bank.

“THE DIGITAL DIVIDE WILL NOT REPAIR ITSELF,” declared Mayor Joseph Delfino in dedicating the Thomas H. Slater Community Technology Center. The opening of the city’s first such facility is the product of a task force that identified needs, and created a Center that is the city response to the “digital divide.” WPCNR PHOTO

Mayor praises community effort

“I’m pleased and proud so many people came out tonight,” Mayor Delfino said Monday evening at opening ceremonies at the Thomas Slater Center. “It is a great day for Slater, thanks to the efforts of so many citizens, we’ve finally been successful. The ‘Digital Divide’ will not repair itself. It requires the commitment of local community leaders to work together to implement and plan proactive programs and services to address this critical issue.”

A Mayoral Priority Issue

“I made the commitment to address the lack of income availability of families, to partner with organizations, to help our disadvantaged youth compete in schools and the work place by having the opportunity to learn the technical skills to compete professionally. I appointed a Task Force to explore how to do this, and it’s just wonderful to see it come together tonight.”

KATHLEEN GUNN, COORDINATOR OF THE SLATER CTC, WHO “HONCHO-ED” THE PROJECT. Ms. Gunn is seen handing out fliers announcing computer hours to youngsters trooping upstairs to use the center. WPCNR PHOTO

The Mayor praised Kathleen Gunn’s efforts:

“ I want to single out Kathleen Gunn who dedicated herself to this project. She believed in this program. Thanks to her efforts we strove to open two centers this year and we’re going to come very close,” Delfino continued. Then he introduced Howard Hawkins, Head of the Task Force.

Task Force determines Community Needs. City Implements

Hawkins said, “This is the way a city Task Force is supposed to work.”

He said: “The task force sourced state, city, and school resources, and heads of neighborhoods to identify and implement a program that would single out who needed computer access, where computer technology centers were needed, and which minorities were most at risk.”

Not just a Black and White Problem

“We found, “ Hawkins said. “That the Digital Divide goes beyond the black or white issue. It affects each of us in the community. It makes sure we attempt business to community technical help to all: senior citizens, minorities, new immigrants.”

Hawkins introduced Task Forcer, Terence McGuire, who commented, “It’s very important to use more professional services to contribute in ways to frame work for others to follow…and impart a lot of knowledge. I know its (CTC facilities) the right thing to do and I’m glad to be a part of it.”

School District backs the initiative

Superintendent of Schools Saul Yanofsky underlined the need for CTC Centers: “The problem is kids are in schools 6 or 7 hours a day and they go home. Home to homes with computers and homes without computers. The District has helped provide computer access at 86 DeKalb and the Library. When I heard of the City’s committee, and spoke with Howard and Terry, I concluded it was a great opportunity for the District to partner. This is a terrific opportunity. If there’s anything more the school district can do to make these things happen, my inclination is to do it.”

Mayor returns to his working together mantra

Mayor Delfino concluded the official part of the opening with repeating what he has been saying on such occasions: “We just need to continue to work together to make things happen.”

FUTURE TECHIES EXPLORE THE WEB MONDAY NIGHT: The sleek new hardware fascinated some 20 youngsters trying out and various music websites on the new computers. WPCNR PHOTO

For seniors, single moms, jobseekers, too

The new Computer Technology Center at the Slater is working out a schedule for various community groups to use the new computer facilities. The CTC is reserved for students in the late afternoon from three to 6 PM. Evenings, 7 PM to 9 PM are reserved for teens. Youth Bureau staff, according to Frank Williams, Youth Bureau Director, will supervise student use of the computers at all times.

Charlie Booth, Executive Director of the Slater Center, said morning and afternoon Head Start program youngsters would use the Computer Center. He is in process, working out times when single mothers, job-searchers, and senior citizens may have exclusive use of the center. For more information, please contact the Slater Center .

CTC Centers Ahead

The next proposed White Plains CTC is the Eastview School where instruction and software will be available in Spanish and English. The city of White Plains has also worked in partnershipo with Centro Hispano and Mercy College to create a program for Hispanic adults at Mercy’s downtown White Plains campus.

The Mayor’s office is seeking volunteers willing to instruct or staff the computer centers. Qualified individuals will possess computer skills and be able to work with a diverse population at different skill levels. If interested, you may contact the Mayor’s Office at 914-422-1411.

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New York Raptors Special Hockey for the Disabled Begins. New Players Welcome.

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The New York Raptors, a special hockey team for disabled boys and girls ages 5 to adult, began their regular weekly workouts Sunday at Westchester Skating Academy. Fifteen veteran players hit the ice.
Managers of the 5-year old organization, are welcoming applications from new players.

The Raptors are a member of the Heart League, and Special Hockey International a national organization of teams for disabled individuals. Your youngster can join the Raptors for have exclusive ice on one of the WSA full-size hockey rinks from 4:10 PM to 5:40 PM on Sundays.

The club also will host a hockey tournament on November 24, where the Raptors will play Heart League teams from the Northeast, the Albany Cougars, Connecticut Chasers and the Washington Ice Dogs. The Raptors will also travel to the National Heart League Tournament in Albany New York.

Ability to skate or hockey skills are not required to join the team. Coaches, drawn from youth hockey players and adults around the Westchester County area, will assist new novice players in learning to skate, stickhandle and shoot the puck. Full regulation hockey equipment is required on the ice.

The cost to register your youngster for the season which runs from September through April is $400, which includes uniform jersey, and hockey stockings. Helmet, chest protector, leg guards and hockey shorts are the responsibility of the player. You may skate on the ice with your player. However, in order to skate on the ice with the Raptors, an additional $25 is required for insurance. The player fee of $400, includes insurance through USA Hockey.

The Raptors were founded five years ago, and have an active roster of some 20 to 25 players. Practices are taken up with drills and scrimmages. For more information, contact Patty Nadolski at 698-4871 or Reggi Mensch at 967-9466.

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Fort Hill Players to present Rumors in October.

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The Fort Hill Players will stage Neil Simon’s comedy, Rumors, Directed by Robert Kahn, for 9 performances on weekends beginning October 12 and running through October 27 at Rochambeau School, 228 Fisher Avenue,White Plains.

Evening performances will take place on Fridays at 8, October 12, 19 and 26, Satrudays on October 13, 20 and 27. Saturday Matinees will be staged at 2:00 PM on October 13, 20 and 27.

The Fort Hill Players is the longest running community theatre group in Westchester County, with the 2001-02 season being their 63rd consecutive season of continuous community theatre.

The money raised from community subscribers and contributions offsets the cost of productions, stage workshops and helps to produce learning experiences for White Plains. The proceeds underwrite, in part, the Fort Hill Players FREE Summer Theatre in the Parks, program introducing White Plains children to live theatre. Community support enables the Players to bring live theatre to Senior Citizen homes and organizations.

The spring production will be another original Fort Hill Players revue and extravaganza, Evening of Music and Dance, which follows on the success of Musical Memories that drew extremely well last spring. The spring performance dates are March 8, 9,15,16,22,23.

Ticket prices for Rumors are $14, $12 for Seniors and Students, $6 for children under 12. Subscriptions for both productions are $25, $42 for a Dinner/Theatre Package. For more information contact 421-0008.

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Tigers Claw Into Overtime, Bow 21-20 to New Rochelle

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Three feet separated White Plains from a winning field goal with no time left Saturday. With the extra point needed to tie in OT, the equalizer slipped agonizingly just left, and New Rochelle won, 21-20, in a steamy fall classic in the Queen City of the Sound.
White Plains grit, guile, guts, and relentless pursuit held the mobile monster Huguenot squad (unofficially about 300 yards rushing) to just 7 points deep into the fourth quarter.

Drive Staller

The wild contest turned on a questionable holding call on a White Plains 2nd and 4, Spencer Ridenhour diveplay into the line at the NR 35, in the opening minutes of the 4th quarter. The holding (in a pile up) penalty stalled the Tigers, pushing them back to a 1st and 15 on the 45. The Tigers were, at the time of the penalty, moving, going for the clinching touchdown that could have given them a 2-TD lead.

TIGER-HUGUENOT ACTION ON THE 50: New Rochelle driving on the Tigers at midfield early in the fourth quarter in the Queen City. WPCNR PHOTO

The setback forced the Tigers eventually to turn the ball over on downs, with Orlando Cruz’s magnificent hanging punt forcing New Rochelle to take over at their own 20. New Rochelle proceeded for a game-tying drive, characterized by the big rambling running plays the Purple Gang had been giving the Tiger secondary fits with all game long.

Big Plays Trick Tigers All Day

A 26-yard run by Terry Watts gave NR a first on the Tiger 42, and Wilson Moronta saved a touchdown snagging the rambling, but butterfingered NRQB, Nat Yehuda (4 fumbles by our count) at the Tiger 22. NR tied the game when the Tigers almost had them stopped on 4th and 3 from the 15.

The Orange and Black, expecting the formidable Huguenot sweep, grabbing big-time yardage all afternoon, pinched the ends, and there was no one in the middle to stop Joe Loscalzo on a delayed draw, racing15 yards up the gut, untouched for the touchdown.The PAT tied the game at 14-14 with 5 minutes to go.

Then the fun started.

After an exchange, White Plains took over on the New Rochelle 47 with about 2 minutes to go. With a 4th and 5 on the NR 38, Darrell Mack hit Wilson Moronta on a flat pass. He went up with 4 purple jerseys surrounding him and feathered the ball into in his belly with two hands just like George Sauer, and fought to the Huguenot 28.

Three running plays failed, bringing another 4th and 10. Mack lofted an Alley Oop right flatter to Jeff Lee down the near sideline, who leapt way high, fell to earth, catching the pass on his back for a first down on the 10. It was a highlight reeler!

Three feet from an Instant Win

Spencer Ridenhour, (who had another gritty 158 yards rushing on 31 trips, 5 yards a carry — they should call him Run-An-Hour), moved it up the middle to the 6. With no timeouts, and seconds left, Mack spiked the ball, stopping the clock at 2 seconds.

IT’S UP! IT’S LONG ENOUGH, IT’S ON TARGET…AND IT IS: No good..just wide to the left. A field goal that just missed almost gave White Plains the win in regulation Saturday afternoon. Orlando Cruz gIves it great leg on a very difficult angle. WPCNR PHOTO

Orlando Cruz set up for a field goal try, about a 28-yard attempt on the right hash. The kick was up, it looked good, it was long enough but it hooked in the open end of the stadium and went about three feet wide about 10 feet from the upright, missing by a yard. It was close, folks. Very close.

Cruz had a terrific kicking day. Just a junior, he is going to be a terrific offensive weapon with his kicking ability. His punts Saturday were clutch, deliberate, consistent, high hanging, well-placed that made the New Rochelle overland game stoppable for the defense.


New Rochelle won the toss and took the ball on the Tiger 20. White Plains stopped them on their first three plays. Then, the big New Rochelle play took the game away. On 4th and 4 from the Bengal 22, the Huguenots reversed their tying touchdown play, and Anthony Rice rambled around the left end, with terrific blocking to put the Purple Gang up 20-14. The point was successful.

The Tigers Come Back

Most teams would be through at this time. Not White Plains. In their chance to score, starting 20 yards away, the Tigers went with Ridenhour up the middle for 4 yards, and up the middle again for 3 to the 12. Then he was stopped right there. On yet another 4th down do-or-don’t play, Mack hit Jeff McCoy over the middle and he scampered to the Huguenot 3 for another incredible 4th down conversion.

With goal to go, on his third ram up the middle, Spencer Ridenhour, the sophomore, was literally jammed into the end zone from behind by his people and, amazingly, it was 21-20.

GOING FOR THE TIE.IT’S DOWN, IT’S UP AND IT IS…:Just wide. A White Plains assistant with a view from the sideline, said the angle made it look very confusing, but in his opinion it was just wide left by inches. Tony Ciaramella Jr. prepares to kick.< WPCNR PHOTO

Tony Ciaramella tried for the PAT to tie. It was not to be. Everyone in the east stands thought he had made the kick, it was that close. The kick was solid, perhaps a little too solid, and was waved off just, I mean, just wide left. Huguenot helmets sailed to the sky in celebration, and one of the great fall classics was over.

Great first half,

White Plains Spencer Ridenhour broke off tackle racing 65 yards for the first touchdown on the Tigers third play from scrimmage to stake the Tigers to a 6-0 lead. However, New Rochelle with three major running threats went 65 yards in 5 plays to tie the game 7-7 with Joe Loscalzo bulling up the middle from the 10 for the tie-up touchdown.
The Tigers drove from their 41 to the Huguenot 5, but could not push it in for any points and NR took over at the 5 as the first quarter ended, 7-7.

Ryan Smalls sacked New Rochelle’s Quarterback, Nathaniel Yahudah and stripped him of the ball, recovering the loose ball on the New Rochelle 15at the 6-minute mark of the second quarter. This set up White Plains to take the lead.

Ridenhour ripped up the middle to the 10. Mack gave it to him again for another 4, and again for a first down on the 6. On the next play, the indefatigable socking soph, went over tackle again for the go-ahead touchdown. Ciaramella converted and White Plains had a 14-7 halftime lead.

TIGERS GIVE THEM ALL THEY CAN HANDLE: Tigers trudge slowly off the field in the llong shadows of the first day of autumn. They were saddened but determined and proud as they looked to next week.WPCNR PHOTO

Solid on both sides of the ball

The Tiger defense played a tremendous game, yielding big yardage between the 20s but making big plays to force, unofficially 7 turnovers. The Tigers got to the NR quarterback six times, causing 4 fumbles that stalled New Rochelle drives. Though the rambling backs and massive New Rochelle linemen pushed the Tigers back on their heels the first half, the Tigers adjusted well. Tiger conditioning was terrific on this sticky, humid day, which caused sweaty palms and a number of fumbles.

The Dee is learning

The defense was befuddled on many plays by the New Rochelle reversals of directions and superbly choreographed plays that suckered the dee one way only to go another. There were so many big plays that New Rochelle ran when they needed them. However, to the Tigers’ credit they staged two goal line stands in both halves, pursued relentlessly, the corners moving from one side of the field to the other on virtually every New Rochelle play to stop their bag of tricks.

The O is coming together

The offense moved the ball well against a bigger New Rochelle line. They nearly won the game twice. Darrell Mack is a sharp passer with solid receivers to throw to when in trouble. The kid is not afraid to throw into traffic (against a tall NR secondary, he threaded needles, when he was allowed to throw and passed smart with his head, not his heart.) He has got a good sense when to take a sack and when to throw it away.

A better mix of passing and running would make the relentless Ridenhour, whom we will have the pleasure of watching get better and better, an even greater threat. They should also consider throwing to Ridenhour downfield. This 50-yardline Byline would love to see Mack throw to Ridenhour in the flat. Let’s use those receivers Jeff Lee, Jeff McCoy, Wilson Moronta,and Eric Dickey, a little more, please.

White Plains is back home in Parker Stadium next Saturday to play Ramapo. Y’all come on out. Kickoff is at 1:30 PM.

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Cappelli Sweeps the Council, 7-0; City Center Approved.

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The Common Council voted approval of the Louis Cappelli City Center project unanimously Thursday evening, leaving a $275 million check from the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce as the final piece left to continue what Mayor Delfino described as “a great adventure.”
A jubilant, magnanimous Louis Cappelli, described the City Center as the greatest project he has ever undertaken. He thanked the Common Council and the Mayor for their cooperation, their feedback and honesty, (“despite some tense moments”). He saluted the City of White Plains Planning and Building Departments, their host of boards as being the best staffs “foremost” of any he has ever worked with on any of his projects in his 30 years as a developer.

CAPPELLI THANKS COMMON COUNCIL FOR HIS DREAM PROJECT: Louis Cappelli said when he was taking Robert Greer on a tour of New Roc City two years ago, that he wished he had the Tishman-Speyer Project. Thursday night that wish came true as the Common Council granted the Super Developer the City Center project. WPCNR PHOTO

The $350 million project will bring a host of goodies to White Plains.

Cappelli will contribute $500,000 towards a redesign of the Main and Mamaroneck fountain, as part of the City Center acquiring EJ Conroy Drive. He has secured tax abatement from the Westchester County Industrial Development Agency that will result in the City of White Plains taking over the new parking garage he will build 7 years sooner, bringing an additional $20 million to the city. He will build a community performing arts theater inside the 16-screen theater, retail and restaurant complex in the city’s heart.

Architecture by Committee

He has granted the Common Council design approval of the two 34-story apartment complexes, which are being designed by Frederick Bland of Beyer, Blinder, Belle of New York. The Council will also have some input into what the exterior of the City Center will look like in the complex 94-page resolution approved by the Council officially at 9:18 PM Thursday night.

Full steam ahead.

Cappelli said after the historic approval that he had all properties he needed to acquire “under contract.” In two weeks he expected to have a 24-foot foundation dug from EJ Conroy Drive to Mamaroneck to Martine to Main Street.

On the question of financing, Cappelli told WPCNR that closing on his Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce loan had been delayed a week from September 25 to October 2. The Super Developer said he had a letter of commitment for $275 million in financing, and “expected no problems.” Cappelli indicated he had not decided yet how construction of the new parking garage would be timed. He would either build it first and open it early, or delay it a year. He predicted the City Center and apartments would be opened by August of 2003.

Common Council commentaries laud developer

Council President Rita Malmud said Thursday evening was “a culmination of a year of effort to find the right way to develop the downtown. The Cappelli project is the best opportunity in over a decade to do so. I applaud the Cappelli company for agreeing to a higher standard of architecture.”

Ms. Malmud expressed the desire that a mural be painted on the Martine Avenue side of the project. She also reported that the Cappelli company would be paying non-discounted permit fees to the city well in access of $400,000. Malmud expressed some concern about what would happen if a fire broke out on the 34th floor of the apartments.

Fire Chief Mark Damon assured her that White Plains fire codes require sprinklers and a smoke purifying system and are the strictest in the state.

Benjamin Boykin II,stated that with the approval of the City Center, “We begin to move forward for future generations…we need to move forward as soon as possible…the Council contributed by demanding great architecture. On Monday we saw a new design (for the apartment towers), that I think is a great improvement. It has a lot less bulk and a lot lower look. This is thanks to Councilman Greer and who said we should not compromise on the architecture and design, and we hired Beyer, Blinder Belle in July to advise us.”

Councilman Larry Delgado said “I want to thank Mr. Cappelli and all of his team. I thank the Mayor and his staff. I know how hard they have worked, how many late nights they have put in.”

COUNCILMAN LARRY DELGADO CASTS HIS VOTE, THANKS STAFF FOR “LATE NIGHTS THEY PUT IN.” Councilman William King followed with pleas for more inspired design from Fred Bland.WPCNR PHOTO

Councilman Robert Greer said “A successful project has many fathers and mothers and a failure is an orphan. Mrs. Malmud and I fought together to have movies downtown years ago, and now this (City Center) is the product of that effort.” Greer complimented the developer on being able to accept council direction on the project and resolve problems as they arose. He also congratulated Mr. Cappelli on moving to hire Frederick Bland, “a first-rate architect rather than one who is not quite first rate.”

Councilman William King remarked that “I am glad to vote for this project. We are just as confident in White Plains now as we were before September 11. I want to thank the staff who developed a 94 page resolution in two days.” King expressed that he did not like the new Bland design: “It doesn’t bowl me over. I think it’s looking a little bulky and we need a more classic look.” He said he hoped we would look at alternate forms of transportation other than the automobile.

Councilwoman Pauline Oliva came full cycle and supported the project after being against it from the start. “You won me over, Mr. Cappelli, your sensitivity to what we asked for. I was very impressed. You hired Mr. Bland to work up another design, and I have to compliment you for that.”

Mayor Joseph Delfino wrapped up the evening, remarking “You can’t imagine how I feel…Three years ago I didn’t know where to start…I’ve never seen a project of this magnitude move as fast. Tonight, each and every one of you in White Plains is who we thought of, is who we dreamed of in doing this project.”

MAYOR JOSEPH DELFINO OPENS MACY’S TIME CORNERSTONE. The Mayor reads from a letter from the President of Macy’s, written in 1954, that professed skepticism that White Plains could support a department store. Also inside the capsule, which Louis Cappelli’s crews had removed from the Macy’s site were copies of The Reporter Dispatch, that worried about a “Thruway Threat.”WPCNR PHOTO

At 9:18 PM, the role was called and the project was approved. A new era in White Plains had begun.

In other business, firemen raise $41,000 for Trade Center victim relief
The Fire Chief, William Daimon, reported that White Plains firefighters had raised $41,000 Thursday morning by firemen passing “the boot” at key White Plains intersections. The chief said the firemen would be out passing “the boot” again Friday morning. Be sure to contribute!

Senior housing on Kensico receives zoning go-ahead

The 42-unit senior housing project envisioned by Bill Brown for Kensico Avenue opposite the Eastview track still must receive site plan approval.

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