Pirro, on Newsmakers Calls for Community Effort to Police Teen Drinking.

Hits: 0

WPCNR WHITE PLAINS VARIETY. By John F. Bailey. December 9, 2002: On the weekend before chairing a meeting of the Westchester County Task Force on Teen Drinking today, Westchester District Attorney Jeanine Pirro put restaurants and retail liquor outlets, parents and school districts on notice, as needing to take more responsibility in accepting responsibility, and dealing out appropriate punishment to teens particpating in illegal drinking.
Appearing on the News 12 show, Newsmakers, Ms. Pirro reconfirmed her comments of last week in which she said her office would seek to revoke the real driver’s licenses of teens caught purchasing alcohol with bogus licenses. In addition, she said her office would bring charges against parents, in whose homes parties condoning illegal drinking among teams were held.

Establishments that serve alcoholic beverages were served notice that the District Attorney would prosecute them when they are caught serving alcohol to minors. She was asked about her response to Bob Hyland’s comment that county i.d. enforcement operations against liquor establishments amounted to “entrapment.” Hyland is the owner of The Sports Page in White Plains, In the course of the program, she said she “looked forward” to proving in court that Bob Hyland’s Sports Page in fact served liquor to underage minors in a recent county “sting” operation. She indicated the undercover sting operations would continue.

Parents Will Be Held Responsible for Underage Drinking Parties

The District Attorney commented that parents were an “important piece” of the issue, and that they needed to take an active, responsible role when their children participate in parties and entertainments. She said she would bring charges against parents whose homes are the setting for parties where alcoholic beverages are available to teens.

Questions School Board Leniency

Ms. Pirro, towards the close of the program, criticised the Town of Harrison School Board for not dealing more sternly with teenage football players caught drinking at parties this past year. Pirro said, that it sent a poor message to teens that they did not suffer more serious punishment for violating the underage drinking law, noting that they were only suspended for one week of play.

She used the example to make her point that in her opinion, schools had to take such violations by their students more seriously and impose serious consequences on students for violating the acohol age laws.

Posted in Uncategorized

Cheers for White Plains Cheerleaders: 4th in New Rochelle Championships

Hits: 0

WPCNR PRESS BOX. From Ann Chillemi. December 9, 2002:The White Plains High School Varsity Cheerleaders competed in the 6th Annual Cheerleading Competition at New Rochelle High School on Saturday, December 7th. The team placed 4th out of 16 teams. It was a great win for the team considering the fact they are very new to competitions and have trained for competition in less than 3 months. Hats off to Coach Alex Munoz.

THE “TIGRESSES” IN ACTION AT THE RIDDELL BOWL November 9.”Throw-ups,” “Pyramids” and intricate routines have become a part of Tigress’s repertoire this year under Alex Munoz. Now, if we could have some fastpitch softball cheers, please!
Photo by WPCNR SideLineEye

Posted in Uncategorized

White Plains Tigers Footballers Honored for 2002 Performances

Hits: 0

WPCNR PRESS BOX. From WPHS Football Coach Mark Santa- Donato. December 7, 2002:Here’s a listing of team and player honors so far this year. Other awards will be presented at our dinner and given by the Journal News this week. I will keep you posted:


2002 NYS Scholar-Athlete (Team Award)

MVP – Riddell All-American Bowl

Darrell Mack

Most Valuable Back – League AA-South

Spencer Ridenhour


Spencer Ridenhour, Evan McGuire, Darrell Mack

All-Section – Honorable Mention

Joe Vitanza, Mike Devere

All-League AA-South

Spencer Ridenhour,Evan McGuire, Darrell Mack, Joe Vitanza, Mike Devere, Gabriel Robles, John Corretti, Jason Indelicato, Terrell Smith,Tony Ciaramella

All-League AA-South – Honorable Mention

Ike Nduka, Raeshone Foote, Mike Della Posta, Ryan Smalls, Mike Lane, Matt Jones, Gary Morello

Posted in Uncategorized

Vigils Update Around Westchester County

Hits: 0

WPCNR LIBERTARIAN ADVOCATE. From Westchester Progressive Forum. December 6, 2002:>/b> Here is the schedule of this weekend’s peace vigils around the White Plains area, sponsored by the Westchester Progressive Forum:
At our last well attended Westchester Progressive Forum meeting on 12/2/02 we voted to join the Westchester Coalition Against the War on Iraq.

Two announcements:

1) Please note that the Saturday vigil in White Plains is now taking place at the fountain.
Every Saturday, 12:15 to 2:15 in White Plains, near the Fountain at Main Street and Mamaroneck Ave.

If interested, contact Nora at norafreeman@yahoo.com

2) Please join me in signing an online petition asking President Bush to let the weapons inspections work, rather than rushing to war. Go to
http://www.moveon.org/winwithoutwar/, and it will take you seconds.

P.S. For those of you who are interested, here’s the full story on the six
vigils in Westchester, and also one in Rockland.

1) Every Saturday in White Plains, 12:15 to 2:15 at the Fountain.

2) Every Thursday, 12:15 to 1:15 in White Plains, at Main Street and
Mamaroneck Ave. If interested, contact Vitalah at vitalah@earthlink.net

3) Every Tuesday, 3:30 to 4:30 in White Plains, at the big intersection by the Westchester County Center by Route 119. Contact Jane at jane.jon@verizon.net

4) Thursdays, 12:15 to 1:15PM in New Rochelle, at the intersection of Main Street and Memorial Highway. If interested, contact Vivian at vfbergen@aol.com

5) Every Thursday, 7 to 8PM, Route 9, in Ossining, in front of Ossining High School. Contact Sabina Plachta, (914) 941-8309.

6) Every Thursday, 7:00-8:15AM in Croton, across from Prudential Realty, at the top of the Croton Harmon Train Station-parking area. Park in the lot behind the old Gallimaufry’s building. If interested, contact Ginny at stillman@computer.net.


The Rockland Peace Coalition has begun a Saturday afternoon vigil Saturdays, from 1-3 PM at the four corners in Nanuet. Northwest corner of Rte 59 and Middletown Rd. Parking lot near the Tuxedo store, across from the little park. Rain or shine!

Posted in Uncategorized

NYPH Hates Approval Terms. Threatens Article 78-er. City: “Can we talk?”

Hits: 0

WPCNR Evening City Star Reporter. By John F. Bailey. December 6, 2002, 1:15 A.M. UPDATED 12 Noon E.S.T.: New York Presbyterian Hospital and the City of White Plains mutually agreed Thursday that the Hospital would postpone its intention to open a second Article 78 legal front in the ongoing struggle to build a biotech research and proton accelerator facility project the Common Council approved last August 5.

THE PAPER CHASE CONTINUES: The Tolling Agreement signed by the City and New York Presbyterian Hospital Thursday, giving the parties 32 days to work out hospital objections to the terms of the approval of their biotech research and proton accelerator facility on their property.
Photo by WPCNR Legal

The city and New York Presbyterian Hospital have agreed to a 32-Day “Tolling Agreement.” The hospital has agreed to postpone filing an Article 78 proceeding they had planned to file Thursday (120 days after the August 5 approval of their project), to overturn conditions of Special Permit the city attached to the proton accelerator-biotech research center project. The “Tolling Period” will expire January 6, 2003.

A Subdued City Hall.

On the early winter’s snowy evening, George Gretsas, Executive Officer for the City of White Plains, announcing the agreement Thursday told WPCNR the hospital informed the city of their intention of filing an Article 78 action to overturn some of the 80 pages of conditions the city attached to their approval of the project last August in the Findings Statement.

The new Article 78 action, if filed by New York Presbyterian Hospital, would have been the second Article 78 action filed on the Council’s historic August 5 decision, and still might be if a common ground is not established on the conditions the hospital is protesting.

Concerned Citizens for Open Space filed an Article 78, represented by Oxman, Tullis, Kirkpatrick and Whyatt last September. The CCOS suit in essence protests the Council had not given a thorough review of the project and that a zoning change was required, not a Special Permit. That suit is in the hands of Judge Richard Mollea in New York State Supreme Court, according to the most recent information WPCNR has been able to elicit from the embattled City Legal Department.

Not the Approval the Hospital Had in Mind

Gretsas said the hospital expressed to the city that they had problems with some of the specific conditions set forth in the Common Council’s Findings Statement and Special Permit.

Gretsas, raising his eyebrows with with an air of puzzlement, speculated that some of those conditions might be the Council restricting research to medical use, city oversight of research safety, and possibly restrictions on biosafety levels of the search. He wearily cautioned this was outright speculation on his part, indicating the city was mystified why the hospital was considering an Article 78 suit on an approved project, noting,

“The city and the hospital hope to discuss issues of mutual concern,” Gretsas told WPCNR, “concerns about the conditions imposed on them by the city on August 5. The city will discuss with the hospital the community needs and to gauge the hospital’s willingness to address some of these needs.”

Council consulted.

Before the city consented to the “Tolling Agreement,” Gretsas said the ramifications were discussed with the Common Council. He said the Council is willing to sit down with the hospital and discuss the hospital’s concerns that would cause them to bring a lawsuit on the conditions of their approval.

King: Council Has Not Met on Tolling AgreementKing

Councilman William King checked in with WPCNR News, upon learning of the Tolling Agreement through this article and wanted WPCNR to make clear the Council had not met as a body on the Tolling Agreement.

Mr. King made this statement to WPCNR:

I think you should make clear in your website article that the Council did not meet yesterday and we did not sign the agreement. Each of the councilpeople was contacted by phone. I was contacted by Ben (Boykin) late Wednesday night. Rita (Malmud) is in Florida. I don’t know if any councilpeople were at the gathering yesterday you refer to. Just so your readers are clear, the Council has not met on any NYPH issue, in public or in exec session, since the approval (6-1) was given on 8/5/02. I also have never heard of a tolling agreement before and do not know what it is or how it gets its name.

Déjà vu :Confidential Talks Again to Avoid a Lawsuit?

As the agreement was explained to WPCNR, a chilling atmosphere of déjà vu settled over the gathering. The Tolling Agreement was eerily similar to the intrigue of intimidation that leaked out of secret sessions with New York Presbyterian Hospital in January, 2001. At that time, the hospital in a very similar way had a lawsuit going, and wanted to discuss with the city terms for dropping their suit.

The Common Council, briefed behind closed doors by a phalanx of hospital and city attorneys, agreed to the hospital’s terms for dropping their lawsuit against the city, which was immediate consideration of their biotech research and proton accelerator project.

In those secret meetings, WPCNR learned the hospital threatened to sue the city for upwards of $500 Million or more (the city budget is $100 Million), if they did not review the proton accelerator project. When the city agreed to consider the project they had turned their back on in July, 2000, the hospital dropped their Article 78 action. Subsequently, a year and a half review ultimately lead to this August’s council approval.

Hospital and Administration Talk First. Then Council to Join In.

Gretsas said meetings between the administration and the hospital would take place in executive session, over the next four weeks. The talks, he said would be held in confidence because the concerns to be considered were principle lynchpins of the hospital’s intended litigation.

Common Council’s turn.

Mr. Gretsas said that upon discovering what the hospital’s issues are with hospital representatives and city department heads, then there would be “a dialogue” with the Common Council in Executive Session, to determine how the matters might be resolved to both parties’ and the Council’s satisfaction, if there was common ground for compromise.

It appears at this time, the principles of these talks will only be the Common Council, city department heads, and New York Presbyterian Hospital representatives and principles.

Fool’s Gold?

Gretsas cautioned about the public getting their hopes up that the hospital might be willing to trade some of their land for city concessions on the approval terms: “It could very well be that there’s nothing really to discuss.”

Gretsas said the city is very much aware of the restrictions on the original settlement of the first New York Presbyterian Hospital Article 78 action, which prohibit the city from extorting and demanding any exchange of land for city concessions.

The Fine Print.

In the 2-Page “Tolling Agreement” released by the city Thursday, the hospital has agreed to refrain from the commencement of an Article 78 proceeding challenging the Special Use Resolution by the aforesaid deadline (December 5, 2002), and has agreed to enter good faith negotiations to discuss the mutual concerns of the parties.

Posted in Uncategorized

CinemaFanatic Reviews Adaptation

Hits: 0

WPCNR WHITE PLAINS VARIETY. Movie Review by Rob Barrabee. December 5, 2002:Adaptation, written by Charlie Kaufman, tells the story of Charlie Kaufman trying to write Adaptation. Kaufman’s original plan, the movie explains, is simply to adapt Susan Orlean’s book The Orchid Thief, which details the life of Florida plant dealer John Laroche. But Mr. Kaufman, we discover, just can’t seem to make a screenplay out of the book (“there’s no story”).
To remedy this, he inserts himself as a character; the starring character, in fact (“I’ve written myself into my screenplay”). So, instead of a movie version of The Orchid Thief, we have a (highly fictionalized) movie version of Charlie Kaufman’s struggle to adapt The Orchid Thief.

We have Adaptation, the astonishing new comedy from the cleverest screenwriter in the business (he earned this title, by the way, after scripting ‘Being John Malkovich’).

In the sentence of the previous paragraph (not including the parenthetic “by the way”), I inexplicably included the phrase “highly fictionalized.” Allow me, now, to explain:

Adaptation is about a real screenwriter (Charlie Kaufman) trying to adapt a real book (The Orchid Thief); a book written by a real author (Susan Orlean), and telling the story of a real plant dealer (John Laroche). The struggling screenwriter even seeks the assistance of a real screenwriting guru (Robert McKee).

The movie, then, has got to be real, right? Hardly. One of the most important characters in the film is Charlie Kaufman’s wild and crazy twin, Donald. Charlie doesn’t have a twin. “But,” you might say, “the credits list Donald as one of the film’s writers.” Let me repeat, Charlie doesn’t have a twin. And if that’s not enough to convince you of the film’s “highly fictionalized” status, just wait ‘til you see the end.

In the interest of preserving any potential element of surprise, I will not get into details, but I will say this: the ending couldn’t possibly be real.

The film, unreal as it is, is directed by Spike Jonze, who also directed Being John Malkovich (he and Kaufman get along, apparently). In that film, Jonze showed quite a bit of restraint, directing an off-the-wall story in a very on-the-wall manner. This time, he loosens up a bit, and directs Adaptation with zany glee (think, for example, of a thirty second journey through the history of time). The results of this zaniness, for the most part, are tremendous. Excluding the already-alluded-to surreal ending, which I think goes a little too far, Jonze’s Adaptation is as smart and funny as a comedy can be. It is fast-paced, and it is fresh. It is witty, clever filmmaking at its best.

Nicolas Cage stars in the film as both Charlie and Donald Kaufman. Cage’s Charlie (fat, bald) is hysterically introverted and self-loathing. Cage’s Donald (fat, bald, but happy) is hysterically foolish and outgoing. Put the two together, and this is one of the best, and most hysterical, performances of the year.

Sports teams are often complimented for “going from worst to first.” By going from his roles in Windtalkers and Captain Correlli’s Mandolin to this, Nicolas Cage deserves the same kind of recognition.

Kudos go out to the supporting cast too. Meryl Streep gives an excellent comedic turn as Susan Orlean, and Chris Cooper is so good as (the toothless) John Laroche that he finally, after more than thirty movies, is getting people to notice him (Oscar people, if you pay attention to the buzz).

Speaking of Oscars, this sure-shot contender could cause some serious problems for the Academy. Should, for example, Nicolas Cage be nominated for one Oscar or two? Should Donald Kaufman get a screenwriting nomination, even though he doesn’t exist? And, most importantly, should the film’s screenplay be considered original or, well, adapted?

My feelings on these issues are as follows: (1) Nicolas Cage should not be nominated twice, but he should certainly be nominated once. (2) Donald Kaufman should receive no nominations, but his brother most decidedly should. (3) Despite its title, and the assertion in the credits that it is based on Susan Orlean’s book, the screenplay for Adaptation should be considered original, and not, oddly enough, adapted.

Adaptation, directed by Spike Jonze. Written by Charlie (and Donald) Kaufman, based on the book The Orchid Thief, by Susan Orlean. Starring Nicolas Cage, Meryl Streep, and Chris Cooper. Running time: 114 minutes. Rated R (for language, sexuality, some drug use, and violent images)

Posted in Uncategorized

Quo Warranto Quagmire Demands Court Decide Election

Hits: 0

WPCNR WHITE PLAINS LAW JOURNAL. By John F. Bailey. December 5, 2002:A WPCNR legal consultant familiar with election law has advised that Attorney General Eliot Spitzer’s lawsuit filed in New York Supreme Court yesterday granting Larry Delgado quo warranto relief after seven months of research by the Attorney General’s Quo Warranto Review Panel, transfers jurisdiction for deciding who retains or ascends to the Common Council seat now occupied by Glen Hockley to the New York State Supreme Court.

Spitzer Speaks
Photo by WPCNRLegal

WPCNR’s legal consultant said that the paragraph calling for action specifically calls on the court to decide how the disputed council seat shall be ultimately filled.


Photo by WPCNR Legal

Our analyst points out that this paragraph orders the court (demands) to make a decision, which can be the court judge making a declaration that Mr. Hockley or Mr. Delgado is the winner straightaway, or if the court cannot decide based on the evidence available who ultimately won, ordering a new election.

Unchartered Waters

Our source says the case is in unchartered waters at this time, with several matters “up in the air.” Among the matters, is which judge will get the case. It is speculated that it could return to the Judge who first ruled on the historic Delgado-Hockley case: Judge Francis Nicolai, based on his familiarity with the case.

On the other hand, if a new judge were assigned, the case would begin anew, with the decision on whether or not a jury would be convened, up to the defendents, Mr. Hockley and Mr. Delgado. If the two defendents disagreed as to whether a jury trial was desired, the judge or the plaintiff (Attorney General) could make the decision.

A second minor issue to be decided, would be whether or not Mr. Delgado should be considered the defendant or not.

Jury Selection Would Be Interesting

Speculating with our legal correspondent, they allowed that jury selection would be interesting: issues to be considered would be rather or not White Plains residents could or could not be on the jury, racial make up of the jury, political affiliation of the jurors, how familiar they were with the Delgado-Hockley case history, being just a few issues discussed.

Affidavit Validity a Keystone

Our armchair analyst, noting the affidavits filed by Mr. Delgado, 104 in all, which the Quo Warranto Review Panel commented on in their Quo Warranto Report and Recommendation said that Mr. Hockley’s strategy to hang on to his seat would hinge upon creating doubt about the affidavits submitted by Mr. Delgado as being genuine expressions of voter actions on that fated November 6, 2001. However, our analyst said that post-election result affidavits of voter preference have been found to be admissible evidence in similar cases.

The Quo Warranto Report states,

Delgado told the Panel that he obtained the voters’ names from the Board of Elections and solicited their affidavits by sending volunteer notaries (among whom were his wife and his Republican Party running mate, Michael Amodio) door-to-door. Each affidavit states, in pertinent part,

2. I was duly registered and eligible to vote in the November 6, 2001 General Election, in the City of White Plains, County of Westchester, and State of New York. 3. I voted in the November 6, 2001 General Election at the George Washington Elementary School in White Plains, New York, which is the polling place for the 18th Election District in said city. 4. When I cast my votes on November 6, 2001, I included a vote for Larry Delgado for Councilman of the City of White Plains. 5. I cast my vote for Larry Delgado for Councilman on “Row A” of the voting machine, which is the top row of positions to be voted for, running from left to right on the voting machine. The position is circled on the annexed sample ballot that is attached hereto and made a part hereof…

At the Panel’s direction, an investigator employed by the Office of the Attorney General was assigned to determine whether the 104 affiants actually voted in the 18th Election District on November 6, 2001…

According to the voting logs, 103 of the 104 individuals whose affidavits Delgado submitted to the (Quo Warranto) Panel were registered to vote and did, in fact, vote in the 18th Election District on November 6, 2001.

The Panel’s report comes to the conclusion that, It is undisputed that the voting machine in Election District 18 mechanically malfunctioned after 39 votes had been recorded for Delgado in Row 10

Report Declares Delgado the Winner by 17 votes. Affidavits genuine.

The report takes the interesting position that Delgado’s 103 affidavits make him the winner of the Council Seat, and throws out Hockley’s assertions that the affidavits are not reliable. The report reads in part,

According to the recanvass, Glen Hockley received a total of 6,140 votes and Larry Delgado received a total of 6093 votes, a margin of 47 votes in favor of Hockley. We note Hockley’s objections to the reliability of the affidavits Delgado submitted, but find those objections to be unfounded. Therefore we credit the 103 affiants, whom the voting logs show to have voted in the 18th Election District on November 6, 2001, who claimed they voted for Delgado on Row 10 A. Delgado’s vote total is thereby increased by 64 votes, (103 votes minus the 39 votes originally recorded on Row 10 A). That gives Delgado a revised total of 6,157 votes (6093 plus 64), or 17 more votes than Hockley received (6,140).

Report Sites Case Law Gives Court the “right to Examine Voters”

The panel’s report justifies its declaring Mr. Delgado the winner by citing thusly,

In a quo warranto action, however, the court is able to determine the will of the electorate beyond a mere mathematical possibility because it has the right to examine voters, as established in Deister v. Wintermute (1909), including the right to “receive and credit the affidavits of…electors that they cast their vote on the voting machine for a particular candidate.”

The Judge is Da Man

WPCNR’s Brief Analyst noted that the Attorney General is passing the baton to the Judge of the New York State Supreme Court to determine the outcome of the election, and that includes the jurisdiction to declare either Delgado or Hockley the winner outright, or set aside the election and declare a new election.

Here we Go Again?

Looking into their crystal ball, the attorney sighed and told us that “of course, whatever decision the judge makes, it could be appealed,” but added that the case at the appellate or Court of Appeals levels would only be argued on the merit of the decision made, not a full reexamination of the affidavits or other evidences.

Quo Warranto Report is Not Court-gathered, admissable Evidence.

Before our sands of time with the barrister ran out, he noted that the findings of the Quo Warranto Panel were not evidence gathered by the court, and that if the Judge assigned the quo warranto action felt compelled to go to a jury trial or felt it necessary to conduct an examination of the validity of the affidavits he or she might very well do so in the proceedings.

It is expected that a judge will be assigned in the next two weeks and that the action will not begin until after the 1st of the year.

Posted in Uncategorized

Amy Paulin’s Albany: Ms. Paulin Thanks Supporters Invites Comment.

Hits: 0

WPCNR AMY PAULIN’S ALBANY. By Assemblywoman Amy Paulin. December 4, 2002:I want to take this opportunity to thank you for your support and for re-electing me to the New York State Assembly.

From the mountain of literature you received during the campaign you know that my priorities are education, high-quality, affordable healthcare, the environment, taxes and personal safety.

Campaigning gave me the opportunity to listen to you and to talk about other issues of great concern including public safety, economic growth, the preservation of green space and the impact of standardized tests in our schools.

These are all valid issues that will require thoughtful, creative solutions. I welcome your calls, comments and suggestions to my district office at 723-1115 and I look forward to taking your concerns to Albany in January.

Assemblywoman Amy Paulin.

Posted in Uncategorized

Attorney General Initiates Quo Warranto Proceeding to Bring Delgado Back

Hits: 0

WPCNR AFTERNOON TRIB & POST. By John F. Bailey. December 3, 2003:Attorneys for former councilman Larry Delgado of White Plains, were notified today that Eliot Spitzer’s Quo Warranto Review panel has found in favor of Mr. Delgado and will file papers today to bring a quo warranto procedure in supreme court in White Plains to restore Mr. Delgado to the Common Council.
Jeffrey Binder, attorney for Mr. Delgado during the councilman’s three tier court fight to secure a remedy for a jammed voting machine, reported the Attorney General’s office decision today.

Mr. Binder said he thought the procedure would be a jury trial, not a bench trial, and the action would be to restore Mr. Delgado to the Common Council.

He said that an attorney from the Attorney General’s Office, Joel Graber, a seasoned and knowledgeable election law attorney would be representing Mr. Delgado’s interest in the quo warranto procedure in which the Attorney General will seek to remove Mr. Hockley from office as a “usurper,” the essence of any quo warranto action. Binder speculated that the action could begin within two to three weeks, almost nine months since the Court of Appeals threw out Judge Francis Nicolai’s decision, and the Appellate Division rulling calling for a new election between Larry Delgado and Glen Hockley.

Binder said the Quo Warranto Review Panel informed him that they “appreciated our (Mr. Delgado’s) patience.”

Mr. Binder said the last quo warranto action in the state was executed in 1990, successfully.

Posted in Uncategorized

TDR Hearing Closed Without Comment; Council Study IP; Kills Permit Pkg. Request

Hits: 0

WPCNR COMMON COUNCIL CHRONICLE-EXAMINER. By John F. Bailey. December 2, 2003 UPDATED 12 Noon E.S.T.: The Common Council opened and closed the hearing on the ordinance allowing transfer of development rights (TDR) in the Central Business District 3 and 4 and the Urban Renewal Area, setting a vote on the historic zoning change for January 6.

SUSAN HABEL HOLDS FORTH ON TDR: Commissioner of Planning Susan Habel preached to the choir Monday evening on the Transfer of Development Rights legislation public hearing, comparing it to a transfer of sand between two sandboxes.
Photo by WPCNR TVCam

No one spoke from the public on this matter, and it will be voted upon in January. The legislation, barring a sudden change of heart on the Council, will make it possible for Louis Cappelli, the City Center developer, to erect a hotel and office complex on his recently acquired Main Street parcel extending from Church Street to the Court Street extension.

STUDY INDIAN POINT FIRST: Councilman Robert Greer advised the public “This resolution does not call for an immediate shut down of Indian Point.” He said it calls for a study of issues, including security, operation, the evacuation plan, and storage of fuel rods issues to determine if the plant is a safe risk to remain open. The resolution also calls for a study of how Indian Point electrical demands will be met if it were to be decommissioned.
Photo by WPCNR TVCam

Councilman William King noted that “I want the citizens of White Plains to know how proud you should be of your council and your Mayor posed nontop questions (on their tour of Indian Point). I was really proud of how the council and the Mayor took it (the Indian Point safety issue) very seriously.”

Council KILLS Overnight Street Parking.

The Council passed a homerule resolution, 4-to 3 to prepare a bill asking Albany to allow Permit Parking on the streets in White Plains to alleviate the overnight parking shortage in key areas, most notably, the Old Mamaroneck Road area. Councilpersons Rita Malmud, Benjamin Boykin, Robert Greer and Bill King supported the draft of such a bill, while Councilpersons Glen Hockley and Tom Roach and the Mayor opposed it.

However, the measure did not pass because a homerule request requires a “super majority” vote of 5 to 2. The result: overnight street parking is a dead issue for now.

Messrs. Hockley and Roach said a highly detailed plan working out the mechanics of how such a permit plan would work, would be a more prudent course than simply asking Albany for permission for permit parking on the streets, and a detailed, thought-out plan, would, they felt have better chance of approval.

The council voted down a proposal for metered parking.

TDR: Nobody Cares.

Commissioner of Planning Susan Habel opened the public hearing on the transfer of development rights in the downtown area, likening the concept to that of two sandboxes.

She said that a child with a sandbox very full wanting to transfer sand to another child’s sandbox which did not have as much sand, could do so, however the child transferring the sand, could not “add any more sand” to their sandbox. She described this scenario as what the Transfer of Development Rights legislation does.

She noted that any developer wishing to transfer development rights had to do a traffic study and an environmental review, demonstrating that their transference was preferable on the site to receive the development. She said the developer had to have a specific project in mind that fit the zoning requirements of the site they wished to transfer development rights.

No Speculation Boom

She said this would not start a stockpiling of properties, or rampant speculation in downtown properties. Because any transfer of development rights would have to be done simultaneously according to a specific plan.

Speculation Window Limited

In response to Councilman Thomas Roach’s concern about a developer saving a site with the hope of transferring its development potential to another site in the future, the Commissioner said she did not expect this, saying that transfer of development rights had to be done simultaneously between two sites. Ms. Habel advised Mr. Roach that the Common Council has a series of controls on such transfers that include compliance with the overall city comprehensive plan, environmental review, the Urban Renewal Plan, and the requirement to provide a Traffic Study.

The Cappelli window is an example

WPCNR notes that Mr. Cappelli purchased development rights over the parking garage he is building, and in the meantime, has acquired the Halpern property on Main Street. He has only a few months left before he has to pay the city another million dollars to maintain his control of those development rights, which he wishes to transfer to his new Main Street property to build a convention center and hotel.

MR. WHITE PLAINS GIVEN KEYS TO CITY: Mayor Delfino gives Robert Ruger the keys to the city and a special plaque honoring Mr. Ruger on his 90th birthday. The Mayor, at the beginning of the Council meeting, said he wanted to “pay homage to Robert Ruger” for his long service to White Plains.
Photo by WPCNR TVCam

Ruger, shown here accepting the plaque, said he wanted to take the opportunity to acknowledge “those volunteers who have never gotten the opportunities I’ve had, and wish them all the best and have a very happy holiday.” The Mayor, visibly moved, said, “Always conscious of others. Bob, thank you very much.”

In other action Monday evening, the council approved the White Plains Firefighters new three year contract calling for 3.75, 3.75 and 4.00 pay increases over its three year life…The council authorized a commissioning of a design concept for the new Liberty Park on Silver Lake.

Attendance was poor Monday evening. Less than twenty persons turned out for the meeting.

Posted in Uncategorized