White Plains Youth Bureau Keeps Its Funding Under “Cuts.”

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WPCNR Afternoon Trib & Post. By John F. Bailey. November 21, 2002: Victoria Hochman, spokesperson for the Westchester County Department of Communications, contacted WPCNR Thursday morning with good news on the issue of funding for community youth programs. Based on Ms. Hochman’s report, any cuts in Invest In Kids, the primary youth-oriented program will not impact White Plains Youth Bureau programs.
The two county-funded programs are the DeKalb complex After School Program and Youth Aiming for Financial Success, the two Bureau-sponsored activities for which the county provides matching fund grants.

She said that the Invest-in-Kids program, was the primary county youth program where a 15% cut is planned. The 15% trimming means $347,000 will be deducted from the 2002 $1,275,000 figure, bringing the countywide Invest In Kids program allocation down to $928,000 for fiscal 2003.

Readers should understand Invest In Kids is a matching grant operating program. It allocates funds from the county to cities, agencies or groups in three-year increments over a series of three years: funding 25% of the program start-up cost the first year, 50%, the second and 50% the third year with an eye to starting programs.

Hochman said White Plains Youth Bureau will receive $29,883 for the DeKalb After School Program in 2003, and $28,830 for the Youth Aiming for Financial Success next year. Ms. Hochman said White Plains would not receive funds for those programs in 2004 because the Youth Bureau would be coming to the end of the three year cycle of the Invest In Kids program. “They will not lose what they have,” she said.

Cuts Not Definite. Legislators Could Restore. Not detailed.

Hochman assured WPCNR the cuts were not definite, saying the legislators could choose to restore those cuts as they massage Executive Spano’s budget over the coming weeks. She said other programs that other organizations in White Plains might run, affecting children, could be facing similar cuts, but did not have such information broken out by municipality.

Ms. Hochman said other programs involving children such as domestic violence, day care facilities, might be affected, but she did not have specific information available, but indicated if WPCNR provided a list of the programs we were interested in, she would be glad to research this.

Ms. Hochman said the cuts would be left up to each individual Department head and Commissioner.

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Spano Tour Reaches Out to North Westchester Dems, Offers $$$$

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WPCNR Evening City Star Reporter. By John F. Bailey. November 20, 2002:County Executive Andy Spano was in full campaign mode last night at Mount Kisco’s Kosher Deli calling in for Northern Westchester Democratic Committee Chairpersons’ support and help in lobbying the legislature for an increase in the County Sales Tax. The effort is to help the County Executive balance his 2003 Budget.

He offered Larry Schwartz’s talents for the Chairperson’s use to induce new attractive Democrats to run for office, and money, literature, and get-out-the-vote support that wins.

ANDY SPANO ON THE ROAD: First stop was the Kosher Deli in Mount Kisco on Tuesday evening. Executive Spano and his Deputy, Larry Schwartz personally sought Northern Coalition support for their Albany sales tax initiative.
Photo by WPCNR News

Lawyers, Phones and Money.

After an informal discussion of the budget situation, Executive Spano offered the services of Deputy County Executive Larry Schwartz to the Northern Coalition of towns. Mr. Schwartz made a personal appearance, telling how he could coordinate aid and support local North Westchester candidates with money, telephone and advertising support.

Executive Spano encouraged the Northern Coalition chairs to pressure Albany legislators to assume more of the cost of mandates, and to get control of mandated programs.

Like Old Time Grassroots Politics

WPCNR attended the open-air discussion in the open backroom dining area of the popular Koscher Deli in hopes of talking with Executive Spano about reports heard at the White Plains High School Hall of Fame Induction Ceremonies from a former Board of Education member that the newly proposed County Budget was going to cut funding for youth programs in White Plains.

WPCNR arrived at 7:40 PM, and turned in our Reporter’s Credentials at the outset of the meeting, when asked who I was by a lady seated at the long table in the open-to-the-public dining area.

She pleasantly, with a big smile, asked who I was, I said I was a reporter and handed her my business card that says I am a reporter.

COUNTY EXECUTIVE ANDY SPANO POLITICKING in his easygoing style with the Northern Coalition Tuesday night. Second from right in the booth.

WPCNR listened to a patient, well-reasoned folksy talk by Executive Spano to 17 Chairpersons of the Northern Westchester Coalition of Town Democratic Party Chairpersons of Mount Kisco, Bedford, Cortlandt, Croton-on-Hudson, Lewisboro, New Castle, North Castle, North Salem, Pound Ridge and Somers. WPCNR is unable to identify officially all the Chairpersons present due to an unexpected termination to WPCNR’s observation of this meeting.

“At a Very Difficult Stage.”

As WPCNR arrived, placing my reporter’s fedora on the table, Executive Spano was holding forth on the budget, in folksy style, telling the Chairs he was “at a very difficult stage” in his crusade to convince the state to pay its fair share of mandated programs, and ultimately control, what he has described for weeks as unfunded state-mandated programs that have been burdening Westchester County

The atmosphere was reminiscent of old ward meetings, town meetings of the past, where support is sought person-to-person, building trust and support. It was the first such meeting Spano had had with the North Westchester strongholds since last February. All that was missing was cigar smoke.

Four Democratic County Executives Spearhead Issue.

Executive Spano told the “Chairs” in attendance “the sales tax is just a short-term fix. Noting he is one of four Democratic County Executives in New York State, (he wry noted, “we’re all very friendly”).

Spano said he is taking it upon himself to be the leader on this issue highlighting the financial burden out-of-control state mandates foreshadow in the future for all New York counties, because the mandate burdens, for example, have turned Nassau County into “a third world government.”

Spano said the issue affected both Republicans and Democrats, and he was calling on the state to change and said he was a “representative for fiscal integrity.”

Introduces Deputy County Executive.

INTRODUCING…LARRY SCHWARTZ, at 8 PM, Deputy County Executive, Larry Schwartz arrived, and Executive Spano introduced him, saying, with a genial smile, “I wanted people to meet him. I do all the work and he gets all the credit.” Mr. Schwartz is in right foreground, Mr. Spano, at left in the background.
Photo by WPCNR

Then issue-talk shifted to Indian Point,. Spano explained his Indian Point acquisition and how it hinged on the planned $500,000 study he announced last week, and how he hoped to have it funded for the county. He noted only Entergy and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission can close down the plant, and assured the Chairs it was “well-protected.”

Subsidizing New York City and Environs

“We’re subsidizing New York City to the tune of $100 Million a year,” Spano explained. He said this condition exists because Con Edison averages out the cost of electricity over the metropolitan area and “charges all the same.” He charged the Public Service Commission “stubbornly” refuses to breakout billings by usage. He summarized studies he introduced last week. He said these studies indicated that building a new power plant, either hydroelectric, or other source and if the Public Service Commission “gave us those other changes,” (eliminating averaging), appeared feasible as a replacement for Indian Point power. He said that the problem with a new plant was finding a location for it.

City Can Absorb Cost Easier than Westchester

Spano said that New York City could absorb increases in the cost of power more easily than Westchester can, saying the transfer of costs to New York City from Con Ed would have “miniscule” impact on the city, should Westchester County build its own source of power, replacing Indian Point. Buying Indian Point, he said, would cost $2 billion, and he thought that building a new plant with another source of power was preferable.

After the studies came back, Spano told the leaders, “The logic was this: Let’s see if this would work.” Now Spano is proposing a new study, at the cost of $500,000, to study closely the feasibility. He said the county is seeking other entities to help with the funding, such as the New York Power Authority. Spano said Indian Point might be closed within 5 years.

Calls on Chairs to Lobby Legislators.

Mr. Spano then returned to the budget discussion, noting that to cut $30 Million, the increase in state-mandated costs, which he is seeking, he could do that by discontinuing
the county police, some health services, the bus system, parks and recreation. He reported that New York State is the highest taxed state and that Westchester County is the highest taxed locality in the United States:

“What can the constituency do?” Spano asked. “Talk to your Assemblypersons and Senators.”

Executive Spano spoke of initiatives he is taking to ease the impact on Westchester residents.

Spano criticized the Mayor of New York City suggestion for a commuter tax to erase New York City’s deficit. He said he was “in contact” with Canada to participate possibly in their unique prescription drug program.

No problem with State Senate Introduction.

Asked by one of the Coalition Chairs, where the problem was. Spano said he had “no problem” with the New York State Senate in getting the 1-penny-on-the-dollar sales tax increase. He said Senator Gary Pretlow of Mount Vernon would introduce it. He indicated in the Democrat-controlled state assembly that in light of Westchester’s immediate need, that Assemblyperson Naomi Matusow, would support the 1 cent sales tax increase he seeks for the County presently, but that her predecessor, Adam Bradley, elected in November, was against a sales tax increase across the county because he thinks it’s regressive, though, he mentioned Mr. Bradley supports continuation of the White Plains sales tax.

1 Penny on Dollar Sought.

In Executive Spano’s 2003 budget proposed last week, he proposed a cut of 229 county jobs, and a 28.6% property tax increase. He also criticized the state delay in passing his sales tax increase in his office’s press release on the subject. Spano noted Tuesday evening, this increase in sales tax only applied outside the four cities of White Plains, Yonkers, Mount Vernon and New Rochelle.

Schwartz Confirms Medicaid Cost Swells.

Larry Schwartz said more persons were enrolling in Medicaid. He said 98,000 of 930,000 county residents were on Medicaid. Spano observed that the state had such a good Medicaid plan that Walmart encouraged their workers to enroll in state Medicaid, rather than their own program.

“I know this is real,” Spano earnestly told the Chairs. “All the press knows I’m right. It’s like the Emperor’s new clothes…The legislature faces a $6 Billion to $12 Billion deficit when they go back (to Albany). If we don’t push, it’s not a good picture at all.”

“We need changes in the way we operate,” he said, “I’ve stuck my neck out.”

Reaching out to Northern Coalition.

He said he had come to the Northern Coalition to enlist their support for his sales tax, and call for mandate control, because, in the Northern towns, “we have a knowledgeable base,” as opposed to the South of the county. In an attempt at humor, he said, “Yonkers is like Beirut. In Greenburg, there’s something in the water. Mount Vernon is o.k.”

He noted that one person he knows from Greenburg was “O.K.” but that she drank “bottled water.” These remarks brought laughter.

Larry Schwartz to Assume New Support Role. Groomer of Future Candidates.

At this stage of the meeting, Mr. Spano introduced Larry Schwartz again, his Deputy Mayor, because he said he wanted the Chairs of the Northern Coalition to meet Mr. Schwartz. He said, Mr. Schwartz can be “helpful to you and your local candidates,” by identifying and encouraging more Democrats to become future candidates, and giving them the resources to win.

Mr. Schwartz in a sincere, open-minded manner, told how he and Mr. Spano had aided the Martin Rogowsky campaign, with mailing, brochure creation and design, and their telephone consultant on his telephone campaign.

Schwartz said he and Mr. Spano could help provide support for new attractive candidates the “Chairs” in the various towns hoped to “recruit” by Mr. Spano and Mr. Schwartz offering money and services, and in a campaign, “help on an extra little push.”

“Martin won by 300 votes,” Mr. Schwartz said, and alluded that the help Mr. Schwartz and the Spano team provided might have added up to the difference.

“We want to be helpful,” Spano said.

“Please Leave.”

In a wink of an eye, Mr. Spano looked straight at me, seeing the notepad in this reporter’s hands and flashing Integrity No. 2 Pencil. He asked “Are you from the press?”

I said “Yes.”

“Who are you with?”

“I’m John Bailey, the White Plains CitizeNetReporter,” I said.

Mr. Spano glared, brows knitted, eyes wide and hard, looking me directly eyeball-to-eyeball, and said slowly, quietly, deeply

“Please leave.”

“Why are you here?”

“Who sent you?”

“What was your Source?”

The questions all came at once.
I said at the White Plains Hall of Fame Induction ceremony Tuesday afternoon I had heard worries from a Board member about community youth programs being cut in the new budget, and had heard of this meeting.

Since I could not attend the budget press conference last Friday, taping a television show at the time, I said I thought tonight would be a good opportunity to ask about the youth program cuts, if any, of the County Executive himself, and whether the White Plains fears were well-founded.

Mr. Spano smirked, looking to the gentleman on his right.

“This is a private meeting,” I was told, after having been taking notes for 45 minutes and snapping two pictures of Mr. Spano and Mr. Schwartz.

The White Plains CitizeNetReporter is OUT of there

A man, said, quietly, rising and coming up to me, “I’m afraid I’m going to have to ask you to leave, sir.”

I apologized to the group for any inconvenience and was escorted to the deli entrance, without getting a chance to ask Executive Spano about cuts in community youth programs.

Who’s your Source?

My escort, who identified himself as Mitchell Weingarden, walking me out, explained it was a private meeting and asked cordially again, “Who was the source who told you about this meeting?” before I walked out into the rainslick sidewalk of Main Street.

I said, “you know I cannot reveal sources.” I was told Mr. Spano was appearing here and assumed it was a town meeting. It never occurred to me that it was a closed, private meeting.

Department of Communications Contacted Wednesday morning.

Late this morning, WPCNR contacted Donna Green of the Westchester Department of Communications, and left a message on her voicemail asking her to elaborate on how the new budget affected community youth programs. WPCNR did not hear back from her Wednesday. However it does take some hours to gather such information, considering the conscientious and courteous response the Department of Communications almost always delivers, WPCNR hopes to hear from her Thursday.

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White Plains Little League Announces Mandatory Background Checks

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WPCNR PRESS BOX. From Williamsport Little League and White Plains Little League Headquarters. (EDITED) November 20, 2002: Stephen D. Keener, president and chief executive officer of Little League Baseball, Incorporated, Williamsport, Pa., announced that all local Little League programs will be required to conduct background checks on managers, coaches or other volunteers who come in regular contact with players. Billy Ward, President of the White Plains Little League, announced today the procedure for those volunteers in White Plains Little League to apply for background checks.

The category of “other volunteers” includes WPLL Board of Directors and Committee personnel, and any other volunteer or hired worker who provides regular service to the local league and/or have repetitive access to, or contact with, players or teams.

Zero Tolerance: Mandatory Checks

WPLL is required to submit 100% ‘Volunteer Application’ forms, with photo identification attached, to Little League Baseball, Incorporated (Williamsport, Pa.) prior to the start of the season. If WPLL fails to do so, it runs the risk of losing its charters.

Volunteer Application Forms Available at In-Person Registration
December 12 and 14

WPLL will provide the ‘Volunteer Application’ form at in-person registration on December 12 and December 14. For those who registered online, the ‘Volunteer Application’ form will be distributed for completion.

The Process of Background Checking.

New regulations for the 2003 season now require volunteers at the local league level to complete and submit a volunteer application, giving consent to a background check. The applicant is also required to provide a copy of a valid photo identification along with a list of references and prior convictions.

Effective for 2003 Season

The newest phase of this Little League Child Protection Program goes into effect immediately for the 2003 season. Leagues worldwide are now required to either conduct a check of a sexual offender registry, or a criminal background check for the state or country in which the volunteer resides.

The Little League Child Protection Program, in place since 1997, has sought to educate children and volunteers in ways to prevent child abusers from becoming involved in the local league.

Little League Incorporated is the world’s largest organized youth sports program, with about 2.7 million baseball and softball players ages 5-18 in the USA and 100,000 in other countries. It is estimated since 1988, more than 10 million adults have volunteered in some capacity in Little League programs nationwide. There are currently more than 1 million adult Little League volunteers in local Little Leagues in the USA.

Little League Commissioner Comments:

“First and foremost, this mandate is for the protection of children in Little League,” Mr. Keener said. “Second, this will help maintain Little League as an environment in which children are safe from those who would seek to gain access to children and ultimately harm them. Third, it will protect volunteers and leagues from possible loss of personal or league assets because of costly litigation”.

“Thankfully, incidents of sexual abuse of Little Leaguers by adult volunteers have been extremely rare”, Mr. Keener said. “While we realize that no screening process can ever be 100 percent effective, we believe this will be a useful tool in helping our local league volunteers prevent these criminal types from gaining access to children through their local program”.

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Naomi Matusow Bids Her District a Melancholy Fairwell

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WPCNR ALBANY GAZETTE. By New York Assemblyperson Naomi Matusow. November 20, 2002: In a formal letter to her constituents, Ms. Matusow reflects on her ten years spent in the New York State Assembly, and issues a hope for the future.

New York State Assemblyperson
89th District

Photo by WPCNR News

To the Editor November 19, 2002

From Naomi Matusow, Assemblywoman, 89th A.D.

Re: Thank you to my constituents

Now that the election is over and I’ve had time to consider the
disappointing results, I find myself reflecting on the wonderful experience I have enjoyed over the last ten years representing the people of the 89th Assembly District.

From the outset, my goal has been to make a difference. I am so grateful to the voters who gave me the opportunity to achieve that goal.

I was successful in increasing state aid to public education for the 89th Assembly District.

As the result of my efforts to enhance public safety, New York has imposed a state-wide ban on assault weapons, and requires fingerprinting and background checks of school personnel, as well as mandatory reporting of allegations of child molestation to law enforcement personnel.

MS. MATUSOW ON WHITE PLAINS WEEKin July, with Alex Philippidis, left, and John Bailey.

I led the way for New York to adopt tough air quality standards for jet skis. By creating the “Drive Out Diabetes” special license plate, I found a way to fund research to find the cure and to educate the public about this life-threatening disease.

As Chair of the Assembly Committee on Libraries and Education Technology, I increased funding for libraries and highlighted their importance to our communities.

I hope my colleagues will carry on my mission to ban fifty caliber weapons; to extend the mandatory reporting of allegations of child molestation to day camps, sleep-away camps, child-care centers and other child-related organizations; to fight for more library aid; and of course to provide more state school aid for elementary, secondary and post-secondary education.

I will continue to pursue these and other important goals. I will persist in working to close the Indian Point nuclear energy facility while at the
same time promoting alternative energy solutions. My commitment to the preservation of open space will not diminish.

I will also work to bring more attention to the importance of directing resources to children from birth to age three in order to maximize the so-called “window of opportunity” for our youngest citizens. In 2001, Speaker Silver and my colleagues agreed to include $1 million in the Assembly’s proposed budget for a program I designed and named Baby Steps. It would have provided grants to libraries working with parents of young children. I wish that the Senate and the Governor had agreed to include it in the final budget.

Photo by WPCNR News

Had I been returned to office, these are the issues I would have pursued. Now, only the venue has changed. To everyone who gave me the unique opportunity of serving in the New York State Assembly, I say thank you? Two words that cannot begin to express the depth of feeling they represent.

Please keep in touch with me. Together we can continue to work to make a difference.

Assemblywoman Naomi C. Matusow

89th Assembly District

District Office

125-131 East Main Street

Mount Kisco, NY 10549

phone: (914) 241-2649

fax: (914) 241-0822

e-mail: matusow@assembly.state.ny.us

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Matusow Is Working on the Railroad: $800G for White Plains Stations

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WPCNR ASSEMBLY ADVOCATE & ROLLCALL. From NYS Assemblywoman Naomi Matusow News Center. November 18, 2002:Naomi Matusow announced Friday that she has designated $500,000 for improvements at the North White Plains train station and $300,000 toward the renovation of the White Plains station.
“The use of mass transit helps to ease congestion on our roadways and reduces pollution,” Matusow said. “It is my hope that by enhancing the convenience, safety, and aesthetics of the mass transit experience, we will encourage more commuters to leave their cars at home,” she explained.

The MTA Capital Program grant for North White Plains is being used to de-lead and paint the pedestrian overpass and to create a new customer waiting plaza on the east side of the overpass which will include a new sidewalk, ornamental fencing, landscaping, paving, benches and provision for the storage of bicycles.

At the White Plains station, which has recently undergone several capital improvements, Matusow’s allocation will be used to improve the MTA/Metro-North property at the Main Street entrance to the City’s downtown area which adjoins Westchester County parkland. The scope of the work will include clearing the slope area, installing an ornamental fence, and adding landscaping and ground cover.

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Robert Ruger Brings White Plains Together Again at Crowne Plaza Gala

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WPCNR White Plains After Dark. November 16, 2002: Westco threw a birthday bash for Mr. White Plains Saturday night, and 250 White Plainsians turned out to meet, greet, and honor the man who spreads concern, love and positive results everywhere he goes — he is the virtual spirit of the city.

From the Silent Auction beginning at seven to the dynamic Robert Ruger video that began the evening’s dinner dance to 11:30 PM, the good feelings Robert Ruger has a special talent for bringing out in people lifted people’s spirits.

INTRODUCING MAN OF THE CENTURY: Susan Katz, President of Westco introducing the main man, Robert Ruger with Dinner Committee Chair, Jo Falcone, and emcee Charles Goldberger. Mr. Ruger was honored by 250 of his closest friends Saturday night. Proceeds will be used to support Westco productions for ill and disabled children and help bring a million wheelchairs to children around the world. Mr. Ruger in his speech at the close of the evening, asked White Plainsians to give themselves a hand for they “are all volunteers,” and to volunteer and help, he felt, was the “greatest feeling in the world.”

Photo by WPCNR Entertainment

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Firefighters Signed through 2005.

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WHITE PLAINS EVENING CITY STAR REPORTER. From The Mayor’s Office November 14, 2002: George Gretsas, the Mayor’s Executive Officer, reported to WPCNR this evening that the White Plains Professional Firefighters have reached a settlement on a new contract, running through July 1, 2005.

Mr. Gretsas noted that the agreement “is consistent with the other city unions,” and calls for a 3.75% increase retroactive to July 1, 2002, a 3.75% increase beginning July 1, 2003, and a 4% raise effective July 1, 2004. The settlement has been signed by the firefighters, reports Gretsas, and now has to be approved by the Common Council. Gretsas said there were other details and “nuts and bolts,” of a minor nature.

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Spano Calls for Taking Over Indian Point, Conversion to Gas.

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WPCNR COUNTY CLARION-LEDGER. From James Benerofe and Westchester County Department of Communications (EDITED). November 13, 2002 UPDATED November 14, 2002:Jim Benerofe of SuburbanStreet.com, reporting from the County Executive’s news conference at noon Wednesday, reports that Executive Spano is calling for the county to take over the Entergy Indian Point nuclear energy plant, and study converting it to natural gas. Benerofe also reports, the issue of removal of the spent fuel rods in storage at Indian Point, was not addressed. He also reports Jim Steets, spokesperson for Entergy, noted that Entergy could run just such a plant, but did not elaborate.

The Associated Press reporting later today quoted Mr. Spano as saying purchasing the plant would cost the county possibly $3 Billion, but that electricity savings might make it worth while. The AP story also noted Entergy, the present owner paid approximately $1 Billion to purchase the plant, and that their spokesman, Jim Steets, indicated Entergy might entertain an offer.

Earlier Wednesday, the Westchester County Department of Communications summarized the news conference:
“I have long said that I would like to see Indian Point closed,” said Spano. “These new studies provide a basis to go ahead and investigate buying or condemning Indian Point and building a natural gas plant on the site. But many, many questions still need to be answered. We are prepared to hire experts to analyze this further. I want the study completed within six months.’’

Spano released the results of two studies recently prepared at the request of the county’s Public Utility Agency: one that looked at the possibility of building, owning and operating a natural gas-fired generating plant; and a second that studied the feasibility of acquiring the electric distribution system within the county.

New Study Called for. NYC invited to Participate

The county will issue RFPs (requests for proposals) for the study, which is estimated to cost $500,000. Spano said he intends to ask Mayor Michael Bloomberg if New York City wants to participate.

Spano said the proposed study would address the following questions:
• What would it cost to take over Indian Point, either by purchase or condemnation?

• What would it cost to replace the nuclear reactors with gas-burning generators with sufficient capacity?

• How could this best be accomplished? What partnerships, such as with the New York Power Authority (NYPA), would be needed?

• What would be the effect on the tax base of local municipalities and school districts?

• What would the effect be on energy rates for Westchester businesses and residents?

• Would county ratepayers further benefit if a county utility agency takes over some or all of Con Edison’s distribution system? Would it help the county qualify for cheap hydroelectric power and/or rid Westchester ratepayers of the burden of having to subsidize ratepayers in New York City?

“Masters of Our Own Fate”

“While there has been a lot of rhetoric about closing Indian Point, only Entergy or the Nuclear Regulatory Commission can make that decision,’’ said Spano. “However, if we buy the facility — or, if needed condemn it — and replace it, we don’t need the company or the NRC. We can be masters of our own fate.’’

He added, “Replacing Indian Point’s nuclear reactors will make us all feel safer. Now we need the specifics on how to do that.’’

The two preliminary energy reports released today were done by Sargent and Lundy of Chicago, a nationally recognized firm that is known for its consulting work on engineering, technical support and strategy for the electric power industry. The studies, titled the “Distribution Feasibility Study” and the “Power Plant Cost Study,” were recently completed.

They dealt broadly with the questions of whether alternate energy sources could be built in the county and whether a takeover of all or part of Con Edison’s distribution system could control or reduce electric rates paid by the public.

These reports were commissioned by the County of Westchester Public Utility Service Agency (COWPUSA), which was created in 1982, and gives the county the power to purchase, construct, lease, own or acquire a public utility to provide energy to county residents. While the agency was created to help provide cheaper energy for Westchester consumers, a natural progression could be the acquisition of Indian Point, Spano noted.

Old Idea

The idea of acquiring the old Con Edison energy system was first raised almost 30 years ago. At that time the rationale was to take over the generation and transfer of electricity to reduce outrageously high electric rates. A proposal to take over Con Edison’s distribution lines was narrowly defeated in a public referendum in the late 1970s.
“Life has changed since Sept. 11. While we are still concerned about unfair energy costs, the focus now is on nuclear power plant safety in this age of terrorism,’’ Spano said.

Issues to be Considered.

The formal report Spano has ordered now must cover a range of financial and legal issues, including:

• The ability and effect of using general obligation or revenue bonds to finance the buyout or condemnations necessary to construct any needed county facilities;

• Identification of any and all regulatory agencies whose approvals would be necessary for the project;

• Identification of the actual facilities and properties that the county needs to acquire or develop and an estimate as to the costs of such acquisition and development;

• A plan for the management and operation of the proposed county facilities;

• The impact of closure of the existing nuclear plants upon the employees of those facilities and the feasibility of retaining existing employees to operate and maintain the contemplated county facilities;

• The impact of closure of the existing nuclear plants on the tax bases of local communities and school districts and steps that may be taken to avoid or mitigate loss of property tax revenue;

• The increased energy costs to local governments from the expiration of the Power Purchase Agreement between NYPA and Entergy in 2004 and the ability of using of county facilities to avoid or mitigate property tax increases resulting from these higher energy costs;

• A comparison of Con Ed rates with those of New York State Electric & Gas to review why NYSEG’s Westchester customers pay so much less than rates paid by Con Ed’s Westchester customers.

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White Plains’ Lilly Singer Co-Authors Book About Loss

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WPCNR WHITE PLAINS PERSONAL. From Westchester Jewish Community Services. November 12, 2002: White Plains-resident Lilly Singer recently participated in a book signing of the Second Edition of Beyond Loss: A Practical Guide through Grief to a Meaningful Life, which she co-authored with Margaret Sirot of Stamford, CT, and Susan Rodd of Cooperstown, NY.

The book, originally published in 1988, became a popular manual for thousands of people coping with the loss of a spouse. Following last year’s terrorist attacks, Mrs. Singer and her co-authors decided to update the book to answer an acute need.

“Over the past decade we have been faced with unprecedented premature losses because of the horrendous AIDS epidemic, Oklahoma City bombing and September 11 terrorists attacks,” says Mrs. Singer. “Beyond Loss contains useful and practical information to help people cope with loss. It is intended as a guide to starting up life again just when it seems impossible to go on.”

A nationally-recognized expert on bereavement, Mrs. Singer is Coordinator of the Bereavement Program at Westchester Jewish Community Services (WJCS). In 1977, under the auspices of WJCS, she developed and led a group for widows and widowers who needed therapeutic and emotional support. As word of her groups spread throughout the mental health care community in Westchester, her work expanded rapidly to include groups for children, parents of school-age children and other bereaved people.

Widowed when her husband died suddenly at age 54, Mrs. Singer combines her professional background as a psychotherapist and her life experiences to offer support and solace to the bereaved and training to mental health professionals. In addition to her book, she has authored numerous articles, addressed national and international conferences and appeared on countless TV and radio programs.

For information about Mrs. Singer’s support groups or how to get her book, call 949-7699, X366.

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Manhattan-Sacred Heart, Hofstra-St. Francis in CANCER SLAM Monday.

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WPCNR PRESS BOX. From American Cancer Society. (EDITED) November 12, 2002:College Basketball tips off locally on Monday, November 25th at 7:00 pm, when the American Cancer Society will present the Coaches vs. Cancer Snapple College Slam at the Westchester County Center. Manhattan College will tip-off with Sacred Heart, followed by a 9:00 pm game matching Hofstra University against St. Francis College.

All attendees will be provided with free Snapple beverages, and raffle entry with admission to win T-shirts and other prizes. The evening’s event will also include shoot out contests. Tickets are on sale now for $11.00, available through the Westchester County Center Box office or Ticketmaster.

“Coaches vs. Cancer is an instrumental part of the American Cancer Society’s effort of supplying lifesaving information to help reach our goal of finding the ultimate answer – a cure for all cancers,” said Peter Ruccione, Corporate Relations Director at the American Cancer Society.

Coaches vs. Cancer is a partnership begun in 1993 by the American Cancer Society (ACS) and the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC). Since its inception, Coaches vs. Cancer has united over 500 NABC member coaches who have helped raise over $15 million nationwide for the American Cancer Society.

The Coaches vs. Cancer program is dedicated to defeating cancer by funding cancer research, education, advocacy and services of the American Cancer Society.

Money raised from ticket sales, sponsorships and game day activities will go to support the American Cancer Society’s programs of cancer education, patient services and support, as well as critical cancer research.

For more information, call the American Cancer Society at 1-800-ACS-2345 or visit the Society’s website at www.cancer.org.

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