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BEACON – The CSEA Westchester Local 860 and Southern Region Political Action Committees are pleased to announce their candidate endorsements for the following political campaigns in Westchester County.


County Executive Andrew Spano (D)

County Clerk Leonard Spano (R)

District Attorney Jeanine Pirro (R)

Westchester County Legislature

LD 1 George Oros (R)

LD 2 Nick Vazzana (D)

LD 3 Suzanne Swanson (R)

LD 4 Michael Kaplowitz (D)

LD 5 Bill Ryan (D)

LD 6 Martin Rogowsky (D)

LD 7 George Latimer (D)

LD 8 Lois Bronz (D)

LD 9 Richard Whisnie (D)

LD 10 Vito Pinto (D)

LD 11 James Maisano (R)

LD 12 Tom Abinanti (D)

LD 13 Clinton Young (D)

LD 14 Bernice Spreckman (R)

LD 15 Louis Mosiello (R)

LD 16 Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D)

LD 17 Jose Alvarado (D)

City of White Plains

Mayor Robert Greer (WFP)

City Council Glen Hockley (WFP)

City Council Rita Malmud (WFP)

City Council Thomas Roach (WFP)

Town of Greenburgh

Town Council Steven Bass (D)

Town of Eastchester

Supervisor James Cavanaugh (R)

Town Council David Levy (WFP)

Two of the candidates from Westchester County are also CSEA members. Jose Alvarado of Yonkers is running for the Westchester County Legislature from the 17th District. He is a CSEA employee of Westchester County. Steven Bass, also a CSEA employee of Westchester County, is running for a Town Council position in the Town of Greenburgh. As CSEA members, these candidates have a firm understanding of the issues that concern labor unions throughout Westchester County. They are also committed to fighting for the interests of all working families in the county.

CSEA is also endorsing Robert Greer for Mayor of the City of White Plains, where the union had been embroiled in a contract dispute for three years under the current administration headed by Mayor Joseph Delfino. CSEA, which represents 400 City of White Plains employees and nearly 2,000 White Plains residents, signed a contract with the city in December 2000 after three years of difficult negotiations.

All of the endorsed candidates running for county and municipal offices in Westchester County have demonstrated to CSEA strong support for labor, as well as a firm commitment to fight for all working families in Westchester County. They have been endorsed by the union not only because of their strong support of working families, but because of their competence and accountability to their constituents.

“We are backing these candidates because we have carefully reviewed the records of each one of them,” CSEA Westchester Local 860 President Gary Conley said. “Some of these candidates have supported us in the past, so we are supporting them again. Other candidates are people we’re supporting for the first time because the incumbents in their respective offices have treated CSEA poorly and we want a change. In the City of White Plains, for instance, we are supporting Bob Greer because he is a breath of fresh air for both the workers and residents of the city. Mayor Delfino grossly mismanaged the city workers and union contract negotiations. Unlike his opponent, I am certain that Mr. Greer and his team will show city workers the dignity and respect they deserve.”

“These candidates represent what is truly needed in government – competence, a strong ability to address issues and accountability to their constituents,” CSEA Southern Region President Carmine DiBattista said. “Of particular notes are Jose Alvarado, who is running for the County Legislature from the 17th District. He truly reflects the district he will represent. Steven Bass, who is running for the Greenburgh Town Council, is also a strong labor candidate. I am confident that both of these candidates, who are affiliated with CSEA, as well as the other candidates we have endorsed will serve Westchester County with pride and excellence.”


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Ridgeway Elementary Fashion Show Fundraiser

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Ridgeway Elementary PTA is proud to present its first Fashion Show Fundraiser on November 8th at 7:30 p.m. 100% of the proceeds go towards the school’s cultural arts program.
It is a school and community effort with all of the teachers modeling and over 40 White Plains vendors contributing food, gift certificates and other items to raffle off.

Admission tickets are $15 per person which includes a coffee bar, refreshements and desert buffet.

Anyone interested in attending may contact Pam Freidman at 997-0304 or Brenda Velez 946-5646 (PTA Co-presidents).

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Westchester Air Prez: Charters UP on WPW at 7:30 Fri. on 71.Fly Zone Rule

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Millie Hernandez-Becker, President of Westchester Air, White Plains, gives viewers of White Plains Week a glimpse into air travel of the future Friday on the White Plains weekly news review show. Ms. Hernandez-Becker comments on air travel security, the ability of the major airlines to recover, and how air travel will change in the future. She reports charter airlines are booming, and does not expect the commercial airlines to recover because of their thin margins.
The woman who went from ticket agent to the President of her own airline, and Northeast Hispanic Businesswoman of the year, talks with John Bailey, of WPCNR, Jim Benerofe of SuburbanStreet.com and Alex Philippidis, Editor of the Westchester County Business Journal on White Plains Week at 7:30PM Friday on Channel 71.

Millie Hernandez-Becker, President and CEO, Westchester Air with one of her babies for hire, a Gulfstream Jet at Westchester County Airport. She is interviewed tonight on White Plains Week by John Bailey, Alex Philippidis and Jim Benerfore. Cabletime is 7 PM on Channel 71.Photo by JOHN VECCHIOLLA

Ms. Hernandez-Becker states on the show that the Federal Bureau of Investigation has reviewed and made extensive suggestions for security at the airport among all the carriers. She reveals that her charter air travel service, Westchester Air has been fully booked since the World Trade Center attack, and has made arrangements to double the size of their air fleet by next year.

Becker expects that the major air carriers are not going to make it despite billions in federal aid. “I know how thin their margins are,” Becker says, on the show, implying that no amount of money can replace the lack of flying customers.

Charters nationally offering direct routes. Westchester Air inaugerates Palm Beach shuttle.

Becker reports that companies around the nation are now actively booking up companies for regular company flights to cities those companies fly to on a regular basis. Becker, who pioneered the marketing of charter flights to businesses in the mid-90s, remarked that her airline has originated a Palm Beach shuttle as a regular service for $2,500 roundtrip which departs for the weekends.

She also reports that her airline is working on inaugurating regular non-stop shuttles to Cleveland and Detroit shortly. She says, this is a trend she sees rapidly developing: companies arranging charter direct flights that eliminate the commercial carrier hub system annoyance of flying to Atlanta to get to Dallas, or flying to Charlotte to reach Atlanta.

“I can’t see the hub system surviving,” she says on the show, and tells you why. The program will be repeated Friday at 7:30 PM.

Comment on “no fly zone.”

Ms. Hernandez-Becker also said in remarks after the completion of the video taping that air space over Westchester County is being tightly controlled. She remarked that private aircraft as well have to file a VFR (visual flight rules) Flight Plan. There are no more joy rides. She said that if you as a pilot deviate from your flight plan route you are told to get back on your course and if you do not immediately comply you will be told to land and subject to pursuit. “You cannot, for instance, linger over the Indian Point facility,” Hernandez-Becker said. “Military aircraft will engage.”

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Update: The Fortunoffs Come to White Plains

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Louis and Andrea Fortunoff personally appeared before the Common Council to present their design for a Fortunoff’s retail complex on the Saks Fifth Avenue Site.
Scott Peck presented the design for the striking complex that will front on the corner of Maple Avenue and Bloomingdale Road. It will feature a 180,00 square foot Fortunoff’s facility plus 85,000 square feet of a street arcade complex and restaurant. The parking for the complex will move to the rear of the building in a four-story parking garage.

A FORTUNOFF RETAIL MECCA is planned for the corner of Maple Avenue and Bloomingdale Road on the former Saks Fifth Avenue site. The complex will have a glass- enclosed street level arcade featuring a restaurant and bring new national retail presences to White Plains. Parking will be behind the structure, with entry from Maple Avenue. Fortunoff’s rises behind the street level retail frontage, creating a second retail street scape just a tad North of Bloomingdale’sWPCNR PHOTO

The presentation came after one of America’s last independent retail families, the elegantly dressed Fortunoffs, were forced to cool their heels, observing the Council ask very mundane questions about Fenway Golf Club maintenance garages for 40-minutes, and the presentation of a bar patio for another 20 minutes.

LAST OF THE RETAIL TYCOONS, observe presentation of architect Scott Peck last Thursday evening. Councilman William King and Edward Dunphy are seated in front of Louis Fortunoff(to the left of King), and Andrea Fortunoff. WPCNR PHOTO

The Mayor was so exasperated at what he felt was Council disrespect to the Fortunoffs by asking question after question about the Fenway Storage sheds, he chided Pauline Oliva as to whether she wanted a traffic study done, which brought a great deal of laughter and promptly ended the discussion.

The Council also approved Bill Brown’s 42-unit senior affordable housing project for South Kensico Avenue, virtually rubber stamping the project. Brown told WPCNR he was looking at other locations for similar projects in White Plains at “undisclosed locations.”

The council also heard Mike Kelly report he had resolved differences with The Esplanade over patio outdoor dining at The Thirsty Turtle. The Fortunoffs experienced the titilation of learning about Mike Kelly’s exit security procedure whereby patrons of the popular watering hole are frisked leaving the establishment to assure that they are not carrying beer out of the Club.

Mr. Kelly also reported that he checked labels of discarded beer bottles around the back of his pub, and reported to the council that some of the discarded beer bottle brands were not stocked by his club.

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McLoughlin: No New Direction. No Superintendent Profile. Maybe We’ll Tell.

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UPDATED:Board of Education President Donna O. McLaughlin told 50 parents Thursday night the Board would meet with Saul Yanofsky November 5, to discuss a way they could reveal the “significant differences” behind the Superintendent’s dismissal. She revealed no guidelines are in place describing the kind of superintendent they are looking to hire, and there is no “new direction” planned, contrary to colleague comments. No good time to replace Yanofsky.

BOARD PRESIDENT READING EXPLANATION TO PTA COUNCIL: Donna O. McLaughlin, reads lengthy statement, while Dr. Saul Yanofsky listens Thursday evening. The statement was the statement read at the Curriculum meeting Monday evening, and can be read in its entirety in the WPCNR story headlined “Yanofsky:”They Wanted Me to Resign. Short-term contract denied. WPCNR PHOTO

Denies “new direction” sought by other Board Members

In a spirited discussion after the regular PTA Council meeting at Education House, McLoughlin denied that the Board was seeking a new direction (as stated to WPCNR by Board members Stephen Sules and Larry Geiger privately). She said the board was just seeking a fresh look.

Search Firm Will Draw Up Profile of Ideal Superintendent with Parent Input.

She stated that she had not investigated the cost yet of what a national recruiting search for a new Superintendent of Schools would cost the district. She indicated funds were set aside for such purposes in the overall school budget. She said she had just begun to evaluate search firms.

Asked what qualities the board was looking for in a new superintendent, McLoughlin said the Board did not have any in mind, and that this would be determined by the search firm with help from the community the Board would hire.

When pressed, McLaughlin said the Board would be looking for “someone like Saul.”

Councilmembers said, “Well, he’s right here. Ask him.”

McLoughlin recounts “countless hours,” phone calls

At one point McLoughlin complained that she was just a “volunteer,” as were the rest of the Board and that they had agonized over this decision.

“Look at the bags under my eyes,” she said.

Yanofsky sought to spare community over the summer

McLaughlin said the delay in announcing the departure was Yanofsky’s decision. Yanofsky agreed. Explaining why the decision was not released last April, Yanofsky said,

“I didn’t see any point in disrupting the community back then…nor do I need 14 months to find another job. I didn’t think it helpful to the district to identify the areas the Board and I disagreed about.”

Yanofsky “uncomfortable” with alleged Board Member comments, however.

Yanofsky said he and the board had agreed not to reveal the nature of the differences. He reported pleasantly that he has been hearing things board members have said “that make me less and less comfortable keeping quiet about it that are unfair and inaccurate,” and raising his voice slightly said, “I’m getting close to the point, where I don’t think it’s fair to me to keep quiet about it.”

He gives us a glimpse of the “differences.”

Dr. Yanofsky, commenting on the problem of revealing the differences between himself and the board in a way that would not polarize the community said,

“You have to be careful how they are related without doing harm, they’re not dramatic differences to my knowledge,” saying they dealt with “How do you engage? How do you deal with subtleties, style differences that are a part of it.”

McLoughlin says differences very apparent in “work sessions,” chides parents for not attending work sessions.

Reacting to substantial incredulity expressed by Council Members about differences between Yanofsky and the Board, whom they felt always seemed supportive of Yanofsky, McLoughlin had a different “take.”

The Board President said the differences are very prevalent in work sessions of the Board. McLoughlin said the public rarely attends those work sessions, otherwise they would have noted the differences. She chided parents for not attending work sessions.

However, WPCNR would like to point out this appears self-serving. Board of Education work sessions are not vigorously publicly noticed in an aggressive manner that would indicate that the Board of Education wants the public to be there. However, WPCNR will be asking for notice of all work sessions from now on.

The Board of Education never faxes the media when work sessions are called, as City Hall does. The Board has never, to this reporter’s knowledge, e-mailed WPCNR about a work session, as they do with publicity releases. During the course of the year, the public is only informed about budget sessions. As a reporter, you have to ask about work sessions. When attending them, executive sessions can be called if the public, and reporters are present, thus shielding meaningful discussion from view. The only times, in this reporter’s opinion, when the public was aggressively asked for input last year were on the subjects of budget and the Code of Conduct.

McLoughlin would not, or could not say how many parents had expressed dissatisfaction about Yanofsky.

Parents questioned McLoughlin where the Board got the idea parents were unhappy with Yanofsky. She said she attends many meetings and sporting events, talks to many people and has heard things. When pressed for a number of parents she had heard expressing dissatisfaction, McLoughlin declined to elaborate.

Schere Leaves When the Questioning Starts. McLoughlin Defends the Board Decision Alone.

Does September 11 make a difference. McLoughlin says, ‘no.’

In a revealing answer, one Council member asked if the Board had considered the need for Dr. Yanofsky’s expertise after the Twin Towers attack. McLoughlin acknowledged they had, but decided a replacement for Dr. Yanofsky would have to be found sometime and there would never be a good time.

Only two Board of Education members attended the gathering: Michelle Tratoros and Dorothy Schere, in addition to McLoughlin. After saying, “Dorothy Schere is sinking very fast,” Schere left for the evening, after the first two parents got up and started the long orderly, sometimes loud, inquisition of the Board President. Schere was reportedly ill. However she had stayed for over an hour before being too ill to continue, apparently. Tratoros did not make any comments. Stephen Sules, Larry Geiger, Richard Bernstein and Susan Kirkpatrick did not attend.

Emotional, firm Parent Voices Highly Critical of the Board.

The predominant theme running through the discussion was the Board should have sought input from the community, and asked comment on Yanofsky leadership prior to last April.McLoughlin said that was a very difficult thing to do, because of the sensitive nature of the evaluation process. She also staunchly said the Board had the right to choose a Superintendent on its own judgment.

Petition Movement Is “Not Doing Badly.”

A parent organizing a petition drive calling on the Board to reverse its decision told WPCNR that signatures are accumulating, and that it was “not doing badly.” She said some parents refused to sign, but the drive was ongoing. Petitions are available for signing at What a Bagel Cafe and Pretty Petals.

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Cappelli Financing Appears to Be In Place as Major Firms Join the Project.

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WPCNR has learned that major design and engineering firms have engaged with the project and begun producing detailed plans to begin construction, indicating financing has been arranged and locked up, but simply not announced.
Observers of the paper trail involving the City Center project have alerted WPCNR that they expect the financing for the Cappelli City Center is in place and has already closed, despite no official announcement.

Evidence for this from seasoned construction experts familiar with the way projects work is that new players have joined the project to work in teams on separate facets of the project: retail, movies, and residential. The sources, close to the project, report the firms engaged are prominent well-known firms which do not do work “on spec,” and are very expensive. This would indicate that Cappelli Enterprises has proceeded to hire them to prepare the detailed blueprints needed for official construction to begin.

A tip-off is that National Amusements has its design team working on the theaters portion of the project, so that firm obviously things it is a “go.”

Mayor Delfino indicated this in the Tuesday evening Candidate’s Forum held at Highlands Middle School in which he said Louis Cappelli had said financing was on track and he expected to close on it in November.

Another factor indicating that closing on the financing has been done is that closing dates do not normally fluctuate on deals this big. Cappelli had said he was closing September 25.

This gives rise to the speculation on part of skeptics that announcement of the closing is being held back, so as not to influence the election coming up November 6, by according Mayor Delfino and his candidates positive publicity. Mr. Cappelli has rarely let grass grow under his feet on this project. Now it appears his hiring of major national firms to prepare plans and designs in fulltilt would at the very least indicate there is no problem, or most likely, that the closing has already taken place.

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Board Publicly Pilloried. Petitions Perking. $$$crutiny Starts.

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White Plains School District administrators and parents harangued the Board of Education Monday evening at a routine public work session, demanding the Board reverse its decision to dismiss Superintendent of Schools, Saul Yanofsky. New Curriculum Head first to face revealing Board queries on consultant-use.

The Board of Education, after experiencing a weekend of private telephone calls to their residences, faced the music Monday evening and listened silently for a hour as key school administrators praised Saul Yanofsky and condemned the Board decision. Parent attendees were more vocal and pointed in their criticism. At one point, School Board President Donna McLaughlin was reported “close to tears.”

School President Donna McLaughlin, according to two CitizeNetReporter operatives, opened the routine work session on curriculum saying that she would allow time for some public comment by the district administrative heads, principals on the firing of Saul Yanofsky that was announced last Wednesday.

Nothing new as to what’s behind the sack. No wrong doing involved.

McLaughlin read a statement at the outset of the meeting which was described by our observer, as not shedding any more light on the reasons for the dismissal of the 12-year superintendent.

“Donna said that the district thanked Sal Yanofsky for all his work and contributions, the first time the Board has said thank you,” said Althea Fusco, who was in attendance. “Donna also said there was absolutely no impropriety or wrongdoing on Dr. Yanofsky’s part involved in the decision.”

She said that Hugh McKiernan, Principal of Mamaroneck Avenue School, and President of the Administrators and Supervisors Association (in the district) stood and spoke on behalf of the supervisors about Dr. Yanofsky. He praised Dr. Yanofsky’s work over the years, and she reports him saying that he had never heard of any criticism of Dr. Yanofsky over the years.

No “Path” by McLoughlin

Parents protested more vehemently. Fusco reports at one point McLoughlin, (reportedly the only board member who spoke to the irate audience), reached out to the angry parents to “travel with us down this new path together as we always have.”

This was met with the question from one parent, “But, what is that path?”

McLoughlin did not say anything in response as to what new directions the Board was planning to take that Dr. Yanofsky apparently by the board’s guarded comments was not willing to take.

Other comments during the one hour blast-session, Ms. Fusco reports, criticized language of the letter sent by the Board, announcing Dr. Yanofsky’s departure effective in June, 2002. The letter was criticised for its run-on sentences and for not officially thanking the superintendent. The board was accused of being “unethical” in dismissing the Superintendent without taking the matter up with the community.

What a Night to Present a Curriculum!

Meanwhile, what was new Assistant Suprintendent for Curriculum, JoAnna Maccario, thinking? She is a no-nonsense, pleasant and earnest woman, so typical of the “White Plains School Professional” who operates with the same intensity and commitment as her predecessor, Constance Iervolino. You could tell in the respective and fiesty way she answered questions and presented.

Here she is, on the job three months, fresh out of New York City, thinking she is taking a job in a stable school district with a great reputation, and here the parents and administrators are to a person blasting the Board of Education. It must have made her feel right at home.

In what was anticlimactic at best, Ms. Maccario presented a powerpoint presentation on the curriculum for the 2001-02 year. She will present the “Curriculum Show” again at the PTA Council meeting on Thursday, October 25 at 7:30 PM at Education House.

Clues Emerge as to the Board of Education New Era

WPCNR did not hear all the presentation, coming in through the glass doors of the Board meeting room (the front door to Education House was locked), however, we arrived.

The first comments made by Board of Education President McLaughlin to Ms. Maccario, were whether there were any “new initiatives or content?”

Maccario said, “it was a continuation of things we’ve been doing.”

Consultant Evaluation Asked.

McLaughlin also asked if the consultants contracted to conduct new teacher and staff development were doing what they were hired to achieve. Maccario responded they were working to get “something quantifiable” on the success of the consultants, and the success of student improvement based on consultant-derived methods and training procedures, saying “Quality of work is what we need.”

“Are we all on the same page?” McLaughlin asked.

“That’s what we’re starting to feel,” Maccario answered.

“I just want to be sure that the money were spending is meeting the need.” McLaughlin said casually.

Dorothy Schere made it pleasantly clear in Ms. Schere’s casual voice, “We just want to make sure whether or not it’s (the consultant-spending) is helping to teach, and how you go about evaluating these consultants.”

Maccario said she would devote a session with the Board to consultant evaluation, and said she would find “some way of us having a healthy conversation on this topic.”

Pre-K effectiveness inquiry.

Michelle Tratoros, another member of the board asked a question about Pre-K effectiveness and got an answer from Ms. Maccario that non-English speaking Pre-K-ers “at the end of six months, still had no English.”

Yanofsky a silent observer. No back-up this time.

Dr. Yanofsky in the past when his assistant superintendents would make presentations and run into questions from the Board of Education members, amplified the extenuating circumstances influencing the condition being called into question.

This Yanofsky trait of standing up for his people, endearing him to his staff, was obviously not coming from a clearly hurt and troubled Dr. Yanofsky, sitting to the left of Donna McLaughlin at the very end of the table.

Lewis Trippett a silent witness.

Our CitizeNetReporter operatives report Mr. Tippett, a member of the Board of Education at the time it voted to remove Dr. Yanofsky last April was in the audience.

They report he did not rise to aid Ms. McLaughlin in facing the shock and displeasure voiced by everyone in the audience.

Our operative said that Mr. Trippett was asked by those around him in the audience, how the board could dismiss Yanofsky, and Mr. Trippett responded, “Well, you don’t know the stories we heard.”

However, when pressed by persons around him for those stories, Mr. Trippett did not elaborate on what the board had been told.

Trippett the Trigger?

WPCNR has pieced together from three different sources that Mr. Trippett may be the driving force behind Yanofsky’s ouster. The feeling we encountered was there was rivalry over power between the two men.

Another source advised there is some unhappiness over two new principals in the district, and that contributed to the decision.

Another observer we spoke with over the weekend, pointed out Trippett was a very strong advocate of school standards testing. Yanofsky was critical of the way in which the New York State Education Department administered and conducted the tests. He consistently maintained that the state lack of liaison on test content resulted in misleading representation of district performances.

Dr. Yanofsky was an outspoken champion for other school districts seeking to alter the testing procedure. Another source said this was a direct challenge to the teachers by the Board of Education because the Board resented the latest teacher contract Yanofsky negotiated.

Budget Balooning a Concern?

A source tonight told WPCNR that Board members Ms. Schere, Ms. Tratoros, Mr. Stephen Sules, and Mr. Richard Bernstein were “quite conservative,” translating that into consistent concern for budget impact of special programs and special education. Yanofsky has championed special need after special need. Another source Friday said the 9% increase in the 01-02 budget shocked the board, and “was the last straw,” and contributed to their decision to end Dr. Yanofsky’s employment.

First Comments Reveal “New Path?”

Based on the first words heard from the board tonight in response to their new Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, costs of performance-enhancing programs are going to be scrutinized “on the new path” Ms. McLaughlin is talking about.

The fact that the first comments to their new Assistant Superintendent, after her slide show, revolved right off the bat over the value of consultants for training teachers and evaluation of them, may be just coincidental.

To be fair, other comments may have been made of a positive nature by Board Members during the presentation of Ms. Maccario which we did not see.

“There’s No Money Here. It’s All Accounted For.”

However consider this exchange for what it is worth: Uneasy laughter came from the board when Ms. Maccario said that working for the New York City Board of Education, she could always find extra money for things and always put in for them.

She said this in a very humorous way. There was a chuckle from the board, and someone remarked, “well there’s no extra money here. It’s all accounted for.”

Nervous laughter was uttered by the seven Board Members.

Ms.Maccario got her request in anyway, saying she hoped for laptops for her staff to faciliate communication. Nobody laughed.

Petitions being circulated.

WPCNR has learned that parents have begun to circulate petitions through their neighborhoods today calling on the Board to reintstate Dr. Yanofsky. Petitions ask residents of the city who are eligible to vote to sign the following resolution:

Petition to Retain Saul Yanofsky


We, the undersigned, are appalled at the decision of the White Plains Board of Education not to renew the contract of our Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Saul Yanofsky. While the Board of Education may technically have the right to make such a decision, they have a clear ethical obligation to represent the voters who elected them and to seek input from the community before making such a critical decision. We maintain that they have clearly failed in this obligation and that they move immediately to reverse this decision and offer Dr. Yanofsky the opportunity to remain as our Superintendent.

Teachers Union to Meet Tuesday at 4 to Consider Response

Jerry Gorski, President of the White Plains Teachers Association, commented to WPCNR on the Yanofsky denouement,
“I was shocked just like everybody else when I got the letter. I didn’t see it coming. We’re having a meeting tomorrow (Tuesday) to consider the matter. It is a regularly scheduled meeting.”
Gorski said he had “no official response at this time.”

Gorski reported that, to his knowledge, there was no legal mechanism to overturn the Board decision. He said the Board of Education has “final say in all personnel matters, and that’s that.”

He said he spoke to the Board President (McLaughlin), and she said “no more to me, than was said in the letter” to the district.

Yanofsky has not confided in Gorski. He keeps it to himself.

Gorski remarked that the teachers “couldn’t believe it. They are angry. They did not like the letter, and the way it was stated.”

The WPTA President said Yanofsky was “going about his business.”
Our correspondents at the Education House meeting Monday said Yanofsky appeared genuinely touched by the spontaneous display of support.

Westchester Superintendents Shocked.

A person speaking to New Rochelle’s Superintendent of Schools said that that superintendent said they were shocked Yanofsky had been let go, “He’s the most respected superintendent in Westcheser County.”

Based on the outcry Monday night, he is also the most respected superintendent by the people who work for him and the parents who trust their children to him.

The Big Hurt.

Passing Dr. Yanofsky on the way out between the dignified columns of Education House, we noted Yanofsky talking with a companion in the shadows. We saw his withdrawn melancholy. The soft features of his face. The reticence, so unlike him, and wondered about the personal discipline it took to keep this hurt secret for six months.

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Tigers Fight Flags, File Saunders, 14-6, on Good Hands of Mr. Lee

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White Plains High School won its fourth straight football game in the autumnal palette of Parker Stadium Saturday with Jeff Lee scoring both touchdowns.

Evan McGuire gave us a WPCNR exclusive report on the Tigers latest win Saturday crediting stalwart defensive play for shutting down Saunders except for one 60 yard TD pass play in the first half.

Saunders tried a pitch back to one of their runners on their very first possession in the first quarter. They were not ready for Jeff Lee, the F-14 fighter jet that patrols linebacker for the Tigers, on routine sortee.

Air Strike!

Lee roared into the backfield in his best Lawrence Taylor imitation and picked off the pitchback. He was off! Off to paydirt racing 70 yards to light up a “6” on the scoreboard in the North End. Saunders came back in the first quarter on a 60-yard pass, missing the point to make it 7-6.
“It was real close (after that) the whole game,” McGuire reports. “We caught a couple of breaks. Nobody wanted to give up. We contained them a lot on defense.”

Scoreless second half.

The Tigers scored again late in the first half on a third down from the Saunders 22 yard line, when Darrell Mack hit “Mr. Lee” on a quick snap slant pass over the middle. Lee executed has fearless turn and catch and turned on the afterburners. He left the secondary in his wake for a 13-6 lead, plus point and the Tigers were up, 14-6 at the half.

McGuire reports the Tigers failed to put away Saunders in the second half having a touchdown called back because of a hold in the 4th quarter. He said it was a penalty filled game that prevented either offense from getting things going. Spectators at the Parker bowl were loudly critical of the officiating the entire game.

Lee saved the game picking off a pass in the last two minutes to stall Saunders’ drive for the equalizer.

Credits coaches for turnaround.

McGuire said that Coach Santa Donato and his staff “have good ways to motivate everybody. After our first two losses, our goal was to run the table. Everybody wants to get better and win every week. The coaches want to teach and motivate us to get better.”

White Plains, thanks to an offense that seems to come up with big plays when they have to, and a defense that consistently stops drives has turned its season around. WPCNR asked McGuire about the outstanding open field tackling and pursuit the Tiger Dee has used to contain explosive offensives.

“He who tackles most tackles best.

McGuire credits the outstanding open field tackling we’ve seen to practice, “We’ve had a lot more emphasis on the fundamentals this year. We’ve done a lot of repetition on tackling. We have a defensive pursuit drill every practice.”

McGuire admires Jeff Lee with “finding ways to shake tackles.” Asked about the passing game, produceing some great clutch plays, mostly to “Mr. Lee,” McGuire says, “We wish we did not have to pass. We like to pound the ball in. When we’re blocking and running well, we don’t need to pass. We like ball control.”

Next week the Tigers are at home to play Lincoln, a game that was postponed from September at 1:30 PM.

At halftime, the White Plains High School Band entertained and spectators were complimentary about their forming a formation, described as a big “W” on the field, and the “Big Ten” sound of “Great Balls of Fire.”

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School Board: Time for New Leader. Yanofsky Inflexible.

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Stephen Sules and Larry Geiger of the School Board confirmed to WPCNR Thursday Dr. Saul Yanofsky consistently disagreed with the School Board on issues they refused to identify, forcing the Board decision not to renew his contract. They depicted Dr. Yanofsky as committed to his vision for the School District mission, citing the need for “a fresh look,” “new leadership.”

WPCNR also learned from Mr. Sules and Mrs. Donna McLaughlin, School Board President that the decision to remove Dr. Yanofsky effective at the end of his contract was made “by consensus” in executive session last April. No vote was taken.

Time for a New Leader, Trippett says.

Lewis Trippett, Board Member at the time of the change, commenting Thursday evening said the board acted because they felt “it was the appropriate time for a change in leadership of the School District.”

Trippett added that the parents in the White Plains school district would be involved “extensively” in the search process for a new superintendent. He said the search firm had not been engaged yet, that the school board would be providing a profile of the kind of superintendent they were seeking to the firm.

What’s wrong with the school district? No answer

Asked repeatedly why Dr. Yanofsky suddenly no longer possessed those qualities, Trippett would not comment, repeating the mantra that Mrs. McLaughlin, Dorothy Schere, Larry Geiger and Mr. Sules advised WPCNR:

Tthey were looking for a fresh look, a new direction for the district, without articulating what that direction was.

Geiger most candid.

Lawrence Geiger praised Dr. Yanofsky’s contributions to the district, pointing out the district had renewed Yanofsky’s contract four times since 1989,

“As to why he’s been let go, we realized it would be better for the kids with new leadership. We felt a new person would take a fresh look at many of the issues we’re facing. It’s really a personnel matter. We made a judgement call that’s between the board and him. We need to maintain the strength and the direction the district should go.”

Asked if this meant the Board was dissatisfied with district performance, Geiger would not comment, but mentioned, “there’s always room for improvement.”

Geiger made the strongest statement yet that what we saw at the docile Board of Education meetings on the first Monday of the month, was not a true picture of the Board relationship with Dr.Yanofsky. saying,

“There were a number of differences that could not be resolved. I think it’s the best way not to go into specifics.”

Board deliberated long, Sules reports.>

“This decision was not reached quickly, ” Sules said, reached at his home Thursday night. “It took quite awhile. There were some differences of opinion (between Yanofsky and the Board) that he delivered. We felt we needed a fresh look at the challenges of the District. We need someone very forward looking at this time. The Board believes this is the time to search for a new leader who would provide a fresh look.”

Board Member Michelle Tratoros declined comment and referred WPCNR to Ms. McLoughlin. Richard Bernstein, reached at his New York office, referred us to Mr. Sules and Ms. McLoughlin. New Board member Susan Kirkpatrick, did not return our call.

Can you Keep a Secret? The School Board Can.

Asked why the board kept this secret for six months, Mr. Trippett objected, saying it was not kept secret.

Trippett said, “We just didn’t publicize it.”

However, neither the CO-President of the White Plains PTA Council, numerous teachers, and key members of the City School District contacted by WPCNR knew their leadership was changing for six months until Wednesday of this week.

The Saul Man On the Job Through June. Geiger feels no problem in filling slot.

Yanofsky will fulfill his contract through June of 2002. Mr. Geiger said he felt confident they would have a successor to Yanofsky by Spring, 2002,

“When we hired Saul in 1989-90, we advertised the opening in the fall of 1989 and had Saul on board in March, 1990,” Geiger recalled. However, last year according to Rosemary Williams of the Middle School PTA, there were 11 Superintendent’s jobs unfilled in Westchester County.

Parents, key teachers dumbfounded.

Three key personalities in the school district were shocked by the news. They could not make sense of the Board’s decision, and could not shed any light on any particular policy difference Yanofsky had with the board that would explain his being dismissed.

One White Plains teacher said it felt to her “like a death in the family.”

Yanofsky’s accomplishments in 12 years:

Dr. Saul Yanofsky was eulogized while still living today by every district worker we talked to. WPCNR, on short notice, credits him as having brought balanced schools to White Plains painlessly, computer-networked the School District in a way that is the envy of every other Westchester School District, met the challenge of the New York State standardized tests, raised the test scores of ESOL (English Spanish Other Language) students, initiated pre-K and all-day kindergarten programs, and consistently fought eloquently for his students.

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Habla Espanol?Now WPCNR comes in Spanish, 4 other languages!

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It is fitting that with the Hispanic Parade coming up this Saturday, WPCNR, thanks to the cutting edge Westchester Wire Network, now offers the opportunity to read all stories in Spanish. Just pick your language by going to the Translator Box on the left (just below the Reader Comments!).
White Plains CitizeNetReporter is proud to announce the only daily foreign language editions of White Plains news. You can choose to read WPCNR’s exclusive insider reporting on White Plains events, deals, coverups, breakthroughs, successes and failures on school, city hall, politics, and sports in any one of five languages.

Simply move your trusty cursor to the Translate Feature box on the left of this column (It’s just below the reader comments, my favorite part of the site!)

Click on the downward pointing arrow and select the language you prefer: English, Spanish, French, German or Italian.

Sean Cover who acquires these bells and whistles for we network affiliates says it is very good. Give it a test and tell your Spanish-speaking, French, German or Italian friends about it.

And let us know how good the translation is!

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