In 2018: 1.1 Million Pages Viewed. 117,063 Unique Visitors Make 29,700 Visits a Month. 321 Visits a Day. 2,028,191 Hits NoBots, The White Plains Daily News Service Since 2000 A.D. John F. Bailey, Editor (914) 997-1607 firstname.lastname@example.org Cell: 914-673-4054. News Politics Personalities Neighborhoods Schools Finance Real Estate Commentary Reviews Policy Correspondence Poetry Philosophy Photojournalism Arts. TV: White Plains Week 7:30 FRI, 7 MON & People to Be Heard 8PM THURS, 7 PM SAT on FIOS CH 45, ALTICE CH 76 "Fighting for Truth, Justice and the American Way. EXTRA! EXTRA! READ ALL ABOUT IT!
WPCNR HEALTH ISSUES. From the Westchester County Department of Health. January 8, 2019:
With peak flu season at the height of activity, County Executive George Latimer announced that the County Health Department will offer more free flu vaccines for residents by appointment on Tuesday, January 14 and Tuesday, January 21 at the County Clinic in White Plains.
Latimer said: “The flu is widespread this season, and it can be miserable if you come down with the virus. I encourage anyone who did not have a flu vaccine this fall to sign up for one today, to protect you and those around you well into 2020.”
The New York State Department of Health has reported a sharp increase in the number of laboratory-confirmed influenza cases and hospitalizations reported statewide. So far this season in New York, 3,592 flu-related hospitalizations and one flu-associated pediatric death have been reported.
Westchester flu clinics are open to all, especially those without insurance or whose insurance doesn’t cover vaccines. Register online for a free flu vaccine atwww.health.ny.gov/gotoclinic/60. The vaccines will be given at the County Clinic, 134 Court St., White Plains, as follows:
Tuesday, Jan. 14, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Tuesday, Jan. 21, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The County Health Department has focused its public vaccination efforts on people who lack the means to get vaccinated elsewhere by bringing flu shots to homeless shelters, soup kitchens and food pantries throughout Westchester.
Health Commissioner Sherlita Amler, MD, said: “Everyone six months and older should get a flu shot each year. Flu can be deadly, and the flu vaccine is very safe and the best protection we have. By getting an annual flu shot, you help protect infants too young to be vaccinated, seniors and people with chronic health conditions, who are more vulnerable to flu complications.”
Flu activity usually peaks between December and February, but can last into May. One flu vaccine now provides protection all season long and can prevent illness or reduce the severity of flu symptoms. The vaccine becomes fully effective after about two weeks.
Dr. Amler said that anyone who does get a respiratory infection should cough or sneeze into their elbow, wash their hands frequently with soap and water, stay home until 24 hours after their fever subsides to avoid spreading germs, clean surfaces they touch frequently, such as doorknobs, water faucets, refrigerator handles and telephones, and get plenty of rest.
The Leffell School (Solomon Schechter School) has requested an adjournment for its proposed amendment to allow the premises to be used as a summer day camp program. There is NO Zoning Board of Appeals Meeting tomorrow, Wednesday January 8th.
Instead, representatives from The Leffell School will attend the January 22nd Rosedale Association meeting to make a presentation and answer questions.
All are Welcome to Attend
Wednesday, January 22 7:30PM WP Public School District Bldg 5 Homeside Lane
WPCNR REALTY REALITY. From Houlihan-Lawrence. January 7, 2019:
Luxury markets north of NYC, all distinctive and unique, ended the year on a mixed note. Pricing, inventory levels and buyers changing taste and attitudes played a role in how each area fared in 2019, according to the Houlihan Lawrence Luxury Market Report released today.
In Westchester County, luxury sales ($2M and higher) dipped by 25% in the first half of 2019, a symptom of buyer malaise and concern about tax reform. Buyers returned to the market after tax returns were filed and the impact of tax reform on their personal balance sheet was clarified. Sales moved into positive territory in the third quarter and momentum continued to build in the fourth quarter. Second half gains offset most of first half declines and luxury sales in 2019 posted a modest decline.
The ultra-luxury segment of the market ($5M and higher) was level with 2018, but a sharp drop in selling prices made 2019 look very different from 2018. In 2018, Houlihan Lawrence’s sale of David Rockefeller’s estate sold for 50% over asking price and closed at a record-setting $33M. That same year five sales surpassed the $10M price mark.
In 2019 there were no sales over $10M and the highest sale, originally offered at $12M, closed at $8.1M. Most ultra-luxury sales took one or more price reduction and sold on average 26% off the original list price underscoring buyers’ value driven mentality at the high-end and conservative attitude towards real estate.
Luxury sales ($1M and higher) declined in Putnam and Dutchess counties although pended sales in Putnam increased significantly – a hopeful sign for 2020. Further north in Columbia County, Houlihan Lawrence represented the seller and buyer on a record-breaking $8M sale and established Houlihan Lawrence as the number one brokerage firm in Columbia County.
In Greenwich, luxury sales ($3M and higher) were down in 2019. Pended sales in the $3M-$3.99M price range jumped at the close of the year which may translate into a stronger first quarter.
Above $4M, a buildup of inventory continues to weigh down the market and put pressure on pricing. Motivated sellers have abandoned the notion of aspirational pricing – that is list prices that are disconnected from market values. Their pricing strategy is based on current market conditions, recent comparable sales of homes in similar condition, and market activity.
Sellers who listen to the market arrive at a realistic value that closes the gap between list price and selling price. Sellers may take a loss but their need to move on is stronger than their desire to achieve an unattainable number.
Prices adjusted in Darien and luxury sales ($2M and higher) increased in 2019. Pressure on pricing pulled down the median selling price and the number of sales in the $2M price range swelled at the expense of higher price points. New Canaan’s fourth quarter luxury sales are about level with same period last year and may be on the cusp of improving, similar to neighboring Darien.
Anthony Cutugno, Senior Vice President and Director of Private Brokerage for Houlihan Lawrence, said,
“Unemployment, inflation and interest rates remain low and most economic indicators are strong. 2019 closed with another year of double-digit gains in the stock market though rising portfolios did not translate into ebullient buyers.
The new decade ushers in an election year which is likely to impact luxury sales in the second half as buyers wait to see what the next four years will bring. For sellers who are truly motivated to sell, now is the time to take an objective look at pricing and presentation, adjust as needed, and enter the spring market with a too-good-to-resist offering.”
WPCNR COUNTY CLARION-LEDGER. From Catherine Parker, Janusary 7, 2018: The Westchester County Office of Economic Development is seeking applications for the next group of budding entrepreneurs for the County’s Element 46 incubator program.
Element 46 incubator provides training, mentoring and free workspace, to enable startups to develop their businesses within a network of peers. Entrepreneurs are embedded in an existing start-up community within Westchester.
The next set of entrepreneurs, who will start in March 2020, will take part in a 6-month program.
The program is also seeking mentors and professional service providers. The mentors will assist the startups chosen for the program by offering their expertise, time and support. Mentors are hand-picked leaders with specializations in technology, finance, business strategy, venture capital, marketing or other areas. Mentors wishing to apply can do so at https://www.element46.org/mentors/.
The first group of 12 startups included: Michael Sellers of Journeyman Bakery; Orane Barrett of Kool Nerd Club; Marci Lobel-Esrig of SilverBills; John Bekisz of UASVues; Susanne Shoemaker of Undercare; Jack Martin of JackKnife Sharpening; Lisa Albanese of BioSand Bag Filter; Terence Finn of Velotooler; Alexander Davidas of DF Media; Beth Turner and Katie McCorry of Beyond Flowers and Food; Courtney Stanley of Tobu, and Chris Oates of Blue Yonder Brands, Inc.
To learn more about the Element 46 program, please visit the website at Element4
WPCNR STAGE DOOR. Theatrical Review by John F. Bailey. January 5, 2019:
It’s a Sunday in the 1930s in the old West End and Noel Coward brightened up a nervous war wary London bringing the old reliable genre- the impossible farce – a sophisticated combination of slapstick, mistaken identity and incongruous door slamming, hiding in closets, bathrooms, hustling lovers in and out and shuffling corpses, flavored with rapid fire repartee that lifted audiences out of their chairs, from Blithe Spirit to Present Laughter to Private Lives Coward spoofed the upper classes and kept them laughing.
Westchester Broadway Theatre, in a stroke of timely inspiration, takes us deep into the heart and optimism of a show business promoter—with America’s farce master: Ken Ludwig’s Lend Me a Tenor, winner of 3 Tony awards and 4 Drama Desk awards when it took to Broadway in 1989 then came back in 2010,and nominated for three more.
to Friday night present to one of those old stuffy WBT Grand Hotel room suites of 1934 with austere wallpaper, small rooms, and tinny doors in Cleveland.
Saunders, the General Manager of the Cleveland Opera Company played with David Merrick panache by the veteran Broadway master, Philip Hoffman, nervously awaits Max (his assistant, J.D. Daw) to transport the star of the night’s sold-out benefit performance to the hotel.
Saunders is distraught when Max arrives without Tito Merelli, (Joey Sorge, recently seen in A Bronx Tale on Broadway) was not on the train. Saunders has a fit and right away you catch his anxiety. A full house and no star!
But the show must go on–no matter who sings.
Saunders immediately hits on the idea of Max, who sings, as possibly replacing Tito. But dismisses it. Maggie (Saunders’ daughter, whom Max adores) enters and it appears Max sings pretty good to her. When Tito arrives with his romantic Italian accent, and possessive wife, Maggie hides in a closet to get his autograph.
Tito’s demanding high strung Italian spitfire wife Maria is given high drama, hilarious volatility by Kathy Voytco (never has a perfect Italian nose been held higher), Maria takes umbrage, assuming Maggie is a secret lover. Maria writes Tito telling him she is leaving him.
Emoting, Tito says he is going to kill himself, but Max calms him down.
He gives Max singing lessons and they duet together, momentarily assuaging Tito’s grief. Tito lies down for a nap. When Max goes to get him. Tito is dead.
Saunders is distraught, again he approaches Max that he could impersonate Tito. And the farce rumbles into high, non-stop mayhem.
On to the Second Act. Max pulls off the impersonation of
Tito and the audience is deceived (a magnificent joke in itself). Now the door
slamming begins in earnest.
Diana, the soprano looking for her next role with Tito, comes
to the hotel room to meet Tito, who is the real Tito. The case of mistaken
identity engulfs the redhead opera soprano, Hannah Jane McMurray, looking to
meet Tito and possibly get a break. She seduces Tito (who goes along willingly)
works her wiles on him in hilarious style.
into congratulate Tito on his
performance, thinking he is the real Tito, but instead he is Max, who is all
too willing to accept her praise.
It is hard to tell who is who without a scorecard. Every character is trying to hide from the other.
This was the first performance Friday night and was right on the money with timing, choreography of door slams. Mollie McCasskill, in her WBT debut(Maggie), and Hannah Jane McMurray (Diana) fit their roles like gloves, emulated show business ingénues superbly, and fit in seamlessly frantic in their madcap dashes in and out of closets.
Philip Hoffman as the master producer Saunders steals the show as the plotting mastermind who reacts to every crisis with a fantastic solution, earning big laughs, dominating when is onstage.
Joey Sorge (Tito), the real tenor, struts and emotes with vintage Italian exaggeration, embodies the machismo and ego of a star tenor, and is at his comic best in playing off the ladies whom he does not know. He also lies on a bed for a good portion of the play which is an amusement in itself. Such a ludicrous sight to see.
J. D. Daw (Max) compliments Sorge (Tito) with perfect comic interplay, expressions of bewilderment, shock, and apprehension with deadpans, horror and gazes that keep the audience chuckling, guffawing and laugh out loud bursts. His singing is a bonus!
The play appears to be a take off on the real life incident when the choreographer of 42nd Street died before opening night in 1956, and the producer did not tell the cast of the death until after the opening night performance.
Do yourself a favor, get away from CNN, CSPAN, FOX NEWS, and leave laughing to the last door slam at Lend Me a Tenor, playing through January 26.
Book your suite next door to the doings in the producers’
suite at the WBT Hotel. Call the box office at (914) 592 2222 or go to www.BroadwayTheatre.com.
The Doral Arrowwood Resort has filed notice that it would be closing on January 12, reports WPDH Radio 101.5 on the Boris and Robin Show
The luxury resort features a golf course, pond, and plenty of extra amenities for their upscale guests. The Doral Arrowwood’s website also boasts a fine dining restaurant and English style pub.
All check-outs must be made by Monday, January 6.
The show reported on its website:
“According to a filing with the State of New York, the Doral Arrowwood is closing due to “loss of funding.” It’s unclear what the future of this sprawling property will be but for now, it’s expected to be shuttered later this month after all of the 275 employees are laid off.
WPCNR NEWS & COMMENT.By John F. Bailey. January 1, 2020:
The celebrations have ended. The trash and streamers being cleaned up. The innocuous adlibbed television specials mercifully over. The traditional dinner parties celebrating friendship and renewing bonds between us over the years over. The bowl games are about to begin to distract us from a year like few in recent memory, is fraught with anxiety for not just ourselves but for our way of life, our sanity. We have become a nation of fear. We never used to be that way.
It is a lot like 1940 when World War II began. America did not know what was ahead. We did not want to get involved. There was heavy sympathy by the press and prominent leaders not to get involved in the rapidly escalating conflict.
We are in another conflict now. A conflict for our attention. A conflict within ourselves in this country, A conflict with the world as we know it at stake.
At no point ever in my 75 years as an American citizen did I ever think our nation that has long been a beacon of hope for the oppressed of the world, a nation built by immigrants would ever lose its reputation in the world community, and worst yet forsake the proven principles of science, human decency, and compassion and ignore what it says to us at the peril of us all.
We are assaulted daily, if you watch the news with conflicting ideas. Opinion is treated as facts. Feelings interpreted as genuine and entitled and relevant. This is not fact, ladies and gentlemen. Actions are to be informed by research and facts and what is right. And we all know what is right.
I repeat: we all know what is right and when what is happening is wrong.
So since we as individuals have no direct ability to change our leaders in both houses of congress, in the cabinet, in the state legislatures to do our will, how are we to survive this new anxiety brought about by this new anxiety.?
I propose to make a resolution, a personal executive order to focus on the matters I and my family can control. We have to focus locally and not be swayed by the hatreds, and irrationality of congressmen, legislators on every level of government who say anything to influence us to like them, and promise to act in our best interests and that of our great country, but don’t.
We also must learn not to be afraid of them. For that matter, every person that controls you, you have to lose the fear of them that often inhibits your ability to grow.
Every year we fight the same battles personally: the bad habits we have had for years. The preconceived notions that prevent us from learning or wanting to learn. The self-preservation instinct that creates fear of the new, fear of change, and most of all the fear of losing what we have.
Organization, or lack of it, has been my problem all my life. I want to change that, but I succumb to the rationalization to procrastinate one matter I don’t want to do. So this year I will tackle that again and try to fight the procrastinatia. Prioritizing would be new for me.
I will spend more time in churches where the voice of God speaks in your head if you listen. And the more you listen, the more you are pointed to the right decision. It is weird but the church is much warmer and inspiring when it is empty. It seems to rise up around you and rise silently about you to listen to you. The Great Spirit as Indian leaders called it–spoke to them from the land around them.
Turning to your personal world, I need to PAY ATTENTION TO THINGS YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE WITH YOUR FAMILY, YOUR COMMUNITY, YOUR TALENT.
I resolve to communicate better with my spouse because it is through not paying attention to her creates the discord that is always waiting to flare up when one person is disappointed with the other. So I have have decided to fix this. You know the behaviors that send your spouse off the handle. Well you can stop doing those, I know I do things that irritate the other but refuse to fix them in the past because I was inconsiderate. For the wonderfulness I bring to my relationship, the flaws: not doing things she asks on time, not listening carefully, forgetting things irritate her the most, because she feels it means I don’t care to please her. Well I am fixing that.
When irritations cause rancor in a relationship, the rancor wrecks intimacy, respect, love and caring. So I am going to fix that. And bring the relationship back. The same can be said for estranged relatives. They are only a phone call away. Of course, they could call me, is always my excuse. But see, that is fear and guilt on my part. Abolish that fear of rekindling a relationship or letting the feeling of not caring about extended family keep you apart.
My mother when she was alive would always call me on a Saturday, greeting me with “Don’t worry, it’s just your mother.” She would feel guilty about checking in with us, but she wanted to. If you feel guilty about reestablishing ties. You are just deciding to let them go. That’s the reality. You can always let them know you care about them at the very least.
The same is true of children. As my children grew up, I would always give them warnings, advise them of situations to be aware of, and I still do that in the hopes that some day when faced with the situation in question, they would remember your words and it would help them. Instilling your experience without giving commands is an art. You are investing your experience in them that they can draw on when they need to. They are long gone now out of my home. But we both have a great relationship. They like coming home. And we worry about them to this day.
As my wife’s mother said, “you are only as happy as your unhappiest child.”
Your community: You can pay more attention to what your town government is doing. It is in your self-interest to do so, and pay attention to the grandiose plans they have for growing your community and county. If you ignore what they are doing, only worry about your neighborhood or your particular house that is not what I mean. You should engage. Speak out at public hearings, if you are lucky enough to be able to have city government that tells you about the public hearings, and the projects more than 1 week before they vote on it.
I do this website that is my contribution to public service because twenty years ago I realized Gannett was only covering one story a week in White Plains. Now they rarely cover one a month. So I have been doing it for many years now. It is the best use I have put my writing talent to all my life. If you have a talent, try to expand it. Use it for others it will make you feel really good. Or, you can help. I have a friend who serves in a soup kitchen, and particpates in Red Cross training and service. An admirable participation in the community that brings him closer to those less fortunate and extends his sense of compassion and humanity.
This year, more than ever I think I need to do that and become more aware of the consequences of not caring. We have leaders of both parties who do not care for anyone, just as long as they are elected or do what they want. They always have. It is up to us to listen to the human side of us…the rule “do unto others what you would have them do onto you.” Our country used to do that. As individuals in our community we have have to work to rekindle that spirit.
I also have another resolution that works for me: stop watching the news. It just produces anxiety and worry and deflects you from your personal mission with your family, your community, your plan for your life. You cannot control events except locally. Remember that.
So this is how I intend to live through 2020. And for once make it really a better year and grow as a person. Grow each day. Enjoy the honesty and hope our children offer, and remember the good things about your past and carry their legacy to others.
WPCNR COUNTY CLARION-LEDGERFrom the Westchester County Board of Legislators December 29, 2019:
Members of the Westchester County Board of Legislators deplore the attack Saturday night at the home of Rabbi Chaim Rottenberg in Monsey and offer strong support to the victims, their families and Congregation Netzach Yisroel.
Board Chairman Ben Boykin (D- White Plains, Scarsdale, Harrison) said, “While we wait for all the facts to be investigated, we do not hesitate to categorically condemn all acts of violence, hatred and bigotry wherever and whenever they occur.
“But we need to do more than offer our condemnation after the fact. We must work proactively and with vigilance to protect one another and to combat the rising tide of violence and intolerance plaguing our nation and the world.
“We thank County Executive George Latimer for directing the County Police to offer additional protection to the County’s synagogues and other Jewish facilities, and we will continue to work with the administration and the County’s Human Rights Commission to face the scourge of bias, discrimination and related violence during this holy time of year and always.”
Majority Leader Catherine Parker (D – Harrison, Larchmont, Mamaroneck, New Rochelle, Rye) said, “The Board of Legislators is committed to seeing that our laws provide the highest level of protection to our residents. I have reached out to our Chair of Legislation to ensure that we will take up discussion to investigate strengthening our definitions of hate crimes and hate incidents as New York City has done, as soon as our new term begins.”