Legislator Ken Jenkins Charges Astorino Refuses to Share Airport Proposals with Board of Legislators

JENKINS

Westchester County Legislator
Kenneth Jenkins.

WPCNR COUNTY CLARION-LEDGER. From County Legislator Kenneth Jenkins. August 3, 20017:

Ken Jenkins charged Tuesday that County Executive Robert Astorino is attempting to close the Westchester County Airport  request for proposals process  (proposals for leasing and running the county airport were submitted Monday), without working with the Board of Legislators.

The County Executive intends to keep all airport RFP responses from the Board of Legislators,” throwing a wrench” in the recommendation process, Jenkins stated in a news release. (Editor’s Note: Jenkins is running against George Latimer in the September 12 Democratic Primary to run against Mr. Astorino in the November county executive race.)

“Astorino just wants to cover up his budget mistakes and his bad management with a deal that leaves the people of Westchester in the lurch,” said Jenkins. “A $15 million hole in the budget has Astorino itching to move forward with the RFP with his preferred deal. He’s not worried about the consequences because he will not be here to see the deal through.”

Jenkins restated that the RFP process should be scuttled until there is an Airport Master Plan approved by the BOL.

The County Executive’s office receives all RFP applications, and once they are shared the consultant, Frasca, reviews the proposals to give input on which ones are viable and responsive to the RFP.  All viable proposals are then shared with the members of the Task Force, who then conduct a review and make a recommendation to the County Executive.

“Astorino once again skirts his responsibilities, and refuses to conduct a transparent process with the airport RFP,” said Jenkins. “Government is about working with each other to come to a solution that will benefit the residents of Westchester County in the long run. Westchester could save $150 million if we do nothing, and don’t move forward with the RFP.

First, it was the disaster of a draft Airport Master plan (Editor’s note:presented last week) and now this clandestine removal of legislative oversight. As always, this latest action is another example of his unwillingness to work with the Board of Legislators to accomplish real progress in Westchester.”

 

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White Plains Woman, Pleading Guilty to Causing Head-on Collision that Killed Two in Greenburgh Last Fall. Sentenced to 4-12 Years in Prison,

MichelleBonet

MICHELLE BONET.

WPCNR POLICE GAZETTE. From the Westchester County District Attorney. August 3, 2017:

Westchester County District Attorney Anthony A. Scarpino, Jr. announced today that

Michelle Bonet (DOB 07/28/73) of 9 Stonewall Circle, White Plains, New York was sentenced by Judge Anne Minihan to a minimum of four and a maximum of twelve years in state prison after having pled guilty to:

  • three counts of Aggravated Vehicular Homicide, class “B” Felonies,
  • two counts of Manslaughter in the Second Degree, class “C” Felonies,
  • one count of Aggravated Driving while Intoxicated Per Se, a Misdemeanor,
  • one count of Driving While Intoxicated, a Misdemeanor,
  • one count of a Driving While Ability Impaired by the combined influence of drugs or of alcohol and any drug or drugs, a Misdemeanor

in the deaths of Henrietta and Carmelo Sbezzi.

On October 28, 2016 at approximately 2:15 p.m., the defendant was driving north by west on West Hartsdale Road in Greenburgh.

While driving her Chrysler minivan, the defendant was observed by witnesses crossing over the double yellow line multiple times. Just prior to the fatal event, the defendant nearly collided head-on with a vehicle being operated by a seventeen year old student coming from Maria Regina High School.

A few moments later, the defendant who was driving over the speed limit, crossed the double yellow line on West Hartsdale Avenue and collided head-on with a Lexus sedan being driven by Carmelo Sbezzi (DOB 09/06/34). In the front passenger’s seat was his wife, Henrietta (DOB 11/23/35).

The force of the impact pushed the victims’ car off the road. The vehicles came to rest with the front of each vehicle nearly touching each other and the defendant’s car almost entirely in the opposite lane of traffic.

 

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SUSTAINABLE WESTCHESTER ORGANIZER, MIKE GORDON INTRODUCES HIS “21ST CENTURY INFRASTRUCTURE” FOR AFFORDABLE, RENEWABLE, CLEAN ELECTRICITY ON WHITE PLAINS TV “PEOPLE TO BE HEARD”

 ON THE INTERNET 

NOW

RKOTower

ON PEOPLE TO BE HEARD

People To Be Heard  w/ Mike Gordon has been posted  the youtube link is
 
 
The whiteplainsweek.com link is
 

MIKE GORDON

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Pioneer of organizing Sustainable Westchester/Westchester Power and CEO of Joule Assets

ON

WHAT’S AHEAD FOR SUSTAINABLE WESTCHESTER MEMBER CITIES ON NEXT YEAR’S SUSTAINABLE GREEN ELECTRIC RATE

JOULE ASSETS NEW DEAL FOR NY STATE ELECTRIC POWER

 POTENTIAL FOR STABLE ELECTRIC PRICES AND GUARANTEED SAVINGS ON  RENEWABLE ENERGY FOR 20 YEARS 

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 INTERVIEWED BY

JOHN BAILEY, PETER KATZ  AND JIM BENEROFE

ON

WHITE PLAINS TV COUNTYWIDE

VERIZON FIOS CH. 45

WHITE PLAINS ALTICE CABLEVISION CH. 76

REPEATED 7 PM SATURDAY

 

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SEIU 32BJ PROTESTS PRESIDENT TRUMP’S IMMIGRATION CUTBACKS AND PROPOSALS TO EVALUATE “ECONOMIC” VALUE TO U.S. IF ALLOWED IN

 

WPCNR THE LETTER TICKER. From Hector Figueroa, President 32BJ Service Employees International Union. August 3, 2017:

“President Trump’s immigration levels bill is a hateful gimmick that will hurt our economy, separate hardworking immigrant families and won’t create a single job for working Americans.

Much like the Trump Administration’s deportation machine, this bill would target the most vulnerable immigrant workers and hurt communities across the country.

President Trump’s suggestion that he is somehow protecting minority workers by restricting immigration is preposterous and insulting given how actively he has attacked worker and civil rights at every opportunity.

This proposal is a thinly-veiled attempt at remaking the United States in an image that never was.”

“El proyecto de ley del Presidente Trump sobre niveles de inmigración es una odiosa maniobra que perjudicará nuestra economía, separará a las familias de dedicados trabajadores y no creará un solo empleo para los trabajadores americanos. Al igual que la maquinaria de deportación de su gobierno, esta ley apunta contra los trabajadores inmigrantes más vulnerables y perjudicará a comunidades de todo el país. La sugerencia del Presidente Trump de que de alguna manera él está protegiendo a los trabajadores de minorías al restringir la inmigración es ridícula e insultante, considerando sus consistentes ataques contra los trabajadores y los derechos civiles a cada oportunidad. Esta propuesta es un velado y burdo intento por rehacer los Estados Unidos conforme a una imagen que nunca fue real.”

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President Trump to Stay in New Jersey at his Bedminster New Jersey Golf Club for Two Weeks.

WPCNR AVIATION ADVISORY. From the Federal Aviation Administration. August 2, 2017:

The Federal Aviation Administration has advised that President Trump will leave Washington to stay at his golf club, Trump National in Bedminster, New Jersey Friday August 4 and stay there for two weeks through August 21. The FAA advises pilots to observe the flight restrictions for those times.

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JOULE ASSETS INVITES SUSTAINABLE WESTCHESTER COMMUNITIES TO JOIN 21ST CENTURY INFRASTRUCTURE PROGRAM GUARANTEEING RENEWABLE ENERGY SAVINGS OVER 20 YEARS. 3 BILLION KILOWATTS FOR A MILLION HOMES RESERVED. NATIONAL ROLL OUT ENVISIONED

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Mike Gordon, speaking on the White Plains Television program PEOPLE TO BE HEARD, describing his 2lst Century Infrastructure program being offered to local communities and ultimately across the state.

 

WPCNR THE POWER NEWS. By John F. Bailey. August 3, 2017:

Mike Gordon, CEO of Joule Assets,  has announced his company will offer the Westchester communities enrolled presently in Sustainable Westchester, a new deal on Clean Energy supply guaranteeing clean energy savings for 20 years.   Speaking on White Plains Television in this week’s People to Be Heard, he announced:

“I have stepped away from engagement with Sustainable Westchester and Joule Assets has pulled together 3 billion kilowatt hours of energy supply around New York State. We are inviting communities in Westchester  to join that bid because it is a very powerful bid  and it’s going to be in Q4 and Q1 of 2017-18. Communities can get a plethora of really cool things if they join that bid.

If the municipalities  join with this bid, what they would  do is a 100% of their residents who are currently buying with the utility or current  community choice aggregator would then move to the winning supplier or suppliers. They would be buying on behalf of their residents and businesses.”

Asked if he was competing with Sustainable Westchester, Gordon said:

“We are inviting municipalities to contract with us to engage with us. I am wide open to engaging sustainable Westchester as a partner in that endeavor and having them join us to provide services for it. Because I think the sustainability focus  is very powerful. They are free to join or not. In this case,  their core capability is to organize in the grass roots. I think that’s a very powerful capability. I’d welcome them to participate. But we’re moving ahead independently.”

Gordon is the key figure in forming Sustainable Westchester two years ago and persuading 24 Westchester cities (including White Plains) to participate in the program. He was previously Co Chair of Sustainable Westchester, as well as being CEO of his company, Joule Assets, described itself on its website www.jouleassets.com :

“Joule Assets actively empowers businesses, investors, communities, and individuals to capitalize on reductions of energy consumption through innovative financing, creative business models, and regulatory policy in the U.S. and Europe.”

Gordon describes the program this way:

Residents do not have to have a solar installation to participate, if their municipality accepts the Joule Assets bid. Gordon said that if they did, the solar installation would save them even more.

“We’re not going to be yet able to supply 100% of a home’s power with solar so if they (home owners) do (install a solar panel), they could get to 100% solar and save money on all of it so, the answer is yes.”

He said that the renewable energy suppliers Joule has lined up to form the bid would supply solar power, wind power and hydro power sources.

WPCNR asked of the 3 billion kilowatts would be exclusively clean energy. Gordon issued this statement:

“We’re doing a TOTAL buy of an estimated 3 billion kilowatt hours and perhaps a 100 million of those Kwhs will be local solar—the rest will be traditional supply mix that we are apt to green by buying renewable credits from more remote renewable power plants. All of it, including the couple hundred million solar kwhs, will be shot through to customers through the existing power grid.”

WPCNR asked who would supply White Plains customers enrolled in the Sustainable Westchester/Westchester Power renewable energy rate supplied by Constellation, if the Joule Assets Rate is accepted.

He gave this statement:

“For the 2.8 Billion kilowatts we need to buy, Constellation and bunches of other suppliers are invited to bid to supply us. Just as with Sustainable Westchester’s first bid (and next presumably.”

Gordon said Joule Assets is offering the municipalities and Westchester across the state a 20 year contract, with $2,000,000 in savings over the first five years of the contract.

Gordon’s company of 35 energy experts is planning  to offer the Joule program to communities across New York State, and his company is working on offering agreements to other states across the country. He said Sustainable Westchester experience in creating the Westchester collection of  aggregate community buys resulting in the fixed green energy rate for 24 communities, would be an asset and aid in signing more communities upstate, if Sustainable chose to work with Joule Assets.

Gordon describes the program on White Plains TV’s People to Be Heard (which you can see at 8 PM Thursday, Fios Channel 45 and Altice Cablevision Channel 76).  Mr. Gordon was on the program to describe what the state of renewable energy is, going into the second year of the Sustainable Energy program.

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Judge Denies Lecuona Campaign Motion to Dismiss Democrats’ Suit to Deny Her and Her Party’s Petitions. Democratic Party Alleges All Petitions of Lecuona and Slate Should be Invalidated Due to a Cover Sheet Error.

WPCNR WHITE PLAINS LAW JOURNAL. By John F. Bailey. August 1, 2017:

Judge Lawrence H. Ecker  in New York Supreme Court in White Plainsdenied a motion made by Guy Parisi,attorney for Milagros Lecouna to dismiss a show cause order asking the court to rule all Ms. Lecuona’s petition signatures and those of her Common Council running mates, Michael Kraver, Alan Goldman and Saad Siddiqui as invalid.

The suit was filed July 25 in Supreme Court  seeking to contest Mayor Thomas Roach, John Martin, John Kirkpatrick and Justin Brasch, nominees of the Democratic City Committee.

Judge Ecker, after reviewing the presentation of the four volumes of signatures, copies of which were provided by the Board of Elections, dismissed the Lecuona motion for outright dismissal of the 4 Democrat candidates’ suit, and set Tuesday, August 8, for a continuation of the proceedings. He will meet with Mr. Abinanti tomorrow to receive Abinanti’s list of Lecuona petition witnesses, whom his subpoena servers had not been able to serve.

Abananti wishes to question Lecuona’s petition witnesses as to how they collected the signatures. Mr. Abinanti said the Lecuona had paid persons to collect a portion of the signatures. A spokesman for Lecuona campaign, Christine Senteno, said the Lecuona slate had paid 3 professional canvassers out of 8 canvassers they used, and denied Abinanti’s statement that the Lecuona group had paid $10,000 to professional canvassers (to amass the signatures).

Thomas Abinanti, (a New York State Assemblyman, representing Greenburgh), attorney for the Roach team, said in his arguments, began by saying his clients contend they have found irregularities (wrong city, wrong county, wrong address, one-third do not live in White Plains, not members of Democratic Party, among others)  invalidating some of the signatures. He did not give a number. Mr. Parisi contended that Mr. Abinanti should show the examples. Abinanti said he did not have to at this time.

The validity of signatures acquired and contained in the four volumes of Lecuona petitions are now being checked by the Board of Elections. County Board of Elections Co Chair, Reginald Lafayette informed WPCNR prior to the beginning of the proceeding, this would be the procedure. He told WPCNR the signature check would be done by Monday.

Abinanti than moved on to his main argument: All the petitions submitted by the Lecuona slate should be invalidated because the description on the “Cover Sheet” misidentified the four volumes.

Judge Ecker said he would be willing to look at the four volumes with the attorneys, and court was recessed at 10:30. When copies of the volumes arrived, court reconvened at 11 A.M.

During the session, the Judge, Mr. Abinanti, Mr. Parisi and the attorney for the county, and a representative of the Roach campaign examined Mr. Abinanti’s showing of the discrepancies between the cover sheets of volumes 1, 3,4 submitted July 11,and Volume 2, submitted July 13.

Abinanti noted that the cover sheet submitted with all four volumes on July 13, misidentified Volume 2, and also contended that since Volume 2 was for different candidates, it could not be submitted as part of the group.

During the summation of arguments, Judge Ecker brought up the question of whether the signature submissions were the same in the four volumes with the final cover sheet, as they were first submitted.

The attorney for the Board of Elections said they were. Mr. Abinanti said they were too, though his allegations of signature irregularities were a separate issue.

His main argument that all Lecuona signatures should be in validated was that all four volumes of Lecouna and her Common Council challengers’ signatures should be invalidated in entirety because they were submitted twice, the second time with a cover sheet that  identified three volumes differently on the cover sheet than when they were identified when they were first submitted.

His argument was that changing a cover sheet was not permitted by State Board of Elections law. He also said that it could make extra work for any party wishing to challenge the second set because potential “challengers” in the future would have to cross check with previously submitted petitions if they had already begun to analyze the first submissions.

Guy Parisi attorney for the Lecuona contingent said that election law allows a correction can be made within  three days and the candidates submitting have three days to do so. He countered several cases cited by Mr. Abinanti as being invalidated by subsequent decisions.

Mr. Parisi contended that Mr. Abinanti neglected to mention that the State Election Law Abinanti cited (as the basis for denying the Lecuona petitions) had the caveat that common sense should be used ruling on whether a discrepancy can be corrected or a change be made or error corrected, rather than applying the restriction Abinanti alleges as automatically invalidating the Lecuona collections.

Court will reconvene Tuesday, August 8 at 10:30 A.M, when signatures are expected to be counted, and Judge Eckert presumably will rule on the demand for invalidating all four petitions.

The Democratic Primary is September 12.

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West Nile Infected Mosquitos Confirmed in Mount Vernon by County Department of Health.

WPCNR COUNTY CLARION-LEDGER. From Westchester County Department of Health.August 1, 2017:

This season’s first batch of mosquitoes carrying West Nile Virus in Westchester has been confirmed by the Westchester County Department of Health. The area surrounding the positive mosquito batch in Mount Vernon has been inspected by the Health Department, which has treated nearby catch basins that to protect against further mosquito breeding nearby.

“West Nile Virus has been present in the Hudson Valley for many years, so this season’s first positive should remind residents to protect themselves and their families by removing standing water around their homes every week and by using repellents daily when spending significant time outdoors,” said Westchester County Executive Robert P. Astorino. “As a county, our proactive and comprehensive strategy to combat mosquito-borne illnesses has proven effective, and includes advice and resources for our residents.”

As of July 20th, when the first positive batch was confirmed in Westchester, 163 batches of mosquitoes from Westchester were tested for West Nile Virus by the New York State Department of Health. The state Health Department has identified 99 positive mosquito pools throughout New York so far this year.

Symptoms of West Nile encephalitis (a severe infection) usually occur from three to 14 days following the bite and include high fever, headache, confusion, muscle aches and weakness, seizures, or paralysis. Most people who are infected with West Nile Virus will not show any symptoms. People over age 50 are at the highest risk for a severe disease.

West Nile Virus is not to be confused with Zika. To date, no mosquitoes in New York State have tested positive for Zika and there have been no locally-acquired cases.

“We will continue to monitor mosquito activity,” said Westchester County Health Commissioner Sherlita Amler, MD, “and we recommend that residents take personal protection measures and remain vigilant in removing standing water on their property where mosquitoes can breed.”

Dr. Amler said that favorite mosquito breeding sites include buckets, plant pot saucers, clogged gutters, pet bowls, old tires, as well as children’s pools and toys. Residents should also minimize spending time outdoors at dawn and dusk, and apply insect repellents according to the label directions when enjoying activities outside.

In addition to larviciding, the county also gave away free fathead minnows and mosquito dunks to residents this spring. The minnows help to curtail the mosquito population in ponds and water by feeding on mosquito larvae and pupae before they develop into adult mosquitoes. The mosquito dunks serve the same purpose in birdbaths, rain barrels and unused pools. Free mosquito dunks are still available, and residents can make arrangements to pick them up by calling (914) 813-5000.

Residents who notice large areas of standing water on public property that could serve as potential mosquito breeding grounds should report it to the Westchester County Department of Health by calling (914) 813-5000 or emailing hweb@westchestergov.com. For more information about preventing West Nile Virus, visit health.westchestergov.com/west-nile-virus.

 

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Councilwoman Milagros Lecuona Appears in Court Today to Defend the Validity of her Primary Petition Signatures

WPCNR CAMPAIGN 2017. From the Lecuona Campaign. August 1, 2017:

Common Council Member and Democratic candidate for White Plains mayor Milagros Lecuona is headed to court today to defend the signatures of those who petitioned to get her on the ballot for the Democratic primary on September 12th as her opponent seeks to suppress their voice.

Lecuona’s campaign team collected triple the necessary 912 signatures needed to get on the ballot for the September 12 Democratic Primary. Some 2,700 signatures, despite Roach’s obnoxious robocall begging voters not to sign Lecunoa’s petitions.  Watch the video here.

“Instead of doing his job managing the city of White Plains, (Tom) Roach is focusing on trying to suppress the voices of thousands of voters. He could have accepted the legitimacy of our campaign, but he and his lawyers are disenfranchising citizens, many who are from communities of color, for petty reasons such as a voter noting “WP” as their city instead of “White Plains,” despite the fact the unique identifier of their ZIP code clearly identifies the voter’s intent,” explained Lecuona.

“I launched this campaign to bring voice to those in this city that haven’t had their voices heard by the current administration.  An administration under my leadership will seek to include and respect our residents instead of shut them down,” Lecuona continued.

Lecuona is a Democrat, a Common Council member for the last nine years, a Democratic District Leader and an active member of the Hispanic Democrats of Westchester.  She is running on a slate with Alan Goldman, Michael Kraver and Saad Siddiqui whose petitions have also been challenged.

 

Beyond the thousands of supporters that have shown their trust and support in Lecuona she has been endorsed by the Hispanic Democrats of Westchester, the Northeastern New York Carpenters Union, the Professional Fire Fighters of White Plains, the Westchester and Putnam Labor Council, the White Plains Retired Uniformed Fire Fighters Association and several White Plains community leaders.

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IS THIS WHITE PLAINS OR MAYOR DALEY’S CHICAGO?

WPCNR THE LETTER TICKER. JULY 30, 2017:

To the Editor:

Is this White Plains or Dick Daley’s Chicago?

I learned decades ago that two things in particular characterize a political machine:

1) Using absurd technicalities to try to keep opponents, especially reformers, off the ballot; and

2) filling public positions, especially judgeships, with machine cronies.  Alas, much to my sadness, we now have both of these in White Plains.

What is equally depressing is that Mayor Roach, whom I believed was going to be a different type of politician, and whom I supported for every public office he sought, has adopted a type of politics that I would have thought beneath him.

We have seen it before: When someone is in politics long enough, they do what they think they must to hold onto the job.  Ideals come in a distant second to political survival, no matter what the cost to good government and clean politics.

Mark Elliott

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