GOVERNOR HOCHUL ON THE BIG SNOW IN BUFFALO 72 INCHES BIGGEST SNOWFALL IN NEW YORK STATE EVER. BIDEN GRANTS EMERGENCY FUNDS FOR RECOVERY AT HOCHUL REQUEST.

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WHAT 72 INCHES OF SNOW DID: STALLED TRUCKS BLOCKING LANES ON ROUTE 20. NOTE HOW HIGH THE SNOW IS ABOVE THE CARS. I-90 WAS HARROWING. 72 INCHES FELL (6 FEET AS OF WHEN SNOW STOPPED. PHOTO WKSU TV/GETTY IMAGES.

Governor Kathy Hochul today updated New Yorkers following the historic winter storm that buried upstate communities in the Buffalo and Watertown areas with more than six feet of snow since Thursday evening.  

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced that President Biden approved her request for an Emergency Declaration for Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Jefferson, Lewis, Niagara, Oneida, Oswego, St. Lawrence, Wyoming counties, following the historic winter storm that buried some of New York’s upstate communities with nearly seven feet of snow this past week. Under an Emergency Declaration, direct federal assistance is available for the previously listed counties and FEMA is authorized to provide emergency protective measures for the State that includes search and rescue operations, as well as actions to protect critical infrastructure such as roads and bridges, water control facilities, utilities, and mass transit facilities. At Governor Hochul’s direction, State agencies’ emergency response assets remain on the ground in affected areas of Western New York, Central New York and the North Country, assisting local governments with cleanup and restoration efforts. 

“I thank President Biden for immediately granting our emergency declaration request and for our ongoing strong partnership as well as Senator Schumer for his assistance in securing relief for New Yorkers,” Governor Hochul said. “My team and I will continue working around the clock to keep everyone safe, help communities dig out, and secure every last dollar to help rebuild and recover from this unprecedented, record-shattering historic winter storm.” 

Over the weekend, Governor Hochul submitted a request to the federal government for an Emergency Declaration, which was granted Sunday evening. The last time New York State submitted an Emergency Declaration request for a similar winter storm was in 2014, when it took weeks to grant the request. An Emergency Declaration can be declared for any occasion or instance in which the President determines federal assistance is needed. These declarations supplement State and local efforts in providing emergency services, such as the protection of lives, property, public health, and safety, or to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in any part of the United States. Governor Hochul will also ask the federal Small Business Administration to evaluate how it can help small businesses harmed by the storm in the 11 counties and contiguous counties, once state operations transition from response to recovery mode.  

Governor Hochul and New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (DHSES) Commissioner Jackie Bray encouraged local officials in impacted counties to continue working with their County Emergency Managers to submit any resource needs directly into NY Responds, the state’s web-based system that enables both local governments and state agencies to submit and share vital emergency-related information and resource reque

“Thank you to all Western New Yorkers and our emergency management experts and personnel who continue to show up for each other during this historic winter storm,” Governor Hochul said. “We are working around the clock to keep everyone safe and urge all New Yorkers to stay vigilant and prepared during this potentially life-threatening weather event.”

Prior to the arrival of lake effect snow on Thursday, Governor Hochul declared a State of Emergency for 11 counties and contiguous counties, which remains in effect. Additionally, New York’s emergency management experts have been in constant communication with their local counterparts for days leading up to the event.  

New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner Jackie Bray said, “Thanks to Governor Hochul’s leadership, there has been unprecedented coordination, communication and action taken by state agencies to assist our local counterparts in keeping New Yorkers safe. Eleven counties remain in a State of Emergency and DHSES is working with Governor Hochul to secure federal assistance to help recover from this historic storm.” 


The New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services’ Office of Emergency Management and Office of Fire Prevention and Control, the Department of Transportation, New York State Police, and Thruway Authority also pre-deployed the following resources to Western New York and the North Country:  

NYS Equipment in Western New York and North Country  

  • 484 large and medium plow trucks  
  • 14 tow plows  
  • 98 large loaders  
  • 24 snow blowers  
  • 39 tracked vehicles (of which 24 are snowmobiles)  
  • 533 generators in the regions  
  • 202 chainsaws in the regions  

NYS Personnel in Western New York and North Country  

  • 1,056 DOT and Thruway operators and supervisors  
  • 142 State Police members  
  • 150 National Guard members  
  • 24 ICS (Incident Command System) personnel  

Snow began to fall in parts of upstate New York on Thursday and as of today, more than six feet of snow was reported in Erie County and Jefferson County, including Hamburg, Blasdell, Orchard Park in Erie County and Natural Bridge in Jefferson County. Throughout this time, these areas experienced a peak of six inches of snowfall an hour, which created extremely dangerous travel conditions. 

The Lake Erie snow band is now south of Erie County in the Southern Tier (Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, and Allegany counties). Snowfall totals up to six inches are expected in these locations with snowfall rates of one to two inches per hour. Tonight, the band is forecast to lift north again bringing another one to three inches of snow to the city of Buffalo.  

Gusty winds up to 50 mph are forecast today for many locations, resulting in blowing and drifting snow in the western counties.  

An intense lake effect snow band pushed south of Jefferson County and is impacting southern Lewis, Oswego, and far northern Cayuga counties on Sunday. Oswego County is expected to receive two to three feet of snow through tomorrow morning. Snowfall rates of up to four inches per hour and wind gusts up to 40 mph are possible. 

Governor Hochul and local officials continue to urge New Yorkers to avoid travel in the impacted areas in both regions to continue to allow plow crews and emergency responders to continue  

Federal Emergency Declaration  


The Governor has submitted a request to President Biden for a federal Emergency Declaration for Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Jefferson, Lewis, Niagara, Oneida, Oswego, St. Lawrence, and Wyoming Counties. If approved, the Emergency Declaration will provide access to federal funding for impacted counties to support ongoing response and rescue operations.  

Agency Activities  

Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services  

The New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services is closely monitoring weather and travel conditions, coordinating State agency response operations, and communicating with local governments throughout the event. The State Office of Emergency Management began interagency coordination calls with the National Weather Service on Wednesday to prepare for the impacts of the storm across upstate regions. 

The State’s Emergency Operations Center in Albany was activated on Thursday, as well as a Regional Operations Center in Cheektowaga, Erie County, where DHSES is coordinating field response with State Agency partners including NYSDOT, State Police and the Thruway Authority. Additionally, OEM staff are embedded at the Erie County Emergency Operations Center and command centers for the Towns of Hamburg, Orchard Park, and Evans to support coordination between state and local response. The State’s stockpiles are prepared to deploy assets to local governments to support any storm-related needs.  

The State Office of Fire Prevention and Control assisted with rescuing more than 150 people from trapped vehicles and moving them to safety. State Fire personnel continue to assist local governments with performing wellness checks on residents and structural integrity assessments. 

Department of Transportation 

In Western New York, Route 219 from I-90 to Peters Road is currently closed. Working in coordination with state and local officials, the Department is monitoring conditions and will update the public when these roads are reopened. 

The State Department of Transportation is responding with 3,287 supervisors and operators. Staff can be configured into any type of response crew that is required, including snow and ice operations, drainage, chipper, load and haul, and cut and toss. Additionally, 75 Incident Command System personnel are available to support the event. 

The Department sent additional plows and operators from other regions to Erie County on Friday to further assist with snow and ice removal operations, including on local roads in the Town of Hamburg, the City of Buffalo, the Village of Blasdell and the Town of Orchard Park.  The Department has also helped the City of Niagara Falls with plowing operations on main arterials. DOT plows are also assisting with snow and ice operations on primary routes within the City of Watertown and Village of Black River.   

In addition to existing resources, DOT is bringing in contractor resources to Western NY from Finger Lakes, Central NY, and Western NY. This includes 64 loaders, more than 130 large dump trucks, one skid steer, and about 200 more personnel. 

All residency locations will remain staffed for 24/7 operations throughout the duration of the event and priority cleanup operations. All available snow and ice equipment is ready to deploy. Fleet mechanics in affected areas will be staffing all main residency locations 24/7 to perform repairs and keep trucks on the road. 

Commercial Vehicle Ban 

The commercial vehicle ban remains in place on Route 219 from Route 39 to I-90 – the road remains closed.  On I-81 from Exit 33 to the Canadian border, trucks are still required to use the right lane only.  

DOT has lifted its full commercial vehicle ban at the following locations:   

  • Interstate 190 – Route 62 to I-90  
  • Interstate 290 – full length  
  • Interstate 990 – full length  
  • Route 33 – expressway portion only 
  • Buffalo Skyway Route 5 – full length  
  • Route 400 – full length 

Thruway Authority 

Thruway Authority personnel continue cleanup efforts following the significant lake effect storm with 657 operators and supervisors ready to respond statewide. Thruway has shifted and deployed additional staff and equipment from its New York, Syracuse, and Albany Divisions to support snow and ice operations and snow removal efforts in Western New York. Deployed resources include operators and supervisors, mechanics, large plow trucks, and large snowblowers. 

The Thruway has reopened to all traffic and there are no commercial vehicle restrictions at this time with the following exceptions: Thruway (I-90) exit 55 (Lackawanna) remains closed to all traffic to support the closure of Route 219. Additionally, exit 56 (Blasdell) and exit 57 (Hamburg) remain closed to commercial traffic to facilitate cleanup efforts in these areas.  

Variable Message Signs and social media are utilized to alert motorists of winter weather conditions on the Thruway. The Thruway Authority also encourages motorists to download its mobile app which is available for free on iPhone and Android devices. The app provides motorists direct access to real-time traffic information, live traffic cameras, and navigation assistance while on the go. Motorists can also sign up for TRANSalert e-mails which provide the latest traffic conditions along the Thruway. You can follow the Thruway Authority on Twitter: @ThruwayTraffic and @NYSThruway and on Facebook at NYS Thruway Authority

National Guard

At the direction of Governor Hochul, the New York National Guard has 109 Soldiers and Airmen on duty Sunday supporting the state response to the snowstorm. An additional 75 Soldiers and Airmen, with engineer vehicles to remove snow, will come on duty today, Nov. 20. Additional equipment being deployed includes four front-end loaders and eight, 10-ton dump trucks from the 204th Engineer Battalion and the 152nd Brigade Engineer Battalion; additional Humvees and personnel from the 102nd Military Police Battalion in Auburn, and the 174th Attack Wing in Syracuse, also will provide general purpose response and debris clearance. 

On Saturday, National Guard troops assisted the New York State Thruway Authority with clearing part of the Thruway, cleared roads in the town of Hamburg and transported people to medical appointments. Other troops deployed for the mission come from the 2nd Squadron, 101st Cavalry Regiment, and the 107th Attack Wing and the 105th Military Police Company. The National Guard personnel are using Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station as a base to support the snowstorm mission. 

New York State Police  

The State Police added extra patrols to the areas most impacted by the lake effect snow, and has staged additional specialty vehicles, including all-terrain vehicles, utility task vehicles and snowmobiles, in those regions. All four-wheel drive vehicles are deployed, and troop emergency power and communications equipment has been tested.  

Department of Public Service  

New York’s utilities have approximately 5,780 workers available statewide to engage in damage assessment, response, repair, and restoration efforts. This includes an additional 280 external FTEs secured by National Grid. NYSEG has an additional 224 contractor line workers and 99 contractor tree workers staged to respond as needed. DPS staff will track utilities’ work throughout the event and ensure utilities shift appropriate staffing to regions that experience the greatest impact.  

Winter Safety Tips  

Winter Travel  

Some of the most important tips for safe driving include:  

  • When winter storms strike, do not drive unless necessary.  
  • Use caution on bridges as ice can form quicker than on roads.  
  • If you must travel, make sure your car is stocked with survival gear like blankets, a shovel, flashlight and extra batteries, extra warm clothing, set of tire chains, battery booster cables, quick energy foods, and brightly colored cloth to use as a distress flag.  
  • If you have a cell phone or other communications device, such as a two-way radio, available for your use, keep the battery charged and keep it with you whenever traveling. If you should become stranded, you will be able to call for help, advising rescuers of your location.  
  • The leading cause of death and injuries during winter storms is transportation accidents. Before getting behind the wheel, make sure that your vehicle is clear of ice and snow; good vision is key to good driving. Plan your stops and keep more distance between cars. Be extra alert and remember that snowdrifts can hide smaller children. Always match your speed to the road and weather conditions.  
  • It is important for motorists on all roads to note that snowplows travel at speeds up to 35 mph, which in many cases is lower than the posted speed limit, to ensure that salt being dispersed stays in the driving lanes and does not scatter off the roadways. Oftentimes on interstate highways, snowplows will operate side by side, as this is the most efficient and safe way to clear several lanes at one time.  
  • Motorists and pedestrians should also keep in mind that snowplow drivers have limited lines of sight, and the size and weight of snowplows can make it very difficult to maneuver and stop quickly. Snow blowing from behind the plow can severely reduce visibility or cause whiteout conditions. Motorists should not attempt to pass snowplows or follow too closely. The safest place for motorists to drive is well behind the snowplows where the roadway is clear and salted. Never attempt to pass a snowplow while its operating.  

Heavy Exertion  

Heavy exertion, such as shoveling snow, clearing debris or pushing a car, increase the risk of a heart attack.  

To avoid problems:  

  • Stay warm, dress warm, and SLOW DOWN when working outdoors.  
  • Take frequent rests to avoid over-exertion  
  • If you feel chest pain, shortness of breath, or pain in your jaw radiating down your arm, STOP and seek help immediately.  

Power Outages  

  • Call your utility to determine area repair schedules  
  • Turn off or unplug lights and appliances to prevent a circuit overload when service is restored; leave one light on to indicate when power has been restored  
  • If heat goes out during a winter storm, keep warm by closing off rooms you do not need  

Heating Safety  

  • Use only safe sources of alternative heat such as a fireplace, small well-vented wood or coal stove or portable space heaters  
  • Always follow manufacturer’s instructions  
  • When using alternative heat sources such as a fireplace, woodstove, etc. always make sure you have proper ventilation  
  • Keep curtains, towels, and potholders away from hot surfaces  
  • Have a fire extinguisher and smoke detectors and make sure they work  
  • If you use kerosene heaters to supplement your regular heating fuel, or as an emergency source of heat, follow these safety tips:  

-Follow the manufacturers’ instructions  

-Use only the correct fuel for your unit  

-Refuel outdoors ONLY and only when the unit is cool  

-Keep the heater at least three feet away from furniture and other flammable objects  

-When using the heater, use fire safeguards and ventilate properly  

For more safety tips, visit https://dhses.ny.gov/safety.  

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THE FIRST THANKSGIVING IN AMERICA’S HOMETOWN.

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WPCNR Thanksgiving Portfolio, all photos by WPCNR:

On this Thanksgiving, let us remember the band of hardy intrepid souls who crossed an ocean in a boat no  bigger than a large Chris Craft and settled in an unforgiving landscape and started a country in the cold landscape of New England.

They were immigrants.

They were helped by Indians who welcomed them, without Indians’ compassion they would not have survived. And, remember, those pilgrims were immigrants.

A salute to this brave band. A salute, too, to the indians who accepted them without visas, without jobs, with no background checks no green cards. No border wall. No cages for children. No fear on the part of the Indians and their humanitarian leader, Squanto

The pilgrims sailed into a bay, dropped anchor and just carved out a living after living in incredible conditions in a ship’s hold for weeks, crossing the storm-tossed North Atlantic. Here are some views of America’s hometown by the WPCNR Roving Photographer.

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Plymouth Rock Landing. Plymouth, Massachusetts.

The Mayflower II. Plymouth Harbor.

Indian Statue of Squanto welcoming the Pilgrim Settlers. Plymouth.

Governor William Bradford Statue on the Shores of Plymouth Harbor

“Plymouth Rock,” The landing place of the pilgrims.

Settlers Home, left, circa 1690.

Church, Plymouth late 1700s. .

The Jury: Old Burial Ground, Plymouth. Last resting place of the pilgrims overlooking Plymouth Harbor. The sacrifices, bravery and perseverance of these persons stand as examples to Americans today.

How are we doin’?

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WHITE PLAINS WEEK TONIGHT THE NOV. 18 REPORT 7:30 FIOS CH 45 WHITE PLAINS OPTIMUM CH 76 And www.wpcommunity

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ELECTION AFTERMATH. WHAT HAPPENED AND WHY? AND WHAT ABOUT THOSE CRAZY POLLS?
THE ALL NEW COUNTY BUDGET
COVID HAS NOT BEEN CONTAINED. IT HAS BEEN SUSTAINED
PROFESSOR ROLANDI ON HOCHUL ZELDIN RACE, GOVERNORING NOW IN ALBANY AND WASHINGTON AND HOW POLSTERS DID
YOUNG BEARS FOLLOW MELLENIALS TO WESTCHESTER-
CRYSTAL BALLING THE COUNTY BUDGET GROWTH AT PRESENT RATE OF SPENDING INCREASES
THREE DISEASES THREATEN COUNTY
THE NEW NEW YORK SUBWAY CREDIT CARD FRIENDLY — THE HIGH AND THE MIGHTY OF TOM STOPPARD’S “LEOPOLDSTADT
STUNNING MURALS THAT TAKE YOUR BREATH AWAY OF WORLD FAMOUS NICHOLAS DE JESUS THE ARTIST FROM MEXICO FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE HIS FIRST EXHIBITION IN AMERICA NOW AT THE NEUBERGER MUSEUM AT SUNY PURCHASE. HOPPERS DE KOONINGS AND O’KEEFFES
JOHN BAILEY AND THE NEWS

THIS WEEK EVERY WEEK

FOR 21 YEARS

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THE AJC WESTCHESTER/FAIRFIELD THANKSGIVING DIVERSITY BREAKFAST IS BACK

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WPCNR WESTCHESTER COMMUNITY. From the American Jewish Committee. November 16, 2022:

In a time when antisemitism is on the rise and hate crimes have reached alarming levels, what can unite communities in times of strife needs to have a greater focus compared to what might divide them.

That was the key message to emerge from the American Jewish Committee Westchester/Fairfield Thanksgiving Diversity Breakfast November 9 at Suny Westchester Community College.

“Together, we are stronger,” said Myra Clark-Siegel, director of AJC Westchester/Fairfield. “Everybody coming together in unity. When you think about Thanksgiving, that’s what the holiday was really designed for.”

More than 300 people—representing more than 110 community groups from different religions, ethnic backgrounds, and walks of life–attended the breakfast at SUNY Westchester Community College, whose president, Belinda S. Miles, proudly noted was the most diverse of any of the 64 colleges in the State University of New York System.

In many ways, the gathering felt like a family reunion. Indeed, this was the first time since 2019 the breakfast was held in person because of the pandemic. New York Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins remembered when the breakfasts were much smaller and said the large turnout this year was both inspiring and necessary.

“Sometimes, it takes a breakfast like this to remind us that we are not alone. That there are other like-minded people who will not only break bread but will stand in solidarity with you in doing this work.”

Stewart-Cousins was one of the keynote speakers, along with Lt. Gov. Antonio Delgado, who said combating antisemitism and hate crimes was a top priority for him and Gov. Kathy Hochul.

“It’s critical that we do this work. It’s also sad that we have to take these kinds of steps to offer protection,” said Delgado, who with his wife, filmmaker Lacey Schwartz Delgado, are raising their two children as Jewish. “More security and protection is necessary but it is not sufficient. We must address extremism and divisiveness with work, prayer, love, and conversation.”

Also among those attending were Westchester County Executive George Latimer who provided welcoming remarks on behalf of Westchester County; New Rochelle Mayor Noah Bramson; White Plains Mayor Thomas Roach; and dozens of officials.

Caroline Simmons, the mayor of Stamford, CT, told the breakfast her city’s adoption—in partnership with AJC—of the working definition of antisemitism by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, was in keeping with Stamford’s diversity.

“We have residents who speak 71 different languages who come from all different faiths and backgrounds,” Simmons said. “And this diversity is our greatest source of pride and strength.”

This was the 21st Thanksgiving Diversity Breakfast, which was started as a way to help Westchester and Fairfield counties heal following the 9/11 attacks

AJC provided every participant with a Thanksgiving “America’s Table” reader, which provides discussion questions for families to use during Thanksgiving, and inspirational quotes by interfaith and intergroup leaders. Participants also received suggestions on “How to Be an Upstander,” and took action during the Breakfast by signing onto AJC’s nine-point Statement of Community of Conscience of Principles, a non-partisan, non-denominational way that every person can take action to be an upstander for others.

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SATURDAY AT 7 EST: FIOS CH 45, OPTIMUM 76 “PEOPLE TO BE HEARD” SPECIAL”ELECTION IN PAST, GOVERNING AHEAD”–WHAT REALLY HAPPENED IN NEW YORK WITH WPCNR ELECTION COMMENTATOR PROFESSOR STEPHEN R ROLANDI OF JOHN JAY SCHOOL OF JUSTICE AND ADJUNCT PROFESSOR AT WHITE PLAINS PACE UNIVERSITY– NEW YORK POLITICAL ANALYST & SCIENTIST

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PROFESSOR STEPHEN ROLANDI
JOHN JAY SCHOOL OF JUSTICE in New York City and ADJUNCT PROFESSOR AT WHIT
E PLAINS

THE HOCHUL-ZELDIN RACE WHAT HAPPENED AND WHY?

POLLING ITS EFFECT, EFFECTIVENESS AND HOW THE MEDIA TREATS THE POLLS

WHY NY REPUBLICANS TOOK THE NY CONGRESSIONAL SEATS THAT ARE THE DIFFERENCE IN THE NEW HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

HOW THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION HAS TO HANDLE THE NEW HOUSE

THE ROAD TO GOVERNING AHEAD

THE ROLE OF THE NEW YOUTH NOW VOTING IN ELECTIONS: POLITICIANS IGNORE THEM AT POLITICIANS’ PERIL

THE STATE OF THE REPUBLIC

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WHAT’S DOIN’ IN THE ARTS?

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Enjoy this week’s arts events.  View this email in your browser
THROUGH SUN., NOV. 20:
A Play About Crime, Punishment & Passion

Through November 20, Axial Theatre presents “Never the Sinner,” a play by John Logan that is inspired by real-life events. The story follows the complicated relationship between Nathan Leopold, Jr. and Robert Loeb, who kidnapped and murdered Loeb’s 14-year-old cousin in May 1924. “Never the Sinner” includes themes of crime, punishment and the desperation that comes along with intense passion. Read more about Axial Theatre and this play in the current issue of ArtsNews. Showtimes available at 11am and 8pm.MORE INFO




THROUGH SUN., NOV. 20: She Loves Me
Arc Stages presents the musical She Loves Me set in a 1930s European perfumery. Two feuding clerks, Amalia and Georg, respond to a “lonely hearts advertisement,” and they now live for the anonymous love letters they exchange. While the identity of their admirer remains unknown, the audience will join Amalia and Georg in each discovering who their true love is. Nov. 18 & 19 at 8pm and Nov. 20 at 2pm.MORE INFO


FRI., NOV. 18 THROUGH SUN., NOV. 20:
Six One-Act Plays Inspired by Iconic Songs
 
The Westchester Collaborative Theater (WCT) presents The Living Music Event, a festival of short plays that incorporates music into each production. This festival will feature six new one-act plays that were created during the WCT development workshop. Each play was inspired by an iconic song from the Great American Songbook, which will be sung by Ossining vocalist Anne Carpenter during the event. Friday, Nov. 18 at 8pm; Saturday, Nov. 19 at 2pm and 8pm; Sunday, Nov. 20 at 3pm.MORE INFO

SAT., NOV. 19 THROUGH SUN., JAN. 8:
The Great Holiday Train Show

The New Castle Historical Society kicks off its annual holiday tradition, The Great Holiday Train Showthis Saturday. Guests will discover the 19th-century summer residence of Horace Greeley, which will be festively decorated for the holidays with train displays running through each of the period rooms. Begins at 10am.MORE INFO

SUN., NOV. 20: An Evening of Late Renaissance Music at Caramoor
Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts presents countertenor Iestyn Davis and lutist Thomas Dunford for a concert in the Center’s Music Room surrounded by Renaissance furniture, Gothic tapestries and stained glass elements. These award winning musicians will perform a program of Late Renaissance French, Italian and English songs combined with solo lute music. Begins at 3pm.MORE INFO

FRI. NOV. 25 THROUGH SUN., NOV. 27: Hudson River Museum’s Holiday
Kick-Off Weekend

Hudson River Museum kicks off the holidays with a weekend of holiday events.  Events include Glenview Holiday Tours, where guests will visit the six fully restored period rooms decorated for the season, as well as holiday ornament workshops, performances from Thunderbird American Indian Dancers, and a special holiday edition of its The Sky Tonight planetarium show.  The tour begins at 1pm.MORE INFO

TUES., NOV. 29: Weekly Musical Playgroup: SHAC Snack Attack Hour
Every Tuesday morning, Hudson Valley Writers Center presents the SHAC Snack Attack Hour. This weekly musical playgroup, facilitated by Josh Lewis, founder and artistic director of The Sleepy Hollow Arts Center (The SHAC), gives children and their caregivers the opportunity to sing, dance, play and snack.  Live music is provided by local musicians, creating an immersive environment. Begins at 10am.MORE INFO

WED., NOV.30: Spiritual, Sacred and Secular Songs by Jewish Composers
Downtown Music at Grace presents soprano Jardena Gertler-Jaffe and pianist Bethany Pietroniro during a midday performance. The duo will explore concepts of the spiritual, sacred and secular through a program of works by Jewish composers and poets. Included will be Yiddish folksongs arranged by Dan Shore, of which Jardena Gertler-Jaffe made the world premiere. Begins at 12:15pm.MORE INFOThis and That by JL

ArtsWestchester CEO Janet Langsam’s Blog
So, What Are We Celebrating This Thanksgiving?


For many years after my ex-husband Ed and I decided to go our separate ways, his brother Mort would pack his Volkswagen bus with his three children, his ukulele and harmonica, and various Chilean relatives whom he brought here after the fall of the Allende government in Chile. Read more.
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MAN FOUND GUILTY OF MURDERING TARRYTOWN WOMAN IN 2018

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Westchester County District Attorney Miriam E. Rocah announced today that after a four-week trial, a jury found New York City resident Cynell Brown, 32, guilty of the 2018 murder of Tarrytown resident Jessica Wiltse.  

The defendant was found guilty yesteray on November 16, 2022, of Murder in the Second Degree, Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree, Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Fourth Degree, and two counts of Tampering with Physical Evidence, all felonies. The defendant faces a sentence ranging from a minimum of 15 years to life to a maximum of 25 years to life in state prison when he is sentenced on January 12, 2023. 

On February 27, 2018, at approximately 7:10 a.m., the defendant used a .45 caliber semi-automatic pistol to shoot 34-year-old Wiltse two times in the chest and arm in her home on White Plains Road in Tarrytown. The victim was transported to Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla, where she was pronounced dead.  

As detailed during the trial, police recovered the gun that the defendant used to murder Wiltse in a garbage can at a bus stop near the victim’s home as well as a suitcase near the garbage can that contained papers with the defendant’s name and phone number. Police also recovered a bag of cocaine that the defendant discarded from the window of a cab as he fled the scene. Additionally, police obtained surveillance video showing the defendant purchasing a number of grocery items the night before the murder that were later recovered from the victim’s home.  

The defendant was apprehended by the Port Authority Police Department, with the assistance of the FBI’s Westchester Safe Streets Task Force, at the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan on the evening of February 27, 2018. The multi-agency pursuit and investigation was conducted by the Tarrytown Police Department, with the assistance of the Greenburgh Police Department, the Greenburgh Drug and Alcohol Task Force, the Westchester County Department of Public Safety, the Irvington Police Department, the Ardsley Police Department, the Dobbs Ferry Police Department, the Sleepy Hollow Police Department, the FBI’s Westchester Safe Streets Task Force, the New York State Police, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Police Department, the Westchester County Department of Laboratories and Research, and the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office.  

The case is before Judge George Fufidio in Westchester County Court, and is being prosecuted by Major Case Bureau Chief Nadine Nagler and Counsel to the Trials and Investigations Division John O’Rourke.  

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STATE OF AFFAIRS NOVEMBER 16,2022

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BY DR. KATELYN JETELINA. Your Local Epidemiologist. Reprinted with permission. November 16, 2022:

The respiratory illness storm ravages on. And it’s only November. Here is where we are with the “triple threat.”

RSV

Cases of RSV continue to skyrocket. Data shows we are testing a lot, though, as test positivity rates are not as high as in 2021. This is likely attributed to increased knowledge, which is good news. In addition, there are hints that RSV is peaking. With RSV, antigen test positivity rates usually peak before PCR, and that’s what we are seeing now. Cases may soon follow.

(Source: CDC)

Historically, the RSV season lasts 5 months. It will be interesting to see how the holidays impact RSV patterns, though. Typically RSV peaks in January, but because it has arrived so early, we are in new viral dynamic territory.

There’s no doubt that social networks will change next week due to Thanksgiving. For example, we will see family that we don’t typically see. This will open up new pathways for transmission, and RSV numbers may therefore continue to rise.

Influenza

Flu is right behind RSV and coming in hot; it’s earlier and steeper than previous pandemic and non-pandemic years.

(Source: CDC)

We certainly see regional variability of the flu. A number of states in the South and the Atlantic seaboard, for example, have the highest activity level color that CDC records—purple in the map below. (The first time CDC used a purple color was in Louisiana in 2019, when they added it to the scheme due to very high levels.) This is causing flu surveillance at Johns Hopkins, for example, to go off the charts as seen below.

(Source: CDC)

(Source: Andrew Pekosz)

There is good news from the Southern Hemisphere among countries that just concluded their flu season. Chile, for example, found the flu vaccine is a good match for the current strain. They are reporting a 49% efficacy rate. But only 28% of Americans are vaccinated against the flu. This is almost 10 percentage points lower than pre-pandemic rates, which is frustrating.

COVID-19

Interestingly, for the first time during the pandemic, there are more than 300 subvariants circulating, and not one is dominating globally.

This isn’t stopping the virus from causing waves, though.

SARS-CoV-2 is currently creating two global hotspots: Western Pacific and Southeast Asia. In South Korea, for example, we see an increase in cases and hospitalizations due to the variant soup (lots of lines of color in the figure below are increasing, as opposed to just one or two lines of color that we’ve historically seen).

(Source: Moritz Gerstung)

Other areas across the globe are starting to tick upward, including admissions in South Africa and Western Europe. Similarly, these upticks are not due to one variant but rather a mix of Omicron subvariants, waning immunity, weather, and behavior change.

(Source: Jean Fisch)

The real headscratcher is that the U.S. wastewater continues to plateau, but given previous patterns, a wave should have started by now as BQ.1 accounts for more than 50% of cases. A lot of eyes are on the West, too, as a new Omicron subvariant—BN.1— is growing.

Purple= Midwest; Pink= South; Orange=Northeast; Green= West. (Source: Biobot Analytics)

Given trends in Europe, it is still very likely that the U.S. will have a COVID-19 wave.

But, overall, this could be a good sign that we finally have an immunity wall that is challenging the movement of COVID-19, regardless of labs showing subvariants can partially escape immunity. We need to hold off on sweeping conclusions—like whether this pandemic is over— until this winter plays out.

Implications

The convergence of these diseases has three important implications:

  1. Impact on hospital systems. The hospitals, and in particular pediatric hospitals and emergency departments, are hanging. by. a. thread. Every pre-pandemic winter, pediatric hospitals were overwhelmed. This year the unique combination of circumstances is creating terrible strain, which has many implications, including the quality of care for everyone. We need to fix this on a systematic level.
  2. Risk of co-infections. Someone can be infected with two viruses at the same time. In fact, the first death from RSV and flu co-infection was reported in a child under 5 years old in California.
  3. Lessons not learned? I had hoped we would have applied lessons from COVID-19 to other diseases, like masking, staying home while sick, and getting vaccinated. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like this is happening. After 2.5 years of a pandemic, the public (and leadership) is just in a different state of morale, and the willingness to take preventative steps seems to be lower.

Bottom line

“Normal” viruses are continuing to show their muscle, and the seasonal virus repertoire now includes COVID-19. We are very concerned going into winter, as this situation is already applying massive pressure to hospital systems. Time will tell how the next few months play out.

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TRI-INFECTA RSV, FLU, COVID 19 SPREADING IN THE 5 NYC BOROUGHS. Babies VULNERABLE. Covid now assumes role of an expected disease after 9 months of refusing to protect ourselves

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WPCNR RSV, FLU COVID SURVEILLANCE . Figures from the NYS Covid Tracker and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Observations and Analysis by John F. Bailey. November 16, 2022:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced 2.8 million flu diagnoses (one third the city’s 8.8 million population) this fall in New York city. At Brooklyn Kings County Hospital doctors told Bronx News 12 that they are seeing cases of RSV and Covid-19.

Infections of covid in Nassau and Suffolk Counties contribute to the covid spread, running over 700 cases daily depending on lab-verified tests. on Friday in Nassau and Suffolk County, reported 793 new covid cases and on Monday, 757 new persons infected with covid. This is not a new development.

It’s been going on in Nassau and Suffolk all summer long. One month ago for example on October 15, Nassau and Suffolk had 782 infections. They have averaged approximately 600 new covid infections a day. The Nassau and Suffolk counties are New York State hot spots.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced yesterday there have been at least 2.8 million flu diagnoses this season. Doctors at Kings County Hospital tell Bronx News 12 that they’re seeing many cases of not only the flu, but RSV and COVID-19 as well. , particularly affecting babies, a new development.

The latest official pronouncement follows on Dr. Katelyn Jetelina’s observation last week in her column published weekly on WPCNR and on her website yourlocalepidemiologist@substack.com where she makes the rounds of latest trends the last 24 hours. Last week Dr. Jetelina said RSV was spreading rapidly and again called what authorities should have been telling the people.

Babies are the primary targets of RSV.

“In pediatric patients, especially young babies, it does tend to primarily affect the lungs, and it can prevent the baby from breathing too well,” said Dr. Youssef at Kings County to Bronx News12. “So, what you want to look out for in those areas is poor feeding… some contractions in the lower spaces when breathing and any sign that you just feel they may need a little help taking some breaths.” 

 While there is no vaccine for RSV available to the public yet, preventative measures such as washing your hands and wearing a mask can help keep RSV at bay Dr. Youssef said.

Youssef said the hospital is preparing for another surge in covid cases this winter that could potentially be impacted by rising flu cases as well.  

On Monday, Brooklyn reported 640 new covid cases. The Bronx 392, Manhattan 483. Queens 598 and Staten Island 99 covid cases. All five broughs Monday reported 2,212 lab-verifed cases of covid on a population of 8.8 million less than 0% of the city population

In Westchester County we are gulty too. The county reported 233 new cases of covid on 3,420 Lab-confirmed tests or 5.8%.

Westchester completed its 36th consecutive week as WPCNR reported Monday of over 1,000 infections of covid a week every week over the last 9 months.

This creeping terror of covid spread has entrenched the disease.

It is not as some would put it behind us and just something we could get. It is now an ever present danger, and it was not 9 months ago, when we were vaccinating and masking and social distancing.

In the spring we started opening up by decision of the legislature which took over the emergency powers of Governor Cuomo.

So far On Sunday, Westchester was confirmed to have 168 new covid cases by the State covid tracker.

Covid is not on the wane.

This has been a collective effort of downplaying the disease by all.

The disease does not stop. It has gained momentum by our failure to vaccinate fully, adopting reckless behavior because we want to, and lack of enforcement by leaders unwilling to risk unpopularity in an election year, and avoiding legislating any fines, warnings, and enforcement measures that would affect their popularity in an election year. The media have not reported the details of the covid continuing wave of infections.

Covid is now a regular disease that we’ve been getting in Westchester at 1,000 cases a week for 36 weeks, due to Westchester behavior the last 9 months.

Health officials in New York urge New Yorkers to receive their vaccinations for the flu and COVID-19.

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TRANSIENT BLACK BEARS PROWLING IN GREENBURGH.

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Stranger in Town. (File shot)

WPCNR BEAR SURVEILLANCE. From Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner. November 14, 2022:

This is the letter I received from the NYS DEC regarding bears seen in Greenburgh- Ardsley Road, Dobbs Ferry, E Irvington, Clarewood (this summer), Orchard Hill (near the Acme supermarket neighborhood)

A bear was seen on Ardsley Road just a few days ago  

PAUL FEINER

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