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“We would like to recognize these nurses from the New Rochelle City School District, for their heroic actions that ultimately saved this teen’s life. We recognize that fentanyl is present in our communities and among young people, and we want our communities to be saturated with Narcan.
Our school districts, communities, residents and families should know that our Health Department offers free Narcan training.
Because of these nurses this student was given the gift of continued life, and they are all deserving of our most esteemed praise.”
The Westchester County Health Department is also taking this opportunity to remind residents of its free, life-saving Naloxone (Narcan) Training Program.
The training program can be taken by anyone 18 years of age or older who live or work in Westchester County, and educates people on how to recognize and respond to an opioid overdose.
Naloxone is a prescription medication that is used to reverse an opioid overdose, and the drug is provided for free to anyone who attends a training session. When administered correctly, Narcan nasal spray restores breathing that has been dangerously slowed by an overdose of heroin or prescription painkillers. If used quickly and effectively, Narcan has the potential to save lives.
The Health Department provides school trainings as well as community trainings, and residents who participate will receive a free Narcan kit. To learn more about Narcan or register for an upcoming Community Opioid Overdose Training Session, visit the Health Department’s Website.
Westchester County Health Commissioner Sherlita Amler, MD said:
“The dangerous part of fentanyl is that most of the time users don’t know what they’re taking, and it does not take much fentanyl to create an overdose situation. Narcan can work within a minute or two, giving emergency responders extra time to arrive and transport the person to a hospital before it’s too late.”
Vaccine rumors continue to swirl, and distrust in vaccines remains. The latest onslaught comes from blogs and social media around heart problems and sudden deaths following COVID-19 vaccination, particularly among young adults.
This rumor has been a constant theme since vaccine roll-out, but has recently bubbled to the surface due to a constellation of events: external medical review in Florida on vaccines, videos released (called Died Suddenly), the death of a young prominent soccer reporter, the NFL cardiac arrest incident, the death of Lisa Marie Presley. In fact, every week “sudden deaths” that aren’t remotely related to vaccines go viral.
To be very clear:
We have more evidence than for any other vaccine or disease in the history of humans that the benefits of COVID-19 vaccines greatly outweigh the risks.
I partnered with Dr. Kristen Panthagani, physician-scientist and author of You Can Know Things, to tackle this topic. This post is long, but we hope it’s a comprehensive, one stop shop to address the majority of rumors spreading now and in the future.
Here we go.
Deaths by vaccination status: It’s not even close
Underlying all these rumors is the belief that COVID-19 vaccines are seriously harmful, with some postulating that they are intended to depopulate the planet. If this fanciful rumor had any merit, we would expect those who are vaccinated for COVID to be more likely to die than those who are unvaccinated.
In fact, we see the opposite.
The U.K. Health Security Agency recently released data evaluating all deaths (COVID-19, car accidents, strokes, etc.) in the U.K. by vaccination status, after adjusting for age. This is powerful data because it allows us to remove noise from the debate—it doesn’t matter if the death was “with” or “from” COVID or how the person died.
Below is the data visually displayed. And, the story is clear: vaccines save lives. (The impact has changed over time thanks to survivor bias, an increase in vaccination rates, and infection-induced immunity.)
What about excess deaths among young adults?
One of the first rumors that gained a foothold was from an observation by insurance companies: in the third quarter of 2021, deaths increased by 40% in working-aged individuals. Some latched onto this information as evidence that COVID-19 vaccines, which were rolled out earlier that year, were the cause of increased deaths.
This assumption leaves out one key detail — a pandemic. The Delta variant slammed the U.S. during the third quarter of 2021, killing people of all ages.
A new study assessed patterns of excess deaths and COVID-19 specific deaths across time, by state, region, and age. Scientists found that excess deaths increased starting in spring 2020 at the beginning of the pandemic, well before vaccines were introduced into the population. Furthermore, excess deaths tightly mirror COVID deaths, even for working-age adults.
(If you’re wondering why there’s a gap between COVID deaths and excess deaths — according to the study’s lead author, Dr. Jeremy Faust, it’s likely “a combination of non-medical deaths like accidental overdose and also, we strongly believe, things like heart attacks that were actually instigated by COVID.”)
The tight link between COVID and excess deaths was seen even in Florida (see red arrow below), which has recently stopped recommending mRNA vaccines for men aged 18-39 based on a deeply flawed analysis.
We can also look at specific deaths, like those classified under “diseases of the circulatory system”— which includes things like heart attacks and blood clots in the lung. Circulatory system deaths in 18-39 year-olds were decreasing before the pandemic, but then spiked sharply during the pre-vaccination period. Vaccination roll-outs correlated with a stunning reversal of this trend, as seen in the graph below.
What about young athletes?
Then there was the tragic injury in the NFL—Hamlin’s heart stopped after a hit to the chest. Within minutes, rumors flooded an information void to make the conversation about vaccines and death.
In particular, one incorrect statistic was quickly circulated on social media: more athletes died in the last year than have died in the last 38 years.
Where did this statistic come from? After digging, it surfaced that this came from a published letter by Peter McCullough in which he compared sudden cardiac deaths (SCD) in athletes from two data sets from two time periods. This study design can work in epidemiology; however, it has to be done very carefully to make sure we compare apples to apples.
McCullough did not do it carefully and compared oranges to apples: compared young vs. old, compared different definitions of SCD, included people who didn’t even die from SCD in the first place, included some people who weren’t athletes, and included some people who didn’t even die.
It was a mess of an analysis. But that didn’t matter because the seed was sown. The rumor filled an information void, and it went viral.
What about blood clots?
Then there is the Died Suddenly video. This video flashes through dozens of upsetting news headlines and videos of people collapsing to paint an alarming picture of deaths after the COVID-19 vaccine.
We could write a whole post refuting this video (you can read this one). But a few quick things to take away:
If you simply Google the sudden death headlines in the video, it’s clear they weren’t from the vaccine. One person died in a car accident. Another died before the COVID-19 vaccines were even available. Another collapsed during a basketball game (before COVID-19 vaccines), but never died.
The video ultimately alleged mRNA vaccines are killing people via blood clots. As “evidence” it showed images of blood clots being removed from the blood vessels of cadavers. However, it fails to mention that it is totally normal for blood to clot after death.
The video also showed images of a huge blood clot being surgically removed from a vessel in the lung (a pulmonary embolism), suggesting this clot was caused by a vaccine. However, the footage they used was stolen from a 2019 medical education video—showing not only that this clot was not caused by a COVID vaccine (COVID vaccines didn’t exist in 2019), but also that major blood clots, even in young people, are a well known phenomenon that pre-dated COVID vaccination.
What about all the personal stories of death after vaccination?
If you have spent much time on the internet, you’ve likely encountered stories of people saying a loved one died or was injured from the vaccine – their father got vaccinated and had a heart attack just a few days later.
As humans, we are wired to find cause and effect in our lived experiences, and the occurrence of a serious health event within days of vaccination appears to be fool-proof evidence of the negative effects of vaccination to many. But as painful as these stories are to hear, and even more so to experience, the reality is even if everyone had gotten a placebo, these stories are statistically bound to happen. Even if everyone had gotten a placebo shot, there still would be deaths after the shot. In order for there to be no deaths after vaccination, that vaccine would have to not only be safe, but actually prevent all deaths, from every cause.
To understand why, here’s a brief explanation of the post hoc fallacy and why it confuses many when it comes to vaccines:
Then there are rumors of a possible cover-up after a FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) request from CDC’s VAERS database erroneously claimed clear safety signals for death after vaccinations.
In addition to the important nuances outlined in the video above, it’s important to take VAERS with a grain of salt. VAERS is a type of surveillance called “passive.” It’s run on an honor system that is dependent on people providing accurate data, which people knowingly (or unknowingly) don’t do. Because of this, the CDC has several disclaimers plastered throughout their site: “The reports may contain information that is incomplete, inaccurate, coincidental, or unverifiable.”
VAERS is imperfect, so we also have “active” vaccine safety surveillance called V-Safe. VAERS coupled with V-safe is incredibly powerful. Monitoring systems aren’t perfect, but they are pretty darn good. In fact, they were able to find some rare, but serious, side effects quickly during the vaccine roll-out.
What are the (validated) serious side effects from the COVID-19 vaccines?
When doctors say the COVID vaccines are “safe,” they don’t mean the risk of side effects is zero (no medical intervention can meet that standard)—they mean the risks of serious side effects are extremely small, and the benefits of the vaccine outweigh those risks.
There are true safety signals that have been legitimately linked to COVID-19 vaccines:
Serious allergic reactions (called anaphylaxis) occurred in 5 out of 1 million vaccine doses. This is readily treatable, but can be life-threatening if not immediately treated.
The J&J vaccine (not an mRNA vaccine) was linked with a 4 in 1 million chance of a specific type of serious, sometimes fatal blood clot (thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome). The J&J vaccine was also associated with a small elevation in risk of Guillain-Barre syndrome, a rare autoimmune disease that can occur after both infections and vaccination.
Because of these rare risks that are specific to the J&J vaccine, mRNA vaccines are now recommended instead of the J&J vaccine.
Myocarditis (inflammation of the heart) among young males has been linked to the vaccine. About 100 in 1 million doses result in it, particularly after the second shot. Vaccine-induced myocarditis is less severe than myocarditis from the virus itself, which is helpful context.
Last week, the FDA and CDC announced they are investigating a possible (but not confirmed) link between the Pfizer bivalent booster vaccine and increased risk of stroke in people older than 65 based on results from one of the surveillance databases. So far, at least four other sources of data have shown no link.
Not all of these vaccine-induced events were linked to death, but some were after intense investigations. For example, nine deaths have been causally linked to the clot complications from the J&J vaccine. In 2021, one study reported eight deaths from vaccine-induced myocarditis.
Weigh risk of vaccines with risk of infection
No one denies COVID-19 vaccines can have rare but severe effects. The question is how severe they are and how often they occur compared to infection.
COVID-19 vaccines have always been safer than infection. One study compared the immediate risks of a COVID-19 vaccine to an infection. With the exception of swollen lymph nodes, infections were far more predictive of heart arrhythmias, heart attacks, myocarditis, and blood clots.
The impact of COVID-19 infection on long-term problems is being uncovered more and more. Unfortunately, we are at the mercy of time for this to play out. But there are already several studies with concerning findings:
A study in Italy and Spain found excess all-cause mortality related to cardiovascular complications in patients after COVID-19 infection.
A study in the Lancet found that people infected with SARS-CoV-2 had 3 times the risk of dying over the following year compared with those who remained uninfected. For those aged 60+ years, increased mortality persisted until the end of the first year after infection. It was related to increased risk for heart and/or respiratory causes of death.
A report from Singapore also found an increase in excess mortality after infection (people with no recent infections had no additional excess deaths). However, it was not linked to cardiovascular events.
Across the globe, COVID-19 vaccines saved more than 20 million lives in the first year.
In the United States specifically, COVID-19 vaccines prevented 18.5 million additional hospitalizations and 3.2 million additional deaths.
Safety in vaccines is incredibly important to monitor. Unfortunately, no vaccine is risk free. There are rare vaccine tragedies, and they need to be taken seriously. But do not confound these rare tragedies with thinking they are common occurrences. And certainly don’t forget that COVID-19 vaccines saved millions of lives across the globe and will continue to do so.
Love, YLE and Dr. Panthagani
Kristen Panthagani, MD, PhD is an emergency medicine physician at Yale. In her free time, she is the creator of the medical blog You Can Know Things. You can subscribe to her newsletter here.
“Your Local Epidemiologist (YLE)” is written by Dr. Katelyn Jetelina, MPH PhD—an epidemiologist, data scientist, wife, and mom of two little girls. During the day she works at a nonpartisan health policy think tank and is a senior scientific consultant to a number of organizations, including the CDC. At night she writes this newsletter. Her main goal is to “translate” the ever-evolving public health science so that people will be well equipped to make evidence-based decisions. This newsletter is free thanks to the generous support of fellow YLE community members.
WPCNR CORONAVIRUS SURVEILLANCE. Statistics, NY State Covid Tracker. Observation & Analysis by John F. Bailey. January 16, 2023:
WESTCHESTER COVID INFECTIONS DECLINED 20% IN WEEK THE 2ND WEEK OF JANUARY
From January 1 to 7, the first week of the New Year, the county reported 1,896 infections after the New Years socializing slightly more than the 1,771 recorded the last week of December.
From Sunday January 8 through Saturday January 14 infections numbered 1,520, a decline of 20%. Infections the month of December in Westchester numbered 9,003.
The decline of 20% this past week marked the first time in 10 consecutive months that Westchester had lowered infections to close to 200 a day (217).
Significantly, midweek infections had been rising sharply on Monday Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays for the 6 weeks from the fweek after Thansiging through December and through last week reflecting faster infections among Westchester residents– indication more persons socializing over weekends were coming down with covid faster than the usual one week incuabation period.
Last week, that changed. Infections Sunday through Saturday were under 300 a day.
Last week Westchester averaged 217 lowering close to 200 a day. Is this the real turtle soup or is it “the mock?”
The takeaway from second week in January performance shows a 1 new infected person infecting less than 1 person. This is the first time since late in March 2022 that Westchester new covid cases are not infecting more than 1 person. Containment of the spread of the disease occurs when one person spreads the disease to 1 person or less.
For ten months Westchester through relaxation of social distancing, gathering restrictions and the state dropping mask restrictions in schools and restaurants, and citizens choosing not to get fully vaccinated had pushed the disease to a 5th wave in November and December.
Now with this one week we seem to have reversed that.
Next week bears watching to see if midweek growth in infections returns and pushes back up to the unacceptable 300 infections a day level is again reached.
As we have seen the last 10 months “feeling good that covid is behind us or just part of life” philosophy espoused by leaders who should know better, created a huge wave in July of over 10,000 infections. Which was cut to 6,000 infections in August. But then with schools wide open in September, the disease gathered momentum again. This was blamed on the variants of the diease.
The public by not getting fully vaccinated or boosted shots did get infected when they thought they were safe and socializing and schooling in relaxed in school environments contributed to that, adding 5,000 infections in September; 5,216 in October; 6,374 in November and 9,003 in December. Policy or the public’s reluctance to belive the disease was still catchable, lack of getting completely vaccinated, or just the reluctance to becareful, wear masks-whatever—that is what has happened.
Or, perhaps persons have gone and completed their vaccinations and are safer than before.
The disease was just about stopped in in Mid-March then the legislature decided to open up restrictions and made the public feel overconfident.
I know I did. I still forget to wear a mask sometimes. It is understandable. Perfectly understandable.
However to know exactly where we are we need to have figures on number of infections per community restored on the county website so we know where we are.
We also need the infections per school district monitoring system back so parent see the true picture – a very bad decision by the State Department of Education to stop that weekly report card. That report card district by district, school by school, showed parents exactly how dangerous or safe their schools were.
Now no parents want to know that? No Superintendents of Schools want us to be aware of the actual success in containing infections? Why wouldn’t they want us to know that. The county health department does know those figures I believe and they should publish that.
WPCNR OBSERVER.A reprise of a WPCNR article of June 19, 2022 on Dr. Martin Luther Kings Jr.’s Birthday
At the White Plains Public Library, 28 photographs of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., taken by Benedict Fernandez, who photographed Dr. King extensively in the last year of Reverend King’s life were put on display in the Library 2nd floor Gallery.
Mayor Thomas Roach, Congressman Mondaire Jones, State Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins, and Joy Bevins Director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, spoke eloquently about Dr. King’s role in their lives. Here are some of their remarks.
If you’re new to our NY-16 community, welcome! If you’ve been around for the past two years, welcome back! I’m excited to continue fighting for every one of my constituents throughout the 118th Congress. We had some changes made to our district and you can check them out below to see if
you’re in the new NY-16. Map of NY-16 after redistricting
During my next term I’ll be working on legislation to invest in the health, well-being, and economic security of my constituents, historically marginalized communities, and all Americans.
These include my Green New Deal for Public Schools to ensure every school is safe, toxin-free, and zero-carbon, the Emergency Price Stabilization Act to help curb corporate price gouging from the grocery store to the gas pump, and the Ending Corporate Greed Act to make corporations pay their fair share, along with several new pieces of legislation we have been developing. Westchester and the Bronx will always have me as an advocate in Congress to stand up for their needs.
My team and I are planning an incredible next two years, and we’re happy to let you know we’ll be starting with a Welcome to the 118th Congress Town Hall on January 17th, at 6:30pm.
This town hall will provide our community the opportunity to meet me and my team, learn about what services we offer, and hear about our legislation priorities. You can additionally submit questions in advance here , and on the 17th, you can watch here or call 833-998-0893 to listen in. I can’t wait to hear from all of you and how you think we can work to improve our NY-16 community. We also have some updates to share with you on our in-person offices. We’ve closed our Co-Op City office, we’ll be opening our White Plains office in February, and we recently moved offices in DC as well. You can find all of the new office information below. Anyone is welcome to visit, and our team is excited to continue to serve our community.
Peace and love,
Congressman Jamaal Bowman (NY-16) Washington D.C. Office 345 Cannon HOB Washington, DC 20515 Phone: (202) 225-2464
Mount Vernon District Office 6 Gramatan Ave. Ste. 205 Mt. Vernon, NY 10550 Phone: (914) 371-9220
White Plains District Office Opens in February 2023! 222 Mamaroneck Ave. Ste 312 White Plains, NY 10605
WESTCHESTER DISTRICT ATTORNEY MIRIAM E. ROCAH’S LETTER TO THE COMMUNITY
HIGHLIGHTS FROM 2022
January 13, 2023
Dear Westchester County,
I am honored to ring in the start of my third year as your District Attorney by reflecting on the work we did in 2022, and looking ahead to this year as we continue building on our achievements since I took office.
When I was sworn in two years ago, I committed to the guiding principles of safety, accountability, integrity and justice as Westchester County’s chief law enforcement officer. The primary goal of the District Attorney’s Office is to maintain public safety and support victims of crime. These fundamental pillars can, and must, work in tandem with the pursuit of a fair and equitable justice system that works for everyone, not just a few.
I’m proud to share with you how we have worked to achieve this balance by highlighting some notable milestones from the past year.
Prosecuting Violent Crime, Gun Crimes and Traffickers
In addition to our ongoing efforts to vigorously prosecute all forms of violent crime, in the last year we have focused on gun-related offenses, including gun trafficking and multiple ghost gun prosecutions, and have prioritized education, training and community outreach on gun safety.
Prosecuted hundreds of gun-related cases involving more than 450 guns removed from our streets by law enforcement, which has made Westchester safer.
Seized nearly 100 ghost guns as a result of our work on numerous operations with law enforcement partners to prosecute individuals possessing ghost guns in Westchester County.
Strengthened our partnership with multiple state and local law enforcement agencies utilizing a precision policing and prosecution model as part of our Gun & Gang Initiative to focus on the most violent offenders.
Joined a multi-agency investigation that led to the takedown of gun traffickers, and the dismantling of an illegal weapons pipeline from out of state.
Prioritized Red Flag Law training for law enforcement, school administrators, mental health practitioners and parents, and continued our education on safe firearm storage, with school district superintendents and gun safety advocates like Moms Demand Action.
Supported law enforcement in filing a record number of Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPOs), which remove firearms from individuals who pose a threat to themselves or others.
Advocating for Crime Victims
The criminal justice system extends beyond prosecutions. We prioritize crime victims to ensure that they, and their families, have a voice in the process and feel supported.
Secured competitive $1 million grant (funded over next three years) from the New York State Office of Victim Services under the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) Victim and Witness Assistance Grant Program.
Instituted policy to ensure all junior prosecutors receive trauma-informed interview training to better equip them to support victims.
Completed training of all 42 police departments in Westchester County as part of the Training Committee for the Domestic Violence High-Risk Training Initiative, a countywide partnership with county government agencies that uses a lethality assessment in domestic violence cases. This has served as a model for other areas of the state.
Created a misdemeanor Domestic Violence Bureau within our Special Prosecutions Division to better service victims of domestic violence.
Won a $500,000 Department of Justice 2022 Bureau of Justice Assistance Grant for Prosecuting Cold Cases Using DNA to support the Cold Case Bureau’s work solving the 134 open cold case homicides in Westchester County.
Holding Perpetrators of Fraud and Cybercrimes Accountable
With the rise of schemes targeting vulnerable residents, we are dedicating more resources to prosecuting fraud, especially online. We’re continuing to partner with community and civic groups to engage, educate and assist the public, especially seniors, minors and immigrants, from falling victim to such crimes.
Our Economic Crimes Bureau has prosecuted individuals who have stolen, in total, more than $800,000 from unsuspecting victims in cases of labor fraud and wage theft, elaborate tax and online money schemes, investment and loan fraud, grandparent and elderly scams, theft by home health aide workers and covid vaccination card fraud.
Enhanced our Cyber Crimes Bureau to focus on criminal investigations involving the internet and technology, privacy and data theft, and threats to minors on social media platforms.
Partnered with more than a dozen law enforcement agencies in a year-long investigation to crack down on countywide catalytic converter thefts, which resulted in the take down of five men who were allegedly stealing bus and van catalytic converters.
Combating Hate, Bias and Extremism in Westchester
I took office days before the January 6th insurrection on our Capital, and during the surge of hate crimes and extremism rising across the country. It was immediately critical that our approach to these issues in Westchester involve a stronger partnership with local law enforcement and county government.
Secured two major felony convictions for violent hate crimes — a 15-year sentence for a racially-motivated attack on a black teenager in Ossining fueled by white nationalist propaganda, and a 17-year sentence for a defendant who brutally attacked an Asian senior in Yonkers.
With County Police and County IT, developed a law enforcement online portal for the reporting of Hate Crimes & Bias Incidents for all of Westchester County. Not only will this aid in our prosecutions, but this valuable data will enhance our collaboration with police.
Hate Crimes Unit conducted 16 legal trainings with law enforcement and “upstander” presentations at schools and community groups with our partners at the Westchester County Human Rights Commission.
Public Integrity, Police Accountability and Prosecutorial Ethics
Prosecutorial and law enforcement integrity are critical to ensuring public trust in the criminal justice system. We will continue to pursue these cases based on law and fact, and our pledge to always do the right thing, for the right reasons, in the right way.
Created the Office’s first Discovery Bureau devoted to helping our ADAs more efficiently comply with the demands of New York’s criminal justice reform and discovery requirements.
Continued DA-level review of complaints against police officers received by the Westchester County DA’s Office, making referrals to law enforcement agencies for internal disciplinary actions and training recommendations as appropriate.
Secured a seven-year prison sentence for a former Peekskill police officer convicted of multiple felony sex crimes after he sexually abused a woman on numerous occasions while on duty.
Secured conviction of a former Mount Vernon police officer for assault of a hand-cuffed inmate in his custody.
Conducted regular legal and ethics training of our prosecutors and law enforcement partners on topics related to discovery, due process and ethical obligations.
Protecting Reproductive Rights
In the aftermath of the overturning of Roe v. Wade, I pledged to protect safe and legal abortion access in New York by prosecuting any individuals who interfere with patients’ access to abortion care in Westchester.
Convicted three men of criminal trespass at a White Plains women’s clinic, and in line with our recommendation, a judge sentenced each of them to the maximum allowed under the law of three months in jail.
Sent legal guidance to all Westchester police agencies reinforcing New York state laws on accessing reproductive care services.
Criminal Justice Reform
We are developing valuable partnerships with law enforcement and local government as well as community advocates to make noteworthy firsts in Westchester that reduce recidivism through alternatives to traditional prosecution, which studies show lead to safer communities.
Consented to Westchester’s first reduced sentence for a domestic violence survivor under New York State’s 2019 Domestic Violence Survivors Justice Act (DVSJA). We recognize that the DVSJA is an important evolution in the way the criminal justice system views survivors of abuse.
Celebrated the first anniversary and countywide expansion of Fresh Start, Westchester County’s first pre-arraignment diversion program, which has offered more than 200 first-time defendants who faced non-violent, low-level offenses a chance at rehabilitation instead of traditional prosecution.
Marked our first year of the Mount Vernon Emerging Adult Justice Part, a youth diversion program developed with Mount Vernon City Court, the Legal Aid Society, the Youth Shelter of Westchester, and the Office of Court Administration, to provide opportunities and resolutions for young adults ages 18 to 25 as alternatives to conventional prosecution, conviction, and fines.
Continued to take part in New Rochelle City Court’s Opportunity Youth Part, which offers emerging adults ages 16 to 24 services in mental health, substance abuse, workforce development, education and mentorship.
Expanded access to treatment and rehabilitation offered through New York’s Veteran’s, Mental Health and Drug Treatment courts for felony offenders who face non-violent charges.
Together with the 129 ADAs, 34 criminal investigators and 90+ support staff—making us the largest prosecutorial agency in the state of New York outside of NYC—I am proud to continue serving as your DA, protecting crime victims, fighting for equal justice and keeping Westchester a safe place to live and work.
White Plains, NY — The White Plains Democratic City Committee will make endorsements for the 2023 election in the coming weeks for three seats on the Common Council and the two County Legislature districts that encompass parts of White Plains.
The WPDCC is accepting resumes and letters from registered Democrats seeking to run for the positions. Candidates are asked to outline their qualifications and explain why they want to run for either Council or the Legislature. Council candidates must reside in the city while legislative candidates should reside in the district in which they want to run.
Interested parties should email their information to WPDCC Nominating Committee Chair Charlene Raynor at firstname.lastname@example.org by Jan. 23.
Candidates endorsed by the WPDCC would be expected to run as part of a slate, support and actively campaign with the other candidates on the endorsed ticket as well as share information with and produce joint literature with their running mates. They will be called upon to raise sufficient funds to pay for their share of campaign literature and other expenses for the general election and, if necessary, a June primary. They will also be asked to participate in obtaining signatures of registered Democrats required to get the designees on the ballot.
The 5th County Legislative District encompasses parts of White Plains, all of Scarsdale and the Silver Lake section of
WPCNR THE LETTER TICKER. Special to WPCNR From the Rosedale Residential Association. January 12, 2023:
In January and February this year, the city was going to vote on a very large solar array farm on the property of 1133 Westchester Ave. This property borders our neighbors in North St. and Ridgeway at White Plains. During that time, we asked RRA members to join with other south end communities to take action to block this project. As a result of the protest, the Common Council investigated the development plans and determined that the plans violated existing zoning laws. Below is some background information on the project.
In 2021, a giant solar farm was proposed at 1133 Westchester Ave, the size of 5 football fields and 22 feet high. This is surrounded by residential neighborhoods on three sides. This is not your roof top variety of solar panels.
Only two years before that, the Flatts residential housing was approved as an accessory use at 1133 Westchester Ave site, where they cut down 10 acres of trees to build. A concern with the Flatts is that RPW, the landlord, opted out of providing the required park and recreation area for its residents, and preferred to pay a fee of $971,000. Still, they were offered a credit of $766,000 and paid only $205,000 in fees in return for creating an apparently unusable 12,000 square foot patch on a hill, next to the driveway and storm management area.
Since last fall, nearby residents raised serious concerns about the scope, location and specifics of the solar project and about how little notice was given and how no regard for the community was considered.
It took many attempts by concerned citizens to get the city to recognize the obvious zoning error that was made in preliminarily approving the proposal. Just this past January the city rejected the proposal.
Just two months later, White Plains City Council called a special meeting to propose an amendment to the zoning ordinance that is oddly similar to the specifications of the proposed 1133 Westchester Ave solar project and offers few, if any, reliable protections for residents. Common Council members asked questions, nearly all of which were skirted by the presenter with no real answers given. The topic is scheduled for the June 6 WP Common Council meeting.
If approved, 59 properties (which have not been divulged) in White Plains would be eligible to erect giant solar farms.
The RRA is not anti-development or anti-solar power projects. We would like to ensure that if projects are built in or adjacent to our neighborhood, that have a say in the size and scope of development that might impact the safety or character of our neighborhood. If a project like this can go up at 1133 Westchester Ave, it could also go up at other corporate parks like 1313 Mamaroneck Ave, which boarders our neighborhood, or even the old Windward property. Large-scale solar arrays generate energy to be sold for profits. These carport mounted arrays used to sell energy to ConEd are by definition a utility. They should NOT be zoned as an accessory use and instead maintain the special permitting process required for energy utilities. They belong in industrial zones and building roof tops, not in or adjacent to residential neighborhoods. These large-scale arrays have a negative impact to the aesthetics of our neighborhoods and decrease the value of our homes.
Proposed local zoning ordinance changes permitting large-scale solar farms surrounding our communities will negatively impact all neighborhoods in our city.
Below are summary points as to why this project would not benefit our neighborhoods:
Solar-related zoning proposals should be part of the Comprehensive Plan process (in progress) rather than be pushed through for special interests
Manufacturing and selling energy is a utility scale application and should only be permitted in the 3 White Plains industrial zones, rather than next to residential neighborhoods via loopholes (“accessory use”)
There are no known benefits to White Plains citizens associated with the 1133 Westchester Avenue solar farm proposal; the purported 10% utility bill discount is already available
Studies show that nearby property values decline after solar farms are installed
If White Plains insists on negatively impacting neighborhoods, solar arrays should be setback at least 300-400 feet from residential zone borders and complete screening from eye sores mandatory
The current proposal could lead the way to large solar farms on 59 sites in White Plains, likely next to us!
Feel free to email us at email@example.com if you have questions or would like more information.
Voice your concern to the Mayor and City Council members before it is too late (topic of August 1st City Council meeting). The city will not be taking any more public input on this matter after 6/19.