Mayor Takes Away Another Problem: Housing Authority HQ Problem History

WPCNR CITY HALL TRIBUNE HERALD. October 3, 2002: George Gretsas, the Mayor’s Executive Officer, said today that the Winbrook residents who turned out for Commissioner of Planning Susan Habel’s briefing to Winbrook on the new location proposed for the White Plains Housing Authority, were enthusiastic about the suggested extension of the ground floor of 225 Martin Luther King Junior Boulevard into a new headquarters for the WPHA and community room for the community.
Grestas reported that between 75 and 100 residents attended the community briefing at Bethel Baptist Church and were generally behind the proposal. He said there were other issues, but that the attitude towards the headquarters proposal was positive. He added that the Board of Deacons of Bethel Baptist Church were in favor of the proposal, too.

Asked if the White Plains Housing Authority was buying into the proposal, Gretsas said, “Yes,” that as long as the Winbrook community was in favor of the extension and park program, this was the only issue holding up the plan. He said he expected the program for the extension of 225 MLKJ Boulevard into new Housing Authority offices with a community room for Winbrook residents plus a new Winbrook park to move ahead in a few weeks.

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Westchester County tiene un nuevo boletín – y es en Español!

WPCNR COUNTY CLARION-LEDGER. From Westchester County Department of Communications. October 3, 2002: Hola Westchester is the county’s latest effort to reach out to the growing Hispanic/Latino community and provide helpful information. Published by the Westchester County Office for Hispanic Affairs, the free full-color quarterly newsletter is printed in both Spanish and English and distributed by agencies countywide.
“Too many people – simply because of language barriers – are kept from getting what they need to provide for their families and enjoy the same quality of life we are all entitled to,” said County Executive Andy Spano. “Publishing a newsletter in Spanish gives us a direct line into this community. We can show just how many programs and services are available through government as well as private agencies.”

Hola Westchester will showcase various efforts throughout the county and provide practical information about educational programs, advocacy efforts, health issues, and business and social service programs.

The first issue (Fall/Winter 2002) gives a round-up of the county’s outreach efforts, such as community health fairs and educational workshops. The publication also contains a full page of information on how to take advantage of helpful programs and services such as free health insurance for children, ESL classes, health screenings, counseling services, low bus fares, and more. Most include phone numbers to get Spanish-speaking assistance.

A special feature introduces Martha Lopez, the head of the Office for Hispanic Affairs who helps constituents find the government services they need, and Adelita Davis, who translates governmental materials into Spanish for the county.

Copies of the newsletter are available from Martha Lopez, Office for Hispanic Affairs, (914) 995-2476.

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East Side Update: Clayton Park, Stop N Shop Moving Along Strong

WPCNR MAIN STREET MIRROR. October 3, 2002:Construction continues in the Eastview neighborhood with the Westchester One/Stop N Shop garage rising and Clayton Park preparing for rentals. Photographs this week show these two leadoff projects in the city’s 21st century revival are moving right along.



CENTRAL PARK WEST?NO, IT’S EASTVIEW’S CLAYTON PARK: The first of over 1,800 new White Plains apartments is nearing completion. Landscaping has begun on the front of the Clayton Park project. A website will be opening shortly, as the complex prepares to roll out for rentals.
Photo by WPCNR




EASTVIEW SCHOOL FIELDS UNDER FACELIFT AND WESTCHESTER ONE GARAGE RISE: The Westchester One Garage Outer walls over look the Department of Public Works Eastview fields reconstruction.
Photo by WPCNR




WESTCHESTER ONE GARAGE GOIN’ UP: Moving right along, the STOP N SHOP complex continues to take shape adjacent to the Eastview Middle School fields.
Photo by WPCNR




STOP N SHOP NONSTOP: The Super STOP N SHOP as seen from the Kensico Avenue side looking towards “The Westchester.” The supermarket for White Plains continues relentlessly towards completion.
Photo by WPCNR

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Middle School 7th Grader Cross Country Harrier Wins Her First Race.

WPCNR Press Box. By John F. Bailey. October 2, 2002:Cross Country is a sport of attrition where the runner continues to build every performance, racing against themselves, to win a cross country event is a triumph over the self as well as the competitors. Knowing the nature of the sport makes White Plains’ Kaylin Gilmartin-Donohue’s race Tuesday all the remarkable.



DOWN THE STRETCH THEY COME: Seven minutes and 20 seconds into the 1.2 mile race “K.K.”, as her White Plains X-Country Teammates call her, pours it on with a 100 feet to go, trying to hold off her Westlake challenger.
Photo by WPCNR Sports


Kaylin, a seventh grader at the Highlands Middle School, running in her first cross country event ever, won the first Middle School Girls event over 43 other young ladies at Westlake in 85 degree and humid weather in a photo-finish.

Kaylin, coached by John Mcgee, was running in her very first race. Her mother said she was thrilled with the win, and is “quite an athlete.” Mom said Kaylin was “intent on winning it” going into the race.

As the 1.2 mile race was run, it came down to as good as it can ever get for a cross country race. Kaylin held the lead going into the final quarter mile maintaining a 6 length lead over her challenger as the two leaders entered the running track. The challenger was determined and closed the gap on “K.K.” going into the far turn. She appeared to pass “K.K.” with about 25 feet to go.



K.K. REACHES BACK FOR THAT LITTLE SOMETHING EXTRA TO PULL IT OUT, and wins her first cross country event she has ever run in a photo finish, as the Track Judge is poised to record the winning time. (Kaylin is at far left in picture at the crowded finishing chute.) Kaylin ran the 1.2 mile course in 7:49, finishing first ahead of 43 other girls. Kaylin also plays travel soccer which may account for her endurance in her first race.

Photo by WPCNR Sports


It was a valiant race by all. Cross country aficionados stay to applaud all who finish because as Coach Mcgee emphasizes, you are running against yourself. The coach points out to his athletes that in any event they run in, they are running against themselves and the course.

Tuesday’s first meet of the year was pretty tough running conditions: temperature in the 80s with 70% humidity, not what a runner likes. This made Kaylin’s performance all the more remarkable.



WHITE PLAINS MIDDLE SCHOOL CROSS COUNTRY TEAM GETS THEIR TIMES: The White Plains Harriers get their times from Coach Mcgee at the close of the meet yesterday at Westlake in Mount Pleasant. Matt Edwards finished first among the eighth grade White Plains boys.
Photo by WPCNR Sports

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Spano Proposes 31.7% Tax Increase. Wants 1% Sales Tax Hike to Avoid It.

WPCNR COUNTY CLARION-LEDGER. From Westchester County Department of Communications. (Edited) October 2, 2002: Explosive costs of state-mandated programs are forcing a 31 percent increase in county property taxes next year, County Executive Andy Spano said today as he released the 2003 budget for state-mandated programs – which he dubbed “The Albany Property Tax Increase Budget.”
Spano: Albany Mandates to Blame.

From Medicaid to services for children with disabilities, from railroad station maintenance to corrections to pension costs — the costs of these state-imposed programs are soaring, collectively expected to eat up more than $626 million in county property tax and sales tax revenue next year. The increase alone is expected to exceed $111 million next year.

“Every penny we collect in property taxes — as well as all of our surplus and almost half the money we collect in sales tax — goes to pay for programs that the state requires county taxpayers to fund,” said Spano. “We pay for these programs, yet have no way to control their costs. That’s why this is a tax increase from the state of New York to the people of Westchester.”

$800 MILLION SHORTFALL

Taxes collected by Westchester County represent between 15-20 percent of a property owner’s full tax bill. The rest are set by school districts, local governments and special districts. While Westchester government collects the county tax, all the money goes to pay for state-mandated programs and services.

Westchester County will spend $1.01 billion on programs and services required by the state next year; of this, the state will reimburse the county just $213.4 million.

Mandate Funding Chews Up County Services

“Contrary to what many think, county property tax dollars do not pay for such county services as our parks, public safety and emergency services, cultural arts, or domestic violence programs. Our property tax dollars do not pay for senior programs, health centers, or the Bee-line bus system,” said Spano. “These county services are paid for with the remaining sales tax revenue and fees we collect. And as the costs of the state-imposed programs increase, we are left with less and less money to pay for these important county programs.”

1% Sales Tax Increase Requested

Spano reiterated his call for the state to give Westchester authority to raise the county’s sales tax a penny on the dollar, saying it would drastically reduce or even eliminate the Albany Property Tax increase.

“So far, Albany has yet to act and time is running out. State lawmakers have the power to reduce your property tax burden. They have the power to pass legislation to allow an increase of Westchester’s sales tax. They have done this for other counties; we have asked them to treat us no differently. It’s inexplicable that they will not help solve the problem that they created.”

A History of Burgeoning Costs of Mandated programs and no relief

Spano added, “Westchester is not alone with this problem. From 1999-2003, Medicaid costs alone will have increased 50 percent in Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester — a total of almost $175 million. And by 2006, the projected increase for the three counties could total as much as $330 million. Here in Westchester, of every two dollars collected from county property taxes, almost $1 goes to pay Medicaid costs.”

“In reality, the mandatory portion of the budget – and the tax required to pay for these programs – is a New York State tax. Unfortunately, it’s the people of Westchester who have to foot the bill,” Spano said. “And they cannot afford it.”

Budget Coming November 15

On Nov. 15, Spano will release his budget for the programs that the county can directly control. It will be called the County Controlled Budget. It will require no county property taxes.

“For decades, Westchester’s county executives — Democrat and Republican alike — have protested the state practice of creating new programs and then forcing the local taxpayers to bear some or all of the burden of paying for them,” Spano said, “But these protests have gotten nowhere. In the meantime, the actual dollar amount of these mandates has grown exponentially.”

Spano Follow-Up to Tuesday’s “Mandate Moratorium”

Frustrated, Spano, who is also president of the New York State County Executives Association, has helped initiate a statewide effort to send a message to Albany that this practice has got to stop. On Tuesday, he unveiled his “Compact to Protect County Property Taxpayers,” which calls upon all candidates for statewide office as well as candidates from Westchester for the state Assembly or State Senate to agree to a pledge not to initiate any new mandated programs.

EXAMPLES OF SOME OF THE MANDATES AND THEIR PROJECTED COST FOR 2003:

• Medicaid : $170.7 million in 2002; $207 million projected in 2003.

• Other Social Services: $17.1 million in 2002; $23.8 million projected in 2003.

• Services for children with disabilities: $42.2 million in 2002; $48.1 million projected in 2003.

• Courthouse: $9 million in 2002; $9.4 million projected in 2003.

• Probation : $11.6 million in 2002; $11.6 million projected in 2003.

• Paratransit: $4.4 million in 2002; $5.7 million projected in 2003.

• Basic Retirement expenditures (excluding early retirement) : $6.4 million in 2002; $18.6 million projected in 2003

• Corrections: $89.8 million in 2002; $93.8 million projected in 2003.

• MTA: $21.8 million; $21.9 million projected in 2003.

EXAMPLES OF WHAT’S HAPPENING ELSEWHERE IN NY STATE

• Nassau County is facing a 19.4 percent tax increase to close an $18 million deficit by the end of the 2002 — $5.5 million of that deficit is due to increased Medicaid costs. To pay for this, the county is considering a quarter percent sales tax increase and a tax on home heating fuel, real estate transfers and tobacco. County programs have been frozen and 1,400 jobs already eliminated.

• Suffolk County is predicting a $73 million budget deficit for 2003 and facing a 6.6 percent increase in its tax levy for the eastern county and an increase as well for the rest of the county. Medicaid costs were $211 million in 2002 and are expected to increase to $231 million in 2003. Suffolk raised its sales tax a quarter percent and is considering raising fees and re-imposing a sales tax on clothing.

• New York City spends $27 billion, or 65 percent of its budget on state-mandated programs. New York City had a budget gap of $5 billion for its fiscal year that ended in July, largely caused by recent state budget actions. Mayor Bloomberg this week for the first time said he might have to raise city property taxes or income taxes to offset the soaring deficit for the current fiscal year. City agencies have been asked to make 7.5 percent across-the-board budget cuts, including the police and fire departments.

• Albany County expects Medicaid costs to increase by 12 percent, or $6.4 million, in 2003. In 1995 Medicaid cost Albany County taxpayers $33 million. In 2002 Medicaid costs have risen to $60 million. Albany County also predicts it will have to spend at least $2.2 million more to pay for the expansion of the state’s PINS (Persons In Need of Supervision) program for troubled teenagers next year. In 2003, the county faces a $32 million budget gap.

• Tompkins County’s (Ithaca- Central NY) area proposed 2003 budget requires a 21 percent increase in its property tax levy and a 20 percent reduction in services. In addition, the county legislature wants to impose a higher personal income tax on people who earn more than $100,000 annually.

• Allegany County (South of Buffalo, western NY State) property taxpayers are facing a 29.7 percent increase on their county taxes. The county is considering a sales tax proposal.

• Broome County’s (Binghampton area) County Executive Jeffrey Kraham dropped a bombshell on taxpayers, saying the sales tax would have to jump from 8 percent to 9 – the highest in the state — or county property taxes would have to increase by 35 percent.

The Spano Doctrine: 1% Sales Tax Increase Eliminates Tax Increase

Spano is asking all candidates for statewide office as well as the candidates for state Assembly and Senate from Westchester to sign his compact to cap the costs to counties of state-required programs.
While those steps if enacted could help Westchester in the future, Spano said the state Legislature and the governor have the power to help the county now by giving the county the authority to raise its sales tax one penny on the dollar.

As previously proposed by Spano, the increase – affecting all localities except Yonkers, Mount Vernon, New Rochelle and White Plains, which already have their own sales tax – would raise $110 million. This would virtually eliminate the need for a property tax increase. If part of this revenue is used to hold down local town, village and school taxes, the property tax increase would be 8.2 percent.

“In short, one penny saves many millions,” said Spano. Presently, the municipalities that would be affected by the proposed penny sales tax increase have the lowest total sales tax of any place in New York State: 6.75 percent.

Other counties which have already increased their sales tax to pay for state-imposed programs are Chemung, Chenango, Rockland, Seneca, Ulster and Suffolk. Many more are considering taking such actions.

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MORE MEDICAID COVERAGE FOR NY WOMEN CANCER PREVENTION TAKES EFFECT TODAY

WPCNR NEWS JOURNAL. From American Cancer Society. October 2, 2002:More Westchester women will be eligible for life-saving cancer treatments under a new state law that went into effect today. Under the “Breast and Cervical Cancer Treatment Act,” women who are diagnosed with breast or cervical cancer through a New York State Healthy Women’s Partnership are now eligible for Medicaid coverage for their treatments.
Prior to the state opting into this program, women diagnosed through a Partnership had no means of getting necessary treatments. They would rely on charity, special hospital funds, or leave their cancer untreated.

Mammogram Coverage Mandated Annually

This year, approximately 14,700 New York women will hear the words, “you have breast cancer.” A mammogram is a vital tool in the fight against breast cancer. While not perfect, mammograms can detect breast cancers much earlier than touch alone. Women who detect their cancer early may have the option of treatments that preserve their breast tissue. In addition to saving lives, mammograms are cost effective because they find cancers at the earliest stages allowing for less aggressive and costly therapies.

However, a loophole in existing law put thousands of New York’s women at risk. The law required insurers to cover mammograms only every other year between the ages of 40 and 49, leaving those in-between years uncovered, thus mammograms unattainable (too costly) for most women. The American Cancer Society suggests that women get a mammogram every year beginning at age 40*.

Act Guarantees Insurance Coverage for Annual Mammograms

The Women’s Health and Wellness Act, enacted this year, guarantees insurance coverage for annual mammograms for all women beginning at age 40, and provides $500,000 in funding to New York State Healthy Women Partnerships to enhance the Partnerships’ outreach efforts.

The Healthy Women Partnerships, active in every county in the state, provide breast and cervical cancer screening to low income, uninsured or underinsured women. As a result of this new law, even women who have insurance but find the deductible or co-insurance fee burdensome, may be able to get their mammogram through the Partnership. This law becomes effective January 1, 2003.

These victories were achieved in part due to the efforts of American Cancer Society volunteers, and because of awareness and money raised at the annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk, held on October 20, 2002 at Manhattanville College. If you are interested in participating in the American Cancer Society’s advocacy efforts, or in Making Strides Against Breast Cancer, please contact us at 1-800-ACS-2345 or www.cancer.org/makingstrides.

*American Cancer Society Breast Cancer Screening Guidelines:
· Women over 40 have annual mammograms and annual clinical breast exams;
· Women between the ages of 20 and 39 have clinical breast exams every three years; and
· Women over 20 should conduct monthly self-breast exams.
###

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Spano Urges Candidates, Incumbents: Pledge No New State-Mandated Initiatives

WPCNR COUNTY CLARION-LEDGER. From Westchester County Department of Communications. (Edited) October 1, 2002: On the day before unvieling his 2003 budget, County Executive Andy Spano has asked candidates for the legislature and incumbents to pledge to not introduce any new state-mandated programs where local governments have to pay the cost. He also calls for capping those mandated programs already on the books, reducing the county share of Medicaid costs and a ban on unfunded state mandates.

County Executive Andy Spano today called upon all major candidates for state office to sign a pledge to protect local taxpayers from the burden of having to pay for increasingly expensive state programs and services.

“State lawmakers cannot continue to expand or create programs at will and then send the bill for them to county taxpayers,” Spano said as he released “A Compact to Protect County Property Taxpayers.”

The compact asks the candidates to promise that if elected:

• They will not support any new state-mandated programs that are not completely funded by the state government and that they will cap those that already exist;

• That they will vote to reduce the county share of Medicaid costs to the 2001 level;

• That they will support an amendment to the State Constitution to ban unfunded state mandates.

Said Spano: “County property taxpayers throughout New York State are being crushed by the ever-increasing costs of state programs and services that the state requires the counties to pay for. In Westchester for example, Medicaid will cost taxpayers $207 million next year – an increase of more than $36 million from this year and a 50 percent increase since 1998. This is a state program and it should be the state, not county taxpayers, who foot the bills for these and other programs that the state requires counties to run.”

One of only Two States Where County Taxpayers Fund 50%
of Medicaid

For example, New York is one of just two states in the nation that requires county taxpayers to pay such a large local share – 50 percent of state costs — for Medicaid. Other examples of costly, state-required programs — for which the county has no control over costs — include programs for children with disabilities, corrections, probation, commuter railroad stations and other social services.

Spano said the merits of these programs were not in question – only their funding.

Not a New Thing.

Spano noted that for years Albany lawmakers have been asked repeatedly—via letters, phone calls and extensive lobbying efforts–to hold the line and fully fund, state mandated programs, but that these requests from county executives, boards of legislators, mayors and supervisors have been ignored. The result, throughout the state, has been higher property taxes, higher sales taxes and cuts in essential county services.

“Enough is enough,” Spano said. “Albany must move now to correct the problem that it alone created. Counties across this state will no longer shoulder the blame for a property tax increase imposed by state lawmakers.”

He added, “With this Compact, we want to get candidates on the record that they understand the burden that the state has placed on county taxpayers and that they, if elected, will work to contain these programs. And we want residents to know before they cast a ballot which candidates will reduce local property taxes.”

The candidates have until Oct. 15 to sign the Compact. On Oct. 16 the county will list on its website the names of those candidates who have signed the compact and those who have not.

The Compact was sent to all major-party candidates for state Assembly and Senate in districts within Westchester, as well as to the leaders of the State Legislature and the major candidates for Governor, Attorney General and Comptroller.

You All Join In.

And because this not a local issue – but an issue affecting every county in the state — Spano is asking other county executives in the state to ask their own state candidates to sign the compact as well.
“Westchester is not alone. Every resident in this state will feel the result of the Albany tax in one way or another: a huge property tax increase, higher sales tax, a drastic loss of local services,” he said.

THE FULL TEXT OF THE COMPACT IS AS FOLLOWS:

I, _________, A Candidate for State Office in the State of New York, hereby pledge:

That I will not support any new State Mandated Programs that are not completely funded by New York State Government and will cap those that do exist.

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Latimer: Reclaiming the Democratic Vision. Bradley Brings Down House.

WPCNR County Clarion-Ledger. Coverage of the Westchester County Democratic Convention. Special to WPCNR from the Yonkers Tribune. By E. Hezi. October 1, 2002:The drive to the Westchester County Democratic Committee meeting held Monday night at Woodland High School in Hartsdale allowed me to mellow after a long day, as the drive meandered from Yonkers on the familiar, yet somewhat challenging Saw Mill River Parkway.

As I arrived, the crowd was starting to coalesce in front of the entranceway to the auditorium. The air was thick with moisture. Expectations were non-existent despite the fact that last night’s convention was poised to elect the next County Party Chair.
Political luminaries abounded. Alan Hevesi, running for Comptroller was in attendance, as were Westchester County Executive Andy Spano and Congresswoman Nita Lowey.

Some took their seats in the rows designated for their specific city or village. Others awaited the soft drinks being displayed in the hallway entrance to the auditorium. The mood was nonchalant. Unassuming. Somewhat staid.

The Minister Arrives

Being a student of observation and enthralled at human behaviorial
paradigms, I was intrigued at the electricity that seemed to gravitate
toward one man as he leisurely took his time to move about the hallway, slowing maneuvering his way toward the auditorium doorway entrance.

Calm, collected, engrossed, he seemed in no rush, was cajoled by no
inner clock to move on. He was however engrossed. Not in self, but
rather in the people that milled about him. I surmised he was a cleric,
ministering to his flock.

How odd, I thought. In the midst of a political convention a lone shepherd was focused on each individual with whom he had eye contact. Never did he veer away. His eyes transfixed upon the person whose admiration was so evident. Neither woman nor man
seemed to monopolize his time more. Each wanted his or her moment with the “minister.”

Man with a Different Style.

How inspiring I thought. Just 15 minutes earlier I bumped into a political contender. Initiating a conversation, he became easily distracted from one person to another so that within 1 minutes time, he was “involved” with 3 different people.

He never did return to me despite my waiting his moment to do so. He was working the room.

Literally kissing everyone’s behind, yet I dare say, getting a shallow response. If you guessed he lost his challenge for political office, you are correct.

The “minister,” however was in his element.

I decided I would enter the auditorium despite the heat and stuffiness.
Some of the Yonkers delegation already found their seats. Not wanting to take anyone’s place, I stood about until there seemed to be a free seat in the Yonkers section. I sat myself down.

Call to arms

Alan Hevesi opened with a comedic storyline. He could easily be a
“Stand-Up” comedian, yet he seems destined to win the New York State Comptroller seat in the November election. Afterwards, the attendees rose to “Pledge Allegiance ” to the flag.

Grave words from the County Executive

County Executive Andy Spano warned of difficult times ahead. His message was sober, almost foreboding. No reflection on him or his positive demeanor, but I admit I was simply in a stupor of, “Is that All There Is?” Peggy Lee sang the song.

Even though I came to the convention without pre-conceptions, I wanted something different. Even refreshing. Trite perhaps, but I can dream can’t I?

Nita Lowey takes a star turn

When Congresswoman Nita Lowey took the lectern, the audience cheered.

They literally rose to their feet and cheered. They were more familiar
with the Congresswoman than I. And she did not disappoint. She redeemed their expectations and stirred them to be “proud” to be Democrats. She admonished the audience to be proud of being labelled “Democrats” in the tradition of Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, John Kennedy, Lyndon Baines Johnson and Bill Clinton.

The first lightning bolt was thrown this night. The crowd was charged. The crowd begged to be moved.

Latimer Given the Reins

When George Latimer was nominated to be the Westchester County
Democratic Chair, and then seconded, he opened up a panoply of ideas and concepts long lost to the history of the 1960′s and 1970′s.

You guessed it. The “minister” is George Latimer, Westchester County Democratic Chair!

This unassuming man cast a large shadow over the auditorium. He
transcended the “the negative imagery of the politician” we have long
been weaned upon. Today he declared for all who could hear, for all who would read, for all who could see, that this man was a pragmatist.

The Minister’s Sermon

He knew human shortcomings, yet strove for working at passionate speeds. He demanded of self, allowing others to emulate at their own speed and without condescension. Yes, George Latimer was a leader.

He gathered his folk, imbued in them a resurgent desire to get out the vote, to listen to the constituency, to follow up on their request, to give what they could to being a Democrat.

Born Again Democrat

Latimer brought an exaltation to the term “Democrat.” Gave it meaning
long lost. He rekindled the political flame. Shone light upon a darkness
strewn by political ingrates and politicians of hubris and corruption
and encapsulated a vision derived from compassion for the human
condition. He may have postulated it best when he said,

” Reagan was wrong, and we are right!”

“To help and protect”

“Government is a tool,” he said. “Some have used it to corrupt. Democrats will forge government to help and protect. The Party that
brought the first Catholic to office; the first Jew to office; the first woman to office; the first African-American to office; and the first Hispanic to office is the true party of Westchester County. We believe that there is a role for government. Not for deal making, but for something better,” he continued.

Calls for Westchester County to have its own vision.

Chairman Latimer noted that while he would incorporate the National and State vision, Westchester County must have its own vision.

Latimer said this must be a vision relevant to the single mother desperate to feed her child; the senior citizen who must choose between prescription drugs and the meal for that day; for the firefighter who has yet to recover from the atrocity of 9-11; for the student who needs a secure environment in which to study yet cannot find comfort in the crowded classroom.

Latimer’s mantra: The agenda is to make politics and government relevant to the constituency.

The homily

George Latimer delivered his sermon. What he verbalized the attendees could attest to – they were personal witnesses to his political service.

No promises were made. The Westchester County Chairman had a record of delivery, bar none.

The position carries no salary.

Everybody Loves a Winner. Bradley Brings Down House.

Adam Bradley was called upon on the floor to make a nomination for a vice – chairmanship, I gathered. The purpose for which he was called upon was lost upon me by the crescendo of hand clapping for the winner of the Assembly seat Adam Bradley won over a 10 year incumbent, Naomi Matusow.

“Poster Boy of Success”

Adam Bradley captured a Democratic seat and for the minion in attendance, he became the poster boy of success. They were most proud, almost
adulatory in their cheers and kudos. The crowd caused Bradley to be brought to the lectern.

His words where lost upon me as I was mesmerized by the cheers. Here was a native son who did well. He accomplished his mission with the help of Maureen Keating and Gary Brennan, among other volunteers.

They had learned the lesson Latimer espoused. They had carried the prize past the finish line. The task of election won, the task of service to begin.

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CITY, LIBRARY INITIATE ONLINE AFTER SCHOOL HOMEWORK HELP SERVICE

WPCNR CITY HALL TRIBUNE HERALD, By Rick Ammirato, Mayor’s Press Office, September 30, 2002: Mayor Joseph M. Delfino announced the launch of a new program today, expanding his Digital Divide initiative. Thanks to private funding from the White Plains Library Foundation, a new online after-school homework help service, Online Tutor @ the Library will be hosted by the White Plains Public Library at technology centers at the Library, the Youth Bureau and the Thomas H. Slater Center. The free service will also be available to White Plains Library cardholders through the Library’s home page.
To implement this service, the Library has chosen Tutor.com, a leading provider of online tutoring services for education institutions and individual students. Online Tutor @ the Library will provide students in grades 4 through 12 with instant access to expert tutors for 20-minute sessions in an Online Classroom in core academic subjects including math, science, English and social studies.

The Online Classroom

The Online Classroom provides a rich environment for individualized learning. Students and tutors can review specific homework questions using features such as controlled chat, an interactive white board, shared Web browsing. Tutors and students remain anonymous, and sessions are routinely reviewed for quality control.

Tutor.com

Tutor.com was founded in partnership with The Princeton Review and Scholastic. Its tutors are specially trained and background checked by a national firm. They are certified teachers, college professors, instructors for The Princeton Review, and professionals with college degrees in the subjects they teach.

White Plains Library Continues to Pioneer

For more than 15 years, the White Plains Public Library has offered some type of formalized homework help for children. Since 1999, its Teacher in the Library program has provided tutoring after school at the Library in all K-6 homework subjects with a professional, certified teachers from the School District.

Online Tutor @ the Library will expand this program online and reach out to every school child in White Plains through grade 12.

Library Foundation Patrons of Learning

The White Plains Library Foundation was incorporated in 1995 to raise funds in support of the long-range goals of the White Plains Public Library. In 2001, the Foundation completed its first Campaign and is now focusing its efforts on projects with immediate need and impact, such as Teacher in the Library.

Rotary Club Announces gift

The White Plains Rotary Club just announced a gift in support of this project for the upcoming school year. Information about the White Plains Library Foundation can be found at www.whiteplainslibrary.org.

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Rome in the Movies: Italian Film Festival Opens Thursday

WPCNR WHITE PLAINS VARIETY. From Westchester County Department of Communications. September 30, 2002:Four powerful films – each of which set a milestone in the Italian film industry – will bring their once controversial themes of alienation, decadence and individualism to Westchester starting Thursday around the County, and admission is free.

The Westchester County Italian Film Festival offers a different film each Thursday in October – opening Oct. 3 with Roberto Rossellini’s Open City and closing with Caro Diario by Nanni Moretti. Aptly named “Rome in the Movies,” the line-up shows a post-war trend where the harsh realities of life in the historic capital city gradually made their way onto the silver screen.

Two of the films are by five-time Oscar winner Federico Fellini, perhaps the best known post-war Italian director who set the tone for a whole new generation of cinema. La Dolce Vita – a film Catholics were forbidden to see in Italy – depicts the life of a dissatisfied journalist’s search for meaning in life and is today still considered the most representative film of neorealism. Satyricon, a look at the decadence and debauchery of ancient Rome, marked one of the industry’s most sensuous and disturbing films.

Admission for all shows is free. Films are in their original Italian, with English sub-titles. No reservations are required. For more information, call Sandy Auriti, Italy Desk, at (914) 995-4516 or Iris Stevens, Film Office, (914) 995-2917.

The schedule is as follows:

Oct. 3 – Open City (1945)

Roberto Rossellini

This moving drama follows a leader of the WWII Italian underground and his fight against the Nazi occupation of Rome. Much of the film shows actual scenes of people and their struggle in
war-torn Italy. 7 p.m., Reisinger Hall, Sarah Lawrence College, Yonkers. Opening remarks by professor Gilberto Perez, a film historian and film critic. Reception to follow (Sponsored by the Italian Arts and Culture Council).

Oct. 10 – Satyricon (1969)

Federico Fellini

Fellini freely adapts the work of Petronius Arbiter in this sexual odyssey through ancient Rome. With an emphasis on spectacle and the grotesque, we follow two young Romans in their pursuit of pleasure and personal survival. 7 p.m., Jacob Burns Film Center, Pleasantville.

Oct. 17 – La Dolce Vita (1961)

Federico Fellini

Marcello Mastroianni is a journalist who has put aside serious career aspirations to report on the shallow, jet-setting denizens of Rome. While writing his stories and trying to make sense of the decadent lifestyle that has seduced him, he encounters prostitutes, actresses and personal tragedy. 7 p.m., Hudson River Museum, Yonkers.

Oct. 24 – Caro Diario (1993)
Nanni Moretti

This film is structured in three chapters, each dealing with a protagonist crossing Rome in a Vespa on a hot summer day. It is a contemporary look at the Italian lifestyle addressing issues such as family, alienation and phobias created by a fast-moving society that leaves little room for human values. 7 p.m., Romita Hall, College of New Rochelle.

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