Meanwhile: Hospital FEIS coming in. A & P Attorney Busy on Other Cases.

WPCNR Common Council Chronicle-Examiner. By John F. Bailey. UPDATED May 20, 2002. 8:00 PM EDT: Susan Habel, Commissioner of Planning, announced to the Common Council last Thursday evening that a draft of the Final Environmental Impact Statement on the New York Presbyterian Hospital biotech-proton accelerator proposal for the Bryant Avenue side of their property had been partially delivered and would be ready for council consideration this week.
27 Days to Doomsday.

The council was surprised to learn on May 15, they had only until June 17 to review and accept the FEIS, and file it with the Department of Environmental Conservation and appropriate state agencies.

Commissioner Habel reported to the council that the Planning Department and Michael Gerard, the city environmental consultant from Arnold & Porter, were “going through” the draft FEIS delivered by the hospital and that Mr. Gerard was prepared to brief the council on the Council’s responsibilities with respect to the FEIS on May 21, the only date he was available this month.

Habel quietly advised that the Council, under the agreement with New York Presbyterian Hospital had been granted 60 days from acceptance of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (accepted April 18) to deal with the FEIS.

Council disturbed at Gerard’s “short notice.”

Habel reported that she expected the Planning Department to assemble the complete FEIS over the past weekend and present it to the Common Council Tuesday. At this time, she said, Michael Gerard was available to “give you (the council) an overview of the process and what some of the issues are and what the framework is on what they need to do next to comply with the environmental review.”

Councilwoman Rita Malmud said the 21st was not possible for her to attend, and Councilman Tom Roach said he was scheduled to be out of town on a conference dealing with development of downtowns, and could not attend. Councilman King not present was therefore a question mark as to whether he could attend.

The 22nd, Robert Greer said was out, because the Council was going to attend a Fisher Hill Association meeting on the placement of a group home in that neighborhood.

Gerard has other matters pending.

Councilwoman Malmud, flustered, protested less than a week notice for a meeting was not enough time to react. Mayor Delfino scolded her, saying, “This doesn’t move, June 17. We have to get it out.”
Ms. Malmud said “it was not fair of Mr. Gerard,” that he was only making certain dates available. Ms. Habel said Mr. Gerard had informed the city he had trial dates that could not be moved and therefore the 22nd, was the only date he had available. Habel, also noted that Gerard had announced several other date possibilities, but they were much closer to the 17th deadline.

Habel said Gerard gave her only four dates when he could meet with the Common Council on the FEIS: May 21, June 5, 6th or 11th. Giving the council a much shorter timeframe to review and accept the FEIS and the Planning Department a very short time in which to turn around the documents and distribute them to state agencies.

Ms. Malmud wondered it the Council could have some of the documents. Mayor Delfino stuck to his position that “You’re (the council) was going to have to make the time.”

Council President Benjamin Boykin said it did not appear the 21st was doable, and suggested the Council take the first meeting with Gerard on June 5. Mayor Delfino cautioned, “then you’re not going to have enough time.”

Glen Hockley suggested Gerard see some members of the Council the 21st, and split up the meeting. Boykin said he’d “rather not do that.” Habel committed to having the documents to the Common Council tomorrow, May 21.

Delfino demands more dates from Gerard.

The Mayor seeing the time crunch dilemma, demanded that Ms. Habel get an explanation from Mr. Gerard as to why he could not meet sometime between the 21st and June 5: “I think he should give us an explanation.”

Mr. Gerard, whose legal fees are being paid for by New York Presbyterian Hospital, Ms Habel said, would be contacted to set up alternative dates. The council was looking at meeting Thursday evening, May 23rd at 8:30 or 9 as an alternative.

Habel Makes Sense of it All.

After Thursday evening’s executive session which ended at 8:15 PM in which the Common Councilpersons were considering their raises, WPCNR dropped by the Planning Department to find both Planning Commissioners Susan Habel and Rod Johnson still at work. Habel said the council had to be satisfied with the FEIS, because the content of the FEIS, answering questions raised by the DEIS, is the basis for the Findings Resolution which, as lead agency, the Common Council is required to file either accepting or denying the proposal.

Posted in Uncategorized

Board Member Challenges Yanofsky Letter. Says 2001 Letter Declared “ambivalence”

WPCNR Morning Sun. By John F. Bailey. May 20, 2002, 9:15 AM EDT: A member of the White Plains Board of Education, reacting to a letter from Saul Yanofsky, Superintendent of Schools, published inSaturday’s Journal News, three days before the Board of Education elections Tuesday, told WPCNR Saturday evening that Yanofsky stated in writing he was “somewhat ambivalent” about continuing as Superintendent, contrary to what Yanofsky claims in his published letter to the newspaper.

The School Board member said they and several other members of the Board of Education were shocked Saturday at Yanofsky’s Letter.

“It states on numerous occasions that he never stated he was ambivalent about continuing as Superintendent. That is simply not the case. In a letter sent to the Board on February the 20th, 2001, Dr. Yanofsky wrote, and I’m reading it to you although I must admit to being somewhat ambivalent about it, I would be willing to entertain an offer to renew my contract beyond June 30 of 2002 if the Board so wishes.”

Yanofsky Discussed His feelings of Ambivalence.

The Board Member said what happened next: “When we asked Dr. Yanofsky for some clarification, on his statement (in the February 20, 2001 letter), he proceeded to give a dictionary definition of the word ambivalence, and in our discussion, he tried to explain the conflicting feelings he had about continuing as Superintendent and about the nature of the Board-Superintendent relationship. This is very different than what he tries to portray to readers of the Journal News in today’s (Saturday) letter.”

Confirms Lewis Trippett’s comments at December Board of Education Meeting.

The Board member taking exception to Yanofsky’s letter to the paper confirms former Board Member Lewis Trippett’s public comments made at the Public Board of Education Meeting of December 11, where Trippett stated, in part,

“Under the contract, Dr. Yanofsky was required to inform the Board in writing whether or not he wished to continue as Superintendent under a new contract. The letter that Dr. Yanofsky sent to the Board hardly reflected a vigorous desire to continue. In the letter, Dr. Yanofsky stated that he was ambivalent about continuing as Superintendent but was willing to entertain an offer.

Trippett December Statement Elaborated Yanofsky’s position.

Reading his statement December 11, Trippett said Dr. Yanofsky continued to present a puzzling position: After receiving this letter (of February 20, 2001), the Board provided Dr. Yanofsky with the opportunity to explain his letter before we began substantive discussions about whether to renew the contract. Perhaps, I thought, he misspoke, or made a poor choice of words. However, rather than back off his letter, Dr. Yanofsky re-affirmed his statement that he was ambivalent about continuing as Superintendent. When asked if he could identify any cause for his ambivalence that could be addressed, Dr. Yanofsky gave no indication of anything that could be done that would change his feeling of ambivalence.

Communications between Yanofsky and Board Were Not
Going well. Board Brought in Facilitator.

The superintendent’s letter as published Saturday stated that his relationship with the board was increasingly categorized by problems in communication, trust and management style. Yanofsky said in his letter to the paper that I urged that we devote some time – perhaps with an outside facilitator – to address these problems.

The Board member WPCNR interviewed said that they did not remember actually whether it was Yanofsky or the Board that suggested a facilitator, but the Board attempted to bring in a mediator:

Questions Yanofsky’s Motives in Publishing Saturday Letter.

“We actually brought in a facilitator to assist in those areas. The Board did on two occasions. So we attempted that with him. We did bring in a facilitator to help improve the communications between the Board and Dr. Yanofsky,” The Board member said. “Beyond the counseling thing, because I’m looking to move forward here. I, quite frankly, can’t understand his reasoning behind this. I think it’s important for people to know facts, and that is a fact that on February 20, 2001, (his) letter doesn’t even state any strong willingness to continuing as superintendent, only that he’d be willing to entertain an offer.”

We asked the Board member for details on those communication breakdowns: At this stage of the game, I’m very forward-looking. Certainly there were issues around communications specifically. I don’t want to go into those details at this point, frankly, because at this point I don’t think it matters.”

February 20 Letter at Odds with Saturday Pre-Election Letter.

Asked for a copy of Yanofsky’s key February 20 “Ambivalence Letter,” the Board member said: “I don’t know that I can. I don’t believe I should at this point. Because it’s not for me to just do that. But I’m just telling you.”

“If you read his letter (Saturday) it would seem to indicate something very different from the facts I just told you, three days before the election,” the Board Member said. “I don’t think that’s his role.”

No contract length discussed. No Offers Made.

Asked if Dr. Yanofsky at anytime had stated what kind of offer would get him to stay, the Boarder Member said, “We didn’t get that far.”

WPCNR asked if Dr. Yanofsky had ever asked the Board for a one-year or two-year contract beyond June 30, 2002, and the Board Member said, “No, he did not.”

Yanofsky did not retire.

“We, of course, urged him to retire once we had determined that the district needed a superintendent who was very clear about his desire to continue in a leadership role as a superintendent, and he did not choose that path. Had I not read this letter in the newspaper today (Saturday), I would not have been upset. He seems to indicate that the comments made by Larry Geiger and Stephen Sules about his being ambivalent about being superintendent is simply not the case, he says, and it is in fact, the case..”

Spin surprises board members.

The Yanofsky letter was the talk of the Board of Education over the weekend with members buzzing about the surprise letter to the editor, the Board Member who spoke to WPCNR said,

“Three days before an election, I think it’s important the voters be given all the facts. I’m surprised he chose three days before an election to put this kind of spin on this thing. It’s this kind of thing here that I read in the paper today that I hope will make people understand the difficulty in communications we’ve had. Because it’s this kind of spin that doesn’t facilitate good communications. I am hoping we can get past this and that’s where I’m going. It’s disturbing that he would do this three days before the election with all its inaccuracies. It’s disingenuous for him to do this. At the December Board meeting he even acknowledged he was ambivalent about it.”

Posted in Uncategorized

WPCNR Poll: Evaluate: the Mayor And Council: Would You Give Them a Raise?

WPCNR Village Voice.May 19, 2002: The Common Council in Executive Session last Thursday night was considering whether to give themselves and the Mayor a pay raise. They will decide this, if it has not already been decided, this week, when they pass the 2002-03 budget May 23. Figures speculated are that the raise would equal the union settlements: 3.75%. Currently Councilpersons make $31,250 a year plus benefits, the Common Council President, $33,750, and the Mayor earns $125,000. Do you feel their pay should be increased?

Let us know by evaluating the Delfino 7 in this week’s new WPCNR Poll at the right. CLICK on your Choice and then CLICK “VOTE.”

Posted in Uncategorized

Stage Door: Mayor to Form Committee on City Center Showplace. $400G Price Tag

WPCNR White Plains Variety. May 17, 2002. 12:15 PM. EDT:. With City Center financing secured, and the City Center going full-steam ahead, City Hall will turn attention to hammering out crucial policy decisions on the community theatre piece of the project. Cappelli Enterprises has promised to incorporate a community theatre “shell” into the fourth floor movie theatre level.

Professionals interviewed by WPCNR, indicate minimum cost for outfitting the interior “working guts” of a professional, 200-seat theatre is approximately $400,000.
During the four-month approval process last summer, Louis Cappelli, the “Super Developer” of the City Center project now underway in downtown White Plains, said he would build a “shell” of a community theatre, as a compliment to the string of 15 movie theatres of National Amusements now planned for the fourth level of the City Center.

Cappelli indicated the inclusion of a community theatre was a good will gesture to secure support for the project. However, Cappelli said during the approval process that he “knew nothing” about building an operating live production theatre, and therefore would only finance the empty shell of the building. How much of that shell, design and construction has not been determined.

A Mystery Price.

The rest of the financing, production specifications and equipment would be the responsibility of the city or community groups to design and finance.

Now that the project is under construction, the city has a limited amount of time to hammer out construction specifications for the proposed city showplace, envisioned as home to amateur and professional theatre groups, as well as find private financing to pay for the interior furbishing of the community showplace.

Mayor to Reach Out to Arts People.

George Gretsas, Executive Officer for Mayor Joseph Delfino, confirmed Wednesday evening that the Mayor was in the process of putting together a Community Theatre Advisory Committee to deal with these concerns:

“Shortly the Mayor will be convening a committee,” Gretsas told WPCNR Wednesday evening. “He has not made any final decisions who is going to be on the committee, but within a reasonable period of time the committee will be convened, and then there’s a whole slew of issues that need to be discussed in terms of the governance of the theatre, what kind of operational agreement we’re going to have (with the Cappelli organization). We’re going to want to get input from the committee, and ultimately, the Common Council will have input as well.”

Gretsas said it had not been determined how many persons would be included on the committee.

“We’re obviously going to tap into a lot of theatre groups in the city, there’s plenty of them from Westco to the community play group theatre, Fort Hill Players, and there will be representation from a lot of the arts groups.”

Asked when Cappelli’s engineers would need specifications to set up the “shell” of the theatre, Gretsas said: “A lot of those discussions were put on hold, while we were waiting for the financing, so I think that’s where you see a little gap in the process. But now that the financing is in place, we’re going to be having discussions with Cappelli in the very near future.”

“Shell” of a Theatre Can’t Be Just Another Box.

According to a veteran set designer for community theatres on the East Coast, the design of any professional theatre requires more space than a movie theatre. John Lefton, longtime set designer for the Chappaqua Drama Group, says a very minimum means the community theatre Cappelli would have to build should be larger than the National Amusements movie theatres on the same floor. To be an effective theatre, John Lefton indicated that the stage Cappelli builds would have to be twice the size of any of the National Amusement Theatres he builds.

“Unlike a movie theatre, “ said John Lefton, a veteran scenic designer, who designed sets for the Chappaqua Drama Group for thirty years, and currently is a professional set designer for a theatre group in the Medford New Jersey area, “You need a flyspace (the ceiling space above the stage) equal to or more than the height of the stage opening. You need a system of 2-inch pipes and pulleys above the stage to “fly-in” extra scenes or drops, and store an entire wall of an interior set above the stage.”

Custom Specifications.

Lefton said a functioning community theatre would need a stage width of at least 25 to 30 feet, and 20 feet deep, considerably deeper than a movie screen requires. He noted ideally, any community theatre should plan to have dressing rooms, lighting systems, sound systems, with their sophisticated light boards and sound boards and control booths and computers which he confirmed put “tremendous demands,” custom electrical and technical on an electrical system.

As for stage demands, he pointed out for example, that the Metropolitan Opera House backstage space is equal to the amount of space taken up by the entire seating area of the Met audience, “because the opera has such huge sets.”.

Talking “A Fortune.”

Asked about the cost of such state-of-the-art interior accoutrements, Lefton said the technical demands would be approximately $500,000, with seating and furnishings. “It’s going to cost a fortune. You’re talking big, big bucks.” He said.

Professional Theatre Builder Estimates $400,000.

WPCNR contacted Bubba Fanelli of United Stage Associates in New Rochelle, who are currently renovating the Humanities Theatre at SUNY Purchase.

Flannelly said that the wiring for a working theatre is similar to a movie theatre but requires more sophistication and sophistication: “The real difference in power distribution is that the lighting needs a separate power service. Normal amount would be 200 amps 3 phase 5 wire, and audio video would share a power service 100 amps 3 phase 5 wire.”

Fanelli pushed for a big stage: “Whenever possible you want the performing area to be as big and grand as the space will allow, the higher the better, you want to put in a line set grid, which allows you to bring the pipes (where lighting, curtains, sets are hung) in and out (and down to the stage). The pipes will hold lighting, scenery, audio, and sometimes dead storage. You also want to make sure you have dressing rooms stage left and right, and some sort of storage.”

Run the Wire at the Beginning. Wiring Plan Needed.

Fanelli estimated approximately $400,000 for the infrastructure components of a community theatre, which could produce a variety of shows and events, regardless of the amount of seating. He said however that in preparing the “shell” of the theatre it was important that Mr. Cappelli’s electrical contractors be informed at the beginning the kind of wiring needed for the technical equipment going into the theatre. Fanelli said “when you’re running one wire you may as well run five.”

“If it’s all about the money, there are many types of systems to buy. I always tell my clients, run the wire…that is most important. Once the wiring is in place, then you can buy and or upgrade later, but a wiring plan must be implemented from the start (of construction). This is for audio, lighting, intercom, and AV.”

The man who builds theatres as a business, could not stress enough the importance of the wiring: “The biggest concern is the wiring, intercom to the dressing rooms, power distribution for the lighting, all the circuits on the pipes, audio feeds, etc.”

Asked if the wiring systems were specialized, Fanelli advised, “Yes and no, it is complicated and needs to be drawn on a master plan.”

The smell of the greasepaint. The Roar of the Crowd.

Fanelli priced out a rough estimate for a theatre’s technical needs: audio, $65,000, lighting, $50,000, rigging $150,000, intercom system, $8,000, Audio Visual miscellaneous, $10,000, drapes/curtains, $15,000, for a “ballpark total” of $298,000 for the working guts of a theatre. The impresario reports the stage construction will be around $40,000, bringing the total to the $340,000 neighborhood.

Build it and they will come.

Fanelli, recalling Louis Cappelli’s homage to height when the City Center plan for 34-story twin towers was advanced, recommended the more seats the better, saying, “costs for the stage lighting, audio, rigging, intercom, drapes and all the things that make this a working professional theatre, will be needed whether 100 seats, or 500 seats are in place, so my attitude is the more seats, the better, as we know you need to sell tickets to make back your money. So let’s fill the house up with theatre goers, and make back some of our investment.”

He priced seats out at $200 each, meaning that a 200-seat theatre would add about $40,000 to the $340,000 production component, for a rough cost of $380,000.

Line Set Grid Very Important.

He advised that a mobile Line Set System that lowers the stage pipes, to which lights, arbors, battens, and other behind-the-scenes, above-the stage components to the floor of the stage on an individual pipe-by-pipe basis was essential for smooth, professional operation of the theatre.

He said that touring companies could install their sets more efficiently with such a system, rather than a fixed system where lights, sets have to be hung individually with stagehands going up ladders. He noted it makes turnaround of shows faster and is something touring companies and acts look it in evaluating a theatre venue.

United Stage Associates most recently completed design, staging, and production for a show at the United Nations, and is renovating the Humanities Theatre at SUNY Purchase. Fanelli said the organization provides concept, design, installation and crew supervision to build and renovate professional theatres based on client vision of what a new theatre should be equipped to produce.

Posted in Uncategorized

CSEA Endorses Geiger and Valentin for School Board; Urges Passing of Budget

WPCNR OVERNIGHT WIRE. From Janice Marra, CSEA. May 16, 2002:The Civil Service Employees Association announced its endorsement of White Plains Larry Geiger and Maria Valentin as the union’s choice in the May 21 School Board election Thursday. The CSEA also endorses the School Budget.
CSEA is endorsing Geiger and Valentin because they have demonstrated a strong interest in addressing issues that affect public employees and their families. These candidates are also committed to addressing the educational needs of the district’s children.

The union is also supporting the district’s passage of the proposed
budget. This budget proposal will ensure that CSEA members will
continue to provide a safe, clean educational environment for students
and employees. Additionally, passage of the budget will allow the
White Plains City School District to continue providing high quality
educational programs to district children. CSEA is proud to work in
partnership with the Board of Education and the administration in
support of this budget.

“Maria Valentin is an educator with experience in all aspects of the
White Plains City School District and knows what children really need
in the classroom,” CSEA White Plains City School District Unit
President Natalie Arone said. “We feel that having an educator on the
Board of Education will bring a fresh face and positive views to the
board and the administration. Larry Geiger is also a strong candidate
for the Board of Education because he has a lot of experience in this
district. His family has been in the district for many years, and he
is concerned about issues facing the children, as well as the staff.
Endorsing these candidates was not an easy decision to make, because all of the candidates would bring a positive aspect to this district. We’re also endorsing the budget because it’s educationally sound for our children and their needs.”

“As an organization that represents many working families in White
Plains who are the beneficiaries of the White Plains public schools,
we realize the importance of the school budget towards that education
goal,” CSEA Westchester Local 860 President Gary Conley said. “We
support the budget because of our common goals of giving our children
a high quality education. Out of a wide field of capable candidates,
we feel that Mr. Geiger and Ms. Valentin will best serve our students
toward our goal of quality education.”

“We strongly urge taxpayers in the White Plains City School District
to consider electing these candidates and to support the proposed
budget,” CSEA Southern Region President Carmine DiBattista said. “A
lot of time and effort was placed into making these decisions.
Accordingly, we urge the election of Larry Geiger and Maria Valentin
to the Board of Education, as well as the passage of this
educationally sound proposed budget.”

Posted in Uncategorized

Council Cool to King Cuts. Voting Machines Put Off

WPCNR Drivetime Daily. UPDATED By John F. Bailey. May 16, 2002. 1:30 PM EDT: At the Common Council briefing on the Water Report Monday evening, the Council listened to Councilman William King’s major suggestions for budget cuts, and did not act on his suggestions.
Over the weekend, Councilman King had e-mailed fellow councilmembers with what Mayor Joseph Delfino had described as 150 suggestions for budget cuts in the 2002-03 budget scheduled to be decided upon by the Council Wednesday afternoon.

Mr. King clarified his comments on money saving to WPCNR Thursday, noting to us in an e-mail, “John – This year I proposed the City turn off 1/3 of its streetlights for an annual savings of $300K which would have been equal to a percentage point on the property tax increase. Last year, I proposed turning off ½ the streetlights. I proposed and will propose again that they be turned off primarily in the Downtown and along major arterials.”

Turn off Street Lights.

King’s number one issue was turning off one-third of the city’s street lights to save on electricity. King said he felt some residential neighborhoods and even some of the downtown were “too bright.” He said, “I don’t want to create mayhem in the streets.”

Glen Hockley worried that turning off street lights would create a security problem. Rita Malmud said she did not think any parts of the city were “too bright.”

Not Purchase Street Sweepers.

King also suggested the city could do without some of the Department of Public Works Streetsweepers, which mechanically sweep the streets from 12 AM to 6 PM, suggesting that he did not think they swept up too much litter from the streets. King told WPCNR Thursday that each new streetsweeper costs “$130K plus operating costs.”

Voting Machine Funding Put Off to 2003-04 Pending State Analysis.

King, resigned about his light-saving suggestion being coolly received, said he had hoped that saving electricity on lighting the city could help pay for the new voting machines or astro-turfing the Eastview fields.

Councilman Tom Roach and Council President Benjamin Boykin approached the need for new city voting machines two different ways.

Mr. Roach said that the state was about to make a decision on the types of electronic ballot format they would allow in future elections, and that the city may very well want to consider any new formats for electric voting machines approved. He also pointed out that funding from the federal level might assist in the machine acquisition.

Council President Boykin concurred that now was not the time to commit to new voting machines, and there was not a necessity to commit funds in the 2002-03 budget. Boykin said, “I don’t feel we’ll be behind. We can bond for it (new voting machines), once we know what we’re going to do. We’re going to have negotiating power. We are an important city to get (machines) into. We ought to be in the driver’s seat”

King expressed concern that new machines if not purchased this year would not be in place by 2003, (when the seats of Mr. King, Benjamin Boykin and Robert Greer are up for reelection).

Water Report Grim.

Budget Director Eileen Earl delivered the always popular Water Report of the Budget Advisory Committee, which called for deferring a water rate increase for one year. It noted that White Plains has the lowest average annual water charges in Westchester County ($115). This, the report says is less than a quarter of the high end water districts and half that of districts in the “middle range.”

They also recommended considering a higher rate increase for the biggest consumers of water in the city (industrial and businesses), if a rate increase is called for next year.

The Committee recommended requiring businesses to install new water meters in line with specifications determined by the city. The city reports water meters slow down with age, and “under-record” the amount of water used by businesses.

The BMC reported some $9.5 million in water infrastructure improvements underway or being contemplated which will impact the water fund.

The Land Report

Ms. Earl also presented the Land Report of the Budget and Management Advisory Committee which recommends sale of property at Havilands Lane at the extreme eastern end of Ridgeway for development, which the report feels can be developed carefully with Planning Board guidance. The Report calls for putting up two Liberty Street parcels if the $120,000 transactions are not completed “immediately.” The Committee calls for dedicating 9/11 Newcomb Place and two Cummings Avenue parcels as dedicated land, deleting them from the tax role.

The Real Estate Committee also recommends sale of 82 Sunset Drive and 128 Woodcrest Avenue, and a third parcel at Tarrytown Road and Harmon Street.

Posted in Uncategorized

Soccer Summit Planned with Mayor, County, School District to turf Eastview

WPCNR Daily Mirror. By John F. Bailey. May 15, 2002, 12:30 PM EDT:The White Plains Youth Soccer League under the leadership of Ken Schlinger, President of the league, Carlos Mejia, and Lee Smith have arranged a “Soccer Summit” which is planned to take place this week, to explore how the city, the White Plains School District and Westchester County might cooperate to revitalize the Eastview Middle School athletic fields with a synthetic surface.

NEW LOOK FOR CITY’S WORST FIELDS? The Eastview atheletic fields shown in February will be considered for synthetic turf by a city, county, school district “Soccer Summit” this week.

The meeting, arranged by the soccer league officials, is expected to take place this week, according to Arne Abramowitz, Commissioner of Recreation and Parks. Abramowitz said that Mr. Schlinger , Mr. Smith and Mr. Mejia had taken the case for synthetic turf to Westchester County, theWhite Plains City School District and the city, and all three parties were agreeable to discuss how the resources of the three jurisdictions could combine to “turf” the fields. He did not know at the time, who would be representing the county or the school district at the meeting.

Abramowitz said that the Commissioner of Public Works, Joseph Nicoletti, had estimated the cost of synthetic turf for the track oval and the baseball/softball/soccer field at Eastview as being between $1.5 million and $2 million. Previous city estimates for “turfing” the oval only ran about $300,000.

Mayor Delfino said Monday evening that the White Plains Youth Soccer League had advised him that they thought the three entities: city, school district and county might split the cost of turfing the heavily used fields between the three. The Mayor said it was his understanding the County was focused on the soccer field at Saxon Woods at this time, but the Soccer League was optimistic that the county would help with the funding.

Posted in Uncategorized

This Old Hall: Council Mulls Millions to Upgrade City Hall for Second 100 Years.

WPCNR White Plains World. By John F. Bailey. May 14, 2002, 1:00 PM EDT: The Common Council last week received news from Joseph Nicoletti about the state of the old girl, City Hall, the stately old lady of Main Street, and her condition.

THIS OLD HALL: The White Plains City Hall at 255 Main Street, is being considered for modernization and expansion. The Common Council has requested Budget Department analysis of the financing.

Department of Public Works Commissioner, Joseph Nicoletti advised the council they would soon have to consider financing extensive multi-million dollar renovations to prepare City Hall for its second 100 years.

Boykin: Council Taking a Hard Look Now.

Council President Benjamin Boykin advised WPCNR Monday that Mr. Nicoletti’s presentation last Thursday evening pointed out that City Hall, built in 1924, was in need of extensive renovation to continue meeting occupation standards. In addition, Boykin said Nicoletti presented an option which adds a wing to City Hall and builds an annex where the present Planning Department sits now.

$5.7MM to $14MM in Improvements to Impact Future Budgets.

According to Boykin, Nicoletti presented a renovation and modernization plan only to bring the old City Hall up to date, estimated to cost $5.7 million. The renovation would include heating, electrical and air conditioning and infrastructure improvements.

The building plan is more ambitious.

Boykin said it would not only renovate city hall and bring it up to standards, but would add a wing and erect a new complex behind City Hall, WPCNR presumes to house various departments spread around the city. The cost of the wing and annex plan was pegged at $14 million.

Budget Department to look at financial picture.

Boykin said the Council asked the budget department to “layer in” the financing needed into the entire scope of the city debt obligations, and he said the Council would be taking a look at this impact on future budgets in about two months. It would not affect the current budget, he said.

Posted in Uncategorized

73 Scholar Athletes Saluted by Board of Education

WPCNR School Days. By Michelle Schoenfeld. May 14, 2002. 8 AM EDT: Seventy-three White Plains High School students from five Spring Varsity Teams were honored as Scholar-Athletes by the Board of Education at its May Regular Meeting.
The New York State Public High School Athletic Association awards this status, based upon a team average of 90 or better from a specified number of athletes. Athletic Director Mario Scarano presented the teams and their coaches to the Board.

Nine students from the Golf Team, coached by Joan Behrends, had a
90.32 average.

From Women’s Lacrosse, Jody Cole, Coach, 17 athletes qualified with an average of 90.25.

The Men’s Tennis Team, coached by Jeff Campbell, had 13 members qualify with an average of 90.21.

Seventeen Women’s Track Team members, coached by Ed Zemmel, posted an average of 90.15.

Finally, from Men’s Track, coached by Fred Singleton, 17 members qualified with an average of 90.33.

In addition, Mr. Scarano recognized 19 athletes who attained averages over 90, but whose teams did not qualify.

He added that for the entire year, 231 High School
students earned Scholar-Athlete status, and 23 of the 24 Varsity teams this year had averages of 88 or better.

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Fort Hill Players Are Doin’ A Show: Auditions for

WPCNR Variety. From Fort Hill Players. May 13, 2002. 12:00 Noon EDT: The Players are calling for aspiring or experienced actors and actresses aged 12 and up to audition for their fourth “Free Summer in the Parks” production of Charlotte’s Web to be staged July 9 and 11 and July 16 and 18. Auditions will be held at Rochambeau School, 228 Fisher Avenue, Tuesday, May 21 and Thursday, May 23 at 7:30 PM. Jim Brownold is the Director. For more background on this production, go to the Fort Hill Players website, by going to White Plains Links, clicking on White Plains and Westchester Arts and Entertainment and clicking on the Fort Hill Players Link.

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