2002 Independence Day Celebration KaBOOMS July 3

WPCNR NOON NEWS. From Dept. of Recreation & Parks. June 24, 2002. 11:30 A.M. E.D.T.: White Plains Recreation announced this morning that the 2002 traditional White Plains fireworks will be held Wednesday evening, July 3 at White Plains High School.
The festivities will begin at 6:30 PM and continue to 8:30 PM, featuring live music by the White Plains Pops Band, children’s performers and a visit from Ronald McDonald, with refreshments provided by the White Plains Parent Teacher Association. The Pops Band will perform beginning at 7 PM, and at 9 PM Independence Day Ceremonies will begin, followed by the traditional fireworks under the stars on the High School grounds.

The extravaganza regularly attracts upwards of 10,000 persons. Parking is free.

The fireworks this year are being co-sponsored by Hudson United Bank, Heineken USA and the New York Power Authority.

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CCOS Seeks Gravitas Signatures for Anti-NYPH Ad. WPCNR Poll Results.

WPCNR Environmental Enquirer. By John F. Bailey. June 24, 2002. 9:00 A.M. E.D.T. Concerned Citizens for Open Space, the grassroots White Plains association of environmentally sensitive citizens is planning on running a full page ad or ads in local media to demonstrate community opposition to the New York Presbyterian Hospital project.
The advertisement, WPCNR has learned, has been seeking signatures of White Plains residents, the names of whom will be printed in an advertisement, urging the Common Council to vote down the New York Presbyterian Hospital biomedical/proton accelerator project.

Citizens being approached are neighborhood association activists and concerned residents and names readily recognizable by the Common Council members.

The substance of the advertisement calls on the Council to reject the hospital project on the grounds that it violates residential zoning now in place on the property, desecrates open space that could be used for a park, and that the project itself will create a negative impact on the adjacent neighborhoods. No organization other than Concerned Citizens for Open Space is mentioned in the ad, as far as our information indicates.

WPCNR Poll on Issue Sluggish.

In a recently concluded WPCNR Poll which ran for two weeks, only 50 readers of WPCNR expressed opinions on this issue, which is surprising because WPCNR has a documented Webtrends readership of 2,000 daily visitors a month, and 10,000 page views.

73% of Poll-Respondents Want Project.

In that poll of 50 voters, 9 said the project should be rejected outright, 32 said the project whould be approved on an interior site away from Bryant Avenue, and 9 said the project should be approved as proposed on the Bryant Avenue side. This is less interest than was expressed by our readers in the poll we conducted during the Louis Cappelli City Center Approval Process(64).

Most Recent WPCNR Poll Consistent with Earlier NYPH Poll

In an earlier WPCNR poll on the very same issue, when 56 votes were cast, 57%, 32 persons said the biomedical/proton accelerator complex should be denied on Bryant Avenue, but moved to an interior location.

Twenty-two votes, or 39%, said the biotech center should be approved as proposed on Bryant Avenue. In both polls, the numbers asking for the project to be denied altogether were very low: 18% and 4%.

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Harrison Says “Hurrah” for Bradley. Insurgent Matusow Matador Endorsed.

WPCNR Morning Sun. From the Bradley Press Office. June 24, 2002. 8:30 AM E.D.T.:The Harrison Democratic Committee has endorsed Adam Bradley, candidate for State Assembly in the 89th District, was overwhelmingly endorsed by Harrison at the end of last week. Bradley now has been endorsed by two key Democratic organizations in the southern end of the 89th District, and the Independence Party, in his attempt to primary incumbent 10-year veteran Assemblywoman Naomi Matusow.

Christina Hughes, Chair of the Harrison Democratic Committee, stated: “The Harrison Democratic Committee overwhelmingly and enthusiastically endorsed Adam Bradley over incumbent Naomi Matusow, and we look forward to having him serve the Community as our next representative in Albany.”

Hughes added: “The Committee has been most impressed by Bradley’s knowledge and commitment to issues of concern to the Community, and we believe he will provide the kind of leadership we need in the State Assembly.”

Since Bradley’s entry into the race, only three weeks ago, he has received a growing list of important endorsements, including the White Plains Democratic Committee, the Harrison Democratic Committee and the Independence Party. White Plains and Harrison are two of the largest communities in the Assembly District.

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Gerrard Talks VI Scheduled to Come to Close Monday with Council Vote on FEIS

WPCNR Friday Night Final. By John F. Bailey. June 22, 2002. 1:00 AM. EDT.UPDATED MONDAY, June 24, 2002 1:30 PM EDTThe Common Council will meet Monday evening at 7:00 PM at City Hall to vote on whether or not to accept the New York Presbyterian Hospital Final Environmental Impact Statement. The decision must be made Monday evening, in order tomeet the deadline of June 27 for either acceptance or rejection of the FEIS as “complete.” The Council response has to be written by the Planning Department and submitted to state authorities by Thursday.

“PLEASE REVIEW THIS. THERE WILL BE A POP QUIZ ON MONDAY”: Commissioner of Planning Susan Habel hands out New York Presbyterian Hospital “Final Answers” to Councilpersons’ questions on research, tree loss, ancillary activities, and concerns raised during the Gerrard Talks (with Arnold & Porter environmental legal counsel, Michael Gerrard), last Wednesay evening. The new document is available at the White Plains Public Library and the Planning Department.
Photo by WPCNR

Mayor Joseph Delfino told WPCNR Friday that Thursday evening’s session of the Gerrard Talks V, consisted of much discussion of distribution of employees expected at the research facility, their hours, and comings and goings on the site. WPCNR has been advised by City Hall that the Council must decide by Monday whether or not to accept the FEIS. Four votes are required for acceptance.

A city hall source advised WPCNR that a likely date for a Council decision on the hospital’s biomedical research and proton accelerator cancer treatment center for its White Plains campus is the Common Council meeting of August 5.

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Delgado Delivers 103 Affidavits of District 18 Voters for Delgado to the AG.

WPCNR Herald-Statesman. By John F. Bailey. June 21, 2002. 12:00 Noon E.D.T. Former White Plains Councilman Larry Delgado told WPCNR Friday morning that he personally delivered 103 signed affidavits from District 18 voters who voted in last November’s jammed voting machine election, to the Attorney General’s office in Manhattan Thursday, as evidence that he had been wrongly denied victory over Glen Hockley by the jammed District 18 voting machine.
Delgado, speaking to WPCNR personally, before videotaping an appearance on Isabel Villar’s television show on Channel 71, said the Attorney General’s office had started the investigation into whether or not to bring a quo warranto proceeding, by interviewing Westchester County Board of Election officials.

Mr. Delgado said the 103 signed and notarized affidavits from voters logged in as having voted November 6 in District 18, give him enough votes for victory over Glen Hockley. It is now up to the Attorney General’s office to decide whether to bring a quo warranto action in court to overturn the election result declared official when the Court of Appeals overturned lower court decisions to hold a new election in first District 18, then citywide to resolve the close election.

Mr. Delgado told WPCNR the Attorney General’s office promised him a swift and speedy investigation and action.
More to come

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King Komments: Overnight Parking Proposal Explained.

King Komments. By Councilman William King. June 21, 2002:Parking will be allowed between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. and will be free, as it is now. The mayor was saying he wouldn’t go down and move his car if it was parked on the street overnight and the weekly street cleaning was between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m. when Glen Hockley first thought that’s when maybe the best time to do it was. I straightened Glen out on this at the meeting – the best time is later in the morning, say between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. which I have seen in NYC.

OLD MAMARONECK ROAD SOUTH TO BRYANT: Overnight metered parking is proposed by Mr. King for the right side of this White Plains throroughfare in a heavy apartment-ed area.
Photo by WPCNR

Overnight on street local area resident parking permits is not being given up on, certainly not because the permits themselves are considered unwieldy. What is unwieldy is bureaucratic unwieldiness in that such permits actually require a change in state law by Albany for local streets that a municipality wants to do it on.

Steve Otis, mayor of Rye and Suzi Oppenheimer’s counsel, says it takes a year or more, if then, for the State to pass such legislation for a specific municipality. The village of Mamaroneck currently has a bill pending in the legislature.

I have indicated to the city that we should get a home rule message going that would allow us to have resident permits for overnight onstreet parking in the future … but this could take years and we shouldn’t wait to do what we can.

Young mothers with kids don’t like having to walk back at night from remote parking lots to their buildings, not just assigned spaces.

There is currently already metered parking during the day, 6 days a week, on Old Mamaroneck from Shapham Place north to Mamaroneck Ave.

OLD MAMARONECK ROAD NORTH TO MAMARONECK AVENUE: Councilman King also recommends overnight metered parking on Old Mamaroneck up to Mamaroneck Avenue. (Opposite view of earlier picture)
Photo by WPCNR

Names Streets

Streets which are currently free that would have meters added (single space meters or multi-space meters), on the east side of Old Mamaroneck Rd., from Shapham Place south to in front of 101 Old Mamaroneck, the north side of Bryant Ave., between Nosband Ave. and Old Mamaroneck, the east side of Overlook Road, in front of 2 Overlook, the west side of Nosband Ave., from Bryant Ave. to Shapham Place, and the north side of Shapham, from Nosband to Old Mamaroneck.

Al Moroni’s and others’ thinking is that, with meters there for the overnight parking, it would be too confusing not to also charge during the day, so go ahead and charge during the day, except between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. where it is free everywhere. The leaders of the two coops I have talked to said that was ok, that they were willing to compromise and so, so am I.
William King
White Plains Common Councilman

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Republicans Tap Corcoran to Run for State Assembly

WPCNR Daily Mirror. By John F. Bailey. Thursday, June 20, 2002. 1 PM EDT UPDATED June 21, 12 noon EDT:The Westchester County Republican Party has asked White Plains Candyce Corcoran to run for the New York State Assembly against Democratic incumbent Naomi Matusow. As of Friday at noon, Ms. Corcoran had not made a decision as to whether or not to accept the nomination.
James Cavanaugh, Chair of the County Republican Party, asked Corcoran to make the run. Ms. Corcoran is considering acceptance at this time.

Ms. Corcoran told WPCNR, she was thrilled at the opportunity and would make her decision by the end of the day. Corcoran said she learned she had strong support from New Castle Republicans at a political function she attended last night, and first learned of the Republicans serious interest in her at the beginning of the week.

Interest in Corcoran has apparently been driven by her strong name recognition among Republicans and Democrats in the Matusow strongholds in the northern portion of the 89th district.

Corcoran is the former former White Plains Democrat who, expecting to be nominated for Common Council last fall, did not receive the nomination, and was invited by Republicans to oppose Democrat William Ryan for County Legislator. A race she lost.

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A Lawsuit Gets in the Way of Woodcrest Heights Subdivision

WPCNR Afternoon Tribune: Planning Board Round-up By Shivaun Dipshan. Wednesday, June 19, 2002. 3:00 PM E.D.T.: The Planning Board’s June monthly meeting revealed that plans for the Jillian Estate Subdivision have been put on hold due to the expiration of the builder’s contract with the landowner.

A lawsuit is pending between the applicant and the owner. The applicant is suing the owner because he wants a renewal of the option agreement, which expired in June. Mary Cavallero, Chairperson, said that the board will “adjourn pending advice from the law department.”

The Jillian Estates is a proposal for 14 new homes that would be placed parallel to Sunset Drive. The proposed location is an environmentally sensitive area. Neighbors are saying this construction would change the character of the neighborhood. The developer, Leslie Cohen estimated that the number of tress that would be cut down is 168.

Eric Press, Co-President of Woodcrest Heights Homeowners’ Association has said that the project would create extra traffic and noise.

Worried About Appearance

Seth M. Mandelbaum, the representative for Nextel Communications presented the revised design for the wireless facility they wish to install at White Plains Mall based on the comments of the Planning Board’s last meeting.

Their new design is 8ft lower and sleeker than the original. The actual structure of the design is 10 ft, adding to the height of the penthouse. There would be 12 antennas that would be 4 ft. high by 6 in. wide.

Carlos Roskell, Planning Board Member, voiced his concern about adding more height on the penthouse.

“We did lower the facility as much as possible,” Mandelbaum said.

J. Russell Imlay voiced his concern about the visibility of the facility.

“We want the antennas to look like they belong there…It’s gotta look right,” he said.

Residents, Jim McMahon and Erica Schornstadt, who live in the area voiced their concern about the health threat, esthetic effect, and the over development in their neighborhood.

Cavallero explained that the reason the board was so concerned with this facility as opposed to others was because people can see it from their windows.

The board then asked the representative to come back on July 16th with an architectural design that would be more appeasing to the eye.

Improvements Need to Be Made on Jaffee Subdivision

The Jaffee Subdivision planned at 89 Woodcrest Avenue, also in Woodcrest Heights, was told that treatments of the driveway would need to be examined before the board made any decisions.

“We will need to see a profile of the driveway to make improvements on it, said Susan Habel, Commissioner of Planning. She asked for cut and fill estimates, cross-sections on all 3 properties and driveway profiles.

Habel also said that they would have to do a survey of the adjacent properties to make sure they wouldn’t be affected by blasting.

Further discussion of the subdivision is set for their July 16th meeting.

Plans to visit Armogida Site

The Armogida site, which is planned at 57 Hall Avenue, is an environmentally sensitive site. Residents who live near the planned site complained about serious problems of erosion and sewage. They also said there were not enough parking spaces there already and if they were to improve the street it would only make it worse.

Cavallero, recommended that the board “schedule a time to look at it.” The visit is scheduled for June 29th at 8:30 a.m. and is not open to the public.

Changes Need to Be Made on St. Agnes Antenna Sitings.

Both Omnipoint Communications and Verizon Wireless are requesting permits for antenna facilities to be set up at St. Agnes Hospital, which is located on North Street.

Omnipoint needs these antennas to supply reliable coverage around the surrounding area. They already have existing antennas on the building and are requesting the permission to change them.

According to the representatives, the change will be very minimal, the framework and the zoning divisibility will not change.

The antennas for Verizon are planned for the lower roof of the main building of the hospital.

Cavallero said that she was open to co-location because it “cuts down on extra poles going up.”

She said the board is likely to approve these facilities next month unless there are any objections from the Department of Public Works.

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To Vote on Housing HQ. Overnight Parking Studied. New Soccer Field

WPCNR Common Council Chronicle-Examiner. By John F. Bailey. June 20, 2002. 12:00 PM E.D.T.: The Common Council was shaken up Wednesday night by the White Plains Housing Authority request to put their proposal to build a new headquarters on Fisher Court adjacent to the Bethel Baptist Church to a vote, without considering an alternative site.

The matter of bringing overnight parking to Old Mamaroneck Road was put aside pending a study by a Mayor’s Committee of three councilpersons on hours, technology, and logistics.

Susan Habel delivered yet another weighty set of New York Presbyterian Hospital documents responding to Common Council questions.

PROPOSED SITE OF SOCCER FIELD: The South end of the Saxon Woods Pool Parking Lot is the location for a soccer field Westchester County proposes to build and pay for, and turn over to White Plains to run.
Photo by WPCNR

WORLD CUP LAUNCHING GROUND: The proposed site of the new joint Westchester County/White Plains soccer field venture that awaits Council approval of the Inter Municipal Agreement as soon as it is received from Westchester County. The road is the Southbound entrance to the Hutchison River Parkway.
Photo by WPCNR

Commissioner of Recreation and Parks, Arne Abramowitz announced a new agreement with Westchester County to build a synthetic surface soccer field in Saxon Woods Park.

Housing Authority Shocker.

Anthony Tascione, Executive Director of the Housing Authority, appeared to request the Council to proceed with reviewing the Authority’s proposal to build a new headquarters on Fisher Court. Tascione said it was the site that the Authority could afford, and that recent opposition to the headquarters by residents of Winbrook and the pastor of Bethel Baptist Church was a reversal of previous written support for the project from the Bethel Baptist Church on church stationary, signed by the Secretary of the Church.

He said the authority had reviewed 23 locations and the Fisher Court location made the most sense. He alluded to the fact that the Authority had received positive acceptance of the location up until the eleventh hour, when opposition suddenly surfaced.

Hockley is Hot.

Councilman Glen Hockley was aghast that the Housing Authority was refusing to look at other locations for the projects, in consideration that housing authority executives had told him that they would look at other sites, after a tour of the area with him. He was quite upset about it, shaking his head, reddening, in obvious irritation with Mr. Tascione for not having been at the June Common Council meeting public hearing on the project, “after listening to the public, listening to the ministers, hearing the opposition, the waste of our tax dollars, that they should sit back and look at other opportunities (to build or rent elsewhere).”

Councilperson Rita Malmud, pursing her lips said, “I’m kind of surprised.”
The Mayor said Larry Sallee, Chairman of the Housing Authority had personally contacted him, and asked to have the headquarters matter on the July Common Council agenda.

Tascione politely responded, “The Housing Authority will be in attendance (in July), and they will be able to respond. With all due respect, we met with the residents over the years. I have letters published supporting the location. The authority has done what it can. There’s always some level of opposition to any project. There’s never going to be a consensus.”

Hockley, growing red with irritation, said. “That’s a bit insensitive.”

Benjamin Boykin, Council President, added, “We’ve seen letters of endorsement refuting the project.”

Tascione said he had a letter from the Secretary to the Minister of Bethel Baptist Church, and the previous minister in support of the location. “We take these letters in good faith,” he said. Reverend Daly Barnes of Bethel Baptist Church was not available for comment, nor was Mr. Tascione this morning to see who signed what letter and when. But, given Mr. Barnes impassioned complaints about the project at the public hearing, the church has changed its mind.

Overnight parking not as simple as it seems.

Councilman William King’s crusade to bring overnight parking to specific areas of White Plains in a pilot program, met another round of opposition from Parking Authority Director, Albert Moroni, Commissioner of Public Works Joseph Nicoletti, and Mayor Delfino, when a slightly amended measure was submitted by Mr. King.

Mr. Moroni noted the complexity of deciding how to meter the spaces on the targeted area, on Old Mamaroneck Road between Shapham Place and Mamaroneck Road. He gave the Council the choice of individual meters or a central electronic metering facility. At this point, the selling of onstreet overnight parking permits has been discarded as unwieldy, and the thinking of Mr. Moroni at this point is for a time-sensitive metered system.

Mr. King contacted WPCNR to tells us that overnight street parking permits is not dead, however it requires a home rule request to be approved by the state legislature to execute it.

Free Parking During Day Would be Eliminated.

Mr. King acquiesced to Mr. Moroni’s suggestion that to be fair, free parking during daylight hours, 9 AM to 6 PM on the apartments section of Old Mamaroneck Road approximately in front of Surrey-Strathmore apartments from Bryant Avenue on down to Mamaroneck Avenue, would be eliminated. Mr. King contacted us to point that there already is paid parking during the day from Strathmore Place down to Mamaroneck Avenue.

Nicoletti Quietly Worries About Snow Removal.

Commissioner Joseph Nicoletti said the overnight parking on that street would definitely hamper snow removal. He pointed out that parking on both sides of the street would prevent ploughs from getting through, and that freezing after a snowfall, when the street could not be ploughed properly could create a dangerous condition. He recommended the overnight parking be suspended during the winter months.

Council Enters Bizarre World of Parking Management.

Mayor Delfino, who lives in an apartment building, said the Council was playing with fire, because if overnight parking was granted in one area, then Battle Hill or Fisher Hill with similar needs would want it too. He said those streets in those neighborhoods are so narrow it would make it very difficult for fire trucks and snow plow vehicles to get through.

Delfino asked Mr. King, who wants overnight parking?

King said “People want it here. I’m getting it mostly from young mothers who have young children who don’t want to walk a long distance to their cars (in assigned spaces).”

Delfino drew on his long knowledge of White Plains, saying in the 1970s there was a one-way issue in the North end of town and it became what he called a “Hatfield-McCoy” issue, saying other areas of town would want overnight parking, too and “it would change the face of White Plains.”

King said several times that New York City gets along with overnight parking.

When the council began to grapple with actual hours of parking, when parking would not be allowed on one side of the street or the other, and got into disagreements as to when there would be no parking allowed in order that the street be cleaned, the Mayor rose up in his seat and said it was up to the council, “whatever it is, work it out.”

Mayor says “Boyfriends and girlfriends are parking overnight,”

The Mayor bemused by the council predicament, voiced his opinion that the only persons who now park overnight and get tickets are boyfriends and girlfriends parking overnight as guests of residents in the apartments.

Robert Greer, grinning, said, “Well, we can’t allow that.”

Mr. Moroni said 104 spaces could be created on the stretch of Old Mamaroneck Road, between Shapham Place and Mamaroneck Avenue, with either single space electronic meters or a central location electronic space system, similar to city garages. He said parking would be 25 cents for two hours between 6PM and 6 AM, with parking not allowed from 6 AM to 9 AM, and regular day rates taking affect at 9 AM of 25 cents for 40 minutes.

The Mayor pointed out those persons who do not move their cars at 6 AM would receive tickets. He said that, “I’m not taking those calls (from those ticket recipients).” Mr. King contacted us to point out the Mayor said this assuming that there would be street cleaning one day a week between 6 AM and 9 AM. Later in the meeting, Mr. King suggested street-cleaning be scheduled for later in the morning.

With this, the Mayor said he was going to form a subcommittee of three councilpersons to discuss the overnight parking implementation, because “this has severe implications for the future of the city.”

Abramowitz Announces County/City Soccer Field Construction

Arne Abramowitz appeared to announce to the Council that Westchester County is willing to pay for and construct a synthetic turf soccer field with lights on the Saxon Woods Park property adjacent to the Saxon Woods Pool Parking Lot, nestled up alongside the entrance ramp to the Hutchinson River Parkway.

Abramowitz said the City of White Plains would have full control over the management of the field, deciding on what teams use the field. He said White Plains recreation teams would be allowed to use it. County residents would have to be allowed to use it, but White Plains would have sole discretion. He noted that if a team had three persons from outside the city, they were a county team. He also said there would be no “pick-up” soccer games allowed. Use of the field would be by permit to teams only. White Plains would set the field-use fees and keep the revenues, with the city signing a 5 year lease with 5-year option for renewal.

All that is needed is for the Council to vote acceptance of an Inter Municipal Agreement between the city and the county. Corporation Counsel Edward Dunphy said the actual copy of the IMA has not been received from the county yet. Each member of the council agreed enthusiastically this was a “win-win” for the city, as Mayor Delfino put it.

Abramowitz said the agreement came about when the county asked cities to recommend sites for soccer fields about 18 months ago. Abramowitz said White Plains recommended Saxon Woods. The county has selected Tibbetts Park in Yonkers, a site in Port Chester and one in New Rochelle, and the Saxon Woods site.

As soon as the city approves the IMA, Abramowitz said, the county would send out Requests for Proposals, and were hoping to have it built by spring 2002.

Oh, Just a Few More Documents.

Susan Habel gave the Common Council some more “beach reading” this weekend, a document supplied by the hospital answering Councilpersons’ questions on the Final Environmental Impact Statement. Habel said the rest of the document would be delivered today and Friday. Tonight the Common Council resumes the Gerard Talks, session four, discussing their FEIS concerns in the Mayor’s Conference Chamber at 5:30 PM.

Habel said the document which was inch-and-a-half thick delivered information on 1.)The types of research now being undertaken by affiliates of the hospital. 2.) Ancillary Use. 3.) Biosafety Level Three activities. 4.)Information on the Safety Officer overseeing research. 5.) Information from Commissioner Nicoletti. 6.) Number of trees endangered. 7.) Student programs 8.) Research Policy Guidelines and Control.

Nicoletti Announces Beginning of Post Road Improvements

The long-awaited improvements to the West Post Road medians and sidewalks will begin shortly, according to Joseph Nicoletti, who announced that Westchester County is forwarding $1.1 million to the city to pay for the work. This is money the county has long owed to the city, for the sanitary sewer work the city performed at its own expense ($400,000), the only city besides one to do so, to comply with state standards, Nicoletti said.

Work will begin by demolishing the medians first, and he expected work to be completed by late September. Residents can expect 56 trees to be planted on medians and on sidewalks, and 30 sidewalk street lights installed.

The council voted 7-0 to pass the ordinance authorizing the agreement. Mr. Nicoletti also announced a $750,000 project to reconstruct a water line in the Northwest section of the city.

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West Egg comes to White Plains: Fortunoffs Hold Ground-Breaking

WPCNR Daily Mirror. By John F. Bailey. June 19, 2002. 3:30 PM E.D.T.:A touch of class from Long Island’s Gold Coast arrived in White Plains Wednesday morning when Louis Fortunoff and two generations of his family presented a ground-breaking ceremony on the former Saks Fifth Avenue site for “The Source at White Plains,” the new Fortunoff complex about to rise at the corner of Bloomingdale Road and Maple Avenue.

TWO GENERATIONS OF FORTUNOFFS officially join the White Plains Family at the official groundbreaking for The Source at White Plains Wednesday. Louis Fortunoff is at far left, his sister Andrea, architect of the project is to his left.All Photos by WPCNR

Mr. Fortunoff, in comments to WPCNR said he has “more interest (from potential retail tenants) than we have space,” and said he expected the complex to be fully rented when it is scheduled to open in fall of 2003, or 480 days from today, as his cousin, Isidore Mayrock said.

Mr. Fortunoff made his remarks to an assemblage of suited and stylish men and women enjoying an elegant buffet, under a great white tent, being served by tuxedoed servants and chefs, more suited to the mansion lawns of legendary West Egg, than a bluff above a busy construction site.

LOUIS FORTUNOFF PRAISES DELFINO EFFORT: Mayor Joseph Delfino, to Mr. Fortunoff’s right, Andy Spano, County Executive, right, and Isidore Mayrock of Fortunoff’s at Wednesdays’ Ground-Breaking.

$92 Million Project. 700 New Jobs. $9 million A Year in Sales Taxes.
Mr. Fortunoff welcomed Mayor Joseph Delfino and County Executive Andy Spano, saying “The Source at White Plains” was the culmination of a 20 year dream of bringing Fortunoffs to Westchester. He acknowledged that the September 11 attack, there was some doubt that the project would continue, but he said his $92 million project is “my family’s small contribution to that (recovery) effort.”

FLOOR PLAN OF NEW COMPLEX: The Source at White Plains will feature street level retail with four floors of Fortunoffs rising above it. Louis Fortunoff said he is in ongoing negotiations with prospective tenants at the present time and has more interest in the complex than he has space to rent.

Mayor Delfino “Walks the Walk as Well As Talks the Talk”

Mr. Fortunoff said “without White Plains Mayor Joseph Delfino’s leadership, energy, commitment and vision we would not be standing here today…He walks the walk as well as talks the talk. As a retailer with five existing stores I can truthfully say that Joe Delfino has written the book on how a community can effectively create positive and sustained economic growth.”

Isidore Mayrock, Mr. Fortunoff’s cousin, said in his remarks, “We felt so confident about White Plains when we began discussions with the Mayor over the future of Fortunoff in Westchester. Some suggested we go to the suburbs of Washington, D.C., or Atlanta. But here in White Plains we found a City Hall that focused on solutions. We found professionals who anticipated our needs and resolved our questions in a manner that reflected how we do business.”

Mayor Delfino Praises Mr. Fortunoff’s Father.

Mayor Delfino, taking the podium, said, “This is a great day. I want this to be the most successful store in the family. Your father would be proud.” Delfino praised Mr. Fortunoff’s father’s “belief in the retail business,” and promised to help Mr. Fortunoff make this store the “finest retail complex in Westchester County.”

COMMON COUNCIL DEDICATION PRAISED. The Mayor and the Common Council, including former Councilpersons Larry Delgado and Pauline Oliva pitch in to shovel a ceremonial shovel of dirt. The Mayor praised the Council which included Mr. Delgado and Ms. Oliva for their support of the project and long hours in reviewing and seeing the benefits of the project to the city.

County Executive Praises Working Relationship with The Mayor.

County Executive Andy Spano, in his remarks, said, “I can’t wait for Joe’s (Delfino’s) Renaissance Triangle, at the center of Westchester County. Having Joe as a partner has been great. We’ve been working well together for twenty years now.”

Mr. Spano furnished support for the Fortunoff project through the Westchester County Industrial Development Agency.

TOUCH OF CLASS: Guests at the ground-breaking enjoyed a sumptuous buffet of culinary delights, served by tuxedo-clad servants, and elegant chefs reminiscent of a 1920s Gold Coast party, setting a new standard in ground-breaking refreshments.

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