Trippett Update: Yanofsky “Ambivalent.” Rejects Leader’s Story

Updated December 13:Lewis Trippett broke silence Monday night. The Former Board of Education President — in office when Dr. Yanofsky’s contract renewal was being decided — delivered a startling 10-minute statement disputing Dr. Saul Yanofsky’s public positions on events leading to the superintendent’s departure.

Michelle Schoenfeld reported to WPCNR Wednesday that the “Letter of Intentions” (our term for it), Dr. Yanofsky sent to the Board of Education in the Spring of 2001, a cornerstone of Mr. Trippett’s remarks reported as follows, is not available to the public, and the school district is not obligated to release it.
A copy of the all-important letter, which according to Mr. Trippett, set the tone for last spring’s stalemate with Dr. Yanofsky, was requested by WPCNR from Michelle Schoenfeld, Clerk for the School District. Ms. Schoenfeld wrote us Wednesday, and we quote: “Board Counsel advises us that this is an intra-agency document and therefore not available under the Freedom of Information Law.”

Dr. Yanofsky in response to our request for this key document Tuesday afternoon, stood by his desire “that nothing is served by continuing on with this,” and has not to this point released his letter.

Mr. Trippett took the podium at the request of Donna McLaughlin, President of the Board of Education Monday evening. He out rightly denied Dr. Saul Yanofsky’s public statements about the events, attitudes and positions taken by the Board of Education and the Superintendent himself leading up to the decision last April not to renew Dr. Yanofsky’s contract.

Dr. Yanofsky, visibly shaken by the unexpected appearance, called the letter filled with “distortions,” and saying, “everybody now is best served by putting this behind us,” rather than answering the charges.

Yanofsky Visibly Upset.

Mr. Trippett told WPCNR at the November meeting that he might speak out, but did not.

At the Monday Board of Education meeting at the high school, he unleashed a 4 ½ Page single-spaced statement for the record that shocked the audience of some 50 persons, left from over100 persons and students there at the beginning.

Trippett’s remarks rattled Dr. Yanofsky to the extent that, when Dr. Yanofsky resumed the agenda, the papers in the Superintendent’s hands shook and his voice quivered ever so slightly as he struggled to control himself and move on with the routine appointments and business that followed.

Trippett: Reports Yanofsky “ambivalent” towards staying and critical of school district future.

Trippett, in his calm, chilling delivery, painted a picture far different than the events Dr. Yanofsky has described to this reporter, the White Plains Watch and The Journal News surrounding his firing.

Trippett said Yanofsky had been looking at other jobs:

“…well over a year before extension of his current contract was discussed, that he (Yanofsky) had begun circulating his resume on a selective basis for educational positions but not to be superintendent of another district.”

You could have heard a pin drop in the hall of the All-Purpose Room. Then it got quieter.

The former Board President charged Yanofsky with “ambivalence:”

“The letter (which WPCNR attempted to acquire from Ms. Schoenfeld), 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.’”

“Take your chances with someone else.”

Trippett confirmed there had been a parting of the ways on the issues of test scores, program evaluation, and public relations, not on philosophy, but on level of concern:

“I found our discussions with Dr. Yanofsky on these matters to be distressing. Rather than offer a forward-looking view as he had in the past, Dr. Yanofsky said things like, ‘I don’t need this job’ and ‘If you want to take your chances with someone else, that’s fine.’”

By this time, it was excruciatingly still. No one was moving a muscle. All were shocked. You do not hear this kind of public statement read very often. The big shock was Trippett’s next revelation:

“…the most distressing comment came in response to a question I asked. I posed a question to Dr. Yanofsky similar to a question that I had asked during the previous contract renewal discussions. I asked ‘Where do you see the district being in four years if your contract is extended.’ His response was an extraordinarily negative view of the future of the district. He said things were likely to get worse; test scores are likely to decline further and there is very little that can be done about it other than what is already being done. In short, it appeared to me that his hear was no longer in the job.”

Rejects Yanofsky’s statements on contracts and style

Trippett reported that, subsequently Yanofsky said he had misunderstood the question, which Trippett called “unconvincing.” Trippett also flatly said,

“contrary to what he has implied, during the contractual time that the Board had to notify Dr. Yanofsky whether or not it would offer him a new contract, Dr. Yanofsky never suggested that the Board should discuss an appropriate “transition” period to new leadership and never suggested a contractual time period, as he had done at the prior contractual renewal.”

(Dr. Yanofsky made these statements about “a transition period to new leadership,” to WPCNR, and he made the statement about a contractual time period to both WPCNR and White Plains Watch).

Yanofsky’s “minimizing of the Board’s Concerns”

In a paragraph directly answering a recent Yanofsky-written piece appearing in The Journal News Trippett alluded to substantial differences:

“There were indeed re-occurring substantive differences between the Board and Dr. Yanofsky. These differences were not, as he recently stated, matters of style and substance. In fact, it was Dr. Yanofsky’s persistent minimizing of the Board’s concerns and his neglect in addressing them that led to increasing frustration. But, for me, the overriding issue was Dr. Yanofsky’s stated ambivalence and his lack of a positive vision for the future.”

Commends Board for not yielding to “the noise of the crowd at the moment”

“I am hopeful that once people get over the surprise and disappointment that Dr. Yanofsky will be leaving at the end of this school year they will recognize that the Board had no other responsible choice but to move on to new leadership. This transition would have taken place in one, or at the most, two years anyway and, I believe, the district is better served by making the transition now, rather than having a self-described ‘ambivalent’ superintendent for one or two more years.

I believe that the Board’s decision was proper, responsible and in the best interests of the district. In time, I believe that the community of White Plains will be pleased that it has a Board that is not satisfied with the way things are and wants to move towards improvement in the future, even if that means bearing with some unfair and unjust criticisms such as have been made over the past two months. I commend the Board for not yielding to the noise of the crowd at the moment and, instead, looking out for the needs of the future.”

Removal of Yanofsky “Provides Opportunity…revitalization…”

The selection of a new superintendent provides opportunity for all to participate in the re-vitalization of our district and positioning it for the future. While all change is difficult, it also provides opportunity for improvement. Although I am not on the Board anymore, I support the Board and stand ready to help the Board in any way possible in this important transition to new leadership.”

As Mr. Trippett finished his surprise statement, introduced as “a communication” to the public by Donna McLaughlin, the warm feeling of the previous Scholar Athlete Recognition Awards had been sucked out of the room.

Yanofsky reacts tersely

Red-faced and appearing in shock, Dr. Yanofsky described Trippett’s remarks as “distorted” and “inaccurate,” and that any further comment he would make “would not be the most useful outcome.” He attempted to set the record straight on what he meant by his “ambivalent” remark, saying it was his attitude “related to interaction between me and the Board and their level of interaction with other school administrators (in the District) who come before them. There was a variety of miscommunication. Everybody is now best served by putting this behind us.”

Evening started out on a high note

After the recognition of White Plains High School autumn sports teams who as teams have maintained a grade point average of 90 or better, the Trippett speech had turned an evening of achievement recognition into a somber occasion, apparently sealing Dr. Yanofsky’s departure for good. Donna McLaughlin, President of the Board of Education, when she closed the meeting one hour later, pleaded with the parents still in attendance, after enduring three scathing comments from a teacher and two parents, accusing the Board of ignoring parent concerns and expressing doubts about attracting good candidates for superintendent said there was no return: “We’ve made our decision…For the sake of the children, please move on.”

Football team qualifies as a Scholar Athlete Team for the first time

Highlight of the scholar athlete presentations was the announcement by Athletic Director Mario Scarano this was the first year the White Plains football team had qualified as a scholar athlete team. As each coach presented their scholars who perform on the books as well as putting top notch performances “in the books,” we met some of White Plains “Finest:” the Women’s and Men’s Cross Country teams, the women’s Field Hockey and Tennis teams, the women’s Swimming and Diving team.

Mr. Scarano said six of the 8 fall White Plains sports teams averaged over 90 to qualify as official Scholar Athlete Teams. The only two that did not, Scarano said average 88.3 (Men’s Soccer), and 88.77 (Women’s Volleyball).

Principal Colavito delivers a report on the High School Construction

Principal William Colavito was called upon to comment on the progress of the high school improvements. Mr. Colavito announced that the Library Media Center had been opened and is now being used extensively by students. He reported the second floor of the science wing had been opened and the first floor he expected to be open in January after the holiday break.

The Principal reported that the new administration offices had been moved into, and despite some phone trouble was functioning.

The two performing centers are nearing completion, he said. The auditorium is having sound and lighting work finished and is expected to be complete be mid February (two months). The Little Theater and Television Studio for the Theatre Unlimited group is targeted for February 1.

Colavito finished his report advising that North House would be vacated in January, so that work could begin on refurbishing that sector. He said ongoing work on art rooms and other sections would be worked around student schedules.

Colavito Resignation accepted.

Dr. Saul Yanofsky read a glowing tribute to Principal Colavito, crediting him with turning the high school around in his 6 ½ years as Principal of White Plains High School. After the glowing tribute, Principal Colavito, rather from shyness or sadness, spoke for less than one minute and sat down. In fact, when Michelle Berman, speaking during Open Forum expressed hope that the Colavito departure, in which he joins Dr. Constance Iervolino and Yanofsky, was not the beginning of a trend, Principal Colavito was seen clapping.

Three Awarded Tenure

Three teachers were approved for tenure, and their administrators spoke of their dedication and concern for students, rekindling for a few moments that White Plains was still standing tall in dedicated educators. The teachers are: Susan Brumer, Social Studies Teacher at White Plains High School; Dennis Polanco, English Teacher at the high school; and Dennis Scullion, English Teacher at the Highlands. The supervisors introducing them detailed their enormous popularity with students and dedication to school activities and abilities to create outstanding, popular learning environments within their classrooms. They received warm applause.

Yanofsky on departure: “I was surprised, too.”

For a meeting that lasted just two hours, it seemed longer than the 7 hour Common Council meeting last August. People were drained. People left as if leaving a funeral, cordial, polite, nurturing.

Dr. Yanofsky remarked to this reporter, “You always pick good meetings to cover.”

I replied, “Well, I was surprised.”

Yanofsky, smiling said, “I was surprised, too.”

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Flash Poll:Would You Grant a Stay, Delaying Dist. 18 Election?

WPCNR’s Court of Opinion grants a temporary “Stay” of the Nicolai Appeal Poll, in favor of your Instant Opinion on whether a “Stay” should be granted, delaying the District 18 election indefinately, pending Glen Hockley’s appeal. What would you do? If you’ve been following the Delgado-Hockley legal action, do you feel it is just to grant a stay? Or should the election be held while appeal proceeds? Vote in the “Flash Poll” at right!

The Nicolai Decision poll will resume after the “Stay” proceedings are adjudicated.

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FLASH! Hockley Seeks “Stay” of Election in Appellate Court

FLASH!:Glen Hockley’s attorney, Adam Bradley is seeking a stay of the proceedings Tuesday in Judge Francis Nicolai’s decision issued last week calling for a new election in White Plains District 18, December 17-20.
WPCNR has learned from Rita Malmud, President of the White Plains Common Council, and Jeffrey Binder, attorney for Councilman Larry Delgado, that Mr. Bradley will argue the merits of a stay before Judge Sondra Miller of the Appellate Division, Second Department on Tuesday at 3:00 PM at 140 Grand Street, White Plains.

No Notice of Appeal has been received yet by Delgado attorneys. Mr. Binder said that he would be arguing against the stay.

Delay of Implementing the Remedy.

In effect, Binder characterized the maneuver as seeking to delay the continuation of the election, scheduled for next week, pending an appeal.

Technically, Binder says, a judge does not consider a stay unless a party files an appeal in a matter brought before the court. Binder said he expects to receive a Notice of Appeal either in court tomorrow or in sooner.

Call for a “Stay,” Would Indicate an Appeal will be Launched.

The argument for a stay, Binder says, comes under Section 2201 of the Civil Practice Law & Rules, which allows for a stay “in a court in which an action is pending upon which terms as may be just.”

Since it is Binder’s understanding that an action has to be pending before an appellate judge can rule on a stay, Binder expects to receive a Notice of Appeal simultaneously. Binder said he had no knowledge of a Notice of Appeal filing, or in his possession as of 1:30 PM Monday. Binder said he would be arguing that a stay is not just.

]A stay obviously gives Bradley more time to work up his appeal case, and also has the effect of moving the election ever forward in time to Mr. Hockley’s legal advantage.

Common Council Could Appoint Hockley, Weakening Nicolai Argument

A stay that could push the election forward in time considerably, may mean “Advantage Hockley,” because of the White Plains City Charter. The Common Council, when there is a vacancy on the Common Council, is empowered to appoint a person to fill the vacancy, reports Edward Dunphy, White Plains Corporation Counsel. With a Democratic majority on the council, the natural choice would be to appoint Mr. Hockley to his seat, should the Appellate Court not reach a decision on the appeal by January when Mr. Delgado’s term officially ends.

Jeffrey Binder, attorney for Delgado in the matter, said, “If we get to that point, we would seek to enjoin the Common Council from filling that position. It (a council appointment of Hockley) could mean the Judge’s (Nicolai’s)argument that he has the power to do this (order a new election) rather than the attorney general (of the state of New York), would be undermined.”

Delay the Appeal and Try to Win Strategy a Possibility by Hockley Camp.

If a stay is not granted, however, with the 16-day “Window of Appeal,” Glen Hockley might try and go out and win the election next week outright. A formidable in-person campaigner, and dedicated to the principles he believes in, Mr. Hockley lives by the Japanese code, Sonsin, meaning, “focus.”

Hockley could focus his proven ability-to-campaign energy and easily visit all 366 voters in the critical District 18 by “Election Day II” next week. If he won, in the evenly matched district, it is “end of story,” and he is on the council. If he lost to Mr. Delgado, there is another option.

If he loses the election, he could still appeal the Nicolai decision.

Should Hockley lose the “continuation of the election,” he could bring an action to the Attorney General office in a quowarranto proceeding contending that Mr. Delgado was a usurper of a council seat that was rightfully his.

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NYPH Gives City Choice of a Proton Accelerator on any of 3 interior sites.

Updated with Pictures, Dec. 10:A media briefing conducted by New York Presbyterian Hospital Tuesday, December 4, revealed the hospital is willing to build on three interior sites within their campus, two of them are a considerable distance away from Bryant Avenue. The hospital views financing of the facility as being dependent on the approval of the Common Council of the proton accelerator project.
The hospital said it was considering a “public-private” partnership to finance the proton accelerator project, and needed Common Council approval before they could begin to solidify the $265 million projected to finance the project.

The briefing disclosed that the proton accelerator was judged by the hospital environmental evaluators to be safer than an MRI facility, and posing no radiation threat, and generating no radioactive waste.


HOSPITAL HOSTS THE WHITE PLAINS MEDIA: On Tuesday, December 4, New York Presbyterian Hospital “round-tabled” with, (clockwise, L to R), Alex Philippidis, back to camera, Westchester County Business Journal, James Benerofe,, Susan Chang,White Plains Watch, shown in news conference with (to right of display board), Constance Hildersley, Vice President for Real Estate, Geoffrey Thompson, Thompson & Bender, and Willa Brody, Hospital public relations, and Susan Elan, The Journal News, was also present. WPCNR PHOTO.

With the White Plains media present, New York Presbyterian Hospital executives, Connie Hildersley, Vice President for Real Estate, Willa Brody, public relations, and their spokesman, Geoffrey Thompson, walked reporters through a summary of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement, found by the Common Council last week to be “complete.” A public hearing is scheduled on the DEIS January 7, 2002 at City Hall.

The DEIS addresses other potential sites where the hospital has gone on record as of Tuesday of being willing to construct the Bourne biomedical research lab and proton accelerator.

Each of the three sites identified would receive traffic from a new entrance drive from Bloomingdale Road to be constructed adjacent just South of the Bloomingdale’s site, with no traffic anticipated on Bryant Avenue. The alternate site suggested farther West off Bryant Avenue also references a “secondary entrance” on Bryant Avenue.


ORIGINAL PROPOSED BRYANT AVENUE SITE:The original plan for the proton accelerator building, to right, and the new Bourne Research Lab, left, called “Plan B,” calls for the cancer-fighting treatment facility to be located in one of two large office buildings built on property immediately accessible by the Bryant Avenue gate, at bottom of plan. Constance Hildersley stated in the briefing that the hospital is willing to move the accelerator site. Plan transcribed from NYPH DEIS by WPCNR PHOTO.

Asked by WPCNR if the Common Council wanted the hospital to build on any of the three sites, if the hospital would do that (build on one of alternate sites), Hildersley said, “Any of the sites that meet our program are viable. If it meets our programs, it’s acceptable to us. Sites 6,7,8 are viable alternatives.”

The matter of consideration of alternative sites for the proton accelerator and biomedical-biotech research laboratory was demanded by the scope of Draft Environmental Impact Statement. Alternative site suggestions from the hospital have long been asked for by all Common Council members.

WPCNR walks the sites with NYPH’s Brody

In order to get a view of precisely what would be the impact on the surrounding neighborhood by the three locations proposed in the DEIS, WPCNR asked NYPH if we could have a walk-through of the sites, and a photo opportunity.

The walk-through was granted last Wednesday by Ms. Hildersley, under the condition that no pictures would be taken. Ms. Brody advised that the hospital will be providing visuals of the three potential sites for the public at the January 7 hearing, and did not want WPCNR photo composition judgment to convey an impression to the public before the hearing.


AERIAL VIEW OF SOUTH END OF NYPH CAMPUS shows area where original two-building construction on Bryant Avenue was proposed, and alternate sites. North is at the top of the picture. To orient the reader: the road at bottom of picture is Bryant Avenue. The entry off of Bryant Avenue, center, foreground, is the Bryant Avenue Gate.The original Plan B buildings are proposed to go on Bloomingdale Road on the two fields split by Bryant Avenue Gate.The road at the left of the photo is Mamaroneck Avenue, which forks to the right, turning into Bloomingdale Road. The square cutoff at top left of photo is Bloomingdale’s. Aerial view electronically transcribed from NYPH DEIS by WPCNR PHOTO LAB.

Thursday afternoon, December 6, Ms. Brody took WPCNR on a tour of Proton Accelerator Alternate Sites, identified as Sites 8,6, and 7. I list them that way because that was the order in which your reporter walked them with Ms. Brody.

William King’s favorite part of the Hospital property is one alternative.

Site 8 is the first site. It is the area known as the driving range, a sloping sprawl of meadow, rough-mowed of 7.5 acres. As Ms. Brody and I drove up, we parked at the road bordering the North edge of the site, and saw two golfers actually practicing shots. Ms. Brody, in an aside, told me Councilman King “loves this part of the property. He feels it is the perfect example of a meadow.”


.AERIAL VIEW OF SITE 8,”THE DRIVING RANGE:” This technological cropping of the aerial view shown earlier, indicates the meadow proposed as Alternate Site 8. Aerial view was electronically transcribed from NYPH DEIS by WPCNR PHOTO LAB.

I looked across the meadow to the South.

The “driving range” was bordered by a row of approximately 20 stately evergreens on the East, (to my left, marching towards me). Beyond the evergreens were the formal gardens, which would not be touched. I gazed across the meadow to the South, noting a wide copse of mature trees due as I took in the East to West sloping fairway in front of me.

To my right, bordering the meadow (on the West) were thick woods. Ms. Brody explained the woods would be partially cleared to accommodate the west wing of the proton accelerator building and its new access road.

Brody advised that the large copse of trees bordering the South side of Site 8 would be removed to accommodate a portion of the Proton Accelerator building.

We walked across the meadow to the south, it took us about 10 minutes to traverse it. I noted the copse was filled with mature trees but not thickly forested and it had a slight arroyo in the middle leading to open rolling fields on the other side.

Access road for all three alternative sites will parallel Bloomingdale’s South drive.

Ms. Brody said a new entrance road would be cut through Site 7. Site 7 is heavily wooded property immediately south of Bloomingdale’s, located on the bluff above Cassaway Brook down in the gorge distinguishing the extreme Western portion of the hospital property.

Asked how wide this proposed entrance road was to be, Ms. Brody said that had not been determined, but indicated it could be either two lanes or four lanes, to accommodate left-right turns more feasibly. She showed me how engineers had marked the cut of the entrance road with pink tape affixed to trees on the densely wooded Site 7.

I noted how the pink tape sliced from directly South of the Bloomingdale’s building, along the edge of the steep wooded slope above Cassaway Brook below to the West. The pink tape led out to the edge of the existing concrete road leading to the aqueduct bridge where we were parked, then continued through the woods bordering the driving range on the South.

STACKED BUILDING DESIGN FOR SITE 8: Design of combined Proton Accelerator/Bioresearch lab proposed for Site 8 (and Site 7). Viewer should note building is gently bowed in the glass center tower section, so it resembles a boomerang. Dark exterior is proposed to be red brick. There is a lighter brick face also proposed. (See plan in previous illustration). Building design electronically transcribed from NYPH DEIS by WPCNR PHOTO LAB.

According to the DEIS, a five–story L-shaped building of 384,000 square feet would be built on the “driving range” meadow plus a parking garage. This “stacked scenario,” would accommodate both the proton accelerator and the Bourne Research Facility in one building. A total of 4.7 acres of open lawn would be removed. A total of 83 trees of the variety that lose their foliage, and 64 evergreen plantation trees would be removed to build the structure.

Site 6 is West of Bryant gate on Bryant Avenue set on rolling fields.

Once we reached the extreme southern end of Site 8, standing in the middle of the wide copse of trees, Ms. Brody pointed to rolling cleared hillocks immediately in front of me through the broad copse of trees at the rear of the driving range site. Beyond the gentle rise of knolls, I could see the buildings of Bryant Gardens Apartments through tall tree cover.

SITE 6 IS ENVISIONED FARTHER WEST ALONG BRYANT AVENUE: Second “hospital-preferred alternate “Site 6″ from the air, consists of the lower west meadow along the Bryant Avenue corridor, and sits below Bryant Avenue grade. It will take a portion of the woods above Cassaway Brook. West end of Bryant Avenue is at bottom of the picture. (Use overall aerial view at beginning of this report for reference.) Cropped aerial view electronically transcribed from NYPH DEIS by WPCNR PHOTO LAB.

Brody said this was the site originally envisioned as soccer fields in the ill-fated Plan A voted down by the Common Council on July 17, 2000. This site is the second alternative.

Site 6 moves Plan B West: two buildings, plus garage, lower than Bryant Avenue elevation.

Site 6 runs alongside lower Bryant Avenue, sprawls on 10.7 acres, and is below the street level of Bryant Avenue. Brody said the visual impact on Bryant Avenue residents would be less than the Plan B site further up East on Bryant Avenue, with the thickening tree border on the lower West end of Bryant Avenue creating more buffer for the residents.

As the hospital sees it, access to Site 6 will be from the planned new entrance paralleling Bloomingdale’s South entrance, we have described. No entrance, according to Ms. Brody, our site tour guide Thursday, was planned from Bryant Avenue, however the DEIS makes reference to a “secondary entrance on Bryant Avenue,” for Site 6.

Entry road to Site 6, takes out more woods.

The new entry drive, either two-lane, or four-lane, would be extended through the thick wooded border of trees on the Western edge of the driving range. Brody drew my attention to the pink tape marking the route of the newly proposed road through the forest border of the West edge of the Driving Range (Site 8)

The new access road, as I see it, cuts through thick woods to access the lower Bryant Avenue location. Just speculating here, but I cannot see how that woodsy border along the Site 8, leading to the Bryant Avenue Site 6 would be preserved if you are cutting a roadway through it. I think you lose most of it.

The access road to Site 6 appears to be perched on the edge of the gradual steep slope leading down to the Cassaway Brook gorge on the Western edge of the property. Construction on Site 6, though would preserve the wetland corridor and woodlands below Bryant Gate according to the DEIS.

Ms. Brody pointed out that most of the copse of trees we were standing at on the South edge of the driving range would be removed. The DEIS states 85 mature trees and 150 other trees would be removed in constructing the two buildings plus parking garage on Site 6.

SITE 6 PLAN IS A TWO-BUILDING PROPOSAL: It moves the Plan B configuration West to the edge of the steep slopes leading down to Cassaway Brook. Parking Garage (6 stories, partially underground sits inbetween the two buildings. New entrance road parallel to Bloomingdale’s Bloomingdale Road South entrance traverses wooded section beside Driving Range Meadow, and leads to the Site 6 complex. Dark shape is the stormwater basin. Site Plan electronically transcribed from NYPH DEIS by WPCNR PHOTO LAB.

Two Buildings Plus Parking Garage on Site 6, if Selected.

Should Site 6 be chosen, the hospital envisions two buildings, one housing the proton accelerator facility, the second building, the biotech labs, with a 6-story parking garage. The complex would house 384,000 square feet of space in two buildings, each 3-stories, or in one “stacked” 6-story building. The parking structure would be six stories in either case.

There would be no entry off Bryant Avenue at all, though there is a reference in the DEIS to a secondary access. Entry to the complex would be via the proposed Access Drive along the West perimeter of the Driving Range site.


ALTERNATE SITE 7 IS “PRISTINE WOODLAND:” The final acceptable alternative build-site in the hospital view is located south of Bloomingdale’s sourthern driveway, above Cassaway Brook, and before the acqueduct entrance located at the Mamaroneck Avenue and Bloomingdale Road fork. The light colored block in upper left of this view is the Bloomingdale’s complex. The Mamaroneck Avenue, Bloomingdale Road fork can be seen at the left of the view. Aerial View electronically transcribed from NYPH DEIS by WPCNR PHOTO LAB.
Site 7, Formerly Earmarked for Fortunoff’s, Has Least Neighborhood Impact, But Levels 1,000 Trees.

As we walked back across the Driving Range, I noted to Ms. Brody that it appeared the least impacting site was right in front of us South of Bloomingdale’s in a thickly wooded area.

Brody agreed, but remarked Site 7 was an area that Barnabus McHenry, Chairman of the Hudson River Conservancy, considered to be the closest to what he described as “pristine woodland.”

Site 7 is thickly forested. You can see Bloomingdale’s on the other side of it, but not well, and you do not get much of a sense that there is a major department store there. This was the piece of property originally envisioned on the defunct Plan A to be the Fortunoff’s site.

The forested Site 7 sandwiched between Bloomingdale’s and the north side of the acqueduct road and occupies 5.7 acres. It slopes up to the Northeast and down to the west towards Mamaroneck Avenue. It is directly adjacent to the Bloomingdale’s entrance drive.

Staring at the wild ramble of trees shielding the sky, and noting how thickly the trees were spaced, I could see it would be very difficult to walk through that site to the Bloomingdale’s property without considerable effort, it was that thick with trees, (1,085 if them, according to the DEIS).

The DEIS estimates that clearing Site 7 would remove 1,000 “mature trees” and 85 trees for the construction of the new access road which would lead in from Mamaroneck Avenue. A portion of wetland would also be eliminated.

SITE 7 REQUIRES A 5-STORY STACKED BUILDING PROPOSAL: A 90-foot high building would be built housing both the proton accelerator and the new biotech research facility. Building could be shifted slightly differently. Advantage to this plan is that it is least offensive to the Bryant Avenue corridor, yet it is environmentally agonizing.Site Plan 7 electronically transcribed from NYPH DEIS by WPCNR PHOTO LAB.

One building plus a parking structure for Site 7 if selected.

According to the DEIS, the “stacked” building option is the only way Site 7 can be developed. If Site 7 is favored, a single “L-shaped” building of six stories (one underground), would be built with a separate 6-story parking garage. The combination proton accelerator and biotech lab would rise 90-feet and be visible from the Bloomingdale’s parking lot.

Financing Seen Easier to Get With Council Approval in Hand.

On Financing the project, Ms. Hildersley said that was not addressed:

“Financing is not a subject of an environmental review. It’s not part of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement. Financing is part of the ongoing activity we’re working with.” Hildersley said.

HILDERSLEY OF THE HOSPITAL SUGGESTS FINANCING EASIER ONCE APPROVAL IS GRANTED: Constance Hildersley shown at the December 4 media roundtable told WPCNR that a Common Council approval of the proton accelerator was a key component in speeding fundraising for the $265 million proton accelerator facility. Photo by WPCNR.

When pressed by reporters on the subject, Hildersley said that a public-private partnership was envisioned. She mentioned that M. D. Anderson, the cancer research facility in Houston is financing its proton accelerator facility with a public private financial arrangement.

She said the hospital saw the project costing $265 million, $100 million of which was for the cost of the proton accelerator.

Then she said a very meaningful thing: that financing was very difficult to get from the financial world without an approved project. This leads this reporter to believe that the hospital believes a Common Council approval of the accelerator/biotech facility would pave the way for attracting a syndicate of investors in the project:

“Our credibility goes up when we make a step,” Hildersley told me last Tuesday.

Conversely, a council denial would have a very negative impact on the hospital vision of its future. Asked about the scenario of a Council denial, Hildersley said, “We’ll do whatever we have to do.”

Media Briefing Gives a Summary of the Conclusions

Additional Facts coming out of the “Media Briefing:

*Timetable: Hildersley said if the proton accelerator were started in the late fall of 2002, it could be completed by 2005, with the complete facility finished by 2006.

* The Proton Accelerator has been evaluated and found to be a safer facility than a typical MRI facility. It generates no radioactive waste and releases miniscule discharges of radiation, that are not a threat. The accelerator causes no contamination of soils or ground water. It would not cause electromagnetic interference with cellular communications. It would produce no odors.

At the Loma Linda facility, there have been no noise complaints in 10 years, and little perceptible noise based on inspection of the existing site. The finding of the DEIS, as summarized in material given me at the briefing:

“The existing Loma Linda Proton Treatment Center has been in continuous operation for over 11 years and demonstrates that use of proton beam therapy can be accomplished successfully and safely for patients, facility staff, and the public at large. The NYPH would use the same, or essentially similar equipment as that used at Loma Linda.”

* Storm water drainage will be greatly improved with a double-purifying system that will be installed as part of the project.

* The original proposed site along Bryant Avenue impacts the least amount of trees of any of the other “alternative sites:” 11.

* The soil samples for the alleged contaminated sites not cleaned up and certified clean by the Department of Environment Conservation are “coming soon,” as of last Tuesday.

* The proposed Plan B facility on the initially proposed site which is the primary site being considered calls for entrance at the Bryant Avenue gate. To mitigate traffic impact, the hospital proposes two traffic lights at the Bryant Avenue gate and at the cross street farther East on Bryant at the Methodist Church. The DEIS traffic study contends these two lights will decrease wait time.

Northern sites rejected

* The sites on the North half of the hospital property have been rejected by the hospital as alternate sites because the sites are too long and narrow. According to Ms. Hildersley, the narrow property available bordering Westchester Avenue, Bloomingdale’s and the golf course cannot contain the floor plates (read floor space) that modern research facilities now require.

Large sprawls of floor are needed so disciplines can coexist in a closer environment to interact, she said. Hopscotching lab facilities on different sites when their purposes are related are counterproductive to the purpose of a research lab, she indicated by her comments to reporters.

The Draft Environmental Impact Statement was prepared by Allee King Rosen & Fleming, Incorporated of White Plains, and Dolph Rotfeld Engineering, Adler Consulting, Evans Associates, and Pasanella & Klein Stolzman & Berg Architects. The hospital Environmental Consultant was David Paget of Sive, Paget & Riesel, and Stephen Kass of Carter, Ledyard & Milburn.

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High School Principal Resigns; to Retire in June

Updated Dec. 10:Advertisements for a new high school principal appeared nationally this weekend, according to Linda Ochser, Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources Monday. The Board of Education announced Friday through its Agenda for the regular Monday meeting of the Board, that high school Principal William Colavito has submitted his resignation for purposes of retirement. (Text of Mr. Colavito’s resignation for retirement letter appears in this report.)
Dr. Ochser contacted WPCNR Monday afternoon to confirm that a search for Mr. Colavito’s successor had commenced with advertisements in this past Sunday New York Times and the most popular trade journal, Ed Week. She said colleges and professional organizations were also being made aware of the covetted opening. Dr. Ochser said she first learned Mr. Colavito was thinking of resigning Wednesday afternoon of last week.

WPCNR was unable to contact Mr. Colavito for direct comment on his retirement, but his letter reproduced in this ariticleindicates his departure is unrelated to the recently announced departure of Superintendent of Schools Saul Yanofsky.

Saturday, WPCNR obtained a letter signed by Mr. Colavito which was apparently mailed to parents of WPHS students Thursday. Parents of high school students we talked to Friday evening had not received the letter yet. Here is the text of that letter:

December 6, 2001

Dear Students and Parents,

I am writing to let you know about a personal decision that I have made. After much deliberation, I have decided to retire as principal of White Plains High School at the end of this school year.

While I am confident that this decision is the right one for me, it is one that I did not come to easily. In fact, I have very mixed emotions about it.

The years I have spent at White Plains High School have been among the most satisfying of my career. I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to work with students, staff and parents in a community that values its schools the way White Plains does.

In thirty-five years in public education, I have not seen many schools with the commitment to excellence that exists at White Plains High School. However, as wonderful as the experience has been, it has become increasingly clear to me that I cannot continue in my position without compromising other areas of my life, most especially my family.

It had long been my intention to retire at the end of this school year, when the construction project was substantially completed. The School Board’s decision not to extend Dr. Yanofsky’s contract certainly made my decision more complicated.

I clearly do not want to add to the sense of uncertainty that many members of the community have been feeling. I also realize that there can be no perfect time to leave. So, after a good deal of soul searching, I have concluded that my original decision was the right one.

Over the next few weeks the district will be advertising for my replacement, and the multi-stage process of selection will begin in late January. Dr. Yanofsky will be informing you soon about the steps and dates for this selection process.

I look forward to working with you as the rest of the school year unfolds. Thank you for your continuing support and for your understanding regarding this decision.


William N. Colavito

School Board Spokesperson describes what is next.

Michelle Schoenfeld, Clerk of the District, told WPCNR Friday that Mr. Colavito’s decision did not come as a surprise, but she would not say that his intent to retire was known for “a long time.”

“He’s of an age where he is eligible to retire,” she reports.

Ms. Schoenfeld said the notice of Mr. Colavito’s announcement went home to parents of high school students Thursday, and the high school staff was told at the same time.

However, the phrase “went home” is unclear. WPCNR did not ascertain what this meant, at the time, assuming that “went home” meant that it went home with students as many notices do in the school district.

Now it appears that the letter was mailed, not sent home with students since parents of high school students we spoke with Friday evening had not received the letter in Friday mail.

Students not advised.

From what WPCNR has been able to find out from talking to high school students Friday afternoon, (three of them), there appears to have been no public in-person announcement of this to the student body, the persons most directly affected by Mr. Colavito’s anticipated departure. Mr. Colavito’s secretary did not know of any such announcement to students.

The Clerk of the District said that Dr. Linda Ochser, Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources, would begin searching for Mr. Colavito’s successor by placing advertisements. She said usually the district does not hire an independent search firm when seeking principals. Schoenfeld added that the usual procedure is to place advertisements, and that principals are usually not appointed “from within” or promoted to the position.

Saturday, Ms. Schoenfeld contacted WPCNR to clarify her remark to me on the principal succession issue. She writes, “I’m quite sure I never said that ‘principals are not usually appointed from within or promoted
to the position.’ There are times in the past when that has happened and there would be nothing to preclude it.”

Dr. Ochser was reported to be in a meeting with the Board of Education Friday afternoon when WPCNR attempted to contact her for more detail on the principal search timetable.

William Colavito is very popular with the students of White Plains High School, and is credited with completely changing the atmosphere at the 1,763-student facility from that which existed under his predecessor. Colavito was brought in by Dr. Yanofsky to stabilize the high school environment. He (Colavito) is credited with having a fine reputation and relationship with parents and students alike across all diverse constituencies.

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WPCNR Remembers Pearl Harbor

Sixty years ago today, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor in a surprise raid that caught the United States Pacific Fleet at anchor on a sleepy Sunday morning.

This “Day of Infamy,” as President Franklin D. Roosevelt described it is a reminder that we should always remember the price of freedom and the reasons we have to fight for it against all odds.

As Jimmy Cagney said in the movie, Yankee Doodle Dandy, and we are paraphrasing here, “Every once in awhile some thug nation comes to think we’re pushovers and takes a poke at us. It’s up to us to show them America can’t be pushed around.”

WPCNR pauses to reflect and salute and remember the “Day of Infamy.”

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Judge Nicolai Touches Them All.

WPCNR highlights key arguments from Judge Francis A. Nicolai’s sweeping decision calling for a continuation of the White Plains Council election involving Larry Delgado and Glen Hockley to take place in District 18 among all 6 council candidates. The Administrative Judge of the New York Supreme Court ruled Thursday evening.
Judge Nicolai reasoned his right to jurisdiction, one of attorney Adam Bradley’s contentions against Mr. Delgado’s petition, was based in the condition that neither candidate had taken office:

“Once a successful candidate has assumed office, an aggrieved candidate’s exclusive remedy is in the nature of a quo warranto action by the Attorney General…

However, when an office is not yet occupied, a quo warranto action is unavailable, and a plenary action for declaratory judgment is appropriate…

Further, the court has the power to convert an election proceeding to an action for declaratory judgment…Thus, since the subject public office is not yet occupied, this proceeding is hereby converted into an action for declaratory judgment with the petition deemed the complaint…In the context of this declaratory judgment action, Petitioner’s claims may be duly adjudicated.

On the matter of Delgado not proving need for relief

Respondent Hockley further argues that Petitioner has not made a factual showing entitling him to relief. This Court disagrees. It is undisputed that the voting machine in Election District 18 malfunctioned after recording just 39 votes for Petitioner Delgado, thereby preventing the recording of any additional votes for Petitioner.The facts of this case clearly establish that had the voting machine not malfunctioned, Petitioner would have received votes in excess of 39 in Election District 18, and that the machine malfunction affected the election results. Further, Respondent Hockley has produced no probative evidence to the contrary.

Accordingly, in light of the faulty vote tally in Election District 18, and the resulting faulty city-wide wlection results, the election of Respondent Hockley can not be certified.

Judge Nicolai says “Not so Fast, Mr. Delgado.

Mr. Delgado’s attorney, Jeffrey Binder argued that based on Mr. Delgado’s showing citywide that Judge Nicolai declare Mr. Delgado the winner during the court phase of the petition. The Judge felt this outcome could not be assumed:

While Petitioner(Mr. Delgado) contends that the malfunction of the voting machine may be somehow corrected by an “appropriate mathematic adjustment” made to the election returns, and an adjustment of the canvass, this Court disagrees. This Court, cannot, as Petitioner urges, determine either as a matter of fact or law, the accurate tally of votes received by Petitioner Delgado on November 6, 2001 and declare the Petitioner is the winner. In as much as this Court cannot permit the issuance of a certificate of election to a candidate who may not have actually won due to a mechanical malfunction (Hockley), this Court also cannot presume that Petitioner is the winner of the election based upon a subjective mathematical or statistical analysis.

Judge Rules Out Citywide Election

Candidate Hockley’s attorney had argued for a remedy which called for a citywide election with all registered voters allowed to participate. Judge Nicolai declared this argument to be “without merit:”

While it is impossible to determine exactly how many votes Petitioner would have received had there not been a malfunction in the voting machine, the remedy fashioned must be reasonably calculated to demonstrate the intent of the voters of Election District 18 on November 6, 2001 to vote for a member of the Common Council. A new city-wide election, with all registered voters eligible to participate, whether they voted on November 6, 2001 or not, would not be determinative of the intent of the voters who actually voted on November 6, 2001 in Election District 18, but may not have had their votes recorded.

Further, a city-wide election is unnecessary and unduly burdensome for Responsent Board of Elections since there were no reported irregularities in the 45 other election districts.

Text in italics excerpted from the Delgado decision issued Thursday evening by Judge Francis A. Nicolai, New York Supreme Court.

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Delgado: Nicolai Decision Allows Voters Voices to Be Heard.

Larry Delgado hailed what he called an “historic” decision Thursday evening. Mr. Delgado, suddenly a candidate again, is scheduled to kick off his mini-campaign Friday afternoon at a news conference at Republican headquarters at 2:30 PM. Disenfranchised voters will speak.

THE DELGADO TEAM, shown after early proceedings. John Ciampoli is on the left, and Jeffrey Binder, on the right. The Delgado Duo successfully won a new election in District 18 Thursday evening. An appeal from Mr. Delgado’s opponent Glen Hockley may be next. The Judge has called for an election to take place in District 18 only on either December 17,18,19 or 20 for the 366 voters who voted on November 6. WPCNR PHOTO

“The Nicolai decision gives the vote back to those whose votes were not counted,” Larry Delgado told WPNCR Thursday night, “Now their voices will be heard.”

Mr. Delgado contacted WPCNR late Thursday evening from his White Plains office, and said he was “very, very pleased with the decision, and I look forward to the continuation of the election and continuing on to victory.”

The ebullient incumbent analyzed the decision: “One’s vote is the central issue here,” the Councilman said, “if a massive malfunction prevents it from being counted, that vote is too important not to be counted. The decision is a very well-reasoned decision (by Judge Francis Nicolai) that holds together, is so well-established, so clean-cut. The Judge leaves no doubt. It’s historic. A decision that will affect the nation.”

Delgado decision architect checks in.

John Ciampoli, Mr. Delgado’s major domo, spoke to WPCNR from his Albany office, pointing out that only two general elections have ever been rerun in the state, and this is the third. He said it was historic, but cautioned that an appeal could be forthcoming. However, he pointed out that for Mr. Hockley and his attorney, Adam Bradley to appeal on the basis that the voters should not have an opportunity to be counted, while asking for their vote at the same time appeared to be an awkward position.

366 Who Voted will be given opportunity to recast their ballots

Judge Nicolai’s ruling calls for the Westchester County Board of Elections to select either December 17,18,19 or 20 as the day for the continuation of the election.

He has ruled that all six council candidates have to be on the ballot, but Rita Malmud and Thomas Roach have already been certified as winners in the election by the judge.

The other parameter is the canvas: Judge Nicolai has ruled that only the 366 voters having voted at Machine 150 in District 18 on Election will be allowed to vote in the continuation of the election.

The District 18 result added to the candidates’ results in the 45 other White Plains election districts will determine the winner of the third council seat.

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FLASH! Judge Nicolai Orders Revote in District 18 between Dec. 17-20

Updated, Dec. 6, 11:35 PM:Judge Francis Nicolai, Administrative Judge of the New York Supreme Court, Ninth District issued his decision on the Larry Delgado-Glen Hockley disputed election results at approximately 6 PM Thursday evening.
WPCNR has learned from a party close to one of the candidates contesting the results in White Plains Election District 18 that Judge Francis A. Nicolai has ordered a revote in District 18 either December 17,18,19 or December 20, according to Mr. Delgado’s attorney, John Ciampoli, speaking to WPCNR from Albany this evening.

The date of the actual continuation of the election is to be decided by the Westchester County Board of Elections.
The decision was issued by fax early Thursday evening to the affected parties in the suit.

According to our source, the Judge has called for a reelection in District 18 canvassing only those voters who voted in District 18 on November 6. This comes to a total of 366 voters.

The Judge has also mandated that all six candidates: Larry Delgado, Robert Tuck, Michael Amodio, Rita Malmud, Thomas Roach, and Glen Hockley be on the ballot.

However, Judge Nicolai has already ruled that Rita Malmud and Thomas Roach are certified as winners of council seats, meaning that votes for Ms. Malmud and Mr. Roach in the reelection will not affect their “certified” reelection.

WPCNR will attempt to bring you more details as they become available, and the Judge’s written reasoning behind the decision as soon as possible.

Judge Nicolai, according to our source, mandates that the winner of the third council seat will be determined by adding the results of the December revote to the candidates’ totals in the other 45 White Plains election districts. However, Mr. advises that if Mr. Delgado should prevail, he must prevail by 8 votes, if less, then Mr. Hockley’s 7 contested votes will be added to Mr. Hockley’s total.
Our source calls the ruling, “A very good decision.”

Now Glen Hockley and his attorney, Adam Bradley have to decide whether to appeal Judge Nicolai’s ruling to the Appellate Court, Second Department, in Brooklyn.

Pending that possible appeal, the third court of last resort for Mr. Hockly and Mr. Bradley is the New York State Court of Appeals, which is where the case would terminate, according to Edward Dunphy, City of White Plains Corporation Counsel, in a statement made to WPCNR last week.

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The Music Conservatory of Westchester was host to a successful effort on the afternoon of December 2, 2001, in which musicians from throughout Westchester County and beyond, came together to offer their music and talent for the benefit of the American Red Cross of Westchester County.

The jazz jam session was predicated on the Conservatory’s desire to return the community embrace of the Conservatory’s new home at 216 Central Avenue, in White Plains, with an outpouring that would also reflect the desire of musicians and the Conservatory to call for a musical interaction that would respond with passion and sensitivity greater than the horror of September 11.

Jazz is a touching musical interpretation for me. Jazz is often spoken of as the only American musical form. It is the only honest depiction of the American “melting pot” concept often alluded to, yet not lived up to in practice. The base ingredient of jazz is the ease with which the music tells the listener exactly what is to be played, that is, jazz. Analogous to the advertisement: “Coke is It” or “Pepsi’s the One.” Americans want it when they want it; we want it now – we are an impatient lot. We worship instant gratification. To that end, jazz exposes its musical genre immediately. Strike one point for jazz.

Jazz is a musical art that has form and structure, that is, a musical score. Classical music in all its fluidity once written is forever impervious to change. We Americans, though respectful of the musical genius of Chopin, Bach, Rachmaninoff, Sibelius and Mozart, among others, possess a demeanor more closely aligned with the individuality permitted in jazz. Score another point for jazz.

Jazz exalts extemporaneous concepts of musical sound. It is an art form of sound that finds strength from the emotional center of each musician through his or her personal effort and musicianship. It is not musical form that follows a protocol of consensus. It is individual, yet not alone. Jazz permits the development of the group effort and the inherent strengths of the give and take, the ying and yang modality of sound. Score point three for jazz.

The musical effort is not a consensus but rather an individual expression within the context of a group effort in which each contribution of musical self enhances the group effort in its expression to the listener. Do I hear score number four for jazz? Surely, a resounding “Yes!”

Jazz has drawn cultural musical themes from Africa, Europe, The Middle East, and The Orient and mixed the ingredients of each into a “stew” to create the sound and expression of “jazz” to the delight and satisfaction of the American mentality and auditory sensibility. This “stew” ingratiates new cultures and influences into its jazz form. Witness the emergence of the Asian artist flocking to the jazz fold. The ever increasing people of all colors, religions and ethnicity to the world of jazz. Score point five for jazz.

I could go on and on. Yet, let me not forget that unlocking the jazz musical chrysalis yesterday afternoon / evening were Bob Arthurs, Glenda Davenport, Gerry Fitzgerald, Aaron Flagg, Masai Hayashi, Jimmy Hill, Charlie Lagond, Steve Lamattina, Michelle LeBlanc, Jan Leder, Kenny Lee, Carmen Leggio, Mark Morganelli, Johnny Morris, Takeshi Ogura, Diana O’Keefe, Joe Ragusa, Steve Roane, Sean Smith, and Kenny Wessel.

For more information, please contact Robert Arthurs, Dean of Students and Faculty and Lisa Deutsch, Executive Director of the Conservatory at (914) 761-3900. E-mail Robert Arthurs at Robert Arthurs, Dean of Students and Faculty ; e-mail Lisa Deutsch at Lisa Deutsch, Executive Director of Conservatory and please visit the Music Conservatory of Westchester web site and visit their new home at 216 Central Avenue, White Plains, NY 10606.

For those who missed the event yet would like to donate to the efforts of the American Red Cross in Westchester, please contact Katherine Cintron, Director of Philanthropy at (914) 946-6500 ext 502 or via e-mail to Katherine Cintron, Director of Philanthropy of American Red Cross in Westchester

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