SERGEANT JOE FRIDAY REPORTS: City Faces Shortage of Pizza Delivery Specialists.

WPCNR SERGEANT JOE FRIDAY REPORTS. By John F. Bailey. August 28, 2002: Angelo Magnotta, veteran pizza purveyor to the city, has never seen anything like it.

No one, it seems wants to deliver pizza around the City of White Plains.
Tuesday evening, Angelo had to call in Ray, a veteran delivery man for many years for the White Plains Pizza Institution to make the White Plains.

He does not know what he will do this evening to handle the orders which mount in intensity as the weekend approaches.

Magnotta usually uses young persons to deliver his take-out orders that Donny his pizza chef puts together, along with Italian specialties from the kitchen. But, in the last two weeks his summer Delivery boys have all gone back to college.

What has surprised him is that no one has answered his ads in the local newspaper to apply for the position.

Angelo says he finds it surprising because at $2 a deliver plus tips, on a good night an efficient Delivery man who knows the city can make over a $100 in a night.

He’s also looking for a good pizza cook to help Donnie out.

Angelo turned to the CitizeNetReporter for help find responsible persons of any age who would like to deliver Magnotta’s pizzas, and a seasoned pizza cook. Contact Angelo at 761-8661 for more details.

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Assemblywoman Paulin Joins Spano in Panning Commuter Tax

WPCNR NEWSREEL. From Assemblywoman Amy Paulin. August 28, 2002:State Assemblywoman Amy Paulin (D-Scarsdale) today expressed her opposition to reinstating a tax on Westchester residents who commute to New York City.
“Our hard-working families should not be burdened with a tax just for commuting to the city,” Paulin said. “The talents and skills of our Westchester commuters help make New York City the thriving place it is. Our commuters already pay for transportation in tolls and fares.”

The commuter tax was lifted in 1999 because it was deemed unfair to residents. Recent reports have indicated that Mayor Bloomberg of New York City, may be considering reinstating the tax to increase revenues.

“We need to keep families here in Westchester, not drive them out with additional taxes,” Paulin said. “In the Assembly I will fight for the best interests of Westchester to help maintain our quality of life.”

Last week County Executive Andy Spano lead off with his own unequivocal opposition to reviving the commuter tax.

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City Settles Oakley Avenue Drainage Suit for $15 Grand.

WPCNR CITY DESK. From The Mayor’s Office. August 28, 2002:The Mayor’s Executive Officer, George Gretsas, announced Tuesday that the city has settled a lawsuit over drainage problems on Oakley Avenue with Ro-Jay Properties.
According to the settlement announced, the city will pay Leon Jones, owner of RO-JAY PROPERTY, INC., the sum of $15,000. In addition the settlement requires the City of White Plains to create drainage improvements on the 148 Oakley Avenue property within one year.

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Boy Who Lost Dad on September 11 Crusades for National Firefighters Day

WPCNR NEWSREEL. From Stephen Morton. August 27, 2002: WPCNR received a chain e-mail today, which we usually ignore but this one was different. The e-mail seeks names of persons supporting a National Firefighters Day to be celebrated annually on September 11. If you’d like a copy of the actual letter let WPCNR know.
The idea comes from a young man, Condor Geraghty, whose father was killed in the World Trade Center attack. Here’s the text of that message forwarded to WPCNR pal, Steve Morton, who e-mailed WPCNR with the crusade letter:

This boy lost his father on September 11th. He’s got a really great idea. Thanks!

I lost my Dad on September 11th; he was Chief Edward Geraghty,
Battalion 9, New York City Fire Department. He lost his life with many other heroes that day, victims of the terrorists.

Firefighters from all over have come to the aid and rescue of the
tragedy in New York and Washington, D.C. Many firefighters have lost theirlives to save someone else’s; the truth of the matter is, they do this every single day.

They truly are heroes.

I know many people feel helpless, especially those who live far from NYC and DC. We all want to do something to show our appreciation, our support. I think we can…

In honor of the bravery, courage and determination of American
firefighters, there should be a day in our nation to celebrate and
appreciate their hard-work and never-ending passion for saving lives. I think we should honor all those other heroes who still live today.

I’m starting a petition for a National Firefighters Day. Will you
help make every September 11th “National Firefighters Day”? Please join me!

Thank you.

Condor Geraghty, age 14

Rockville Centre, New York (I Love u,DAD!!)

PS – When this list reaches 300 names, please return it to me.

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Model of City Center to be Unveiled NEXT Wednesday at Mamaroneck and Main

WPCNR NEWSREEL. From Cappelli Enterprises. August 28, 2002:The official debut of the Sidewalk Bridge and model of the City Center scheduled for Wednesday afternoon has been POSTPONED until next Wednesday afternoon at 3:30 PM, due to threat of rain, according to a Cappelli Enterprises spokesperson.
This sidewalk bridge is the first-of-its kind in Westchester County. The 15-foot high model of the multi-story apartment towers currently under construction will be the centerpiece of the display. The sidewalk display, to remain during construction, includes project renderings and quotes from well-known political and historical figures.

The sidewalk bridging protects pedestrians from the construction activity taking place.

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WPCNR CITY DESK. From Rick Ammirato of The Mayor’s Office. August 26, 2002:Mayor Joseph Delfino has announced plans for a citywide remembrance ceremony marking the one-year anniversary of the tragic events that took place on September 11 of last year.
The Mayor has invited the public to participate in a Memorial Walk and Ceremony on the evening of Wednesday, September 11.

THE MAYOR’S WORLD TRADE CENTER REMEMBRANCE planned for September 11 will be a reprise of the spontaneous community tribute September 16, 2001 when approximately 7,000 citizens marched from the Trans Center to City Hall down Main Street holding candles. The Mayor is shown leading the interfaith service on City Hall steps that evening.
Photo by WPCNR

The group will assemble at the front of City Hall at 6:00 p.m. and will begin walking at 6:30 p.m. The Walk will go from City Hall to the steps of the Public Safety Building.

At the City’s Public Safety Building a Memorial Ceremony to remember all those affected by the events of September 11, 2001 will then take place. The ceremony will include remarks from the Mayor, a reading of the names of the White Plains residents lost, and a presentation of wreaths in their honor.

The route will proceed down Main Street, making a left onto Martin Luther King Boulevard then turning right onto Martine Avenue and finally making the left onto South Lexington Avenue and the steps of the Public Safety Building.

The City’s ceremony will be followed with an “Interfaith Candlelight Gathering for Remembrance, Healing and Hope” organized by the Ministers Fellowship Council and White Plains religious leaders. This multi-denominational gathering will include musical offerings, poems, prayers and readings by various religious leaders. Participants are urged to bring flowers and candles.

Parking for the event will be available at the Hamilton-Main Parking Garage, the Sears Garage and the Galleria. Main St (N. Broadway to Lexington), Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd (Hamilton to Quarropas), Martine Ave (Mamaroneck to Bank St), Lexington Ave (Main to Quarropas), Conroy Dr (Hamilton to Main), and Church St (Hamilton to Main) will be closed from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

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White Plains Public Schools Open September 5 with 6,657 Students

WPCNR SCHOOL DAYS REPORT CARD DISPATCH. By John F. Bailey. August 26, 2002: Timothy Connors will be leading the White Plains City School District into a new year beginning next week, when he addresses the educators and administrators of the School District September 3. He expects to make his first statements of school district policy since taking over the post of School Superintendent July 15. The district expects 6,657 Students grades K through 12 to report for the first day of school on Thursday September 5. The District will spend an average of $19,065 to educate each student as it begins to spend its highest school budget ever, $126,919,919.

LANDSCAPING IS being applied to the high school grounds over the weekend as high school construction slowly finishes up.

The high school on North Street will welcome 1,806 students under new principal, Christine Robbins, the first woman principal in the school’s history. The $28 million high school renovation project is now one year late in completion.

Construction crews worked on Sunday clearing up some materials in the courtyard staging area on the south side of the school adjacent to the softball field. The North House which underwent window replacement over the summer is expected to be ready for classes by opening day. Heating and electrical work still needs to be completed on certain new sections of the South wing through the fall.

Tile replacement in the new main entrance hallway is being reinstalled because of an “unforeseen condition” on the concrete base, which caused the new marble tiles to crack in less than a year. That condition is being corrected for an additional $30,000, by the contractor.

Middle School Under Microscope.

The Middle School will welcome 1,548 students to grades seven, eight, and nine. As of this week, the Eastview athletic fields are being resurfaced by the City of White Plains.

POPULAR TRACK & SOCCER FIELD BEING REFURISHED BY CITY: The scene Monday as work was progressing on the Eastview Middle School Campus athletic track and soccer oval.
Photo by WPCNR

Academic Swat Team

The Middle Schools will be receiving an injection of budget money bringing more special efforts to Highlands and Eastview to prepare eighth graders in writing, comprehension and math skills. This will be closely watched because of the performances on the tests in 2001, where less than 50% of White Plains eighth graders scored in the Level 3, “Satisfactory” level of the English Language Arts and Math tests. The district is determined to raise these scores. Most school districts across the state performed substantially worse.

The State Achievement Tests of last spring have not been issued yet by the state, and will not be until spring, 2003.

Jury Out on Curriculum Enhancements to Meet the Standards.

One of the frustrations the school district has had in coping with the New York State Achievement Tests is the standard year delay the state takes in grading and releasing the tests. Unless the state begins to get results out sooner by the fall, or start of the school year, the district will not know if steps taken to help students in their areas of comprehension and study skills are making the difference they want them to make. For example, last year the school district instituted measures to help middle school and high school students. But, with the results of the 2002 Achievement tests not available yet, there is no indication yet that the efforts are having results.

On the Regents Exam level, that is not the case. High School special task forces to aid students at the high school level on passing Regents exams have been very successful in helping seniors, who have failed to pass Regents, pass them the second time they take them.

The present eighth grade in the Middle School is the last eighth grade that did not receive the benefits of the District’s newly configured elementary school curriculum, instituted four years ago. The District is confident that future classes of elementary students who have benefited from three years of fine-tuning to the new state standards will result in steadily improving state achievement test scores.

Schools Filled to Brim.

In the elementary schools, George Washington School will host the most students with 640, followed by Mamaroneck Avenue School with 639, Church Street School with 632 and Ridgeway School with 613, and Post Road School with 478. Alternative programs carry 221 students and 80 students are educated out of district.

Board of Education to Meet Twice A Month

By now all parents should have received the White Plains Public Schools Calendar for 2002-03. The Calendar though does not note the Board of Education’s endorsement of Timothy Connors’ first new initiative: more Board of Education meetings.

Mr. Connors asked the Board to meet twice a month beginning in September. He also asked for a new public forum to be staged before agenda items are discussed. The Board readily agreed, and in September there will be two meetings on September 9 at 7:30 PM (new time) and and September 23.

Facts About the District

The last page of the Calendar cover notes some interesting positive facts about the quality of education in White Plains:

• The District has received over $30 Million in state, federal, and foundation grants in the last seven years.

• In 2002, the District placed 4 National Merit Scholar Finalists, 13 were Commended, and there were 2 National Achievement Scholarship Finalists, 6 National Hispanic Scholarship Students, and 1 Honorable Mention.

• The Midde and High Schools are recognized as National Schools of Excellence.

• The District has 29 Advanced Placement and Honors Courses, 5 Foreign Language Courses.

• In 2002, there were 122 National Honor Society Members, about 7% of the high school student body, and 81 National Junior Honor Society Members, 5% of the Middle School student body.

• White Plains was ranked 7th in the Nation in Music Education.

• There were 85 students in Authentic Science Research Program, one of the largest in the state.

• The Sports Program features 230 New York State Scholar-Athletes participating in its 60 interscholastic sports teams, and 50 High School Clubs.

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County Senior Women’s Men’s Golf Tournaments at Sprain Lake, Maple Moor

WPCNR PRESS BOX. From Mary Kaye Kock, Westchester County. August 23, 2002: The County Department of Parks, Recreation and Conservation will sponsor the Senior Women’s Amateur Public Golf Championship at Sprain Lake Golf Course in Yonkers September 18, and the Senior Men’s Champion at White Plains’ Maple Moor Golf Course, September 25. Registrations are now being accepted for both tournaments.

Registration is open to women and men 60 and over. All players must be residents of Westchester County. No player who is a member of any private golf club is eligible.

Players must enter in their respective age division. Awards will be given for first and second place in each of the five age divisions for low gross and low net scores. Awards will be based on the first 18 holes of play, and no one player will receive awards for both low gross and low net scores. A modified Callaway system of automatic handicapping will be used for scoring.

All participants must pre-register for the tournaments. A $14 greens fee must accopany each entry blank. Applications may be picked up at any of the five county golf courses and must be postmarked by September 1 for both tournaments. Starting times will begin at 7 A.M., and will be assigned in the order in which they are received by mail.

For a Registration Form by mail, or more information on the women’s tournament, contact (914) 231-3481, for the men’s, (914) 995-9200.

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Latimer Makes His Move

WPCNR COUNTY CLARION-LEDGER. From George Latimer. August 24, 2002:George Latimer of Rye City has announced his intent to seek the post of Chairman of the Westchester County Democratic Committee at the upcoming County Convention, scheduled for September 30th at Woodlands H.S. in Greenburgh.
Latimer, a member of the Westchester County Legislature – serving in his 11th year – has previously served two terms as the first Democrat to Chair the Westchester County Board of Legislators. He has also served as a member of the Rye City Council.

The unpaid post has been most recently held by David Alpert of Mt.
Vernon, who announced he would not seek a prior term. Past Party Chairs include current County Executive Andy Spano, and Dennis Mehiel, who is running for NY State Lieutenant Governor with H. Carl McCall.

Latimer, 48, was considered the proponent of a bi-partisan cooperation
in the Legislature during his Chairmanship. He has indicated his focus
as Party Chairman would be to strengthen the party’s internal infrastructure and organization over the coming two years, if successful in his bid.

Other Democrats competing for the post are Mt. Vernon Democratic City Chair and Board of Elections Commissioner Reginald LaFayette, and Clinton Smith, a local lawyer who has served as Town Supervisor in New Castle.

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Council Greases Skids for Sears Galleria Move

WPCNR MORNING SUN. August 23, 2002: The Common Council last night, with only five Councilpersons present, took care of some legal protocols, reading the ordinances and resolutions that will when passed by the full council, adjust the B-6 zoning to allow Sears to move into The Galleria.
Rita Malmud, acting as President Pro Tem of the Council, calling the “short council” to order, the council set a public hearing for their regular September 3 Council meeting to consider the zoning change allowing Sears to operate a motor vehicle repair service out of the ground floor of The Galleria.

The council also agreed to set a public hearing on the resolution for Tuesday, September 17, at 6 PM, at the request of Paul Bergins, representing Sears.

Bergins said Sears is planning to begin demolition of the former JC Penney store interior onSeptember 19 to prepare it for occupancy by the retail institution, and did not want to invest any funds in construction until they had Common Council approval.

It was revealed to the Council’s surprise that Mayor Joseph Delfino was “on vacation,” and Benjamin Boykin was not present.

Friday, the Mayor’s Office contacted WPCNR to report that Mayor Delfino was vacationing in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachussetts.

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