“New Fuji USA HQ IS In Westchester County!”: Pataki

WPCNR Afternoon Tribune. By John F. Bailey.August 5, 2002.UPDATED 2:30 PM E.D.T.: Governor George Pataki appeared in Valhalla today, with County Executive Andrew Spano to announce that Fuji USA, the international film giant, is locating its new USA Headquarters at The Summit in Valhalla, and will be leaving its present Elmsford location in April 2003.

“FUJI TOOK A LOOK AND FOUND WESTCHESTER COUNTY TO BE IN THE FOREFRONT,” Governor George Pataki announced today in Valhalla. The Governor said that Fuji’s selection of the The Summit, Westchester corporate park over Stamford and other out-of-state locations, saved 400 Westchester jobs and will bring $18 Million into the county for the renovation of the new headquarters and an additional 250 jobs. The Governor praised County Executive Andy Spano, shown at left at this morning’s news conference, saying “It’s been a partnership. All of us are on the same wavelength, working together, making great things happen in the county.” Pataki announced the State and Westchester County are contributing $1.9 Million in aid towards the project.
Photo by WPCNR

“WHEN IT COMES TO ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, THERE ARE NO PARTY LINES,” County Executive Andy Spano said today, echoing Governor Pataki’s praise for the Westchester County IDA in putting together a state-county package of $1.9MM that helped to keep Fujifilm in Westchester County. Spano praised Fuji Film for being a good corporate citizen in the county, singling out their lead sponsorship that brought the New York Philharmonic to Westchester County, as an example of the company’s involvement.

HAPPY TO STAY IN WESTCHESTER, FUJI FILM EMPLOYEES, observe the Governor’s news conference. Stamford, New Jersey and locations outside the New York Tri-State area were considered in Fuji’s three-year search for a new USA Headquarters location. The Summit was announced as their choice today. The company will be closing its Elmsford location.

Largest Lease Deal in Westchester in Two Years. Moving from Elmsford to Valhalla Venue

Fuji Photo Film U.S.A. said in a news release that the company is leasing 164,000 square feet, part of the second and all of the third and fourth floors at 200 Summit Lake Drive in Valhalla. This expands by 64% its current headquarters in the Taxter Corporate Park, which the company will vacate and move into the new Summit heaquarters in April, 2003. Current space at the Taxter facility comprises just 106,000 square feet.

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Swimmers in Long Island Sound Warned of Swimmer’s Itch

WPCNR Getaway Gazette. From Westchester County Department of Communications. August 2, 2003: The county warned residents about a new parasite in Long Island Sound that is causing “Swimmer’s Itch” in persons bathing in the Sound along County and Connecticut beaches. Residents are urged to shower as quickly as possible after swimming in the Sound.
In a news release this morning the county reported widespread complaints about swimmers experiencing irritating “Swimmer’s Itch” after trips to Long Island Sound beaches.

The County Department of Health attributes this to a parasite found in the intestines of water birds which infests Long Island Sound snails. The snails, found on the beaches then pass the parasite along to swimmers.

The county does not report any ill effects on swimmers other than itching after swimming in the waters.

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Housing Authority Appoints Mack Carter

WPCNR Morning Sun.August 2, 2002: Former member of the White Plains Planning Board, Mack Carter, has been appointed by the Housing Authority to succeed Anthony Tascione as Executive Director, it was announced by the Housing Authority Thursday.

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Gas Prices Rise in Westchester

WPCNR MILKMAN’S MATINEE NEWS. From Westchester County Department of Communications. August 2, 2002:
Gas prices have been creeping up in Westchester County.
County Executive Andy Spano announced the new average price for regular gas, as of July 30, is $1.615 per gallon, a slight increase from the previous average of $1.584.

The prices were found in the latest survey done by the county’s Department of Consumer Protection. The complete survey can be found at www.westchestergov.com.

Of the 400 gas stations surveyed, a station in New Rochelle had the lowest price at $1.479. Stations in Katonah and Port Chester had the highest at $1.799.

So far this year, gas prices have been wavering, with the lowest prices from December to February, an increase in March, and then another decrease in April.

Spano said, “Despite the fact that prices are increasing, motorists who want to save money should shop around. The survey showed a 30-cent difference between the lowest- and highest-price stations.”

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Mr. and Mrs. White Plains Can Now Give Common Council “Guidance” at Public Forum

WPCNR Morning Sun. August 1, 2002:City Hall announced yesterday that a Public Forum will be established before Common Council meetings for citizens to bring matters to the attention of the Council and the Mayor. The first such forum will be held Monday evening at 7 PM, prior to the start of the regular monthly Council meeting at 7:30 PM. Call the Mayor’s Office at 422-1411 if you wish to sign up to speak at Monday evening’s council meeting.
According to the Mayor’s Office, citizens will be limited to 3 minutes’ time to address the council, and to secure the right to speak, any person wishing to do so much sign up in advance by telephoning the Mayor’s office, which can be reached at 422-1411. At three minutes each, a total of 10 persons a meeting may address the Common Council in such a forum.

The establishment of the Public Forum, makes good on a campaign promise of vanquished Mayoral candidate Robert Greer, and Councilman Glen Hockley.

The Public Forum portion of the Council meeting, however, will not be televised on Government Access Channel 72.

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Attorney General’s Office to Inspect Faulty Vote Machine Friday

WPCNR Morning Sun. July 31, 2002. The New York State Attorney General’s office team evaluating whether to bring a quo warranto court action in Supreme Court on behalf of Larry Delgado to remove Glen Hockley from the White Plains Common Council, will interview White Plains officials and will inspect the District 18 voting machine which had been determined to jam in last November’s election.

The private inspection will take place Friday morning at Fire House Number 2 in White Plains where the suspect voting machine has been stored, the Attorney General’s press officer, Mark Violette reported to WPCNR today. Mr. Violette said he did not know if his attorneys would undertake a full dismantling or breakdown of the machine. He did not think so.

WHAT INSPECTORS SAW LAST NOVEMBER, when the back of the District 18 Voting Machine was removed. After all counters had been returned to zero counts, the Delgado counter jammed at “39,” and could not be rolled back to zero by trained, certifed election machine technicians. The Attorney General’s office may inspect the machine further to see what went wrong, but a press spokesman said he did not know if a more thorough inspection was going to be conducted Friday. White Plains officials would be interviewed he said.
Photo by WPCNR

Marc Violette, Press Officer for the Attorney General said the inspection would be private and not open to the media. Jeffrey Binder, Mr. Delgado’s attorney said he was not attending and that he respected and appreciated the Attorney General office procedure.

Violette told WPCNR today that a three-attorney “screening committee” for quo warranto proceedings would be meeting with White Plains election officials Friday morning to discuss what they knew about the events election night, viewing the voting machine.

Violette said the attorney general’s office is now in the process of verifying the 103 affidavits submitted by the Delgado legal team, from voters voting last November 6 in District 18, who said they voted for Mr. Delgado.

No timetable.

Mr. Violette told WPCNR there was “no timetable” for the Attorney General’s office since no court order interval was in play. Violette said there would be no news conference following his attorneys’ inspection and interviews Friday morning. “We’re doing this work ourselves,” Violette said, “the time frame is open.”
The Story So Far:

At the time when the voting machine was originally ordered inspected by Judge Francis Nicolai of New York State Supreme Court, last December, the machine counter drum tabulating the Larry Delgado votes (top row, second from left) could not be “rolled back” from the “39” count by a professional election machine maintenance technician. (Note nothing but blank roller in the Delgado slot, while all other counters are at “0.”) Both Mr. Hockley’s attorney, Adam Bradley, and Mr. Delgado’s attorneys John Ciampoli and Jeffrey Binder, agreed the machine was jammed.

LEGAL ADVERSARIES AGREE MACHINE JAMMED: Carol Lee Sunderland, of the Board of Elections, left, Jeffrey Binder, Delgado attorney, and Adam Bradley, Hockley attorney conference calling last November at the Board of Elections in which the two camps agreed based on election machine expert advice that the voting machine had jammed.
Photo by WPCNR

No Need to See the Guts.

Attorneys for Mr. Delgado, John Ciampoli and Jeffrey Binder, told Judge Nicolai when the Judge asked them, that they did not think it necessary to execute a thorough breakdown of the machine to determine what set of circumstances actually caused the “Delgado line jam.” The two legal counsel were satisfied to establish that the voting machine had, in fact, jammed at count 39 for Mr. Delgado, approximately 100 votes less than Mr. Delgado’s Republican council running mates, Robert Tuck, and Mike Amodio. The attorneys contended this obviously meant Delgado who had outpaced Amodio and Tuck citywide had obviously lost 100 votes at least, giving him the election over Hockley.

Courts order new election. Court of Appeals Says “Nyet.”

The establishment that there was something wrong with the Delgado counter mechanism was the basis for two consecutive rulings by Judge Nicolai and the Appellate Court in Brooklyn, calling for a new election in White Plains between Mr. Delgado and Mr. Hockley, his rival for the council seat.

The New York State Court of Appeals reversed this decision, officially making Glen Hockley the winner of Mr. Delgado’s Council seat, on the grounds that Mr. Delgado’s only recourse was a quo warranto proceeding, effectively ruling that courts in New York State did not have the jurisidiction to right election night irregularities.

Attorney General’s Office Mulls Now Acts.

In June, the Delgado legal team delivered 103 affidavits of signed affidavits from voters who had said they voted for Mr. Delgado last November 6, enough voters to provide Mr. Delgado with a margin of victory over Mr. Hockley.

The effort to inspect the voting machine Friday morning is the first action the Attorney General’s office has taken to move on Mr. Delgado’s request for a quo warranto proceding.

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Hudson River Bandits Battling 12’s Win Harrisburg Tournament with 6 in a row!

WPCNR PRESS BOX. July 29,2002. Special to WPCNR: The Hudson River Bandits 12-and-under-team, New York’s fastpitch softball ambassadors, with players hailing from towns all over the tri-county area, Buchanan, Chappaqua, Cortlandt Manor, Croton-on-Hudson, Pleasantville, Putnam Valley, Valhalla, Verplanck, and White Plains completed their 2002 season with a perfect 6-0 weekend in the Harrisburg Pennsylvania Invitational Fastpitch Tournament.

DUH BANDITS WIN!: Posing for the traditional Championship portrait, the 12-and-under Hudson River Bandits, smiles a foot wide, celebrate their winning the Harrisburg Pennsylvania Invitational Sunday. The club responded under pressure with players playing in new positions, pitchers hanging tough in the clutch, and playing virtually error-free ball all weekend long, winning six-straight games to finish 21-18-2 for the year, on the heels of a terrific 1-2 week at the ASA Nationals. The players are, Seated, L to R: Gina Guiliano, Juliana Bailey, Kristen Brown, Jillian Gallagher, Rachael Costello. Standing L to Right, Heather Clausen, Kirby Wright, Niki Tamburri, Kiki Guernier, Emma Covello, and Cody Picker. Coaches are Emmett Covello, standing left back, Jim Tamburri, standing to the right. Standing center back: John Bailey, Statistician.
Photo by WPCNR

The 12’s Banditas hung-on with a nail-biting 6-5 win over their worthy adversaries, the hard-hitting, fleet Northampton All-Stars in the Invitational’s Championship Game Sunday evening. The victory came after the Bandits shut-out two teams earlier in 100-degree sun, heat and humidity in the Susquehanna River Valley.

In a late bulletin, word has just come in that the Bandits 16-and Under Team, nipped the Pennsylvania Silver Bullets, 2-1 in the gloamin’ Sunday night to take the Sixteens Championship, for their second Championship of the season.

The five Bandit teams, 18s,16,14s, 12s and 10s, went 19 and 7 on the weekend for “the most successful weekend in Hudson River Bandits history,” according to Bandit magnate and founder, Rudy Nedek. Mr. Nedek is currently negotiating television rights for 2002 Bandit games.

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County Sales Tax Receipts Sink. Spano Asks Albany to Help Out.

WPCNR Evening Star Reporter. From Westchester County Department of Communications. July 22, 2002:Westchester County is predicting a $5 million shortfall in sales tax revenues if numbers from the first six months of the year are any indicator.
According to sales tax receipts released by the state, Westchester collected $328,625 less than expected during the first six months of the year. Sales tax receipts were $116,136,962 from January to June 2002 compared with $116,465,587 that was budgeted.

Sales Tax to the Rescue?

“The news is not good,’’ said County Executive Andy Spano. “The shaky national economy is causing people to spend less, and that means we are losing vital sales tax dollars. This does not bode well for next year. We are facing a $102 million deficit caused by programs the State imposes on us, and if Albany does not give us a new revenue source, the people of Westchester could see a State-imposed double digit tax increase.’’

Asks Albany for 1% Increase in Sales Tax

If Albany would allow Westchester to increase its sales tax by 1 percent, it would raise about $75 million, enough to close about three-quarters of the budget gap.

“Without the sales tax increase our options are not good: a 29 percent State-imposed increase in property taxes or severe cuts in county services or a combination of both,’’ said Spano.

Westchester County Budget Director Kate Carrano said the latest sales tax figures are another blow to the county’s efforts to close the estimated $102 million budget gap.

“The 2002 budget amount for sales tax revenue was the same that was budgeted for 2001,’’ said Carrano. “However, 2001 actual revenues came in $4.5 million short. In the current sales tax picture, we are facing an additional $500,000 shortfall.’’

Spano said while increased costs for State mandated services like pre-school special education, Medicaid and health care were hurting the county, two added mandates from Albany this year delivered a crushing blow — the addition of Family Health Plus health insurance for working families and passage of the Health Care Reform Act.

Both these new programs must be funded by Westchester, increasing the cost to county taxpayers by millions of dollars. This year Medicaid costs increased 19 percent — more than double the 8 percent increase budgeted by the county based on the normal expectations from previous years.

Spano said while these programs were certainly worthy, it was not fair for Albany to pass along their cost to Westchester residents. He said the least that Albany could do was to give Westchester the right to raise additional revenue.

“Our State legislators know how much these State mandated programs are hurting our taxpayers and our only relief is the ability to raise the sales tax one cent on the dollar,’’ said Spano. “I hope they will work with us. Albany caused the problem. Now we need Albany to help solve it.’’

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Attorney General and SEIU Union Endorse Naomi Matusow for 89th

WPCNR Evening Star Reporter. From the Matusow Press Office July 22, 2002 UPDATED July 23, 2002: Attorney General Eliot Spitzer announced Tuesday his endorsement of Naomi Matusow for re-election as Assemblywoman for the 89th AD, specifically praising her record on environmental protection and public safety issues.

Today, Assemblywoman Matusow also picked up the endorsement of the Service Employees International Union, announced by union President, Dennis Rivera.
“Naomi Matusow is an Assemblywoman I can rely upon for support of my efforts to protect the citizens of our state and their environment,” said Mr. Spitzer. “Naomi carried the assault weapons bill to a successful conclusion, and together we will ban possession of .50 caliber sniper weapons.”

“Naomi Matusow sponsored legislation that now requires fingerprinting and background checks for new school employees and mandates reporting of allegations of child abuse and/or child molestation, in a school setting, to law enforcement authorities.”

“Naomi has sponsored legislation that improves air quality, and is working with me on legislation to help keep New York cleaner by strengthening the provisions of our five-cent deposit bottle law”.

“Naomi Matusow has done a great job in the Assembly for the past ten years. I enthusiastically endorse her for re-election,” concluded Mr. Spitzer.

Matusow is running for re-election in the recently re-drawn 89th AD, and is currently facing a Democratic primary challenge for that seat from Adam Bradley of White Plains. No Republican candidate has announced to date.
SEIU Weighs In.

Dennis Rivera, President of 1199 SEIU, announced the union’s endorsement of
Naomi Matusow for reelection as Assemblywoman for the 89th AD, praising her
record on her commitment to workers’ rights and health care.

The Service Employees International Union 1199 has 220,000 members who live and work in New York State.

“(Matusow’s) distinguished record of service demonstrates (her) commitment to the rights of workers, quality health care, and numerous other issues of importance to the nursing home, hospital, home care, clinic and social service workers represented by 1199 SEIU. ” said Mr. Rivera.

Matusow was gratified by the union support:

“I am honored to receive the endorsement of 1199 SEIU. The contributions of the workers in the heath care services are a critical component to providing the best health care and necessary social services possible “, said Assemblywoman Matusow.

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“WPW” Matusow Show Fails to Air Due to Technical Glitch.

WPCNR White Plains Variety. July 22, 2002: WPCNR has been notified within the hour by Public Access Channel 71 that this week’s edition of White Plains Week featuring an interview with Naomi Matusow cannot be aired this evening because of an as-yet-to-be-determined technical error which caused the program not to record.
At this hour, Public Access engineers are checking to find the cause of the error that failed to record the 30-minute interview recorded Friday morning, July 19.

Engineers are also checking on whether or not other programs recorded Friday also failed to transfer successfully to tape.

WPCNR is working to set up another date to interview Ms. Matusow. An interview with Robert Ruger, previously recorded will cablecast in place of the Matusow interview.

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