July 21 — DAYSIDE: 55 YEARS AGO LAST NIGHT THE SPACE BLAZERS LANDED: “THE EAGLE LANDED ON THE MOON

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NEIL ARMSTRONG WALKED ON THE MOON.

This column originally appeared on WPCNR on February 1, 2003, and celebrates the Dreamers, the Achievers, the High and the Mighty– THE AMERICANS WHO HAD THE RIGHT STUFF:

THE SPACE BLAZERS

 The Apollo 11 Crew: Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins,  Buzz Aldrin, Jr. Mr. Armstrong set foot on the moon 53 years ago on July 20, 1969 (NASA Photo)

The papers and “news sites”  I receive and monitor at WPCNR White Plains News Headquarters, White Plains, New York, USA did not tell me ALL week this week was the 55th  anniversary of the week when Neil Armstrong walked on the moon. Sadly the greatest American achievement next to winning World War II has been forgotten.

The exact hour  was  20:11 GMT (Greenwich Mean Time). That was the culmination of the last great American achievement  – the personal computer, the cellphone and the internet, social media were to come — after the amazing American achievement conquering space in 9 years — when Apollo 11 with Armstrong in command, with astronauts Michael Collins and Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr. blasted off to the stars  for real.

They became the real Flash Gordons, Buck Rogerses, Tom Corbetts and Captain Videos for all-time.

The Apollo 11 mission was a success.

There have been the tragedies associated with striving for the stars and being the best, achieving the best, working for the good, the better tomorrow. 

Those are the persons who keep dreams alive by their deaths and personal sacrifice. I wrote the following after the explosion of the Columbia Space Shuttle upon reentry into the Earth’s atmosphere after 19 days in space in January 2003.

Saturday’s fatal Columbia Space Shuttle accident killing all 7 astronauts aboard when the historic spacecraft broke up over East Texas at daybreak Saturday morning begins a period of national mourning. 

The expected media speculations have started, guessing at the cause of the reentry that went bizarrely, awfully wrong.


The truth is the civilized world takes absolute scientific miracles for granted.

We do not appreciate the courage and skills of the men and women creating the future. The confidence to believe they can and be successful with the concentration and perfection they need to be successful.


Those of us with cell phones, internet connections, high-speed trains, satellite communications and entertainment (all products made possible by the space program), do not realize the magnitude of daring achievements that you and I have come to accept to be executed like clockwork.

We expect success.

Defeat is not accepted with sorry, but blamefinding. Who is responsible?


I first learned of Columbia’s fate late Saturday afternoon when my wife mentioned that instead of sports programming being videotaped on our television, there was coverage of a live NASA event on ABC.


(Incredibly, the radio station I had been listening to on the way from a sports clinic had not reported any hint of the accident. That station was Z-100, the most listened-to station in the New York metropolitan area. America Online also on their first up page did not mention the missing craft as of midday. That kind of communications misjudgment is sad. Look at your newspaper today and you will see nothing positive has happened to news judgment.)


As I watched the close of Peter Jennings’ coverage at about 3 PM, he signed off with no recap, no names of astronauts, and some parting words about what he thought was the cause of the disaster.


I’ll write what he should have said.


Columbia’s seven astronauts who died — we know their names: they were

Columbus, Magellan, Cook, Lewis, Clark, the Wrights, Lindbergh, De Laroche, Earhart, Markham, Gruber, Chaffee, Grissom, White, Gargarin, Komarov, the Challenger Crew, the crew of Soyuz 11. They are a handful of the hundreds of brave men and women who went into the unknown who  did not come back.

Apollo 11′s Crew which landed and walked on the moon turned the dreams of kids of the  1950s visualized in television shows like Tom Corbett, Space Cadet (above, Astro, Roger and Tom) and Captain Video,  “The Master of Science” below  into reality.

America’s Spacemen and Spacewomen and the explorers before them are the people who trust in their ability and their vessel to expand the world’s horizons, to know the unknown, whose legacies build a better world. Whose deeds inspire and achievements are the catalysts for achievements to come. T

Their failures ever reminders of the uniqueness of their courage and resolve.


From Captain Cook’s fragile vessel which sailed the Pacific, to the marvel that was the Columbia, the captains courageous who sailed the Roaring 40s, blazed the Oregon Trail, discovered how to fly, flew the oceans without radar, journeyed to the stars, knew the risks they were taking. 

They loved the concept of being ever onward.


The media  trivializes their courage, their skills, and the difficulty of what they did and wanted to do, to concentrate on the causes of their failure, as if knowing the cause will make their loss acceptable.

The Magnificent Seven

I do not know Columbia’s Magnificent Seven. I just see their smiling faces in their photograph, and I regret the loss of every one. They had achievement on their faces, pride in their demeanor. Their eyes shown with the glow of being alive and striving to do the great things they set out to do.


Civilization has been created because of people like the crew of the Columbia’s Magnificent Seven, not the incompetence we see demonstrated daily today where technology is concerned.


The Columbia itself had flown 26 missions since launching in 1981. It was guided and outfitted with the best 2003 communications and equipment had to offer.

Not like Captain James Cook’s bark, Endeavour, a 100-foot ship powered by sail that conquered the “space” of his time, the Pacific Ocean. It was the Columbia’s Magnificent Seven’s “Endeavour.”

They were tracked, they were backed up, but they perhaps more than anyone here on the ground knew the high dangers of the shuttle mission.


Liftoff, as their predecessors, The Challenger crew fell victim to, is fraught with risk.

Reentry, which needs to be negotiated at precisely the right angle of attack, is equally risky.

Soyuz 11’s spacecrew of Dobrovolskiy, Volkov, and Patsayev died in 1971 on reentry, when the Russian cosmonauts took too long to descend.


No guarantees in real life. Machines sometimes run out of miracles.

The magnificence of the explorers’ sacrifice and dedication, is that they accept the risk of “the Endeavour.”


They accept the challenge, bear it alone, seizing challenge with an indomitable spirit and confidence, facing death when it comes with the satisfaction that they made the effort, and I suspect analyzing, coping, trying to fix it until the end, the very end.

They never give up.


Columbia’s Magnificent Seven, after 16 days in space, are gone now.

My sorrow is with their families who will miss these Magnificent Seven, and who know in their hearts that they died trying to reach the pinnacle of their aspirations.


They are only human.


They tried their best, achieved their best, and experienced what they longed to experience. They dared to live the great adventure.


Not all of us have the courage to follow our longed-for adventures and make them real.

You can watch movies that attempt to give that experience by transference.

That’s why, I believe, you and I take it so personally when we lose heroic personalities of our time. We wonder what they are like. We glorify them, rightly so.

“Follow Me! ” They Say.


I wonder how those Magnificent Seven felt how satisfying it must have been, to be at your best, doing what you love, coping with the risks.

I envy them that.

The Columbia Crew is the Miracle.

In reality it is not machines that conquer,  it is the intrepid personalities, each unique, each contributing, who perform the miracles with God’s help.

That they fall short is an example to us, not to take ourselves, our fates, or our existences for granted.


This is true of the everyday people we take for granted: the firefighter, the policeman, the train engineer, the airline pilot, the construction worker, the doctor fighting COVID, the nurse, the leader trying to do what must be done despite opposition. All are highly trained disciplined workers, executing precise tasks for which the non-expert has no feel or understanding .
 When one of them gives up it is rare. And when they do, they leave the task to us.

What makes for the desire to achieve? What is out there or up there that leads them on?

The Feel of the Unknown


I took Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s biographical adventure diary, Listen! The Wind down from the aviation bookshelf.

She was the young bride of the aviator-pioneer, Charles Lindbergh. She navigated for him in his aircraft, and ran his radio communications on his many exploratory flights around the world.

In a passage she describes a night flight over the ocean, in which she was operating the radio for her husband Charles, who was at the controls. Mrs. Lindbergh is describing the feelings she has as she tries to tune in the South American coast at sea in the dark of night in 1933, 91 years ago.

The feeling, the courage of the adventurer, the explorer has not changed.

This is great:

“Night was the hardest. It would be all right once it was day. I kept saying…We began to hit clouds. I could tell without looking up, for the plane bumped slightly from time to time, first one wing down and then the other. And the moon blackened out for short periods.

Then for longer periods. I could not see to write my messages. I stiffened, dimly sensing fear – the old fear of bad weather – and looked out. We were flying under clouds. I could still find a kind of horizon, a difference in shading where the water met the clouds. That was all. But it seemed to be getting darker.

Storms? Were those clouds or was it the sky? We had lost the water. We were flying blind. I turned off the light quickly (to give my husband a little more vision), and sat waiting, tense, peering through the night. Now we were out again. There were holes through which one could see the dark sky. It was all right, I felt, as long as there were holes.


More blind flying.

This is it, I thought is what people forget.

This is what it means to fly across the ocean, blind and at night. But day is coming. It ought to be day before long… Daybreak!

What a miracle. I didn’t see any sign of day and yet it must be lighter. The clouds were distinguishing themselves more and more from water and sea.


Daybreak—thank God—as if we had been living in eternal night—as if this were the first sun that ever rose out of the sea.

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JULY 20–DAYSIDE: WESTCHESTER COUNTY TECH TEAMS RESTORE COUNTY COMPUTER CRASH IN HOURS

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WPCNR COUNTY-CLARION LEDGER. From Westchester County Executive George Latimer. July 19, 2024:

The Westchester County Executive George Latimer and his technology team reported at midday Friday the county tech experts and staffs had restored most computer services affected by the worldwide software update applied by CrowdStrike worldwide disrupting computer operations.

Here is Mr. Latimer’s press conference yesterday explaining how the tech team was ready and able to react quickly and effectively to get back online and running again.

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WHITE PLAINS WEEK THE JULY 19 REPORT SEE IT ANYTIME ON www.wpcommunitymedia.org

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WESTCHESTER NON-PROFITS  FUTURE FUNDING NEEDS HAVE TO BE DETERMINED NOW TO ADDRESS COUNTY NEED TO GIVE FUNDING TO CONTINUE THEIR MISSION

THE FAILED ASSASSINATION EFFECT 

JULY ELECTRIC BILLS TO DOUBLE?  HEAT HEART ATTACK

THE BIDEN MUTINY CONTINUES

HURRICANE COVID  CONTINUES TO BELT WESTCHESTER HIGHER CASES, SPREADING FASTER

HOSPITALIZATIONS FOR COVID IN 7 COUNTY MID-HUDSON REGION DOUBLE IN 5 WEEKS

HOW WILL COVID BE HANDLED IF IT CONTINUES TO EXPLODE IN THE FALL? WHAT’S THE STATE PLAN, WHAT WILL BE SCHOOL DISTRICT POLICIES?

MEET THE WINNERS OF THE DEMOCRATIC CITY COMMITTEE ESSAY CONTEST

JOHN BAILEY AND THE NEWS

THIS WEEK EVERY WEEK ON WHITE PLAINS WEEK

FOR 23 YEARS

(Photo by Morton Pictures)

 

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TONIGHT : 7 PM DR. JOSEPH RICCA ON “PEOPLE TO BE HEARD– THE 2023-24 SCHOOL YEAR REPORT AND PREVIEW OF THE NEW 2024-25 SCHOOL YEAR. 8 PM FIOS CH 45, WP OPTIMUM CH. 76 AND www.wpcommunitymedia.org

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DR. RICCA PREVIEWS THE NEW SCHOOL YEAR AND WRAPS UP THE OLD. WHAT’S AHEAD? STATUS OF THE SCHOOL FIELDS; STATUS OF CONSTRUCTION AHEAD; HOW THE NEW TECHNICAL VOCATIONAL PROGRAM WILL START THIS FALL; AND MORE.

 

See his report anytime on www.wpcommunitymedia.org

 

 

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JULY 18 1 P.M. EDT– DAY SIDE: BEACHES IN MAMARONECK, RYE , NEW ROCHELLE CLOSED DUE TO 1.3 INCHES OF RAIN

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WESTCHESTER COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT

ANNOUNCES BEACH CLOSURES

(White Plains, NY) – The Westchester County Health Department has preemptively closed the following beaches for Thursday, July 18 and Friday, July 19 due to 1.30 inches of rainfall observed in the past 24 hours. Effected beaches are as follows:

·         Mamaroneck: Harbor Island, Beach Point Club, Orienta Beach Club and Mamaroneck Beach and Yacht Club

·         Rye: Coveleigh Club

·         New Rochelle: Hudson Park Beach, Davenport Club, Greentree Club and Surf Club on the Sound

Mamaroneck Beach and Yacht Club will remain closed through Monday, July 22 when it will be resampled. Residents and visitors are encouraged to visit the Westchester County website for the latest updates on beach closures and reopening schedules. The County remains committed to maintaining high standards of environmental health and safety across its recreational facilities.

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RUSSIAN INTERNATIONAL MONEY LAUNDERER SENTENCED TO 3 YEARS IN PRISON

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Procured Large Quantities of U.S.-Manufactured Dual-Use, Military Grade Microelectronics for Russian Entities.

Defendant Participated in Overseas Illicit Procurement Network That, After Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine, Illegally Procured Organic Light-Emitting Diode (OLED) Micro-Displays for Russian End Users

WPCNR FBI WIRE. Special to WPCNR from the Federal Bureau of Investigation. July 17, 2024

Maxim Marchenko, 52, was sentenced today to three years in prison followed by three years of supervised release for his role in procuring dual-use, military grade OLED micro-displays for Russian end users.

“Today’s sentence holds Mr. Marchenko accountable for his role in a procurement syndicate that funneled U.S.-manufactured military-grade microelectronics to end users in Russia, illegally delivering controlled technologies worth hundreds of thousands of dollars,” said Assistant Attorney General Matthew G. Olsen of the Justice Department’s National Security Division.

“The Justice Department remains relentlessly focused on dismantling illicit procurement networks led by individuals like the defendant, who use their business skills and connections to advance the Russian war agenda.”

“The transshipment of military-grade microelectronics through Hong Kong to Russia helps fuel the engine of Russia’s war machine,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce Matthew S. Axelrod for Export Enforcement. “Today’s sentencing is just the latest example of our unceasing efforts to target and disrupt illegal Russian procurement networks.”

“This office will stop at nothing to hold accountable those who seek to circumvent our laws to gain access to some of our most sensitive technologies,” said U.S. Attorney Damian Williams for the Southern District of New York. “Today’s sentence should be a reminder that no number of shell companies or obfuscation will stop this office in its pursuit of those who seek to illicitly gain access to controlled technologies.”

“Marchenko and his co-conspirators operated an international smuggling network of sensitive microelectronics used in military gear and other weapons systems,” said Executive Assistant Director Robert Wells of the FBI National Security Branch. “Today’s sentencing demonstrates the FBI’s resolve in doing our part to protect national security and prevent American military technology from being diverted to foreign adversaries and hostile nation states.”

According to court documents, Marchenko is a Russian national who resides in Hong Kong and operates several Hong Kong-based shell companies, including Alice Components Co. Ltd. (Alice Components), Neway Technologies Limited (Neway) and RG Solutions Limited (RG Solutions).

Marchenko and two co-conspirators, who are also Russian nationals, operate an illicit procurement network in Russia, Hong Kong and elsewhere overseas. This procurement network has fraudulently obtained from U.S. distributors large quantities of dual-use, military grade microelectronics, specifically OLED micro-displays, on behalf of Russia-based end users.

To carry out this scheme, Marchenko and his co-conspirators used shell companies based in Hong Kong and other deceptive means to conceal from U.S. government agencies and U.S. distributors that the OLED micro-displays were destined for Russia. The technology that Marchenko and his co-conspirators fraudulently procured have significant military applications, such as in rifle scopes, night vision goggles, thermal optics and other weapon systems.

To perpetrate the scheme, Marchenko and other members of the conspiracy acquired the dual-use OLED micro-displays from U.S.-based distributors using Marchenko’s Hong Kong-based shell companies, including Alice Components, Neway and RG Solutions.

Members of the conspiracy, including Marchenko, procured these sensitive microelectronics by falsely representing to the U.S. distributors (who, in turn, are required to report to U.S. agencies) that Alice Components was sending the shipments to end users located in China, Hong Kong and other countries outside of Russia for use in electron microscopes for medical research or hunting rifles.

In reality, the OLED micro-displays were destined for end users in Russia. Marchenko and other members of the conspiracy concealed the true final destination (Russia) from U.S. distributors for the purpose of causing false statements to the U.S. agencies.

To conceal the fact that these OLED micro-displays were destined for Russia, Marchenko and other members of the conspiracy worked together to transship the illicitly procured OLED micro-displays by using pass-through entities principally operated by Marchenko in third countries, such as Hong Kong.

Marchenko then caused the OLED micro-displays to be shipped to the ultimate destination in Russia using, among other entities, a freight forwarder known to provide freight forwarding services to Russia.

In addition, Marchenko and other members of the conspiracy used Hong Kong-based shell companies, principally operated by Marchenko, to conceal the fact that payments for the OLED micro-displays were coming from Russia. In total, between in or about May 2022 and in or about August 2023, Marchenko’s shell companies funneled more than $1.6 million to the United States in support of the procurement network’s efforts to smuggle the OLED micro-displays to Russia.

The FBI, Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security and Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service investigated the case with assistance from the Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jennifer N. Ong and Shiva H. Logarajah for the Southern District of New York prosecuted the case, with assistance from Trial Attorney Garrett Coyle of the National Security Division’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Section.

Today’s actions were coordinated through the Justice Department’s Task Force KleptoCapture and the Justice and Commerce Departments’ Disruptive Technology Strike Force. Task Force KleptoCapture is an interagency law enforcement task force dedicated to enforcing the sweeping sanctions, export restrictions and economic countermeasures that the United States has imposed, along with its allies and partners, in response to Russia’s unprovoked military invasion of Ukraine. The Disruptive Technology Strike Force is an interagency law enforcement strike force co-led by the Departments of Justice and Commerce designed to target illicit actors, protect supply chains and prevent critical technology from being acquired by authoritarian regimes and hostile nation states.

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3 WPHS STUDENTS WIN ESSAY CONTEST OF 48 ENTREES. THE TOPIC: WHAT FREE SPEECH MEANS TO ME

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WHITE PLAINS CITY DEMOCRATIC COMMITTEE ESSAY WINNERS AND PARENTS:

(L TO R) MR. SAWANT, MRS. BECK,ELLEN BERGER, ESSAY COMMITTEE CHAIR, STATE SENATOR SHELLEY MAYER, STATE SENATOR MAJORITY LEADER, ANDREA STEWART-COUSINS, SAUMYA SAWANT, 2ND Prize; NATHAN BECK, 3rd Prize; HOLLY GEORGE, 1st PRIZE ESSAYIST; TIM JAMES, CHAIR OF WHITE PLAINS DEMOCRATIC CITY COMMITTEE, SPONSORS OF THE CONTEST; AND MRS. AND MR. GEORGE. 

 

WPCNR ABOUT TOWN. By John F. Bailey. July 14, 2024:

Three White Plains High School students were announced as the three winners among 48 essayist entrees had their essays judged the best of the Democratic City Committee Annual essay contest Saturday at Westchester Hills Country Club.

New York State Senators, Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Shelley Mayer attended the celebratory luncheon in honor of the three best in show writers and their parents in a lively give and take discussion with the three winners.

Getting to know the reasons behind the winning essays: State Senator Shelley Mayer, far left,Tim James,2nd from left, Mrs. George, Holly George, Mr. George, and Ellen Berger in the pre-luncheon discussion on Free Speech.

Ellen Berger Chairwoman of the Essay contest told WPCNR  the number of essays submitted was 48 the largest field of essays received ever in the four-year contest originated by the Club.

The three winners were selected from a committee of 9 who read all 48  essays not knowing who the students were, backgrounds, or grades.

Holly George a sophomore going to be Junior at WPHS won Essay First Prize and a check for $750.

Saumya  Sawant, a June Class of 2024 graduate of WPHS Essay was selected Second Prize winner of $300.

Nathan Beck, a sophomore won Third Prize of $150.

Prizes were donated by the City Committee

Ms. Berger said the three winning Essayists were very impressive and insightful, and  considering further education in law, medicine, and possibly engineering. She also said that Senators Stewart-Cousins and Mayer were highly impressed with questions the students asked during the luncheon and the Senators’ experiences in politics

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JULY 13–SENATOR GILLEBRAND INTRODUCES SUPREME COURT REFORM LEGISLATION INCLUDES TERM LIMITS

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Following extensive allegations of misconduct by Supreme Court justices – including secretly accepting lavish gifts and luxury trips, failing to disclose conflicts of interest, and failing to recuse themselves from cases in which they have a vested stake – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand announced her support for the Supreme Court Ethics, Recusal, and Transparency (SCERT) Act and the Supreme Court Biennial Appointments and Term Limits Act, bills that would reform the court by mandating more robust ethics and transparency requirements and imposing term limits for Supreme Court justices.

The Supreme Court is facing a legitimacy crisis,” said Senator Gillibrand. “Justices have secretly accepted private jet travel, lavish hunting retreats, yacht vacations, and more from groups with cases before the court or a vested interest in their outcome. They operate with little to no oversight and rule on cases in which they face a conflict of interest. It’s unacceptable and it cannot continue. Today, I am announcing the SCERT Act, commonsense legislation to hold justices on our nation’s highest court to the same high standards as other public officials.   

“I also support legislation to establish term limits for SCOTUS justices. This bill will depoliticize an increasingly partisan appointment process by allowing each president to nominate two justices per term. Regular appointments of justices will help ensure that the court reflects the will of American people. These reforms are long overdue and I look forward to fighting to get them passed.”

Specifically, the Supreme Court Ethics, Recusal, and Transparency Act would: 

  • Require the Supreme Court to develop and make public all of its ethics rules and procedures, including its code of conduct
  • Require judges to recuse themselves from cases in which they have a clear conflict of interest or put the question of recusal up to a panel of impartial judges
  • Mandate public, written explanations for all recusal decisions
  • Establish a process for the public to submit ethics complaints against Supreme Court justices and establish an investigatory panel to evaluate complaints
  • Require Supreme Court justices to disclose the same information about gifts, travel, and reimbursements as members of Congress
  • Address conflicts of interest between judges and parties submitting amicus briefs by requiring those parties to disclose any gifts, lobbying, or spending related to the judge

The Supreme Court Biennial Appointments and Term Limits Act would: 

  • Require the appointment of a new Supreme Court justice every two years and regulate appellate jurisdiction cases so that only the nine most recently appointed justices hear those cases, effectively establishing an 18-year term limit
  • Preserve life tenure for Supreme Court justices by ensuring that, after 18 years, justices who do not choose to retire can still hear constitutionally required original jurisdiction cases, step in for a recused justice, and exercise any other powers of the office

Gillibrand has been a champion for government accountability and transparency throughout her career. She authored the bipartisan STOCK Act, which banned insider trading by members of Congress, and she now leads the bipartisan Ban Stock Trading for Government Officials Act, which would ban stock ownership and trading by members of Congress, senior executive branch officials, and their families. She was also the first member of Congress to post a daily report listing her official meetings, personal financial disclosures, earmark requests, and taxes online.

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WHITE PLAINS WEEK THE JULY 12 REPORT BLACK COFFEE 8:30 A.M SATURDAY THE HOT REPORT FIOS CH 45 WP OPTIMUM CH 76 AND WWW.WPCOMMUNITYMEDIA.ORG

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THE BIG HEAT

THE PROJECT 2025 REPORT

THE BEACH AND LAKE POLLUTION BACTERIA ALGAE BLOOMS 

THE BIDEN MUTINY

BIDEN COMES BACK HOLDS LONGEST NEWS CONFERENCE IN YEARS

THE BIDEN CORRECTIONS THAT COUNTER THE PROJECT 2025 PROJECT

STATE RECOGNIZES COVID IS SPREADING ACROSS THE STATE

HEAT AND THE APPLE SEASON

AND MORE SO MUCH MORE

(Photo by Morton Pictures)

WITH JOHN BAILEY AND THE NEWS

EVERY WEEK ON WHITE PLAINS WEEK

FOR 23 YEARS

WITH THE NEWS YOU NEED TO KNOW

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