“At the Turning Point:” Mayor Tom Roach

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” There are currently an estimated 301 active cases in our City, down 46 from a week ago. Over the last 7 days we are averaging 20 new cases per day. The state has estimated that 28.4% of Westchester County residents are now fully vaccinated, 42.8% have received at least one shot. Progress!

Individuals 18 and over are eligible for any one of the three authorized vaccines.  16 and 17 year olds can only receive the Pfizer vaccine at this time. Younger children are not yet eligible, although Pfizer has applied for authorization to vaccinate children at age 12 and above. All three vaccines authorized for use in the United States are safe and effective.

There are a number of ways to obtain a vaccination appointment.

● Check vaccinefinder.org for local pharmacies, clinics, and other locations that have received doses of the vaccine and schedule your appointment online or call the provider directly for an appointment. VaccineFinder was developed by Boston Children’s Hospital with support from the CDC.

● Check the State website, ny.gov/GetVaccinated for appointments at state–run vaccination sites. Check the site regularly, as new appointments become available throughout the day.

● Go to Health.Westchestergov.com, to check availability and schedule an appointment at the County-run vaccine clinic located at Westchester Community College.

● For those who need assistance securing an appointment, call our White Plains COVID Angels at (914) 422-1378 between 8:00 am and 6:00 pm. 

It remains critical that we all double down on the common sense safety measures that have proven effective: Continue to wear a mask when you are within 6 ft. of  others and practice social distancing. It is vital that we continue to take these precautions to give the vaccines a chance to get ahead of the virus.

We are at the turning point, now is not the time to slip backwards!

Our next call is on Monday, April 19th. Until then remember, we’re standing together by staying apart.

Actualmente hay un estimado de 301 casos activos en nuestra ciudad, 46 menos que hace una semana. Durante los últimos 7 días, hemos tenido un promedio de 20 casos nuevos por día. El estado estima que el 28,4% de los residentes del condado de Westchester ya están vacunados y el 42,8% ha recibido al menos una inyección. ¡Qué gran progreso!

Las personas mayores de 18 años ya llenan los requisitos para recibir cualquiera de las tres vacunas autorizadas. Los jóvenes de 16 y 17 años solo pueden recibir la vacuna Pfizer en este momento. Los niños más pequeños aún no pueden ser vacunados, aunque Pfizer ha solicitado autorización para vacunar a niños a partir de los 12 años. Las tres vacunas autorizadas para su uso en los Estados Unidos son seguras y eficaces.

Hay varias formas de obtener una cita de vacunación.

 ● Visite vaccinefinder.org para averiguar que farmacias, clínicas y otros lugares locales han recibido dosis de la vacuna y haga su cita en línea o llame al proveedor directamente para programar una cita. VaccineFinder fue desarrollado por el hospital de niños de Boston con el apoyo de la CDC.

● Visite el sitio web del estado, ny.gov/GetVaccinated para hacer una cita en los sitios de vacunación administrados por el estado. Visite el sitio con regularidad, ya que se añaden nuevas citas regularmente.

● Visite Health.Westchestergov.com para ver si hay citas disponibles en el Westchester Community College.

Aquellos que necesitan ayuda para hacer una cita, pueden llamar a nuestros Ángeles COVID de White Plains al (914) 422-1378 entre las 8:00 am y las 6:00 pm.

Aun es fundamental que pongamos en práctica las medidas de seguridad de sentido común que han demostrado ser efectivas: continúe usando una mascarilla cuando esté a 6 pies de otras personas y practique el distanciamiento social. Es vital que sigamos tomando estas precauciones para que las vacunas tengan tiempo de adelantarse al virus. Estamos en el punto de inflexión, ¡ahora no es el momento de retroceder!

Nuestra próxima llamada es el lunes 19 de abril. Hasta entonces, y recuerde que  estamos más juntos manteniéndonos más se

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Vaccinations Lower Infection Rate Pace In Westchester. 5 straight days of less than 3% infected who have tested. UP SUNDAY but Hospitalizations down 28 in two weeks. “Closing in on 50% of County Vaccinated,”–Latimer

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WPCNR CORONAVIRUS MONITOR. By John F. Bailey. April 12, 2021:

Westchester vaccinations of the covid vaccine may be having a impact on number of new Covid cases per day in Westchester County.

As more vaccinations are given every day, new covid infections in the county through Saturday are down a full percentage from the close-to-over 4% infection rate averaged the last two months.

Westchester’s consistently close to 4% Covid has lowered five straight days pending reconciled Saturday and Sunday figures by both the New York State Covid Tracker Workbook and the Westchester County County Covid-19 Tracker.

The state Saturday figures comparison of positive cases to number tested has the Westchester infection rate lowering to .02 % (2/10ths of 1% — of those tested, 123,838.) The Westchester chart reported only 10,200 tested with 290 testing positive or 2.8% Today the state corrected the number of tests its Covid Tracker reported Saturday (128,838) to reflect the Westchester numbers of 10,200 tested with 290 testing positive, 2.8%. The original Westchester County computer-linked Covid Tracker was correct.

This is still big time turnaround despite Sunday Westchester tests showing 3.7% infections (on 6,944 tests administered, 254 infections.

The dramatic sustained decline in infection rate is significant.

Westchester had 4 straight days of 3% on the nose infection rates going into Saturday.

The county infection is now averaging under 3% through Saturday sitting on 2.8%. If the state really did 123,838 tests Saturday bravo because the 290 infections in Westchester Saturday that the state reported lowers the county infection rate to just about zero. But that would mean the state did ten times the usual number of tests (12,000) the are the average number of high end testing figures when tests are ramped up. But the trend is still down.

In today’s Covid briefing by County Executive George Latimer, said hospitalizations were dropping.

In a week the hospitalizations dropped from 230 2 weeks ago to 209 and now are at 192 hospitalized, down 28 in 2 weeks .

WPCNR thinks that new infections numbers that could (with a 4.3% hospitalization rate) be averaging close to a hundred hospitalizations or more a week, are not being hospitalized near that 4.3% rate or suffering as seriously from Covid to require hospitalization.

Mr. Latimer said the vaccinations records from the state show 280,207 Westchester citizens have had both shots and 418,642 (43%) have yet to get their second. (The vaccination figures updated from the state vaccine tracker.)

Mr. Latimer said “We are closing in on 50% of the county population being fully vaccinated.”

WPCNR estimates that the county could hit that number by the first week in May and be 75% vaccinated by the middle of May, or possibly sooner.

If the county facilitiees continued to vaccinate the 418, 642 who had already had one shot at 13,000 a day rate over the next 33 days that would get all 418,642 with one shot fully vaccinated. The bottom line at that pace is 698,849 completely vaccinated by May 15, working out to 72% of the county population (967,912).

The greater number of people vaccinated is having the expected effect of protecting more of Westchester from the disease and the new variant B-1-1-1-7.

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The view leaving Southampton in 2015 much as it was when the Titanic sailed from the famous port in 1912 into eternity.

WPCNR ACROSS THE EDITOR’S DESK. By John F. Bailey April 11 2021:

If you were an immigrant from Third Class Steerage to the United States in 1912, or a millionaire and millionairess of the Titanic  gentry strolling the wide decks of the most famous luxury liner of all time  taking in the salt air you had a freshening breeze in your faces,  a calm sea basking being rudely parted as Titanic steamed towards New York.

 The eternal waves in a quiet chop in brilliant sunshine at 11:30 AM, April 11, 1912, 109 years ago, when Father Brown took this photo in 1912 on the deck on the voyage from Southhampton to Queensland Ireland. Looking out on a sun-splashed sea at the disappearing emerald isle of Ireland, you had no idea it would this would be the last land you would ever see.

The Titanic, 882 feet long, 92 feet wide was the largest ship ever built by the White Star line. It is dwarfed by the cruise ships of today. But everyone who sails the ocean has heard of the Titanic and she is in their thoughts today.

The Titanic, no question is one of the most remembered disasters of the Twentieth Century because of its claims: Unsinkable! Fastest ship on the sea! But it is now remembered for its horror, hubris, heroism, cowardice and sacrifice, grippingly, horrifyingly portrayed in books, cinema and exploration.

The Titanic in the night photographed 109 years ago

Last night 109 years ago The Titanic had picked up passengers in Cherbourg, France and with all its decks aglow in this picture taken by Father Brown who disembarked at Queensland gives you an image of what she looked like as she made her way across the Atlantic and on the night when she sank on April 14 this coming Wednesday at 2 A.M. in the morning, carrying with her to the bottom, 1,500 souls rich to poor. 715 passengers and crew were rescued.

The Titanic off Queensland Ireland. April 11, 1912.
The photograph was taken by Father Brown after he disembarked from the Titanic and was riding on a tender into Queensland Harbor.
It is the last picture ever taken of the great ship as she sailed into eternity.
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WPCNR CORONAVIRUS ROUNDUP. By John F. Bailey From New York State Covid Tracker and Article from National Geographic. APRIL 11, 2021:

From Tuesday, April 6 through Friday April 9, Westchester County lowered the number of new Covid infections to below 3% for the first time in two months.

The 3% of the total 49,789 tested those four days yielded 1,482 covid positive persons, which can still mean 64 new hospitalizations by next week at a 4.3% hospitalization rate.

Previous to those four days, 25,042 people were tested half the 49,789 tested Tuesday, Wednesday Thursday and Friday, (and county persons testing postive had been 4.3% on April 5, 3.7% on April 4 and 3.6% on April 3. On those three days numbers of positive covid persons was 942, which could yield 40 hospitalizations next week added to the 64, meaning about a hundred new cases hospitalized. Saturday the 10th infection results will be out this afternoon.

The reduction of the infection rate by almost a full percent over three days is positive despite the 1,483 covid infections (because more persons were tested) is significant.

The troubling factor is how spreading of disease, either through Covid-19 or the new variant highlighted by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo Friday is that the spread of the disease has spread ominously to the more lightly populated suburbs which are fueling the infection rate by no enforcement whatsoever accept voluntary restrictions recommended by the County Department of Health.

Notice the town by town figures on infections the past two weeks compiled by WPCNR from the Westchester County Covid Tracker by towns and cities. The town infections are rising.

THE NEW VARIANT B.1.1.7 PROFILE bY Dr. Sanjay Mishra.

The following article by Dr. Sanjay Mishra, Mishra, a child psychiatrist in Carmel, Ind., and a partner and medical director of Indiana Health Group, a large medical practice specializing in mental health was circulated to WPCNR.

This article appeared in Saturday’s edition of National Geographic and appears on the NG website. Dr. Mishra delves into the reasons why the new variant arriving in New York is perhaps more serious than the first Covid, requiring continued covid precaution:

The coronavirus variant known as B.1.1.7, which studies show is both more deadly and more transmissible than the original version of SARS-CoV-2, is now the most common strain circulating in United States, and its growing prevalence has alarmed prominent epidemiologists.

Earlier in the pandemic, not many children were becoming infected with the coronavirus, and they did not appear to be major sources of virus transmission to other age groups. “That changed with B.1.1.7,” says epidemiologist Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy. “We’re now seeing substantial numbers of outbreaks in schools and in school-related activities.”

In a study conducted in the U.K., where this variant was first detected, more children were infected with B.1.1.7 than other SARS-CoV-2 variants, compared to older age groups. The same scenario is now emerging in the U.S.

A rapidly growing outbreak of COVID-19 in Carver County, Minnesota, has been linked to school-sponsored and club sports activities. In a study done by the Minnesota Department of Health, researchers produced a detailed map of COVID-19 transmission showing that the B.1.1.7 variant caused about a quarter of these cases. A similar outbreak was reported in Wisconsin, where all the children at a Dane County childcare center who tested positive were 6 years or younger.

The upside, if there is one, is that one study suggests younger children were less likely than adults to pass the virus to others. In addition, the current vaccines authorized for use in the U.S. are effective against B.1.1.7 and can help us reverse the course of the pandemic, as long as people also continue to limit exposure by following the current public health precautions and restrictions.

“If you need another reason to get vaccinated, here it is,” says William Schaffner, a physician and professor of infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. “Not only is it more contagious, but when you are infected with it, you’re more likely to get serious disease. And so we’re concerned about it.”

A more contagious virus enters the U.S.

In early December, as optimism was rising about the U.K.’s ambitious vaccine rollout, British scientists and public health officials were seeing a surge of cases in Kent County in southeastern England. While only 4 percent of those cases were sequenced, almost half were found to be the new variant of SARS-CoV-2.

Because this variant, now called B.1.1.7, is much more contagious, it spread quickly worldwide, and by December 29 the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment reported the first case in the U.S. However, several studies have now shown that B.1.1.7 likely entered the U.S. multiple times between November 2020 and January 2021—earlier than previously thought.

In early February, Karthik Gangavarapu, a graduate student at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, co-authored a study that predicted B.1.1.7 would become dominant in the U.S. by late March 2021.

“Based on what we had seen in other parts of the world with this variant, there was no reason for us to believe that this wouldn’t happen in the U.S., and I think, for most epidemiologists, this is not a huge surprise,” Gangavarapu says.

Currently in U.S., the number of cases caused by B.1.1.7 is increasing at a rate of about 7.5 percent per day.

Researchers believe the variant spreads so rapidly because B.1.1.7 accumulated a large number of genetic changes17 in total—including eight in the virus’s hallmark spike protein. The spike protein attaches to the ACE2 receptor protein, which is found on the outer wall of 72 types of human cells. After the virus latches onto the ACE2 receptor, it can enter the host cell, make more copies of itself, and trigger infection.

By binding more tightly to the ACE2 receptors, “these mutations provide selective advantage to B.1.1.7, so that’s why now it is spreading everywhere” says Olivier Schwartz, head of the Virus and Immunity Unit of the Pasteur Institute in Paris, France. “It’s a kind of a Darwinian selection process.”

A study analyzing more than 100,000 people who had been infected with either B.1.1.7 or the original strain also shows that the new variant is more deadly.

When the researchers compared the two groups of patients, B.1.1.7 had greater mortality by somewhere between 32 and 104 percent, says team leader Robert Challen, a clinician at the University of Exeter in the U.K.

Some researchers believe that B.1.1.7 behaves so differently from the original strain that it can even be “treated as a separate epidemic,” says Ravindra Gupta, a professor of clinical microbiology at the University of Cambridge.

B.1.1.7 also been causing problems in other ways. It carries a couple of genetic mutations in the spike protein called deletions, because they eliminate part of the genetic code, that help this variant escape antibodies during the body’s immune response after an infection.

These deletions can also cause certain commercial testing kits to give a false negative result because they fail to detect its spike protein gene. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued recommendations to address possible false negative results that arise due to increasing prevalence of B.1.1.7 and other deletion variants in the U.S.

Implications for kids

The risk of B.1.1.7 to children, and subsequently to their families, may not arise as much from higher transmissibility, but from kids’ inability to maintain social distancing and masking and avoid contact sports, says Osterholm.

According to Schwartz, since the virus is more infectious for all age groups, children can now get infected more easily because of close contact in schools and day care. Then they can transmit more virus to each other, and to their families at home.

Because of increasing demand to reopen schools, there is now higher transmission of the B.1.1.7 variant among kids. That means more schools will have difficulty maintaining in-class learning.

The good news is that people who have been vaccinated, or people who were previously infected with another variant, have antibodies that will still neutralize B.1.1.7, says Schwartz, who led a study showing this to be the case. Already, vaccine makers are releasing clinical data showing that the available shots protect children age 12 to 15, and studies in younger children are forthcoming.

“The challenge is we’re not going to have nearly enough vaccine fast enough” to rein in the pandemic unless people stick to safety restrictions in the meantime, Osterholm lamented. “If we don’t limit our exposures to this virus, and try to defy viral gravity, we will not be able to do that.”

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Today Showers. Patchy fog before 10am. High near 58. East wind 7 to 13 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New precipitation amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible.

Tonight Showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm. Cloudy, with a low around 45. East wind 10 to 13 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New rainfall amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible.

Monday Showers likely. Cloudy, with a high near 51. East wind 8 to 11 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New precipitation amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch possible. (From National Weather Service)

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WASHINGTON, DC — Today, after President Biden announced the creation of a Presidential Commission to examine reforms to the Supreme Court, Congressman Mondaire Jones (D-NY) released the following statement:

“Today, the President of the United States acknowledged that it is time to reform the Supreme Court, following the example of Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Ulysses S. Grant.

By convening this commission, President Biden has spoken clearly: The question is no longer if we will reform the Supreme Court, but how we will reform the Supreme Court.

The answer to that question is equally clear: to restore our democracy, we must expand the Supreme Court. Anything less would leave the future of our nation, our planet, and our fundamental civil rights at the whim of a far-right supermajority that is hostile to democracy itself.

Of course, many Americans will rightly be skeptical of a commission composed almost entirely of people protected from the real-life consequences of the Supreme Court’s right-wing extremism. Nevertheless, I remain hopeful that the commission will join our rising movement for Court expansion.

In the meantime, Congress has the power, and the constitutional duty, to set the size of the Court, as it has seven times throughout our history. My colleagues and I need not wait for the findings of a commission. We already know the obvious: we must expand the Supreme Court, before it’s too late.”

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Planning Forum Sponsored by League of Women Voters ZOOMING APRIL 22

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White Plains: Who Are We Planning For?

A Zoom Roundtable Discussion
Thursday, April 22 at 7:30 p.m. 
Register Now!
As part of the League of Women Voters of White Plains mission to promote an informed and engaged electorate, we invite you to join us on Thursday April 22, 7:30 p.m. for a Zoom roundtable discussion, “White Plains: Who Are We Planning For?”.  

One year into the pandemic and with local elections for mayor and common council later this year, now is a good time to consider the future of city planning here in White Plains. What are the needs of White Plains going forward, how can competing needs be balanced? How has the pandemic influenced thinking about the needs of our city? What can residents do to influence the direction of development in our city?

We have invited Mary Cavallero, former member of the White Plains Planning Board, David Schiff, retired city planner, and Chris Gomez, commissioner, White Plains Planning Department for a lively roundtable discussion. 

To register and receive a link for this Zoom program click here. We will take audience questions in advance.

For further information contact lwvwp.info@gmail.com
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(ALL Charts courtesy, HGAR)

WPCNR REALTY REALITY. From the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors. (Edited) April 7, 2021:

 Residential home sales in the lower Hudson Valley for the first quarter of 2021 were staggering.

Sales in Westchester were up 35.3% or 2,462 units as compared to 1,819 units in 2020.

The median price in Westchester County, rose 10.8% to $708,995 from $640,000 last year.

Homes are in demand county to county, up and down the valley

Orange County experienced a 54.2% increase in sales going from 896 units in 2020 to 1,382 units in 2021 first quarter.

Putnam and Sullivan counties were each up over 62%,

 Putnam with 427 sales compared to 263 in 2020 and Sullivan County with 362 units sold from 223 units in 2020.

In Rockland County sales increased 36.5% to 823 units from 603 in 2020.

Bronx County increased 31.6% at 567 units sold compared to 431 units in the first quarter of 2020.

.The median sale price for a single-family residential unit in Orange County rose 22.5% to $340,000 (from $277,450 one year ago) exceeded by an increase of 36.2% in Sullivan County to $221,00 from $162,250 one year ago.

.The median sale price for a single- family residence rose in Putnam County by 16.4% to $390,000 (from $335,000), in Rockland County by 14.4% to $525,000 (from $459,000), in Sullivan County by 36.2% to $221,000 (from $162,250) and in Bronx County to $541,000 (from $520,000) as compared to the first quarter of 2020.

 The residential market is normally cyclical with seasonal low sales in the first quarter as sellers begin to prepare their homes for the traditional “spring selling season”. This did not happen. The buyers kept on buying.

Covid-19 has served to create a marketplace that defies that predictability.

While first quarter sales in 2020 last year were relatively strong, a reflection of activity that occurred in late 2019, the true effects of the pandemic were seen in the second and third quarters of 2020 when sales, not unexpectedly, took a strong hit.

During that time, however, a migration from city to suburbs began taking hold as people felt the need to escape the close confines of city living and working from home created a need for larger living spaces.

Co-op sales have been lagging in both counties for the past year but rebounded in Q1, 2021. Condominium sales were up in every county except Sullivan.

It is likely that this Co-op rebound can be attributed to the dearth of choices in other housing types as well as the fact that co-ops remain an affordable alternative, at a median sale price of $192,750 in Westchester County and $244,000 in Bronx County.

Buyers and other potential purchasers unable to afford rising single family home prices.

While the overall economy has been struggling during the pandemic, real estate isn’t.

The suburban real estate market has seen increasing sales, rising prices and increased demand.


 This raises questions about the sustainability of the current market.

At what point will prices become too high, at what point will a lack of inventory (choice) discourage some buyers and while interest rates remain at historic lows, ameliorating some of the effects of rising prices, there have been recent upticks in mortgage rates which will affect affordability for some buyers.

This being said, current properties in contract remain high indicating that the market will remain strong in the near term.

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(Rye, NY) – With the green light from New York State to open amusements parks in place, the Westchester County Department of Parks, Recreation and Conservation plans to reopen Playland Park this year and is looking to fill seasonal positions.

Virtual interviews will be held on Saturday, April 10.

County Executive George Latimer said: “Working at Playland during the summer is a tradition for many young people in our County, their energy makes our park come alive. We look forward to seeing familiar faces and welcoming new ones.”

Job seekers are encouraged to explore Playland’s job board and apply ahead of the virtual interview day.

Open positions include:

·         Cashier

·         General Office

·         Park Supervisor

·         Lifeguard

·         EMT

·         General Maintenance

·         Beach/Pool Attendant

·         Admissions/Greeter

·         Housekeeping

·         Custodial

·         Ride Operators

Commissioner of the Department of Parks, Recreation and Conservation Kathy O’Connor said: “Our staff makes the operation of our parks possible and they have done an outstanding job the past year, despite many challenges. We are looking for dedicated applicants who want to enhance the experience of our parks for our guests.”

For more information visit https://playlandpark.org/ or call (914) 813-7019.

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