RESTORED SCHOOL AID WILL NOT BE USED IN 2024-25 WHITE PLAINS SCHOOL BUDGET: DR. RICCA

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WPCNR SCHOOL DAYS. By John F.. Bailey. April 16, 2024:

Governor Kathy Hochul’s Monday announcement  school aid cuts would be restored when the 2024 State Budget is passed by the legislature will not be used in the White Plains City School 2024-25 Budget.

White Plains Superintendent of Schools Dr. Joseph Ricca explained to WPCNR the 2024-25 budget had already been prepared “with no cuts” in spending.

He said the district has not been told when the $489,000 owed the district by the agreement to restore the funds struck by the Governor with the leaders of the State legislature.  When it arrived he said, due to restrictions on how school aid from the stat could be used,  the $489,000 would go into the general fund and it would be considered how to be used in the 2025-26 budget.

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GOVERNOR HOCHUL ANNOUNCES 2024 BUDGET AGREEMENT. SCHOOL AID FULLY FUNDED

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Governor Kathy Hochul Tuesday announced an agreement to address key priorities in the Fiscal Year 2024 New York State Budget. This bold and fiscally responsible plan makes historic investments in communities across the state and makes New York more affordable, more livable and safer.

“I promised New Yorkers we’d make our state more affordable, more livable and safer, and this budget delivers on that promise,” Governor Hochul said. “I am pleased to have reached an agreement with Speaker Heastie and Leader Stewart-Cousins on a transformative budget that improves public safety, transforms our mental health care system, protects our climate and invests in our children’s future.”

Highlights of the budget include:

  • Improving public safety by providing judges greater discretion to set bail for serious crimes; investing $347 million in evidence-based gun violence prevention initiatives; $170 million to support the implementation of discovery reform for prosecutors and defenders, including $50 million in capital for discovery technology improvements in New York City; $92 million in aid for prosecution and defense funding across the state; and more than $66 million to increase the number of State Police academy classes and number of troopers dedicated to addressing serious crime
  • Investing $1 billion in mental health – the largest investment in comprehensive mental health care in a generation – and transforming the continuum of care by increasing inpatient psychiatric treatment capacity, dramatically expanding outpatient services, and boosting insurance coverage
  • Creating a stronger health care system for the future through an additional $1 billion in health care capital funding and expanded Medicaid coverage for more than 7.8 million low-income New Yorkers
  • Protecting reproductive health care by investing $100.7 million to fund abortion providers, expanding access to abortion care for SUNY and CUNY students, providing access to over-the-counter contraception at pharmacies, enacting additional data protections for patients seeking reproductive health care, and increasing the Medicaid reimbursement rate for abortion care
  • Record funding for P-12 schools and higher education, including the largest annual School Aid amount of $34.5 billion, full funding of Foundation Aid for the first time in history, reauthorizing 22 charters, including 14 in New York City, and $2.4 billion for new capital projects for SUNY andCUNY
  • Implementing new comprehensive programs to ensure high-quality, affordable child care, including $500 million towards a Workforce Retention Grant Program and $25 million to support the Employer Child Care Tax Credit, and an expansion of the Child Tax Credit to include children under four years old
  • Increasing the minimum wage for three years, after which the State’s minimum wage would increase at a rate determined by the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W), giving hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers who earn minimum wage a pay increase to keep with rising costs of living
  • Supporting tenants, including residents of public and subsidized housing with rental arrears through a major investment in rental assistance for New York City Housing Authority and other public housing residents, as well as Section 8 voucher recipients and other subsidized housing residents through the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP)
  • Saving the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) from the “fiscal cliff” and securing long-term stability through adjusting the Payroll Mobility Tax for the largest businesses within New York City to 0.6 percent, generating approx. $1.1 billion; $300 million in one-time State aid; requiring New York City to contribute $165 million for paratransit services funding; $65 million to reduce the proposed fare increase on the MTA; expanding service frequencies on the subway and launching a pilot program providing five free bus routes in New York City to enhance the customer experience
  • Combating climate change and investing in energy affordability by implementing first-in-the-nation zero-emission requirements for new building construction, and expanding the New York Power Authority’s ability to support New York’s climate goals
  • Making New York a more competitive place to grow jobs and drive economic growth by expanding and enhancing the New York Film Tax Credit – one of the most stable film production incentive programs in the nation – which will provide a boost to New York’s film industry, one of the largest union employers in the state
  • Building infrastructure and capital projects across the State, including $1.7 billion for a new Department of Health research laboratory, $2.4 billion for transformation, maintenance and preservation projects at SUNY and CUNY campuses across the state, $446 million for Phase Three of the Hunts Point Interstate Access Improvement Project, $105 million to upgrade the State Emergency Operations Center, $51 million for Hudson Valley Bridge Rehabilitation and Replacements, and much more
  • Supporting New Yorkers with disabilities by expanding the Medicaid Buy-In Program for working people with disabilities, funding and reinvigorating the Interagency Coordinating Council for Services to Persons who are Deaf, Deaf-Blind and Hard of Hearing and increasing the number of Civil Service Section 55-B positions to grow the representation of those with disabilities in the State workforce
  • Expanding access and boosting demand for New York food and products while supporting farmers by increasing food manufacturing capabilities in the state; $10 million to support the establishment of farm markets, supermarkets and food cooperatives in underserved communities; and $50 million over five years to local school districts to support New York State farm products in meals for K-12 school children
  • Expanding the enforcement powers of the Office of Cannabis Management and Department of Taxation and Finance to further grow the legal marketplace for cannabis, including levying fines on illegal retail operations and closing those shops down
  • Supporting New York Seniors by funding programs statewide to support aging in place and to fight financial exploitation, elder abuse, and isolation of the aging, and increasing funding for the Master Plan for Aging (MPA), a comprehensive, interagency vision for seniors living in New York State

I promised New Yorkers we’d make our state more affordable, more livable and safer, and this budget delivers on that promise.”

Governor Hochul

With a conceptual agreement in place the legislative houses are expected to pass bills that will enact these priorities. The total budget for FY 2024 is currently estimated at $229 billion, based on a preliminary assessment of the negotiated changes to the Executive proposal. The Enacted Budget will hold State Operating Funds spending under 3 percent in FY 2024 and will increase the State’s reserves to a record level of 15 percent, as proposed by the Governor in the first months of her administration.

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LEPTOSPIROSIS (NEW OUTBREAK IN NYC) COULD BE LINKED TO RAINFALL UNSANITARY CONDITIONS. RAT PRESENCE

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LeptospirosiS

This article has been published in the peer-reviewed journal WikiJournal of Medicine (2022). Click to view the published version.
This is a good article. Click here for more information.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Leptospirosis is a blood infection caused by the bacteria Leptospira[8] that can infect humans, dogs, rodents and many other wild and domesticated animals.[8] Signs and symptoms can range from none to mild (headachesmuscle pains, and fevers) to severe (bleeding in the lungs or meningitis).[5] Weil’s disease (/ˈvlz/ VILES),[12] the acute, severe form of leptospirosis, causes the infected individual to become jaundiced (skin and eyes become yellow), develop kidney failure, and bleed.[6] Bleeding from the lungs associated with leptospirosis is known as severe pulmonary haemorrhage syndrome.[5]

More than ten genetic types of Leptospira cause disease in humans.[13] Both wild and domestic animals can spread the disease, most commonly rodents.[8] The bacteria are spread to humans through animal urine or feces, or water or soil contaminated with animal urine and feces, coming into contact with the eyes, mouth, nose or breaks in the skin.[8] In developing countries, the disease occurs most commonly in pest control, farmers and low-income people who live in areas with poor sanitation.[5]

In developed countries, it occurs during heavy downpours and is a risk to pest controllers, sewage workers[14] and those involved in outdoor activities in warm and wet areas.[5] Diagnosis is typically by testing for antibodies against the bacteria or finding bacterial DNA in the blood.[5]

Efforts to prevent the disease include protective equipment to block contact when working with potentially infected animals, washing after contact, and reducing rodents in areas where people live and work.[7] The antibiotic doxycycline is effective in preventing leptospirosis infection.[7] Human vaccines are of limited usefulness;[15] vaccines for other animals are more widely available.[16] Treatment when infected is with antibiotics such as doxycycline, penicillin, or ceftriaxone.[8] The overall risk of death is 5–10%.[10] However, when the lungs are involved, the risk of death increases to the range of 50–70%.[8]

It is estimated that one million severe cases of leptospirosis in humans occur every year, causing about 58,900 deaths.[11] The disease is most common in tropical areas of the world but may occur anywhere.[7] Outbreaks may arise after heavy rainfall.[7] The disease was first described by physician Adolf Weil in 1886 in Germany.[17][18] Infected animals may have no, mild or severe symptoms.[19] These may vary by the type of animal.[16][19] In some animals Leptospira live in the reproductive tract, leading to transmission during mating.[16]

Signs and symptoms[edit]

A schematic of the human body showing the symptoms and signs of leptospirosis
Schematic depiction of the symptoms and signs of leptospirosis[20]
Human eye showing symptomatic red and yellow patches on the white of the eye
Conjunctival suffusion (red conjunctiva) together with jaundice is a specific feature of leptospirosis.[20]

The symptoms of leptospirosis usually appear one to two weeks after infection,[7] but the incubation period can be as long as a month.[21] The illness is biphasic in a majority of symptomatic cases. Symptoms of the first phase (acute or leptospiremic phase) last five to seven days. In the second phase (immune phase), the symptoms resolve as antibodies against the bacteria are produced.[8] Additional symptoms develop in the second phase.[22] The phases of illness may not be distinct, especially in patients with severe illness.[23] 90% of those infected experience mild symptoms while 10% experience severe leptospirosis.[24]

Leptospiral infection in humans causes a range of symptoms, though some infected persons may have none. The disease begins suddenly with fever accompanied by chills, intense headache, severe muscle aches and abdominal pain.[5][21] A headache brought on by leptospirosis causes throbbing pain and is characteristically located at the head’s bilateral temporal or frontal regions. The person could also have pain behind the eyes and a sensitivity to light. Muscle pain usually involves the calf muscle and the lower back.

The most characteristic feature of leptospirosis is the conjunctival suffusion (conjunctivitis without exudate) which is rarely found in other febrile illnesses. Other characteristic findings on the eye include subconjunctival bleeding and jaundice. A rash is rarely found in leptospirosis. When one is found alternative diagnoses such as dengue fever and chikungunya fever should be considered. Dry cough is observed in 20–57% of people with leptospirosis. Thus, this clinical feature can mislead a doctor to diagnose the disease as a respiratory illness. Additionally, gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhoea frequently occur. Vomiting and diarrhea may contribute to dehydration. The abdominal pain can be due to acalculous cholecystitis or inflammation of the pancreas.[21] Rarely, the lymph nodesliver, and spleen may be enlarged and palpable.[8]

There will be a resolution of symptoms for one to three days.[7] The immune phase starts after this and can last from four to 30 days and can be anything from brain to kidney complications.[25] The hallmark of the second phase is inflammation of the membranes covering the brain.[7] Signs and symptoms of meningitis include severe headache and neck stiffness.[7] Kidney involvement is associated with reduced or absent urine output.[7]

The classic form of severe leptospirosis, known as Weil’s disease, is characterised by liver damage (causing jaundice), kidney failure, and bleeding, which happens in 5–10% of those infected.[7] Lung and brain damage can also occur. For those with signs of inflammation of membranes covering the brain and the brain itselfaltered level of consciousness can happen.

A variety of neurological problems such as paralysis of half of the bodycomplete inflammation of a whole horizontal section of spinal cord, and muscle weakness due to immune damage of the nerves supplying the muscles are the complications. Signs of bleeding such as non-traumatic bruises at 1 mm (0.039 in)non-traumatic bruises more than 1 cm (0.39 in)nose bleedingblackish stools due to bleeding in the stomachvomiting blood and bleeding from the lungs can also be found. Prolongation of prothrombin time in coagulation testing is associated with severe bleeding manifestation. However, low platelet count is not associated with severe bleeding.[21] Pulmonary haemorrhage is alveolar haemorrhage (bleeding into the alveoli of the lungs) leading to massive coughing up of blood, and causing acute respiratory distress syndrome, where the risk of death is more than 50%.[21] Rarely, inflammation of the heart musclesinflammation of membranes covering the heartabnormalities in the heart’s natural pacemaker and abnormal heart rhythms may occur.[8]

The bacteria can be found in ponds, rivers, puddles, sewers, agricultural fields and moist soil.[7] Pathogenic Leptospira have been found in the form of aquatic biofilms, which may aid survival in the environment.[29]

The number of cases of leptospirosis is directly related to the amount of rainfall, making the disease seasonal in temperate climates and year-round in tropical climates.[7] The risk of contracting leptospirosis depends upon the risk of disease carriage in the community and the frequency of exposure.[21] In rural areas, farming and animal husbandry are the major risk factors for contracting leptospirosis.[5] Poor housing and inadequate sanitation also increase the risk of infection.[21] In tropical and semi-tropical areas, the disease often becomes widespread after heavy rains or after flooding.[7]

 

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OUTBREAK NORTHEAST EDITION. COVID LURKS. COVID HOSPITALIZATIONS IN DECLINE.INFLUENZA DOWN. NEW RAT-BORN DISEASE SURFACES IN NYC

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At 2:10 A.M. 112 YEARS AGO THE UNSINKABLE TITANIC SLIPPED HORRIDLY BENEATH THE WAVES

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WPCNR MILESTONES. By John F. Bailey. April 14-15, 2024

At  2:10 A.M tonight, in the wee hours far out on the North Atlantic, the Titanic sank off the Grand Banks of New Foundland

She began her first voyage, four days ago, 112 years ago, April 10, 1912.

She carried over 2,200 passengers and crew and was the largest ocean liner of her time.

The people were of walks of life:  the rich and famous, the poor and hopeful.

She was guaranteed unsinkable.

Her owners, the White Star Line, wanted to set a new speed record for crossing the Atlantic.

Her captain Edward Smith had been warned their northerly course would take it through an iceberg field. Wireless messages warned them of icebergs ahead.

On April 14, a Sunday  evening, 108 years ago, sailing  under a crisp clear,calm starlit sky at 11:40 PM after an evening of partying aboard ship, prior to arrival in New York on Monday, the ship sideswiped an iceberg.

She was the Titanic.

She was the ship of dreams.

And she was going down.

Today, she is the ship of nightmares as hundreds of passengers from all walks of life perished together in the ruthless sea. The cold fateful, unforgiving frigid  indifferent eternity of the sea.

The Titanic’s fate was a lesson that changed maritime laws.

Two  hours and 40 minutes  after the iceberg collision the Titanic sank at 2:10 A.M., 112 years on April 15, (this morning) on that night to remember.

This is an excerpt from  the testimony of a survivor, Emily Maria Borie Ryerson watching from a lifeboat desperately trying to row away from the suction of the sinking ship, at the 1912 U.S. Senate Subcommittee hearing on the  sinking:

“The order was given to pull away. Then they rowed off—the sailors, the women, anyone – but made little progress; there was a confusion of orders; we rowed toward the stern, someone shouted something about a gangway, and no one seemed to know what to do. Barrels and (deck) chairs were being thrown overboard.

“Then suddenly, when we (in the lifeboat) still seemed very near, we saw the ship was sinking rapidly. I was still in the bow of the boat with my daughter and turned to see the great ship take a plunge toward the bow, the two forward funnels seemed to lean and then she seemed to break in half as if cut with a knife, and as the bow went under, the lights went out; the stern stood up for several minutes, black against the stars, and then that, too, plunged down and there was no sound for what seemed like hours, and then began the cries for help of people  drowning all around us, which seemed to go on forever.”

Dorothy Gibson, the silent screen actress and survivor – from her testimony before the committee—observed from a lifeboat– in an excerpt from her testimony before the same committee, said:

“Suddenly there was a wild coming together of voices from the direction of the ship of the ship and we noticed an unusual commotion among the people huddled about the railing. Then the awful thing happened, the thing that will remain in my memory until the day I die.

The Titanic seemed to lurch slightly more to the side and then the fore. A minute, or probably two minutes, later she sank her nose into the ocean, swayed for a few minutes and disappeared, leaving nothing behind her on the face of the sea but a swirl of water, bobbing heads and lifeboats that were threatened by the suction of the waters.”

The Titanic’s fate was traced to the negligence and reckless disregard of the risk of sailing at 22 knots through an icefield, and 16 lifeboats for 2,200 persons, insufficient number of lifeboats.

In recent years, analysis of the hull plates recovered from the wreck of the ship on the ocean floor indicated a faulty, economical brittle bolt selection in constructing  the hull. Aflaw in the heights of the bulkheads of the watertight doors designed to block seawater were found to be too low allow the indifferent seawaters to surge over each watertight compartment as the ship sank nose first, dooming the unsinkable design.

The White Star Line owner J. Bruce Ismay, onboard that night,  callously saved his own life by slipping into a lifeboat.

Ismay in a statement, denied telling the Captain of the Titanic to set a new speed record and denied telling the Captain to increase the ship speed in the ice field region.  Also said he just happened to be near a lifeboat about to be lowered and no more women and children around to board, and that was why he got into the lifeboat.

So much for corporate responsibility and guilt of any kind, even then.

Not much has changed in corporate world over the decades since this night and morning to remember.

Maybe corporate world should consider that.

Aftermath Never to be Forgotten: Lifeboats afloat in the middle of the ocean, where the Titanic used to be.
The morning of April 15, 1912. From the book The Titanic Experience

 

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APRIL 14 –ANNOUNCEMENT OF LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS OF WHITE PLAINS SCHOOL BOARD CANDIDATES FORUM MAY 9, 7 PM CALL FOR QUESTIONS

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The League of Women Voters of White Plains will sponsor a White Plains School Board Candidates Forum on Thursday, May 9th, at 7pm at the White Plains High School Library/Media Center. Three seats are up for election this year. While no questions will be taken from the floor, those interested in submitting questions should:

 

  • Email them to lwvwpawc@gmail.comby 5pm on May 2nd. 
  • Write School Board Question in the Subject line.
  • While we will not share your name and contact information at the Forum,  we ask that you include the following information to ensure that White Plains Residents have their questions heard:
  Your Name:

Your Address:

Your Question:

 

Questions should be applicable to all candidates and center on White Plains School issues rather than personalities.  The League will review questions and consolidate similar ones that will reflect a wide range of issues.

 

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THE TRUMPTANIC

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WPCNR NEWS & COMMENT. By John F. Bailey. April 13, 2024:

112 years ago this day the RMS Titanic with 2,229 crew and passengers aboard was under sunny skies and sailing a calm sea in the middle of the cold North Atlantic on the third day of its maiden voyage to America.

Aboard were the who’s who of the rich and famous of the time, immigrants in steerage all eager to enjoy then the greatest ship ever built, the fastest ship ever built, and the safest.

It was declared  the safest by its owners the White Star Line because of its connected below the waterline compartments designed to close off should one be breeched or collided with.

The ship sailed from Southampton England April 10.  The opulence of the ship was luxury and large. It’s four smokestacks belching black smoke, its bow cutting the ocean like butter, the speed over 20 knots as the owner Bruce Ismay pushed its Captain to pour on the coal to set a speed record from England to America.

The Titanic which 112 years ago was sailing westward and on Monday  112 years ago rested on the bottom, thousands freezing and drowning in frigid waters,  has a lesson for us.

What is that message?

The voyagers enthralled with the great ship and its  intoxicating smooth voyage over the sea did not know what was coming: their worst nightmare just two days from now.

I always think of the innocence and yes, hubris this ship demonstrated through no fault of its own.

The unspeakable disaster looming in the icy waters, was caused by  hubris: choosing to ignore  warnings of iceberg fields ahead and going full steam ahead into giant icebergs, and at top speed of 26 knots, not giving the ship’s helmsman enough turn space to avoid anything that might be ahead.

It was hubris and the  Achilles’ Heel of Businessmen: cost-cutting that did not equip the RMS Titanic with enough lifeboats. Over 1,500 persons drowned.

This very bad habit of businesses cutting costs that results in killing people is still a deadly unintentional practice.

I was struck by the similarity of the Titanic situation to the state of the country today.

America is on a voyage too.

Just  like the 2,029 “souls” on the Titanic.

We are all of us: white, black, Latino, immigrant, migrants all passengers on the USS TRUMPTANIC.

Our leaders in the wheelhouse, (the U.S. Congress) are controlled by small factions advocating dangerous to the country policies; delaying funds to help persons who need it,, or worse cutting them, and when brief compromises delayed for weeks to preserve controversial services, the growing problem is not resolved.

Just like the Titanic management and crew long term decisions to aid policy agendas and politicians own seats and bottom lines of caviling factions not with citizen’s  health, survival, and rights in mind fail to do what any person who hears what God—(The voice in your head that warns you when you are doing wrong and you hear it and choose to ignore)  decides on the path of political demands,  (as Ismay the owner limited lifeboats, operated recklessly in an icefield he knew about for  the sake of promotion that cost 1500 lives.

There is no difference between the political infighting nationally creating misery for women, immigrants educators, and people coming across the borders and being housed in the streets, limiting health care, not controlling guns more tightly, and judicial decisions that rely on semantics instead of humanity of their decisions.

We have two captains, two crews battling for the helm  of the USS Trumptanic and where it will sail now in the  sea  of  the world, fraught with more danger than any iceberg.

The wrangling at the helm in Washington, unfortunately now with two houses of congress and the confused Presidential administration trying to get some rational solutions through, but Senators and Congress members vacillating on which way to turn the ship, not considering the humanity of the USS Trumptanic that will suffer losses if thoughtful humane decisions are not made. Americans need more lifeboats not less. They need sensible business policies and regulation on the corrupt leadership of the captains of industry in the country today.

Should the USS Trumptanic with one Captain trying to please all, while his challenger continues to tell people what sounds good, selling slogans with without concrete plans (nothing unusual for any politician), while the opposing Captain seeking to retain the helm of  USS Trumptanic  and turn it into the USS Bidenomic even should he win reelection, will need a far more intelligent and responsible two houses of conference to make the legislation that helps all the passengers on the USS America of 2025 get off the sinking ship.

Right now the USS Trumptanic  commanded already by the instructions over the ship’s national intercom is veering starboard to port, port to starboard inexorably avoiding safe passages to the left or the right, and are very reluctant, both parties to change their desperate pulling at the helm.

Where is the USS Trumptanic taking us?

The passengers on this great ship of a country have their chance in November to take the helm firmly.

Running the greatest country in the world, despite or present confusion of what we want to be is not a job for self-serving politicians.

It’s up to you, America to rename the ship USS My America Again

An America that helps unconditionally. That aids the afflicted and afflicts the comfortable. That defends the passengers against the forces of tyranny.  That respects the truth and reports the truth. Where you speak your mind and are not jailed or killed for it. That is why people come here they respect us for what we once were. Where you get a fair trial, and no one is above the law. Where the judges think and wear their robes to right wrongs and not inflict new wrongs.

Where all men and women are created equal. All have the right to the pursuit of happiness, All have the right to come here and come aboard, because you make our imperfect country stronger, free-er and as the Statue of Liberty inscription says “I hold up my torch beside the Golden Door…come on in you huddled masses”

Passengers on the USS Trumptanic, save the ship take control of the helm responsibly on November 5.

You are your own lifeboats.

Remember the crybaby politicians will get in the boats first.

 Women and children  will not get seats.

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MONDAY NIGHT 7 PM EDT WHITE PLAINS WEEK THE APRIL 12 REPORT COUNTYWIDE ON FIOS 45, WHITE PLAINS OPTIMUM 76 AND ACROSS THE UNIVERSE ON WWW.WPCOMMUNITYMEDIA.ORG

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THE ECLIPSE IN WHITE PLAINS NY USA. EYEWITNESS ECLIPSING

1% DROP IN THE WHITE PLAINS 2024 ASSESSMENT ROLL RESPONSIBLE FOR 1.06% SCHOOL TAX RISE

 TOTAL  CITY TAXABLE ASSESSED EVALUATION AT SAME LEVEL AS 10 YEARS AGO. WHAT’S GOING ON?

EARTHQUAKE SHAKES WHITE PLAINS

50 TEACHERS PROTEST CURRICULUM COORDINATORS POLICY AT SCHOLAR ATHLETES NIGHT WPCNR VIDEO

JOHN BAILEY REPORTS ON HOW THE MOON SHADOW CLOAKED  OUR SUN

JOHN BAILEY AND THE NEWS

WESTCHESTER’S ANCHORMAN 

EVERY WEEK ON WHITE PLAINS WEEK

FOR 23 YEARS

WITH THE NEWS YOU NEED TO KNOW

THE “ANCHOR OF TRUTH”

 

 

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ALL HANDS ON DECK FOR THE NEW YORK EQUAL RIGHTS AMENDMENT IN NOVEMBER

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TO: Interested Parties
FROM: New Yorkers for Equal Rights
DATE: April 9, 2024
RE: Grassroots Organizers Hold 25 NY ERA Days of Action Across New York State


Overview

Over the past month, grassroots organizers with the New Yorkers for Equal Rights campaign have hosted more than 25 day of action events across New York State. From Buffalo to Albany to Long Island, these gatherings have served as rallying points for community members, advocates, and activists to join together, activate their communities, and work to ensure the NY ERA passes this November. The NY ERA ballot measure is a historic opportunity for New Yorkers to protect their rights and reproductive freedoms in the state constitution, guaranteeing that New Yorkers, not the government, control their own lives, bodies, and futures — no matter who they are, who they love, where they come from, or what reproductive health care choices they make.

At the NY ERA anchor event in New York City, roughly a hundred New Yorkers gathered at 1199SEIU to hear remarks by heads of New Yorkers for Equal Rights coalition organizations, including Planned Parenthood Empire State Acts, the New York Civil Liberties Union, 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, New Pride Agenda, Make the Road Action, and NAACP New York. These were followed by breakout sessions to facilitate organizer conversations around how the NY ERA might benefit and motivate their communities and how to best advocate for the amendment and activate voters within respective communities.

More than 25 NY ERA days of action took place across New York State over the past month, including:

  • Albany — League of Women Voters Rensselaer County Day of Action
  • Buffalo — The Young Feminist Party Day of Action
  • Long Island — Engage Long Island Day of Action
  • Ithaca — League of Women Voters Day of Action
  • Mid-Hudson — NYCLU Mid-Hudson Day of Action
  • Ulster — Indivisible Ulster Day of Action
  • Olean — League of Women Voters Cattaraugus Allegany Day of Action
  • NYC — New Pride Agenda Day of Action
  • Endicott — League of Women Voters Broome Tioga Day of Action

Grassroots organizations and nonprofits leading NY ERA days of action across the state include:

  • AAUW Westchester/League of Women Voters of North East Westchester
  • Buffalo Young Feminist Party
  • Cattaraugus/Allegany League of Women Voters
  • Community Unitarian Universalist Congregation at White Plains
  • Downtown Women for Change
  • Engage LI
  • Indivisible Ulster
  • League of Women Voters of the City of New York
  • League of Women Voters of Rensselaer County
  • League of Women Voters of Tompkins County
  • Markers For Democracy
  • Nassau Community College
  • National Council of Jewish Women NY
  • The New York Civil Liberties Union
  • Planned Parenthood of Greater New York (PPGNY) Action Fund
  • Planned Parenthood Hudson Peconic
  • The New Pride Agenda
  • Reproductive Justice Social Justice Team
  • Smithtown League of Women Voters
  • Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood
  • The Young Feminist Party
Key Highlights

Hudson Valley
Daily Freeman: Hinchey, Local Activists Rally in Kingston for the Equal Rights Amendment 
“Local activists and organizations rallied in support of the Equal Rights Amendment on Saturday, urging Ulster County residents to vote ‘yes’ on the ballot in November…Liz Roth, member of Hudson Valley Strong, attended the event, on behalf of Dutchess County. ‘We’re just trying to help each other as much as we can,’ she said. ‘This New York ERA is very powerful, very important legislation.'”

Buffalo 
WGRZ: Grassroots Group Makes Push for New York Equal Rights Amendment
“The Buffalo Young Feminist Party was getting the word out Saturday about the measure that it endorses, the group’s co-founder told 2 On Your Side.

‘To really get this movement going, and to get people talking about it, and get people aware that this is going to be on the ballot in November, and what it means, and who it will help, and really just create a community strategy going forward for the equal rights amendment in New York State,’ Sara Bachraty said.”
Long Island
Dan’s Papers: East End League of Women Voters Event Promotes NY Equal Rights Amendment
“As part of their efforts to persuade Congress to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment nationally, a local chapter of the League of Women Voters held an event urging East End residents to help pass a New York State version of the amendment, which will appear as a referendum on general election ballots this November. Officially dubbed The New York Equal Protection of Law Amendment, the measure has already been passed by the State Legislature. But it must be approved by voters in order to be officially adopted as an amendment to the state constitution.”Albany
Times Union: Local Leagues of Women Voters unite to promote NYS Equal Rights Amendment
“League of Women Voters chapters in Albany, Rensselaer and Saratoga counties are launching a campaign to promote passage of the Equal Rights Amendment to the New York State Constitution this fall. ‘It’s going to be on the ballot in November. We realize there’s a lot of people who don’t make it to the polls. We hope to remind people that this is a pretty big deal to encourage them to go to the polls,’ said Shirley Buel, president of the League of Women Voters of Rensselaer County.”
Olean
Olean Times Herald: League of Women Voters hosts Walk for Equality in Olean
“The League of Women Voters of Cattaraugus and Allegany Counties hope about 50 people who walked for equality in Olean will take the message they heard to the polls this November. A launch event on Saturday to bring awareness to an amendment to the New York State Constitution was held with supporters from Cattaraugus, Erie, Allegany and Chautauqua counties walking from Jamestown Community College to Lincoln Park in Olean.”New York City
Politico NY: Equal Rights Amendment push intensifies
“A campaign to get the New York Equal Rights Amendment passed in November will intensify its efforts by kicking off 25 ‘day of action’ events around the state, Playbook has learned…
They plan to gather more than 1,000 supporters from Buffalo to Long Island to organize and educate voters. Members include local chapters of the League of Women Voters and Planned Parenthood, 1199 SEIU, the ACLU, NAACP and immigrant advocacy groups.”
City and State: Building the strategy to pass an Equal Rights Amendment in New York
“Abortion rights activists gathered in midtown Manhattan at the headquarters of 1199SEIU on Thursday to start the campaign to pass the state Equal Rights Amendment…The organizing event also comes in the wake of national backlash around an Alabama Supreme Court ruling that effectively halted in vitro fertilization treatments in the state…Although it only impacts Alabama, the implication of the IVF ruling has politicians from around the country sweating – particularly in New York. Rep. Marc Molinaro, a first-term Republican in the Hudson Valley, became the first member of his party to support a Democratic-led bill to protect IVF last week. Fellow Hudson Valley Republican Rep. Mike Lawler became the second GOP member to sign onto the bill a few days later.”Gothamist/WNYC: New poll shows wide bipartisan support for NY’s Equal Rights Amendment
“Voters across geographic and partisan divides strongly support incorporating additional protections into New York’s constitution that explicitly protect reproductive rights and prohibit discrimination across a wider range of individual characteristics, according to a new poll shared exclusively with Gothamist…Supporters of the New York ERA kicked off a grassroots campaign this week to build on the support found in that data and to ensure voters statewide know that this initiative will be on the back of their ballot in November.”
Assemblymember Charles Lavine
I was honored to join so many dear friends at a rally this morning in Garden City organized by the @NYCLU in support of the New York Equal Rights Amendment. We must all do everything we can to protect women’s rights – which are HUMAN rights! @NYEqualRightsIndivisibleWestchester
New Yorkers want to know that the freedom to control our own bodies, lives, and futures is guaranteed.We have the power to protect our freedoms – by voting to pass the New York Equal Rights Amendment this November.Mary Freeman
I’m attending New Yorkers for Equal Rights’s event, “LWV X NYERA Launch Event [Cattaraugus Allegany]” – sign up now to join me!

@NAPAWF
In our equal rights amendment era! Last week, @napawfnyc joined the launch of New Yorkers for Equal Rights! This state constitutional amendment would expand the existing constitutional protections for race and religion – and add state protections for reproductive autonomy!

Downtown Women for Change
We’re joining @NYEqualRights to fight for the passage of the #NYERA – because no New Yorker should ever be discriminated against by the government, no matter who we are, what we look like, who we love, whether we have a disability, or whether we choose to have an abortion.

Planned Parenthood Empire State Acts
In New York, we don’t take our rights for granted. That’s why we’re so proud to be a part of the effort to pass the NY Equal Rights Amendment. This November, NYers will have the chance to vote for equality protections built by New Yorkers FOR New Yorkers. #NYERA #NYEqualRights

NIRH Action Fund
We’re joining New Yorkers to push for @NYEqualRights, a measure to protect and preserve our rights and reproductive freedoms across the state! Join our campaign: https://nyequalrights.org

Make The Road
Today, we’re joining @NYEqualRights to fight for the passage of the #NYERA – because no New Yorker should ever be discriminated against by the government, no matter who we are, what we look like, who we love, whether we have a disability, or whether we choose to have an abortion. Learn more and join our grassroots fight at https://nyequalrights.org

New York Immigration Coalition
No New Yorker should ever be discriminated against by the government, no matter who we are, what we look like, who we love, whether we have a disability, or whether we choose to have an abortion. Vote YES on the New York Equal Rights Amendment: https://nyequalrights.org

Assemblymember Hevesi
No New Yorker should ever be discriminated against by the government, no matter who we are, what we look like, who we love, whether we have a disability, or whether we choose to have an abortion. Vote YES on the New York Equal Rights Amendment: https://nyequalrights.org

Assemblymember Seawright
@NYEqualRights has launched an education campaign on the NYS Equal Rights Amendment. As the #NYERA’s Assembly Lead Sponsor, we encourage you to read about this historic measure.

Photo & Videos Highlights
NYCLU Nassau Chapter Rally, 3/23
League of Women Voters Cattaraugus Allegany Walk, 3/23
Downtown Women for Change Teach In, 3/21
Indivisible Ulster Honk & Wave, 3/30
About New Yorkers for Equal Rights
New Yorkers for Equal Rights, a ballot initiative committee registered with the New York State Board of Elections, was formed by a coalition of civil rights and reproductive rights organizations advocating for passage of the New York Equal Rights Amendment. The NY ERA is supported by New York-based and national organizations across New York. For the full list of NY ERA coalition members please visit https://nyequalrights.org/. 
 
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ABINANTI ON MONEY MESS IN ALBANY

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IT’S BUDGET TIME.
MONEY TALKS.
WHAT WILL THE BUDGET SAY?
1.TAXES
2.MONEY FOR EVERYONE – BUT NOT DSPS?
3.HOUSING FOR EVERYONE – BUT NOT PWDS?
4.CRIME – REPEAT OFFENDERS
– CRISIS RESPONSE
THE STATE BUDGET GOT ECLIPSED!!!
With the New York State budget overdue and negotiations apparently progressing slowly, State leaders took some time off to view the eclipse. The Assembly even canceled session.
In January, Governor Kathy Hochul proposed a $233 billion budget – a 4.5% spending increase with no tax increases. State officials say tax collections are up $1.35 billion.
Despite the oft-repeated mantra that the State budget should be about money not policy, by all reports, it is policy disagreements that have the budget 9 days late and counting.
Here are some issues to watch.
1. TAXES.
The Governor has pledged to hold the line on taxes.
The progressives want an income tax increase on individuals making $450,000 +.
2. MONEY FOR EVERYONE – BUT NOT THOSE WHO CARE FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES.
HOSPITALS – Yes
There seems to be a consensus on the need to increase Medicaid reimbursement rates for hospitals to ease financial strains on health care facilities serving middle and low-income households.
PUBLIC LAWYERS – Yes
There seems to be support to expand student-debt loan forgiveness programs for public defenders and prosecutors, as many lawyers have been fleeing these low-pay jobs because they can’t pay their law school debt.
CONSTRUCTION WORKERS – Yes
Unions and community groups have been pressing for a statutory $40/hour minimum wage for all construction workers who would work on projects receiving tax benefits under a proposed replacement for the expired NYC “421-a incentive program” for affordable housing .
DIRECT SUPPORT PROFESSIONALS – NO
There seems to be very little interest in right-sizing the pay for Direct Support Professionals who assist people with disabilities. These difficult jobs are made even more challenging by the staffing shortages due low wages in the industry – generally $18-19/hour. There is no consensus on proposals by non-profit providers and families for an across-the-board 3.2% Cost of Living adjustment (COLA) for the non-profit agencies and a $4,000 permanent “wage enhancement” for the DSP’s who are significantly underpaid.
3. HOUSING FOR EVERYONE – BUT NOT PEOPLE
WITH DISABILITIES.
“GOOD CAUSE EVICTION”
aka UNIVERSAL RENT CONTROL
Progressives and tenant activists are pressing hard for new laws to make it more difficult for all landlords to raise rents and evict tenants.
However, landlords are pushing back. Some note the proposal does nothing for those struggling to pay their rent every month and a voucher system would be better. They note it protects bad or nuisance tenants who pay their rent on time.
The proposal would limit rent increases for all rental apartments statewide. Small landlords argue that taxes and utilities are increasing and many rely on the income from their 2-3 family rentals to live on. In a letter sent recently, nearly two dozen clergy members urged that the measure be rejected.
421-A AND MITCHELL-LAMA IMITATIONS
With the need for more housing, especially “affordable” housing, there is renewed interest in re-tooling some past approaches. The “Mitchell-Lama” program subsidized co-op style ownership housing where owners could recoup part of the increase in the value of their “affordable unit” with the unit remaining “affordable.” The NYC 421-A program gave tax breaks to NYC developers who included a specified percentage of “affordable” units.
NO TALK ABOUT SUPPORTIVE HOUSING FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES.
The State reportedly closed 150 group homes upstate. Over 5,000 people are on the wait list for group home placements. Thousands more who don’t want to live in group homes are living with the aged or aging parents. Yet the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) “discourages” (actually “impedes”) families who try to cooperate among themselves to create new communities for people with disabilities. The proposed Budget includes only a miniscule amount of undesignated new money for housing capital.
4. CRIME – REPEAT OFFENDERS
A FEW CREATING A CRIME WAVE
The governor has rightfully highlighted that repeat offenders are the most significant players in a perceived crime increase. The progressives are resisting any tweaks to previous reforms.
CRISIS RESPONSE
The governor has also rightfully placed emphasis on mental health –
whether it is every-day people facing a crisis or an out-of-control attacker. Yet another NYPD shooting of a mentally ill teen holding an ordinary pair household scissors again highlights the need for more crisis response professionals. But the State budget fails to support more mobile crisis teams. Importantly, most crisis response efforts statewide do not include a behavioral specialist skilled in dealing with people with developmental or intellectual disabilities.
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