Bradley Signs Pledge for a Living Wage at SEIU Rally

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WPCNR DAILY SUN. Special to WPCNR By E. Hezi, The Yonkers Tribune. October 8, 2002:The monotonous internal clock
ticked toward 6:30 P.M. last night, yet the rally called for by the
Worker Families Party had not yet formed, when a contingent of
healthcare workers of Service Employee International Union (SEIU) of
Union 1199 of Hudson Valley, ignited the crowd into a welcome cheer.

Clad in crisp purple colored T-shirts emblazoned with gold lettering,
the healthcare workers increased the attendance of respondents to over fifty energized and determined people who engulfed the entranceway of the 148 Martine Avenue office building.
The participants came to beseech Westchester County Legislators to sign their pledge: “I pledge to support the living wage because I believe all workers should be allowed to live in dignity. The workers, their families and all of Westchester deserve a living wage.”

Debra Smith, Westchester Family Services employee alighted the steps to the entranceway and when reaching the platform before the actual entranceway into the building addressed the crowd in order to “introduce my favorite County Legislator, Andrea Stewart-Cousins,” to the spontaneous applause of those present.

Westchester County Legislator Andrea Stewart-Cousins praised the crowd for their righteous and committed struggle to have legislation passed to witness their over one-year effort for the “Living Wage,” and pledged her passionate resolve upon their behalf. The crowd seemed to hang onto every word she uttered in her brief appearance, as she was required to return to the continuing caucus in session prior to the formal meeting of the Westchester County Legislators that night. Taking a “magic-marker like” pen to the oversized 36 inches by 64 inches “pledge” written on contact paper, Ms. Stewart-Cousins became the first to sign the pledge.

Latimer Supports Bill.

Fellow Westchester County Legislator George Latimer also came from on-going caucus discussions to briefly address the crowd stating, “What you are expressing and demonstrating for is right. I hope to celebrate victory with you in the near future.” Mr. George Latimer also signed the pledge.

Seven Seen Sign

One by one, Westchester County Legislators extracted themselves from caucus discussion to address the rally and to append their names to “the pledge” of support. In no specific order, but rather a listing of undersigners, the following committed their signatures: Westchester County Legislators Richard G. Wishnie, Thomas Abinanti, Bill Ryan, Martin Ragowsky, Jose Alvarado. (The reader must be fully aware that this reporter had to depart the rally before other Westchester County Legislators could be seen to append their signatures to “the pledge” yet I was not there to witness it. In all, this reporter was witness to the first seven signatories.)

Assemblyperson Pre-Elect Signs.

Adam Bradley helped to victory by the efforts of the Workers Family Party made a specific effort to praise the crowd and to hear him pledge his continued effort upon their behalf. He too, was called to a previous function in Mt. Kisco. His name was appended to those signatories
previously mentioned.

This reporter departed the rally for the Westchester County Legislators’
meeting called for 7:00 P.M.

The Living Wage Bill Endorsed by the SEIU would require that contractors with Westchester County on jobs of $25,000 or more would have to pay workers $11.50 an hour with health benefits or $13 an hour without health benefits. The law would also include businesses receiving county tax abatements, loans and aid over $25,000.

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Council Approves Dellwood Park Acquisition, New Calvary Baptist Church.

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WPCNR COMMON COUNCIL CHRONICLE EXAMINER. By John F. Bailey. October 8, 2002: UPDATED 8:20 A.M. E.D.T. CORRECTION October 9, 2002 The Common Council all but approved “God’s Miracle” last night, voting unanimously to refer out to departments the plans for the building of a 1,200 seat new sanctuary building adjacent to Calvary Baptist Church fronting West Post Road to the raucous approval of about 25 Calvary Church members attending the big night. Such was the congratulatory handshakes going around, that it appeared to this reporter the proposal was approved, however, there were several items needed to be resolved, and the matter was actually adjourned to November 4. WPCNR regrets the error.

“GOD’S MIRACLE” ALL BUT APPROVED BY COMMON COUNCIL: Councilpersons discuss the new sanctuary building before voting on the proposal last night. L to R, Robert Greer, Benjamin Boykin, Gary Warshauer (architect), Rita Malmud, William King and Reverend Lester Cousin, Pastor of Calvary Baptist Church whose personal vision for the congregation sees the sanctuary as being a center for use by the entire community, discusses the 1,200-seat ediface to rise on West Post Road.
Photo by WPCNR

In other action, the Council approved the leasing of 2 acres of the former Dellwood Dairy property off Lake Street and 18 acres of Silver Lake, acquiring White Plains first lake front park.

Meanwhile, across town in the Michaelian Building, the County Legislature voted 17-0 to rent the park property to the city for $1 a year for 30 years, and 12-5, respectively to approve purchase of the Pettinichi property and the construction of affordable housing on the site.

Mayor Joseph Delfino called it a happy day in White Plains history, and thanked the County, the council, the city staff, and the Woodcrest Heights Association for working together to make the park acquisition possible.

In other council action:
The Council kept the public hearing on overnight paid parking on Old Mamaroneck Road open until the November 4 Council meeting, after hearing 6 citizens speak against it and 5 citizens speak for the ordinance. Susan Habel, Commissioner of Planning, Albert Maroni (Executive Director of the Parking Authority), and Joseph Nicoletti, Commissioner of Public Works, spoke out firmly against the proposed one-year trial of overnight paid parking. The Battle Hill Neighborhood Association and the Highlands Civic Association announced their strong opposition towards the plan.

CHEERS ON SOUTH BROADWAY: Coughlin’s American Bistro was approved last night. Here is how the exterior of the new restaurant and pub will look on South Broadway. The new owner is seriously renovating the former Oliver’s into an upscale sophisticated pub and lounge with gourmet food with a renowned New York chef. The new establishment will have a fireplace and lounge on the main floor, a fireplace on the interior balcony, and richer luxurious atmosphere. He plans a Thanksgiving weekend opening, promising entertainment and hopes to attract business and social events.
Photo by WPCNR

The council inacted an ordinance approving continuing salary and benefits to city employees called to active duty by the armed forces. Jim Donohoe, President of White Plains Professional Firefighters praised the Common Council, and told the story of how a member of the WPFD, currently serving as a rifle instructor with the National Guard at Fort Bragg was being helped by this measure.

The council accepted over $171,000 in grants for Youth Bureau programs that were secured by the efforts of Frank Williams, Director of the Youth Bureau.

At the outset of the Council meeting, the Mayor recognized a group of employees celebrating their 25 and 30 years of service with the city.

The hearing on the transferral of development rights within the central business district was postponed until November, pending the rewriting of the ordinance. Details were not immediately available as to what changes were contemplated with the new ordinance.

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Middle School Girls Harriers with 5 in top 20, Take Rye Meet

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WPCNR PRESS BOX. By John F. Bailey. October 7, 2002: The White Plains Middle School Cross Country Girls Team won a school medley Cross Country Meet Friday in Rye, with 5 White Plains girls finishing in the top 20, topping Sleepy Hollow, Rye, Mount Vernon, John Jay.

WHITE PLAINS TRIO STRONG TO THE FINISH: Jill Gordon, Kaylin Gilmartin-Donohue, and Juliana Bailey ( Right to left, all in white) heading down the chute at the finish of Friday’s Middle School Cross Country Meet at Rye High. The girls were three of White Plains 5 top 20 finishers in the meet, providing the margin of victory on the 1.2 mile course. Aquina Young and Kristin Smayda, also were White Plains top 20 finishers for the team win. The girls and boys run again today in Mamaroneck.
Photo by WPCNR Sports
Asked about strategy in running a cross country race, WPCNR was told by one White Plains runner that each runner attempts to set a pace at the beginning of the race that they can maintain, reaching back for that finishing burst at the close.
Coach John McGee stresses to his charges that they are not running against others, they are running against their own previous times, course-to-course, year-to-year.

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Environmental Groups Back Paulin.

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WPCNR NEWSREEL. From the Paulin Press Office. (Edited)October 7, 2002:Assemblywoman Amy Paulin, who represents the 88th District in the New York State Assembly, has been endorsed by two key environmental groups in her campaign agains Tony Sayegh, her challenger for the 88th District Assembly Seat.
The Sierra Club and the New York League of Conservation Voters have both given their support to Assemblywoman Paulin’s re-election effort.

George Klein, Chairman of the Lower Hudson Group of the Sierra Club, said, “Amy Paulin’s experience in the Assembly shows she cares about the environment. She has delivered the protections the environment needs. Her promotion of Westchester County’s purchase of David’s Island shows her commitment to open space.”

Marcia Bystryn, Executive Director of the New York League of Conservation Voters, said that the endorsement “is a testament to [the Assemblywoman’s] dedication to preserving and protecting the environment. The League is impressed with [her] record as an outstanding leader on environmental issues.”

Assemblywoman Paulin was credited in the endorsement with her achievements in: Sponsoring a bill finalizing Westchester County’s purchase of David’s Island as open space.Sponsoring a bill to increase penalties and provide additional remedies when timber is illegally cut or removed from state or private lands. Opposing a proposal to increase the number of state highway permits for large trucks.

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Tigers Overpower Lincoln of Yonkers, 27-6

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WPCNR PRESS BOX. From News Reports. October 6, 2002: White Plains improved its record to 3-2 Saturday afternoon, with a 27-6 win over Lincoln High in Yonkers. Three touchdowns in the second quarter overcame a first quarter Lincoln lead. Spencer Ridenhour scored the Tigers first touchdown. Darrell Mack ran 51 yards to set up another score, and caught a 35 yard touchdown strike from Mike Devere for another. The Tigers play Mount Vernon next Saturday at Parker Stadium.

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Antiquing in Westchester? The County Has Some Suggestions!

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WPCNR WHITE PLAINS VARIETY. From Westchester County Office of Tourism. October 5, 2002:Serious shoppers have a new resource in their hunt for antiques. The Westchester County Office of Tourism has produced a new publication, “Antiques, The Westchester Way”, a four-color brochure that lists and describes antique stores throughout Westchester County, New York in the heart of the Hudson River Valley. This new brochure takes the work out of planning a trip to shop for antiques, attend an auction, or visit an antiques show.

“Shopping for antiques is an exciting pastime that can be enjoyed any time of year, but not every destination boasts the same concentration of stores as Westchester County,” said Margo Jones, Director of the Westchester County Office of Tourism. “Whether you’re searching for an 18th-century silver tea set, a 19th-century French armoire, or just a cider press like Grandma used to have, you’ll find it here.”

Nearly 50 stores that are open at least four days per week are listed in
alphabetical order. Each shop description includes the types of products that are available, and any special collections from specific countries or time periods. Auction houses that sell antiques to the public are also listed. Additional information includes the days and hours of operation for each location, addresses and websites.

The brochure provides a county map showing the location of each store or shop. The map, which shows concentrations of antique stores in several areas, can be used to plan shopping trips along specific routes, such as Route 9 (Hastings-on-Hudson, Irvington and Tarrytown) along the Hudson River; and Route 1 (Pelham, Larchmont, Mamaroneck and Port Chester) along Long Island Sound.

A calendar of special events has been included, listing annual antiques shows and fairs that take place the same month every year, such as the Fall Antiques Show at the Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts in Katonah, and the Annual Chappaqua Antique Show in November.

Directions utilizing public transportation (trains, buses, and taxis) to the
towns with a large concentration of stores are also listed. Funds from the D.O.T. Smart Commute program made the printing of this brochure possible.

Free copies of the “Antiques, The Westchester Way” brochure are available, from the Westchester County Office of Tourism at 222 Mamaroneck Avenue, Suite 100, White Plains, NY 10605. Phone: (800) 833-9282 or (914) 995-8500; or e-mail:

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Zoning Board Revokes Building Permit for 139 Walworth Group Home Facility.

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WPCNR ZONING BOARD BULLETIN GAZETTE. By John F. Bailey. October 3, 2002: The White Plains Zoning Board of Appeals
has stopped the Walworth Avenue Group Home project, revoking a Building Permit issued by the City Building Department.

The Zoning Board cited that there was no provision in the White Plains Zoning Code defining a family community residence where not one of the owners was living there as their full time residence Wednesday night, as grounds for revoking the permit. The permit had previously been issued by the city Building Department for renovation of 139 Walworth Avenue by the Westchester Jewish Board of Family & Children Services for a residence by some ten teenagers previously in foster care.

The Zoning Board ruled on an appeal by the Walworth Avenue Neighbors Committee to revoke the permit. The action has stopped the project.

Work Grinds to Hault

A “Stop Work Order” was issued by the Building Department. The WJBFCS said in a statement today that they were reviewing the decision and had no comment. Cecelia Bikkal, Chairperson of the Zoning Board of Appeals, said, when asked if the WJBCFS could appeal to the Zoning Board, the WJBFCS could mount an Article 78 action in Supreme Court to overturn the decision.

Bikkal said the Zoning Board decision hinged on the “definition of family.” She said that there was no case law precedent which upheld a community group home residence as being a family residence when a principal was not living there full time.

Asked how the Westchester Jewish Board of Childrens and Family Services was able to operate a group home of similar child residents in the Eastview area, Bikkal said that originally she had been under the understanding that there was a fulltime supervisor living in the Eastview area when that home was in operation. However, she said when she asked WJBCFS representatives Wednesday evening if there was a full time resident supervisior at that defunct home, she said she was told “No.”

The Building Department had originally issued the permit because state law has long held that you cannot deny a group home. Cynthia Ryan of Walworth Avenue challenged the permit on several grounds, primarily on the definition of family residence as it appears in the Zoning Code.

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Mayor Takes Away Another Problem: Housing Authority HQ Problem History

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WPCNR CITY HALL TRIBUNE HERALD. October 3, 2002: George Gretsas, the Mayor’s Executive Officer, said today that the Winbrook residents who turned out for Commissioner of Planning Susan Habel’s briefing to Winbrook on the new location proposed for the White Plains Housing Authority, were enthusiastic about the suggested extension of the ground floor of 225 Martin Luther King Junior Boulevard into a new headquarters for the WPHA and community room for the community.
Grestas reported that between 75 and 100 residents attended the community briefing at Bethel Baptist Church and were generally behind the proposal. He said there were other issues, but that the attitude towards the headquarters proposal was positive. He added that the Board of Deacons of Bethel Baptist Church were in favor of the proposal, too.

Asked if the White Plains Housing Authority was buying into the proposal, Gretsas said, “Yes,” that as long as the Winbrook community was in favor of the extension and park program, this was the only issue holding up the plan. He said he expected the program for the extension of 225 MLKJ Boulevard into new Housing Authority offices with a community room for Winbrook residents plus a new Winbrook park to move ahead in a few weeks.

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Westchester County tiene un nuevo boletín – y es en Español!

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WPCNR COUNTY CLARION-LEDGER. From Westchester County Department of Communications. October 3, 2002: Hola Westchester is the county’s latest effort to reach out to the growing Hispanic/Latino community and provide helpful information. Published by the Westchester County Office for Hispanic Affairs, the free full-color quarterly newsletter is printed in both Spanish and English and distributed by agencies countywide.
“Too many people – simply because of language barriers – are kept from getting what they need to provide for their families and enjoy the same quality of life we are all entitled to,” said County Executive Andy Spano. “Publishing a newsletter in Spanish gives us a direct line into this community. We can show just how many programs and services are available through government as well as private agencies.”

Hola Westchester will showcase various efforts throughout the county and provide practical information about educational programs, advocacy efforts, health issues, and business and social service programs.

The first issue (Fall/Winter 2002) gives a round-up of the county’s outreach efforts, such as community health fairs and educational workshops. The publication also contains a full page of information on how to take advantage of helpful programs and services such as free health insurance for children, ESL classes, health screenings, counseling services, low bus fares, and more. Most include phone numbers to get Spanish-speaking assistance.

A special feature introduces Martha Lopez, the head of the Office for Hispanic Affairs who helps constituents find the government services they need, and Adelita Davis, who translates governmental materials into Spanish for the county.

Copies of the newsletter are available from Martha Lopez, Office for Hispanic Affairs, (914) 995-2476.

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East Side Update: Clayton Park, Stop N Shop Moving Along Strong

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WPCNR MAIN STREET MIRROR. October 3, 2002:Construction continues in the Eastview neighborhood with the Westchester One/Stop N Shop garage rising and Clayton Park preparing for rentals. Photographs this week show these two leadoff projects in the city’s 21st century revival are moving right along.

CENTRAL PARK WEST?NO, IT’S EASTVIEW’S CLAYTON PARK: The first of over 1,800 new White Plains apartments is nearing completion. Landscaping has begun on the front of the Clayton Park project. A website will be opening shortly, as the complex prepares to roll out for rentals.
Photo by WPCNR

EASTVIEW SCHOOL FIELDS UNDER FACELIFT AND WESTCHESTER ONE GARAGE RISE: The Westchester One Garage Outer walls over look the Department of Public Works Eastview fields reconstruction.
Photo by WPCNR

WESTCHESTER ONE GARAGE GOIN’ UP: Moving right along, the STOP N SHOP complex continues to take shape adjacent to the Eastview Middle School fields.
Photo by WPCNR

STOP N SHOP NONSTOP: The Super STOP N SHOP as seen from the Kensico Avenue side looking towards “The Westchester.” The supermarket for White Plains continues relentlessly towards completion.
Photo by WPCNR

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