White Plains School Budget Passes by 10 to 1 Margin. All Resolutions Pass. Superintendent Thanks City

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WPCNR SCHOOL DAYS. From Dr. Joseph Ricca, White Plains Superintendent of Schools. May 17, 2022:

Dear White Plains CSD Community Member,

On behalf of the White Plains CSD Board of Education, we would like to take a moment to thank you for all of your help and support throughout the budget planning and presentation processes.

As you may know, the White Plains CSD 2022-2023 Budget was passed with a (unofficial) total vote count of 1,015 YES (90.3%) and 109 NO.

The question regarding the Capital Bond passed with a total vote count of 1,023 (90.8%) YES and 104 NO.

The question regarding the use of existing Capital Reserve passed with a total vote count of 1,051 (93.3%) YES and 76 NO.

The question regarding the establishment of Capital Reserve passed with a vote count of 1,025 (90.9%) YES and 103 NO.

Thank you!

Dr. Sheryl Brady and Mr. Charlie Norris, Esq., were reelected to the Board of Education. Congratulations to all!

We are very thankful to all that took the time to attend meetings; share information; participate in focus group meetings; and organize virtual community gatherings. It is because of you, and the support of our community, that we are able to move forward with support for our outstanding student programming! We are thrilled, grateful and #WPProud.

Thank you for your support and congratulations!

Respectfully,

Joseph Ricca

Joseph L. Ricca, Ed.D.

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RED TIDE OF COVID

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WPCNR COVID DAILY. From the NY State Covid Tracker. Observations and Analysis by John F. Bailey. May 17, 2022:

The “Red Tide”  is rising.

Positives case percentages of those testing positive for covid are averaging 10% for each of the 9 counties around New York. As testing numbers climb, that 10% level remains the level infected how many are tested. This is not good.

It means more people should be testing and are not for whatever personal reasons.

COVID SPREADERS are INFUSING NEW CASES FROM YORKTOWN  to YONKERS, TARRYTOWNS TO RYE, SOMERS  TO NEW ROCHELLE, MAMARONECK TO WHITE PLAINS

Why is this continuing to happen? SPREADERS? SOCIALIZATIONS? NO MASKERS? SCHOOLS SOFT ON MASKING? BIG EVENTS?

“DEFINITELY A SURGE” COUNTY EXECUTIVE SAYS. HOSPITALIZATIONS 113 AS OF MONDAY GOING UP 10% WEEKLY, STAY DURATIONS, WHO IS GETTING IT,  DEMOGRAPHICS? NOT  DISCLOSED.

Westchester is now considered a high COVID transmission county, according to data from the Center for Disease Control in a news release Monday morning.

According to the CDC specific Westchester degree of spread, “the county is seeing levels of cases of hospitalizations that are putting a strain on the local health care system.”

The CDC, along with the state health department, now recommends masks be worn indoors.  In his briefing on Covid Monday  afternoon, Westchester County Executive George Latimer  said he was considering  requiring masking again in County facility office buildings, but was not ready to bring masks back when beaches open Memorial Day Weekend, and County Pools in July.

 He  said  he was not at this time considering covid precautions at county festival events and public county-sponsored events, but said he would look at that.

The County  Executive when asked about Scarsdale schools  urging parents to have their children wear masks but still making it an option not to mask, he said this was up to individual school districts which are under state jurisdiction.

 Scarsdale experienced 207 active cases averaging 28 new daily cases a day in the two weeks ended Saturday May 14.

Mr. Latimer said he would be reconvening meetings with Westchester School Superintendents to discuss their individual district covid penetration  and await state guidance which controls conditions in the schools.

The Scarsdale Public Schools issued this statement on their website Monday:


“Unfortunately, this weekend Westchester County was designated as a high transmission county according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) county data. As a reminder, the Community Level is high because the levels of COVID-19 hospitalizations, cases, and patients in hospital beds are a strain on the local health system. At this level of transmission, both the CDC and the State Health Department recommend that individuals wear masks in indoor settings, including K-12 schools. In addition to the individual protection masks provide, they can also help to lessen the burden on our health care system by slowing the spread. So, while the CDC and NYS are no longer mandating masking, they do suggest it. Therefore, we are also suggesting, but not mandating, masking as a preventive step for as long as our community level remains High. We do require that families, staff, and students respect the choices individuals within our school community make with regard to masking.

Scarsdale has seen an increase in the number of cases in the District. Since May 2, 2022, there have been 232 student cases and 21 staff cases.  This is about double the number we saw in the previous two weeks. The cases are sporadic across grades and schools and usually take the form of small clusters on a grade level.

The District has and will continue to follow its mitigation strategies including those outlined in our ventilation plan, procedures for returning to school when sick or symptomatic, informing grade levels when there are more than two cases on a grade level, and sending test kits home to larger groups of students when additional cases are detected. Please remember families can also request test kits from our school nurses at any time, they can be sent home with students or left at the safety monitor station for pick up. At this time, the District has no plans to make any changes to our day-to-day.  

As you know, we are eagerly anticipating the traditional events and celebrations between now and the end of the year. These gatherings will bring together many people, including extended families and individuals who aren’t frequently in our schools. As a result, these types of events do hold an increased likelihood of spreading COVID-19. We encourage the community to consider wearing masks when at these larger indoor events, strongly encourage anyone at higher risk to wear a mask, and ask participants to respect each other’s choices. We also require anyone recovering from COVID to wear a mask in the 6-10 day window after testing positive. Likewise, anyone who has been recently exposed should wear a mask.”

For the record, since September of the school year in the Scarsdale District, 1,073 students, 110 teachers, and 149 staff, 1,332 have reported positive with covid of  5,184 total students and teachers. This is a school wide population positive % over 8-1/2 months of 26%

The White Plains Schools issued this statement on safety today after the CDC announcement:

“Due to the increase in COVID-19 throughout our region, WPCSD strongly encourages all members of the WPCSD education community to wear masks when in closed public settings.

We continue to monitor our schools and remain in close contact with our state and local health officials. If we need to increase additional mitigation measures, we will communicate immediately.

Starting this week, antigen testing will be sent home with your children, on Thursday/Friday of each week, until the end of the school year. We strongly recommend that you screen your child on Sunday or Monday before sending them to school.

As we approach the end of the school year and gather to celebrate our students’ accomplishments, it’s important that we protect our students, staff, and keep our community at large safe.”

Note: though the White Plains, district is “encouraging”  mask wearing in public closed settings, they are not mandating mandatory masks in schools yet with six weeks to go in the school year.

For the record the Covid School Covid Report reports that from September through May 16, today, the White Plains City School District has  2,201 students, teachers and staff test positive for a total student, teacher and staff universe of  7,974, a percentage of 28%.

In the last two weeks of school, White Plains has reported 159 students, teachers and staff testing positive  (110 students,25 teachers, 24 staff) from May 10 to 16 , and in the first 7 days, May 3 to 10, 47 students, 12 teachers and 7 staff.

Let’s go next door to Harrison, that school district has 2,575 students and faculty and in 8-1/2 months they have experienced  1,092 positives, 42% of the district universe. Even if they have more staff than just teachers, their percentage of positives would still be spreading in the mid 30s % as socialization in the  balmy weather continues.

Well spreading in the schools is not going to stop.

At the present continuance of no masking behavior these weekly growing rates will sustain themselves most likely,  Because no leader in the county of any city, town, or village is moving to tell people what they must do to slow the spread and enforcing preventive spread practices.

Across Westchester County, this school spread is more instructive over 8-1/2 months about what practices or failure to do things may be contributing significantly to Red Tide.

In all the public school districts in Westchester County, 29,350 students teachers and staff have tested positive since September.

In the last two weeks May 3 to May 16, 3,323  students have tested positive across the county–1,697  tested positive  the last 7 days, with 510  of them positive the week of may 3 to 10.

It also points that by giving the 2nd week first the chart creates the  impression, whether intentional or not,  that in the two weeks is going down when it is exactly the opposite. The stats are given like this for every county and district in the state on the State School Covid Report.

SuffolkNassau, Dutchess, Orange and Putnam counties are also considered high risk transmission areas. Rockland County is at a medium level. 

It’s the percentage of positives that is going up, up and away.

For the first time since late December and early January, all 9 counties around New York City are averaging  10% positive rates.

Westchester tested 3,989 persons Sunday, and 469 tested positive according to the Covid Tracker. (The state figures issued in Governor Hochul’s briefing reported a higher figure, but this may contain tests the moving average does not count.)

The Westchester County Covid Tracker.

The latest analysis of Westchester County new cases of covid, town by town, city to city, from dense to  sprawling gentry enclaves from Yonkers to Somers New Rochelle to Cortlandt reveals a spread that is a rising tide.

Every town and city is affected by this spread making every city and town and school district a place where you can get the disease IF YOU DO NOT TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF and others you are in contact.

White Plains has seen cases rise to 464 active cases the last two weeks with 59 new cases a day according to the County Covid-19 map.

MAY 15, 2022 CITY/TOWNS WHERE COVID GROWING FASTEST SINCE APRIL 15

       MAY 15  CITY/TOWN    ACTIVE NEW CASES   NEW EACH DAY     % UP # 4/15   

  1. YONKERS  —                     1,049                          151                  300% FROM 356
  2. NEW ROCHELLE                 469                            66                   200% FROM 221
  3. WHITE  PLAINS                  464                            59                    350% FROM 126
  4. NEW,NORTH CASTLES       442                          49                      400% FROM 71
  5. GREENBURGH                     400                          39                     300% FROM 130
  6. YORKTOWN                         376                          46                     400% FROM 89
  • MOUNT PLEASANT           352                           34                       400% FROM 86  
  • MOUNT VERNON              351                           97                       NO FACTOR 4/15
  • MAM’NECKS/ LARCH         304                          44                       300%  FROM 103
  • CORTLANDT                        298                           19                      NO FACTOR 4/15
  • HARRISON                           265                           56                      374% FROM 72
  • RYE CITY/RYE BRK              256                           50                        240% FROM 107
  • TARRYT/SLEEPY HOL         243                           14                         300% FROM 81
  • OSSINING TWN/VILL         237                          49                          200% FROM 108
  • SCARSDALE                         207                          28                         NO FACTOR 4/15
  • BEDFORD                            190                          18                          400% FROM 45
  • SOMERS                               189                         15                          307% FROM 50
  • PEEKSKILL                            171                         22                           NO FACTOR 4/15
  • EASTCHESTER                      155                         17                           174% FROM 50
  • PORT CHESTER                    147                         22                            NO FACTOR 4/15

CITY/TOWN           NEW ACTIVE CASES      DAILY NEW           % INCREASE/# 4/15

What does this show in my opinion it  shows facts that chill:

The average increase from 4 weeks ago is very much the same for all the towns more than 100%,the majority as much as 300 to 400% in increases in 4 weeks.

Some cities are more careful than others, Peekskill and Port Chester for example though dense cities, have kept new cases down while Yonkers, New Rochelle White Plains and Mount Vernon have not.

The disease is infecting amazingly equal whether a community is heavily minority, heavily white,  or in the northern suburb estate communities. The greenbelt of real estate in Central Westchester is particularly hard hit.

 Because you are intelligent and positive and like to think you’re safe from covid and it is light case at best, we do not know that and are not being given facts that show that by the authorities who know the answer. So if it is true the disease makes us suffer less, put out the evidence, please.

I as a naive reporter would love to hear a Director Health say thing like: “We have good news on the serious of covid infections. Of the last 200 infection of covid hospitalized 90% stayed only 2 days… 5% were fully vaccinated. 10 per cent unvaccinated under 18s, etc. etc.

Wouldn’t statement delving into who caught it, what kind of person caught it, how long he or she stayed in vaccination status make you feel more confident? It would me.

Hospitalized have gone from 60 to 80 to 100 to 113 in four weeks, that is a 10% increase a week. They have doubled. And how long are they hospitalized for? Who is getting hospitalized the most? What are their ages, the demographics of the spread?

Please, do not suppress facts that can tell us where we are really at on this.

Please also note how fast these are growing daily now that more people are getting infected.

The numbers of new daily cases are inexorable, and remember each one of the new daily  cases infect 1 and ½ persons now.

The Red Tide is coming in and rising.

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REDISTRICTING REVOLUTION: IMPACT ON WESTCHESTER WITH FORMER ASSEMBLYMAN DAVID BUCHWALD LEAGUE OF WOMEN VOTERS FORUM JUNE 2

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Former Assemblyman for White Plains David Buchwald Will Analyze
Finalized Redistricting Plans June 2.

WPCNR CAMPAIGN 2022. From the League of Women Voters. May 17, 2022:

2022 is shaping up to be one of the most confusing and consequential redistricting years in New York history. At stake are partisan control of Congress, the contours of our State Legislature, and the rights of voters.

Join us on THURSDAY June 2 at 7:00 p.m. for a Zoom discussion and to answer your questions focusing on what redistricting means for White Plains.

(Editor’s Note of Explanation at this early process: The Special Master appointed by the Court of Appeals, proposed redistricting plan for the State Senate Districts (top) and Congressional Districts below. The maps though ineptly drawn (I have to say that) were released Monday at 5 PM, and greeted with protest by Democrats for the redrawing along population lines. They are open for comment by the public to May 20, when the lines may be altered or rejected entirely. The immediate affect in Westchester on Congress is that Mondaire Jones will represent the northern half of Westchester if reelected in the newly drawn17th Congressional District, and Jamaal Bowman the sourthern half of Westchester (the new 16th Congressional District) taking away a significant portion of the constituencies that elected Jones and Bowman. The State Senate districts formerly 35 and 37 were renumbered are not defined clearly. Maps from WRFD Radio in Jamestown, NY)

The discussion will be lead by David Buchwald, our former State Assembly member (2013-2020) and White Plains Common Councilmember (2010-2012), and eight-year member of the Assembly Election Law Committee. 

Click the button above to register. 

Questions: Beth Kava bethkava@gmail.com

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GEDNEY ASSOCIATION VS. FASNY & CITY OF WHITE PLAINS APPEAL IS SCHEDULED FOR ARGUMENTS BEFORE APPELLATE COURT, 2nd Department in Brooklyn, JUNE 2. Where it Stands

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The NY State Appellate Division, 2nd Department, Brooklyn New York.
The FASNY case continues June 2

WPCNR WHITE PLAINS LAW JOURNAL. Special to WPCNR By Daniel Seidel, Esq. May 15, 2022:

The appeal (the SEQRA arguments and ok of the (former French American School of New York) project was stipulated as Withdrawn and accepted as so by the Court, as being moot – FASNY sold the property.

On Judge Joan Lefkowitz’s determination of what fits the definition of “institutional use” in the zoning allowed in the FASNY matter is scheduled for an argument before the 2nd Dept., in Brooklyn, on June 2.

I believe it is #14 on the docket and can be watched  live on what I call “AD2D TV”: the arguments for the day start at 10 a.m. – just click the arrow in the upper left corner:

 https://wowza.nycourts.gov/ad2/ad2.php 

You’ll see how the judges behave or not, question the lawyers, how the arguments are done.

The attorneya get up to 10 minutes to make their case and their is no rebuttal in this Court unless the judges ask for one.

Decisions by the Court are usually issued within 30 days after argument.

(Editor’s Note: Mr. Seidel represented the Gedney Association with Claudia Jaffee in the original appeal of the Lefkowitz decision which the Appellate Court agreed to hear. This update sets the scene for you as to where the case stands.)

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CDC TO GOVERNOR HOCHUL ON WESTCHESTER COVID SITUATION.

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“Today, I spoke with White House COVID-19 coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha about the state of the pandemic and the Administration’s preparation plans to ensure states have the resources, supplies, and distribution networks needed to manage potential surges across the country this summer and fall.

“We know that tools such as vaccines, boosters, testing and treatment have been critical to fighting COVID-19, responding to variants, keeping hospitalizations down, and saving lives. That is why I continue to call on Congress to pass additional federal funding, which will prove critical to helping states unlock further resources needed for future COVID-19 variants and surges.

“At the state level, we continue to make sure New Yorkers have access to these tools. We have already distributed more than 75 million over-the-counter COVID-19 tests to New Yorkers in recent months, and have stockpiled more for the future.

We continue to partner with the Administration to get more New Yorkers fully vaccinated and boosted, as well as promote treatment options available to a majority of adults that help prevent hospitalizations.

Additionally, I have asked my team for a full assessment from our state agencies on our overall future preparedness. Last Friday, I spoke with county executives about our state’s ongoing preparedness plans, and how we can work together to fulfill their needs on the ground.

“New York has long been at the forefront in the nation’s fight against COVID-19, and we will continue to keep New Yorkers safe, informed, and prepared.”

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LET’S BUILD AN AIRPORT! AIRPORT TOWN HALLS BEGIN IN A WEEK.

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en Español

WPCNR COUNTY CLARION LEDGER. From County Legislator Benjam Boykin District 5, May 16,2022:

Dear Friends & Neighbors
,The Board of Legislators fully supports County Executive George Latimer’s reintroduction of a community engagement program, On the Horizon, to hear from the public on the future of Westchester County Airport.

In February 2020, the C.E. first launched the program to support the Master Plan Supplement for the Airport. The COVID-19 pandemic put the project on hold for more than two years, but the C.E. is once again opening up a County-wide discussion to listen to the concerns of residents, community organizations, the business community, environmental activists and more.  

The goal is to engage all Airport stakeholders and incorporate their input into the vision for the future of Westchester County Airport.On the Horizon includes a series of public events like Town Halls, and the Master Plan Supplement will focus on an analysis of the physical condition of the Airport property, buildings and infrastructure, additional analysis of noise and environmental impacts, and the local and regional economic impact.

Town Halls are scheduled for May 24, June 2, and June 9 at the times and locations in the included graphic.

Attend one or more, or submit comments via email to: communciations@westchestergov.com.I encourage you to participate in one or more of the County Executive’s Town Halls on May 24, June 2 or June 9, and to provide input as this process unfolds.
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COVID DAILY BULLETIN

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COVID BULLETIN

BULLETIN 5-15-22 8:30 P.M. EDT

THE NEW YORK STATE COVID TRACKER REPORTED WESTCHESTER COUNTY HAD 507 PERSONS TESTING POSITIVE SATURDAY DAY IN THE COUNTY OF 6,624 TESTED, A POSITIVITY RATE OF 7.2% THE LOWEST POSITIVE PERCENTAGE IN 8 DAYS.

THE RESULTS SATURDAY BROUGHT WESTCHESTER TO ITS 7TH STRAIGHT WEEK OF POSITIVES GOING UP OF INFECTIONS TO 3,872 SHY OF 4,000, BUT UP 25% FROM LAST WEEK, WITH 752 NEW INFECTIONS.

THE COUNTY AVERAGED 553 NEW INFECTIONS A DAY MARCH 8 THROUGH MARCH 14.

TWO WEEKS AGO, THE WEEK OF MARCH 24 TO 30, 2,459 TESTED POSTIVE THEY SPREAD THE COVID DISEASE TO 1.6 OTHER PEOPLE ( 3,872 DIVIDED BY 2,459=1.57) OR EACH PERSON TWO WEEKS AGO INFECTING 1-1/2 PERSONS.

THIS SPREAD RATE MEANS THE 3,872 INFECTED IN THE LAST 7 DAYS IN MAY IN TWO WEEKS MAY PASS ON THE DISEASE TO 6,079 PEOPLE, 2,207 MORE PERSONS THAN THE POSITIVES THIS WEEK.

THE 560 POSITIVES A DAY THE FIRST 6 DAYS OF LAST WEEK CREATED THE HIGHEST LEVEL OF COVID SINCE CONTINUED THRUGH  WESTCHESTER SATURDAY GENERATED JUST SHY OF 4,000 NEW POSITIVES FOR THE WEEK, EXCEEDING THE 3,120 LAST WEEK, REACHING 3,872 THE HIGHEST WEEK OF NEW INFECTIONS SINCE JANUARY 23 TO 29 WHEN THE COUNTY HAD 3,423 POSTIVES AND THE INFECTION RATE WAS 6.6% OF TOTAL TESTED A WEEK.

FOR THE RECORD 19 WEEKS LATER, THE WESTCHESTER INFECTION RATE IS 10% FOR THE WEEK MAY 8 TO  14 WITH 3,872 TESTING POSTIVE OF 39,855 PCR TESTS CONDUCTED. THE POSITIVE INFECT HAS GONE FROM 6.6% AT THE END OF JANUARY TO 10% IN WESTCHESTER LAST WEEK, AND THE AVERAGE AMOUNT OF TESTS THE LAST 7 DAYS WAS 5,693. 

THE HIGHEST NUMBER TESTED WAS  8,973 LAST WEEK ON THURSDAY THE 12TH WHEN THE POSITIVE INFECTIONS NUMBERED 857 OR 8.7%. IT IS A WARNING THAT MORE PEOPLE OUT THERE NEED TO BE TESTED OR COME IN TO TEST IF YOU WANT TO SEE THE TRUE NATURE OF THE CURRENT 5TH WAVE NOW IN ITS 7TH WEEK AND GROWING.

MID-HUDSON REGION, NASSAU AND SUFFOLK COUNTIES CONTINUE TO HAVE 59% OF THE TOTAL NEW YORK CITY 5 BOROUGH TOTAL EVERY DAY.

SATURDAY, NEW YORK CITY AGAIN HIT 3,189 POSITIVES A DAY COMPARED TO THE MID-HUDSON, 1,125 POSITIVES, NASSAU 917, SUFFOLK, 843 FOR 2,885. NASSAU AND SUFFOLK ARE AT 1,760 POSITIVES COMBINED, COMPARED TO THE 7 MID-HUDSON REGION COUNTIES. THE MID-HUDSON COUNTIES AVERAGE 9% POSITIVE RATES. NASSAU-SUFFOLK, 11% POSITIVE

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Feiner Will Help Locate Baby Formula

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WPCNR THE LETTER TICKER. MAY 15, 2022:

To the Editor:

  Many parents with babies are stressed because they are having a difficult time getting the formula they need for their child. I would like to help. If you are having difficulty finding a formula your child needs please e mail me at pfeiner@greenburghny.com. I will be asking student interns and volunteers  to help you find the formula and will also connect you to resourrces that we become familiar. There are formula finder sites  on social media. Will also reach out to medical professionals, other parents and find out if there are substitute formulas that your child can use.  

  This past weekend after we posted requests for specific hard to obtain formulas some residents were kind enough to donate unopened ,unused formulas that they have. We have a very caring community of neighbors who want to help fellow neighbors.  This is what makes our town special.

  If you don’t have a baby but want to volunteer and help parents get the formula they need for their child, please contact me. The formula finders initiative is inspired by the Covid Angels program we started last year –we helped thousands of Greenburgh residents get vaccinated when it was difficult to find the vaccines.  I can also be reached at 914-438-1343 (cell).

  Working together – we can make this crisis less stressful and  difficult for parents.  Leave your worries to us!  

PAUL FEINER
Greenburgh Town Supervisor

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