Sunday, April 22, 2007



Thanks to good police work by the Peekskill P.D. it seems the they have arrested the suspect in the recent taxi robberies. I do not have all the details, hopefully the local media will before my next post. I am leading with this to show that I acknowledge good work deserving of praise. I will keep you informed.

THIS JUST IN 04/30/07

Detective Sergeant Eric Johansen
Investigative Division Commander

April 30, 2007

The City of Peekskill Police Department is announcing the arrest of a 28 year-old Peekskill male on charges related to several armed robberies that have occurred over the past month. Dion Clayton, of Roosevelt Ave, was charged with Robbery 1st (B/F), Criminal Possession of a Weapon 3rd (D/F), and Criminal Possession of Stolen Property 5th (A/M), following his arrest by Officer Don Halmy early Saturday morning (4/28/2007) on the 700 block of South St.

Clayton was arrested at approximately 12:20 AM, after he robbed a 61 year-old Peekskill resident at knife point on the 10 block of S. Division St. During the commission of this crime, a local resident heard the commotion and came outside, effectively scaring off Clayton. To his credit, the civilian not only contacted police immediately, but followed Clayton while remaining on the phone with police and directing them to his whereabouts. This not only led to Clayton痴 apprehension, but also allowed police to recover valuable evidence linking him to the robbery.

After his arrest, Detectives Anthony Malfitano and Todd Gallaher noticed several similarities existed between this case and two other knife point robberies that had occurred in the city over the past three weeks. The prior robberies occurred at the Peekskill Train Station and involved victims who were driving for local taxi companies. During one of these robberies, the suspect痴 image was captured on surveillance video which detectives noticed resembled Clayton. In addition, clothing worn by Clayton at the time of his arrest was similar to the clothing worn by the suspect on the surveillance video.

After the execution of a search warrant at Clayton痴 residence and further investigation, Detectives were able to gather the evidence needed to charge Clayton with Robbery 1st relative to the robbery of a taxi driver on April 13, 2007. Detectives are continuing to investigate the second robbery which occurred on April 20, 2007 and expect to charge Clayton with that crime as well.

The actions of the civilian who interrupted the robbery on Saturday morning are commendable to say the least. The fact an ordinary citizen got involved not only led to the arrest of the offender, but also gave detectives the break that they needed to close out two other high profile robberies and put a dangerous individual back in jail.
Clayton, who is currently on parole, was released from State Prison on April 6, 2007 after serving time for felony possession of stolen property. He has also been convicted of Robbery and Burglary and spent the better part of the last eight years in state prison so getting him off the street before anyone was injured is very satisfying.
************************************************************************************ Dear Readers:

Dateline: 04/25/07: Today I bared the lions in their den, I appeared before the Yorktown Republican nominating committee. I must state first that unlike the Yorktown Democrats who fielded their candidates behind closed doors, not even advertising for prospective candidates, basically saying we know who we want and no one else need apply, The Yorktown Republicans did advertise for all interested parties and interviewed all who answered their add. Politics is best when it is out in the open, and for this part of the process the Yorktown Republicans should be commended.

Unlike two years ago, this meeting went along smoother. After the introductions, the prospective candidate has a chance for an opening statement of why He or she wishes to run. I took that time to remind them that two years ago when I appeared, I had heard they were put off that I appeared in my work cloths, for as many of you know I work nights. So they really did not listen to what I had to say, for I was pretty much immediately dismissed. I pointed out that as this time I dressed for the occasion, that maybe this time they would listen, and they did. It should be noted before I continue that I used my published positions on various topics over the last six months as my resume. It should also be noted that one of the committee member is a reader of my blog "The Bazzomanifesto" ( ).

The first point I made was that unlike most prospective candidates who wish to seek elective office then have to figure out what their positions are to get there, I already have my positions and need a party to run on them. Pointing out that an independent run is pure vanity, and cannot win, and besides my positions lead decidedly Republican, many times conservative. The second point I made was that as the party has gone from a 3-2 majority to a 4-1 minority I thought the party needed someone who can bring a new voice to the party and bring back their base. I told them that I thought I was best qualified to do that.

The next segment I pointed out that as I wish to run for councilman, I would have to defeat an incumbent Democrat and that I also had the ability to reach across party lines. It was then that I outlined the necessary strategy using new ideas(which at this point I will not divulge) that I thought could bring the party to the promised land (read victory). I was asked what I though was the most pressing concerns of the citizens and I told them (another point I will not yet divulge) and my Idea for solving it. As you are aware in my posts, I am very specific in my proposals for I truly believe in them. This I also pointed out to the committee when they read them in my resume.

I was finally asked if I should get the nomination would I continue to blog? I found this an interesting inquiry. I proceed to outline for them the mission of my blog. That being most of my readers look to my blog for the local information on what is going on politically in their community, and what it means. That I had a responsibility, a duty to keep them informed so they may be better voters this November. I also pointed out that many of their brethren in elected office read my blog to see what the people are talking about so they may better serve their community, and get their message out. I take these responsibilities very seriously, and so yes I would continue to blog trying to influence the debate. My allotted time being up, this time they thanked me for my time, we shook hands and it was done with them telling me they would be in touch.

What do I think of my chances? As there are two council seats up for election, and believing that the party will again give the nod to one of them to Incumbent Nick Bianco ( a foolish move if they did not) that leaves one. The other candidates interviewed were familiar faces to the party apparatus, mine being the only outsider and new face, it depends on where the party wishes to go. If they wish an insider, I have no chance. My only chance is if the party wants an outsider on their ticket. Together sometime in May we will find the answer when the Republicans announce their ticket. Wish me luck.

Anthony J. Bazzo


Yetter, Cinque to run for councilTendy nominated to lead GOP ticket
By Martin Wilbur

Putnam Valley

Councilman Robert Tendywill once again run for supervisor in November.
A narrow defeat two years ago didn’t dampen Putnam Valley Councilman Robert Tendy’s enthusiasm to run for town supervisor again.For the second consecutive election, Tendy has been selected by the Putnam Valley Republican Committee to head the ticket in the November election.On Monday, GOP Chairman Henry Lopez announced that the 50-year-old lawyer would team up with engineer and Planning Board Vice Chairman Eugene Yetter and attorney Robert Cinque in an attempt to take back control of the Town Board from the Democrats.Two-term Republican incumbent Dan Ricci has declined to seek re-election.Tendy said this week that over the past year and a half he has seen town governance grind to a halt under Supervisor Sam Davis’ administration.“We are going to take back our town from those who have been using Town Hall as their own personal experimental playground and return it to the hard working men and women in Putnam Valley,” Tendy said.In all likelihood, Tendy will once again face Davis in a rematch of 2005. In that election the Democrats were able to sweep, with councilwoman Priscilla Keresey and Wendy Whetsel also victorious.Davis said this week he will probably seek a second term, although no announcement has been made. He anticipated he will make his candidacy official in the coming weeks when the Democratic Committee names the rest of its slate.He dismissed Tendy’s comment that he has been using the town as an experimental playground as a predictable distortion.“That sounds like a distortion worthy of Bob,” said Davis, who has continually knocked heads with Tendy and Ricci over myriad of issues. “Clearly, we have very, very different thoughts about the town.”The outspoken Tendy vowed to restore fiscal responsibility and oversight to the budget process as well as being accessible. Tendy intends to severely curtail his law practice should he win the race.He also said he wants to dispel the fear many employees have felt working at Town Hall.“I’m going to let people know Town Hall is their place,” Tendy said. “People will see a supervisor’s door that is open.”Lopez said Tendy brings a high level of professional experience and love for the town that could not be overlooked.“He’s a qualified and passionate candidate to run this town,” he said.Lopez mentioned the committee sought to bring together the most qualified people and not be restricted by party line. Yetter is a Republican while Cinque is registered with the Independence Party.The Republicans also nominated Democrat Eileen Royael for Town Clerk to replace the retiring Carol Hughes-DiMarco. Tendy said the decision to have several political parties represented on the ticket was an attempt to find the best people, not to try and win crossover votes in a town that has often produced tight election results.“The goal was to get the best candidates possible who would be willing to run on a Republican ticket,” he said.Yetter works as the director of plant facilities at Rockland Sewer District #1. In addition to his time on the Planning Board, he has also served on the school district’s Construction Advisory and Facility Space Planning committees.Cinque works at the Sayegh law firm in Carmel and belongs to Putnam Valley Art and the town Lions Club.Also nominated was Earl Smith for another term as highway superintendent and Judge Louis DiCarlo for town justice.

Hi Andy, and Readers of the Bazzomanifesto:

The first letter that follows this is from me to the planning board. Priscilla Keresey signed onto this as well. The second letter is from the entire Town Board. The third letter is my most recent personal comment on the FEIS.

Thanks for your help.


Town of Putnam Valley Planning Board
Putnam Valley Town Hall265 Oscawana Lake RoadPutnam Valley, New York 10579

Re: Emerald Ridge Subdivision

Dear Members of the Board:

I write separately from the Town Board’s comment submitted today to discuss certain fiscal impact issues raised by in the Emerald Ridge DEIS which I discovered subsequent to my last general conversation with my colleagues. As a result these comments are on behalf of myself as an individual Boardmember.

1. Fiscal impact. The DEIS reports that the proposed subdivision will have an adverse impact on both Town and school finances. As you are aware, increasing property taxes, particularly for school expenses, have become a significant threat to the habitability of the Town for many of its current residents, and a major issue for public officials including the members of our Board. Even if the estimates of increase costs, including the projection of 1.3 school children per new house were accurate, which seems dubious, such increased costs pose a strain on an already unacceptable situation.

2. Calculation of fiscal impact. The calculation of fiscal impact on the school system in appropriately excludes administrative and capital costs. There is no sound basis for this approach which grossly underestimates the per pupil share of school costs, and thereby the impact from the development. The DEIS seems to assume that “a small incremental increase” in students, as characterizes its impact, should not share in the capital and administrative costs of the district. However, mathematics dictates that the additional students increase the chances that particular “fixed” costs and services would have to be expanded due to expanded enrollment. At some point, new buildings must be built and central services expanded to handle increased populations. The assumption appears particularly inappropriate given the DEIS observation that all three district schools are at capacity and an expansion plan will be prepared shortly. Even if the applicant could not be held to accurately estimate such prospective costs, it would appear especially inapposite to ignore the current payments on previously bonded capital expenditures. This creative accounting, which reduces the estimate of per pupil expenditures from about $19,000 to about 12,000 should be abandoned and correct numbers supplied.

3. Cumulative fiscal impact. The DEIS blandly observes that the cumulative impact of the Emerald Ridge proposal with the substantial number (247) of other dwelling units are likely to generate less in school tax revenue than the increase in school costs. This is obviously incomplete for an environmental impact statement, on one of the most critical, if not the most critical, cumulative impact of these proposals. The DEIS must provide a better estimate – fairly calculated – of the prospective cumulative school tax impact of Emerald Ridge and similarly situated projects.
As I indicated, the Town Board has not had the opportunity to fully discuss these issues in the DEIS. However, I suspect that concern about the fiscal impact of a major housing subdivision would raise similar objections from most if not all of my colleagues on the Town Board.

Finally I agree substantially with the questions raised in attorney William Zutt’s questions raised in his August 1, 2006 memorandum on behalf of the Planning Board.

Sam Davis

Town of Putnam Valley Planning Board
Putnam Valley Town Hall265 Oscawana Lake RoadPutnam Valley, New York 10579

Re: Emerald Ridge Subdivision

Dear Members of the Board:

As you know the Town Board is an involved agency in the SEQRA review of the proposed Emerald Ridge subdivision. A review of the DEIS for the subdivision raises the following issues which we request you consider in further review of the project.

1. Road safety. The DEIS treatment of Marsh Hill Road is incomplete in its explanation of the potential hazards from the development and use of a road which it admits is substandard. Slopes will substantially exceed the maximum 8 percent grade. The substandard slope of the road is exacerbated by its noncompliant length and the intensity of development proposed for the subdivision. This combination of inappropriate features poses substantial safety issues which are inconsistent with the Town’s goal of responsible growth. Similarly, the late-proposed emergency access road would have noncomplying grades. The DEIS inappropriately does not address the prospective impact from such substandard development.

2. Alternatives. The DEIS appears to attempt to justify the proposed road by describing the environmental difficulty of constructing a “code compliant” access road. We reject this Hobson’s Choice. The difficulty of constructing a code compliant access road does not establish the soundness of the (noncompliant) preferred alternative; rather it suggests the infeasibility of the use of this ridge as primary access to a major subdivision.

3. Costs and dedication. The length of the primary and emergency access roads, as well as the bridge on the emergency access road are likely to engender substantial maintenance costs. The DEIS should investigate and report such costs. Moreover, it should provide for an alternative maintenance of these facilities by a homeowners association or similar entity, rather than assuming dedication of them to the Town. While the Town Board has not formally considered the matter, the foregoing deficiencies and financial raise a substantial likelihood that the Board would not be willing to accept dedication of the roads associated with the subdivision.

4. Storm drains and retention ponds. Here again, it is suggested that the DEIS provide
for an alternative maintenance of these facilities by a homeowners association or similar entity, rather than assuming dedication of them to the Town. While the Town Board has not formally considered the matter, the costs involved raise a substantial likelihood that the Board would not be willing to accept their dedication.

April 5, 2007

Eugene Yetter, Vice Chair
Acting Chair for this project
Putnam Valley Planning Board
265 Oscawana Lake Road
Putnam Valley, New York 10579

Re: Emerald Ridge subdivision

To Vice Chairman Eugene Yetter and the Putnam Valley Planning Board:

The Planning Board requested that the Town Board comment on certain aspects of the proposed Emerald Ridge subdivision on Marsh Hill Road, while the Planning Board was in the public comment period of the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the project. At the Town Board meeting of March 21, 2007, the Vice Chair of the Planning Board, Eugene Yetter, extended that comment period, at the request of Town Attorney David Gordon, for the public, and for the Town Board, until the Findings and Decision of the Planning Board on April 9, 2007. Under the State Environmental Quality Review Act, (SEQRA) an FEIS consists of all responses to comments from agencies and the public on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS). This right to comment and the lead agency’s responsibility thereon is the core of the public’s involvement in the SEQRA process.

Road length

The access road to the subdivision will total 3,900 feet in length, which includes about 2,000 feet of existing Marsh Hill Road (1,900 feet of constructed extension). The Town Code specifies a maximum length of about 1,200 feet for dead end roads into subdivisions. At the DEIS public hearing, the applicant planned to construct a second, emergency access road through the neighboring Venezia property, but in scaling the proposal down from 25 lots the applicant removed plans for the second road.

The current plans clearly do not comply with the wording of the Town Code’s 1,200 foot standard for dead-end access to subdivisions. I do not find a reasonable explanation for this extension.

The subdivision will have 13 homes (14 total with an existing home), and there are 4 other homes on Marsh Hill Road.
(p.2, Supervisor FEIS comment, Emerald Ridge subdivision)

The Emerald Ridge proposed road very substantially exceeds the 1,200 foot length.
The D/FEIS does not appear to present a substantive rationale for alternative application of the dead end road requirement, other than that the revised plan reduces the road length substantially from the original application. Instead, it appears that the FEIS relies on the apparent agreement of several town officials and consultants:

A meeting was held to discuss revisions to the project with members of the Planning Board and its consultants, the Town Board, the Highway Department, the Building Department, the Fire Department and Ambulance Corps and it was determined that the 14-lot layout and reduced road length would not require an emergency access road. Therefore, the previous DEIS layout with 25 lots is proposed to be replaced with a layout that mitigates impacts related to the construction of an emergency access road and all but one of the proposed homes on the eastern portion of the project site. The length of the porposed subdivision roadway has been reduced by 1,700 linear feet. With the density of the project reduced to 14 lots, or nearly one half of the density originally proposed, the revised layout no longer requires an emergency access roadway utilizing the bridge over Peekskill Hollow Book to access Brookfalls Cottages, Inc. lands.

FEIS § 2.0 at 2-1 – 2-2. (Many of the responses in the FEIS refer to this section.).

Two problems arise from the reliance on the consensus at the meeting. First, there is scant substantive basis for allowing the exceedance on its merits. Second, it appears that the consensus does not appear as unanimous as the applicant and Planning Board may have believed. Town Highway Superintendent Earl Smith has submitted to the Planning Board a letter urging an emergency roadway for safety reasons. One suggestion at the FEIS public hearing was an independent safety assessment. This might alleviate the concerns and confusions that have arisen regarding the slope of the road, the number of houses on the road, and the length of the road, so far in excess of the Town’s code.

Road grade

The 14% grade of Marsh Hill Road substantially exceeds the 8% grade our code recommends as being safe. This factor too has not been adequately dealt with in the FEIS. The fact that it is an existing road doesn’t mitigate the increased risk of adding more homes.

School expense

During the comment period on the DEIS, I, the Supervisor, commented on the calculation of school fiscal impacts, in particular the exclusion of approximately 1/3 of current costs

(p.3, Supervisor FEIS comment, Emerald Ridge subdivision)

from the calculations. Councilwoman Keresey added her name to this comment. The comment stated:

The calculation of fiscal impact on the school system inappropriately excludes administrative and capital costs. There is no sound basis for this approach, which grossly underestimates the per pupil share of school costs, and thereby the impact from the development. The DEIS seems to assume that “a small incremental increase” in students, as characterizes its impact, should not share in the capital and administrative costs of the district. However, mathematics dictates that the additional students increase the chances that particular “fixed” costs and services would have to be expanded due to expanded enrollment. At some point, new buildings must be built and central services expanded to handle increased populations. The assumption appears particularly inappropriate given the DEIS observation that all three district schools are at capacity and an expansion plan will be prepared shortly. Even if the applicant could not be held to accurately estimate such prospective costs, it would appear especially inapposite to ignore the current payments on previously bonded capital expenditures. This creative accounting, which reduces the estimate of per pupil expenditures from about $19,000 to about 12,000 should be abandoned and correct numbers supplied.

I have not found any response to my comment in the FEIS. Instead, and without explanation, the FEIS continues to utilize a “per pupil expenditure of $12,476 for the purpose of calculating School District costs related to the project…” See FEIS § 3.12 at 3.12-4. The failure to address the comment violates SEQRA, and as a result the fiscal impact is not properly calculated. The apparent error is substantial enough to negate any of the D/FEIS representations regarding school fiscal impact.

Land trust

Another issue that has been raised repeatedly, but was not addressed, is the establishment of a land steward for land that is required to be placed in a conservation easement. Without a mechanism for enforcement of a land trust, the requirement in the plat is merely window dressing.

Under SEQRA, each involved agency must make a findings statement before taking its jurisdictional action. Among other things, the findings statement must certify that the
action avoids or minimizes adverse impacts “to the maximum extent practicable” through
use of alternatives or mitigation measures. 6 NYCRR § 617.11(d)(5). It is not clear that the D/FEIS provides the Town Board with the information necessary to ensure that impacts have been minimized or avoided.

(p.4, Supervisor FEIS comment, Emerald Ridge subdivision)

On April 2, 2007, at a special Town Board meeting, the Putnam Valley Town Board declined the opportunity to submit a comment. I, Supervisor Sam Davis, and
Councilwoman Priscilla Keresey, were in favor of commenting on several problems that we see in the FEIS, and with the project.

The foregoing is my comment on the FEIS.

Respectfully submitted,

Sam Davis
Dear Readers:

I cannot be silent any longer. There ARE stories going on in the blogasphere that the main steam media IS ignoring. I have said before, bias in the media is not always what is written, but what is ignored. The following stories posted in local blogs will prove my point.

First we will start with my recent posts. Putnam Valley Supervisor Sam Davis and his assistant Dawn Powell WERE vindicated in the recent dismissal of their law suit. The judge DID rule that what the Supervisor did was NOT unethical. So the media in reporting and editorials still give credence to the opponents of the Supervisor that the censure was just because there was an appearance of impropriety. Now I will grant you that something can be legal yet still have the appearance of impropriety. How ever if something is ruled ethical(let alone legal) that there CANNOT be the appearance of impropriety. To date none of the media who in the past had a field day at the expense of the Supervisor and his assistant will now acknowledge that the censure vote was purely politically motivated.

While the media was reporting on this now non-issue, Supervisor Davis was up in Albany testifying about a REAL ISSUE, school taxes and what can be done to reign them in. Other than my blog, have you read anywhere else this story. Editorial after editorial during the election cycle bemoan the fact that the candidates avoid discussing the serious issues putting forth instead pabulum and sound bites. Well their hypocrisy is showing, for Supervisor Davis IS confronting a real serious issue and putting forth more than sound bites, and the local media has chosen not to report it. He has put forth an idea worthy of debate and the people should know and judge for themselves. On this REAL story about a REAL issue the media to their shame has been silent. It is time for them to be silent no more.

Second, the Putnam Valley Supervisor had put forth his concerns on the proposed Emerald Ridge Subdivision. This is another issue of great concern to the residents of Putnam Valley. Where but in this blog have you seen all of the concerns spelled out? Certainly not in the media. This is an election year and you have a politician actually talking issues with specificity, and all the media can talk about is whether the Supervisor should or should not have hired a person who lives in the same house., My God, the only proof the media has that they might be more than friends is the word of his political opponent. How is that for fact check??!! All this turn out to be for nought because a judge ruled it was NOT unethical. It is time for the media to put their mouth where their editorials are and cover actual issues being discussed by politicians in an election year. The people deserve no less.

It should be noted as a friend of mine e-mailed me, that for better or worse the last Presidential election and the 2008 Presidential Primaries are being blog driven. There is not one major media outlet that does not check out the Drudge Report first thing. There are also the Huffington Post, The Daily Koz, News Max, Town, to name a few more. If the major news outlets can use the blogs as infomation starting points, I think the local media would be wise to follow their leads. Besides this blog, there is Plan-Putnam, LoHud Forum (the Journal News blog section), The Peekskill Guardian and now "On The other Hand" by former Peekskill Councilman Bill Schmidt. In each of the listed, the local media has a gold mine of stories to investigate, for that IS what has been lacking in the local main stream media as of late. If they took the time to read those blogs they would find that out also.

It is unwise for the local media to disregard the content because some would rather remain anonymous. Even though I hate to use The N.Y. Times as an example, how many of their stories are based on anonymous sources? The N.Y. Times is willing, but our local media would rather keep their head in the sand? The fact is people ARE going to vote based on what the read in these blogs, as they appear to be doing the investigations lacking in the local media. The main stream local media has a duty to the electoral process to find out if these stories have credibility, to in fact set the record straight. This is no time to have a turf contest. The bigger picture is that the voters deserve to know the truth before they vote. The local media IS the buffer. Just for instance, does the "Peekskill Guardian" have the "smoking gun" regarding the old Park Street School? Many people ARE going to base their vote on this. The local media has a duty to find the out. The best way is to shine the light of truth. The local main stream media has a duty NOT TO TURN ON THE DARKNESS !!! On a more practical side, more investigative reporting WILL result in more sales and higher advertising rates for the papers. After all they do operate on a for profit basis. To paraphrase the movie "Field Of Dreams", if you investigate it, they will buy.


I wrote the above Thursday(o4/26/07) night and sent it out Saturday(04/28/07). The following appeared in Sunday's Journal News(04/29/07).

Bloggers stir up a tempest over Peekskill school sale

(Original publication: April 29, 2007)

PEEKSKILL - The future use of the old Park Street School developed into an incipient controversy last week after local bloggers accused the school district of trying to sell the building - without voter approval - to be used as a homeless shelter.
The Peekskill Guardian blog, whose writers are not identified by name, posted a letter from Piazza Bros. general contractors to a county official saying the company was going to buy the building. The letter said Piazza Bros. could renovate it for the county to take over under a long-term lease, possibly for a homeless shelter.
But John Piazza, whose name is on the letter, said he was simply making inquiries with the county about possible funding programs to renovate the building and was thinking of turning it into senior-citizen housing. He acknowledged that, at some point, he discussed the idea of a homeless shelter but said, "It was just speculation. It wasn't really a serious thought."
Senior housing was the county's suggestion, said Deputy Planning Commissioner Norma Drummond, and the county had no interest in converting the building to a homeless shelter.
Piazza said he dropped his idea of buying the school after learning that the property's single-family zoning wouldn't allow multifamily senior housing. He never made a formal offer, he said.
"I have no interest in this property whatsoever," said Piazza, whose company is based in Valhalla.
Peekskill Schools Superintendent Judith Johnson said the bloggers were "just trying to scare people" and sabotage a vote on selling the building. Small-city school districts like Peekskill's need voter approval to dispose of property.
"If the voters even think it's a homeless shelter, they're going to turn it down," she said.
Johnson said she never heard from Piazza and was never approached about a homeless shelter. Instead, she said, the school district is in negotiations with a nearby religious institution that wants to turn the building into space for community, religious and children's programs.
Johnson said she could not name the potential buyer. Once a contract is final, the sale will be put to the voters, she said. The district's real estate agent, Carla T. West, said three offers were submitted, two for condominiums or co-ops and one from the religious organization. The 16,900-square-foot brick building was originally listed for $2 million and then reduced to $1.6 million.
The Park Street School is a former elementary school that was converted into an alternative high school. The school board voted to close it in 2005 and educate the alternative school students from 4 to 7 p.m. at the main high school campus. The building is old and dilapidated, Johnson said. "It sent a message to students I didn't want sent to them," she said.
Another school, the former Drum Hill School on Ringgold Street, reopened as senior housing about seven years ago after sitting empty for decades.
The Peekskill Guardian writers did not respond to an e-mail seeking comment, but on their blog, at, they called the sale of the school "Judith Johnson's Watergate" and said she "doesn't care about the truth."
The bloggers describe themselves as "a coalition of Peekskill residents who enthusiastically support progress and prosperity in Peekskill." Many of the postings are critical of Johnson, the school board and the Peekskill Democratic Party.

Reach Elizabeth Ganga at

Spano asks for help to deport illegal aliens on probation
By Martin Wilbur

County Executive Andrew Spano, with Probation Department Commissioner Rocco Pozzi, Tuesday called for the federal government to provide more resources to deport illegal aliens released from jail and to help pay for their incarceration.Westchester County Executive Andrew Spano appealed to the federal government this week for additional money and manpower to safeguard the public from illegal aliens who are on probation for serious crimes.Spano said more Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) agents are needed to help speed the deportation process. The county is also looking for reimbursement from the federal government when they are sent to jail. He estimated the daily cost of incarceration at $250 a person.Currently, the county’s Probation Department is supervising close to 700 undocumented aliens in Westchester that have been convicted of a crime. About 200 of them have committed a felony.As a result, the expense is costing the county roughly $2 million to $3 million a year. “We want them off the streets. We want them out of the population. We want them gone,” Spano said.During a Tuesday news conference, Spano and Commissioner of Probations Rocco Pozzi said they don’t know why the county is not receiving the help it needs from the federal government for what is clearly a federal responsibility.They stated that metropolitan area ICE agents, who have been helpful in working with the county, are stretched too thin to have a greater impact.Pozzi said the number of new cases received each month, which averages about 20 undocumented aliens, has been double the number of deportation cases. “The way it’s going right now, the number of cases we get in every month exceeds the number of deportations,” Pozzi said. “So with that happening, we’re never going to make a dent in the number of people on probation.”Spano was adamant that the public should not confuse this issue with the growing concerns regarding the nation’s immigration policy or day laborers.“This is a very specific, very serious and very prevalent issue that has just not been on the radar screen,” Spano said.The county executive said he has written letters to Westchester’s Congressional delegation, including Senators Chuck Schumer and Hillary Clinton and Representatives Nita Lowey, John Hall and Eliot Engel. He appealed to them for assistance in reducing the financial strain on the criminal justice system and on the district attorney’s office and other law enforcement officials whose responsibility is to keep Westchester’s streets safe.


Dear Readers:

Do not let this pandering politician fool you. This is just election year posturing. At the same time he is concerned that Westchester County taxpayer are footing the bill for the supervised probation of illegal immigrants, he has another part of county government actively soliciting Illegal immigrants to sign up for County taxpayer paid social services such as food stamps and medicaid which cost a hell of a lot more. He of course thinks nothing about the burden they also put on our school system and those taxes we pay AND THEY DON'T. So it seems that if you break one law (illegal entering) you are forgiven. If you break two laws (forged documents to get a drivers licence or the aforementioned social services) you are forgiven. If you break three laws (working off the books, there by avoiding payroll taxes) you are forgiven. However if you break a fourth law, do your time, pay your penalty, you are NOW a burden on the taxpayer. This out right pandering, no actually hypocrisy makes one want to vomit. How long will you let this panderer get away with insulting your intelligence?

Judge nixes Yorktown's new land-use plan
(Original publication: April 27, 2007)

YORKTOWN - The town's comprehensive plan on land use and a set of new zoning regulations it adopted last year have been invalidated by a state Supreme Court ruling.
The town administration is now planning to appeal the decision by Justice Barbara Zambelli. She sided with local property owners who argued that the process of changing their zoning was seriously flawed.
The ruling cites the Town Board for not adequately responding to comments made when the new zoning regulations were aired publically, and for not properly reviewing the revisions made to the comprehensive plan as modifications were made to it in 2005.
Four property owners cried foul when their land was rezoned, and their lawsuits were combined into one. Land zoned for 1- or 2-acre homesites were designated as 4-acre zoning under the new code.
"My client's land was significantly upzoned, and it's the second time in 10 years they've tried to do it," said a lawyer, Lawrence Praga, who challenged the comprehensive plan and the new zoning. "My client doesn't believe four to five acres (per lot) is appropriate. It's too restrictive."
Praga represented the Wallack family, which owns 138 acres in the Hunter Brook section that the town also tried to upzone in 1997.
Town Supervisor Linda Cooper said the town would appeal the decision, and it was expected that the new zoning would continue in place until the matter reached the appellate court.
"We're appealing. We respectfully disagree with the court," said Cooper.
The supervisor said the new comprehensive plan and the zoning that followed it was a benefit to the community, and the process was correct.
"We believe we have a good comprehensive plan," she said. "We have been struggling with the issue of growth and congestion - and the zones are not static, they're dynamic. You need to change the zones to adjust to the times."
Cooper noted that town officials had been working with the property owners outside of court to negotiate a comprise on their complaints about the new zoning.
The court decision released this week did not address the actual zoning regulations put into place, only the process behind it.
Cooper said she believed the town's procedure was legal.
"We did a very public process," she said.
But attorney Jeremiah Dineen, who represented the Wilkens family and their farm near the Taconic State Parkway, said the process was fatally flawed.
"They should go back and do it the right way," he said, and the Town Board should have heeded complaints at the time that public opinion was not being addressed.
"These were not concerns that came up after the fact. The board ignored all these concerns," said Dineen, the husband of the former Patricia Wilkens. "There's no question the process was faulty."
Dineen said the town was looking to reduce suburban congestion by going after landowners with large vacant properties, but the approach was selective and punitive.
"It was horribly unfair," he said.


Dear Readers:

How long have I said the town of Yorktown treats property owners as tenants? I was against the 4 year moratorium on building (started out as a six month moratorium) for it abridged property rights. I was against the Comprehensive Plan for the same reason. I have stated before that just because the town collects taxes on private property does not make them a silent partner. Now a judge has come down on the side of property rights. What is the town's response? They are going to appeal for the right to treat property owners as serfs. Guess who gets to pay for the privilege of the town trying to screw us? We the tax payer, that who. It is always easy going to court and running up the costs when you can pick someone else's pocket to pay for it. In this year's town election, you should carefully consider if you want to re-elect someone who thinks they control your property, while you pay high taxes for the privilege.
Dear Readers:

Last post I explained why on principal I was against the idea of a Yorktown Town manager. Now I will explain the politics of the proposal. This idea was proposed by Supervisor Cooper. I can understand her intent of trying to preserve her legacy. You do a job so long and you are convinced the those who come after you will not be as good. A simple analogy is that every bartender thinks they make the best Bloody Mary.

The proposal to study the feasibility on a Town Manager could not have passed without the Democrats on the Council voting in favor. That they did so says to me that they have no faith that their candidate for Supervisor Don Peters is not up to the task. This is the second time the Democrat insiders have disrespected their Democrat outsider. The first you will remember is when Supervisor Cooper decided not to seek another term, the party heads tried to deny Peters the Supervisor slot on the ballot in favor of an insider, long after Peters had done all the leg work to make the town Democrats a good bet to have a Democrat Supervisor. By bringing this to light, this was stopped and Don Peters was rightfully given the chance to be the next Supervisor.

I know Don Peters and I have no doubt he is qualified to do all parts of the job of being Town Supervisor. I also remember that when Supervisor Cooper first won, Her managerial qualifications were in question. As I have said before, history does not start when you wake up in the morning. I am not sure who the Republican candidate for Supervisor will be, but of the know seekers, I have no doubt they are also up to the task. So both on principal and for political reasons I still say a Town manager should be rejected.
Dear Readers:

Former(and hopefully future) Councilman Bill Schmidt has posted two new updates on his blog which is linked below. I urge you to check them out.

For you Peekskill residents who read my blog, you have a school board vote comming May 15. As two sides should be explored before one votes, and the local media has covered only one side(when it covers it at all), I would suggest you check out the Peekskill Guardian's posts regarding the School Board linked below. I trust you to know wheat from chafe.


(914) 997-2555 (914) 522-6774

914-995-2828 or 914-997-2555


The Republican members of the Westchester County Board of Legislators have scheduled a press conference for 12:30 pm on Monday April 30, 2007 on the steps of the Michaelian Office Building located at 148 Martine Avenue White Plains to announce their 2007 election plans.

The legislators will make a brief statement and answer questions.

For more information contact George Oros (914) 522-6774.

Senator Clinton, Senator Biden, Senator Obama, and former Senator Edwards all who have put controlling green house gasses on their campaign platform took time off Thursday night (04/25/07) to contribute to it. Each flew out of the same Washington Airport in their own private jets to the same South Carolina Airport to attend the same debate. As long as this do as I say not as I do hypocrisy exists among those who would wish to limit our lifestyle while keeping theirs, I will continue to resist all efforts by the government to limit my choices in how I choose to travel, light my house and the car I buy. This is still politics for the frustrated socialists trying to control the lives of others. To hell with their ruling class mentality.

*********************************************************************************** CABLE SHOWS TO WATCH:

ON POINT ON PEEKSKILL: Every Tuesday at 8PM chanel 15 (Peekskill only)

DON PETERS AND YORKTOWN: Every Tuesday at 10PM chanel 22
Hosted by: DON PETERS *********************************************************************************** EDITOR'S NOTE:All articles re-printed in this blog from the North County News are with the permission of Bruce Apar Publisher and Editor-in-Chief.

BAZZO 04/28/07

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


Dear Readers:

On Wednesday 04/25/07 I will be meeting with the Yorktown Republican Nominating committee to make my case why I should be their choice for candidate to the Yorktown Town Council. I will keep you informed.
Dear Readers:

Today (04/17/07) Putnam Valley Supervisor Sam Davis traveled to Albany to testify to a Legislative Committee on School Taxes. He is proposing an actual means to reign in the burden of high school taxes. Unlike most politicians who speak pabulum and band-ade answers to the problem of school taxes, Supervisor Davis is proposing a complete overhaul of our way of taxing to finance schools. You wanted a reformer as Supervisor when you elected him and this proves you have one. If you ever needed a reason to re-elect him, this is it. Try to remember the last time a public official actually proposed a solution who's beauty is in it's simplicity and fairness, not robbing Peter to pay Paul (read favorite special interest). I heartily endorse this proposal.


Hello. My name is Sam Davis. I am the supervisor of the Town of Putnam Valley. I want to thank you for holding this hearing, and for allowing me to speak today.

I first want to speak about problems with the assessment process itself. Putnam Valley is a small town of about 11,500 people. Many of the homes started out as summer cottages and were later winterized. They are not cookie cutter houses. The diversity is enormous. This often makes it difficult to find comparable's. Therefore, the assessments on large numbers of our homes are no more than guesswork. Often, the selling prices of homes are vastly different than the assessed value. This is just evidence of the awful inadequacy of the system. I could go on about this topic for some time, but the truth is, the lack of reality in the assessment process is perhaps the least important problem with the system. Much more important is the fact that it is a horribly unfair way to tax people. Let us examine an easy example: Consider two identical houses on identical properties. For the sake of drama, and for clarity of the point, we'll assume that the family in one of these homes earns $50,000 dollars a year, while the other earns $2,000,000. The shocking and disturbing reality is that they both pay the same property taxes. This is clearly an extreme example, yet it illustrates the inherent unfairness of this method of taxation. People with vastly different ability to pay their taxes feel the burden of those taxes vastly differently. For the one, it is a horrible onus, while for the other it is hardly noticed. Now let’s consider further the effect of these taxes on our citizens. The most obvious effect is that increasingly, people are being forced to sell their homes and abandon their neighborhoods. Many must leave the state. It is heartbreaking to see the pain and loss of people forced to leave their friends and families by this archaic and mean spirited form of taxation.

Sometimes, instead of selling their homes, residents have enough property to subdivide and sell off lots in order to earn enough income to stay in their homes. Clearly, this illustrates the pressure that property taxes put on the maintenance of open space. Worse yet, the new homes built on the subdivided property drive school taxes up further. An example of this in Putnam Valley is a proposed 14 lot subdivision called Emerald Ridge. There will be 13 new homes each with 4 or 5 bedrooms. Let's project that each of these homes will pay school taxes of $8,000.00 per year for a total of $104,000.00. Let's further project that they will put another 20 students in our schools. With a cost per student of about $20,000.00 per year, that will total $400,000.00. The difference of almost $300,000.00 will have to be made up by our existing residents. It is not hard to see how this system forces residents to have to sell their homes or subdivide their properties. Another, less obvious effect is the way this tears at the fabric of our neighborhoods. As the turn over of population exceeds the natural, evolutionary rate, it destroys continuity, ripping apart the sense of family and community. This is a devastating result of our skyrocketing property taxes.

Yet another problem for our municipalities is that as the portion of our housing which is affordable shrinks, we lose our workforce. As that happens, it becomes harder and harder to maintain our volunteer fire departments and ambulance corps. Going to paid emergency services would force out accelerated numbers of our residents because paid services are prohibitively more costly than are volunteer services. While any property tax is unfair, the school taxes are by far the most damaging because they are the greatest part of our property tax burden. If a drastic change is not soon forthcoming, the exodus from our state will speed up. Before too long, New York will house only the very wealthy and the very poor. Further, regarding school taxes, this system has created a terribly uneven playing field. Wealthy communities offer their children everything, while poor communities offer far less. Our public schools should provide the same advantages for all of our children. No matter their background, our children all deserve the same high quality of education.

Clearly, it is past time for action. I call on you to serve your constituents; your employers. In the name of the residents of my Town, and of municipalities throughout the state, I ask that you do away with property tax funding of schools and move to statewide income tax funding for residents. Dealing with commercial enterprises will naturally have to be handled differently. You are our experts. You can work that out. But for the sake of our people, our neighborhoods, and the future of this great state, you must do so now.
Thank you.

Dear Readers:

The above represents a NEW IDEA that does not punish the middle class. The next article you will read represents the status-quo which sticks it to the middle class. The above is an answer, below pabulum.


Solution sought for Westchester tax inequities

(Original publication: April 18, 2007)

ALBANY - Westchester County remains one of the few areas in the state where property-tax assessments are largely out of date, but chances of changing that any time soon are uncertain, a key lawmaker said yesterday.
"Every year that goes by makes it harder," said Assemblywoman Sandra Galef, D-Ossining, who chairs the Assembly Real Property Taxation Committee. "I don't know why we haven't had a lawsuit."
Assessment is the value placed on property for tax purposes. A tax bill is determined by multiplying the assessed value by the tax rate.
Though assessed value is based on the market value of a home, store or other piece of property, it can get out of date if not updated regularly, officials said at a hearing Galef held at the Capitol yesterday. Thus, properties that could fetch the same price if sold have different values for tax purposes.
Local governments in New York collected more than $32 billion in property taxes in 2004, according to the most recent statistics.
About 80 percent of the almost 1,000 towns, villages and cities that assess property place values on them that are roughly comparable, said Joseph Hesch of the state Office of Real Property Services. About one-third of those have assessments that basically match market value, he said.
That's the standard the state wants all municipalities to meet so "people know what their municipality feels their property is worth," he said. But state law doesn't require that: It mandates only that all assessments be at a uniform percentage of value.
Westchester, along with Suffolk County, trails the rest of the state in keeping values up to date, Galef said.
Just four Westchester communities - the towns of Pelham and Rye and the villages of Sleepy Hollow and Bronxville - updated their assessment rolls recently, said Ossining Assessor Josette Polzetta, who testified at the hearing.
Reassessing property doesn't change the overall amount of taxes paid. However, some pay more and others less, which makes it a politically hazardous process.
"The shift would be tremendous," Polzetta said. "That's why we've shied away from it."
As an alternative, Polzetta said she wants to identify properties in her town that are "outliers," with assessments either far too high or low, and reassess them. She said it would be cheaper and cause less disruption than a townwide reassessment while rectifying the greatest discrepancies.
"Will it be perfect? No," she said, "but it will cost only $25,000." She said she is devising a plan to present to the town board.
"I believe it's right," she said, referring to reassessing all properties every few years at 100 percent of market value. "But we have to see why it's not working. It's so volatile."
Galef has introduced bills that, among other things, would require localities to reassess every three years and have condominiums and cooperative apartments assessed on their market value rather than on what their worth would be as rental units. Generally that would mean higher taxes for owners of those properties.
She also wants to establish a "blue ribbon commission" to study assessment practices and property taxes in general.
But she held out little hope any of them would be adopted this year.
"Sometimes you have to put things in writing to get people to talk about them," she said.

Board discusses hiring manager to run town
By Adriane Tillman

As Yorktown Supervisor Linda Cooper prepares to leave office at the end of the year, the Town Board discussed the pros and cons of hiring an administrator to run the day-to-day affairs of the town. Under the proposal, discussed at the board’s April 10 work session, the supervisor would focus on policy issues. Activist Susan Siegel requested the board entertain the discussion, having campaigned for the council-manager government form in 1977. Town administrators and village managers from New Castle, Mamaroneck, Irvington and Croton argued the council-manager system frees elected officials to focus on policy, and creates a more cost efficient, standardized form of government.“Elected officials are more responsive. They don’t have to worry about the nitty-gritty,” said Steve Altieri, town administrator of Mamaroneck.Government is increasingly complex with its many departments and regulations and requires someone who has expertise managing a governmental agency, which is different than a private corporation, the administrators and managers agreed.The supervisor’s position then becomes open to a greater cross section of the community – to policeman, artists and housewives, who may not have the management background, Cooper commented. New Castle Town Administrator Jerry Faiella dismissed misconceptions that elected officials relinquish authority to administrators. “It depends what level of authority the board wants to give to the administrator,” he said, adding the board still holds power to sign contracts, hire and fire employees and make policy decisions. The administrator is also accountable to the entire board, not just the supervisor, and requests to the administrator must come from the entire board, according to Faiella. “So there’s synchronization and you’re not working at odds,” he said.The budget process is also less political since the administrator prepares and presents the budget, according to Altieri.Administrators do not usually become politicized and usually don’t change over with board members, Altieri said,“They understand their role as the administrators and not the policy makers,” he said. The council-manager form of government is the most common system across the country, and receives the highest bond ratings for its perceived stability, according to Altieri. “I wouldn’t have run for mayor if we didn’t have an administrator,” said Don Marra,Village Manager of Irvington and the former mayor of Dobbs Ferry.Activist David Frayne said the town should ask entities it works with daily, like real estate agents and supply companies, whether a strong council-manager form of government is more efficient than the mayoral model. Frayne sat on the 1977 committee that studied the council-manager proposal.The Board will set up a committee to further discuss the council-manager system for Yorktown. A decision would require a resolution passed by the board after a public hearing.


Dear Readers:

So now after all these years, there are those in Yorktown Government that thinks our present form or government is not working. Their answer is another layer of bureaucracy in the nature of a City Manager. This form of government puts another layer between those who are elected to run the town and the voters who elect them. An unaccountable to the electorate City Manager is not the answer. This is a case where the status-quo should remain.

No matter the faults of our present system, those who make the decisions (Supervisor and Council) must make their case to the people to which they are now accountable. When you look at the pay our officials receive for this responsibility compared to the surrounding communities, you will notice our officials are well compensated for this burden. As I read the discussion, they want the same pay without the burden.

I do not think paying a city manager for the job we already pay our officials for is in the best interests of the town. I want my elected officials DIRECTLY accountable for their decisions, not being able to hide behind an unelected manager. Good, bad, or indifferent, I believe our present form of governing is in no need of change. If those in office believe the burden is too heavy, or they are no longer up to the task, then they should retire to the private sector and let those who believe they can handle the burden get their chance.

Dear Readers:
Even though you will read that the Judge dismmised the lawsuit, you will also note the Judge took time to settle the matter surrounding the hiring of Dawn Powell. This vindication of the hiring, removes the main plank of the censure vote, leaving it to stand as the purely partisian political vote that it was.


From Supervisor Sam Davis to the Readers of The Bazzo Manifesto:

April 9, 2007


The Honorable Jonathan Lippman of the New York State Supreme Court, Westchester County, ruled on Thursday, April 5, 2007 that Supervisor Davis of the Town of Putnam Valley was not unethical in his hiring of Dawn Powell. Beyond that, he dismissed the Article 78 on procedural grounds. "Notwithstanding this, the court declares that the appointment of petitioner Dawn Powell ('Ms. Powell') to the position of confidential Secretary was not unethical as of January 1, 2006." “ORDERED that it is declared that pursuant to the terms of the November 15, 2006 Town Board Resolution the appointment of Dawn Powell to the position of Confidential Secretary was not unethical as of January 1, 2006, and that the claims raised under Local Law 5 are not ripe for review in the context of this proceeding.”

Supervisor Davis said, "I'm gratified that Judge Lippman stated clearly and unambiguously that my appointment of Dr. Powell is legal and ethical. I researched this carefully before acting, and knew that this appointment was legal and ethical. Dr. Powell has been a real asset to the Town. It would have helped public confidence had the Ethics Board and Town Board acted with respect for the law, instead of divisively, with a political agenda." Dr. Powell commented, "This has been a difficult personal ordeal for me. The arrogance of these public officials, the Town Board and Ethics Board, has not helped the Town, and has squandered public resources. Now that ethics and legality have been clearly identified, I hope that the Swiftboating will stop, and the community can move forward with important issues."

Attorney David Wright brought the suit on behalf of the Supervisor and his Aide.

Sam Davis
Putnam Valley Supervisor

Dear Readers:

I know that I don't normally do national news, however it is important to know how our Democratic Senators vote against our interests.

The following senators voted against making English the official language of America :

Akaka (D-HI) Bayh (D-IN) Biden (D-DE) Bingaman (D-NM) Boxer (D-CA) Cantwell (D-WA) Clinton (D-NY) Dyton D-MN) Dodd (D-CT) Domenici (R-NM) Durbin (D-IL) . Feingold (D-WI) Feinstein (D-CA) Harin (D-IA) Inouye (D-HI) Jeffords (I-VT) Kennedy (D-MA)
Kerry (D-MA) Kohl (D-WI) Lautenberg (D-NJ) Leahy (D-VT) Levin (D-MI) Lieberman (D-CT) Menendez (D-NJ) Mikulski (D-MD) Murray (D-WA) Obama (D-IL) Reed (D-RI) Reid (D-NV) Salazar (D-CO) Sarbanes (D-MD)
Schumer (NY) Stabenow (D-MI) Wyden (D-OR)

Next, following are the senators who voted to give illegal aliens Social Security benefits. They are grouped by home state. If a state is not listed, there was no voting representative:

Alaska : Stevens (R) Arizona : McCain (R) Arkansas : Lincoln (D) Pryor (D) California : Boxer (D) Feinstein (D) Colorado : Salazar (D) Connecticut : Dodd (D) Lieberman (D) Delaware : Biden (D) Carper (D) Florida : Martinez (R) Hawaii : Akaka (D) Inouye (D) Illinois : Durbin (D) Obama (D) Indiana: Bayh (D) Lugar (R) Iowa: Harkin (D) Kansas: Brownback (R) Louisiana: Landrieu (D) Maryland: Mikulski (D) Sarbanes (D) Massachusetts: Kennedy (D) Kerry (D) Montana: Baucus (D) Nebraska: Hagel (R) Nevada: Reid (D) New Jersey: Lautenberg (D) Menendez (D) New Mexico: Bingaman (D) New York: Clinton (D) Schumer (D) North Dakota : Dorgan (D) Ohio : DeWine (R) Voinovich(R) Oregon Wyden (D) Pennsylvania : Specter (R) Rhode Island : Chafee (R)-DUMPED in 2006 Reed (D) South Carolina : Graham (R) South Dakota : Johnson (D) Vermont : Jeffords (I) Leahy (D) Washington : Cantwell (D) Murray (D) West Virginia : Rockefeller (D), by Not Voting Wisconsin : Feingold (D) Kohl (D)


Finally, this is why NOTHING will ever get done regarding illegal immigration. Both powerful special interests (read big business and orginized labor) need illegal labor:

Our Congressional Representative John Hall voted in favor of allowing illegal aliens to vote in union elections Rep. Hall voted against a Motion to Recommit H.R. 800, the Employee Free Choice Act of 2007. The Motion to Recommit, introduced by Rep. McKeon (R-CA), would have recommitted H.R. 800 to the Committee on Education and Labor with instructions to report the legislation back to the House with an amendment that would require that all employees allowed to vote in union elections be citizens or legal residents of the United States. This would have prevented illegal aliens from voting in unionization elections. This would have been an important interior enforcement measure because illegal aliens should not be allowed to have an influence in whether a workforce decides to be unionized or to block unionization. Businesses should not be allowed to use illegal aliens to stop unionization desired by its American workers. And unions should not be allowed to use illegal aliens to force unionization on American workers who don't want it. Although some Representatives voted against the Motion to Recommit because it would have delayed final passage of the bill, a vote in favor of the Motion to Recommit was clearly a vote in favor of interior enforcement and against allowing illegal aliens to vote in union elections. Motion to The Motion to Recommit failed by a vote of 202-225.


Police seek train-station bandit

(Original publication: April 21, 2007)

PEEKSKILL - Police were searching for a man who robbed a taxi driver at knifepoint last week at the train station, then tried to rob another one early yesterday, authorities said.
The second incident happened around 2:45 a.m., when the bandit approached a cabby, pulled out a knife and demanded money, Detective Sgt. Eric Johansen said.
"The intended victim fled before the suspect got anything," Johansen said. "It was more of an attempted robbery."
The first robbery took place around 11:30 p.m. April 13. The robber took out a knife and threatened the driver, Johansen said, and escaped with cash.
Surveillance cameras at the train station captured images of the robber the first time and police asked the public's help in identifying him, Johansen said.
He is described as black, about 30 years old, 5-foot-10 and weighing about 165 pounds. He was wearing a dark coat with its hood up, dark pants and a dark mask over his face. He may have facial hair, police said.
The surveillance photo - an image captured from video - shows the robber in what appears to be a blue jumpsuit, but Johansen said he was wearing like-colored jacket and pants and that the outfit was darker than it appeared in the photo.
Anyone with information is asked to call police at 914-737-8000. All calls will be kept confidential, Johansen said.
Reach Terence Corcoran at 845-228-2275 or


Dear Readers:

As most of you know, Tommy and I work down at the train station from 1pm - 1am. If we were not out sick on Friday April 13, that victim could have been us. This is not why I put this article in this weeks blog. This article is here because neither after the first or second incident, were the cab companies notified of the possible danger. Worse still, as many of you also know, I thought I had a good working relationship with the police, yet not one (and these are the ones who have my e-mail address let alone cell phone number) thought to contact me and give me a heads up. I, like you have to read about it a WEEK later in the paper. One would think for the fees we pay to operate out of Peekskill, notification of possible danger would be automatic. This is unacceptable, and I hope those in ELECTED OFFICE who read this will make sure this lack of notification to ALL cab drivers and owners will not happen again. We pay our fees and taxes, we deserve the same protections and warnings the police would give citizens in neighborhoods and apartment buildings where the citizen might be in danger. I may not be best friends with other owners and drivers, but I would not wish this on my worst enemy for we are all at the same risk. The police have a list of the names and addresses of every one who either owns or drives a cab in the city of Peekskill, You have know idea how angry at this moment I am about the silence of the Police for a FULL WEEK on this matter. I will stop here before I write something I might regret.

*********************************************************************************** CABLE SHOWS TO WATCH:

ON POINT ON PEEKSKILL: Every Tuesday at 8PM chanel 15 (Peekskill only)

DON PETERS AND YORKTOWN: Every Tuesday at 10PM chanel 22
Hosted by: DON PETERS *********************************************************************************** EDITOR'S NOTE:All articles re-printed in this blog from the North County News are with the permission of Bruce Apar Publisher and Editor-in-Chief.

BAZZO 04/21/07

Tuesday, April 03, 2007




EDITORS: For review copies or interview requests, contact:Danny LoprioreTel: 914-231-5346Email: or requesting a review copy, please provide a street address.)

Seasons in Sanctuary

Hastings-on-Hudson, N.Y. – “Seasons in Sanctuary” is a newly-released (Outskirts Press) novel based on a true story and written by Danny Lopriore – veteran news and sports journalist in the New York City area.
The book is based on a “true” story – written somewhere between fact and fiction, good and evil and faith and failure – a tribute to those who are brave enough to uncover, express and share their God-given talents. It is loosely based on real people, places and events covered by the author over his 20 years as a journalist and is set in the teeming streets of the Bronx, N.Y. and the suburb of Yonkers, N.Y. through the years 1960-1995.
”Seasons in Sanctuary” is the tale of a troubled New York City mobster who would rather be a baseball coach and his redemptive journey is “true” enough to have happened and fantastic enough to make one want to believe that it could happen again and again and again.
Tommy Vitale – a former New York Yankees minor leaguer – sustains an leg injury that ends his dreams of playing professional baseball and rebounds to joins the “family business” – eventually rising to the ranks of union delegate and organizer in his Uncle Mario’s “family”. Unable to give up his first love – sports – Vitale finds himself coaching a small, suburban area Catholic school baseball team when a local coach resigns. “Seasons” recounts his transformation and championship years at Redemption High School where re-discovers his “true calling” but must face the decision of choosing between “career”.
The book is currently available on, Barnes and and
Author: Danny Lopriore is a veteran newspaper reporter, editor and columnist who has covered high school sports and news for several daily and weekly newspapers in New York and New Jersey since 1989. He lives in Westchester County, N.Y. with his wife Dianne and children.
Outskirts Press is the publishing house for emerging authors. For more information, please visit or www.seasonsinsanctuary

Stefan Davenport presents an ongoing Wednesday Night Jazz JamSession at: Susans Restaurant.Hosted by me, Bob Meyer, it features different rhythm sections eachweek playing the first set.
An open session follows and allmusicians are welcome to sit in.There is NO cover.8:30 -11:30

Susans is located at12 North Division StreetPeekskill, NY 10566914-737-6624 food, good spirits and a friendly atmosphere.I hope to see you there.

Thanks and Peace, Bob

City of Peekskill
Office of the Mayor

April 5, 2007

The year 2007 marks the 10th year that I have been a part of government in Peekskill, serving one term as councilman and 3 terms as mayor. I am proud of my contributions to my hometown and the community that the Testa family has called home for over a century.

As mayor, I set forth an aggressive vision for the city that included all aspects of the community. I had always believed Peekskill was the premier location in Westchester and a jewel in the rough. I was determined to polish that jewel and to help Peekskill realize the potential I felt it has always harbored. We have made tremendous strides toward that goal. As a result, Peekskill is poised for even greater things and the pieces are in place for a future of continued fiscal prosperity and positive change.

I have given my heart and soul to my position as mayor and work diligently to achieve the goals we have set. I have been extremely fortunate to have a council majority that shares these goals. They have given me their unwavering support and assistance during this unprecedented period of growth and revitalization. I have also been very fortunate to have the talented and dedicated staff that has worked so hard day in and day out to make our vision a reality.

I am honored to have had the opportunity to serve Peekskill these ten years and feel proud to have been continually reelected by overwhelming margins. The people of Peekskill have entrusted me to lead our city and have strongly supported my administration’s policies. I will be forever grateful for their support. However, after much reflection with the ones I love I am announcing today that I will not be seeking another term as mayor of Peekskill.

As I have willingly sacrificed much of my personal life for the dedication to my job as mayor, so too have those close to me sacrificed. The only reason that I have had the strength and ability to dedicate myself to my position is because I have a family who has consistently supported my efforts and gave me the encouragement I needed to be successful. Now it is time I look to other ventures and catch up with the many things I have put to the side. My desire at this time is to spend more time with my family and do the things we have not been able to do together. There are many books waiting to be read and maybe even one to write. There are many things left undone that need attention.

It is important, however, that the citizens of Peekskill know that I am not going away. For the next 8 months we will continue to move the many projects and initiatives forward. This is particularly important since there are those intent on delaying and stopping the progress and momentum we have created. I will continue to be involved in the community and have not ruled out running for future office. I am committed to Peekskill and plan on continuing to be a positive influence for many years to come.

Thank for very much.
John G. Testa, Mayor

Below is a just a sample of Peekskill’s accomplishments since I became mayor in 2002:

• Established Office of Emergency Management and creation of Emergency Operation center.
• Emphasis on quality of life and clampdown on illegal occupancy
• Successful in the fight against sewage diversion
• Established Mayor’s Quality of life/Code Enforcement Hotline
• Expanded Community Policing Unit
• Created Drug Enforcement Task Force
• Upgrade of City Parks and Playgrounds
• Built first-class full size baseball facility: Peekskill Stadium
• Turned the City’s finances around to become recognized by the State Comptroller as one of the most fiscally sound municipalities in NY State.
• 0% tax increase for the last 2 years
• Increased city tax base by $3 million since 2002
• Reduced City portion of tax bill from 27.3% in 2002 to 24.8% in 2007
• Established a policy of open and informative government:
- Established City Website
- Established first city wide quarterly newsletter
- Videotape presentations at work sessions to be shown on the Government Cable Channel
• Instituted e-government by replacing a paper driven weekly council information packets with laptop computers and digital information. (Also utilizing the city website for availability to city hall departments, forms and paying bills online.)
• Established a vision of citywide revitalization through new residential developments, additional retail and commercial development as well as preservation of older and historic neighborhoods.
• Tackled major infrastructure repairs along Central Avenue
• Over 40 acres of former industrial use sites in various stages of remediation
• Began construction of new $32 million Water Treatment Facility
• Recognized by the County for having Westchester’s Most Innovative Solid Waste/ Recycling Program
• Promoted the preservation of historic buildings and promoted the history of the community
• Initiated the restoration of the Lincoln Depot building and property
• Peekskill named a “Preserve America Community”
• Established two historic districts
• Continued to promote and preserve the Artist District and focus:
- Completed the Art Lofts on Central Ave. and South Street
- Opening of the Hudson Valley center for Contemporary Art on Main Street
- Expansion of Westchester Community College in the downtown
• Opening of dozens of new businesses, including restaurants.
• Assisted in the restoration of the Paramount Center for the Arts
• Adding over 40 acres of additional public access land including Annsville Trail and Fort Hill.
• Attracting Target to Peekskill, a major national retailer
• Instituting the Waterfront Redevelopment Project
• Initiated a major downtown redevelopment project
• Multimillion dollars in private investment to the city
• Recognized by Westchester Magazine multiple times, including being cited as one of “Westchester’s 6 Boom Towns” and also as one of the “Top 10 Places to Live in Westchester County”
• Recognized as one of the “10 Terrific Hudson Valley Home Towns” by Hudson Valley Magazine.
• Maintained a policy of putting Peekskill first and government over politics



Dear Readers:

Let the historians judge the Mayoralty of John Testa. Having never lost an election, and won a primary against a sitting incumbent says a lot on how the citizens of Peekskill regarded him. Let us now look at the political landscape as it now appears. We already know that Mary Foster is the Democratic candidate for Mayor. I hope Mary will forgive me, but I honestly believed she could not win against Mayor Testa. As a sitting Mayor, the race would have been a referendum on his term in office. In talking to a good number of people, just people, regular voters who are not immersed in the nuances of politics, I found there were just not nearly enough people who really thought change was necessary. Mayor Testa still had the ability to appeal to voters of both parties. To a great degree now that John Testa is out of the running, the race for mayor is now Mary's to lose. If she continues to believe that re-evaluating all the on going plans that are now in the works, especially in regards to the proposed Target Store, she could very well lose. In fact, regarding her stance on the Target Store, if she continues her chosen path, there are a number of Democratic voting citizens who would welcome a primary between her and Don Bennett.

As for possible challengers,.let's start with the premise that the Peekskill GOP will not nominate a novice for the office of Mayor. The first name that ALWAYS comes up is former councilman Bill Schmidt. While he would be the next strongest candidate if not equally as strong as the Mayor, it is my belief knowing the hours of his "day job" that he will not make the run. As a matter of fact, as his work load has increased considerably, I do not see him even running for the council.

So how about Councilwoman Milagros Martinez, she has not shown the strength necessary in her term on the council to conclude she could succeed in beating Mary Foster. Not that she has not been a good advocate for the city of Peekskill, in fact she has, the job of Mayor is an executive position and really requires a take charge attitude, which she has not shown. Councilman Mel Bolden besides his council position also sits on the Housing Authority board. This gives him an edge as he knows the needs of the middle class and those less fortunate and recognizes that the city of Peekskill is home to both. This actual in field knowledge is his greatest strength, and on the housing board he has demonstrated his independence when required of party orthodoxy. A race between him and Mary Foster would be too close to call as both would then be required to reach outside their main constituency. Who ever articulated their message the best would prevail.

That leaves Deputy Mayor Cathy Pisani. She along with the Mayor has been a prime mover in regards to the proposed developments in progress. In her we would see a continuation of the plans that are now in the works. She is also the longest sitting council member and has proven to be a vote getter. For those who wish to see Peekskill continue on its present course, Cathy is THE candidate. To make this the most interesting race is the fact that her vision and Mary's vision in how to achieve the same goals(the best for Peekskill) are so different. This is the true race for the future direction for the city of Peekskill. This is also the race I believe will be the one the voters will be given.

So this is how I see the landscape. Together we will one way or another see how the future unfolds. There are other who will see things differently from me, but what the heck, that is what makes politics so interesting. Everyone has the chance to see how valid their opinions are. So with a different landscape before us let the race start anew.


Official Statement by City of Peekskill Democratic Party Chair, Darren Rigger, on Republican Mayor John Testa’s announcement that he will not run for re-election.

“This announcement has little effect on the Democrats in Peekskill. This year’s election was never about John Testa, it is about the city of Peekskill and the families that live here. We knew for a long time that this was going to be a year of change and our Democratic candidates represent that change. Mary Foster running for Mayor, Don Bennett, Joe Schuder and Patricia Salvate-Riley running for Common Council will all bring fresh new ideas to City hall.”
- Darren Rigger
City of Peekskill Democratic Committee
To confirm or for additional comment please call Chairman Darren Rigger at 845-598-3971.

Westchester County

Legislator proposes a bright idea
By Martin Wilbur

Saving energy is more than grandiose ideas and programs that could take years, if not decades, to introduce.For Westchester County Legislator Martin Rogowsky (D/Harrison) some of the best ways to be more energy efficient is to start off doing some of the little things.Last week Rogowsky proposed legislation that would ban all incandescent light bulbs in county facilities at the end of this year. The measure would also prohibit these same bulbs from being sold in the county after December 31, 2009.“These little things that don’t affect us too much are some of the best ways to save energy,” Rogowsky said. “If someone had done that years ago maybe we wouldn’t have an oil problem, we wouldn’t have a Mideast problem.”The lawmaker, who currently serves on Westchester’s Global Warming Task Force, said by using compact fluorescent bulbs it would help reduce greenhouse gas emissions that are instrumental in elevating global temperatures.He said the challenge will be to convince the public to buy the compact fluorescents, which cost between $3 and $5 each, compared to between 25 and 50 cents for the incandescent bulb.However, the fluorescents last an average of five years and use 75 to 80 percent less electricity. As a result, if you replace your 60-watt incandescent bulbs with 15-watt fluorescents, it would provide the same light but save the average home about $40 a year on the electric bill.“We know what we have to do to reduce global warming,” Rogowsky said. “Using compact fluorescent bulbs is just one example of how local efforts can help that cause tremendously.”
If the proposal, which is headed to the Energy and Environmental Committee, would be passed into law, the government would not be intruding into private homes to make sure people use the correct bulbs, Rogowsky assured residents. There would be no mandate to use the fluorescents, although residents would have to go outside the county to buy them.The area’s two county legislators, Michael Kaplowitz (D/Somers) and George Oros (R/Cortlandt), gave kudos to Rogowsky for shining a light on the issue, but wondered whether the proposal would fly.Kaplowitz said the small measures like replacing county vehicles with hybrid models over time are helpful but the county is planning on hiring an energy commissioner to assist Westchester in formulating a short- and long-term plan.The legislature is in the midst of interviewing candidates for that position and Kaplowitz expects the newly created opening to be filled within two to three months.Oros said he applauded Rogowsky’s efforts and those of anyone addressing energy issues but wondered whether it would be practical.“I’m not sure if we want to take the step of dictating the kind of light bulbs people should buy,” he said


Dear Readers:

I warned you, I tried to tell you that once you let government open the door to trample on your freedoms all in the name of "public good", the 'slippery slope" starts. First it was the "sin" taxes on cigarettes and alcohol. The played on your moral guilt to get you to swallow punitive taxes meant to control behavior that was considered unpleasant. Then the government with UNELECTED bureaucrats and an activist judiciary took the next step in active control of behavior, and passed laws and ordinances dictating where you can and cannot smoke to the point where the rights of private business were eliminated. This of course was for the "public good", and being that it dealt with the "nasty" habit of smoking we bought into it hook, line and sinker. After all smoking can kill you, so you should not be smoking anyway. This of course has begat the next step where there is legislation in Albany to ban smoking in YOUR car if there are minors riding in it. This is to protect the children, so if you are against this intrusion on personal property and parental rights, you will be accused of trying to kill children. I have told you before, soon they will pass laws banning smoking in your house if you have kids. Government control of behavior regarding a LEGAL product, and you are silent because it deals with smoking. So what if the other persons rights are trampled, it does not affect me, or so you think. Well damn if it doesn't, once you consent to have someone else's rights disregarded, your's will be next.

Now your rights are under assault, and it still mystifies me how you can remain silent. First it was fast food, and obesity. The government and UNELECTED bureaucrats have convinced you that these establishments are the cause of obesity. They have walked up to you, while you were minding your own business, put a gun to your's and your children's head and forced you to have that triple burger, extra large fries, diet coke(for your health) and apple pie. It is their fault for not telling you how to eat, it is not your fault for the active purchase. So because they have assuaged your guilt over personal responsibility, the government has assumed the power of "chef-in chief", and will now dictate the recipe for french fries and doughnuts. If you should speak out against this government intrusion then you must be an advocate for diabetes.

The second step in the elimination of personal rights for the "public good', is the premise that in order to save the world from climatic Armageddon, the government is now going to dictate light bulbs. Being that many of you have swallowed the "global warming" kool-ade, you will be convinced you are going to save the planet just by surrendering your house to the government. Do you not yet see that this "global-warming" kool-ade is just a ruse for you to surrender more of your personal choices to government control. All of this "public good" nonsense is to advance the cause of socialism. If you do not see that by now, when the heck will you?

The power to govern is in direct response to the consent of the governed. That is the fundamental principal of our system of government. This principal was devised to LIMIT the governments interaction visa-via the people. There is nowhere in our founding documents where the government is allowed to usurp your right to LIFE, LIBERTY AND THE PURSIUT OF HAPPINESS for the "public good", save in time of war. In regards to this onslaught of "creeping socialism" by entrenched elected officials, UNELECTED bureaucrats, activist judges, all who think they know best how we should conduct our private lives, I....DO...NOT...CONSENT!!!!!!!!!!! The government has the right, the duty to inform and educate, but not the right to INTERFERE!!!!!!! I cannot believe that you have consented to surrender your right to be wrong, your LIBERTIES, to the government to avoid your personal responsibilities. If I am correct and you have not abdicated your rights to the government, then you must write your local officials, your county officials, your state officials, your federal officials and state emphatically I...DO...NOT....CONSENT, and stop this madness. On election day this November you must vote out of office any (regardless of party) official who wishes to perpetuate the taking of your liberty . You cannot wait for someone else to do it for you, ONLY you have it in your power to stop the madness.


ON POINT ON PEEKSKILL: Every Tuesday at 8PM chanel 15 (Peekskill only)Hosted by:DARREN RIGGER

DON PETERS AND YORKTOWN: Every Tuesday at 10PM chanel 22Hosted by: DON PETERS *********************************************************************************** EDITOR'S NOTE:All articles re-printed in this blog from the North County News are with the permission of Bruce Apar Publisher and Editor-in-Chief.

BAZZO 04/08/07