THIS JUST IN:
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" ( http://bazzman.blogspot.com/ ).
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
THIS WAS IN THE NORTH COUNTY NEWS:
REPUBLICAN SLATE FOR PUTNAM VALLEY ELECTION:
Yetter, Cinque to run for councilTendy nominated to lead GOP ticket
By Martin Wilbur
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.
THIS IS A MESSAGE FROM PUTNAM VALLEY SUPERVISOR DAVIS:
RE: THE EMERALD RIDGE SUBDIVISION:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Hall.com., 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
By ELIZABETH GANGATHE JOURNAL NEWS
(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 peekskillguardian.blogspot.com, 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 email@example.com
THIS WAS IN THE NORTH COUNTY NEWS:
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.
MY COMMENTS ON THIS:
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?
THIS WAS IN THE JOURNAL NEWS:
Judge nixes Yorktown's new land-use plan
By ROBERT MARCHANTTHE JOURNAL NEWS
(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.
MY COMMENTS ON THIS:
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.
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.
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.
A MESSAGE FROM COUNTY LEGISLATOR GEORGE OROS:
WESTCHESTER REPUBLICAN LEGISLATORS
FOR MORE INFO: CALL GEORGE OROS
(914) 997-2555 (914) 522-6774
914-995-2828 or 914-997-2555
GOP LEGISLATORS TO ANNOUNCE
2007 ELECTION PLANS
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.
SITES TO LINK TO:
ON THE OTHER HAND W/ FORMER PEEKSKILL COUNCILMAN SCHMIDT: http://peekskillperspectives.blogspot.com/
PLAN PUTNAM: firstname.lastname@example.org/
PEEKSKILL GUARDIAN: http://peekskillguardian.blogspot.com/
NORTH COUNTY NEWS: http://northcountynews.com/
THE JOURNAL NEWS: http://thejournalnews.com/PEEKSKILL DEMOCRATS: http://www.peekskilldems.com/
*********************************************************************************** CABLE SHOWS TO WATCH:
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 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.