Sunday, May 20, 2007



Westchester airport parking frustrates fliers

(Original publication: May 20, 2007)

Scoring a spot in the Westchester County Airport garage can almost be as tough as getting into the hottest nightclub.
The difference is, here the question isn't whom you know, it's how long you plan to stay.
A friendly bouncer guards the gate. Give him the right answer and the gate goes up. Give the wrong answer and you're sent to Siberia. That's the overflow parking lot on the outskirts of the airport where you'll have to board a shuttle bus for a five-minute ride to the passenger terminal.
David and Rebecca Hunter of Fairfield, Conn., and their children, Maggie, 4, and Declan, 2, were among the 100 or more airline passengers who had that pleasure the other day. After being waved away from the garage, they were directed to retrace their route on the approach road to find the overflow lot.
Next to Building 2, the lot is marked only for motorists heading in the other direction, with an arrow pointing to "long term parking." Sometimes it takes two loops around the airport and a second set of oral directions to find it. Those extra minutes spent circling don't put travelers in a good mood. Attendants say they are cursed at, spit upon and verbally abused during the course of a typical day, parking about 100 cars there.
After loading their car seats, strollers, luggage and children on and off the shuttle bus, the Hunters were a bit annoyed but good-humored enough to talk about it. Other passengers were seen bullying the parking attendant and storming off the shuttle bus and into the terminal in a huff.
"We could have flown out of La Guardia, but we picked here because we figured it would be easier and faster, and we could both put in a half-day of work," Rebecca Hunter said, laughing at the irony as she and her husband tried to maneuver their car seats, strollers and suitcases into the terminal without luggage carts, which are not available at Westchester.
"I think if they're really going to service Westchester County and Fairfield County, then they probably ought to have more parking."
Her husband, David, called the lot "a rip-off" at $120 for two cars for four days.
Instead of building more parking - yet - Westchester plans to add a new express bus service to the airport from White Plains before the fall holiday season. That is on top of the county's efforts to persuade people to get a ride to the airport and leave their cars at home.
The public information campaign was launched before spring break but after JetBlue had joined AirTran in offering low-cost flights from Westchester, which attracted more leisure travelers to the airport.
Transportation Commissioner Larry Salley said the new Airlink bus service would run every half-hour from early morning to late evening to accommodate airline schedules and would loop between the White Plains TransCenter and the airport. He said the bus should appeal to college students flying to Florida; visitors to New York City, who could take a Metro-North Railroad train to White Plains and then catch a bus to the airport; and airport employees.
"We're looking at every possible alternative to building and driving," Salley said. "Building more parking is not something we want to do if we can avoid it."
But that might not be enough.
"Adding more mass transit to the airport is good, but I think ultimately more parking will have to be built," said Marsha Gordon, president of the Business Council of Westchester. She said her members had complained about having to "park in Siberia."
"This an issue that needs to be addressed," Gordon said.
Westchester County Association President William Mooney Jr. also has asked County Executive Andrew Spano and legislature Chairman William Ryan to improve and expand airport parking.
"Typically, this is the most convenient airport, and part of the reason is because I can drive here and park,' " said Ken Black, a Norwalk, Conn., resident who tried to argue his way into the garage before giving up, driving to Siberia and taking the shuttle, all for an overnight business trip. "I'd like to see them have enough parking to accommodate the flights and passengers."
Funding isn't the issue. For every passenger who boards an airline, the county collects $4.50. It has amassed some $7 million that it can use only for airport projects. This year, boardings are already rising significantly because of AirTran and JetBlue. In March, 62,363 people boarded planes at the county airport, up from 28,780 a year ago. During the first two weeks of April, boardings were already at 54,675, up from 32,256 for the entire month of April 2006.
But political will probably is a concern. Building any additional parking would be opposed by vocal airport neighbors, who view the construction of any more paved surfaces as expansion and worry that it will encourage more traffic, which could add to pollution that could threaten the adjacent Kensico Reservoir. With the whole Board of Legislators up for re-election, it could be a political hot potato.
But Salley said any new parking should not be considered airport expansion because it would be built, as a last resort, to accommodate the growing number of travelers. The number is still well within the passenger cap of 240 airline travelers per half-hour. That's the rate agreed to by the county, the airlines and the Federal Aviation Administration.
Meanwhile, a draft environmental impact statement for other airport projects, which had been scheduled for a public review this month, has been put on hold by the county for several more months.
Salley said the county would wait until later this year to complete the draft to determine whether to add the construction of new parking to the list of proposed projects, which involve baggage screening, security and de-icing of planes.
Right: Passengers ride the Airlink shuttle bus.

Reach Caren Halbfinger at or 914-694-5004.


Dear Readers:

This article gives me a chance to do what I have not done, that is plug my business ATOM TAXI INC.Instead of the headache of trying to find parking, we do Airport Service to The Westchester County Airport(and ALL other airports) 24/7. Just call 1(914)879-6121 and my partner Tommy, will be glad to take you in our Airport Taxi. You will also be provided with a free copy of your local paper of record The North County News. If this is a business trip we also provide a professional receipt, just tell Tommy at the time of booking. The cost of a one-way trip to the Westchester County Airport is seventy dollars. To Laguardia Airport the cost is Ninety-four dollars which includes all tolls. The cost to JFK and Newark Airports is one hundred-twenty-five dollars which also includes all tolls. We do not take credit cards, sorry.



Dear Anthony,

Wish you had checked with me after conferring with Legislator Kaplowitz. He is partially correct. What happened was this: A change in Washington's medicaid reimbursement allowed the WCHCC to collect $70 million provided they put up the so-called local share ($30 million). WCHCC did not have that type of cash so the County taxpayers transferred $30 million to WCHCC which WCHCC shipped to Washington, WCHCC received $70 million from the feds then WCHCC re paid the $30 million we fronted. Do the math: seems they are $40 million ahead.

The missing piece: For the past five years, the County, through its taxpayers, have performed various services (i.e. snow plowing, public works functions, police services) to the tune of about $7 million a year. The County has billed the WCHCC for these services, but has never collected. Without interest or penalties the tab is around $35 million in services paid for by County taxpayers provided to WCHCC. If we provided these services to another Public Benefit Corporation (say New York Power Authority) billed them and never got paid, believe you me my colleagues would be up in arms.

Let me try to illustrate what happened with this $70 million in simple terms.

This would be like one of your fares telling you "I have no money for your $15 fare, but if you lend me $5 I can get $25 from this guy I know. You give him the $5 and he comes back and repays you the $5 but keeps the $20, while he still owes you $10." Yes, you are square for the money you lent him, but he stills owes you for your services.

The financial mess that the WCHCC has become did not have to be. If you are interested at a mutually convenient time I would like to detail for you how this fine institution was driven to the brink by an administration that showed contempt and then neglect for the Med Center.

George Oros


One more note on this subject of the $70 million to the WCHCC: If they did give us the entire $70 this year, it is true it pays of the millions owed for past years. However, since the money is being paid in a lump sum in 2007 to wipe out prior debts, it does means that the 2007 County budget has that much more revenue this year. That means, that it can be needlessly spent or used a a built in surplus. If you read our news release closely, we simply asked for a hearing on this money so we can know exactly what happened. It is interesting that the request we made has yet to been given a response.




Thanks for including me on your blog. I will, of course, be interested in your comments on issues. Although at times I might disagree with your positions as I did today on getting rid of junk food in our schools and replacing them with healthier foods and beverages. As a school student a number of years ago, we never had the resource called vending machines and I believe we were healthier and thinner because of that fact.

It was a pleasure meeting you last week.


Dear Readers:

This week I admit to my bias in my commentaries. You can read my column on this topic exclusively in this weeks NORTH COUNTY NEWS on sale now. I am worth the seventy-five cents. Look for my column IN MY OPINION(pagew 10) in the editorial section. Better yet as this column is exclusive to the North County News on a regular basis and will be covering the local political scene, take out a subscription. Click on the North County News link below and go to Subscribe. Between this blog and The North County News you will have all the information to make a vote based on substance.


Changes may be coming to Peekskill artist's district
(Original publication: May 23, 2007)

City officials may be taking a new look at the downtown artists' district this year, prompting concern among some local artists that changes to the zone could water down or weaken the neighborhood's distinctive character.
City Councilwoman Mary Foster, who is running for mayor, has been looking to open a new discussion on the future of the artist's district with other lawmakers. One possible outcome may be a broader classification of people who can live in the downtown district, a zone created by the city in the 1990s that allowed space to be rented out above retail stores to people who work in the arts. The hope was that the designation would turn Peekskill into a Soho on the Hudson.
Foster, a Democrat, said she was looking to increase downtown redevelopment even further, and the artist's district was a key factor in that process. She said she was interested in hiring someone to help attract and bring new businesses into the downtown area, and she also wants more coordination between the local business community and the artist's district.
Foster said she wants to look at the requirements that only allow people in the creative fields to live in the district and whether that category should be modified to be less restrictive, opening it up to people not involved in the arts or other creative fields. She noted there have been units in the district that have not been rented.
"We're talking about how to build on what's already in the downtown, and how we take the artist's community to the next level," Foster said. "We want to get a dialogue - what is the definition of an arts community."
No specific legislation has come forward, and the discussion on the Common Council has been preliminary. But arts professionals have been hearing about talk at City Hall regarding new downtown initiatives, and it is causing some worry that their district's definition could be revised and that affordable housing might be added to the mix. There's been much debate in Peekskill over whether the city already has too much affordable and low-income housing or whether it's forgotten that segment of its population as it embraced gentrification.
Ed Burke, an artist who owns a building on Division Street, said he was not opposed to broadening the criteria for people who live in the artist's district, as long as any new legislation was done carefully and with consultation from the arts community.
"Broadening the scope isn't a bad thing," Burke said. "But they have to analyze it closely and see what the input is." Burke said it would be unwise for the city to lose the character of the artist's district that has been carefully built up through the years.
Another local artist, Jo-Ann Brody, said the artist's designation in the downtown has worked well for the city and needs to be upheld. She was concerned that market-driven considerations would become the force behind new initiatives to change the district.
"If it's watered down or eliminated, I would definitely be opposed to that," she said. "It's become market-driven, the revitalization. I'm afraid that the baby will be thrown out with the bath water."
Foster said concerns about a drastic alteration of the artist's district were unfounded.
Besides the artist's designation in the downtown area, lofts that were subsidized with state grant were built on Central Avenue and South Street.
Reach Robert Marchant at or 914-666-6578.


Dear Readers:

This is what elections should be about. A candidate running for elected office (in this case Mayor of Peekskill), discussing an issue (affordable-low income housing rules) that affects a group of citizens (people in the artist district). Councilwoman Foster, Democrat candidate for Mayor should be commended for bringing this issue to the forefront of the discussion. By sticking to real issues, the voters will be able to make their choice on election day on substance.

The problem I find with this Democrat press release masquerading as a news story is the reporter showing bias decided a point of view by other Peekskill elected official from the Republican Party was not germane to the story. I would think that Mayor Testa, Deputy Mayor/ Councilwoman Pasini, Councilman Bolden, Councilwoman Matinez or presumed announced/ unannounced candidate for Mayor Schmidt would have had a thought or two on the subject for the voters to ponder.


Westchester Republican leader stepping down
(Original publication: May 25, 2007)

Westchester Republican Chairwoman RoseMarie Panio announced yesterday that she will step down from her party position and run, instead, for Yorktown supervisor, a move that's likely to trigger a fierce battle for control of the county GOP.
Panio, who received the Yorktown Republican Committee's nomination for supervisor on Wednesday night, said she intends to resign from the county GOP early next month, as soon as the nominating petitions for this year's candidates are completed. Vice Chairman Bob Amelio, leader of the Harrison GOP, will then take temporary command of the party.
"All decisions are tough, but the overwhelming decision for me was that I was concerned about my town," Panio said. "I'm excited about (the campaign). It's a new challenge."
Panio is running for the job held by Republican Linda Cooper, who announced earlier in the year that she would not seek re-election. The Democratic candidate is expected to be Don Peters, who nearly defeated Cooper in 2005.
Though Amelio would take over as acting county chairman once Panio steps down, he said yesterday that he's not interested in running the party for more than a few weeks. It will be up to the county GOP's executive committee to choose a new chairman to fill the remainder of Panio's term, which runs through September.
One top contender is New Rochelle GOP Chairman Doug Colety, who sought the post in 2004 but lost to Panio. Other names being circulated as potential county leaders include former Yonkers GOP Chairman John Jacono and Jeanne Martinelli, vice chairwoman of the Yonkers GOP.
The leadership change comes as the Westchester GOP struggles to maintain a presence in a county it once dominated. The Republicans have suffered a string of key election losses - especially last year's defeat of state Sen. Nicholas Spano - and Panio has faced a torrent of criticism that she did not do enough to revitalize the party.
"She's a really nice person, but she is not a leader," said Dan Sadofsky, chairman of the Cortlandt Republican Committee, who supports Colety's bid to become chairman.
Sadofsky and other Colety supporters say Panio's decision to step down offers Westchester Republicans the best chance they've ever had to break the dominance that Spano and the Yonkers Republican Party have had over the county organization for decades. Panio was widely viewed as a close ally of Spano.
"There's an opportunity to move the party beyond being an insiders club dominated by the Spanos," said GOP strategist Paul Noto, a former county legislator and former Republican executive committee member from Mamaroneck. "Now there is an opportunity to open up the party and get new blood and rebuild."
Yonkers Republican Chairman Zehy Jereis said he was uncertain whom he would back for county leader but was leaning toward Martinelli.
"We are going to look to put the best candidate forward," Jereis said.
Despite the criticism, Panio said she was proud of her work as chairwoman, saying she returned more authority to local party leaders and grassroots organizers. She blamed the party's recent losses on the Democratic Party's surging enrollment in Westchester and voters' resentment of President Bush.
"I probably didn't come into this at the best time for Republicans," Panio said. "But I kind of made lemonade from lemons."
Reach Glenn Blain at or 914-694-5066.


Dear Readers:

As the leader of the Westchester GOP who in her home town presided over a one time 3-2 majority on the Yorktown town Board to a now 4-1 minority, I would suggest whoever she backs would be the one candidate that should NOT head the Weschester GOP. I find it personally offensive that she would blame President Bush on the loss in local elections. The only possible races that I believe Bush would be a leading factor would be Congressional and Senate races. This utter lack of personal responsibility in presenting a compelling platform and recruiting the proper candidates who could persuade the local electorate to vote for it shows why her term as leader was ineffective except for the Democrats. Leaders except responsibility for their actions and DO NOT pass the buck.

************************************************************************************THIS WAS IN THE NORTH COUNTY NEWS:

Somers, Yorktown Republicans to announce slates
By Sam Barron

Nine-year Somers Supervisor Mary Beth Murphy is expected to headline the ticket for town supervisor when the town’s Republican Committee announces their slate of candidates later this week. Meanwhile, the Yorktown GOP is prepared to decide its nominees at a special fundraiser Wednesday night (May 23). It is anticipated that Committee Chairwoman RoseMarie Panio, who is also the county GOP chair, will head the ticket and be accompanied by three-term Councilman Nicholas Bianco and Yorktown school Trustee Mark Drexel.Murphy, who succeeded former supervisor William Harding in May 1998, will be joined by longtime Councilman Richard Nicholson and challenger Thomas Garrity. Town Clerk Kathleen Pacella will be running for re-election.The two incumbents, Dennis Timone and Michael McDermott, are running for Town Judge, while current Highway Superintendent Thomas Chiaverini seeks re-election.Rounding out the list are Terrence Murphy and Wendy Gerber Friedman who are running for the County Board of Legislators.Joining Panio and the Yorktown Town Board candidates are Charles Rubenstein for town justice and George Oros and Murphy for county legislature. ************************************************************************************

Putnam Valley: Emerald RidgeRoad rejection puts Santucci project in limbo
By Martin Wilbur

A critical Putnam Valley Town Board decision that rejected making an extended cul-de-sac a municipal road has placed the future of developer Val Santucci’s revamped Emerald Ridge project in doubt.In a split 3-2 vote, the majority decided the 3,900-foot road would be too long and steep to build 13 new homes with no alternate access route.“In my opinion the road is simply too long,” said Councilwoman Priscilla Keresey, who sided with Supervisor Sam Davis and fellow council member Wendy Whetsel to put the brakes on the project. “We have guidelines in place for a reason. I understand it was a guideline and a recommendation but it was almost like it was being disregarded,” Keresey added.The town guideline recommends that no dead-end road be longer than 1,200 feet or have more than 13 homes on the street, Whetsel said. With five existing houses, the total would have reached 18, she said.“I just felt it was stretching our (guidelines) a little too far,” Whetsel said. “Twelve hundred feet was reasonable and 3,800 feet was stretching it.”Santucci’s lawyer, David Steinmetz, responded that the vote was likely laced with politics, with the Democratic majority playing to the anti-development crowd in an election year.Steinmetz said his client would study his options, leaving open the possibility that he may return to a proposal that could increase the size of the project to as many as 22 lots with a private road. A private road would exclude the Town Board from the process but would require Santucci to once again rework plans before the Planning Board. The developer was granted final approval on the project last month.Whatever the new proposal, Steinmetz warned that the offer to preserve 31 of the parcel’s 84 acres for open space was now off the table.The developer first thought a compromise was in place last year. Santucci and his representatives huddled with town officials in the fall, which resulted in him reducing the original 25-home subdivision to 13 houses.Steinmetz said he has never seen a scenario where the town’s advisor’s, including its highway superintendent, emergency service responders and engineers, signed off on a proposal and receive Planning Board approval before being denied by the Town Board.He suggested palpable pressure exerted leading up to the May 16 Town Board meeting played a key factor.“There was a clear spirit of coercion in the air at the meeting (last Wednesday) and I can’t explain why people keep doing flip flops and about faces,” Steinmetz said.He stated that environmentalism probably played a key role in their decision but it could backfire because more homes could be built.But Davis countered that the dangers presented to future homeowners, especially in bad weather, was too great for him to ignore.The supervisor was also disturbed with issues that were never addressed or misrepresented in the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS), like the true fiscal impact on the Putnam Valley School District.“We, as a town, need to enforce our laws and provide for the safety of our residents and future residents and also have to think about economic justice,” he said.Republican councilmen Robert Tendy and Dan Ricci said they were disappointed at the opportunities lost for the town. Not only was the 31 acres of open space for passive recreation squandered but Santucci had also planned to make extensive intersection improvements at Marsh Hill Road and Peekskill Hollow Road.Tendy said the town had negotiated hard with Santucci and Steinmetz last year and felt awful that a mutually beneficial compromise had fallen by the wayside.Now the vote gave Davis the chance to boast that he fought back the pressures of a well-heeled developer, Ricci said. In the May 2007 issue of the Lake Peekskill Civic Association newsletter, Davis refers to an applicant before Zoning Board of Appeals decision in an unrelated matter as having the same lawyer as Santucci, Ricci mentioned, a clear attempt to make him a villain.“I thought it was a very good compromise,” Ricci said, “and I really thought it was a model for smart development.”Keresey and Whetsel said they understood there is the chance more homes could eventually be built on the site as a result of their decision.Both thanked Santucci for the generous offer of 31 acres but said they were uncomfortable over the safety concerns.“Even if it results in more homes I’m comfortable with that because of the guidelines we have in place,” Keresey said.


Dear Readers:

It seems that Councilman, and Republican candidate for Supervisor Tendy believes that town codes regarding safety should be sacrificed for 31 acres of open space. There is probably no one "greener" now in elective office than Supervisor Davis, and if he was able to forego 31 acres of open space in the name of safety, then one would have to conclude how unsafe the project was. Leadership is doing what is best for everybody you represent even if you have your own personal beliefs(the desire for more open space) that are at odds with your responsibility(the safety of the public). I have no doubt that Supervisor Davis would have gone the extra mile to secure those open spaces if the public safety was not such an overriding concern. The Supervisor made the right decision on this issue and Councilman Tendy did not. The voters should keep this in mind come November



The Congressional Budget Office has issued a report stating that the highway fund fueled by the Federal Tax on gas is running out of money to keep up with the necessary road work. They are proposing an increase in the Federal Gas Tax. It should be noted that the recent Ticket blitz on seatbelts was paid for with thirty-million dollars from this highway fund. Remember that when the subject of increasing the Federal Tax on gas comes up.



Dear Readers:

It has come to my attention the difficulty in posting a comment on this blog. If you wish to comment, e-mail me at the link posted below, putting "Manifesto Reader" in the subject matter, and I will "cut and Paste" your comments myself. If you DO NOT wish your comments posted, but just wish to comminicate withm me, please make your wishes known in the e-mail.

LINKS: (as this a yahoo adress make sure you put an unerscore (-) between atom and taxi)

For immediate reply:










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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 05/26/07

Wednesday, May 16, 2007



PO BOX 552
May 18, 2007

Mr Anthony Bazzo
995 East Main Street
Shrub Oak, NY 10588

Dear Anthony:

Thank you for appearing before the Yorktown Town Republican Nominating Committee and interviewing for the position of Councilman

The Committee was very impressed with your presentation during the interview. Your knowledge, experience and dedication are self evident. However, the Committee has chosen another candidate for the position.

Your energy is very refreshing and we look forward to your continued efforts on behalf of the Citizens of Yorktown.

Very truly yours,
The Yorktown Town Republican Nominating Committee


I believe now what I believed then, you needed an outside voice to bring back the base. I also believed you needed someone who can reach across party lines to beat a popular sitting incumbent.
********************************************************************************** Dear Readers:

Dominic Volpe has received the Democratic nomination for County Legislator to challenge Republican incumbent and minority legislative leader George Oros. This is a re-match from two years ago. This district includes part of Yorktown, all of Cortlant and Peekskill.

Democrat incumbent Mike Kalpowitz will be challenged by Republican Terrance Murphy. This district includes part of Yorktown, all of Somers and New Castle.

You can read my "take" on these races exclusively in this weeks NORTH COUNTY NEWS on sale now. I am worth the seventy-five cents. Look for my column IN MY OPINION(pagew 10) in the editorial section. Better yet as this column is exclusive to the North County News on a regular basis and will be covering the local political scene, take out a subscription. Click on the North County News link below and go to Subscribe. Between this blog and The North County News you will have all the information to make a vote based on substance.

land Legislature OKs ban on smoking in cars with kids
(Original publication: May 16, 2007)

NEW CITY - The county Legislature voted unanimously last night to ban smoking in cars with children under the age of 18.
Dr. Jeffrey Oppenheim, president of the county Board of Health, said the Legislature was the first in the state to do so.
"I can't believe we have to legislate something like this," Legislator David Fried, D-Spring Valley said before voting. "To most of us, it's obvious."
Still there have been arguments against the law, including that it's an invasion of privacy and that it violates personal liberties.
Oppenheim spoke at length during a public hearing before the vote and tried to debunk some of those arguments. As far as a car's being private, he said, the state already has laws mandating use of seat belts and child safety seats, restricting use of cell phones and banning alcohol consumption.
"The children need you to act as their collective voice," he told the Legislature.
He punctuated his remarks by holding up a large petition from a second-grade class at Montebello Elementary School, the children's signatures scrawled in red and blue marker.
Joseph Kanusher of New Hempstead also spoke passionately in favor of the law, telling legislators that he quit smoking many years ago. He is now 78, but his sisters, who all smoked, died young.
"Without smoke, you can live a long and healthy life," he said.
Robert Romanowski of Monsey was the only person to speak against the law at the hearing.
"I do find it troubling that anyone would smoke with a child in a car," he said.
But his issue was with enforcement. And he questioned how drivers passing through Rockland were supposed to know about the law.
"It seems like the police can't even enforce the cell phone law," he said.
Oppenheim first proposed the idea and the Board of Health later recommended the ban. Legislator Connie Coker, D-South Nyack, then picked it up and became the bill's sponsor on the Legislature.
"This is as serious a health risk as not putting a child in a car seat," she said before last night's meeting.
As a nurse midwife, Coker has counseled pregnant women on smoking cessation, but found the lessons didn't always stick.
"They would quit smoking for the developing baby and then start back," she said.
Three legislators said they were initially against the law, thinking it was either too invasive or too hard to enforce. Two of them, Ed Day, R-New City, and Minority Leader Gerold Bierker, C-Bardonia, identified themselves as former smokers.
Day said he quit when his first son was born.
"How does a parent sit in a car, smoke cigarettes and inflict that on their child?" he asked.
County Executive C. Scott Vanderhoef has 30 days to sign or veto the measure; he has not said if he would sign it.
The American Cancer Society lists a number of serious medical problems that are related to secondhand smoke, including increased incidents of ear infections in children and increases in the number and severity of childhood asthma attacks.
Lawmakers in Keyport, N.J.; Bangor, Maine; Arkansas; and Puerto Rico have passed similar legislation banning smoking in cars carrying children. Proposals have also been made in several other states, including Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Pennsylvania.
Reach Sarah Netter at 845-578-2433 or


At Playland, the rides are back, smoking and trans-fats are not
(Original publication: May 13, 2007)

As if Playland Amusement Park isn't wrestling enough demons already - including decades of deficits, attendance that is only inching up, concerns about ride safety following two fatalities in recent summers and county legislators who would turn the whole thing over to private managers - Playland took on two more demons when it opened its gates for the season yesterday.
Smoking and food with trans-fat oils are now banned from the park.
The bans, even if limited to Playland, put Westchester on a growing list of governments to order trans-fats off the menu, including New York City, and to outlaw smoking in public places, including France and England.
On the lines to the fast food counters and in the four clusters of designated smoking areas outside the park's gates yesterday, several visitors said they supported the bans or were indifferent to them.
"I don't smoke in my house. I don't smoke in my car when my kids are in the car," said Peekskill resident Lisa Iodice, 42 years old and a smoker since she was 18, as she fired up a Marlboro Light in a parking lot outside a gate. "I think it's a very good idea. I don't mind coming out of the park."
Coddling his 8-week-old son to his chest while another 5-year-old son waited to board a ride, Jason Whitehead said the ban on trans-fats didn't go far enough.
"Most of the food here seems to be sugar and fat," said Whitehead, a prosecutor in the Bronx district attorney's office. "I can't see anyplace where I can get a salad."
Opening Day 2007 wasn't all about weighty health issues and complicated public policy debates. For Whitehead's 5-year-old, who seemed oblivious to the changes, the major issue was the long wait at some of the rides.
"I'm going on the car one," he said, inching forward on the line to Demolition Derby. Asked why he chose the ride, Jason paused, pulled on his yellow "Mighty Tots Basketball Clinic" T-shirt and then responded, thoughtfully, "Because it's bumpy."
A few hours after the park opened at noon, park director Dan McBride said patrons were cooperating with the smoking ban. Announcements over the public address system and signs around the park provided reminders.
"It'll take some time," he said. "It'll be healthier for everybody."
Attendance figures were not immediately available, mostly because attendance is calculated by counting receipts at the parking lot, where parking was free yesterday. Park spokesman Peter Tartaglia estimated up to 12,000 people would pass through Playland's gates before they were closed at 8 p.m. For the season, attendance is expected to reach 1 million, up from 950,000 last year.
Back at the food court, five Port Chester High School students unpacked bags of French fries, cheeseburgers and Cokes and said they weren't aware that the food was healthier than it might have been last season, even if it wasn't exactly health food.
"I guess it matters for some people because they care about their diet," said Greg Maggi. He said he was improving his own diet, but suggested that his extracurricular activities give him a pass on that issue.
"I'm in the marching band," he said. "I get a lot of exercise."
Reach Keith Eddings at or at 914-694-5060.


Dear Readers:

DIVIDE AND CONQUER, is a great war battle plan that has been adopted to politics. IN UNITY THERE IS STRENGTH, and there-by the protections of our freedoms and liberties. That is why politicians wishing to take them away have utilized the opening battle plan. DIVIDE AND CONQUER, you see in the class warfare utilized by politicians regarding taxes as a way to redistribute wealth and punish success. They(put your boogey man here) have too much, more than they need the greedy bastards, let us tax and/or take that excess and after we the government get our take as the middleman, give you the crumbs. You are too stupid to achieve success yourself, you are the victims of the (put your boogey man here), and so we will take care of you, and you will keep us in office as way of thanks in perpetuity. Never mind that it has never been proven that the punishment of success has made the less successful, successful. It did however grow government and increase its power over you.

DIVIDE AND CONQUER, the battle plan of the anti-smoking nannies. Smoking is an insidious, odious, noxious habit that can kill you, so you should not be smoking. The majority of people do not smoke, so therefore the rights of the minority do not matter. We the government with the willing consent of the majority, are going to dictate behavior. We the government learned from prohibition, that outlawing a popular product only leads to boot-legging. In learning that we are instead going to outlaw using this legal product, and at the same time tax the hell out of it. We started with publicly owned enclosed buildings. Then the open-air sidewalks in front. Next we went after privately owned business that the public patronizes. Never mind that there is no right to patronize, That there is no right where the customers wishes should supercede the owner, yet screw the owner, we the government are now the boss. Next it was open-air parks and beaches, the devil in the form of second hand smoke may invade the souls of the innocent. Never mind that in the whole wide world, not one autopsy performed on the recently departed has listed the cause of death as due to second-hand smoke, NOT ONE!!!!!!!!. Now we are going INSIDE your car, YOUR CAR!!!!.

Private property owned by private citizens and your rights be damned!!!!. We the government nannies, with the consent of the majority disapprove of your behavior you swine and if you have the temerity to disagree with us we will accuse you of killing children, so you better SHUP THE HELL UP!!!!!! Oh, by the way, we will becoming into your home next, and there is not a damn thing you can do about it, for you are divided and so weaker in defense of your liberties. We the government have succeeded, YES!!!!!

DIVIDE AND CONQUER, pits the smokers against the non-smokers, and we can trample all the rights we want. The problem with these laws against private business, private property, and private citizens regarding a LEGAL product presumes our rights come from government and therefore can be taken away. The problem lies within the premise of our Constitution and the founding document of our country the Declaration of Independence. That premise being that our rights come from a higher power and CANNOT be taken away, even for our own good. There is a reason why only math, science and English are emphasized in school and not history. If the government downsizes the importance of history, they can re-write it to now mean what they want. Right now they want you to believe our rights come from the government. THEY DO NOT!! The power of the government comes from the consent of the governed. This is what makes our government different from the rest.

Once you allow the government to trample on the rights of a minority because you find their behavior unpleasant and you know what's best, your rights when another group comes into power and may find your behavior unpleasant (though you may not think so), ARE in jeopardy. You think I am being extreme, well it may have escaped you, but the Supreme Court, presided over by nine popes have now ruled the carbon-dioxide is now a greenhouse gas to be regulated by the government. Carbon-dioxide, that which you exhale with every breath you take, is now a pollutant and you are now a polluter to some how in the future to be regulated. That is the door that has now been open, and your freedoms and liberties are in serious danger.

This year is a local election year and you see from the above stories it is the local governments that are trampling rights. To protect your rights you MUST protect everybodies rights. You must not, even though you may find certain behavior unpleasant, allow the government to DIVIDE AND CONQUER. You must this November speak up and say I DO NOT CONSENT.
Dear Readers:

Below is the total vote tally on local school budgets. You will notice the difference between Peekskill and the other districts. Unlike many who complain about the blog "The Peekskill Guardian" but say they never read it, I READ IT!!. They were the first to sound the alarm about the consequences of the ONE polling place being at the top of a hill on Elm Street away from the center of town. However because of their sometimes over the top commentary and personal invective, they made it easy to dismiss them. I differenciate between commentary and the cartoons which I find no more of no less than the "award winning cartoon's in the main stream media. Actually some are quite funny. The reality is that main stream cartoons have been more controversial than "The Peekskill Guardian's". Well my commentary is not over the top, nor do I engage in personal invective, and the number below, which I culled from this weeks issue of The North County News do not lie. I will not speculate on the why's, though I have my thoughts. I just think now after the hard numbers are now in, that it would behoove the main stream media to FIND the reasons why.


total votes cast:

Croton-Harmon: 1194

Lakeland: 1974

Ossining: 2337

Putnam Valley: 1394

Hendrick Hudson: 1559

Somers: 1745

Yorktown: 1957

PEEKSKILL: *****820****

George Oros
Legislator, 1st District


May 8, 2007 Contact: George Oros
Tel: (914) 995-2828
Put Med Center Money To Good Use
Minority Conference calls for county to help taxpayers with $70M windfall

The Republican Conference of the Board of Legislators is strongly suggesting that the $70 million the county recently received from Westchester Medical Center be returned in some way to taxpayers.

According to published reports, the Medical Center paid off debt for capital improvements, malpractice claims and other expenses in two separate payments to the county, the last being $40 million in March.

Instead of simply putting the money in the general fund, the six members of the Republican Conference feel the $70 million should be used as either a rebate to taxpayers or to reduce the county’s deficit.

Minority Leader George Oros (R-C/Cortlandt) said it’s a golden opportunity for the county to provide some relief to taxpayers.

“Westchester residents pay the highest property taxes in the nation. They deserve a break, and this money from the Medical Center can be used as a sign of good faith that we at the county are looking out for their best interests,” Oros said. “Its time to give the taxpayers a break instead of breaking their bank.”

“How often do we get a chance like this to hold down taxes?” said Legislator Gordon Burrows (R-C/Yonkers). “We should not waste the money on office supplies, unneeded positions or other non-essential expenses.”

Legislator Jim Maisano (R-C/New Rochelle) said the Medical Center funds could help keep county taxes steady in 2008.

“I would like to see a budget without a tax increase, a budget that I could finally vote for,” he said, noting he has voted against every budget over the last six years.

Legislators Sue Swanson, Ursula LaMotte and Bernice Spreckman joined their GOP colleagues in calling for the entire Board of Legislators to do the right thing with the $70 million Medical Center windfall.

“This gives us a chance to show our constituents that we mean business in keeping spending under control at the county,” Swanson said.

Oros noted that the republican conference is “not wed to any particular idea for tax relief.” However he noted they would oppose “any spending increase with the funds.”

“Property tax rebate, elimination of the sales tax on clothing, gasoline and home heating oil or a combination of reduction of these taxes is what we want to see,” said the minority leader.


Dear Readers:

According to Legislator Kaplowitz who chairs the Budget Committee there is no extra actual cash coming to the County to be rebated. What happened is the Medical center borrowed the money from the County and has now repaid the loan. So the books are straight with the County and the Medical Center got the 70 million dollars. I had Legislator Kaplowitz explain this to me in lay mans terms so I could easily explain it to you. The accounting terms were to complicated for your humble writer. This makes this transaction a non-issue for the upcoming campaign. It was all book keeping. I wish to thank Legislator Kaplowitz for clarifying this for my readers.

BUCHANANResidents hit with 157% water rate increase
By Sam Barron

Buchanan resident already smarting from seeing the property taxes more than double the past two years will now be paying 157 percent more for their they receive from Peekskill.“A 157 percent increase is not reasonable,” said Buchanan mayor Dan O’Neill. “I’m very surprised.”Currently, the village gets about 60 percent of its water from the Montrose Improvement District and 40 percent from Peekskill. “They’ve always increased our water rate by much smaller amounts,” griped O’Neill. A Buchanan official, who asked not to be identified, complained that Peekskill has pulled these tactics before. “Two years ago, Peekskill passed a law requiring all garbage trucks used in the city required a $500 permit. We got the law declared unconstitutional.” “A few months later they pass an almost identical law that had the same provisions,” the official said. We got it stricken. There’s a pattern going on.” Peekskill Mayor John Testa defended the rate increase saying the village will be on par with everyone else. Testa said that the city cannot sell other residents water for less then its own citizens are paying.“Buchanan residents will be paying the same amount as the citizens of Peekskill,” he said. “They understand it. It’s not an anti-Buchanan thing.”“They had a very low rate,” explained Testa. “It’s a combination of them paying industrial rates and the city’s water rate has gone up.” According to Testa, a new water tower is to blame for the added expense being passed along to customers.A homeowner who has a $100 water bill for a billing period, will see their payment jump to $257. Residents are billed twice a year.This is the second time village taxpayers are getting hit hard in the pocketbook. Last year, homeowners were socked with a 102 percent property tax increase. The recently approved village budget for 2007-08 tacked on another 16 percent increase.


Dear Readers:

There are a couple of things in the above article that should be clarified. Do to an oversight the residents of Buchanan were paying industrial rates while the resident of Peekskill were paying residential rates. Now the residents of Buchanan who were paying less than the residents of Peekskill are now paying the same. In fairness to the residents of Buchanan the City of Peekskill has waived penalties for the April and July bills

The second thing to be clarified is that the City of Peekskill is embarking on the largest public works the city has ever done. They are building a water filtration facility for 32 million dollars not a water tower. The increased rates were needed to pay the bond for the facility.


Residents object to townhouse project
By Sam Barron

The incomplete construction of The Cove, a townhouse that nearby residents argue dwarfs other houses in the neighborhood. A Peekskill neighborhood won a small victory at Monday’s Common Council meeting when officials vowed to investigate how a developer was allowed to continue construction of a controversial townhouse that violated local zoning laws.Residents at Simpson Place are outraged over a townhouse project called The Cove that has been under construction in their neighborhood since 2004. They have complained that structure was built larger then was approved.A stop work order was issued by the city on March 13.Members of the West Side Neighborhood Association had planned to present their complaints to the Common Council April 23 but that meeting was cancelled when the board failed to convene a quorum. Hoping to quell the simmering tensions in the audience Monday night, Mayor John Testa read a letter written by Brian Havranek, director of planning, development and code assistance for the city who issued the stop-work order. The letter was written to David Furfaro of Fourmen Construction/FCI Development, the company in charge of building the townhouse.“The structure as built exceeds the 35-foot and the 2.5-story height limitation outlined in the City’s R4 District regulations,” the letter reads in part. “Each dwelling as currently constructed would exceed the R4 District limitation of 1,800 square feet. With a full third floor, each dwelling would be able to accommodate in excess of two bedrooms, in clear contravention to the final site plan approval condition that each dwelling contain no more then two bedrooms.”The correspondence didn’t stop the residents’ anger once they finally had a chance to express their sentiments.Neighbors said the city permitted the developer to skirt local codes. “We should go ahead and look at zoning laws and get the city to enforce them,” said Tina Volz-Bongar, the neighborhood association’s co-chairperson. “We want the city to go ahead and penalize the developer.”Volz-Bongar presented the city with a petition that asked them to hold a hearing where they could present their concerns.“This project needs to be re-examined,” she said.“The laws do not protect homeowners, they protect developers,” complained Rhonda Hernandez, who lives near the townhouse. “We knew nothing about it, it came out of nowhere.”Hernandez complained that only neighbors within 100 feet of the site are required to receive notice when a new project is being built. “I feel the city should’ve protected us from this. I feel the city let us down,” she said.Resident Ken Martin approached the podium with fire in his eyes and expressed his disdain for the project.“I wasn’t notified!” he exclaimed. “According to Peekskill law, I don’t have to be!”“I would think that the city council would move as quickly as possible to change notification laws.”“What they built is almost identical to plans that they submitted that they rejected,” said Jim Knight, another nearby resident. “As long as a developer is working with the city in good faith, they won’t be fined.”“They haven’t been working in good faith since Day 1,” he added.Thomas Kulsha, who lives next to the townhouse, said he was fed up because the residents’ concerns had fallen on deaf ears until now.“It’s nice to know progress is being made,” he said. “But it’s not enough.”Kulsha then unleashed a barrage of questions, most of which went unanswered.He asked officials how the structure was being built significantly higher than what was submitted on the final plans and why the developer hasn’t been fined.“Would you want this in your backyard?” Kulsha said.Testa and Councilwoman Mary Foster appeared sympathetic to the residents’ plight and stressed they would investigate the matter, leaving open the possibility the city could levy stiff fines.“I wouldn’t want this in my backyard,” responded Councilwoman Mary Foster. “How do ensure that zoning board and planning committee are thinking along similar lines? I do think the three bodies need to talk. Are we all in sync?”Residents also expressed their concerns about security at the closed site, with talk of unauthorized individuals having access to the grounds and horsing around.“The city is taking a hard stand,” Testa said. “There will be a lot of public hearings. There’s a long way to go before the stop work order is lifted.”


May 14, 2007

Mr. David Fufaro
Fourmen Construction/FCI Development
1134 Main Street
Peekskill, NY 10566

Re: 324 Simpson Place, TM#32.12-9-4

Dear Mr. Fufaro:

As you know the City Building Department has issued a Stop Work order regarding construction at the above-referenced property. This has given City Staff an opportunity to review the status of approvals, and to review the project in light of the original variances, site plan and subdivision approvals and current zoning requirements.

Each item is discussed in turn below:

1. The structure as built exceeds the 35-foot and the 2.5 story height limitation outlined in the City’s R4 District regulations. This will need to be brought into compliance with the originally approved site plan or an application for a variance and Amended Site Plan approval will need to be submitted.

2. Each dwelling as currently constructed would exceed the R4 District limitation of 1,800 square feet. This will need to be brought into compliance with the originally approved site plan or an application for a variance and Amended Site Plan approval will need to be submitted.

3. With a full third floor, each dwelling would be able to accommodate in excess of two bedrooms, in clear contravention to the Final Site Plan Approval condition that each dwelling contain no more than two bedrooms. This will need to be brought into compliance with the originally approved site plan or an application for Amended Site Plan approval will need to be submitted.

4. The original variances expired on February 19, 2005. These variances concerned minimum lot area requirements (i.e., the number of townhome units allowed per acre) and front yard requirements (relative to decks). These will need to be renewed. An Area/Parking Variance application is provided herewith.

5. Since the submission of the original application, the City has enacted regulations pertaining to the construction of off-street parking areas. The paving associated with the site plan as previously approved appears to extend into areas that would be precluded based on a reading of the relevant regulations (City of Peekskill Code Section 300-12G). Any variance application submitted should request a variance (or variances) from the pertinent section of 300-12G.

6. The Final Site Plan Approval that this project received on December 12, 2006 will expire less than a month from now on June 10, 2007. You will need to apply for an extension either from the Director or from the Planning Commission. The Site Plan Review application is provided herewith. If you apply within the next several weeks, the fee is lower than after the approval expires.

I would also suggest that you submit an as-built survey to the department of Planning, Development & Code Assistance so that we can confirm whether or not the structure as presently constructed meets all the setback and coverage requirements of the R4 district for attached townhomes.

Thank you.

Brian Havranek
Director of Planning, Development & Code Assistance

Plan wouldn't hurt vending sales

Zane Greenwald, a vending sales manager from Betson Enterprise, addressed (May 6 "Community View") a statement that was previously printed in your paper that I had made regarding the culprit of childhood obesity being vending machines. Unfortunately, I had not fully explained my statement and may not have been as clear as I should have been.
My "school nutrition" legislation, along with Sen. Ken LaValle, R-Port Jefferson, A.7086/S.4169, simply provides our students with healthier choices, in smaller portion sizes; promotes nutrient-rich foods, fat-free and low-fat dairy products; and places limits on calories, fat, saturated fat, trans fat, sugar and sodium. This will not remove the vending machines but rather stock them with different options. Our goal is to bring more attention to milk, juice and water, as well as smaller snack sizes, whole grains and healthier products.
Similar legislation has been enacted in other states, such as California and Connecticut, and both have shown consistency in profits, if not an increase. Numerous companies have began to devise new product lines with smaller sizes, different ingredients or new products thus making this transition painless and easy.
Our legislation also gives school wellness committees the ability to make these regulations stronger and provide more formal educational opportunities for our students. Yes, this legislation does not enforce formal education on nutrition; however, it is one piece to the complicated puzzle of combating childhood obesity. How can we educate our students about proper nutrition without then providing them with the foods necessary to fulfill that requirement right there in their schools?

Sandy Galef


Dear Readers:

The junk food available to school kids now was also available to us as kids. Heck, we not only had vending machines's, we had a school store to sell that stuff.The difference between then and now is what we did after school. Today most kids run home and sit on their butt in front of their computer. The last place we were till dinner time was home. We were out playing, actually interacting with live human beings(other kids). It would be wiser to encourage kids to go out and play instead of sitting on their butt, rather that this nanny control of their diet. People get fat by eating more than they burn off, and as long as this is happening, no matter the diet, over weight bodies will still occur. I find it amazing that lawmakers who grew up on the wasteful pleasures of childhood, now wish to deny those same pleasures to other children. I know, I will now be accused of encouraging fat kids. I am really encouraging personal and parental responsibility. I do not believe "it takes a village", nor do I believe that the government or schools should now become pseudo-parents.

Dear Readers:
It has come to my attention the difficulty in posting a comment on this blog. If you wish to comment, e-mail me at the link posted below, putting "Manifesto Reader" in the subject matter, and I will "cut and Paste" your comments myself. If you DO NOT wish your comments posted, but just wish to comminicate withm me, please make your wishes known in the e-mail.

LINKS: (as this a yahoo adress make sure you put an unerscore (-) between atom and taxi)

For immediate reply:

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

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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 05/05/07

Saturday, May 05, 2007


THIS JUST IN!!!!!!!!:

Dear Readers:

I am pleased to announce that I will NOW be a bona-fide regular contributor to the North County News.
I will be writing an EXCLUSIVE to the NCN opinion piece on the local political scene. This opinion piece will NOT appear in my blog first as past pieces have been. My first piece will be in next weeks issue. I wish to thank Publisher-in-chief and Editor Bruce Apar for believing I can add something to the debate.

Real killer sentenced in Peekskill wrongful-imprisonment case

(Original publication: May 2, 2007)

WHITE PLAINS - Two-time murderer Steven Cunningham got an extra 20 years added to his prison term this afternoon for killing a Peekskill teenager in 1989, a crime for which her high school classmate, Jeffrey Deskovic, was wrongly imprisoned for more than 15 years.
Cunningham offered no words to the victim's mother or to Deskovic as they watched him get sentenced for the slaying of 15-year-old Angela Correa, who was raped and strangled Nov. 15, 1989, in the woods behind Hillcrest Elementary School. He never even looked at them and stared straight ahead as prosecutor Patricia Murphy read a victim impact statement from Correa's mother and sister.
"Because of his own inadequacy and failure at life, a man who amounts to nothing took the life of a daughter who meant everything to me," the mother, Angela Vasquez, wrote in the statement.
In the corridor afterwards, Deskovic and Vasquez shared a long embrace, the first time they had spoken since the days after the killing, when Deskovic visited her home to offer his condolences. Outside the Westchester County Courthouse, Deskovic said he was thankful for the empathy she showed him. He said he could not waste time feeling anger towards Cunningham because it would detract from his effort to educate the public about wrongful convictions and the danger of capital punishment.
Cunningham was linked to the crime in September - and Deskovic exonerated - when new testing matched the convict's DNA to semen found on Correa's body. Deskovic was sent to prison for 15 years to life in 1991 after a jury convicted him of second-degree murder on the basis of a false confession he gave Peekskill detectives.
Murphy called the killing a "horrific crime", a tragedy compounded by the conviction of the wrong man. "Fortunately, although very belatedly, science...placed the blame where it always belonged," she said.
Cunningham, 47, never intended to go to trial in Correa's killing and pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in March.
He is already serving 20 years to life for the 1993 slaying of his girlfriend's sister, Patricia Morrison, at her Peekskill home. The sentence imposed today by Westchester County Judge Susan Cacace will not start until 2013, when he would have become eligible for parole in Morrison's killing.


Posted: Thu May 03, 2007 8:24 am Post subject: Deskovic

Look closely at the story about Cunningham, the real killer of the Peekskill girl, getting sentenced yesterday. Walking alongside, now free Jeffrey Deskovic, in support of him is - Leesther Brown. Walking quietly, with dignity in support of a young man she has befriended and helped. Where were all the Peekskill loudmouths? Has any one of them stepped forward as Ms. Brown has to help Mr. Deskovic? Are any of them giving Mr. Deskovic any help in pulling a life that was very sadly detoured back together? Of course not - they are only good to complain. Good for you Ms. Brown- you keep on doing the right thing - you may not get your reward in Peekskill but there is a star up above with your name on it.


Dear Readers:

I have up to this point refrained from the back and forth vitriol regarding the Peekskill Housing Authority other than a post that wished to educate you on "predatory politics" . The reason that I have posted the above, is because it gives me a chance to show a side of the argument you have not gotten from the main stream media. I am sorry I cannot re-print the picture mentioned, but it was with the original article.

I you have been following the " Housing Authority" saga, you would be lead to believe that Leester Brown was some sort of wild woman. Loose cannon, maybe? Being a loose cannon myself, I think you need one once and a while, instead of people who act like robots who make namby-pamby responses, instead of talking point-blank. FYI: even in the Fox News hit piece, the person being berated by Leester was not a resident of Bolhmann Towers nor a resident of Peekskill.

The question asked in the blog post deserves an answer. All those who wish to bemoan the plight of people who are victims of injustice, where the hell are you now? Where is your helping hand for Deskovic? I am sorry, good intentions do not replace actions. It seems the only one that actually walks the walk is the much maligned Leester Brown. This IS the Leester Brown that the Mayor sees and why she is on the board. The others talk, she walks. It is past time the main stream media pointed this out. Then again if they did, you would not need me.


2 Nelson Avenue
Peekskill, New York 10566

Tel: (914) 737-8000
Fax: (914) 737-1446
E-mail: ejohansen@peekskillpolice.comCity of Peekskill
Police Department

Detective Sergeant Eric Johansen
Investigative Division Commander

May 4, 2007

Two drug raids this morning at the Bohlman Towers Housing project in the City of Peekskill have lead to the arrest of three Peekskill residents who are being charged with various narcotics related offenses. Narcotics Investigators from the City of Peekskill and Village of Ossining Police Departments obtained search warrants for the two apartments after an investigation which lasted several months. The raids were carried out using Tactical Teams from both the City of Peekskill and Village of Ossining.

At approximately 9:00AM this morning, investigators and Tactical Teams raided apartments 7U and 8F in Bohlman Towers. Inside each apartment, officers located various items of evidence showing the respective residences were being utilized for the possession and sale of illegal narcotics. This confirmed the numerous complaints police had received from others living building.

Terrence Scott (30yoa), and Celestine Marsh (40yoa) of Apt 7U are both charged with Criminal Nuisance 1st (E/F), and Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance 7th (A/M) after a small quantity of crack cocaine and drug paraphernalia was located in their apartment.

Jerome Sullen (43yoa) of Apt 8F is being charged with Criminal Nuisance 1st (E/F), Tampering with Physical Evidence (E/F), and Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance 7th , after officers found both powder and crack cocaine in his apartment. The tampering charge was filed after Sullen flushed a quantity of crack cocaine down a toilet as officers entered his apartment.

The case was investigated by Sgt. Anthony Taccariello, and Detectives Anthony Malfitano and Todd Gallaher of the Peekskill Police Department; and Sgt. Rich Damiano and Officer Aaron Zimmerman of the Village of Ossining PD. The two agencies working together over the past several months has resulted in over 50 arrests for narcotics related offenses in their respective jurisdictions.

Chief Eugene Tumolo commended the narcotics investigators and tactical team members from both agencies and stated this case is part of a much larger and ongoing effort to rid the Peekskill and Ossining communities of drugs, particularly in Public Housing.

All three defendants are being held pending their arraignments later this afternoon in Peekskill City Court.


Dear Readers:

You will not find this in the papers. What you should also know, is that the above named Jerome Sullen is the same Jerome Reid that came to the podium at a recent council meeting to blast the Mayor and Leester Brown. This IS the other side of the story I keep telling you is not being printed in the main stream media. When the full story at the Housing Authority comes out, you will see the pure predatory politics of the issue at the expense of the safety of the residents.

To the editor:

Thank you for pointing out that I am ahead of Bob Tendy in a campaign focusing on the issues. I think it would be a great service to our community if you would write more about the issues and less about perceptions of behavior. When I ran for Supervisor, it was an issues oriented campaign. If I choose to run again, this campaign will be as well. After all, it is the issues which really affect the lives of our residents. I would be glad to sit down and discuss these with you at any time. The voters deserve a serious discussion.Sadly, to date, you have largely ignored the all important issue of school funding, including my recent testimony in Albany before the Property Tax committee of the Assembly. I believe nobody should ever lose their home or be forced to move because of run-away school taxes, and I have proposed a way to deal with that. You have also failed to cover my concerns about the effects on the community of development and specific proposals, such as the Emerald Ridge subdivision. My continuing efforts to develop a Comprehensive Plan, re-examining zoning laws, and other matters of real importance have also been overlooked. I urge you, for the sake of the voters, to start focusing on these matters, rather than on the sensational peripheral issues of little true substance or effect.

Sam Davis
Putnam Valley Supervisor

YORKTOWN: Panio ponders top spot
Two GOP supervisor hopefuls bow out
By Adriane Tillman

Yorktown Councilman Nick Bianco, often mentioned as a strong contender, confirmed he willnot run this year for Supervisor.
Yorktown Republicans haven’t declared who they will nominate to succeed Supervisor Linda Cooper but two potential candidates are out of the running.Councilman Nick Bianco, a conservative, and Yorktown Board of Education Trustee Anthony D’Alessandro opted out after initial considerations, stating family and business commitments, respectively, as their reasons. The town Republican Committee continues to interview candidates, with four vying for supervisor and 10 for the two council seats. The eventual nominee will face Democrat Don Peters who was tabbed by his party in March. Peters narrowly lost an election to Cooper in 2005.Cooper, a six-term incumbent, decided to bow out in February after leading Yorktown for the past 12 years. Seats are also up for Councilman Jim Martorano, a four-term Democrat, and Bianco. Republican Chairwoman RoseMarie Panio said she is also considering taking a shot at supervisor herself. “I’m thinking about it. I still have a few things to iron out,” she said. Panio said the interview process for supervisor is rigorous and the committee is looking for a candidate who best demonstrates the necessary qualifications, including volunteer experience and knowledge navigating Town Hall.“We’re very concerned about that,” she said. “You don’t have two or three years to do on-job learning.” The Republican nominating committee will choose its slate on May 23.
No-goBianco resolved not to run for supervisor because he felt commitments to his family could interfere with the supervisor’s duties. The councilman said he travels to Germany three to five times each year to visit his daughter and grandchildren. A popular councilman for 12 years, the Republican Party asked Bianco months ago to consider running. Two years ago, Bianco had also toyed with the idea of running for supervisor but quickly scuttled the idea from lack of funds. “I think he could have made a good supervisor,” Panio said.D’Alessandro said the Republican Party didn’t even call him for an interview, but had decided against it anyway since he recently started a business and couldn’t dedicate the time needed to perform the functions of supervisor.


Dear Readers:

I must have a political death wish to go anywhere near this article. I think though it is necessary for me to take this on as a way of pointing out how a political party can go from a 3-2 majority to a 4-1 minority. It also points out what I have been trying to make The Yorktown Republican party see, how they have lost their base support.

The emphasis on process ie.: volunteerism and navigating town hall over substance ie.: giving the voters an actual reason to vote for you. The slogan "vote for me, I coached softball and sat on the make the town beautiful board" is not going to do it. I don't think in my life time, that any prospective Supervisor did not do some on the job learning. If true that this emphasis on process is paramount, then rest assured all you Yorktown Democrats, a sweeping victory this November will be yours.

Am I the only one who recognizes the need for an actual platform of ideas complete with solutions should be the primary qualification for a candidate? Are the party leaders so immersed as to think minutia is a primary qualification? How in heaven do the party leaders think the can revive and retrieve their base on minutia? I know as an outsider I will be ignored, again. It is my hope that someone on the inside will speak up. This is ONE debate I hope to influence.

Peekskill homeless shelter hopes city approves new location

(Original publication: May 6, 2007)

PEEKSKILL - The Jan Peek House homeless shelter has been in an industrial area of the Peekskill waterfront for 19 years, but as the city has planned a major redevelopment of its waterfront, the shelter and the surrounding businesses have been left searching for a place to move.
The shelter is in the unusual position of having a landlord so committed to keeping it alive that he bought another building on Corporate Drive, which he hopes to renovate as a new home for the shelter. But the new location, which must get approval from the Common Council through a zoning amendment, is raising concerns among residents of nearby Highland Park that the shelter would bring the problems of its residents to their neighborhood.
Philip Miller, Jan Peek's landlord, said the shelter has always gotten along well with its neighbors and been very little problem for the city.
"I truly like them," he said. "It's been a very symbiotic relationship for a number of years."
But Highland Park residents, such as Barbara Gazzigli, who has lived there since 1968, are worried about violent criminals or drug addicts who might use the shelter and walk through their neighborhood.
"You don't know who is going to be there," she said.
Gazzigli is also upset at the idea that Peekskill is a dumping ground for things such as methadone clinics and parole offices, and wonders if the shelter can be put in another community. The new location is next to a county sewage treatment plant and next to a storage building owned by Miller. Highland Park is about a quarter-mile away on the east side of Highland Avenue.
Miller said he thinks many city officials would rather see the shelter moved to another municipality. Ellen Buccellato, chairwoman of the board of Caring for the Homeless of Peekskill, which runs the shelter, said she is also skeptical the new location would get the support of the council's Republican majority.
Mayor John Testa, a Republican, said he told the shelter board to continue to look for other locations around northern Westchester while the city considers the zoning change.
"There is a lengthy and very public process ahead for Mr. Miller to have his location re-zoned to allow a shelter there," Testa said in an e-mail last week. "They would be safe to look at other locations and give themselves other options just in case the proposed location doesn't work out."
Jan Peek House is northern Westchester's only permanent homeless shelter, but Buccellato said it serves many people from Peekskill. She said that she understands the concerns that it could house sex offenders or other criminals, but that the shelter residents are busy getting their lives together by attending programs and looking for work and housing. The shelter houses 19 residents, and people from a White Plains drop-in shelter are sometimes bused in at night and bused back in the morning. It has a 10 p.m. curfew and allows no drinking or drug use.
Peekskill police Detective Sgt. Eric Johansen said the shelter isn't considered a police problem.
The shelter also has its supporters. The Peekskill Area Pastors Association, which includes 90 houses of worship in Cortlandt, Croton-on-Hudson and Peekskill, has been encouraging the city to help the shelter relocate in the area.
"It's like a home more than a shelter," said the Rev. Douglas Leonard of the Reformed Church of Cortlandtown, president of PAPA. "It's a place where people are really cared about."
Robert R., 46, who has lived at Jan Peek for about eight months, said his drinking made him homeless. He said he didn't want to give his full name because he is an alcoholic in recovery. He came to Jan Peek after being kicked out of the Montrose Veterans Affairs hospital alcohol rehab program and said that, without the shelter, people will end up sleeping in the cold. Robert said he expects to be gone by Christmas.
"One of the main things they have taught me is how to live on my own," he said.


Dear Readers:

This is one of those issues ripe for predatory politics. To remind you, predatory politics is when a group of people or a political party uses an issue to inflame the voting populace. Right, wrong, truth, be damned, the only thing is the advancement of a particular agenda. You will see dissenting speech attempted to be silenced by terms such as racist, bigots, anti-poor, and heartless. It is imperative that all sides on this refrain from this type of rhetoric. It is also imperative that you the reader and voter, should cast a wary eye on any group who stoops to this level of discourse, as the attempted silencing of debate should be viewed as abhorrent. This is an issue that CAN, SHOULD, and MUST be discussed solely on the merits. The lives of real people, those trying to get their lives back together and those who have genuine concerns about safety are at stake.

There are two salient points in this article that will be used as political tools instead of being treated as talking points worthy of discussion. One is the police saying that they do not consider the shelter a problem. This is a good thing on its face, and should elevate SOME concerns to the local residents, however it does NOT mean that there have been NO problems. Do not let others confuse the two. The issue of safety should be fully vented. The second is the Mayor's advise that the Shelter have other options. Already in the article you see the seeds being planted of a Republican conspiracy should the shelter not get the zoning variances needed. By the way, that was a sneaky way of the writer to editorialize in the article. In that line was the writers bias made clear. This is the type of politicizing of the issue I am warning you about. So as the issue moves forward, be careful of those trying to exploit it instead of explore it.

Dear Readers:

I will not comment till I see how this pans out.

Westchester GOP aims to increase seats on county board
(Original publication: May 6, 2007)
Republicans, already the minority party on the 17-member Westchester County Board of Legislators, are looking a little anxious about this year's races.
GOP members of the board recently stood together on the steps of the county building to endorse Legislator Suzanne Swanson, the sixth member of the board's minority caucus.
Their show of unity was meant to boost the prospects of Swanson, C-Mount Pleasant, as she faces a possible challenge on the GOP side of the aisle from Rob Astorino, a Republican who held the seat for one term when Swanson took what she calls a "sabbatical" from 2004 to 2005. Democrats say they also have a candidate for the race.
Meanwhile, longtime Legislator Ursula LaMotte, a Bedford Republican, has announced she will not seek re-election, raising Democrats' hopes of picking up a seat there or elsewhere. LaMotte has served on the board since 1995.
A one-seat shift to the Democrats could have an effect on the board's operations, because it would hand them the 12-vote "supermajority" needed to pass bond acts, land sales, or override a veto by the county executive. In reality, the Republican caucus does not always vote as a bloc, and a maverick Democrat may buck party unity sometimes.
Nevertheless, County Republican Chairwoman RoseMarie Panio said retaining at least six seats on the board is "imperative." Board Minority Leader George Oros, R-Cortlandt, said the loss of a seat "absolutely leaves no leverage for the minority at all to do anything."
"If we had to, if things got really bad today, we might be able to get our six to stand together and hold up a few bond acts until something we want to get done gets done," he said. Oros also said without some balance of power, "you start to work a little less hard, you start to not build consensus because (you've) got the votes."
Board Majority Leader Martin Rogowsky, D-Harrison, doesn't see that downside.
"We like to think, in the majority, that all of the issues and all of the bond acts we put forward we have debated out," he said. "We're always open to good input from the Republicans if they choose to give it."
Whether there will be a Swanson-Astorino matchup remains to be seen in District 3, which includes North Castle, Pleasantville, and parts of Briarcliff Manor, Greenburgh, Mount Pleasant and Harrison. Astorino, a radio programming director from Mount Pleasant, said last week he was "not sure" if he would jump in, but would make a decision by the time his hometown Republican committee meets to make its endorsement tomorrow.
"Whatever I'm going to do I'll do regardless of what other candidates want to do," he said.
Asked if he was setting himself up for a repeat of his 2005 run for county executive, Astorino said:
"First things first. Do I have an interest? Yes. Will I? Not sure yet."
Swanson said she hoped "to solidify the Republican Party behind me," noting she had the party's backing in all but her first race. Swanson also is her caucus' only committee head. John Nonna, a former Pleasantville mayor who ran against Astorino in 2003, is reportedly considering a Democratic bid.
In District 2, in northeastern Westchester, Pete Harckham, a Bedford Democrat, was expected to make his official campaign announcement today for the seat now held by LaMotte. Harckham, a 46-year-old media consultant, said issues he wants to concentrate on include protecting the district's fragile aquifers from failing septic systems and getting county money to create local ball fields.
Republicans are expected to nominate Wendy Gerber Friedman, a 49-year-old free-lance journalist who lives in Lewisboro. She said she's seeking the Republican nomination because of rising county property taxes and because of the county government's "failure" to protect the environment."
Panio predicted Republicans are "going to be competitive in a lot of races." One they've mounted an early effort in is in District 4, where Yorktown chiropractor and restaurant owner Terrence Murphy declared his run against incumbent Michael Kaplowitz, D-Somers, more than a month ago. Panio said an Iraq war veteran, Shawn Tabankin, planned to challenge Rogowsky in the Port Chester, Harrison and Rye-area District 6.
One Democrat on the county board is not seeking re-election: Board Vice Chairman Clinton Young is running for mayor of Mount Vernon. County Democratic Party Chairman Reginald LaFayette said Serapher Conn-Halevin, head of the Mount Vernon Democratic Party, "appears to be the leading candidate" among Democrats for that seat.
Party officials also say Dominic Volpe may seek a rematch with Oros in Peekskill-based District 1.

Dear Readers:

It has come to my attention the difficulty in posting a comment on this blog. If you wish to comment, e-mail me at the link posted below, putting "Manifesto Reader" in the subject matter, and I will "cut and Paste" your comments myself. If you DO NOT wish your comments posted, but just wish to comminicate withm me, please make your wishes known in the e-mail.

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BAZZO 05/05/07