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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BAZZO 05/05/07