Harrison Apar Rock n Cops Golf Tournament + Dinner -
Oct 8, 2007by Eric Wenzel
SAVE THE DATE + SIGN UPOn Columbus Day!Join the fun and help raise funds for YAC at 2007 Harrison Apar Rock n Cops Golf Tournament + DinnerColumbus Day, October 8 --
Putnam National Golf ClubHill Road, Mahopac (off 6N)1 PM Shotgun Start - $200 per player6 PM Reception and Dinner - $100 per person (non-golfers)(Reception and Dinner included in $200 player registration)Awards, Prizes + Silent Auction of sports memorabiliaclick here for the promotional flier with more details.click here to register online or become a sponsor for this charity event.
Event is co-sponsored by Yorktown Athletic Club, Yorktown Police Benevolent Association, Club Fit, North County News, Doc James and Doral Arrowwood. Hole and other sponsorships available. Sponsors will be added to tournament ad running in North County News.
contact mailto:harrisonapar@optonline?subject= /dot/ net or (914) 275-6887 for additional information.
A MESSAGE FROM CANDIDATE FOR WESTCHESTER COUNTY LEGISLATOR
DISTRICT ONE DOMENIC VOLPE:
Greetings to the readers of the Bazzomanifesto:
Allow me to introduce myself. Domenic Volpe, resident of Cortlandt Manor and business owner in Peekskill and Cortlandt. I am married to MaryAnn (Shubert) a high school sweetheart of mine from my days at Peekskill High School and father to four children-Danielle, Nicholas, Alyssa and Michael. I decided to run for County Legislator in 2005 and proceeded to run what I thought was a very vigorous campaign. Even though my opponent was a 10 year incumbent at the end of the day it was the closest race in Westchester County (17 Legislative races in all) with a 54-46% disadvantage on election night. A breakdown of the race shows that my opponent had 3 lines and I had one. Now in 2007, after 2 years of hard work, not only have I secured the Democratic line but the Independence party has decided to back me instead of a 12 year incumbent for this year's race. I applaud the wisdom and guts the Independence party has because as a challenger it is tantamount that there is a level playing field for any challenger to not only put up the "good fight" but to have a reasonable shot on election night to pull out a victory. I once again plan to run a good and clean campaign and will talk more next week about the significance of the Independence party's support and what it means to you as a voter.
A MESSAGE FROM PEEKSKILL MAYOR TESTA
I am sending this personally to your readers.
PEEKSKILL'S FINANCES ARE THE STRONGEST IN THIRTY YEARS
GOP's Plan for Smart Growth Redevelopment is Reaping DividendsMayor Testa Proposes Creation of Fund Balance Policy to ProtectCity's Fiscal Health and Lower the Cost of Long-term Borrowing
"The City of Peekskill's finances are stronger than they have been in more than thirty years," Comptroller Marcus Serrano commented, after reviewing the results of the annual audit of City finances. Once again, the City spent no more than was budgeted and took in more in revenue than was spent. The City is current on all its liabilities, and created reserves for known future expenses. City officials meet with Moody's rating agency on September 17th to discuss the City's credit rating. "With fund balances at their healthiest levels in decades," Serrano noted, "the City is well placed to reduce the cost of long-term borrowing, which will save taxpayers money for many years to come.” Nick DiSantis from the city’s independent auditing firm, O’Connor Davies Munns & Dobbins, proclaimed in the recent audit presentation that “the City of Peekskill is in excellent financial condition.” “The conservative budgeting approach by the city has really paid off,” DiSantis added. "This proves our model for smart growth redevelopment is working," Mayor John Testa applauded the City's strong financial position. "Projects the Council majority has advanced have generated more than $2.4 million in additional annual revenue. This has enabled us to deliver back-to-back budgets with no tax increases. If the Common Council Democrats had had their way and stifled economic progress, residents would have seen double digit tax increases to support the same level of services." Instead, with the benefits of GOP-led smart growth redevelopment, the City has a police force which is at its highest deployment in history, with three new officers added last year, as well as an overall increase in the quality of City services, all with no tax increase. "This also underscores the importance of finishing our plans for Downtown Revitalization, Waterfront Redevelopment, and the extreme makeover of Louisa Street, complete with a Target store," Deputy Mayor Cathy Pisani added. "These projects, if completed, will add an unprecedented $11 million in additional tax revenue, and promise fiscal stability for years to come." "Now that our City's finances are the strongest they have been in decades," Mayor Testa continued, "I'd like us to take measures to protect and ensure the City's fiscal health for years to come. Accordingly, I am proposing a new Fund Balance Policy for the City. The gist of the policy is that the City will set aside a portion of the unreserved fund balance and designate it for emergency purposes only. This money can only be spent with the approval of 6 members of the Council. This will protect taxpayers from politically-expedient measures, solidify our financial position, and help us earn a higher credit rating for the City." "The reason for the policy couldn't be clearer," stated Mayoral Candidate Bill Schmidt, who has participated in eight City budget negotiations. "Last year was the first time Councilwoman Mary Foster participated in City budget discussions. In the course of negotiations, and this was reported in the Journal News, Foster recommended the City drain its unreserved fund balances to $1 million. This was rash and irresponsible. I applaud the Mayor's proposal, and urge the Common Council to adopt it."
MESSAGES FROM PEEKSKILL CANDIDATE FOR MAYOR BILL SCHMIDT:
I am personally sending this to your readers. This is the text of my acceptance speech for the Peekskill Republican nomination for Mayor.
Schmidt Mayoral Pledge: Protect Peekskill Homeowners and Taxpayers
It's an honor and a privilege for me to accept the nomination of our party for Mayor of Peekskill in 2007. I am motivated and energized to see that our city grows and prospers for the benefit of every citizen of Peekskill.
Never before in an election have the choices been so clear as to what future direction our city should take on key issues of growth, taxes, safety, and quality of life. Do we, for example, encourage responsible development of our downtown and waterfront that will in turn expand our tax base and bring new middle-class families to our city, revitalizing our commercial businesses, or will we delay and dither and let Westchester County decide our future for us? Leaving it to the county will only mean building more subsidized housing and sending others' social problems here.
Our position is clear: we favor market-rate developments that pay us full taxes and create new quality jobs. Our opponents only want to depend on handouts with strings attached from the county. We will never agree to that approach, and we will always insist that Westchester County require every community--including its wealthy ones--to shoulder their fare share of the county's social services burden, including the homeless.
Being for development, though, must never mean giving developers a blank check. We expect everyone doing business in the City of Peekskill and with the City of Peekskill to obey our rules and respect our codes. Because those that don't--like the builder of The Cove--will have to take down what they illegally built and will be fined for doing so, No IFs, ANDs or BUTs.
And, most importantly, when we do redevelop Peekskill, we will do so by respecting individual rights and without using eminent domain to forcibly take private property.
We will also do everything we can to hold taxes down so that the people who live here can afford to stay here, including our many people who live on fixed incomes, and everyone else who struggles to make a living.
Bringing in new quality developments, such as Target, that expand our tax base and create jobs is one way to do that. So is prudent management of our city budget by spending only what we absolutely need to and eliminating whatever we don't. We will aggressively review all city budget items to root out unnecessary and wasteful expenditures.
We need to also get rid of nuisance taxes that drive away businesses and shoppers and we need to do everything we possibly can to entice people to shop, dine, and do business in Peekskill. One way to jump-start downtown business is to stop charging people extra to spend money here! That's why we should have free, two-hour parking on all streets in downtown Peekskill and why we should eliminate the metered on-parking that's there now. Under Mayor Bill Schmidt, we will do just that.
Additionally, nothing is more important to preserving our quality of life and enhancing our middle-class tax base than continued enforcement of all city codes regarding health, safety, and building integrity. Over the past several years, the city has enacted many laws--such as the certificate of occupancy inspection and the building nuisance law--to address such serious violations. These laws are all designed to prevent single-family homes and other small homes from being ruined and converted into commercial rooming houses, vice dens, and being used as homes for other dangerous and illegal activities, all of which endanger and corrode surrounding properties and neighborhoods.
We will see to it that the maximum resources available to the city will be used to identify and eradicate these conditions and severely fine those people responsible for them. We should further protect our old neighborhoods, like Peekskill's historic west side, Fort Hill, and others, by expanding their eligibility for historic district status. We must also continue to see to it that big industrial operations like recyclers and commercial laundries act as good neighbors by strictly obeying the limitations of their special permits, and we must be prepared to enforce, suspend, and stop them if they don't.
Finally, good government is open government, and there is no reason we can't make city business more accessible to everyone. We should therefore expand our televised coverage to include city council work sessions and zoning and planning meetings, and we should make it easier for citizens to obtain government records without having to resort to using FOIL requests.
Now is also the time to suspend city council speaking rules and return to experiment with a return to civility at citizen forums. The fewer restrictions on speaking the better.
Peekskill will succeed when we work together to accomplish these important goals, and with the support and help of our many dedicated and civic-minded residents, we will succeed.
Our team of Bill Schmidt for Mayor and Milagros Martinez, Mel Bolden, and Selma Dias-Stewart for city council are all pledged to work together to get these important tasks accomplished and make Peekskill the jewel of the Hudson that we know it can be. We will be very grateful for your support to make this agenda a reality.
Thank you very much.
THE SECOND MESSAGE:
Andy,I am personally sending this to your readers.
Schmidt to County: Time to Relocate Homeless Shelter Out of Peekskill
Peekskill mayoral candidate Bill Schmidt is calling on Westchester County to find a new home for the county funded Jan Peek Homeless Shelter presently located in Peekskill. "They already have to seek a new site, because their current location contains environmentally unsound conditions that need remediation. Now is the time to take advantage of this opportunity and find a location outside of the City of Peekskill" he said. "Its time other Westchester communities start doing their fair share".Schmidt said that "no one disputes the need for the shelter to exist and find an appropriate new home. However, that shelter serves all of the residents of Westchester County who depend upon its services and therefore they shouldn't confine or limit their search to just Peekskill. In fact, as a matter of equity the facility should be placed in one of the more affluent communities of the county. They really need to step up to the plate and start accepting the social service burdens that Westchester all too often wants to concentrate in Peekskill, Ossining and the county's other more urban areas" he added.The homeless shelter is currently being considered for relocation at another Peekskill site just off of Highland Ave near the residential neighborhods of Dunbar Heights and Highland Park. Schmidt, a Republican who served on the city council from 1997-2005 said that "placing a homeless facilty in a residential area populated with a lot of children is one of the least desirable locations that I can think of. Furthermore the area in question is also slated for redevelopment with construction of an office park, and in a compact low wealth city like Peekskill we need that land to be developed into a quality tax ratable like what the office park will bring. Our opponents in this election regretably disagree and support putting the homeless shelter at this very inappropiate location". According to Schmidt, "another concern residents have expressed is that with the pending closing of another shelter in White Plains, the county might create a 'super homeless shelter' at the proposed Peekskill site, which would be a real detriment and setback for that area and I'm adamantly opposed to it". He went on to say that "even if the shelter is relocated outside of Peekskill we will still have an array of social service agencies as well as a large inventory of subsidized and affordable housing units that many other Westchester communities continually refuse to provide for. Logic requires that the county re-examine these policies so that all areas of Westchester are contributing to the solution. Finding a location for the homeless shelter in one of those wealthier unburdened communities would be a good place to start".
MY COMMENTS ON THIS:
With reservations I agree with this statement. I do not think putting the shelter at 3 Corporate Drive is a well thought out idea. Between being situated next to Dunbar Heights, the Highlands Homes and a New hotel next to the Cortlant Colonial Restaurant not to mention the entrance to 9 Corporate Drive does not make sense. Also it is too far from the train and bus stops, inexpensive means of transportation. Personally I always thought the best Peekskill location would be The Cove Development. It is a block from the train and bus stop and walking distance from the Welcher A%P Shopping Center where you also have convenient eating establishments and a pharmacy.How ever if the County decides it wants to stick it's nose in Peekskill's business, then the campus at the Montrose V.A. would be an ideal location. Again it is next to the trains and bus stops. It has very good security patrols to protect the residents who will need the shelter's safety and security as they are the most vulnerable to the parasites among us who prey on the weak. Also our tax dollars are already paying for this campus. This is a serious issue that must be discussed during the election. Where your candidates stand on this issue is of importance. Bill's stance is unambiguous. It is time for Mary to do the same. Being that the County may try to meddle, where George Oros and Domenic Volpe stand is also of importance. There can be no muddied waters on this issue. It is up to you the voter to make sure this does not happen.
A MESSAGE FROM PUTNAM COUNTY LEGISLATOR SAM OLIVERIO:
Good Morning Andy,
Here's what happened at the Special Legislative Meeting held last night (8/27) at the Putnam County Executive Building.
Chairman of the Legislator Dan Birmingham introduced a resolution to restore the funding for our Advanced Life Support (ALS) services which had been cut at our August 7th Full Legislative Meeting. I moved the motion with a second from Mary Ellen O'Dell for discussion. After prolonged discussion the bottom line was that all of the Legislators realized that the cost of the ALS service, though expensive, was never-the-less worth it because of the inherent life saving aspects of the program. Many Legislators, including myself, were concerned by the behavior of Empire Services (the ALS service provider) over the huge raise in the cost of the service mid-stream in our contract. We will provide continued support of ALS until January 1st, 2008 at which time we will have secured -through a request for proposal (RFP)- a new contractual arrangement. Andy, the only true reason government exists is to protect the health and welfare of its citizenry. It is expensive but always, if life is preserved, it is worth every cent spent. Such it is with this ALS service provided by Putnam County.
THIS WAS IN THE NEW YORK TIMES:
How Eminent Should Domain Be?
By JOSEPH BERGER
Published: September 2, 2007
NICHOLAS J. BIANCO has a strong sense of place, having sampled many local landscapes and ending up comfortably in a town where he can often breathe country air. The son of Italian immigrants, he grew up in the 1950s in the jostling streets of the Bronx, and, after marrying, warily walked a cop’s beat in his next home, Yonkers.
For the past 35 years, he has watched Yorktown peel off its lingering pretensions of butter churns and blacksmiths and slip on the trappings of a standard-
How Eminent Should Domain Be? issue suburb — shopping centers and subdivisions included.
The United States Supreme Court ruled in 2005 that a government could use eminent domain to seize private property for economic development, including commercial uses like malls. (Some of the property for the new headquarters of The New York Times was acquired through eminent domain.) Mr. Bianco felt the ruling was wrong, even un-American, violating the near-sanctity of a place of one’s own. So did fellow townsfolk who asked him, as a member of the Town Council: “Will you ever do that?”
“Not on my watch,” he promised.
Last January, he went further and engineered passage of a law barring the town from condemning private property for commercial purposes, while allowing it for traditional public uses, like the building of roads, sewers and schools. A vague declaration that a neighborhood is blighted or dangling a promise of jobs and taxes could not be used to expropriate a home or shop for a developer’s benefit.
“It’s not the government’s right to say that you’ve got to move, you, a person who lived here and paid taxes here,” Mr. Bianco, 63, said in a Panera Bread store. “My belief is the individual is just as important as the mass. That’s our Constitution. Every citizen is important.”
He compares limits on property expropriation to the limits he faced as a police officer (he rose to detective sergeant, and now works as an investigator for Westchester’s Legal Aid Society.) “You can’t just go up and search somebody,” he said. “We protect the individual’s rights.”
“Let’s face it,” he went on. “It’s usually done to the lower socioeconomic parts of the population — the people who can’t fight it, don’t have the means. It’s not happening on one-acre homes in Scarsdale. And that’s distasteful. You’re picking off the weak.”
No other Westchester municipality has followed Yorktown’s example, according to Valerie O’Keeffe, president of the Westchester Municipal Officials Association, even though there remains tension in Port Chester years after a developer, armed with the village’s power of condemnation, cleared away 400 businesses along Main Street for a waterfront mall containing a Costco and Loew’s multiplex.
New Rochelle’s mayor, Noam Bramson, says that eminent domain should be used for development, though “judiciously and only when the broad public interest demands it.” Forswearing it entirely, he said, would make it difficult to assemble land to revitalize downtowns, forcing cities and towns to build on their outskirts. The new law in Yorktown, which used eminent domain more than three decades ago to spruce up Commerce Street with new businesses, passed without much of the fury that has sometimes characterized the nationwide debate. Linda Cooper, the town supervisor, said that while she supported the law to calm anxieties, she thinks it is superfluous. The town’s business district, she said, has been thoroughly developed, with residential and commercial zones marked and no room for growth. Besides, she said, the Town Board could revoke the law in the future.
But for many of Yorktown’s 37,000 residents, the idea that their part-time representatives — people who roll out their garbage on pickup days just like they do — could take away a fellow citizen’s home chafed. “We have a small-town mentality,” Tony Romano, an architect who has lived here since 1969, said as he ran into Mr. Bianco outside Panera’s. “We don’t want the government giving the store away.”
Mr. Bianco took a visitor to Front Street, where among a UPS. warehouse, a school bus lot, a car wash and other industrial-grade properties, Bruno Cusentino’s modest ranch house stood out as if it had been attired for the wrong party. He fears that the house and its land could be candidates for condemnation.
Mr. Cusentino’s son, Bruno Jr., a barber, said the family would be willing to listen if some company wanted to negotiate a fair price. But having the government take it on behalf of a business seemed unfair to him. “It’s common sense,” he told Mr. Bianco
MY COMMENTS ON THIS:
You will notice in the above that NONE of the surrounding towns nor Westchester nor the state has copied this. As honorable those in government might be in not using eminent domain to increase tax base, they are not wiser than our founding fathers who believed in a VERY limited use of the power. I believe as our founders that NO governing body should be entrusted with such a broad use as now defined by the Supreme Court. If for no other reason Yorktown Councilman Bianco should be re-elected, it is by being ahead of the curve both locally and State wide he has shown that he does put people over government. Would the surrounding town and city officials not to mention County and State be so enlightened as to remember Government serves the people not the other way around, at least that's the way our founders saw it.
THIS WAS IN THE NORTH COUNTY NEWS:
Despite its name, candidates are primarily Dems and Republicans
Inside the Independence Party
By Adriane Tillman
Getting the Independence party line could make or break an election for some Republicans and Democrats in northern Westchester. It happened in the 2005 race for Yorktown Town Supervisor when incumbent Linda Cooper beat rival Don Peters by 134 votes, in part on the strength of her having the Independence Line. On major party lines, Peters carried 283 more Democratic votes than Cooper’s Republican tally. In the same election, Westchester County Legislator George Oros could have lost his seat, to Democratic candidate Domenic Volpe, if it wasn’t for the 1,263 votes Oros carried on the Independence and Conservative lines. On the major party lines, Volpe eclipsed Oros by 242 votes.
Volpe wins line this timeVolpe is challenging Oros again for his District 1 seat, which covers Peekskill, Cortlandt, Yorktown and Buchanan, but, this time, the Independence Party is backing Volpe. Volpe doesn’t doubt the political clout of the Independence party. “Can they sway elections their way? Yes.” Volpe said. “But it always comes down to the candidate and how effective they are… If they don’t have a good candidate and they have 15 lines, they won’t win.”This year, the Republican Party was scrambling to get on the Independence line in Yorktown. Democratic candidate for Yorktown Supervisor Don Peters said former New York Governor George Pataki called the Independence Party secretary to persuade her to nominate a Republican candidate.Party secretary Dhyalma Vazquez said she “gets that all the time,” and has also had calls in support of Democratic incumbent Michael Kaplowitz, a county legislator whom the party is endorsing. “We don’t budge,” Vazquez said. “This party is not for sale.” Case-by-case nominations Independence Party Chair Giulio Cavallo said the executive committee votes for candidates on a case-by-case basis, and is not partial to any party affiliation. Cavallo appoints the executive committee members. According to the New York Independence Party website (http://ipny.org), the party wants to oust unresponsive incumbents who have “converted the state and federal budgets into a gigantic payoff system for the interests and organizations that contribute to their campaigns.” In Westchester, most candidates who end up on the Independence line are either Democrats or Republicans, however. Cavallo believes that the Independence Party has evenly endorsed Republican and Democratic candidates this year.The Independence Party also looks favorably upon government officials who consult the party when making decisions.“Lots of legislators do call me when voting on something that will impact Westchester residents,” Cavallo said. “Sometimes I do remember if this guy didn’t call the last six times he’s been elected.“Our vision is to see the [Independence] party grow so we can put our own candidates in office,” Cavallo said. He doesn’t envision that happening any time soon, though, with his mere 16,012 registered members in the county, compared to roughly 218,000 Democrats and 137,000 Republicans.
'‘We want competence’ In local politics, the Independence Party has supported the entire Republican slate for Peekskill Common Council, but has endorsed Democratic candidate Domenic Volpe over Republican incumbent George Oros for county legislator in District 1. Also, the Independence Party only has eyes for Board of Legislators Democratic incumbent Michael Kaplowitz to represent District 4, which includes Yorktown, Somers and New Castle.“This year we supported a lot of Democrats as legislators,” Cavallo said. “We want competence; that’s basically it.”Peekskill Democratic Chairman Darren Rigger believes the Independence support for Volpe reflects the county-wide shift away from the Republican Party. “The Democratic party is on the rise,” said the party loyalist. “They have fresh new candidates and better ideas and people are attracted to that.”In Yorktown, the Independence Party endorsed Democrat Don Peters for Supervisor, and Conservative incumbent Nick Bianco for Town Board. Democratic Councilman Jim Martorano failed to get the nomination this year after receiving it a couple of times in the past during his four terms on the town board.Politicians need the Independence line if they want to be successful in Westchester, according to Martorano. “Most elected officials covet the Independence line,” he said. Ideology not a factorWhile the Independence Party espouses a platform of term limits and public funding of campaigns, the Westchester executive committee does not choose its candidates based on an ideology. “We support individuals based on their qualifications,” Vazquez said. “We are looking for candidates who we know will be proactive and effective leaders.”Cavallo said the committee wants leaders who are civic-minded and involved in their communities.But the party does watch out for “professional politicians” that lose their thrust and become “perennial candidates,” in the words of Cavallo. Martorano said the policy has changed over the years, as candidates once had to adhere more to an Independence Party philosophy. Now, “when they interview you, it depends on whether they feel comfortable having you carry their banner,” Martorano said.Oros believes he showed an Independence mindset in his bipartisan work in the county, and was surprised he didn’t receive the nomination. “I know they do have a platform,” he said. “That’s why I was surprised I didn’t get the line because I exercise a lot of independence and show a bipartisan record.” People vote on the Independence line largely because they want to step away from the two-party system, or they want to vote for, say, a Republican candidate but don’t want to pull the Republican lever.In this county, Independence voters are most often not independent from the two-party system, since most of the candidates nominated are Republican or Democrat.The “Independence” name confuses some people, who think they’re showing independence from a party, said Terrence Murphy, who is running against County Legislator Michael Kaplowitz in District 4.“They’re thinking they’re independent of a party,” he said. “They don’t realize they belong to a party.”On the flip side, the Independence Party has ironically brought Republicans and Democrats together, as candidates from both parties mingle at Independence Party functions, according to Martorano.The Yorktown councilman views it as a healthy development. “It’s blurred ideological differences between Republicans and Democrats,” Martorano said. “The Independence Party endorses Republicans or Democrats – whoever it feels is the best and most effective person for the job. They have to leave ideology and look at practical government and how for it to be as most effective as it can be.” One goal of the New York Independence Party, which hit the ballot in 1994, is to get more “citizen-legislators” elected. According to the party’s state website, it would like to see all legislative offices, other than the House and U.S. Senate, become part-time positions to encourage citizens to run. Other goals of the state’s party are: - State budgets should come out every two years, reducing the legislative year to two months and cutting salaries by 50 percent- Late budgets should penalize legislators and the governor $1,000 every day the budget is late- Local funding: 80 percent of primaries should be funded by the area where the candidate lives- Terms for congressional and state legislators should be extended to four years, instead of two, to reduce the need for constant fundraisingBut the Westchester party doesn’t actively lobby for such a platform, and doesn’t expect its candidates to agree.“Our platform is good government and fiscal responsibility,” Vazquez concluded.
MY COMMENTS ON THIS:
N.Y.S. is one of only a handful of states that allows cross-endorsements. In this way the votes on ALL the lines are added TOGETHER and the winner decided. This gives these third party endorsements more clout than they deserve. Do not expect any sitting State Legislator who's main job is re-election to change this anytime soon. Good government comes in a distant second. However you must keep in mind in reading the above, the ONLY thing that matters to the Independence Party is siding with who they perceive will win, hence enhancing their clout. Do not confuse this with Independent Party, they ARE NOT the same. It IS meant to confuse the voters. This emphasizes the point the in local elections, you the voter MUST pay attention the what the candidates say. DO NOT be mislead by cross-endorsements, they are meaningless except only to the cross-endorser's quest for clout. The reality is though, having these extra lines will make a difference in who is elected.
FYI: WHY THERE IS NO MONEY FOR INFRASTUCTURE UPGRADES AND WHY WE DO NOT NEED A TAX INCREASE TO DO SO.
THIS WAS IN THE JOURNAL NEWS:
List of projects obtained by local House members
By BRIAN TUMULTYWASHINGTON BUREAU
(Original publication: August 26, 2007)
WASHINGTON - Under new rules enacted by the House of Representatives this year, 2008 federal spending bills include the names of lawmakers who have inserted special project funding requests, commonly referred to as "earmarks."
Taxpayers for Common Sense, an independent budget watchdog group, recently compiled a database of these earmarks in spending bills passed by the House.
The bills still must be approved by the Senate and signed by the president before the money becomes available.
Here's a look at the special projects secured by lawmakers from the Lower Hudson Valley listed by the spending bill they were inserted into:
Rep. Nita Lowey, D-Harrison
(45 earmarks totaling $28.69 million)
- $247,500 for Hudson River shoreline rehabilitation in Tarrytown to protect a public park and surrounding municipal area along the shoreline.
- $198,000 for Pace University Land Use Law Center from the Natural Resources Conservation Service.
- $198,000 for Long Island Sound watershed from the Natural Resources Conservation Service.
- $215,000 for Cornell University's Institute for Comparative and Environmental Toxicology in Ithaca to research the environmental risk factors in cancer from the cooperative state research, education and extension service.
Commerce, Justice (10)
- $50,000 for the Greenburgh drug court program under a Byrne Grant under the Department of Justice.
- $50,000 for the Pace University Women's Justice Center in White Plains under a Byrne Grant under the Department of Justice.
- $50,000 for Phoenix House Families Facing Addiction program in New York City under a Byrne Grant under the Department of Justice.
- $50,000 for the Yonkers Outstanding Warrants program under a Byrne Grant under the Department of Justice.
- $50,000 for Eastchester Law Enforcement Emergency Management Command Center Equipment under the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program.
- $50,000 for Haverstraw Police Department equipment under the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program.
- $50,000 for New Rochelle Police Department Communications System under the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program.
- $50,000 for Rockland County Police Information Network under the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program.
- $1 million for Westchester and Rockland counties law enforcement communications equipment under the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program.
- $800,000 for Westchester and Rockland counties law enforcement technology equipment under the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program.
- $1 million with Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., for the American Museum of Natural History's Institute of Comparative Genetics for advanced research related to sequencing threat agents and developing strategies to study pathogenicity.
- $10 million for Davids Island-Fort Slocum remediation from defensewide Office of Economic Adjustment.
- $2 million for Smart Visor research, development, test and evaluation (RDTE) for Navy aviation survivability.
- $2 million for transformational satellite communications (TSAT) upgrade to Navy Multi-Band Terminal under research, development, test and evaluation (RDTE) of the Navy.
- $4 million with Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, D-N.Y., for The Women's Cancer Genomics Center at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory on Long Island to develop a DNA biopsy for breast cancer that will allow physicians to make more accurate prognoses for their patients. Funding under research, development, test and evaluation (RDTE) of the Army's medical technology budget.
Energy and Water (3)
- $300,000 for Saw Mill River watershed from the Army Corps of Engineers for investigations.
- $250,000 for South County Nature Preserve in Irvington under the Department of Energy science budget.
- $750,000 with Reps. Joseph Crowley, D-N.Y., and Jose Serrano, D-N.Y., for the Bronx River Basin from the Army Corps of Engineers for investigations.
Financial Services (1)
- $231,000 for the Greystone Foundation workforce development initiative in Yonkers.
Interior and Environment (4)
- $100,000 for restoration of the 1883 lighthouse in Sleepy Hollow from National Park Service historic preservation.
- $200,000, city of Rye for sewer pump station repairs from the Environmental Protection Agency state and tribal assistance grants.
- $200,000, village of Mamaroneck for sewer system upgrades under the Environmental Protection Agency state and tribal assistance grants.
- $300,000, village of Briarcliff Manor for sewer upgrades under the Environmental Protection Agency state and tribal assistance grants.
Labor, Health and Human Services (10)
- $225,000 for Lawrence Hospital in Bronxville.
- $225,000 for White Plains Hospital Center.
- $225,000 for the New Rochelle City School District for after-school learning centers.
- $225,000 for the Jacob Burns Film Center in Pleasantville for education programs.
- $225,000 for Ossining Union Free School District for after-school literacy or school reform initiatives.
- $225,000 for the Port Chester-Rye Union Free School District for academic enrichment, professional development, family engagement or other activities.
- $225,000 for the Union Free School District of the Tarrytowns in Sleepy Hollow for family literacy and professional development.
- $250,000 for Yonkers Public Schools after-school and summer academic enrichment, literacy and professional development services.
- $200,000 for Purchase College, SUNY, for science and math education programs, including teacher preparation.
- $225,000 for Historic Hudson Valley in Tarrytown for education programs at Phillipsburg Manor.
Transportation and HUD (8)
- $175,000 for downtown parking improvements in Ossining from the Department of Transportation.
- $500,000 for an intermodal transit center in Port Chester from the Department of Transportation.
- $175,000 for Main Street Streetscape in Haverstraw.
- $250,000 for parking expansion in Dobbs Ferry.
- $150,000 for safety and traffic improvements in Ardsley from the Department of Transportation.
- $300,000 for streetscape improvements in Eastchester from the Department of Transportation.
- $300,000 for town of Clarkstown for Main Street revitalization and streetscape improvements from the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
- $200,000 for Mamaroneck Public Library renovation, construction and build-out from the Department of Housing and Urban Development's community development fund.
Rep. John Hall, D-Dover Plains
(21 earmarks totaling $16.54 million)
Commerce, Justice (4)
- $280,000 for Kiryas Joel Security Equipment and Emergency Services Technology in Lewinston under the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) program.
- $150,000 for Phoenix House in Yorktown under juvenile programs.
- $70,000 for Stony Point school resource officer under juvenile programs.
- $250,000 with Rep. Eliot Engel, D-Bronx, for Rockland County Youth Bureau Gang Prevention under juvenile programs.
- $1 million for FLIR Radar System for the UHGO Blackhawk Helicopter for the New York Air National Guard under Army UH-60 MODS.
- $3 million for power-efficient microdisplay development for U.S. Army night vision under research, development, test and evaluation (RDTE) of Army under night vision technology.
- $1.968 million with Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., for establishment of a second civil support team for weapons of mass destruction in New York state for the Army National Guard.
- $1.239 million with Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., for establishment of a second civil support team for weapons of mass destruction in New York state for the Army National Guard.
- $247,000 with Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., for establishment of a second civil support team for weapons of mass destruction in New York state for the Air National Guard.
- $359,000 with Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., for establishment of a second civil support team for weapons of mass destruction in New York state for the Air Force National Guard.
- $4.5 million with Rep. David Reichert, R-Wash., for eMagin Corp. in Hopewell Junction to design and construct prototypes of an ultra-high resolution display for Army medicine under research, development, test and evaluation (RDTE) for Army medical advanced technology.
Energy and Water (1)
- $100,000 to ensure that affordable housing being constructed in Mount Kisco for first responders is environmentally efficient or "green" under the Department of Energy program for energy efficiency and renewable energy.
Interior and Environment (1)
- $400,000 for the town of Goshen for the Hambletonian Park water main replacement under the Environmental Protection Agency's state and tribal assistance grants.
Labor, Health and Human Services, Education (5)
- $100,000 for Northern Westchester Hospital in Mount Kisco for facilities and equipment.
- $200,000 for Putnam Hospital Center in Carmel for facilities and equipment.
- $100,000 for St. Anthony Community Hospital in Warwick for facilities and equipment.
- $375,000 for Stony Point Ambulance Corps in Stony Point for facilities and equipment.
- $50,000 for Historic Hudson Valley in Tarrytown for education programs.
Transportation and HUD (3)
- $1.75 million for reconstruction of Route 6 in Cortlandt under the Department of Transportation federal aid for highways.
- $200,000 for South Salem Library Association for construction of a new library from the Department of Housing and Urban Development community development fund.
- $200,000 for land acquisition as part of a redevelopment plan in Wappingers Falls under the Department of Housing and Urban Development community development fund.
Rep. Eliot Engel, D-Bronx
(15 earmarks totaling $7.73 million)
Commerce, Justice (4)
- $100,000 for Westchester Jewish Community Services under juvenile justice.
- $100,000 for the Community Outreach Center in Monsey under juvenile justice.
- $300,000 for Bronx Cluster Delinquency Prevention under juvenile justice.
- $250,000 with Rep. John Hall, D-Dover Plains, for the Rockland County Youth Bureau Gang Prevention in New Square under juvenile justice programs.
- $1 million for Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx for its Clinical Looking Glass project for military health improvement under the medical surveillance initiative in the Army's medical advanced technology budget.
- $4 million with Reps. Jay Inslee, D-Wash., and Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., for Verdant Power of New York City for development of a kinetic hydropower system turbine under research, development, test and evaluation (RDTE) of Navy facilities improvement.
Energy and water (2)
- $250,000 of a $500,000 earmark for the Ramapo and Mahwah rivers from Army Corps of Engineers for construction costs. The other half of the $500,000 would be spent in New Jersey.
- $500,000 for Rockland Community College Science Laboratory under Department of Energy budget for science programs.
Financial Services (1)
- $231,000 for the Rockland Small Business Development Center, small business employment assistance in Spring Valley.
Labor, Health and Human Services, Education (3)
- $125,000 for Hatzoloh EMS Inc. in Monsey for the purchase of ambulances.
- $75,000 for Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx for health information systems.
- $200,000 for Mount Vernon Hospital for facilities and equipment.
Transportation and HUD (3)
-$200,000 Bronx Zoo intermodal transportation facility from Department of Transportation.
- $250,000 Mount Vernon railroad cut from the Department of Transportation.
- $150,000 College of Mount St. Vincent for renovation of nursing laboratories from the Department of Housing and Urban Development's community development fund
FYI: ON JOHN HALL
THESE WERE IN THE JOURNAL NEWS:
National GOP targets Hall for defeat in 2008
By SUSAN ELANTHE JOURNAL NEWS
(Original publication: September 2, 2007)
About a quarter of the way through his two-year term, Rep. John Hall, a Democratic freshman from Dover Plains, has solidified backing from voters who helped him defeat six-term Republican Sue Kelly of Katonah in 2006. But locally and nationally, the GOP is mobilizing early to try to take back the seat Hall won with 51 percent of the vote.
Two Westchester County Republicans have declared their intention to oppose Hall in 2008. The National Republican Congressional Committee has officially targeted Hall as one of the top Democrats in the Northeast to defeat. And District 19 voters report receiving automated calls attacking Hall's voting record 15 months before the election.
Hall said from Washington that he wasn't sure whether it was his narrow margin of victory or his stance on the issues that put him on Republican strategist Karl Rove's list of the top 20 House Democrats to unseat in 2008. But he said he wouldn't let the GOP's actions distract him.
"I have a job to do and I'm working very hard at doing it," he said.
In recent weeks, the Democratic-led Congress has begun to make headway with passage of a minimum-wage bill, progress on enacting ethics legislation and House support of an act that would provide health care to 11 million low-income children nationwide, Hall said. Voters who express frustration with Congress aren't making a distinction between the House and the Senate, he said.
"I'm impatient with the pace of change too," Hall said. "But there is a difference between the amount of legislation the House passed and the Senate passed. Our list is long, but it takes the Senate 60 votes to pass anything."
The issues that propelled Democrats to power in Congress in 2006 - ending the war in Iraq, making health care affordable to all, reducing the budget deficit and dependence on oil - remain unresolved, yet many Democratic voters in District 19 applaud Hall's job performance.
"He's among the young lions who are pushing the moderate Democrats to take a stronger stand on ending the war in Iraq," said Lindsay Audin, a Democratic district leader in Croton-on-Hudson.
Hall's "brave votes" have not hurt his ability to raise funds, said Audin, who worked on Hall's campaign.
"He's doing reasonably well with fundraising, which shows he has backing," Audin said.
As of June 30, Hall had about $666,000 in cash on hand for his 2008 re-election campaign, after raising about $771,000, according to a report filed with the Federal Election Commission.
Zara Jackson, a registered Democrat who lives at Heritage Hills in Somers, lauded Hall's "leadership qualities" and said he has been "very proactive in Congress."
"He's taken positions on the issues I am very much in agreement with on the war, health care, energy independence and immigration," said Jackson, a member of a nonpartisan group called "A Better Way," which has scheduled an event for Saturday in Yorktown Heights at which Hall is scheduled to speak.
"He sends regular bulletins telling us what's going on. When we had Sue Kelly, we were living with a void."
Hall also gets support through an Internet site called Keep19, the offshoot of the pre-election Web site Take19, established in February 2005 to help unseat Kelly.
But Hall has not won over voters like Republican Committee member Antoinette De Bellis of Mahopac and can expect stiff competition from GOP candidate Andrew Saul, a businessman and investment manager from Katonah.
"He does not represent our values," De Bellis said of Hall. "He's too liberal."
De Bellis disagrees with Hall over his support of stem cell research but is reserving judgment on Hall's stance on taxes as claimed in an anonymous automated call.
"We got a robocall at home saying he voted to raise taxes by $1 billion but it was an unknown caller," she said.
Saul has opened an office in downtown Katonah with three full-time staff members. He has raised about $423,000, including $101,000 in personal funds, according to a report filed with the FEC.
Saul is developing his platform on the issues, but can be expected to be "to the left of the administration" on the war in Iraq, said spokesman Tim Hoefer.
Hoefer said Saul also has promised to refuse to accept money from any political action committees.
"He would go to Washington and represent the people in the district without being tied to any business groups," Hoefer said.
Kieran Lalor, 31, a Peekskill Republican, Iraq war veteran and recent graduate of Pace University Law School, said he is best qualified to represent the voters in the district because he has the most in common with them.
Lalor describes Hall as a representative of the "far left" and said Saul's fortune puts him out of touch with the average voter.
Lalor has formed an exploratory committee, but has not filed with the FEC.
Jerry Donnellan, director of the Rockland County Veterans Service Agency and an unaffiliated voter, said Hall may have picked up support from veterans in the community since his appointment to House committees overseeing veterans.
"He's taken his role seriously," Donnellan said. "His office has been very responsive to helping vets get claims through the bureaucracy."
Reach Susan Elan at firstname.lastname@example.org or 845-228
SECOND RELATED ARTICLE:
Hall gets off to fast start
By BRIAN TUMULTYWASHINGTON BUREAU
(Original publication: September 2, 2007)
WASHINGTON - Rep. John Hall, D-Dover Plains, completed the first quarter of his two-year term at the end of June.
Here's a look at his performance through the period and the three additional weeks Congress was in session prior to its monthlong August recess:
- Clout: Good for a freshman.
Lawmakers with the most clout are committee chairmen or are in the party leadership. Hall has the next best thing - chairmanship of a subcommittee.
He heads the Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs Subcommittee of the Veterans Affairs Committee. In addition, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., appointed him to a special committee on global warming.
- Voting: Excellent attendance.
Participated in more than 99 percent of 733 House votes through July 25, missing only four. That's the best among members of the Hudson Valley congressional delegation.
- Party loyalty: Middle of the road.
His party loyalty on House floor votes stood at 95 percent through July 25, according to Congressional Quarterly. That put Hall "kind of in the middle" of the 231 Democrats in the House, said John Cranford, national editor of CQ Weekly. The ratings are determined by taking "a vote where a majority of one party lines up against a majority of the other," Cranford said. "We do not handpick votes."
- Lawmaking: Fast start.
Two of the 13 bills, resolutions and amendments he introduced were passed.
Both are awaiting Senate action and have not become law. He also co-sponsored 146 bills. Hall was lead sponsor of a bill passed by the House on March 21 to provide a cost-of-living adjustment for disability payments to veterans beginning Dec. 1.
- Re-election effort: Highly competitive.
Earlier this year, then-White House political adviser Karl Rove listed Hall's district among top Republican targets for 2008. Hall is preparing early. He had $666,000 in cash for his 2008 re-election campaign as of June 30, after raising almost $771,000 during the first six months of this year, according to a report filed with the Federal Election Commission. Hall already has at least one Republican opponent - Andrew Saul of Katonah - who has raised just under $423,000, including $101,000 of his own money.
As Rep. Hall is not up for election this year, I re-print these for your info. only. As these will forever remain in my archives, I will revisit them in January with my comments to start the next years election cycle.
FYI: SEPTEMBER EVENTS AT SUSAN'S RESTURANT IN SEPTEMBER & OCTOBER:
Fri., Sep 7 Doug Monroe - Guitar Jerry Z - Organ, Nadav Sni - Drums
Sat., Sep 8 Teri Roiger with John Menegon, and John Hart
Sat., Sep 14 Susan's House Band
Sat., Sep 15 Pete Levin Organ Trio with John Cariddi - Guitar and Harvey Sorgen - Drums http://www.blogger.com/
Fri., Sep 21 Susan's House Band
Sat., Sep 22 The Turnstile Jumpers with Julius Dilligard
Fri., Sep 28 Carmen Leggio Quartet
Sat., Sep 29 Richard Benetar Quartet
Fri., Oct 5 Susan's House Band
Sat., Oct 6 Reegal Beegal
Fri., Oct 12 Peggy Stern Trio Featuring Giulio Martino
Sat., Oct 13 UpSouth Twisters A/K/A Lucky 7 http://www.blogger.com/
Mondays - Seafood Night 3 Course Seafood Menu $25
Tuesdays - Prime Rib Dinner $19.95 Classical Guitar with Tom Goslin
Wednesdays - Jazz Jam Hosted by Bob Meyer 8:30 PM *** Prix Fixe Dinner Available $25 ***
Thursdays - Open Mic with Leah Quinn 8:00 PM Half Priced Bottles of Wine
Late Night Menu until 12:00 Midnight Thursday, Friday, and Saturday
Sunday Jazz Brunch With Tony Jefferson on Vocals and Vic Juris - Guitar
Susan's Restaurant 12 North Division Street, Peekskill, NY 10566 (914) 737-6624
Great Music, Great Food, Great People " Where you want to be"
$30.00 Prix Fixe Meal Includes Movie Ticket
THIS WEEKS "IN MY OPINION COLUMN" IN THE NCN:
This week I discuss Yorktown Supervisor Coopper's departure and what it means to the taxpayers. 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(page 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.
FYI: ATOM TAXI INC. AIRPORT SERVICE:
This gives me a chance to plug my business ATOM TAXI INC. Instead of the headache of trying to find Airport 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.
E-MAIL ME WITH YOUR COMMENTS:
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 communicate with me, please make your wishes known in the e-mail.
LINKS: email@example.com(as this a yahoo address make sure you put an underscore (-) between atom and taxi)
For immediate reply: firstname.lastname@example.org
SITES TO LINK TO:
ON THE OTHER HAND W/ FORMER PEEKSKILL COUNCILMAN SCHMIDT: http://peekskillperspectives.blogspot.com/
YORKTOWN COUNCILMAN NICK BIANCO: http://www.electbianco.com/
PLAN PUTNAM: email@example.com/
PEEKSKILL GUARDIAN: http://peekskillguardian.blogspot.com/
NORTH COUNTY NEWS: http://northcountynews.com/
THE JOURNAL NEWS: http://thejournalnews.com/
PEEKSKILL DEMOCRATS: http://www.peekskilldems.com/
YORKTOWN CANDIDATE FOR SUPERVISOR DON PETERS: http://www.donpetersforyorktown.com/
YORTOWN CANDIDATE FOR SUPERVISOR ROSE MARIE PANIO: http://www.rosemariepanio.com/
CABLE SHOWS TO WATCH:
ON POINT ON PEEKSKILL: Every Tuesday at 8PM channel 15 (Peekskill only)
Hosted by:DARREN RIGGER
DON PETERS AND YORKTOWN: Every Tuesday at 10PM channel 74
Hosted by: DON PETERS
YORKTOWN WATCHDOG: Every Friday at 9:30 PM on channel 74
Hosted By: ED CHIFFON
LEGISLATORS REPORT: Saturday and Sunday at various times on chanel 20
Hosted By: COUNCILMEN NICK BIANCO AND LOU CAMPISI
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