Saturday, July 12, 2008


Dear Readers:

I have never met so many brainwashed people as I have in the last month. As most people are willing to let other do their thinking for them, this is understandable. All over the main stream media, talking heads are falling over themselves telling anyone who has put their brain on hold that this is the year of the Democrats. Obama for President, huge gains in the congress and senate. Happy days are just around the corner. So then you hear local Democrats and even Republican officials mouth this clasp-trap. Raise the white flag, why even bother to hold elections, the results are a foregone conclusion. History did not start when you woke up this morning. How many times in the last eight years have these people been sooooooo wrong? Why do you still believe them?

The latest ruse used to brainwash the gullible is the last weeks Rasmussen poll that shows Bush's approval rating below 30% (it's 29%). What they will not tell you, as it goes against the "Bush derangement syndrome" template, it that congressional approval is 9%. The lowest since these polls were taken. The number one issue that has caused this is oil. The number two issue is oil. The number three issue is oil. We have finally found the tipping point and it is four dollars a gallon. The latest Rasmussen poll shows a full 62% now favor domestic drilling. A full 45% of admitted environmentalists favor domestic drilling. These polls show people are waking up to the fact that it is not the President who favors these high prices, but congress, and this congress is controlled by the Democrats. It is in their interests in this election cycle to keep this country in a state of decline. They are hoping the main stream media will keep you brainwashed that this is Bush's fault. This poll shows that the people are starting not to fall for that. From the year 2001 when gas was $1.70 a gallon till 2005 when it averaged $2.32 and a barrel toped $50.00, and the Republicans controlled congress, it was fine to hold on to the belief that domestic drilling was both unprofitable and environmentally unsafe even though it was untrue. You must remember though, that when the facts change, it is alright to change your opinion. That is not a flip-flop and on petrolium the facts have changed!!!!

Since 2006 when congress was taken over by the Democrats, the price has now spiked to $4.30 a gallon and a barrel of oil $141.00. This is no coincidence. The oil producing countries and speculators know this congress will do nothing to ease the energy crunch. This congress will continue to mislead the public about the environmental and economic concerns. They want high prices, they need high prices to win this election, and your suffering is part of the equation. When hurricane Katrina hit, it knocked out 5 pumping stations in the gulf. Not one leaked oil into the gulf. We can drill safely, damnit! Where the oil companies want to drill in Alaska, there is no wildlife to disturb, bet you did not know that. Even if there was, like the arguments against the Alaska pipeline and the caribou, these are not true. Not only did the caribou survive, their herds grew. Off shore they oil companies wish to drill 20 to 50 miles out, you would not even see the rigs.

If the Republicans had any fight in them they would saturate the radio waves with advertisements on the facts of increasing supply and how the Democrats are against any thing that will make that possible. Every car owner is a potential Republican voter. Every truck driver, boat owner is a potential Republican voter. Everyone who heats their house with oil, natural gas and electricity is a potential Republican voter. Wake up Copernicus, the earth does revolve around the sun, and the issue in this election season is oil, oil, oil! It is well for the Republicans to point out, when it comes to Ronald Regan's oft quoted "shining city on the hill", it is the Democrats who wish to turn off the lights.
Dear Readers:

I have stated many times the Assemblyman Greg Ball was not elected to bring home the bacon. Former Brewster Mayor John Degnan an endorsed Democrat running against Greg in a Republican primary has said that being that Greg did not get any meaningful legislation passed he should not be re-nominated to represent the Republican party. Mind you, Greg is now only in his second year of his first term. Mind you he is in the minority in the assembly. Below is an editorial from the journal news that explains how the law-making process works, and how if you are in the minority, you will not get much if anything done. In fact you will notice that Republican with longer service are still hard pressed to accomplish anything. It is one reason Assemblyman MIke Spano of Yonkers switched parties earlier this year. Those trying to unseat Assemblyman Ball know this. They are hoping you will be ignorant of the N.Y.S. lawmaking process to believe that Greg could have done something but is ineffective. I hope this editorial will set the record straight and show you the cynical ploy of those Republicans who endorsed an endorsed Democrat to primary Greg Ball and you won't let them succeed.

Out of Albany: Meaningful laws, amid the status quo
By Laurie Nikolski • July 13, 2008

State lawmakers do many things in Albany, not the least of which is, well, make laws. The process is no snap of the fingers. A legislator must identify the need for a new law; draft legally acceptable language; secure a cosponsor in the "other'' house; work with colleagues, experts and lobbyists; get the bill through committees; rewrite as needed; push for the full Legislature to pass it; and cross fingers that the governor sign its. Voilá: a New York state law.

Of course, the process is vastly more complicated than that, requiring along the way compromise, compromise, compromise and, very often, some begging. It is so easy to move a bill through one house (yours); getting the other guys to sign on is altogether a different animal.

The 18 members of the Lower Hudson Valley delegation leave the recently ended legislative session with grab bags of successes, some far outweighing others. Those in the majority of each house should have had it easier, but not all took advantage. Democratic Assembly members Michael Spano of Yonkers and George Latimer of Rye can count on a few fingers their prime-sponsored bills passed by the full Legislature. Republican Greg Ball, representing parts of Putnam, Westchester and Dutchess counties, ran two years ago on loud promises of ridding his district of illegal immigrants and bringing down taxes for all. He has no prime-sponsored, full-passage bills to brag about this session; he, at least, has his minority status in the Assembly for an excuse.

Amy Paulin, Adam Bradley and Richard Brodsky, all Democrats from Westchester, stand out this session for their efforts, and results. In the Senate, befitting their seniority and their party's majority rule there, albeit slim, Republican Sens. Vincent Leibell III of Putnam and Thomas Morahan of Rockland chocked up many legislative wins. All wisely paired with powerful lawmakers in the "other'' house to get things done.

In all, more than 800 bills passed both houses this legislative session, a typical number, according to Blair Horner, legislative director of the New York Public Interest Group. That's in spite of a session wracked by scandal, intrigue and upheaval, including the resignation of former Gov. Eliot Spitzer and the swearing-in of replacement David Paterson mid-session. A typical number of bills done, unhappily enough, in a typical way. Actually, Horner said Friday, "it was too typical - too much done in secret,'' with lobbyists winning out over regular New Yorkers. "It was the best of session in that they pulled off governing in the midst of chaos,'' Horner said, "but it was the worst of session in that lawmakers did it the same old way.''

Lawmakers got many of their own more local bills passed, he noted, but collectively "they kicked the can on pressing issues like home heating and property taxes.'' Paterson, who has defended the session as productive, has begun signing bills, and vetoing others, a process that will take months. Notably, he already has signed a Paulin bill, carried by Leibell in the Senate, to prohibit smoking in dormitories and on-campus residence halls.

How wide an effect?
Many "prime-sponsor'' bills are of local impact only, meaning that they apply only to a lawmaker's home district, or an organization or individual in it. Due to existing law, though, Albany's approval still is needed for the change locally. Your state lawmaker, it is hoped, can secure it. Latimer, of Rye, did with a bill to rename the Port Chester Library to the Port Chester-Rye Brook Library - his only two-house bill this session. Dozens of bills passing both the Assembly and Senate this year also merely fix technicalities in existing law or set up studies of issues, not solve related problems.

State lawmakers can easily jump on already-drafted bills that they like, listing themselves as "cosponsors.'' Yet as a bill's prime sponsor, the legislator must do some heavy lifting, taking the heat of disagreement and political pressure from all corners.

"Major'' two-house bills - those that affect the needs, rights and/or finances of a wide swath of New Yorkers - are important measures of hard work and influence in the state Legislature. Getting them on their way to the governor's desk takes intelligence, persistence (often over several years), good contacts, strong persuasive skills and comfortable shoes.

Then there are the political realities: majority, seniority, authority. There are 150 Assembly members in that house, with Democrats long having a solid majority over Republicans. The Senate has been strongly Republican for decades. Senior members almost always have the benefit of being appointed to influential committees, making passage of "their'' legislation easier. Finally, those long-term legislators with authority and expertise on certain issues, as well as close relationships with their leaders, usually do better than "youngster'' lawmakers.

Other avenues of influence
True, as Assemblywoman Sandra Galef and staff for state Sen. Jeffrey Klein reiterated in recent days to the Editorial Board, lawmakers can do a lot of work crafting bills, negotiating with the opposite house and party, only to see their bills become subsumed by other efforts that fulfill the original intent. For example, Galef, an Ossining Democrat, is credited with only a couple of prime-sponsored bills passing the Legislature this 2008 session. She pointed out, though, that a bill she worked on for years to form a blue-ribbon panel to put high property taxes and school funding under a microscope was appropriated by Spitzer last year to set up what is now know as the Suozzi commission. In early June, that panel released a major report advocating a property tax cap, which Paterson supports.

Likewise, Klein, a Westchester-Bronx Democrat, early-on this year jumped on the subprime mortgages scandal and growing number of home foreclosures in the state. He drafted a proposed bill and a host of recommendations. They were sucked into a bill that grew out of Democrat Paterson's office, sponsored in the Senate by Republicans and quickly made law. Klein got to watch.

Change may be coming
The truth, though, is this: Those who know how to do the hard work associated with lawmaking also must have strong consensus-building skills, regardless of party weight or seniority. Once elected, New York legislators traditionally stay in the seat for as long as they can. After the first two-year term, all lawmakers certainly should know the ropes - and the need to find a way around the handicap of their minority status. Suzi Oppenheimer of Mamaroneck has been a Democrat in the Republican Senate since 1985; she has but one prime-sponsored, two-house bill this session. Republican Nancy Calhoun, who represents Orange and Rockland counties, has been a Republican in the Assembly since 1990, yet is prime sponsor of only two local-impact bills this session.

A catalyst for change, though, could be on the way, and not from within either house, or via an outspoken member of a minority. The Republican-dominated Senate faces the prospect of losing its majority in the fall elections. Former Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno of the Saratoga region stepped out of the leadership position last month, will not run again and has broadly hinted he may not even finish the current two-year term that ends in December. That is setting up the potential come Jan. 1 for what New Yorkers have not seen in decades: one-party dominance in each house, resulting in perhaps hundreds more two-house bills passing easily and getting swiftly to the Democratic governor's desk.

Or, some incumbents could be ousted in both houses, leaving new faces in place of longtime ones, but with the majority makeup remaining the same. And the status quo.

Laurie Nikolski is an associate editor on the Editorial Board.

Win Some, Lose Some
Local efforts - and results - vary

The records of Lower Hudson Valley lawmakers for passing bills in both houses of the Legislature in the just-concluded 2008 session vary widely. Their names, below, are followed by the first year each lawmaker took office in the currently held seat, the district represented and comprising localities. Where applicable, committee chairmanships in each house, which can greatly enhance bill passage, are listed.
In the Senate, Republicans' slim majority makes passage by bills whose prime sponsor is a Democrat more difficult: - Democrat Jeffrey Klein; took office 2005. 34th Senate District: part of the Bronx and parts of Westchester, including Bronxville, Eastchester, Pelham, and parts of Mount Vernon, New Rochelle and Yonkers. No prime-sponsored bills passed the Legislature. - Democrat Andrea Stewart-Cousins; 2007. 35th S.D.: Ardsley, Dobbs Ferry, Elmsford, Greenburgh, Hastings-on-Hudson, Irvington, Mount Pleasant, Pleasantville, Sleepy Hollow, Tarrytown and part of Yonkers. Two local-impact bills passed. - Democrat Ruth Hassell Thompson; 2001. 36th S.D.: parts of Mount Vernon and the Bronx. One bill, affecting Mount Vernon school district. - Democrat Suzi Oppenheimer; 1985. 37th S.D.: parts of White Plains, Rye, Harrison, Scarsdale, Mamaroneck, New Rochelle, Ossining, New Castle, North Castle. One bill, renaming a local library. - Republican Thomas Morahan; 1999. 38th S.D.: Rockland and part of Orange counties. Thirty-nine bills passed the Legislature, including several local-impact bills and numerous statewide ones, including one to limit the number of continuous hours worked by nurses and one to enhance the safety of children in state-approved residential children's facilities and programs. Morahan is chair, Senate Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities committee. - Republican Vincent L. Leibell III; 1995. 40th S.D.: Putnam County, seven northernmost Westchester towns and part of Dutchess. Forty-nine bills passed both houses, including several to benefit veterans and several sponsored by Assembly Democrats from Westchester. Leibell is chair, Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs.
In the Assembly, Democrats have a sizable majority, making Republicans' passage of bills there difficult: - Democrat J. Gary Pretlow; took office 1993. 87th Assembly District: parts of Mount Vernon and Yonkers. Ten bills, including some affecting only Mount Vernon, and others on the regulation of racing and wagering statewide, passed both houses. Pretlow is chair, Assembly Committee on Racing and Wagering. - Democrat Amy Paulin; 2001. 88th A.D.: parts of Scarsdale, White Plains, Eastchester, New Rochelle, Pelham. Eighteen bills, largely of statewide impact, including dormitory smoking prohibition, increased open government, and bills to better address child abuse and domestic violence. Paulin is chair, Committee on Libraries and Education Technology. - Democrat Adam Bradley; 2003. 89th A.D.: parts of White Plains, Harrison, North Castle, New Castle, Mount Kisco, Bedford, Pound Ridge, Lewisboro. Eight bills, including making it a crime to knowingly report false child-abuse allegations, and improving due process for parking ticket scofflaws. - Democrat Sandra Galef; 1993. 90th A.D.: Ossining, Cortlandt and Peekskill, Philipstown, Putnam Valley and Kent. Two local bills. Galef is chair, Committee on Real Property Taxation. - Democrat George Latimer; 2005. 91st A.D.: Rye city and town, Mamaroneck and part of New Rochelle. One bill, renaming a local library. - Democrat Richard Brodsky; 1983. 92nd A.D.: Greenburgh, parts of Mount Pleasant and Yonkers. Approximately 40 bills, including one to require cancer-mapping in the state. Brodsky is chair, Committee on Corporations, Authorities and Commissions. - Democrat Michael Spano; 2007. 93rd A.D.: much of the City of Yonkers. Two statewide crime-related bills. - Democrat Kenneth P. Zebrowski; 2007. 94th A.D.: Clarkstown, Haverstraw and part of Ramapo. Six bills, three of local impact, three with statewide effect, including one to resolve errors in marriage certificates. - Democrat Ellen C. Jaffee; 2007. 95th A.D.: Orangetown and part of Ramapo. Nine bills, four of local impact, the others statewide, including one to assist some sexual assault victims needing treatment. - Republican Nancy Calhoun; 1991. 96th A.D.: Parts of Stony Point and Orange County. Two local-impact bills. - Republican Ann Rabbitt; 2005. 97th A.D.: Parts of Ramapo and Orange County. Two local-impact bills. - Republican Greg Ball; 2007. 99th A.D.: Carmel, Southeast and Patterson in Putnam; Yorktown, Somers and North Salem in Westchester; part of Dutchess. No prime-sponsored bills passed the Legislature.
(Sources: State and Assembly Web sites, lawmakers' offices.)
Dear Readers :

In the story below you will see that Assemblywoman Galef says it would be hard pressed to argue keeping the Workman's Compensation building in Peekskill. I beg to differ. There is a economic benefits report released to the Peekskill City Council last Monday's work secession that show that it would cost the N.Y. taxpayer more money to relocate than to stay. Yes, it is true the report comes from the landlord, but the figures are accurate. Not mentions is the economic impact on local restaurants, deli's and taxis this move would cost. I would suggest Assemblywoman Galef get a copy of the report and reconsider her position. I also find it troubling the silence of Legislator Oros and State Senator Leibell on this topic. This is their district that would be impacted. It would be wise for these three to team up and fight to keep the Workman's Comp. building in Peekskill.


Workers’ Comp office could leave downtown Peekskill
By Jim Roberts

The State Workers’ Compensation agency is considering leaving its Peekskill office for a possible new site in lower Westchester County.

The state’s Workers’ Compensation agency is considering leaving Peekskill, but the building owner, a veteran of the Battle of the Bulge in World War II, is fighting to keep them in the city.

“Their move to White Plains or Yonkers is going to cost them a lot more money, not only to move, but to pay rent,” said Barney Marysohn, who owns the building at 41 N. Division St. in downtown Peekskill.
“They’re not leaving for economic reasons. If they’re leaving, it’s for stupid political reasons which I may personally look to discredit,” he said.

The state’s current lease at the building has an option to renew for five additional years, but the agency has not decided whether or not it wants to make the commitment to stay for that length of time.

Brian Keegan, a spokesperson for the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board, said any decision will be based on the most cost-effective way to run the agency’s local office.
“We’re looking at the best way to serve Westchester County and the best place to put a district office,” he said. “We haven’t picked up the option yet.”

Mayrsohn has prepared a worksheet showing that rental costs would skyrocket by nearly $100,000 per year if the 19,000-square-foot office space was relocated from Peekskill to either White Plains or Yonkers. Moving costs could reach nearly $300,000 and a new telephone system and new workstations could add another $300,000 in costs, according to the worksheet numbers prepared by Mayrsohn.

Rents in Peekskill are $18.50 per square foot compared to $24 in Yonkers or White Plains, according to Mayrsohn.

“Compared to what they are paying now and what they would pay in White Plains or Yonkers, it would beat those rates by a lot,” he said.

The state agency has been offered the choice of renewing for just two years if they don’t want to commit to a five-year extension, Mayrsohn said.

Mayrsohn bought the 33,200-square-foot building eight years ago. It was once home to Genung’s, and the building is an anchor in downtown Peekskill.
“The Peekskill people who I meet want very much for them to stay,” he said. “They don’t want an empty building right in the middle of town.”

Approximately 50 employees work at the site.
A World War II veteran who won two Purple Hearts and a Bronze star, Mayrsohn spent six months as a German prisoner of war. He doesn’t intend to lose his Peekskill tenant without a fight.

“I don’t want to be bulldozed out of something that I shouldn’t be,” he said. “If they found a better place and a cheaper place, I would have no objection. It’s a lovely building and there’s no reason for them to leave except for political reasons.”

According to New York State Assemblywoman Sandy Galef, the Workers’ Comp office first came to Peekskill ten years ago from Brooklyn through the political influence of then-Governor George Pataki.

“It was politics to begin with,” Galef said. “I was thrilled, it was my district. When George Pataki became governor a lot of things happened in Peekskill.

“I had a rebellion somewhat in the Assembly saying ‘why are we going to do this’, taking it out of a Democratic district in Brooklyn, and I said ‘wait a second, I represent this district. This is good for us up here.’”

Galef said officials from the Workers’ Comp department told her they are examining where people who visit the Peekskill come from to determine whether or not a location in lower Westchester County would better serve the needs of people who have to travel to the office to make claims.

“They were looking at the volume of people that they have and where they are coming from. This is always an issue with any kind of service,” Galef said. “I think the state could justify a move based on a scenario where the figures show that it is easier for people to get to a more central location It’s hard to argue with that.”

Keeping the office in the Peekskill building on North Division Street would help the downtown, however, she said.

“I would love to have it stay there from a perspective of making sure that the building is occupied,” Galef said. “I feel badly because it’s such a prominent building in downtown Peekskill and I would like it to stay there, but sometimes it’s hard to argue the merits. It’s a terrible balance.”

The State Workers’ Compensation Board processes workers' claims for benefits, employers' reports of injury, and medical reports from physicians and other health care providers. The board adjudicates and resolves all issues and makes awards and findings. Annually, there are approximately 140,000 new claims and 180.000 reopened claims when new issues arise.


I just reread your article about your Dad and I wanted to convey my thoughts on your loss. Your Dad was obviously so important to you and your brother growing up and the fond memories you expressed in the article were so very special. 55 years of marriage was also wonderful and full of lots of love. I hope these weeks of sorrow have promoted even more positive memories and family activities as you all deal with your loss. My thoughts are with you all.


Dear Sandy:

My family and I thank you for your kind thoughts.


90th Assembly District
District Office:
2 Church Street, Ossining, NY 10562

albany office:
Room 641, Legislative Office Building

Westchester DA Janet DiFiore Headlines Assemblywoman Galef’s Senior Forum Targeting Consumer Fraud and Protections for Older Citizens

(July 10, 2008) District Attorney Janet DiFiore and her Director of Community Affairs ADA Suzanne Miles will lead off a panel of experts Assemblywoman Sandy Galef has invited to speak to seniors at her 2008 Senior Forum Thursday, July 17th, 2008 from 9 am - 12noon, at Cortlandt Town Hall, 1 Heady Street, Cortlandt Manor. Breakfast will be provided by the Hudson Valley Hospital Center.

DiFiore and her colleague will discuss why and how seniors are targeted in consumer fraud schemes, how they can protect themselves against becoming a victim, and what to do if they find themselves a victim of consumer fraud. They’ll discuss what they are seeing come through their office and highlight tips on internet safety as well as elder abuse and neglect which can take many forms, including physical, emotional and financial.

Gary Brown, Director of Consumer Protection in Westchester County, will follow with a focus on the many ways seniors can fall prey to consumer scams involving contractors, sweepstakes promotions and telemarketers. He offers a wide range of protective actions seniors can take to avoid the most popular scams.

Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz, who chairs the Assembly Committee on Aging, will discuss issues related to seniors’ quality of life such as civic engagement, housing and transportation needs, prescription drug benefits, dental programs for the uninsured, aging in place, volunteer opportunities and more.

Dr. Craig Moskowitz, a board certified comprehensive ophthalmologist at Hudson Valley Hospital Center, will discuss precautions seniors can take to protect and improve their eyes including slowing the progression of glaucoma and macular degeneration, and how to treat cataracts.

Hudson Valley Hospital Center is sponsoring the forum. Co-sponsors are NorCort Senior Club, Cortlandt Senior Club, Village of Croton Senior Club, Putnam Valley Seniors, Ossining Golden Age Club #1, Ossining Seniors, Ossining Senior Center, Briarcliff Manor Seniors, Peekskill Seniors, Buchanan Senior Citizens, Putnam County Office on Aging, Putnam County AARP, Putnam Valley Senior Nutrition Center, and Drum Hill Senior Living.

For more information or directions, contact Dana Levenberg in Sandy Galef’s district office at (914) 941-1111 or e-mail

New York Legislature Passes Open Records and Open Meetings Reforms
By Matt C. Sanchez
Created 07/09/2008 - 2:26pm

New York Access to Gov't Information Open Meetings
The New York Legislature recently passed several open records and open meetings reforms, adding New York to the long list [1] of states that have taken steps to revamp their open government [2] laws this year. Among other changes, the bills would increase electronic access to government records, prevent agencies from denying voluminous records requests, and make it easier for citizens who successfully challenge an open meetings violation to win awards of legal costs and attorneys' fees. The bills await consideration by Governor David A. Paterson before becoming law.

S962 [3], perhaps the most interesting update to the state's open records law [4], requires an agency to produce a record in the medium requested by the person seeking information, so long as the agency can "reasonably" provide the record in the requested medium or hire an outside service to do it. This reform will make it possible to request more records in electronic -- rather than paper -- format, making it easier for citizens to use electronic means of searching, organizing, and analyzing information.

Another provision of S962 prohibits an agency from refusing a records request on grounds that the request is voluminous or that compliance would be too burdensome, provided that it can engage an outside organization to handle the request. The provision allows the agency to retrieve the costs of hiring an outside service from the person making the request. Because producing records in electronic format will generally be cheaper and easier than doing so on paper, this provision should make it especially difficult for agencies to deny requests for large amounts of information in electronic format.

On the open meetings side, S1599 [5] would make it easier for successful plaintiffs in lawsuits claiming open meetings violations to win legal costs and attorneys' fees. The bill modifies existing law [6] to provide for automatic awards of reasonable costs and fees whenever a public body votes on a measure or resolution in violation of open meetings requirements (i.e., in an improperly closed meeting) or engages in substantial private discussion prior to a vote at an open meeting. A public body can avoid the automatic award if it shows that it had a reasonable basis for believing it was entitled to hold a closed meeting.

Other open government bills awaiting Paterson's signature include:

S3850 [7], which requires that agencies design their electronic records retrieval methods in a way that allows public information to be separated from information that might be withheld, whenever doing so is "practicable and reasonable." This provision should ease public access to records by making it less likely that sensitive information will stop the release of nearby or related -- but otherwise producible -- information.
S7944 [8], which requires agencies to maintain an online listing of all records it possesses, arranged by subject heading. Any agency that has a website must post the list to its site, while agencies that don't have websites must arrange to have their lists posted at the Committee on Open Government [9] site.
S7042 [10], which requires agencies to make records that will be discussed in open meetings available to the public at least 72 hours before the meeting. The provision specifically includes records related to any proposed resolutions, laws, rules, regulations, policies, or amendments that the meeting will address.
Under New York law, Governor Paterson has 10 days [11] from receipt of the bills to sign or veto them. If he does neither, the bills become law without his signature. You can track each bill's progress on the New York State Assembly's website [12] by inputting the bill number (i.e. S7402) into the search field.

For general information on New York's open records and open meetings laws, see our legal guide sections, Access to Public Records in New York [13] and Open Meetings Law in New York [14]. In related news, CMLP intern Jason Crow's recent blog post [15] discussed a bill pending in the New York legislature that would allow the public to photograph, videotape, and audio record public meetings open meetings.

(Matt C. Sanchez is a third-year law student at Harvard Law School and the CMLP's Legal Threats Editor.)


The Assemblyman unveiled a 30 second commercial today, exposing the failed Brewster Mayor’s pro illegal alien record. Just like some misguided Mayors in other cities, the failed Brewster Mayor attempted to create a sanctuary city in the Village of Brewster. A sanctuary city is a term given to a city in the United States that follows certain practices that protect illegal immigrants. These practices can be by law (de jure) or they can be by habit (de facto).

Assemblyman Ball stated, “The Mayor’s attempts to create a taxpayer funded sanctuary for illegal aliens and the people who house and employ them sent Brewster into a downward spiral. Illegal immigration is illegal, and he coddled those breaking the law. Now trying to deny it, the Mayor welcomed the illegal population and violent crime and illegal activity spiked on his watch.”

After repeated requests to his opponent for an open and public debate, that have been ignored, Assemblyman Greg Ball (R – Patterson) has officially called upon his opponent to debate, in public.

As a means of further urging the failed Brewster Mayor to comprehend the necessity of taking real positions on tough issues, the Assemblyman has employed a chicken to travel the 99th AD asking, “Where’s Degnan?”. The chicken will be strutting throughout the Hudson Valley until Degnan agrees to debate.

“My opponent has been given a free ride by the local media, refuses to pick a party affiliation, is denying his pro illegal alien record and has not taken a clear stand or position on any issue of importance. In fact, he doesn’t even know what side of the aisle he wants to sit on. For two years I have developed a solid record of standing up to the dysfunction in Albany, fighting against the constant tax increases and putting pressure on local and state officials to crackdown on illegal aliens and their employers. The free ride for this reckless pro illegal alien Mayor will come to an end on July 16th,” said the Assemblyman.

This debate will be hosted by the Respect Life Society of Sacred Heart Church, in conjunction with the Northern Westchester and Putnam Center for Life. Veterans organizations, second amendment groups and tax reform advocacy organizations have all been invited. The forum will be held at the Sacred Heart Church in Patterson at 6 pm on July 16.


FACT 1: Coordinating with Putnam County for taxpayer services, providing services to all immigrants, both “legal and illegal”(1999,2000: PC 2000 Budget Message).

FACT 2: Degnan formalizes providing social services and educational opportunities to illegal aliens, at taxpayer expense, in “master plan” (2004: “Final Report”).

FACT 3: Degnan unveils plans for a workstation, aimed to create a "safer environment for day laborers to seek work" (Journal News 2005).

FACT 4: Degnan utilizes government resources to hold community outreach meetings embracing the illegal alien population (Public Record: 2006,2007).

FACT 5: Months before Spitzer, Degnan invites the Guatemalan consulate to Brewster to issue foreign I.D. cards to illegal aliens (Journal News, 8/2007)

New Yorkers on the Ball P.O. Box 607 Pawling, NY 12564

Dear Friends,

As you know, I am exploring a run for County Executive next year. I am humbled by the support and kind words of so many Westchester residents who have encouraged me to run again.

Westchester County is in desperate need of major reform, even more so today than when I first ran three years ago.

Andy Spano's crushing property tax increases, coupled with a national recession and rising costs, are literally forcing our seniors, working families and young people out of their homes.

Simply put, our message in the 2005 campaign of reducing the size of county government, lowering taxes, and bringing honest, open and ethical government back to the people was not heard by enough voters because we didn't have the financial resources. Even though we were thoroughly outspent by the Spano machine, our message resonated with enough people that we came surprisingly close. We will WIN next year as long as we have the resources necessary to wage an aggressive, issues-oriented campaign. I believe the citizens of Westchester are ready for a new direction and new leadership.

I need your help. Please consider making your most generous contribution of $1,000, $500, $250, $50 or whatever you can afford (the maximum individual contribution is $33,875). You can make a secure donation here or mail a check to:

Friends of Rob Astorino
P.O. Box 64
Thornwood, N.Y. 10594
July 9, 2008 Contact: George Oros
Tel: (914) 995-2828

A Wrong Move for Westchester County

Minority Caucus maintains purchase of flawed Ardsley building to store voting machines is a mistake

Minority Leader George Oros (R/Cortlandt) and Legislators Gordon A. Burrows (R/Yonkers) and Jim Maisano (R/New Rochelle) criticized the Spano administration and the majority of their colleagues on the Board of Legislators for pushing through the purchase of a dilapidated building in Ardsley to store voting machines and to house the Department of Public Safety. Oros, Burrows, and Maisano argue the building is too expensive. They also point out the seller is politically connected.

Oros, who was joined by Burrows, and Maisano in opposing the long-debated plan, maintained the administration never presented the board with viable options and had its mind made up long ago about the controversial 85,000-square-foot building at 450 Saw Mill River Road.

“This building is a proverbial white elephant that has been sitting there for three years with no buyers, yet we’re willing to pay more than three times what it’s worth,” Oros remarked. “For months this administration came up with every excuse why this building was the only option and in the end backed into reasons. It’s about time we level with the people of Westchester County.”

While acknowledging the county was mandated under the federal Help America to Vote Act (HAVA) to find a location for approximately 1,600 electronic voting machines, Oros, Burrows and Maisano maintained a county-owned facility at 375 Executive Boulevard in Elmsford had ample space to accommodate the voting machines.

“375 is like my basement, filled with stuff the county doesn’t need,” Oros said. “The fix was in with 450 from the beginning and county officials wonder why people no longer trust those in government.”

“What are we doing in this county? We don’t seem to be listening,” Burrows said. “I believe the purchase of 450 for the county is the wrong location, wrong price and wrong time. From the beginning my instincts said this was wrong. It just doesn’t make financial sense.”

Oros, Burrows and Maisano also charged the $6 million purchase (including closing fees) and $7 million estimated renovation costs violates the county’s $10 million bond cap that requires a public referendum, or at the very least violates the underlying intent of the law.

“Nobody would pay this much for that building other than the county. Nobody,” Maisano said.

In addition, Oros maintained having many of the functions of the Department of Public Safety relocate to Ardsley went against the board’s previous decision that most county emergency services should be situated on the Grasslands campus in Valhalla.

07/24 - back at Rubens starting at 7PM:

I'll be back as a member of the Swinging Set Jazz Collaborative that night. As always, we promise you a good time to go with Rubens great food.


August will be packed with great entertainment.

Peekskill Celebration at the Riverfront Green at about 4:30 as I join members of the Swinging Set Jazz Collaborative. Great venue in the park by the water, and you'll see many talented artists that are on the roster.

8/6: The Swinging Set, back at the Riverfront Green for an evening concert.

8/9: The Peekskill Jazz and Blues Festival , smack dab in the middle of town. Last year the stage was alive with music as they played to a few thousand. This year, they anticipate many more guests. I will reprise 4 of the 5 players that you might've heard at the Peekskill First Friday Fest in the street a few weeks ago:
Rahn Burton on keys
Rick Krsika on sax (Temptations, 4 Tops, Artie Shaw, and currently touring with Ashford and Simpson)
Lester Harper is back on the bass
I'll be on the drums

I hope to see you out there and as always, want to thank you for your support.


Former Peekskill Mayor John Testa has started his cable show "On Topic with John Testa". It airs Thursdays 9:30PM on chanel 15 in Peekskill and Cortlandt. In Yorktown and Putnam Valley Tuesday's at 8:30 chanel 74. This show is on the Peekskill Robins

Andy- here is the line-up for the next 4 weeks:

The Volpe Report is glad to announce the upcoming guests and dates are as follows:

Peekskill City Councilman Joe Schuder will air June 19, 26, and July 3. Joe brings his perspectives as a councilman for the last six months and commercial development is one of the topics he approaches.

Then on July 10, 17, and 24 Karen Gordon and Lynne Nayman, two representatives of the Preservation Co., are the guests and they bring their professional background as to home improvement through grants and talk about the process residents should know of.

As always the Volpe Report airs on Thursday nights, 8:00pm on Public access channnel 15 in the Peekskill/ Cortlandt area. As a reminder we will be airing in Yorktown and Putnam Valley very soon.

Domenic Volpe
Posted by Dr. Powell:

Sam's guest is Phillip Musegaas, Esq., Policy Director at Riverkeeper. He talks to Sam about Indian Point. It is quite a show. Mr. Musegaas is a knowledgeable, informative and engaging guest.
You will learn something you didn't know.

Check it out.

Dear Readers:

This week I discuss the Westchester garbage police. You can read my column on this topic exclusively on line(see link below)or 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.

Dear Readers:

This gives me a chance to plug my business ATOM TAXI INC. As you are planning your holiday or business or vacation travel? 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 LaGuardia Airport the cost is Ninety dollars plus tolls. The cost to JFK and Newark Airports is one hundred-twenty-five dollars plus tolls. The tolls are $10.00 Westchester County Airport and Stewart cost $75.00. We do not take credit cards, sorry.

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 communicate with me, please make your wishes known in the e-mail.

LINKS: this a yahoo address make sure you put an underscore (-) between atom and taxi)

For immediate reply:












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

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

LEGISLATORS REPORT: Saturday and Sunday at various times on chanel 20

THE VOLPE REPORT: Thursadys at 8PM chanel 15 (Peek. and Cort.) 74 (York.)
Hosted By: Dominec Volpe

THE ISSUES: Thursdays at 9:PM chanel 74 Peekskill Mondays at 8PM chanel 15
Hosted by; Sam Davis

ON TOPIC WITH JOHN TESTA: Thursdays at 9:30PM chanel 15 (Peekskill & Cortlant)
Yorktown & Putnam Valley 8:30 chanel 74
Hosted by: John Testa

CARS & US: Fridays 10 PM chanel 15(Peek. & Cortlant) 74(York. & Put. Valley)
Hosted By: Dennis Tate
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 07/12/08

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