Sunday, December 14, 2008


Dear Readers:

I just watched "It's A Wonderful Life", and to tell you the truth I would rather live in Pottersville. Bedford Falls reminded me of Peekskill when I grew up. Yorktown where I grew lived and still live, like much of Cortlandt Manor, Putnam Valley and Continental Village was pretty much a bungalow community. Meaning much of the housing was summer housing. More than 50% of the population disappeared for the winter. Most of the side roads were not paved as it was not necessary. If you wanted to purchase anything or do your banking you had to go to Peekskill. You had one movie house, The Paramount, and during the summer the Hollowbrook Drive-in( I believe talking pictures made it to the area in the late fifties). The police, store owners and politicians knew you or your family.

It was my family back in 1949 that brought to Yorktown pizza, Chinese Food, and live entertainment with cabaret shows on weekends at Club Nino's at what is now Ceola Manor. Many a child were conceived after a nights entertainment at Nino's. (same thing at the Hollowbrook Drive-in). The local hang out was the Valley Lanes in Jefferson Valley. If you wanted adult entertainment you had to go to Mahopac where the Lake Lounge (now Teasers, I think with the same dancers) was.

As there were many woods and lakes (no pools), hunting, fishing, hiking were the norms as no licensees were really needed. Corporal punishment was allowed in public schools and the parents sided with the teachers. The local enforcement was pretty much assured that home justice would be more severe than criminal justice. It was a good time to be raising children.

However, when I reached the age to drive, it was New York City where I headed. Night life was night life. Hell, White Plains rolled up their side walks at 11PM. Being eighteen or in your twenties was pretty much boring up here. I could understand why George Baily wanted out of Bedford Falls. I also understood why a family business kept him there.

The one thing you must understand about "It's A Wonderful Life" is that for all the nickels and dimes that George's friends contributed to help him out at the end of the movie, it was his rich friend Waneright and his check that bailed him out. So the real moral of the movie is, while it is nice to have lots of friends, you still need one rich friend for emergencies. I had a dream of what life would be if I were not born, and it seemed that everyone was better off. Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

NOTE: I will be the guest on the Yorktown Watchdog Christmas Show December 19 at 9:30PM and 24 at 4:30PM on channel 74 in Yorktown and Putnnam Valley.

FYI- I was interviewed for this show and should have some part of the segment. TruTV is channel 58 on cable with a box. You can see this segment on my web site (

Also: My latest OnTopic show is done and will be shown this week on cable (Thurs. Channel 15 @ 9:30 PM), (Tues. @ 9:30 in Yorktown, channel 74) - it is online now at It is the life story of Chauncey M. Depew 1834-1928.

Andy-- Here is the schedule:

The Domenic Volpe report is pleased to announce the upcoming schedule. Our next guest will be the newly elected town Councilman from the Town of Cortlandt- Dr. Rich Becker. We delve into how he won a convincing election and how his CHOP plan(Cortlandt Heating Oil Plan) will save taxpayers in Cortlandt with rising fuel costs. The Domenic Volpe report will air Thursdays 8:00pm December 4, 11, and 18 on public access channel 15 in the Peekskill/Cortlandt area. The same show will broadcast on Wednesday 6:00pm November 26, December 3, 10, and 17 channel 74 in the Yorktown/Putnam Valley area.

--Domenic Volpe

This week on The Issues, the topic is Peekskill Hollow Road. Dr. Kathleen O'Hoestra and I will be discussing the county's plans for Peekskill Hollow Road in Putnam Valley with host Sam Davis.

The Issues may be seen in the Yorktown Cablevision area on Thrusdays at 9PM on Channel 74.

The Peekskill area has been changed to Wednesday night at 9:30PM on Channel 15.

Please check ComCast for their schedule. The show is also available in the Mahopac Library.

Please send comments about The Issues to

The email for the Friends of Peekskill Hollow Road is

Any Tax Increase Is Unacceptable
Republican Conference Maintain Tough Times Demand Tough Decisions

From the onset of budget discussions, the Republican Conference steadfastly insisted it, could not support any spending plan for 2009 that called for a tax increase and even demonstrated a tax decrease could be accomplished if county government lived within its means and made the necessary spending cuts.

While it’s admirable that the Democratic majority saw fit to reduce the County Executive’s $1.77 billion proposed 2009 budget and accompanying tax increase from 2.97% to 1.77%, the efforts weren’t enough when so many taxpayers are struggling to financially stay afloat.

As a result, Minority Leader George Oros (R/Cortlandt) and legislators Jim Maisano (R/New Rochelle) and Gordon A. Burrows (R/Yonkers) voted against the adoption of the budget tonight and challenged their colleagues to find ways to operate county government leaner and more efficiently.

“We proposed to cut $18 million in spending and reduce the tax levy by one percent. It’s disappointing the Democratic majority didn’t look more closely at our budget, which was sound and secured all essential services,” Oros said. “Given the economic times there was no way we could support a tax hike of any kind.”

Over the past eight years, county taxes have risen an astronomical 60%, more than double the Consumer Price Index for the metropolitan region during the same period.

“This is the worst economy I have witnessed and this was the year to ensure there would be no tax increase,” Maisano said. “We have to be better leaders, in the movement to consolidate governments and make government more efficient.”

“I don’t believe the administration sufficiently understands the plight of the average county taxpayer,” Burrows said. “It’s a delicate balance when trying to provide for everyone in this county. We have to lead by example and better demonstrate to the citizens that we understand these are difficult economic times.”

Oros said he was disappointed that none of the Republican plans to consolidate departments were considered, such as dispersing the duties of the Consumer Protection Department to the county clerk, district attorney and New York State (netting a savings of more than $245,000), or the elimination of wasteful spending, such as the Mounted Police. He also pointed out the Democratic majority declined to cut the overtime budget.

However, Oros declared a minor victory for the Republican minority when raises for commissioners, deputies and department heads were scrapped

“Many municipal leaders have frozen their salaries, recognizing the unstable economy and the financial hardships. This administration acts as if there is no crisis, offering lame justifications,” Oros said. “Tough times demand tough decisions. Taxpayers deserve and expect better, and as we demonstrated, the county board could have done better by delivering a budget with no tax increase, and could have offered a tax decrease.”

Once again, the Republican Conference renewed its call to work with a private/public partnership to identify areas of waste, duplication and overlap in county government, which clearly exists. Similar to the state’s Berger Commission and the federal military base closing commission, this partnership’s recommendations would have to be accepted and enacted. It also supports reinvigorating the Westchester Council of Governments to examine consolidation with municipal partners.

“The public is tired and disgusted with business as usual with county government,” Oros said. “The Minority Conference has heard the public outcry and we hope to work in a more bi-partisan fashion moving forward.”

News from New York Republican State Committee

For more information contact: Matthew Walter, 518-462-2601

Mondello Urges Paterson to Appoint Pete King to Senate

ALBANY, NY (12/11/2008; 1519)(readMedia)-- Declaring that tough economic times demand that New Yorkers are represented by a real fighter in the U.S. Senate, state Republican chairman Joseph N. Mondello today urged Governor David Paterson to appoint Representative Peter T. King to that body once Senator Hillary Clinton is confirmed as U.S Secretary of State.

"The Governor should put partisan politics aside and do what is in the best interests of the people of New York," Mondello declared. "We need a real fighter in the United States Senate, someone who, from the moment he steps onto the floor of that august body, never stops advancing the cause of the hard working men and women of the Empire State.

"Pete King's entire career has been about fighting for his constituents, standing up to the special interests, and never compromising his ideals and principles. With the financial turmoil on Wall Street driving state, city and many local governments to the brink of fiscal meltdown, New York needs a tough, no nonsense U.S. Senator who doesn't need any on the job training.

"Our state will need its A-team out on the floor of the U.S. Senate when the new Obama administration sends its economic recovery plan to Capitol Hill. With Pete King working the Republican side of the aisle and Chuck Schumer in the Democratic cloakroom, New Yorkers can be sure that our state's agenda will always be front and center.

"Instead of balancing the competing claims of Democratic special interest groups, or weighing which potential Senate appointment enhances his own re-election prospects, Governor Paterson should do something truly statesmanlike and reach across the aisle to name a U.S. Senator like Pete King, someone who has proven that he has the fundamental toughness to take on anyone or anything in Washington in order to get the job done for the people of New York," Mondello continued.

Noting New York's long history of being represented by some of the Senate's real "giants," Chairman Mondello said: "We live in perilous times that demand that New York send another Herbert Lehman, Jacob Javits, Patrick Moynihan or Al D'Amato to the U.S. Senate. With his experience as chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, and his record on critical domestic issues, Pete King clearly has the potential of being counted among the very best to have ever represented New York as a Senator."

In closing, Chairman Mondello took notice of the growing media frenzy surrounding Governor Paterson's consideration of Caroline Kennedy as a potential Senator, and declared: "A seat in the United States Senate is not something you inherit. It's something you earn. Pete King is the son of a police officer who grew up in a working class Queens neighborhood. He's worked for everything he's achieved in life and knows from first hand experience the many tough challenges facing average middle class New Yorkers today.

"Governor Paterson should put partisan politics aside and send Pete King to the United States Senate."

City of Peekskill Creates New Tax

Mayor Foster and Council Majority create new "Transfer Tax"
without public disclosure or State approval

Illegally include tax in recent budget passed by Common Council majority

On the heels of the recently reported discrepancies in the 2009 City of Peekskill budget, another disturbing fact has been uncovered. Along with inflated revenues and unrealistic spending projections, Mary Foster and her council majority passed a budget that included a new "Transfer Tax" to be imposed on those selling homes within the City of Peekskill.

The new tax was included in the 2009 budget without any public notice of the tax being created and, more importantly, without gaining permission from the NY State Legislature, as required by law. In fact, the local state representatives were not informed of this law request nor asked to introduce it for a vote by state lawmakers until after the budget was passed. Legally, a local municipality via public hearings must first vet such acts, properly followed with a public vote by the local governmental body; neither was done in this case. Mayor Mary Foster and her colleagues on City Council tried to stealthfully enact the new tax by hiding it within the budget. Not until the Council meeting on 12/8 did they disclose it to the public by voting to request sponsorship by the local State representatives, a full two weeks after passing the budget. The Council Majority resolution asks State Senator Vincent Leibell and Assemblywoman Sandra Galef to join them in their circumvention of the democratic process, which disenfranchises local taxpayers by refusing to allow the public to be heard on a new tax that will damage the already fragile local real estate market.

"This tactic is a clear slap in the face to all taxpayers in the City of Peekskill," stated Peekskill GOP Chairman Tim Warn. "Not only was this an underhanded move, but further proof of the lack of transparency this administration has shown since January. To create a tax on an industry already in dire straits is totally irresponsible," Warn added.

Councilwoman Cathy Pisani abstained from the 2009 budget vote. Despite not receiving the final budget changes until hours before the public vote, Pisani was able to discover a multitude of inaccuracies, spending additions and unrealistic projections that caused her to request further scrutiny before a vote was taken. Her request was denied. "Mayor Foster and Councilwoman Drew Claxton completely altered the Acting City Manager's budget and made changes that were not shared with me until I received their final budget alterations the day of the vote," stated Pisani. "Then to discover a completely new tax included in the budget that was never properly discussed by the Council or revealed to the public was outrageous," said Pisani.

"This budget isn't prudent. It's purely political," stated Chairman Warn. "In the short time we have had to review it, the deficit it will create for the City could be at least 12%, if not more. Mayor Foster and the Majority who voted for it may not have only broken the law by creating a new tax improperly, but has put the city in a perilous situation for the future," added Warn.
Go Peekskill

Contact Tim Warn, (914) 737-3448
Dear Winery Supporter,

Please join me on Saturday December 20th, 2008 for an update on the Winery project, the lawsuit filed against Yorktown and a Question & Answer session.

In addition to the update we will be showing a preview of artist Joseph Frazola’s work. Joe is the artist who painted a rendition of the original St. George window and the fresco on the ceiling in the powder room.

I hope you can come to enjoy this wonderful building with family & friends and taste some great wines.

I look forward to seeing you.
Date: Saturday December 20th, 2008

Time:2PM – Midnight

Location:1715 E. Main Street
Mohegan Lake, NY 10547
Please RSVP: (914) 455-4272

Tom DeChiaro
The Winery At St. George
PO Box 32
Baldwin Place, NY 10505-0032
(914) 455-4272
(914) 455-4273 - Fax

FACT: Many of the salaries paid by Ossining Village are divided up THREE WAYS. 60% is charged to the GENERAL Fund, 30% is charged to the WATER Fund; 10% to the SEWER Fund.
EXAMPLE: Salaries of the 5 Board members totals $44,000. Of this amount, $22K is charged to GENERAL Fund; $17K charged to WATER Fund; $4,400 charged to SEWER Fund. Board feels that they spend 30% of their time working on "water issues" and 10% working on "sewer issues". This 3-way split is also done with the salaries of ALL employees who work for the following departments: Village Manager’s Office ($418,018 total salaries); Finance Dept ($176,101 total salaries); Corporation Counsel ($145,160); Personnel Dept ($168,955), etc., etc.

The Water Fund is supposed to be "self-sustaining". Revenue from selling water should cover salaries, maintenance of Indian Brook Filtration Plant, materials, supplies, etc. However, with so many salaries of people who really do NOT work for the Water Dept being charged to the Water Fund, Fund can’t break even. This is one reason water has been increased 30%. The Water Fund (and Sewer Fund) is being bilked.

This 3-way salary split has been questioned for years. Now, looking at the 2008 budget, there are more unanswered questions. The Administrator of Water Dep, who oversees the Filtration Plant, earns $124,293. In past year this employee oversaw the Municipal Building rehab. Though a WATER specialist, he was assigned to oversee sheetrock installation, video wiring, and also the maintenance and cleaning of the municipal building. This work was GENERAL Fund work. So why was this employee’s entire salary charged to the WATER Fund?

The ‘bilking’ of the Water and Sewer Funds is one of the reasons there’s a 30% increase for water in 2009.

Dear Readers:

This week I update the "Saga of the Old Stone Church".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: Various day and times on chanel 20(Ykt.only)

YORKTOWN WATCHDOG: Every Friday at 9:30 PM & Wednesday at 4:30PM on channel 74
Hosted By: ED CIFFON

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

THE VOLPE REPORT: Thursadys at 8PM chanel 15 (Peek. and Cort.) chanel 74 at 6pm (York.& Put. Valley)
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)
Tuesdays in Yorktown & Putnam Valley 9:30 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