Sunday, February 01, 2009


Dear Readers:

A successful magician relies on slight of hand. They keep you preoccupied watching one hand while with the other they do their "magic". The same goes for politicians and their willing accomplices in the media. With one hand they have kept you preoccupied with the stimulus package working its way through congress and a media war with talk show host Rush Limbaugh. With the other hand the house and senate have done an end round in the Democrats attempt to socialize health care.

What they have done is pass a bill expanding the SCHIP(State Child Health Insurance Program) program that was originally designed to help low income parents get the children health care. What the new bill does is increase income eligibility to $80,000.00 a year and define a child as being as old as thirty. To pay for this they have increased the tax on cigarettes by another sixty-one cents. A few thoughts.

1) $80,000.00 even in New York is not, I repeat, is not, low income. What will happen is that people in these higher brackets will drop their private coverage and go on the public dole. This has been documented and reported to have happened in both Hawaii and Massachusetts. In those states the program is now bankrupt and have had to be scaled back to it original intention. This is because states must balance their budgets. How ever the federal government can print money(wich will increase inflation). Also to cover these added expenses as cigarette taxes will not be enough, your taxes will have to be raise. Mind you, medicare and Medicaid still exist and are already bankrupt. So what makes you think another expanded government heath care program can remain solvent?

2) Since when are you a child at thirty? In all other aspects of life, at eighteen you are an adult. This redefining of "children" is no different then the Democrats habit of re-writing history. Truth and accuracy have no meaning to them. To them the end justifies the means. The end in this case is growing government. Remember once you give the government the power of life, you give them the power of who should die. The government will use this power to dictate your(they are trying now with Medicaid) life's habits and if you do not conform, you will be denied health care for those more worthy who did conform. Government control is the ultimate objective, not your health.

3) As taxes on cigarettes are already confiscatory, bootlegging and buying from Indian reservations have flourished. You see this already here in New York. When billions more in taxes are evaded, you will see blood shed. New York knows this, that is why they have done nothing to collect. Are we now going to wage war on the Indians because the government created confiscatory taxes in the first place? Bootlegging and tax evasion will disappear once taxes are lowered to reasonable levels.

The Volpe Report-- Hosted by Domenic Volpe

The Volpe Report is pleased to announce the next guest will be Jeanne Blum- the Executive Director of C.H.O.P.( Caring for the Homeless of Peekskill) whose duties include being the director of Jan Peek House and the Sunny Breakfast program. Ms. Blum explains how Jan Peek assists people whose lives are in turmoil and the benefits of having such a facility in the area.

Ms.Blum can be seen on the Volpe Report public access channel 15 in the Peekskill/Cortlandt area-- Thursdays 8:00pm- Feb. 5,12 and 19.
Channel 74 in the Putnam Valley/Yorktown area--Wednesdays 6:00pm Feb. 4, 11, and 18
Latest Show:

Chauncey M. Depew, 1834-1928

This Peekskill resident was one of the most influential politicians, statesmen and industrialists of the late 19th and early 20th Centuries. Chauncey Depew was a member of the NY State Assembly, Secretary of State for NY and eventually a US Senator and Presidential nominee. Mr. Depew was also a driving force and chief executive for the New York Central Railroad empire. During his lifetime he was known as the country's preeminent After Dinner Speaker and Orator.

Contact Us:
Use the e-mail link below to send us any comments or suggestions.

Holiday Inn, Rt. 9, Fishkill, NY #845-896-6281
Saturday – August 1, 2009
DJ, Dancing/Open bar, hors d’oeuvres/Dinner
$75.00/person 7-12p.m.
Call and make your room reservations now $109 /night –
a block of rooms is currently being held.

Don’t drink and drive – enjoy the night. Hotel lounge available for more drinks & dancing after the reunion ballroom is closed. Relax and have fun the entire night – sleep well and on Sunday enjoy your classmates poolside to continue renewed friendships!!! A private gazebo building and other hotel amenities are available.
Class 74 : R.S.V.P to Phil by July 10, 2009. # 845-227-9172 Make checks out to : “ L.H.S.C.R.” Mail check to Phil Bisesto 46 Leo Lane, Poughquag, NY 12570 (If you have any contacts with LHS alum please forward info to Carol Stein … or 610 Old Swann Point Ave. Rocky Point, NC 28457, 910-602-3433)
Class 73: R.S.V.P. to Linda Boniello Larsson by July 10, 2009 # 914-739-5917 Make checks out to : “Linda Larsson” and mail to 234 Lafayette Avenue, Cortlandt Manor, NY 10567. Questions:
Marital Status: ________ Spouse or Significant other’s name: ___________ # yrs. Relationship: ________
Email address: ___________________________ Home phone # ___________________________
Current ages of children and names: _____________________________________________________________
Your current interests/hobbies: __________________________________________________________________
Current occupation : _____________________________ Significant other occupation: ______________________
Comments to share that you have enjoyed since graduation: ___________________________________________
Tourism info: Class info reply to : Carol email:

Attention To All Of Our Wonderful Lovers!!

"Valentine's Day" is coming soon and the Flat Iron Gallery has a new collection of handcrafted jewelry for you to explore if you are looking for the perfect gift for that special someone in your life!!

We specialize in Austrian crystal necklaces, earrings, and bracelets by "Michal Negrin", mixed metal contemporary jewelry by "Anat" and affordable and very well designed silver jewelry by "Shining Creations".

We also have a new assortment of ceramic bowls, platters, vases, and mugs, china decorative mirrors, handknitted scarves, wooden jewelry boxes, paintings, prints, photographs, books and more!!

Stop by and see.

We also have free gift wrapping
and accept credit cards!

Flat Iron Gallery
105 South Division St.
Peekskill, N.Y. 10566
Hours: Thurs.-Sun. 12-6 and by appt.
For more information
call Wendie Garber 914-734-1894
When: The Entire Month of February!!

The Coop
103 South Division St. Peekskill, NY 10566
(914) 737-2194
10% - 40% Off Sale

For the entire month of February we will be having a Jewelry Sale. If you make a jewelry purchase, try your luck at dipping your hand into a bucket to pull out a ticket with a certain percentage off.
Anywhere from 10% - 40% off.
It is really quite fun.

12 Grapes Wins
Wine Enthusiast Magazine's 2008 Restaurant Award

We are proud to annouce that 12 Grapes has been awarded the 2008 "Award of Distinction" from Wine Enthusiast Magazine. There were over 500 winners nationwide, with 53 from New York.

12 Grapes was one of only 6 restaurants in Westchester to win a Wine Enthusiast Award, putting us in such illustrious company as Crabtree's Kittle House in Chappaqua, Equus in Tarrytown and The Willet House in Port Chester. Pretty cool, huh?

The awards are given to restaurants "with distinct and honest commitments to upscale wining and dining...The winners represent the apex of restaurant wine service...based on the overall wine program, not just the size of the restaurant's wine list." To read the article, click here.

Now, on to our music...

We're also excited about our upcoming entertainment line-up. Mishti Roy, a regularly featured artist on our Singer/Songwriter Sundays, takes the stage tonight (Thursday) with Petey Hop and Mani Cregan... Geoff Hartwell performs classic rock on Friday...The Blues Buddha is back this Saturday...The Westchester Swing Band heats up the place on Monday, Feb 9...Duchess Di & the Distractions joins us on Valentine's Day...and more. See below for full details. As always, please check for weekly updates.

Hope to see you soon,
Rich & Jeannie

Thu, Feb 5, 8:30 - 11:30, Johnny Feds & da Bluez Boyz Blues Jam
Fri, Feb 6, 9:30 - 12:30, The WVS Blues Organization
Sat, Feb 7, 9:30-12:30 - 3TonJack (Classic Rock)
Sun, Feb 8, 6:00 - 9:00, Singer/Songwriter Showcase
Mon, Feb 9, 8:00 - 10:00, The Westchester Swing Band ($5 Cover)
Wed, Feb 11, 8:00 - 10:30, Rich Kelly
Thu, Feb 12, 8:30 - 11:00, Open Mic Night w/ Petey Hop
Fri, Feb 13, 9:30 - 12:30, The Blue Rays

VALENTINE'S DAY, Sat Feb 14, 9:30 - 12:30
Duchess Di & the Distractions

Risque Blues at its best.
A 7-piece band, with the inimitable Duchess Di at center stage.
8pm seating is almost SOLD OUT. $10 Entertainment fee
Call today for Reservations: 914-737-6624.

Valentine's Day 6pm Dinner Seating Still Available
Enjoy a romantic dinner and wine from our "award winning" wine list.

Save the Date for our
"One Year Birthday Bash" Weekend ~ April 3 - 5

We can't believe it's almost a year already. Please join us the weekend of April 3 as we celebrate. And get ready to party, 12 Grapes style!

To view our calendar of events and photo gallery, visit As always, thank you for your patronage and friendship.

Rich & Jeannie Credidio
12 Grapes Music & Wine Bar
12 North Division Street, Peekskill, NY
(914) 737-6624

Assemblywoman Sandy Galef to Lead Roundtable on Streamlining Services with County and Municipal Officials

Former County Executive Alfred DelBello to Co-Moderate Discussion

(January 27, 2009) Assemblywoman Sandy Galef continues to seek ways for government to offer high levels of service without a big price tag for taxpayers. On Thursday, February 12, 2009, 3-5pm at Cortlandt Town Hall, 1 Heady Street, Cortlandt Manor, Galef has invited elected officials from all the municipalities within her district, plus the Putnam and Westchester County Executives, to come together and talk.

Al DelBello, Chairman of the Westchester County Association and former Westchester County Executive will co-moderate the conversation. DelBello also served on the NYS Commission on Local Government Competitiveness & Efficiency which generated a report that focused on how local governments could operate more efficiently.

“This Roundtable is for all the communities in my Assembly District to come together and discuss what they have already achieved through sharing services, what is in the works or planning stages, and what, if any, obstacles they have encountered along the way,” says Galef. “My hope is that with a continued focus on ways to consolidate and streamline operations, we can turn this economic crisis into an opportunity to evaluate how we do business at all levels of government, find ways to do it better, and do it for less.”

Last fall, Galef sent a survey to her constituents asking them how they felt about sharing and consolidation of government services. The survey results overwhelmingly showed public support for consolidating services, although snow plowing was the least popular among those favored for sharing.

The two county executive’s offices, Westchester & Putnam, will be represented at the table as well as one elected official from each of the municipalities in NY State’s 90th Assembly District, which Galef represents. The municipalities include: Village of Briarcliff, Village of Buchanan, Village of Croton, Village of Cold Spring, Town of Cortlandt, Town of Kent, Village of Nelsonville, Village & Town of Ossining, City of Peekskill, Town of Philipstown, and Town of Putnam Valley.

There will be an opportunity for audience comments & questions.
For more information and/or directions, contact the Assemblywoman’s office at (914) 941-1111 or e-mail Dana Levenberg at

Medicaid by State in 2006
By Larry Littlefield, ROOM EIGHT, New York Politics

Sun, 01/25/2009 - 8:32pm

In mid-June 2008 a total of 44 states had reported their 2006 Medicaid data in a form acceptable as final by the federal Department of Health and Human Services. That's where the number still stands today seven months later, and rather than wait any longer, I've decided to summarize and describe what we have. Unfortunately, because I like to compare New York State with surrounding states as well as the national average, Massachusetts is among the non-reporters. The data, attached in two spreadsheets, includes each state's percent share of the 44 states' total Medicaid beneficiaries and expenditures, and its average cost of service per beneficiary, by type of service (nursing home, hospital, etc.) and age group. Additional data from other sources are included to put those numbers in context -- each state's share of the 44 states' population, population in poverty, population age 65 or over and in poverty (recall that Medicaid was originally a program for the poor), personal income and per capita income (which correlates with the overall cost of living and what each state can afford). The summary tables, in the worksheets titled "output," are primed to print, and compare the 44-state total with New York State and the sum of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and Connecticut. The finding is that longstanding patterns remained in place in 2006, but with some new twists. A brief discussion follows.
The general finding, as always, is that New York State's Medicaid program is vastly more expensive than both the national average and any other state. A part of this is a greater number of beneficiaries here. With 7.2% of the 44 states' population, New York had 10.0% of its Medicaid beneficiaries, a difference only partially explained by a higher than average poverty rate -- New York accounted for 8.3% of the population in poverty, and 10.3% of the population over age 65 in poverty. The adjacent states, in contrast, with 9.5% of the 44-state population, had just 7.2% of the Medicaid beneficiaries.

New York State also spent vastly more than the 44 state average per beneficiary, 70.5% more in 2006, a difference only partially explained by above the average per capita income (and associated cost of living) in New York State on average, and in downstate New York in particular. The state's per capita income was only 19.6% above the 44-state average in 2006. In the adjacent states, per capita income was 14.5% above the 44-state average, with Medicaid spending per beneficiary 31.8% higher. In most New York State counties, moreover, per capita income has been falling relative to the national average, with the partial reversals from time to time, for 40 years. New York State owes its above average per capita income primarily to the mega-pay of the mega rich of Manhattan and a few downstate suburban counties. That mega pay is certain to be much lower in the near future, and might be significantly lower in the long term as well.

With higher spending per beneficiary and a higher number of beneficiaries, New York State accounted for 17.1% of total Medicaid expenditures in the 44 states in 2006, a burden New Yorkers had to support with just 8.7% of the 44 states' total personal income. Add to this the fact that as a result of the federal matching share formula, the state and (uniquely in New York) local tax burden of Medicaid is 50% the total Medicaid spending in New York State (and elsewhere in the Northeast), while elsewhere in the country the federal government (including New York State taxpayers) cover a greater share. With health care in general absorbing a greater and greater share of Americans' personal income, and Medicaid (as people become unemployed and companies stop offering private insurance) accounting for a rising share of total health care funding, the weight of New York's excess spending grows ever greater. Much of the spending, and much of the burden, is on the residents of and businesses in New York City, particularly since (as "luck" would have it) New York State requires more local taxes for Medicaid services and beneficiaries that are concentrated in the city than it does for services and beneficiaries concentrated in other parts of the state.

The latest numbers for Medicaid-funded Inpatient Hospital care, always a controversial topic in Albany, demonstrate the whack-a-mole effort to contain the cost of the powerful Greater New York Hospital Association and Local 1199. When I first started compiling this data, New York's Medicaid Hospital (and Nursing Home) expenditures per beneficiary were 90% higher than the national average, or nearly double. The extent to which New York is above average had been falling year-by-year, and in 2005 was down to a more reasonable 23.9% above average, closer to the difference in per capita personal income. In 2006, however, New York's Medicaid Inpatient Hospital expenditures per beneficiary were 28.7% lower than the national average?! Clearly the fact that a couple of health care intensive states such as Massachusetts and Ohio are not included in the 2006 data cannot explain such a change.

Does this mean that in 2006 New York's Hospitals were no longer living in the style to which they were accustomed? No -- New York State accounted for 18.0% of the Medicaid Inpatient Hospital expenditures in the 44 states, compared with 8.7% of the personal income. What happened is the number of Medicaid beneficiaries of Inpatient Hospital services in New York State somehow rose from 714,185 in 2005 to 1,469,497 in 2006. How? Why? Don't ask me. Is the data wrong? Well, according to the Medicaid Statistical Information System, it is more correct than whatever was submitted thus far by Massachusetts and Ohio, as it was accepted as final.

Other patterns remain consistent with the past. New York pays clinics an above average amount -- 92.6% more than the 44-state average per Medicaid beneficiary -- and physicians a below average amount -- less than half the national average. And New York State accounted for only 5.7% of the beneficiaries of Medicaid-funded physician services in the 44 states, well below its share of population.

New York State provides more Medicaid funded at-home services for senior citizens than other states, accounting for 21.8% of the beneficiaries of Home Health Care in the 44 states (vs. 10.3% of poor people age 65 and older), 26.5% of total spending on Personal Care services (due to expenditures per beneficiary more that double the 44-state average), and 19.8% of total spending on Transportation services (due to expenditures per beneficiary that are 75% above average). Even so, no savings on Nursing Home care are apparent -- with 10.3% of poor seniors, New York accounted for 13.6% of Medicaid Nursing Home beneficiaries and 17.3% of Medicaid Nursing Home expenditures, when compared with the 44 states. While the 27.8% above average expenditures per beneficiary for New York's Nursing Home Care is not that far above the 19.6% above average per capita income, cross-tabulations I've done in past years have shown that in New York spending per beneficiary is much farther above average for senior citizen Nursing Home residents, and not as far above average for disabled Nursing Home residents.

New York State's Medicaid expenditures for the mentally ill and mentally retarded continue to be far above average. In the case of Inpatient Mental Hospital care, this is because of a high number of beneficiaries -- 27% (for those under age 21) and 26% (for those 65 and over) of the 44-state total. In the case of Intermediate Care Facilities for the Mentally Retarded, this is because of expenditures per beneficiary that are nearly triple the 44-state average.

The 44-state average for Medicaid expenditures per beneficiary by age follow a pattern that one might expect for health care expenditures by age in general. Expenditures are slightly elevated in infancy (before the body's strength is established), low in childhood and young adulthood, rising in middle age (as health problems begin to accumulate), somewhat lower after age 65 (when Medicare picks up some of the burden), and increasingly high thereafter. The drop at age 65 would be much greater for non-Medicaid recipients, such as New York City public employees and retirees. Many Medicaid recipients have been either disabled or lifelong public assistance recipients, and thus lack the work credits to quality for Medicare, so Medicaid continues to cover the entire cost of their care. For employee and retiree health insurance, Medicare makes those over 65 much less expensive. That is why the total cost of public employee retiree health care is much greater for those who retire at age 55, ten years before Medicare, than at age 62, just three years before Medicare.

In 2006 New York State's Medicaid expenditures per beneficiary were 65% above that 44-state average in infancy, 33% to 50% above average (roundly speaking) for those age 2 to age 44, and about double the 44-state average for those age 65 and over. The percent above average was somewhat higher for children and young adults in 2006 than in prior years. For those aged 45 to 64, New York State's expenditures per beneficiary were "only" 28.1% above the 44-state average, but New York accounted for 16.5% of the total beneficiaries, a far higher share than in any other age group. These are people who were born between the years 1942 and 1961, and reached age 18 between the years 1960 and 1979. Much of the baby boom generation, including both its 1960s and 1970s halves, in other words. In general, New York State accounted for about 20% of total Medicaid spending in the 44 states for adults, and a little over 10% for children, across the age groups.

For those interested in going further, the data is here, and users must apply for registration and access.

Gary Berntsen, Decorated 23 Year CIA Chief

Berntsen served as the Commander of all CIA forces in Eastern Afghanistan...

...and led the agency’s Jawbreaker team in Tora Bora.

FRONTLINE Interview:

What: Dinner & Speech by Bernsten, Followed by Q&A Period & Book Signing:

When: February 12, 2009 starting at 6:00pm

Where: Travelers Rest


Gary Berntsen is a decorated former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) career officer who served in the Directorate of Operations between October 1982 and June 2005. During his time at the CIA, he served as a CIA Station Chief on three separate occasions and led several of CIA’s most important counterterrorism deployments including the United States’ response to the East Africa Embassy bombings and the 9/11 attacks. He was awarded the Distinguished Intelligence Medal in 2000 and the Intelligence Star in 2004.

FRONTLINE Interview:

In December 2001, Berntsen served as the Commander of all CIA forces in Eastern Afghanistan and led the agency’s Jawbreaker team in Tora Bora. In his 2005 book, Jawbreaker, he alleges that Osama bin Laden could have been captured at Tora Bora if the US military (specifically United States Central Command) had devoted more resources to the operation.

In July 2005, Berntsen took the CIA to court alleging that they were violating his First Amendment rights and the Administrative Procedure Act by taking longer than the allowed 30 days to approve his Jawbreaker manuscript for publication. This delay caused him to miss the June 17 deadline for handing over the manuscript to his publisher and caused the book to miss its original October publication date.

From June 2007 to June 2008, Berntsen returned to Afghanistan as a civilian advisor on IED networks for Regional Command East (RC-East), within NATO-led ISAF.

Gary released his first piece of fiction in August 2008. The book is titled The Walk-In and tells the story of an American CIA case officer dealing with an Iranian defector from the Quds Force. The defector claims that a catastrophic attack is imminent and the American case officer must decide what to believe.

In November 2008, Berntsen published Human Intelligence, Counterterrorism, and National Leadership: A Pratical Guide. This book was written to serve as a manual for the incoming president and White House staff and includes highly specific recommendations and policy prescriptions for human intellgience and counterterrorism operations.

FRONTLINE Interview:

This event is being hosted by
GOPAC-NY and New Yorkers on the Ball

Dear Readers:

This week I discuss Governor patterson's new taxes.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: Domenic 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

SPEAK OUT WITH SANDY GALEF: Yorktown chanel 74 Wednesdays at 7:30PM..Ossining/Peekskill chanel 15 Wednesdays at 8PM
Hosted by: Sandra Galef

DEAR SANDY: Yorktown chanel 74 Fridays 7:30PM...Ossining/Peeksill chanel 15 Fridays
Hosted by: Sandra Galef
All articles re-printed in this blog from the North County News are with the permission of Bruce Apar Publisher and Editor-in-Chief


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