Saturday, August 29, 2009

END OF SUMMER E-MAILS

Issues Discussed:
1)a message from Congressman John Hall
2)a message from candidate for Westchester Legislator Domenic Volpe
3)a message from Arnie Paglia
4)e-mail responses from readers
5)a message from candidate for Westchester Legislator John Testa
6)a message from candidate for Yorktown Council Mark Drexel
7)what's happening at 12 Grapes, N Division Street, Peekskill
8)a message from the New York State Republican Party
9)a message from candidate for Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino
10)a message from Assemblywoman Sandra Galef
11)a message from Assemblyman Greg Ball
************My new In My Opinion column's topic of discussion in the NCN
************Atom Taxi Inc. Airport Service
************Contact me e-mail addresses
************Sites to link to for more information(to be a better voter)
************Cable shows to watch(to better inform)
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A MESSAGE FROM CONGRESSMAN JOHN HALL:
Dear Friends,
I've just added two new events to my Health Care Listening Tour.

My listening tour has taken me to every corner of the Hudson Valley. I've heard from business owners both small and large, seniors and students, patients and doctors, nurses, farmers, and nearly everyone in between. But I wanted to make sure there was another chance to hear from you, so I'll be hosting two more Town Hall meetings before returning to Washington next week. These events are completely free and open to public.

Health Care Town Hall Events
Wednesday, September 2
7:00-8:30pm
Fox Lane High School
Route 172, just east of I-684, exit 4
Bedford, NY

Thursday, September 3
7:00–8:30pm
Orange County Emergency Services Center Auditorium
22 Wells Farm Road
Goshen, NY

Carefully and successfully reforming the heath care system is one of the most important issues facing our nation, and your input is essential. I hope you can join me.

Sincerely,
John Hall
Member of Congress
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A MESSAGE FROM CANDIDATE FOR WESTCHESTER COUNTY LEGISLATOR DOMENIC VOLPE:
Volpe Calls for Fiscal Responsibility
Dear Editor:

It has been reported in the latest filings that the county sales tax revenue is thirteen million dollars behind budgeted projections, and the fiscal year is not over yet. This means two things: one) this money budgeted to be spent is not there and two) local governments counting on their share of sales tax revenue, portions of which are sent to the local governments where the purchases were made, will be getting less money than anticipated.

This has now forced county and local governments two options to make up the difference-- either cut spending or raise taxes. We live in the highest taxed county in the nation, a dubious honor at best and one I would gladly like to pass on to someone else. 20% of our tax bill is county government, the rest in local and school budgets. Now county government is saying they are willing to listen to the concerns of its residents. Our County Executive says he is willing to listen to ways to share services within the county.

I have a question, why has county government waited so long? We clearly have a bloated government, husbands and wives(mine included) are forced to work just to make ends meet, and at the end of the week what's left? Not much.

Three years ago 53,000 people left the Hudson Valley region, last year another 72,000 more left for less taxing regions. In this precarious economic climate what has our county government done to ease our burden? Nothing! Instead they have been busy with red-herring issues. Laws such as ridiculous and unenforceable idling laws; who owns discarded cardboard boxes or debating laws trying to force landlords to rent to residents whether the landlord wants to or not, or whether a circus should be allowed at the County Center--then not enacting any proposal either for or against. These red-herring issues are used to fool you into thinking county government is doing their job when it really shows a clear lack of understanding as to the concerns and needs of its residents.

With your support and vote, I will fight to institute sound fiscal polices that will help us as taxpayers. My goal is to keep the county portion of your tax bill at 0% for at least three years. That means trim bloated government starting with the executive and legislative branch first. Finding waste, reducing duplication of services and scaling back on percs throughout the county would be the first order of business. That means fighting tooth and nail against state officials who wish to pass on to us unfunded mandates which we will be forced to pay at county level.

In November you have a choice, either elect someone who can only sit on the sidelines and complain and will accomplish nothing but getting headlines, or elect a candidate who will be part of the majority, sitting in the room where budgets are produced and able to get results that will benefit the district. I am that candidate. With your help we can make this happen.

Sincerely,
Domenic Volpe
Candidate for Westchester County Legislator District 1
Democratic and Working families Party Candidate
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A MESSAGE FROM ARNIE PAGLIA:
The Paul Robeson 60th Anniversary Celebration Committee

Invites you to join us in a celebration of one of the most significant individuals of the 20th century who had a great many friends in our community

September 4th 2009 8:00pm at Paramount Center for the Arts

An Evening with Friends
A Celebration of the Legacy of Paul Robeson
A benefit concert featuring
David Amram w Roy Haynes w Ty Jones
Tao Rodriguez-Seeger w Kenneth Anderson w Beth Lamont
Jon Batiste Band w Ray Blue w and special guests

The Paramount Center for the Arts is located at 1008 Brown Street, Peekskill, NY.
For tickets $25.-$100., students $10., and reservations, call 877-840-0457
Order online at www.paramountcenter.org
For more information visit www.robesoncelebration.org

The 60th Anniversary Celebration Committee Beneficiaries:
To support and acknowledge their work, in the interests and pursuit of social justice, in education, and in the preservation of the legacy of Paul Robeson.
HRHC Hudson River Health Care; CHOP Caring for the Homeless of Peekskill; Peekskill, Hendrick Hudson, Lakeland, and Putnam Valley School Districts; The Peekskill Area Pastors Association; The Preservation Company; The Field Library; and Paul Robeson Foundation, a non-profit education organization, headquartered in NY and dedicated to preserving the legacy of Paul Robeson, the world - renowned, artist, scholar, athlete and civil rights activist.
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E-MAIL RESPONSES:
RE: READER BILL:
Interesting....... Poverty in Our Cities.
City, State, % of People Below the Poverty Level
1.Detroit,MI 32.5%
2.Buffalo,NY 29.9%
3.Cincinnati,OH 27.8%
4.Cleveland,OH 27.0%
5.Miami,FL 26.9%
5.St.Louis,MO 26.8%
7.El Paso,TX 26.4%
8.Milwaukee,WI 26.2%
9.Philadelphia,PA 25.1%
10.Newark,NJ 24.2%

U.S. Census Bureau, 2006 American Community Survey, August 2007
What do the top ten cities (over 250,000) with the highest poverty rate all have in common?
Detroit,MI(1st on the poverty rate list) hasn't elected a Republican mayor since 1961Buffalo,NY(2nd) hasn't elected one since 1954;
Cincinnati,OH(3rd)...since 1984;
Cleveland,OH(4th)...since 1989;
Miami,FL(5th) has never had a Republican mayor
St.Louis,MO(6th)....since 1949;
El Paso,TX(7th) has never had a Republican mayor;
Milwaukee,WI(8th)...since 1908;
Philadelphia,PA(9th)...since 1952;
Newark,NJ(10th)...since 1907.

Einstein once said, 'The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.'

It is the poor who habitually elect Democrats---yet they are still
POOR

"You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich. You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong. You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift. You cannot lift the wage earner up by pulling the wage payer down. You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred. You cannot build character and courage by taking away people's initiative and independence. You cannot help people permanently by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves."
Abraham Lincoln
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READER JOYCE:
Saturday September 12
"STOP OBAMA CARE"
March on Washington DC

if the Government will not listen to us in our home state -
WE WILL BE HEARD AT THEIR PLACE OF BUSINESS
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A MESSAGE FROM CANDIDATE FOR WESTCHESTER COUNTY LEGISLATOR JOHN TESTA:

As the President of the Lincoln Depot Foundation I want to extend the invitation below to stop by the depot on September 12th. Hope to see you there, John.

As part of the September 12, 2009 Quadricentennial Celebration in Peekskill, the Lincoln Depot Foundation invites you to a series of day-long events at the Depot:

Civil War Encampment
10 am - 4 pm
Admission is free

Evening Wine and Cheese Reception with Period Music
Watch the Fireworks With Us!
7 pm - 10 pm
$20.00 per person
This is a fundraiser for the Lincoln Depot Foundation.


Join us at the new Lincoln Depot Museum as we honor Abraham Lincoln and the
Civil War soldier with Music, a Play, Author appearances and book signings, Art and Artifact Displays and Soldier's Life and Drills.

Also come by to see the level of restoration of the depot building and the outstanding life-size statue of Abraham Lincoln by famous artist Richard Masloski.

Located at Water Street and Central Avenue in Peekskill
For more information go to:
Lincoln Depot Museum Official Site
Learn more about Lincoln's visit to Peekskill and the restoration of the depot
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A MESSAGE FROM CANDIDATE FOR YORKTOWN TOWN BOARD MARK DREXEL:
The Committee to Elect J. Mark Drexel Cordially Invites You to a
Saturday Night Out in support of
J. Mark Drexel for Town of Yorktown Councilman
Featuring the Band
Class Action Lawyers Who Rock
Classic rock from the 60's, 70's and 80's

Enjoy a Buffet Dinner
including wine, beer & soda
At The New

Miracles Restaurant & Grill
345 Kear Street
Yorktown Heights, NY 10598
Saturday, September 12th, 2009
7:00 PM to 11:00 PM
$30 Donation
R.S.V.P by email: Friends@ElectDrexel.com
or call: 914-962-7637
Please make checks payable to: Friends of J. Mark Drexel, 2424 Pinetree Place, Yorktown NY 10598
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In case you did not see this press release regarding the Town's plan to
allow for non-competitive bidding of "emergency" contracts, the text is
attached below. As justification, Peters cites that the school district
has a similar procedure. The district's procedure is very detailed and
only allows non competitive purchases under extremely rigid requirements
in accordance with State Education Department regulations. Under the
districts procedure, "emergency situations are where:
a. the situation arises out of an accident or unforeseen occurrence or
condition;
b. a district building, property, or the life, health, or safety of an
individual on district property is affected; or
c. the situation requires immediate action which cannot await
competitive bidding."

Peters contends that this short circuit of the competitive bidding
process will save time or is this just another attempt by the Town to
close the government to the taxpayers?
Peters will be presenting this plan at the September 1st meeting to be
held at Trump Residence @ 6:30PM.

Thanks Mark
"We can't change the past...the past changes us."
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact:Don Peters
Phone:(914) 962-5722, ext 201
Date:8/18/09
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Supervisor Peters to Present New Plan for Town's Contracts for
Emergency Services

In an effort to save taxpayers' money and protect the public
interest, Yorktown Supervisor Don Peters will present a new plan for
contracts for emergency services at the Town's work session on
September, 8 2009.
Peters hopes to gain Town Board approval to implement a plan to
put out bids for contracts with companies whose services the town may
require in case of emergency, before those services are needed. Peters
noted a similar process currently used by the Yorktown School District,
which approves contracts with vendors on an "as needed" basis at the
beginning of each fiscal year, as a model for the Town to consider in
developing the plan. Peters anticipates that bidding as needed
contracts at the beginning of the year would save both time and money if
and when the need for such services arises.

"I want to ensure that we are prepared to address emergency
situations that may come up before they happen," said Peters. "Right
now, if we are faced with an emergency and we do not have a contract for
outside services that we require, there is potential to run into red
tape before we can fix the situation. But if we take care of the
arrangements in advance, we can save time, act immediately and avoid
additional expense in correcting any problems we may face," Peters
added. "This benefits everyone."

In addition to emergency services, Peters intends to look into
whether the Town could benefit from such a plan for the purchase of
other services, including those anticipated by individual departments.
Peters will work with officials from the school district, as well as
department heads, in structuring his proposal to the board.
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Dear Friends,

I have just read and signed the online petition:
"WE NEED PUBLIC HEARINGS NOW ON $62 MILLION WESTCHESTER HOUSING
SETTLEMENT!"
hosted on the web by PetitionOnline.com, the free online petition
service, at:

http://www.PetitionOnline.com/WCHS285/

I personally agree with what this petition says, and I think you might
agree, too. If you can spare a moment, please take a look, and consider
signing yourself.

Best wishes,
J Mark Drexel
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WHAT'S HAPPENING AT 12 GRAPES, N. DIVISION STREET, PEEKSKILL:
Far out, man...

Will Van Sise, Petey Hop and 12 Grapes
are proud to present
a night dedicated to the music that was
revered by a generation...

"A Tribute to the Fillmore:
The Church of Rock & Roll"
See sidebar for details...

A Little History:
It was the days of hippies and tie-dyed shirts and psychedelic rock music. It was the '60's, when rock promoter Bill Graham opened The Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco (later the Fillmore West), then the Fillmore East in Greenwich Village. "The Church of Rock & Roll" was renowned for double-billed concerts several nights a week, with swirling light-show projections, strobe lights and uninhibited dancing, featuring legendary acts such as Jimi Hendrix, Santana, The Grateful Dead, The Allman Brothers, The Band, Joe Cocker, Creedance Clearwater Revival, Aretha Franklin and on and on.

Join us for a "A Tribute to the Fillmore"
Sat, Sept. 12, 9:30 - 12:30

$15 Cover at the Door
$10 Cover with Dinner by the Stage
$5 Cover with Dinner by the French Doors

Make your Dinner Reservations early by calling
(914) 737-6624
For more info, visit 12grapes.com
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A MESSAGE FROM THE NEW YORK STATE REPUBLICAN PARTY:

NOTE: Records show at least 153 New Yorkers actively registered in both New York City and at their upstate homes voted in the 20th Congressional District's special election in March, 76 percent of whom were enrolled Democrats, according to elections records obtained by The Associated Press. Nearly 250 more in the district are actively registered upstate and down, but didn't vote in that particular election.

More NYC Dems voting at upstate residences
By VALERIE BAUMAN
The Associated Press
August 23, 2009
http://www.newsday.com/more-nyc-dems-voting-at-upstate-residences-1.1385026

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Mary Woods, a real estate manager in Greenwich Village, is a Democrat in Manhattan, where there are six Democratic votes for every Republican.
There, her ballot is a drop in a very blue bucket.

That was part of her recent decision to switch her registration to vote in a region where Republicans have a narrow enrollment advantage. She has a part-time home in Pine Plains, about 90 miles north of New York City.

"There's a gazillion people who vote like me in New York City," Woods said. "There's not so many up here."

These weekend and holiday upstaters may have helped seal a narrow win in March by newcomer Democrat Scott Murphy in the 20th Congressional District, a traditionally Republican and mostly rural district stretching from Dutchess County to near the Canadian border.

"Quite frankly, they're stealing my vote," said Joseph Mondello, chairman of the state Republican Committee and a Long Islander.

"It appears to me that their vote counts more than someone who has to vote where they live," said Christopher Callaghan, a Republican and former Saratoga County Treasurer who ran unsuccessfully for state comptroller in 2006.

Records show at least 153 New Yorkers actively registered in both New York City and at their upstate homes voted in the 20th Congressional District's special election in March, 76 percent of whom were enrolled Democrats, according to elections records obtained by The Associated Press. Nearly 250 more in the district are actively registered upstate and down, but didn't vote in that particular election.

It's illegal to be registered in two places at once, but the state Board of Elections said it probably happens because New York City boroughs are behind on eliminating voters from the city database after they switch their registration. The votes won't be thrown out and there aren't penalties to the voter.

The board said people are legally required to vote from their primary residence, but that's not clearly defined.

"Certainly if you voted in the morning in Manhattan and then drove to your summer home and voted there the same day, that would absolutely be illegal," said Bob Brehm, a spokesman for the state Board of Elections. "If you're at your summer home and there's a local election — that's where the debate (over registration) is."

Mondello said the party is investigating. He suspects at least some of the trend comes by design — an assertion Democrats deny.

Barry Burden, a professor of political science at University of Wisconsin-Madison who focuses his research on U.S. elections, says New York may be ripe for strategic voting, because it has a partisan split between upstate and downstate voters and a high volume of city residents owning upstate homes.

"Any election system is going to encourage that kind of thing if voters learn to maximize their leverage," he said. "I'm not surprised."

After a monthlong count, Murphy won by 726 votes of more than 160,000 cast in the 20th district. It has 70,000 more enrolled Republicans than Democrats.

"It did play a role in the 20th Congressional District (race)," said June O'Neill, the executive chair of the state Democratic Committee. "And, in that instance, it obviously accrued to our advantage, but people have the legal right to choose where they want to cast that vote."

O'Neill said she first heard about the issue when Republicans started complaining about imported votes during the 20th Congressional race. But she said it's hard to track and impossible to know voter motivation.

New York's Republican party has grown more concerned about these so-called imported votes with each passing election as their influence wanes. Democrats currently hold every statewide elected office and control both houses of the Legislature.

The effect of the exported New York City Democratic vote is magnified in rural Republican towns, like picturesque Pine Plains where Pine Plains United, a community group, has reached out to New York City voters with homes in the area, encouraging them to move their vote upstate.

That's were Woods got involved at her upstate home, pushing for a local politician who supported zoning laws. The candidate won.

"Some of those races go by 10 votes," said Mondello, the state GOP chairman. "You get 10 or 15 people to do that and you can change the outcome of an election."

Charles Napoli, chairman of the Town of Pine Plains Republican Committee, said he's aware of the increase in weekend home owners shifting their registration upstate, but that just means his party has to reach more people.

"When you're confronted with the opposition party increasing its numbers rapidly, you have to increase yours, too," he said.

Dale Peterson, 60, says he made the switch to vote upstate because he's gradually felt more connected to Columbia County, where he's owned a home in the 20th Congressional district for more than 20 years. He and his wife became increasingly interested in local issues and elections. He voted for Murphy.

He moved his registration to his upstate address in time for the general election in November.

"Certainly, as long-term property owners begin to retire and spend more and more time upstate, you get a bigger and bigger influence of people who are from the city — and I would expect that to continue," said the Democrat, who lives most of the time on Manhattan's West Side.

While he says the races upstate are "more competitive," he didn't have a strategy behind his switch.

"I'm not making the argument that you should sort of pick which district you're voting in, 'where it counts the most,'" he said. "I'm saying we identify with that district, and we want to be represented by people we agree with."

For Deborah Masters, the registration was practical and political. She and her boyfriend rented in Brooklyn, but owned property in Columbia County that they wanted to be eligible for a tax rebate. The 58-year-old artist has been spending most of her time in recent months at her upstate residence.

Concerned about the environment and agriculture industry in upstate New York, the Democrat was already considering changing her registration. The 20th Congressional race was the catalyst she needed.

"I just kind of knew it was a very Republican area when I moved here," said Masters, who voted for Murphy. "I knew my vote would count more, which was very exciting to me."
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A MESSAGE FROM CANDIDATE FOR WESTCHESTER COUNTY EXECUTIVE ROB ASTORINO:
Astorino: Public Hearings Needed on
Federal Housing Settlement

ONLINE PETITION LAUNCHED
White Plains, NY--August 25...Reform Westchester county executive candidate Rob Astorino (R-I) today reiterated his call on County Executive Andy Spano (D-WFP) to schedule public town hall hearings on a $62.5 million federal housing settlement that came about after Mr. Spano's administration was sued under the federal "False Claims Act" for mismanaging and falsifying certification records on $50 million in federal housing and other grants.

Mr. Astorino also announced today the creation of an online petition urging public town hall meetings on the proposed settlement. The petition, which can be signed at www.robastorino.com, reads:

To: Andy Spano

Yes, I agree with Rob Astorino. Westchester taxpayers deserve to know how the $62.5 million Spano housing settlement will impact our communities before it's ratified. We have legitimate questions that must be answered prior to any vote. Please include my name on this petition calling for immediate public hearings on the plan.

Sincerely,

The Undersigned

Mr. Spano is refusing to schedule public hearings on the 750-housing-unit plan before it is voted on by the Westchester County Board of Legislators. That vote must occur on or before September 25th.

"How can taxpayers be kept in the dark about a matter that Mr. Spano called the most important vote in Westchester County history?," Mr. Astorino asked. "Westchester residents deserve to know the details of this mandate: where are these homes going?; how much will they really cost taxpayers?; how many additional school seats will be needed in each community?; which towns will be affected?; who will pay the property taxes for these homes?; what developers will build them?; what will the homes look like?; how will local zoning laws will be affected?, etc. Andy Spano caused this mess, but taxpayers will have to pay for it. We deserve to know about this plan before any vote is taken."

Mr. Astorino called last week for public town hall hearings in each municipality slated to receive below-market-rate housing. They include: Ardsley, Bedford, Briarcliff Manor, Bronxville, Buchanan, Eastchester, Hastings-on-Hudson, Harrison, Irvington, Larchmont, Lewisboro, Mount Pleasant, Mamaroneck, New Castle, North Castle, North Salem, Pelham Manor, Pleasantville, Pound Ridge, Rye Brook, City of Rye, Somers, Scarsdale, and Yorktown.

Donate $20.09, $50, $100, $200, $500
Join Rob's Facebook Group
www.robastorino.com
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A MESSAGE FROM ASSEMBLYWOMAN SANDRA GALEF:
To the Editor:

The impasse in the State Senate earlier this summer demonstrated that equity in the allocation of state revenues is imperative. In particular, we must pay close attention to the distribution of taxpayer resources such as member items and ensure that all New Yorkers benefit from this public money regardless of who their representatives are or their legislators’ party affiliation.

For many years I have been concerned with the way member items, or pork-barrel spending, is dealt with in New York. There is no transparency or oversight in a system that deals with approximately $200 million tax dollars a year. Member items are given out to programs and organizations with little government oversight. They are doled out solely at a legislator’s discretion, and are not distributed equally to all districts in the state.

I have proposed several pieces of legislation to reform the member item system and to infuse some equity and oversight into the process. My bills, A.1271 and A.1272, call for a bi-partisan task force to establish standards for allocation of member items, and also guarantee the equitable distribution of these funds to all members of the Assembly and Senate, regardless of party affiliation. Similarly, incumbent legislators often use member items to give them an advantage in elections. Right before an election a legislator can announce all of their legislative items and use public tax dollars to influence their own election results. I have introduced legislation that would prohibit representatives from publishing or distributing these discretionary funds up to 60 days before an election (A.6856).


If you agree that the member item process in New York State has to be improved, I would encourage you to contact your state elected officials to convey your concerns and express your support for some of my proposals.


Sincerely,
Sandy Galef
Member of Assembly
90th District
(914) 941-1111
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Paterson Signs into Law Galef’s Legislation Increasing Safety Measures on Graduated Drivers’ Licenses & Banning Text Messaging for Drivers

(August 28, 2009) Governor David Paterson signed into law yesterday Assemblywoman Sandy Galef’s co-sponsored legislation, which will increase the required number of supervised driving hours for teenage drivers and will limit the number of teenage passengers in their cars. It will also ban the use of text messaging and the use of portable electronic devices (PEDs). The legislation, A.8568-B, incorporates concepts from two bills introduced by Assemblywoman Galef earlier in the year.

“This newly signed law will lead to enhanced security on the roads, as it will ensure greater safety among all drivers, and especially among our children, who need this protection during their most vulnerable years driving. While the recent wave of communications technology has changed the way we live, we must not let it change the way we drive, as study after study has shown the extremely dangerous impact of this combination,” Galef said. “In fact, the risks associated with driving and using hand held technology have been proven equally hazardous as those for drunk driving.”

The law includes two sections aimed to help new drivers focus on their driving in order to prevent greater danger to themselves and others on the road. This includes reducing the number from two to one non-family passengers under the age of 21 allowed in the car driven by a junior driver who is not accompanied by a specified supervising adult. Additionally, there would be an increase in the number of hours of supervised driving from the current 20 to 50 hours required for a teen with a learner’s permit to qualify for a driver’s license. It also requires that at least 15 of these hours are at night. Lastly, the legislation prohibits drivers of all ages from engaging in the often dangerous behavior of using portable electronic devices. This behavior is most commonly found in people who are texting while driving. The bill also bans drivers from accessing e-mail, playing games, transmitting images, using pagers, and using laptops. To enforce this ban, a $150 fine will face anyone convicted of such behavior.

“An automobile can be dangerous in the hands of any driver, but especially an inexperienced driver,” said Galef. “These new security measures are necessary to improve teenagers’ safety as well as to make roadways safer for all drivers. We need to increase supervised driving for our newest drivers and end the use of electronic devices while driving, which distracts drivers and leads to many preventable accidents and injuries.”

A report released by the American Automobile Association (AAA) found that car accidents are the leading cause of death among 16-19 year olds. In New York State , 279 fatalities of 15-17 year old drivers occurred between 1995 and 2004. Almost 280 passengers of these drivers were killed during this time period. In this eight year span there were also 187 occupants of other vehicles that were killed along with 86 non-motorists, bringing the total number of fatalities caused by 15-17 year old drivers over 800, an average of 100 per year in New York State .

“I am so thrilled to see that this legislation which I believe in so strongly has been signed into law. We know that there are certain factors that contribute to higher crash rates among teens and adults, including distracting electronic devices, as well as the influence of other passengers. This law will make the state a safer place for all drivers, passengers and pedestrians.”
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A MESSAGE FROM ASSEMBLYMAN GREG BALL:

Are you or is someone you know looking to make a difference for our country? Then help Assemblyman Greg Ball take back the 19th Congressional District! Join Greg in his fight to Restore America's Promise by applying today for one of these exciting opportunities:

CAMPAIGN COORDINATOR
Greg Ball for Congress seeks a reliable, energetic and organized individual as Campaign Coordinator for immediate start. Duration of position: through November 2010.

Responsibilities include but are not limited to:

Develop and execute a volunteer recruitment plan
Cultivate relationships with volunteers
Coordinate and supervise volunteers at phone banks and campaign and fundraising events
Maintain volunteer database
Update volunteer schedule
Promote positive work environment
Strong interpersonal skills and proficiency in Microsoft Excel a must. District resident preferred.

Ideal candidate enjoys public speaking and meeting new people, is an excellent communicator, can operate under pressure and adapt to rapid response needs, and has an established political network with an interest in growing it further.
Flexible work schedule includes mostly evenings.

Compensation: Monthly stipend with opportunity for pay increase as the campaign progresses.
Email resume, three references and cover letter to bvanderlinden@ball4ny.com.

INTERNS
Greg Ball for Congress seeks hard working, dedicated undergraduate or graduate students with a positive attitude for internship positions.
Be a part of an exciting federal campaign
Build your resume
Learn the insides of campaigning and running for office
Minimum eight week commitment, 20 hours/week. Internships are available on a volunteer basis and are not paid.
Contact Britta at bvanderlinden@ball4ny.com or call 845-582-0548 to request an internship application.

VOLUNTEERS
Greg Ball for Congress seeks volunteers any day or night Monday through Sunday for any amount of time for these important tasks:
Help with phone calls
Work on mailings
Distribute literature at parades, train stations, etc.

Plan fundraising events and campaign activities
Contact Britta at bvanderlinden@ball4ny.com or 845-582-0548 today!

Our campaign office is conveniently located off of Route 84, in Brewster, NY.
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BALL ROLLING:
HANDICAPPERS SEE NY-19 AS TOP TIER RACE
After district visit, Roll Call says race could go either way

BREWSTER—With fourteen months to go until election day 2010, another national publication involved in political handicapping is already deeming New York's 19th Congressional District (NY-19) one of the most competitive races to watch in 2010.

Roll Call, whose masthead refers to it as the “Newspaper of Capitol Hill Since 1955,” joins Congressional Quarterly in ranking NY-19 as “leans democratic,” now that State Assemblyman Greg Ball (R-Patterson) is mounting a highly viable, aggressive challenge to sophomore lawmaker John Hal (D-Dover), who represents the traditionally Republican-leaning Hudson Valley seat.

Michael Edelman, a veteran Republican political consultant based in Westchester County New York, says Roll Call’s change in assessing the race “is a clear indication that the incumbent Democrat is vulnerable to a challenge by popular Assemblyman Greg Ball. Roll Call recognizes that in marginal districts like the 19th, there is a very good likelihood that the right Republican can win in November particularly in light of the precipitous fall in the President’s approval ratings due to the outrage over his health care plan, the failure of his stimulus package and his international apology tour.”

According to Congressional Quarterly, “One point that needs to be clearly understood is that the contests rated ‘leans’ are very competitive and could go either way. So it behooves those with partisan rooting interests to pay close attention and make no presumptions about the outcomes of those contests.”
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John Hall’s Idea of Fiscal Responsibility: White House Ratchets Up Deficit Projection by $2 Trillion
Yet Another Hit Delivered to Democrats’ Big-Spending Agenda

Washington- John Hall will surely be backpedaling today as yet another vote for his party’s ongoing government spending spree has come back to bite him. Hall, who voted in favor of his party’s egregious and bloated federal budget, is now on the hook for an additional $2 trillion as the White House attempts to quietly ratchet up its deficit projections in the midst of a slow August news cycle.

“As was reported last week, the Obama administration announced today that it has revised its 10-year cumulative budget deficit projection to around $9.051 trillion, up from its February projection of $7.1 trillion.

“Administration officials said Monday that these numbers put their projection in line with the Congressional Budget Office’s June projection. These out-year deficits are about 4 percent of GDP, which the administration says is ‘higher than desirable.’” (Karen Travers, “White House: Budget Deficit Will Be $2 Trillion Higher than Projected,” ABC News, 8/25/09)

Was this what Hall had in mind just a few short months ago when he cast his vote in favor of yet another one of President Obama’s and Speaker Pelosi’s runaway spending plans? After Hall supported the Democrats’ budget in April, he boldly bragged that he had helped strengthen a struggling economy:

“Today, U.S. Rep. John Hall (D-NY19) joined a majority of the House of Representatives in approving a vision for America's long-term economic success and fiscal responsibility by passing President Obama's budget blueprint. With smart, growth-targeted investments in health care, education, and clean, renewable energy sources, this blueprint will build upon the economic incentives of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to ensure the nation's economic revival, while also managing to cut the federal deficit by more than half by 2013.” (Press Release, 4/2/09)

“Did John Hall recklessly misjudge the economy to the tune of two trillion dollars of deficit or was he simply duped by his party bosses into voting for a budget that they couldn’t pay for?” said NRCC Communications Director Ken Spain. “Two trillion might not seem like much to someone as out-of-touch as John Hall, but the New York families who will be stuck paying down that deficit would probably prefer to disagree. Hall owes an explanation to the folks back home as to why he put a nine trillion dollar deficit on the backs of their children and grandchildren.”

Unfortunately for New York families, it looks like they’ll be stuck paying down John Hall’s reckless budget vote for a long time to come.
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FYI:ATOM TAXI INC. AIRPORT SERVICE:
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.
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E-MAIL ME WITH YOUR COMMENTS:
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: atom_taxi@yahoo.com(as this a yahoo address make sure you put an underscore (-) between atom and taxi)

For immediate reply: atomtaxi@aol.com
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THIS WEEKS "IN MY OPINION COLUMN" IN THE NCN:
Dear Readers:

This week I discuss Westchester County's affordable housing settlement. 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.
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SITES TO LINK TO:

DAVID PAGANELLI: www.paganelliforyorktown.com

DOMENIC VOLPE: www.votefordomenicvolpe.com

YORKTOWN SUPERVISOR DON PETERS: www.donpetersforyorktown.com/

ROB ASTORINO: www.robastorino.com

JOHN G. TESTA: www.johngtesta.com

ON TOPIC W/ JOHN TESTA: www.ontopicwithjt.com

CARS & US: www.doverracing.com

THE WINERY AT ST. GEORGE: http://www.TheWineryAtStGeorge.com

PLAN PUTNAM: planputnam@googlegroups.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/"

PEEKSKILLREPUBLICANS:http://peekskillgop.com/

THE PEEKSILL NEWS:http://thepeekskillnews.blogspot.com/

CORTLANDT MANOR CIVIC ASSOCIATION: www.cortlandtcivic.com

PEEKSILL NEWS: http://peekskillnews.blogspot.com/

YORKTOWN WATCHDOG: www.yorktownopengov.org

PADAVANO FINE ARTS: Padovanofineart.com

MARK DREXEL: www.ElectDrexel.com

ASSEMBLYMAN GREG BALL: www.Ball4NY.com

SUSAN SIEGEL: www.wakeupyorktown.com

CORTLANDT CHOICE: WWW.CORTLANDTCHOICE.COM
WWW.TWITTER.COM/CORTLANDTCHOICE

DAN SCHORR: dan@electdanschorr.com

TERRENCE MURPHY: http://www.vote4murphy.com/

PEEKSKILL BID: www.peekskillbid.com or
www.downtownpeekskill.com

CORTLANDT DEMOCRATS: cortlandtwins.com
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CABLE SHOWS TO WATCH:

YORKTOWN WATCHDOG: Every Friday at 9:30 PM & Wednesday at 4:30PM on channel 74
Hosted By: ED CIFFON (yOrktown and Putnam Valley only)

LEGISLATORS REPORT: Saturday and Sunday at various times on chanel 20
Hosted By: COUNCILMEN NICK BIANCO AND LOU CAMPISI (Yorktown only)

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
9PM
Hosted by: Sandra Galef

DOWN THE MIDDLE: Yorktown chanel 74 wednesdays 8-9PM.
Hosted By: Mike Thomas & Bill Greenberg
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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

08/30/09

Saturday, August 22, 2009

A (DRIVER'S) LICENCE TO STEAL

Issues Discussed:
1) my commentary
2) a message from the Harrison Apar Field of Dreams Foundation
3) a message from Yorktown Councilman Nick Bianco
4) a message from Peekskill Democratic Chairman Darren Rigger
5) e-mail responses
a)Patty Villanova
b) Town Of Cortlandt Supervisor Linda Puglisi
c) reader Joyce
6) What's happening at 12 Grapes N. Division Street, Peekskill
7) a message from candidate for Westchester Legislator John Testa
8) a message from candidate for Yorktown Council Terrence Murphy
9) a message from candidate for Yorktown Council Mark Drexel
10)a message from Westchester Legislator George Oros
11)a message from candidate for Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino
12)a message from candidate for Westchester District Attorney Dan Schorr
13)a message from Assemblywoman Sandra Galef
14)a message from Assemblyman Greg Ball
************My new In My Opinion column's topic of discussion in the NCN
************Atom Taxi Inc. Airport Service
************Contact me e-mail addresses
************Sites to link to for more information(to be a better voter)
************Cable shows to watch(to better inform)
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Dear Readers:

In a press release(see below), Dr. Terrence Murphy, who is a candidate for the Yorktown Town Board has called attention to a double whammy by the N.Y. state and the MTA. Starting in September, it will cost more to register your car.....lots and lots more. Also you will be required to get new licence plates at an added fee. You will also be paying more to re-new your drivers licence. This is all part of the "screw the people" budget passed in April. There are additional fees we will pay as part of the MTA taxing district so subway riders in NYC do not have to pay their fair share.

First the state increases according to Dr. Murphy: "Driver License Fees and Vehicle Registration Fees will be increased by 25%". Also "The 25% increase means Class D diver’s license fees will increase from $50 to $64.50. Registration fees for an automobile weighing 3500 lbs will climb from $45 to $56". That's just for September. Here is what is in store for April 2010: "Effective April 1, 2010 all registered vehicles will be required to get new license plates, which will cost $25". If you wish to keep your current plate it will cost an additional $20. Remember this, I'll get back to it.

According to Dr. Murphy, here is where the MTA bail out screws us again, besides the payroll tax, fare and toll increases. All to pay for the 11% raises just awarded by arbitration. "For the 12 county MTA region which Westchester is a part of there will be an additional $16 fee on all drivers licenses; translating into $80.50 for a class D license. For all vehicle registration, a $50 supplemental fee will be added, causing a 3500 lbs automobile $106.50 to be registered". Because of this wage increase and less payment towards health care the MTA is already in the red.

This is where the state really screws you. Your licence plate is tied to parking permits, e-z pass and in my business taxi cab licence's among other things. So if you do not want to totally mess up your life, you must pay another $20 on top of the new fees. There is nobody in Albany who deserves re-election. This budget and MTA mess took years to make, and our current representatives are not innocent bystanders. They want you to think they have had a fiscal epiphany, but in reality it was just a ruse to hide their years of cow-towing to the special interests instead of our interests.
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A MESSAGE FROM THE HARRISON APAR FIELD OF DREAMS FOUNDATION:
Yorktown Chamber of Commerce Organization of the Year
proudly present Harrison Apar YAC
Columbus Day Golf Classic at Mohansic
Official Tournament of Yorktown Athletic Club Golf League
(Starting Fall 2009)October 12, 2009
Best Ball Scramble 9:00a Shotgun
Awards Dinner Party Immediately Following
at Travelers Rest
Retired MLB Players at Course & Awards Dinner Party

FEATURING
26-year MLB Veteran & Yankees Pitching Legend
TOMMY JOHN !

Harrison Apar YAC Columbus Day Golf Classic at Mohansic is ...
A Family-Friendly Community 'Fun Raiser' Affordably Priced at $150!
-OR-
Golf with a former Major League Baseball Player for $250!

Harrison Apar Golf Classic Highlights
:: The Official Tournament of YAC Golf
:: Meet Tommy John! Honor Mark Vercruysse!
:: A Tournament for All Ages + Abilities
Players + Sponsors ...

MAKE CHECKS PAYABLE AND MAIL TO:
HARRISON APAR FIELD OF DREAMS FOUNDATION
P.O. BOX 1383
YORKTOWN HEIGHTS, NY 10598

General Admission Tickets
$150 = Sign up for Golf as single, twosome, threesome or foursome
Includes Gift Bag, Breakfast, Lunch, Awards Dinner (Auction + Raffle) AND Business Card Ad in Souvenir Autograph Program/Scorecard

$150 = Two-Hole Sponsor
Two-sided Signs at Two Different Tee Boxes
Includes Business Card Ad in Souvenir Autograph Program/Scorecard

MLB Field Box Tickets
$250 = Sign up for Golf as single, twosome, threesome or foursome to be matched with retired MLB Player (as 5th golfer)
Includes Gift Bag, Breakfast, Lunch, Awards Dinner (Auction + Raffle) AND Eighth-Page Ad in Souvenir Autograph Program/Scorecard

JOIN OUR ALL-STAR LINEUP OF SPONSORS!
NORTH COUNTY NEWS
TRAVELERS REST
TRUMP NATIONAL GOLF CLUB
DEVITO BUILDERS
YORKTOWN LIONS CLUB
TONY'S PLACE CIGARS & SMOKING LOUNGE
CLUB FIT
CLASS ACTION: LAWYERS WHO ROCK
YORKTOWN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT HOLE AND OTHER SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES LISTED BELOW CONTACT
HARRISON APAR FIELD OF DREAMS FOUNDATION
HARRISONAPAR@OPTONLINE.NET
914-275-6887

MLB MVP Tickets
$1000 = Beverage Cart Sponsor
$1000 = Breakfast Sponsor
$1000 = Official Photographer Sponsor
$1000 = Putting Green/Driving Range Sponsor
Includes Two Golfers with MLB Player of Choice, Two Hole Signs, Gift Bag, Breakfast, Lunch, Awards Dinner (Auction + Raffle) AND Signage AND Half-Page Ad in Souvenir Autograph Program/Scorecard

MLB Luxury Box Tickets
$3000 = On-Course Lunch Sponsor
$3500 = Tommy John Keynote Speaker Sponsor
Includes Four Golfers with MLB Player of Choice, Four Hole Signs, Gift Bag, Breakfast, Lunch, Awards Dinner (Auction + Raffle) AND Signage AND Full-Page Ad in Souvenir Autograph Program/Scorecard

MLB Hall of Fame Tickets
$5000 = Awards Dinner Party at Travelers Rest Sponsor
Includes Eight Golfers with MLB Players of Choice, Six Hole Signs, Gift Bag, Breakfast, Lunch, Awards Dinner (Auction + Raffle) AND Signage AND Back Cover Ad in Souvenir Autograph Program/Scorecard

Help Us Honor
One of YAC's Finest at the After-Golf Awards Dinner ...
Lacrosse Commissioner andPast President
Mark Vercruysse

Winner of 2009 Harrison Apar YAC PBA Fund Award
for Community Service

Ever since Mark Vercruysse and family -- wife Mae and sons Kyle, Justin, Conor -- moved to Yorktown in fall 1996, he has worked tirelessly in key positions and four different sports as one of Yorktown Athletic Club's most respected leaders and contributors.

After serving as Travel Commissioner for all sports in his first YAC role from 1997 to 1999, he took over as President from 2000 to 2004, and currently is Lacrosse Commissioner.
Along the way, he has coached his three boys' in-house and travel teams in baseball, basketball, football and lacrosse.
"This is a very special honor for me and my family," Mark said on learning of the Harrison Apar YAC PBA Fund's choosing him for its second annual honor.
[The first recipient in 2008 at the after-golf awards dinner at Travelers Rest was popular Yorktown referee and school district security advisor Marshall Sherer.]
"I accept this honor," Mark added, "not only for myself but for all the people who worked as hard and were equally committed to providing programs for the youth growing up in this great town.
"Most important, I have had the support of my wife Mae throughout the many years with YAC. Without that, I would never have had the opportunity to do the things I did."
And without Mark and others like him, YAC would not be in its 61st year as one of Westchester's most admired and successful recreational youth sports organizations.


Harrison Apar Golf Classic enjoys total community support -- from Yorktown Athletic Club, Yorktown Police Benevolent Association, Yorktown Chamber of Commerce, Yorktown Lions Club, North County News, Trump National Golf Club, Club Fit, DeVito Builders, Doc James + More All On Board to Move the Ball Fore!ward


Harrison Apar YAC Golf Classic
Honorary Committee
(in formation)
YAC President Rich Campanaro
YAC Treasurer Tom Donatelli
YAC Golf Commissioner David Gorstein
YAC Board Member Mike Nolan
Yorktown PBA Officer Skip Mackay
2008 Harrison Apar YAC PBA Award Honoree Marshall Sherer
Mohansic Golf Course
Assistant Pro Skip Marini
Trump National Golf Club
Executive VP Dan Scavino
Major League Baseball Players
Alumni Association COO Geoff Hixson
Detroit Tigers Retired Pitcher John Doherty
DeVito Builders Owner Anthony DeVito
Club Fit Marketing VP Ellen Koelsch
Colonial Terrace Owner Leon Drogy
Attorney-at-Law Gary Cusano, Esq.
Yorktown Chamber of Commerce
President Joseph Visconti
Marketing Entrepreneur Doug Press
Yorktown High Varsity
Golf Coach Rich Lavino
Attorney-at-Law David Steinmetz, Esq.
Yorktown Schools
Athletic Director Fio Nardone
Corporate Marketing Executive
Bill Drysdale
North County News Publisher Bruce Apar


Make A Bid to Bring Your Foursome to Trump National Golf Club!
Harrison Apar Field of Dreams Foundation is proud to have Trump National Golf Club and its Executive VP (and Yorktown native) Dan Scavino on our team as a good friend, as well as serving on the Tournament Committee.

In addition to fielding his own foursome at the Columbus Day Golf Classic, Dan has graciously donated a foursome at the palatial and exclusive Trump course in Briarcliff Manor we will auction to the highest bidder to help us raise money for the Harrison Apar YAC PBA Fund that benefits families and recreational facilities in our community. Dan's the Man!

Meet One of Baseball's Household Names,
Tommy John!
Golf Classic Player &
Awards Party Keynoter

Included in Price of Admission!
After-Golf Awards Party + Dinner
With Featured Speaker
Baseball Legend Tommy John

"I know they had to graft a new arm on John, but did they have to give him Sandy Koufax?" -- Pete Rose

TommyJohn.net Though he has become famous for the breakthrough pitching-arm surgery he had 35 years ago that bears his name, Tommy John was an extraordinarily durable Major Leaguer who won 288 games in his 26-year career, more than half of them after the surgery that turned him into baseball's "Bionic Man."
He ranks as the fifth most winningest left-hander in MLB history and the 23rd winningest among all pitchers. In fact, he is the winningest pitcher in MLB history who is not (yet) in the Hall of Fame.

In addition to playing for the New York Yankees, he also pitched for the L.A. Dodgers, California Angels and Chicago White Sox. He had three 20-win seasons, appeared in four All-Star games, and played in four World Series.
Less than 10 minutes from Mohansic is the destination restaurant for the area's most festive celebrations, hosted by Dave & Nancy Paganelli. The $150 fee includes golf and dinner, as well as breakfast and lunch during golf. Music, memorabilia auction, prizes, and more surprises are in store.

QUOTES BY TOMMY JOHN
"Always give 100 percent and you'll never have to second guess yourself."

"I think you learn how to pitch during the game from about the 60th pitch to the 110th pitch. When you start getting tired, you learn how to pitch."

"I'm a light eater. When it gets light, I start eating."

See more at his website
TommyJohn.net


Players of All Ages + Abilities Are Welcome!
The Family that Plays Together
Helps the Community Together


We priced this community charity golf fundraiser at $150 -- and always have it on Columbus Day -- to include as many people as possible, including students. We feature age-appropriate award categories so golfers of all age have a fair chance to win the Longest Drive, Closest to Pin, Putting and other contests.

At the fun After-Golf Awards Party at beautiful Travelers Rest only minutes from Mohansic Golf Course, there's not only Tommy John speaking and Mark Vercruysse being honored and live music and dinner and golf awards, but raffles and live and silent auctions.

Support HARRISON APAR YAC PBA FUND
Founded in 2003 by Yorktown Athletic Club and Yorktown's Police Benevolent Association to memorialize a little person born with dwarfism and looked up to for his indomitable spirit and courage on and off the playing fields, the Harrison Apar Field of Dreams Foundation's YAC PBA Fund has raised and donated tens of thousands of dollars to benefit the families of our community by helping improve town and school recreational facilities and supporting our student athletes both on and off the field with scholarship awards and other numerous
forms of financial endowment.

Swing to Classic Rock by Class Action!
'Yorktown Lawyers Who Rock'
will play at the
Harrison Apar Classic After-Golf
Travelers Rest Party

Matt Daus, Lead Guitar
Gary Cusano, Rhythm Guitar/Vocals
Mike Latini, Bass Guitar/Vocals
Rich Block, Rhythm Guitar
Greg Kuczinski, Drums

Class Action plays great cover versions of your favorite classic rock music.
Check them out at classactionmusic.net

small is ALLThe Tall Tale of Harrison Apar

Harrison Apar was a little person who continues to be looked up to as a model of courage, pride and excellence. He is the first child of Yorktown (Westchester County, New York) to have a public space named for him, Harrison Apar Field of Dreams, a town ballpark from which the foundation derives its name.

Standing 37 inches and weighing 37 pounds at age 15, due to a rare and undiagnosed form of dwarfism, and braving lifelong heart-and-lung disease, Harrison was a straight-A student, performer and published writer beloved by the community for his wit, positive attitude and a fierce passion for sports, especially baseball and basketball. He played and officiated both for Yorktown Athletic Club.

After succumbing to complications following his third open-heart surgery in March 2003, at a memorial service attended by hundreds at Yorktown High School, Shawn Sigler memorialized his friend with the epitaph,
'May We Stand as Tall as He Did'

Harrison Apar Field of Dreams Foundation
and its YAC PBA Fund were founded April
2003 in cooperation with Yorktown Athletic Club and Yorktown Police Benevolent Association. The mission is to improve town and school recreational facilities, reward outstanding accomplishments in academics, athletics and performing arts, and instill in children the virtues of character, confidence and teamwork.

The plaque at the ball field named for him notes, "The original flag at this site was flown over the U.S. Capitol on August 4,
2003 in honor of Harrison Apar Field of Dreams."

The flag was delivered along with
a letter from U.S. Congresswoman Sue Kelly
to Harrison's parents Elyse and Bruce that noted, "Harrison demonstrated a continued love of athletics. It is only appropriate that he is memorialized with an athletic field. You have brought great honor to the already rich legacy of your son."

For the field dedication ceremony in September 2003, "The Voice of Yankee Stadium" Bob Sheppard recorded a special tribute: "Please direct your attention, and your imagination, to home plate: Now batting for Yorktown, Number 1 ...Harrison Apar ... Number 1 ... forever in our hearts."
Learn more about Harrison and the Foundation's fundraising activities at this special section of the YAC website:

Harrison Apar Field of Dreams Foundation at YAC Online

Join us Columbus Day, Monday, October 12, for a Community Charity Golf Event you'll never forget. In Harrison's own words, "Dreams do not come easily, but if you stretch enough, nothing is out of reach."


And have we ever stretched to bring Yorktown a way-above-par golf fundraiser and after-party unlike any other in this region: a golf outing that has awards for kids as well as adults, former Major League Baseball players, live classic rock band, community service testimonial award, AND features speaker New York Yankees pitching legend Tommy John!

Let's dream as big as Harrison did and help our kids enjoy the best recreational facilities we can provide by supporting Yorktown's most fun fundraiser of the year.


THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT!
SIGN UP NOW!
Yorktown Athletic Club website (YACsports.com)
HarrisonApar@optonline.net
For more information ... (914) 275-6887
Harrison Apar Field of Dreams Foundation | P.O. Box 1383 | Yorktown Heights | NY | 10598
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A MESSAGE FROM YORKTOWN COUNCILMAN NICK BIANCO:
RE: HEALTH CARE FORUM:
ED. NOTE: NICK BIANCO WILL BE ONE OF THE PANELISTS

Here are the perticulars on the upcoming Health Care Town Hall. Below is all the information regarding the event. Thank you and we hope to see you there.

Thursday August 27th 2009
Health Care Town Hall
JFK High School Auditorium
7:00pm - 9:00pm
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A MESSAGE FROM PEEKSKILL DEMOCRATIC PARTY CHAIRMAN DARREN RIGGER:
COURT REBUKES TESTA LAWSUIT AGAINST VOLPE FAMILY FOR THE SECOND TIME
Court of Appeals Affirms Supreme Court Decision that Tossed Testa’s Litigation

Volpe: I Hope This Latest Judicial Rebuke will Wake John Testa Up to the Fact That Intimidating and Harassing a Man’s Family Has No Place in Politics

A five judge appellate division court shot down an appeal by John Testa to overturn a Supreme Court decision two weeks ago that dismissed allegations of fraud against Domenic Volpe and members of his family. The Appellate Division of the State Supreme Court 2nd Department handed down its decision Thursday. This is the second time that the courts have tossed claims by Testa against Volpe and his family.

“Once again the Courts have affirmed that John Testa’s accusations and attempts to play politics on the back of my family have absolutely no merit,” said Domenic Volpe, candidate for Westchester County Legislator. “The decision of John Testa to continually harass my family through the Court system is further evidence that he does not have the character or the integrity to serve in county government. I hope this latest judicial rebuke will wake him up to the fact that intimidating and harassing a man’s family has no place in politics.”

In their decision, the five judge panel ruled:

The Supreme Court correctly determined that the petitioners failed to meet theirburden of establishing, by clear and convincing evidence, that Volpe participated in, or is chargeable with knowledge of, any fraud with respect to the DeVaul petition (see Matter of Perez v Galarza, 21 AD3d 508; Matter of McRae v Jennings, 307 AD2d 1012; Matter of Ragusa v Roper, 286 AD2d at 517). At the hearing, the petitioners presented the testimony of four individuals who signed the DeVaul petition in Volpe’s presence. Based on this testimony, it cannot be said that Volpe fraudulently induced the four witnesses to sign the DeVaul petition, as DeVaul’s name was clearly printed on the petition and there was no evidence that Volpe made any material misrepresentations of fact. In addition, there was no evidence that Volpe induced his son Nicholas to affix his signature as a subscribing witness to those four signatures (cf. Matter of Bynoe v Board of Elections of City of N.Y., 164 AD2d 929), or that Volpe exercised such control over Nicholas as to justify charging him with knowledge of the fraudulent acts allegedly committed by Nicholas. Furthermore, the Supreme Court, which saw and heard the witnesses, found that the petitioners failed to demonstrate by clear and convincing evidence that Nicholas was not present when the subject signatories executed the DeVaul petition. Accordingly, the Supreme Court properly determined that the petitioners failed to meet their burden of demonstrating that the petitions designating Volpe as a candidate should be invalidated, that Volpe should be disqualified as a candidate, or that Volpe’s name should be stricken from the ballot.

Here is the link to view the decision online:
http://www.courts.state.ny.us/courts/ad2/calendar/webcal/decisions/2009/D24311.pdf

“John Testa’s continuous effort to intimidate and harass me and my family, with every means possible, gives great insight into the kind of legislator he would be,” Volpe continued. “It’s no coincidence that since John Testa’s campaign of harassment began; elected leaders throughout the 1st Legislative District have come out to endorse me. We need a legislator in White Plains who can put aside attack politics, get down to business, and work with others.”
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E-MAIL RESPONES FROM:

PATTY VILLANOVA:
Dear Bazzo:
Thanks so much for your kind endorsement, it was greatly appreciated. The back story to my candidacy is very interesting, as is what happened with the town Dems as well. It seems as if both parties have been split into factions which is what's created the situation of having two primaries. After going out and getting my petitions signed, I can tell you that voters/ taxpayers are pretty much fed up with government on ALL levels from Washington to Put Valley. There is also a feeling of powerlessness which I attribute to the old adage "you can't fight City Hall." What I've been saying to people is that the beauty of living in a small town like ours is that we CAN fight City Hall and even win sometimes. But you have to be in it to win it.

There is too much agreement among all the members of our current town board, too much collegiality. There's no difference between Wendy and Tendy or Wendy and the other Bob (Cinque). It's always "all in favor say aye" with unanimous votes on most items. Meanwhile the size and scope of town government continues to grow with no end in sight. Look at the proposed new firehouse that I've been trying to get them to put up for a vote for the last few months. How can it be that they keep telling me "we don't have enough information." What a crock. I filed some FOIL requests and now have the artist's rendering of the building plan as well as the contract with the architects. The fire department has already committed over half a million dollars to this project just in fees for the architects, engineers, etc. before they're even close to going out to bid. I've been told by the records access person at the FD that their records are so voluminous that I will have to make an appointment so they can pull out the boxes for me to look through. Why do I, a private citizen, have to be the one to bring this to the attention of the taxpaying public? Isn't that the Board's job? The list goes on and on- you yourself are more on top of things in Put Valley than some of the local politicos.

Finally, I wanted to mention your last column ("Crossing the Line") about the mess in the District 1 race for county legislator. I've followed this story myself and find it fascinating, especially in view of what I've just learned about the niceties of Election Law. I've been involved in many races and helped get a fair number of people elected, but actually running for office has taught me what a dirty game politics really is. Even I have been surprised by some of the shenanigans that I've witnessed including this Independence party controversy that extended into Putnam County as well. That being said, I'm a little surprised at how upset you got with the whole Volpe/ Testa thing-- you're certainly no stranger to the wild and wacky world of Peekskill/ Yorktown elections. The fact is what happened with the DeVaul Independence candidacy was all too typical of what goes on. Volpe's plan wasn't particularly sinister, it was stupidly executed. There was no way in hell that Testa wasn't going to challenge those signatures (as was his absolute right) and Domenic should have known it and made sure that every one of the names and addresses was 100% accurate. He obviously didn't do his homework and thought he could get away with it. If Volpe's friend agreed to run against Testa to force an IND primary, so what? That kind of thing is done all the time. All they had to do was follow the rules and go out and get the required number of petitions signed. It wasn't a mystery, nor was it particularly difficult as the number required was small. Volpe screwed up, pure and simple. As far as getting him thrown off the Democrat ballot too, I think that's as legit as anything that goes on in these races and I'm surprised that it upset your delicate sensibilities so much. As they say, this is my opinion, you may beg to differ.

Keep up the good work.
best regards,
Patty Villanova
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TOWN OF CORTLANDT SUPERVISOR LINDA PUGLISI:

Anthony,
I read your blog. That is the whole point, voters need a choice and my opponent is trying to take away all choices leaving NO CHOICE.
Thank you,
Linda Puglisi
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READER JOYCE:
Hello:
Today I learned that the Governor has again spent our hard earned tax dollars without any thought. Below is a note that I emailed to Senator Leibell. It is time that we all join together and protest the waste of our money both on a federal and state level.

Is no one looking out for our hard earned tax dollars???
Today I learned that the NY welfare recipients received credit cards to purchase school supplies for their children through the infamous stimulus package created by the President. However, instead of buying school supplies it appears that the money is going for beer and cigarettes! Did the government not learn from the Katrina disaster that giving these people credit cards means "let's party"?????

By distributing the money to the school districts and having them purchase the needed supplies would have been the correct way to spend our tax dollars.

How about watching out for your constituents and their money Senator Leibell??? When will you stand up to Paterson and the liberals?

Joyce
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WHAT'S HAPPENING AT 12 GRAPES, N. DIVISION STREET, PEEKSKILL:
Next Week's Highlights:

Wed, Aug 26, 8:00 - 10:30, Mani Cregan (Acoustic)

Thu, Aug 27, 8:30 - 11:30, As Good As It Gets
...Susan's House Band returns!
with Greg Westhoff, John Hahn & Stefan Davenport

Fri, Aug 28, 9:30 - 12:30, WVS Blues Organization
Sat, Aug 29, 9:30-12:30, Carlos Colina & the Straight Up Blues Band
Sun, Aug 30, 6:30 - 9:30, Singer/Songwriter Showcase
For reservations, call 914-737-6624
or email rich@12grapes.com

Thanks again for joining in the fun at 12 Grapes. To see our menus, calendar of events and photo gallery, please visit 12grapes.com.
As always, thank you for your patronage and friendship.
Sincerely,
Rich & Jeannie Credidio
12 Grapes Music & Wine Bar
12 North Division Street, Peekskill, NY
(914) 737-6624
12grapes.com
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A MESSAGE FROM CANDIDATE FOR WESTCHESTER LEGISLATOR JOHN TESTA:
Come and Support Your Next County Legislator
former Mayor of Peekskill John G. Testa
Peekskill Brewery
Hudson Avenue and Railroad Avenue
Peekskill, NY 10566
Beer Tasting
Try samples of the many brews available on tap
Light refreshments will be served
On Sunday, September 6, 2009
3-5 PM
$35.00 per person
Cash bar
RSVP by September 4 • May pay at the door
For further information call 914-739-4861 or campaign@johngtesta.com
Come and Support Your
Next County Legislator
Name ______________________________________________________
Address _____________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________
Phone ______________________ E-mail __________________________
For your convenience you may contribute
to John’s campaign online via credit card or
Paypal.
Go to:
www.johngtesta.com/campaign.html
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A MESSAGE FROM CANDIDATE FOR YORKTOWN COUNCIL TERRENCE MURPHY:

Murphy Calls Foul on New DMV Fees
Councilman Candidate Wonders How Much More Taxpayers Can Take

In an effort to make residents aware of the new taxes and fees being forced on their livelihood Yorktown Councilman Candidate Dr. Terrence Murphy (R, I – Yorktown) revealed new DMV fees being enforced by the state. Beginning September 1, 2009 residents of Yorktown will be required to pay additional fees regarding their automobiles. As approved by the state budget this past spring, Driver License Fees and Vehicle Registration Fees will be increased by 25%.

“This is nothing more than the state of New York nickel and diming the middle class residents of Yorktown,” Murphy said. “The reality is, the ruling majority of the town board is willing to waste taxpayer money on unnecessary litigation, but do not have the courage to stand up for Yorktown taxpayers who have become a punching bag for the state and county.”

The 25% increase means Class D diver’s license fees will increase from $50 to $64.50. Registration fees for an automobile weighing 3500lbs will climb from $45 to $56. Effective April 1, 2010 all registered vehicles will be required to get new license plates, which will cost $25.

“If these increases were not bad enough residents of Yorktown will have to pay double in order to fund the MTA,” Murphy explained. “Just when we thought we were through with the MTA high jacking our wallets we get slammed with this. The MTA should stand for: More Taxes Again.”

For the 12 county MTA region which Westchester is a part of there will be an additional $16 fee on all drivers licenses; translating into $80.50 for a class D license. For all vehicle registration, a $50 supplemental fee will be added, causing a 3500lbs automobile $106.50 to be registered.

“Albany continues to prove its inability to fix this financial mess,” Murphy continued. “If we are going to right this ship it has to come from the local level. We cannot be afraid to stand up to the dysfunctional and inefficient bullies above us.”
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A MESSAGE FROM CANDIDATE FOR YORKTOWN COUNCIL MARK DREXEL:

The residents of Westchester County learned an expensive lesson this week when County Executive Andy Spano, realized that he had backed the taxpayers into a no-win situation.

Spano says he had no choice but to settle a lawsuit that charged that the county had lied about fulfilling the mandates linked to millions of dollars in federal Community Development Block Grants that were expressly set aside for affordable housing. If agreed to by the Board of Legislators, the county will have to spend $50 million to acquire 750 homes that will be made available as affordable housing.

Recently, Spano called on board of legislators to take a logical view rather than an emotional one. Let’s finally look at the facts and recognize that Spano’s administration has time and time again made illogical decisions that have backfired for County taxpayers. The Board must not let him off the hook this time. I urge the Board of Legislators not to accept the plea bargain and expose Spano’s poor leadership.
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A MESSAGE FROM WESTCHESTER LEGISLATOR GEORGE OROS:

Dear Friend,
Here is today's "It's Just Common Sense" Commentary. Please take a minute to read it and by all means pass it along to family and friends who you think would be interested. Thanks for reading.
Sincerely,
George

IT’S JUST COMMON SENSE
Commentary by George Oros
Republican leader
Westchester County Board of Legislators
Comments to George Oros geooros@aol.com

Life Lesson Learned in the Stockroom

Like many young guys, during my high school days, I worked at various jobs to earn a little date money. For a time I worked as the stock clerk at the A.S. Beck shoe store in the Menlo Park Mall. Thursday was always a day of panic for our store manager, Andy, an affable and hard working man. Every Thursday the district manager would drop by, inspect our operation, and report back to regional headquarters on store performance. Andy was particularly anxious one Thursday. A rumor swirled about that a managerial slot had opened at the larger Beck’s outlet in Paramus. The manager in Paramus had more responsibility than the manager in Menlo Park – and made more money.

That Thursday, as I went about making sure the ladies pumps were not mixed on the shelves with the junior sandals, I spotted a letter, written on A.S. Becks letterhead, on the stock room floor. I figured the letter fell from the district manager’s briefcase. I picked up the letter and went over to the district manager. He was in an animated conversation with a customer. I retreated to the stock room where curiosity got the best of me.

“Due to his poor ability to manage the Menlo Park store, which is smaller, generates less revenue and sells lower volume, no consideration should be given to the applicant,” the memo read. The applicant, of course, was Andy and the memo was from the district manager to the regional office. At least I had a topic for my economics class on Friday – in the harsh reality of the business world, performance counts, not intention.

This week, an article in the trade publication “Automotive News” regarding the government’s Cash for Clunkers program read like the district manager’s memo to the regional office.

·“There is a rising level of uncertainty for a program already burdened with payment delays, computer snags and fears that the $3 billion in funding is running out fast.”

·“The National Automobile Dealers Association says some dealers have stopped doing clunker deals because the government owes them too much money.”

·A North Carolina Dealer Association survey showed that only about 2% of submitted transactions are paid and dealers are waiting on $68 million.

·“The NHTSA (the program administrator) is still trying to determine how to manage the end of the program so dealers aren’t submitting deals for which there is no money.”

·The government requires a vehicle identification number for payment. It “can take weeks to obtain a VIN on a new order adding another level of complexity to an already tangled process.”

As these federal programs go, Cash for Clunkers is not particularly big or expensive, just as the store at Menlo Park was not then a big revenue producer for A.S. Beck. But these relatively small, in context, operations tell me something about large operations. A.S. Beck recognized that Andy was no wizard at Menlo Park and did not promote him. Imagine, though, if Andy was running corporate headquarters? Okay, now think about the feds running health care nationwide.

It’s one thing for Lenny Canora at Park Ford Lincoln Mercury in Mahopac to halt delivery of my new 2009 Ford Fusion, but what if Dr. Laura Mieszerski on Crompond Road must refuse to deliver a new born child due to “uncertainty,” “too much money owed from the government,” or having to wait “weeks” for some petty bureaucrat in the regional office to give the okay? You and I know that Doc Laura would deliver the baby anyway, and therefore she would also deliver a risk to herself as well.

The problems and pitfalls in the Obama-Schumer-Pelosi health care proposals are far too many to set forth in this commentary. Most readers are already well educated in this issue anyway. The point is: just apply good, old fashion “common sense” analysis. If the current crew in Washington can’t figure out how to manage a $3 billion giveaway program for a few folks buying a new car, then how in the world would this crew manage the health care system? In the United States, health care is nearly a quarter of the country’s economy. Decades ago, an A.S. Beck district manager knew enough not to place responsibility for a larger task with someone who has already demonstrated an inability to handle something smaller and easier. In other words: if you can’t mange “cash for clunkers” (or the Menlo Park store), why should I trust you with determining my next surgery (or running the flagship store in Paramus)?

ANOTHER “COMMON SENSE” P.S.:
Congress recently enacted the Credit C.A.R.D. Act which will prohibit a retroactive increase to the interest rate charged on your card. Sure wish that law applied to the New York State Legislature, which in May imposed a payroll tax on all business, self employed, not for profits, school districts and municipalities and made if take effect and start billing for the tax in March 2009 – two months before the tax was passed.

Also:
Starting August 20, credit card issuers must give 45 days notice of a rate increase. Somehow Congress never applies these rules to the federal government. The $787 billion dollar stimulus bill couldn’t wait. President Obama, Senator Reid, and Speaker Pelosi demanded Congress pass the stimulus bill within days of it’s’ introduction, and within 18 hours of a 300-page amendment to the bill being introduced. Thanks Congress for looking out for me by making sure MasterCard sends me a notice six weeks before an increase so maybe I could change credit cards. If you did the same with federal spending and gave it 45 days for the public to view, well just maybe it would be Congress that might be changed.

P.S. Help me restore Common Sense to the corridors of government, at all levels. Please join my newly formed Political Action Committee “Common Sense Now PAC” today I am depending on you!
Yes, I want to help restore Common Sense to our government. Enclosed is my contribution of
$500 _____ $200____ $100_____ $50_____ other___________

Name
Address
Email
phone
RETURN TO: COMMON SENSE NOW PAC PO BOX 49 PEEKSKILL, NEW YORK 10566
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A MESSAGE FROM CANDIDATE FOR WESTCHESTER COUNTY EXECUTIVE ROB ASTORINO:
SPANO REFUSES TO SCHEDULE PUBLIC HEARINGS BEFORE
HOUSING SETTLEMENT IS APPROVED
CALLS MULTI-MILLION-DOLLAR
SETTLEMENT COST 'NEGLIGIBLE'

White Plains, NY-August 21...Westchester County Executive Andy Spano, whose mismanagement and falsification of records involving tens of millions of federal housing dollars is costing Westchester taxpayers at least $62 million in penalties and subsidized housing mandates, refused yesterday to schedule public hearings before the controversial housing plan is approved by the County Board of Legislators. The settlement plan must be ratified or rejected by the Board by September 24th. Mr. Spano is reportedly pressing for a vote, without public input, sooner than that.

In response to calls for public hearings on the 750-unit housing plan by reform Westchester county executive candidate Rob Astorino (R-I), Mr. Spano balked Thursday, saying the public would be involved only after the settlement is approved by the Board. That would deny residents in communities affected the right to challenge the plan or weigh in on its details before it is approved. Mr. Spano characterized the cost of the multi-million dollar settlement as "negligible" to Westchester taxpayers, already the highest taxed people in America.

"How can taxpayers be completely excluded from a matter that Mr. Spano called the most important vote in Westchester County history?," Mr. Astorino asked. "Westchester residents deserve to know the details of this mandate: where are these homes going?; how much will they really cost taxpayers?; how many additional school seats will be needed in each community?; which towns will be affected?; who will pay the property taxes for these homes?; what developers will build them?; what will the homes look like?; how will local zoning laws will be affected? It's common sense; these questions must be asked before the Board commits to this massive mandate."

Mr. Astorino called Thursday for public town hall hearings in each municipality slated to receive below-market-rate housing. They include: Ardsley, Bedford, Briarcliff Manor, Bronxville, Buchanan, Eastchester, Hastings-on-Hudson, Harrison, Irvington, Larchmont, Lewisboro, Mount Pleasant, Mamaroneck, New Castle, North Castle, North Salem, Pelham Manor, Pleasantville, Pound Ridge, Rye Brook, City of Rye, Somers, Scarsdale, and Yorktown.

The Spano Administration was sued by the Anti-Discrimination Center under the federal "False Claims Act" for mismanaging funds and falsifying certification records on $50 million in federal housing and other grants.

www.robastorino.com
Donate $20.09, $50, $100, $200, $500
www.facebook.com/robastorino
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A MESSAGE FROM CANDIDATE FOR DISTRICT ATTORNEY DAN SCHORR:
SCHORR: SANCHEZ PLEA DEAL APPALLING

Says Practice of Easy Plea Bargains Will End Under Schorr Administration
White Plains, NY- August 17, 2009...Former prosecutor and candidate for Westchester District Attorney, Dan Schorr, today reinforced his call to put an end to the easy plea bargains that are letting dangerous criminals back on the streets. Mr. Schorr condemned the DA's office for offering a plea bargain of only 5 years in prison to domestic violence attacker, David Sanchez.

According to police, Mr. Sanchez turned his car into a "torture chamber" brutally attacking his ex-girlfriend for hours and attempting to kill her. Police intervened, saving her life after a receiving a 911 call from the victim's mother.

Mr. Sanchez beat the victim so savagely that she suffered a fractured eye socket, a lost tooth, punctured eardrum and other facial injuries. He held her captive for more than six hours, burning her with cigarettes and pulling out her hair as she drifted in and our of consciousness.

"There is absolutely no justification as to why the DA cut a deal with a vicious criminal to offer him the minimum sentence allowed by law," said Mr. Schorr. "The DA's office should have fought for this domestic violence victim and locked away her attacker for the maximum sentence of 25 years."

The victim submitted a letter to the court criticizing the decision to issue such a short sentence, giving him the ability to harm someone else.

"What kind of message does this send? This DA's office is putting criminal's rights before crime victims. This slap on the wrist will allow Mr. Sanchez to be free again by his mid-twenties."

Mr. Schorr is a former prosecutor in Queens and Westchester Counties, specializing in domestic violence and sex crimes cases.

"This case is indicative of one of the biggest problems with the DA's office right now, in that they care more about conviction statistics than serving justice. The practice of offering plea bargains to dangerous criminals will absolutely stop on my watch."
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STATEMENT FROM DAN SCHORR
"Ms. DiFiore's claim that it she is not responsible for Mr. Sanchez receiving a mere 5 years in prison for his heinous crimes is a complete distortion of the law. A defendant indicted for attempted murder is not permitted under the law to plead guilty to any other charge or sentencing recommended by the court without the consent of the DA's office. A violent criminal will be free in 5 short years and this plea never would have been consented to if I was the district attorney on this case." - Dan Schorr
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A MESSAGE FROM ASSEMBLYWOMAN SANDRA GALEF:

Assemblywoman Galef Calls on Colleagues to Pass Legislation
for State Constitutional Convention Before 2017
State Legislature Must Act in 2010 Session and Reform Convention Delegate Selection Process

Assemblywoman Galef said today that New York State is in dire need of a constitutional convention. “Our legislative process has broken down and our citizens suffer the negative consequences,” Galef said. “We must pass legislation, which I co-sponsor (Brodsky, A4271), immediately in 2010 so that we can ask the voters in 2010 or 2011 whether to hold a constitutional convention. It is also imperative to change the convention delegate selection so that special interests don’t prevail which I propose in my legislation (A5277).”

The state constitution can be changed in two ways. One, the state constitution mandates that in every general election held at twenty-year intervals, voters must be asked whether they want a constitutional convention. Two, the state legislature can approve a proposed convention amendment in two successive, regular legislative sessions before submitting it to the voters. In both cases, the majority of the voters must approve the ballot measure before it can take effect.

The state constitution was last amended in 1938. In 1967, when the last constitutional convention took place, voters did not ratify what was produced. In 1997, voters rejected holding a convention. The next time voters will be asked whether they desire a constitutional convention is in 2017. The state legislature can approve a constitutional amendment any year.

“We are working under the constraints of a constitution that is over seventy-years old”, said Galef. “We are facing twenty-first century challenges and we must modify our ways of governing to meet those challenges and thrive. We must do so while earning the trust and respect of the public, and we can only earn that respect through non-partisanship, transparency, and fairness. At a constitutional convention, we could redraw our legislative districts in a non-partisan fashion (A6878) that was supported by 75% of my constituents, reform the budget process with an Independent Budget Office (A5925), relieve the property tax burden on our homeowners through a state takeover of Medicaid (A7217), and modernize the legislative proceedings through use of technology (A6340). We also must lay out the constitutional means by which a lieutenant governor vacancy is filled. The lieutenant governor vacancy contributed greatly to the stalemate in the New York State Senate this past June, 2009.”

Opponents to past constitutional conventions have succeeded in convincing the public that has grown more cynical and distrustful of politicians and the political process that their concerns would not be addressed. To guarantee inclusion and transparency, as well as address the public’s reservations about a convention run by elected officials, Galef introduced legislation (A5277) prohibiting elected officials from qualifying as delegates to a state constitutional convention. All elected officials from Governor to village trustee could not serve as delegates.

Galef stated that, “We need to change the law so that citizens, not elected officials, participate.” The New York State League of Women Voters echoed this position when they declared in their June, 1993 Statement of Position that “present office holders should not be eligible to serve as delegates.” The Center for Voting and Democracy also issued a statement calling for reform of the delegate elections. Most recently, in 2009, Blair Horner, Executive Director, of the New York Public Interest Research Group stated that changing the way delegates are elected is critical.

Galef joins a variety of officials representing different interests and ideologies who support a constitutional convention. They include officials such as: New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo; former Mayor Giuliani; former Governor Mario Cuomo; New York State Assembly colleagues Brodsky, Kolb, and Thiele; Senators LaValle and Volker; organizations such as the Mohawk Valley Chamber of Commerce; and various business and taxpayer groups.
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A MESSAGE FROM ASSEMBLYMAN GREG BALL:
MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
HEALTHCARE TOWN HALL MEETING
JFK HIGH SCHOOL - AUDITORIUM

THURSDAY, AUGUST 27TH
7PM SHARP
54 OLD SOMERS ROAD
SOMERS NEW YORK
CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO INVITATION:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9luht5ZXTVA
WWW.BALL4NY.COM
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Hall Owes an Explanation: Six Months After ‘Stimulus,’ Americans Still Asking, ‘Where Are the Jobs?’
Budget-Busting Disaster Still Hasn’t Yielded Results

Washington- Today marks the six month anniversary of the signing of the Democrats’ $787 billion economic stimulus, and New York’s hard-working taxpayers are still wondering when they will see any positive effects on the economy – and still waiting for an explanation from John Hall about his vote to pile a mountain of new debt on their backs with no results to show for it.

“Despite all the spin coming from the White House and Capitol Hill, New York families know that the last six months of John Hall’s stimulus swindle have amounted to little more than a monumental waste of money,” said NRCC Communications Director Ken Spain. “John Hall and his Democrat friends embraced a ‘Washington knows best’ mentality that put nearly a trillion taxpayer dollars in the hands of bureaucrats and politicians. Six months after he handed over their hard-earned tax dollars to his buddies in Washington, New York families are still wondering: Where are the jobs?”

According to a new poll, Americans have lost confidence in the big-spending agenda that Hall and his allies in Washington continue to force through:

“Six months after President Obama launched a $787 billion plan to right the nation's economy, a majority of Americans think the avalanche of new federal aid has cost too much and done too little to end the recession.

“A USA TODAY/Gallup Poll found 57% of adults say the stimulus package is having no impact on the economy or making it worse. Even more —60% — doubt that the stimulus plan will help the economy in the years ahead, and only 18% say it has done anything to help improve their personal situation.” (Brad Heath, “Poll: 57% Don’t See Stimulus Working,” USA Today, 8/17/09)

After declaring that he was “not satisfied” with a pattern of slowed spending in June, President Obama set an ambitious goal to speed the Recovery Act’s pace. The pace of stimulus spending, however, has dropped severely in recent weeks, despite Obama’s demands to speed it up:

“Taxpayer groups say the numbers show spending decisions are random and prove that the $787 billion stimulus program has had no effect on the economy…. Spending as of Aug. 7, the 172nd day since Mr. Obama signed the bill, stood at $200 billion obligated. To meet the goal of $225 billion, the government will have to spend nearly $1 billion each day over the next four weeks -- or nearly double the pace of the past four weeks.” (Stephen Dinan, “Pace of stimulus spending plummets,” The Washington Times, 08/14/2009)

In January, the White House warned the American people that without the passage of the so-called stimulus package, unemployment would reach over 9 percent. Then, President Obama promised Americans that unemployment would slow and peak at less than 8 percent if the stimulus passed. Now, six months after the stimulus was signed into law, America faces a $1.6 trillion deficit and 9.4 percent unemployment. (Source: Department of Labor)

With no real progress to show since January, John Hall and his fellow Democrats owe New York families an explanation. After mortgaging the country’s future with a trillion dollars in new debt, will he finally take responsibility for a runaway spending spree that has failed to yield results?
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FYI:ATOM TAXI INC. AIRPORT SERVICE:
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.
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E-MAIL ME WITH YOUR COMMENTS:
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: atom_taxi@yahoo.com(as this a yahoo address make sure you put an underscore (-) between atom and taxi)

For immediate reply: atomtaxi@aol.com
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THIS WEEKS "IN MY OPINION COLUMN" IN THE NCN:
Dear Readers:

This week I discuss Obama's "snitch on your neighbor" White House link. 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.
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SITES TO LINK TO:

DAVID PAGANELLI: www.paganelliforyorktown.com

DOMENIC VOLPE: www.votefordomenicvolpe.com

YORKTOWN SUPERVISOR DON PETERS: www.donpetersforyorktown.com/

ROB ASTORINO: www.robastorino.com

JOHN G. TESTA: www.johngtesta.com

ON TOPIC W/ JOHN TESTA: www.ontopicwithjt.com

CARS & US: www.doverracing.com

THE WINERY AT ST. GEORGE: http://www.TheWineryAtStGeorge.com

PLAN PUTNAM: planputnam@googlegroups.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/"

PEEKSKILLREPUBLICANS:http://peekskillgop.com/

THE PEEKSILL NEWS:http://thepeekskillnews.blogspot.com/

CORTLANDT MANOR CIVIC ASSOCIATION: www.cortlandtcivic.com

PEEKSILL NEWS: http://peekskillnews.blogspot.com/

YORKTOWN WATCHDOG: www.yorktownopengov.org

PADAVANO FINE ARTS: Padovanofineart.com

MARK DREXEL: www.ElectDrexel.com

ASSEMBLYMAN GREG BALL: www.Ball4NY.com

SUSAN SIEGEL: www.wakeupyorktown.com

CORTLANDT CHOICE: WWW.CORTLANDTCHOICE.COM
WWW.TWITTER.COM/CORTLANDTCHOICE

DAN SCHORR: dan@electdanschorr.com

TERRENCE MURPHY: http://www.vote4murphy.com/

PEEKSKILL BID: www.peekskillbid.com or
www.downtownpeekskill.com

CORTLANDT DEMOCRATS: cortlandtwins.com
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CABLE SHOWS TO WATCH:

YORKTOWN WATCHDOG: Every Friday at 9:30 PM & Wednesday at 4:30PM on channel 74
Hosted By: ED CIFFON (yOrktown and Putnam Valley only)

LEGISLATORS REPORT: Saturday and Sunday at various times on chanel 20
Hosted By: COUNCILMEN NICK BIANCO AND LOU CAMPISI (Yorktown only)

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
9PM
Hosted by: Sandra Galef

DOWN THE MIDDLE: Yorktown chanel 74 wednesdays 8-9PM.
Hosted By: Mike Thomas & Bill Greenberg
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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

08/22/09