Sunday, January 31, 2010

THE MEANING OF CITIZENS UNITED VS. THE F.E.C.

Dear Friends and E-Mail Buddies:

Don't forget to check out my weekly editorial on "Let's Talk Politics". http://ncnlocal.com/politics/main.asp
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Issues Discussed in this weeks blog:
1)my commentary
2)what's happening at Graymoor, Garrison, N.Y.
3)what's happening at 12 Grapes, N.Division Street, Peekskill
4)a message from Bob Meyers
5)a message from Assemblyman Greg Ball
6)a message from the NRCC
7)a message from Assemblywoman Sandra galef
8)a message from Westchester Legislator John Testa
************My new In My Opinion column's topic of discussion in the NCN
*************Five Questions with....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)************************************************************************************
Dear Readers:

This is what the practical meaning of the recent Supreme Court ruling on the case of Citizens United vs.FEC.:

Domestic corporations, meaning chartered in the United States may now run ads advocating for a candidate that a corporation favors right up till election day. These are called advocacy ads. Up till now they could only run issue ads, advocacy ads could not be run 60 days before an election (30 days before a primary vote).

This means Phitzer, based in Rockland County can now answer back Congressman John Hall when he demonizes big pharmaceutical during his quest for re-election. Same is true for Entergy. Candidates for office can no longer act like school yard bullies picking on the class nerd who could not fight back in those last 60 days. These corporations can now fight back and tell their side of the story. This ruling evened the playing field. You get to decide what makes the most sense, not some politician nor the main stream media. That is why the incumbent political class is so vexed by this ruling.

Read my column in this weeks NCN on the lies the President said during his State Of the Union address regarding foreign corporations.
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WHAT'S HAPPENING AT GRAYMOOR, GARRISON, N.Y.

TUESDAY, February 2nd
CANDLEMAS / FEAST OF THE PRESENTATION OF THE LORD
The Feast of the Presentation of the Lord is popularly known as Candlemas Day. Candles for personal and family use will be blessed at the 11:30 mass in St. Pius X Chapel (6th floor).

WEDNESDAY, February 3rd
FEAST OF ST. BLAISE / BLESSING OF THROATS
The traditional blessing of throats will take place during the 11:30 AM mass in St. Pius X Chapel (6h floor)

SATURDAY, February 6th, 1:00-3:00 PM
ENERGY EFFICIENCY WORKSHOP
The Preservation Company, Peekskill, will present an Energy Efficiency Workshop at the Mt. Olivet Baptist Church, Peekskill. To register, call Rose Iavarone (914-734-8928).

THURSDAY, February 11th
WORLD DAY OF THE SICK
Thursday, Feb.11th, is the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes and World Day of the Sick. Sacramental Anointing of the Sick will take place during the 11:30 AM mass in Saint Pius X Chapel (6h floor).

SUNDAY, February 14th
BURNING OF PALM BRANCHES
Anticipating Ash Wednesday (Feb.17th), palm branches that were blessed last year will be burned OUTSIDE Pilgrim Hall immediately following the 11:00 AM Sunday Eucharist.

SHROVE TUESDAY, February 16th, 5:30-7:00 pm
MARDI GRAS PANCAKE SUPPER
A traditional Mardi Gras Pancake Supper will be held on Shrove Tuesday, Feb.16th, 5:30-7:00 PM in the Friars’ Dining Room. Cost is 10.00 per adult, 5.00 per child, under 6 free. Reservations (by Monday.Feb.15th) at 845-424-2111.

TUESDAY, February 23rd, at 7:00 PM
CAREER COACHING WORKSHOP
Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York will present a free, two-part Career Coaching workshop at Graymoor on Tuesday, Feb.23rd, and Tuesday, Mar.16th, both beginning promptly at 7:00 PM. For information/registration, contact Karen Reynolds (914-476-2700 X212).

THANK YOU!
In addition to the $1646.00 contributed at the Sunday Eucharist on January 17th and the $575.00 from individual friars, $2100 in contributions has been received bringing the total for The Anne Clemande Julien Foundation to $4321.00. The foundation operates the ACJ School for orphans in Chambellan, Haiti (about 200 miles from Port-au-Prince). Additional contributions can be sent directly to Rev. Jean Ridly Julien, St. Patrick’s Church, 170 Thompson Street, Bridgeport, CT 06604. (All Checks should be made payable to “The Anne Clemande Julien Foundation.”)

Retreatant Michael DiPrima has posted his winter photos of Graymoor shot during the “New Year on the Mountain” retreat at http://jjackflash.zenfolio.com/p35221545.
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WHAT'S HAPPENING AT 12 GRAPES, N.DIVISION STREET, PEEKSKILL:

Thu, Feb 4, 8:30 - 11:30
Open Mic Night hosted by Petey Hop
Petey's back... the inimitable host of our popular Open Mic night. Our Open Mics are mostly Acoustic, but most styles of music are welcome. We invite all talented artists to come take the stage and enjoy a night of surprises, some jammin' and some of the best live music in Westchester. Sign-up begins at 8pm.

Fri, Feb 5, 9:30 - 12:30, The Matt Rae Trio
with special guests
Blues Buddha & Ron Mirro
A guitar-driven band whose music can best be described as "Country Soul Music". With guest vocalist Tommy "Blues Buddha" and guitarist Ron Mirro.
**$5 Entertainment Fee**

Sat, Feb 6, 9:30 - 12:30
T. Ray & the Smokin' Section
Whether its classic horn-driven Rock from Chicago or Blood Sweat and Tears, classic Chicago Blues or Memphis Soul, this band smokes! Bandmembers are T. Ray Stevens, vocals; Tom Provenzano, guitar; Leslie Bloom, bass; Chris Burke, organ/piano; Matt Norris, drums; Bill Losier, trumpet; John Hahn, trombone; Marc Beladino, sax. Dinner Reservations Required!
**$10 Entertainment Fee**

Sun, Feb 7, 5:30 - 8:30
Kathleen Pemble
An amazing singer/songwriter, Kathleen Pemble
will treat us to her unique talents and the "astute observations about life and love that fill her songs".
**Free Admission**

Make your Valentine's Day Reservations Now!
Sat, Feb 13, 9:30 - 12:30 ~ 3-Ton Jack (Classic Rock)
Sun, Feb 14, 5:30 - 8:30 ~ Rhonda Denét (Soul/R&B)
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 MESSAGFE FROM BOB MEYERS:
Hi Every One,
I hope all is well!

I just want to invite you to my trio gig at the 55 Bar this Tuesday, Feb 2 for the early show - 7 to 9 PM.

No Cover and a great place to listen to the music.

Hayes Greenfield - Sax
Ratzo Harris - Bass
Bob Meyer - Drums

thanks, Hayes
55 Bar
55 Christopher Street
New York, NY 10014
(718) 965-9177
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A MESSAGE FROM ASSEMBLYMAN GREG BALL:

Hello!
With Scott Brown's groundbreaking election, we witnessed a glimpse of what is possible when voters come together to declare in a united voice, Enough is Enough. We saw this groundswell in the Hudson Valley last November when the Republicans won convincingly in the local elections, including the upset victory for Rob Astorino in Westchester.

These victories sent a strong message that you and I have long known - Americans are furious with tax-and-spend politicians. However, the Democrats seem intent on sending their own message back to voters. Whether its the Massachusetts government's delays to certify Brown's election so that the Health Care bill can be shoved down our throats, or Albany's 3 men packaging $1 Billion in new taxes and a continued policy of unfunded mandates into the Governor's budget proposal, business-as-usual continues despite our calls that enough is enough!

As New Yorkers work to provide shelter and food for their families, a handful of New York City legislators continue to perch themselves in Albany and continue to feed Albany's addiction to spending on the backs of taxpayers and small businesses in districts like mine. Our concerns are not theirs and only a serious response will get their attention. If there has ever been a time in our history to take the talk and turn it into action, that time is now. My suggestion?

I am working to channel that criticism into action with a formalized taxpayer revolt.

In lieu of paying the Metropolitan Transportation Authority payroll tax to the mismanaged MTA, employers throughout the 12-county service region should instead pool their payments into an escrow account, which would be managed by an independent, third party.

The goal from my perspective would not only be the implementation of a formalized tax rebellion to show that we have had enough, but also to show how big those collective dollars are, and to begin the discussion about what could be accomplished if we could keep that money in the Hudson Valley. With David Paterson's budget of $1 billion in new taxes, Albany has yet to get the message that we are thoroughly "overtaxed." Therefore, as citizens and taxpayers, we have been left with no choice but to take serious steps so the power brokers in Albany finally realize that we have reached our breaking point.

At noon on January 28 at Fratelli's in Mahopac, I am hosting a small business roundtable to discuss how taxpayers can organize and participate in the tax revolt. Business leaders and taxpayers will have the opportunity to share their own thoughts on ending the MTA tax. I hope to see you there and to implement your ideas into action!

For more information and to join the revolt, please call me at 845-582-0548 or send me an email.

The taxpayer revolt will culminate in the New York Tax Day Tea Party rally planned for April 15th in Carmel.

After you call or email me to join the revolt, please also take a moment to make a contribution to my campaign so that I can keep the ball rolling toward reforming Albany in the Senate.

Unless taxpayers in Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess want to continue to be abused by tax and fee hikes from Albany, we must take a stand and make it clear that the goose laying the golden egg has been strangled and abused for the last time. This is why I will continue my efforts and I ask that every affected taxpayer and organization join the discussion.

Your friend,
Greg Ball
845-582-0548
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BALL: FORENSICALLY AUDIT THE MTA NOW
In light of two reports put out by the Comptroller’s office this month regarding the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), Assemblyman Greg Ball (R, C, I – Patterson) is renewing his call that the state immediately and forensically audit the MTA. Additionally, Ball is calling for the immediate suspension of the agency’s Payroll Tax until results of the forensic audit are made public.

“Every day we are learning more and more about the mismanagement of the MTA, the latest of which details how their response to 9/11 is years behind schedule and hundreds of millions of dollars over budget. Not one more taxpayer dollar should be given to the MTA until an independent forensic audit is completed,” said Ball, who was the first state legislator to call for such an audit.

This month, Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli released two reports: the first detailing how MTA ridership has dropped, costing the authority close to $100,000 in revenue; and the second, which was released earlier this week, which discloses how the authority’s efforts to complete an increased security project has been stalled at least four years. Additionally, the cost of the project has skyrocketed from roughly $500 million to over $800 million.

Tomorrow, Ball is hosting yet another small-business roundtable meeting to discuss the effects of the Payroll Tax on local businesses, the need for an independent and forensic audit and to call for a Tax Day Tea Party revolt, scheduled for April 15 in Carmel. For the tax revolt, Ball is and will continue to ask businesses to place their Payroll Tax checks into an escrow account until the authority can be better managed. Tomorrow’s event will take place at Fratelli’s Restaurant, located at 376 Route 6 in Mahopac, from noon until 2 pm, and will feature local area chambers of commerce as well as local businesses and concerned taxpayers.

All members of the public and media are invited to attend tomorrow’s event. Those who are unable to attend, or would like to help support the Assemblyman’s efforts to audit the MTA, should visit www.auditthemta.com to sign his online petition calling for the immediate and forensic audit.
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Assemblyman Ball Calls for Bipartisan Support to Repeal MTA Payroll Tax
Ball: MTA Tax is the Final Nail

At a bipartisan roundtable hosted by the Mahopac-Carmel Chamber of Commerce and attended by small business owners throughout Putnam, Westchester, and Dutchess Counties, Assemblyman Greg Ball (R, C, I – Patterson) called for immediate work toward a common goal, to rescind the MTA Payroll Tax.

“We want this payroll tax rescinded. Period, end of story,” Ball said. “They know what we’re doing down here. But our message must be clear or this tax will be the final nail. We must work together to make sure this tax is rescinded.”

Vincent Tamagna, Chairman of the Putnam County Legislature, asked the other counties hit by the MTA Payroll tax to join Putnam in a lawsuit.

I’m glad Assemblyman Ball called for a forensic audit,” said Tamagna. “Putnam County is looking to get Westchester, Rockland, Orange, and Dutchess Counties to join us in a class-action suit. I want a judge to decide if a retroactive tax is fair. I want a judge to tell us that we have a quarter vote in Orange, Dutchess, and Putnam Counties while at the same time NYC gets one vote for each of its boroughs. When we go to a table where we have one solid vote while New York City has four, our vote does not matter.”

Putnam County Legislator Tony Fusco joined Tamagna’s call for an equal voice, and stated the MTA Payroll Tax must be rescinded.

“The people of Putnam County will not subsidize the MTA’s waste,” Fusco said. “We demand our Attorney General and our Comptroller audit the MTA and route out that waste. Today, give the Hudson Valley an equal voice in the decision process. Today, repeal the MTA Payroll tax and make due with your fair share of the federal bailout.”

“We are demanding a forensic accounting,” Ball said. “If you ran your books like the MTA runs its books, you'd be in jail, out of business, or in a third-world country. They have projects that overrun to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars.”

Somers Town Supervisor Mary Beth Murphy pointed out that nobody employed by the Town of Somers uses mass transportation to travel to work, yet her town is bound to pay the MTA Payroll Tax.

“The MTA Payroll Tax needs to be repealed. It’s that simple,” Murphy said. “Somers, just like all employers, is bound to pay the MTA Payroll Tax. Since we’re paying it, and you’re paying your town to operate, then you’re really paying twice. It’s not only a regressive tax, but it’s a tax that hits you over and over again because of its implementation as a payroll tax.”

Councilman Nick Bianco (C – Yorktown) spoke about the MTA Payroll tax hitting the Hudson Valley twice through its implications on school and town budgets.

“This tax actually reaches into the budgets of school districts and local towns,” Bianco said. “School districts were supposed to be exempt, but they are not seeing the money come back. And the whole bill is then passed on to taxpayers. New York taxpayers cannot catch a break.”

In addition to the continued discussion of a formalized tax revolt on April 15, Ball is also asking all elected officials from the Hudson Valley to join the fight against the Payroll Tax.

“We're going to ask our federal representative and all our state representatives to sign on our letter, asking for a forensic accounting of the MTA and asking to rescind the MTA Payroll Tax. We want to make sure everyone's on the same page, and that has to be bipartisan,” Ball said.

Assemblyman Ball distributed a letter in 2009 asking the Hudson Valley’s elected officials to join him in the call to rescind the MTA Payroll Tax and audit the MTA. Ball additionally sent letters to all New York’s statewide elected officials asking that they join the effort.
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A MESSAGE FROM THE NRCC:

One Year Later, Hall and Fellow Dems Finally Pay Lip Service to Middle-Class Families
Almost A Year Since Democrats Passed Failed Stimulus, New York Middle-Class Families Are Still Asking: Where Are the Jobs?

Washington- As John Hall prepares to mark the one-year anniversary of his party’s failed ‘stimulus’ bill, Democrats are trying to switch gears to deflect attention from their trillion-dollar spending debacle. After ignoring middle-class families and small businesses for the past year, President Obama, and his Democrat foot soldiers will now attempt to rebuild their credibility with the backbone of America’s economy. In Wednesday’s State of the Union, President Obama will preach a message highlighting a ‘new’ focus on the middle class – messages Republicans have been emphasizing for the past year. Could this newfound recognition of the middle-class be due to the Democrats’ devastating loss in the Massachusetts special election? Or could it be due to their plummeting approval ratings? Either way, Hall and his Democrat friends have the impossible task to rebuild the bridges they have set ablaze over the past year.

“Previewing a centerpiece of Wednesday’s State of the Union address, President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden on Monday will announce an agenda for middle class families that includes tax credits for child care, lower payments for student loans and automated IRA deposits.”

“As we make our way out of this deep recession, the most important thing we can do for the middle class is strengthen the economy and help the private sector create jobs as quickly as possible. We also must begin to reverse the declines middle-class families saw not just these past few years, but have seen for over a decade: working harder for less; college becoming more unaffordable, health care costs skyrocketing; home values plummeting; and retirement savings dwindling and becoming less secure. There are immediate steps we can take to reduce the strain on family budgets by helping middle class families manage their child and elder care responsibilities, save for retirement, and pay for college.” (Mike Allen, “President Obama, Vice President Biden unveil middle-class agenda,” Politico, 1/25/2010)

Throughout the past year, Democrats failed ‘stimulus’ has continued to receive a failing grade from taxpayers:

“A majority of Americans oppose the economic stimulus program, according to a new national poll.

“Fifty-six percent of people questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Sunday say they oppose the stimulus package, with 42 percent supporting it.” (“CNN poll: 56 percent oppose stimulus program,” CNN, 1/24/2010)

“For the past year, John Hall has been rubber-stamping his party’s failed economic policies while middle-class New York families are left to suffer the consequences,” said NRCC Communications Director Ken Spain. “Now, one year after throwing mountains of debt onto the backs of middle-class families, Hall's party is desperately scrambling to salvage the damage they have done with a trillion-dollar spending spree that was nothing more than a political giveaway. Unfortunately for John Hall, his party’s mere lip-service to the issue isn’t fooling anyone.”
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Question for John Hall: Would You Support the Failed ‘Stimulus’ Again?
One Year Later, New York Families Wait to Hear Hall Answer the Simple Question: Where are the Jobs?

Washington- It’s been a year since John Hall and his fellow House Democrats passed their trillion-dollar boondoggle through Congress and ultimately onto the backs of New York families. With unemployment climbing to over ten percent and the economy showing few signs of recovery, it’s time for Hall to admit that his so-called ‘stimulus’ is a failure. As Americans continue to seek relief during difficult times, Democrats refuse to admit their stimulus is a mistake as they charge full speed ahead with more partisan spending sprees. After a year of failed ‘stimulus,’ middle-class families in New York deserve to know: Would Hall support the stimulus boondoggle again?

In fact, the trillion-dollar stimulus has been such a failure that its sheer ineffectiveness will now cost taxpayers billions more than originally forecasted:

“The cost of President Obama's stimulus plan has jumped another $75 billion, the Congressional Budget Office said Tuesday, and part of the reason is more people are getting unemployment benefits because they've lost jobs the bill was supposed to preserve.

“The CBO now says the stimulus package, passed by Congress last February, will cost $862 billion over 10 years because of the added unemployment-related costs. The program had originally been estimated to cost $787 billion when Mr. Obama signed it in February. (Stephen Dinan, “Tab From Stimulus Program Jumps, CBO Says,” Washington Times, 1/26/010)

After blowing billions of taxpayer dollars in an attempt to stimulate the economy, the Democrats’ spending spree has not only managed to increase unemployment rates, but has led to the largest federal deficit since World War II.

“New deficit estimates Tuesday project a $1.35 trillion shortfall for the coming year even as Congress debates creation of a bipartisan commission to propose long range steps to relieve the mounting debt facing the nation.”

“CBO projects that unemployment will average slightly above 10 percent in the first half of 2010 and then turn downward in the second half. But the building debt carries with an added burden. Once the economy improves, CBO says, higher interest rates will come back and bite the Treasury trying to finance the accumulated deficits.” (David Rogers, “More red ink: CBO projects $1.35 trillion deficit,” Politico, 1/26/2010)

“The nonpartisan CBO, in a new report looking at the country's financial outlook, also found that the country faces giant budget deficits for the foreseeable future and has the biggest debt problem it has seen since just after World War II. The report is designed to give Congress guidance as it prepares to receive President Obama's budget for fiscal year 2011.” (Stephen Dinan, “Tab From Stimulus Program Jumps, CBO Says,” Washington Times, 1/26/010)

“One long year after House Democrats passed their trillion dollar ‘stimulus’ boondoggle, Americans are facing daunting double-digit unemployment numbers and a skyrocketing deficit,” said NRCC Communications Director Ken Spain. “Rather than putting the brakes on his party’s reckless tax-and-spend policies, Hall has continued to rubber-stamp their runaway spending, further pushing the federal deficit into the red. After a year of punishing middle-class families with mountains of debt fueled by partisan government giveaways, New York families deserve to know: Would John Hall do it again?”

With these dismal results, can New York families really afford to elect John Hall to another term?
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Spending Freeze or Tropical Breeze: Hall Approves Millions for Caribbean Beachfront Property
As Deficit Explodes, Democrats Throw Away Taxpayer Money on Tropical Pet Project

Washington- As if anyone needed more proof that John Hall just doesn’t get it, the New York Democrat just voted to let the government spend almost $50 million on beachfront property in the Virgin Islands. To make matters worse, the government agency in charge of maintaining the land still doesn’t know if it wants to:

“The National Park Service hasn't yet decided whether it wants beachfront land in the U.S. Virgin Islands for a new national historic site, but House Democrats for the second time in two weeks will try to push the Park Service to do it, at a potential eventual cost in the tens of millions of dollars.”

“Republicans said the site can wait until after the Park Service finishes a study it's in the middle of — and which Congress itself mandated several years ago at a cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars — to determine if it's worthwhile.

“That's what the Park Service wants, too...” (Stephen Dinan, “Virgin Islands Land Eyed for Historic Site,” Washington Times, 1/25/10)

Unfortunately for taxpayers, Hall's latest government giveaway doesn’t stop at the initial costs:

“The Congressional Budget Office said to acquire the land and begin to put a management plan in place would cost $26 million over the next five years, and total land acquisition could take 10 years and cost about $45 million.

“Managing the site would cost about $1 million a year.” (Dinan, 1/25/10)

“Is John Hall completely out-of-touch or has he just stopped trying to pretend that he can be trusted with taxpayer money?” said NRCC Communications Director Ken Spain. “Even the President is calling for a spending freeze, but Hall and his fellow House Democrats just can’t stop wasting money. Beachfront property might make a nice place for a vacation when voters throw John Hall out of office in November, but New York taxpayers expect more.”
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New York Families’ Message to John Hall: Show Me the Jobs
One Year and Billions of Dollars Later, New York Families are Forced to Ask: Where are the Jobs?

Washington- A year after John Hall and his party passed their stimulus failure through the House, 49 out of 50 states suffer higher unemployment rates and the federal deficit has ballooned to its largest point since World War II. After wasting billions of taxpayer dollars on their partisan government giveaway, middle-class New York families have a message for John Hall: Show me the jobs.

Democrats promised to create jobs, but according to economists, that simply hasn’t happened:

“The $787 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is supposed to help jump-start the economy and especially put Americans back to work. But the truth is, relatively little of the stimulus spending has directly led to new hiring.

"’Most of the thrust has been in trying to prevent jobs from being lost,’ said Nigel Gault, Chief U.S. economist for Global Insight. ‘It probably hasn't created a lot of new jobs given where the money has gone.”

"’The vast majority of the saved/created jobs is on the saved side, probably 75% or more,’ said Dave Huether, chief economist of the National Association of Manufacturers.” (Allan Chernoff, “Stimulus but no jobs,” CNN, 1/27/2010)

Money that was supposed to go to the private sector has been spent stimulating the Democrats’ big-government agenda:

“Although President Obama initially said that 90 percent of the jobs created by the stimulus program would be in the private sector, the data suggests that well over half of the jobs claimed so far have been in the public sector.” (Michael Cooper and Ron Nixon, “Reports Show Conflicting Number of Jobs Attributed to Stimulus Money,” The New York Times, 11/5/09)

“After a year of bleeding jobs, New York families still aren’t getting answers from John Hall,” said NRCC Communications Director Ken Spain. “Instead of owning up to his stimulus failure, Hall has repeatedly offered a rubber-stamp seal of approval to his party’s big-government, big-spending agenda. With a mountain of debt in front of them and billions of their taxpayer dollars wasted, New York families want to know: Where are the jobs?”
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Will John Hall Continue His Party’s Empty Jobs Rhetoric?
Democrats Push Another Quick-Fix Jobs Bill Despite the Dismal Stimulus Results

Washington- As Americans continue to feel the pinch of high unemployment and a struggling economy, Democrats continue to deliver the same tired rhetoric that they’ve relied on for the past year. In his State of the Union address, President Obama repeatedly emphasized the importance of job creation and putting Americans back to work. Unfortunately, it’s not the first time struggling middle-class New York families have heard these empty promises from Washington Democrats. John Hall and his party leaders promised their quick-fix ‘stimulus’ was going to lead to economic recovery and job creation. But one year later, the outlook is still grim for the middle class. The question needs to be asked: Will John Hall continue to use his party’s empty jobs rhetoric?
“’People are out of work. They are hurting. They need our help. I want a jobs bill on my desk without delay,’ the president said during his State of the Union speech.’” (Jeanne Cummings, “Economists: Jobs fix won't be quick,” Politico, 1/27/2010)

Not surprisingly, the Democrats’ rhetoric sounds exactly the same as it did one year ago:

“’Only eight days after the President took the oath of office, the House passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act that will create and save 3 to 4 million jobs, cut taxes for 95 percent of American workers and make smart investments that will strengthen our economy for the long-term.

“’In his Inaugural Address, President Obama pledged, ‘action, bold and swift…not only to create new jobs, but to lay a foundation for growth.’ Congress will deliver on the President’s pledge by quickly sending the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to his desk.’” (“Pelosi: Today’s Report on Economy’s Contraction Underscores Need to Pass Economic Recovery Package,” Speaker Pelosi Press Release, 1/30/2009)

Economists aren’t buying the Democrats’ rhetoric and New York families won’t either:

“President Barack Obama’s job-creation program could produce a short-term political boost, but it’s unlikely to significantly stem job losses and reduce the unemployment rate anytime soon, according to economists.”

“’He’s trying to turn his microeconomic policies into some macroeconomic solution. He’s grasping at straws,’ said Peter Morici, an economist at the University of Maryland.” (Jeanne Cummings, “Economists: Jobs fix won't be quick,” Politico, 1/27/2010)

“After struggling for the past year, middle-class New York families are still waiting for real answers while Washington Democrats continue to kick around the same tired anti-jobs policies that have driven the economy off a cliff,” said NRCC Communications Director Ken Spain. “With almost 3.4 million jobs lost since John Hall first approved his party’s so-called stimulus bill, it’s abundantly clear that the Democrats’ quick-fix economic policies are a failure. After rubber-stamping his party’s first economic flop, will Hall continue pushing their empty rhetoric?”
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A MESSAGE FROM ASSEMBLYWOMAN SANDRA GALEF:
Assemblywoman Galef Forum Looks at Making Local Courts More Efficient
Consolidation Could Mean Tax Savings

(January 25, 2010) Assemblywoman Sandy Galef will host a panel of judges, lawyers and judicial experts from the area for a conversation about local court consolidation, on Thursday, February 4th at 7:30 pm at Cortlandt Town Hall, 1 Heady Street, Cortlandt Manor.

The experts include New York State 9th Judicial District Administrative Judge Alan D. Scheinkman, New York State Supreme Court Judge Francesca E. Connolly, Special Commission on the Future of New York State Courts’ Chief Counsel Elliot Moskowitz, and Fund for Modern Courts’ Deputy Executive Director and Director of Advocacy Denise Kronstadt.

“There are 12 local courts in my Assembly District alone,” Galef says. “This is the time to determine if and how we can coordinate our court systems to develop savings,” she asserts. “It is critical for our courts to operate efficiently and doing so should be able to help the bottom line as well.”

Administrative Judge Scheinkman said: “The city, town and village courts are the front-lines of our justice system. These are the courts that deal with the problems
of every day life, from traffic infractions to landlord/tenant disputes, to small claims cases. The judiciary is committed to improving the safety, accessibility and
efficiency of these courts. Our justice court facilities are, in too many cases, antiquated and, at times, there is duplication of effort between town and village courts.

We need to carefully examine opportunities for court consolidation so that we can modernize our justice courts and, simultaneously, conserve taxpayer resources,
with the goal of delivering quality justice at the lowest possible cost.” This forum is part of a continuing series of town hall-style meetings Galef has held which are intended to bring the community into the conversation about sharing services and reducing levels of government with the goal of achieving savings for taxpayers. Galef invites the public to join these esteemed judicial experts for this important and timely discussion on how local court consolidation could improve efficiency in the justice system and save taxpayers’ money.
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ASSEMBLYWOMAN GALEF, NY SECRETARY OF STATE LORRAINE CORTÉS-VÁZQUEZ, SENATOR STEWART-COUSINS, ANNOUNCE LOCAL GOVERNMENT EFFICIENCY AND ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION GRANTS FOR WESTCHESTER COUNTY
Department of State releases annual Local Government Efficiency report,
highlighting millions of dollars in cost savings from shared services and consolidation

SLEEPY HOLLOW – Assemblywoman Sandy Galef joined New York Secretary of State Lorraine Cortés-Vázquez, NY Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins and other state and local lawmakers and community leaders in Sleepy Hollow yesterday to announce the multiple Local Government Efficiency (LGE) and Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) grants that the Department of State recently awarded to municipalities across Westchester County .

Secretary of State Cortés-Vázquez also released the 2008-2009 Annual Report for the Department of State’s Local Government Efficiency Program, highlighting ways in which the State has provided financial and technical assistance to local governments to reduce taxpayer costs through consolidation of services and improved fiscal efficiency.

As part of the Department of State’s LGE Program, Briarcliff Manor, Sleepy Hollow, and Tarrytown were awarded a grant to assess the benefits of consolidating their water departments, and the Putnam and Northern Westchester Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) received funding to study the benefits of consolidating school bus services among its 18 component school districts for the disabled and out-of-district bused students. From EPF, Dobbs Ferry received two awards – to mitigate erosion and study how better to access its Hudson River waterfront – and Tarrytown received four – focusing on improved access to the Hudson and new scenic hiking trails.

“As a strong advocate for sharing services, I am pleased that two of the grants announced today will have a very positive impact on communities in my district. The studies funded to look at sharing water services and sharing out of district bus transportation have the potential to both lower costs and streamline services in and around the 90th Assembly District and can be used as examples throughout the state,” Assemblywoman Galef said at the press conference. “I applaud the efforts of Secretary of State Cortés-Vázquez and her Department for the work they are doing in this area. The Annual Report the department released today which shows anticipated savings of over $400 million dollars across New York from a $45 million investment, is evidence that our state dollars are hard at work to fix the problems of our oversized government.”

“I am pleased to join with my partners in state and local government today, as we show our dedication to improving the quality of life in communities across this great county,” Secretary of State Cortés-Vázquez said. “Thanks to these awards, Westchester residents will have greater access to scenic views of the Hudson and additional trails for hiking and biking along the water – not to mention the potential for taxpayer savings, as local governments look to share water and school bus services.”

Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Chair of the Senate Local Governments Committee, said, “The success of the Department of State's LGE Program has demonstrated how much can be achieved when every level of government works together to create taxpayer savings. Additionally, today's awards will provide enhanced access for all of our residents and visitors to one of our State's most important natural treasures, the Hudson River waterfront, enhancing economic development for the entire region. I commend Secretary of State Cortés-Vázquez for her leadership on the important issues of government efficiency, reducing the burdens on taxpayers and protecting our environment.”

Assemblyman Sam Hoyt, Chair of the Assembly Local Governments Committee, said, “The Local Government Efficiency and Environmental Protection grants provide communities with valuable resources to save money and to save our environment. I will continue to support the use of these grants that assist both the municipality and the local taxpayer in real cost savings and shared services for individual projects throughout the state.”

Secretary of State Cortés-Vázquez yesterday also released the Department of State’s Local Government Efficiency Program Annual Report, highlighting ways in which the Department has provided financial and technical assistance to local governments to reduce taxpayer costs through consolidation of services and improved fiscal efficiency.

The Department of State has been administering New York’s Local Government Efficiency Program since 2005, and each year the Department produces a report outlining identifying new strategies to strengthen the LGE Program in response to the changing needs of local governments.

“This report tells us that local governments are effectively leveraging this incentive to complete projects that provide real taxpayer savings,” Secretary of State Cortés-Vázquez said. “The Department of State remains committed to building upon our long tradition as a partner with local government, and I am proud of our accomplishments and the work of New York’s local government leaders. We will continue to assist municipalities to explore options that produce cost saving and efficiencies, with the ultimate goal of reducing local property taxes while maintaining and improving services.”

Since the inception of the LGE program, DOS has received 1,014 applications, requesting more than $183 million. There have been 270 awards made to local governments totaling some $45 million – for an estimated savings of $418 million to taxpayers.

The report includes a summary of all LGE grant applications and awards, an assessment of project implementation and an estimate of overall financial savings achieved by municipalities participating in the Department of State’s shared services initiatives.

To download a copy of the report, please visit: http://www.dos.state.ny.us/lgss/sharedservices/index.html.

The following statements were given in support of the LGE and EPF grant awards:

Assemblyman Richard Brodsky said: “These awards are well deserved and stand as a model for municipalities across New York State. Local governments can look to these grants as examples of effective and beneficial means of addressing the difficult economic climate. I commend those responsible for crafting these proposals and look forward to the positive impact they will have on the lives of the people of Westchester County.”

Briarcliff Manor Mayor Bill Vescio said: “Briarcliff Manor is currently involved with three other consolidation studies for police, DPW and local Courts. Briarcliff Manor will continue to be a leader in its effort to reduce the cost of government to its taxpayers, especially during these difficult economic times. This grant will continue that effort with Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow as we all seek additional cost effective means to provide quality water delivery for our residents through shared water services and or consolidation.”

Putnam/Northern Westchester BOCES Superintendent James T. Langlois said: “This grant supports BOCES in doing what it does best – working with school districts to save taxpayers money by finding new and innovative ways to share services. The grant will help us identify bus routes from different districts that can be combined, and any time routes can be combined there are significant savings. Fewer buses can provide the same amount of transportation. Because of the many different school start times, different destinations, and different types of students, the analysis is complex. Without the grant, it’s unlikely the school districts could have afforded to do the study. I’m confident that, because of the support provided by the grant, our districts will be able to provide for the transportation needs of our students and a lower cost to our taxpayers.”

Tarrytown Mayor Drew Fixell said: “These two programs represent state and local government at its best – not only are New York state and local governments working cooperatively to find less costly and more efficient ways of providing vital services, but also we are working together to fund critically important projects that will improve the environment and quality of life for all of our residents.”

Sleepy Hollow Mayor Ken Wray said: “I want to thank the State for giving us the opportunity to identify specific ways that we can both work together and work more efficiently.”

Steve Rosenberg, Senior Vice President of Scenic Hudson, said: “State and local government in partnership can accomplish great outcomes with impressive efficiency. With Hudson River projects, the state’s investment is typically leveraged with the participation of nonprofits. Scenic Hudson is working with Tarrytown on a transformative waterfront access project as part of our longstanding commitment to connect people to the Hudson. Today's announcements underscore the importance of state funding of the Environmental Protection Fund – because new riverfront attractions create jobs and make our region an ever-greater place to live and do business.”

Bernard Molloy, Waterfront Director, Historic Hudson River Towns, said,“ The Local Government Efficiency and EPF grant programs are vital tools for our municipalities, never more so than during this challenging economy. These programs demonstrate what can be accomplished when all levels of government work together cooperatively. Indeed, I’d like to see these programs, the opportunities and most importantly the savings they generate expanded. Local leaders and taxpayers deserve nothing less.”
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A MESSAGE FROM WESTCHESTER COUNTY LEGISLATOR JOHN TESTA:
GOP Legislators Support Astorino Proposal to
Reduce the Cost of County Government

Freshman Legislator and former Peekskill Mayor John Testa joined fellow Republican County Legislative members Jim Maisano, Gordon Burrows and Bernice Spreckman in urging the adoption of County Executive Rob Astorino’s plan to require non-union Westchester County employees contribute 15% of their health care costs.

“When I was elected Mayor of Peekskill, I inherited a fiscal challenge similar to what we face today in the County. Through leadership, working with other elected officials and levels of government, we were able to restructure government, cut spending, and consolidate services. This is exactly what the citizens of Westchester County are demanding from us now! I applaud County Executive Astorino for his plan and for volunteering to personally participate. I urge the entire Board of Legislators to opt in as well,” Testa stated.

“County government spending has continued to escalate, unemployment and home foreclosures have continued to rise throughout Westchester, putting tremendous pressure on taxpayers. We need new leadership and new approaches on how we can most effectively and efficiently deliver the services that the County is responsible for. This is why County Executive Rob Astorino’s proposal is such an important first step. My fellow legislators and I urge our Democratic colleagues on the Board of Legislatures to consider this proposal as well as other future reforms we intend to put forth in the coming term. The time for thoughtful, responsible leadership is here in Westchester and I for one, am committed to it,” noted Testa.
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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

AT NCN: abazzo@ncnlocal.com
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THIS WEEKS "IN MY OPINION COLUMN" IN THE NCN:
Dear Readers:

This week I reply to Yroktown Supervisor Siegel's letter to the editor in last weeks NCN. 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 NCNLocal.com 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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NEW REGULAR FEATURE:
FIVE QUESTIONS WITH:

Dear Readers:

Until my roledex runs out of names, I will be iterviewing local political officials every week. I will be asking them five questions. The objective is to bring to information you do not have. Another reason to spend 75 cents a week on your local paper.

THIS WEEKS SUBJECT: PEEKSKILL MAYOR MARY FOSTER
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SITES TO LINK TO:

LET'S TALK POLITICS: NCNlocal.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/

BRUCE APAR'S NCN BLOG: http://theblogcabin.com/homebase/bapar

NORTH COUNTY NEWS:"http://northcountynews.com/

THE JOURNAL NEWS:http://thejournalnews.com/

PEEKSKILL DAILY: peekskilldaily.com

PEEKSKILL DEMOCRATS:http://www.peekskilldems.com/"

PEEKSKILLREPUBLICANS:http://peekskillgop.com/

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

YORKTOWN WATCHDOG: www.yorktownopengov.org

PADAVANO FINE ARTS: Padovanofineart.com

ASSEMBLYMAN GREG BALL: http://www.ball4ny.com/

SUSAN SIEGEL: www.wakeupyorktown.com

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

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

THE VOLPE REPORT: Thursadys at 8PM chanel 15 (Peek. and Cort.) chanel 74 at 6pm (York.& Put. Valley)
Hosted By: Domenic Volpe

THE ISSUES: Tuesaday at 9:PM chanel 74(Put. Vlly. & Ykt.) 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

01/31/10

Saturday, January 23, 2010

FREE SPEECH WAS ON TRIAL AND FREE SPEECH WON

Don't forget to check out my weekly editorial on "Let's Talk Politics". http://ncnlocal.com/politics/main.asp
Look for “Andy Bazzo’s Blog”

You can now twitter me at Bazzomanifesto. Sign up at twitter and become a follower of my update notifications.

Issues Discussed in this weeks blog:
1)my commentary
2)a message from the Hudson Valley gateway Chamber of Commerce
3)entries from Bruce the Blog (NCNLocal.com)
4)e-mail response to last weeks post from Imaginary cousin
5)what's happening at 12 Grapes, N. Division Street, Peekskill
6)a message from the Yorktown Watchdog
7)a message from Tom DeChairo
8)a message from Assemblyman Greg Ball
9)a message from the NRCC
10)a message from Assemblywoman Sandra Galef
************My new In My Opinion column's topic of discussion in the NCN
************Five Questions with...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:

Here is what is missing from the main stream media and elected officials from the discussion regarding the recent ruling from the Supreme Court in the case Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission that stood up for the first protected right of free speech. Remember if you read the Federalist Papers, it was political speech that our founders particularly wanted protected.

David Bossie,is the head of the group Citizens United. Citizens United, during the democratic presidential primary wanted to release a documentary they funded called: 'Hillary: The Movie. This movie focused on the Clinton scandals. This ran afoul of the McCian-Feingold campaign finance reform prohibiting this type of movie 30 days before a primary vote. The Federal Election Commission restricted Citizens United’s ability to advertise the film during the 2008 primary season, a decision that Bossie saw as a threat to freedom of speech. He sued -- and after winding through the courts, Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission wound up before the Supreme Court.

"Bossie, according to published reports said the turning point came In March of this year when the Supreme Court head from Deputy Solicitor General Malcolm L. Stewart, representing the FEC (this is the government's lawyer appointed by President Obama)on the ramifications of this law. Bossie said Stewart was pulled into a discussion of the issue of censorship, that took him down a slippery slope and changed the focus of the court.. He was asked by Chief Justice Roberts "If the movie were a book, would the government ban publishing the book if it mentioned a candidate for office within the election timeframe?" Stewart representing the FEC and the federal government (this is an important point) said, yes, the government would ban the book. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. also asked "It's a 500-page book, and at the end it says, 'And so vote for X,' the government could ban that?' Stewart said yes.

This was and is a natural extrapolation of McCain-Feingold. So when you hear elected officials such as President Obama and our own Senator Schumer decry this ruling, they are standing up for the governments right to ban books they deem will hurt their chances at re-election. What the Supreme Court was asking in a nut shell is "what is it about the phrase "The government shall make no law abridging freedom of speech" you don't understand?"

From "cap and trade" to the proposed (but hopefully now dead) legislation on national health care to this objection to the Supreme Courts ruling continues to show the democratic leaderships contempt for the constitution and the people. It is time for you readers to look beyond party label and see the ideology that is being advocated. This goes for any elected official regardless of party that objects to this ruling,they wish to limit your speech in order to protect their interest in securing re-election, your rights be damned! Make no mistake, freedom of speech was the winner, and for us that is always a good thing.
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A MESSAGE FROM Hudson Valley Gateway Chamber of Commerce:
Hudson Valley Gateway Chamber of Commerce Seeks New President/CEO

Peekskill, NY - The Board of Directors of the Hudson Valley Gateway Chamber of Commerce launched a search today to seek a new President/CEO and retained a former Chamber executive to serve on a part-time basis until a permanent replacement can be hired. The Board’s search follows the termination of its contract with Chamber President/CEO Ron Forehand, Sr.

The Board announced an immediate search for a qualified candidate to fill the role of President/CEO and is encouraging all interested applicants to apply for the vacant position. Applicants are asked to forward a cover letter, resume and salary requirements to: HVGCC Search Committee, 1 South Division Street, Peekskill, NY 10566.

Additionally, the Board has agreed to retain former Chamber Executive Bill Powers to temporarily oversee some of the day-to-day operations on a part-time basis. Powers, who operates Powers Public Relations, a public relations consultancy, is an active member of the Hudson Valley Gateway Chamber and served as its chief executive in the 1990’s.

“Bill’s prior service at the Chamber, combined with his public relations and marketing background, along with his deep knowledge of the Hudson Valley Region, uniquely qualify him to serve during this transitional period,” said Christine Somers, Chairperson, Hudson Valley Gateway Chamber of Commerce.

About The Hudson Valley Gateway Chamber of Commerce:
“Opening Opportunities” is not just a catchy slogan, but a clear restatement of what the Hudson Valley Gateway Chamber has been for more than 90 years – an organization with a diverse membership, committed to enhancing the success of businesses in Northern Westchester County and Southern Putnam County.
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A MESSAGE FROM BRUCE THE BLOG ON NCNLocal.com:
Forehand is served notice

In the relatively short time Hudson Valley Gateway Chamber of Commerce ex-CEO Ron Forehand and I worked together — the past three years — we got along fine, with one notable bump along the way involving the Peekskill election debates of October 2009. That’s when his organization and ours mutually decided to part ways, for that one event, temporarily suspending the partnership we had cultivated as joint sponsors of election debates. We immediately resumed the tandem production with the Putnam Valley supervisor debate.

Ron was served notice Jan. 21 that his contract with the Chamber was being terminated, for reasons, as usual, not made public. Let the speculation begin.

One thing I witness firsthand is that Ron was partial to using the League of Women Voters as moderators for the debates we produced together. That works in some cases, and I’ve had excellent results working with the League myself. I’ve also had unsatisfactory results. As the head of a news organization that reports daily on the politicians and issues that populate the debates we produce, I am highly biased in thinking that nobody is better equipped to grill candidates than a beat journalist.

I also like the idea of having journalists involved in the debate process, either as moderator, or as an inquiring panelist cued by a moderator, as if typical in televised Presidential debates. Ron didn’t agree with that notion, at least for the Peekskill debate.

Funny thing is there already was a pact with the League of Women Voters to moderate that debate — at least until the morning of the debate, when I had an intemperate conversation with the scheduled moderator, one Polly Kuhn. Ms. Kuhn asked me why we were staging a debate only between the Peekskill mayoral candidates, and not also among the Peekskill City Council candidates.

That mayoral-candidate-only format was something Ron and I had agreed upon in past years for the sake of concision, to keep the pace of the evening manageable for us and tolerable for the audience. Ms. Kuhn not only had other thoughts on the matter but — and keep in mind this conversation between her and me took place about six hours prior to the debate — informed me that when she moderated debates, she fairly insisted on having input to the format. Did I mention this was six hours before the debate?

I don’t suffer this kind of imposition gladly under the best of circumstances, and so that’s all I had to hear. In that moment, I decided to replace Ms. Kuhn as the moderator with myself, curtly but politely told her so, and disconnected the call.

I’m not clear on why Ron was so set on using the League of Women Voters as moderators for his debates — going so far as telling me at one point that he did not want to use newspaper people as moderators, ouch! — but in general Ron, like me, loves political engagement. Unlike me, however, he makes no bones about letting his political preferences be known without qualification.

You may or may not agree that there’s an analogy somewhere between the positions of newspaper publisher and Chamber of Commerce executive director (or president, or CEO, or what title have you), but I can see some parallels. Both positions call for a certain ambassadorial or diplomatic demeanor, which is why I don’t advertise my personal politics, even though some seem to think they know what it is, and usually prove they don’t.

Ron excelled in many ways as an ambassador, but in other ways, word got around that on occasion he passed a remark that was perceived — and no doubt intended — as an insult to a prominent Chamber member. That kind of expansiveness tends to catch up with you when those members also are the employer(s) paying your wages.

Ron also made it known he was a de facto insider at Peekskill City Hall. In fact, he was the chair of the search committee that ultimately led to the excellent choice of Rick Finn being hired as City Manager (are you listening, Yorktown?!). I’ve gotten to know Rick recently during a couple of substantive meetings, and he looks to me like the real deal — well-informed, disciplined, organized, experienced, personable, adding up to a valuable asset for Peekskill.

I have no idea if Ron’s dabbling in Peekskill politics has any connection whatsoever to the walking papers handed him on Jan. 21 by the board of directors of Hudson Valley Gateway Chamber of Commerce.

The only thing for sure is that the termination of his tenure had something to do with people politics. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see him emerge with a position in or around City Hall. For my part, I hope he stays visible and involved on the local scene because he can add value to an organization under the right circumstances.
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FROM BRUCE THE BLOG ON NCNLocal.com:
It’s a left-handed compliment, right?

Transparency is the order of the day in politics, though, like water, transparency is fluid: it depends which side of the looking glass you’re on. The view from elected officials is that anything more we’re told or shown than we were told or shown before they took office is transparency. The view from voters is that we’ll decide just how transparent our government needs to be, and we’ll take those who don’t meet our standards out to the voting booth for a little heart-to-heart chad.

So a salesperson in our company walks into my office today — while we’re on deadline, mind you –and claims that there are some nameless, faceless people she’s spoken to who want to know — nay, DEMAND TO KNOW! — why our, in their words, “far right” political columnist Anthony J. Bazzo now also is interviewing people! How dare he ask questions and we publish the answers.

I ask who these people are. I already knew the answer. These are the people who never have names. Only complaints. I wonder aloud what Mr. Bazzo’s political ideologies have to do with him asking questions since he’s not also answering them.

Apparently just the sight of his name to the “far left” nameless faceless complainers is enough to convince them that North County News now is a “far right” publication.

The obvious reply to that is, “compared to what”? If someone self-avowedly on the “far left” thinks someone or something else is on the “far right,” isn’t that relative? Maybe, just maybe, to them, “far right” is somewhere in the middle.

And if they didn’t complain before this, does that mean the paper then was “far left” and coincided with their point of view? Is it that North County News is “far right” or is it that North County News was too “far left” and has move to the right to find a more sensibly centrist middle ground?

But don’t hate me because, like Andy Bazzo, I have the temerity to ask questions of others.

But don’t let my blogarrhea bravado fool you. I really do want to hear any and all feedback about what we publish by whomever wherever whenever whatever forever.

So we look forward to receiving your Letters to the Editor at Editor@NCNLocal.com, but only publish those that are signed and include (not for publication) a phone number for us to verify the sender. Or feel free to call me directly at (914) 962-3871 X410. Operator is standing by … on the right, and left, and in between.
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E-MAIL RESPONSE TO LAST WEEKS POST:
ImaginaryCousin said...

My only comment is on the David Webb response to Senator Schumer. Senator Schumer is quoted as saying in an email "Martha Coakley is running to fill the rest of Ted Kennedy's term, and her opponent is a far-right tea-bagger Republican."

Mr. Webb then states that the accurate definition of "tea-bagger" or any derivation is an offensive sexual slur referring to the placement of a man's testicles on a woman's chin. While I have never heard of the sexual practice that Mr. Webb describes, to each his own.

But I find it troubling that Mr. Webb believes that only a woman can consent to this activity with a man. It speaks volumes of how he views the world that he excludes two homosexual men from participatign in this rather odd behavior.

But other than his latent homophobia coloring his views, I think his understanding of grammar is lacking. The publishers of the oxford dictionary agree with the Senator on this one.

They considered "tea bagger" to be a finalist for one of the words of the year. The same concern for confuision with a profane term was raised and the Oxford people responded as follows:

It should be noted that the term "teabagger" appears on Oxford's list because of the usage cited on that list, not because of any other meaning. Citations for the political sense were found in a number of legitimate sources throughout the year. As a reference to members of the currently active Tea Party, the word has been used in speech and print by both liberals and conservatives. In this context, the term "teabagger" is a reasonably conceived informal name for an affiliate of the Tea Party, and as a word in the news, it earned a mention for the year 2009.

Having deliberated carefully over the word-usage evidence, Oxford's lexicographers are confident in their judgment that "teabagger" the political term stands distinctly apart from "teabagger" the vulgar term.

So, Senator Schumer owes no one an apology. He was using a word that is conservative enough for Oxford to include it in its dictionary with the meaning that Schumer attributed to it.

The women in Senator Schumer's offices and residents of New York should know that Schumer used no sexual slur in referring to American citizens. Instead, he used a term that has been approved by the editors of the largest dictionary in the world.
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WHAT'S HAPPENING AT 12 GRAPES, N.DIVISION STREET, PEEKSKILL
Last year, the editors of Westchester Magazine
chose 12 Grapes as
Editor's Pick for "Best New Live Music Spot".

Now, it's time to cast your vote!
Please vote for 12 Grapes
in this month's Westchester Magazine

Inside this month's (January) issue of Westchester Magazine is the 2009
Best of Westchester® ballot. We're asking all our fans, friends and patrons
to please consider voting for 12 Grapes.

You can vote for 12 Grapes in several categories such as:
Best American Restaurant,
Best Wine Bar, Best Wine List,
Best Place to Hear Live Music,
Best Place for a Date Night,
Best Massage... well, maybe not
best massage, but you get the idea.
Just purchase the January issue, take out the perforated ballot and cast your votes.

January issue on the newsstands now!
Postmark deadline is Feb 5th.

If you're a 12 Grapes fan, please show your support
and vote! Thanks so much!!
For more information or reservations,
call 12 Grapes at 914-737-6624
or email rich@12grapes.com
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Next Week's Line-Up:
Thu, Jan 28, 8:30 - 11:30, The Ray Blue Trio (Jazz)
Fri, Jan 29, 9:30 - 12:30, The Walter Lewis Blues Trio
Sat, Jan 30, 9:30 - 12:30, Buried in Blue (Classic Rock) ~ $5
Sun, Jan 31, 5:30 - 8:30, Singer/Songwriter Showcase
featuring Mani Cregan & Mishti Roy

Make your Valentine's Day Reservations Now!
Sat, Feb 13, 9:30 - 12:30 ~ 3-Ton Jack (Classic Rock)
Sun, Feb 14, 5:30 - 8:30 ~ Rhonda Denét (Soul/R&B)
For reservations, call 914-737-6624
or email rich@12grapes.com
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Let's do Lunch!
With many entreés priced
$12 and under, lunch at
12 Grapes is a
great value!

Grilled Salmon Club w/ Caper Mayonnaise ~ $10
10 oz. Sirloin Burger w/ French Fries ~ $10
Tuna Nicoise ~ $12
Reuben Sandwich $10
Steak Sandwich w/ Sauteed Onions & Melted Gruyere ~ $12
Wed-Sat
from 11:30 am
Call 914-737-6624

Special night!
Thu, Jan 28th
Peekskill's own
Ray Blue
Saxophonist Ray Blue has a sound and style that's energetic, powerful, and sensitive. Ray takes you for a musical ride characterized by passion and precision. Raised in Peekskill, Ray now lives in NYC and Berlin, and tours the world performing his unique blend of jazz, Afro-American and spiritual music.
8:30 - 11:30
Free Admission

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
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A MESSAGE FROM THE YTORKTOWN WATCHDOG:
Dear member:

There will be a meeting of the UTY on Wednesday Jan. 27, 2010 at the
Yorktown Town Hall at 7:30 pm. On the agenda we will discuss what Con
Edison is doing to our town, it's time for town officials to act and
stop the removal of trees under transmission lines. I am hoping to
have a speaker there on this subject.

The new town board as made decisions that will increase spending in the
future already. I will try to get a town board member to explain why.
We had a new UTY secretary Nick Ditomaso. Nick has volunteered, but has
been in the hospital since Jan.13. I talk to him at the hospital, he
was recovering. I don't expect him to be at the meeting.

I will sending you more information soon by a newsletter and
attachments.

I am attaching a petition please copy and start geting signatures. This
petition has to be handed in by our next meeting Feb.
Remember our meetings are always the last Wednesday of the month.
Feb.'s meeting is Feb 24, 2010.

Ed
THE PETITION:
Petition

Whereas the YCSD Board of Education has abridged the rights of citizens to speak before it during its public meetings, and

Whereas the YCSD Board of Education has sought to intimidate and control certain members of the public by the use of uniformed Yorktown police officers at its public meetings,

We the undersigned residents of the Yorktown Central School District petition the YCSD Board of Education to place the following proposition upon the ballot of the Annual District Meeting of May 19, 2009. This proposition provides residents an unfettered opportunity to exercise their first amendment right to speak before the Board of Education at its public meetings.

Proposition
Shall a policy be added to the Yorktown Central School District’s Policy Manual that contains the following provisions: 1) the YCSD Board of Education shall hold all of its public meetings in public meeting rooms that are not within any YCSD district building, 2) no member of the YSCD Board of Education and no employee of the YCSD may instruct, or command any action of, any police officer present at any public meeting, and 3) this policy may only be changed or rescinded by majority vote of eligible voters at an Annual District Meeting.

Policy
Location of Public meetings of the Board of Education
The Board of Education shall arrange for, and hold, all public meetings of the Board of Education of the Yorktown Central School District on public property in Yorktown that is not within the property bounds of the Yorktown Central School District. The Board of Education and the administration of the Yorktown Central School District may not hire, or otherwise pay for, police to be present at any Board of Education public meeting. Any police acting in an official capacity at any public meeting of the Board of Education may take their orders from police headquarters only. This policy may only be changed or rescinded by majority vote of eligible voters at an Annual District Meeting.

PETITION
The undersigned residents of the United States of America petition US Senator Charles E Schumer to vote against the national health care reform bill now in the senate. We ask you to vote no based on the cost of health care reform bill in the sum of 849 billion dollars of taxpayer’s money and the use of 500 billion dollars from Medicare revenue reserves to pay for this program.
We the members of AARP chapter 3297 in Yorktown in the state of New York do not agree with national AARP’S endorsement of the public option (total government control over health care).
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Dear members:
Don Roberts is a UTY member. He spoke up the town's budget hearing for
us. His newsletter I believe is important information that's why I am
emailing it to you. If you have not read the North Couny News this week
Don article appeared there. Spendlng on sports are out of sight. We pay
over a million dollars in each of the school districts each year. The
town is building a 6 million dollar ball field
and now the town is taking your money to pay for sports that the
parents pay for through fees.

Ed
THE LETTER RE-PRINTED FROM NCN:
(It was sent separate to the Bazzomanifesto)
To the Editor

Salutes & Salvos Misfire

In your recent Salutes & Salvos, a Salvo discussed school districts charging local athletic clubs for the use of fields. The Salvo goes on to state these clubs are “self-financed through sports and registration fee” I would like to point out that in Yorktown selective local athletic clubs are not entirely self-financed. At the 2009 Yorktown budget hearing, residents were surprise to learn some local youth athletic clubs were projected to receive $36,000 of tax payer support. However the 2010 Yorktown budget contains a line item ‘Athletic Club Contracts’ noting that $78,700 was distributed to 3 local youth athletic clubs in 2009 and that the 2010 budget projects $78,700 will be distributed in 2010 . According to Yorktown officials, some of this funding is used for referees and equipment, while a portion of this amount does go to school districts for custodian support of basketball programs. The Salute & Salvos also states a Salute to youth sports leagues stating that “youth sport leagues (are) operated by volunteers with nominal or no local government funding or administration”. At least in the case of Yorktown, some youth programs do receive local government funding.

Donald Roberts
Member of United Taxpayers of Yorktown
Yorktown Heights
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A MESSAGE FROM TOM DECHAIRO:
CONTACT: (914) 262-7313
tom@dechiaro.net

DECHIARO ANNOUNCES CONGRESSIONAL
EXPLORATORY COMMITTEE IN NY-19
Honest government advocate and millionaire businessman explores Congressional run

YORKTOWN, NEW YORK—In the wake of the stunning Massachusetts Senate election
that pundits are now referring to as the ‘Boston Tea Party’, prospects for Republicans in the Northeast continued to rise with the news that wealthy businessman Thomas DeChiaro has announced the formation a U.S. Congressional Exploratory Committee for the 19th District in New York.

“The blue collar families of the Hudson Valley are alarmed by the ever expanding size of government and their rising tax bills,” DeChiaro said. “Our country is in jeopardy of losing our leadership position in the global economy. “We are truly at a tipping point, and we must not be complacent anymore. I am considering running for Congress because it is time for the Hudson Valley to elect leaders who will govern with integrity.”

A possible DeChiaro candidacy would give Hudson Valley Republicans their first wellfinanced candidate with high name recognition throughout the district, who also has broad appeal to the independent voters who makeup a majority of the district.
“We are slowly losing the rights and privileges our forefathers died for,” DeChiaro said. “We need innovative thinkers, business men and problem solvers.”

DeChiaro, a 47 year old self-made millionaire from Mahopac, is currently the President and CEO of the Winery at St. George in New York’s Westchester County.
“Unemployment in our district has doubled since 2007 and it is becoming more and more
difficult for families to make ends meet and seniors to afford their taxes,” DeChiaro said.“The momentum for real change hit a momentary hiccup when the Republican Party lost a top tier challenger in NY-19, and this is why I am considering entering the race. We need to restore a voice to the underrepresented majority, here in the Hudson Valley, who are eager for leaders who will control the growth of government, and ensure that efforts to stimulate our economy go hand in hand with tangible job growth.”

“I have already sat down with prominent leaders of our state including New York’s
Conservative Party Chairman Michael Long and will be meeting with members of the
Republican Party as well,” he continued.

DECHIARO ANNOUNCES EXPLORATORY COMMITTEE IN NY-19/P2

Previously DeChiaro worked for IBM as Senior I/T Program Director responsible for
driving business transformation across IBM’s corporate functions.
DeChiaro is also the founder of People for Honest Government Political Action
Committee, which played an instrumental role in the 2009 elections in the Hudson
Valley, providing crucial financing to victorious candidates who supported a platform of smaller government, eliminating wasteful spending, supporting local business and economic development, and holding the line on taxes.

“From the jobless economic stimulus, to cap and tax, to Wall Street bailouts, to the
government takeover of health-care now being rammed through the Congress, the
American family is under assault by a government that refuses to listen to them,”
DeChiaro added. “The Hudson Valley needs a leader in Congress. If I decide to run, I
promise to listen to the voices of all of the people in the Historic Hudson Valley.”
DeChiaro earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer and Information Science
from Brooklyn College and holds several professional certificates from George
Washington University. He is an adjunct professor at Catholic University of America in Washington DC.
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A MESSAGE FROM ASSEMBLYMAN GREG BALL:
BALL PARTNERS WITH LOCAL GROUPS
TO HELP RAISE FUNDS FOR HAITI

Assemblyman Greg Ball (R, C, I – Patterson) is partnering with local groups including the Village of Pawling Street Department and Village of Brewster community activist Victor Padilla to collect donations to assist recovery in Haiti following the 7.0 magnitude earthquake, which killed at least 45,000 people according to initial Red Cross reports.

“The devastation in Haiti is truly overwhelming, yet seeing our local communities coming together to assist in this desperate time is truly heart-warming. I am proud to do everything in my power to assist these local residents and organizations who are stepping up to help and, of course, any resident who needs assistance locating a loved one in Haiti,” said Ball.

“Brewster residents and businesses are a strong, generous community and I'm proud we can come together to do our part for Haiti. Assemblyman Ball and I are asking everyone to participate in the effort and offer what they can for the donation drive,” said Padilla, the former Hispanic Community Liaison for the Village of Brewster, who is asking local businesses to display donation cans for their customers.

Any residents who are interested in making a donation to assist in Haiti or helping to raise funds or be further involved can contact Victor Padilla at 845-826-0514. Donations can also be made to the Village of Pawling garage at 11 Henry Street, Monday through Friday between 7 am and 3:30 pm. For more information or to make other arrangements to donate with the Village of Pawling, please call 845-855-1344. All checks should be made payable to the American Red Cross.

“As done in the past, such as with the Hurricane Katrina tragedy, the Village of Pawling Street Department will be spearheading a donation drive for the victims of the Haiti earthquake. Any monetary amount you can give, not matter how small, will be greatly appreciated. Our deepest thanks and gratitude goes out to all those who contribute,” said Doug Warren, a Street Foreman with the Village of Pawling Street Department.

Rob Rolison, Director of Development, Dutchess County Chapter of the American Red Cross, stated, “The Dutchess County Chapter of the American Red Cross is grateful for the outpouring of support from the residents of Dutchess County. We appreciate that the Village of Pawling Street Department is helping coordinate the collection of donations in the east end of our county for the Haiti relief effort.”

The United Nations reported earlier today that with one in 10 homes destroyed in Port au Prince an estimated 300,000 people have been left homeless in the capital city. The United States expects to have 5,500 soldiers and marines in Haiti by Monday to help provide security, coordinate relief efforts, and work with UN engineers and aid workers.

More than 40,000 United States citizens were living in Haiti at the time of Tuesday’s earthquake. So far, the State Department has been able to contact roughly 1,000 of them. To help assist New Yorkers who are searching for news regarding their loved ones in Haiti, New York State has set up a registry, available either by calling 1-888-769-7243 (staffed between 9 am and 9 pm weekdays and 9 am to 5 pm on weekends) or through the Governor’s website (www.ny.gov/governor).

Putnam County Sheriff Donald B. Smith stated, “The scope of the suffering and the need in Haiti is almost incomprehensible. The people of Putnam County have always been generous in times of crisis and I am confident that we all will contribute to help relieve the suffering and help rebuild Haiti.”
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Dear Friend,

As I'm sure you are aware, Somers resident Stephanie Crispanelli, along with 5 other Americans, are still missing. They were last seen in the Hotel Montana in Port-au-Prince, which collapsed during last week's devastating earthquake.

I am told by the State Department that the Haitian government will not commit to search-and-rescue at the Hotel Montana beyond this weekend!

Ten days after the earthquake, Haiti still lacks the appropriate resources for search-and-rescue at the Hotel Montana, throughout Port-au-Prince, and throughout their country.

As a community, we need to come together to tell our Senators, our Congressmen, and our State Legislators to do what is necessary to get troops, equipment, and supplies for search-and-rescue to Port-au-Prince. We need to call our elected officials every day and ask them, "Please call the State Department today." My office is in constant contact with the State Department, and I am aware of similar efforts from other elected officials, including the amazing endeavors by Somers Supervisor MaryBeth Murphy and Putnam County Legislator Mary Ellen Odell. But call us and email us nonetheless.

Additionally, please donate to the Red Cross for disaster relief in Haiti, either by visiting the Red Cross web site or by calling either Victor Padilla at (845) 826-0514 or Doug Warren in the Village of Pawling at (845) 855-1344. All checks should be made payable to the American Red Cross.

The devastation in Haiti is beyond overwhelming and it goes without saying that our hearts and prayers pour out to this tiny nation. Locally, seeing our community come together to assist is heartwarming. I am proud to do everything in my power to assist these local residents and organizations who are stepping up to help.

Let's come together to bring Stephanie and the other missing Americans home.

Greg Ball
(845) 279-5301
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BALL SAYS ‘GUV, STOP DIGGING’
A Statement from Assemblyman Greg Ball (R, C, I – Patterson)

Last week I presented and signed the “tax free budget” pledge and called on Governor Paterson and legislative members leaders to join. This week the Governor unveiled a billion dollars in new taxes and fees. I call it the language of ‘Albanyese’, do one thing and say another. The Governor is talking the talk but unveiled a budget that suggests we can tax and fee hike our way out of this mess; we can’t. He should have cut spending over last year’s budget, not increased it. The Governor just handed a blank check to Sheldon Silver and his elitist and corrupt legislature to continue the binge spending and knee jerk taxing. It’s time to cut taxes and fees on small business, drastically reduce the size of government at every level, and kickstart the economy by innovatively working with the private sector. Instead, Albany’s answer, yet again, is to tax their way out of a hole while hitting New Yorkers where it hurts the most: education, healthcare, homes and ultimately, property taxes.
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Tax and Fees Overview

General Tax Overview
The Executive Budget would increase tax or fee liabilities for a total of $995.2 million on an All Funds basis in 2010-11. This equates to about 14 percent of the overall $7.4 billion gap closing measures.

The predominance of these measures, $923.2 million, represent dedicated revenues for health care investments.

Highlighted Revenue Actions Proposed by the Governor
Tax Increases
•Impose Severance Tax on Certain Natural Gas Producers – A 3% tax would be imposed on severing natural gas from the Marcellus or Utica Shale. Fiscal Impact: $1 million in 2011-12.

•Increase Cigarette Excise Tax by $1.00 per Pack -- The State cigarette excise tax would be increased from $2.75 to $3.75 per pack. Fiscal Impact: $218 million in 2010-11 and $211 million in 2011-12.

•Impose New Excise Tax on Beverage Syrup & Soda – An excise tax would be imposed on beverage syrups and soft drinks at a rate of $7.68 per gallon on syrup and $1.28 per gallon for soft drinks. Fiscal Impact: $465 million in 2010-11 and $1 billion in 2011-12.

.Health Care Assessments and Surcharges – Assessments and surcharges totaling $240.2 million will be levied to support health care investments. Fiscal impact: $240.2 million in 2010-11 and $333.7 million in 2011-12.

Tax Decreases

•Create Excelsior Jobs Program -- New economic development program would be established to provide incentives based on job creation, investment and research and development. Fiscal Impact: Costs for this program would be capped at $50 million for the first five years for new entrants.

•Expand Two Current Tax Credits – Both the Low Income Housing Credit and Film Tax Credit would be expanded. Fiscal Impact: $4 million for the Low Income Housing Credit; and $168.1 million in 2012-13 for the Film Credit.

Other Revenue Actions

•Allow the Sale of Wine in Grocery Stores – The Governor provides for the sale of win in grocery stores. A one time franchise fee based on the gross sales of the retailer would be levied for this privilege. Fiscal Impact: $93 million in 2010-11 and $54 million in 2011-12.

•Legalize Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) in NY – Legalizes MMA in New York. An 8.5 percent admissions tax on matches and exhibitions would be imposed similar to that already imposed on boxing and wrestling. Fiscal Impact: $2.1 million in 2010-11 and each year thereafter.

•Deploy Speed Enforcement Cameras – Automated cameras would be deployed to catch speeding vehicles on highway work zones or dangerous highway areas. A violation of $50 would be imposed on highway speeding and $100 for work zone speeding. Fiscal Impact: $32.9 million in 2010-11 and $86.8 million in 2011-12.

•Extend Married Filing Provisions to Same Sex Couples – Same sex couples married in other jurisdictions would be permitted to file joint New York tax returns. Fiscal Impact: Revenue Neutral.

Tax Increases and Other Revenue Actions in the 2010-11 Executive Budget

Impose Severance Tax on certain natural gas producers
Increase Cigarette Excise Tax by $1 per Pack
Impose New Excise Tax on Beverage Syrups and Soft Drinks
Health Care Assessments and Surcharges

II. Loophole Closure Actions
Define flow-Through Entities as Taxpayers for QETC and Biofuel Credits
Treat Compensation for Past Services as Taxable for Non Residents
Treat S-Corp Gains and Installment Income as Taxable for Non-Residents

III. New or Increases Fees
Establish Early Intervention Parental Fees
Increase Certain Civil Court Filing Fees

IV. Tax Enforcement Actions

Allow the Use of Statistical Sampling for Certain Sales Tax Audits
Improve Audit and Compliance

V. Other Revenue Actions

Eliminate QuickDraw Restrictions
Extend VLT Hours of Operation
Affiliate Nexus Provision
Allow the Sale of Wine in Grocery Stores
Legalize Mixed Martial Arts in New York
Deploy Speed Enforcement Cameras
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BALL WELCOMES NEW COMMITTEE ASSIGNMENTS
Calls for Brodsky to Honor IBM Hearing Commitment

Assemblyman Greg Ball (R, C, I - Patterson) looks forward to his new committee assignments for 2010, while calling on his colleagues to honor their commitments during the 2009 Legislative Sessions.

"I was an extremely independent voice on the Corporations, Authorities and Commissions Committee, breaking with my own party on many occasions and taking on the tyrannical Chair when necessary. That said, I will pursue my new assignment as the Ranking member on Consumer Affairs with that same purpose, and continue to stand up for the little guy" Ball said.

With an announcement from Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb, Ball will now be the Ranking Minority Member on the Assembly Committee on Consumer Affairs and Protection. He will no longer sit on the Corporations, Authorities and Commissions Committee or the Housing Committee. Ball remains on the Veterans Affairs Committee in 2010, and also received a new assignment to sit on the Environmental Conservation Committee.

"Throughout 2009, as the Ranking Member on Corporations, I fought hard for transparency and accountability to ensure that money spent in New York was not used, directly or indirectly, to outsource jobs," Ball said. "Despite receiving $45 Million from the state, IBM eliminated more than 1,000 jobs in the Hudson Valley, jobs they sent overseas. In 2010, IBM has announced plans to do more of the same. I'm proud that, in my service to the Corporations Committee, I received a commitment from Chairman Richard Brodsky to investigate these deals and hold all parties accountable."

Ball said that the state cannot continue to give taxpayer subsidies to companies that offshore jobs, especially during these economically troubling times. Ball is the author of two pieces of legislation in the Assembly, each with bipartisan support, that would end tax incentives for companies that offshore jobs (A.5660) and require companies to disclose their compliance with IDA agreements (A.5677).

Ball added that his new assignment will not interfere with his commitment to the MTA budget fiasco. Ball was the first to call for an independent forensic audit of and accountability from the MTA, and he’s calling for an MTA Payroll Tax Revolt on April 15 in Carmel, which Ball said will demonstrate to “the tax-and-spend crowd in Albany that we have reached our breaking point.”

As the new Ranking Member of Consumer Affairs, Ball looks forward to working with other committees to ensure consumers are protected from predatory business practices, such as reverse mortgage scams and unlawful trial offers. Ball also hopes to use his new position to help bring stronger regulations against pet mills.
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A MESSAGE FROM THE NRCC:
New York's Unemployment Continues to Rise, But What is John Hall Doing About it?
Democrats’ Big-Spending, Big-Government Policies Are Failing New York Families, Leaving them Asking: Where are the Jobs?

Washington- John Hall must cringe every month when unemployment numbers are released and New York families are reminded that their representative’s economic policies continue to fail them. It’s been almost a year since the Democrats’ ‘stimulus’ failure passed, but with New York's unemployment rate at 9 percent, middle-class families are still struggling. After spending a trillion dollars to stimulate the economy with minimal results, New York families want to know: What is John Hall going to do about the economy?

Layoffs are on the rise and economists predict a bumpy road on the way to economic recovery:
“The number of newly-laid off workers seeking jobless benefits unexpectedly rose last week, as the economy recovers at a slow and uneven pace.

“Layoffs have slowed and the economy began to grow in last year's third quarter, but companies are reluctant to hire new workers. The unemployment rate is 10 percent and many economists expect it to increase in the coming months.” (Christopher S. Rugaber, “Initial jobless claims unexpectedly rise,” Associated Press, 1/21/2010)

Rather than focusing on the struggling economy, Democrats continue to fixate on healthcare – even at their own expense:
“Honorable and intelligent people can disagree over the substance and details of what President Obama and congressional Democrats are trying to do on health care reform and climate change. But nearly a year after Obama's inauguration, judging by where the Democrats stand today, it's clear that they have made a colossal miscalculation.

“The latest unemployment and housing numbers underscore the folly of their decision to pay so much attention to health care and climate change instead of focusing on the economy… Last week's disappointing December unemployment report was the final blow in what was already a bad week for Democrats.” (Charlie Cook, “Colossal Miscalculation On Health Care,” National Journal, 1/16/2010)

"’Even in liberal Massachusetts, most voters are opposed to it,’ said Tom Jensen, director of Public Policy Polling, a Democratic pollster in Raleigh, N.C., who has conducted polls in that state and others on health care. "If it's not popular in Massachusetts, it's really not popular anywhere." (Janet Adamy & Naftali Bendavid, “Massachusetts Race Now Key to Health Bill,” Wall Street Journal, 1/18/2010)

“Once again New York's unemployment numbers are grim and middle-calls families have John Hall to blame,” said NRCC Communications Director Ken Spain. “Rather than accepting the fact that the Democrats’ free-spending agenda has been an abject failure, Hall continues to be one of the biggest proponents of Nancy Pelosi’s policy agenda. After the Democrats’ failed policies cost them a Senate seat in Massachusetts, will Hall finally get a clue?”
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Will Hall Ignore Lessons of Massachusetts and March Along With Healthcare Overhaul?
Despite Referendum on Healthcare, Democrats Signal They’ll Move Forward With Reconciliation

Washington- Voters sent a loud and clear message to Democrats on Tuesday night by electing a Republican to a Massachusetts Senate seat for the first time in three decades. In the bluest of the blue states, voters filled the polls in record turnout, electing a Republican who campaigned against Democrats’ healthcare overhaul. Now, rather than taking heed to the warnings, Pelosi and her Democrat posse remain fixated on ramming their healthcare overhaul through Congress. With the warnings shots fired, the question is: Did John Hall hear them?

Despite the obvious warning, Democrats remain intent on pushing their healthcare overhaul through Congress. Their plan to use reconciliation procedures –requires only a party line vote in order to pass the bill, shutting out independent and Republican voices altogether.

“A well-informed source tells The Mouth Nancy Pelosi is set to announce the House will go the reconciliation route on health care reform. “Of course, that means using a budgetary procedure that requires a simple majority to pass.” (Michael McAuliff, “It's Reconciliation (Update),” New York Daily News, 1/21/2010)

“A new USA Today/Gallup poll out today shows 55% of respondents want President Obama and Congressional Democrats to "suspend work on the current health care bill ... and consider alternative bills that can receive Republican support." And 39% want to see Democrats "continue to try" to pass health care.” (Rachel Slajda, “Poll: Majority Of Americans Wants Dems To Suspend Work On Health Care,” Talking Points Memo, 1/22/2010)

In a politically volatile time for Democrats, this ignorant and hasty move could cost them big: "’Even in liberal Massachusetts, most voters are opposed to it,’ said Tom Jensen, director of Public Policy Polling, a Democratic pollster in Raleigh, N.C., who has conducted polls in that state and others on health care. "If it's not popular in Massachusetts, it's really not popular anywhere." (Janet Adamy & Naftali Bendavid, “Massachusetts Race Now Key to Health Bill,” Wall Street Journal, 1/18/2010)

“He said Democrats have learned a crucial lesson: that even in very blue states, Democrats should expect a ‘volatile’ environment with a ‘tough’ electorate — and ‘you can’t afford not to be aggressive.’” (Manu Raju, Jonathan Martin and John Bresnahan, “Finger-pointing begins for Democratic insiders,” Politico, 1/19/2010)

“’My message to my clients? Jump ship now,’ said one Democratic operative who advises a number of targeted Members of Congress. ‘Obama can't help you.’” (Chris Cillizza, “Scott Brown wins Massachusetts Senate special election race,” Washington Post, 1/20/2010)

“After blindly supporting his party leaders’ disastrous healthcare overhaul the first time, New York taxpayers have every right to believe John Hall will once again choose partisan politics over the interests of his constituents,” said NRCC Communications Director Ken Spain. “Now that Nancy Pelosi and her puppets have chosen to ram their healthcare overhaul through Congress, the stakes have gotten higher. With the tide of public opinion now moving swiftly against Washington Democrats, will Hall stand up to their partisan ways or will he be the next Democrat casualty?”
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A MESSAGE FROM ASSEMBLYWOMAN SANDRA GALEF:

( January 19, 2010) Continuing her focus on streamlining government, Assemblywoman Sandy Galef will bring in judges, lawyers and experts from the area for a conversation about local court consolidation, on Thursday, February 4th at 7:30 pm at Cortlandt Town Hall, 1 Heady Street, Cortlandt Manor. The forum is open to the public and there will be an opportunity for questions and answers.

Experts include New York State 9th Judicial District Administrative Judge Alan D. Scheinkman, New York State Supreme Court Judge Francesca E. Connolly, Special Commission on the Future of New York State Courts’ Chief Counsel Elliot Moskowitz, and Fund for Modern Courts’ Deputy Executive Director and Director of Advocacy Denise Kronstadt.

“As a resident of the Town of Ossining, I often find myself asking why so many of the functions of the Village of Ossining are replicated in the Town of Ossining and vice-versa,” Galef says. “I even wonder why neighboring communities might also be offering the same services. As the world gets smaller through technological innovations, and the economy shrinks, it is time for government to follow suit,” she asserts “Our court system is another important place to look at to see if we are duplicating efforts.”

Elliot Moskowitz from the Special Commission on the Future of New York State Courts said: “I am pleased to participate in a discussion concerning our Town and Village Justice courts. While these local courts play a critical role in the administration of justice in our State, it is important to examine and consider how this institution can be improved, better supported and made more efficient. I applaud Assemblywoman Galef for organizing this panel discussion and drawing much-needed attention to this issue.”

Denise Kronstadt from the Fund for Modern Courts said: “Modern Courts welcomes the discussion on ways to best provide our local town and village courts with the proper and shared resources to meet the interests of localities and the fair administration of justice. We applaud the work of Assemblywoman Galef in addressing this important but often overlooked part of local government and the justice system.”

This forum is part of a continuing series of town hall-style meetings in which Galef hopes to bring community into the conversation about reducing government at all levels in hopes of bringing down its cost, thereby helping people where it counts: in their pockets. Galef invites the public to join these esteemed experts as she moderates this discussion on how local court consolidation could improve efficiency in the justice system and save taxpayers’ money. Panelists will discuss pathways to change and how local community members can get involved.
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Galef Hails the Assembly Passage of Ethics Reform

(January 20, 2010) Assemblywoman Sandy Galef, along with her colleagues in the Assembly, passed new ethics reform legislation today (A.9544/S.6457). The legislation promotes greater compliance with campaign finance laws and increases the disclosure of financial interests by elected officials, government offices, employees, and lobbyists.

“It is important to acknowledge and address the growing number of instances that demonstrate unethical behavior in the legislature,” Galef said. “This legislation is a tactical and well-planned approach toward transparency and accountability assuring that the public is better informed of potential conflicts of interest. It is very hard to work productively in an environment where there are violators of ethics. This legislation includes substantial and major steps to correct this shameful behavior”

The bill includes:

Campaign Finance Reforms
•Increasing the penalty for failure to file campaign disclosure forms from $500 to $1,000
•Creating a substantial new penalty of up to $10,000 for the failure to file required campaign statements three or more times in an election cycle
•Creating a new penalty for accepting an excess contribution of an amount equal to two times the excess plus a civil penalty of up to $10,000
Ethics Reforms

•Create the Executive Ethics and Compliance Commission (EECC,) which would consist of six members that shall be appointed by the governor, attorney general, and the comptroller

•Create a Legislative Office of Ethics Investigations (LOEI,) which will be responsible for conducting investigations and enforcement policies; members of the LOEI will be detached from both legislative responsibilities and lobbying responsibilities; this will ensure that the members of the LOEI are free of the pressures, expectations, and manipulations of these institutions

•Establish a joint Legislative Commission on Ethics Standards (LCES,) which is responsible for the training and education regarding the Public Officers Law, and for oversight over the filing of financial disclosure forms as well as rendering advisory ethics opinions

The activities of the aforementioned committees will be summarized annually by the Committee on Open Government and reported to the governor, legislative leaders, the comptroller, and the attorney general before March 1 of each year. This bill will take effect on July 31, 2010.

Additionally the Assembly and Senate passed A.9559, S.6439 to prohibit the use of public resources for non-government purposes. Using state and local taxpayers resources for private gain will incur a penalty of $10,000 and/or one to three years in jail.

“This is important legislation to protect the public from the misuse of taxpayers money,” concluded Galef.
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“Speak Out” with Assemblywoman Sandy Galef Presents Fall Forum on Ways to Make Real Property Taxation More Equitable

(January 21, 2010) On October 7th, 2009 Assemblywoman Sandy Galef hosted former Office of Real Property Services Executive Director Lee Kyriacou to discuss the importance of equity in property taxation. The forum is now being aired on her public access show, “Speak Out” airing consecutively in three parts.

Galef, who is also the Chairwoman of the Real Property Taxation Committee in the Assembly, and Kyriacou stress the importance of regular reassessments as the only way to ensure that every New Yorker only pays his or her fair share in property taxes. Most municipalities in Westchester County, and some in Putnam, have not reassessed property values in almost forty years, leaving these municipalities with outdated assessments and therefore inequitable property tax rates.

Kyriacou also mentions the wastefulness of some villages in New York who assess, when the towns in which they reside already assess property values. There are over one-hundred villages in New York State that still pay taxes for double-assessing. One of them is in the 90th Assembly District. Kyriacou noted that this was unnecessary as one assessor could provide the assessments for both the town and village, eliminating the double assessments which sometimes conflict with each other although the same property is being assessed.

“I am happy that Mr. Kyriacou was able to come to my district and talk to constituents about why it is so important for local municipalities to reassess their properties,” said Galef. “I hope that constituents and municipalities will strongly consider the need for reassessment after hearing from Mr. Kyriacou.”

Tune in to cable television on the following days and times to learn more.
“Speak Out with Sandy Galef” airs as follows:
Cablevision
Ossining and Peekskill Channel 15 – Wednesdays at 8:00 pm
(Briarcliff, Ossining, Scarborough, Buchanan, Cortlandt, Croton, Garrison, Montrose, Peekskill, Philipstown South, Verplanck)
Wappingers Falls Channel 21 and Yorktown Channel 74 - Wednesdays at 7:30 pm
(Channel 21: Cold Spring, Philipstown North; Channel 74: Lake Peekskill, Putnam Valley)
“Up’s and Down’s of Property Tax Assessment”
Part 1 Airs January 27
Part 2 Airs February 3
Part 3 Airs February 10
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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

AT NCN: abazzo@ncnlocal.com
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THIS WEEKS "IN MY OPINION COLUMN" IN THE NCN:
Dear Readers:

This week I discuss whether Westchester Board of Legislaors got Novembers message from the voters. 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 NCNLocal.com 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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NEW REGULAR FEATURE:
FIVE QUESTIONS WITH:

Dear Readers:

Until my roledex runs out of names, I will be iterviewing local political officials every week. I will be asking them five questions. The objective is to bring to information you do not have. Another reason to spend 75 cents a week on your local paper.

THIS WEEKS SUBJECT: PEEKSKILL DEMOCRATIC CHAIRMAN DARREN RIGGER
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SITES TO LINK TO:

LET'S TALK POLITICS: NCNlocal.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/

BRUCE APAR'S NCN BLOG: http://theblogcabin.com/homebase/bapar

NORTH COUNTY NEWS:"http://northcountynews.com/

THE JOURNAL NEWS:http://thejournalnews.com/

PEEKSKILL DAILY: peekskilldaily.com

PEEKSKILL DEMOCRATS:http://www.peekskilldems.com/"

PEEKSKILLREPUBLICANS:http://peekskillgop.com/

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

YORKTOWN WATCHDOG: www.yorktownopengov.org

PADAVANO FINE ARTS: Padovanofineart.com

ASSEMBLYMAN GREG BALL: http://www.ball4ny.com/

SUSAN SIEGEL: www.wakeupyorktown.com

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

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

THE VOLPE REPORT: Thursadys at 8PM chanel 15 (Peek. and Cort.) chanel 74 at 6pm (York.& Put. Valley)
Hosted By: Domenic Volpe

THE ISSUES: Tuesaday at 9:PM chanel 74(Put. Vlly. & Ykt.) 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

01/24/10