Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Bazzomanifesto Update 04/30/14: 21 Topics In Today's blog



2)  Headline Peekskill Daily Voice: Westchester Foreclosure Spike Not An Economic 
 Indicator, Legislator Says
3) Police Complaint Filed Against Congressional Candidate Grant Lally
4) U.S. Chamber of Commerce endorses Hayworth’s ‘pro-jobs, pro-growth’ agenda
5) Westchester Legislators Examine Over $100 Million of Capital Projects Westchester Legislator Harckham Calls for County to Audit All Capital Projects
6) How Many Have We Killed?
7) The Book Club ! 05/03/14
8) New ROI column from Frank J. Rich:  Yes!
11) REMARKS: Astorino Candid with NY Business Community
12) Astorino Challenges Cuomo on Unforgivable TV Ads
13) Astorino: "Como Te Atreves, gobernador"
14)  Astorino Statement on Cuomo's Common Core Tests
15) Convention Update: Keynote Speaker and Hotel Reservation Deadline 05/14/14
16) Parker Gallery presents Ernest Garthwaite. Reception May 8th
17) Call D.C. Bureaucrat at His Desk and Tell Him Not To Hike Your Electricity Prices
18) Senator Greg Ball’s 10th Annual Golf Outing 05/15/14
19)  Must-watch video for 2014
20) Statement from Ed Cox on subpoenas of JCOPE
21) Art Celebration for Children

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I am writing this after a few weeks of letting things die down about the now infamous “Hossu rape case; and, hopefully, allowing me to put the following questions and concerns into a proper perspective. (As a disclaimer to all who want to continue reading: I have stated that I am considering running for Putnam County District Attorney in 2015. So, you may consider that to be a bias on my part as to what follows.) 


Although I served for four years as an Assistant District Attorney in Manhattan under Robert Morgenthau, I can honestly say that until these issues arose, I never—ever—considered running for Putnam District Attorney. It is only as a result of what I believe have been highly unusual and unacceptable actions on the part of our current District Attorney, actions which I feel undermine the fairness and credibility of our legal system, that I have thought about it.


As to what has occurred over the past 13 months involving the now infamous “Hossu rape trial,” a trial which ended in a not guilty verdict—one I do not question—I am raising and reminding all of us of what I consider to be unacceptable behavior on the part of our county’s chief prosecutor.


The following issues need to be raised and the questions need to be answered. These are extremely serious matters that must not be ignored or forgotten:


In March of 2013, Putnam County District Attorney Adam Levy had to recuse himself (and, thereby, The Putnam County District Attorney’s Office) from the Hossu rape case. What this means is that his office had a “conflict” involving the charges. The conflict was that Mr. Hossu had a relationship with Mr. Levy: he had been his personal physical trainer and friend, and lived for a time in Mr. Levy’s home. Accordingly, Mr. Levy, as Putnam County District Attorney, could not be involved in the prosecution of the case. He was too close to it.


The case would be sent to the Westchester District Attorney for prosecution--and it goes without saying--nothing could be more obvious--that Mr. Levy could not be involved in the defense of Mr. Hossu. This is because Mr. Levy’s sole duty is to prosecute cases on behalf of the People of the State of New York, specifically the residents of Putnam County. He should not be advocating and strategizing for the defendant; he should not be paying his legal costs; he should not be making public announcements about the case through his PR firm and his personal lawyer. In short, he and his office should not be involved in the case in any way except to turn over to the Westchester District Attorney the entire file and all the information he has about the case.


Unfortunately, our District Attorney was clearly very involved in the case, and may have, somehow, required others to be involved. What follows is a recitation of facts that must be discussed.


A.  After Levy recused himself and his office from the case, he admitted paying at least $30,000 dollars toward Mr. Hossu’s legal defense (the full amount is unknown, and has not been disclosed by Mr. Levy. His attorney stated that it was in “the range” of 30 to 50 thousand dollars). When this was made known, Mr. Levy, through his lawyer, stated that he had “an absolute right” and a “moral obligation” to defend his friend.


Actually, he has no such right. Of course, had Levy resigned his position and become part of the defense team he would have that right. But he did not resign. Accordingly, he must stay out of the case. It is an obvious conflict of interest for a sitting District Attorney to aid in the defense of one who has allegedly raped a girl—especially in that sitting District Attorney’s jurisdiction. It doesn’t get any more basic than that.


B.  Levy may have disclosed Grand Jury information to the defense. According to news reports which were not denied by Levy, there is an email wherein Levy, a day after the indictment, advised Hossu’s then defense attorney to contact the grand jury foreman to try and secure an affidavit saying that the “close vote” could have been affected by a lack of defense witnesses.


Again Levy had to have his own lawyer explain this away. His lawyer stated Levy was merely “speculating” about the vote, and never disclosed the tally. The lawyer’s statement is irrelevant. Levy was continuing to aide and assist the defense in a case with which he should not have been involved--for two reasons: his office was recused, and a sitting District Attorney cannot assist in the defense of one who is charged with committing a crime in his jurisdiction (or any jurisdiction, for that matter).


If it is true that Levy asked that the Grand Jury foreman be contacted, then this is a very serious interference with the Grand Jury process and must be investigated. Grand Jurors need to know they will not be harassed or contacted by the District Attorney in an attempt to cobble together a defense for an accused rapist. This is a bizarre danger to the integrity of our justice system. As one law professor put it, “there could even be obstruction of justice issues,” or at least a “denial of justice.” And, it could lead to “larger questions, perhaps about other cases” Levy has handled. The Law professor is absolutely correct, though one doesn’t need to have a law degree to deduce this.


C.  In two bizarre twists, i) Levy apparently wanted to testify before the Grand Jury as a defense witness (according to published reports not denied by Levy). One must ask the question, what would he have been a witness to? And, ii) Levy’s own brother-in-law eventually became the defense attorney for Mr. Hossu. Need one ask how this came about?


The above allegations are cause for concern for any resident of Putnam County who cares about the fair administration of justice. However, in my opinion, it gets worse.


D.  During the trial, it was revealed that an Assistant Putnam County District Attorney (who is part of Levy's office which recused itself), informed defense lawyers that a recording existed wherein the alleged victim’s aunt stated her niece first said the attack happened on a Tuesday or Wednesday, then changed it to Monday. This prompted one incredulous Westchester County Assistant District Attorney working on the case to question how defense lawyers found out about the recording from a Putnam Assistant District Attorney. "Her office doesn't tell the D.A.'s office of Westchester about this information, but she meets with the defense team and tells them?" he said.


This, of course, raises more serious questions: Where was this recording during all the months of discovery? Who knew this recording existed? When did they know it? How is it that the Assistant D.A. came into possession of this tape? Why on earth would a Putnam County Assistant District Attorney be the one to reveal this—and to the defense, not the prosecution? Was it withheld in the hope of securing a mistrial at the right time—and if so, by whom?


E.  It was further revealed that Levy's confidential assistant sat in on most of the trial, as did the Putnam County District Attorney’s chief investigator. Why were they there? Were they there on county time or their own time? If county time, they should not be paid for that time. (Our County Legislature should look into this.) If personal time—why were they there? Was it to funnel information back to Levy?


F.  A few final things which have little to do with the case, but a lot to do with the Putnam District Attorney and his arrogance: it turns out Levy has recently hired a public information officer to work at his office, paying her with his own funds and without notifying the county personnel office, which screens workers. She is not a county employee, not a member of any union, and cannot be held responsible by any county agency—including the Legislature and County Executive. Yet she is “working” in a taxpayer funded County building. It is mind boggling.


Questions regarding confidential informant concerns, worker’s comp issues, competitive testing issues, personal injury and lawsuit issues, and many others come to mind. Law enforcement agencies often subject prospective employees to rigorous background checks. Job applicants, including civilians, must provide fingerprints, which are checked against criminal databases and their driver's license, so their driving record can be researched. Applicants also must provide personal and professional references, Neighbors also are interviewed. None of this occurred here. It is as if Levy is declaring “I can do whatever I want.”


The County Legislature should immediately hold hearings on this.


These questions and concerns I have documented have nothing to do with the guilt or innocence of Alexandru Hossu. A jury found him not guilty. (Although, it must be noted that this illegal immigrant embezzled over $80,000 dollars over a two year period from a restaurant where he worked, and was subsequently hired and paid by Levy as a physical fitness trainer, and given lodging—perhaps raising tax reporting issues for Levy--another question for another day.) The questions and concerns are about the behavior of our County’s District Attorney and his involvement—and the involvement of his office—in a case he should not have been involved with in any way.


As I said in the beginning, it never occurred to me—ever—to consider running for Putnam County District Attorney. If you want to consider this a motive for writing this article, fine (it isn’t). But I cannot and will not stay silent—and neither should our residents, the Putnam County Republican Party (of which Mr. Levy and I are members), the Putnam County Democratic Party, the County Legislature, the New York State District Attorney’s Association, and, oh, yes—Governor Cuomo.


In the final analysis, the most serious question and concern for me as a resident of Putnam County, Supervisor of the Town of Putnam Valley, and as an attorney--and I hope it is your question, too--is this: if a District Attorney will do all of this in a case where everyone is watching, what might he do in cases where no one is watching?


Robert Tendy
Bazzo:  If You Live In Katonah, You Should Be Ashamed You Voted For Harkman:

Headline Peekskill Daily Voice: Westchester Foreclosure Spike Not An Economic Indicator, Legislator Says

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                    
April 28, 2014
The Committee to Elect Stephen A. Labate, Inc. 
Contact: Elizabeth 631-255-5151         
Police Complaint Filed Against Congressional Candidate Grant Lally
Deer Park, NY- April 28, 2014- 
A 19-year old college student who carried designating petitions for Stephen Labate, and her mother have filed police complaints against Grant Lally, candidate for Congress, for harassment, stalking and intimidation.  In addition to the police complaint, the girl's father wrote scathing letters to NYS GOP Chairman Ed Cox and Nassau County Chairman Joe Mondello.  The father describes the events that transpired and expressed his outrage saying, "I don't appreciate men stalking my home and knocking on my door and scaring my wife and daughter. It is a shame that a man running for public office would behave in such a manner."
According to the father's letter, the mother of the college student positively identified Grant Lally as the man who was in a car "casing" out their house.   This stalking was followed up by a visit from a man who identified himself as a private investigator.  The man had, in his possession, the designating petitions for which the student had obtained signatures.  The man proceeded to bully and intimidate her into making a false admission that her own signature was a forgery.  He was unsuccessful in obtaining such an outrageous admission.  However, he was successful in scaring this 19-year old girl who was extremely distraught over this encounter. 
Stephen Labate, the Republican candidate for U.S. Congress in New York's 3rd Congressional District, expressed his outrage saying, "I find it contemptible that the Lally campaign would try to harass and bully a 19- year old college student who was exercising her constitutional right to get a candidate on the ballot. This is part of a well-orchestrated campaign by Lally for Congress to intimidate my volunteers.  Since Grant Lally can't win on the issues, he has embarked on a sleazy campaign to attack and bully.  This is a desperate act, on the part of a desperate candidate, whose campaign is imploding and it is an affront to our election process."
Labate continued, "As a 25 year Army Officer, integrity and personal honor is something I hold dear. However, as a Soldier, I will not back down to these bullying tactics and I will protect my volunteers. Mr. Lally can now add voter intimidation to his sordid resume that includes paying one of the largest fines ever levied against a Congressional candidate, $280,000 for accepting illegal campaign contributions and trying to hide it. Additionally, Mr. Lally has become the lawyer of choice for some of New York's most corrupt politicians."
Grant Lally represents what is wrong with politics. The voters of the Third Congressional District deserve a candidate who respects the election process and the volunteers who work so hard to ensure fair and honest elections. We need Stephen A. Labate representing us in the halls of the United States Congress not bullies like Grant Lally.
Help Stephen A. Labate Fight Back!
 To donate by mail make checks payable to:
The Committee to Elect Stephen A. Labate Inc.,
c/o Nancy Marks, Treasurer
PO BOX 610
Shirley, NY 11967
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U.S. Chamber of Commerce Endorses Hayworth’s ‘Pro-Jobs, Pro-Growth’ Agenda

Chester, N.Y. – April 30, 2014 – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has endorsed Dr. Nan Hayworth in the race for Congress in New York’s 18th Congressional District, noting her “pro-jobs, pro-growth” agenda and record of supporting small business.

“We will encourage the business community to vigorously support your candidacy,” said U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Tom Donahue. “This is all about jobs for our neighbors here in the Hudson Valley.”

“I’m honored to have the partnership and support of the Chamber, and to work side-by-side every day with the folks who create most of our new jobs,” Hayworth said. “My opponent, in contrast, is hurting jobs and job creators, supporting the costly failure of ‘Obamacare’ and promoting an agenda of intolerable taxes, irrational regulation, and debt-ridden government that wastes our hard-earned tax dollars on crony projects.”

Hayworth continued: “This November we’ll defeat the politicians who treat our small businesses like cash cows to subsidize bad policy. I’m here to give folks the respect and freedom to spend and invest according to our own good sense – with lower taxes, fewer and more sensible regulations, and health care they can actually afford. When our small business community is healthy, everyone in the Hudson Valley benefits. I’m proud to join the Chamber to strengthen our communities and grow jobs!”

Contact: Tom Staudter | | 914-995-2819 (office) | 914-419-5221 (cell)
Westchester Legislators Examine Over

$100 Million of Capital Projects

 White Plains, NY – As of this week, the Westchester County Board of Legislators has examined over $100 million capital projects in meetings of three key committees, vetting bond authorizations for bridge repairs, new roofs for County facilities, technology upgrades, sewage system rehabilitation, park improvements and more.

 In setting up the committee structure for the 2014-2015 legislative term, BOL Chairman Michael Kaplowitz (D-Somers) encouraged committee chairs to meet jointly and work collaboratively whenever possible.

 “Westchester county residents and business owners expect that their County tax dollars will be carefully and wisely spent,” said MaryJane Shimsky (D-Hastings-on-Hudson), chair of the BOL Infrastructure Committee. “This means the Board of Legislators needs to scrutinize each capital project to ensure that design, construction and purchase costs are reasonable.”

Added Legislator Shimsky, “The vetting process that takes place in the Board’s committees is the final fail-safe step to protect taxpayers from needless cost overruns and spurious spending. Our job here is not complete when funding is authorized. We look at the projects right up until the construction is completed. Some may feel this process is too time-consuming, but for legislators who take their oaths of office seriously, there can be no other way.”

 As of today’s meeting held jointly with the BOL Budget & Appropriations, Economic Development & Capital Projects and Infrastructure Committees, the dollar total of the forty-eight projects looked at so far this year reached $109,521,000.

 Legislator Shimsky credits the new policy of vetting bonds for capital projects jointly with the BOL’s Budget & Appropriations Committee and Economic Development & Capital Projects Committee, chaired by, respectively, Legislator Sheila Marcotte (R-Tuckahoe) and Legislator Michael Smith (R-White Plains), with providing the necessary time to continue oversight to project completion.

Extra scrutiny in committee is sometimes warranted when construction funding is requested before 60% of the design work has been completed, said Shimsky, pointing to a project to improve the County’s North White Plains Parking Lot as an example.

Legislator Marcotte noted that approvals for bond authorizations in the BOL committees have been guided by the goal of keeping County infrastructure in good repair while ensuring that capital projects amount to a good value for county taxpayers.

 “The capital projects that come in front of the Budget & Appropriations Committee are necessary for the safety and well-being of our residents,” said Marcotte. “The natural collaboration that happens when our committees meet jointly to review projects results in sound investments that will benefit Westchester residents for many years to come.”

 Each BOL committee has a unique focus and mission, noted Marcotte, adding, “When our committees work inclusively of all legislators’ concerns and perspectives, the results are the best, most comprehensive work-product.”

 Legislator Smith said, “Our job is not merely to approve bonding; it is to ensure that the needed work on the County’s facilities is completed in a timely, proper and cost-effective fashion. Westchester is a wonderful place to live, work and operate a business. As we strive to grow our economy in Westchester it is imperative that we keep pace with the needs of both our business community and our residents. The projects that we have reviewed and approved through the Board’s committee process are a very real demonstration of our commitment to maintaining and improving all of Westchester.”

Additional news and photos available at

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Contact: Tom Staudter | | 914-995-2819 | 914-419-5221 (cell)

Westchester Legislator Harckham Calls for County to Audit All Capital Projects

 White Plains, NY – Westchester Legislator Pete Harckham (D-North Salem) is calling for new legislation requiring the County to annually audit all capital projects undertaken in the prior year.

The audit, Harckham said, should include a review of all monetary transactions and billings in terms of a thorough cost-analysis, as well as a process review focusing on design and project management, use of outside consultants, work flow systems and bonding for design separately from construction. All reports from the auditors will be received directly by the Westchester County Board of Legislators (BOL).

 Several of Harckham’s BOL colleagues, including Majority Leader Catherine Borgia (D-Ossining), Majority Whip Lyndon Williams (D-Mount Vernon), Legislator Ken Jenkins (D-Yonkers), Legislator Alfreda Williams (D-Greenburgh), Legislator MaryJane Shimsky (D-Hastings-on-Hudson), Legislator Ben Boykin (D-White Plains) and Legislator Catherine Parker (D-Rye), have signed on as co-sponsors for the audit legislation. Harckham is hopeful that other BOL members will also join on as sponsors.

 Legislator Harckham noted that since he began serving on the BOL in 2008, Westchester County has spent $486.4 million on capital projects, and with an additional $81.2 million projected for spending in 2014, the total will be $567.6 million.

 “Not one penny of this spending on capital projects has been audited,” said Harckham, chair of the BOL Labor/Parks/Planning/Housing Committee. “The taxpayers of Westchester County have a right to know that all of their tax dollars are being spent cost-effectively, and not just in the County’s operational budget, which is audited annually.”

In 2013, the BOL’s Citizen Budget Advisory Committee raised concerns about the reduction of the County’s in-house planning and design staff, subsequent reliance on outside consultants and the absence of a tracking system to monitor outside consultants, which may possibly be delaying the completion of projects in a timely and cost-effective manner.

An annual audit can uncover process flaws that increase costs, Harckham pointed out. For example, in 2012, the NYC Comptroller undertook an audit of the NYC Housing Authority’s construction program and found process, management and tracking flaws in the program and recommended a series of corrective actions to operate in a more cost effective manner.

 “This is just another step in ensuring that the County’s governmental actions, especially when they involve taxpayer dollars, are undertaken in an open and transparent manner,” said BOL Majority Leader Borgia. “Westchester residents and business owners expect that elected officials will keep a close on eye on governmental spending, and here at the county level we can be doing a better job in this regard. Legislator Harckham deserves our thanks for expanding and strengthening our efforts as fiscal watchdog
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R.O.I. By Frank J. Rich
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In search of a gift for a two-year old child, I recently came upon a local toy store. I was led there by another, so I was less alert to the character of the store than to following my friend around seeking a suitable gift. "Girl or boy," said the friendly clerk who introduced herself as Shelley.
"Tell me what she's like," she added. Wow, I thought, they're serious about helping us find the right gift for little Sophie. She started with a purse, explaining that children mimic their parent's habits, and purses are what mommy uses. In it were all the accoutrements-lipstick, mirror, car keys, and even a cell phone. We didn't say a word, but the expressions on our faces caused her to gather us into a discussion of the play habits of children. "Would she like a puzzle," Shelley asked, adding that most kids do. "Boys have cars and motorcycles, but girls have their own mobile toys," she said with the aplomb of a child psychiatrist. We took the small red plane with the large white tires.
At checkout we were introduced to their "third" store, as they refer to it-their Internet store--and also to the reasons for looking there. Unique items, and those in low stock for quick sale were featured on it. We learned about their special events and the philosophy of the store, and we were treated to a variety of playful "touching" toys at the counter that titillated our playful energies. As I reviewed my in-store experience what rang in my ear was the word "Yes." 
Everything about the manner in which they dealt with us said: "Yes." Shelley was sincerely interested in assisting us find just the toy we were after; they had the most agreeable and well-trained staff, and a variety of product that would make it hard to walk away without something under your arm.
When I got back to the office I "Googled" their website. I wanted to see if they're unusual approach to things was pervasive enough to include good placement. They were the first listing in the search results-another feather in their cap. In the paragraph "About Us" it reads: "We have been praised for our insightful, efficient and courteous customer service, while not forgetting the personal touch. Our customers are our guests and we welcome you to now shop our online store. Wondrous "Yes" again!
It is no accident: companies that enjoy good customers, loyal customers, those who do the selling for them, have come by their good fortune with purpose in mind. They mean to say "Yes" to everything.
Yes, we exist for a purpose. Yes, that purpose is to satisfy our customers. Yes, our ability to do so is our greatest asset. Yes, we believe so much in these things that we have the best trained, most friendly and helpful employees in our industry. Saying "Yes" to our customers is the most important thing we do. And "Yes," because of these things we have the most loyal, informed, and agreeable customers in the world.
Just think about what it means to a child to hear the word from his parents. Then remember what it felt like when you were a child. Yes!
Frank Rich is founder and CEO of Encore Príst International, an organizational development company that helps individuals and organizations reach their full potential through the practice of effective business fundamentals. You may reach him at, or by phone at 866/858-4EPI. To read all ROIs in their entirety, go to Business tab at Town Link.
If I Were A House
A children's story book
by Frank J. Rich
Poetry is like music to children's ears...
The idea that a house might take on a human guise, warm and welcoming is the simple exchange in our desire for such a home as we prepare it for ourselves and our children.
To purchase If I Were A House
 please email
Raising Father
By Frank J. Rich

To purchase Raising Father visit
A portion of the proceeds will be donated to local charitable organizations


Contact: Joe Bachmeier, (845) 531-9796



[Photo Attached]

Brewster, N.Y. – 04/29/2014 – Senator Greg Ball (R, C, I – Patterson) has officially accepted the nomination of June Offermann from Brewster into the 40th Senate District 3rd Annual Women of Distinction Hall of Fame.

Created and hosted by Senator Ball, The Women Of Distinction Hall of Fame was designed to honor outstanding women from throughout the 40th Senate District. Towns, villages and cities district-wide have selected one nominee that will be honored at a ceremony on May 29th.

“The Women of Distinction Hall of Fame was created to honor women that have chose a path of leadership, living a life of service before self,” said Senator Greg Ball. “I am so happy to accept Brewster’s nomination of June Offermann into the hall of fame. June plays an essential role for the senior citizens in Southeast, keeping them active, social and healthy. I salute her for the wonderful work she does and I greatly look forward to recognizing her work at this year’s hall of fame ceremony!”

“I consider it both an honor and a pleasure to help my fellow citizens, and hope to continue to do so as long as they let me,” said June Offermann of her service as the President of the Southeast Seniors. “As leaders are supposed to do, we bring information and programs to our seniors through various speakers which we hope will make their lives easier and more interesting. There are so many changes these days with regard to both health and finance that it is very hard for the average person to keep up with all of them, and so I serve as a conduit for these new developments. It is also most beneficial for seniors to be out and about in the social realm so as to remain vital and connected to their peers.”

After graduating business school, June became an Executive Secretary. She married and nurtured two wonderful children. She became very involved with the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, 4-H Youth Development Organization, was the Vice President of the local PTA, and for 13 years was a member of the Huntington Community First Aid Squad on Long Island.

June moved to Brewster to be closer to her daughter's family. Soon after joining the Southeast Seniors, she became their Recording Secretary and currently serves as the President of the program. June has also thoroughly enjoyed getting involved in such programs as the Triad, Yellow Dot, bracelets for Alzheimer’s patients, as well as a project involving a new senior center for Brewster and Southeast. June has also received the 2005 Putnam County Community Service Award.

The Women of Distinction Hall of Fame Ceremony will be hosted on Thursday, May 29th at Villa Barone Hilltop Manor in Mahopac from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM. For more information about the Women of Distinction Ceremony, contact Senator Greg Ball’s office at (845) 279-3773.

For more information, please contact or (845) 531-9796



Josef Bachmeier
Communications Director
NYS Senator Greg Ball
Media: (845) 531 9796 
Personal: (914) 406 5114

Contact: Joe Bachmeier, (845) 531-9796



[Photo Attached]

Albany, N.Y. – 04/29/2014 – Senator Greg Ball (R, C, I –Patterson), Chairman of the Senate Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs Committee, recognized two Yorktown residents on the New York State Senate Floor on Monday afternoon.

Brian Avery and Robert Cole were officially recognized by the New York State Senate with a Senate Resolution for their heroism in rescuing Maria Eliseo from her burning home on Sunday, November 24, 2013 in Yorktown Heights, NY.

“Brian Avery and Robert Cole are true heroes. I commend them for their swift and heroic efforts that saved Maria and her daughter from a house fire. I was proud to bring these gentlemen up to Albany to personally thank them for their quick actions,” said Senator Greg Ball. 

Brian Avery, a 48-year old National Guardsman, husband and father of two, and Robert Cole, a 49-year-old husband and father of two with no firefighter training, saved the life of Maria Eliseo, a 48-year-old wife and mother of three who had just had hip surgery and had been asleep when the fire broke out.

Brian saw flames at the house and ran to help; after unsuccessfully attempting to shimmy up a column onto the roof, he ran back to his home to grab a ladder.

Robert was driving on his way to a breakfast celebration of his 14th wedding anniversary when he saw smoke; he quickly unfastened his seat belt and followed the smoke until he reached the house.

After being told there was a woman upstairs, Robert looked up and saw the victim with her head and shoulders jutting out of the bathroom window, smoke billowing all around; he also tried to climb to the home’s second floor with no success.

Brian Avery made it back to the home with a ladder and saw Robert; with no thought for their own safety, the two strangers swung into action, a model of spontaneous teamwork.

Brian climbed up first through dense smoke, followed by Robert, who went onto the roof; together they got Maria out of the bathroom window and Brian Avery guided her down to safety, while Robert remained on the roof to get her securely on the ladder. Within two minutes of the rescue, the entire home was engulfed in flames.

“I am very honored to be recognized for my efforts on November 24th, by Senator Ball and the New York State Senate. This is something that I surly was not expecting. To be called a hero however, does not sit comfortably with me though. Having spent over ten years flying in and out of Iraq and Afghanistan, I have come across my fair share of true heroes. I am not in their league,” said Brian Avery. “I would like to stress the importance of home fire safety. That day taught me a lot. I firmly believe that not only should every home should be equipped with fire extinguishers and smoke detectors, but they should have escape ladders as well, for any bedroom above the first floor.”

For more information, please contact or (845) 531-9796
Remarks by Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino
Crain's New York Business Breakfast
New York Athletic Club
April 29, 2014

Good morning everybody.
It's so nice to be here with you. I really do appreciate your coming.  It doesn't always take bravery to come to a breakfast like this, but today it does -- and you deserve credit.  I've got a bet going with my staff over who saw the guest list for this event first -- the NSA, Andrew Cuomo, or Crain's.  My money's on Cuomo.
I know the governor had a good interview with Crain's a few days ago. He doesn't always sit for interviews, but Crain's is a must.  Well, in the spirit of Mr. Cuomo's interview I want to make one thing clear from the outset this morning: 'The remarks I make here are MY remarks. MINE. I OWN them. I made them and I can take them away!'
Seriously.  I really do appreciate your being here.  In fact, your graciousness makes it a little harder to say what I came here to say here this morning.
I know a lot of you are regulars at Crain's breakfasts. Just about every New York business or political leader has been to these events -- or should be coming to them. I've been to some over the years, and Crain's does a terrific job.   
But you know what?  You always hear the same thing -- pretty much. Some elected official stands here and swears up and down how great he or she is for the business community, the audience claps -- and then the official gets back to work destroying New York's economy.
That's the sad truth.  You don't get to be dead last in this country without working at it. You've really got to try. It takes a conscious decision to come in 50th out of 50 in anything, and New York has perfected it to a tee.
As Warner Wolf used to say, 'Let's go to the video tape.'
New York State was just ranked by the American Legislative Exchange Council as having the worst economic outlook in America. The worst. Not 25th.  Not 45th. Dead. Last. 50th.
New York has the highest property taxes in America. The worst. It has the highest overall tax burden, too. Dead. Last. 50th.
New York is losing more families than any other state -- 400,000 people over the past four years alone.  They're leaving in search of jobs and tax relief. Again, dead last 50th.
New York was ranked by the University of Illinois as having the most corrupt state government in America. And now, Moreland -- the commission that was supposed to investigate that corruption -- has been corrupted itself. Can we get to 51st?  Is that possible?
So here's my beef with the New York business community:  You stand for it.  I don't necessarily mean those of you in this room, but the business community as a whole. You have the clout -- the power to demand better -- yet you reward leaders who, at best, are managing the steady decline of New York.
Whoever gets elected gets the business community's support in New York. And almost never your criticism -- everyone is afraid to offend City Hall, the governor's office, or state legislative leaders. In elections, as soon as it looks like a winner is emerging from the pack, the money pours into that candidate -- regardless of the candidate's economic views.
New York City arguably just elected the most anti-business mayor in its history, yet many in the business community jumped on his band wagon once they thought he might win.  I'm sorry, but that's ridiculous. It's suicidal.
Instead of demanding better from elected leaders, we settle for scraps in New York.  We send lobbyists to Albany or to City Hall to strike that language out of the get three or four words added, or to beg for a sunset provision or a legislative carve out.
What the business community doesn't do is fight, lay down a marker in the sand and say, "here is the line beyond which you must not step.  Or here is the hoop you darned well better jump through if you want businesses to stay or new ones to arrive." No one else can deliver that message like you can, because no one knows better than you what needs to be done to get New York working again. The business community needs to stop being so shy.
God knows the groups in this state who want to drive up taxes and add more business regulations aren't shy.  They spend millions of dollars every year making demands, while the business community stays quiet. Wall Street gets attacked by state and city politicians, just as real estate industry does.  And no one says a word. It's madness.  
Instead of fighting, business leaders slowly disengage from New York.  You know the routine: First the back office goes to New Jersey or Pennsylvania. Then the front office, with maybe a small satellite address staying here for show. That's how a state gets to be 50th.
New York was once a state that refused to settle for second best, so why are we settling for dead last now?  We still have the attributes that made us the envy of the world once -- land, waterways, infrastructure, capital, an educated workforce -- we have it all.
But what we're missing -- and this is key -- is political leaders who are willing to put their necks on the line to fix the problems...political leaders who are willing to LOSE re-election to save this state.
You know how I won re-election by 13 points in Westchester County? By being willing to lose my seat.  That's how I won because that's how I governed.  
'You can't ask unions to chip into healthcare, they'll get you at the polls.' That's what I was told.  I did it anyway, after chipping in myself for healthcare costs.
'You can't make budget cuts.  You'll have organized demonstrators outside your office.'  So be it. I cut my own staff 19% and reduced the overall size of government by 5%.
'You can't take a stand against federal government overreach into local zoning. They'll sue you in court -- and slander you in TV ads, like Governor Cuomo started doing to me yesterday. Go ahead. We'll meet the federal bureaucrats in court because they are being unjust.
These things may not always make good headlines when they happen, but they bring good results, and isn't that what governing is supposed to be about?
I'm announcing next week my fifth straight year of freezing or cutting the property tax levy in Westchester. Not lowering or capping the increase -- actually lowering costs. That doesn't happen by mistake.  It takes work and a steady vision.  
Westchester spends less today than it did five years ago. I'm going to say that again, our budget is smaller today than it was when I took office.  We've saved Westchester taxpayers more than $100 million by consolidating services and departments, cutting waste, and reducing overhead.  
To give you you some perspective on my approach vs. Governor Cuomo's, consider this: If Governor Cuomo were to have lowered costs and reduced waste in the state during his first four years in office like I did in Westchester during my first four, New York taxpayers would today be spending $13.7 billion less.  That pays for a lot of teachers.
As a result of our fiscal prudence, Westchester has the highest credit rating in New York today -- higher than the state's.  It has created about 30,000 new private sector jobs over four years, and it has one of the lowest unemployment rates in New York. I'm proud of that.
But here's what I'm even prouder of: We've saved taxpayers millions while strengthening the social safety net.  In areas like child care for the working poor, we are more generous than New York City and we've greatly expanded available slots.
But the bills keep coming from Albany. Ask any mayor, county executive, or school board chairman, Democrat or Republican.  Albany's mandates are squeezing the life out of New York, and nothing is being done about it. It's a chief reason I'm running for governor.  In Westchester County today, 85% of our tax levy is driven by Albany mandates.  It's even worse elsewhere.
We all know what the problems are. It's Medicaid and state pensions mostly.  Mayor Bloomberg was one of the few brave voices in this state to talk about the problem of pension costs. When New York City is spending more on trash that was picked up years ago than trash being collected today, we've got a problem. But no one is willing to risk the political capital to address it.
Everyone in this room knows that New York needs to switch to a defined contribution plan for new hires -- or something that brings equivalent savings -- rather than the defined benefit plans we can't afford. But did you hear anyone talking about that during the Albany budget battle last month? I didn't. They're too afraid of having TV ads run against them.
Everyone knows we need to do something to lower our Medicaid costs.  At $55 billion, New York is spending more on Medicaid than Florida, Texas, and Pennsylvania combined. Yet people in those states seem to be doing okay. They look at least as healthy as we do. Is it possible that we might stick out our necks a little and find some real savings?
You know what's needed in this state?  A little old fashioned tough love. We are dead last in America in taxes and economic outlook because politicians are too terrified to say 'no' to anyone. And so the jobs and people keep on leaving. How is that compassion?  How does a reduced tax base care for those in need?
We need economic growth, not political cowardice.  Take natural gas extraction. New York had better get in the game.  Thirty states now allow safe natural gas exploration, and those states are led by both Republicans and Democrats.  President Obama supports it, as does the EPA, the Interior Department, and environmental groups. But my God, someone might protest if it's allowed, so this administration stalls and stalls and stalls.
Re-election comes first; good governance is secondary.  You and I need to declare that unacceptable.
I like to say that you need three body parts to be a good leader -- and I bet this applies in your work as well. You need a head to do the smart things; a heart to show compassion, but probably more than both of those, you need a spine to stand firmly against the nonsense that seeps into government. I've always tried to lead with all three in Westchester, and I'll do the same in Albany.  
No one can stand on this stage and tell you with a straight face that they'll transform New York from #50 to #1 in taxes or economic outlook or business friendliness in a few years. But I can tell you this: I can make New York -- for starters -- the most competitive state in the northeast again. And once we get there, we can build on that.
So here's my challenge to you today. Here's my challenge to New York's business community:  Step in.  Engage.  Take a stand -- take a risk. Wade farther and deeper into New York politics than you've ever waded before and then stay there.  Because if you don't, you'll be gone in a few years, too, just like thousands of other businesses that have either shuttered or moved to Texas or South Carolina or exotic locales like North Dakota, the fastest growing state in the country. With the exception of the real estate industry that is saddled by brick and mortar, everyone here can pick up and go.  
It's the conversation we hear every day -- at the water cooler, at the barbershop, at the hairdresser's: 'Three more years and I'm out of here. Once the kids finish school, we're heading south" -- or west or north. Anywhere but here. People now speak about living in New York like its some kind of prison sentence. That's not okay.
Alabamians used to say 'thank God for Mississippi,' because Mississippi always ranked at least a notch lower than they did in some survey.  Well now they all say "Thank God for New York." All of them.
Is that okay with you?  Because it's not alright with me.  
I'm staying here and I'm fighting.  It's why I'm on this stage this morning. Regardless of your political affiliation, I ask that you join me in that fight.  I refuse to accept that the Empire State is shrinking -- that New York is now at the bottom of the heap in this country.  I don't want to be telling my children and grandchildren about what New York once was, and I'm sure you don't either. But that's what's going to happen if we don't act in an urgent and serious way.  We're number 50, and still its business as usual in this city and state.
So today, I am calling on the New York business community to redouble its efforts to save New York.  To make noise; to run ads of its own to compete with the special interests. To stand up and fight with me.
The business community built this state. It can save it now, or it can flee, joining the millions of other who have already left.  It's up to you.  
Thank you.
Contact: Jessica Proud, 914-438-5325                      FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The HD Video Below May be Downloaded for Television Use

How Dare You, Governor
How Dare You, Governor


Just when you thought New York politics couldn't get dirtier, Governor Cuomo breaks new ground. It sadly recalls the type of unseemly campaign tactics with which Mr. Cuomo has long been associated.
In two unforgivable new television commercials now airing in the New York City media market, Mr. Cuomo effectively calls me and hundreds of thousands of Westchester and Long Island families racist.  The reason? Because we don't agree that sensible zoning laws are discriminatory. Mr. Cuomo's ads viciously attack us for defending our communities against arbitrary federal interference and the insane property tax hikes that would come with it.    
How dare you throw out the race card when you know it doesn't apply, Mr. Cuomo.  Have you no shame?
Westchester and Long Island communities aren't racist, governor. Westchester is the fourth most diverse county in New York State, tied with Manhattan. But you should know that, Mr. Cuomo:  You live in one of the neighborhoods the federal government is attacking. If you really think it discriminates, why did you move there? Why do you live there now?
And why didn't you say anything about this before I was challenging you for governor? I've been your county executive for four years, and you've never made a peep. Why didn't you object when I was being endorsed for re-election last year by prominent black ministers and current and past leaders of the NAACP?
Last week you sent Al Sharpton to Westchester to stir up discontent, but you can't hide behind surrogates, Mr. Cuomo.  You might think its cute to do that, but it's not.  It's cowardly.
If you've got something to say to me and the people of 31 Westchester communities and Oyster Bay in Nassau County, Mr. Cuomo, say it to us directly.  If you've got an accusation to make, make it directly.  
How about standing behind your attacks by publicly debating the issue, if you have the courage to? How about next week? I'll defend the communities you are debasing, and you can defend the bureaucrats at HUD -- the agency you used to lead -- and the charges you make in your ads. We can hold it in Chappaqua, where you live, to make things convenient for you.
So what do you say, governor?  Do you want to stand by your charges of racism by debating them openly and honestly in a public forum.  Or do you want to throw out false and inflammatory television ads and then hide?
It's up to you, governor.  What's it gonna be?   
Contact:  Jessica Proud, 914-438-5325                FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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C�mo Te Atreves, Gobernador
Como Te Atreves, Gobernador
la escritura: 

Justo cuando Usted pensaba que la política en Nueva York no podía ser más sucia, el Gobernador Cuomo rompe con todos los esquemas. Tristemente, nos recuerda el tipo de campañas con las que durante tanto tiempo se ha asociado a Cuomo.
En dos imperdonables comerciales de televisión que se están transmitiendo en los medios de la Ciudad de Nueva York, el Señor Cuomo prácticamente nos llama racistas a mí y a cientos de miles de familias en Westchester y Long Island.
¿La razón ?
Que no estamos de acuerdo con el que las sensibles leyes de zonificación sean discriminatorias. Los anuncios de Cuomo nos atacan ferozmente por defender a nuestras comunidades de la arbitraria interferencia federal y de los desorbitados aumentos al impuesto predial  que vendrían con ella.    
¿Cómo se atreve, Señor Cuomo, a jugar la carta del racismo cuando sabe que no aplica? ¿No tiene Usted vergüenza?
Las comunidades de Westchester y Long Island no son racistas, gobernador. Usted debería saber esto. Usted vive precisamente en uno de los barrios que están bajo el ataque del gobierno federal. Si Usted de verdad cree que ahí se discrimina, ¿porqué se mudó ahí? ¿Porqué sigue viviendo ahí ahora?
¿Y porqué nunca dijo algo sino hasta que le reté en la ruta para gobernador? Yo he sido su Ejecutivo de Condado durante cuatro años durante los cuales Usted no dijo ni pío.
¿Cómo es que no tuvo algo que objetar cuando pastores afro-americanos y líderes actuales y pasados de la NAACP me otorgaron su endoso y apoyo?
La semana pasada envió Usted a Al Sharpton a Westchester para promover el descontento, escondiéndose tras su títere. A lo mejor Usted piensa que hacer eso es algo simpático, pero no lo es.
Es cobarde.
Si Usted tiene algo que decirnos a mí y a la gente de treinta y un comunidades de Westchester y Oyster Bay en el Condado de Nassau County, señor Cuomo, díganoslo directamente. Si tiene alguna acusación que hacer, hágala directamente.  
¿Qué le parece el que reitere sus ataques personales debatiendo el problema conmigo, si tiene el valor para hacerlo ?
¿Qué tal la semana que viene?
Mientras yo defiendo a las comunidades que Usted está difamando, Usted puede defender a los burócratas del HUD  -- la agencia que Usted encabezó - y los ataques que Usted lanza en sus anuncios. Lo podemos hacer en Chappaqua, donde Usted vive, para que le sea conveniente.
¿Qué nos dice, gobernador?  Está dispuesto a sostener sus acusaciones de racismo debatiéndolas abierta y honestamente en un foro público?   ¿O prefiere lanzar anuncios falsos y difamatorios en la television y después esconderse?
Depende de usted, gobernador. ¿Qué vá a ser?   

Contact:  Jessica Proud, 914-438-5325 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Statement by Gubernatorial Candidate Rob Astorino on 
Today's Common Core Tests
April 30, 2014
"My children are joining again today with tens of thousands of New York students in refusing to take the controversial Cuomo Common Core tests. My wife, who is a special education teacher, and I adamantly believe this experimental program from Washington bureaucrats is wrong for our children and wrong for New York. Our kids are not guinea pigs. 
"Cuomo's Common Core will drive property taxes through the roof. New York got into this to get fast seed money from Washington that will soon run out, saddling us with an expensive new bureaucracy and more frustration at home and in the classroom. We need to get out of Common Core, as Indiana has done and other states are looking into.   
"We absolutely need higher standards in our schools.  But as governor, I'll let improvements be made at the local level -- where they should be -- with the full involvement of parents and teachers."  

April 28, 2014
Here are a few announcements as we're less than three weeks away from the 2014 New York Republican State Convention on May 14 and 15.
1. We are pleased to announce Larry Kudlow as our keynote speaker for May 14. Larry Kudlow is CNBC's Senior Contributor and host of "The Larry Kudlow Show," which broadcasts each Saturday from 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. on WABC Radio.
2. The deadline to register for a hotel room at our group rate is Wednesday, April 30. You can make your reservation at this link, or by calling 1-800-445-8667.
3. It's not too late to register, but please do so immediately if you have not. The registration form for County Chairs, State Committee Members, Elected Officials, staff and guests is available here.  
The registration form for press is available here.
We look forward to seeing everyone next month!
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Assemblyman Kieran Michael Lalor 
Call D.C. Bureaucrat at His Desk and Tell Him Not To Hike Your Electricity Prices
Dear Friends,

As you know, unelected bureaucrats in Washington are about to artificially raise electricity prices in the Hudson Valley this Thursday, May 1st. The bureaucrats are creating a new "capacity zone" and it will raise Hudson Valley electricity bills by 10 to 18%.

The backwards bureaucratic logic behind the plan is that higher prices will encourage the development of new local electricity generation because we'll be required to purchase more electricity produced within the capacity zone. We should be able to encourage the development of new electricity plants without an artificial, government-mandated price increase.

Now we're learning this plan could cost consumers 22% more than was originally anticipated.

You can help tell the bureaucrats at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) that this a bad idea. Call the FERC chairwoman's chief of staff, James Pederson, at his desk at (202) 502-8614. This is his direct line. Tell him you don't want unelected bureaucrats arbitrarily raising your electric bill.

Please forward this email and ask your friends and family to call the DC bureaucrats too. We need to send a very loud message.
Thanks for you help,

Be sure to LIKE my Facebook page and FOLLOW me on Twitter for updates on this fight.
Assemblyman Kieran Michael Lalor, a former teacher at Our Lady of Lourdes in Poughkeepsie, is a Marine Corps veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and a frequent guest on the Fox News Channel. Lalor is of counsel to the law firm Gaines, Novick, Ponzini, Cossu & Venditti. He is a graduate of John Jay High School, Providence College and Pace Law School and lives in Fishkill with his wife Mary Jo and their four young children Katie, Riley, Mikey and Kieran Jr..

April 30, 2014
That didn't take long.

Earlier this week, Andrew Cuomo's State Democratic Party released a pair of advertisements that effectively call Rob Astorino a racist. 

In politics, cries of "racism" are often the last refuge of scoundrels.  For Andrew Cuomo to direct his Democratic Party to smear Rob Astorino with such an ugly label is shameful, desperate and totally unworthy of our great state and its Governor.

In the video below, Rob Astorino responds, directly challenging Andrew Cuomo to a debate on the issue.  Will Andrew Cuomo respond, or will he continue to take the coward's way out, staying silent while the surrogates he hides behind level vicious, dirty attacks?

April 30, 2014
Cox: We trust the US Attorney will uncover the truth
Contact: David Laska
ALBANY... NYGOP Chair Ed Cox released the following statement after the New York Post reported that US Attorney Preet Bharara has subpoenaed records of the Joint Committee on Public Ethics:

"Public ethics is of paramount importance to all New Yorkers.

"Any investigation of ethics committees is a legal, not a partisan issue. We trust the US Attorney and his team will uncover the truth."
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Art Celebration
by Children
to benefit
Maria Fareri Children's Hospital
C. Parker Gallery invites children Grades 3 through 12 to submit their original artwork
On the evening of Thursday, May 22nd, C. Parker Gallery will host a fundraising event for the Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital. The festive reception will feature artworks submitted by local students with live music, food and drinks.
A 16 x 20 canvas can be picked up at C. Parker Gallery, 17 East Putnam Avenue, Greenwich, CT. A submission fee of $20 will cover registration and cost of canvas.
Completed artworks must be returned to the gallery by Monday, May 19th
with a copy of the student’s information affixed to the back.
Submitted pieces will be displayed in the gallery throughout the week of May 19th. Awards will be conveyed on May 22nd at the fundraising event.
A panel of local artists and judges will award each age category a first, second, and third place.
The winning artists will have their pieces displayed in the Maria Fareri Children's Hospital for the month of June.
All submitted works will be auctioned off with entire proceeds going to the Maria Fareri Children's Hospital Foundation.
C. Parker Gallery
17 East Putnam Avnue, Greenwich, CT 06830 203.253.0934
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. 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 $115.00 including tolls. The cost to JFK and Newark Airports is $150.00 including tolls. Westchester County Airport and Stewart cost $75.00.
We do not take credit cards, sorry. 

Dear Readers: 
It has come to my attention the difficulty in posting a comment on this blog. If you wish to comment, e-mail me at the link posted below, putting “Manifesto Reader” in the subject matter, and I will “cut and Paste” your comments myself. If you DO NOT wish your comments posted, but just wish to communicate with me, please make your wishes known in the e-mail.
LINKS: this a yahoo address make sure you put an underscore (-) between atom and taxi)

For immediate reply:






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Channel 15 Friday 10 P.M.
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Bazzo 04/30/14