Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Bazzomanifesto Update 12/30/15: 7 Topics In Today's blog


1)  Check Out

2) Check Out Yorktown News:

3) UTY meeting tonight

4) First Full Year of Lincoln Depot Museum Operation a Tremendous Success

5) Westchester Legislators Select Leadership for 2016-2017 Term

6) Astorino Responds to NYCLU on Dolan Mass at County Jail

7) Town Of Ossining: Supervisor’s Update- December 30th, 2015
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UTY meeting tonight
Dear member:
The UTY is holding its last meeting of the year tonight Wednesday Dec. 30th at the Yorktown Town Hall at 7:30PM. We start our forty's year in 2016 as a tax activist organization. We have had many victories over those years. I want to thank all those members that volunteered their time. At tonight meeting I will summarize this year and how our members brought out information on the town of Yorktown and how it affected our lives as its residents.
Come to the meeting so I can personally thank for all your help. We need volunteers for vice-president and secretary. I need help if we want our organization to continue our work of informing the public. I will bring refreshment to welcome in the new year.
Happy New Year to all of you and thank you again for all your help.
Ed Ciffone your President   
First Full Year of Lincoln Depot Museum Operation a Tremendous Success
2015 Was A Year Full of Awards and Recognition
Long Awaited Museum Model For Cultural Tourism
PEEKSKILL, NY -- As the first year in operation comes to a close, The Board of Directors of the Lincoln Depot Museum in Peekskill would like to thank all those who have supported the museum and made 2015 a huge success.

After many stages of restoration and reconstruction of Peekskill’s original train depot site, the long anticipated opening of the actual museum was accomplished in October of 2014. Although inspired by President-elect Abraham Lincoln’s stop in Peekskill on February 19, 1861, the museum is much more than a tribute to who many consider to be America’s favorite President. It is a tribute to the contributions of our area, and to a greater extent, the State of New York, to Lincoln’s elections and influence on a difficult period in the country’s history. The museum’s theme, “New York and Abraham Lincoln, the Indispensible Relationship” explains and shows how significant contributions were also made by important local residents of the period and how New York’s military contribution during the Civil War made a difference in the outcome.
A Year of Awards and Recognition
The Lincoln Depot Museum became Westchester’s and the Hudson Valley’s newest historical destination location with over 1000 visitors in 2015 and was named “Best in Westchester” by Westchester Magazine. It was also highlighted as one of “Westchester’s Hidden Gems” back in January by the same magazine. The accolades began with recognition by The American Institute of Architects (AIA) for “Architectural Excellence” for the building’s restoration and reuse. Most recently, the Peekskill Historic Preservation Board recognized the museum as one of its two restoration award recipients.
The museum attracted visitors from far and wide. Most notable was a visit from Princeton University’s Dr. James McPherson, who gave great praise to the exhibit. Many special group visits were also arranged including class reunions, scouting groups, schools and organizations. The historic community also took notice when the Rockland Civil War Roundtable and The West Point Chapter of the Company of Military Historians acknowledged the important contribution the museum has made.
The museum was highlighted and covered by all the major news outlets of the region both printed and online. Local TV news outlets such as News12, Fios1 and RNN provided important exposure. The Westchester Business Journal went beyond highlighting the museum in its magazine by producing a “History on the Hudson” YouTube video about the museum. The museum has also been recognized as a model of historic preservation, adaptive reuse and sustainability. Representatives of “Sustainable Westchester” visited the museum to observe this impressive accomplishment and an independent documentary producer travelled from Australia to cover the museum’s success in building restoration and adaptive reuse. He will highlight the museum in a documentary set to come out on 2016.
A Center for Special Events
The goal of the Lincoln Depot Museum is to be a center of educational outreach and community involvement. One of the first collaborations was with the Peekskill Elks Lodge. They selected the museum as a recipient of a community donation by offering and installing the flagpole on the museum grounds. The organization also held their Annual Flag Day Ceremony at the museum for the past two years.
With the help of Peekskill’s Mt. Lebanon Baptist and Presbyterian Churches, the museum hosted the region’s first ever Official Juneteenth Flag Raising Ceremony in 2015. Popular special events included the 150th Remembrance Weekend commemorating the assignation of President Lincoln, Lincoln, the Civil War in Art hosted by sculptor Richard Mazloski and museum Director and artist Paul Martin and a showing of the critically acclaimed movie Saving Lincoln. The final event in 2015 was the museum’s Inaugural Reception, its main annual fundraiser. This year’s reception was of the theme, A Taste of Peekskill, where many local food related establishments participated in supporting the museum with their dishes.
Looking Ahead to 2016
The Lincoln Depot Museum Board of Directors have an even bigger year planned for the second season in operation. There will be new exhibits and additional artifacts installed to existing displays. A monthly Lecture Series will be announced as well as many new unique events and continuation of past annual events. The museum will publically announce the events early in the new year and the museum plans can be followed through their website ( and Facebook page (
Unfortunately, the biggest challenge for the museum operation continues to be the lack of progress by the City of Peekskill in constructing the additional support building on the site. Originally scheduled to be completed by 2010, the inability of the City to effectively move forward with the project has caused many who pass by the site to think the museum is not in operation. The NY State grants associated with the project were obtained in 2006 and are under the sole control of the City. Hopefully, the project will finally move forward in 2016 and the original vision of the complete historic site will finally be realized.
Presently, the season of the museum spans from April to December with the museum open to the public on weekends. Special events will be scheduled on weekdays as well as weekends. Individual groups can schedule private tours or rent the space for private events all year round. Memberships are available through the museum’s website and come with free or discounted admission to events and other benefits.
“We are elated by the reception the museum has been given by the public, and the recognition we have received by the historic community has been overwhelming,“ stated Board President John G. Testa. “We knew that our vision was unique and, if done right, would make the impact and impression we expected. It has done that and more. We will build on this success in 2016,” added Testa.
Members of the Lincoln Depot Museum Board of Directors show the crowd at the Inaugural Reception event the multiple awards given to the museum over the past year. Pictured L-R: Paul R. Martin III, Hon. Catherine E. Pisani (Treasurer), Brian D. Caplan, Esq. (Vice-President), Dr. Robert Hales, Hon. John G. Testa (President). Missing: Gen. (Ret.) Patrick Garvey, Mrs. Sibyl Canaan (Secretary), Hon. George E. Pataki. Share Tweet Forward +1 Share
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Copyright © 2015 Lincoln Depot Museum, All rights reserved.
10 South Water Street • Peekskill, NY 10566

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For Immediate Release; December 28, 2015
Contact: Matt Richter, BOL Communications Director
Westchester Legislators Select Leadership for 2016-2017 Term
Board of Legislators Chairman Mike Kaplowitz a Democrat and Vice-chairman Jim Maisano, a Republican have announced that they have the support of a majority of their colleagues on the Board of Legislators to continue in their leadership positions for the 2016-2017 legislative session.  The bipartisan power-sharing arrangement that has been in place for the past two years led to the most productive legislative term in many years.  Chairman Kaplowitz and Vice-Chairman Maisano began serving on the Board of Legislators together in 1998.
Chairman Mike Kaplowitz who represents New Castle, Somers and Yorktown said, “I am happy to continue in my leadership position as Chairman of the Board of Legislators.  I think the confidence that my colleagues have demonstrated in Vice-Chairman Maisano and myself is a direct result of the inclusive, collaborative, professional and fair manner in which we have administered the work of the Board of Legislators for the past two years.”  Kaplowitz added, “We have many important issues to address in the next two years like continued compliance with the fair and affordable housing settlement, important capital projects and the transition to a private-public partnership to manage Playland.”
Vice Chairman Maisano represents New Rochelle, Pelham and Pelham Manor.  “I am very happy to continue serving in leadership at the Board of Legislators with Chairman Kaplowitz.  Over the last two years, Mike and I have worked hard to maintain an atmosphere of professionalism and collegiality in the way we operate at the BOL.” said Maisano, “I believe that the Westchester Board of Legislators stands as an example to lawmakers from local municipalities to Washington DC that disagreements are very much a part of the political process but they don’t have to be personal and they don’t have to stand in the way of governing responsibly.”
The Democratic and Republican caucuses also reaffirmed their respective leaders for the 2016-2017.  Legislator Catherine Borgia (D) Ossining will be the Majority Leader and Legislator John Testa (R), Peekskill will be the Minority Leader.  Legislator Alfreda Williams (D) Greenburgh, will be the Majority Whip and Legislator Gordon Burrows (R) Bronxville, Yonkers will be the Minority Whip.
Majority Leader Borgia said, “I am honored to serve my colleagues and my constituent as Majority Leader of the Board of Legislators for another two year term.  The Democratic caucus will continue to fight for those residents who most need our support and services, as we did in pushing for restoration of service cuts in the recent budget.  We look forward to a busy and productive legislative term.”
Minority Leader Testa said, “I believe the bipartisan coalition that has controlled the BOL for the last two years has led to a more collaborative and effective Legislature.  We have made a more efficient  county organization, increased the funding for those most vulnerable, and at the same time looked out for the county’s taxpayers. I am honored to continue to serve the Republican caucus as Leader and stand with our like minded-colleagues and County Executive Rob Astorino as we look forward to the new term.”
Bill O'Reilly, 914-282-1252


28, 2015

following statement by Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino is in response
to an attack made on him by the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU). Its
remarks are included in
appears in today's Journal News (Gannett).  The story is also pasted below.

New York Civil Liberties Union is totally off the mark in its attack on me for
bringing a pre-Christmas Mass into the Westchester County jail and for citing
scripture at the service. America's founders weren't protecting government
institutions from religion, they were protecting religions from government

could not have been more pleased to bring my friend Cardinal Timothy Dolan,
Abraham Horowitz, and Imam John Nashid, among other members of the

into the Valhalla facility. The Cardinal's Mass, which was only attended by
inmates who requested to be there, was among the most moving I have ever
experienced. Based on conversations I shared with prisoners afterward, I am not
alone in that assessment.

remarks I made were entirely appropriate for their setting. They weren't made at
a town hall meeting; they were made at a voluntarily attended Catholic Mass.

prisons are fuller today than at virtually any time in our history. Perhaps what
we need more of in this country is the type of compassion, hope, and redemption
about which the Cardinal and I spoke. Today's extreme political correctness is
not only turning us against one another, it's destroying the foundations of our


New York Civil Liberties Union said Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino
went too far when he told prisoners at the Westchester county jail to seek
redemption through Jesus Christ

David McKay Wilson
imam, a rabbi, a priest and a county executive walk into a jail.
Timothy Dolan is there too, to celebrate an Advent Mass at Westchester's
Valhalla facility before the media for inmates and a phalanx of high-ranking
county officials.
of them takes the microphone to address the prisoners, a subset of the 1,066 men
incarcerated that day, who volunteered to join in the Yuletide service at the
county lock-up.
you guess who said the following?
are here to celebrate the good news, that there is a beacon of hope, that there
is a path to redemption, we find both in our acceptance of and our belief in
Jesus Christ, who died for all of us, who died for all of our sins," the inmates
are told.
Jesus is proof that God does love us, and it's up to us what we do next. And
Jesus would approve of our discontent, he really would. No one is beyond God's
love and his power to redeem.
is ready to give mercy if you repent and cry out for it .... Jesus said to Mark
in 2:17, 'It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come
to call the righteous, but sinners.' It's up to each one of you, it's up to each
one of us, to answer his call. But know that there is hope and there is
redemption. It starts with you. It starts with me. It starts with us. It starts
with our relationship with Jesus.
Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now
am found, was blind, but now, I see. Let this Christmas season be a rebirth in
each one of you. Have hope. God bless you all and have a merry
you guessed

delivered the jailhouse homily, you guessed wrong. In fact, Dolan, who served as
president of the U.S. Conference of Bishops from 2010 to 13, later told my
colleague Adrienne Sanders that he was "out-preached" before the
have Billy Graham here," Dolan said.
evangelist-for-a-day was none other than Westchester County Executive Rob
Astorino, the Mount Pleasant Republican and 2013 candidate for governor, who is
in the mix for a second run in 2017. Astorino, a stalwart of New York's
religious right, often touts his administration's faith-based Community
Partnership, which aims to strengthen bonds between the county government and
Westchester's religious community.
Astorino administration has invested in Christmas. The county's Winter
Wonderland attraction at Kensico Dam features rides for kids, roving bands of
carolers, visits with Santa, Scotch tastings, and Astorino's appearance in late
November to light the sparkling Christmas tree.
Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, as the WinterBuy
County Executive Rob Astorino, as the Winter Wonderland tree lighting at Kensico
David McKay Wilson/The Journal News)
friendship between Dolan and Astorino
back to the 2000s
when Astorino served as program director of the Catholic Channel on Sirius XM
Satellite Radio. A few years before Dolan's 2009 appointment as archbishop of
the Archdiocese of New York, Astorino traveled to Milwaukee to interview Dolan,
then serving as a bishop in Wisconsin.
Dolan was tapped to serve as archbishop of the Archdiocese of New York in early
2009, Astorino hosted Dolan on his weekly show, "Conversation with the
Astorino's successful run for county executive that year.
did the elected county executive go overboard in his homily? When does the state
cross the line into the church? And how much mixing of the two is
Wong, director of the New York Civil Liberties Union's Lower Hudson Valley
chapter, said that Astorino's preaching in Valhalla as county executive about
the redemptive power of Jesus, wasn't what the framers of the U.S. Constitution
had in mind. In a nation with a separation of church and state, Astorino's
speech was all church, no state.
framers understood the importance of the separation of church and state," said
Wong. "Unfortunately, the remarks by the Westchester county executive were
insensitive to that principal and failed to appreciate that this is a country
with diverse religious views and beliefs. The county executive participating in
a Mass in his official capacity was inappropriate."
not the first time questions have been raised over the desires of public
officials to bring their religious views into the public sphere. The December
holiday season has seen battles over the use of public property for creches or
menorahs, or whether public school holiday shows should include Christmas hymns
along with secular holiday ditties.
communications director Ned McCormack maintained Astorino's remarks were
"absolutely appropriate," noting that the prisoners signed up for the Mass,
which was also attended by a rabbi, an imam, Protestant ministers, and Greek
Orthodox priests.
is nothing inappropriate about an elected official having faith in God," wrote
McCormack in an email message.
noted that the Democrats do it too.
pointed out that President Barack Obama referred to his faith on April 7 at the
House Easter prayer breakfast
It was a talk in which Obama mentioned how Jesus served the marginalized and
embraced those who were different; about how we were called to love him and to
love all of our neighbors.
we celebrate the magnificent glory of our risen Savior," Obama said in a quote
provided by McCormack. "I pray that we will live up to His example. I pray that
I will live up to His example. I fall short so often. Every day I try to do
better. I pray that we will be strengthened by His eternal love. I pray that we
will be worthy of His many blessings."
seemed a difference. Obama was in the White House, speaking to an audience that
was not under his lock and key. He professed what his faith taught him at
had 82 prisoners before him, doing time for their crimes. He preached the Gospel
to his captive audience, urging the sinners before him to follow his road to
Several top Westchester administration members attendedBuy
top Westchester administration members attended the Advent mass at the county
jail. In front row, from left, Communications Director Ned McCormack, Chief of
Staff George Oros, Deputy County Executive Kevin Plunkett, and County Executive
Rob Astorino.
David McKay Wilson/The Journal News)
support separation of church and state and believe we are a nation of many
faiths," said Wong. "We don't object to political leaders having their own
faith, but a political leader cannot lead people down one particular faith's
discussion over where to draw the line between church and state will remain
alive in 2016. The presidential caucuses and primaries loom this winter. To some
voters, where you stand on God matters.
On Wednesday, December 30, 2015 10:06 AM, Town Supervisor Susanne Donnelly wrote:


    The Volunteer-Spirited Town

Supervisor's Update- December 30th, 2015

Happy New Year
We wish you peace and goodwill in the coming year!
As 2015 comes to a close, so does this administration.  We have accomplished so much in the four years I’ve served as Town Supervisor, and our great progress would not have been possible without the hard work of our employees, as well as input and support from residents of the Town of Ossining.
Over the past four years, we have passed the Local Laws we have been working on for almost a year, we have completed infrastructure projects that have provided our residents with better drinking water and water pressure, paved roads and re-established a road where there barely any road left. We have reduced flooding and removed a sewer lift station, resulting in not only better operating conditions but also a visibly better community.
I have recounted our other accomplishments to you in my opening statements and Supervisor’s Updates, so I do not have to do that again here.  This is a time of thanks for the hard work and dedication of the departments who understand that their responsibility is to the stakeholders (you) and not personal agendas or entitlements. 
The team that has developed has allowed us to work together on projects, produce fair union contracts and keeping the municipality going, all while saving taxpayer money.   All departments are asked to do more with less and, except for a few, everyone tightened their belts and got to work without comment or complaint.
Our IMA partners, especially the people we interface with everyday, have proven to be a tremendous asset to the Town of Ossining.  Each has shared their expertise with us and we have all grown in knowledge and experience. 
Our contract partners came to the table prepared to give the Town of Ossining the best possible price while providing excellent services.  Our contract partners cover a wide range of services, from sanitation to planning to labor attorneys.  Each has been available to us when needed and, again, their expertise has been priceless to us in the mission of achieving our goals.
The Administration has been hard at work every day, leading by example and accomplishing so much.  The role of CEO/CFO requires that the Supervisor be responsible for all finances, for working with all Department Heads on goals and objectives, as well as everyday work flow.  Being available to discuss any issues or opportunities that a department could take advantage of allows the team to function better.  Staying on top of the budget is essential throughout the year, as is planning for the future.
The Budget Officer’s job is so much more then that – serving as HR for Town employees and administering health benefits, overseeing attendance, Worker’s Compensation and liability insurance, organizing Town Board meetings and Work Sessions, administering our PILOT agreements, working with our retirees, interfacing with our residents, and of course, developing and regularly making adjustments to the Town budget.
Thanks cannot begin to express how I feel about these folks and their accomplishments.  I have had the privilege to work alongside the departments, and I have learned so much from each member of the team. Together, we have made changes benefiting the residents, not just through controlling expenditures, but also updating the job functions of our employees so they can do more for our residents on a day to day basis.
It is essential that each person takes the time to understand and learn the job to which they’ve been elected or appointed.  Knowledge is power, and our residents and commercial property owners expect that each has done their “homework” on all issues, including asking appropriate questions and of course, not jumping to conclusions before all the facts and repercussions are explained.
We celebrated Geoff Harter Day in the Town of Ossining last Tuesday December 22, 2015.  Geoff is retiring after giving 24 years to this community as a Town Board member, many of those years as the Deputy Supervisor, and has been a dedicated member of the Recreation Advisory Board as the Town Liaison. 
Please join us at the Ossining Public Library on Friday January 1, 2016 at 12:00 PM (Noon) for the Inauguration, as well as the Installation of the new Ossining Police Chief.
Thank you for your support during the past four years and, instead of “goodbye”, I will end with, “Until we meet again!”

Please feel free to forward this e-mail to any of your family, friends, acquaintances, or business associates who may have an interest in these, as well as other Town subjects.
As always, please feel very free to contact me with any questions.
Subscribe to our email blast list and receive Town news and updates.
Susanne Donnelly, Town Supervisor
16 Croton Ave, Ossining NY 10562

Bazzo 12/30/15

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