Letters to the Editor - Westchester Guardian


Letters to the Editor - Westchester Guardian



PERMIT #3036


Vol. V NO I Thursday, January 6, 2011

Westchester’s Most Influential Weekly




As Told to Hezi Aris

Page 17


Town of



Page 3


Mayor Marvin

Page 6



Page 7

Letters to

the Editor

Page 9

Ed Koch

Movie Reviews

Page 10

Weir Only


Page 13

Shifting Gears

Page 14

Page 2 The WesTchesTer GuardIaN ThursdaY, JaNuarY 6, 2011

Of Significance

elections ......................................................................................2

Finance ........................................................................................3

Government ................................................................................4

Letters ..........................................................................................9

Movie reviews ..........................................................................10

Oped .........................................................................................11

radio ..........................................................................................13

religion ......................................................................................14

shifting Gears ...........................................................................14

show Prep ..................................................................................15

spoof ..........................................................................................16

sports .........................................................................................16

Telling: eclipsing the silence ....................................................17

Theatre .......................................................................................18

Legal Notices .............................................................................19

Westchester’s Most Influential Weekly

Guardian News Corp.

P.O. Box 8

New Rochelle, New York 10801

Sam Zherka , Publisher & President


Hezi Aris, Editor-in-Chief & Vice President


Advertising: (914) 632-2540

News and Photos: (914) 632-2540

Fax: (914) 633-0806

Published online every Monday

Print edition distributed Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday

Graphic Design: Watterson Studios, Inc.




2011 Election Year Questions for New

Rochelle Residents

By Peggy Godfrey

In November of this year

the city of New rochelle

will hold an election for

city council members and

Mayor. One way of assessing

whether the city is going

in the right direction is to look back on the

events of 2010, especially council decisions.

There are unresolved issues which each resident

needs to evaluate when deciding what the

future should hold for New rochelle. some

questions are presented to highlight some of

these issues.

1. Will the city of New rochelle be able to

regain its recently lost aa2 bond rating

which was attributed to a lower fund

balance in the city budget. how will the

city find the revenue to increase this fund

balance? Will the tax abatements granted

by the New rochelle Ida (Industrial

development corporation) as councilman

Lou Trangucci has suggested, now come

“back to hurt the taxpayers?”

2. Will there be changes in the proposed

GreeNr sustainability draft to make it

more equitable to the southern half of

New rochelle? This would include the

need brought up by robert cox, Founder

and editor of New rochelle Talk of the

sound, that the report should be translated

and circulated since l0% of the city

does not speak english, 20% do not have

internet and 50% do not have broadband.

The present plan anticipates a high percent

of housing units being placed near the train

station. There is no discussion of the greater

density that will be created for his already

overcrowded area and the intensifying of the

congestion, parking and pollution problems.

at Mayor Noam Bramson’s November 22

meeting, residents told him they had “had

enough.” It was suggested to him that

new buildings should not be located in the

densely populated southern part of the city.

3. downtown revitalization continues to be a

major topic as more buildings are proposed

with the prospect of more tax abatements.

Will the Lecount square development

be denied since cappelli has not made an

arrangement with the u.s. Post Office?

Will future development consider the best

interests of all the residents? certainly

it is a reasonable conclusion this has not

happened in the past as the city finds it

must use a high proportion of city services

for the downtown area which also has

heavily tax abated properties. Will Forest

city residential be allowed to continue,

especially if they do not produce a revised

downsized plan? If not, will the residents

be presented a rationale from council

members voting in favor of these two developments

on the newly proposed 17 Locust

avenue and the church-division project?

developers should understand the citizens

of New rochelle want their developments

to strengthen the city’s resources as well as

its finances. abatements should be short

term and reasonable.

4. Will the city council listen to the residents

and act on their concerns. even

council woman roxie stowe expressed

reservations about the the development fn

downtown New rochelle and questioned

whether it was helping the city. The 17

Locust avenue proposal is in councilman

al Tarantino’s district and he has said the

area is very densely populated. Many of the

residents in the area are faced with lack of

adequate parking now and there have been

requests to change the building code so that

each new apartment would have two or

three parking spaces. Will the city council

listen and act on this zoning request and

add more parking spaces? recently the city

council authorized charging for overnight

parking in downtown lots. Will the council

be able to figure out how to allocate parking

spaces and parking fees in lots and on the

streets to maximize business’ ability to profit

from the regulation.

5. When the city is redistricted, as mandated

by population changes, will they consider

strengthening neighborhoods as a top

priority, and not splitting them for political

gain? Will this looming redistricting of the

six districts be made through party politics

or by an independent committee? Will the

lines be drawn to not only respect those in a

minority district but also all the residents of

New rochelle?

6. an Ida audit showed projects had not

been properly documented when benefits

were given. The Ida was criticized for not

performing an analysis to see if the benefits

they gave would exceed the cost of providing

tax abatements. There was no monitoring of

Continued on page 3


Continued from page 2

projects to see if they were meeting their

goals. For example, New roc Parcel 1-a

was supposed to create 358 jobs but had

only created 98 by 2008. Will any of the

democrats on council join with the

republican members of council who

want a state law passed that would allow

the city council to have the final say on

abatements? do we need the Ida abatements

to bring businesses here? shoprite

came to New rochelle this year with no

tax abatements.

7. Will the city show respect and honor

for veterans, living and deceased, and

the citizens who died on 9-11, all of

whom willingly served our nation.

The ceremonies at Memorial Plaza

and at the armory in the last few

years honored these unsung heroes.

Former New York state assemblyman

ron Tocci has articulated how the

declaration of Independence in 1776

emphasized our liberty and happiness

“granted by God,” adding that the

blood of our military has been shed

for countries all over the world.

The WesTchesTer GuardIaN ThursdaY, JaNuarY 6, 2011

2011 Election Year Questions for New

Rochelle Residents


8. Will the looming promised tax cap

on real estate taxes by newly elected

Governor andrew cuomo have unintended

consequences? councilman

Barry Fertel during the budget hearings

suggested a one percent transfer

fee on real estate sales, but city

Manager chuck strome did not think

the state would allow this fee if the cap

was imposed. Will the council put a

high priority on keeping the taxes low?

9. Fear gripped some residents when a

young man was killed in downtown

New rochelle, Will Jim Killoran,

his soNo group, and the more than

l,000 residents who signed petitions

requesting a police station and walking

police in downtown get their request?

New rochelle will be preserved as

Queen city of the sound when the residents

are thoughtful and vigilant. Great

care and attention should be given by

residents when they select officials. Future

generations are depending on decisions

that necessarily need to be made today.

Peggy Godfrey is a freelance writer, a

community activist, and former educator.

Here’s Your Budget Greenburgh;

Happy New Year!

By Nancy King

You know the holidays are over when

your municipality gives you that one final

gift; the new annual budget. The Town of

Greenburgh bestowed their final gift to

taxpayers late last month. comprehending

the FY 2011 Town Budget is sort of like

ordering from a chinese food menu.

There is a column a budget and a column

B budget and if we were not in such

dire economic times, it would be almost

laughable to see what services and perks

move between the two columns. The gist

of this budget has the residents of the

incorporated areas of the town paying an

extra $73.79 more in 2011. ( These are the

folks who get column a) Folks living in

the unincorporated areas (column B) get

to pay an extra $113.70 in taxes this year.

so even


the good


servants of



govern- ment

are lowering my taxes by about

$30.00 this year, I will still be spending

around $83.70 more than last year.

That doesn’t sound like much but

when you sit down and take a look at

columns a& B, you start to wonder what

the Town Board was thinking and how

did they decide which programs to cut

and which to save. Of course everyone

Continued on page 4

Page 3

Page 4 The WesTchesTer GuardIaN ThursdaY, JaNuarY 6, 2011


Continued THURSDAY, from page 3APRIL

8, 2010

wants their enhanced emergency services

and that is always a good department not

to cut but $52K for an arts consultant

leads me to say just one word. Why? Most

residents are not admiring the artwork in

Town hall when they are heading down

that long hallway to pay their taxes. The

town has also opted to retain a historian

for a little over $4K a year. This position

is supposed to record valuable history and

documents for all to view later. a nice

touch but let the clerk file the documents

and revisit the historian when we are flush

with money.

There were some other positions

retained that made me go hmmmm, too.

It seems that we have messengers who

deliver documents from one department/

building/site to another. There are two

messengers, one of them being noted as

a “senior Messenger.” Yeah, documents

need to get delivered, but what about email

attachments? Wouldn’t that work just as

well? Wasn’t email invented to cut down

on paper waste? sheesh, the next thing

Mission Statement

you know, we eill be hiring someone to hit

the send button on a computer. at least,

couldn’t the board have trimmed one position


There were other unanswered questions

as well. Why does the head of the

building department get a stipend of over

$9K a year? If building permits and the

revenue that they bring in are down, why

does one need a stipend? When looking at

the budget(s), it is also fascinating to see

the amount of personnel who get periodicals

and newspapers delivered to the

various departments. again these are great

resources for any department to have, if we

had the resources to pay for them. Most of

us have given up magazine subscriptions

as we tighten our belts on the home front.

and yet, every department from the Town

Board right down to the lowliest department

at the community center Pool

receives subscription based periodicals.

Who reads them? I don’t know? But I do

know that in hard times, it is about doing

more with less, not more with status quo.

speaking of the community center,

this department has a commissioner,

e Westchester Guardian is a weekly newspaper devoted

to the unbiased reporting of events and developments

that are newsworthy and signi cant to readers living in,

and/or employed in, Westchester County. e Guardian

will strive to report fairly, and objectively, reliable information

without favor or compromise. Our rst duty will be

to the PEOPLE’S RIGHT TO KNOW, by the exposure

of truth, without fear or hesitation, no matter where the

pursuit may lead, in the nest tradition of FREEDOM OF


e Guardian will cover news and events relevant to

residents and businesses all over Westchester County. As a

weekly, rather than focusing on the immediacy of delivery

more associated with daily journals, we will instead seek to

provide the broader, more comprehensive, chronological step-by-step accounting

of events, enlightened with analysis, where appropriate.

From amongst journalism’s classic key-words: who, what, when, where,

why, and how, the why and how will drive our pursuit. We will use our more

abundant time, and our resources, to get past the initial ‘spin’ and ‘damage

control’ o en characteristic of immediate news releases, to reach the very

heart of the matter: the truth. We will take our readers to a point of understanding

and insight which cannot be obtained elsewhere.

To succeed, we must recognize from the outset that bigger is not necessarily

better. And, furthermore, we will acknowledge that we cannot be all

things to all readers. We must carefully balance the presentation of relevant,

hard-hitting, Westchester news and commentary, with features and columns

useful in daily living and employment in, and around, the county. We must

stay trim and exible if we are to succeed.

deputy commissioner, three life guard

“captains” and a stipend of nearly $4K

for the “registration coordinator.” The

community center also receives periodical

subscriptions to the tune of $400.00

a year and has budgeted another $500.00

to attend conferences. These two items are

hardly essential services. The outdoor pool

complex at Veteran’s Park has budgeted

$1,500.00 for awards or prizes. simply not

necessary at this time! Like a good parent,

there comes a time when you have to

explain that you do not always get a prize

for showing up.

speaking of just showing up... the

majority of our budget now goes to satisfy

the salaries, the benefits and the pensions of

the employees of the Town of Greenburgh.

Most of the town employees are csea

members and are thus protected by their

respective contracts. But the union leaders

must also take a responsible parental

stance with their membership. The

taxpayer can no longer fund the luxurious

benefits and pension package that these

employees receive. There comes a time

when a compromise is in order and that

time is now. It is now time to contribute

a nominal amount to health benefits and

In a scathing

letter directed toward

the rye city Mayor,

council, Manager,

corporation council

and comptroller,

Franco compagnone

the President of the

rye Police Benevolent association,

aired a laundry list of alarmingly valid

complaints regarding budget cuts to the

rye city Police department for the

upcoming year.

The central and penultimate

cause for concern in the President’s

letter, dated december 17, 2010, is

for the overall safety of city citizens.

compagnone warns that “rye residents

should be very worried” and that

ultimately “rye residents will suffer”

because of said budget cuts.

another major complaint made

pension benefits. even if it is a nominal

amount, the gesture would go far with the

taxpayers. That gesture would also have

to include members of the Town Board

who also enjoy those generous benefits

even though their positions are only parttime.

The supervisor also received a raise

of $1,250.00 this year. Though not a large

increase, it is an increase nonetheless.

The residents of Greenburgh enjoy

their aaa bond rating, but at what cost?

We could have sat here for days and waxed

eloquently about other cuts that coulda/

shoulda been made. Going though this

budget even in the most cursory manner,

there were savings of well over 13K that no

one would have even noticed were missing.

sadly enough, most people don’t have the

time to sit around and do a line by line

assessment of the budget that they will be

paying for; they’re too busy working to pay

for it. In the end, supervisor Paul Feiner

talks about reinventing and shrinking

government. Mr. Feiner has indeed made

an effort to shrink town government

through attrition and he has made some

cuts, but not nearly enough, and certainly

not enough to avoid a tax increase this year.


Rye City Police Department Budget

Grudges By Bary Alyssa Johnson

public by compagnone was the utter

lack of cooperation and collaboration

by city officials in relation to repeated

requests for a workshop session between

the two parties. This would give both

sides a forum where the controversial

cuts, to be outlined below, would have

been discussed at length and then dealt

with accordingly.

compagnone contacted the city

council to set up a workshop in a bid to

find fair and neutral solutions to countless

P.d. complaints, but was shot down

by Mayor doug French. French advised

the PBa President that neither he nor

the council would meet with any representatives

of the department due to city

charter rules.

French advised compagnone to

contact city Manager scott Pickup to

schedule a workshop. Pickup, along

Continued on page 5


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The WesTchesTer GuardIaN ThursdaY, JaNuarY 6, 2011

Rye City Police Department Budget Grudges

Continued from page 4

with the entirety of the city council

outright denied the PBa as well - in the

end only agreeing to meet for a workshop

in February 2011, long after the budget

will officially be instated.

The PBa was repeatedly and brutally

rebuffed in any and all requests to make

their voices heard. In a not-so-surprising

turn of events, requests made to the city

Manager by The Westchester Guardian for

comment on the ongoing situation went

unanswered. do you see the tables turning

here as well? Karma may explain the

missed opportunity by closemouthed

city officials to clear the air.

You may be wondering what type

of budget cuts could garner such a

public impasse between groups similarly

serving their city. They are as

follows: elimination of at least three

P.d. higher-up positions, monetary cuts

in police training, cuts for allotment of

police uniforms (which have been in

short supply for at least 8 years running,

as reported by compagnone).

Incomprehensible cutbacks of the

youth d.a.r.e. program are conveniently

complemented by the complete

elimination of the rye city P.d. Youth

Prevention services position. The

d.a.r.e. program, which is inaccurately

portrayed as a thriving success

on the city’s official Web site, will

be single-handedly run by veteran

detective John Wood. To top that off,

Wood is also being asked to add to his

workload the tasks of an entire full-time

detective position as a result of a recent

retiree who will not be replaced.

compagnone wasn’t the only one up

in arms over lack of sufficient funding

and cooperative communication. Local

residents have made dozens of public

statements during city hall meetings

on the proposed 2011 budget.

Many of these residents voiced fears

over personal safety, safety over their

children and their community, and

the overall safekeeping of the P.d. an

unexpected number of residents stepped

forward and volunteered to pay

increased taxes in order to ensure that

the P.d. remains in tact.

during one of these meetings, even

members of the city council agreed

that the questionable qualms indeed

require a more thorough analysis and

that a public workshop should undoubtedly

have been held by now.

chaos has reigned supreme in the

strained relations between city officials

and city law enforcement parties for

the whole month of december. how

Before speaking to the police... call

George Weinbaum



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Page 5

long will it be before this chaos rears its

ugly head in rye society? The answer

will undoubtedly come in due time.

The true challenge will be in stifling

the opposing official opinions and come

to an acceptable meeting of the minds

between both parties. here’s hoping the

city of rye will have rung in the New

Year with an acceptable resolution for

their skirmishes.

Local resident Bary Alyssa Johnson covers

Larchmont, Mamaroneck, Rye, and Rye

Brook, as well as the evolving world of

electronics and technology.

T. 914.948.0044

F. 914.686.4873

Page 6 The WesTchesTer GuardIaN ThursdaY, JaNuarY 6, 2011


Jenkins to Astorino: The FY 2011 County Budget Process is Over

Westchester county Board of

Legislators (WcBoL) chairman Ken

Jenkins (d-Yonkers) last

week released a statement

condemning Westchester

county executive robert

astorino for his useless veto

of the county’s tax levy. The

FY 2011 tax levy – which

will deliver a 2.25% tax cut

to all Westchester residents

– was approved by a vote of

10-1 on december 27. The

final approved budget was

adopted on december 23,

when the Legislature overrode

249 of Mr. astorino’s

260 vetoes.

“It would appear that Mr. astorino

and his advisors need to brush up on

their knowledge of the county charter.

In section 167.111, it clearly states that

‘when the county budget shall have been

finally adopted, an appropriation act

for such budget shall be passed by the

county Board and taxes for the ensuing

Ken Jenkins (D-Yonkers)

year, including state, county and special

district taxes, shall be levied not later

than december 28th. The

county Board shall levy,

assess and cause to be raised

by tax upon real property

liable therefore the amount

of taxes determined by such

budgets and in the manner

provided for the levy of

state and county taxes.’

The Budget act is not

a normal act. The Budget

act is very specific in the

actions that can be taken.

Mr. astorino exercised his

charter authority to veto

line items within 5 days of receiving the

approved budget from the county Board.

The budget was not finally adopted

until december 23, 2010 until his 260

line item vetoes were considered by

the county Board. The required Tax

Levy appropriation act is ministerial,

a result of the final adopted budget,

beginning with the recommended


Reflection By Mary C. Marvin

The year 2010 at

Village hall mirrored

what occurred in most

Village households.

We simply tried to

make do with less

and solve some of

our needs/issues in

more creative ways.

It was the second year in a row without

a tax increase so discretionary funds for

projects were non-existent. Nonetheless,

thanks to an amazingly dedicated corps

of employees, many of our goals, however

modest, were achieved.

Our periodic property revaluation

program was completed on time providing

us with truly the most equitable tax roll in

the county; funding was obtained for at

least partial restoration of both sagamore

Park and Maltby Field and we deservedly

won many “Green” awards for our recycling

efforts and general stewardship of Village

resources. Three new police officers joined

our force, some very successful stores were

attracted to the business district and we

initiated an emergency alert system to make

residents aware of issues in the village such

as power outages or unexpected closings.

staff began a GIs initiative to locate all of

our village assets going forward including

street trees, water lines, and sewers and

we are still in the running for flood grants

filed at the federal and county levels. We

shopped every possible service within our

control including utilities, legal services and

health care providers and achieved savings

in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Much needed parking was added at the

site of the former BaMs service station

and we cobbled together enough funds to

have a traffic signal soon to be installed at

the intersection of cedar street and Kraft

avenue adjacent to st. Joseph’s church

– and we even had a movie filmed in the

Village entitled, “The Oranges”, which

budget, additions by the Budget and

appropriations committee, deletions to

the recommended budget and sustained

vetoes. In fact, the Budget director

develops the Tax Levy appropriation act

and the Legislature is required to adopt

such appropriations act by december 28.

This is the charter role and sole responsibility

of the Legislature.

There is nothing for Mr. astorino to


With regards to Mr. astorino’s outrageous

assertions in relation to the Budget

process, every detail of the budget process

as outlined in the county charter was

followed. The Minority caucus chose not

to make any additions to the budget. The

Budget and appropriations committee

spent 3 weeks hearing presentations from

the commissioners and department heads.

Over 2,000 people participated in the public

hearing process and the county Board webstreamed

the committee meetings live and

have all the sessions available on-demand.

The Budget and appropriations

committee worked throughout the year,

produced some unanticipated revenues.

On the down side, we fought hard, in

unison with nine other municipalities, to

challenge the water company’s usurious

30% increase in water rates and lost. some

stores still remain empty on Pondfield

road and despite our persistent efforts,

Metro North continues to respond to our

concerns in a way only a monopoly can.

Looking forward to 2011, all of our

local initiatives will be dwarfed by our

obligations from the state. Far and away,

the most challenging issue for the coming

year is the prospect of continued unforeseen

and unfunded mandates generated

by the state of New York. chief among

these is the unsustainable rise in employee

pension costs. as an illustration, even if we

don’t buy one extra pencil in the upcoming

budget, Village taxes will need to increase

at a minimum of 4% just to cover additional

pension obligations charged to the

Village. and we are not alone. at a recent

pension seminar I attended, colleagues

from upstate New York are now budgeting

more for pension costs than for municipal

services. To put in perspective, in 2000,

having regular meetings with the various

county departments in fulfilling the role

of the county Board in providing oversight

of the county budget. This budget

is balanced, accessible and transparent.

Frankly, it is my expectation that in

the ensuing year, Mr. astorino’s administration

will be more participatory in the

open and transparent committee structure

of the Legislature where his proposed

initiatives will be vetted in public where

good public discourse could take place.

Finally, I think it is completely counterproductive

that Mr. astorino and his

staff to continue to use inflammatory

and malicious language in various policy

debates. The people of Westchester

expect their elected officials to be leaders

and to act responsibly and respectfully

while we develop creative solutions to

Westchester’s challenges.

reasonable people can disagree

without being disagreeable and offensive.”

SOURCE: Office of WCBoL Chairman

Ken Jenkins

taxpayer funded employer contributions

to New York state’s pension fund totaled

just under $1 billion. In 2010, they rose to

$17.3 billion and our village obligation to

the fund is slated to more than double over

the next five years.

at this point it matters little as to

one’s view of the defined benefit pension

plan as provided in New York state, the

numbers reveal the current system has

been mismanaged and is now unsustainable.

(In my view, consolidation – the buzz

word for 2011, accomplishes nothing but

to distance citizens from their government

and simply combine unsustainable

mandates at town and city levels).

despite tremendous outside financial

pressures, I can honestly say that the Village

is spending your tax dollars prudently, and

will strive to continue to offer the services

that make the Village unique.

In closing, I thank you for allowing

me to serve as your Mayor. I consider it an

honor and a privilege every day I come to

Village hall.

Mary C. Marvin is the Mayor of the Village

of Bronxville.


assemblywoman amy Paulin has

announced the legislative goals she will

be pursuing on behalf of the people of

Westchester. here are some of those

priorities for 2011.

Government Reform &


as part of her effort to fight corruption,

assemblywoman Paulin has

introduced a bill which would prevent

officeholders convicted of a felony from

receiving their taxpayer-funded pensions.

To increase government transparency,

she has filed a bill to require that

records scheduled to be discussed at

Open Meetings are made available to the

public prior to the meeting, on the agency

website if practicable. another bill would

direct the department of state to compile

a list of all of the boards, commissions,

and task forces in the state with information

on each, including their budget and


“To truly reform state government,

it is crucial that government bodies are

The WesTchesTer GuardIaN ThursdaY, JaNuarY 6, 2011

Paulin Announces Legislative Priorities for 2011

Tax Relief for Westchester

assemblywoman Paulin has already

begun work to provide tax relief and

prevent property tax increases. currently,

municipalities are charged a fee for the

use and maintenance of fire hydrants

which is passed on to property taxpayers.

In New rochelle alone this amounts to

$900,000 a year. assemblywoman Paulin

is working with local municipalities and

united Water to devise an alternative and

reduce the amount charged to taxpayers.

The cost of early intervention services,

such as speech therapy, for very young

children is a major burden on the state

and counties. assemblywoman Paulin

has put forth legislation to maximize

private insurance reimbursement for early

intervention services to decrease costs to

Assemblywoman Amy Paulin

JOB 9-249 the state and counties and save taxpayers

9.324 X 4.5787 money.

open and accountable to the people. This


legislation is a step in the right direction, Job Creation

and a major priority for this session,” supporting programs to attract and

Paulin said.

keep jobs in New York will be key goal

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Page 7

for assemblywoman Paulin in this year’s

budget negotiations. To bring jobs directly

to Westchester, she has introduced a bill

which would authorize the construction

and operation of a senior learning

community at suNY Purchase.

“as the recent census numbers

indicate, New York’s population is dwindling,”

Paulin said. “Bringing more jobs to

the state is crucial to reversing this trend

and ensuring that people are not forced

out of the state to find work.”

Excellence in Education

Maintaining excellent schools in

Westchester continues to be a priority

for assemblywoman Paulin, and she will

scrutinize the governor’s budget proposal

to ensure that Westchester receives its fair

share of state school aid.

assemblywoman Paulin plans

to advance legislation to clarify and

strengthen the powers and duties of

Continued on page 8

Page 8 The WesTchesTer GuardIaN ThursdaY, JaNuarY 6, 2011


Paulin Announces

Legislative Priorities

for 2011

Continued from page 7

BOces to better utilize its proven costsaving

and educational benefits. another

bill would prohibit the bullying of

students on school property.

Crime & Safety

To protect families, assemblywoman

Paulin will introduce legislation to

lengthen orders of protection against

those convicted of domestic violence and

sexual assault offenses. she also plans to

advance several bills to keep guns out

of the hands of children, criminals, and

domestic violence offenders including

safe storage requirements and permit


Safe, Quality Health Care

assemblywoman Paulin will seek to

increase access to safe, quality healthcare.

she has introduced legislation to protect

New Yorkers from dangerous counterfeit

drugs, and will continue her work to guarantee

the availability of immunizations

and preventative care, including flu vaccinations

and cervical cancer screenings.

“Making preventative care available

and accessible for all New Yorkers is

critical. everyone should be able to take

the steps necessary to stay healthy,” Paulin


a growing health concern is the

increasing popularity of cigar smoking

among kids. Flavored cigars are attractive

to kids and in some cases even directly

marketed to youth. assemblywoman

Paulin has filed a bill to limit these

dangerous practices.

Protecting the Environment

a longtime supporter of environmental

protection measures,

assemblywoman Paulin plans to introduce

a bill to strengthen environmental

Quality reviews, as well as a bill to

encourage towns and villages to consider

certain renewable energy sources in

zoning and planning regulations.

Amy Paulin is the New York State

Assemblywoman who represents the 88th

District, serving the communities of

Scarsdale, Eastchester, Tuckahoe, Bronxville,

Pelham, Pelham Manor, New Rochelle, and

White Plains.


residents pay

the highest taxes

of any county

in the united

states. But about a fifth of a million

residents pay an extra level of taxation

to the village in which they live. Village

taxes on average are the second biggest

component of village residents’ tax bills,

school taxes being the first.

curiously, when people complain

about “big government,” they seldom

include Westchester. Yet it is big—an

unnecessarily tax-burdened government in

every sense of the term. Its superfluous and

outdated village governments contribute to

the county’s unenviable tax excesses.

The spate of incorporations of

villages in the 19th century brought the

mayor-council form of government, with

an elected mayor and board of trustees.

The 20th century saw the introduction

of council-manager control in which

the council hires a manager to oversee

administrative operations, implement

council policies, and advise it. The

duties of the mayor then become largely


Only 67 of New York state’s 556

villages have village managers or administrators.

Fourteen of Westchester’s 20

villages and two of its three town/villages

have adopted the more-expensive

council-manager form of government.

The High Cost of Village Managing

Let’s examine just how much village

managers or administrators cost a dozen

Westchester villages. The median value

of their salaries is $136,500:

• dobbs Ferry: $79,029

• Buchanan: $110,902

• Briarcliff Manor: 116,966

• Tarrytown: $120,184

• ardsley: $130,534

• elmsford: $135,000

• Irvington: $138,000

• Pelham Village: $142,225

• Pleasantville: $144,371

• hastings: $157,188

• Ossining: $160,000

• croton-on-hudson: $160,000

Thus, the village manager of

croton-on-hudson (pop. 7,919) earns

the same amount as the village manager

of Ossining (pop. 23,930), a village three

time its size. Go figure.

Part Two: The High Cost of Villaging

By Robert Scott

croton-on-hudson is a textbook

example of the excesses of Westchester’s

villages. apparently it takes more than

just a village manager to manage croton.

It requires a “management team” on

which every manager needs an assistant.

here’s the croton team, its job titles and


• Village Manager: $160,000

• assistant Village Manager: $93,215

• Village Treasurer: $108,150

• deputy Treasurer: $77,250

• Village clerk: $82,400

• deputy Village clerk: $45,000

• Total cost: $566,015

croton, a village with a population

of slightly less than 8,000 persons,

has a budget of $16 million and 85

employees, or one for every 93 residents.

If we compare the currently budgeted

management team’s salaries to a reasonable

public service salary yardstick--the

salaries paid to the 50 state governorssurprising

numbers emerge.

croton’s village manager earns more

than the governors of 44 states, each with

populations numbering in the millions.

Topping that, croton’s previous village

manager’s salary, a whopping $196,340,

exceeded the salary of 49 state governors.

Only california, a state with a population

of 36.5 million, paid its governor

more than croton’s village manager.

croton’s village treasurer makes

more than 20 state governors.

Its assistant village manager takes

home more than five state governors, its

village clerk earns more than two state

governors, and its deputy treasurer more

than the governor of the state of Maine

(pop. 1.3 million).

Croton’s Remarkable Generosity

croton’s largesse as a village extends

to other areas--namely, its school board

that sets school taxes, the largest item in

every resident’s tax bill. For example, the

base salary of the former superintendent

of croton’s school system (three schools

and 1,685 students) was $240,000, plus

a $20,500 tax-deferred annuity, a merit

bonus of the maximum of $5,000 and a

vehicle allowance of $7,200.

contrast that munificence with the

$235,000 salary of the then superintendent

of the Yonkers school system, with

responsibility for 39 schools and 25,306

students. reflecting the croton school

board’s sudden awakening to costs, its

recently hired school superintendent gets

$215,000 “and other benefits common to

superintendent contracts in the county.”

The salary of croton’s police chief,

in charge of a 21-person department, is

$145,000. The police chief of Buchanan

(pop. 2,252) is paid $109,000 to supervise

a five-person police department.

compare these with the $189,700 salary

of ray Kelly, who heads the 37,000person

New York city police department.

another source of taxpayer discontent is

management’s practice of maintaining

police departments at less than optimal

strength, resulting in expensive overtime

charges (time-and-a-half or better) that

are often abused.

Of Westchester’s twenty villages, 14

have populations of less than 10,000.

Three have populations less than 5,000.

Yet all have the same top-heavy village

structure and budgets in the millions of


What Steps Can Residents of

Villages Take?

The commission on Local

Government efficiency created by

former Governor spitzer to study ways

to reduce the cost of government determined

that New York’s 556 villages are

an inefficient and unnecessary form of

government, and should all be dissolved.

Villages in Westchester county

can easily throw off the yoke of village

bureaucracy and lower their exorbitant

taxes. The process is detailed in article

19 of New York state’s Village Law and

summarized in the Local Government

Handbook, Sixth Edition (2009),

published by the New York department

of state:

(1) a petition signed by at least

one-third of a village’s registered voters

is submitted to the board of trustees

requesting that a proposition for dissolution

be put before voters at the next

general election.

(2) a public hearing is held to discuss

the proposed dissolution of the village.

(3) In cooperation with the town in

which the village is situated, a plan is

developed for disposition of the

Continued on page 9


Part Two: The High

Cost of Villaging

Continued from page 8

village’s assets, payment of its debts, and

assumption of its services by the town.

The plan becomes part of the proposition

of dissolution that goes before the


(4) at the next general or special

election, the voters are asked to vote

on the proposition of dissolution. If

approved the village must be dissolved

according to the approved plan within

one year.

That’s all there is to it. It’s as simple

as those four steps. There’s nothing

revolutionary about the concept of dissolution.

It would merely mark a return to

the original town plan of Westchester’s

founding fathers. Westchester’s towns

already perform for town residents many

of the village services that would be


Other advantages would stem from

dissolution of villages. Tax reduction

will make homes more affordable and

make the community more attractive

to new businesses. Most important, one

whole layer of oppressive taxation will

disappear. and what a great relief that

will be to the beleaguered residents of

Westchester’s villages.

Robert Scott, a retired book publisher, is an

editor and writer.

The WesTchesTer GuardIaN ThursdaY, JaNuarY 6, 2011

The editor welcomes and shamelessly

solicits your perspective. Let everyone

know what is on your mind. Please submit

your Letter to the Editor electronically, that

is by directing email to WhYTeditor@

gmail.com Please confine your writing

to between 350 and 500 words. Your

name, address, and telephone contact is

requested for verification purpose only. a

Letter to the Editor will be accepted at the

editor’s discretion when space permits. a

maximum of one submission per month

may be accepted.

Say Bye Bye to the

New Rochelle Business

Improvement District (NRBID)

I enjoyed Peggy Godfrey’s article on

the New rochelle BId in your december

30, 2010 edition. It was succinct and to

the point which is more than I can say

about the roles, relationships, and responsibilities

of the NrBId. It was rather

sad to hear chuck strome point out

what amounted to the movement of two

pre-existing shops in New rochelle as

accomplishments and rationale for justifying

the BId process and expense base.

We have heard this sort of misguided

logic before from Mr. diBart the BId’s

executive director. he mentioned the

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Letters to the Editor

expansion of Modern hardware, as a

working example of the effectiveness of

the NrBId. sounds a little convoluted

to me; as a citizen I would be much

more interested in new business development

than current business renovation or


I don’t think it is harsh saying this.

I find the entire approach to be one we

have seen too often in past years; making

cosmetic changes, planting new trees,

touching up facades – all praiseworthy,

but hardly indicative of commercial


however, perhaps there are some

reasons for this that escape Mr. diBart’s

analysis. For one, New rochelle has

invested heavily in establishing a residential

business proposition downtown.

arguably, that was our best choice

given advantages in proximity to New

York city, our attractive coastline and

other strengths. however, there is little

evidence to suggest an active support

system for this strategic decision. unlike,

for example, Brewster, New rochelle has

made no attempt to decentralize some

city agencies to occupy downtown space.

It has shown no interest in supporting

the residential base by creating a 24 hour

police precinct to provide visual safety

and security. Looking at Main street,

you see little more than a proliferation of

storefront churches, convenience shops

and similar businesses. You don’t see,

except for division street, what our new

residential base might expect to keep their

disposable income here. In summary, we

seem to have problems in developing

a cohesive, coherent plan to accommodate

and support what appears to be


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Page 9

our strategic plan and for that, I have to

conclude that Mr. diBart has done very

little to add value to the council and city


Finally, it appears the NrBId has

little appetite for actually soliciting and

acting on residents and businesses ideas

and concerns. I would be much more

comfortable if he would have held focus

groups or surveyed business owners and

avalon residents in a forthright and

direct way. he did not, but perhaps it is

too much to expect from someone who

continues to blame the recession for

our ills and to say that New roc center

would have led to downtown growth

and expansion were it not for that. The

problem, once again, is a lack of coherency.

I believe New roc opened in 1999

and the recession kicked in in 2007/8.

What happened in these intervening 8 or

so years? all I can conclude is to rid the

city Budget of this expense NOW – well

perhaps I might absorb the street cleaning

crew somewhere --- maybe the chamber

of commerce can step up on this. These

guys do work and I think effectively. They

are basically what we have to show for the

New rochelle BId.

Warren d. Gross

New rochelle, NY

Page 10 The WesTchesTer GuardIaN ThursdaY, JaNuarY 6, 2011


Ed Koch Movie Reviews

By Edward I. Koch

Movie Review: “True Grit” (+)

This western, unlike those made in the days of John Wayne, contains some of the qualities of Mel Brooks’ memorable “Blazing

saddles.” The humor here is much more low-keyed, it being a spoof, whereas “Blazing saddles” is a burlesque, but nonetheless it is

marvelous. The dialogue is Victorian with a western accent, and the acting of most of the principals is first rate, particularly that of Jeff

Bridges and hailee steinfeld. she does not get her name in the first screen crawl but deserves to be there right after Bridges and before

the others who follow him.

The story is straightforward. Fourteen-year-old Mattie ross (hailee steinfeld) is seeking to apprehend Tom chaney (Josh Brolin)

who murdered her father. (Brolin’s performance is the weakest of the cast.) Mattie hires the one-eyed Marshall rooster cogburn (Jeff

Bridges) who has killed 23 suspects of various crimes. chaney is also wanted in Texas for another crime, and a Texas ranger, LaBoeuf

(Matt damon), is on his trail. cogburn, LaBoeuf and Mattie ultimately ride together to track down chaney.

Before it all sorts out there is a lot of hi jinx with Mattie clearly the intellectual leader of the pack. The conclusion, 25 years after

chaney is captured, is somewhat unique. I haven’t seen many pictures this year as good as this one. Go see it.

Movie Review: “Casino Jack” (+)

This docudrama, depicting the enormous illegal activities of a former republican Party lobbyist, Jack abramoff, is superbly done.

some of it consists of the imaginings of the script writer, since we hear the innermost thoughts of abramoff delivered in monologues when

he is alone. some of those thoughts are the ravings of a mad man. By that I mean that he is very taken with his power and sense of himself

as a genius. during his rants he also states his belief that he is, in effect, doing God’s work with his charitable endeavors. he sees himself

as a pious Jew entitled to the wealth he is amassing.

In the film abramoff is played by Kevin spacey who with his own inner demons is able to play any role big enough to have its own

demons. I remember many years ago when I was mayor meeting him in the Green room at channel 5. Like a member of his fan club I

told him that I thought he was absolutely terrific and a great artist. he modestly replied, “Thank you very much.”

Before abramoff was sentenced to six years for his fraudulent lobbying for an Indian tribe that paid him 20 or 30 million dollars in

connection with a gambling operation, he was fired by two firms on “K” street in Washington, d.c. where he lobbied. The first time was

for lying to his partners; the second for the adverse publicity in the Washington Post for the fraud perpetrated on an Indian tribe.

at the end of the film when he is brought before a congressional hearing chaired by senator John Mccain, a very telling point is made by

him in a soliloquy imagined by him. he took the Fifth before the committee and actually did not answer any questions. In his fantasy rant,

he accuses his accusers, the u.s. senators led by the chairman of the committee John Mccain, of hypocrisy since they helped him achieve his

corrupt goals for his clients and in exchange, he says, they received tens of thousand of dollars in campaign contributions from him.

Today we call this pay to play. It has players at every level of government and has to be dealt with. actually, there will be a battle next

year in the New York state Legislature to deal with the issue. The organization I created – New York uprising – will be out there fighting

alongside New York’s newly-elected reform Governor andrew cuomo to eliminate, if possible, that ongoing evil. Lobbyists are protected

by the u.s. constitution. They can and do play an important, legitimate role in government in making legislators aware of issues. The

problem is that corrupting campaign money in some form to accomplish the lobbyists’ goals is often a major part of the operation.

If we had public financing for all elected officials at all levels of government and vastly reduced private citizen contributions to candidates

and limited expenditures, the problem would, I believe, be solved, except of course for the corrupt willing to break the new law. Will

it happen? regrettably, not in my lifetime.

Movie Review: “Carlos” (+)

The movie is five-and-one-half hours long. some theaters show the entire film in one sitting, others in two. The cinema Village where

I saw it presented the complete film in one showing with a 15-minute intermission. unfortunately, I had to leave halfway through to get

to a dinner in Brooklyn, but I hope to return to see the second part very soon. It is a superb and unique

The movie is a tour de force, a thriller, and a docudrama that doesn’t pretend to be literally true or accurate. It depicts the terrorist activities

of carlos the Jackal (edgar ramirez) over a number of years. his most famous terrorist act was taking OPec oil ministers in Vienna

hostage in 1975. OPec represented most of the oil-producing states located in asia, africa, and some of Latin america, e.g., Venezuela.

The hostage episode was successful, but it was also botched because carlos did not kill two of the delegates as instructed. It resulted

in his being rejected by the terrorist organization with whom he was working and causing him to set up his own operation. carlos was

primarily involved with helping the Palestinians against Israel. he believed that many OPec nations, led by saudi arabia, were sellouts

to the west – meaning the u.s.

The film moves along with incredible speed – it was like watching a combination of two earlier blockbuster films: “Z” and “The Battle

of algiers.” It is fascinating, and edgar ramirez’s performance is superb. carlos was betrayed by fellow terrorists, captured in 1994, tried

in France, and is now serving a life sentence.

Watch ed Koch’s Movie videos of these and other reviews on my website, Mayor at the Movies (www.MayorKoch.com) website. and

don’t forget to follow me on Twitter! Let him know your thoughts by directing email to eikoch@bryancave.com.

The Honorable Edward Irving Koch served New York City as its 105th Mayor from 1978 to 1989.


Looking back on 2010

and the Great recession, I

continue to be enraged by

the lack of accountability

for those who wrecked our economy and

brought the u.s. to its knees. The shocking

truth is that those who did the damage are

still in charge. Many who ran Wall street

before and during the debacle are either

still there making millions, if not billions,

of dollars, or are in charge of our country’s

economic policies which led to the debacle.

Yes, in the recent mid-term elections,

the american people did replace

63 democrats with a like number of

republicans, but will that really change

things for the better? Time will tell, but

I doubt it. Neither do I see the Obama

administration, with all its good intentions,

succeeding in the areas where the

public has suffered the most: jobs and

home values.

The stock market has recovered

beautifully from a dow low in the Great

recession which began in december 2007

and technically ended in June 2009. The

current dow hovers around 11,500. But

how many millions of people out of fear,

lack of market knowledge, or the need to

cash in their market holdings simply to

survive the years beginning in 2007 when

the Great recession began until now, didn’t

receive the benefit of the market recovery?

The WesTchesTer GuardIaN ThursdaY, JaNuarY 6, 2011

Unfinished Business—The Great Recession


If the government wants me to pay

for a service – let’s use health care as an

example – it can tax me, and then decide

how and when I can use the service. I

pay a lot of tax money for Medicare and

Medicaid, though I do not qualify for

those benefits.

Maybe this is fine with me; maybe it

isn’t. I can express my feelings here or at

the ballot box. It would do me no good

to attack the system in court, because the

courts long ago decided that the government

can tax me to provide services, even

services that are used only by other people.

If the government wants to expand

Medicare to cover everyone in the

country, it could do that, too. It would

We do know that the current unemployment

figure is 9.8 percent, which

represents 15 million people. But that

figure does not include those who are no

longer looking for a job, those who are

underemployed, or those whose salaries

and benefits have been slashed. Worst of

all, there are millions of people in their 50s,

60s and 70s who will never be employed


Then there are those who lost their

homes to foreclosure and those who will

lose them. Why is it that when congress

adopted the current bankruptcy law in

2005, it decided to uphold the principle

of moral hazard, which in the housing

context means that those who purchased

homes they could not afford, lured to do so

by banks and the federal government, must

not be helped by the federal government

to keep those houses when coming out of

bankruptcy proceedings.

On the other hand, rapacious banks,

Wall street investment firms, and automobile

industry giants who overextended

themselves financially while seeking

unconscionable profits or who engaged in

poor management practices, were rewarded

with astronomical federal government


The absence of accountability is also

evident in state government. state legislators

voted for pensions for state and city

undoubtedly cost more, so I would

undoubtedly pay more. That’s the

so-called single-payer option that many

democrats hoped would be part of the

recent health care overhaul. This idea did

not get off the ground, in large measure

because american doctors do not wish to

work solely for the u.s. government, and

private health insurers do not wish to be

put out of business.

so congress required, instead, that

beginning in 2014 virtually all americans

who are not otherwise covered must

purchase private insurance. Backers of

the health care reform did not see this as

a problem. congress could have forced

all of us into a single, nationalized health

employees when they knew or should have

known that these pensions were unaffordable.

The expectation is that some states

will not be able to pay their current bills

and the interest on their general obligation

bonds. There is now a fear that those

states will collapse and become unable to

provide basic services including Medicaid

and education. Newspaper editorials are

commenting and bond holders are beginning

to worry about the state and municipal

bonds in their portfolios which, according

to a New York Times article of december

9, 2010, are valued at $2.8 trillion dollars.

Legislators running for office

throughout the country were overwhelmingly

reelected in the recent state and

federal elections. Very few were punished

with defeat. I’m aware of no law that can

be used to hold them accountable for their

poor decisions in administering the affairs

of the states and localities they represent.

But surely there are laws that could be

used to pursue Wall street operators who

beggared the country and as a result of

federal bailouts – remember too big to fail

– are richer today than ever.

Millionaires continue to have tax

loopholes available to them which allow

them to take deductions reducing their tax

payments to ludicrously low levels. Let me

repeat what I’ve reported several times in

prior commentaries:

insurance program; instead, it gave us a bit

more freedom to choose, by allowing us

to select among what are supposed to be

multiple plans meeting certain minimum

standards. We’ll see soon enough – maybe

– how well this works in the real world.

But the insurance requirement has

emerged as the loose thread that could

unravel the entire health care deal. This

delights a lot of people who opposed the

overhaul in the first place. some want to

keep the system we have had until now;

others want a new reform package that

concentrates more on controlling costs

and less on universal coverage.

Virtually none of them want the

other possible outcome of a successful

Page 11

One of the least known tax injustices

was revealed by The New York Times

when it pointed out that the top 400

taxpayers who earned $250 million on

average in 2005 paid income taxes at a

17.2 percent rate. That rate is lower than

that of a family making between $50,000

and $75,000 a year, which is 17.4 percent.

It is a continuing outrage that under our

tax code some of the wealthy pay a lower

percentage of taxes on their income than

the middle class.

as a result of President Obama’s negotiating

a deal with the republicans in the

lame duck session of the congress following

the congressional election of 2010 which

will give republicans a majority in the

next house of representatives, he gave

the republicans what they wanted – a

two-year extension of the Bush tax cuts for

millionaires and to the top one percent of

taxpayers, 26.8 percent of the extended tax


Leona helmsley infamously but

perceptively said that only the “little

people” pay taxes. We know life is unfair,

but that doesn’t mean the “little people”

have to allow their government to continue

to oppress them.

Let Mayor Koch know your thoughts

by directing email to eikoch@bryancave.


The Honorable Edward Irving Koch served

New York City as its 105th Mayor from 1978

to 1989.

Unintended Results: Reviving The Single-Payer Option

By Larry M. Elkin

challenge, which would be a revival of the

single-payer idea.

earlier this month, a Virginia federal

judge became the first to rule part of the

affordable care act unconstitutional:

specifically, the mandate that all citizens

purchase insurance or face penalties.

citing the commerce clause of the u.s.

constitution, Judge henry e. hudson

ensured that higher courts will have

dissenting opinions to consider. and it is

virtually certain that, sooner rather than

later, the new health care reform law will

make it to the supreme court.

Two issues are at play here: the constitutionality

of the law, and its wider

Continued on page 12

Page 12 The WesTchesTer GuardIaN ThursdaY, JaNuarY 6, 2011


Unintended Results: Reviving The Single-Payer Option

Continued from page 11

economic implications. The former is

a close enough question that the courts

could go either way, and have so far; in

addition to this decision, there have been

two federal court decisions upholding the

law’s constitutionality, and 12 more cases

thrown out altogether. another challenge

to the law, backed by 20 states’ attorneys

general, is making its way through a

federal court in Pensacola, Fla.

It will be interesting to see how

the supreme court decides. There are

other situations in which government

mandates the purchase of private services.

In Manhattan, restaurants and office

An Open Letter to Andrew Cuomo

By Howie Hawkins

dear Governor



on your election.

during our

recent Gubernatorial contest, we emphasized

different approaches as to how best

restore the state’s fiscal health and to

reduce the onerous impact of local property

taxes. But as you prepare to start your

administration, it is critical that the long

term needs of our state take priority over

the political rhetoric that dominates election


For most New Yorkers, especially the

more than one million who are unemployed

or underemployed, the lack of jobs

is the most critical issue. and with our

state and country facing the greatest recession

in seventy years, it is imperative that

government policies at all levels provide a

cost effective economic stimulation.

Progressive tax reform, starting with

ending the rebate of billions of dollars

annually from the stock Transfer Tax,

should at the top of the list for three

reasons: for fiscal responsibility, for jobs

and economic recovery, and for providing

needed public services.

Fiscal responsibility: as economists

such as Nobel Prize winner Joseph stiglitz

have pointed out, it is fiscally irresponsible

in a major recession to rule out progressive

tax reforms that raise taxes on the

wealthy and cut taxes for the middle and

working classes. In particular, tax cuts for

the wealthy such as recently enacted by

buildings are required to hire private

haulers to remove their trash. The system

produced a lot of mob-dominated corruption

years ago, and a lot of court action

that followed, but, as far as I know, nobody

has challenged its constitutionality.

Opponents of the insurance mandate

claim it oversteps the government’s power

by forcing americans to buy a product

just by dint of existing. This distinguishes

the law from, say, requirements for auto

insurance, as citizens have the choice not

to own a car. But the naysayers may be

missing the bigger picture.

It boils down to the way insurance

works. collectively, we can’t have

congress will do nothing to stimulate the

economy because they do nothing to stimulate


The share of income taken home by

the richest 1 percent of americans has

almost tripled in the last three decades to

24 percent. New York has the most unequal

income distribution of all 50 states. Yet the

rate for the top income tax bracket in New

York is less than half of what it was in the

1970s. The wealthy need to pay their fair

share of taxes again.

retaining the revenue from New

York’s existing stock sales Tax would

generate at least $13 billion in additional

revenue, eliminating the projected $10

billion budget deficit for 2011. along with

other revenue reforms it would generate a

surplus for job creation and public services,

which will help the economy to recover.

The stock Transfer Tax is a tiny sales

tax on stock purchases, with a graduated

scale topping out at 1/20th of 1 percent or

$350, whichever is less, on large purchases

of a stock. compare that to the 8 percent

sales tax on consumer goods. The tax has

been collected since 1915. But since 1981,

it has been collected and then immediately


This sales tax primarily hits on those

who speculate on stocks rather than those

who make long-term investments. The

sales tax revenue been growing rapidly due

the computerized high-frequency trading

on their own accounts by big financial firms

like Goldman sachs and JP Morgan chase

- a form of insider trading that distorts the

insurance if people only buy it after they

know they need it. either everyone shares

the risk (and the expense) or premiums

become unaffordable. If the affordable

care act is ultimately found unconstitutional,

we will be left with only the

public option to address the policy goal of

universal coverage.

The irony, then, is that those who are

challenging the affordable care act as it

stands are the very people who could drive

us to a public option in the end. Those

who supported the public option may just

need to sit back and wait until the challengers’

court victories suddenly seem a

lot less victorious. What remains to be

market and should be discouraged. These

firms, which the taxpayers bailed out with

trillions in federal loans and guarantees

and are now highly profitable, pay the lion’s

share of the stock Transfer Tax.

Jobs and economic recovery: The

economy needs public spending to raise

demand in an economy that is stagnant,

with excess productive capacity, intractably

high unemployment, and mounting

foreclosures and bankruptcies. The banks

and corporations are sitting on trillions of

dollars in cash. But they are not lending and

investing because the consumer demand to

make such investments profitable is not

there. If government doesn’t step in with

spending to raise demand, the economy

will continue to deteriorate, lowering tax

revenues, and necessitating further public

spending cuts, which will further depress

the economy. It is a vicious downward

spiral. With consumer demand and therefore

business investment depressed, only

increased government spending can turn

the economy around.

Public services: In this stagnant

economy, there is an increased need for

public services, from safety net programs

to aid the unemployed and their families

to public jobs in public works and services

to reduce unemployment. Whether it is

the under-staffing of schools and snow

removal crews due to recent budget cuts,

it makes no sense to cut public jobs and

services when we face high unemployment,

depressed consumer demand, and

increased needs for public assistance.

seen is how close they get to the top of

this uphill legal climb before they realize

what’s waiting for them at the summit.

Larry M. Elkin, CPA, CFP®, is president of

Palisades Hudson Financial Group a fee-only

financial planning firm heiadquartered in

Scarsdale, NY. It offers estate planning, insurance

consulting, trust planning, cross-border

planning, business valuation, family office

and business management, executive financial

planning, and tax services. Its sister firm,

Palisades Hudson Asset Management, is an

independent investment advisor with about

$950 million under management. Branch

offices are in Atlanta and Ft. Lauderdale.

Website: www.palisadeshudson.com.

I highlight the stock Transfer Tax

because it is revenue the state already

collects but gives right back. It is not a new

tax. It just requires that the state retain

revenues it already receives.

Income tax reform is another option.

The massive and growing disparity of

wealth in NY and the us is a fundamental

cause of our present economic crisis and

needs. The Progressive caucus of the NYc

city council recently proposed changing

the state and city income tax laws to recapture

part of the hundreds of billions of

dollars in a tax cut windfall recently given

to the wealthy by congress.

If New York went back to the progressive

income tax structure we had in 1972,

the state would raise $8 billion more in

revenue while giving 95% of New Yorkers

a tax cut. In 1972, New York state had a

personal income tax with 14 graduated

brackets, ranging from a low of 2% to a

high of 15%. Today New York has only five

flatter brackets, between 4% and 6.85%.

Most people with a full-time job reach

the top bracket. a single person reaches

the top 6.85% rate once his or her taxable

income reaches $20,000, a married couple

at $40,000. a more progressive income

tax would increase state revenues and, due

to the tax cut for the working and middle

classes, increase consumer demand to help

the economy recover.

The state’s fiscal crisis is not due to

excessive spending, but rather to undertaxing

the wealthy. Let’s not make the

state’s economy and fiscal crisis worse with

austerity measures that cut public spending

while leaving the existing regressive tax

structure in place.

There are certainly areas of wasteful

spending that should be addressed. We

Continued on page 13


Imagine that you’re

a clothing retailer who has spent many

years building a prosperous business,

playing by the rules, paying your taxes

and offering a service that customers

are happy with. Imagine further that

your most popular wholesaler suddenly

informs you that you will no longer

have access to his line of ladies handbags,

a line that has been your best sales

motivator. Moreover, suppose the handbags

were pulled, not because you did

anything illegal or immoral, but because

the wholesaler decided he was unwilling

to subscribe to the laws on price-fixing.

It all began in 2002, when californiabased

Leegin creative Leather Products

Inc., a luxury leather goods company,

stopped selling its Brighton line of

handbags to a Lewisville, Texas retailer

named Phil smith. Mr. smith’s boutique,

Kay’s Kloset, had been selling Brightonbrand

leather handbags at a 20 percent

Continued from page 12

need to control our skyrocketing health

care costs, by far the biggest part of the

state budget. The first step should be to

eliminating the enormous waste associated

with our odd system of private

health insurance. We need to stop

spending billions of dollars on economic

development and tax expenditures that

reward campaign contributors rather

than creating jobs. We need to stop

wasting enormous amounts of tax

dollars in contracting out services, such

as we witnessed with the recent payroll

scandal in NYc. We need to stop the

endemic graft among state legislators.

It seems like every politician these

days talk about a green vision for the

future of New York. That will only

begin to be realized under your tenure as

Governor if you provide the leadership

needed to make the necessary public

investments to rebuild New York for a

sustainable prosperity.


howie hawkins

The author was the 2010 Green Party

candidate for NY Governor

The WesTchesTer GuardIaN ThursdaY, JaNuarY 6, 2011

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington - Again

By Bob Weir

An Open Letter to

Andrew Cuomo

discount. after refusing to sell them at

the prices dictated by the manufacturer,

he lost the account.

as a result, Kay’s Kloset lost 50

percent of its business and had to move

to a smaller, less expensive location in

nearby Flower Mound. realizing that

price-fixing is against the law, smith

sued Leegin in u.s. district court and

won $4 million in damages. The ruling

was based on lost sales and other claims,

all of which were upheld by the u.s. Fifth

circuit court of appeals. The ruling on

price-fixing dates back to 1911, when the

courts ruled in dr. Miles Medical co. vs.

John d. Park and sons that it’s always

illegal for a supplier to dictate minimum

prices to a retailer. Nevertheless, the case

was appealed all the way to the supreme

court which, in a 5-4 decision overturned

the rulings of the lower courts.

Justice anthony Kennedy wrote the

majority opinion, stating that discounts

can harm consumers by driving prices

down, depriving retailers of the profits

they need to provide good service. huh?

since when does a consumer suffer when

prices are marked down? One wonders if

Justice Kennedy has ever done any price

comparison shopping.

consumer advocates condemned the

ruling as one that will definitely drive

up prices on most consumer goods. Of

course, that seems like a no-brainer. If

manufacturers can set prices, it has a

deleterious effect on free trade. In effect,

it takes bargaining out of the sales equation.

In a free market, competition is the

impetus that keeps the entrepreneurial

spirit alive. The owner of Leegin is Jerry

Kohl, who also owns the Kohl’s chain of

clothing stores. Kohl, who spent more

than $4 million on legal fees, was represented

in the highest court of the land by

none other than Ted Olson, best known

for he successful supreme court defense

of Governor George W. Bush in Bush

vs. Gore for the presidency of the united

states. also not surprisingly, while the

Leegin vs. Kay’s Kloset antitrust case

was being waged in the supreme court,

by the former Bush advocate, the Bush

administration’s Justice department

supported the manufacturer.

This just smacks of collusion

between the large, well-heeled companies

and their friendly supporters in

the government. First of all, Mr. smith

was operating under the law in effect at

the time. That law said a manufacturer

can suggest a price, but cannot punish a

retailer for any deviation. To do so was

considered price fixing, which is as illegal

as having 2 or more businesses conspire

to charge higher prices. hence, when

his business was damaged by a supplier

who was defying the laws on pricefixing,

smith was legally entitled to his

victory. Instead, with a deep pockets

antagonist, able to spend huge sums

for, arguably, the most well-connected

attorney in the country, what chance did

he have? In overturning smith’s victory,

the supremes said that courts should

be allowed to look at the rationale for

setting prices on a case by case basis.

Well, if nothing else, that ruling will

keep the court calendars backed up until

most of the litigants meet their makers.

Meanwhile, Kay’s Kloset went out

of business. But, the indefatigable Mr.

smith wants to take the case back to the

supreme court. To do so, he has enlisted

the aid of harvard Law professor, einer

Joan Gronowski On the Level with Narog and Aris

Page 13

elhauge, who feels the case is so important

to the future of the free market

system that he will handle it pro bono.

Mr. elhauge said the ruling against

Kay’s Kloset is now being misinterpreted

in the lower courts. he maintains that

it’s not just a problem for vertical pricefixing,

but also for antitrust law generally

because it would “drastically restrict”

any attempt to scrutinize the details of

an allegedly anticompetitive action. Of

course, there is no guarantee that the

supreme court will revisit the case. Yet,

one would think that a country which

prides itself on its free-market principles

would be more consistent in its application

of such laws.

Bob Weir is a veteran of 20 years with

the New York Police Dept. (NYPD), ten

of which were performed in plainclothes

undercover assignments. During his early

years with NYPD, Bob earned a Bachelor

of Science degree, cum laude from New

York Institute of Technology. He retired

as a sergeant after supervising patrol in

Midtown Manhattan, the busiest precinct

in the country.He would eventually move

to Flower Mound, Texas, where he began

a writing career that started about 12 years

ago having his first book published in 1999.

Bob went on to write and publish a total

of seven novels, “Murder in Black and

White,” “City to Die For,” “Powers that Be,”

“Ruthie’s Kids,” “Deadly to Love,” “Short

Stories of Life and Death,” and “Out of

Sight,” are available at Barnes & Noble,

Amazon.com, Books-a-million, and other

major online book sellers. He also became a

syndicated columnist under the title “Weir

Only Human”.

New rochelle, NY -- Yonkers city councilwoman Joan Gronowski (district 2) is richard Narog’s

and hezi aris’ guest this Tuesday, January 4th, from 10 am through 11 am, on WVOX-1460 aM

on your radio dial and worldwide on www.WVOX.com. author Kurt collucci will be their guest on

January 11th, and Trend Journal Publisher Gerald celente will be their guest on January 18th.

Listeners and readers are invited to send a question to WhYTeditor@gmail.com for possible use

prior to any shows’ airing and even during the course of an interview.

Wednesday mornings at 8:37 am when he and Bob Marrone discuss issues on the Good Morning Westchester

radio program hosted by Bob Marrone.

Page 14 The WesTchesTer GuardIaN ThursdaY, JaNuarY 6, 2011


Celebrating the Centennial of the Maryknoll Society

By Father James A. Walsh

Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers is the

overseas mission outreach of the roman

catholic church in the united states,

following Jesus in serving the poor and

others in need in 27 countries. all catholics

are called to mission through baptism, and

Maryknoll’s mission education outreach

in parishes and schools throughout the

country engages u.s. catholics in mission

through prayer, donations, as volunteers and

through vocations.

during 2011, Maryknoll Fathers and

Brothers will commemorate its centennial

with a theme of The Gift of Mission – The

Maryknoll Journey. These missionaries will

celebrate as they continue their journey into

the next 100 years to share God’s love and

the Gospel in combating poverty, providing

healthcare, building communities and

promoting human rights.

The Vision of Father James A. Walsh

When Father James anthony Walsh,

along with several other priests, founded the

catholic Foreign Mission Bureau during

1907, his aim was to awaken the role of

mission within the united states catholic

church. In many ways, cultivating mission

as a responsibility among u.s. catholics

was a bold and innovative move, because

during those early days of the last century

the church still looked at the united states,

with its waves of immigration, as fertile

territory for missioners from europe.

James Walsh was born to middle-class

parents (James Walsh and hanna shea) in

The empty

New england

highway was

dry, the speedometer was in triple digits,

the passing landscape was a dreamy,

flowing, green kaleidoscope and the warm

fall sun radiated off the brushed steel hood

of the rolls royce as the miles flew by.

There may have been bumps in the

road, but a coupe with self-leveling air

springs has the feel of riding a soft leather

cushion on a fast moving cloud. There

cambridge, Massachusetts, on February 24,

1867. after attending public elementary

school, he graduated from Boston college

high school with skills in debating and

journalism. he attended Boston college

but later transferred to harvard college to

study bookkeeping. studies were completed

at st. John’s seminary in nearby Brighton.

at the seminary, Father Walsh was

inspired by a rector, a sulpician (a society

of secular priests founded during 15th

century France) whose classmate in Paris,

Theophane Venard, had died as a famous

martyr in Indochina. a decade after his

1892 ordination at the cathedral of the

holy cross, Father Walsh retraced Venard’s

steps in France along with those of other

French martyrs, and he became convinced

that the blood of martyrs is the seed of the


Father Walsh served as curate at st.

Patrick’s church in roxbury until he was

appointed diocesan director of the society

for the Propagation of the Faith during

1903. among his responsibilities was to

raise money to support overseas mission,

and during this time, he began to develop

his vision, a modernized version of mission,

for a mature u.s. church that was eager to

fulfill exciting and joyful missionary responsibilities

around the world.

along with the catholic Foreign

Mission Bureau, Father Walsh founded The

Field afar magazine, a monthly publication

about the foreign missions of the catholic

church. Years later, this magazine would


Really Regal Road Running

By Roger Witherspoon

may have been a strain at 105 miles an

hour when going around a wide turn. But

since the edges of the leather seats sense

gravitational forces and expand or contract

to counter the pull you really don’t notice

these, either.

The roof folded neatly into the back,

between the trunk and the rear seat. Yet the

aerodynamics of the car were sleek enough

that it was easy to hear Miles davis’ sax

blowing from the cd player instead of

the roar of the passing wind. and though,

become the Maryknoll magazine that

continues to be published today (along with

its bilingual counterpart revista Maryknoll)

by the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers.

during 1910, at the 21st eucharistic

conference in Montreal, Father Walsh

shared his vision of u.s. catholic mission

with Father Thomas Frederick Price of

North carolina. realizing they shared a

common call to mission, the urbane Father

Walsh and the more rural Father Price

collaborated on plans for a mission society

within the u.s. catholic church. soon

after, the bishops of the united states

formally sanctioned the pursuit of their

vision to recruit, send and support u.s.

missioners around the world.

With this approval, Father Walsh and

Father Price traveled to rome to present

their vision of mission. They received the

blessing of Pope Pius X on June 29, 1911

(the feast of saints Peter and Paul), which

is the founding day of the catholic Foreign

Mission society of america that, over the

years, has become more well-known as

Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers.

Father Walsh was a model priest and

a natural leader. he was the first superior

General of the society, the treasurer, the

editor of its publication, rector of the seminary,

spiritual director of the Maryknoll

sisters that was formed during 1912, along

with master organizer, fundraiser, publicist

and overseer of plans and building for the

society. It is difficult to find any aspect of

the foundation of Maryknoll that did not

at three tons, this is a big, heavy vehicle,

the convertible, two-door, rolls royce

Phantom drophead coupe still jumps from

0 – 60 miles per hour in just 5.7 seconds and

can cruise at a license-losing 150.

rolls royce, the ultimate upscale

benefit from the direction and oversight of

Father Walsh.

Father Walsh’s contributions to the

catholic church in the u.s. and to the

growth of mission were celebrated when

he was ordained as bishop on June 29, 1933

by Pope Pius XI in rome. Only a few years

later, on april 14, 1936, Bishop Walsh

passed away.

at that time, Father James edward

Walsh, one of the first seminarians at

Maryknoll who was to become the founder’s

successor as superior General and later

a bishop, provided a description of Bishop

James a. Walsh that could classify him as

Maryknoll’s renaissance Man. he said

Bishop James a. Walsh was “a business

man, a literary man, an executive officer, a

household manager, a family father, a spiritual

shaper and leader and something of a

peerer into the future….he was the initiator,

promoter, organizer and administrator…

and he was all these things at a time when

help was scarce, helpers few.”

Learn more about Father James a.

Walsh and the centennial celebration of

Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers by visiting

www.maryknollsociety.org.To receive a

copy of Maryknoll magazine’s January/

February issue that features Father Walsh

and “Boston’s Gift to Mission,” contact

Maryknoll toll-free at 1-888-627-9566.

Follow Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers on

Twitter at www.twitter.com/MaryknollNews

and Facebook at www.facebook.com/


division of BMW, bills the half million

dollar drophead coup as one of the finest

touring cars – though nothing manmade is

perfect. If there are drawbacks, it lies in the

meld between the technologically oriented

Continued on page 15


Really Regal Road Running

Continued from page 14

BMW and the traditionalist rolls royce. In

an effort to modernize the vehicle, BMW

added the computerized control system

updated from its high-end, 750 series of

luxury cars. at the tap of a finger at the end

of the console, a mahogany drawer folds out

revealing a single round control knob which

governs the entertainment, climate, navigation

and communications systems. some of

that works well. some it is cumbersome and

none of it is intuitive.

The navigation system is relatively

rudimentary by the standards of a $30,000

ford sync or $50,000 Lexus rX 350. It is

lacking in detail, particularly the names of

upcoming streets, for example, and does

not list upcoming turns and their direction

– features which are pretty standard

these days. The entertainment system on

the other hand, with 15, 420-watt, Logic-7

speakers, has excellent sound quality, but

there is only a single in-dash cd instead

of a six-disc changer. There are, however,

modern connections for iPods and MP3

players. and the drophead comes with XM

satellite and hd radio, as well as an easy to

use, Bluetooth cell phone connection.


If you believe in life

after death this column

will only make you upset.

If you are one of those

people who have spent the last ten years

worrying about the next terrorist attack,

you should read this column but might be

offended by it. Lastly, if you are someone

who spends all your time thinking that

retirement and old age will be the hard

won, well deserved fruit of a life well lived

this story might depress you. so let’s just

say I am writing it for my editor and myself,

sort of a cathartic release of pent up angst

over the passage of time, and the tragedy of

not using it well. The great writer Marcel

Proust made it the subject his life’s work in

The WesTchesTer GuardIaN ThursdaY, JaNuarY 6, 2011

But as a

defining symbol of

craftsmanship and

luxury, the rolls

royce still sets a

standard for the

high end, luxury

line. The trim

around the top of

the doors and the

rear is teak, the kind

of wood one would

find on the decks of private yachts. The wide

teak deck behind the rear seats covers the

storage space for the retractable roof. The

wood on the console and doors is polished

mahogany offset by thick, cream colored

leather interrupted by chrome dials. The

grain in the mahogany panels is bookend

matched, something you find in high end,

hand-crafted furniture. The entire craft has

the feel of a small, pricy, well maintained,

hand-crafted yacht.

On the outside, there is the characteristic,

distinct steel hood and the traditional,

Flying Lady hood ornament which disappears

under the hood when the engine is

off. underneath that brushed steel is a 6.75liter,

V-12 engine which cranks out 453

horsepower and delivers 531 pound/feet of

torque through the six-speed, electronically

controlled transmission. The high torque

is what makes the coupe so responsive. It

also drinks a lot of gas. The ePa mileage

estimates are just 18 miles per gallon in

highway driving and 11 MPG in the city.

The test car averaged just under 12 MPG

in mixed driving. But then, this is not a car

you buy to be eco-friendly: It comes with a

“Remembrances of Things Past” more accurately

translated it reads, “Time Lost.”

For the next several days we in the

media will obsess over the decade just

past. We and you will discuss the top

stories, best songs, dumbest TV shows and

worst calamities. doing this is an annual

tradition. admittedly it is fun and even

interesting to examine how we as a planet

have behaved for a stretch of time. This is

where I am supposed to launch into the

issues and what they mean, but I will leave

that to others. I prefer to share with you

the larger context of simply another ten

years gone by in the life of a human being.

sure the events of the day inform and even

influence, to some extent, how we spend

$3,000 gas guzzler tax.

The most distinct feature from the

drophead coup’s flowing side profile is

the long, front-opening “suicide doors,”

so-called because if you open one while

driving the wind will instantly whip it back

and pull you out of the car. But in normal

use, the rear-hinged door provides easy

access to the wide, comfortable back seats,

which really are intended to be used and

have enough leg room for folks living well

north of six feet. The doors are long and

heavy and are, therefore, power driven –

they close at the touch of a button.

In the back, the coupe has a double

trunk: raising the floor board reveals bins

which are capable of holding two small

suit cases, leaving plenty of room for larger

ones and golf bags in the main storage area.

There are separate climate controls and air

outlets for the front and back sections of the

car which are so effective, you can actually

have the heat and air conditioning going at

the same time with little interference.

and when driving at night, there is soft,

blue lighting under the seats, instruments

and storage areas.

The rolls royce vehicles have long had

an image of being designed for those who

have money, like expensive, exquisite things,

and don’t like to drive. The driving experience

was reserved for the chauffeur.

But the modern rolls fleet, under the

auspices of BMW, has the philosophy that

if you pay a half million dollars for a car, you

ought to enjoy the driving experience. The

drophead coupe, a beautiful, exquisite,

detailed, powerful, high-performing, convertible

sports sedan is at the top of their line.

Roger Witherspoon writes Shifting Gears at


our time. But it is our time, nonetheless,

and the only time we will ever have.

It is impossible to talk about the last

decade without noting 9-11. The tragedy

offers a unique opportunity to look at

ourselves and how we each think about

time. as I write this, the country is in two

wars …one of them unnecessary, the other

unnecessarily protracted. We went into

debt to pay for both of them rather than

raise taxes and upset voters. We get patted

down at airports; have given up our privacy

to the state; become apoplectic if a package

is left unattended near a bus stop and allow

every assortment of politician, cleric, media

person or business leader to manipulate us

towards their way of thinking, believing or

Page 15

2010 Rolls Royce Phantom

Drophead Coupe

MSRP: $471,500

Gas Guzzler Tax: $3,000

EPA Mileage: 11 MPG City;

18 MPG Highway

As Tested Mileage: 11.9 MPG Mixed

Performance / Safety:

0 – 60 MPH 5.7 Seconds

Top Speed 149 MPH

6.75-Liter, aluminum alloy, 48-valve,V-12

engine producing 453 horsepower and

531 pound/feet of torque; 6-speed, electronically

controlled automatic transmission;

double wishbone front suspension;

multi-link rear suspension with self-leveling

air springs; run-flat high performance

tires; power assisted, ventilated, 4-wheel

anti-lock disc brakes; stability, traction,

and cornering brake control; head-thorax

airbag in each seat; spring-loaded, popup

rollover protection; engine immobilizer;

heated windshield; bi-xenon headlamps

with auto-leveling and power washers;

chrome 21-inch wheels.

Interior / Comfort:

AM/FM/XM satellite and HD radio; single

disc CD player; MP3, USB-port, and iPod

connection; 420-watt, 9-channel Logic-7

audio system with 15 speakers; navigation

system with 6.5-inch monitor; front

and rear cameras; Bluetooth cell phone

connection; full leather interior – seats,

dash, and sides; teak wood rear deck and

brushed steel hood; power closing doors;

power tilt and telescope leather steering

wheel; power retractable cashmere lined

roof; lambs wool floor mats.

2001–2010 A Hard Decade on the Way to Nowhere By Bob Marrone

buying. It is as if we americans expect our

lives be risk free and for the government to

insure that it will always be so.

What a pathetic way to spend ten years.

do we ever stop to think that even if

there had been other attacks and appropriate

reprisals that the risks and turmoil

of the moment would have been a better

alternative than living our lives for that

perfect day in the future when we will fear

no more? Isn’t it kind of like living our

lives so that we will be the perfect, well

funded corpse; as if this all ends with some

perfectly defined glorious moment. One of

my dearest friends lives her life preparing

Continued on page 16

Page 16 The WesTchesTer GuardIaN ThursdaY, JaNuarY 6, 2011


2001–2010 A Hard Decade on the Way to Nowhere

Continued from page 15

for the perfect retirement, one in

which she can relax and do what she wants

to do. she never seems to get it that she

may wasting the other 70 years. Moreover,

when she finally enjoys this utopian existence,

she will be devoid of her sex drive,

slow afoot and perhaps equally as slow in

her mind. Worse still, she will be at an age

when at any moment an unfamiliar pain

or numbness in a limb will be the start of

a massive loss of control of herself, or the

beginning of a painful, hopeless, miserable

death. Most of use die this way but we

leave it out of the obituaries they way we

leave going to the toilet out of the movies.

We pretend it does not happen or we cut it

out of the narrative.

Ten years…ten years, what did you do

with them? Far too many of us spent them

planning for that perfect far off day. The

truth is that it is not that far off at all, and

there is no pot of gold at the end, at least

in my view.

Lest you think I do not include myself


Twitter Birds Hounded by Bad Weather

and Holiday Traditions By Gail Farrelly

It wasn’t a fox that

hindered their progress.

Nor did they

stop for a long holiday

lunch. No siree, it was

the WeaTher that

made things difficult

for the twitter birds this

past weekend.

Bill Twitter, chief Twitter birdie,

confirmed an average of half-hour delays

in tweet delivery but said this really wasn’t

bad considering the rain, sleet, snow,

and extreme cold that plagued so many

different parts of the world. he also

reported, exclusively to a spoof investigative

reporter, that santa and his reindeer

traveling around the world on christmas

eve night didn’t help things at all.

“The guy’s a road hog,” Mr. Twitter

complained. “That Mr. claus thinks the

skies belong to him alone on christmas

eve night. There’s no consideration at all

for the rest of us, trying to do our jobs,

just as we do every single day and night

of the year.” Twitter also whined about

in this little examination. This bell tolls

for me, as well. I have spent far too much

time planning for my own nirvana; for that

time when I will get love right, catch up on

my bills, write that book and spend more

time with my grandkids. I am better than

most at living the moment, but too often

I use the skill to procrastinate from things

I should be doing now. I too sometimes

think that the best is yet to come.

Ten years. They are gone. I am hoping

that I will still be here ten years from

now and waste less time than I did over

the previous ten years. I will also try and

continue to do the things that I love and

be with the people that I love. Most of all,

I will keep with me always the notion that

nothing, none of this, is guaranteed.

Listen to Good Morning Westchester with

Bob Marrone from 6-9 a.m., from Monday

through Friday. Direct email to Bob Marrone

at Bob@WVOX.com, and visiting the

BobMarrone.com website.

rudolph, saying “everybody on earth is

happily singing that cute song, Rudolph

the Red-nosed Reindeer. But it’s the Twitter

birdies who have to maneuver around that

damn red nose and the glare it creates in

the sky. a big nuisance.”

But on a positive note, Bill Twitter said

he was happy that christmas was over for

another year. and if there’s a break in the

weather, timely delivery of tweets should

return. he gave a little shrug with his tiny

wings and chirped that we really need to

remember what Kin hubbard once said,

“don’t knock the weather. If it didn’t

change once in a while, nine out of ten

people couldn’t start a conversation.”

Gail Farrelly (www.FarrellysistersOnline.

com) writes mystery novels and short

stories as well as Op-eds. she also

publishes satire pieces (Gail Farrelly’s

satire and parody stories) on Thespoof.

com, a British website. her latest mystery

novel is Creamed at Commencement: A

Graduation Mystery. The first chapter is

available on her website. Gail is working

on a fourth mystery, The Virtual Heiress.


Krystin Sandberg: University of Georgia

Softball Star By Albert Caamano

I still remember coaching her with

her father when she was on the 14u girls

hockey team; always tenacious, intelligent

and persistent. Krystin was consistently

determined to play her best and did not

appreciate players who didn’t play to

win. she loved to learn and had excellent

concepts for the game. from early

on, I recognized she was a special player

and would excel at any and every sport in

which she would participate.

I had the opportunity to ask Krystin

about her stellar career which began in

Long Island, New York, and has since

culminated at The university of Georgia

in her junior year

I remember you playing ice hockey.

How did you get into Softball?

I actually played baseball before

hockey and softball. I started playing

tee-ball in Little League when I was 5

years old. after watching my dad play

men’s league hockey, I started playing in

Long Beach’s house league at the age of

8. about 6th or 7th grade I switched over

to playing softball; the boys were getting

bigger and stronger and I needed to start

preparing myself for middle school ball.

I was at the age were if I continued to

play baseball, I would be playing with 90

foot bases and a 60 foot 6 inch mound.

My parents decided it would be better to

start playing with the girls and develop

skills that could potentially help me with

schooling down the road.

How did you get recruited and

did you have more than one college

approach you? If so, how did you decide

on which to accept? How was the experience

of getting recruited to catcher,

especially the limited availability of that

position compared to others?

While playing for 18u Gold teams

in the asa Junior Olympic League, I

attended numerous tournaments deemed

“showcases” where college coaches have

the opportunity to watch many different

teams play over a weeks span. at the

end of the tournament, if you caught a

coaches eye, you would probably receive

a questionnaire to fill out about yourself

and little information about their college.

My letter from Georgia was different

from others I received. It was a holiday

card that the coach had written wishing

me and my family a happy holiday with

a cell phone number to call because

they were interested. after talking with

the coaching staff, I set up an appointment

for a future visit. When I was on

my official visit to Georgia I fell in love

with the campus and the facilities. The

coaching staff was awesome and I almost

felt at home (but nothing could compare

to New York). after receiving my scholarship

offer and having family members

near by, I thought Georgia would be a

good fit. Before making final decisions

though, we would hold out for my saT

scores to see if I would be able to get into

stanford. The Georgia coach constantly

texted me asking how school was going,

or softball, or just seeing what I was up

to. after receiving my saT scores, it

was a done deal, I was a GeOrGIa


What advise can you give to players

who are trying to make college at the

division 1 level?

You want to stay active and be

involved in different activities, not just

one sport all year long. You don’t want to

burn yourself out. athletes (and this goes

for any athlete) need to make the most

of every opportunity they get because

you never know who is watching you;

you never know when your time to shine

will be. Never be afraid to try new things

because who knows, you might be good

at it and it may come in handy further

down the road. You can never take a day

off because somebody out there is using it

to get better. Get yourself involved with

teams that give you the best opportunity

to showcase your talents, write letters to

coaches expressing your interest in their

school and show them you have a desire

Continued on page 17


It was approximately 1:30 a.m., May

28, 2010, when Ivy Johnson and Tiffany

henry were involved in a dispute on

east Fifth street, in the city of Mount

Vernon, New York. It was while the two

former lovers were immersed in their

personal dispute that Lamont Pierce,

Tiffany henry’s stepfather allegedly

attacked and assaulted Ivy Johnson with

a pipe he had retrieved from his car. Ivy

Johnson asserts she was stuck several

times times about her head, neck, and

back at Lamont Pierce’s hand causing

injuries so sever as to cause Ivy Johnson

to lose consciousness. upon returning

to consciousness Ivy Johnson asserts she

heard Lamont Pierce threaten her with

continued harm while she was on the

ground staring at him holding a gun he

allegedly pointed to her face.

When Mount Vernon Police

Officer erin holly arrived at the scene,

Ivy Johnson informed Police Officer

holly she had been allegedly beaten by

Lamont Pierce while allegedly restrained

by Tiffany henry. Injuries about Ivy

The WesTchesTer GuardIaN ThursdaY, JaNuarY 6, 2011

Ivy Johnson’s Story As Told to Hezi Aris

Krystin Sandberg:

University of Georgia

Softball Star

Continued from page 16

to be apart of their program. Make

sure you ask questions and get answers

so you can be sure you are making the

right decision for you and your family.

You have to make sure your going to

be in a place where you can be happy

and not look back too much, wishing

you would have done things differently.

Keep your eyes on the prize and

compete everyday for it. don’t aim just

to be better, aim to be the best you can

be at what ever you do.

Albert Caamano has coached ice hockey for

15 plus years

Johnson’s body had become evident when

she requested P.O. holly call for medical

attention. Ivy Johnson asserts P.O. holly

advised she would call an ambulance

shortly. Ivy Johnson further asserts she

advised P.O. holly that she had an active

Order of Protection from Tiffany henry

issued by the state of connecticut.

Ivy Johnson advised Lamont Pierce

and Tiffany henry countered her assertions

to P.O. holly by claiming it was

Ivy Johnson who was the attacker. Ivy

Johnson conjectures they did so in order

to avoid being arrested.

Ivy Johnson continues her “telling”by

advising that P.O. holly proceeded to

search the vehicle Ivy Johnson was driving

and thereafter charged her with a felony,

specifically, assault in the 2nd degree.

Ivy Johnon was arrested. she did

not receive any medical attention to the

contusions most evident about her body.

While in the custody of Mount Vernon

Police department, Ivy Johnson asserts

she had again asked for medical attention,

claiming to have advised the Mount

Vernon Police Officers present that she

was feeling dizzy, suffered head pain, and

was unable to hear from one of her ears.

In response to her request, Ivy Johnson

asserts she was told she could not and

would not be attended to by a medical

provider until after the completion of the

booking process. approximately 5 hours

later Ivy Johnson collapsed from the

tormenting pain she had so far endured.

she was thereafter taken to hospital where

she asserts a physician she was advised her

she had suffered head and neck trauma.

Ivy Johnson asserts she reached

out several times to assistant district

attorneys stephen ronco and Pauline

haynes regarding her false arrest allegations,

alleged police corruption, and

alleged assault, only to be ignored. Iv

y Johnson thereafter sent a letter to the

Mount Vernon chief of Police Barbara

duncan and the Office of Westchester

county distirct attorney Janet diFiore

with regard to her allegation of wrongful

arrest, alleged police corruption, and the

alleged assault.

On June 22, 2010, less than a month

after her alleged wrongful arrest, felony

charges against Ivy Johnson were changed

to assault in the 3rd degree, criminal

possession of a weapon in the 4th degree,

menacing in the 2nd degree, and harassment

in the 2nd degree.

Mount Vernon Police Officer erin

holly is allegedly said to have amended

her original police report amending it

by written assertion by adding that Ivy

Johnson did indeed state at the time of her

arrest she was beaten and threatened with

a gun and that P.O. holly also witnessed

visible bodily injury to the person of Ivy


since that time, Ivy Johnson asserts

her many attempts in seeking “justice” by

the dismissal of her false arrest, as well as

the opportunity to press charges against

the alleged attackers who she asserts beat

her within an inch of her life,

have been stymied. Ivy Johnson asserts

assistant district attorney stephen

ronco dismissed her alleged charges with

wantonly was biased in accepting her


Ivy Johnson asserts The Mount

Vernon Police department and the

Office of the Westchester county district

attorney’s advised Ivy Johnson she would

have wait until her case was closed in

order to press charges against her alleged


On November 30, 2010, Ivy Johnson

once again attempted to press charges

against those who allegedly assaulted her,

the police officers who allegedly wrongfully

arrested her, etc., only to be allegedly

told that ada Pauline haynes would not

accept her complaints.

Ivy Johnson endures spinal damage at

the hands of her alleged attackers, among

other serious illness, due to the attack she

Page 17

suffered on May 28, 2010.

Ivy Johnson has been in contact

with the NaacP Internal affairs

and the civil Liberties union.

Ivy Johnson also made an offical

complaint to Mount Vernon Mayor

clinton Young, Jr., on June 7, 2010.

The Office of Mayor clinton

Young, Jr., acknowledged receipt of

said complaint and making inquiry

into the incidents only to allegedly

ignore the allegation.

Iby Johnson asserts she reached

out to Westchester county district

attorney Janet diFiore over 100

times. On November 30, 2010

Ivy Johnson was allegedly advised

ada Barbara egenhauser is now

working the investigation into Ivy

Johnson’s allegations; and that she

would reach out to Ivy Johnson.

criminal attorney Jean robert

B. augusie, of Mount Vernon, NY,

is said by Ivy Johnson to be allegedly

aware of of her innocence

and the alleged discrimination his

client has had to endure.

Ivy Johnson advises the case has been

transferred to the court of supreme

court Justice susan M. capeci in White

Plains, NY.

Ivy Johnson advises Tiffany henry

has at her own volition allegedly chosen

on august 4, 2010 to submit a written

notarized letter to both the Mount

Vernon Police department and the

Mount vernon Office of the Westchester

county district attorney making it clear

she wants to drop all charges against Ivy

Johnson dismissed as initially purported

by her. as per Ivy Johnson’s assertion,

Tiffany henry now allegedly admits her

stepfather lamont Pierce did indeed

attack Ivy Johnson.

Ivy Johnson advised that the Mount

Vernon Police told Tiffany henry what

to write in the police statement “used” to

“prosecute” Ivy Johnson.

Ivy Johnson asserts the Mount Vernon

police department neglected to assist and

provide for her with medical assistance

when advised of her assault and believes

the city of Mount Vernon is responsible

for the pain she has endured. Ivy Johnson

asserts she will not accept a plea bargain;

she will see the case through trial. Ivy

Johnson seeks justice.

Lamont Pierce is alleged by Ivy

Johnson to be a maintenance employee

for the Mount Vernon school district.

Page 18 The WesTchesTer GuardIaN ThursdaY, JaNuarY 6, 2011


On an allegedly


winter night,

three musician

friends got

together at an after-show party at New

York’s Judson Memorial church, whence

many an avant-garde concoction has

descended upon us. One guy rummaged

around the choir loft and unearthed a

water-damaged copy of Franz schubert’s

song cycles, including Winterreise (Winter

Journey) of 1828. They drunkenly played

through it and decided to get a theatrical

evening out of it, to which Three Pianos


Just who are the perpetrators of this

caper? silken-haired rick Burkhardt is a

writer-arranger-performer, who has been

involved with the surPlus and Wet Ink

ensembles and the NOIse Quartet, and

directs the Nonsense company. Boyish alec

duffy, another writer-arranger-performer, is

artistic director of the hoi Polloi company.

chunky dave Malloy goes them one better

as writer-arranger-performer-sound&video

designer, is composer of The Sewers and

Clown Bible.

They all play the piano highly proficiently,

but what does their show, directed

by the ailurophile rachel chavkin,

perpend? I caught it on a sunny afternoon,

but the requisite bluster came from the

stage for two hyperactive hours. With agile

but irreverent pianism, most of the 24 songs

of Winterreise (except one or two that did

not meet with the trio’s exalted standards)

were traversed, as played by one to three of

our histrions, and also sung by one to three

of them in good english or poor German,

with bilingual texts projected on a screen

to be absorbed by speedreading. If this

were all! But we are treated also to chaotic,

often inscrutable, and frequently smartass

dialogue, sometimes dealing with presentday

matters, sometimes with schubert’s

life, sometimes with barely relevant music

history, at others offering burlesque

re-creations of the schubertiads, parties by

schubert and his circle where some of his

lieder (songs) were performed amid much

jesting, jamming and juicing.

Teutonically polysyllabic names of

schubert’s cronies were showered upon

us, their bearers personated in quick

and confusing succession by one of our

Three Pianos and Dear Edwina

By John Simon

performers. Throughout, the three pianos

were moved around hither and thither in

every conceivable configuration, the piano

stools ditto, their players often assuming

strange positions, sometimes seated on

the floor. There is enough horseplay for a

derby, wallowing prone or supine, saltatory

tomfoolery, outrageous clowning and

miming, and pixilated palaver portentously


and wine! The audience is offered

copious free red Merlot before the show

begins and asked to keep their plastic cups

for periodic refills to match the mostly

nonalcoholic pseudobibulousness onstage,

and presumably also to sodden the spectators

into woozy benevolence.

herewith a sample of the dialogue,

rendered without punctuation to convey

the breathlessness with which it is delivered.

“daVe: stuck up in some sinkhole

apartment in some city that used to be

incredible learning to smoke just so as to

be able to quit smoking or to kill another

hour before whoever we’re in the relationship

with comes home so we can get naked

and stupid and feel old aLec: though

actually we are not that old rIcK: although

you know at this rate hah.” all this, we are

informed, from “just some guy with a piano

pouring his naked heart out into a cocktail

glass which he has to fight over with a

flamingo and a string orchestra.” Needless

to say, flamingo and string orchestra are not

supplied, though later a toy heart will be

flung about.

andrea Mincic’s set is winning. It is a

snowy landscape, complete with a lit-up

toy mansion incongruously topped with a

church spire, a snowy cemetery to fit in with

song 21, “das Wirtshaus,” wherein the lovelorn

Wanderer-protagonist of the song cycle

mistakes a graveyard for

an inn, white-dusted

rocks and a multitude

of barren tree trunks

wintrily rising toward

periodically descending perpendicular fluorescent


But, above all, don’t think that schubert

and his work are well served by such

sophomoric self-indulgence that adds up

to nothing. some songs are ridiculed or

rejected, sometimes a saxophone, accordion

or mini-xylophone takes over, and

some lieder are done as a two-step rag or a

prog-rock sprawl. It doesn’t help that none

of the threesome is a qualified lieder singer,

or that one number is performed on a piano

covered with a bedsheet onto which are

projected crudely illustrative drawings.

still, if you fancy a combination musical

circus and thespian rodomontade—and if,

by any chance, you find their perpetrators

charming—go for it. I myself find it close

to unpalatable or, more precisely, unpotable,

and gratuitous like the giveaway Terra Fossil


Dear Edwina purports to be a “Musical

comedy for [“Kids” crossed out] everyone,”

and is now in its third yearly run with a new

cast. It’s the story of edwina spoonapple,

“advice Giver extraordinaire” to fellow

teens with enactments of their responses in

dialogue and song numbers. a few of the

songs have nice music by Zina Goldrich,

passable lyrics by the bookwriter Marcy

heisler, and rudimentary choreography by

stephen G. Kennedy. The conventional

direction is by Timothy a. Mcdonald.

The present cast may well be inferior to

the original one, what with a charmless and

overage edwina and a small nondescript

company from which only david Mcdaniel

stands out. But the main problem may lie

elsewhere: a show trying to please both adults

and children ends up falling between stools.

Nonabsorption in the wan proceedings

allowed me plenty of time to observe

the audience. The children seemed either

puzzled or bored even in a mere one hour,

and the adults, though some seem to

applaud so as to encourage their kids, were

largely impassive. One child actually tried to

escape, but was retrieved in the nick of time.

a show that is neither fish nor fowl ends up,

if not exactly foul, undeniably fishy.

Three Pianos—New York Theatre


79 east 4th street, between second

avenue and Bowery.

Tickets: (2120 279-4200 or www.ticketcentral.com.

Dear Edwina, DR 2 Theatre,

103 east 15th street at union square.

Tickets: (212) 239-6200 or www.


John Simon has written for over 50 years on

theatre, film, literature, music and fine arts for the

Hudson Review, New Leader, New Criterion,

National Review, New York Magazine, Opera

News, Weekly Standard, Broadway.com and

Bloomberg News. He reviews books for the New

York Times Book Review and Washington

Post. He has written profiles for Vogue, Town

and Country, Departures and Connoisseur

and produced 17 books of collected writings. Mr.

Simon holds a PhD from Harvard University

in Comparative Literature and has taught at

MIT, Harvard University, Bard College and

Marymount Manhattan College. To learn more,

visit the JohnSimon-Uncensored.com website.

Notice of Formation of ZANICK

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filed with Secretary of State

of NY on 12/15/2010. NY office location:


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whom process against the LLC may

be served. Secy of State shall mail a

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served upon him/her to DACK Consulting

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suite 202 White Plains, NY 10601.

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with the Secretary of State of NY

(SSNY) on 11/09/2010. Office location:

Westchester County. The SSNY is

designated as agent of the LLC upon

whom process against it may be

served. The SSNY shall mail a copy

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with the Secy of State of New York

(SSNY) on 10/01/10. Office location:

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as an agent upon whom process

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business address: Gelfand, Rennert

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Co. SSNY design. Agent of LLC

upon whom process may be served.

SSNY shall mail copy of process to

Kenneth Murawski 23 Red Oak Lane

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The WesTchesTer GuardIaN ThursdaY, JaNuarY 6, 2011

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Page 19

SUPPLEMENTAL SUMMONS. Index No. 12593-2010.


CHASE HOME FINANCE LLC, Plaintiff, -vs- THE HEIRS AT LARGE OF MICHAEL GAGLIARDI, DECEASED, and all persons who are wives, widows, grantees, mortgagees,

lienors, heirs, devisees, distributees, successors in interest of such of them as may be dead, and their husbands and wives, heirs, devisees, distributees

and successors of interest all of whom and whose names and places are unknown to Plaintiff; WENDY ANN VAN HOUTEN-GAGLIARDI A/K/A WENDY ANN





ONE BANK; METRO PORTFOLIOS; “JOHN DOE” AND “JANE DOE” said names being fictitious, it being the intention of Plaintiff to designate any and all occupants

of premises being foreclosed herein, Defendants. Mortgaged Premises: 16 Riverview Avenue, Tarrytown, N.Y. 10591.

TO THE ABOVE NAMED DEFENDANT(S): YOU ARE HEREBY SUMMONED to answer the Complaint in the above entitled action and to serve a copy of your Answer

on the plaintiff’s attorney within twenty (20) days after the service of this Summons, exclusive of the day of service, or within thirty (30) days after the completion

of service where service is made in any other manner than by personal delivery within the State. The United States of America, if designated as a defendant

in this action, may answer or appear within sixty (60) days of service hereof. In case of your failure to appear or answer, judgment will be taken against you by

default for the relief demanded in the Complaint. In the event that there is a deficiency in the sale proceeds, a deficiency judgment may be entered against you.

NOTICE YOU ARE IN DANGER OF LOSING YOUR HOME. If you do not respond to this summons and complaint by serving a copy of the answer on the attorney

for the mortgage company who filed this foreclosure proceeding against you and filing the answer with court, a default judgment may be entered and you can

lose your home. Speak to an attorney or go to the court where your case is pending for further information on how to answer the summons and protect your

property. Sending a payment to your mortgage company will not stop this foreclosure action. YOU MUST RESPOND BY SERVING A COPY OF THE ANSWER ON






DECEASED’. This action is also being amended to add JPMORGAN CHASE BANK, N.A.’, ‘CAPITAL ONE BANK’, and ‘METRO PORTFOLIOS’, as necessary parties

to the action as judgment creditors to the possible heirs to the Estate of MICHAEL GAGLIARDI.

WESTCHESTER County is designated as the place of trial. The basis of venue is the location of the mortgaged premises.

Dated: August 30, 2010. /s/, Mark K. Broyles, Esq., FEIN, SUCH & CRANE, LLP, Attorneys for Plaintiff, Office and P.O. Address, 28 East Main Street, Suite 1800,

Rochester, New York 14614. Telephone No. (585) 232-7400.

(SECTION: 16A, BLOCK: 85, LOT: 15, 16, & 17A).

NATURE AND OBJECT OF ACTION. The object of the above action is to foreclose a mortgage held by the Plaintiff recorded in the County of WESTCHESTER, State

of New York on April 14, 2008, in Document No. 480940565; said mortgage was assigned to the Plaintiff by virtue of an Assignment of Mortgage dated March 16,

2010, and recorded April 5, 2010, in Document No. 500893437.


HOUTEN A/K/A ELFRIEDA G. VAN HOUTEN and MICHAEL GAGLIARDI, deceased, the plaintiff makes no personal claim against you in this action.

To the above named defendants: The foregoing summons is served upon you by publication pursuant to an order of the Hon. Orazio R. Bellantoni, a Justice of

the Supreme Court of the State of N.Y., dated September 13, 2010 and filed along with the supporting papers in the Westchester County Clerk’s Office. This is an

action to foreclose a mortgage. The premises is described as follows:

All that certain plot, piece of parcel of land, with the buildings and improvements thereon erected, situate, lying and being in the Village of Tarrytown, Town of

Greenburgh, County of Westchester and State of New York, shown and designated as Lot No. 195 and parts of Lots Nos. 196 and 197 on a certain map entitled,

“Benedict Park, Subdivided & Developed by Miller Brothers in the Village of Tarrytown, Town of Greenburgh, Westchester Co., N.Y., Scale 1” 50”, dated September

2, 1924, made by Ward Carpenter & Co., Inc., C.E., and filed in the hereinafter called the Register’s Office of Westchester County, now County Clerk’s Office,

Division of Land Records, Westchester County, N.Y. on September 6, 1924 as Map No. 2660, said lot and parts of lots, when taken together as one parcel, are more

particularly bounded and described as follows: Beginning at a point on the easterly side of Riverview Avenue where it is intersected by the division line between

Lots Nos. 194 and 195 as laid out on the aforesaid map; Running thence in a northerly direction on a curve to the left having a radius of 276.47 feet and along the

easterly side of Riverview Avenue an arc distance of 50.00 feet; Running thence on a course of South 69 degrees 42 minutes 20 seconds East 129.36 feet to the

rear line of Lot Number 197; Running thence on a course of South 28 degrees 01 minutes 10 seconds West and along the rear lines of Lots 197, 196 and 195, a

distance of 64 feet to the division line between Lots Numbers 194 and 195; Running thence on a course North 61 degrees 58 minutes 50 seconds West and along

the division line between Lots Numbers 194 and 195, a distance of 110.35 feet to the easterly side of Riverview Avenue at the point or place of Beginning. Premises

known as 16 Riverview Avenue, Tarrytown, N.Y. 10591.

Page 20 The WesTchesTer GuardIaN ThursdaY, JaNuarY 6, 2011

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