PRESORTED STANDARD PERMIT #3036 WHITE PLAINS NY
Vol. V No. V
Westchesterâ€™s Most Influential Weekly
Thursday, February 10, 2011
Human Trafficking Page 4
Winter Events Page 8
Tattoo Parlors Pg 10
Sounds of Blue Page 13
Trend Alert Revolutionary Revolutionary Fervor Fervor to to Spread Spread Beyond Beyond Arab Arab States States
Europe Next westchesterguardian.com
Regal Roading Page 18
Three Sisters Page 21
Wrongful Conviction Twists Page 22
THURSDAY, FebrUary 10, 2011
The Westchester Guardian
The Hezitorial by Hezi Aris
Of Significance Hezitorial......................................................................................2 Arts & Entertainment..................................................................3 Business........................................................................................4 Crime............................................................................................4 Economic Development..............................................................5 Finance.........................................................................................6 Government.................................................................................7 Humor........................................................................................10 Letters.........................................................................................11 Lifestyle......................................................................................11 Love............................................................................................12 Movie Reviews...........................................................................12 Music..........................................................................................13 Oped...........................................................................................14 People..........................................................................................17 Politics.........................................................................................17 Shifting Gears............................................................................18 Spoof...........................................................................................19 Sports..........................................................................................20 Theatre........................................................................................21 Truth and Justice........................................................................22
Westchester’s Most Influential Weekly
Guardian News Corp. P.O. Box 8 New Rochelle, New York 10801 Sam Zherka , Publisher & President email@example.com Hezi Aris, Editor-in-Chief & Vice President firstname.lastname@example.org 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. wattersonstudios.com
Yonkers Inspector General Schorr Relegates Responsibility for Oversight to Board of Ethics Download Councilwoman Pat McDow and YPA - Ethics Board Referral It was in May of 2010 when the Yonkers Tribune was tipped off to the many years Yonkers City Council Majority Leader Pat McDow utilized a parking spot to store her unregistered, unlicensed BMW at no cost to her, that we requested an accounting of her conduct. An acid-tongued blogger tipped us off. Thank you again. It took months for the Yonkers Parking Authority to reveal in their response that they were unaware of the non-payment for services rendered. The Chairman of the Yonkers Parking Authority is Yonkers Deputy Mayor William “Bill” Regan. On January 31, 2011, Yonkers Inspector General Dan Schorr made his finding known. The preeminent ethicist within our borders, deflected the political hot potato to the Yonkers Board of Ethics to relegate final judgment over the matter. I.G. Schorr’s action exemplifies his ineptitude as Yonkers Inspector General. Mr Schorr futher reveals his lack of will and intestinal fortitude to right the wrongs permitted under the Amicone / Regan Administration to which he has become their overpaid “boy.” Mr Schorr earns $200,000 per annum inclusive of benefits. What is the point of having an Inspector General when all he is seemingly capable of
doing is passing the buck onto a volunteer Board of Ethics who have a propensity to hold executive meetings so as to deny access to media. Mr Schorr has not even ascertained how many years of services were rendered and at what cost. The Yonkers Parking Authority is choking under its own debt and the cost to Ms McDow has yet to be revealed to the public. The conduct of the Office of Yonkers Inspector General Schorr is devoid of any semblance of professionalism or ethical compass demanded by the proud City of Yonkers. The conduct of I.G. Schorr is deplorable, unconscionable, and dastardly. And to think Mr Schorr believes he is worthy to even contemplate vying for Westchester County District Attorney. His vision for himself is laughable. It is Mr. Schorr who should be tried and judged by the District Attorney for not rendering services for which he is handsomely paid. Shame on everyone involved in this scam upon The People. Mr Schorr’s life experiences and cerebral acumen have yet to impress upon him the difference between right and wrong. He has learned too quickly to conduct his office like a political whore. And that, Mr. Schorr is not good enough for Yonkers. You Sir are a total disappointment.
Westchester Guardian Publisher Sam Zherka On the Level with Narog and Aris
New Rochelle, NY -- The Westchester Guardian Publisher Sam Zherka is Richard Narog’d and Hezi Aris’ guest this Tuesday, February 8th, from 10 - 11 a.m., on WVOX-1460 AM on your radio dial and worldwide on www.WVOX.com. A mystery guest, sporting between four and eight characters will delight out listening audience on February 15th, New York State Senator Andrea StewartCousins will be our guest on February 22nd, and New York State Assemblyman Steve Katz is our guest on February 29th. In March, our guests will include New York State Assemblyman Mike Spano, Bronxville Mayor Mary C. Marvin and Bronxville Village Manager Harold Porr III. 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.
THURSDAY, FebrUary 10, 2011
The Westchester Guardian
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
Marcello Giordani to Present New Rochelle Opera Benefit Concert New Rochelle, NY -- Marcello Giordani, praised by Opera News as “arguably, the greatest leading tenor of his generation,” will present a concert of operatic and Neapolitan favorites on Wednesday, February 23rd at 7:00 pm at The VIP Country Club in New Rochelle. The program, which is sponsored by New Rochelle Opera, Inc. in association with the Marcello Giordani Foundation, will also include selections by young artists from both organizations, namely: sopranos Carter Scott and Na Li Youm, tenor Salvo Guastella, mezzo-soprano Sabina Kim and baritone Lawrence Harris. The concert will be followed by a “Meet the Artist” dessert reception. Tickets are $65 per person and may be reserved by sending a check payable to New Rochelle Opera, to: P.O. Box 55, New Rochelle, NY 10804. Reservations will be held at the door. Marcello Giordani, who is celebrating 5610MON-9.324x4.937_4C_1267:Layout his 25th career anniversary, has been
hailed by the international press as one of the most important tenors on the opera stage today. In demand by the world’s major opera houses, he has appeared repeatedly at the Metropolitan Opera of New York, the Teatro alla Scala of Milan, the Royal Opera House of London, the Vienna Staatsoper, the Deutsche Oper of Berlin, the Opéra National of Paris, the Opernhaus Zürich, the Arena di Verona, the Teatro Real of Madrid, the Gran Teatre del Liceu di Barcelona, the Teatro Massimo Bellini of Catania, and many others. His exceptional versatility and vocal extension have allowed him to encompass a vast repertory, running the gamut from the Bel Canto operas of Rossini, Donizetti and Bellini and the lyricism of the French operatic repertoire, to the more dramatic roles of Verdi and Puccini. More recently, he has also undertaken the great vocal works of Berlioz, such as La damnation de Faust and Les Troyens. This season, he has appeared on the Met 1stage 2/4/11 11:47Simon AM Boccanegra, Page 1 in Turandot, and
most recently, La Fanciulla del West. At about the same time Marcello Giordani was starting his career in Italy, New Rochelle Opera had just become incorporated on this side of the world. Begun with only a few props and bits of scenery, and a nucleus of young, enthusiastic singers, the New Rochelle Opera has been thrilling audiences with imaginative and sensitive stagings of full opera productions since its inception. Critics and audiences alike have praised the brilliance and professionalism of its performances, while wondering at the incredibly low ticket prices. According to founders, Camille Coppola and Billie Tucker, the company’s mission is “to create a deeper understanding and appreciation of live opera, and to provide top quality, professional opera performances to local people who would not ordinarily be able to afford such an experience.” At the same time,
it aims to provide aspiring young professional singers an opportunity to showcase their talents in a full-length opera production. The company presents the art form in its various aspects – i.e. fully staged performances, opera in concert, school programs, opera workshops and demonstrations.
This year an amazing 858 transfer students finished college at Monroe. Maybe it’s time you made the move. Maybe it’s all the exciting in-demand degrees. Or the professors who actually work in their fields. Perhaps it’s the two unique campus experiences. Or the classes that meet around your schedule. Whatever the reason, hundreds of motivated, career-minded students are taking their credits and turning them into marketable Associate or Bachelor’s Degrees at Monroe College. Transferring to Monroe means: • Generous transfer credit policy • Additional credit for military or academy training • Exciting degrees, in demand right now • Professors who also work in their fields • Unique Bronx & New Rochelle campuses • Fully furnished apartment-like dorms • Online & on campus class options Call 1.800.55.MONROE to make a reservation • Day, evening & weekend classes Bronx, New Rochelle and Online campuses • One-on-one financial aid & assistance
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The Westchester Guardian
THURSDAY, FebrUary 10, 2011
THURSDAY, APRIL 8, 2010
Paul Corrigan Joins Citizens Bank White Plains, NY -- Paul Corrigan has joined Citizens Bank as a Senior Vice President and the National Director of YourPlace Banking. His office is in White Plains, New York. Corrigan is responsible for developing and managing YourPlace Banking, a program aimed at providing financial education and planning tools to employees of Citizens Bank customers. The program brings the bank to the workplace with ATMs and staff onsite. Corrigan previously worked as a vice president at Citibank and director of the Citibank at Work program. He has been in the banking industry for more than 20 years. He graduated from DePaul University with a bachelor’s degree in business administration Citizens Bank is a division of RBS Citizens, N.A., operating its seven-state branch network in Connecticut, Delaware,
Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont. It has 228 branches and 460 ATMS in New York. RBS Citizens, N.A. is a subsidiary of Citizens Financial Group, Inc., a $136 billion commercial bank holding company headquartered in Providence, R.I. CFG’s two bank subsidiaries are RBS Citizens, N.A. and Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania. They operate a 12-state branch network under the Citizens Bank brand in Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont, and the Charter One brand in Illinois, Michigan and Ohio. CFG has non-branch retail and commercial offices in about 40 states. CFG is owned by RBS (The Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc). CFG’s Web site is citizensbank.com.
The Westchester Guardian is a weekly newspaper devoted to the unbiased reporting of events and developments that are newsworthy and significant to readers living in, and/or employed in, Westchester County. The Guardian will strive to report fairly, and objectively, reliable information without favor or compromise. Our first 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 finest tradition of FREEDOM OF THE PRESS. The 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’ often 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 flexible if we are to succeed.
Westchester County Joins Global Fight Against the Plight of Human Trafficking By Bary Alyssa Johnson
On February 9th, a number of state, local and federal organizations have plans to come together for a second meeting of the minds as they join forces to work together on the “Westchester County Anti-Trafficking Task Force.” The newly formed force was initially assembled and launched in January 2011. The goal of the task force is to bring together key experts from various disciplines and differing backgrounds to work on identifying and assisting victims of human trafficking in Westchester County. Their methodology is to approach the problem by way of “proactive investigations” into this international trade which has historically been extremely difficult to scrutinize. Human trafficking is defined as the illegal trade in human beings for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation or forced labor; a modern form of slavery, according to the Wikipedia Web site. “The Westchester County AntiTrafficking Task Force joins the ranks of more than 42 other task forces that have been formed across the United States to combat human trafficking,” said Ali Boak, President of International Organization for Adolescents and formal advisor to the task force. “We are modeling this task force on standards set by the U.S. Justice Department and on best practices gleaned from national and international efforts.” The office of the Westchester County Board of Legislators Majority Leader Peter Harckham hosted the recent meeting with the goal of working in a concerted effort to develop a coordinated community response to the tragedy of trafficking of people, human beings. Among the agencies involved: the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security Immigration & Customs Enforcement, the New York State Office of Temporary & Disability Assistance/Bureau of Refugee and Immigrant Assistance, the New York State Department of Labor, Westchester County’s District Attorney’s Office, Westchester County Family Justice Center and the Division of Child Welfare. Police Departments participating in this humanitarian effort include the following: New Rochelle, Mt. Kisco,
Mt.Vernon, Peekskill, Port Chester, Pound Ridge, White Plains, Yonkers and Yorktown. The task force has future plans to invite additional community service providers to join their ranks in a bid to provide support services to the victims of this escalating atrocity. Human trafficking is a practice that preys on men, women and children who hail from countries around the world and end up in our own backyard. The first victim on record in Westchester was a 21-year-old Hungarian woman who had been seen running to escape from accused trafficker Joseph Yannai’s home three weeks after her arrival there. She was lured to Yannai’s home under the false pretense of being employed as a well-paid live-in au-pair for the sixtysomething married man and published author. When she arrived in February of 2009, the dream life she had envisioned would actually turn out to be her worst nightmare. According to the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office she was threatened and sexually exploited during her time in captivity. The Pound Ridge Police Department (PRPD) was informed of the alleged crime when a man called into the Department telling them that he’d witnessed a girl whom he’d presumed had been held prisoner by a neighbor was fleeing from the house she’d been harbored in. “We contacted the State Police, did a joint investigation…and got a search warrant,” said PRPD Police Chief David Ryan. “At the time we executed the search warrant, we found another female there, another had just left... the statements from all three women evolved into what is now a human trafficking case.” Yannai was arrested and charged in March 2009. A grand jury eventually handed down a 20-count indictment against Yannai, including sodomy charges and multiple counts of labor trafficking relating to three separate victims, though the Hungarian woman had testified the victim count was closer to 6 or 7. At the present time, Yannai is still awaiting trial. Another incident of human trafficking occurred in 2009 in White Plains. According to the Westchester County Continued on page 5
The Westchester Guardian
THURSDAY, FebrUary 10, 2011
Westchester County Joins Global Fight Against the Plight of Human Trafficking Continued from page 4 District Attorney, a young Hispanic woman was brought to the United States from her native country and was exploited by family members. The woman ended up dropping all charges and the incident fell to the wayside, out of public view. However, it is imperative that the public know about this looming threat. Human trafficking is one of the fastest growing criminal epidemics in the world, with annual revenues totaling an estimated $5-9 billion dollars. According to the United States State Department, 45,000-50,000 victims of trafficking are brought into our country each year. Throughout the entire global community, 600,000-800,000 men, women and children are transported across boarders as
victims of the same fate. The United Nations contends that “human trafficking is a crime of such magnitude and atrocity that it cannot be dealt with successfully by any government alone.” The UN explains that this global issue will obviously require a global response if it is to succeed. This response would seek a “multi-stakeholder strategy” comprising extreme efforts on the part of nations throughout the world. In response, the United Nations Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking was created in 2007. At present time, approximately 140 “parties” have signed on to wage war against the abhorrent practice of trafficking human beings. The Mission Statement of the
Initiative is as follows: “[the initiative] aims to mobilize state and non-state actors to eradicate human trafficking by reducing both the vulnerability of potential victims and the demand for exploitation in all its forms; ensuring adequate protection and support to those who fall victim; and supporting the efficient prosecution of the criminals involved, while respecting the fundamental human rights of all persons. In carrying out its mission, [the initiative] will increase the knowledge and awareness on human trafficking; promote effective rights-based responses; build capacity of state and non-state actors; and foster partnerships for joint action against human trafficking.” On the topic of awareness, human trafficking is being brought to the
attention of the mainstream through the media. One example is the 2008 film ”Taken,” starring Liam Neeson, in which the main character’s daughter and friend are “taken” into the world of sex trafficking in Europe. The film depicts the horrors of an international practice that knows no borders, literally and metaphorically. Often referred to as modern day slavery, shall we overcome human trafficking as we did the slave trade in the U.S.? Where there’s a will, there’s a way… so let us work, hope and pray for peace and freedom to come some day. Can I get an Amen? Amen! Local resident Bary Alyssa Johnson covers Larchmont, Mamaroneck, Rye, and Rye Brook, as well as the evolving world of electronics and technology, and other concerns.
Yonkers IDA Finalizes Incentive Plan for New Affordable Housing Million Plan Creating 77 New Rental Project in Ravine Neighborhood $25.6 Units, and Help Restore Irving Park Yonkers, NY -The Board of the Yonkers Industrial Development Agency (YIDA) unanimously passed a resolution to finalize a set of economic development incentives for the construction of approximately 77 rental units in a seven-story building at 47-75 Ravine Avenue between Point and Gold Streets. The $25.6 million project, developed by the Center for Urban Rehabilitation (CURE) and L+M Development Partners Inc. (L+M), will also restore the longabandoned Irving Park. The YIDA vote followed a public hearing held on November 18 and a public briefing of the plan at theYIDA’s December 21 board meeting. “With the commitment of the IDA, Yonkers is becoming a national leader in creating quality, modern and affordable housing for hard working families,” said Mayor Philip Amicone, chairman of the Yonkers IDA. “CURE and L+M listened to the needs of the local community and are developing a terrific living space in which families will thrive. I am particularly pleased
that they will partner with city planners to make Irving Park a wonderful oasis.” CURE, a Yonkers-based non-profit, and L+M, a leading developer of affordable housing in the New York City metropolitan area, plan to build 7 studios, 19 one-bedroom, 38 two-bedroom and 13 three-bedroom rental apartments. Families with incomes up to 80 percent of the Area Medium Income (AMI) would be eligible. The plan also calls for 125 onsite parking spaces, a central laundry area and a community recreation room. In partnership with the City of Yonkers, the developers will restore the adjacent Irving Park – currently abandoned – returning it to the community. The developers have also agreed to offer residents who currently reside at 55, 57 and 61 Ravine Ave – buildings that eventually will be torn down to make way for the new, more modern complex – the opportunity to relocate to the new building or if they prefer, to comparable housing elsewhere. Ellen Lynch, president and CEO, Yonkers IDA said, “Yonkers IDA board members know that the availability of good housing is something entrepreneurs
look for when deciding where to locate and grow their businesses. In the last year alone, under Mayor Amicone’s leadership, the Yonkers IDA gave final approval on projects that will create or renovate 535 affordable housing units. Today, nearly 547 units are being renovated or built, with more in the pipeline. The Yonkers IDA will continue to help provide quality housing opportunities that Yonkers working families and seniors can afford and deserve.” Construction of the Ravine Avenue project is expected to create up to 32
construction jobs. Inducements from the IDA include a sales and use tax exemption for materials and equipment used in construction, a real property tax agreement and a mortgage recording tax exemption. This project is consistent with the first phase of a larger Ravine Neighborhood Urban Renewal Plan drafted by Yonkers City Planning that is expected to be brought before the City Council in the near future. Work could begin in late 2011.
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The Westchester Guardian
THURSDAY, FebrUary 10, 2011
‘Functionally Bankrupt, ’ But Honest About It By Larry M. Elkin Please place company logo as you would the picture of an author to a column. Please standardize the logo as you would any other columnist, that is, on the left hand side of an article. A guy told me the other day that he is “functionally bankrupt.” He has around $57 billion in outstanding debt (it takes awhile to add it all up), but he’s planning to borrow $5 billion more in the next year or so. Would you like to lend him some of that money? I wouldn’t. The guy is New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. In his budget message to the state Legislature this week, Cuomo laid out the plain truth that the Empire State’s finances are broken. Not just gummed up by recession and unemployment, but bent-pushrod, blown-gasket, dead-tranny busted. Broken in the way that makes auto mechanics giggle while they write up a repair estimate. To his credit, Cuomo isn’t laughing. He seems to want to make the necessary repairs, and he knows he has to do it while the vehicle keeps moving. After all, you can’t take an entire state government off the road while you bring it in for a fiscal overhaul. Or maybe you can. If New York gets shut out of the credit markets, the state could come to a halt very quickly. Which brings us back to the question of why any lender would help anyone, whether an individual or a government, who is already scalp-deep in debt and who will immediately add new borrowings to an ever-growing pile of IOUs. Cuomo can’t fix New York by himself. He needs help from the Legislature, or at least from two legislators. Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos call the
shots in their respective houses. But the lawmakers, particularly Silver, don’t think the jalopy needs fixing. They seem willing to let it keep wheezing down the road to financial ruin just as long as it can. New York does a lot of its budgeting on cruise control. Legislative formulas govern increases in Medicaid funding and school aid, which are the state’s two biggest expenses. Generous formulas also determine raises for many of the state’s nearly 200,000 employees. About one-third of those employees are paid through the scores of public authorities that are not even part of the governor’s budget. New York does a lot of its legislating on cruise control, too. There are 150 members of the Democrat-controlled Assembly, and 62 denizens of the Republican-held Senate, yet only Silver and Skelos really matter. Leaders of the majority in each house have wielded iron fists for decades, controlling the pay (through committee and leadership assignments), pork and patronage on which the other members handsomely subsist. In return, the other members vote as they are instructed – especially on important matters like the budget. Frank Sinatra sang in “New York, New York” that “If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere.” Well, if you can’t make it among the world-class talents of New York business, culture, letters or law, you can probably make it in the New York political clubhouses. Brains and talent are not disqualifiers for candidates for this Legislature, but they are not prerequisites, either. So New York has a laughingstock Legislature and a chronically dysfunctional government. Oh, and did I
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR 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.
mention that it wants to keep borrowing money? The state spends more on Medicaid than Texas and Florida combined, even though each of those states has a larger population. A lot of that spending is pushed down to the county level, helping to give New York some of the nation’s highest property taxes to go along with its high income taxes. Every year’s budget season brings new proposals to bring Medicaid and education spending back to reality, but every year the unions representing teachers and hospital workers launch an advertising campaign to keep the Albany gravy train going. In his budget message, Cuomo demanded that the Legislature put a stop to the budgeting nonsense. He wants to cut the state’s general spending for the first time in 17 years, and threatened to lay off nearly 10,000 workers if public employee unions do not make concessions. To Silver’s disappointment, the governor refused to call for new taxes or to back the extension of a “millionaire’s tax” (which actually applies to individuals earning more than $200,000 a year or couples with incomes of more than $300,000) that expires at the end of 2011. But Cuomo did call for more aggressive enforcement of the state’s existing taxes. Anyone who has dealt with the state’s tax collectors, as we do at our firm, must be wondering how they could be more aggressive short of inviting us to settle disagreements in the nearest alley. Cuomo is trying to plug a $10 billion hole in the state budget for the fiscal year that begins April 1. New York is not alone, of course. Bloomberg News this week cited an estimate from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities that states this year face a total of $125 billion in budget shortfalls. California Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat like Cuomo, faces a $25 billion budget gap. He wants voters in that state to sign off on $12 billion in tax increases to accompany a roughly equal amount in state budget cuts. Illinois legislators recently passed a package of tax increases
that still did not plug the gap in that state’s budget. New borrowing and sunny assumptions are supposed to make up the difference. Cuomo does not propose to borrow money to cover next year’s operating expenses, but the state will be heading back to the bond market to raise more than $5 billion in capital spending. The state’s bond obligations by next year are projected to rise to $58 billion, which implies net new borrowing this year, after repayment of outstanding obligations, of about $1 billion. But the state’s true debt, spread among all those authorities and buried in unfunded obligations to the hundreds of thousands of employees who will someday retire, is far higher. I think it’s ludicrous to buy a bond from a government like this. I want to lend as little money as possible to New York and the other free-spending prospective deadbeat states, and I want to lend it for as short a term as possible. New York probably can muddle through this year, as it has so many others. Maybe next year too. But sooner or later, this unsound structure has to collapse. I don’t want to have my money inside when it does. We have it straight from the guy who knows best: This government is bankrupt in all but name. So, do you want to lend it more money before it gets its financial house in order? Larry M. Elkin, CPA, CFP®, president of Palisades Hudson Financial Group a fee-only financial planning firm headquartered in Scarsdale, NY. The firm 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. Web site:www.palisadeshudson.com.
THURSDAY, FebrUary 10, 2011
The Westchester Guardian
Assemblywoman Sandra Galef: Cuomo’s Cuts Could Usher in the Era of Consolidation By Abby Luby
With a crippling $10 billion deficit projected for this year, Governor Andrew Cuomo proposed deep cuts in the state’s spending. Last week, Cuomo outlined target areas whose funds would be slashed including education, Medicaid and the layoffs of some 9,800 workers. Cuomo’s plan elicited both support and concern from residents and public representatives. Many speculate that the fall-out from massive budgets cuts in state funds means reduction of services from local governments and school districts. The Westchester Guardian spoke with long time Assemblywoman Sandra Galef (D-90) whose district spans eastern Westchester towns skirting the Hudson River to the southeast
tier of Putnam County. Galef said she favored the cuts but warned the changes would be difficult. “The governor’s approach is different but it’s a good, sound economical approach,” she said. Galef explained that the cuts would promote efficiency by streamlining redundant layers of government and consolidating school districts. “I don’t have a problem with a larger school district. Other countywide school districts pay lower taxes, have one administrative body and their kids have good test scores. We pay such high taxes - higher than anyone else.” Consolidation would work in two adjacent school districts of Ossining and Tarrytown in Galef ’s own district. “They could be combined because they are both on Route 9 and would
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use both high schools with one coordinating administration,” she suggested. Teachers could be paid by BOCES(Boards of Cooperative Educational Services). “I don’t think the public cares who pays the teacher’s salaries – they would set up a system to send out checks. What people really care about is keeping the name of their school – which we would do. We wouldn’t tear down any of the buildings.”
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The Westchester Guardian
THURSDAY, FebrUary 10, 2011
Assemblywoman Sandra Galef: Cuomo’s Cuts Could Usher in the Era of Consolidation Continued from page 7 A chance to consolidate school district administrations is when superintendents retire, offered Galef. “Attrition is a perfect opportunity to combine administrations. It’s hard to find a superintendent these days because there are not as many people in the field. Some people are double dipping – they retire, get a pension and go on to another position.” Galef said recently the Briarcliff School District sought a new superintendent just about the same time that the nearby Pocantico School District was also looking for a superintendent. Pocantico hired someone first. Galef said it was a missed opportunity to consolidate
administrations. “You have the majority of students at Pocantico going to the high school in Briarcliff. Attrition is a perfect time to make some of these choices.” Cuomo also wants municipalities to consolidate, a move agreed to by Galef. “We have to look at the system very differently. Where I live in Ossining, there is a town court and a village court. You can have a regional court system instead. Do we really need a court in every city?” Galef also suggested that the three courts in the town of Cortlandt could be streamlined. “There’s a village court in Croton, a village court in Buchanan and a court for the Town of Cortlandt. We are staffing three different court rooms where you can
have just one instead. You have to look at how many courts you need. Maybe judges would have to work longer hours and the DA can go to one court.” Galef wants Westchester County to “sit down and figure out a game plan on this.” “Yes, the politics get into it because there are elected judiciary. But there are times when people are retiring or they have to run for office for another four years. It could be that fourth year that they don’t get a chance to run.” Towns are also paying for more than one library in different villages, a system that Galef said is worth re-evaluating. “We should redesign all this stuff and deal with the capital issues. If you merge
things together you could base capital costs on the number of people and tax assessments. It can be done if you have the will and if can counter all the naysayers.” Galef, along with Assemblyman Kevin (101 AD) is holding a forum on Alternatives to Property Taxes to Fund Education, Thursday, February 10th, from 7-9 pm at the Desmond-Fish Library in Garrison. For more information call Galef ’s office; at 914-941-1111 or direct e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Abby Luby is a Westchester based, freelance journalist who writes about current, local news, environmental issues, art, entertainment and food.
Katz Works to Prevent Domestic Violence Latimer Inaugurated to New Term at United Hebrew
Yorktown, NY -- Assemblyman Steve Katz (R,I-Yorktown) last week testified at the Dutchess County Domestic Violence Advisory Committee’s roundtable discussion on domestic violence prevention (pictured above). The assemblyman commented on the shared concern over repeat offenders and pledged to bring the recommendations of the committee to the State Legislature for consideration as statewide legislative initiatives. “Domestic violence is a crime that is hard to quantify. So many incidents go unreported, even when there are repeat offenses. While the state and DutchessCounty have done many things to highlight domestic violence and prevent it, we must continue working together to support the victims and bring an end to domestic violence,” said the assemblyman. Assemblyman Steve Katz represents the commmunities within the 99th District.
New Rochelle, NY -- New York State Assemblyman took the ceremonial oath of office for his fourth term representing the 91st Assembly District at an event held at United Hebrew of New Rochelle on Wednesday, January 26th. Latimer - re-elected to his seat with 68% of the vote in the November 2010 election - decided to hold the ceremony in the multipurpose room to allow residents of Willow Towers, Soundview Apartments and United Hebrew’s Skalet Pavilion the opportunity to participate in the community event. “For those among us who have been severly impacted by health issues - who now reside in a nursing care center, or assisted living - those people must be treated as valued members of our community”, Latimer stated. “I wanted to make sure they felt appreciated and wanted, by bringing the event to them”. Latimer delivered inaugural remarks that spoke about the key issues that face New York State and his efforts to reach out to all residents to hear their opinions, and to make the best case he can on their behalf as their voice in Albany. New Rochelle City Judge Susan I. Kettner administered the oath of office to Latimer, and Rabbi Ely Rosenzvieg of Congregation Anshe Sholom of New Rochelle delivered the invocation and benediction. Rita Mabli, president and CEO of United Hebrew served as master of ceremonies, and David Alpert - a long-time friend of Latimer and a member of the Board of Directors - provided greetings on behalf of Michael Rozen, Chairman of the Board for United Hebrew. New York State Assemblyman George Latimer serves the 91st Assembly District which constitutes various communities within Larchmont, Mamaroneck Town, Mamaroneck Village, New Rochelle, Port Chester, Rye Brook, Rye City, and Rye Town.
The Westchester Guardian
MAYOR Marvin COLUMN
THURSDAY, FebrUary 10, 2011
AnswersBy and Questions Pertinent to Winter Events Mary C. Marvin With the winter season comes a host of issues and questions that are germane to this time of year. The following is a compilation of answers to questions we have received at Village Hall in the last month or so as well as pertinent notices for upcoming winter events. According to Village Code, sidewalks in our business district must be cleaned of snow and ice by 9AM and 4PM each day of a snowfall whether or not snow is still falling. Sidewalks in our residential areas must be cleaned within 12 hours of the cessation of a snowfall, and residual ice must be covered with sand or the like to be safe for pedestrian passage. Note: As you might have guessed, our snow removal budget has already been depleted for the budget year. Last week, we had to purchase an additional $7,000 of salt and the forecast is for more of the same. In my opinion, however, I do believe our Department of Public Works staff does the finest job in the area. They take great pride and responsibility in making sure that the streets are safe for Villagers and visitors. Alarm permits were due by the first of the year accompanied by a registration fee of $50. Our police will, of course, respond to every activated alarm but visits to unregistered alarm locations will result in the owner receiving an appearance ticket requiring his presence before
the Village Court as outlined in the Village Code. Since New York State no longer subsidizes the cost of dog licensing, dog owners in Tuckahoe and Bronxville will now need to get all licenses through the Town of Eastchester. Eastchester Town Hall is located at 40 Mill Road and is open daily from 8:30AM – 4:30PM. Individuals requiring handicapped parking permits must apply for them in the community in which they pay taxes. We cannot process applications based solely on a postal address. This time of year brings concerns over carbon monoxide in homes. Now is a good time to have furnaces and CO2 sensors checked to make sure they are in good working order. Residents who have shared email addresses with the Village are now part of a very successful e-alert system. We were able to alert residents just last week that recycling would be cancelled due to blizzard conditions. Visit the Village website at www.villageofbronxville.com and add your name to the early notification list. Three new stores have opened in the Village in the past few weeks proving to be great additions to our retail mix. Chantilly Patisserie operated by the Gambini family is offering breakfast pastries, tartes, artisan bread and custom cakes and cupcakes from their location on Parkway Road. Interior designer and resident Christie Robb opened Urban Cottage Design in the former
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Kensington Paper location on Kraft Avenue. It is a boutique offering unique gifts, home decorations, furniture and crafts as well as Christie’s expert design consultation. Gourmet 2 Go, owned by restaurateur Gary Schnorr, offers breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as prepared foods and a catering menu. Gary is a computer whiz who will take your order electronically and have it ready when you arrive. Raymond Opticians, Fierson’s and Mano a Mano are also relocating to different storefronts within the Village as they continue to serve us so well. Thanks to Farmer’s Market Manager, Mary Liz Mulligan, and Village leasing agent, Jon Gordon, who donated space, our Farmer’s Market will have a winter season indoors at One Pondfield Road. There will be markets on January 29th, February 26th, March 26th and April 30th from 8:30AM until Noon.
If you would like to challenge your tax assessment, fill out a grievance form available at Village Hall or on the Village website at www.villageofbronxville. com. After filling out this form, our staff will follow up with a questionnaire asking for pertinent information about your property. The material will then be submitted to the Board of Assessment Review for their evaluation. Should you want to also appear in person, you may schedule an appointment for Grievance Night (February 15th from 6PM – 10PM in the Trustees Conference Room in Village Hall) by calling Janet Grosso at Village Hall at 337-6500. The Eastchester Town Board will hold its regularly scheduled March 1, 2011 meeting in the Yeager Room of our library instead of the usual Eastchester Town Hall venue. This is an opportunity for Village residents to see the Town Board in action, talk to your representatives and ask questions about Town operations. The meeting begins at 7PM. Mary C. Marvin is the Mayor of the Village of Bronxville, New York.
The Westchester Guardian
THURSDAY, FebrUary 10, 2011
THE ANATOMY OF HUMOR
Scottish Humor By The Westchester Jokester Inevitably, every student of ethnic or regional humor becomes aware of almost certain duplication of humorous anecdotes from culture to culture. The talkative, endlessly chattering or socialclimbing wife and the overbearing husband are stereotypes that turn up across a wide range of ethnic humor. Scottish humor--not Scotch humor-is the subject of this week’s column. It takes its subject matter from a number of themes: Scotch whisky, the Scots’ proverbial thriftiness, the weather, golf, their ancient rivalry with the English, and two objects closely associated with Scotland: bagpipes and kilts. To avoid gaffes or confusion, a brief clarification of terms may be in order. The adjective “Scotch” is in disfavor except in such established phrases as Scotch broth (a thick soup prepared from mutton, vegetables and barley), Scotch whisky or Scotch plaid. As a descriptive term, Scotch is used primarily outside of Scotland. Just as the inhabitants of San Francisco object to their city being called Frisco, the inhabitants of Scotland object to being called Scotchmen or Scotchwomen. Scottish is the full, original form of the adjective; Scots is an early Scottish variant. Usages involving the full form “Scottish” are sometimes found in more formal contexts. Scotch is actually an English contraction of Scottish that came into use in Scotland briefly but later fell into disfavor. In references to people, forms involving the word Scotch should be avoided; Scot, Scotsman or Scotswoman is preferred. Scot is the original term for a native of Scotland. Scotch-Irish is the most commonly used term for the Scots who migrated to North America before the Revolution in great numbers from Scotland after a brief stopover in Ulster in Ireland. These Ulster Scots were descendants of immigrants from the Lowlands and Scottish Border country. Settling the frontier hill country from Pennsylvania to Georgia, they were recognized for such qualities as loyalty to kin, distrust of government authority, and a fondness for bearing arms. Lately, the usage Scots-Irish
has gained currency among those who know that Scotch in such instances is considered offensive in Scotland. The term Scotchmen is nevertheless acceptable, although Scotsmen is preferable. For practical purposes, the words Scot, Scotsmen and Scotchmen are synonymous. Scots generally reserve Scotch for things, as noted above, and Scottish for people. Thus, one would never speak of Scottish whisky. By the way, when the place of origin is Scotland or Canada, the spelling is always whisky, not whiskey. When a tradesman finishes a job in Scotland, it is an old custom for the householder to offer him a drink. Here’s a joke on this theme: “Would you like a wee dram?” the lady-of-the-house asked a plumber. “A wouldna’ say ‘No,’” he replied. The woman produced a bottle. “And how do you like it, Sandy?” she asked. He replied: “Half whisky and half water. An’ put in plenty o’ water.” And another: A farmer’s wife, who tended to be rather stingy with her whisky, offered a carpenter a drink. As she handed him his glass, she explained it was extra good whisky, being fourteen years old. “Weel, mistress,” said the man, regarding his glass sorrowfully, “It’s very small for its age.” Excesses in consumption of what some Scots regard as “the water of life” can provoke conjugal exasperation in any culture: McTavish was always coming home from the pub in the wee small hours of the morning. Finally, he found this note from his wife: “The day before yesterday you came home yesterday morning. Yesterday you came home this morning. So if today you come home tomorrow morning you will find that I left you yesterday.” Canadian humorist Stephen Leacock once offered some clever observations about the use of whisky as part of Scottish culture: “The Scots do not drink. During the whole of two or three pleasant weeks spent lecturing in Scotland, I never on any occasions saw whisky made use of as a beverage. I have seen people take it, of course, as a medicine, or as a precaution against illness, or as a wise offset against a rather treacherous climate; but as a beverage, never.”
Leacock continued: “There are seventeen reasons advanced in Scotland for taking whisky. They run as follows: Reason one, because it is raining. Two, because it is not raining. Three, because you are just going out into the weather. Four, because you have just come in from the weather. Five; no, I forget the ones that come after that. But I remember that reason number seventeen is ‘because it canna do ye any harm.’ On the whole, reason seventeen is the best.” Leacock concluded that Scots make use of whisky with dignity and without shame--and they never call it alcohol. As for thriftiness, residents of the city of Aberdeen are noted throughout Scotland for this quality. It is said that the entire population of the city once took to the streets, each with an empty glass in hand, when the weather forecaster said there would be a nip in the air. A visitor to an Aberdeen bar was surprised to find the beer only two pence a pint. The bartender explained that it was priced so low to mark the centenary of the pub’s opening. The visitor noticed, however, that the bar was empty. He asked, “Why aren’t the regular customers here for the special prices?” To which the bartender replied, “They’re waiting for the Happy Hour.” And the ultimate in thriftiness: Angus stopped by to see his friend Donald and found him steaming the wallpaper and stripping it from the walls. Rather obviously, he remarked, “You’re decorating, I see.” To which Donald replied, “Naw, I’m moving ta another hoose.” Then there’s the infamous Scottish weather which is summed up in this little exchange: Question: What do you call six weeks of rain in Scotland? Answer: Summer. Although it is generally accepted that golf originated in Scotland, the Scots have taken to denying the truth of this assertion on the grounds that no Scotsman would invent a game in which it was possible to lose a ball. An irate golfer at St. Andrews, on his way to a round of 150, exploded, “You must be the worst caddy in the world!” The Scots also pride themselves on their dry wit. The caddy’s response was, “That would be too much of a coincidence, sir.”
Many battles were fought between the Scots and the English. It was not unusual for the Scots to initiate the contest by invading their larger neighbor to the south. After several hundred years of actual conflict it is inevitable that a combative quality should remain in the relationship with England. This shines through occasionally in jokes told when the former rivals meet: A Scottish bus driver was conducting a tour of lowland Scotland for a group of tourists, pointing out sites of interest. He drove by one area and said, “Over there is where the Scots pulverized the English.” They drove a little farther and the driver pointed to another area along the road and said, “This is the place where the Scots massacred the English.” Not much farther down the road the driver told his passengers that on the right was the great battlefield where the Scots whipped the English. A tourist on the bus finally asked in a strong English accent, “My good man, didn’t the English win any battles around here?” The driver shook his head, “Not when I’m driving the bus.” As for bagpipe jokes--inevitably revolving around their sound and the discomfort they provoke--such jokes are so numerous they have been collected into books on the subject. Here’s a classic example: A Scotsman visited London each year on his annual holiday and stayed at the same large hotel. However, he concluded the English were not very friendly. “At three o’clock every morning,” he told a friend, “they hammered on my bedroom door, on the walls, even on the floor and ceiling. Sometimes they hammered so loud I could hardly hear myself playing the bagpipes.” Scots jokingly deny that the kilt originated in 1298 when a Scottish laird named Ronald McGregor won a lady’s tartan skirt in a raffle. Jokes about kilts are largely concerned with the question of whether undergarments are worn with them. This being a family newspaper, we won’t go into that question. The Westchester Jokester mines his voluminous collection of humor each week in the pages of The Westxhester Guardian.
The Westchester Guardian
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
The recent article by Aris and Zherka on the on-going issues in Yonkers was particularly thoughtful with its references to world problems currently experienced in places such as Tunisia. The call to action was clear; not necessarily confrontation, but firm and focused on the effects of non-action. I was struck by the role that a thoughtful press plays in critical thought and analysis and believe this is a lost art in a society that appears to support non-contextual and non-historic quick fixes. In sum, one dedicated toward maximizing freedom of expression while minimizing responsible thought and personal commitment. We appear to have been a house divided; with shifting loyalties, temporary alliances and utterly without a will to sacrifice for a greater good. It has infected our leaders at all levels of government and dictated our bent towards over consumption, selfishness and narcissistic behavior. It has also worked its way into how we think about problems and solutions; the quick fix has replaced careful and compassionate reasoning. We have too often expanded our ego centrism into demographic extensions of ourselves – veteran groups supporting only those with a military background, members of a race, sex, or religion gravitating towards only those sharing who or what we are--of course not everyone falls under any specific category, but it seems to me that it is becoming more prevalent as we move into the twenty first century. So, Aris and Zherka can and should find parallels in both issue and response between Yonkers and other areas in the world. I am particularly concerned about the over reliance on blogs, tweets, twitters, and who knows what other form of instant gratification. Nothing like anonymity and non-expansive thinking to support a lack of personal commitment and responsibility to issues. And, in a way, we perhaps deserve what we are
To the Editor: Thoughtful Debate and Discourse
THURSDAY, FebrUary 10, 2011
seeing and getting. Our leaders continue to quarrel and dig in their heels; worse become almost incoherent on failing to see the obvious cause and effect relationships between high national debt and contributions to this, such as non-responsive tax policies, crushing entitlement programs and ballistic defense budgets. We cannot approach balancing a budget; yet, what we do brilliantly is preach. We demand that all nations accept what we call our “democratic values.” Actually we continue to nation-build; indicating who can run for office in Haiti and Egypt. We back our wagers with “foreign aid”; be it military arms or economic assistance. But, of course, history teaches us that such alliances are temporary arrangements and tomorrow’s enemy is often today’s friend. Worse, who are we actually to preach values? Our politicians accept all funding from many sources, our public unions contribute massive contributions to lobbyists and politicians that weaken our economy and our children’s future. Meanwhile, our cities are suffering, people are hungry, jobs are next to impossible to find, and we pat ourselves on the back pointing to China and others as lacking “values.” But, perhaps we should take the splinter from our eyes before seeing faults elsewhere. Why are so many citizens, such as Tea Party members, speaking of cutting the deficit and reduce spending with little idea of what that means? Do we understand where the jobs went or what the issues are with our tax policies? Do we understand the effect on the national debt of Social Security and Medicare? Will anyone volunteer to revert to a single car family, trust but verify all of our politicians without blindly lashing out on some anonymous blog? I don’t know if we will see these days again. Thank you Westchester Guardian for providing a time-tested forum for open debate and discussion. Warren Gross New Rochelle, NY
Tattoo Parlors—A Mixed Bag for Peeksill By Abby Luby
The City of Peekskill is cautiously inching its way towards allowing tattoo parlors to open in the downtown business area. Banned since the early 1990s, the body-art salons are getting a second chance to legally have a presence in Peekskill – a move that is seeing its share of controversy. Many downtown business owners are skeptical of having the parlors as neighbors. Ted Bitters, owner of the Bean Runner on South Division Street said a tattoo parlor might send people the wrong idea about Peekskill. “My problem is we’re trying to re-brand Peekskill to something a little bit more upscale that appeals to people with more spendable income. We’ve put in a lot of development with that in mind. How will tattoo salons affect that branding and where we’re trying to go with the city?” Bitters said that overall the feeling by downtown businesses wasn’t that negative, but the real concern was where the parlors would be located. “I am open and want to have everything here but tattoo parlors are usually next to other things such as adult stores. They have been pigeon holed in that genre.” At the last Peekskill common council meeting city planner Jeremy Doxsee updated the proposed regulation and moved to adjourn the public meeting. To date, the regulation stipulates that initially, only three parlors be allowed to open in the downtown district of Peekskill, which generally runs from Decatur Street on the west side of town to just past North Broad Street and from Division street in the north to South & Brown Streets to the south. The city has approached the idea of tattoo parlors as part art form, part body art, and has referred to them as “tattoo studios” to perhaps make it palatable to Peekskill’s omnipresent art community. Addressing this is a stipulation that parlors occupy the second floor and have at least two rooms: a waiting room that
would exhibit some type of art, including art that might exemplify tattoos, and where the actual tattoo is applied. Other restrictions would include being within 400 feet of another tattoo studio and in a building that would have a minimum setback of 150 feet from residential zones. Also tattoo parlors can’t be on the same side of the block as churches, schools or parks. Patty Villanova, owner of Side Effects/NY on Brown Street said tattoo parlors would jeopardize the legitimacy of other downtown businesses. “This is a very tenuous downtown area. Putting tattoo parlors here is not based on what is good for the downtown. We are on the brink of going completely backwards.” Villanova condemned the city council for not seeking feedback from downtown business owners before drafting the tattoo parlor regulation. She slammed them for pursuing the project in general “Mayor [Mary] Foster and the city council don’t have the time to waste on something as dubious as tattoo parlors. It’s a distraction for what else is going on in this city.” The draft regulation for tattoo parlors is on the agenda for the February 8 planning commission meeting, who will either recommend the proposal one way or the other to the common council, who, in turn, will continue the public hearing at their meeting on February 14th. If the regulation passes and parlor owners get the green light to set up business in downtown Peekskill, the overall impact remains to be seen. “This is a Pandora’s Box,” said Bitters. “The first person opening a tattoo parlor may have a brilliant idea and open a beautiful place, an artsy-craftsy place. But what about the second and the third person? What type of place will they open?” Abby Luby is a Westchester based, freelance journalist who writes about current, local news, environmental issues, art, entertainment and food.
The Westchester Guardian
THURSDAY, FebrUary 10, 2011
Be a Great Valentine—Give the Gift of Words By Laurie Puhn
Are you looking for a meaningful Valentine’s Day without spending a dime? Share the gifts
Gift of Words #1 – Compliment Your Mate Inside and Out:
him/her. Find something in your mate’s schedule on Valentine’s Day (and other days too) such as a special meeting, an important errand, A doctor’s app’t, and call/text/email mid-day to specifically ask how it went.
Gift of Words #3 – Talk Forward:
Gift of Words #2 – Show You Care:
If you want to have a special Valentine’s Day, it’s important to persuade your mate that he or she is special to you every day, not just on Valentine’s Day. Do this by “talking forward.” Take charge and make a thoughtful plan for the future.. On Valentine’s Day, say, “I’d like to make a special plan for us next month. Let’s go to __________. [fill-in with something your mate enjoys, such as a museum, the theatre, shopping, a road trip, etc.]? What do you think?”
We all experience unique events during our busy days so when our mate shows interest in our day’s happenings it creates an immediate loving bond with
If you want to receive instant love and appreciation from your honey, volunteer to do something for your mate before he
There are two types of compliments: those that address a person’s outer appearance and those that address a person’s inner character. Surprisingly, our research shows 84% of people prefer to receive a character compliment as in, “You are an incredibly kind person.” over a comment like “your hair looks great.” Start sharing character comments with your honey today.
Gift of Words #4 – Make an Offer:
or she asks you to do it. For example, offer to pick something up at the store, offer to repair something, prepare dinner or offer to put your kids to bed (if you don’t usually). A surefire way to boost your love life is to make an offer. It says to your mate, I care about you and when you’re happy, I’m happy.
Gift of Words #5 – Be Memorable: Do and say memorable things this Valentine’s Day and year round. Instead of dining out, create a candlelit indoor picnic. Sing karaoke together. Arrange for a massage-together. Post love notes in surprise places. Buy a lasting plant instead of flowers. Phone your mate to give a heartfelt comment during the day like, “I love you because….”. You will spark love and romance this Valentine’s Day (and the year through) by showering your sweetheart with the priceless gift of words. Visit www.fightlesslovemore.com and pick up a copy of
Ed Koch Movie Reviews By Edward I. Koch
Movie Review: “Biutiful” (+)
This film depicts unending misery from its first to last frame. The main character is played by Javier Bardem, a magnificent actor who has appeared in many movies including “Before Night Falls,” “No Country for Old Men,” “Love in the Time of Cholera,” and “Vicky Christina Barcelona.” Bardem’s facial characteristics are unforgettable. He has a huge head, a beard, and a large nose which is usually characterized as a Roman nose. It dominates his face which is ruggedly handsome. Uxbal ( Javier Bardem) is a low-level gangster. He bribes the Barcelona police and provides protection to the African (Senegalese) illegal street vendors who sell drugs on the side. He also provides illegal Chinese immigrant workers to a building developer who exploits them to the point of their being his slaves. Uxbal is told early on that his cancer has metastasized and he is close to death. He has full custody of his two children: a son who is about five years old and a 12-year-old daughter. His former wife, Marambra (Maricel Alvarez), is bipolar. She loves her children but is capable of injuring them and has occasionally done so. My heart went out to Uxbal, who demonstrates his concern and love for his former wife and their tragic situation. Like the biblical Job, he had been dealt a truly bad hand in life to play, but he copes to the best of his ability. The City of Barcelona comes alive in the movie. I have been there and would rate it as one of the most interesting cities in the world, with wonderful restaurants that serve fabulous seafood. This movie will provide no joy or pleasure; nevertheless, it is an experience worth having and Bardem’s performance is especially good. (In Spanish, with English subtitles.) Henry Stern said: “This is a long and serious movie, well done and biutifully acted by Javier Bardem, who deserves the Oscar nomination he received for it. This is a much better part than Bardem had when he was shooting innocent people and sucking out their brains. It may be tough to see for people who are already depressed because of the series of misfortunes that befall decent, hardworking people, both Mexicans and Chinese. On the other hand, it may be salutary for the melancholy to see a film whose characters have far worse problems than watching a movie. This is a film I will remember. I recommend it to you. Continued on page 13
my bestselling book Fight Less, Love More for more astonishing love-building advice and information. Laurie Puhn J.D., is a Harvard-educated lawyer, couples mediator, relationship expert and television personality who frequently appears on Good Morning America, The CBS Early Show, Fox News Channel and CNN. She is the Wall Street Journal bestselling author of Fight Less, Love More: 5 Minute Conversations to Change Your Relationship without Blowing Up or Giving In. Visit www.fightlesslovemore. com for video clips and more information
The Westchester Guardian
THURSDAY, FebrUary 10, 2011
MOVIE REVIEWS Continued from page 12
Movie Review: “The Mechanic” (-)
In their reviews of this movie, Roger Ebert and Manohla Dargis of The New York Times conveyed that while it is interesting, it never reaches its maximum potential. Nevertheless, their descriptions of the interplay between the two principals will draw large audiences to the theater. In fact, “The Mechanic” was number three at the box office this past weekend. I believe, however, that most viewers will leave the theater describing the picture as ridiculous or a dud. The leading characters are Arthur ( Jason Statham) and Steve (Ben Foster) a younger partner in crime. Always present in their relationship is the possibility of a gay sexual involvement. Donald Sutherland plays Harry, a minor character in the crime syndicate that hires Arthur and Steve to engage in assassinations. The picture includes fragmentary sexual scenes that will appeal to some including the straight, gay and sadomasochistic. There are special effects, mostly explosions, but they have no real meaning and are never adequately explained. An attempt is made to give it all a James Bond look, but it fails. Check out videos of these and other reviews on my website, Mayor at the Movies website. And don’t forget to follow me on Twitter! Let him know your thoughts by directing email to email@example.com. The Honorable Edward Irving Koch served New York City as its 105th Mayor from 1978 to 1989.
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THE SOUNDS OFBLUE By Bob Putignano South Florida’s Finest +1 from Wisconsin Pull Out All the Stops! The two day party started at the Bahia Cabana Hotel on Ft. Lauderdale Beach:
Saturday, January 22nd, 2011 Reverend Raven and the Chain Smokin’ Altar Boys 3 PM- 6PM: www.reverendraven.com The Dave Shelley Band – Poolside 6 PM to 9 PM: www.davidshelleyandbluestone. com The Albert Castiglia Band – Poolside 9 PM to Midnight: www.albertcastiglia.com Midnight Jam featuring Josh and Deny Rowand with Niles Blaize – Upstairs Suite Midnight till…
Sunday, January 23nd, 2011 Famous Frank Ward and the Nucklebusters 1PM-4PM: http://nucklebustersbluesband.homestead.com/index.html JP Soars and the Red Hots – 4 PM to 7 PM http://www.myspace.com/jpsoars First and foremost: no cover charges for any of these events. Day one started off with a great party band that hails from Milwaukee, WI: Reverend Raven and the Chain Smokin’ Altar Boys. Trust me that these guys are far from religious, as they poured on
the grease and got the poolside crowd flowing with great grooves of blues, jump and some soul. One of their highlights “Jiggle My Junk” a hilarious take of going through airport scanners and what is the Reverend’s take of what Uncle Sam does with those photos taken, this tune is available at their web site listed above. This is a very fine unit, Raven’s a very competent vocalist and sharp guitarist who also plays Continued on page 14
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THURSDAY, FebrUary 10, 2011
South Florida’s Finest +1 from Wisconsin Pull Out All the Stops! Continued from page 13 a strong dose of slide. I would be remiss without mentioning the sax playing Altar Boy: Big Al Groth, who howls and growls, obtains keen playing skills, knows how to play off Raven, and soars like he was one of the founding members of Roomful of Blues. The Dave Shelley and Bluestone was up next. I’ve seen Shelley perform around South Florida, enjoy his southern boy take on the blues, and try to catch him every-time I’m in the area. For those not in the know about Shelley, he’s written movie and TV soundtracks, appeared in movies, soaps, and music videos, from time to time sits in with Warren Haynes’ Gov’t Mule, & Coco Montoya, won a competition (beating twenty-four bands) for a spot to open for the great American Charlie Daniels, and will once again represent the South Florida Blues Society http://soflablues.org at the 2011 IBC in Memphis, TN. Additionally Shelley will be releasing a new CD (early in 2011) titled “That’s My Train.” Crowd favorite Albert Castiglia was next and did not disappoint. Castiglia
displayed his skills artfully, and proves there’s no wonder why he now has five CD’s (the latest titled: “Keepin On” for the Blues Leaf label) credited to his own name. Albert’s big break came when he filled the guitar chair for the late-great Junior Wells, and also has toured with Sandra Hall. After Albert’s fine performance there was indoors Midnight Jam featuring Josh and Deny Rowand with Niles Blaize that closed the first night’s festivities sweetly. Day two commenced with another one of my favorite South Florida guitarists: Famous Frank Ward, with his extremely talented Nucklebusters Blues Band. Frank’s band was right on the money, each and every band-member is top shelf and performed flawlessly, of
special note was Frank’s son on bass, who is just eighteen years old and played like a man possessed and a player more well seasoned than this youngster. Joe Saint on keyboards was also very impressive, as was Tim Kutcha on drums. These guys had no boundaries comfortably covering tunes from Billy Cobham’s first solo CD “Spectrum” and easily glided into Ronnie Earl tunes like “Churchin’” from Earl’s fine “Healing Time” disc on Telarc which also featured the great Jimmy McGriff. Ward’s definitely got that Mr. Earl thing down, employs exquisite tone, and really knows how to kick into overdrive at any given time. For me, this performance was my musical highlight of the two day weekend. The celebration concluded with the
2009 IBC winner: JP Soars and the Red Hots who showed off his spine-tingling guitar antics. The young Soars is also on my must-see list whenever I visit South Florida, and I also got to see his killing performance at the Montreal Jazz Festival two years back. Needless to say the crowd dug the performance, and JP is just one of so many talented musicians in the South Florida region. I do not know why but South Florida seems to be one of the few places in the country that offers such a fine array of talented musicians (must have something to do with the warmth of the Atlantic Ocean?) and can also boast having one of the best blues scenes I’ve have recently witnessed that often draws mighty crowds. So there you have it, two days of sparkling music, poolside nonetheless, congratulations to Mark Fodera and Dean Huge, you guys really know how to throw a weekend party! Can you do an encore performance next year? Bob Putignano is a senior contributing editor at BluesWax. He is also the heart of WFDU’s Sounds of Blues at www.SoundsofBlue.com. Bob would like to hear your thoughts about his Top Ten and your own. You can email Bob at: Bob8003@yahoo.com.
ED KOCH COMMENTARY
The Muslim World is On Fire By Ed Koch
Next week, I will be taking a 2-week vacation. My commentary and film reviews will not be arriving until I return. It is my first extended vacation in years. Hopefully, I will return reinvigorated. The Muslim world is on fire. Mobs are filling the streets of Cairo; the people of Tunisia have forced out its dictatorial president Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali; and in Lebanon, Hezbollah, a terrorist organization, has been responsible for the fall of the government led by Saad Hariri, son of a former prime minister who was murdered by a huge car bomb. Syria and Hezbollah are suspected of committing the terrorist act. Hezbollah now is the major supporter of the new prime minister, Najib Mikati. Iran continues with its efforts to build a nuclear bomb. Pakistan, already in possession of a nuclear bomb, remains an unstable
U.S. ally. Pakistani police forces last week arrested and retain in custody an American diplomat, Raymond Davis, who has diplomatic immunity no matter what his alleged crime is. He is charged with killing two Pakistanis who he says approached him on a motor bike – he driving his car – and threatened him, causing him to shoot in self-defense. The Turkish government, admittedly Islamist, continues to hammer Israel, and appears to be seeking leadership of the Muslim world by joining with militants who see the United States as the enemy and terrorists who are attacking Western civilization in their announced desire to impose Sharia, the Muslim code of living, which includes punishment of death by stoning for crimes such as adultery, blasphemy, Continued on page 15
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ED KOCH COMMENTARY
The Muslim World is On Fire Continued from page 14 homosexuality or converting to another religion. Iraq continues with its near daily slaughtering of innocent civilians, based on the historic religious wars between Shiites and Sunnis. In Afghanistan, the lives of our own military personnel are put at risk every day in an unwinnable war, where were we to win, we would be winning nothing worth fighting and dying for. Syria still covets Lebanon as a lost province and provides arms to Hezbollah which threatens a new war with Israel. What worries the U.S. most is that two governments friendly to the U.S., Egypt and Jordan, are now in danger of falling. What does all of this chaos in Arab and Muslim populated lands display? It should put to rest the opinion of the radical left in the U.S. that all would be well in the world if the West would abandon Israel. That radical left supports bringing Israel’s independence to an end and supporting the Palestinians in their efforts to turn all of historic Palestine into a single state with an Arab Muslim majority, some of
whom – Hamas -- are bent on expelling Jews; others for allowing them to live and practice their religion if they accept the supremacy of Islam. The question which I have asked many times over the years that I have been writing commentaries is, is the West, in particular the U.S., willing to stand up to the constant attacks on us, physical and economic, or will we at some point decide to go down the road that Chamberlain chose in 1938 when he met with Adolf Hitler, came back to England paper in hand referring to “Peace in our time,” having thrown Czechoslovakia under the bus? Winston Churchill commented, “Britain and France were faced with a choice between war and dishonor. They chose dishonor. They will have war.” We are now faced with Muslim crowds in the capitals of Arab countries demanding the ouster of governments -Egypt and Jordan -- that are at all friendly to the U.S. Will we now desert those governments the way Britain and France deserted Czechoslovakia? Yes, the governments of Egypt and
Jordan are repressive and dictatorial and the crowds in the streets are primarily using the rhetoric of democracy now. But historically, when they win, become even more repressive and threatening to the world, e.g., Iran. So there is the conundrum and a Hobbesian choice to be made. Do we side with the repressive governments that are friendly to the U.S. – Mubarak of Egypt and Abdullah of Jordan and others as well – or do we simply support those mouthing the chants of democracy and take our chances, knowing that many in those mobs would, if given the chance, slit the throats of every Christian and Jew who won’t willingly convert to Islam. I urge everyone not to forget the coldblooded killing of Wall Street Journal reporter, Daniel Pearl, by Pakistani terrorists who literally severed his head from his body back in 2002, on video for all to see. World peace is on the line. Egypt, with 80 million people, is the same size as Germany, but with a much younger population. I believe (and I confess I am no expert, but there are apparently few experts who predicted the current state of affairs) that it is folly to desert our friends and allies, e.g., Mubarak and King Abdullah
and Saudi Arabia when they need us. Did we make the right choice when we deserted the Shah of Iran and stood by when Khomeini was lifted to power by the violence in the streets of Tehran? I don’t think so and believe the repression and torture became worse. Islamic terrorists undoubtedly believe that time is on their side; that Western civilization is ripe for overthrow and its adherents weak and interested only in the good life which they see as deviant with its pursuit of protection of women’s rights, gay rights and religious liberty. Our Declaration of Independence with its call for the pursuit of happiness is anathema for them. Will we stand up for our friends in the Muslim world or will we stand by and let them be crushed and literally killed or expelled? As the U.S. chooses sides, let’s remember our fateful abandonment of our ally, the Shah of Iran, a decision for which we are still paying a heavy price. Let Mayor Koch know your thoughts by directing email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The Honorable Edward Irving Koch served New York City as its 105th Mayor from 1978 to 1989.
Trend Alert: Revolutionary Fervor to Spread Beyond Arab States; Europe Next By Gerald Celente
Kingston, NY -- When the Tunisian government toppled, the mass media and their stable of experts – who were blindsided by these events – quickly stepped in to proclaim the obvious: that citizens of other Arab nations would be emboldened to challenge autocratic and corrupt governments. Now Egypt is in the throes of insurrection, and Algeria, Jordan, Morocco and Yemen are already targeted for revolutionary change. The richer and more tightly controlled Kingdoms of the Middle East will not be immune to challenges from their citizenry to break the chains of royal rule. But, as I had forecast in the Trends Journal, it is not solely the Middle East that is destined to experience episodes of violent upheaval. What is transpiring in the Arab world will spread throughout many European states. While the call to arms will be spoken in different tongues, the underlying causes will be the same.
In December 2010 (before Tunisia made the headlines) we issued a Trend Alert® titled, “Off With Their Heads!” in which we predicted a “long war between the people and the ruling classes.” We noted that, “Anyone questioning the intensity of the people’s seething anger is either out of touch or in denial.” It wasn’t Arab anger that led us to that forecast – it was the student and worker revolts spilling into the streets of Europe. The imposition of draconian austerity measures – higher taxes, tuition hikes, lost benefits, curtailed services, public sector job cuts – had young and old raging against a rigged system that paved the way for the privileged and punished the proles. Though millions marched through the streets of Athens, Brussels, Dublin, Lisbon, London and Madrid, when the protests ended, the governments were barely shaken, let alone toppled. Unlike the autocratic Arab regimes, where the tight grip of repression could only be broken by violence, in the “democratic” West the illusion of representation and
placating government promises mitigated the violence. Both the press and politicians assumed the protests would run their course, people would accept their fate, and, like it or not, suffer the consequences. The protests, however, have not run their course. The economic toll of austerity and unemployment continues to ravage the lower and middle classes. As we wrote in the Winter 2011 Trends Journal, “It will only be a matter of time before a series of final straw events breaks the public’s back, setting off uncontrollable uprisings, coups (bloodless and/or military), riots and revolts throughout the financially battered world.” Trend Forecast: The unintended consequences of the regime changes in North Africa and the Middle East, and the uprisings we forecast that will roil Europe will be as fully dramatic as their intended consequences: the overthrow of governments. The calls by Presidents, Prime Ministers, cabinet officials and foreign policy experts for “orderly transition of power” are nothing more than diplomatic
doublespeak and pure windbaggery. There is no such thing as a clean and simple revolution. As we will see in Egypt, military coups will be disguised as regime changes. Already the public is being conditioned to view the Egyptian military as beloved liberators. But in fact they are simply another arm of the autocratic government, no more familiar with democratic ideals than the dictator they replace ... who had himself been drawn from the ranks of the military. The world leaders and world media are not recognizing the Egyptian uprising for what it is: a prelude to a series of civil wars that will lead to regional wars, that will lead to the first “Great War” of the 21st century. (See “The History of The Future: Trends 2012: The Great War,” Trends Journal, Spring 2010) To schedule an interview with Gerald Celente, Trends Journal publisher, please contact: Zeke West, Media Relations, zwest@ trendsresearch.com 845 331.3500 ext. 1
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THURSDAY, FebrUary 10, 2011
The Independent Democratic Conference By Jeff Klein Recently, myself and three of my Senate Colleagues – Diane Savino, (D-Staten Island/ Brooklyn), David J. Valesky, (D-Oneida) and David Carlucci, (D-Rockland), departed the Senate Democratic Conference and formed a third legislative conference. As members of the new Independent Democratic Conference, our goals are simple – to push for common sense solutions to the problems facing this state,
break the hyper-partisan gridlock that has gripped Albany, and work to restore the public’s trust in its public officials. We will work to bring integrity back to the State Senate and once again ensure government is used as a positive tool to improve people’s lives. We will work with Governor Andrew Cuomo, the Republican Senate Majority, the Democratic Minority and other partners in government to get New York’s fiscal house in order, foster job creation, and cap property taxes. We will also pursue a legislative agenda
that includes enacting tough new ethics reforms, establishing non-partisan redistricting, and protecting a woman’s right to choose. So far this year, we have already submitted a series of recommendations to Governor Cuomo and his Spending and Government Efficiency (SAGE) Commission to help streamline New York’s sprawling bureaucracy. Our recommendations include: cracking down on overtime abuses, developing new accountability standards for outside contractors, reviewing the use of state
Why Egypt Will Not Soon Become Democratic By Daniel Pipes
First published February 4, 2010 in The Economist. Reprinted with express permission. http://www.danielpipes.org/9420/ democratic-egypt
The Economist asked Anoush Ehteshami of Durham University and Daniel Pipes to address the motion: “Egypt will become a democracy within a year.” Ehteshami’s response in favor can be read here. Mr. Pipes’s opposition follows below. Two reasons lead me to assert that the Arab Republic of Egypt will not boast a democratic political system at this time next year. First, democracy is more than holding elections; it requires the development of civil society, meaning such complex and counterintuitive institutions as the rule of law, an independent judiciary, multiple political parties, minority rights, voluntary associations, freedom of expression, movement, and assembly. Democracy is a learned habit, not an instinctive one, that requires deep attitudinal changes such as a culture of restraint, a commonality of
values, a respect for differences of view, the concept of loyal opposition, and a sense of civic responsibility. Further, elections need to be practiced to be made perfect. Ideally, a country starts electing at the municipal level and moves to the national, it begins with the legislative branch and moves to the executive. Simultaneously, the press needs to acquire full freedoms, political parties should mature, parliament should gain authority at the expense of the executive, and judges should adjudicate between them. Such a transformation of society cannot take place within months or even years; the historical record shows that it takes decades fully to implement. It is out of the question that an Egypt with minor experience in democracy can put together enough of these components in twelve months to establish a fully democratic order. Second, whichever scenario one plays out, democracy is not in the offing. * If Hosni Mubarak stays in power, unlikely but possible, he will be more of a tyrant than ever. As shown by his actions in recent days, he will not go quietly. * If the military asserts more directly the power that it has wielded behind the scenes since its coup d’état of 1952, Omar
assets and eliminating duplicative administrative functions. In addition, the IDC has put together a series of common sense recommendations that will help local governments tackle state mandates, save money and ease the financial burden on you, the taxpayer. For the full Independent Democratic Caucus 2011 Legislative Agenda, please visit: www.klein.nysenate.gov I look forward to a productive legislative session and wish you and your family a healthy, positive and prosperous year ahead. Jeff Klein is the New York State Senator representing the 34th Senate District encompassing communities in The Bronx and Westchester County. must not be obscured by the Islamists’ willingness to use elections to reach power. In the prescient words of an American official in 1992, the Islamists forward a program of “one person, one vote, one time.” However looked at – abstractly or specifically – Egyptians are in for a rough ride ahead, without imminent prospect of choosing their leaders.
Suleiman, the newly-appointed vice president, would presumably become president. He would make changes to the system, eliminating the most obvious abuses under Mubarak, but not Mr. Pipes is director of the Middle East Forum fundamentally offering Egyptians a say and Taube distinguished visiting fellow at the in the regime that rules them. Algeria Hoover Institution of Stanford University. 1992, where a military-backed governHe has lived for three years in Egypt. ment repressed Islamists, provides a precedent. * If Islamists come to power, they will foment a revolution along the New prime time available lines of Iran in on both Whitney stations! 1979, in which their belief in God’s sovereignty trumps political participation • Complete metro tri-state coverage! Powerful new transmitters! by the masses. • Hour and half hour prime time avails on both WVOX and WVIP. The inherFirst come, first served! • Special Rates: for Educational … Religious ently … Public Affairs … Discussion … Music Shows … Health & anti-demoWellness … Multicultural (English language and others!). cratic nature of the Islamist Contact: David O’Shaughnessy 914-636-1460 movement
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Mount Vernon Neighborhood Health Center WIC Director Elected Regional Vice-chair of Metropolitan WIC Association Mount Vernon, NY -- Norma Robinson, M.S., R.D., CDN, Director of Mount Vernon Neighborhood Health Center’s Women’s Infants and Children’s (WIC) Nutrition Program for more than twenty years, has been elected to serve as Vice-Chairperson of the Metropolitan NYC WIC Association. The WIC Association is comprised of local agency workers with varying knowledge of program administration. The Association seeks to promote public awareness of new and existing Federal,
State and City legislation involving health and nutrition. It is also responsible for initiating efforts to assure the maximum Federal and State money available for nutrition and health activities are coming into the New York City Metropolitan area Robinson’s two-year term will involve setting WIC Association agenda’s, presiding over meetings, participating in national and regional conferences; improve consumer involvement in WIC at all levels by outreach and organizing
efforts; serving as a member of all Association committees and working with its elected officers and officials to positively affect the administration of Federal and State funding in New York State. Robinson says, “It is very exciting to be given the opportunity to create solutions to challenges faced by this region while creating health and nutrition efforts that will ultimately benefit thousands of women and children in the Metropolitan region.”
Mount Vernon Neighborhood Health Center’s Norma Robinson, M.S., R.D., CDN, Director of the Women’s Infants and Children’s (WIC) Nutrition Program, has been elected as ViceChairperson of the Metropolitan NYC WIC Association.
Libertarians Assert Tea Party Betrayed by Astorino tells Conservative Party He Will Not Hedge on Issues Tiny Republican Budget Cuts By Wes Benedict
Washington, DC -- According to The Hill, House Republicans have just announced that they will seek appropriations for the rest of 2011 that are $32 billion below current spending levels. Libertarian Party Chair Mark Hinkle commented, “The Tea Party supporters have been betrayed. These cuts are so small, you need a microscope to find them.” Hinkle continued, “The Congressional Budget Office just told us that federal spending was expected to be about $3.7 trillion this year. After the Republican cuts, it will still be about $3.7 trillion. The Republican cuts are so tiny, they disappear in the rounding error. “Even with these cuts, the federal deficit will be over $1.4 trillion this year. “It doesn’t help that Congressional Republicans voted for more unemployment spending and ethanol subsidies last December, or that they want to keep increasing military spending. And they haven’t come up with any serious cuts to entitlements.
“I think the Tea Party supporters were expecting real cuts, not this nonsense. We tried to warn Tea Party supporters last year that the Republicans were just trying to fool them again. It looks like we were right. “Oh, I’m sure we’ll hear Republicans say they’re just getting started, and more cuts are coming...just not yet. But I hope the Tea Party supporters and other fiscal conservatives wake up and smell the deficits. Our children are going to drown in debt, and the Republicans aren’t going to save them. Republicans are part of the problem, not the solution. “Tea Party supporters and other fiscal conservatives should support Libertarians, not Republicans. Libertarians would make dramatic cuts in spending, and if angry Republicans and Democrats threatened to shut down the government instead, Libertarians would say ‘Fine.’” The LP is America’s third-largest political party, founded in 1971. The Libertarian Party stands for free markets, civil liberties, and peace. Learn more at the Libertarian Party website. Wes Benedict is the Libertarian Party Executive Director.
By Peggy Godfrey
Running as a Republican without Conservative Party endorsement for Westchester County Executive was not an easy feat for the victorious Rob Astorino. On January 31 at the New York State Conservative Party Convention he took time out to express his gratitude to Conservative Party State Chairman Michael Long and other Conservatives who had supported his campaign. Referring to the President’s State of the Union message he felt it contained “Washington” speech. He does not understand Washington talk when “taxes becoming investments” and making nurses and police pay “millionaires tax.” Citing the nearly 50 years the Conservative Party has been speaking up on issues, he added that the party made possible his successful run for office. During his campaign he gave voters the straight story emphasizing he did not hedge on issues, and said what he felt. Quoting a Nike ad which said, “Just do it,” he “left everything to the voters or the Man upstairs.” Making particular mention of New Jersey’s Governor, Chns Christie, he emphasized, “If they succeed”
we will see a revolution happening everywhere. Candidates who cite Ronald Reagan when they are campaigning get into office and by compromising become “Ronald McDonald.” “If you are willing to do what is right,” you must risk the possibility of losing. Examples of this would be not spending what you don’t have.and getting out of the way of businesses so they can succeed in New York State. He has already been sued three times by Democrats but he still has to cut the county budget because he “told voters he would.” Among his budget priorities were a first year reduction of the work force by l0% and the first tax decrease in a decade. This proposed budget which was rejected by the County Board of Legislators, had an one percent decrease in taxes. Astorino vowed to engage the Board of Legislators with “facts” and said, “We will win.” When a question arose about the 247 vetoes of his budget proposal by the County Board of Legislatures, and whether there was any hope of getting a veto proof number of legislators, Astorino noted that some Democrats changed their Continued on page 18
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Astorino tells Conservative Party He Will Not Hedge on Issues Continued from page 17 initiail favorable budget vote by voting against his vetoes. The labor negotiations for unionized labor have created salaries that are no longer affordable. Using a comparison with General Motors whose finge benefits included health care for unionized personnel that were 37% when they went bankrupt, he said that the average (county) employee with an income of $120.000 has 55% in fringe benefits including health care. In conclusion Astorino said he was abandoned by the Westchester County Conservative Party but many in the State Conservative Party have been supportive. Consequently, Andy Spano got one and one half percent of the Conservative Party vote instead of the usual four to five percent. Bob Fois,EastchesterTown Conservative Chair and the Corresponding Secretary for the Westchester County Conservative Committee, felt Rob Astorino’s victory in 2009 inspired the true conservatives and most of the conservatives in Westchester County to finally reform the county wide Conservative organization. It’s a tribute to Rob’s leadership and consistency on the issues as a pro-life Conservative Republican that drew so many Conservatives together to finally clean house. Peggy Godfrey is a freelance writer, and a former educator.
Its Special Election Time By Nancy King On February 15th, Greenburgh residents who live in the 12th Legislative District will be called to the polls to vote in a special election. At stake in this election is the seat on the Westchester County Board of Legislators to replace Thomas Abinanti who was elected to serve in the New York State Assembly. Vying for this seat is Democrat Mary Jane Shimsky and Republican candidate Nick DeCicco. For Westchester residents in general, and for the administration of County Executive Rob Asorino, this is a crucial race. As of now, the Democrats have the supermajority in the County Board of Legislators. The Astorino administration can barely accomplish sinking a three pointer in a trash can without the supermajority calling foul. Watching these two opposing groups dance their way through the budget process has been both confusing and frustrating to Westchester residents. The Astorino administration brought forth a 1% budget decrease achieved through attrition and cuts. The Board of Legislators brought forth a budget with a 2% decrease and restored jobs and saved some programs from the chopping block. Both budgets delivered a nominal decrease in what taxpayers would be responsible for. Both sides blamed each other for the dance marathon we had to endure while the budgets wound their way to the legislative floor. But with Mr. Abinanti’s seat up for grabs, the Astorino administration is hoping for a Republican Valentine delivered by up and
coming party member Nick DeCicco. Nick DeCicco is a prosecutor in the Family Court Division of the Westchester County Court system. He lives in the Edgemont/Hartsdale area of the town. Mr. DeCicco also serves as a member of the Greenburgh Zoning Board of Appeals. He’s young and…. He’s a Republican; something that you don’t see too much of in Greenburgh. Of course, Mr. DeCicco is running on a platform of lowering taxes, reviewing services and streamlining government. Sound familiar? Yep, its Rob Astorino’s platform all over again. But that’s not a bad thing. Taxpayers need a legislator who they hope will be able to further the cause. However, Mr. DeCicco is not going to have an easy campaign. After last month’s Democratic convention at Greenburgh Town Hall, the party elected to run Mary Jane Shimsky. She beat perennial candidate Bill Greenwalt by a vote of 6,715 to 5,380. Mrs. Shimsky has been around politics since 1998 in a variety of nominal positions ranging from a school board member in Hastings-on-Hudson to acting as the Chief Information Officer for former Assemblyman Richard Brodsky. Mrs. Shimksy is also the vice chair of the Westchester County Democratic Committee. But what made Mrs. Shimsky the darling of Greenburgh politics was her loud and unrelenting opposition to development of Ridge Hill on the Yonkers/ Hastings border. Led by Mrs. Shimsky, local leaders lobbied to halt Ridge Hill by bringing forth the argument that the
development and subsequent increase in traffic would lower the quality of life in the Greenburgh Village of Hastingson-Hudson. (where Mrs. Shimsky lives) . Apparently her argument was deemed invalid because Ridge Hill is indeed on the fast track to completion. What Mary Jane Shimsky does have right now, that Nick DeCicco doesn’t, are endorsements. So far she has been endorsed by the Westchester County PBA, reproductive rights group Choice Matters, the collective Mayors of Hastings, Dobbs Ferry, Ardsley and Irvington and former legislator Tom Abinanti. She also wasted no time in taking a couple of swipes at the County Executive for allegedly taking away women’s rights. As if this little administration could single handedly reverse Roe vs. Wade. Mrs. Shimsky also charges the Astorino Administration and Republican lawmakers for being antigovernment. Wow, that’s harsh but also untrue. Even novice politicians know that government has gotten too big and needs to be streamlined. This election should be about the checks and balances needed to provide fair representation to the people of Westchester County. A supermajority by either party isn’t healthy and never serves the people. It only serves itself. The voters in the 12th Legislative District are charged with making an important decision on February 15th. Let’s not worry about whether or not Nick DeCicco didn’t reply to the Choice Matters questionnaire or calling Legislator Sheila Marcotte a puppet of the County Administrator. Let’s focus on supporting our candidates and our elected officials while remembering not to insult the intelligence of the voters.
Regal Roading by Buick
By Roger Witherspoon
The weather forecast called for 60 mile per hour wind gusts, and eight inches of rain. Unfortunately, that really didn’t explain the condition on the ground, on single lane roadways meandering through Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountain region. It seemed as if the sky had simply opened,
dumping its liquid contents on the region in a continuous, eye-blurring splash. The picturesque brooks serenely coursing around the expanse of the Poconos Raceway had turned into ugly, 20-foot wide expanses of white water rapids that left their little banks and took over the track. And the roadways out of the region were no better. Wetlands by the roadway became lakes, spilling little rivers and racing streams across roads and turning
any dip in the roadway into an instant pond. The road itself was covered with a sheet of fast moving water. These were the kinds of conditions that made one wish for a Hummer, Land Rover or some other heavy duty off road vehicle.
But this was a day for luxury roading and I was cruising along in a new Buick Regal. Mary Mary was embedded in the entertainment system’s 10-gigabyte hard drive, belting “Get Up” from the sedan’s Continued on page 19
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THURSDAY, FebrUary 10, 2011
Regal Roading by Buick Continued from page 18 nine Harmon-Kardon speakers – a tune which seemed appropriate as the Regal pounded through puddles and parted streams, sending mini- mountains of spray in all directions. At times, it seems as if the sharply sloping hood of the Buick was
diving into a pool, as it plunged into a deep, road crossing stream and the spray rolled up the front and over the windshield. At this point, there was a nod of thanks to the GM engineers who developed a computer-coordinated stability and traction control system so the Regal always moved in a straight line, whether or not individual wheels were on the road or in the sea. It is not the most powerful of sedans: the Regal has a 2.4 liter, I-4 engine cranking out just 182 horsepower. And while the EPA says the small engine can
get up to 29 miles per gallon in highway driving, in the real world it drank regular gas at a modest rate of 22 MPG. But this is a relatively light sedan, designed to counter the popular, aggressive, Acura TSX and Volvo S-60, so the small engine is not problematic. For those who want a little more Zoom from their cars, the Regal does offer twin turbos for the engine, which boosts its horsepower to 220. Still, this was never intended to be a racing car, or leave tracks in the road from tire-squealing take-offs. It is a midsized sedan intended for comfortable cruising and, in that regard, the power plant is quite sufficient. The rain didn’t let up. But after 60 miles of back roads, running water and the occasional lost frog I hit Interstate 80 and it was time to switch from the driving gospel of Mary Mary to a mellower sound of Miles. It continued to rain, but after slogging through the mountain roads, the six lane interstate was a welcome treat. Outwardly, the Buick Regal CXL is a teardrop-shaped, wide bodied, smoothrolling vehicle whose most distinctive feature is the distinctive, big, grinning grill. It’s attractive, though not a head-turner. A lot more care went into designing the interior, which is characterized by a décor that is two-toned leather accented by wood paneling, with front seats that are wide, power adjustable, and heated. There is an entertainment system, which is controlled by voice command,
counting on the understated Buick Regal to make a mark against its flashier rivals. Considering all that is offered in this $31,000 package, it may give the big boys a run for their money.
--Roger Witherspoon writes Shifting Gears at www.RogerWitherspoon.com
2011 Buick Regal CXL Sedan fingertip wheels on the leather steering wheel, or from the dashboard console. The system has a single disc CD player, XM satellite radio, a USB port and iPod and MP3 connections. The hard drive allows you to copy an entire CD or individual songs from the disc and arrange your music box any way you choose. The satellite radio also is coordinated with the navigation system, providing real time traffic and weather warnings and, where possible, allowing you to change your route to detour around the problem. In this case, the storm blanketed the East coast, and there was nothing to do but plow through it and trust the 19-inch wheels to hold the road. The rear seats don’t recline, but there is enough room between the front and back for the average 6-footer to travel long distances comfortably. At night, soft lighting emanates around the dash and in the cup holders and door pockets, making it unnecessary to fumble around for items. BM, which has made quite a comeback from its recent bankruptcy, is
MSRP: $31,030 EPA Mileage: 18 MPG City; 29 MPG Highway As Tested Mileage: 22.4 MPG Mixed Performance / Safety: 2.4-Liter I-4, DOHC, cast aluminum engine producing 182 horsepower and 172 pound/feet of torque; 6-speed automatic transmission; stability and traction controls; daytime running lamps; 4-wheel disc brakes; fog lamps; Halogen headlamps; 19-inch painted alloy wheels; front & side impact front and driver airbags; head curtain front & rear airbags. Interior / Comfort: AM/FM/XM satellite radio; OnStar communication; Bluetooth; 9-speaker Harmon-Kardon sound system; navigation system; CD and MP3 player; iPod and USB port with 10-GB hard drive; power sunroof; tilt & telescoping leather steering wheel with fingertip audio, phone, and cruise controls; 120-volt power outlet; heated front leather seats; power adjusted driver seat.
Take Me Out to the Ballgame Investors Line Up to Buy a Piece of the NY Mets By Gail Farrelly
The Wilpons (the owners of the NY Mets) had just announced that they were in the market for a minority stakeholder when the rumors started flying about interested parties. That wonderful song “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” (words by Jack Norworth; lyrics by Albert Von Tilzer) is being heard in all corners of the globe. Spoof reporter Gail Farrelly is on the story. She’s found a number of possible stakeholders. Here’s a partial list, along with the rationale (yep, she’s an eavesdropper!) for investing in the Mets that each of the potential investors has
mentioned to friends: -- Queen Elizabeth II “Ever since I ate a ballpark hot dog in one of those ‘Naked Gun’ movies, I’ve been pining to eat more and more of them. Take me out to the ball game.” -- King Tut “When I heard the rumors that the Egyptian rioters would try to behead all the mummies, I said to myself ‘I’m outta here.’ They won’t think to look for me at Citi Field. Take me out with the crowd.” -- Oprah Winfrey “I’ve taken over just about everything else in the U.S. Might as well get part of a baseball team too.
Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack.” -- Spider-Man “If my Broadway show is a flop, at least I’ll have something to fall back on. I don’t care if I never get back.” Farrelly reports, though, that surprisingly it’s Pope Benedict XVI who may have the inside track in persuading the Wilpons that he’d be the perfect partner. Here was his argument. First he sang in broken English: Let me root, root, root for the home team, If they don’t win it’s a shame.
For it’s one, two, three strikes, you’re out, At the old ball game. Then he advised the Wilpons, “Me, I provida the heavenly help, and this is a team that needs it. Molto bene!” Then channeling the late Tug McGraw, the Pontiff added, “Ya gotta believe.” Amen. 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.
The Westchester Guardian
THURSDAY, FebrUary 10, 2011
NHL All-Star Game January 28-30, 2011 By Albert Caamano Blackhawks). The fastest skater skill was won by Michael Grabner (NY Islanders). The hardest shot was won by Zdeno Chara with 105.9mph continuing his three year winning streak. He also won the new event which combines an obstacle course with shooting accuracy skills, skating, puck handling and passing into miniature nets. Done with two teams of four, each player had to finish their obstacle before the next player could start on his individual task while the clock continued to count the best running times.
This year’s National Hockey League (NHL) game was held in Raleigh, North Carolina, home of the Carolina Hurricanes and their fans, fondly called the Caniacs. The all-star weekend started with interactive activities about the stadium for all the fans which included an instructional clinic run by NHL Alumni with 80 youth hockey players bringing the emphasis on learning the skills needed to play the game. Several companies also participated, bringing their products for anyone to tryout, Bauer Hockey Company had a booth to test your shooting accuracy with an accompanying film dissecting a player’s body mechanics. Bridgestone had a shootout challenge. NHL 2K had a section where you could play their video game. Marvel Comics’ Stan Lee’s new comic book The Guardians representing the NHL teams had a 3D world interactive section. Honda had a test your skills section. Pictures could be taken with the Stanley Cup. A table was set up for Jeff Skinner, the Carolina’s 18 year old rookie phenom for a meet and greet, having a long line, no doubt trying to politely decline all the offers to go to the prom with all the teenage girls waiting patiently. This year’s event had a new format; a fantasy draft. Two captains, Erik Staal and Lidstrom and two alternate captains where chosen to pick the players who would play for their respective team from
the pool selection voted by the fans. All the players waited for the selections to be made. They looked nervous, remembering what it felt like when they were younger and dreading to be picked last. There was also a little drama to go along with the picks. Erik’s brother was waiting to get picked and his mother had told him it would definately be a good choice if he picked his brother for the team, probably adding the good home cooked meals he is privileged to be served. Also, the Sedin twins who have never played separately wondered if they would play against each other. Jonathon Toews was waiting to get picked by his buddy and alternate Captain Patrick Cane. No doubt many texts and emails were passed on to the captains during the week in hope of exacting some influence. After all was said and done, Erik Staal did pick his brother Marc after making him sweat a little by picking his other teammates first. The Sedin twins where separated, Towes did not look happy being one of the last to be picked, and Kessel, despite being the last player picked, was rewarded with a new car and $25,000 towards his favorite charity.
Saturday, January 29, 2011 - AllStar Skills Events New events where added to the old standards this year. Shooting accuracy skill was won by Patrick Kane( Chicago
Sunday, January 30, 2011 - All-star Game The day began with a recreation for kids on the ice choosing players to join a neighborhood pickup game, ending with two alumni from the Carolina Hurricanes, Rob Brindamore and Ron Francis being picked. After the introductions were made, the players where announced, one at time, with a spectacular show of modern technology coming out of a door which looked like a waterfall with the imprint of an image of a player. As the skaters skated toward his team he passed a banner that was stretched and wrapped around the scoreboard and reached down to the ice with a large image of the player being projected upon it. As the players reached his team at the end of the ice, a visual highlight reel of the player was being played on the ice with
music representing the player. When all the players assembled on each blue line that included the youth hockey players, the national anthems of Canada and the United States were played. The games play were fast but cautious; No one wanted to get hurt. The goalies played hard and didn’t want to let any goals in that might affect their reputation. Alexander Ovenchkin at one point threw his stick in front of a player to prevent a goal on a breakaway which caused a penalty shot, first one in All-star history, but the shot failed against NY Ranger Henrik Lundqvuist saving Ovechkin from being the first player to cause a penalty shot goal. During the intermission a Stan Lee
production called The Guardians was played with a movie of The Guardian’s comic book characters representing each NHL team going against an arch enemy with the Carolina Hurricane character saving the day and the stadium. Another way to bring more fans to the game. The game ended with the score of 11-10 with team Lidstrom winning and Brandon Sharp winning the MVP Award. Overall an enjoyable new approach to the All-Star game that will bring in more fans. Albert Caamano has coached ice hockey for 15 plus years to include recruiting young players in preparation for college, prep schools and tournaments, and also worked Goalie camps and clinics with former Olympic coaches and college players. Direct email to him at email@example.com.
The Westchester Guardian
THURSDAY, FebrUary 10, 2011
EYE ON THEATRE
By John Simon
Give Chekhov a fine production such as Classic Stage Company’s Three Sisters, and you get what is genuine, live masterwork theater. Even in the three-quarters round, not the most accommodating format, Austin Pendleton’s mounting is a milestone.
different. Olga, the eldest, is sturdy and practical, a teacher and reluctant headmistress. Masha, the middle one, married to a seedy but delusory schoolmaster, is the artistic one, who falls for the unhappily married colonel Vershinin, commander of the temporarily local army battery. Irina, the youngest, a post office clerk, is a romantic dreamer, who brought down to earth agrees to a Sounds bleak, doesn’t it? But thanks to Chekhov’s artistry, it emerges almost as funny as melancholy. This is achieved by the author loving his characters, however foolish, errant, and even ridiculous. Three
The three Prozorov sisters have gone down in theatrical history as provincebound souls, desperately longing to return to Moscow, but condemned to smalltown frustration. It is, however, a drama of much greater scope, featuring several characters who, comically or tragically, resignedly or rebelliously, endure unfulfilled lives. The attempts of a couple of them to extricate themselves are beaten down by unyielding destiny. The sisters, though devoted, are very
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respectful but loveless marriage, only to have her decent fiancé killed in a senseless duel. There is also the hapless Prozorov brother, Andrey, an unworldly amateur violinist and gambling addict, married to the unfaithful Natasha, one of the worst termagants ever put on a stage, a menace not only to him but also the entire family, and everybody else, except her babies, whom she fanatically idolizes. Add to this Baron Tuzenbach, Irina’s touchingly optimistic but doomed suitor; the elderly army doctor Chebutykin, too drunk and forgetful of his calling, and turned nearly total cynic; and Anfisa, a faithful old servant whom Natasha cruelly fires. Also captain Solyony, a maladjusted, megalomaniacal fantast, who fancies himself a romantic hero out of Lermontov.
Sisters is a long play that doesn’t contain a single unabsorbing minute. We are on what we take to be an amusing if a trifle scary rollercoaster ride, and only gradually realize what it is: life. Austin Pendleton (himself also an actor and dramatist) has directed with consummate ingenuity and variety, as well as nowadays rare fidelity to the text, well translated by Paul Schmidt. On a stage that does not allow for much scenery, either unit or changing, Pendleton has made clever use of a long table variously placed, and very little else. He has kept the Continued on page 22
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EYE ON THEATRE
Maggie Gyllenhaal as Olga
Continued from page 21 actors steadily moving or movingly fixed, without ever making the stage traffic become arbitrary or overpowering the dialogue. And, admirably, he has allowed a good many, highly dramatic pauses. The cast, on the whole, is excellent. Jessica Hecht is a somewhat unconventional, more pliably compassionate Olga; Maggie Gyllenhaal, an only slightly too flaky, deliquescent Masha; and Juliet Rylance an utterly credible, touching Irina. Peter Sargaard--playing Chekhov’s as it were patented character, the believer in a better but very distant future, which we must , however unrewardedly, lay foundations for—is only slightly hampered by a rather ordinary voice. Ebon Moss-Bachrach is the perfect Tuzenbach, rather ungainly, quixotically believing in a work-engendered rosy
THURSDAY, FebrUary 10, 2011
TRUTH AND JUSTICE future, and heartbreakingly lovable. Louis Zorich is an all-too-believable, dogged nihilist as Chebutykin, warm only to the sisters. As Masha’s comic-pathetic schoolmaster husband, Kulyigin, Paul Lazar is an immaculately portrayer of self-deludedness. Anson Mount, an apt enough Solyony, is perhaps a shade less ominous than called for. The experienced Roberta Maxwell is an utterly moving Anfisa. Best of all, perhaps, is the Andrey of Josh Hamilton, in a multilayered performance that encompasses several conflicted emotions with terrifying verisimilitude. Heartrending are his attempts to fool others and himself into perceiving Natasha as the perfect wife, and just the way he pushes around an unloved baby in its stroller, with his accompanying emotional ouburst, is theater at its most memorable. The only disappointment is Marin Ireland, who makes the thoroughgoingly unlikable Natasha into a too schematic monster. A few minor characters are expertly handled, and there can be nothing but praise for Walt Spangler’s décor, Keith Parham’s lighting, and Marco Piemontese’s costumes. All in all, I would be surprised if there were this season another show as good, let alone even minimally better. Classic Stage Company 136 East 13th Street Tickets: (212) 352-3101 or www.classicstage.org. 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.
Two Unusual Wrongful Conviction Twists By Jeff Deskovic As an anti-wrongful conviction advocate, I keep abreast on what is going on in the field. Just when I thought that I had seen it all, as a result of which every news item would essentially be just another example or variation of a theme, I came across two most unusual items: a mentally retarded man, adjudicated incompetent to stand trial, served 14 years in a mental hospital before the charges were dismissed, and a man who was exonerated following 17 years in prison who now owes $55,500 in back child support. In 1993, Floyd Brown, who had the mentality of a 7 year old, was arrested by State Bureau of Investigation Agent Mark Isley for murdering Katherine Lynch, an 80 year old woman, in Wadesboro, North Carolina. The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation assists local law enforcement in solving complex crimes. A witness was interviewed who stated that two men attacked the victim, giving a description of a black man, with a mustache, weighing about 150 pounds, with big lips. Brown never wore a mustache, and weighed at least 20 pounds less than 150. Nonetheless, Isley, who had seen Brown around town previously, focused on him. Nevertheless, according to CNN, “that night detectives came for Brown at his mother’s house. They seized his spare change of clothes to test for blood and took him on a drive. Brown told his sister, Frances Staton, that they climbed the hill to Lynch’s house, a bloodied, tattered crime scene, and invited Brown inside for a look. The next day, they came for Brown, where Isley filled out a waiver of rights indicating he was willing to speak without an attorney; Brown misspelled his last name. For the next several hours, Isley and fellow agent Bill Lane took no notes during their interrogation which lasted for more than two hours.” “Brown’s memory of that day consists of a blur of hands slamming down on tables and threats that he could be executed for the crime. Then, Isley broke protocol and wrote an elaborate, detail oriented confession in the first person that experts testified was way too detailed and organized for Brown to have ever dictated ‘verbatim’ as Isley alleged, and even beyond the average
person’s capability.” The “confession” was riddled with red flags that were ignored, particularly by the prosecutor, and the judge: - It said that Brown stated he awoke at 6 AM; Brown can’t tell time; -It said that he took a bath; yet the house he lived in didn’t have a bath or shower, and he never washed himself unless ordered; -It referred to the victim as his cousin, but they are not related; -It said that after bludgeoning the victim with a stick, he checked to see if she was alive but when doctors in the mental hospital asked him how to figure out if a person was alive or dead, he was confused. Brown was ruled incompetent, unable to assist in his own defense, and was therefore sent to Dorothea Dix, a mental hospital, were staff worked with him for the next 14 years trying to make him competent, so he could get his day in court. Occasionally they were able to get him to repeat the explanations of how court worked, but a few hours later he would forget, and so he remained in the mental hospital, in a type of legal limbo. Finally, attorneys Kelley DeAngelus and Mike Klinkosum secured a court hearing at which, according to CNN, the chief of forensic services Mark Hazelrigg testified that, “This statement is not made in a language that is typical or even possible for Mr. Brown to make spontaneously on his own.” In an affidavit, Hazelrigg continued, “Mr. Brown has a limited vocabulary. His speech is simple and repetitive. Mr. Brown does not use complete sentences. … As a whole, the alleged confession is too detailed and organized for even a normally intelligent person.” Superior Court Judge Orlando F. Hudson Jr. freed Brown in 2007, ruling that the confession offered by Isley failed to convince him that Brown murdered anyone. On immediate inspection, the following is obvious about this case: It should have been tossed right back at Isley by any self respecting district attorney because the so-called “confession” was obviously something the accused was totally Continued on page 23
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TRUTH AND JUSTICE
Two Unusual Wrongful Conviction Twists Continued from page 22 incapable of saying, much less writing; this was clearly an attempt to frame Brown, an available easy mark; Brown was placed in a mental hospital, a innocent man and kept there virtually incarcerated, in a circumstance not provided for under current law and criminal procedures. This procedure of making an adjudication that an accused at a given moment is incapable of assisting in his or her own defense and therefore having been accused, can be committed to a mental health or other facility until such time as he is capable of assisting in that defense, is only applicable to those afflicted with mental and/or physical illness, not mental retardation. Such an individual can never reasonably be expected to improve with respect to their ability to assist in their own defense and therefore has a permanent incapacity. In cases where the accused will be a significantly developmentally disabled individual, the burden upon initial screening to determine plausibility and probable cause rests more heavily on police than it otherwise might. Alan Northrop spent 17 years in prison in Washington for first-degree
rape, kidnapping and burglary, based upon a misidentification, prior to being proven innocent. According to the magazine Justice Denied, upon release he was informed that he owed $111,000 in child support for the time he was imprisoned: half of it to his ex-wife, and half to the state of Washington to reimburse it for financial assistance provided to help support the children during Northrop’s incarceration. Following media exposure, the state agency waived the money owed to it, however Northrop still owes his ex-wife, and his check is being garnished $100 a month from his earnings at a $12 an hour job in a metal fabrication shop. As I see it, the entitlement is not altered, but the liability should clearly shift from his shoulders to that of the state who wrongfully incarcerated him. That should be so regardless of any other findings with respect to the state’s liability for wrongfully incarcerating him. It is gratifying that media exposure is still capable of shaming state actors into doing the right thing. Jeffrey M. Deskovic is a Criminal Justice Advocate and Exoneree. To learn more, wist his website: www.JeffreyDeskovicSpeaks.org.
THURSDAY, FebrUary 10, 2011
LEGAL NOTICES NOTICE OF FORMATION of The Gourmet Gluten Free Food Company, LLC. Arts. of Org. filed with the Secy. of State of NY (SSNY) on 12/31/2010. Office location: Westchester County. SSNY designated as agent of LLC upon whom process against it may be served. SSNY shall mail process to: c/o the LLC, 15 Kensico Knoll Place, White Plains, NY 10603. Purpose: Any lawful activity. Anesthesia Leader, PLLC Articles of Org. filed NY Sec. of State (SSNY) 10/21/2010. Office in Westchester Co. SSNY design. Agent of LLC upon whom process may be served. SSNY shall mail copy of process to The PLLC 280 Dobbs Ferry Rd Ste 206 White Plains, NY 10607. Purpose: Any lawful activity. Lewbel LLC Articles of Org. filed NY Sec. of State (SSNY) 12/31/2010. Office in Westchester Co. SSNY design. Agent of LLC upon whom process may be served. SSNY shall mail copy of process to The LLC 37 Lexington Ave Mount Vernon, NY 10552. Purpose: Any lawful activity. White Plains Homeowners Coalition, LLC Articles of Org. filed NY Sec. of State (SSNY) 10/8/2010. Office in Westchester Co. SSNY design. Agent of LLC upon whom process may be served. SSNY shall mail copy of process to The LLC 980 Broadway, Ste. 225 Thornwood, NY 10594. Purpose: Any lawful activity.
Notice of Formation of a Limited Liability Company (LLC): Name: APPLESTAR HOME INSPECTIONS LLC, Articles of Organization filed with the Secretary of State of New York (SSNY) on 12/16/2010 Office Location: Westchester County, SSNY has been designated as agent of the LLC upon whom process against it may be served. SSNY shall mail a copy of process to: C/O APPLESTAR HOME INSPECTIONS LLC, 38 Douglas Avenue, Yonkers, NY 10703. Purpose: Any Lawful Purpose. Latest date upon Which LLC is to dissolve: No specific date. Health Care Links LLC Articles of Org. filed NY Sec. of State (SSNY) 11/5/2010. Office in Westchester 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 Cortland Manor, NY 10567. Purpose: Any lawful activity. Event Leadership Institute, LLC Authority filed with Secy. of State of NY (SSNY) on 11/23/2010. Office location: Westchester Co. LLC formed in Delaware (DE) on 8/5/2010. SSNY designated as agent of LLC upon whom process against it may be served. SSNY shall mail process to The LLC 4 Montgomery Rd Scarsdale, NY 10583. DE address of LLC: 615 S Dupont HWY Dover, DE 19901. Arts. Of Org. filed with DE Secy. of State, PO Box 898 Dover, DE 19903. Purpose: any lawful activity.
2HB Holdings LLC Articles of Org. filed NY Sec. of State (SSNY) 9/29/2010. Office in Westchester Co. SSNY design. Agent of LLC upon whom process may be served. SSNY shall mail copy of process to The LLC 59 Calton Rd. New Rochelle, NY, 10804. Purpose: Any lawful activity. Bookkeeping Performance, LLC Articles of Org. filed NY Sec. of State (SSNY) 11/8/2010. Office in Westchester Co. SSNY design. Agent of LLC upon whom process may be served. SSNY shall mail copy of process to The LLC 17 Warren Ave Tuckahoe, NY 10707. Purpose: Any lawful activity. Treat Dog Hotels, LLC Articles of Org. filed NY Sec. of State (SSNY) 1/19/2011. Office in Westchester Co. SSNY design. Agent of LLC upon whom process may be served. SSNY shall mail copy of process to Melissa Horowitz C/O: ESCC 84 Business Park Dr Ste 115 Armonk, NY 10504. Purpose: Any lawful activity.
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THURSDAY, FebrUary 10, 2011
Can you imagine...
a world without children? At St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, we can’t. That’s why we are working every day to find cures for life-threatening diseases that strike children everywhere.