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PRESORTED STANDARD PERMIT #3036 WHITE PLAINS NY

Vol. VI No. XXIII

Westchester’s Most Influential Weekly

Thursday, June 7, 2012 $1.00

Ridge Hill Lawsuit Award in Jeopardy

JOHN F. McMULLEN TV

From Baird to the Web

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SHERIF AWAD Art Attack Page 6 RICH MONETTI Signature “Bell Tower” Preserved Page 7 BOB PUTIGNANO 2012 Chesapeake Bay Blues Festival Page 10

Legislator MaryJane Shimsky

Funding May Soon Expire rders

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Books W

Books Without Borders

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CARLOS GONZALEZ Senate Democrats’ Coup-Coup’s Nest Page 19 ABBY LUBY Holiday Inn Express Coming to Peekskill Page 20 EDWARD I. KOCH Unjust Verdict

Rutgers Cyber-spying Case

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BOB WEIR Paying the Price of Freedom Page 27


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Best Location in Yorktown Heights 1100 Sq. Ft. Store $3100; 1266 Sq. Ft. store $2800 and 450 Sq. Ft. THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2012 Page 3 Store $1200. THURSDAY, JUNE 7, 2012 THURSDAY, MARCH 29, 2012 Page 3 Suitable for any type of business. Contact Wilca: 914.632.1230 THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2012

THE WESTcHESTER GUARDiAn THE WESTCHESTER GUARDIAN THE WESTcHESTER GUARDiAn

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Of Significance Of Of Significance Significance

Community Section ...............................................................................4

Community Section......................................................................................3 Community Section ...............................................................................4 Business ................................................................................................4 Calendar......................................................................................................3 Business ................................................................................................4 CalendarDisruption. ...............................................................................................4 Creative ..................................................................................4 Calendar ...............................................................................................4 CharityCommentary. ..................................................................................................5 Current ..............................................................................5 Creative Disruption ............................................................................5 Charity Contest..................................................................................................5 ..................................................................................................6 Economic Development..........................................................................6 Cultural Perspective ...........................................................................7 Contest ..................................................................................................6 Health. ..........................................................................................................6 Creative Disruption ............................................................................6 Energy Issues .......................................................................................8 Creative Disruption ............................................................................6 Heritage.......................................................................................................7 Education .............................................................................................7 In Memoriam ....................................................................................10 History.........................................................................................................7 Education .............................................................................................7 Fashion ..................................................................................................8 Music. . ..........................................................................................................9 Medicine .............................................................................................10 Fashion ..................................................................................................8 Fitness....................................................................................................9 People. ........................................................................................................10 Najah’s Corner ...................................................................................11 Fitness....................................................................................................9 Health ..................................................................................................10 Police..........................................................................................................11 Movie Review ....................................................................................12 Health ..................................................................................................10 History ................................................................................................10 Sports.........................................................................................................11 Music ...................................................................................................12 History ................................................................................................10 Ed Koch Movie Review ...................................................................12 The Spoof..................................................................................................11 Community ........................................................................................13 Ed Koch Movie Review ...................................................................12 Spoof Eye On....................................................................................................13 Theatre. ........................................................................................12 Writers Collection.............................................................................14 Spoof ....................................................................................................13 Leaving of a Jet.......................................................................................13 Plane..............................................................................13 Sports Scene Books Sports Scene .......................................................................................13 Housing Litigation. ..................................................................................14 Najah’s...................................................................................................16 Corner ...................................................................................13 People ..................................................................................................18 Business.....................................................................................................15 Najah’s Corner ...................................................................................13 Writers Collection.............................................................................14 Eye On...................................................................................................16 Theatre ..................................................................................18 Writers Collection...................................................................................16 Writers Collection.............................................................................14 Books Books. .........................................................................................................18 Leaving on a Jet Plane ......................................................................19 Books ...................................................................................................16 Transportation ...................................................................................17 Government Section...................................................................................19 Government Section Transportation ...................................................................................17 Government Section ............................................................................20 ............................................................................17 Albany Correspondent. ..........................................................................19 Campaign Trail ..................................................................................20 Government Section ............................................................................17 AlbanyMarvin..........................................................................................20 Correspondent ....................................................................17 Mayor Economic Development....................................................................17 Albany Correspondent Mayor.......................................................................................................21 Marvin’s Column..................................................................20 .................................................................18 Budget. Education ...........................................................................................21 Mayor Marvin’s Column .................................................................18 Economic Development........................................................................21 Government .......................................................................................19 The Hezitorial ....................................................................................21 Government .......................................................................................19 Elections....................................................................................................24 OpEd Section .........................................................................................23 Legal ....................................................................................................23 OpEd Section .........................................................................................23 Legal Notices. . ...............................................................................................25 Ed Koch Commentary.....................................................................23 People ..................................................................................................24 OpEd Section. ...............................................................................................28 Ed Koch Letters toCommentary.....................................................................23 the Editor ..........................................................................24 Strategy ...............................................................................................24 Ed KochtoCommentary...........................................................................28 Letters the Editor............................................................................25 ..........................................................................24 Weir Only Human Letters to theHuman Editor..............................................................................25 ...............................................................................29 OpEd Section .........................................................................................25 Weir Only Legal Notices ..........................................................................................26 NewNotices York Civic........................................................................................29 ..........................................................................................27 Legal ..........................................................................................26

RADIO RADIO RADIO

Westchester On the Level with Narog and Aris Westchester On the Level with Narog and Aris Aris and

allegations, programming be suspended for the days of March 29, 2012. Westchester On the Levelwith is heard from Monday to Friday, from2610toa.m. to 12YonNoon http://www.BlogTalkRadio.com/Westchester kers Philharmonic Orchestra Conductor James Sadewhite is our scheduled guest Westchester On the Level is heard from Monday to Friday, from 10 a.m. to 12Friday, Noon on the Internet: http://www.BlogTalkRadio.com/WestchesterOntheLevel. Join March 30. Jointoll-free the conversation by calling OntheLevel. on the Internet: by http://www.BlogTalkRadio.com/WestchesterOntheLevel. the conversation calling to 1-877-674-2436. Please stay on topic. Join It is howeverby anticipatedtoll-free that theto jury will deliberation ontopic. either Monthe conversation 1-877-674-2436. stay on 1-347-205-9201. Please stay onconclude topic. its Richard Narog March andcalling Hezi Aris your co-hosts. thePlease week day or Tuesday, 26 or 27.are Should that be theIncase, we willbeginning resume ourFebruary regular 20th and ending on Richard Narog andhave Hezi are entourage your InYonkers the week beginning February 24th,schedule we an Aris exciting of the guests. programming and announce thatco-hosts. fact on Tribune website.February 20th and ending on February 24th, we exciting entourage ofshow. guests. Richard Narog and HezianAris are co-hosts of the Every Monday is have special. On Monday, February 20th, Krystal Wade, a celebrated participant in http:// Every Monday is special. On Monday, 20th, Krystal a celebrated participant in http:// www.TheWritersCollection.com is ourFebruary guest. Krystal Wade isWade, a mother of three who works fifty miles www.TheWritersCollection.com our guest. Krystal is a novel mother threeaccepted who works fifty miles from home and writes in her “spare istime.” “Wilde’ s Fire,”Wade her debut hasofbeen for publication from home and writes ininher “spare “Wilde’iss her Fire,” her debut has sbeen accepted and should be available 2012. Nottime.” far behind second novel,novel “Wilde’ Army.” How for doespublication she do it? and available Tuneshould in andbefind out. in 2012. Not far behind is her second novel, “Wilde’s Army.” How does she do it? Tune in and find out. Co-hosts Richard Narog and Hezi Aris will relish the dissection of all things politics on Tuesday, February Co-hosts Richard andPresident Hezi ArisChuck will relish the dissection of his all things politicsfrom on Tuesday, February 21st. Yonkers CityNarog Council Lesnick will share perspective the august inner 21st. Yonkers Lesnick will share 22nd. his perspective from theEsq., august sanctum of theCity CityCouncil CouncilPresident ChambersChuck on Wednesday, February Stephen Cerrato, will inner share sanctum of the CityonCouncil Chambers Wednesday, February24th 22nd. Esq.,bewill share his political insight Thursday, Februaryon 23rd. Friday, February hasStephen yet to beCerrato, filled. It may a propihis political Thursday, February 23rd. Friday, February 24th has yet to be filled. It mayofbeThat a propitious day toinsight sum uponwhat transpired throughout the week. A sort of BlogTalk Radio version Was tious day to sum up what transpired throughout the week. A sort of BlogTalk Radio version of That Was The Week That Was (TWTWTW). The Week That Was (TWTWTW). For those who cannot join us live, consider listening to the show by way of an MP3 download, or on For thoseWithin who cannot join us consider listening the the show by wayinof MP3 that download, orlink on demand. 15 minutes of live, a show’ s ending, you cantofind segment ouranarchive you may demand. Within 15 minutes of a show’ s ending, you can find the segment in our archive that you may link to using the hyperlink provided in the opening paragraph. to using the hyperlink provided in the opening paragraph. The entire archive is available and maintained for your perusal. The easiest way to find a particular interview The is available and maintained forfor yourtheperusal. easiest to findofa the particular interview is toentire searcharchive Google, or any other search engine, subjectThe matter or way the name interviewee. For isexample, to search Google, or any other search engine, for the subject matter or the name of the interviewee. search Google, Yahoo, AOL Search for Westchester On the Level, Blog Talk Radio, or use For the example, hyperlinksearch above.Google, Yahoo, AOL Search for Westchester On the Level, Blog Talk Radio, or use the hyperlink above.

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The Westchester Guardian is a weekly newspaper devoted to the unbiased reporting of events The Westchester Guardian is a weekly newspaper devoted to the living unbiased reporting of events and developments that are newsworthy and significant to readers in, and/or employed in, 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 informaWestchester County.tion Thewithout Guardian willor strive to report fairly, andduty objectively, reliable informafavor compromise. Our first will be to the PEOPLE’S tion 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, RIGHT KNOW, by themay exposure ofthe truth, without fearoforFREEDOM hesitation, no matterTO where the pursuit lead, in finest tradition no matter where the pursuit may lead, in the finest tradition of FREEDOM OF THE PRESS. OF THE PRESS. The Guardian will cover news and events relevant to residents and The Guardian will cover news and eventsAs relevant to residents and businesses all over Westchester County. a weekly, rather than businesses all over Westchester County. As a weekly, rather than focusing on the immediacy of delivery more associated with daily focusingwe onwill the instead immediacy more associated daily journals, seek of to delivery provide the broader, morewith comprejournals, we will instead seek to provide the broader, more comprehensive, chronological step-by-step accounting of events, enlightened hensive, chronological step-by-step accounting of events, enlightened with analysis, where appropriate. with analysis, where appropriate. Professional Dominican Hairstylists Nail Technicians From &amongst journalism’s classic key-words: who, what, when, From amongst journalism’ s classic key-words: who, what, when, Hair •• Styling •• Wash && Set Perming Hair Cuts Cuts Stylingwhy, Washand Set ••how, Permingthe why and how will drive our pursuit. We where, Pedicure Ins Wraps Nail Designs Pedicure •• Acrylic Acrylic Nails Nails •• Fill Fill Ins •• Silk Silkwhy, Wraps ••and Nail Art Art Designs where, how, the why andand how drive our Highights • Coloring • Extensions • Manicure • Eyebrow Waxing will use our •more time, ourwill resources, to pursuit. get past We the Highights • Coloring • Extensions • Manicure Eyebrowabundant Waxing will use our more abundant time, and our resources, to get past the initial ‘spin’ and ‘ d amage control’ often characteristic of immediate Yudi’s NY initial ‘spin’ and damage often characteristic immediate Yudi’s Salon Salon 610 610 Main Main St, St, New New Rochelle, Rochelle, NY 10801 10801 914.633.7600 914.633.7600 news releases, to ‘reach thecontrol’ very heart of the matter: the of truth. We will news releases, to reach the very heart of the matter: the truth. will take our readers to a point of understanding and insight whichWe cannot take our readers to a point of understanding and insight which cannot be obtained elsewhere. be obtained elsewhere. To succeed, we must recognize from the outset that bigger is not necesTo succeed, must recognize from theacknowledge outset that bigger is not necessarily better.we And, furthermore, we will that we cannot be sarily better. And, furthermore, we will acknowledge that we cannot all things to all readers. We must carefully balance the presentationbe of all things to all readers. We must carefully balance the presentation of relevant, hard-hitting, Westchester news and commentary, with features relevant, hard-hitting, Westchester news and commentary, with features and columns useful in daily living and employment in, and around, the and columns useful in daily living and employment in, and around, the county. We must stay trim and flexible if we are to succeed. county. We must stay trim and flexible if we are to succeed.


THE WESTCHESTER GUARDIAN

CommunitySection CALENDAR

YPG Supports “Books Without Borders”

The Young to Publishing Group (YPG), an imitative of the Association of American Publishers (AAP) has shown its support of “Books Without Borders” which is an event to be held on the Yonkers Waterfront on June 9th. YPG is an organization that enables young people, new to publishing, an opportunity to network and build a community outside of the publishing houses they are currently employed. “Books Without Borders” will be a great opportunity for these young people to network with their peers from other publishing companies and begin to build relationships with new authors. The purpose of “Books Without Borders” is to allow authors and booksellers to promote books and themselves, as well as, meeting and developing relationships with agents, publishers and distributors. The hope is to develop a dialogue for the entire publishing industry to enter into the new world of Literature. What better way to go forward than with the new and future executives of the publishing industry? The YPG is a wonderful addition to the literary professionals already committed to “Books Without Borders”. Free exchange of ideas is the fuel for advancement in any industry. With the advent of eBooks and electronic book sales the traditional publishing industry is hard pressed to keep up with the pace of new and innovative strides now being taken by some. These young and vibrant members of the YPG are the future. Venues like “Books Without Borders” will promote that free exchange of ideas needed to bring the publishing industry into the future. The members of YPG may be the junior employees of today, with less than five years experience in publishing, but they are the executives of the future. These young people will decide where this industry goes and will determine how people will read in the future. The founders of “Books Without Borders” are excited that YPG is participating, due to the fact, that “Books Without Borders” was founded

with the concept of helping develop the future of publishing. How authors get their stories out, how books are presented, how publishers get those stories to market and ultimately how we will read in the future. Organize opportunities for industry peers (entry/junior level) to mingle, network and get to know one another. Contact: Becca Worthington email : bworthington@publishers.org The Young to Publishing Group is an initiative of the Association of American Publishers (AAP) that strives to give entrylevel and junior industry employees (typically with 0-5 years of publishing experience) a chance to build a community outside of their own publishing house and to educate themselves about the publishing industry as a whole. MEMBERSHIP IS FREE, and is open to all “young” (not far advanced in growth, junior, lacking experience) persons currently employed by an AAP member book-publishing house. For a complete list of AAP member houses, click here (http://www.publishers.org/main/ Membership/member_02.htm). Why is there a need for this group? Based on a survey of assistant level publishing employees done in the fall of 2000, the Recruit and Retain Task Force (now the Diversity Recruit and Retain Task Force) witnessed a void in opportunity for newcomers to publishing (typically at the assistant/associate level) to network with their peers at the other publishing houses and to learn about the industry at large. What are the goals this organization is trying to accomplish? Provide an environment in which individuals new to the industry (0-5 years) feel welcomed and part of a bigger picture. Create opportunities for individuals to learn about the publishing industry as a whole—all the departments and steps that influence the making of a book.

Books Without Borders Celebrating Literature, Books and Authors Yonkers Public Library, Saturday June 9, 2012 See pages 13-16 for more information

THURSDAY, JUNE 7, 2012

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THE WESTCHESTER GUARDIAN

THURSDAY, June 7, 2012

CALENDAR

News & Notes from Northern Westchester By MARK JEFFERS

Good news to report, my oldest daughter is home and ready to help research the summer editions of this wonderful column. Thanks to Kate and we both hope you will all enjoy this week’s, “News and Notes…” I can’t think of a better way to spend the weekend...the second annual Laxin4Tony Jamboree to benefit Tony Ciccone, a former Fox Lane lacrosse player who was paralyzed playing for Fox Lane in the spring of 2001 is being held at the Fox Lane High School on Saturday June 9th and Sunday, June 10th. From 8 am to 5 pm more than 35 boys and girls teams in grades five through eight will arrive at the Fox Lane campus for rousing competition, raffles, skills contests, food and more. There will be appearances from three-time Team USA member and MLL star Ryan Boyle (Princeton ’04) and NLL & MLL star Mitch Belisle (Cornell ’07) and for the youth lacrosse players participating in the jamboree, it

is an opportunity to be more than just a great lacrosse player; it is a chance to support one of their own. The backs of the event t-shirts say it all, “We R 1 Tribe”. Come out and support this great event. Congratulations to our friends at Kelloggs & Lawrence in Katonah as they celebrate their 125th anniversary, and no I was not their grand opening… Since 1992, the Community Center of Northern Westchester has been dedicated to helping neighbors in need by sharing the essentials of living. With the support of 29 Community Partners, and the generosity and volunteer power of residents from all over Northern Westchester, they offer food and clothing, as well as other programs designed to meet the needs of those living in the Northern Westchester community. Did you know, during the month of May, the very generous folks in this area donated 6,931 pounds of food to neighbors in need. June is busting out all over, as is my stomach, so I am ready to run once again at the Pound

Ridge 5K Race on June 30th starting at the Pound Ridge Elementary School, see you there. Then on the Sunday after I run, maybe I will hop on my bike and head over to the Bronx River Parkway and take advantage of Bicycle Sundays. If walking is more your style, then you won’t want to miss the Homestead historic walking tour on June 9th at the John Jay Homestead in Katonah. Three cheers to our good buddy Rob Labritz the director of Golf at Glen Arbor in Bedford as he won the Polo Golf Metropolitan PGA Head Professional Championship for his first victory of the season…way to go Rob! Bedford Hills Free Library has started offering commuter parking spaces for lease in their lot on Griffin Avenue. These spaces, open to both residents and non-residents, are extremely convenient to the Bedford Hills train station and are available for $100 per month.The income from this parking lot will help the library make up for recent budget cuts in their annual operating funds.

Summer reading is for the whole family so stop by the Chappaqua Library at 198 S. Greeley Avenue and take advantage of the Friends of the Library Annual Used Book Sale. Sale days run June 7th through June 10th. If you are a real bargain hunter, books go to half price on the 9th and what ever is left is FREE from 1 pm to 3 pm on June 10th, so stop by to stock up on your beach books. If you have a damaged, faded or worn American flag the Briarcliff Manor American Legion has set up a collection box for the proper disposal. The collection box is located outside the main entrance of the Briarcliff Fire Department. The Croton Falls Fire Department Ladies Auxiliary is holding their 4th Annual Croton Falls Street Fair on June 10th, there will be bake sales, games, clowns, music and much more. June is the month for a bunch of area Fire Department to parade and show off their great engines in parades and festivals, hats off the brave folks who are there when we need them, we salute and thank you…see you next week. Mark Jeffers resides in Bedford Hills, New York, with his wife Sarah, and three daughters, Kate, Amanda, and Claire.

CREATIVE DISRUPTION

TV – From Baird to the Web By JOHN F. McMULLEN

On January 26, 1926, Scottish inventor John Logie Baird demonstrated in his London office to a newspaper reporter and members of the Royal Institutions what is recognized as the world’s first demonstration of a working television system. In Fall 2012, ex-NBA star Shaquille O’Neal will debut the “Comedy Shaq” channel on YouTube. We’ve come a long way, baby, in less than ninety years … and the path along the way

has included invention, government regulation, business decisions, program selection, and, now, the impact of the Internet. American inventor Philo Farnsworth designed and built the world’s first working allelectronictelevision systemandfirstdemonstrated his system to the press on September 3, 1928. After rejecting David Sarnoff ’s offer to sell his patents to RCA and join the company, Farnsworth moved to Philadelphia, joined the Philco Company, and demonstrated the system to the public at Philadelphia’s Franklin Institute. He also become embroiled in litigation with

RCA, which now claimed that Farnsworth’s patents were invalid because of earlier work of Vladmir Zworykin, who had been recruited in 1930 by RCA from Westinghouse. Farnsworth eventually won the various legal suits and was paid royalties by RCA. The Federal Radio Commission (created in 1926 to regulate US radio use and later replaced by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in 1934) issued the first television station license (W3XK) to Charles F. Jenkins on July 2, 1928 to broadcast from an experimental station in Wheaton, Maryland. Hugo Gernsback (later the most important person in Science Fiction publishing – for whom the “Hugo” science fiction award is named), owner

of New York City Radio Station WRNY, began a series of live television broadcasts on August 14, 1928. Over the next thirteen years, experimentation with television continued until the FCC determined that television was ready for commercial licensing, issuing licenses to NBC and CBS-owned stations in New York on July 1, 1941 (the same day, the first commercial television advertising appeared on NBC’s WNBT (now WNBC) when the station broadcast a test pattern modified to look like a clock, with the words “Bulova Watch Time” in the lower right quadrant, just prior to that afternoon’s telecast of a Brooklyn Dodgers game live from Ebbets Field). World War II brought a moratorium to development as production of new TVs, radios and other civilian broadcasting equipment was suspended from April 1942 to August 1945. The end of the war and the general boom in the country jump-started the proliferation of television sets and, by 1947, there were about 44,000 television sets (with probably 30,000 in the New York area). The post-war years also brought the beginnings of Television Networks; NBC had begun in 1944 and the Dumont Television Network followed in 1946 and CBS and ABC in 1948. Television, however, would not have proliferated as it did were it not for the “killer apps,” Milton Berle, Howdy Doody, and Hopalong Cassidy. Just as VisiCalc would later sell Apple IIs and “1-2-3” IBM-PCs, “Uncle Miltie” and Continued on page 5


THE WESTCHESTER GUARDIAN

THURSDAY, JUNE 7, 2012

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CREATIVE DISRUPTION

TV – From Baird to the Web Continued from page 4 “Hoppy” sold TVs. In 1948, NBC brought “The Texaco Star Theatre” to television with Berle as one of four hosts, naming him sole host in Fall 1948. The show became so popular, gathering 80% of the TV audience that some movie theaters in New York closed on Tuesday nights. The morning after the show, workplaces would be filled with discussion of the Berle show the previous night – a great incentive for TV holdouts to go get a set. Howdy Doody, a pioneer in children’s television, ran on NBC from 1947 to 1960. Originally created as a voice by NBC radio announcer Bob Smith, the character became so popular that there was demand for a visual character and a red-headed puppet was created (with 48 freckles on his face, one for each of the then 48 states) and it was “Howdy Doody Time” for 14 years (the final words of the last show were said by the up-to-then mute character Clarabell the Clown, who had only communicated through the use of his horn and by squirting seltzer. He said “Goodbye Kids.”) Of equal importance to the slightly older young set was Hopalong Cassidy, the first Western network television series, debuting on NBC on June 24, 1949. Cassidy was the fictional hero of a series, begun in 1904, of novels and short stories by author Charles Mulford. Beginning in 1935, sixty-six Hopalong

Cassidy movies were made starring the actor William Boyd. When the movies began to be less successful than other films, Boyd gambled his future by putting all his assets on the block to purchase the character rights from Mulford , the film backlog from producer Harry Sherman, and the rights to the old films from the studios. He then sold NBC on the idea of a television series – all NBC had to do was to edit the movies down to broadcast time length. The series was tremendously successful, making Boyd a bigger star than he had ever been in the movies and paving the way for other movie cowboys, such as Roy Rogers and Gene Autry, to move to television -- “Daddy, why can’t we have our own television? I don’t like to keep going to Peter’s to watch Hoppy (or Howdy).” The success of these shows led the networks to begin a policy that continues to this day -- “If it works, copy it ... ad nausium” and so, variety shows, kid shows, and westerns were duplicated for years. “Lucky Pup” (the vehicle for “Pinhead” and “Foodini”), “Time For Beany,” “Kukla, Fran, & Ollie,”“Snarky Parker,” and “Rootie Kazootie” arrived for kids; Jack Benny, Red Skelton, Jackie Gleason, Perry Como, and Arthur Godfrey all had variety shows; and Wikipedia lists 183 westerns that sprung from the success of Hopalong Cassidy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_ of_TV_Westerns) -- including “Gunsmoke,” “Maverick,” and “Have Gun, Will Travel.” A second part of the above policy might be “... if these shows begin to lose viewership, never

try that genre again” and today we have no westerns nor variety shows on network TV. As we moved through the years, color television arrived. NBC introduced two shows that became staples up until today -- “Today,” which began broadcasting on January 14, 1952 (hosted by Dave Garroway, assisted by chimpanzee J. Fred Muggs), and “The Tonight Show” which debuted in 1954 (and has been hosted by Steve Allen, Jack Parr, Johnny Carson (30 years), Jay Leno, Conan O’Brien – and back to Jay Leno). Three major corporations (ABC, CBS, & NBC) controlled all network content and television sets had only 13 channels. During that time, Quiz Shows and Documentaries came and went; Situation Comedies (“SitComs”) became popular and we moved from simplistic and light (“Ozzie and Harriet”) to socially relevant (“Maude”) to “adult sleezy“ (“Three and a Half Men”); mysteries became mainly cop procedural shows; and soap operas dominated day time television until they were replace by talk shows. Creative Disruption is a continuing series examining the impact of constantly accelerating technology on the world around us. These changers normally happen under our personal radar until we find that the world as we knew it is no more. Next – The Landscape Explodes: Cable Television, High Definition Television, & The Internet – A Whole New Ball Game. John F.McMullen has been involved in technology

for over 40 years and has written about it for major publications. He may be found on Facebook and his current non-technical writing, a novel, “The Inwood Book” and “New & Collected Poems by johnmac the bard” are available on Amazon. He is a professor at Purchase College and has previously taught at Monroe College, Marist College, and the New School for Social Research.


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THE WESTCHESTER GUARDIAN

THURSDAY, JUNE 7, 2012

CULTURAL PERSPECTIVE

Art Attack

Later on, after wrapping up the episode, Franco contacted Olds who started to work on this “found footage,” to repurpose Franco’s material into an experimental psychological thriller focusing on the actor’s escalating paranoia. Olds added his own voiceover as the conscience of Franco and edited the material to make it look like Franco is losing his mind on the set as the line between reality and fiction was blurring with the performance artist Franco plays in the television soap opera and the movie star James Franco are in internal conflict. Olds and fellow screenwriter Paul Felten worked

By SHERIF AWAD

Can an artist kill for inspiration? Can art inspire vicious crimes? These are the questions raised by many films I have seen during Tribeca Festival last

month. Eddie the Sleepwalking Cannibal, a DanishCanadian co-production was the first film. It stars Danish actor Thure Lindhardt who plays Lars, an artist who suffers from creativity problems. However, his inspiration is only resurrected in the form of carnage – blood, guts and scenes of violence. Concerned about his young protégé, Ronny, Lars’s long-time art dealer, arranges for him a teaching job in a small town, at a school for the mentally challenged. Arriving there, he gets introduced to the deaf and dumb Eddie, one of the school’s students. One night, Lars wakes up only to discover that Eddie is a cannibal suffering from a rare form of sleepwalking that drives him to crave for the fresh meat of human beings. Initially horrified by Eddie’s deep dark secret, Lars becomes enthralled by the not-so-gentle giant who becomes his muse for a new series of bloody and violent paintings. PART MUSE ...

Dylan Smith. end into a more graphic and detailed climax. However, Rodriguez did not show us any of the paintings inspired by Eddie’s crime realized by Lars because he wanted to leave the recognition to our imagination. Eddie reminded me of a very old film I have seen in 1980s though it was released in 1974. Craze starred Jack Palance as Neal Mottram, a nutty antiques dealer who starts to sacrifice women to an African idol he kept in his gallery.

PART SLEEPWALKING CANNIBAL

many tools: action, reverse-action abstraction, animation, and multiple-screen imagery, all set within the context of a dramatic suspense narrative. Also Franco and Olds succeeded in using Franco’s celebrity status to create an original work that defies the trajectory of stars who usually move from soap to silver screen. After Tribeca, I went to see The Raven starring one my favorite actors, John Cusack, in a thriller taking the real-life character of novelist Edgar Allan Poe into a fictitious narrative where he faces a lunatic committing horrific murders inspired by his writings. James McTeigue (V for Vendetta), directed The Raven with high efficiency and fast-pacing and succeeding to pull out another one of Cusack’s intense performances.

Rodriguez film

starring Thure Lindhardt GLOBAL SCREEN PRESENTS A QUIET REVOLUTION PICTURES FRIDTHJOF FILM MAJIKA PICTURES PRODUCTION WITH THE PARTICIPATION OF TELEFILM CANADA DANISH FILM INSTITUTE IN ASSOCIATION WITH CAPTIAL MOTION PICTURE GROUP SUPER CHANNEL AND MAKEAMOVE EXECUTIVE ASSOCIATE THURE LINDHARDTWRITTENGEORGINA REILLY DYLAN SMITH AL GOULEM PAUL BRAUNSTEIN AND STEPHEN McHATTIE PRODUCERS MICHAEL A. DOBBIN RONNIE FRIDTHJOF BORIS RODRIGUEZ PRODUCERS MICHAEL SOLOMON STEVE MORETTI SVEN SCHNELL PRODUCERS MIRIAM NØRGAARD ALEX SANDAHL ASSOCIATE & STORY STORY ORIGINAL SOUND PRODUCTION COSTUME STARS PRODUCER CHRIS HASTINGS DIRECTED BY BORIS RODRIGUEZ BY JON RANNELLS EDITOR ALEX EPSTEIN SCORE DAVID BURNS CINEMATOGRAPHY PHILIPPE KRESS, DFF EDITOR SARA BØGH JENSEN DESIGN THOMAS ARENT DESIGN COLLEEN MARCHAND DESIGN SUE FIJALKOWSKA CASTING 1066 PRODUCTIONS CASTING SARAH KAY JENNI LEWIS STARRING

I met Boris Rodriguez, the writer-director of Eddie, who, after studying filmmaking in Montreal, went to direct the award-winning documentary Havana Kids in 1996. Rodriguez, who is making his feature debut in Eddie, told me that the original draft of the script was about a werewolf and a novelist in Carolina and, after few rewritings, became the final film whose poster’s design, colors and composition, was given a retro feel with a tribute to the poster of the classic horror The Exorcist and some Italian horror film known as Giallo. During the shooting, Rodriguez discovered how difficult it was to mix violence and dark humor, which is a common formula nowadays. But near the end, he was successful in causing the violence to escalate from the beginning of the film to the

Director Boris Rodriguez.

Francophenia.

THE SLEEPWALKING CANNIBAL a Boris

on this subjective interior monologue that underscores the conflicted relationship between these various facets of the same being. The film is a crazy ride with the director playing with

Thure Lindhardt.

The second film about art, mayhem and madness is Francophrenia, a brilliant, cuttingedge collaboration between famed actor and avant-garde artist James Franco and awardwinning filmmaker and editor Ian Olds. A couple of years ago, Franco signed up for a guest appearance in one of the episodes of General Hospital, then brought along a crew to film behind-the-scenes action on a set at Los Angeles’ Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), creating a glimpse into the strange world of celebrity in both its public and private moments. In that episode, Franco was playing a deranged artist who was about to commit a crime while opening his show at the MOCA.

Born in Cairo, Egypt, Sherif Awad I a film / video critic and curator. He is the film editor of Egypt Today Magazine, and the artistic director for both the Alexandria Film Festival, in Egypt, and the Arab Rotterdam Festival, in The Netherlands. He also contributes to Variety, in the United States, and Variety Arabia, in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Jack Palance in “Craze”.


THE WESTCHESTER GUARDIAN

THURSDAY, JUNE 7, 2012

Page 7

DEVELOPMENT

Bedford Property Owners Win Right to Demolish Historic Tudor Structure Signature “Bell Tower” Preserved By RICH MONETTI

On Tuesday, May 15th, The Bedford Town Board heard the appeal of Dr. Darel Benaim and her husband Carlos in regards to their application to demolish an architecturally distinctive structure on their property known as the Belfry. The Benaim’s had purchased the property on 44 Holly Branch Road in 2011 with the intent of tearing down the hundred year old building and incorporating the home of stone, wood and glass into the rolling hill. “Our real estate broker assured us we would be able to complete the designs in full compliance,” said Dr. Benaim in addressing the board and public hearing. Four months later, the couple was confronted with the Historical Building Preservation Ordinance and found their property among 500 other Bedford properties affected. Stopping their plans cold, she said, “We were shocked.” The ordinance calls for the preservation of properties and structures that contain distinctive architectural and historical significance. The point of contention has hinged on the transparency of the document.

The Benaim’s claimed neither they nor the various real estate and legal agents enlisted in the acquisition knew nothing of the Ordinance, and in fact, it was not available to the public. Otherwise, she said, “We never would have purchased the property.” In response, John Stockbridge, the Town of Bedford’s Historian denied the so-called “secrecy” of the list, as he argued in favor of the preservation of the Tudor Style structure for the Bedford Village Historic District Review Commission. “There is no intent to have secrets. This is a survey that is available for people to look at,” he said. “Is it sent to everybody? – No! But is the wetland map sent to everybody?”, he asked rhetorically. In turn, he believed “due diligence” was not done in regards to the property owners and the real estate brokers and lawyers that acted on their behalf. Mr Stockbridge chose not to speculate on the intent of the various parties. The main details in the dispute aside, the board fashioned a compromise. The Benaim’s will be able to demolish the main structure known as the Belfry but must preserve its signature Bell Tower. They can either relocate it or incorporate it into a new structure. The Benaim’s

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Small Business Returns; One Plate and a Glass at a Time By NANCY KING

This week, the government released their monthly jobs report and the news was dismal. Unemployment is up to 8.2% from last month’s 8.1%, and the nation added a mere 69,000 jobs during the month of May. This is hardly the news that cash strapped, already uneasy Westchester workers wanted to hear. Though these numbers are modest, throughout the county there seems to be a tentative step towards economic recovery. White Plains, which for many years was the home of multiple $1.00 stores, has seen the emergence of new businesses along both the Mamaroneck Avenue and Main Street corridor. In the past year, White Plains has welcomed nearly a dozen small businesses to their community. However these new businesses center around the hospitality industry and are mainly restaurants and bars; most of them are privately owned. While these stores may not be the type of small business that we grew up seeing on Main Street, these are the types of businesses that are attracting entrepreneurs and consumers

alike. To cash strapped municipalities, they are contributing to the sales tax revenue stream that keeps a municipality fiscally healthy. According to Stuart Levine of Vino 100 situated on East Post Road, small merchants are grateful for the bustling dining and nightlife crowd that now frequent the downtown. Those patrons provide foot traffic to areas that normally halts to nothing once the county office workers leave at 5:00 P.M. Increased foot traffic encourages other businesses to stay open later and thus make some sales. On the topic of sales, Levine stated that he is seeing an increase in all the businesses. While Liquor stores are generally a recession proof industry, wary consumers spent somewhat less purchasing low end wine and spirits; they still drank, just did it on the cheap! Other small business owners echo Levine, but are also concerned about those storefronts that have been empty for over a year now. East Post Road in White Plains, once a street with upscale shops, is rife with empty storefronts. The farther away from Mamaroneck Avenue you travel, the more empty stores you encounter. Landlords of those storefronts claim Continued on page 8

Legal Counsel, Al DelBello, confirmed that the Benaim’s were satisfied with the ruling. Mr Stockbridge was however disappointed that the ordinance’s intent did not fully stand up to the challenge but was relieved the Bell Tower was spared. He also recognized the bigger picture approach the Town Board was faced with. Pointing to possible ambiguities in any document and the willingness of the residents to continue the fight, he said, “Basically, they didn’t want to get involved in an expensive, time

consuming litigation.” Going forward, Mr Stockbridge sees the outcome as a wake up call for the commission. “We need to be on the same page as the Town Board so if an ordinance is accepted, it can be relied upon by the public to get a proper review,” he concluded. Rich Monetti lives in Somers. He’s been a freelance writer covering Westchester County since 2003. Peruse his work at www.monetti.blogspot.com. Commercial • Industrial & Residential Services Roll-Off Containers 1-30 Yards Home Clean-up Containers Turn-key Demolition Services

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THE WESTCHESTER GUARDIAN

THURSDAY, JUNE 7, 2012

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Small Business Returns; One Plate and a Glass at a Time Continued from page 7

there has been no interest in their space but this reporter suspects that they might not be so interested in subdividing space or are simply charging too much rent. Perhaps former gubernatorial candidate Jimmy McMillian was onto something when he ran in 2009 on the mantra that the “rent is too damn high”. Grapes, The Wine Company didn’t let those sky high, White Plains rents deter them

from expanding their business in a sluggish economy. Daniel Posner, proprietor of Grapes, The Wine Company, moved into a 1600 square foot retail space in a small strip mall carved into the bedrock on Rt. 22, in North White Plains, in the Town of North Castle. Grapes, founded in 1997, has been twice named Best in Westchester by Westchester Magazine and was recently a sponsor of Westchester Wine Week at the RitzCarlton in White Plains. Grapes also boasts

a climate controlled wine room with rare and expensive wines for those who are collectors of fine wine. According to staff at the store, business is brisk both on the retail and commercial side of business. So it seems that economic recovery in the County is based on the need for food and drink. Communities with busy bars and restaurants generate the foot traffic that help support local specialty shops. Tarrytown, Bronxville, North Castle, and White Plains are all perfect examples of such. These village and city governments have

extended the invitation to small business owners that they are indeed open for business and they have the sales tax revenues to prove it. Main Street and small business isn’t dead, it has just reprioritized itself. We’ll shop for our clothing and goods in the mall, but when we want a home cooked meal and a drink, we’d just as soon stay home in our own hometowns. Nancy King is a freelance investigative reporter; a resident of White Plains, New York.

HISTORY

Obama Stuns Polish Americans with His Holocaust Mistake BROOKLYN, NY -- The Holocaust Documentation Committee of the Polish American Congress was one of the voices echoing in the White House after President Obama forgot it was Nazi Germany which was responsible for the crimes of the Holocaust. It happened at the ceremony when the President posthumously awarded The Presidential Medal of Honor to, among others, Jan Karski who is known today as “the man who tried to stop the Holocaust.” A member of the Polish Underground during the German occupation of Poland in World War II, Karski was an eyewitness to the way the Nazis maltreated and murdered Jews in one of their camps. Karski tried to inform the world about the killings he saw by going to London and Washington to warn the Allies about the state of terror facing the Jews back home. They refused to believe him. Unfortunately, the President’s speech writers led him astray when they provided him with a text which had him say that Karski witnessed the atrocities against the Jews inside a “Polish” death camp. It was really a German camp.

the President of the United States,” said Frank Milewski who currently heads the Holocaust Documentation Committee. After an Administration spokesman issued a statement claiming the President only “misspoke,” the committee called the White House and followed up with a request for further action: (see below). To: The White House press@who.eop.gov From: Frank Milewski, Chair Holocaust Documentation Committee Polish American Congress Jan Karski, before a wall-map of the Warsaw Ghetto pacdny@verizon.net at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, On behalf of the President’s recalls his secret 1942 missions into the Nazi “prisonNational Security Council, Tommy city-within-a-city”. Photo by E. Thomas Wood, 1994 Vietor stated that the President This is not the first time this type of “misspoke” at the Presidential Medal misidentification has drawn the ire of the Polish of Freedom ceremony when he referred to a American Congress. The organization has Nazi death camp as “Polish” instead of German. been in the forefront of the fight against this One of the objectives of the Holocaust misnomer for several decades. Documentation Committee of the Polish “It stunned us to hear it from someone like American Congress is to safeguard the integrity

of Holocaust history by correcting errors which come to our attention. Errors like the one the President made are generally brought to our attention by our members and constituents, as was the case
here. In all candor, the President’s error hit a raw nerve in the Polish American community as evidenced by the comments sent us. Our membership includes many registered Democrats whose families have been loyal to the party even for generations. In view of the fact the President’s statement was so egregious, we would suggest that he be advised that, at the very least, an apology is the appropriate way to deal with this problem rather than merely saying he “misspoke.” Misstatements damaging Poland’s history continue to be a grave concern of the Polish American community. We are also relying on the President’s promise to finally include Poland in the Visa Waiver Program and his assurance Poland’s security is a priority for his administration. We are convinced his appropriate and prompt response will do much to reassure all of us.

housing

Local Humanitarian Group Steps Aside for Government Funding By SHANNON AYALA

Annie Smith, a senior citizen whose house has been gradually destroyed by rainwater in Mt Vernon, was not aware (when asked on May 24th) of Habitat for Humanity, not to mention its Westchester County Chapter and its particularly recent presence in her city. The Mount Vernon Mayor’s Office was nonetheless inclined in May to approve an initiative to receive national HUD (Department of Housing and Urban Development) funds to have Smith’s roof fixed (for $33,026), despite its involvement with Habitat, the worldwide,

homebuilding, humanitarian organization. (Habitat is a substantial nonprofit: according to its website, they’ve repaired over 500,000 houses since 1976; they’re also known for one volunteer, President Carter. In Westchester specifically there are over thirty high school-Habitat clubs according to the HFH Westchester High School Website). Jim Killoran, the exuberant Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity of Westchester, was inversely well aware of Annie Smith before The Westchester Guardian exposed her decaying walls to the public last week. He said it would be better if Mount Vernon contracted a company to fix the roof because

it’s a job that would be too dangerous for volunteers. He said that Habitat could then step in to handle interior work such as plastering. A representative from Habitat International only added that such funding decisions (when asked if a chapter would ever fund a private company) are determined at the local group. The chapter can’t do it all, says Killoran, adding that more seniors are contacting Habitat WC; he suggests that taxes should be lowered for seniors in Westchester. Killoran then doesn’t stress the incapacity (if not boundaries) of the county chapter, but instead insists that “the little things add up,” referring to such materializations as the flower

pots of about two-by-four feet in top-surface area or the “pothole gardens” that now line streets in southwest Mt Vernon since Mt Vernon Month began in May and continues into June. (Mt Vernon Month is not over: seniors as well as anyone could attend an open house forum with Habitat Westchester on June 16th at 9:30 AM in their Renew Store at 2 Cortland Street in the southwest corner of Mt Vernon). Now Killoran’s description of the organization’s place in the City as well as the County at large goes well beyond flowerpots. He provides a tour around the blocks surrounding the Renew Store, at what he regards as one of the entryways of the town. Beyond this area are two new community garden projects of Habitat and one just around the corner is a possible third, a


THE WESTCHESTER GUARDIAN

THURSDAY, JUNE 7, 2012

Page 9

housing

Local Humanitarian Group Steps Aside for Government Funding

Page 26

The WesTchesTer Guardian

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Renew Store men at work vacant lot; next door is a house painted by volunprovided by Habitat. A colleague of Winston teers, one of the many sites of the “Brush with notes that they don’t see prostitutes outside the Kindness” campaign. store anymore. Though they’ve been in the town for a The last stop is the Renew Store, one of couple of years, these are projects that Killoran 700 in the country, says Killoran. He calls it a says have only been going on in a few weeks. second-hand Home Depot, though it has Ikea Some of the stops on his tour, immediate in aspects, carrying new-looking furniture, a flat proximity, are small businesses in which the screen TV, a vintage pinball machine and a South owners enthusiastically praise Humanity’s recent Pacific piano. The items are either slightly used progress. “So many folks have noticed the differand donated, he says, or unused, such as photoence,” says Sharon Coulborne of Sharon’s Realty, model lights. He says the store is considered where she’s been established for eighteen years. out of sight, like a “diamond in the rough” but “After we saw him show up, the whole is an asset to the community: it’s employed at thing changed,” says Winston Shillingford of least two or three people and offers low-priced the West Indies Market Place/fish and chip items such as a $3,500 cabinet set that he and shop. “People are coming out in the evenings. his partner say would otherwise go for over 20 We’re seeing people we don’t normally see.... He’s thousand, or $20 wicker-seated bar stools. It’s changing the face [of the neighborhood]”. There not completely local however, since customers are customers in the store at tables and chairs visit from beyond New York State.

A non profit Performing Arts Center is seeking two job positions- 1) Director of Development- FT-must have a background in development or experience fundraising, knowledge of what development entails and experience working withup” sponsors/donors; 2) Operations Manager- must have a ”The little things add good knowledge of computers/software/ticketing systems, duties include overseeing all box office, concessions, movie staffing, day of show lobby staffing such seller, bar sales. Must be familiar with POS to asa Merchandise 2010 list on VolunteeringInAmerica.gov/ And yet the presence of Habitat is also its system and willing to organize concessions. Full time plus hours. Call (203) rankings.cfm, s right. volunteerism. One enthusiast, David Simkins, 438-5795 and ask for Julie orhe’ Allison

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THE WESTCHESTER GUARDIAN

THURSDAY, JUNE 7, 2012

MOVIE REVIEW

Ed Koch Movie Reviews By Edward I. Koch

Movie Review “Moonrise Kingdom” (+) I saw this film after reading Manohla Dargis’s glowing review of it in The New York Times. If I had not read her analysis, I would not have known that Wes Anderson, director and co-writer of the picture, has a cult following. This fantasy involves two 12-year-olds: Suzy (Kara Hayward) and Sam (Jared Gilman). The well-known supporting actors include Edward Norton as a scout leader, Bruce Willis as a

Movie Review: “Hysteria” (-) This ridiculous movie, set in Victorian London, received undeserved good reviews. The premise of the film is that many of the diseases suffered by women in the late 1800s were imagined. Two physicians believe that they can relieve the hysteria and make the women feel better by manipulating their genitalia. Dr. Mortimer Granville (Hugh Dancy) is a progressive physician working with an older doctor who does not believe in germs. Mortimer does and disobeys the senior doctor’s instructions by changing bandages on a patient and is subsequently fired. He secures another position with Dr. Robert Dalrymple (Jonathan

MUSIC

police captain, Tilda Swinton as a social worker, and Bill Murray and Frances McDormand, as Suzy’s parents, both of whom are lawyers. Sam is a foster child whose foster parents no longer want him. At the beginning of the movie I thought to myself, “What am I doing in this zoo?” Fortunately, I stuck to my rule of never leaving a film before it ends, and I began to enjoy it and became interested in what was happening. The story takes place on an island soon to be devastated by the storm of the century. Suzy and Sam, who make very mature comments about

life, run away to be together. They are pursued by the local police and a group of boys, known as Khaki Scouts, to return them safely home. The best actor in terms of getting the attention of the audience is Tilda Swinton, known only as “Social Services.” Representing the government, she comes to collect Sam and place him in an orphanage now that his foster parents have renounced him. While I’m not yet a full-fledged member of Wes Anderson’s cult, I will probably see his next film.

Pryce) who specializes in treating the hysteria of women patients. From that point on the movie becomes a one-trick pony. Granville and Dalrymple manipulate the genitals of their female patients. Word spreads and their practice grows, especially when they begin to use an electric vibrator invented by Granville’s millionaire friend, Edmund (Rupert Everett), causing one woman to burst into song. Other cast members include Dalrymple’s two daughters: the timid and obedient Emily (Felicity Jones) who practices phrenology, and the outgoing and rebellious Charlotte (Maggie Gyllenhaal) who created a home for underprivileged and homeless individuals. The directors went to great lengths to furnish the homes and dress the actors in

authentic Victorian styles of the day, and they also assembled a marvelous cast. Regrettably, they provided the performers with a vehicle that can only be described as unworthy tripe, and an infantile leaden script that adds up to nothing more than dressed-up smut. What a waste of talent and money. (The Victorian ties that the men sported in the picture look to me as the new attire for men today. I hope Brooks Brothers buyers agree.) Visit the Mayor at the Moview to ;earn more: http://www.mayorkoch.com/. The Honorable Edward Irving Koch served as a member of Congress from New York State from 1969 through 1977, and New York City as its 105th Mayor from 1978 to 1989.

THE SOUNDS 2012 Chesapeake Bay Blues Festival OFBLUE By Bob Putignano

Another stellar lineup for the Chesapeake Bay Blues, Saturday’s performances included the Chesapeake Bay Blues Band with local hero Tom Principato, the Honey Island Swamp Band, Janiva Magness, a Michael Burks tribute with Bernard Allison’s band and Lurie Bell, Ruthie Foster, Big Head Todd, and the Tedeschi Trucks Band. I arrived late for Saturday’s festivities, and only got to see Tedeschi Trucks who put on a solid set.This was the first time I saw the husband and wife team and I really enjoyed hearing Trucks’ soloing over a very tight horn section, and background singers. Tedeschi proved to be

no slouch on guitar and rolled out dynamite guitar licks, but was no match (intensity wise) for Trucks. I walked away thinking that as good as this unit was, I must say that I prefer seeing the Derek Trucks band over the Tedeschi Trucks ensemble as the DTB band is more creative and daring, and is more apt to take more chances. I had similar feelings about the Tedeschi Trucks studio and the just released double disc set. I arrived much earlier on Sunday and caught the end of Albert Cummings so-so performance, how many more blues-rock trios can one endure? Up next was the tiny dynamo Continued on page 11

Philipp Fankhauser


THE WESTCHESTER GUARDIAN

THURSDAY, JUNE 7, 2012

Page 11

MUSIC

2012 Chesapeake Bay Blues Festival

Hooker isn’t trying to make any personal monetary gain from the festival. Each year he donates all of the net profits to various charities. Over the years, Hooker raised nearly one-million dollars, an amazing accomplishment. In summary; if you looking to attend a great festival with a stellar lineup that is held at one of the most scenic venues around, and if you dig the TICKET PRICES INCLUDE A COMPLETE MEAL & SHOW

Jonny Lang band. Fankhauser was the consummate pro throughout, tantalizing the crowd with his Lydia Pense, with her latest incarnation of Cold command of the stage. I have to hand it to this Blood who were brought back to Chesapeake Euro star who came out wearing a all white suit (they appeared last in 2009,) and made a lasting who summoned and sang songs by Bobby “Blue” impression on me, and Pense and her fine unit Bland, Solomon Burke, and a man he considers did not disappoint again. Cold Blood’s perforone of his mentors; Johnny Copeland, pretty mance was all about Funk and Soul, but their ballsy, but right-on. I was hopeful that during opening number had the Blues-based crowd Fankhauer’s Copeland segment that Shemekia mesmerized as they ripped through a killer might join in, but that did not happen. Kudos version of “I Just Want To Make Love To You.” to the Chesapeake booking team for bringing This was Cold Blood’s second east coast visit Fankhauser to the USA, not only was it a rare in about twenty-five years, which is a shame opportunity to see this fine band stateside, but as Lydia and Cold Blood would be a welcome they were that good leaving a very memorable addition to festivals and clubs throughout the. impression on yours truly. Unfortunately I don’t They are that good. The crowd never danced have similar kind sentiments about JJ Grey and harder all weekend long. There was a long line Mofro who performed sloppily, and authors of fans that had purchased the latest Cold Blood some of the lamest lyrics on the planet. Closing CD, “Live Blood,” on www.digmusic.com. the show was Jonny Lang (who was also at Many told Pense that she was the main reason Continued from page 10

Susan Tedeschi Derek Trucks Lydia Pense they had attended the festival. It was also cool to Chesapeake in ’09) who blistered on his opening see how much vinyl Pense’s adoring fans brought number and throughout the eve. When I saw along for her to autograph. Catch this band live, him in ’09 here he would not allow any picture you won’t be disappointed. Also, check out their taking, but this time he allowed the press to take current recording that just burns! Kudos to the photographs for- one song… Jonny’s not my Cold Blood two-piece horn section that often full cup of tea, but I found it interesting to see sounded like a full-blown ensemble! his youthful fans (especially the young ladies) Philipp Fankhauser’s flight from thoroughly enjoying his set, a rarity for a blues Switzerland was late, so Shemekia Copeland performance. came on earlier and took his time-slot, by the Festival CEO and President Don Hooker is way Shemekia was also booked several times by a true lover of Blues music, he first organized the this festival and is obviously a fan and bookers fest in 1998. It was an immediate hit bringing favorite. Fortunately Fankhauser made it to the in more than 13,000 people to the park in two Bay Bridge in time to take Shemekia’s spot and days. Since their maiden voyage this picturesque really lit it up with his excellent guitar playing, festival has become one of the biggest music strong (and soulful) vocals, and dynamite festivals in the mid-Atlantic region. By the way:

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THE WESTCHESTER GUARDIAN

THURSDAY, JUNE 7, 2012

EYE ON THEATRE

For Special Tastes By JOHN SIMON

It is nice for a musical to address territory more highbrow than usual. That is what “February House” appears to attempt, with music and lyrics by Gabriel Kahane and book by Seth Bockley. But good intentions, even if they can avoid the proverbial road to hell, are not enough. Whatever the exact intent was here, it proves that pretentiousness, usually limited to words, can extend to notes as well. The show is meant to be the freely imagined story of a famous real-life situation, the occupancy of a since torn-down building in Brooklyn inhabited by a constellation of celebrities under the landlord George Davis, a homosexual writer and editor. This included W. H. Auden and his young lover and fellow poet Chester Kallman; Benjamin Britten and his lover , the singer Peter Pears;, escaping from wartime Britain; the Southern decadent novelist Carson McCullers, escaping her husband Reeves McCullers; Erika Mann, Thomas’s lesbian writer daughter, escaping the Nazis, whom Auden platonically married to give her protective U.S. citizenship; and Gypsy Rose Lee, writing a novel under the aegis of George Davis. Also present, though not included in the script, were Paul and Jane Bowles, Richard Wright, Marc Blitzstein, and Oliver Smith. The

and behavior. Somewhat better are Auden and Kallman, though here I am at a disadvantage, having known Kallman slightly and Auden better and not recognizing them in the actors. Although A. J. Shively is a conceivable Kallman, Erik Lichtefeld, for all his British accent, has none of Auden’s patent charm. Kristen Sieh behaves tomboyishly enough as McCullers, and, thanks considerably to a convincing wig, comes

A.J. Shively and Erik Lochtefeld. across to one who never met her as believable. Erika Mann’s politics and editing an unsuccessful magazine are there all right, as is her probable crush on Carson, but Stephanie Hayes can do little with a basically uninteresting part. As Reeves, trying brashly to retrieve his wife, Ken Clark is a credible outsider and straight

The cast of February House. man, but Kacie Sheik, a somewhat diminutive Gypsy Rose, has only one number, and that an intellectual striptease better in the Rodgers & Hart “Pal Joey.” In the longest part of George Davis (who was to become one of Lotte Lenya’s gay husbands), Julian Fleisher is conspicuously uncharismatic, and looks much less good than on the program cover. But finally, what matters is the score by the singer-musician Kahane. He has received many commissions and awards, and

place was dubbed February House by Anais Nin, because so many tenants had February birthdays. But even as February is the shortest of months, so this togetherness during the early 40s did not last long. It must, however, have proved more stimulating than this musical. Seth Bockley, whose oeuvre thus far is more eccentric than impressive, is unable to convey what the talk must have been like. Especially gross is turning Britten and Pears into a kind of comic vaudeville team in language

Kacie Sheik as Gypsy Rose Lee and Julian Fleisher as George Davis. is to have a solo evening at Carnegie Hall, but is promptly repeated. From Eno, even what I really liked only one early number, “A Room didn’t happen, happens in duplicate. Comes Together,” however haphazardly staged. There is lots of interplay with the audience. David McCallum’s direction did what it “You look like you just got born. Most people could on Riccardo Hernandez’s rudimentary get over that.” Or, “Please stay seated. Thank set, much of it taken up by the onstage orchestra. you. Well done. Very neatly done. Again, well Danny Medford’s choreography was barely done. Thank you.” Or, “Don’t get too lost. For embryonic, but then you don’t really want a too long.” Also, “I like repeating myself. Because, dancing Auden and Britten. you know, who else is going to do it?”This seems “February House” marks “the first commisto get the audience where it lives: they lap it up sion of The Public Theater’s Music Theater amid long laughs. Initiative,” but is scarcely more auspicious than The story, in so far as there is one, has the the political campaigns concurrently staged Man saying, “I’m describing it from the point of around us. view of the living, which is how we see everyWill Eno is the darling of certain reviewers, thing.” He also explains, “I’m not from here. though he functions mostly through indirection. I guess I never will be. That’s how being from It is, of course, possible to thrive on suggestions somewhere works.” between the lines. But as often as not, what we I forgo quoting more of this copious lessget between the lines is a void. ness. Conor Lovett certainly looks like and is Now we have a one-man show (a favored dressed as a man of exemplary ordinariness. He genre of his) titled “Title and Deed,” with only seldom moves from center stage, once notably the most tortured relevance. It is performed by to pick up a satchel he dropped behind him. the Irish actor Conor Lovett, and staged by his From it he removes a metallic lunchbox, which wife, Judy Hogarty Lovett. The Lovetts have he holds before him for close to a silent minute. been at it the world over under the similarly Then he comments, ‘Now this object has an whimsical signboard Gare St. Lazare Players interesting story. Not in words, I guess.” Ireland, chiefly with solo plays, often by Beckett. In words, though, we get not much more. “Title snd Deed” is very heavily indebted to Above the stage, Christine Jones has hung a the Beckett monologues, whether intended for number of those giant shards we get in some the theater or culled by others from his fictions. concert halls to improve the acoustics. Here The difference is that Beckett’s monodramas there is nothing audible or visible improved. are only passingly cute, whereas Eno’s are barely Photos by and courtesy of Joan Marcus. anything but. John Simon has written for over 50 years on theatre, What we get here from a character named film, literature, music and fine arts for the Hudson Man is essentially a comic existential cry on our Review, New Leader, New Criterion, National shoulders, delivered in frequently faltering, repetReview, New York Magazine, Opera News, itive, audience-cajoling, and steadily cutesy detail, Weekly Standard, Broadway.com and Bloomberg starting with the 70-minute show’s subtitle, “A News. Mr. Simon holds a PhD from Harvard Monologue for a Slightly Foreign Man.” The University in Comparative Literature and has whimsy greets us from above the entrance with taught at MIT, Harvard University, Bard College a screen reading, “I try to live every day like it was and Marymount Manhattan College. my third-to-last.” And early on in the show we hear, “I believe my life happened,” and a bit later, To learn more, visit the JohnSimon-Uncensored. “I once was . . . nah, I probably never was,” which com


THE WESTCHESTER GUARDIAN

THURSDAY, JUNE 7, 2012

Page 13

Books Without Borders Celebrating Literature, Books and Authors Presented by

The Yonkers Downtown / Waterfront BID The Yonkers Public Library The Westchester Guardian, Yonkers Tribune Westchester on the Level, WGRN Radio Hezi Aris, Sam Zherka Dennis Sheehan, author of Purchased Power

Event Entrance Registration

Yonkers Metro North Station

Authors Amphitheater

Meet the Authors

The Pier Xavier's X20

River Street

Fitz g Park erald

Saw Mill River

Ella

Dolphin

Train Overpass

Hudson River

CONDOS

Riverfront Library 1 Larkin Center Yonkers NY 10701

Dock St.

Children’s Authors in Ella Fitzgerald Park

Have fun with the Face Painters A Wonderful Story Teller And Music

Main Street Buena Vista Parking

Meet the Authors along the River Visit the Children’s Authors in the Park Attend the Seminars, Workshops and visit the Booksellers in the Library Gail Carson Levine in the Kid’s Library

CONDOS


Page 14

THE WESTCHESTER GUARDIAN

THURSDAY, JUNE 7, 2012

Featured Authors

Norb Vonnegut

Dennis Sheehan

Warren Berger

Frank Prete

Bruce Fabricant

Paul Anthony


THE WESTCHESTER GUARDIAN

Seminars Time 11:00 AM 11:30 AM 12:00 PM 12:30 PM

Community Room

THURSDAY, JUNE 7, 2012

Discussions Yonkers Room

Auditorium

Workshops Room 2B

Arts & Crafts Room

Creative Writing Charles Salzberg eBooks -Print Books Where is the future

How to write a Query letter Julie Just

Book Reading Susan Hodara

1:00 PM 1:30 PM

Digital Marketing

2:00 PM

Laura Kelly

2:30 PM

Page 15

New Program Writer’s for Libraries Groups Baker & Taylor Warren Berger

Getting the most om your eReader Barnes & Noble

Why your local bookstore is important to you

3:00 PM

Charles Salzberg is a notable writer and publisher. His company

Greenpoint Press is well known to writers. Mr. Salzberg will be joined by several of the authors published by Greenpoint Press in an animated discussion on creative writing, They will be in the Community Room at the Library from 11:00 AM until noon. Mr. Salzberg and his group will be available to sign books the rest of the day.

Julie Just, a top Literary Agent from Janklow & Nezbit. Ms. Just special-

izes in representing YA authors and will be sharing her in depth knowledge with us. Her talk is entitled :

“How to Write a Successful Query, it’s not what you think!” She will be in the Yonkers Room at 12:00 PM

Laura Kelly is an accomplished book marketer and social network spe-

cialist. She is a very sought after consultant and marketing executive. Her presentation at the event will be on Digital Marketing, a must for any of today’s authors. Laura will be enlightening us in the Community Room at 1:30 PM

Warren Berger is a successful author and head of the Marmaduke

Writer’s Group. Warren is a featured author at Books Without Borders. He is willing to share his experience as an author and explain the importance of a Writer’s Group. He will be appearing in the Yonkers Room at 2:00


Page 16

THE WESTCHESTER GUARDIAN

THURSDAY, JUNE 7, 2012

Meet the Authors on the Riverfront Discover New Bookshops at The Library

The Writers Collection

___http://thewriterscollection.com___

AUTHORS Hunter Shea

Carole Bugge

Brian Renda

Edward Wilkes

Dave Custance

Matthew Abuelo

Mindy Lewis

Helmut Degen

Bruce Fabricant

Frank Juliano

Sharon Farber Ph.D.

Paul Anthony

Jackie Kingon

Warren Berger

Mary Ann Esposito

Jenna Kernan

Sergio Troncoso

Adam Bertocci

Frank Prete

Giftus John

Stacey Glick

Sammie Chandler

Charles Salzberg

Valerie Albarda

Margo Stever

Norb Vonnegut

Wade Garret

Dennis Sheehan

Saul Weber

Melissa Foster

Beth Kendrick

Waithra Mbuthra

Gail Carson Levine

Erin Cashman

William Schiff

Book Stores The Village Book Store Pleasantville Anderson’s Books Larchmont The Voracious Reader Larchmont Womrath Books Bronxville Barnes & Noble Yonkers


THE WESTCHESTER GUARDIAN

THURSDAY, JUNE 7, 2012

Page 17

THE SPOOF

Barbie is 53 Years Old, Takes up Zumba By GAIL FARRELLY

To show the world that she’s still in great shape, the famous Mattel doll has taken up Zumba, the Latin dance fitness craze that’s sweeping the U.S. Dressed in sexy, curvefitting exercise togs, her blonde locks in a perky ponytail, she was spotted at a Westchester

exercise studio, taking a Zumba class. Observers reported that she was jiving to the music as well as kicking faster, higher, and with more enthusiasm than classmates half her age. At the end of class she signed autographs for a crowd of admirers and scoffed at rumors that she was too old to cut the mustard anymore. She said she agrees with Mark Twain who once commented: “Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t

mind, it doesn’t matter.” But those in the know say that behind the scenes, it’s another story. Barbie has had cosmetic surgery on her eyelids, four tummy tucks, and numerous botox treatments. In addition, she will probably need knee replacement surgery within the next year or two. Her medicine chest looks like an ad for the cosmetics industry. It’s packed with items such as: antiwrinkle creams, hair dye, skin softeners, etc. You get the picture. Barbie’s favorite book at the moment? How

Not To Look Old by Charla Krupp. “Okay, okay, I admit it -- I need all the beauty help I can get these days,” Barbie has told friends. And she’s reminded them of what Eleanor Roosevelt once said: “Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art.” Barbie, we have three words for you. You go, girl! Learn more about The Farrelly Sisters – Authors. Visit http://www.farrellysistersonline.com/ on the internet.

BOOKS

The Retired (Try To) Strike Back Chapter 52 - This Last Chapter Isn’t By ALLAN LUKS

Joel, who reported about the four couples for a daily newspaper, is now finishing a book about what happened to them over the last five years. As he drafts the final chapter, he writes, “These men and women started off to prove that retirees were still individually vital, and their efforts grew into the present national campaign encouraging seniors to take a greater role as public leaders to end the nation’s bitter polarization. In this last chapter, I’ve interviewed these leaders how they see their own future.” Nancy and Steven “When I worked for the city’s transportation department,” Nancy tells Joel, “I used to wear very large earrings to try to get people arriving with petitions, who were usually angry about something, to start off asking about the earrings and not argue so much about my department’s slow response to problems. I cared—but everything just seemed to chug along at a slow pace. “But now, retired, with the Senior Women’s March and Talk Centers started by our group, I want people to ask what I do.This is a good feeling, which I never thought I’d have, especially at my age.” Her husband, Steven, explains to Joel: “When we march now, I call to people on the sidewalks to join us. But as a social worker, I’d go to community meetings, describe a problem the needy had, and rarely had time to return to speak again to that group. “But with marches usually a couple of days a week in most places, and feeling the support of all the seniors marching around me, I’m a continuing voice. Like Nancy said, that feels good at our age.” Joan and Bob “The two commercials Bob and I co-directed not long ago, using seniors as spokespersons, rather than the young and handsome and beautiful, continue being shown, and most important the products advertised are selling more,” Joan tells Joel. “I recognize advertising’s credibility is not the highest, but it is still is a powerful force. I believe these commercials are getting the public to further accept seniors as honest deliverers of information.

Bob and I could be asked to do more commercials. “Look, I’ve had breast cancer, I’m constantly being checked, now my daughter-in-law is too, and my son still doesn’t have a regular job. But at the same time, I’m contributing an important message. I’m not saying it makes me completely happy, but I’m not down.” Bob tells Joel, “I directed too many commercials not to know that an agency’s ad clients suddenly can kill a great commercial, because they’re never confident about what the public is thinking. You can always be moving ahead— and then suddenly you’re shoved aside. But I’m marching—and waiting.” Mimi and Myron “When I was a buyer for high-end furniture,” Mimi tells Joel, “my goal was to show why buying the latest style would make people feel good about themselves. But I’ve changed and point out that in our film we explain that seniors usually aren’t working and so have less money and need to cut back on their expenses. That means seniors can discuss how to feel satisfied with less. “If that sentiment could catch on, then politicians might gain the popular support to cut earmarked programs that help just a few and use these freed-up resources for programs that can help the large public good and that they can be united on, and so start to break their own and the country’s polarization. “I realize that people can say: ‘Sure, today’s seniors want us to pay for programs that they should’ve helped when they were our age.’ That thinking could send us back to being just older people whom the public would like to see disappear. I feel that possibility.” Myron tells Joel: “I emphasized in my campaign for City Council that because of our limited clocks, seniors want to take on important issues. That was a reason for my bringing up ideas that aren’t within the jurisdiction of local Council members, like increasing organ donor donations and encouraging Social Security recipients to put aside a portion of their monthly check and leave it for their children when they retire, which also would help the nation’s current budget woes. Except I lost the election. “When I run again will I use the same

campaign? Yes. My senior clock hasn’t changed.” Roz “I’m living with my son and his family in California, and my two grandchildren are a daily, feel-good boost. I push myself to wake up early to see them when they go to school, but then they and my son and daughter-in-law leave and the house is empty. I need the Senior Woman’s March. “I’m marching in the area where I now live. I also attend a Talk Center at least once a week, and when they see this older woman giving her views, challenging back, the others appreciate that. It’s like, hey, there are all these seniors out there, and if they’re going to get involved in not just senior issues but all issues, like this woman, that could be big. Of course, I had five years experience, from doing our senior dating advice film and then organizing the original marches, to become a confident speaker. “It’s not great being alone, and I know many

seniors who feel this.Yet every day I imagine Kenny, my late husband, who was an actor and saw seniors at society’s center stage because of our great helping potential. If the marches continue and I stay able to march, knowing seniors are spreading the word for a better future for our children, grandchildren, and yes, ourselves. To feel a new future. Yes, at my age—“ This is my last column, completing a year of ongoing weekly chapters about four retired couples trying to show they’re vital individuals and who discover that seniors have attributes that might make them the public leaders who can break the country’s angry polarization. I appreciate the so many seniors who contributed their views. A great thanks toPublisher Sam Zherka and Editor-in-Chief Hezi Aris and “The Westchester Guardian”. Let’s see if these stories are right about a new national role for seniors.


Page 18

THE WESTCHESTER GUARDIAN

THURSDAY, JUNE 7, 2012

BOOKS

No Guarantees: On Man’s Road Through the Darkness of Depression Chapter Thirty Eight – Smoke Before Fire By BOB MARRONE

The period between my breaking away from Marianne, on through my marriage, and up to the birth of my daughter was filled with obligations, distractions and revolving priorities. I was in charge of client service for two regions of the country in the world’s largest brokerage firm; still in the heart of my serious hockey playing days and dealing with the issues associated with that; had accepted the position of coach for my company’s industrial league basketball team; and, obviously, I was in the midst of planning my wedding. Looking back now, knowing what followed several months later, the downward spiral I was on is clear to me. And what is still astounding to me, as well, is how I could obsess on a problem at the same time that I avoided it. My commitments, as well as extra-curricular activities, served as great displacements for the turmoil that was percolating inside me. As for the “activities,” it was and is not uncommon for a young man in his early twenties to spend a good deal of time partying, and I was no different. I would often have a “fun” commitment on five or more nights a week. With the basketball team we always went out drinking after games and practices. On Wall Street in those days, It became a regular Friday night ritual to go out and have a few drinks. I never became a problem drinker, fortunately, as I did not like it that much, my stomach did not like it and I was allergic to most beers and wines. Nonetheless, I got my buzz from it and have my stories to tell. But, I preferred marijuana, at least for the short time that I tried it. It gave me a dreamy feeling, did not upset my stomach

and never left me incapacitated. It did, however, serve to unmask some emotional issues that were precursors to my emotional collapse in April of 1975. Before I explain what occurred I want to extend a sincere and heartfelt warning. If you are suffering from depression that is not yet under control, and are prone to hypochondria, do not read what follows. I am not trying to be dramatic, but this is one of those things that can become frighteningly self-fulfilling if you are so inclined. Talk to your doctor about it first. As I noted, I had begun to prefer marijuana over alcohol as my social intoxicant. Funny, I did it with a different group of people than the ones I drank with which led to more nights partying than I should have; just something to be kept in mind in the overall scheme of things. The first signs that my “smoking” was revealing a problem were subtle and scary. On several nights, while walking home from a friend’s house after smoking, out of nowhere, I would react as if someone came out from a dark corner and yelled BOO! However, there was no one there and I did not hear anything. It was an effect without a cause, a reaction without a provocation. Physically it was akin to the reaction you have when you jump in a cold body of water; think the uncontrolled gasp and a start. These little episodes were often accompanied by the visual sense that the lights went off and on, as if someone leaned against a light switch. Another odd reaction would occur when I went to bed. As I was falling asleep, again out of nowhere, I would feel a sudden burst of intense terror, as if I was thrown off a building or some other such frantic event. I would snap awake,

again with a great gasp, before falling back to sleep. I tended to overlook these things as stress related…which of course they were…and only focused on them in the way a hypochondriac does with any unknown symptom. What I did not know is that these reactions were the harbingers of more serious horrors to come. Hypochondria: Certainly not all hypochondriacs develop depression, but it is a sign on insecurity as well as a cry for assurance, certainty and order in a world that can offers none of these. It is, perhaps most dangerously, one more heavy duty way to avoid one’s real problems. I slowly began to obsess about these episodes as a possibility of an as yet undiagnosed illness. In my case, my hypochondria became a huge factor in how I dealt with the more severe presentations of my illness later on. It had the dual quality of being both a fire unto itself, and an accelerant. On a spring night in 1974, while at a party at a friend’s home, I took the last drag of marijuana I would ever try. My buddy had some new good “grass” that we smoked in a water pipe. The good of a water pipe is that the smoke does not burn your throat. The bad is that you will inhale more deeply than you otherwise would and cannot monitor your level of intoxication as well. You get much higher faster. All of a sudden I was more stoned than I had ever been. It made me nervous. The more nervous I got, the more paranoid I became that I was having some kind of a freak-out the likes of which were written about in the press about more powerful psychedelic drugs, like LSD. Then, out of the blue, I thought that my left arm was numb, and that I was having a stroke or some other kind of brain damage. I panicked, which led to a

The Intrigue of International Finance and Politics From the pen of

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Purchased Power by first time (!) author Dennis Sheehan has to be read to be believed. It's a taught, tense thriller filled with espionage, intrigue, and engaging characters that will keep you turning the pages. Think of it as a more intelligent Tom Clancy novel, with a level of detail that could only be crafted by someone who really knows their stuff. Highly recommended. -Brett Gillin

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full-fledged panic attack and subsequent fixation. My voice quivered, my heart pounded through my chest, the terror crawled over my body like a thousand daggers, and I was at the brink of incontinence. I honestly felt like leaping out of the window. I needed to go to the hospital, but in 1974, the drug was less acceped than it is today. I paced and babbled, trembled and moaned. I was sure it would never end. All of the muscles in my body cramped and went into spasm, and I urinated about a dozen times. Several hours later, through the patience and care of good friends, I did manage to get through the night. But I was petrified in a deep existential way. It left me scarred and more hypochondriacally than I had ever been. “Was I brain damaged?” Did I alter my DNA with the pot?” “What was wrong with me.?” The worst thing the episode left me with was the tendency to both experience anxiety attacks and, worse, learn how to make them exponentially worse, by obsessing on them when they began. Thus, a fire was lit that would take many years to put out. And now for the kicker: Pot had nothing to do with what was happening to me. It simply opened the door a crack into the turmoil of my soul, and gave me an unconscious convenient displacement for what was really ailing me. Before long, my job performance started to slip from outstanding to just good; my diminishing hockey skills were eroding my sense of manhood and worth; and I was pretending to myself and others that I could not wait to be married. Bob Marrone is the host of a Monday to Friday local morning talk show.


THE WESTCHESTER GUARDIAN

THURSDAY, JUNE 7, 2012

Page 19

GovernmentSection ALBANY

Mandate Relief Bill Sponsored By Senator Stewart-Cousins Approved by Senate Saves Taxpayer Money and Increases Flexibility for Local Governments ALBANY, NY -- A mandate relief bill sponsored by Senator Stewart-Cousins was approved by the State Senate Wednesday. Senate bill 6634A would extend the repayment terms of short term loans issued to local governments in 2007 and 2008 -- the beginning of the economic downturn. The repayment terms would be extended from five to seven years, which will save local governments hundreds of thousands of dollars over the two year period. Known as bond anticipation notes (or BANs), these short-term loans carry a lower interest rate than long-term bonds. They are issued to local governments for capital projects such as building restorations, sewer improvements or parks and recreational repairs. If not

paid off within five years, the BANs must be converted into long-term debt at a higher interest rate. Senator Stewart-Cousins introduced the legislation at the request of Westchester County village officials. “This bill gives local governments around New York more flexibility to deal with their expenses,”said Senator Stewart-Cousins.“BANs issued at the beginning of the recession are due this year, but many cash-strapped municipalities are struggling with budget deficits. Mandate relief measures such as this help local governments manage their difficult financial situations and save taxpayer money.” In a statement of support, the New York

Conference of Mayors commented, “Local governments are currently facing some of their greatest challenges… Even the limited extension proposed by this bill will assist local governments at a time when they need it most.” The Village of Tarrytown strongly supported this bill and urged Senator Stewart-Cousins to carry it through the Senate. The Village estimates that it could save approximately $300,000 annually as a result of this legislation. Tarrytown Mayor Drew Fixell said, “I want to thank Senator Cousins for taking the lead in pressing forward with this fiscally prudent legislation that will deliver real savings to the taxpayers throughout the state.”

“There are several of my colleagues who suggested to me that I might take the leadership,” said Hassell-Thompson. “It was suggested to me though, not the other way around.” When asked if she would be interested in being Minority Leader, Hassell-Thompson didn’t dismiss interest. “I’d be lying if I said that everybody doesn’t think about it at one time or another,” she said. “Certainly I have given thought to it, but I haven’t taken any action toward it.” Hassell-Thompson added that she was “not prepared to say” whether Sampson should remain leader this year, or next year, when a new Legislature is seated following this fall’s elections. Leadership discussions are not new around the Capitol. We can confirm that the leadership chatter commenced last spring when members quietly floated the name of HassellThompson, but they’ve also suggested others. Senator Hassel-Thompson dismissed our inquiry last June stating that she had no interest on challenging Sampson and was focused on her legislative platform. A year later, clearly things have changed. A few Democratic senators dismissed the notion that Hassell-Thompson is a credible candidate. Most of those critical of HassellThompson’s potential leadership are deeply embedded in Sampson’s status quo team, or most likely have an agenda themselves. Some suggested Hassell-Thompson is too old, opinionated and too aggressive. Others state that she is not strong with fundraising, something Democrats need in order to compete. One other member cited previous health issues as a concern.

When asked about not being considered credible, the fiesty Democrat shot back admitting that she “may be opinionated and considered aggressive, but things have to get done,” and that if she were a male in politics, these words would not be used to describe her. She has a point. Insiders have also floated the name of Senator Stewart-Cousins, a Yonkers Democrat. Stewart-Cousins expressed support for Sampson and said she is focused on her legislative work, thus taking the heat off of her. Another member being rumored for potential is Senator Liz Kruger (D-NYC) who was unavailable for comment. Meanwhile, we caught up with Senator Sampson who attended Senator HassellThompson’s forum on Domestic Violence in the Legislative Office Building. Sampson indicated that the Democrats are interested in discussing the issues affecting the residents of New York State. “We’re not going to be sidetracked by any antics pertaining to the leadership,” said Sampson. That may be true, so long as he has the majority. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qpi_ wMXIyQs&feature=youtube - Sampson Press Gaggle on Leadership.

THE ALBANY CORRESPONDENT

Senate Democrats’ Coup-Coup’s Nest Sampson (D-Brooklyn), vows to remain on as leader and compares the uprising to replace him as “family squabbles.” Sampson’s nest unrest were made public last week when he got pigeon pooped by the New York Daily News who exposed the Democratic conference’s rising no-confidence sentiment in their leader. After the loss of key Democratic races, months of negative press, and after the most recent report on Sampson NEW FROM WESTCHESTER AUTHOR authorizing a $50,000 raise for a BRUCE FABRICANT close confidant on senior staff, coup discussions gained traction. The $50,000 raise never happened, but that’s only after Come back to Mount Vernon, NY of the Democrats got wind of the story 1940s & ‘50s and relive the memories of a through the New York Daily News. city in a bygone era One member called the Sampson paycheck maneuver as mmmmmmpix “legalized taxpayer extortion”. Another member indicated it was “time for change”, citing Sampson’s rise was meant merely to be temporary. We spoke with Westchester’s own Senator Ruth HassellThompson who currently serves as Hear men reminisce about Visit long forgotten places in the Democratic Conference Chair, a living in a community 60 “The City of Homes” where years ago where playing kids did nothing more than position appointed by Sampson. baseball was not just a go to school, play and stay Hassell-Thompson admitted sport but a way of life out trouble that she’s had discussions pertaining Both books available at www.lulu.com to succeeding Sampson, but denied Contact Bruce Fabricant: bfabric459@aol.com initiating them.

By CARLOS GONZALEZ

It’s a coup-coup’s nest at the Capitol. With six months before the general election, several names have surfaced regarding the potential replacement of the Senate’s top Democrat. The current Senate Minority Leader, John

Share your thoughts with Carlos Gonzalez, The Albany Correspondent, by directing email to carlgonz1@gmail.com.


Page 20

THE WESTCHESTER GUARDIAN

THURSDAY, JUNE 7, 2012

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Holiday Inn Express Coming to Peekskill, Finally By ABBY LUBY

PEEKSKILL, NY -- After a four year hiatus, the City of Peekskill will have its first waterfront hotel, the Holiday Inn Express. “This has been a long time coming,” said Anthony Ruggiero, Planning Director for the city. “The project started back in 2008 and was able to get all the building permits. But then the financing fell through when the economy collapsed.” The developer is Garrison resident George Liaskos, owner of the Cortlandt Colonial restaurant in Cortlandt Manor. For the last three years Liaskos has been seeking financing to the tune of about $8.5 million to build the hotel. He finally secured a bank loan a few weeks ago. The hotel will be built according to the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification, an environmental standard that guides construction companies to build on sustainable sites and incorporate water efficiency, efficient design and appliances and the use of renewable and clean sources of energy. The hotel will be built on a 1.25-acre parcel at the corner of John Walsh Boulevard and Louisa Street, where a footprint of the hotel foundation from years ago cn be discerned. The property is at the cusp of the Charles Point Industrial Park,

A rendering of the new Holiday Inn Express in Peekskill. Photo courtesy of the City of Peekskill. home to some of Peekskill’s major employers, including Wheelabrator, BASF Corporation, Waste Management, White Plains Linen, and Perini Civil Construction. But Ruggiero said the waterfront has been the focus of studies that support development geared toward attracting tourists and boating enthusiasts. The hotel is expected to attract business customers from the nearby industrial park, according to James Slaughter, Director of Peekskill Economic Development. “There are a lot of companies in the city who have employees

who come for extended stays, including the hospital and Entergy.” Slaughter said the current plan is to restore Charles Point and develop it for pedestrian access, as well as access to [Riverfront] festivals.” In 2008 Liaskos got the nod to build a 72-room Holiday Inn Express which included a few suites. According to Ruggiero, Liaskos’ new financial backing is asking for four more rooms instead of the suites, bringing the total to 76 guest rooms. The overall building size remains the same and will include a pool.

Ridge Hill Lawsuit Award in Jeopardy

Funding May Expire to Mitigate Safety Improvements at Dangerous Intersection ARDSLEY, NY -- Following an on-site tour of the intersection of Jackson Avenue and North Sprain Road with concerned local officials, Westchester County Board Legislator MaryJane Shimsky on Friday, June 1, 2012, called for County and Town of Greenburgh

officials to make necessary safety improvements as soon as possible “because lives are at stake.” To break the impasse, the Westchester County Board of Legislators (BOL) Government Operations Committee, chaired by Legislator Catherine Borgia (D-Ossining),

has requested all of the pertinent stakeholders, including officials from the Town of Greenburgh and relevant County agencies, to attend its next meeting on June 5 at 10 AM. Currently, the two heavily trafficked roadways create a “Y”intersection with three different

“The site doesn’t need any reconfiguration and there is expected to be no reduction in the amenities,” said Ruggiero. The city is now reviewing Liaskos’ new proposal for more rooms after which they are expected to issue another permit. Another public hearing will follow. “There should be no problem,” said Ruggiero. “Everybody thinks this will be a good thing. I don’t remember any real controversy.” The city, anxious to see the project move forward, has extended Liaskos’ payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) agreement from 10 to 15 years and they intend to honor their original offer of a $500,000 GAP loan to Liaskos. Peekskill plans to impose a three percent hotel tax once the Holiday Inn Express is up and running The tax will apply to future hotels and inns in the city. The only other hotel in Peekskill is the Inn on the Hudson on Main Street, overlooking the Hudson. The Inn, which has a restaurant, is undergoing room upgrades. “Besides that place, most people looking for rooms in the area go north to Fishkill,” said Slaughter. Construction is expected to start by the end of the summer, Slaughter said. “We’re hoping the hotel will open by next spring, 2013.” The new hotel will be right across from Peekskill Bay that opens out to the Hudson River, a locale that boasts scenic views of both bay and river as well as of the Bear Mountain Bridge. The hotel will be located less than one mile from Route 9 and half a mile from Peekskill’s Metro North Train Station. stop signs and less-than-perfect visibility to see oncoming vehicles. A traffic consultant suggests improvements based on the intersection becoming a “T” instead, with a traffic light. “This intersection is one of the most dangerous in Westchester County,”said Shimsky. “There have been eleven major accidents here in the past two years, with one fatality. It is time for County and Town officials to work together so Continued on page 21

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THE WESTCHESTER GUARDIAN

THURSDAY, JUNE 7, 2012

Page 21

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

Shimsky Calls for Improvements at Dangerous Intersection Continued from page 20

safety improvements can move forward— before too many more accidents occur, and while funding is available.� The funding for the road safety improvement project is already in place, Shimsky noted. As part of a settlement with Forest City Ratner, the developer of Ridge Hill Village in Yonkers, $5 million was awarded to the Town of Greenburgh and Villages of Ardsley and Hastings-on-Hudson, following a lawsuit that was initiated because the City of Yonkers and developer’s environmental review of the proposed development failed to properly consider traffic the Yonkers development would dump onto the roads of the three plaintiff municipalities. Both the Greenburgh town board and the two village boards identified this particular intersection as a top priority for

funding from the $5 million settlement. But this funding is at risk because the settlement states the money needs to be spent, at the latest, in 2014—which is a tight deadline for a project that will require a complete environmental review and design before construction can finally begin. Westchester County Board of Legislators (BOL) Chairman Ken Jenkins (D-Yonkers) and Legislator Shimsky spearheaded discussions with the developer about a two-year extension for use of the settlement funds. To date, the Town of Greenburgh has not communicated to the BOL whether the developer has agreed to the request. Now, Greenburgh officials are talking about abandoning the road safety improvement here altogether. Also, for this project to move ahead, Westchester County has to convey to

Legislator MaryJane Shimsky (D-Hastings on Hudson) at the intersection of Jackson Avenue and North Sprain Road. Photo by and courtesy of Aviva.

Greenburgh a narrow strip of land at the front entrance to Sprain Ridge Park. The County and Greenburgh also have to agree on how wide the shoulders at the new intersection will be. “I have lived here forty-six years, and I travel this route every single day,� Beverly Levine, a Village of Ardsley Trustee, said yesterday standing along North Sprain Road. “It’s time for the Town, County and State to get together and improve this intersection because it’s very dangerous.’ “I’m calling on County Executive Astorino and Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner to work together and reach an agreement as soon as possible on safety improvements here at this Jackson Avenue intersection,� stated Shimsky. “Otherwise, the Town of Greenburgh could risk losing millions in settlement money for the project.�

LEGISLATION

Latimer Announces Support for Veterans Pension and Health Legislation ALBANY, NY -- Assemblyman George Latimer (D-Rye) announced his support for legislation deemed priorities by the American Legion Department of New York. The two bills, A.2055 and A.682 are vital measures that are being pushed by the Veterans communities throughout New York. 

retirement system who wish to buy back military service credit cannot do so until they have 5 years in the system. A.2055 gives these members the option to buy back their military time with just two years of credited service.  “The American Legions have thousands of members in Westchester and hundreds of thou-

In support of the legislation, Latimer stated, “Various traditions give everyone a great opportunity to remember the brave men and women that have served our country. However, as elected officials, we owe it to our troops, currently and previously enlisted, to do more to honor their sacrifices and support them in addressing the many critical issues that face the Veteran’s community.� Currently, members of the public retirement system may buy back prior service credit with 2 years of credited service.  Members in the public

sands throughout New York. They are the men and women who put their lives on the line to protect our freedoms; passing smart legislation that will ensure the quality of life they deserve is very important and frankly, long overdue,� Latimer stated.  In addition to A.2055, Latimer is also a cosponsor for A.682, which would improve outreach assessment and care for veterans and their families who are experiencing mental health or substance abuse problems.  Combat related mental illness has been and still is a

critical issue for American war Veterans. More than 85,000 New Yorkers have participated in Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom, or both.  The lack of integrated services is a longstanding problem in the mental health service-delivery system and will be improved with the passage of A.682. Latimer concluded, “These two pieces of legislation go hand in hand; too often soldiers come back from duty and are not able to seamlessly re-enter society.  If we pass these bills, they will more effectively have the resources available to them to reintegrate with their families and communities and pass on the valuable lessons they have learned to our next generation.�

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THE WESTCHESTER GUARDIAN

MAYOR Marvin’s COLUMN

GOVERNMENT

2012 Memorial Day Speech By MARY C. MARVIN

A good morning to our clergy, distinguished colleagues and honored guests, firemen, police, community organizations, residents and our children AND welcome to the 92nd Annual Bronxville Memorial Day Parade and commemoration. Memorial Day holds a unique place in the history of our Village and its traditions are many. In the last few years we have renewed our efforts to insure that honoring our servicemen and women takes its rightful place on center stage so we do not ever take for granted those most deserving of our gratitude - and our Grand Marshall, this year, George Palmer is precisely one of those so deserving of our thanks. George, thank you for letting us honor you here today. Mr. George B. Palmer, Jr. is a Midwestern boy who was born in Minneapolis. He enlisted in the Army/Air Corp after Pearl Harbor after only one semester at the University of Minnesota. Following expedited training, George was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant and received his wings and navigation certification. Flying only his 10th B-24 sortie over Hungary on a mission to disable oil refineries, his plane was shot down and he went from college freshman to George B. Palmer Prisoner

THURSDAY, JUNE 7, 2012

of War No. 7910. George ended up at Stalag Luft III - the camp that was the subject of the movie “The Great Escape”. He was then transferred to a POW camp in Munich arriving 45lbs thinner than on the day of his fateful flight. Finally in April of 1945, General George Patton’s Seventh Army arrived and liberated the camp. Within hours, George stood at attention as the General walked through the barracks. But George’s service did not end there. He served again in the Korean War for almost two years. Blessed to come home, George finished college and moved to Bronxville to begin a career with Lehman Brothers. Three of his four sons graduated from the building right behind us. George, you are so very modest, but you are a hero and your hometown is so proud to honor you today. Serving our country is the noblest of callings and love of country and devotion to freedom must never go out of fashion. And true to the character of our very special Village, we have many more heroes like George and many sadly not as lucky as George to come home to Bronxville. Many went to heaven far too young. Young men like Charlie Flammer,Princeton Class of 1941 and B25 Bomber pilot, he lost an engine and then maneuvered his plane so that his entire crew could get out while he went down with his plane. Still considered MIA, he has a

nephew named after him and if you go by Christ Church a full size stained glass window is dedicated to Charlie. Or…. Douglas von Buskirk who knew of the exploits of WWI ace and Village resident Eddie Rickenbacker,who lived at 26 Prescott and belonged to the Leonard Morange American Legion Post named after another of our local heroes, Rickenbacker won the Congressional Medal of Honor as well as virtually every other military decoration having shot down 25 enemy planes and logged 300 combat flying hours, the most in WWI. Doug’s father was an Olympic fencer participating in the 1924, 1928 and 1932 games and saw Hitler’s evil up close and shared his stories with his son. Galvanized by both his dad and Rickenbacker, Douglas joined the RAF in 1939, his only opportunity to take a side against Hitler at the time. While he was fighting in the European theater, his mom was managing our Womrath’s Book store and his dad volunteered on the Village’s Housing Commission. Doug was shot down during a night bombing raid in 1941. There is a plaque in his honor in the Reformed Church. Mike Ransom – Bronxville High and Colby College graduate lost his life in 1968 just two months after arriving in Vietnam. He was a respected platoon leader and the eldest of six Bronxville sons. Or……Ed Keeble, Bronxville School, Deerfield and Princeton who joined the Marines and became a gunship pilot. He kept

enemy fire trained on him so an air ambulance could Medivac the injured out of the jungle. He was shot down by the North Vietnamese and he is buried at Arlington. And there are so many, many more. These young men were our neighbors, someone’s son, your child’s best friend in school, the boy you coached in soccer. They truly were the hero next door. Disraeli said, “The legacy of a hero is the memory of a great man and the inheritance of a great example.” Their bravery, service and sense of duty must continue to be an ethos that defines our Village. I believe their message to us, young and old, is to answer the call. Ours may not be as dangerous or a galant pursuit but answer; be brave at whatever you try; follow your conscience, step up when needed; volunteer even when not called. By behaving this way we honor our heroes every day. So as you leave today, do not be sad rather follow General Patton’s advice who said, “We should not mourn those men who died while serving, rather we should thank God that such men lived.” Thank you to all of our veterans and God Bless America. Mary C. Marvin is the mayor of the Village of Bronxville, New York. If you have a suggestion or comment, consider directing your perspective by directing email to mayor@vobny.com

OP EDSection

Blacks in Law Enforcement of America Call for Resignation of Westchester County District Attorney By DAMON K. JONES

The recent reports of welfare fraud by the Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore have confirmed the day-by-day unethical standards of her leadership as District Attorney of Westchester County. We are demanding the Democratic Party leaders, Westchester Chairman Reggie Lafayette and State Chairman Jay Jacobs request DiFiore’s resignation as Westchester County District Attorney. This ongoing investigation and her questionable actions in the past on fair dealings of the law against the poor and people of color have shown that the ethical transparency of our District Attorney’s

office has long been compromised. As a national organization of law enforcement professionals, we question Governor Cuomo’s appointment of Ms. DiFiore as the Chair of his “Super” Ethics Committee. With recent allegations of covering civil and human rights violations of victims of police crimes, investigation of welfare fraud, Janet DiFiore’s leadership will be a continuation of corruption and foul dealing that will be business as usual in this so-called State “Super” Ethics Committee. “As a national organization of Law Enforcement Professionals, We are demanding the Democratic Party leaders, Westchester Chairman, Reggie Lafayette and State Chairman Jay Jacobs request DeFiore’s resignation as West­chester County District

Attorney. This ongoing investigation and her question­able actions in the past on fair dealings of the law enforcement crimes against the poor and people of color have shown that the ethical transparency of our District Attorney’s office has long been compromised. As long as Janet DiFiore stays in office, any decision that will come out of the office of the District Attorney will forever be questioned. We must bring back credibility to the justice system of Westchester County.” Karen Edmonson, former Yonkers NAACP President said, “As a proud and law-abiding Jamaican immigrant, I find the allegations as reported in the media  against Mrs. DiFiore and Ms. Buchanan to be  disturbing. Jamaicans are hard working and law-abiding people and I don’t want

anyone to think otherwise. One would hope that this sort of situation would not have the District Attorney at the center of such allegations, especially because she is the chief law enforcement officer of Westchester County. I empathize with Ms. Buchanan especially since the media has reported that she is not in good health and has not been able to defend herself. Damon K. Jones is the New York Representative of Blacks In Law Enforcement of America.


THE WESTCHESTER GUARDIAN

ED KOCH COMMENTARY

An Unjust Verdict in the Rutgers Cyber-spying Case By EDWARD I. KOCH

A terrible tragedy took place at Rutgers University when two eighteen-year-old men were randomly selected by the University to share a bedroom at a student dormitory. One of the young men, Dharum Ravi, was an immigrant from India; the other, Tyler Clementi, an Italian-American. Ravi, suspecting that Clementi was gay, entered into a plan with a female student – later given immunity for her testimony – to videotape his roommate’s activities at night when Clementi had a male visitor to the bedroom he shared with Ravi, having arranged with Ravi to have the room for himself the evening of September 19, 2010 and again on September 21 for a number of hours. Ravi alerted fellow students to watch the Webcam video he took on September 21, and sure enough, the video showed Clementi in a sexual embrace with a male partner. Clementi learned of the taping and on September 22, 2010 committed suicide by jumping off the George Washington Bridge, posting on Facebook from his cellphone, “Jumping off the gw bridge, sorry.” His suicide note on his computer was not released to the public. Ravi was not tried for the death of Clementi, but was tried and convicted, the New York Times editorial of May 22, 2012 reported, for “invasion of privacy, witness tampering and multiple counts of a hate crime called bias intimidation. The jury found that Mr. Ravi knew his conduct could make Tyler Clementi, his roommate, feel targeted because he was gay.” Ravi was found guilty on March 16, 2012 and sentenced on May 21, 2012. In sentencing Ravi, Judge Glenn Berman of the Superior court in Middlesex County, New Jersey, began his remarks by saying “I heard this jury say guilty 288 times – 24 questions, 12 jurors, that’s the multiplication” and “I haven’t heard you apologize once.” Listening to those remarks undoubtedly caused some in the courtroom to think the court was going to sentence Ravi to the max of 10 years. But no, the judge went on to say, “I do not believe he hated Tyler Clementi. I do believe he acted out of colossal insensitivity.” The jury thought it was a hate crime. The judge has the right to reject a jury’s verdict if he believes there wasn’t sufficient evidence to support it. He did not do that. Putting

aside the hate crime aspect, what about the crime of witness tampering which Ravi was convicted of? Apparently, that is not a serious crime in New Jersey. If it were, wouldn’t Ravi have been sentenced to serious time just for that one crime? What did the judge mete out as punishment? Thirty days in jail, three years of probation, 300 hours of community service, counseling about cyber-bullying and alternate lifestyles and about $11,000 in fees. I say not enough. Tyler Clementi is dead. It is true that Ravi was not charged with his death, but he was charged with witness tampering and tampering with physical evidence and hindering his apprehension and prosecution. Those are serious matters. Surely at least a year in prison of the ten available under the law would have provided greater justice and closure for Clementi’s parents. Hopefully, on appeal, although Appellate Courts do not like to substitute their judgment on sentencing for that of the trial judge, the Appellate Judges will set aside the lower court’s sentencing decision and send the case back for re-sentencing in accordance with their direction. The trial court’s unjustifiably lenient sentence has shocked the public’s conscience. Adding to the outrageousness of the sentence and anger of the public is the decision of the defendant to appeal the sentence on the ground it is too onerous. The defenders of the judge’s sentence refer to the fact that there was no physical violence committed by Ravi. However, in my view, they ignore the reality of the shame, depression and psychic violence visited upon Clementi by Ravi which can have a more devastating impact than physical violence. Finally, isn’t it clear that Ravi, who has never apologized for his actions and did not do so when given the opportunity before the court imposed its sentence, has clearly conveyed his lack of remorse? Allowing the sentence to stand would be a flagrant injustice. The Honorable Edward Irving Koch served as a member of Congress from New York State from 1969 through 1977, and New York City as its 105th Mayor from 1978 to 1989.

THURSDAY, JUNE 7, 2012

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THE WESTCHESTER GUARDIAN

THURSDAY, JUNE 7, 2012

NEW YORK CIVIC

Campaign Finance In The Post-Citizens United Era Campaign Finance Reform In Albany (Part 3 of 8) By EVAN PALENSCHAT

Albany’s campaign finance system may be in need of a makeover. Soaring contribution limits, major loopholes, lax enforcement, and the use of corporate and special interest money are only a few of the problems confronted by the state. In March, a nationwide State Integrity Investigation study conducted by the Center for Public Integrity gave New York a “D-” for “political financing.” In response to a seemingly apparent need for reform, Governor Andrew Cuomo promised to introduce a bill on campaign finance reform during his State-of-the-State address this year. Cuomo said he embraced “public financing, matched contributions, lower limits, and increased enforcement . . . .” A coalition of pro-reform groups has taken Cuomo up on his promise. The groups, which include several good government organizations and celebrity philanthropists, led an email campaign on April 18 asking 1 million New Yorkers to contact Governor Cuomo and pressure him to reform the way New York funds elections. Many agree that New York needs to change its system. However, proponents of reform often fail to specify what reforms need to be made, instead relying on broad statements such as “ending corruption.”The question for lawmakers in Albany now is how to enact new rules while complying with recent decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court. In 2010, the Court released its Citizens United decision ruling that corporations and unions have an absolute right to spend without limit to influence elections. Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the majority, reasoned that independent expenditures by corporations are protected speech under the First Amendment. Further, Kennedy found that such “expenditures . . . do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption” since they are not “coordinated” with candidates. Finally, the Court believed that laws requiring disclosure of who is spending would adequately inform the citizenry of where the money was coming from. Therefore, Kennedy ruled that the government did not have a compelling interest in restricting or limiting the spending. Over two years later, it is not clear whether the Court’s reasoning is sound. Super PACs backing Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, and President Barack Obama were and are all run by former employees or staff members. Staff members for the candidates often attend fundraisers held by the super PACs. Steven Colbert emphasized the absurdity

of the coordination rules on his political satire “The Colbert Report,” when he handed over the reins of his super PAC to business associate Jon Stewart so that Colbert could run for “President of South Carolina” during the GOP primaries. Trevor Potter, former commissioner of the Federal Election Commission and now Colbert’s lawyer, came on the show to tell Colbert and Stewart the rules. Stewart could take over Colbert’s super PAC while he ran for office as long as they did not “coordinate.” Colbert and Stewart rejoiced like schoolchildren that had just fooled their teacher with a forged note. Loopholes in disclosure laws have also been exploited. Groups that qualify as a section 501(c)(4) “social welfare organization” under the Internal Revenue Code need not disclose the identities of their donors. While it is true that Citizens United did not impinge on the ability of law makers to close the loopholes on coordination and disclosure, recent history evidences the difficulty of such a task. It is unlikely that a candidate for office will be unaware of large expenditures made on their behalf. This knowledge can lead to the creation of political debts once in office. Also, many lawmakers believe that strict disclosure rules overly burden free speech and refuse to vote for such bills. This was demonstrated on the federal level when the Disclose Act, requiring 501(c) (4) organizations to disclose donors publicly, passed the House but was defeated by a Senate Republican filibuster. New York may need to reform their coordination and disclosure laws in order to limit corruption and the effect of Citizens United. Another Supreme Court case will limit Albany’s ability to pass an effective and efficient public financing system. In Arizona Free Enterprise Club’s Freedom Club PAC v. Bennett, the Court invalidated Arizona’s public financing system. Arizona supplied money to opt-in candidates when expenditures by other privately funded candidates and their outside supporters exceeded a specified amount. The Court found these “trigger-funds” unconstitutional since they penalized the speech of private candidates and their supporters. Bennett’s ruling has led many states to abolish trigger-funding or any language in their laws that would seem to “level the playing field,” as the Supreme Court described it. For example, New York City’s Campaign Finance Board no longer allows trigger-funding, but instead allows publicly funded candidates to use personal funds once private candidates spend over a certain amount. So what can New York do in the wake of Citizens United and Bennett?

The following represent a few reform ideas currently being proposed by reformists and debated by commentators. Lower Individual Contribution Limits and Eliminate Contributions from Special Interests The contribution limits in New York are very high. Individuals can donate over $60,000 annually to a state-wide general election. Compare

this to federal elections, where individuals can only give $2,500 per candidate and $5,000 to a political action committee. The Census reported that the median household income for New York was $55,603 for 2006-2010.The New York contribution limits cater to the wealthy, since candidates need only rely on a few donors giving the full amount. This reliance may lead to the creation of political debts that are repaid once the candidate is elected. New York also allows corporations and unions to contribute. While corporate Continued on page 26

LEGAL NOTICE At the Compliance Part_____ of the Supreme Court, State of New York held in and for the County _______ of Westchester, at the Courthouse located at 111 Grove Street, White Plains, New York 10601 on the 15th day of May, 2012. P R E S E N T: Joan B. Lefkowitz J.S.C. ------------------------------------------------------------------x MELANIE KEENE, Plaintiff, -against60-64 ELLIOTT HOUSING DEVELOPMENT FUND CORPORATION and WESTHAB, INC., Defendants. ------------------------------------------------------------------x S I R S: Upon the reading and filing of the annexed Affirmation of ARGIRO DRAKOS, ESQ. dated the 16th day of April 2012, and all exhibits annexed hereto and upon all pleadings and proceedings heretofore had herein, and sufficient cause having been shown; The Order to Show Cause issued by this court on April 23, 2012 directed service upon non-party, Marc Jones, by personal service, but movants have informed the court they were unable to personally serve the nonparty. LET the plaintiff, MELANIE KEENE, and/or her attorneys, show cause before this Court, at the Compliance Conference Part of the Supreme Court, State of New York, County of Westchester, located at 111 Dr. Martin Luther King Boulevard, White Plains, New York on the 9th day of July 2012, at 2:00 in the afternoon of that day or as soon thereafter as counsel may be heard, WHY, an Order should not be entered, pursuant to CPLR §3103, granting the defendant a protective Order precluding the plaintiff from calling on Marc Jones as a witness at the time of trial, or in the alternative, an Order of the Court pursuant to CPLR §2308(a) holding Marc Jones in contempt of Court and compelling his deposition as a non-party witness in this matter, along with such other and further relief as this Court deems just, proper and equitable.

The defendant has not previously sought the relief requested herein.

ORDERED, that sufficient cause appearing therefore,

LET service of a copy of this Order to Show Cause, together with the papers in support thereof be served upon plaintiff’s counsel, by regular mail on or before May 16, 2012, and on nonparty Marc Jones by publication, pursuant to CPLR 316, in the Journal News and the Western Guardian which are circulated in Yonkers, New York, the nonparty’s last known city of residence, at least once in each newspaper for four successive weeks commencing on May 23, 2012, be deemed good and sufficient service. ORDERED that answering papers shall be served, and filed with the court, so as to be received on or before June 27, 2012 at 12 P.M. No reply papers shall be accepted. Proof of service shall be filed wwith the court on or before June 27, 2012. All papers shall be filed with the civil calendar clerk located in the 9th floor of the Westchester County Courtho9use. ORAL ARGUMENT WILL BE HEARD. APPEARANCES OF COUNSEL AND NONPARTY, MARC JONES, IS REQUIRED. Dated: White Plains, NY May 15, 2012 ENTER: HON. JOAN B, LEFKOWITZ, J.S.C.


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The WesTchesTer Guardian

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THURSDAY, JUNE 7, 2012 LEGAL NOTICES

Page 25

FAMILY COURT OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK COUNTY OF WESTCHESTER In the Matter of ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE

LEGAL NO TAND I INQUEST C ENOTICE SUMMONS

Chelsea Thomas (d.o.b. 7/14/94),

Best Location ST, in Yorktown Heights of Org. A.P.E. FITNESS, 26 SALISBURY LLC Articles Org. filed TRENDY VEGAN, LLC Articles A Child LLC UnderArticles 21 Years ofof Age Dkt THE Nos. NN-10514/15/16-10/12C 1100 Sq. filed Ft. Store Ft. store $2800 and 450 Sq.NY Ft. Sec. of State (SSNY) 10/27/11. Office of Org. filed NY Sec. of State (SSNY) NY$3100; Sec.1266 of Sq. State (SSNY) 4/12/12. Adjudicated to be Neglected by Store $1200.Co. SSNY design. in Westchester Co. SSNY design. Agent 4/20/12.NN-2695/96-10/12B Office in Westchester in Westchester Co. SSNY FUOffice No.: 22303 SuitableAgent for any type of business. Contactprocess Wilca: 914.632.1230 of LLC upon whom may of LLC upon whom process may be design. Agent of LLC upon whom pro-

Tiffany Ray and Kenneth Thomas, To the Editor: be served. SSNY shall mail copy of C/O served. SSNY shall mail copy THE LLC cess may be served. SSNY shallX mail Respondents. HELP WANTED Stern Keiser & Panken, LLP 1025 WestATTN: LORI SCHNEIDER 23OF WOODLAND copy THE QUARRY BEDFORD, I would like to NOTICE: PLACEMENT YOUR CHILD IN FOSTER CARE LLC MAY 56 RESULT IN YOURLN LOSS OF YOUR A non profitchester PerformingAve. Arts Center seeking two job positionsDirecSte. is305 White Plains, NY1) DR RYE BROOK, 10573. Purpose: AnySTAYS NY 10506. Registered YONNI MIRIGHTS NY TO YOUR CHILD. IF YOUR CHILD IN FOSTER CARE FOR 15 Agent: OF THE MOST RECENT commend Mayor tor of Development- FT-must have a background in development or expe22 MONTHS, THE AGENCY MAY BE REQUIRED BY LAW TO FILE A PETITION56TOQUARRY TERMINATE 10604. Purpose: Any lawful activity. lawful activity. CHELLE WATTENMAKER LN rience fundraising, knowledge of what development entails and experiYOUR PARENTAL RIGHTS AND COMMITMENT OF GUARDIANSHIP CUSTODYAny OF THE Koch on his BEDFORD, NY 10506.AND Purpose: lawence working with sponsors/donors; 2) Operations Manager- must have a CHILD FOR THE PURPOSES OF ADOPTION, AND MAY FILE BEFORE THE END OF THE 15-MONTH OFFICE SNIPER LLC Articles of Org. duties filed include MADISON-DAVIS stance regarding child abuse in the Hasidic good knowledge of computers/software/ticketing systems, PERIOD. LLC Articles of Org. ful activity. Sec. ofconcessions, State (SSNY) Office overseeing NY all box office, movie 3/13/12. staffing, day of showfiled lobby NY Sec. of State (SSNY) 5/7/12. OfCommunity. Child abuse, regardless of where UPON GOOD CAUSE, THE COURT MAY ORDER AN INVESTIGATION TO DETERMINE WHETHinasWestchester Co.bar SSNY Agentwithfice Co. SSNY design. QUICK CASH OF BROADWAY LLC Arstaffing such Merchandise seller, sales.design. Must be familiar POSin Westchester ER THE NON-RESPONSENT PARENT(s) SHOULD BE CONSIDERED AS A RESPONDENT; IF it is happening and by whom, should never system andof willing to organize Full time plus hours. (203) of LLC LLC upon concessions. whom process may beCallAgent process may SHOULD ticles BEofREMOVED Org. filed Sec.HOME, of State THE upon COURT whom DETERMINES THE CHILD FROMNY HIS/HER THE and ask for Julie or Allison served. SSNY shall mail copy of ALAN be served. COURT SSNYMAY shall mailAN copy The LLC TO (SSNY) 5/4/12. OfficeTHE in Westchester Co. ORDER INVESTIGATION DETERMINE WHETHER NON-RESPONDENT be treated lightly by a specific community 438-5795 of PARENT(s) SHOULD BE SUITABLE CUSTODIANS FOR THE CHILD; IF THE CHILD IS PLACED AND LOUGHLIN 325 MAIN ST. APT 3H WHITE 303 S. Broadway Tarrytown, NY 10591 SSNY design. Agent of LLC upon whom people as well as receive preferential treatREMAINS IN FOSTER CARE FOR FIFTEEN OF THE MOST RECENT TWENTY-TWO MONTHS, PLAINS, NY 10601. Purpose: Any lawful Purpose: Any lawful activity. process may be served. SSNY shall THE mail AGENCY MAY BE REQUIRED TO FILE A PETITION FOR TERMINATION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS OF ment by members of our legal system. activity. copy The LLC Broadway New THE PARENT(s) AND COMMITMENT OF GUARDIANSHIP AND 1150 CUSTODY OF THE CHILD FOR York, THE NY 11221 Purpose: AnyASlawful activity.IN PURPOSES OF ADOPTION, EVEN IF THE PARENT(s) WERE NOT NAMED RESPONDENTS Thank you Mayor Koch! THE CHILD NEGLECT OR ABUSE PROCEEDING. John Bashian A NON-CUSTODIAL PARENT HAS THE RIGHT TO REQUEST TEMPORARY OR PERMANENT CUSMahwah, NJ TODY OF THE CHILD AND TO SEEK ENFORCEMENT OF VISITATION RIGHTS WITH THE CHILD.

ENDRIM HOUSE LLC Articles of Org. filed NY Sec. of State (SSNY) 4/24/12. Office in Westchester Co. SSNY design. Agent of LLC upon whom process may be served. SSNY shall mail copy THE LLC 191 BEECH ST. EASTCHESTER, NY 10709. Registered Agent: PHILIP DENNING 191 BEECH ST. EASTCHESTER, NY 10709 Purpose: Any lawful activity.

BY ORDER OF THE FAMILY COURT OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK

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Page 26

THE WESTCHESTER GUARDIAN

THURSDAY, June 7, 2012

NEW YORK CIVIC

Campaign Finance In The Post-Citizens United Era Continued from page 24

contributions are limited to $5,000, unincorporated unions are allowed to contribute up to the individual limit. In addition, the $5,000 limit on corporations applies separately to each subsidiary. Since some corporations own dozens of subsidiaries, they easily circumvent the lower limit. Corporations also get around the limitation by donating to “housekeeping accounts,” maintained by the various political parties. New York could completely ban corporate and union contributions, or at the very least allow only $5,000 in aggregate contributions from a corporate family. Some argue that these special interests are not part of “We the People.” They have no right to vote in our elections, so why should they be able to do so indirectly prior to the election? Elected representatives should be dependent on the People alone for their re-election, thereby forcing them to focus on what is good for the citizenry, as opposed to a special interest’s bottom line. Albany may want to take a page from New York City’s playbook in this area. The City has adopted rules that ban contributions from corporations, partnerships, and LLCs. The City also greatly reduces the allowed contribution amount from individuals “doing business” with the City and from lobbyists or their family members. These so called ‘pay-to-play” rules are meant to reduce corruption, or its appearance, and were recently upheld by the Second Circuit inOgnibene v. Parkes. The case is awaiting acceptance of an appeal to the Supreme Court. Create Strict Rules Against “Coordination” and Require Increased Disclosure New York could limit the effect of super PACs and other outside expenditure groups by creating stricter rules on what counts as “coordination” with a candidate and requiring more disclosure of who is spending. For starters, people that have personal connections with the candidates could be restricted from running super PACs, supporting such candidates or rallying against their competitors. Even if the family member, former employee, or business associate is able to stay truly separate from the candidate, there could still be the appearance of corruption. In Citizens United,the Supreme Court acknowledged that limiting the appearance of corruption is a

compelling governmental interest since such appearance dissuades the citizenry from participating in elections. Secondly, New York could attempt to pass disclosure rules that require all organizations (even 501(c)(4) “social welfare organizations”) spending on behalf of candidates to promptly disclose the identities of their contributors and the amounts of each contribution. These disclosures could be publicly available on the web for all to see. This will stop the practice of donor identities being released, if at all, long after votes have been cast. Finally, the state needs to ensure enforcement of its rules. The Center for Public Integrity reports that the New York State Board of Elections is weak and usually able to levy only $500 fines for missed filing deadlines. The Center reports that Bill Mahoney, a research coordinator for New York Public Interest group, has said that the State Elections Board is “underfinanced, understaffed,” and susceptible to political influence. Clearly, if new rules adopted in Albany are going to have any influence they need to be effectively enforced. This may entail scrapping the current Board and replacing it with a bipartisan entity such as New York City’s Campaign Finance Board. Create a competitive and Efficient Public Financing System If New York creates an opt-in public financing system it should be both competitive and efficient. It needs to be competitive enough to persuade candidates to opt-in instead of using private funds. The state cannot force candidates to accept public funds, so if there is no opting-in, the system will be worthless. To be competitive, at a minimum, advocates of a public financing system claim that it must provide candidates with enough money to mount an effective campaign against privately funded candidates. One way to achieve this goal was to use triggerfunds. However, Bennett invalidated this type of funding. New York will need to adopt a new method. One method would be to supply candidates with lump-sum amounts at the start of a campaign. The state could determine what this amount should be relative to the median amounts spent in the last five elections adjusted for inflation. The problem with this approach

is that privately funded candidates, and their outside spenders, will have advance notice of how much they need to raise and spend to buy a campaign. New York could reduce this certainty by distributing funds throughout the campaign cycle based on a mechanism that does not burden a private candidate’s speech (as triggerfunds do under Bennett). Backers of a matching funds system for the State say that lawmakers could adopt New York City’s matching system. The City matches qualifying contributions up to $175 by a ratio of 6-to-1. For example, if an individual contributes $10, the City matches it with $60. This does a few things. First, it allows candidates to gather funding as needed to compete with privately funded candidates. Second, it provides average citizens with an incentive to donate, since their donation’s value will be magnified by the City’s matching. Finally, more small donations mean more participation in elections as more voters will feel like they have skin in the game. Also, since the City can decide what to match, they can refuse to match contributions from entities that may pose a corruption problem, such as corporations, unions, lobbyists, and those “doing business” with the City. While a matching system such as New York City’s seems more competitive, New York State should also take into account efficiency concerns. Namely, the State must aim not to overburden the public treasury. For example, if all candidates in a race opted-in to the public system, this could result in a funding race as candidates gather as many contributions as possible in order to procure the 6-to-1 matching. If there is no ceiling on the amount of public funding, the state could find itself spending too much taxpayer money. So why not just cap the amount of state aid? Once again, this will put privately funded candidates and their super PACs on notice of how much they need to raise and spend to buy an election. To address this problem, New York City has allowed publicly funded candidates to begin using private funds after privately funded candidates have surpassed a specified spending ceiling. In addition to the City’s rule, the state may also want to consider providing additional public funds once the spending cap has been breached. To do this and avoid invalidation under Bennett, the state could advance funds not in correlation to private spending by an opt-out

candidate, but in relation to some other mechanism, such as gathering a certain number of voter signatures. Two Problems Reform May Not Solve In the end, even if Governor Cuomo convinces the lawmakers in Albany to adopt all or some of these changes, Citizens United and Bennett still leave the state with two problems. The first is that even strict rules on coordination and disclosure may be inadequate to end the influence of super PACs and other outside spenders, if that is a goal of the state. It is highly unlikely that a candidate will not know about large expenditures on their behalf, even if there truly is no coordination. Also, even if there is heightened disclosure, some commentators believe that this disclosure is actually just publicizing the corruption and making it seem legitimate. Thus, after Citizens United, it seems candidates may still depend on outside spenders, possibly resulting in the creation of political debts, or the appearance of corruption. The second problem originates with the Bennett decision. Since trigger-funds or any other attempt to “level the playing field” is outlawed, lawmakers’ attempts to create a truly competitive and efficient public financing system may be limited. To be competitive there cannot cap on public funding, and to be efficient it seems there needs to be a cap. Trigger funds relieved this problem since the state only spent in relation to private spending. As lawmakers in Albany debate these issues and the possible solutions they will have to grapple with whether the decisions by the Supreme Court will prevent them from reaching their goals in the area campaign finance. Regardless, it seems clear there may be a lot of room for improvement. Evan Palenschat is a graduate of Columbia Law School, having received his J.D. in May, 2012. Prior to attending law school, Evan worked at TCF National Bank in Bloomington, MN in their lending department. During his time in law school Evan’s studies have centered on business and finance law. He also worked for Civil Rights scholar Dale Carpenter researching and writing about gay rights under the First Amendment. Evan will be joining Jones Day in their mid-town Manhattan office as a first year associate in October, 2012. Peruse the entire New York Civic archive at www.NYCivic.org.

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THE WESTCHESTER GUARDIAN

THURSDAY, JUNE 7, 2012

Page 27

OP-ED

The New Missile Threat By FRANK V. VERNUCCIO, JR.

Why is Moscow so vehemently against a European-based antiballistic missile (ABM) program designed to protect America and its allies from an Iranian nuclear

assault? The Russians have assisted the Iranian nuclear program, and are attempting to reinstitute their sphere of influence in Eastern Europe’s former “captive nations.” They seek to prevent the U.S. from deploying any ABM technology as long as possible, while developing their own system. They are playing on President Obama’s reluctance to fund ABM programs. In 2001, then-State Senator Obama emphasized that he was opposed to missile defense; as

a candidate for president, he pledged to eliminate funding for it.The President continues to advocate the slashing of funding for ABM systems. The NEW START Treaty with Moscow mandates that Washington reduce its strategic capabilities but permits the Kremlin to expand theirs. While the U.S. delays implementing an effective ABM shield, the Russians are moving ahead. Rep. Denny Rehberg (D-Mont.) told The Hill newspaper that “The NEW START treaty with Russia will go down as one of the worst, most one-sided deals in our country’s history.” The President’s position has resulted in significant embarrassment for the White House. Plans to move ahead with limited ABM protection against an Iranian threat were a product of extensive negotiations between the Bush Administration and Eastern European nations. The former Soviet

satellites, where key ABM elements would be based, braved a war of words from Moscow. However, President Obama proclaimed on Sept. 17, 2009, that he was unilaterally stopping the plan. The date he announced this was the 70th anniversary of the Soviet invasion of Poland. The President’s decision infuriated Warsaw’s leaders. The resulting loss of trust in the White House directly led to the Czech Republic’s withdrawal from related agreements. The second major White House embarrassment came in March. At a meeting in South Korea at a global security summit, the president, believing that microphones were turned off, pleaded with Russian President Medvedev to delay ABM discussions until after his re-election. Despite its opposition to American ABM efforts, Moscow has long been a leader in antimissile efforts. In 1962, the USSR initiated construction of the globe’s first operational ABM

system, and engaged in a major upgrade in the late1970’s. Russia has resorted to threats reminiscent of the Cold War. Despite Washington’s concessions to Moscow’s demands that have already alienated the Obama Administration from America’s allies in Eastern Europe, the Associated Press reports that Russia’s top military officer, Chief of General Staff Nikolai Makarov threatened a preemptive strike on NATO missile defense facilities in Eastern Europe if they are built. The Russian threats, which are not particularly creditable, are hypocritical since Moscow continues to develop its own ABM capability. Over thirty nations, among them terrorist and irrational states like Iran and North Korea, are developing missiles that can target the USA and its allies. Defensive measures are urgently required.

Contact Frank Vernuccio by directing email to: nycommunityaction@gmail.com.

WEIR ONLY HUMAN

Paying the Price of Freedom By BOB WEIR

As we celebrate this Memorial Day at community gatherings and barbecues with our families, let’s not forget the meaning behind the holiday. Countless numbers of men and women have lost their lives in battlefields around the world. Those of us who have never worn the uniform of this great country in hostile territory will never fully understand the horrors of war. That’s because we’re fortunate enough to have volunteers who do the fighting for us. Not only do they sacrifice their time with families, they face the daily threat of losing life and limb. While struggling to survive, they must also maintain a code of military conduct that their enemies are not bound by. In addition to being killed in combat, our men and women in uniform have been tortured, hacked to pieces, soaked with gasoline and set afire before being hung upside down in public. That’s the way the enemy treats its prisoners! After seeing their fellow soldiers suffer the most ghastly deaths imaginable, it is nevertheless expected that every US serviceman and woman use kid gloves to treat those whom they capture. And, when one of our troops steps out of line, even for the slightest infraction, there’s a rapid apology from our State Dept. and a Court-martial for the offending soldier. I know, we are a civilized country and we’re supposed to be above any and all inhumane treatment. As an orderly society, with readily enforced rules of behavior, including stop lights, speed limits, and cross at the green, not in between regulations, it’s easy to follow a pattern of civility. However, our soldiers are not fighting the battles on Maple Avenue in East Cupcake, Nebraska. They’re in war-ravaged tribal societies, dodging bullets and bombs every day, and seeing their friends get their heads blown off on a regular basis. They’re sleeping intermittently amid the cacophony of explosions and mortar fire; their beds are made of dirt and sand, and they wouldn’t place a bet on living past tomorrow. Under such conditions, one tends

to view the world through a dysfunctional prism. The rest of us lucky folks are well fed, clothed, and sheltered in our antiseptic bubble, free from the psychotic influence of battle.We connect to the war with a remote control button that brings us sound bite journalism and flashy images that we have come to associate with the pyrotechnic displays we see in the movies. For some it’s entertaining, for others, informative, but for all it’s a simple and safe method of staying in touch with the war, and discussing its merits and demerits while passing the mashed potatoes and gravy at the dinner table. When an investigation of abuse begins, US Senators take their turn questioning and criticizing the generals and the civilian authorities who have responsibility for the warriors in the field. They make it clear that Americans don’t tolerate abuse of any kind, notwithstanding the conditions under which the soldiers must struggle daily against an unmerciful enemy. Civility, being profoundly more important than self-preservation, means the soldier must conform to the rules, even as his adversary plots to disembowel him. Some years ago, accusations of conduct that “humiliated” prisoners became a global news story. Perhaps if our troops had shot the prisoners, instead of humiliating them, there would be no outrage. Human rights groups protest bitterly against any abuse by US soldiers, but are oddly reticent when terrorists make bonfires with the bodies of our soldiers. Because our troops are sold as the good guys, I suppose they should not allow themselves the luxury of anger, hatred, and revenge against those who wantonly kill their buddies. We expect them to resemble little toy soldiers, marching into the smoke and fire with uniforms neatly pressed and Colgate smiles on their faces. These young men and women, raised in small towns and large cities in the good old USA, are never quite sure what to expect if called to fight on the other side of the world. Weary from battle fatigue, and the constant struggle for survival, even some of the most milk-fed, religious minded, values based products of this great democracy can become

corrupted from exposure to a culture of death and degeneracy. Some will say this is merely an excuse for bad behavior in a war zone. To those I would ask, how many times have you had to wipe off your friends’ blood and brains when they showered your uniform after a sniper attack? If you’ve never had the experience, you simply don’t know what you’re talking about! Therefore, enjoy your mashed potatoes with gravy and be thankful that the closest

you’ll ever come to war is that large flat-screen TV in your safe and comfortable living room.

Bob Weir is a veteran of 20 years with the New York Police Department, ten of which were performed in plainclothes undercover assignments. Bob began a writing career about 12 years ago, publishing a total of seven novels. He has also become a syndicated columnist under the title, “Weir Only Human”.

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Page 28

THE WESTCHESTER GUARDIAN

THURSDAY, JUNE 7, 2012

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