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PRESORTED STANDARD PERMIT #3036 WHITE PLAINS NY

Vol. VI No. XXXIII

Westchester’s Most Influential Weekly

INVESTIGATION

JANET DiFIORE WELFARE FRAUD SCANDAL

Thursday, August 16, 2012 $1.00

RICH MONETTI

Home is Peekskill Coffee House

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JOHN F. McMULLEN

Big Brother is Watching

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SHERIF AWAD

From Pula With Love

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ROGER WITHERSPOON

New Nuclear Licenses Halted

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JOHN SIMON From Woods to Woody

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BARBARA BARTON SLOANE Czech Republic “It” Destination

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By SAM ZHERKA, Page 16

BREAKING NEWS!

Mayor Spano Declares Yonkers Is Ready To Hire A New Class of 35 Firefighters PAGE 19

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Job-Assistance and Childcare

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ED KOCH

Support for Obama

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THE WESTcHESTER GUARDiAn THE WESTCHESTER GUARDIAN THE WESTcHESTER GUARDiAn

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Of Significance Of Of Significance Significance

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

Community Section ...............................................................................4 Community Section......................................................................................3 Business ................................................................................................4 Business ................................................................................................4 Calendar ...............................................................................................4 Business.......................................................................................................3 Calendar ...............................................................................................4 Charity ..................................................................................................5 Calendar......................................................................................................5 Creative Disruption ............................................................................5 Charity ..................................................................................................5 Contest ..................................................................................................6 Creative Disruption. . .................................................................................6 Cultural Perspective ...........................................................................7 Contest ..................................................................................................6 Creative Disruption ............................................................................6 Energy Issues .......................................................................................8 Creative Disruption ............................................................................6 Cultural Perspective..................................................................................7 Education .............................................................................................7 In Memoriam ....................................................................................10 Education .............................................................................................7 Fashion ..................................................................................................8 Energy Matters. ..........................................................................................8 Medicine .............................................................................................10 Fashion ..................................................................................................8 Fitness....................................................................................................9 Legal.............................................................................................................9 Najah’s Corner ...................................................................................11 Fitness....................................................................................................9 Health ..................................................................................................10 Movie Review. ..........................................................................................10 Movie Review ....................................................................................12 Health ..................................................................................................10 History ................................................................................................10 Music ...................................................................................................12 History ................................................................................................10 Music. . ........................................................................................................11 Ed Koch Movie Review ...................................................................12 Community ........................................................................................13 Ed Koch Movie Review ...................................................................12 Spoof Eye On....................................................................................................13 Theatre. ........................................................................................11 Writers Collection.............................................................................14 Spoof ....................................................................................................13 Sports.........................................................................................................12 Scene .......................................................................................13 Travel. Books Sports Scene .......................................................................................13 Najah’s...................................................................................................16 Corner ...................................................................................13 Wesfoodies. ...............................................................................................14 People ..................................................................................................18 Najah’s Corner ...................................................................................13 Writers Collection.............................................................................14 Eye On...................................................................................................16 Theatre ..................................................................................18 Writers Collection.............................................................................14 Government Section...................................................................................14 Books Leaving on a Jet Plane ......................................................................19 Books ...................................................................................................16 Government.............................................................................................14 Transportation...................................................................................17 Government Section ............................................................................20 Transportation ...................................................................................17 Government Section ............................................................................17 Environment. ............................................................................................15 Campaign Trail ..................................................................................20 Government Section ............................................................................17 Albany Correspondent ....................................................................17 OpEd Section. ...............................................................................................16 Economic Development ..................................................................20 Albany Correspondent ....................................................................17 Mayor Marvin’s Column .................................................................18 Education ...........................................................................................21 Mayor Marvin’s Column .................................................................18 Cover Article............................................................................................16 Government.......................................................................................19 The Hezitorial ....................................................................................21 Government .......................................................................................19 Op-Ed........................................................................................................20 OpEd Section .........................................................................................23 LegalSection ....................................................................................................23 OpEd .........................................................................................23 Ed Koch Commentary.....................................................................23 Letter to..................................................................................................24 the Editors.................................................................................22 People Ed Koch Commentary.....................................................................23 Letters to the Editor ..........................................................................24 Weir Only Human. ..................................................................................23 Strategyto...............................................................................................24 Letters Editor ..........................................................................24 Weir Onlythe Human ............................................................................25 OpEd Section .........................................................................................25 Weir Only................................................................................................23 Human ............................................................................25 Legal Notices. Legal Notices ..........................................................................................26 ..........................................................................................27 Legal Notices ..........................................................................................26

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Westchester On the Level is heard from Monday to Friday, from 10 a.m. to 12 Noon http://www.BlogTalkRadio.com/Westchester kersthe Philharmonic Orchestra Sadewhite is our scheduled Westchester On the Level is Conductor heard fromJames Monday to Friday, from 10 a.m.guest to 12Friday, Noon on Internet: http://www.BlogTalkRadio.com/WestchesterOntheLevel. Join March 30. Jointoll-free the conversation by calling OntheLevel. on Internet: by http://www.BlogTalkRadio.com/WestchesterOntheLevel. the the conversation calling to 1-877-674-2436. Please stay on topic. Join It is howeverby anticipatedtoll-free that thetojury will conclude its Please deliberation ontopic. either Monthe conversation 1-877-674-2436. stay on Please stay onbetopic. Richard Narog March andcalling Hezi Aris your co-hosts. thewe week day 1-347-205-9201. or Tuesday, 26 or 27.are Should that theIncase, 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

CommunitySection BUSINESS

The Peekskill Coffee House is Home By RICH MONETTI

If it’s Sunday, it’s Meet the Press, and while that’s certainly true in my case, the day really means my weekly trip to Peekskill. There, I settle into the blue couch at The Peekskill Coffee House, where my writing acumen is engulfed in a sea of creative sights, sounds and smells. On the corner, at 101 South Division Street, the 115-year-old building blends into Peekskill’s Americana style of architecture as easily as the swinging a dead cat reference is thrown around

Friends chatting on Sunday Afternoon.

the world headquarters of independent coffee houses was Emily Hannon of Brooklyn. Her initial impression infers that the Coffee House definitely lays the groundwork to put Peekskill in the proper mindset to appreciate its art. “It’s comfortable, quaint and a little catchy,” she says. Ricardo seconded the sentiment and encompassed the conversation back to the building’s call letters. “It’s hard to find great coffee and a funky atmosphere where you can spread out,” he said, and making the 30-minute drive from White Plains, is no bother. Neither is the live, relaxed music that’s easing out on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon. “Even when the music is going you can still find a quiet corner,” he said from the back. On the contrary, Megan Kearns of Cortlandt sat front and center as she did her work. Liking the laid back mix of musical offerings, a little non-intrusive “white noise” is much more conducive to her attention span in comparison to sitting alone in a room. I sit in my comfortable couch and weekly writing platform from the same place, while getting the chance to hear quality independent

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Sunday Paper, Coffee and Music. by all the local artists. “This place is a muse for artists,” says Randy Sharpe, manager and barista. Each week features a local artist for The Peekskill Coffee House’s walls. “It’s a great foundation for launching the whole arts community,” says frequent customer Preston Ricardo. Accompanying him for the first time from

artists is also a shared appreciation. This week it was the Tristen Napoli Trio, but my first impression several months ago soured at the sight of the large Cello case that came in with the three SUNY Purchase Students. Continued on page 4

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THE WESTCHESTER GUARDIAN

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BUSINESS

The Peekskill Coffee House is Home Continued from page 3

Not a fan of Jazz, as I told the trio later, I’ve now become one. That’s just the kind of opportunity that the Coffee House gives, according to Ben Carr. “In the relaxed atmosphere, says the Cello player, “people are listening and actually want to hear the music. The fact that people tip well doesn’t hurt either, as the general calm affords musicians the chance to hone their skills for bigger venues. “It’s very low key,” he says. Currently, The Peekskill Coffee House has a relatively regular line up of performers but that doesn’t mean the opportunities to hook on are closed. “Our Friday night open nights are a good way to get noticed,” says Sharpe. The introductory possibilities for a showcase and performance experience aside, the locale serves as a pushing of

(L-R): Mike Camacho, Ben Carr and Tristen Napoli Trio. Lining up for Coffee. point for bigger things – artist or not. It’s even more basic than that for “It’s a nice meeting place to go over Carr. “I just feel like I’m really part of things and plan,” he says. something larger when I’m here,”he says.

I couldn’t have said it any better myself. My video from The Peekskill Coffee House perfomances: http://peekskillcoffeevideo.blogspot.com/

Art in background is by Laura Caseley: www.Facebook.com/chubbybirdfinearts

Scarsdale, New York-based Palisades Hudson Financial Group Names Chief Investment Officer Opens Portland, Oregon Office SCARSDALE, N.Y. –Palisades Hudson Financial Group LLC has named Paul Jacobs, CFP®, its new chief investment officer, topping a list of personnel additions and promotions as the Scarsdale, NewYork-based firm prepares to expand to the West Coast this month. The promotions were announced by Larry M. Elkin, CFP®, CPA, president and founder (pictured) of the fee-only wealth-management firm. Jacobs, 32, has spent a decade with Palisades Hudson. In addition to his CIO role, he continues in his current

post as manager in charge of the firm’s Atlanta office. A native of Queens, N.Y., Jacobs started with Palisades Hudson in Scarsdale in 2002, and later was a manager in the firm’s Fort Lauderdale, Fla., office before

establishing the Atlanta presence in 2008. Jacobs has been a member of Palisades Hudson’s Investment Committee since 2005 and its chief compliance officer since 2009. He succeeds Jonathan Bergman, who left the firm this month, as CIO. Linda Elkin, Palisades Hudson’s director of marketing and human resources, who oversaw Bergman’s marketing efforts, will assume direct responsibility for marketing. Another 10-year Palisades Hudson veteran, David Walters,

CFP®, CPA, will establish the firm’s West Coast presence with his relocation to metropolitan Portland, Ore., on Aug. 21. Walters, 32, began his career in Scarsdale and has been a client service manager in Fort Lauderdale since 2007. Anna Pfaehler, CFP®, 26, succeeds Jacobs as the firm’s chief compliance officer. She is a client service manager in the Scarsdale office, where she joined Palisades Hudson in 2006. Ben Sullivan, CFP®, 28, a client service manager based in Scarsdale, will

join the firm’s Investment Committee, whose five members currently oversee more than $1.1 billion in client assets under management. “Our approach to managing investments is not going to change,” Jacobs said. “We are still going to counsel clients to be clear about their long-term goals and about the amount of short-term volatility they’re willing to accept. We will continue to be compensated only by our clients, who have our undivided loyalty, and we’ll continue to look for the most efficient and effective ways to implement our clients’ investment strategies.” Jacobs noted that he and other senior managers at the firm have gathered a wealth of experience as this part of Palisades Hudson’s business grew from around $30 million under management when it began in 1997 to more than $1.1 billion today. This has earned the firm’s investment advisory affiliate, Palisades Hudson Asset Management L.P., national rankings among independent money managers for the past two years. Financial Advisor magazine this week ranked Palisades Hudson at 106 nationally among registered investment advisors, based on assets under management in 2011. Continued on page 5


THE WESTCHESTER GUARDIAN

THURSDAY, AUGUST 16, 2012

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BUSINESS

Scarsdale, New York-based Palisades Hudson Financial Group Names Chief Investment Officer Sullivan, the Investment Committee includes Shomari Hearn, CFP®, 37, who is Palisades Hudson’s vice president in charge of technical excellence and staff development and manager of the Fort Lauderdale office, and Eric Meermann, CFP®, 33, the manager in charge of the Scarsdale office. The firm’s new hires include Laurie Samay, a client service associate in the Scarsdale office who worked at Palisades Hudson for three summers while attending Washington

University in St. Louis, from which she recently graduated with honors. Anna Hilbert, a financial planning assistant in Fort Lauderdale, is a member of the Florida bar and holds an LL.M. degree in taxation from the University of Florida’s Levin College of Law. Ashley Dandridge, a financial planning assistant in Scarsdale, is currently completing her master’s degree in media and communications at Pace University. The firm’s founder noted that

Palisades Hudson’s team and the firm itself have grown up together in the two decades since he launched the business as a one-man shop in Hastings on Hudson, N.Y., just north of New York City. “I asked them all to do something exceptionally difficult – to master, at a very high level, the intricacies of planning investments, taxes, estates and all sorts of other matters for the people we serve, who generally have significant assets that bring complex issues,” said

News & Notes from Northern Westchester

into the challenging trails of Memorial Park, and back to the elementary school. The 2012 theme is “Runners for Reading;” with proceeds going to benefit the Katonah Village and Bedford Hills Free Libraries, which have suffered keenly from budget cuts. Runners are also invited to bring a new/gently used children’s book to donate to Open Door Family Medical Center’s early literacy program: “Reach Out & Read.”

Continued from page 4 “The challenging part is to make the investment component of a client’s financial life mesh seamlessly with everything else – family goals, income taxes, estate planning and retirement needs, among other things,” Jacobs said. “The best way to see the whole picture is to have us share our perspectives and reflect them in the work the Investment Committee does. My job as CIO is to make this happen.” Besides Jacobs, Walters and

Elkin, 54. “All of our people took on that challenge. They have become Certified Financial Planner™ certificants, IRS-enrolled agents and CPAs, as well as investment portfolio managers.They know the families we work for. Our clients are not assets to be managed or estates to be planned or tax returns to be filed. Our clients are people, with needs and concerns and aspirations, and our purpose is to help them define their goals and achieve them.” More information is available at www. palisadeshudson.com.

CALENDAR

By MARK JEFFERS

The whole Jeffers family is trying to get in better shape, I ran the other day, or actually walked and boy am I in bad shape, the good news is, even after the run I was still able to bang out another fun filled edition of this week’s

“News and Notes…” Mark your calendars now for the Katonah 5K Road and Trail Race on Saturday, September 8th at 8 am. This year’s race, sponsored by both the Katonah Chamber of Commerce and the Bedford Hills Chamber of Commerce, will be a real family affair with races for adults and kids. There’s

even a race for tots but that may be more of a crawl. This year’s race organizers have generously arranged to split the proceeds of the event between the Bedford Hills Free Library and the Katonah Village Library. The course will run from Katonah Elementary School, through the charming neighborhoods of Katonah,

the legend of the

PAIN IN THE NECK

She’d been living with Bob’s chronic neck pain for years. They were told to just live with it. But it was ruining their lives. So they sought a solution. One doctor prescribed physical therapy, but the pain persisted. Another doctor proposed neck fusion surgery, but Bob didn’t want to limit his mobility. So they went to Phelps Memorial Hospital Center. There, an experienced orthopedic surgeon accurately diagnosed Bob’s condition and performed the most advanced surgical solution that could preserve his mobility and treat his pain – an artificial disc replacement. And then they lived happily ever after.

Find out if you’re a candidate for artificial disc replacement for your neck or back condition. phelpshospital.org/spine • 1 888 888-2311 Get better. Here.

From our theater correspondent Jen, the Schoolhouse Theater in North Salem is undergoing renovations and will be adding around 20 seats this summer. Congratulations to Dr. Douglas Aspros of Pound Ridge as he has been named president of the American Veterinary Medical Association. It looks like the “skies won’t be as friendly” at the Westchester Airport, Continued on page 6


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THE WESTCHESTER GUARDIAN

THURSDAY, AUGUST 16, 2012

CALENDAR

News & Notes from Northern Westchester

Library is paying tribute to Ray Bradbury. On Wednesday, August 22nd, the library will be honoring the creative genius of author Ray Bradbury with a potluck dinner at 6 p.m. and a showing of the movie “Fahrenheit 451” at 7:30 p.m. Mr. Bradbury, who passed away earlier this year at the age of 91 leaves a legacy of classic science fiction literature, including the book “Fahrenheit 451.” Sci-Fi fans, and people new to the science fiction genre, can gather at the dinner and discuss the author. This event will launch the new Sci-Fi Book Club at the Katonah Village

Library…anyone who wishes to participate in the potluck dinner, please contact call 914-232-3508. In celebrity news, actor Kevin Bacon’s new Fox Network series “The Following” is filming in the Bronxville area, we have heard of no “Dirty Dancing” going on during the shoot… Armonk resident and former NY Yankees centerfielder Bernie Williams will be performing at the Paramount Center for the Arts in Peekskill on October 20th. It looks like Todd Elementary School in Briarcliff will be getting a

new playground and should be open by end of September. How about a little dancing in the sand, on August 16th there will be tango lessons at Rye Beach, call 914-967-7826 for details. They call this time of year, “the dog days of August,” but I must say our cats have found out where all our fans and ac’s are running and seem to be ready for September…see you next week.

Big Brother and His Friends Are Watching You

non-government companies do not have this restriction and many companies have sprung up to gather incredibly large volumes of data on individuals and businesses and then sell the information to the government and/or private companies (an excerpt from the book’s introduction may be read at http:// www.amazon.com/No-PlaceHide-Robert-OHarrow/ dp/product-description/0743287053/ref=dp_prodde sc_0?ie=UTF8&n=283155&s=b ooks). The names and activities of these data aggregators are little known to the public (PBS’s “Frontline” in a November 2004 show stated “But where did all this information come from? How did political parties and advocacy groups know whom to reach with what message? The answer to that question begins here. The Acxiom Corporation of Little Rock, Arkansas, is one of the biggest companies you’ve never heard of.”). Acxiom, ChoicePoint (acquired 2008 by Reed Elsevier), Matrix, Seisint, and the other companies mentioned in the O’Harrow book have been attacked and or sued by privacy groups, such as “EPIC” (“Electronic Privacy Information Center” -- http://epic.org) and some have been oft accused of security breaches exposing hundreds of thousands of consumers to identity theft. Yet, as stated above, they still exist “off our radar.” What are we then to do about all this information floating around about us? Physicist and Science Fiction author David Brin in his

1999 “The Transparent Society: Will Technology Force Us To Choose Between Privacy And Freedom?” suggests that we just get used to it – there is no more privacy – but that we demand to know who has our information and what they are doing with it. In other words, as people watch us, we watch them. Brin makes very interesting points in the book (http://www. amazon.com/The-TransparentSociety-Technology-Between/ dp/product-description/0738201448/ref=dp_prodde sc_0?ie=UTF8&n=283155&s=b ooks) but, whether you buy into his approach or not, it is most important that you know what information is being collected about you and, wherever you can, you control such collection. You can usually either opt out of a system or choose not to use the service or store. Be aware!

Continued from page 5

as United Airlines has decided to drop their three daily flights to Dulles Airport in D.C. I think I will send my daughters to this event, “How to Purchase Your Next New Car” being presented on August 23rd at the Somers Library. We are always looking for a good meal out; well it looks like the newly opened Italian Kitchen in Armonk will be our next stop… Keeping with the Italian theme, check out the fourth annual Outdoor

Italian Film Festival in Tuckahoe the next three Thursday nights August 16th, 23rd and 30th. Good luck to Jonathan Satran as he has been appointed to the Briarcliff Manor Board of Education, filling a vacancy created by the resignation of Rosella Ranno, his term runs through May 21, 2013. Sadly summer is coming to an end and you are like me you might be running low on evening out ideas… and money. So here is a great event and it is free… The Katonah Village

Mark Jeffers resides in Bedford Hills, New York, with his wife Sarah, and three daughters, Kate, Amanda, and Claire.

CREATIVE DISRUPTION

By JOHN F. McMULLEN

Last month, the Federal Trade Commission assessed an $800,000.00 penalty against Spokeo (http://www.spokeo. com), a data collector. The FTC said that Spokeo “violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act by marketing its consumer profiles without making sure that they would be used for legal purposes, failing to ensure their accuracy and neglecting to tell consumers of its own responsibilities under federal law.” Spokeo agreed to settle the suit without admitting guilt and, in a statement on its company blog (http://www.spokeo.com/ blog/2012/06/empoweringspokeos-users-2), outlined changes that it was making to bring itself into compliance with US regulation. This is the first case of the FTC getting involved in the area of data collection of consumer information and sale to interested parties – but it may well not be the last. Whether it is or not, it should cause us to focus on the amount of information available on each of us through the Internet and other sources and the possible uses to which it may be put. For years, Human Resources Departments have been doing Facebook and Twitter searches on potential hires as part of the vetting process and it took a while to dissuade college students to leave the Spring Break topless pictures

with the beer cans off of Facebook (and some still don’t get it). Once on the Internet, the pictures don’t go away! At least with Facebook and Twitter, what gets people into trouble is their own ill-advised postings. What is not understood by many, if not most, is whatever things you do that are captured into a digital format – public records of land purchases, marriages, divorces, bankruptcies, debit/credit card purchases, mortgages, auto loans, EZPass records. Motor vehicle records, police and court records, cell phone use, supermarket and drugstore purchases, newspaper stories, property values, Internet postings, TV use, etc. -- are all available for sale and/or theft and searching. There is obviously a chance for error when a great deal of information is available and automatic attempts of consolidation are made. The data may have been entered incorrectly to begin with or the consolidation may have been erroneous. Two cases in point: A good friend of mine grew up in a New York City apartment house where there was another family with the same last name. Such an occurrence was not really unusual but what was unusual was that both sets of parents had the same first names and there were children in both families with the same first names. Years later, my friend was turned down for a mortgage for “poor credit.” Knowing that he should not have had poor credit, he “pushed it”

and finally found that he was being confused with the fellow with the same name as his who had grown up in the same apartment house (he got the mortgage). When Spokeo first appeared, I searched on myself and some friends to check the accuracy of the listings (more information was available then without charge than presently). I found that there were five records for me rather than one and some of them had gross errors – one had me 20 years older than I am; another had me married to my daughter; another had my wife as just a resident of the house; and there were conflicting values for my house and property. My friends’ listings had similar errors. The errors were quite annoying but there were deeper questions such as “does the general public have the right to know the value of my home if it is not listed on the market?” and “Is Spokeo jeopardizing my safety by publishing both my address and the value of my home?” Under the US Constitution and various federal and state statues, there are limits on how much information that law enforcement and other government agencies can gather on individuals without warrants and probable cause. While these regulations have been loosened in the post-9/11 “Patriot Act” age, they still exist and are enforceable in court. As Robert O’Harrow, Washington Post journalist and Pulitzer finalist, points out in his 2006 “No Place To Hide,”

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. 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.


THE WESTCHESTER GUARDIAN

THURSDAY, AUGUST 16, 2012

Page 7

CULTURAL PERSPECTIVE

From Pula With Love By SHERIF AWAD

It is a big privilege for a film journalist to be invited as a jurist in an international festival because one gets treated like a movie star. This year, I became a member of a jury of three critics from FEDEORA (Federation of Film Critics of Europe and the Mediterranean) in the 59th edition of Pula International Film Festival (July 14-21, 2012), which is organized in the beautiful Croatian city situated on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea.

Flower Square.

(R to L): Sherif Awad, Radovan Holub, Nenad Dukic and Zlatko Vidackovic, artistic director of Pula Festival.

Pula Festival’s Screening Arena. has established itself as a place where A long time ago, in 1938, even before you can enjoy films under the stars.Pula the establishment of the Cannes Festival comprises two competitions: Film Festival in France, a well visited one national and another international. first film revue took place in the Pula Some of the international filmmakers open-air arena, an ancient Vespasian’s came to Pula in order to present their Amphitheatre constructed in the mid- films. Among them, British actor first century B.C, and since 1953 Pula Ralph Fiennes who came as a star and

Ralph Fiennes presenting Coriolanus. into a dynamic, breathless, less than an example of contemporary Croatian 90 minutes ride with his hand-held cinema that can transcend onto the camera work, and electronic music. He international audience with great told me that he was keen to get the best results. actors and actresses for leading and My second favorite is also a film supporting roles so he sacrificed his about corruption and how people can own fees to pay theirs. Rene Bitorajac twist the understanding of religious worked with Schmidt before in the heritage according to their own inter2009 drama Metastases (that was also pretation. So all they need is to kill based on a novel by Balenovic), and and steal and then go to the Church his face is familiar to the international to confess their sins and be relieved. audience since his role as the bold The story opens with focus on an actor soldier in the Oscar-winner No Man’s named Filip Kapec who performs Land (2001). Cannibal Vegetarian is Continued on page 8

director of the contemporary adaptation of Shakespeare’s Coriolanus. After watching thirteen Croatian features in addition to ten other shorts, leading critics Nenad Dukic from Serbia, Radovan Holub from Czech Republic and I, voted for the new thriller/black comedy Cannibal Vegetarian by thr great Croatian director Branko Schmidt who went on to depict the corruption in national hospitals and police forces, among other aspects of absence of conscience nowadays. As played by Rene Bitorajac, Commercial • Industrial Dr. Danko Babic is & Residential Services a successful gynecologist who goes Roll-Off Containers 1-30 Yards to the gym, nightHome Clean-up Containers clubs and dogfights while he is not on Turn-key Demolition Services duty in one hospital. Throughout the DEC Licensed Transfer Station years Danko became amoral, corrupt and DEP Licensed Rail Serve more connected to Transfer & Recycling Services the Zagreb underworld that to his own Licensed Demolition Contractor profession. He can do anything for money Locally Owned & Operated including illegal Radio Dispatched abortion to protect powerful people and Fully Insured - Free Estimates his partner-in-crime, a corrupt police On Site Document Destruction officer who offers him money and drugs. Ivo Same Day Roll Off Service Balenovic, a real-life If You Call By Noon doctor, wrote the novel on which the film is www.citycarting.net based. We can consider him a new Michael City Carting of Westchester • Somers Sanitation Crichton coming from B & S Carting • AAA Paper Recycling • Bria Carting • CRP Sanitation the former Yugoslavia. Schmidt successfully visualized the novel 800.872.7405 • 8 VIADUCT RD., STAMFORD, CT • 203.324.4090


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THE WESTCHESTER GUARDIAN

THURSDAY, AUGUST 16, 2012

CULTURAL PERSPECTIVE

From Pula With Love Continued from page 7

in children’s events and who has a wife and two kids. One day, police inspector Branko arrests Filip’s son for drug possession and uses the situation to force the caring father to pose as a priest who can hear Macko’s final confession, a ruthless Croatian mafia boss who is diagnosed with a terminal illness. When he reluctantly agrees, the poor Filip discovers that Macko and Branko are two estranged brothers who fought over one woman and that

he has become entangles in some kind of a personal family affair. The corruption in the police force leads to the revelation of Filipe’s real identity to Macko which puts him and his family in great danger. The three main leads Drazen Kuhn as Filip, Dragan Despot as Branko and Mladen Vulic as the Mafioso gave the film its strength with performances mixing comedy and drama. However, Flower Square loses some of its potential in some scenes and situations influenced by old gangsters’ films.

Born in Cairo, Egypt, Sherif Awad is a film / video critic and curator. He is the film editor of Egypt Today Magazine (www.EgyptToday.com), 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 is the film critic of Variety Arabia (http:// varietyarabia.com/), in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the Al-Masry Al-Youm Website (http://www.almasryalyoum.com/en/node/198132) and The Westchester Guardian (www. WestchesterGuardian.com).

Cannibal Vegetarian.

ENERGY MATTERS

Halt Declared in New Nuclear Licenses: Existing Licenses in Doubt By ROGER WITHERSPOON

In an unprecedented move, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has bowed to a court order and imposed a temporary halt in relicensing nuclear power plants until it thoroughly examines the impact of runaway meltdowns at the plants’ spent fuel pools. That action affects the relicensing evaluations of some 33 facilities at 19 sites, including Indian Point 2 and 3 on the Hudson River opposite Bear Mountain. And it leaves in limbo preliminary applications for new plants, including site reviews for possible new plants at New Jersey PSEG’s Hope Creek and Salem nuclear plant sites. But while definitely halting the granting of new licenses, the

Commissioners are continuing their review process and have put on hold all new challenges by state officials and civic groups that are based on the Appellate Court ruling. And the validity of some 70 license extension granted over the past decade under the discredited rules was not addressed and is still not clear. “I’m not surprised that they did that,” said Geoffrey Fettus, senior attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). “They acted in response to the significant amount of contentions that had been filed against plant relicenses around the country. If the NRC is going to have any coherence to the licensing process as they go forward, they have to put things in abeyance while they decide what to do. “We need to see how the Commission is going to proceed. But at this point, they said ‘Everybody stop! Hands up while we figure out what we are going to do.’ So stay tuned.” The unanimous decision by the NRC’s five commissioners is their first response to a decision by the US Court of Appeals in June which backed a

challenge ( http://bit.ly/OQ0V1q ) to the agency’s rule that high level nuclear waste could be stored indefinitely at reactor sites 60 or more years after the plants shut down. The agency’s temporary storage regulation, developed in 1990, updated repeatedly over the years and finalized in its current form Dec. 23, 2010, is formally known as the Waste Confidence Rule. It doubled the amount of time spent nuclear fuel rods can be stored onsite from the previous limit of 30 years. And the NRC is currently considering doubling that limit again to 120 years after the plant has closed. That would be on top of the 25 years the NRC is allowing plants to sit idle after they shut down to give the underfunded decommissioning funds a chance to accumulate enough money to cover the costs of cleaning up the nuclear site. If the rule had been allowed to stand, the spent fuel at the Oyster Creek Nuclear Generating Station for example, which is due to close in 10 years, could be kept onsite until at least 2070 and possibly until 2130. The Salem nuclear plants, whose operating licenses were extended 20 years and

may be extended another 20, could conceivably have high level radioactive waste onsite till nearly the end of the next century. There is, of course, no way to know if the plant operators will still be in existence a century and a half from now to begin the process of cleaning up the site. The suit was brought in February by the attorneys general of New York, Connecticut and Vermont – with New Jersey signing on about a month later – the Prairie Island Indian Community, and a coalition of 24 environmental groups led by the NRDC and the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE). At issue is one of the most dangerous aspects of nuclear power operation – the possibility of a Chernobyl-like fuel fire spewing a continuous cloud of radioactive debris into the atmosphere. The plants’ reactors contain about 100 tons of uranium, packaged in 12-foot-long fuel rods, and offload about a third of this “spent fuel” during refueling shut downs every 18 to 24 months. The spent fuel is a high level mix of radioactive material, including plutonium, uranium, cesium, and iodine. Over the years, thousands of

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tons of spent fuel have been stored in 40-foot-deep pools, which have concrete walls about five to six feet thick and a sliding entrance-way, at each individual power plant. That does not make them invulnerable. An NRC study of spent fuel pool risk, released in October, 2000, ( http:// bit.ly/eGn23T ) stated that of all the currently flying commercial jet aircraft, “1 of 2 aircrafts is large enough to penetrate the 5-foot-thick reinforced concrete wall…. It is further estimated that 1 of 2 crashes damage the spent fuel pool enough to uncover the stored fuel.” That would result in uncontrolled fission and a nuclear fuel fire, which would spread radiation and cause up to 25,000 deaths within a 500 mile radius, according to the NRC’s study. The U.S. Government was supposed to take charge of the nation’s spent fuel by 2010, but the planned repository at Yucca Mountain in Nevada has been stalled indefinitely. As a result, nuclear operators have been moving their oldest spent fuel into 100-ton dry casks, which sit on football-field sized pads in the open. Continued on page 9


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THURSDAY, AUGUST 16, 2012

Page 9

ENERGY MATTERS

Halt Declared in New Nuclear Licenses: Existing Licenses in Doubt Continued from page 8 In addition, most of the nation’s nuclear power plants have leaked radioactive liquid into the surrounding environment, either from the ageing spent fuel pools or the miles of underground pipes serving the pools and the reactors. The NRC saw no reason to examine how these may age over the coming decades. The NRC had taken the position that since there had never been a meltdown in an American spent fuel facility, there was no need to assume that there could be and no need to examine the possible impacts of a fuel fire as part of the relicensing process. Their rule also stated that the US government would find a national repository at some point in the future and there was no need to plan for a crisis. “Their analysis has always assumed there will be a national repository and we don’t have to think about that long term picture,” said Monica Wagner, Deputy Bureau Chief of the NY Attorney General’s Environmental Protection Bureau. Wagner, who argued the case

for New York before the three-judge Appellate panel, said the ruling, that the NRC violated the National Environmental Policy Act, “wasn’t a surprise to us. “We were basing our argument on the NRC’s own analysis of leaks that had occurred at Indian Point and other nuclear facilities. The NRC said there have been a number of leaks in the past, we found they haven’t had significant impacts on public health and therefore there won’t be significant impacts in the future. The court absolutely agreed with us. You can’t say that past leaks haven’t had impacts on public health and from that you can assume that future leaks won’t’ have impacts on public health.” The Court flatly rejected the NRC’s reasoning, declaring “In concluding that permanent storage will be available ‘when necessary,’ the Commission did not calculate the environmental effects of failing to secure permanent storage – a possibility that cannot be ignored. “Secondly, in determining that spent fuel can safely be stored on site

at nuclear plants for 60 years after the expiration of a plant’s license, the Commission failed to properly examine future dangers and key consequences.” The impact of the Court’s ruling on pending licenses is still to be determined. Following the Commissioners’ action, the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board, which had been hearing challenges to the Indian Point license renewal, issued a statement putting all pending challenges related to the spent fuel pool on hold. SACE attorney Diane Curran said in a statement that “This Commission decision halts all final licensing decisions – but not the licensing proceedings themselves – until NRC completes a thorough study of the environmental impacts of storing and disposing of spent nuclear fuel. That study should have been done years ago, but NRC just kept kicking the can down the road.  “When the Federal Appeals Court ordered NRC to stop and consider the impacts of generating spent nuclear fuel for which it has

found no safe means of disposal, the agency could choose to appeal the decision by August 22nd or choose to do the serious work of analyzing the environmental impacts over the next few years. With today’s Commission decision, we are hopeful that the agency will undertake the serious work.”    While the Appellate Court made it clear that the NRC had to develop site specific environmental assessments for any new licenses, it is not clear what impact there will be on licenses that are already granted while the now rejected rule was in effect. Former NRC Commissioner Peter Bradford, now at the Vermont Law School, said if a state were to ask the federal courts to reopen the licenses of plants such as Salem and Hope and Oyster Creek – which received new, 20-year extensions during the last two years – “it would not be a frivolous challenge. The industry will argue that until the court decision, the NRC’s Waste Confidence framework was valid. And, therefore, the actions that it took using the Waste Confidence policy were sufficient. “On the other hand, people take

the view that it is a simplistic defense and an updated form of the Waste Confidence Rule is not valid and, therefor, every action they took under that umbrella is vitiated. I don’t know how the courts are going to sort that one out.” In New Jersey, Environment Protection Commissioner Bob Martin was quick to comment when the decision was announced. “This is an important victory for the people of New Jersey,” Martin said in a statement ,”on an issue that has significant public health and safety implications and also the potential to negatively impact the state’s environment.” But the Christie Administration has been silent since then on any plans to force the NRC to conduct a long term assessment of its ageing spent fuel pools, which have already leaked. NRC spokesman Neil Sheehan said “our view is that the licenses that have been completed are done. They are finalized. This court decision affects only the pending applications.” --Roger Witherspoon writes Energy Matters at www.RogerWitherspon. com

LEGAL

Yonkers’ Attempt to Vacate Temporary Looking For 50 People To Qualify for a FREE Solar Sytem Restraining Order Falters By HEZI ARIS

BROOKLYN, NY and YONKERS, NY – It was Monday, August 6, 2012, when New York State Supreme Court Justice John R. LaCava issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the City of Yonkers over a minimum manning

requirement of 57 Firefighters contractually in effect at the 57 number since the year 2000. The Honorable LaCava was quick to recognize the issue was safety, that of the Yonkers Firefighters, as well as the citizenry of the city. It was on that basis, that Judge LaCava decried a TRO was appropriately decreed by him despite the arguments made Continued on page 10

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THE WESTCHESTER GUARDIAN

THURSDAY, AUGUST 16, 2012

LEGAL

Yonkers’ Attempt to Vacate Temporary Restraining Order Falters Continued from page 9

by Yonkers Corporation First Deputy Counsel Michael V. Curti, Esq., and an associate. Yonkers Tribune had deduced that an attempt to remove the TRO would be launched at the behest of the City of Yonkers. And so it was

today, August 9, 2012 at the Appellate Division, 2nd Appellate Department, situated in Brooklyn, NY, and specifically at the Attorney’s Waiting Room (pictured) .Two members of the firm of Meyer, Suozzi, English & Klein, P.C., representing the petitioners, Yonkers Firefighters, Local 628, I.A.F.F.,

AFL-CIO, and Yonkers Corporation Counsel, representing the respondent, the City of Yonkers, arrived at 3:03 p.m., and sat at the center table where an adjudicator, Mr. Harris, intently listened to the opposing arguments within an hour of their arrival; the arguments were redundant of those

made in the transcript supplied by the Yonkers Tribune on August 7, 2012: EXCLUSIVE: Yonkers Firefighter vs City of Yonkers By HEZI ARIS Mr. Harris divulged he found both merit and demerits to each argument made. He stated that he believed no harm would be done in maintaining the status quo until next week when the legal teams would again be able to present the rationale of the basis for the

MOVIE REVIEW

Ed Koch Movie Reviews By Edward I. Koch

Beasts of the Southern Wild (+)

a small version of what happened to people in Louisiana after a hurricane. It wasn’t the big hurricane that devastated New Orleans, but a regular, ordinary hurricane that devastates small rural communities, probably surrounding New Orleans, almost every year. It is part of their lives. The

area is called the Bathtub and the two people we meet and follow are a little girl probably 8 or so, known as Hushpuppy, played by Quvenzhane Wallis, an absolute star who, when she grows up, will rival the celebrity of Marilyn Monroe with her poise and total nonchalance before a camera.

Her father is Wink, played by Dwight Henry. He is dying, and it is clear he is overwhelmed by the thought of what will become of his daughter. The film is neither a documentary nor a docudrama. It is a movie, a reverie, and well worth seeing.

Monsieur Lazhar (+)

(Fellag) who, on reading of the death of the teacher, applies for the job. By virtue of his personality, he persuades the principal, Mrs. Vaillancourt (Danielle Proulx), to give him a chance. The balance of the movie is basically the relationship between Bachir and the youngsters of the class. The children are able in a few seconds of screen time to create their separate personalities. The two principal children are Simon and Alice who hang out together. The relationship between the new teacher Bachir and

all the children is lovely to see unfold. Simon carries a heavy psychological burden bearing he thinks upon the suicide of Martine which sooner or later he must vent and when he does, the audience will feel his pain. Bachir also has a burden - he is from Algeria seeking political asylum because his wife and children, while waiting for him to settle in Canada and bring them there, are killed by terrorists and his life is in danger. Will he establish all this to the satisfaction of the Canadian authorities?

The film is sweet and sour, but never too painful, never too joyous, more like real life and well worth seeing just to relax both your mind and body.

I have no idea what the title refers to and it has no affect on my rating. I couldn’t figure out what the picture was all about after waiting for about ten minutes. Then it was clear - it was

This is a lovely film in French with subtitles, made in Canada. It takes place in Quebec in a middle school. The opening scene has the audience following a boy, Simon (Emilien Neron) into the school. He glances into a classroom and sees his teacher, Martine, hanging above a desk. A classmate, Alice (Sophie Nelisse), also comes by and sees the body of their teacher, Martine. All the students are then swept outside. We next meet Bachir Lazhar

Visit the Mayor at the Movies to learn 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.

SAFETY

An Important Message

From Arsdley Fire Chief Mark Florkowki ARDSLEY, NY -- Did you know that plastic garbage bags left in the hot sun could catch fire spontaneously? There have been two cases this year of fires in Ardsley that appear to have been generated by the combustion of sawdust in plastic bags left in the hot sun. The

sawdust was created and discarded when contractors removed floor finish. If you are having construction done, notably refinishing of floors, you should have the waste removed by the contractor. If this is not possible, bags containing sawdust with chemical waste

should be stored in a metal container and disposed of properly as soon as possible. They should not be stored where they are likely to heat up. Mark Florkowki is Fire Chief of the Village of Ardsley, New York.

law they had quoted as underwriting the veracity of their resoective perspectives to the four Appellate Judges who would preside over the case next week. Inquiry of Yonkers City Hall was not returned; inquiry of Barry McGoey, President of Local 628, could not be accomplished because his cell phone message units allowance had been exceeded.


THE WESTCHESTER GUARDIAN

THURSDAY, AUGUST 16, 2012

MUSIC

Lee Hooker “Cook THE SOUNDS John With the Hook: Live In OFBLUE 1974” MVD Visual By Bob Putignano Poor audio & video, and a mediocre performance: Begs the question: Why was this DVD made available? Rating: 4 This DVD was recorded in the summer of ’74, in the town of Gardner, MA, supposedly there were six-thousand people there, which is hard to tell from the audience shots provided. In fact it’s hard to tell a lot of things considering the poor overall camera work, which by the way is in black and white, remember this is 1974, not 1954! The festival name provides the first clue as to what to expect “Down In the Dumps.” And I cannot make that up, and I am not lying. It’s hard for me to pick on John Lee, but this DVD serves him very little justice, as it’s difficult to get past the ragged audio plus the video quality is also poor. The audio volume changes from time to time, and the video looks like it was recorded from someone’s black and white television set using a super

eight movie camera. (Hint: this performance was actually broadcasted on local TV, hmmm?) The video and editing team also seems clueless, as their subject mater mindlessly meander around, giving me the feeling like I was watching a very early Ernie Kovacs show from the mid fifties. What were these guys thinking? Despite all of this I was able to notice that the John Lee’s Coast to Coast Blues Band weren’t having a great day supporting Hooker, and that at times Hooker glanced towards them with wicked eyes. Oh, I should report that the video runs for forty-five minutes, with six tunes. The short length of this DVD is the best observation that I can report about “Cook With the Hook.” Long story short: There are dozens of commercially available John Lee Hooker DVD’s for sale that offer a better presentation of John Lee. Heck, a lot of the Youtube

selections come across better than this video. John Lee Hooker was and still is a legend. Yet reading the fine print on the (one sheet) liner notes; there are all kinds of thankyou’s to those involved in this video project, including the John Lee Hooker Estate. That’s all I’m saying. But I’ll let you be the judge by clicking the link MVD emailed me that I guess serves as their trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ph bKqyJurDQ&feature=youtu.be&utm_ source=Copy+of+John+Lee+Hooker+% 2522Cook+With+The+Hook%253A+ Live+1974%2522+DVD+-+June+19 &utm_mpaign=John+Lee+Hooker&utm_ medium=email Check it out as I think you will agree with my observations. Caveat emptor. Bob Putignano www.SoundsofBlue.com

EYE ON THEATRE

From Woods to Woody By JOHN SIMON

You know what not to look into with a gift horse? Well a little of that applies also to the musical “Into the Woods,” which the Public Theater is presenting free of charge in Central Park. If the night is balmy (and even if not quite), what could be nicer than free open-air

theater with a good chunk of Central Park artfully augmented by way of scenery, in a musical by Stephen Sondheim (even if not his best). Add to this a lavish production, a very respectable cast, and an imported British director who previously staged the show successfully in London’s Regent’s Park? The answer is, by all means see it if you can get tickets, even if the horse has some trouble with its Continued on page 12

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THE WESTCHESTER GUARDIAN

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EYE ON THEATRE

From Woods to Woody Continued from page 11

teeth. You may even forgo reading the rest of this review, with its cavils only for perfectionists from whose number you may be blissfully exempt. There is an inherent self-contradiction besetting a fairy-tale musical,

his collected lyrics and commentaries), here the two governing ideas were “the relationship between parents and children . . . and the notion of community responsibility.” But although fairy tales have morals, they are specifically individual ones, not interconnected, and I defy anyone to trace the abovementioned two themes unaided on his

Some of the cast of Into the Woods. based in this case chiefly on the Grimm brothers’ Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood and Rapunzel, as well as a British folktale about Jack and the Beenstalk, plus one invented by the show’s bookwriter, James Lapine, The Baker and His Wife. The problem is that such tales are always simple enough for a child to understand and enjoy, whereas Sondheim lyrics and a Lapine book thrive on sophistication that a child cannot quite comprehend, let alone appreciate. Another difficulty is that for mashing together several tales a rationale must be found, or at least a theme or themes running through all. As Sondheim states in Look, I Made a Hat (volume two of

his wife must fulfill four hard tasks demanded by the witch for her rejuvenation, in exchange for which the couple will at last be able to have a child. An unlikely conceit, but what would you not accept if the Witch is the great Donna Murphy, who, whether in her early creepy getup and makeup, or later as her glamorous self,

Chip Zien own. They do not emerge clearly and completely. Still, there is enough going on here to keep your interest from flagging. And be it said right off that, even as a lot of rethinking and revising went into the original Broadway production of 1987, so there has been some here, whether devised by Sondheim and Lapine, or the able British director Timothy Sheader, and the no doubt equally able co-director and movement-director (in other words, choreographer), Liam Steel. Most obviously, the narrator is now, more appropriately, a child, performed on the night I was there by Jack Broderick, admirably avoiding cuteness. In Lapine’story, a baker and

Hernandez (the latter doubling as a wonderful Wolf), and various others. In this grand ensemble cast, as the last song has it, “No One Is Alone.” I do have some trouble with Sondheim’s tunes, which, though well orchestrated by Jonathan Tunick, try a trifle too hard not to be sugary. Some of them even sound like all

Denis O’Hare and Amy Adams. is riveting in acting, singing, enunciating and communicating fun alike. Somewhat surprisingly, Hollywood’s Amy Adams can actually stand up to her as the Baker’s Wife, singing and acting beautifully. Even more surprising is Denis O’Hare, a specialist in showily whiny or effete parts, as a very likable, mannerism-free Baker. There is felicitous work too from Jessie Mueller as Cinderella, the just a shade too shrill Sarah Stiles as Ridinghood, Tess Soltau as Rapunzel and Sleeping Beauty (though underwritten parts), Chip Zien as Mysterious Man (he had been good too as the Baker on Broadway) and the two Princes, Paris Robillard and Ivan

based on a long-ago time when the two met as construction workers in Texas. I can state merely that Shanika Cotton is much prettier than her name. and that this may be the loudest cast ever assembled. In a rather large theater, every word can be clearly heard. But that may also be the chief drawback.

Some of the cast of Into the Woods.

elaborate verse and no catchy refrain. But no trouble with the scrumptious scenery, a collaboration between John Lee Beatty (New York) and Soutra Gilmour (London), and congratulations to whoever came up with the truly wonderful Giant’s Wife (voiced by Glen Close) and an ingenious beanstalk. One performer does fall rather short---short on body at any rate: Milky-White, the cow, who in this production is all head and an only overstylized body. But perhaps we must also not look too closely at a gift cow’s trunk. I wish I could say more good about Woody Harrelson and Frankie Hyman’s “Bullet for Adolf,” vaguely

Production shots of Into the Woods by and courtesy of Joan Marcus John Simon has written for over 50 years on theatre, film, literature, music and fine arts for the Hudson Review, New Leader, New Criterion, National Review, New York Magazine, Opera News, Weekly Standard, Broadway. com  and  Bloomberg News. Mr. Simon holds a PhD from Harvard University in Comparative Literature and has taught at MIT, Harvard University, Bard College and  Marymount Manhattan College. To learn more, visit the  JohnSimonUncensored.com

LEAVING ON A JET PLANE

Czech Republic: The Next “It” Destination By BARBARA BARTON SLOANE

The Charles Bridge… a mansion designed by Mies van der Rohe… an ancient Jewish town center and synagogue. What do these and nine other equally diverse places have in common? They’ve all been designated UNESCO World Heritage sites in the Czech Republic. When a site receives the highly prestigious UNESCO World Heritage status, it’s rather like announcing that this is something exceptional and unique and will be

protected for all the nations of the world. Here can be found a dozen such sites, all within easy reach of the capital with travel times ranging from 30 minutes to 3 hours by car. Czech has more than twice the world’s average sites which makes this destination a kind of UNESCO super power. In fact, in all of Eastern Europe, only one country has more: Poland has 13 and it is two and a half times larger than the Czech Republic. I visited seven of the twelve Czech sites recently, each one unique, each inspiring and worthy of its honored distinction. We began our tour in

Prague where the whole of the city’s center is recognized by UNESCO. A lucky city, this, because during two world wars and unlike many other European cities, Prague was spared devastating destruction. Thus, a large variety of historical buildings in architectural styles ranging from Gothic to Rococo and Art Nouveau are still standing.

This Castle Rocks!

Although suffering jet lag (we’d only just arrived a few hours before), we were off on a walking tour of Continued on page 13

Prague Castle at dusk.


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LEAVINFG ON A JET PLANE

Czech Republic: The Next “It” Destination Continued from page 12

Prague Castle. Out of the 4,500 castles here, it is the most popular for tourists; it is also a site entered into the Guinness Book of Records as the largest castle in the world. Since 870 it has been the residence of sovereigns and is now the home of the current president. Impossible to see all in one day, yet with limited time we were dazzled by the Castle’s picture gallery with works by Rubens, Titian, and a new collection dating from the mid-17th century with significant works by Italian, German, Flemish and other masters. On the Castle grounds is the St. Vitas Cathedral, dating from 1344 and taking 600 years to complete. The late afternoon sun shone through the stunning rose stained glass window, making misty rainbow colors bounce

thus executed by being thrown from the bridge into the river and drowned. The bronze plaque on his statue, if rubbed, is said to bring good luck and insure a return visit. One can always find St. John’s statue by its gleaming, much rubbed plaque.

Let the Adventure Begin!

Bright and early the next morning we boarded a van for the 100 mile journey to the city of Telc (pronounced “Telch”). The trip through the Czech countryside was lovely and bucolic, under a cerulean-blue sky with wide swaths of intense green farmland, redroofed homes and dense pine forests. Fields were dotted with Queen Ann’s Lace, yellow Rape, and pink wildflowers. Telc is a town in southern Moravia, founded in the 13th century. The highlight here is the monumental 17th century Renaissance chateau

its rare, ten-part rose window featuring rose petals, flowers and fruit, designed to represent the wheel of life. Trebic’s synagogue is known as the Rear Synagogue. When I asked the origin of this name, I was told “because it’s in the rear of other buildings.” Duh. Built in 1737, over the years it fell into a deplorable condition and from 1920 it was no longer used for religious services. Happily, by the end of the 1980s, reconstruction of the synagogue began and was finally completed several years later. Since there is no longer a Jewish community in this city, the building is now used for meetings, exhibitions and concerts. In 1996, the South Moravian village of Lednice has been included in the World Heritage list, calling it “an exceptional example of the designed landscape that evolved in the Enlightenment…” Here is found the country’s largest park, as well as a 17th century Renaissance palace. It is a majestic mansion and precisely what a castle should be like: splendid luxury on a grandiose scale. One of my favorite sights: a winding staircase, all lacy, filigree-work in wooden artistry – the kind of work never to be repeated today.

See No Evil

View from Charles Bridge. about the church’s nave and coloring its stately columns in shades of pink, mauve and lavender.

His Lips Were Sealed

We returned to our hotel via the Charles Bridge, the oldest in the city and founded by Charles IV in 1357. It is a glorious and majestic passage that beckons one to linger. In fact, the very reason to enter the bridge is less to cross the Vltava River than to experience the magnificent views from it and to gaze upon the thirty sculptures of saints. Everyone’s favorite is that of St. John Nepomuk, a priest in Prague under King Wenceslas IV. The story goes that the Queen made her confession to John. The King, being a very suspicious man, pressed the priest to reveal the Queen’s confession which he refused to do. John of Nepomuk was

with an English-style park. Telc’s town square is a long plaza ringed by beautifully preserved Renaissance and Baroque 16th century houses in pastel shades of cream, pink, turquoise and salmon, with fanciful high gables and arcades. This pretty town has been a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1992 and I challenge anyone gazing upon these fairytale-like dwellings to leave here without a smile.

Go to the Rear

On to Trebic (pronounced “Trebich”), another Moravian town with its well-known Jewish Quarter and St. Procopius Basilica, both World Heritage sites. The Romanesque Basilica originated in the early 12th century as a Benedictine monastery. Sitting in a cool, quiet pew in the back of the church, I gazed at

Czech countryside. moved in. When I learned that the beautiful Prague without rubbing Tugendhats were Jews, I asked a guide his bronze plaque to insure I’d return what were the feelings of the average someday. The Czech Republic, with Czech when Hitler came on the scene. its dozen UNESCO World Heritage “We hated it,” I was told. And when sites, is a captivating destination. Now, Jews had to flee the country? “We waiting in the wings are no less than sixteen Czech sites on the Heritage list didn’t know…we had no idea.” Our last two UNESCO sites were looking forward to UNESCO inscripthe villages of Zelena Hora and Kutna tion. Who knows, perhaps on my next Hora. The former houses the church visit I’ll have many more dazzling of Saint John Nepomuk, the Czech sights to discover! martyr. Architect Giovanni B.Santini used the symbol of the pentagram for If You Go: the building in the Baroque/Gothic www.czechtourism.cz style with an altar depicting the martyr www.czechtourism.com carried by angels to heaven. A quirky, www.delta.com distinctive structure, it is well worth a Comfort, quality, and the best visit. food on my entire trip! Kutna Hora is home to the Cathedral of St. Barbara. The unique shape of its magnificent soaring spires Images Courtesy of Sloane Travel is a product of the late 15th to early 16th Photography century. As St. Barbara is the patron saint of miners, many of the interior Travel Editor Barbara Barton Sloane adornments reflect mining life and the is constantly globe-hopping to share her ceiling murals include depictions of unique experiences with our readers; the miners’guild coat of arms. from the exotic to the sublime. As Beauty Before I left the country, I simply / Fashion Editor she keeps us informed on had to return to the Charles Bridge and the capricious and engaging fashion and St. John’s statue. How could I depart beauty scene.

Another day we visited the city of Brno (pronounced BRno). It is the largest city in the Republic after Prague, and the cultural center of the South Moravian Region. It has a thousand-year-old history and because it’s a university town, most of its inhabitants speak English.The best part of my visit here was a tour of the UNESCO site VillaTugendhat, the most important European work of the architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, added to the World Heritage list in 2001. Built in 1929-30 for the Tugendhat family, upon seeing it one immediately thinks of the homes designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Like his dwellings, this mansion snuggles into the hilltop and hitney nn’s ssentials has commanding views from its many terraces. Accessorize your look! Cozy yet elegant, Visit Yonkers’ newest boutique it is a charming for the perfect accessory home that, sadly, to complete your outfit.... the family was Handbags • Jewelry • Shoes • Scarves forced to abandon in 1938 when 914.226.8249 soldiers of the Third Reich 37 MAIN ST. YONKERS, NY 10701

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THE WESTCHESTER GUARDIAN

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WESFOODIES

Gaucho Argentinian Grill Opens in White Plains By NANCY KING

Despite dismal economic reports coming out of Washington in what seems to be a weekly basis, it is always a pleasure to celebrate the opening of a new business. On August 6th, the Gaucho Argentinian Grill opened at One North Broadway in the space that was once occupied

by the Antipasti Restaurant which had closed down some time ago. The restaurant, opened by Moises Mera and his family will serve traditional Argentinian and Italian cuisine. The restaurant is a large one. Upon entering, patrons are greeted by a sleek modern lounge area, which contains a large tapas bar and an even larger glass enclosed wine room. Beyond the bar area and up three steps, one

enters the main dining area and it is there that you notice that there are also two private VIP dining rooms. It is the hope of the proprietors that their establishment will attract many of the sports stars and celebrities that live in the White Plains area. To ensure those prospective diners’ privacy, Gaucho

even has a private rear entrance and exit! Décor aside, what really makes this new restaurant special is the food. Argentina has long been the definitive source for beef. The Gaucho Grill serves a traditional Argentinian Skirt Steak with chimichuri sauce that is

tasty, tender and priced right at $26.00. The Gaucho Grill’s price point is also competitive with dinners ranging from $24.00 to $45.00. While it is always great to spotlight a new business, the location of the Gaucho Grill is an interesting one. The location, on the corner of North Broadway and Main Street is a block or so away from the restaurant row situated on Mamaroneck Avenue. It is also anchors a development that has had some difficulty attracting tenants. Right now, there is currently a large real estate brokerage firm and a Panera Bread Company located in the plaza, but nothing else. It is hoped that the Gaucho Grill and the Metroplex Hotel and retail complex currently under construction will put the finishing touches on the economic development that has eluded the upper Main Street downtown of White Plains. Nancy King is a freelance investigative reporter; a resident of White Plains, New York.

GOVERNMENTSection GOVERNMENT

Government Response to Testimony on Job-Assistance Programs and Childcare By SHANNON AYALA

Testimony about jobassistance programs in Westchester, at a Mt. Vernon City Council hearing, triggered an array of responses about safety, job creation, the role and capacity of the City Council and even about a commuter tax in the City of Mount Vernon. “You have 23% of the welfare cases… Mt. Vernon residents,” said Joshua Eskew, not surprisingly, subsequently to other instances of speaking out about the Department of Social Services (DSS) on their performance, or alleged lack thereof, in their pursuit of helping people find jobs. Within his allotted one-minute time slot, Eskew mentioned that only Mt. Vernon City Council President Roberta Appuzzo, attended a recent public meeting of DSS in the City. And he summarized, skipping over

some legal allegations about DSS recently echoed and expanded by local advocate Gary Fuller, by again inferring that County funds are benefiting job-assistance contractors but not recipients of services because, theoretically, people become stuck in the programs and that many, as consequence of design, return shortly after landing a job. Councilman Richard Thomas replied with statistics of his own. “We have 18% sex offenders,” he said, adding, “12% parole,” and “22% on probation.” The relevance, he said, was that this breeds unemployment. He then segued into an announcement about a public safety forum that will be conducted within the month of August and that details would soon be announced. Thomas went on about unemployment: “Last year the State issued a study on the City of Mt. Vernon that found our economy has the potential to grow by $200 million

if you reduced the vacancy rate of all the shops on Gramatan Avenue, Fourth Avenue and First Street,” where DSS is, he said. Economic growth, jobs and public safety are half of the top six-bullet points on

the Councilman’s campaign website. Similarly to Richards, Councilman J. Yuhanna Edwards parlayed the topic to something that seemed categorically separate and part of his agenda: commuter tax.

“Most of the people that work in [the aforementioned DSS building on First Street] don’t live in the City of Mt. Vernon,” he said. “Eight Continued on page 15


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GOVERNMENT

Government Response to Testimony on Job-Assistance Programs and Childcare Continued from page 14 thousand or more people that don’t live in this city but work in this city take money out and the money doesn’t come back at least one time.” He didn’t point out exactly how, or if this would engender employment or resolve concerns about job-assistance programs. Councilwoman Karen WattsYehudah made the point that though she didn’t attend the one public meeting in the City, she attends DSS meetings at least twice every month. She then suggested that the appropriate officials to talk to are on the county level. During the hearing’s recess, Eskew was asked if he thought Councilman Edwards’ reply was relevant. Eskew said, “It was a long stretch,” adding that if he were on the City Council, he would talk to County Executive Rob Astorino and DSS Commissioner Kevin

McGuire “all the time” about DSS because it’s “the tallest building in our community, with the most employees.” He then suggested that Councilmembers not only go to DSS meetings, but also meet with people in the programs. “The only people that are speaking out for those people…” he said, are he, and more so Gary Fuller. The latter represents recipients in DSS-fair hearing trials and often wins those cases. One charge of Eskew’s that Fuller has echoed is that recipients are asked to work an illegally excessive amount of hours in work-programs under their temporary services. At another instance at the end of the recess, Eskew lightly praised County Legislator Lyndon Williams (District 13-Mount Vernon) for being involved and caring about such issues. “DSS has had a more preventive

approach standpoint; and so has been more concerned with making sure that they eliminate services and degrade services” as a result of efforts to save money, says Legislator Williams. DSS has changed its whole philosophy under the Astorino Administration, he says, and that he thinks it worked more efficiently before. In particular, Williams discusses childcare, as something that he says County Executive Astorino wants to eliminate, and something that has an impact on self-sufficiency. “The childcare agency, the childcare centers, they get reimbursed through the county DSS.” For a lot of these centers, it “takes months before they are reimbursed and that did not used to happen.” It appears as though the intention is to “frustrate” people and discourage them from going to DSS, he says. Even after discussing

job-assistance programs, in which some of the alleged details are still unclear, Williams brings it back to childcare. Childcare is essential, says Williams, because if working mothers who make very little money (they can make up to $29,000) “are not able to get the subsidy they cannot work,” he says. “If they can’t work… they end up on welfare and the State has to pay a greater share of their living expenses.” He asserts that these people want to work, but in any case, the benefits are temporary. “They end up, more or less than sheltered.” In his words, childcare involves a “very small subsidy.” In recent months, the parent-share for covering rose from 15 to 35%, which according to Newsday can be up to $40 or $100 more per week. Like Gary Fuller, Legislator Williams indicates that there is a pressure that comes down from above through social services; but he suggests that somewhere in the middle, the employees can still be

more motivated to help people become self-sufficient rather than by other influences. “I think they’re afraid to do their job. They have to do their job. And their job means that they have to be more sensitive and more cognitive of those people who are trying to obtain social services.” Nevertheless, he says that this motivation isn’t coming from the Astorino Administration, as it is more concerned with cutting costs. “They’re not looking at, well, how do we get these people… in the workforce so that they can pay their own way and they can spend the money in their own community and cause some economic revitalization.” Shannon Ayala is a Class of 2013 student at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. He also writes New York environmental news for www. Examiner.com. His work can be found at www.SEArchives.wordpress.com.

ENVIRONMENT

Abinanti Calls for Hearings on Hydraulic Fracturing GREENBURGH, NY -- NYS Assemblyman Tom Abinanti (92nd AD) called on the Chair of the Environmental Conservation Committee to conduct a series of hearings in the suburbs of New York, including one in Westchester County, to discuss the hydraulic

fracturing process and the status of the Department of Environmental Conservation’s examination of the issues. “Hydrofracking for natural gas is an idea whose time should never come in New York,” said Abinanti. “It makes no sense environmentally

or economically.” While applauding the efforts of the Environmental Conservation Committee to highlight for the public the dangers of hydraulic fracturing and to block hydraulic fracturing in New York State, he noted that recent

polls demonstrate that significant numbers of the public are still uniformed about the risks of this dangerous process and its possible impact on local residents and the water supply of the state of New York.

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THE WESTCHESTER GUARDIAN

THURSDAY, AUGUST 16, 2012

INVESTIGATION

JANET DiFIORE WELFARE FRAUD SCANDAL

Fraud!!!!! Residents Ask Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore to Come Clean or Resign By SAM ZHERKA

Dhyalma Vasquez, a top Westchester County Investigator with the Westchester County Department of Social Services (DSS), who discovered the alleged welfare fraud, tax violations and the illegal employment of Marina Buchanan, a Jamaican immigrant, perpetrated by Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore, was being mentally tortured and intimidated by DiFiore and her office in an attempt to thwart any investigation into wrong doing by Janet DiFiore and her husband, lawyer Dennis Glazer. In a tape recorded conversation between Dr. Giulio Cavallo, chairman of The Westchester Independence Party and Westchester County Deputy Commissioner Philippe Gille, of the Dept of Social Services, Gille tells Cavallo, “you know when she [fraud Investigator Dhyalma Vasquez] said she was being tortured by these people, she’s not lying, you know!” He continued, “you know how sometimes you might think she’s a little over dramatic. She not over dramatic. She’s right on this stuff.” Cavallo told The Westchester

EXHIBIT A

Guardian that he taped the conversation because of a frantic call he received from his close friend, Investigator Vasquez, who was scared and intimidated by DiFiore’s attempts to stifle the investigation. “I know Janet DiFiore for a long time,” said Cavallo. “There’s almost nothing she won’t do to stay in power including break the law,” said Cavallo. Insiders at DSS who wanted to stay anonymous for fear of retaliation, confirmed to The Westchester Guardian, that the day after the story of the investigation into the D.A Janet Difiore, broke in the NY POST, the office of Dhyalma Vasquez was raided whereby documents and files were seized by investigators from the D.A’s office without a warrant. In a separate recording, days after the story broke in the media, Investigator Dhyalma Vasquez was invited into the office of Deputy Commissioner Gille and warned that this investigation is going to anger a lot of powerful Democrats including Governor Andrew Cuomo. He advised Vasquez to abort the investigation whereby Vasquez replied that she would not do so, insisting that DiFiore broke the law and that she will follow through with the investigation and proceed with her effort to prosecute

DiFiore. On July 31st, 2012, County Investigator Dhyalma Vasquez and the Bureau of Case Review who bravely blew the whistle on the alleged criminal acts of Janet DiFiore were removed from the case and the demand for tax and financial records from Janet DiFiore, her husband and nanny had been withdrawn. A letter was issued and signed by DSS Deputy Commissioner Phil Gille at the behest and order of Westcehster County Executive Robert Astorino. SEE EXHIBIT B This sounds like another cover up by the status quo said Michael Fine, a Yonkers resident. “I’m sick to my stomach. They all need to be in jail.” said Fine. “All of them!” “DiFiore must resign!” said Mr Fine. Phone calls to County Executive Rob Astorino, Deputy County Executive Kevin Plunkett, DSS Deputy EXHIBIT B Commissioner Philippe Gille, and James “Jim” Castro-Blanco of the Westchester County Attorneys office went unreturned as of press Continued on page 17

The Cover Up


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INVESTIGATION

JANET DiFIORE WELFARE FRAUD SCANDAL Continued from page 16

time. The facts. Marina Buchanan is a Jamaican immigrant who was employed by

EXHIBIT C

Janet DiFiore and Dennis Glazer, Esq., a partner at the law firm of Davis, Polk and Wardwell, from April 1987 to December 2009 in the capacity of household manager and nanny. Marina Buchanan describes her

duties on DSS documents as follows: “taking care of three (3) children from morning to bedtime, laundry, ironing, shopping, light house keeping, taking children to all after school activities. General running of the

EXHIBIT D

EXHIBIT E

household. SEE EXHIBIT A On 1/24/2011, the U.S. Department of Immigration and Naturalization Service confirmed that Marina Buchanan entered the U.S. on 7/12/2007 and was granted status on

the same date. SEE EXHIBIT F Marina Buchanan, in DSS documents states that she was employed by DiFiore and Glazer since 1987. The DSS Fraud unit spoke to Mr. Continued on page 18


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INVESTIGATION

JANET DiFIORE WELFARE FRAUD SCANDAL Continued from page 17 Barci at the Department of Social Security who confirmed that Mrs. Buchanan did not pay into the program prior to 2007, which is the same time during which she received her immigration status. SEE EXHIBIT F In an inter office memo between investigators, one investigator writes, “This is a violation of the law. Assistant Supervisor Louis Hough, with the Reach program and Carlos Moran aided and approved Marina Buchanan’s application for benefits as a favor to Janet DiFiore” There was no complete eligibility review with supporting documentation; it is noticeably absent. In addition, this case was opened in Central Office and not the Yonkers District office, where it would have normally been addressed.” Carlos Moran, the former Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Social Services was recently appointed by Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano to a high paying insider position. He is also the Vice Chair of the Yonkers Democratic Party, the same political party as Janet DiFiore On May 29th County Fraud Investigator Joyce Moss sends Dhyalma Vasquez an email titled, “Preliminary Fact Finding” YOU MUST READ THIS MEMO. SEE EXHIBIT C

On June 30, 2011, nearly two months after Janet DiFiore sent investigators from her office to intimidate County Fraud Investigator Dhyalma Vasquez, an email was sent from Vasquez to DSS Commissioner Kevin Mcguire, and copied to Deputy Commissioner Philippe Gille, DSS Investigators Hema Pendikatla, Debra Lopez, Katherine Waluschka, Christine Sculti from the Office of the Westchester County Executive, George Oros, Chief of Staff for County Executive Robert Astorino, and Kevin Plunkett, the Deputy Westchester County Executive, alerting them of Janet DiFiore’s fraud. SEE EXHIBIT D A careful review of Marina Buchanan’s [DiFiore’s nanny] credit history was performed. The credit report produced surprising results considering that Marina Buchanan, was allegedly only earning $800. per month according to a notarized letter by Dennis Glazer which was filed with the Department of Social Services. Mrs. Buchanan, has several credit cards with credit lines totaling over $100,000. Most notable was a Citi Card with a $75,000 credit limit with an unpaid balance of $30,359.00 as of 10/12/2010. PLEASE SEE EXHIBIT E On 5/30/2012, a second credit report showed the open principal balance on the Citi Card was now $22,085.00. Mrs. Buchanan who

claims no income and who is receiving Welfare and Medicaid compliments of Janet DiFiore’s, corrupt practices and influence paid down over $9,000.00 dollars in principal and interest over a 7 month period. SEE EXHIBIT E2 Luisa Cruz, a seven-year resident of Yonkers, who immigrated to the U.S. 21 years

ago from the Dominican Republic told The Westchester Guardian she supports the resignation of DiFiore. “She should be in jail,” she said. Once again, The Westchester Guardian is calling on D.A DiFiore to come clean and tell the truth; and if the truth is too much to ask, then we call on her to resign!!!!!

EXHIBIT F

EXHIBIT E

EXHIBIT E2

EDITORIAL

Janet DiFiore and Her Skewed View of Justice By SAM ZHERKA

District Attorney Janet DiFiore’s troubles concerning her former nanny and housekeeper are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to cases that have been improperly heard and judged. You would be have to be living

under a rock not to have realized that as of course she was going to side with the “Thin Blue Line” when it comes to the murders of both college student D.J. Henry at the hands of the police, or former Marine Kenneth Chamberlain Sr. at the hands of the White Plains Police. Under DiFiore, if you were murdered by a police officer, no matter what department

or community you lived in, the cops would always be cleared and you in essence would be blamed for your own murder. And if you think her vitriol is just reserved for people of color, take a look at what she, Audrey Stone and Judge Susan Capeci did to former White Plains Mayor Adam Bradley. This is the same Susan Capeci who double dipped her way out of the

Mount Vernon Water Department all the way to the Supreme Court. And since DiFiore paved the way for a fellow Mount Vernon resident, Capeci was more than happy to oblige when DiFiore wanted to make an example out of Adam Bradley. The pattern is easily recognizable. A twenty year old in a moment of panic and confusion, hits a cop and is shot. Despite evidence that most definitely shows lapse in communication between the two officers, a


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INVESTIGATION

JANET DiFIORE WELFARE FRAUD SCANDAL EDITORIAL

Janet DiFiore and Her Skewed View of Justice young kid who even though he had been drinking on campus earlier was shot and killed. Police Officers Hess and Beckley are cleared of all charges because they are cops and yes, Janet DiFiore is the chief law enforcement officer who will always side with those on her side of the blue line, even if it is obvious they are in the wrong. DiFiore failed Kenneth Chamberlain as well. Old, mentally ill, and desperate to be left alone, DiFiore’s cops called him a nigger and told him they were coming in for him. They shot him dead. They too were cleared of charges even though White Plains Public Safety Commissioner David Chong and Mayor Thomas Roach felt there was

enough evidence to conduct two of their own investigations; one internal, and one independent. There is a third victim of the DA’s office as well who isn’t dead yet… and that is former White Plains Mayor Adam Bradley. Bradley was convicted on misdemeanor domestic violence charges after a six week trial that was presided over by Judge Susan Capeci and orchestrated by DA DiFiore and ADA Audrey Stone. During that trial, Capeci, at DiFiore’s behest, had witnesses suppressed, and incomplete testimony was presented. DiFiore and Capeci were worried that it would leak out in testimony that former Mayor Adam Bradley’s wife, Fumiko Bradley

had giggled when she told two friends she had lied about the abuse. Evidence like marriage counselor notes were deemed not necessary and suppressed. Capeci and DiFiore suppressed emails from employers who acknowledged Mrs. Bradley had a temper and also had difficulty telling the truth; and it is even alleged that the pictures of Mrs. Bradley’s injured hand had been digitally enhanced by ADA Stone, DA DiFiore and Judge Capeci. Bradley who is under a gag order and is unable to speak candidly with The Westchester Guardian did acknowledge that Capeci is hearing his divorce case, the previous criminal case, and his current probation violation case where he is alleged to have pocket dialed his ex-wife and according to the DA’s

office laughed maniacly at her. That call was under four seconds in length and Capeci remanded Bradley to the County Jail on 10K bail. Recently he appeared in court in front of Judge Capeci where she invoked $2,500 bail on an attempt to commit murder but upheld Bradley’s bail restrictions. Judge Capeci ain’t that smart. She’s a part of the Mount Vernon cabal. She is a part of that same corrupt group led by the DiFiore / Glazer family, John DiBlasi, the former New York State Supreme Court Justice, and David A. Ford, Mount Vernon City Water Department Commissioner. What Capeci and DiFiore wanted was to destroy and kill a victim who was still alive. Chamberlain and Henry are dead and can’t speak but

Adam Bradley can. He may be under a gag order but there is enough that this publisher has learned that can lead one to believe that Bradley was politically and personally assassinated by the DA’s office. She put an unethical judge on the bench, she suppressed witnesses and evidence, and she continues to this day to torment an innocent man. Will the Appellate Court side with her and not him? Is she afraid he might clear his name and run for District Attorney? Yeah, she may have paid off her former nanny / housekeeper Marina Buchanan to shut her up; she knows two dead men can’t defend themselves and now she’s out to destroy another one. Fair and just? Sam Zherka is the publisher of The Westchester Guardian.

BREAKINGNews

Mayor Spano Declares Yonkers Is Ready To Hire A New Class of 35 Firefighters Class to be Hired Contingent on Cost Savings Provisions YONKERS, NY – August 12, 2012 – Mayor Mike Spano today announced the City of Yonkers is ready and willing to hire a new class of firefighters, but under terms that are more fiscally sustainable for the City. Mayor Spano has outlined three main provisions in which he believes the City and the Yonkers Fire Department need to address at the bargaining table. “We are ready and able to hire more brave men and women to the Yonkers Fire Department,” said Mayor Spano. “However, we need to hire this new class on terms that

won’t break the bank. Otherwise, we will just be ushering in a new generation of public employees who the Yonkers taxpayers cannot afford.” In order to properly support a new class of firefighters that Yonkers taxpayers can afford, Mayor Spano wants bargaining with Firefighters Local 628 to focus on providing relief in the following areas: •M  ore reasonable starting salary: The Yonkers Firefighters starting salary is $70,996. On average, this is at least 30% higher than what other firefighters earn in

cities in the region, including New York City Firefighters, and nearly double the salary in many other Westchester County cities. • Workload which is similar to firefighters in comparable cities: Yonkers Firefighters work 25% fewer hours per year than firefighters in other cities. This low “availability” baseline sets the stage for excessive overtime, especially when compounded by the impacts of the Fire Department’s generous, unlimited sick leave allowance for non-line-of-duty illness or injury.

• More reasonable sick leave policy: Approximately 20% of the total firefighters required to work on any given day are out

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due to non-on-line of duty sick leave. Mayor Spano added, “We recognize the obligation to negotiate these terms with the union. The City and the union need to have the tough conversations that will lead to fiscal responsible terms that the City’s taxpayers are entitled to.” Christina SOURCE: Gilmartin, Communications Director - City of Yonkers, Office of the Mayor

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THE WESTCHESTER GUARDIAN

THURSDAY, AUGUST 16, 2012

OP-EDSection THE HEZITORIAL

Tactical Ploy or Negotiation Through Media? By HEZI ARIS

Yonkers Firefighters are more resolved than ever in not negotiating legal contractual agreements long in place in the media. They collectively do not comprehend if the administration’s position is indeed valid why when there was a need for teachers to fill vacancies, the Yonkers Federation of Teachers were not demanded to renegotiate their contract. Similarly, why were the Yonkers Police Department not demanded to renegotiate their contract when there was a need to hire additional Police Officers? Is City Hall attempting to break the Yonkers Firefighters’ resolve? Fat chance! It is further explained that while the administration espouses prudent conduct on the part of Yonkers Firefighters, they do not explain the built in overtime circumstances that the administration should be aware of yet does not remedy. Instead, the Firefighters decry the numbers bandied about as if they are proof that Firefighters are playing the system to their benefit selfishly. Instead, Firefighters point out that the minimum 322 Firefighters noted in the budget line are at present shy 40 people because of attrition; those that have retired. This is the normal course of circumstances that impacts every department. It was pointed out that today alone, Sunday, August 12th, 2012, 25 Firefighters reported to duty on overtime calls (OT). Often misrepresented are the

numbers used to explain what transpires over a years’ time. As an example, if OT accrues at the end of a year to equate to $4 million, but the amount of personnel are permitted to be reduced by attrition to less than budgeted, a saving from that budget line of for the sake of argument valued at $3 million, when deducting one figure form the other, the total overall cost to the city is $1 million; but the city often promotes the $4 million expenditure and does not place the figure in context of the reality. Further skewing the figures is the fact that 322 Firefighters is about 30 short of what is required to mitigate OT and stay within fiscally prudent parameters. So how does one balance a budget to lessen the OT costs that are incurred? First, a full complement of Firefighters must be hired that takes into consideration, based on the actuarial figures available to the city of the average attrition rate over time, the figures of the average number of people out on sick leave, on personal leave, on jury duty, etc. Once deduced, the correct number of Firefighters needed to be hired would be conducted yearly, so as to better attune the numbers to the yearly changing circumstances. The closer the number of Firefighters on staff, the less likely will the need for OT become. The issue of reducing entry-level pay scales is also a false issue. At present, the federal government reimburses the entire cost of the Yonkers Firefighters through grants that must be applied and thereafter complied with. The

re-imbursement by the federal government is for all costs incurred; the safer Grant is such a funding source. Why was the administration required to be reminded over and over again in this past week alone to file the appropriate paperwork to be in receipt in the near future of those funds? Why must all grant applications be funneled through City Hall exclusively? What is the rationale behind that change of circumstances imposed by the Mike Spano Administration? At minimum, the lack of faceto-face communication between the administration and the Yonkers Firefighters has not been what is should be. Instead, talk of talks have only led to the stench of distrust and the silence it has brought forward, with drama all about it, fortifying resolve that is not conducive to negotiations. Instead of civil discourse, political operatives sully media with agenda driven drivel in an attempt to deflect the public’s attention from the issues. Finding a solution to the unsustainable pension plans that were put in place by the politicians who put these contracts before all the unions in the City of Yonkers for the sole purpose of buying their votes. Affording the unions greater salaries permitted the politicians to pad their patronage mill with greater remuneration with no objection heard anywhere within Yonkers. Yonkersites were complicit in this misconduct, as was Albany. The taxpayer paid and paid and paid. Now, the government, needing to bring the fiscal house to order, lest the financial

control board be resurrected on the city’s back, or bankruptcy be declared, such as in California cities within the past few months, Yonkers City Hall is saber rattling by threatening the Yonkers Firefighter. Why? Why have the Firefighters become the scapegoat? What is the catalyst behind this faulty game plane? When will Yonkers City Hall own up to placing blame on the Spencer / Amicone Administrations? When will Yonkers City Hall openly and honestly place all the issues on the table? When will transparency, daylighting the issues, be permitted to flow into CoY’s psyche? When will Yonkersites find the template that serves them best rather than all the outsiders that claim they know what is best for Yonkers? The sensibilities of Eastchester have no impact on Yonkers’ values. Albany has also been complicit in attempting to demonize the Yonkers Firefighters who deserve nothing but praise for doing their job for the benefit and safety of Yonkers, Yonkersites and fellow Firefighters. Allowing Yonkers Firefighters to fend for themselves alone in the light of the power that may be wielded against them is a precursor to challengers failing in this attempt to marginalize the men and women in red. The questions are valid, the issues are valid, and the costs are valid. The desire to discuss issues becomes more relevant every day. Appeasing time by dragging this issue further into the future will not work. In less than three weeks’ time the summer will be over. When people refocus their minds to issues of relevance in the fall, September will be filled in anticipation

of the November election and the political outcome; then to family during Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year. The calendar defined in the previous sentence must be replaced by one of respectful resolve to bring the City of Yonkers to fully appreciate the fiscal crisis it is in and to discuss the solutions that may satisfy many of the concerns that will bring CoY to greater financial standing as the years tick by into the future. The only saving grace that may save Yonkers is the calamity that has brought us to this juncture. The arrears owed CoY still unpaid to the city by developers, those who still owe the city for services rendered, clawing back the money extorted from CoY by the likes of Mayor Amicone, removing subsidies that have been spent over the last 10 years to restaurants, and other businesses across the city, the continuing IDA loans that are not required for inducement but are still being dispensed, and so much more. Those receipts alone are valued at over $150 million. Yonkers has tried and failed at every past scheme they had imagined. It is time to pull the drapes back, open the windows; allow sunlight to brighten the future that Yonkers deserves. Failing to traverse this juncture will weaken Mike Spano’s administration and all who claim to serve him for the balance of his term. Yonkers is demanding more. Mayor Mike Spano can deliver. He must resolve to do so despite all who would steer him toward a dead end. It is not too late to step up to the plate to find accommodation worthy to be contemplated.

OP-ED

Liberal Tyranny and the Cluck Heard ‘Round the World By MATT BARBER

Writer Sinclair Lewis is credited with saying, “When fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in the flag and waving a cross.” Close, but not quite. Truth is, fascism has come to America; but it’s

wrapped in a rainbow flag and waving, well, let’s just say it sure ain’t waving a cross. With its latest wave of scorchedearth malfeasance, the radical left has awakened freedom-loving America to this reality. Liberals learned a hard lesson on Wednesday. While the generally silent majority was showing exuberant

support for free speech, the institution of true marriage and Chick-fil-A, “progressives” were gorging themselves on crow sandwiches doused in bitter hate. While Chick-fil-A was eating at liberals, millions of God-fearing Americans were eating at Chick-fil-A. It was glorious. Those who would silence free speech were shouted down

through an unprecedented – dare I say miraculous – show of unity in the body of Christ. Millions of God-fearing Americans took part in the “buy-cott” as Chick-fil-A’s cup runneth over. It was a beautiful thing to behold. It made you proud to be an American. Most of the characteristically cocky “progressive” blogs and “news” sites

observed radio silence as left-wing elitists – media, activists, politicos and pundits – sat in stunned disbelief. Their wrongheaded Chick-fil-A boycott had backfired catastrophically. Quite troubling, however, was when this predictable “progressive” hissy left the realm of comedy and breached the realm of tyranny.Multiple elected officials – all Democrats – disgraced both themselves and the Continued on page 21


THE WESTCHESTER GUARDIAN

THURSDAY, AUGUST 16, 2012

Page 21

OP-ED

Liberal Tyranny and the Cluck Heard ‘Round the World Continued from page 20 offices they hold by pledging to shut Chick-fil-A down, simply because they disagree with its leadership’s biblical viewpoint. But the American people stood strong. In response to illegal threats by the mayors of Chicago, Boston, San Francisco and Philadelphia to ban Chick-fil-A from their respective jurisdictions, the residents of those great cities rebuked these Constitution-dumping donkeys with “freedom chicken” lines that wrappedaround city blocks. “Mayor Emanuel,” they declared, “your godless values are not ‘Chicago Values!’” In fact, Pastor Rick Warren tweeted that Chick-fil-A COO Dan Cathy called him to say that sales for Wednesday smashed all records. (Put that in your “progressive” pipe and smoke it, lefties.) Still, not to be outdone, liberals were determined to beat a dead chicken. As liberty-loving folks peacefully showed support for real

marriage with nuggets and waffle fries on Wednesday, “gay” activists held a pathetically attended “kiss-in” at various Chick-fil-A locations on Friday. We couldn’t ask for a starker contrast. Whereas marriage supporters peacefully patronized Chick-fil-A to demand tolerance for varying viewpoints, homosexual activists engaged in gross, sexually charged public displays deliberately designed to shock and offend children and families. (Warning: vile and profane. Click here for report). Disgusting. (Please, do keep it up, though, liberals. True colors are brightest. America is watching. Oh, and the vandalism, bomb threats and bullying of teenage girls working at Chick-fil-A? Nice touch!) Nonetheless, I believe “Chickfil-A Appreciation Day” was just the appetizer – a foretaste of things to come. In November, America serves Obama and Democrats the main course. And the Democratic Party is

helping itself not one little bit. Leading up to Wednesday, a platform change was announced. Hard-left extremists within the party are moving to endorse what some have dubbed, with plain-spoken accuracy, “sodomy-based marriage.” At a time when record numbers of Democrats in the House and Senate face the very real threat of ouster, the DNC has inexplicably opted to put its stamp of approval on the radical redefinition of marriage – the fundamental cornerstone of any healthy society. Already nervous, Democrats in at-risk districts are now popping antidepressants like Pez. They have reason to freak out; especially when you consider that the Democratic Party itself remains robustly divided over this highly controversial issue. Republicans’ response? Oh please, please don’t throw us in that briar patch. Of course, Wednesday’s massive outpouring of support for Chickfil-A provided a visual reminder to all concerned that the vast majority of morally minded Americans reject the oxymoronic notion of so-called

“same-sex marriage.” It proved with earthshaking resonance that liberals’ whole “gay-marriage-is-inevitable” thingy remains as sterile as the fraudulent concept itself. Don’t forget, we live in a constitutional republic where “we the people” are the sovereign, and elected officials are the hired help. When “we the people” have spoken on marriage, we’ve spoken without stuttering. Thirty-two states have voted on it, and 32 states have protected it via constitutional amendment. Marriage is as marriage was and will be forevermore: the joining of man and wife. But hey, Democrats made their silly mock-marriage bed, they can sleep in it. Still, there’s another white paper bag full of goodies to take home from Chick-fil-A. Executives from corporations, large and small, should sit up and take notice. Don’t be intimidated by insufferable homo-fascist organizations like the incongruously tagged “Human Rights Campaign” and GLAAD, the “Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.”Their bark is much, much worse than their bite.

No, you’ve just seen a highly successful business model in action. It’s simple: 1) Publicly acknowledge God’s objective, transcendent truth; 2) Infuriate the toothless “progressive” establishment, prompting calls for boycotts and empty threats to ban you; and 3) Rake in the cabbage. Stand up for what’s right, good and true, and America’s got your back. So be encouraged. Despite liberals’ best efforts, freedom of speech, God’s design for marriage and reverence for sexual morality are alive and well in America. There is still hope for this great nation. But not without a fight. The line in the sand has been drawn. It’s perverse “pride” versus patriotism. Liberal lies versus truth. Tyranny versus freedom. On which side will you stand? Matt Barber (@jmattbarber on Twitter) is an attorney concentrating in constitutional law. He serves as Vice President of Liberty Counsel Action. (This information is provided for identification purposes only.)  

ED KOCH COMMENTARY

Support for Jews, Israelites, All People Translates into Support for Obama By ED KOCH

I’ve been asked by the Obama campaign to get involved in the Florida campaign. Of course, I will do that and I expect to be in Florida campaigning on the President’s behalf after Labor Day. In the meanwhile, I wrote an op ed supporting the President’s reelection which appeared in one of Florida’s most important newspapers the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.com, on August 3, 2012. In an effort to establish his qualifications to be President of the United States, Governor Mitt Romney recently visited England, Israel and Poland, and there is now an added interest in the views of the presidential candidates on Israel. Last year, I criticized President Barack Obama after he urged the Palestinian Authority and Israel to resume negotiations and stated that Israel should use the

1967 boundaries, with mutually agreed land swaps, as a template for drawing the lines for the new Palestinian state. Wanting to send the President a message of opposition to this stance, I supported a Republican candidate in a special congressional election, and he won. I am now often asked why I am supporting the President’s reelection. In his first presidential race, President Obama received 74 percent of the Jewish vote. Last year, it looked like those numbers might be significantly lower in 2012. However, as last Friday’s Gallup poll illustrates, the President’s numbers in the Jewish community have almost completely rebounded. Maybe other Jewish voters have seen in the President what I have seen. I believe the President heard the Jewish community’s concerns. His actions, certainly for me, verify that fact. His speech at the United

Nations supporting Israel was the strongest statement of its kind ever made by a U.S. president. Even more important was his personal, and successful, involvement at the Security Council preventing the Palestinian Authority from gaining entry to the United Nations as an independent state. That action was clear, unambiguous evidence of his commitment to the Jewish state. His urging of the Israelis and Palestinians to engage in negotiations without preconditions was extremely important and his reiterating and demanding that Hamas give up violence, recognize the legality of the state of Israel and all prior agreements, showed real leadership. The statement of Israel’s Defense Minister Ehud Barak on the cooperation between Israel and the U.S. on intelligence gathering and military supplies provided by the U.S. to Israel was the best ever in the long relationship between

the two countries. That again was clear evidence of President Obama’s commitment to Israel. Further, President Obama’s leading the U.N. Security Council to take much harsher sanctions against Iran and make clear that the U.S. was committed to preventing Iran from developing a nuclear bomb – not simply to a policy of containment -- made clear to me his absolute commitment to the security and defense of the State of Israel. I have no intention of attacking Governor Romney or the Republican Party for their support of the State of Israel. In fact, I commend them for it. I believe both presidential candidates and parties are committed to standing with Israel if it were to be attacked by Iran. As a Jew and a supporter of that state, I am grateful. My commitment to Israel is based on the history of how the world stood by when Hitler and the

Nazis waged war against the Jews in the 1930s and 1940s. No country stepped forward when Hitler offered to allow them to leave if a country would accept them. If Israel had existed at that time, it would have taken in every Jew permitted to leave Germany and the rest of Europe where ultimately six million were murdered. The reason Jews like myself are dedicated to the U.S., a country that has given Jews so much since the days of George Washington, and now support the Democratic Party and the reelection of President Obama is the huge difference in philosophy that the contending candidates and parties have expressed on domestic issues. Mitt Romney and the Republican Party, given the opportunity, would end the entitlement programs of Social Security and Medicare. If they could, they would privatize both and destroy Continued on page 22


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ED KOCH COMMENTARY

Support for Jews, Israelites, All People Translates into Support for Obama Continued from page 21

the existing, unshakable contract between the U.S. government and the beneficiaries of these programs. Instead, they would create a voucher system and private accounts on Wall Street for each Social Security beneficiary. They would give Medicare beneficiaries a voucher and then tell

them to negotiate with Insurance companies to see how much more they’d have to pay. Medicaid beneficiaries would no longer be protected by the U.S. government. Instead the program would be turned into a block grant with states each separately deciding on the limits of the program. So, I urge Jewish voters who

support a U.S. policy of continuing and strengthening the special status Israel has as an ally with the U.S. as well as domestic programs here in the U.S. that protect the elderly, protect the rights of women, protect the rights of minorities, require the wealthy to pay their fair share of taxes, require responsible regulation of the banks and Wall Street, and

protect the middle class, to vote for the reelection of President Obama. They should also support the candidates of the Democratic Party so as to give President Obama a filibuster free Senate and a majority in the House of Representatives to continue and expand the social programs protecting all, especially the children and the poor. If you trust my judgment,

vote for President Obama. I look forward to voting for our President in November and I hope you will too.

and what we are as a people are challenged, even threatened and, sadly, more often than not, by our own unwillingness to overcome ideology, wrong-headedness, and the allure of those who promise much more than they ever can or will deliver. I recall the words of a former head of Southwest Airlines who said, decades earlier, that he looked for character and values, not so much experience or even high levels of competency, in making a significant hire. His view was that he could train or develop competency and gain experience, but character and values are something a person brings to work that cannot be instilled. And, so during these difficult times I look for the same and I see these qualities in George Latimer and I strongly urge you to consider George as our next New York State Senator come November. Of course George has high levels of intelligence and experience, but so does his likely opponent who, by my reckoning is a formidable opponent and it is a shame that they are seeking the same seat. George has something else that I can personally attest to, a willingness to engage the community in dialogue, listen attentively to local issues and work hard, even in the byzantine New York State legislature, to obtain what his constituents request or what the community needs.

This is not easy. I see the issues faced by suburban and upstate legislatures. They frequently have to aggressively seek a place at the table and in all candor Governor Cuomo is not the most accessible individual ever to occupy the Governor’s mansion. However, George will always meet and try to help out even if the odds are against success. I have been working for several years on trying to influence legislation to provide shareholders in Cooperatives, the protection offered to tenants in rental units. George listens and seeks support in his party and across the aisle as well as in the Senate. But, this goes well beyond my particular issue. George does not make idle promises; a person of high integrity does not do this especially during these sensitive times. His Senate agenda items are the right items; preserving and expanding STAR, lowering property taxes, making government more transparent, looking at the MTA Payroll tax, and working on the crippling mandate issues. Notice I said, he will work, introduce, NOT promise to eliminate. He is above idle promises. He will do what he can and I look forward to his election to the State Senate and his partnering with our local elected officials to make my city and yours, a better place to reside. Warren D. Gross New Rochelle, New York

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 105thMayor from 1978 to 1989.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Women’s Issues

In a recent letter to the editor written by the campaign against Senator Ball, extremist candidate Wagner has once again demonstrated that he will play by his own facts when it comes to discussing the issues. The fact is, not only has Greg Ball worked to guarantee equal pay for equal work, he sponsors the bill (S7057). In his four years with the Assembly, Greg Ball voted five times to guarantee equal pay for equal work (A39112010, A6712-2010, A3911-2009, A6712-2009, and A7407-2008). In just two years as our State Senator, working with the Citizens Advisory Council on Womens’ Issues that he established, Senator Greg Ball has sponsored and passed into law legislation that lets victims of domestic violence remain in a domestic violence shelter for 180 days (a 45-day increase) (S6308). Greg Ball has sponsored and passed legislation that keeps confidential the mailing address of domestic violence victims (S5293). Furthermore, in less than two years Senator Greg Ball has secured $150,000 in new funding for the Putnam-Northern

Westchester Womens’ Resource Center and My Sister’s Place. As Chairman of Veterans Committee, one of the first bills Senator Greg Ball sponsored and passed guarantees that a mother could not lose custody of her children based on her active duty military status. Senator Ball also passed legislation to create the Women Veterans Coordinator in New York for women who come home from active military duty. As a young woman, I appreciate that Senator Greg Ball represents me. I do not appreciate lies and distortions, especially scheduled three months before an election and especially after watching Senator Ball work so hard for years. Nicolette St. Lawrence Garrison, NY

Campaign Finance Reform

I recently read an article by a local candidate promoting campaign finance reform. Yet according to the State Board of Elections, this same candidate, an extreme, tax and spend, ‘hired gun’ Manhattan attorney, also recently accepted $5000 from Albany’s most liberal and entrench establishment and another huge contribution from an Albany insider connected to Albany’s AIG scandal. Sad, but true. Furthermore, this candidate did not disclose the close relationships netting

his fundraising gains, including those within a multi-billion dollar, Manhattan law firm; a law firm that could benefit greatly from control over the state senate, and its agenda. Who is the candidate saying one thing on campaign finance reform while accepting these questionable monies? Justin Wagner. This is the same candidate, caught last week lying boldly to the press about his campaign filing, who is running on a platform of higher taxes, more government spending and giving full benefits to illegal aliens. Little wonder, for his Manhattan firm, charging $1000 an hour, represents a long list of undesirables. A list so grotesque most people would rather go broke, than be associated with the company this firm keeps. Its time for this extreme candidate to come clean with the voters, return the dirty money and disclose both his financial ties with this Manhattan firm as well as immediately disclosing all clients, especially those with interests before the state. Greg Kane Somers, NY

Finding Character and Values

Every race for every elective office in our communities, state, and nation is important. We live in times where our very sense of who


THE WESTCHESTER GUARDIAN

THURSDAY, AUGUST 16, 2012

Page 23

WEIR ONLY HUMAN

The Taverns of Old New York By BOB WEIR

When I hear the word “tavern,” I think of the many gin mills, saloons, beer gardens, etc. that was part of my youth in New York City. My four sisters, my brother and I were raised in a small tenement apartment on 6th Street, between avenues A and B in Manhattan. My first experience in a tavern was when I was invited by my uncle “Red” Weir into Vazac’s on the corner of 7th Street and Avenue B, across the street from the now famous Tompkin’s Square Park. Today it’s called “The Horseshoe Bar” and the area is now known as the “East Village.” Back in the day, “The Village” was “Greenwich” and it was a west side attraction bordered by the Hudson River to the west and lower Broadway to the east. Incidentally, the movie, “The Verdict” starring Paul Newman, was filmed in Vazac’s, undoubtedly because the atmosphere was moodily depressing, befitting the gloomy theme of the flick. Anyway, I was a mere lad of about 10 when my uncle would have me sit at the bar for a Coke while he guzzled beer and spoke proudly to patrons about his sister’s “kid.” Meanwhile, the “kid” was eyeing the glass-encased pantry those old taverns used to have, a few feet from the bar. Always stocked with bologna, ham, cheese, bread and other tasty tidbits, that little semi-delicatessen was the only reason I went near the place. The law required that free food was always available in any premises that served booze, hence, for the price of a beer (which was about a dime back then), a patron could stuff his face with sandwiches while he sopped up a few steins of Rheingold. As for me, I would build the thickest concoction of cold cuts, smeared with mayonnaise or mustard, slap slices of rye bread on each side of it and tear into it like a hungry lion. The adults in the room used to look toward me and laugh as they continued to belt down those boilermakers and other mind-numbing beverages. I was interested in numbing the gnawing pain in my stomach. It must have looked like a scene from the Marx Brothers with Harpo surveying the area as he stuffed sandwiches in his bottomless coat pockets.

Another great tavern that served as a “watering hole” in the old neighborhood was called “Lulu’s Bar,” located on 13th Street and Second Avenue. Lulu, the owner, was wellknown and liked by local mobsters, as well as the local police, who were often seen, in uniform, bellying up to the bar. My cousin Jack and I, both 16 at the time, were able to soak up a few Seven and Sevens, while sitting on stools right next to a couple of New York’s finest. Of course, the legal drinking age at the time was 18, but

in the shipping dept. of that highdollar Madison Avenue clothier. Anyway, I felt the impulse to say something to this guy I’d watched on the Silver Screen, engaging in rambunctious horseplay with Leo Gorcey, Huntz Hall, Bobby Jordan and the rest of the boisterous bunch of zany hooligans. I think I asked if he still stays in touch with Gorcey, who always had top-billing and was the leader of those little “Angels with dirty faces.” Their breakup must have been a bitter one, since he grew a frown on his furrowed visage and quickly tossed down a shot of whiskey before leaving abruptly.

on the walls and other timeworn memorabilia gave the place an aura of nineteenth century Americana. Although not much of an imbiber, when I’m in the mood for something cold and sudsy, I always go for one of those dark ales, which bring back fond memories of the taverns of old New York. Bob Weir is a veteran of 20 years with the New York Police Dept. (NYPD), ten of which were performed

in plainclothes undercover assignments. Bob began a writing career about 12 years ago and had his first book published in 1999. Bob went on to write and publish a total of seven novels,  “Murder in Black and White,” “City to Die For,” “Powers that Be,” “Ruthie’s Kids,” “Deadly to Love,” “Short Stories of Life and Death,” and “Out of Sight.” He also became a syndicated columnist under the title “Weir Only Human.”

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Prime Retail - Westchester Count Best Location in Yorktown Heights

1100 Sq. A Ft. Store C L A S S I F I ED D S$3100; 1266 Sq. Ft. store $2800 and

“Lulu’s Bar” Lulu never worried about his liquor license being in jeopardy. Lulu’s was exciting for a couple of teenagers who wanted to rub elbows with some interesting characters, while absorbing the adult ambiance. Just a few doors away, the Phoenix Theater, on 2nd Ave., between 12th and 13th St. was an off-Broadway playhouse that featured many celebrated names in the movie industry. Carol Burnett, before she became one of America’s favorite comics, starred in “Once Upon a Mattress,” in 1959 and was often seen entering and leaving the building through a side door. One evening, as I was chatting at the bar with another patron, I felt a soft bump from someone who had just plopped himself on the stool to my left. When I turned, I stared directly at the face of Gabriel Dell, one of the members of the madcap movie comedies known as the “Dead End Kids” and “The Bowery Boys.” Evidently, he was acting at the playhouse and stopped in for some libation. He was well-tanned and sartorially splendid in what appeared to be a Brooks Brothers suit. In case you’re wondering how a kid from the slums would recognize such expensive threads; I was working part time

Another marvelously entertaining and appetizing pub was McSorley’s Ale House on 7th St. between 2nd and 3rd Ave. Known as the oldest Irish tavern in N.Y.C., McSorley’s used to be for men only back then, but the female prohibition ended when the National Organization for Women charged them with discrimination in 1970 and won the case in court. As a result, the men’s room became unisex until a ladies room was installed several years later. In the days before political correctness, the place had a sign on the wall which read: “Good ale, raw onions and no ladies.” However, my frequent appearance at the atmospheric grogshop had nothing to do with the absence of feminine participation, since I’ve always felt more comfortable when the fair sex is part of any gathering. Hey, who wants to look at a bunch of guys all night, especially after consuming a few brews and feeling a bit amorous? What I went to McSorley’s for was that incredibly tangy and delicious ale, accompanied by their platters of aged cheese, purple onions and crunchy breads. The sawdust-covered floors, the aged and wrinkled newspaper clippings

Office Space AvailablePrime Location, Yorktown Heights 1,000 Sq. Ft.: $1800. Contact Wilca: 914.632.1230

Store $1200. Suitable for any type of business. Contact Wilca: 91

Prime Retail HELPCounty WANTED Westchester Best Location in Yorktown Heights 1100 Sq. Ft. Store $3100; 1266 Sq. Ft. store $2800 and 450 Sq. Ft. Store $1200.

A non profit Performing Arts Center is seeking two job posi tor of Development- FT-must have a background in develo rience fundraising, knowledge of what development enta ence working with sponsors/donors; 2) Operations Manage good knowledge of computers/software/ticketing systems overseeing all box office, concessions, movie staffing, day staffing such as Merchandise seller, bar sales. Must be fam system and willing to organize concessions. Full time plus h 438-5795 and ask for Julie or Allison


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THE WESTCHESTER GUARDIAN

THURSDAY, AUGUST 16, 2012

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WWW.WESTCHESTERGUARDIAN.COM

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Westchester Guardian  

Weekly newspaper serving Westchester County, New York.

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