White Plains January Sales Tax Receipts Soft–Down 1.2% –ON TARGET for $47 MILLION– $1.8 MILLION OFF LAST YEAR PACE

WPCNR QUILL & EYESHADE Special to WPCNR From the New York State Department of Taxation & Finance with Reporting by John F. Bailey March 3, 2015:

January Sales Tax collections  to the City of White Plains declined 1.2% from the January of 2014..leaving the city with $25.5 Million collected through the first seven months of the 1014-15 fiscal year.

If consumer buying picks up in White Plains matching  the 2014 February through June figures through June 2015,  the city will collect $46.9 Million in total sales taxes, leaving the city with a $1.8 Million shortfall in revenues from sales tax. $48,700,903 was collected in fiscal 2013-14 by the city. That projects as a 4% decline in sales tax receipts, pending of course a robust 4 months ahead.

A  $2 Million decline in sales tax receipts would need a 6% tax increase to close the budget gap, since approximately $5 Million in sales tax receipts is needed to fund city payrolls as they now stand (pending any negotiated increases.

Westchester County January sales tax figures also declined but only by 1/2 % as the county started their fiscal year.

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Snowy Cocktail Served at 5 P.M. Tuesday

WPCNR WEATHERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR. From National Weather Service at Midnight. March 3, 2015:

Currently 22 degrees at midnight in White Plains, New York, USA. The National Weather Service is predicting a poten snowy cocktail of snow sleet and freezing rain beginning during the Tuesday afternoon rushhour. The Official Forecast:

  • Tuesday–Snow likely, mainly after 5pm. Increasing clouds, with a high near 26. Wind chill values between 10 and 20. Calm wind becoming southeast 5 to 7 mph in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New snow accumulation of less than one inch possible.
  • Tuesday Night–Snow and sleet before 10pm, then freezing rain and sleet between 10pm and 2am, then rain after 2am. Temperature rising to around 34 by 3am. Wind chill values between 20 and 25. South wind 6 to 8 mph becoming southwest after midnight. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New ice accumulation of less than a 0.1 of an inch possible. New snow and sleet accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible.
  • Wednesday–A chance of rain. Cloudy, with a high near 38. Wind chill values between 30 and 35. West wind 6 to 8 mph. Chance of precipitation is 50%.
  • Wednesday Night–Rain likely before 11pm, then snow likely. Cloudy, with a low around 25. West wind 5 to 11 mph becoming northwest after midnight. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible.
  • Thursday–Snow likely, mainly before 9am. Cloudy, with a high near 27. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New snow accumulation of 2 to 4 inches possible.
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ASSESSMENT ROLL STAYS VIRTUALLY THE SAME. UPSHOT YOUR TAXES GO UP UNLESS CITY AND SCHOOL DISTRICT HOLD LINE. MIDDLE MARKET HOME TAX: $14,400

WPCNR QUILL & EYESHADE. By John F. Bailey. March 2, 2015:

The White Plains City Assessment Roll for 2015, upon which property taxes are levied, was released today on the city website. The roll stayed virtually the same, gaining $75,915 to $277,055,010 compared to the 2014 Roll of $276,979095. A miniscule gain of .0002 %.

This is dissappointing in one respect since it shows continued softness in the real estate tax base. It means, too that the school district the city’s largest taxer  will not have to automatically raise the tax rate to make up for a lowered roll.  However the district is already talking about a 4% tax rate increase in preliminary numbers if they keep the present budget going and figure a 2% labor settlement in wages across the board (all city union contracts are up).

Last year with the city raising the tax rate to $196.14 with no wage increases across the unions, and the school district raising their tax rate  to $600.22 (per $1,000 of evaluation, the $650,000 middle market home paid $3,200 to the city and about $10,000 to to the school district and $2,000 to Westchester County which did not raise taxes.

If the city and school district keep pace (a rollover  in spending by the city and the district, a rollover of present spending levels you are looking at a $400 increase in  property taxes which would mean an overall tax bill from the City, School and County of $16,000, up from $15,200. Deduct the STAR EXEMPTION of $1,585 if eligible,  and the tax could be $14,415.

 

The White Plains middle market home ($650,000) is looking at another

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Governor: Tax Cap is Working. Reveals How his Proposed Property Tax Credit Works: Westchesterites Get Back $1,210 if Passed.

WPCNR ALBANY ROUNDS. From the Governor’s Press Office. (EDITED) March 2, 2015:

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today detailed projected savings for New York taxpayers as a result of the Property Tax Relief program, which provides 1.3 million homeowners significant financial relief. The $1.66 billion program, which also includes a renters’ credit, is part of the Governor’s 2015 Opportunity Agenda.

“We must ensure economic opportunity in New York – and that means putting money back in the pockets of hardworking homeowners who have been struggling under the crushing burden of property taxes for far too long,” said Governor Andrew Cuomo.

“During the last four years, we capped property taxes, and then we froze them. Now we are going to cut them. This program addresses the one of the most important challenges we face as a state – making New York affordable – by providing real, meaningful, significant tax relief that will make a difference in people’s lives.”

In Westchester County under the Governor’s proposal, 94,174 persons would qualify and receive an average $1,210 in refund on their property taxes.

In Rockland County,  37,551 would receive a $1,136 average refund, and in Dutchess, 36,088 would receive average refunds of $1,005.

A statewide county-by-county breakdown of 1.3 million homeowners can be viewed here. More details about the program can be viewed here.
Who Qualifies?

The property tax relief is available to homeowners with incomes below $250,000 whose property taxes exceed 6 percent of their income.

The credit is valued at up to 50 percent of the amount by which property taxes exceed the 6 percent burden threshold, depending on household income. The specific amount of the credit within that 50 percent is determined on a progressive income scale, so that New Yorkers with the highest tax burdens and lowest income levels will receive the greatest amount of relief.

How Does Property Tax Relief Work for New Yorkers?

The 2011 statewide property tax cap has been extraordinarily effective at lowering the tax burden for homeowners across the state.

Through the first three years of the cap, the average property tax payer will have saved more than $800 compared to if taxes had continued to grow at the previous average rate of growth.

Those savings will increase to $2,100 in local property taxes by 2017 if this trend continues.

The property tax freeze, which was enacted last year, provides direct relief to New York homeowners.

Over three years, the program will result in more than $1.5 billion in direct property tax relief, and the average New Yorker will receive approximately $656. The freeze also addresses one of the primary drivers of the State’s high property taxes by incentivizing local governments and school districts to seek efficiencies and share services.

The new Property Tax Credit strengthens the property tax cap because outside of New York City, only the taxes levied by a tax cap-compliant jurisdiction are included in the credit calculation.

All facets of the program will be phased in over four years, and only school taxes will apply in the first year. More than half of the full benefit will be phased-in by Tax Year 2016, and 81 percent will be phased-in by Tax Year 2017.

The Governor is calling on New Yorkers to get involved and help make his Opportunity Agenda, which includes the Property Tax Relief proposal, a reality by visiting www.NYGetInvolved.com.

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Spears Jury Verdict: Guilty of Depraved Murder in the Second Degree.

 

WPCNR WHITE PLAINS LAW JOURNAL. From the Office of the District Attorney. March 2, 2015:

Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore announced that Lacey Spears (DOB 10/16/87) of 247 Travis Road, Scottsville, Kentucky was convicted after a jury trial to the count in the indictment charging her with:

  • one count of Depraved Murder in the Second Degree, a class “A” Felony,

relating to the death of her 5 year old son, Garnett-Paul Spears, who was declared dead at Westchester Medical Center on January 23, 2014.

“Throughout his five years, Garnett Spears was forced to suffer through repeated hospitalizations, unneeded surgical procedures and ultimately poisoning with salt, all at the hands of the one person who should have been his ultimate protector: his mother. Using the child’s “illnesses” to self aggrandize herself, her actions directly lead to her son’s tortured death. We will continue to ensure that his mother is held accountable and that justice for Garnett Spears will be served in his memory,” said District Attorney Janet DiFiore.

On January 19th 2014, Garnett Spears was transferred to WMC from NyackHospital in RocklandCounty by Medivac helicopter when without any medical explanation his sodium level rose from 144 to 182 meq/L, – milliequivalents per liter – an extremely dangerous level of sodium.

The normal range of serum sodium in the blood is 135-145 meq/L.

The child’s diagnosis was acute hypernatremia.

The defendant provided the medical staff with a medical history for her son, including extensive medical visits, hospitalizations and invasive surgical procedures.  This history coupled with an unexplained rise in his sodium levels at NyackHospital prompted the doctors at the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit of the WMC to suspect Lacey Spears of harming her son prompting their call to the New York State Office of Children and Family Services.

Based on the CPS call and referral to law enforcement, an investigation immediately commenced.

Investigators focused on the child’s recent history and actions of the defendant:

  • Friday, January 17th, 2014, the defendant brought the victim to NyackHospital reporting seizure activity and he is admitted to rule out seizures.
  • Sunday January 19th 2014 at 10:08 p.m. the victim is airlifted to WestchesterMedicalCenter and admitted.
  • Tuesday January 21st 2014, at 7:15 a.m. the code bell goes off. Medical staff respond. The child is on his back, unresponsive, and barely breathing, both pupils were blown, he was pale gray in color.

At 11:57 a.m. the head of the Hospital’s Pediatric Intensive Care Unit calls in a Child Protective Services report to the State Central Register.

At 12:00 p.m. an EEG showed electro cerebral silence.

  • Thursday, January 23, 2014, Garnett Spears is declared deceased.

Search warrants were executed on the Spears’ residence. During the case evidence relating to the child’s condition was recovered including feeding bags containing extraordinary amounts of sodium.

On June 17th, 2014 the defendant has an indictment against her unsealed charging her with the murder.

Sentencing will be on April 8th, 2015.

The defendant faces a maximum sentence of twenty five years to life in prison.

Second Deputy District Attorney Patricia Murphy, Chief of the Superior Court Trial Division, Assistant District Attorney Doreen Lloyd, Chief of the Child Abuse Bureau and Assistant District Attorney Christine Hatfield, Deputy Chief of the Child Abuse Bureau are prosecuting the case.

 

 

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.CLEAR AND WINDY MONDAY–SNOW-SLEET TUESDAY–THAW WEDNESDAY.

  • Four inches of snow fell at WPCNR studios,  yesterday and into early Monday morning.  The temperature has broken across the 32 degree for the first time in weeks as of 2 P.M., easing up to 33 degrees. Wind is Snappy AT 10 TO 15 MPH.
  • Monday–Mostly cloudy becoming sunny, with a high near 36. Wind chill values between 15 and 25. Breezy, with a northwest wind 10 to 20 mph, with gusts as high as 30 mph.
  • Monday Night–Mostly clear, with a low around 13. Wind chill values between 5 and 10. Northwest wind 6 to 14 mph.
  • Tuesday–A chance of snow after 1pm. Increasing clouds, with a high near 31. Wind chill values between 5 and 15. Light and variable wind becoming south 5 to 7 mph in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 40%.
  • Tuesday Night–Snow before midnight, then snow and freezing rain between midnight and 3am, then rain after 3am. Steady temperature around 32. South wind around 8 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New ice accumulation of less than a 0.1 of an inch possible. New snow accumulation of 3 to 5 inches possible.
  • Wednesday–A chance of rain, mainly before noon. Cloudy, with a high near 43. Chance of precipitation is 30%.
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PAUL FEINER: MY NIGHT PLOWING SNOW–AND OBSERVATIONS ON SNOW REMOVAL

WPCNR THE FEINER SNOW REPORT. By Town of Greenburgh Supervisor Paul Feiner. March 1, 10 P.M. E.S.T.:

I spent a few  hours with our highway crew tonight observing the snow removal operation. Larry MacDonald, a hard working and dedicated foreman with our highway department took me on a tour of snow removal operations around town.

Later in the evening I rode the larger highway truck that is used to keep our roads passable. Larry rose up the ranks to become foreman –has been working for the town for 25 years.  And, will be retiring in August. He’s a terrific employee who really cares about the town.

I learned a lot from Larry and have a greater appreciation for the work that our public works team does, thanks to our dialogue tonight.

The roads were slippery when I started out -around 6 PM.  Mr. MacDonald indicated that he thought this was the 7th weekend of snow storms.

“Roads get slippery when the weather keeps changing–melting and freezing conditions.” He mentioned that it’s important to salt the roads immediately after plowing the roads.

“We salted the roads beginning in the early afternoon today.  And, the plowing started in the early evening.  If we salt  the roads and immediately plow after the salting  we waste money since the plowing gets rid of the salt. About 30 trucks/vehicles were assigned to the snow clearing operation —32 square miles or 130 miles of roads.  We clear the major roads first and than clear the secondary roads–takes about 5-6 hours to clear the entire town of snow. The major roads will be cleared more frequently.”

The big problem we experienced: obstructions. We drove down Ridge Road in Hartsdale. ‘There was a Con Ed obstruction that our vehicle had to go around. A plate on the road. If we did not go around the plate the plate would have  moved and there would be a hole in the ground from the gas leak.

Another problem: We saw people push snow back on the road immediately after we cleared the road of snow. Not only does this create slippery road conditions quickly but drivers have to be on the lookout for residents who are in the middle of the road -throwing the snow back in the road. Slows down the operation.  We stopped the vehicle on Rockledge to allow an elderly woman, with a cane, to cross the street.  Our drivers have to be careful- obstructions and people.

During the evening we observed a car stuck on Secor Road. The foreman I drove with  blocked the road with his car and encouraged the motorist to back up. By blocking the road the driver did not have to worry about hitting someone. We don’t push cars that are stuck.

We were in a neighborhood in town with lots of cars parked on both sides of the road–a big highway plow truck was not able to get through the bend in the road.

The highway truck driver was very angry –the road obstructions not only make it difficult to clear streets but it slows down the entire snow clearing operation.  We need to do a better job of enforcing our no parking on roads ordinance -especially during snow storms.  Sections of the town where cars are parked on both sides of the street: Fieldstone, Rockledge, Fairview.

If cars are parked on the road while our plows are passing by – there is a risk that if the truck goes over some ice and skids – the cars on the road could be damaged.  After most snow storms we receive complaints from residents of broken mailboxes. The mailboxes are usually on town right of ways –we repair the broken mailboxes.

A highlight of the evening was my visit to the Theodore Young Community Center –which was being used as a warming center. The gym was in use –with lots of people enjoying the recreational activities. It’s nice to see that the community center is used by so many people –even during  snow storm.

Towards the end of the evening I experienced riding in a 1979 Mack truck (a much bigger vehicle). The plow truck ride was very bumpy and uncomfortable. We have 4 trucks still in operation from 1979.  Tonight some of our newer trucks experienced some problems. 2 flat tires…one of our trucks had to be towed back to the highway garage.  Our repair shop will repair each of the vehicles.  It costs $262,000 to replace a truck. And, we try keeping our vehicles in use as long as possible to save you money.

A special thank you to Public Works Commissioner Victor Carosi and his deputy, Richard Fon, for arranging for tonights tour. And, a special thanks to Pat Richards for also meeting up us. Pat is one of the most dedicated employees of the town–she will be retiring later this month.

We anticipate that garbage collection WILL be ON for tomorrow Monday. We’re basing this on weather forecasts. If circumstances change we will issue an advisory.

PAUL FEINER

Greenburgh Town Supervisor

914 438 1343

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Senor Go-Go–Minnie Minoso

WPCNR VIEW FROM THE UPPER DECK. By Bull Allen March 2, 2015:

 Minnie Minoso, the great Chicago White Sox outfielder who was the spirit of the great White Sox teams of the 1950s died Sunday. Essentially a forgotten man. No one on the Baseball Hall of Fame Veterans Committee has saw fit to put this great ballplayer into the Hall of Fame. However, he now has this poem which I wrote tonight. I remember you Minnie, you and Enos Slaughter the great old St. Louis Cardinal showed me how baseball should be played and a profession should be practiced. Minnie was a ballplayer’s ballplayer.

 

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Senor Go Go

Minnie Minoso

He first caught eyes of fans in the caverns of grand  Cleveland Muncipal Stadium,

Racing madly across great expanses of the largest outfield in the Senior Circuit

Cutting off drives in the forever gaps of The Tribe’s Prairie condominium.

He was coal black, broad-shouldered, catching  GAPPERS because he had no quit.

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Big sweeping swing  natural as an Eagle’s deadly dive

His promise to The Tribe  was dealt by mad trader Lane to the South Side

Where he made confines of sweltering Old Comiskey Park  come alive.

The kid from Cuba had so many names they called him Minnie, graceful as his stride.

 

He turned staid Pale Hose into the Go Go Sox

Seasoning with  flash, dash,  grit and hope.

After he came, they would steal games with a swipe of a bag, bunt shocks

 Most feared in the new Hitless Wonders Lineup  he’d deliver with timely “Rope.”

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Spray hitter to all fields with big black bat, he’d make a single an automatic  double

Fearing no arm he’d light out with blinding speed, melting down fiercest competitors

He had menace at the plate, even I at 11 years of age could tell here comes trouble.

Minnie Minoso was special. He led.Making mediocre great; great better, winners.

 

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He was the Senior Circuit’s Wille Mays  fans came  to see.

You did not want him on third base in a tie game in the lates in the shadows of the day

A threat to steal  anytime, fans awaited  dash,  launch to the plate, ballet fadeaway

The cloud of dust the suspension of muscular body airborne– cobra backstop sweep!

 

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SAFE! The arbiter would signal. Cloud of dust rose, white in  blazing Southside sun.

Catcher and skipper would argue. Minnie would always beat  pitcher’s gun.

Hitting .300 for nine years, valiantly chasing the General Motors of baseball in thrilling races of the day

He saved a franchise, the Black DiMaggio showing  there was no color in ball just great play.

 

The Commander,  Bob Elson painted  excitement  in the Midwest night on WCFL.

WGN’s  Jack Brickhouse’s “Hey, Hey” on Minnie’s homers on WGN,  spun turnstile,

Filling both decks to see  coal-faced  Go-Go express  roar down baselines  pell-mell

He Gathered steam like the Broadway Limited rolling past Comiskey Park’s rightfield pavilion with style.

 

Last refuge from the New York Cubans in the old Negro Leagues, Minnie came to the Bigs sound.

A star from the start.  Fans sweltering in the hot wind blowing through the Romanesque arches

Talked Number 9 – the Number I always associated with “The Big Hitter” to pitch around.

The guy who could take Whitey Ford and Early Wynn out. Get you off to a start or end it in the bleachers.

 

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The palace at 15th and Shields is no more. The dash and determination of the Great Minoso–

Ghosts of greatness of the Romanesque Palace  haunting the fans with his statue in the rotunda.

Those who saw him play, remember his abandon, his hustle,  his  espiritu.

Minnie Minoso made all he played with better, something every worker anywhere can engender.

 

Nelson Fox. Luis Aparicio. Jim Riviera, Jim Landis, Bubba Philips,  Sherm Lollar, Torgy Torgeson

You and Minnie live on in the beautiful box of Old Comiskey Park  where the grandstand shadows

Steamed in the 90 degree nightcaps, when Minnie sliding in tied or won it in fashion,

Saved one for Billy Pierce, Dick Donovan with a dazzler down in the corner shadow

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PAUL FEINER ON TRAFFIC NOW: ROADS SLIPPERY. USE CAUTION. SLOW DOWN

WPCNR THE FEINER TRAFFIC REPORT.  On-The-Scene in Central Westchester with Town of Greeburgh Supervisor, Paul Feiner. March 1, 5:15 P

Our highway crews are working clearing our roads. I will be spending part of the evening tonight with the highway crews and team observing the snow removal operation.  I will ask them to point out some of the difficulties we have in clearing roads and will report my findings in later postings.

If you have any questions about our snow removal operations in the Town of Greenburgh and would like me to ask them, please e mail me at pfeiner@greenburghny.com.

Road conditions are slippery. I was on the Saw Mill River Parkway near Hastings about an hour ago and saw a car skid -the car made a complete circle.

PAUL FEINER

Greenburgh Town Supervisor


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