SEIU ON THE TRUMP EXECUTIVE ORDER

 

The following statement is attributable to Héctor Figueroa, President of 32BJ SEIU, one of the largest unions representing immigrant workers in the country.
“After thousands of immigrant children have been detained and traumatized without their parents in “tender age” facilities across our country, the president’s executive order formalizes this horrific treatment of children into law and sentences them into chains.
Moving them from kennels to jails, with their parents, is not a real solution to this problem. Children belong in communities, not in chains. This is cruel policy is not a solution to our immigration crisis.

“From TPS holders, to DACA recipients, to asylum seekers at the boarder we have watched the Department of Homeland Security and ICE follow this administration’s directives and routinely tear families apart, at the boarders and in communities across our country.

As the administration continues its attacks on immigrants families in our country and Congress moves to vote on wildly harmful immigration bills tomorrow, the voting public remains in consensus: Families belong together.

“As a union representing thousands of immigrants at work, we will continue to advocate for the wellbeing and unification of all families.

This is what is best for for our communities, our economy and for our country as a whole. We look forward to standing up for true American values as we continue to demand that Congress works towards fixing our broken immigration system.”
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COUNTY EXECUTIVE LATIMER STATEMENT ON SEPARATING CHILDREN FROM PARENTS AT THE BORDER

 

WESTCHESTER COUNTY EXECUTIVE GEORGE LATIMER STATEMENT ON THE MISTREATMENT OF IMMIGRANT FAMILIES AT THE BORDER

Like many Westchester residents I am heartbroken and outraged over the mistreatment of immigrant families at the border – especially the children who are being separated from their parents.

While we, as a County, are committed to tolerance, transparency and keeping families together – this Country currently is not.

Earlier we were informed that some of these children, who are being ripped from their families, are being placed in facilities in Dobbs Ferry, Irvington and Yonkers.  They do not belong here – they belong with their mothers and fathers.

I am calling on the Federal Government to halt this practice of breaking up families and ripping children away from those who love them immediately.

I applaud Governor Andrew Cuomo for taking this matter to the Courts for redress.  Let us all remember that Westchester County, along with New York State and the United States, was built on the backs on immigrants.  They are part of the fabric of our home and they deserve to be treated humanly.”

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WPCNR VIDEOS OF THE DAY: White Plains Bus Company Acquires 5 Electric School Buses to Begin Service to WP Schools in Fall — At No Cost to the School District. Prototype Purrs at Ridgeway School.

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Watch First White Plains Students get first tour of the Electric School Bus Here:

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WHITE PLAINS SUPERINTENDENT OF SCHOOLS DR. JOSEPH RICCA AND MAYOR TOM ROACH (WHITE PLAINS ELECTRIC CAR PIONEER) WELCOME THE ELECTRIC SCHOOL BUS PROTOTYPE

HERE ARE DR. RICCA’S REMARKS ON THE ELECTRIC BUS BREAKTHROUGH–CLICK FOLLOWING LINK

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MAYOR ROACH NOTED THE SIGNIFICANCE OF ELECTRIC VEHICLE SAVINGS. HEAR THE MAYOR’S REMARKS BY CLICKING THIS LINK

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HOW DOES SHE RUN? WATCH AND LISTEN TO THE SMOOTH QUIET AS SHE PURRS OUT INTO TRAFFIC

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WPCNR SCHOOL DAYS. By John F. Bailey. June 19, 2018 UPDATED 4:45 P.M. EDT WITH Details of the Deal in BOLD:

A prototype of one of 5 electric school buses to be delivered in about two weeks to the White Plains Bus Company, was introduced at Ridgeway School in White Plains this morning.

Dr. Joseph Ricca said the 5 eLion manufactured electric school buses would be in service this fall. The buses have a range of 65,100,125 abd 155 miles. Each carries 4 large batteries under the chassis of the bus which deliver 400 volts of power to run the bus.

According to a technical specialist, the bus eliminates the standard stick shift transmission, and runs like an automatic. It accelerates power smoothly to drive in snowy conditions when extra power is needed, with to shift for more power.

The costs of the buses (approximately $250,000 to $300,000 each) and maintenance will operate the buses and pay the energy (electric charging cost during the school year).

WPCNR has learned from Tony Watkins, Vice President of Sales, the Lion Electric Company,  the buses were purchased from The Lion Electric Company by First Priority Group a National Lion dealer and purchased  from First Priority Group by National Express, the White Plains School District bus company contractor.

National Express acquired White Plains Bus Company two years ago.

According to Sergio Alfonso, Transportation Manager for the White Plains School District, National Express added the 5 electric buses to their fleet of buses servicing the City School District as part of National Express practice  of replacing aging buses in their fleet.

Alfonso said there was no increase in the National Express contract for the purchase of the electric buses, and the electric buses would be maintenance free for 3 years.

Alfonso noted that Nation Express acquired White Plains Bus Company two years, and is currently on the old White Plains Bus Company contract that began in 2014,, which provided for Consumer Price Index increases each year.

First Priority GreenFleet is Lion’s dealer in California, New York and New Jersey. Alex Cherepakhove, CEO of First Priority said: “We have helped many school districts secure grants and deployed more electric school buses in the United States than the rest of the industry combined, supported by the largest independent commercial electric vehicle service organization in the country.”

Lion has supplied 150 all-electric school buses in the last two years across the country.

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Jobs Waiting Recognizes 300th Hire in 3 years. Major Effort to Train Skilled Health Care Workers to Fill Westchester Gap in Skilled Health Care Workers

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Maribel Valencia-Barajas, at Monday News Conference, (holding plaque) is flanked by County Executive George Latimer, and Congresswoman Nita Lowery. Left to right are William J. Mooney, Jr., Westchester County Association, Thom Kleiner, Westchester-Putnam Workforce Development Board, and Eric Saidel, ENT and Allergy Associates. Photo, Westchester County Department of Communications.

Watch the full news conference.

WPCNR COUNTY CLARION-LEDGER. From the Westchester County Department of Communications. (Edited) June 18, 2018:

After being out of work for over a year, Maribel Valencia-Barajas  has a new job as a medical assistant/medical records specialist at Westchester Neurological Consultants in Yonkers.

Her position is thanks to Jobs Waiting, a federally-funded regional job training partnership which trains long-term and short-term unemployed individuals for jobs in the region’s fastest growing sectors. Valencia-Barajas is the 300th individual to obtain employment through the program.
According to County Executive George Latimer, Jobs Waiting addresses key challenges faced by Westchester businesses—a workforce skills gap, and the need to fill thousands of vacant positions in healthcare, which is an economic engine in Westchester and the Hudson Valley.

For her part, Valencia-Barajas says the Program has made a profound difference in her life.

“I worked a lot of retail jobs but wanted more,” said Valencia-Barajas, one of four cousins who have all participated in the Jobs Waiting program (three of the four are already employed). “Then I had my son, and looked back at what I had done with my life so far and thought, I can do more with my future. This Program made me feel like I had something to offer employers. It gave me the confidence to put myself out there.”

Valencia-Barajas completed her Jobs Waiting job readiness boot camp during the summer of 2017, then enrolled in a five-month, 900-hour medical assistant program at the Westchester School for Dental Assistants. After completing a six-week paid work tryout at Westchester Neurological Consultants, she was offered a permanent, part-time position there.

Since launching in 2015, the Jobs Waiting Program has achieved remarkable results: over 460 individuals have undergone career readiness training and 300 unemployed individuals now have jobs in healthcare.

This milestone was announced today by Westchester County Executive George Latimer at a press conference in White Plains.

Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY17), who was instrumental in securing the grant for Westchester and six other Hudson Valley counties, joined Latimer in congratulating Valencia-Barajas and the entire Jobs Waiting partnership, composed of employers, training providers, career coaches, job developers and others.

“What this program does for people who have a drive and a determination to have a better life, is close the skills gap,” Latimer said. “The ability is there, but there are skills that are needed in order for someone to be hired in a particular job. This program builds a bridge between the individual who is talented, but needs that extra training to secure a job.”

Latimer also had an urgent message for businesses in the region seeking qualified workers: businesses that hire Jobs Waiting candidates may receive up to $40,000 in incentives for training.

To date, over $2 million has been disbursed to employers for paid “work tryouts,” customized training for existing employees, and on-the-job training (OJT), he noted.

Businesses have until October 31 to take full advantage of the incentives provided by Jobs Waiting, a Ready to Work Initiative funded by the U.S. Department of Labor.

According to Latimer, Jobs Waiting addresses key challenges faced by Westchester businesses—a workforce skills gap, and the need to fill thousands of vacant positions in healthcare, which is an economic engine in Westchester and the Hudson Valley.

According to Congresswoman Lowey, the program represents a critical federal workforce investment. “Our ability to lead in an increasingly globalized economy depends on our commitment to investing in and building up a 21st century workforce of highly-skilled individuals across growing industry sectors.

“Training individuals to fill these jobs right here in the Hudson Valley is exactly the type of smart, federal investment that our nation should be making. As Ranking Member on the House Appropriations Committee, I will continue to ensure that Westchester and other Hudson Valley communities receive the resources they need to boost job growth, spur innovation, and grow their economies.”

According to William M. Mooney, Jr., president and CEO of the Westchester County Association, which is the project manager for Jobs Waiting (under the leadership of Jason Chapin), the Westchester-Putnam Workforce Development Board’s Ready to Work grant program is among the most successful in the nation.

More than 250 of the 463 participants have enrolled in occupational skills training, with 150 earning healthcare certifications and credentials — more than any other Ready to Work grantee in the nation. In addition, more than 200 employers have hired over 300 participants, and 79% of the employed participants are now working full-time.

“But it’s much more than statistics,” explained Mooney. “For those out of work, this Program has been a life-saver. Jobs Waiting has given people hope for their futures,” Mooney said. “It’s also a model of collaboration, with benefits for everyone involved.”

A Resource for Business

Thom Kleiner, Executive Director of the Westchester-Putnam Workforce Development Board, which initiated the grant application and oversees the program, said: “According to the Labor Department, for the first time in 20 years, there are more job openings than people looking for work. This Program not only helps employers find qualified and motivated candidates, it offers incentives to train them with the skills needed to succeed.”

Major healthcare employers from across the Hudson Valley have hired Jobs Waiting graduates. Several attended the press conference today, including ENT and Allergy Associates and Crystal Run Healthcare, who have each hired 12 candidates from the Program, more than any other in the region.

Eric Saidel, Director of Human Resources at ENT and Allergy said: “The incentives have helped us tap into a pool of enthusiastic and vetted candidates, with less financial risk. We have taken advantage of the OJT funding to train our hires in proprietary software, customer service training, corporate structure and systems and industry-specific skills. The training helps them get up to speed faster, and employees know what is expected of them as well. It helps build confidence on both sides.”

Mary DeFreitas, Chief Human Resources Officer at Crystal Run Healthcare noted that theProgram takes less effort than traditional recruitment methods. “So it saves our recruiters time in the vetting process,” she pointed out.

“It has provided us access to a pool of pre-screened applicants who have demonstrated a desire to work in healthcare, and the Program staff is in touch with us long after the candidate is hired to ensure that we have a good fit. There’s a lot of competition for talent in the region, and Jobs Waiting has helped us find qualified employees.”

Kleiner also announced the launch of a new advertising campaign designed to promote the Jobs Waiting business incentives, which include up to $40,000 in funds per hire, depending on the size of the organization. The campaign debuts in local media outlets and via social media channels this week. “With the grant soon to expire, we want to ensure employers who are looking for qualified candidates know about these resources and how to access them,” explained Kleiner.

About Jobs Waiting

Jobs Waiting is a federally-funded regional partnership which helps Hudson Valley residents and employers; the program helps employers hire and train employees while connecting residents to high-wage, high-skill jobs in fast-growing industries in the region.

Funded by federal Ready to Work and Tech Hire partnership grants from the U.S. Department of Labor, the program is led by Westchester County in partnership with the Westchester-Putnam Workforce Development Board, employment centers throughout seven Hudson Valley Counties, and the Westchester County Association, which manages the Ready to Work federal grant program. The program aims to prepare a pipeline of talent for jobs in the region’s fastest-growing industries including advanced manufacturing, biotechnology, healthcare, and information technology.

Jobs Waiting includes a rigorous six-week boot camp, which provides specialized career readiness training and support services to prepare candidates for work, with ongoing training opportunities and career support services for program graduates.

Since Jobs Waiting launched in October 2015, 463 participants have participated in 21 boot camps, with over 300 placed in jobs throughout the Hudson Valley.

 

boasting a highly educated workforce, competitive colleges and universities, Fortune 500 companies, world changing non-profits, and cutting-edge research centers.  Westchester is led by County Executive George Latimer, who took office in January 2018 as the ninth County Executive. Using inclusion and openness as a foreground, Latimer is fighting to make Westchester a destination for all people to live, work and enjoy. Learn more about Westchester County by visiting www.westchestergov.com(

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90 IN THE SHADE IN WHITE PLAINS NY USA

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The sun is blazing. Humidity rising now at 29.7 inches of mercury and downright uncomfortable to be out there with 51% humidity. Wind is out of the southwest at 10 to 15 with gusts predicted this afternoon to 25.

There is a 20% chance of a thunderstorm late this afternoon and a chance of thunderstorms this evening with rain heavy at times.

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The Real Personal Trainer: My Dad

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Father’s Day Breakfast–Blueberry pancakes and coffee and no nags

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Coffee and the papers — No errands

 

 2013616fsathersday 005How to Celebrate Father’s Day: A Parisian Martini and Bluepoint Oysters.

White Plains CitizeNetReporterWPCNR THE SUNDAY  BAILEY. By John F. Bailey. Republished from The CitizeNetReporter of June 17, 2007:

My father gave me four pieces of advice in life: Always drive an air-conditioned car. Always centrally air-condition your home. Stay out of court.

And don’t sit in traffic.

Always take the service road on the Long Island Expressway. (He would have loved a Garmin.)

In retrospect, his advice has served me well.  I am always comfortable. I sit out traffic delays in comfort. I have not made lawyers rich.

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Charles F. Bailey

My Dad

Pleasantville, NY

1918-1986

He was not an emotional man. He was a banker and always wore suits to work. I have fond memories of going to meet him when he got off the train in Pleasantville – when  the train tracks were at grade with Manville Road.

I was most impressed as a young child by how he always smelled of coal cinders when he got off the train – like commuter’s cologne.

Sadly on today’s electric trains you do not get that. And you always heard those steam engines coming. You could see them: Clouds of very busy and industrious black smoke streaming at the horizon down the line. He’d get off the train.

My mother would move over and he’d drive the old Hudson Hornet home. He always spoke quietly. Never raised his voice. Drank scotch and soda in the winter. Gin and Tonics in the summer and he smoked Philip Morris’s, Marlboros, then Kents.

He set up a Lionel train set in our basement – perhaps our unspoken connection. When I was sent in by train for the first time to meet him at the office during Christmas time, He’d have his secretary greet me at Grand Central Terminal which still is a very big and scary place.

He would take me to lunch at Jack’s Monte Rosa restaurant on 49th Street – which I thought was a very great place. When I first went to it with him, I was a little disappointed that it was not more glamorous but I was really impressed that Jack the owner greeted him by name. I thought that was great that my Dad was greeted with respect.

When I first started working in Washington, D.C. in 1968 I ate regularly at a restaurant below the television station WMAL-TV where I worked, it was called Marty’s Italian Village.  Marty, the owner (who looked like Humphrey Bogart, the only thing missing was the white sport coat) started calling me when I came in around 7 PM, ‘Hi John, how are you?” People would look at me. They thought I was big.  I liked that. Feeling big in my small world.

When my father came to visit me in Washington where I worked. I took him around town. I told him when he got off the plane. “Hi, Dad, welcome to my town.” I wanted to impress him. We’re always trying to impress our fathers.

Another Father time was when my Dad came out for Dad’s Day at college. I mean this was a big thing to me. He watched me do play-by-play of a football game from atop the press box in 15 degree weather. It was cold. But he watched. Acted impressed. He hated cold weather.

Another time he impressed when I lost a job where I was working at the television station that I had been being considered for. And I told him how unfair it was, he put things in perspective: “Puggy, he said,  “The film manager wasn’t going to put you in as his Assistant if you were going to be bucking him all the time.” It put things in perspective. No false sentiment. No making me feel better, he was tough enough to teach by being realistic while telling me not to feel sorry for myself.

Then later in my career when I was fired out of a job completely blindsided. He again intervened, saying to me he thought what the agency head had done was a terrible thing. I needed that at the time.

He also, in a very supportive move, told me if I could make $1,000 a night writing a free lance direct mail package, I should keep trying to do that.

Dads are there to say the right things to you at the right time. Sometimes it is not always the right thing, but they try. Often, if you’re lucky, as I was, they say the right thing. And not the wrong thing.

With my father, who was not really my father, since I was an adopted child, it was never all about him, it was all about you.

When I bought my first house in White Plains. He never criticized the house. But when I sold it, he complimented me, “I think it’s great how you came out of it (the crummy first house).” They’re personal trainers.

The good ones  train you to run a race. If you stumble, no one hurts more than they do. When you succeed, no one is prouder.

They know what you should do, but they can’t tell you, because you won’t do it if you’re a kid.

But the more subtler of them tell you any way in hopes it will sink in to the rebellious offspring mind. My dad was subtle.

Another fond memory: My father took me camping once at a friend’s cabin in Pennsylvania. Funny thing was there was such a great comic collection we wound up sleeping in sleeping bags on the porch of the cabin. That was funny.

Another time when I was being threatened in college over a position at the radio station, I asked him if I should just abdicate and assign a play-by-play position to the person who was being forced on me. He advised me to “stick to your guns,” so I reported the threat to the Dean.

The position was compromised, but I was never threatened again.  He never shared my love for baseball and sports. In fact he never played catch with me all that well.

I mean I could have made the big leagues (pipe dream) if he played catch with me more. But that’s a small criticism.  I wish I had more of his financial acumen. But I do not.

As you grow into your 30s and 40s, little things they say to you you begin to understand. My father never struck me, but always disciplined me with quiet words. I have not always been that way as a parent myself, being somewhat volatile. I wish I had his even temperament. He always asked me to take care of my mother. And the only time he really got mad at me was when I had made my mother upset with me.

He was a little like John Wayne in the way he disciplined, I remember he would say admonitions quietly. Such as when I got an F in an English course at college. He told me, that was the last F I would get at Ohio Wesleyan, because the next one he would stop paying my tuition.

That had an effect. And that was when tuition was only $3,000 a year.

So, on Father’s Day, I think of him as I do every day of my life. I become more like him every day. He is always lingering in the background of my thoughts. I do not know what he would think of what I am doing now.  But, he’d say — “If that’s what you want to do. Do it.” He also would say, “You have to make yourself happy.”

I also think, even today of what advice (laconic as always) he’d give me in a situation. And I wish I could discuss property taxes with him.

I especially have to salute him, because I am an adopted child. That alone makes me appreciate his love and acceptance with a sense of awe to this day.

You never outgrow your need for Dad.

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ON THE INTERNET: WHITE PLAINS WEEK-THE JUNE 15 PROGRAM

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for 6-15 has been posted  the link to youtube is
 
 
the link to whiteplainsweek.com is
 
ALSO ON YOUR TV AT
FIOS CH. 45 COUNTYWIDE
AND WHITE PLAINS
ALTICE-CABLEVISION CH. 76
AT
7 ON MONDAY
JIM BENEROFE IS BACK!
JOHN PETER AND JIM
ON
THE REDLIGHT YOU NEVER SAW COMING
THE SHARED SERVICES RUSH TO MAKE A NEW PLAN BY WESTCHESTER COUNTY
GOVERNOR CUOMO’S VISIT TO WHITE PLAINS HIGH VIDEO COVERAGE
TRUMP HAS ANOTHER WEEK TO REMEMBER
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SATURDAY NIGHT AT 7-ON PEOPLE TO BE HEARD 8 PM THE CRISIS IN THE EUROPEAN HUMAN RIGHTS COURT ON FIOS CH. 45 AND ALTICE-CABLEVISION CH. 76

PEOPLE TO BE HEARD interview withJohn Vorperian on the European Human Rights Court  has been posted   the youtube link is
 
 
the whiteplainsweek.com link is
 

JOHN BAILEY

INTERVIEWS

JOHN VORPERIAN

HUMAN RIGHTS ADVOCATE

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VORPERIAN (AT RIGHT, ABOVE) HAS JUST RETURNED FROM A WORLD CONFERENCE ON THE FUTURE OF THE EUROPEAN HUMAN RIGHTS COURT, IN SLOVENIA. HE IS SHOWN WITH PAUL LEACH, EUROPEAN HUMAN RIGHTS ADVOCACY CENTRE DIRECTOR, AND A PROFESSOR AT MIDDLESEX UNIVERSITY, IN SLOVENIA WHO ADDRESSED THE CONFERENCE   

JOHN BAILEY INTERVIEWS VORPERIAN ON THE SHAKY FINANCIAL FUTURE OF THE EUROPEAN HUMAN RIGHTS COURT IN STRASBOURG FRANCE.

THE FINANCIAL FUTURE OF THE COURT.

THE DANGER OF THE COURT BEING ELIMINATED

THE PROGRAM CAN ALSO BE SEEN ON 

www.wpcommunitymedia.org 

(Scroll down the program wall on the website to White Plains Week People to Be Heard)

as well as 7  PM

SATURDAY NIGHT

ON VERIZON FIOS CH. 45

OR ALTICE CABLEVISION CH. 76

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Issues and No Answers: June Meeting of The Council of Neighborhood Associations in White Plains Raises Important Issues, Concerns

WPCNR SOUTH END TIMES. Special to WPCNR  By Diana Das. Photos by Diana Das June 13th, 2018.:

The Council of Neighborhood Associations of White Plains held their final meeting for the summer last night at Education House(pictured below).  Co-presidents Bill Brady and Andrew Custodio moderated a lively roundtable, which included Councilman Dennis E. Krolian (D), that pertained to three issues concerning residents of White Plains:

Education House

Airbnb; the new dockless bike sharing program; and the spread of new high-rise construction from the City Center into suburban neighborhoods.

The first topic on the agenda was Airbnb and the issue of whether or not the online broker for short-term lodging and rentals should be allowed in White Plains revealed reactions, for and against.

One resident, Diane, spoke of the benefits that Airbnb offered, one of which being that it is a way of “connecting people.”  As an Airbnb renter, she described her experience as “very positive.” To those in the roundtable that may have been skeptical, she elaborated further, adding that, as a renter, she can “screen out” people that could have the potential to be unreliable.

However, Mr. Brady brought up the issue of whether or not Airbnb can be truly regulated.

Echoing that, another resident named Alan, was also concerned about the fact that residents won’t know who is coming in or out of their neighborhood, saying that one of the things he loves about White Plains is “the calm feeling of knowing everyone in the neighborhood.”  The potential loss of community was another sentiment raised as well, with Alan asking, “What kind of place do you want to live in?”

Another concern with allowing Airbnb into White Plains was how it would change the business framework of the city in addition to overcrowding in residences.

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Here come the Bikes

Mr. Brady next steered the discussion to the topic of the dockless bike sharing program that White Plains is participating in.  The two companies that are part of the program are Lime and Ofo.

To use Lime and Ofo, residents need to download the Lime or Ofo mobile app (available on iOS and Android) and register their basic information and payment method.  With the apps, residents can locate a nearby bike, scan the license plate (for Ofo) or the bike (for Lime), and ride. When they are finished, they can park the bike in an appropriate location and lock it so another rider can use it next.

The Common Council adopted the dockless bike sharing ordinance in March which paved the way for White Plains to participate in a one-year pilot program, according to the press release from the Mayor’s Office dated June 4th 2018.  The press release states that this “authorizes the City to establish a permit process through which dockless bike share operators can operate within the city.”

During the first 30 days of the program, up to 150 bikes will be in use in White Plains and just like riding private bicycles, riders participating in the bike-sharing program are subject to rules governing safety and accessibility.  For instance, the bicycles cannot block pedestrian access to sidewalks, accessibility ramps, or entrances to public and private property. The bicycles also cannot block vehicular traffic.

Residents’ concerns about the pilot program.

One resident felt that the scattered bicycles were an “eyesore”, while others agreed that the “placing of it is a problem.”  According to one member of the roundtable, businesses have complained about riders leaving the bikes in front of their stores, blocking the entrances.

Mr. Brady noted that the bikes scattered around “kind of serve a purpose,” referring to the fact that anyone with the mobile app can locate a bike that has been left nearby.

Another resident, Max, said that “Biking is a culture,” and that he hopes that people would learn the right way to leave the bikes when they are finished using them. He also asked, “Who from the city is answering questions about how the companies are operating?”

Other residents felt that the city should offer bicycle safety instructions. (White Plains does offer this through the parks department: http://www.cityofwhiteplains.com/documentcenter/view/331)

Some of the positive aspects highlighted were fewer cars on the streets and the bicycles were an affordable way for people to get around the city.  Another benefit is that if a pedestrian sees a bicycle left in a hazardous place, they can call either company–Lime (for the green bikes) or Ofo (for the yellow bikes)–and tell them.  The companies keep records of who was using the bike and when and can block out riders who don’t observe proper safety protocol.

Development Concerns

The final topic of discussion for the evening was the spread of high-rise development into residential neighborhoods in White Plains, beginning with the development of 52 North Broadway (pictured below).  The development will include market-rate housing, dormitories for students attending Pace University, and housing for seniors.

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Mr. Brady noted that the buildings in the development will be away from North Broadway(on left in the photo above) in order to preserve the former Good Council green.  The majority of the development will be toward the rear the property (in lower right of the picture above), adjacent the Cross Westchester Expressway, which will impact people who live near the project in the back on Stewart Place.

Mr. Brady next asked a member of the roundtable, Barbara, to provide the other attendees with more information about the project.

Barbara mentioned that they want to rezone residential areas and that if it is happening with the North Broadway project, it could happen to other neighborhoods as well.

  Another issue she brought up was the alleged contaminated dump site that she said was shut down by the DEC and hadn’t been sealed properly for the past fifteen years. (Editor’s Note: an environmental review is being conducted to analyze the safety of the alleged contaminated area. That review is due by the end of the month.)

An additional concern that Barbara raised was traffic congestion on North Broadway, near the new development.

She said, “The biggest issue is that it becomes a traffic nightmare for everybody.” Barbara also said that the number of cars is going to increase to 1,000 per day, ranging from people visiting to drivers making deliveries.

With the rise in new developments being built now and others potentially in the future, the traffic situation will be an issue, with entrances to the cities from the highways, such as I-287, becoming congested.  Residents were also concerned about the proliferation of “city-sized” buildings in residential neighborhoods, with one saying, “It’s a city-wide problem.”

Traffic Spectre

The rise in vehicular traffic poses another concern: public safety.  If there is an emergency, it was argued, the fire department would have trouble reaching people.

As a resident described it, “It is an absolute public safety issue.  Our fire department is down by the train station. Can you tell me, in a high rise, when we need a hook and ladder, how it’s going to get to Stewart Place when there are a thousand cars in the TransCenter and you’ve got four hundred cars on the corner there…how are they going to get up Barker Avenue and across North Broadway?”

Will Market Rates be Affordable? Is White Plains Growing too Big?

With the rise in new luxury developments being built in the city, people were concerned that there would be a lack of affordable housing and rents would increase for everyone.

This led attendees to ask the question of,  “What kind of city do citizens want White Plains to be?”

 With the population of the city estimated to be between 58-59,000, some were wondering if the population boom is necessarily in the best interests of the city at large.  Residents can write letters and attend Comprehensive Plan meetings and offer their views on what they would like White Plains to be. The loss of “Mom and Pop” stores in the city is another concern as well, with some residents lamenting the loss of community and camaraderie.

After the meeting, the Co-Vice President of the The Council of Neighborhood Associations, Chris Price, had this to say:

Councilman Krolian

“I think businesses need to be smarter about how they service this community.”  He noted that it is about evolving with the needs of the community as well.

The next meeting of The Council of Neighborhood Associations in White Plains will be in October.

 (Note: Photos of the bikes and the 52 North Broadway Development, from WPCNR)

 

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