Real Estate Sales Continue Sluggish in third Quarter of 2014

WPCNR REALTY REALITY. From the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors. October 20, 2014:

Westchester, the largest county in the MLS region, posted a sales decrease of 2.7%, to 2,863 units. Rockland followed closely with a 2.4% decrease.  In Orange County there was barely any change at all, a decrease of only 0.3%. Putnam’s sales actually increased by 3.1%, although that was measured against a small base of a few hundred units

Generally, this slightly diminished but still very strong level of closed real estate transactions followed upon listing and marketing activity that took place during the spring and early summer months.  The external conditions for real estate were good then.  For example, mortgage interest rates remained consistently low and affordable;  the average rate for a 30-year conventional loan ranged mostly between 4.4% and 4.2% throughout the period.

Unemployment – a low rate of which is a confidence builder, especially for first-time buyers – continued its downward path in the lower Hudson region, with all four counties lower by nearly a percentage point or more from 2013.

Rockland and Putnam, with August unemployment rates of 5.1% and 4.8% respectively, are at a level that many economists deem to be full employment.  The performance of the stock market is another contributor to buyer confidence, even if the buyers are not invested in same.  During the spring and summer months the Dow Jones Industrial Average steadliy increased from 16,000 to 17,000.

Year to date (Jan.-Sep.) sales in all categories amounted to 10,180 units, a decrease of 3.5% from the same period in 2013.  If fourth quarter activity mirrors the prior three quarters, 2014 sales will amount to about 13,300 units and rank 2014 as the second best year since 2008.

Prices are pulling out of recession, too, with three of the four counties posting increases in most categories.  For the third quarter, the median1 sale price of a single family house in Westchester was $682,500, up by 4.7% over 2013. The median for condominiums, $375,000, was 5.5% higher.  In Rockland, the median house was $415,000, up by 2.0%, whereas condominium prices decreased by11.8% to a $222,500 median; the decrease was against a small base of 127 sales, however.


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City Sales Tax Receipts Stagnant after First Quarter. County up 2.49% After 9 Months

WPCNR QUILL & EYESHADE. From the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance. October 19, 2014:

Despite a series of promotional events in September, a jazz week, back to school sales, early halloween sales, and even Christmas displays already up (in Sears)  and the usual business back to normal routine, White Plains sales tax receipts are down 1.14% from the last year fiscal pace.

The city received $143,741.47 less in sales tax receipts in September, for a total of $12,505,970.91 the first three months of the city fiscal year compared to $12,649,712.38 the first quarter of last year. White Plains has a fiscal year that beings in July of each year.

Westchester County, by contrast has increased its sales tax receipts by 2.49% in the first 9 months of its fiscal year that began in January.

Geoffrey Gloak of the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance notes,

The distributions for the  first two months of every calendar-year-quarter are equivalent to estimates.   The reconciliation takes place in the 3rd month  of each quarter.   As a result, quarterly numbers are likely more appropriate for reporting purposes.

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Theatre Etiquette

WPCNR STAGE DOOR. By Addison Dewitt. October 16, 2014:

The state of the theatre today is better than it has ever been.

Daring plays are being created by insightful new playwrights with daring directing, staging with awe. The aging theatre audience continues to support the avantgarde. The acting is ever more intense. The scripts dangerously human. Even the musicals, though outrageously new in some respects have become tourist-oriented, star vehicles and special effects driven, but this was the greatest year Broadway has ever had.

However the state of the  theatre audience is worse than it has ever been.

I have to tap my Between-The-Acts cigarillo in my cigarette holder with disdain for the behavior I have seen in an  assortment of venues this season.

The dress for the theatre when I was guiding Eve to the top in All About Eve, was always impeccable. Tuxedos on opening night, suits, ties for the men and gowns for the women.

But now, at evening performances you rarely see even sport jackets and ties on the men. And the milleniums of today, blue jeans, T-shirts under sport jackets. Ties in fact are just not to be seen.Even persons in the older theatre crowd no longer dress up for the theatre. I lament this overwhelming trend.

Style is dead in the theatre-goer today. They may like informal, and more convenient to dress casual, and that is kind to call it casual. The young women dress much better than their male dates, they are at least neat and well-made up, even if they do wear pants. But please bare midriffs in the audience, this just says, “I’m showing my midriff.” No style to it, young ladies.

Even the cougars(women of the interesting age) in the audience adopt a more casual style, but some do wear dresses, especially the elderly ladies,  and preserve vestiges of formality for the performance. I miss the dignity of audiences of the past.

As a young copywriter once wrote years ago about the theatre, “You’re going to the theatre. Tonight is the night you paint the town red. ”   Nobody dresses “red” for the theatre today.

The theatre goers of today have too many i-phones: the device that they insist on looking at and checking for messages right up until the performance begins and do not shut it off until the houselights go down. Are you that important, really? Are you that insecure that you have to check e-mails and texts on matinee days? Please.

If you have a phone that accepts Severe Weather Alerts, be aware it will go off with a BEEEEEP BEEEP  BEEEP even if you’ve turned it off, as one did at a performance I was at the other day. It used to be, you read Playbill leading up to the performance, not e-mails.  Theatres should make you check your cellphones at the door, like they do at golf tournaments. Now, Heaven knows, anything goes if your phone glows.

You also should not talk during a performance. People do.

You also should not make a public display of how much you love each other when you are in the front row of a theatre-in-the-round performance, as a couple did at the performance I was at recently, rubbing each other’s knees and coming very close to border-necking. This was absurd, and a total insult to the actors who were delivering magnificent work five feet away. In fact, anywhere in the theatre you should not be so absorbed in each other that you make others around you uncomfortable.

It is worth repeating that sentence: you should not be so absorbed in each other that you make others around you uncomfortable anywhere in the theatre.

Then there is the water bottle syndrome. The theatre is not the movies, where snacking is a tradition. Somehow this has now found its way into the theatre. It is becoming like a baseball game. In another performance I recently saw, in the front row a gentleman was drinking out of a water bottle five feet from the stage while the performance was going on. Was he really that thirsty? Please, a little respect for the actors. This goes for candy-unwrapping, gum chewing, whatever.

Now, one tradition Broadway theatres have continued to this day is total disdain for the theatre-going public. Houses do not open sometimes until 7:45. They queue you up and make you wait to get in. You are literally herded into the theatre.  And herded quickly out, except when the theater professionals are taking up a collection. This theatre management shows just a lack of consideration, especially in the big houses. Could we change this tradition of  lines to get in when it is totally avoidable? At $170 a ticket? Absurd.

Now as for seating, why is it that the swells with the most expensive seats always arrive last? This is another dissing of the actors and rudeness to audience. Could you get there on time, Mr. and Mrs. Important? You look like jerks to the rest of the theatre patrons and the actors when you are disturbing the front rows, any rows for that matter after the performance has started. And we know you don’t want to look like that, do you?

Just a few quality of theatre observations from one who has seen a lot.

Yes yes, (with a wave of a hand) I am a traditionalist.

Addison DeWitt

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Choosing Failure.


WPCNR VIEW FROM THE UPPER DECK By “Bull” Allen in the Ballantine Press Box Section 30. October 5, 2014:

I hear the “pops” of fans lingering in the ramps to the old upper deck, stomping paper beer cups  the only sounds.

I stare at the melancholy empty diamond. No post season drama in Da Bronx or in Flushing by the Bay, this year, and for some seasons to come.

Sipping the white foam of a  Ballantine Ale and puffing retrospectively on a White Owl Wallop, let’s go over the reasons for this sad season for both baseball teams.

It is a season that has seen two restructurings of New York’s baseball teams and not for the better, it is a selling to fans of   a new commitment to being just in it, and that’s enough and we should be happy with that.

As I write this, with about with the  games dwindled to a meaningless few, the cheerleaders in the press box continued to brandish the cry of there is still time to get the pathetic Wild Card slot in the Major League playoffs–for that 1 game and out privilege. (Really they have to make the Wild Cards best of 5, or 2 of 3.)

Mathematically, yes.

Mindset, no.

And it has been that way all during the long season.

Take the Bronx Hitless Seniors Experiment.

The Yankees knew going into this season they were minus the big bat. Choosing not to sign Robinson Cano, for whatever mysterious reason unbeknownst to us that the sportswriting fraternity has not been able to figure out, they chose early on not to bring in some big lumber even when the anemic  Yankee lineup lost game after game because of not scoring runs just as they lost game after low-scoring game in that pathetic stretch in Baltimore and Tampa Bay..

In the days of George Steinbrenner, you always had to respect George’s push to win. He pulled triggers when the Yankees needed help for a stretch run. He tried. The Yankee management this year  did not try. Until they brought in Chris Young.

Sadly the penurious Hal Steinbrenner chose not to  make more moves. Instead he elected to sign Derek Jeter after a most uncharacteristic walk year performance. What does Jeter do the first year of the new contract? He breaks an ankle. Season over for him. What does he do this year?

Nothing. Jeter has done nothing since having signed that contract. But the mystery is why he has fallen off so suddenly in his batting. He has hurt the team performance. But he has not hurt the gate.  Had Jeter opted to sign for less money the Yankees might have signed Cano. But No, neither did Jeter move off shortstop early in this decade when it would have been helpful to the team had he done so. (Lou Gehrig took himself out of the lineup when he could not handle his position.).

But mysteriously, Cano is not hitting for the power he hit with the Yankees in his walk year that induced Seattle to sign him. Cano is hitting for average and has lost considerable weight and bulk, just like Jeter did after his “walk” year.  So, even had the Yankees resigned Cano, he might not have delivered the power  he did last year. But he’d be hitting. McCann, the big free market signing,  is finally getting it together, but has been a disappointment No Posada, he.

Be that as it may, the apparent silent Steinbrenner fils’ decision to not trade prospects for a genuine  big bopper has killed the Yankee season. They are 76-74. Twelve games to go.

Had they had a legitimate, consistent, healthy big bopper, they’d be at least 10 games better in wins…and probably right up there with the Orioles. Next year there will be no Derek Jeter wake to keep people coming to the ballpark and Hal Steinbrenner is going to wonder why.  Really a bad business decision not replacing Cano. But if Cano was that good they should have signed him. (Editor’s note, the Bronx Lites, finished 84-78. 12 games back of the Orioles, and no 1-Game Wildcard berth.)

If Rodriguez comes back strong in 2015…he may be that bat. But when A-Rod comes back, he may not hit with the power he had. Another thing about A-Rod: he never got any bit of credit for nearly getting the Yankees into the playoffs last September when he came back hitting after he had his hand injury. No one ever said or wrote except me,  what “a gamer” he was in that September stretch drive.

Jeter is gone now, having played his last game. But maybe he will be back in the broadcast booth, on YES. He now interits the Joe DiMaggio role if he wants it. He did represent the franchise well and I wish him well. We perhaps expected too much out of him his final year. Good luck, Number 2. We’ll remember you when the infield ups the middle sieves up next year.

Whether or not the Yankees make those playoffs, the owner of this team has  to make some money-spending moves to bring in major punch to the lineup next year. If he does not, to paraphrase the season ticket sale tagline on  the Yankees broadcast, “The legacy ends now.”

Take the Youth Movement at the Metsoleum in Queens. 

Over across the Triboro Bridge, in the last two weeks the Metropolitans will be portraying all the young players they are now using, touting them as their springboard to a great season in 2015. However, the Mets  after getting blasted by the Nationals the day I wrote this, have to win 8 of their last 10 to finish at .500 and have just been eliminated from the Wild Card.

(Editor’s Note: The Mets did not finish .500, finishing at 79-83, 17 games out, and they are talking contending next year. Really?)

The Mets when they entered June were feeling very good then went into the tank.  June is a cruel month. The  Met broadcaster noted last Thursday on WOR  the Mets were 31-47 against winning teams, but had  a 40-28 record against losing teams. This tells you the Metropolitans are not yet in the class of a winner or have a mind attitude to be..

I think the Mets could have been much better had they made several moves to bring in a major league hitter or two in June. They got a poor year out of Granderson (does any team have as much bad luck as the Mets in their free agent signings? Jason Bay, comes to mind )

Why didn’t the Mets sign Cano? How cheap was that of the Wilponage?

Lower power numbers and all, Cano would have been worth 10 more wins, maybe more,  to the Mets at least.  But no. The Mets did not make moves, and what happened? The team lost heart and fell apart in June, July and August. Meanwhile Cano hit the Seattle Mariners into contention and a .500 season.

The Metropolitans  have also been listless as about exciting as watching blacktop being laid or as sad as watching a grave being dug — and they dig it every year

That’s why Terry Collins, the manager,  the new Don Zimmer of baseball who keeps his job because he keeps the lid on, well, Collins has to go.  (Editor’s note: They are renewing his contract. How predictable. How incredibly predictable.)

Collins does not get upset enough when the Mets lose concentration on the basepaths (it has happened all season). He does not manage the team well defensively. Met fielding has cost them terrible losses, and they always seem to make crucial errors when the game is on the line. They are fundamentally unsound and look bored most of the time.

Not paying attention.

The Met pitching philosophy from top to bottom has to be examined. They burned out Harvey last year, and he may come back . But he is not going to have the velocity. The Mets have come up with more sore arms this year. The Met pitchers when they are good are being overworked.  Somehow the Mets need to bring in a professional pitcher who has won big time in the major leagues for a substantial period of time as a pitching coach who will build arm strength. Fix the mechanics. And stop the sacrifice of arms.

Over the years writing this column, I marvel at what Warren Spahn said. He threw every third day and pitched complete games every 4th day. He never had a sore arm. Spahnie said pitchers have to build leg strength and throw. And Spahn had a repertoire as  hard to throw as any of the pitchers today. But he threw effectively into the 10th inning many a time.

Perhaps there is no greater irony that when players come to Mets clubhouse, they just wilt under the pressure of the not caring, ennui,  that permeates this  franchise.

Willie Randolph could not tolerate the lack of hustle of the Mets when he ran them (the last time the Mets were in contention was when Randolph managed).

Chris Young destroys the league with Arizona and this year he does not hit  for the Mets. The Yankees pick him up when the Mets let him go. Young suddenly looks like Hurricane Hazel. He wins a game for the Yankees in his first game. He wins another with a 3-run dinger. Is the clubhouse in Flushing so depressing that it sucks the competitiveness and pride out of the people who walk into it? This tells you about the “Metsoleum” atmosphere in Flushing. That has to be changed.

Now, it is very well and good that the Mets have young players. Hopefully they will continue to develop. Maybe Harvey and the sorearm squad will come back strong as ever next year. The Mets will probably start out strong, but once the young players go around the league they will be scouted and the league will learn their weaknesses. That’s why the farm system will need to be supplemented by at least one professional hitters (not in their mid-thirties, but late 20s with more good years to go)

My prediction: next year the Mets will revive some of the slogans of the past “Now, the winning starts,” or “The Young Guns” or “The Flushing Gang”

Well let’s not have slogans, let’s not jump up and down like you’ve won the pennant everytime you break a 5 game losing streak. That is so sad,pathetic and shows lack of pride and self respect. Win a game when something is on the line.

Sadly, the mantra to sell season tickets to the Metsoleum in Queens was already spoken by Manager Terry Collins. Here is what he said after his team lost 3 of 4 to the Nationals when it mattered:

“I do not think we are that far away. Our bullpen is coming along with the young guys back there — tbe bullpen will be deep and our young players will have another year under their belt(s). ..we’ve made a lot of changes here and I agree with what Sandy Alderson said three months ago, that we’re very, very close.”


This is what the Mets say after every season.

Derek Jeter? He’s starting a website to tell you how players really feel.




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Archbishop Stepinac Expands its Faculty to Serve Big Swing in Enrollment


Stepinac High School’s new teachers are standing (l-r): Doug Cooper, Rick Lee, Sam O’Hare, and JoAnn Cupertino and sitting: Philip Vecchione, Teresa Solimine, James Park and Nick Borges

WPCNR SCHOOL DAYS. From Archbishop Stepinac High School. October 13, 2014:

To meet the needs of increased student enrollment, Archbishop Stepinac High School—the all boys, secondary school at 950 Mamaroneck High School—has hired eight new teachers.

The appointments follow on the heels of a 53% gain in the freshman class over the past five years, rising from 139 students in the 2008-2009 school year to 213 students in the current 2014-2015 school year.

Among the new instructors are two retired law enforcement officers—Rick Lee of Yorktown Heights, formerly with the White Plains Police Department and Douglas Cooper of Mt. Vernon who served with the NYPD. Both are teaching social studies.

Also joining is JoAnn Cupertino of Yonkers who previously served as Stepinac’s Registrar for about 20 years, and is teaching religious studies. She is also the mother of Stephen and Joseph Cupertino, two Stepinac alumni who are on the faculty as well. Stephen, Class of 2001, teaches math and Joseph, Class of 2004, teaches history.

Two of the other new teachers are also alumni: Phil Vecchione of Yonkers, Class of 2007, who teaches English and Nick Borges of Mt.Vernon, Class of 2008, who teaches science. With their appointments, Stepinac’s faculty now comprises 22 alumni members, about one third of the total.

The other new faculty members are Teresa Solimine of the Bronx, guidance counselor; James Park of Stamford, science instructor and Sam O’Hare of Tuckahoe, history teacher

Commenting on the expansion of the faculty, Principal Paul Carty said: “We extend a warm welcome to this diverse group of instructors who will help Stepinac continue its 64-year tradition of providing a comprehensive preparatory curriculum, grounded in Roman Catholic value and traditions. Our commitment to academic excellence has translated into Stepinac achieving a 100% college acceptance rate and our students being accepted by some of the nation’s most prestigious colleges and universities year after year.”


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White Plains TV’s John Bailey, on location on PEOPLE TO BE HEARD this week, interviews Carlos Andrade, Director of the new Tennis Innovators Academy complex opening in Delfino Park, White Plains, New York USA in January Where you can brush up your backhand





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Carlos Andrade in blue shirt instructing persons who came out for the new Tennis Innovators Academy Free Clinic in September. Carlos talks about what makes TIA iNSTRUCTION and play better on this week’s PEOPLE TO BE HEARD

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The Next Stephie? The youngest of Mr. Andrade’s students at the TIA Clinic looking extremely awesome working on her overhand smash with her twin brother


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The Hearing That Never Ends

WPCNR NEWS & COMMENT.  By John F. Bailey. October 10, 2014:

“It’s the Hearing that Never Ends.

It goes on and on my friends.

Some councilmembers started it a long time ago

But little did they know,

It’s the hearing that never ends.

It goes on and on my friends….”

With apologies to the late Shari Lewis and Lambchop, I am reminded of the theme song of that old children’s show, every time I go to a French American School of New York hearing.

Last week’s three and a half hour Common Council Barbecue of the presenters of  The French American School of New York  on the school’s excruciating effort to acquire a Special Permit to build their new campus on the former Ridgeway Country Club after three and a half years of silence  on the part of the council was very instructive. (Whew, that sentence is almost as long as a hearing…fitting.)

Better late than never, I suppose, but the questions the council fired at the FASNY people were asked really a little late. You can see the key questions each of the 7 councilmembers raised on tonight’s WHITE PLAINS WEEK THIRD QUARTER REVIEW SHOW at 7:30 on Channels 45 and 76, and again Monday at 7 on Channels 45 and 76, or right now on the internet at

The majority of the questions councilmembers fired September 29  night,  begged to be asked before the council ever approved the Findings Statement.

Why? The issues discussed last week were actually developed before the FASNY Environmental Findings Statement was approved by the Common Council last December.

Those questions were ignored then much to the amazement of the neighborhood Gedney  Association.

When you change the whole concept at city suggestion,  it is a mystery who suggested it and who gave them that idea and more questions are raised about the solution, you have to have questions analyzed then, that gives you a better chance of horsing that approval through.

The questions were raised instead by the unpaid passionate defenders of the Gedney Farms neighborhood as soon as the North Street entrance was proposed a year ago last September.

Neighbors were stunned at splashing a concrete entrance way from North Street down two former fairways through the heart of the old country club grounds that were supposed to be part of the natural Conservancy promised by the school. Traffic issues at the White Plains High School were raised. The city’s own traffic analysis raised questions.

The School District another villain in this villainy of a review, said nothing about the North Street entrance until two weeks ago. Again, a little late.

Why in the world if the school district knew about the North Street plan last June, (which it did), did they not say then, we don’t like this, man it’s unsafe.

The excuse of the district was there was no proposal yet, but the school district knew what was in mind: an entrance off  North Street.

As Councilperson after councilperson, who O.K.’d a findings statement which found that the project could go ahead and was “mitigatable” threw vague general criticisms at the traffic numbers, the Hathaway Lane closure, the safety factor on North Street, all of which were in the submitted Final Environmental Impact Statement, not to mention the new wrinkle of the Army Corps of Engineers jurisdiction question which somehow someone on our long list of city-employed consultants  in the city’s unofficial “paid legal aid society”did not pay close attention to.

Now, after hours and hours of this marathon hearing, the council has so many questions, FASNY has to revisit the whole concept and justify, justify, even prepare a 3-D visual.

This amounts to almost a “re-do.” More hot air and analysis ahead.

After all the North Street entrance was city-suggested. Naturally the French American School thought a friendlier reception might have been in order last night.

Each of the answer men for The French American School, have to be saluted for keeping their cool at this embarrassing public display of the council lack of attention to the project when they should have been paying attention a year ago before that FEIS was approved mitigatable.

With each question last week, Michael Zarin the FASNY attorney pointed out that the council had approved a Findings Statement that suggested the closure of Hathaway Lane, suggested entry on North Street, obviously pointing out the Council’s lack of timing. You know where he is going folks if the Fidgety 7 turn it down.

The questioning intensity had it been raised last fall in 2013, would have resolved – maybe – these issues by now. However then safe, cushy seats on the Common Council woul have to be decided with the actual vote hanging over their heads like an albatross.

Could we read the material more closely? It is embarrassing when council members posture on facts that they ask did you include those facts, and they do not know that those facts are included in the FEIS they supposedly approved, saying the accidents were not a factor.

And another thing: The council has been ignoring all the protest on this project for three and a half years. Only now after galvanized opposition and assiduous reading by neighbors is showing up the Common Council and the city’s own highly paid consultants and staff for their lack of attention to the project. They are so smug about it.

It almost gives you the feeling that the Council is supposed to O.K. this project because a higher authority wants them to, has ordered them to, and has told them their political future is at stake if they do not approve it.

The traffic I can tell you  since I live off North Street from cars and buses turning left northbound on North Street in the face of traffic turning right into the high school is going to be jam-bo’d. I wonder if U-turns will finally be banned at this intersection…a typical maneuver that drivers execute.

Wait, that’s another question!

Here’s my prediction: there will be a round of new designs. The council and staff will review them. Raise further question, and low and behold it will be summer again. Will public comment be allowed on the tweaks, bussels, and legalese put in? Will the Army Corps of Engineers cooperate and say, “not our problem,” who create big problems.

Hey, better call up Obama Ridgeway and offer him a round on Ridgeway…it is totally secured…and you would be apologizing for the prejudice the golf courses showed by not letting him play there.( I am really incensed about that embarrassment. )

Stamford, Greenwich, northern New Jersey, Rockland are looking so much better to developers

Any developer even thinking about doing anything anywhere in White Plains can see what they are in for when they try and develop in White Plains. They have moved on.

Opportunities slide by while the “professionals” take their sweet time, keep cashing big money fees.

The hearing that never ends continues October 28 at 6:30 P.M.

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Are We Looking at a Lame Duck Governor?

WPCNR ALBANY ROUNDS. News and Comment by John F. Bailey, October 9, 2014:

On Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s surprise trip to Afghanistan last week, the Gannett Albany Bureau filed a story by Jon Campbell on the Governor’s trip. In the next to last paragraph the story noted and we quote

“The Democrat (Cuomo) denied his trip had anything to do with his political aspirations. Cuomo has often been mentioned as a potential candidate for president or a cabinet position in 2016.

Odds Bodkins! Forsooth!

Does this mean that Governor Cuomo will leave  his beloved New York State if Washington calls, should Hillary Clinton win the 2016 Democratic Presidential nomination and get elected President?

This is an interesting problem.

It means that should Mr. Cuomo with a public duty to serve his country to take a cabinet post, then his Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, if elected,  a former member of the House of Representatives, and long time public servant in Buffalo, New York, would ascend to the Governership.

Hochul would be running New York State, while Governor Cuomo would assume a very visible role across the nation, preparing for his possible ascension to the Presidency at the age of 66 in 2025, or should Mrs. Clinton falter, as early as 2021.

Cuomo would have a national stage to prepare America for his “tough love” governing. His “hands on” approach.

However he’d be another of the millions of workers and companies fleeing New York State.

But Mr. Campbell’s story raises the question of how much Governor Cuomo really loves New York, or secretly longs for the seductive ultimate power with a starring role on the Washington political stage. At least he would be able to play golf at Winged Foot if he came to Westchester  on a cabinet or do we dare think it, a Presidential visit?

Should we be looking seriously at our Lieutenant Governor candidates. Or, more seriously at Mr. Astorino being the better choice because at least he would stay in New York, while Mr. Cuomo is obviously, if someone is telling people he would consider a cabinet position, perhaps saying, “pick me, Hillary, pick me!”

Holchul is no hackette. She has considerable experience in local government,County Clerk in Erie County(Buffalo) and in the corridors of the Washington capitol as Representative of the 26th Congressional District.

Taking the Acela down to Washington, might be a good thing for Governor Cuomo.

He’d  be out of the picture if the Bus Rapid Transit System  that is going to solve all traffic problems when the first span of the New New York Bridge opens in 2016 is not in place…

….if the bridge falls behind schedule;

….if the tolls on the Tappan Zee Bridge have to hit double digits;

…if the Cuomo surplus that pays for everything, fails to materialize;

….if the plan to slash Medicaid spending on alcohol, drug abusers, mentally ill  and the disabled is pushed through.

…if  an overhaul of how medical services are decided for the disabled takes massive heatr\.

Those are just a few of the big issues that the media are not asking the governor about.

He would not be accountable if he were in Washington, as Secretary of Transportation, Secretary of HUD, Secretary of State, Attorney General, possibilities are endless for him if he plays ball with the Clinton Dynasty-Wanna-Be.

We are missing the point. Mr. Cuomo could run for Senator, if Chuck Schumer would retire. Schumer’s current term ends in 2016.

Obviously Schumer would be expected to run again. The darling of Wall Street, Schumer seems untouchable and a fixture. Who keeps New Yorkers riveted to his Sunday morning press conference exposes.

But, maybe not, you never know. New York’s other Senator, Kirsten Gillebrand does not come up for reelection until 2018. Schumer must go let Andrew Cuomo go…”I have served New York these long years, and now it is time for me to turn over the reins to the man who has brought New York Back…Andrew M. Cuomo…”

Can’t you just hear it?

But hold on a minute, another possibility: should Hillary Clinton lose in 2016, Clinton is the obvious choice to run for President in 2020. Running for Senator from New York would position him nicely if Schumer passed the baton.

Is a vote for Mr. Cuomo in Novermber a vote for Kathy Hochul really, with Mr. Cuomo being called to the new Clinton Tomorrow?

The key to being a success is to get out before everything you started bogs down and goes wrong.

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WPCNR CNA NEWS. From Howard Waldman. October 7, 2014:

The next meeting of the WPCNA is scheduled for Tuesday October 14th at 7:30PM at Education House (downstairs Meeting Room), 5 Homeside Lane in White Plains (off North Street).

Our featured speaker will be Jeremy Quinn, Artistic Director of the White Plains Performing Arts Center (WPPAC).  He will be joined by Kathleen Davisson, General Manager for a Q&A period.

For those of you who may not know, the WPPAC is located at City Center (same floor as the movie theaters). This beautiful 400 seat state-of-the-art theater hosts many events including plays, dance, music, comedy as well as various programs.

Check out their website

Besides the usual light refreshment, you will have an opportunity to win one of two pairs of tickets to an upcoming event at the WPPAC. You MUST be in attendance to win.

This should be an “entertaining” evening so please pass this along to friends & neighbors in White Plains.  Come early for best seats!

Other dates of significance to place on your calendar:

Wed, Oct 8 at 7pm, WP Common Council Candidates Forum sponsored by the Woman’s Club, at the C.V. Rich Mansion, 305 Ridgeway, WP.

Wed, Oct 22, at 7pm,  WP Common Council Candidates Forum co-Sponsored by the WP League of Woman Voters, WPCNA, and the WP Library,  at the WP Library.

Sun, Oct 26, 10am-3pm, WP Historical Society celebrates the 238th Anniversary of the Battle of White Plains, at the Jacob Purdy House (Washington’s Headquarters), 60 Park Ave, WP.  There will be activities and refreshments for the whole family.


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If Preet Bharara goes to Washington, is Janet DiFiore heading to U.S.Attorney?


WPCNR News & Comment By John F. Bailey. October 5, 2014:

In this boring, uncontested election season with no candidates really addressing the issues, and the prospect of more blather and dither ahead it’s refreshing to have a shocking resignation that opens up the political log jam.

When someone goes down, someone else moves on up.

Last week, Eric Holder, the first African-American Attorney General announced he was stepping down.

NPR reported the names of three persons who might be in line to replace him. One was the relentless crusader, merciless menace to Wall Street insider traders, who has finally more than any U.S. attorney in memory, made white collar criminals and crooked businesspersons sweat and, surprise, actually go to jail.

None other that Preet Bharara.

Bharara  appears to have the prosecutorial record of convictions meaning trouble for the corporate robber barons looting the economy and the taxpayer’s pocket, while evading corporate taxes abroad. Barara knows how to do investigations and put together a case and works effectively with other law enforcement agencies to get the goods.

Besides he has been such a rat dog dick on the guys in the white shirts and bland ties and bellies-over-the-belt set that the establishment has to get him out of New York and kick him upstairs so they can get back to stealing as usual with a kinder, gentler U.S. Attorney.

Besides moving The Preeter up from the Southern District of New York  (Big Crime’s Hometown), frees up a move-up position. Now, can you name a District Attorney that might move into that position?

I suggest Janet DiFiore, who was elected to her third term as Westchester District Attorney last year. since I cannot even name. She has been County D.A. for  nine years now. She needs another job, to open the D.A. ship for an appointment by the Astorino administration who can reward a Republican.

Of course there may be a New York City D.A. candidate, a DiBlasio selection,or Obama may go with one of the other choices,  but no matter what, the U.S. Attorney position in the southern district will be weakened with Bharara’s departure.

DiFiore sounds like a logical political move-up, and she is a Democrat.

Why? Because appointing her puts a woman in a major prosecutorial spotlight. She will inherit many of Preet’s on-going cases, assuring herself of some victories early. Bharara cases usually stick.  She will be able to ease up on some sensitive cases, making the establishment breathe easier if that is what the establishment wants.

Heroin abuse is up in Rockland and the northern Westchester County border but is not apparently as bad in most of the county. Gang activity appears more controlled as I write this because ever since DiFiori held her gang conference among law enforcement parties seven years ago we have not heard much about gang activity. Does this mean gang activity is down?

My point is DiFiore has neither a bad track record or a good one. She is bland. Has not made anyone mad. Just who you want to lower the heat on the big time crooks. And with gambling coming to New York, you definitely want someone in the U.S. Attorney position politically sensitive. You know gambling companies want as little scrutiny as possible. Bharara is anything but, but he is dragging his feet on the State Senate tax evasion scandal.

People I speak to about this are laughing at the suggestion of DiFiore for U.S. Attorney. But they laughed when she ran for District Attorney in Westchester County, too.

You if you are the establishment do not want the U.S. attorney to go after the 20 legislators who were singled out by Governor Cuomo’s commission for tax evasion and false reporting on their income taxes, who just happened to vote in Governor Cuomo’s budget. No connection, of course.

We have been waiting for Preet to pounce on that one, but alas, he may be going to Washington. It does not look like anything is going to come out of the U.S. Attorney’s office on that tax evasion situation by legislators until after the election. Talk about good timing for those scaliwags!

Anyway, it is a thought that with Preet going to Washington…who will replace him in this key position. I do not think DiFiori is right for it. But who is? We were lucky to have Preet going after the corrupt, the profane, the greedy, the snake-oil salespersons while we had him.

Ms. DiFiore’s resume from the Westchester District Attorney website:

District Attorney Janet DiFiore has dedicated her career to public service as both a former Judge and a prosecutor in Westchester County, New York.

Elected as District Attorney in 2005 and re-elected in 2009 and 2013, District Attorney DiFiore is the County’s chief law enforcement officer of Westchester County, New York. Her 238 person office includes 119 Assistant District Attorneys, 34 Investigators and 85 support personnel. Together they prosecute approximately 40,000 cases each year.

District Attorney DiFiore served as an Assistant District Attorney in Westchester County for more than ten years, and as Chief of Narcotics for the last four and a half of those years. As Chief of Narcotics, she coordinated drug enforcement and prosecution efforts within Westchester County on behalf of local, state and federal law enforcement agencies.

Elected as a Judge of the Westchester County Court in 1998 and as a Justice of the New York State Supreme Court in 2002, District Attorney DiFiore presided over hundreds of cases in Westchester County Court, Family Court and the New York State Supreme Court. In 2003, District Attorney DiFiore was appointed by Chief Judge Judith Kaye to serve as the Supervising Judge for the Criminal Courts in the 9th Judicial District, with oversight responsibility of the criminal courts of Westchester, Dutchess, Orange, Rockland and Putnam Counties. She served as Supervising Judge until May of 2005 when she resigned from the bench in order to run for District Attorney.

District Attorney DiFiore has initiated policies and programs at the District Attorney’s Office that have enhanced prosecutions and improved public safety. In response to the longstanding critical need for more effective coordination among Westchester’s 42 local police departments and county, state and federal law enforcement agencies, District Attorney DiFiore led the development of the Westchester Intelligence Center, which provides technological resources, data analysis and coordination to support these agencies.

Working with partners from County and local government and child advocacy agencies, the District Attorney led the effort to create the Child Fatality Review Team, the Multidisciplinary Team and the Child Advocacy Center. Together, they provide systematic analysis of child fatalities and risks to children’s health and safety, and investigate cases of child abuse through multi-disciplinary teams that achieve the most effective and compassionate results.

The District Attorney was a partner in the creation of Westchester’s Family Justice Center, a comprehensive facility for services for victims of domestic violence and their families. Sharpening the Office’s approach to violent felonies, District Attorney DiFiore established the Violent Felony Screening Protocol, a system of early review of violent felony cases by a Deputy Division Chief to assess the legal and factual issues and seek to enhance the prosecution of such cases.

In 2009, District Attorney DiFiore was appointed by Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman to serve as Co-Chair of the New York State Justice Task Force, a permanent body created to examine the causes of wrongful convictions, make recommendations for reform, and monitor the effectiveness of any reform that is implemented. The membership of the Justice Task Force consists of judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, law enforcement personnel, legal scholars, legislators, executive branch officials, victim advocates, and forensic experts. The Task Force has issued two reports to date, Recommendations Regarding Forensics and the Expansion of the DNA Database and Recommendations for Improving Eyewitness Identifications.

District Attorney DiFiore has served on then-Chief Judge Judith Kaye’s Commission on the Future of Criminal Indigent Defense Services and Commission on Drugs and Courts. In addition, she has served as the New York State Unified Court System’s Coordinator for Access to Justice Initiatives for the 9th Judicial District, and as a member of the Office of Court Administration’s Committee on Criminal Jury Instructions, the Task Force on the Future of Probation in New York State and the New York State Motor Vehicle Theft and Insurance Fraud Prevention Board.

District Attorney DiFiore serves on numerous boards that deal with criminal justice issues in Westchester County, including the Westchester County Criminal Justice Advisory Board, the Westchester County Domestic Violence Council, the Task Force on the Future of Probation in New York State, the CLUSTER/Restorative Justice Advisory Board and previously, the Advisory Board of the Westchester Holocaust Commission’s Juvenile Offender Program.

Governor Andrew Cuomo recently named her as a member of the Commission on Youth, Public Safety & Justice.

In July, 2011, the District Attorney was installed as President of the District Attorney’s Association of the State of New York.

She is a member of the National District Attorney’s Association and a Co-Chair of the Grievances/Ethics Committee of the Westchester Women’s Bar Association. District Attorney DiFiore also serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the Columbian Lawyers Association of Westchester County and the New York State Bar Association Task Force on Wrongful Convictions. She is a former member of the Board of Trustees of the Westchester Italian Cultural Center and on the Board of Directors of the Westchester Children’s Museum. District Attorney DiFiore is on the Board of Visitors at Pace University School of Law and on the Advisory Council of Mercy College School of Social and Behavioral Science. She serves on the Advisory Board of the Westchester Holocaust and Human Rights Education Center, and is a member of the Greyston Foundation’s Wisdom Council. She is an advisory group member of the New York State-Federal Council.

Recent honors include in 2011 the Distinguished Alumnae Award from the Women’s Law Society of St. John’s Law School and in 2010, the “Spirit of Giving” Community Service Award at the Lois Bronz Children’s Center’s Annual Gala and the Star of Hope Award from the Westchester Region of Hadassah.

District Attorney DiFiore has lectured, both in New York and abroad, to judges and lawyers about domestic violence, the effects of domestic violence on children, ethics, and problem-solving courts and effective case management techniques.

She is a lifelong Westchester County resident and is married to Dennis E. Glazer, a partner at the law firm of Davis Polk & Wardwell. They have three children.




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