8 NEIBORHOODS TO PROTEST FRENCH AMERICAN SCHOOL RIDGEWAY PROJECT SATURDAY AT 10:30

White Plains residents will protest against the
French American Schools of New York plans for their
regional school complex on the former Ridgeway Country Club grounds.

Despite serious concerns expressed by
our School Board, the Conservation Board and the Planning Board
and the vast majority of area residents our Mayor and the Common
Council continue to entertain this ever-changing application. Let
the Mayor and Common Council again see how citizens oppose
both the FASNY plan and the proposed closure of part of Hathaway
Lane.
• Saturday April 25, 2015
• 10:30 AM
• North Street (in front of the WPHS entrance)
• Signs will be available or bring your own sign
• Children welcome
CO-SPONSORS INCLUDE:
Gedney Association Club Pointe Association
North Street Civic Association Wyndham Close Association
Havilands Manor Neighborhood Association Glenbrooke Homeowners Assn.
Rosedale Residential Association Maplemoor Pond Assn

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WHITE PLAINS WEEK –APRIL 24 SHOW–ON NORTH STREET TREE KILL; THE NEW PARKING APPLICATION; THE OPT OUT; AND MORE ON THE INTERNET NOW www.whiteplainsweek.com

2015327wpw 010KATZBAILEYBENEROFE

THE WHITE PLAINS WEEK NEWSBOYS

ON

STANDARD AMUSEMENTS AND THE COUNT LEGISLATURE– SPECIFICS MISSING

THOSE MAVERICK OPT-OUTS– DOES EXPOSURE OF THE ELA TESTS MEAN NO TEST NEXT YEAR?

CITY HALL INTROS PARKING APPS FOR THE ELITES

THE SALES TAX RACE TO THE TOP.

COUNTY RECEIPTS DWINDLE

INSTANT REVIEWS OF AMERICAN IN PARIS AND WEST SIDE STORY

FRIDAY NIGHT IS WHITE PLAINS WEEK NIGHT

DOWNLOAD THE LOWDOWN

ON

www.whiteplainsweek.com

 

 

 

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16% of White Plains 3rd to 8th Graders Opt Out of NYS Math Test–10% Opt out of English

WPCNR SCHOOL DAYS. From the White Plains City School District. April 23, 2015:

More students were kept out of NYS Math Tests the last two day in White Plains Public Schools than were opted out of the English Language Arts test last week.

A total of 146 students across grades 3 through 8 were held back by their parents, a total of 16% of the 3,213 eligible to take the tests, Michele Schoenfeld, Clerk to the Board of Education, reported to WPCNR.

lAST WEEK, totals were lower. According to official figures released today, 10% of the 3,213 students (327) eligible to take the ELA Test were held out of the tests by parents.

 

lAST WEEK

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SATURDAY 7 PM on PEOPLE TO BE HEARD: DR. BARRY JORDAN OF BURKE REHAB WHITE PLAINS ON CONCUSSIONS, MYTHS AND FACTS

SATURDAY AT 7

PEOPLE TO BE HEARD

“WHERE PEOPLE WHO HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY–HAVE THEIR SAY”

YOU’VE GOT

2015419ptbhamericaninparisdanbury 002dr

DR. BARRY JORDAN

NFL TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY COMMITTEE

DIRECTOR MEMORY EVALUATION AND TREATMENT SERVICE

BURKE REHABILIATION HOSPITAL, WHITE PLAINS NY USA

ON

CONCUSSIONS

IN FOOTBALL, SOCCER, LACROSSE

HOW TO RECOGNIZE THEM–WHAT HAPPENS

HOW  A CONCUSSION IS TREATED

ALZHEIMERS —

HOW TO RECOGNIZE EARLY ONSET

ALZHEIMERS LINK TO EARLIER TRAUMATIC HEAD INJURIES

INTERVIEWED BY

JOHN BAILEY AND JIM BENEROFE

ON FIOS COUNTYWIDE CHANNEL 45

AND IN WHITE PLAINS CABLEVISION CHANNEL 762015419ptbhamericaninparisdanbury 003

ON COUNTYWIDE VERIZON FIOS CHANNEL 45 

AND IN WHITE PLAINS CABLEVISION CHANNEL 76

OR ON THE INTERNET

at www.whiteplainsweek.com

 

 

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White Plains Current Pay Meters by Phone System Will Cease Operation April 30– New System to Replace it.

WPCNR PARKING Press. From the White Plains Downtown Business Improvement District. (The BID) April 23, 2015:

Attention Pay-By-Phone Customers
The current meter pay by phone system is being discontinued effective April 30, 2015 at midnight. You will no longer be able to utilize the current system (either via the APP or at 888-450-7275) to pay for meter parking after that date. Please plan accordingly.

The City of White Plains Department of Parking will be introducing an exciting new system in early May. A better, cheaper service will be coming soon. Watch for new signs or go to www.cityofwhiteplains.com for updates.

Pay-By-Phone Service
Discontinuance Effective
April 30, 2015
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Astorino Delivers State of the County: No Tax Increase for 6 years in Row

WPCNR COUNTY CLARION-LEDGER. From the Department of Communications, Westchester County. April 22, 2015:

Westchester County Executive Robert P. Astorino Wednesday delivered an optimistic and strong message in his annual State of the County address, stating that Westchester was “growing smarter, safer and stronger each day.”  Despite the increasing costs of Albany’s unfunded mandates and the automatic escalation of labor costs, Astorino said an increase to the county property tax levy was out of the question.

“It’s a pledge (not raising the tax levy) I have kept for five years and I am making it again tonight, because county government has to be on the side of every young person, couple, senior and business in Westchester that is struggling to make ends meet so they can stay here,” said Astorino.

To help hold the line on taxes, Astorino has held the line on spending.  This year’s county budget is less than the budget he inherited in 2010. Among the cost saving measures instituted to lower costs were actions to competitively bid inmate healthcare services, successfully transfer operation of county mental health clinics to not-for-profits and getting seven of eight government unions to agree to chip in for their health care.  These actions save the county $10 million per year.

The new $25 million Playland agreement with New York-based Standard Amusements will also save taxpayers money, as well as secure the long-term future of Playland. Standard Amusements will invest $23 million in capital improvements perhaps as soon as later this year, introduce new rides and attractions and make an up-front $2.25 million payment to the county and pay an annual fee of $300,000, that escalates each year.

In addition to the Playland agreement, Astorino highlighted other positive news in the past year:

  • The county’s Patriot Housing Initiative has found homes for 265 veterans (since 2013).
  • The Industrial Development Agency (IDA) assisted on 16 economic development projects that generated more than $400 million in private investment, along with 3,400 permanent and construction jobs.
  • The Local Development Corporation (LDC) assisted on a number of projects in the non-profit sector that generated $129 million and accounted for 1,600 jobs.
  • Capital projects investments are close to surpassing the $1 billion mark (since 2010) and help create over 2,000 construction jobs per year while providing needed rehabilitation to our roads, bridges, sewers and parks.
  • As part of Astorino’s Safer Communities initiative, more than 350 volunteers were trained in Youth Mental Health First Aid, and another 400 service providers and advocates were trained as “community champions” with the mission of being a go-to local resource in terms of awareness and education when it comes to suicide prevention.
  • The administering of Narcan was credited with saving 12 lives from heroin overdose in the past year. Police officers who went through the county Department of Health’s Narcan program administered the antidote.

Astorino hailed a recent Second Circuit Court of Appeals decision which said actions by HUD to financially penalize the county were indeed subject to judicial review, as a “major victory against an aggressive and overreaching federal government,” and a win for local zoning and home rule.  The county remains on schedule in fulfilling the terms of the 2009 federal housing settlement agreement with currently 223 units occupied and 454 units with financing in place.

Among the new initiatives unveiled by Astorino was the new Westchester Economic Development office that will open a Manhattan office at 125 Park Avenue, directly across from Grand Central Station.  The office will be functional and open for business starting in May. The purpose for the office is to aggressively promote Westchester’s many assets, offerings and competitive advantages to companies and entrepreneurs looking to leave New York State.  Astorino said, “Our message is simple. To those companies in New York City looking to Fairfield County or Jersey City, or perhaps the Carolinas, Florida or Texas, before you decide to leave New York State, you need to take a look at Westchester.”

The county’s new fatherhood initiative is designed to celebrate the critical role of the father, provide key tools and support, and help those in at-risk situations navigate and overcome potential barriers they may have to becoming effectively involved dads.  Former New York Knicks all-star Allan Houston was in attendance and his foundation will partner with the county in the initiative.  “Over the course of the past 50 years, the critically important role of the father in the family has been diminished,” said Astorino. “A good and present dad is good for moms and good for kids. And if the county can be a catalyst for strengthening families, then this may be the most important role the county ever plays.”

Astorino announced a new Safer Communities initiative with the development of a new mobile phone application called the Westchester Safety App. Expected to be available later this summer, the app will offer real-time traffic, weather and storm reports, and disaster preparedness tips via smart phones. It is being developed by Interlecta, a Westchester-based IT company, in conjunction with the county’s Department of Public Safety. The download of the app will be free, and there is no cost to taxpayers.

And coming in May, the county’s “A Job’s Waiting for You Training” program gets under way and matches long-term unemployed workers with hard to fill jobs in health care such as MRI technicians through a training program that, upon successful completion, guarantees the trainee a job. The goal is to place 500 individuals in four years and ultimately expand the program beyond the health care field.

Astorino concluded his speech by saying, “Westchester is a place we love, where we raise our families, run our businesses and call home. Our past is a source of pride, our future is bright and together we will continue to make Westchester smarter, safer and stronger.”

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Perfect Together! Carly Evans Is Maria. Zach Trimmer Is Tony– West Side Story with Dance-Mad Cast Energizes Stage with Street Cool, Daddio. City Heartbreak Hard and Majestic as NYC Gets

Mariatwirl

Carly Evans Is Maria in Westchester Brosdway Theatre’s WEST SIDE STORY–as relative now as it was 58 years ago.She sings “I Feel Pretty– the young lady’s feeling that this song immortalized, a Maria for Our Time.

 

WPCNR STAGE DOOR. Theatrical Review by John F. Bailey. April 22, 2015:

I just met a girl named Maria…and I’m in love.

TonyMariawed

Meeting a Girl Named Maria — Zach Trimmer–and Carly Evans glitter together

 She’s  Carly Evans and she and her “Tony,” of the West Side quintessential street gang “The Jets,”  powerfully belted out  by Zach Trimmer (above) are the couple you-want-to-be if you’re young and in love. All Photos by John Vecchiola, Courtesty, Westchester Broadway Theatre

The fates of Tony and Maria captured and broke the hearts of thousands of performances in 1957 and West Side Story is back at Westchester Broadway Theatre big time.

Carly Evans  and Zach Trimmer are Westchester Broadway Theatre perfect choice to bring back one of the game-changers of Broadway , the iconic West Side Story. Westchester BroadwayTheatre is the curator of great Broadway musicals for generations.  Director/Choreographer Barry McNab has brought WSS back to contemporary relevance nightly for the next three months —it speaks to us as much today as it did in 1957–

Westchester Broadway Theatre opened its revival of the show that changed musicals forever last week and picked this show because it holds up to the sands of time.

West Side Story introduced  contemporary modern jazz dance numbers composed by Leonard Bernstein and unforgettable ballads written by Stephen Sondheim (Maria, Tonight Tonight, I Feel Pretty) . It introduced dance choreographed by Jerome Robbins  to catchy edgy syncopated  beats that  make you  snap your fingers.

The courageous book tackled the theme of prejudice and hate between ethnic groups and examined the destructive contagion of mob behavior through the metaphors of the Latino Street Gang Sharks and the white Jets. When Tony a Jet falls for the Latino Maria, it is a love star-crossed by their ethnic incompatibility.

 The teaming of Ms. Evans and Mr. Trimmer is  a thrilling new duo you’ll hear a lot from in the future because they deliver the anxieties and joy of their conflicted relationship in their robust portrayal of  one of Broadway’s most famous couples

Carly Evans rich soprano elegantly thrillingly, hauntingly magically  evokes memories of Carol Lawrence who originally sang Maria in creating the role in this tale of teen gangs reflecting their parents’ prejudices in the 1950s. 

JetsEnsemble(1280x1024)

Zach Trimmer as Tony–at the candy store– with Da Jets. “When you a Jet, You a Jet All the Way”

 

Mr. Trimmer’s take-charge baritone thunders through the house sending chills up your spine as he delivers everything Tony feels  that will the most jaded man will recognize that feeling when a woman just knocks you out on his great solos— the unforgettable, “Maria,” “Something’s Coming.”  

 Ms. Evans and Mr.Trimmer duet together poignantly on Tonight, Tonight .

Ms. Evans’ delightful “I Feel Pretty” flighty, with dance steps that make her look as if she’s walking on air,  winning you over with the joy of young love.

The energetic dancers of the two teenage gangs, Sharks and Jets deliver outstanding modern dance routines evoking the original show.  Kudos to the young men who really get into 1950s leather jacket swagger and cool: The Jets–Zach, Adam Soniak, Anthony Johnson, Kevin Santos, Scott Shedenhelm, Erik Magnus,and Tyler John Logan.

EnsembleSharks(1280x1024)

Brandon Contreras as Bernardo, Leader of the Sharks (in the red jacket) at the high school dance,  is protective as Maria’s brother and Sharks’ leader—a Latino “Fonzi. “ His  role is strong and he  articulates concern for Maria, and a  conflicted reluctance to fight in the rumble as circumstances and what is expected of him by the gang lead him to his unexpected accidental death:

FIGHT(1280x1024)

Sharks Xavier Reyes, Michael Graceffa, Alexander Gil Cruz and Emilio Ramos do a joyous “ America” showing off their moves with the Sharks’ girlfriends who bring back teased, high hair to its original art form –“Way to go’s” to Ms Evans, Allison Thomas Lee, Arianna Rosario, Sarah Gawron and Kelsey Orem on this one. Also—a great job on “New Yawk” accents by all.

The Jet Gang opens with “When you’re a Jet, you’re a Jet All the Way” and suddenly that old teen gang feeling is immediately placed…in that once and distant time that seems as fresh as today’s sad headlines.

The  Jet Boys relieve the tension in Act Two when the hunt is on for Tony by The Sharks to avenge Bernardo’s accidential stabbing by Tony who tries to stop the rumble.  The Jets “Officer Krupke” is a slapstick mocking blend of the neighborhood beat officer with pratfalls and hilarious timing.

The use of lighting by the Wizard of Light Andrew Gmoser in a red anger of hate hits the rough, realistic knife fight in the rumble captures the mindless prejudice of the time that is as real a problem today as it was 58 years ago when this show electrified Broadway.

Mariaanitasml

Allison Thomas Lee(left above  as Anita deserves special mention as Bernardo’s girl friend for bringing high believability to the role of Maria’s friend. She solos solidly and winningly in “America”  and recreates the role originally sung by Chita Rivera, and compliments Ms. Evans on the commiserating duets, “A Boy Like That” and “I Have a Love.” above.

The Second Act sorts out the converging discords that hate without reason breeds leaving heartbreak delivered in a way that magically uplifts.

CAST

The Cast singing Tonight, Tonight

 

West Side Story recreates the Upper West Side of the 50s…through July 5. Box Office is 914-592-2222, for more go to www.BroadwayTheatre.com

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City Sales Tax Collections on Target to Meet Last Year’s Collections IF April-May-July $$ EQUAL 2014. County DOWN 3.5%

WPCNR QUILL & EYESHADE From the State Department of Taxation and Finance. April 22, 2015:

The City of White Plains economy held its own in February and March, sales subject to sales taxes declined 3-1/2 % in snowy February, but were up 1% in March from a year ago. The Department of Taxation and Finance reports that going into the last fiscal quarter of the city fiscal year the city has collected $38.6 Million in sales receipts.

Should the city equal the $13.1 Million collected in April May and June last year, the city will come within $100,000 of equaling the $51,872,987 it collected last year.

June 2014, it should be noted, though was a $5.4 Million  month last year, an all time record in White Plains exceeding even previous Christmas figures.  Should April May and June receipts hold up, the city will collect $51,708472, a .003 % decline. This means essentially that White Plains sales tax receipts are not keeping pace with the 2% inflation rate.

The county sales tax figures for the first quarter are reported down 3.5% for the first quarter to $119,554,691 down from $123,827,422 last year.

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Patrick Masseroni of White Plains named Archbishop Stepinac Basketball Coach

PatrickMassaroni

WPCNR SPORTS. From Archbishop Stepinac High School. April 22, 2015:

ArchbishopStepinacHigh School announced today that Patrick Massaroni ,who grew up in White Plains, and is a graduate of ArchbishopStepinac has been named its new varsity head basketball coach. Massaroni, who most recently had been the Head Varsity B Basketball Coach at Stepinac (2012-2015), will take the position effective immediately. He succeeds Steve Herman, who recently stepped down.

Massaroni is a 2006 graduate of Stepinac and was a member of the basketball program while he was a student. He also was a member of the football and baseball programs. Massaroni was the first Varsity B coach when the school started the new program three years ago. He has worked hard developing the young men of Stepinac both on and off the court. This most recent season the team advanced to the league’s semifinal game.

Massaroni will be Stepinac’s 12th Varsity basketball coach. Others include Nat Volpe, Tom Carney, Larry Dick, Gene Slattery, Gene Doris, Frank Henderson, Ed Sands, Dennis Gallagher, Tim McGrath, Tim Philp and Steve Herman.

Massaroni completed his undergraduate work at MaristCollege (2006-2010), earning a B.A. in Sports Communication. Massaroni served four years on the MaristCollege basketball staff.  He served on the men’s program for three seasons, including two years under current JMU head coach Matt Brady (2006-08.) He spent his final undergraduate year on the staff of the Marist women’s basketball program.  In that season, the Red Foxes and head coach Brian Giorgis captured the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference championship and advanced to the NCAA Tournament.

“I think Stepinac has made an outstanding selection in the hiring of Pat Massaroni. During his time at MaristCollege, Pat made significant contributions in many areas with our basketball programs. He is an extremely hard-working, dedicated young professional. I am very confident that will bring great success to his alma mater’s basketball program.  He had the opportunity to work under some outstanding head coaches, and I know that he will apply that experience at Stepinac.” said Marist AD Tim Murray.

After graduating from Marist, Massaroni joined the Men’s Basketball Staff at JamesMadisonUniversity (2010-2012). He served as a graduate assistant, earning his Master of Science degree in Sports Management in 2012. During his first year at James Madison, Massaroni was part of a program that had reached the College Basketball Invitational (CBI) postseason tournament. This was the second postseason appearance for James Madison since reaching the NCAA tournament in 1993. While at JMU, Massaroni assisted with in-and-off season workouts, practice planning and game preparation.

“As someone who has worked very closely with Pat for the past decade, I know firsthand what a tremendous mentor, coach and most importantly, representative for your school Stepinac has hired. Pat will do an unbelievable job, he will add great passion to this position and he will work to continue to raise the bar for the basketball program on the court and in the classroom and he will do it with an unparalleled work ethic and with class.” said Matt Brady-James Madison University Head Basketball Coach.

Massaroni has also worked for the Brooklyn Nets, NY Mets and Westchester Knicks in the past few years in many different capacities.

“Patrick will do what-ever it takes to make our basketball program successful. He brings knowledge and a great work ethic to the sidelines of our great basketball program. His love for Stepinac HS and his passion for the game will be contagious in our basketball program. We would like to thank Steve Hermann for his work here at Stepinac with our basketball program.” said Michael O’Donnell- Director of Athletics Stepinac HS.

 

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Spring Valley Mayor Found Guilty on Corruption

WPCNR FBI WIRE. From the Federal Bureau of Investigation. April 20, 2015:

Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that former Spring Valley Mayor NORAMIE JASMIN was found guilty in federal court today of engaging in a bribery scheme in which she negotiated a 50 percent stake for herself in a development company and $5,000 cash in exchange for her use of her office to obtain land and various government approvals to construct a community center in Spring Valley.

She was convicted after a one week bench trial before U.S. District Judge Colleen McMahon.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “This office is committed to ensuring the integrity of New York public officials at all levels and wherever they may be. Today, I announce the conviction of yet another corrupt elected official who failed to live up to her oath of office.

Former Spring Valley Mayor Noramie Jasmin used her official position to influence a construction project on a parcel of public land, and she accepted bribes, including a secret fifty percent share of the project, to do so.

Like all citizens, the residents of Spring Valley deserved an honest mayor, not one who worked behind closed doors and behind their backs to sell public land and public office for private gain. I want to thank the FBI, the Rockland County District Attorney’s Office, and the Spring Valley Police Department for their outstanding work on this important investigation.”

According to the Complaint and the Indictment filed in federal court and the evidence presented at trial:

NORAMIE JASMIN was sworn in as Mayor of the Village of Spring Valley, New York, in December 2009. From September 2011 through April 2013, JASMIN accepted bribes from an undercover FBI agent (the “UC”) and a cooperating witness working with the Government (the “CW”), on multiple occasions in exchange for official acts.

The bribe scheme centered on the development of a community center in the Village of Spring Valley whose construction costs were expected to be at least $12 million. In exchange for her vote in favor of a sale of land owned by Spring Valley to a company she believed was controlled by the UC, JASMIN demanded a secret ownership stake in the company. JASMIN also asked for an advance on her profits from the scheme and accepted a $5,000 cash payment from the CW. In support of the scheme, JASMIN directed the UC to find people to pose as bidders for the project so that the transaction would appear legitimate to the other members of the Spring Valley Board of Trustees who voted on the sale.

Over the course of two days, JASMIN met the UC and two other undercover FBI agents posing as straw bidders (the “Straw Bidders”) in hotel rooms and instructed the Straw Bidders on how to make a presentation before the Spring Valley Board of Trustees such that the Straw Bidders would lose their purported bids on the land sale. JASMIN then presided over the presentations made by the company in which she had a secret financial stake and the fake presentations that she had helped prepare.

The following day, JASMIN presided over a Village Board of Trustees meeting, during which she asked the Board for permission to negotiate the sale of Village land to the UC’s company and then voted with a “strong yes” to grant herself that permission. When questioned as to why the Board needed to vote to grant her that permission, JASMIN remarked that she “cannot sit behind closed doors with a developer to negotiate on behalf of the Board,” precisely what she did in the days preceding that vote.

* * *

JASMIN, 51, of Spring Valley, was found guilty of one count of mail fraud and one count of extortion. Each count carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense. The maximum potential sentences in this case are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the judge.

JASMIN is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge McMahon on August 7, 2015 at 10 a.m.

Mr. Bharara praised the outstanding investigative work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Rockland County District Attorney’s Office, and Chief Paul Modica and the Spring Valley Police Department.

This case is being handled by the Office’s White Plains Division and Public Corruption Unit. Assistant United States Attorneys Douglas B. Bloom and Jessica K. Feinstein are in charge of the prosecution.

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