|WPCNR ALBANY ROUNDS. From Governor Andrew M. Cuomo July 18, |
Today was truly a monumental day for our state and the nation. I was
proud to be joined by former Vice President Al Gore (shaking hands with me above) to announce the largest offshore wind agreement by a state in U.S. history, and to sign the Climate Leadership and Community
Offshore wind is critical to our plan to transition to clean energy, and
today, New York selected two offshore projects totaling 1,700 megawatts. That’s enough energy to power over 1 million homes.
These projects won’t just help the climate — they will support more than 1,600 jobs and create $3.2 billion in economic activity. The Climate
Leadership and Community Protection Act signed today is the most
aggressive climate legislation in the country.
It requires an 85% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, and
puts our state on the road to economy-wide carbon neutrality. The
environment and climate change are the most critically important policy priorities we face. They literally will determine the future.
To deny climate change is to deny reality. The American chorus
demanding acknowledgment of the climate crisis is now deafening and
we are overpowering the forces that are vested in the status quo.
I am proud that today, New York set an example for the world to follow.
THE ROOTS OF ABOUT A 100 YEAR OLD TREE COULD NOT HOLD THIS AFTERNOON AND THE TREE FELL ACROSS BRYANT AVENUE BLOCKING TRAFFIC. WHITE PLAINS POLICE HAVE BLOCKED OFF BRYANT BETWEEN SMITH STREET AND DAVIS AVENUE AS TREE CREWS ARE TRYING TO DEAL WITH THE MASSIVE OBSTRUCTION. MOTORISTS SHOULD AVOID THE AREA. CON ED INDICATES NO ELECTRICAL OUTAGES ON ITS OUTAGE MAP AT THIS TIME.
WPCNR COUNTY CLARION-LEDGER. From Chairman of the Board of Legislators, Benjamin Boykin,District 5 July 18, 2019:
Americans throw out billions of tons of EPS coffee cups and other food containers every year.
This material doesn’t biodegrade, so it clogs landfills for decades or more. Once it is used for food, it is difficult to recycle economically. And when it breaks up into smaller pieces, it drifts off into our waterways, where it’s often eaten by marine life mistaking it for food.
Our new law eliminates the sale or use of EPS for takeout food containers and utensils by vendors and restaurants, or sold in stores.
The measure also prohibits the sale of loose-fill EPS packing foam in Westchester. Prepackaged food that arrives sealed in EPS package, packaging for raw eggs, and butcher case packaging are exempted.
With this common-sense, bi-partisan legislation, Westchester will join its neighbors in Nassau and Suffolk Counties, and in New York City, in acting to reduce this troubling source of pollution.
As elected officials, environmental protections are one of the most important things we can do for current and future generations, and I’m proud that this measure to reduce polystyrene waste in our environment is part of this Board’s legacy.
Click on the following link for the text of the bill: http://bit.ly/2JWNe4T
WPCNR QUILL & EYESHADE. By John F. Bailey. July 17, 2019:
As reported on WPTV’s White Plains Week (www.whiteplainsweek.com), the announcement of the sharing of the 1% sales tax increase with towns was announced with great largesse by Westchester County to a gathering of county town and municipality leaders and school district leaders two weeks ago.
However, basing distribution on size of town creates an imbalance. Presently, unless the county changes its mind, 39 towns and municipalities will receive unequal shares of the windfall.
If 39 towns received an equal share over the next two years 2019 and 2020, of the county estimate of $$43,132,000, each town and municipality would receive $1,105,948. The combination of municipality share and school district share creates a cascade of cash the larger the town creating two-years of relief to the towns paying the new county sales tax rate.
If 37 School Districts received an equal share of the county estimated share of sales taxes earmarked for school districts, $21,566,000, each school district would receive $582,864 in sales tax revenues.
However, county decided to distribute by population, which finds, in this reporter’s opinion, considerably more money going to towns and municipalities that are some of the wealthiest towns in the county. In the school districts, the mix is not so drastically different.
Here’s how population as the determinator of the distribution works out by population for the towns and cities:
Here’s how population as the evaluator of the distribution works for school districts.
WPCNR FBI WIRE. From the Federal Bureau of Investigation. July 16, 1019:
Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that JON E. MONTROLL, a/k/a “Ukyo,” was sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Judge Richard M. Berman to 14 months in prison.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said: “Jon Montroll lied to his investors and, after his lies caught the attention of the SEC, lied to them, too. The sentence he received serves as a reminder that this Office will not overlook those who violate their obligation to be honest with investors and the regulators working to protect them.”
According to the Information, the allegations in the Complaint, and statements made during the proceedings in Manhattan federal court:
JON E. MONTROLL operated two online bitcoin services: WeExchange Australia, Pty. Ltd. (“WeExchange”) and BitFunder.com (“BitFunder”). WeExchange functioned as a bitcoin depository and currency exchange service. BitFunder facilitated the purchase and trading of virtual shares of business entities that listed their virtual shares on the BitFunder platform.
Between the launch of Bitfunder, in or about December 2012, and at least in or about July 2013, MONTROLL converted a portion of WeExchange users’ bitcoins to his personal use without the users’ knowledge or consent. For example, MONTROLL exchanged numerous bitcoins taken from WeExchange into United States dollars, then spent those funds on personal expenses, such as travel and groceries.
Beginning on or about July 18, 2013, MONTROLL promoted a security referred to as “Ukyo.Loan.” As described by MONTROLL in a public post about Ukyo.Loan, MONTROLL encouraged investors to “think of [Ukyo.Loan] as a sort of round-about investment” in BitFunder and WeExchange and, at the same time, described Ukyo.Loan as “a personal loan” and “for private investment purposes.” MONTROLL further promised to pay purchasers of Ukyo.Loan daily interest on their investment and promised shares could be “redeemed at face value anytime upon request.”
During the summer of 2013, one or more individuals (the “Hackers”) exploited a weakness in the BitFunder programming code to cause BitFunder to credit the Hackers with profits they did not, in fact, earn (the “Exploit”). As a result, the Hackers were able to wrongfully withdraw from WeExchange approximately 6,000 bitcoins, with the majority of those coins being wrongfully withdrawn between July 28, 2013, and July 31, 2013. As a result of the Exploit, BitFunder and WeExchange lacked the bitcoins necessary to cover what MONTROLL owed to users.
Notwithstanding the scope of the Exploit, MONTROLL failed to disclose the Exploit to users of BitFunder and WeExchange, or investors in Ukyo.Loan. Instead, MONTROLL continued to promote and sell Ukyo.Loan to customers and, on at least one occasion, falsely represented to customers that BitFunder was commercially successful. As a result of his omissions and misrepresentations, MONTROLL raised approximately 978 bitcoins through Ukyo.Loan after his discovery of the Exploit.
The SEC’s New York Regional Office began an investigation into BitFunder and the Exploit. During the course of the investigation, MONTROLL provided the SEC with a falsified screenshot purportedly documenting, among other things, the total number of bitcoins available to BitFunder users in the WeExchange Wallet as of October 13, 2013. Additionally, during sworn investigative testimony on both November 14, 2013, and October 6, 2015, MONTROLL provided materially false and misleading answers to certain questions about, among other things, the timing of MONTROLL’s discovery of the Exploit.
* * *
In addition to a prison sentence, Judge Berman ordered MONTROLL, 38, of Saginaw, Texas, to serve three years of supervised release and to pay forfeiture in the amount of $167,480.
Mr. Berman praised the outstanding work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. He also thanked the Securities and Exchange Commission, which previously filed civil charges against MONTROLL in a separate action.
The prosecution of this case is being overseen by the Office’s Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force. Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Thomas is in charge of the case.
WPCNR SCHOOL DAYS. From WRVO RADIO. July 16, 2019:
New York State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia abruptly resigned Monday, taking members of the state Board of Regents by surprise. She said she will take a new job at the end of August at an unnamed national firm according to WRVO Radio, Albany.
Elia, who is the first female commissioner in the history of the State Education Department, said she decided now is the right time to leave the post, and has agreed to accept a job with a national firm that works to turn around struggling public schools.
To read the WRVO report go to this link:
WPCNR IMMIGRATION NEWS & COMMENT. From the Service Employees International Union 32BJ:
The following statement may be attributed to Kyle Bragg, President 32BJ SEIU:
“The Trump administration’s attempt to severely limit asylum protection must not and will not stand. Already, legal experts have labelled the restriction blatantly illegal, defying the word and the spirit of U.S. asylum law.
To keep alight the truth-telling of our departed union president Hector Figueroa, we must also call the new asylum rule blatantly racist — a policy extension of the white supremacist hatred expressed in the President’s tweets calling on four U.S. Congresswomen to “go back” to their countries.
As one of the largest majority-immigrant unions in the nation, we will vigorously oppose this attempt to effectively end political asylum for Central Americans, and we will continue to fight for a return to a nation ruled by compassion, inclusion, and justice for all.”
WPCNR EAST SIDE STORY. From Toll Brothers. July 15, 2019:
The Westchester County Industrial Development Agency (IDA) approved at its July 11 board meeting a resolution to assign the rights to financial incentives granted to Saber Chauncey WP, LLC for a $136.2 million mixed-use residential development in downtown White Plains to TB White Plains Apartments LLC, a subsidiary of Toll Bros. Inc. which is acquiring the property from Saber Chauncey. The site was purchased for $32 Millon.
In October 2018, the IDA approved $3,348,609 in sales tax and mortgage recording tax exemptions for The Collection, a mixed-use project consisting of 276 residential units in two buildings on Westchester Avenue and Franklin Avenue.
Located across from The Westchester mall, the project includes 24,526 square feet of retail space and 716 parking spaces of which 275 will be for municipal parking. Seventeen of the residential units will be affordable. The project is expected to create 250 construction jobs and 91 permanent jobs.
In a letter to the IDA, Toll Bros. said, “As one of the area’s most active and reputable builders, Toll and TBWP look forward to commencing this important residential and retail, mixed-use development, including additional parking for the City of White Plains, all located in the thriving market of Westchester County. We believe working in cooperation with the WIDA, the City and the construction industry participants, this project is sure to be a success.”
WPCNR SCHOOL DAYS. From the White Plains City School District. July 15, 2019:
The Board of Education Report Friday announced the School District has reached an agreement with its Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Joseph Ricca for a 5 year extension of his contract. No terms were disclosed.
Dr. Ricca has completed his first two years of his current contract which expires in June 2020. The contract calls for an increase in salary the first year and other incremental increases in subsequent years.
Commenting on Dr. Ricca’s contract, Rosemarie Eller, President of the Board of Education, said,
“We are very pleased to offer Dr. Ricca this five-year contract as a sign of confidence and alsoin an effort to provide stability for the school district.”
Dr.Ricca’s first two years in his position has achieved an upgrade in school security throughout the district 9 schools, has negotiated a contract with the White Plains Teachers Association, and created a capital reserve plan to upgrade White Plains schools without resorting to long term bonds at this time.
In a message sent out today Dr. Ricca reflected on his first two years, writing:
“My second year in White Plains has gone by very quickly (too quickly) and has been an amazing journey. We should all be very proud of the many achievements of our children.
In the academic arena, we are thrilled with the successful introduction of Advanced Earth Science for All eighth graders at the Highlands. We also completed an important review of the social studies curriculum and instituted enhancements to our mathematics curricular plan in addition to the continuation of the Dual Language Program expansion at Church Street School – along with many other accomplishments.
Our students have excelled in music, athletics, the arts and science as well. Just take a look at the district’s Facebook page and I am sure you will agree – the 2018-2019 academic year was amazing!
On the field, our Girls Softball Team was recognized with honors in All-League and All-Section and we had an outstanding, State Championship bowler and a nationally-recognized tennis player among our large group of athletes. New York State Scholar-Athlete recognition went to 490 students this past year.
In June over 500 members of the Class of 2019 received their diplomas, plus more than 300 awards and scholarships. Two will attend service academies – U.S. Naval Academy and Norwich Academy on an army ROTC Scholarship. Many more will attend a wide range of prestigious and highly selective colleges.
As I told the students at graduation, they will remember and think well of their education in the White Plains School for many years to come. Hundreds more students celebrated their milestones at moving-up ceremonies throughout the district. You can view our 122nd WPHS Commencement here: https://youtu.be/rwabQgXVF-A
We must take time out to thank YOU for your support of our schools. Since I came to White Plains I have been inspired with the unyielding enthusiasm and interest of the community in our schools. We want you to know how much we appreciate your participation and partnership in our success. You contribute to the positive and supportive environment provided for the children of White Plains in our schools.
Please enjoy your summer and we’ll see you in September!
As always, you can keep up with us on Facebook (facebook.com/wpschools) and Twitter (@drjosephricca and @wpschools). And of course, I remind you that I am always available for any questions or comments.