Students in Grades 3 to 8: 1% MORE PASS On NEW ENGLISH Assessments,39.8% PASS STATEWIDE. 1.1% MORE PASS IN MATH, 40.2% PASS STATEWIDE

WPCNR SCHOOL DAYS. From the New York State Education Department. August 26, 2017:  

The State Education Department Tuesday released the results of the 2017 Grades 3-8 English language arts (ELA) and mathematics tests. In ELA this year, the percentage of students in grades 3-8 who scored at the proficient level (Levels 3 and 4) increased by 1.9 percentage points to 39.8, up from 37.9 in 2016. In math, the percentage of students who scored at the proficient level increased this year to 40.2, up 1.1 percentage point from 39.1 in 2016.

% of Students Proficient in Grades 3-8

2016

2017

Percentage Point Change

Statewide Combined Grades ELA

37.9

39.8

1.9

Statewide Combined Grades Math

39.1

40.2

1.1

“I’m encouraged by the modest improvements we’re seeing in our test scores,” Board of Regents Chancellor Betty A. Rosa said. “As I’ve always said, testing is just one piece of the puzzle to understand how students are performing. And that’s why our draft ESSA plan takes a more holistic approach to accountability – an approach that looks at multiple measures of school and student success. This allows us to continually evolve and adapt so we can ensure that our systems are culturally responsive and place an emphasis on educating the whole child.”

“Real progress takes time,” State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia said. “So, the test scores we’re announcing today are a positive sign that we continue to steadily head in the right direction. We’ve taken a deliberate, inclusive and transparent approach to develop the State’s draft ESSA plan as well as changes to our standards and assessments. We’re confident that this careful approach will continue to yield benefits for our students.”

2017 Results

The State did not make significant changes to the ELA or math assessments administered in 2017. Therefore, the 2017 results can be compared with the 2016 results.

Big 5 City School Districts

In ELA this year, the percentage of all test takers in grades 3-8 who scored at the proficient level increased over last year in each of the Big 5 City School Districts. New York City’s proficiency increased by 2.6 percentage points to 40.6 percent, slightly exceeding the statewide average.

In the other Big 5 cities, student proficiency increased over last year as follows: Buffalo increased by 1.4 percentage points; Rochester increased by 0.9 percentage point; Syracuse increased by 2.2 percentage points; and Yonkers increased by 3.6 percentage points.

% of Students Proficient in ELA Across All Grades, 3-8

2016

2017

Percentage Point Change

NYC

38.0

40.6

2.6

Buffalo

16.4

17.8

1.4

Rochester

6.7

7.6

0.9

Syracuse

10.9

13.1

2.2

Yonkers

26.0

29.6

3.6

In math, the percentage of students in grades 3-8 who scored at the proficient level increased over last year in each of the Big 5 City School Districts; the gains in math were smaller than those in ELA. New York City’s proficiency increased by 1.4 percentage points; Buffalo increased by 1.1 percentage points; Rochester increased by 0.7 percentage point; Syracuse increased by 0.6 percentage point; and Yonkers increased by 3.7 percentage points.

% of Students Proficient in Math Across All Grades 3-8

2016

2017

Percentage Point Change

NYC

36.4

37.8

1.4

Buffalo

16.1

17.2

1.1

Rochester

7.2

7.9

0.7

Syracuse

10.4

11.0

0.6

Yonkers

24.6

28.3

3.7

Black and Hispanic Students

In 2017, ELA proficiency across all grades for black and Hispanic students increased over last year, with increases seen both statewide and in New York City. Statewide, black students saw a 2.8-percentage-point increase in those achieving proficiency while Hispanic students experienced a 2.4-percentage-point increase. In both cases, the increases were greater than those seen by white students, who experienced a 1.1- percentage-point increase statewide. As a result, the achievement gap in ELA that separates the proficiency of black and Hispanic students from their white peers closed slightly statewide.

In New York City, black students scoring at the ELA proficiency level increased 2.3 percentage points; Hispanic students increased 2.5 percentage points; and white students increased 2.1 percentage points.

Statewide % of Students Proficient in Grades 3-8 ELA

2016

2017

Percentage Point Change

Asian/Pacific Islander ELA

59.0

60.8

1.8

Black ELA

26.2

29.0

2.8

Hispanic ELA

26.8

29.2

2.4

American Indian/ Alaska Native ELA

29.9

32.7

2.8

White ELA

46.0

47.1

1.1

 

NYC % of Students Proficient in Grades 3-8 ELA

2016

2017

Percentage Point Change

NYC Asian/Pacific Islander ELA

58.8

61.0

2.2

NYC Black ELA

26.6

28.9

2.3

NYC Hispanic ELA

27.2

29.7

2.5

NYC American Indian/ Alaska Native ELA

34.9

37.4

2.5

NYC White ELA

58.9

61.0

2.1

Proficiency on the math exam statewide and in New York City also increased for black and Hispanic students this year; the gains, however, were less than in ELA.

Statewide % of Students Proficient in Grades 3-8 Math

 

2016

2017

Percentage Point Change

Asian/Pacific Islander Math

66.5

67.2

0.7

Black Math

23.0

24.4

1.4

Hispanic Math

25.7

27.0

1.3

American Indian/ Alaska Native Math

29.5

31.3

1.8

White Math

50.0

50.4

0.4

 

NYC % of Students Proficient in Grades 3-8 Math

 

2016

2017

Percentage Point Change

NYC Asian/Pacific Islander Math

67.2

67.8

0.6

NYC Black Math

20.0

20.7

0.7

NYC Hispanic Math

24.3

25.3

1.0

NYC American Indian/ Alaska Native Math

32.2

33.1

0.9

NYC White Math

57.8

59.0

1.2

English Language Learners

Statewide in ELA, proficiency increased for both “Ever ELLs” (students who received ELL services prior to, but not during, the 2016-17 school year) and “Current ELLs” (students who received ELL services in the 2016-17 school year). Ever ELL students performing at the proficiency level significantly increased by 5.5 percentage points this year and outperformed all grade 3-8 test-takers combined, statewide. Performance by Current ELL students improved by 1.2 percentage points.

In math, Ever ELL students scoring at the proficiency level increased by 3.2 percentage points, while Current ELL students experienced a 1.7 percentage-point increase.

% of Students Proficient in Grades 3-8

2016

2017

Percentage Point Change

Current ELLs ELA

4.0

5.2

1.2

Ever ELLs ELA

39.7

45.2

5.5

Never ELLs ELA

40.8

42.6

1.8

   

Current ELLs Math

11.5

13.2

1.7

Ever ELLs Math

43.6

46.8

3.2

Never ELLs Math

41.7

42.7

1.0

Students with Disabilities

Across the state, the percentage of students with disabilities who scored at the proficient level increased in both ELA and math. While a greater percentage of students with disabilities reached proficiency in 2017, their performance on the state assessments continues to be significantly lower than the performance of general education students.

% of Students Proficient in Grades 3-8

2016

2017

Percentage Point Change

Students with Disabilities ELA

7.9

9.3

1.4

Students with Disabilities Math

10.9

11.4

0.5

Charter Schools

The percentage of charter school students who scored at the proficient level on the ELA exam across grades 3-8 increased this year. Similar to last year, that increase was greater for students attending charter schools in New York City. Statewide, the proficiency of students in charter schools increased by 4.7 percentage points on the ELA exam; in New York City, proficiency increased by 5.2 percentage points. Charter schools outside of New York City increased by 2.0 percentage points, which is slightly higher gain than total public schools. However, the proficiency for students at rest of state charters remains below the statewide public school proficiency.

In math, student proficiency increased, but not as much as in ELA. Statewide, students in charter schools scoring at the proficient level increased by 2.8 percentage points on the math exam; in New York City, proficiency increased by 3.0 percentage points; and for rest of state charters, proficiency increased 1.5 percentage points. However, the proficiency for students at rest of state charters remains below the statewide public school proficiency.

% of Students Proficient in Grades 3-8

2016

2017

Percentage Point Change

Charter Schools Combined Grades ELA

40.3

45.0

4.7

NYC Charter Combined Grades ELA

43.0

48.2

5.2

Rest of State Charters Combined Grades ELA

28.8

30.8

2.0

Charter Schools Combined Grades Math

45.4

48.2

2.8

NYC Charter Combined Grades Math

48.7

51.7

3.0

Rest of State Charters Combined Grades Math

30.9

32.4

1.5

 

Test Refusals

In 2017, the statewide test refusal rate was approximately 19 percent, a decline of two percentage points from last year’s refusal rate of approximately 21 percent.

A test refusal file by school district is available at: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/irs/pressRelease/20170822/home.html

Prior to 2016, SED tracked only the number of students not tested for an invalid or unknown reason. These students were categorized as “not tested.” The not tested count included students who were absent during the test administration period as well as students who refused the test; the count did not include students who were medically excused.

 

% of Students Statewide Not Tested & Test Refusal

2015 Not Tested

2016 Test Refusal

2017 Test Refusal

20%

21%

19%

In 2017, students who refused the test were much more likely to be from low-need or average-need districts; much more likely to be white; less likely to be economically disadvantaged; and much less likely to be an English Language Learner.

Similar to last year, this year’s proficiency rates represent the more than 900,000 students who took the ELA and math tests. There is no statewide measure of knowledge and skill for those students who refused the test.

School and District Results

A summary of the test results, as well as individual school and district results, is available at: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/irs/pressRelease/20170822/home.html

Video and Audio Available

Video and audio of Commissioner Elia are available for download.

Video: http://www.nysed.gov/video/2017-grades-3-8-ela-and-math-assessment-results

Question & Answer Video: http://www.nysed.gov/video/2017-grades-3-8-ela-and-math-assessment-results-questions-and-answers

Question & Answer Audio: http://www.nysed.gov/common/nysed/files/2017-grades-3-8-ela-and-math-assessment-results-questions-and-answers.mp3

 

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WP Housing Authority Demands BP North America “IMMEDIATE REMEDIATION” OF ALL ALLEGED “MIGRATING” GASOLINE CONTAMINATION UNDERGROUND LEAKING FOR 40 YEARS INTO WINBROOK CAMPUS FROM BP GAS STATION

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WPCNR WHITE PLAINS LAW JOURNAL. By John F. Bailey August 22, 2017:

City of White Plains Corporation Counsel John Callahan confirmed to WPCNR Monday evening that the White Plains Housing Authority, owner of  the Winbrook residential complex, located in a quadrangle between South Lexington Avenue,Fisher Avenue, Fisher Court, Dr. Martin Luther King Boulevard and East Post Road is suing BP Products North America in a damage complaint filed August 18, last Friday in U.S. Federal Court in White Plains.

In a written statement, Callahan wrote:

“This was an action instituted by the Housing Authority. This City is not a party to the action.  I would have to direct you to the Housing Authority for any information on this matter.”
2017822WINBROOK 018
In the official court papers filing the complaint examined by WPCNR, Case 7:17-cv-06250-UA, The Housing Authority plaintiff seeks “declaratory relief, injuntive relief, damages,declaratory relief and attorneys’ fees and costs for Defendent BP Products’ contamination of Plaintiff’s (Housing Authority) property located at 33 Fisher Court, White Plains.N.Y.”
The contamination was first discovered three years ago in September 2014   in connection with a remediation of a separate groundwater plume by Tyree Environmental Corporation (a consultant to the Getty Properties Corporation), on property West of  the BP Station.
In the course of this  remediation by Tyree, two monitoring wells were installed; MW-110 and MW-0111. The first samplings taken on or about September 19,2014 showed soil samples including 280 ppb benzene and 79,000 ppb 1,2,4-Trimethlbenzene exceeding NYS Department of Environmental Conservation soil cleanup levels.
In April 2015, First Environment, the Housing Authority’s Environmental Consultant drilled six more monitoring wells on portions of the Housing Authority  adjacent the BP Station
Results from extensive monitoring were reported in December, 2016 to the DEC which issued a Petroleum Spill Number for the BP Station at 34 East Post Road, “Spill number 16-8924″ which reported according to the court papers on page 8, “petroleum contamination affecting both soil and groundwater, and significant soil and groundwater contaminiation off-site.”
The suit alleges “the presence of lead in the soil under the BP Station and in the groundwater under WPHA’s adjacent property confirms that lead was discharged into the environment from the BP Station during the period it was owned or operated by Defendent BP products.”
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Contaminants from the BP Station have allegedly leaked into the soil surrounding Building 33 to the right in the Winbrook complex, right, and possibly the playground foreground
HydroEnvironmental Solutions, the environmental consultant for the current owner of the BP Station in January 2017, performed a subsurface intestigation at the BP Station, and made seven test borings. HES reported that concentrations of petroleum-related contamination at concentrations exceeding the respective NYSDEC soil cleanup levels, including ethylbenzene; isopropylbenzene; 1,2,4-Trimethylbenzene, 1,3,5- Trimethylbenzene and zylene. Lead in soil was detected in three soil borings under the BP Station property.
The HES report “reflected its belief that the petroleum-related impacts at the BP station are not recent in nature.”
The Housing Authority complaint  announces “On information and belief Defendent BP Products has known or should have known of the potential migration from the BP Station of solid and hazardous waste beginning as faer back as during the period 1977- to 1979 and has been on actual notice since 2015 when it received from the RCRA (Resource Conservation and Recovery Act) endangerment notice of migration onto WPHA’ property.
The suit notes: “the presence of soil contamination and groundwater contamination from from the BP Station on the WPHA’s property will materially interfere with and/or increase the cost and complexity of the financing for construction of this project in the vicinity of Building 33, and may adversely affect the financing for construction of other buildings and amenities to be constructed on the WPHA’s property.
No court has been set yet.
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Mayor and Democratic-Nominated Council Candidates Will Not Appear at Neighborhood Association Forum This Evening.

WPCNR CAMPAIGN 2017. by John F. Bailey. August 22, 2017:

John Sheehan of the Gedney Association confirmed to WPCNR this morning that Mayor Thomas Roach’s Campaign Manager, Barry Caro had in an email informed him the Mayor would not attend tonight’s Democratic Primary Forum at 7 PM at The Woman’s Club of White Plains.

Mr. Roach’s three running mates, incumbent Councilman John Kirkpatrick and John Martin and first-time council nominee, Justin Brasch would also not attend, Sheehan said.

Last Thursday he received an e-mail from Caro saying the Mayor would not attend. Sheehan said the Mayor has been give a choice of three dates, the 8th, 15th and 22nd, but no response had been received before last Thursday.

Sheehan said the Mayor challenger, Milagros Lecuona, and council challengers, Michael Kraver, Arthur Goldman and Saad Siddiqui had been willing to come on all three dates and would be attending this evening.

Sheehan noted that the candidates who are coming will be asked why they are running, and asked about some southend town issues.

He said if any of the “no-show” candidates wanted to change their mind at the last minute they should just walk on in.

The Mayor was said to have a prior personal committment.

 

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Will the Common Council 8-Year Eclipse End and Bring a Ray of Sunlight in White Plains, NY, USA?

 

WPCNR NEWS AND COMMENT. By John F. Bailey. August 21,2017:

After an 8-Year Total Eclipse of leadership on the Common Council in favor of procrastination, lipservice to residents, smiles without sincerity, and overly compliant with the city administration wishes , White Plains has the opportunity to infuse the Common Council horseshoe in city hall with some new blood, new perspective, should they wish to do so. Or at least stay with the same tired but comfortable and lovable team of plowhorses clip-clopping along.

On Tuesday,  August 22, tomorrow at 7:30 at The Woman’s Club of White Plains, 305 Ridgeway  an Election Forum sponsored by the Gedney Association, North Street Area Civic Association and the Rosedale Residential  Association will be held featuring invited candidates who are competing in the September 12 Democratic Party Primary:

Invited are the Democratic Party official nominees: incumbent Mayor Thomas Roach, incumbent councilpersons John Kirkpatrick and John Martin and first time runner for Council, Justin Brasch.

Also invited are the challengers to these official nominations, Mayor hopeful, present Common Councilmember, Milagros Lecuona, who is also nominated by the Republican Party to run in November on the Republican slate, so she will face the Mayor anyway regardless of the primary result. Then there are the three council challengers, Alan Goldman, Michael Kraver and Saad Siddiqui who are aiming to wrest the Democratic Party line from the  the two incumbents Kirkpatrick and Martin, and the newcomer Justin Brasch.

The Primary was declared “go” last week when Judge Lawrence Ecker validated the disputed petitions of Milagros Lecuona, Mr. Goldman, Mr. Kraver, and Mr. Siddiqui. The Democratic candidates declined to appeal the Judge’s decision.So here we are.

 

At the beginning of this Democratic Primary Candidates’ Forum, being characterized by some in the Democratic Party as an anti-French American School of New York inspired effort, WPCNR would like to suggest a few questions that the moderator of the debate, Allen Flissler, President of the North Street Area Civic Association, might consider which would be a complete departure of these forums from forums of the past.

WPCNR suggests ask those who would be Mayor or Councilperson, what  they would do (if elected), how hard can they work; would they listen, who would they listen to? what they would seek to achieve on specific issues? Why is the city in need of your leadership?

And Incumbents:  Would you begin to pay attention? Would they stand on principle and what is right? There’s more to leadership than earnestness,  mindful compassion and a smile. (As a politician, the first thing you learn to do is put on a smile, you’re never completely dressed without it it’s so essential to seducing people’s confidence in you.)

Along these thoughts:

Issues:

DEVELOPMENT:

Continue current pace of multi-apartment, mixed use complexes or declare moratorium.

Require performance bond when a project is improved.

Reverse long Common Council habit of renewing site plans for years instead of removing approval.

Transit District Construction: What Should Be Built on Battle Hill? How Big Should New Metro North Station Be—What does Metro North Want?

TAXES—

Should there be a moratorium on Payments In Lieu of Taxes for developers applying for new projects?

Do you support  a no tax increase policy similar to the Astorino policy of the last 8 years?

CITY ECONOMY

The White Plains City sales tax receipts are down 5% in the last three years. Taking inflation into account, that should be at least even, but instead are a good 10% below what they should be. What will you do to reverse this trend? Should we wait and hope the new developments save the economy? (That is 6 years away.) Or start fixing things to attract people to White Plains again—if so, what?

TRAFFIC

Are you in favor of the city’s bicycling and pedestrian friendly downtown, traffic flow redirections going forward?  Is mass transit needed to a greater degree?

 

CITY INFRASTRUCTURE

FOR incumbents are you confident the city is infrastructurally ready for our increased population in the downtown? What needs to be addressed?

For those who would be taking office for the first time: What are the infrastructure issues you feel, based on your knowledge that are not being addressed by the present administration?

ILLEGAL, OVERCROWDED HOUSING

What would you do about cleaning up illegal overcrowded housing in the city?

SCHOOLS

The school district will be most impacted by the 5,000 new apartments coming into town. If 10% of the new apartment dwellers coming to down in the next 6 years bring new children  into those apartments this would equal 500 new students in the White Plains Schools in the next 6 to 7 years, requiring at least one new elementary school to accommodate the input. If 20% bring new children, you would need two new schools.

This potential tax impact due to new construction upwards of $100 Million has to be thought about. Do you defend the present growth in residential?  Do you feel city should use its bonding power to contribute to new school expansion.

Just trying to be of help.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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WHITE PLAINS WEEK-THE AUGUST 19 SHOW ON THE INTERNET NOW

 

RKOTower

 2016520 042

WHITE PLAINS WEEK

ON THE INTERNET  AROUND THE WORLD

ON YOUTUBE AT

 
the link to whiteplainsweek.com is
 
JOHN BAILEY
JIM BENEROFE
PETER KATZ
ON
THE MILAGROS LECUONA TOM ROACH PRIMARY DECISION
WP_20170817_15_56_06_Pro
THE HARRISON APARTMENT COMPLEX
THE COMPOSITE TRUMP –ALL THE AWFUL STUFF
AND JOHN BAILEY GIVES YOU THE GREAT LAND
ALASKA
UP CLOSE AND ICY
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Nominated Democrats Will Not Appeal Judge Ecker’s Decision to Validate Milagros Lecuona, Alan Goldman, Michael Kraver, Saad Siddiqui Petitions Clearing Last Hurdle to Primary Challenge

WPCNR WHITE PLAINS LAW JOURNAL. AUGUST 18, 2017:

The Tom Roach for Mayor Campaign Manager today announced the campaign would not appeal Judge Lawrence Ecker’s Ruling that the Milagros Lecuona slate had obtained enough valid signatures to qualify for a September 12 primary challenging the Roach slate.

 

 

 

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Lecouna Campaign and Running Mates Await Possible Appeal of Judge’s Ruling on Lecuona Ticket signatures

WPCNR WHITE PLAINS LAW JOURNAL. August 17, 2017:

More than 500 signatures from White Plains Democrats were reinstated when Judge Lawrence Ecker allowed for “WP” to be accepted in place of “White Plains.”

To read the ruling click: The decision reads, “…there should be no bar to the consideration of these signatures.  There is only one city involved in this election, namely White Plains, and only one city that the abbreviation “W.P.” can represent in Westchester County, namely White Plains.
The record reads “…the Court determines that plaintiff have failed to establish, by clear and convincing evidence, that respondents’ designating petitions were permeated with fraud…On the facts adduced at the hearing, the Court finds there was no danger of fraud or confusion either to the Board or to the voters.”

Christine Senteno, a spokesperson for the Lecuona campaign told WPCNR, the Lecuona campaign has not been served with a notice of appeal of Judge Ecker’s ruling from plaintiffs, Willa Swiller, Steven Walfish, Thomas Roach, John Martin, John Kirkpatrick and Justin Brasch.

Senteno said given the time constraints going up against a September 12 primary date, the campaign should know in a few days whether an appeal will be forthcoming.

The White Plains Democratic primary will be held September 12.

If Judge Ecker’s ruling stands Lecuona will run for Mayor; her running mates Alan Goldman, Michael Kraver and Saad Siddiqui will run against Martin, Kirkpatrick and Brasch for Common Council.

“We won!  The Board of Elections said so.  The judge said so and Milagros’ supporters say so.  I worked hard walking door-to-door, standing in front of local stores, so I could collect pages of petition signatures and it feels good to know that White Plains voters will have a choice come the September 12 primaries,” said Ellen Berger, longtime White Plains resident, and Lecuona supporter.

“Of course, we are pleased with the outcome of this case because now those voters whose voices were in jeopardy of being silenced will now be heard.  It is a relief that we can finally focus on engaging White Plains voters instead of isolating them with legal battles,” said candidate Lecuona.

“There is no doubt innocent mistakes were made in the way we gathered our petitions.  Changes have been made so we can run an effective and efficient campaign.  So many volunteers worked very hard to ensure that I was able to get on the ballot and their efforts will not be in vain.  I want to thank them for their support and those who signed my petitions for their support,” Lecuona further explained

“This legal battle was an attempt to keep anyone who challenged the current power structure from speaking out.  It is a shame the party bosses are so intimidated by opposing opinions that they will go through such extremes to shut down their own voters, many of whom are women and people of color.  That and the FASNY issue are why I am shopping for a new mayor this election cycle,” said Yvonne Gumo,

 

 

 

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Playland Attendance Through July 23, Down 22%

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WPCNR PLAYLAND TOMORROW. By John F. Bailey. August 16, 2017:

Despite a sizzling July, Playland attendance through July 23 is down 14,785  from last year, or the equivalent of two big holiday weekend perfect days when about 8,000 usually come to the park, so the 22% decline could be easily made up with some big August weekends and the Labor Day weekend.

The revenue in the park is down $300,000, $5,035,345 was generated through July 23 of 2016; $4,742,020 through July 23, 2017.

The figures this year show of the 246,198 admissions through July 23, 80,910 or 32% were not residents from Westchester. Of that 80,910, 50,815 paid $30 to ride all day (plus parking) and 20,295 were spetator admissions.

Of the 246,198 admissions, 107,176 lived in Westchester County, that’s 43%. There were 66,964 residents who paid Ride All Day admissions, 12,144 who paid Junior admissions and 28,068 Spectator Admissions.  Over 48,000 resident admissions chose to spectate and not ride.

Season Pass admissions, $80 resident, $90 non-resident,$35  spectator, promo season pass totaled  4,385. Group Riders at $20 numbered 34,500 and generated $690,000 in revenue.

Biggest Day was July 4 when 16,596 attended the park on a Tuesday. Next top draw was 13,687 on Memorial Day.

In 10 Saturday attendances, the average has been 5,881.

The 10 Sundays have done better than Saturdays. The average Sunday attendance is 6,943 on total attendance of 69,333.

The Beach and Pool attendance has attracted 36,726, down 23% from 2016′s 47,119 (through July 24, 2016.)

Figures provided by the Westchester County Board of Legislators.

 

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WHAT TO WATCH FOR WHEN THE MARIO A. CUOMO BRIDGE OPENS (WESTBOUND ONLY)

4-shocker of the week

WPCNR WESTCHESTER TOMORROW. By John F. Bailey. August 15, 2017:

I took a roadtrip to Pennsylvania last week to visit family and had the opportunity to go across the old Tappan Zee Bridge, and got a first hand look up close and girder personal at the new Mario A. Cuomo Bridge set to open in three days in the westbound direction (4 Lanes).

When you approach it for the first time leaving Westchester particularly on Friday evening, will traffic be smoother or worse?

Will the sharp swing northwest to mount the new grade up the bridge cause more slowdown or less? Remember the backup that always happens now because of the insane Tarrytown exit? That is still going to be there.

Will drivers run into a slowdown due to the S curve down hill from the 100 foot higher new bridge lanes? Drivers have to swing left going down a curve then swing right to motor onto the unchanged westbound thruway lanes, and we knowhow that backs up every day of the week, don’t we?

I certainly do not wish the bridge a bad first outing, but the real test will come when the Eastbound new bridge span opens.

Because the new span is approximately 100 feet above the old causeway leading up to the present bridge, drivers will have a steeper climb (though straighter. That climb up the incline has the potential to back up the new eastbound lanes more. The “S” approach onto the new eastbound causeway with the eastbound old thruway lanes swinging left, then swinging right in an S, that is really I think going to slow that eastbound morning traffic way lot. The long curve in one direction and a soft one that follows on the present bridge really does damage to vehicle speed.

But the reason I do not think the traffic speed will improve any eastern side opens, the hapless bridge has no ability to get  its 4 lanes of eastbounders past the impass of the three lane I-287 eastbound merge. You’ve got 4 lanes going into three. You got new bridge old highway combination. No fix in sight for years. No express bus exclusive lane in sight.

 

 

 

 

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Zoning Changes in Transit District Have potential to Create Need for a new Elementary School in White Plains–Or Two

WPCNR WHITE PLAINS TOMORROW. By John F. Bailey:

With the recent zoning changes to the Transit District in the public hearing last week, a heads-up is in order for the White Plains City School District to pay attention to the possibilities of what 5,000 apartments on track to be constructed in the next five years.

The sites are on Westmoreland Avenue; at the White Plains Pavilion site (now demolished); on the site of the White Plains Mall, at 55 Bank Street (probably due to open next fall); at the corner of Mamaroneck and East Post Road; at Hamilton Avenue and North Broadway; on the former Good Council property on North Broadway, and on the Grid Properties site on the former Sholz property; and a new apartment building recently started at Maple and DeKalb Avenues.

If 10% of those 5,000 apartments have one child after they move, that is 500 children all arriving in the district. You can see what happens if 20% have a new child, that  means1,000 elementary aged children in 5 to 10 years. 30% means, 1,500. If half the families moving into those 5,00 that is 2,500 students filling the elementary schools. The average elementary school in White Plains now is filled to the brim at 600 students. Unless the persons moving in have no children, let alone not bring any into the district, the district has to monitor the population trends as the apartments fill up.

The Westchester County birth rate per 1,000 of population as of 2013 was 11 births 1,000.  If 5,000 move into the new apartments, using that measure the district can expect 605 new kindergartners in the school system at the least. That’s a new school full of youngsters.

Common sense tells you the district has to start considering whether to expand the current elementary schools or build at least two new ones, or maybe three,  that is over a $100 Million in construction for three schools.

 

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