WPCNR WASHINGTON WIRE. From the NATCA. January 20, 2018:

National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) President Paul Rinaldi and Executive Vice President Trish Gilbert issued a statement this morning condemning the shutdown of the federal government now underway, calling it the clearest proof that the status quo is broken, and a stable, predictable funding stream for the National Airspace System is essential:

“A government shutdown harms the National Airspace System (NAS). Employees, such as air traffic controllers, who are required to work during the shutdown don’t know when they will receive their next paycheck. They cannot be paid until the government is again able to expend funds.

“Making matters worse, these employees won’t have the support for them and their team that is so important in making the system work well. While all NATCA members perform duties that are critical and essential to the NAS, more than 3,000 NATCA-represented employees have been furloughed.

These furloughed members work across our bargaining units at air traffic control and other FAA facilities. They are among the hundreds of thousands of federal employees negatively affected by the government shutdown. When these professionals are prohibited from working as a result of political brinksmanship, the flying public and the NAS suffer.

“Whether the shutdown lasts one hour, one day, one week, or more, it reinforces our strong belief that the status quo is broken. The NAS requires a stable, predictable funding stream in order to adequately support: air traffic control services, staffing, hiring and training, long-term modernization projects, preventative maintenance, ongoing modernization to the physical infrastructure, and the timely implementation of NextGen modernization projects.

The NAS continues to be challenged by the lack of a stable, predictable funding stream. The constant funding crises that arise from stop-and-go funding continue to wreak havoc on our system and perpetuate the current staffing crisis, which has resulted in a 29-year low of certified professional controllers.

“We will not rest until Congress ends the shutdown. In the long term, we will continue to advocate for the kind of change that will ensure the NAS has a stable, predictable funding stream for years to come.”

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County Board of Legislators Chair Benjamin Boykin Announces Committee Chairs

WPCNR COUNTY CLARION-LEDGER. From Chairman of the Board of Legislators, Benjamin Boykin. January 18, 2018:

Newly-elected Board of Legislators (BOL) Chairman Benjamin Boykin (D) White Plains, Scarsdale and West Harrison and BOL Vice-Chair Alfreda Williams (D) Elmsford, Greenburgh, Sleepy Hollow, Tarrytown, have announced a redesigned committee structure for the 2018-19 legislative term.

The Westchester County Charter mandates that the BOL maintain two specific committees, the Budget and Appropriations Committee and the Legislation Committee. Additional committees and their membership are determined at the Chairman’s prerogative.

Following consultation with all Legislators, Chairman Boykin has assigned committee chairmanships that ensure each of the 17 Legislators will chair a committee or serve in a BOL leadership position.

The BOL Leadership positions for the 2018-2019 term are:

Board of Legislators Chair – Ben Boykin

Board of Legislators Vice-Chair – Alfreda Williams

Majority Leader – Catherine Parker

Minority Leader – John Testa

Majority Whip – MaryJane Shimsky

Minority Whip – Gordon Burrows

The BOL Committees, meeting times and Chairs for the 2018-2019 term are:

Budget & Appropriations, Mondays at 10:00AM – Catherine Borgia

Legislation, Mondays at 1:00PM – Virginia Perez

Rules, as needed – Comprised of  BOL leadership

Law & Major Contracts, as needed – Lyndon Williams

Appointments, Mondays at 4:30PM – Christopher Johnson

Public Works, Tuesdays at 11:00AM – MaryJane Shimsky

Labor & Housing, Mondays at 2:00PM – Damon Maher

Social Services, 1st, 2nd, 4th Tuesdays of each month at 10:00AM – Kitley Covill

Environment, Health & Energy, Tuesdays at 1:00PM – Nancy Barr

Seniors & Constituents, 3rd Tuesday each month at 10:00AM – David Tubiolo

Parks, Planning & Economic Development, Mondays at 9:00AM- Mike Kaplowitz

Public Safety, Mondays at 3PM – Margaret Cunzio

Intergovernmental Services, Mondays at 12:00PM – Jim Maisano

All BOL Committee meetings are open to the public and are streamed live on the BOL website. An archive of previous meetings can be viewed on the BOL website as well.

Chairman Boykin said of the committee appointments, “Much of the important work of creating Legislation and performing oversight of County operations takes place around the committee table. I believe that in order for a legislative body to be robust and effective, all Legislators must be engaged and accountable. In determining the membership of each of these committees, my aim was to match the experience and skill sets of individual Legislators with the mission and objective of their committee assignments. The BOL will be taking on many critical pieces of Legislation quickly and I am confident that we have the right people and committees in place to fully and objectively review those proposals.”

Vice-Chair of the BOL Alfreda Williams said, “I congratulate my colleagues on their committee appointments and leadership positions. Over the next two years, every member of this Legislature has a tremendous opportunity to help restore the fiscal health of Westchester County and to help us return to social policies of inclusion and fairness for all of our residents.”


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WPCNR Reader Reports New “Surprise Delivery Scam”


One of WPCNR’s readers has passed along this report about a scam involving an unexpected delivery that cost the victim $4,000.White Plains Commissioner of Public Safety David Chong released this statement to WPCNR:

“We have not had any reported incidents of this nature.  We do however ask everyone to be cognizant of who they give their credit card too.  Keep an eye on your bills and have the credit company or bank notify you of any large purchases or strange purchases on any of your credit or debit cards.”


Here is their report:

Here is our reader’s report, as told to them by the victim:

This is very clever.  `I would probably fall for it if not warned. Give this wide distribution.  This scam is actually very clever.  Just when you thought you’d heard it all.  Be very careful out there!  Beware of people bearing gifts.
The following is a recounting of the incident from the victim:
Wednesday a week ago, I had a phone call from someone saying that he was from some outfit called: “Express Couriers,” (The name could be any courier company).  He asked if I was going to be home because there was a package for me that required a signature.
The caller said that the delivery would arrive at my home in roughly an hour. Sure enough, about an hour later, a uniformed delivery man turned up with a beautiful basket of flowers and a bottle of wine. I was very surprised since there was no special occasion or holiday, and I certainly didn’t expect anything like it. Intrigued, I inquired as to who the sender was.
The courier replied, “I don’t know, I’m only delivering the package.”
Apparently, a greeting card was being sent separately. (The card has never arrived!) There was also a consignment note with the gift.
He then went on to explain that because the gift contained alcohol, there was a $3.50 “delivery/ verification charge,” providing proof that he had actually delivered the package to an adult (of legal drinking age), and not just left it on the doorstep where it could be stolen or taken by anyone, especially a minor.
This sounded logical and I offered to pay him cash. He then said that the delivery company required payment to be by credit or debit card only, so that everything is properly accounted for, and this would help in keeping a legal record of the transaction.
He added, “Couriers don’t carry cash to avoid loss or likely targets for robbery.”
My husband, who by this time was standing beside me, pulled out his credit card, and ‘John,’ the “delivery man,” asked him to swipe the card on a small mobile card machine with a small screen and keypad. Frank, my husband, was asked to enter his PIN number and a receipt was printed out. He was given a copy of the transaction.
The guy said everything was in order, and wished us good day.
To our horrible surprise, between Thursday and the following Monday, $4,000 had been charged/withdrawn from our credit/debit account at various ATM machines.
Apparently the “mobile credit card machine,” which the deliveryman carried now had all the info necessary to create a “dummy” card with all our card details including the PIN number.
Upon finding out about the illegal transactions on our card, we immediately notified the bank which issued us a new card, and our credit/debit account was closed.
We also personally went to the Police, where it was confirmed that it is definitely a scam because several households had been similarly hit.
WARNING: Be wary of accepting any “surprise gift or package,” which you neither expected nor personally ordered, especially if it involves any kind of payment as a condition of receiving the gift or package. Also, never accept anything
If you do not personally know or there is no proper identification of who the sender is.
Above all, the only time you should give out any personal credit/debit card information is when you yourself initiated the purchase or transaction!
PLEASE   Pass this on, it may just prevent someone else from being swindled.
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GOVERNOR CUOMO UPS EDUCATION AID in New Budget, Delivers Opioid Surcharge, Imposes Windfall Health Insurance Surcharge, Phases in Middle Class Tax Cuts, Defers Large Corporate Tax Credits

WPCNR ALBANY ROUNDS. From the Office of Governor Andrew M.Cuomo. January 17, 2018:

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo  unveiled the FY 2019 Executive Budget Tuesday, which continues the state’s efforts to deliver on the promise of progressive government by protecting taxpayers against devastating federal action, strengthening the middle class, cutting taxes and making smart investments in New York’s future. For the eighth consecutive year, the Budget is balanced and holds spending growth below two percent.

The robust agenda includes a number of proposals – from fighting the federal tax assault to ending the opioid epidemic by holding pharmaceutical companies accountable to investing record amounts in education – that will continue to increase opportunity for New Yorkers and ensure the Empire State continues to serve as a beacon of equality, unity and fairness for the nation.

“For the past eight years, we have restored fiscal discipline while achieving historic progressive accomplishments and strengthening middle class New Yorkers. The FY 2019 Budget builds on our strong record and continues to move New York forward, by protecting taxpayers against the federal assault, investing in education to support and train the next generation, and implementing bold progressive policies to make New York a more just and fair state for all,” Governor Cuomo said. “Together, we will continue to deliver on the promise of progressive government -even while tackling unprecedented challenges head on. We will restore citizen confidence and ensure management competence. This bold agenda charts a path forward toward a better future for all New Yorkers.”

Highlights of the FY 2019 Executive Budget:


  • State Operating Funds spending is $100.0B – an increase of 1.9 percent (State Operating Funds exclude Federal funds and capital)
  • All Funds spending $168.2 billion for FY 2019
  • Protects New Yorkers from federal tax assault
  • Closes carried interest loophole
  • Increases School Aid by $769 million – doubling the statutory School Aid growth cap and bringing total investment to $26.4 Billion
  • Provides $7.5 billion in State support for higher education in New York- an increase of $1.4 billion or 24 percent since FY 2012
  • Provides $118 Million to continue the successful Excelsior Scholarship and extend the income cap to $110,000
  • Establishes a new opioid epidemic surcharge
  • Imposes a Healthcare Insurance Windfall Profit Fee
  • Defers Large Corporate Tax Credits
  • Continues the phase-in of the Middle Class Tax Cut for six million New Yorkers – saving households $250 on average and $700 annually when fully effective.



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Congresswoman Lowey, County Executive Latimer, State Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Mayor Tom Roach Denounce President Trump’s Attitude, Racist Remark, Governing Style. They Call to Fight Anti-Immigrant , Vindictive, Divisive Damaging Government Policies



WPCNR MAIN STREET JOURNAL. By John F. Bailey January 15, 2018:

President Donald Trump’s unfortunate gutter characterization of Haiti and El Salvador and nations in Africa last week was the “Talk of the Town” this morning at the 25th Anniversary Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, Breakfast and “The Talk of the Nation.”

A raucous Martin Luther King breakfast  crowd, for the first time in this reporter’s memory, saw Westchester County’s Big Four Politicians raise their level of awareness and alarm at last week’s Presidential loss of dignity, taste and compassion spewed out of the White House.

The dignified top four, Congresswoman Nita Lowey, County Executive George Latimer, State Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins, and a concerned Mayor Tom Roach expressed their disgust and concern about the President Trump faux pas last week and the President’s waffling on the fate of the “Dreamers.”


Congresswoman Nita Lowey, showed a feisty side I have rarely seen,  leading off the Big Four Westchester County leaders described her shock saying if one of her children said what Mr. Trump said, “I’d have washed their mouth out with soap,”

“Instead of doing the budget (in Washington), we are hearing racist comments coming from the leader of this country,” Lowey said.

“What an embarrassment it is,  not just to our people here but to the entire world. Instead of a leader reaching out and bringing people together with love, concern, and focus–it is beyond me, beyond all of us– in this room to understand how you can be elected with that kind of racist comment.

I am going back (to Washington) first thing tomorrow morning. In congress we have put together a bipartisan plan to address DACA to make sure those think, we’ve  been having an argument for over six months whether the DACA young people can stay here. This is the height of hypocrisy. 

“Then we hear  from the president that those from Haiti and El Salvador who have temporary protected status may have to go home. This is not the United States of America.

“The optimist that I am, I am hoping the house and the senate can understand their responsibilities in making clear to this president that we can work together with love in our hearts and commitment in our hearts to assure that everyone in our great country has the opportunity to reach the stars.

“I’m hoping that the people who sat around that table and say they do not remember what the president said–they know what the president said. And they have to stand up, party or not the party for truth and for those who depend on the United States of America.”


Latimer: Westchester Gets It.

County Executive George Latimer said

“Westchester gets it. Aren’t we on the right path finally? This is a day where we take heart from what Dr. King’s life meant. He preached nonviolence but he did not preach timidity or avoiding issues head on. He gave us a roadmap and now we have to start down that road.

Latimer said eliminating gun shows on county property and the gun culture was a start. So was releasing held back contracts. “We have a long way to go in Washington…”

“The bottom line is here we’re here this morning because we recognize that the dream only matters if it’s put into action and even  after 50 years we’re still not there yet. So we will march together down the road, do the things we can do in county and city government and we will make sure the state government can do those things and ultimately  we get the national government we deserve and properly so..and then as martin luther king said at the end of his greatest speech free at last, free at last, christ almighty we’re free at last.”

IMG_6247State Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins (35th Senate District) came out swinging and hit the Trump pitch out of the park and touched them all:

“We’re not just here for a breakfast we are here to continue the legacy of Dr. King. The legacy of love, compassion, the legacy of fighting injustice and continue to reach for the greatest among us and within ourselves so we can lift every tide so we can continue to move barriers and to make sure that the promise of America and the promise of every individual is realized.


Going Against an Opposite Reaction to President Obama

“We have had the good fortune for 35 years of having this day as our moral compass. Even if we forget, we could always come back to this point and remember where we came from and where it is we must go.

“We had the luxury the last 8 years. We wanted to believe we had come a very long way, because we had elected the first African-American president. So we are experiencing an equal and opposite reaction.

“But we are well trained.  We are well equipped. We have our marching orders, a lot of practice, a lot of repetition is in our dna. We know how to fight. We know how to stand. We know how to rise. We know how to speak truth to power, we know how to hope. 

We know how to make sure our country is our country and guess what– (gesturing to the faces of the guests) it looks like this and it will continue to look like this, brother and sister, hand in hand together making sure there’s a of the people the promise of god the promise of Martin Luther King demonstrated with his life is not in vain.


White Plains Mayor Tom Roach delivered the most passionate address i’ve heard him give since he has been in office:

Mr. Raoch began quoting Cory Booker’sTwitter feed on a Dr. King quote,

“You should not lead the people if you do not love the people. It sums up why Dr. Martin Luther King was so powerful.   We are in difficult times that you can’t even make up what you read. There’s so much ugliness. It’s disturbing.”

Roach said that he was 7  in 1968, and now looking back  he wondered how we would survive:

“I think our nation is resilient and we will get through this if we work together. Dr. king’s message, Letter from Birmingham Jail was not written to persuade (Governor) George Wallace and the KKK to get with it It was written to liberals who meant well, but who were saying (to King) slow down go easy let’s not go too fast. He said what do you mean go easy…how long do  i wait?”

“I think it is up to us to take this energy and fight for change.”

“So many people have worked so hard for so long to get the improvements that we’ve seen we have to remind you folks that things are better. It’s not for me to say there’s  a lot of work to do it’s right in front of you.

When Dr. King walked in Chicago, he received criticism from some liberal people saying ywe’re on your side but  bringing out all this hate an aninmosity when you march is a bad idea.

Dr. King said i’m not bringing it out I’m showing you what’s there. You don’t blame the doctor who is telling you you have cancer, …our president has done it, he is showing us what is there.

“I think we have to care for the people being impacted by these changes we are seeing. We have to fight to hold the ground where we can and we have to work.

“This is a democracy. It is not just a privilege; it is a responsibility. We have to vote, work for candidates and put people into office who see the values of our country in a positive way and think the country is more important than their personal issues.

Roach raising his voice, became emotional, saying:

“Democracy is a fragile glass. It did not exist before America was founded. youlook at the graves at  The First Presbyterian Church of those who died to establish this democracy

“It should put in us the energy to say  we’re’not going  to just say ‘here he goes again’ but we’re going to fight to see that this stops. Even the dignity of the presidential office is gone.

Roach said he disliked divisive campaigns, but saw the need of them in a campaign with this observation:

“What we have now is leadership that takes the devisiveness of his campaign and transfers it to the way he governs.

Roach wrapped up with two quotations from Abraham Lincoln at the close the civil war.

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Dr. Martin Luther King’s Meeting with President Trump


WPCNR THE BIG EXTRA. News & Comment by John F. Bailey. January 15, 2018:

You know what Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. would do if he were alive this morning?

You know what Dr. Martin Luther King would say, don’t you, in your heart, local leaders? You know what he’d do?

After the single worst thing any American President has ever said last week that has embarrassed every decent American, what do you think Dr. Martin Luther King would have done?

I can see him now, joining the women marching to Washington to protest harassment of the nation.

I see him now marching down to the White House, walking up Pennsylvania Avenue to the White Wolf’s Lair (The White House), slowly in that dignified gait, arms linked with women, men, of all colors and nationalities, with swelling crowds growing behind him. They are not taking selfies. They are serious. This is not about them it is about saving America, and  they are  shouting slogans:











I can hear  the crowds roaring behind him now.

When the guards stop him at the White House Gate. Washington is at a standstill.

He would give the greatest speech of his life. The crowds would continue to gather marching from sea to shining sea to flood Washington with a human flood of decency, goodness and honor and respect…and gather until the President would agree to see Reverend King. The east coast would be jammed with traffic to Washington.

And if the President had the courage to meet Dr. King in the Oval Office. Mr. King would shake the President’s hand

Then Dr. King would raise his right hand in his trademark style and point to President Trump and say to his face:

“Mr. President, with all due respect, I am here on behalf of the American people in the name of God and out of your respect for America to withdraw your remark and apologize for your terrible remark which insulted every immigrant in this country, every Latino, every Muslim, every Irishman, Jew, German, every son and daughter of slaves.

By those words you shattered America, you broke my heart and those of millions of not only Americans, but those around the world. America was the place people could hope would welcome them and give them shelter from the storms tyranny and genocide.

Your apology will not undo the damage that terrible remark made but I call on you to make it as a start. I and thousands of Americans and even those who think that remark was justified (but know it was not justified or true in their consciences), know you must apologize, or the America we once knew will be lost for decades.

You must immediately Mr. President undo the damage your hurtful words have done with visits the countries your words have hurt and shamed with that remark.

I call on what is decent in you to forget the forces that shaped you into a person who would feel this way to make that remark. It is not too late to reach into your heart and find the love in it that for some reason was denied you long ago that has compelled you to say this thing and adopt so many attitudes and policies that appear to hurt millions in this country and around the world.

We the American People have been embarrassed by your words. Millions respect you as a leader, but I assure you a leader does not gain respect by the hurtful disrespect you showed last week.

I respectfully, Mr. President, ask you to apologize now and I will convey it to the American People and the World and accompany you on a crusade to heal this rift and restore the hope America once held to the world.

May I have your apology, Mr. President?”

The great Martin Luther King, Jr. is not alive today to make that powerful argument to the President in person.

He was killed in 1968 because he was that persuasive, dangerous to the establishment of the time (and he would have written a much better speech to confront Mr. Trump than I imagined above).

I can only shake my head in deep sorrow about an America I thought was gone  that has returned  viciously in the last year with all the excuses and reasons: segregation, redlining, slums were allowed to exist for a hundred years after the Civil War.

Another Civil War grew this last year: The New Robber Barons in $5,000 suits and the white shirts have returned from the grave to say what is good for them is good for America. That immigrants fleeing tyranny and death in their homelands are no longer welcome here. That children born as U.S. citizens of immigrants arriving here illegally can no longer stay.

We have evil men and women running Washington now, and no congressmen especially Republicans have any moral conscience or decency.

We have neo-Nazi-Fascists running the country, who are following Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kamp  strategies: Stack the courts, suspend constitutional rights, curtail the right to vote, but at least they haven’t started pulling persons that disagree with them out of their shops and places of business ( remember Kristallnacht? 1938, 80 Years ago–Nazi Germany).

The Congresses have passed a tax bill which will steal from the poor and give to the rich. They want to cut social security and medicaid this year. They have crusaded against a free press. They have repealed environmental laws. Network neutrality laws What’s next? Food standards??

Like it was good for us in the days of rotten meat, snake oil medicine,  unsafe railroads, segregated lunch counters, segregated schools, toney private schools. Unequal funding of schools. Cultivation of college for the elite.

But  now Jim Crow America is back, joined by Jose Crow, and Mohammed Crow.

Hatred of the different is back. So back. It is sickening.

Disdain for the downtrodden, the  unlucky and the underpaid is back. Disrespect for women is back. Violence against women is encouraged by the sick men who make our films, filmed in grisly detail.

If you want to see reality where America is headed: Watch the Nazi death camp films. The piles of bodies. The children’s shoes. The piles of bones. That’s who is running the government these days. Small-minded, greedy little rich boys and debutantes who have never loved anyone but themselves. They have the values of the Nazis, the Mongols, The Huns, The Romans. The Czars of Russia. The KGB.

I wonder on his birthday what Dr. Martin Luther King, the greatest equalizer of them all, would have said or done in reaction to what America’s Worst President Ever has done in 359 days.

There are no champions like Dr. Martin Luther King today — anywhere across this land. Some speak but they do not act.

Where is the boycott–the nonviolent Dr. Martin Luther King strategy that starved the bigoted South out by not buying local retail products in segregated towns–and forced them to desegregate the schools.

How about boycotting Exxon, Mobil, and taking mass transit.

Boycotting the drug companies and the doctors writing prescriptions for death with opioids just for the money of it. How about boycotting the hospital profiteers who condone running up Medicaid bills, and the doctors who make hundreds just for sticking their heads in a hospital room. I know this happens.

How about withholding your taxes and demanding being paid as independent contractors when you take a job? I’m just throwing out ideas here to give pain to Hurt, Incorporated — the crimes against humanity syndicate, the real life SPECTRE-of our time that is running America now and ripping it apart.

Look what they are doing, people: Refusal to help the afflicted because they are not “our” responsibility is back. If one of those stuffed shirts born with money from the brokerages and the corporations of shame ever had to trek miles, live in refugee camps in tents, they wouldn’t be able to take it for a day. They are weak. But in a concentration camp, your money will not help you.

The powerful are weak and insecure. When they fail they are the first to ask for help, declare bankruptcy, and get their loans reduced.

The weak and insecure always strike out at those weaker than they are. You know why? It makes them feel good.

Disrepect for women is back. It was demonstrated disgracefully  every day in the media  in 201  by “candidates for President” who said they want to make ” America Great Again.” And when Mr. Make America Great Again became President,  he escalated the war on women, here is how he is doing it:

How is disrespect for women, not wanting equal pay for an equal job going to make America great? It’s not. Women have to work in America today because the corporations do not pay the men enough to pay the cost of living set by the very corporations, banks, and services, and taxes laid on them by the governments themselves.

And where are the men and women of the cloth today, (as Dr. Martin Luther King did to his everlasting courage and credit),  to refute and fight this horrible message accepted by the media and congressmen and senators as “positions,” “policies,”.

Now a lot of columnists and editors are fighting it and thank goodness they are having some effect.

For the ministers, rabbis, preachers, and society leaders today to be not speaking out against the Republican message of Fascist hate is a disgrace. Many Christian ministers are supporting such thinly disguised hate by not speaking out.

The Pope has spoken out and perhaps is the only one I can think of that has. Evangelists and ministers supporting some of the extravagant anti-women, anti-immigrant policies, and tax oppression policies should get a refresher course in Christianity.

Turn in your collars, gentlemen and ladies of the cloth. You are not worthy if you’re not marching.

The last 9 years have seen a revival of the Republican Party that resembles a revival of the Ku Klux Klan more than the Party of Lincoln.

They were lead by the sixteen  low standard bearers who are educated enough to know better, kowtowing to the frightened, the fearful and the superior and the insecure– making popular once again hatred of the black man, the Jew, the Muslim, the Haitian, the Latino,  the person who speaks Spanish, the immigrant, the refugee all those “threats” to America who work like dogs to survive because they believe in the American Dream.

The white establishment today like their version of the dream, which survives on Capitalism of exploiting the populace to make money by eliminating competition. Making deals. Creating investments without value. Using other people’s money. Using Russian help.

The real threat to America are the “leaders” the Sessions, the Grassleys, the Ryans, the Grahams who pour out this message to appeal to ignorance as Hitler poured it out to Germans in the 1920s and 1930s coming to power, blaming inferiors for Germany’s problems.

That fills me with a great melancholy. I wish there was ONE Martin Luther King today. ONE. Raise your hand stand up! Shout out! Before Trump makes it a crime to oppose government policy. Hitler did that.

Where is one Democratic elected official who would stand up for their President. Where are Democrats who will stop feeling sorry for themselves and articulate “A New Deal,” “A New Frontier,” “A new War on Poverty,”  ”Not a War for Poverty.”

ONE religious leader, white, or black, Hispanic, or Muslim who would stand up as that Muslim woman stood up in a Trump rally and the big, brave man Trump threw her out of the rally. Trump is not brave he is a coward. It is so easy to hurt people. It takes no courage to be mean, all it takes is a mean spirit. It’s so easy with A gun and a club in your hand.

And how smart are all the business leaders who have been manipulated by Mr. Trump for decades. What geniuses, and now they are listening to him. Smart, not by a long shot.

Personally I hope they do shut the government down. Because for every day the government is closed,that is one day less the government will have to hurt you big time, hurt the environment, hurt the weak, punish those only wanting to live a peaceful, safe life.

“The Administration from Munich” efforts will be extolled by many as reforms long needed. What its supporters will not say, is why, because any progress in uplifting the poor and disenfranchised is greeted by the Republican with roadblocks and opposition.

I guarantee you Dr. Martin Luther King would have been in the faces of Mr. Trump’s Hate Chorus a long time ago IF he were alive today. That’s essentially why Dr. King was assassinated.

Donald Trump. Ted Cruz, every member of the Cabinet without hearts and compassion and, yes, our own Senators and representatives are cold people. The Supreme Court is hiding behind the semantics of what the constitution says and not ruling with their intelligence or hearts or conscience.

Today,  the man, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is being remembered.

I am not that familiar with Dr. King’s life, but I do know that he, like other great men of America who have their days, Dr. King’s name stands for a value that America holds dear — or we like to think we do.

George Washington stands for honesty.

Abraham Lincoln for freedom

Columbus for discovery,

Dr. King’s name stands for Opportunity.

Let me add to that  DR. KING stands for fairness. Compassion. A willingness to help and recognize wrong. To stop by the wayside, like Jesus did and mingle with the Lepers. There is no one running Washington today who would stop and mingle with the Lepers. Certainly not our President.

We would not have the civil rights laws Mr. Trump wants to overturn if not for Dr. King.

What would Dr. King say if he addressed the group honoring him today at the Crown Plaza?

What would he say about “leaders” who would be leaders of this country standing for the death penalty; standing for no health care for the uninsured; standing for less regulation of the greediest, most corrupt businesses on earth?

The greed just piles up like a malignancy. Greed is cancer. Greed is not ambition. Greed destroys a nation as cancer destroys the body organ by organ.

You know what Dr. Martin Luther King would say, don’t you, in your heart, local leaders? You know what he’d do?

In about a week thousands of women are going to protest in Washington about sexual harassment.

Join that march. Speak truth to the weak, insecure, little men (very little men) who run America today. Join stand up march on down. I have it easy I just write this column and feel smug, that I am doing something to stop the march to First American Reich.

But I cannot see Dr. King heading  the march I described at the start of this column, because someone shot him  down in 1968.

Since then no African-American or Latino-American or white man or woman has stepped forward to fill his voice with the same reason, the unswerving ability to tell it like it is. To shame us into doing what is right.

When I think of Dr. King, I think of the Selma march, I think of Birmingham, I think of Little Rock, Arkansas, where he lead the African-American community in demonstrations asking for the right of equal opportunity in America: a seat on a bus wherever they chose; a restaurant or hotel of their choice; the right to apply for a job without being turned down because you were black.

Blatant in-your-face-discrimination was publicized by Dr. King and America was shown it was not right. 

It took fearlessness to do that.

Who today has that fearlessness that Dr. King and his followers showed all of America?

Where are the black and Latino and white, yes white leaders and journalists of today  (Paul Krugman, Nicolas Kristof, Charles Blow, Gail Collins are)who will stand up and point these outrages out?

Dr. King would. That cost him his life.

Losing Dr. King has come home to roost. There are no Dr. Kings today.

When I write those sentences I just wrote, it seems incomprehensible to me that someone would deny another person the right to liberty, justice and the pursuit of happiness.

When you think about it, it is an awful situation to think about. In the 50 years since Dr. King was murdered, the nation has come a long way in breaking down the visible barriers of racism based on creed and the color of one’s skin.

In one year, the Nazis in the White House have ripped that apart.

We’re going backwards now.

Today, though, the language one speaks and where you are from are the prejudices practiced today.

Somehow the sons and daughters of immigrants whose ancestors were immigrants have forgotten their roots.

Dr. King would point his finger at every person in that ballroom Monday and say they should be ashamed for sacrificing the futures of those who have no futures unless we help them have one– and that is not giving them free internships then not supplying jobs — that, I am sorry is slavery.

And you know what? That’s what they do.

There are too many in Washington D.C. who want to throw them out of the country.

Today the barriers to Equal Opportunity are not subtle any more.

What would Dr. Martin Luther King say about that education disgrace if he were speaking to us Monday morning?


They are children, you simply cannot throw  them away because they do not speak English.

This discrimination Dr. Martin Luther King would find hard to take. Ears would be ringing Monday morning.

He would bristle at lowering standards for minorities, because he would see right through that argument, saying:

“When are you going to raise the standards for my people? Because you don’t have to work any harder at educating them, if you do not raise your expectations for them.”

I think Dr. King would look around today and appreciate how Blacks and Whites, Hispanics and Jews, Catholics and Protestants, Muslims and other races mingle together in today’s America. Mingling nicely is not enough

But, if he was alive today he would never let the Republican candidates and the Democratic leadership in Washington get away with the prejudiced stereotyping of the hungry, the poor, America’s illegal residents that I have heard the last year

I think he’d observe we are all becoming more appreciative and respectful of each other– again with concern about the confrontation rhetoric

But, I do not think he would like today’s buzz word :”diversity” and our smugness about our diversity.

He would say that’s nice, but let’s keep our eye on the prize, to borrow the wonderful motto of the White Plains Department of Public Safety, let us treat all with integrity, professionalism, respect, and to that add opportunity.

He’d shame the banks now refusing to give mortgages to many. He’d point out the hypocrisy of holding students to pay off hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loans, while giving away money to Wall Street, the banks, and oil companies

He’d save particular scorn for the bloated banks paying dividends to shareholders while foreclosing on persons who have lost their jobs. Where is the outcry of leaders of any stripe today on THAT outrage? There has not been such an outcry, because it’s still going on.

Would Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. approve?

He’d remind us that Jesus Christ chose to minister to the “hardcore” of his time. He went into their midst. He healed them and made them fishers of men.

Today there are no fishers of men. Today we throw men, women, children back into the sea to drown. We ignore Puerto Rico because it is a Latino nation–and right now it is creating a health crisis for the rest of the country because electricity is not all on yet and pharmaceutical a plants are shut down..

The way to honor Dr. King Monday is to honor the afflicted, help the troubled with dignity, not humiliate them, not shun them, not “throw  them out.” 

The way Dr. King would view our world today?

He’d observe that “we need a lot of work.”

He’d point that out with his long finger pointing right at us.

He’d say, “I still have a dream. But  you are tearing it apart.”

He’d be pointing his finger at the double-standard of justice for the minority youth and the wealthy institutions that exists today.

He’d be calling upon all to keep our eyes on the prize and not on the power, the prestige, and the people who would steer us away from what needs to be done.

We need to make the comfortable uncomfortable, and comfort the afflicted.

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White Plains Week  for 1-12 has been posted  
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Bombers Extend Yankee Stadium Protective Netting Out to where field level wall bends out to Left field, Right Field Corners to Protect Field Level Fans


WPCNR VIEW FROM THE LOWER DECK. From the New York Yankees. January 10, 2017:

New York Yankees management announced today the team has decided to extend protective netting at the field level boxes. The extension of the netting is shown by the dark blue line on the field diagram above. According to the news release from the ball club:

The height of the net above each dugout will be nine feet during games. The bottom portion of the nets above the dugouts will be able to be lifted up to three feet so that fans can still interact with players during batting practice.

Beyond the dugout, netting will extend to Section 011 on the first-base side and Section 029 on the third-base side. The netting in these locations will rise to eight feet above the playing field (approximately 5.5 feet above the wall surrounding the field of play), and will remain in place from the start of batting practice through the end of the game.

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Westchester Luxury Home Market Booms in 2017–Houlihan-Lawrence Names “Top Ten Toney Towns in Westchestaa”.

WPCNR REALTY REALITY. Special to WPCNR from Houlihan Lawrence. January 10, 2017:

Sales of luxury homes selling for $2 million and higher in Westchester County hit a 10-year high in 2017 with 357 high-end homes sold, a 4.7 percent increase from 2016, according to the Houlihan Lawrence Luxury Market Report released today.

Westchester’s Top Ten Performing Markets for Luxury Homes over $2 Million and Higher: 

1. Scarsdale (79),

2. Rye City (74),

3. Mamaroneck (45),

4. Bronxville (33),

5. Harrison (26),

6. Bedford (23),

7. Byram Hills (16),

8. Irvington (12),

9. Katonah-Lewisboro (9) and

10. Chappaqua (8).

The single highest selling price in 2017 was $7,575,000 in Mamaroneck. Six of the top ten sales were waterfront properties.

The Top Two markets – Scarsdale and Rye City – accounted for approximately 43 percent of the total luxury sales in Westchester in 2017.

Sale prices for luxury homes rose slightly from 2016, with the median sale price at $2.60 million, up from $2.56 million. Total sales for 2017 topped the $1 billion mark, a 6.2 percent increase from the previous year’s volume.

Sales were strong in the $3 million to $4.9 million range with 93 homes sold, a 16 percent increase from 2016. The $5 million plus category was essentially unchanged from 2016 with 17 total sales.

Meanwhile, sales of luxury homes selling for $1 million and higher in Putnam and Dutchess counties rose 9.8 percent in 2017. The median sale price was $1.5 million, unchanged from 2016. Total luxury sales volume in the two counties was $82.9 million, an increase of 3.3 percent from 2016.  The top performing market in the Putnam-Dutchess area was Garrison with 10 sales of $1 million and higher.

Pollena Forsman, the number one agent for single-family homes in Westchester every year since 2014, weighed in on luxury buyer trends.

“This year buyers gravitated towards sleek, modern design with open floor plans.  The desire for masterfully renovated, or new, continues to dominate the mindset.  The land equation was notable in 2017 too, with luxury purchasers seeking enough property for soccer/lacrosse and maybe even a pool someday….yet all trends must be tied with a bow on value,” she said.

New Tax Law Impact:

Commenting on the impact of recently enacted tax legislation, Anthony Cutugno, Associate Real Estate Broker of Houlihan Lawrence, said,

“Major tax legislation passed in late December benefits corporations and is forecast to help fuel the bull market yet another year. For homeowners, tax reform reduces the amount of property tax that can be deducted, increasing the after-tax cost of homeownership.

“Buyers’ purchasing power is reduced as well, and the impact is greatest in the luxury market — higher home values equate to a larger reduction in purchasing power.

“We anticipate that declining purchasing power will exert pricing pressure on luxury inventory to offset the new math of tax reform.”

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