Category Archives: Letters

LETTER

Letter: Black men are politically squeezed

 

 

To the Editor,

The racist emails of former Pelham Police Chief Alfred Mosiello is very typical of people in many communities of Westchester and beyond. These same people live in Little Falls, N.Y., Forked River, N.J., Mahopac, N.Y., Bensonhurst, Howard Beach and certainly Staten Island.

It does not matter to these same people that Mosiello is a law enforcement official and, like his New Hampshire commissioner of police counterpart who called president Obama the n-word, that their racism impacts them as far as how selectively they administered law enforcement.

These are the same people that invariably say blacks are “lazy,” yet as President Lincoln said “the wealth of this country is predicated upon 246 years of free labor from the African slave.” These same people owe their jobs to ethnic and racial cronyism.

You see it in construction and for generations at the New York Police Department and New York Fire Department. I have seen it personally working on Wall Street for 32 years where people like Mosiello demonstrate “neolithic incompetence” in their job performance daily but because of this racial cronyism, keep their jobs or because a cousin or uncle can get them employed, in some cases without having a high school diploma. Black men, no matter how stellar their performance, are politically squeezed out by these same people.

These are the same people who have the same mantra that we work hard, but it is their white privilege and cronyism and at times nepotism that allows them to thrive. These same people will give “Cosa Nostra” more respect and deference and show searing hatred for Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson. These are the same people that ignore the daily displays of violent crimes committed by whites in Westchester and around this country. This violent crime rate by whites is higher than any other country in the industrialized world. Black males with college degrees earn less than white males with a high school diploma in many cases. I guess we are in post-racial America.

 

Clifford Jackson,

Larchmont

LETTER

Letter: Support school budget, full-day kindergarten

 

 

To the Editor,

Two years ago my family made a decision that most people never do. We moved from Connecticut, where the taxes are low, to New York, where the taxes are high. As we were looking for our new place to call home, we settled on Rye for its reputation as having an excellent school system.

While the Rye City schools provide our children with an excellent education, the district needs to implement full-day kindergarten because research has shown it to be one of the best practices in early childhood education. All but two districts in Westchester County, Rye and Edgemont, provide full-day kindergarten.

Please understand, I am not supporting a transition to full-day kindergarten simply because “everyone else is doing it.” Rather, I support full-day kindergarten because research
demonstrates it is educationally sound and developmentally appropriate.

A full day of learning enhances children’s social and emotional development. It provides children more time to focus and reflect on learning experiences and reduces transition
between activities. By having a full day, students will have the time to explore topics in depth.

Kindergarteners will finally have access every week to music and art instruction taught by highly-qualified subject specific educators.

Finally, it may seem counter-intuitive, but a full day program slows down the day. When your kindergartner is there all day, the tendency to pack it all in disappears. Teachers can teach at a pace that is better suited to the developmental needs of each and every child. In fact, it will help children develop the stamina they will need for first grade.

I support Superintendent Frank Alvarez’s proposed budget and I urge all residents,
especially families with pre-school children, to show up on May 19 and vote “yes” in support of both best practices for our schools and continued strong property values.

Jane Anne Anderson, 

Rye

LETTER

Letter: Reader: Subway not welcomed

 

 

To the Editor,

You may have heard by now that the Tuckahoe Zoning Board of Appeals will be hearing an application by the national chain, Subway sandwich shop, to locate at 73 Main St. They are seeking variances for parking, reducing the required four spots to two spots. They claim they will be dependent on foot traffic and not vehicle traffic and be open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. The zoning board meeting will be held Wednesday, April 8 at 7:30 p.m. in the Village Hall courtroom. Village Hall is located at 65 Main St., in Tuckahoe.
As you may also know, in 2013, the Town of Eastchester passed an amendment to its zoning code that prohibits what they called “fast/casual” food shops. The reasoning was that such shops threatened the economic viability of the already-established local shops and “cheapened” the look of the business area. Tuckahoe is a village within Eastchester, however Eastchester’s zoning code doesn’t apply to Tuckahoe. The Village of Bronxville also prohibits such shops. Tuckahoe’s zoning code does not currently prohibit such shops.

My concerns are that a national chain such as Subway, which, with the proposed 6 to10 seats, fits the Eastchester definition of “fast/casual,” will begin the march toward the loss of Tuckahoe’s village character, charm and identity, as well as a resultant loss in property values.

Others have expressed concerns that the Subway location will turn into a hangout for teens from neighboring Bronxville, etc. Subway claims they will rely primarily on foot traffic, so they do not envision a significant increase in vehicle traffic. Recent traffic studies from other projects—Springfield Suites, Glenmark/Mack-Cali—have indicated that as many as 45,000 vehicles per week pass along Tuckahoe’s Main Street corridor.
In addition, several of Main Street’s local shops offer sandwiches and have for many years. Each of these shops will suffer economically and frankly, the supposed increase in revenue that Subway may bring will be offset by the loss of revenue from each of local shops. Subway has even been told that its application will certainly be approved. If you don’t believe me, visit their website you will see it says that a Tuckahoe location will be “Opening Soon.”

Why are they so sure?

This application is not a win-win as is often expressed by some members of the zoning board.  It will simply displace the revenue that is currently generated by local shops and transfer it to Subway, with an attendant loss of character for the village. Needless to say, that can only affect local property values in a negative way. Allowing Subway into our village will allow the Springfield Suites hotel parcel that is set aside for a restaurant, north side of Phoenix Fitness, to rent/sell to another national chain. As part of that hotel complex, such a restaurant would likely serve meals from breakfast to after dinner. The chances of that tenant/owner being a national chain like Denny’s or Applebee’s is extremely likely. (The hotel has not indicated who the tenant might be, claiming they haven’t gotten that far.) The only other possibility would be a smaller business person who would take a chance and have to gear up to serve meals all day, perhaps a diner.  Imagine that traffic.
If you feel similarly and are as concerned as I am, offer written comment to the village’s Building Department at 65 Main St. Share this information with neighbors, relatives, etc., who reside in Tuckahoe.

Once a national chain like Subway comes into Tuckahoe it will be nearly impossible to prevent other national chains from coming in. The only way to stop that from happening is to ask the Village Board of Trustees for a moratorium on building such chains until the issue is debated in the village and hopefully, the zoning code is amended to be in accord with Eastchester’s code prohibiting national fast/casual chains anywhere in the village.

Albert Stern,

Tuckahoe 

LETTER

Letter: Turn your concern to action

 

 

To the Editor,

As parents who care passionately about our children and their education, we can get protective and incensed when our child is not offered the opportunities we feel he or she deserves. In recent years we have fought (and often lost) to keep elementary school librarians, school staff, middle schools sports and theatre productions. Students, teachers and parents have turned out at school board meetings to plea for cherished programs and people. Those conversations have been painful and our administrators and school board have taken the brunt of our complaints.

It’s time to take our anger for past losses and redirect it. This is the year we rebuild our school system’s funding base and avoid more cuts.  We need to stand together—parents of preschoolers and parents of college-bound seniors—and say enough is enough. The administration has given us a choice—a budget that maintains our strong academic and extra-curricular programs or a budget that jeopardizes the very reason we moved to Rye in the first place.

Make no mistake, a ‘tax compliant’ budget does not even cover our pension and healthcare obligations required by state law. Such a budget would mean cutting into core program that makes Rye schools so strong—academic and extra-curricular programs including interscholastic sports, foreign languages, engineering, music and arts. We need to approve a budget that keeps our schools strong, not one that is merely “tax compliant.” I am voting yes on May 19 for all of these reasons.

 

Jamie Jensen,

Rye

LETTER

Letter: Council needs to inform public on stolen golf funds

 

 

To the Editor,

As a Rye resident and a member of Rye Golf Club, I cannot understand the huge difference between the city’s insurance claim of $2.1 million “which would cover the money allegedly stolen by the disgraced former general manager of the city’s golf club” and the $343,120 “Yandresevich was able to steal from the golf club over six years” as reported in the Rye City Review article “City hires firm for $2.1M golf claim.”

It doesn’t make sense and the Rye City Council needs to inform the public exactly what was stolen.

Additionally, it would be interesting to know to what purpose the city may assign any recovered funds. That too has not been made public.

Membership fees were greatly increased over recent years. The members, as a class, are due refunds and capital projects at the golf course also might be funded.

 

Anthony Spencer,

Rye

 

Editor’s note: The $343,120 in funds that Yandrasevich was charged with stealing by
the Westchester County District Attorney’s office is significantly lower than what the city is seeking through its insurance claim because, the amount that can be charged by the district attorney’s office has to be traced and proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

 
LETTER

Letter: Open Door is wrong idea for school

 

 

To the Editor,

The Open Door health clinic is a wonderful organization, but not within one of our public schools, especially one with the largest brown and black population. Comparing our district to schools in Port Chester is problematic because the demographic there enforced a Latino-friendly climate that we don’t have in Larchmont and Mamaroneck.

In fact, discussions with the school board about this school-based clinic immediately expressed discontent about involvement in social services initiatives only to favor the poor at Mamaroneck Avenue School. It’s no secret. It has been revealed in online commentary for years, pointing out that kids use racially-charged comments to bully kids who attend that school. Add to that the comments expressed at school meetings mostly about not wanting to serve “those” kids and “their” needs. Let’s make the dialogue against this school-based clinic an informed one, rather than a reactionary racially-biased one.

The assumption is that services are needed because children miss too much school to seek healthcare services. What is not stated is the assumption that these conditions are not being monitored at home because parents are not knowledgeable enough to do so and because there is a problem of illiteracy, as school social workers and case workers in this neighborhood have openly stated about the Latino community, “they probably can’t read the indications for certain medications.”

What we have here is a wealth of micro problems tied to a macro problem of oppression with intentional forces meant to isolate people and keep them in poverty. More importantly, keep them oppressed, even those from their own community who trust the oppressors and therefore view us as incapable of something or a burden and get rewarded by joining with the oppressors.

Myths invented by the colonial masters, utilizes science in order to prove our children’s lacking learning abilities. W.E.B. Dubois defines this as the “fallacy of numbers.” In fact, we cannot use attendance as our indicator of why that would be the solution when we don’t address the lack of affordable housing in this neighborhood and county and the deteriorating conditions of housing in our flood zone that keeps mold, lead and other contaminants very active and in our air and water. I could go on.

There is an awareness that the environmental conditions exist since the proposal was cleverly only targeted to Mamaroneck Avenue School. Yet no one openly states it for what it is, a tactic to hide the effects of environment racism. Furthermore, they use Latino informants to act as spokespeople about the benefits to families without again being clear as to why these health conditions disproportionally affect brown and black students and why the clinic would only be housed on this side of the tracks and not being advocated for at any other school.

The rewards of a school-based clinic are only for those who are manipulating the statistics and exploiting the idea that the poor students need this. I advocate for healthier lifestyles but not under false pretenses. If an illiterate community has already managed to organize a Zumba class that runs at multiple times a day in multiple locations all on their own, they do care about their health. If parents walk to school every day and many pick up other kids and walk in groups to school, the “Walk to School” week does not apply to their lack of exercise and to fight obesity. Illiteracy does not mean parents are not ready to learn by listening and are not eager to do the best for their kids. Perhaps a better investment would be to look at models that have worked where parents teach themselves because the framing in that exchange is not about “fixing” anyone and doesn’t cost the taxpayer as much in salaries and capital investment.

We are being deceived once again.

The clinic should never be part of the school. It gives too much power to teachers and staff because it allows them to decide when a child “looks” or is “acting” sick and also to take note of the frequency of when services are sought and to where referrals are made, especially if the student is in special education, which I have exposed many times too many Latino students are, in our district. Subsequently, frequency of visits or the failure to monitor or control a condition at home over the weekend on the part of the parent will be interpreted as neglect and intervention with Child Protective Services.

Those who write the definitions, control the results. Too many players have more to gain than the families who are not given credit for the things they do right. Mamaroneck Avenue School families can seek their healthcare services privately at a convenient location. We as a community need to channel our advocacy toward eliminating systemic and environmental factors mainstreaming racism.

 

Luis Quiros, 

Mamaroneck

LETTER

Letter: Yandrasevich should be forced to forfeit state pension

 

To the Editor,

The following is an open letter to state Sen. George Latimer and state Assemblyman Steve Otis.
The March 6 edition of the Rye City Review references Albany lawmakers proposing New York Constitution changes for elected officials convicted of a felony, while in office. I endorse the change to the state Constitution to forfeit taxpayer’s pension contribution portion for elected officials convicted of a felony. However, the law should include appointments or hires in the state’s local municipalities and counties participating and vested in the New York State pension program.

In the community you represent, a City of Rye employee, Mr. Scott Yandrasevich, was convicted of falsifying payroll submissions and directly receiving more than $270,000 in false billing receivables. Mr. Yandrasevich is a felon and at the eligible age will receive his public pension contributions. The forfeited funds should be returned to applicable New York villages, cities or counties.

If either the Assembly or the Senate has public hearings regarding the proposed ethic reformsplease contact me.

 

Mack Cunningham,

Rye Golf Club Commission

 
LETTER

Letter: Deer numbers are not credible

 

 

To the Editor,

The shocking reality is that Westchester County has given Westchester County Bowhunters Association, WCBA,—whose existence is based and depends on the killing of deer—the authority to present deer population density figures to municipalities who may have “slaughter” or “culls” in mind for local wildlife. Talk about the “fox guarding the henhouse” mentality:

“The WCBA, because of its close affiliation with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, has had the responsibility of gathering mush [sic] of the vital information needed to improve the county’s deer population. Because of our assistance to the DEC, they have supported us in changing legislation regarding hunting in Westchester County.” This excerpt was taken from the president of the WCBA and can be found online at westchesterbowhunters.com/letter.php.

In other words, WC uses bowhunters’, the “foxes,” figures to estimate deer populations, the “henhouse”. Is this how Mamaroneck and Rye found 74 deer per one quarter square mile in their area? This obviously inflated number would put 296 deer in a one square mile area in Mamaroneck. Almost 300 deer in one square mile is beyond non-credible. Seventy-four deer in such a small area at the alleged count date, Feb. 16, means conflict, disease and starvation. Very few areas can support this many deer, not even wooded areas, let alone in the industrialized, commercial and residential areas of Mamaroneck and Rye. Absurdly high estimates of population numbers are also behind the bowhunting of deer in Teatown. Let’s follow the money. Ask who benefits from these absurd numbers? The bowhunters whose lucrative contracts are dependent on implausible, unrealistically high numbers of deer. Let’s remind the officials and politicians: for every one “nature-phobic” complainer who would like to see wildlife killed en masse, there are 1,000 others who thank God daily that deer, squirrels, geese, birds, bees and any other wild thing is able to survive in this human-altered, human-assaulted environment. Westchester County and DEC officials, we must remove the foxes that guard this wildlife henhouse, and we must do “what’s right” by nature, by fiercely protecting, not killing, our still surviving wildlife, at all costs.

 

Taffy Williams,

New York Whale and Dolphin Action League

 
LETTER

Letter: Come one, come all to the parade

 

To the Editor,

As we deal with yet another winter that just won’t end, the Eastchester Irish American Social Club has your antidote. It is the 11th annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade, to be held on Sunday, March 15 at 3 p.m. in the Town of Eastchester.

This highly anticipated event is a true crowd-pleaser. So to coax spring to begin, we celebrate Irish culture with music, dance and costume, and encourage everyone near and far to come out and bask in the glow of this parade. We will have pipe bands, brass bands, Irish dance and music schools as well as local schools and groups in the line of march. People of all ages can enjoy the pageantry. And, as if the sights and sounds were not enough, the many restaurants on or near the parade route are ready, willing and able to provide its patrons with fine Irish food and drink, with music, of course.

Additionally, this event celebrates some local success stories. This year, our grand marshal is Joe Houlihan of Houlihan & O’Malley, in Bronxville. While Joe’s heritage comes from County Kerry, he grew up here and went to Iona College before making it big in real estate. He married and raised a beautiful family in this area and still found time to be active in community and parish affairs. Similarly, our honorees, Stephen and Kathleen Huvane, have ancestry in Ireland, for Steve, Counties Mayo and Galway; for Kathy, County Kerry. They are long-standing Eastchester residents and beloved members of the club who have been active in community events.

So, as this parade enters its second decade, please come out and join us. For further information, please go to eastchesterirish.org. Happy St. Patrick’s Day.

 

John M. Collins, 

President, Eastchester Irish American Social Club

LETTER

Letter: Fire letter doesn’t tell whole story

To the Editor,

In response to the letter of gratitude authored by Mr. Richard Cherry, chairperson of the Town of Mamaroneck Housing Authority and published in your Feb. 27 edition, I would like to add my voice.

The Town of Mamaroneck Fire Department indeed put forth remarkable effort and skill in extinguishing the fire at 8 Hommocks Road on Feb. 11, a fire that easily could have engulfed multiple units in the complex.

Mr. Cherry, however, was remiss in verifying the whole story, when, in actuality, the “elderly woman” died as a direct result of smoke inhalation, as reported by the Westchester County medical examiner.

Grace Anne Raffa was treated at Westchester Medical Center where she suffered 37 percent carbon monoxide inhalation. She lived on a breathing tube for one week. Ms. Raffa passed away on Feb. 18 in the hospital. The death was reported in the Journal News on Feb. 20, 2015.

 

Janet Lepre,

Town of Mamaroneck resident and first cousin to the deceased