Thursday, July 19, 2007

Our Readers Respond...

Feiner Rejects Cavallo

Dear Editor:

I would like to thank The Westchester Guardian for the stories about the Independence Party. As a result of your reporting, I decided, earlier this year, not to seek the endorsement of the Independence Party.

The Independence Party sounds independent and non-partisan to those who are not familiar with the party, but the party (under the leadership of Giulio Cavallo) doesn’t share my beliefs. The party leadership has sold cross-endorsements for dollars and/or jobs. I want to be associated with political parties that share my philosophy about government. I’m running in the Democratic primary on September 18th with Kevin Morgan, Sonja Brown (council candidates) and Judith Beville (clerk). We are also starting to circulate petitions to form a new political party: Greenburgh United Party. Over 1500 voters will sign petitions in the coming month creating the party. This party will be formed by people who want good government, not by the political bosses.

Paul Feiner
Greenburgh Town Supervisor

More Concern About Cavallo

Dear Editor:

I have been following your editorials on Giulio Cavallo with great interest. What has not been reported is the disposition of the investigation by then-Attorney General Eliot Spitzer into Mr. Cavallo’s no-show, six-figure job as a doctor in the New York State Department of Health Hospital Unit in New Rochelle. As you know, he never had a doctor’s certificate from the State to attach ‘doctor’ to his name. He quietly resigned from this position. Was he made to pay restitution of the salary he collected for years for this no-show job?

While he was still “working” for the Hospital Unit he bragged how he got a job in the same unit for Marianne Oros who, in effect, became his boss after she was fired from Westchester Medical Center. Mrs. Oros is the wife of George Oros, who is in the County Legislature. He is also on the board of one of the hospitals that Mrs. Oros oversaw, clearly a conflict of interest. When a patient who had a complaint against the hospital made the state aware of this situation, Mrs. Oros was asked to resign, which she refused to do. She was then given another position.

This is just another example of Giulio Cavallo’s influence in this state. It seems corruption and incompetence are rewarded instead of being rooted out. If you have any information on the outcome from Mr. Spitzer’s office please print it or let your readers know how to obtain this

A Concerned State Worker

Aghast At Condition of Mt. Vernon High School

To the Editor:

Last month, friends and I attended a commendable performance of Dreamgirls at Mt. Vernon High School. As it was our first visit to that institution, we were shocked at the shabby condition of the unmown grass, the profusion of weeds and bare patches of earth--as
well as the generally unwelcoming appearance of the grounds fronting the building’s entrance. In addition, the Venetian blinds covering the
large windows of the edifice, were bent, broken off, or in some cases, missing slats entirely.

Once inside the school, we viewed the equally shabby courtyard (presumably for students’ use), where weeds proliferated between the blocks of concrete on the walkway and a sense of miasma hovered over what might once have been a thriving area for student interaction.
Considering that the new, completely non-utilitarian musical fountain at the traffic circle on Gramatan Ave. in Mt. Vernon reportedly cost taxpayers a cool $4 million, it is unconscionable that money was not allocated to the high school for landscaping and maintenance of the grounds as well as for purchasing new Venetian blinds. The fact is that the patent neglect of the premises sends a terrible message
not only to visitors but to attending students. It says, in effect, “We don’t really care about you. You don’t deserve to study in an attractive place.” Hasn’t it occurred to Mayor Davis or other officials who are involved with the Mt. Vernon schools, that if we treat our young people
as though they were second-class citizens, so will they consider themselves?

Aware of the crime statistics in the schools as well as in the streets, residents with children approaching school-age often move out of Mt. Vernon. Yet Mayor Davis, ostensibly oblivious to it all, seems to believe that erecting a visible monument (the fountain) to his tenure will
again catapult him into yet another term in office. But parents who cannot afford to leave the city want something better for their children and are now clamoring for a change in government. Judging from the condition of Mt. Vernon High School, that change can’t come fast enough.

Elaine Booth Selig, Mt. Vernon

Concerned About New Rochelle Development

Dear Editor:

A report at the City Council meeting from the New Rochelle Environmental Committee suggested many ideas for a greener New Rochelle. The Committee favored open space and more environmentally-friendly buildings and mentioned that the new construction in downtown
does not fit these criteria. Among the items mentioned was flooding caused by too many impervious surfaces. Certainly residents can remember the recent flooding in many areas of the city.

There are other environmental problems in New Rochelle. On North Avenue, between Huguenot and Main Streets, there have been numerous instances of the Con Edison cables overheating. Yet in the FEIS (Final Environmental Impact Statement) for the proposed Simone Project
for Church/Division Streets, Con Edison on page 3b-11 claimed that they can supply the gas and electricity. Similarly, in the environmental report for Forest City Ratner’s proposal for the Brooklyn Atlantic yards, Con Edison said they could supply the electricity and gas. But when Con Edison appeared recently at a state Assembly hearing about a large rate increase, they claimed they were “strapped” and massive
projects like these Atlantic yards are to blame. Therefore, all residents are forced to subsidize these projects.

These are just two examples of how our City’s taxpayers and residents will be impacted by the high rise Simone project. The City Council is likely to vote on this proposal this month. Any one who is concerned about the environmental impacts of this large and dense project on the Queen City of the Sound should let Council members know immediately.

Peggy Godfrey, New Rochelle

Games People Play

We found last Wednesday’s gathering at County Democratic Headquarters in White Plains amusing and somewhat ironic. Several prominent local Democrats, and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver had come together to welcome Republican Assemblyman Michael Spano, little
brother of former State Senator Nick Spano - once the Number Three Republican in the State - into the fold.

Yes, after ten years in the Assembly as a Republican; after leaving that body for personal reasons, and apparently failing to cut it in the private sector, and, after running against an under-funded Democrat, and reclaiming his old seat, as a Republican just last year, Mike Spano decides he’s really a Democrat, and has been for some time. Some might say, “Wow!” We simply ask, “What else is new?”

Naturally, the powers that be, Larry Schwartz, Inc. brought together as many local Democratic legislators and politicians as could be rounded up on short notice for the photo-op. Of course, some of those Democrats standing behind Mike had stood behind Big Brother Nicky and Daddy Leonard Spano numerous times, and they didn’t have to switch parties for their support. No fooling.

Andy Spano, no relation mind you, and Larry Schwartz’ puppet, Reggie LaFayette, did their best to re-elect Republican County Clerk Len Spano in 2001, and Big Nick, every two years, succeeding right through 2004. Last year the presence of federal monitors and attorneys raised the stakes to where nobody was willing to step over the line to put Nick back into the Senate. In that regard We would wonder what was going through Andrea Stewart-Cousins’ mind as she stood smiling amongst the assemblage.

Truth be told, Andy Spano didn’t appear especially delighted to be welcoming Mike Spano, no relative, into the Democratic Party. The bigger question, however, involves how Larry feels about the move. Does he believe it will strengthen his hand in Albany? Does he think Mike will be willing to accept his oppressive presence?

We have a few questions for Mike:

• Would you be changing parties if Nicky were still sitting in the State Senate?

• Is it really George W. Bush you’re trying to distance yourself from, or is it Big Brother Nicky?

• And, having won your seat as a Republican, how do you face your constituents next year, for re-election, and tell them that you really stand for the philosophy, and the politics they thought you opposed when they elected you last year?

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